Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/636

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was allowed that the wretches, many of whom were still tormented by unhealed wounds, could not all lie down at once without lying on one another. They were never suffered to go on deck. The hatchway was constantly watched by sentinels armed with hangers and blunderbusses. In the dungeon below all was darkness, stench, lamentation, disease, and death. Of ninety-nine convicts who were carried out in one vessel, twenty-two died before they reached Jamaica, although the voyage was performed with unusual speed. The survivors when they arrived at their home of bondage were mere skeletons. During some weeks coarse biscuit and fetid water had been doled out to them in such scanty measure that any one of them could easily have consumed the ration which was assigned to five. They were therefore in such a state that the merchant to whom they were consigned found it expedient to fatten them before selling them."

John Coad, an honest carpenter, who joined the rebellion under Monmouth, was badly wounded in the skirmish at Philip's Norton, and tried by Jeffreys and sent to Jamaica, where he appears to have fared better than most of his fellow-exiles, has left us a narrative from which the reader may gather many curious particulars. He and those who were shipped with him were consigned to a Mr. Christopher Hicks, of Port Royal, Jamaica, who at first, having some Nonconformist leanings, refused to sell them; but on its being represented that if he declined that office it would only be filled by some one else, and that he might be instrumental in getting them good places, he consented to put them up to auction. The hour at which the market opened for the sale of the convicts was announced by the firing of a gun, and John Coad, more fortunate than some of his fellow-sufferers, passed into the hands of a humane planter with whom he was secure from ill-treatment, and in whose service he passed five years of his servitude. Immediately after the Revolution, and the elevation to the throne of William and Mary, a new governor, the Earl of Inchiquin, was sent to Jamaica, with instructions to release from their bondage and send to England such of the exiles as were still alive. This news spread rapidly among the convicts, and some of them went to the Governor to inquire about their freedom. The earl, who appears not to have read his instructions, and to have been of a choleric and hasty temper, had the deputation flogged and sent away; but was astonished to find, a few days later, that the men he had thus ill-treated were those who were specially recommended for kind treatment. He accordingly summoned the Council and proclaimed the freedom of all the exiles, who, after some little delay, were finally shipped home.

The participators in Monmouth's rebellion were the last who were ever sold into bondage beyond the seas and consigned to