King's College London
Online Exhibitions
Young's Essay on Tobago

Fas est, et ab hoste doceri, page 46

[page 46]

“no merchant vessel should be permitted entry at Tabago,
but on the condition, of being Ballasted, with stone, Bricks
and Iron, for the projected works at Mano’war Bay.
‘Surely,-the Use of Tabago intended by France, should make
Great Britain doubly cautious of its surrender.
‘Fas est, et ab Hoste doceri.’
Tabago  Octr. 1810
W. Young Gvr.

Young finishes his report with a Latin phrase ‘Fas est, et ab hoste doceri’ which translates as ‘It is right to be taught, even by an enemy’. The phrase acknowledges his dealings with his inside source and with the French governor; and the wider context of the the imperial rivalry at that time between the nations of Britain and France.

Imperial rivalry and the expansion of the British Empire, here planned for the island of Tobago, spawned the document featured in this online exhibition, which gives a sense not only of the island it focuses on, but of the mindset of its author, the colonial representative, governor Sir William Young.

Though Young’s aims and plans for Tobago never came to fruition and the island did not grow into the mercantile British imperial centre that Young envisioned, the report remains an informative and attractive document that depicts, through a first-hand account and illustrations,the island of Tobago in the early 19th century.

In this exhibition


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