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Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Story of Henry Jennings, Part One

The Deposition of Allen Bernard Captaine's Quarter Master of ye Sloop Bersheba Captn. Henry Jennings Comander who being duly Sworn Deposeth and Saith as followes,

            That having been indisposed he was advised to go to Sea for his health and applyed himself to Captn. Henry Jennings who told him he should be his Quarter Master which would be an easy Post for him. He thereupon accepted of it and engaged himself to go on Board the Sloop Bersheba and Sayled for Blewfields [Jamaica] from whence they sailed in Company with ye Man of Warr and a Man of Warr Sloop and severall other Sailes and being seperated that night they joyned again at Peyns [=Isle of Pines, Cuba] And proceeded and came to an Anchor at Cape Corrantes [=Corrientes] where they entred in Consortship with Captn. Lyddall Captn. Ashworth and Captn. Carnegie to fish upon ye Wracks; from thence they proceeded toward ye Bay of Florida. And that ye Deponent being sick of ye Belly Ache heard some persons Cry out,  A Sayl,  And afterwards heard others say that  they stood Stem to Stem with them  And beleived they designed to be on board of them [="to Board"], after which he heard them say that  there was two Periauga's putt off [from] ye said Sloop and Rowed directly in ye Wind's Eye [=to windward] 

And that he heard they were making their escape with ye money  And that he heard them hayl ye Sloop that Stemmed with them. And that ye Commander of her came on board of ye Bersheba who was one Captn. Young from ye Bay [of Honduras] who informed them that the People that went away from them in ye two Periaugas were a parcell of Villains that had obliged him from ye Bay to bring them over there. After which they made ye best way towards the Bay of honda and came to an Anchor without the Barr. That in ye afternoon he heard them talk of weighing ye Anchor At which he asked, being in ye [great] Cabbin, whither they were going. And was answered into ye Bay of honda. 

At which the Deponent said  he thought we had been in already  And that after coming to an Anchor in ye Bay of honda he heard ye Voice of George Dossitt and Francis Charnock (the first being ye Companies Quartermaster) and heard these words spoken among ye People  What are you come out for?  To look upon one another and return with your fingers in your mouth?  At which Capt. Jennings said the Sloop Bersheba must not go [only] to be taken. And that if they went alongside they probably might be sunk. 

Sometime after he heard a General hurra from the Severall Vessells after that [the words] One and All. That some short time after a Pistoll or Small arm went off upon which somebody asked who fired? And some others answered he ought to be cutt down, others said  it was done by accident  after which the Doctor came down to ye Deponent and told him  that the two Periauga's [men] were coming all in their Skins or Buff with their Cartouch Boxes  and naked Cutlaces [=cutlasses] & Pistols And that he had never seen such a sight before  After­wards he heard somebody hayl from ye [French] Ship and asked  Where they were coming?  and some voice made answer,  Aboard, where do you think? and then a hurra again.

And then he heard [someone] say a Canoa or boat was putt off from the ship and that one of the Periauga's was on board [the French Ship] and one [periauga] rowed after that Canoa or Boat which putt off from ye Ship. At ye same time a great Gun went off from on board ye Bersheba, and somebody asked who fired it? Some made answer,  it was an accident,  at which time the Deponent saith, he heard a voyce hayl from ye Ship  not to fire for all was well  And that he heard [them] say afterwards among ye People of ye Periaugas That they told them [=the French] that in case a Gun was fired they would give no Quarters.

And that Captn. Carnegie being the worst Sayler did not come in that night but came in ye next day And to the best of his Knowledge joyned them again. Afterwards Captn. Carnegie and one of the Periaugas sayled out of ye Bay of Honda in Quest of a French Sloop [=Marianne] as [it] was said and in two or three daies after returned again, at which time we saw two Sayl off ye Barr who was said to be Captn. Hornegole and a French sloop.

At ye same time they weighed in generall with ye Ship and went out, as was said, after Hornigole ye Pirate. After being some little time out the Deponent was upon Deck and was bid to go down least He gett a Relapse and [he] did go down. At ye same time it was concluded and agreed upon to go in again to ye Bay of Honda to an Anchor, which they did, the Ship being then about two or three Leagues in ye offin[g] .

Some little time after she came in and those people on board her hailed and said they had done finely to leave them, for ye Marooners had risen upon them and the Frenchmen and had carried away all ye money, at which there was a murmuring among ye People. At ye same time Captn. Carnegie's Sloop was halled alongside ye Ship and everything was taken out of her and putt on board ye Ship which he afterwards comanded, his sloop being given to ye French Captain.

                                                       -- To be continued--

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