Monday 19 August 2013

Articles of Capitulation for the Surrender of the Island of Trinidad

Art. I. The officers and troops of his Catholic Majesty and his Allies in the Island of Trinidad, are to
surrender themselves prisoners of war, and are to deliver up the territory, forts, buildings, arms, ammunition, money, effects, plans and stores, with exact inventories thereof, belonging to his Catholic Majesty; and they are hereby transferred to his Britannic Majesty in the same manner and possession as has been held heretofore by his said Catholic Majesty.

Art. II. The troops of his Catholic Majesty are to march out with the honours of war, and to lay down their arms at the distance of three hundred paces from the forts they occupy, at five o'clock this evening.

Art. III. All the officers and troops aforesaid of his Catholic Majesty are allowed to keep their private
effects, and the officers are allowed to wear their swords.

Art. IV. Admiral Don Sebastien Ruez de Apodaca being on shore in the island, after having burnt and abandoned his ships, he with the officers and men belonging to the squadron under his command, are included in this Capitulation, under the same terms as are granted to his Catholic Majesty's troops.

Art. V. As soon as ships can be conveniently provided for the purpose, the prisoners are to be conveyed to Old Spain, they remaining prisoners of war until exchanged by a cartel between the two nations, or until the Peace; it being dearly understood that they will not serve against Great Britain or her Allies until exchanged.

Art. VI. There being some officers among his Catholic Majesty's troops whose private affairs require their presence at different places of the Continent of America, such officers are permitted to go upon their parole to the said places for six months more or less, after which period they are to return to Europe; but as the number receiving this indulgence must be limited, His Excellency Don Chacon will previously deliver to the British Commanders a list of their names, rank and places, which they are going to.

Art. VII. The officers of the royal administration, upon the delivery of the stores with which they are charged, to such officers as may be appointed by the British Commanders, will receive receipts according to the custom in like cases, from the officers so appointed to receive the stores.

Art. VIII. All the private property of the inhabitants, as well Spaniards as any such as have been naturalized, is preserved to them.

Art. IX. All public Records are to be preserved in such Courts or Offices as they are now in; and all Contracts or Purchases between individuals, which have been done according to the laws of Spain, are to be held binding and valid by the British Government.

Art. X. The Spanish officers of administration, who are possessed of landed property in Trinidad, are allowed to remain in the Island, they taking the oaths of allegiance to His Britannic Majesty; and they are further allowed, should they please, to sell or dispose of their property, and to retire elsewhere.

Art. XI. The free exercise of their religion is allowed to the inhabitants.

Art. XII. The free coloured people, who have been acknowledged as such by the laws of Spain, shall be protected in their liberty, persons and property, like other inhabitants, they taking the oath of allegiance and demeaning themselves as becomes good and peaceable subjects of His Britannic Majesty.

Art. XIII. The sailors and soldiers of his Catholic Majesty are, from the time of their laying down their
arms, to be fed by the British Government, leaving the expense to be regulated by the cartel between the two nations.

Art. XIV. The sick of the Spanish troops will be taken care of, but are to be attended by, and to be under the inspection of, their own surgeons.

Art. XV. All the inhabitants of Trinidad shall, within thirty days from the date hereof, take the oath of allegiance to His Britannic Majesty, to demean themselves quietly and faithfully to His government,
upon pain, in case of non-compliance, of being sent away from the island.

Done at Port DEspagne, in the Island of Trinidad,
the 18th day of February 1797.

Ralph Abercromby
Henry Harvey
Joseph Maria Chacon

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