Category Archives: Seven Years’ War

Articles of Capitulation, Minorca, 29 June 1756

Articles of Capitulation proposed by Lieutenant General Blakeney, for his Britannic Majesty’s 

Garrison of the Castle of St Philip, in the Island of Minorca.

Article l. That all acts of hostility shall cease, until the articles of capitulation are agreed upon and signed.

Answer. Granted.

Art. 2. That all honours of war shall be granted the garrison on their surrender; such as, to march out with their firelocks on their shoulders, drums beating, colours flying, twenty-four charges for each man, match lighted, four pieces of cannon, and two mortars, with twenty charges for each piece; a covered wagon for the governor, and four others for the garrison, which shall not be searched on any pretence.

Answer. The noble and vigorous defence which the English have made, having deserved all marks of esteem and veneration that every military person ought to shew to such actions; and Marechal Richelieu being desirous also to shew General Blakeney the regard due to the brave defence he has made, grants to the garrison all the honours of war that they can enjoy, under the circumstance of their going out for an embarkation, to wit, firelocks on their shoulders, drums beating, colours flying, twenty cartridges for each man, and also lighted match. He consents likewise, that Lieutenant-General Blakeney, and his garrison, shall carry away all the effects that shall belong to them, and that can be put into trunks. It would be useless to them to have covered wagons; there are none in the island j therefore they are refused.

Art. 3. That all the garrison, including all the subjects of his Britannic Majesty, as well civil as military, shall have all their baggage and effects secured, with liberty of removing and disposing of them as they shall think proper.

Answer. Granted, except to the natives of the island, upon condition, that all the lawful debts of the garrison to the Minorquins, who are to be considered as French subjects, shall be paid.

Art. 4. That the garrison, including the officers, artificers, soldiers, and other subjects of his Britannic Majesty, with their families, who shall be willing to leave the island, shall be provided with proper transport-vessels, and conducted to Gibraltar by the shortest and most direct navigation; that they shall be headed there immediately upon their arrival, at the expence of the Crown of France; and that they shall be supplied with provisions out of those that may be yet remaining in the place at the time of its surrender, as long as they shall remain in the island, and during their voyage at sea, and that in the same proportion as they receive at present.

Answer. Transport-vessels shall be furnished from among those which are in the pay of his Most Christian Majesty, and proper for the military and civil garrison of Fort St Philip, and their families. These vessels shall carry them by the safest navigation to Gibraltar, with the shortest delay possible, and shall land them immediately, upon condition, that, after their being landed, these ships shall be provided with sufficient passports, that they may not be molested on their return to the port of France they shall be bound for: And hostages shall be given for the safety os the transport-vessels and their crews, who shall embark in the first neutral ship that shall come to fetch them, after the said vessels shall be returned in the port of France.

The garrison shall also be supplied with provisions, as well during their stay in the island as for twelve days voyage, which shall be taken from those that shall be found in the Fort St Philip, and distributed on the footing that they have been usually furnished to the English garrison; and if more be wanted, it shall be furnished, paying for it as shall be agreed by commissaries on both sides.

Art. 5. That proper quarters shall be provided for the garrison, with an hospital sit for the sick and wounded, whilst the transports are getting ready, which shall not exceed a month, to be reckoned from the day of signing this capitulation; and with regard to those who shall not be in a condition to be transported, they shall stay; and care shall be taken of them till they are in a condition to be sent to Gibraltar by another opportunity.

Answer. The vessels being ready for the transporting the garrison, the providing quarters, as demanded, becomes unnecessary; they shall go out of the place with the least delay, in order to proceed to Gibraltar. And with regard to those who cannot be embarked immediately, they shall be permitted to remain in the island; and all the assistance they shall want shall be given them for their going to Gibraltar, when they shall be in a condition to be embarked. A state of them shall be drawn up, and the necessary passports shall be left, for a ship to go and return; and an hospital shall also be furnished for the lick and wounded, as shall be settled by the respective commissaries.

Art. 6. That the governor shall not be accountable for all the houses that shall have been burnt or destroyed during the siege.

Answer. Granted for the houses destroyed or burnt during the siege; but several effects, and titles of the admiralty-court, which have been carried into the fort, shall be restored, as well as the papers of the town-house, which have been carried away by the receiver, and the papers and titles relating to the ladings of the French merchant ships, which have also been retained.

Art. 7. When the garrison shall come out of the place, nobody shall be permitted to debauch the soldiers, to make them desert from their regiments; and their officers shall have access to them at all times.

Answer. No soldier shall be excited to desert; and the officers shall have an entire authority over them to the moment of their embarkation.

Art. 8. An exact discipline shall be observed on each side.
Answer. Granted.

Art. 9. That such of the inhabitants of the island as have joined the English for the defence of the place, shall have leave to remain, and to enjoy their goods and effects in the island without being molested.

Answer. General Blakeney and Marechal Richelieu cannot six or extend the authority of the Kings, their masters, over their subjectsit would be setting bounds to it, to oblige them to receive in their dominions those whom they should not think proper to have settled there.

Art. 10. That all prisoners of war shall be restored on each side.

Answer. All prisoners that have been made during the siege shall be restored on each side; so that when the French return those they have, the piquets, which were taken going to join the French fleet the day Admiral Byng appeared before Mahon, shall be restored.

Art. 11. That Mr. Cunningham, the engineer, who acted as a volunteer during the siege, shall have a passport, and leave to go wherever his affairs require.

Answer. Granted.

Art. 12. Upon the foregoing conditions, his Excellency the Lieutenant-General Governor consents, after the hostages shall have been exchanged for the faithful execution of the above articles, to deliver up the place to his Most Christian Majesty, with all the magazines, ammunition, cannon, and mortars, except those mentioned in the second article; and to point out to the engineers all the mines and subterraneous works. Done at the Castle of St Philip, the 28th of June 1756.

Answer. As soon as the foregoing articles shall have been signed, the French shall be put in possession of one of the gates of St Philip’s Castle, as well as of the Forts Marlborough and St Charles, upon the hostages being sent on both sides, for the faithful execution of the foregoing articles.

The staccado that is in the port shall be removed, and the going in and coming out shall be left open, at the disposition of the French, until the whole garrison has marched out; in the meantime the commissaries on both sides shall be employed : those on the part of his Excellency General Blakeney, in making an estimate of the effects in the military magazines, and others; and those on the part of his Excellency Marechal Richelieu, in receiving them; and to deliver to the English such part thereof as has been agreed upon. Plans shall also be delivered of the galleries, mines, and other subterraneous works. Done at St Philip, the 29th of June 1756.

Siege of Minorca, April to June 1756, 21 June to 29 June

June 21st. We cannot discover what work the Enemy are carrying on in Town, but we see them frequently pass and repass as if they were carrying Earth; they have moved some Guns from their ten Gun Battery; at night they fired Howitzers and ricochet shot; their Batteries are frequently on fire. The works done at the Argyle and Anstruther, again beat down, and the Battery silenced. Captain Hobby killed by a shell in the Castle.

June 22nd. The Enemy have not battered much this day or two, one of their Howitzer shells set fire to some of our 13 Inch shells on the N. West outward Ravelin, and 17 of them burst, but without hurting anybody; their fire and ours this night was as usual.  The Enemy worked hard last night, particularly behind the little parade in the Town; where it may very soon be expected that they will open a Battery. Our working parties employed again at the Argyle covered way, where the Embrazures are ordered to be masked, six Embrazures of the Enemy’s ten Gun Battery are now masked.

June 23rd. The Enemy seem to be very busy in Town, and preparing Batteries; they threw more shells in the night than usual; several Men killed and wounded in the night. The French Fleet in sight.  The besiegers are opening Embrazures in a work just in the front of the Tower by Major Innes’s House.  All the 32 Pounders that were on the Royal Battery are demolished except four, three of which are mounted in the covered way of Argyle, and one only of them remains at the Royal Battery.  The Guns are loaded with Grape shot during the night, and run out to the Embrazures, but drawn in again in the Morning, and the Embrazures masked.

June 24th. In the morning the Enemy began a very brisk and regular fire, which they continued all day from their Mortars and a prodigious number of shells were thrown into the works, particularly the Castle square; we very plainly saw three Batteries in the Town, with their Embrazures masked; which they opened about 12 o’clock, one by Water Tower of 4 Guns near Major Innes’s, another opposite Kane’s Fort, from whence they fired nine Guns successively, but the extent of their Battery and the number of its Embrazures does not yet appear; and the third near where Mr. Baker lived; from these they fired with great fury the whole Day as well as from their Howitzer and ricochet Battery’s; they Bombarded and Cannonaded so warmly, that we may conclude this Day’s firing to be the Hottest we had yet sustained. Our works were extremely battered, and the Enemy kept a constant fire with their Small Arms at our outworks and Embrazures. We threw many shells, but fired little with Cannon, Our Merlons being greatly destroyed. Three small parties of the Enemy came upon the Glacis in the night within 30 or 40 paces of the Palissadoes; and exchanged some Shot with out- Guards in the outward covered way, before the Queen’s Redoubt, Argyle and Anstruther.  The fire from the Enemy is now become so very heavy upon all the outworks in the front of the attack, that the Gunners are no longer able to stand to the few Guns still remaining; at least till the parapets and Merlons are repaired.

June 25th. The Enemy kept a very hot fire the whole Day with their Cannon, Mortars and Small Arms on the outworks, and have so destroyed our Embrazures and Merlons, that we could play but very few Cannon against them; except the N. E. Ravelin, which bears upon the besiegers three and four Gun Batteries at the Water Tower by Major Innes’s; bat we played them pretty warmly with shells.  In the night they fired but little from their Mortars, but threw a vast number of Howitzer shells, and ricochet shot.  The Besiegers are heard drawing Carnages down from their ten Gun Battery into the Town. They have fired lately with smaller Cannon than formerly from that Battery, from whence it is imagined they have removed their heaviest Cannon from that, to the last made Battery in the Town.

June 26th. The Enemy kept a very warm fire this morning and so fast with their small Arms that they very soon silenced the Guns on the outer works, through the badness of the Embrasures and Merlons, which were almost destroyed.  We threw a great number of shells. For about two or three nights past, the Enemy have crept upon the Glacis near to the Palissadoes, a few at a time; where they have exchanged some shot with the Guards in the covered way and then stole back again. A Council of War was held this day at which all the Field Officers assisted, to concert as was said further means for the defence of the place, and was summoned to sit again tomorrow. A breach having been made in the left face of the Anstruther, thought to be a practicable one.

The besiegers fired incessantly the whole night from all their different Batteries of Cannon, Mortars, and Howitzers, and chiefly directed their fire at the N. W. Curtain and W. Bastion of the Castle, and at the W. Counter Guard, N. E. Ravelin, and the Anstruther; all which are very much buttered.

June 27th. The Enemy fired a great many Howitzers and ricochet Shot, and continual firing of Small Arms on the outward covered way, and the lunettes; the same was returned from the Garrison, with now and then a Cannon from the W. lunette, and other batteries; though in general they are almost silenced, and about Day break fired extremely fast from their Mortars, which they continued to do the whole Day; their Gun Batteries played very warmly, and they kept a Constant fire with their Small Arms on the Embrazures of the outworks. Major Godfrey of Cornwallis’s wounded in the Castle square by some stones thrown by the fall of a shell.  About 9 o’clock at night, the time our Guards marched into the covered way, they Cannonaded and Bombarded with great fury ; which they continued to do for above an hour; between 10 and 11 after having ceased firing for about an hour, they made a general Assault from all the Salient Angles of the Covered way with great intrepidity, as far as the S. W. lunette; the signal for which was 15 Guns fired on board their Fleet and four shells, two thrown from the Turks Mount, and two from the signal house into the sea, at the same time; and during most part of the night, a noise was heard in Town like the tinkling upon some Mortars. Our numbers not being sufficient to defend the outward covered way, the Guards agreeable to their Orders retired after having given them a few rounds, into the lunettes, &c. They attempted with boats armed and provided with scaling Ladders, to enter the harbour and St Stephen’s Cove, in order to storm Charles Fort and St Stephen’s Guard; and to second the attack of the Marlborough by attempting it at the Gorge, but they were repulsed; upon which those that had attacked Marlborough Fort retired likewise; they were also repulsed at the West, and Carolina’s lunette; but not before they had cut down several ranges of Palissadoes, and nailed up some Guns on the new Batteries near that work; they entered tho Queen’s Redoubt by scaling and at the Gorge, where they took Colonel Jefferys Prisoner; Lieut. Whitehead of Colonel Rich’s Regiment was killed defending the breach at the Queen’s Redoubt, which they mounted by the Ladders they had made use of to get into the Ditch. They possessed themselves of the Anstruther and Argyle upon the retreat of the Guards there, having landed a great many men in boats at the Royal Battery; We sprang a Mine at the Argyle with great success; for by it they lost the greatest part of two Companies of Grenadiers, and one of Volunteers, with their Officers, by their own confession. We threw a great many shells, as well as Carcasses to give light to our Troops. Our Guns were silent on most of the inner works, the Merlons and platforms being near totally destroyed; from the N. E. Ravelin, we fired grape pretty smartly upon them and with success, although it was dark. We sprang a Mine likewise at the Redoubt with some success.  The Council of War met again this day at 4 o’clock.

June 28th. About Day break the Enemy beat a Parly to bury their dead, and draw off their wounded, which stopped our fire. At that time we could plainly see their Troops (excepting those in possession of the Anstruther, Argyle, and Queen’s Redoubt) running away; their Officers using all their endeavours to make them advance, and our men made a furious fire upon them; during this parly they secured themselves, and augmented their numbers in the Queen’s Redoubt and Argyle fort, as well as in the subterraneans, as far as the Kane; they lost about a thousand men in this attack, and a great many Officers.  The parly continued this day, and at night both parties were allowed to work; which they did.  t must not be forgot that the sick and wounded men at Charles Fort, turned out for the defence of that place upon its being attacked, and some fired that had only the use of one Arm, during this cessation a Capitulation was proposed, and terms were sent to the Duke of Richelieu.

June 29th. The Enemy advanced their Lodgments on the Argyle and Queen’s Redoubt, and had now more men in the places they were in possession of, than we had in our whole inner works; they had also a Battery in Town completed with 12 Guns. This Day till 12 o’clock we expected an answer to the Terms of Capitulation; when there was an extraordinary Council of War called, at which were present all the Captains off Duty; the Question being put whether they thought the fortifications and Troops were in a condition to stand a second assault, it was the opinion of almost the whole, that they were not; and that honourable Terms of Capitulation should be desired.  About 6 o’clock the Capitulation was signed by both sides, and about 7 the Enemy took possession of the barriers and outworks.

Siege of Havana, 1762, Paintings at Auction

Important paintings of the Siege of Havana by Dominic Serres for the Keppel (Albemarle) family are coming up for sale at Sotheby’s in July.

http://www.sothebys.com/en/news-video/slideshows/2016/a-closer-look–4-views-of-havana.html

Serres

Dominic Serres, The Taking of the Havana by British Forces under the Command of the Earl of Albemarle, 14 August 1762. Estimate £800,000–1,200,000.

 

Siege of Minorca April to June 1756, 11 June to 20 June

June 11th. The Enemy threw a great number of Shells and Howitzers last night; their Howitzers were mostly directed to the Queen’s Redoubt, pitching between that and Kane’s lunette, some by the West lunette towards the Castle; they battered as tho day before and their fire was returned with equal spirit.  In the afternoon our fascine Battery was on fire, but was soon extinguished; the Enemy made a great fire upon us, while it was on fire. The French Fleet off the Harbour, saw 20 sail. The most constant of the Besiegers fire is from their ten, and from their six Gun Batteries; their five gun battery is exposed to a much superior fire from the Castle, the Queen’s Redoubt and the three 32 Prs which are now mounted on the Anstruther that they are rendered almost incapable of firing from it. The Anstruther and Argyle, Queen’s Redoubt, Kane’s lunette, West lunette, the outward and inward N. W. Ravelins, the W. Counter Guard, the N. W. Curtain with the N. and W. Bastions of the Castle, being at present the front of the attack are consequently the places that have suffered most by the Enemy’s fire.

June 12th. The Enemy’s fire and our return was as smart as the day before. Our new fascine battery set on fire twice, but extinguished without much loss. The Besiegers did not fire from their five Gun Battery after 9 o’clock this morning. They fire frequently from their Battery on the Phillipit side during the night, but from 110 other; several men killed and wounded.

June 13th. The Enemy’s fire to day somewhat abated, and they threw but few shells the first part of the night, but played pretty briskly with their Howitzers. They fired some shot from the other side the water, and some ricochet from Stanhope’s Tower. The French Fleet in sight to the West. A 13 Inch shell fell through the light hole into the Grand communication between the main ditch and Princes line, and burst in the midst of the Guards which paraded there, without hurting anybody; firing of Small Arms at each other all night. The besiegers began to Cannonade very early this morning, and fired very briskly from all their Batteries, except the 5 Gun Battery, from whence however they fire a gun now and then.

June 14th. A little before Day, a Deserter came in from the Enemy of the Regiment De Talaru, the only part of whose intelligence that can be credited, is, that two more Regiments were arrived from Franco since their last disembarkation. He says that near 2,500 of their Army are either killed or wounded; their fire not so violent as two Days ago; in the afternoon another Deserter was sent in from Marlborough Fort, who appeared to be out of his senses; our fire as warm as usual.

June 15th. The Enemy’s fire still less than usual, and few shells were thrown by them in the night; they however fired pretty smartly from their Howitzers, and threw pieces of shells out of their Mortars; we kept a very brisk fire on that part of the Town where they were heard at work, and where it is imagined they are constructing a Battery.  Lieut. Armstrong died this morning of his wounds. One face of the West Bastion, and N. W. Curtain of the Castle, are so battered by the Enemy’s six and ten Gun Batteries, that the Guns of them are drawn back, and the parapet thickened inwards; the same is likewise done to the N. W. face of the Queen’s Redoubt, and the direction of two of the Embrazures altered, in order to bear on the Enemy’s five Gun Battery.  The besiegers have removed three of their Mortars to the right of Stanhope’s Tower, from whence they frequently throw shells to the Marlborough, which returns upon them a smart fire from two 9 Prs that bear upon them; and upon their ricochet Battery near Stanhope’s Tower.

June 16th. The Enemy fired Howitzers and ricochet shot, but threw not many shells in the Night; our return was as warm as usual. Lieut. Francis of Cornwallis’s Regiment had his arm broke by the Splinter of a shell, while on Guard at St Stephens, and had it cut off; and Lieut. Young of the Fusiliers wounded in the Leg in the Castle square, while on Guard there.  The Enemy fire very little from their five Gun Battery, however they frequently work at it during the night; for several days past they have fired a great deal of Mitraille.

June 17th. This morning the Enemy opened a battery of three Guns, at the same place where they had before shewn three Embrazures, that were destroyed by the heavy fire of the Argyle, namely a little to the right of their gabionade near Major Innes’s.  The Enemy fire again so warmly from their five Gun Battery, that the Gunners cannot stand upon the Argyle and Anstruther; firing of Small Arms from the Enemy all night; some fascines set on fire at the West lunette, at the extinguishing of which we had three or four men killed by the Enemy, who kept a constant fire on us from every part. It having been found that the quantity of Wine and aquadent provided for the Troops, was insufficient to answer the present allowance of a pint per Day of the former to each Man; and two drams per Day of the latter, to the Men on Duty. The allowance of Wine was reduced to half a pint, a Man, and a Dram only to the Gunners while on the Battery. The Enemy very busy pulling down houses in the Town, behind the little Parade, where it is supposed they will soon have a Battery. In consideration of the scarcity of Officers, which was become Greater, by sickness and accidents, a Subaltern was taken from the Queen’s redoubt. Within these last 24 Hours, we have had the misfortune to lose several Men by Small Arms.

June 18th.  We manned the Guns on the N. E. Ravelin, and silenced the Enemy’s 3 Gun Battery; they poured us in a great many shells and Howitzers in the night, which we returned as warmly. It appears that the besiegers during the night had carried on a single row of Gabions from the Left of their Gabionade, near their 3 Gun Battery, towards the water side.

June 19th We took away our Men from tho N. E. Ravelin, and mounted four 32 Prs on Argyle’s covered way, but the Enemy soon destroyed the Merlons of that work, and silenced the Guns; they gave us a great many Howitzers shells and ricochet shot in the night, for some time past they have fired small shot at the Embrazures, getting into Cellars and Houses were they are not easily seen, and firing through small holes at every one who shew their heads above the parapet.  The working party employed in repairing the Argyle and Anstruther. Yesterday the besiegers brought two Guns to fire upon the N. E. Ravelin; but to no effect.

June 20th. The Enemy’s fire from their Gun Batteries not so great as usual, they have been heard hard at work every night in the Town where we imagined they are about something of consequence; we have thrown them a great number of Shells in the night; and fired grape shot often on the Town to annoy them; they have given us few shells in the night, but fired smartly their Howitzers and ricochet shot.  The working party still employed at the Argyle and Anstruther. The besiegers for some days past have been straitened for want of Ammunition; it is imagined they are now landing a fresh supply; as several of their people are seen passing and repassing to the Cove on Capo Mola side with hand barrows.  Last night the Embrazures of the Argyle covered way were repaired, and this morning we fired about 12 or 14 Rounds from them; but were again obliged to desist from the same cause as the Day before.

Siege of Minorca April to June 1756, 1 June to 10 June

June 1st.  The besiegers were heard to be very busy all night.  We still continually heard the Carriages in Town, and fired several vollies of shells to annoy the Enemy, as likewise Carcasses to give light upon the Glacis; their fire in the Night was very moderate; in the morning we found they had carried on a work of Gabions from the fives Court to Stanhope’s Tower, at which we fired the whole Day; they have filled up all the Embrazures excepting two of their battery near the burying Ground and those two they make no use of. Last night two Grenadiers of the Royal Welch Fusiliers deserted, and made their escape as is imagined by the Royal Battery.  We mounted 4 twelve pounders on the new Fascine Battery by the N. W. outward Ravelin.  Some of the Enemy’s Fleet off the Harbour.

June 2nd. We fired our Mortars last night upon the Enemy by signals given at the West lunette, directing when and where; a person being advanced for that purpose upon the Glacis, who by listening attentively could discover where the Enemy were at work.  We received from them a greater number of Shells than we had for several Days before, from their batteries in Town, near the burying Ground, Major Innes’s, Turks Mount, and Cape Mola, they likewise fired very briskly from 3 o’clock in the afternoon till about 9 o’clock at night, and gave us some shot in the night from Turks Mount. We gave them a very warm fire all night.  The Enemy’s fleet to the Eastward of Cape Mola. The Enemy very busy all night at work, notwithstanding our incessant fire upon them.

June 3rd. The Enemy fired ricochet shot this morning from Stanhope’s Tower, as likewise from their Howitzers near the same place, and played smartly with their shells from all sides, particularly in the afternoon; we gave them an equal return from our lunettes and inner works; they worked sometime this morning near Stanhope’s tower, but being interrupted by our shells, thought proper to leave off. Their fleet off the Harbour. The Enemy very busy all night at their new work by Stanhope’s tower, in spite of our constant fire.

June 4th. The Enemy continued their work last night near Stanhope’s tower, and it appears to be a battery they are constructing between that tower and the fives Court. They threw a great number of shells in the Day time, especially in the afternoon, but their fire was very moderate in the night, as was likewise ours.  The French fleet off the Harbour.

June 5th. The Enemy opened a battery of 10 Guns between Stanhope’s tower and the fives Court; from which they played with great fury, as they did from their other batteries the whole day; the heat of this fire was directed against the North Bastion of the Castle, the N. W. Curtain, the W. Counter Guard, and the Queen’s Redoubt; In the night they threw above 100 shells, several ricochet shot, and Howitzer Shells, by which they wounded some of the Piquet. We blew up some of their Ammunition at Stanhope’s tower, by a shell from the West lunette; they have thrown several shells at a ship we had rigged ready for sailing in St Stephen’s Cove, but to no effect. They renewed their fire from the Battery by the burying Ground with 6 Guns. Lieut. Armstrong of Lord Effingham’s much wounded on the top of the Castle from the New Battery; the Enemy’s fire very smart to Day.

June 6th. The Enemy began at Day break to Cannonade as smartly as yesterday, but did not continue it so long; they poured in among us a prodigious quantity of shells yesterday and today, one of which set fire to some of our own shells on the West Counter guard, which burst without wounding anybody but the Sentry, who was hurt by the shell that occasioned the accident; a third of their shot from their new Battery have gone over the Castle into the sea. We have abated our fire, making use only of our Mortars against their new Battery; and reserving our Guns against their nearer approach. Their Fleet off the Harbour. The Besiegers discontinued cannonading all night, and were employed in repairing their works which had suffered in the Day; several parties of the Besiegers were seen from the Marlborough, in and about the place called the King’s gardens, or Barranco.

June 7th. The Enemy were pulling down houses all night in the town, we fired Small Arms at them the whole time from the covered way; in the morning they opened a Battery below Mr. Boyd’s of five Guns against Anstruther and Argyle Fort, in that part of the Town opposite the salient Angle of the Queen’s Redoubt, and bearing upon the Argyle and Anstruther fort; from which Battery they have already disabled two of the 32 Prs and one 9 Pr at the Anstruther; we played them well with shells, and prepared some other Batteries against them; They fired the whole day from Stanhope’s Tower at the North Bastion, and Curtain of the Castle.  Our new Fascine Battery was opened this morning, but soon silenced by the fire of the Enemy’s ten Gun Battery, and a shell shot burst upon it, which disabled the Gun there; several men killed and wounded upon this Battery, for about an hour in the night, the Enemy fired small Arms as fast as they could, but for what reason we could not guess. The works a good deal damaged by the Enemy’s continual fire.

June 8th. Their Fleet off the Harbour the whole Day. The Enemy are observed to be at work in a large Cornfield, near Quarrantine Island on the Phillipit Shore. This morning we fired upon the besiegers five Gun Battery with 3 thirty two Pounders from the Argyle, two 18 Prs from the Queen’s Redoubt, and four Guns upon the top of the Castle; but two of the 32 Prs were soon silenced. We did this battery so much damage, that they could not fire from it the whole Day; several of our men killed and wounded, particularly four Sailors who were all wounded by a blind shell. The Enemy began in the morning to batter as before, but by noon we silenced four Guns of their last Battery; they continued firing from their other Batteries the whole Day, they threw but few shells in the fir.st part of the night, but fired continually from the houses near their battery with Small Arms; which fire our Guards in the covered way returned very smartly. There was a frequent discharge of Small Anus after the Guards took their posts in the covered way for several hours, at some single soldiers who kept firing at the sentrys from Windows, and from Corners of Streets.

June 9th.  The Enemy began as usual in the Morning to batter the Castle, and other works, and to fire ricochet Shot from Stanhope’s Tower. We discovered a Battery of eight Embrazures in a Corn field on the brow of the hill of Phillipit; they poured us in, a great number of shells, both in the day and night. The battery on the covered way of Argyle is silenced, and the Enemy’s fire from their five Gun Battery below Mr. Boyd’s, is so superior to ours that the Gunners cannot stand on the Battery.

June 10th. The Enemy opened a battery of 8 Guns in the Cornfield above Phillipit, and fired at the North face of the Queens’s redoubt, and works adjacent; they likewise battered the Castle and Argyle fort from their other batteries; they have lately fired small Arms at the Embrazures of the out works, while the Gunners are loading. A shell blew up the Ammunition Chest, on the South Counter Guard, the explosion of which shook the Castle like a small Earthquake. Their Fleet off.  The five Gun Battery below Mr. Boyd’s was silent to day. This morning the three Guns on the S.W. inner Ravelin were again fired, after having been silent for some time, that the platforms might be repaired.

Siege of Minorca April to June 1756: 20 May to 31 May 1756

May 21st. Two Deserters came in from the Enemy, one of the Royal Regiment, the other of the Royal Italians; one of them was drunk and would not own himself to be any more than a prisoner; the other informed us they had been lately reinforced, and were under Arms the day our Fleet appeared off; this night they threw many shells; their Fleet to the East.  These Deserters informed us that the Enemy are in search of our mines, but differ with regard to the spot where they are countermining; they likewise informed us, that there had been an engagement between the two Fleets, and that ours had been worsted; that the French Army now consists of near eighteen thousand. The Guards changed their hour of Mounting to three o’clock in the morning, in order that a greater number of Men, might be under Arms at the time when it is apprehended we are most liable to be attacked.

May 22nd. About sun set the Enemy fired a Feu de joye, and at the end of each fire gave us a general discharge from their Batteries of both Guns and Mortars; their small shot came into the works but did no harm; they threw very few shells at night. The Feu de joye was on account of the engagement between the French and English Fleets, the latter of which through the ill conduct of the Admiral was obliged to retreat and go back to Gibraltar; a very few of the English Ships were engaged, but they behaved extremely well.  The Enemy’s fleet in sight all day close at the back of Cape Mola, most of them with their boats astern.

May 23rd. The Enemy began to Bombard early in the Morning, fired smartly about daybreak, and continued the rest of the day as usual, they opened two more Embrazures at their Battery by the burying Ground to play on the Queen’s Redoubt, this Battery has now six Embrazures. The Enemy’s fleet in sight and very close in shore; the Enemy seen all this afternoon driving beasts into St Philips loaded with Fascines.

May 24th. The Enemy fire very moderate to day; their fleet before the harbour. They Cannonaded the Queens Redoubt with two Guns from the Battery near the Burying ground.

May 25th. The Enemy threw few shells in the Night, we fired a Carcass to their Battery, by the old burying ground, and gave them many shells; about day break they fired both their Cannon and Mortars, but not with great violence; in the Evening their Fleet stood to the Northward behind Cape Mola.  The Enemy’s Carriages heard between the Town Guard and burying ground, they are repairing and increasing that Battery.

May 26th. The Enemy threw a great many shells today, most of which burst in the Castle square; their fleet behind Cape Mola; we imagine the Enemy are carrying on a Battery behind a mount commonly called Turk’s Mount, a little above Marlborough fort towards the sea, by which we think they intend to oppose the entrance of any Ships into the harbour. They have added a great Quantity of Earth to their Battery near the burying Ground, they have five Guns at the burying Ground battery but fire very little from them, two of them bear upon the West face of the Queen’s Redoubt and have impaired it greatly.

May 27th. The Enemy threw but few shells in the night; we fired as usual, particularly on the Town. The Enemy’s fleet to the Eastward of Cape Mola.  For several days past the Enemy has given us very little annoyance, nor does it yet appear that they have made any great progress towards the acquisition of the place, or have proceeded with the vigour that might be apprehended from so formidable an Army, as we are informed they have invested the place with.

May 28th. The Enemy fired little in the night, and we kept a smart fire as usual; their Fleet appeared off the harbour, and we counted 27 Sail, but no addition of Men of War; several of the Ships parted from the Fleet in the afternoon, and went to the Eastward; it is imagined these Vessels have brought them either more Troops, or Stores. The Lieut. Governor had a dish of fish at his Table, killed by the explosion of a shell in the Water at St Stephen’s Cove.

May 29th. The Enemy were very quiet in the night, not firing at all and but little the whole day. In the morning their Fleet was so near the harbour, that several of their ships were in danger of being ashore near Turks Mount, it being almost calm, but they were towed off again. They fired several shot last night at a Vessel passing the Harbour’s mouth, which hoisted French Colours, but struck them upon their firing. They have now seven Mortars at their Battery by Major Innes’s; about seven o’clock this Evening they fired upon us from a ricochet battery of three Guns, and two Mortars which lie concealed behind a rocky part, a little to the right of Turks Mount, most of their shot went clean over the Castle. It does not appear they have much repaired their Battery near the burying ground.

May 30th. The Enemy threw very few shells last night, and fired in the morning Cannon from Turks Mount; we directed a Carcass and fire balls to their Battery, and gave them many shells and Cannon Shot; their smartest fire was in the morning, being pretty moderate the rest of the day; one of their shells set fire to half a barrel of Powder on Argyle fort, by which accident 40 Cohorn shells fired, and burst on the Battery, but hurt nobody. They fire very little from their Gun Battery by the burying Ground, four Embrazures of which are now filled up and the whole Battery very much damaged by our constant fire of Shot & Shells upon it.

May 31st. The Enemy fired little last night, but we heard a great many Carriages passing the back of the Town towards Stanhope’s Tower; we made a smart fire upon all parts of the Town; theirs was moderate today; some of our Shells, and a Carcass, being too near the Mortar, took fire on the top of the Castle, but nobody was hurt; their Fleet off the Harbour. The Genoese Vessel ordered to be lilted for sea.  It is discovered that the Enemy have collected a great Quantity of Earth, at the back of the fives Court near Stanhope’s Tower.

Siege of Minorca April to June 1756: 11 May to 20 May

May 11th. In the night the Enemy lengthened their work by the burying place, and were also working by the water side near the House where Major Innes lived; we threw Shot and Shells to all parts of the Town to annoy them, and at night fired two vollies of our Mortars and Cannon.  A great noise of heavy wheel Carriages heard last night between Stanhope’s Tower, and the Town. The Enemy’s fleet in sight to the South East. Captain Flight was of opinion that by firing a Volley from all the Guns that bore on the Enemy’s Gun Battery at Cape Mola, he could effectually silence it in a very short time; instead of which we only now and then fired a shot; and that, on account of the weakness of our own Works.

May 12th.  The Enemy having been discovered working near Major Innes’s, two 32 Pounders were brought from the Royal Battery to Argyle’s covered way, to fire at the wall behind which they were. We heard them very plainly at work near the burying place, towards which we fired; and threw many Shells the whole Night. About half an hour after Nine at Night they opened a Battery of five Mortars at Water Tower near Major Innes’s, and in about an hour another of Three Mortars in the burying ground near Witham’s five Court; from both these they played with great fury the whole night, throwing above 200large shells; we returned them however many more, tho’ less in size; ours being mostly Cohorns from the lunettes, to annoy their working parties. They dismounted a 32 Pounder on the Royal Battery, and an 18 pounder on the top of the Castle. The Rattling of the Enemy’s Carriages was heard last night, about the same ground as the night before. The Boom this night fell down as far as the ditch of the Anstruther. Four men had a very particular escape from a shell of the Enemy’s, which run down a passage after them and burst in the corner thereof by a necessary house, cut in the Rock, but it did no other damage, than blowing two of them into it, tearing away the seats so as to leave no remains of them, and breaking three or four firelocks to pieces, as likewise the door, the men not being in the least hurt. One of the Gunners had his leg shot off, by a Cohorn Mortar which hung fire.

May 13th. The Enemy seems to have extended their work, they Bombarded us all Day, which we returned, though chiefly in the night to the Town, where we fired some platoons of small Arms. One of the French Soldiers was wounded on the glacis, and fetched in; he was of Soissonnois’s Regiment, and in too much pain from his wounds to admit of many interrogations at that time; however the intelligence he did give, was that the French Army consisted of three Brigades, but that more was expected; that in a day or two the Besiegers would open two more Batteries, one of eight Guns near the spot of the Windmills, and one of three Guns in the lower end of the Town; that the Regiment he belongs to was ordered to the assistance of the Gunners; that he was one of a party of pioneers of three hundred men; that the working parties were covered by Grenadiers and Volunteers, and that tho Guards were of about fifty Men each. Our fire was so brisk, that we destroyed part of their Fascine work by the Windmills or burying ground.  We were informed by two Minorquin Women who came to the Barrier, that the Serjeant and private man sent out last reconnoitering, had fallen into the hands of the French, and were prisoners at Mahon. Upon a farther observation of the Enemy’s works, it was judged necessary to make a Battery in the place of Arms before the Bridge of the N. W. outward Ravelin.

May 14th. We kept a very smart fire on the Enemy’s works near the burying Ground, and greatly annoyed them; we heard from the prisoner taken yesterday, that a Battery was to be opened in the morning.

May 15th. We found the Enemy’s works not to be so far advanced as we expected, a Shell of the Enemy’s fired five Guns upon the N. Counter Guard, which went off together by the Ammunition on the Battery taking fire; it hurt nobody, but did great damage to the Battery; we threw several Shot into the Town, and in the night cut some Embrazures more obliquely to bear on the Battery the Enemy were raising near the old burying ground. Tho Enemy threw very few shells this night; three Embrazures seen in the Enemy’s work near the burying ground.

May 16th. We fired briskly on the Enemy’s work by the old burying ground; in the afternoon they beat a Parly, the Officer who came in from the General of the Day, brought an instrument which the Spaniards use to catch the ink fish, which they pretended had been fired at them unlawfully: we could never find out that this had been done, and concluded it to be a trick to gain time; about two hours after the Officer was dismissed, we played our Batteries again with great fury, continuing the whole night, and directing all our fire against the Battery they were preparing to open by the old burying Ground. Some of the Enemy’s Fleet in sight from the West.  This Day a shell of the Enemy’s blew up a Barrel and 1/2 of Powder, and fired some shells on the Queen’s Redoubt, but hurt nobody. They continue working in the hollow way by Water Tower, but it does not yet appear that they are opening any Embrazures.

May 17th.  Early this morning the Enemy opened a Battery of 4 Guns by the old burying Ground, and another of 4 Howitzers by Stanhope’s Tower; from which they fired with great fury, throwing in the Night upwards of 300 ricochet shells.  In the Morning Mr. Boyd went to the French Commander in the trenches, with an answer to the remonstrance of the Day before. In the afternoon a French Officer came with a Letter for the Lieut. Governour, but as he would not submit to be blindfolded he was not admitted into the works, but waited on the glacis till an answer was brought him; he insisted no Officer should be blindfolded, as Mr. Boyd had not been in the morning j notwithstanding the custom of it was pleaded; and an instance given of Lord George Sackville who was treated that way when he went from the Duke of Cumberland to Marshal Saxe, during the late War in Flanders.  The French Fleet in sight off the harbour’s mouth. The Enemy threw up Traverses of Fascines, Earth, and Gabions, at the end of most of the Streets to cover their people passing and repassing.

May 18th. About 2 o’clock in the Morning a shell from the Enemy set fire to some Powder at the N. W. inward Ravelin, which threw down a communication bridge, and a great part of the counterscarp into the main ditch, this covered and shut up a Subterranean apartment where two Familys were quartered; they were however all by timely assistance dug out and saved, except one woman who was suffocated.  At Day break a smoke was discovered at the same place, and it was found upon examination that the Match and Paper Cartridges were on fire; this alarmed the whole Garrison and everybody’s assistance was called for; it was however by pulling out the stores soon extinguished though with the loss of six or seven men killed or wounded, by two shells from the Enemy which fell among the crowd, at that time very great; this accident has very much shattered the Ravelin, entirely ruined the gorge of it; and filled that part of the Main ditch with so much rubbish, as would greatly facilitate a descent into it.  In the afternoon the Besiegers discovered to us two Embrazures they had opened behind a wall to the right of the gabionade near Major Innes’s House, but a constant fire of our 32 Pounders being kept upon them from the Argyle covered way they were soon rendered useless.

May 19th. In the Morning a Shell from the Enemy broke into one of the subterranean apartments near the well in the Center of the Castle, where it burst and killed five Sailors, and wounded two, who were asleep in their Beds. A Serjeant of the Artillery had his Leg shattered by a shell on the top of the Castle, of which he died. At Daybreak the Besiegers shewed six Embrazures in their work near the burying Ground, from this and their bomb Batteries they made a very brisk fire, having been pretty quiet during the night.  About one o’clock a Fleet of 17 Sail appeared from the West with English Colours; the Admiral carrying a Blue Flag at the Main Top Mast Head, and the rear Admiral a Red Flag at the Mizzen; the Garrison seemed Convinced they were our own Fleet, their Ships being much larger than those of the French which we had seen not long before, but their coming pretty near to us without sending in even a boat, where the communication was so safe and short, and their standing o)f again where there was not even the least appearance of Danger, brought us all (a very few indeed excepted) to conclude this Fleet to have nothing English about it. The Council of War about 7 o’clock at night sent Mr. Boyd in a boat to this Fleet, whose behaviour in standing off, could not be accounted for; when he had got a little way from St Stephens Cove, a large party of the Enemy fired at him with Small Arms, he likewise sustained some Cannon Shot which did him no harm, and was pursued by two small Vessels, which missed him in the night, by the favour of which he returned, not being able to come up with this supposed English Fleet which stood off again; the Enemy’s Troops beat to Arms at the sight of the Fleet, and were all drawn out of their Camp, they did not fire till night, when they threw about 100 shells, their Carriages were heard in several parts of the Town. This night the Garrison were very alert, least the Enemy should upon this occasion make an attack. Mr. Boyd discovered that the Enemy were forming a very strong Battery upon the Coast; which he says must be designed to Command the usual Anchoring place called the moorings; and between six or eight hundred of the Enemy upon the Hills looking at the Fleet, which we afterwards understood were the Piquets of the Army, turned out to guard the Coast. The Enemy hoisted a red Flag at the signal house, and made fires or smoaks on different rising grounds.

May 20th. The Enemy’s works by Major Innes’s were greatly demolished, and the houses thereabouts battered down by four 32 Prs we kept continually playing on them from the covered way of Argyle. In the afternoon the Enemy’s Battery by the old burying ground took fire, on which we played them very smartly with shells, Cannon shot and Musquetry; till it was extinguished, they returned us Small Arms from the Town to draw our fire from their battery, which was much torn and demolished; they opened a Battery at Stanhopes Tower, from which they fired several ricochet Shot; fewer shells than usual were thrown by them to day, and those came chiefly from Major Innes’s and the Turks mount above Marlborough Fort.  The Fleet this morning is out of sight, but from the signal they were seen yesterday to make of descrying an Enemy, it is hoped they are in Chace of the French Fleet, as a Ship, supposed to be one of the French scouts, was discerned at the same time the signal was made. Several ships came in sight again from the Southward, with a very light breeze from the S. W. and were near three Leagues distant at sunset.