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Lord Nelson in the Victory, with the fleet under his command, arrived at Barbados on the 4th of June 1805, where he found Admiral Cochrane with two ships. He was informed that the combined fleets of Villeneuve and Gravina had been seen from St. Lucia standing to the southward; and although he had some doubt of the truth of this information, he nevertheless, after taking on board a reinforcement of two thousand troops under Lieutenant-General Sir William Myers, gave the signal to weigh anchor the next morning, and hastened to Trinidad: on his arrival there he had the mortification to find that he had been misled.

About the same time information was received in Barbados that the Diamond Rock, commanded by Captain Maurice, had capitulated, under condition that the garrison should be allowed to march to the Queen's Battery, with drums beating and colours flying, and there lay down their arms. They stipulated to be sent to Barbados at the expense of the French Government, but not to serve again until regularly exchanged. The garrison, consisting of one hundred and eighty men, including Captain Maurice and two officers, were consequently embarked on board La Fein and arrived at Barbados on the morning of the 6th of June. They had bravely defended themselves for three days against a squadron of two sail of the line, one frigate, one brig, a schooner, eleven gunboats, on the nearest calculation manned by fifteen hundred men. Want of ammunition and water obliged them to surrender on the 2nd of June. A court-martial was held on the 24th of June, on board the Circe in Carlisle Bay for the trial of Captain Maurice, the officers and company of his Majesty's late sloop Diamond Rock', who were most honourably acquitted and highly commended for their spirited defence. This great conquest was the only achievement of the combined French and Spanish fleet in the West Indies that year.

The official news of Lord Nelson's glorious victory at Trafalgar over the fleets of France and Spain on the 21st of October 1805, and his death in the action, reached Barbados on the 20th of December. The 23rd of that month was dedicated to the celebration of the victory by a brilliant illumination in Bridgetown, and a funeral sermon was preached on the ensuing 5th of January, in St. Michael's church, on the death of the hero. A general mourning was observed by the inhabitants of the island; and a subscription was entered into for the purpose of erecting a monument to Nelson's memory, which was executed in 1813. But while such honours were paid to the exalted heroism of the departed, the inhabitants did not neglect to pay the tribute of esteem to the brave and noble among the living. The underwriters of the two insurance-offices in Barbados

1 It has been already observed that this remarkable rock was commissioned in the character of a sloop of war, and the garrison was always spoken of under the denomination of her crew.

unanimously voted a piece of plate of the value of five hundred pounds sterling to Rear-Admiral Cochrane, in testimony of their high consideration of his meritorious services during his command on the station. The same underwriters had voted a piece of plate of the value of two hundred guineas on the 19th of February 1806 to Captain Younghusband of his Majesty's ship Heureux for his zeal in protecting the trade.

The scarcity of provisions in Barbados in 1806 was very great; flour rose to five pounds per barrel: a similar scarcity prevailed throughout all the West India islands; and upon the recommendation of the Lords' Committee of Council for Trade, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury authorized the payment of a bounty of two shillings per quintal upon salt-fish imported in British ships from the British colonies in North America, for the period of one year, upon the understanding that the respective Colonial Legislatures were to refund the amount of such bounties. Similar bounties to the following amount, namely, "upon shads, per barrel of thirty-two gallons, one shilling and sixpence, herrings two shillings and sixpence, mackerel three shillings, salmon four shillings' --were granted if imported in like manner: these bounties were extended from year to year for a considerable period.

On the 10th of June 1806 a resolution passed the House of Commons, by a majority of ninety-five to fifteen, declaring the slave-trade to be founded on principles contrary to justice, humanity and sound policy, and engaging to institute measures for its total abolition. The Lords concurred in the vote, by a majority of forty-one to twenty; and the same day an address to the King was moved and carried, praying his Majesty to negotiate with foreign Powers for their co-operation towards effecting a total abolition of the trade to Africa for slaves. There is no doubt that this resolution inflicted a mortal wound on the slave-trade; and although its entire abolition has not yet been effected, those who assisted in the passing of this bill have the satisfaction of having largely contributed to save thousands then unborn from the miseries of slavery. The statute 47 Geo. III., chap. 36, which passed on the 25th of March 1807, utterly abolished the traffic and purchase of slaves from Africa after the 1st of May 1807.

The merchants in Barbados had purchased in 1804 a brig called "The Brave," which had been captured from the enemy, and offered her to his Majesty's service to be employed on the island station under the name of the Barbados frigate. This desirable gift of the inhabitants of Barbados had been accepted by Government, and upon the recommendation of the Barbadians Captain Nourse was appointed to command her. "The great and leading motives to this purchase and gift to Government were unquestionably derived from the purest patriotism and zeal for the public service: more subordinate projects were the particular

defence of the colony, and the general annoyance of the enemy in the Caribbean Sea." This spirited example was followed by several other islands, and his Majesty's navy received the assistance of other cruizers under similar circumstances. The Barbados, during the short term of eighteen months that she was employed, captured the French privateers the Napoleon, of eighteen guns and one hundred and eighty men, L'Heureux, of twelve guns and ninety men, La Désirée, of fourteen guns and ninety men, a valuable ship from Cayenne, and a Spanish brig, and recaptured an English Guineaman and an American ship. The Barbadians felt therefore the greatest regret when it was understood this year that the ship was to be put out of commission and laid up; and the zealous agent of the island, Mr. Jordan, memorialized the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to repair and re-employ the Barbados. The Navy Board had her re-surveyed, but her defects were reported to be so great that the former resolution was adhered to.

After a new election, the Governor met the Assembly on the 1st of July in the Council-chamber, and alluded to the events which had rendered the past year so memorable. He informed the Assembly that he had received orders to communicate to them the intentions of his Majesty to extend the bounty for supplying the island with fish, and he expected the co-operation of the Legislature to that effect. He likewise communicated that it was contemplated to build a barrack capable of containing eight hundred additional men, and recommended that negro labour should be provided for that purpose. The Governor alluded further to the new danger which had arisen from the enemy having appeared in a very superior naval force in the neighbourhood, and recommended that no time should be lost in establishing an efficient militia force. He observed that he had been instructed to preserve the prerogative of the Crown to declare martial law when he considered it necessary for the safety of the colony; at the same time he assured the Assembly that he was not actuated by any motive of giving annoyance, but a sincere desire to contribute to the security and welfare of the island.

Certain information had been received that a French squadron under Rear-Admiral Guillaumez had safely reached Martinique. Captain Jerome Bonaparte, in the Veteran of seventy-four, belonged to this squadron, which consisted of six line-of-battle ships, and the Valeureux of fortyfour guns. They soon after commenced their predatory system, and attacked the defenceless island of Montserrat.

A squadron for the reinforcement of the West India station arrived on the 9th of July, under Vice-Admiral Sir J. B. Warren, consisting of six sail of the line, the Amazon of thirty-eight, two of eighteen, and the John Bull cutter. They did not anchor, with the exception of the Amazon, but bore away in the afternoon.

1 Mr. Jordan's Letter to the Admiralty.

1806.]

PRESIDENT SPOONER ASSUMES THE ADMINISTRATION.

369

Colonel Shipley, who commanded for a number of years the Royal Engineers, was about to leave Barbados on the 1st of July. A deputation from the inhabitants was appointed to express their regret at his departure, and to request him to accept a piece of plate of the value of two hundred guineas, as an acknowledgment of his unremitting and indefatigable attention to the colony, particularly whilst under martial law.

The honourable the members of his Majesty's Council presented on the 15th of July an answer to the Governor's speech delivered on the 1st. of July to both houses, which concluded in the following words :-"The declaration of martial law, in times of imminent danger, we conceive to be the undoubted prerogative of the Crown, and we trust that such a prerogative may be safely placed in the hands of his Majesty's representatives in your Excellency's hands, to the purity of whose motives. we can be no strangers after an experience of more than five years, which has convinced us that the welfare of the island under your command is the primary object, we are sure that the exercise of it can never be abused to the danger or injury of the constitutional liberties of the subject."

For some months previously a rumour was rife that Lord Seaforth intended to return to England, without the express day being mentioned. As soon as this was ascertained, the merchants and other principal inhabitants of Bridgetown gave a public farewell dinner, on the 22nd of July, in testimony of the general estimation of the merits of his administration. His Lordship took his departure from Barbados on the 25th of July 1806.

CHAPTER X.

PERIOD FROM THE ADMINISTRATION OF PRESIDENT SPOONER IN 1806 TO THE INSTALMENT OF SIR JAMES LEITH AS GOVERNOR.

MR. JOHN INCE as President of the Council was to succeed as Commander ad interim. On the very day which had been appointed for swearing him into office, he closed his earthly career. His death was occasioned by an accident, a negro's driving a horse furiously against him (about a fortnight previous to his death) just as he had mounted his own, from which he was thrown and received a contusion which ultimately proved fatal. The senior member in succession to the President's chair, Mr. John Spooner, was sworn in as President and Commander-inchief on the 31st of July, and took up his residence at Pilgrim. At the

first meeting the House voted three thousand pounds currency per annum for the better support of the dignity of his government. President Spooner alluded in his address to the total want of a police in Bridgetown,a theme which had been frequently dwelt upon, though hitherto without effect.

As early as April 1805 the Council transmitted a bill to the House of Assembly, which had passed it unanimously, entitled an "Act for the better protection of the Slaves of this island," which repealed a disgraceful clause in one of the old statutes, punishing merely with a fine of fifteen pounds currency the murder of a slave. At the Court of Grand Sessions on the 9th of December, at which Mr. John A. Beckles presided as Chief-Justice, John Welch was indicted for the murder of his slave. In the excellent charge which the Chief-Justice delivered to the Grand Jury, he drew their attention to the repeal of an act which for a century past had been a disgrace to the code of laws, and added that the Legislature had made it now a capital offence. This indictment excited the greatest attention, as it was the first ever preferred in the island against a white man for the murder of a slave. No conviction however ensued; the Grand Jury threw out the bill, and declared in open court that the evidence adduced had not been in any manner sufficient to bring the charge home to the prisoner, who was then discharged.

A general election of representatives having taken place, President Spooner met the Legislature on the 4th of August 1807. Barbados had been for some time without a militia-bill, and the President alluded to the disgrace, that while every other island, however small, had thought it expedient for its protection to have a militia regulated by law, the populous island of Barbados formed a solitary exception. The Assembly admitted the necessity of an effective and well-disciplined militia, and pledged themselves to use every means to establish it. The President likewise drew their attention to the prudence of increasing the cultivation of provisions in their own island, the relations between England and the United States being by no means on such a friendly footing as to render a rupture improbable.

The commerce of Barbados was this year more annoyed by privateers than at any previous period. In consequence of the absence of Admiral Cochrane, it appeared that the cruisers on the station were fettered in their proceedings against them. Guadaloupe alone had equipped thirty privateers, among which the 'General Ernouf,' the 'Victor,' and others famed for their depredations, had hitherto avoided all encounters with his Majesty's cruizers. The zealous exertions of Captain Ballard of his Majesty's ship 'Blonde,' deprived the enemy in a few weeks of five privateers, among which were the 'Alerte,' 'L'Hirondelle,' and 'Duquesne.' Captain Ballard received in December 1807, from the insurance-offices in Barbados, three hundred guineas as an acknowledgment of his exertions

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