From the Same to the Same. ’BELEM, November 7th, 1755.
“Sir,—. . . The present Scene of Misery and Distress is not to be described; the Kingdom of Portugal is ruined and undone, and Lisbon, one of the finest Cities that ever was seen, is now no more. The Escape of the forementioned Sir. O. Vyell is one of the most providential Things that ever was heard of; for whilst he was riding about the middle of the City in his Chaise, on the first instant, he observed the Driver to look behind him, and immediately to make the Mules gallop as fast as possible, but both he and they were very soon killed and buried in the Ruins of a House which fell on them; whereupon Sir Oliver jumped out of the Chaise, and ran into a House that instantly fell also to the Ground, and buried him in the Ruins for a considerable Time; but it pleased God that he was taken out alive, and not much bruised. His Lady likewise was providentially in the Garden when their House fell, and so escaped. About half an Hour after the first Shock, the City was on fire in five different Parts, and has been burning ever since, so that the English Merchants here are entirely ruined. There have been three Shocks every Day since the first, but none so violent as the first. The King has ordered all the Soldiers to assist in burying the Dead, to prevent a Plague; and indeed upon that Account the Fire was of Service in consuming the Carcasses both of Men and Beasts. The English have miraculously escaped, for notwithstanding the Factory was so numerous, not more than a Dozen are known to have been killed; amongst whom was poor Mrs. Hake, Sister to Governor Hardy of New York, who suffered as she was driving her Children before her; and the Spanish Ambassador was killed also, with his young Child in his Arms. Every person, from the King to the Beggar, is at present obliged to lie in the Fields, and some are apprehensive that a Famine may ensue.”
An Extract of a Letter from on board a Ship in Lisbon Harbour, Nov: 19, to the same Purport.