Primary tabs

East Florida



By his Excellency PATRICK TONYN, Esq˙, Captain-General, Governour, and Commander-in-Chief in and over His Majesty' s said Province, Chancellor and Vice-Admiral of the same.


Whereas I have received information from Alvara Lofthouse, Master of the Brigantine called the Betsy, that on the seventh day of August instant, he, the said Master, being on board the said Brigantine, then lying at anchor off the Bar of St˙ Augustine, in the Province aforesaid, a Sloop, commanded by one Clement Lempriere, run alongside of the said Brigantine, and in a hostile and violent manner


instantly boarded her with twenty-six men, some armed with Muskets and Bayonets fixed, others with Swords and Pistols, and were commanded by the said Clement Lempriere and one Simon Tuffs. That the said Clement Lempriere ordered a guard over the said Master and the people, and then, in an audacious and piratical-like manner, opened the hatches and took out of the said Brigantine, and put on board the said Sloop, one hundred and eleven barrels of Gunpowder belonging to His Majesty, and about four hundred weight, the property of Mr˙ Robert Payne, of St˙ Augustine, Merchant. And the said Clement Lempriere, for a justification of his conduct, showed to the said Master a Letter or Commission from Henry Laurens, styling himself President of the Council of Safety in Charlestown, to seize the said Brigantine, and take whatever Gunpowder or warlike stores he could find on board.

And whereas such proceedings are not only unwarrantable and illegal, but subject the offenders and perpetrators thereof to great and severe pains and penalties, and it is highly necessary such atrocious offenders should receive the punishment due to their crimes: To the intent, therefore, that the persons concerned in the above piracy may be apprehended and brought to condign punishment, I have thought fit, by and with the advice of His Majesty' s honourable Council, to issue this my Proclamation, offering, and I do hereby promise, a reward of two hundred Pounds sterling, to any person or persons who shall apprehend and bring to justice the said Clement Lempriere and Simon Tuff' s, and their associates in the said act of piracy. And I do hereby likewise offer His Majesty' s most gracious pardon to any one of the persons on board the said Sloop, commanded by the said Clement Lempriere, who shall give certain information of the other persons concerned in the aforesaid act of piracy, excepting Clement Lempriere, and the other person hereinbefore named.

Given under my hand, and the great seal of His Majesty' s said Province, in the Council Chamber at St˙ Augustine, the twenty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and in the fifteenth year of His Majesty' s reign.


By his Excellency' s command:

DAVID YEATS, Deputy Secretary.

GOD save the King.