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The Tryal of Lieutenant General Fowke.
To the PROPRIETORS of the MAGA- To which the prisoner replied, with ZINE of MAGAZINES. profeflions of his fidelity and loyalty
to his majesty, of the great misforGENTLEMEN.
tune he esteemed it to
appear in Ome business having brought me to that manner before
the court ; town at the time of holding the and of his concern, left the honour court martial upon the lace Lieut Gen. of his profession should be hurt thro' Fowke, my curiosity led me to be pre- his means. Then the Lieut. Genesent at itand happening to be de- ral's commision, as Governor of tained in my return home, for several Gibraltar was read, but was made hours, by the rain, at an inn; with- no use of, nor once mentioned out books, I amused myself with afterwards during the whole tryal. writing down the tryal, as perfectly The judge advocate then read the as my memory would allow me. As three following letters : the court martial was held in the house of the judge advocate, and a less room To Lieut. Gen. Fowke, or, in his Abi of the house, where not above a fence, to the Commander in cbief in bis dozen people, besides officers, could Majesty's Garrison of Gibraltar. crowd in, I suppose, that there are but very few people who can be truly SIR, informed of an affair of that great War Office, March 21, 1756. importa nce, in which the nation is Am commanded to acquaint you so much concerned. Your readers that it is his majesty's pleawill make proper allowances for its that you receive into your garrison having been written purely from me. Ld. Robert Bertie's Regiment to do memory. Words cannot be answered duty there, and in cale you Mall apfor, tho many of the leading and prehend, that the French threaten most expreslive ones are preserved; to make any attempt upon his mabut for the circumstances, I believe jefty's island of Minorca, it is his mathere are very few of any importance jesty's pleasure, that you make a deomitted; I am fure there are none tachment out of the troops in your added.
garrison, equal to a battalion, to be
commanded by a lieutenant and major, The members being sworn, viz. fuck lieutenant and major to be the
eldest in your garrison, to be put on Gen. Sir Rob. Rich. Lt. G. Ld. de la War board the fleet for the relief of Mi
president. Li. Gen Charles D. of norca, at the disposition of the admiral, Ge. Sir J. Ligonier Marlborough Lieut. Gen. Hawley Li, Gen. Wolle
I am, Sir, your humble Servari, Lt. Gen. Ld. Cadogan Lt. G. Cholmondely
BARRINGTON. Licut. Gen. Guise Major Gen. Lascelles Lieut. Gen. Onllow Major Gen. Bocland To Lieut, Gen. Fowké, or, in his Abe Liat. Gen. Pulteney Maj Gen. Lå. George Lieut. Gen, Hulke Beauclerk,
fence, to the Commander in chief, at Liet. Gen. Campbell
SIR, The court was opened by the judge War Office, March 28, 1756. advocate in two or three round sentences, by his Am commanded to you place to appear
, that majesty's , and that he was forry for the occasion. case you thall apprebend, that the Vol. XII.
I receive in your garrison that you
French threaten an attempt upon Mi- “ know when he had execnted them ; norca, that you make a detachment“ and if they were contradictory, they froin the troops in your garrison equal « could not be executed at all. to a battalion, commanded by a lieute- Lieut. Gen. Fowke then asked the nant-colonel and major, for the relief secretary at war, Did not your Lordof that place to be put on board the ship apprehend, that the second letter fleet at the disposition of the admiral; of the 28th fuperceded the first of such lieut-col. and major to be the the 21st ? eldest in your garrison.
Sec. at war. ] I did apprehend fo. BARRINGTON. Lieut. Gen. Fowke.] Should it not
have been mentioned then in your T. Lieut. Gen. Fowke, or, in bis Absence, Lordship's second letter, that the first
10 the Commander in chief, in bis Ma- was superceded? jelly's Garrison in Gibraltar.
Sec. at war.
ar.) I did not know that
the first letter had gone, otherwise, I SIR,
might have said in my second letter War Office, April 8. 1756. notwithstanding my former orders.
Lt. Gen. Fowke.] That word notwithTis his majesty's pleasure, that you standing would have saved an infinite
deal of trouble : But it is not the cutmien and children belonging to Lord tom of your office, when second orRobert Berrie's regiment.
orders are in tended to supercede the BARRINGTON. first, to mention that they do so ? The secretary at war being sworn, Sec. at war.) I had then been but aproved the orders.
bout four months in my office. In fudge Advocate) I suppose that the the case of another • officers Lieut. General, in his defence, will! orders, where the first was gone acall for the minutes of the council of
way by a former mellenger, and the war held at Gibraltar, and therefore fecond order, superceding it, was to I do not read them.
be sent by another 'messenger; in Prisoner.) I have prepared my de- that case, I remember, I did say, fence in writing, and delire that the in my second letter, notwithstanding judge advocate may read it.
your former orders ; but in this case Couri] Would you not examine the I did not advert to that circumstance, secretary of war now he is here? as I knew that all my letters were to
Lieut. Gen. Fowke.] I desire my de- be carried by the same hand, and to fence may
be read now, and hope bis go together. Lordship will give me leave to ask Lieut. Gen. Fowke.] Your Lordship him such questions as I shall think has sate at another board; was it not
the custom there? Sec. at war. ] I shall stay in court as Sec. ot war. ] I cannot recollect any long as this trial is depending, and shall thing of what had passed at that answer all questions which make for board. the Lieutenant General with more Court.) Did your Lordship fend pleasure than those which make a- those Letters yourself?
Sec. al war] I did not send the letPrisoner's defence was read. “ That ters myself, I wrote them and deli" he received those three letters to. vered them to me charge of my fe
gether by the fame hand, and must condary : he is here, or at the War" therefore take them together. That office, to answer to what the court “ his orders were confused at least may delire know to on that head.
if not contradictory: That if they “ were confufed, then be could not
The name forgot.
Mr. Sherwood was sworn by the them on board the feet for the relief judge advocate, and asked what he of Mahon. But if that order has had done with the letters?
been complied with, then you are to Sherwood) I delivered the first let- make only one more detachment of ser, under a flying feal to Gen. Stew- 700 men, to be commanded by anoan, while he was in town. I sent the ther lieut-col. and major, and to send fecond letter, under a Aying seal in- it to Mahon. And you are also to closed, to Gen. Stewart at Portsmouth; detain all such empty vessels as shall and the third in the same manner. I come inco your barbour, and keep delivered the first letter into the Ge- them in readiness for
farther neral's own hand.
He let out for transportation of troops. I have also Portsmouth the 25th, and I gave it his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumhim the 24th. They all know how berland's commands, to desire that thar letter came to go.
you will keep your garrison as alert as The judge advocate then went on possible during this critical time, and with reading the prisoner's defence. see that they Itrictly perform their du
“ My orders being confused and ty; taking care, however, not to fau contradictory, I called a council of tigue your garrison. " war, not to deliberate whether I Sec. at war.) The fittest person to “ should obey my orders or not, but explain that letter, I should think, is u only to take their sense what was its author. But I must first observe, " the meaning of them.”
that this letter expressly supposes, that Lieut. Gen. Fowke then urged, and the orders fent in my former letters frequently repeated it during his trial, were absolute, and not discretional. that his orders were not absolute, but Here his Lordship was stopped short discretionary; and that the execution by a doubt being made by the court, of them was left to his and Mr. Byng's whether he could be regularly admitjudgment; and, to prove that the le- ted to explain that letter. cretary at war did not himself think, Lieut. Gen. Fowke.] The letter is vefor a long time after the sending them, ry plain in itself, and does not need that those orders are absolute, he any explication. produced a letter of his, wrote the President.) Every gentleman has a izth of May, which he desired might right to explain his own letter. be read.
Court.) If we are some of us of opiFudge advocate.) To Lieut. Gen. nion that his Lordfhip has a right to Fowke, or the Commander in chief explain his letter ; and others that he at Gibraltar.
has not; then we must clear the court, Sia, #'ar-Office, May 12,.1756. felves.
and debate that matter among our Wrote to you by : If chat ,
Sec. at war. I thought Lieut. Gen. Fowke.] How could his that letter ; but if any one member
been strialy Lordship write, if that order has not of the court has any doubt about the been complied with, if he had thought it an absolute order, and not discrecia regularity of it, that is alone of fuff
cient weight with me to make me de
cline giving any farther explanation of Judge advocate goes on reading. -- it. if that order has not been complied Lieut. Gen. Fowke then said, that with, then you are now to make a de- he had offered to make the detachtachment of 700 men out of your ment if Mr. Byng thought it necessary, own regiment and Guise's, and also in the hearing of Mr. Weft. another detachment out of Poulteney's Mr. Weft being sworn, Lieut. Gen, and Peamure's regiments, and fend Fowke addrelling himself to him,
« You 160175
“ You remember, Sir, after the coun- The Judge advocate then read, cil of war was over, I came out of
General Fowke's letter te the secretathe cockpit, and went to Mr. Byng in the state room, and said, Well, Sir,
ry at war, dated at Gibraltar about
the 6th of May, 1756. I have shewn you the resolutions of our council of war, and you have read My LORD, them; but, notwithstanding that, I I Have the honour of your three letters ; will make the detachment if
upon the receipt of them, I called a it necellary.”
council of war, to cousteder of the flate Adm. Wel.) I do not remember that of bis majesty's foris and garrisons in the you thewed the minutes, or that Mr. "Mediterranean; and it appearing to us, Byng read them ; but I do remember, that the sending a detachment equal to a that there wes something paffed on battalion would be an ineffectual relief 10 that head, but I rather apprehended Minorca, and a weakening of this gar. it to be loose talk than business. You rison, we have determined it to he noi for offered to make the detachment if he his majesty's service to make the delacbthought it neceffary; and he said, I ment. don't believe it will be wanted, or I Inclosed are the minutes of the council don't think it necessary.---But, to do of war. the admiral justice, I do not appre- The Judge advocate then read the hend that he thought himself bound minutes, to give an answer to that question. “ At a council of war held at Gi
The judge advocate then read the " braltar, May 1756, the three letremaining part of the Lieutenant Ge- " ters of the secretary at war were neral's defence.
“ read, and are as follow :" “ The whole number which I had (Here followed the three above" then in garrison was but 2700 men. mentioned letters, of the 21st and “ I had spared to Mr. Edgcomb's 28th of March, and ift of April. « ships, 230, which with 40 of my The orders of the admiralty to Adm.
men'which he had left in St. Phi- Byng were also read, and are as fol" lip's, made 270; The ordinary du- low :] “ty of the garrison required in work
SIR, “ men and guards 800 men, so that JT being his majesty's pleasure, that “ I had then only 1 zo men more than or three reliefs. If I had made the serve on board your fleet, to do duty “ detachment of a battalion, and put there, and his majesty having illued * it on board the fleet, I hould not orders by the secretary of war to Gen. “ then have had much more than two Fowke, to make a detachment equal " reliefs, and this at a time when I be- to a battalion, from his garrison, for " lieved the place was in danger of the relief of Minorca ; you are to
being attacked, for good reasons, conform yourself to the said orders, « which I don't think myself at liber- and to carry that detachment on board tv to mention.
your feet, and land them at Minorca. The Lieut. Gen. Men returned to And in cale, upon conference had with his firft plea, of the doubtfulness of Gen. Blakeney, he shall think it nehis orders, and said, I know very well, ceffary, you all then land lord Rothat my duty did not allow me to bert Bertie's regiment also at Mahon, hold a council of war, to deliberate from on board your fleet. about the obeying of my orders, and
Sign'd Anson, &c. therefore I called it only for their help Resolved, in understanding of them
" Upon account of the alteration Cours.] Don't you read the minutes
« of circumstances which have arisen of the council of war :
“ fince the date of the above letter,
" we have received undoubted intel- Court.) Your one letter don't ex« ligence of the French army being press any doubt. “ actually landed in Minorca, to the Gen. Fowke. (Whisper'd to by one “ number of from 13 to 16,000 of his two asistant attorneys, who "men; and a French fleet being fta- stood on each side of him as promp“ tioned before the harbour, of 16 tors, during the whole tryal.) That " Thips, 12 of which are of great omillion proceeding from the great “ force. That the sending a detach- deference I paid to his lordship in that “ ment equal to a battalion from high office which he holds. « hence, will be an ineffective supply fudge advocate.) Loaking respect" for the relief of the place, and the fully on the court) I beg pardon ; but
dispoffefsing the French from the it is my duty to observe, as it has been " itland; and will be a weakening of often laid by the Lieut. Gen. that he " this garrison. And it appearing to called a council of war only to know * us to be the opinion of the engi- the meaning of his orders, that he " Deer, who is beft acquainted with has offered no proof of this ; and that " the place, and of such other offi- his own letter, and the minutes of the “ cers of this garrison who have been council, plainly imply, that they had " at Mabon, that the troops cannot no doubt at all about their meaning. « be landed, or at least not without As to what the General has said a" great difficulty, unless the French hout his orders being discretional ; the “ Heet could be dispossessed from their only discretional part of them is, what “ ftation; and Lieut. Gen. Fowke relates to the distribution of the men “ having already consented to spare among the ships of the fleet, which is “ from this garrison 140 men to left to the disposition of the admiral. “ ferve on board Mr. Edgcombe's “ ships, to fupply the place of a like GenF-'s Defence.
number which he left at Mahon ; " and it appearing to us that the HE proofs that I am innocent
of this great crime with which “ fuperior to the Englih; it is there I am charged, thall be laid before this -“ fore resolved, that it is not for his court with simplicity and truth, un" majesty's service to make such de- mixed with any thing foreign to my “ tachment ; because, in cale of the tryal; for I shall neither plead the in« English fleet's meeting any disgrace tegrity of my intentions, my zeal and “ from the French, this garrison will affection for his Majesty's person and " then be weaken'd, and may be en-government, (strong reasons to vindi" dangered, thro' the want of such cate me from the crime of disobeying " detachment."
his commands) nor avail myself of the Sign'd Lieut. Gen. Fowke, Stewart, reputation of the gentlemen who comEfingham, Cornwallis, Lord R. poled the council of war at Gibraltar, Bertie, Lieut. Col. Colvil, &c. to under the sanction of whose judgment the number of ten or eleven. and knowledge in their profession, I
Gen. Foruke.) I called that council might be supposed to have acted. only to ask their opinion about the I did not call that council of war meaning of my orders.
to enquire, Whether his Majesty's Cauri.] The council, by their mi- commands fhould be obeyed, but to nutes, do not appear to have had any understand the orders sent by the f-y doubt at all about their meaning ; but at wr, that I might obey them rather to have determined against the punctually and precisely ; I therefore executing them.
reft my defence upon the plain and Gen. Fowke.) I can't help what those natural meaning of those orders, and gentlemen talked of
if I make any remarks upon them, it