Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Lemon Valley Wall

St. Helena Island, South Atlantic
The Lemon Valley wall and gun emplacements.

This is a bit info about Lemon Valley : A squadron of ships, led by Jacob de Gens, set sail from the Cape and arrived off the Island about 20th December. Soldiers began to make several unsuccessful attempts to secure a landing on the rocky coast. Despite a lack of troops and poor fortifications, the English were initially able to use the natural fortress to their advantage, and resist the Dutch. On New Year's Eve, a party of soldiers had been observed landing at Lemon Valley, but were repulsed by the islanders, who rolled rocks and boulders down the steep cliffs. The Dutch retired to their ships to think again.

Returning after dark, a light was seen near another landing place, Bennetts Point, close to Swanley Valley. The story then tells that a traitor named W. Coxe, accompanied by his slave, had lit a fire and was waiting to guide the Dutch invasion force.

Five hundred men came ashore and were led up the precipitous cliffs by Coxe and his slave, who was then murdered to keep the treacherous story secret. The troops moved across the Island, routed a small English force at High Peak, and appeared high above the defenders of James Fort at Ladder Hill.

The small group in the fort were trapped, with the Dutch above them and also attacking them from the sea. Governor Beale, realizing that great loss of life would accompany any further opposition, retired with his people and their valuables to the ship, Humphrey and Elizabeth anchored in the bay.

The Dutch found that Beale had spiked the guns and spoiled the gunpowder before leaving, and the only prize was a ship with slaves and some ivory. Thinking that the English had been routed, they repaired the fort, and with a reduced garrison, sat back to enjoy and make use of their new possession.

Governor Beale reached Brazil and at once set out in a sloop to warn English shipping away from the Island, and had the good fortune to meet up with a fleet from England, under Captain Richard Munden. This expeditionary force had set sail before news of the capture of St. Helena had reached England, but Munden determined to recapture the Island immediately, without waiting for specific orders. Source.

The package was postmarked on 22nd June 2010. Reached Malaysia in 22 days.

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