The War of Jenkin's Ear


King George's War  (1739-1742)
"The War of Jenkin's Ear" 

The Founding of Georgia
The plans for the new colony of Georgia were devised during the summer of 1730 by General James
Oglethorpe and associates.  On February 12, 1733 Oglethorpe and over a hundred colonists sailed
aboard the ship Anne and landed at a location about eighteen miles from the mouth of the Savannah
River.  It was here that the town of Savannah was founded and built. 

Throughout the 1730's, Spanish privateers had been harassing British merchantmen in the West Indies.
It all came to a head in 1739 when the merchant brig Rebecca, commanded by a Captain Jenkins was
accosted by a Spanish privateer, and found to be smuggling goods.  After detaining the crew, the privateer
Captain, Juan de leon Fandino then took the liberty of cutting off one of Jenkin' ears.   As a result of this
incident, England declared war on Spain in what was to be known as the "War of Jenkin's Ear", King
George's War, as it was called in America. 

General Oglethorpe's Provincial Navy

halfgalley2.jpg (26258 bytes)In 1740, General Oglethorpe began to
organize his own provincial navy to help
ward off Spanish privateers.  Although the
Royal Navy had several sixth-rate ships,
along with a number of smaller vessels
stationed at Charlestowne,they were unable
to maintain a constant vigil off the coast of
Georgia.  The provincial navy was to help fill
that void. Three vessels were purchased at
Charlestowne: the sloops Faulcon and St.
Phillip
and the half-galley Walker.  The
half-galley design, shown in the illustration
was ideal for patroling the coastal waters,
especially where vessels of larger draft could
not operate.  The Walker was fitted with
thirty oars, supplemented by schooner-rigged
sails.  These vessels were well-armed for their size, mounting swivel guns and light cannons.  To man these
craft, Oglethorpe employed seamen from Charlestowne, while soldiers from the 42nd Regiment served as
marines.   

Jones' Marine Boatmen of Wormsloe

Protecting the inshore waterways was essential, so in addition to the provincial navy, scoutboats were used to
patrol the winding tidal creeks and coastal waters.  The boats were powered by oars, and like the half-galley,
were supplemented by sail (see illustration).  Each scoutboat was armed with a swivel gun, and manned by
"marines" from independant companies.
scoutboat.gif (29985 bytes)

 

One such company was the Northern Company
of Marines, commanded by Lieutenant Noble
Jones, a former veteran of the South Carolina
Regiment.  Two crews of scout boatmen operated
from a fort on his plantation, known as Wormsloe.
The fort itself was a redoubt with a single block-
house surrounded by a stockade.  Under his
command were the scoutboats Savannah and
Skidaway, used to patrol the nearby waterways.

 

 

The following is a  pay list for Jones' Marines dated 29 September 1741:

To Noble Jones 6 mon pay as Commander of the Boat with 10
Marines to guard the Inland Passages of the Rivers Savannah &
Ogeechee  20/-/-

Wm. Evans  "  , Serj & Coxswain    "                                    10/10/-
To Midi, Miller, Rich Talley, Alex Ross & John Boyd
         as Marines                                                                      36/-/-
To James Scott   5 & 8                                                             8/-/-
"   John Smally  4                                                                    6/-/-
"   James Anderson 2 & for his servant Edw. Davidson        3/-/-
To Thomas Wilkins  8 &    Servant Watkins                          8/-/-
To James Burnside   3        Serv. G. Howe                             4/2/6
To Rich Wilkins        1         7 marine                                     1/17/-
To Pat Cardiff           1         7   10                                           2/-/-
To Jean Stuart          4         18 for the like pay of Donald
       Stewart decd  to Aug 4' last                                             6/18/-
to Wm. Eame               1        10                                               2/6/8   

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