153 | To [Lord Barrington]

    Castle William Augst. 30th. 1762

    My Lord

    As I have given your Lordship a false Acct. of the french force at Newfoundland, as it was reported at the begining of the Alarm,595 I must endeavour to make you amends by a more true Account now. The french fleet Consists of the Robuste 74 guns Eveille 64 guns Licorne 36596 & a transport with 26 or 30 guns (no matter which) called the Garrone. The ships are extreamly ill maned with Sailors, but the land forces are very good consisting of 900 Granadiers & 300 Marines. They have fortifyed St Johns & propose to keep it this winter depending, no doubt, upon the seasons not permitting a relief from England or the West Indies. But they will find themselves mistaken. Upon the Antelope arriving at Placentia & joining the Sirene there, & the Gosport arriving at New York & being ordered to Halifax I sent our Province Ship the King George (a complete 20 gun Frigate) to Halifax. And my Lord Colville immediately After, on the 10th of August, sailed from Halifax with the Northumberland Gosport & King George to join the Antelope & Sirene & proceed to St John’s to block up the french fleet there. In the mean time Genl. Amherst has fitted out a land Armament under the Command of Col Amherst of Sufficient force to Attack St. Johns by land: and I expect every day to hear that they are sailed from Halifax to Join Lord Colville so that we hope to have a good Account of the French fleet & Army before Winter sets in. It happened that Lord Colville left Halifax before he received Advice of the land Armament being forming: but such measures have been taken, that this is not like to create any disappointment or delay in the execution of the scheme. I mean not to make myself Answerable for Consequences, but think that this expedition has a very promising Appearance: & therefore take the oppertunity of a Snow sailing for Bristol to inform your Lordship of it.

    I am with great respect My Lord Your Lordships most &c &c

    By the Snow Bristol packet saild Sep. 4597

    PS. Sep 14th

    I take this oppertunity of a Brigs sailing from this port for Bristol to transmit to your Lordship this duplicate & at the same time to inform you that Col. Amherst with the landforces saild from Halifax on the 26th for Newfoundland: as it is now 5 Weeks since Lord Colville sailed for St. Johns & I have heard nothing from the Captain of our ship I Conclude that they arrived at St. Johns time enough to block up the french there: & if the Sufficiency of their strength was doubtfull before I hope it will be put out of all doubt by the junction of the Enterprize lately arrived from the Havana & with the Addition of some troops just returned to New York.

    I beg leave most sincerely & heartily to Congratulate your Lordship upon the Reduction of the Havanna a Conquest more great & Important than living memory or British History can Afford.598

    Duplicate & P. S By the Brig Rainbow potberry for Bristol sailed599

    L, LbC BP, 2: 207-208.