Ref: WJ156 MERIGOT/BOURGOIN
The Maroons in Ambush on the Dromilly Estate in the Parish of Trelawny, Jamaica, exceptionally rare aquatint. Shows the famous revolt of the Maroons in Jamaica. The view shows the Maroons and their families cutting down trees in the dense forest, with armed men waiting in ambush on the left, while a detachment of troops marches towards them along the road in distance. In 1655 a British expedition failed to conquer Santo Domingo but took Jamaica as a consolation prize. When the Spaniards fled the island they freed their African slaves who took to the hills and formed the nucleus of the Maroons.
At the beginning of October 1795 Major-General George Walpole (1758-1835) was charged with putting down the rebellion, subsequently capturing several of the Maroon stockades. By 22nd December he had come to terms with the insurgents. They were to ask pardon to leave their fastnesses and settle in any district assigned to them and to give up the runaway slaves. On these conditions he promised that they should not be sent out of the island and the terms were ratified by the governor. Only a few of the insurgents came in and in the middle of January, Walpole moved against them with a strong column, accompanied by dogs which had been brought from Cuba. They then surrendered and were sent to Montego Bay and in March were assembled by the governor and shipped to Nova Scotia.
An oil painting by F.J.Bourgoin in 1796, was presented to the Clark family of Jamaica in recognition of some act of kindness or hospitality. The painting is first referred to in the will of Milbourne Clark and came into his possession on the death of his sister caroline, left to her by William.
This large engraving by I.Merigot, taken from the original painting is extremely rare, only 2 other examples are known at this time. One is in the public museum of Jamaica, the other is still in the possession of the Clark family.