Sara E. Lewis
From an index to the Virginia Gazette, produced in 1950 by Lester J. Cappon and Stella F. Duff of the Institute of Early American History and Culture (Omohundro Institute) with additional Gloucester (including Kingston Parish) material not noticed or selected by the indexers. Annual lists of world events put local listings in context. Please review primary source material before citing.

Monday, June 7, 2010

March 23, 1739 - Lewis, Robinson, Gooch, Morry, Burges, Powell, Washington, Jones, Gray, Woodhouse, Cornick, Elligood, Moseley, Harmer, King, Willis

Last Friday the Brigantine Pretty Betsy, (belonging to Col. Lewis, of Gloucester County,) James Robinson, Master, bound for London, with 202 Hogsheads of Tobacco on board, sailed out of Severn River; and on the same Day met with a Disaster, which is fully express’d in the following Protest, and Depositions:

TO all to whom this publick Instrument of Protest shall come, William Gooch, Esq; His Majesty’s Lieutenant Governor, and Commander in Chief of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, maketh known and manifest, That on the Twenty First Day of March, in the Twelfth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Annoque Domini 1738, Personally came and appeared before me, the said Lieutenant Governor, James Robinson, Master of the Brigantine called the Pretty Betsy, of Virginia, (whereof, John Lewis, of the County of Gloucester, Esq; is Owner;) John Morry, Mate of the said Brigantine; Edward Burges, Charles Powell, William Washington, Jeremiah Jones, and Thomas Gray, Mariners, belonging to the said Brigantine: And on their several respective Oaths taken on the Holy Evangelists, did declare and depose, That the said Brigantine sailed from Severn River, in the District of York, on the Sixteenth Day of this present Month, bound for London, having on board Two Hundred and Two Hogsheads of Tobacco, and other Merchadizes, navigated with these Deponents, and one other Foremast Man; and about One o’Clock of the same Day, the Wind blowing hard at West, was drove on the Middle-ground between the Capes of Virginia; and there, by the Violence of the Wind and Sea, struck several Times with such Force, that these Deponents being apprehensive of her being beat to Pieces, or parting, judged it necessary, for the Preservation of their Lives, to leave the said Vessel about Two o’Clock in the Afternoon of the same Day, and made the best of their Way in their Boat to the Eastern Shore, and about Ten that Night landed on Cape Charles; that the next Morning, seeing no Appearance of the Brigantine at the Place where she run a Ground, they concluded she must be beat to Pieces, or drove off and sunk; and therefore resolved to return back to John Lewis, Esq; and inform him of their Misfortune: But it happened, upon the Return of the Tide of Flood that Night, the Brigantine floated, and drove near to Cape Henry, where she was taken up, and brought back to Severn River aforesaid; that when she was so taken up, there was four Feet four Inches Water in her Hold, as these Deponents were informed by the Persons who took up the said Vessel. And in Regard, that by the Accident Aforesaid, these Deponents are satisfy’d, that considerable Damage must have happened to the Tobacco on board, as well as to the Vessel; therefore the said James Robinson, in Behalf of himself, and his Crew, did protest, and by these Presents, doth solemnly protest against the Seas and Storms aforesaid, and against all Persons whom it may concern, for all Damages, Losses, and Costs, sustained in the said Vessel, and Lading; and that he and his Crew be altogether acquitted and discharged thereof, as being occasioned by the Winds and Seas, and not through any Fault or Neglect of him and his said Crew. Thus done and protested at Williamsburg, in Virginia, the Day and Year above written. In Testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my Hand, and caused a Seal of His Majesty’s Dominion aforesaid, to be affixed. WILLIAM GOOCH.

The Depositions of Henry Woodhouse, and Lemuel Cornick, concerning the Brigantine Pretty Betsy.
Henry Woodhouse, of the County of Princess Anne, in the Colony of Virginia, Mariner, aged Twenty Four Years or thereabouts, and Lemuel Cornick, of the same Place, Planter, aged Twenty Two Years, or thereabouts, severally make Oath, and say, That on Saturday the Seventeenth Instant, these Deponents, and one Langston Levitt, discovered a Vessel a Ground in Chesapeake Bay, about a Mile and a Half from Cape Henry; which they went aboard, and finding no Body in the Vessel, they forthwith applied themselves to Col. Jacob Elligood, a neighbouring Justice of the Peace, who went aboard the said Vessel, with these Deponents: And by some Papers that were found aboard , it was soon discovered, that the Vessel belonged to Col. John Lewis, of the County of Glocester, in the said Colony, that her Name was the Pretty Betsy, and the Name of the Master, when she cleared out, was James Robinson: Whereupon, these Deponents, at the Request of the said Col. Elligood, engaged to assist in getting the said Vessel off; which the Wind and Tide favouring, was soon done. And then these Deponents, together with Captain Anthony Moseley, and Three others, and a Pilot, and his Boy, which the said Moseley afterwards took in, carried the said Vessel to Col Lewis’s; where they arrived on Tuesday the Twentieth Instant. And these Deponents say, That the Vessel aforesaid was laden with Tobacco: And that there was about Four Feet Four Inches Water in the Hold, when she came to be a float; and that after she was cleared of the Water, she made about Inches Water in an Hour, and no more. And further these Deponents say not. Henry Woodhouse, Lemuel Cornick. Williamsburg, in Virginia, March 21, 1738. Sworn before John Harmer, Walter King.

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The Ferry commonly called Grave’s Ferry, over York River, near West-Point, formerly kept by Robert Willis, is now kept by the subscriber: Any Gentlemen that have Occasion to cross the same, may depend on a speedy Passage, with 4 able Hands and a good Boat: Where likewise may be had good Entertainment for Man and Horse. John Waller.