Maroons Ambushing British Troops, Jamaica, late 18th cent

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This record was last updated on 09 Mar 2011

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A very large (50.5 x 70cm), separately published, colored engraving; copy in British Library

Title: "The Maroons in Ambush on the Dromilly Estate in the parish of Trelawney, Jamaica, by J. Bourgoin; engraved by J. Merigot"; published by J. Cribb [London, 1801]. The dedication reads: "To the Honble Genl. Walpole, this plate is with permission respectfully dedicated by his obliged and obedient servant, Robt. Cribb." The scene shows a group of about 30 Maroons hiding among trees as a troop of British soldiers approaches on a road. The maroons carry rifles and one (center) blows a horn. This illustration of an apparent ambush against a British military detachment by a group of Maroons seems to be a depiction of an incident in July 1795, which ignited the Second Maroon War; or, it may be intended to depict one of many ambushes, the Maroon's most common military tactic, during this approximately five-month war. George Walpole was the commanding field officer of the British military forces (see Clinton V. Black, The Story of Jamaica [London, 1965, pp. 124-127]; thanks also to Ken Bilby for assistance). For a discussion of this engraving, see also T. Barringer, G. Forrester, and B. Martinez-Ruiz [and others], Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art in association with Yale University Press, 2007), p. 289.