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1790.fifted on a fpeedy fatisfaction, and the punishment of the penfionary Van Berkel and his accomplices. This conduct was declared to be no lefs contrary to the most facred engagements of their high mightineffes, than repugnant to the Dutch conftitution.
The reference to fuch engagements feems to have been ill timed, as the royal order of the 17th of April laft had declared Holland to be on the footing of other neutral powers; and had difannulled the efficacy of fuch engagements for the prefent, by fufpending till further orders all the particular ftipulations refpecting the fubjects of the States General, contained in the feveral treaties, then fubfifting. The States General difavowed the intended treaty of the city of Amfterdam, and engaged to profecute the penfionary according to the laws of the country. This not being deemed fatisfactory, Sir Jofeph Yorke received orders to withdraw from the Hague; and on the 20th of December, a manifefta against the Dutch was published in a London Gazette Extraordinary, followed by an order of council-" That general reprisals be granted against the fhips, goods and fubjects of the States General." A few days before the publication, the States General had acceded to the confederation of the armed neutrality.
On Tuesday October the 3d, Jamaica was visited with a complicated calamity. A moft extraordinary fwell of the fea, ten feet higher than its common level, fucceeded by an earthquake and hurricane, brought dreadful deftruction on particular parts of the island. Savannah La Mar, a confiderable trading town on the fouth side of the island in Westmoreland parish, was totally deftroyed, by the fea's fuddenly bursting through
all bounds and furmounting all obftacles. Every thing 1780. was fo completely swept away upon its retreat, as not to leave the smallest veftige of man, beaft or habitation behind. About 200 perfons of all colours, perished by this terrible irruption. The fea flowed up half a mile beyond its ufual fixed limits. This was the prelude to the fucceeding earthquake and hurricane. The damage in the parish of Weftmoreland only, amounted to near 700,000l. fterling. In that of Hanover, one fourth part of the abfolute property is faid to be loft for ever. The merchants of Kingston generously fent down for the immediate relief of the unhappy fufferers, 10,000l. value in different kinds of provifion, clothing and other articles.
A yet more tremendous hurricane began at Barbadoes Oct. in the morning, and continued with little intermiffion about 48 hours. The fhips were driven from their anchors, and obliged to encounter all the horrors of a most outrageous fea. It prevailed chiefly in the night; and Bridge Town, the capital, was nearly levelled with the earth. The inhabitants who efcaped, anxiously waited the break of day, flattering themselves that with the light they should fee a ceffation of the ftorm. But the strongest colours cannot paint the miferies they were under. The ground was covered with the mangled bodies of their friends and relations. Reputable families wandered through the ruins in fearch of food and fhelter. Mean while there was a continual fcene of rapine and confufion. The negroes, inftead of attempting to fave the effects of the unhappy fufferers, were plundering every part of the town. The tempeft was but little abated. The day ferved but to exhibit the most melanB 4
780. choly profpect. The devaftation on all fides was terrible-not a building ftanding-the trees, if not torn up by the roots, ftripped of their leaves and branches-the moft luxuriant fpring changed in one night to the drearieft winter the few public buildings, notwithstandtheir strength, fallen in the general wreck. The lofs of human lives was great even among the whites; but including the blacks was estimated at fome thousands. Tò increase the calamity, most of the living ftock on the island, particularly of the horned cattle, perished. An extraordinary inftance of the united force of the winds and waves was apparent upon this occasion in the removal of a cannon, a twelve pounder, from the south to the north battery, being a distance of one hundred and forty yards. The truth of this fact and of the others was fupported by public documents, transmitted to the secretary of state by the governor of the island, and by gen. Vaughan. Be it mentioned to the honor and praise of Don Pedro St. Jago, a captain of the regiment of Arragon, and of the other Spanish prisoners at Barbadoes, who were all under his immediate direction, that they acted the kind part of friends, instead of behaving like enemies, or even with indifference, in this feafon of calamity; and omitted no labor or fervice in their power, for the affiftance of the diftreffed inhabitants, and the prefervation of public order.
The islands of St. Lucie, Grenada and St. Vincent, were likewife laid nearly defolate. Moft of the fhips of war were driven out to fea from St. Lucie, in the beginning of the hurricane. The transports, victuallers, and traders, were difmafted, and generally driven on hore. A prize of 18 guns was wrecked on the back of
of the island, and all except 17 perished. The Andro- 1780. meda and Laurel of 28 guns each, were loft on the coaft of Martinico; none of the officers and but few of the crews were faved. The Deal Caftle of 24 guns fuffered the fame fate. The fquadron under admiral Rowley, which convoyed the Jamaica trade on its way to Europe, experienced no lefs calamity, and fuftained ftill greater lofs. The admiral returned to Jamaica with five fhips, mostly difmafted and all disabled. The Sterling Caftle of 64 guns, was totally loft on the coast of Hifpaniola, and only about 50 of the crew faved. The Thunderer, commodore Boyle Walfingham, was undoubtedly swallowed up, no traces of her fate having yet come to light. The Phoenix of 44 guns, Sir Hyde Parker, was wrecked on the ifle of Cuba; but her officers and most of her crew were faved. The Barbadoes and Victor floops of war, with the Cameleon, Scarborough, and La Blanche frigates, became likewise, with a partial or total lofs of men and officers, victims to the rage of this merciless feafon. The French islands appear to have fuffered even more than the British, Barbadoes only excepted. At Martinico the public buildings and private houses of Fort Royal town, to the amount of more than fourteen hundred, were blown down, and an incredible number of perfons loft their lives. Every house in St. Pierre shared the fame fate, and more than a thousand people perished. The numbers loft upon the island, including negroes, is computed at about gooo, and the damage at 700,000 louis d'ors, Sixty-two fail of tranfports from France, which arrived that morning at Martinico, with ftores and 2500 troops on board, were all driven out to fea, and feveral were loft.
1780. loft. The Experiment of 50 guns, and the Juno of 40, with fome other royal French frigates, were deftroyed; and 19 fail of loaded Dutch veffels were dashed to pieces on Grenada. The deftruction of people (whites and blacks) at St. Euftatia, was reputed to be between 4 and 5000. A number of houses were blown down and washed away with the inhabitants into the fea. The pecuniary lofs must be very great.
The humanity of the marquis de Bouille affords fome relief to thefe fcenes of horror and devaftation. He fent 31 British failors (the remains that were faved of the crews of the Laurel and Andromeda) under a flag of truce to commodore Hotham at St. Lucie, accompanied with a declaration, that he could not confider in the light of enemies, men who had fo hardly escaped in a contention with the force of the elements; but that they having, in common with his own people, been partakers of the fame danger, were in like manner entitled to every comfort and relief that could be given, în a season of fuch univerfal calamity and diftrefs. He only lamented, he faid, that their number was fo finall, and particularly that none of the officers were faved.
The new parliament met on the laft of October. 31. The late speaker, Sir Fletcher Norton, having offended the miniftry, by exercifing too much of an independent fpirit, they determined upon choofing another person in his room. Mr. Dunning moved, that Sir Fletcher fhould be continued. The miniftry pretended, that an anxiety for his health was the real caufe of moving that a different member might be chofen: but Sir Fletcher, after declaring that he came there with a full determination not to go again into the chair upon any account, informed