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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Memorial of Monsr. Moret



In my blog post of April 1, 2017, I posted testimony from a David Johnson, mariner, asking for reimbursement of his losses after his vessel was captured by a Monsieur Norat, who had a commission out of Trinidado.

I did some further digging into this Norat, and it seems that his last name might actually be Honorat. So the following memorial may possibly concern the same privateer that was mentioned in my April 1st blog post:



"Memorial of Monsr. Moret" [n.d.] Jamaican Council Minutes, ff.17-23.


            To his Excellency Peter Heywood Esqr. his Majestie's Captain General and Governor in Chief in & over this Island of Jamaica &c.
            May it please Your Excellency,
            Moret, Capt. of a Company of Infantry at St. Domingo, has transported himself from thence to this Island of Jamaica by Command of His Excellency the Count of Blenac Governour and Lieutenant General for his most Christian Majesty of the french Colonies and Windward Islands of America, In order to have the honour to inform Your Excellency and in his name to demand Justice relating to very many Hostilities (or as I rather say Pyracies) that the Vessels Arm'd in Your Ports under the Commision of My Lord Hamilton late Governor of Jamaica do daily commit in those seas on french vessels.
            In the month of November last the Sloop Called the Adventure belonging to Monsieur De Nolivos Captain of Infantry laden with 40,000 Livers Tornois worth and upwards of Merchandises, was pillaged on his Voyage in sight of the Island of Cuba, by an English Sloop commanded by one Capt. James having forty men of his Crew, and the said goods and merchandizes were unladen at Jamaica pursuant to a Declaration and Oath thereof made before the Notary or Officer thereto lawfully empowered at Petit Goave.


            The third of April last the Frigott called the St. Mary belonging to the Port of Rochell commanded by Capt. D'Escoubet, being at Anchor in the said Port of Baya Honda in the Island of Cuba in order to provide himself with wood and water was attacked by five English Sloops and Two Peraguas  under English Colours the Captains of which Sloops and peraguas assured the said D'Escoubet on their arrival there that they came for no other interest but to water as he did; The lading of the said frigott being very rich in Merchandize besides 30,000 pieces of Eight in Silver which the said Sieur D'Escoubet (Jealous of the ill designs of the said Sloops) ordered to be convoyed ashore and hid, But the said Pyrates having some suspicion thereof Tormented the Crew to that Inhumane degree that they extorted after the Vilest manner from them a discovery where the said mony lay, of which the Pyrates immediately possessed themselves, Your Excellency may see all those accusations more at large set forth in the Declaration hereunto annexed by the said D'Escoubet made and legally and Judicially Affirm'd by his Crew; It is evident that those Vessels were armed and equipped in the Ports of Jamaica which appears by the Minute or Journal hereunto annexed; imported by a Letter that the said Pyrates obliged the said D'Escoubet to write, directed to my Lord Hamilton the then Governor of Jamaica, in which letter is mentioned the names of the several Captains which commanded said Sloops, His Excy. the Count of Blenac has been likewise informed that the said Pyrates had the rashness and boldness to send to this Island a considerable quantity of said Merchandizes, and unladed the same ­­­­______ and clandestinely in the night.
            The seventh of April last a french Sloop belonging to the Coast of St. Domingo called the Mariane commanded by Monsieur Gardew Ensign of one of the King's Ships my Lord and Master, being at Anchor in the port called Mariana  in the said Island of Cuba, did send his Peragua to the said Port of Bay:honda, commanded by Monsieur de ______  his Lieutenant in order to treat with the said Captain D'Escoubet who was two days before taken Prisoner and his Frigott made Prize of, by the said five English vessels and two peraguas arm'd in warlike manner; which said french Peragua was with her Commander the said De ______  taken on board also of and by one Captain Jennings Commander in Chief of the said five Pyratical Sloops and Two peraguas, and being so as aforesaid Captive on board was by several Torments and inflicted punishments compelled to tell where the said vessel the Mariane then lay, upon which the said Capt. Jennings did instantly dispatch one of the said Five Pyratical vessels, and the said two Peraguas Armed in Warlike manner to take and make Prize of the sd. Sloop Mariane which was accordingly _____  & sailed the day following, and on his the said Pyrate's voyage to the said Port with design aforesaid to take the said vessel the Mariane did meet one other English vessel likewise a Pyrate  which Joined with the other to take the Said Monsieur Gardew who is here present from whom viva voce Your Excellency may understand from what he shall be able manifestly to make appear to You the Barbarity wherewith he was used and the oftentimes he was in imminent danger of his life.
            There is likewise a very Considerable matter to be observed on this occasion, and that is this that one Man named Honorat heretofore Master of the said vessel named the Adventure, and who was in the Said vessel the Mariane at the time of her Capture was known by the said Captain of the Pyratt name'd James. He the said Honorat being in the said Vessel named the Adventure when she was robbed and plunder'd by the said Capt. James; in manner that it gave the said James occasion to say that he the said Honorat was very unfortunate to fall twice into his hands in so little a time.
            Another fact is that the said James after having plunder'd the said vessel named the Adventure, did quit the vessel he at that time ______, having also landed the said pillaged merchandizes on the North side of this Island and then _______ one much bigger being Armed with one hundred and thirty men & eight guns.
          
  It appears by the several Instruments in writing duly taken of which I am Bearer that the Vessel the Mariane aforemen­tioned belongs to the said Monsieur Nolivos and was laden and really worth when taken with above the value of 200,000 Livers Turneys for account of the Owners of said Vessel, without mention­ing and over and above other goods which belonged to the Officers of the said Sloop, which were of a pretty considerable value.
            More, I am charged to represent to your Excy. the Capture of a Sloop Laden with snuff, together with 4000 peices of Eight which was taken by a Peragua armed in these Ports Commanded by Captain Jacobs, which Sloop was laden by Monsieur Dejanche Director of the French Assiento in Havanna bound for Cape St. Francois; which said Snuff and mony did directly appertain to the late French Assiento who are withdrawing and transporting their Effects out of all the Spanish Ports in conformity to the Stipulations in that case made The Count of Blenac is informed that the said Snuff was unladen and deposited in safe Custody, Therefore I well hope (being intirely satisfied of Your Excy's Justice) for the restitution of the said Effects and Satisfactions for all the Costs, Losses and Damages sustained on this occasion.
            Before we should Signify the Tydings of soe many Pyracies, and unpresidented Robberies and Depredations to the King our master, The Count of Blenac had judged it proper to complain and make known to Your Excelly. the said several Grievances, And he is full convinced that besides the said Detestable hostilities committed in time of the proclama. of Peace, And which are hereby come to Your Excellency's Knowledge, there are very many more such ________ crimes committed and daily repeated which have not yet reached your Excellency's Knowledge and who are out of the reach of Justice, In which desperate Juncture of Affairs he does not doubt but that without loss of time Your Excellency will be pleased to employ Your utmost diligence, care and Authority to detect and punish the Authors of such Villanies under Your Government together with their Accomplices and Adherents as well in their persons as goods And particularly to oblige those that made, and were any ways concer­n'd in the Armament or Equipment of the said Pyratical Vessels to the reparation and making Satisfaction in their proper persons of and for all the losses, damages and costs that the said Pyratical Vessels have occasioned to and committed on the French Nation. 

The rather because we humbly conceive that by all Laws the Owners and Securities of the said Pyratical Vessels are lyable to and accountable for all the Unlawful Acts, Thefts, and Robberies of this Nature by their Captains severally committed, therefore I am now to pray  May it please Your Excellency for the confiscation and Condemnation of the Vessel Mary, and the Imprisonment and due prosecution against the Captain of said Vessel called the Mary named Ashworth and his Crew; who have Entred in this Port in the night of the 28th July _____, which said Sloop Mary is one of the said five Pyratical Sloops that together with the said two peraguas committed the herein complained of Hostilities at Bayo Honda   wee therefore humbly pray Your Excellency for immediate Justice in the premises such as shall be most agreeable to Your wisdom, and best for our satisfaction and relief, protesting on the Part of Monsieur the Count of Blenac that he will forget nothing that shall _____ in his Government to continue and cultivate the Peace Union and good Agreement that is between the British and french Nations. For my part I embraced the Messages which he had been so favourable to Honour me with much ardour having thereby procured me the Occasion of Assuring Your Excelly of my humble respects and Due Obedience.