The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. Approximately fifteen of the islands are inhabited. The largest island, Tortola, is approximately 20 km (approx. 12 mi) long and 5 km (approx. 3 mi) wide. The islands have a total population of about 22,000, of whom approximately 18,000 live on Tortola. Road Town, the capital, is situated on Tortola.
The fort was built by the British Royal Engineers in 1794 at an elevation of approximately 947 feet over Road Town. However, it was constructed on top of an earlier wooden stockade believed to have been originally erected by the privateerJoost van Dyk to act as a lookout post. The fort was not a walled fort in the traditional sense, but only an earthen one. However, its elevation meant that there was absolutely no prospect of receiving cannon fire from incoming ships. The only way in which the Fort could have been taken (it never fell) would have been for troops to climb the hill whilst under heavy musket and cannon fire. (more...)
Hodge was born in the British Virgin Islands, studied at Oriel College, Oxford and served in the British Army. His wife was a sister-in-law of the Marquess of Exeter. He was described as a man of great accomplishments and elegant manners and upon his father's death, he returned to the British Virgin Islands to assume control of the family's plantation. (more...)