National Geographic : 1954 Mar
335 Wide World Queen Elizabeth Accepts a Bouquet from Loyal Jamaicans in St. Ann's Bay Flying in from Bermuda last November, the British royal visitors motored from Montego Bay to Kingston. En route they stopped at the courthouse in St. Ann's Bay, close to the spot where Christopher Columbus landed on his discovery voyage in 1494. Here the Duke of Edinburgh bends to pet a stray dog. Kingston Parish Church is the tomb slab of brave John Benbow. From chasing corsairs in the Mediterranean, this English admiral came to rout pirates from the Caribbean. When, in 1702, the French fleet under Du Casse began prowling here, Admiral Benbow hunted down and repulsed it, but died "by a wound in his legg" sustained in the battle. Admiral Edward Vernon cruised Jamaican waters in 1739 and 1742 when fighting the Spanish in "The War of Jenkins' Ear." That war won its name when the sloop Rebecca, bound home from Jamaica in com mand of a Capt. Robert Jenkins, was boarded by Spanish coast guards. With a slash of his sword one cut off the skipper's ear and told him to show that to his King. Seven years later this ear (or another which may never have listened to tavern tales in Port Royal) was displayed, pickled in a bottle, before an angry House of Com mons. Admiral Vernon vowed vengeance, saying he would take Portobelo from the Spanish with six ships only. And he did. A Scuttlebutt of Grog "Old Grog," British sailors then called Vernon, because of the grogram cloak he wore. The grog they still drink bears Ver non's nickname because he ordered their ra tion of rum diluted with water-a half pint of rum to a quart of water mixed in a scut tlebutt, or cask, kept for that purpose.