Chronology of Events for March 1756

March, 1756: “Thirty French prizes have been carried into Jamaica by his majesty’s ships upon that station. Many have also been carried into Barbados by the ships of commodore Frankland’s squadron.”

March, 1756: “Boston in New-England has voted 3000 men, and the province of New-York 1000, to be raised for the expedition against Crown-point. Governor Morris has drawn a line, upwards of 400 miles in length, on the back of Philadelphia, and fortified it is such a manner as to secure the inhabitants from the attempts of the enemy on that side.”

March, 1756: “About the beginning of last month a squadron of French men of war, with a number of transports, under the command of M. Perrier de Salvert sailed from Brest, having a number of troops on board, and great quantities of arms and ammunition; but whither bound is as yet a secretAll we know is that two English merchant ships have been taken by them in their passage, one of which was sent into Morlaix in France, and the other, which was taken 100 leagues to the westward of Cape Finisterre, has been sent into Cadiz in Spain.  Ever since the middle of February we have had accounts, by every mail from France, of great preparations making at Toulon, for some naval expedition, in which a strong squadron, and a great number of troops, were to be employed, and it was generally said to be designed against the island of Minorca, which was looked on as a French gasconade, as no squadron was sent from England for preventing it. But by the last mails we have an account that this squadron, with a body of 17 or 18,000 land forces, and all materials necessary for a siege, actually sailed the 9th inst, but were obliged by contrary winds to come to an anchor off the islands of Hieres, from whence they sailed again the nth, and were out of sight when the last letters came from thence. This makes some people apprehend that important island to be in danger, at our squadron tinder admiral Byng did not sail from Plymouth till the 6th inst, so that the French troops may be landed, and the fort invested several days before he can reach the island.”

March 1, 1756: “His royal highness the duke of Cumberland arrived at Chatham, and examined the fortifications carrying on at that place: At five in the afternoon he entered Canterbury, and reviewed the three regiments quartered there. The next day, between one and two in the afternoon, he reviewed lord Robert Bertie’s regiment at Dover-castle, and there lodged. The next day he visited Folkstone, Hythe, Dymchurch, New Romney, Lydd, and Rye. On Sunday night, the 7th, he returned from his tour to St. James’s.”

March 3, 1756: Orders were sent to the commissioners of the customs, to lay an embargo on all the shipping in the ports of England and Ireland, and at night there was the hottest press for seamen, on the river Thames, that has been known for many years. An embargo was also laid on the ships in the ports of Scotland. [This embargo was, in part, taken off again before the 20th.]

March 11, 1756: The Chev. d’Aubigny in the Prudent of 74 guns, together with the frigates Atalanta M. de Chaffault, and Zephyr M. le Touche de Treville, took the Warwick of 60 Guns Captain Shouldham, near Martinico.

March 11, 1756: Sir Edward Hawke with ten ships of the line, and under his convoy three East Indiamen sails from St. Helens westward.

March 13, 1756: “The preceding week, there was a very smart press for seamen and land men, in all the ports of the kingdom, as well as this city and suburbs, as also for soldiers; to which purpose the peace officers searched all the publick houses, and secured every idle person that could give no good account of themselves ; the roads into Essex, Surrey, Hertfordshire, &c. were guarded by marines, who took all those that were thought capable of serving his majesty either by land or sea. Orders were likewise dispatched from the privy council to the lord’s lieutenants of the several counties, to enjoin the justices and deputy lieutenants to exert themselves in causing all the straggling seamen to be taken up, for his majesty’s service. Many noblemen gave bounties in their respective counties, to those who enlisted in the new regiments, over and above the usual entrance money; by which those corps were speedily completed.”

March 23, 1756: “The King sent a message to the two Houses of Parliament, wherein his Majesty informed them, that he had received repeated advices, that a design had been formed by the French court to invade Great Britain or Ireland; and that the great preparations of land forces, ships, artillery, and warlike stores, now making in the ports of France, left little room to doubt of the reality of such a design: that his Majesty had therefore judged it necessary to acquaint them with intelligence of such high importance to the safety of these nations, and to inform them, that he had taken proper measures for putting his kingdom in a posture of defence against so unjust and desperate an enterprise, projected in revenge for those just and necessary measures which had been taken for maintaining his rights and possessions in North America; and that, in order further to strengthen himself, his Majesty had made a requisition of a body of Hessian troops to be forthwith brought over hither and that, trusting in the Divine protection, and in the good affection, zeal, and fidelity of his people, which he had so often experienced, his Majesty was determined to exert all the force God had put into his hands, to repel so daring an attempt; and doubted not of their support and concurrence.”

March 27, 1756: Attack on Fort Bull, North America. This English fort at the “Oneida carry” in New York is taken by storm by a 362-man body of French troops commanded by Lt. Chaussegros De Lery.  The fort, after it was taken, blew up by accident, with its magazine of Powder, (of 40,000 pound weight) bombs, bullets, grenades, other utensils of war, and a considerable quantity of provision.  This threatens the supply line to Fort Oswego on the shore of Lake Ontario.

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