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Auction: 20010 - The Philatelic Collectors' Series Sale
Lot: 1057

(x) British Honduras
Early Letters and Handstamps
1798 (5 Oct.) entire letter (re-inforced folds and a little soiled) from James Gordon, a Captain in the Honduras Militia "care of Capt. Edwards Ship Eagle" to Thomas Gibbs in London giving a first-hand account of the Battle of St. George's Caye, rated "9" and with faint "portsmouth/ship-lre", arrival datestamp (12.1) on reverse. A very important historical document giving an eyewitness account of the action and with an extract transcript available. Photo

Note: The Battle of St. George's Caye was a key event in the history of British Honduras. Prior to this battle the Spanish forces in the Caribbean had harassed the settlers on a periodic basis. The territory had been abandoned and resettled several times during the 18th. century. The last major attack took place between 3 and 10 September 1798. The Spanish fleet were surprised and routed by a much smaller, poorly equipped force comprising makeshift craft prepared by the settlers and H.M.S. "Merlin", the only serious warship in the force. Great Britain considered Honduras to be a British Colony from that date onwards and the Battle is celebrated each year as the country's National Day

Drs. Harper, March 2009

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