Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Jamaica became a source of wealth for the English under Cromwell, with its acquisition by Sir Wm. Pen and his side kick as compensation for losing the Isle of Hispaniola:
oudles of information [123,000] google History Jamaica 1600..1700 pick for taste:
a] An English fleet under SIR WILLIAM PENN, dispatched by Oliver Cromwell to take Hispaniola, found it too well defended and took Jamaica instead, in 1655. Spain recognized the situation in the TREATY OF MADRID in 1670. [Well defended? nice cop out]http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/caribbean/jamai...
b]JAMAICAN HISTORY I1494-1692 COLUMBUS TO THE DESTRUCTION OF PORT ROYAL. The recorded history ofJamaica may be roughly divided into six periods: ...http://www.discoverjamaica.com/gleaner/discover...c] History of Jamaica - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThis is borne out by the much more detailed history of Spanish Jamaica by Francisco Morales Padrón. In May 1655, British forces in the form of a joint ...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Jamaica
[Well defended? nice cop out]
Summary from Pope’s biography of Morgan…
Cromwell had put the expedition under command of 5 commissioners, Penn, Venebles and 3 others. The instructions were deliberately vague, not to tie them to a particular method. The fleet that sailed was unworthy of Cromwell’s New Model Army, badly equipped, badly supplied and badly led at all levels.
The commissioners decided to attack Santo Domingo, the capital of Hispaniola and the first city established by the Spanish in the New World. Admiral Penn decided to copy the tactics of “El Draco”. Penn and some ships would make a diversion, landing one and a half regiments a few miles to the east of the city, while Venables sailed past with the main force, and would land a few miles to the west, and march back to capturte the place.
Venables watched Penn’s ships heading for shore, but Vice-Admiral Goodson refused to close the coast, the landing place being unsuitable. He finally anchored 30 miles west of Santo Domingo. They marched eastwards towards the city and arrived at the place where they should have landed 3 days later.
Venables arrived at the bank of the river Jaino and found that it was too deep to cross, and a flag was seen on the far bank. A man was ordered to swim over and came back with the news that it was Penn’s force. Unlike Drake he had lost his nerve: having failed to find anywhere to land to the east of the city he had ended up running west and landing at the mouth of the Jaino.
The farce continued for a few days before tragedy rang down the curtian. Venables started the march towards the city but sporadic shooting at the outskirts started a retreat. Venables spent 4 days with his wife on Penn’s ship while 7000 men were onshore without tents with the enemy approaching. Not only Spanish but dysentry, yellow fever and malaria.
Venables made a second attempt on the city, even more disastrous. They all blamed each other, and a council of war gave them oppurtunities to make excuses. They had to find an easy target to avoid disgrace. Hence Jamaica, and although they did not realise it, nor did Cromwell, it was strategically one of the most important islands in the Caribbean.
They “resolved to attempt Jamaica” because the troops were “so cowardly and not to be trusted or confided in, exept raised in their spirits by some smaller successes .” Two thousand men were buried on Hispaniola soil.
Lord Windsor in Jamaica.
In 1662 Lord Windsor arrived as Governor of Jamaica. He brought with him a Royal Proclamation declaring that all children born of English subjects in Jamaica should be regarded as free citizens of England. Lord Windsor retired from the Government of Jamaica within the year, and Sir Charles Lyttleton became Deputy Governor. There were then 4,205 persons in Jamaica. Santiago de Cuba was captured and looted by Admiral Myngs.
The first civilian government of Jamaica, its councilmen and courts of justice all met at Port Royal and in 1662, the first civilian governor, Lord Windsor, arrived on the island. Windsor was accompanied by a familiar figure – that of Christopher Myngs. It seems that upon his arrival back in England, Myngs found the country distracted by the restoration of Charles II and as he had been an early public supporter of the monarch, he was cleared of all charges after a sympathetic hearing in June of 1660. By the end of the year, he was restored to his position in the Royal Navy but because of many upheavals, he did not actually set sail for his return to Jamaica until April 1662, when he conveyed Lord Windsor, the governor aboard the 46-gun Centurion.
The razing of the fort mentioned by Sam on 13th Feb 63.
Myngs was to lead his men against Santiago de Cuba, which had been the Spaniard’s main base for their planned reconquering of Jamaica and was much loathed by the English. Myngs fleet left Port Royal in October 1662 and having rounded Point Negril at the western end of Jamaica, made way for a rendezvous east of their Cuban target, where they met with Sir Thomas Whetstone and seven other privateers. In a conference aboard the Centurion, it was decided that they would take the town in a frontal assault, bursting into the port and taking them by surprise. However, Myngs had to change his plans as they neared the towering harbour castle that guarded the approaches to the town. They were unable to close in because of faint, erratic breezes. He decided to sail directly for land and by nightfall had put more than 1,000 men ashore. The next morning, they fought their way into the town and took possession of the vessels in the harbour before pursuing the fleeing Spanish inland. Five days of this action “proved not very advantageous, their riches drawn so far off that we could not reach it.” In frustration, the freebooters razed the town and Myngs used 700 barrels of gunpowder to demolish the fortifications and principal buildings. After five days of calculated destruction, Myngs reported that “the harbour castle lies mostly level with the ground.” It would take the Spaniards more than a decade to rebuild the stronghold.
News of the Restoration in Jamaica.
From Pope’s Biography of Morgan…
“On the 15th August 1660 the Conventine ship of war arrived in the Cagway anchorage from England with the news that would affect the lifes of every man woman and child in Jamaica…
The news that the Conventine brought them was that Charles was now on the throne of England.”
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