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to bring this project before their respective legislatures, and to desire them to give their active co-operation in raising these regiments, which were to consist of five hundred men each, to be procured by purchase among the islands. This plan was strenuously opposed by the legisla tures, who, with the example of St. Domingo before their eyes, saw nothing but ruin and death in a proposal for putting arms into the hands of slaves'. When Governor Ricketts communicated the proposition in a message to the House on the 17th of January 1797, the Speaker, Sir John Gay Alleyne, opposed the measure, and a number of resolutions condemning it were unanimously adopted, and a copy of them sent to the Governor in reply to his message. The Assembly of Jamaica was no less decided in refusing compliance with the request of the British ministers.

Sir John Gay Alleyne, who had served his native country for nearly forty years as a representative and Speaker of the House, resigned, in consequence of his impaired health and infirmities, on the 6th of June 1797. Poyer, in his History of Barbados,' regrets that on his retirement no tribute to his patriotic conduct was paid to him; " even the poor unsubstantial tribute of a vote of thanks was withholden from the venerable patriot 2."

The Legislature in Barbados voted, on the 15th of May 1798, the sum of two thousand pounds as a contribution towards enabling his Majesty to prosecute the war; subscriptions were opened in every parish, and upwards of thirteen thousand pounds sterling were collected and remitted to the Bank of England for the service of Government.

Governor Ricketts convoked the Legislature on the 12th of February 1800, and communicated to them that ill-health rendered it necessary for him to leave the island. As a mark of their gratitude for his just administration, the representatives unanimously voted him one thousand pounds to defray the expenses of his voyage. His Excellency embarked on board a merchant-ship for Liverpool; and so highly was he esteemed by the inhabitants of the island which he governed, that for six successive weeks public prayers were offered up in every church and chapel throughout the island for his speedy recovery. He died on the 8th of April 1800, fifteen days after his arrival in England. On the Governor's departure the administration devolved a second time on Mr. William Bishop, the president of his Majesty's Council, and the Assembly in a generous mood settled three thousand pounds per annum upon him during his administration.

1 Bryan Edwards' History of the West Indies, vol. iv. p. 91.

2 Poyer's History, p. 648.

3 The Governors being forbidden by their instructions to receive any gift or present, the good intention of the Legislature could not take effect until his Majesty's pleasure was known. The King having confirmed the grant, and the Governor dying in the interim. the money was paid to his executors.

The fund for the repair of the Molehead, which had on various occasions been resorted to as the means for meeting public expenses, was again put under contribution on the 4th of June. From the declining state of the colonial commerce the tonnage-duty was found insufficient to supply the requisite quantity of gunpowder for the fortifications, and the Legislature voted one thousand pounds from this fund for the purchase of gunpowder. In July 1798, a sum of one thousand pounds had been voted for a similar purpose out of the Molehead fund.

The Right Honourable Francis Humberstone Mackenzie, Baron Seaforth, having been appointed to the government, his Lordship arrived in Barbados on the 26th of March 1801, and was sworn in as Governor.



THE war between France and England had continued for nearly nine years, when the peace of Amiens, concluded between the two chief Powers, restored tranquillity. The result of the contest for England was the acquisition of Trinidad in the West Indies and Ceylon in the East, which the Opposition to the ministry then in power did not consider commensurate with the sacrifices entailed by the war. The preliminary articles of peace between his Britannic Majesty and the French Republic were signed in London by Lord Hawkesbury and M. Otto, on the 1st of October 1801, and the definitive treaty between England, France, Spain and the Batavian Republic, on the 27th of March 1802, at Amiens. Lord Seaforth availed himself of the tranquillity of peace to propose such reforms in the colonial expenses as might conduce to restore the credit and advance the prosperity of the island in a financial view. The welfare of a class which had hitherto been neglected, and in many instances treated with great inhumanity, engaged Lord Seaforth's especial attention, namely the slave population. England was at that time awakening from her lethargy and devoting her attention to the negroes. "Anne liceat invitos in servitutem dare?" was the object of a prize-essay which early developed the talents of Mr. Clarkson, and rendered him one of the most distinguished advocates for the rights of the slave.

As early as April 1797 the Parliament resolved upon a humble address to his Majesty requesting that the Governors in the British West India islands should be desired to recommend to their respective Councils and Assemblies such measures as might obviate the causes that impeded the natural increase of the negroes, and might conduce to their moral and religious improvement and secure to them throughout the British West India islands the certain, immediate and active protection of the law. This resolution was communicated by circular to the Governors, with a strong recommendation to promote the humane and benevolent views of Parliament. The amelioration of the labouring class was therefore Lord Seaforth's great object from the commencement of his administration. Among other reforms he had proposed to the Assembly in 1802 that the murder of a slave, which according to law was expiated by a fine of eleven pounds four shillings sterling, should be made felony. The Assembly refused their assent to this, and appointed a committee to prepare an answer in the negative to his Lordship's message.

"The ratification of the treaty of peace upon paper, and the breach of it in fact, were simultaneous upon the part of France." The peace of Amiens was but of short duration, and hostilities recommenced early in 1803. Upon the 24th of June leave was given by the King for granting letters of marque and reprisals against the French and Batavian Republics. The First Consul was at that time too seriously occupied in subjugating the rebels of St. Domingo, to be in a condition to form schemes for invading the British colonies. England therefore took the offensive, and Commodore Hood and General Grinfield sailed on the 19th of June from Carlisle Bay in Barbados, and the greatest success crowned their endeavours. The colonies of St. Lucia, Tobago, Demerara and Berbice were successively reduced, and fell into their hands without any great loss. Sir Samuel Hood reported, on the 20th of November, that since the breaking out of hostilities he had captured thirty-nine vessels, six of which were vessels of war. Among these prizes was the famous French privateer schooner L'Harmonie, which had been more destructive to commerce than any other that had appeared in the West Indies.

In 1804 Commodore Hood fortified the Diamond Rock, and put it in commission as a sloop of war, with a sloop's complement of officers and men Captain Morris took the command'.

1 This rock, which has become remarkable in consequence of this fortification, its siege and surrender, deserves a short description. It lies within three quarters of a mile from the south-western end of Martinique, and is not quite a mile in circumference, and six hundred feet high. The south side is almost perpendicular, and inaccessible; the east side is also inaccessible, with an overhanging cave; on the south-west side are also caves. The west side has breakers running into the sea, where the men land, which can only be done when the sea is smooth. On the north-west side there

The famous letter of Lord Seaforth, of the 13th of November 1804, addressed to Earl Camden, and containing the recital of cruelties said to have been committed upon slaves in Barbados, has been much animadverted on. It is scarcely credible that such wanton acts could have been perpetrated as are related in the debates on the slave-trade, and we will believe that the philanthropic fervour of the reporters led them to exaggerate matters to Lord Seaforth.

On the 12th of December 1804 war was declared by Spain against England; the declaration was dated at Madrid. On the 19th of December a general embargo was laid upon all Spanish vessels, and England declared war against Spain on the 11th of January 1805. The official information arrived in Barbados on the 17th of February 1805, and Lord Seaforth announced in a gazette extraordinary the declaration, and his being authorized to grant letters of marque and general reprisals. The active exertions of Captains Nourse and Shipley for the protection of the trade were most praiseworthy. Besides L'Harmonie, captured by Captain Nourse, a privateer equally famed, L'Egyptienne, mounting thirty-six guns, had been taken by Captain Shipley. Commodore Hood reported from Barbados, on the 13th of July 1804, that the squadron under his command had captured, from the 1st of January to the 30th of June, thirty-three sail, twelve of which were armed vessels.

The American schooner Industry, J. E. Gage master, arrived in Carlisle Bay on the 27th of January 1805, with one hundred and ninety Germans saved from the American ship Sarah, bound from Bremen to Philadelphia, which she fell in with on the 11th of January, almost waterlogged and fast filling. About thirty of the unfortunate crew were left on board the Sarah, in consequence of the boat of the Industry being stove in, in the exertions to save them. The inhabitants of Bridgetown received these poor people with the greatest kindness and humanity: a number of them accepted labour, and were distributed amongst the in

is a slope which was used for the construction of a battery called the Queen's Battery, with a seventy-four pounder commanding the entrance and nearly the whole of the bay. From this battery a covered way was made to another fronting the north-east, called the Centaur, where there was another twenty-four pounder. Between the two batteries a rope-ladder was fixed, by which the garrison passed to the middle of the rock to Hood's Battery, mounting a twenty-four pounder; thence the ascent to the top winds through shrubs and crags, and on the summit were two long eighteenpounders and the union jack. The process by which these guns were got up was ingenious; the Commodore's ship, the Centaur, was brought close under, and a cable fastened on the top of the rock, which served as a stay, upon which travellers passed, to which the gun was lashed, being hove up on board the Centaur by a purchase fastened on the rock. On her Majesty's birthday the British flag was hoisted, and a salute fired and the rock put in commission.-(Naval Chronicle, vol. xii. p. 205.)

habitants, but others fell into the hands of designing men, who took advantage of their distress and compelled them to enter into articles injurious to their interest. Lord Seaforth considered it therefore necessary to appoint a Committee by proclamation, to inquire into the condition of these unfortunate persons and to forbid their being secreted.

Napoleon sent Admiral Missiessy in 1805 with a squadron, consisting of five sail of the line, three frigates, two brigs, and some other vessels, with four thousand troops under the command of La Grange, to the West Indies. They arrived on the 20th of February in Martinique. Information of the arrival of this formidable armament in the Caribbean Sea had reached Barbados on the 26th of February, and it was deemed necessary to adopt the strongest measures to guard the island against surprise. A body of sea-fencibles were enrolled under Captain Kempt of the Royal Navy, consisting of merchants' seamen, and the most effectual means were otherwise taken to put the island in a state of defence. His Excellency called upon the patriotic inhabitants to contribute towards the service, and a committee was appointed to ascertain what number of horses and draft-cattle, drivers and trusty negroes, they could depend on in case of need. The call of the spirited and vigilant chief was so promptly answered, that the offer of voluntary contributions amounted the first day to forty horse- and cattle-carts, sixty-six horses, three hundred and forty oxen, ninety-five drivers, one hundred and twenty-nine trusty negroes, and six hand-carts: the contribution of one individual in money amounted to five hundred pounds. The labour of negroes for eighteen hundred days was registered to aid the Governor and the Commander of the troops in forwarding the defences of the island. Lord Seaforth called the Legislature together on the 6th of March, and recommended strenuously the furnishing pecuniary means for putting the island in a state of defence. The General Assembly passed three bills with great alacrity for that purpose; namely, first, an act for raising a sum of money by assessing sevenpence halfpenny upon each slave, which would yield a sum of two thousand five hundred pounds :-secondly, an act to authorize his Excellency to receive the voluntary contributions of the inhabitants of the island, and to apply the same to its defence 1:-thirdly, an act to regulate the militia of the island for the time being.


Mr. Mayers moved an addition to the militia-bill of the following "That the Governor shall have power, with the consent of his Council, to proclaim martial law upon receiving information that an enemy's fleet is at sea, and that from the course it was seen steering, there would be no doubt on his mind that this island was likely to be attacked; but that this law should not be in force longer than three

The voluntary contributions in cash amounted on the 30th of March to £1542.

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