Chronology of Events for August 1755

August, 1755: “The French papers are full of their preparations for war; and among others they tell us, that on the 9th instant an edict was published for adding four companies of 45 men each to the king’s own regiment of foot, and four companies of 40 men each to each of the other regiments of foot in their service; that such officers are to be chosen for commanding these companies as may be thought best able to raise them; that the officers are to have 40 livres per man, and cloathing for them, besides a gratuity of 15 livres for every man fit for service, if the company appears complete in February next, when they are to be reviewed; and that all such new raised men as shall be approved by the commissary of war, shall enter into pay the first of next month, or from the day of their being approved after that time. And in order to save money for answering this warlike expence, they have begun to retrench all the superfluous expences of the court, the king having already made a reform of 1500 horses belonging to his stables, and the works for repairing the Louvre are suspended.”

August, 1755: “The French navy, before the taking of the Alcide and the Lys consisted of 6 ships of 80 guns; 16 of 74 guns, 7 of 70 guns; 25 of 64 guns, and 9 of 50 guns, 1 frigate of 44 guns; 1 of 40; 9 of 36; 2 of 30; 8 of 26; 6 of 24, and 2 of 20. In all 92 ships of war.”

August, 1755: “Governor Knowles has caused a fort to be erected at the Bay of Honduras, and recalled back all the old Baymen who had been forced to fly from thence by the Spaniards. The seat of government in Jamaica is removed from Spanish Town to Kingston.”

August 8, 1755: “Williamsburg in Virginia, Aug. 8. By an express this morning from Augusta county, we have advice of the murder of Col. James Patton, who was killed by a party of Indians the last day of July, on the head branches of Roanoke, and eight more men, women and children.  Col. Patton was going out with ammunition, etc. for the use of the frontier inhabitants, and stopping at a plantation on the road to refresh himself, the convoy being about five miles before, he was beset by 16 Indians, who killed and stripped him, and then made off with his horse, &c. The remote counties of this colony, to the Westward, are kept in a perpetual consternation by the incursions of the indian savages in the French interest, who have murdered sundry families, taken some captives, upon whom they have exercised the most unnatural and leisurely barbarities. About 240 families, that had made flourishing settlements in that wilderness, have been driven from house and home by the terror of these barbarians, and removed down into the more thickly inhabited parts of the colony, where they now are, in the woods, men, women and children, without any covering but the inclement sky, and without any subsistence but what they can procure by hunting, or receive from the charity of others. Our country also languishes under a severe drought; and next year will be a season of unusual scarcity, is not a severe famine.”

August 13, 1755: Sailed from Spithead, commodore Frankland, in his Majesty’s ship Winchester, with the Warwick, Greenwich, and Seaford.

August 13, 1755: “The Blandford man of war, with governor Lyttleton on board, bound to South Carolina, was taken on the 13th of August by a French squadron under count du Guay, and brought into Nantes on the 5th instant.”

August 19, 1755: “By the same advices we are told, that the count d’Aubeterre, envoy extraordinary from France, hath made a declaration to the ministry of Vienna, importing, “That the warlike designs with which the king his master is charged, are sufficiently confuted by his great moderation, of which all Europe hath manifold proofs; that his majesty is persuaded this groundless charge hath given as much indignation to their Imperial majesties as to himself; that he is firmly resolved to preserve to Christendom that tranquility which it enjoys through his fidelity in religiously observing the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle; but that if his Britannick majesty’s allies take part in the war which is kindled in America, by furnishing succours to the English, his majesty, will be authorised to consider and treat them as principals in it.” And that France hath caused the same declaration to be made to other courts.  In pursuance of these declarations we find by all accounts from France, that they are making great preparations for a land war in Europe, but we hear very little of their preparations for a sea war; though they have had the good luck to get their squadron safe home, which was supposed to be blocked up at Cadiz, by our squadron under admiral Hawke; for about the end of July it sailed from Cadiz, and arrived at Brest, the third instant, having picked up one of our-small men of war, the Blandford, in its voyage home. And from Canada they have an account, that their squadron with the troops on board was arrived there; and that it is computed they have now 23,000 effective men at that place, including their garrisons. But the most important article relating to a war in Europe it what follows.  Madrid, August 19. As the taking of the two men of war by the English in America has given occasion to several reflections, from the consideration that war was not declared, and that the differences between the crowns of France and England related only to the continent of America, Sir Benjamin Keene has, in answer thereto, offered the following considerations: ” That it was well known that the French fleet carried troops, ammunition, and everything necessary for defending the territories which had been by the French unjustly taken possession of, and of which the English claim the property; That the rules of self-defence authorize people to render fruitless every attempt that may tend to prejudice them : That only this right had been made use of in taking the two French men of war, and that the distinction of place must be interpreted in favour of the English, seeing the two ships were taken upon the coast of the countries where the contest arose.”

August 22, 1755: “Twelve frigates and sloops have been lately built in private yards, for his majesty’s service.   Twenty-four ships, and twelve colliers, are taken into the service of the government, to be fitted out as vessels of war, to carry 20 guns, 6 pounders, and 120 men, each ship:  They are taken up at 6s. 6d. per ton a month

August, 1755: “The assembly of Pennsylvania being called together by Mr. Morris, their governor, upon the news of the defeat of Maj. Gen. Braddock, granted 40,000l. for his majesty’s service, by a tax of 5 per cent, on all goods imported into that province.”

August 28, 1755: “On the 28th of August Col. Dunbar, arrived at Philadelphia from Monongahela with about 1000 men, the remains of Gen. Braddock’s army, greatly fatigued and almost naked.”

August 28, 1755: “Boston, Oct. 8. By letters from the camp before Fort Cumberland, in Nova Scotia, of the 8th past, we have advice, that on the 28th of August, major Fry, with several officers and 200 men, embarked on board the sloop York, capt. Cobb, and the schooner Warren, capt. Adams, and the same evening landed at Chippondie, a village eight leagues up the river, having instructions to bring off all the inhabitants, and set fire to the houses. Upon their first landing they marched with an advance and two flank guards to the village, but found all the inhabitants were fled, except twenty five women and children, who were taken prisoners. The next morning they set fire to the buildings, and burnt down 181 houses and barns, with all the hay, grain, etc therein. After this they proceeded to the mass-house, which, with what was therein, was burnt to ashes. Then putting the prisoners on board one of the transports, they embarked again. The next morning two of the officers, with sixty two men, were ordered to Pitcondiack; and having landed within sight of the armed vessels, they found the houses entirely evacuated and by the first of September they laid the buildings in ashes for fifteen miles in length on the northerly side of the river, and about six on the other fide; and when they came in sight of a mass-house, they discovered foot tracks lately made, and soon after perceived a smoke. The mass-house being close to a thick wood, they posted proper guards, and as they were preparing to fire the house, a signal-gun was fired by the enemy, and before the guard , and the few men with them, could repair to the main body, they found themselves almost surrounded by them; upon which they were obliged to rush through them as well as they could, firing their pieces, and receiving their fire: And, while thus retreating, the Indians gained ground, shot lieutenant March, and took and wounded some others; but a serjeant with six men coming from a copse of wood, stopt their pursuit, so that the rest of our men gained the dyke, and secured their retreat. All this time it was impossible for major Fry to come to their assistance, on account of the rapidity of the river, being driven by the current three quarters of a mile below the intended landing-place but landing the rest of his men as soon as he possibly could, he drew up the whole body, and made a stand: Upon this the enemy likewise drew up in a body, besides the dykes being lined with Indians, and parties (supposed to be upwards of 300) scouting in the woods; but they were not inclined to engage our forces in an open manner, though with such a number they might have done almost as they pleased. At high water the two armed vessels got in as near the shores as they safely could, and covering each of the flanks, sent their boats to take our men on board the vessels, during the embarkation, firing their cannon, and keeping the rebels off. Several of the enemy were killed, but how many is uncertain; 253 houses and barns, besides the masshouse, have been burnt.”

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