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Gunpowder Plot re-enactment hailed a success

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The 240th anniversary of the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot was re-enacted at the Tobacco Bay (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Hundreds descended on Tobacco Bay on Saturday evening to witness the first re-enactment of the theft of the Governor’s gunpowder supplies more than two centuries ago.

About 300 locals, visitors and a 50-strong delegation from the Sons, Daughters and Children of the American Revolution attended the event to mark the 240th anniversary of the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot.

Governor George Fergusson as well as a host of local dignitaries watched on as the barrels were carried down to the beach by characters in period dress, loaded onto a pilot gig and taken out to a waiting yacht at sea.

In 1775 St George Tucker and Thomas Tudor Tucker informed leaders of the American cause that a lightly guarded magazine in Bermuda contained about 100 barrels of gunpowder.

Consequently Benjamin Franklin and other leaders in Philadelphia were able to convince a few Bermudians to steal the gunpowder and have it loaded on to American ships waiting off of Tobacco Bay. Organisers of the re-enactment hailed the event a big success and say they hope to make it an annual fixture in the St George’s diary.

Rick Spurling, president of the St David’s Island Historical Society, who helped direct the re-enactment, told The Royal Gazette: “It all went very well indeed, and everyone who took part in the event did a great job.

“We were very pleased with the number of people that turned out; it was a lovely mix of locals and visitors.”

MP Kenneth Bascome, who was part of a St George’s delegation that travelled to Jamestown and met with representatives of Sons of the Revolution in 2014, told The Royal Gazette he hoped the event could attract global attention in years to come.

“The event was well-attended, but I believe we can build on it and encourage people internationally to come to Bermuda,” he said.

“This is something that the Bermuda Tourism Authority can take on board and put in the calendar of events to benefit the whole Island.”