Thursday, 25 May 2017

Circumstances surrounding the Fedon Revolution of 1795, Grenada

Grenada 28th February 1795

My Lord Duke,

                           I have the honor to receive Your Grace’s Circular Letter of the 3rd December enclosing copies of the Regulations adopted by the Board of Ordinance in passing the accounts of their accountants, and of The King’s Regulations in respect to the carrying on of Fortifications or other Military Services, to which I shall strictly conform.
                           I am also honored with Your Grace’s letter No 5, of the 10th December. I have fully explained to Sir John Vaughan the circumstances which render a strong Military Force of peculiar importance in this Island, and he has promised to remember it as soon as the reinforcement shall arrive. In the mean.

His grace
The Duke of Portland KG
&c                  &c                  &c
Page 2 missing?

Grenada, 28th Feb 1795 
Lt. Gov. Home

R 21st, April
ITEM:                                    Letter (Pages 1 to 5)
DATED:                        15TH March, 1795
FROM:                                    General Sir John Vaughan, Martinique
TO:                                    The Hon Henry Dundas
RECEIVED:                        1st June, 1795 (Duplicate – original not received)
SUBJECT:            Advising
 (a) Receipt of letters dated 3rd, 5th and 9th March from the Council of Grenada informing him that the Enemy (French) had landed at Grenville, had murdered many unresisting people, and had captured Lieut. Gov. Home plus about 30 other planters.
(b) That HMS Quebec (Captain Rogers) followed by HMS Resource had gone to the Island and that HMS Roebuck, outfitted as a hospital ship, was in Grenada at the time the French had landed.
(c) That he had sent Brig. Gen. Lindsay with a small party to take the Command, and that Lieut. Col. Shaw[1] of the 68th Regt. with a detachment of 140 men from the 9th and 68th had been sent from St. Lucia.
(d) That Gen. Seton of St. Vincent informed him that on 10th March the Caribs, abetted by the French, had attacked on that Island and that he had sent a Company of the 46th and 9th Regiments plus, at Gov. Seton’s request, enough arms and ammunition to arm 500 Negroes to assist in defending the Island.
(e)  That Major Malcolm’s force was holding the French in check in St. Lucia and that he had every confidence in Brig. General Stewart’s command in that Island. However, the Enemy was also threatening Antigua and other Colonies. His Squadron was blockading the made Harbour at Guadeloupe, but the French have been using small vessels to escape at night, each with 40 or 50 men bound for St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada.
(f) That he was extremely mortified at the situation and most disappointed at the long delay in sending reinforcements and provisions for the Fleet etc.
ENCLOSURE:            A letter captured from the French was enclosed with General Vaughan’s letter, but a copy of that enclosure is not held.

[1] Also seen spelt as Schaw in letters from Gov. Mackenzie of Grenada
ITEM:                                    Letter (Pages 1 to 7)
DATED:                        28TH March, 1795
FROM:                                    K. F. Mackenzie – Acting Governor, Grenada
TO:                                    The Duke of Portland, K.G. – Whitehall, England
SUBJECT:            Advising
 (a) General insurrection of French Free Coloured people on 2nd March, massacre of White English inhabitants at Grenville, capture of White English inhabitants at Charlotte Town, including Lieutenant Governor (Ninian) Home who was on his way back to St. George’s by sea,  and  others from several estates in the Country.
(b) That he, Mackenzie, as the then senior member of the Council, had assumed command of the Island and had immediately placed the Island under Martial Law and sent Express Boats to inform the Governors of St. Vincent and Trinidad, the Captains of any British ships which the Express Boats might encounter, and the commanders of the British Land and Sea Forces (based, at the time, in Martinique)
(c) That, for a number of reasons,  attacks ordered against the Insurrectionists had all failed and that, with the assistance of a party of marines under the command of Captain Rogers from HMS Quebec, and of 40 soldiers and three armed ships sent by Governor Chacon of Trinidad, he had decided to focus on defending St. George’s until reinforcements arrived.
 (d) That Brigadier General Genera Lindsay had arrived from Martinique on the 12th March to take command but that, after initial success in capturing the lower of the enemy’s three Posts, (at what is now called Fedon’s Camp)had contracted fever and, in a fit of delusion, had committed suicide.
(e)  That Lieutenant Colonel Schaw of the 60th Regiment, who took over command of the Troops, and other officers had all concluded that their Force was to small to mount an effective attack against the remaining two Posts. As a result, he, Mackenzie, was forced to act on the defensive until reinforcements could arrive.
(f) He ends by praising the assistance provided by Captain Rogers and by Gov. Chacon and Don Churruca, the commanding officer of the Spanish force from Trinidad, but severely criticizing works at the Richmond Hill Prison..
No 22 Secret                                                                                          4--
                                                                    Martinico the 16th April 1795
                  My last letter to you of the 27th March inclosed(sic) the latest account I had then received of affairs in Grenada.                                                                     The Convoy under the orders of R. Adm. Parker arrived at Barbados on and about the 30th March. The situations of the Islands of St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada were equally critical and pressing for support – In the first the Enemy comprised bodies of revolted Negroes, headed by people from Guadaloupe, had increased in Numbers and arms so that we were reduced to the possession of M. Fr…. And the Town; the Enemy had taken Post upon two different points at a short distance from the ------ which they threatened to attack.-                                            
At St. Vincent the Charibs(sic) notwithstanding their defeat on Dorsetshire Hill, were in full possession of all the windward country, and we could not – more than guard Kingstown and the Fort.The interior of Grenada was wholly exposed to the Enemy in that Island, who were gaining daily in seducing the Negroes to their cause, and the untimely death of Brig. General Lindsay had again let the Command devolve upon a Gentleman respectable as a civilian but totally unqualified for the conduct of Military operations. As Grenada is a very valuable Colony, I (thought) deserved the first attention. I therefore sent Major Picton D.2. Maj. Gen. to meet the Convoy at Barbados with order to detach from thence without delay three of the Battalions most fit for service, and a strong Party of artillery; which I had reason to think was a force adequate to restore tranquility upon their appearance.
Unfortunately in this instance, as in many others, the evil effect of the Reinforcement being not half the strength which from your letters I had expected, has been much experienced – Major Picton finding the weakened state of the number of Troops in the Convoy, consulted with Colonel Nicolls, and with his advice ordered but two Battalions to Grenada, the 25th and 29th under the Command of Lieut. Col. Campbell.
I had left some discretion in the Orders which I sent by Major Picton, and he considered that as the whole Force arrived was smaller than was looked for, that the several parts must be proportional- I approved of this Reason; being of opinion that even two Battalions, if fit for Service, would accomplish the Business without much Difficulty.-
This Force landed at Grenada on the first Instant, and such a Disposition was made, as the president had upon Reflection and Knowledge of the Country thought and decided to be the best –
On the 12th Instant the Account reached me that the Troops had failed in an attack made upon the Enemy’s principal Post, with some loss.
I cannot enter into a detail of these transactions, it would require a great deal of Time, and that I can refer you for particulars to the several inclosures(sic)—the subject which I transmit from Mr. President MacKenzie and Lieut. Col. Campbell –
I must acknowledge that this turn of affairs was unlooked for by me-
As it was evident that a Commanding Officer was wanting, I instantly sent off Colonel Nicolls whom I had promoted to the Rank of Brigadier to take the Command. He left this on the 12th Inst. with every direction for his conduct which I could think of, but it is yet too soon to hear from him.
The remaining three Regiments which arrived at Barbados were ordered immediately here; as I have no doubt that they would be greatly inferior to the 46th and 61st Regts I had these Regiments in perfect readiness to embark, which they did the following day: the 46th I sent to St. Vincent, and the 34th and 61st to St. Lucia – The Battalion of the Queens and 45th were landed at Martinico.
It is very mortifying to me that the imminent danger to which each of the three abovementioned Islands were reduced, indeed this disposition unavoidable, by which the acting Force was in three Divisions_
A few days previous to receiving the Reinforcement and indeed, previous to the arrival of the Troops at Barbados Brig. Gen. Stewart at St. Lucia had fail’d in our attempt to dislodge the Enemy from one of their strongholds- I had given him Notice that he should soon be able to act offensively again, and desired him to be prepared with a plan of Operations-
When the 34th and 61st Reg. with a Detachment of Royal Arty. arrived, the Brigadier endeavoured to cut off the Enemy from the interior of the Country but in this he did not succeed; they retreated and he could only burn their Camp. He is now engaged in an attack upon Vieux Fort and Neighbourhood which is their principal Rendezvous, and where they receive their supplies.-
St. Vincent has been more fortunate in attacks upon the Enemy. The 46th Regt enabled Governor Seton to attempt three Posts of the Enemy in the night of the 10th inst. which were all successful and this barbarous Enemy driven to the Mountains with the loss of their Guns, but they have destroyed by Fire almost every Plantation on the Windward side of the Island.
In this Situation we now remain.
The other Islands have also been in a state of Danger, which required the utmost exertion on their own parts to ward off.
In Antigua and St. Kitts the inhabitants have been under arms for several weeks and  must remain so.
Necessity has convinced the Legislature of these Islands, however averse they were to the Principles, that they must have recourse to such Negroes, as they think they can rely on, for the defense of their Properties; and accordingly in each, they have arm’d and embodied a large Number._ I had no Troops at my command to send them although the important Garrison of Brimstone Hill consists only of about seventy Invalids which were sent from Guadeloupe unfit for duty in the month of October last, for the recovery of their health_ It has there given me the greatest concern that I have not rec’d His Majesty’s approbation for forming strong bodies of Blacks.. Nothing in my opinion can be more certain than the indispensable necessity there is for this measure _ It is to the Black forces under Lieut. Colonel Soter that we owe the possession of Martinico at this Moment.
It is to the lately raised Corps of Blacks under Capt. Malcolm that we have been able to retain our footing in St. Lucia. I do aver that had it not been for the Services of these two provincial – that both these Islands would before now have been lost._ It is in these Islands that my recommendation to establish Corps of Blacks is meant, the English Islands having Governors and Legislatures of their own, may judge for themselves.
I believe all of them have more or less adopted the plan and in compliance with their earnest solicitations I have supplied them with considerable quantities of Arms and Ammunition for their Militia and Negroes.
St. Vincent has only saved the small part of the Island which remains undevasted(sic) by the arming of Negroes. With all these proofs in support of an opinion I had formed since I cannot but with infinite Regret reflect that a set of self-interested Merchants who will not give a small part to save the remainder, should be attended to in the conducting of Operations in this Country, in preference to an officer commanding in Chief, who can have no motive but his own Credit, and the success of His Majesty’s Arms. I hope that Ministry will yet weigh this important Point with the attention it deserves.
Confident of His Majesty’s approbation, I had ordered Soter’s and Malcolm’s Corps to be augmented to four Companies each, of One hundred men per Company. The men for this service are obtained from the Colony, and the proprietors are to be paid their value by a Tax upon the whole Island.
It is an unpleasant part of my Duty to state to you the condition of the 45th Reg. I hesitate not to say that it is totally unfit for Service in any climate and more particularly here. It is chiefly composed of Boys, who have not strength to carry arms, and the Regiment has no article of Clothing suitable to this Country. It is injustice to expect successful service from such a Battalion. I speak not as a fault to be imputed to their officers, as the Regiment was completed, I understand, by a large number of raw Recruits previous to Embarkation.
The Battalion of the Queens appears better but have only three or four of their own officers, the others being from independent Companies.
Your letters No: and 11, with the dispatches directed to the Dutch Governors of their several Colonies in the West Indies, I had the Honor to receive last Night; and the Chesterfield packet arrived with the duplicates at the same time.
It is my first desire to execute all His Majesty’s Commands; and I should with the utmost sense of Gratification, proceed upon the Directions contained in our letters relative to the Dutch Colonies, with the Forces under my Command adequate to the service; But Sir, as they are unequal at present, and are struggling to maintain our own Colonies; they are consequently still more unequal for the further service in question.
For this obvious Reason it is not to be expected any of the Dutch Colonies can be guarded by us if they are disposed to receive our Troops as Friends --we are able to secure the quiet possession of our own.
The Situation of the several Islands, and indeed the importance of great attention to the interior of Martinico has made it absolutely necessary for me to remain in this Colony as the center of all, and the most advantageous to receive or transmit Orders and Supplies from and to all the others; But for this I should certainly have been at St. Lucia and Grenada.
The Admiral has appointed a Convoy to sail from St. Kitts on the first of May, by which will be sent the Officers and Non Com. Officers of the drafted Regts. including the 58th and 64th. Also the French prisoners to the amount of above Seven hundred; as many of them are people of a very dangerous class here, I shall transmit with them an account of all who are of this description. The Enemy still retains their Prisoners at P.a Pitre, contrary to the Treaty of Capitulation.

I have the honor to be Sir, your Very Obedt. Humble

Servant                                        John Vaughan
Right Honorable,                                                  Henry Dundas

The Admiral will dispatch a Frigate immediately to the Governor of Demerary to deliver the dispatches of His Serene Highness the Prince Stadtholder; and a joint Letter from us to your Letter No. 11-
Quarter Mas. Genl. has received 5000 shoes, Flannel Waistcoats and drawers: and I request another supply of these articles as soon as they can be sent –
NB. 5 Inclosures
No. 23

Martinico – sixteenth April 1795

The Enemy having gain’d to their cause many of the French Inhabitants and Negroes in Grenada, and concerted measures for raising an Insurrection in that Colony, which from the perfidy of the inhabitants alluded to, they were invited to attempt.
They convey’d to that Island early in last March a quantity of arms and ammunition, with a small Number of Troops, which secretly joining themselves to the Conspirators appear’d suddenly in arms.
Lieut. Governor Home, and many other Gentlemen in the Country, were surprised and made Prisoners. His Majesty’s Troops being employ’d on many points, this dangerous Revolt could not be immediately suppressed; though from the Exertions of Capt. Rogers, H.M.S. the Quebec, and of the small Garrison there join’d to the Militia they were kept in cheque. (sic).   
The unfortunate death of Br.General Lindsay, ----- I sent to command there/ a few days after his arrival, retarded the Operations against them upon the arrival of the Reinforcement under the Command of Rear Adm. Parker at Barbados, two Battalions with a detachment of Royal Artillery was order’d to Grenada,
Several Skirmishes have happen’d since their landing in one of which, on the tenth Instant, it is with concern I have learnt that Captain Stopford[1] of the 9th Regt, Capt, Hewan[2] 25th and Baillie of the 29th were kill’d; and about twenty men killed and sixty wounded; owing entirely to their attempting the side of a steep Mountain defended wit abbatis(sic)[3].
Brig. General Nicolls whom I have sent to command there, will I am satisfied make every exertion to subdue this Enemy; and I trust soon to receive good Accounts from him.
I am sorry to add that the Enemy has committed many acts of Barbarity.
In St. Vincent, the Charibs(sic) instigated by the French and joined by most of the French Inhabitants, seized a favorable time most treacherously to attack the English Inhabitants of that Colony: the Acts of cruelty which they have committed upon defenseless Men, Women and Children are beyond Description; and burning every Plantation in their power.
Fortunately by Governor Seton’s Exertion, and of the Navy under Capt. Skinner of the Zebra, with the spirited behaviour of the Garrison and Inhabitants, they were                                                                                                                   (cont’d on page 3)
Beaten from a Post they occupied over Kingston, with the loss of their Chief; and the arrival of the 46th Reg. has enabled the Governor again to attack them, which he did on the tenth instant; and succeeded in driving them from three positions, with considerable loss on their side, and but small upon ours.    
I am in hope they will experience a just Punishment for their inhuman and unprovoked conduct.
The Colony from their Devastations is reduced to a very distressed Situation.
Frequent skirmishes pass at St. Lucia but as Brig. Gen. Stewart has received a considerable Reinforcement I flatter myself he will be able to make such an Impression upon the Enemy as will restore the Island to order.-
I have the Honor to be,
                                    With Great Respect
                              Your Most Obed.Hum. Servant
                                    John Vaughan

Right Hon’ble
      Henry Dundas

[1] Henry Stopford
[2] Tho. Barftow Hewan
[3] Abatis. A defense made of trees with boughs pointed outwards.
Most private
Martinique –18 April 1795

     I am very sorry to find by your letter of the 19 February that in consequence of the opinions of some West India Planters and Merchants in London, you disapprove of the arming of the Blacks to be commanded by British Officers for the defense of the Colonies and that His Majesty desires I will refrain from the measure at least for the present.
I must confess that I am not surprised at this opinion of the x x Merchants and Planters in England, because six or eight months ago, I am well informed that the Planters resident in these Islands thought exactly in the same manner. But the late transaction at Guadaloupe first opened the eyes of the most enlightened and least prejudiced amongst them: and what has lately at St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Grenada has left no difference of Sentiment on this subject in their breasts. It is fair to argue that those who are on the spot, and see themselves and families exposed to dangers of the most trying kind, are more fitted to form an opinion on this subject than those who are at the distance of three thousand miles, and who have nothing but loss of property to contemplate.
For my own part, when I see that the war in this part of the Globe is carried on in the unexampled manner it now is; that the enemy avail themselves of the aid, not only of the native white men, but of the negroes who are incured(sic) to the Climate, can brave the dangers of it, and can be easily procured in such great numbers, whilst we are confined to the use of European troops, few in numbers, and in discipline, and exposed to the ravages of an unhealthy climate with which they are unable to contend, and to which they fall such numerous victims, I cannot hesitate to declare it as my opinion that unless His Majesty will be graciously pleased to sanction and promote this measure of xx forming negroe(sic) men into Regiments xx commanded by British Officers; or will send out a greater number of veteran British troops than has usually been done, I am afraid all these colonies will be wrested out of our hands and at no great distance of time.
Had it not been for the French negroes, which I suddenly and on the pressure of the moment armed in this Island and sent over to St. Lucia under the command of Major Malcolm, I am persuaded that Colony would have been long since lost to us. Nor are you a stranger to the great utility which Lieut. Col. Seton’s Company of blacks have been of in preserving tranquility in the interior of this Island. Besides it will be prudent at this ^time to keep alive the animosity which it is well known has hitherto subsisted between the English and French Blacks by arming the former against the latter. As otherwise it is to be feared that in case of invasion of any of our old Islands by the French, our slaves may be induced by the alluring offer of freedom to join their brethren in arms.
Some of the Islands, particularly those of Antigua and St. Kitts, have since the disasters of Grenada and St. Vincent, already armed large bodies of their negroes, and occasionally muster and discipline them for their internal defense in case of invasion, and I have little doubt but that ere long some if not all of these Colonies will spontaneously offer a certain proportion of their slaves to His Majesty to constitute a part of his army here. Should this offer be made to me as His Majesty’s confidential servant here, I cannot but confess that I shall feel myself very awkwardly situated. The struggle within my breast on this occasion is very great. My Inclination, no less than my Duty points out to me the strictest obedience to His Majesty’s will.
I must beg leave to state to you that the war in these Colonies is now carried on in a manner totally different to what it was before, even in Sir Charles Grey’s time, for the enemy now make it a war of posts, instead of making the xx Sovereignty of the Island their only object as before. They endeavour by every means to harass and weaken our regular forces hoping thereby, and by myriads of negroes they have at their command, ultimately to wrest from us these valuable Colonies.
 I undertook this Command with the sole view of promoting the good of my Country, and securing the Dignity and Honour of my Gracious Sovereign, and my most unremitted endeavours shall never be wanting to attain such desirable ends.

I have the honour to be with the greatest respect
your most obedient and most humble servant
John Vaughan
Grenada, 24th April, 1795
My Lord Duke,
                           In my letter of the 28th of March I had the honour to acquaint Your Grace with the particulars of a General Insurrection which had broken out in this Island and of the situation of our affairs to that period.
In pursuance of the Plan which I then stated to your Grace, one hundred Regulars and Militia under Captain Gurdon of the 58th Regiment embarked on two armed vessels with orders to effect a landing at Grenville Bay, and a party of fifty Militia were stationed at the Observatory, a commanding situation at five miles distance, to watch their debarkation and march to support them.—Captain Gurdon not thinking it advisable to enter Grenville Bay landed his party at Levera at the windward end of the Island, and joined the Militia at the observatory from whence he marched on the 2nd of April towards Grenville Bay but finding the Enemy in possession of the Pilots Hill, which it was intended he should occupy, and protected apparently by two pieces of Cannon, he thought his Force insufficient for the Enterprise & returned to the observatory. An extract of his Letter to me of the 3rd of April is enclosed for your Grace’s further information. (No.1)
         Under the idea that the landing place at Grenville Bay would be secured by Capt. Gurdon’s Detachment, I dispatched an express to meet the Commanding Officer of our expected Reinforcements, stating our situation, and desiring him to .land his Force in three divisions at Grenville Bay, Charlotte Town and St. George’s; as the only effectual Way of subduing the Insurgents would be by making a General movement towards the different avenues of their Camp at the same moment. My messenger found the 25th & 29th Regiments on their way from Barbados under the command of Lieut. Col. Campbell of the 29th to whom he delivered my Letter No. 2.
Lieut. Col. Campbell proceeded with the Fleet to Charlotte Town & there disembarked the two Regiments on the 1st instant.  On hearing of his arrival I had an interview with him to concert the best measures for employing his force, and I communicated the letter from Capt. Gurdon the moment I received it.  A detachment of three hundred men was re embarked for St. George’s under Major Mallory[1] of the 29th and a detachment of 250 men under the command of Major Wright of the 25th Regiment marched through the woods to support Capt. Gurdon[2].   Major Mallory’s detachment was intended to take post at Michel’s, a hill beyond the Grand Etang which commands the principal communication between Grenville Bay and the Enemy’s Camp, and from whence it was judged that their heavy supplies might be intercepted and their retreat cut off.
This detachment marched from St. George’s on the 4th, dislodged a party of the Enemy posted at Madame Ache’s, about 5 miles from the Town, and halted there for the night.
Ill health and a wound prevented Major Mallory from proceeding next day, and obliged me to order Lieut. Col. Eshe of the 68th Regiment from Charlotte town to take the Command which he assumed on the 6th, and had the Instructions No. 3 for his guidance, but as he thought his Force unequal to the difficulties which were to be encountered, no further progress was made by him.          I refer to his two letters of the 8th, my letter of the 9th and his reply of the same date for your Grace’s further information.
Major Wright’s detachment joined Captain Gurdon’s at Mount Horne, an estate above Grenville Bay, but as Major Wright’s detachment were much fatigued by the march and Capt. Gurdon had left some sick men and a Guard at the observatory, it was agreed to return to that Post and apply for some Artillery provisions and necessaries, to enable them to make their attack. These were immediately sent; and landed at Levera on the morning of the 7th, but Major Wright made no further movement; and unfortunately on the 8th a schooner from Guadeloupe escaped our Cruisers and brought the Enemy a supply of ammunition and officers. Major Wright’s letter to Lieut. Colonel Campbell written on the 9th (No. 7) will show the state of his detachment and the letter No. 8 from the officers of the Enemy’s Post at Grenville Bay to Fedon their Chief, which has fallen into my hands, will show their situation previous to the arrival of the schooner.
The failure of these two enterprises put an end to the plan of a general cooperation of the different detachments against the Enemy’s Camp, on which alone I had built my hopes of restoring our tranquility, but as delay was of every ill consequence to us and of every advantage to the Enemy, it was judged best to make an assault upon their Camp from the post before Belvidere which was still in our possession. Captain Watkins of His Majesty’s Ship Resource, gallantly offered his services, and collected one hundred and fifty volunteer seamen to assist Lieut. Col. Campbell and the Troops in the enterprise.
The Party moved on the morning of the 8th and the Enemy abandoned their lower camp on its approach, and retreated to their upper Post, which was found to be strongly defended by the inaccessible nature of the Ground, and by fallen trees interlaced in the nature of an Abbatis (sic). The ardor and resolution of the seamen and Troops led them to press forward notwithstanding these difficulties, and endeavour to gain possession of a Gun which was advanced from the summit of the Enemy’s position, but the heavy rains which had fallen made it scarce possible for the men to keep their feet- in climbing the hill and making their way through the fallen trees and underwood, their arms were of no service to them, and they were exposed to a very heavy and galling Fire from the Enemy, and after a painful and gallant effort, they were forced to retreat. I have the honour to enclose Your Grace, a Return of the killed and wounded. (No. 9)
Such, My Lord, were the Plans which I formed for the re-establishment of our affairs. They were the best which I could devise; but untoward accidents, in every instance, prevented their being carried into execution. I therefore considered it essential for His Majesty’s Service that the command of the Island should be put into the hands of a General Officer; under whom it was probable the army would act with more vigour and confidence than could well be expected from them under a Person whose profession was not Arms; and who could enforce that degree of discipline which is necessary on active service. I accordingly sent a letter by Express to Sir John Vaughan containing the particulars of our situation, stating the necessity of a vigorous and united effort against the Enemy, and making an earnest request that he would without delay send us a General Officer vested with the full command- who by making the whole Force of the Country act in concert, might rid it of an evil which threatened its ruin. Brigadier General Nicolls arrived here, and took the Command on the 16th in consequence of this application. The embodying and arming of trusty Negroes for internal defence having been found an advantageous measure in some of the other Islands, he has adopted a similar plan in this, and near three hundred Negroes in the Town and its Neighbourhood have enlisted. The post at Mde Ache’s is withdrawn, and the General is making preparations for an attack on Pilot’s Hill, where the Enemy are said to be now strongly in trenched.
From the long continuance of this Insurrection, the defection among the Plantation Negroes has become general and the Enemy are daily training them to Arms. The uninterrupted licence which they have had to wander at large thro’ the Country, and to plunder and burn the Estates, has ruined them for every valuable purpose, and it must be a length of time before the Colony returns to its former tranquility, even should success attend the future operations against the Enemy. On this subject, I fear to be sanguine. The 25th and 29th Regiments are composed of men unaccustomed to Service and unseasoned to the climate, and the delays which have taken place, have given to the Insurgents strength, numbers and confidence.-
[The Colony has already been put to a very heavy expense in supporting the Militia, and maintaining a number of vessels which it has been necessary to employ in the public service, and it is to be feared these expenses must be continued a considerable time. Hitherto, I have been able to make a sum which remained in the hands of the Colony Treasurer answer for such advances as were immediately necessary. But as this sum is daily lessening and as there is no possibility of levying any tax in the present confusion, I much fear it will not be in my power to avoid making some drafts on His Majesty’s Treasury for the support of our Public Credit. Your Grace may be assured that I shall not adopt this measure but upon the next pressing necessity and that I shall use the best precautions in my power to make the Legislature responsible for the repayment of the sum as soon as the situation of the Colony will any way permit it.]
It is with sincere concern I must add, that from different accounts we have received by Negroes who have escaped from the Camp, there can remain little if any doubt that the Lieutenant Governor and his unfortunate fellow Prisoners were massacred on the day of the attack by an order of Julien Fédon, except the Revd. Mr. McMahon, Dr John Hay and a Mr. Kerr, who it is reported have been sent prisoners to Guadeloupe. Two negroes are here who say they were present, one at the commencement and the other during the whole of the Butchery.
I have also the great mortification to acquaint Your Grace with the death of Capt. Rogers of His Majesty’s Ship Quebec, an excellent Officer and a Good Man, whom this Colony will long remember with gratitude for his zealous and unremitted exertions in its favour.         He was seized with a violent attack of fever on the 21 and died this afternoon –
   I have the honor to be
                                                      My Lord Duke,
                                                               Your Grace’s
                                                               most obedient and
                                                               most humble Servant
                                                                        K. F. MacKenzie

[1] Major John Mallory
[2] Throughout his “Short Account of The Insurrection”, D.G. Garraway spelt the name as Guerdon. However, the published list of the officers of the “Fifty-eighth (or the Rutlandshire) Regt. Of Foot” gives his name as Ph. Brampton Gurdon; the spelling found in this and other letters.
Lieut. Governor Home[1]         

No. 8                  I have received and laid before the King your letter of the 20th of February last.
I highly approve of the steps which you have taken for the preservation of the Island under your Government and I have no doubt but the same exertions will be continued until such an effectual Reinforcement shall arrive as cannot fail of completely re:establishing our Authority in that Quarter.
I have been, for some time, under great uneasiness, on account of a report which has been current here that the French have landed in Grenada, and committed some depredations in that Island, but as no official accounts have been yet received in confirmation thereof, I am, on many accounts, in anxious expectation of further information on this subject.
     I am  ..

[1] At the time this letter was written Governor Ninian Home and some 47 other English inhabitants had already been massacred by Fedon at his Camp at Belvidere Estate, in response to an attack on the Camp by the British Forces  on the  8th April, 1795
Grenada 16th May 1795

My Lord Duke,
I had the honor in my letter of the 24th April to state at large to your Grace the situation of the Public affairs of this Colony to that Point. Two days after our Posts in the heights above Charlotte Town were evacuated, and the expedition against Grenville bay was undertaken, but the Enemy abandoned Pilot Hill, and retreated to the heights on the second night after landing of the Troops in the neighborhood.
Brigadier General Nicolls has since occupied Pilot Hill, established Posts at Sauteurs and at Negrin, and reinforced Charlotte Town.
The remainder of the Troops and Militia are in garrisons in the Town & Fortifications.
By this arrangement, the principal landing places are in some measure protected but the interior of the Island is left open to the Enemy and but few of the might explain the Plans which I had adopted for the restoration of public order, and the circumstances which had rendered them ineffectual. The principal part of these Papers have been already communicated to your Grace in my letter of the 24th April.- Such as were omitted I now add. (No. 13) – No. 14 contains a Resolution of the House of Assembly after having considered these Papers.
 I have the honour to inclose a State of His Majesty’s Council on the 8th instant (No. 15) and regret the vacancy which has happened by the resignation of Mr. Thomas Campbell, one of the oldest and most respectable Inhabitants of this Colony, but his health was so reduced, that an immediate removal from the Island became indispensible – As it was necessary to have a sufficient number of Councillors to form a Board, I appointed John Garraway and John Tate Esquires, to act as Councillors until His Majesty’s pleasure should be known – These Gentlemen are respectable Merchants resident in St. George’s, and the former commands the St. George’s Militia. I beg leave to recommend them to His Majesty, for confirmation.
The French Schooner which I mentioned in my last letter as having arrived from Guadeloupe with succours to the Enemy early in April, brought over a number of Copies the inclosed printed Paper (No. 16) which have been industriously distributed in the Island.- Altho’ the gross misrepresentations which fill this Paper are apparent to any Person in the least acquainted with what has happened.  I thought it might be attended with good effects upon the ignorant, the wavering, and the inconsiderate, to make a short and plain comment on the Proclamation of the 4th of March, and on
  (No. 17) this Decree, and to publish them together. The arrival of Brigadier General Nicolls, who thought differently, prevented this publication from taking place.- I cannot, however, but be of opinion that strictures of this nature, published occasionally by Government in the West Indies, would be attended with good effects, as they would, in some instances, counterwork the French Publications, which evidently 
[document incomplete]

Friday, 14 April 2017

Extract of a letter from Mr.
President Mackenzie to the
Duke of Portland dated Grenada
15th September 1795

                           I am honoured with your Grace’s letter of the 8th July, and was happy in being able to communicate the information that a very considerable Detachment of Troops was on the point of embarking for these Islands.
We are now in daily expectation of its arrival, and an additional Force in Grenada is become essentially important to the safety of the Colony. The great reduction which has taken place in the Militia from weariness and disease, has nearly annihilated some of the Regiments, and the guard for the protection of the Town is principally composed of Negroes.
No attempt of any kind has been made against the insurgents, since I had last the honour of writing to your Grace, and, fortunately for us, they have been equally inactive on

their part- nor had the Enemy yet attempted to throw in succours from the other Islands (a very small vessel with Provisions and Ammunition expected) though we have several reports of a Force preparing at Guadeloupe and St. Lucia.
                     The Act for vesting the command of the Militia in the General Officer commanding His Majesty’s Forces in the Island, during the existing Insurrection, has passed the Legislature, and I have the honour to forward a certified Copy by this Packet.
                     In the Copies of correspondence with Brigadier General Nicolls, which I had the honour to inclose in my letter to your Grace of the 11th Ulto, notice was taken of a general order issued by the Brigadier forbidding any vessel to leave the Island without first obtaining his permission. The principal Officers of his Majesty’s Customs for the Port of St. George, have, since the…

of that order, refused to give the usual clearance Papers to vessels quitting the Port until the leave on the part of the  Brigadier had been first obtained – Complaint                     199
having been made to me of this circumstance, I wrote to the principal officers a letter of which the inclosed is a Copy. It was delivered to the Collector, but no answer has been returned to it.- The temporary nature of my command has made me averse to the measure of suspending these Officers, but I am satisfied that your Grace will see the propriety of maintaining, in all those who by His Majesty’s Commission are placed as first in command in the Colony, that authority which is requisite for such a situation, and therefore I have thought it my duty to state this circumstance for the information of your Grace.

Copy                                                                             519
Grenada 4th September 1795
It having been represented to me that, for sometime past, vessels, which have regularly cleared at the Customs House, and complied with the requisites prescribed by Law, have not been permitted to receive their Papers, until they had produced a permission on the part of Brigadier General Nicolls to quit the Port; I have to request that you would inform me whether the representation thus made to me, is correct in point of fact.
                            I am &c
                            K.F. Mckenzie

Principal Officers
of his Majesty’s Customs

              St. George’s

Thursday, 13 April 2017

The Memorial of Kenneth Francis Mackenzie Esquire Attorney General of the Island of Grenada and the Grenadines in America

To his Grace the Duke of
Portland, one his Majesty’s
Principal Secretaries of State
The Memorial of Kenneth Francis Mackenzie
Esquire Attorney General of the Island of
Grenada and the Grenadines in America

         After many years of Public Service in an unhealthy Climate, it is with much Concern that your Memorialist finds himself under the necessity of making the present application, in order to obtain redress in a matter where he apprehends Government and the Individual are equally interested, but your Grace’s disposition to promote Justice induces your Memorialist to trust that you will take into your Consideration the following short statement of facts and give such directions in consequence as you may think the circumstances require.
            In January 1778, Lord Macartney then Governor and Commander in Chief of Grenada and Tobago was pleased to appoint your Memorialist his Majesty’s Counsel at Law of the last mentioned Island. In November 1779 John Graham Esquire, then Lieutenant Governor, and by the Capture of Grenada, Commander in Chief of Tobago, was pleased to appoint your Memorialist Attorney General of Tobago; and soon after the arrival of George Ferguson Esquire who succeeded Mr. Graham as Lieutenant Governor and for the time Commander in Chief of Tobago, Your Memorialist was appointed a member of his Majesty’s Council in that Island.

The cession of Tobago to France, induced your Memorialist to quit the Island, and in the Year 1783 his Majesty was graciously pleased to appoint you Memorialist Solicitor General of Grenada and its dependencies. In the beginning of the year 1785 his Majesty was also pleased to appoint your Memorialist a Member of Council for the Government of Grenada. On the twentieth day of January 1791 Edward Matthew Esquire, Governor and then Commander in Chief of Grenada, was pleased to appoint your Memorialist in the place of Sir Ashton Warner Byam then lately deceased, Attorney General of Grenada until his Majesty’s Royal pleasure should be known—And his Majesty being pleased to approve thereof, was further Graciously pleased on the twenty fifth day of April 1791 to appoint your Memorialist Attorney General of the said Island of Grenada and the Grenadines, with authority to have and enjoy all the Rights fees profits privileges and advantages thereof. – Your Memorialist is in Possession of the Commissions and other documents which substantiate these appointments and he begs leave to add that he has uniformly and conscientiously to the best of his abilities performed the duties attached to each of them.
            The appointments of Kings Counsel, Member of Council and Solicitor General are in this Country attended with trouble and labour, but with no emolument whatever.—In like manner, the Office of Attorney General here, tho at all times laborious and troublesome and exposed to responsibility, furnishes nothing but Rank at the Bar, and thereby that

chance for professional success which knowledge and talents insure without it, for tho an Annual Salary of about Two hundred pounds, Sterling, payable by the Crown, is attached to the Office, on account of its precluding the possessor, from acting in any cause against the Crown, yet that sum iis not paid, and your Memorialist has never been able to recover any part of it, tho’ very inadequate either to the duties of the situation or to the loss of health which rarely fails to be the Consequence of residence in tropical Countries.
            Of the Principal of these facts, the Public Offices at Whitehall furnish authentick (sic) evidence; and of the others, your Memorialist, if necessary, is ready to produce the most unquestionable testimony. The only Comment which he will presume to make upon them is, that tho’ Government certainly may fix the Recompense for Public services, at whatever they may be deemed Worth, Yet when an office is given and accepted, with a specific annual Salary attached to it payable by Government, and the duties of that Office are performed, Your Memorialist humbly conceives the money becomes a debt of Right and that Good Faith and Justice have an equal Interest in seeing it paid.
            Your Memorialist is persuaded that the Circumstances as set forth in this address have not hitherto come to your knowledge; and he also hopes and trusts that notwithstanding the pressures of Public business of infinitely more importance, Your Grace will not Consider as misemployed the few Minutes which may enable you to honor to the engagement of the Crown, and Justice to the claim of the Subject.
                                                                                    K.F. M

Grenada Revolution 1795

Extract of a letter from Mr.
President Mackenzie to the
Duke of Portland dated Grenada
15th September 1795

                           I am honoured with your Grace’s letter of the 8th July, and was happy in being able to communicate the information that a very considerable Detachment of Troops was on the point of embarking for these Islands.
We are now in daily expectation of its arrival, and an additional Force in Grenada is become essentially important to the safety of the Colony. The great reduction which has taken place in the Militia from weariness and disease, has nearly annihilated some of the Regiments, and the guard for the protection of the Town is principally composed of Negroes.
No attempt of any kind has been made against the insurgents, since I had last the honour of writing to your Grace, and, fortunately for us, they have been equally inactive on

their part- nor had the Enemy yet attempted to throw in succours from the other Islands (a very small vessel with Provisions and Ammunition expected) though we have several reports of a Force preparing at Guadeloupe and St. Lucia.
                     The Act for vesting the command of the Militia in the General Officer commanding His Majesty’s Forces in the Island, during the existing Insurrection, has passed the Legislature, and I have the honour to forward a certified Copy by this Packet.
                     In the Copies of correspondence with Brigadier General Nicolls, which I had the honour to inclose in my letter to your Grace of the 11th Ulto, notice was taken of a general order issued by the Brigadier forbidding any vessel to leave the Island without first obtaining his permission. The principal Officers of his Majesty’s Customs for the Port of St. George, have, since the…

of that order, refused to give the usual clearance Papers to vessels quitting the Port until the leave on the part of the  Brigadier had been first obtained – Complaint                     199
having been made to me of this circumstance, I wrote to the principal officers a letter of which the inclosed is a Copy. It was delivered to the Collector, but no answer has been returned to it.- The temporary nature of my command has made me averse to the measure of suspending these Officers, but I am satisfied that your Grace will see the propriety of maintaining, in all those who by His Majesty’s Commission are placed as first in command in the Colony, that authority which is requisite for such a situation, and therefore I have thought it my duty to state this circumstance for the information of your Grace.

Copy                                                                             519
Grenada 4th September 1795
It having been represented to me that, for sometime past, vessels, which have regularly cleared at the Customs House, and complied with the requisites prescribed by Law, have not been permitted to receive their Papers, until they had produced a permission on the part of Brigadier General Nicolls to quit the Port; I have to request that you would inform me whether the representation thus made to me, is correct in point of fact.
                            I am &c
                            K.F. Mckenzie

Principal Officers
of his Majesty’s Customs

              St. George’s

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Water Riots of 1903

“De brave, de brave 
De brave, de brave 
Many were sent to eternity 
In the riots of 1903.”   

A large crowd gathers outside the Red House in Port of Spain in protest to the proposed bill.
Photograph—Mr. & Mrs. Peter Stone. (Book of Trinidad)

The southern wing of the Red House prior to the Water Riots. Photograph—Mrs. Hélène Farfan. (Book of Trinidad)


The adjourned meeting of the Legislative Council was held at noon on Monday, 23rd March, 1903, His Excellency the Governor Sir Alfred C. Maloney, K.C.M.G., presiding… Admission to  the Council Chamber was from an early hour refused the general public, strong guards of police, armed with sticks being posted at all entrances. In addition to the usually provided accommodation, 150 chairs had been hired and ranged all round the room. As noon approached, some 50 to 60 of these began to be occupied, the large proportion being government officers. In the meantime an immense crowd of the general public filled Brunswick  Square and Abercromby Street, as well as the grounds to the west and along St. Vincent Street and, headed by the Committee of the Ratepayers Association, they proceeded to the main entrance to the building and demanded admission. The doors which had been closed against them were all guarded by strong bodies of police. Lieut-Col. Blake refused to allow anyone to pass.

A ticket to the public gallery of the Legislative Council  (Book of Trinidad)

In the same Friday morning there appeared in the Gazette an official notice in the following terms, with regard to the admission of the public to the Council Chamber on the following Monday:—
‘Public notice is given that, on account of the limited accommodation in the Council Chamber, and the great inconvenience caused when the members of the public are anxious to attend the debates, admission to those parts of the Chamber not appropriated to the use of the members will in future be given by tickets only, in accordance with the practice of the Imperial Parliament…
Tickets will be issued… in the order of application, at the office of the Clerk to the Legislative Council…
Special arrangements will be made for the Press.
(Sgd.) Harry L. Knaggs,
for the Clerk of the Legislative Council.

On the next day, Saturday, 21st March, a mass meeting was convened by the Ratepayers’ Association in Brunswick Square, for the purpose of discussing this ‘ticket regulation,’ which was declared on high legal authority to be illegal…
(22nd March, 1903)

The Red House in flames. Photograph—O.J. Mavrogordato. (Book of Trinidad)

The advanced members of the Association then asked for permission to enter the Council Chamber and were met by Col. Blake, standing one pace in front of the constables, who informed them that he was instructed by the Governor to oppose any attempt to forcibly enter the building. Admission would be, as had been announced, by ticket only. He was backed by an armed squad of police and would oppose force by force; and the degree of violence of the one would be measured by that of the other… The challenge was accepted by one or two members who, partly pressed forward by the surging but orderly crowd, partly advancing with hands and arms  raised high above their heads to show that no violence was intended, came into contact with the Colonel and were forced back… Mr. Lazare then from the top of the steps informed the crowd what had taken place, and begged them to let their protest take a quiet and peaceable form most likely to recommend itself to the English people whom they might depend upon to see that they got ample justice for, the wrongs and outrages that were being heaped upon them… He begged them to refrain from any further acts and merely remain about the grounds of the building while the debate proceeded. The crowd then drew off to the square, where speeches were delivered urging that strict order be observed… In the meantime, the rising temper of the people was not lessened by the discovery that orders had actually been issued to the fire brigade to turn three firehoses upon them should they assemble outside the Council Chamber. Shortly after, the order was given to Lieut. Whiteman to turn on the hose but this he refused to do, saying he was appointed to put out fires, not to drench crowds, and   presently the cheering, the singing of the national anthem, and the lessening of the crowd gave a clear demonstration of the resolution of the public protest. Shortly before noon, all the stores and business places in the town closed as a further mark of protest against the action of the Legislative Council. Immediately after 12, the Governor, accompanied by his private secretary, drove down to Government House, closely guarded by police and, protected by a similar guard, proceeded to his office where there had been stationed another 35 armed constables. Accompanied by the Colonial Secretary, with Captain Dutton, A.D.C., His Excellency entered the Council Chamber and took his seat; at the same moment ten more armed constables entered the room and took up positions with the rest. Amidst every mark of public demonstration against the proceedings and a momentarily growing scene of popular excitement, the Legislature came to order, and the Clerk rose to read the minutes of the proceedings of the previous Monday’s meeting.  

The Hon. Sir Henry Alcazar, the leading coloured Barrister and Legislator of the period.
Photograph —Mrs. Hélène Farfan. (Book of Trinidad)

Lt. Emmanuel Lazare

As the Clerk began to read, Mr. Alcazar rose to a point of order…as to whether it was in pursuance of any standing orders of the Legislative Council, requiring all meetings of the Council to be in public that this day’s meeting was held. He referred to the ticket regulation and, without at present going into the question as to whether it was not, as many persons considered ultra vires for the president to make such a regulation, he stood on the point that standing order 4 required all meetings to be held in public and he understood that a number of members of the public had been excluded today from this meeting.
Some discussion arose and the colonial secretary, having inquired what exactly was before the house, Mr. Alcazar formally moved the adjournment of the house.
Mr. Goodwill seconded.
The motion was lost by a vote of 14 against 6, Messrs Fenwick, R.S. Aucher Warner, Marryat and McLelland voting with the officials.
Mr. Alcazar:—I rose to move the adjournment as a protest and to discuss a public grievance, and upon such a motion it was most inappropriate and improper that the officials should have voted. I now give notice of protest against the vote; I beg to notify Your Excellency that I leave this Council and decline to take any further part in its proceedings.
Mr. Alcazar then left the Chamber.
Messrs. Goodwill, Gordon and Leotaud also gave notice of protest against the vote.
His Excellency then read his formal ruling on the question of order as to the ‘ticket regulation,’ that he maintained his right to act as he had done.
Mr. Gordon then rose and said that after what had fallen from His Excellency, he felt it incumbent upon him, with great respect, to follow the course taken by Mr. Alcazar. He could not consent to remain at a Council whose standing orders and regulations could be varied at the irresponsible whim of the Governor.
Mr. Gordon then left the Chamber.
After a pause,  the order of the day was proceeded with the Clerk reading the minutes of the previous Monday’s meeting.

The Southern Wing gutted by fire. This photograph was taken by Mr. H. Stone, Acting Registrar, who, with the help of the firemen, saved the records in the Registrar General’s Office. Photograph—Mr. & Mrs. Peter Stone. (Book of Trinidad)

The debate on the second reading of the waterworks ordinance was resumed… His Excellency rose and proceeded to read a lengthy address to the Council on the history of the bill. During the reading, the crowds around the building outside had been growing more and more noisy and turbulent —the singing of the national anthem, Rule Britannia, the beating of drums, the blowing of whistles and the cries of women carrying flags, were on the increase. Almost all the windows in the lower storey had been broken and, after a while, an accident occurred which acted like a spark upon a train of powder. And in a moment a most regrettable riot had broken out. For some offence, a woman on the Red House lawn was arrested by a constable, who was immediately struck by a couple of stones flung by some small boys. Thereupon the constable released the woman and was at once attacked by her, too. Members of the crowd closed on her and dragged her and the boys away; but the evil was done. In a moment, stone-throwing was widely taken up by the crowd. Stones were pelted in a terrific shower into the Council Chamber through the glass doors and windows. People and police alike fled from the eastern galleries into the Chamber, and the Council came to a standstill. So hot became the shelling that in a few minutes, the whole of the unofficials had to rise and seek shelter, as did the reporting staff also, behind pillars, bookcases, etc. Presently the crowd to the west of the building got wind of the proceedings on the east and at once, without question, started to pelt stories too. Then the entire Council rose and moved for shelter to the inner galleries around the fountain courtyard in the interior of the building. For fully ten minutes was the fusillade kept up, several people in the building being hit. After a while the crowd broke in through the east and west iron gates into the inner courtyard, overpowering and driving back the squads of constables who had been hastily summoned to oppose them, and the whole crowd proceeded to stone the Council and the other fugitives from the Council Chamber who crowded the inner balconies. A suggestion was made to His Excellency to stand forward and state to the crowd that he withdrew the ordinance; but this he declined to do. The Governor, his A.D.C., Major Collens, the Press representatives and others then took shelter in the small vacant office behind the Education Department on the upper floor, the whole party seeking what shelter they could behind presses and bookcases with which they barricaded the doors from the showers of stones and broken glass which assailed the room. It was the Director of Public Works and Mr. Fenwick who were the two members of Council for whom, judging by the occasional cries heard, the most apprehension was to be felt. What became of the latter is not clear but Mr. Wrightson was, with much difficulty, smuggled out of the room by a strong guard of police, disguising himself in a police tunic and helmet. In a similar way was the Attorney-General gotten safely over, and both remained at the police barracks. For the Governor, however, and those with him, for a good while there seemed no way of escape, it being impossible to venture out of the room. Presently, the news came —and was immediately after confirmed by the penetration of the pungent smell of smoke into the room—that the Red House had been fired. The discovery was made from the brigade station opposite that fire was set in the Registrar-General’s Office (under which the Governor and party were imprisoned), the Survey Office and the Hall of Justice simultaneously. Fanned by a gentle breeze, the flames spread so rapidly that in a few moments it was decided by the whole part, including the Governor, to risk the blows from the showers of stones which were still flying, rather than risk the fire. The door into the Council Chamber was opened and the rush of dense black smoke into the room where the party was imprisoned at once justified the wisdom of the decision to move on. At the same moment, a sound of firing from the police immediately followed the reading of the riot act by Mr. A.S. Bowen, in the presence of Colonel Brake, caused a sudden cessation of the stone-throwing. The whole party then ran down the Colonial Secretary’s main staircase into the crowded streets, and the Governor was rushed under a strong police guard right across into the police barracks and kept there till he could be sent privately up Edward Street to St. Ann’s; while Mr. Wrightson, also under a strong police guard and surrounded by a guard of armed   sailors who had been fetched from the warship in the harbour, was rushed to the wharf and sent off in a small boat and kept on board H.M.S. Pallas… Although the riot was checked by the first volley fired and the crowd at once began to disperse, it was noticed that volley after volley was fired, and that, too, quite indiscriminately in all directions… The killed were afterwards found to have numbered 16, while 42 at least were wounded, some of them at quite a distance from the scene of the riot.
(25th March, 1903).  

A couple of men of the Lancashire Fusiliers, sent for by the Governor, from Barbados, arrived on Wednesday evening by the three-masted schooner Sunbeam, having been towed up from the Bocas by the Iere and Paria. An immense crowd gathered to witness the landing and was at first driven back by the police:—
But on the advice of Supt. Sergt. Peake and a naval guard of 12 men from H.M.S. Pallas the crowd was allowed to reform, and in a most peaceful and orderly manner watched the landing, easily controlled by the sailors.
(27th March, 1903).  

The Special Commissioners appointed by the Secretary of State to inquire into the recent riots in Port of Spain, arrived on the H.M.S. Trent on Tuesday morning the 28th April, 1903… accompanied by Mr. H.M. Vernon as Secretary, and Mr. W. Walpole, shorthand writer…The first sitting was held on Wednesday the 29th at the Princes Building, which had been specially fitted up for the purpose. The grounds around the building and to the north on the Queen’s Park Savannah presented a very pretty, if unusual, scene of military activity. A double row of white conical tents were ranged right across marking the encampment of the Lancashire Fusiliers who, to the number of 21, exclusive of another 210, in barracks at St. James, came over from Barbados. In the centre was mounted one maxim gun. The appearances of counsel were:—
For the Government: The Hon’ble Vincent Brown (Attorney-General), Mr. R.S. Aucher Warner, Mr. L. A. Wharton.
For the Ratepayers Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the United Committee, and relatives of the killed:—The Hon’ble H.A. Alcazar, Messrs E. Scipio Pollard, E.A. Robinson and C.J. McLeod.  

The report of the Commission was dated 2nd July, and was at once sent out by the Colonial Office; it was a lengthy document, and was published in extenso in the Gazette. Its findings were:—
1. That the riot is to be attributed to public opposition to the proposed waterworks ordinance, stimulated by falsehoods and incitements to violence of certain speakers and the Mirror newspaper.
2. That there was excessive and unnecessary firing by some individual members of the police force.
3. That two, if not three, persons were brutally bayonetted and killed by the police without any justification whatever.
4. That the Executive Government failed to take adequate measures to correct misrepresentations about the draft ordinance.
5. That there is a regrettable and serious division between a large and influential portion of the community of Port of Spain and the Executive Government regarding public affairs.
6. That there has been most deplorable delay in prosecuting the rioters… and the taking of steps to enable the police who committed outrages to be also prosecuted; but most significantly, they also recommended the reference of the draft ordinance to a select committee.
(July 1903)  

Edgar Agostini, K.C.

The Hon. Mr. Louis Wharton, K.C.

Punctually at half-past ten yesterday morning, the special sessions of the Supreme Criminal Court, ordered by the Governor to be held for the trial of 22 persons indicted for riot on the 23rd March last, were opened by His Honour Mr. Justice Routledge in Greyfriars Hall, Frederick Street. In addition to the usual strong guard of police sent down to every sitting of the sessions, a feature which excited considerable remark was the presence of 26 rank and file of the Lancashire Fusiliers, under rifles and fixed bayonets, a somewhat unusual show of military ferocity in the precincts of Greyfriars Hall…
The Hon’ble V. Brown, with the Hon’ble L.E. Agostini and Mr. L.A. Wharton, prosecuted, instructed by Mr. A.D. O’Connor and Messrs E. Scipio Pollard and G. Johnson, instructed by Messrs. E. Maresse-Smith and J.A. Lassalle, appeared for the defence…
The trial lasted for a week, and it was on the afternoon of the 30th July that the jury retired at 4.30 after a most emphatic charge by the judge. Ten minutes afterward they returned into court. In the meantime, the square opposite the Hall, and the length of the pavement on either side of the street as well as Knox Street had filled with a dense crowd, composed of all classes of the community… A strong guard of police appeared and took up positions at various points of the Hall while a detachment of Fusiliers with loaded rifles and fixed bayonets were posted about the yard and outside the judges chambers. The jury again retired after further directions… Close upon three hours passed and no verdict had been returned. The closely-packed Court House, which was fortunately lit by electricity, grew more and more filled and all waited anxiously for what seemed likely to be an abortive verdict. At 7.15, the Acting Chief Justice returned into Court and the jury came back. After the usual questions, nine prisoners were unanimously declared not guilty, one prisoner was found not guilty by 7 to 2, and one not guilty by 8 to 1; the jury was not unanimous as to any one prisoners guilt. By a majority of 8 to 1 they convicted another; as regards the other three, they were divided 6 to 3. The judge refused to accept the verdicts, to the fact that after three hours, a majority verdict either way could be taken. The judge held he was only empowered, not compelled, to do so. The jury retired, His Honour intimating that he would take the verdicts or discharge the jury at 9 p.m. He then formally discharged those who had been acquitted, and as each reached the street he or she was received with round after round of cheering. Punctually at 9 p.m. the judge returned to Court and, to the surprise of all, the jury returned a verdict in two more cases, one guilty by 7 to 2 and one not guilty by 7 to 2. In the remaining case that of Lolotte Borde, they remained 6 to 3… The following sentences were passed:—
Joseph James and Lilla Assing, 5 years each,
Abraham James, 4 years,
Octave Romain and Johnnie Blades, 5 years each.
(21st -30th July 1903)  

The arrival of the troops. Photograph—Mrs. Hélène Farfan. (Book of Trinidad)

It was not until the December sessions that the trial of Messrs. J.C. Maresse-Smith, H.N. Hall, E.M. Lazare and R.R. Mole, on the charge of inciting to riot, was held. Mr. Vincent Brown, with Messrs. Edgar Agostini and L.A. Wharton prosecuted, for the Crown:—Mr. Alcazar and Mr. A.E. Hendrickson, instructed by Mr. H.M. Iles, defended Maresse-Smith; Mr. E. Scipio Pollard, instructed by Mr.  L.J.A. Lassalle, defended Hall; and Messrs. A.E. Robinson and W. Blanche-Wilson, instructed by Mr. T.M. Kelshall, defended Lazare.
The instructions of the Secretary of State to the prosecution of Mr. Mole were not given effect to, it was understood on the strong advice of the local law officers. The trial ended on the 18th December in a unanimous verdict of acquittal for all three accused.
(19th December, 1903).

The H.M.S. Pallas of the South Atlantic squadron brought the British troops to Trinidad.
Photograph—G. Duruty. (Book of Trinidad)

One of the earliest victories of the riot was the transfer of the management of the water-works and sewerage system to a Board of mixed official and unofficial personnel; and the Gazette of the 30th September, 1904, records the holding of the first meeting of the new authority, composed as follows:—
Hon. R.G. Bushe (Auditor-General) Chairman
Hon. W. Wrightson (Director of Public Works)
Hon. D. Slyne (Receiver-General)
Dr. C.F. Knox (Acting Surgeon-General)
Dr. G.H. Masson
Mr. Alfred G. Siegert
Mr. L.A. Wharton
Mr. B.H. Stephens
Mr. H.Y. Vieira
with Mr. J.A. Lamy, barrister-at-law (Town Clerk) as Secretary. (30th Sept. 1904).