ALBEMARLE, George Keppel, Earl of. Havana, 1762. 18260



The original Commission, signed ‘Albemarle’ by George Earl of Albemarle, Commander in Chief of a Secret Expedition, countersigned by Captain John Hale, appointing Captain Philip Skene to be “Town Major to the Havana”. Vellum, 15 x 9½ inches, folds, in very good clean condition. With Albemarle’s blind-stamped wafer seal affixed upper left. Havana [Cuba], 14 August 1762. General George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle (1724 – 1772) captured Havana in 1762 during the Seven Years’ War. On 13 August 1762, the capitulation of Havana was signed. On 14 August the British entered the city. Philip Wharton Skene (1725 –1810) was a Scottish officer in the British army, New York state “patroon”, and a figure in the Saratoga campaign of the American Revolution. He enlisted in the British army in 1739 and saw much action: the Battle of Porto Bello (1739), the Battle of Cartagena de Indias (1741), the Battle of Fontenoy (1745), and the Battle of Culloden (1746). In 1756 he arrived in the British colonies in North America. In February 1757 he was promoted to the command of a company in the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot. He was wounded in Lord Howe’s 1758 attack on Fort Ticonderoga. With the encouragement of Lord Amherst he started a small settlement at the head of Lake Champlain, purchasing land in the area. In 1762 Skene was sent to the Caribbean and took part in the capture of Havana, being the first through the breach into Morro Castle. sold his commission in 1769. In 1770 he became a resident of his new community. Over the next 5 years he made many improvements to his property, such as a road to Salem, New York and on to Bennington known as “Skene’s Road”. He built mills, storehouses, and boats, including the schooner Katherine that later became the USS Liberty when seized by the patriots. See Wikipedia and other sources for his service with Burgoyne and his later biography.