Chronology of Events for April 1756

April, 1756: The Dutch, it seems, were so much under the influence of France, that they absolutely refused to send over the 6000 men they were by treaty obliged to furnish to England, in case of its being in under of any domestic insurrection or foreign invasion, though they were not only demanded, but transports sent to Holland for bringing them over; and likewise they refused a passage either for the Hessians or for the Hanoverians; for which reason both these bodies of auxiliaries embarked at Stade upon the Elbe for England.

April, 1756: A Dutch pirate of 60 guns cruizing off of Virginia, took several English vessels and murdered their crews.

April 1, 1756: “The following; noblemen and gentlemen presented to his majesty the addresses of the lords and commons for bringing over a body of Hanoverian troops, viz. the lord steward and lord chamberlain of the household, Mr. Fox secretary of state, the chancellor of the Exchequer, comptroller of the household, and the secretary at war. To which his majesty made the following answer:  ‘I am always very glad to do anything that is agreeable to my parliament and for the benefit and security of my people, and as both houses desire that a body of my German troops should be brought over hither to assist in the defence of this kingdom in the present critical conjuncture, I will give immediate orders for that purpose.’”

April 7, 1756: Commodore Keppel sailed with the Torbay, Essex, Unicorn, and Gibraltar, on a cruize. Admirals Byng and West sailed from St. Helen’s with a strong fleet.

April 14, 1756: “The governor of Philadelphia issued a proclamation on the 14th of April, declaring the Delaware Indians, and those concerned with them, to be traitors and rebels to his majesty, offering the following rewards for taking or killing any of the said Indians, viz. 150 dollars for a male prisoner above twelve years of age; and 130 dollars for the scalp of a male above twelve years of age; 130 dollars for a female prisoner; and 50 dollars for the scalp of a female above twelve years; and 150 dollars for an English prisoner retaken from the enemy. [It is thus necessity obliges Christians to descend to cruel measures.]”

April 16, 1756: Admiral Holborne with a squadron, and his convoy, the transports with the forces for North America, sailed from Plymouth.

April 16, 1756: His Majesty’s ship the Orford arrived at Plymouth, being sent in by Sir Edward Hawke with two French ships taken off cape Ortegal, one of them of 14 guns and 57 men, and also had 183 soldiers on board, bound to Cape Breton; the other a schooner, bound to Quebec, with wine, musket balls and flour.

April 18, 1756: The French fleet arrived at the island of Minorca, and landed the troops commanded by the duke de Richelieu, without opposition, before Ciudadella, which the English garrison had evacuated, the garrison was very well supplied with provisions; and to strengthen it, commodore Edgcumbe had put ashore all his marines, and 150 seamen, under the command of captain Scroope; the Commodore sailed on the 20th instant, for Gibraltar, with his Majesty’s ships Deptford and Portland, and the Princesa Louisa and Chesterfield followed the next day.

April 18, 1756: “Admiralty-Office, May 8. By a letter from the Hon. Augustus Hervey, captain of his majesty’s ship the Phœnix, dated from Villa-Franca, April the 18th, there is advice, that he was sent from Mahon by commodore Edgcumbe to Leghorn, to take in stores, and proceeded to Villa Franca, in order to receive any letters he should find there from England for the commodore ; that finding the French fleet had sailed from Toulon on the 13th for the island of Minorca, he intended sailing that evening, and endeavour to get into the harbour of Mahon ; or if it should he blocked up by the French so as to make it impossible for his ship to get in, he should try in some other manner to convey to Mr. Edgcumbe the news of a fleet being actually failed from England for their assistance and relies, and endeavour to get the commodore’s orders for his farther proceedings: That if he should not be able to receive those orders, he would then go away for Gibraltar, and cruize in the Gutt, in hopes of meeting the English fleet. He sends also the following lilt of the French fleet, viz. Line of Battle Ships: Le Foudroyant 80; Le Triton 64; La Couronne 74; Le Lion 64; Le Redoutable 74; Le Content 64; L’Hercule 64; Le Satre 64; L’Achilla 64; L’Aldon 50; Frigates: La Pomone 36; La Gracieuse 24; Le Zephrir 30; La Nymphe 20; La Rose 30. About 180 transports, 90 of which are Tartans and Settees. They have a Majorca xebecque, which is said to serve as a pilot for the craft. He adds, that the whole number of troops, labourers, etc. shut up in the castle of St. Philip’s, amounted to 5000 men; that the French army doth not exceed 11,000; so that he thinks the attack upon the castle of St. Philip’s will scarce be effectual before the fleet, under admiral Byng, will probably arrive; and that all necessary precautions were taking when he left Mahon, for the defence of Fort St. Philip’s, and the best disposition made for that of the harbour.”

April 18, 1756: “By the way of Holland we have had the following accounts from Minorca, dated April 21, viz. The French troops which landed the 18th instant, took possession of Ciudadella, upon the English garrison retiring from thence. The marshal duke de Richelieu and count Galissonière, accompanied by the principal officers of the army, received the compliments of the magistracy on their entrance into this city. At the same time the marshal told them, “We are not come to attack you. The king my master has no other reason for sending me hither, than to obtain satisfaction for the insults and injuries done him by the English. You may depend on my protection, and be assured of my care, that the troops under my command shall behave well, committing no kind of violence of any sort, and pay for what they buy. But beware of carrying on any correspondence with the enemy; in case of your so doing be assured of being treated with the utmost severity.” Upon the marshals taking possession of this city, Te Deum was sung in the great church, and a triple discharge of cannon on board the feet, and from the garrison at the same time ; aster which the duke gave a grand entertainment to the government, &c. On the 19th, the marshal took possession of a small fort, abandoned by the English, which served to cover Fornelle, a small port, situated on the eastern side of the island, at the point of a small bay, near a cape of the same name.  On the 20th, the marquis de Mesnil, and the marquis de Monteynard, two lieutenant generals, were detached from the army with 24 companies of grenadiers, and a royal brigade, to encamp at Mercadel, from whence they were to advance towards Mahon, in order to block up that port on the eastern side of the bay, whilst the main body of the army is to invest fort St. Philip, in which Gen. Blakeney has gathered the chief body of his troops, to the amount of 1500 men, as some say, or 3000, according to the report of others. This day the heavy artillery destined for the siege began its march. The fleet commanded by count de la Galissonière is preparing to block up the entrance of the bay of Port-Mahon, in expectation of the arrival of admiral Byng, and with orders to sight him. The islanders seem pleased with the arrival of the French, and gave them all possible assistance in landing then troops and artillery, and supplying them with all manner of provisions.”

April 22, 1756: The Dutch refuse to send over the force to help England, which they were bound to do by treaty.

April 23, 1756: “A prohibition is laid on the exportation of gunpowder, stores, ammunition, and all warlike materials, to foreign parts, and even coastwise in Great-Britain, except what is for the service of the government, by way of precaution against the designs of France, &c.”

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