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Title: The Life of Sir Henry Morgan. With an account of the English settlement of the island of Jamaica (1655-1688).
Author: Cruikshank, Ernest Alexander (1853-1939)
Cartographer [map of Old Providence]: Prinald (active ca. 1766-1771)
Date of first publication: 1935
Place and date of edition used as base for this ebook: Toronto: Macmillan Company of Canada, 1935 [first edition]
Date first posted: 10 April 2011
Date last updated: 10 April 2011
Project Gutenberg Canada ebook #767

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Ross Cooling, Mark Akrigg & the Online Distributed Proofreading Canada Team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


Sir Henry Morgan
Governor of Jamaica





LL.D., F.R.S.C., F.R. Hist. S.


Copyright, Canada, 1935



All rights reserved—no part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publishers.

Printed in Canada

To Jamaica, most beautiful of islands, where the writer has spent ten happy winters, this book is affectionately inscribed in commemoration of the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of Henry Morgan.

Oracabessa, Ja.
February, 1935.


     I. His Family and His Early Life 1
    II. The Dutch War and the Raid on Central America 41
   III. Old Providence, Puerto Principe, and Puerto Bello 65
   IV. Maracaibo and Gibraltar 98
    V. The Resumption of Hostilities 129
   VI. Old Providence, Chagres, and Panama 150
 VII. The Downfall of Modyford 200
VIII. The Quarrel with Lord Vaughan 226
  IX. Carlisle's Contest with the Assembly 259
   X. Governor and Commander in Chief 302
  XI. Discord and Political Eclipse 344
 XII. The History of the Buccaniers and Morgan's Suits for Libel 373
XIII. Last Years and Death 393
        Appendix I 423
        Appendix II 424


Sir Henry Morgan, Governor of Jamaica Frontispiece
Fort Triana at Puerto Bello facing page   84
Gateway to the Fort at Puerto Bello 116
Inside the Castle at Chagres 148
The Burning of Panama 148
Old Providence 166
Ruins of Cathedral Tower at Panama 194
Replica of Four Pages of "Hollantze Mercurius" Between pages 210-211
Plan of Port Royal facing page 260
Laurencefield in 1923 316
Cabaritta Island, Port Maria 316
Llanrumney Hills 348
Llanrumney River 348





The lively contemporary author of The Bucaniers of America circumstantially relates that Henry Morgan was the son of a rich farmer or yeoman in Wales, and that at an early age he had been kidnapped and sold, or had bound himself voluntarily as a hired servant for a term of four years to a planter in the island of Barbadoes. This statement has been accepted and repeated by many later writers. Morgan hotly repudiated it, for on the publication of the English version of that book in 1683, it was named in his actions for libel as being false and malicious. The printed apology of William Crooke, its publisher, dictated or at least approved by Morgan's solicitor, declares that Morgan was "a Gentleman's son of good quality in the county of Monmouth, and was never a Servant unto anybody in his life, unless unto his Majesty, the late King of England."

The preface to The Voyages and Adventures of Capt. Barth. Sharp, published in London in 1684, referring to Morgan, remarked that "it is sufficiently known that he was descended from an honourable Family in Monmouthshire, and went at first out of England with the Army commanded by General Venables for Hispaniola and Jamaica."

Welsh genealogists of repute concur however in stating that he was the eldest son of Robert Morgan of Llanrhymney, a small estate in Glamorganshire, near Tredegar Castle, where he was born in 1635.[1] The year of his birth is ascertained with tolerable certainty as an affidavit made by him in Jamaica on the 21st November, 1671, definitely states his age as thirty-six.

The family of Tredegar was recognized as the head of[2] the clan, of which the Morgans of Llanrhymney were a cadet branch. In a poem, entitled "Prosopoeia Tredegar", believed to have been written by Percy Enderby about 1661, the following lines occur:

"And so LanRumney yet must bend the knee,  And from Tredegar fetch their pedigree."[2]

Henry Morgan in fact claimed rather close relationship as in his will he made a bequest to his sister, Catherine Lloyd "to be payed into the hands of my ever-honest Cozen, Mr. Thomas Morgan of Tredegar."

Members of his family had already earned much distinction in recent continental wars, notably Sir Thomas Morgan in command of the regiment afterwards known as "The Buffs", who was governor of the fortress of Bergen-op-Zoom in 1594, and General Sir Charles Morgan, who took part in the siege of that place in 1621. Later two of Henry Morgan's uncles, Edward and Thomas Morgan, younger brothers of his father, had become soldiers of fortune under foreign flags. Both won considerable renown in Germany and Holland and eventually attained high rank in England, having returned to engage in the civil war on opposite sides. Edward Morgan, who figures in Dutch records as "Heer van Lanrumnij", entered the royal army and in 1649 was given a commission as Colonel-General of the King's forces in South Wales under the Earl of Carbery. While in Germany he had married Anna Petronilla, the only sister of Johan Ernst, Freiherr von Poellnitz, governor of Lippstadt in Westphalia. When the triumph of the Parliament was seen to be complete, he fled to the Netherlands and afterwards lived in exile for several years with his brother-in-law on the family estates at Aschbach near Bamberg. After the restoration he returned to London to seek official favour and compensation for his losses. In a memorial addressed to Mr. Secretary Bennet in 1663, he asserted that he had forty years experience as a soldier.[3]


Thomas Morgan had fought in the wars of the Low Countries and Germany, at one time under the French flag, and at another in the army of Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar. On his return to England he took the side of the Parliament. He first commanded a regiment of foot but in 1661 was transferred to command a regiment of dragoons. He became Monck's chief subordinate in the subjugation of Scotland and gained his esteem for sound military judgment and trustworthiness. He was considered an expert in the employment of artillery and the conduct of siege operations. Having attained the rank of major-general and second in command in Scotland he was recalled by Cromwell to act as second in command of the expedition to Flanders, in which the "little, shrill-voiced, choleric man," is admitted to have acted a more important part than his nominal chief. He was wounded in the siege of Saint Venant and again in the successful assault of Ypres, when he commanded all the English troops. Having once more greatly distinguished himself in the battle of the Dunes near Dunkirk, he was knighted by Richard Cromwell in November, 1658, when he was described as "being esteemed in the army next to the general, [Monck], a person of the best conduct then in arms in the three nations, having been nearly forty years and present in the greatest battles and sieges of Christendom for a great part of that time." After the restoration he was retained in the army and, in 1663, appointed governor of the island of Jersey, then menaced with an invasion by the French.[4]

Little reliable record has been found of the youth of Henry Morgan beyond what he wrote himself in middle life, when, acting as governor of Jamaica, he stated that: "The office of Judge Admiral was not given to me for my understanding of the business better than others, nor for the profitableness thereof, for I left the schools too young to be a great proficient in that or other laws,[4] and have been more used to the pike than the book."[5] This want of education so frankly confessed was probably due to the disturbed state of the country, as he was born too late to take any very active part in the civil war and was still in his twentieth year when the expedition commanded by Venables sailed from Portsmouth in December, 1654.

Leslie must have relied on local tradition when he wrote fifty years after Morgan's death:

"His Father was a Farmer of pretty good Repute, and designed his Son for the same Way of Life; but his Inclinations were turned on another way; and finding his Father positive in his Resolution, bid him adieu and rambled to Bristol, where he bound himself a Servant for Four Years and was transported to Barbadoes; there he was sold and served his Master with a great deal of Fidelity."[6]

There may be some truth in this account and Morgan may have enlisted in Venables's command at Barbados, as Ludlow relates that "they [Penn and Venables] made proclamation there that whosoever would engage in the undertaking should have their freedom, whereupon about two thousand servants listed themselves to the great distress of the planters."[7]

In Colonel Thomas Modyford, speaker of the House of Assembly, Venables found a most ardent and influential supporter, who persuaded that body to offer sixty horsemen for the expedition, and give him permission to recruit by beat of drum in public places, by which much ill will was excited among the planters, some of whom did not hesitate to denounce Modyford as a traitor to the interests of that island. But war with Spain was always popular, as it was usually profitable, and many volunteers were enrolled in the hope of plunder, expecting to take "mountains of gold". Venables reported that he had raised three thousand men but was unable to arm more than thirteen hundred. At Montserrat, Nevis, and[5] St. Kitt's smaller bodies were recruited, numbering in all between twelve and thirteen hundred more and increasing his force to seven thousand ill-trained and ill-armed men. Henry Morgan's name does not appear in the list of officers which has been preserved, and his service must have been in the ranks, but it seems likely that the nephew of Thomas Morgan would be entitled to special consideration.

Owing to the misconduct of a considerable part of this hastily assembled mob the invasion of Hispaniola failed disgracefully and even a month after its successful landing in Jamaica an officer made the distasteful confession: "We now find by sad experience that but few of them were old Soldiers, but certainly most of them were Apprentices that ran from their Masters, and others that came out of Bridewell, or one Gaol or another, so that in our poor Army we have but few that either fear God or reverence man."[8]

Yet several of the officers had sat as judges at the trial of the King and had signed his death warrant, and among both officers and soldiers there was a fair sprinkling of "Ironsides".

Cromwell's commission to Admiral Penn took the form of an incisive and passionate manifesto, justifying his contemplated attack upon the Spanish possessions in the West Indies as a rightful measure for exacting reparation for past injuries and ensuring security for the future. It fiercely denounced "the cruelties and inhuman practices of the King of Spain exercised in America, not only upon the Indians and natives but also upon the people of those nations inhabiting in those parts, whom he hath, contrary to the common right and law of nations, by force of arms driven from those places whereof they were the rightful possessors; murdering many of their men, and leading others into captivity; and to this very day doth not only deny to trade, or to have any commerce with us or the people of those countries in any part of America, but, contrary to the treaties between the two[6] States, doth exercise all acts of hostility against us, and this people there, as against open and professed enemies, giving thereby and [by] the claim he makes to all that part of the world by the colour of the pope's donation, just grounds to believe that he intends the ruin and destruction of all the English plantations, people and interest in those parts."[9]

His peremptory demand that English merchants should be allowed the free exercise of their religion in the Spanish dominions and that English colonists and traders should no longer be treated as pirates in the West Indies had in fact been curtly rejected. "To ask for liberty from the Inquisition and free sailing in the West Indies", said the Spanish ambassador, "was to ask for his master's two eyes", and no concession would be made on either point. Venables was consequently given full liberty of action. "The design in general", he was told, "is to gain an interest in that part of the West Indies in the possession of the Spaniard; for the effecting whereof we shall not tie you up to a method by any particular instructions."[10]

From Hispaniola the baffled English commanders made their way to Jamaica, thinly peopled and weakly garrisoned, where they had better fortune. Inefficient as the land forces were, the conquest of the inhabited part of the island was easily accomplished, with the exception of a considerable portion of the hilly pasture lands on its north side to which the governor with most of the Spanish planters and their slaves retired, and with the aid of reinforcements from Cuba and Porto Rico, waged an intermittent but tantalizing and costly guerilla warfare with the invaders for five years before they were finally expelled. From the first the Spanish court had recognized the distressing prospect that undisputed possession of the island would enable the English "to obstruct the commerce of all the islands to the windward with the coasts of the mainland and of New Spain. The fleets and galleons will run great risk in passing[7] Jamaica."[11] Its immediate recovery was seen to be an object of vital importance. In fair weather with a favouring breeze the passage from Cuba to the northern coast of Jamaica could be made with ease and safety even by small undecked boats. Soldiers and workmen were sent over in small parties, and several small forts were built by them. Bands of maroons and negroes were encouraged to harass the invaders, with some success, under the command of a mulatto, Juan Lubolo or Juan de Bolas, whose memory is still perpetuated in the name of a river and savanna. But although they thus succeeded in maintaining a substantial foothold behind the central range of hills, they failed to recover any lost ground.

After venting his displeasure upon the unlucky commanders of the expedition for their failure to take Hispaniola, Cromwell decided to retain and colonize their actual conquest and published a proclamation describing Jamaica as "spacious in extent, commodious in its harbours and rivers within itself, healthful by its situation, well stored with horses and other cattle, and generally fit and worthy to be planted and improved to the advantage, honour, and interest of this nation." Laws and ordinances for its government were promulgated. Surveyors were appointed to lay out lands for desirable settlers. It announced that all "planters and adventurers to that island" would be exempted from paying any excise or custom duty "on goods and necessaries transported thither for seven years, and that no customs or other tax or impost would be laid upon any product imported from thence into any other English possession for the next ten years," dating in each case from the following Michaelmas, and that no embargo would be imposed during that period on any ships or seamen sailing for Jamaica. The struggling colonists of New England, who had begun to despond, were invited "to remove themselves or such numbers of them as shall be thought convenient, out of those parts where they now are to Jamaica."[12]


Many English people were firmly convinced that Spain was a cruel and implacable national enemy. Cromwell proclaimed this doctrine insistently in his speech to Parliament on 17th September, 1656.

"Abroad," he said, "our great enemy is the Spaniard. He is a natural enemy, by reason of that enmity that is in him against whatsoever is of God." No satisfaction could be obtained either for the denial of freedom of conscience to the English traders in Spain or for "the blood of our poor people shed in the West Indies. The truth is that no peace is possible with any popish state. Sign what you will with one of them, that peace is but to be kept so long as the pope says 'Amen' to it.... The Spaniard hath an interest in your bowels. The Papists in England have been accounted Spanielised ever since I was born. They never regard France; they never regarded any Papist state. Spain was their patron."[13]

In his opinion the contest was a just and holy war. He promised liberal supplies to General Fortescue, to whom Venables had turned over the command of the troops. "We think it much designed and it is much designed amongst us," he assured him, "to strive with the Spaniard for the mastery of all those seas." His mind had been strongly impressed by proposals for an easy conquest of other Spanish provinces in America, laid before him by Thomas Modyford of Barbados and the renegade priest, Thomas Gage.[14]

His instructions to Admiral Goodson, Penn's successor, declared that the war must be carried on in the spirit of a crusade. "Set up your banners in the name of Christ," he wrote to him with his wonted fervour, "for undoubtedly it is his cause. And let the reproach and shame that hath been for your sins and the misguidance of some lift up your hearts to confidence in the Lord, and for the redemption of his honour from men who attribute their success to their idols, the work of their own hands.... The Lord himself hath a controversy with your enemies; even with that Roman Babylon of which the Spaniard[9] is the great underpropper. In this respect we fight the Lord's battles."[15]

He intended to make Jamaica the base for very extensive offensive operations against the Spaniards both by land and sea. These were delayed by frequent unforeseen changes in the command. Fortescue died after holding it only for three months. Colonel Edward D'Oyley was chosen to succeed him by his fellow officers. Major Robert Sedgewick soon after arrived from England to replace Winslow, the Protector's civil commissioner, who had also fallen a victim to disease, and superseded D'Oyley. The army was much reduced by sickness and desertion. Being warned by letters from England, confirmed by statements of prisoners, that a great "armado" was under orders to sail from Spain for the West Indies, both D'Oyley and Sedgewick gave some attention to fortifying the excellent harbour of Cagua, afterwards known as Port Royal.

Attacks by parties of fugitive slaves gave them much annoyance and sometimes inflicted serious loss of life. "They have", so Sedgewick reported, "no moral sense, and do not understand what the laws and customs of civil nations mean; we know not how to capitulate or treat with them; but be assured they must either be destroyed or brought in upon some terms or other, or else they will prove a great discouragement to the settling of the Country."[16]

Fortescue had described the island as "a fruitful and pleasant land and a fit receptacle for honest men." Sedgewick had confirmed this report, and on the 4th of January, 1656, he published a proclamation jointly with Admiral Goodson, urging the soldiers to cultivate plots of land which would be allotted for them. Some of the officers opposed this by presenting a petition in the name of their men, advising the entire abandonment of the island. But Goodson kept his squadron of ships actively employed. His cruisers lay in wait for Spanish ships and brought in many prizes. Embarking some soldiers he took Santa Marta and Rio de la Hacha, two ports of[10] some importance on the mainland of Veragua. But Sedgewick gave him grudging support in these distant excursions, which he did not fail to condemn as both impolitic and unprofitable.

"We are not able", he complained, "to possess any place we attack, and so are in no hope thereby to effect our intention of dispensing anything of the true knowledge of God to the inhabitants. To the Indians and blacks we shall make ourselves appear a cruel, bloody, and ruinating people, which will cause them, I fear, to think us worse than the Spaniard."[17]

Intercepted letters and the admissions of prisoners soon convinced him that the negro guerillas would be reinforced by Spanish soldiers, who could land on the north shore of the island unnoticed and unopposed.

"If neither soldiers nor planters do come hither," D'Oyley gloomily declared in April, 1656, "we cannot long keep the place, the advantages of the enemy being able to poise the difference in numbers."

The mortality among officers and soldiers was appalling. Sedgewick's sudden death in June replaced D'Oyley in command for a few months, until he was again superseded by the arrival of Major General William Brayne with a thousand raw recruits.[18] This did not greatly improve the situation, as Brayne reported in the following April.

"The soldiers are forced to neglect the strictness of their martial duty by rambling abroad to seek a livelihood; so that if the enemy from Spain should attempt us in this condition, I greatly fear the soldiers would make but a weak resistance, their spirits have been so dejected for want of necessary food and raiment. But many of the officers seem resolved (through the assistance of God), to sell their lives as dearly as they can."[19]

Brayne died early in September, 1657, leaving a blank commission given him by Cromwell, filled in with the[11] name of D'Oyley, who was at once obliged to make active exertions to repel an invasion. Small bands of Spanish soldiers had landed from time to time and placed themselves under the orders of Don Christoval Arnaldo Yssasi, who had been given a commission as governor of Jamaica. One company of these men came from Havana, another from San Domingo, and a third from Porto Rico. They were joined by two companies of zealous volunteers formed of refugees from Jamaica at Santiago de Cuba. The whole body did not much exceed five hundred of all ranks. Still, it formed a substantial reinforcement to the guerillas, who had already given so much annoyance.

Many years before the Spaniards had opened a bridle path and rough cart track quite across the island at nearly its widest part, connecting Sevilla Nueva (St. Ann's Bay), on the northern shore with Puerto de Esquivella (Old Harbour), on the southern. It wound through dense woods and rocky gorges and was little known and very difficult. Vestiges of it are still pointed out as the "old Spanish road". Their war parties had generally advanced by it. The steepness of the passes and dangers of ambushes were sufficient to discourage effective pursuit by this route. The only prudent manner of reaching the enemy was by the sea.

Major Richard Steevens accordingly embarked, and passing around the eastern end of the island attacked one body of Spaniards at St. Ann's Bay, D'Oyley reported, at the head of a party "of Stout, Well, and Willing men, to whom about Sixty of our Officers joyned, Volunteers, exceedingly desirous of action after so long a cessation." On their approach the Spaniards dispersed in a complete panic and hid themselves in the neighbouring forest. "So finding the vanity of following them in the Woods and Mountains, we left them," D'Oyley concluded.

Many privateers and buccaneers of several nations, who had long haunted the petty island of Tortuga and the adjoining coast of Hispaniola, had gladly availed themselves of the safer harbour and more convenient base of operations at Cagua, and some of them had been given letters-of-marque against Spain by Brayne or D'Oyley. Yssasi, who was vigilant and alert in gathering inform[12]ation, reported that in "that port there were generally fifteen or twenty vessels, some entering, some leaving, with a reserve of eight ships of war." He added that D'Oyley had held a general muster and review of all his troops in March and found that he had three thousand foot, many of them boys, and the greater part serving through compulsion.[20]

A prisoner taken in a canoe on his way to Cuba told D'Oyley that three hundred Spaniards were forming a magazine at Las Chorreras (Ocho Rios) and fortifying it in the expectation of being reinforced. Leaving one hundred men to guard their plantations, he promptly embarked the remainder of the troops under Steevens in a small warship and sailed to attack this party. A ship just coming over from Cuba with soldiers and supplies was driven off before it could reach land, and D'Oyley then disembarked his force in a bay six miles further west, as he found no suitable landing place nearer the enemy. Marching through the woods he was attacked from an ambush, but his men being well prepared for this by his orders, fired a single volley in reply and instantly charged, routing their assailants and pursuing them so fiercely that few were able to regain the shelter of their stockade, which was built "with great Trees and Flankers". Placing a third of his force in reserve D'Oyley advanced to its assault with the rest. There was "a stiff dispute" for three-quarters of an hour, until the storming party cut a passage through the palisades with their hatchets, when most of their opponents tried to escape by running out over the rocks and throwing themselves into the bay in spite of the desperate efforts of their officers to rally them, "yet made not such haste", D'Oyley wrote, "but that they left One hundred and twenty or thereabouts dead on the place, and many wounded, amongst whom were most of the Officers; the Mastre del Campo, Don Francisco de Prencia, by means of a Prisoner of ours, whom he kept by him, got quarter, and some others whom we found in the Rocks whom[13] (though we had received barbarous usage from them) we could not kill in cold blood."[21]

Eighteen prisoners were taken, but according to the Spanish account, D'Oyley had greatly exaggerated the number killed. They lost nearly all their arms and ammunition, as well as the whole of the provisions they had so laboriously collected, including large quantities of dried beef and cassava. Many fugitives were believed to have perished miserably in the woods, and some surrendered in despair in a state of starvation. The English lost only four men killed and ten wounded.

"The King of Spain's affairs do very much fail in these parts," D'Oyley added exultantly in his official letter, "and his Trade is almost brought to nothing by the many private Men of War of English and French and ours are still abroad to annoy them."

Among the ships thus taken or destroyed were three loaded with supplies for the Spaniards in Jamaica.

The Spanish government was goaded into making still greater efforts to recover its lost possession. The governors of Havana, Santiago, Porto Rico, and San Domingo were all instructed to send immediate assistance to Yssasi, who clung obstinately to his foothold in the recesses of the hills. The viceroy of Mexico was given supreme control of these operations. Two small squadrons of ships were equipped, conveying 950 soldiers with provisions and other supplies, which were safely landed at the mouth of the Rio Nuevo on the northern shore of Jamaica some time in May, 1658. Yssasi had been instructed to make every effort to hold his ground. The number of soldiers actually landed was reported to be only 557 of all ranks, under command of Sargento-Mayor Don Alvaro de Rasperu, formed into thirty-one companies of foot. They began at once to fortify a strong position on a steep, rocky hill overlooking the bay, now known as "the Cliff", which they called the Camp of the Conception. Yssasi joined them with his followers and there they remained undiscovered and[14] unmolested for twelve days, when some English warships, cruising along the coast, observed three strange sail anchored near the land but were prevented by calms and variable winds from attacking them closely. In the night these Spanish ships made their escape unseen, having landed six small iron guns for the defence of the camp. When this news reached D'Oyley at Cagway, he lost no time in assembling a council of war which began a discussion, he wrote, "whether it were most advantageous to assault them presently, or let them partake of the distemper and want of the country; and when sickness weakened them to attempt them then, though much might have been and was urged, how invaders were to be used with delayes, &c., the exceeding desire of the officers and soldiers to be doing with them cut off all debates and termed a sudden resolution to fall on them before they were fortified."[22]

Seven hundred and fifty men were embarked in six of the ships in the service of the Commonwealth, which sailed from Cagway on June 11. Eleven days later this expedition, commanded by D'Oyley himself, anchored in the little bay of Rio Nuevo, and the soldiers were landed under distant gun-fire from the Spanish camp. They were opposed near the shore by two companies of Spaniards and a band of fifteen or twenty negroes, who defended an advanced post with great obstinacy until a third of them were killed and many others wounded. At the same time the guns of the English ships bombarded the camp with little effect, "the place being of so vast a height, they could bear to doe them little harme."[23]

Ladders were made for the escalade of the stockade, which was plainly seen to be of considerable height on the face nearest them. In the evening a drummer was sent with a summons to the commandant to surrender, assuring him of honourable terms and a safe passage to his own territory, but partly also to sound the depth of the river, which he was obliged to ford. This man was civilly received by Yssasi himself, who gave him twenty-five[15] pieces of eight and sent a jar of sweetmeats to D'Oyley with the reply that he was well provided with provisions, ammunition, and brave men "that knew how to dye before they be overcome."

Next morning, after instructing two of his ships to move to leeward as a feint to distract the enemy's attention, and all the others to warp inward as close to the shore as possible and keep up a brisk fire upon the enemy's camp, D'Oyley began his march through the tangled woods to get at the other side of the intrenchment. After fording the river higher up, his advanced guard surprised a working party occupied in building a breastwork, who ran away crying that "all the world was coming." The hill was then climbed with great difficulty on its steepest side, and the storming party discovered with great joy that the rampart had not been built to its full height on that front. "Wee ordered our business with our forlorne ladders and hand grenades," D'Oyley stated, "and without any further dispute received their shott, and rann up to their flankers, which in a quarter of an hour wee gained. Many of them made a shift to runn out of the works, and ours followed their chase about three or four miles. The seamen likewise seeing them runn along the rocks, came out with their boats, and killed many of them."

A battle in those days, as soon as either body took to its heels to escape, almost invariably became a pitiless butchery of the panic-stricken fugitives. D'Oyley reported that about three hundred Spaniards were killed, including the sargento-mayor, several other officers, and two priests. About a hundred, including six captains, were made prisoners. All their cannon, many muskets, a great supply of ammunition and provisions, the King of Spain's standard, and ten other flags were taken. In the assault six English officers and twenty-three soldiers had been killed and thirty-four were wounded, some of them mortally.

"Thus hath the Lord made knowne his salvation," D'Oyley devoutly affirmed, "His righteousness hath so openly showed in the sight of the heathen."[24]


His victory was largely due to his own efficient leadership.

William Burrough, "stewart-general" of the expedition, related that he had "seen a great deal of bloody work in his time, both by land and sea, but never saw any action carried on with so much cheerfulness as this was, the Commander-in-Chief, Colonel D'Oyley telling the soldiers that a great deal of England's glory lay at stake, and therefore hoped they would consider it accordingly, going himself from party to party, and following the forlorn in a very signal habit. His gallant behaviour was answered both by officers and soldiers with a silent cheerful obedience, and through God's gracious goodness there was found such a joint unanimous willingness to the work that the truth is it was of God and it hath exceedingly endeared us to one another since we came here."[25]

Colonel Samuel Barry, being "an eye-witness and principal actor herein", was chosen by D'Oyley to carry his letter and the captured flags to the Protector, but when he arrived in England he learned that Cromwell was dead, so that he "never had one syllable of anything that was grateful from the vastest expense and greatest design that was ever made by the English."[26]

In fact D'Oyley's success was so complete that although Yssasi escaped unhurt, he was never able to collect more than 150 followers and was obliged to hide among the hills, wandering from place to place near the north coast in the vain hope of relief. His most active adherent, the negro, Juan Lubolo, deserted him and joined the English. He then became extremely disheartened. "This", he wrote, "is very serious news, both because twelve slaves had been taken prisoners from the defeated settlement as well as because all these negroes are very capable and experienced, not only as to roads, but as to all the mountains and most remote places, are hunters and ready for anything."[17]

After enduring an extremity of hardship, hunger, and privation, Yssasi's worst forebodings were fulfilled. On the 26th of February, 1660, Lieut.-Colonel Tyson with a party of only eighty men, guided over the mountains by some of these negroes, surprised his camp at Rio Hoja, near Moneague, killed his chief lieutenant and fifty others, took a few prisoners, and dispersed the rest of his men beyond recall. The English leader reported that Yssasi "ran so nimbly as to save himself from being taken."

Negotiations were begun for a treaty of surrender, but failed. A boat bringing supplies from Cuba was captured in the bay of Ocho Rios, making further resistance all but hopeless. Two large canoes were fashioned out of cottonwood logs, sails were improvised from hunters' sheets, Yssasi embarked with his remaining adherents at the little harbour, which has ever since been known as Runaway Bay, and safely crossed the hundred miles of tranquil water that separated him from Cuba. Spanish dominion over any part of Jamaica had come to an end. Some hundreds of impoverished fugitives found an asylum at Bayano, Santiago, and Trinidad, where they obtained lands and continued for the next ten years to cherish hopes of regaining their lost possessions, and form fruitless plans for that object. They seem even to have been officially informed that the exiled King of England had promised to restore Jamaica to Spain if he regained his throne.

Admiral Goodson had returned to England, but he had been succeeded in command of his small squadron by Captain Christopher Mings, who was not less active and enterprising and received cordial support from D'Oyley, who was not troubled by the conscientious scruples of Sedgewick. Taking on board his ships a few hundred soldiers, Mings sailed for the Spanish Main, where he easily took and sacked the flourishing and wealthy towns of Coro and Cumana, returning, it is stated, "with more plunder than ever was brought to Jamaica", which enriched many of its inhabitants. The privateers were encouraged in consequence to undertake other ex[18]peditions. More private ships of war were equipped and provided with commissions by the governor.

The astonishing news of the restoration of the monarchy became known in Jamaica late in July, 1660, and must have caused serious alarm and anxiety in the minds of many veteran officers and soldiers of the Commonwealth. Some of them had faithfully served the Parliament or the Protector for nearly twenty years. Two or more were liable to be denounced and brought to trial as regicides. Lands in proportion to their military rank had been assigned to all of them, but no patents had been issued. Were they now to be deprived of their hardly-won conquest, completed only a few months before, and lose the rewards promised them?

There were, in truth, good grounds for their fears. The King of Spain lost little time in sending the Prince de Ligne as an ambassador extraordinary to demand in due form, under the terms of a secret treaty, sanctioned during his exile by King Charles II, the restitution of the island of Jamaica and the fortress of Dunkirk, wrested from him by the armies of the Commonwealth. This envoy made his entry into London with great pomp, "accompanied with divers greate persons from thence, and an innumerable retinue. Greater bravery had I not seene", John Evelyn wrote with his accustomed candour.

But the merchants of the city at once combined to oppose the cession. Ten days later the King received their addresses in his closet, "giving them assurance of his persisting to keepe Jamaica, choosing Sir Edw. Massey governor." The Privy Council readily confirmed this decision. The Spanish ambassador was informed that His Majesty did not find himself obliged by the terms of any treaty "se rendre ces deux places de Jamaique et Dunquerque." The House of Commons declared its hearty approval.[27]

Nothing was known of this in Jamaica until 29th May, 1661, exactly a year after the King's return, when D'Oyley received his commission and royal instructions as governor. He had already sternly suppressed a re[19]publican insurrection, whose leaders, Colonels Raymond and Tyson, had been tried by court martial and shot as mutineers. The publication of a proclamation in the name of Charles, "King of England and Lord of Jamaica", greatly relieved the fears of the people. By it they were informed that the governor had been instructed to encourage agriculture and commerce and allot and register grants of land. A census of the population and land under cultivation, taken soon afterwards, showed a total of 2,458 men, 454 women, 44 children, 584 negroes, 618 arms, and 2,588 planted acres.[28]

Negotiations with Spain were still being carried on for a treaty of amity and commerce. On the 5th of February, 1662, D'Oyley, in accordance with later royal instructions as General-in-Chief, published a second proclamation at Point Cagway, addressed to "all Governors of Islands, captains of ships, officers and soldiers under his command", announcing that "His Majesty having commanded a cessation of hostilities, they are hereby ordered to cease from all acts of hostility against the King of Spain or any of his subjects", and all captains of ships of war at sea with his commissions were required to return with all speed to receive further orders. The actual effect of this document was probably insignificant, as its circulation must have been limited, and the privateers of that day had a convenient habit of turning a blind eye on all such instructions when it suited them and were accustomed to announce bluntly that "there was no peace beyond the line."[29] As the Reverend Thomas Fuller quaintly put it, "The Case was clear in sea-divinity, and few are such infidels as not to believe doctrines which make for their profit."[30]

A legislative council of twelve members, including a secretary, was formed under the presidency of the governor, which proceeded to enact ordinances and levy taxes for the expenses of the civil government, estimated[20] at first at £1,640 per annum. Judges and justices of the peace were appointed, most of them as a matter of course being officers of the army. Colonel Philip Ward was commissioned as chief justice, to be soon succeeded by Colonel Samuel Barry. In confirming a sentence of death passed by the court, D'Oyley grimly remarked that it was necessary "to let them see that the law could do as much as a court martial."[31]

Immigrants arrived in considerable numbers from Barbados, Nevis, Bermuda, and even from New England. They were allotted tracts of land and began planting and breeding horses, horned cattle, and hogs. The willingness of many persons to migrate then from one colony to another whenever they became discontented with their condition deserves notice. At the end of the civil war and the subsequent hostilities with Spain, many soldiers and seamen had been discharged and were obliged by debt or poverty to seek a living out of England. Numbers of adventurous, reckless men gradually made their way to the West Indies in the hope of making a fortune as planters or privateers, preferring as a rule the latter occupation.

Such a man of "desperate fortune" was Sir Thomas Whetstone, a nephew of Oliver Cromwell, but a royalist of such unquestioned fidelity that he had been employed by the King while in exile on a special mission to the Baltic squadron to win over its commander, Edward Mountague. After the restoration he had become extremely dissipated, and in September, 1661, he humbly petitioned Secretary Nicholas for assistance to save him from perishing miserably through starvation, being then confined for debt in the Marshalsea prison, without any prospect of release. Nicholas advised the Lord Chancellor that it was expedient to advance Whetstone a hundred pounds to enable him to obtain his liberty and remove to Jamaica. This must have been done, as two years later Whetstone was in chief command of a small squadron of Jamaican privateers, and in October, 1664, he was elected a member of the newly constituted House of[21] Assembly, for the parish of St. Catherine, and was chosen as its first Speaker.[32]

D'Oyley was worn out by a long term of arduous service in the tropics, and soon requested to be relieved of his office and given permission to return to England. Early in the summer of 1662, he was informed that his application had been granted and that Thomas, Lord Windsor (afterwards Earl of Plymouth) had been appointed to succeed him. The new governor was given new royal instructions, by one article of which he was directed to "grant such commissions as to you may seem requisite for the subduing of all our enemies by sea and land, within and upon the Coast of America."[33]

His additional instructions, dated a few weeks later, contained the following significant and outstanding article.

"You shall endeavour by all fitting means to obtain and preserve a good correspondence and free commerce with the plantations and territories belonging to the King of Spain, for all such our subjects as shall trade there with security to their persons, ships, and goods, and with regulations for the benefit of trade as shall seem to you and the council most advantageous to the same; but if the governor of the King of Spain shall refuse to admit our subjects to trade with them, you shall in such case endeavour to procure and settle a trade with his subjects in those parts by force, and by doing any such acts upon and against them as you and the council shall judge most proper to oblige them to admit you to a free trade with them according to your commission and the instructions now given you herein or which you shall hereafter receive from us declaring whom we have treated and accounted as enemies to us."[34]

He was commanded to disband the army and distribute ten thousand pounds among the officers and soldiers as gratuities for their past service. Four hundred foot soldiers and one hundred and fifty horsemen were[22] to be kept "under command and discipline as long as shall be thought fit for the preservation of the island with two ships of war constantly plying upon that coast." Two thousand pounds were granted for "perfecting the fort of Cagway".

A royal proclamation was published, describing the great fertility and great advantages of the island, and offering a free grant of thirty acres of land to every person over twelve years of age then residing in it or who should remove to it in two years. It ended with the declaration: "And we doe further publish and declare that all the children of our naturall borne subjects of England, to bee borne in Jamaica, shall from their respective births, bee reputed to bee free denizens of England; and shall have the same privileges, to all intents and purposes, as our free borne subjects of England."[35]

The captain of the Great Charity bound for Jamaica was authorized by a special act of the Privy Council "by the sound and beating of drums in the cities of London and Westminster and the suburbs thereof to invite any person or persons to transport themselves in the said ship to the said island."[36]

After his arrival at Barbados, Windsor made a downright effort to execute his orders peacefully, by sending the frigate Griffin with messages to the governors of Porto Rico and San Domingo, requesting liberty of trade with those islands. In both cases his application was curtly refused. Windsor arrived at Cagway, to which he gave the appropriate name of Port Royal, on August 11, and at once assembled the council to make them acquainted with his instructions, which he asserted gave power to make peace with the Spaniards or to declare war upon them if they refused commercial intercourse. The fear of another invasion from Cuba had not subsided, and Santiago was believed to be the most likely place where such an expedition would be fitted out. An attack upon that town and fortress had been already proposed more than once. It had been considered im[23]mediately after the first landing in Jamaica. Sedgewick had written to Thurloe in November, 1655, that "The Admiral was intended before our coming in to have taken some few soldiers and gone over to Saint Jago de Cuba, a town upon Cuba, but our coming hindred him, without whom, we could not well tell how to do anything."

On 24th January, 1656, he announced that the plan had been given up. "We had long since attempted St. Jago de Cuba", he said, "could our army have afforded us but 500 men, but from the full intelligence we had of the strength of the place, we thought it not convenient to hazard our chief sea forces without a sufficient number of men to land." Admiral Goodson also reported that "the numbers of the soldiers had been so thinned by disease that they had not men enough to secure their own quarters."[37]

The situation was now much more favourable, as many of the disbanded soldiers were eager to undertake any enterprise which promised to be profitable. With a single exception all the members of the council had been officers in the army and their voice favoured open war. They promptly passed a resolution declaring that "the letters of the governors of Porto Rico and San Domingo were in absolute denial of trade, and that according to His Majesty's instructions to Lord Windsor a trade by force or otherwise was to be attempted." They further stated their opinion that the proclamation commanding a cessation of hostilities applied only to Europe.

A month was then allowed to pass, during which probably more intelligence was obtained. At a meeting held on September 18, the council passed a resolution directing that men should be forthwith enlisted "for a design with the Centurion and other vessels provided that they be not servants or persons who sell or desert their plantations for the purpose."

The redoubtable Christopher Mings had been recalled to England to answer for his successful raids on the coast towns of the Spanish Main, but had apparently justified his conduct to the satisfaction of his superiors and had resumed command of the naval force at Jamaica. He[24] was a rough-tongued, ready-witted, practical seaman, who had begun his service as a cabin-boy, or in the sailor's phrase, "had entered the service by the hawsehole and worked his way aft." With him began a sort of apostolic succession of cabin-boys, who became admirals and knights. One of his cabin-boys became Admiral Sir John Narborough, who had in his turn a cabin-boy, who became still more famous as Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovel. Mings, to borrow the words of Pepys, "was a very stout man, and a man of great parts, and a most excellent tongue among ordinary men." He liked to boast that his father was a shoemaker and his mother a hogman's daughter, and was ever a favourite with the rough, illiterate sailors, whom he commanded with unvarying success.[38]

From his former expeditions he had brought to Jamaica booty valued at £200,000 or as much as £300,000, but being accused of some irregularities in the distribution of the prize-money, D'Oyley had suspended him from command, and described him with veiled sarcasm as "the wonder-working captain of the Marston Moor". Another military officer maliciously referred to him as "a proud-speaking, vain fool and a knave in cheating the state and robbing the merchants." But his popularity in Jamaica was unimpaired by these accusations, for, as a contemporary writer stated, "Not a man in the island but can say that he has reaped a benefit of that action."[39]

As many of the disbanded soldiers were very poor and possessed small means of cultivating their lands, they gladly enlisted for this expedition, and about thirteen hundred men, mostly former soldiers of the army of the Commonwealth, were assembled and equipped in a week. Eleven ships, most of them privateers, were quickly fitted out and provisioned, having, however, the Centurion, a fourth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy, carrying forty-six guns and a crew of 180 men, as the flagship of[25] Commodore Mings. Formal instructions for him were prepared by the governor, and he set sail from Point Cagway on September 21, "with great hopes of a large booty." Calms and contrary winds retarded the fleet in rounding the windward end of the island, as was usually the case. "On the 25th", Mings reported, "we encountred Sir Thomas Whetstone in Pacazo with a family of Indians, whose intelligence assured us of noe aditional forces in St. Jago upon Cuba, and likewise rectified our former advice beeing most by English prisoners, whose restraints there gave them not the advantage of a full discovery. At a councell of warr itt was judged feasable and upon debate resolved the manner of atempting itt which was to land in the harbour, the mouth of which was very strongly fortefied."

Still much delayed by calms and variable breezes, the grey stone tower of the castle of Santiago on its lofty cliff did not come in sight until the morning of October 5, and the wind continued so faint that the ships did not succeed in approaching the harbour's narrow entrance until late that afternoon. When within half a mile of the shore a land breeze rose, which made it dangerous to venture into that narrow winding channel leading into a land-locked bay, which would not admit of the passage of more than one ship at a time. The depth of water forbade them from attempting to cast anchor with safety near the castle. A strong surf beat upon the reefs and as the great height of the cliffs intercepted the wind and formed eddies and gusts, the ships seemed in great danger of drifting upon the jagged rocks along shore. The plan of attack was quickly changed, and orders were given to make a landing at the little wharf of Aguadores, about two miles to the windward or east of the castle, "the only place possible to march for the towne, on all that rocky coast."

According to a Spanish account, which seems reliable, Mings's fleet had by that time been increased to eighteen sail, and he landed nine hundred men, who, the writer justly remarks, were not buccaneers but seasoned soldiers discharged from service since the completion of the conquest of Jamaica. As the Spaniards had expected an[26] attack upon the castle and neighbouring batteries protecting the harbour's mouth, the disembarkation was quite unopposed. Some inhabitants fled to the town to give the alarm.

"Before our whole party was on shore itt was night," Mings wrote, "the place rocky and narrow, wee were forced to advance the van in the wood to make way to the reare to land, the path so narrow that but one man could march at a tyme, the way soe difficult and the night soe dark that wee were forced to make stand and fires, and our guides with brands in their hands to beat the path."

The country over which they advanced is cut up with gullies and ledges of jagged rock, now thickly overgrown with gnarled trees and a tangle of tropic underwood firmly rooted in the clefts and fissures, which is scarcely penetrable. Yet the movement was continued with such perseverance that at daybreak the vanguard arrived at a plantation by the riverside six miles from the landing-place, and only three miles from the town. There a halt was made to eat and drink. Then being favoured by daylight and a passable road the march was cautiously resumed.

Don Pedro de Morales, governor of Santiago and a good soldier, had been informed early in the evening before that the English were landing in great force. Having only a garrison of about two hundred regular soldiers, he determined to defend the town, and called in all the militia of the neighbouring populous settlement to his assistance. Among them were many refugees from Jamaica, who seem to have imposed upon him by a boastful show of courage. All night long the people of the town were busy in removing their families and concealing their valuable property in the woods. Morales with 170 soldiers and a few of the bravest emigrants and peasants awaited the attack at the entrance of the main street, which had been hastily barricaded with raw hides and casks of earth, and two guns were mounted to command the road, while the reserve of about five hundred militia was commanded by Yssasi, "the ould Governor of Jamaica (and a good friend to the English)" as Mings[27] ironically described him. The town, though of course much smaller, was then as now built on the north-eastern side of the spacious triangular basin, forming the inner harbour, securely sheltered from every wind by rugged hills and ridges.

The English rushed forward with loud shouts in the face of a general discharge of artillery and musketry, which being ill-aimed and ill-timed, did them little harm, scaled the barricades, and scattered their opponents.

"With themselves and the helpe of Don Christopher, who fairely ran away," Mings stated, "wee routed the rest, a pursueing them divers waies through the towne of which beeing masters, Some 6 small vessels were swam too and possessed by our soldiers, their men through feare diserted them."[40]

The rest of that day was spent by the victors in ransacking the deserted buildings, and afterwards, while resting, in considering what they should do next. In the morning five hundred men in several parties were sent out in different directions in pursuit of the fugitives, and a hundred seamen went back to reinforce the fleet, which had been left weakly manned, with orders to attack the defences of the harbour, "with assurance at the same tyme wee would not fayle them with a considerable party to atempt the inward and most esential works."

At the appointed hour, eleven o'clock on the following day, the ships deftly felt their way into and through the channel under the fire of the guns of the tall stone castle, called the "Morro" or "San Pedro de la Roca", which so proudly crowned the precipitous cliff on the eastern side. The soldiers, who had taken the town so easily, advanced at the same time against its outworks on the landside, with their usual fierce shouts and menacing gestures, which so terrified their weak garrison, consisting only of a subaltern and thirty men, that they retired hastily into the citadel. This stronghold was also soon abandoned by them, after firing only two musket-shots, on the advance of a storming party. Hitherto this fortress had[28] been deemed nearly impregnable, and it might easily have been held by a sufficient force, as it occupied the crest of a steep, rocky promontory and its walls facing the land were sixty-three feet in height. It was armed with thirty-four cannon, and its walls enclosed a church and quarters for a thousand soldiers.

The ships entered the inner harbour and the town was held for five days. In conformity with the customary barbarous methods of the time in making war, large parties were sent out daily to plunder and lay waste the neighbouring plantations and settlements. Morales rallied some of his men on the heights of El Caney and on the crags of the Sierra Maestra, whence he watched the movements of the invaders, though he did not venture to attack them. Yet he annoyed them at a distance, and threatened to cut off their retreat by occupying the shores of the inlet. Besides many sugar-works, a great part of the town, which was said to contain two thousand houses, was destroyed.

"The yll offices that towne had don to Jamaica had soe exasperated the souldiers," Mings declared, "that I had mutch adoo to keepe them from fireing the churches." In fact the Spanish historian states that the cathedral, rebuilt with great exertions by Bishop Cabezas and his immediate successors, the governor's residence, and the hospital were all destroyed to gratify their hostility.

On October 15, Mings embarked his men and returned in the ships to the harbour's mouth, where the next four days were employed in dismantling and destroying the castle and its outworks. Of the great quantity of captured powder found there "700 barrels was spent in bloweing up the mayne castle, the rest in country houses and platforms; and truly itt was soe demolished as the greater part lyes levell with the foundation", Mings exultantly reported. The lighter guns, made of brass or copper, were carried away and the heavier iron cannon were rolled over the cliff into the sea.

The capture of the second largest town in Cuba and the demolition of this fortress, in the construction of which it was said that the King of Spain had expended a hundred thousand pounds only a few years before, was[29] justly deemed an exploit of great importance. On October 22, the victorious fleet sailed into the harbour at Port Royal with the ships they had taken and much booty, consisting of sugar, hides, wine, silver plate, some negro slaves, some captured artillery, and even some church-bells, one of which may now be seen in the Institute of Jamaica. Four of the brass cannon then taken were sent to London, where they were exhibited as trophies in the Tower. The damage the expedition had caused to the unhappy Cubans in ruined buildings and wasted plantations was roughly estimated at five hundred thousand pounds, probably a considerable exaggeration. Only six of the men engaged had been killed in battle but twenty other lives had been lost by accident or disease.[41]

The authority of the Duke of York, as Lord High Admiral of England, under a recent commission had been extended to include all colonial possessions. Commissions were at once issued by him to all governors of colonies, appointing them Vice-Admirals and empowering them to establish courts of admiralty in each of their governments. Accordingly, Lord Windsor had appointed William Michell, a member of the Council, as Judge of the admiralty court in Jamaica, with authority to hear complaints, condemn lawful prizes, and impose penalties for infractions of the recently enacted Navigation Acts. Of all captures so condemned and declared lawful prizes, the King was entitled to receive one-fifteenth and the Lord High Admiral one-tenth share, thus making them partners with the privateers. The records of this court are still extant, unpublished. Letters-of-marque against Spain were freely granted by Lord Windsor, and the signal success of the raid upon Santiago having, it was believed, removed all immediate danger of an invasion, many small privateers put to sea in search of booty, while the Centurion and some smaller ships of the Royal Navy were retained in or near Port Royal for its protection.[42]


All the male inhabitants capable of bearing arms were enrolled in the militia, which was formed into five regiments. The regiment of Port Royal, which then had a population, according to an official report, of 3,500, was completely supplied with arms, and officers were appointed, among them being Captain Morgan. It is safe to infer that he had gained much experience in his long apprenticeship in the art of war under such capable commanders as D'Oyley and Mings, although no record has been found of his actual service. He had certainly obtained promotion and acquired sufficient means to build or buy and equip a small ship, for which a commission as a privateer was granted him by Lord Windsor.

Having disbanded the army, organized the militia in its place, and taken Santiago in less than three months, the governor sailed for England on October 28, very well satisfied with his achievements, alleging persistent ill health as a sufficient excuse for his hasty departure. Pepys recorded his return with the scornful comment that "Lord Windsor being come home from Jamaica unlooked for, makes us think that these young lords are not fit to do any service abroad." He added that Lord Windsor had informed the Duke of Albemarle "how he had taken a fort from the Spaniards and how he fell sick at a certain degree of latitude, and never got well (though he did take that fort) until he arrived at the same place on his way home."[43]

Sir Charles Lyttleton, the deputy governor, took over the administration, and Captain Christopher Mings was sworn as a member of the Council, probably in recognition of his recent service. Early in November some Spaniards arrived from Cuba under a pretence of trading, but their subsequent conduct excited suspicion and the Council seriously debated whether it was not probable that the people of that island, enraged at the destruction of Santiago, were contemplating retaliation and that these men were sent as spies. Five of the captured copper cannon were ordered to be sold and the proceeds applied to the completion of the fortification on[31] "Point Cagua," which was officially given the name of Fort Charles in honour of the King. All revenue due to the Crown was called in and forty men were set at work to finish this small fort. It then consisted only of a round tower of stone surrounded by an embankment of sand. By the end of the year a new half-moon battery was built and several guns mounted in it.[44]

Far from projecting an attack upon Jamaica, the people of Havana at that time were actually menaced by famine from the great scarcity of grain and all kinds of provisions. Don Juan de Salamanca, then governor of Cuba, had sought relief from Vera Cruz in Mexico. It was seed-time, and the militia of the city were dispersed in the country employed in tilling the land, when the dismaying ill news was received on November 2 of the capture of Santiago. Although scarcely recovered from a severe illness, Salamanca collected the militia and armed a thousand of them. Forming a relieving force of two hundred regular soldiers and five hundred militiamen, he took command of them, and began the long and trying march overland to the assistance of the invaded province. Arriving ten days later at Trinidad on the south coast, less than half way to Santiago, he learned that the English had sailed away and turned back. At the sight of their ruined dwellings and plantations the people of Santiago had raised an outcry of fury against Morales, whom they unjustly accused of slackness and incompetence. In self-defence he was forced to arrest the sargento-mayor, treasurer, and other officials suspected of fomenting discontent. In the midst of discord and scarcity of food there could be little thought of any offensive against Jamaica.[45]

The population of that island had in fact increased remarkably in the past two or three years, chiefly by immigration from the other English colonies in the West Indies. Captain John Wentworth had brought two hundred from Bermuda. A census taken for the purpose of enrolling the militia had reported 1,717 families consisting of 15,298 persons in seven parishes, more than half of[32] them being congregated at Port Royal and in the vicinity of Spanish Town. Besides these about two thousand were supposed to be scattered in five other more distant parishes, of whom no exact account had been obtained. Nearly all were living in the lowlands on the southern shore of the island, and there were very few settlers on the north side, so much more exposed to raids of the Spaniards.

The most notable of the recent immigrants was Colonel Thomas Modyford from Barbados, who had been so helpful in securing recruits for the army commanded by Venables, and was destined to take a very important part in the public affairs and development of agriculture of the island. He was a kinsman of General Monck, who since the restoration of the monarchy, mainly by his efforts, had been created Duke of Albemarle and had great influence.

"What likewise contributed not a little to the Advantage of the Colony was the Removal of a great many Gentlemen of Estates from other Islands, who settled here", the well informed historian Leslie wrote, about 1740. "They knew that the Fertility of the Soil would make large Returns for their pains, and therefore many, but chiefly Sir Thomas Modiford, who before this had acquired a vast Estate in Barbados, left that place and settled in Jamaica, where he set about Improvements and shewed the Planters a fair way of getting rich; he taught them how to order the Cane, which before they were almost ignorant of; and with the greatest Good Nature gave them all the insight he could into the Methods of planting, cleaning, grinding, boiling, and curing the Cane. He soon patented vast Tracts of Land, and in a short time reduced it into such good order, that others led by his Example and Hope of Gain, pursued the same way and by Degrees they came to vie with any other of the Neighbours for the Quantity and Goodness of their Sugar and at last to outstrip them all."[46]

Encouraged by the surprising success of the raid upon Santiago, Sir Charles Lyttleton and the Council were easily induced to approve a proposal by the energetic Mings to conduct an expedition against some unnamed[33] town on the Spanish Main, for which the Centurion and other ships were fitted out and stocked with provisions. Many men were quickly enlisted, who, as Colonel William Beeston recorded, "were ready enough for all such enterprises."[47]

Fifteen hundred volunteers were embarked in the Centurion and eleven other ships, mostly privateers, and on the 12th of January, 1663, this fleet sailed for the coast of Central America. Nothing was heard of it for six weeks, when a privateer returned from the Bay of Campeachy with the dispiriting report that three of the vessels had been wrecked, with the loss of many lives. It was also stated that the Spaniards had been warned of an intention to attack the city known as San Francisco de Campeche, the only important place on the coast between Cape Catoche and Vera Cruz. Its inhabitants had accordingly removed their families and valuable goods to Merida in the interior. Fifteen hundred men had been assembled for its defence, all the ships in the harbour had been unrigged and their guns landed to arm the fortifications. Look-out parties had been stationed all along that coast to give warning of the approach of any enemy. This intelligence naturally excited great alarm for the fate of the rest of the fleet, on which the future security of the colony was justly believed to depend. Colonel Beeston, who dabbled in astrology, had observed that "all the planets in the heavens were in Mars ascendant of the Spanish nation", a combination which he interpreted as pregnant with disaster for Jamaica.[48]

Next day this forecast seemed partly fulfilled by the unsuccessful return of the veteran Colonel Barry, who had sailed some months before with another band of volunteers in a large London privateer with a commission from the governor to expel the French from Tortuga. The captain of that ship had unexpectedly refused to co-operate when he learned that resistance was probable. He had landed Barry and his men on the desolate coast[34] of Hispaniola and deserted them there to make their way back as best they could.[49]

But before nightfall another small privateer arrived at Port Royal from Campeachy with the pleasing news of the entire success of the expedition, although the Centurion and most of the other ships did not return for more than a month, having had to contend with adverse winds all that time.

San Francisco de Campeche they had found to be a fine town, seated on an excellent harbour, and making a brave show as its houses were all built of stone, generally of a single storey, with thick, strong walls, and flat roofs, covered with blue or red pantiles. The citadel or castle, built on a height to protect the town as well as the harbour, seemed very strong and well armed with artillery. Having summoned the governor to surrender, Mings waited in vain for an answer for three days. It is said that he was advised to attack it by night, but replied that he would be ashamed to steal a victory in the dark. Landing his men in broad daylight, he marched boldly against it with all his drums beating and trumpets sounding to give the Spaniards fair warning of his approach. Three small redoubts or batteries were taken at the first onset. The governor then attempted to defend the town, being "as it were a castle, being a continued parcell of stone houses, flat at top and very plentiful." After much hard fighting the Spaniards and their Indian allies were driven out and pursued to the woods. Fourteen ships were taken, "with much goods of many sorts." In the assault Captain Minor was seriously wounded and, in all, thirty Englishmen were killed and many more wounded. One was captured and taken to Merida, where he was closely questioned, "civilly treated", and finally set at liberty. The Spanish loss in killed was estimated at fifty. Many prisoners, both wounded and unwounded, were taken, who were released when the fleet came away.[50]


This exploit once more revived the drooping spirits of the people of Port Royal, and many greedy privateers again put out to sea on long cruises. "The Sweete trade of privateering" was far more alluring than the hard monotonous toil of planting sugar cane or raising cattle. An imperfect list of the private ships of war afloat at that time contains the names of eleven frigates and brigantines belonging to Jamaica, commanded by Sir Thomas Whetstone, Captains Swart, Gaye, James, Cooper, Morris, Brenning, Mansfield, Goodler, Blewfield, and Horder, manned by 740 men, English, Dutch, and Indians, and carrying eighty-one guns, besides four other ships, whose names and those of their commanders are not given. Three small ships carrying twelve guns and a hundred men had lately sailed from Jamaica, under a Dutch captain named Senolve. Four ships had been fitted out at Tortuga, armed with thirty-two guns and carrying 250 men who were all French, but they were commanded by Captains Buckell, Colstree, and Davis, who were almost certainly Englishmen, and an unnamed Portuguese.[51]

Among these privateersmen the ability and courage of Mansfield soon achieved pre-eminence, and he became the acknowledged leader of a considerable squadron operating under his direction.

The old "grudge" between the soldiers of Cromwell and pronounced royalists, who had arrived later and gained the upper hand, had continued to smoulder, and for some time became very bitter, as it seemed that few of the old army would be allowed to occupy posts of trust or profit. The disbanded officers and soldiers were seen to be discontented and restless, and were distrusted in consequence. Privateering enterprises offered them distracting and profitable employment.

"As they were the only Party that understood the Art of War," Leslie wrote, "they could not miss being formidable to a raw, undisciplined Few, who had lately come over and thro' a too partial Favour were encouraged. This seemed to make the Entertainment of[36] the Pyrates necessary on a double account. First that their Power and Courage might balance the others; and, next, That the Riches they daily brought in should be a Lure and turn the thoughts of these Republicans to the Methods of acquiring Riches. And indeed it proved a good Piece of Policy; for they no sooner found their Account in joining with the Privateers than they forgot their old Murmurs, acquiesced in the Administration, and in a short time all distinction of Parties was quite lost."[52]

These successful inroads upon Spanish dominions and the capture of many of their ships at sea did not fail to excite extreme indignation in Spain, and the Spanish ambassador in London protested so forcibly that at length positive royal instructions were sent to Lyttleton to abstain from further hostilities.

"Understanding with what jealousy and offence the Spaniards look upon our island of Jamaica," they read, "and how disposed they are to make some attempt upon it, and knowing how disabled it will remain in its own defence, if encouragement be given to such undertakings as have been lately set on foot and are yet pursued and which divert the inhabitants from that industry which alone can render the island considerable, the King signifies his dislike of all such undertakings, and commands that no such be pursued for the future, but that they unitedly apply themselves to the improvement of the plantation and keeping the force in a proper condition."[53]

The ship Friendship brought these oddly-worded orders to Jamaica on August 4, and a cessation of hostilities was at once proclaimed by beat of drum through the sandy, sun-smitten streets and on the wharves of the busy little town of Port Royal, with surprising little result. "Nevertheless," the candid local diarist wrote in his journal, "the privateers brought in their prizes and particularly on the nineteenth of October, Captain Cooper brought in the rich quicksilver prize."[54]

Like the Dutch, the English colonists in general, and[37] especially the Puritans among them, cherished an inappeasable hatred of the Spaniards, and sincerely believed that in plundering them, they were not merely enriching themselves but serving the cause of God and true religion.[55]

Nor were the Spaniards less guiltless of similar unprovoked aggressions, as was shown by a deposition of Charles Hadsell, master of the ship Prosperous of London, taken before Sir Charles Lyttleton, as Judge of the Court of Admiralty for the American seas. Hadsell described the capture of his ship, which was carried into San Domingo by a Spanish royal man-of-war. After being kept in prison there for fourteen months, he was sent to Havana, whence he had made his escape with five other English prisoners. Two of them were seamen, who had been taken more than a year before in the bay of Matanzas in a ship owned by Colonel Arundell. After a month's captivity at Puerto Principe, Arundell and the master of his ship had been taken into the woods by negroes and there killed. These men had seen their heads carried into the town by their murderers, and believed that they had only been saved from a like fate by the influence of a Flemish friar, by whose intercession they had been sent to Havana. Hadsell estimated his loss through the confiscation of his ship at not less than five thousand pounds.[56]

As the English were denied access to the Spanish dominions, it was believed that a profitable trade might be developed with them if Spanish merchants were invited to come to the English colonies and buy negro slaves there. Lyttleton accordingly informed the Secretary of State that he hoped to establish such a traffic with the Spaniards as they could obtain negro slaves nowhere else so easily.[57]

Beyond the mere publication of the royal instructions he appears to have made little real effort to suppress privateering, and in fact had little power to do so, as Captain Mings and all the ships of the royal navy were[38] recalled to England when it was seen that war with Holland had become inevitable.

Acting on the royal instructions to Windsor, writs were issued for the election of a House of Assembly, which met at Spanish Town on the 20th January, 1664, and sat there until February 12, when it adjourned to re-assemble at Port Royal on May 17. Care was taken by the members to retain full control of the expenditure of the limited revenue.

Being in ill health, Lyttleton had obtained permission to return to England, and was instructed to invest the Council with authority to administer the government in his absence. Colonel Thomas Lynch, a wealthy planter in the parish of St. Thomas-in-the-East, already one of the most populous and best cultivated parts of the island, was elected president. He had come to the country as an officer under Venables, had held the responsible office of provost marshal, and then commanded the largest regiment of the militia. Lyttleton gave him a commission on his departure to command all the military and naval forces and to act as Chief Justice "with some assistance".

The Privy Council in England made sincere, though perhaps in some respects, ill-judged efforts to encourage immigration. At one session it recommended that "every person, who shall have land allotted to him upon Jamaica shall have the same by grant from his Majesty rent-free and without payment for the space of seven years, but after the said seven years hath expired, shall pay unto his Majesty five per cent, for all native goods whatsoever exported, and in case any shall fail to pay the said five per cent., he or they so failing or defrauding his Majesty of the same or any part thereof, shall forfeit twenty times so much in value of the same commodities as he failed to pay as aforesaid and this to be expressed in every such grant to be paid by way of rent, such rent and forfeitures to be gathered, collected, and levied in such manner as shall be thought fit and declared."[58]

A proclamation was accordingly published, declaring "upon what terms and encouragement people may plant there and giving strangers liberty to plant there, pro[39]vided they be Protestants and will be obedient to the government and laws of England."[59]

Three weeks later official letters were written to the Lord Mayor of London and the High Sheriff of the County of Surrey, directing that "all persons now in Newgate under condemnation, and not for murder or burglary, and also such as after conviction of being incorrigible rogues or vagabonds should be transported to Jamaica, the merchants undertaking to keep them from returning for ten years at least."[60]

Some months after arriving in England Lyttelton complied with a peremptory order from the Privy Council to give a short account of the state of the colony.

"The Interest of this Island as of all New Settlements", he wrote, "is daily changing—Provisions and all sorts of goods of the Country Produce being infinitely increased in that two years which Sir Charles Lyttelton stayed there, before which they little intended Planting or Breeding of Cattle.

"The Designs of a Free Trade can hardly be effectual but by order from Spain nor the Privateers called in but (and that difficultly) by Frigates from England, the English being grown so hateful to the Spaniards in those parts, they would scarce receive the very Friars and other Prisoners [who] were sent home to them. We had then in their coasts about fourteen or fifteen sail of Privateers, in them 1,500 or 2,000 Seamen, few of which take Orders but from stronger Men of War, and as it hath been always their trade and livelihood, and they being of several Nations, if we forbid them our Ports they will go to others, to the French or Dutch, and find themselves welcome enough.

"The Government of the Island was plain and agreeable, so were the Laws and Execution thereof; neither Merchants nor Planters seemed dissatisfied, every Cause or Law suit being determined in six weeks with 30s. or 40s. charges.

"The People were generally easy to be governed yet rather by Persuasion than severity. The attempts by Captain Mings upon the Spaniards and Privateering had lett out the many ill Humours, and those that remained[40] were in ways of thriving, and by that made peaceable and industrious."[61]

From Lord Windsor during his brief term of command, Henry Morgan had secured his first commission as commander of a privateer. It is probable, but not certain, that he took part in the raids upon Santiago and Campeachy, and then went on a long cruise into the Gulf of Mexico in company with other ships of the same class. He was then twenty-seven years of age and had seven years military experience, but could have had little knowledge of navigation or seamanship. Being still undistinguished beyond the other captains of privateers, it is not surprising that there is little definite account of his early activity in this new venture.

Leslie is not always accurate, as his mind was saturated by local tradition, but he may have talked with old men who knew Morgan. Few contemporary documents were accessible to him when he wrote:

"He [Morgan] found entertainment immediately on his Arrival on Board a Sloop, which was to cruise upon the Spanish coasts; and behaved with such Resolution and Courage, that he soon became famous. Having made several voyages, he took care to secure his share of the Booty in good Hands. He saw the Excess and Debauchery of his Fellows, and that they became reduced to the lowest Shifts by their lavish Expenses on their Arrival; but he having Vast Designs in View, lived moderate and got soon together as much Money as purchased a Vessel for himself; and having a fine Crew, put to Sea. His success was at first but small, but afterwards he took several Prizes, which he carried to Jamaica and disposed of."[62]




A spontaneous national movement towards colonial expansion in England, arising mainly from the economic wants of the country, had enlisted the active support of the King, his brother James, and several leading statesmen. This they saw could only be accomplished at the expense of those rival nations, who already possessed the advantage of priority in that inviting field of enterprise. Charles II was a shrewd and intelligent man of affairs, and warmly favoured colonial and commercial ventures. "Upon the king's first arrival in England," Clarendon wrote, "he manifested a very great desire to improve the general traffick and trade of the Kingdom, and upon all occasions conferred with the most active merchants upon it and offered all he could contribute to the advancement thereof." Charles doubtless believed that national prosperity would benefit himself as well as his subjects. Clarendon, as his chief adviser, took an active interest in colonization and the promotion of commerce. He relates with frank satisfaction how he "used all the endeavours he could to prepare and dispose the king to a great esteem of his plantations, and to encourage the improvement of them by all the ways that could reasonably be proposed to him."[63] Jamaica was fast becoming a plantation of some importance, and Clarendon acquired a considerable tract of land by royal patent in the parish, which the Council named in his honour.

The navigation act passed by the parliament in 1660, declaring that all productions of the English colonies must be transported in English ships, was distinctly framed in the hope of overthrowing the maritime supremacy of Holland, in which it eventually succeeded.[64]


About the end of the same year the first African Company was chartered with the King's brother, the Duke of York, as president, and the King himself as a partner. It was granted exclusive rights of trade with the coast of Africa. Two years later the company undertook to deliver three hundred negro slaves annually to the planters of Jamaica. Its efforts to establish trading stations on the west coast of Africa brought it at once into sharp competition with the powerful Dutch West India Company, whose trade it was seeking to capture. An English fleet, commanded by Captain Robert Holmes, forcibly expelled the Dutch from several small posts claimed by the English company, and the Dutch quickly retaliated by seizing two English merchant ships and driving another away. In the summer of next year the English met with the most obstinate opposition from their sturdy rivals.

"The Dutch", they complained to the government, "have endeavoured to drive the English Company from the coast, have followed their ships from port to port, and hindered their coming nigh the shore to trade.... and had it not been for the countenance of some of his Majesty's ships, to give the Company a respect in the eyes of the natives and preserve their forts, the Company had ere this been stripped of their possessions and interest in Africa."

They consequently prayed for protection, and asserted that on the success of this petition depended "the very being of the American plantations, which must fall with the loss of the African trade, through want of negro servants."[65]

In response to this request Holmes was again sent to the African coast with a much stronger force, and the English ambassador in Holland was instructed to demand reparation and an assurance that these aggressions would not be continued. Holmes soon acted with such decision that matters came to a crisis. He proposed[43] mutual concessions, but the Dutch beat and even killed some of his messengers. They fired upon his ships. Holmes then attacked and took all their forts but one, bringing off so much booty that an acquaintance referred sarcastically to "the return of poor—nay, rich—Robin Holmes from his conquest of the River Gambo with Dutch prizes."[66]

Pepys noted in his private diary that "Fresh news come of our beating the Dutch at Guinny quite out of all their castles almost which make them quite sad and here at home sure. And Sir G. Cartaret did tell me that the King do joy mightily at it." But it appeared that the King's delight was not unalloyed by misgivings, for the diarist also recorded that he exclaimed: "How shall I do to answer this to the Embassador when he comes?"[67]

A committee of the House of Lords had investigated the complaints of the English merchants, and reported that the Dutch were liable for damages done to ships and goods of the East India Company amounting to £148,000; for burning their factories amounting to £87,000; for damages to the particular traders to the coasts of Africa, £330,000; to the Turkey Company, £119,500; and to the Portugal merchants, £100,000. Both Houses of Parliament waited upon the King "in full body", to urge these formidable demands for reparation upon his attention. The landed gentry and the merchants were equally eager for a definite trial of strength with the Dutch, while it was asserted that "the Parliament would pawne their estates to maintain a warre". They showed their sincerity by making the unprecedented appropriation of £2,500,000 to equip the royal navy.

Yet on his return to England Holmes was placed under arrest and closely questioned, although Pepys describes the investigation as "a mere jest". Williamson, the Under Secretary of State, who was certainly better informed, treated the matter soberly.[44]

"And the plain truth is," he wrote, "Holmes upon his examination, as he was examined in the Tower by the two Secretaries, gives so good an account of whatever he hath done in his late expedition to Guiney that it will plainly appear that he hath done no hostility or damage to them there, for which—besides all their former injuries and oppressions to our trade there, which it might have otherwise been not unjust to have resented—he did not first receive the just provocations from the Dutch at each particular place."[68]

The Dutch government promptly retaliated by sending a fleet to Africa under the famous De Ruyter, who not only retook all the posts they had lost but captured all the English factories. Meanwhile Holmes was exonerated, promoted, and sent across the Atlantic to attack the New Netherlands and other possessions of the Dutch in America.

War was not actually declared by England until the 17th of March, 1665, but long before that declaration was made the two nations had been engaged in fierce and open hostilities in nearly every quarter of the globe; in the East and West Indies, in the Mediterranean, at many places on the west coast of Africa, and in North America. The commercial supremacy of the world was frankly at stake.[69]

By a treaty concluded in 1662, Louis XIV had agreed to assist the Dutch in any war in which they were not the aggressors. It seemed more than probable that war with Holland might involve England in hostilities with France. It therefore was considered expedient to make a resolute effort to conciliate Spain. Sir Henry Bennet, soon to become Lord Arlington, had been appointed a Secretary of State in October, 1662. He had negotiated the secret treaty by which the Spanish government had undertaken to assist Charles to regain his throne, and had afterwards spent four years at Madrid, vainly endeavouring to obtain the fulfilment of its terms. Since his appointment the French ambassador had consistently referred to him in his official correspondence with his[45] court as "a Spaniard", and there is little doubt he was inclined to support Spain as the weakest of the two belligerents in resisting the aggression of France, which was becoming more menacing. But the English ambassador was instructed to demand the concession of freedom of trade with the Spanish possessions in the West Indies and America and an "assiento" granting the Company of Royal Adventurers to Africa the monopoly of the profitable slave trade with those colonies, which was then virtually in the hands of the Dutch. The charter granted to the African Company had been cancelled and another granted to this far stronger association, which included among its partners the Queen, the Duke of York, Prince Rupert, and many great noblemen and ministers of the Crown, giving it a monopoly of trade on the west coast of Africa from Sallee to the Cape of Good Hope, and prohibiting all other Englishmen from competing. In the success of this company the King and his government took a particular interest as being an enterprise of great national importance.[70]

The belated news of Mings's successful raids did not tend to promote a friendly feeling in Spain, although English merchants domiciled there did not think it would lead to war. The English consul at Cadiz wrote that "the King of Spain had sent to England to know if the King will own Lord Windsor's action in Cuba, but it will probably be easily answered, as experience shows 'that the Spaniard is most pliable when well beaten.'"[71]

Nearly at the same time, in accordance with the treaty with Portugal, three English regiments had been sent there to assist in repelling a Spanish invasion, and had taken a notable part in winning victories at Amoixial and Villa Viciosa. It was therefore not surprising that the Spanish minister countered the proposals of the English by demands for the restitution of Jamaica and Tangiers and the withdrawal of these troops.[72]


The appointment of a governor for Jamaica received very careful consideration. In May, 1663, the Under Secretary of State informed Sir Richard Fanshaw, then the English ambassador at Madrid, that letters from Cadiz stated that "they are much dejected there at hearing from the West Indies of our hostile carriage towards them, which has wholly ruined their trade." He added that no new governor had been selected for Jamaica, but the Earl of Craven was talked of, with Colonel Mostyn for his lieutenant. The King had ordered Sir Charles Lyttelton to "desist those hostilities upon the Spaniards and other neighbours, as much disturbing the settlement of that Plantation."[73]

After considerable delay the King was advised to appoint Thomas Modyford, a kinsman of "old silent George Monck", Duke of Albemarle, then chairman of the Committee of the Privy Council on the affairs of Jamaica. Modyford had been a successful sugar-planter in Barbados for sixteen years, but before his emigration from England he had been a lawyer and an officer in the royalist army. In that island he had been Speaker of the House of Assembly and commandant of a militia regiment. He had taken a leading part in drafting the treaty of capitulation which was considered the charter of its liberties. He became an ardent supporter of Cromwell's "Western Design", and gave Venables valuable assistance. After the restoration he was charged with high treason and obliged to claim the protection of the general act of oblivion.[74] His administration of the government of Barbados had been creditable. Since his removal to Jamaica he had given much attention to the cultivation of sugar cane on a considerable scale. Modyford was at once created a baronet to give him greater dignity.

The choice of Colonel Edward Morgan as lieutenant-governor and military commander was probably made on the advice of the same powerful nobleman, who had been closely associated with Morgan's brother. In case of war with Holland and an attempt to capture the Dutch[47] colonies in the West Indies, which was already in view, Edward Morgan's knowledge of the Dutch language and military system and his varied experience in actual warfare should be of great value. In a letter addressed by him to Sir Henry Bennet he asked that full scope should be given him to render the King his best service. Consequently he was supplied with arms and munitions but informed that he must enlist men in the island as soldiers could not be sent from England.[75]

On his way out from England, Modyford made a stay of some weeks at Barbados, which was believed to be overpeopled, to invite emigrants from that island to go with him, to whom he was authorized to offer a free passage and liberal grants of land. While at sea he wrote a polite letter to the governor of San Domingo, which he sent to him in care of Colonel Theodore Cary and two other officers with two ships of war, probably as a demonstration of naval strength, asking the favour of an immediate reply. In it he announced his appointment as governor of Jamaica, and stated that the King had enjoined him strictly to restrain all his subjects from molesting the ships or invading the territories of his Catholic Majesty, "nothing being more pleasing to his royal nature than that they live in friendly relations and have good intercourse with all their neighbours, in order to promote which his Majesty's Ambassador, Sir Richard Fanshaw, was then residing at the court of the King of Spain, well instructed to make all those tenders which might produce a lasting friendship between those most glorious nations. Meanwhile," he concluded, "let us not only forbear all acts of hostility, but allow each other the free use of our respective harbours and the civility of wood, water, and provisions for money."[76]

To this overture the Spanish governor returned a courteous but evasive reply, which Cary brought to Jamaica before Modyford arrived. When it was shown[48] to Colonel Lynch he made cynical comments upon its terms in an official memorandum.

"It is improbable Jamaica will be advantaged by it, for it is not in the power of the Governor to have or suffer a commerce, nor will any necessity or advantage bring private Spaniards to Jamaica, for we have used too many mutual barbarisms to have a sudden correspondence. When the King was restored the Spaniards thought the manners of the English changed too, and adventured two or three vessels to Jamaica for blacks, but the surprises and irruptions of C. Mings, for which the Governor of San Domingo has upbraided the Commissioners, made the Spaniards double their vigilance, and nothing but an order from Spain can gain us admittance or trade, especially while they are so plentifully and cheaply supplied by the Genoese, who have contracted to supply them with 24,500 negroes in seven years, which the Spaniards have contracted to receive from the Dutch at Curacao, on which cursed little barren island they have now 1,500 or 2,000. You may judge whether the Royal [African] Company had not best sell their negroes by contract to the Genoese, and whether the best way to get the trade and silver of America is not to seclude the Flemings out of Africa. The calling in of the privateers will be but a remote and hazardous expedient and can never be effectually done without five or six men-of-war. If the Governor commands and promises a cessation and it be not entirely complied with, his and the English faith will be questioned and the design of trade further undone by it. Naked orders to restrain or call them in will teach them only to keep out of this port, and force them (it may be) to prey on us as well as the Spaniards. What compliance can be expected from men so desperate and numerous, that have no other element but the sea, nor trade but privateering? There may be above 1,500 in about twelve vessels, who if they want English commissions can have French or Portugal papers, and if with them, they take anything they are sure of a good reception at New Netherlands and Tortugas. And for this we shall be hated and cursed, for the Spaniards call all the rogues in these seas, of what nation soever, English. And this will happen, though we live tamely at Jamaica, and sit still and see the French made rich by the prizes, and the Dutch by the trade of the West Indies. We hope at last to thrive by planting,[49] and are sure none of our inhabitants will now go to sea or follow another C. Mings. Those that were so disposed are long since gone and lost to us."[77]

When Lynch wrote this, Edward Morgan had already arrived, and Modyford was expected to follow him very soon. Modyford's efforts to secure settlers from Barbados were successful, and he brought with him several hundred immigrants, who were encouraged and assisted to engage in the cultivation of sugar cane.[78]

On the 12th of June, 1664, the new governor published a proclamation declaring that in future all hostilities against the Spaniards must cease, and a special messenger was sent to inform the governor of Cartagena. Still, he already doubted the success of the policy imposed upon him by his instructions. In a letter to his brother in England, written soon after, he remarked that he was "troubled for" Sir Charles Lyttelton, but added, "he was truly a weak man and much led by mean fellows, and lately sent out so many privateers, which renders my actions very difficult; for I have an account of no less than 1,500 lusty fellows abroad, who, if made desperate by any act of injustice or oppression, may miserably infest this place and much reflect on me."[79]

Not many weeks later a letter was received from the King himself, which informed him that "His Majesty cannot sufficiently express his dissatisfaction at the daily complaints of violence and depredation done by ships, said to belong to Jamaica, upon the King of Spain's subjects, to the prejudice of that good intelligence and correspondence which His Majesty hath so often recommended to those who have governed Jamaica. You are therefore again strictly commanded not only to forbid the prosecution of such violences for the future, but to inflict condign punishment upon offenders, and to have[50] entire restitution and satisfaction made to the sufferers."[80]

This letter was at once laid before the Council, and an order was made commanding the seizure and restoration to their owners of a Spanish ship and a barque lately brought into Port Royal by Captain Robert Searle, with all the specie that could be recovered. A resolution was adopted that notice of this action should be sent to the governor of Havana, and that "all persons making further attempts of violence upon the Spaniards be looked upon as pirates and rebels, and that Captain Searle's commission be taken from him and his rudder and sails taken ashore for security."[81]

An opportunity soon occurred of proving that this order was not to be disregarded with impunity. About the end of the year, Captain Munro, who had obtained a Jamaican commission as a privateer, "turned pirate" and plundered several English ships coming to the island. Captain Ensor in the Swallow, an armed ketch, was sent in pursuit of the offender, whose ship was taken after a stubborn resistance in which some of his crew were killed and the rest captured. The prisoners were tried, convicted, and hanged in chains on the public gallows on the point at the entrance of Port Royal harbour.

Yet on the other hand the conscientious Beeston noted that in spite of the proclamation, Captain Maurice Williams brought in "a great prize with logwood, indigo, and silver." Several other privateers went out, and Bernard Nicholas came in "with a great prize."[82]

Having carefully considered the correspondence laid before them the committee of the Privy Council on the affairs of Jamaica finally recommended that the Lord High Admiral be advised to command all privateers in[51] the West Indies to forbear all acts of hostility against the Spaniards until they received further orders, but to give them permission to dispossess the Dutch of Curacao and their other plantations, after which they should be invited "to come and serve his Majesty in these parts."[83]

Letters received from Jamaica at that time did not hold out much prospect of arranging peaceable commerce with the Spanish dominions. One correspondent wrote despondently:

"The fortune of trade here none can guess, but all think that the Spaniards so abhor us that all the commands of Spain and the necessity of the Indies will hardly bring them to an English port; if anything will effect it, negroes are the likeliest."[84]

Another reported that most of the old soldiers had become hunters, and it was supposed that they killed a thousand hundred weight of wild hogs per month, for which they found a ready market at a good price. Sir Thomas Modyford's brother-in-law, a Mr. Kendall, submitted a proposal for recalling the privateers, which probably represented Modyford's own views.

"This", he wrote, "must be done by fair means and giving them leave to dispose of their prizes when they come in, otherwise they will be alarmed and go to the French at Tortuga, and his Majesty will lose 1,000 or 1,500 stout men, but they will still take the Spaniards and disturb the trade to Jamaica, and if war break out with Holland, will certainly go to the Dutch at Curacao and interrupt all trade to Jamaica; for they are a desperate people, the greater part having been in men-of-war for 20 years. Therefore it will be much to the advantage of the Spaniard that the governor has orders to permit them to sell their prizes and set them a-planting; and if his Majesty shall think fit to have Tortuga or Curacao taken, none will be fitter for that work than they."[85]

This advice was ultimately adopted. The privateers Were invited to return to Port Royal and permission was given them to dispose of their captures and become[52] planters or accept letters-of-marque against the Dutch. In his first letter to the Secretary of State next year, Modyford reported that d'Ogeron, the enterprising French governor of Tortuga, had given commissions to some English privateers, and bitterly remarked that he would deal with him after he had tried his fortune against the Dutch. He thought, however, that all of these privateers would eventually come to Jamaica and take commissions against Holland. Some six weeks later he joyfully announced that "upon my gentleness towards them, the privateers come in a-pace and cheerfully offer life and fortune to his Majesty's service."[86]

A new House of Assembly was elected and met in October, 1664, but soon divided into factions and lost the confidence of the governor. The form of enacting all laws had been strictly prescribed in the royal instructions, yet a majority of the members, apparently guided by the advice of Samuel Long, their clerk, a convinced republican, objected to the insertion of the King's name in a revenue bill, which they regarded as being different from all other bills which were to be reserved for the royal assent, as it would come into effect immediately and might expire before such assent was received. Modyford suspected that if their contention was accepted it might be gradually extended to other bills and the principle established "that the governor being here the representative of the crown, his act should bind the crown; and the operation of their laws, thus passed, not to be impeded or suspended by waiting for the King's determination upon them."

As a result of this dispute the Assembly was frequently prorogued and finally dissolved. The weight of the governor's displeasure was vented upon Long, who was arrested in the House by his warrant and committed to gaol for some time, as the record states "for high and treasonable crimes, causing himself to be elected Speaker after the Governor had dissolved the House, procuring a Law to be passed setting up a Treas[53]ury and himself the Treasurer, procuring himself to be elect-Clerk of the Assembly, and had done his utmost to infuse his traitorous principles into the members, but they altogether disown and abhor his advice."[87]

No other Assembly was elected during Modyford's term of office which lasted for the next seven years, and it was asserted that the conduct of this Assembly served as a sufficient excuse for introducing a new form of constitution for the colony, "so contrived as to take away from their assembly all power of defending themselves against any future act of tyranny exercised upon them by either the crown or its governor."[88]

Lady Modyford had remained in England, and the Griffin frigate, with her eldest son on board, was sent for her, but was wrecked in the Florida channel and nothing was known of its fate for some years.[89]

Preparations for an expedition to capture the Dutch islands in the West Indies were begun with much vigour before the formal declaration of war was made known. The lieutenant-governor, Colonel Edward Morgan, was given the command as a matter of course, having Colonel Theodore Cary and Major Richard Steevens, both veteran officers of the old army, as his immediate subordinates.

Before embarking on this distant undertaking, Morgan took the precaution of making his will in the form of a memorial to the governor giving particulars of his estate, from which it appears that he had already became owner of a plantation. This he bequeathed to his two sons, who were both still minors. To his second daughter, Mary Elizabeth Morgan, he left his house in London, mortgaged for £200, and his "pretence upon Lanrumney". The remainder of his property was to be divided between his other three daughters and his youngest son in nearly equal shares.

"I leave nothing to my sonn Charles," he added, "but my arms and what else belongs to my body in regard of ye Good Offices yr Excellency hath bestowed upon him, yett never-the-less I leave him ye one half part of my[54] plantation with his brother, who shall make use of his money to ye increase of ye said plantation and they both having brought it to perfection shall not only mayntaine theyr Sisters according to theyr qualities but also add to theyr portions when they marry."

The patent for his pension of £300 per annum and his father's will and testament, which his daughter Mary Elizabeth "must have for to pretend her Right wch I past upon her in Zutphen in Gilderland", were, he stated, in the hands of his "cozen Wm. Morgan, Clarke of ye stables to his Maj'tie."[90]

In the voyage from England to Jamaica Morgan had had the misfortune to lose his eldest daughter, "a lady of great beauty and virtue," Modyford stated, "and three more sicke, one whereof recovered, the rest since dead of a maligne distemper by reason of the nastiness of the passengers."[91]

In a letter to Lord Arlington Morgan asserted that the Court had kept him poor, as he had spent near £3,000 in the King's service, and although he ought to have been worth £7,000 or £8,000, he would hardly be able to leave his six surviving children £2,000, if paid to them, which he could not much doubt, "considering how generously he had spent life and fortune in the service."[92]

The expedition under his command sailed from Port Royal on the 16th April, 1665, in ten ships, all privateers, but so well manned that Morgan expected to be able to land five hundred men.

"They are chiefly reformed privateers," Modyford reported, "scarce a planter amongst them, being resolute fellows, and well armed with fusees and pistols. Their design is to fall upon the Dutch fleet trading at St. Christopher's, capture St. Eustatia, Saba, and Curacao, and on their homeward voyage visit the French and English buccaneers at Hispaniola and Tortugas. All this is prepared by the honest privateer, at the old rate of no[55] purchase[93] no pay, and it will cost the King nothing considerable, some powder, and mortar pieces."[94]

This grandiose project was not fully executed. Morgan first visited the Isle of Pines where he confidently expected to be joined by several other privateers. After considerable delay only nine ships were found to be serviceable, manned with about 650 men. The names of these vessels with those of their commanders have been recorded.[95] The most noted of their captains were Searle and Williams. On the passage southward to the Leeward Islands two ships parted company in a storm and another deserted, which caused a loss of 150 men. With this diminished force Morgan arrived at St. Eustatia, where he landed at the head of only three hundred men, without much opposition, but died the same day from the effects of over exertion.

"The good old colonel," wrote Modyford, "leaping out of the boat and being a corpulent man, got a strain, and his spirit being great he pursued over earnestly the enemy on a hot day, so that he surfeited and suddenly died, to almost the loss of the whole design, but Colonel Cary succeeded him, and about three weeks after sent Major Richard Steevens with a small party and took Saba also. Besides other plunder they had 900 slaves, 500 are arrived in Jamaica, with many coppers and stills to the great furtherance of this colony, being very brave knowing blacks....

"The Spanish prizes have been inventoried and sold, but the privateers plunder them and hide the goods in holes and creeks, so that the present orders little avail the Spaniard but much prejudice his Majesty and his Royal Highness in the tenths and fifteenths. Some of the privateers are well bred, and I hope with good handling to bring them to more humanity and good order, which once obtained his Majesty hath 1,500 of the best men in the world belonging to this island....


"I suppose his Majesty may save the charges of a Deputy Governor, as being altogether needless, and I fear I shall never again meet with one so useful, so complacent and loving as Colonel Morgan was; he died very poor, his great family having little to support them; his eldest daughter is since married to Serjeant-Major Bindlosse of good estate."[96]

In fact, after a very short acquaintance the governor had formed a very high opinion of his late lieutenant, as in a former letter he had remarked:

"I find the character of Colonel Morgan short of his worth and am infinitely obliged to his Majesty for sending so worthy a person to assist me, whom I really cherish as my brother as being thereto tyed by my duty to his Maj'y and those eminent virtues wch I finde caused his Maj'y to command it."[97]

Colonel Cary in his official narrative of the expedition reported that:

"The Lieutenant-General [Morgan] died, not with any wound, but being ancient and corpulent, by hard marching and extraordinary heat fell and died, and I took command of the party by the desire of all."[98]

He mentioned the capture of four colours, twenty cannon, a quantity of small arms and munitions, 942 slaves, besides horses, goats, and sheep. More than three hundred Dutch inhabitants were deported. His success was short-lived, as the privateers soon dispersed in search of other spoils. Cary, with other officers, was forced to return to Jamaica, leaving their conquests to be recovered by a Dutch squadron before the end of the same year. No attempt was made to take Curacao, although it was a much more tempting object as it was then a great depot of contraband trade with the Spaniards, nor for the expulsion of the French from Tortuga, as had been planned.

Beeston noted significantly in his journal under date[57] of the 20th August, 1665, when the result of the expedition against the Dutch was still unknown, that "Captain Freeman and others arrived from the taking of the towns of Tobascoe and Villa de Moos in the bay of Mexico, and although there had been peace with the Spaniards not long since proclaimed, yet the privateers went out and in, as if there had been an actual war, without commissions."

Several weeks later the three chief leaders in this daring series of raids, Captains Jackman, Henry Morgan, and John Morris, returned from a prolonged cruise which they had undertaken soon after the capture of San Francisco de Campeche, in which they had taken part. They were closely questioned by the governor, who caused their statements to be put into the form of a narrative and sent to his patron, the Duke of Albemarle.

"Having been out 22 months," they said, "and hearing nothing of the cessation of hostilities between the King and the Spaniards, they sailed in January last, according to the commission from Lord Windsor to prey upon that nation, up the River Tabasco in the Bay of Mexico, and guided by Indians, marched with 107 men, 300 miles to avoid discovery to Villdemos [Villa de Mosa] which they took and plundered, capturing 300 prisoners, but on returning to the mouth of the river they found that their ships had been taken by the Spaniards, who soon attacked them with ships and 300 men. They gave a short account of this fight, in which the Spaniards were beaten off without the loss of a man. They then fitted out two barques and four canoes, took Rio Carta with 30 men and stormed a breastwork there, killing 15 and taking the rest prisoners, crossed the Bay of Honduras, watering at the Isle of Rattan [Roatan], took the town of Truxillo and a vessel in the road, and came to the Mosquitos, where the Indians are hostile to the Spaniards, and nine of them willingly came with them. They then anchored in Monkey Bay near the Nicaragua river, up which they went in canoes, passing three falls, for a distance of 37 leagues, where began the entrance to a fair laguna or lake, which they judged to be in size 50 leagues by 30, of sweet water, full of excellent fish, with its banks full of brave pastures and savannahs, covered with horses and cattle, where they had as good beef and mutton as any in England. Hiding by[58] day under keys and islands and rowing all night, by the advice of their Indian guides, they landed near the city of Gran Granada, marched undiscried into the centre of the city, fired a volley, overturned 18 great guns in the Parada Place, took the serjeant-major's house, wherein were all their arms and ammunition, secured in the Great Church 300 of the best men prisoners, abundance of which were churchmen, plundered for 16 hours, discharged the prisoners, sunk all the boats and so came away. This town is bigger than Portsmouth with seven churches and a very fair cathedral, besides divers colleges and monasteries, all built of free stone, as also are most of their houses. They have six companies of horse and foot besides Indians and slaves in abundance. Above 1,000 of these Indians joined the privateers in plundering, and would have killed the prisoners, especially the churchmen, imagining the English would keep the place, but finding they would return home, requested them to come again, and in the meantime have secured themselves in the mountains. A few of them came away and are now in Martin's vessel, who, being a Dutchman and fearing his entertainment at Jamaica, has put into Tortugas. At the end of the large lagoon they took a vessel of 100 tons and an island as large as Barbados, called Lida, which they plundered. The air here is very cool and wholesome, producing, as the inhabitants told them, all sorts of European grains, herbs, and fruits in great plenty; that five leagues from the head of the lagoon is a port town on the South Seas, called Realleyo, [Realejo] where the King of Spain has ships built for trading between Panama and Peru, and that there is a better passage to the lake by Bluefields River to the northeast, and another to the southeast through Costa Rica, almost to Porto Bello, a country inhabited by creolians, mulattos, and Indians, whom the Spaniards dare not trust with arms. The Indians are driven to rebellion by cruelty and there is no reconciling them. They told them also of a city called Segovia, where there are many sheep with excellent fine wool. By comparing this relation with maps and histories it appears that this country is in the middle of the Spanish dominions in America, dividing Peru from Mexico, both being very convenient to infest by sea, but being environed by inaccessible hills, rocks, and mountains, very difficult, if not impossible, to be attacked by land. The wealth of the place is such that the first plunder will pay for the[59] venture, being well supplied with commodities and food and free from vermin; the assistance of the Indians and negro slaves, if well handled, will be very considerable; the creolians will not be long obstinate, when they feel the freedom and ease of his Majesty's government; 2,000 men, some say 500, may easily conquer all this quarter, the Spaniards in their large dominions being so far asunder, they are the easier subdued. This place can be reached by eight or ten days' sail; the proper time to attempt it is between March and August, the rest being rainy months when the rivers are high and the strength of their streams not to be stemmed. I have represented this matter to your Grace," Modyford commented, "being convinced that if ever the reasons of State at home require any attempt on the Spanish Indies, this is the properest place and the most probable to lay a foundation for the conquest of the whole."[99]

In these closing remarks the governor practically repeated what he had written to Cromwell ten years before. Yet for some reason he deferred transmitting this narrative until the following March. England was in open war with Holland and France, and what course the court of Spain would pursue was yet very uncertain. Its sympathy with the Dutch had been openly manifested in the presence of the English ambassador. Spanish ships of war continued to take English vessels whenever they could and to treat their prisoners as pirates. The restitution of Jamaica was still demanded. English captives confined at Seville as well as in several prisons in Spanish America still clamoured in vain for liberty.

This small band of dauntless adventurers had penetrated the Spanish provinces of Central America for many hundreds of miles, had taken and pillaged three important and populous towns, and had escaped with their spoil, unharmed. The river Tabasco, Dampier stated, was the best known of any flowing into the gulf of Campeachy from southern Mexico. No settlement had then been made upon it lower than twenty-five miles from its mouth, where a fort was built and outposts established with Indians as sentries to guard against[60] surprise. The long roundabout march of the raiders had been made to avoid this post, as Villa de Mosa was situated only twelve miles further up. The produce of the province of Honduras was mainly shipped from Truxillo. That exported from the fruitful plain of Nicaragua was taken to Granada and conveyed down the Desaguadero, or as it is now called, the San Juan river, in small decked boats of thirty tons or less. The ascent of this narrow, shallow, winding stream, even in the coolest weather, was a task of enormous toil and hardship.[100]

Modyford found himself in a very embarrassing situation. The defence of Jamaica had been left to its own resources by the removal of the ships of the royal navy and the disbandment of the army. Those resources were mainly controlled by the privateers. He was absolutely powerless, and probably had little desire to punish the recent offenders, foremost among them being the nephew of the late lieutenant-governor and Sir Thomas Morgan, a friend of the powerful Duke of Albemarle.

He continued his fruitless efforts to restrain private ships of war from further hostilities against the Spaniards, which a knowledge of these successful raids had probably greatly stimulated as they had revealed at once the great wealth and the weakness of those provinces. Learning in November, after Colonel Cary had returned, that a raid was being planned upon Cuba, he directed Colonel Beeston to go with three or four privateers then in Port Royal in search of several others, with instructions to dissuade them from this project and induce them to attack the Dutch instead. After seeking for a squadron of privateers without success for several weeks, Beeston returned without having accomplished his mission. In his journal he stated that "this parcell of ships and privateers were commanded by Mansell, [Mansfield] and he cared for dealing with no enemy but the Spaniards, nor would go against Curacao, neither were any of them taken notice of for plundering the Spaniards, it being what was desired by the generality, as well the government as privateers."[61]

Finally the situation was seen to be so critical that on the 22nd February, 1666, it was considered at a meeting of the Council. Besides the governor, who presided, eight members were present and after some deliberation, the following astonishing resolution was passed unanimously and entered on the Minutes:

"Resolved that it is in the interest of the island to have letters of marque granted against the Spaniard.

"1. Because it furnishes the island with many necessary commodities at easy rates.

"2. It replenishes the island with coin, bullion, cocoa, logwood, hides, tallow, indigo, cochineal, and many other commodities, whereby the men of New England are invited to bring their provisions and many merchants to reside at Port Royal.

"3. It helps the poorer planters by selling provisions to the men-of-war.

"4. It hath and will enable many to buy slaves and settle plantations, as Harmenson, Brinicain, and many others, who have considerable plantations.

"5. It draws down yearly from the Windward Islands many an hundred of English, French, and Dutch, many of whom turn planters.

"6. It is the only means to keep the buccaneers on Hispaniola, Tortuga, and the South and North Quays of Cuba from being their enemies and infesting their plantations.

"7. It is a great security to the island that the men-of-war often intercept Spanish advices and give intelligence to the Governor, which they often did in Colonel D'Oyley's time and since.

"8. The said men-of-war bring no small benefit to his Majesty and his Royal Highness by the 15ths and 10ths.

"9. They keep many able artificers at work in Port Royal and elsewhere at Extraordinary wages.

"10. Whatsoever they get the soberer part bestow in strengthening their old ships, which in time will grow formidable.

"11. They are of great reputation to this island and of terror to the Spaniard, and keep up a high and military spirit in all the inhabitants.

"12. It seems to be the only means to force the Spaniards in time to a free trade, all ways of kindness[62] producing nothing of good neighbourhood, for though all old commissions have been called in and no new ones granted, and many of their ships restored, yet they continue all acts of hostility, taking our ships and murdering our people, making them work at their fortifications and then sending them into Spain, and very lately they denied an English fleet, bound for the Dutch colonies, wood, water, or provisions. For which reasons it was unanimously concluded that the granting of said commissions did extraordinarily conduce to the strengthening, preservation, enriching, and advancing the settlement of this island."[101]

Their motives for advising the employment of privateers for making war upon the commerce and possessions of Spain in America, could hardly have been more plainly stated.

Soon after his return to Jamaica as governor Modyford had reported to Albemarle "the decay of the forts and wealth of Port Royal", but affirmed that he had continued to discountenance and reprimand the privateers engaged in hostilities with the Spaniards until he had received a letter from the Duke advising "gentle usage of them". "Still", he remarked in a letter dated the 6th of March, 1665, "they went to decay."

After a serious consideration of these letters with the King and Lord Chancellor, Albemarle had written to Modyford on June 1 following, giving him permission to refuse or grant commissions against the Spaniards to private ships of war at his discretion "as should seem most to the advantage of the King's service and the benefit of the island."

Modyford replied that he was glad to receive this authority, but had decided to make no use of it unless he was forced to do so by the most urgent necessity. Afterwards he saw "how poor the fleets returning from Statia [St. Eustatia] were, so that vessels were broken up and the men disposed of for the coast of Cuba to get a livelihood, and so be wholly lost from us. Many stayed at the Windward Isles, having not enough to pay their engagements, and at Tortuga among the French buc[63]caneers." Still he had abstained from resorting to that desperate expedient, "hoping", he said, "that their hardships and great hazards would reclaim them from that course of life." But on learning that the town-guard of Port Royal, which had numbered six hundred men in Colonel Morgan's time, had dwindled to 130, he had assembled the Council to provide for its reinforcement from the militia of other parts of the island. The members had declared that "the only way to fill Port Royal with men was to grant commissions against the Spaniards, which they were very pressing in." He had required them to state their reasons in the Minutes, and "looking on their weak condition, the chief merchants gone from Port Royal, no credit given to privateers for victualling, &c., and rumours of a war with the French often repeated," he had consented to comply. A proclamation announcing this fateful decision was accordingly made by beat of drum through the streets of Port Royal on February 27.[102]

The resolution of the Council accompanied by the narrative of the successful raids into the heart of Central America, was immediately transmitted to Albemarle, with a covering letter, in which Modyford made some significant remarks.

"Every action", he said, "gives new encouragement to attempt the Spaniard, finding them in all places very weak and very wealthy. Two or three hundred privateers lately on the coast of Cuba, being denied provisions for money, marched 42 miles into the country, took and fired the town of Santo Spirito, [Sancti Spiritu] routed a body of 200 horse, carried their prisoners to their ships, and for their ransom had 300 fat beeves sent down. Many of their blacks would not go back, but stay with our men, and are willingly kept for guides. They are since closed with the other part of the fleet bound for Curacao. All this was done without order from hence, under colour of Portugal commissions, under which if not reduced they will prey upon the Spaniards, and in time be totally alienated from this place, which we must[64] prevent or perish, and no expedient but commissions against the Spaniard can do it."[103]

The ambitious and not over-scrupulous French governor of the buccaneer resort at Tortuga, knowing that war against England would soon be declared, was making every effort in his power to attract the privateers from Jamaica to that island, offering to obtain for them Portuguese letters-of-marque, as France had made a treaty of peace with Spain. This, he asserted, was the only means of retaining their friendship as they would become enemies rather than renounce their hopes of plunder.[104]

St. Eustatia and Saba had long since been recovered by the Dutch, but Captains Searle and Stedman had taken Tobago from them. After Beeston's return, Modyford employed Colonel Cary to make a second effort to engage the English privateers to make an attack upon Curacao. Cary held a conference with them and reported that they had agreed unanimously to undertake this enterprise, had chosen Captain Edward Mansfield as their admiral, and had sailed from the South Cays of Cuba towards that island. They had even given him a letter to deliver to Modyford, "professing much zeal in his Majesty's service and a firm intention to attack Curacao. They are much wasted in numbers," Modyford observed, "many being gone to the French, where Portugal commissions are of force against the Spaniard."[105]




When Henry Morgan returned to Port Royal from Central America with his companions, Jackman and Morris, after an absence of not less than twenty-nine months, he was thirty years of age and had acquired considerable celebrity as an active and successful commander of a privateer, and probably a satisfactory share of prize money as a result of this long cruise. He then learned, perhaps with some surprise, that his uncle, Edward Morgan, had been appointed deputy-governor of Jamaica, but had died, leaving in the island a family of six children, several of them; being still minors. It seems that he then became first acquainted with these cousins and not long afterwards was married to the second surviving daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who according to her father's will had become heiress to his "pretence" or interest in the ancestral estate of Llanrhymney in Wales. Her elder sister, Anna Petronella, had already become the wife of Major Robert Byndloss, who had been a member for Cagway of the first House of Assembly, and was then commandant of Port Charles and a member of the Council. He was the owner of a fine estate of about two thousand acres in the Vale of St. Thomas, which still bears his name.

The exact date of Henry Morgan's marriage has not been ascertained. It is nearly certain that it took place at Port Royal, and the register of marriages in that parish before 1727 has been lost.

The parish records of St. Catherine show that on the 30th November, 1671, Joanna Wilhelmina, Edward Morgan's third surviving daughter, was married to Colonel Henry Archbould, of Constant Spring, also a member of the Council, and the proprietor of one of the[66] largest tracts of land in the island.[106] He was many years her senior.

Henry Morgan's relationship with the deceased deputy-governor and his marriage to his daughter were probably factors in obtaining the favour of the governor and council, combined with his undoubted energy and ability.

No reliable record has been found of his being engaged in privateering for the next two years. The untrustworthy History of the Bucaniers indeed states that Edward Mansfield, who is called "Mansvelt", selected him as his second in command, and that he accompanied him to Old Providence. This statement has been repeated by several later writers, including Sir J. K. Laughton in his article on Morgan in the Dictionary of National Biography, but is not supported by any contemporary evidence of weight. The fatigue and hardship endured in his recent arduous expeditions prompted him to seek rest and relaxation in the life of a planter.

Nothing was heard from Mansfield in Jamaica until about the end of May, 1666, when two of the ships that had sailed with him came into Port Royal with the news of his failure to accomplish anything against the Dutch. They reported that Curacao might have been taken, but "the private soldiers aboard the Admiral were against it, averring that there was more profit with less hazard to be gotten against the Spaniard, which was their only interest."[107]

Mansfield then complied with their wishes, probably with little reluctance, as his own inclinations seem to have agreed with theirs. A Spanish prisoner offered to conduct them to Cartago, the thriving capital of the wealthy province of Costa Rica, which they were told was rich and unfortified. A landing was made at Punta del Toro in the bay of Almirante, near Matina in the "kingdom of Veragua", on April 8, and they marched rapidly ninety miles inland in the hope of taking Cartago by surprise. As long as they were in the lowlands they had little dif[67]ficulty in obtaining provisions by plundering the native plantations, but after ascending the Cordillera little could be procured. Quarrels over the partition of this scanty supply began between the English and the French. After entering the town of Turrialba, 2,500 feet above the sea level, now renowned for the excellence of its pineapples, they found their further advance stiffly opposed. Mansfield's followers are said to have numbered six hundred men of several nationalities, speaking different languages, as among them, besides many English, there were Flemings, French, Genoese, Greeks, Levantines, Portuguese, Indians, and negroes. Chief among his officers were named John Davis, Joseph Bradley, and the Frenchman, Jean Le Maire.

His advanced guard swam across the river Reventazon, and at the hacienda of Don Alonso de Bonilla, sargento-mayor of the province, they surprised a party of native labourers, whom they tried to capture to prevent them giving an alarm. A Christian Indian, named Estaban Yapiri, escaped by swimming the stream under fire, and ran to his distant home at the village of Teotique, where he informed the curate, Don Juan de Luna, who sent a warning message to Cartago. The governor, Don Juan Lopez de la Flor, had already been warned by the President of the Audiencia of Panama to be on his guard against a probable attack. He was a veteran soldier, long schooled in the wars of Flanders, and had ordered the militia to be in readiness. After receiving this information before daybreak on April 14, he instructed the sargento-mayor, Alonso de Bonilla, who is described as the worthy descendant of a conquestador, to reconnoitre the road leading toward Matina with four trusty scouts. Captain Pedro de Venegas followed in support with thirty-six regular soldiers, having orders to build barricades in the narrow defile of Quebrada Honda, through which the raiders must necessarily pass. Next day larger bodies of horse and foot were sent forward to man these defences, under officers bearing the honoured names of Alvarado, Bolivar, and Guevara. Lastly the governor himself took the field with six hundred men, ill-armed but resolute, for, as the modern historian of the country[68] avers with pride, these Spanish colonists had not, like so many others, lost the soldierly qualities of their ancestors. The bracing climate of the mountains had maintained their physical strength, and constant conflicts with the Indians had trained them for military life.

When Mansfield's men entered Turrialba on the morning of April 15, they saw a saddled mule in the street, and were told by an Indian woman that it belonged to Sargento-mayor Alonso de Bonilla, who was close by with a party of musketeers, and that the governor awaited their advance at Quebrada with a large force. They took possession of the Cabildo, or chapter-house, and some Indian cabins. They killed animals for food, wantonly smashed the images in the church, cut down fruit trees, and committed other depredations. They loudly proclaimed their intention of marching into Cartago to drink chocolate with the governor, and inquired whether the women of that city were beautiful. Although the road over which they had come was so rough that the governor said it must have been made by lunatics, they seemed to be in the highest spirits. But on learning that the whole force of the surrounding country was being assembled to oppose him, Mansfield prudently held a council of war. While it was deliberating Bonilla's small party began firing upon the village from the woods, with some effect. The council then decided that a further advance was inadvisable, as it was probable that the people of the city had concealed their valuables and they were certain to meet with a stout resistance. Next morning a hasty retreat began to Matina, leaving behind them some arms and equipments. The governor pursued for some miles but took only two stragglers. A few men were drowned in crossing swollen streams, but the privateers regained their ships with slight loss but greatly disappointed. Before embarking Mansfield took measures to ensure the friendship of the Indians of Tariaca by giving them presents and, assuring them of his firm intention to return soon, he advised them to plant maize for the supply of his force and to form a close alliance with the Talamanca tribe against the Spaniards.

His sudden retreat was ascribed by the more devout in[69]habitants of Cartago to the miraculous intervention of "Our Lady of the Conception", whose image presented by King Philip II to the Franciscans of Costa Rica, was then an object of great veneration in the convent church of the neighbouring village of Ujarraz. Witnesses were not wanting who declared that they, as well as their enemies, had seen on the heights above Turrialba, a host of spectral warriors headed by a radiant feminine form. They firmly believed these ghostly auxiliaries to be an army of angels led by the Virgin Mary, who had come to the aid of her chosen people, and for a hundred years at least, an annual procession of pious pilgrims to her shrine at Ujarraz commemorated this legend.[108]

Mansfield was then deserted by four ships, two of which returned to Port Royal and two went to Tortuga. To obtain a convenient base for future operations he decided to attempt the capture of the island of Santa Catalina, or Old Providence, lying off the eastern coast of Nicaragua, near the edge of the long shoal known as the Moskito Bank, almost equidistant from Cartagena, Puerto Bello, and Jamaica, and very close to the usual route of Spanish ships sailing between those two important ports on the Main and Havana and Vera Cruz. For about ten years that island had been the seat of an English Puritan colony, founded by a group of friends, including several of the richest peers and leading commoners of the Kingdom. Its most noted members were the Earl of Warwick, who had made several visits to the West Indies, his son-in-law, Lord Mandeville, heir of the Earl of Manchester, Lord Saye and Sele, the Earl of Bedford, John Pym, John Hampden, and St. John. In the last days of this colony, this island had become a favourite resort for English privateers, who preyed upon Spanish commerce. The forcible expulsion of the settlers by the Spaniards, who had killed some of them and cruelly maltreated others, was the subject of bitter com[70]plaint by Cromwell, to whom the history of the colony was well known. In his letter to Major General Fortescue, already quoted, he said it was a place he "could heartily wish were in our hands again, believing it lies so advantageously in reference, and especially for the hindrance of the Peru trade and Cartagena, that you might not only have great advantage thereby of intelligence and surprise, but even block up the same."[109]

As Mansfield was then an elderly man and had been engaged as a privateer for many years, he had probably visited the place and knew its advantages well. The soil was fertile, and the island was well supplied with springs of fresh water. The climate was healthy. The coast was difficult of access and could be easily fortified. The whole island was nearly surrounded by an impassable reef of jagged rocks, through which one winding channel, so narrow as to admit the passage only of a single ship at one time, led into a fine, safe harbour, where sixty or eighty vessels, of as much as three hundred tons, might anchor together in perfect security.

Mansfield had still under his command four English privateers and two French "rovers", with perhaps two hundred men. They succeeded in taking the island with very slight opposition. Here popular rumour said they intended "to set up for themselves". In fact, Mansfield arrived at Port Royal on June 12 to report his success and invite the governor to furnish a garrison of soldiers to retain his conquest as a dependency of Jamaica.

"Mansfield complains", so Modyford wrote, "that the disobedience of several officers and soldiers was the cause of their not proceeding on the design of Curacao. In the meantime, the old fellow was resolved (as he tells me) never to see my face again unless he had done some service to his Majesty, and therefore with 200 men, which were all that were left him and about eighty of them French, he resolved to attempt the island of Providence, which was formerly English, and by the Spaniards' whole armada taken from us in 1641, and ever since carefully garrisoned. In order to do this he set sail, and being an excellent coaster, which is his chief, if not his[71] only virtue, in the night he came within half a mile of it by an unusual passage among rocks, and in the early morning landed, marched four leagues, surprised the governor, [Don Estaban del Campo] who was taken prisoner. The soldiers got into the fort, being about 200, but on conditions to be landed on the main they yielded. Twenty-six pieces of ordnance, 100 double jars of powder, shot and all things necessary were found, and the fort very strongly built, they acknowledge very little plunder, only 150 negroes; they brought off 100, and left Captain Hattsell[110] keeper of the magazine, and so have rendered it to me for his Majesty's account; they say that many of the guns have Queen Elizabeth's arms engraven on them. I have as yet only reproved Mansfield for doing it without his Majesty's express orders, lest I should drive them from that allegiance which they make great professions of now more than ever. Neither could I without manifest imprudence but accept the tender of it in his Majesty's behalf, and considering its good situation for favouring any design on the rich main, lying near the river which leads to the lake [of Nicaragua], I hold it my duty to reinforce that garrison, and to send some able person to command it. Meantime we are increasing apace in ships and men, privateers daily coming in and submitting to the strictness of the Commissions and instructions I put on them for his Majesty's service."[111]

Some men were then living in Jamaica, who had been expelled from Providence, when that island had been taken by the Spaniards a quarter of a century before, and its recovery was warmly applauded.

As Modyford had no regular soldiers at his disposal he was obliged to call for volunteers to form a garrison for his new possession. The "able person" chosen to command them was Major Samuel Smith, of whom little else is known. With him went the adventurous Sir Thomas Whetstone, late Speaker of the Assembly, Captain Stanley, and, according to Beeston's journal, about thirty-two men. Modyford reported officially that he had sent Major Samuel Smith "with a small supply of men to govern the Isle of Providence for his Majesty."[72] He added cheerfully that "in sum those fortunate instructions which your Grace gave me of last June [1665] being put into execution but since March last, have restored to us all our English and abundance of Dutch and some French [privateers]."[112]

Yet on the same day he thought it necessary to write another confidential letter to Albemarle to justify his conduct in issuing letters-of-marque against Spain and relate its success.

"Your lordship cannot imagine what a change there was on the faces of men and things," he said, "ships repairing, great resort of workmen and labourers to Port Royal, many returning, many debtors released out of prison, and the ships of the Curacao voyage not daring to come in for fear of creditors, brought in and fitted out again, so that the regimental forces at Port Royal are near 400. Had it not been for that seasonable action, I could not have kept this place against French buccaniers, who would have ruined all the seaside plantations, whereas I now draw from them mainly, and lately David Marteen, the best man of Tortuga, that has two frigates at sea, has promised to bring in both."[113]

The great impulse thus given to privateering soon convinced the Council that stricter regulations must be adopted to govern the conduct of seamen to whom such commissions were granted, and a resolution was entered upon its Minutes declaring that "it was advisable to give the Commanders of men-of-war these moderate instructions: To give fair quarter when demanded; to send all their prisoners hither; to receive into their ships all buccaneers of the Protestant religion and others who will take the oath of fidelity to the King; to be industrious to disable them [the Spaniards] of all barques, boats, and vessels whatever."[114]

What was admitted to be a serious reverse soon followed. On being informed of the capture of the island of Santa Catalina so soon after the bold though unsuc[73]cessful invasion of Costa Rica, Don Juan Perez Guzman, a knight of the order of Santiago, who had lately been appointed governor of the Tierra Firme and the province of Veragua, became greatly alarmed, and took prompt measures for its recovery. It had been taken by Mansfield on May 3. In a few days this was known at Puerto Bello, and on May 25 the English ship, Concord, of 200 tons, lying at anchor in that harbour, was seized by order of the commandant. Her master, Henry Wasey, who had a licence to trade, was confined in irons and accused of being a spy. On June 14, Guzman assembled his council at Panama and told the members that the depredations of the "pirates" upon the Spanish dominions made it absolutely necessary to send a sufficient force at once to retake Santa Catalina, otherwise "such conquests would soon enable them to become masters of all these countries." Some members of the council dissented, saying that the enemy could not provision themselves in that barren island and would be forced to abandon it, without causing them to incur the trouble and expense of sending an expedition to expel them. In spite of this objection, the governor, "como valiente Soldado que era", ordered large supplies to be taken to Puerto Bello and went there himself, "at great risk of his life", said a Spanish engineer. Arriving on July 7 he found in the harbour a good ship called the San Vicente, belonging to the "Compania de los Negros", well armed, manned, and victualled, and even loaded with munitions. This vessel, the Concord and a New England ketch, were at once impressed as transports. Joseph Sanchez Ximinez, major of the town of Puerto Bello, was appointed to command the expedition, composed of 270 soldiers, thirty-seven prisoners from the island, thirty-four Spaniards from the garrison, twenty-nine mulattoes from Panama, twelve Indians, who were expert archers, seven constables, who were skilled artillerists, two adjutants, two pilots, a surgeon, and a priest of the "Orden Serafico", as confessor. The governor gave the officers careful instructions and told them that the governor of Cartagena would co-operate with ships, troops, and all things needful in compliance with a letter written to him. The wind[74] being favourable on July 14, he addressed the whole force, exhorting them to fight valiantly against the enemies of the Catholic religion, and particularly against those accursed pirates, who had committed so many atrocious crimes upon the subjects of his Catholic Majesty, promising liberal rewards to all, but chiefly to those who should distinguish themselves in the King's service.

Sailing that day, Ximinez arrived at Cartagena on July 22, and on delivering Guzman's letter to the governor, he was promised the assistance of a frigate, a galleon, and a barque with 126 men, half of them being soldiers of the garrison and the rest mulattoes. With this reinforcement Ximinez again set sail on August 2, and on the 10th came in sight of the island. After contending for some hours with adverse winds and currents, he entered the harbour and anchored, having lost his barque in a gale on the hidden reef called Quita Senora. The garrison fired round shot at his ships from three guns, whose fire was returned in like manner. Ximinez then sent an officer to demand the surrender of the island which he declared had been "taken at the point of the sword" in time of peace between England and Spain. Smith replied that it had formerly been an English possession and he would die in its defence rather than comply.

Next morning three negroes deserted from the garrison and came on board the flagship. They told the admiral that it consisted only of seventy-two men, who were much dismayed at seeing so large a force brought against them. Encouraged by this news the Spaniards landed and advanced towards the nearest intrenchment under a brisk artillery fire, to which they replied from their own guns until nightfall. This mutual cannonade was continued for two whole days at intervals, with little apparent effect on either side. Then on Sunday, August 5, being the anniversary of "the ascent to Heaven of our Lady", the flagship, San Vicente, fired two full broadsides at the battery called "la Concepcion", while the Vice-Admiral directed his fire upon another called "Santiago". When those works were abandoned troops were landed and took possession of them without resistance. They[75] next advanced toward the gate of the main fort, named "Cortadura". Adjutant Francisco de Caceres, approaching this fortification with only five men, was driven back by the discharge of a cannon loaded with fragments of metal, which plainly revealed that the English had no proper ammunition. They had broken up the organ in the church and fired away sixty of its pipes at one shot. Meanwhile Captain Juan de Galeno, climbing over the hills in the rear with ninety men, had taken the castle of Santa Teresa, driving a handful of men who had occupied it into Cortadura. Don Juan de Leyba then advanced against that fort with sixty men from the Concepcion battery, while Ximinez crossed the harbour with his main force and moved upon it from another direction. Finding themselves menaced with assault on three sides at once, and having lost six men killed and many wounded, the remnant of the garrison surrendered. The royal standard of Spain was raised in triumph and the victors devoutly returned thanks for the success they had won on "Lady Day". They admitted the loss of only one man killed and four wounded. Among the prisoners, seventy in number, were two Spaniards, who were shot as traitors next morning.

On September 10, an English ship was seen approaching the harbour cautiously, and one of the prisoners, a Frenchman, called by the Spaniards Sieur Simon, was sent by them to decoy the stranger into port with false information, when the vessel was easily taken with all on board.

The Spanish writer states that the English pirates were confined at Puerto Bello, with the exception of three who were sent by order of the governor to labour on the fortifications of the castle of San Geronimo at Panama, "a most excellent and strong work then being built of solid rock in the middle of the harbour at the expense of private gentlemen, the President himself contributing the greatest share."[115]

Such, in brief, is the accepted Spanish account of the recapture of the island of Santa Catalina, over which they rejoiced greatly as a considerable achievement.[76]

According to Major Smith's sworn statement, made after nearly two years of ill-treatment in Spanish prisons, he had only fifty-one effective men to defend five or six forts on the smaller island. They made a resolute resistance for three days, when, having been driven out of four of those forts, he agreed to surrender "upon articles of good quarter, which the Spaniards did not in the least perform, for the English, about forty, were immediately made prisoners, and all except Sir Thomas Whetstone, myself, and Captain Stanley, who were the commanders, were forced to work in irons and chains at the Spaniards' forts, with many stripes, and many are since dead through want and ill usage. The said three commanders were sent to Panama, where they were cast into a dungeon and bound in irons for seventeen months." Smith was then sent to Havana where he "was clapped into gaol", but at length liberated and allowed to return to Jamaica in August, 1668, when his deposition was taken by the governor and sent to England. He further reported that many English prisoners were then "lying in irons" at Havana, and he had been credibly informed that the Griffin, commanded by Captain Swaert, on which Modyford's son had sailed for England, had been sunk by a Spanish galleon.[116]

The fate of the garrison of Providence had been absolutely unknown in Jamaica for several months after its surrender, until three emaciated and wretched men made their escape from captivity at Puerto Bello and told a pitiful tale of perfidy and ill usage. They had surrendered, they asserted, upon the express condition of being supplied with a barque to convey them to Jamaica.

"But when they laid down their arms," they said, "the Spaniards refused them the barque and carried them as slaves to Porto Bello, where they were chained to the ground in a dungeon ten feet by twelve, in which were thirty-three prisoners. They were forced to work in the water from five in the morning till seven at night, and at such a rate that the Spaniards confessed they made one of them do more work than three negroes, yet when weak[77] with want of victuals and sleep, they were knocked down and beaten with cudgells, and four or five died. Having no clothes, their backs were blistered in the sun, their necks, shoulders, and hands raw with carrying stones and mortar, their feet chopped, and their legs bruised and battered with the irons, and their corpses noisome to one another. The daily abuse of their religion and King, and the continual trouble they had with friars would be tedious to mention."[117]

The truth of their statements could not be doubted, and after taking their depositions Modyford complained bitterly that the Spaniards "make our men slave it in their forts, which is their constant usage to us when we fall into their hands, while we use them more like friends than enemies."[118]

Two years later, when he had received and was able to transmit further information, he remarked with every sign of sincerity:

"It is certainly true that this island of Providence had never any white men on it until the English came, who first felled the trees and planted the land; so that though these privateers had no order to take it, yet having restored his Majesty to his ancient right, the retaking of it is a violation of the peace which they so much pretend to in these parts, which, with the breach of articles [of capitulation] and ill-usage of our countrymen, is humbly referred to further consideration."[119]

When he first wrote he had not learned that his conduct in accepting the island from its captors had been approved by an act of the Privy Council and a commission issued on the 10th November, 1666, appointing his brother, Sir James Modyford, to act as its lieutenant-governor under his instructions. A report from the Lord Privy Seal upon the condition of the "miscellany settlement" of Tortuga had also been discussed, and Modyford was instructed "to weigh well the conveniences that[78] would arise from settling the said plantation and island under the government of Jamaica." He was even authorized to expend a thousand pounds in that undertaking.[120]

Orders were given "to procure some able miners to repair thither and search for to try the ore" to be found in the mountains of Jamaica.[121]

An emergency embargo had been laid on all merchant ships in English ports to obtain seamen by impressment for manning the ships of the Royal Navy, urgently required for service in the war with Holland and France, but special orders were given for the exemption of the Jamaica Merchant, bound for Port Royal, which was to be allowed to "proceed freely with idle and vagabond persons and three convicted Quakers."[122]

Some months later the Sheriff of London was commanded to deliver sixty Quakers, then confined in Newgate prison, to the master of the Black Eagle, to be transported in that ship to Jamaica, and instructions were sent to the governor to receive them. In this way fifteen members of the Society of Friends arrived at Port Royal in October, 1664, followed by sixty-eight in November, and by ten others in February, 1665. A number were already in the island, and it is stated on good authority that Colonel John Cope, for many years a member of the Council, was a Quaker. Six years later George Fox visited Jamaica, where he found three personal friends, "who had been there labouring in the service of truth," and held "many meetings there, which were large and very quiet." He and other missionaries of the sect testified to the kindness shown them by Lynch and Modyford.[123]

About the end of the troubled year 1666, a memorandum on the affairs of Jamaica written by Colonel[79] Theodore Cary, then a visitor in England, was presented to the committee of the Privy Council, advancing "reasons why private men-of-war are advantageous to Jamaica, and why discountenancing them will also for the future prove prejudicial to the settlement of that island."

"Two of his Majesty's nimble fifth-rate frigates", he continued, "would do manifest service in commanding the privateers on all occasions to their obedience, making the discovery of any enemies' actions, and guarding the coast from rovers. There is profitable employment for the privateers in the West Indies against the French and Dutch, and being a people that will not be brought to planting, they will prey upon the Spaniards whether countenanced at Jamaica or not. The Spaniards have so inveterate a hatred against the English in those parts that they will not hear of any trade or reconciliation, but any of the islanders that they can cowardly surprise, they butcher inhumanly."[124]

As Cary was undoubtedly in the governor's confidence his advice had probably considerable weight.

Sir James Modyford arrived in Jamaica on the 15th July, 1667, and finding no dependent island to govern, was at once appointed by his brother Lieutenant-General of Jamaica, governor of Port Royal, and first Judge of the Court of Admiralty. During that summer Beeston noted in his journal that "the private men-of-war went in and out and brought in prizes frequently", but it appears that they cruised independently and undertook no combined major operation.

Lord Arlington must have reprimanded the governor for having granted letters-of-marque against the Spaniards, as he considered further excuses expedient.

"Had my abilities suited so well with my wishes," he wrote in reply, "as the latter did with your Lordship's, the privateers attempts had only been practised on the Dutch and French, and the Spaniards free of them, but I had no money to pay them, nor frigates to force them; the former they could not get from our declared enemies, nothing could they expect but blows from them, and (as[80] they have often repeated to me) 'will that pay for sails and rigging?' Had I the often desired frigates, I would have compelled them to struggle with their wants and necessities until they had fully accomplished his Majesty's intentions; and if this last frigate had come so seasonably as she might, it had prevented that misfortune which fell upon us."[125]

The misfortune to which he referred must have been the loss of Providence and perhaps the ill fate of the veteran privateer who had captured that island. Soon after his return to Port Royal the enterprising Edward Mansfield had sailed on another cruise, in which his ship was taken by a Spanish man-of-war of greatly superior force and carried into Havana. There he and many of his crew were put to death by order of Davila, the resolute governor of Cuba, who, as a modern historian of that island relates with satisfaction, executed more than three hundred pirates within two years.[126]

After hostilities had been conducted covertly for nearly a year France had openly declared war against England in January, 1667. Bertrand d'Ogeron, a gentleman of Anjou, for many years an officer in the "troupes de la marine", but latterly an adventurer on private account in the West Indies, where by his tact and agreeable manners, he had gained the good-will and confidence of many buccaneers and privateers of several nationalities, not excepting the English, had been appointed governor of Tortuga and the French colony in Hispaniola. By his energy and foresight he easily forestalled any design of Modyford to occupy Tortuga, and soon made that place the resort of a formidable fleet of privateers. When he was appointed he had learned that they were planning to remove to some more secure and favourable base of operations, probably Port Royal, and succeeded in retaining them there by a promise to relinquish his claim to a share in their booty, to which his office entitled him, and to obtain for them Portuguese letters-of-marque against Spain, as France was nominally at peace with that country. He also advanced money without interest to the[81] buccaneers or hunters of wild cattle, who wished to build houses, or assisted them to borrow from others.[127] Consequently English commerce with the West Indies and Jamaica in particular was severely harassed by these privateers as long as hostilities with France continued.

Finally the repeated applications of Modyford, supported by those of the merchants and planters, for protection from the Royal Navy, received some attention. In February, 1668, the Privy Council directed the Lord High Admiral "to assign one of his Majesty's ships of the fifth-rate for the defence of his Majesty's plantation of Jamaica, and suppressing the Insolence of Privateers upon that Coast, the Governor and Planters of Jamaica undertaking to set out and Victual the said ship and pay the wages of the seamen, and keep the said ship and furniture in repair."[128]

Almost a month later the Duke of Albemarle wrote earnestly to the Duke of York on this subject.

"The Governor of Jamaica having by several addresses made known how advantageous it would be for the defence of the island, for the suppression of Privateers, and for the advance of trade and commerce, if one of his Majesty's ships were employed thither, I have lately moved his Majesty in Council that one of the fifth-rate frigates should be forthwith fitted and despatched for that service, which was granted, and your Royal Highness was pleased to direct the Navy Commissioners to deliver the Oxford frigate for that occasion. Therefore since the Government has undertaken to defray the sheathing of the ship, it is desired that orders should be given to the Commissioners of the Navy for fitting her with all other repairs. I am assured that this will be much for the encouragement of one of the most hopeful of all the Plantations in the West Indies."[129]

Next day an Order in Council was duly passed directing that H.M.S. Oxford "to be employed for the defence of H.M. Plantation of Jamaica, suppressing the Insolency[82] of Privateers, and the Advance of Trade and Commerce there", be repaired and delivered to Charles Modyford, "employed hither from the Governor of Jamaica."[130]

The work of refitting was carried on leisurely until May 20, when on reading a petition on the subject from Charles Modyford, the Privy Council made a second order for supplying the Oxford with sails, cables, and other necessary articles for her voyage. In June Charles Modyford presented another petition, complaining that notwithstanding the former order the Commissioners of Ordnance had raised an objection about delivering powder and gunner's stores under its general wording, and had desired that it should be "expressed at large", and asked that a special order should be made for the delivery of these articles as the ship was then ready to sail.[131] This order was made on July 8,[132] but on account of these and possibly other delays the best part of a year had been lost, the Oxford did not arrive at Port Royal until October 14, and events of very serious importance had happened during the summer.

Early in the year the governor, alarmed by persistent and very circumstantial reports of formidable preparations being made in Cuba for an invasion of the island, having obtained the advice and consent of the Council, issued a special commission to Colonel Henry Morgan commanding him "to draw together the English privateers and take prisoners of the Spanish nation, whereby you may gain information of that enemy to attack Jamaica, of which I have had frequent and strong advice".[133]

Morgan's military title seems to have been conferred upon him by a previous commission appointing him to the command of the militia regiment of Port Royal, in which he had held the rank of captain. In fact, Beeston's Journal at this time refers to him as General Morgan. He was thirty-three years of age, and must have acquired[83] considerable reputation and local influence to justify such a mark of confidence. This commission has not been found but it is said to have restricted such hostilities to Spanish ships at sea.

Morgan soon succeeded in assembling ten ships and about five hundred men. The names of six of the captains have been recorded, being Edward Collier, John Morrice, sr., Thomas Salter, John Ansell, Thomas Clarke, and John Morrice, jr. Enrolled in the crews were soldiers of the disbanded armies of the King and Commonwealth, buccaneers and hunters from Hispaniola and Jamaica, as well as veteran privateersmen.

With this fleet he sailed to the Isle of Pines, a favourite rendezvous, where he was joined by two more ships and two hundred men. It is supposed that he planned an attack upon Havana from that base, by landing his men in the bay of Batabano and marching overland, with the expectation of avoiding the artillery of the three strong castles guarding the harbour and taking the city by surprise from the land side. The information which he obtained of the strength of the fortifications, the numbers and preparedness of the garrison and the militia, as well as the ability and vigilance of the governor, caused him to abandon this project, if it was ever seriously considered. Yet such an attack was actually expected by the Spaniards. Nearly a year before, Bishop Saona de Manosca and the civil magistrates of the province were so much alarmed by the activity and daring of the English privateers that they united in publishing an appeal to the inhabitants of Havana, urging them to strengthen the defences of the city by surrounding it with a wall of earth and palisades. They asserted that Jamaica alone could send out fifty ships manned by three thousand men, while the French of Tortuga could assemble double that force. Although irreconcilable enemies in Europe, the French of Tortuga, they said, had combined with the English of Jamaica to capture the island of Santa Catalina, which had lately been so gloriously retaken by the President of Panama and the Governor of Cartagena. The venerable prelate reminded his people that he had been a soldier in his youth, when he had taken part in[84] the defence and siege of many strong places and had seen veteran armies held in check for many days by such fortifications. Their efforts had been successful and Havana had been placed in a good state of defence by land as well as sea.[134]

The inland town of Santa Maria de Puerto Principe had grown rich by traffic in cattle and hides. Next to Havana it was reputed to be the wealthiest place in Cuba, and its situation had hitherto secured it from attack. Morgan had with him Captain Charles Hadsell and possibly others, who had escaped from prisons in Cuba and possessed some reliable knowledge of the neighbouring country and were besides animated by a fierce desire for revenge.

The clusters of small islets extending for many miles along the southern coast of Cuba, known to English seamen as the "South Cays", and to the Spaniards by the more romantic name of "los Jardinos de la Reina", or the "Queen's gardens", had long been a favourite haunt of the English privateers for safety and provisions, as turtle and wildfowl were very numerous. Leaving his ships well hidden among the "Cays" in charge of a few invalids, Morgan landed the remainder of his men in the bay of Ana Maria before daybreak on March 30. The difficult and tiring march of about thirty miles across country was made in a little more than twenty-four hours. Early in the forenoon of the next day his hungry and footsore band began to descend the hills overlooking the fertile plain around Puerto Principe. However, a peasant, whom they had compelled to act as a guide, got away in the darkness and spread the alarm. The citizens began to send off their families and movable property. The alcalde, a brave and resolute soldier, assembled seven hundred men on foot of all ages and colours, besides a hundred mounted on mules and ponies. He had armed them with such weapons as could be found and boldly advanced to meet the raiders. His mounted men followed him in a charge marked by more courage than discipline, which the privateers easily repelled by a couple of deliberate and well-aimed volleys of musketry. [85] The alcalde and some others were killed and the survivors driven off. Undismayed by the disastrous result of this first encounter, the people of Puerto Principe fought valiantly in the streets and from the flat roofs of their houses until they were finally expelled from the town, and inflicted considerable loss upon their assailants. More than one hundred of the Spaniards were killed and many taken prisoners. The damage to their buildings is said to have been small, and the Cuban historian hints that the English were restrained by a fear of "Davila's salutary and justifiable reprisals."[135]

Fort Triana at Puerto Bello        See p. 87

Yet there can be little doubt that their houses and shops were thoroughly ransacked for money and plate. Bulky articles could not possibly be removed by the rough bridle-paths over the hills to their ships. Proposals for the payment of a ransom to save the town from destruction were readily accepted, and an agreement was soon made for the delivery of a stipulated number of cattle. Morgan's official report to Modyford, dated five months later at the end of his cruise was very brief.

"We were driven to the south keys of Cuba," he wrote, "where, being like to starve, and finding French in like condition, we put our men ashore, and finding all the cattle driven up country and the inhabitants fled, we marched 20 leagues to Porto Principe on the north of the island, and with little resistance possessed ourselves of the same. There we found that 70 men had been pressed to go against Jamaica; that the like levy had been made in all the island, and considerable forces were expected from Vera Cruz and Campeachy to rendezvous at the Havannah and from Porto Bello and Cartagena to rendezvous at St. Jago of Cuba, of which I immediately gave notice to Governor Modyford. On the Spaniards' entreaty we forbore to fire the town, or bring away prisoners, but on delivery of 1,000 beeves, released them all."[136]

This unexpected and successful raid upon a town in the heart of Cuba naturally excited much alarm and[86] indignation both at Havana and Santiago. A few days after Morgan had evacuated Puerto Principe, Bayona Villanueva, the governor of that province, wrote testily to the Queen Regent.

"The appearance of English and French ships on this coast, constantly reconnoitering its harbours, watering-places, and hunting grounds leads me to believe that having sacked Puerto Principe, and the fact that some of the neighbouring inhabitants have been in the habit of paying this kind of ransom to the pirates, they intend other attacks. I have thought proper to summon the sergeant-major and the alcalde in ordinary before me, having already laid a charge against them for misconduct, to hear what excuse they can offer for the loss of that town having such a greatly increased population, when the advantages of its position and the rugged nature of the mountains in an extended march of fourteen leagues, should have enabled a body of native soldiers, acquainted with the country and trained in hill-fighting, although two-thirds less in number, to destroy the enemy. If the evidence in the case warrants a conviction, they ought to be punished as a warning to those other towns, whose inhabitants may be disposed to yield to any insignificant number of the enemy rather than risk their lives in so good a cause as the defence of their country and their Sovereign."[137]

Morgan had obtained information which induced him to plan an attack upon Puerto Bello. A month was employed in refitting his ships, killing cattle, and curing meat for provisioning them for a long cruise. Although not a large town, Puerto Bello was the most important and busiest port on the eastern coast of Central America, particularly from the time of the arrival of the annual fleet from Spain, with its valuable cargo of European merchandise for the supply of the wealthy provinces on the Pacific until its departure, laden with the treasures of their mines and pearl-fisheries some months later. But it was surrounded on the land side by stagnant pools and swamps, which made its climate so deadly to white men that the soldiers of the garrison were relieved every three[87] months. Yet in spite of the danger of disease a great fair was held there for forty days annually, during which its narrow and pest-haunted streets were thronged with merchants and traders from all parts of Spanish America. The harbour was easy of access, spacious and secure. Its extreme length was three thousand yards, with a breadth of from fifteen to eighteen hundred, and it had an average depth of seventeen fathoms. The largest ships then afloat could enter it and ride at anchor anywhere within. Frigates could come close to the wharves. Spanish naval officers stated that it afforded secure shelter for three hundred galleons of the largest class and a thousand smaller ships, while two thousand more might anchor with tolerable safety in the haven outside. The town was built along the curve of the shore in the form of a long crescent. It contained two large churches, an exchange, a commodious hospital, a convent, and several streets of shops and warehouses, interspersed with dwellings and barracks, mostly built of stone. During six or eight weeks, while the galleons remained in port, these barracks, shops, and warehouses were rented at exorbitant rates and crowded with merchants, clerks, and workmen handling goods. After their departure they were nearly deserted by Spaniards and the town was tenanted mostly by a few thousand negroes, mulattoes, and Indians, who for the most part lived in squalid, mud-plastered cabins, forming a suburb called "Guinea". They found casual employment in building boats and ships, or sawing cedar timber.

The fortifications were so massive and well-built that they were thought to be nearly impregnable. Ships, passing in or out, were forced in following the narrow navigable channel, to come close under the guns of a strong stone fort, called "Triana" or the "Iron Castle", towering high overhead on the summit of a steep crag, with a water battery below near the water's edge. On the opposite side stood "Gloria Castle", having two tall bastions connected by a curtain of stone, fronting the channel and two others facing the land. On a high cliff, jutting out into the harbour at its further end and[88] beyond the town, rose the fortress of "San Jeronimo", a high-walled and well-armed quadrangular redoubt.

Puerto Bello, seventy odd years before, when its defences were not nearly so strong, had baffled Francis Drake, who died in his flagship off the harbour and found a grave in the gleaming waters of the bay. It was now considered one of the best fortified ports in the Spanish provinces of America. Its normal garrison consisted of three hundred artillerists and regular infantry, but nine hundred militiamen could be quickly assembled for its reinforcement.[138]

An attack from the sea with so weak a fleet was clearly hopeless and assault by land seemed scarcely less perilous, but Morgan believed he might possibly surprise the defenders.

Having provisioned his ships with dried and salted meat, and taken in a sufficient supply of water and wood for a long voyage from the Cuban coast, he sailed southward across the Caribbean without landing at Jamaica. Adverse and variable winds prevented him from approaching Puerto Bello very closely by sea and, although midsummer heat had set in, he decided to leave his ships at a distance and undertake a laborious journey of more than a hundred miles in canoes. The boldness of this project deterred the French privateers associated with him from taking any part in it, and much diminished his actual force. Some weeks after his return to Port Royal, Morgan with his chief officers appeared before the governor and gave a very concise and matter-of-fact verbal account of their astonishing victory, which was written down by a secretary and sent to London for the information of the Secretary of State.

"Setting sail in May last," they said, "we fell in with the coast of Porto Bello, and being informed of levies made there also against Jamaica, and also by some[89] prisoners who had made their escape from Providence that Prince Maurice[139] and divers Englishmen were kept in irons in the dungeon of the castle of the town, we thought it our duty to attempt that place. The French wholly refused to join in an action so full of danger; so leaving our ships on June 26, forty leagues to leeward at Bogota, we took to our canoes, twenty-three in number, and rowing along the coast, landed at three o'clock in the morning and made our way into the town, and seeing that we could not refresh ourselves in quiet we were enforced to assault the castle, which we took by storm, and found well supplied with ammunition and provisions, only undermanned, being about 130 men, whereof seventy-four were killed, among whom the Castillano was one. In the dungeon were found eleven English in chains who had been there two years; and we were informed that a great man had been carried thence six months before to Lima of Peru, who was formerly brought from Porto Rico, and also that the Prince of Monte Circa had been there with orders from the King of Spain to raise 2,200 men against us out of the Province of Panama, which Porto Bello stands in, the certainty whereof was confirmed by all the Grandees. The Governor of the second castle refusing to permit our ships free entrance into the port, we were forced to attempt the taking of it, which ended in the delivering up the castle and marching out with colours flying, and the third castle immediately surrendered to five or six Englishmen. And now having possession of the town and three castles, in the former were 900 men that bare arms, the fifth day arrived the President of Panama, with about 3,000 men; whom we beat off with considerable damage, in so much that next day he proffered 100,000 pieces of eight for delivery of the town and castles in as good condition as we found them. In the first castle there were 30 brass guns besides iron, in the second 13, all brass, and in the third 14 guns. On the 2d August, making the best of our way homewards, we arrived at Jamaica about the middle of that month; only Captain Edward Collier put on shore[90] in the Bay of Cordivant, within four leagues of Santa Marta, for provisions, and had the good luck to take the Governor's kinsman prisoner, from whom he had again information of the strong intention of the Spaniard against Jamaica as also of the revolt of the Indians, their taking of Monposse and putting to the sword men, women, and children, and intending to surprise Santa Fe, and further that there was found the richest gold mine in the King of Spain's dominions, for keeping which they were fortifying strongly at Santa Marta.

"We further declare to the world that in all this service of Porto Bello, we lost but eighteen men killed and thirty-two wounded, and kept possession of the place thirty-one days; and for the better vindication of ourselves against the usual scandals of that enemy, we aver that having several ladies of great quality and other prisoners, they were proffered their liberty to go to the President's camp, but they refused, saying they were now prisoners to a person of quality, who was more tender of their honours than they doubted to find in the President's camp among his rude Panama soldiers, and so voluntarily continued with us till the surrender of the town and castles, when with many thanks and good wishes they repaired to their former homes."[140]

Leslie, who frankly admired Morgan, draws a lurid picture of the assault of the castles and the subsequent pillage of the town, relying perhaps to some extent on local tradition, but obviously borrowing freely from the untrustworthy History of the Bucaniers.

"Having his Crew so much at Command," he wrote, "he set off with Four Hundred and Fifty Men in Nine small Ships, and made towards Costa Rica; there he imparted his Design of attacking Puerto Velo to his whole Company. Several objected against the Attempt because they had not a sufficient number to think of Success against so strong a City. But Morgan replied: If our Numbers are small our Hearts are great; and the fewer we are the better shares we shall have in the Spoils.[141]

"The Hope of Riches made them quit their Fears, and[91] they showed an Ambition of daring the Danger. Indeed, if we consider the Boldness of the Attempt, it will scarce find a Parallel in History.

"Puerto Velo is about Fourteen Leagues from the Gulf of Darien and Eight Westward of Nombre de Dios, and is one of the strongest Places in the West Indies. It is guarded by three Castles, which are almost impregnable. Two of them are situate at the Entry to the Port, so that no Ship or Boat can pass without Permission; These are not only well garrisoned, but the Town consists of near Five Hundred Families. The Merchants have here their chief Warehouses and 'tis a Place of extraordinary Trade.

"Morgan was perfectly acquainted with all the Avenues to the City. 'Twas night when he came to Puerto de Naos, about ten Leagues west of Puerto de Velo. They sailed to Puerto Pontin where they came to an anchor. They took boats and came about midnight to Esteria longa le Mos, where they all went ashore and marched by Land to the first Posts of the City. An Englishman, who had been a Prisoner in this Place, served them for a Guide.

"This Fellow had Abundance of Courage and was fit for the greatest Attempts. Besides he was pushed on with Desires of Revenge; for the bad Usage he had met with from the Spaniards had inflamed his Mind to such a Degree that he listed for a Pyrate with no other View than to be revenged; and this being the Place where he was formerly confined, he exerted himself on that Account with the greatest Courage, as well as Art and Dexterity.

"There were only Three more daring like himself, who offered themselves to go and secure the Centry. They went on with the greatest Caution, for on their artful management of this first Attempt, the whole success of their Expedition depended; when they were got near enough they at once laid hold the Centry and that so suddenly that he had not Time nor Presence of Mind to give the Alarm by firing off his Musket, and they provided against any other Noise by gagging him.

"Having thus successfully finished what they were commanded, they returned to Morgan with their Prisoner. The poor Wretch being terrified with their Threats, freely discovered all he knew: told in what situation the Castle and the Garrison were, and every thing else which they demanded. On the welcome intelligence he gave[92] them, they instantly marched, carrying the captive Spaniard along, and having got close to the Castle, intirely surrounded it; and by this means effectually prevented any from going in or coming out.

"The Spaniard, whom they had taken, was commanded to bid them surrender, and if they refused to threaten the utmost severity. This gave no other Return but from the Mouth of their Cannon. This gave the Alarm to the City; and the Pyrates, afraid lest a superior Force from that Quarter should attack them, made a furious Assault and carried the Place. They were no sooner in Possession but they drove the miserable Spaniards into one Place, and presently set fire to the Magazine of Powder, which in an Instant destroyed them.

"They next marched to the City, which they entered without any Difficulty, for the Inhabitants were like so many distressed Persons, running about and not knowing which Hand to turn to. The Governor did his utmost to rally and reduce them to Order, but in vain. He therefore, with some of the chief Inhabitants, retired to another Castle, which yet was unassaulted by the Pyrates; thither a great many resorted and carried their Riches and best Goods. The successful Pyrates began a miserable Havock; and tho' the Governor fired incessantly upon them from the Castle yet it had no other effect but to spur them on to do their Business with the greater Dispatch. They rifled not only the Houses but the Churches. In the meantime they found that they had lost a great many of their Companions; and being flushed with Desires of Revenge, unanimously resolved to attack the Castle, which had done them so much Mischief and where they knew there was a vast quantity of Riches lodged. They began the Assault with surprising intrepidity and did a great deal of Hurt to the Garrison; for they took their Aim so well that they never missed to shoot the Spaniards when they came to load the Guns. Amidst the Horror of this Assault both Parties behaved with equal Courage; and the Pyrates observing the stout Resistance they met with, prepared Fire-balls with which they designed to fire the Gates. But having approached to the Walls, the Garrison threw down huge Stones and Flasks of Powder, which killed a great many and compelled the rest to retire. In this Disorder Morgan scarce knew how to behave; he saw it was almost impracticable to carry the Place, and yet his high Spirits would not allow him to give over the Assault. But he had certainly[93] been obliged to desist, if at that very Instant he had not perceived English Colours set upon the Walls of the other Castle, which another Body of Pyrates had successfully stormed. This Sight encouraged his fainting Troops to renew the Attack, and having prepared large scaling Ladders, he commanded the religious Persons whom he had taken from the Monasteries, to fix them to the Walls. They were obliged to obey, and having approached the Castle, conjured the steady Governor by all the Saints to deliver the Place, but he bravely refused and let Morgan know his Policy should have no Effect, for the crafty Pyrate had employed the Priests and Nuns, believing that the Reverence which the Spaniards bore them would have made them desist from firing. The Governor did all that could be expected from a brave Man; he fired with the utmost Fury and killed great Numbers of the Religious; but notwithstanding the Pyrates mounted with incredible Resolution, carrying Fire-balls and Pitchers full of Powder in their Hands, which they threw among the Spaniards, who perceiving their Enemies entered (after a very sharp Engagement), threw down their Arms and begged for Quarter; only the Governor stood out with amazing Courage, killed many of the Pyrates with his own Hands, and bravely performed the part of a gallant Soldier. He refused Quarter and was killed, a heroic Instance of distinguished Worth.[142]

"The Place now being in their Power they fell to their usual Debaucheries, committed the most horrid Rapes and Murders, tortured their Prisoners, and barbarously derided them in their Miseries, till at last they began to think of retreating, when they offered their Captives that if they would pay 100,000 Pieces of Eight[143] for Ransom they would liberate them. Two of that miserable Number were deputed by the rest to go to Panama to raise that Sum, but the President, having raised a large Body of Men, was on his march to encounter the Pyrates. The Deputies waited the Event which proved fatal to the President's Party, for a Hundred Pyrates beat and dispersed them, having killed an incredible Number in the time of the Engagement. This disaster convinced these Gentlemen, who had been sent to procure the Ransom, that there was a Necessity of complying with Morgan's De[94]mands, therefore having raised the Sum, they returned and gave it into his Hands.

"Having victualled his Ships, he set sail but first dismounted the great Guns on the Castles and levelled several Redoubts which had been raised by the Spaniards. He soon got to Jamaica and found that his Purchase amounted to 250,000 Pieces of Eight, besides all other Merchandises. Thus successfully ended one of the boldest Attempts that was perhaps ever made; Four hundred Men to attack a strong and populous City, guarded by three Castles, well garrisoned and abounding with all manner of Military Stores, while the Pyrates had nothing but Sword and Pistol to fight with. What will not such Resolution surmount?"[144]

How much falsehood and exaggeration are mingled with a basis of truth in this narrative cannot now be decided. Another story was told at the time, which may not be true, but has been often repeated and accepted for truth, and at all events illustrates the influence of this marvellous exploit on the imagination of a contemporary writer. It was said that the President of Panama permitted the people of Puerto Bello to make the best terms possible with the conquerors, but at the same time sent a letter to Morgan asking him for a pattern of the arms with which he had taken so strong a fortress. Morgan received the messenger with much politeness and gave him a pistol and a few small bullets to take with him "as the pattern of the arms with which he had taken Puerto Bello; and this he would lend his master for twelve months, after which time he would come to Panama for it." Don Juan de Guzman, the writer adds, returned these articles with his thanks for the loan, and sent Morgan a gold ring set with an emerald, with a message advising him, "not to take the trouble of coming to Panama, as he had done to Puerto Bello; for he did assure him, he would not speed so well there as he had done here."[145]

Beeston states the date of Morgan's return to Port Royal as being "about the seventeenth of August"; his[95] report, made by Modyford's command, bears the date of September 7, and on October 1, the governor wrote a covering letter of considerable length on the subject to the Duke of Albemarle. About a year before he had received a letter from that Minister giving a cautiously worded approval of his conduct in the employment of privateers, dated the 2nd of February, 1667.

"And for your giving commissions to the privateers (against the Spaniards)," he wrote, "I think you have done pursuant to your own instructions and orders sent you, until there shall be some other alternative of these orders."[146]

Modyford reported that since his last letter "the privateers have had the confidence to take two towns from the Spaniards, for which being reproved, having commissions only against their ships, they presented the enclosed declaration", which he wished that the King might see.

"It is most certain", he added by way of apology, "that the Spaniards had full intention to attempt this island, but could not get men; and they still hold the same minds, and therefore I cannot but presume to say that it is very unequal that we should in any measure be restrained while they are at liberty to act as they please upon us, from which we shall never be secure until the King of Spain acknowledges this island to be his Majesty's and so includes it by name in the capitulations. I am very confident also of the revolt of the Indians on the main, and will send all the privateers to gain certain advice thereof that if need be they may improve that revolt."

At the same time he transmitted the deposition of a Spanish seaman respecting the fate of his own missing "son John, who (having not been heard of these four years), was questionless either murdered or sent into the South Seas by these, our cruel neighbours." In conclusion he urged his kinsman, the Duke, "so to present my behaviour in this great affair, that no sinister construction may be put upon my actions."[147]


In his statement, the Spaniard, who said that he had been the master of a frigate, declared that in August, 1664, two English ships had been wrecked on the coast of Florida, from whom only five men escaped. After living for some months among the Indians a party of Spanish soldiers, sent in search of them, had brought them as prisoners to San Augustin. He described one of them as a young man "of a pretty gross body, very good face, and light hair somewhat curling", who said that his name was John and that his father was governor of Jamaica. The commandant had ordered the deponent to take these prisoners to Havana in his ship, with instructions for their embarkation in the first vessel sailing for Spain, so that they might return to their own country. No means of transportation had been found for them while he remained at Havana.[148]

The treaty of Breda, signed on the 21st of July, 1667, between England and Holland, had been followed by a fit of rigid economy in public affairs on the part of the English ministry. The Lord High Admiral was instructed that the annual expenditure on the royal navy would be limited to two hundred thousand pounds, to begin on Lady day following. Half this sum was allotted for the construction of new ships. It was estimated that the other half would maintain twenty-four ships at sea in the summer and ten in the winter. One or perhaps two of these ships would be available for service at Jamaica. All crews were to be reduced by one half.[149]

After many months of tedious and unsatisfactory negotiations a treaty for the "continuation and renewal of peace between Charles II, King of Spain, and Charles II, King of England," had been signed at Madrid on the 23rd of May, 1667, by the Earl of Sandwich, the envoy extraordinary appointed for that purpose. The Spanish ministers had still obstinately refused to recognize the sovereignty of the King of England over Jamaica, and no mention was made of the West Indies in the treaty. Its principal article provided for the safe passage of the[97] subjects of either monarch "by land and water through the territories, dominions, possessions, cities, towns, villages enclosed with walls, fortified or unfortified, their havens and ports, where they have been accustomed hitherto to deal or trade." Sandwich, indeed, asserted that the terms of the treaty were intended to apply to any part of the world, but it soon appeared that the Spanish government would not interpret them in that way.[150]




The remarkable success of Morgan's first campaign in command of a squadron of privateers enhanced his reputation immensely and undoubtedly increased his influence with the governor and council, as well as among the merchants and planters of Jamaica. He remained only a few weeks at Port Royal and seems to have employed the time chiefly in refitting ships and collecting seamen and volunteers for another expedition.

"They were very welcome Guests at Jamaica," the candid Leslie wrote, "the Planters, and Men in Power, caressed Morgan, while the inferior Sort contrived every kind of Bait to drain his Associates of their Money. They were very liberal, and in a short time came clamouring to their Captain to put to Sea; for they were reduced to a starving Condition. Immediately he set about making Preparations for a new Expedition; and his Fame being now increased to a high Pitch, he saw himself in a short time at the Head of a Thousand brave resolute Fellows."[151]

It seems probable that when he sailed from Port Royal he had formed no definite plan of operations, but wished to take his ships to some quiet resort of privateers remote from the temptations of a town, where provisions could be collected and the crews organized and trained without being spied upon. The mild reprimand from the governor had been accepted lightly and he was not informed of the ultimate destination of the cruise.

About the middle of October, 1668, several weeks after Morgan's departure, the Oxford, a fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy, carrying thirty-four guns and a crew of 160 men, arrived at Port Royal from England. In her as surgeon and medical officer came Richard Browne, bringing with him a letter of recommendation from Lord[99] Arlington to the governor, under whose orders the ship was to be employed and by whom the officers and crew were to be subsisted and paid. Browne was an industrious correspondent and several of his letters have been preserved among the State Papers. The first of these, addressed to Mr. Secretary Williamson, was dated at Port Royal on November 9. He stated that a small privateer belonging to that place, commanded by Captain Costing, carrying only two or three small guns, had four days before brought in a Spanish ship of 200 tons, armed with eight guns and twelve "peterarders", and having a cargo valued at £40,000 or £50,000. "She came in a fleet of fourteen sail and this Spaniard bore up and said he would hoist Costing in, but he was much deceived."

Browne referred with outspoken admiration to the daring exploit of the fleet of privateers which had recently returned to Port Royal after taking Puerto Bello. "It is thus", he wrote, "that six captains with 500 men took the town and three castles and kept them thirty days and redelivered them for 100,000 pieces of eight, besides what they had plundered the town of, which was very rich."

These ships had all gone to sea again, with what design Browne knew not, but a certain Captain Morgan was their admiral. The Oxford was then taking on board supplies for a cruise of six months by herself on the coast of the Spanish Main as a private ship of war.[152]

A letter from Sir Thomas Modyford, dated ten days earlier, announced that ten sail of privateers with eight hundred men had gone to the coast of Caracas. The Oxford had been ordered "to face Cartagena", and would sail in five days. Captain Dempster with a few ships and three hundred men was cruising between Havana and the Bay of Campeachy. He had been informed that the Indians on the mainland had rebelled against the Spaniards, had defeated them in three encounters, and had taken the town of "Momposse", whither he had sent a message offering them assistance.[153]


He had recommissioned the Oxford as a private ship of war and placed a veteran privateer captain in command, evidently to enable the crew to pay and support themselves by their captures.

Browne wrote again from Port Morant in the middle of December. Captain Edward Collier had been appointed to command the Oxford in place of Captain Hacket, who had brought that ship from England, "but falling out with the master, ran him through the body, whereof he died, and then fled for it." Advice had been received of a slave ship, whose crew had mutinied and murdered some of their officers. They were then reported to be cruising as pirates off the coast of Hispaniola, where they had chased several Jamaican privateers, inflicting some damage on one. The Oxford had been ordered to search for these pirates. Jamaica, Browne said, was in a very thriving state and had grown rich through privateering and the produce of its plantations. The governor had the reputation of a prudent and obliging person.[154]

Early in the preceding August, the Spanish ambassador in London had presented a formal complaint of "several violences in a hostile way committed upon the subjects and on the ships and territories of the King of Spain in America", giving particulars. Anticipating this accusation, Modyford had taken the precaution to obtain and forward a large sheaf of depositions taken in the past to prove the extent of the Spanish depredations on English commerce and the cruel treatment of many English prisoners taken by them. One of these, sworn to by Robert Delander, afterwards commander of a ship in Morgan's fleet, related when his ship was dismasted in a gale off the east coast of Cuba, he had asked and obtained permission to take her into Havana to refit, where she was arbitrarily confiscated and sold by order of the governor. Delander and his crew were sent as prisoners to Seville, where they were detained for nine months, "and had it not been for the charity of some English merchants, they had there paid their last debt."[155]


The English ambassador at Madrid had appealed on behalf of Delander and his companions to the Spanish ministry, without obtaining any redress beyond their liberation.[156]

Sam. Sherdlaw and Garret Garretson, otherwise known as "Rocky", at one time the commander of a privateer, told how they had been chased by Spanish ships of war, one of them, they alleged, being the Griffin, formerly the property of his Majesty and commanded by Captain Swart, which had so mysteriously disappeared on her way to England in 1664.

Two other men described the capture of a ketch by Captain Edward Beckford, near the south cays of Cuba. This vessel had been manned by Spaniards, who, after being hailed, "spread their bloody colours and fired a volley of small shot" at the English ship. When this prize was carried into Port Royal, it was identified as the property of Alexander Soares, who had sailed in it from New England eighteen months before, since which time there hath been no news of ketch or company.[157]

A Jamaican merchant, then in England, also came to the defence of the governor by making an affidavit before the High Court of Admiralty, narrating the efforts which Modyford had made to renew friendly relations with the Spaniards and to recall all privateers, immediately after his return to the West Indies. He described the capture of a pirate ship and the execution of some of her crew, and the restitution of two Spanish prizes.[158]

The memorial of the Spanish ambassador was finally considered by the Privy Council in December, but was so effectively countered by the production of these documents that an order was made to begin further negotiations.

"Upon reading several papers and by the verbal account given by Mr. Modyford, it appearing that the ship[102] chiefly insisted upon by the Spanish ambassador was taken before the ratifying of the last treaty between the two crowns, and that the Spaniards have likewise taken several ships from the English, insomuch that the violent and hostile actions of the Spaniards upon his Majesty's subjects in those parts do exceed those of the English upon the Spaniards, Lord Arlington and Sir John Trevor are instructed to acquaint the Spanish ambassador herewith, and leave in his hands a memorial of the particulars, which they are hereby required to see extracted and drawn up out of the aforementioned papers and evidences, and in regard that the hostility hath been mutual to propose to the ambassador a total reciprocal amnesty and oblivion of all that is past, and a settlement of mutual good intelligence for the future, as to kind reception into the harbours and ports, affording all necessary refreshments of wood, water, and victuals for their money."[159]

About that time the Spanish ambassador received definite information of Morgan's later aggressions, and made another very angry protest to the King, "of a new incursion of his Majesty's subjects of Jamaica upon Puerto Bello, pillaging and committing outrages scarce heard of." This was accompanied by an extract from a letter written in French by John Doglar, otherwise unknown to fame, and addressed to some person in Havre-de-Grace in France, describing the capture of that place, which adds something to our knowledge of it, and in general corroborates Morgan's account.

"On the 10-20 June, 1668," Doglar wrote, "we landed at Puerto Velo with 422 men in 28 canoes, leaving our ships 37 leagues off the west coast. On the 11th we advanced to the walls of Fort St. James, where were 30 pieces of artillery. After three or four hours hard fighting we assaulted the fort and made ourselves masters of the garrison, all of which refusing quarter were either killed, wounded, or cut to pieces. The next day we attacked Fort St. Philip on the other side of the coast, where were 12 pieces of artillery, and after fighting three or four hours it surrendered. After remaining some days in the said fort sickness broke out among our troops, of which we lost half by sickness and fighting, so that we were obliged to abandon those places and received 100,000[103] crowns for retiring. Had we had 800 men we might have gone to Panama, about 18 leagues south of Puerto Velo, and have easily made ourselves master of it, as also of the Kingdom of Peru. The chiefs of the expedition were Henry Morgan, John Doglar, Julian Salter, Enoch Clarke, Rudolph Court, Colliar, and John James Maurice."[160]

Some time later the ambassador renewed his complaint, declaring that the answer he had received from Lord Arlington and Sir John Trevor to his memorial presented on the 8th of August, 1668, had differed so widely from what had been formerly promised that he was forced to demand the performance of their written agreement, and could not venture an opinion upon the expedients proposed until he received instructions from his government. He asserted that his former complaints respecting the sacking of Puerto Bello were fully confirmed by the recent arrival of the ship, George and Samuel, from Jamaica, whose bill of lading showed that "besides what George Potts and other merchants received of plate, the share of every soldier was 600 oz., or £80 at half a crown per ounce, whence it might be guessed what quantity the officers, Governor, and their confidants had." Therefore he demanded that the Queen Regent of Spain should receive full satisfaction and the governor of Jamaica the punishment due for an incursion so unjust and contrary to the terms of the new treaty for a general peace. As other ships had lately arrived with part of the booty and the number of ships of the Royal Navy stationed at Jamaica had been increased, he asked that just restitution should be made and proper orders given for the future.[161]

The Oxford sailed from Port Morant for Isle à la Vache, off the harbour of Aux Cayes in Hispaniola, a favourite resort for privateers in need of provisions, with strict instructions from the governor to investigate a charge of piracy laid by the master of a Virginian[104] ketch against a French privateer. At that island several Jamaican privateers and two French armed ships were found at anchor, one of them being Le Cerf Volant of Rochelle, carrying fourteen guns and ten "petarders", the ship accused of piracy. An officer was sent by Captain Collier of the Oxford to invite the French captain, whose name was variously written as La Veven, Vivion, and Vivonne, to come on board his ship. This he flatly refused to do, saying that it was unusual for the captain of any French man-of-war to be ordered out of her. Next morning Collier weighed anchor and ran close alongside Le Cerf Volant, with the intention of boarding, when her captain at once came on board the Oxford. When he was asked to produce his commission he attempted to evade compliance, but finally produced a document signed by the Duke of Beaufort, who had commanded a French fleet in the Mediterranean. The master of the plundered Virginian ship positively identified him as the captain of the ship that had robbed him, under the name of Captain La Roche of Toulon. La Veven and his whole crew of forty-five persons were made prisoners and his ship was taken to Port Royal, where he was tried and convicted of piracy by the Court of Admiralty, and his ship was condemned as a lawful prize. He appealed against the sentence of death pronounced against him and was reprieved by the governor. His ship was re-commissioned under the name of the Satisfaction, and sent in company with the Oxford to join Morgan's squadron.[162]

By the end of the year nearly all the Jamaican privateers, which had been cruising off the coast of the Spanish Main, were once more assembled at Isle à la Vache, busily engaged in collecting supplies from the hunting grounds on that island and Hispaniola for some new enterprise. On the 2nd of January, 1669, a general council of war was convened on board the Oxford, which was attended by Morgan and eight captains besides some officers of lower rank. Having then twelve ships and about nine hundred men at his command it is stated that Morgan proposed an attack upon Cartagena, which he[105] had lately reconnoitred very closely. It was the strongest fortress on the eastern coast of Spanish America and the city was reputed to be a storehouse of great wealth. His plan was apparently agreed to, but its execution was made impracticable by an appalling disaster. While the officers then assembled were dining together on the quarter-deck of the Oxford, which had been chosen by Morgan as his flagship, her magazine exploded from some unknown cause, and besides several of the guests, nearly the whole of her crew of two hundred men were killed, drowned, or horribly wounded. Surgeon Browne, after being hurled through the air into the sea, saved his life by getting astride of a floating fragment of her mizen-mast. He reported that only six men and four boys belonging to her crew were rescued. Captain Aylett, commanding the Lily, and Captains Bigford, Morris, Thornbury, and Whiting were killed or drowned. Beeston relates that "Admiral Morgan and those captains, that sat on that side of the table he did, were saved, but those captains on the other side [were] all killed, and this accident stopped the attempt on Cartagena."[163]

Such explosions on ships of war were at that time by no means uncommon owing to the inefficiency and negligence with which gunpowder was handled and stored in open casks.

After much delay and great exertions, Morgan succeeded in reorganizing and supplying his squadron, which had been seriously crippled by the loss of five principal officers and nearly a fourth of his best men. He then sailed with his remaining ships in a body to windward, giving no intimation of his intentions to anyone. The Satisfaction, however, with Surgeon Browne on board, was sent back to Port Royal, where supplies were taken on for a prolonged cruise in the Bay of Campeachy.[164]

News of the destruction of the Oxford soon became known to the Spaniards and caused great rejoicing, es[106]pecially among the people of Cartagena, who had expected and feared an attack. Outside the walls of that city, on a steep hill overlooking its walls and towers, far seen and known as a notable landmark by mariners at sea, stood the convent-church of its patron saint, called "Madre de la Popa" or "Nuestra Senora de la Popa". This shrine had become very wealthy by the gifts of its votaries and was consequently believed to be the objective of the English privateers. The terrible accident which had destroyed the Oxford and her crew was immediately ascribed to the miraculous intervention of its guardian.

"'Tis in short," the privateer Dampier wrote some years later, "the very shrine of the West Indies: It hath innumerable miracles related of it. Any misfortune that befalls the Privateers is attributed to this Lady's doings, and the Spaniards report that she was abroad that night the Oxford Man of War was blown up at the Isle of Vacca near Hispaniola, and that she came home all wet; as, belike, she often returns with her Cloathes dirty and torn with passing thro' Woods and bad ways, when she has been out on any expedition; deserving doubtless a new suit for such eminent pieces of service."[165]

An official or semi-official report, which Morgan may have made of his cruise, has disappeared, and the only nearly contemporary account of it giving much detail is that contained in the History of the Bucaniers.

Although the fate of the Oxford had caused serious disorganization and confusion, it seems to have had no lasting effect on the minds of the crews of the other ships. "This Misfortune noways discouraged the rest," Leslie wrote, "while Morgan was safe, they thought success sure, and accordingly embarked with a great deal of Chearfulness."[166]

The island of Saona near the east end of Hispaniola was selected as the most suitable rendezvous for future operations. His squadron, when assembled there, consisted of fifteen sail, the largest ship being armed with only fourteen guns. It was manned with about nine hun[107]dred and sixty seamen and soldiers, who were kept together solely by the dominant personality of their resolute leader. Adverse winds prevented his ships from rounding Cabo de Lobos for three weeks. When this was finally accomplished a small supply of provisions was bought from a ship coming from England. A landing was then made in the bay of Ochoa to obtain fresh water and more food. Many cattle and a few horses were killed for this purpose, but a hunting party was attacked by a band of soldiers sent out from the city of San Domingo and lost some men, before it could regain its boats. The Spaniards were finally driven off. Morgan then went on shore with a stronger force, which destroyed houses and laid waste some plantations in retaliation.

Returning to Saona and finding that several of the ships that had promised to join him, were not there, a further detention occurred. While waiting for them a party was sent out to attack a neighbouring town. It came back without success, having found that its inhabitants were alert and well prepared for defence, "chusing rather to return empty-handed unto Captain Morgan's presence than to perish in that desperate Enterprise."[167]

Morgan reviewed his force and found that he had only eight ships, some of them being small undecked schooners, and not more than five hundred men. At a council which he then assembled, a French mariner was invited to be present and give information. This man had accompanied the noted French privateers, L'Olonnois and Michel le Basque, in their successful foray upon Maracaibo from Tortuga less than three years before, "whereby he knew all the entries, passages, forces, and means how to put in execution the same again in the company of Captain Morgan." He was employed to act as their guide in an attempt to surprise that city.

Sailing toward Curacao, a landing was made on the neighbouring island of Oruba, a Spanish possession, but chiefly inhabited by some friendly Indians from whom provisions and wood were purchased. Morgan left this[108] place at night to conceal his course from hostile observation, and next day anchored out of sight of the "vigilia" or watch-tower at the entrance of the lake of Maracaibo. After dark he made sail and at daybreak came in sight of the strait, where he found that the Spaniards had built a new fort to guard it since the last raid. Its garrison was vigilant and began a brisk fire from their cannon as his landing party approached the shore.

"The Dispute continued very hot on both sides," wrote the Dutch annalist, "being managed with huge valour from morning until dark night. This being come, Captain Morgan, in the obscurity thereof, drew nigh unto the Fort, which having examined, he found nobody in it; the Spaniards having deserted it not long before. They left behind them a Match kindled nigh unto a train of powder, wherewith they designed to blow up the Pirates and the whole Fortress as soon as they were in it. This design had taken effect, had the Pirate failed to discover it in the space of one quarter of an hour. But Captain Morgan prevented the Mischief by snatching away the Match with all speed, whereby he saved his own and his Companions' lives. They found here a great quantity of powder, whereof he provided his Fleet; and afterwards demolished part of the Walls, nailing sixteen pieces of Ordnance, which carried from twelve to four and twenty pounds of Bullet. Here they found also a great number of Muskets and Military provisions.

"The next day they commanded the Ships to enter the Bar, among which they divided the Powder, Muskets, and other things which they found in the Fort. These things being done, they imbarked again to continue their course toward Maracaibo. But the Waters were very low, whereby they could not pass a certain Bank that lieth at the entry of the Lake. Hereupon they were compelled to put themselves in Canows and small Boats, with which they arrived the next day before Maracaibo, having no other defence but some small pieces which they could carry in the said Boats. Being landed they ran immediately to the Fort called de la Barra; which they found in like manner as the precedent, without any person in it; For all were fled before them into the Woods, leaving also the Town without any People, unless a few miserable poor folk, who had nothing to lose.

"As soon as they had entered the Town, the Pirates[109] searched every corner thereof, to see if they could find any people that were hidden, who might offend them at unawares. Not finding anybody, every Party according as they came out of their several Ships, chose what houses they pleased to themselves, the best they could find. The Church was deputed for the Corps de Garde, where they lived after their military Manner, committing many insolent actions. The next day after their arrival they sent a Troop of one hundred men to seek for the Inhabitants and their Goods. These returned the next day following, bringing with them to the number of thirty Persons, between men, women, and children; and fifty Mules laden with good Merchandise. All those miserable Prisoners were put to the Rack to make them confess where the rest of the Inhabitants were and their Goods."[168]

After occupying the place for three weeks, during which time it was thoroughly ransacked and the surrounding country raided in every direction for many miles, and some of the principal people taken with much of their movable property, Morgan determined to advance against the strongly fortified town known as Gibraltar, at the further end of the lake. His squadron was once more supplied with provisions and refitted. Taking his principal prisoners on board as hostages he sailed in that direction in the third week of March. Some of the prisoners were sent on in advance to summon the place to surrender and threaten it with destruction in case of a refusal. In the face of this warning his approach was resolutely opposed with a steady fire from artillery.

"But the Pirats instead of fainting thereat," said the contemporary chronicler, "ceased not to encourage one another, saying 'We must make one meal upon bitter things, before we taste the sweetness of the Sugar this place affordeth.'"

Yet a landing was not effected until next day, when their French guide, after advancing toward the walls to deceive the garrison by the menace of a frontal attack, led the way through the woods to a position cutting off its retreat. The Spaniards then "thought it not safe to expect the second Brunt", but spiked their guns and re[110]tired into the adjacent hills, carrying off some of their portable property. In the pursuit a considerable number of slaves and other fugitives were taken.

"Among these Slaves was found one who promised Captain Morgan to conduct him unto a certain River belonging to the Lake, where he should find a Ship and four Boats richly laden with goods that belonged to the Inhabitants of Maracaibo. . . .

"Captain Morgan sent away presently two hundred men in two Saeties or great Boats towards the River abovementioned to seek for what the Slave had discovered. But he himself with two hundred and fifty more undertook to go and take the Governour. This Gentleman was retired unto a small Island seated in the middle of the River, where he had built a little Fort, after the best manner he could, for his defence. But hearing that Captain Morgan came in person with great Forces to seek him, he retired further off unto the top of a Mountain not much distant from that place; unto which there was no ascent but by a very narrow passage. Yea! this was so streight that whosoever did pretend to gain the ascent must of necessity cause his men to pass one by one. Captain Morgan spent two days before he could arrive at the little Island abovementioned. From thence he designed to proceed unto the Mountain, where the Governour was posted, had he not been told of the impossibility he should find in the ascent; not only from the narrowness of the path that led to the top, but also because the Governour was very well provided with all sorts of Ammunition above. Besides that, there was fallen a huge rain, whereby all the Baggage belonging to the Pirats and their Powder was wet. By this Rain also they had lost many of their men at the passage over a River that was overflown. Here perished likewise some Women and Children and many Mules laden with plate and other Goods; all which they had taken in the Fields from the fugitive Inhabitants. So that all things were in a very bad condition with Captain Morgan, and the bodies of his men much harrass'd as ought to be inferr'd from this relation. Whereby if the Spaniards at this juncture of time had had but a Troop of fifty men well armed with Pikes and Spears, they might have entirely destroyed the Pirats, without any possible resistance on their sides. But the fears which the Spaniards had conceived from the beginning were so great that onely hearing the leaves[111] on the Trees to stir, they often fancied them to be Pirats. Finally Captain Morgan and his People having upon their march sometimes waded to their middles in the water for the space of half or whole miles together, they at last escaped for the greatest part. But of the Women and Children that they brought home Prisoners the major part died.

"Thus 12 days after they set forth to seek the Governour, they returned unto Gibraltar with a great number of prisoners. Two days after arrived also the Saeties that were sent unto the River bringing with them four Boats and some Prisoners. But as to the greatest part of the Merchandise that were in the said Boats they found them not, the Spaniards having unladen and secured them, as having intelligence beforehand of the coming of the Pirats. Whereupon they designed also, when the Merchandise were all taken out, to burn the Boats. Yet the Spaniards made not so much hast[e] as was requisite to unlade the said Vessels, but that they left both in the Ship and Boats great Parcels of Goods, which they being fled from thence, the Pirats seized and brought a considerable Booty to Gibraltar."[169]

While Morgan was absent on this expedition there is little doubt several of the prisoners were tortured and cruelly treated by their guards, with the object of obtaining information of value or extorting a ransom. Some of his men were criminals, many were certainly ruffians or transported "rogues and vagabonds". Morgan himself firmly denied or professed ignorance of the specific acts of torture described in the History of the Bucaniers, and Leslie expressly exculpated him from responsibility.

"But here", he wrote, "I must not neglect to do Justice to Captain Morgan's Character, who neither authorized nor was present when these Barbarities were committed, tho' Prejudice branded him with countenancing this cruel Treatment of the Spaniards, yet I am well assured he was not in the Place to give Orders at that time; for I have seen a Manuscript writ by one who was concerned on the Expedition, which contains a Journal of their whole Procedure. This Relation, now in the hands of a[112] considerable Planter here, vindicates Morgan from these black Aspersions.

"The Truth of the Matter stood thus: Morgan having prevailed on a Slave to discover where the Governor of Gibraltar and the most considerable of the Inhabitants with their Effects lay concealed, went immediately with Two Hundred Men to attack them there. He likewise ordered Two Hundred and Fifty Men to march to a River which discharges itself into the Lake, in search of a Ship and four Boats, which were richly laden with Goods, and in the time of their Absence all the above named Cruelties were committed."[170]

After Gibraltar had been in their occupation for more than a month the chief prisoners agreed to pay the raiders a stated sum as a ransom for their liberty and the evacuation of the town. Only a part of it was paid when the prisoners were released and a number of slaves taken away in lieu of further payment. Morgan is said to have taken care to protect his principal informer from punishment.

"They delivered him four Persons that were agreed upon for Hostages, for what sums of money more he was to receive from them," wrote the author of the History of the Bucaniers, "and they desired to have the Slave of whom we have made mention above, intending to punish him according to his deserts. But Captain Morgan would not deliver him, being perswaded they would burn him alive."[171]

The voyage back to Maracaibo over that great lake occupied not less than four days, and that town was found still deserted, its solitary inhabitant being "a poor distressed old man, who was sick." From him they learned that three Spanish warships had taken possession of the strait leading from the lake to the sea, where they were awaiting their return, and that the fort or castle commanding the channel had been repaired and garrisoned by the Spaniards. They were in fact "bottled up". Morgan at once sent his swiftest sailing ship to recon[113]noitre. Her captain approached the enemy's position so near as to draw their fire, and reported that their largest ship carried forty guns and her consorts thirty and twenty respectively. All of them appeared to be well manned. Escape seemed almost impossible owing to the great superiority of the Spanish force and the excellent position it had occupied for opposing the passage of a difficult channel. Morgan was undaunted and sent a written message to the Spanish naval commander, not only demanding permission to pass the strait unmolested but the payment of a substantial ransom for the town of Maracaibo, which he threatened with destruction, if the ransom was not paid. After an absence of two days his messenger returned with a reply in Spanish, of which a translation has been preserved and was admitted by Morgan himself to be accurate.

"Having understood by all our friends and neighbours the unexpected news that you have dared to attempt and commit hostilities in the countries, cities, towns, and villages belonging to the dominions of his Catholic Majesty, my Sovereign Lord and Master, I let you understand by these lines that I am come to this place according to my obligation nigh unto that castle which you took out of the hands of a parcel of cowards; where I have put things into a very good position of defence and mounted again the artillery which you had nailed and dismounted. My intent is to dispute with you your passage out of the lake and follow and pursue you everywhere, to the end that you may see the performance of my duty. Notwithstanding, if you be contented to surrender with humanity all that you have taken, together with the slaves and all other prisoners, I will let you pass freely without trouble or molestation; upon condition that you retire home presently to your own country. But in case that you make any resistance or opposition unto those things that I proffer unto you, I do assure that I will command boats to come from Caracas, wherein I will put troops, and coming to Maracaibo, will cause you utterly to perish, putting you every man to the sword. This is my last and absolute resolution. Be prudent therefore, and do not abuse my bounty with ingratitude. I have with me very good soldiers, who desire nothing[114] more ardently than to revenge upon you and your people all the cruelties and base infamous actions you have committed upon the Spanish nation in America.

"Dated on board the Royal Ship named the Magdalen, lying at anchor at the entry of the Lake of Maracaibo, this 24th day of April, 1669.

"Don Alonso del Campo y Espinosa."[172]

Soon after receiving this letter Morgan assembled all his officers and their men in the Plaza or market-square of the town and read it to them, both in English and French, so that all of them might fully understand its contents. Then he bluntly asked them whether they were willing to surrender all their "purchase" to obtain their safe passage through the enemy's squadron rather than fight for it. They shouted with apparent unanimity that they were ready to spill the last drop of their blood rather than give up anything they had taken with so much labour and hardship. It has been stated that one of them then suggested the attack of the enemy's ships with a "brulot" or fireship, navigated by only twelve men. Morgan afterwards asserted that this was entirely his own plan. But before putting it into execution he decided to make a second effort to come to a peaceful agreement with the Spanish commodore, to whom he sent two of his officers to make a proposal for the evacuation of Maracaibo without doing any further damage to the town or exacting any ransom, the surrender of one half of the slaves he had taken, the liberation of all his prisoners without any ransom, and the freedom of the four hostages he had brought from Gibraltar without any further payment. These terms were promptly rejected by Don Alonso del Campo as being dishonourable, and he declared that unless the conditions he had already offered were accepted within two days, he would begin an attack.

Morgan at once made the most active preparations to force the strait. He ordered all the prisoners and slaves to be tied hand and foot and placed under a sufficient guard to prevent the escape of any of them to give information of what was being done. The ship taken at[115] Gibraltar was then converted into a highly inflammable condition with the greatest care.

"They gathered all the Pitch, Tar, and Brimstone they could find in the whole Town, wherewith to prepare the Fire-ship abovementioned. Likewise they made several inventions of Powder and Brimstone, with great quantity of Palm-leaves very well ointed with Tar. They covered very well their counterfeit Cannon, laying under every piece thereof many pounds of Powder. Besides which they cut down many outworks belonging to the Ship, to the end that the Powder might exert its strength the better. Thus they broke open also new Port-holes; where, instead of Guns they placed little Drums of which the Negroes make use. Finally the Deck was handsomely beset with many pieces of Wood dressed up in the shape of men with Hats and Monteras,[173] and likewise armed with Swords, Muskets, and Bandaleers."[174]

The male prisoners were all confined in one of their largest ships, and the women with the silver-plate, jewels, and other valuable plunder in another. Each of these had a crew of only twelve sailors, while the others were crowded with men heavily armed for a hand-to-hand encounter. The fireship with a small but very efficient and reliable crew was directed to lead the way and as soon as possible run alongside the Spanish flagship. Morgan then exacted from all his officers and men a solemn oath that they would fight to the last, "without demanding quarter at any rate", and promised liberal rewards to all who might distinguish themselves by their courage or skill.

A week had been occupied in making preparations for a desperate struggle to force a passage through the strait. Morgan's squadron got under way on April 30, and late in the afternoon found that the three Spanish ships were still at anchor in mid-channel abreast the fort, where it was difficult to attack them with much prospect of success. Darkness was then coming on and he gave orders to cast anchor just out of range of his enemy's guns and inviting an attack. The utmost watchfulness during[116] the night was enjoined. At daybreak, observing that the Spaniards had not moved and that the wind was in his favour he made a signal for his ships to weigh anchor and make sail. With the fireship well in advance, he slowly approached the enemy, who also got under sail and cleared for action. The fireship was cleverly and bravely handled, and succeeded in grappling with the Spanish flagship before her true character was discovered. The Spaniards frantically struggled to fend her off with boathooks and pikes until the flames triumphed over their efforts and the heat drove them off. Violent explosions on board the deserted fireship scattered sparks and blazing fragments in all directions, adding greatly to their confusion and dismay. The rigging and sails of both ships caught fire and burned fiercely. The magazine of the Spanish flagship exploded and she became a complete wreck and sank, leaving many of her unfortunate crew clinging to broken spars or swimming for their lives. The English ships attempted to pick up some of these wretched men, who mostly refused their assistance, preferring stubbornly to perish in the water than owe their safety to their heretic enemies, whose compassionate offers they distrusted or perhaps misunderstood. Such was the fate of the Magdalena, a fine frigate, armed with thirty-six large and twelve smaller guns, and believed to have a crew of two hundred and fifty men.

The commander of the next largest Spanish ship, the San Luis of thirty-six guns, seeing his flagship wrapped in flames, lost his head and ran his vessel ashore under the guns of the castle, where she was scuttled and abandoned, being at the same time set on fire to prevent the English from taking possession of her. The third Spanish ship named La Marquesa, of twenty-four guns and a crew of one hundred and fifty men, was attacked by several of Morgan's ships and taken after a stout resistance.

Encouraged by his complete and comparatively easy victory on the water Morgan landed a party of men, who rashly attempted to take the fort by assault with no other arms than their firelocks and a few hand-grenades. Although probably much demoralized by the sight of the defeat of their [117] ships, but being reinforced by many fugitive sailors, its garrison made a resolute and successful defence, repulsing their assailants until dark, when they re-embarked, having lost sixty men, or nearly a quarter of their number. Fearing that the attack might be renewed, the Spaniards worked very industriously in the night, strengthening their position and levelling the ground outside it to increase the field of fire "by digging down and making plain some little hills and eminent places from whence possibly the castle might be offended."[175]

Gateway to the Fort at Puerto Bello        See p. 94

Several persons who were floating or swimming in the water had been captured and were brought to Morgan to be examined. Among them was a pilot of more than ordinary intelligence, whom, in accordance with his invariable practice, he closely questioned. He was told by him that the Spanish squadron had at first consisted of six ships sent out to the West Indies by an order of the supreme Council of State in Spain, with orders to cruise in search of the English pirates and exterminate them, being an armada de barlovento, or windward squadron, equipped for that special service.

"These orders", he said, "were given by reason of the news brought unto the Court of Spain of the loss and ruine of Puerto Velo and other places. Of all which Damages and Hostilities committed here by the English very dismal lamentations have oftentimes penetrated the ears both of the Catholick King and Council. And although the Spanish Court hath many times by their Embassadors sent Complaints hereof unto the King of England; yet it hath been the constant answer of his Majesty of Great Britain, That he never gave any Letters-patent nor Commissions for the acting any Hostility whatsoever against the Subjects of the King of Spain. Hereupon the Catholick King being resolved to revenge his Subjects and punish these proceedings, commanded six Men of War to be equipped; which he sent into those Parts under the command of Don Augustin de Bustos, who was constituted Admiral of the said Fleet."[176]


After their arrival at Cartagena, the two largest ships had been recalled to Spain, being considered too big for employment as cruisers, and the Admiral returned with them, leaving Espinosa in command. While cruising in the bay of Campeachy in search of English privateers, one of his ships, Nuestra Senora del Carmen, carrying twenty-six guns and one hundred and fifty men had been lost in a hurricane, and the other three so much damaged that they were forced to run into the harbour of San Domingo to refit. While there information had been received that a fleet of Jamaican privateers had passed along that coast sailing eastward, from which a party of men had landed and raided the pretty village of Aldea Gracia. One of these men had been captured, who stated that their intention was to pillage the city of Caracas. Espinosa went immediately in pursuit and found that Caracas had not been attacked. Soon after he met a boat and learned from its crew that an English squadron of seven ships and one boat had entered Lake Maracaibo. On approaching the entrance of that lake signal guns were fired, and a pilot came out who said that the English had taken Maracaibo and gone up the lake to attack Gibraltar.

"Don Alonso, having understood this news, made a handsome Speech unto all his Souldiers and Mariners, encouraging them to perform their duty, and withal promising to divide among them all they should take from the English."

The guns salvaged from his wrecked ship, with two more from his flagship, were landed to re-arm the fort, which was re-occupied by a stronger garrison than before, supplied by the local militia. Espinosa then exacted a promise from his seamen neither to give nor take quarter in a conflict with the English, and this the pilot affirmed was the cause of so many of his comrades being drowned instead of surrendering.

"Two days before you came against us," he added, "a certain Negro came on board Don Alonso's Ship, telling him, 'Sir, be pleased to take great care of yourself; for the English have prepared a Fireship with designe to burn your Fleet.' But Don Alonso would not believe this[119] intelligence, his answer being, 'How can that be? Have they peradventure wit enough to build a Fireship? or what instruments have they to do it withall?'"[177]

Morgan shrewdly treated this man with such kindness and rewarded him so liberally that he agreed to enter into his service, and informed him that a large sum of silver money, amounting altogether to forty thousand pieces of eight, or ten thousand pounds sterling, had been on board the ship which had been scuttled and burned. This statement seemed to be corroborated by the appearance of several boats rowing about the wreck. Morgan ordered one of his ships to remain near it and make an effort to salvage this treasure, while he returned with the others and his prize to Maracaibo to refit. After doing this he took command of La Marquesa himself, as she was larger and better armed than any of the ships in his squadron. A message was then sent to Espinosa, who had escaped on shore, and such of the fugitive inhabitants of Maracaibo as had joined him, demanding a ransom for that town, which, in case of a refusal, he threatened to destroy utterly. After consulting on the subject those unfortunate people decided to ask him to name the sum he wanted, although the Admiral firmly refused his consent to any such agreement. Morgan demanded the payment of thirty thousand pieces of eight and the delivery of five hundred fat cattle, but he finally consented to accept twenty thousand pieces of eight and five hundred beeves, for which he agreed to liberate his prisoners and do no further damage to the town. The cattle were brought to him next day with part of the money, the rest of which was paid while his men were still engaged in killing those animals and salting their flesh. Morgan, however, prudently declined to release his prisoners until all his ships were allowed to pass through the strait without being molested by the guns of the fort. On returning to the scene of the naval action, he found that the crew of the ship he had left there had succeeded in salvaging fifteen thousand pieces of eight, besides many bars and ingots of silver from the wreck of the San Luis. The prisoners were then assembled and required to request[120] the Spanish commander to promise an unopposed passage for Morgan's ships, or they would all be put to death. They consented to do this and some of them were permitted to land with this message. It is stated that "Don Alonso gave them for answer a sharp reprehension of their cowardice, telling them 'If you had been as loyal to your King in hindering the entrance of these Pirats as I shall to their going out, you had never caused those troubles either to yourselves or to our whole Nation, which hath suffered so much through your pusillanimity. In a word, I shall never grant your request; but shall endeavour to maintain that respect which is due unto my King according to my duty.'"[178]

Yet on receiving this reply Morgan showed no anger and made no attempt to put his savage threat into effect, but quietly remarked: "If Don Alonso will not let me pass, I will find means how to do it without his leave."

He then gave orders for an immediate division of the prize-money and captured goods among his officers and their men, probably reserving the proportion due to the King and Lord High Admiral. This spoil was found to amount to two hundred and fifty thousand pieces of eight in money and a great quantity of valuable merchandise, besides many slaves. The passage of the strait was afterwards accomplished by means of a stratagem which has been described by the Dutch writer already quoted, who certainly was not inclined to be unfairly partial to Morgan or the English in general.

"On the day which preceded the night wherein they determined to get forth, they embarked many of the men in Canows and rowed towards the shore as if they designed to land them. Here they concealed themselves under branches of Trees that hang over the Coast for a while, till they had laid themselves down in their Boats. Then the Canows returned unto the Ships with the only appearance of two or three men rowing them back, all the rest being concealed at the bottom of the Canows. Thus much only could be perceived from the Castle; and this action of false-landing of men, for so we may call it, was repeated that day several times. Hereby the Spaniards were brought into the perswasion that the[121] Pirats intended to force the Castle by scaling it as soon as night should come. This fear caused them to place most of their great Guns on that side which looketh towards the Land, together with the main force of their Arms, leaving the contrary side belonging to the Sea, almost destitute of Strength and Defence.

"Night being come they weighed Anchor, and by the light of the moon, without setting sail, committed themselves to the ebbing Tyde which brought them gently down the River till they were nigh unto the Castle. Being now almost over against it, they spread their sails with all the hast[e] they could possibly make. The Spaniards perceiving them to escape, transported with all speed their Guns from the other side of the Castle, and began to fire very furiously at the Pirats. But these having a favourable wind were almost past the danger before those of the Castle could put things in a convenient order of offence, so that the Pirats lost not many of their men nor received any considerable damage to their Ships. Being now out of reach of the Guns, Captain Morgan sent a Canow unto the Castle with some of the Prisoners; and the Governour thereof gave them a Boat that every one might return unto his home. Notwithstanding he detained the Hostages he had from Gibraltar, by reason those of that town were not as yet come to pay the rest of the Ransom for not firing the place. Just as he departed Captain Morgan ordered seven great Guns with Bullets to be fired against the Castle, as it were to take leave of them. But they answered not so much as with a musket shot."[179]

"That is Harry Morgan's way" became a slogan everywhere in the West Indies.

On the homeward voyage to Jamaica a fierce storm greatly imperilled Morgan's ships, they being heavily laden and weakly manned, as his loss of men in battle and by disease was considerable, yet none of them was lost. On May 17, Colonel Beeston laconically recorded in a single short sentence the return of the "privateers that had gone to the windward, having taken Grenada and Maracaibo, and burnt the Spanish men-of-war that were sent after them, and brought about thirty thousand pounds."[122]

Morgan's remarkable success was in fact far from being altogether satisfactory to the governor and members of his Council, who were responsible for his employment. Early in February, 1669, the ship Isabella had arrived at Port Royal from England, bringing private letters stating that the capture of Puerto Bello had been strongly repudiated by the English government, and that the governor would be recalled to answer for it. An attack upon Cartagena might have been justified on the ground that preparations were being made there for an invasion of Jamaica, but no such excuse existed for the raid upon Maracaibo. Modyford was consequently discreetly silent about it in his official correspondence. On the other hand, there can be no doubt that the victorious seamen were warmly welcomed by the merchants and tavern-keepers, and probably the majority of the people of Port Royal and the neighbourhood, who were enriched by their lavish expenditure. Port Royal itself soon gained the reputation of being one of the wealthiest and wickedest places in the world. A contemporary local writer said: "there is not now resident upon this place ten men to every house that selleth strong liquors . . . . besides sugar and rum-works that sell without license. All the tavern doors stand open as they do in London on Sundays in the afternoon." Relying on the local tradition still current many years after, Leslie relates how some of the reckless privateers on their return from a successful cruise had been known to spend two or three thousand pieces of eight in a single night of debauchery. "They used", he wrote, "to bring a Pipe of Wine, place it in the Street, and oblige every one that passed to drink; at other times they would scatter it about in vast Quantities, thinking it excellent Diversion to wet the Ladies' cloathes as they went along and force them to run from the showers of Wine."[180]

Those privateers, who had failed to join Morgan at the island of Saona, had been decidedly unfortunate in all their enterprises. On their arrival at that place, several days after his departure, they did not succeed in finding a letter he had concealed for them, stating his intentions.[123] When their whole force assembled it consisted of nearly four hundred men in six small ships and a large undecked boat. Captain Charles Hadsell, who had taken part in the capture of Santa Catalina and Puerto Bello, was elected as commodore, and he determined to attack the town of Cumana on the coast of Venezuela. A landing was made near that place, but on advancing they met with such resolute opposition that they retreated in great disorder with serious loss.

After their return to Jamaica it is stated that some of Morgan's men, who apparently still resented their failure to join them in their last expedition as they had expected, taunted them scornfully on their defeat, often saying, "Let us see what money you brought from Cumana, and if it be as good silver as that which we took at Maracaibo."[181] Dampier remarked that Cumana was "the only place in the North Seas" which the Jamaican privateers "had attempted in vain for years; and the Spaniards since throw it in their teeth frequently, as a word of reproach or defiance to them."[182]

This repulse and Morgan's remarkable success at Maracaibo and Gibraltar, and his decisive defeat of a greatly superior squadron of Spanish ships of war sent to the West Indies for the particular purpose of subduing the Jamaican privateers, gave him much fame, but his commission was suspended or withdrawn because he had exceeded his instructions. On June 14, less than a month after his return, a proclamation was published at Port Royal in the usual manner by beat of drum and the voice of the official crier, by order of the governor. Beeston again noted with covert sarcasm that "nevertheless the privateers went in and out but not with commissions." Morgan discreetly remained at home.[183]

Sir Thomas Modyford had been left in uncertainty as to the actual intentions of the English government until he received letters from his son in London announcing the King's serious displeasure at his invasion of the Spanish provinces, although he had accepted his share of the[124] prize-money without compunction. The embarrassed governor then prepared a long and careful defence of his conduct, from the date of his arrival at Barbados on his way to Jamaica to take up its administration until his receipt of a letter from the Duke of Albemarle authorizing him to grant or refuse letters-of-marque against the Spaniards at his own discretion.

"Yet notwithstanding this full power," he wrote, "I would not proceed to grant commissions until the council of this island unanimously affirmed it was for the good of the island and gave their reasons; and thereupon in March, 1666, there being also war with France, I granted commissions, which was approved by his Grace, my end being only to keep them from joining with the French, but they had only commissions for taking ships, and none for landing. I always reproved them for so acting, especially in the business of Puerto Bello and Maracay; to which they made their defence in writing, which I sent home but never received any answer to. Meantime by reason of their numbers and not knowing the sense at home I thought it prudential to forbear punishing them; and receiving an intimation of his Majesty's sense in my son's letters and also advice of the Spaniard's intentions to attempt us, the galleons being daily expected in the Indies and the New Spain fleet already there, in order to detain the privateers on the island I repealed all their powers. I hear that divers of them intend to set up for themselves and only two have as yet joined the French. If the peace with France were immortal, or that warlike Prince[184] had no design this way, I should be little concerned at the lawless motions of the privateers, but well knowing the uncertainty of the former and the assuredness of the latter, I must confess it troubles me to be driven to that saddest error of all Governments to act so imprudently as in this most active age to weaken ourselves and strengthen our enemies. I will say something as to the unreasonable rumours of the great wealth these privateers are said to get; the Puerto Bello business cleared them £60 per head, and the fight with Don Alonso at Maracay £30; this the common sort spent immediately in arms, clothing, and drink, and some of the officers and civiller sort are settling plantations, and the owners of ships spend their shares in refitting, so that they are from[125] hand to mouth and have little or nothing left. His Majesty's fifteenths I keep to be employed in fortification, which may be about £600, and his Royal Highness's tenths I have always sent home to Sir William Coventry and Mr. Wren for his account. To myself they gave only £20 for their commissions which in all has never exceeded £300. This I affirm to be true touching my transactions with the privateers of this port, and I challenge all the bold maligners and rash talkers against my actions in this particular, to disprove the least inconsiderable tittle or circumstance herein, not doubting but all sober and true Englishmen will not only absolve me but approve of my proceedings."[185]

This statement was supported by an abstract of several letters which he had received at various dates from his brother, Sir James Modyford, Lord Chancellor Clarendon, and the Duke of Albemarle, which appeared to substantiate its accuracy.[186]

In a letter to Lord Arlington, dated six weeks later, he affirmed that he had reported to the Duke of Albemarle all the activities of the Jamaican privateers and the authority he had granted them in his commissions, and had received the Duke's approval of his conduct. He added plaintively that had Lord Arlington remembered these facts, "he should not in the late debates touching these matters have been thought so imprudent as he hears he has been." His son would present his narrative and an abstract of certain letters to justify it, which he hoped would "once more render him fair in his Lordship's opinion."[187]

He was certainly extremely perturbed and at the same time was convinced that the safety of the island depended on the good will of the privateers.

At the end of November he reported cheerfully that most of the privateers had "turned merchants", and were[126] trading with the Indians on the coast of Central America for hides, tallow, turtle-shell, and logwood, while others were engaged in hunting wild cattle and hogs in Cuba. Some of the "best monied" among them had become planters in Jamaica, but a few "knaves" were still endeavouring to plunder Spanish ships and "by stealth land what they get in harbours out of command", which he would try to prevent. None had yet gone to the French at Tortuga and he hoped that none would go there, as the governor of that island had also been forbidden to grant them commissions, "which at this juncture fell out very happy for us", he said. If he were permitted to continue the "moderate remedies" he had begun, he was confident that he would "reduce the most part of them, for their ships will wear out, and then they must stay on shore and plant or starve."[188]

Among the "best-monied" of the privateers who turned their attention to planting or resumed that occupation, Henry Morgan was clearly the most eminent and energetic of the privateers who became planters at this time. His privateering ventures had supplied him with a sufficient capital in money and negro slaves for the cultivation of a considerable estate, which he then acquired by patent from the complacent governor. The first grant of land thus made to him was dated on the 30th of November, 1669, and registered in the Record Office for the Island at Spanish Town on the 14th of February following. The Letter Patent from the governor in the name of "Charles the Second by the Grace of God of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland King, & of Jamaica Lord, defender of the Faith, &c.", reads as follows:

"Know ye that we for and in consideration that Collo. Henry Morgan hath transported himself together with his servants unto our Island of Jamaica in pursuance of our proclamation before made and for his better encouragement for being one of our planters there and for divers other good causes and considerations as thereunto moving of Speciall Grace and certain knowledge have I given and granted and by these presents for us our heirs[127] and successors do give and grant unto the said Henry Morgan his heirs and assigns

"All that parcel of land meadow or pasture and Woodland and whatsoever land the same is Cont[aining] 836 acres situate lyeing and being in Clarendon parish bounding northwest and north on Wast[e] Hilly Woodland & Easterly and Southerly on the river Minoe together with all edifices woods trees rents profits &c."

This tract of land, beautifully situated in the Rio Minho valley near the present village of Chapelton, still bears the name of "Morgan's Valley", and is now noted for its production of tobacco. It then lay on the very frontier of the settled country. North of it lay a wilderness of tangled forest and rugged hills, through which he attempted to re-open the nearly obliterated Spanish road to the north side of the island, and discovered the gap in the hills still known as "Morgan's Pass". The neighbouring estate of "Danks" and the wooded lands called "Morgan's Forest" were subsequently acquired by him. He seems to have continued his search for eligible lands for planting to the west end of the island, and gave his name to the stream known as "Morgan's River".

In consideration of this grant he was required to render annually to the King "on the feasts of St. Michaell the Arch Angell and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary by equall Portions a twentieth part of the clear yearly proffitt of all mines which now are or shall hereafter happen to be found within those premises", and the further condition was imposed that "the said Henry Morgan his heirs and assigns shall upon any Insurrection mutiny or foreign invasion which may happen in my said Island of Jamaica during his or their residence there be ready to serve us and shall serve us in arms upon the Command of our Governor there."[189]

Edward Collier, one of the best known of Morgan's captains, was granted more than a thousand acres of land in the same parish, about the same time.

Charles Modyford, acting then as his father's representative in London, supplied the Secretary of State with a detailed account of the condition of the colony of[128] Jamaica, which stated that 165,564 acres of land had been alienated by patent from the King. The number of men fit to bear arms was estimated at three thousand, exclusive of fifteen hundred privateers, who possessed twenty ships, the biggest of which was armed with twelve guns. There were supposed to be twelve hundred white women and children and two thousand five hundred slaves in the island.

"Nothing", he affirmed, "can now hinder the future thriving of that island but want of inhabitants, or the unsettlement of it with the Spaniards."[190]




The truce proclaimed by Governor Modyford was soon broken by the Spaniards. About the end of January, 1670, the English ship, Mary and Jane, commanded by Captain Bernard Claeson Speirdyck, who was a native of Holland and was admitted to have been a privateer, sailed from Port Royal, taking with him a letter from Sir Thomas Modyford, addressed to the governor of Cuba, announcing the proclamation of peace, and having on board a number of Spanish prisoners to be liberated. On arriving in the bay of Manzanillo, Speirdyck notified the governor of Bayano of his mission, who sent the alcalde of that town to receive the prisoners. After the ship had been closely searched three times by the Spanish officials, by whom she was suspected of being a pirate or privateer, the captain was permitted to trade with the Cubans and sold his whole cargo. On his homeward voyage to Jamaica, Captain Bernard, as he was commonly called, encountered a ship sailing under English colours, to which he sent a boat rowed by two men to obtain news. These men were taken on board and detained as prisoners. The strange ship, which was a Spanish privateer, named San Pedro y La Fama, commissioned against the English by the governor of Cartagena, carrying fourteen guns and a crew of ninety-six men, commanded by Manoel Rivera Pardal, a Portuguese seaman, then fired a broadside at the English ship. Bernard had only a crew of eighteen men but fought stubbornly for three hours, when his assailant drew off. Next morning the attack was renewed and after a conflict of four hours, "the good old captain and several of his crew being killed and the ship on fire in the forecastle and stern", the Mary and Jane was taken. Eight or ten days afterwards nine of the survivors were sent adrift in their own[130] longboat, with food enough for their subsistence until they could land in Jamaica. Their ship with four of its crew was carried as a prize into Cartagena. The Spanish captain had boasted that he had letters of reprisal "for five years through the whole West Indies for satisfaction of the Jamaicans taking Puerto Bello." Cornelius Carstens, purser of the captured ship, made a deposition giving this account, adding that the Spaniards had admitted the loss of thirty-six men in the fight, "besides several with their legs shot off."[191]

A Spanish expedition from Florida had ravaged the English settlements on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas, for which the enterprising Captain Robert Searle, with other English privateers, had promptly retaliated by sacking San Augustin.

Modyford was admittedly much embarrassed and worried by this sudden and unexpected outbreak of hostilities. He reported the capture of the Mary and Jane in a letter to Lord Arlington, dated 15th March, 1670, adding

that he had since had advice that "this Biskayner's consort fell on two of our small vessels about Cape Catoch[e], bound for the Bay [of Campeachy] for Logwood, who was happily taken by them, but his papers are not yet come up; by them I will be able to advise your Lordship what powers they have and from whence. This has so incensed the whole body of privateers that I hear they meditate revenge and have appointed a general rendezvous at Caimanos[192] next month, where I will send to divert them or moderate their councils. There arrived also at Port Morant, the Cagway, Captain Searle, with 70 stout men, who hearing that I was much incensed against him for that action of St. Augustine, went to Macary Bay, and there rides out of command. I will use the best ways to apprehend him, without driving his men to despair. I have heard of but three persons who have revolted to the French, and those are such as for their felonies deserve death here. I passionately long to see a[131] letter from your Lordship and therein an absolution for my crimes."[193]

The commission discovered on board the Spanish privateer, San Nicolas de Tolontino, captured by the logwood cutters, declared that

"Whereas the Queen Regent of Spain by an order dated 20th April, 1669, was pleased to inform Don Pedro Bayona y Villa Nueva, Captain General of the Province of Paraguay and Governor of the City of Santiago de Cuba, that relation being made to her of the hostilities which the French and English made in the West Indies, she had made complaint thereof to the King of Great Britain, giving him notice of the peace celebrated in 1667, to which his Majesty answered that his subjects had no peace in the Indies, upon which the Queen commanded Don Pedro to cause war to be published against that nation, and to execute all the hostilities which are permitted in war, by taking possession of the ships, islands, places, and ports which the English have in the said with which object that commission had been granted."[194]

No reasonable doubt could any longer be entertained that the renewal of hostilities had been fully authorized by the Court of Spain, and all its provincial governors in the West Indies and Central America duly instructed to carry them on.

Sir James Modyford wrote in the greatest dismay to Colonel Thomas Lynch, who was then in England.

"I could wish I were not so deeply engaged in planting, especially now that I see the Spaniards begin to take the right course to ruin us. They have denounced war against us in Cartagena, and given out commissions by which they have killed Bart, [Bernard] and taken his ship trading with them at Savana de Cruz [Santa Cruz] in the South Cayes. They tell us plainly that they have daily in expectation twelve frigates from Europe, commanded by Matias de Saye, who have commissions (as all ships shall have that come into the Indies), to take all the English they can light on. Those are letters of re[132]prisals and possibly the Windward Islands may come to suffer first, for all know how easy it is to surprise the English. But they talk of Port Morant and Yhallah, which they say they can easily destroy, and with a frigate or two lying off the point [at Port Royal] take all the ships, and so ruin the place by obstructing our commerce. You need not be told how the least of this will be. I wish you had your plantation with you and that it were not too big to be sold; mine, if possible, I'll dispose of and leave this warm sun for your God's blessing; for the Duke of Albemarle's death, this war, our making a blind peace, no frigates or orders coming out gives us cruel apprehensions and makes many remiss."[195]

Reports of Spanish aggressions continued to arrive from many quarters, which the governor had carefully embodied in depositions for the information of the English ministers. One of these stated that early in the year a Jamaican privateer, commanded by Captain Thomas Rogers, had been attacked by a Spanish man-of-war from Cartagena, which in self-defence he had boarded and taken. Among the prisoners was an Englishman, who had revolted from his allegiance and lived with the Spaniards of Cartagena. "On being examined this man declared that war against Jamaica had been publicly proclaimed in that city." Another deponent, "Nicholas Hicks, gent.", stated that being in the island of "Corisa" in November, 1669, he had made the acquaintance of an Englishman, then employed as master or pilot of a Spanish ship belonging to Puerto Bello, who told him that a proclamation had been made there announcing that no quarter was to be given to any Englishman, "merchant or man-of-war", and that he was sure that the Spaniards "would never have peace with the English."[196]

At the same time Modyford took care to report that he had placed Captain Searle under arrest, with the intention of punishing him for his raid upon San Augustin, and that he had received no direct report from Rogers. He earnestly requested Arlington to give "latitude to re[133]taliate in case the Spaniards act hostilities against us, with whom we shall well enough cope of our own strength, not desiring any assistance from England, unless the Spaniards send forces from Europe." This authority, he said, he pressed for more urgently as he was in doubt whether the instructions given him "by the Lord General [Albemarle] are extinct by his never too much deplored death."[197]

Week after week passed away without the receipt of any further orders from England, and the Governor wrote again stating that Searle was still in custody of the Provost Marshal, awaiting trial. The population of the island was daily increasing by immigration, and he was "still passionately longing to receive those commands, which may give me encouragement and occasion to enlarge myself." He enclosed the deposition of the boatswain of an English ship, the Amity of Bristol, describing her capture by a Spanish frigate among the Windward Islands. Her crew had been put ashore at "Corasa" where the Spanish captain had shown the governor his commission "from old Spain against the English and French, and not to give quarter to any Jamaicans or French from Tortuga."[198]

Early in June the enterprising Pardal appeared off the north coast of Jamaica with two small armed ships from Cartagena, which were called frigates, and began a vigorous and ruthless campaign of devastation. Small armed parties were landed on that defenceless shore, which killed a few people, burned some buildings, destroyed plantations, and carried off both negroes and whites as prisoners. Afterwards he cruised defiantly off Port Royal, where he captured some boats and attempted a raid upon the thriving sugar estates in the district of Withywood, or Vere, which was abandoned on seeing a force of militia assembled to oppose a landing. It was reported that he had planned an incursion at Port Morant to devastate the large and valuable plantations of Colonel Lynch and Sir James Modyford, but was prevented by his[134] encounter with a French ship, which he took and carried into Santiago de Cuba. On his way he again passed in sight of Port Royal, and finally landed near Point Negril at the west end, where he posted a placard on a tree containing a bombastic challenge to Morgan, written in English and Spanish. The following is the English version of this document.

"I, Captain Manuel Rivera Pardal to the chief of the squadron of privateers in Jamaica. I am he who this year have done that which follows. I went on shore at Caimanos and burnt 20 houses and fought with Captain Ary and took from him a catch laden with provisions and a canoa. And I am he who took Captain Baines and did carry the prize to Cartagena, and now am arrived to this coast and have burnt it. And I am come to seek Admiral Morgan, with two ships of war of 20 guns, and having seen this, I crave he would come out upon the coast and seek me, that he might see the valour of the Spaniards. And because I had no time I did not come to the mouth of Port Royal to speak by word of mouth in the name of my King, whom God preserve."[199]

This placard bore the date of July 5. It was soon after discovered and taken to Spanish Town, where it was laid before the Council, and was eventually sent to England, where it is preserved in the Public Record Office among the State Papers of the time.

These events placed the governor in a position of great difficulty. He was a prey to conflicting emotions. His solicitude for the safety and welfare of the colony impelled him to take immediate measures of retaliation, while his fear of the displeasure of the King and his Ministers restrained him. In this dilemma he summoned the Council to consider the situation and advise him.

For some reason, perhaps the want of a quorum, nothing was done at its first session. At an adjourned meeting, held at St. Jago de la Vega on June 29, besides the governor, his brother, Sir James Modyford, and his son, Major General Thomas Modyford, seven other members attended, most of whom had been officers in the army of the Commonwealth and were old residents,[135] owning large estates. The governor presented much documentary evidence of repeated hostile acts and aggressions by the Spaniards. The members were greatly alarmed and convinced that the safety of the whole island as well as their own plantations was imperilled. They thought of but one man, whose ability and experience made him the natural leader of their forces in this emergency, and the following resolution was passed unanimously and entered in the Minutes.

"Whereas it evidently appeared to this Board by a Copy of a Commission sent by the Honourable William Birk, Governor of Quiriza [Curacao] that the Queen Regent of Spain did by her Shadula, dated Madrid, the 20th of April, 1669, Command her respective Governours in the Indies to make open War against the Subjects of Our Sovereign Lord the King in these Parts, and also that the Governour of St. Jago of Cuba hath executed the same by granting Commissions of War against us; and lately in the most Hostile manner landed his men in three several places on the north side of this Island, marching as far as he durst into the Country, burning all the Houses they came at, killing and taking prisoners all the Inhabitants they could meet with, and now lately they appeared with three Ships on the South side of this Island at Michael's hole within eight Leagues of our chief Harbour, and came near the shore, full of men, but finding the Inhabitants prepared for them, went out again; and the next day landed at Paratee-Bay, 18 Leagues to Windward, and there burnt two Houses; and that divers of the rest of the Spanish Governours have also granted Commissions and are Levying Forces against us, and have, as we are credibly informed, made St. Jago of Cuba their present Magazine and their Rendezvous, where their present Forces are to unite and embody for the speedy invasion of this Island; which intention if it be suffered to ripen so far, as that the Enemy be enabled to Land their Forces in this Island, we shall be inforced to quit the present care of our Plantations and attend on the enemies motions, whereby our said Plantations will run to ruin, our Cattle and other Stock run wild, our Slaves take to the Woods; and although by chance of war Conquerors, put to begin the world again, to our insupportable loss and most infinite damage to his Majesty's Service.


"And whereas his Majesty hath out of his most princely foresight and great care of us directed in his last article of Royal Instructions, which his Excellency hath been pleased on this extraordinary occasion to communicate to this Board in these words:

"'As forasmuch there are many things incident to that Government there, for which it is not easy for us to prescribe such Rules and Directions for you as our service and the benefit of that Island may require, instead of them you are with the advice of the Council to take care therein as fully and effectually as if you were instructed by us, of which extraordinary causes, giving us due information, you shall receive further satisfaction from us as our Service shall require,' in discharge therefore of that great trust which is by that Instruction put in us as His Majesty's Council of this Place, and in this great and urgent necessity, we humbly advise and pray your Excellency, for the seasonable prevention of these impending evils, It may ordain and be ordained by his Excellency and His Majesties Council now assembled, and by authority of the same, That Commission be granted to Admiral Henry Morgan to be Admiral and Commander in chief of all the Ships of War belonging to this Harbour, and of all the Officers, Souldiers, and Seamen belonging to the same, requiring him with all possible speed to draw into one Fleet, and with them to put to Sea for the security of the coast of this Island and of the Merchant Ships and other vessels, trading to and about the same. And to Attain, Seize, and Destroy all the enemies vessells that shall come within his reach; and also for destroying the Stores and Magazines laid up for this war, and dispersing such forces as are or may be brought together for prosecuting the same. That he shall have power to Land in the enemies Country as many of his men as he shall think needful; and with them to march to such places as he shall be informed the said Magazines or Forces are, and then accordingly take, destroy and dispose of; and to do and perform all manner of exploits which may tend to the preservation and quiet of this Island, being his Majesties chief Interest in the Indies, and that for the better Government of the said Fleet, Officers, Souldiers, and Seamen, he have power to execute Marshall Law, according to the Articles of War already Made, or which shall hereafter be made by his Excellency, the same having been first published unto them. And it is further Ordained in regard there is no[137] other pay for the encouragement of the said Fleet, That they shall have all the Goods and Merchandise that shall be gotten in this Expedition, to be divided amongst them, according to their usual Rules; and for their better encouragement to engage in this so necessary a Service, It is further ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That no person already belonging to said Fleet shall be molested for his Debts, but are hereby protected until further Order, of which the Provost Marshall is to take notice at his peril."[200]

The very extensive authority conferred on Morgan by this Order in Council indicates very clearly that he had been consulted in its preparation, ensuring that the invasion of Spanish territory was regularly sanctioned. War against the Spaniards was accordingly once more solemnly proclaimed by beat of drum in Port Royal on the morning of July 2. The danger of an invasion was considered so evident that an enrolment was made of all persons liable for military service.

The name of Morgan had become a word to conjure with among seamen of all nations in the West Indies,[201] and the Spaniards acknowledged that he surpassed all their other enemies "en audacia y en fortuna."[202] Messengers were soon sent off by him in all directions to give notice of his appointment and call for volunteers and ships to join his fleet. As England and France were once more at peace the fierce and lawless French buccaneers of Hispaniola and Tortuga were again at liberty to serve under the English flag. Yet Modyford delayed the issue of his commission for nearly a month, perhaps hoping for some definite instructions from England or wishing to be assured of Morgan's success in assembling men and ships before committing himself beyond retraction. This commission was dated on July 22nd, 1670, and very carefully worded.

"Sir Thomas Modyford, Baronet, Governour of His Majesty's Island of Jamaica, Commander-in-Chief of all His Majesties Forces within the said Island and in the[138] Islands thereunto adjacent, Vice-Admiral to His Royal Highness the Duke of York in the American Seas.

"To Admiral Henry Morgan, Esq. Greeting.

"Whereas the Queen Regent of Spain hath by her Royal Shadula, dated at Madrid the 20th of April, 1669, Commanded her respective Governours in the Indies to publish and make War against our Sovereign Lord the King in these Parts. And whereas Don Pedro Bayona de Villa Nueva, Captain General of the Province of Paraguay and Governour of the City of St. Jago de Cuba and its Provinces, hath executed the same, and lately in the most hostile and barbarous manner landed his men on the north side of this Island, and entered a small way into the Country, firing all the Houses they came at, killing or taking Prisoners all the Inhabitants they could meet with; and whereas the rest of the Governours in these Parts have granted Commissions for executing the like Hostility against us, and are diligently gathering Forces together to be sent to St. Jago de Cuba, their General Rendezvous and place of Magazine, and from thence as the most opportune place to be transported for a thoro' Invasion and final Conquest (as they hope) of this Island, for the prevention of which their mischievous Intentions, in discharge of the great trust which His Gracious Majesty hath placed in me, I do by virtue of full Power and Authority in such cases from His Royal Highness, James Duke of York, His Majesties Lord High Admiral, derived unto me, and out of the great confidence I have in the good conduct, courage, and fidelity of you the said Henry Morgan to be Admiral and Commander in chief of all the Ships, Barques, and other Vessels now fitted, or which hereafter shall be fitted for the publick Service and defence of this Island, and also of the Officers, Souldiers, and Seamen, which are, or shall be put upon the same, requiring you to use your best endeavours to get the vessels into one Body or Fleet, and to cause them to be well mann'd, fitted, arm'd, and victualled, and by the first opportunity, wind and weather permitting, to put to Sea for the Guard and Defence of this Island, and of all vessels trading to or about the same; and in order thereunto to use your best endeavours to surprise, take, sink, disperse, and destroy all the enemies ships or vessels which shall come within your view, and also for preventing the intended Invasion against this place, you are hereby further[139] authorised and required, in case that you and your Officers in your Judgment find it possible, or feasable to land and attain the said Town of St. Jago de Cuba, or any other place belonging to the Enemies, where you shall be informed that Magazines and Stores for this War are laid up, or where any Rendezvous for their Forces to Imbody are appointed and there to use your best endeavours for the seizing the said Stores, and to take, kill, and disperse the said Forces. And all Officers, Souldiers, and Seamen, who are or shall be belonging to or embarqued upon the said vessels are hereby strictly enjoyned both by Sea and Land, to obey you as their Admiral and Commander in chief in all things as becometh them; and you yourself are to observe and follow all such Orders as you shall from time to time receive from His most excellent Majesty, his Royal Highness, or myself."

This commission was accompanied and amplified by the following precise instructions.

"Instructions for Admiral Henry Morgan, Esq., delivered him the 22d of July, 1670, together with his Commission.

"1. You will with these Instructions receive my Commission which you are enjoyned with all expedition to publish and put in due execution, according to the full extent and import of the same, for the accomplishing whereof, you shall have all the assistance this Island can give you.

"2. You are to make known to me what strength you can possibly make, what your wants may be, that on due calculation of both, we may supply you with all possible speed.

"3. You are to take notice and advise your Fleet and Souldiers that you are on the old pleasing Account of no purchase no pay, and therefore that all which is got shall be divided amongst them according to accustomed Rules.

"4. In case you shall find it prudential, as by your Commission you are directed, to attain St. Jago of Cuba, and God blessing you with victory, you are hereby directed, in case you do it without any considerable hazards, to keep and make good the place and country thereabout, until you have advised me of your success and received my further Orders touching the same, lest your suddenly quitting and their suddenly returning,[140] beget us new work, and put on new charges and hazards for the second defeating.

"5. In order to this you are to proclaim mercy and enjoyment of estates and liberty of customs to all the Spaniards that will submit and give assurance of their Loyalty to His Majesty, and Liberty to all the Slaves that will come in; and to such as by any good service may deserve the same; you are to give notice that their fugitive Masters' Plantations are to be divided amongst them as rewards for the same & make them sufficient Grants in writing, both for their Liberties and Estates, reserving to the Crown of England the fourth part of the produce to be yearly paid for the yearly maintenance of such Forces as shall defend those parts.

"6. In case you find that course to take approveable effect, you are as much as will stand with the same to preserve the Sugarworks and Canes; but if it otherwise appear to you, that in reason you cannot make good the place for any long time, and that the Spaniards and Slaves are deaf to your Proposals, you are then, with all expedition to destroy and burn all Habitations, and leave it as a Wilderness, putting the Men-Slaves to the Sword and making the Women-Slaves Prisoners to be brought hither, and sold for the account of your Fleet and Army, such of the men also that cannot speak Spanish, or any new Negro, you may preserve for the same account; or if any Ships be present to carry them for New England or Virginia, you may send them all on the same account.

"7. You are to enquire what usage our Prisoners have had, and what Quarter hath been given by the Enemy to such of ours as have fallen under their power, and being well informed, you are to give the same, or rather as our custom is to exceed in Civility and Humanity, endeavouring by all means to make all sorts of People sensible of your Moderation and good nature, and your inaptitude and loathing to spill the blood of men.

"8. You have hereby power to execute Marshall Law, according to such military Laws as have been made by me, and the Laws made by Act of Parliament for the government of the Fleet, which I approve of as fitting for the Service; and hereby authorise you to put them in execution against such as shall offend you, having first published the said Laws unto them, that none may pretend ignorance.

"9. If any Ship or Ships shall be present, which have not any Commissions, you are hereby impowered to[141] Grant Commissions to them according to the form I have used, taking security of £1,000 for the performance of the same.

"10. What Ships in this Expedition you shall keep with you under your Command and them order and dispose for the best improvement of this Service, not suffering the takers or pretenders to sell them until they come into their Commission Port.

"11. In regard many things may happen in this Action which cannot be by me foreseen and provided for in these Instructions, therefore all such matters are left to your well known prudence and conduct, referring to you that are in the place to do therein what shall be needful, thus wishing you success and this Island made happy thereby, I remain

"your faithful Friend and Servant

"Thos. Modyford."[203]

These instructions plainly show that the governor had some hope of making a permanent conquest of the desirable port and district of Santiago de Cuba, which were regarded as a standing menace to all the new settlements on the north side of Jamaica and had been taken so easily by Christopher Mings only eight years before. But at the same time there could be no doubt that the ships, which had raided the south shore and threatened Port Royal, had been commissioned by the governor of Cartagena, and Morgan was consequently authorized to attack any place where hostilities were being promoted against Jamaica.

Early in July Modyford had written to Lord Arlington requesting the King's ratification of the proceedings in Council, adding: "It is possible that the Spaniards with their great ships of 40 to 60 guns may be masters of the seas and impede our trade, in which case we must implore the assistance of his Majesty's frigates; but on shore we fear them not, but hope in time to fix the war in their own country, to which your Lordship's advice and favour would greatly encourage."[204]


At the end of the same month he reported that he had not only given a commission as Admiral to Morgan but also commissions to "ten others to be of his fleet, which is already so considerable that he will take the sea in fourteen days, having appointed a rendezvous for divers others."[205]

On August 1 additional instructions were issued to Morgan, possibly at his own request, informing him that "whereas nothing can be of greater prejudice to his Majesty's affairs than the old lawless custom of the captains of privateers going from the fleet when they pleased", he was empowered, on sufficient evidence of such an intention produced before a court-martial, to deprive the offenders of their commissions and confer them on other persons whom he could trust, and in case any of those, who had so deserted him, should come within his power, he was instructed to send them as prisoners to Jamaica. He was commanded to prevent private soldiers or seamen from leaving his fleet or to "run from one ship to another" without permission in writing "under his hand." Authority was given him to appoint lieutenants to the captain of every ship "for the better keeping of the souldiers and seamen to their obedience", and he was required to give the governor "due advice of your motions, success, or losses, that he may send further instructions and assistance."[206]

A few days later the Satisfaction returned from a lengthy cruise, having, as Surgeon Browne wrote, been eighteen months at sea "with a dull and sluggish commander", during which little news had been received from Jamaica and few Spanish ships had been sighted. She had cruised most of the time in the Bay of Campeachy, taking nothing but some provisions, as the Spanish vessels sailed together in fleets and no single ships had been encountered. At length, quite tired of being at sea so long "without purchase", the captain went to the Cayman islands, where he received an order from Modyford to return to Jamaica at once.[143]

Port Royal was then the scene of the greatest bustle and activity. Many ships were anchored in the harbour, where Admiral Morgan was equipping a fleet "with 1,500 men for some notable design on land", to which Browne stated he had been appointed as Surgeon-General. He had seen a letter from the governor of Bermuda stating that the Spaniards had lately taken a ship belonging to that island, and treated her crew so roughly that two or three hundred men from there were ready to assist the people of Jamaica in any enterprise against them. The French at Tortuga and Hispaniola had offered to join the expedition with five or six hundred buccaneers and seamen. The population of Jamaica, he said, had been much increased lately by settlers from Barbados, and many more were expected to arrive very soon. The island had a great commerce in every direction. Twenty or thirty ships were lying in the spacious harbour. It was the best settled and best governed island in the West Indies.

"Fifteen or twenty sail of third, fourth, or even fifth rate frigates", Browne cheerfully assured the Under Secretary of State, could "overrun the whole Indies in a very short time and add a splendid jewel to his sacred Majesty's crown." But while Morgan's fleet was absent the colony would be in great peril, and it was earnestly wished that the King would send some of his ships of war to protect the merchants and planters from "the insolencies of the Spaniards".[207]

Not being quite satisfied with his recent letters to Lord Arlington, whom he may reasonably have suspected of sympathizing with Spain, Modyford tried to strengthen his position by an appeal to Lord Ashley, another member of the famous "Cabal" cabinet.

"Knowing the great respect your Lordship hath always borne to righteous causes," he wrote, "and your great integrity in defending them, in this, my own great undertaking, I implore your countenance and assistance. My son will present papers in which are many reasons for the present justice of our arms against the Spaniard;[144] yet because it may be looked on as a fond rash action for a petty governor without money to make war with the richest, and not long since the powerfullest prince of Europe, I have thought it reasonable to give your Lordship a short and true view of our affairs here. The Spanish possessions are very large, but the possessors are very few, and much the major part Indians, negroes, and other slaves, to whom it is indifferent who is their master; for example, Cuba is in length 600 miles, and not above six towns on it, and those so far distant from each other that they cannot be any relief to themselves; the country abounds with cattle, hogs, &c., and by this means our private men-of-war careen, refit, and victual, without more charge than a gang of hunters and dogs, and expect no other pay than what they get from the enemy. These are men, who make about 1,500, and never will be planters. I have employed them to keep the war in their own country, and judge you, my Lord, in this exigent, what course could be more frugal, more prudential, more hopeful—the men volunteers, the ships, arms, ammunition their own, their victuals and pay the enemy's and such enemies as they have always beaten. The enemy, as appears by the Queen's schedula, have been providing for this war since April, 1669, and probably longer; their rendezvous is appointed, and their ships have come upon our coast with fire and sword, challenging us out to them; so that should we have delayed for orders from his Majesty, which must have been six months at least, that nation would, if possible, be heightened above its native pride and ours perhaps as much cowed, all their designs perfected, and the gross of their intended forces embodied; whereas by this more speedy course we shall in all probability quell their pride and so amuse them in their own quarters as that they shall never be able very considerably to join against us. I have reason to hope that the war, thus unreasonably begun by them, will so heighten the reputation of his Majesty's forces here that there will be a good foundation laid for a great increase of his Majesty's dominions in these parts; yet I far more dread the censure of my friends and countrymen on this occasion than the sword of the enemy, such has been my hard fortune formerly on like occasions to have been misrepresented".[208]


He urgently requested Lord Ashley's mediation to obtain the King's approval of his conduct, which he reasonably considered was fully in accord with the royal instructions.

A private letter from Port Royal, written a day before the fateful meeting of the Council, which ultimately came to the office of the Secretary of State, related that the Spanish ships cruising to leeward had taken a ketch commanded by one Watson, a Quaker, and also a barque belonging to that town, which was virtually blockaded by them. The writer added: "We talk of nothing here but burning St. Jago de Cuba, being the first place that granted commissions against us."[209]

Meanwhile, the indignant complaints and remonstrances of the Spanish ambassador had taken effect, and induced Lord Arlington to submit a memorandum to the King recommending that a letter should be sent to the governor of Jamaica commanding that "he absolutely abstain and take strict care that no descent be made by any ships or forces belonging to his Majesty or his subjects, or by any authority derived from his Majesty upon any lands or places possessed by the Spaniards to invade or plunder any of them, and that he discourage by all persuasions he can any other nation from the like attempts. This is all his Majesty thinks expedient to command at present, but because he will be willing in time to settle a perfectly good correspondence with the Spaniards in the Indies, whereunto not only the interest of his Majesty's plantations abroad, but of his commerce in Europe may oblige him, his Majesty expects the Governor to send his advice by what method the depredations acted also upon the Spaniards may be most easily and speedily suppressed, and what encouragement may be given to those who hitherto have lived by that trade, so as they may be retained under his Majesty's obedience, and their labour converted to his interest and honour".[210]

In the letter actually written to Modyford these in[146]structions were considerably modified. In the interval three letters from him had been received, dated between January 20 and March 20, 1670, describing the vexatious aggressions of the Spanish cruisers and making some kind of an absurd proposal that English privateers might be employed by the Spaniards. This Arlington curtly dismissed as impracticable, as "if their jealousy be such as not to admit merchants trading with never so much advantage to them and their ports, it is hard to believe they will admit a body of soldiers made so by preying upon them, or afford them any tolerable good usage."[211]

Ever since Sir William Godolphin had been sent to Spain as English ambassador in succession to the Earl of Sandwich negotiations had been continued for an amendment of the late treaty. It had been "daily expected", Arlington informed Modyford, "he would be able to bring that Court to some articles that might make them live like good neighbours in the West Indies, they affording us a safe retreat in their ports, and wood, water, and refreshments for money, forbearing to ask freedom of trade, which neither we in our Leeward plantations, nor they in any part of America, according to their ancient constitutions, can admit of; this they could hardly agree to, such have been their resentments for what the privateers have done, and such their demands for reparation. His Majesty's pleasure is that in what state soever the privateers are at the receipt of this letter, you keep them so, till we have a final answer from Spain, with condition only that you oblige them to forbear all hostilities at Land. Further, his Majesty expects your best advice how in case of agreement with Spain, he might best dispose of this very valuable body of privateers, and whether it be not practicable to oblige them to betake themselves to planting, merchandising, or service in his Majesty's men-of-war."

His letter ended with the chilling remark that "the Spanish men-of-war attacking Captain Bernard and others in the Bay of Campeachy is not at all to be wondered at after such hostilities as your men have acted[147] upon their territories, and, because this way of warring is neither honourable nor profitable to his Majesty, he is endeavouring to put an end to it, and you shall be timely advertised of the progress of the negotiations."[212]

Modyford received this communication on August 18. Morgan had then engaged and fitted out eleven ships of various dimensions, on which were embarked six hundred men, many of them wearing the red coats worn by the famous New Model Army of the Commonwealth of England, "for the terrible name thereof", as contemporary writers relate. Having hoisted his ensign as admiral of the fleet at the masthead of the Satisfaction, the largest and best armed vessel, he had sailed out of Port Royal the day before and anchored in lee of the "cays" a few miles outside, to wait for a favouring wind. For several weeks past swift-sailing sloops and schooners had been speeding on their way with messages to invite the privateers from the Caymans, the "South Cays" of Cuba, Tortuga, the many isles of the Bahamas, and even the far distant Bermudas, to join his flag at the appointed rendezvous, the well-known Isle à la Vache or isle of "Ash", and these messengers could not then be recalled. Much had been done that could scarcely be undone. Already too, a small squadron of privateers had sailed toward the Spanish mainland to encourage the operations of the insurgent Indians in the vicinity of Mompos on the Magdalena river.

Modyford replied to Arlington's letter a week after its receipt, and rather strangely assured the Minister that he had received it "with much comfort and satisfaction as although therein absolved of but one of the many imprudencies laid to his charge, he hoped that all the others would be buried in oblivion." The King's instructions, he said, had "infinitely revived his despairing heart." He had sent for the Admiral at once and made them known to him, "strictly charging him to observe the same, and behave with all moderation possible in carrying on this war. He had replied that he would observe these orders as far as possible, but necessity would compel him to land in the Spaniards' country for wood, water, and provisions, or[148] desert the service, and that unless he were assured of the enemy's embodying or laying up stores in their towns for the destruction of this island he would not attempt any of them; which (added he) could his Majesty have been acquainted with, he would (as all believe) have had injunction to spare such a place."

Modyford seemed satisfied with this declaration, and Morgan's fleet sailed on August 14 for Bluefields bay near the west end of Jamaica on his way to the rendezvous, where it was confidently expected to be "in a better posture than ever any fleet that went out of this island, these rugged fellows having submitted to a stricter discipline than they could ever yet be brought to."

Yet in conclusion the governor thought it expedient to justify his conduct at considerable length.

Inside the Castle at Chagres        See p. 171

The Burning of Panama        See p. 189

"That the Spaniards will ever, unless necessity compels them, allow trade in these parts, your Lordship has been often advised, neither did I ever think that they would employ the English privateers, unless the French or Dutch should endeavour to oppress them; but I believe, in view of the Queen of Spain's schedula, they had hopes of French assistance against the English. But that will prove vain, for the French, partly because the Governor [of Tortuga] denied commissions against the Spaniard, but principally because he has joined with the Royal Company of France to impose some unusual duties on them, they have rebelled and driven him from the shore, seized his estate, and done him all the injuries they could. Both parties have applied to me for assistance, but I have been equally civil to each and promised nothing, only I have advised Admiral Morgan to assure the Protestant party of a good welcome here if they came to plant. Had that reputed most wise Council of Spain suspended their resentment but two years longer, most of our privateers had betaken themselves to another way of living, for their rigging, sails, and ships were almost worn out, and their owners disheartened for want of commissions, so that the better sort daily came on shore to settle, and the seamen who will never settle, began to dispose themselves on merchant voyages, and would serve much more willingly on his Majesty's ships were they in these seas, two or three of which will be needed if the peace proceed, to secure this island against those rovers, who will [149] always be found in these parts by reason of the great conveniences they have in the Spaniards' unpeopled countries, so that in one year longer they would have been considerably reduced had not these unexpected provocations enforced his Majesty's authority here to provide for the security of this island by their best expedient. That by the same means when the peace is concluded, which I can but faintly hope for, namely, denying them commissions only, these men may be in some reasonable time diverted from that course which has hitherto been their sole support, is my humble advice; other more violent ways will make them in despair or revenge join with foreign nations, or set up for themselves, which course had I followed they would now be enemies or at least not friends, and I should have dearly repented the want of that assistance, security, and reputation we now gain by them. Could the Council of Spain be well informed of their want of men to defend their large possessions in these parts, they would conclude themselves incapable of destroying Jamaica and make peace; but they are borne up by false measures of their strength and have plunged themselves into this war, and so slight the application of Sir Wm. Godolphin; but a little more suffering will inform them of their condition and force them to capitulations more suitable to the sociableness of man's nature. . . . I have charged the Admiral to send me an account of his strength, and from time to time of his motions and intentions, which shall be remitted to your Lordship by the first occasion."[213]




After taking in wood, water, and some provisions at Bluefields, Morgan sailed around the west end of Jamaica, probably in search of Pardal, who had lately challenged him so boldly but was then reported to be "afraid of the very shadow of a ship." He then stood across to the southern coast of Cuba, where he left one of his ships to cruise among the many cays, with instructions to take prisoners and obtain intelligence. With the remainder of his fleet he bore away eastward, reconnoitring Santiago and raising an alarm on his way to his appointed rendezvous, where he expected to assemble thirty ships and possibly fifteen hundred seamen and landsmen, English and French. While waiting for the arrival of those still expected from a distance, large parties were employed in hunting wild cattle and hogs in the neighbouring savannas and woods of Hispaniola to provide a sufficient supply of salted meat for a long expedition. "To Cartagena [is] the word", said a contemporary letter-writer. His ships had been scattered in a gale and three of them failed to rejoin the others until September 2. He then learned that the "Momposse fleet" had met with misfortune. The party landed from it to communicate with the Indians had fallen into an ambush, lost several men, and had been forced to retreat to their ships without success.[214]

The "Isle of Ash", as it was called by the English seamen, was an ideal place for careening and refitting ships in the primitive methods of the time, as well as for restoring the health of the men after the unbridled dissipation of Port Royal, and forming stores of provision[151] in secrecy. It was eleven miles in length by about three in average breadth, well wooded and supplied with springs of fresh water. The lagoon between it and the mainland, five miles in width, was well sheltered from every wind in rough weather. The channels leading into it were narrow and difficult to follow. Here the smaller ships could cruise about without the use of sails and observe the sea without being seen, always had the advantage of the wind over any vessels attempting to beat to windward, and could pounce upon them suddenly. Cacao, sugar cane, cotton, and tobacco grew in luxuriance. The climate was healthful and pleasant. Fish and turtle were easily taken in quantities. The island was described as a most desirable place for the establishment of an English colony.[215]

On September 6, having then remained there for several days without receiving any reliable information of the intentions or movements of the Spaniards, the Vice-Admiral, Captain Edward Collier, was sent with six ships and 350 men "to go for the course of the Main to get Prisoners for Intelligence for the better Stearing our Course and the managing our design for the most of his Majesties Honour and Service and the safety of Jamaica", Morgan reported.[216]

About the middle of that month, three "good ships and a catch" arrived at Port Royal, and were sent off at once to join the fleet. One of these was the Mayflower, commanded by Captain Joseph Bradley, who had accompanied Mansfield in his unsuccessful expedition against Cartago and the subsequent capture of Santa Catalina. Bradley brought with him the ketch of the Quaker Watson, which he had retaken from a Spanish privateer With six of her original crew, and had chased her captor within gunshot of the Morro castle, but he had escaped into the port of Havana, carrying off as prisoners the[152] unfortunate Watson and two "Quaker preaching women."[217]

The Dolphin, commanded by his former comrade, Captain John Morris, which had been left by Morgan on the south coast of Cuba to obtain intelligence, did not rejoin his fleet until the end of September, but then brought in a prize of considerable importance, which caused great rejoicing. Having been driven by foul weather into a bay near the east end of that island, Morris unexpectedly encountered Pardal, "the vapouring admiral of St. Jago", in his frigate armed with fourteen guns and "double-manned, having taken on board eighty musketeers and good stores of ammunition, grenadoes, and stink-pots", with the intention of attacking another small English privateer, which had come into that bay to careen, but had gone away. At the first broadside from the Dolphin, which carried only ten guns with a crew of sixty men, the Spaniards were seized with a panic and ran from their quarters. While trying to rally them Pardal was fatally wounded. Many of his men then leaped overboard and "about forty came short home", or in other words were drowned or killed. Five only were made prisoners. In the prize were found three original commissions or letters-of-marque, two of which were sent at once to Modyford. By him they were transmitted to London for the information of Lord Arlington, with the remark "whereby your Lordship will find him a person of great value amongst them and empowered to carry the royal standard in the maintop; also the original canvas challenge, which was nailed to a tree near the west point of this island, whereby a guess of the man's vanity."[218]

Morgan had prudently planned to avoid the perils of navigating the Caribbean sea in the dangerous hurricane season by keeping his fleet in a well sheltered roadstead, but this expedient was not altogether successful, as on the 7th of October, when usually the time for those[153] storms was "all over",[219] his ships, still only eleven in number, were mauled by so fierce a gale that all of them with the single exception of the Satisfaction, were driven ashore and much damaged. All but three were soon got afloat and by great exertions again refitted. Morgan, however, wrote in much anxiety to the governor stating that he had more men than he had ship room for. Several merchant ships lying idle in Port Royal were persuaded to join him. The confidence of the privateers in general was soon raised to its height by the news that three ships of the "Mompos" squadron had retrieved their reputation by sending two hundred men up the river of Nicaragua, who had taken the city of Granada with little loss and brought off plunder amounting to thirty or forty pounds sterling for each man. Modyford described this notable exploit in a letter to Lord Arlington with undisguised delight.

"Six days since," he wrote, "arrived in port three privateers, Prince, Lubborough, [or Ludbury], and Harrison with 200 men, who went up the river of Nicaragua and attempted the fort, lately built to stop the incursions of the French, in which were 37 men; the enemy killed 16 and wounded 18, but yielded on quarter for life only. This done, the Castellano told them he had sent advice of their coming four days before to Granada, whereupon Prince double-manned the swiftest canoe, which in three days' rowing overtook the advice. Leaving 20 men in the fort, they entered the town undiscovered, being but 120 men, and having by their usual wiles got the best of the town prisoners, plundered till noon, which they say yielded but 7 lbs. of silver and £12 in money per head, which is nothing to what they had five years since, but the town is much decayed, and the principal men gone to Guatamala, as being more secure. I reproved the captains for daring to do this without permission, but not deeming it prudent to press the matter too far at this juncture, commanded them to attend the Admiral, which they were very ready to do, and will be gone in five days. One of these captains offered to make oath that he took a prisoner who told him that in September came advice from Old Spain, wherein the Governor was commanded to prosecute the war against this island, and much blamed for[154] having done nothing all this time. The like letters were despatched to all the other Governors, by which your Lordship may have some aim at the violence of their intentions and the little force they have to execute them. Three days since came in a sloop from Campeachy with seven men, laden with logwood, the master told me he was chased by a frigate of 22 guns, and being forced to run into shoal water, the captain of the man-of-war in his longboat with 14 men attacked the sloop, but they killed him five men, and took himself and the rest at mercy; for the captain they got a good composition in linen and silks from the man-of-war, and dismissed him and the survivors. There are about a dozen vessels that ply only this trade, and make great profit in selling the wood at £25 or £30 per ton; they were privateers, but will not leave the trade again. They go to places either inhabited by Indians or void, and trespass not at all upon the Spaniard, and, if encouraged, the whole logwood trade will be English, and be very considerable to his Majesty, paying £5 per ton custom. I humbly offer that the governor of this place have instructions to permit vessels to go to such places to fetch thence logwood, cattle, deer, and other commodities. I am persuaded that above two-thirds of the privateers will betake themselves to this trade when there is peace with Spain, and these soldierly men will be kept within peaceable bounds, and be always ready to serve his Majesty on any new rupture. The places they now trade at are Cape Gracia Dios, Darien, Mosquito, and many deserted places in Campeachy, Cuba, and Hispaniola. I have formerly troubled the Lord General's despatch with these things but never had any answer. I beseech your Lordship seriously to consider this point, and believe that these sucking colonies must have some help besides the goodness of the soil."[220]

Yet he had been seriously disturbed by a persistent rumour that "Jamaica was to be sold to the Spaniard, or at least there was a working to that purpose", which perhaps had some foundation in the negotiations then in progress.[221]

Late in October Morgan was joined at his anchorage by[155] three French ships with about two hundred men, and he began negotiations with four hundred more belonging to the rebel faction at Tortuga, most of whom proposed to remove to Jamaica after his campaign ended, and some sent down their slaves with that intention. He reported that he then had 1,100 men, but that he did not expect to sail from his rendezvous before the end of November. A report had reached him that Prince Rupert was under orders to sail from England for the West Indies with twenty-five ships and five thousand men, "either to force a trade, or to prosecute the war, which the Spaniards have so insolently begun."

Writing from Morgan's flagship on this subject Surgeon-General Browne aptly remarked: "No doubt this noble fleet would in a short time overrun and conquer all these Indies, but without Admiral Morgan and his old privateers, things cannot be as successful as expected; for they know every creek, and the Spaniards' mode of fighting, and be a town ever so well fortified, and the numbers never so unequal, if money or good plunder be in the case, they will either win it manfully or die courageously. . . . Admiral Morgan has been in the Indies 11 or 12 years, and from a private gentleman by his valour has raised himself to what he now is, and no one can give so clear an account of the Spanish force."[222]

Modyford sent the privateers, who had taken Granada, with five other ships and at least four hundred men to join Morgan, by whom he believed his force would be increased to not less than 2,100 "well seasoned and experienced men".[223]

When this considerable reinforcement arrived at Isle à la Vache about the middle of November, Morgan thought he had a sufficient force to attempt the capture of Santiago de Cuba in accordance with his original instructions. The prisoners taken in Pardal's ship were closely questioned and further information was obtained from several Englishmen who had escaped lately from captivity. The information obtained from them did not[156] favour an attack. Captain Richard Powell, in particular, "who had not been above 20 daies from St. Jago, declared that the time of the year being Winter, and [there] being but one landing-place, and that strongly fortified, it was impossible for us to attempt that Place without hazard of the whole Party, and the certain loss of most, if not all our vessels, by foul weather; all the knowing Prisoners examined affirming the same, upon which we abandoned that Design."[224] Morgan might have added that the prospect of prize-money had not been sufficiently alluring.

On November 20, Collier's small squadron returned from the Spanish Main, having taken and kept possession for a month of the towns of Rio de la Hacha and La Rancheria on the coast of a very fertile province of the Tierra Firma, northeastward from Cartagena, from which a ransom of four thousand bushels of Indian corn besides quantities of other provisions had been extorted. A ship loaded with grain had been taken, and lastly, to their extreme satisfaction, they had captured the Galerdeene or Gallardena, the privateer from Cartagena that had been engaged with Pardal in ravaging the southern coast of Jamaica, with her entire crew of thirty-eight persons.

This gave the admiral the much desired opportunity of gaining important first-hand intelligence. The prisoners were closely interrogated separately and the depositions made by two of "the sensiblest of them" were taken down in writing.

Marcus de Cuba, the master pilot of the Galerdeene, stated under oath:

"That he did see the People of Cartagena Listed and all in arms offensive against the English. And farther saith that several Spanish ships have had and now have Commissions from the President of Panama, named Don Juan Perez de Guzman, and that they have taken several Englishmen, and that the Spaniards have by the said President great incouragement against the Island of Jamaica, and the more by reason of a Fleet fitted out of[157] old Spain for these parts under the Command and Conduct of one Don Alonso."

The deposition made by Lucas Perez, a seaman, declared:

"That he did see the People at Cartagena, some of them in Arms, others Listing themselves; and two ships ready fitted against Jamaica, one with 18 and the other 12 guns; and also that the President of Panama hath granted several Commissions against the English, by vertue of which several English ships have been taken."

These statements, combined with other reports, gave Morgan the information he most wanted, and were considered under his commission to justify an immediate attack upon Cartagena or Panama. At first he seems to have favoured an attempt upon Cartagena as the nearest and most accessible objective.

Accordingly on December 2, he invited the commanders of all the ships, thirty-seven in number, to meet on board his flagship, and asked their advice as to "what place it was fittest to attain for His Majesties Honour and the preservation of Jamaica and to put the greatest curb on the Insolencies of the Enemy." After some inconclusive discussion the question was referred to a committee, composed of Vice-Admiral Edward Collier, Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Bradley, and fourteen of the most experienced captains, among whom were included the three who had lately taken Granada, Robert Delander, John Morris, Richard Norman, Thomas Rogers, Charles Swan, and two Frenchmen. They reported unanimously that "it stands most for the good of Jamaica and the safety of us all to take Panama, the President thereof having granted several Commissions against the English, to the great annoyance of Jamaica and our merchantmen." No mention was made of the prospect of making a sufficient "purchase" to reward their efforts, which must have figured largely in their debate.

A second general meeting was then held, almost at once, to consider the best means of conducting the expedition and for obtaining the necessary guides and information, at which "it was voted that Providence, being[158] the King's antient property and the People there being sent from Panama, no place could be more fit."[225]

On November 23 Morgan had sent off a message to inform the governor of Collier's return and the result of his cruise. On December 3 he sent another announcing that he was "under sail with thirty-six ships and 1,800 men, of whom two or three hundred were French", to make discoveries of the enemy, having been informed by prisoners that "about Cartagena, Puerto Bello, and Panama, soldiers were being listed against the Galleons came, to be transported against this island; but that if want of provisions or the just ends of his commission invited him on shore, he would instantly despatch the Betty sloop to advise of it." No mention was made of the resolutions of the council held the day before. A statement of the strength of his fleet in detail was enclosed.[226] This account showed that it was composed of twenty-eight English ships, with an aggregate tonnage of 1,120 tons, armed with 180 guns and carrying 1,320 men. His flagship, the Satisfaction, was much the largest and best equipped, measuring 120 tons and having twenty-two guns and a crew of 140. The Prosperous, a sloop of ten tons, having no guns and a crew of only sixteen men, who must have had little enough room, was the smallest. He had besides these one ship of eighty tons, two ships of seventy, three of sixty, six of fifty, three of forty, one ship of thirty, two ships of twenty-five, one ship of twenty, one of eighteen, one of fifteen, and two ships of twelve tons. Under his command, also, he had eight other ships manned by French seamen and commanded by French officers, to whom he had issued commissions. One of these officers had been put in command of the prize-ship, the Gallardena. The largest French ship was the St. Catharine of 100 tons, fourteen guns, and 110 men. The smallest was Le Cerf, a sloop of twenty-five tons, two guns and forty men. In all they measured 465 tons and car[159]ried fifty-nine guns and 530 men.[227] Morgan had succeeded beyond all expectation in assembling, equipping, manning, and provisioning the most formidable fleet of privateers that had ever acted under one commander in the Caribbean.

His recent letters plainly caused the governor much anxiety and searching of heart. He had lately received private information from England, probably in letters from his son, announcing that Sir William Godolphin had at last succeeded in concluding a new treaty with Spain, on such favourable terms that it was likely to be ratified.

"I had despatched to the Admiral before the first of these expresses arrived", he wrote in much perturbation to Lord Arlington, "a copy of the articles of peace with Spain, intimating that though I had them from private hands and no orders to call him in, yet I thought fit to let him see them, and to advise him to mind your Lordship's letter of the 10th of June and to do nothing that might prevent the accomplishment of his Majesties peaceable intentions; but the vessel returned with my letters, having missed him at his old rendezvous; however, I have returned her to the Main with strict instructions to find the Admiral out. Your Lordship cannot but be sensible how necessary a guard these men are to this infant island, who on notice of Jamaica's danger in less than four months ran together so considerable a body of men and ships. All the privateers of this port are now with the Admiral, except the logwood men, who are grown to the number of 20 small vessels, and are like daily to increase, and will be a good reserve on all accidents. The differences amongst our French neighbours still increase, which I hope to improve for his Majesties service, having had repeated applications from both parties."[228]

On September 20, shortly before the conclusion of the treaty with Spain had become known in London, Charles Modyford had presented a petition to the King in behalf of the governor, planters, and traders of Jamaica, reciting the exertions made by his father to preserve peace with the Spaniards until he felt obliged to proclaim war[160] against them, "whereupon all the privateers came in", and praying for precise instructions, as the governor, it said, must necessarily persist in his present course until the King ordered the contrary, in which case, he requested that Sir William Godolphin should be instructed to have a special article added to the treaty, whereby the King of Spain should acknowledge that Jamaica belonged to the King of England, "for if the privateers are ordered to be reduced and that omitted, it will discourage all persons to trade or plant there, since the Spaniards have raised and do at present raise men to attempt the Island."[229]

This petition was accompanied by a memorandum stating several reasons "why privateers should not be wholly discontinued in the West Indies, it being of great concernment and at present the security of the island of Jamaica."

"1. By the frequent intelligence which by means of privateering it hath of the King of Spain's fleet and of designs against the island, which if wanting, the islanders may grow secure and being set upon unawares, be easily overcome, for hunting upon which the privateers greatly depend, would be laid aside upon the north of Jamaica, where the Spaniards might easily land, fortify, and become impregnable, and the English lying in the midst of the King of Spain's dominions are so great an eyesore to them that they would be glad on any terms to get rid of such a neighbour.

"2. What is gotten by the privateers is brought into Jamaica and assists the planters and encourages the merchants to come there.

"3. It will appear but reasonable to have privateers, when it shall be considered how inhumanly treacherous and cruelly the Spaniards use the English there that fall into their hands, making them work like slaves, and forcing their shipping and goods from them, as will appear by the oaths of Roger Baker, commander of the Leghorn Merchant, Major Samuel Smith, late governor of Providence, Henry Wasey, commander of the Concord, and Francis Steward, herewith delivered.

"4. Privateering 'tis feared cannot now well be re[161]duced without great charge to his Majesty and much prejudice to the island; for Sir Thomas Modyford used his utmost endeavour to reduce them, but they went to Tortugas to the French, turned pirates, took English as well as Spaniards, who reaped no benefit, and the island lost above 1,000 men and 8 or 9 ships; so that it was much feared that had not his Majesty's letter to the Governor given timely encouragement to countenance them, the island might in the time of the late war have been lost by their joining with the French.

"5. If there should be no men-of-war in the Indies, the Spaniards would undoubtedly attempt Jamaica, or at least take every ship sent from Jamaica to England."[230]

Negotiations with Spain had in fact been conducted for years without any satisfactory result. The Earl of Sandwich had been appointed Envoy Extraordinary to Madrid in 1666, with particular instructions to keep the restitution of Jamaica and Tangier outside the discussion but to urge most strongly a mutual agreement for free trade in the West Indies. The Spanish prime minister on his part boldly demanded the restoration of Jamaica, and his secretary often complained bitterly of the depredations of the English privateers fitted out at that island. Finally a compromise was arranged and a treaty of amity and commerce had been signed on the 13th May, 1667, by which it was proposed to establish a durable peace between the nations, and a provision was made in it for the withdrawal of all letters-of-marque and reprisal by both. This treaty was ratified and promulgated at Madrid on the 30th November, 1667. But on the 7th July, 1668, the Spanish government angrily made fresh complaints against the governor of Jamaica for encouraging "piracy, very grievous and barbarous, such as is not heard of among Christian Nations", referring in particular to the capture of Puerto Principe and Puerto Bello. Sandwich blithely promised redress after he returned to England, and was given a copy of a letter to the governor of the Phillipine islands instructing him to permit the ships of the East India Company to obtain[162] provisions and water in the ports under his authority. This was considered an important concession. Sandwich attended a meeting of the Privy Council on the 15th of January, 1669, when the terms of the treaty were discussed. Statements were read which proved that the Jamaican privateers had been very active in their attacks upon Spanish commerce and colonies, and had been encouraged by the governor, who was "armed with power to grant commissions to private men-of-warr." It was even alleged that some part of the spoil had been sent to his patrons in England, "whereof the Duke of Albemarle is said to be the chiefest."

While Sandwich had been negotiating in Madrid, "this sweete trade of privateering" had flourished greatly, and neither the Lord High Admiral nor the Lord General had given much attention to his remonstrances. Sandwich in fact asserted that the treaty was intended to be universal in its application and that "by his own choice and dexterity" he had induced the court of Spain to acknowledge the sovereignty of the King of England over the island of Jamaica, in which he was entirely mistaken. Some members of the Privy Council argued that the depredations and reprisals of which the subjects of both nations had been equally guilty for years were not sufficient cause for war, and that since "the spacious days of Queen Elizabeth" English seamen had regarded the West Indies and the Spanish Main as a fair field for private adventure, on the principle "that where no commerce is, there is war." The decision was finally made that Sir William Godolphin, who had been secretary to Sandwich, should succeed him as ambassador, and be instructed to negotiate a definitive treaty for the termination of all hostilities and the adjustment of all disputes between the English and Spaniards in the West Indies. The recent remarkable success of Morgan in taking Puerto Bello, Maracaybo, and Gibraltar and his decisive defeat of Espinosa's squadron were evidently considerable factors in disposing the Spanish minister to assent to concessions, which had hitherto been obstinately rejected. An agreement, significantly called "the treaty of America", had been signed at Madrid on the 18th of[163] July, 1670, in which particular articles were embodied to establish and preserve peace in the West Indies.

"II. There shall be an universal peace and sincere friendship as well in America, as in other parts, between the Kings of Great Britain and Spain, their heirs and successors, their kingdoms, plantations, &c.

"III. All hostilities, depredations, &c., shall cease between the subjects of the said Kings.

"IV. The two Kings shall take care that their subjects forbear all acts of hostility, and shall call in all commissions, letters-of-marque and reprisal, and punish all offenders, obliging them to make reparation.

"VII. All past injuries, on both sides, shall be buried in oblivion.

"VIII. The King of Great Britain shall hold and enjoy all lands, countries, &c., he is now possessed of in America.

"IX. The subjects on either side shall forbear trading or sailing to any places whatsoever under the dominion of the other without particular licence.

"XIV. Particular offences shall be repaired in the common course of justice, and no reprisals made unless justice be denied, or unreasonably retarded."[231]

The terms of this treaty seemed so satisfactory that they were ratified in London without hesitation or delay. Months must necessarily elapse before it could be proclaimed and brought into effect in the West Indies, and in the interval the situation became further complicated.

On December 6 Morgan moved westward with his whole fleet to Cape Tiburon, where he remained two days taking in supplies. His hunting parties had been unusually successful, and had prepared a great quantity of boucan, or dried meat. The force at his disposal was much larger and more varied in character than any he had commanded before. Leslie probably did not exaggerate his reputation when he wrote that: "The name of Morgan was now famous at home and terrible abroad. He himself promised greater things than he had yet attempted; and nothing was thought impossible for such Courage to perform."[164]

Besides the entire body of Jamaican privateers, adventurers from all parts of the West Indies had come eagerly to serve under him during the three months he had remained at his appointed rendezvous. Some had come from the Bahamas and even from Bermuda. He had been joined by many genuine French boucaniers from Tortuga and Hispaniola, who had rebelled against d'Ogeron on account of his zealous efforts to sustain the monopoly of trade granted to the "Compagnie des Indies". For the greater part of the year these men were hunters who varied that occupation by taking part in an occasional expedition as privateers or a voyage as seamen to another island or to Europe.

A considerable band of these men who had marched quite across the island of Hispaniola, enduring great fatigue and privation on the way, joined the fleet at Cape Tiburon. A few mulattoes, negroes, and Indians were engaged as fishermen, guides, and pilots.

Under the authority of the ninth article of his instructions, Morgan issued commissions to some of his subordinates, who had received none from the governor, granting them naval rank for service at sea, and equivalent or superior military rank when employed on land. John Peake, afterwards speaker of the Jamaican House of Assembly, acting as his secretary, kept a diary of events, and most of the letters and reports addressed by Morgan to the governor and signed by him were written by Peake.

Before sailing again the captains and other officers were assembled and required to sign formal articles of agreement respecting the division of prize-money. Under the Rules of the Admiralty the King was entitled to one fifteenth and his brother, the Duke of York, as Lord High Admiral, to one tenth of all captures. The agreement then made stipulated that the Admiral should receive one per cent. Each shipmaster was to receive eight shares for the use of his ship, besides his individual share. The surgeon was allowed two hundred pieces of eight for his medicine chest. Each carpenter was to receive one hundred pieces of eight for the use of his chest of tools. Recompenses for wounds or injuries,[165] and rewards for good conduct and bravery, were settled on a much higher scale than on former expeditions. Compensation for the loss of both arms was fixed at eighteen slaves or eighteen hundred pieces of eight. The loss of both legs was to be compensated by the award of fifteen slaves or fifteen hundred pieces of eight, at the option of the injured person. For the loss of one arm or hand or one leg, six hundred pieces of eight or six slaves were to be paid, and for the loss of an eye one hundred pieces of eight or one slave. A reward of fifty pieces of eight was promised to anyone who should be first to enter any castle, fort, or battery held by the enemy, or haul down a Spanish flag and raise the English colours in its place. The crew of any vessel, who attacked and took a Spanish ship without assistance, was to be entitled to a tenth of its value as a special reward. The preamble to this document provided that all these extraordinary salaries, recompenses, or rewards should be paid out of the first prize or "purchase" taken by the fleet "according as everyone should then occur to be either rewarded or paid."[232]

Having taken on board a good supply of oranges and other fresh fruit as a precaution against scurvy, and made sure that the hulls of all his ships had been newly scraped and tallowed to ensure a rapid voyage, Morgan sailed from Cape Tiburon, and the trade wind bore his fleet swiftly on its southwesterly course across the Caribbean past Jamaica. Providence was sighted on the sixth day, December 14.

Bradley and some other veterans were familiar with the difficulties and perils of the channels, which had few terrors for them. Two small ships were left to watch the entrance to the lesser port and prevent the escape of anyone to the mainland in the night. All the other vessels were carefully piloted through the narrow, winding passage and came safely to anchor in Agua Grande, the great harbour.

Providence had been well fortified by the Spaniards, but was weakly garrisoned. Their colony had a population of four hundred and fifty persons, but only ninety[166] of them were soldiers and many were slaves.[233] A canal had been cut by them through the narrow neck of land connecting the island with a peninsula at its northern extremity, forming a deep moat, which had been widened by the action of the waves. This smaller island had been converted into a citadel by the construction of ten redoubts or batteries at its most accessible points. Fort San Geronimo, a walled redoubt, armed with eight guns, commanded the entrance to a smaller harbour between the two islands. Near it was the battery of San Mateo, formed of gabions filled with earth, and mounting three guns. The principal fortification or strong point, called the castle of Santa Teresa, was built on a peak of rock near the centre of this island, which was less than five miles in circumference. It dominated all neighbouring ground and was composed of four massive stone bastions, armed with twenty guns, and surrounded by a deep dry ditch, over which the only approach was by a drawbridge. The other redoubts, defending all practicable landing places, were La Concepcion, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, San Salvador, and Los Canoneros, each armed with two guns; San Augustin and Santa Cruz, each mounting three guns, and San Juan having six guns and a stone parapet.[234] These extensive works naturally required a much larger garrison for their successful defence.

In the afternoon nearly a thousand men were landed in Manchineal bay, and the Spaniards abandoned a four-gun battery on the main island. Morgan took command of this force and advanced in pursuit. Some Englishmen, who had been in Major Smith's garrison and had been liberated from the dungeons of Puerto Bello, acted as guides in this movement. At nightfall they arrived at the governor's house and found that he had retired with the whole population to the smaller island and removed the drawbridge.

Old Providence        See p. 166


After midnight a heavy rainstorm broke over the unsheltered bivouac with tropical violence, and before it ceased the men were standing ankle deep in water in their efforts to protect their ammunition. When day broke and scouting parties approached the canal the Spanish guns opened fire. The weather cleared, and Morgan sent a flag of truce to summon the governor to surrender, with the usual threat of no quarter in case of an assault. Two Spanish officers came over to propose a capitulation on honourable terms. It is stated that they stipulated that to save their honour without bloodshed on either side a heavy fire should be begun with blank cartridges and men embarked in boats to effect a landing.[235] Morgan's official report simply related that the governor "willingly submitted that he might have good Quarter and Transportation to any part of the Main, which was granted and duly performed." While awaiting this removal the Spanish women and children were confined in the church under guard to protect them from insult or injury. The only property of value taken, besides seventy slaves with their children, who were as a matter of course considered a lawful prize, were thirty thousand pounds of gunpowder and public stores valued at £500 in which the artillery does not appear to have been included.

"Four of his Souldiers took up Arms with us," Morgan wrote, "and by them understanding that the Castle of Changra blocked our way, the Admiral called a Council of all the chief Captains; and forthwith there was dispatched 470 men in 3 ships under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Bradley."[236]

The rest of the fleet remained in the port of Providence, and the seamen were busily employed for a time in embarking the captured munitions and dismantling the smaller fortifications. The prisoners were sent off, and considerable garrisons were placed in Forts San Geronimo and Santa Teresa, with the intention of maintaining possession of the island.[168]

Bradley sailed on December 18, but being much delayed by adverse winds, did not arrive in sight of Chagres until the 26th. His ships were observed from the fort as they approached and its heaviest guns began firing, without causing any damage as Bradley bore away and anchored at night in a small harbour three miles distant.

The President of Panama, Don Juan Perez de Guzman, had already received a message from the governor of Cartagena, sent by way of Darien, warning him that information had been received that the English from Jamaica, assisted by the French, were preparing to attack either Cartagena or Panama with three thousand men. Guzman at once reinforced the garrison of Puerto Bello with two hundred men and sent one hundred and fifty to reinforce the garrison of San Lorenzo de Chagres. The Castellano, Don Francisco de Saludo, was ordered to fortify strong points on the river and garrison them. The secretary of the Audiencia and other trusted officials were consulted, and reported that the castle of Chagres and other fortifications on that river were unassailable. Don Pedro de Lisardo, governor of Chagres, had repeatedly declared in his letters that no fears need be entertained for the safety of that place, "for that although six thousand men should come against them, he should with the Fortifications and Men he had, be able to secure himself and destroy them."[237]

The castle of San Lorenzo de Chagres was, in fact, strong enough to inspire the utmost confidence. It stood on the summit of a high cliff, which is still crowned by its ruins, on the east bank of the river, commanding the only navigable entrance to the harbour. The southern face of this rock was a sheer precipice, absolutely unscaleable. On its northern side, the river, which there is deep and wide, ran close below. At the foot of this rocky hill a strong walled redoubt, armed with six heavy guns, and two lesser batteries, having six guns each, on terraces above, completely commanded the channel. The castle or fort itself was formed of six bastions, four facing the land and the river and two fronting the sea,[169] all mounting the heaviest artillery of the time. They were composed of a double row of palisades, filled in with earth and stone, making walls of "great Thickness and Strength". The hill on which the castle stood was separated from another bare rocky height by a broad ravine thirty feet deep, over which a drawbridge formed the only means of access to its main gate. Being a little lower all parts of this hill were open to view from the bastions above. Successive flights of stairs hewn in the face of the rock connected the water-batteries with two large storehouses built close under the walls on that side. Some distance up the river, sheltered by high land in a slight bend of the stream, lay the little port of Chagres, "very fit for small vessels", where they could anchor in seven or eight fathoms of water secure from every wind. Stretching nearly across the mouth of the stream was a reef of jagged rocks, visible only at low tide, on which the surf beat incessantly. Only in the calmest weather could the narrow navigable channel be discovered by an unpractised eye, leading close beneath the frowning crag.

The garrison of the fort then consisted of three hundred and fourteen regular soldiers and a small band of Indian bowmen, enlisted as scouts and messengers. The prospect of taking the place by surprise was hopeless, as the approach of the English ships had been discovered and the commandant was known to be a very brave and experienced officer, confident of the strength of his post.

From the information he had obtained Bradley formed the opinion that the castle could only be attacked with some prospect of success on the land side. Leaving his ships out of sight with a small guard to protect them, he landed four hundred men on the morning of December 27, and fought his way through dense thickets and over rocks until at two o'clock in the afternoon he gained the bald crest of the hill below the main gate, and found that the drawbridge over the ravine had been removed. Although this was the hottest and drowsiest hour of the day the Spanish sentries were alert. A brisk fire was at once begun upon the invaders, accompanied with a storm of maledictions and insulting words. Several of them[170] were wounded and the others were forced to retire and seek cover.

"These Circumstances added to the natural and artificial Strength of the Castle," one of them wrote, "and the Necessity of making the Attack on ye Side, dispirited us extremely, and left us small hopes of Success. We here debated whether we should persue or forsake our Enterprise, but the Thoughts of Disgrace, and of being reproached by our Friends on board, prevailed over all Objections, and made us disregard even Life itself."[238]

The attack was resumed and the assailants slowly worked their way into the ravine and up the opposite slope keeping up a deliberate and not ineffective fire at the loopholes and embrasures in the bastion. At the same time they tried to set the gate and palisades on fire with improvised fire-balls and hand-grenades. This contest was kept up until dark, and renewed at intervals during the night. The Spaniards resisted resolutely and asserted that six separate attacks were repelled, as they supposed, with considerable loss.

"We advanced to the Castle with our Swords in one hand, and Fire-balls in the other," continued the writer already quoted, "while the Spaniards poured both their great and small Shot upon us, bidding us defiance, and calling us English Dogs, Enemies to God and their King. Having in vain attempted to scale the Walls, we were forced to retreat."

Bradley himself was disabled by a cannon-shot, which frightfully mangled both legs. Some other officers were killed or wounded in these fruitless efforts. Yet their men returned undauntedly to the assault, again bombarding the walls with fire-balls. At length flames were seen to break out within, which spread rapidly and encouraged them to increase their exertions until the heat became so intense as to drive them back. How the fire started is uncertain. Morgan attributed it to "the playing of their hand-grenades", which by good fortune set a guard-house that stood upon the walls on fire.

Another account, which has been generally accepted,[171] makes it the result of a random shot which took effect within.

"One of our Men being shot in the Back with an Arrow," wrote a professed participant, "which pierced his Body, instantly pulled it out at his Breast, and wrapping some Cotton about it, shot it back into the Fort, the Cotton kindling in the Discharge, and the Arrow falling upon a House thatched with Palm Leaves, set them on Fire, which meeting with a heap of Gunpowder before it was perceived, blew it up, to the no small Surprise of the Besieged. As they wanted Water, they were more busied and perplexed in extinguishing it, and we taking the Advantage, set Fire to the Palisades in several Places at once, so that the Spaniards now saw themselves surrounded by Flames. As the Pales consumed, the Earth fell into the Ditch and made several Breaches."[239]

A part of the palisades was burned through by midnight, and English marksmen then crept close to the breaches thus made in the walls and fired at the men within, who were struggling desperately to quench the fire. When day broke these breaches were seen to be much enlarged in several places, and the ditch was partly filled up with the earth and blazing fragments of timber that had fallen into it. The Spanish commandant brought forward every man at his disposal and placed guns in positions to rake these breaches with their fire. The garrison held their ground stubbornly, and often repelled their assailants by hurling among them bombs and "Stink-pots filled with combustible Matter." The contest went on fiercely until noon, when a storming party forced an entrance at the breach which had been defended so bravely by Lisardo himself with twenty-five resolute men. When the English came in roaring furiously, cutlass and pistol in hand, in the most appalling manner, many of the Spaniards became panic-stricken and fled before them, some even throwing themselves over the ramparts on the rocks below instead of meeting them. The commandant retired into the citadel and still continued to fight gallantly, refusing all invitations to surrender until he was shot down. About thirty of his men[172] were made prisoners, of whom not more than ten were unwounded. Not a single Spanish officer was taken alive.

Morgan reported briefly that the fire caused a "breach where our men courageously stormed and the enemy as bravely defended it to the last man, refusing quarter, which cost them the lives of 360 men, and of our side was lost thirty outright, one Captain and one Lieutenant, and seventy-six wounded, whereof the brave Bradley was one, with two Lieutenants, who died within ten daies after of their wounds, to the great grief of myself and all in general."[240]

In the harbour four small armed ships and several sloops or chatas, used for transporting goods to other ports, were taken. But the victory had not been won cheaply.

A very few men from the garrison had escaped and carried the dismaying and scarcely credible account of the capture of a fortress deemed almost impregnable to the President of Panama.

"The English," Guzman wrote in an official report, "taking advantage of the night and Aids of their Fire-balls set on fire the Fortifications, because the outside were of wood. They likewise burnt the Castellan's or Governor's house being thatched with Palm and consumed all the good Arms within. There was killed above half the People, the Lieutenant also and the Castellan, who all had behaved themselves with great Valour, and had it not been for the Fire, the Enemy had never gained it."[241]

After completing his arrangements for retaining possession of Providence as a dependency of Jamaica, Morgan sailed from that island with the remainder of his fleet and arrived off Chagres on the second day of January, 1671, when the English flag was seen flying over the castle. But being informed that "the Enemy lay with Forces to endeavour retaking the castle", he hastily and imprudently attempted to enter the river without a pilot. His own ship and four others ran[173] aground on the jagged, wave-worn, hidden reef, where they were eventually battered to pieces. All their crews, except ten men, and most of their guns and equipment were saved with much labour. Warned by this disaster the other ships, by carefully sounding, found the navigable channel.

Colonel Joseph Bradley died from his wounds a few days later, and Morgan was deprived of the support of one of his most experienced and trusted officers. A message had been sent to Jamaica, giving an account of the plan of campaign which had been recommended by the councils of officers and adopted. A reply was received from the governor, in which Morgan afterwards remarked that "he gave no countermand at all." These letters have disappeared or have been destroyed. Their exact contents are not known. Colonel Bledry Morgan, probably a relative of the Admiral, arrived in the sloop that had brought Modyford's answer. After a consultation with him, the preparations for an immediate advance upon Panama were completed.

The objective of the expedition certainly was then publicly known in Jamaica. A newsletter published in England under date of the 23rd of February, 1671, related that "letters from Jamaica of January 10, stated that fourteen days before the fleet under Admiral Morgan, as they called him, consisting of thirty English, French, &c., parted from the Isle of Ash, on the north of St. Domingo, intending to go to the River Chagre to leeward of Porto Bello, to take the castle there, and afterwards to go up the river or lake which will carry them within thirty leagues of Panama which they intend to plunder."[242]

The prisoners and captured slaves had been kept at work repairing the damaged fortifications and buildings. Seven ships of light draught were specially fitted for the ascent of the river, besides several flat-bottomed boats taken in the port. Information had been obtained that a numerous force had been assembled to oppose their advance and that breastworks were being constructed at six portages, where they must land to surmount the rapids.[174]

Three hundred men, commanded by Major Richard Norman, were detailed as a garrison for the fort, and a guard for the ships left behind. They were naturally those who were least able to endure the hardships of a wearisome march, the exhausting labour of rowing or towing boats, and carrying the needful supplies of food and ammunition over rough paths in enervating heat and privation.

On January 8, the flotilla of seven small sloops and thirty-six river-boats and canoes, transporting fourteen hundred persons, began the arduous ascent of the river, which was then very low from prolonged dry weather. A few light cannon and a large supply of munitions were embarked, but the stock of provisions was reduced to a minimum to make the task of passing the many rapids and shallows as easy as possible. Morgan believed that fresh supplies could be obtained from plantations and Indian villages on the way. Boats usually were able to go up the river as far as Venta de Cruz, said to be only a long day's march over a fairly good road from the city of Panama. Under the most favourable conditions the whole journey might be made in five or six days. Venta de Cruz, Quebrada, Ballano and three other portages were reported to be fortified for defence. An advance of eighteen miles was made the first day as the current was gentle. The flotilla halted for the night at a fork in the stream, where there were several small plantations. Foraging parties were sent to them with slight success, as most of the crop had been carried off or destroyed. Next day their progress became slow and tiresome as many rapids and shoals were encountered, and they were tortured by swarms of stinging flies and mosquitoes. The second night was passed near a plantation and wayside shrine, called El Cruz de Juan Gallego. On the third and fourth days, the ascent of the river hourly grew more difficult and laborious as the water steadily became shallower and the number of rapids increased, forcing them to land or wade in the stream and haul their boats or even carry them around. At length, on January 12, they came in sight of the first stockade built by the Spaniards at a bend in the river. It had been lately aband[175]oned by its garrison and was still in flames. Here the water had become so shallow that Morgan decided to leave all his sloops and largest boats and canoes under a guard of two hundred men, commanded by Captain Richard Delander, and march with the remainder through the "wild woods where there was no path for twenty-four miles but what they cut." None even of the lightest guns could be taken with them, as all their ammunition and provisions had to be carried on their backs. His original force of more than eighteen hundred had then been diminished by losses and detachments by at least one-third. The perils confronting them were enough to daunt the boldest heart, but Morgan appeared constantly cheerful, confident, and undiscouraged.

When a few fugitives, frantic with fear, had brought the astounding tidings of the storming of the castle of San Lorenzo and the merciless slaughter of its defenders to the outposts along the river, civilians and soldiers alike were amazed and terror-stricken. Learning from reports of his scouts that the English, two thousand strong, they said, were advancing up the river, Tiris de Castillo, the captain of the "mulattas", who had been ordered by the Castellan Saludo to maintain a redoubt at a place called Cerro Colorado, after consulting his officers in a council, without any order or authority from his chief, set the buildings on fire and hurriedly retired to Barbacoa. Saludo, who was there, also became infected with the panic, and retreated with his whole force to Venta de Cruz, at the head of canoe navigation on the Rio de Chagres in the season of high water, and the end of the road from Panama, leaving Morgan's advance through the tangled forest entirely unopposed.

Soon after the account of the capture of the castle of Chagres had been received at Panama, two mestizos, known as the "Sollices", and a negro from Vregon, had boastfully offered to retake it with only a hundred men, or if they failed, "so to disorder the Enemy in case they should attempt to come up the river as to hinder them." The governor eagerly accepted their proposal and gave them the command of two hundred and fifty chosen men to carry it out. At the same time he sent Gil de la Torre,[176] an officer of good repute, to command the fort at Santos. He was greatly disappointed by the ill conduct of the Sollices, "who meeting the Enemy on the River, neither durst they stay to fight them as they might have done, nor did they pass on to regain the Castle of Chagres; But rather went round by the Mountain and came out at Capira, after which they all dispersed without doing any good at all."[243]

Guzman stated that he was then in very ill health, "having had the misfortune to have been lately Blooded three times for an Erysipelas in his right leg." In spite of his physical weakness he rose from his bed and marched with the remainder of the soldiers he had assembled for the defence of Panama, a few miles forward to Guiabal. There he halted, fearing that the English might move around his flank by way of Arelva and Puerto de Naos, and take the city in his absence, if he advanced much further. He stated that he then had under his command only eight hundred soldiers, besides three hundred negroes, who were servants or slaves of the planters. From Guiabal he sent forward three hundred men to reinforce Saludo at Venta de Cruz. Among these were one hundred Indians from Darien under their own chiefs. "Of these," he wrote, "I had greater Credit and Opinion than of any others, yet had not these the Courage to perform anything."[244]

On leaving his sloops and boats, Morgan had given the strictest orders that none of the men guarding them should be permitted to go on shore on any pretext, and that every precaution should be taken to avert surprise. Equally strict orders were given for the security of the marching column, which was accompanied by several light canoes on the river, keeping pace with its advanced guard, this being preceded by a working party of thirty men with cutlasses, employed in clearing the way, who were frequently relieved by others. Suffering much from the humid, stifling heat and the tormenting attacks of countless numbers of garrapatos or ticks, that infested the vegetation, as well as clouds of small flies and mos[177]quitoes, they made their way painfully and slowly through the woods. Their movements were watched by unseen Indian spies, who carried intelligence of their advance to the nearest Spanish outpost many hours before their appearance near it. At intervals of a few miles breastworks or barricades on the river bank were discovered, stealthily approached, and finally carried with a rush, only to find them deserted and usually on fire. The abandoned huts were greedily searched for food, but seldom with success, as great care had been taken to carry off or destroy everything eatable.

In this trying march officers and men marched together, were armed alike with muskets, cutlasses, and pistols, and bore the same burdens of ammunition, blankets, and provisions.

About noon on the fifth day after leaving Chagres they took possession of the fort and straggling cluster of wattled cabins, forming the village of Barbacoa, where now stands a station on the Isthmian railway. Some men had already fallen sick on the march; others were completely exhausted by heat and fatigue. They were embarked in the canoes to be sent back unless they speedily recovered their strength. Many had improvidently finished their scanty rations and were seen stolidly chewing bits of hide or leather or handfuls of leaves, to allay the pangs of hunger. The few huts that had escaped destruction were deserted and empty of food and furniture; the plantations had been swept bare of all crops. After a close search a cave was found in which had been hidden two sacks of meal, a few bunches of plantains, a small quantity of grain, and two large jars of wine. This windfall was at once strictly reserved by Morgan for the relief of the sick or feeble, thereby probably saving some lives, but at the same time increasing the discontent of grumblers, who were already blaming him for leading them on a fool's errand into a wilderness, where they seemed destined to perish with starvation, and had even threatened to turn back. Yet after a short rest the march was resumed "with greater courage than ever," and continued until dark, when they lay down in a rifled bean field, where a few stray pods were still to be found.[178]

On the sixth day the sufferings of many from hunger had grown much more acute, when fortunately a foraging party found a storeshed on an abandoned plantation filled with ears of maize. The quantity was sufficient to give a fair allowance to everybody. It was equally divided and they marched onward in high spirits.

Before moving off on the morning of January 14, an unusually strong "forlorn" or advanced guard of two hundred picked men was formed under the command of Captain Thomas Rogers, lately master of the privateer Gift, as an encounter with the enemy was then expected. Late in the afternoon, when this body began to pass through a narrow gorge, significantly named Quebrada Obscura, overlooked by precipitous cliffs on both sides, where the path was so narrow that no more than three men could walk abreast, a shower of arrows suddenly fell among them and great rocks were tumbled down. This attack was premature and ineffectual as only three men were slightly wounded, but some delay and confusion were caused. Presently half-naked men were seen gliding about among the crags and trees above, and another flight of arrows dropped harmlessly about as if coming from the sky. These assailants were probably those Indians from Darien, in whom Guzman had placed so much reliance. Their number was magnified by the imagination of one of Morgan's party to a thousand men, but was actually not one-fifth as many. The place of this ambush was well chosen, as a handful of men might hold back an army in that difficult pass, and just beyond it lay a dense dark forest, which might conceal an overwhelming force.

After a short halt the "forlorn" pushed resolutely on, firing as they advanced. A chief or "Prince of the Indians", who was distinguished from his companions by a noticeable headdress of brightly coloured feathers, fell to the ground so badly wounded that he was unable to escape. On being approached and invited to surrender, he replied by a vicious thrust with a javelin and was at once shot dead. The other Indians were quickly driven off with some loss, vaguely estimated at thirty killed and wounded. Much to Morgan's disappointment no prison[179]ers were taken. After passing safely through this defile and the adjacent woods, a halt was made for the night within two miles of Venta de Cruz, the Inn of the Cross, where an obstinate resistance was expected.[245]

A few Indians were seen on the other side of the river, which induced Morgan to send a small party across for the capture of some prisoners. This attempt failed, for the Indians, as soon as they came near, discharged their arrows and ran swiftly away, yelling defiantly: "Ha! perros! a la savana! a la savana!" As they were fleet of foot and lightly equipped, pursuit was useless. Their invitation to follow them to the savanna of plain of Panama was thought to be significant.

"January 15th", Morgan's concise narrative reads, "we arrived at Venta Cruces, which is a very fine village and the place where they land and embarque all the goods that comes from and goes to Panama, where we thought we might be relieved, having marched three daies without victuals, but it was as the rest all on Fire, and they fled."

The only buildings not given to the flames were the substantial and spacious stone stables and storehouses, owned by the King of Spain, which, however, had been swept clean of all animals and supplies. No living thing was seen except a few starving dogs, who were soon hunted down and killed for food by the hungry men. A single sack of bread and fifteen or more large jars of Peruvian wine were at length discovered. Many men, who drank to excess of this wine, became violently ill and "thought themselves irrecoverably lost", believing it to be poisoned. Their sickness caused a compulsory halt until the following morning, when all were found to have recovered. All the men in good health on the canoes were ordered on shore to join the marching column, and the sick were instructed to go with them down the river to a place called Bueno Cedro (where some of the flat-bottomed boats known as chatas, taken at Chagres, had been left behind), and establish a guard and post of com[180]munication. One canoe was retained and hidden at Venta de Cruz for use as an advice boat.

In the afternoon a small party of men, who had wandered into a neighbouring plantation, was surprised by Indians and Spaniards, who carried off one of them as a prisoner. Stringent orders were then given that no detachment of less than one hundred men was to be allowed to leave the camp for any purpose. Morgan and his chief officers very well knew that their success and in fact their lives depended on the enforcement of strict discipline in camp as well as on the march.

Next morning an advanced guard was again composed of two hundred of the most active and experienced soldiers, who marched with muskets charged and matches burning, and were preceded by groups of scouts, and a working party with machetes to clear the road. The King's Highway had been paved with cobble stones, but it wound in many places through thickets and across ravines that afforded many opportunities for opposition, which were seldom neglected.

"The enemy constantly galling us with Ambuscades and small Parties," Morgan wrote, "and we still beating of them for a League together, although they had all the advantage that could be of use, the way being so narrow that we could not but march four abreast, and such a deep hollow that the enemy lay over our heads."

By noon they had forced their passage in this manner to the edge of the great savanna, with the loss of only three men killed and six or seven wounded and having killed, as they supposed, about twenty of their opponents and wounded many more. Yet the Indians still hung persistently on their flanks, or fled before them with taunting cries of: "Ha! perros! a la savana! a la savana!"

Morgan continued his advance for about three miles over the open plain until he came to some rude herdsmen's shelters, which the enemy had neglected to destroy, although they had burned every other building within sight. There he halted to rest and refresh his men, and thanked them heartily "for the daies service". Before dark a fierce storm of rain and wind came on, which con[181]tinued far into the night, adding greatly to their discomfort, as the huts had been prudently reserved for the shelter of the sick and wounded and protection of the ammunition.

Orders were given to begin the march at daybreak, "while the fresh air of the morning lasted", as their advance must be made over a bare plain, where there was no shade from the pitiless rays of the tropical sun. The precaution was taken to discharge and reload their muskets. Before they had gone far a troop of horsemen armed with glittering lances was seen far ahead, evidently watching their movements at a safe distance, and retiring as they approached. About noon on this, the ninth day after leaving Chagres, Morgan's advance guard climbed to the summit of the lofty hill, still known as "El Cerro de los buccaneros", and saw in the distance for the first time the tall towers of the city of Panama and the blue water of the South Sea. The gale had blown over, the sky was again clear, and the white sails of ships could be faintly discerned, gliding among the green islands of that lovely bay.

"This sight", wrote Leslie, "inspired them with a mad and singular kind of Joy. They shouted, hallooed, tossed up their Hats in the Air and leaped like men deprived of the use of Reason, all the Trumpets were sounded and every Drum was beat, as a Proof of that Joy and Satisfaction, which reigned in every Breast."[246]

Beneath them and near at hand on the broad green plain were large herds of cattle and horses peacefully grazing and unsuspicious of danger. Seeing these Morgan commanded a halt, and enough of these animals were soon shot to feed his whole force abundantly. And there they built fires and cooked the meat, feasted and rested until four o'clock, when the trumpets again sounded and the march was resumed. An hour later they "came in sight of the enemy, where he lay in Battaglia with 2,100 Foot and 600 Horse, but finding the day far spent", Morgan wrote, "we thought it not fit to engage, but took up our[182] Quarters within three miles of them, where we lay very quiet, not being so much as once alarm'd."[247]

The panic that had seized the people of Panama, when they were informed that the castle of Chagres had been taken and its garrison almost annihilated, increased day by day as they were told that their dreaded enemies were approaching their city. Divine intervention was fervently implored to save them from an attack.

"The Images of the Pure and Immaculate Conception ever since the day of the Fight at Chagres Castle, had been carried out in general Procession," Guzman reported, "attended by all the Religious and the Fraternity of St. Francis, that of the Nuns of our Lady of Rosario, those of San Domingo, and those of the Mercedes, together with all the Saints and Patrons of the Religious. And always the Most Holy Sacrament in all Churches was uncovered and exposed to publick view. Masses were constantly said for my happy success. I parted with all my Jewels and Relics, collected in my Pilgrimage, presenting them to the aforesaid Images, Saints, and Patrons."[248]

After Guzman had remained a day at Guiabal and his men were all well rested, a negro captain named Prado came in from scouting and reported that the English were advancing, two thousand strong. This information alarmed his troops so much that they begged their commander to return at once to Panama, assuring him that they would defend that city to the last. Guzman declared that he positively refused to consent, "it being impossible then to fortifie it, it having many entrances, and the Houses all built of wood, so soon as the Enemy should once make a breach, we should quickly be exposed to their fury, and forced miserably to shift for ourselves."[249]

But during the night his men deserted in large parties, and when morning came he found that two-thirds of them had gone off. He then felt obliged to retire to Panama with the remainder and try to persuade them to defend the city, having no alternative.[183]

"I arrived on Saturday night at Panama," he wrote, "and Sunday morning went to the great Church, where having received the Holy Communion before our Blessed Lady of the Immaculate Conception, with great Devotion, I went to the principal guard, and to all that were present I expressed myself to this effect: 'That all those who were true Catholics, Defenders of the Faith, and Devotos of our Lady of the Pure and Immaculate Conception, should follow my Person, being that same day at four o'clock in the afternoon, resolved to march out to seek the Enemy and with this caution that he that should refuse to do it, should be held for Infamous and a Coward, basely slighting so precise an Obligation.'

"All proffered me their assistance except those that had slunk from me at Guiabal; and when I had drawn them up in order I carried the chief of them to the great Church, where in the presence of our Lady of the Pure and Immaculate Conception, I made an Oath to die in her Defence, And I gave her a Diamond Ring of the value of four thousand pieces of eight, in token of compliance with my word and heartily invoked her aid. And all present made the same Oath with much fervour.

"After this I marched with my Army about a League from Panama, having with me three Field Pieces, covered with leather and charged. And from that place, I ordered another Party with two other Guns, of the men which came from the River, being above three hundred, to advance towards the Enemy, which neither did any good.

"This body of men which I had thus brought with me, was composed of two sorts, valiant military men and fainthearted cowards; Many of them having all their estates and pay due them left in the Castle of Chagres and Puerto Velo, and a great part of my men were Negroes, Mulattos, and Indians to the number of about twelve hundred, besides about three hundred more belonging to the Assiento. Our firearms were few and bad in comparison with those the Enemy brought. For ours were Carbines, Harquebusses, and Fowling pieces, but few muskets for they likewise had been left in Puerto Velo and Chagres. Now having formed the Army into two double Squadrons, and the Cavalry, which were two hundred, mounted on the same tired Horses which had brought them thither, and with two great Herds of Oxen and Bulls, drove thither by fifty Cowkeepers on purpose to disorder the[184] Enemy. The Army all appeared brisk and courageous, desiring nothing more than to engage, nor wanted there anything more of Regalo[250] to infuse spirit into them. So that it seemed to me by what I saw, and what they told me, that they would be able to charge the Enemy like Lightning."[251]

Morgan roused his force two hours before daybreak, fearing that some attempt might be made to surprise his weary men at that drowsy time of night. In fact, at sunrise the whole body of Spanish cavalry rode close to his camp, apparently with some such intention. Finding the English already stirring and on the alert, they contented themselves with brandishing their swords and lances and shouting the usual insulting cries, after which they rode away, leaving videttes to observe their enemy's movements. After a hearty breakfast had been prepared and eaten, Morgan gave explicit orders for the formation of his whole force, in order of battle, giving the command of its divisions to his most trusted officers, three of whom had been his comrades in former expeditions. It did not then much exceed twelve hundred of all ranks, and was divided into four nearly equal bodies or small brigades.

When this was accomplished, he stated, "they were drawn [up] in the form of a Tertia; the Vant Guard was led by Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Prince and Major John Morris, they being in number 300 men; the main [body] containing 600; the Right wing was led by the General, and the left by Colonel Edward Collier; the rearward of 300 was commanded by Colonel Bledry Morgan."[252]

Having carefully inspected every division of his men to ascertain that they were ready to move, Morgan encouraged them by a short but very confident speech, promising a complete and easy victory, if they kept well together and obeyed the orders which would be given them.

He had then discovered by a personal reconnaissance[185] that the Spaniards had occupied an advantageous position, with their cannon in front of their infantry in the centre and bodies of cavalry on each flank, in readiness to gallop forward and take advantage of any momentary disorder in the ranks of their adversaries. He estimated their number to be more than double his own. They had been teased by sending forward small parties of scouts to provoke them to advance, but had not been induced to stir from their ground. He had then decided to make an effort to turn their right flank and "gave orders", he said, "that our men should wheel their bodies to the left and gain a Hill that was hard by, which if gained we should have forc'd the Enemy to fight to their disadvantage by reason that he could not bring out of his great body more men to fight at a time than we could out of our small body, and likewise that we should have the advantage both of Wind and Sun."[253]

This well devised but somewhat difficult manoeuvre was swiftly and successfully carried out without the least opposition. Forcing their way through the woods and thickets which then covered the site of the present city of Panama, Morgan's advanced guard soon reached the summit of the hill, which was long called in memory of the event "El Cerro de Avance", and descended its further slope. Then crossing a dry "gut" or ravine they came within easy musket shot of the right flank of the Spanish array, gorgeous indeed in many-coloured cotton and silken garments, but ill-trained and easily dismayed, by this unexpected movement.

Guzman had formed his plan solely with the expectation of resisting a direct frontal attack. He had placed Don Juan Portando Bargueno, the governor of Brogues, in command of the right wing, Don Alonso de Alcandete in command of the left, and remained himself with his Sargento-Mayor in charge of the centre. Two great herds of wild cattle had been driven forward by the spears of their active keepers, one on each flank, with the intention of enveloping and trampling down the English when they were engaged with the artillery and infantry in the centre and perhaps thrown into confusion by their fire.[186]

Guzman reported that he "gave strict command that none should move without my order, and that coming within shot the three first Ranks should fire on their knees and after this charge they should give place to the rear to come up and Fire, and that although they should chance to see any fall Dead or wounded, they should not quit their Stations, but to the last extremity observe these Orders."[254]

Morgan's turning movement made this plan entirely useless. Don Francisco de Haro, who commanded the squadron of cavalry covering the right flank of the Spanish position, led it very promptly and gallantly to the charge, and advanced so furiously at full speed against the English advanced guard, that "having no pikes", orders were hastily given to that body "to double their Ranks to the Right, and close their Files to the Right and Left inward to their close order." A solid oblong mass was thus formed in time to resist the onset. One steady well-directed volley repelled this charge, but its resolute leader continued his headlong career until he fell dead close at the feet of the first rank of the English. The survivors of his squadron wheeled off to the right and retreated from view. A body of infantry then advanced to try its fortune. This movement was firmly met and easily repulsed. The left wing of the main body of Morgan's men, led by Colonel Collier, whose march had been retarded in the ascent of the hill, then opportunely came to the support of the advanced guard and joined eagerly in the pursuit, so that "the enemies retreat came to plain running."[255]

Guzman described this phase of the battle very carefully from his own point of view.

"I was at this time in the right wing of the Vanguard, watching the Enemies motion, which was hasty, by the Foot of a Hill in a narrow place, above three musket shot of the left wing of our Army, when on a sudden I heard a loud clamour, crying: 'Fall on! Fall on! For they fly!' at which Don Alonso de Alcandete was not able to keep them in their Ranks, nor stop them from running, though[187] he cut them with his sword, but they fell into disorder. And I well knowing the Fatality of this, gave Command that they should drive up the herds of Cattle and charge with the Horse. So putting myself at the Head of the Squadron of the Right Wing, saying, 'Come along, Boys! there is no other remedy now but to conquer or die! Follow me!' I went directly to the Enemy, and hardly did our men see some fall Dead and others wounded, but they turned their backs and fled, leaving me there with only one Negro and one servant that followed me. Yet I went forward to comply with my word to the Virgin, which was to die in her Defence, receiving a shot in the staff I carried in my Hand upright close to my cheek. At which moment came up to me a Priest of the great Church, called Juan de Dios (who was wont to say Mass in my House), beseeching me to retire and save myself, who I twice sharply reprehended. But the third time he persisted telling me that it was mere desperation to Die in that manner and not like a Christian. With that I retired, it being a miracle of the Virgin to bring me off safe among so many thousand Bullets."[256]

The onrush of the cattle commanded by Guzman was firmly met by a picked detachment of musketeers, told off for that purpose, whose steady and well-directed fire killed or wounded many as they came on and stampeded the rest, wildly tossing their heads and bellowing with pain and terror. In their flight they dispersed and actually trampled down some of the cowkeepers and Spanish foot soldiers. After this the beaten force attempted little resistance, but retreated in great haste and disorder to the city.

William Fogg, one of Morgan's men, gleefully related that "they had the pursuit almost three miles, in which the enemy lost five hundred men, and they one Frenchman."[257]

Several priests had accompanied Guzman into the field to encourage his soldiers to fight resolutely in defence of their city and religion, and to administer the last rites of the church to the dying. Some of them were killed in the battle or when they were overtaken in their flight.[188] Morgan was afterwards accused of having given orders for them to be butchered in cold blood. This he warmly denied. That the pursuit was fierce and ruthless cannot be doubted.

The end of the combat was described in these terms in his official account.

"Although they worked such a Stratagem that hath been seldom or never heard, that is when the Foot engaged in the Flank he attempted to drive two Droves of Cattel of 1,500 apiece into the Right and Left Angles of the Rear, but all came to one effect, and helped nothing for their flight to the City, where they had 200 fresh men, and two Forts, one with six Brass Guns, the other with eight and the Streets Barricadoed, and great Guns in every Street, which in all amounted to 32 brass Guns, but instead of fighting he commanded the City to be fired, and his chief Forts to be blown up, the which was in such haste that he blew up forty of his Souldiers in it. We followed into the Town, where in the Market-place they made some resistance and fired some great Guns, killed us four men and wounded five. At three of the clock in the Afternoon we had quiet possession of the City, although on fire, with no more loss on our side in this daies work than five men killed and ten wounded, And of the Enemy about 400. There we were forced to put the fire out of the Enemies Houses; but it was in vain, for by 12 at night it was all consumed that might be called the City; but of the Suburbs was saved two churches and about 300 Houses; thus was consumed that famous and antient City of Panama, which is the greatest Mart for Silver and Gold in the whole World, for it receives the Goods into it that comes from old Spain in the King's great Fleet, and likewise delivers to the Fleet all the Silver and Gold that comes from the Mines of Peru and Potoze."[258]

This account of the destruction of the greatest part of the city was fully corroborated by Guzman's official letter.

"After this," he wrote, "I endeavoured with all my industry to persuade the Souldiers to turn and face our Enemies but it was impossible; so that nothing hinder[189]ing them, they entered the City to which the Slaves and owners of the Houses had set fire, and being all of Boards and Timber, was most of it quickly burnt, except the Audiencia, the Governor's House, the Convent of the Mercedes, San Joseph, the suburbs of Malambo and Pier de Vidas, at which they say the Enemy fretted very much, being disappointed of their Plunder and because they had brought with them an Englishman, whom they called the Prince,[259] with intent there to crown him King of the Terra Firma."[260]

Seeing that this voluntary destruction of the city would probably deprive him and his men of the greater part of the valuable prize almost within their grasp and make the exaction of ransom impossible, Morgan promptly made the most energetic efforts to prevent the fire from spreading. He caused his trumpeters to sound the call for assembling his troops in the Plaza, and when a sufficient body had arrived, parties were sent off in different directions to fight the flames by blowing up some houses and pulling down others. Other detachments were ordered to patrol the streets and post sentries where necessary. All were strictly prohibited from drinking any wine or other liquor found in the houses, on the pretext or suspicion that it might be poisoned. A strong party of seamen was directed to march quickly to the port and seize all ships or boats found there.

The city of Panama was then, with the single exception, perhaps, of Cartagena, the chief port and emporium in Spanish America. It had the greatest trade of any. Founded in the year 1500 by Pedrarias Davila, who had succeeded Balboa as governor, it was built so close to the shore of its magnificent bay that at high tide the largest ships could approach its sea-wall. Besides being the most important place in the province, it was the residence of a bishop, who was suffragan to the archbishop of Lima, as well as that of the governor and members of the Audiencia or high court of justice and executive council. The small rivers Gallinero and Matasnillas flowed on either side of the city, and their steep banks formed a[190] sort of natural fortification which had been strengthened by art. In the course of a somewhat eventful history of one hundred and seventy years, it had become very rich and the seat of much luxury. The best of its seven thousand houses were substantially built of hewn stone in the Moorish style of architecture, roofed with gaudy red or blue pantiles, having arched doorways and overhanging balconies, but a greater number were constructed of native cedar or fragrant rosewood, with stately stairways and lofty ceilings handsomely carved. Besides these, many hundreds of palm-thatched huts and wattled cabins served as cookhouses, storehouses and habitations for several thousands of slaves.

The great cathedral, dedicated to Saint Anastasius, was deemed the most imposing structure of its kind in all the Spanish Indies, and ruins of its tall, square, massive tower are still a landmark to the mariner. Its many churches, convents, hospitals, and monasteries made the city a centre of great religious activity.

Long ranges of stone stables stood there to shelter hundreds of the King's horses and mules, employed in conveying the treasures of the mines across the isthmus and bringing back bales of manufactured goods. Still larger were the royal warehouses for the reception and safekeeping of this treasure, immense stores of merchandise sent out from Spain, and the produce of the pearl-fisheries and plantations of the Spanish provinces on the coast of the Pacific collected there for exportation.

"Through this town," said a contemporary writer, "the Wealth both of Peru and Spain passeth once every Year; from Spain by Nombre de Dios and Porto Bello, from whence whatsoever Merchandise or other Commodities from Spain, are transported to Panama by Land, and from thence by Sea to all Parts of Peru; and by Panama whatsoever comes from Peru, is sent into Spain."[261]

The Genoese Company, which held the monopoly of the traffic in African slaves, possessed there a "stately house" with a spacious barracoon and slave-pen, from which annually several thousands of slaves were distributed to[191] the mines and plantations of the west coast. Near by were not less than two hundred warehouses owned by the wealthier merchants.

The permanent population was certainly not less than thirty thousand persons, and at the time of the great annual fair, which lasted many days, it was probably swelled to as many as fifty thousand. Fifteen years before it had been estimated that the value of goods that changed hands during the fair amounted to five millions of pesos, and that was actually a small part of the annual sales, as the value of the merchandise smuggled into the country was believed to be three or four times that on which duty was paid. Panama was in fact a city of merchants, who, it was said, "thought only of becoming rich, and cared little for the public good." They lived in princely luxury and splendour. Their spacious dwellings were richly adorned with silken curtains, woven tapestries, costly imported carpets and paintings. Their tables gleamed with golden and silver plate.

But the city was weakly fortified, as an attack upon it had been considered scarcely practicable owing to the great strength of its outposts on the Caribbean coast, the castles of Puerto Bello and Chagres.

The port was unsuitable for the larger ships then navigating the South Sea, owing to the considerable fluctuation of the tides. Such ships, indeed, could come alongside its wharves at high tide, but lay stranded at the ebb. But the roadstead afforded a secure anchorage for the unwieldy galleons which mainly conducted the commerce with Chili and Peru. These were loaded and unloaded by means of lighters. Smaller ships ran into the piers at high tide and lay embedded in the mud beneath them when it fell.

"Eastward from Panama", wrote the painstaking Ogilby, "appear seven Royal Houses on a Rock, wherein the Courts of Judicature are kept. Five hundred rods into the Sea lies an Island resembling a Half-moon, and the Haven wherein the Ships when they unlade cast Anchor, there being else not Water enough for laden Barques, and all lie dry the Tide being out; at the South thereof stands a wooden Sconce. . . . Round about the[192] forementioned Royal Houses lie Bulwarks with a strong Castle on one side. . . . Two Leagues Westward is the Haven Pericos, which being secured from all Winds by three high Isles that lie before it, is the chief Harbour in which the Peruan Fleet (consisting most in small Barques) comes to an Anchor before they touch at Panama."[262]

A salt lagoon in the rear of the city was connected with the bay by a narrow arm in which the tide rose and fell. This was spanned by a quaint stone bridge, which, with its gate-house, still remains as a relic of vanished greatness. Over this the long mule-trains with their cumbrous panniers and tinkling bells, bearing away bars and ingots of precious metal or returning with scarcely less valuable fabrics from oversea, passed slowly to and fro. Nearly encircled by this lagoon and the two rivers, with its delightful bay sweeping round in a graceful curve in front, Panama was declared by many to be the rival of Venice in beauty as well as commerce at a time when Venice was at the zenith of her power and wealth.

Behind the city the land rose gently, diversified with small green hills and pleasant shady valleys, containing fruitful gardens and orchards, planted with trees imported from Spain, such as oranges, lemons, and figs, besides such native fruits as avocado pears, bananas, guavas and plantains.[263] Beyond these lay the wide, green savanna, intersected, however, with "muddy pools sending forth stinking Damps", where as already mentioned, great herds of cattle and horses found abundant pasture.

Such had been the city of Panama on the morning of that day. When the fire was finally subdued or had burned out, nearly all the many wooden buildings had perished. Two churches, the convents, monasteries, the government offices and warehouses were not greatly damaged. These furnished ample quarters for their captors and a secure place of confinement for their prisoners. There was no lack of provisions. A great quantity of valuable merchandise, silks, velvets, and fine linen was[193] found in the warehouses, but nearly all the plate, which was the prize most eagerly sought for, had been removed. In fact the owners had had ample time. Chagres castle had been taken on December 28. Morgan began the ascent of the river on January 8, and Panama was not occupied until the afternoon of January 18. Some of the prisoners said that a warning of their danger had been received two months before, and two large ships of 350 and 700 tons had in consequence been loaded with money, silver plate, gold bullion, jewels, and other valuable property, valued at eight millions of pesos, and sent away to Lima. Most of the clergy and nuns had also embarked in these vessels. Many other rich inhabitants had removed with the most valuable of their household goods to the islands in the bay, where they hoped they might be safe. Guzman had retired to the hills, where at one time he was escorted by a hundred men, and at another was almost alone.[264]

The seamen sent to the port discovered a barque lying fast aground, which the Spaniards had attempted to burn, and succeeded in extinguishing the fire before much harm had been done. This vessel proved to be a valuable prize. She was soon refitted, manned, and put under the capable command of Captain Robert Searle, who had already distinguished himself by the capture of Tobago, San Augustin, and other notable exploits as a privateer. In a few days he captured three other ships and searched the islands in pursuit of the ill-fated fugitives concealed there, taking many prisoners and much property.

"The English having got possession of the Relicks of our Town," wrote the President of Panama, "found a Bark in the Fasca, although I had given order that there should be none, yet had they not complied with my command, and when they would have set it on Fire, the Enemy came fast and put it out and with it they did us great damage, for they took three more with it, and made great havock of all they found in the Islands of Taboga, Otoque, and Las Islas del Rey, taking and bringing from thence many Prisoners."[265]


Yet Searle missed taking the richest prize of all through the misconduct of his men, for which he was bitterly reproached by his chief and never regained his favour. After landing on Taboga, they had discovered a hidden store of Peruvian wine on which they had at once proceeded to make themselves helplessly drunk. While they were in this condition, a boat's crew was sent ashore from a Spanish galleon, La Santissima Trinidad, commanded by Don Francisco Peralta, to obtain fresh water. This party was surprised and taken. From them information was extorted that the ship from which they came was "very richly laden with all the King's Plate and a great quantity of riches of gold, pearls, jewels, and other most precious goods of all the best and richest merchants of Panama. On board this galleon were also the religious women belonging to the nunnery of the said city, who had embarked with them all the ornaments of the church, consisting of a great quantity of gold, plate, and other things of great value."

Having received this intelligence Searle, who seems to have been sober, gave orders for sailing in pursuit of this ship, which was reported to be weakly manned and a dull sailer. His men flatly refused to leave their revel, or perhaps were unable to obey. The Spanish captain, finding that his men on shore failed to return, became alarmed, and making sail with some difficulty, succeeded in getting out of reach by morning. Years later he was taken by an English privateer in the South Sea and told the story with much relish. About the same time Morgan, having learned that he had been censured in a lately published book for allowing this ship to escape, asserted that he had given timely orders for her capture, which had not been executed.[266]

All the prize ships were manned, and ordered to cruise about the bay and search every creek and inlet where small vessels and boats might be hidden. Their most valuable capture was a ship from Paita, "laden with cloth, soap, sugar, and biscuits, with twenty thousand pieces of eight in ready money."

Ruins of Cathedral Tower at Panama        See p. 190


Armed parties of Spaniards or Indians, mounted and on foot, were seen from time to time moving over the savanna in several directions. Morgan became alarmed for the safety of his line of communication and sent back 150 men to make sure that his boats and the garrison of Chagres were not endangered. Other parties of varying strength went out daily to forage or scout. They brought in many prisoners and "never saw an Enemy to face them".

"Here in this City we stayed 20 daies," Morgan reported, "making daily incursions upon the Enemy for twenty miles round about, without having so much as one Gun shot at us in anger, although we took in this time near 3,000 Prisoners of all sorts, and kept likewise barques in the South Seas, cruising and fetching of Prisoners that had fled to the Islands with their Goods and Families."[267]

Hendrik Smeeks, the Dutch rival of Daniel Defoe, who compiled the History of the Bucaniers under the pen name of Esquemelin or Oexmelin, took much pleasure in narrating the cruel treatment and torture, which he alleged was inflicted upon some of these miserable captives to extort a ransom or information of hidden treasure, tending to justify the shameful motto printed on the title-page of one edition of his book: "Den Engelschman is een Duyvel voor een Mensch." The bitter contest between England and Holland, known as the third Dutch war, had then just ended and national hatred was still very strong when he wrote. His French and Spanish translators took the liberty to modify the original text to gratify the national prejudices of their readers, and in some cases aggravated these charges. In an age when the torture of political prisoners and suspected persons was sanctioned by law, it is highly probable that similar cruel methods may have been employed by "the baser sort" of Morgan's followers, when they had the opportunity, and was perhaps tacitly approved by him although this he strenuously denied. His Surgeon-General, Browne, who was much aggrieved by what he considered a partial distribution of prize-money, exculpated[196] his chief of complicity in the ill treatment of prisoners. Writing some months after his return to Jamaica and when peace with Spain had been formally proclaimed, he said:

"The report from England is very high, and a great deal worse than it was; what was done in fight and heat of pursuit of a flying enemy, I presume is pardonable; as to their women, I know [not] nor ever heard of anything offered beyond their wills; something I know was cruelly executed by Capt. Collier in killing a friar in the field after quarter given; but for the Admiral he was noble enough to the vanquished enemy."[268]

In one way and another it is certain that captured property and ransom money was collected, which was valued by Morgan at £30,000, and was estimated by Browne and others at as much as £70,000.

It is credibly stated that Morgan discovered a plot among some of his officers to run off with the captured ships on a piratical expedition in the Pacific. In the light of after events, this story seems not improbable, as one of them, Charles Swan, later headed an adventure of that kind. If this conspiracy actually existed, its execution was soon prevented by the summary destruction of those vessels.

The detachment sent to Chagres returned with the comforting news that not only was the garrison of Chagres safe but that it had taken a ship loaded with provisions for Puerto Bello, where there was fear of a famine. An unfounded report that Guzman was preparing an ambuscade to cut off his retreat induced Morgan to take the precaution of sending out another strong force to reconnoitre, by which all apprehensions were removed.

Pack-mules and horses were collected for the conveyance of provisions and the plunder of Panama, and even for mounting some Spanish ladies, who were still held as hostages for the payment of ransom. On February 14 the return march to Chagres began, and on the afternoon of the following day this long column of soldiers and captives, including several hundred slaves and a pack-train[197] of 175 mules arrived at Venta de Cruz. There Morgan intended to embark in the boats and canoes, which he ordered to be prepared for the descent of the river, then swelled by recent rains. A halt for ten days was made to enable the prisoners to arrange for the final payment of ransom, and to make an accurate inventory of the spoil, as well as "to refresh the men". An oath was exacted from all ranks that they would not conceal any captured property but deliver every article into the common stock. Not content with this he issued an order that everybody should submit to be searched, and set an example by being searched himself down to his shoes. His French allies loudly protested against this imputation on their good faith, but were obliged to consent, much to their discontent. Not only were the clothes, shoes, and baggage strictly examined but the muskets were taken to pieces to make sure that nothing was hidden between stock and barrel.

The execution of this arbitrary order, combined with former disciplinary measures, increased the prevailing dissatisfaction and made Morgan very much disliked by many. His life was even threatened by the malcontents, without greatly disturbing his usual equanimity. The search was thoroughly performed and as a result the value of the prize-goods was found to be considerably less than had been estimated. The ransomed prisoners were released and the remainder embarked in the flotilla, which arrived at Chagres on the evening of February 26, having come down from Venta de Cruz in two days. There Morgan remained until March 6. A message was sent to Puerto Bello inviting the governor to ransom the rest of his prisoners, which he flatly refused to do. A division of the spoil was then made, and after deducting a fifteenth for the King, a tenth for the Lord High Admiral, the allowances for shipowners, officers, surgeons, and carpenters, rewards for bravery and good conduct, and compensation for loss and wounds, an announcement was made that the share of an ordinary seaman or private soldier was only ten pounds in money. Discontent became more open and general. All of the French and many of the English, on being informed that peace had[198] been concluded between England and Spain, declared their intention of going off on another expedition at their own risk. Those who still obeyed Morgan, were employed in demolishing the forts; the guns were spiked, and the wooden buildings burned. He then set sail for Jamaica accompanied by only four or five other ships.

Beeston records the arrival at Port Royal on March 27 of a small vessel from the fleet with news of the capture of Providence, "Caga Castle" and Panama, and the loss of the Satisfaction frigate, but the date of Morgan's return is not mentioned. The deposition of William Fogg, taken on April 4, relates that the ship in which he came, had sailed from Chagres a month before and parted from the Admiral with three sail near Puerto Bello, and he supposed that the rest of the fleet "had made the best of their way for Jamaica." It appears certain that the ships returning from Chagres brought several hundreds of captured negroes. It is equally certain that Morgan and other officers were openly accused of having cheated the men in the division of the prize-money.

Morgan's official report was dated April 20. On the last day of May he was present at a meeting of the Council, attended by the governor and six members. The Minutes of the meeting state that "Admiral Morgan gave a Relation of a Voyage to Panama", and that the Council "gave him many thanks for the execution of his late Commission, and approved very well of his acting."

At the same meeting the Council was informed that the verdict of a jury had been given against Captain Edward Collier and that he was threatened with a suit for having executed the warrant of the Major-General issued just before the departure of Admiral Morgan's fleet, enjoining all seamen and others belonging to his ships to go on board at once, prohibiting the sale of liquor to them, and authorizing the search of public houses.

"Whereupon an order was made to encourage His Majesty's officers courageously and cheerfully to execute like orders for His Majesty's service," and directing Lieut.-Colonel Robert Byndloss, Chief Judge of Port Royal, "not to suffer any proceedings, nor grant any execution on any verdict of a jury against the said Captain[199] Collier for anything he was authorised to do by virtue of the said warrant."[269]

The merchants and planters were convinced that Morgan's energy and ability had preserved Jamaica from invasion and had greatly enriched the town of Port Royal.[270]




On April 18th, 1671, after the full extent of Morgan's success had become known to him, Sir James Modyford wrote to Secretary Williamson informing him that the island of Providence, of which he had been appointed lieutenant-governor, having been retaken by the Spaniards before his arrival to assume its administration, had been recovered by the privateers on their way to Panama, and the Spanish garrison had been expelled. He considered it his duty to take possession in the name of the King, proposed to send there a deputy with a small party of soldiers, and intended to follow himself with such a force as he could enlist. A month later he announced that he had given a commission as deputy governor to "Colonel Blodre Morgan, a good old soldier", with instructions to precede him to Providence, who would probably sail in four or five days with a ship he had hired for that purpose and might take with him three hundred men.[271]

Just a week previous, Sir Thomas Modyford had received a letter from the governor of Porto Rico, stating that he had been sent a copy of the recent treaty of peace, "concerning a good correspondence between the two nations within the seas and ports of America", with instructions to arrive at an agreement with him and the other English governors for its simultaneous publication on a day to be settled with them. He proposed that it should be proclaimed on the "Vespers of Saint John", but left the date to be fixed by Modyford. In case he received no reply before that day, he would make the proclamation then, and repeat it upon the day named by Modyford, "because good news doth never weary." He[201] added that he had been notified of the conclusion of the treaty by the governor of Antigua some months earlier, with a request for the release of some English prisoners at Porto Rico, but was unable to comply for want of instructions. He would deliver them to any English ships sent for them, and if none were sent he would supply them with a ship for their passage.[272]

The ratification of the new treaty with Spain was followed by an abrupt and discomfiting change of English policy in the West Indies. The cabinet decided to recall Sir Thomas Modyford and, if need be, punish him in some manner for excessive zeal, to satisfy the angry complaints of the Spanish court. No governor was immediately appointed to take his place, but Colonel Thomas Lynch was given the honour of knighthood and the rank of lieutenant-governor and commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces in Jamaica. At that time no information had been received of the result of Morgan's last expedition. Lynch was instructed to publish the text of the treaty within eight months after the 10/20th day of October, 1670, if he could agree with the Spanish governors on a date. At the time of publication he was directed to revoke all commissions of any kind granted to the prejudice of the King of Spain and his subjects, and carefully to observe the terms of the treaty. To encourage all privateers to return promptly, he was commanded, immediately after the publication of the treaty, to proclaim a free pardon for all offences committed by them since the month of June, 1660, to all who obeyed his invitation and "betook themselves to planting or merchandising", and assure them that they would be allowed to enjoy all goods and property in their possession at the time of such proclamation, except the King's fifteenths and the Duke of York's tenths. If they would undertake to become planters, they were to be granted thirty-five acres of land each; if they would agree to employ their ships in peaceful commerce, they were to be allowed to trade with the same freedom as if these ships had been built in England; or if any of them were[202] inclined to serve in the Royal Navy, they would be engaged and receive pay. He was required to appoint as early a date for the recall of these privateers as the circumstances would admit, and not to insist so positively upon the payment of the fifteenths and tenths as to discourage them or delay their compliance. In the event that these offers did not have the desired effect, he was authorized to "use all means by force or persuasion" to secure their submission and ensure their obedience to his government.[273]

Five days afterwards, probably after receiving further complaints from the Spanish ambassador, additional secret instructions were prepared for Lynch, stating that "whereas Sir Thomas Modyford, late governor of Jamaica, hath contrary to the King's express commands, made many depredations and hostilities against the subjects of His Majesty's good brother, the Catholic King", it was the King's pleasure as soon as he had taken possession of that "government and fortress so as not to apprehend any ill consequences thereupon", he was to make Modyford a prisoner and send him to England to answer the charges laid against him, and then to publish a royal proclamation offering a free pardon to all his abettors in those acts on receiving their promise to abstain from committing them in future.[274]

As a precautionary measure Charles Modyford was at once arrested and confined in the Tower of London as a hostage for the good behaviour of his father.

Within a few weeks after the preparation of these instructions, a letter was received from Jamaica, dated December 15, containing the embarrassing information that a fleet of thirty-five ships had sailed for an attack upon Panama. "If they take it (which we doubt not)," the writer remarked, "there will be much money found in it, and it will make a great noise in Europe, being so instant on the expectation of a peace to be made in the Indies. . . . We have good reason for it, in that by the[203] oaths of several Spaniards, they are there arming men against us, whom it is best to disperse before they are too strongly united."[275]

Lynch's departure was hastened, but he did not leave England until April and failed to arrive at Port Royal before June 15. His former experience as a member of the Council and administrator of the government seemed considerable qualifications for his appointment, and his large estate and friendly relations with other planters were expected to give him sufficient local influence to enable him to carry out a difficult and probably unpopular task.[276]

The governor had received some intimation of ministerial displeasure, and early in May he ordered Morgan to send a ship to the Cayman islands in pursuit of a French privateer to prevent an attack on the Spaniards. This was promptly done.[277]

When it became evident that he would be arraigned for his recent conduct in making war, he drew up a careful and plausible defence under fifteen heads, which he entitled: "Considerations from Sir Thomas Modyford, which moved him to give his consent for fitting out privateers against the Spaniard."

"1. The peaceable state they were under, having in May, 1669, called in all commissions, and never intending to give more, till in July, 1670, they were enforced by the Queen of Spain's Scaedula of 20th April, 1669, commanding war against them, which arrived in June, 1670.

"2. The execution of this war by the violences of Rivera Pardal, who, after burning their houses, took two vessels and would have taken all vessels from England.

"3. The constant advices of more vessels preparing to come to him, every little success putting that easily heightened nation a-tip-toes.

"4. His Majesty's instructions empowering the Governor on extraordinary cases by the Council's advice to use extraordinary remedies.[204]

"5. The unanimous consent of the Council and their fear of the ruin of the country.

"6. The complaints of the merchants, fishermen, and sailors, fears of the planters, cries of the women and children, and the danger of the Governor's person and reputation, should he have denied to take arms on so general an importunity.

"7. The certain increase of the enemy's courage and pride, if it were possible, and the debasing of ours, which is next to beating.

"8. The fatal consequences of the foregoing evils.

"9. Lord Arlington's letter of 11 June, 1670, which arrived in August commanding him to keep the privateers in the posture that letter should find them in.

"10. The commission to Morgan being solely to avenge these affronts.

"11. The commissions to private captains being only to execute Morgan's orders whereby it is evident that nothing was in design but His Majesty's service.

"12. And whereas it may be objected that the fleet might have been called in after the coast had been secured, and so the mischief of Panama prevented; it must be considered that the privateers finding ships, arms, ammunition, and provisions at their own charge, would not have obeyed such orders, expecting as the late Lord General, that great master of war, adviseth, the soldier to look on the enemy as the surest pay.

"13. If Sir Thomas Modyford should be censured for granting that Commission, then this fatal doctrine must necessarily follow, that let French, Dutch, or Spaniard make war on Jamaica, the Governor must not take up any offensive arms till he has advised His Majesty and received His Majesty's orders to proceed therein; which advice, if it escape the enemy and all sea hazards, cannot arrive under three months, attendance for orders will take two or three months more if the enemy's ambassador be there to put in delays, and the answer may arrive in three months; which makes nine months, during which the pressure of the enemy must be endured. How destructive this doctrine will prove is easily imaginable if the advice or orders be delayed or miscarry; and therefore my humble request to your Lordships is to be sure of a prudent and loyal person for the Government and then trust him with that commission which the wise Romans gave their generals, videat ne Insula nostra Jamaica aliquid detrimenta accipiat, the Romans giving[205] such large powers even in Italy, at their own doors, so well did they understand that rule of trusting him that was on the place, who clearly sees what cannot be imagined by much wiser men at so great a distance.

"14. They had reason to believe that this in time might so humble the Spaniards that they would be willing to embrace a free trade.

"15. And to conclude, the necessity of affairs was such that if it were to be done again, and I assured of all the trouble that now threatens me and worse, it could not have been avoided without the manifest ruin of this island."[278]

This paper, with a statement of the profits of his office, was sent to his son, who, unknown to him, was then a prisoner in the Tower. Means were found to transmit both to Lord Arlington. According to this account of his receipts, it appeared that the Assembly had voted him a salary of one thousand pounds per annum, to be raised by an impost on liquors, which, in the course of five years, had never produced more than six hundred pounds in any one year. Twenty pounds were paid him for every commission issued to a privateer, which in all might have amounted to four hundred pounds, and together with presents from them and other gains, direct or indirect, never had exceeded five hundred pounds. The fifteenth share of the valuation of prizes brought in by them, which had been collected as a droit of the Crown, amounting to six or seven hundred pounds, had been entirely expended on the fortification of Port Royal with £2,500 of his own money. The establishment due him from the king, still unpaid, amounted to £6,350.[279]

He also replied very fully and apparently frankly to a long list of questions from the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations as to the condition of the island, its commerce, and relations with neighbouring countries. After describing its position with respect to Cuba, Porto Rico and the great island of Hispaniola, "the west parts[206] of which are inhabited", he said, "by French, with a mixture of English, Dutch, and Walloons, with whom our people trade for hides, tallow, jerked meat, cattle, and horses, which they daily fetch from the Spaniards, who dare not vindicate themselves," he remarked:

"Thus may your Lordships read Jamaica circled with enemy's countries, which (though not sufficiently stored with people to hurt us) yet are good places to receive and cherish such forces as may come from Europe or Mexico to oppress us, and therefore is there much reason for that standing force of privateers or somewhat equivalent to give us seasonable intelligence, and to be prompt to resist the first attempts of the enemy."[280]

He enclosed a complete list of the ships that had sailed under Morgan from Cape Tiburon, giving the name of the captain and a statement of the tonnage and number of crew and guns carried by each, and another of the ships owned in Port Royal engaged in the logwood trade at Campeachy, numbering thirty-two, carrying seventy-four guns and 424 men. Between the 1st of January, 1668, and the 1st of January, 1670, he reported that 208 ships had arrived at Port Royal, the largest being of 180 tons and the smallest of only three tons, having in the whole an aggregate tonnage of 6,727.[281]

A return of the trained bands or militia, made in June, 1670, when fear of an invasion was strong, showed that they consisted of five regiments of foot besides two independent companies in the sparsely settled parishes on the north side, and one regiment of horse, numbering in all 2,720 of all ranks.[282]

At the request of Lord Arlington, Modyford transmitted a "Survey of the Island" prepared by the Receiver-General, giving a list of persons to whom land had been granted and the quantity granted to each in the six parishes on the south side, which had been the longest settled. This return showed that they contained 717 families, numbering by estimation, 7,898 per[207]sons, to whom 189,620 acres of land had been patented. An estimate was made that 20,000 acres of land had been granted in the other parishes, which were surmised to contain 1,500 inhabitants. Privateersmen, hunters, and boatmen, not included in the population of any parish, were supposed to number "at least 1,500 able, lusty men". The towns of Port Royal and St. Jago de la Vega were believed to be peopled by not less than 3,500 persons. The total population was consequently estimated to be 15,198, and the extent of land actually patented to be 209,020 acres. With respect to some of these grants, the governor deemed it advisable to make an explanation in his covering letter.

"Your Lordship will find", he said, "great quantities of land granted to some persons, among whom my son, 6,000 acres, whose name I made use of for myself, having about 400 persons in Our Family and so but one half acre due, 5,000 to Capt. Noy which is the Wast Land by the Sea Side, most part covered with Salt Water where there is a very hopeful Work began for Salt &c.

"There is 3,200 to one Styles, who never had hands proportionable nor ever will as I judge, but the reason of it was that within a year of my coming he made oath His Majesty had granted a Privy Seal for that quantity which he had lost by the War and faithfully promised to stock it, which being where nobody would take lands, I granted it and desire your Lordship to direct my son to search the Privy Seal office, whether there be any such grant.

"As to the rest the Proportion of Hands is not wanting for its security and in the whole grant added together your Lordship will find double the number."[283]

Besides the persons named by him, his brother, Sir James Modyford, had been granted 5,300 acres in three parishes, and Lord Clarendon had obtained 3,000 acres in the parish that still bears his name. Taking into consideration all these grants, it appeared that 120,446 acres or nearly sixty per cent. of the whole, had been acquired by ninety-six persons. In the parish of St. Catherine, inhabited by 158 families, 50,155 acres out of a total of[208] 68,590 patented, had been granted to twenty-nine favoured individuals.

The Receiver-General further reported that fifty-seven sugar-works were in operation, producing annually about 1,710,000 weight of sugar, and that about a dozen more were being established. Forty-seven cocoa-walks yielded annually about 188,000 pounds of nuts, and many others had been planted and would soon begin to bear fruit. The product of fifty-nine indigo works was estimated at 49,000 pounds per annum, "to which many are daily adding", he said. Three salt ponds, containing upwards of four thousand acres, situated in that part of the parish of St. Catherine, still called the Salt Pond District, managed by Captain John Noye, had yielded in the last year about ten thousand bushels of salt, and Noye asserted that he could have made as many tons, had there been any demand for as much. Considerable quantities of braziletto, ebony, fustic, lignum vitæ, and other kinds of valuable wood were exported. Pimento, pepper, and annatto grew wild in abundance in the hills, and a commerce in these products might be developed with profit. The number of domestic cattle was stated to have increased in six years from sixty to six thousand. Sheep, goats, and tame hogs were so plentiful that the inhabitants were in no danger of want, and they hoped soon to be able to supply ships bound for England with all they needed. In fact, the settlers had been enterprising and industrious and the colony was flourishing.[284]

A vague report that Modyford was to be recalled had reached Jamaica, and Henry Morgan's signature headed a petition to the King, praying that he should be continued in office as governor, unless there were "very pregnant reasons to the contrary". The petitioners stated that they had lived for several years in the island "in a very poor and unsettled state" until Modyford had arrived, "who by the great encouragement he gave to planting (more especially by his own example, having brought and laid out a considerable stock), induced them to betake themselves to planting and a settled condition,[209] wherein he daily endeavours to oblige them by many wholesome laws, with a free and unbiased administration of justice; and the loud fame thereof draws great numbers of His Majesty's subjects from all parts to settle amongst them, to the great benefit of the island, His Majesty's revenue, and the English nation". This petition was also signed by Colonel Theodore Cary, Lieutenant-Colonels Robert Byndloss, John Cope, and William Ivy, all large proprietors and members of the Council, seven sergeant-majors, seventeen captains, thirteen lieutenants, eleven ensigns, eleven merchant freeholders, twenty-two merchant inhabitants, and 251 freeholders, being probably a majority of the principal residents. Apparently it was received in London some months after the decision to recall Modyford had been made and was then ignored, but may have subsequently had some influence in his favour.[285]

Hostilities had not entirely ceased after Morgan's return, as about the end of May, a party of Spaniards landed on the northern coast of Jamaica, burnt a house, and carried off a prisoner to Cuba. No attempt was made to retaliate.

Sir Thomas Lynch was politely welcomed by Modyford and his friends and he seems to have been highly respected by most of the inhabitants who knew him. Two fourth-rate frigates of the Royal Navy, the Assistance and Welcome, came with him, and both of these ships were sent at once to Cartagena with Colonel Beeston and another officer, to announce the receipt of the terms of the treaty of peace and ask the liberation of all English prisoners of war. Lynch and Modyford agreed in the opinion that English ships should be permitted to cut and bring logwood from the bay of Campeachy, where nearly forty small vessels from Jamaica were already employed in that profitable occupation, and they feared that the Spaniards would capture some of them and thus provoke another war.[286]


As predicted, the news of the capture and burning of Panama had made "a great noise in Europe". The earliest published account of this event appeared in a Dutch newspaper, the Hollandtze Mercurius, in April, 1671, which contained a translation of a letter from the commandant at Puerto Bello to the governor of Cartagena and forwarded by the latter on March 6. In June, this account was supplemented in the same newspaper by a more complete and accurate narrative, apparently sent from Jamaica, adding that demands for reparation would be made by Spain.

An English newsletter, addressed to John Davies at Hertford and published by him on the 1st July, 1671, stated that letters from Jamaica, dated April 15,

"advise that the fleet of pirateers under the command of General Morgan sailed in December from the Isle of Vaca by High Spaniola, with 34 sail of small vessels and above 2,000 men to a stronghold on Terra Firma called Changra Castle, which they took after two days' dispute and then by storming with the loss of 150 men. Thence they took all the boats and canoes they could find on the coast, embarked of themselves 1,800 and went up the great river Changra within 12 leagues of Panama, where they landed and marched up to a plain or savana, where they met 700 horse and 2,000 foot Spaniards, and 1,000 slaves, who fought, but after a sharp dispute the English put them to flight possessing what booty they left on the field and having killed about 500 Spaniards and taken several prisoners, with little loss. This done they marched to Panama, but the Spaniards being beaten in the field, set it on fire in several places and quitted it, having some time before sent all their plate and chief treasure on board some galleons rid off the South Sea, where the English could not come at them, but in the houses not burnt the pirateers got plunder. They stayed in the country six weeks and then returned to their ships, when differing about dividing the plunder 22 sail left General Morgan and went upon another design further down the Bay, and he returned with eight sail to Jamaica. The General lost his own ship with three others but saved the silver, gold, and jewels, which it is said the officers took store of, though the seamen and soldiers shared but £16 apiece. Some letters say that in the whole the English lost about 400."[287]


See p. 210

See p. 210

See p. 210

See p. 210

Six weeks later another newsletter published intelligence from Jamaica, dated as late as May 29, stating the receipt of a message from the governor of San Domingo, enclosing a copy of the treaty and announcing his intention of proclaiming it on June 23. "The privateers which left Morgan are said to be in a sad condition", the writer continued, "many of them starving at a place to leeward on Terra Firma, called Boca del Drago. The coco trees are blasted again this May, and the Spaniards say all theirs are burnt up in the West Indies, so they were sending to Caraga for more to plant."[288]

These private letters were published some considerable time before Modyford's official letter enclosing Morgan's narrative had been received by the Secretary of State, and did not tend to mitigate his displeasure.

Lynch's first letter to Lord Arlington stated his belief that the Assistance with a ketch would be a sufficient naval force "to awe the privateers and reduce the refractory. This voyage," he added, "has mightily lessened and humbled them, and they would take it as a compliment to be severe with Morgan whom they rail on horribly for starving, cheating, and deserting them."[289]

A few days later he complained dolefully that the treasury was penniless, a dry season had blighted the cocoa and sugar canes, four-fifths of the men who had gone to Panama were lost, and he doubted whether there were as many people in the island then as there had been when he had left it seven years before, yet "prodigious quantities of land had been run out" for prospective settlers. Morgan had given him Guzman's official account of the capture of Chagres and Panama, which he had intercepted and "a most extraordinary Derrotero" or chart of the South Seas. Both were transmitted.[290]


Lynch had discreetly deferred the execution of his orders to place his predecessor under arrest, possibly fearing that he might meet with some resistance, and confessed that he considered it necessary to exercise much prudence in effecting it. Therefore he invited Modyford and other members of the council on board the frigate and then informed him in their presence that he had been instructed to send him to England as a prisoner of the State. They all seemed much surprised and distressed, perhaps anticipating that he might meet with the fate of Sir Walter Raleigh. To allay their alarm he assured Modyford, in accordance with Arlington's instructions, that "his life and fortune were in no danger and that he had orders to pardon all, which was a mark that Sir Thomas Modyford was not such a capital offender, but there was a necessity of the King's making this resentment for such an unseasonable irruption."

He afterwards wrote letters to the same effect to Modyford's son and to Morgan, who were both sick, and to some other members of the Council, who had not accepted his invitation, "fearing", he said, "that surprise or fear might occasion some rash actions, but God be thanked, all remained quiet, only by some in secret I was traduced as a trapan, and one that had betrayed the good General."

A few days later a meeting of the Council was held, which was attended by all the members, except Modyford's son and brother, Sir James, "who was reported to be frantic" when Lynch showed them his orders, which, he told them, "were not to be disputed though his manner of doing it might privately be censured." He permitted them to confirm the resolution commissioning Morgan, which the late governor took with him, and Lynch gave him a letter certifying that he had not discovered any disposition on his part or that of any of the people to rebel against his authority.

The question of the proper disposal of the negro and mulatto slaves brought from Panama had given him much perplexity, and he at length decided to liberate them cautiously, so that the people should not be too much displeased, as an agreement had been made by[213] some gentlemen with the governor of Cartagena to deliver them to him on payment of eighty pieces of eight per head.[291]

Surgeon-General Browne soon joined in the popular outcry against his late chief.

"At Chaugrave," he wrote, "they gave what they pleased, for which they must be content or else clapped in irons, and after staying there a week the Admiral and four or five more stood for Jamaica, being like to starve in that 10 days run, and the rest for want of provisions were forced to leeward, where hundreds were lost, starved, which is half the undoing of this island. At their going out on this unfortunate voyage they had 37 sail of men-of-war, and I know 10 cast away and not above 10 yet returned. . . .

"There have been very great complaints by the wronged seamen in Sir Thomas Modyford's time against Admiral Morgan, Collier and other Commanders, but nothing was done, but since Sir Thomas Lynch's arrival they are left to the law. The Commanders dare but seldom appear, the widows, orphans, and injured inhabitants, who have so freely advanced upon hopes of a glorious design, being now ruined through fitting out the privateers."[292]

When this letter was written Morgan was believed to be very seriously ill with fever. Sickness, however, did not exempt him from other troubles. A month later Dr. George Holmes presented a petition to the Council, alleging that being the owner of the ship Port Royal, he had given the command to Humphrey Thurston, with orders to go to Campeachy for a cargo of logwood, but contrary to his instructions, Thurston had converted his ship into a man-of-war, and had taken a Spanish ship of forty tons, laden with silk, wine, new Spanish cloth, and other goods. Thurston had afterwards, he alleged, fitted out his prize as a privateer and having laid up the Port Royal as a wreck, although actually worth £300, had joined Morgan's fleet, in the roll of which he appears as captain of the Thomas. When attempting to enter the[214] Chagres river in the wake of Morgan's flagship, that vessel ran aground and was lost. The petitioner asserted that Morgan had received £1,000 as compensation for the loss of his own ship and had promised to indemnify all others for any similar loss in a formal agreement, signed by himself, Captains Edward Collier, Lawrence Prince, Thomas Harris, and others, yet he had been paid nothing, and prayed that Admiral Morgan should be summoned before the Council to answer his complaint. An order was made that Morgan should appear at the next meeting to answer the complaint of Dr. Holmes, that "such order may be made as shall be agreeable to law and equity."[293] The result of this enquiry is not recorded.

The marriage of his wife's younger sister in the summer of this year to Henry Archbold, the owner, among other properties, of the large estate of Constant Spring, on which a great part of the city of Kingston is now built, had considerably strengthened Morgan's local position.

Circumstantial rumours of an impending invasion caused serious alarm in the autumn. Lynch reported that merchants had received letters from Holland, London, and Spain warning them that "the Church and Grandees of Spain" had engaged to reconquer Jamaica with a fleet of thirty-six ships and an army of five thousand men. He had no fears except for the safety of Port Royal, as he believed the island was as secure as England. He had held a council of war, at which no doubt Morgan was required to attend as chief adviser, and it had been decided to defend it to the last "upon his own credit" as neither the King nor the colony had any money. The fortifications were being strengthened accordingly as far as his means would admit.

"This noise of war," he continued, "makes me more strict in observing the Peace, people being too apt to wish for a rupture to satisfy their own particular designs, and I cannot think it is for the Spaniards' interest to break it lest we should bring the war again into their own quarters. I will never do this without positive[215] instructions for I had rather maintain the charge of the whole nation in Jamaica than of one ambassador in the Tower, though I am told it will check these people mightily to know that they must only fight like baited bears within the length of their chain."[294]

Before the year had ended he wrote again to say that the Spaniards might indeed ruin Port Royal, but it would be utterly impossible for them to retake Jamaica, and once more requested definite instructions in event of hostilities and whether he should employ the French to harass them.

"Possibly they [the Spaniards] may come to connive at a little underhand trade," he wrote, "whereby they get more than we. I believe it may be better than a public and open trade which would infallibly destroy what we have with Spain. But should it be impossible to steal into any kind of correspondence with them, I yet conceive it is against the island's interest to make war. People have not married, built, or settled as they would in peace; some for fear of being destroyed, others have got much and suddenly by privateers' bargains and are gone. War carries away all freemen, labourers, and planters of provisions, which makes work and victuals dear and scarce. Privateering encourages all manner of disorder and dissoluteness, and if it succeed, does but enrich the worst sort of people, and provoke and alarm the Spaniards, constraining them to arm and fortify, so that it will be difficult to take any considerable place when the King has design or people to do it. When Sir Thomas Modyford came here, there were 3,500 in the militia, and now not above 3,300. They may judge that there have been lost and left planting in the designs of the Windward Isles, Curacao, Oxford, Porto Bello, Granada, and Panama about 2,600, besides those carried off and lost in particular vessels, and these are the bravest sort of people; so that war will infinitely retard the settlement of the Island, which makes me wish that peace may be preserved here, according to the treaty at Madrid, though we should break with them in Europe, as it seems to be feared. The Spaniards seem inclinable to peace, but rather out of fear than love."[295]


Lynch had appointed the noted Captain Lawrence Prince to be one of his lieutenants, wishing, he said, to make it plain that the privateersmen were willing to serve the King. He urged very strongly the expediency of encouraging the traffic in logwood, asserting that the English had been engaged in this for years, that the wood was cut in desolate and uninhabited places, that the right to cut it was confirmed by treaty with Spain by which the Dutch and French were excluded, that it would facilitate the recall of the privateers, who had been engaged in hostilities with the Spaniards, and finally that it gave employment to a hundred sail of ships annually, and increased the revenue from customs and the trade of the nation more than any of the other English colonies in America.[296]

On December 1 writs were issued for the election of members to form a House of Assembly, which had not been convened for seven years, during which the government had been carried on by the governor with the occasional advice of the Council, and for part of that time under martial law, when invasion seemed probable. A number of temporary acts were passed at the ensuing session, which were forwarded to England, but none of them received the royal approval before they expired.

The prospect of a third war with Holland, arising from an embittered controversy over the execution of the treaty of Breda, induced the ministry to take further measures to conciliate the court of Spain, and instructions were sent to Lynch to place Morgan under arrest as a prisoner of state. He deferred obeying them for some time, fearing that if he did, this act might "make all the privateersmen apprehend they should be so dealt with, notwithstanding the King's proclamation of pardon. However," he explained, "I shall send him home so as he shall not be very much disgusted, yet the order obeyed, and the Spaniards satisfied. I cannot do it now, for he is sick and there is no opportunity. To speak the truth of him he's an honest brave fellow, and had both Sir Thomas Modyford's and the Council's commission and instructions, which they thought he obeyed and followed so well[217] that they gave him public thanks, which is recorded in the Council books. However, it must be confessed that the privateers did divers barbarous acts, which they lay to the Vice-Admiral's charge."[297]

The Spanish ministers had renewed their insistent complaints against the late governor of Jamaica for piracy, "very grievous and barbarous", and their ambassador in London tirelessly importuned the King and Cabinet for reparation and the severe punishment of the chief offenders. In the minds of English officials their natural irritation over this "unseasonable event" was not unmingled with admiration and national pride in the performance of Morgan's "unparalleled exploit". John Evelyn recorded in his diary that letters from Sir Thomas Modyford concerning the "expedition and exploit of Coll. Morgan and others of Jamaica on the Spanish Continent at Panama" were read at the Privy Council on the 29th of June, 1671. Under date of the 18th of August he made this further note:

"The letters of Sir Tho. Modiford were read giving relation of the exploit at Panama, which was very brave, they tooke, burnt, and pillag'd the towne of vast treasures but the best of the booty had ben shipp'd off and lay at anchor in the South Sea, so that after our men had rang'd the country for 60 miles about, they went back to Nombre de Dios, and embarq'd for Jamaica. Such an action had not ben done since the famous Drake."

Yet it was felt that some ostensibly vigorous action must be taken to appease the injured Spaniards. Sir Thomas Modyford, on his arrival in London, was at once confined as a state prisoner in the Tower, where he was maintained in comfortable restraint for more than two years. He was never brought to trial, and soon after his release was permitted to return to Jamaica and appointed Chief Justice.

Morgan's arrest and deportation was deferred for several months. Finally Lynch reported that the Assistance had been sent to Cuba to procure "flesh," but when she returned, would sail for England with Admiral[218] Morgan. He would retain the "great frigate" until another came to relieve her, as without such a naval force the people would "neither keep the peace nor defend themselves from pirates or from the insults of their neighbours."[298]

In two weeks he had changed his mind, and decided to fit out the Welcome for the difficult voyage across the Atlantic.[299]

But after the lapse of a month, he wrote again to say that as soon as the Welcome came into port, she would sail with Morgan.[300]

The Assistance returned from a cruise bringing in as prizes two privateers, one English and one French, "the captains of which having committed great violences against the Spaniard", were quickly tried as pirates, convicted, and sentenced to die. At last on April 4, Lynch gave written instructions to Captain John Keene, of H.M.S. Welcome, to sail at once, taking on board Colonel Henry Morgan "as His Majesty's prisoner," and Captain Francis Witherborn, who had been lately sentenced to death for piracy. He was directed to take under convoy the Lyon of Bristol, the pink, Providence, of London, and the dogger-boat, Johanna, to touch at the first port in England, send ashore his letters, and advise Lord Arlington of his arrival.[301]

Before his departure Major General James Banister gave Morgan a friendly letter of introduction to Lord Arlington, with whom he had had some previous correspondence.

"The bearer, Admiral Morgan," he said, "is sent home confined to the Welcome frigate, to appear, as is suspected, on account of his proceedings against the Spaniard. I know not what approbation he may find there, but he received here a very high and honourable applause for his noble service therein, both from Sir Thomas[219] Modyford and the Council that commissioned him. I hope without offence I may say he is a very well deserving person, and one of great courage and conduct, who may, with his Majesty's pleasure, perform good public service at home or be very advantageous to this island, if war should again break forth with the Spaniard. I request your Lordship's assistance that he may obtain his Majesty's favour in this business, and your Lordship will thereby pacify the suspicions of the Council that they shall likewise be questioned about his commission."[302]

Richard Browne had applied without success for a passage in the same ship and remained in Jamaica "to be tyrannized over". He felt greatly aggrieved, and vented his disappointment in an angry letter to Secretary Williamson.

"I cannot find myself in any way obliged to Admiral Morgan," he wrote, "for if he had been just to his word I had come off, but God grant that he may find as few friends as I; but mine and others' gold in his pocket may do something. I find myself little obliged to Captain Keene of the Welcome, a span new captain of the last edition, who denied me a passage to England."[303]

Alarmed for his own safety by Morgan's arrest, his Vice-Admiral, Captain Edward Collier, sold his estate and attempted to abscond from Jamaica.

Captain Keene wrote from Spithead on July 4 that his two prisoners were still on board the Welcome, "but much tried with their long confinement, especially Colonel Morgan, who is very sickly."[304]

Influential friends in England were not idle in Morgan's interest, for in August Secretary Williamson received a letter from William Morgan, a deputy lieutenant for the county of Monmouth, "desiring his favour in behalf of Colonel Henry Morgan of Jamaica, a relation and formerly a neighbour, sent over to answer some miscarriage in his Majesty's service in the Spanish territory, as I have a very good character of him, and in the management[220] of the late business to Panama he behaved with as much prudence, fidelity, and resolution as could be reasonably expected and at his return his services were approved by the then Governor and Council and thanks ordered him and all good men would be troubled if a person of his loyalty and consideration as to his Majesty's affairs in those parts should fall for want of friends to assist him."[305]

There is doubt whether any restraint was imposed upon him after landing in England. The statement which has been made that he was confined in the Tower is probably untrue, as his name cannot be found in its records. Some significance may be attached to the fact that on the 4th of April, 1672, a warrant was issued to Roger L'Estrange, to suppress and hinder the publication containing an account of "the late attempt upon Panama by certain of his Majesty's subjects."[306]

England had declared war against Holland in March. France had done the same on April 6. But the allies had not gained any very notable success. Once more the safety of Jamaica seemed to be imperilled. Lynch soon addressed the King in a gloomy strain, stating that he "feared all may be lost if we have not a frigate or two to defend the island. It is impossible to raise privateers against the Dutch that have neither country nor merchants to take."[307]

Ships of the Royal Navy could not be sent for its protection. The services of the experienced and skilful leader who possessed the ability to rally the privateers seemed much needed in those seas. Morgan's advice had certainly been requested in confidence within a year, as under the date of the 1st of August, 1673, he submitted a memorandum to the King, saying that in obedience to "his commands and promise concerning Jamaica", through Lord Arlington, he had set down what he thought needful for the security of that island. He requested that a fifth-rate frigate should be assigned to[221] transport him, and that the merchants should be granted permission to send a ship of 26 guns with a crew of only thirty men, one-third of them foreigners, to convey the necessary supplies at "a very easy rate". He asked that twenty iron guns, being ten demi-culverins and ten whole culverins,[308] should be furnished to arm new batteries at Port Royal, together with powder, shot, and other necessary supplies. These guns and munitions, he declared, were required at once for the preservation of the chief harbour and magazine of the island.[309]

The customary delay occurred in taking action upon his recommendations, perhaps from want of means. But on the 23rd of January, 1674, Lord Arlington informed the Council for Trade and Plantations that the King had appointed the Earl of Carlisle Governor of Jamaica, and Colonel Henry Morgan as his Deputy Governor, and commanded them to consider and report what commission, powers, and instructions should be given to those officers. Two months later drafts of a commission and instructions were prepared and approved for Colonel Morgan as deputy governor of Jamaica and commander-in-chief within that island during pleasure, with the same powers during the absence of the governor as were granted to him, and "all powers, dignities, profits, and advantages belonging to the place of deputy governor." He was instructed to proceed to Jamaica with all convenient speed; in the absence of the governor to call together the Council and cause his commission, as well as that of the governor-in-chief to be solemnly published; to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy and an oath for the due execution of his office; and, in the absence of the governor, to do such things as by the King's instructions, the governor was empowered to do. These instructions seem to have been drafted by the skilled hand of the philosopher John Locke, who was then secretary of the Council of Trade and Plantations, with[222] the special object of providing for the prolonged absence of the governor.

In fact, the Earl of Carlisle had declined to accept that appointment. But on the 3rd April, 1674, letters patent were unexpectedly issued appointing John, Lord Vaughan, Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in his place. He was the second son of the Earl of Carbery, who lived in great state at Golden Grove, near Dynevor. His father had been an active royalist in the early years of the Civil War and had acted as the King's Lieutenant-General for South Wales and in consequence had been impeached by the House of Commons "for being in arms against the Parliament and King." Edward Morgan had served under him as Colonel-General. Lord Vaughan had been carefully educated as a boy under the tutorage of Jeremy Taylor, who found a quiet retreat in his father's house for several years during which he had written some of his most famous books. After studying at Oxford the young man went to court after the restoration, and at the age of twenty-one was knighted by Charles II. In the same year he was elected as a member of the House of Commons for the borough of Carmarthen. He held the seat for nine years, and on the death of his elder brother had succeeded to the courtesy title of Lord Vaughan.[310]

Little record of Morgan's residence in England has been found beyond a single entry in Evelyn's diary. Under date of 20th September, 1674, he wrote:

"At Lord Berkeley's I discoursed with Sir Thomas Modiford, late Governor of Jamaica, and with Col. Morgan, who undertooke that gallant exploit from Nombre de Dios to Panama on the Continent of America; he told me 10,000 men would easily conquer all the Spanish Indies they were so secure. They tooke great booty, and much greater had ben taken, had they not ben betraied and so discovered before their approch by which the Spaniards had time to carry their vast treasure on board ships that put off to sea in sight of our men, who had no boates to follow. They set fire to Panama, and[223] ravaged the country for 60 miles about. The Spaniards were so supine and unexercis'd, that they were afraid to fire a greate gun."

On the first intimation of hostilities with Holland, Lynch began the construction of another redoubt for the defence of Port Royal, which he named Fort James in honour of the Lord High Admiral. In May, 1673, he had issued writs for the election of a new House of Assembly, which, after sitting a few days, was abruptly dissolved, as a majority of its members declined to vote money for the completion of the fortifications at Port Royal.[311]

Letters-of-marque were issued against Holland, and an active campaign against pirates was carried on by two ships of the Royal Navy. Several ships suspected of piracy were taken by the Assistance and Portland frigates, and the captain of one of these, a Dutchman named Jansen, was convicted and hanged, being, it was said, "the only Privateer, who ever suffered for all the Murther, Rapine, and Violence those dissolute People have committed on the Spaniards."[312]

An armed ship, the Thomas and Francis, Captain George Gallop, hired and manned by the governor, in company with the privateer, Flying Horse, captured a Dutch ship with 544 negro slaves on board, which an anonymous eulogist of Lynch declared "were more beneficial to the island than all the Prizes brought to it."[313]

At his command also two surveyors "ran a Chain round the island", and at the end of his administration the value of land was said to have increased five-fold.[314]

Private reports of Morgan's favourable reception in England were at length received in Jamaica and caused[224] Lynch considerable vexation, as he had received no official intimation of any change in the policy of the government. This feeling he did not hesitate to express very distinctly.

"The Spaniards expect the galleons in two or three months," he wrote late in November, 1674, "with 20 Biscaniers, Ostenders, and Flushingers, which are likely to clear the Indies of all that infest them. One of the reasons of their coming is the noise of the Admiral's favour at Court and return to the Indies, which much alarmed the Spaniards and caused the King to be at vast charges fortifying in the South Seas. . . . The island has improved these last three years to a marvel, and the people are as contented as the English can be. Many wish my continuance but not myself. None can come to this Government with such joy as I shall quit it, for the discountenance I have had in England has not only disheartened me, but disabled me from serving the King as I ought. I wonder that I have not been made acquainted with Lord Vaughan's coming that I might have done all that is possible for his reception, for provision is not suddenly made, and Admiral Morgan's letters have long since declared first Lord Carlisle, then himself for Governor; others, Lord Vaughan, or Sir Ed. Ford, and by this ship a letter says a stop was put to Lord Vaughan's and Lieut.-General Morgan's Commissions."[315]

The population of the island had slightly increased, and he reported that the white inhabitants numbered 7,768, besides 800 seamen employed in privateers. There were 9,504 negroes. He sent the Secretary of State a pot of sugar, as a sample of its chief product, with an account of the method of cultivating the cane and the process of manufacture.

Early in November his commission as Lieutenant-Governor was formally revoked, without any previous notice having been given to him. Three days later a new commission was issued to Colonel Henry Morgan as Lieutenant-Governor of the island of Jamaica during His Majesty's pleasure, empowering him, in case of the absence or death of Lord Vaughan, to execute all powers[225] formerly granted him in his commission issued in April, "His Majesty reposing particular confidence in his loyalty, prudence, and courage, and long experience of that colony."[316]

Soon afterwards the honour of knighthood was conferred on him, as was customary on the appointment of an untitled person as governor or lieutenant-governor of an important colony.[317]

A nearly contemporary writer was responsible for the frequently repeated assertion that his enforced residence in England so far from being as fortunate as it appeared, was in reality the cause of his prolonged ill health in after life.

"Without being Charged with any Crime, or ever brought to a Hearing, he was kept here at his own great Expence above Three years, not only to the wasting of some thousands he was then worth, but to the hindrance of his Planting, and improvement of his Fortune by his Industry, towards which none in that place was in a greater way: So that under those difficulties and the perpetual Malice of a prevailing Court-Faction, he wasted the remaining part of his life, opprest not only by those but by a lingring Consumption, the Coldness of this Climate and his vexations had brought him into, when he was forced to stay here."[318]




On the 8th of January, 1675, Morgan sailed from the Downs in the Jamaica Merchant, commanded by Joseph Knapman, having on board the guns and munitions intended for the defence of Port Royal. The captain had received instructions to keep in company with the frigate, Foresight, conveying Lord Vaughan and his suite, but had so much trouble in weighing anchor that that ship was lost sight of at the Foreland and not again seen. Ten days later Knapman fell in with a large fleet of English merchantmen under convoy bound for the Mediterranean, and then steered, as he believed, on the most direct course for the West Indies. On February 25 his ship ran aground on a reef near the Isle à la Vache when, Morgan afterwards declared, all on board must certainly have perished had he not known where they were. Knapman reported that "he knew not what evil genius led him there and never was any man more surprised considering the course they had steered." The passengers and crew succeeded in getting ashore but the ship soon became a total wreck with the loss of its valuable lading. In a few days, a Jamaican privateer, commanded by an old comrade, Captain Thomas Rogers, then sailing under French colours with a French letter-of-marque against Spain, arrived at that island and took Morgan and his companions to Port Royal, where they landed early in March.

Learning then that Lord Vaughan had not arrived and that nothing had been heard from him, a meeting of the Council was held at Morgan's request, which was attended by Lynch and six other members. Morgan was present and the document revoking Lynch's commission was read. A resolution was then passed, declaring the opinion of the Council that Sir Henry Morgan had[227] been constituted Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica under the King's Sign Manual and by a clause in the said revocation under the Great Seal was sufficiently vested with authority to assume the government. Lynch at once demitted the administration to him and an order was made for the publication of a proclamation announcing that fact, and continuing all officers, civil and military, in their respective employments until further notice. Morgan reported the loss of the Jamaica Merchant and cargo at Isle à la Vache, and another order was promptly passed for sending sloops and boats to the scene of the wreck to attempt the recovery of the guns and other public property.[319]

Four days later, as the governor had not yet come, a second meeting of the Council was convened and attended by the same members, at which an order was made that the Great Seal of the Island should be placed in Morgan's hands as the present commander-in-chief of the forces.[320]

Lord Vaughan arrived at Port Royal on March 14. Morgan stated in an official letter that he had been received with all imaginable respect. The cannon of the forts had fired a royal salute, and he was entertained at the King's House with a "splendid dinner". Next day his commission was read in public by Peter Beckford, the secretary of the colony, and the governor was "nobly entertained" by the commandant of the forts, Colonel Theodore Cary. On March 16 Vaughan drove in state from the wharf at Passage Fort to Spanish Town, accompanied by most of the gentry in their coaches, and at night was once more entertained at "a most splendid dinner", by Sir Thomas Modyford, who had also returned to Jamaica. On the following day the Council met and his commission was again publicly read. An account of the revenue was demanded from Sir Thomas Lynch.

This, Morgan reported, "was found very short, and likewise His Majesty's stores so exhausted that there was found in all the stores but fourteen barrels of powder,[228] which on occasion would not last three hours. Nevertheless," he continued, "that shall not daunt me, for before I shall lose his Majesty's Fortifications, I will lose myself and a great many brave men more that will stand and fall by me in his Majesty's service; though they grumble much that their powder has been sold to the Spaniards by the late Governor. His Excellency next convened an Assembly for the 26th inst. (April) which gives general satisfaction. The face of all things is most changed, and things go but indifferently between the General and Sir Thomas Lynch; nor can any one blame the General for there is the greatest cheat in the world intended to be put on the King about Captain Gallop's negro prize, which was condemned to the King, but there has been no return to his Majesty, though above £8,000 received; and the General demanding the reason, Sir Thomas answered he kept it for Captain Gallop; but if Gallop had come he would have answered it was condemned to the King. To keep people in the dark there was no registry kept of the fees of the condemnation, and contrary to all custom she was condemned when without command."[321]

War had been declared by France against Spain on the 19th of October, 1674, and when this became known several Jamaican privateers had obtained letters-of-marque from d'Ogeron, the enterprising and tactful governor of Tortuga. Some of these men were scarcely distinguishable from pirates, but wished to give their operations a colour of legality. It mattered little to them what flag they sailed under. Spanish ships, warehouses, and churches offered them the richest and most tempting spoil. It suited them particularly well to carry at the same time an English commission against Holland and a French commission against Spain. Port Royal was the best place to dispose of their prizes and refit their ships. Some valuable ships taken from the Dutch had been brought in there by them for adjudication by Lynch as Vice-Admiral. But a treaty of peace between England and Holland had been concluded on the 19th of February, 1674, although it was not proclaimed in Jamaica until several months had elapsed. The dual activity of these[229] privateers had created a very unsatisfactory situation.

In Lord Vaughan's commission the powers of the governor had been considerably enlarged. A council to be composed of twelve persons was appointed. He was empowered to suspend or expel its members, and in case of vacancies to fill them to the number of nine. He was given the power of a veto on the enactment of laws and authority to dissolve the House of Assembly at discretion.

At the next meeting of the Council Lynch asked an extension of the term allowed him to complete his account of arms and munitions owing to the sickness of the commandant of the forts. This was granted, and Sir Henry Morgan, Colonel William Beeston, and Lieut.-Colonel Robert Byndloss were named as a committee to audit his statement. Lord Vaughan appointed Sir Thomas Modyford to be chief justice. The secretary reported a dispute between the governor and Sir Thomas Lynch over the sale of Captain Gallop's prize of negroes taken from the Dutch.[322]

A deposition having been made before a magistrate concerning the execution of several Englishmen as pirates at Havana in 1674, Vaughan ordered that it should again be sworn to before Morgan and two other commissioners of the Admiralty in the presence of some Spanish prisoners brought in by a French man-of-war, who were interrogated and admitted that the greater part of it was true to their own knowledge.[323]

Reports were received from Tortuga that the French there were again assembling a fleet and a great body of men for a invasion of some of the Spanish possessions, and from Santiago de Cuba that the Queen Regent of Spain had ordered the governor of that town to send her immediate notice of the arrival of Sir Thomas Modyford and Sir Henry Morgan in Jamaica. Information was received about the same time that a ship owned in Jamaica, laden with logwood from Campeachy, had been taken by the Spaniards and carried into San Domingo.[230]

The House of Assembly passed resolutions advising that the Captain-General should reside at St. Jago (Spanish Town) and the Lieutenant-General at Port Royal and that Vaughan should be paid a salary of £2,000 per annum and Sir Henry Morgan should receive £600 "for his good service during his Lieutenant-Governorship but none of his successors."[324]

Vaughan soon settled his dispute with Lynch but became much displeased with Morgan, whom he fiercely assailed in his letters to England. To Secretary Williamson he wrote in care of Lynch, whom he described as his friend, "being very well satisfied with his prudent government and conduct of affairs." He recommended that the Minister should refer to him for particulars of all that had occurred since his landing, as well as "of the unlucky shipwreck of Sir Henry Morgan and loss of the King's stores occasioned by his particular ill conduct and willful breach of his positive and written orders, and his behaviour and weakness since the meeting of the Assembly, which, with other follies, have so tired me that I am perfectly weary of him and think it for the King's service that he should be removed and the charge of so useless an officer saved."[325]

He added that what he had objected to in England was not Morgan's appointment but the division of the command, which he believed, would cause discord. He said that he had written to all the King's Ministers informing them "of the truth of this miscarriage, which he believed both the King and the Duke of York would greatly resent. If the King would grant him authority to appoint a proper deputy to act in the case of his absence or death, subject to the royal approval, reviving a privilege possessed by Lord Windsor, he would recommend Sir Thomas Lynch in preference to any other person."

Lynch also was much aggrieved by his supercession and exerted all his considerable influence to damage Morgan.[231]

Writing a few days later to the governor of Portsmouth, Vaughan boldly asserted that the King's stores had been lost

"through the folly or madness of Sir H. Morgan, being shipwrecked on the shoals of Isla de Vaca. In the Downs I gave him orders in writing to keep me company and in no case to be separated from me but by stress of weather; however he, God knows by what fate, coveting to be here before me, wilfully lost me, but afterwards met with Sir R. Strickland who was following our course, being convoy to the Straits fleet, but after six hours sail as soon as he got sea-room sailed directly for Isla, whereas we lay by expecting 5 or 6 days, till divers of Sir Roger's fleet came up with us. I have sent the Commissioners of the Navy the master's journal which confirms this, besides the discourse Sir Harry made in London, and was wrote some gentlemen here, that he intended to come hither before me."[326]

The war between France and Holland was still going on, and in the West Indies the French were decidedly getting the worst of it, as on July 15, the Dutch Admiral Binks swooped down on the port of Petit Goaves in Hispaniola and destroyed all the ships in the harbour. The Jamaican privateers had dispersed, some settling quietly as planters, others engaging in the logwood trade. A few of the most adventurous were still cruising against the Spaniards and Dutch with French commissions, while some had wandered off to New England, and had joined the colonists there in their war with King Philip.[327]

Learning that some of these privateers, to whom he had granted letters-of-marque against the Spaniards, were stealthily selling their prize-goods in Jamaica, d'Ogeron gave a power of attorney to Robert Byndloss, Morgan's brother-in-law, instructing him to collect from them the sums claimed by him as a droit of the Admiral of France.[328]

Not long afterwards Morgan imprudently wrote a letter to one of his former subordinates assuring him a[232] welcome in any harbour of the island, where he would receive all the privileges he could expect from him.[329] Both these papers in some way came into the hands of the governor, who used them as evidence of improper conduct.

In the course of the summer Lord Vaughan was instructed to appoint Morgan a member of the Executive Council in the place of Major-General Banister, deceased.[330] This seems to have increased his enmity. He wrote at once to the Secretary of State, inquiring what action had been taken on his former complaints against Morgan, which he renewed.

"I am every day more convinced of his imprudence and unfitness to have anything to do with the Civil Government, and of what hazards the Island may run in so dangerous a succession," he said. "Sir Henry has made himself and his authority so cheap at the Port, drinking and gaming in the taverns, that I intend to remove there speedily myself for the reputation of the Island and the security of that place, though I pretend it is only to change the air, having lately had a fever. His Majesty's speedy resolution on what I have proposed would exceedingly satisfy all the sober and wealthy people, who are very doubtful of what may happen in case of my death or absence; in all else they are fully satisfied and everybody is bent on planting, which will be much improved by the arrival of these people from Surinam."[331]

By the recent treaty with Holland the English colony of Surinam had been exchanged for the Dutch colony of the New Netherlands, which was then given the name of New York. All the English settlers in Surinam who decided to remove, were offered lands in Jamaica, and the governor had been instructed to allot each of them double the quantity of land usually granted to an ordinary settler. A considerable tract of land had been reserved for them in the southeastern district of the parish of St. Elizabeth, which is still known as "Surinam Quarters". Forty families arrived in a single ship in[233] September, and these were followed a week later by no less than eleven hundred immigrants.[332]

In his reply Williamson prudently advised Vaughan to adjust his differences with Morgan, and stated his intention of giving Morgan the same advice.[333]

The records of the Council show that the instructions for the admission of Morgan were read in December, when he was introduced and sworn. At the same meeting orders were read from the King to the governor, directing him to recall all privateers who had taken commissions from the French against Spain. A proclamation to that effect was prepared and approved. A report, made about the same time, stated that there were eleven of such ships, aggregating a thousand tons and carrying one hundred and fifty guns, besides twenty sloops of fifteen or twenty tons each, engaged in the logwood trade.[334]

Secretary Beckford described the unrelenting hostility of the Spaniards in a confidential letter.

"My Lord's great trouble is to carry himself even with the Spaniards, for they are daily taking all the ships they can master, and are very high, for when his Lordship sent to demand satisfaction, they answered they would look upon us as enemies and take all they came up with; and truly were not the French from Tortudas daily galling them with privateers, we should conclude ourselves in some danger, though if they had war I would not question by carrying it to their doors we should sufficiently defend our own. The French would prove very ill neighbours in war and much more dangerous than the Spaniards. As to the present state of the Island, no place the King has is more like to thrive, for they increase in planting to a miracle; I guess the number of planters to be about 3,000 . . . The Spaniards have shown such tricks in taking our vessels that we dare not adventure amongst them for trade . . . Our privateers have mostly employed themselves in the Bay of Campeachy to fetch logwood."[335]


According to another contemporary statement from a person of some authority, not less than thirty ships owned in Jamaica had been taken recently by the Spaniards on one pretext or another.[336]

A second large tract of crown lands adjacent to that allotted to the Surinam colonists was set aside for allotment, to induce the privateers who decided to obey the governor's proclamation and return from their rovings to become peaceful planters. This was known for many years as "Privateer Quarters," and a stream flowing through it into Cabaritta Bay still bears the name of Morgan's River. Morgan, himself, secured a grant of "meadow, pasture or woodland, or whatsoever land the same is, situate, lyeing and being in St. Elizabeth's parish conteyning by estimation ffour thousand Acres, bounding North Westerly on William Thorpe and the Easternmost River, North Easterly on unpossest land, and North West on Joseph Peeters," for which he was required to pay the usual annual rent of one halfpenny per acre on "the feast of St. Michael the Arch Angell," and the twentieth part of the annual "proffitts" of all mines granted or found on the land. The patent was dated on the 29th of September, 1676, and the lands therein granted seem to be the tract marked on Bontein's map of 1753 as "Morgan's Savana".[337]

The Minutes of the Council relate that at a meeting held on the 23rd of January, 1676, and attended by Lord Vaughan, Sir Henry Morgan, and six other members, Morgan reported the "unhandsome and misbeseeming words" which Colonel William Ivey, also a member of the Council, had used to the governor in his own house, and asked that he should be ordered to appear at the next meeting. No further reference was made to this singular complaint, and the subject seems to have been allowed to drop.[338]

The Court of Vice-Admiralty was re-organized with Morgan, Beeston, and Byndloss as its three members. There is evidence that in addition to the performance[235] of his duties as president of this Court at this time, Morgan frequently attended the regular and special sessions of the magistrates, and took depositions as a justice of the peace. There is practically no record of his activity as a planter, which appears to have been considerable.[339]

Peter Beckford once more reported that the governor had taken all possible care for maintaining peace with the Spaniards, "though", he added, "they are not so careful on their parts, but they have been very troublesome lately to our logwood men; if that trade were encouraged it would employ all our privateers, who otherwise will be committing piracies on the Spaniards for they cannot work." He roughly estimated the population of the colony as being about five thousand fighting men, about double that number of women and children, and perhaps three times as many negroes.[340]

On February 2nd, Morgan acknowledged the receipt of a missing letter from Sir Joseph Williamson, evidently asking for information. He regretted his inability to comply, saying that the little share he was allowed to take in the administration made him incapable of giving any accurate account of the condition of the island, as the governor had not yet been pleased to give him liberty to see it, and with respect to correspondence with their neighbours, the French and Spaniards, Lord Vaughan had absolutely prohibited it, and "having ever loved obedience to his superiors", he would not presume to disobey the governor, but if the Minister considered it to be for the King's service, as he himself was disposed to believe, he begged that he might receive orders, and he would then labour all that he could to fulfill them.[341]

At a meeting of the whole Council held two weeks later an order was made for the publication of the Articles of War and the enrolment and arming of all persons liable for military duty, which seemed to indicate alarm of hostilities. In a subsequent letter to Sir Joseph Wil[236]liamson, who had become Secretary of State, Peter Beckford remarked that "some difference" existed between the governor and Sir Henry Morgan, but he could not judge whose fault it was, yet he ventured to affirm that Lord Vaughan had "hitherto behaved himself so well that no one could lay the least blame." He added that Vaughan was then removing from Spanish Town to Port Royal, where he supposed his presence would enable him to hinder the privateers from going out and taking French commissions against the Spaniards.[342]

Soon after the governor peremptorily ordered the confiscation of a ship, for having landed merchandise without making an entry at the custom house as directed in the Acts of Navigation. "Truly," observed Beckford, "my Lord uses all possible means to suppress privateers."[343]

An English ship laden with three hundred negroes taken on board at Angola without a licence from the Royal African Company was also seized by his command and brought as a prize into Port Royal, where a libel was filed for her condemnation in the Court of Admiralty. The action was dismissed and the suit was taken for trial to the Court of Common Pleas, by order of the governor, with whom Morgan thus again came into conflict.

Vaughan replied in an aggrieved tone to Williamson's letter advising him to cultivate friendly relations with Morgan. He said that he knew not what complaints Sir Henry might make against him, yet he would never be influenced by any personal dislikes, but would endeavour to do his duty faithfully and advise the Minister of those who failed to do theirs. Therefore he had given his opinion of the cause of the loss of the public stores by shipwreck, and had placed the blame where he was certain the fault lay. He could justly complain, he declared, of Morgan's great ingratitude and disingenuity in having written many false and malicious letters about[237] him, though he was certain that the government in England would not be deceived by them. "What I most resent, and which I consider as part of my duty to lay before your Honour," he said, "is that I find Sir Henry, contrary to his duty and trust, endeavours to set up privateering, and has obstructed all my designs and purposes as to those who do use that curse of life." He had announced by several proclamations that he would not permit "those rapines and spoils" and that he would prosecute the offenders as pirates if they dared to enter any port in Jamaica. They had gone to Tortuga instead and obtained French commissions. He asserted, perhaps with some truth, that Morgan had recommended some of them to the French governor, that he was personally interested in their ventures, that he had ever since corresponded with them and had placed an authority in the hands of his brother-in-law, Robert Byndloss, to collect the tenths of their captures for the King of France. He described his own conduct with respect to the confiscation of the ship St. David, commanded by John Deane, "who had the impertinence to come to town." He had tried him in person, as the chief judge of the Court of Admiralty, adjudged him a pirate, and sentenced him to death. He had no doubt that the evidence he had already sent to Secretary Coventry would convince him of Morgan's disobedience and unfaithfulness, and how dangerous his setting up such a faction might prove to the welfare of the colony.[344]

All these complaints against Morgan were reiterated in a letter to Lord Anglesey, to whom he transmitted the depositions and an exemplification of the evidence in the trial of Deane, to satisfy him that it was conducted according to law and consistently with all precedents in the Court of Admiralty. Referring to Morgan he affirmed:

"I have detected him of the most gross unfaithfulness in his trust and a wilful breach and obstruction of my orders, only because they obstructed his de[238]sign of privateering." Since Deane had been tried he asserted that Morgan had been "so impudent and unfaithful at the taverns and in his own house as to speak some things which seemed to reflect upon my justice and vindicate the pirate, but the people are more prudent than to be led away or persuaded by seditious discourses. However, I have thought it my duty to lay all before the Ministers, and that my Deputy Governor endeavours to set up privateering, and has with his brother, Byndloss, encouraged the King's subjects to take French commissions, fitted them out to sea, and been concerned with them in their ships and prizes, and received a deputation to collect the tenths for the King of France. I suppose that the Ministers will not consider Sir Harry worthy of any character or authority, who only makes use of it for his own ends. I know that his imprudence and Weakness lead him a great way, but I believe his necessities do more, which would prove of sad consequence if there should be any devolution of the Government. It would be a great satisfaction to all honourable people in the Island, if they could be freed from those fears, all having great apprehension of his succession. His brother, Byndloss, agitates him in all he does. I have therefore given him no authority or any civil or military commission. He is a very turbulent fellow, some years since was surgeon of a ship, but never can be easy in any government. It would be a good thing if the Governor had a private instruction to put him out of the Council. I say nothing of this to any but your Lordship, as I know I can depend on your secrecy and friendship."[345]

A letter from Beckford shed some additional light on this subject of controversy. It stated that after the seizure of the first ship, her master complained that he had been robbed by pirates, when Vaughan ordered Morgan to punish the offenders, "in which my Lord imagines he did not act very cordially, but on the contrary let them have advice that they might escape, and rather encouraged them, insomuch that one John Deane told the Governor he had done wrong in the seizure, so he was imprisoned, and at the Court of Admiralty, his Excellency sitting as Judge, was condemned of piracy,[239] for which the multitude complain as wellwishers to piracy, but all of sense think it necessary, so that a strict peace may be kept with the Spaniards."[346]

Still, there can be little doubt that Vaughan's treatment of Deane was high-handed and illegal. Of this indeed he soon became convinced himself.

Nearly three months after Deane's trial, Vaughan laid before the Council definite charges against Morgan and Byndloss. His chief complaint against Morgan was that in March, 1675, he had presumptuously made use of the governor's name and authority without his consent in certain letters which he had written to privateers. Copies of two letters, one of them being from Morgan to Captain John Bennett, stating that he was commanded by the Captain-General to acquaint all privateers, both English and French, that they should have as much liberty in Port Royal, as they ever had before, and that they might come thither "with abundance of safety". The other was addressed to Captains Rogers, Wright, Nevill, Bennett, Prynix, and all others acting under French commissions as well as English, informing them that he had been commanded by the General to say to them that they were welcome to the island and should enjoy all the privileges they had ever had, that Port Royal was free to them, and he hoped their knowledge of him would be a sufficient guarantee that he would not deceive them. Morgan was then called in and his answers to questions asked by the governor were recorded.

The charges against Byndloss particularly concerned his correspondence with d'Ogeron, respecting the collection of the tenths said to be due to the High Admiral of France from privateer captains, who had come to Jamaica to sell their prizes. Vaughan asserted that when he had warned Byndloss of the impropriety of acting for a foreign power in such a manner, he had asserted its legality, and declared that the Spaniards had done the same at Cadiz and San Sebastian. Byndloss refused to give a written answer and his behaviour to the governor was described as being "rude and insolent". Vaughan then imperiously ordered the provost marshal to take[240] him into custody, when to avoid arrest he gave in his defence. An order was made that a copy of the record should be sent by the clerk to the King.[347]

The governor deemed it necessary to explain that soon after his arrival in Jamaica, "seeing how imprudently Sir Henry did begin to act", he had demanded copies of all the letters he had written since his coming, and told him he ought not to have used the governor's name in them without his orders, and that he should not have written such letters to the privateers without acquainting him. "He believed," he said, that the full and pregnant proofs produced before the Council "would convince the King and Cabinet of his endeavours to do his duty." The privateers had been "strangely encouraged by Sir Henry and Byndloss and would not be persuaded but what they did was lawful."[348]

When he transmitted the records of the Council, Beckford took the opportunity to remark, perhaps at the suggestion of the governor, that Captain John Coxon, a very notable privateer, was hovering about the coast with a French commission. "My Lord", he continued, "uses all possible means to take him, and proclaimed mercy to all his men if they delivered their Captain up, who was declared a pirate, but they refused, so my Lord sent to take him, but he ran away."[349]

It is apparent that these drastic measures to prevent Jamaican privateers from making war upon the Spaniards and Dutch under the French flag were extremely unpopular with many of the inhabitants, who profited by their captures, and Vaughan did not receive the whole-hearted support he expected in England.

After a very careful examination of his proceedings against John Deane, the Lords of Trade informed Vaughan that his trial of him was not warranted by the laws of England, as it did not appear that pirates should be tried de facto by civil law, but by a commission of[241] Oyer and Terminer under the Great Seal, and they had accordingly advised the King that his execution should be stopped and a commission issued for a new trial.[350]

The governor replied that Deane's trial had produced a very good effect and had been the means of reclaiming several privateers, who, he believed, would not have otherwise come in. However, in consideration of his great repentance, confession of his faults, and frequent petitions for clemency, he had granted Deane a pardon under the Great Seal of the Island, about a month before he had received their letter. "If I was not right in the law", he added by way of apology, "no great harm is done, it being very prudential and seasonable at that time to do what I did."[351]

Morgan naturally lost no time in protesting warmly against the accusations levelled at him in a letter to Secretary Coventry, in which he asked that judgment should be suspended until the arrival in England of the next ships sailing from Jamaica, by which he intended to send depositions, which he hoped would establish his innocence.

"But if His Majesty should be deaf to all and these things should give His Majesty occasion to put me out," he wrote, "I hope he will be graciously pleased to order that I may be tried here at the Court of King's Bench where the witnesses are . . . . And if ever I err in one tittle then let me ever be condemned for the greatest villain in the world, and as God is my judge and witness I have never entertained a thought in my life but what hath been really devoted to His Majesty's service, nor ever will."[352]

In a second letter he thanked Coventry effusively for "abundant favours".

"I can only say, it not being in my power to make my Lord prove it," he affirmed, "that I never since I came here writ a line to any of the privateers, therefore the copies sent are forged on purpose to my prejudice. I[242] waited upon His Excellency expecting he would have warned me to appear before the Council, but he said nothing of it, but as I know it is false, I will, the first Council, myself move it and desire what is laid to my charge may be proved, which I know is impossible. I sucked the milk of loyalty and if I would have sold one little part of it, I might have been richer than my enemies ever will be. As for Colonel Byndloss, I know nothing of crime in him, but his being related to me, for he lives twenty miles from Port Royal, has a wife and five or six children, and one of the best estates in the island, therefore he is an understanding man and would not venture that hazard and estate against nothing. My unhappiness is that I serve a superior here that is jealous of all my actions and puts himself to study my ruin."[353]

The evidence of Charles Barré, who had acted for some time as Morgan's secretary, taken before Lord Vaughan, had been forwarded. Barré had then stated that soon after Vaughan's arrival in Jamaica, he had copied two letters from Morgan, one addressed to Captain Bennett, the other to Captain Rogers and other privateers. This statement was then qualified by a second deposition, transmitted by Morgan, to the effect that Barré understood that Morgan had written those letters with the assent of the governor, to whom he had sent them for approval, but when that had been refused, Morgan had not sent them to the persons to whom they had been written. He admitted that he had accepted an invitation to go upon a trading voyage, but positively denied that he had been instructed by Morgan to negotiate or conduct any business with the English or French privateers, or that Morgan had had any dealings with them as far as he knew.[354]

The charges laid by the governor against Morgan and Byndloss were brought before the Privy Council and, as usual in such cases, referred to the Lords of Trade for further investigation and report.[355]


A new House of Assembly met on March 26 and continued to sit for four months. Several new acts were passed and sent to London for the King's assent. These, with the acts passed in 1675, were referred to the Attorney-General for revision, with instructions to draft a code of laws for the proper government of the colony.[356]

At a meeting of the Council held near the end of September, the governor informed the members, as a matter of public importance, that he had received an intimation that Captain William Bragg would make certain charges against Sir Thomas Modyford. He had consequently instructed the provost marshal to summon Bragg to appear before them, but that officer reported that he had been unable to serve the summons. Colonel Thomas Ballard and Samuel Long were instructed to send for Bragg and, after having examined him, proceed according to law.[357]

Morgan described this incident in a letter to Coventry. He stated that Captain Bragg, "a man of very good estate both here and in England", had dined with him in his own house, and after dinner in the presence of Colonel Theodore Cary, declared that Sir Thomas Modyford was a traitor and he could prove it. Morgan asked him why he had not informed the governor. Bragg replied because he was not as well acquainted with the governor as he was with Morgan, his deputy, and therefore he made a statement to him which was written down by Morgan at his dictation. Vaughan had received Morgan very civilly when he called upon him with this information, and sent a message to Bragg to remain in town for examination before the Council next day. When the provost went to find Bragg he was told he had gone to his house in the country. Colonel Ballard had been ordered to send a squadron of horse to fetch him in, but he had come back voluntarily. Morgan transmitted a copy of his deposition, which, he said, was not as full as the statement made to him. But he thought it proved that Modyford had no love for the King and only lacked the power but not the will to do mischief. If this was not[244] treason nor misprision of treason, it was at least a great misdemeanour, and Modyford was not fit to be Chief Justice. Morgan hoped that Coventry would see from his conduct in this affair how very zealous he was for the King's service. But he added that Modyford had since sued Bragg for £10,000 for defamation of his character, and had often remarked that this was not the first time that he had been accused of treason.[358]

Bragg was a person of considerable importance, as records show that he was four times elected as a member of the House of Assembly from the parish of St. Catherine, twice from the parish of St. John, and once from the parish of St. Ann, between 1675 and 1688.[359]

The Spaniards had continued their provoking depredations on English commerce in the Caribbean. Seamen who had escaped from confinement at Havana and in other Spanish forts gave distressing accounts of their sufferings while imprisoned. Early in January, 1677, Vaughan sent to England a bundle of depositions made by some of these men and others, who complained that they had been plundered by a Spanish ship on the high sea. Orders, he said, ought to be sent from Spain to oblige the governor of Havana to keep the peace. Several English subjects were still detained there in slavery. There could be no justification for his barbarous treatment of these prisoners, nor for his capture of English ships. The people of Jamaica were filled with discontent because their hands were tied while another nation was at liberty to commit any kind of robbery upon them.[360]

Six months before he had reported that a number of the King's subjects were detained in Havana as slaves and had neither been sent to Spain nor transported to Jamaica, and had for a long time endured the most miserable bondage. He had followed this by a particular complaint against the governor of Havana, who had, he asserted, fitted out a barca longa, which had captured all the English ships that came in its way, plundered them,[245] and interrupted the whole of their fishing and navigation. The Spaniards had thus taken the liberty to break the articles of the treaty of peace and to commit all manner of violences on the English, assuming a dominion in those seas, relinquished by the treaty of Madrid, and declaring all vessels to be good prizes that had anything on board the growth of those Indies.[361]

For the protection of the fisheries and coasting trade he commissioned two small sloops, each armed with four guns. Before the end of that month he had secured more depositions complaining of Spanish aggressions, and declared that if he had not fitted out these two small armed cruisers the fisheries would have been destroyed and many "useful people" living at Port Royal probably ruined. Not less than sixty Englishmen were then held in servitude in Havana, and unless the Spaniards there received orders from Spain, "they would never do right."[362]

Only a few days after writing this, Captains Roger Marsh and William Jaques, commanding the sloops Primrose and Cold Harbour, reported that while they were convoying the flotilla of fishing and turtling boats from the island to the Caymans, they had been attacked by an armed Spanish ship, which they had beaten off and pursued until it was out of sight.[363]

Vaughan then determined to send an officer to Santiago de Cuba to complain of the "wrongs and injuries" done to the fishermen by a Spanish ship from Havana. At the same time he was annoyed by information that the new French governor of Tortuga had seized two Jamaican ships and prohibited all trade with that island.[364]

All the governors of the English colonies in the West Indies had been sent copies of the royal proclamation[246] announcing the grant of a monopoly of trade on the coast of Africa to the Royal African Company, with strict instructions to enforce its observance not only by discouraging and hindering as far as lay in their power "all attempts and endeavours contrary thereunto", but by affording their utmost assistance to that company and its agents "in taking the forfeiture of such persons as shall presume to transgress the said proclamation."[365]

Vaughan had made zealous efforts to comply with these orders, which were far from acceptable to many of the planters, who wished to obtain slaves as cheaply as they could and connived at the enterprises of the "interlopers". The success of these adventurers in eluding the preventive officers and landing their cargoes of "black ivory" in secluded bays and remote harbours had been reported to the Privy Council, and the governor received a second letter commanding that no ship or ships should be permitted to sail upon any trading voyage until the master, owner, or other proprietor should have given sufficient security that he or they would not visit any country within the limits of the charter granted to the Royal African Company, which comprised the entire west coast of Africa from Sallee to the Cape of Good Hope, nor import "any blacks, gold, elephant's teeth, malagetta or other commodities of the said countries into Jamaica." Similar peremptory orders were given to collectors of duties.[366]

The rapid development of plantations of sugar cane had created a great demand for slave labour, and when these instructions were read at a meeting of the Council of Jamaica attended by Lord Vaughan, Sir Henry Morgan, and seven other members, the governor was requested to inform the Lords of Trade that "the colony would take three thousand negroes annually, and to desire that their price be regulated accordingly."[367]

Not long afterwards Vaughan was informed that a privateer had landed 150 negroes secretly in a distant[247] bay and had sold them quickly to the neighbouring planters. This was a daring and deliberate infraction of the exclusive privileges of the powerful company headed by the Lord High Admiral. This ship had cleared from Port Royal eight months before, ostensibly for Cartagena, having a French letter-of-marque against Holland, for the French and Dutch were still at war. While cruising off the Spanish Main, she had taken the Golden Sun, a Dutch ship having a cargo of negroes, after a sharp battle in which the Dutch captain and some of his crew were killed. The captain of this privateer was James Browne, a Scot, and most of his crew were English. His commission had been issued by d'Ogeron, who had been dead for nearly a year. It was contended by some persons that the commission became invalid by his death.

The frigate stationed at Port Royal was sent in pursuit, but found that Browne had sailed for parts unknown. About a hundred negroes were seized in the possession of the planters who had bought them. The governor then directed the Court of Admiralty to condemn these slaves as "goods piratically taken", and to make an order for their restoration to their rightful owners.[368]

He came at once into a conflict with several members of the Council and Assembly, who sided openly with the aggrieved planters. Vaughan hotly complained that he had "no power without the Council, not being able to suspend any on misbehaviour or unfaithfulness without their consents. The King's interest", he said, "could not be secured except by a governor whose only dependence was on England, and who had no private interests in the island." And as the interests of the members of the Council were entirely local and they had no dependence on England, he ought to have absolute power to suspend them. Most of them, he stated, were "old standers and officers of Cromwell's army". None of the soldiers were receiving any pay, and they were consequently undisciplined and untrained. The privateers were numerous, and constantly being recruited with runaway servants[248] and others. No matter what orders he issued for the suppression of privateering, scarcely anyone was willing to obey them.[369]

Sir Thomas Lynch had returned and soon favoured the Ministers with some "reflections" on the state of the colony and its relations with the Spaniards. It was to the interest of the English, he asserted, that the Spaniards should retain the possession of their dominions in the West Indies and America, as their colonies were extensive and thinly peopled, so that they were unable to take from the English any territory then held by the latter. The Spaniards had great wealth and little industry, and consequently the English trading with Spain and the West Indies could gain more from them than from any other nation. It was as much contrary to the interest of England to acquire more colonies in America as it was for it to have those already in her possession well peopled and fortified, particularly Jamaica, which would then be able to accomplish more in a war with Spain than all the power of the mother country. But war and privateering greatly hindered the settlement of the island.[370]

He eagerly seized the opportunity to describe Morgan as being unfit for the office of Deputy Governor, saying, "he is governed by his bro'r in law, Coll. Byndloss, a very ill man." He added that "they both have violent humours", and that Byndloss had struck Lord Vaughan's secretary in the presence of the governor, and that Morgan and another brother-in-law had challenged the secretary and two members of the Assembly and Council to fight duels with them.

But Byndloss and Morgan had many influential friends and supporters. One of these, a Mr. Nevill, who may have been the privateer, or a relative of the same name, addressed a long letter to the Earl of Carlisle, who had again been mentioned as prospective governor. He began by referring to the danger of an invasion.[249]

"I remember," he wrote, "upon our discourse of it, Sir Henry Morgan did always say to colonel Byndloss, and the men with us, that if he were now a privateer for the Spaniards, as he had been against them, he would not doubt to ruin the whole country, by burning and destroying the sea-coast plantations; and though that cannot be the Spaniards' interest in these parts (if we let them be quiet), to stir a nest of hornets, and force them into privateering; yet the French, having little to lose, and many poor rascals to employ in Tortuga, do not want knowledge of our island nor will enough, in case of war, to put it in execution; since it is certain, the planting part once discouraged, the privateering trade must subsist, by devouring the Spaniards, as formerly; which produces another benefit to the French, by disturbing their hereditary enemy; so that so far I conceive with Sir Thomas Lynch in saying that planting, and not privateering, is the true interest of England in this island; yet I cannot but think the greatest mistake that could have happened in doing it was, the forcing the planters, for want of conveniences to run to the North side of the island, where ground cost at least £3 an acre in clearing from wood; though I allow the ground to be as good for canes when, with great charge and labour cleared; yet the vast expence for want of savannahs, as in fencing a competent quantity of pasture for cattle, is a burthen scarce supportable; besides the open condition they are in to all invasions and revolts of the Negroes."[371]

In conclusion he strongly urged the Earl to accept the office of governor, which was expected soon to become vacant.

"Nor would any man, I humbly conceive, in this nation, find it so easy as your Lordship would do, whose name by honest Sir Henry Morgan's means, is as generally mentioned with honour and good wishes in their healths, as if they had found the good effects of your Lordship's government there already; and next to his majesty's and his royal highnesses, no health [is] so often drank, especially at his and his brother's in law, Colonel Byndloss's table, and these two are the men who have the true and most prevalent interest in the country; Sir Henry from his eminent and famed exploits in those[250] parts, together with his generous and undesigned way of conversing with them, Colonel Byndloss by the same generosity and frankness of conversation, mixt with one of the most able understandings I have ever met with; and were my judgments considerable to you I should not stick to own I think considering everything, few clearer thinkers are to be found in the world, though having a plentiful fortune, which he has acquired by his industry, he does not bend himself to flattery and other little arts, but plainly and above board offers counsel, which if accepted no man [is] more anxious by his labour to make his advice succeed; but, if not, then his standing but by and retiring without one word of discontent, being more jolly than envious in his temper, yet then to go uneasy with any man that has use of these people, as my Lord Vaughan to his great loss [has found] in the Assembly he called, for closing with Sir Thomas Modyford and neglecting Sir Henry Morgan and his brother Byndloss, all things went heavy that concerned him there, and forced him upon little violences, which have aggravated matters against him."[372]

The prolonged conflict between France and the United Netherlands had been waged with varying success in the West Indies. Cayenne had been taken by a Dutch fleet and retaken by a more powerful French force, which had been repulsed in an attack upon Tobago. The arrival of such a powerful French fleet, commanded by one of the most distinguished admirals of the time, caused much alarm in the English colonies. Vaughan regretted that he had been obliged to send away the only frigate at his disposal, and urged that another should be speedily sent to protect the remnant of Jamaican commerce.[373] Nevill boldly advocated an attempt to supplant the Dutch in their contract for supplying slaves to the Spaniards, who had received them from Curacao, as their chief distributing point.

"Another great and effectual step towards trading with them," he wrote, "would be for us heartily to endeavour[251] to make the navigation in these parts safe; for since we have left disturbing the Spaniards ourselves, and getting the profit that occurred thereby, it should be our interest, methinks, not to suffer any other to do it, and least of all the French; who since Sir Henry Morgan showed them the way to take Panama, are the only people in those parts we should fear, as they must live by rapine and gather strength, whilst our privateers wear away, or are drawn off to planting. I must confess, I think there is no difference at our being at war here with Spain, and suffering others effectually to be so; for should Panama fall into the French hands, the manufactures of France would supply the South Sea, and all the world would be theirs; nor could all the strength of Europe ever recover that when once fortified by them."

About the beginning of July a small squadron of French and English privateers arrived in high feather from the Spanish Main, where they had taken and plundered the town of Santa Marta. The French leader was Captain Lagarde, but the English Captains, Barnes and Coxon, were in his company. They had carried off the bishop and governor of the province, whom they had promised to liberate at Port Royal. The booty they had taken in money and "broken plate" amounted to only about £20 per man. To save the town from ruin the bishop and governor had agreed to pay a considerable ransom, but instead of the promised "pieces of eight", the governor of Cartagena had sent three ships of war and five hundred soldiers to retake the place. The privateers had fought with this force when it came upon them, and having killed fifty men by their first volley, the remainder fled.[374]

The scandal of the situation had become intolerable, and the planters of Jamaica were at last ashamed of it. The Assembly passed a rigorous act, prohibiting all persons belonging in any way to the island from serving in war against any foreign country at peace with England, and making offenders against this act liable to capital punishment, but allowing them a certain time to return and receive pardon. Within three months,[252] three hundred appeared to claim benefit of this provision in the act. Among them were nearly all those concerned in the attack on Santa Marta, and Captain James Browne with his crew. Browne and several of his men were arrested by order of the governor and tried by a special commission for piracy, under an act passed in the reign of Henry VIII. They were convicted and sentenced to be hanged. Without hesitation Vaughan signed a warrant for the execution of Browne but reprieved the others. Browne petitioned the Assembly then in session, alleging that he was entitled to indemnity under their act. His execution had been ordered to be carried out next day, and a committee was appointed to call upon the governor and ask him to postpone it until the following Tuesday to give the Assembly time to consider his petition. The committee returned and reported that "the governor could not be spoken to." A debate ensued, and the committee was sent again to the governor to request a suspension of the warrant. This time Vaughan returned a written reply stating that he had already pardoned eight of those criminals "who by a verdict of a jury were sentenced to death, but cannot in justice think Captain Browne a fit object of mercy, and believes that hindering the sentence of execution will be of evil example and bad consequence." On receiving this answer the Assembly instantly voted that a written address should be presented to the governor urging their opinion that "if this execution take place all our privateers out may think this Act a snare, and possibly it may make those already in go out again, as they do not enjoy the security they expected and so become most dangerous enemies, and they desire a few days' reprieve for Browne." Vaughan curtly replied that he had "already given his mind in writing and did not share their fear of discouraging the privateers." The Assembly were greatly annoyed by this rebuff, and unanimously voted to hold a further investigation. Browne's petition was read again, and it was found that he stated that the Court had taken no notice of his plea of immunity under the terms of the Act. He had been sentenced and the writ for his execution had been signed. A resolution[253] was passed declaring that the execution should be delayed, and the Speaker was instructed to issue his warrant to the provost marshal commanding him in the King's name to forbear obeying any warrant already issued at his peril.

Sir Thomas Modyford had some time before resigned the office of chief justice and Samuel Long had been appointed to succeed him. An application had been made to the newly appointed chief justice for a writ of habeas corpus, which had been immediately granted. The Speaker of the Assembly, Colonel William Beeston of Port Royal, issued his warrant to the provost marshal commanding him to obey the writ of the chief justice. Meanwhile the governor, who was determined to forestall any adverse action by the Assembly, had sent an order to the prison for the immediate execution of Browne, "whereupon the fellow was hanged half an hour after."[375]

"The Marshal came with an order signed by the Speaker to observe the Chief's Justice's writ of habeas corpus which had been granted, but superseded by the Governor's order," Sir Thomas Lynch wrote. "My Lord resented this proceeding and immediately sent for the Assembly, which after reproving he dissolved."[376]

The Assembly had agreed with the opinion of the chief justice that all the proceedings of the Court that tried Browne were illegal and extra-judicial as they held that the governor, as chancellor of the colony, was not legally vested with authority for issuing the commission constituting such a court. There is no evidence that the unfortunate Browne had been more guilty than other Jamaican privateers, who had acted under French letters-of-marque against the Dutch and Spaniards. He was probably neither better nor worse than his fellow offenders. His heinous and unpardonable crime in the sight of the governor was the fact that he had smuggled the captured negroes into the island in defiance of the charter[254] of the potent Royal African Company and the Navigation Acts.

Shortly before its hasty dissolution the Assembly had voted a salary of £1,000 to the governor, but only £300 to Sir Henry Morgan.[377] The breach between Vaughan and the Assembly, which was mostly composed of influential planters, who were almost certain of re-election, was too wide to be easily closed. There was little disposition on either part to compromise. Morgan openly sympathized with his fellow planters and no doubt, though less avowedly, with his old comrades in arms, the privateers. Southey remarked sarcastically that "his Lordship must have known little of the people he was sent to govern, to think of hanging for piracy in Jamaica at this time."[378]

Vaughan's repeated complaints of depredations on commerce by the Spaniards were strongly reinforced by others from English merchants. The owners of the Diligence of Liverpool alleged that while that ship was coming from the Bay of Campeachy with a full cargo of logwood, cocoa, and plate, she had been searched by a Spanish ship and stripped of her lading, stores, and rigging. The Privy Council instructed the Secretary of State to write on the subject to Sir William Godolphin at Madrid, and speak to the Spanish envoy in London.[379] The envoy retaliated by presenting a memorial complaining of the capture of the Spanish ship, Buen Jesus de las Almas, with 46,471 pieces of eight and two parcels of bulls or patents, on her voyage to San Domingo, by an Englishman, Captain John Bennett.

To this complaint, however, Sir Thomas Lynch answered "that this violence was in no ways countenanced by his Majesty's officers in those parts, and that neither the men on board the said privateer were English, nor came into any port of Jamaica to the knowledge of the Governor. Bennett had Frenchmen on board the said privateer, a French commission, fought under French colours, had the prize condemned and divided[255] in a French port, when at the same time the governor of Jamaica took great pains and was at great charge to retrieve her in order to a restitution."[380]

After considering the many complaints laid before them the Privy Council made an order that representations should be made to the Spanish envoy that "if some speedy course be not taken therein, his Majesty will be forced by the clamours of his subjects to use such means for their reparation as honour and justice obliges him to.

"And whereas it appears that the chief cause of the aforesaid injuries and depredations are occasioned by a pretence of His Majesty's subjects having logwood on board their ships, it was further ordered that Mr. Secretary Coventry do expostulate this matter with the said envoy extraordinary that his Majesty's subjects may have free liberty of trading in logwood, in regard the same is not contraband goods and is frequently sold to his Majesty's subjects by the Spaniards in those parts."[381]

A week later another order was made that a copy of this instruction should be sent to Sir William Godolphin, with directions to press demands for satisfaction at the Spanish court. Only two days afterwards another petition was presented at the Council from merchants and traders in Jamaica and merchants in England trading to Jamaica reciting the "severities, violences, and hostilities they suffer from the Spaniards", and stating the number of English prisoners confined at Havana to be nearly one hundred, besides those sent to the galleys and mines, and affirming that they were "daily alarmed with fresh losses."[382]

In the long pending case of the seizure of the Virgin, the owners had been authorized to send a special agent to sue for damages (estimated at £12,863), who had remained at Madrid for about nine months without obtaining any satisfaction. Coventry was directed to instruct Godolphin that the petitioners had shown that the Court of Spain was responsible, and that unless repara[256]tion was made the King "hath under his consideration the granting them letters of reprisal and must give effectual order therein, if speedy justice be not done them."[383]

Learning that Lord Vaughan's complaints against Sir Henry Morgan and Robert Byndloss had been referred to the Lords of Trade, John Byndloss, as agent for the accused persons, presented a memorial asking that when the papers were taken into consideration, he might have leave to attend and "offer anything that might tend to their service or their Lordships' satisfaction therein." This memorial was read at a meeting held on the 2nd November, 1676.[384] No action whatever was taken for nearly a year. Finally on the 28th of October, 1677, an abstract of the charges made by Lord Vaughan was read, when the Lords resolved that they could not come to any decision until they "entered into a further examination of the whole matter."[385]

Soon after they debated whether the act lately passed by the Assembly of Jamaica "against taking foreign commissions is fit to be laid aside because thereby the privateers would be terrified from coming in", and resolved that the following question should be submitted to the law officers of the Crown: "Whether the King having made a treaty with any foreign Prince agreeing to punish such as by colour of commission from enemies to his allies shall take arms against the King's peace and treaty proclaimed and spoil the King's allies be not levying war against the King and punishable by death, Or what crime it is and how punishable?"[386]

Before any reply or legal opinion had been received a letter was addressed to Lord Vaughan in the King's name, informing him that some of the Ministers of his allies residing at his court had complained that ships of war were permitted to lie in the ports and harbours[257] of his colonies and islands abroad, from whence they put to sea and made prizes of nations at enmity with them but in amity with him, and having seized such vessels at sea presumed to bring them into the said ports and harbours "to the great abuse of the freedom which his Majesty allows his friends there." Vaughan was therefore instructed that if he had cause to suspect any vessel of war of entering any harbour of Jamaica with such intention, he should not permit her to remain, much less to return there with the vessels seized and in that way offend those nations in amity with the King, "than which nothing can be more opposite to that fair indifference and common justice which we profess and will maintain towards all our allies impartially."[387]

After three months' delay the Lords of Trade reported that they had agreed upon the terms of an act for the more effectual punishment of pirates in Jamaica, and for calling in the privateers which serve under foreign commissions in those parts.[388]

By that time a decision had been made to recall Lord Vaughan and appoint the Earl of Carlisle, who had agreed to accept the office of governor with obvious reluctance. He seems to have stipulated that Sir Henry Morgan should continue in office as his deputy. A warrant was issued authorizing the new governor "to cause drums to be beat about the city of London for raising two hundred men for service in Jamaica". These recruits were formed into two independent companies, and commissions were issued to the Earl of Carlisle and Sir Henry Morgan as their captains.[389]

Meanwhile, Vaughan had quarrelled fiercely with Thomas Martin, lately appointed as royal receiver-general, whom he had arbitrarily first suspended from office and eventually confined in the common gaol of Spanish Town, without laying any charge against him. Martin appealed to the King, and an order was sent to Morgan[258] to deliver to the governor commanding him to liberate the appellant and admit him to his office. Vaughan stubbornly ignored this order and Martin was kept in prison for several months after its service on him.[390]

Early in the following year the governor probably had received some hint of the decision to recall him, and resolved to anticipate its arrival. At a meeting of the Council held at Port Royal on March 11, which was attended by Morgan and seven other members, he announced his intention of embarking for England "very speedily", and that he had delivered to Sir Henry Morgan, as deputy governor, copies of his commission, instructions, and other papers necessary for the due administration of the government in his absence. He added that if he had not been much in ill health he would have called meetings of the Council more frequently. No quit rents had been received since March, 1676, nor had he received a single farthing from the public revenue towards the expenses of government since the preceding April. His private fortune, he said, was consequently much impaired, but he would rely with confidence on the royal bounty for compensation.

He sailed for England three days later, exactly two years from the date of his arrival. Contemporary writers have treated him unkindly. One of them alleges that while in Jamaica "he made haste to grow as rich as his government would let him." An acquaintance of Pepys, who was "an understanding gentleman", described Lord Vaughan as "one of the lewdest fellows of the age", yet he was undeniably a man of considerable ability and literary taste. He succeeded his father as Earl of Carbery in 1686. In the same year he was elected President of the Royal Society, and held that office until 1689.[391]




A special committee of the Privy Council made a report on "the present State and Government of Jamaica", in November, 1677. It recommended that the laws transmitted by Lord Vaughan should be given to the Earl of Carlisle, with instructions to present them to the next House of Assembly to be re-enacted as laws originally coming from the King, and that in future no Legislative assembly was to be called without special royal instructions, but upon an emergency, the governor was to report the necessity of calling such an Assembly and pray the King's assent and directions for such a meeting. At the same time he was to present a scheme of such acts as he deemed fit and necessary for the King's consideration, which would be returned to him in the form in which it was thought proper they should be finally enacted. Then upon receipt of the royal instructions the governor was to call an Assembly and propose the said laws for their consent, so that the same method in legislation should be adopted in Jamaica as had been introduced into Ireland under Poyning's act. Therefore the former style of enacting laws "By the Governor, Council, and Representatives of the Commons Assembled," was to be altered to read: "Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty by and with the consent of the General Assembly."

A further recommendation was made that "no escheats, fines, forfeitures, or penalties be mentioned in the said laws to be applied to the public use of the island, and that your Majesty do instruct your governor to dispose thereof for the support of the Government; as also that in all laws for the levying of money and raising a public revenue, the clauses whereby the said levies are[260] appropriated to the public use of the island, without any mention of your Majesty or unto your Majesty for the public use are so far derogatory to your Majesty's right of Sovereignty, that they ought for the future to be altered and made agreeable to the stile of England.

"And whereas it has upon some occasions proved inconvenient that the Members of the Council have been constituted by your Majesty's Commission we are of opinion that for the future they be only named in the Instructions of the Governor, for the strengthening of whose authority we do offer that he may have power to suspend any of the Members (if he see just cause), without receiving the advice and consent of the Council. And also that none of the Members so suspended, or by your Majesty's order displaced from that Trust, may be permitted to be received into the General Assembly.

"And whereas nothing can more contribute to the welfare of your Majesty's Island, than that all means be found out for the encrease of Trade, We do offer for the Encouragement thereof, That a Mint be allowed in Jamaica, in such manner that no prejudice arise to your Majesty's other Dominions, or that what Bullion that is brought from them may be coined here in England, Provided that all such coins may bear your Majesty's superscription, and not be imposed in payment elsewhere."[392]

This report was approved and an order made in accordance.

The House of Assembly was deprived of all initiative and the control of the revenue was to be placed in the power of the governor.

The Attorney-General was instructed to prepare the draft of a standing commission of oyer and terminer for the trial of pirates in Jamaica, without term, in which the chief officers then in the island and the chief officers for the time being were to be named.[393]

After due deliberation the committee reported that they had agreed upon acts for declaring it felony without benefit of clergy for any person to serve under any foreign Prince or State, and for the more effectual punishment of pirates and others offending upon the seas. These drafts [261] were approved and an order was made for passing them in Jamaica.[394]

Plan of Port Royal        See p. 263

Orders were subsequently passed for the payment of £1,738.16.6 for the transportation of 249 tons of supplies and 200 soldiers; for the payment of £537.2.8 for the transportation of twenty soldiers and several other passengers; and for the payment of £84 for the conveyance of forty tons of Purbeck stone from England to Jamaica.[395]

The royal instructions to the Earl of Carlisle as governor were dated on the 30th of March, 1678. He was commanded on his arrival to summon a council composed of Sir Henry Morgan and twelve other members, among whom Robert Byndloss and Henry Archbold were named. His salary was fixed at £2,000 per annum, and Sir Henry Morgan was to receive £600 per annum as lieutenant-governor.

Nearly a month later a letter of recall was addressed to Lord Vaughan, commanding him on its receipt to surrender the government to the Earl of Carlisle and acquaint him with all matters concerning the existing state of the colony necessary for his information, and to repair to the King's presence to give an account of affairs in those parts.[396]

The transfer of the administration to Morgan had been purposely made at a most critical and embarrassing time. It was apparent that England and France were on the verge of war and that Jamaica might be invaded at any moment. After being repulsed with much loss in his first attack upon Tobago, Admiral d'Estrées had sailed to France but in a few months returned with a much more powerful fleet, when he took that island from the Dutch with little difficulty.

Morgan acted with characteristic decision. On the afternoon of the day of Lord Vaughan's departure he[262] published the usual proclamation continuing all officials, civil and military, in their appointments until further notice. A meeting of the Council was held on April 2, at which besides himself eleven members were present. He then took the oath as commander-in-chief and the other members took the oath of fidelity to him. An order was made that no person should be permitted to leave the island except when required for the navigation of ships. In consequence "of apprehensions of a foreign enemy", it was next ordered that a council of war should be held "to consider the best means for securing this island", and that all field officers of the militia should be notified to attend. This council assembled three days later. Morgan and seventeen other officers were present. The articles of war adopted by Lord Vaughan were declared to be in force, and a proclamation was approved for publication, announcing the suspension of the common law for twenty days. An oath was drafted for use at courts-martial. Orders were approved instructing commandants of regiments to form courts-martial and publish the articles of war. They were commanded to exercise their men and take care that they were well supplied with arms and ammunition, and make correct reports of their condition to the commander-in-chief. The commandant of the forts was ordered to prepare a report of the arms and ammunition in possession of the merchants in Port Royal, and prevent the landing of any "water canoe" between ten o'clock at night and sunrise. Regulations were made for measures to be carried out in event of a general alarm. An order was made for the immediate employment of a tenth of all the negroes in the island upon the fortifications. Patrols of horsemen were detailed for duty every night. Companies of infantry were placed on duty at Port Royal, Spanish Town, and Salt Pond.[397]

Beeston stated that "every one applied themselves heartily to their business."

On April 13 a ship arrived from London bringing "certain news" that there would be war with France but that it had not yet been proclaimed. When this ship had sailed there was a report that the Earl of Carlisle had[263] been given orders to sail for Jamaica as governor in fourteen days.

The stone parapet extending along the sea front of Port Royal eastward from Fort James, afterwards known as "Morgan's Lines", or "Fort Morgan", was finished in eight days and armed with sixteen guns. Another stone outwork was begun at once. At a second meeting of the council of war on April 25 Morgan reported what had been done and what he proposed to do next in all parts of the island for its defence. An order was made continuing martial law in force until June 10, as no reliable account had been received of a declaration of war or of the movements of the French fleet.[398]

On April 28 a ship arrived from Barbados with information that all the Windward Islands were being placed in a posture of defence. Morgan instantly ordered the guards in Port Royal to be doubled and others posted at suitable points along the south coast. The Executive Council was again assembled to consider the situation. A small fast-sailing sloop was sent to the coast of Hispaniola in search of intelligence. The work upon the fortifications "went on vigorously and they were in good method and prospect of being finished." The lines on the sea front were further extended and more guns were mounted.

On the last day of May a third meeting of the council of war was held at which, after some debate, it was resolved to lay an embargo on all ships bound for Europe for fourteen days, "when a good fleet of merchantmen would be ready, whereby they might in some measure secure themselves."

Next day Thomas Wigfall in the sloop Advice arrived with the reassuring news that on the 4th or 6th of May, when the entire French fleet was on its way to attack Curacao, the flagship of eighty-five guns and two frigates ran on a reef near the Isle of Aves, and finding they were in extreme peril fired guns to warn the remainder. This signal had been misinterpreted as a summons to attend[264] a council of war, and several other ships "crowded in and there perished." All might have shared their fate had not a small privateer given them notice of their danger. The flagship went to pieces so quickly that Count d'Estrées narrowly escaped, and most of her crew were drowned. Altogether seven of the finest ships of the royal navy of France, three privateers, and two storeships, carrying 550 guns, were totally lost. Five hundred seamen perished in the wreck. D'Estrées made his way to Petit Goaves in Hispaniola, where he had remained refitting until May 28, when he sailed for France with the poor remnant of his formidable fleet, leaving five hundred seamen behind. This catastrophe, Colonel Beeston wrote in his Journal, "ended all our present fears of the French."[399]

The Council met again on June 7, when orders were made raising the embargo on ships and terminating martial law as no longer necessary. The sum of twenty pounds was voted for the hire of the sloop sent to Hispaniola, and a gratuity of ten pounds to Thomas Wigfall, her master, for "his particular good service and readiness to obey the Governor's orders."[400]

By his activity and resourcefulness, displayed in this time of peril, Morgan had quite recovered his former prestige, and was once more regarded as the saviour of the colony.

Lord Carlisle finally arrived on July 18 in the fourth-rate frigate Jersey of 48 guns, accompanied by another frigate, conveying the two newly raised companies of foot soldiers and a considerable supply of military stores. He landed the next day and convened the Executive Council, of whom only three members were absent through illness.

In his first official letter Carlisle reported that the defences of the harbour had been greatly strengthened by the construction of two new forts, the Rupert and the Carlisle, since the departure of Lord Vaughan, through[265] the diligence of Sir Henry Morgan. In expectation of a war with France, many English privateers, that had obtained French commissions, were coming in. He thought it would be difficult to find suitable employment for them unless freedom of trade in logwood could be arranged with the Spaniards. He had ordered both of the frigates to cruise for a fortnight, and intended to attempt the recovery of the guns lost in Knapman's ship and perhaps some of those lost in the late wreck of the French fleet. He had suffered much from the gout during the voyage, but had recovered at once after landing and had walked about more in the last twelve days than he had done in several months before leaving England, although in the heat of summer. The news of the disaster, which had overtaken the French fleet, was first made known to him upon his arrival, and the latest intelligence stated that of 2,500 men, who were landed at Petit Goaves, nearly half had died and the rest were "in a perishing condition. This voyage," he added grimly, "will turn to a very ill account to His Most Christian Majesty."[401]

His own company of soldiers accompanied him to Spanish Town, while that commanded by Morgan was quartered in the forts at Port Royal. Morgan was then appointed custos rotulorum or keeper of the records of that town, and invested with the power of nominating civil magistrates as well as the officers of its militia.

Carlisle very soon discovered that the constitutional changes directed in his instructions were not likely to be cordially accepted by the principal people.

"I have spoken with several of the Council," he wrote, "and find some of them much dissatisfied at the alterations in the laws, and the manner of passing them, particularly at the latter part of the clause in the militia bill, 'but that in all things he may upon all occasions and emergencies act as captain-general and governor in chief, according to and in pursuance of the powers and authorities given unto him by his Majesty's commission; anything in this case,[266] or any other to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding;' which they are jealous of, lest thereby they shall make it legal to execute all instructions that either are or shall be sent to me, or any succeeding governor; which scruple may easily be avoided, but that the great seal being affixed to the laws, I have no power to make alterations, which I might have done, both to their satisfaction and the preservation of the King's rights. The act for revenue, too, I fear will not without difficulty pass; but I shall endeavour all I can to bring them to pass, for which I have no greater inducements than my being here without any hopes from the present state of the treasury, which is exhausted and in debt for their new fortifications."[402]

The Council met again on August 8, and at the governor's request made an order for one of the frigates to be sent to Isle à la Vache "for the recovery of their own guns lost three years since in between five and nine feet of water."[403]

Carlisle's gloomy forecast as to the attitude of the Assembly with respect to the proposed alteration in the system of government was soon fully justified. It was clearly described in his letter to Secretary Coventry on September 11.

"The Assembly met on the second instant," he wrote, "and I find, are so dissatisfied at the alteration of the government that I question whether they will pass any of these laws; they have objections against several of them; as the act for revenue that is perpetual and may not be diverted; they are nettled at the expression in the preamble that the revenue was raised by the Governor and Council; and though they cannot deny it to be the truth, yet they say that Council was elected by the people, and, though continued under the name of a Council, yet was in effect an Assembly of representatives of the people.

"I have given into their hands a copy of that act and fourteen more, and gave them liberty to compare them with the originals.

"The act of militia and some others I keep by me till[267] I see what they will do with the ones they have. All the Acts are not yet transcribed for but one man can write at a time, and they are bulky, but I have enough to keep them employed. The Speaker came to me on Saturday, to desire liberty to adjourn for a few days, which I consented to, and they adjourned till Thursday morning. Lieut. Col. Beeston is the Speaker, who I recommended to them upon Sir H. Morgan's assurances that he would behave himself well. He hath the repute of an honest and discreet gentleman, though he signed the order about the privateer, at which so much offence was taken; but I am satisfied he was no further faulty than in complying with the directions of the Assembly; and I the rather proposed him (whom they had a mind to choose) to gain the point quietly, of recommending, which my Lord Vaughan, I am told, neglected to do.

"The Assembly appointed a committee to compare these laws with their former; it is said they differ in many things, especially those laws last sent from Lord Vaughan, which are most usefully framed for their present benefit.

"Popular discourses prevail here as well as in England; and I find a few men's notions have taken such place with the leading men of the Assembly that they rather set themselves to frame arguments against the present constitution than to accommodate things under it, I cannot yet tell you what course I shall take to remove this difficulty; but I will do the best I can. I find one man in the Council more faulty in this than any man in the Island, but am unwilling to name him till I have tried the utmost to reclaim him.

"Whilst we are here busy about small matters, I doubt not your hands are full of greater and may, therefore, forget us. We hear that the French and Dutch are agreed."[404]

A treaty of peace between France and Holland had in fact been signed at Nimeguen on August 10, and on September 17 a treaty was concluded at the same place between France and Spain. Relations between England and France had not become more friendly, and it was still thought probable that the ambitious French monarch might seize a favourable opportunity to send his formid[268]able fleet to attack the defenceless English colonies in America.

Lord Carlisle's letters to the Lords of Trade and Secretaries of State give a very candid and clear account of his earnest efforts to influence the Assembly by all his power of persuasion. It is stated that he assured the members that the King considered Jamaica "as his darling plantation and has taken more pains to make this island happy than any other of his colonies."[405]

Many ineffectual conferences were held by him with the refractory members, and Colonel Beeston, who had a personal knowledge of the facts, noted that at times the governor became furiously angry and called some of them "fools, asses, beggars, cowards."[406] The session dragged along until October 12, when he dissolved the Assembly in anger and despair. It then appeared that the member of his Council whom he blamed most for giving its members advice to reject the bills proposed was Colonel Samuel Long, the chief justice, a very able, ambitious and resolute man, who was wealthy and possessed great influence. He had been secretary to Cromwell's civil commissioners, and had resided in the island continuously since its conquest. His extensive estates, known as "The Seven Plantations," were among the largest, best cultivated, and most productive in the colony. His personal acquaintance and intimacy with the principal planters and merchants gave him great power.

On October 24 Carlisle gave his view of the political situation in a long letter to the Lords of Trade.

"I have met with the difficulties here I foresaw but could neither avoid nor prevent in England. The General Assembly meeting on the 2nd of September last, I recommended and sent to them the several bills I brought over under the great seal of England, for their consent to be enacted; but being much dissatisfied at the new frame of government and their losing their deliberative part of power in altering and amending laws, they would not pass any of them, but threw them all out; and prepared an address with a bill of impost on wines and[269] other strong liquors for one year without giving me notice thereof, in such terms and form as was not fit for me to pass: but afterwards changing the style of enacting as directed in my instructions, with some other amendments to this bill, the public necessities of the island having contracted many debts for new fortifications, I gave the royal assent; and then, on the 12th this instant October I dissolved them. My earnest suit to all your Lordships is that you will please to have me in your Thoughts, and the present state of this colony under your Lordships' consideration for some expedient which may be elucidatory of the power given me by my commission and instructions, which may quiet the minds of persons generally dissatisfied in this island, which is most certainly under the greatest hopes of improvement of all the islands in the West Indies and therefore most fit to be encouraged, with the King's countenance and support, with good and acceptable laws."[407]

Other letters were written by him on the same day to the two Secretaries of State, with whom he corresponded officially. He informed Coventry that the Jersey had recovered and brought to Port Royal twenty great guns and some round shot. Many unfortunate English prisoners were still kept in bondage by the Spaniards at Havana and other fortresses, of whom he had obtained a list. About twelve hundred privateersmen were still out, although some had come back since his arrival, and more were expected from the encouragement he had given these men to stay in Jamaica. Those still out were mostly cruising under French commissions. Some of them in retaliation, they asserted, for wrongs done them by the Spaniards, had lately taken the town of Campeachy and kept possession of it for several days. If war should begin with France, Jamaica would need their assistance most urgently, as, he said, "we have not above four thousand whites, able to bear arms, a secret not fit to be made public."[408]

To Williamson, Carlisle frankly revealed his troubles with the Assembly.[270]

"The proceedings of the Assembly have been so cross-grained," he said, "that they have thrown out all the bills I brought under the Great Seal. Their disgust to the new frame of Government occasioned it. Some of the Laws were faulty themselves. I withstood some of these alterations for in some measure I foresaw what has happened. It rests now with the King and those about him to consider whether you will gratify the people in reverting to the former way. The dilatoriness of passing laws in a new colony I shall beg may be altered. I have taken more pains than I ever did in my life to make the Assembly sensible of the hurt they did themselves and the island, but all to no purpose; they will not consent to lose their deliberative power."[409]

Some weeks later he reverted to this perplexing problem in a second letter to the Lords of Trade.

"A fortnight ago I gave you an account upon what terms I had parted with the Assembly. I have since thoroughly considered of what might in this case most conduce to his Majesty's service, and could not think of any better expedient than to send the bearer, Mr. Atkinson, to wait upon your Lordships. He was secretary to Sir Thomas Lynch and my Lord Vaughan and has been enough acquainted with all my proceedings since my arrival, so as to be perfectly able to satisfy your Lordships in anything you may desire to know concerning the place, and to lay before you all the several interests of his Majesty relating to it.

"My Lords, I find that the present form appointed for the making and passing of laws, considering the distance of the place, is very impracticable, besides very distasteful to the minds of the people here, as you may observe by the Assembly's address to me; and if your Lordships will please to move his Majesty to send me a general instruction to call another Assembly, and to re-enact and make what laws are fit for this place, I could then order the matter to conduce effectively to his Majesty's service. I have, by Mr. Atkinson, sent you drafts of such bills as are the most fundamental and chiefly concern his Majesty's interest; and I do assure you, that I will not in any material vary from them. He will, when your Lordships order him to attend you, lay them all before you, and, I believe, give your Lordships such thorough satisfaction[271] that you will rest assured that what I desire is for his Majesty's service, and that I shall be enough enabled by it to settle everything upon so good a foundation that neither his Majesty nor your Lordships will ever repent of having made any deference to my opinion; in it, my Lords, much success depends upon dispatch, and of the circumstances Mr. Atkinson will give you an account."[410]

Nearly at the same time Carlisle wrote at much greater length to Coventry, giving him an account of the measures he had taken to coerce some recalcitrant members of the Council and Assembly.

"On the 2d of September last the General Assembly met, but under so much dissatisfaction from the new frame of government and their losing the deliberative part of power in framing, altering, and amending laws that they spent near a fortnight very uneasily about some of the laws, and would have begun with the bill of revenue to have thrown out that first, as a mark of their disallowing the new measure of government, being so highly incensed that they were near questioning the King's power and authority to do it; insomuch that I, taking the maintenance thereof to be my charge, and finding some of the Council equally disgusted at the change of government, and foreseeing that it was like to encourage discontent in the Assembly, to take them off, and leave the Assembly upon their humour by themselves, I thought it absolutely necessary to put this question to each of the Council in these words: 'Do you submit and consent to this present form of government, which his Majesty hath been pleased to order for this island of Jamaica?' To which the chief justice, Col. Long, refused to answer with two more, Col. Charles Whitfield and Col. Thomas Freeman. The chief justice, being a man of very great influence upon the Assembly, I presently suspended, and gave the other two (less dangerous) till morning to consider on it. And then the chief justice sent to me his submission under his hand and Col. Freeman submitted; but Col. Charles Whitfield, otherwise a very good man, went away into the country.

"The Assembly received and examined all the laws I brought over, and drew up all their reasons for not[272] passing them; of each many were very frivolous, and the best was, because they were not compared with and amended by the last laws of my Lord Vaughan's, now with you, and received some two days before my coming away, the fleet then staying in the Downs, and my departure much pressing upon the expectation of war. These reasons against the revenue bill I answered individually; but no means either I myself, the Council, or both could use, would prevail with them to pass any one of them; and I look upon this to be their chief reason, by not passing them they might better show their dislike of that new way of government; though urged this, for their enjoying a power of altering and amending laws, the necessity of changing them as often as occasions do require, and the distance from this place is so great, that before the King's approbation can be obtained to a law and returned hither, it may be fit for the public good either to lay that law aside, or much to change and alter it; and, indeed, in this part of the objection I think they are in the right, for that they will want temporary laws till the colony be better grown; and, upon thorough consideration of the whole matter in this part, I am of opinion it is very advisable and requisite that there should be leave and power from the King, to make laws (not relating to his Majesty's power and prerogative) to endure for some term till his royal approbation may be had therein; and of this I do earnestly entreat your care.

"Having used all methods possible with the several members apart, and jointly with the body of the Assembly for the passing of the laws, I was after many conferences and debates, and several adjournments, frustrated, and they threw them all out. Afterwards in a full body, by the Speaker, they gave me the enclosed address, and presented to me for a public impost, prepared without giving me notice thereof, in such terms and form as was not fit for me to pass it in; but at last in some part consented to such amendment as I and the Council thought fit, changing the style of enacting as directed in my instructions, but restraining it to one year, from a fear that, if they should have made it perpetual, they should be assembled no more, but be governed by Governor and Council as they were in Col. D'Oyley's time, when they enacted laws not only for the revenue but other occasions, by Governor and Council, and in some part of Sir Charles Lyttelton's time, as appears by our council book upon the place; and Sir[273] Thomas Modyford had an instruction to continue this revenue by order of Governor and Council, the Assembly in his life time passing it perpetual; and in Sir Thomas Lynch's time the Assembly made it perpetual, but, for want of the King's consent, they are both fallen; but now, the Assembly say they are of a better understanding than to give the reins out of their own hands.

"To this bill, the island's affairs being under great pressure, from public debts contracted for the new fortifications and salaries already due, I gave the royal assent; and then being the 12th instant, I dissolved them.

"Which having done, and not being satisfied with the behaviour of the Assembly, in their proceedings in relation to the government I stood charged with, most of them being in military trusts, I put this question to each of them: 'Do you submit to this form of government, which his Majesty hath been pleased to order for this island of Jamaica?' To which several of them neither gave me a cheerful nor dutiful answer; some did, and at this some are much dissatisfied."[411]

Carlisle's attention was next drawn very definitely to a disturbing renewal of unlawful hostilities with the Spaniards. About the middle of October a Jamaican privateer commanded by Captain Spencer sailed confidently into Port Royal with a valuable Spanish ship as a prize. Three months before, in company with Captain Nevill, at the head of 130 men, he had taken the town of San Francisco de Campeche by surprise. Landing in the night about six miles distance from that place, they had avoided the outposts by following a little-frequented path through the woods, and entered its main street at sunrise. Taking possession of two guns on the parade without resistance, they turned them against the fort. The few inhabitants who were astir, seeing them marching with arms in regular order towards the fort, mistook them for Spanish soldiers and bid them good morning, until undeceived by the sound of musketry. The fort was easily taken and with the town held for ransom for several days until they received the money demanded. "For all which," remarked the candid[274] diarist, Beeston, "they had their pardon, and leave to come in and spend their plunder."[412]

The great activity of the Jamaican logwood traders and the zealous efforts of the Spanish guarda costas to suppress them had caused frequent collisions, with bloodshed, and gave the privateers, who had engaged in that commerce, a plausible pretext for making raids upon the coast towns of Central America. For some years after the conquest of Jamaica, the English privateers cruising in the Gulf of Honduras and the Bay of Campeachy had captured Spanish ships laden with logwood, but as they were ignorant of its value, they had either set these prizes adrift or burned them for the ironwork, which they saved. At last a certain Captain James, having taken a large ship with a cargo of logwood, took her to England to be converted into a privateer, and sold the wood at a very good price, although he had known so little of its real value that he had burned much of it for fuel on the voyage. After his return to Jamaica, the English ships cruising near that coast soon discovered many uninhabited places where logwood grew abundantly near the shore and could be cut with little difficulty, near Cape Catoche and the banks of the river Champeton. In some parts they found wood already cut and brought to the seaside for shipment. These stores they plundered with impunity until the Spaniards stationed guards to protect them. Then some Englishmen began cutting logwood in unfrequented bays near Cape Catoche, but soon after found a more convenient and safer resort in the lonely lagoon between the island of Trist and the mainland in the eastern part of the Bay of Campeachy, known to the Spaniards as Laguna de Terminos or the Lagoon of Tides. Into this narrow inlet, some thirty miles in length, the tide races fiercely and rises to an unusual height. On the islands and the shores of many small streams flowing into this lagoon, logwood grew luxuriantly and made the air fragrant in blossom-time with the delightful scent of its yellow flowers. About ten years earlier, after the first proclamation of peace with Spain, some of the[275] Jamaican privateers had begun to collect logwood at this place. Sometimes they showed little scruple as to the means by which they secured a cargo.

"If they found any Barks here," wrote Dampier, whose evidence is unimpeachable, "either light or laden, they made bold to take and sell both the Ships and the Indian Sailors that belonged to them. This they would tell was by way of Reprizal for some former Injuries received from the Spaniards: for the Governours of Jamaica knew nothing of it, neither durst the Spaniards complain; for at that Time they used to seize all the English Ships they met with in these Parts, not sparing even such as came laden with Sugar from Jamaica, and were bound for England; especially if they had Logwood on board. This was done openly, for the Ships were carried into Havana, there sold, and the men imprisoned without any Redress."[413]

In a few years a settlement of two or three hundred English logwood-cutters was formed on the islands and shores of the lagoon of Trist. Most of them had been privateersmen and were of course just as handy in the use of cutlass, pike, and musket as they were in that of the axe or saw. Small sloops came regularly from Jamaica to buy the wood they cut, for which they paid in rum and sugar. Their arrival was the signal for a revel of drinking and feasting which often lasted for days.

"Besides what Rum we sold by the Gallon or Firkin," Dampier stated, "we sold it made into Punch, wherewith they grew Frolicksome. We had none but small Arms to fire at their drinking Healths, and therefore the Noise was not very great at a distance, but on Board the Vessels we were loud enough till all our Liquor was spent. We took no money for it, nor expected any; for Logwood was what we came hither for and we had that in lieu of our Commodities after the Rate of five Pound per Ton, to be paid at the Place where they cut it."[414]

On a neighbouring island, to which the Spaniards had given the name of St. Peter and St. Paul, where pasture was good and plentiful, a Spaniard from Campeachy,[276] named Juan d'Acosta, had turned out cattle to graze, and they had increased remarkably in a wild state. To that place he came annually with his servants to kill surplus animals for their hides and tallow only. Finding some of the logwood-cutters shooting on this island he asked them politely to desist from frightening his cattle, and promised in return to supply them with beef. His offer was accepted and they faithfully abstained from hunting on that island, which they named the Isle of Beef. His friendly relations with them were discovered by the Spanish governor, who imprisoned him as a penalty, and the island was wholly abandoned to the English woodsmen.

The labour of cutting logwood in the hot and humid climate of the Honduran coast was most exhausting, as the trees were felled by severing the roots and digging out the entire tree. The bark and sap-wood was chipped and the tree sawn into portable logs. These heavy sticks were then carried or dragged by hand to the water's edge. It was not surprising that some of these restless men wearied of such a tiring and monotonous occupation, and sought to vary it by reverting at times to their former way of life.

"The more industrious sort of them came hither," wrote Dampier, "yet even these, though they could work well enough if they pleased, yet thought it a dry Business to toil at Cutting Wood. They were good Marksmen, and so took more delight in Hunting; but neither of these Employments affected them so much as Privateering; therefore they often made Sallies out in small Parties among the nearest Indian Towns; where they plundered and brought away the Indian Women to serve them in their Huts, and sent their Husbands to be sold at Jamaica; besides they had not forgot their old Drinking-bouts, and would still spend £30 or £40 at a sitting on board the Ships that came hither from Jamaica; carousing and firing of Guns three or four days together."[415]

Quarrels in which men were badly hurt and even killed were not uncommon. In one of these the noted Captain Robert Searle met his death on a small sandy islet at the[277] northern end of this lagoon, which has ever since been known as Searle's Cay.

The notorious lawlessness of many of these logwood-cutters soon caused Carlisle considerable anxiety, and he proposed in consequence an extension of his jurisdiction over their settlements in the Bay of Campeachy.

"Since the 15th December," he wrote near the end of January, 1679, "I have had many complaints from Trist in the Bay of Campeachy, of the disorders owing to the want of some government for the security of life and property; which once secured, would profit this Island and settle the logwood trade, without which England's interest in these parts will not be so duly improved nor Jamaica so well supported. I therefore beg that an early arrangement may be agreed on with the Spaniards, who, if they will not grant logwood, must of necessity expose their gold and silver to a number of English, who are abroad and have nothing to live on but the logwood trade. . . . The French", he added with marked significance, "have lately sacked Marrikey, Truxillo, and another town of the Spaniards on the Main, and brought off great booty to Petit Guavos in Hispaniola."[416]

His former letter on the subject of the trade in logwood had been carefully considered by a committee of the Privy Council, and on receiving their report an order had been made that "care be taken in the next treaty with Spain to adjust the Trade of Logwood, and that the Earl of Carlisle discourage as much as in him lyeth all Persons under his government from cutting any logwood at Campeche, or any other part of the King of Spain's dominions, and induce the privateers to apply themselves to planting upon the Island of Jamaica."[417]

When his second letter dealing with the same subject was received, it was referred to the Lords of Trade, who, as the result of further inquiry, reported that "the island [of Trist] is surrounded on all sides by the Spanish Plantations on the Main, and although not actually possessed by the Spaniards has always been accounted part[278] of their dominions, and we are therefore of opinion that no habitation or government can be allowed or maintained there by your Majesty without violation of the Treaty which forbids your subjects to sail or trade in the havens of the Catholic King in the West Indies." They accordingly advised that Lord Carlisle should be guided by the terms of the preceding order in Council. In the same report the diligence of Sir Henry Morgan in strengthening the defences of Port Royal with two new batteries was commended to the favourable notice of the King.[418]

The objections raised in the address from the Assembly against the acceptance of the laws presented to them for ratification were controverted at great length by the committee of the Privy Council, and the King was advised to empower Lord Carlisle to call another Assembly and

"to represent unto them the great Convenience and Expediency of accepting and consenting unto such laws. . . . transmitted unto them. And that in case of Refusal, his Lordship be furnisht with such Powers as were formerly given unto Colonel Doyly your first Governor of Jamaica and since to other Governors, whereby his Lordship may be enabled to govern according to the Laws of England, when the different nature and Constitution of that Colony may conveniently permit the same, and in other cases to act with the advice of the Council in such manner as shall be necessary and proper for the good Government of that Plantation."[419]

In the letter of advice written to Carlisle objection was particularly made to clauses in the acts lately passed by the Assembly, "most prejudicial to his Majesty's rights and prerogatives in the appropriation and disposal of quit-rents and in declaring the laws of England to be in force in Jamaica."[420] He was, however, authorized to continue the existing laws in force by a special proclamation until further instructions were given him.[421]


An unprecedentedly large appropriation was made for salaries and establishments amounting to £582, being much greater than for any other English colony except Virginia.[422] The ordnance delivered for the defences of the island was valued at £18,923, or nearly half of the entire sum expended for that purpose in all the colonies from 1660 to 1676.[423]

Carlisle transmitted an official report on the trade and commerce of Jamaica for seven years and nine months between 25th of June, 1671, and the 25th of March, 1679, by which it appeared that 5,396 "Christians" and 11,816 negroes had arrived in that time as passengers, servants, or slaves. Of the latter class three-fourths had been imported directly from Guinea and the remainder from other "plantations". At least one-fourth of the "Christians" who had arrived, had "gone off."

The chief article of export was sugar amounting to 7,657 tons, but it was remarked that the tonnage of the island was so "generous" that each ton of sugar exported was equivalent to three thousand gross pounds. The other exports were 5,119 tons of logwood, none of it having been grown in Jamaica, 2,357 tons of fustic, 305 tons of indigo, 177 tons of ginger, 134 tons of pimento, 44 tons of cacao, 43 tons of tobacco, 866 bags of cotton, and 38,567 hides. In the last year forty-seven ships had been loaded at Port Royal for England. Eighty sail were employed in the coasting traffic or in trading with the Spanish possessions, the value of the last-named branch of commerce being estimated at £20,000 during the last sixteen months.[424]

In the midsummer of 1679, the sudden appearance of a powerful French fleet in sight of the coast of Jamaica threw the people into a turmoil of alarm and excitement. Shortly before midnight on July 7, eight large ships of war were discovered approaching the harbour of Port Royal. Alarm guns were fired and the garrison manned[280] the batteries. Messengers were sent off in the utmost haste to warn the governor, who was at his country house in the hills of Guanaboa, twenty-two miles away. By riding hard he arrived at Port Royal before daybreak and found the place in a good state for defence.

During the morning the Comte d'Erveaux, a knight of Malta, accompanied by some other French officers of lower rank, came on shore with a letter from the admiral asking permission to take on wood and water at Bluefields Bay or Point Negril near the leeward end of the island, with the statement that he was on his way to Cartagena to demand the release of some French prisoners. Having been driven out of his course by violent gales, he had decided to sail to Havana on the same mission and was unwilling to trust to Spanish courtesy for obtaining those necessary supplies, and feared that a refusal might end in a quarrel.

This casual visit from prospective enemies had not unnaturally aroused strong suspicion and the request was granted with some misgiving.

"To what end these French are come here, we cannot possibly learn," Carlisle wrote, "they say against the Spaniards but the people distrust their speech. They admired the island but said they should have a better in Cuba. They were respectfully treated from morning till evening, when a small frigate came into the harbour mouth, took them aboard and after saluting the fort, stood off to the fleet, which was cruising all day about two leagues to the windward of the Port. The Point was so alarmed that the inhabitants removed their goods and families for fear of a French descent; and several sloops coming in with advice that the French fleet was standing off to windward, this so increased their jealousies that I called a Council to the Point. It was agreed that a council of war should be held and martial law proclaimed for 30 days. The whole of the inhabitants, soldiers, and slaves were set to work to increase the fortifications, I being very glad of the opportunity of carrying on work which would otherwise have gone on very slowly. Still in my opinion the French aim rather at Havana, and if they get possession of this, the key to the West Indies, as they certainly may unless obstructed by England, they[281] will command the treasure of this part of the world more to the prejudice of England than the Spaniards."[425]

The frigate Hunter and two small sloops were sent out to watch the movements of the French fleet and five days later information came from Bluefields that several of its ships were lying quietly at anchor in the bay.

"This has quieted the people, who feared they were to windward", Carlisle remarked. "The occurrence has done us more good than harm, but the generality of the people will not give up their opinion that the French fleet when reinforced is designed against this Island. The common law will take place nine days before the meeting of the Assembly. . . .

"Pray move the Master of the Ordnance to hasten to us gun-carriages, powder, and small arms; the alarm has occasioned the using of all we had in store; and also move the King to order recruits for the two companies under pay here. I shall continue or shorten the duration of martial law according to the progress of our new defences."[426]

His recent orders had not made the task of administration any lighter, as none of his conciliatory recommendations had been approved. On August 8 he informed the Council that he had received instructions to discourage cutting logwood in Spanish territory, and to invite the privateers to return to Jamaica and encourage them to become planters by the offer of a doubled allotment of land. Writs were issued for the election of members of an Assembly to meet on August 19, and martial law was continued in force until then to ensure the completion of a new battery on the point at Port Royal. It was resolved that when the Hunter returned from a cruise around the island in search of privateers, she should be sent to Cartagena to demand the release of the masters of several sloops belonging to Port Royal, who, according to report, were confined there as prisoners, "which much exasperates the people's heart against the Spaniards", Carlisle wrote. "They seize our ships for cacao as well as logwood."[282]

Under date of August 20, Colonel Beeston, who had been elected as a member of the Assembly for the two parishes of Port Royal and St. Andrew, and chosen as speaker of the House for the fourth time in succession, noted in his journal that letters to Sir Thomas Modyford and others had stated that "the island was sold to the French which discouraged many."

As a result of this disquieting rumour, the whole of the members went in a body to call upon the governor "to hear what he could tell them of an alarm of the French fleet." To this question he candidly replied that he "saw no letter, only was advised of one written by Colonel Hilliard [from Barbados] to Sir Thomas Modyford that the French designed for this place; but that he believed we might have time to put ourselves in a better posture; for as we now are he did not believe us safe, and that should they attack us now he would not give half a year's purchase for any man's estate on the island."[427]

This forceful warning was followed by a resolution of the Council on August 22, inviting the Assembly to appoint a committee to meet with one of its own to report what additional fortifications were necessary for the safety of Port Royal. A committee of nine, headed by Colonel John Colebeck of St. Dorothy, were appointed. Sir Henry Morgan was at once chosen as chairman of the joint committee, and the whole went immediately to view the defences of the harbour. Morgan's advice and his remarkable success in the employment of a fireship at Maracaibo had great weight in their deliberations.[428]

Their written report, signed by Morgan and thirteen others, made recommendations showing a serious degree of alarm.

"1st. That in order to the present security of Port Royal the graft[429] be sunk where the water now stands without the breastwork.

"2nd. That the breastwork be reinforced the best way it may be done in a short time.[283]

"3rd. That platforms be laid and guns mounted on the two new lines.

"4th. That four fireships be forthwith provided, or at least the materials for them.

"5th. That the point be trenched in the several places the Lieutenant-General shall think fit for the better serving the small shot.

"6th. That two ships or more be placed in the harbour side, above the breastwork, so as their broadsides may flank the ground both within and without the graft.

"7th. That if time will allow more be done in order to the future strengthening the place, stone and lime be brought in place and the lime for a new fort, according to His Excellency's propounding, to be begun without the breastwork and carried on as time and materials will allow us to proceed with the building."[430]

On August 26 at night letters were received from England containing a copy of the order of the Privy Council for the resubmission of the laws sent out to the Assembly for their adoption, which the governor read to the Council next morning. The Assembly had then been in session for seven days, with the object of renewing the act for raising revenue, which would expire on September 2. There had been some change in the composition of the House, but none in its determination to assert its independence. After the meeting of the Council, Carlisle summoned the Assembly and read to the members both the order of the Privy Council and the letter from the King, which, he said, he hoped would have a good effect, as "they came at a good time so much contrary to their expectation."[431]

After spending a day in debate, the Speaker presented an address stating that the orders made known to them required much consideration, and "finding the present juncture of time insufficient to debate so great a business, being under apprehension of danger from the French fleet", requested the governor either to prorogue the Assembly or allow them to adjourn for two months or such[284] period as he thought advisable, and in the meantime they were willing to renew the existing revenue act for four or six months. To this proposal Carlisle agreed without much hesitation.

"Finding them nettled and warm," he reported, "I thought it discretion to let them take time to digest their thoughts; and, having continued the revenue bill for six months longer from the 1st of September next, I passed it and then prorogued them till the 28th of October following. The apprehension of the Island from the French fleet is very great, and hence the Assembly desired not only the putting off all the grand Courts, but that a council of war should be called and martial law constituted for putting the Island into a posture of defence, which is now our present purpose and business. I returned late last night from viewing the several parts where it may be most proper to strengthen old works or erect new for the safety of Port Royal. I doubt not of our success to the great contentment of the inhabitants here, who are very angry with the Spaniards and not less jealous of the French. Please send me copies of all treaties that I am likely to want, also of Col. Doyley's instructions, and a commission under the Great Seal of England."[432]

All these preparations for resisting an invasion were made under the directions and personal supervision of Sir Henry Morgan as Lieutenant-General. A proclamation was next issued inviting all absent privateersmen to return and receive liberal grants of crown lands, and prohibiting the cutting of logwood on Spanish territory.

In a later letter to the Lords of Trade, Carlisle stated that he had prorogued the Assembly on the advice of the Council.

"Hoping that in that time," he said, "they would fall off their heat, and upon recollection, better bethink themselves of their duties and allegiance; and upon my offering them again the laws, which I propose to do upon their first meeting, better demonstrate their obedience by readily giving their consent that they might be enacted.

"But from what I can learn from the chief leaders among them, I find the same averseness as formerly,[285] averring that they will submit to wear but never to make chains, as they term this form of government, for their posterities, so that I can scarce expect better success. . . . Since my arrival I have had so many difficulties from the untowardness of a dissatisfied people and the danger from the French fleet, that I have had work enough to compose their fears and encourage them to keep up and repair their fortifications."[433]

He had anxiously watched the progress of work upon the forts, and ordered the strict enrolment of all white males in the militia, between the age of sixteen and sixty, who had resided in the island for a month or more. The total number of persons thus found liable for military service was reported to be 4,526.

After spending several days in Port Royal, Carlisle wrote on September 15 in no very cheerful frame of mind, giving a lucid account of his extremely perplexing situation.

"On Friday morning I went with Sir Henry Morgan to Three Rivers, some 12 miles from the Point, and thence round the Cod of the Great Harbour to the Rock, where we observed the properest passes to secure both the Point and Liguania in case of an attack by land. A hundred more negroes are to be added to the slaves of the Point to carry on the fortifications there.

"There are", he continued, "parishes without churches; few people and those at a great distance from one another; registries of christenings and burials unsettled, most families burying their dead about their private houses. . . .

"In a former letter I conjectured our force of listed men at 4,000 whites and 50,000 blacks and Indians, of which last there are some in most plantations, excellent fishermen and fowlers and skilful with cattle. I have since had lately returned to me lists of the general musters through the Island, which few men can have escaped, the law requiring all to be within a certain time listed at their place of residence. The total is a little above 4,000 fighting men, though we have reputation with our neighbours for 20,000 and thus are formidable to them; so silence in this particular is a great security. This number of whites is one-fifth short of the proportion required by law, viz. one white to ten blacks, which[286] cannot be well made up by servants that come hither, for they make good no more than the deaths and departures of others from the Island. It must be by the removal of families and the growth of youth here, very hardy and much delighted in arms, that our necessities must in time be answered. . . .

"From what I can gather from the leaders, the Assembly will abide by their former resolution, and on their meeting on 28 October, will not be prevailed with to pass the laws. They will submit, they say, to wear what His Majesty shall please to order, but they will not make chains for their posterities. . . .

"The inhabitants are in great dread of danger from the French men-of-war in these seas. Report states that Count d'Estrées, now to leeward, as we suppose at Havana, and another squadron to windward, will rendezvous a month hence at Hispaniola; their hunters there have orders to have such a supply of dried provision ready for them as shows their purpose on us or the Spaniard. The Spaniards have lately given them a just provocation by taking a small vessel called a snow, with thirty men belonging to Count d'Estrées. The same Spanish man-of-war shortly before took a sloop belonging to Port Royal and carried the men prisoners to Porto Bello, where the English were not only relieved with money, but by the friendship of the Bishop of Panama, discharged, and their sloop delivered to them, and the thirty Frenchmen put on board her to be transported hither; when on their application to me I furnished them with money and a sloop to go to windward to Petit Guavos with them. Since that a sloop of the Royal African Company has foundered at sea upon the coast of Hispaniola with negroes. The Agent of the Company sent to Petit Guavos and M. de Pouancy immediately dispatched a sloop with provisions to them, but arriving too late (most of them having been fetched off by a sloop sent from here by the Company's factor) the French sloop came down hither with a letter to me and Sir Henry Morgan to help the master to his freight from the Company's factors. So we and the French are as yet very friendly. We are less well treated by the Spaniards who have lately taken many of our ships laden with logwood and cacao, sparing none that they can overpower at sea. One Paul Abney was lately taken, with his sloop and passengers, prisoners by a Spanish man-of-war, belonging to a squadron of five called the Barlovento fleet,[434] commanded by the V[287]ice-Admiral of Cartagena; and the sloop, having only cacao on board, was plundered. Abney produced my pass to the Vice-Admiral who wiped his breech with it and threw it at him again; converted the cargo of the sloop to his own use, and forced him to sign a receipt of having received money for the same (which indeed he had not) or else not to be discharged. Abney has sworn that when on board with the Vice-Admiral he saw five other masters of ships on board, lately taken prisoners by the Spaniards, and one of them in irons. He brought letters from them to their relations at the Point complaining of their barbarous usage, which exasperates the people much against the Spaniards, who at the King's pleasure might so easily be humbled. . . .

"We have now 100 guns mounted at Port Royal but only 100 barrels of powder."[435]

Only two days later he wrote again to announce that Sir Henry Morgan had received "certain intelligence from the master of a sloop arrived at Port Royal, that seven days since six French ships of war passed by the Isle of Ash, whereof four very large and two of smaller rates. Undoubtedly they come to join with Count d'Estrées, according to our first accounts. This suiting with the time of their appointed rendezvous much increases the fears of the people here, of whose entertaining them I doubt not if our powder answer but our time of service."[436]

The opportune arrival of the frigate Success from England, which he retained at Port Royal "to countenance the harbour, where", he said, "the people still dread the appearance of the French fleet", enabled him to despatch the Hunter to Cartagena to demand the release of all English prisoners.[437]

In the midst of these alarms the former able governor and chief justice, Sir Thomas Modyford, died at Spanish Town and was buried there in the Cathedral Church, where the eulogist[288]ic inscription commemorating him may still, with some difficulty, be read.

"Mistake not Reader, for here lyes not onely the capital Deceased Body of the Honbble Sr. Thomas Modyford, Barronett, but even the Soule and Life of all Jamaica, who first made it what it now is. Here lyes the best and longest Governour, the most considerable Planter, the ablest and most upright Judge this Island ever injoyed.

"He dyed the second of September, 1679."[438]

Carlisle's forecast of the probable action of the Assembly proved entirely correct. Martial law had been proclaimed in accordance with their wishes on September 2 and was continued in force until October 27, the day before their meeting, when all fear of an immediate invasion had vanished. The members then showed not the slightest disposition to accede to the governor's proposals for carrying into effect the recent royal instructions.

"The Assembly meeting on the 28th of October," Carlisle wrote, "I, with the Council, went to them, commanded the [Privy] Council's report of the 21st of May and His Majesty's letter of the 31st of May last to be read again to them; pressed them very much to consider how much it imported at this juncture, for the interest of the Island that they should pass these laws I brought to them under the Great Seal of England, or at least part of them, desiring that any one or more of the Assembly would then and there argue the reasonableness of their objection which none of them would undertake; and so I left the body of laws with them. They having the last sessions passed the vote that the raising of money and the disposing of it was the inherent right of the Assembly, (of which I had no account, either from the members or their Speaker, in fourteen days afterwards, they presuming it to be their privilege that their proceedings should be kept secret from me), I then appointed and swore them a clerk, which before used to be of their own choice; and this they are very uneasy under.

"They then proceeded to read over the body of laws; notwithstanding the great care, pains, and trouble [289]I had taken with them, both apart individually as well as assembled together, they threw out and rejected all the laws, again adhering to their former reasons, rather than admitting and honouring those from their Lordships for rules of obedience.

"I thereupon presently, with the Council, framed a bill of revenue indefinite and sent that to them; but that had no better success; and they then attended me with the Address to be presented to His Majesty, which I herewith send you; as also the humble desire of justification of His Majesty's Council thereupon, which I and they earnestly desire your favour in humbly presenting to His Majesty, being unanimously agreed to by all the Council, but Col. Samuel Long, Chief Justice of the island, whom I have found all along since my arrival here to be a most pertinacious abettor and cherisher of the Assembly's stubbornness in opposing this new frame of government; having had a hand (being their Speaker) in the leaving the King's name out of the revenue bill, refuses to join with the Council in this their genuine act, and has sufficiently possessed himself of the opinion of the Assembly, by advising and assisting them in the framing of their Address; thinking their resolutions to be as inalterable as his own, he is withdrawn to his plantation, some thirty miles off from this town, where at this juncture we have most need of Council.

"Upon serious and deliberate consideration of all which I have sent him his 'quietus', and appointed Col. Robert Byndloss, chief justice in his place, of whose fidelity to the King's interest I have many proofs, having formerly executed the place, and was now one of the judges of the supreme court.

"I have also suspended Col. Long from being one of the Council, to bring or send him, with six more of the Assembly, to attend the King in Council in England to support their own opinions, reasons, and Address, wherein they are not ordinarily positive; and this I do from the Council here unanimously agreeing that there is no other or better expedient for the settlement of this government to a general consent."[439]

In his letter to the Lords of Trade on the same embarrassing subject, the governor added some further explanatory obs[290]ervations.

"This Address is founded greatly upon the advice of Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Long, Chief Justice of the island, and one of the King's Council, who principally contends for the old frame of government, of whom the Assembly is highly opinionated, and esteem him as the patron of their rights and privileges as Englishmen, who had a hand in leaving the King's name out of the revenue bill, being then Speaker, and denies not his having a hand in framing and advising some parts of the Address, which in the whole is not truth: for,

"1stly. Whereas they alledge that the civil government commenced in my Lord Windsor's time; it is generally known and recorded in our Council Book, fifteen months before, in Colonel D'Oyley's time, and will be proved by Sir Thomas Lynch, who then himself had occasion of a trial by jury, the foreman of which was Colonel Byndloss.

"2ndly. They alledge the readiness of governors to use martial law, particularly in Sir Thomas Lynch's time; which is here contradicted, for there was only an order in council for the putting it in force upon condition of any actual descent or invasion, and not otherwise; neither was it on foot really all this time, as I am credibly informed upon good inquiry.

"3rdly. As for its being in force in my time, it was not from my affecting, but the Council advising and their desiring it; as also the putting off the Courts till February, in favour generally of the planters. Then, for their alledging so much to be done during the martial law, wholly at the charge of the country; that it is done is true, but the charge thereof they would clog the revenue bill with, amounting to twelve hundred and twenty-eight pounds, there is not yet made payment of one farthing, nor any prospect how it may, since the revenue is so much anticipated from the want of money in the treasury, occasioned by my Lord Vaughan's letting fall the bill of revenue before his departure."[440]

Before the end of the session, however, he was able to state that the removal of Colonel Long from office had made the Assembly "a little more sedate" in their proceedings. At length they had imposed a parochial tax to pay the debt incurred for the new fortifications at Port Royal and ha[291]d prepared a bill to continue the existing revenue act for another year, which he was "inclined to accept from prudence".[441]

The town of Port Royal was required to contribute £500 to defray the cost of its fortification, while the large neighbouring parishes of St. Andrew and St. Catherine were assessed for only £150 each and the more distant ones for still smaller sums.

Enraged by their exclusion from the trade in logwood, which they bitterly denounced as a mean-spirited concession to the selfish policy of the Spanish court, some of the most daring privateers deliberately set the governor's proclamation at defiance and did their utmost to bring on another war with Spain. Several ships commanded by John Coxon, Batharpe, Bithing, and Sawkins, fitted out and manned at Jamaica, raided ports and plantations on the coast of Honduras and brought off to Port Royal their plunder, consisting of five hundred chests of indigo and a great quantity of cacao, cochineal, and tortoise-shell, besides some money and silver plate. These stolen goods were there sold to dealers and "landed often at noon-day". Nearly at the same time Captain Cook landed in Cuba, where he lay in ambush until a Spanish ship laden with cacao came within his reach, which he captured.

"The cacao was brought in by shallops and paid customs and was landed and shared. This I write," said the author of a contemporary newsletter, "not out of prejudice I have to any one, but believing as most others do, that these things will be laid on the back of the Country, as most miscarriages are, when in truth they are exceedingly against it, knowing that His Majesty had commanded a peace with the Spaniards; and besides it hinders and discourages the manufacture of this place, for those that can buy privateer-goods cheap will not lay out their money on such unless they can have them much under the usual price. . . . So long as they see they can bring in their goods, paying custom, they will daily increase and great depredations will be made on the Spaniards."[442]


The sudden fall in prices caused by the introduction of considerable quantities of these plundered commodities, which were sold for what they could fetch, caused instant and indignant protests from both merchants and planters. The governor's annoyance and perplexity were plainly confessed in his letter.

"About the opening of the session a depredation was made on the Spaniards in the Bay of Honduras by English, French, and others, the usual composition of privateers. These vessels were commanded by persons belonging to Jamaica, of whom I had some jealousy before they left Port Royal, so I stopped several of their men and took security from some of the commanders for their good behaviour. Notwithstanding my care they made their venture, and returning to uncertain stations, hovered about this island. The smaller of them having, without my knowledge, landed her cargo of indigo in the remotest parts of the island to leeward, the rest, who had not landed their load, reported that unless they were permitted to bring it into harbour on paying the King's duty, they would leave their interests in Jamaica and sail to Rhode Island or the Dutch, where they would be well entertained. Upon the first news I ordered H.M.S. Success to cruise for them, which seized the empty vessel and brought her to Port Royal. H.M.S. Hunter, having a few days before coasted round the Island for privateers, returned with one Cornelius Essex, commander of the Great Dolphin, who was tried with twenty of his men for riotously comporting themselves and for plundering Major Jenckes[443] of St. James' parish in this Island, and two of them sentenced to death. The indigo landed was laden in small sloops and by them entered in the Custom House at Port Royal. The quantity thereof having much abated the price, it has taken for some little time the place of our native sugar and indigo; though in the main the Island is in truth much benefited, the Treasury being near £1,000 in arrear, which is difficult to recover where money is so scarce.

"I had information some days since of the capture of a valuable ship of 28 guns, belonging to the United Provinces, by one Peter Harris, a privateer ever since the taking of Panama. I at once dispatched the Success to c[293]ruize for her, and my news is since confirmed by the arrival of 11 men in her longboat of the Dutch crew. This happened at the time of the Assembly's discontent and uneasiness. Not knowing that the frigates had my orders to sail in pursuit of privateers and particularly of Peter Harris (which the King's ships have ever had from me on all occasions), they angrily hastened to me by seven of their members (some of them but lately rebuked by me for cherishing and entertaining privateers), a petition wherein apart from their dissatisfaction at everything else, they press for the doing of that which, in spite of great difficulties I have ever striven to effect. Thus you will see my position towards this Island which entertains my services so ill."[444]

He then transmitted the address from the Assembly urging him, in view of many depredations committed by pirates and privateers, to take some speedy and effectual efforts for putting an end to them by the employment of the two frigates of the Royal Navy and the two companies of foot maintained by the King with that object.[445]

The Hunter had long since returned from her fruitless mission to Cartagena. "The Spanish governor was so jealous that he refused the Captain or any of his company admittance within the gates, and received them in a tent pitched for the purpose on the beach. He denied that he had any English prisoners and gave assurance that just satisfaction should be given on Senor Quintana's[446] return to Cartagena."[447]

But the Success brought the redoubtable Sawkins with his ship into Port Royal, where he was confined in the expectation of evidence being found for his trial. Soon after, that ship chased the Dutch vessel taken by Peter Harris into the interminable labyrinth of islets and shoals forming the South Cays of Cuba, ever a favourite refuge for all piratical craft, where she ran on a reef and bec[294]ame a total wreck.[448]

An effort was made to supply Anglican clergy for the parishes that had none, and the expenses of their passage from England were paid by the Treasury of Philip Bennett and Peter Langworth and of Lancelot Blackburne, who in after life was promoted to be Archbishop of York, for Antigua. All these gentlemen were decidedly easy-going and convivial in their habits, and it is said that Blackburne acted for some time as the chaplain of a privateer and shared in the prize-money.[449]

The Lords of Trade and the Privy Council had given remarkably prompt and careful attention to Carlisle's complaints of the robbery and seizure of English ships laden with cacao and logwood, and in particular the case of Paul Abney, and orders were given to the Secretary of State and the English Envoy at Madrid to "demand satisfaction for the beforementioned injuries and sufferings of the English by the violence of the Spaniards in the West Indies and particularly to expostulate with that Court for the imprisonment of His Majesty's subjects and the seizure made by the Spaniards of logwood, cacao, and other commodities found on board English vessels, which hardships are not only contrary to the rules of common friendship but to the express articles of the Treaty of Madrid concluded with that Crown for composing differences and establishing a Peace in America, which His Majesty has continually endeavoured to cultivate by the most particular and pressing orders to his Governors, commanding them punctually to observe all the Articles of the said Treaty and take care that no occasion of offence or complaint might be given to the Spaniards, which marks of reciprocal amity and kindness His Majesty may justly expect from that Crown."[450]

But while ships under the English flag, if not with English commissions, were pillaging the coasts and even sac[295]king the towns of the Spanish colonies, there was small prospect of such a remonstrance having the least effect.

Early in the year Captain Francis Mingham, who had been trading in the West Indies for some time, had his ship and cargo seized at Port Royal, as Carlisle reported, for "his improvidence and reservations to elude the officer of His Majesty's Customs", or in other words, for making a fraudulent entry or false declaration. The charge against him was tried in the Court of Admiralty, of which Sir Henry Morgan was President, and his ship was condemned for sale. "Notwithstanding my kindness, whereby she was prevented of being sold according to the condemnation," Carlisle wrote soon after, "he is still dissatisfied and I believe will incense his owners to attempt your ears to inform the King."[451]

His judgment in this case was in fact destined to involve Morgan in serious trouble and expense. In October, 1679, Mingham presented a petition to the Privy Council on behalf of himself and the owners of the pink, Francis, complaining that "one Thomas Martin [the Receiver-General for Jamaica] out of malice only to the Petitioner with the Assistance of Sir Henry Morgan sole Judge of the Court of Admiralty" at Port Royal had caused his ship and the goods on board to be arrested and condemned, and praying to be reheard. The Council made an order for a hearing on the 1st of May, 1680.[452] Mingham obtained a summons for the attendance of Martin and Morgan on that day, with which he hurried back to Jamaica, where he arrived about Christmas. After service Martin and Morgan retaliated unwisely by bringing an action against Mingham for libel, in which they had the governor's sympathy if not his approval.

"In the main I am well satisfied", Carlisle wrote, "Mingham is a very ill man. He took upon him (though there was no mention of me either in the petition or the order) to serve me too, as he had served Sir Henry Morgan and Martin, as if I had been concerned in what he so falsely and maliciously charges them with. His ship wa[296]s condemned in the Admiralty Court and sold but for £300, whereas the petition says £800, and that it was divided between them, whereas I do not believe that they ever turned a penny of it to their own use. Sir Henry as Judge of the Admiralty Court has not yet even received his fees, and Mr. Martin has given his share for the encouragement of trade for the building of an Exchange at Port Royal. They are now engaged with Mingham in a trial before the Grand Court. . . .

"P.S. Since writing the above Mingham's attorney asked me to dissuade Sir Henry Morgan from prosecuting his action, promising a written acknowledgement from Mingham that his petition was false and scandalous. Sir Henry Morgan, however, resolved to put it on the country, and the jury has given him £2,000 damages. Thereby your Lordships may see how easy it is at this distance to be reproachfully and scandalously traduced to you, till we are made happy in an opportunity of vindication."

Morgan then sent to the Lords of Trade an exemplification of the proceedings in the trial which had resulted in the condemnation of Mingham's ship, with the depositions and other papers to prove that his petition to the Privy Council was "false and scandalous". That petition had alleged that the Francis had been condemned for the concealment of two casks of brandy, whereas in fact there had been found two butts of brandy and twenty casks of black cherry brandy, "which were plainly kept on board to defraud the customs."[453]

"It is plain," Morgan continued, "that Mingham makes no conscience of swearing falsely, for he exhibited a bill in the High Court of Justice denying on oath that he had ever delivered the petition or served me with a copy of your Lordships' order, and a little later another confessing it. There was no malice on my part or Mr. Martin's in the trial before the Admiralty Court as Mingham falsely asserts, nor did covetousness enter into the matter. The office of Judge Admiral was not given to me for my understanding of the business better than others, nor for the profitableness thereof, for I left the schools too young to be a great proficient in that or other laws, and have been more used to the pike than the book; and as[297] for profit there is no porter in this town but can get more money in the time than I got by this trial. But I was truly put in to maintain the honour of the Court for His Majesty's service, without which the Acts of Navigation cannot be enforced, for it is hard to find unbiassed juries in the Plantations for such cases. For instance, a ship came here with several cases of Irish soap and was seized by His Majesty's Receiver. The case was tried in the Court of Common Pleas, and the jury found for the defendant with costs. One witness swore that soap was victuals, and that one might live upon it for a month, which the jury readily believed and found the aforesaid verdict. I beg your Lordships to believe that if I have erred at all in this matter it has been in judgment only. May God love me no longer than I love justice."[454]

Mingham failed to pay the judgment awarded against him and was committed to prison in default. On June 10th, 1680, a petition from his wife, Dorothy Mingham, was read at the Privy Council complaining of the "Oppressions and Imprisonment her husband suffers by reason of the undue proceedings against him by Sir Henry Morgan, knt., Deputy Governor of Jamaica and Judge of Admiralty there, and Thomas Martin, Gentleman Customer at Port Royall, for petitioning this Boord to be heard against a Sentence of Condemnation of the Pink ffrancis of Londone whereof the Petitioner was Master, which was exhibited in the Petitioners name in his absence by the Owners of the said Pink", and praying that he might be set at liberty to come over and make good his allegations. On July 21 an order was made for Captain Mingham's release on security being given for the payment of the full amount of damages.[455]

The vital importance of adopting drastic measures for the suppression of piracy and due protection of commerce was seriously considered by the Council of Jamaica, and a report for the information of the Lords of Trade and the Privy Council in England was drafted and signed in the presence of the governor by Sir Henry Morgan and eight other members, among them being his relatives, Archb[298]old and Byndloss, and his particular friend, Colonel Thomas Ballard.

"As to our trade," this report stated, "nothing can further it more than a firm and uninterrupted preservation of peace made with the Spaniard in these parts. Though instructed by the King to this end, the Governor can do little from want of ships to reduce the privateers and of plain laws to punish them. Could this peace but be well kept, a good and neighbourly correspondence would follow, and a private trade connived at by the Spanish Governors and officers both on the Main and in the Islands adjacent, to the great expanse of our English manufactures and the general benefit of the nation, as well as of this Island and the shipping trade unto it. For the vast duties paid in Spain on our English goods and the great advance made upon them by the Spaniards (with all the charges of transporting them here to the West Indies), will by this more direct conveyance come to be divided between His Majesty's subjects and be an inducement to afford them here to the Spaniards on much easier terms than can be brought from Spain, and an encouragement to the Spaniards not only to admit us to a private trade with their outports and creeks, but also to come to us and bring us money and goods to purchase our English commodities. We cannot give better proof of this than the trade that at present is, and of late hath been driven with them by divers people from hence, notwithstanding the detestable depredations of some of our nation, (who pass for inhabitants of Jamaica), under colour of French commissions. How much greater would their confidence be in us could these ravenous vermin be destroyed. His Majesty to this end keeps a fourth-rate frigate or two constantly about this island, but with no better success than to drive the privateers into distant and secure creeks and holes to commit their robberies on canoes, sloops, and barks where no fourth-rate can follow them, as they have done in the bays of Nova Hispania and Honduras and in the gulf of Matica. Despairing of any countenance and protection here, the privateers resort for protection to the French thereby strengthening them and weakening us, and they never want for specious pretexts for irreconcilable hostility to the Spaniards in the horrid butcheries of their fellow subjects, who have unhappily fallen into their power. The number of the privateers is also increased thereby, for any sailors that esca[299]pe these cruelties forget their duty to God and man, and give themselves wholly up to implacable revenge, having no hope of redress here or in Europe.

"For the preservation of peace, therefore, it is absolutely necessary that the Spanish Governors and officers in the West Indies do their duty, for all the acts of our privateers are disowned by us and every endeavour made to bring the offenders to justice, whereas the acts of the Spaniards are encouraged and owned by authority. We humbly suggest as the surest way of putting down these incorrigible robbers, the ratification of an act, formerly transmitted by us, declaring it felony without benefit of clergy for any of the King's subjects in the West Indies to serve any foreign prince against any other foreign prince at amity with England without a license from the Governor. And for the better enforcement of this Act we suggest the appointment of a couple of sixth-rate frigates or yatches[456] which can follow them into shoal water, with a fifth-rate frigate to support them, with orders to demand and take from them all English subjects in their service. They are now grown to such a height of strength that a smaller force will not suffice for the first year. They have one ship of 28 guns, one of 26, one of 12, one of 8 (besides sloops and barks), all extraordinarily well manned, and much better armed than any of our European shipping. The biggest of them was the prize taken by one Peter Harris from the Dutch, in chase of which H.M.S. Success was unfortunately lost."[457]

This highly important paper, which must have been largely based on information supplied by Morgan as Vice-Admiral, was prepared only a few days before Carlisle's sudden departure for England, and taken with him. It was considered by the Lords of Trade on September 16, when several memorials from the Spanish ambassador, complaining of piracies alleged to have been committed by inhabitants of Jamaica upon Spanish ships, were also read and ref[300]erred to Carlisle for a report. At the same time the Lords declared their opinion that it was expedient to revive the law making it a felony without benefit of clergy to serve any foreign prince, and resolved to confer with the Earl of Carlisle upon a proposal to send four small frigates to Jamaica for the suppression of piracy and the protection of commerce.[458]

In reply to the complaints of the Spanish ambassador Carlisle retorted warmly.

"While Don Antonio continues to deal so roughly with these English as to make prize of their ships and goods and make prisoners of their men, no good understanding is possible between the two nations.

"The depredations and injuries of the privateers are committed by a sort of men without reach of Government; but the injuries that we suffer from them are from men in office and public employ. It is true at my first arrival in Jamaica, I invited the privateers in, but it was out of kindness to the Spaniard, to endeavour to reclaim them from evil courses. Finding them persevere I presently sent out the frigates whenever I heard of them about Jamaica, and I do believe I have taken while there more of their vessels than Don Antonio in the whole time of his being Admiral, though I could not proceed to the punishment of any particular person, having no complaint of the Spaniards against them."[459]

Carlisle had become quite disheartened by ill success in his efforts alternately to cajole and to coerce the Assembly to accept the unpalatable form of government he had been instructed to put in effect, although he seems to have retained his personal popularity, and had the unwavering support of his Deputy Governor and a majority of the Council. After receiving the address of the Assembly positively refusing to pass any of the bills offered for their consent, the governor commanded all the members to appear before him, and then produced a form of oath, which he required them to take as a test of their loyalty by accepting the "new frame of government". Colonel Beeston, the Speak[301]er, and all the members except five refused to comply, when he dissolved the House at once and announced that he would not call another but would carry on the government with the advice of the Council as directed in his latest instructions.[460] Six of the recalcitrant members, of whom Beeston and Jonathan Ashurst, one of the representatives of Clarendon, were the principal, were named by him to accompany the deposed chief justice to defend their position before the Privy Council. Shortly afterwards he abruptly decided to turn over the administration of the government to Sir Henry Morgan and return to England to justify his own conduct and press charges of misconduct against Colonel Samuel Long.[461]

Before sailing a "brief account of the Government of Jamaica" was compiled by his direction, from which it appeared that in addition to his other appointments as Deputy Governor, Lieutenant-General, and Vice-Admiral, Sir Henry Morgan was a Justice of the Peace and Custos Rotulorum for the third precinct of the island, being the town and parish of Port Royal, containing a population of 1,671 white people and 670 blacks.[462] The secretary reported that no returns of births or deaths had been received from any Custos except Morgan and Colonel John Cope. The muster rolls of the militia showed that Morgan was Colonel Commandant of the Port Royal Regiment of Foot, being the largest of any, numbering 1,183 of all ranks, "of which there are about a third part belonging to sloops and barks trading about the island, and therefore inconstant in their appearances."[463]




Carlisle's relations with Morgan were constantly cordial and harmonious, and he displayed no hesitation in turning over the administration of the government to him in spite of his notoriously roistering and convivial excesses. The governor seems to have left the island about the end of May or early in June, 1680. The Council was soon after convened to consider the most recent instructions from the Lords of Trade.

"Everything was done for the prompt execution of your Lordships' orders and the several warrants sent out for the apprehension of privateers and their accomplices", Morgan reported in his first letter. "I beg your Lordships' consideration of this latter business which greatly concerns the trade and prosperity of the island. We have promise of a good season which has been rare of late years. Lord Carlisle will doubtless have given you full information as to the state of the Government."[464]

On the same day he wrote at much greater length to Lord Sunderland, the newly appointed Secretary of State.

"Presently after Lord Carlisle's departure there anchored just outside the range of our guns a French privateer (as we have reason to conjecture) which, under pretence of a French commission, and of being manned with French subjects, sent a boat into the harbour to ask leave to take wood and water. I readily consented, provided that, like other friends, she came into the harbour. As she refused to do this and remained still at anchor, I sent off to order her to depart, which she accordingly did; but having notice that she had entertained many runaways and debtors off this Island, contrary to law, I at once dispatched orders to all points along the shore where I thought she might touch, to demand delivery of all English subjects; but she escaped me. At Yallag[303]h's Bay, some ten miles to windward of this port, she had sent a boat ashore with twenty-four armed men before my orders arrived. Their jealousy is a sufficient argument of their being offenders. Their coming armed on shore is not to be suffered, and I intend to complain thereof at the first opportunity to the French governor of Hispaniola, whence the French privateers generally get their commissions. We are not less troubled with privateers belonging to this Island. Strict orders for their arrest were issued by Lord Carlisle before his departure and by myself since, and some of their men having been taken, who are now in prison awaiting trial, the rest are alarmed, and not daring to enter any of our ports keep on the wing until they can find some place to settle on. I much fear this may occasion the loss of many men to this Island, but it can only be prevented by the continual attendance of some nimble small frigates in coasting round the Island and surprising the privateers. Their numbers are increased by the necessitous and unfortunate, and they are encouraged by the security of the Spaniards and their pusillanimity under all their plenty. Nothing can be more fatal to the prosperity of this Colony than the temptingly alluring boldness of the privateers which draws off white servants and all men of unfortunate or desperate condition. I spare no care to put down this growing evil, having lately granted a special commission for the trial of several runaway whites who fired in a body at a party sent to apprehend them. These privateers discourage the Spaniards from private trade with us, which would otherwise be considerable. This Colony in a short time would gratefully answer the expense the King would be at in countenancing it."[465]

Three weeks later he continued his narrative in a second letter to Sunderland.

"Nothing has happened since", he wrote, "beyond the arrival in this harbour of a good English merchantman, which has been for five months past among the Spaniards on the Main. She reports a friendly reception of herself, but great desolation of the maritime towns through the frequent sacking of the privateers. This cannot be prevented but by the present force of some small nimble frigates, which not being here, the privateers are so bold as to keep daily coasting about this Island, tempting all bad [304]servants, debtors, and dissolute persons to join them, which adds to their strength beyond our power of prevention without such a force as I have mentioned. Sloops returned from coasting on Hispaniola report the arrival of the French fleet, some say fourteen, some ten sail. We have no certain account of their errand, which we partly conjecture, and we shall be in readiness to receive them in this part, though as yet we do not believe them to have any such purpose for the present. Undoubtedly, however, they will call for wood and water, and then they will see how our defences have improved.

"Mr. Secretary Coventry promised Lord Carlisle copies of the several treaties by which this Government is concerned with France, Spain, and Holland, but they have never been received. I beg that they may be transmitted that I may be able the better to guide myself on various occasions."[466]

The order of the Privy Council for the release of Francis Mingham was read at a meeting of the Council of Jamaica held on November 5. He had then been in prison for little more than a year. Mingham was brought in and formally discharged. An inquiry was then made into the circumstances of his arrest. Francis Hanson, his lawyer, deposed that a statement in Mingham's printed petition alleging that a writ of error had been denied him was false, as no such writ had ever been applied for. Major Yeoman, the provost marshal, swore that Mingham had been arrested in the usual course on a writ after judgment and that he had received no orders from Sir Henry Morgan for his arrest and confinement. The gaol, he stated, was too insecure to allow Mingham the chance of escaping in his own pink. His clerk said that Mingham had not been charged with Morgan's execution until many days had elapsed after the fourteen stated in Mingham's petition. The gaoler swore that he had received no orders from Morgan respecting Mingham's confinement, and his evidence was corroborated by another official. Mingham, himself, admitted that he had been treated kindly while in prison. After these witnesses and others "too tedious for mention", had been heard the Co[305]uncil recorded their opinion that Mingham's troubles in Jamaica were "due more to his own imprudence and a malicious desire for revenge than to any purpose of Sir Henry Morgan."[467]

Morgan transmitted a certified copy of the Minutes of the Council to the Lords of Trade, accompanied by a letter which he believed ought to clear him of all blame.

"I have discharged Francis Mingham from Prison in obedience to your Lordships' letter of 25 July last," he said, "though I am persuaded I could have given good reasons for keeping him there. However, my duty pleased me more than my advantage in the £2,000 execution, and I am grateful to you in taking security for his answering the same in England. I now beg leave to present your Lordships with a true state of the case that you may see how your great goodness hath been abused both by his original petition and his printed case; nor do I doubt that you will better understand when you have read the case, how scandalously both I and the government have been slandered, and how much both must suffer unless your Lordships' deep foresight and wisdom obviate a growing evil."[468]

The Norwich, a fifth-rate frigate, had by that time arrived from England to replace the Success, and Morgan resumed his correspondence with Lord Sunderland.

"I have omitted no opportunity of writing since Lord Carlisle's departure, though so far I have received no reply from your Lordship. Captain Heywood of H.M.S. Norwich, arrived here the 2d inst., whereby I am in some difficulty how to behave myself towards the French and Spaniards, for I have no copies of the late treaties. Twelve days since arrived Mr. John Crocker, merchant, from Spain, with a license from the King of Spain to trade with the English, French, and Dutch in America for negroes, and it is confidently reported that we shall shortly have free trade with Spain upon articles in the late treaty. This will speedily make this Island very considerable, for all the current cash that we now have is brought here[306] by private trade with them. There lately arrived here a ketch empty, with only two men on board. Their statement on oath is that they were bound from New England to Guinea, where they loaded with negroes, elephants' teeth and dust gold, and sailed for Nevis. On their way they called at an island called St. Martin's, under the French Government, to wood and water, and were first invited into the harbour with much friendship, but afterwards suddenly seized and the ship unloaded. The master and his mates stayed there to obtain redress, but consented that these two men should adventure by stealth to this island, and, when I have ascertained the whole story of the master, I shall transmit it to your Lordship. All is quiet here; grateful seasons of rain promise very bountiful crops."[469]

But relations with the Spaniards were still on the whole far from satisfactory. On the last day of the year but one the governor and council heard the complaint and took the deposition of Robert Oxo, master of the ship Laurel of London, who gave a distressing account of wrongful treatment and hardship. He stated that he had been forced to go to the Cays of Yucatan in search of fresh water, and, while anchored there, his ship had been surprised at night and taken by the Spaniards on May 6, when most of his men were on shore. They had killed two of his crew and handled him very roughly, "hanging him up at the fore-braces several times, beating him with their cutlasses, and striking him in the face in an inhuman, cruel manner." After taking possession of his vessel with its cargo, valued at £5,000, they set him and eight men adrift in a canoe with only two days' provisions. They succeeded in reaching the "Cays of Turrinife",[470] where they lived on shell-fish for fifteen days before relief came. The Spanish captain had treated Lord Carlisle's pass with contempt, throwing it away, and boasting that Oxo's ship was the twenty-second English prize that he had taken that year, that he had sent five hundred prisoners to "Laverrocruise", and "would come to Jama[307]ica, too, presently."[471]

Another body of Spaniards, "encouraged", as Dampier said, "by their careless Rioting," had surprised the logwood cutters in the lagoon of Trist, "took most of them singly at their Huts; and carried them away Prisoners to Campeachy or La Vera Cruz; whence they were sent to Mexico, and sold to several Tradesmen in that City; and from thence, after two or three Years, when they could speak Spanish, many of them made their Escapes, and marched in by-Paths back to La Vera Cruz, and by the Flota [were] conveyed to Spain, and so sent to England."[472]

Yet their misfortunes, which at the time could only be surmised, did not deter other Englishmen from taking their place and resuming the perilous occupation of cutting and shipping logwood at that place with greater activity and success than ever before.[473]

Another body of 331 lawless privateers, led by Bartholemew Sharp, Richard Sawkins, Peter Harris, John Coxon, and Edward Cook, all captains of some celebrity, who had served in Morgan's expeditions, finding that Jamaica was no longer a safe resort, under the resolute administration of their former leader, abandoned their ships at Isla del Oro in the gulf of Darien on April 5th, 1681, marched across the Isthmus, and ten days later sacked the town of Santa Maria, advancing then against Panama.[474]

For the history of Jamaica at this time, Morgan's careful official letters, which have survived, form nearly the only contemporary documentary source of information. They are remarkably full, and no subject or event of much public importance escaped his attention.

"Since the beginning of November last," he wrote from Port Royal on the 27th of January, 1681, "there hath rid at anchor in this harbour one Captain John Crocker, command[308]er of a small Spanish ship of ten guns and eight patereras and a hundred men licensed by the Company of Seville to trade in the American seas for ten years. It now waits for the Royal African Company's ships with negroes, intending to sail next week to Carthagena. One ship has arrived and another is looked for every hour, having only touched at Barbados for refreshments. There is no question that Jamaica will gain much by this trade with the Spaniard, wherein the Government does not fail to give encouragement. About 20th December last arrived here four small frigates, between sixteen and thirty guns, under the command of four Flushingers, Captain Cornelius Beers, Admiral, belonging to the Duke of Brandenburg, having letters of reprisal against the Spaniard. They desired leave to come into the harbour and refit, bringing with them two prizes, one laden with Spanish wines from the Canaries, another with tallow, and a small galliot hoy with salt and brandy. They urged the Duke's alliance with England for permission to sell their prizes, that by the produce thereof they might purchase all the necessary refreshments for their present expedition. On this I directed the Secretary of the Island and the Naval Officer to examine every ship's proportion of the several kinds of stores that they wanted, upon which they reported to me their several demands, amounting to near £800. I thereupon gave them leave to sell their prizes, which they did, and have ordered the prize ship to sail for Europe in a few days with some English ships from this port. The four frigates sailed hence on Saturday last in company bound eastward, to cruise and search the coast of Hispaniola first and then the Main. While they were here they were not more pleased with their opportunity of refreshment than the Spaniard was pained by the apprehension that they would intercept him. They would certainly have done so (the temptation being so high) had I not very pressingly interposed for his protection, which they as graciously granted, to the great satisfaction of the Spaniard. He will leave this in a few days for Carthagena. The Brandenburgers assured me that the King of Denmark would very speedily send a larger force on the same errand as themselves, to gain that satisfaction from the Spaniards which is denied in Europe. For want of copies of the several treaties with the respective allies of England, I am at a loss how to guide my conduct. I now act by the advice of the Council, as our prudence and disc[309]retion may best direct us, but I beg for instructions on this point by the earliest opportunity, for I know not how soon I may need to use them. Upon the whole matter the Spanish interest is strangely shocked all round us, and nothing can preserve it from being lost unless they gain the protection of England, which hath its great advantage from the natural situation of this Island in the very centre of the American seas, with a commodious harbour and such large and plentiful collections of stores as are found in no other part of the West Indies. I humbly submit this to your Lordships' pleasure to be debated with the Earl of Carlisle, who has full knowledge of the matter, so important to this Government. Meanwhile the Spaniards continue their wonted unkindness to the English in these seas, taking generally all our ships that they can master at sea or circumvent in harbour, refusing any reparation of any kind to us, who deny none to them whenever they address this Government; which is much countenanced from a graceful digestion of a full auditorie in a new church which we entered into on last New Year's day, to the great satisfaction of the inhabitants as well as strangers.

"Unless I receive the King's orders speedily to call an Assembly the Government will be cramped for revenue which expires at the end of March next. Your Lordships' care and kindness will be necessary to prevent this. We have had no certain intelligence of the French fleet these three months, so that we know not where they are at present. I keep the regiment at Port Royal duly exercised, four companies always upon the guard, and our lookouts to windward so that we are not likely to be surprised. Captain Heywood, Commander of H.M.S. Norwich, in November seized an interloper, which since hath been condemned in the Court of Admiralty. Being at the caption sole judge of the Court of Admiralty myself, I thought fit to resign my power and appoint John White, Esq., to succeed me therein, who formerly held that station in Sir Thomas Lynch's time. But notwithstanding all our vigilance, some interlopers do escape, and landing negroes, distribute them in the plantations near adjacent and so avoid seizure. One Captain Daniel did this last week, and left only a bare ship to be seized by the Naval Officer, which was done accordingly by virtue of the Act of Navigation.

"I received by Captain Bennett your Lordships' commands in your circular letter with the inquiries. I have issued [310]orders to Mr. Thomas Martin, His Majesty's Receiver General, for an account of the revenue, and His Majesty's Surveyor General for an account of the Island, against the sailing of the next ships. The rolls of the King's two standing companies are returned by the present ship. I hope to send by the ships sailing about three months hence such a scenographie of the Point as shall be of such satisfaction to His Majesty and your Lordships as never yet was presented from these parts, which since his Excellency's departure hath been the curious endeavour of His Majesty's Surveyor General and his deputies.

"In St. Thomas there is a church and minister; in St. David's the like; both at Port Royal and so in St. Andrew's; a church and minister in St. Katharine's; the like in St. John's; a church building in St. Dorothy's but yet no minister; a minister in Clarendon and the church building; in St. Elizabeth's a minister but no church; for all the parishes on the north side neither church nor minister. The settlements there are not much above five years' standing, but they improve much and will provide for their religion as soon as their condition will stand the charge. The burials and christenings are difficult to return where there is no registry. Being at a distance the people bury in their own plantations and forbear christening some years till the accidental arrival of a minister. It is no ordinary trouble to me that your Lordships should expect from me more than is in my power, who to my power shall always be obedient to your Lordships."[475]

As recorded in the foregoing letter, divine service was held for the first time in the new church at Port Royal in the presence of "a full auditorie", by the Reverend Peter Langworth on the first day of January, 1681. He took as a text for his sermon, Acts of the Apostles, vii, 33: "Put off thy shoes from thy feet, for the place where thou standest is holy ground." This discourse was afterwards "published at the request of Sir Henry Morgan and other gentlemen, by whose liberal contributions the said church was erected."[476]


The monopoly of the Royal African Company had again to contend with the competition of many "interlopers", or unlicensed traders on "the middle passage" from Africa to the West Indies, whose enterprise was abetted and, perhaps, sometimes financed by the planters of Jamaica and other English colonies, who wished to obtain slaves at a cheaper rate than was offered by the Company. A writer, who was unquestionably friendly to Morgan said: "As Sir Henry was convinced of the imprudence as well as the injustice of the exclusive privileges that had been granted to the African Company, and, being himself a planter, had felt the tyrannical use that had been made of it, probably connived a little at the interloping trade to the coast of Africa."[477] This conjecture is not supported by any contemporary evidence. His anxiety for explicit instructions was once more expressed in his next letter to the taciturn Secretary of State.

"Having not had the honour or happiness to receive any commands from your Lordship since the departure of Lord Carlisle," he wrote, "I enclose a copy of my letter to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, and earnestly beg you to send me a copy of the treaties therein mentioned for my guidance. Lord Carlisle will make clear to you the interest of England in countenancing this Government, which has outdone all other colonies in progress and powers of defence and offence. Your Lordship's intelligence of the European purposes and interests upon these parts would be a favour of great value to me."[478]

His hospitality to the ships of the Duke of Brandenburg, cruising under letters-of-marque against Spanish commerce, must have provoked some remonstrance from the Spanish government, as some months later he made a written justification of his conduct.

"The Duke of Brandenburg," he said, "on denial of justice to him by the Spaniards, granted letters of reprisal against the Catholic King. Frigates for reprisals accordingly sailed to the West Indies and were driven by necess[312]ity into Port Royal. When they put in I examined my instructions and finding nothing to the contrary, admitted them to the benefit of the Port. I cannot see that therefore I have given any cause of displeasure to the King of Spain, for (1) I should have given the same hospitality to Spanish ships; (2) if I had refused the port to ships of either nation and these ships had perished, this would have amounted to a breach of amity; (3) though the Brandenburg ships brought their prizes to Jamaica and sold them there, yet the Governor could not have prevented it."[479]

Instructions to Morgan were finally approved in December, 1680, authorizing him to call another Assembly and submit for its assent several bills that had been drafted for its ratification, but did not reach him until the end of January, 1681.[480] Their receipt was acknowledged by him on February 1.

"Since writing mine of the 27th January," he said, "a ship has arrived with your Lordship's letter, the King's Commission and instructions, and three treaties for my guidance. I have summoned a Council for Thursday next, and issued writs for an Assembly to meet on the 18th March next. On Saturday night I had notice of one Captain James Everson, [Evertsen] commander of a sloop, a notorious privateer, being at anchor with a brigantine which he had lately taken. I presently secured all the wherries on the Point and manned a sloop with twenty-four soldiers and thirty-six sailors, which at midnight sailed from hence, and about noon came up with him in Bull Bay. Then letting the King's jack fly, they boarded him; they received three musket shot, slightly wounding one man, and returned a volley, killing some and wounding others of the privateers. Everson and several others jumped overboard and were shot in the sea near the shore. They then brought her away with twenty-six stout men, whom they brought last night into this harbour. These are now prisoners on board H.M.S. Norwich to await trial for their lives. I have issued warrants for those that escaped of whom I doubt not to give a[313] good account. Such is the encouragement which privateers receive from my favour or the countenance of Government, whatever the reflections of the Spanish Ambassador. I present this complaint to your Lordship against the unchristianlike conduct and unneighbourliness of the Spaniard, who take all our ships at sea or in port. They have this year captured twenty-two sail and absolutely ruined our Bay trade. Though not ordinarily prejudicial to this Colony, this is most detrimental to the King's customs, as you will perceive from depositions which I have forwarded to Lord Carlisle. I could multiply them if I chose to countenance addresses against the Spaniards' inhumanity. We treat them on all occasions with all imaginable respect and kindness, and in return receive only ingratitude; they have many English prisoners, we not one Spanish, and why should they have credit at Whitehall and we want it I leave to your Lordship.

"P.S. Upon search we could find nothing like a commission. All Everson's men were English, to the number of seventy, except six Spaniards. I shall send these last next week to Carthagena."[481]

Evertsen, himself, was almost certainly a native of Holland and had never resided in Jamaica. On the same day Morgan made a report to the Lords of Trade.

"I have received the King's instructions and three treaties with France, Spain, and the Netherlands, but want your instructions as to our other allies. I have been so fortunate as to capture a notorious pirate, Jacob Everson. . . . So much for the encouragement that privateers receive from this Government."[482]

His next letter to the Lords of Trade was dated at St. Jago two days before the meeting of the new House of Assembly.

"Nothing remarkable has happened since my letter of 1st February. The interloping ships trading for negroes contrary to the Charter of the Royal African Company have been too successful in this Island, four of them in some fourteen days (His Majesty's frigate being at se[314]a) landed their negroes both to windward and leeward of Port Royal. The factors here had not the least warning whereby to make a timely seizure, before they landed them and dispersed them marked in several plantations. On Tuesday, 14th, the privateers were tried by a special Commission of oyer and terminer in the Court of Admiralty, when they were convicted of piracy and sentenced to die. But after deliberation and reflection that the General Assembly was to meet on the 18th following, I thought it not fit to post them to execution, lest it should scare all others from returning to their allegiance. I have already asked for the King's instructions herein, and have suspended the execution in the hope of receiving them within a reasonable time. The members elected to the General Assembly are, for the most part, very loyal and good gentlemen, from whom I have hopes of accommodating former differences."[483]

Jonathan Ashurst, Peter Beckford, William Beeston, and three members of the former Assembly, who had been deported to England, were still absent and consequently ineligible for re-election. William Coward, a merchant, was elected to replace Beeston as one of the members for Port Royal. Fifteen out of a total of thirty-two members of the new House had not sat in the last Assembly. Samuel Bernard, who had been a member of the last five Assemblies and afterwards became chief justice, was chosen as Speaker.[484]

Morgan's proposal to send his Spanish prisoners to Cartagena for punishment, according to the historian, Edward Long, was censured by some members, but he remarked that "he was willing perhaps to convince the Spaniards, by this sacrifice, that he knew how to distinguish between hostilities carried on under a lawful commission and acts of lawless piracy; and that he was determined to keep the treaty with the Spaniards inviolate on his part."[485]

From Morgan's reply to a letter from Sir Leoline Jenkins, who had recently been appointed a Secretary of State, it[315] appears that some of his enemies in England, among them no doubt Lynch and Vaughan and perhaps some of the partners in the Royal African Company, had strongly criticized his conduct.

On April 9 Morgan vigorously defended himself in a letter to the new secretary, whose letter has disappeared.

"Your letter of 3rd February arrived here the 6th instant by Captain Knapman. Thanks for your friendly intimation of the malicious confederacy to which Lord Carlisle and I have been exposed in the matter of countenancing pirates and privateers. The discouragement of them has always been the utmost endeavour of his Lordship, the Council, and myself. I have put to death, imprisoned, and transported to the Spaniard for execution all English and Spanish pirates that I could get within the power of this Government. I wrote a full account some weeks back to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, and have since received thanks from several Spanish Governors on the Main for exerting so much care and vigilance in the suppression of privateers. Lord Carlisle's earnest endeavours in this direction were the cause of the loss of H.M.S. Success among the South Cays in Cuba, which the privateers used for sanctuary. Nothing was omitted by Government that tended to carry so good a work into effect, so far has it been from countenancing them or any other malefactors at sea or ashore. We have used Spaniards on all occasions with that respect, dispatch, and neighbourly friendship that they have more reason to be thankful for than complain. Privateers in the West Indies can be no more easily extirpated than robbers on the King's highway in England, both being lawless and driven by their respective necessities till overtaken by punishment. I am most infinitely obliged to His Majesty for his gracious opinion of my zeal in his service, particularly in repressing all piracy. I promise my utmost endeavours in the future, but I would that I had some small frigates to cruise about this Island, without which they will be busy and infest this coast, though they are prohibited all the ports and all commerce whatsoever with the inhabitants of the Island. The complaints against [Lord Carlisle and myself] have risen more from the desire of men to be popular than from their zeal for the King's service, valuing themselves of the frequent obstructions they give it. God forgive [316]'em. I do.

"P.S. The Assembly did little at their first meeting; they meet after a long adjournment to-morrow."[486]

It is undeniable that Morgan had done more than any of his predecessors to break up and disperse the bands of privateers, who had become actual pirates and had set the royal proclamation at defiance. Those who escaped arrest fled to the coast of Central America and tried to make their way, as has been already stated, to the South Sea, where they hoped to find a safer and richer field of activity. It has been conjectured that some of their descendants are still to be found in remote parts of those little known countries. The naturalist, Thomas Belt, observed in Nicaragua many persons with "light sandy-coloured hair and blue eyes", whom he believed were descended from the outlaws, who took refuge at this time on the Rio Grande and Rio Wanks, and made the present provinces of Segovia and Matagalpa their highway from ocean to ocean.[487]

About this time Morgan removed from Port Royal and took up his residence on the estate of Lawrencefield, so named by Lawrence Prince, who led his advanced guard in the march upon Panama, ten years before. This was a post of vantage, midway on the road from Passage Fort to Spanish Town, from which either the capital or the port could be reached easily and quickly. Here an ancient "great-house" still may be seen deeply embosomed in luxuriant banana-fields, fed by irrigation streams from the Rio Cobre.

In England he had a faithful friend and ally in the Earl of Carlisle, who endeavoured to support his deputy loyally, but had no wish to return to Jamaica himself.

Laurencefield in 1923        See p. 316

Cabaritta Island, Port Maria        See p. 346

"I have by this post several letters from Jamaica," Carlisle wrote to Sir Leoline Jenkins from his castle in the north on April 18. "The orders are arrived, and Sir Henry Morgan will do his best to get a compliance with what His Majesty and the Lords [317] expect, but I find there will be difficulty to get the Revenue Bill passed perpetual. I heartily desire you would move the King to give his part of the prize taken by Captain Heywood of H.M.S. Success to Sir Henry Morgan. You know there is taken from him £600 per annum payable here, and his company, [of foot] so that this gift will hardly recompense him the loss of the other this year, and the place he lives in is so chargeable that, with his generous humour, I know he will be a beggar, though I allow him £600 out of what you have left me. I pray give Captain Morgan leave to wait upon you about this, and also to show you some letters from him."[488]

The Captain Morgan named in this letter was probably Charles Morgan, his cousin and brother-in-law, who was then in England and had been a member of the Assembly in 1677 for the parish of St. George and in 1678 for the town of Port Royal. It may be surmised that the letters from Jamaica threw additional light on the political situation, but they have disappeared.

After his return to England Lord Carlisle had presented charges of misconduct against Samuel Long and the Clerk of the Privy Council was instructed to take a bond from Long for £1,000 as a guarantee for his attendance at the Council from time to time.[489]

The appeal by Beeston and other members of Assembly lately dissolved, for "a deliberative power in the making of laws; the negative and barely resolving power being not according to the rights of Englishmen", was successful to an astonishing extent. On the 30th of October, 1680, Colonel Long and the other gentlemen from Jamaica were admitted to a meeting of the Lords of Trade at Whitehall, which was attended by Prince Rupert, the Duke of Albemarle, and other members, and were "acquainted with a resolution of the committee to report to His Majesty that they may enjoy the same method of making laws, as is now appointed for Barbados, with which the gentlemen expressed themselves very well satisfied."[490] The important concession thus made, had been embodied in the third article of the capitulation between the[318] royalists of that island and the commissioners of the Commonwealth of England, afterwards duly ratified by an act of Parliament on 18th August, 1652, which has been called the charter of Barbados. This article, which, it is believed, was drafted by Sir Thomas Modyford, reads: "That no taxes, customs, imposts, loans, or excise shall be laid, nor levy made on the inhabitants of this island without their assent in General Assembly."[491]

By a new commission issued to the Earl of Carlisle as governor, dated the 3rd November, 1680, all the former privileges of self-government enjoyed by the inhabitants of Jamaica were restored. Instructions were given for the election by the freeholders of their representatives to sit as a General Assembly, who, after taking the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, were empowered, with the advice of the governor and council, to make, constitute, and ordain laws, statutes, and ordinances, which were to be as nearly as possible in conformity with the laws of England. These acts were to be forwarded to England within three months after being passed, for the royal assent, but until disallowed, they were to be in force.[492]

Not content with this signal triumph, Long instantly retaliated by laying charges against the governor, which were supported by a petition from certain traders and planters of Jamaica. These charges he was ordered to present in writing to enable Lord Carlisle to make a written answer.[493]

The appeal of the irrepressible Francis Mingham came before the Privy Council in March and April, 1681, and after both parties had been heard by their counsel, the committee reported that "the condemnation of Mingham's ship and cargo was unwarranted, and the proceedings in the action for scandal contemptuous towards your Majesty's Council Board and throughout oppressive and unjust." Recommendations were made that the £300 for which his ship was sold should be refunded to him, "but as the seiz[319]ure was colourable and the case had divers circumstances of suspicion", he was not allowed costs. Sir Henry Morgan and Mr. Thomas Martin were required to express their satisfaction with this judgment, so that Mingham should be no more troubled thereby. The King was advised to declare in a fitting manner his displeasure with Morgan and Martin "to discourage the like proceedings to other persons in power." Mingham was granted liberty to take such further remedy as he thought proper to obtain proper satisfaction for his sufferings while in prison. With reference to a petition from the provost marshal of Jamaica the committee thought it reasonable that his fees should be paid by Morgan and Martin in proportion to the sums of £2,000 and £300 for which Mingham had been arrested under execution. An order to that effect was made.[494] This adverse judgment was a severe blow to Morgan's prestige both in England and Jamaica.

The Assembly passed an act for restraining and punishing privateers and pirates very promptly.[495] In compliance with its provisions on May 12 a proclamation was approved by the governor and council, offering a free pardon to all persons serving under foreign commissions, who should return to their allegiance before the 1st day of September following.[496]

The proceedings of the Assembly were recorded by Morgan at considerable length in a letter written a few days later.

"Pursuant to my instructions I summoned a Council, and by their advice ordered the issue of writs for the election of a General Assembly, which accordingly were returned on the 18th March last, when they chose Samuel Bernard, Esq., a person of ability for their Speaker. At the first opening of the Assembly I found them fairly inclined from their great satisfaction at the King's restoration to them of their formerly enjoyed privileges; but when I insinuated among the leading men the strictness of my[320] instructions to press for a perpetual revenue, and they communicated it to their brethren, they inclined to some heats. However, that they might gain time for their cooling, they presented a bill for the keeping of the revenue for forty-four days, with an additional clause imposing five pounds on every negro slave that should be exported out of this Island to be paid to the King. This imposition was occasioned by the merchants supplying the Spaniard with great numbers of negroes rather than the planters, whose necessities pressed them much for a good supply. I wanted not reason enough to refuse the Bill, but two Madeira ships were just arrived, whose duties amounted to about £800, and were in hazard to be lost, and moreover abundance of interloping negroes were on the Island, purposely reserved for the Spanish trade. I was anxious also myself to avoid anything that might make them uneasy on the first entrance into business, so by the advice of the Council (one only excepted) I gave this Bill the Royal Assent, but with a caution to the Speaker and Assembly that they should not make it a precedent for any such Bill in future. At their meeting after adjournment in Easter holidays I could not find in any of them an inclination but rather an adverseness to a perpetual revenue, so I was driven to my private instructions for the gaining of it for at least seven years, which by all means I did endeavour, but as yet ineffectually. Soon after they fell into a dispute, managed at several meetings of Committees of the Council and Assembly about the style of enacting laws, to which I am as strictly tied as to the observance of seven years for the Revenue. Having laboriously possessed them with the indispensable necessity I lay under of obeying my instructions, from which I durst in no way swerve, and without obedience to which they could not enjoy the full fruit of the King's gracious favour, I at last communicated to several of the members, as private gentlemen, the two paragraphs, one of my private, the other of my general instructions, touching the revenue and the style of enacting. Finding me under so absolute necessity of so strict observance, they began to be of a better digestion, but recollecting that they had prepared a great many Acts in an enacting style which I could not admire, and had passed them twice in the House in a wrong style, they were prevented from making the alteration they were inclinable to make, without violating the parliamentary way of making Acts. Most of them being under great impatience to be at [321]their plantations, being all in the chief of their work, they generally and unanimously desired to be prorogued, that they might begin again that which, when more successfully finished, might the better speak the thankful acknowledgment of the King's most gracious condescension in granting them their ancient privileges. Upon which, by the advice of the Council, I prorogued the General Assembly till 24th June next, and, meanwhile I am labouring all I can to gain the Revenue Bill for seven years, wherein I have encouragement to hope for success.

"I fear your Lordships may have had a late disorder by a proclamation pretended to have been made here for the intercepting of interlopers. It is of the same birth and nature as many other undeserved aspersions thrown privately against me by malicious adversaries, who through me would have maligned the Government, and dare not give me an opportunity of so fair a vindication as I now lay at your Lordships' feet, where I doubt not of an honourable justification. May I no longer live and prosper than I honour and obey my King."[497]

The vindication enclosed was in the form of a declaration addressed to the Lords of Trade by the Council of Jamaica, dated on the same day as his letter.

"Understanding by the pamphlet herein enclosed," it said, "that some evil disposed persons have caused a proclamation to be put in print as passed by our Governor in a form much reflecting on our Government, we hold it our bounden duty to clear it from that aspersion, and, if possible to find out the contrivers of the forgery. To that end we called before us divers of the officers, civil and military, who being examined upon oath, all unanimously declared that they never saw or heard of such a proclamation before the said pamphlet was produced here. And we also on our parts do assure you of the same. But the foundation of the report (which some malicious men at home have aggravated by additions of their own) appears to have proceeded from the indiscretion of the Secretary, who being also one of the factors of the Royal African Company, was to prepare a warrant of assistance for the seizure of all interlopers to be signed by the Governor. He, making an ill choice of a form and committing that to a scrivener to be transcribed, divers copies wer[322]e obtained and sent for England, where they were printed under title of a proclamation with the name of Sir Henry Morgan subscribed to it; whereas it is certain that Sir Henry Morgan never so much as saw the said warrant (as it was so prepared). This was no sooner communicated by the said Secretary to the Company's other factor here than he suppressed it, and drew another form, as your Lordships may see enclosed, which is the only warrant of that kind that ever was signed by the Governor or presented to him to be signed to the best of our knowledge."

This statement was certified by the signatures of the nine members of the Council who were present at the meeting. With it were enclosed a copy of "Smith's Protestant Intelligence, Domestic and Foreign, Number 12," dated Monday, 7th March, to Thursday, 10th March, 1681, containing a copy of the forged proclamation, and a copy of the genuine proclamation, signed by Morgan, and countersigned by Rowland Powell, the Secretary.[498]

The Minutes of this meeting of the Council held specially to investigate the subject of the forgery of the proclamation contained a report of the examination of thirteen persons, among them being the Receiver-General, the Secretary, the Provost-Marshal, his deputy, his clerk, the Naval Officer, Francis Hanson, the lawyer, who had been Mingham's counsel, John Montfort, a writing master, a physician, and three of the principal merchants. Their evidence showed that Powell, the secretary, had received a draft of the original proclamation from Hanson, had altered it, and had given the altered draft to Montfort for transcription. Montfort, with Powell's consent, had given a copy to Henry Ward, a merchant, who sent it to England. This draft of a proclamation had been found unsatisfactory by the Council, and was rejected and another form had been adopted. None of the witnesses were able to tell how the rejected proclamation came to be printed in London.[499]


Morgan summarized the contents of his letter of May 18 to the Lords of Trade in a later letter to Jenkins, with an important addition.

"Colonel Samuel Long and Mr. Jonathan Ashurst with their families are lately arrived by Capt. Bannister", he wrote. "They are of a much more moderate temper than when they left us, and seem to sit down with us in a more sedate and satisfied condition, having before their departure possessed the people with a very strange assurance that they should receive what their hearts desired from the success of their solicitations at Whitehall. Since their arrival I have been very careful in following your instructions for their reception, and I question not but they will be careful of exposing themselves to such another voyage."[500]

His next letter to the Lords of Trade was written in a cheerful mood.

"All things here at present have a prosperous aspect, and I am in hopes that when the Assembly meets again on the 24th instant matters will be quietly carried on. Yet I much fear that the perpetuity of the Act of Revenue will not be assented to, though I shall leave no means untried to advance it. I have by me some queries of your Lordships concerning the nature of this place and the constitution of this Government, to which I shall answer to the best of my ability by the first ship. I shall also send at the same time the naval officer's accounts which were omitted through the negligence of my secretary, Mr. Powell, whom for that and several other incorrect and unhandsome dealings with me I have by the advice of the Council turned out of office."[501]

His letter to Sir Leoline Jenkins, written on the same day, gave fuller information respecting the misconduct of his secretary.

"The remoteness of this place gives so much opportunity to the tongue and hand of malice that the greatest innocence cannot be protected without much care and watchfulness", he said. "I suppose you have heard of the foul dealing I had lately shown me by one who should have stood between me and calumny, my secretary, Mr. Ro[324]wland Powell. To his great shame and the endangering of my reputation he has without my knowledge and the privity of any of the Council here, made use of my seal and pretended my hand to a proclamation of his own contriving to empower the factors of the African Company (whereof he is one) and command this country to do things contrary to law. But I hope I have taken sufficient care to remove that false aspersion at home. I have for that purpose taken several depositions which clear the matter and disclose his printed shame, but I did not think myself secure till with the Council's advice I had removed the dangerous cause and employed one Barclay for my Secretary. He is a man of untarnished reputation who has lived here these many years, has acted as secretary of the Island, been clerk both of the Supreme and Petty Courts, and three times clerk of former Assemblies without the least blame or suspicion. I speak these truths about him to prevent calumny, which will doubtless be busy. I have taken the utmost care to protect the African Company, maintain its rights, and obstruct the coming of interlopers, and I doubt not the interloping commerce would fall of itself if the Company would keep the Island sufficiently supplied with negroes at the present rates. Powell is responsible for the failure to transmit the naval officers' accounts. I have little assurance about carrying the Bill for perpetual revenue."[502]

Although Samuel Long had not been reinstated as chief justice, he had won a signal victory in his contest with Lord Carlisle in the main object of his mission to England, and his return to Jamaica had stiffened the opposition of a majority of the members of the Assembly to the passage of the proposal for raising a perpetual revenue, which they believed would make the governor independent of them. Long and his adherents were then and for many years afterwards popularly regarded as single-minded patriots, who had secured for their fellow-colonists the privileges which rightfully belonged to them as English subjects. Carlisle's influence steadily declined, and in April, 1681, a report was circulated in London that he would be succeeded as governor of Jamaica by the Duke o[325]f Grafton, an illegitimate son of the King, and that Morgan would be replaced as deputy governor by Sir Thomas Lynch. These reports became known in Jamaica about midsummer and certainly did not strengthen Morgan's position.[503]

When Morgan's letter of March 16 was read at the Privy Council three months later, announcing that he had respited the men convicted of piracy until the King's pleasure was known, an order was immediately made for their execution.[504]

Early in July Morgan reported in a letter to the Lords of Trade that he had continued his efforts for the suppression of piracy.

"The frigate Norwich happening to be in the harbour, the provisions sent by Knapman and Lockwood for her supply were received by her commander, Captain Heywood, who, I doubt not, has acknowledged their receipt. We have used the sloop captured from Everson to accompany the Norwich in cruising after pirates. She saves the great charge, which before we were at, of a pilot, sounds the dangerous places, and is able to pursue the pirates where the frigate cannot go; she is useful besides to give information of such accidents as happen. I lately had some pirates brought in. One according to his demerits was executed, and one Thomas, a most notorious villain, who recently took a valuable vessel of this Island, is taken and under trial. I have sent the frigate to cruise and have given Capt. Heywood particular charge to look for one Laurence (or Laurent), a great and mischievous pirate, who commands a ship of twenty-eight guns and had two hundred men on board, and that the frigate might be the better able to deal with him and to free her from danger of being worsted or taken, I have put forty good men aboard of her, twenty out of the Earl of Carlisle's company and twenty out of mine own, and have ordered Capt. Heywood to enter them in his book. I doubt not but your Honours will allow of this charge, it being necessary for the King's service and the preservation of the frigate. She has been lately careened. I will send an account of the charge by [326]the next ship. There are some boatswain's stores here which were formerly sent for the Success. I beg instructions how they are to be employed."[505]

Laurent had originally been engaged with some success in the Spanish service against the French buccaneers, but having been captured by them, was persuaded to take command of one of their ships. In 1683 he assisted Van Horn in taking Vera Cruz, but afterwards quarrelling with him, mortally wounded him in a duel on La Caye du Sacrifice. Next year he took a large Spanish ship armed with thirty-six guns, after a battle lasting eight hours, in which it is stated four hundred Spaniards were killed. Having become naturalized as a French subject, Laurent served under Grammont in the capture of Campeachy in 1686, and in his expedition against Cartagena. He is described as a handsome tall man with fair hair and moustache, remarkable for his polished manners, and very fond of music, playing well on the violin and other instruments. He was an experienced navigator and succeeded in eluding Heywood's search without much difficulty.[506]

Morgan's letter to Sir Leoline Jenkins of the same date gave some additional information of his warfare with the pirates, privateers, and interlopers.

"The ship that bears this sails so suddenly after the former fleet that I have little news. I must, however, acquaint you that I continue with all my might to repress the insolencies of the privateers and pirates, who grow so numerous and desperate even to assaulting and taking His Majesty's own subjects' ships and goods. I have sent out the frigate with a sloop to attend her. When any of the pirates are brought to me I use the utmost severity of the law against them. I have already caused one to be executed and am about the trial of another. I am likewise careful to hinder interlopers for the protection of the Royal African Company. They have in pursuance of the Royal commands sold the negroes of their last ship at £18 a head, which proves a great help and ease to the country. I send for the Lords of Trade the na[327]val officer's account of goods exported and imported from 20th Sept. to 25th March last. They should have been sent before had not my late Secretary, Mr. Powell, mislaid or lost them."[507]

The Assembly met again in midsummer and exercised its lately restored "deliberative power of making laws" in a session which lasted from June 24 until the end of August, when the House was again prorogued until October 4. Much of Morgan's time was spent in strenuous efforts to induce the members to pass a bill for raising a permanent revenue in pursuance of the royal instructions. The unexpected departure of a merchant ship enabled him to make hasty reports to the Lords of Trade and the Secretary of State on July 14.

"We are much infested by pirates who, under the name of privateers, presume even to plunder and take vessels belonging to this Island. They took one commanded by Capt. Chandeler, who, strangely, afterwards brought him to this Island in a longboat. Since writing the original, of which this is a copy, the frigate, which I sent to convoy Capt. John Crocker's ship and negroes to Carthagena, is returned. He found the fleet there. The Admiral sent me a packet for the King which I have committed to the care of Mr. Blathwayt. The pirate whom Capt. Chandeler brought in is found guilty and executed. The frigate is going out within a few days to cruise and free the coast from several vagabonds that infest it. Our Assembly still sits and business goes on currently and without heat. I have gratified them with some useful Acts for this country in the hope that they may more readily consent to the King's desires in passing the revenue. The suddenness of the ship's departure prevents my sending copies of the Acts at present. I shall not fail to send them by the first opportunity."[508]

In a postscript to his letter to Jenkins he commented on the unsatisfactory result of his attempt to obtain the release of English prisoners at Carthagena.

"The frigate demanded prisoners," he wrote, "but found none; such as were there before its arrival had been sent to H[328]avana. The Spanish fleet is at Carthagena."[509]

But only two days later he wrote again to Jenkins in much perturbation from the receipt of some disquieting information.

"I wonder that notwithstanding my diligence and care that I should have been evilly represented to the King by people who are causelessly prejudiced against me. But I hope you have too good an opinion of me to believe them."[510]

Five weeks after this he had apparently received some more definite warning of an impending unfavourable change of policy in England, which caused him to remonstrate with the Secretary of State.

"Since my last," he wrote, "I am by the public rumour and vogue possessed that the King hath disbanded the two companies here. We have had such a report for a long time but I have ever looked upon it as groundless, as I had no account of it from Court, and should much wonder if it were so and so great a charge imposed on the Colony without intimation. It is said Colonel Long induced the King to dismiss the companies as being useless here. I am much startled by the Colonel's allegation, seeing that our daily experience proves the contrary. They are constantly employed either at sea or ashore, in bringing in runaway or rebellious negroes or reducing of pirates, who, as I have already told you, are very numerous. Twenty of the soldiers are at this moment on board the Norwich in pursuit of a powerful and desperate pirate, and I hear there has been an encounter and that some of them are wounded, but I have no particulars. By this you will judge of their usefulness. I urge nothing in favour of myself since I am daily in likelihood of being removed from the government; it is for the King's service and for the good of the Island that I urge their continuance here, and I beg of your good offices with the King that they may be continued.

"P.S. I have never received any advice about them from the Court beyond a resulte of the Lords of Trade offering their opinion that they should be disbanded. This I [329]received from my correspondent, and never thought it a sufficient order to disband the King's soldiers, raised by his commission under his sign manual and signet. For it is a common maxim, nothing can cut a diamond but a diamond, so I humbly conceive I am not nor can be safe in doing of it except I receive the King's command under his hand and the seal of your office or of the Privy Council. I beg therefore once more to know the King's pleasure herein, for it is heavy upon me to maintain these men of my company, who are, whatever may have been said, a full hundred men, at my own charges, and much heavier on the other parties. God preserve your Honour is and shall be the prayer of Henry Morgan."[511]

On the first day of the third meeting of the Assembly, Rowland Powell, who was still acting as secretary of the colony, made a short official report to the Lords of Trade.

"I have delivered nine Acts, which have received the Royal Assent to Sir Henry Morgan. Fifteen more cannot be sent owing to the fleet being ready to sail at their passing. The Assembly meet to pass the Revenue Bill to-morrow, whereof if the report of a new Governor do not impede, we have great hopes. I propose to send the whole body of laws when passed, but this, together with abundant other incidents of my office, is an occasion of great expense, that is not considered by the country, which has already made the fees below the labour of this expensive Colony. I am also copying the Minutes of the Assembly and Council for you."[512]

On the same day Morgan described his negotiations with the Assembly with considerable detail in a letter to Jenkins.

"I acquainted you in a former letter with my endeavours to persuade the Assembly to comply frankly and generously with the King's desires as to the Revenue Bill; but their fears, jealousies, and suspicions are such that, notwithstanding all my persuasions, all the friends I could make in the House, and the willingness that they profess to please His Majesty in all things, they drew up and passed a Bill limiting the revenue to two years. As soon as I heard thereof, I summoned the Speaker and the whole[330] House to the Council Board, where I seriously demonstrated to them the King's goodness and affection to Jamaica, the just reason that he would have to be displeased with their proceedings, the fatal consequences thereof, and the groundlessness of their fears. Having answered the objections on which they built most, and showed the absoluteness of the King's resolution to have the Act of Revenue passed for at least seven years, and finding them somewhat startled and beginning to see their error, I remanded them to their House, where they immediately threw out their two years Bill. Thereupon I sent for them back to the Council table and that there might be a new Bill, which I doubt not to be to the King's satisfaction, I prorogued them to the 4th October. The reasons that they gave me for limiting their Bill to two years were that the Colony not being fully settled, there would be necessity to alter several of the laws before the expiration of seven years, and that the Revenue being established, Governors would not mind the calling of Assemblies. However, they dread the change of Government, should it fall into the hand of some person uninterested in this place, and would mind not the interest of Jamaica, but his own profit and advantage. Such a man having good friends at Court, whereof they are destitute, will be able to make good his party against them and all their interest, securely convert to his own use the moneys which the King intends for the support of the Government in the Island, and leave the whole burthen of building and repairing the fortifications and other charges upon the country. These and such like motives they alleged in justification of their proceedings. Since writing the above lines there is again news of the alteration of Government here. What effect it may produce upon the Assembly when it next sits I cannot tell, but I am sure that, if things had continued without change during the Session, it would have been shorter, and all transactions to His Majesty's contentment; and I dare presume that long ere now the Act of Revenue would have been passed and that of the Militia also, excepting the last clause. I say it not out of vanity, but as a truth that is perceived of all that have insight into business here. The great expense that a Governor is at during the holding of an Assembly is hardly imaginable. Since this began I have been at no less than £1,000 charge, and this necessary for the King's service. Governors at such times are forced to keep open house, which must be judged to be no small[331] charge where things are at no easy rate. I have given the Royal assent to fourteen Bills more, but the shortness of the time would not permit me to send them. I send nine of the former Bills, and will send the remaining fifteen by the first opportunity."[513]

The subject of the future system of government for Jamaica had been referred to the Lords of Trade and a report had been made by them, submitting a commission and instructions for Sir Thomas Lynch as successor to Lord Carlisle, and recommending the revocation of the commissions of Sir Henry Morgan as Lieutenant-General and Sir Francis Watson as Major-General, "which offices," they said, "wee doe not thinke of any further use to your Majestyes service in that Colony." This report had been approved by the Privy Council on July 28.[514]

On August 6, a commission was signed by the King appointing Lynch Captain-General, Vice-Admiral, and Governor-in-Chief of Jamaica, by which he was given power to appoint and suspend members of the Council, and declaring any Councillors thus suspended incapable of holding any public office.[515]

At a meeting of the Lords of Trade on September 3, Morgan's letter, dated on July 2, was read and a list was approved of persons recommended for appointment as members of a new Council for Jamaica, in which his name was included. An order was made for the insertion of their names in Lynch's instructions. Four days later a letter to Morgan revoking his commissions as Deputy Governor and Lieutenant-General was signed by the King. No reasons were stated for his dismissal from these offices, nor can they be easily conjectured.

Some private information of Lynch's appointment apparently had been given to Morgan before he wrote his letter on October 4, and he must have known that the new governor was not a friend. Seven years before he had been superseded [332]as Lieutenant-Governor by Morgan, greatly to his mortification, and he had not forgiven him. By his marriage with Vere, a daughter of Sir Edward Herbert, Attorney-General to Charles I, he had increased his influence at Court, and was distantly connected with the Morgan family. He still possessed an estate in Jamaica, which he had revisited in 1677.

Morgan's first report of the proceedings of the Assembly had not been well received in London. At a meeting of the Privy Council held on October 14, the King was informed that Sir Henry Morgan had

"at an Assembly called by him passed severall Laws and that severall other Bills were ready to be presented to him for his consent without any Provision made for the better Support of the Government by passing the Act of Revenue according to his Majesty's Instructions bearing date the Third of November, 1680, And his Majesty withall taking notice of an Instruction to Sir Thomas Lynch, his Majesty's present Governor in Chief of Jamaica forbidding him to passe any Law in that Island, (Except an Act of Naturalization and an Act for the more effectuall suppressing of Privateers), in case the Assembly shall refuse to passe the Bill for the Publique Revenue for such terme as his Majesty has directed so that the Continuance of the Laws passed or to be passed by Sir Henry Morgan may very much obstruct his Majesty's Service in that Island, unless the Act for the Publique Revenue were also agreed to."[516]

Secretary Jenkins was in consequence ordered to prepare a warrant for the King's signature declaring all laws so passed or to be passed "absolutely void and null, in case the said Bill for the Publique Revenue be not also passed into an Act before the Arrivall of Sir Thomas Linch." He was instructed to give this warrant to Lynch with directions to publish it if necessary.[517]

But early in November Morgan was able to announce in a letter to the Lords of Trade that the prolonged session of the Assembly had terminated in a much more satisfactory manner than he had expected.


"I have at last, after seven months' holding of the Assembly (though I must needs say with much difficulty, cost, and charge), got the Act of Revenue for seven years. But the Assembly to secure the country from what I intimated to be the grounds of their fears and jealousies, have annexed to it all other Acts passed since their first sitting and have enacted that they shall be of equal duration with it. Also, remembering that during the Governments of Sir Thos. Modyford and Lord Vaughan the King had for nine or ten years granted £600 a year towards the making and maintaining of fortifications here, and that no part thereof was applied to that purpose, they have settled £1,000 a year out of the impost for that use; and that they may be sure that it shall be duly employed as intended, they oblige all Governors during the term of seven years to call annually an Assembly which is to sit for at least ten days, to take an account of the disposal of that money, and in case of misapplication, the more regularly and legally to beg redress and represent that, or any other grievance to the King. The clause in the Militia Act I could not get passed without a mitigation to the following purpose, viz., that it shall not be in the power of any Governor to force any inhabitant of Jamaica to service or to do anything contrary to the laws of England. I heartily hope my well-intended endeavours may prove to His Majesty's satisfaction. I shall think all my time, pains, and expenses happily employed if they have that good success. You will, I hope, believe, that I had no other motive thereunto but zeal in the King's service; I can hardly be suspected of any other, being on the point of surrendering the Government. I am well pleased that the tediousness in passing the Revenue Bill proceeded not from any animosity or heats among the Assembly or any disobedience to the King's commands. Never Assembly appeared to submit more cheerfully to His Majesty's will, nor hold more unanimously together. It was their anxiety to secure the country against foreign powers, and guard private interests from being impaired by the expense of fortifications in case the King's money were misapplied, that caused the difficulties and the cautions and the length of the session. The ships sail so suddenly that I cannot possibly send the Acts now; they shall be sent by the first opportunity. I doubt not that when you have perused them you will excuse the cautiousness of the Assembly and rep[334]resent it favourably to the King."[518]

It is apparent that he was in the fullest and most cordial agreement with the action of the Assembly.

He supplemented this report in a letter written on the same day to Sir Leoline Jenkins.

"After all our difficulties and uncertainties, things are now, I hope, brought to a lucky conclusion. The Revenue Bill is passed for seven years, so the King gives his assent within a year and a day. I gave my assent on 28th Oct. last, and prorogued the Assembly till 12th July. The long delay was due to the Assembly's fear that the country would be charged with the expense of the fortifications if a certain sum were not secured for the purpose and that they would be forced to purchase laws of Governors, who well know the cost of assemblies and none better than I. Having secured themselves by making the Acts indefinite and appointing a thousand pounds a year to the fortifications, they passed the Bill for seven years. I hope that their proceedings may be pleasing to the King. It is only with great difficulty that I have got things done as they are; and I fear that if they be rejected it will be hard for any Governor again to obtain the like. I am sure the revenue will answer all expectations of the Governor and Government; if the King should keep his lieutenant-general, and major-general, the greatest difficulty will be between this and March. Afterwards all will be easy and pleasant. I wish I had found the colony in the position wherein I leave it."[519]

The act for "restraining privateers" declared that "all articles concluded and all treaties of peace agreed upon with foreign states shall be inviolably kept", and enacted that "any subject belonging to the island, who should serve in a hostile manner in America, under any foreign prince, state, or potentate, shall be deemed a felon, and, upon conviction, suffer death."

Among other acts passed and assented to by Morgan were one fixing the legal rate of interest at ten per cent. per annum and another "declaring the laws of England to be in force in Jamaica." A very important "Masters and Servan[335]ts" act was passed, of which the chief provisions were:

(1) Masters were required to keep one white servant to the first five slaves, one to the second five, and for every ten after the first ten one; (5), a penalty of £10 was imposed for the employment of a free person without a certificate of good character from the last employer; (9), fathers of bastard children were required to indemnify the parish for their support; (10), a freeman who married a servant was required to pay a fine of £20 to her master, and the woman was to become free; (12), a fine of £20 was imposed on a master for turning away a sick servant under pretence of granting freedom; (13), no servant was to be whipped on the bare body, without an order from a justice of the peace, under a penalty of £5; (16), no Christian servant was to be buried before the body was seen by a justice of the peace, or another officer of the law.[520]

The act declaring the laws of England to be in force in Jamaica was "made void and of none effect" by an order of the Privy Council, dated on the 23rd of February, 1682.[521]

A letter from J. Brisbane at Derby House to Sir Leoline Jenkins has survived, which refers to a letter from Morgan to the Navy Board "to be put to such use as you may judge best in dealing with the French Ambassador's letter about the capture of a French ship near Jamaica by a privateer flying English colours."[522]

His most trusted correspondent in England at that time was probably his brother-in-law and cousin, Charles Morgan, who acted as his agent, and was at the same time seeking confirmation by royal commission for himself as governor of Port Royal, which post he already held by appointment from Lord Carlisle. The Lords of Trade were informed by Secretary Jenkins that the King "being willing to gratify Captain Charles Morgan in his application, referred to them the question whether, according to the usual methods of government and without altering th[336]e powers granted to Sir T. Lynch, he could grant a commission to him to command Fort Charles." The Lords prudently answered that it would be more convenient to recommend the governor to grant such a commission.[523]

When the application came to Lynch's knowledge he made an acrid objection, which revealed his ill will very plainly.

"I have lately understood from an acquaintance of Capt. Charles Morgan in London that he there makes great parade of his interest at Court and designed to have the King's Commission as Governor of the Castle of Port Royal at Jamaica. I shall wonder if this be pretended, though the young man be wild and inconsiderate enough, because when I was first sent for by Mr. Secretary I sent for him and assured him of my friendship and his continuance, afterwards gave him leave to stay till Knapman came. So far was I from any thought of removing him that last week I wrote Col. Beeston to speak to Capt. Morgan to bring cartridge paper for the fort with him; so that it seems to be rather his desire to affront me than fear of losing his command that makes him make this application. I suppose Mr. Secretary will understand this so and that if I am so imposed on at my entry into this employment it will be impossible for me to effect what is expected of me; for much depends on my credit here, and the setting up of this man in this trifling employment will be the setting up of a party against the King's Government. Besides I suppose Mr. Secretary knows as well as you the hard terms I go on and since the Governor and Captain of the Forts has nothing and is no more than a militia officer of the country, it would be inconvenient to appoint him here, whence he has nothing, and a thing unthought of in any Government, It will have such a train of ill consequences that I believe Mr. Secretary will not advise the King to do anything in it; and I hope he will make the young man know that he is indiscreet and ungrateful in mistrusting my promise in endeavouring to maim the Government, and in making other application than to himself, whose recommendation would have obliged me to continue even though I had rem[337]oved him, which is a thing I never thought of, for his father's and relations' sake. I beg you to discourse Mr. Secretary in this affair if you think it needful."[524]

At a meeting of the Council of Jamaica, attended by Sir Henry Morgan and seven other members, on the 17th of January, 1682, a petition was read from Captain Peter Paine, commanding a French ship, named La Trompeuse, which had lately arrived at Port Royal, stating that he had hired that ship from the King of France, but on hearing of the recent cruel treatment of the Protestants in that country as a result of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, he had determined to send her back and pay the money due from him under his contract, and ask leave to become a settler in Jamaica under the protection of the English government. He was admitted into the Council chamber, when his contract was read and entered in the Minutes. After some discussion a resolution was passed unanimously that Captain Paine should be received under the King's protection and naturalized, on engaging to make every effort to return his ship to the King of France. Subsequent information proved that this man had been guilty of fraud and other offences, his ship became a very active pirate, and Morgan was severely censured for hasty and imprudent conduct in granting his petition.[525]

On the same day the members of the Council present prepared and signed a very careful justification of their conduct respecting recent legislation. Although Morgan abstained from attaching his signature he seems to have entirely approved its contents.

"We have with all possible care endeavoured to pursue the King's instructions for the calling of a General Assembly to make laws conducing to his service and acceptable to his subjects here," they said. "The difficulties which we have encountered by frequent disputes have been the cause of several prorogations before we could pass a body of laws which we now transmit. And though we have [338]so closely followed the Royal orders as to admit of nothing contradictory to them, yet necessity has forced us to consent to some things which our judgments disapproved; but we hope that our reasons will be found valid by you. The Assembly refused to ascertain the jurisdiction of the Admiralty by a provision in the Act for the boundary of parishes, upon which the whole clause which clashed with it was left out, and the jurisdiction referred to the decision of the law. As for the Bill for ascertaining the rates of negroes, the Assembly, on our producing the King's orders in Council for the same, were so fond of it that no other business could be done till that was adjusted. Nevertheless, the Bill that they prepared being different in some points from the intent of the said order, we contested the same, and being unable after several conferences to bring them to consent to our reasonable amendments, we rejected it. Another being afterwards proposed more agreeable to the said order we could not but agree to it. The Assembly would by no means consent to the last proviso directed to be inserted in the Militia Bill. The more plausible we tried to make it the more jealous they were of it, as if it rendered not only that Bill but all our other laws ineffectual. Considering that the Bill must have fallen, unless accommodation could be made by some after clause to secure them from such illegal use as they thought might be made of that proviso, we were forced to consent to the clause that concludes the Act. As to the Revenue Bill our difficulties were so many that we shall trouble you only with those that were most contested. First there was the application of a thousand pounds per annum to the fortifications, which we should have preferred to have been done by the King's instructions rather than by virtue of the Act. But to this the Assembly would not agree, saying it knew by long experience the little care taken for the reparation of the forts, especially as the six hundred pounds a year allowed by the King to that end out of the English Establishment had never yet, nor any part thereof, been applied thereto. Our second objection was to annual Assemblies, as intrenching on the Royal Prerogative. They replied with great submission that they intended nothing of the kind, and beg that this might be understood, protesting that their only object was to give themselves the power of representing any grievances or oppressions to the King; a thing which, as private individuals, they could not do without risk of being accounted seditious. Our third objection was against ta[339]cking the body of the laws to the Revenue Bill. They answered that they had spent much time and money in making several bodies of laws, some of which were sent home for the King's confirmation; but that owing to the distance of Jamaica, the preoccupation of the ministers at home with more important affairs, and the inability of the Colony to afford the expense of a solicitor constantly to watch its interests, none of these laws have been confirmed. The delays have been such that laws have often expired before the King's pleasure was known or the Assembly could have an opportunity of reviewing them, which has caused the Government great and unavoidable difficulties. To avoid such trouble in the future they could think of no better expedient than to tack the laws to the Revenue Bill. The two years limited for their ratification they judge a sufficient time for the signification of the King's pleasure. We rejoined and backed our argument with several reasons that they had no ground to distrust the King's confirmation of the laws, as they had hitherto followed his directions in all respects, and that the only thing to be feared was that this and the former clauses might create exceptions not only against the Bill itself but against the whole body of laws, thus bringing about the very evil which they causelessly dreaded. Nevertheless they insisted on it as the sense of the whole house, adding that the foregoing clauses were the great, if not the only, motives which led them to pass the Bill for seven years. Beyond that time no arguments could prevail with them to extend it. Whereupon, considering the impossibility of obtaining the Bill and the other laws that depended on it on any other terms, the ruinous state of the forts, and the difficulties of the Government for want of revenue and laws, we thought best to accept the Bill on these terms rather than lose it, for we had reasons to believe that the same conditions would be revived for the Bill on a future occasion, if we should reject it on the present. We hope that these explanations will satisfy you for our behaviour, and that the King will confirm the laws and apprise us to that effect within a reasonable time."[526]

The case for and against the action of the Assembly was clearly and fairly presented without prejudice. The governor's firm but tactful negotiation with that resolute and susp[340]icious body had resulted in what he had considered was a satisfactory compromise.

About the end of the same month Morgan received a distressing petition from Philip Dogherty and Richard Roerty, "newly returned from servitude at Mexico." These two men declared on oath that they had been made prisoners at Trist in the Bay of Campeachy, on the 13th of May, 1680, with sixty other Englishmen. They were taken to Vera Cruz where they were forced to carry sand for six weeks, without a day of rest, even on Sundays, but were afterwards removed to the city of Mexico on the receipt of news of the arrival of the "Plate fleet", with the Marquis de Laguna, the newly appointed Viceroy. There they were sold as slaves for life, with not less than 170 other prisoners, to the clothworkers, although at first it had been proposed to send them to the Phillipine islands, "They were used with more severity than negroes, and when any of them happened to die, the naked corpse was dragged through the streets of the city, then cut in pieces and thrown in the field Alborado to the dogs and fowls of the air."[527]

They humbly prayed that their case might be represented to the King for relief and their petition was transmitted to London.

Ships seldom came from or sailed to England during the winter and Morgan was still acting as governor, when his next official letters were written on the 8th of March.

"Since the execution of the three pirates by the King's orders," he informed the Secretary of State, "the whole party which for the last two years has molested the Spaniards in the South Seas is, by the help of a Spanish pilot, come about to the Windward Islands. Sixteen of them are gone for England with their leader, Bartholemew Sharp; the rest are at Antigua and the neighbouring Islands, except four that have come here. One has surrendered to me, the other three I have with much difficulty discovered and apprehended. They have since been found guilty and condemned. He that surrendered is like to obtain the favour of the Crown as an informer. One[341] of the condemned is proved a bloody and notorious villain, and fit to make an example of; the other two are represented to me by the judges to be fit objects for mercy, so I shall proceed no further in their case till the King's further orders. I am heartily glad of the opinion of the Court. I abhor bloodshed and I am greatly dissatisfied that in my short Government I have been so often compelled to punish criminals with death. The passage of this people is extraordinarily remarkable, for in little more than four months they came from Coquimbo in Peru, in five degrees south latitude, to Barbados in thirteen north.

"Our logwoodmen have lately had eight of their vessels taken from them and their people carried away prisoners. Their usage appears by the enclosed petition. I learn that in Havana, Merida, and Mexico many English are prisoners; and the Spanish pilot who brought the pirates (who is here) told me that Sir John Narborow's lieutenant and nine or ten others are at Lima in Peru. They are all great objects of compassion, so I hope you will not be unmindful of them.

"I cannot send the muster rolls of the militia by this opportunity as I had hoped for, they are not brought in as I had ordered, but I make use of Captain Charles Swan to carry you our body of new laws. I hope from my heart that they will please the King. Sure I am that neither the Council nor myself left anything undone that might conduce to the observance of the King's instructions. I was unwilling at first to pass the Revenue Bill, though I had gained the main point of getting the revenue settled for seven years, because I found in it limitations that seemed to encroach on the Royal prerogative, and distrust of the justice of Governors. The enactment of their own authority, that an Assembly should be held annually for at least ten days, the determination of the expenditure of a thousand pounds a year on fortifications, and the tacking of the laws to the Revenue Bill are instances. We contested these points in vain. I afterwards examined the Council apart on their oaths as to what they would advise me to do herein. They said that, as I had carried the revenue, it would be hard to let the country be without laws for what might after all, not be displeasing, since the King, if he pleases, may still reject these laws. If I have done wrong, it is not from any want of care or diligence to obey the King's instructions. If I have mistaken his meaning I must crave excuse. But I entreat if any amendment be made to these laws, it may be do[342]ne with great caution, for it was only with much interest, time, and expense, that I obtained what I did, and if these laws be rejected it will be hard to get the like again.

"About a month ago one Capt. Peter Pain, commander of a ship hired from the French King, called La Trompeuse, at five hundred francs a month, came in here from Cayenne, where he heard of the severe persecution of the Protestants at home. He requested that he might have the same favour from me as those of his opinion have in England, as he designed to live and settle among us to avoid the inconveniences of those of his profession at home. I called the Council, and on consideration admitted him to settle here on his taking the oath of allegiance, which he immediately did. He has taken out letters of naturalization since. We warned him that we would not be concerned with his ship, which he must send back according to contract to its port. I do not know if I have done right herein. Sure I am that both I and the Council wished to follow the dictates of humanity as well as those of law and reason. The local Act justified our action, and we had a good precedent for it in England. If I have done amiss I hope my good intent will excuse me; if the French Captain has wronged any one (which I am not aware of) his estate is here to make it good.

"In December I received orders to disband the two foot companies in pay. Though there was reference to former orders these were the first that came to my hands. I have obeyed the instructions therein."[528]

His messenger, Charles Swan, had commanded a ship in his fleet in the expedition against Panama, and was afterwards destined to attain considerable notoriety as a successful corsair in the South Seas.

On the same day, Morgan addressed a semi-official letter to Sir Leoline Jenkins, complaining, apparently on good grounds, of unjust treatment.

"Knowing your goodness and willingness to help me," he said, "I presume to acquaint you that I have had very hard usage shown to me, for, after all the care and trouble I have undergone and the expense I have been put in for the support of the Government, I find that my salary is taken off in England. Moreover, the money of the[343] Vyner, a ship condemned here, has been applied to the payment and discharge of the two companies, whereas hitherto upon such condemnation one-third has always been allowed the Governor. Further, my pay as Captain of one of the companies has been taken away from December, 1680, to the middle of December last, when they were disbanded. I was blamed for not having disbanded them before, but I never received any orders until then, and they were no sooner delivered to me than they were obeyed and the Vyner's money paid. So that notwithstanding all helps are taken from me, the whole charge of the Government lies on me. I need not press further a matter which is apparent to you, but I beg that, when anything offers, I may receive some compensation.

"P.S. The bearer hereof, Major Ralph Featherston, was lieutenant of my company, and can give you a good account of it. I have desired him to move for the residue of our pay, and beg you to help him thereto."[529]

An extract of a letter from Morgan to the Lords of Trade, respecting the respite of the pirates mentioned in his letter to Jenkins, was read at a meeting of the Privy Council on June 17, in which he reported that he had "apprehended ffour of those Pirates, who had for these Two years grievously molested the Spaniards in the South Seas, and committed great Depredations and Enormitys in plundering some of their Townes, and taking about Thirty-five of their Vessels. And that upon their Tryalls, Three were condemned, One whereof appeared to be a cruell and bloody man, who deserves to be made an Example but the other Two are represented by the Judges as fit Objects of Mercy, and the ffourth being the Informer is like to obteyne the favour of the Court, And therefore desiring his Majesty's Pleasure about them."

An order was then made for the execution of "the said Pirate, who appears to have so justly deserved it, and to cause the other Three to be kept in Prison till further Order."[530]




Lynch's departure from England had been considerably delayed, and he did not sail from Plymouth until late in January, 1682. His voyage in the frigate Sweepstakes was so much prolonged by unfavourable weather that he did not arrive at Port Royal until May 14. He was distressed and dispirited by the death of his wife and two sons during the passage, and was suffering from the effects of a serious illness when he landed.

The town of Port Royal was still very prosperous, although its situation had little to commend it beyond its proximity to an excellent harbour, as it was remarked that neither earth, wood, nor fresh water could be found upon the point on which it was built. The soil was merely loose sand lodged upon a shelf of coral rock gradually increased by the action of the waves. In 1672 the town was reported to contain eight hundred well-built houses, most of which were rented at as high rates as if they had been situated in the heart of London. The number of buildings had since been doubled, and the population had increased to about three thousand persons, of all ages and conditions. Many of the larger shops and warehouses were built of imported brick or stone and were several stories in height. They extended to the very edge of the harbour over a loose bank of sand. The fortifications and better class of dwellings were built on the rocky portion of the peninsula, then and now known as the "Palisadoes". The inhabitants, besides a due proportion of sailors, tradesmen, fishermen, and negro slaves, were described as merchants, warehousekeepers, vintners, and retailers of punch. The latter were numerous, as they found a ready sale for their drink among the logwood-traders, privateers, and other seamen who came to the port. Every article imported or exported was unloaded or shipped at its wharves and they were usually a busy plac[345]e.[531]

The lawyer, Francis Hanson, gave an attractive account of the appearance of the town as known to him in 1682.

"The Town of Port Royal, being as it were, the Store House or Treasury of the West Indies, is always like a continual Mart or Fair, where all sorts of choice Merchandizes are daily imported, not only to furnish the Island, but vast quantities are thence again transported to supply the Spaniards, Indians, and other Nations, who in exchange return us bars and cakes of Gold, wedges and pigs of Silver, Pistoles and Pieces of Eight, and several other Coyne of both Mettles, with store of wrought Plate, Jewels, rich Pearl Necklaces, and of Pearl unsorted and undrill'd several Bushels; besides which we are furnished with the purest and most fine sorts of Dust Gold from Guiney by the Negroe Ships, who first come to Jamaica to deliver their Blacks, and there usually refit and stay to reload three or four Months; in which time (though the Companies' Gold may be partly sent home) yet the Merchants, Masters of Ships, and almost every Mariner (having private Cargoes) take occasion to sell or exchange great quantities; some of which our Goldsmiths there work up, who being yet but few grow very wealthy, for almost every House hath a rich Cupboard of Plate, which they carelessly expose, scarce shutting their doors in the night, being in no apprehension of Thieves for want of receivers as aforesaid. And whereas most other Plantations ever did and do now keep their accounts in Sugar or the proper Commodities of the place, for want of Money, it is otherwise in Jamaica, for in Port Royal there is more plenty of running Cash (proportionately to the number of its inhabitants) than is in London."[532]

On the day of his arrival the new governor assumed office at once by taking the usual oaths in the presence of members of the Council, and an order was passed for the continuance of all officials in their positions. Morgan announced his surrender of the offices which he had held for nearly two years in a letter to the Secretary of State, with an expression of good humour, which seemed rather forced.[346]

"I received by the hand of Sir Thomas Lynch the King's order of 7th Sept. last for my dismission from the commands of Lieutenant-Governor and Lieutenant-General of Jamaica. I embrace them all with submission and obedience, but (though I speak it not from ambition of being continued, but from zeal for the King's service) I heartily hope the posts of Lieutenant and Major-General may prove as useless as they are represented to be. Sure I am that they have not appeared to be so hitherto, but whatever success the new direction of affairs here may have, my life and fortunes are always at the King's service."[533]

From time to time he had acquired considerable tracts of land already partly under cultivation, in addition to those obtained directly by patent from the crown, probably with the intention of managing them himself. His first purchase was made from Edward Hunt and Ursula his wife, who on the 22nd of June, 1680, sold Morgan three hundred acres in the parish of St. Mary, bounded on the north and west by the Negro river for the sum of seventy pounds. On the 9th of October following Morgan bought from Roger Elletson and his wife Anne, seven parcels of land adjoining his former purchase, containing by estimation six hundred and ninety acres, for which he paid £600. Then on the 6th May, 1681, he bought from Colonel Thomas Ballard two hundred acres, being part of an estate still known as Ballard's Valley, lying immediately southward of the land already acquired by him and eastward of the estate of Captain Andrew Langley. These purchases formed a compact and fertile estate of nearly twelve hundred acres, lying between two small streams and extending to the sea-coast at the charming and secure little harbour of Port Maria, including Cabaritta island, to which in fond memory of his birthplace in Wales, he gave the name of Llanrumney.[534] There he built a "great house", as a residence, which like many others near that coast, being exposed to raids by pirates or privateers, and perhaps to insurrections of slaves, was situ[347]ated on a commanding knoll and prepared for defence by thick loopholed stone walls and bullet-proof shutters.

On October 7th, 1681, Morgan bought one hundred and twenty acres in the new parish of St. George, not far from Annotto Bay, from William Tompkins and Mary his wife, for the nominal consideration of five shillings, and a few days later entered into a contract with them for the cultivation and management of that property. On the 7th December following Roger Elletson and his wife sold him three small parcels of land in the same parish, containing altogether 212 acres, and a parcel of land in the parish of Port Royal, acreage not stated.[535] To the estate in the parish of St. George thus acquired Morgan gave the name of Penkarne, in remembrance of a farmstead in the parish of Bresilog in Monmouthshire, near Tredegar, pleasantly known to him in his childhood. The name thus bestowed on it has not survived, but the stream flowing through it is still called the Penkar river.

On the 6th March, 1682, Thomas South sold Morgan twenty acres of land for fifty pounds, no parish being named in the deed. On the 6th of August in the same year, John Archer sold him 510 acres in the parish of St. Mary, "near the Spanish Crawle". On the 10th of the same month, James and Margery Barkley of the parish of Vere conveyed to him a plot of land situated on Yorke and Tower Streets in the town of Port Royal. On the 5th of October, 1683, Edmund Thomas of the parish of St. Ann, sold Morgan fifty-eight acres in the parish of St. Mary for the sum of £45 current money.[536] Lastly, on the 19th of December, 1682, Morgan purchased from Captain Peter Heywood of Heywood Hall, a near neighbour to him at Llanrumney, "¼ part of & in the good sloop called New Port of the burthen or portage of 15 Tunns, now in the Harbour of Port Royal & the ¼ part in the mast, sayles, sailyards, anchors, cables, ropes, cords, guns, gunpowder, ammunition, shot & other instrument artillery, long boat, Cock boats, Canoa, tackle, apparel, furnitur[348]e, & other things whatsoever to the said ship belonging", for the sum of £30.[537] It may be reasonably surmised that this sloop was then employed by Heywood and his partners in conveying supplies from Port Royal on the south side of the island to the "new port" on the north side, near their plantations, which had received the name of Port Maria, as roads across it did not exist. Since his return from England until relieved from some of his official posts, Morgan's time had been so fully occupied with public affairs that he could not have given much attention to the cultivation of his extensive estates.

Sir Thomas Lynch's first letters after his assumption of the office of governor seldom refer to his predecessor. Morgan and several other members of the former council had been re-appointed in the royal instructions, and at the second meeting of the new council, Morgan was named as chairman of a special committee to make a general survey and report on the condition of the fortifications.[538] The aggressions of the privateers and logwood-cutters were still the subject of frequent and violent complaints from the Spaniards and gave the governor and his advisers much perplexity, as his instructions were explicitly pacific.

Within a month Lynch described his difficult situation in a letter to the Lords of Trade.

"While I was at the Point Capt. Coxon, one of our famous privateers, brought me the enclosed commission, which I forward as a thing of the greatest import. It is against the treaty of Madrid, and I am sure will cause a new sally of these rogues, whom any commission will serve. This extraordinary Captain-General Clarke was, I am told, one of Cromwell's officers. I know not whether he has a commission from Carolina or no. This 'New Providence' and 'Theory' are the Bahama Islands that lie to the north of Cuba. They are barren and good for little, frequented only by a few straggling people who receive such as come to dive for silver in a galleon wrecked on that [349] coast. . . . On the 27th we had a Council and I ordered Capt. [Charles] Morgan to send me an account of the arms and stores which is here enclosed. I also ordered Sir Henry Morgan and others to take workmen, inspect the forts, and make agreements for their repair."[539]

Llanrumney Hills        See p. 346

Llanrumney River        See p. 346

The report then made by the committee showed that the forts built for the defence of Port Royal were armed with 116 guns.[540]

The commission issued by Robert Clarke, governor and captain-general of the Bahama Islands, to John Coxon, authorizing him to capture Spanish ships in retaliation for depredations committed by Spanish raiders from Cuba and Florida upon the English settlements on those islands, was read at a meeting of the Lords of Trade and an order was made for the "Proprietors" to appear before them a week later to answer for the conduct of the governor.

The petition of Peter Pain with Morgan's pass for the delivery of his ship to an agent of the King of France, were also read and an order made for sending a copy to the Commissioners of Customs.[541]

Not content with merely reporting Governor Clarke's declaration of a war of reprisals against the Spaniards, Lynch sharply rebuked him by letter. The flourishing contraband trade being conducted with the Spanish colonies, he contended, would give safe and profitable employment to all the privateers who were disposed to engage in it.

"We have much money and a great quantity of hides, cacao, &c., imported by our trading sloops", he wrote. "We have about twenty of these, from fifteen to forty-five tons; they are built here, admirable sailers, well armed and treble-manned, some carrying twenty or thirty hands, who receive forty shillings a month. They carry from here some few negroes and dry goods of all sorts, and sell them in the islands and all along the coast of the Main in bays, creeks, and remote places, and sometimes even where there are Governors, as St. Jago, St. Domingo, &c., for they are bold where they are poor. But [350]at Carthagena, Portobello, Havana, &c., the Spaniards admit no one. This trade were admirable were we not undersold by the great Dutch ships that haunt the coast of the Main and Islands, and were we not fearful of pirates, which is the reason why the ships are so strongly manned. These and other expenses and hazards carry away much of the profit. This trade employs all the privateers that are come in, and would bring in the rest had I your Lordships' order to connive at it. I beg you therefore to give it me if you think it reasonable.

"I have had dreadful apprehensions of Governor Clarke's letters-of-marque, so on my arrival sent you the commission he gave Coxon, who came in and lived honestly under Lord Carlisle's or Sir Henry Morgan's Act of Oblivion. This Governor has since sent me the clause in the Lords Proprietors' patent which he thinks justifies his illegal commissions. I send you not only his letter, commission, and the clause, but my answer which may possibly be too aigre or imperious, considering him as an independent Governor and preacher, but I hope it will stop him granting these commissions which might ruin us before you could give any orders thereon. Besides, these Bahama Islands were once under this Government and must return to the King's or they will remain nests of robbers. Since I wrote him, his most considerable subject, a Quaker, tells me that the first outrage was done by his order and by his subjects on a Spanish barque that came to fish for silver at the wreck. They still continue at it and often get ten or twelve pound weight of silver a man, mostly by the ingenuity of a Bermudian, who has a tub that he puts perpendicularly into the sea so that it does not fill, but he can put his head into it when he wants breath, by which means he stays three-quarters of an hour under water. I have forbidden our cutting logwood in the Bay of Campeachy and Honduras, your Lordships having justly declared that the country being the Spaniards' we ought not to cut the wood. There is not the least pretence or reason for it. It is now become a greater drug than fustic and is almost all carried to Hamburgh, New England, Holland, &c., which injures us and the customs and trade of the nation. I have, therefore, sent to order the men up and will permit no more vessels to go that I can hinder. We have lost abundance of men, and suppose two or three hundred of them to be now in Yucatan and Nueva Espana. I have had a lamentable petition from some of them, and a young[351] fellow the other day gave me the narrative that I now send. I gave him no favourable answer, for I could not seem to encourage unlawful acts, and I think what is done against the Spaniards is to our own prejudice. However, I think that the men should not be made slaves and that the capitulation at Trist ought to be kept. When I have a frigate or some other ship and the season is fitting, I think of sending to Vera Cruz; but the simple and short way is for our ambassador at Madrid to procure an order for their delivery and send me an authentic copy, or they will pretend they can do nothing without an order from Spain.

"Among abundance of irregular patents lately passed I send a copy of one that grants to Mr. Powell, the Deputy Secretary, and to two idle surveyors, all mines that chance to be discovered for twenty years for no consideration but a tenth. Lord Carlisle had an instruction to lease the mines, which made Sir Henry think he might do this."[542]

The capitulation of Trist, to which Lynch referred, was a written convention or treaty made between Don Philip de Varrera Villago, Alcalde of Campeche, and Captain Robert Bockenham, Walter Streight, and other Englishmen, in behalf of their countrymen residing on the island, Jica Lanoga Apatan, by which the latter were guaranteed in case of their surrender a safe conduct to Jamaica or the Cayman islands. This had been signed on the island of Terminos on the 20th of May, 1680, and a complaint was made that the Spaniards had violated its terms by keeping many of these men in a state of slavery. A remonstrance was again addressed to the Court of Spain protesting against the "lamentable spoils and oppressions done to His Majesty's subjects in the West Indies", and demanding redress.[543]

Although a man convicted of piracy had lately been hung in chains on the gallows at Port Royal, the harbour was at times virtually blockaded by others sailing under the French flag. The Minutes of a meeting of the Council held on the third of October record an order "that in consequence of privateers being off the Island the ships in P[352]ort Royal do not sail till Monday next."[544]

Three weeks later the governor informed the members that he had been forced by the urgent necessity of suppressing these privateers to order Captain Charles Morgan to supply an officer with certain military stores. At the same meeting Sir Henry Morgan presented for payment an account for £33.8.8, being arrears of his salary. An objection was made that he had in his hands money due the Crown, which had been taken from the pirates from the South Seas, but he accounted for this by the production of a sworn receipt.

Lynch's next letter was written in a very doleful mood.

"It was a mistake," he said, "to allow this villain (Captain Peter Pain of La Trompeuse) product here. The traders have lost twelve or fifteen thousand pounds by it. . . . The Indies, in fact, are full of desperate rogues. The worst are those who run from the ships that come from England. Recently I sent Captain John Coxon and two other vessels to the Bay of Honduras to bring away our logwood-cutters. So far from doing so he was in danger of losing his ship and his life. His men plotted to take the ship and go privateering, but he valiantly resisted, killed one or two with his own hand, forced eleven overboard, and brought three here, who were condemned last Friday. I shall order one or two to be hanged as an example to others and encouragement to him. I am hiring him to convoy a Spaniard to Havana. The want of a frigate here has made pirates to increase in number and impudence. I am much troubled and the island in great danger."[545]

He complained bitterly of the conduct of M. de Pouancy, a nephew of d'Ogeron, who had succeeded him as governor of Hispaniola, for issuing commissions to privateers and making unjust captures of English ships, naming in particular one that had merely entered the harbour of Petit Goaves to deliver a letter. "Also", he added, "of those many Piracys the French commit dayly to the total ruine and interruption of the English Trade, having taken Eight or Ten of Ou[353]r Vessells and barbarously used our Seamen."[546]

In accordance with the act lately passed, the Assembly met on September 21 for a session of ten days. After apologizing for the "disorders of his head", which prevented him from addressing its members at much length, Lynch urged harmony and moderation in their debates,

"having made these laws, that we hope will be a Magna Charta to us and our Children, as well as a Boundary to me and all future Governours. And if there be anything to be added or retrenched to make them pass at home, we judge it's fit you do it; that you who have the charge and trouble of raising this great Structure, should have the thanks and glory of finishing it.

"I know you are too wise to enter into Disputes about Niceties," he continued, "and do consider that as the King and his Ministers intend we shall have all those just Liberties and Freedoms that belong to Englishmen and good subjects, so our reflecting on things that are not pertinent, or reviving those detestable names of Caballers, Prerogative and Property-men, may give them offence, and that will make us uneasie, as it will be troublesome now, so it may be ruinous hereafter; for common Sense tells us, We should not kick against the Prickes; and the wise man, That it's madness to contend with those that are too mighty; And indeed the Contest must be fatal, where it is so unequal as to have Power and Right too on the same side.

"Though I cannot, Gentlemen, speak anything directly from our Lords about the Laws, yet I shall take the liberty to say this from myself, that if it's of the utmost import our Laws pass, it may be fit for you to consider now whether they will or no; and if you judge they will not, then resolve of removing the Obstructions. This conjuncture is favourable, and may give more encouragement than may be expected next year, when I shall be foreclosed all Concessions by positive Orders and the Laws determination.

"Pray, Gentlemen, consider how much better it is to go voluntarily a step or two back, than run the hazard of being driven, God knows how far. I shall explain myself i[354]f you enter into a debate of this matter; if not, it must lie at your door; for it's another opportunity of establishing the Peace and Laws of this great and prosperous Colony."[547]

After referring to the recent appointment of an Auditor-General, whose particular duty would be to see that no part of the revenue was misapplied, and assuring them that he knew of no designs to injure or invade their just Liberties, "and that he had no other instructions than to do right and govern according to the laws of England and this Colony", he ended his speech with a solemn admonition.

"Believe me, therefore, Gentlemen, should our Sins, Caprice, or Follies make us miss that Port that now frankly offers itself, and launch into the deep of needless Jealousies and Disputes, it's to be feared we may find it a wide Sea of Confusion, where we shall not escape Shipwreck without a Miracle; the apprehension of which so discomposes me that I cannot say more than God have mercy on us and direct you."[548]

The Assembly accepted his advice with good nature and acted upon it. They separated the revenue bill from the other acts and declared their willingness to submit all of them to the King's discretion. The House was then prorogued for six months on October 4, when the governor effusively assured the members that "the disorders of my head and the misfortunes of my voyage are something alleviated by the joy I have to see this Session happily and suddenly ended." He then referred briefly to former "Fears and Jealousies."

"We that were of the old Army," he said, "thankfully remember the Donative that his Majesty gave us; All of us know that he has constantly sent us Supplies in our need, Ships to defend us in our danger; when we could not he paid our Ministers & gave Salaries to our Governours; this and much more his Majesty hath done for us, and to make this Care, this Munificence like himself, perfectly gracious, perfectly obliging. It was done for us here in those times, his Majesty was under the greatest Pr[355]essure and Want at Home.

"You, Gentlemen, have dutifully and gratefully acknowledged this by separating your Laws from his Revenue, and by that frank, hearty, and humble submission you make of all to his Majesties Justice and Grace, I am sure you'll find the advantage of it and there's no other method of transacting with Princes: for there is no parity betwixt us and them, they cannot be bound, they must therefore be trusted. And this confidence (were it lawful to make the Comparison) I durst say must necessarily have the same effect on the King, as our Faith has on God, if we believe, he will do us good."[549]

He took care to have his speeches and the address of the Assembly printed for circulation, but before the proceedings of the session could be reported to the Secretary of State, the acts passed in the preceding session were reviewed by the Lords of Trade, who stated their opinion that the act of revenue should be disallowed and the governor instructed to call another Assembly to whom he should submit the act sent to Sir Henry Morgan, and at the same time announce that the King would not allow any other acts to be tacked to it.

"The Assembly is to be informed", they said, "that the King will suffer no obligation to be imposed on him in Jamaica or any other colony, that he desires the Revenue Act to be passed from consideration of the Colony's security only; that if they refuse to pass a Revenue Act, the Assembly is to be warned that laws of England impower the King to levy tonnage and poundage. . . . Finally the Assembly is to be told that if they pass the Revenue Act as the King orders, the King will confirm for the same term the laws sent to them and such other laws as they shall pass."[550]

Meanwhile the Norwich frigate had been wrecked, partly, it was asserted, because the captain had taken merchandise on board contrary to his instructions, and a warrant was sent by the Privy Council for his arrest. In response to Lynch's urgent applications for naval assistance in the suppression of piracy, the Falcon was sent to rep[356]lace her.

After the dissolution of the English parliament in 1680, Narcissus Luttrell had noted in his diary that the people were divided into two furious factions, one of which "cried up" what it called "the true protestant religion", deriding its opponents as "tories, tantivies, and high-flown Churchmen", and being derided by them as "whigs, fanatics, covenanters, and bromigham protestants."

Lynch's next letter showed that this party warfare had spread to Jamaica and began to give him anxiety.

"The people seem as satisfied and are as quiet," he wrote to the newly appointed Auditor-General, a few days after the arrival of the Falcon, "as though under the perfectest peace abroad and the greatest success at home, though our losses and troubles through pirates are intolerable. We have lost divers vessels on the coast of Cuba and in the South Cays, some in the Bay of Honduras, others on the coast of the Main, and by La Trompeuse off Hispaniola about sixteen or eighteen ships, so that at a moderate reckoning our losses, the Royal Company's, and the English merchants' come to forty or fifty thousand pounds. This falls heavily on a young Colony with a young trade, and the misfortune is aggravated by the great numbers of people maintained by trade in this Island. We are fed by provisions from New England, New York, and Ireland, and have fishermen at the South Cays; all these routes were interrupted and dangerous. The people would have been in an ill ferment if I had not done all that I could, and the frigate had not so seasonably made her appearance.

"There is no revenue nor hope of any, for little comes in; hardly two pipes of wine since my arrival, and not a farthing of fines or escheats in Sir H. Morgan's time. It is useless to sue the debtors for they have three years' time allowed them for payment. The quit-rents come in as slowly. . . .

"That you may see that I have business with the godly too, you must know that about a month ago at the Sessions one [Roger] Elletson, a lawyer, after the justices were seated but before the charge, desired leave to speak. Then in a studied harangue he pressed the justices to enforce the laws against dissenters. Everyone was much surprised, and Colonel Molesworth answered that it was forbidden[357] both by our local laws and by the King's repeated instructions. The Council and I, thinking Elletson's conduct malicious, summoned him by warrant before us. He was asked whether the King could dispense with those laws. He would not answer. He was then asked whether he was not aware of the King's instructions to that effect, why he had not raised the question in Sir Henry Morgan's time, when he was Attorney-General, and whether the dissenters had done anything to forfeit the King's grace. To this he answered No, and to the rest nothing, declaring himself a Protestant, but that he had never taken the sacrament. Elletson is an ill man; he was driven here by his crimes and necessities, and was the occasion of all the hard, inconvenient, and illegal grants passed by Sir Henry Morgan, for which he is cursed, and was told so before Sir Henry's face in the Council. Knowing how much mischief he had done and advised, he took out a pardon before I arrived, which no officer ever did before. Moreover, though he would now be thought episcopal, he was a fanatic. When the Assembly rose, he asked one of them how he could answer to the country for his trusting the Court. The Council, putting all these things together, and judging that his last action was done from private malice and revenge, ordered him to be bound over to good behaviour, and an information laid against him at the Grand Court. He has since given in his submission, so I suppose we shall pardon him."[551]

This incident was the beginning of a long and rancorous controversy with Elletson, who was a resolute and probably unscrupulous lawyer of considerable ability, in which Morgan and several of his most intimate friends became gradually involved and led to the formation of their self-styled "loyal party". Little is recorded of its development except from Lynch's undoubtedly prejudiced letters.

Forty-two French Protestants, recommended by the Bishop of London, were given a free passage to Jamaica, bringing letters of introduction to the governor, instructing him to receive them with kindness as they wished to settle and become planters in the island. They were given land. Some of them prospered and became wealthy. One of these new settlers was several times elected a member of the[358] Assembly.[552]

In the course of the following summer, the justices of the peace, churchwardens, vestrymen, and other inhabitants of Port Royal associated themselves in a petition praying for relief from a monopoly of market fees.

"Though Port Royal is but sand and salt water," they said, "yet the convenience of the port makes it very great and populous. Most of the poor of the island are brought thither in sloops; the inhabitants are charged with guards, with the building of a church, of fortifications which cost £3,000 a year, have suffered heavy losses by pirates, amounting in one year to fifteen thousand pounds, and have spent a thousand pounds in fitting out vessels to put down these pirates. Your Excellency, to support this heavy expense, appointed a market to the Parish, and gave the clerk's place to the churchwardens for the use of the parish, which worked well for six years. But in Lord Carlisle's time came a patent giving to John Byndloss, then and now living in London, the clerkship of all markets and fairs and many other offices in the Island, contrary to the express orders of the Lords of the Council."[553]

This petition was addressed to the governor, as the patentee had lately appointed a deputy, giving him instructions to collect fees. It then was learned that three years earlier a bill authorizing this grant had been laid before the committee of the Privy Council for approval. The objection was raised that a plurality of offices was granted to one person, that the said offices were granted to him for life, and that it was not in the public interest that such offices should be exercised by deputies as was proposed by the instructions to Lord Carlisle, particularly as they were informed that the island had been divided into parishes, each of which had a custos rotulorum, who usually nominated the clerk of the peace for his parish. The committee had advised the King that the grant should not take effect, "since it could not be but very prejudicial to his Royal Service", and the Lord Privy Seal was directed that th[359]e bill should not pass.[554]

Lynch's complaints of the depredations committed by French privateers on English ships received the careful attention of the Lords of Trade, who advised that strong remonstrances should be made, not only to the French ambassador in London, but through the English ambassador in Paris, that "such Proceedings were not only destructive to Trade but contrary to the Treatys between the Two Crownes", desiring reparations and that "the Power of Commissions given to these Privateers may be limited. And that in case the French Governor shall continue to grant Commissions of this nature, Order may be sent to make him distinguish between the English and the Spaniards."[555]

Lynch was instructed to furnish a list of the vessels that had been plundered, and the names of the persons who had robbed them. He was empowered "to seize in the best manner you can such vessells and Privateers as have injured Our Subjects, or shall disturb their Lawfull Trade."[556]

An order was made requiring all former governors of Jamaica to make a statement of money received by them, which had not been expended on the forts as stated in the address of the Assembly, "so that any Imbezellments thereof, if there are any, may be found out and brought to a just Account."[557]

When the Assembly met again, the governor gave them satisfactory assurances on several important subjects and congratulated them cheerfully upon the return of prosperity.

"See," he declared in his speech at the beginning of the session, "Heaven seems well pleased as well as the King; for if the last year it appeared brass, this, it melts into showers to rain blessings upon us; for who has ever seen Port Royal so full of ships, or known the planters sell their goods so dear? Within these fifteen months every man's freehold is almost risen in value from 50 to 200 per c[360]ent."[558]

Relying upon the promise made in the King's letter to confirm their acts already passed or to be passed for an equal period, a revenue bill for a term of twenty-one years was adopted by the Assembly without much opposition.

Until this time Morgan's influence had been weighty if not supreme in the Council, and scarcely less powerful in the Assembly. But in a disagreeable manner he was unable to conceal his disappointment at Lynch's success. The revenue act was passed by the Assembly on September 5. Two days later a message was sent by the Assembly to the Council requesting the appointment of a committee to confer with them on the manner of enacting laws. Sir Henry Morgan and Colonels Ballard and Molesworth were appointed for that purpose. The Assembly then sent a second message asking that the committee from the Council should consist of five members. Sir Charles Modyford and John White were added in compliance but Morgan was nominated as chairman.[559]

An open breach with the governor soon occurred, but its cause is obscure. The first intimation of a serious disagreement is found in a letter from Lynch to the Lords of Trade, written soon after, reporting an inquiry into the cause of the death of a seaman, who had been hurt in a scuffle by Captain Churchill of the Falcon.

"Capt. Wild desired that the captain might be stopped till the matter was tried. By chance Sir Henry Morgan was with me. I told him to go down, and, commanding the regiment and forts, I bade him do what was reasonable and legal. He went away with Wild, and, God is my record, had no other orders by word, letter, or message from me. The inquest was held at seven yesterday morning, and the jury was seven hours before it agreed on its verdict, which was that the deceased died of fever and natural death. I enclose the depositions. As soon as the inquest was over, the foreman (one of the three famous Forths of London) and three others came to me to complain that Sir Henry Morgan was in the house; that Capt[361]. Musgrave was there, as he said, by my order; that the evidence was transposed and the depositions not fairly taken, and that fifteen were sworn and three afterwards discharged. I answered that it was not my habit to meddle with the ordinary course of justice; if they had returned their verdict they ought not to complain; they should have made their complaint at the opening of the inquest, now it was too late; that I did not know why Sir Henry Morgan might not be below stairs while they were above, for he neither said nor did anything, nor had Musgrave any order from me to say a word to them. He was there with the Attorney-General to advise the coroner on points of law, and I concluded if the coroner had erred about, he had erred by their advice, and they knew he was not a man of skill in the law."[560]

Some weeks later a serious disturbance occurred in the night at Port Royal, in which Charles Morgan, the commandant, and an officer named Penhallow, who was captain of the guard, actually came to blows in the street. Next day a complaint was made to Sir Henry Morgan, as custos of the parish, who took evidence and ordered Captain Penhallow to give sureties to keep the peace.[561] The governor's discontent and anger with Morgan and his friends had been steadily growing, and he took this opportunity to intervene. At his request an investigation into the cause of the riot was ordered by the Council, and the Chief Justice gave his opinion that Penhallow might be relieved from the recognizances required from him. The depositions taken by Morgan were read with others contradicting them, and the Council decided that there was not sufficient ground for his proceedings.

At a meeting of the Council only two days later the governor propounded the question: "Whether the passions and irregularities of Sir Henry Morgan do not disqualify him from continuing in his offices under the Government?" Next day he charged Morgan definitely "with disorders, passions, and miscarriages at Port Royal on various occasions and for countenancing certain men in disloyalty to him." Sir Henry replied respectfully that he hoped h[362]e should not be accused of the faults of others. The question was put whether he should be continued in any employment, and decided in the negative. Sir Francis Watson and Colonel Ballard proposed that Morgan should be retained as a member of the Council and be deprived of all other offices. They disputed the governor's statement that Morgan had cursed the Assembly, which was then supported by an affidavit from a woman, who asserted that she recognized his voice as he passed the door of her tavern in the dark, swearing at the Assembly. Watson and Ballard then proposed Morgan's "demission, that with all regret he be laid aside." Morgan announced that he would appear before the Council for a hearing next day. At that meeting besides Lynch and Morgan, eight other members were present. A very full entry of the proceedings was made in the Minutes.

"The General acquainted Sir Henry Morgan that he and the Council, having considered the late disorders, passions, and miscarriages at Port Royal, were of opinion that they happened chiefly by his means in countenancing the people that then were concerned therein to disturb the peace; and that he had on all occasions showed dislike and uneasiness under his government, and encouraged Elletson that formerly gave trouble to the Council and government; countenanced Cradock, Will. Archbould, &c. that ridiculed and acted him; that Scarlett and his brother Archbould opposed the King's interests and made parties against the Revenue Bill out of despite to His Excellency, and that five or six particular little people under his umbrage opposed and affronted the government, so that the Assembly thought it necessary to make an address to the General and Council to look out and defend the Government and place, and the General likewise told him of all that was sworn, which proved that he bound over as rioters Captain Penhallow, &c. that were sober and endeavoured to keep the peace, and not Captain Morgan, &c. that seemed to be the aggressors, and at the same time to them and to Captain Churchill before that, declared that it was a design to kill him; swearing that as they would not kill the King because the Duke was not there, so they would not kill Morgan because Churchill was not there, and occasioning a dissension of Whigs and Tories;[562] his cursing the Assembly and frequent ref[363]lections in his debauches on the General to the extreme hazard of the government and disturbance of the people, especially at the Point. The General likewise declared to the Council that Sir Henry had told him of a malicious design that some people had to fall on Captain Morgan and murder him to prevent his being major in Bache's place; and Sir Fr. Watson declared that he had said some such thing to him, but nothing like it being now found or made to appear, it was with other extravagances objected to by Sir Henry.

"To all which Sir Henry only replied he hoped he should not be charged with others' faults; he had often chid them and never intended to offend the General, and withdrawing.

"The Governor putting the question whether it was consistent with the King's Service and the peace and safety of the island, that Sir Henry Morgan should be continued in any employment, the members were of opinion that he should be put out of all commands, except Sir Francis Watson and Colonel Ballard, who thought he should be continued in the Council but put out of all other commands.

"It was accordingly ordered that Sir Henry Morgan be removed from all his offices and commands and suspended the Council."

This was supplemented by a second Minute, probably by command of the governor.

"The General repeated divers extravagant expressions of Sir Henry Morgan in his wine, among the rest how he cursed the Assembly. Sir Francis Watson and Colonel Ballard said it was not so, on which the Council ordered Major Bache to be sent for, [who said] Mrs. Wollin told him so, so she being sent for and sworn, declared that Sir Henry Morgan going by her door one night, with some others she did not know, she heard Sir Henry Morgan swear 'God damn the Assembly.'"[563]

This inquisition into the conduct of Morgan's relatives and friends was carried on with unrelenting rigour from day to day. His brother-in-law, Robert Byndloss, was next dismissed fro[364]m the Council, his office as chief justice, and all other public positions. Charles Morgan, another brother-in-law, was summoned before the Council, affidavits charging him with misconduct were read, and the governor announced that he had already been dismissed from his appointment as aide-major for "violating the guards, beating the captain and other irregularities." Captain Morgan then replied that he could not answer for the faults of others. The Council unanimously voted him guilty, his commission as captain of the forts was revoked, and Peter Beckford was appointed in his place.[564]

Roger Elletson was next charged with "malicious disturbances of the magistrates at sessions, and with consorting with lewd fellows", and other offences, to which he made no answer. The Council ordered his suspension from practice as a lawyer in the courts of the island, and ordered him to furnish sureties for his future good behaviour by his bond for £1,000 and two others in £500 each. These were provided on the same day.[565]

Lynch concluded his speech proroguing the Assembly in a note of triumph.

"I thank you," he said, "not only for your prudence as legislators, but for your loyalty in supporting me to seclude from the Government the turbulent, uneasy, and insolent. You have acted dutifully in passing the Revenue for twenty-one years in spite of the opposition of a troublesome faction."[566]

He excused his severity to Morgan and his friends in a long letter to the Lords of Trade.

"On October 19 the Assembly adjourned to the 15 January, having amended all the laws formerly sent home in accordance with your directions, and made some few new ones, which having no relation to the royal prerogative, will, I suppose, be readily passed. The Revenue is now for twenty-one years. One of the arguments used to induce them to pass it was that you had promised that thes[365]e and the laws already passed should be confirmed for the same period, which I beg and trust they may be. I am the more concerned that this should pass, because that little, drunken, silly party of Sir Henry Morgan's opposed it. They tried to raise broils about several Acts, and about the negroes Act whispered that I had been bribed to favour the Royal African Company. These things and their disorders at the Point have given me more trouble than I ever had in my life. . . .

"I give you a brief account of the reasons that have induced me (at the request of the Assembly and the advice of the Council) to remove Sir Henry Morgan, Col. Byndloss, and Capt. Morgan from all commands and employments. (1) I well remember that your Lordships ordered Sir Henry Morgan to be put out of the Council, saying he was no more fit to be a Councillor than Lieut.-Govr., but afterwards (I must beg pardon for it) I desired you to put him in that we might all unite to fix the Revenue and serve the King. (2) Instead of uniting with me I found him little civil to me, mightily elated by hopes of my death, and of governing in my stead. In his debauches which go on every day and night, he is much magnified and I criticized by the five or six little sycophants that share them. (3) His particular creatures are one Cradock, Elletson, and others who have broken the peace and affronted the government. He has always endeavoured to countenance and justify them within the Council and without. (4) All the troubles and disorders at the Point since I came have been caused by Capt. Morgan, but Sir Henry has always protected him without respect to law, truth, or justice, and more than once forced me to go thither. (5) Sir Henry and Capt. Morgan have set up a special club, frequented only by five or six more, where, (especially when the members are drunk), the dissenters are cursed and damned. The whole country was provoked by their taking the name of the Loyal Club, and people began to take notice that it looked as if he hoped to be thought the head of the Tories; consequently I must be of the Whigs. (6) The people, however, as well as myself, resented this, and as the club was carried on by a mere five or six that had neither sense, money, nor sobriety, it began to die, and the actors themselves grew afraid and ashamed of their parts. Then came the unlucky incident of the Falcon (and death of Wm. Flood) of which I have written to you, when the jury was inclined to find the death of Wild's mate to be murder. One Co[366]ward, a dissenter, being forward in this, as Mingham, the prosecutor, also was, provoked Capt. Churchill to curse and rail at the dissenters on the Point. This suited Sir Henry Morgan and the club, who took Churchill's part against the jury and made him one of the company. They had this great opportunity to inflame and misinform him. (7) Churchill told me in my chamber (when I was sick) that Capt. Penhallow and several creditable and sober merchants designed to murder him on the day of thanksgiving for the King's deliverance,[567] that he prepared for it, and therefore escaped by retiring to his ship, and that they had hired the rabble and arranged that they should attack him when such and such a song was sung. This he affirmed publicly in my hall before several members of the Assembly, adding that they would murder him because his name was Churchill and his family depended on the Duke [of York], and that the Point was worse than Algiers. He afterwards came into the Council owning this, and saying that Sir Henry Morgan had told him so. And Sir Henry seemed to assent to it. (8) Moreover at this time Sir Henry led me from the hall into the parlour, and told me there was a design to attack Capt. Morgan and murder him, for fear I should make him major when Bache went off. Sir Francis [Watson] owned in Council that he said it to him, but Sir Henry afterwards seemed to deny it, being unable to give any proof of it. (9) Capt. Morgan and his accomplices having almost murdered Capt. Penhallow, who was sober and helping to defend him and keep the peace, Sir Henry thereupon imprisons Penhallow, and binds him and the rest over for the sessions. In rage and extravagant words he swore, to everyone's astonishment, that they intended to kill Churchill, and did not kill Morgan because Churchill was not there, just as the fanatics would not kill the King because the Duke of York was not there. (10) In his drink Sir Henry reflects on the Government, swears, damns, and curses most extravagantly. He did so to the Assembly as appears by affidavits in Col. Beeston's hands. Had you full knowledge of his behaviour while Lieut.-Govr., of his excesses, passions, and incapacity, you would marvel rather how he ever came to be employed, than why he is now turned out. If he and his brothers (in law) had been less criminal I could not have acted otherwise, for the people are offended at being called duke-killing rogues, and such as would murder a[367]ll that belong to the Duke. As God is my record, I have never heard that his name was mentioned but with reverence, or that anyone refused to drink his health even when he was in exile. The Minutes of Council will show you the cause of Col. Byndloss's suspension. I will only add that he is one of the worst men I know. When I was Governor before and he a Councillor, he took a pirate's false oath against me privately and sent it home by Lord Vaughan's secretary. I would not live if my credit came into the scale with such a man.

"I beg that if you approve of the suspension of the Morgans, you will send orders to that purpose, otherwise there will be troubles in case I should die. These men are of great violence and no sense. I should have been kind to Charles Morgan for many reasons, and particularly on account of Mr. Secretary's recommendation, but he is so haughty, passionate, and given to drink, that it is impossible either to serve him or to use him. He was the author of all the troubles at the Point, for some of which I was forced to deprive him of his commission as Aide-Major. He has almost killed divers serjeants by beating them, though they are not in pay; a woman has sworn that he killed her husband; officers at the Point will swear that no serjeant or soldier would go to the castle for fear of him; it is sworn that he never came to the castle till noon or later, and then so drunk and inflamed that he beat serjeants and soldiers immeasurably for no fault; he and his accomplices were the aggressors in the brawl at the Point and almost killed Penhallow, for which they are now bound over to good behaviour and to the Grand Court. Martin, the Receiver-General, complained to me the other day that Morgan had come to his office for money and endeavoured to strike him for no other reason except his own passion. No token of his malice seemed to me so great as his putting on new and light colours at the news of my wife's death, when everyone else wore black. Yet she was his kinswoman and had done him service. But I rake no further into filth and people's crimes, for I feel confident that you will support my action. In former letters I have declared to you the necessity of taking all prospect of the Government out of Sir Henry Morgan's sight, and that if the Duke of York's power were retrenched as Lord High Admiral it would embroil the Government."[568]


Ever since Lynch's arrival he had been in ill health and extremely irritable, and he suspected that in the event of his death Sir Henry Morgan might again become administrator as senior member of the Council. To prevent this he had strongly recommended the appointment of Colonel Hender Molesworth as Deputy or Lieutenant-Governor, although that office had been so recently declared by the Lords of Trade to be unnecessary and abolished. His recommendation was eventually approved, not a little to his surprise, probably through the potent influence of the Royal African Company, of which Molesworth was the chief resident factor.

Morgan's friends and supporters were not altogether idle or silent. Henry Archbold, his brother-in-law, a very wealthy and influential planter, made a deposition vindicating him from the charge of having cursed the Assembly, and flatly contradicting the evidence of Major Samuel Bache. Roger Elletson, late Attorney-General, made another sworn statement respecting the riot at Port Royal, denying that he had disturbed the peace with Morgan's encouragement, and denouncing the injustice of such an accusation.[569]

Armed with these and other similar documents, Charles Morgan sailed from Port Royal on the first ship destined for England in 1684. His departure was announced by the governor with an expression of relief, not unmingled with anxiety and uncertainty as to the outcome of his mission, as he bore with him a petition to the King from Sir Henry Morgan, Byndloss, Elletson, and himself, appealing against their dismissal from office, and they were believed to have powerful friends in England.

"Thus are our quarrels ceased, Charles Morgan being gone," he wrote, "though he did his utmost to ruin his drinking friends and raise a riot at the Point, for on the night of his departure he and his friends violated the guards and traduced the officers. He, Sir Henry, and their party, a day or two before the Falcon sailed, secretly signed an attestation for Mr. Langworth, the parson of Port Royal, an ill man, who has drunk with them, to the scandal of his functions and the offence of his parish. We have discovered also that the day before Charles Morgan sail[369]ed he exposed a factious address to be signed at Port Royal. Sir Henry has offered to swear that no one signed it, but we suspect that Charles Morgan and Sir Francis Watson were to sign it for the rest. I think that after the loyal addresses of the Council and Assembly, the King and your Lordships will pay little attention to their secret and factious addresses. I do not doubt that in such cases as this you will distinguish between the loyal and the disloyal. If by this address or otherwise Morgan's party charge the Government with encouraging dissenters, it is a most false and malicious accusation, for the dissenters enjoy no more grace and toleration than is granted them by the King on their good behaviour. There is not a dissenter in any civil employment nor in the Assembly, except two, who have taken the oath of allegiance and supremacy. There are also three or four of them officers in the militia, who would be gladly excused the trouble and expense. They have never disserved the King nor opposed the Government before I came nor since, and not one of them has spoken or written to me about their religion, nor prayed my favour, nor thanked me. They have left themselves entirely to the King's grace and I have thought ourselves obliged to do them right. The abuse and persecution of them has only arisen since Charles Morgan was dismissed from his post of Aide-Major. . . .

"I must thank you very sincerely for Col. Hender Molesworth's commission, for it is certain that Sir Henry Morgan's hope of governing as first Councillor has buoyed up his little senseless party, and occasioned our late troubles. This you have now obviated, and I am exceedingly obliged to you for accepting my recommendation."[570]

A petition and address from the Council and Assembly, which was described as being "full of expressions of duty and loyalty to him and his successors", was presented to the King in January by Sir Charles Lyttelton and other chief planters.[571]

When Charles Morgan arrived in London he found that he had been forestalled by letters from the governor. The Lords of Trade had received and acted on Lynch's letter of November 2 by recommending that the suspension of Sir Henry M[370]organ and Chief Justice Byndloss from the Council of Jamaica, which entailed their deprivation of all other public offices, and the dismissal of Captain Morgan, should be approved. An order in Council confirming this recommendation had been passed in February.

Three weeks later Charles Morgan's petition was read in Privy Council, accompanied by a statement that after coming to England he had learned that Sir Thomas Lynch had greatly misrepresented the conduct of all the petitioners, and praying permission to restate their case. This was referred to the Lords of Trade, who on May 13 made an order for a hearing a week later and that Captain Morgan should be supplied with copies of papers relating to the subject. Counsel on both sides appeared before the Lords on May 21, but as important papers were then reported to be missing, the hearing was adjourned. On June 11 Morgan presented a second petition, stating that he had by accident missed the opportunity of being heard on June 5, and asking for another appointment. This request was granted and a week afterwards his complaints were finally heard, Lynch being represented by Sir Charles Lyttelton and Colonel William Beeston, and Charles Morgan with counsel appearing for the petitioners. The laws, documents, and depositions relating to the appeal were read and the evidence of Sir Francis Watson was taken. But the Lords announced that they saw no reason to reverse their former decision. On June 27 their report to that effect was read at the Privy Council and an order made confirming it.[572]

Early in June the order of the Privy Council approving the suspension of Sir Henry Morgan and Chief Justice Byndloss and the commission appointing Colonel Molesworth as Lieutenant-Governor were read at a meeting of the Council of Jamaica. At a subsequent meeting the governor directed the attention of the members to the petition presented to the King, and Colonel Byndloss was called in and asked whether he had delivered it. He refused to an[371]swer and the record stated "behaved very disrespectfully". Roger Elletson was then asked the same question but "demurred to it".[573]

When the Assembly met again the governor assured the members that the King and his Ministers were as kind as "guardian angels", having confirmed all the laws they had enacted except two. He was then a very sick man and after some months of suffering died on August 24. He was buried in the cathedral church of Spanish Town, and this couplet was inscribed on a memorial tablet.

"Here lyes Sir Thomas Lynch in Peace, at Ease, and Blest. Would you know more, the World will speak ye Rest."

Sir Henry Morgan had retired to Llanrumney on the north side of the island, where he busied himself with the improvement of that considerable estate. The parish of St. Mary was a well wooded, well watered forest district, with comparatively few inhabitants. The soil was deep and fertile, and the lowlands were being rapidly brought under cultivation by several enterprising proprietors. A small settlement of fishermen and sailors had been formed near the small harbour which retained its Spanish name of Port Maria. There Morgan had congenial neighbours within a few miles' ride in Colonel Thomas Ballard of Ballard's Valley, Captain Peter Heywood of Heywood Hall, and Captain Andrew Langley of Prospect. They were pioneers in settlement and all "gentlemen of great convivial talents". Their names are still attached to the estates they once possessed, and some remains of their stoutly-built, loopholed houses and spacious barbacues for drying pimento berries may still be seen.

The demand for slave labour had greatly increased with the extension of the cultivation of sugar cane. Within the last year 3,400 negroes had been brought to Jamaica by eleven ships of the Royal African Company and found a ready sale. A rough bridle-path following the valley of the Rio Cobre and one of its tributaries had been extended through t[372]he hills to Port Maria and by degrees was converted into a passable cart-track, but travel by this route was difficult and dangerous. Most of the traffic was consequently conducted for many years by coastal navigation.

Colonel Molesworth took the oaths of office as administrator on the day after Lynch's death.[574] He very soon received instructions to sue Morgan for the recovery of prize-money he had been accused of illegally retaining, but speedily discovered sufficient cause for delay.

"I wrote to Sir H. Morgan of the order I had to sue him for the Vyner's and privateers' money", he reported. "He asked me to wait till he came to town in February, when, if he could not satisfy me, he would go to trial. I consented the more readily since I find the privateers' money entered in the Council Book and passed by Sir T. Lynch for the salary allowed him from the date of Sir T. Lynch's embarkation to his arrival. For this and for other reasons he may cast us if we sue him."[575]

In the beginning of February, 1685, he formally informed the Council that he had received further confirmation of the suspension of Sir Henry Morgan from being a member.[576]




In the year 1678, as its imprint states, Jan ten Hoorn, a bookseller in Amsterdam, had published a small quarto volume, entitled De Americaenshe Zee-Roovers, containing only 186 pages, divided into three parts, of which the third described the capture and burning of the city of Panama. It purported to be written by Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin, who had been compelled by want to take an unwilling part in the expedition. It is now almost certainly established that the real author was Hendrik Barentzoon Smeeks, a surgeon-apothecary, living at Zwolle in the province of Overysel, who was an industrious and talented writer of pseudo-historical works. He was born in that small town in 1643 or 1645 and educated in an asylum for orphans. Entering the service of the Dutch East India Company in 1657, he sailed in the same year to Batavia, and was subsequently employed as a cabin-boy on the Wakende Boei, sent in search of the Gulden Draak, which had been wrecked on the west coast of Australia. With the mate and twelve seamen he was driven ashore in a gale, but they succeeded in returning to Java in an open boat. His adventures at this time furnished him with materials for his romance entitled Krinki Kesmes, which was published in 1715 and is supposed to have inspired Daniel Defoe in writing Robinson Crusoe, printed four years later. Smeeks became an apprentice to a barber-surgeon and returned to Holland in 1665. Next year he entered the service of the French West India Company, which was dissolved soon after his arrival at Tortuga, when he was forced to become an indentured servant of a French buccaneer, by whom he was brutally treated. He was redeemed by a physician, who gave him further instruction but compelled him to repay his ransom. He may have participated in[374] Morgan's expedition in one of the French ships, but returned to the Netherlands in 1672. Two years later he served as a surgeon in the fleet commanded by Admiral Cornelius van Tromp in the war with England. In 1678 he made a voyage to Smyrna in a ship owned by the Levant Company. He was municipal apothecary at Zwolle from 1680 until his death in 1721.[577]

His book on the American sea-rovers met with immediate success. It was eagerly read and a German translation was published at Nuremberg next year. It was reprinted in an expanded form by ten Hoorn in 1682. In 1681 a translation into Spanish, said to have been made by Doctor Alonso de Buena-Maison, a physician practising medicine in Amsterdam, was published at Cologne, and two other editions of this translation, each considerably larger than its predecessor, were published at the same place in the following year. The map, plates, and portraits in the original Dutch volume, one of the latter being of "Johan Morgan", said to have been drawn from life, were reproduced in the first Spanish edition. A comparison of this version with the Dutch publication of 1682 shows that on the whole the Dutch text is faithfully rendered, but the translator has occasionally interpolated comments to sooth ruffled national pride and has quoted an original report of the recapture of Old Providence by an officer of the Spanish engineer service.

Some time in 1684, two London booksellers, William Crooke and Thomas Malthus, simultaneously offered for sale English versions of the Spanish translation, which soon came to Morgan's attention in Jamaica. The title of the first of these publications was:

Bucaniers [of America]; Or, a true [Account] of the [Most remarkable Assaults] Committed of late years upon the Coasts of [The West Indies], By the Bucaniers of Jamaica and Tortuga, [Both English and French]. [Wherein are contained more especially], The Unparallel'd Exploits of Sir Henry Morgan, our En-[glish] Jamaican Hero, Who sack'd Puerto Velo, burnt Panama, &c. [Written] originally in Dutch by John Esquemeling one of the Bucaniers, who was present at those Tragedies; an[375]d thence translated into Spanish by Alonso de Bonne-Maison, Doctor of Physick, and Practitioner at Amsterdam. [Now faithfully rendred into English]. London: [Printed for William Crooke, at the Green Dragon, without Templebar, 1684.]

The maps and illustrations were roughly reproduced from the Dutch plates.

The title of the Spanish translation was: Piratas [de la America] y luz a la defensa de las costas de [Indias Occidentales] and it contained a translation of the preface in the Dutch original, and an eulogy in rhyme of the translator and author, which certainly did not err on the side of restraint.

"De Agamemnon canto la vida Homero  y Virgilio de Eneas lo piadoso  Camoes de Gama el curso presuroso  Gongora el brio de Colon velero   "Tu, O Alonso, mas docto y verdadero,  Descrives del America ingenioso  Lo que assalta el Pirato codiciosa:  Lo que defiend el Espanol guerrero.  Lo que hallaste en bosquexo perfecciona  tu calamo erudita y eleganto  lumbre de Apollo, encanto de Licona.  Dos prodigios descubre el mar de Atlante  uno en Autor, que artes eslabona:  otro en ti, porque yo tus glorias cante."

The preface referred to the troublesome activities of "the English of Jamaica, under the command of the intrepid and valiant John Morgan, who would have gained greater honour for his skilful management and daring, if his tyrannical cruelty to the conquered had not blotted out all the splendour of his glory."[578]

The preface and complimentary sonnet, with much of the interpolated text, were omitted by the anonymous English translator, whose work was otherwise accurate and virile.[376]

The volume published by Thomas Malthus purported to be a translation directly from the Dutch and had the following title:

"The [History of the Bucaniers]: Being an [Impartial Relation] of all the battles, sieges and other most [Eminent Assaults committed by the pirates of] Jamaica and Tortuga. [Both English, & other Nations]. More especially the Unparallel'd At[chievements of Sir H. M. Made English from the Dutch Copy: Written by Esquemeling, one of the Bucaniers.] London. Printed for Tho. Malthus at the Sun in the Poultry."

As he was not only described as a buccaneer and a pirate, and at one time an indentured servant, but accused of extremely cruel, dishonest, and vicious conduct, Morgan felt that he could not afford to allow these publications to circulate unchallenged. Actions for libel were begun by John Greene, Morgan's solicitor, in the Court of King's Bench at Westminster, against both Crooke and Malthus, suing in each case for ten thousand pounds damages. The information laid against Malthus stated:

"That the Morgan family had always held due and natural allegiance to the King, were both by sea and land of good fame, and against all evil deeds, piracies, &c., had the greatest abhorrence and disgust, and that in the West Indies there are such thieves and pirates called bucaniers, who subsist by piracy, depredation, and evil deeds of all kinds without lawful authority, that of these people Henry Morgan always had and still has hatred, but notwithstanding this, Thomas Malthus, not unacquainted with these facts, has cunningly contrived to injure Henry Morgan's good name and fame, by printing, spreading, and publishing a certain false, malicious, and famous libel entitled A History of the Bucaniers."[579]

The information against Crooke was nearly identical.

Both suits were set down for trial at the Easter term in 1685, but were settled by consent. The result of the action against Crooke was thus reported in the London Gazette of the 8th June, 1685.


"Westminster, June 1. There hath been lately Printed and Published two Books, one by Will. Crook the other by Tho. Malthus, both entitled The History of the Bucaniers; both which Books contained many False, Scandalous and Malicious Reflections on the Life and Actions of Sir Henry Morgan of Jamaica, Kt. The said Sir Henry Morgan hath by Judgment had in the King's-Bench-Court, recovered against Libel £200 Damages. And on the humble Request and Solicitation of William Crook, hath been pleased to withdraw his Action against the said Crook, and accept of his Submission and Acknowledgement in Print."[580]

In the suit against Malthus judgment was likewise entered for two hundred pounds damages and twenty shillings costs. Both publishers printed their apologies in the form of prefaces to new editions of their books and altered their titles. Crooke's statement was very full and explicit.

"The History of the Bucaniers of America, having been written in the Dutch Language by John Esquemeling and afterwards translated into Spanish by Alonso de Bonne-Maison, Doctor of Physick, was lately done into English, and thereupon immediately printed, as appearing then unto me to be only a general history of Actions performed by several Persons, in several times and likewise in several Places. Now so it is that amongst divers other Actions rehearsed are also contained the unparallel'd Exploits of that Valiant and Heroick Gentleman, Sir Henry Morgan, upon which no reflection was then made. But since the publication of the said History, (which was done by me in a trading way and with no other design), I have been credibly informed by certain gentlemen, who belong to the acquaintance of Sir Henry, that several things are therein delivered, the which are both falsely reported by John Esquemeling, and wrongly represented; and consequently are much redounding to the Disreputation and Dishonour of that worthy Person, Sir Henry Morgan. For the Wounds of whose Reputation by that Author, I have been, ever since my better information, both heartily sorrowful and concerned in the sincerity of my mind; and in testimony thereof, have thought convenient by these lines, humbly to solicit and desire the pardon of that noble and generous Spirit for as much as b[378]y me hath been contributed thereunto by printing the English Translation.

"The Sincerity of the whole case was this: That the truth of the particulars contained in the History of John Esquemeling were not at the publishing thereof, neither could they possibly by me be known, as being totally unacquainted with those Affairs, or with the Person or Merits of Sir Henry Morgan. Yea, tho' I made divers Enquiries thereunto, I could not be so happy as to learn whether that worthy Person were as yet among the living or not, as I conceive I may be able to convince him, both by sufficient and indubitable witnesses. Hereupon the Book was by me taken as a general History, which has already been seen in several Languages abroad, and, for as much as a great part contained the Heroic Actions of our English Nation, it was accordingly printed by a strict Translation from the Spanish. But whatever points in the said History, either do misrepresent the Heroic Actions of that worthy Gentleman, or do in any way reflect upon his Honour, I do hereby declare, and sincerely in the presence of God Almighty, protest that I never had in mind the least intention or design, either of reflecting upon, or aspersing of him, or any Person whatsoever in that History. And as aforesaid, I am both heartily sorry and not a little perplex'd that Sir Henry Morgan should receive any, the least offence at that, which was not in the least by me intended in the said English Translation.

"The Integrity of my intention and the whole truth of my Proceedings being thus declared; Yet notwithstanding for the greater satisfaction of the Publick and to evince more clearly the Sincerity thereof, I do hereby again and again, humbly beg the Pardon of Sir Henry, if anything I have done, by publishing that Book, hath given any just occasion of offence to Him, or been the least cause of diminishing the Splendour and Worth of his Deserts. Yea, to be a little more free in this Acknowledgement, I do hereby own my unadvisedness in giving belief to a Spanish Translation (but at that time there was no Licence appointed for the review of Books) in a matter that so nearly concerned that Nation; and wherein Justice could not be done unto Sir Henry in the Relation without reflecting on the Courage or Conduct of the Spaniards in those Parts; For which unadvisedness, I do once more pray his Pardon; and shall confess it an act of high Generosity and Goodness in him to accept of this my Acknowled[379]gement instead of putting me into the trouble of a verdict at Common Law; altho' nothing was ever more remote from my thoughts, as the designing or intending him, the said Sir Henry Morgan, the least Prejudice or Scandal.

"From hence to do all the Justice and Equity I possibly can unto the merits of Sir Henry, according to what I have heretofore so spontaneously promised in the Preface unto the second Volume of the History of the Bucaniers, I shall now proceed to correct such Passages of the History, as according to the notice I have received of Faults. The which Passages for the better Credit thereof, I do acknowledge to have obtained from some worthy Persons, his Friends, who were Witnesses, as I have learned, unto the whole Transactions there related, and from whom I got this information, and how to correct them as follows.

"Page 32. Here the Author, John Esquemeling, hath mistaken the Origin of Sir Henry Morgan, for he was a Gentleman's Son of good Quality in the County of Monmouth, and was never a Servant unto anybody in his life, unless unto his Majesty, the late King of England. Neither did he ever sail but by Commission from the Governor of those Parts.

"The cruelties and barbarous Usages of the Spaniards when at his Mercy or his Prisoners, do manifestly reflect on the Reputation of Sir Henry Morgan, and were wholly an error in the Original Author of this History. As for instance in Pages 44, 49, 61, 64, 65, 25, 50, 51, &c., the Cruelties there stated after the taking of Puerto Principe and the blowing up of the Castle of Puerto Velo are not true. For the Castle was left standing, and quarter given to all that yielded, and moreover, Sir Henry Morgan, having power by his Commission both of Life and Limb, over all his Fleet and Army, it is not credible that he would suffer either any such Cruelties or Debaucheries to be done, neither (as I am told) was there any such Cruelty Committed as the Wrecking of a Fool, or the Torturing of a Rich Portuguesen, or the causing a Negro to kill several Prisoners, thereby to create an hatred of the Spaniards against him and to prevent his returning to them, Or, the hanging up any Persons by the Testicles. No more truth was there in that story that many Religious were pistolled; for, no such Persons were killed unless they were found in Arms.


"On Page 34, the Author hath also mistaken Admiral Morgan's sailing from Puerto Velo. For, instead of going to Cuba, as there related, the Fleet sailed directly to Jamaica. In the succeeding Page likewise, the Ship, there said to come from New England, was the Oxford Frigate, and the French Ship there mentioned was a French Frigate, who had lately plundered a Vessel from New England, and upon the Complaint made unto the Governour of Jamaica. There was likewise no advice given to Admiral Morgan about the Fireship mentioned on Page 70; but rather it was entirely his own contrivance. Also the style of the Letter of the Spanish Admiral unto him is wrong; for he styled him Captain Morgan, Head of the English Fleet, and not Commander of the Pirates. In like manner timely orders were given by Sir Henry Morgan for taking the Galleon mention'd in Page 89, but were neglected by such as received the Orders.

"The Expedition performed by Admiral Morgan against Panama was not undertaken without Commission from the then Governour of Jamaica, and it was upon account of new Acts of Hostility, and fresh Abuses that had been committed by the Spaniards upon the King of England's Subjects of Jamaica, as by the Council minute may sufficiently appear to any that desire full satisfaction herein; and also by the said Commission, which they may see herein inserted."

Malthus altered the title of the new edition of the book published by him to make it seem less offensive in the following manner:

"The [History of the] Bucaniers: [Being an] Impartial Relation [of all the Battels, Sieges and other most] Eminent Assaults committed for several years [upon the Coasts of the] West-Indies [by the Pirates of Jamaica and Tortuga]. Both English and other Nations. [More especially the Unparallel'd At]chievements of Sir Henry Morgan. [Made English from the Dutch Copy: Written by] J. Esquemeling, one of the Bucaniers, very much Cor[rected from the Errours of the Original, by the Rela]tions of some English Gentlemen, that then resided in those Parts.

"Den Engelseman is een Duyvil voor een Mensch."

London: [Printed for Tho. Malthus at the Sun in the Poultry].


His apology was even more prolix and fulsome than that of his fellow-publisher.

"The Publisher to the Reader.

"Copies, with what Art and Delicacy soever they may be taken, never attain to the Worth and Accuracy of the Original, unless the Original itself had been drawn by an unskilfull or parcial hand, and then its failings and imperfections may be rectified by the Copyer, but to Copy from a sophisticated Copy of a Sorry Original is the Devil, and this has happened in the late Translation of the History of the Bucaniers, which being written originally in the Dutch with a Frenchman's name, for the author cannot be thought to be otherwise than counterband Ware. For the French were never found to be over-ready to learn other Languages, and especially for one to express himself in so harsh an one as Dutch rather than in his Mother Tongue is a Miracle. Therefore the Dutch Relation itself may reasonably be supposed to have been jobbled up between a Frenchman and a Hollander, the first furnishing the matter and the latter the Disposition and Ornaments, now who can otherwise think but those two would glory over and extol their own Nations as much as possibly they could; we never having found either Nation so over-conscientious but that their Historians were always ready to put the Integrity and Impartiality due and requisite to the Title upon the stretch, rather than their own Countrymen should suffer by a faithful and plain Representation. Now a Piece delineated by such suspicious hands to be afterwards drawn by a Spaniard, who is no less jealous of and zealous for the Honour of his Nation, must infallibly have its truth and probity a little tainted. Thus we must of necessity conclude that a man must have abandoned his Reason, who gives entire Credit to such a spurious Relation, and to have delivered up his Sense and Experience as a prey to Credulity and Imposture. This the Publisher of the following Sheets was sensible of, and therefore though he knew both the Dutch Original and the Spanish Translation contained most excellent Remarks in point of Natural History, with several observations never before extant upon that Province, he thought not fit to prosecute the Design of having them rendered into the English Tongue, before that he had them stand the Test of such as had resided many years in those Parts, and as it were had been present and Eye-witnesses of those Pyratical Expeditions, and so were fully acquaint[382]ed with the Interests and Affairs of the Bucaniers; those Gentlemen were pleased to correct, purge, and reform it of many Abuses and Mistakes wherewith this Account was sullied by self-interested Pens; so as, Reader, you have here the History of the Bucaniers exposed open before you and in a condition to undergo the most Impartial View and Scrutiny. Yes, you have it here prun'd of all those Tautologies wherewith the other Accounts are loaded, which is indeed, as the Hollander says, Veel spreken en nit siggen. But the merit of these Sheets does not merely consist in Abbreviation and Conciseness, but the Reader will quickly find how much more it is to be valued than a slavish, a superstitious draft of so erroneious a Translation as that of the Spanish, which has endeavoured to pourtraict the Spaniards more mild and favourable, and the Bucaniers more cruel and barbarous than they really were. And here I cannot forbear in putting the Reader in mind of God's just judgment upon the Spaniards for their inhuman usage of the poor and miserable native Indians, and look upon our Countrymen, how horrid soever some of their Actions may have been, as Instruments of the Divine Vengeance for the punishing those enormous Crimes and unparallel'd Barbarities committed by that Nation upon a naked, defenceless sort of People, and whose only Crime in their Eyes was their Riches, and so Destruction was pull'd upon them by the goodness and plenty of their Possessions, and I must add that how home and real soever may be the Accusations of our Bucaniers' Inhumanity and Barbarism, yet that they are but meer Infants, meer Novices in Cruelty in comparison with the Spaniards; witness all the Relations of the American Conquests, which even all the Artifice of Priestcraft and the plausible Pretence of Religion has not been able to varnish over.

"Having thus cleared the Account of all the filth and ordure, wherewith this Account was poisoned and infected, I do not question but that I may safely assert this Piece to be as agreeable to and necessary for an English Reader as any this Age has produced, it thoroughly acquainting us with the Lives, Laws, and Manners of the Bucaniers, they being for the most part our Countrymen, or at least the Bravest of them, who have distinguished themselves in several occasions with that incredible Bravery and Gallantry, that their Great, Bold, and Generous Exploits in point of Military Conduct and Valour[383], are in no wise to be match'd by any Circumstances of the Expeditions of the most famous Conquerors of the Universe—and so far as they exceed the pitiful, sottish Courage of a Town Fop for a Mistress, or of our common English Highwaymen that their most sparkling, most illustrious Actions seem guilty of Pusillanimity in comparison of those of our Bucaniers; for they have not to do with an Effeminate, Dastardly, Degenerate sort of People, but with such as were spirited by their Religion and fought pro Diis et Focis, and were Headed by brave Leaders, being commonly those, who, having perform'd extraordinary Atchievements in the Spanish Dominions in Europe and Africa, have afterwards employments conferred upon them in the West Indies as a Reward for their Services. But though the Spaniards have a sufficient stock of real Bravery yet they seldom miss showing it greater in their Words than in their Actions. Thus in the Translation into that Tongue, you find many flourishes that ought to have been left out, but which indeed are as easie to be known as a Child is by his Father, or as they themselves say,

"Cada uno es hijo de suas obras.

"And indeed we may say that both the Dutch Author and Spanish Translator were both of a Head in that respect, and as the Spaniard says,

"Oncias bobas, por de va una van todas."

"To the Honourable Sir Henry Morgan "These few lines are Humbly Dedicated.
"That man's his Maker's Image, it is said, But what's his Maker's form, I never read, If there be any likeness, 'tis the mind, Which still aspires, and seems to be confin'd Godlike Ambition. Does this only Prove And shows the kindred Mankind has to Jove, Desire of Rule taught man the Art of War, 'Twas this that caused the Blest above to Jar; This made the Heroe. . . . This Godlike fury the Ambitious Hurl'd And led the daring Man t' o'errun the World; So sure 'tis plain, that those who thus aspire, Have in their Souls the most Coelestial fire How much of Jove must then the English have Who're always known to be so stout and brave? Handfuls of men have scour'd a Nation through, Witness their Gallick Wars & Flemish too, And taught the vanquisht war by their own overthrow, But 'twould be mean to mention more, since Fame Sufficiently Records the English name. Say but they're English Redcoats, fire a gun, One makes their foes to humble, th'other run, Let the great Morgan, our fam'd Bucanier, In his late Enterprise make this appear, Who with a handfull of brave Englishmen, Frighted the whole America of Spain And when he was upon the Indian Shore, Had he from England's King derived his power, Charles had been crowned the Indies' Emperour. Tho' the Poles brag of their last year's campaign, And the French King boast of what he's done to Spain, Great Morgan's fame shall last as long as there Is beat of Drum or any sound of War."

Bartholemew Sharp had returned to England in 1682, accompanied by several of the men who had taken part with him in the daring raid from the Gulf of Darien upon the Spanish provinces on the Pacific coast, and had succeeded in evading prosecution. Basil Ringrose, one of his companions in this expedition, wrote an account of their adventures, which appeared in print about two years later, combined with a narrative of the capture of the city of Vera Cruz by the French and the official reports of Morgan's last cruise, which had been withheld from publication for thirteen years, in a single volume entitled:

"The Voyages and Adventures of Capt. Barth. Sharp and others in the South Seas: being a Journal of the same, also Capt. Van Horn with his Bucanieres surprising of Vera Cruz.

"To which is added The True Relation of Sir Henry Morgan his expedition against the Spaniards in the West Indies and his taking Panama, Together with the President of Panama's Account of the same expedition: Translated out of the Spanish.

"And Col. Beeston's adjustment of the Peace between the Spaniards and English in the West Indies.


"Published by P. A. Esq.

"London. Printed by B. W. for R. H. and S. T. and are to be sold by Walter Davis in Amen Corner MDCLXXXIV."

Crooke's and Malthus's translations of the History of the Bucaniers had already been published, and the editor took the opportunity of making a vigorous defence of Morgan against the defamatory statements contained in those books, in his preface, not improbably with his approval.

"The third Relation," he wrote, "is of Sir Henry Morgan, which according to method ought to have been placed first, but I had no intention of printing that till I had read over and considered the said History of the Buccanieres and then thought myself obliged no longer to conceal such an Authentick account of that expedition; to which I have adjoyned the President of Panama's Letter, which was intercepted going for Spain, and confirmed, (if need be), the Credit of the precedent Relation.

"As to the last Paper in which is mentioned the settling of the Peace in those parts, with a Description of the City of Carthagena; since it related somewhat to the foregoing Pieces, I thought it not improper with it to conclude these Miscellanies.

"But I confess I had yet another design in printing that one Expedition of Sir Henry Morgan, which was, That I might in some measure rescue the Honour of that incomparable souldier and seaman from the Hands of such as would load him with the blackest infamy. I could not therefore forbear making some few reflections on the aforementioned History of the Buccanieres, but more especially that part which concerns Sir Henry Morgan and the English. For it is against them the Author's malice seems to be aimed, endeavouring on all occasions to represent them the most Lewd, Perfidious, and Barbarous People in the World.

"And whereas the Translator, who I confess, seems to have performed his part well enough, in having rendered it from the Spanish Translation, does in his encomiums of the Author, compare him to the admirable Historian Comines, very much extol his Candour and fidelity, in recording the Actions and the Valour of the English, then at large he commends his Stile and Method, and highly applauds the Truth and Sincerity of his History[386].

"I would not trouble myself to show the inequality of the Parallel with the incomparable Comines: And as for his faithful recording their Actions and valour, I must allow him to have writ some of their heroick Exploits well enough, which of themselves were so eminent, that had he gone about to have lessened, it would have taken away all credit from his History: but he has most maliciously stigmatized them all the while as valiant Thieves and Murderers. So that there is no man that reads that does not conceive a horrour against the barbarous Actors of those Cruelties.

"Neither will I find fault with the Author's stile and method: but it is chiefly the boasted truth and sincerity of the History which I am concerned to expose, being therein able to detect numerous Falsities; and for vouchers of what I affirm, can produce a whole Cloud of Witnesses, many of which Romances are so palpable that the Author could not write them up by mistake, but has inserted them on purpose as embellishments to set off his story.

"To begin then with Sir Henry Morgan's Parentage; He makes him the son of a Yeoman, and that he sold himself for Barbadoes; whereas it is sufficiently known that he was descended from an honourable Family in Monmouthshire, and went at first out of England with the Army commanded by General Venables for Hispaniola and Jamaica.

"Then his cruel usage of the Spaniards at Puerto Velo, Maracaibo, Gibraltar, and Panama, murdering many in cold blood; Racking and torturing some to confess where their treasure lay till they dyed; starving others in Prison, Ravishing women, and the like barbarities; which this Dutch Comines affirms he saw him not only suffer his men daily to commit, but acted himself as their example. All those Cruelties, contrary to the nature and temper of an Englishman, I have heard absolutely contradicted by persons of infallible credit; and may be convinced of the foulness of the Scandal thrown on this excellent man, who are best acquainted with such as then lived in Jamaica, many of whom are now living in London. Nay, the English Merchants of Cadiz, who resided there at the time these Spaniards of Panama returned from the Indies, affirm that these very persons confessed that Sir Henry Morgan was so far from doing any such base Actions, that they highly applauded his Gener[387]osity and the Care he took that none of those severe things should be practised by his men, as are usual by a Conqueror, when he had his enemies at his mercy, after an obstinate resistance. This makes me think that our Dutch Author, having this business of Amboina in his Head, has endeavoured to copy out that, and lay it on the English, to render them as infamous to Posterity, for those supposed villainies in the West Indies, as some of his countrymen have become by real ones in the East.

"I am also assured by good Authority, that the Tale of Sir Henry Morgan, his ill usage of the Spanish lady at Panama, is altogether a Romance, for so careful was he, that as soon as he had taken the Town, and quenched the fire, he caused most of the women of the City to be brought to one place, where he set a strict guard over them, to prevent the Souldiers or any others abusing them, and gave out his Orders prohibiting all men the offering them the least violence or injury on pain of a severe punishment. And under what loose government his men are represented to have lived; I affirm that few Generals have kept their Armies with more strict Discipline than he. Nor can I think it possible for him to have done all those great Actions with men of so base and dissolute tempers, as our Dutch Historian paints them to be: But piens el ladron que todos son de su condicion.

"And for confirmation of what I have now asserted; at his return from Panama, when he brought his Prisoners to la Cruz, in his way to Chagre Castle, to induce them to pay their Ransoms; the women, especially such as seemed to be of any quality, and could ride, were set on Horses, Mules, or Asses, and had Men appointed to attend them with all respect. And our Dutch Mandevil says that such as were not able to redeem themselves were transported, which is of equal credit with the rest of his villainous Tales. For I am assured that no person, Man, Woman, or Child, (the Slaves only excepted), were so much as ever carried on shipboard, but were acquitted and set at liberty when he embarked.

"Moreover, this celebrated Buccanier-Historian, relating those Acts of Hostility done in the Indies against the Spaniards, insinuates all along, That those were all Robberies and savage Butcheries, committed by Sir Henry Morgan and the rest of his Crew, who were a parcel of Thieves, Murtherers, and Pyrates; men who did all this for the sake of Plunder, Bloodshed, and Rapine, without any other colour or pretext whatsoever; filling the Wor[388]ld with horrour and amazement at the reading of his horrible stories: So that out of malice or at least, Ignorance, he omits to tell us, that though we had not formally a War proclaimed against the Spaniards there in the Indies, yet would not they listen to any proposals of Peace with us, beyond the Tropick, till about the year 1670, that it had been concluded in Madrid by Sir William Godolphin, his majesties Ambassador there, and the Articles sent over from hence by Sir Thomas Lynch to Jamaica, before which time there daily happened great Acts of Hostility and Depredations on either side, done as well by the Spaniards against us, as by the English against them; and no doubt Revenge spurred on many that had been sufferers to the committing some severe things, and to the heightening the Rage on both sides. For the Spaniards all this time were not idle, they took our merchants' ships; Plundered and Spoiled our Plantations, particularly in Jamaica; Used our Men with all severity and rigour that an enemy could do, throwing them overboard, exposing them in Boats, and on Rafts, without Provisions to the Mercy of the Sea, Turning them on uninhabited Islands; Leaving them on Countreys to be destroyed by the Indians; keeping them in Dungeons and making slaves of them. All such severities might well incense such as outlived those miseries, if they ever escaped, to put in practice all manner of Revenge.

"Now if I have rightly stated this point, then neither Sir Henry Morgan, nor any that fought under him can be said to be Pyrates nor Buccanieres; I mean, if he acted by Commission from Sir Thomas Modiford, or any Governor of Jamaica before him; as if I mistake not, I have heard he really did; which, if true, though done without the King's allowance or knowledge, I presume it justifies him, though not the Governor; so that any Fleet might in time of War as well be called Pyrates; and an Historian describing the miseries of a war between two Princes might term the men slain in Battle, to be murdered; and the calamities befalling a Town taken by storm, to be cruelties exercised by Thieves and Robbers, for the sake of Plunder, and satiating their thirst after Blood.

"I would not have any judge me so vain, to think myself able to vindicate these men from every ill Action, and imagine I could make them pass for Saints: but I still affirm, that those dismal Stories of murdering in cold Blood, Torturing, Ravishing, Starving, and other Barbarit[389]ies, are foisted in by the Author to lard his History with delightful variety, and to fix an odium on the English Nation in general, that they may be hated by others. And I further say that perchance never man behaved himself with more true valour and resolution of mind to accomplish what he had undertaken, showed more prudent and soldierly Conduct, nor took more care for preventing all irregularities amongst his men, by his own example than the renowned Sir Henry Morgan, who has been thus scandalously affronted by these scurrilous Prints. For I cannot call otherwise either the Dutch Author, or Spanish and English Translators, since there is no doubt but that if he had been the Pyrate, and ill man, he is by these pointed out to be; he would have been punished as such a one, instead of being honoured with a knighthood, as he was on his coming home to England; and since that made Deputy Governor of Jamaica, under the Right Honourable the Earl of Carlisle, and Lieutenant-General of the said island.

"There is one absurd story more, amongst many others, which I had like to have passed over without remark; that is, his firing the City of Panama just at his entering into it, as this French-Hollander affirms, which if he did was but ill Policy, to burn the Town he came so far to Plunder, ere he was well got within it. But this is owned by the President in his Letter to have been done by the Spaniards themselves, on purpose to disappoint the English of their Booty. By this ridiculous Falsity may the Credit of the rest of that History be conjectured.

"Many errours could I point out in that which is his natural History of the Indies, as for instance his Story of seeing the Caymanos or Cocodrills suffer their young ones to play and run into their bellies for which Fancy, he might have been, I suppose, obliged to Pliny or Aelian, for I dare say no man that has lived in the Indies will vouch for him. But these being beside my business, I pass by; and have only this more to say, That I forbear to print any more at present than that one expedition of Sir Henry Morgan, thinking that sufficient to convince of the Falsities of that scandalous History of the Buccanieres.

"That Acts of Hostility have been committed since the Peace made in the year 1670, betwixt the Spaniards and the Privateers of several nations, have been many and considerable, amongst which we have had no small loss fallen on our merchantmen, trading there in the West Indies,[390] causing a great destruction to our Trade, the number of our ships taken since, as I am informed, is no less than one Hundred and Twenty, a List of at least one-half of which, I am able to have here inserted, which thing I fear increases the number of Privateers in those Seas."

Sir Thomas Modyford's commission and instructions issued to Morgan and Morgan's report of the expedition against Panama were then printed in this book for the first time as a justification for his conduct.

From a document preserved among the "Hatton Papers", it appears that William Crooke became the publisher of a second edition of this volume.

"I beg yr pardon," Charles Hatton wrote to Lord Hatton in May, 1687, "and shall now give you ye account I have received about Ringrose, his relation of Sharp's voyage into the South Seas, wch is called ye 2nd part of ye History of ye Buccaneers. About ye year 1680 there came out a history of ye Buccaneers, printed in Flanders in Spanish, pretended to be a translation from Dutch writ by one Esquemeling, a Dutch buccaneer, wch Crooke a bookseller got translated into English and printed, in wch Sir Henry Morgan was represented as a very barbarous Pyrate. Sir Harry brought his action agst Crooke, proved all he did was by virtue of a commission of ye Governor of Jamaica and ye King's authority, and recovered 300 or 400£ damage from Crooke, about ye same I am sure since Crooke himself told me. After wch His History of the Buccaneers was looked upon as fabulous and sold for no more than wast[e] paper. But Sir Harry Morgan being returned to Jamaica and Sharp and his comrades their voyage into the South Sea making a great noise and Sharp's journal being printed and selling very well, Crooke agrees with Ringrose, who had been a buccaneer with Sharp, for a relation he had of ye exploits done in ye South Sea by Sharp and other Pyrates, and to make some recompense to Sir Henry Morgan, he was mentioned very honourably, and Ringrose, his book stiled ye 2nd part of ye History of ye Buccaneers, and is generally sold with ye first, they being both printed in 4to.


"The first part of ye History of ye Buccaneers was put forth in French with some variations and additions, pretended to have been written by one Oexmelin."

The publication of Ringrose's book and the verdicts in his favour in his suits for libel satisfied Morgan that he had set himself right in the eyes of the world. If he actually crossed the Atlantic at that time to appear as a witness, as is implied in Charles Hatton's letter, which lacks corroboration, he returned to Jamaica within a year.

Few books of its kind have achieved as great and continuous popularity as The History of the Bucaniers. The first editions in Dutch, Spanish, and English are now extremely rare. Only a few copies are known to be in existence. Crooke's edition of 1684 was reprinted in London in 1695 and again in 1699. What was described as a new translation, was published there by Thomas Newborough in 1699. A second and third edition of this, considerably revised, were issued by the same publisher in 1704. Another book bearing the same title, greatly enlarged and said to be a different version, but called the fourth edition, was published in London by Midwinter in 1741. An abridgment of this book appeared in 1751. A fifth edition had been published in Dublin in 1741. Another abridgment was published in Glasgow in 1762, "for the Improvement and Entertainment of the British Youth of both Sexes." This was reprinted in the same city in 1773. A fifth edition of Midwinter's publication was published in London in 1771, and another in 1774. "After this date," Sabin stated, "the book assumed so many different titles and sizes, that it is difficult to enumerate the whole of them."[581]

It was reprinted in a fairly complete form in London in 1800 and 1810; in Dublin, in 1821; in New York in 1826, 1836, and 1840; in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1853 and 1856. It was abridged and paraphrased by Howard Pyle under the title of The Buccaneers and Marooners of America, and published in New York in 1891. It was republished in London in 1893 and again in 1924.


In all the later reprints the language has been modernized and the apologetic prefaces of Crooke and Malthus were omitted. The fictions and errors of the original have been retained.

It was largely used as a source of material by Charles Leslie in his New History of Jamaica (1740); by Captain James Burney in The Buccaneers of America (1816), who also consulted the Spanish version; and by George Walter Thornbury in The Buccaneers or Monarchs of the Main (1855 and 1857). Its obvious sensationalism and untrustworthiness did not escape the notice of the two last named writers.

Nicolaas ten Hoorn published a much altered reprint in Dutch at Amsterdam in 1700, containing new plates and a translation from the English of the voyages of Sharp and other English seamen.

A translation into French by M. de Frontignières was published at Paris in 1686, giving the name of the author as Alexandre Olivier Oexmelin. This was republished with additions in 1688 and 1691. It was reprinted at Trevoux in 1744 and at Lyons in 1774. Perhaps the most noteworthy evidence of the considerable popularity it obtained in France was the inclusion of a biographical notice of its reputed author, "Alexandre Olivier Oexmelin, voyageur et historien", in Michaud's Biographie Universelle.

It has served as a foundation for many dramas, novels, imaginary travels, and books for the young in several European languages. Poets and essayists have resorted freely to its pages for inspiration, and its most striking passages have been frequently plagiarized.




The expulsion of the English logwood-cutters from Campeachy and Honduras, and the activity of the Spanish ships of war and guarda costas in repressing the contraband trade had been followed by a marked revival of piracy, particularly in the Pacific. English armed ships, nominally privateers, but without commissions of any kind, retaliated with considerable success not only upon Spanish commerce, but made attacks upon their towns and plantations near the coast. These depredations soon came to the attention of Deputy Governor Molesworth, who reported them with evident alarm to the Secretary of State.

"By letter from Panama," he wrote, "I understand that eight or nine hundred piratical English have possessed themselves of an Island called Perico, a league and a half from Panama, where they have fortified themselves and maintained it against all the force the Spaniards could make against it. At Panama the Spaniards were well provided for defence, and preparing to join with the supplies ordered from the galleons at Carthagena. Manta, near Lima, has been plundered by pirates and much damage done. It is supposed that these ships are English, whereof Swan and Eaton are two; but we cannot hear whether they are in correspondence with those at Perico. Fifteen hundred men have been sent by land from Carthagena to Lima, and twelve hundred to Panama, to make an end of these pirates, and more than twenty vessels from Lima to follow up their ships. The men at Perico are for the most part those who have long haunted those seas, and finding themselves discouraged at their old trade, have joined together and have been conducted by the Darien Indians through the country till they got an opportunity to seize the island. The design has been afoot a year, when the pirates began to make rendezvous at Golden Island, the Darien Indians being ever enemies to the Spaniard. The English are said to h[394]ave made great booty by sending out parties from time to time. The Spaniards are much alarmed, and the galleons will be retarded, to the great disappointment of affairs in Spain. If these pirates are not at once overthrown, before they grow any stronger, the Spaniards will be compelled to come to terms with them or to suffer great loss, for the pirates command some passes by which great part of the plate is sent to Porto Bello. Not only Spain but all Europe will be injured, and many men will be drawn away from this Island despite all our efforts."[582]

One leader of these pirates was in fact that Captain Charles Swan, commander of the little sloop Endeavour in Morgan's expedition against Panama, who was consequently well acquainted with its vicinity. When he decided to return to England in March, 1682, Morgan had given him an official letter for personal delivery to the Secretary of State. After he had been in London for a few months, he had persuaded some enterprising merchants to form a company for trading in the South Sea, who subscribed sufficient capital for fitting out a suitable ship and the purchase of goods for her cargo. The Cygnet, a ship of between two and three hundred tons, was equipped and loaded with an assortment of merchandise believed to be most readily saleable in the Spanish colonies on the Pacific coast. As this traffic must necessarily be conducted in defiance of the local officials and officers of the customs, this ship was armed and manned as a privateer. It is asserted that James, Duke of York, Lord High Admiral of England, the King's brother and heir apparent to the throne, had given his approval and patronage to this undertaking. The command was appropriately enough given to Swan, whose experience as a master mariner and knowledge of the Spanish language and acquaintance with the country seemed eminent qualifications. Two supercargoes were appointed, one of them being William Dampier, who had extensive experience as a logwood-cutter, trader, and privateer in the West Indies. Many years later he wrote an entertaining and probably a truthful account of this and his other voyages.[395]

In October, 1684, having passed through the Straits of Magellan and arrived near the coast of Peru, the Cygnet met a small squadron of English pirates, who called themselves privateers, although they had no commissions.

"There was much joy on all sides", Dampier naïvely wrote. Davis, who commanded this squadron, found little difficulty in persuading his old comrade, Swan, that his ship was too heavily laden to sail well in company with the others.

"Therefore [Swan] by the consent of the supercargoes, got up all his goods on Deck and sold to any that would buy upon trust: Silks, Muslins, Stockings, &c., and everything except the Iron."

When this was done all the ships sailed northward in company. Their first attack upon Guayaquil was repulsed. Later raids had better fortune, and the squadron finally anchored in the Bay of Panama where it awaited the treasure-ships annually expected from Lima.[583]

Soon after Swan repented and seems to have planned breaking away from his companions in evil, for he sent a message over the isthmus to that effect to his employers, which eventually found a resting place among the records of the Colonial office.

"My voyage is at an end", he wrote. "In the Straits of Magellan I had nine men run from me in one night, after they saw that they could not prevail with me to play the rogue. But God's justice overtook them, for after weathering Cape Victory we met with an extreme storm of long continuance, which drove me down to lat. 55° 30´ S., and in which the ship to which they deserted was lost. When I came to Valdivia where I had two men killed under a flag of truce, after three days' parley and all oaths human and divine. An ambuscade of between two and three hundred men came out and fired upon a poor eight of us in the yawl. But God punished them likewise, we killing three of their captains and some others. It is too long to give you an account of all my troubles, which were chiefly owing to the fact that the ship was meant to be run away with. In Nicoia the rest of my[396] men left me, so that, having no one to sail the ship, I was forced to join them. So that now I am in hostility with the Spaniards and have taken and burnt some towns, and have forced the President of Panama to send me two men he had taken from us. The same day 270 new men came to me, and we are going to take in 200 more that they left behind. Assure my employers that I will do all I can to preserve their interest, and that what I do now I could in no wise prevent. So desire them to do what they can with the King for me, for as soon as I can I shall deliver myself to the King's justice, and I had rather die than live skulking like a vagabond for fear of death. The King might make the whole of this kingdom of Peru tributary to him in two years' time. We now await the Spanish fleet that brings the money to Panama. We were resolved to fight them before we had reached this strength, and had lain in wait for them six months, but now we hear they are at sea, and expect them every day. If we have success against them we shall make a desperate alarm all Europe over. I have some money, which I wish were with you for my wife. I shall, with God's help, do things which (were it with my Prince's leave) would make her a lady; but now I cannot tell but it may bring me to a halter. But if it doth my comfort is that I shall die for that I cannot help. Pray present my faithful love to my dear wife, and assure her she is never out of my mind."[584]

In the Bay of Panama these daring pirates held sway for several weeks, keeping the port closely blockaded all the time.

"The small island of Perico," Molesworth reported, "which the piratical English have taken, is well fortified by nature, wherein they have made a strong palisaded fort. Having taken at different times vast quantities of flour, they have doubled their palisades and filled them up between with sacks of flour, which by rain and other means is so hardened that it will resist any shot that can be brought against it. So provident were they of their own security that they neglected to take a very considerable prize to seize twelve ship's guns, which they have mounted on the island. It is now stated that all the English in the South Seas are collected in one body, that t[397]hey are indifferently strong at sea, that the President of Panama sent out five ships against them which were beaten back with the loss of the commanding officer, and that the President agreed upon a truce, and during the truce sent a fireship among them without success. They are said to intend to intercept the Lima fleet, and to be strong enough to do so. I heard yesterday of six privateer ships that had been burnt in the Bay of Darien, from which seven hundred men joined the rest, most of them French: also that the French privateers had landed two hundred and eighty more men, so that the whole party must now be two thousand strong, the majority and governing part being English. Capt. Michel, a French privateer, was recently beaten off by the Spaniards from Darien, with the loss of his prizes. The French continue to issue Commissions against the Spaniards, on pretence of damage done them by piraguas sent out from Havana before the making of the recent truce."[585]

Disappointed in their plan for taking the treasure-ships, which were kept in port to preserve them from an attack, the pirates sailed northward and landed five hundred men, who marched inland and took the city of Leon, a place so fair and delightful that, "from the pleasure of this City is all that province of Nicaragua called by the Spaniards Mahomet's Paradise, the Paradise of America." Failing to exact from its inhabitants the heavy ransom they demanded, most of the houses were ransacked and burned. Rio Lejo was next taken, where they found great stores of flour, beef, sugar, besides cordage, pitch, and tar, of which they were in much need. The ships then separated, cruising in pairs, or singly off the coasts of Mexico and California for the best part of a year until March, 1686, when the Cygnet steered for the Phillipine islands. There Swan met his death by an accident or in a brawl at Mindinao. The remnant of the crew, having Dampier as their navigator, sailed "on from island unto island at the gateways of the day", until they came to Madagascar, where the ship, being then crank and rotten, was scuttled and sunk in St. Augustin's [398]Bay.[586]

Meanwhile, Vera Cruz was again surprised and sacked by another band of pirates, led by John Russell, formerly a logwood-cutter, who had been made a prisoner at Trist and long held in servitude in the city of Mexico, where he learned the Spanish language. He escaped, to become a noted pirate and led many of his old comrades in this adventure.[587]

The sentence of death passed on several persons convicted of complicity in the Rye-House plot had been commuted to ten years' banishment in the West Indies, and they were sent to Jamaica. At the same time the Assembly was commanded to pass an act "to prevent all clandestine releasements, or buying out of their time, to the end that their punishment, after so great a mitigation, may yet in some measure be answerable to their crime." This was promptly done.

Ten years before Lord Vaughan had been instructed to permit Spanish ships to come to Jamaica to obtain cargoes of negro slaves. Seven years later the legality of this traffic was questioned, and a Spanish ship had been seized for violating the Navigation Act. Governor Lynch, who was believed to be interested in that trade, refused to sanction the seizure, and the ship was released by his order. The persons responsible for the proceedings appealed and the case was referred to the Commissioners of Customs in England, who reported in favour of continuing the instructions issued in 1677. Orders to that effect were received by Molesworth, who had lately been the chief factor of the Royal African Company and naturally favoured a policy to its advantage. The Dutch West India Company, having a contract with the Spanish government for supplying slaves to its colonial possessions, sent several ships to Port Royal to obtain negroes, who were embarked and sailed under convoy for their destination. The Jamaican planters, whose interests were involved, had opposed this traffic, and indeed encourage[399]d the interlopers, who competed with the monopoly of the company. Their opposition had grown in strength. They feared that the best slaves would be sold to the Spaniards and that the local cost of black labour would be much raised by an increased demand. The political party which had opposed Lynch, of which Morgan had become the recognized leader, took advantage of this feeling to thwart the governor in carrying out his instructions. He was criticized because, like some of his predecessors, he had received high fees for favouring this trade and giving the protection of ships of the royal navy to the foreign ships engaged in it. Molesworth complained bitterly to the Auditor-General that Captain William Phipps, commanding H.M.S. Rose, "being egged on by ill-wishers to the trade", had insulted the Spaniards in Port Royal and was driving them away. To the Earl of Sunderland he wrote in high indignation that "the premios, with which the Spaniards have rewarded my services, are envied by my opposers, who magnify the same above all measure, and would make that appear criminal which is really meritorious."[588]

The death of King Charles II on the 6th of February, 1685, was not made known to the Council of Jamaica until April 13. The Assembly was automatically dissolved in consequence, and the election of another could not take place until instructions were received from England. A change of Ministers and a considerable alteration of policy was generally expected.

A few months later Sir Philip Howard was appointed governor. Special instructions were issued to him respecting the suspended members of the Council, whose appeal had been renewed. Their application for an inquiry was successful.

"And, forasmuch as the late Governor, Sir Thomas Lynch, with the advice of the Council, suspended Sir Henry Morgan and Colonel Byndloss from attending the Council and removed them from all other offices and commands, and also displaced Charles Morgan from being Captain of the chief fort, for their misbehaviour in the government, and upon their application to his late Majesty, our[400] most dearly beloved brother, there did not then appear any cause to alter anything the Governor and Council had done therein, and Colonel William Ivy standing likewise suspended by our present Lieutenant-Governor from our Council there, you are not to restore any of them to their trust and employments until a further examination of those proceedings, and a report thereof to us, which you are to make with all speed; you shall receive our pleasure therein."[589]

But death intervened to prevent Howard from embarking, and Molesworth remained in office for another year. Writs were issued in the spring of 1686 for the election of an Assembly on June 2. The contest was very warm owing to the vigorous opposition against the governor's policy in favouring the sale of slaves to the Spaniards. Molesworth strongly resented Morgan's active support of Roger Elletson, and a definite programme of measures advocated by him. While the result was still undecided he denounced Morgan's conduct in an angry letter to the Secretary of State.

"I cannot omit to tell you that Sir Henry Morgan has laboured much (contrary to custom here) to get Mr. Elletson, the suspended lawyer, chosen in a remote part of the Island, where there are but few electors, for the next Assembly, presumably in order to disturb the Assembly's proceedings. They are both great enemies of the Spanish trade, and they are for raising the value of pieces-of-eight to keep money in the country, and for advancing the price of sugar; in all which they mistake the true interest of the Island, and would cheat others on the false surmise of advancing themselves."[590]

Morgan's efforts were particularly successful in the new parishes on the north side, where the cultivation of cane was being rapidly extended and the need of slave labour was most required. Roger Elletson and Morgan's brother-in-law, Henry Archbold, were elected in the parish of St. George. His friends, Thomas Ballard and Andrew Langley were successful in St. Mary, and William Bragg was chosen in St. Ann. His former secretary, John Peeke, w[401]as elected in Clarendon. Elletson could command the support of a considerable majority of the members of the new Assembly. Through his influence acts were passed imposing an export duty on negroes and import duties on goods imported in foreign ships, with the object of discouraging trade in slaves with the Spaniards. Another act for raising the value of current Spanish coin was expected to have the effect of scaling down all debts due to outside creditors, of whom the Royal African Company was the principal. Molesworth refused to give the royal assent to any of these bills. He was accused of an attempt to dictate not only the general character of the legislation he wished the Assembly to enact but the actual form of the bills to be introduced for raising revenue. Violent altercations naturally followed.[591]

In the midst of these disputes the attention of the members, as well as the Lieutenant-Governor, was abruptly diverted and absorbed by an alarming revolt of slaves in the neighbouring parish of Clarendon, which required the employment of a considerable body of militia for its suppression, and caused the death of some white and many black men. The expense of quelling this insurrection was a heavy drain on the revenue, which seldom came up to the estimate.

Finally Molesworth made a pompous effort to recapture the good will of the Assembly and planters by a demonstration of loyalty and profuse hospitality, which excited much remark.

"At the Council's rising on the 13th October the Governor reminded them that the next day was the King's birthday, which was duly celebrated. The Governor reviewed the regiment, many of whom were in scarlet, which they had provided expressly for this day. The Governor entertained all the principal gentlemen and officers with a very sumptuous dinner; and in the evening the Governor's lady being waited upon by all the gentlemen of quality, gave them a very fine treat, and afterwards entertained them at a ball, composed of a suitable number of masqueraders, very curiously habited, and variety of music, all managed with that admirable order as gave great beauty and grace to it. They continued dancing ve[402]ry late, but the streets shone with bonfires to light them home."[592]

Morgan lived quietly and comfortably in semi-retirement for part of the year in his house at Port Royal, but mostly on his estate of Llanrumney with congenial neighbours whom he entertained lavishly, drinking deeply at times and, it would seem, still persistently seeking re-instatement in the Council through the influence of friends in England, of whom probably the most powerful was Christopher, second Duke of Albemarle, the son of "silent George Monck". His zeal and success in organizing the militia to oppose the recent insurrection headed by the Duke of Monmouth had gained the warm approval of King James, and he was nominated to succeed Sir Philip Howard as governor of Jamaica. He then submitted for the consideration of the Privy Council a series of suggestions on which royal instructions for his guidance might be founded. First of all he requested authority to investigate the reasons for the suspension of Morgan and Byndloss from the Council, and permission to reinstate them if he thought fit.[593]

A month later he made a motion at a meeting of the Lords of Trade that this proposal should be approved. His colleagues agreed that he should be instructed to inquire and report after his arrival in Jamaica.[594]

As he was not satisfied with this decision he brought the subject to the attention of the Privy Council a second time before leaving England, stating that of late there had not been a friendly feeling among some of the principal men in that island, requesting the Council to direct that all past differences should be laid aside, and urging that he should be empowered to reinstate as well as to suspend members of the Council of that colony. But the report already received from the Lords of Trade was approved, with the addition of a note that if the Duke of Albemarle considered there was sufficient reason he might send Morg[403]an and Byndloss to England, with depositions given in their behalf, to be heard in their own defence.[595]

A new proclamation for the reduction and suppression of the pirates and privateers, who were preying indiscriminately upon the commerce of all nations in the West Indies, although Spain was still the principal sufferer, was drafted and published. Albemarle was strictly instructed to enforce it with the utmost energy and severity.[596] Ships were specially fitted out to convey him to Jamaica, accompanied by his wife, a numerous staff of officers and a considerable number of servants in March, 1687, but he did not sail until late in the summer.[597]

His departure had in fact been delayed by the remarkable success of a venture in the West Indies financed by him. In 1683, Captain William Phipps had been sent out by the Admiralty in the Algier Rose, a small frigate of the Royal Navy, with instructions to search for the wreck of a Spanish galleon among the Bahamas and recover the treasure reported to be sunk in that ship. After arriving in the Caribbean he discovered a plot among his crew to seize his ship and become pirates. He then went to Port Royal, where he discharged the guilty seamen and engaged others, incidentally incurring the displeasure of Molesworth. Touching afterwards at Hispaniola, he was informed of the loss of another treasure-ship on a reef lying northward of Puerto Plata, now known as "Silver Bank", by an old Spanish seaman, who told him that the port had received its name because a boat loaded with "plata" from the sunken ship had landed there. Phipps searched for the exact locality of the wreck for a long time without finding it and, observing discontent among his crew, returned to England. He was convinced of the truth of the information he had obtained and hopeful of final success, but failed in his efforts to gain permission to renew his search. Finally, after much energetic persuasion the Duke of Albemarle and several assoc[404]iates were induced to equip the Bridgewater Merchant, a ship of 200 tons, and a small tender, in command of which Phipps sailed "for his old fishing ground, which had been so well baited half a century before". At Puerto Plata on the north coast of Hispaniola, he built a large canoe, and engaged expert Indian divers. With the tender and this canoe he went out to the reef known as "los calderos", or the "boilers", where the wreck was believed to lie. The tender was anchored in shoal water and the divers were sent in the canoe to make a close examination of the reef, which was covered with only two or three feet of water, but the sea was very deep just outside. A long search was made without success and the canoe was about to come away, when one of the Indians saw what he called a "sea-feather" growing on a rock at the side of a deep pool. He plunged in to get it and when he came up reported that he had seen several big guns lying below. He was sent down again and brought up a heavy ingot of silver called a "sow", weighing between two and three hundred pounds. With this prize they returned to the ship, and wishing to give their captain a welcome surprise hid the lump of silver under the table in his cabin and told him they had been unsuccessful in their search as usual. When he discovered the silver and was told what the Indian had seen, the divers were again set at work. As they were so lucky as to find their way into the treasure-room of the sunken ship, they soon brought up thirty-two tons of silver, much of which was so incrusted with coral, that it had to be broken off with hammers and iron bars. An experienced diver named Adderly was then brought to the scene of the wreck, from New Providence, by whose advice about six tons more of silver were recovered. A considerable number of pearls and precious stones were also found, and Phipps continued his examination of the wreck which was covered with seven or eight fathoms of water, until scarcity of supplies forced him to return to England. His success had exceeded the most sanguine expectations.

"'Tis said," a contemporary diarist noted, "the ship brought home above 200,000£ in gold and silver, which is shared among t[405]he several adventurers, whose share comes to about 10,000£ for every 100£ adventured."[598] Albemarle's share of the treasure was estimated at £40,000. The Crown actually received £20,872 in payment of its droit of one-tenth.[599] Phipp's share was less than £10,000, but he was appointed governor of Massachusetts and knighted. A medal was struck by royal command to commemorate his achievement and it was stated that the Duke of Albemarle presented Lady Phipps with a cup "worth near a thousand pounds".[600]

When his success became known eager treasure-seekers from Jamaica and even the Bahamas and Bermuda hastened to the scene of his discovery, but found little to reward their efforts.

Since his dismissal from office Morgan had regained much of his former popularity and influence, but his brother-in-law, Byndloss, tactlessly increased the animosity of some important men by accusing them of complicity in a recent instance of smuggling slaves into the island from an "interloping" ship named the Hawk. As the master of that ship was an acquaintance and probably a guest of Morgan this charge provoked an angry retort from the veteran, Colonel Samuel Barry.

"If Colonel Byndloss knew of any malpractice here, why did he not complain to the Governor here instead of sending home malicious letters? Had he given information when the ship was at Port Maria and the Captain at Sir Henry Morgan's house close by, feasting on a fat guinea goat, then the Government could have made some use of his services."[601]

Byndloss was in consequence forced to formulate a distinct charge in a letter to the Lords of Trade alleging that the cargo of the Hawk had been landed secretly in the parish of St. George by an agreement with Colonel Barry and Mr. Hicks, addressed to Argyle and Baxter, "Argyle being chief of the plantation, where the negroes were landed[406], captain of a troop of horse, Custos Rotulorum and Chief Judge of the Court [of Admiralty] since the putting out of Sir Henry Morgan."[602]

The sudden death of Byndloss soon after at the age of fifty ended this squabble.

Albemarle was accompanied to Jamaica by Father Churchill, a zealous and devout priest of the Roman church, and by an observant young physician, Doctor Hans Sloane, who attained great celebrity as a naturalist and collector. Sloane naïvely described his patron as being "of a sanguine complexion, his face reddish and his eyes yellow, and accustomed by being at Court to sitting up late and often being merry."[603]

The Duke announced his belated arrival at Port Royal on the 19th December, 1687, in a letter to the Lords of Trade, dated the same day. He had lost no time in taking up Morgan's petition, as he added a postscript, saying: "I have written to tell you that the whole Council have asked me to recommend the re-admission of Sir Henry Morgan to the Council, which I earnestly desire."[604]

Although the island had been shaken lately by a severe earthquake, which had damaged many buildings, he found the colony in a thriving condition. A lively and lucrative contraband trade was carried on with Cuba and other Spanish possessions, and to a smaller extent with the Dutch at Corosal. Small Jamaican sloops and schooners bartered their cargoes of English manufactures with the Spaniards for cocoa, cochineal, hides, sarsaparilla, precious stones, and bullion. They carried provisions to the Dutch islands and received Spanish products in return. Sloane stated that one hundred and eighty such vessels were owned in Port Royal. Forty of them were employed in fishing or taking turtle on the neighbouring cays, at the Cayman islands, or the numerous islets near the southern coast of Cuba. Logwood was still cut in considerable quantities in the Bay of Campeachy, where little bands[407] of Englishmen kept a precarious foothold in defiance of the efforts of two governments to discourage or expel them. Traders from Jamaica supplied them with clothing, provisions, tools, sugar, and rum, and brought back cargoes of dyewood, which yielded them a profit of at least one hundred per cent. The cultivation of sugar cane had been greatly developed and many of the estates, on which it was the principal crop, were large and well equipped.

"The stranger is apt to ask what village it is, for every completed sugar-works is no less," said a contemporary writer, "the various and many buildings bespeaking as much at first sight; for besides the large mansion-house, with its offices, such as the well-contrived mill, the spacious boiling-house, the large receptive curing houses, still house, commodious stables for the grinding cattle, lodging for the overseer, the white servants, working shops for the necessary smiths, others for the framing carpenters and coopers; to all which when we add the streets of negro houses, no one will question to call such complicated sugar works a small town or village."[605]

The yield of cane grown on virgin soil in the lowlands was very abundant, and the sugar of Jamaica commanded the highest price in the London market.

The "great-houses" of the planters were built on the high ground, usually the crest of a ridge or the summit of a hill, separated from the other buildings and commanding a wide view of the "cane-pieces" surrounding them, with a cleared space on all sides within range of musket-shot. The stone walls of the ground floors were very thick, and carefully loop-holed for musketry in all directions in case of an attack. The heavy window-shutters of the tough timber, significantly called bullet-wood, were also perforated with loop-holes. These dwellings, even of the richest landowners, although large, were roughly constructed, without glazed windows, plastered walls or ceilings. Their roofs were high-pitched to permit the free circulation of air, and the rooms were merely separated by[408] thin flimsy wooden partitions, six or eight feet in height. Overhead the massive rough-hewn beams were exposed to view. The living-rooms were scantily and poorly furnished, but the sideboards and tables were often loaded with valuable silver plate, the spoil, perhaps, of some fortunate privateer. The cellars were plentifully supplied with the wine of Madeira and Oporto and a variety of ardent spirits. For sleeping, hammocks were preferred to beds and mosquito-nets were in general use.

Some of the artisans and tradespeople had already grown rich and had been chosen as vestry-men and church-wardens.

There were many hundreds of white bond-servants, some of them voluntarily indentured for a term of years in payment of their passage from England, but by far the greater number banished or transported for civil or political offences, or as religious recusants. These had sometimes been treated so cruelly that the Assembly had passed an act for their protection.

The number of negro slaves had rapidly increased, to keep pace with the extended cultivation of cane. They had been imported from all parts of the west coast of Africa and spoke many different languages or dialects. Some had even come from Madagascar. Those who had been born in the West Indies were more highly esteemed than slaves newly imported and untrained. Already the mingling of races had begun. Sloane mentions mulattoes, mustees, and quadroons. The labour exacted from field-workers was long, hard, and exhausting. The punishments inflicted upon them were often cruel and brutal, as it was a cruel and brutal age. Domestic servants were treated more kindly and favourites were frequently manumitted and given small plots of land for their support.[606]

Two sugar refineries were being built. Cacao was largely grown in the fertile district of Guanaboa a few miles from Spanish Town. Indigo was profitably produced in Vere. Cotton, ginger, and tobacco were being cultivated for domestic use and export. But roads and bridges scarc[409]ely existed, and as most of the plantations were near the sea their produce was conveyed in "droghers" from the many small harbours along the coast to Port Royal for sale or shipment in larger vessels.[607]

Albemarle was heartily welcomed by the inhabitants of Port Royal and Spanish Town. The Speaker presented an address to the Duchess in which the members floridly declared that her presence conferred "an honour which the opulent Kingdoms of Mexico and Peru could never arrive at; and even Columbus's ghost must be appeased for all the indignities he endured of the Spaniards, could he but know that his beloved soil was hallowed by such footsteps."[608]

Several vacancies were unfilled in the Council and some of the members neglected to attend when summoned. Less than two months after landing, the governor reported his discontent with them:

"Once we had not members enough present to make a quorum and the Council had to be postponed. Several times only the bare number of five has appeared, and that after long waiting. I hope you have approved of Sir Henry Morgan and have represented him to the King as a fit man for the Council here, for the Council have recommended him to me as I have already told you. I also recommend Col. Needham as in every way qualified, and hope by next return to have the King's consent to the admission of both."[609]

Writs were promptly issued for the election of a new House of Assembly to be returned by the 16th February, 1688. There was very little change in its composition. Roger Elletson was elected to represent St. Thomas-in-the-Vale in conjunction with Colonel George Needham, husband of the only daughter of Sir Thomas Modyford. Samuel Bernard was chosen as Speaker for the third time. At the session some of the members showed an unexpected spi[410]rit of independence and soon became involved in a conflict with the governor. In a debate on horse-racing John Towers, a new member from Clarendon, used the expression "Salus populi est suprema lex." He was reproved by Colonel Needham for uttering "dangerous and treasonable words", which he declared were better suited to a republic than a monarchy. A majority of the members supported Towers, when Needham appealed from their decision to the governor. On April 11, the Speaker by order of the House publicly reprimanded Needham for a breach of privilege, and expelled him. The governor then caused Towers to be prosecuted and heavily fined. The Assembly protested against this arbitrary act, and was immediately dissolved. Writs returnable on July 20 were issued for a second election.[610] Colonel Bourden was dismissed from the Council, and the provost-marshal and some judges were removed from office. Every effort was made to secure the election of candidates supporting the governor. It was alleged that some legal electors were imprisoned to prevent them from voting, while discharged seamen, soldiers, and indentured servants, not properly qualified, were taken to the polls and allowed to vote. In some cases these men were taken from parish to parish and voted in each. These tactics were successful and the governor obtained a sweeping victory. The result was that only twelve members of the former Assembly were re-elected. Among them were Roger Elletson, Henry Archbold, and Thomas Ballard, Jr. William Archbold was elected as one of the members for St. Andrew. Morgan's friends were again in supreme power.[611]

While the election was still being fought, at a meeting of the Council on May 6, Sir Henry Morgan and Roger Elletson presented the petition of Philip Howard, son of the late governor, praying for the payment to him of one-half of the governor's salary from the time of death of Sir Thomas Lynch to the date of his father's death. Colonel Molesworth testily answered that he knew of no order comma[411]nding him to account for this money.[612]

After receiving Albemarle's first letter the Lords of Trade decided to recommend that the suspension of Sir Henry Morgan and Colonel William Ivy from sitting in the Council of Jamaica should "be taken off". This recommendation was approved by the Privy Council a few days later.[613] On July 12 Morgan was formally readmitted after an absence of nearly five years.

When the Assembly met, eight days later, Roger Elletson, well known to be crafty and unscrupulous, was at once chosen as Speaker, without opposition. In a long written address presented to the governor next day, he described the late Duke of Albemarle as "the instrument of the restoration of the royal authority after twelve years of confused government. We accept your coming with thankfulness," he continued, "believing that you will tread in the steps of your father and revive the at present decaying condition of Jamaica." He then reviewed the political history of the colony, praising Morgan and deriding his immediate successors in the administration. Under Lord Vaughan he asserted that the island had been extremely prosperous.

"Sir Henry Morgan then succeeded him in this government," he said, "who, with perfect respect to his sovereign, justice to his Majesty's subjects, care and diligence for the general good of this his Majesty's island, and kind and courteous behaviour even to the worst of his enemies, though many and malicious, continued the same until the arrival of his then Excellency, the late Earl of Carlisle, into whose hands with all duty, obedience, and service Sir Henry delivered the government. . . .

. . . . At his lordship's return to London the government again devolved upon Sir Henry Morgan, whose inclination still carried him vigorously on to his Majesty's service and this island's interest; his study and care was that there might be no murmuring, no complaining in our streets, no man injured in his property, or his liberty restrai[412]ned; his dispensations of favour and kindness were great and many, even to those, who true hornet-like lay buzzing about him during his government, but immediately upon the alteration, stung him even to death.

"After this his two years' government the late Sir Thomas Lynch arrived, into whose hands, Sir Henry Morgan, with all duty and readiness delivered the government, who found this island in a happy and good condition; all men at least appeared as of one house, of one heart, and of one mind, no companies but one, the planters in a good condition, merchants thronging hither, trade brisk and current money plenty, and the island generally growing strong by new comers and new settlers.

"It was then indeed the golden age; but as it was sweet, so it proved short, for that method and current of affairs in Sir Henry Morgan's government were quickly changed, and several of the persons, who had the honour to bear their parts in the harmonious concert of his government, grew presently pale, peevish, envious, and angry, as if they had been truly weary of well doing. Sir Thomas Lynch's government brought the country into such a fever that it is scarce recovered yet."[614]

The members of the Assembly showed their approval of this address by adopting it unanimously and ordering it to be entered in their Journal.

In his reply Albemarle did not conceal his annoyance at the criticism of his conduct by some members of the former House.

"I am glad to find the country sensible that it chose ill men for the last Assembly," he said. "I promise myself better things from you. You cannot be ignorant of the many wicked and malicious reports spread abroad by ill-disposed persons to make me odious to the people to gain their own ends at the elections."[615]

He then presented several proposals for their consideration.

But Elletson's address was not allowed to escape a bitter rejoinder. An anonymous writer in a letter sent to the Secretary of State, entitled "Observations on the Speaker's speech", made a fierce attack upon him, "taking notice only [413]of his personal behaviour in the several governments after he arrived in Jamaica."

"In Lord Vaughan's time," it said, "he fled from England for his debts, which he has not yet paid. He is the man who made the Assembly intercede for a condemned pirate. He was Attorney-General when Sir Henry Morgan consented to the tacking of the laws to the money bill. He tried to put the laws against dissenters in execution in Sir T. Lynch's time; he stirred up Gill and Meverell to seize the Assiento ships; he opposed the passing of revenue for twenty-one years; he defended the pirates from Vera Cruz and that so indecently that he was suspended from practice. On Sir T. Lynch's death he tried to blacken his memory by saying that he had appropriated piratical goods. In Colonel Molesworth's time he opposed the votes for paying the armed parties who suppressed the negro rebellion. This is the man, whose clerk made a will wherein an annuity of £20 was left him to prosecute a lawsuit; who since he has been Chief Justice has brought more fines and commitments before Council than have been in twenty-four preceding years; who aspersed the dead Sir T. Lynch; who opposed thanks to the King for liberty of conscience; who is so anxious to justify Sir Henry Morgan that he seems to reflect on the late King, who confirmed his dismissal; who advised the Duke to dismiss the late Provost-Marshal to make room for a creature of his own, who is in gaol for debt, whereby his father was allowed to escape from prison, where he lay for debt; who sat on the bench when a case was tried of scandalous words against himself, gave judgment, and inflicted a fine of £300; who in his speech spoke ill of two governors that no good man spoke ill of yet, and ought not to be believed."[616]

Albemarle had rewarded Elletson for his subservience by appointing him to be Chief Justice in the place of Samuel Bernard, the late Speaker. Simon Musgrave, the Attorney-General, was also dismissed. Colonel George Needham was appointed a member of the Council. In his official letter the governor expressed his satisfaction with the proceedings of the new Assembly.


"The Assembly met on 20 July," he wrote, "and finished more business in two weeks than the last did in two months. As the members are mostly men of known loyalty I doubt not the King's pleasure will find more ready compliance. . . .

"I have admitted Sir Henry Morgan to the Council pursuant to the King's order, but I am afraid that he will not live long, being extraordinarily ill."[617]

Morgan was indeed near his death. Years before, when in the prime of life, he had been seriously ill several times. His health had broken by hard drinking and irregular habits. Dr. Hans Sloane was invited to prescribe for him and his intimate friend and neighbour, Colonel Thomas Ballard. Sloane gave an extended and candid account of Morgan's illness and his treatment of it in his book. Incidentally, he threw a strange light on the medical practice of the time.

"Sir H. M. aged about forty-five, Lean, sallow-coloured, his eyes a little yellowish and Belly jutting out or prominent, complained to me of want of appetit to Victuals, he had a kicking or roaching to vomit every morning and generally a small looseness attending him, and withal was much given to drinking and sitting up late, which I supposed had been the cause of his present Indisposition. I was afraid of beginning Dropsie, and advised him to an easy vomit of Oxymel. Scill., with the help of a Feather and thin water-gruel, fearing Vin. Emet. might disorder him too much by putting him into a looseness or too great Evacuation, after that I gave him some Madera Wine, in which Roots of Gentian, Tops of Centaury had been infused with Mich. Vomit., it worked easily and the bitter Wine, taken every morning for some days, he recovered his stomach and continued very well for a considerable time. Not being able to abstain from Company he sate up late drinking too much, whereby he had a return of his first Symptoms, but complained he could not make water freely. His water was thick and very red and his legs swelled a little. When those Symptoms appeared Dr. Rose and I being join'd, we ordered him an Electuary of Cassia, Oil of Juniper, Cremor. Tart., and other things to purge easily the watery Humours, en join'd Temperance, and desired the continuance of his former Medicines. This Course did very well with him, but making very little wat[415]er and being much troubled with Belchings and a Cough in the night, he sent to another Doctor, who, when he came, was of opinion that his Diseas was a Timpany, and that the swelling of his Belly came only from wind, according to Hippocrates, and that he was not troubled with the beginning of a Dropsie, nor had Gravel (which is not unusual in this Case and he had always been troubled with). I told him later Observations upon the Dissection of deceased Morbid Bodies had discovered the Bellies of People dying of supposed Timpanies to be distended with water and no more wind than is supposed to be the effect of Phlegm and crude Humours lying in the Stomac and Guts. I desir'd him that he should put off talking of the Theory and come to the Practice, that we might very well agree in the Medicine he should take, as it very often happens to Physitians, who may disagree in the Theory and yet agree in the Practice. I waited on Sir H. and told him Dr. Rose's and my Opinion, which agreeing, he was satisfied therewith. We gave him all manner of Diuretics and easy Purges we could find in Jamaica, Linseed and Juniper Berries infused in Rhenish Wine, Milloped. ppd. in Powder, Juniper Water. Advised him to eat Juniper Berries, us'd Oil of Scorpion with ling. Dialth. outwardly, by which he recovered again. On Intemperance he fell again into Looseness threatening his Life which by an Opiat. &c., at night we stopt and he enjoyed his Health for some time longer very well. Falling after into his old Course of Life, and not taking any advice to the contrary, his Belly swell'd so as not to be contained in his coat, on which I warned him of his very great danger because he being very weak and subject to a Looseness, there was no room for purging Medicines, which seemed to be the greatest Remedies for his Dropsie threatening his Life, seeing that Diuretics did not produce the desired Effect. On this Alarm he sent for three or four other Physitians, who, as I was told, said he had no Dropsie, because his legs did not swell, the Reason of which was because he lay in a Hamac with his Legs up and us'd very little exercise. They advised him to a Cataplasm of Ocroain of this Country, &c. for his swell'd Belly and would have given a Vomit next morning but that it was an unlucky day, as indeed it had in all likelihood been to him if he had taken it, for he fell naturally by only the Cataplasm into a very dangerous Looseness, which had almost carried him off; so that the thoughts of this proceedi[416]ng was put off. He chang'd soon after his Physicians, and had first a Black who gave him Clysters of Urine, &c., and plaster'd him all over with Clay and Water and by it augmented his Cough. So he left his Black Doctor and sent for another, who promis'd him Cure but he languished and his Cough augmenting, died soon after."[618]

At the age of fifty-three Morgan was prematurely old and feeble, yet his death was probably hastened by the mistakes of his physicians. His will was dated on the 17th of June, 1688, the testator then "being sick in body but of perfect mind and memory". All his real estate was bequeathed to his "very well and intirely beloved wife, Dame Mary Elizabeth Morgan", for the term of her natural life, except the estate called Penkarne in the parish of St. George, bequeathed to Morgan Byndloss, son of Robert Byndloss, a minor, when he became of age, the property called Arthur's Land in the parish of St. Mary, bequeathed to Richard Elletson, son and heir of Roger Elletson, and the estate of Danks in Clarendon, which was to be sold and the proceeds applied to the payment of his debts. The lands left to Lady Morgan were entailed successively to Charles Byndloss, Pollnitz Byndloss, Henry Archbold, Anna Maria Byndloss, and Catherina Byndloss, her nephews and nieces, and their heirs male on condition that the legatee should take the name of Morgan and "allways goe thereby".

His friend, Colonel Thomas Ballard, was to receive his "Greene saddle with the furniture thereunto belonging." An annuity of £60 for his sister, Catherine Lloyd, was to be "yearly payed into the hands of my ever honest Cozen, Mr. Thomas Morgan of Tredegar." Ten able working negroes and two mules or two horses were to be given to Morgan Byndloss when he attained the age of twenty-one years. One hundred pounds were bequeathed to parish of St. Mary, "to be disposed of for the use of the said parish at the discretion of the then Justices, Churchwardens and Vestrye." Roger Elletson was to have the choice of any one of Morgan's horses, his "blew saddle[417] and furniture thereunto belonging and one case of pistols tipped with silver". To each of his godsons, Henry Archbold and Richard Elletson, and to his wife's nephew, Thomas Byndloss, were bequeathed a silver hilted sword and a mourning ring. In addition, Thomas Byndloss was to receive a case of pistols tipped with silver. Legacies of £20 each were to be paid to the two daughters of Robert Cooke of St. Jago; £50 with mourning and mourning rings to each of his two servants, Ewan Davis and Joan Potter; £10 to Reece Morgan; and £5 to his late servant, Roger Surinney. Mourning rings were to be presented to the Duke and Duchess of Albemarle with "a most humble desire that they will be pleased to accept the same", to Sir Francis Watson and his Lady, to Colonel Thomas Ballard and Ann his wife, to Sir Richard Dereham, to Lieut.-Colonel John Parnaby and Ann his wife, to Major Thomas Ballard, to Major John Peeke, to Captain John Phipps and Rebecca his wife, to Major William Archbold and Mary his wife, to his sisters-in-law, Mrs. Robert Byndloss and Mrs. Henry Archbold, to Mrs. Ann Elletson, Mrs. Mary Archbold, Lieut.-Colonel Robert Nowell, Anthony Bowes,—Beckinhead, and "to any other of my friends herein omitted, at the discretion of my executrix." Ten pounds and a mourning ring were to be presented to Doctor John Longworth, and five pounds and a mourning ring to Mr. Philip Bennett, both clergymen of the church of England.

Lady Morgan was appointed sole executrix, and Colonel Thomas Ballard, Colonel Henry Archbold, Thomas Byndloss, and Roger Elletson were named as trustees to manage his estate in the event of her death before the next devisee became of age.[619]

His restoration to office a month later must have gratified him and may have induced him to revert to "his old course of Life", to the despair of his observant physician. He died on August 25, probably at Lawrencefield. Next day his corpse was taken to Christ Church at Port Royal, where a funeral sermon was preached by Doctor Longworth, the rector, and buried there while a general salute was fired from the guns of the ships of war in the harbour, one of them[418] most fittingly bearing the name of Drake, in conjunction with the artillery of the forts and several merchant ships. A brief entry was made in the log-book of the Assistance, still preserved in the Public Record Office in London.

"August, 1688, Saturday 25th. This day about eleven hours morn'g, Sir Harry Morgan died. On the 26th was brought over from Passage Fort to the King's House at Port Royall, from thence to the church, and after a sermon, was carried to the Pallisadoes and there buried. All the forts fired an equal number of guns. Wee fired two and twenty, and after wee and the Drake had fired, all the merchantmen fired."

The church at Port Royal was wrecked and submerged by the earthquake and tidal wave of the 17th of June, 1692, which left a mere fragment of the place as "a perfect island of twenty-five acres and too small to hold the trade and people." Morgan's grave was obliterated by the same convulsion.

His widow survived him for nearly eight years, dying at or near Spanish Town, where she was buried in the parish church on the 3rd of March, 1696. Her nephew, Charles Morgan Byndloss, inherited the estates, and sat in the Assembly for four terms. His son, Henry Morgan Byndloss, was twice elected a member of the Assembly and became Attorney-General. Another son, Matthew Morgan Byndloss, sat in the Assembly and was appointed Crown Solicitor. Pollnitz Byndloss, a brother of Charles Morgan Byndloss, served for some time as Provost-Marshal and was elected a member of the Assembly four times. Thomas Byndloss, another brother, also sat in that House. Five members of the Assembly were supplied by the Archbold family, three of them being nephews of Lady Morgan.

Roger Elletson fell into disgrace and was dismissed from office as Chief Justice. His son, Roger Hope Elletson, took a leading part in political life for many years.

Hostilities with Spain in 1739 and 1740 caused a considerable revival of interest in Morgan's exploits both in England and Jamaica. Leslie then wrote and published his New History of Jamaica, in which they were highly extolled. An[419]other book appeared under the title of England's Triumph over the Spaniards, containing the Hardy Atchievements of Sir Henry Morgan in the West Indies. Contemporary accounts of the capture of Chagres and Panama were printed in the Gentleman's Magazine.[620]

Writing only fifty years after Morgan's death, when members of the Byndloss and Archbold families were still rich and powerful, Leslie had access to some private papers, which have since disappeared. He concluded his sketch in a decidedly eulogistic tone.

"This short Abstract of so heroic a Life will furnish you with a strong and lively Idea of the Man and convince you that a Soul nobly daring, a Mind breathing pure and untainted Heroism may be lodged in a Body sprung from the meanest of Mortals. The Meanness of Morgan's Parentage and the Lowness of his Birth were circumstances that could not check his aspiring Soul in her eager Pursuit after Glory. Sprung as he was from a Farmer, he soon raised himself to such a Situation in Life as daily caused to show the vast Odds between a hardy, courageous, free Briton and a dastardly, mean-spirited, enslaved Spaniard. . . .

"He showed the World that he was qualified to govern as well as to fight, and that in all Stations of Life he was a great man. I have seen here a curious picture of Sir Henry, done at his own Desire; he is drawn at length, and there appears something so awful and majestick in his Countenance, that I am persuaded none can look upon it without a kind of Veneration."[621]

Patrick Browne, a naturalist and physician, who resided in Jamaica a few years later, wrote that Morgan "left off his Courses" immediately after his return from Panama, and "became a sober settler and a happy planter, and in course of time was admitted to the Council and afterwards knighted and appointed Lieutenant-Governor, in which station he behaved with great applause from 1680 to the year 1682."[622]


Edward Long, the historian, being a Jamaican planter and a distant relative, was distinctly friendly.

"It is to the Bucaniers we owe the possession of Jamaica to this hour", he wrote in 1774. "The Spaniards had never escaped from their inclinations to regain it; and the settlement went on so slowly at first that they had the greatest reason for hoping to become masters of it and drive out their conquerors. But they were checked all at once by the attacks which they received from whole squadrons of privateers, invading them in different places with such irresistible fury, that they began to find very sufficient employment at home, defending their own coasts and effects. At the time when privateering was in its most flourishing state, during the government of Sir Thomas Modyford and Sir Thomas Lynch, as many men were engaged on board these vessels as there were in the island. I do not undertake to justify the cruelties which are said to have been some times practised on the Spaniards. The assailants had no thought of courting the friendship of their opponents, or of conquering for the sake of amity and traffic. Both parties were embittered against each other by reciprocal injuries, in which the Spaniards had undoubtedly been the first aggressors; and the war was therefore carried on with revenge and desolation. It is but justice to Sir Henry Morgan, the most celebrated of all the English leaders, to affirm, it does not appear that he ever encouraged or approved of any such inhumanities, which, although they might be a just retribution upon those, who had murdered, tortured, or doomed to perpetual imprisonment many hundreds of Englishmen and thousands of poor Indians, ought not, I confess, to have stained the hands of brave men. The general name of pirates, given to those persons, loads the memory of some among them with an undeserved opprobrium, considering the many wonderful and gallant actions they performed, the eminent services they effected for the nation, the riches they acquired to their country, and the solid establishment they gave to so valuable a colony. Sir Henry Morgan, whose atchievements are well known, was equal to any of the most renowned warriors of historical fame, in valour, conduct and success, but this gentleman has been unhappily confounded with the piratical herd; although it is certain that he constantly sailed under a regular commission, was equipped for his next expedition against Maracaibo by the governour of Jamaica, and was applauded[421] and rewarded for his conquests by the ruling powers both in that island and in England. When the Spaniards in these seas were so distressed in their settlements and navigation that they were almost humbled into despair and their ambassador at our court having presented several memorials, it was thought advisable by government to put a stop to this West Indian war by a treaty of peace and rigorous orders; Sir Henry immediately desisted, and after the reduction of Panama in February, 1671 (the treaty not having then reached America), he undertook no further enterprise."[623]

Bryan Edwards, another Jamaican planter, some twenty years later, when England and Spain seemed once more about to engage in a conflict, wrote in a spirit of greater detachment.

"The narrative called the History of the Bucaniers, published towards the latter end of the last century, which has been quoted by writers of all descriptions as of unquestionable authority, was originally written in Dutch by one John Esquemeling, who confesses that he had been one of the Bucaniers and was expelled from their society. The reports of such a writer ought to have been received with great caution, but there is a still stronger circumstance to excite suspicion and it is this: The English work is not taken from the Dutch original but from a Spanish translation; and to suppose that a Spaniard would speak favourably of the Bucaniers is the very excess of human credulity. Not having the original book to refer to, I cannot pronounce with certainty, but I am of opinion that many of the tragical stories concerning the torture of the Spanish prisoners and the violation of the women are the interpolations of the Spanish translator. I form this conclusion from the malignity displayed towards the character of the famous Sir Henry Morgan. If we may believe the account given of this gallant commander he was the most inhuman monster that ever existed. Yet this very man (who by the way acted under a regular commission and letters of reprisal) after he had quitted the sea, was recommended by the Earl of Carlisle to be his successor in the government of Jamaica and was accordingly appointed lieutenant-governor in the Earl's absence. He afterwards received the honour of knighthood from King Charles II, and passed t[422]he remainder of his life on his plantation in Jamaica. By the kindness of a friend in this island I have had the opportunity of perusing some of Sir Henry Morgan's original private letters; and this I will say, that they manifest such a spirit of humanity, justice, liberality, and piety, as prove that he has either been grossly traduced or that he was the greatest hypocrite living—a character ill suited to the frank and fearless temper of the man."[624]

Efforts have been made without success to trace the letters mentioned, which might throw considerable light on Morgan's private life.

His talents as an organizer and administrator of a considerable fleet manned by volunteers, and his conduct as a leader of such a turbulent force in very daring undertakings were most remarkable. Skill in preparation and planning were combined with decision and dauntless courage in their execution. Francis Drake had not ventured to attack Puerto Bello. The formidable force sent out from England under Admiral Vernon seventy years later, having taken that place, declined to attempt crossing the isthmus for the capture of Panama. Morgan's outstanding ability as a commander is beyond dispute.




The Satisfaction frigate Admiral Henry Morgan 120 22 140
The Mary frigate Captain Thomas Harris 50 12 70
The May-Flower       "      Joseph Bradley 70 14 100
The Pearle       "      Lawrence Prince 50 12 70
Civillian       "      John Erasmus 80 12 75
Dolphin frigate       "      John Morris 60 10 60
Lily       "      Richard Norman 50 10 50
Port Royal       "      James Delliatt 50 12 55
The Gift       "      Thomas Rogers 40 12 60
John of Vaughall       "      John Pyne 70 6 60
The Thomas       "      Humphrey Throston or Thurston 50 8 45
The Fortune       "      Richard Ludbury 40 6 40
Constant Thomas       "      Coone Deloramell or Debraunce 60 6 40
The Fortune       "      Richard Dobson 25 6 35
The Prosperous       "      Henry Wills 16 4 35
Abraham Offerenda       "      Richard Taylor 60 4 30
Virgin Queen       "      John Barnett 50 0 30
Recovery       "      John Shepherd 18 3 30
The sloop William       "      Thomas Woodriffe 12 0 30
The Betty sloop       "      William Curson 12 0 25
The Fortune ketch       "      Clement Symons 40 4 40
The Endeavour       "      John Harmanson 23 4 35
Bonadventure       "      Roger Taylor 20 0 23
Prosperous       "      Patrick Dunbar 10 0 16
Endeavour       "      Charles Swan 16 2 30
The Lambe sloop       "      Richard Powell 30 4 30
Fortune       "      John Reekes 16 3 30
The Free Gift       "      Roger Kelly 15 4 40
—— —— ——
1120 180 1326
          French Ships
St. Catherine Captain Tribetor 100 14 110
Galliardena       "      Gascoone 80 10 80
St. John       "      Diego 80 10 80
St. Peter       "      Pearse Hantol 80 10 90
Le Diable Volant       "      Desnangla 40 6 50
Le Serfe sloop       "      Joseph 25 2 40
Le Lyon sloop       "      Charles 30 3 40
Le St. Marie       "      John Linaux 30 4 30
—— —— ——
465 50 520
English ships in all 1120 180 1326
French ships in all 465 59 520
—— —— ——
1585 239 1846




Liber of Wills, 6, folio 8.
Entered Sept. 14th, 1688.

Jamaica SS.

In the Name of God Amen.

I, Sr. Henry Morgan Knt being sick in body but of perfect mind & memory doe make and ordaine this my last Will and testamt hereby making voyd disannulling all and every will and Wills by mee heretofore made and published.

First I will give and bequeath my Soule into the hands of Allmighty God that gave it firmly believing in and hopeing for a pardon for and remission of all my sinns through the merritts and mediation of my Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christe.

My body I bequeath to the earth to be decently buryed at the discretion of my Executrix and trustees firmly crediting a joyfull resurrection.

As to the disposal of what worldly estate it hath pleased God to bestowe upon mee

I will and bequeath as followeth

Item. I will give and bequeath unto my very well and intirely beloved wife Dame Mary Elizabeth Morgan all my real estate lands tenements & hereditamts with the appurtenences thereunto belonging (except hereinafter bequeathed) for and during the term of her natural life with all the proffitts arising therefrom for and towards the payment of my debts without any other account to be rendered to any person or persons whatsoever And after her decease it is my will & pleasure and I doe will give and bequeath all my lands tenemts and hereditamts with apurtences (except as before excepted) to Charles Byndloss Second sonn of the late Robert Byndloss Esq dec'd and the heires males of his body lawfully to be begotten upon this exp[425]ress condition that the said Charles Byndloss and the heires males of his body doe alter and change the name or surname of Byndloss and take upon him & them the name of Morgan and allways goe thereby And for want of such issue it is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby give and bequeath the aforesaid reall Estate Lands tenemts and hereditamts (except as before excepted) unto the second son of Henry Archbold son and heire of the present Henry Archbold Esqre and the heires males of his and theire bodyes forever lawfully to be begotten Upon this express condition nevertheless that the said Henry Archbould and the heires males of his body doe alter and change and take upon him and them the surname of Morgan and always goe thereby and for want of such issue it is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby will devise and bequeath my said real estate lands tenemts and hereditamts with the apurtences (except as before excepted) unto the issue males of the body of Ann Maria Byndloss lawfully to be begotten and the heires males of theire bodys forever upon this express condition nevertheless that the said heires males of the body of the said Ann Maria Byndloss and theire heires males forever doe alter & change and take upon them the surname of Morgan and always goe thereby. And for want of such issue it is my will and pleasure and I do hereby will give and bequeath the aforesaid Estate lands tenemts and hereditamts with the apurtences (except as before excepted) unto the issue male of the body of Catherina Maria Byndloss and the heires males of her body forever lawfully to be begotten Upon this express condition nevertheless that the said heires males of the body of the said Catherina Maria Byndloss and theire heires males forever doe alter and change & take upon them the surname of Morgan and allways goe thereby and for want of such issue it is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby will and bequeath the aforesaid reall Estate lands tenemts & hereditamts with the apurtences (except as above excepted) unto the issue male of the body of Mary Elizabeth Byndloss and the heires males of her body forever lawfully to be begotten Upon the express condition nevertheless that the said heires males of the body of the sd Mary Elizabeth B[426]yndloss and theire heires males forever doe alter change & take upon them the surname of Morgan and always goe thereby and for want of such issue to the right heires of the said Dame Mary Elizabeth Morgan and theire heires forever.

Item. It is my will and pleasure & I doe will give and bequeath unto Morgan Byndloss son of the said Robert Byndloss deceased and the heires males of his body lawfully to be begotten and theire heires males forever All my lands tenemts and hereditamts with the apurtences situate lyeing and being in the parish of St. Georges comonly called or known by the name of Penkarne when he shall arrive at or come to the age of 21 years and in the meantime to the said Dame Elizabeth Morgan and in case of his death without issue as aforesaid Then my will and pleasure is and I doe hereby will devise and bequeath the same to the said Dame Mary Elizabeth Morgan and her heires forever.

Item. It is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby will devise and bequeath unto Richard Elletson son and heire of Roger Elletson of the parish of St. Andrew Esqr All That my Parcell of land situate lying and being in the parish of St. Marys comonly called or known by the name of Arthurs Land.

To have and to hold to him the said Richard Elletson his heires and assignes forever.

Item. It is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby will give and bequeath for and towards the payment of my debts all that my parcell of land comonly called or knowne by the name of Dankes land situate lying and being in the parish of Clarendon to the said Dame Mary Elizabeth Morgan and her heires and assignes forever to be sold for the payment of the said debts as aforesaid.

Item. It is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby will give and bequeath unto my very Honble friend Coll Thomas Ballard my Greene saddle with the furniture thereunto belonging.

Item. It is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby will give and bequeath unto my well beloved sister Catherine Loyd £60 sterl per annum for and during her natural life and it is my w[427]ill and pleasure that it be yearly payed into the hands of my ever honest Cozen Mr. Thomas Morgan of Tredegar.

Item. It is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby order & appoint my Executrix hereinafter named well and truly to pay and discharge all my just debts.

Item. It is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby will give and bequeath unto the abovementioned Morgan Byndloss at his age of 21 years Tenn able working negroes and two mules or two horses at the election of my Executrix hereinafter named or in case of her death at the Election of my trustees the devisee in my will mentioned not being then of age.

Item. I will and bequeath unto the two daughters of Robert Cook of St. Jago de la Vega Gent each of them the sume of £25 to be payed to them at theire respective ages of 21 yeares or day of marriage which shall first happen and in case of the death of either of them the whole sume shall go to the surviving legatee but if both happen to dye before the same shall become due that then the whole sume shall fall to the said Robert Cook his Exors or admors.

Item. It is my will and pleasure that after my debts and legacys are payd I doe will give and bequeath unto the parish of St. Marys the sume of £100 to be disposed of for the use of the said parish at the discretion of the then Justices Churchwardens and Vestrye.

Item. It is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby will devise and bequeath to His Grace the Duke of Albemarle and her Grace the Duchess each of them a mourning ring with my most humble desire that they would be pleased to accept the same.

Item. I will give and bequeath to the said Roger Elletson the choise of any one of my horses my blew saddle and furniture thereunto belonging together with one case of pistolls tipped with Silver.

Item. It is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby give devise and bequeath unto my two Godsons Henry Archbold and Richard Elletson and my nephew Thomas Byndloss each of them a silver hilted sword and a mourning ring and [428]to the said Thomas Byndloss another case of pistolls tipped with Silver.

Item. It is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby will give and bequeath unto my servants Ewan Davis and Joane Potter each of them £50 with mourning and a mourning ring.

Item. I give will and bequeath unto Reece Morgan the sum of £10 and unto my late servant Roger Surinney £5.

Item. It is my will and pleasure and I doe hereby will give and bequeath unto my good friends Sr Francis Watson and his Lady Coll Thomas Ballard and Ann his wife Sr. Richard Dereham Lt Coll John Parnaby and Ann his wife Maj'r Thomas Ballard Maj'r John Peeke Capt John Phipps and Rebecca his wife Maj'r William Archbold and Mary his wife my sister Byndloss and Sister Archbold Mrs. Ann Elletson Mrs. Mary Archbold Lt Coll Robert Nowell Anthony Bowes Esq and—Beckinhead each of them mourning rings of the value of forty shillings and to any other of my friends herein omitted at the discretion of my Executrix.

Item. I will give and bequeath unto Doctor John Longworth £10 and a mourning ring and to Mr. Philip Bennett £5 and a mourning ring.

Item. I do hereby nominate constitute and apoynt Coll Thomas Ballard Coll Henry Archbold Thomas Byndloss and Roger Elletson Trustees of this my last will and testamt Hereby impowering them and every one of them in case of the death of my executrix hereinafter named before the next devisee shall arrive or come to the age of 21 yeares to manage my estate according to the use intent and purpose hereinbefore mentioned and for theire care and paines herein I give and bequeath to each of them £20 and a mourning ring of the value of forty shillings.

Item. I doe hereby constitute nominate and apoynt my dutifull and entirely beloved wife Dame Mary Elizabeth Morgan sole executrix of this my last will and testamt earnestly desiring my said trustees to be aiding and assisting in all things to my said Executrix.


IN WITNESS whereof I the said Henry Morgan have to this my last will and testamt set my hand and seal this seventeenth day of June Anno Dni 1688

Henry Morgan (LS)

SIGNED SEALED PUBLISHED AND DELIVERED by the within named Testator as and for his last will and testament

In the presence of           Henry Heminge
Wm Harrington
John Cooke
Thomas Graves.

Memorand this fourteenth day of September 1688 personally appeared before mee Henry Heminge and John Cooke Gent and made oath that they were present and did see Sr Henry Morgan Knt dec'd signe seale publish and declare the within written instrument to be his last will and testament and that hee was then of sound mind and memory and that they did also see William Harrington since dec'd sign as witness to the same





Abney, Paul, 286, 287, 294
Abraham Offerenda, ship, 423
Acosta, Juan d', 276
Act declaring laws of England to be in force in Jamaica, 335
Act imposing an export duty on negroes, 320, 401
Act imposing import duty on goods imported in foreign ships, 401
Act for raising the value of current Spanish coin, 401
Act for the protection of white bond-servants, 408
Act for suppression of privateers, 319, 332, 334
Act of naturalization, 332, 342
Act prohibiting Jamaicans from taking foreign commissions, 251, 256, 257, 260
Acts of navigation, 29, 41, 236, 297, 309
Adderley, a diver, 404
Admiralty, commissioners of, 229
Admiralty, court of, 236, 238, 247, 295, 296, 338
Advice, sloop, 263
African Company, 42, 48, 311, 324
Aguadores, 25
Agua Grande, 165
Albemarle, George Monck, first Duke of, 32, 46, 60, 62, 63, 72, 81, 95, 124, 125, 132, 133, 317, 411
Albemarle, Christopher, second Duke of, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 409, 411, 412, 413, 427, 429
Albemarle, Duchess of, address to, 409, 427
Alborado, field in Mexico, 340
Alcandete, Don Alonso de, 185, 186
Aldea Gracia, 118
Algier Rose, frigate, 403
Almirante, bay, 66
Alvarado, 67
Amboina, 387
Amity, ship, 133
Amoixial, battle at, 45
Amsterdam, 373, 374
Ana Maria, bay, 84
Anglesey, Lord, 237
Anglican clergy, 294, 313
Angola, 236
Annatto, 208
Annotto Bay, 347
Anjou, 84
Ansell, Captain John, 83
Antigua, 201, 294, 340
Antonelli, Baptista, architect, 88
Antonio, Don, 300
Archbold, Colonel Henry, 65, 214, 298, 362, 368, 400, 410, 417, 425
Archbold, Henry, Jr., 416, 417, 425, 427
Archbold, Mrs. Henry, 417, 428
Archbold, Mrs. Mary, 417, 428
Archbold, William, 362, 410, 417, 428
Archbold family, 418, 419
Archer, John, 347
Arelva, 176
Argyle, 406
Argyle and Baxter, 405
Arlington, Henry Bennet, Lord, 41, 54, 79, 92, 102, 125, 130, 145, 147, 152, 153, 205, 206, 211, 212, 218, 220, 221
Army of the Commonwealth, 1, 4, 5, 18, 21, 23, 30, 35, 53, 354
Arthur's Land, estate, 416, 426
Articles of War, 235
Arundell, Colonel, 37
Ary, Captain, 134
Aschbach, 2
Ash, Isle of, 147, 150, 287
Ashurst, Jonathan, 301, 314, 323
Ashley, Lord, 143, 145
Assembly of Jamaica, 20, 21, 38, 52, 53, 65, 71, 205, 216, 223, 228, 243, 244, 251, 252, 253, 254, 256, 259, 260, 266, 267, 268, 270, 271, 272, 273, 278, 281, 282, 283, 284, 288, 289, 290, 293, 300, 301, 313, 314, 316, 318, 319, 320, 321, 324, 327, 329, 330, 332, 333, 334, 338, 339, 354, 355, 357, 358, 359, 360, 363, 364, 365, 366, 369, 371, 399, 400, 401, 408, 409, 410, 412, 413, 414, 418
Assiento, 45, 183, 413
Assistance, ship, 209, 211, 217, 218, 223, 418
Atkinson, Mr., 270, 271
Attorney General, 243, 262, 357, 361, 368, 413
Audiencia of Panama, 67, 168, 189
Auditor General, 354, 356, 399, 418
Australia, 373
Aux Cayes, harbour of, 103
Aves, Isle of, wreck of French fleet at, 263
Aylett, Captain, 105


Bache, Major Samuel, 363, 366, 368, 405
Bahamas, 130, 147, 164, 348, 349, 403, 405
Baines, Captain, 134
Baker, Captain Roger, 160
Balboa, 189
Ballano, 174
Ballard, Colonel Thomas, 243, 298, 346, 360, 362, 363, 371, 400, 414, 416, 417, 426, 428
Ballard, Major Thomas, 410, 417, 428
Ballard, Mrs. Ann, 417, 428
Ballard's Valley, 346, 371
Baltic squadron, 20
Bamberg, 2
Bamfield, Captain John, 55
Banister, Major General James, 218, 232
Bannister, Captain, 323
Barbacoa, 177
Barbados, 4, 8, 20, 22, 32, 46, 47, 58, 143, 263, 308, 317, 318
Barclay, Morgan's secretary, 324
Bargueno, Don Juan Portando, 185
Barkley, James, 347
Barkley, Margery, 347
Barlovento fleet, 287
Barnes, Captain, 251
Barnett, Captain John, 423
Barra, Fort de la, 108
Barré, Charles, 242
Barry, Colonel Samuel, 16, 20, 33, 405
Batabano, bay of, 83
Batavia, 373
Batharpe, Captain, 291
Bayano, 17, 129
Bayano y Villa Nueva, Don Pedro, 131, 138
Beaufort, Duke of, 104
Beckford, Captain Edward, 101
Beckford, Peter, 227, 233, 235, 236, 238, 314, 364
Beckinhead, Mr., 417, 428
Bedford, Earl of, 69
Beef, Isle of, 276
Beers, Captain Cornelius, 308
Beeston, Colonel William, 33, 50, 56, 60, 64, 71, 79, 82, 94, 105, 121, 123, 209, 229, 234, 253, 264, 268, 274, 282, 301, 314, 317, 336, 370, 384
Belt, Thomas, naturalist, 316
Bennet, Sir Henry, Secretary of State, 244, 247
Bennett, Captain John, 239, 254, 309
Bennett, Philip, 294, 417, 428
Bergen-op-Zoom, 2
Bermuda, 20, 31, 143, 147, 164, 405
Bernard, Samuel, 314, 319, 409, 413
Bernardson, Captain Albert, 55
Bernhard, Prince of Saxe-Weimar, 3
Betty, sloop, 158, 423
Bigford, Captain, 105
Binks, Dutch admiral, 231
Birks, William, governor of Curacao, 135
Biskayner, 130, 224
Bithing, Captain, 291
Blackburne, Lancelot, 294
Black Eagle, ship, 78
Blathwayt, Mr., 327
Blewfield, Captain, 35
Bluefields Bay, 150, 280, 281
Bluefields River, 58, 150
Boatmen, 207
Boca del Drago, 211
Bockenham, Captain Robert, 351
Bohergues, Don Ximinez, 50
Bolas, Juan de, 7
Bolivar, 67
Bonadventure, ship, 423
Bond-servants, white, 303, 408
Bonilla, Don Alonso, 67, 68
Bontein's map, 234
Boucan, dried meat, 163
Bourden, Colonel, 410
Bowes, Anthony, 417, 428
Bradley, Captain, (Colonel) Joseph, 67, 151, 157, 165, 168, 169, 170, 172, 173, 423
Brandenburg, Duke of, 308, 311
Bragg, Captain William, 243, 244, 401
Brandenburgers, 308, 312
Brayne, Major General William, 10, 11
Braziletto, export of, 208
Breda, treaty of, 96, 216
Brenning, Captain, 35
Bresilog, parish in Wales, 347
Bridewell, 5
Bridgewater Merchant, ship, 404
Brinicain, a privateer, 61
Brisbane, J., 335
Bristol, 4, 133, 218
Brogues, 185
Browne, Captain James, 247, 252, 253
Browne, Dr. Patrick, 419
Browne, Dr. Richard, 98, 99, 100, 105, 142, 143, 155, 196, 213, 219
Buccaneers, 11, 61, 62, 72, 81, 83, 137, 143, 164, 388, 390, 421
Buckell, Captain, 35
Buena-Maison, Dr. Alonso de, 374, 375, 377
Buen Jesus de las Almas, ship, 254
Bueno Cedro, 179
Buffs, regiment so called, 2
Bull Bay, 312
Burney, Captain James, 392
Burrough, William, stewart-general, 16
Bustos, Don Augustin de, 117
Byndloss, Anna Maria, 416, 425
Byndloss, Catherina, 416, 425
Byndloss, Charles, 416, 424, 425
Byndloss, John, 256
Byndloss, Henry Morgan, 418
Byndloss, Mary Elizabeth, 425, 426
Byndloss, Matthew Morgan, 418
Byndloss, Morgan, 416, 418, 426, 427
Byndloss, Pollnitz, 416, 418
Byndloss, Colonel Robert, Chief Justice, 56, 65, 198, 209, 229, 234, 237, 239, 240, 242, 248, 249, 250, 256, 261, 289, 290, 298, 364, 367, 370, 371, 399, 402, 403, 405, 406, 416, 424
Byndloss, Mrs. Robert, 417, 428
Byndloss, Thomas, 417, 428


Cabaritta Bay, 234
Cabaritta Island, 346
Cabezas, Bishop, 28
Cabo de Lobos, 107
Cacao, export of, 279, 291, 294, 408
Caceres, Francisco de, 75
Cadiz, 45, 46, 239, 386
Cagua harbour, 9, 11, 14, 22, 25, 31, 65
Cagway, ship, 130
California, 397
Campeachy, bay, 33, 34, 59, 85, 92, 105, 108, 130, 142, 146, 154, 206, 209, 213, 229, 233, 254, 274, 277, 340, 350, 407
Campeachy town, 269, 273, 275, 307, 326, 351
Camp of the Concepcion, 13
Campo, Don Estaban del, 71
Campo y Espinosa, Don Alonso del, 114, 118, 119, 120, 124
Canaries, islands, 308
Cane, cultivation of, 32, 46, 204, 407
Cane-pieces, 407
Cape Catoche, 33, 130, 274
Cape Gracia Dios, 154
Cape of Good Hope, 246
Cape Tiburon, 163, 164, 165, 206
Cape Victory, 395
Capira, 176
Capitulation of Barbados, 46, 317, 318
Capitulation of Trist, 351
Caracas, 92, 113
Caraga, 211
Carbery, Earl of, 2, 222, 258
Caribbean sea, 88, 152, 159, 165, 191, 244, 403
Carlisle, Earl of, 221, 222, 224, 248, 249, 257, 259, 262, 264, 265, 266, 268, 269, 271, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 284, 285, 288, 289, 294, 295, 299, 300, 302, 303, 304, 306, 309, 311, 313, 315, 316, 317, 318, 325, 335, 350, 351, 358, 389, 411, 421
Carmarthen, borough, 222
Carolina, 348
Carstens, Cornelius, 134
Cartagena, 49, 69, 73, 74, 83, 85, 92, 104, 105, 106, 118, 122, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 141, 156, 157, 158, 168, 189, 210, 246, 251, 280, 281, 287, 308, 313, 314, 326, 385, 393
Cartago, 66, 67, 68, 69, 151
Cartaret, Sir G., 43
Cary, Colonel Theodore, 47, 53, 56, 64, 79, 209, 227, 243
Castillo, Tiris de, 175
Caye du Sacrifice, 326
Cayenne, 250, 341
Cayman islands, 130, 203, 245, 351, 406
Cays of Turrinife, 306
Cays of Yucatan, 306
Central America, 126, 131, 274, 316
Centurion, frigate, 23, 24, 29, 33, 34
Cerro Colorado, 175
Chagres, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 177, 179, 181, 182, 183, 191, 193, 195, 196, 197, 198, 210, 211, 213, 214, 387, 419
Champeton river, 274
Chandeler, Captain, 327
Chapelton, 127
Charles, Captain, 423
Charles II, King of England, 18, 19, 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 96, 126, 159, 160, 225, 298, 299, 319, 321, 362, 363, 366, 396, 399
Charles II, King of Spain, 96, 160, 203
Chatas, river sloops, 172, 179
Chili, 191
Chorreras (Ocho Rios), 12
Christ Church, Port Royal, 309, 310, 417
Churches, establishment of, 310
Churchill, Captain, 360, 362, 366
Churchill, Father, 406
Civillian, ship, 55, 423
Clarendon, Edward Hyde, Lord Chancellor, 41, 62, 125, 207
Clarendon parish, 41, 127, 207, 301, 310, 401, 410, 416, 426
Clarke, Captain Enoch, 103
Clarke, Governor Robert, 348, 349, 350
Clarke, Captain Thomas, 83
Cliff at Rio Nuevo, 13
Cobham, Captain Nathaniel, 55
Cochineal, capture of, 291
Cocoa-walks, 208
Cod of the Great Harbour, 285
Cold Harbour, sloop, 245
Colebeck, Colonel John, 282
Collier, Captain, (Colonel and Vice Admiral), Edward, 83, 89, 100, 103, 104, 127, 151, 156, 157, 158, 184, 186, 196, 198, 199, 213, 214, 219
Cologne, 374
Colstree, Captain, 35
Commission to Henry Morgan, 137
Commissioners of Customs, 398
Compagnie des Indes, 164
Company of Seville, 308
Concepcion redoubt, 74, 75
Concord, ship, 73, 160
Constant Spring, 65, 214
Constant Thomas, ship, 423
Cook, Captain Edward, 291, 307
Cooke, John, 429
Cooke, Robert, 417, 427
Cooper, Captain, 35, 36
Cope, Colonel John, 78, 209, 301
Coquimbo, 341
Cordillera, 67
Cordivant bay, 90
Coro, 17
Corosal, 406
Cortadura, 75
Costa Rica, 66, 69, <