Reported This Week 280 Years Ago in the Belfast News Letter: December 23 1738

The front page of the third surviving Belfast News Letter, dated December 12 1738 (December 23 modern calendar)
The front page of the third surviving Belfast News Letter, dated December 12 1738 (December 23 modern calendar)

From the third surviving Belfast News Letter of December 12 1738 (December 23 in the modern calendar). The paper was founded a year earlier, in September 1737 but all the earliest papers are lost:

By a Letter from St Christophers, dated Sept. 7. by the Way of Bristol, we have the following Account of the Damages sustained by the Hurricanes which happened the 18th August last.

At Antigua, a London Ship, Capt. Pipon, drove against the Rocks and lost, with 500 Hoghsheads of Sugea, the Crew Saved: Three more Ships drove on Short in the Harbour, but will be got off.

At Montserat (sic), where the Gale was hardest, the Charming Rebecca, Capt. Sleigh, loading for London, drove out and founder’d at Sea, with 370 Hogsheads of Sugar; Crew lost.

A Liverpool Ship, Capt. Hughes, drove out, with about 200 Hogsheads of Sugar, and not yet heard of.

This island is in a most ruinous Condition, the Canes and Provisions being quite destroyed, and all the Buildings blown down, except thirty Houses and four or five Windmills.

At Nevis, the Grenadier, Capt, Boroughs, of London with 500 Hogsheads of Sugar, drove out, lost her Main and Missen Masts, damag’d Part of his Sugars.

The John and Mary of Bristol, Capt, Hughs, drove out, lost all her Masts, having 400 Hogsheads of Sugar, which are damag’d to that Degree as to cause the Ship to be lighten’d 3 Feet.

Capt. Berwick of Bristol, with 40 Hogseads of Sugar, drove out, lost her Main and Missen Masts.

At St. Christophers the Prince Frederick, Capt. Whitwood, put to Sea, with 250 Hogsheads of Sugar, where she founder’d, but the Cap. and Crew were taken up by Capt. Owen, in the Rainbow of Bristol.

Capt. Nevin put out with 300 Hogsheads of Sugar, and founder’d at Sea; the Crew sav’d themselves in a Boat.

The John Pink, Capt. Paul, with 150 Hogsheads of Sugar, put out, lost his Foremast.

Capt. Pike, loading for London, with 200 Hogsheads of Sugar put out to Sea, lost all his Masts, wash’d out most of his Sugars.

The Diamond Pink, Capt. Martin, with Hogsheads of Sugar, near loaden, put out to Sea, and is not yet heard of; but he declar’d as he went off, that in case the Gale prov’d hard, he should make the best of his Way home.

The Lucy and Susannah, Capt. Ladd, loading for London, drove out, lost all his Masts.

Most of these Ships put into St. Thomas’s, as That Island has received but little Damage.

Danish Island, 60 Leagues to the Westward.

All the Sloops, except one, we fear are lost, as great Numbers of Wrecks are daily seen at Sea.

Upon the whole we may well compute that there are lost at Sea 2000 Hogsheads of Sugar; and as Monserret (sic) is so miserably destroy’d, the loss there may be reckon’d 2000 Hogsheads more.

DUBLIN, December 9.

John Clarke, Esq, Collector of Killibegs, is made Collector of Newry and Dundalk, in the Room of Christopher Carlton, Esq; lately deceased.

On Wednesday the Honourable Brigadier General Ligonier’s Horse on Dublin Duty, marched into Country Quarters; and their Place in this Barrack, is supplied by the Honourable Brigadier General Hawly’s Dragoons.

BELFAST, Decem. 12.

Mr. James Fleming late of Carrickfergus, Clerk of the Crown, is removed from thence to Newtownclannaboys in the County of Down.