16 APRIL 1932, Page 28

Major Sir J. A. Burdon, K.B.E., Governor- of British Honduras

from 1925 till 1931, is adding to the ldistinctions of a long career of public service by editing the archives of that British Colony. The first volume of- the archives (Sifton Praed, 7s. 6d.), from the earliest date to A.D. 1800, together with the -editor's introductory note, explain how the British settlements in the Bay of Honduras, dating from the seventeenth century, owe their survival to the value of log-wood as a dyeing material ; how the settlers made Belize, the present capital of the Colony, their centre port, and maintained themselves through the wars Of the eighteenth century in the very heart of the Spanish Caribbean ;. how, in 1745, they petitioned for help to enable them to "go and disappoint and defeat our enemies" ; how when war broke out in 1779, St. George's Cay, an island near Belize, was surprised and captured by the Spaniards ; how its inhabitants were marched three hundred miles through forest and tropical swamp to Merida, and thence shipped to dungeons in Havana —how, in 1796, the settlers, undeterred by memories of .1779,: decided to defend and not evacuate; how in September, 1798, was fought the battle of St. George's Cay—an unsung epic—in which thirty-one "Spanish Vessels, With 2,000 troops and 500 seamen, were defeated by one of H.M.'s sloops, with five local sloops, and seven gunfloats (strengthened logwood rafts); and how the eighteenth century thus closed with Spanish domina- tion effaced. The Constitiition.enjoyed by the settlers was of the simplest kind. Under the first brief code of Regulations, drawn up by Admiral Burnaby, in 1765, the settlers- agreed that "whosoever shall be found guilty of profane: cursing and Swearing in disobedience of God's ' coin, maids . . . . " shall forfeit for every such offence "Two,

shillings and sixpence Jamaica currency, or the same value in, _

merchantable- -tinehipt, Logwoods." Burden;

'alt who have helped him, are to be congratulated on this useful ksieee of work. It is of special interest at *is time when 3elize is suffering from the effects of the hurricane.