Charles Steuart letter to Francis Fauquier, 1762 November 23 : manuscript copy

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Charles Steuart letter to Francis Fauquier, 1762 November 23 : manuscript copy



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[Page 1]

Portsmouth November 23d. 1762


I received your Honour's Letter of the 12th. and
made your Compliments to Don Pedro agreeably to
your Desire; he desired me to return you Thanks, and
said he was much obliged to you for your Civilities to
him - It gives me the utmost concern that I have
now to inform your Honour of a most violent Assault
and undeard of Cruelties committed on these unfortunate
Strangers by a Number of Seamen, most of them belonging
to the Aundel. Last Sunday Evening a quarrel happened
between some of them & some of the Spanish Soldiers or Sailors,
on which the former called in others to their Assistance
and they at last amounted to a great Number; they
drove the Spaniards to the house where they lodge, and
not satisfied with that, they fired into it upon them;
killed one and wounded Several others, of whom one
died this Morning; they also burst into the Commandants
house, beat himself and one of the Captains severely;
& all his Domesticks excepting two who hid themselves -

Lieut. Govr. Fauquier

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are grievously wounded; and they plundered and robbed
the house of money and other things of considerable Value:
they set fire to the house in which the people had locked
themselves, and Some actually went for powder to blow
them up but happily the Extent of their Fury was not
accomplished; however their Rage would have been attent=
ded with still more horrid and fatal Consequences, if
Capt. Mainwaring, hearing of it, had not come & dispersed
his people, on which the rest went off also: Some of the
Gentlemen here endeavoured, but in vain, to quell the
Riot, & one in particular at the imminent Hazard of
his life rescued the Lady & two of the Gentlemen from
the hands of these Barbarians : I happened to be in
Norfolk that night & when the Alarm was given
there, came over with Some of the Militia of that Bo=
rough, who discovered the greatest Alacrity to assist
these unhappy people. I found the Commandants family
in the utmost Distress, and the Scene was really moving
& affecting beyond Description. I begg'd that he would
allow Doctor Ramsay who was present to assist his

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Surgeon in dressing his & his people's wounds, but he
said his own Surgeon was sufficient : I told him he, &
his people were then in perfect Safety, that the Militia
had come to his Assistance, that we would keep a strong
Guard and watch all night, and beg'd that he and
his famiy would compose themselves and retire to rest
which he consented to, but first desired that he might
have houses for himself and family in Norfolk
as he could not remain in Safety here, which I promised
should be provided for him, & accordingly went over with
his Son next Morning, when we looked at some houses
which he approved of & the Mayor hired them imme=
diately for that purpose, and yesterday they were removed
with all their Baggage -

The Magistrates are very active in apprehending
the Rioters & several of them are now in Jail, but to your
Honour he looks for redress and I have taken the Liberty
to assure him, that every thing that can, consistent with
the Laws of the Country, will be done for his Satisfaction
he signified at the same time that he should be under a
necessity -

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Necesitty of representing this Affair to the King his Master :
Some families in Norfolk have behaved with great
Complaisance to them, and I beg your Honour will
believe that I have don every thing in my power
to alleviate their Distress; not only Humanity but also
sincere Respect that I have conceived for the Gentlemen
Lady owing to their agreeable & polite Behaviour,
moves me to this, and I know that I cannot in any way
render your Honour a more acceptable Service: I shall
continue to victual them, & to prevent a Multiplicity of
Accts. at the Mayors desire I shall pay some little Charges
that have attended their Removal &c -

Don Pedro was very unwell this Morning & complain=
ed much of the pain of his wounds; I then repeated the
request I had made twice before, that he would give
me leave to send a Doctor to attend him, but he again
refused, it, & said if he was worse he would accept of the
Offer: he told me some time ago that he should want Some
stock & other necessaries for his Voyage: I desired him to
give me a List of them & said I would provide them -be

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be pleased to let me know how I am to behave, if he
offers Money to pay for them & pardon the Liberty I take
in mentioning this: I am also desired by the Owner of the
houses which he and his people possessed here to acquaint
your Honour that they have been much injured by the
fury of the Mob & that he hopes you will be pleased
to order him Satisfaction for the Damage he has received
in them & his furniture. I shall not trouble you any
further on this melancholy Subject, but refer to the
Letter herewith from Don Francisco, his father not being
ble to write & am &c Cha Steuart

P.S. Norfolk 10 PM

I am now with Don Pedro who continues in great
Pain & have kept his bed all day: the next in Command
has given me a List of Necessaries for the sick & wounded
which I shall provide to morrow: I am ashamed to send
this Letter in the Condition it is returned to me by the person
who copied it, but it being now late I hope your Honour
will have the Goodness to excuse it

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(Copy) November 23. 1762


Original Format

Ink on paper


Steuart, Charles, 1725-1797, “Charles Steuart letter to Francis Fauquier, 1762 November 23 : manuscript copy,” Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed January 27, 2022,

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