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VOL. I. 









^eh) (iBtJttion, l^fbtBetf antJ ^nlartjctr. 


VOL. I. 

"Palmam qui meriiit ferat." 








COX (brothers) and wvman, great queen street, 
lincoln's-inn fields. 


In presenting to the public a revised edition of tlie Battles 
of the British Navy, the Author has to express his gratitude 
for the indulgence conceded to his early effort. The period 
which has elapsed since the publication of the first edition, 
has been in great part employed by him in rendering this 
record of the brilliant performances of the Navy more com- 
plete. Considerable departures from former statements have, 
in many instances, been thought necessary, and the addi- 
tional matter will, he hopes, be found important. Numerous 
previously unnoticed actions have been introduced, the de- 
tails of others extended, and the names of hundreds of 
officers, distinguished by their valour and devotion to their 
country, have been gleaued from official and other docu- 

The object sought to be achieved by the comp'iler, is to 
place within the reach of his countrymen an impartial record 
of those great and glorious conflicts on the ocean, by which 
England has gained her supremacy among nations. To 
the energy and skill of the British Navy, commerce owed her 
j^rotection against the world in arms, and without such 
powerful aid, peaceful traffic among civilized nations could 
never have attained its present flourishing condition. 

Previously to the publication of the first edition of this 
work, however, no comprehensive record of the kind existed. 
Spread over scores of volumes, isolated portions only of the 
noble deeds of England's sailors were accessible, except to the 
patient inquirer. English historians have paid little atten- 

VOL. I. a 



tion to the deeds of the Navy ; and only the more prominent 
among them have obtained a place among our household 

In revising the earlier portions of the work, much valuable 
assistance has been derived from the elaborate production of 
the late Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas.^ Unfortunately for 
the subject, that indefatigable and talented author did not 
live to complete his task, and two volumes only were prepared 
and published before his unlooked-for decease. 

The authorities used in these volumes are not in all cases 
quoted, or the annotations would have exceeded the text, 
and the popular form of the work have been destroyed. 
The works of Lediard,^ Campbell,^ Beatson,'* Chamock,^ 
Schomberg,^ Brenton/ James,^ Marshall,^ the Naval Chronicle, 

' A History of the Royal Navy from tlie Earliest Times to the "Wars 
of the French Revolution. By Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, G.C.M.G. 

2 vols. London : 1847. Nelson's Letters and Despatches, Edited by 
Sir N. Han-is Nicolas. 7 vols. 8vo. London : 1845-46. 

- Naval History of England from the Norman Conquest in the year 
1066 to the Conclusion of 1734. 2 vols, folio. By Thomas Lediard, 
Gent. &c. London : 1735. 

^ Lives of the British Admirals ; containing a New and Accurate 
Naval History from the Earliest Periods. By Dr. J. Campbell. With a 
Continuation down to the year 1779, written under the inspection of 
Dr. Berkenhout. 4 vols. London : 1781. 

■♦ Naval and Military Memoirs of Great Britain, 1727 — 1783. By 
Robert Beatson, Esq. LL.D, 6 vols. 8vo. London: 1804. 

' Biographia Navalis ; or, Impartial Memoirs of the Lives and Cha- 
racters of Officers of the Navj'' of Great Britain, from the year 1660 to 
the Present Time, 1794 — 98. Also, History of Marine Architecture, 

3 vols. 4to. London : 1802. 

^ Naval Chronology, &c. from the Time of the Romans to the Treaty 
of Peace in 1802. 5 vols. 8vo. By Isaac Schomberg, Esq. Captain in 
the Royal Navy. London : 1802. 

7 The Naval History of Great Britain fi-om the year 1783 to 1822. 
By Edward Pelham Brenton, Esq. Captain in the Royal Navj'. Lon- 
don : 1823. 

^ The Naval History of Great Britain from the Declaration of War 
by France in February, 1793, to the Accession of George IV. in 
January, 1820. By William James. 6 vols. Second Edition. Lon- 
don : 1826. Also another edition, re\'ised by Captain F. Chamier, R.N. 

5 Royal Naval Biography ; or. Memoirs of the Services of all the Flag 


1799 — 1818, the Annual Register, &c., have furnished the 
staple data, all which have been carefully collated with each 
other, and illustrated by miscellaneous biogi-aphies and 
essays, and original communications from living participators 
in the actions described. 

In June, 1847, her most gracious Majesty, desirous of 
bestowing some mark of distinction as well upon her sailors 
as her soldiers, issued an Order in Council, under which all 
the surviving participators in the principal and some minor 
actions fought since 1793 have been decorated mth a naval 
medal and clasp, or clasps. A committee of flag officers, 
comprising Admirals Sir Thomas Byam Martin, G.C.B., the 
Honourable Sir Thomas Bladen Capel, K.C.B., and Sir James 
Alexander Gordon, K.C.B., having for their secretary 
Edward Gifiard, Esq., of the Admiralty, examined the claims 
of the numerous applicants ; and the various exploits selected 
will be found especially noticed in the following pages. 

Oflacers, Captains, and Commanders whose Names appeared on the List 
of Sea Officers in 1823, &c. By John Marshall (b), Lieutenant in the 
Eoyal Navy. 12 vols, or parts. London : 1823-35. 



Holy War — Sea Justices {note), page 1 . Reduction of Cyprus — destruc- 
tion of a Turkish Dromon, 2. Siege of Acre, 3. Greek fire, 4. De- 
struction of French fleet at Damme — Eustace the Monk, 5, Hubert de 
Burg — death of Eustace the Monk — Norman fishermen, 6. Great fight 
between Enghsh and Normans — reduction of Castellion — Sir Thomas 
Turberville, a traitor knight, 7. Landing at Hythe and Dover — 
Cinqvie Port mariners — expedition to Cadsand, 8. Expedition to Ant- 
werp — ^French landing at Southampton — attack of Boulogne — battle of 
Sluys, 9. King Edward's letter (note), 10. Anecdote {note) — expe- 
dition to Brittany — Countess of Montfort, 12. Relief of Hennebon — 
Sir Walter Manny at Quimperle — invasion of France — battle of Cressy 
— siege of Calais, 1.3. Surrender of Calais — sea-fight ofi" Winchelsea 
— destruction of the " Cog Thomas" — naval pastime {note), 14. 
Relief of Rochelle — Pembroke's defeat — landing on the coast of Sussex, 
16. Mercer the Scotch pirate — Philpott's pati-iotism — anecdote {note), 
defeat of De Bucq, 17. Sir Hugh Despenser, predatory expeditions — 
Pedro Nino, 18. Surrender of Harfleur — Agincourt — Genoese car- 
racks — balingers, 19. Death of Lord West — naval warfare of private 
adventurers — Sir Andrew Barton — cannon used in ships {note), 20. 
Death of Barton — "Great Hai-ry " — expedition to Brest, 21. Destruction 
of the Regent and Cordelier — landing at Brest, 22. Galley-fight — 
death of Sir Edward Howard — anecdote, 23. Brighton burnt — inva- 
sion of Picardy — Boulogne taken — projected invasion of England — 
loss of the Mary Rose, 24. Boulogne recaptured — invasion of Guernsey 
and Jersey, 25. 


State of the navy — dispute with Spain, 26. Scouring the narrow 
seas — Spanish armada, 27. English fleet, 28. Arrival of armada, 29. 
Engagement with, 31. Defeat of — expedition against the Spaniards, 32. 
Private expeditions — expedition to the Azores, 33. Death of Sir 
Richard Grenville, 34. Centurion and Spanish galleys — capture of 
treasure-ship — expedition to Brest — death of Forbisher, 35. Death of 

a 2 


Hawkins and Drake — expedition to Cadiz — capture of galleons, 36. 
Taking of Fayal — destruction of galleys at Coimbra, 37. 


Expedition to Algiers — first Dutch war — Tromp and Blake, 38. 
Ayscue and De Ruyter, 39. Bodley and Van Galen — cutting out of 
the Phoenix, 40. Blake's defeat of the Dutch, 41. Blake and Tromp 
-— Tromp's bravado — generals of the fleet, 42. Defeat of the Dutch, 43. 
Action off Leghorn, 44. Blake and Tromp — death of Deane, 45. 
Naval tactics, 46. Death of Tromp, 48. Penn and Venables, 49. 
Capture of Jamaica — Blake's expedition, 50. Capture, of treasure- 
ships, 51. Blake at Santa Cruz — death of Blake, 52. Expedition to 
Algiers — second Dutch war — union flag, 53. English armament — 
breaking the line, 54. -' Opdam killed — anecdote, 56. Death of Law- 
son — attack at Bergen — De Ruyter, Prince Rupert, and Monk, 57. 
Engagement ofi" the Goodwin, 58. Action renewed — heroism of 
Myngs, 59. Action off the North Foreland — defeat of the Dutch — 
anecdote of De Ruyter {note) — destruction of shipping at Schelling, 61. 
Lawrence Heemskirk (note) — actions, 62. Infraction of the treaty of 
Breda — Harman with Dutch and French squadrons, 63. Dutch in the 
Medway, 64. Elizabeth and Dutch ships — Kempthorn and corsairs, 65. 
Actions with corsairs — capture of Dutch convoy — third Dutch war, QQ. 
Boat action in Bugia Bay — French alliance — action off the Gunfleet, 67. 
Destruction of the Roj^al James — death of the earl of Sandwich, 68. 
St. Helena taken — Spragge and Cornelius Tromp, 70. Anecdote of 
Mr. Leake {note), 71. Tiger and Schaerles — French co-operation {note), 
72. Peace with Holland — homage of the flag conceded, 73. 


Narborough and the Tripoline states, 74. Guernsey and White 
Horse — gallantry of Harman — actions with corsairs, 75. Morat Rais — 
Kempthorn and corsairs, 76. Sallee rovers — Nonsuch and French ships 
off Guernsey — action in Bantry Bay, 77. Action off Beachy Head, 78. 
Supposed defection, 79. Single ship actions — action off Deseada, 80. 
Battle off Cape Barfleur, 81. Destruction of shipping at Cherbourg, 85. 
Ditto at La Hogue, 86. Rooke and Dutch fleet off Lagos — bombard- 
ment of St. Malo, 87. Infernal machine — defence of a merchant ship, 
88. Attack on shipping in Bertheaurae Bay — Weymouth and Med- 
way with French privateers, 89. Bombardment of French sea-ports, 90. 
Scarborough and French privateers — Portsmouth and French ship — 
Nonsuch and* ditto — Plymouth with Content and Trident — Meesters 
{note), 91. Hope and French squadron — capture of the Dartmouth — 
bombardment of St. Malo, 92. Benbow — attack on Calais — defence of 
a fishing-vessel, 93. Ditto of coaster — We3anouth and Fougueux, 94. 
Peace of Ryswick — Medway and Pontchartrain — Harlow and Pointis, 
95. Capture of Aurora, 96. 



Queen Anne — Benbow and Du Casse, 97. Benbow wounded, 98. 
Defection of his captains — death of Benbow, 99. Hopson in Vigo Bay, 
100. Dragon and French ship, 102, M. St. Paul — shipping destroyed 
at Granville, 103. Capture of Philippeaux, AugTiste, and Hazard, 104. 
Reduction of Gibraltar, 105. Action off Malaga, 107. Capture of 
Revenge — Leake and Pointis, 111, Death of St. Paul — capture of 
Pendennis — Montagu and French ships, 112. Capture of Fowey — 
ditto ofWinchelsea — reduction of the Balearic Islands, 113. Storming 
of Alicant — Romney and consorts at Malaga, 114, Resolution and 
French squadron, 115. Wyld and Forbin — forcing the Var, 116. Bom- 
bardment of Toulon — wreck of Shovel at Scilly — insufficient protection 
of convoys, 117. Destruction of the Devonshire — capture of piivateers, 
118. Capture of Adventure — Wager and Spanish treasure-ships, 119. 
Toilet and Du Guai Trouin — Lord Dursley and ditto, 121, Sweepstakes 
captured — capture of Fowey — Falmouth and French squadron — Speed- 
well and privateers — Pljanouth and L'Adriad, 122. Du Guai Trouin 
— Portland with Coventry and Mignon, 123. Defiance and Centurion 
with French ships, 124, Winchester and Dutch privateer — Salisbury 
and St. Albans with French ship — Suffolk and Galliard — Kent and 
Superbe, 125, Cutting out in Hy feres Bay — capture of Maure — attack 
on French fishing harbours, 126, Capture of Pembroke — action in 
Vado Bay — capture of Advice in Yarmouth Roads, 127. Newcastle 
and French flotilla — capture of the Toulouse — Peace of Utrecht, 128. 
Losses and gains, 129. 


Hind and Sallee rovei's — dispute wdth Spain — Byng and Castaiieta, 
130. Action off Sicily, 132, Walton's laconic epistle — reduction of 
Messina, 133, Looe and Spanish privateer — destruction of Genoese 
ships — ditto of Spanish shipping at Port Antonio — ditto of two ships at 
Ribades, 134, Taking of Vigo and Ponta Vedra — quadruple alliance 
— capture of Roberts the pirate, 135. Reduction of Morocco, 136. 
Dispute with Spain — capture of Porto Bello, 137. Capture of the 
Princeza, 139, Mistaken action — expedition against Carthagena, 140. 
Squirrel and Spanish privateer — Pulteney and xebecks, 144, Sapphire 
at Vigo — attack on La Guira, 145, Attack on Porto Cavallo, 146, 
Rupert and Faversham at Pensacola — Guernsey and privateer, 147. 
Attack on Gomera — Centurion and galleon, 148. 


War with France — action off Toulon, 149. Matthews and Lestock, 
152. Northumberland and French squadron — attack on Fishotte, 153, 
Rose and Spanish freight-ship — Lion and Elizabeth, 154. Jersey and 
St. Esprit — capture of French convoy — capture of the Anglesea — 


Augusta and privateer — Captain and Grand Turk — Fowey and Griffin — 
Dunkirk privateers, 155. Hampton Court and Lys — Captain, &c., 
with Neptune and Florissant — Pojtland and Auguste — Defiance and 
Ambuscade, 156. Shoreliam's tender and privateers — -Alexander and 
Solebay, 157. Action off Negapatam — Weasel and French privateers 
— Nottingham and Mars — Woolwich and Severn with French squadron, 
158. Anson and De la Jonquiere, 159. Fortune and French privateers 
— ^Viper and Hector, 161. Merlin and treasure-ships — Hawke and De 
Letendeur, 162. Anecdote ()io^e), 165. Capture of Glorioso — Bellona 
.and Due de Chartres — Amazon and Renommee, 166. Capture of Mag- 
nanime — reduction of Port Louis, 167. Action off the Havannah, 168. 
Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle — losses and gains, 169. 


The ''seven years' " war — Boscawen and De la Motte — Dunkirk and 
Alcide, 170. Byng's action, 172. Byng shot, 175. Colchester and 
Lyme Avith Aquilon and Fidelle — - Dispatch and French privateer — 
Adventure and Infernale — Terrible and Alexander, 176. British and 
French squadrons off Cape Francois, 177. Augusta and convoy, 179. 
Tartar and privateers, 180. Badger and Escorte, 181. Happy and 
Infernal— Unicorn and privateers — Antelope and Aquilon, 182. Cap- 
ture of Due dAquitaine — Southampton and privateers-— Seahorse and 
French frigates, 183. Prince Edwai-d and French frigate — Southampton 
and Emeraude, 184. Unicorn and Hermione — Antelope and Moras, 
185. Hussar and Alcy on — capture of Bien Acquis — Adventure and 
Machault — Hussar and "Vengeance, 186. Capture of Orphee — Mon- 
mouth and Foudroyant, 187. Loss of the Prince George — Hawke's 
attack in Aix Roads, 189. Capture of Galathee — action off Negapatam, 
190. Howe's attacks on French seaports, 191. Capture of Eaisonnable 
— French privateer at Spithead, 192. Thurot — cutting out Prudente 
and Bienfaisant, 19-3. Lizard with Heroine and consort — Southampton 
and Caumartin — Antelope and Belliqueux, 194. Vestal and Bellona — 
Thames and Coventry with 'Palmier, 195. Isis and French squadron — 
Windsor and French squadron, 196. Southampton and Melampe — 
Achilles and Florentine, 197. Capture of Arethuse — action near Toulon, 
198. Boscawen and De la Clue, 199. Pocock and D'Ach^, 201. 
Hawke and Conflans, 203. Thurot and British frigates, 206. Thurot 
killed — Malicieuse and Opale with Flamborough and Bideford, 207. 
Boat-action at Grenada, 208. Action between frigate squadrons, 209. 
Cutting out Vainqueur and Mackau — Trent and Bien Aime — L^nicorn 
and Vestale, 210. Ditto and Aigrette — capture of Brune — Richmond 
and Felicite, 211. Minerve and Warwick — capture of Cbevrette — ■ 
Rippon and Achille, 213. Vengeance and Entreprenant — ■ Isis and 
Oreflame, 214. Capture of Bertin — ditto of St. Ann — Thundei'er and 
Achille — Thetis and Buffon, 215. Bellona and Brilliant with Coura- 
geux and consorts, 216. Cutting out at Dunkirk — destruction of 
Leverette, 217. War with Spain — Danae and Tigre, 218. Ferret and 
privateer, 219, Milford and Gloire — Fowey and Ventura, 220. Cap- 


ture of Hermione — Terpsichore and letter of marque — captm-e of 
Havannah, 221. Taking of Manilla — capture of Spanish galleon, 222. 
Termination of hostilities, 223. 


Rebellion in America — capture of Gaspe — privateers off Boston, 226. 
Mowat's expedition, 227. Fowey and Washington — American ensign 
{note) — capture of Providence, 228. Glasgow and American squadron, 
229. Relief of Quebec, 231. Action on Lake Champlain, 232. Attack 
on Charlestown, 234. Capture of a transport, 237. Chevaux de frise, 
238. Operations on the Delaware — attack on Fort Mifflin, 239. Mil- 
ford and Cabot — capture of Fox — Rainbow and Hancock, 242. Expe- 
dition to Machias — Beaver and Oliver Cromwell — Camel and consorts 
with Raleigh and Alfred, 244. Alert and Lexington — Antigua and 
Blacksnake — Racehorse and Guest, 247. Gustavus Cunningham — cap- 
ture of Harwich packet, 248. Operations on the Delaware, 249. French 
sympathy, 251. Howe and D'Estaing, 252. Attack on Rhode Island, 256. 
Renown and Languedoc, 257. Isis and Cesar, 258. Preston and Ton- 
nant — Yarmouth and Randolph, 259. Ariadne and Ceres with Raleigh 
and Alfred, 260. John Paul Jones at Whitehaven — and at St. Mary's 
Isle — Ranger and Drake, 261. Arethusa and Belle Poule — Alert and 
Courier — capture of Licorne — Keppel and D'Orvilliers, 263. Ostrich 
and Polly — Pearl and Industry — action off Pondicherry, 267. Fox and 
Junon — capture of Raleigh, 268. Jupiter and Triton — Maidstone and 
Lion — Apollo and Oiseau, 269 — Rattlesnake and French cutters — loss 
of the Arethusa- — -Kite and French frigate, 270. Experiment and 
squadron in Cancale Bay — Jupiter and French convoy — Licorne and 
Audacieuse — Ruby and Prudente, 271. Action off Grenada, 272. Ex- 
pedition to Virginia, 275. Ascent of the Hudson — Long Island Sound, 
278. Attack on Fairfield — surprise of Stony Point, 279. Expedition 
to the Penobscot, 280. D'Estaing repulsed at South Carolina, 283. 
Pearl and Santa Monica, 285. Serapis and Bon Homme Richard, 286. 
Quebec and Surveillante, 295. Capture of Alcmene- — ■ Fortunde and 
Blanche — Tartar and Santa Marguerita — Salisbury and San Carlos, 296. 
Capture of the Caraccas fleet — defeat of Langara, 297. Surprise and 
privateers, 298. Capture of Monsieur — Comwallis and De la Mothe 
Piquet, 299. Action off Martinique, 300. Iris and Hermione, 303. 
Apollo and Stanislaus, 304. Romney and Artois — Prudente and Capri- 
cieuse, 305. Nonsuch and Belle Poule, 306. Porcupine and privateers 
— Flora and Nymphe, 307. Capture of Comte d' Artois — Pearl and 
Esperance— Zeph}T and Senegal, 308. Boat-action off Mangalore, 308. 
Bellona and Princess Caroline — capture of Minerva — Warwick and 
Rotterdam — capture of American, 309. Cerberus and Grana — action 
off the Chesapeake, 310. Action off Porto Praya, 311. Resource and 
Unicorn, 312. Action off Fort Royal Bay — Canada and Santa Leoca- 
dia, 313. Nonsuch and Active, 314. Atalanta and Trespassey with 
Alliance — Flora and Crescent with Castor and Brill, 315. Charleston 
and consorts with French frigates, 316. Action off the Dogger Bank, 


317. Helena and Spanish gun-boats, 319. Iris and Trumbull — Came- 
leon and Dutch lugger — Chatham and Magicienne — action off Lynn 
Haven Bay, 320. Savage and Congress, 323. Artois with Mars and 
Hercules — Kempenfelt and De Guichen, 324. Action off St. Christo- 
pher's — capture of Trincomald, 325. Actions in the East Indies, 326. 
Success and Santa Catalina — General Monk and privateers, 335. 
Kodney and De Grasse, 336. Capture of Caton, Jason, &c. — Foudroy- 
ant and Pegase — Pelican and privateers, 344. Defiance and Zeuse — 
Santa Margaritta and Amazone, 345. Coventry and Bellone — loss of 
the Royal George — Due de Chartres and Aigle, 346. Kainbow and 
Hebe — Hector with Aigle and Gloire, 347. Capture of Aigle, 348. 
Torbay and London with Sibylle and Scipion, 349. Ruby and Solitaire 
— Mediator and French squadron, 350. Capture of the South Carolina 
— Endymion and Magicienne with Sibylle, 352. Hussar and Sibylle, 
353. Leander and Couronne — Argo with French frigates, 354. Action 
off Pondicherry, 355. Peace with France and Spain — losses and gains, 
357. State of the navy — Phoenix and Resolue, 358. 


French revolutionary war — state of the navy, 359. Scourge and 
Sans Culotte — recapture of Spanish galleon, 360. Iris and Citoyenne 
Franfoise — Venus and Semillante, 361. Capture of Hyaena — Nymphe 
and Cl^opatre, 362. Boston and Embuscade, 364, Lord Hood at Toulon, 
365. Evacuation of Toulon, 368. British at Corsica, 372. Crescent 
and Reunion, 373. Agamemnon and French frigates, 374. Thames 
and Uranie — capture of Inconstante — Antelope and Atalante, 376. 


Juno at Toulon, 378. Reduction of Corsica, 380. Capture of 
Pomone, Engageante, and Babet, 382. Orpheus and Du Guai Trouin, 
383. Swiftsure and Atalante — Channel fleet, 384. Lord Howe's 
actions, 385. Killed and wounded, 402. Carysfort and Castor — 
Crescent and consorts off Guernsey, 403. Romney and Sibylle — 
destruction of Volontaire — capture of Revolutionnaire, 404. Centu 
rion and Diomede with French frigates — capture of the Alexander, 
405. Reduction of Martinique, 406. 


Blanche and Pique, 407. Lively and Tourterelle, 408. Capture of 
the Berwick — Hotham's action off Leghorn, 409. Capture of Gloire 
and Gentille — capture of convoy in Goui'ville Bay, 412. Thetis and 
Hussar with French store-ships — Thorn and Courier National — Dido 
and Lowestoffe with Miner ve and Art^mise, 413. Comwallis's retreat, 


415. Bridport's action, 417. Hotham's action in Frejus Bay, 420. 
Captiire of Alliance, 422. Southampton with Vestale and consorts — 
Kose and French privateers, 423. Capture of Censeur — Mermaid and 
Rdpublicain — capture of Eveiil^, 424. Capture of Trincomal^ — sur- 
render of the Cape of Good Hope, 425. 


Capture of Bonne Citoyenne — boats of Diamond and Liberty at Cape 
Frehel — capture of Etoile — E^volutionnaire and Unitd, 426. Sir Sid- 
ney Smith at Havre — capture of Virginie — boats of Agamemnon and 
squadron in Laona Bay — boats of Niger at the Penmarks, 427. Spencer 
and Volcan — capture of Argo — Suffisante and Revanche — Santa Marga- 
rita and Tamise, 428. Unicorn and Tribune, 429. Dryad and Proser- 
pine — capture of Legfere — Jason carried into Greenock — Southampton and 
Utile, 430. Glatton and French squadron, 431. Aimable and Pens^e 
— Mem^aid and Vengeance — Spanish alliance — destruction of the An- 
dromaque, 432. Raison and Vengeance — capture of Elizabeth — ^Vic- 
torious and Arrogant with French frigates — Pelican and Mddde, 433. 
Terpsichore and Mahonesa — Laj)wing with Decius and Vaillante, 434, 
Tei'psichore and Vestale, 435. Minerve with Sabina and Ceres, 436. 
Capture of Colombo, Amboyna, and Banda — capture of Dutch squadron 
in Saldanha Bay — Polyphemus with Justine and Tortue, 437. 


French expedition to Ireland — Indefatigable and Amazon with Droits 
de I'Homme, 438. East-India fleet and M. Sercey — Andromache and 
Algerine ship, 440. Battle of St. Vincent, 441. Killed and wounded, 
449. Surrender of Trinidad — landing in Fisgard Bay — capture of 
Resistance and Constance, 450. Terpsichore and Santisima Trinidad — ■ 
Viper and Spanish privateer — boats of Hermione at Zaccheo — capture 
of Hardi and Musette — boats of Magicienne and Regulus at Cape 
Roxo, 451. Destruction of Hermione at Port au Paix — capture of 
Ninfa — boats of Minerve and Lively at Santa Cruz, 452. Bombard- 
ment of Cadiz — Nelson and Spanish launch, 453. Bombardment of 
Cadiz — destruction of Calliope — Nelson at Santa Cruz, 454. Anecdote 
of John Lovell, 455. Arethusa and Ga\6t6 — -Alexandrian and Coq, 

456. Ditto and Epicharis — Penguin and Oiseau — Pelican and Trompeur, 

457. Battle of Camperdown, 458. Killed and wounded, 462. Anec- 
dote of Lieutenant Bullen, 463. Recapture of Hyasna — boats of Fairy off 
Calais, 464. Phoebe and N^r^ide, 465. Growler and French luggers 
■ — capture of Daphne, 466. 


George and Spanish privateers — Pomone and Ch^ri — Kingfisher and 
Betsy — boats of Babet at Martinique, 467. Melampus and Volage— 


Speedy and Papillon — Marquis of Cobourg and Revanche — Recovery 
and Revanche — Victorieuse and two French privateers, 468. Mars and 
Hercule, 469. Pearl with French frigates — boats of Flora at Cerigo — 
destruction of Confiante, 470, Princess Royal and Aventurier — Sea- 
horse and Sensible, 471. Capture of the Seine — boats of Regulus in 
Aguada Bay, 472. Lion and Spanish frigates — Brilliant with Vertu 
and R^generee, 473. Battle of the Nile, 474. Killed and wounded, 482. 
Boats of Melpomene and Childers at Coregeiou — Indefatigable and 
Vaillante — Espoir and Liguria — Hazard and Neptune, 486. Leander 
and G^n^reux, 487. Capture of Decade — gallantry of Mr. Fane— cap- 
ture of Flore, 490. Action in Donegal Bay, 491. Melampus and 
Resolue — Mermaid and Kangaroo with Loire, 493. Fisgard and Immor- 
tality 495. Fate of Bompart's squadron — Sirius with Furie and 
Waakzaamheid, 496. Ambuscade and Baionnaise, 497. Perdi'ix and 
French privateer, 500. 


Wolverine and French privateers, 501. Capture of Santa Teresa — 
Dsedalus and Prudente, 502. Espoir and Afi'ica, 503. Sibylle and 
Forte, 504. G^nereux at Ancona — defence of Acre by Sir Sidney 
Smith, 506. Telegraph and Hirondelle, 512. Boats of Trent at Porto 
Rico — San Fiorenzo and Amelia with French frigates, 513. Amaranthe 
and Vengeur — Fortune and Salamine — boats of Success at La Sel\"a — 
heroism of a marine, 514. Capture of Perree's squadron — Alcmene and 
Courageuse — boats of Alcmene at Vivero — recapture of Crash — Lieu- 
tenant Humphreys at Schiermonikoog, 515. Capture of Dutch squadron 
in the Texel — Clyde and Vestale, 516. Tamar and Rdpublicain — Arrow 
and Wolverine with Gier and Draak, 517. Camel and Rattlesnake 
with Preneuse — Speedy with Spanish gun-boats, 518. Jupiter and 
Preneuse, 519. Trincomale and Iphigenie — boats of Echo in Lagnadille 
Bay — capture of Spanish treasure -frigates, 520. Cerberus and Spanish 
fi'igates, 521. Cutting out of the Hermione, 522. Solebay with French 
squadron, 523. Courier and Guerrier — destruction of the Preneuse — 
boats of Queen Charlotte in the Straits of Gibraltar, 524. Viper and 
Ferret— Abergavenny's tender and Lieutenant Fitton, 525. 



Vignette Title. 

Page 27 




Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham 
Seal of the Lord High Admiral 
Admiral Sir Francis Drake ... 
Sir Walter Raleigh 
Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk 
General and Admiral Robert Blake . . . 
General and Admiral George Monk, Duke of Albemarle 64 
Edward Montagu, Earl of Sandwich , , . 
Prince Rupert ... 
Admiral Sir Edward Hawke ... 
Vice- Admiral Sir George Collier 
Captain Sir Richard Pearson ... 
Admiral Lord Viscount Rodney- 
Rear- Admiral Richard Kempenfelt ... 
Admiral Lord Hood ... 
Admiral Earl Howe ... 
Admiral Lord Viscount Bridport 
Admiral Earl St. Vincent 
Admiral Lord Viscount Duncan 



Admiral Byng's action off Minorca, 1756 ... ... 174 

Admiral Keppel's action, 1778 265 

Byron's action in the West Indies, 1779 ... .'.. 274 

Sir Samuel Hood and Comte de Grasse, 9th April, 1782 338 

Biitish and French fleets, 12th April, 1782 340 

Lord Howe on the 29th of May, 1794 389 

Action off the Hyeres Islands, June, 1795 ... ... 421 

Three diagi-ams of the British and Spanish fleets off 

Cape St. Vincent, 14th February, 1797 ...442, 444, 445 
Position of the Captain when foul of the two Spanish 

ships ... ... .. ... ... ... 446 

Battle of Camperdown ... ... ... ... 460 

Sketch of Aboukir Bay and position of French fleet, 

1798 476 



The efforts used by tlie monarchs of Christendom to rescue 
Jerusalem from the power and possession of infidels, brought 
into action that energetic spirit, and that gallant daring, 
wliich have ever since distingTiished British seamen. Richard, 
of the Lion Heart, having made common cause with Philip 
of France, a joint expedition was fitted out for the prose- 
cution of the Holy War. Early in 1190, a large fleet, col- 
lected from all parts of England, Normandy, Poitou, Brit- 
tany, and Aquitaine, had assembled at Dartmouth, from 
wliich port they are supposed to have sailed in the month of 
April. 1 Richard had proceeded overland to Marseilles, 
where the fleet was to assemble preparatory to proceeding on 
their mission. This fleet was commanded by Gerard arch- 
bishop of Aix, Bernard bishop of Bayonne, Robert de Sabloil, 
Richard de Camville, and William de Fortz of Oleron, who 
were styled " Sea Justices." Ill prepared to contend Avith 
the lofty waves of the Western Ocean, this fleet was dispersed 
shortly after leaving the Channel ; but the major part, com- 
manded by Robert de Sabloil and Richard de Camville, suc- 
ceeded in reaching Lisbon. This di\'ision of the fleet left the 
Tagus in Jidy, and outside the river joined William de Fortz, 
and thirty-three ships. The fleet thus recruited numbered 106 
large ships, carrymg troops and stores,- and after a passage of 

* Nicolas's History of the Eoyal Navy, vol. i. p. 107, 
2 The most satisfactory idea of the Enghsh na\-y towards the end of 
the twelfth century is afforded by the description of this fleet. The 
king, according to the only writer (Richard of Devizes) who has entered 
VOL. I. B 

2 BATTLES OF [1190-1. 

twenty-eight days reached Marseilles. On their arrival, it 
was found that Hichard had left for Sicily a short time pre- 
viously, and thither the fleet followed, and found him at 
Scylla. Richard entered Messina in great triumph, where he 
found Philip of Erance. Certain disputes with Tancred, king 
of Sicily, delayed the fleet at Messma until the succeeding 
year. On the 10th April, 1191, having been reinforced with 
thirty vessels from England, the fleet sailed for Palestine ; 
but a storm overtaking them, several ships separated from 
the main body. Among the number missing, was the ship 
in which Berengaria, Richard's affianced queen, was embarked. 
Richard proceeded to Crete, but not fijiding the ship there, 
sailed for Rhodes. In the meanwhile the ship of which 
Richard was in search had entered a port of Cyprus, then 
ruled by Isaac Comnenus, the self-styled emperor ; but who, 
not having behaved hospitably to his royal visitants, incurred 
the ire of Richard. The fleet on the 6th of May entered the 
harbour of Lymesol. Not content with the terms offered by 
Isaac in atonement of his conduct, Richard took such mea- 
sures as obtained for him the sovereignty of the island of 
CypiTis. Isaac, bound in silver fetters, was ordered to be 
imprisoned at Palestine ; and after receiving the homage of 
the Cypriots, and making arrangements for the government 
of this the first foreign possession of the English crown, 
Richard pursued his voyage. On the 7th of June, when near 
Barruth, an immense ship was discovered — a Turkish dromon. 
Richard ordered his galleys to examine the stranger ; but the 
dromon refused to aUow any one to board. Being attacked, 
the assailants were gTeeted with showers of missiles, Greek 
fire, and other combustibles. To board so lofty a ship from 
galleys was no easy task ; but being personally urged on by 
Richard, some of the galley-men jumped over-board, and 
diving under the vessel's bottom, attached ropes to her iiidder, 
by which means they gained the power of steering her. Some 

into details on the subject, formed at Messina 100 sail and 14 busses, 
''vessels of great capacity, very strongly and compactly built." The 
principal ships had three spare rudders, thirteen anchors, thirty oars, two 
sails, three sets of all kinds of ropes, &c. Each vessel had a skilful com- 
mander, and a crew of fourteen sailors, and carried forty war-horses with 
their armour, the same number of foot soldiers, and provisions and stores 
of all kinds for twelve months. — Nicolas's History of the Navy, vol. i. 
p. 76. 


of the most agile now ascended lier sides ; but so numerous 
and brave were her defenders, that the assailants were over- 
powered. As a last resource the galleys were ordered to try 
the effect of their beaks. They receded, and forming a line 
to windward, the crews urged their galleys with all the power 
they could bring to bear, and with such velocity did they 
strike the object with their iron prows, that the sides of the 
dromon were sufficiently pierced to admit the water. The 
Tiu'kish ship sank, and out of 1,500 men said to have been 
on board, only fifty-five were spared. Richard landed at 
Acre, June 10th, and such was the impulse given to the 
besiegers by his presence, that on the 12th of July following 
Acre surrendered. 

Previously to the arrival of Richard's fleet, several very 
gaUant actions had taken place between the galleys of the 
besiegers by whom the port was blockaded, and the besieged. 
The following graphic account given by Geofiery de Vinesauf,^ 
of one of these encounters, will be foimd interesting, as illus- 
trating the naval warfare of the period. " The people of the 
town ill brooked their loss of the hberty of the sea, and re- 
solved to try what they could effect m a naval battle. They 
brought out their galleys, therefore, two by two, and preserving 
a seemly array in their advance, rowed out to the open sea to 
fight the approaching enemy; and our men preparing to receive 
them, since there appeared no escape, hastened to the en- 
counter. On the other hand, om* people manned the war-fleet, 
and making an oblique circuit to the left, removed to adistance^ 
so that the enemy should not be denied free egTess. When 
they had advanced on both sides, our ships were disposed in a 
curved line, so that if the enemy attempted to break through, 
they might be enclosed and defeated. The ends of the line 
being drawn out in a sort of crescent, the stronger were 
placed in front, so that a sharper onset might be made by us, 
and that of the enemy might be checked. In the upper tiers 
the shields, interlaced, were placed circularly ; and the rowers 
sat close together, that those placed above might have freer 
scope. The sea became calm, so that neither the blow of the 
warrior, nor the stroke of the rower, might be impeded by 
waves. AdvancLQg nearer to each other, the trumpets 

* Nicolas's History of the Eoyal Navy, vol. i. p. 111. 


.4 BATTLES OF [1213. 

sounded on botli sides and mingled their dread clangour. First 
they contended with missiles ; but oiu- men more earnestly 
j)lied theu' oars, and pierced the enemy's ships ^vith the beaks 
of theu' own. Soon the battle became general, the oars were 
entangled ; they fought hand to hand ; they grappled the 
ships with alternate casts, and set the decks on Hre with the 
burning oil commonly called the Greek fire.^ This fire con- 
sumes Hint and iron. * * * There was one galley 
which through the rashness of our men turned its side 
close to the enemy, and thus, ignited by the fire thrown on 
board, admitted the Turks, who rushed in at all parts. The 
rowers leapt into the sea ; but a few soldiers remained 
through desperation ; — ^the few overcame the many, and re- 
took the half-burnt ship from the beaten foe. In this naval 
conflict the adverse side lost both a galley and a galliass, Avith 
their crews." 

1213. — King John having been excommunicated by the 
Roman pontiff, Philip, king of France, gladly availing him- 
self of the pope's denunciation of his rival, made preparations 
to invade England. The count of Flanders, siding with 
John, however, Philip determined to commence hostilities 

* Besides swords, axes, lances, arrows, and other missiles, as well as 
engines for casting large stones, both Saracens and Christians used the 
" Greek fire." This celebrated projectile, the invention of Callinicius, a 
mechanist of Heliopolis, about the seventh century, was long used with 
terrific effect by the Greeks, who called it the liquid fire, before its 
conipositiou became known to other nations. Though its exact elements 
and their proportions can only be conjectured, naphtha, pitch, and sul- 
phur are supposed to have been its principal ingredients. It was pro- 
pelled in a flu:-d state through brazen tubes, from the prows of vessels 
and from fortifications, with as much facility and almost as much preci- 
sion as water is now thrown from a fire-engine. The moment it was 
exposed to the air it ignited, and became a continuous stream of fire, 
bringing with it torture and destruction. Water increased its proper- 
ties, and it could only be extinguished by vinegar or sand, while to its 
other horrors w^ere added a thick smoke, loud noise, and disgusting 
stencil. Arrows received from the Hecatean mixture a double power ; 
for their heads being wrapped in tow and dipped in the preparation, they 
became can-iers of lurid flame. It was kept in jars, or large bottles, 
and being thrown on the decks of vessels, or from the walls of besieged 
places, ignited wherever it fell. The Greek fire was introduced into 
England as early as — if not before — the time of Richard I., for in 1194: 
or 1195, a payment was made by the king for carrying shields, quarrels, 
and other implements, and the " Greek fire," from London to Notting- 
ham. — Nicolas's History of the Navy. 

1216-7.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 5 

with his neighboiu', and the army and fleet prepared for the 
invasion of England were sent to Flanders. An immense 
concourse of shij)ping, therefore, assembled at Damme. So 
numerous was it, that the harbour could not contain the 
whole, and many ships were compelled to anchor outside. 
John, being appealed to, readily responded to the call, and 
500 vessels, commanded by the earl of Salisbury, the duke 
of Holland, and the count of Boulogne, and having on 
board 700 knights, proceeded to the relief of the Flemish. 
The French were unprepared for this hostile and prompt 
measure. Their ships were deserted of theii' crews, who 
were engaged in plunder on shore, or as others say, besieging 
Ghent; 300 sail, laden with corn, wine, and arms, were cap- 
tm-ed, and 100 others burnt. The earl of Salisbury then 
landed at the head of liis troo^^s, but Philip despatched an 
overpowering force, and compelled him to retreat to the 
ships. Philip, fearing further calamities, withdrew his army 
from Flanders, after burning the remainder of his ships. 

1216. — The Straits of Dover were infested about this time 
by French shipping, which, under the command of Eustace 
the Monk, committed serious inroads upon English com- 
merce. Eustace was formerly in the pay of John, but in 
1214 transferred his services to Prince Louis of France. The 
English barons, bemg at this time disgusted with the con- 
duct of John, offered the crown to Louis, daupliin of France, 
who gladly accepted the j)i'0230sal. A fleet of 600 sail, col- 
lected for this semice by Eustace at Calais, sailed for Eng- 
land; and although at first dispersed by a north-east v/ind, 
subsequently landed at Sandwich, and mastered the whole of 
Kent, except Dover Castle. Kmg John died on the 19th 
October, and was succeeded by the infant prince, Hemy. 

1217. — The battle of Lincoln was a severe blow to the 
hopes of Louis, but it was to the hardy valour and skill of 
the Cinque Port mariners that a finishmg stroke was put to 
his aspirations. On the news of the defeat of Louis reaching 
France, Pobert de Courtenay collected an army, which he em- 
barked at Calais in eighty slips, and a large number of galleys, 
the whole commanded by Eustace the Monk. This force put 
to sea on the 24th August, with the intention of proceeding 
up the Thames to London. At this jimctm^e, Hubert de 
Burg, governor of Dover Castle, by dint of great entreaty 

6 - BATTLES OF [1293. 

and exertion, collected sixteen large sliips, and about twenty 
smaller vessels ; and with this small force put to sea. Hu- 
bert de Burg commanded the squadron, ha^Tiig with him Sir 
Philip d'Albini, Sir Henry de Turberville, Sii' Richard Suard, 
Sir Richard, a natural son of King John, together with the 
bravest of his knights and retamers. The wind was blowing 
fresh from the southward, and the French, not anticipating 
the hostile reception in store for them, were going free, steer- 
ing so as to round the North Foreland. De Bm'g's fleet 
made a stretch over to the French coast, which induced 
Eustace to think they were bound for Calais ; but, having 
got Avell to windward, the English bore away for, and speedily 
overtook, the French rear. ThroMTJig thefr grapnels on 
board, a farious onslaught was made upon the enemy. The 
crossbow-men and archers, under Sir Philip d'Albini, dis- 
charged their bolts and arrows, doing immense execution. 
Quantities of unslaked lime, reduced to powder, being blown 
by the wind into their opponents' eyes, completed the dismay. 
The English then boarded, and cutting away the rigging 
and halyards, the masts and sails went over the side, and 
rendered them entirely helpless. Numbers of the French 
knights, preferring death to imprisonment, leapt overboard. 
Out of the whole fleet only fifteen escaped. One of De Burg's 
grand objects, however, was to obtain possession of Eustace ; 
and, after diligent search, the quondain ecclesiastic was found 
in the hold of one of the captured vessels, and Sfr Richard, 
John's bastard son, became the monk's executioner. 

1293. — The reign of Henry III. fiuTiishes few naval oc- 
currences sufficiently prominent to demand notice, and hence 
a blank of more than half a century. In this year, however, 
a circumstance haj^j^ened which involved Engla.nd in another 
war with France. An English ship belonging to the Cinque 
Ports having entered a port of Normandy, the crew were 
attacked, while procming fresh water, by some Norman 
fishermen, and one man killed. In consequence of this 
fracas, the Normans assembled all their forces, expecting the 
EngHsh to take revenge, and the latter to repel further 
insult. The Normans shortly afterwards added to their 
former crime that of hanging the crews of two English 
vessels which they captured, and at the same time hung an 
equal number of dogs, implying that they entertained no 

1294-5.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 7 

sort of diiference between the two races. Tlie Cinque Port 
mariners immediately prepared to revenge this insulting 
cruelty; and, after numerous acts of hostility committed on 
both sides, it was at length resolved that the matter should 
be settled in one grand fight. A ship was stationed half- 
way between the coasts of England and Normandy, to mark 
the place of engagement, and on the 14th April (or 14th 
May, according to another authority) this action took place. 
Both parties had obtained assistance from their neighbours ; 
— the English from the Irish and Dutch, and the French 
from the Flemish and Genoese ; and the assembled fleets 
amounted to little short of 200 on each side. Snow and 
hail preluded the encounter, which is described as having 
been most terrific. Thousands fell, and a number of ships 
were destroyed, when victory decided in favour of the Eng- 
lish. The latter returned in triumph, attended by nume- 
rous prizes. The French king demanded satisfaction for the 
losses sustained by his subjects, and it was ultimately agreed 
to give him possession of Gascony for forty days. At the 
expiration of this period Philip refused to restore that 
possession, and Edward determined to regain it by force 
of arms. 

1294. — Edward divided his fleet into three squadrons. Sir 
John de Botetourt commanded fifty-three sail at Yarmouth, 
Sir William de Leyboiu^ne commanded the Portsmouth 
squadron, and a good knight, named Ormonde, the western 
and Irish squadrons. This fleet united in October, and trans- 
ported an army to Castellion, in Gascony, which place at once 
surrendered. Other places also yielded, but Bourdeaux suc- 
cessfully resisted the efibrts of the English. 

1295. — At the instigation of Sir Thomas Turberville, an 
English traitor knight, a prisoner in France, Philip was in- 
duced to attempt the invasion of England. The traitor, to 
obtain his freedom, offered to go to England, where he stated 
he could by false representations obtain custody of certain 
seaports, which, upon the appearance of the French fleet, he 
would deliver into PhiliiD's hands ; but Edward refused to 
place any trust in Turberville's representations ; and when 
Philip, with 300 sail, arrived off" the English coast, he had to 
wait in vain for the promised traitorous signal. The crews of 
five French ships, however, effected a landing at Hythe, and 

8 BATTLES OF [133^. 

being drawn into the coimtiy by a feigned retreat of tbe 
king's forces, the whole were destroyed, and one of the 
galleys captm-ed. On the 1st August the French fleet ap- 
peared off Dover, and 1-5,000 men, it is said, landed and 
burnt the town ; but the knights, who had the custody of 
the sea, and the people of the place, raUied and drove the 
enemy back to the sliips ydih great slaughter. Dan Thomas, 
a monk (who was slain in his church), and fourteen of the 
townspeople, were kiUed. Tm-ber^oLle's treason was dis- 
covered shortly afterwards, and he paid the usual penalty of 
liis crime. The ships of the Cinque Ports captured about the 
same time fifteen Spanish vessels, richly laden, bound to 
Flanders, and a portion of the Yarmouth squadron effected a 
landing at Cherbourg, and committed depredations. 

1337. — On the 24th of March, the French galleys, com- 
manded by Sir Nicholas Bahuchet, landed near Portsmouth, 
under English banners, and ha\dng by those means deceived 
the people, plundered and burnt the town, sparing only the 
church. The same force landed at Guernsey and bmiit the 
town. Edward's forces were at this time, and indeed for 
some years previously, too much occupied by the war with 
Scotland, to return these and other precediug insults in a 
fitting manner. It is, however, to be feared that the lawless 
proceedings of English mariners generally, and of those of 
the Cinque Ports in particular, were such as to have given 
our neighbours too much cause for retorting upon England 
the piracies her sailors had committed. So intent were the 
seamen upon foUomng their indi\ddual interests, that the 
commands of the king to collect a fleet were for a time un- 
heeded, and at length but imperfectly obeyed. The isle of 
Cadsand, near the entrance of the Sluys, being garrisoned by 
Flemish knights, much mischief was done to the English on 
their passage to and from England. To dislodge them, 
Edw^ard ordered the earl of Derby to embark in the fleet 
commanded by Sir Walter Manny, and to proceed thither. 
The force, comprismg oOO men-at-arms and 2,000 archers, 
embarked at London, and on the 10th of November arrived 
oft' Cadsand. As the ships approached the harboui', the 
English archers shot their arrows with such effect, that the 
Flemings, though 5,000 strong, were compelled to retire. A 
landing was then effected, and after a desperate hand-to-hand 

1339-40.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 9 

struggle, the Flemings were defeated, lia\dng lost 1,000 men. 
The to^\Ti was sacked and burnt. 

1338. — Edward having resolved to go to Flanders, in the 
hope of inducing the duke of Brabant and his other allies to 
support his claim to the crown of France, orders were sent 
to the admii'als and sherilfs of Kent and Sussex to pro\ide 
sliipping for the transport of the army. It was necessary to 
repeat the order in the most 2)ereniptory manner ere the 
requisition was complied with, and on the 16th of July, the 
king embarked at Orwell, in Suffolk. The squadron from 
Yarmouth shortly afterwards joined, and the expedition 
landed at Antwerp on the succeeding day. In the mean 
while Philip had sent a squadron to Southampton, wliich 
landed on a Sunday, and sacked and burnt the town while 
the inhabitants were at church ; but before reaching their 
ships, Sii* John Arundel attacked the invaders, and com- 
mitted much slaughter among them. The Christopher and 
the Edward, two ships belonging to Edward, were captured 
about this time by the French fleet ; both valuably laden. 

1339. — The Cmque Port mariners, as ready to avenge 
insults offered to the nation as to themselves, fitted out an 
expedition against Boulogne. Avaihng themselves of a 
dense fog, they entered the port, biu-nt four large ships, 
nineteen galleys, and twenty smaller vessels, besides houses. 

1340. — This year is distiuguished by a very desperate 
battle, at which Edward III. was present. Edward had now 
formally assumed the title and arms of king of France, and 
had determined to maintain liis right by force of arms. 
Orders were consequently issued to all the seaports to 
impress shipping, and proclamations and inducements of 
every kind were resorted to for the purpose of collecting a, 
sufficient squadron. The king arrived at Ips^^ich in June, in 
readiness to embark for Flanders ; but hearing that the king 
of France had assembled an immense fleet at Sluys to oppose 
his landing, Edward's advisers earnestly dissuaded him from 
proceeding -with the expedition. In vain, however, did they 
represent the difficulties in his path, for on the 20th of June 
Edward embarked in the cog^ Thomas, commanded by 

^ "Alarger vessel than those usually designated 'ships.' * * * * 
The cog John had a crew of eighty-two men." — Nicolas, vol. i. p. 362. 

10 BATTLES OF [1340. 

Hicliard Fylle, and attended by the earls of Derby, North- 
ampton, Arundel, and Huntingdon, and other noblemen. On 
the 22nd, Sir Robert Morley, with fifty sail of ships, joined 
the royal fleet, previously numbermg 200 sail ; and on the 
23rd gained sight of the French fleet lying in the har- 
bour of Sluys. The French ships were manned with more 
than 35,000 Normans, Picards, and Genoese ; and com- 
manded by Kiriet, Bahuchet, and the renowned Genoese 
admu'al Barbenoire. Doubts have arisen as to whether the 
action which ensued was fought "svithin or without the har- 
bour. King Edward's letter^ states broadly that it was 
within the port ; but it is probable that the principal part 

' As the only letter written by a sovereigTi detailing a naval victory, 
the following is peculiarly interesting : — 

"Most dear Sie, — We, considering well that you are desirous to 
hear good news of us, and how it has fared with us since our leaving 
England, have you to know that the Thursday after our departure from 
the port of Orwell we sailed all the day and the night following^ and the 
Triday, about the hour of noon, we came on the coast of Flanders, off 
Blankenberg, where we had sight of the fleet of our enemies, w^hich were 
all gathered in the port of Swyne (Sluys), and as the tide did not then suit 
to meet them, we remained there all that night. The Saturday — the day 
of St. John — soon after the hour of noon, with the tide, we, in the name 
of God, and in the confidence of our right quarrel, entered into the said 
port upon our enemies, who had placed their ships in very strong aiTay, 
and which made a very noble defence all that day and the night after, 
but God by his power and miracle granted us the victory over our said 
enemies, for which we thank him as devoutly as we can. And we have 
you to know that the number of ships, galleys, and great barges of our 
enemies amounted to 190, which were all taken, except twenty-four which 
fled ; and some of them were since taken at sea. The number of men-at-arms 
and other armed people amounted to 35,000, of which number, by esti- 
mation, 5,000 escaped, and the remainder, we are given to understand 
by some persons who are taken alive, lie dead in many places on the 
coast of Flanders. On the other hand, all our ships — that is to say, the 
Christopher and the others which were lost at Middleburgh — are now 
retaken, and there are taken in this fleet three or four as large as the 
Christopher. The Flemings were willing to have come to us at the 
battle, from the commencement to the end. Thus God our Lord has 
.shown abundant grace, for which we and all our friends are ever bound 
to render grace and thanks to him. Our intention is to remain quiet in 
the river until we have made certain arrangements with our allies, and 
other our friends at Flanders, as to what should be done. Most dear 
Son, may God be the keeper of you ! 

"Given under secret seal, in our ship cog Thomas, Wednesday, the 
eve of St. Peter and St. Paul." — Nicolas's History of the Eoyal Navy, 
vol. ii. p. 61. 

1340.] THE BRITISH NAlT. 11 

took place off the raoiidi of the harbour, since there would 
not have been space within for such an extensive contest. 
Our early historians, Knyghton and Hemingford, differ as to 
the number of the enemy's ships, the former stating it at 
250, the latter at 200, besides smaller ships, &c., and Froissart 
estimates it at 140 large sliips, besides " hokebos." The 
masts of such a numerous assemblage resembled a forest, 
rather than shijDping. Of these ships nineteen were distin- 
guishable for their great size. Early on Saturday morning, the 
24th of June, the two fleets were at no great distance from 
each other, but it was noon ere the tide suited for the 
entrance of the English. Edward placed the largest ships in 
the van, well manned with archers ; and between each a 
smaller vessel was stationed, containing men-at-arms. The 
second division, consisting of smaller vessels, carrying archers, 
was kept in reserve. The French fleet was in four divisions, 
and the ships were secured to each other with chains. 
Quantities of large stones were stored in the tops, and also in 
small boats hoisted to the mast-head, to be hurled on the 
heads of assailants. The Christopher, full of Genoese 
archers, was in the foremost rank with the Edward, 
Katherine, Rose, and other large cogs, all of wliich had been 
captured from the English on previous occasions. At about 
llh. A.M., Edward ordered his fleet to prepare for battle, but 
to stand off on the starboard tack, in order to gain the 
advantage of having the sun at their back. The French, 
misled by this proceeding, imagined that their adversaries 
were declining the engagement. Another reason assigned 
for the manoeuvre is, that the English finding the enemy 
chained together, despaired of being able to break through 
them. Believing that Edward, whose banners were dis- 
played on board one of the ships, intended to decline the 
combat, the French cast off their lashings and pursued the 
English. They were, however, shortly undeceived ; for hav- 
ing gained the advantage sought, the English bore away for 
the enemy, and commenced the fight at noon. Sir Hobert 
Morley attacked the Christopher, in which he was well 
supported by the earls of Huntingdon and Northampton, 
Sir Walter Manny was the fourth ship engaged ; but in a 
short space of time each found a warm antagonist. Flights 
of arrows darkened the sky ; huge stones and missiles of 

12 BATTLES OF [1342. 

every kind then used in warfare, fell in all directions, dealing 
death, contusions, and wounds, wliile, hand to hand, engaged 
the men-at-arms and brave mariners. Hatchets, lances, 
swords, and every available weapon, found full employment. 
The ships clustered together and secured to each its adver- 
sary ; by grapnels the crews boarded, and all that strength 
and valour could accomplish on either side was performed. 
In the end, the French were completely defeated with terrific 
slaughter. The Christopher, Edward, Katherine, and Rose^ 
with several large French ships, were captui'ed ; and so com- 
plete was the discomfiture of the van division, that the 
remainder sought safety in flight. The number of slain and 
drowned^ has been estimated at from 25,000 to 30,000. 
The French admirals, Kiriet and Bahuchet, were included 
among the killed ; Imt a French historian, q^uoted by Nicolas,^ 
states that Bahuchet, after he was slain, was hung to the 
yardarm of one of the English ships. The loss of the English 
is estimated by a Flemish writer at 4,000. A more despe- 
rate or sanguinary struggle is not on record, and it heralded 
that martial glory which subsequently crowned the arms of 
England at Poictiers and Cressy. 

1342. — A dispute arising respecting the sovereignty of 
Brittany, Edward and Philip took contrary sides. John, 
count of Montfort, one of the claimants, having acknowledged 
the right of Edward to the throne of France, Edward felt 
bound to assist his cause. On the 20th of February, a fleet 
of from 150 to 200 sail, assembled at Orwell, was placed 
under command of Sir Walter Manny, who received orders 
to obtain possession of all the fortified places in Brittany. 
Sir Walter sailed on the 20tli of March, haiing embarked 
120 men-at-arms and 1,000 archers. The fleet arrived off* 
Hennebon, after a tedious passage, at a critical moment. The 
countess of Montfort, who is described as possessing " the 

^ An anecdote is related by Walsingham of the way in which the news 
of this great blow to Philip was conveyed to that monarch. Philip's 
courtiers, not daring to inform their master of the catastrophe, induced 
the court jester to find some means of breaking it to him. Entering the 
king's presence, the fool loudly and repeatedly proclaimed the cowardice 
of the English, and when asked by Philip what he meant, and for what 
reason he abused them, he replied, " Because they are cowards, and dare 
not leap into the sea, as our gentlemen of France and Normandy did." 

2 History of the Poyal Navy, vol. ii. p. 57. 

1346.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 13 

courage of a man, and the heart of a lion," was closely be- 
sieged in Hennebon by the count of Blois. Driven to 
extremities, the garrison was on the point of surrendering, 
when the countess, looking out to sea, discovered the 
approach of the British relief Charles speedily raised the 
siege, and Sir Walter Manny and liis companions were 
received in the most gratifying manner by the heroine and 
her brave associates. A large squadron, consisting of 
Spaniards and Genoese, sent by Don Luis of Spain to 
Charles of Blois, subsequently fell hito the hands of Sir 
Walter Manny at Quimperle. 

1346. — Edward failing in liis negotiations with the 
deputies of Flanders, whose allegiance he wished to obtain 
for the prince of Wales, an immense fleet v/as collected for 
the purpose of enforcing that sovereignty to which he 
conceived he had a right in France as well as Flanders. 
Edward arrived at Porchester about the 20th of June, and 
on the 2nd of July wrote to the cardinals who had been 
sent by the pope with the view of inducing him to suspend 
hostilities, that he was already on his passage to France. 
On the 1 0th of July the kmg embarked at the Isle of AVight, 
and on the 11th, sailed with a fleet estimated at 1,100 large 
ships and oOO small vessels. The prince of Wales accom- 
panied his father, and numerous noblemen and knights, 
4,000 men-at-arms, 10,000 archers, and a body of Irish and 
Welsh foot soldiers, composed the expedition. On the 12th, 
a landing was eflected at La Hogue, but it took six days to 
disembark the horses, troops, and stores. Eleven large 
French ships were burnt at La Hogue, and many others 
at Barfleur ; and the towns were subsequently ravaged and 
burnt for a distance of 120 miles. Cherbourg was included in 
the devastation, and sixty-one ships of war, having fore and 
stern castles, besides crayers ^ and small vessels, were captured 
and burnt. The series of conquests made by Edward belong- 
to military history ; but it may be as well to mention that 
the field of Cressy was won, and siege laid to Calais. During 
the siege of Calais, Sir Walter Manny and his squadron 
f(3und ample employment in blockading the port, and in pre- 
venting supplies from being thrown in j and the earls of 

' Small merchant vessels of about sixty tons, 

14 BATTLES OF [1350. 

Northampton and Pembroke did good service on the occasion. 
Calais surrendered on the 3rd of September, 1347. 

1350. — The Spaniards having robbed some English ships, 
and murdered their crews, and having threatened to destroy- 
all English shipping, Edward assembled a fleet, and pro- 
ceeded to Winchelsea. On the 28th of August, he embarked 
on board the cog Thomas. He was accompanied by the 
prince of Wales and many great personages, including the 
earl of Richmond (then too young to wear armour). Sir 
Walter Manny, and nearly 400 knights. The king, attired 
in a black velvet jacket and beaver hat, stationed himself in 
the bow of liis ship, then, we presume, considered the post of 
honour.^ At length the Spaniards, with forty large ships, de- 
nominated carracks, hove in sight. So strong and handsome 
were they, that they were the theme of admiration to all 
beholders. Each mast was decorated with rich standards and 
banners; and their tops filled ^vith soldiers and missiles. 
At 4h. P.M. on Sunday, the 29th, the wind blowing fresh 
from the north-east, the look-out man announced the enemy's 
approach. The Spaniards were sailing down channel at a 
rapid rate, and had they sought to avoid an action, the English 
ships would not have been able to bring one on. The EngUsh 
fleet, led by their chivalrous king, stood out to the attack, 
and on arriving close to a heavy ship, Edward, reckless of 
consequences, ordered his steersman to lay her aboard ; the 
order was quickly obeyed, but such was the -violence of the 
contact, that the mast of the cog Thomas went over the 
side, the men in the top were drowned, and the ship sprang 
a dangerous leak. The Spaniard then sheered off", lea-ving 
Edward to seek another combatant. With difficulty he 
succeeded in gTappling with an enemy, and, impetuously 
boarding, carried her, after much opposition. Einding the 
cog Thomas to be now sinking, a fact previously kept 
from the knowledge of Edward by his knights, she was 
abandoned, and sank, the remainder of the crew remo-vdng 

^ They are said to have remained three days at anchor ; and, to beguile 
the time, the king caused his minstrels to play a German dance which 
Sir John Chandos had recently introduced, and he made Chandos sing 
with them ; but from time to time the king looked aloft at the man 
whom he had placed in the castle at the top of the mast, to announce the 
approach of the Spaniards. — ^Nicolas. 

1372.] THE BKITISH NAVY. 15 

into the prize. In the prize, Edward pursued the enemy (by 
this time engaged closely by other ships as well), and pushed 
into the thickest of the fight. The prince of Wales's ship was 
also in a sinking state, grappled by a huge adversary, when 
the earl of Lancaster opportunely arrived up, and shouting 
" Derby, to the rescue ! " boarded and obtained possession of 
the Spaniard, throwing all who resisted into the sea. The 
prince had only time to get his followers into the prize, when 
his own ship foundered. Sir Robert de Namur and his ship, 
La Salle du Roi, were in imminent danger of being carried 
off by the Spaniards. He had grappled a large ship, but 
being warmly opposed, could not overcome his antagonist. 
The two ships were rapidly leaving the rest of the fleet ; and 
the English ships were unable to overtake the pair of com- 
batants. Froissart gives Sir Robert's valet (Hannekin) the 
credit of extricating the ship from the danger of being run 
away with, by cutting the halyards of the principal sail, and 
afterwards the shrouds. The English, taking advantage of 
the confusion caused by the fall of the yard and sail on the 
deck, boarded, and driving the Spaniards into the sea, 
obtained possession of the prize. The Spanish fleet was 
completely beaten, and twenty-six large ships captured. 
Edward, satisfied with his victory, stood in-shore, and 
anchored at Rye, with his prizes. ISTo record is preserved 
of the casualties on either side, but which must have been 

When all the circumstances of this sea-fight are considered, 
it must ever rank high in our annals ; for although the 
English ships were probably more numerous, yet, in such an 
encounter, the superior size of the Spaniards gave to them an 
inconceivably great advantage. Not without reason, there- 
fore, did this victory gain for Edward the title of King of the 
Sea ; and the prince of Wales, known as Edward the Black 
Prince, and the young John of Gaunt, gained on this day un- 
fading laurels. The successes attending the arms of England, 
wliile they for a time paralyzed the efforts of her enemies, 
had the effect of rendering the people supine and careless of 
their best bulwarks, and numerous were the inroads made 
upon her shipping and seacoast. 

1372. — On the 10th of June the earl of Pembroke sailed 
from Southampton in. command of a squadron, intended for 


BATTLES OF [1377, 

tlie relief of Roclielle, than besieged by the French. Pem- 
broke was accompanied by several valiant knights, including 
Sii' Guichard d' Angle. The king of France ha\'ing learnt 
the object of the expedition, despatched the fleet of his ally 
the king of Castile, consisting of forty large ships and many 
barges, to intercept them. The Spaniards were commanded 
by Ambrosio Bocanegi'a. The English squadron arrived off 
Bochelle on the :?2nd Jmie ; but the Spaniards were before- 
hand, and were found lying at the entrance of the harbom*. 
To engage them was ine\itable, although the inferiority of 
the force under Pembroke was such as to render it a des- 
perate undertaking. In addition to the large number of 
men-at-arms on board the Spanish ships, whose weapons 
were crossbows and cannon,^ large bars of iron and lead were 
used with destructive effect. The Spaniards weighed, and 
being to windward, bore dowTi upon the EngHsh ships with 
loud shouts and great noise. They were received with 
similar somids, and the fight became very animated on both 
-sides. The lofty ships of the Spaniards were, in this instance, 
more than a match for their comparatively diminutive oppo- 
nents. Pembroke, and D' Angle, and the other knights, gave 
most astounding proofs of chivahy ; but, nevertheless, when 
night put an end to the contest, they were the losers of two 
barges. The rival squadrons anchored for the night close to 
Kochelle, and the next morning the fight was resmned by 
the Spaniards bearing down on the English mth all sail set. 
Pembroke was attacked by four large ships full of soldiers, 
and against such fearful odds it was in vain long to contend. 
The earl and liis brave companions in arms were made 
prisoners, and the chief part of his ships taken or destroyed. 
The loss of Guienne w^as attributed to this discomfiture. 

Edward III. died 1337, and was succeeded by Richard, 
whose youth and mental weakness were untoward cii'cum- 
stances, and of which every advantage Avas taken. 

1377. — The French fitted out a fleet, wliich, mider the 
command of Admiral de Vienne, attacked the sea-coasts of 
Sassex, and burnt the towm of Rye. On the 21st August, 
a body of troops was landed on the Isle of Wight, which 
pillaged and bm'nt the towns and villages. It is also stated 

' Froissart. 


1387.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 17 

that PortsmoutL, Dartmoiitli, and Plyiiioutli, were suc- 
cessively attacked and destroyed by this force. Wliile the 
country was in this disorganized state, Mercer, a Scotch 
j^irate, distinguished liimself. With his small squadron he 
attacked some ships lying under the walls of Scarborough 
Castle, which he carried off; and being joined by the French, 
became very formidable. In this stniit John Philpott, an 
alderman or merchant of London, came forward to the rescue 
of his country's honour, and at his own expense fitted out 
a squadron, in which he embarked 1,000 men-at-arms. This 
squadron put to sea in quest of Mercer, and was fortunate 
enough to fall in with and completely overpower him. N^ot 
only were Mercer's ships captured, ]3ut the cliief part of his 
prizes fell into the hands of the English, all of which were 
carried into Scarborough. Philpott^ was called to account 
by the privy comicil for ha\ing acted mthout legal authority, 
but liis answers were so conclusive, that '•' the lords,"' says 
Campbell, " were content to dismiss with thanks a man 
whose virtues were more illustrious than their titles." 

1387. — After much exertion a fleet was got together to 
di'ive the French from the coast of Sussex, along which they 
had committed much devastation. The earl of Arundel (the 
king's lieutenant) took command of the exjDedition, and put 
to sea in March. The earls of Nottingham and Devonshire, 
and the bishop of Norwich, were jiresent in the fleet, as well 
as many other distinguished personages. Ha^^ng obtained 
intelligence that a fleet, composed of Flemish, French, and 
Spaniards, belonging to the merchants of Hainault and 
Flanders, laden Avith wine, and commanded by Sir John de 
Bucq, admiral of the Flemish sea, who had rendered himself 
conspicuous against the English, was on its passage from 
Pochelle to Sluys, Arundel took measures to 

^ To the reproaches of the earl of Stafford, the sturdy citizen indig- 
nantly replied, " I did not expose myself, my money, and my men to the 
dangers of the sea, that I might dejorive you or your colleagues of your 
knightly fame, nor to acquire it for myself, but from pity for the misery 
of the people and the country, which from having been a noble realm, 
with dominion over other nations, has, through your supineness, become 
exposed to the ravages of the vilest race ; and since you would not lift a 
hand for its defence, I exposed myself and my property for the safety 
and deliverance of our country." Philpott was mayor of London in 1377 
and 1378, and distinguished himself by other patriotic acts. 

VOL. I. C 

T . ; • '^mvit m/mmsmmtamtmata^itaamscta m i Mm i ■ tin iii iiMj i i • mim j j i^ —i^ m- 

18 BATTLES OF [1404. 

On the 24tli March the Flemish fleet was seen, numbering 
100 sail. It was freighted -with 19,000 tons of the richest 
Gascony wine. The Enghsh feigned a retreat ; but the feint 
did not succeed. The English having, however, gained the 
wind, bore away in chase, and, after a sharp battle, eighty sail 
were captured, and some others tv/o days afterwards. ^ Sir 
John de Bucq was taken prisoner, and died on his parole in 
England, every offer for exchange or ransom having been 
declined. In this year Sir Hugh Despenser, who accom- 
panied the earl of Arundel's squadron, was made prisoner 
by the Erench. It is stated by French writers, that Sir 
Hugh was twice taken after severe actions, fought under 
similar circumstances — once in 1382, and again in 1387. 
The Monk of St. Denys states, that 400 Normans, who lived 
by piracy, sailed from Harfleur in May, 1387, to attack an 
English convoy. After a furious action on both sides, the 
Normans conquered ; and after sharing the booty among 
them, the Norman pirates sent the English commander, 
Despenser (or Spenser), to the king of France, who sent him 
back to England without ransom, a sort of acknowledgment 
that the act which effected his capture was a piratical one. 

Various private and predatory expeditions occurred during 
several subsequent years, in which the sea-coasts of England, 
France, and Brittany, suffered much. In 1404, Sir William 
Duchatel, in command of a French force, landed at Ply- 
mouth, and afterwards at Dartmouth, at which latter place 
that renowned knight and many of his gallant followers 
were slain by the native peasantry. Several knights were 
captured at the same time, and the valour of the captors 
was handsomely acknowledged by Henry lY. 

1404. — An expedition, composed chiefly of Castilian gal- 
leys committed several depredations upon the western ports 
of England. The galleys first made the coast of Cornwall, 
attacked and burnt a town called Chita, or, as it is supposed, 
Looe. At this place the galleys were nearly wrecked by the 
force of the ebb tide. The Cornish-men assembled in gTcat 
numbers, and a retreat proving desu-able, the galleys j)i'o- 
ceeded to Falmouth. Pedro Nino, the Spanish commander, 
proposed to land and engage the enemy prepared to meet 

' Froissart relates that wine was rendered so plentiful in England by 
the enormous quantity captured, that it was sold at fourpence a gallon. 

1415-16.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 19 

them, but Sir Charles de Savoisy, on the part of the French, 
objected, and the project was negatived. The expedition 
then stood out of the port, and next entered Plymouth, but 
there also were repulsed, and going further up channel, 
landed at Portland, which, being undefended, several houses 
were burnt. They next landed at Poole, to revenge the 
inroads made by one Henry Pay upon the coasts of Spain 
and Portugal. Here several houses were biu-nt, and a sharp 
battle fought, in which Pay's brother fell, and the English 
were forced to retreat. An unimportant landing at the Isle 
of "Wight summed up the performances of Pedro Nino for 
that year ; but in 1406 he made an ineffectual attempt upon 
the coast of Suffolk, where he narrowly escaped destruction. 

1415. — Henry Y., two years after ascending the throne, 
reasserted the English claim to the French crown ; and as- 
sembled a flotilla of 1,400 vessels, carrying 24,000 archers 
and 6,000 men-at-arms, at the head of which force Henry 
entered the Seine on the 11th August. Harfleur was be- 
sieged, and surrendered on the 24th September ; and on 
the 25th October the English army gained the victory at 

1416. — Harflem* being closely besieged by the French, an 
EngHsh fl^et was assembled for its relief, under the duke of 
Bedford, and Sir Walter Hungerford was appointed admiral. 
On the 15th August, the fleet, consisting of about 400 small 
vessels, being off the Seine, had a desperate engagement vrith. 
a number of large Genoese carracks, which had been hired 
by the French. The action lasted five hours, and terminated 
in the defeat of the French and the capture of three gTeat 
carracks and many small vessels; and 1,500 men are said to 
have been killed on the side of the enemy, but only 100 on 
the part of the Enghsh. The French had collected a large 
force to intercept vessels going to Calais, and the Cinque 
Port authorities were called upon to fit out ships to put 
down the enemy. The earl of Warwick, cajjtain of Calais, 
and five balingers — a description of galley, attacked one of 
these carracks, which was higher by the length of a lance 
than the most lofty of the EngHsh vessels. The fight lasted 
a considerable period, and at last the English, not ha\ing 
any boarding-ladders, were unable to gain a footing on the 
enemy's deck. In this action Lord West was killed. While 


20 BATTLES GF [1417-92-1512. 

standing near tlie mast, putting on his armour to board the 
carrack, and being without his bacinet, he was struck on the 
head by a stone, wliich caused his death. 

1417. — The earl of Huntingdon, admiral of a scjuadron 
collected with the view of exterminating pirates, defeated a 
fleet of large shijDS on the 25th July. The mode of attack 
was to run slap aboard. Some of the sliips on this occasion 
came into such violent collision, that their forecastles were 
knocked away and the men throv,m oA*erboard. In other 
cases the sliips grapj^led, and decided the ^matter by a hand- 
to-hand struggle. Huntingdon carried several prizes into 

On the 29th of July, Henry sailed from Portsmouth 
with 1,500 vessels on his expedition to France, during 
the course of which he made liis triumphal entry into Paris, 
where his title of regent and heir of France was publicly 
admitted. In the subsequent reign, however, France, vvdtli 
the exception of Calais, was lost. The wars of York and 
Lancaster succeeded, and the end of the century arrived, ere 
the opportunity of attending to foreign disturbances or 
insults was obtained. 

1492.1 — j^^ fi^Q mean time, pirates, or private adventurers 
who differed little from pirates, kept alive the naval prov/ess 
of England ; and, with the exception of the taking of Sluys 
by Sir Edward Poynings in 1492, we meet with no deed of 
sufficient importance to record. The naval power of England 
was, however, revived by Hemy VII., and from this period 
may be dated its gradual rise. 

1512. — Sir Andrew Barton, a Scotch adventurer, ha^dng 
under his command the Lion and Jenny Perwin, committed 
various depredations upon the English coasts, to the gTcat 
injury of na^dgation. Tliis he did under the pretext that 
King James III., the late king of Scotla^nd, had granted him 

' A new feature, about this time, began to be generally introduced 
into the ships of all countries. As early as the thirteentli centur^^ great 
guns are stated to have been used in a fight between the ships of the 
Icings of Tunis and Seville ; and, according to some printed representa- 
tions still extant, cannons were used on board the ships of England in 
the reign of Eichard III. ; but guns were not then pointed through 
port-holes, but fired over the ship's bulwarks, and consequently could 
only be used upon the upper deck. 

1512.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 21 

letters of reprisals against tlie Portuguese, and under this 
pretence he pkmdered ships of aU nations, alleging that the 
goods on board were Portuguese. Complaints having been 
made to the privy council of England, the earl of Surrey, 
being present, declared " that the narrow seas should not be 
so infested while he had estate enough to furnish a ship, or 
a son capable of commanding it." Two ships were accord- 
ingly fitted out (Campbell supposes at the earl's o^Yn cost), 
and the command given to Sir Edward and Sir Thomas 
Hov/^ard. They put to sea, but after cimising in company 
for some days, separated ; and Sir Thomas Howard was 
fortunate enough to meet Sir Andrew Barton alone off the 
Goodwin, Barton being a very experienced sailor and 
courageous man, made a desperate defence, liimself cheering 
the crew with the whistle to his last breath. Beiiig, how- 
ever, mortally wounded, the remainder of his crew submitted, 
and received quarter. The consort of the Lion was over- 
taken and caj^tm'ed by Sir Edward Howard, and both prizes 
were carried in triumph into the Thames. 

Henry VII. was the monarch of whom it may be said 
that he laid the fomidation of the royal navy. From the 
earliest periods, the ports and maritime towns of the kingdom 
had furnished their quota of ships, which, assembling at an 
appointed rendezvous, placed themselves under the orders of 
the king's officers. The first ship which, strictly speaking, 
belonged to the royal navy, was the Great Harry, built in 

1512. — War Avas declared against France, and a fleet 
fitted out, the command of which was conferred upon Sir 
Edward Howard, lord high admiral. The expedition 
departed in May, and having conveyed a land expedition to 
Spain as far as Passages, Sir Thomas Howard (brother of 
the lord high admiral) landed at Conquet and Brest, burnt 
the toAvns, and laid the country waste. The French also 
fitted out a fleet ; but the king having reinforced the English 
squadron Avith twenty-five large ships, Sir Edward Howard 
was enabled to offer them battle. Sir Thomas Knivett, or 
Knevet, commanded the Regent, a ship of 1,000 tons ; ^ 
and Sir Charles Brandon (who, in addition to the crew, was 

' This was the first ship built in Woolwich dockyard. 

22 BATTLES OF [1513. 

accompanied by Sir Henry Guildford, and sixty of the tallest 
yeomen of tlie guard, commanded the Sovereign,^ the next 
ship in size to the Regent. On the 10th of August, the 
English fleet, numbering forty-five large ships, arrived off 
Brest just as the French fleet, of thirty-nine sail, was coming 
out, and Sir Edward Howard made the signal for an engage- 
ment. The Kegent and Cordeher (the largest ship in the 
French fleet) attacked each other, as if by mutual consent j 
both grappled, and a well-contested battle ensued. But the 
Cordelier unfortunately took fire, and that ship and her 
antagonist blew up. On board the Kegent, Sir Thomas 
Ejaivett and 700 men were lost ; and ta the Cordelier, Sh' 
Pierce Morgan (Sieur Porsmoguer), the French admiral^ 
and her crew of 900, are supposed to have perished. This 
is supposed to have been the first sea action in which great 
^ms were extensively used. After the destruction of 
these ships the fleets separated, the French making their 
€scape into Brest ; but both had sustained considerable 

1513. — In the spring of this year a fleet of forty-two 
large ships, besides tenders, under the orders of Sir Edward 
Howard, lord high admiral, was despatched to destroy the 
French fleet in Brest harboiu\ The expedition, on arriving 
ofi* Brest, found the French fleet ready for sea. The English 
immediately entered the harbour, and observing that the 
French had thrown up several batteries for the protection of 
the fleet, and that such precautions had been taken as to 
render an attack difficult. Sir Edward Howard resorted to 
a ruse. He sent the boats of the fleet to an unprepared side 
of the harbour, with the apparent intention of making a 
landing there, which drew large bodies of men down to the 
shore for its protection ; but, in the mean time, the admiral 
mailed higher up the harbour, and landed opposite the town 
of Brest. The country was ravaged, and the houses burnt 
close up to the walls of the citadel, after which the Enghsh 
fleet withdrew. In the mean time six French galleys anived 
on the coast, but hearing that the Enghsh were in Brest, 

* This is probably the same '' Soveraigne," of 800 tons, found in a 
list contained in ''Pepys's Miscellanies," vol. viii. ; and it is not 
improbable that the "Soveraigne" and "Great Harry" previously 
alluded to are identical. 

1513.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 23 

made for the Bay of Conquet, and, for better security, 
M. Pregent, who commanded the galleys, disposed them 
between two fortified rocks. After clearmg the harbour, 
the lord liigh admiral determined on endeavouring to 
destroy the galleys, but as liis large ships could not go 
sufficiently close, he took the only two galleys he had, and 
going on board one, and accompanied by two barges and 
some boats of the fleet, proceeded to the attack. Sh' Edward 
succeeded in getting alongside the galley commanded by 
M. Pregent, when he ordered them to be lashed together, 
and a hand-to-hand fight ensued. The admiral was followed 
by a Spanish cavalier, and seventeen men, and their impetu- 
osity was such as at first to bear down all resistance ; but 
the galleys having separated, the French rallied, and in their 
turn successfully attacked the Enghsh. Borne down by 
numbers, many were driven into the sea, among them the 
heroic admiral; and one seaman only remained alive of 
all who had boarded. Lord Ferrers, who commanded the 
other galley, was also defeated. ^ The king was much dis- 
tressed at the loss of so valuable a subject; and immediately 
appointed Sir Edward's brother, Sir Thomas Howard, to the 
post of lord high admiral ; placing at the same time 
a large force at his disposal. Su* Thomas Howard ampl}^ 
revenged his brother's loss ; and on the 1st of July in the 
same year, landed in Whitsand Bay, pillaged the adjacent 
country, and burnt a large town. 

Flushed with his temporary success, M. Pregent landed 
on the coast of Sussex, where he ravaged the country, 

^ Previously to making tliis bold attempt upon the French fleet, Sir 
Edward Howard, feeling convinced of the practicability of the design, 
proposed to the privy council that his majesty shoiild have the chief 
command in so glorious an enterprise. Those, however, to whom this 
spirited proposal was made, altogether objected to the king's placing 
himself in so exposed a situation, and the proposition of the well-meaning- 
admiral was sharply negatived. Piqued by the style of this refusal, Sii" 
Edward Howard (whose maxim was that a seaman never did good who 
was not resolute to the verge of madness) determined upon the desperate 
line of conduct which he fell in pursuing. Finding his death or capture 
certain, after his galley had separated from him, he took his chain of 
gold nobles, which hung round his neck, and his great gold whistle, the 
insignia of his office, and threw them into the sea, in order that the 
spoils of an English admiral should not fall into possession of an enemy. 

24 BATTLES OF [1.514-22-44-4.5. 

and acquired some booty ; but lie was speedily obliged to 
retire by Sir Thomas Howard. 

1514. — M. Pregent again landed on the Sussex coast, and 
burnt Brighton, in return for which a similar descent was 
made by Sir John Wallop in Normandy. 

1522.^ — War was acfain declared as^ainst France — Eruland 
being joined by Charles "V., emperor of Germany. 

A large fleet being assembled by the confederate powers, 
the joint command was conferred upon Thomas Howard, 
earl of Surrey ; but its operations were confined to a few 
unimportant conquests over the towns on the French coast 
about Picardy and Champagne. During the year ensuing 
(1523), similar attacks were made by an English squadron 
under Sir William Fitz Williams. From this year til] 1544 
was a period of peace. 

1544. — Henry having declared war against France, sailed 
with a large force for Calais, and from thence attacked and 
took Boulogne. The French king drew all his naval force 
as well as an army together, to attempt its recovery. 

1545. — The fleet destined for the attack of Boulogne 
being in readiness before the army, was ordered to proceed 
to the coast of England. The French fleet arrived ofi" the 
east end of the Isle of Wight on the 18th of July. One of 
their largest ships, mounting 100 pieces of brass cannon, 
took fire just before the fleet's leaving port, and was totally 
destroyed. The fleet which thus menaced England consisted 
of 150 large ships, and sixty vessels of a lesser size, besides 
galleys. King Henry, hearing of the approach of this for- 
midable fleet, proceeded to Portsmouth, to expedite the 
equipment of 100 sail of ships, then getting ready at that 
port. On the appearance of the enemy ofi" St. Helen's, he 
instantly ordered all the ships ready for sea to proceed to the 
attack ; but the ]\Iary Pose, of sixty guns, was iq:>set in a 
light squall, and sank. Sir George Carew and his ship's com- 
2^any, except thirty-five, perishing.^ The loss of this ship 

' About this time muskets cr matchlocks were introduced into the 

■^ Several guns and decayed portions of the wreck of the Mary 
Hose were recovered in 1835. A number of stone shot were amongst 
the relics obtained. About the middle of the century, iron superseded 
stone shot. 



was oA^dng to tlie lovv-ness of her ports ; wliicli were not 
more tliaii sixteen inches from the water. The whole force 
which the English had to oppose to the formidable fleet of 
the French did not exceed sixty ships ; but the French con- 
tented themselves with making a demonstration, and with 
landing a few men at different places on the Isle of Wight, 
and in attacking Brighton. The chief part of the fighting 
took place between the row-galleys of the French and some 
of the English ships, the Great Harry bearing the brunt. 
]M. du Bellay, a French writer, states that the English in 
this action possessed a sort of light vessel, called by the 
French " rambarges," and by the English, " pinnaces," which 
were of great length and narrow. They used both sails and 
oars, and pulled Avith great rapidity. They attacked the 
Frencli galleys Avith great success, and completely routed 
them. Peace was concluded June 7th, 1546. 

Durincf the short reimi of Edward YI. few naval actions 
occurred of any consequence, the principal having l^een in 
prosecuting the war against Scotland. 

1550. — In this year Boulogne was recaptured. The 
French also made an attempt upon the islands of Guernsey 
and Jersey, which they attacked with a large squadron of 
ships of war, and 2,000 land forces. The English govern- 
ment having notice of this invasion, and being aware that 
the islands were indifferently pro\ided, despatched a squadron 
and 800 men, under the command of Commodore (afterwards 
Sir William) Winter. On the arrival of the English com- 
modore, he found the islands closely besieged ; but undis- 
mayed by the superior force of the French, he gallantly 
attacked and completely defeated them, killing near 1,000 
men, and compelling the remainder to seek safety in flight. 
The ships of war fell into the hands of the English, by whom 
they were burnt. ^ 

* This action, though credited by the English historians, Holingshed, 
Godwin, Speed, ^and Fox, is not to be found in French history. Camp- 
bell accounts for this circumstance by stating that the French were so 
nettled at the defeat that no one was allowed to speak of it under pain 
of death. 

26 BATTLES OF [1559-69. 


The commencenieiit of Elizabeth's reign gave evidence of 
the high value she placed upon her sailors, and throughout 
it we find abundant proofs of tlie good effect of her tending. 
The " dominion of the seas" had been claimed by the Saxon 
kings ; but many hard battles had to be fought to establish 
the assumed supremacy ; and, to a female's sovereign hand 
we owe, in great measure, the foundation of our naval power. 
One of the first acts of Elizabeth's reign was to store her 
magazines. She ordered several pieces of brass and iron 
cannon to be cast, and caused large quantities of gunpowder 
to be made, the first manufactured in England. The number 
of ships of the navy she caused to be considerably increased, 
and in a short time collected a well-equipped and powerful 
fleet. By her encouragement of private adventures, also, she 
induced numerous powerful and wealthy individuals to fit out 
sliips to cruise against Spain, and these, when assailed by 
foreign foes, she brought to serve her. With these means at 
her command, Elizabeth might be said to have exercised 
control over a fleet capable of employing 20,000 seamen. 
At length, however, the spirit of privateering grew to such a 
height that the queen was obHged to exert her utmost power 
to restrain it. 

1569. — A dispute having occurred respecting the restora- 
tion of certain treasure landed at Plymouth from some 
Spanish ships, driven into that port by French pirates, 
reprisals were resorted to by both parties, and many Spanish 
ships were taken by English cruisers. Althotigh hostilities 
were not formally declared, numerous private adventures 
were fitted out against the Spaniards, and inconceivably 
large sums of gold obtained. The stimulus thus furnished 
induced a vast number of daring characters to adventure life 
and limb, and many individuals thus brought forward lent 


<> J:^^)a.ay^ 

1576-88.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 27 

theii' aid to strike terror into tlie enemies of England, and, 
in jDroportion, to embolden the nation, relying on the protec- 
tion of the navy from foreign invasion. 

1576. — In consequence of the seizure of an English bark 
by some Huguenot privateers, the queen issued her orders to 
the lord high admiral to "scour the narrow seas." Ac- 
cordingly, "William Holdstock, esquire, comptroller of the 
navy, with three light frigates, carrying 360 men, was 
ordered on this service, and he executed his task with such 
diligence that, between the Eoreland and Falmouth, he cap- 
tiured twenty privateers of different nations, containing 
900 men, and recaptured fifteen merchant ships, their prizes. 

The daring exploits of Drake and his band, and of the 
many other adventurers, and the quantity of gold taken by 
them from the Spaniards, at length drew down upon Eng- 
land the threatened vengeance of that powerfud nation. 
Hitherto, for nearly twenty years, conquest and insult had 
been obtained and offered with impunity ; but the patience 
of the Spaniards was at leng-th exhausted, and in consequence 
the formidable armada, termed by them "invincible," was 
fitted out, which was to crush and annihilate England and 
her puny defenders. 

1588. — This fleet consisted of 132 large ships, averaging 
448 tons burden each, together with numerous galleases, and 
many smaller vessels, mounting in all 3,165 pieces of brass 
and iron ordnance. On board these vessels were embarked 
51,855 soldiers, 8,776 mariners, and 2,088 galley-slaves. 
On board the armada were carriages, horses, mules, chains, 
wliips, butchering-knives, thumb-screws, &c., showing that 
the Spaniards, if successful, were bent upon grandeur as well 
as vindictive retaliation. Twelve ships were named after the 
apostles, and priests to the number of 180 were embarked 
on board the different ships. The cost of daily maintenance of 
this fleet, and its crew, &c.,has been estimated at 32,000 ducats. 
The fleet of England, in comparison with this vast flotilla, 
was miserably small, and yet the sequel proved that the 
battle is not always to the strong. Charles Howard, earl of 
Effingham, was selected to command the tiny fleet, as lord 
liigh admiral ; to whose precautions and able measures Eng- 
land was mainly indebted for the triumph obtained over her 
formidable foe. 

28 BATTLES OF [1588. 

On the 21st of May, the lord high admiral, lea^dng 
Lord Henry Seymour in the narrow seas mth forty sail of 
English and Dutch shijDS, to watch the movements of the 
duke of Parma, departed from the Downs, and sailed down 
Channel "with as many ships as he could procure, and twenty 
merchant sliips. On the 23rd of May he arrived at Plymouth, 
where he was joined by Sir Francis Drake, whom the lord 
high admiral appointed his vice-admiral, with 60 ships. 
The English fleet then amounted to 90 sail, and after 
storing and victualling the ships, the whole put to sea, and 
cruised in the mouth of the Channel between Ushant and 

England, in the meanwhile, was left in the most feverish 
state of excitement. The vast preparations and the de- 
nounced vengeance of a bigoted and enraged nation — acting 
upon minds ignorant of the streng-th and prowess of their 
sailors, which was to j^rotect them from the threatened 
horrors — caused great consternation : nor was the alarm 
altogether ill founded. The fleet of England was composed 
of sliips collected in such manner as the short time permitted, 
and few of them were calculated to contend with the power- 
ful ships of Spain. Dr. Campbell thus describes the English 
fleet :— 

Men-of-war belonging to her Majesty 17 

Other ships hired for this ser\'ice ^ . . . . 12 

Tenders and store-ships 6 

iFurnished by the City of London (being double the number de- 
manded), all well manned and well provided 16 

Tenders and store-ships - 4 

Furnished by the City of Bristol ; large and strong ships, and which 

did good service ^ 3 

Prom Barnstaple, merchant ships converted into frigates ........ 3 

Prom Exeter 2 

A tender and stout pinnace 2 

Prom Plymouth, stout ships equal to the men-of-war 7 

Under Lord Henry Sejmiour . . , 16 

Ships furnished by the nobility, gentry, and commons of England. . 43 
By the Merchant Adventurers, prime ships and excellently well 

furnished 10 

A fly-boat and Sir W. "Winter's pinnace 2 


The number embarked on this occasion did not exceed 


15,000 men, while the Spanish force was manned by 8,7 G 6 
mariners and 21,855 soldiers. 

On the 1st June, this fleet of Spain sailed from the Tagus, 
v.ith all the pomp and pride imagina})le ; hut they had not 
reached further than Cape Finisterre, Avhen a gale of wind 
dispersed them. Several of the galleys deserted and took 
refuge in a port of France, and many of the ships would, 
doubtless, have fallen into the hands of the English had not 
a northerly wind sprung up, which enabled them to i-each 
their own shores. The report of this dispersion of the Spa- 
nish armada reached England, and being greatly exagge- 
rated, it was stated that the whole fleet was destroyed, and 
that no attempt upon England could be made until the next 
year. Accordingly, the lord liigh admiral was ordered to 
dismantle four of his largest ships ; but the admiral objected 
to this measure, and offered to maintain the ships at his own 
charge, rather than weaken Ms force by their loss. Dis- 
trusting the report of the damages sustained by the armada, 
the admiral determined on standing over to the coast of 
Spain, to ascertain by his own observation their truth or 
falsehood. He arrived within a short distance of the coast, 
where he learnt the real extent of the injury received in the 
gale ; and, the wind sliifting to the southward, he returned 
in all haste to Plymouth. On the 12th of July he arrived 
at Plymouth, and used all expedition in refitting and revic- 
tualUng his fleet. Nor was his haste unnecessary ; for the 
same wind which had brought the English fleet to England 
was also wafting the huge armada to her shores. 

On the 19th of July tliis dreaded enemy, commanded by 
the duke of Medina Sidonia, after encountering much bad 
weather, apjoeared oflT the Enghsh Channel. They made the 
Lizard, but mistaking it for the Ram Head, stood off to sea 
again, with the intention, on the following morning, of at- 
tacking the EngHsli fleet in Plymouth Sound. But on the 
same day. Captain Thomas Fleming, commanding an English 
privateer, discovered them, and made all speed to Plymouth 
with the intelligence. The wind blew fresh from the south- 
west ; but, notwithstanding the great difiiculty of clearing 
the Sound vvdth that ^vind, so great was the anxiety of the 
lord high admiral, that he persevered, and got out in the after- 
noon of the same day, but with six sliips only. On the 20th, 

i i imc T iMii in r- «i«iiM>i - ^i I MiMiiiii i i m i 'T- i i ■ ■ i '■— - i -- ■ -"^' i i " i t ■■ ' '' ' '' ** ''""n i i ' ' "" 

30 BATTLES OF [1588. 

many more ships got out, and with his fleet of fifty-four sail, 
he stood off shore in search of the enemy. The Spanish 
armada was soon discovered, extending in a line abreast, of 
near seven miles in extent, and steering up Channel before 
the wind. " The ships," says Lediard, " appeared like so 
many floating castles, and the ocean seemed to groan under 
the weight of their heavy burdens." The lord high ad- 
miral did not attempt to arrest their progress, but waited 
for the remainder of his ships to come out of Plymouth, v\^hen 
he intended to attack their rear. The next morning, being 
Sunday, July 21, many ships having joined the English fleet, 
which now amounted to 100 sail, the lord liigh admiral 
ordered a pinnace, called the Defiance, commanded by 
Mr. William Cope, to proceed to the attack, and to denounce 
war against the enemy, whilst he, in his own shij), the Ark- 
Royal, followed up the attack. The ship the admiral en- 
gaged, he mistook for the Spanish admiral's, and he fought 
her until several ships dropped astern to her rescue, when, 
being imsupported, he was obHged to leave off action. Drake, 
Hawkins, and Forbisher, also, gallantly advanced and at- 
tacked the enemy, and so animated was the fire those expe- 
rienced leaders kept up, that the Spanish fleet was thrown 
into the greatest confusion. The English ships, though in- 
significant in point of size, possessed the advantages of being 
easily handled and good sailing, and therefore attacked their 
enemies wherever they appeared most vTilnerable and in dis- 
order. At length the admiral thought fit to recall his sliij^s, 
to await the junction of forty sliips still in Plymouth. Dm^ing 
the night the wind increased, and several Spanish shij)S got 
foul of one another, and were much damaged. Among them 
was a galleon, which, having lost her foremast and bowsprit, 
was deserted by her crew, and became a prize to Sir Francis 
Drake, Avho, it seems, had closely followed the armada during 
the night, as had also the lord high admiral, with the 
"White Bear and Mary Eose. In the morning, therefore, the 
admiral and his immediate followers were a long distance in 
advance of the body of the fleet. 

On the 23rd, the second engagement took place. The 
wind having changed to north-east, the Spanish fleet was 
under the necessity of bringing on an action, and at day- 
break bore down upon the EngHsli fleet, which, upon seeing' 

1588.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 31 

the design of the Spaniards, tacked to the westward. In the 
course of a short time the action commenced. Confusion 
reigned triumjjhant, and it is probable that the EngHsh were 
as much indebted to the shot of the Spaniards for their 
success as to their o^vn. Personal bravery was everywhere 
consj)icuous. The diminutive size of the English ships pre- 
served them from injury, the shot of their lofty adversaries 
passing harmlessly over them. Mr. WiUiam Cope, who was 
a volunteer on the occasion, in a small pinnace called the 
Defiance, fell in the action whilst performing j)rodigies of 
valour. The ^vind was blowing fresh with a heavy sea, which 
increased the confusion of the Spaniards, and the nimble and 
well-handled ships of the English committed great devasta- 
tion with impunity. To give anything like a correct detail 
of this day's battle would be impossible. The wind shifted 
from north-east to south-east and south-south-east, and tliis, 
together with the number of ships, caused separations. 
These separations again gave rise to acts of bravery and 
skni, to succour the over-pressed ; but it does not appear 
that any decisive advantage was gained by the English be- 
yond taking one large Venetian sliip and several small vessels. 
The fight continued throughout the day with unabated vigour, 
so lonof as the Eno-lish ammunition lasted. 

On the 24th, a cessation of firing took place, the English 
having no powder ; and the lord high admiral availed him- 
self of the respite to bring his fleet into better order. He 
divided the fleet into four squadrons, himself commanding 
one iu the Ark-Royal, and committing the other tliree to 
the charge of Sir Erancis Drake, in the Revenge, Sir John 
Hawkins, in the Victory, and Captain Martin Eorbisher, 
in the Triumph. On the 25th, the armada had reached as 
far up Channel as the Isle of Wight, and here, having out- 
sailed the St, Ann, a Portuguese galleon, the Victory made 
her a prize. But Sir John Hawkins did not keep his rich 
booty without some trouble : three Spanish galleases (a 
powerful description of galley mounting heavy guns) ap- 
proached to her rescue ; but these were at length beaten off*, 
with much loss, by the Ark-Royal and the Golden Lion. 

This action took place during a calm, both fleets looking 
on, but neither being able to take any part, with the excep- 
tioD of the two ships above named, which were towed by the 

32 BATTLES OF [1589. 

galleys to the attack of the galleases. A few other skir- 
mishes occurred this day, but no decisive battle ; and on the 
succeeding day it was determined not to attack the armada 
asain until it had arrived in the Straits of Dover. The 
Spaniards accordingly pursued their course, the English fol- 
lowing them at a respectfid distance. 

On the 27th of July the armada anchored off Calais, and 
the English fleet, now amounting to 140 sail, also anchored 
at no great distance to the westward. Here the lord liigh 
admiral fitted out eight of his oldest ships for fire-ships, and 
on the night of the 28th sent them among the Spanish fleet 
under Captains Young and Prowse. On the near approach 
of these ships to the Sf)aniards they were fired, and caused 
a universal panic and much loss, although it does not seem 
that any actual damage was committed by the burning 
vessels. Several of the Spaniards, having put to sea to avoid 
the fire-sliips, were driven past Calais, and were warmly 
attacked by the Revenge, Victory, Nonpareil, Mary Rose, 
Hope, Dreadnought, Swallow, and several others. The loss to 
the Spaniards in these various encounters was very great. A 
galleon, the St. Matthew, was captured, the St, Pliilip was 
cast away, and, in short, the whole Spanish fleet, reduced to 
the utmost distress, determined on retreating from the scene 
of their reverses. The poor remains of this once proud fleet 
reached the Spanish coast about the end of September, in 
a miserable plight, having lost ten of their number on the 
coast of Ireland, and, altogether, forty large ships, which had 
foundered or had been captured or destroyed in the Channel. 
The loss to the English amounted only to one small ship, 
and about 100 men ; wliile the loss to the Spaniards, accord- 
ing to several accounts, amounted to 10,185 men. In reward 
for his devotion and skill, the lord high admiral was created 
earl of Nottingham, and was further made lord justice 
itinerant of all the forest south of Trent. 

1589. — In the following year an expedition was fitted out 
against the Spaniards, conjointly by the queen and by 
private adventurers. Queen Elizabeth furnished six ships 
and £60,000, and committed the naval charge of the expe- 
dition to Sir Francis Drake. Lisbon was attempted, and 
found too strong ; but at Cascaes the castle was taken and 
blovrn up, and a number of small vessels belonging to the 

1590-91.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 33 

Hanse Towns, illegally trading, were taken. The fleet 
returned laden with much booty, and 150 j)ieces of cannon, 
but having lost near 6,000 men by disease. 

In the same year another semi-national expedition, under 
the earl of Cumberland and Vice-Admiral William Monson, 
was fitted out, consisting of three ships of the royal navy 
and several private ships, which committed much damage 
upon the coasts and shipping of the Spaniards ; but the 
English suffered very severe privations, and sustained very 
heavy losses. 

1590. — Elizabeth assigned the annual sum of <£8,970 to 
the repairs of the royal navy, but the great strength of this 
branch of her power still remained with private adventurers, 
who, since the trade had become so lucrative, had fitted out 
squadrons in vast numbers. The trade of Spain was entirely 
unprotected, save by the merchants themselves, but who 
were unable to hold out against the skill and courage, 
heightened by cupidity, of the daring rovers who bore the 
flag of England, and whose deeds were sanctioned and 
approved by their queen. In this year ten ships of the 
queen, commanded by Sir John Hawkins and Sir Martin 
Eorbisher, were despatched to intercept the India fleet ; but 
the enterprise failed, omng to intelligence of the expedition 
having reached Pliilip, king of Spain, who sent orders to 
keep the India ships back. 

1591. — A fleet of seven queen's ships, — Defiance, Revenge, 
Nonpareil, Bonaventure, Lion, Foresight, and Crane, under 
the command of Lord Thomas Howard, sailed with the pur- 
pose of intercepting the India ships, which had during the 
preceding year been kept back. The expedition, which was 
veiy badly found, departed for the Azores, and anchored at 
Elores, where for six months it awaited the approach of the 
treasure-ships. In the mean time, Don A Iphonso Bassano was 
despatched by the Spanish king to convoy the fleet home ; and 
hearing of the small force of the English squadron at Flores, 
he determined on attacking it. The English squadron was 
wholly imprepared ; and, to add to their disasters, the crews 
had suffered much from sickness. Hearing of the approach 
of the Spanish force, however, the admiral put to sea 
immediately, though %vith scarcely half his men. The brunt 
t)i the engagement which followed was principally borne by 

VOL. I. D 

34 BATTLES OP [1591. 

the Revenge, commanded by Sir Kichard GrenviUe. Tliis ship 
was laid on board at one and the same time by the St. Philip, 
of 1,-500 tons and seventy-eight guns, and four other of the 
largest Spanish ships, filled with soldiers. IsTotwithstanding 
the inequality of the conflict, the brave crew of the Revenge, 
headed by the gallant captain, who, though wounded early 
in the action, refused to quit the deck, repulsed every 
attempt at boarding, and maintained the fight from 3h. P. M. 
until midnight, at wliich time, the intrepid captain received 
a wound in the body from a musket-ball. He was then 
obliged to be carried below to have his wound dressed, and 
wliile under the surgeon's hands, received another shot in the 
head : the surgeon was killed at his side. 

The gallant crew held out till dayhght, by which time the 
ship was reduced to a mere wreck, and her decks were co- 
vered with the killed and wounded. Their ammunition also 
was expended, and nothing remained but to surrender. The 
remaining officers and crew, however, refused to strike, 
unless they were promised their Hberty, which the Spaniards 
consenting to, the ship was surrendered. But although the 
first prize to the Spaniards, the Revenge was not doomed to 
be a trophy which could be exhibited, as she foundered a 
few days afterwards with 200 of the Spanish crew which 
had been placed in her. Of her devoted crew, only sixty 
sur^dved this glorious action ; and scarcely one of them but 
bore the marks of the desperate encounter. At one time 
they had fought against fifteen ships of the enemy, and the 
Spaniards, it is said, lost near 1,000 men before they subdued 
their brave enemy. Sir Richard Grenville was carried on 
board the Spanish admiral's ship, where he died two days 
afterwards ; nor did the Spaniards refrain from acknowledging 
his extraordinary courage and behaviour. The remaining 
ships of the English squadron, unable to cope with the 
greatly superior force of the Spaniards, withdrew from the 
contest, and after making a few unimportant captures, 
returned to England. 

Sir George Carey also attacked a Spanish squadron, of 
greatly superior force, in the West Indies, but being deserted 
by two of his ships, was unable to bring about a victorious 

We feel bound to mention the bravery of Captain Brad- 

OB; 1618. 

l092-94:-95.] THE BRITISH NAYY. 35 

sliaw, who, in command of a mercliant sliip called tlie 
Centurion, on her return from Marseilles to England, was 
attacked by five large Spanish galleys, in the Straits of 
Gibraltar. Two of the galleys, filled with men, attempted to 
board the Centurion on each side, and the other one astern ; 
but notwithstanding that Captain Bradshaw had only forty- 
eight men and boys to oppose to this numerous force, he 
succeeded in defeating every attack, and preserved his ship 
with the loss of only four men kiUed, and ten wounded. 

1092. — In 1592, an expedition, under Sir Martin For- 
bisher, consisting of ships belonging to the queen, and Sir 
Walter Kaleigh, and others, conjointly sailed for the coast of 
Spain, and took many ships of the enemy. Among them 
was a carrack, called Madre de Dios, which, from the descrip- 
tion given, must have been a ship of the most extraordinary 
kuid. '• She had," says Lediard, " seven decks of 165 feet 
from stem to stern, was of 1,600 tons burden, manned with 
600 men, and carried thirty-two brass guns. Her cargo was 
valued at £150,000, on her arrival in England, besides what 
the officers and seamen had plundered her of when taken." 
The queen's adventure in this voyage was only two ships, 
one of which, the least of the two, was at the taking of the 
carrack ; in wtue of which, she assumed power over the 
whole of the valuable cargo, taking what portion of it she 
pleased, and making the remainder of the adventurers submit 
to her pleasure, with whom, it is said, she dealt but in- 

1594. — Sir Martin Forbisher was sent T^dth four of her 
majesty's shij)s — the Vanguard, Rainbow, Dreadnought, and 
Acquittance — to aid the French in the attack upon Brest, then 
in the possession of the Spaniards. The admiral entered the 
harbour with his ships, and attacked the forts with much 
vigour ; but the defence was so well conducted, that a gTcat 
number of men and officers were kiUed and wounded. But 
at leng-th the place was surrendered, and the garrison put to 
the sword. Sir Martin Forbisher, a brave and skilful admiral, 
was here lost to his country ; for, being wounded in the hip 
by a small shot, he died of his woimd, after bringing liis 
squadron to Plymouth. 

1595. — An imsuccessful expedition, which sailed in the 
following year to the West Indies, also deprived the nav^^ of 


36 BATTLES OF [1596. 

two other skilful seamen and brave commanders, — Sir Francis 
Drake and Sir John Hawkins. 

1596. — On the 1st of June an expedition, consisting of 

the following ships — Repulse, Ark-Royal, Mere Honour, 

Warspight, Lion, Rainbow, Nonpareil, Vanguard, Mary Rose, 

Dreadnought, Swiftsure, Acquittance, Crane, and Tramontane, 

of her majesty's, and Dutch and hired vessels to the number 

of 126 — sailed from Plymouth under the command of Charles 

Howard, earl of Nottingham, lord high admiral. The 

charge of the land expedition rested with the earl of Essex. 

The design of this armament was to destroy the Spanish 

fleet in Cadiz, which, it was said, was fitting to renew the 

attempt upon England. In the fleet were many of the most 

skilful commanders the navy could boast, by dint of whose 

exertions the armament was equipped with such great 

celerity, that it arrived off Cadiz before any news of its 

preparation had reached Spain. This was also owing to the 

admiral's precaution in detaining every vessel, small or large, 

which he chanced to fall in with. On the 20th of June the 

expedition arrived off Cadiz, and on the following morning 

the smallest and fastest of the ships entered the harbour of 

Cadiz, commanded by the lord high admiral in person, 

havinof under him his son. Lord Thomas Howard, Sir Walter 

Raleigh, Sir Thomas Southwell, Sir Thomas Carew, Sn' 

William Monson (knighted for this service), and several 

others. The soldiers also, under the earl of Essex, attacked 

and took the town, and would have put the garrison to the 

sword, had it not been ransomed by the payment of about 

600,000 ducats. The lord high admiral refused to allow 

the fleet lying in Puerto Real to be ransomed, although two 

millions of ducats were offered, but sent Sir Walter Raleigh 

and Lord Thomas Howard to destroy it. The Spanish 

ships fought well, but in the end were completely defeated. 

Spain lost two rich galleons, carrying together 100 brass 

guns, which were taken ; thirteen ships of war, eleven ships 

freighted for the West Indies, and thirteen others : and 

1,200 pieces of ordnance were taken or sunk. The damage 

was estimated at twenty millions of ducats. Cadiz was 

plundered, all the forts demolished, and a great part of the 

town laid in ashes ; and having effected all this, the English 

fleet departed on the 5th of July, for Ferrol, but found the 



1602.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 37 

to^sTi deserted by its inhabitants. The lord high admiral 
was desirous of crowning his triumph by the capture of the 
treasure-ships, but in his proposal he found no supporters, 
and the fleet returned to England. 

The king of Spain, enraged at these successes, fitted out 
a large fleet, with the design of taking revenge, but he was 
again forestalled by the prudent foresight of the queen, and 
by the skill of her subjects. He had collected a great many 
ships in the harbour of Ferrol, with the intention to invade 
Ireland ; and a large fleet of 120 of English and Dutch 
sliips, under the command of the earl of Essex, having under 
him Admiral Sir "William Monson, finally sailed from Plymouth 
on the 17th of August, Avith the intention of frustrating his 
object. It was found impracticable, however, to attack the 
shipping in Ferrol, and after having suflfered much from bad 
weather, the fleet sailed to the Azores. Fayal was taken, 
and Gracioza ; they also fell in with the India fleet, but from, 
great mismanagement, the whole were suffered to escape, 
and the expedition returned to England greatly dis- 

In 1602 an expedition was fitted out against the Spaniards, 
under the command of Sir Kichard Levison and Sir W. 
Monson, but it met with no very decided success, with the 
exception of taking a large caiTack of 1,600 tons, and burn- 
ing a few galleys at Coimbra. 

38 BATTLES OP [1620-52. 


1620. — In the month of October, 1620, a squadron of six 
ships of war, and twelve hired ships, under the command in 
chief of Sir Kobert Mansel, vice-admiral of England, sailed 
from Plymouth on an expedition to Algiers. By negotiation, 
forty Christian slaves were recovered. In the following 
spring, this squadron, reinforced fi'om England, attempted to 
destroy the Algerine shipping in the harbour, but failed in 
performing anything at aU Avorthy the extent of power 

Passing over the remaining few and unimportant naval 
transactions of the commencement of this century, we proceed 
to an important era — 1652 — a year famous for the naval 
battles fought, not agaiust luxurious Spaniards, but against 
men as hardy and brave as any age or country ever pro- 

1652. — On the l-lthof May, Captain Young, commanding 
an English man-of-war in the Channel, fell in with a Dutch 
squadron off the back of the Isle of Wight, the commander 
of which refused to strike his flag. This being a mark of 
respect which ships of the English navy had been accustomed 
to receive. Captain Young opened fire upon the Dutch com- 
mander's ship, and compelled her to haul do^Ti her flag. 

This was succeeded on the IStli of the same month by 
another quarrel. The Dutch had assembled a fleet of 150 
ships, under the command of Marten Harpetz Tromj), com- 
monly called Van Tromp, and celebrated for .skill and bravery. 
A small squadron, under the command of Captain (formerly 
Major) Nehemiah Bourne, was lying in. the Downs, when 
Tromp, with a fleet of forty ships, put in there, as he said, 
from stress of weather. Bourne remarked, by way of re- 
joinder, that the truth of his reason would best appear by 
the shortness of Ms stay ; and requested him to leave the 

1652.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 39 

anchorage, sending, at the same time, notice to General 
Robert Blake, who was riding in Dover Roads with fifteen 
ships. The next day, the Dutch fleet beat down to Dover, 
and was entering the roadstead, when General Blake opened 
fire upon the leading Dutch ship, in consequence of her not 
paying the required homage of striking the flag. Tromp's 
fleet immediately returned this fire with the broadsides of as 
many of his ships as would bear, and the English squadron 
then got underway, the better to manoeuvre with the enemy. 
Blake, desirous of settling the dispute by single combat with 
Tromp, took the lead ; but his chivalry drew upon him the 
united fire of the Dutch ships near him. Being joined by 
Bourne's division, the combat would have been upon more 
equal terms ; but the Dutch, not inclined to risk a general 
engagement, made sail away, leaving two ships in possession 
of the English, and having lost many men. 

On the 4th of July, Vice- Admiral Sir George Ayscue 
(or Ayscough), who had just returned from the West Indies 
— having in his passage captured four ships of war and ten 
merchant ships — attacked the St. Ubes fleet of forty sail, on 
the French coast, thirty of which were taken or destroyed. 

On the 8th of July, war was formally declared between 
England and Holland ; and on the 12th, two Enghsh 
frigates, commanded by Captains Peacock and Taylor, en- 
gaged two Dutch ships of war ofl" the coast of Flanders. 
After a close engagement, one ship was boarded and taken, 
but soon afterwards sank, and the other ran on shore. 

On the 13th, Blake took a large homeward-bound convoy. 

On the 16th of Augaist, Vice- Admiral Sir George Ayscue 
being off Plymouth with thirty-eight sail, for the protection 
of the English trade, fell in with Admiral De Ruyter, who, 
with a fleet of equal force, was convoying about fifty outward- 
bound merchant ships down the channel. De Ruyter showed 
no unwillingness to fight ; and taking twenty merchant 
ships into his own fleet, bore down upon the English, in line 
abreast. The English vice-admiral, with nine of his head- 
most ships, behaved nobly, passing between the Dutch ships, 
and engaging them with much vigour. The fight lasted from 
four in the afternoon mitil dark ; but being ill supported by 
many ships. Sir George Ayscue was unable to capture any 
of the Dutch ships, but sank two, and killed many of their 

40 BATTLES OF [1652". 

men. Rear-Admii^al Peck lost a leg, and died of his wound ; 
and one fire-ship was captured. Sir George followed the 
Dutch fleet the next day, but was unable to overtake it. 

About the end of July, an English squadron of three small 
ships of war and one fire-ship, under Commodore Richard 
Bodley (or Bacliley), while convoying four merchant ships, 
engaged a Dutch squadron of eleven sail, under Admiral Van 
Galen — one of the ships being commanded by Cornelius, son 
of Yan Tromp. The fight lasted two days. The first day's 
action took place ofi* Elba, and lasted till dark, %vithout much 
advantage to either party. Three Dutch ships separated in 
the night from the main body, and bemg becalmed, could not 
effect a rejunction : but eight large sliips bore down upon 
the four English vessels (Commodore Bodley having sent his 
convoy into port), and engaged them with much fury. Van 
Galen laid Bodley's ship aboard, but liis ship having been 
thrice set on fire, he sheered off -with much loss. A second 
ship taking her place, was also beaten off mth the loss of her 
mainmast. This ship was boarded by the Phoenix, an English 
frigate, and carried ; but the latter being left almost deserted 
by her crew, was in turn boarded and taken by another Dutch 
ship, and her prize recaptured. Commodore Bodley's ship 
was again boarded by two Dutch ships ; but the crew de- 
fended her with great courage, and succeeded in beating them 
off, though ^\ith the loss of 100 men killed and wounded. 
The squadron, now much disabled, bore up for Porto Logon e, 
leaving the Dutch sliips much cut up in hulls, sails, and 

The Phoenix was retaken on the 26th of November, m 
Leghorn Roads, by the boats of Commodore Appleton's 
squadron, commanded by Captain Owen Cox, who had been 
a lieutenant of her. The following is the Dutch narrative : 
— " The Phoenix was given to Captain Van Tromp, whose 
ship had been quite disabled m the late action, and lay at 
anchor in Leghorn Roads, where, tliinking themselves secure, 
they spent their time in mirth and jolHty. Cox manned 
three boats with tliirty men in each ; and, in addition to 
then- weapons, each man was provided with a bag of meal to 
tlu'ow in the eyes of the Dutchmen. On St. Andrew's day, 
in the evening, Cox left his ship, but, o^dng to the darkness 
of the night, parted from one of the boats, which caused some 


delay ; but the boat rejoined, and at day light all three were 
alonjrside the frigate- The boats' crews had each their 
appointed work. One had to cut the cables, the second to go 
aloft and loose the sails, while the thiixl closed the hatches, 
and kept the crew in subjection. Tromp was below ; but 
hearing the alarm, he rushed out of his cabin, and discharged 
his pistols at the English, who were, however, by that time 
masters of the frigate ; so, leaping out of the cabin- window, 
he swam to a Dutch ship astern, and was taken up. The 
Phoenix was carried off in triumph, and reached Naples in 
safety." This violation of the neutrality of the port of Leg- 
horn gave great offence to the gi'and duke of Tuscany, and 
caused his highness to remonstrate with the parliament, and 
to order the English ships to quit his territories. The par~- 
lia,ment disavowed the act, and gave orders for the recall of 
Commodore Appleton, under whose directions the act com- 
plained of had been committed. 

The Dutch fleet, commanded by Admirals De Witte and 
De Kuyter — Tromp, m consequence of his preN-ious want of 
success, being in disgrace with his government — appeared off 
the Good^vin in large force, in the month of September ; but 
the weather was so unsettled, that the English fleet could not 
weigh until the 28th. On that day, at noon, the Dutch fleet 
was discovered, consisting of fifty-nine sail of men-of-war, 
besides many smaller vessels ; and the English, of nearly 
equal force, under Blake, having with him Yice-Admiral 
Penn, stood towards them with a fresh breeze at west by 
north. At about 3h. p.m., Blake, in the Resolution, ha-ving 
only a portion of the fleet up with him, with Yice-Admiral 
Penn, in the James, of sixty guns, shortened sail, to allow 
the remainder of his ships to close, and at 4h. most of the' 
ships having joined, chase was given to the Dutch, and an 
engagement shortly afterwards took place. The Sovereign, 
Captain Peed, one of the largest ships of the English fleet, 
touched on the Kentish knock. The ship, however, soon 
got off again, and engaged and sank a Dutch rear-admiral's 
ship. Several of the largest English ships also grounded on 
tliis shoal ; but the Dutch, drawing less water, went over it. 
Eour Dutch ships were dismasted at the onset. One rear- 
admiral was taken by the Nonsuch, 40-gTin ship ; Captain 
Mildmay and two captains were among the prisoners. About 

42 BATTLES OF [1653. 

300 men were killed and as many wounded on board the 
English ships, and their masts and sails much damaged ; but 
they pursued the Dutch on the two following days to the 
mouth of the Texel^ and then returned into port with their 

The season of the year being far advanced, the parhament 
had incautiously reduced the fleet under Blake to little more 
than forty ships, deeming another attack from the Dutch 
improbable. On the 29th of November, in the morning, the 
admiral, whose flag was flying on board the Triumph, of sixty 
guns, was lying in Dover Eoads with the remains of his 
fleet, when he perceived a Dutch fleet of eighty large ships, 
and small vessels, in all ninety-five, commanded by Tromp, at 
anchor two leagues to leeward. Blake immediately got under- 
way to meet the enemy, who had also weighed anchor. At about 
the pitch of the Ness, the leading ships of the two fleets met, 
and a vigorous battle ensued. As other ships got xip, many 
broadsides were exchanged, which killed and wounded six- 
teen men in the Triumph. The Victory, of fifty guns, Cap- 
tain John Mann, was hard pressed by the enemy ; but the 
Vanguard, Captain Joseph Jordan, and some other ships 
coming up, rescued her. The Garland frigate was boarded 
by two large Dutch ships bearing admirals' flags, and cap- 
tured, after a long and obstinate engagement, and the Tri- 
umph having at the same time lost her fore-topmast, was 
unable to proceed to her relief ; the Bonaventure also was 
taken. The English ships were greatly cut up in sails and 
rigging, and reduced to an almost unmanageable state, and, 
after maintaining the fight with a force so vastly superior 
from a little after noon until night was closing in, bore up 
for Dover Roads. Tromp did not pursue the advantage, or 
he ought to have destroyed every EngHsh ship ; and, although 
vaunting loudly of their "victory," it was far less praise- 
worthy than many of their defeats. Tromp, in consequence 
of this action, hoisted a broom at his mast-head, indicating 
thereby that he would sweep the narrow seas of all English 

1653. — The year succeeding was still more eventful ; but, 
without wishing to detract from the value of the services 
rendered by Generals Blake, Monk, and Deane, upon whom 
the appointments of " admii-als and generals " had been con- 

1653,] THE BRITISH NAVY. 43 

ferred, the better to suit the views and feelings of Cromwell 
and his parliament, we must not be unmindful of the claims 
of those skilful and courageous commanders Penn, Lawson, 
Jordan, and many others, who must necessarily have framed 
every nautical evolution. 

On the 18th of February, the English fleet, of about 
seventy sail, under the joint command of Admirals Blake, 
Deane, and Monk, sailed from the Downs for the purpose of 
intercepting Tromp on his return from the Isle of Ehe. The 
Dutch fleet, which on this day was fallen in with off Port- 
land, consisted of seventy-three shij)s of war, having under 
convoy 300 merchant ships, and was divided into three 
squadrons, commanded by Tromp, De Ruyter, and Evertzen. 
On discovering the EngHsh, Tromj), being about five miles to 
windward (wind westerly), gave orders for the merchant 
vessels to haul to the wind, while he, with his fleet in line 
abreast, or, as some say, in form of a half-moon, bore down 
upon the enemy. The Triumph (the general's ship). Speaker 
(Vice-Admiral Penn), Fan-fax (Rear- Admiral Lawson), and 
about twenty ships of their divisions, being many miles 
ahead, and to windward of the body of the English fleet, were 
the first to engage, and a very hard-fought battle ensued. 
The Prosperous, Assistance, and Oak were boarded by the 
Dutch, and carried, but afterwards recovered ; and, until sup- 
ported by fresh sliips, the Enghsh were nearly annihilated. 
As soon, however, as this was the case, the Dutch hauled to 
the wind, and endeavoured to make ofi"; but they were 
chased, and the action protracted mitil night closed in. 

During the night, preparations were made by the English 
for renewing the fight ; and seven or eight ships which had 
sufiered most in the action were destroyed, and their crews 
distributed amongst those ships which had lost most men. 
On the morning of the 19th, the fleets were off" the Isle of 
Wight, the Dutch having then their convoy ahead. At 2h. p.m. 
the fleets again engaged with great desperation, and five 
Dutch ships were captured and destroyed. The Dutch fleet 
having again got ahead, the English pursued all night, and 
at 9h. A.M. of the 20th, with five of the fastest of the ships 
and the frigates, again closed, and did much execution. The 
Dutch, finding themselves so hard pressed, ordered the mer- 
•chant ships to drop astern out of the fleet, thinking the bait 


would be sufficient to induce the English to forego further 
pursuit ; but the generals gave strict orders that none of the 
ships that could get up to theii' men-of-war should take the 
merchant ships, and in consequence the chase and action con- 
tinued until the evening. By this time the fleets were only 
about four leagnies from Calais, and the Dutch fleet stood in 
for that anchorage, the wind having shifted to the north- 
west. The English were also obliged to anchor oflT Blackness. 
In the night it came on to blow strong, and the Dutch, 
availing themselves of the darkness, put to sea with the flood 
tide, and efiected their escape. In tiiis encoimter both fleets 
suffered severely. The EngUsli had one ship sunk, besides 
those destroyed after the first day's battle ; but the killed 
and wounded, although acknowledged to have been severe, is 
not stated. Among the killed were Captains Ball, Mildmay, 
and Barker, and Mr. Sparrow, secretary. The Dutch loss in 
the three days' action was, eleven ships of war and sixty 
merchant ships ; 1,500 men were killed, and 700 taken 

The unfortunate breach of the neutrality of Leghorn, com- 
mitted in the recapture of the Phoenix in the gallant manner 
before stated, so incensed the grand duke of Tuscany, that 
he ordered Commodore Apple ton to restore the Phoenix or 
quit Leghorn. The commodore's squadron at this time con- 
sisted of the Leopard, of fifty-two guns ; Bonaventure, forty- 
four ; Sampson, thirty-six ; Levant Merchant, twenty-eight ; 
and Pilgi'im and Mary, of thirty guns each ; while Van 
Galen's squadron, of sixteen sail, was lying off" the port 
waiting to intercept him as soon as he should put to sea. 
Commodore Appleton therefore sent information of the cir- 
cumstances to Commodore Bodley, who was lying at Elba 
with liis small squadron, and arranged that he should make 
his appearance off" the port, and thus draw the Dutch off" 
shore, to clear the way for his squadron. This was performed 
accordingly on the 3rd March ; and the Dutch, upon ob- 
serving Bodley's squadron, got underway to go in pursuit. 
Upon this. Commodore Appleton also got underway ; which 
the Dutch admiral percei\ing, instantly gave up the pursuit 
of Bodley's squadron, and attacked Apj^leton's. The Bona- 
venture unfortvmately took fire and blew up at the commence- 
ment of the engagement ; soon after which. Admiral Van 

1653.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 45 

Galen's leg was shot off, from wliicli wound lie died. Com- 
modore Bodley's squadron having joined, the action became 
o-eneral, and was very gallantly contested on both sides. 
Cornelius Tromp attacked the Sampson, but was beaten off ; 
the Sampson was, however, shortly afterwards destroyed by 
a fire-ship. The Leopard, Levant Merchant, and Pilgrim were 
all three overpowered and taken, and the Mary alone effected 
her escape by joining Bodley's squadron. 

The English fleet, strengthened by many new ships, put 
to sea in May. The total force of the three squadrons, into 
which the English fleet was divided, amounted to 105 ships, 
momiting 3,840 guns, and manned by 16,269 men. On the 
1st of June, while the English fleet, with the exception of 
Blake's squadron, was lying in Yarmouth Roads, advice was 
brought that the Dutch fleet had been seen upon the coast ; 
upon which the English immediately weighed. Early in the 
morning of the 2nd, being off the south head of the Gable, 
the Dutch fleet, consisting of 1 04 ships, was discovered about 
two leagues to leeward. The English bore down upon them, 
and from eleven to twelve o'clock the engagement was very 
severe. About noon, Deane was cut in two by a cannon- 
ball, and it is recorded that Monk, seeing him fall, took the 
cloak from his own shoulders, and with the utmost composure 
covered Deane's mangled body. Van Kelson, a Dutch rear- 
admiral, Avas blown up in his ship in the middle of the action. 
The battle raged till six, when the Dutch bore up, and en- 
deavoured to escape. 

Blake joined in the night with eighteen fresh ships, and 
pursued the Dutch. On the 3rd, a light wind enabled the 
English again to bring on an action. About noon the fight 
was renewed, and continued four horn's. Tromp grappled 
and attempted to board the James, bearing Vice- Admiral 
Perm's flag, but was repulsed with much loss ; and in return 
Tromp's ship was boarded. The English drove all the 
people below, upon which Tromp ordered the deck to be 
blown up, which was performed successfully, causing great 
loss to the English. N^otwithstanding this repulse, liis shijD 
was a second time boarded by the crew of the James and of 
another ship ; but De Witte and De Puyter bore down, and 
saved Tromp from certain capture. The victory was most 
decisive : the Dutch were pursued until night, but a lee 

46 BATTLES OF [1653. 

shore deterred tlie English from continuing the pursuit, and 
next morning the remains of the Dutch fleet entered the 
Texel. Eleven Dutch ships were taken, and 1,300 prisoners, 
among them six captains and two rear-admirals ; six ships 
were simk, one bearing a rear-admiral's flag ; two were 
blown up among their own fleet, and one sank in consequence 
of that accident : total, twenty ships taken and destroyed. 
One of the prizes is said to have measured 1,200 tons, and 
to have had fourteen ports in a tier. 

On the English side. General Deane and 126 men and 
officers were killed, and 236 womided ; the ships were also 
much cut up, but no ship was lost. 

Little was known of the great art of gaining decisive 
naval victories at the commencement of the seventeenth 
century. Sir William Monson, one of the most enhghtened 
seamen and skilful admii-als of the period in which he 
flourished (about 1600), ^\T.ites — " The most famous naval 
battles these late years have afforded, were those of Lepanto 
against the Turks, in 1577 ; of the Spaniards against the 
French at the Tercera islands, in 1580 ; and betwixt the 
armada of Spain and the English, in 1588. In these en- 
counters, wherein the Spaniards had the chiefest part, as 
I have said before, they imitated the disciphne of war by 
land, in drawing their ships into a form of fight, which in 
my opinion is not so convenient ; though I confess, in a sea- 
battle that shall consist of galleys in a calm, it is better to 
observe that order than in ships ; for men may as well follow 
directions by their hands in rowing, as an army by words of 
the tongue speaking, or their legs mo^dng. But ships, which 
must be carried by wind and sails, and the sea affording no 
firm or steadfast footing, cannot be commanded to take their 
ranks like soldiers in a battle by land. The weather at sea 
is never certain j the winds variable ; ships unequal in 
sailing ; and when they strictly seek to keep their order, 
commonly they fall foul of one another, and in such cases 
they are more careful to observe their directions than to 
offend the enemy, whereby they will be brought into disorder 
among themselves. 

" Suppose a fleet to be placed in the form of a half-moon, 
or other proportion, to fight : if an enemy charge them home 
in any of the corners of the half-moon, they will be forced 

1653.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 47 

to bear up into their main battle, and then \vill ensue 
dangers and disorders of boarding one another ; insomuch 
that it will not be possible for a general to give new dii'ec- 
tions, but every ship must jBght at its will, not by command. 
The greatest advantage in a sea-fight is to get the wdnd of 
one another ; for he that has the "svind is out of danger of 
being boarded, and has the advantage where to board, and 
how to attempt the enemy. The wind being thus gotten, 
a general need give no other directions than to every ad- 
miral of a squadron to draw together their squadrons, and 
every one to undertake his opposite squadron, or where he 
shall do it for his greatest advantage ; but to be sure to 
take a good distance of one another, and to relieve that 
squadron that shall be overcharged or distressed. Let them, 
give warning to their sliips not to venture so far as to bring 
them to leeward of the enemy ; for it will be in the power 
of the enemy to board them, and they not to avoid it. The 
strict ordering of battles by ships was before the invention 
of the bowline, for then there w^as no sailing but before the 
wind, nor no fighting but by boarding ; whereas now, a ship 
will sail within six points of thirty- two, and by the advantage 
of wind, may rout anv fleet that is placed in that form of 

Tliis method, however, was not followed by British sailors 
during the Dutch wars.' In the instructions to captains of 
ships issued by the committee for the Admiralty, is the 
following : — " You are to take notice, that in case of joining 
battle, you are to leave it to the ^T.ce-admiral to assail the 
enemy's admiral, and to match yourself as equally as you 
can j to succour the rest of the fleet as cause shall require, 
not wasting your powder, nor shooting afar ofi", nor till you 
come side by side." ^ But it soon became apparent that 
something beyond a confused host of ships fighting without 
order was to be desired, that confusion being attended with 
the most unsatisfactory results ; and it was found that that 
fleet was usually victorious which fought in line. The fol- 
lowing account of the gTeat battle ofi" the Texel, written by 
a French gentleman, who embarked on board a small vessel 
to witness the action, gives a vivid description. 

^ "Memorials of Penn," vol. i. p. 405. 

48 BATTLES OF [1653. 

" The 7tli of August (N.S.),i I discovered Admiral Tronii^'s 
fleet, consisting of more than a hundred ships of war. It 
was drawn up in three squadrons, and was bearing down. 
\vith the wind right aft, to fall upon the English, whom 
it met with on the same day, nearly equal in number, and 
drawn up in line extending above four leagues N.N.E. and 
S.S.W. The 8th and 9th were passed in skirmishes ; but 
on the 10th they came to a decisive battle. The English 
had endeavoured to gain the v/ind ; but Admiral Tromp 
having always kept that advantage, and having drawn up his 
own fleet in a line parallel to that of the English, bore down 
upon them, and began the battle with so much fury, that 
many ships were very soon seen dismasted, others sunk, and 
others on fire. The two fleets were afterwards enveloped in 
a cloud of smoke, so dense that it was impossible to form 
a judgment of the fierceness of the battle, otherwise than by 
the horrible noise of the cannon Avith which the air re- 
sounded, and by mountains of fire which every now and 
then were seen rising out of the smoke, with a crash which 
^ave sufficient notice that whole ships were blowing up. 
In fact, many ships were blown up ; and, in particular, it is 
said that Admiral Tromp, having perceived three English 
ships which had run foul of each other, immediately sent a 
fire-ship, which arrived so precisely in time, that they all 
took fire at the same instant, and blew up with a report 
capable of striking terror into the breast of the most in- 
trepid. ^ 

" Nevertheless," contmues the French narrator, " the 
English sustained, Avith incredible valoin-, all the efforts of 
the Dutch, and were seen to perish rather than to give way, 
which grieved Admiral Tromp, and made him resolve to 
attack the English admiral ; and the two ships were on the 
point of grappling, when Admiral Tromp was killed by a 
musket-shot. Tliis disaster damped the courage of the 
Dutch, who began to bear to windward, and to engage only 
in retreating. The action was no longer so violent ; and 
the smoke dispersing, the two fleets were seen in a condition 
which showed the horrible fury of the conflict. The whole 

^ "Memorials of Penn," vol. i. p. 509, et seq. 

^ This must have reference to the Oak and Worcester, which were 
burnt in the action. 

1654.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 49 

sea was covered with dead bodies, with fragments, and with 
hulls of ships, still smoking or burning. Throughout the 
remainder of the two fleets were seen only dismasted vessels, 
and sails perforated throughout by cannon-balls. Nearly 
thirty ships perished between the two parties ; and the 
English, ha\dng pursued the enemy as far as the Texel, had 
the honour of the "victory, which cost them as dear as it did 
the vanquished." 

We have here presented to us a tolerably faithful account 
of this memorable action. Admkal Blake was unfortunately 
prevented from sharing in the honours by illness, and the 
command of the parliament's fleet devolved upon Monk, 
assisted by Penn, Lawson, Jordan, and others. The entire 
force of the Engiish was 120 ships, cariying about 4,000 
guns and 17,000 men. Tromp first put to sea (according 
to a memorandum of a communication from Holland left 
by Sir W. Penn^) with eighty-three men-of-war, four fire- 
ships, and twenty-five merchantmen ; but was afterwards 
reinforced by De Witte, with twenty-five men-of-war and 
four or five fire-ships, making in all 108 men-of-war, eight 
fire-ships, and twenty-five armed merchant ships ; and their 
loss, as estimated by themselves, amounted to 6,200 men in 
all, as follows : — Slain, 1,200, among whom was Admiral 
Evertzen, and many persons of distinction ; drowned, 1,500 ; 
wounded, 2,500 ; prisoners, 1,000. The Dutch loss in ships 
amounted to twenty-six men-of-war, sunk or burnt. On 
the side of the EngHsh, seven captains and 500 men fell in 
battle ; and five captains and 800 men were wounded ; 
besides the loss of three ships. There is Httle doubt that 
fighting in line originated with the Dutch. 

Tliis decisive victory induced the Dutch to negotiate a 
peace, which was shortly afterwards concluded on Cromwell's 
ovvTi terms, the honour of the flag being one of the conditions 
demanded and submitted to. In this war, which lasted only 
twenty-three months, the English took 1,700 prizes, valued 
by the Dutch at near six millions sterUng. 

On the 24th of December, an expedition sailed for the 
West Indies, under the command of General and Admiral 
Penn and General Venables, against the Spanish islands; 

* "Memorials of Penn," vol. i. p. 506. 
VOL. I. E 

50 BATTLES OF [16-55. 

butj owing to tlie disagreements of the commanders, and the 
great defects in its equipment, it was not very successful. 
Jamaica, however, was taken, and has ever since been annexed 
to England. It must be observed, that this was a most 
unjust proceeding, war not having been declared against 

1655. — The marauding states of Africa availing themselves 
of the Dutch war, plundered and made prisoners of many 
English subjects. Blake was therefore despatched with the 
following squadron to demand restitution and satisfaction : — 

Ships. Men. Gum. Captains. 

p , qrrj /'A \ Robert Blake, General. 

° '"■ ' * * ■ *"* ■" ■ ■ I John Stokes, Captain. 

Andrew.-....-... 300 .. 54 .. Richard Badeley, Vice- Admiral. 

Unicorn . , ... . . -. 300 . . 54 . . Joseph Jordan, RearAdmiral. 

Lambert .-. .-. ... 260 . . 50 . . Roger Cuttance. 

Hampshire ... ... 160 . . 34 . . Robert Blake. 

Bridgewater ... ... 260 . . 50 . . Anthony Earning. 

Foresight 160 .. 36 .. Peter Mortham. 

Worcester 240 . . 46 . . William Hill. 

Plymouth ....... 260 .. 50 ... Richard Staj-ner. 

Kentish 170 . . 40 ... Edward Witheridge. 

Diamond ... . . .-. 160 ... 36 .-. John Haraian. 

Taunton ... 160 .. 36 .. Thomas Vallis. 

Ruby 160 . . 36 ^. Edmd. Curtis. 

Newcastle 180 . . 40 . . Xath. Cobham. 

Amity . . 120 . . 30 . . Henry Pack. 

Mermaid ... . . . . 100 . . 22 . . James Ableson. 

Pearl 100 . . 22 . . Benj. Sacheverell. 

Maidstone . . 140 . . 32 . . Thomas Adams. 

Princess Mary . . 150 . . 34 . . John Lloyd. 

Elias 140 .. 32 .. John Symonds. 

And five smaller vessels. 

Blake was also empowered by Ms government to demand 
compensation of the grand duke of Tuscany, to the amount 
of .£60,000, for damage and loss done to the English in his 
dominions, both by Prince Bupert and the Dutch. He 
accordingly sailed to Leghorn ; and his terms being accepted, 
and the money paid, Blake departed for Tunis, where he 
demanded the release of all English captives taken by the 
corsau's, and satisfaction for the injuries and losses sustained. 
The answer Blake received from the bey was to the effect, 
that he might seek redress from the castles of Guletta and 
Porto Ferino. Tunis was well fortified, the shore lined by 

1655.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 51 

batteries mounting 120 pieces of cannon ; and, in addition to 
these, the harbour was defended by a castle mounting tv/enty 
guns, and by several smaller forts. Notwithstanding the for- 
midable nature of this stronghold, the English fleet entered 
the bay, and anchoring witliin musket^shot of the batteries, 
engaged with such effect, that they were quickly demolished. 
While liis ships continued firing on the batteries, Blake sent 
the boats of the squadron with the fire-ships into the harbour, 
where they destroyed nine ships. This spirited performance 
was achieved with no greater loss to the Enghsh than twenty- 
five men killed and forty-eight wounded. Without waiting to 
enter into terms with the bey, Blake sailed for Tripoli and 
Algiers ; and those governments, hearing of what had been 
done at Tunis, at once agreed to the terms proposed. From 
thence Blake returned to Tunis, where he found all submis- 
sion ; and not only were English captives but Dutch also 
delivered up to him. 

Blake was joined ofi* Cadiz by Admiral Edward Mount agu, 
from England, with a small reinforcement, and he was ordered 
to blockade Cadiz, and secure the Sj^anish treasure-sliips 
expected from India. The fleet continued to watch the port 
imtil, water and provisions failing, Blake, with the greatest 
part of Ms ships, proceeded to Lisbon, leaving off" Cadiz 
Captain Bichard Stayner with seven frigates. On the 9 th of 
September the Spanish India fleet of eight large ships ap- 
proached Cadiz, mistaking Stayner's squadron for merchant 
vessels. Captain Stayner, after a, long pursuit, closed with 
them with the Speaker, Bridgewater, and Plymouth, and 
opened a heavy fire upon his imsuspecting victims. In a 
short time one ship sank, one took fire and was burnt, two 
ran ashore, and were destroyed, and two were captured ; the 
remainder, one of which contained the prmcipal part of the 
treasm-e, escaped into Cadiz. 

This act, scarcely short of piracy,^ was crowned with the 
mockery of a public thanksgiving. War was afterwards 
formally declared against Spain by the parHament ; and Blake, 

' The only plea which can possibly be urged in defence of the act 
seems to be the fact that the Spaniards, hearing of the capture of 
Jamaica, immediately laid an embargo upon the effects of all the English 
merchants and families in their dominions, and upon about eighty sail of 
ships, together valued at a million sterling, 


52 BATTLES OF [1657-60. 

who had returned home in triumph, sailed again with a fleet, 
with which he continued to blockade Cadiz, until hearing that 
another treasure-fleet had put into Santa Cruz, Tenerifle, he 
immediately sailed thither. 

1657.— On the 20th of April Admiral Blake and his fleet 
arrived before the town, off which six galleons, richly laden, 
were, as the captains thought, lying secure from any attack. 
Santa Cruz hes in a deeply-indented bay, and the anchorage 
was flanked by forts, the more dangerous from their being 
only a few feet from the water's edge. So secure did the 
Spanish governor consider the galleons, that he is reported 
to have said, " Let Blake come if he dare." After obtaining 
a rough survey of the j^osition of the galleons, which were 
anchored outside the boom, the smaller vessels lying inside, 
Blake resolved to attempt theii- captui-e or destruction. 
Captain Stayner, in the Speaker, was appointed to lead, and 
Blake following with the whole fleet, the action became very 
warm. The Spanish galleons were boarded and set on fire, 
except two, which were sunk, and this was effected in a very 
short space of time. The English fleet was only saved from 
severe loss by a providential change of wind. Blake had 
entered the anchorage with a fine breeze from the northward ; 
but no sooner had he completed his object, than it changed 
to south-west, and -svith this mnd the fleet was conducted 
out of the range of the batteries, having had no more than 
forty-eight men kiUed and 120 wounded. Captain Stayner, 
on his return, was knighted by Cromwell ; but the rewards 
justly due to the unparalleled skill and bravery of Blake 
were wrested from him by death. Admiral Blake died on 
board the St. George, as his \ictorious fleet was entering 
Plymouth, on the 17th August, 1657.' 

1660. — May 23, King Charles II. embarked at Scheveling, 
on board the Royal Charles (late Naseby), eighty guns. His 
majesty was escorted by a large fleet, and landed at Dover 
May 25th, and on the 29th made his entry into London. 

* The remains of this enterprising admiral — whose example Nelson 
was not too proud to emulate — were removed to Greenwich, and after 
lying some time in state at the old palace, the body was conveyed by 
water to Westminster Abbey, and placed in the royal vault. On the 
Restoration, his remains were removed, and privately interred in the 
Abbey churchyard. 

1665.] ■ THE BRITISH NAVY. 53 

Tangiers ha\ing become the property of the English crown, 
as a part of the queen's dowry, a squadron was despatched 
thither under admiral the earl of Sandwich (Edward Moun- 
tagu), to take possession, as well as to punish the dey of 
Algiers for having violated the treaty for the suppression of 
pii'acy. Tangiei'S surrendered, and the squadron departed 
for Algiers. The dey refusing to treat, the English squadron 
opened fire on the batteries and town ; but not having suffi- 
cient strength, the earl departed for Lisbon, lea\ing Yice- 
Admiral Sir John Lawson with a sufficient force to blockade 
the ports and harass the trade. This object Sir John per- 
formed so effectually, that in a short space of time the 
pii'atical states vv^ere all reduced to subjection. The strength 
of their fastnesses, however, soon made those marauders forget 
their promises, and in a short time they became as bad as 

Circumstances having occun-ed to lessen the peaceable 
understanding between Holland and England, a squadron 
was despatched under Sir Robert Holmes to the western 
coast of Africa, where he made reprisals upon the Dutch, in 
consequence of certain infringements upon the charter of the 
Royal African Comj)any. The Dutch also sent a large 
squadron thither under De Ruyter, vnth. the design of 
making reprisals upon the English, and took several forts, 
and obliged others to be demolished belonging to the African 
Company. In consequence of these hostile proceedings, con- 
tinued at intervals for four years, war was ultimately pro- 
claimed — by the Dutch in January, and by the English in 
February, 1665. 

1665. — A large fleet was fitted out, and the chief com- 
mand conferred upon James, duke of York, having under 
him many commanders who, during the preceding Dutch 
war, had performed excellent service. Sir William Penn 
was appointed " great captain commander under his royal 
highness," Sir John Lawson, Sir Christopher Myngs, and Sir 
George Ayscue, \ice-admirals ; and the captains were also 
selected on account of their courage and experience. 

The first action which took place after the declaration of 
hostilities occurred near Cadiz. Commodore ^ Thomas (after- 

^ It was customary at this period to appoint captains to be com- 

54: BATTLES OF [1665. 

v/arcls Sir Thomas) Allen, having under his orders a squadron 
of nine ships, fell in with a Dutch fleet of forty sail of mer- 
chant ships (many of which were well armed), under the 
convoy of four third-rate sliips of war, commanded by Com- 
modore Brackel. Foiu' of the richest ships were taken or 
sunk, and Commodore Brackel killed j but the remainder of 
the fleet escaped into Cadiz, where for a time they were 
blockaded by the EngHsh squadron. 

On the 8th of March, the London, of eighty guns, bearing 
Sir John Lawson's flag, caught tire and blew up at the Nore, 
whereby 300 persons perished, and the shij) (one of the finest 
in the navy) was wholly destroyed. Su' John Lawson there- 
fore hoisted his flag in the Royal Oak, seventy-six. An- 
nexed is a list of the fleet. 

To this gTand fleet the Dutch ojoposed one equally power- 
ful, and committed the command of it to the Heer Wasse- 
naer. Baron Opdam, having under him the two Evertzens 
and Cornelius Tromp, with the best seamen Holland could 
boast. The English fleet put to sea in April, and stood over 
to Holland ; but meeting with bad weather, returned to 
Solebay on the morning of the 1st of June. It is necessary 
here to draw attention to an important fact, which, although 
shrewdly guessed at by Admiral Ekins in his work on naval 
battles, has been clearly brought to Hght. Allusion is made 
to the evolution understood to have been first practised by 
Lord Bodney, called h^eaking the line ; but that this move- 
ment w^as effectually and designedly performed on this occa- 
sion by the English fleet there can be Httle doubt. 

At noon, on the 1st of June, the Dutch fleet, which leffc 
the Texel on the 13th May, hove in sight off the Enghsli 
coast ; and a large number of colUers having shortly before 
joined, the greater part of the crews were taken to man the 
English fleet, and the duke of York put to sea. The Dutch 
fleet vv^as then supposed to consist of 120 sail, including ten 

manders-in-chief on different foreign and borne stations, with the rank of 
commodore only. These commanders-in-chief were jjermitted to carry 
flags, and on some occasions allowed to hoist the union flag at the main, 
— at least Charnock asserts this ; but the probability is, that the flag 
so used was the burgee, or swallow-tailed flag ; and possibly the union 
flag, stated by him to have been hoisted as above, was swallow-tailed 

List op the English Fleet, March 20, 1665. — (From ^lemorials ofPenn, Vol. II.) 


who bears the Umon Flag, and his Vice-Admiral the 

White Flag. 

with his Vice-Admiral carrying the Blue. 

First -RATB. 
Royal Charles — 


Royal Oak 


Old James 

St. George 



Mary , 





Bristol frigate. . . 
Happy Return . 
Yarmouth . . , r . 




Bonaventure . . . 















Little Mary 


Hired Ships. 

Royal Exchange 

Coast frigate . . . 

Loyal George . . . 





King Fernando . 

Ships .. 'i 

r H.R.H. D. of York, Ld. Ad. 
I *SirW.Penn,Gt.Capt.Com. 
l^*John Harman, Capt. 

♦Sir John Lawson, Vice-Ad. 
Sir W. Berkeley, Rear-Adm. 
Earl of Marlborough, Capt. 
♦Joseph Jordan. 

Richard Beach . 
John Hart. 
*J. Lambert. 
Thomas Aliph. 
Thomas Goulduig. 
John Chicheley. 
Geof. Peirce. 
Arthur Langhome. 
Henry Hyde. 
John Parker. 
John Allison. 
John Pearce. 

Edward Grove. 
Mons. du Telle. 
♦John King. 
John Weswain. 
William Hill. 

Richard Poole- 

S. Tickel. 

Ab. Blackleach. 

Samuel Wentworth. 
William Lawson. 
John Earle. 
Robert Key Tubb. 
Richard May. 
Robert Neale. 

7-143 151 
Two Fire-ships. 

Royal James , 

Triumph . . . 
St. Andrew . 
Rauibow . . . 


Resolution . 
Henrietta. . . 


Revenge . . 
Monk .... 

Newcastle . 
Mary Rose . 


Portland . . . 



Reserve . . , 
Assurance . 
E.xpedition , 

Garland . . 

Paradox . 
True Love 
Merlin . . . 

Hired Ships. 
E. India Merchant 
Bemlish . 


John and Abigail 
Constant Catherine 
Catherine. . 











































































Chr. Myngs, Vice-Adra. 
Val. Pine, Capt. 
Willoughby Hannam. 

Robert Sansum, Rear-Ad. 
♦Walter Wood, Capt. 
♦Arthur Browne. 
Robert Holmes. 
Thomas Penrose. 
Edward Spragge. 

Thomas Page. 

William Reeves. 

Thomas Evans. 

Jos. Aylett. 

William Jennings. 

William Poole. 

Joseph Tyrwhitt. 

*Jos. Jefferyes. 

Tobias Sackler. 

Jo. Waterworth, Dutch pr. 

Jo. Scale. 

Daniel Haylin. 

Ch. Talbot. 

Jo. Lightfoot. 

John Cuttle, Span, prize. 

Leonard Guy, Span, prize. 



Jo. Wilgresse. 
♦R. Taylor. 
J. Hubbard. 
S. Wentworth. 
Joseph Saunders. 


Royal Catherine. . 






Dreadnought . 




Princess . . . . 


Centurion . . 
Swallow . . . . 


Assistance . . 


Hampshire . . 
Adventure . . 
ProWdence . . 

Guernsey.. . 
Forester . . . 




Little Gift . 
Blackmore . 

Hired Ships. 

Good Hope 

Hambro Merchant 
John and Thomas. 

Castle frigate 


Golden Phoenix . . . 

) men not reek- 


One Fire-ship, six Ketches. 
Grand Total, exclusive of Fire.ships, &c., no Ships, carrying 4,537 Gims, and manned with 22,206 Men. 











































































Sir G. Ayscue, Vice-Adra. 
T. Tiddiman, Rear-Adm. 
♦Henry Tedman, Capt. 

♦Henry Fenn. 
Jo. Swanley. 
Henry Teme. 
R. Utber. 
♦Jo. Hayward. 

George Swanley. 
H. Hyde. 
Robert Moulton. 
R. Hodges. 
♦Robert Kirby. 
Zach. Brown. 
Jo. Lloyd. 
George Batts. 
Benj. Young. 

Jo. Best. 

H. Coningsby. 

Edward CottereU. 

Thomas Darccy. 

Phil. Bacon. 

Peter Foot, Dutch prize. 

Jo. Andrews. 

Jo. Johnson, Span, prize. 

Jo. Barton. 

Ant. Archer. 
♦James Cadman. 
Henry Dawes. 

' The captains marked with an asterisk commanded ships in June and July, l653. 

{To face page hi. Vol. J. 

1665.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 55 

fire-ships. The wind was light from south-east, and the Dutch 
fleet bore from the English about east-south-east, a bearing 
which the Dutch endeavoured to keep, in order to insure 
a port of refuge on their own coasts. After working to 
windward all that day and during the night, the ships drop- 
ping anchor when the tide made against them, the Dutch 
fleet, on the morning of the 2nd, was still five leagues to 
windward. The chase continued all that day also, %vithout 
altering in a great measure the relative positions of the fleets : 
but in the evening one of the Dutch shi^DS having caught 
fire, caused some confusion in their line. 

The chase contmued all night with some advantage to the 
English, but early in the morning of the 3rd of June, the 
wind changed to south-west, which gave to the English, by 
tacking, the weather-gage; but the Dutch, unwilling to sur- 
render the advantage, tacked also. The English line was 
then formed on the starboard tack, extending several miles. 
Prince. Rupert's being the van division, the duke of York in 
the centre, and the earl of Sandwich in the rear. Opdam, 
also, was stationed in the centre of the Dutch line, Cornelius 
Tromp leading the van. After much manoeuvring, the Dutch 
van ships commenced firing upon the centre of the English 
line at 3h. a.m., and the cannonade extended throughout 
the Dutch van and rear of the EngHsh as the two fleets 
passed on opposite tacks ; but the Swiftsure bore the prin- 
cipal part of the encounter, and one of the English rear 
ships was cut off*. At 6h. a.m. the Enghsh fleet again 
tacked by signal, as did also the Dutch, and as the two fleets 
again closed, the action recommenced. The Dutch had 
gained a httle in their last tack, but not being able or wilhng 
to cut the English line, bore up and passed to leeward, as 
before. The English admiral now made the signal for his 
rear to tack, the sooner to close with the enemy ; but this 
not being well performed, some little delay and admixture of 
ships occmTed. The Enghsh line was, however, well formed, 
and Vice- Admiral Sh' John Lawson led, followed, two or 
three ships only astern, by the Royal Charles. At lli. p.m., 
the van of the Dutch, having again tacked, weathered upon 
the leading Enghsh ships ; but although the Dutch had so 
far achieved their object, theii* defeat was the result, for says 
the "Narration," published in 1665, "We passed so near 

5Q BATTLES OF [16 6 J. 

about tlie middle of them, tliat we divided their fleets The 
action then became very close and animated, the ships 
engaging yard-arm and yard-arm. The Royal Oak, com- 
manded by the brave Lawson (to whom it is highly probable 
the honour of first executing that decisive evolution is due), 
did excellent service, and the Royal Charles engaged Opdam's 
ship with such effect, that about 3h, p.m. she caught fire, and 
blew up -svith the admiral and all on board. The van of the 
Dutch fleet, mthout attempting to succour the rear thus cut 
off, made for the Texel, followed by as many ships as could 
join them, leaving the English in possession of a decisive 
victory. Whether the English ships which passed through 
the Dutch line tacked immediately afterwards is not clearly 
stated ; but the vast number of ships engaged, and the fact 
that the principal details are furnished by landsmen, prevent 
the clearer elucidation of the proceedings. 

The loss to the Dutch is recorded to have been as follows : — 
The Concord, eighty-four gims and 500 men (bearing the 
Dutch commander-in-chief's flag), and the Orange Tree, of 
seventy-six guns, blown up : four shijDS, having got foul of 
each other, burnt by an English fire-ship — they were the 
Couverden, of sixty guns, bearing the flag of Vice- Admiral 
Campen ; Prince Maurice, fifty. Captain De Wit ; Utrecht, 
forty-four. Captain Jacq. Houdaert ; and a forty-gun ship, 
name not known. Three other ships, the Marseveen, of 
seventy-eight guns, Captain De Reus ; Tergoes, forty-eight, 
Captain Gerbrand Boes ; and Swanenburg, thirty, Captain 
Cornelius Cuyper, also fouled, and were burnt by another 
fire-ship. The principal ships taken were the Mens, forty- 
six ; Zelandia, forty-four ; Carolus Y., fifty-three ; Delft, 
thirty-two ; and Nagelboom, fifty-two. Their whole loss 
was summed up by the son of Sir W. Penn, as follows : — 
*' twenty-four ships taken, burnt, and sunk ; 2,500 prisoners, 
besides the slain and wounded ;" supposed by Coventry in 
all to amount to 8,000, and by others rated at 6,000 men. 
Among the Dutch commanders killed, besides the great 
admii-al of Holland, Opdam,^ Lieutenant-Admirals Cortenaer 
and Stellingworth, and Vice- Admiral Schram, also fell. 

' Tills gallant admiral, prior to his leaving Holland, received positive 
orders to engage the English fleet under any circumstances. Previously 
to the action, he thus expressed himself before a council of war, which 


The loss to tlie English was very severe, and many persons 
of distinction fell. Rear- Admiral Robert Sansum, and the 
earl of Marlborough (a brave seaman, who commanded the 
Old James, of sixty-eight guns), were killed. Captains John 
Alleson, of the Guinea, Robert Kirby, of the Breda, and 
John Chappel, of the Clove Tree, also fell ; and among the 
volunteers, the earl of Portland, earl of Falmouth, Lord 
Muskerry, and Honourable Mr. Boyle, second son of the 
earl of Cork, who, standing together, were killed by one shot 
on board the Royal Charles. Vice- Admiral Sir John Law- 
son was wounded in the knee ; but although the wound was 
at first deemed of little importance, yet he died in con- 
sequence on the 2oth of the same month, at Greenwich. 
The total number killed is stated at 250, and the wounded at 
340, and one ship lost. 

On the 3rd and 4th of August, an attack was made by 
Rear- Admiral Sir Thomas Tiddiman upon a Dutch convoy 
in the port of Bergen. The Hector, Captain John Cuttle, 
was sunk by the Dutch, with her captain and crew (except 
twenty-five), and Captains Thomas Searle, John R. Utber, 
Thomas Haward, William Lawson, James Cadman, Vincent 
Pearce, and James Lamb, with many men, also fell a sacrifice 
to the indiscreet nature of the attack. Four Dutch ships of 
war and ten merchant shij^s were taken in the following 
month by the same commander. 

1666. — In the month of May, Captain Pliineas Pett, in 
command of the Tiger frigate, was killed in action with a 
Zealand privateer of forty gams. The action was continued 
after the death of the captain by the Heutenant, ]3ut the 
Tiger being disabled in her masts, the privateer escaped. 

The Dutch, having recovered from their severe losses, 
fitted out a fleet, under the command of Admirals De Ruyter, 
Cornelius Tromp, and Evertzen ; the English fleet was also 
fitted out in equal force, but, unhappily, the duke of Albe- 
marle and Prince Rupert shared the command. A good 
feeling had never existed between these men, and the sequel 
proved how greatly that want of unanimity injured the 
public service. The squadron of Prince Rupert had been 

had recommended his declining the combat, — " I am entirely in your 
sentiments ; but here are my orders. To-morrow my head shall be 
bound with laurel or with cypress." 

58 BATTLES OF ' [1666. 

detached from the other division of the fleet by a false report 
of the sailing of a French fleet, and the duke of Albemarle, 
at daybreak, on the morning of the 1st of June, was 
lying at the back of the Goodwin, expecting the prince to 
rejoin, and in order to expedite the junction, weighed with 
the intention of proceeding to the westward. At 7h. A.3r. 
the signal was made that the Dutch fleet was at anchor to 
leeward, in number eighty sail, or, according to Lediard, 
seventy-one sail of the line, twelve frigates, thirteen fire- 
ships, and eight yachts, carrying 4,716 guns and 22,000 
men. The duke's force amoimted to no more than sixty 
ships, with which his grace unadvisedly bore down on the 
Dutch. The English being close upon them, the Dutch cut 
or slipped, and stood im.der easy sail to the northward on the 
larboard tack. The A\Tnd was blowing fresh from south- 
west, and in accordance with the usual practice, the English 
maintained the weather-gage, although the ships were unable 
to open their lee lower deck ports in consequence. The 
Dutch, on the other hand, were enabled to open their weather 
ports, and therefore committed great slaughter and damage 
on the English ships. The action was desperate ; Tromp's 
ship was so much injured, that he shifted his flag to another ; 
De Ruyter, also, was severely handled, and one Dutch ship 
Avas blown up. At the latter end of this day's fight the 
Henry, bearing the flag of Sir John Harman, rear-admiral 
of the White, was sm-rounded by Dutch shijDs, one commanded 
by Admiral Evertzen, but performed prodigies of valour. 
Admiral Evertzen was killed, and three of the assailants, 
which appear to have been fire-sliips, were sunk. Sir John 
Harman's ship was reduced to an unmanageable state, and 
himself severely wounded ; and, having beaten off' his enemies, 
he was obliged to make for Harwich. The part performed 
by Lieutenant Thomas Lamming, of the Henry, ought to be 
recorded. This officer, observing the imminent danger to 
w^hich the ship was exposed from a fire-ship Vv^liich had 
fouled, jumped on board, and finding by the light of the 
fire the fastenings of the grappling-irons, cast them loose, 
and then returned to his own shijD. The lieutenant was 
immediately promoted for his conduct. 

Sir Wniiam Berkeley, vice-admiral of the White, vfith 
two sliips, was attacked by an overpowering force, himself 

1666.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 59 

and the major part of his crew killed, and the three vessels 
taken. ^ Night coming on, the fleets separated. On the 2nd 
the wind was moderate, and for one part calm j this interim 
was occupied by both parties in refitting the rigging and 
repairing damages, the English, es2)ecially, being much shat- 
tered. Shortly after noon, the wind coming from the south- 
ward, the fleets closed, and the action recommenced with 
vigour. Tromp was again hard pressed, and must have been 
captured, had not De Ruyter rescued him, and the Dutch 
vice-admiral, Hulst, was killed by a musket-ball. The Dutch 
were at one time nearly beaten, and had the squadron of 
Prince Kupert been present, as it might have been, a decisive 
victory would have been obtained. On this day, three 
English ships were disabled, and night again separated the 

On the 3rd the wind was from the eastward, and the 
Dutch, reinforced by sixteen fresh ships, bore down to attack 
the English. Under these cu'cumstances, the did5:e of Albe- 
marle bore up, in. the hope of being joined by Prince Rupert. 
The fleet retreated in good order, ha^ong sixteen ships in line 
abreast, to protect the rear, and the disabled ships, except 
three which were destroyed, ahead. The Dutch pursued 
under all sail, but could not get up until 5h. p.m., when they 
recommenced firing, but to very little purpose. Before that 
time, however, twenty sail were descried ahead, which proved 
to be Prince Kupert's squadron ; but in edging down, the 
sooner to effect a junction, the largest British ships touched 
on the Galloper. All went over the sands except the Boyal 
Prince, seventy-eight, bearing Vice-Admiral Sir George 
Ayscue's flag, which ship was taken possession of by the 
Dutch, and the admiral and crew being first removed, was set 
on fire and destroyed. Night again coming on, and Prince 
Pupert having joined, the Dutch hauled their mnd, followed 
by the English ; and on the 4th, between eight and nine 
o'clock, the battle was again renewed. Sir Christopher 
Myngs was the first to commence, and he engaged the Dutch 
until his ship was disabled, when he bore up. This brave 
ofl&cer received a musket-ball in the throat, but could not be 

^ The Dutch, with a noble feeling, embalmed the body of Sir William 
Bei'keley, and placed it in the chapel of the great church at the Hague, 
to await the pleasure of King Charles as to its disposal. 


prevailed upon to quit tlie deck, nor to have the wound 
dressed, stanching the ])leeding with his hand ; but half an 
hour afterwards he received another and a mortal wound. 
Sir Josej^h Jordan had liis flag in the Royal Oak, and that 
gallant old seaman again took liis full share in the hard-fought 
battle, boarding and setting fire to a Dutch -sdce-admii^al's 
shi]), and ha\dng uj) wards of 100 men killed and wounded 
in the four days ; and although victory leaned to the side of 
the Dutch, failure was not attributable to a lack either of 
skill or valoiu' on the part of indi\'idual commanders. Most 
of the English sliips were greatly disabled, and nine or ten 
taken or destroyed. The loss in men was very severe, 
amounting, according to Evelyn, to 600 killed, 1,100 wounded, 
and 2,000 prisoners. Captains Philemon Bacon, Thomas 
Whitty, Jeffery Dare, Eoger Miller, John Coppin, and Peter 
Mootham, were among the killed in this severe action. Had 
a proper feeling subsisted between the joint commanders-in- 
chief, or had the did?:e of Albemarle been a sailor, a com- 
plete victory, instead of a partial defeat, would have been 

NotNvithstanding these heavy losses, both fleets were at 
sea again in the course of a few weeks ; but the Dutch being 
first out of port, paraded in gi'eat force ofl" the moii-th of the 
Thames. From this their threatening attitude, however, 
they were soon driven by the approach of the English fleet, 
which, by great industry, was again equipped, and jointly 
commanded, as before, by Piince Pupert and the duke of 
Albemarle. In tliis instance both admirals were embarked 
in the same ship. The fleet, as recorded by Pepys, in his 
Diary, from Sir W. Coventry's statement, consisted of eighty- 
nine men-of-war, and but one of them a fifth-rate (the Sweeji- 
stakes, of forty guns), and eighteen fire-sliips. The Loyal 
London, which bore Sir Jeremy Smith's flag, was considered 
the finest ship in the world, and carried 800 men. The flag- 
officers were Sir Josej^h Jordan, Sir Robert Holmes, Sir 
Thomas Allen, Sir Jeremy Smith, Sii- Thomas Tiddiman, 
and Sir Edward Spragge ; and Captains Richard Utber and 
John Kempthorn also bore flags. The Dutch fleet vv^anted 
one ship of being equal with, the English, and was com- 
manded, as before, by De Ruyter, Tromp, and Evertzen. 

On the 2-5th of July the fleets met off" the IS'orth Fore- 


land. The action was commenced by the "Wliite squadron, 
under Sir Thomas Allen, who at noon engaged Evei*tzen's 
squadron ; and shortly afterwards the Red squadron also 
engaged De Ruyter, and the fight continued three hours 
with varied success. Evertzen's squadron was put to flight 
by Sir Thomas Allen, Admiral Evertzen, Vice- Admiral De 
Vries, and Rear-Admiral Coenders, being killed. Yice- 
Admiral Bancquert's ship was taken and burnt, as was also 
the Sneik, of fifty guns. The Red squadron was also suc- 
cessful : the Guelderland, of sixty-six guns, Admiral De 
E-uyter's second astern, was disabled, and his squadron so 
hardly pressed, that, being deserted by most of his ships, he 
at length bore up, and joined his squadron to leeward. For 
some considerable time the ships of the English and Dutch 
commanders-in-chief Avere engaged single-handed. Tromp's 
squadron was attacked with equal vigour by Sir Jeremy 
Smith and the Blue squadron, and so eager were the com- 
batants, that both edged off the Avind, and separated from 
the main body of the fleets. Tromp's rear-admiral, Houtuyn, 
was killed, and his vice-admiral's sliip reduced to a wreck, 
with the loss of upwards of 100 men, killed and wounded. 
On the part of the English, the Resolution was burnt by a 
Dutch fire-ship, and Captains John Parker of the ^N^onsuch, 
Hugh Seymour of the Foresight, William Martin, Joseph 
Sanders, and Arthur Ashby, lost their lives in this desperate 
encounter. The Dutch sustained a complete defeat, and 
were pursued into the Weilings, none lamenting the necessity 
more than De Ruyter.^ Twenty of their ships are re- 
ported to have been sunk or burnt, and 4,000 men killed 
and drowned in this action. 

The English fleet continued off the coast, destropng 
Dutch shipping, and on the 8th of August Rear-Admiral 
Sir Robert Holmes and Sir William Jennings, with a num- 
ber of fire-ships, were despatched to destroy a large fleet of 
merchant vessels in the Ylie and at Schelling. The wind 
not being favourable, the expedition worked up with some 
(lifiiculty to the anchorage at Schelling, where, on the 9th, 
they destroyed 160 Dutch merchant ships, and two ships of 

' Campbell attributes to De Euyter the exclamation ''^Vhat a wretch 
am I ! amongst so many thousand bullets is there not one to put me out 
of my pain i " 

62 BATTLES OF [1667. 

war. Tlie English tlieu landed and burnt the town of 
Bandaris, losing only six men altogether.^ 

De Ruyter again put to sea with seventy-nine ships, and 
passed Dover on the way to Rochelle, where a French fleet 
of forty sail was Ipng ready to join them. Prince Rupert 
immediately pursued with a superior force ; and De Kuyter 
took refuge in Boulogne Beads, and hauled the ships so 
close in shore, that they could not be easily approached 
by large ships. While preparations were making for an 
attack by boats and fire-ships, a hea\y gale came on, drove 
Prince Bupert off the coast, and obliged him to proceed to 
St. Helen's. In the meanwhile, the French fleet from 
Bochelle had put to sea, but being separated in the gale, 
Sir Thomas Allen fell in with a part, and caj)tured the 
Buby, of 1,000 tons and seventy guns. The French admiral, 
wanting only an excuse to return to port, deemed this suf- 
ficient, and relinquished his intention of joining the Dutch; 
the Dutch also returned into port. 

On the 25th of December a squadron of six sail, under the 
command of Commodore Bobert Bobinson in the Warspight, 
fell in with and engaged a Dutch squadron of five sail off 
the coast of Norway, three of which, including the Dutch 
commodore's ship, were captin-ed after a short action. 

1667. — On the 4th of February the ten-gun ketch Dept- 
ford, Commander Mark Pearce, fought a gallant action near 
Aldemey, with an armed French squadron convojdng 
merchant vessels. Although the enemy's force was much 
superior, the Deptford engaged and dispersed it, and cap- 
tured a frigate-built merchant shij) of 400 tons, mounting 
six guns. 

On the 5th of February the fifty-gun ship St. Patrick, 
Captain Bobert Sanders, having a fire-shi]D in company, 
fell in with two Dutch ships of war ofi' the North 
Foreland. Although the St. Patrick was scarcely half- 

* This expedition, though executed by the English, was projected by 
one Lawrence Van Heemskirk, a Dutcliman, a deserter from Admiral 
Opdam's fleet. After the return of the English fleet from their successful 
enterprise, this man was boasting in the hearing of King Charles II. of 
the bloody revenge he had taken upon his country, when that monarch 
with sternness bade him withdraw, and never again presume to appear 
in his presence. A considerable sum of money was, however, sent him, 
with which he retired to Venice, 

1667.] THE BRITISH XAYY. 63^ 

inaunecl, Captain Sanders determined on fighting, and after 
taking the gTeatest part of the men out of the fire-ship, 
bore down upon the two shij^s, each of the same size as the 
St. Patrick. After a desperate action, in which Captain 
Sanders was killed, the St. Patrick was overj^owered and 

While a treaty of peace was negotiating at Breda, De 
"Witte was putting in force a most treacherous proceeding. 
Although our magazines, storehouses, and dockyards were 
well filled, and ships were in sufficient number, Charles had 
been persuaded that notliing was to be feared from the 
Dutch, and that they, on the contrary, were much disposed 
to peace, and only two small squadrons were fitted out, 
commanded by Rear- Admiral Sir John Harman and Sir 
Jeremy Smith. 

On the 10th of May, being off St. Christopher's with only 
twelve frigates, Sir John Harman ^ fell in with the French and 
Dutch squadrons united, commanded by M. de la Barre and 
Commodore Kruysen, and together consisting of twenty-two 
ships, having 1,300 soldiers on board. The gTeat inferiority 
of his force was not considered, but the brave admiral 
immediately closed with his adversaries. ^ The English ships 
were surrounded ; but being well supported by his officers, 
Sir John obtained a complete victory, and succeeded in 
bm^ning five or six of the enemy's ships, and in sinking 
several others. The Dutch commodore was so displeased 
with the French, that he departed from St. Kjtt's in disgust, 
leaving them at anchor there. Sir John Harman taking 
advantage of tliis withdrawal, entered the harbour, and 
bm-nt and sank every remaining ship, with the loss of eighty 
men ; Captain Arthur Laugharne, of the Colchester, was 
among the killed. Sir John concluded his successes by re- 

- Chamock, in his "Biographia Navalis," vol. i. p. 100, thinks it hardly 
possible Sir John Harman could have been, at this time, in the West 
Indies ; and is of opinion that the action was conducted to its successful 
issue by Sir John Beny, the commodore in command of the squadron. 
The above, however, is from Dr. Campbell. 

'■^ Sir John Harman about the time of this action was suffering much 
from the gout ; yet, upon the discovery of the enemy's fleet, he got up 
and walked about, giving his orders as usual, till the fight was over, 
when he again became lame. 

€4 BATTLES OF [1667. 

taking Surinam from the Dutch : Captain Thomas Wil- 
loughby was killed in assisting at this recapture. 

On the 7 th of June De Ilu)^er,\vith seventy ships, appeared 
off the Thames, and sent in a squadron to attack Sheerness. 
Hear-Admiral Sir Edward Spragge was stationed in the 
river Avith a small squadron, and hearing of the meditated 
attack, he drew together such forces as he could obtain, to 
prevent that town from falling into their hands ; but the 
gPvrrison being ill prepared, he was unable to offer any 
effectual resistance. The fort was therefore taken, and the 
magazines of stores burnt and plim.dered. On the 11th of 
June the duke of Albemarle arrived at Chatham, but there, 
also, was found the fatal result of the king's bad policy. 
Scarcely 1,000 men were employed in the dockyards, and 
those so distracted by the near approach of the enemy, that 
they were of little service. The boats and vessels belonging 
to the yard v/ere, for the most part, employed in removing 
the property of the commissioner and others to a place of 
safety, instead of preparing to resist the invaders. Every- 
thing was disorder and confusion, and all that could be done 
was to raise two temporary batteries, constructed of rotten 
planks, which were hastily manned. A party under Captain 
Winton was next despatched to strengthen the ganison of 
Upnoi" Castle. The duke then proceeded to sink ships in 
the Medway, to prevent the further progress of the Dutch ; 
but these offered no obstacle, for a high tide and a strong 
easterly wind carried their ships over. 

At about lOh. a. m. on the 12th, the enemy advanced 
with two ships of war and five or six fire-ships, capturing 
the Unity, Matthias, and Crane, in their way up the Med- 
way, which they ascended as far as Upnor Castle. On 
Thiu-sday morning, Upnor Castle, in expectation of being 
besieged, was well garrisoned. Two ships fired upon the 
castle for some time without doing much damage, while 
several fire-sliips advanced higher up, where they burnt the 
Loyal London, Great James, and Royal Oak,^ and carried 
off the Royal Charles in triumph, after which the Dutch 
retired, without doing any further injury, and got safe out 
to sea, with the loss of two small ships only. 

' It was in this ship that the heroic Captain Douglas chose to meet 
his death rather than leave his station v/ithout orders. 


1667-68-69.] the British navy. 65 

On the 29tli of July, twenty sliips of the Dutch fleet, still 
blockading the lower Thames, ventured up as far as the 
HojDe, at wliich place Sir Edward Spragge and Sir Joseph 
Jordan, with a few ships, were lying, who instantly got 
under way, and began to engage. Sir Edward drove the 
Dutch back as far as the Nore, and deeply must those 
commanders have regretted the paucity of their force, which 
obliged them to relinquish the pursuit. One Dutch fire-ship 
was burnt in the river. Another attempt made by the 
Dutch to advance up the river was also defeated by the 
bravery of Sir Edward Spragge, who, in return, attacked 
them in the Hope, and obliged them to retreat. In the 
course of a few days, on the conclusion of a peace, the Dutch 
withdrew from the river, and returned to their ovm coasts. 
In the North Sea, Sir Jeremy Smith meantime captured a 
vast number of merchant vessels, and also a sliip of war. 

1667. — On the 17th of May, Captain Heniy Dawes, in 
command of the Elizabeth fiigate, engaged two Danish men- 
of-war, each of forty guns. Captain Dawes was killed by 
a cannon-ball, and the lieutenant being desperately wounded, 
the command de\'olved on the master, who also soon shared 
the fate of the captain ; to the master succeeded the gunner, 
who, with the remaining crew, continued the action, and 
carried the ship safely into port. 

1668. — SirT. Allen, in conjunction with a Dutch force under 
Yan Ghent, reduced the piratical states to entii^e subjection. 

1669.— On the 29th of December, 1669, as the Mary 
Rose, a third-rate, carrying forty-eight guns, vdih a crew of 
230 men, commanded by Captain John Kempthom, was 
convoying a fleet of merchant sliips through the Straits of 
Gibraltar, seven large Algerine corsairs, full of men, stood 
towards her. Captain Kempthorn ordered the convoy to 
make sail, while he, single-handed, advanced to engage this 
formidable force. The Algerines attacked the Mary Rose 
with much fury, and boarded her ; but were beaten ofl* with 
considerable loss.^ 

' The above is as recorded by Campbell ; but there is an original 
picture representing this engagement, in the Painted Hall at Greenwich, 
iinderneath which are the following lines : — 

'' Two we burnt, and two we sunk, and two did run away ; 
And one we carried to Leghorn Eoads, to show we'd won the day." 

VOL. I. F 

66 BATTLES OF [1670-72. 

1670. — In tlie month of July the Advice frigate, Captain 
Benjamin Young, had a severe engagement off Cape de Gatt 
with seven Algerine corsairs. After a long and gallantly- 
sustained conflict, the Algerines were beaten off A^dth con- 
siderable loss ; but the Advice also had the captain and seven 
men kiUed, and fifteen wounded. 

Yice-Admiral Sir Edward Spragge was very successfiil 
while commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet, and in 
particular in his operations against the Algerines. 

1672. — Sir Edward Spragge continued in command of the 
squadron employed in suppressing the depredations of the 
corsairs. In 1672 Commodore Eichard Beach, of the Mon- 
mouth, one of Sir Edward's squadron, captured a very larger 
pirate, moimting forty guns, and carrying 350 men. Com- 
m.odore Beach was particularly successful while on this 
station, and fought many desperate actions with these law- 
less marauders. This continued series of disasters had the 
desired effect ; the Algerines rose upon and assassinated the 
dey, and elected another in liis stead, who made peace with 
the English. 

The peace with Holland continued till the year 1672, 
when it appearing desii'able to quarrel. Sir Robert Holmes 
was ordered to intercept the Dutch homeward-bound Smyrna 
fleet, and under the pretence of demanding the homage of 
the flag, which it was known would be resisted, to capture 
them. The Dutch fleet, consisting of seventy-two sail of 
merchant ships, under the convoy of six sliips of war anived 
in the Channel earlier than was anticipated, and Sir Robert 
Holmes had only sufficient time to take with him seven or 
eight ships, with which, on the 13th of March, he fell in 
with them off the Isle of Wight. The Dutch being fully 
j)repared, he met with no great success, and was himself 
severely wounded. He however continued all day engaging 
them, and on the next day liis brother. Captain John Holmes, 
in the Gloucester, captured a ship of fifty-four giins, com- 
manded by Captain Jolm Yan Nes, who was killed ; and 
this, with two or three small ships, formed all the advantage 
which accrued. King Charles shortly afterwards ordered all 
Dutch ships to be seized, and on the 17th of March published 
his declaration of war. 

Towards the end of April, having received intelligence that 

1672.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 67 

a squadron of Algerine corsairs was lying in Bngia Bay, Sir 
Edward determined on attacking them. The expedition 
was however delayed till the 2nd May, when the boats of 
the fleet, commanded by Lieutenant Pom i nick I^ugent, pro- 
ceeded on this service, but owing to the premature ignition 
of one of the fire-ships, the attack failed. On the 8th, a 
second attempt was made, in which Caj^tain Leonard Harris, 
commanding the Little Victoiy fire-ship, and Captains John 
Pearce and Edward Finn, commanding divisions of boats, 
distinguished themselves. The fleet, taking advantage of a 
breeze of wind, stood close in to the batteries and ojDened 
fire, and although the corsau's were protected by a strong 
boom and secured in the best manner from injury, yet the 
first was destroyed after much labour by the boats, and a fire- 
ship well directed being sent in among them, the whole, 
numbering ten ships, mounting from tliirty-four to twenty- 
four guns, were totally destroyed. On the part of the 
Enghsh, seventeen men were killed and forty-one wounded. 

The Enghsh being joined by the French, a fleet of forty 
ships, under Count d'Estrees, arrived at Portsmouth on the 
3rd of May, where the English fleet, of nearly 100 sail, was 
also lying, under the command of the duke of York ; the 
earl of Sandwich being admiral of the Blue squadron. This 
large fleet put to sea, and on the 1 9th of May discovered the 
Dutch fleet about eight leagues east-south-east of the Gun- 
fleet ; but thick weather came on, and the combined fleet 
anchored in Solebay, and remained till the 28th, when the 
Dutch unexpectedly appeared in the ofiing. Many ships cut 
their cables, so much were they taken by surprise, and the 
utmost speed was necessary to enable them to get ready to 
receive the enemy. The Dutch fleet consisted of seventy-five 
large ships and forty frigates, commanded by Admirals De 
Pujrter, Bancquert, and Yan Ghent. 

The action commenced at 8h. with an attack upon 
Count d'Estrees by Admii-al Bancquert. The French 
acquitted themselves with much bravery at the outset, but 
in a short time bore uj) and left the fight. The duke of 
York's squadron was next assailed by De Pi.uyter, and the 
St. Michael, bearing his royal highness's flag, lost her main- 
topmast, and was so injured that the duke thought it neces- 
sary to shift his flag to the Loval London. 


68 BATTLES OF [1672. 

The earl of Sandwich, at the head of the Blue squadron, 
evinced most exemplary bravery. His flag was flying in the 
Koyal James, of 100 gims, which, being the largest present, 
was the mark for which every ship aimed. The Great Hol- 
land, 80, Captain Ackian Brackel, first attacked her, and 
was soon supported by Yaii Ghent and a squadron of fire- 
ships. The Great Holland laid the Royal James alongside, 
and endeavoured to board, while Van Ghent also attacked 
her, and against these combined enemies the conflict was 
maintained for a long time. Van Ghent was killed, three 
Dutch fire-sliips sunk, and the Great Holland beaten off" with 
the loss of her captain and most of the ofiicers, as well as 
two-thirds of her crew. For near five hours the Royal 
James was thus closely beset, and being greatly damaged, 
and having lost many of her spars, she fell to leeward of the 
Blue division, the ships of wliicli were for the time too closely 
])ressed to attend to the admiral. At length a Dutch 
fire-ship boarded, and set her on fire. At this time, 
of 1,000 men who had composed her crew at the commence- 
ment of the action, 600 were lying dead on the deck ; the 
remainder, unable to extinguish the flames, except some few 
who escaped, perished in the ship, the earl of Sandwich 
among the number. Captain Sir Richard Haddock miracu- 
lously escaped, having been picked up out of the sea badly 

The confusion caused by the death of Van Ghent made it 
necessary for the Dutch to withdraw from the contest, which 
gave the Blue squadron an opportunity of uniting with the 
duke of York's, which was at that time attacked by the 
united squadrons of Bancquert and De Ruyter. Thus rein- 
forced, the duke of York was enabled to make some impres- 
sion upon the Dutch. CorneHus Evertzen was killed, and 
De Ruyter and Rear- Admiral Allemand narrowly escaped 
destruction from a fire-ship. ^ 

De Ruyter being wounded, his ship disabled, and having 
lost 150 men, was obliged to quit the combat. The late 

' During the late war, fire-ships were found, for the most part, useless ; 
but in the times of which we are treating, they must have been regarded 
as enemies of no mean description, as, from the vast number of ships 
which then commonly composed a fleet, much injury was almost certain 
to result from their employment. 

Sir ~S. L ely pin-r . 

OB. 1672. 

1673.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 69 

Van Ghent's squadron being restored to some order, then 
made sail to the suppoi-t of De Ruyter's and Tromp s 
squadrons, and the fury of the fight was renewed ; but the 
French still kept at a distance. At about nine at night the 
fire slackened, and, as both fleets had suffered severely, a 
separation took place, as if by mutual consent, the Dutch 
retiring to the northward unmolested. The loss on both 
sides seems to have been nearly equal. The English had four 
ships burnt, sunk, or disabled, among which number was the 
Boyal James ; and the Dutch lost three of their largest ships, 
— one sunk, a second burnt, and a third captured, and the 
Great Holland reduced to a sinking state. 

But the loss in men proves more clearly how desperate must 
have been the action. Besides the earl of Sandwich, there 
were slain Captains Digby, of the Henry ; Geoffi^ey Pearce, 
of the St. George ; John Watei'worth, of the Anne ; Sir 
Fretcheville Holies, of the Cambridge ; Sir John Cox, of 
the Prince ; Willoughby Hannam, of the Triumph ; William 
Pinch, of the Crown ; and Ezekiel Yennis : and of volunteers, 
Lord Maidstone, Mr. Montagu, Sir Phihp Carteret, Sir 
Charles Harboard, Mr. Trevanion, and many others ; and of 
other officers and seamen, 2,500, and as many wounded. 
The Dutch did not publish any list of their loss ; but De 
Ruyter described the action in his letter as the hardest-fought 
battle he had ever witnessed. 

1673. — The island of St. Helena was taken from the 
English by the Dutch, but recaptured by a squadron of four 
sliips of war, commanded by Commodore Richard Munden, 
homeward-bound from the East Indies. This service was so 
acceptable to the English government, that the commodore 
was knighted in consequence. 

In the spring of this year an insufficient fleet was fitted 
out, and the command given to Prince Rupert, — the duke of 
York being excluded by the Test Act, recently passed, from 
holding the command. Party feeling appears to have de- 
prived the fleet of the services of several talented admirals, 
and great discontent prevailed eveiywhere. The Count 
d'Estrees, -with his fleet, was still nominally attached to the 
English fleet ; but it would appear, from the concun-ent 
testimony of liistorians, that the French would have better 
served England had they remained in their own ports. 

70 BATTLES OP [1673. 

On the 28t]i May an action took place, the fleets being 
nearly equal. Sir John Harman, in the London, was vice- 
admiral under Prince Rupert, and Sir Edward Spragge com- 
manded the Blue squadron. The combined fleet being to 
windward, bore down upon the Dutch, and Su' Edward 
Spragge, in the Royal Prince, gallantly attacked Tromp. 
Tromp was thrice obliged to shift his flag, the ships he fought 
in being disabled. The Dutch were so furiously attacked, 
that they were under the necessity of retreating, taking 
refuge anjong the sands ofi* their coasts, where they knew 
the Eno:Hsh would not follow them. 

No further fight occurred till the 4th of June, when, 
being reinforced by a number of fresh ships, the Dutch again 
put to sea. The combined EngHsh and French fleets, in 
order to draw the Dutch ofi* the coast, made sail away : but 
at 5h. P.M., having shortened sail, to allow the Dutch to 
close, an action began. Spragge and Tromp, as usual, vied 
mth each other in acts of bravery, and their squadrons en- 
gaged ship to ship, with great slaughter on both sides. Cap- 
tains Richard White, of the Warspight, John Tempest, and 
Thomas Foules, were among the number killed. The fight 
lasted tiU lOh. p.m., when the Dutch hauled to the ^vind, 
and retired, as before, to the shelter of their own flats. 
Neither fleet lost a ship in this battle. 

Having landed their wounded, and slightly refitted, the 
combined fleets put to sea on the 17th of July with 4,000 
troops, intending to make a descent upon the coast of Zea- 
land. The fleet arrived off the Maese, but, without landing, 
distracted the attention of the Dutch by parading before 
their coast, and taking a rich Indiaman in their sight. The 
Dutch fleet bore this for a fortnight, when it again put to 
sea in great force, consisting of more than 100 sail, com- 
manded by Admirals De Ruyter and Bancquert, while the 
combined fleet, including thirty French, consisted of ninety 
ships. The Dutch manoeuvred in the night to get in shore 
of the combined fleet, and on the morning of the 11th of 
August being to windward, bore down to the attack. The 
French, which had previously been distributed among the 
EngHsh shiiDS, were on this occasion in a separate squadron, 
and at the first onset made sail away, lea^dng the English to 
fight the battle alone. The English admiral, thus deserted, 

Vanjijiie pi. 




1673.] THE BKITISH NAVY. 71 

found it advisable to retreat towards his own shores, pre- 
serving the order of sailing ; and a running fight ensued. 
Tromp and Spragge, as before, singled out each other's ships, 
the former in the Golden Lion, the latter in the Royal 
Piince. Spragge backed his main-topsail to wait Tromp's 
coming up ; and, after severe fighting for three hours, the 
Koyal Prince was disabled. ^ Spragge then took his boat, 
and went on board the St. George, where he rehoisted his 
flag. Tromp also, about the same time, changed his flag 
into the Comet, and these comparatively fresh ships renewed 
the fight with fiuy. The St. George, after engaging some 
time, lost her mainmast, and the determined Spragge again 
took to his barge, intending to go on board the Royal 
Charles ; but in this he was disappointed, for he had hardly 
quitted the St. George when the boat was simk by a shot, 
and he was drowned close alongside the ship. The fight 
continued till night, when the Dutch hauled ofi^ and re- 
turaed to their own coast. 

Vice- Admiral the earl of Ossory gained much distinction 
by going to the rescue of the Royal Prince ; and Sir John 
Kempthorn and Sir John Chichely also rendered themselves 
conspicuous by their gallantry. Admirals Sir John Harman 
and Sir John Holmes, with Captains William Davies, Robert 
Stout, George Legge, Sir John 'Berry, Sir John Ernie, Sir 
Roger Strickland, and Richard Carter, Avere also honour- 
ably mentioned by Prince Rupert. Captains Sir William 
Reeves, Francis Courtenay, John Hayward (sen.), Richard 
Le Neve, and John Price, were killed in tliis memorable 

Of ships the loss to the English was inconsiderable ; but 
from the large number of soldiers on board, the slaughter 
was very gi-eat : historians, however, are silent upon this 
point. There is little doubt that, had the French done ever 

^ Before Sir Edward quitted the Koyal Prince that ship was wholly 
dismasted, most of her tipper tier of guns disabled, and 400 out of the 
750 men who had composed her crew killed or wounded. In this 
situation a large ship bore down on her with two fire-ships, intending to 
take or destroy her ; but the gunner, Eichard Leake, father to the sub- 
sequently renowned Sir John Leake, took command of the ship, which, 
it is said, was about to be surrendered by the lieutenant, sunk the fire- 
Bhips, obliged the man-of-war to sheer o% and preserved the ship from 

72 BATTLES OF [1674. 

SO little in support of tlieir confederates, a different result 
might have been obtained ; but, as the matter stands, it 
would be vain to deny the victory to the Dutch, although 
they carried off no trophy. We cannot attribute the con- 
duct of D'Estrees to pusillanimity, but rather to the orders 
he had received from his government ; nor the misfortune of 
the EngHsh to any other cause than the folly of depending 
on an ally who had so repeatedly evinced a lukewarmness, 
from which nothing but desertion in time of need ought to 
have been expected. ^ A treaty of peace was shortly after- 
wards set on foot, and a peace concluded. 

1674. — We must next record a chivakous battle between 
Captain Thomas (son of Sir John) Harman, in the Tiger, and 
the Schaerles Dutch ship of thirty-six guns, fought on the 
:23rd February. 

The action is thus naiTated by Campbell : " The Schaerles, 
Captaui Paschall De Witte, of thirty-six guns and 1 40 men, 
met with Captain Harman in the Tiger, a small Enghsh 
frigate, which had been careening at Tangiers, and came with 
him to CacUz. The Spaniards jesting with De Witte, and 
telHng him that he durst not fight the Enghsh captain, and 
that tliis made them so good friends, Admnal Evertz heard 
it, and thereupon told De Witte that he must, for the honour 
of his nation, challenge Captain Hannan. He did so, and 
his admiral lent him sixty mariners and seventy soldiers. 
Captain Harman had but 184 men in all ; however, he stood 
out to sea, and fairly engaged the Dutch frigate in sight of 
the town. Their sliips were within pistol-shot before either 
fired, and then Captain Harman's broadside brought down 
the Dutchman's mammast, and killed and wounded four- 
score men. The English captain followed up liis advantage, 
entered the enemy's vessel with his resolute crew, and became 
master of the ship in an hour's time ; but she was quite dis- 

' The only officer in the French fleet who appeared to think it was 
his duty to fight was Rear- Admiral de Martel, who, with four ships, 
maintained a very gallant action against the Dutch, by whom he was 
nearly overpowered. The reward of his honesty, however, is too clear a 
proof of the correctness of the view we have above taken, for, on his 
return to France, he teas sent to the Bastille. It. was a joke among the 
Dutch sailors, that the French had hired the English to fight for them, 
and that their only business there was, to see that they earned their 

1674.1 THE BKITI3H KAVY. 73 

abled, and had 140 men killed and wounded. The English 
had only nme killed and fifteen wounded, one of whom was 
the brave Harman, by a musket-shot, wliich went in at his 
left eye and out between the ear and jaw-bone ; but from 
v>-hich he perfectly recovered." 

The peace with Holland was concluded previously to the 
above encounter, on the 9th FebiTiary, 1674 : the Dutch 
covenanting that not only separate sliips but that whole tieets. 
shoidd strike their sails to any fleet or single ship carrying, 
the king's flag, as well as to pay a full compensation in money 
for the war. 

74 BATTLES OF [1675-76. 


1675. — In order to repress, if possible entii-ely, the still- 
continuecl piracies of the Tripoline states, Commodore Sir 
John Narborough was despatched from England with a 
powerful squadron. In the course of this year he committed 
great havoc among these corsairs, and blockaded their ports. 

1676. — Sir John's instructions directing him to try the 
effect of negotiation upon the dey, as well as force, Lieute- 
nant Cloudesley Shovel, on the 1 6th January, was ordered to 
land and wait upon his majesty. At the same time he was 
to make observations on their strength. The dey, despising 
the youth of Mr. Shovel, treated him with much disrespect, 
and sent him back with an indefinite answer. On his return 
to the ship, he reported to Sir John Narborough what he had 
observed, and was sent with a second message, which was still 
more uncourteously received. Mr. Shovel, however, made such 
remarks upon the position of the sliipping, that on his retm'n 
he assured the commodore of the practicability of burning it. 
Accordingly, on the 4th of March, in the middle of the night, 
the boats of the squadron were despatched, under the orders 
of the lieutenant, to attempt the destruction of the ships in 
the port. The boats entered unperceived and captured the 
guard-ship ; they then proceeded, undiscovered, towards four 
other ships, mounting fifty, thirty-six, twenty-four, and twenty 
guns. The boats' crews boarded and carried them all, and 
having set them on fire, departed, without the loss of a man. 
The boldness of this measure so terrified the regent of 
Tripoli, that he immediately sued for peace ; yet the terms 
not being agreeable, and the treaty in consequence delayed, 
Sir John Narborough cannonaded the tov/n, and again 
landing a party of men, burnt a magazine of timber. Sir 
John then sailed to Malta, and returning thither again sud- 
denly, induced the regent to enter into a treaty to cease 
from his piratical practices ; but the presence of an English 
squadron was continually necessary to enforce the proper 
performance of the same. This was followed by a similar 

1677-78-80.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 75 

expedition, under Sir Jolin, to Algiers, wliere promises in 
abundance were obtained, but which, like those of Tripoli, 
were never respected, unless their fulfilment was occasionally- 
enforced by the guns of a man-of-war. 

1677. — On the 19th January, the 26-gun ship Guernsey, 
Captain James Harman, engaged the White Horse, Algerine 
ship-of-war, of fifty gims and 500 men. The crew of the 
Guernsey niunbered only 110 ; but the action was continued 
with much determination. At length the Algerine, taking 
advantage of the Guernsey's disabled state, sheered oiF and 
escaped. Captain Harman received three musket-balls in 
his body, and also a severe contusion from a cannon-shot. 
He retained the command, however, until from exhaustion 
he sank upon Ms shij)'s deck, and three days afterwards 
expii-ed. The loss of the Guernsey in the action was nine 
killed and many were wounded. Lieutenant John Harris, 
who ably supported his gallant commander, was promoted in 
the month of August following. 

On the 28th October, the galley-frigates Charles and 
James, Captains Thomas Hamilton and George Canning, 
engaged a large Algerine ship of war in Tangiers Bay. The 
action was desperate, and Captain Canning fell, and the 
Algerine was not caj^tiu'ed until nearly the whole of her 
crew had been either killed or wounded. 

1678. — On the 1st April, the 64-gun ship Rupert, Com- 
modore Arthur Herbert, having in company the Mary, Cap- 
tain Roger Strickland, brought to action the Tiger, a large 
Algerine war ship of foi-ty guns and 400 men. The Rupert 
being much in advance of the Mary, engaged the Tiger alone ; 
but the Algerine was obstinately defended, and until the 
Mary had arrived up, refused to surrender. The Tiger lost 
one-half of her crew before she struck. Captain Herbert 
(afterwards Lord Torring-ton) lost an eye, and nearly all his 
officers and nineteen men were killed, and between tliirty 
and forty wounded. 

1680. — On the 12tli April, the Hampshire frigate. Captain 
Edward Finn, engaged four Algerine ships of war between 
Tangier and Tarifia, capturing the Calabash of twenty-eight 
guns and a numerous crew. The lO-gun ship Adventure, 
Captain William Booth, hea\ing in sight, the other three 
Algerines made sail and escaped. The Hampshire had three 

76 BATTLES OF [1681-83. 

men killed and nine wounded. Thirty Christian prisoners 
were found on board the pi'Lze. 

1681. — ^On the 8th of April the 40-gun ship Adventure, 
Captain William Booth, fell in with the Algerine shij) of war 
Golden Horise, mounting forty-six gTuis, and commanded by 
Morat Rais, a notorious Dutch renegade. The crew of the 
Golden Horse compiised 508 Moors and ninety Christian 
slaves. At 2h. a.m. the action commenced, and was continued 
at intervals till 3h. p.m., when Morat Rais, having had his leg 
broken, discontinued the action. Just at this time, howev'er, 
a large ship hove in sight under Turkish colours, which 
encouraged the Algerine to recommence the action, and it 
was prosecuted till night. Captain Booth considering it 
probable he would be attacked in the night by the stranger, 
gave orders to a fire-sliip in company to bum either the 
Algerine he had been engaging, or the one then closing with 
him ; but fortunately the fire-ship missed the objects, for at 
dayhght the stranger was seen under English colours, and 
proved to be the 40-gun ship Nonsuch, Captain Francis 
Wheeler. The Golden Horse, being dismasted, then sur- 
rendered, having six feet water in the hold, and 109 of her 
crew killed, and 120 wounded. 

In the middle of May, Captain Morgan Kempthorn, 
in the 42-gTin ship Kingfisher, brought to action seven 
Algerine corsairs in the Mediterranean. The Algerines 
closed round the Kingfisher, and made several desperate 
attempts to board. Captain Kempthorn ^ being well sup- 
ported by his ofiicers and crew, gallantly resisted their fierce 
assaults, and received his death-wound wliile nobly encou- 
ra^nor his men. The command then devolved on Lieutenant 
Balph Wrenn, who continued the defence of the ship, and 
the Algerines were at length cMven from their object with 
great slaughter. The Kingfisher, besides her captain, had 
eight killed and thirty-eight wounded. Lieutenant Wrenn 
was immediately promoted, and appointed to command the 
40-gun ship Nonsuch. 

1683. — On the 1st August, Commander Charles Carlisle, 
in the Francis sloop, destroyed the Trompeuse, a notorious 

' Tliis promising officer, the son of Sir John Kempthorn, was only 
twenty- three years of age when he fell. 

1G85-89.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 77 

pirate, at the island of St. Thomas, in the West Indies. The 
Trompeuse had cruised with considerable success, and her 
destruction was an object of importance to commerce. 

IQS5. — On the 12th June, Cajjtain Thomas Lighton, of 
the Lark frigate, having under his orders the Greyhound, 
Captain Randall Macdonald, and Bonaventure, acting com- 
mander Stafford Fairborne, arrived off the bar of the Mamora 
river, in which were observed two large Sallee rovers. In 
consequence of some information respecting them, Captain 
Lighton determined to attempt their capture by boats, and 
Captain Macdonald was intrusted with the command of the 
expedition. At 8h. p.m. the boats of the three sliips pro- 
ceeded on the service, and although the attack was expected 
and the boats were exposed to a severe fire from the batteries 
and sliipping, Captain Macdonald boarded the Sallee ships, 
one mounting thirty-six the other twenty-six guns, and set 
them on fire. The British loss was one man killed and five 
wounded. Four Christian slaves were liberated. 

1689. — On the 2oth March the 36-gmi frigate N'onsuch, 
Captain Roome Coyle, engaged two French sliips off Guernsey, 
one mounting thirty the other twenty-two guns. CajDtain 
Coyle and the master being killed, and there being no lieu- 
tenant on board, the boatswain, Robert Simcock, took the 
command, and so spiritedly contmued the action, that both 
French ships were captured. Mr. Simcock's conduct was 
duly appreciated, for he was promoted to the rank of captain, 
and appointed to command the Nonsuch. 

On the 29 th of April, as the fleet under the command of 
Admiral Arthur Herbert, consisting of eight third-rates, ten 
fourth-rates, one fifth-rate — in all nineteen sail of the line — 
and two tenders, was cruising off the coast of Ireland, near 
Kinsale, a strange fleet was discovered on a wind, apparently 
making for the harbour. Admiral Herbert, who was to 
wdndward, also stood in for Kinsale, to succour that place. 
On the 30th the French fleet, having evaded him, was not in 
sight, but having received information that it had gone to 
Baltimore, Admiral Herbert bore up for that place, and not 
finding it there, he continued steering to the westward, and 
in the evening the French fleet was discovered to the west- 
ward of Cape Clear. The admiral continued liis pursuit, but 
the French succeeded in getting into Bantry Bay, and 

78' BATTLES OF [1690. 

ancliored. The Englisli fleet remained in the ofling all 
night ; but on the morning of the 1st of May stood into the 
bay. Upon seeing the English, the French fleet, consisting 
of twenty-eight ships of war, of from sixty to seventy gnns^ 
and five fire-sliips, imder the command of Admii^al Chateau 
Eenaud, instantly got under way, and bore down in line 
close to the English. The action was commenced by the 
French with the Defiance, Captain John Ashby, the leading 
ship of the English line ; and as other ships got near enough, 
a smart fight took place. Admiral Herbert endeavoured in 
vain to get the weather-gage by tacking ; but finding the 
French to maintain the advantage, he made a stretch ofi"- 
shore, in order, it is said, to allow his ships to get into a line 
of battle. The French fleet, however, though greatly superior 
in force, did not pursue the English, and the latter having 
formed the line, found it impracticable to work into the bay 
again that night ; nor did Admiral Herbert think it prudent 
to make another attack the next day against a force so greatly 
superior, but remained ofl* the port, so that the French might 
have renewed the action. The loss on the part of the Eng- 
lish in this skii-mish amounted to Captain George Aylmer, of 
the Portland, and ninety-four seamen killed and 250 wounded 
in the fleet. 

1690. — On the 30th June an action took place ofl" Beachy 
Head. The French fleet, commanded by Comte de Tour- 
ville, consisted of seventy-eight ships of war, principally large 
ships, besides twenty-two fire-ships, mounting uj)wards of 
4,700 guns. This fleet, which was very perfect in its equip- 
ment, had sailed from Brest with the intention of creating a 
diversion in favour of King James ; and with this view made 
a descent upon the coast of Sussex, where a few prisoners 
were taken, and placards distributed ofiering pardon to all 
those captains who should declare in favour of the ex-king. 
Intelligence of the ajDjDroach of the French having reached 
the English fleet at Spithead, the latter put to sea on the 
21st Jime, and soon gained sight of the French fleet. Being 
joined by a Dutch squadron, the two fleets remained in sight 
of each other for several days ; and on the eventftd day, 
Admiral the earl of Torrington, who in the meanwhile had: 
received positive orders to engage the enemy, to prevent the 
Jacobite party from gaining confidence, found himself in 


command of only fifty-six sail. The combined fleet was thus 
ordered : — The Dutch division, consisting of twenty-two 
large ships, the best equipped in the fleet, commanded by 
Admirals Evertzen, Callemberg, and Vander Putten, formed 
the van ; Admiral Edward E-ussell, and Vice- Admiral Ralph 
Delaval; commanding the Blue squadron, formed the rear ; 
and the centre, or Ked division, was under the earl of Tor- 
rington. Vice- Admiral Sir John Ashby, and Rear- Admiral the 
Honoui'able George Rooke. 

At daylight, on the morning of the 30th, the English 
admiral made the signal to form a line. At this time the 
French fleet was lying to, formed in line on the larboard 
tack, the ships' heads to the northward, and to leeward of the 
combined fleet. The opportunity of bringing on a decisive 
action was therefore in the power of the earl of Torrington ; 
and having made the signal for the fleet to bear up in line 
abreast and engage the enemy, the Dutch, with their accus- 
tomed valour, bore down, and did not bring to until closely 
engaged by the French van. At 9h. a.m. the action com- 
menced. The Blue squadron, following the example of the 
allies, at 9h. 30m. brought the French rear to action, and 
fought well. But the earl of Torrington brought to before 
the ships of his division were within gun-shot. ^ The French 
centre taking advantage of the backwardness of the Enghsli 
Red division, and of the large opening left in consequence, 
kept their "vvind, and passing through it, completely cut off 
the Dutch squadron. But the latter plied their guns so 
well, that although opposed to double their number, very 
little impression was made upon them. The fight lasted 
during the greatest part of the day ; and at 5h. p.m. the 
combined fleet anchored ; but at 9h. p.m. weighed, and 
retreated to the eastward, followed by the French fleet as 
far as Ptye Bay. On the 1st July, the 70-gun ship Anne, 
being totally dismasted, went on shore, and was burnt by her 
own crew. 

The English loss in this inglorious affair amounted to one 

' It is difficult to account for this backwardness, unless we are to 
suppose that the earl was not quite sure of the dispositions of his cap- 
tains. The ex-king had doubtless many of his old adherents in the fleet;, 
and one bad example might have proved the ruin of the Protestant 

60 BATTLRS OF [1690-91-92. 

ship destroyed, and Captains WiUiani Botham, of the Restora- 
tion ; John Jennifer, of the Edgar ; two captains of marines, 
and 350 men, killed and wounded. Three Dutch ships were 
sunk, and three destroyed by their crews. Rear- Admirals 
Dick and Brackel, and Captain Nordel, were killed, and a 
great many inferior officers and men ; but that nation gained 
reputation in proportion to the English loss. The earl of 
Torrington was tried by court-martial, and acquitted of all 

The preponderance of force against the combined fleet was 
undoubtedly considerable ; for the number of guns carried by 
the latter was less by one-fourth : but when we reflect upon 
the trifling advantage gained by the French over their beaten 
enemy, we cannot l)ut regret that a greater degree of energy 
had not animated the Red division ; for had this been the 
case, we should in all probability have been spared the odium 
of a defeat, and of having kept aloof from succouring a brave 
aUy when fighting our battle. 

On the 18th July, the oO-gim ship St. Alban's, Captain 
Richard Fitzpatrick, captured in the Enghsh Channel, 
after a long engagement, a French 36-gun frigate, having 
on board, in addition to her proper com23lement, 200 seamen 
and fifty soldiers. The large number of men on board the 
French ship enabled them to protract the defence, and she 
was not surrendered until forty of her people were killed or 
woim.ded. The St. Alban's had four killed and seven 
wounded. In the following month of February, Captain 
Fitzpatrick, in conjunction with the Happy Return, Captain 
Thomas Monk, drove on shore two small French frigates, and 
captured fourteen sail of merchant ships. 

1691. — On the 2nd January, the 60-gim ship Montagu, 
Captain Jolui Laton, captured a French 24-gun privateer 
ship, after a long chase and severe running fight. Captain 
Laton and one man were killed before the French ship 

1692. — Commodore Ralph Wrenn, who commanded the 
squach'on in the West Indies, fell in with a French squadron 
of eighteen large ships of war ofi" Deseada. The British 
squadron consisted of one third-rate, four foiu-th-rates, two 
liii'ed armed ships, and two privateers ; but, although the 
enemy was manifestly superior, the commodore so ably con- 




ducted the defence, that he saved a large convoy from capture, 
and then returned to Barbadoes. 

A formidable fleet was fitted out against France, and the 
command given to Admiral Edward Russel. This fleet was 
di\dded into squadrons, as follow : — 


Gun Sliip 

Gun Ship 

Britannia (flag) 

' Eagle 

Royal William 


100 - 

London (flag) 

70 - 


St. Andrew 
. Royal Sovereign (flag) 


^ Lenox 

90 - 

' St. Michael 

00 - 

' PI^TQOUth 

. Royal Catherine 



, Devonshire 






St. Albans 


50 - 


70 - 



Hampton Court 








Gvm Ship. 

Gun Ship 

100 Victory ^flag) 

' iMonmouth 

96 Neptune 


' Albemarle 
Windsor Castle (flag) 

70 - 

Stirling Castle 


Of) J Vanguard 
^^ ! Duchess 





60 ' 


80 Cornwall 


74 Royal Oak 

^ Dreadnoiight 

' Resolution 




'' Advice 

^r. J Northumberland 
1 Berwick 


50 ■< 






Admii-al Russel's flag (miion at the main) was flying on 
board the Britannia; his vice and rear-admirals were SirEalph 
Delaval, in the Royal Sovereign, and Sir Cloudesley Shovel, 
in the London. The Blue squadron was commanded by 

VOL. I. G 




Admiral Sir John Ashby, in the Victory ; Yice- Admiral 
George Rooke, in the Windsor Castle ; and Bear- Admiral 
Richard Carter. This fleet carried 4,504 guns and 27,725 
men, and was united to a Dutch fleet of thirty-six ships, 
under Admii^al AUemonde, carrying 2,494 guns and 12,950 
total, 99 ships, 6,998 guns, 40,675 men. 


The French fleet, commanded by Admiral Comte de Tour- 
AoLle, consisted of the following : — 

Giin Ship 

Gun Ship 


Soleil Eoyal 

68 Amiable 



^ Content 

' Ambitieux 


96 - 





64 - 


' Monarque 




90 - 


^ Juste 


' Furieux 



' Grand 

St, Michel 



St. Philip 


84 - 






60 - 



St. Louis 



' Magnifique 






76 - 


Sans Pareil 




f Courageux 


58 \ Fleuron 


1 Pompeux 
[ St. Esprit 


K J \ Tdmeraire 



^* (Ti-ident 

' GaiUard 

r Mac^rer 


50 -| Heureux Retour 

68 H 




exclusive of seven smaller vessels, twenty-six ships armee en 
fliite, and fourteen others. The design in assembling this 
'fleet was to replace James on the throne of England. 

On the 18th May, the combined fleet, in all ninety-nine 

sail of the line, left Spithead, and probably was the most 


pow-erfiil fleet ever assembled. Scarcely liad tliey cleared 
the Isle of Wight, intending to stand over to the French 
coast, to harass the French, and induce their fleet to put to 
sea, when at daybreak on the morning of the 19th, Cape 
Barflem' bearing south-west by south, the French fleet was 
descried to the westward. The morning was hazy, and it 
being doubtful on which tack the enemy was, the Blue divi- 
sion was ordered to tack to the northward. At about 4h. a.m., 
the sun having dispersed the haze, the French fleet, of about 
seventy sail, was distinctly seen on the starboard tack, the 
same as the van and centre of the English, and forming their 
line j upon seeing which, the signal for the rear to tack was 
annulled, and the admiral bore away in his own ship to join 
the leewardmost ships, and form a line ahead in close order 
of sailing. At 8h. a.m. the line was formed — the Dutch in 
the van, Admiral Bussel in the centre, and Sir John Ashby 
in the rear. By 9h. the French had stretched riearly as far 
to the southward as the combined fleet. The wind continued 
from south-west, but was gradually falling light, so that the 
French fleet might with ease have delayed the engagement; 
but De Tourville waiving the evident superiority of the 
enemy, at lOh. 30m. a.m. his fleet was observed to bear away 
together. While the French fleet was thus bearing down on 
the centre and rear of the Enghsh, Admiral Russel, forbear- 
ing to use the advantage of firing upon the French as they 
advanced, ordered that the signal to engage should not be 
made until De Tourville had taken his own distance ; at the 
same time he ordered the van to tack to the northward. 
The French were therefore met by a force not greatly 
superior, and advanced until within musket-shot of the 
English line, when hauling up to windward, the Soleil Boyal, 
at llh. 30m., opened fire upon the Britannia. 

De Tourville's act was politic ; and had the evolution been 
carried out to its proper extent, by cutting the English line, 
the probability is that the English centre would have been 
cut to pieces before the rear . or van could have approached 
to the rescue, as the light breeze of wind, in consequence of 
the firing, had dwindled down to a calm. In bringing to as 
he did, however, the French admiral relinquished liis ad- 
vantage. For an horn- and a quarter the Soleil Eoyal and 
Britannia, as well as the whole of the Bed division, continued 

84 BATTLES OF [1692. 

warmly engaged, by Avhicli time tlie Soleil Eoyal was so much 
cut up in sails, rigging, and spars, tliat she ceased firing, and 
was towed out of the action. The celerity with which the 
EngHsh broadsides were poured in was most remarkable as 
compared AAdth the French. An officer present in the action 
states that the English fired three times while the French 
fired t%vice. Shortly after noon, there came on so thick a 
fog, that the sliips could not be distmguished from each 
other, and the firing ceased. Tliis fog kisted mitil the 
evening, and from its being calm the ships drifted together 
with the tide, and the fire became hazardous, as a friend 
might have been mistaken for an enemy. 

Hitherto the rearmost ships had not at all participated in 
the engagement, having been unable to get up on account of 
the calm, althougli the boats of the ships were all ahead 
towing. At 7h. p. m. Rear-Admiral Carter's flag was ob- 
served from the Victory, and shortly afterwards the French 
admii-al and part of the French fleet were seen, upon which 
a cUstant cannonading took place, till 9h. 30m. p. m., when 
each ship again lost sight of the other in the fog and dark- 
ness. Four of the enemy's ships were burnt by fire-ships. 
The killed and wounded in this day's fight were very 
numerous. The Eagle alone had seventy men killed, and 
150Avounded. Among the killed were Rear- Admiral Carter, 
find Captain Anthony Hastings, of the Sandwich. 

In the course of the night, a light air of Avdnd sprang up 
from the eastward, and the combined fleet made sail to the 
north-west, in hopes of falling in with the French the next 
morning. It is generally supposed that the French fleet 
anchored with all sail set, knowing that the wind was not 
sufficient to enable them to stem the flood tide, wliich the 
combined fleet not doing, lost much ground in the pursuit. 

On the morning of the 20th, a j^art of the French fleet, 
consisting of thirty-eight ships, was discovered about nine 
miles to the westward, and a general chase ensued, with 
a. light air still from the eastward. Shortly after noon, the 
wind veered to south-west, and the chase continued till 
4h. P. M., when the ebb having ceased, both fleets anchored 
and furled sails. At lOh. 30m. p. m., the fleet again weighed, 
and jjfied to the westward under all sail, with a south-west 
wind. On the 21st, at oh. a. m., the fleet anchored near 

1692.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 85 

tlie Race of Alderney, in fifty fathoms, Cape la Hogue bearing 
from the body of the English fleet about south. Twenty- 
three French ships also anchored, but much nearer the Race, 
and fifteen others about three leagues further to the west- 
ward. The Britannia, having lost her fore -topmast on the 
preceding night, was much to the eastvv^ard. Soon after the 
fleets had anchored, the flood tide came up rather strong, 
and fifteen or twenty of the sliips that had anchored 
near Alderney were observed dming, and in a short, time 
were to leeward of Cape la Hoijue. Three of these sue- 
ceeded in getting into Cherbourg, and Admiral Russel made 
the signal for Vice- Admiral Delaval, who with the admiral 
and about forty sail had gone in pursuit, to stand in shore 
and destroy them. The vice-admiral stood in shore, and 
found three three-decked ships, including one of the largest 
of the French navy — the Soleil Royal — aground close to the 
beach, and surrounded by rocks. Finding it impracticable 
to approach with the large ships, he shifted his flag to the 
St. Albans, and taking with him the Ruby and some fire- 
ships, stood in. The French ships opening a galling fire, the 
vice-admiral stood out again, the better to mature his plan 
of attack. Next morning, having collected the ships which 
di*ew least water, he stood in again ; but not knomng the 
proper channel, and being in four fathoms, he found it 
necessary to emj)loy fire-ships. Three fire-ships were selected 
for this purpose, the vice-admiral himself embarking on 
board one. The ships proceeded, and two (one commanded 
by Captain Thomas Heath) succeeded in burning two of the 
three-deckers, but the third fire-ship, commanded by Captain 
Thomas Foulis, was sunk by the enemy's shot. The third 
French ship being on shore, the St. Albans and Ruby 
approached and opened theu^ fire upon her, until observing 
that her crew had deserted. Vice- Admiral Delaval boarded, 
and finding none but the wounded and dead on board, he 
ordered these to be removed, and the sliip to be set on fire. 

The other ships which drove entered La Hogue, but those 
which kept at their anchors succeeded in making their way 
through a dangerous passage, known only to clever French 
pilots, to St. Malo. Sir John Ashby and part of the 
Blue division, in expectation of being able to attack the 
ships, as he thought to the westward, continued at anchor ; 


but on tlie morning of the 22nd, finding they had eluded him 
by pushing through the intricate navigation of the islands 
before mentioned, made sail to the eastward, and meeting, 
joined Admii-al Russel off La Hogue. 

At noon on the 23rd, the combined fleet had assembled 
off La Hogue, and at 3h. p. M. Admii-al Eussel made the 
signal for all boats, manned and armed, to proceed to the 
destruction of the ships in the harbour. Vice-Admiral 
Eooke was appointed to command the expedition, and ac- 
cordingly shifted his flag into the 70-gun sliip Eagle, 
Avhich drew little water. The boats, under cover of the 
guns of the frigates, and accompanied by fire-ships, proceeded 
as the night closed in to the attack ; but it was soon found 
that there was not water sufficient for any but the smallest 
frigates, for the ships had been all laid aground, and many 
were high and dry on the sands. The boats, however, pro- 
ceeded, and notmthstanding a severe fire from the forts and 
sliipping, boarded six of the shijos with very little loss. 
These were shortly in flames, but the remainder being high 
up on the beach, and protected by a large body of troops, 
could not at that time be attempted. On the following 
morning the boats returned to the attack, and burnt all 
those left on the preceding night ; in all, sixteen large sail 
of the line, and many transports,^ This important service 
was performed with loss, on the part of the English, of no 
more than ten men killed ; and its effect was that of seating 
AVilliam III. much more firmly on his throne; the destruc- 
tion of that fleet having completely dissipated the hopes of 

1693. — The command of a squadron was this year con- 
ferred upon Sir George Rooke (he having been knighted for 
his gallantry in the pre\dous May), who was ordered to 
convoy the Mediterranean fleet, consisting of English, Dutch, 
Swedish, and Danish ships. The French king despatched a 
fleet of seventy-one sail of the line, on purpose to intercept 
this convoy. Rooke's force, consisting of twenty-three sail 

' The names of the French ships destroyed are thus given by Campbell : 
— Soleil Royal, Ambitieux, Adniirable, Tonnant, Terrible, Magnifique, 
St. Philip, Couqu^rant, Triomphant, Amiable, Fier, Glorieux, Serieux, 
Ti'ident, Prince, Sans Pareil, and another, name unknown. This enu- 
meration includes those ships destroyed at Cherbourg. 

1693.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 87 

only, English and Dutch, being off Lagos Bay on the morning 
of the 17th of June, discovered part of the French fleet — 
of the real force of which he was not aware — stretching out 
from under the land. Indeed, Sir George had been misled 
by the crew of a fire-ship he had taken, who deceived him, 
stating that the French fleet consisted of fifteen sail of the 
line only. At noon, however, no less than eighty large 
ships were counted, most part of the line, sixteen of which 
were standing towards his fleet, and Sir George instantly 
ordered the convoy to make the best of their way into Cadiz, 
Ferrol, and St, Lucca. At about 3h. p. m. the combined 
squadron was only four miles to windward of the French 
fleet ; but many ships being more to leeward, Eooke backed 
his main-topsail to allow them to get up. The French 
admiral and -vice-admiral of the Blue, with eight or ten of 
their ships, meanwhile, gained considerably on the English 
and Dutch ; and at 6h. p. m. opened fire upon the two 
leewardmost ships, which maintained the united fire of 
seven or eight Fi'ench ships for several hours, with great 
gallantry, but were at length overpowered and captured. 
At about lOh. p. m. the Dutch merchant-ships which had 
remained with the squadron tacked, and stood in shore ; 
while the English merchant-ships contiuued on the same 
tack, standing out to sea. Upon seeing the Dutch ships 
tack in the night, the French fleet also tacked, and the next 
morning Sir George Booke, having stood off shore all night 
under a heavy press of sail, found fifty-four merchant- ships 
and several men-of-war in company, with which he sailed to 
Madeira for water. The loss, which principally fell upon 
the Dutch, was very severe, amounting to ninety sail of 
merchant-ships, and two Dutch and one English man-of-war, 
the whole valued at a million sterling ; but had it not been 
for the skill of Sir George Booke, the whole 400 sail would 
in all probability have suffered capture. 

Li retaliation for this severe loss, an expedition was fitted 
out, and the command given to Commodore John Benbow, 
who was ordered to proceed to the French coast, and bom- 
bard St. Malo. He sailed with his squadron, of twelve ships 
of war, four mortar vessels, and ten brigantines ; and on 
the 16th of November, aniving off that place, he anchored 
before Quiace Fort,, and when the tide permitted the vessels 

88 BATTLES OF [1694. 

to get near enough, lie sent three of the mortar vessels 
and brigantines to bombard the to^\ai. Tliis bombardment 
was repeated for several days, the vessels taking care to 
^vithdraw in time to avoid grounding. On the 18th a 
party landed and destroyed a convent, but on the follo^^ing 
day an extraordinary descrij)tion of fire-ship \yas sent in, 
which is thus described by a French writer : — 

" The vessel was a new galliot, of about 300 tons. In the 
lower part of her were placed 100 barrels of powder, covered 
with all sorts of combustible materials. Over these as^aiii 
was a row of planks or beams, with holes in them to com- 
municate the fire from above ; and upon them were placed 
340 carcasses or chests, filled "svitli grenades, cannon-balls, 
iron chains, loaded fire-arms, large pieces of metal wrapt up 
in tarpaulins, and other destnictive missiles. The design 
was to have secured tliis to the wall of the town, and had it 
l^een properly managed, it must have reduced the houses to 
a heap of ruins." When near liigh water, this infernal 
machine was sent in before the wind, and it had reached the 
foot of the wall to wliich it was to have been secured, when 
a sudden gust of wind drove it off" again, and it grounded on 
a rock at some di.stance. It was set on fire by the engineer ; 
but owing to the principal part of the powder beiiig damp, 
the explosion lost great part of its efiect ; notwithstanding 
which, it was sufficient to blow down a part of the town 
wall, and to shake and severely damage every house in the 
town. The capstau of the vessel was blown to a gTeat dis- 
tance. This, with the demolition of Quince Fort, and making- 
eighty prisoners, was the extent of the injury sustained by 
the French. It ought to be observed that St. Malo being at 
that time a principal resort of privateers, the attack was 
only retributive. 

1694. — On the 14th of January, the EugUsh merchant- 
ship Conquest, of eight gains and twenty men, John Staple- 
ton, master, on her voyage from Seville to England, fell in 
with a French 26-giiii frigate off" the Rock of Lisbon. 
Stapleton, determined to defend liis vessel as long as possible, 
brought seven guns on one side, and gallantly continued 
a running action from Ih. till 7h. p.m. By this time he had 
only four cartridges left, and his boatswain, carpenter, and 
six of his small crew, Avere Ipng dead on the deck. His 


guns, however, being all loaded, he determined to fire them 
before surrendering. In discharging these the Conquest wa,s 
set on lire, and falling on board the frigate, set her on fii-e 
also ; but dropping clear, Stapleton succeeded in extinguish- 
ing the flames, and in the confusion escaped. The French 
captain owned to a loss of twelve men killed and sixteen 
wounded. Gallantry so conspicuous was not unrewarded, for 
in September following Mr. Stapleton received his commis- 
sion as master and commander of the Drake frigate. 

In the month of May Captain Peter Pichard, of the 
G6-gun ship Monmouth, was despatched, having under his 
orders the Pesolution, Captain Simon Foulkes, and Poebiick 
fire-ship, to attempt the destruction of a fleet of merchant- 
ships, reported to be lying in Bertheaume Bay. At day- 
light on the 10th of May tliis squadron arrived ofi" Conquet 
Bay, and at .5h. a.m., on opening a point of the bay, discovered 
the object of search. On observing the approach of the 
English, the merchant-ships cut or slipjDed ; but Captain 
Pichard was intent on the capture of the ships of war 
appointed for the convoy. The boats of the squadron were 
accordingly sent away, which boarded a large armed fly-boat, 
while the Monmouth chased and drove a large ship (late 
Enghsh Jei'sey) on the rocks, wliicli was set on fire by her 
own crew and destroyed. Twenty-five merchant-ships were 
then burnt by the British boats' crews, as were several others 
in and about Conquet Bay ; and a large merchant-shij:) was 
brought off from under the guns of a heavy battery. Among 
the ships destroyed were two corvettes, which were burnt 
by the Jersey French sliip, and a large shij) laden with can- 
non and mortars. 

On the ITtli of June the French privateer 54-g'un ship 
Invincible was captm-ed after a long chase and gallant 
action by the "Weymouth and Medway, fourth-rates, Captains 
William Jumper and Thomas Dilkes. On the 31st of June 
Captain Jumper took a second large privateer, and on the 
21st of August a tliird, mounting twenty-eight guns. The- 
latter was exceedingly well fought, and having a numerous- 
crew and a brave and skilful captain (who was killed in the 
action), sustained the combat till upwards of fifty of her men 
were either killed or mortally wounded. 

In the month of June, an unsuccessful attempt was made 

90 BATTLES OF [1694. 

upon the town of Brest by a large force, under the command 
of Admiral Lord John Berkeley and Lord Carmarthen, in 
which a severe loss was sustained — ^that on board the ships 
amounting to 400 killed and wounded. 

On the 12th of July Dieppe was bombarded, and another 
infernal machine sent in under the command of Captain 
Dunbar. The machine was arrested in its progress towards 
the town by several vessels full of stones sunk before it, so 
that on exploding little mischief was occasioned. Captain 
Dunbar acquired much reputation by his intrepidity ctn the 
occasion ; for the train not taking fire when expected, he re- 
turned to the vessel which he had quitted, and a second time 
ignited the fuse. The bombardment was continued until the 
town was nearly levelled. From thence. Lord Berkeley re- 
paired to Havre, which underwent similar treatment. 

Dunkirk was next doomed to be attacked, and a frigate 
squadron, under Sir Cloudesley Shovel, sailed from England 
in September. The command of the smaller ships and ves- 
sels was conferred upon Commodore Benbow, and with him 
Mr. Meesters, the constructor of the infernal macliines, who, 
with a number of Dutch pilots, was attached to the expedi- 
tion. The engineer, aided by his pilots, was to conduct the 
small vessels, and direct the machines. On the 12tli of 
September the expedition ajDpeared before Dunkirk, con- 
sisting of thirteen English and Dutch ships of war, two 
mortar- vessels, and seventeen machines and smaller craft. 
In the evening. Commodore Benbow undertook to sound the 
Western Channel, and notwithstanding he was exposed to a 
continual fire from the citadel and ships, he performed the 
task. On the 13th, the attack commenced, and the boats, 
small vessels, and two machines were sent in. The fii'st 
machine took fire before it was near enough to take any 
efiect j the second, which was larger, reached within a few 
yards of the pier-head, but was rendered nugatory by the 
precaution of the French in driving piles at some distance 
from the pier, upon which the machine gTounded. Sir 
Cloudesley, finding Dunkirk to be for a time unassailable, 
owing to the taking off of the tides, sailed for Calais, and 
threw a great many shells into the town, which destroyed 
forty houses ; but from tliis place he was driven by a gale of 
wind, and returned with his fleet to the Downs. Thus ended 

1695.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 91 

for the year tlds expensive expedition, whicli, it was calcu- 
lated, liad cost England much more for its equipment than 
it ]iad done damage to the French; but it should be re- 
marked, in extenuation of such a mode of warfare, that 
although the injmy to the French was rather personal than 
national, it principally fell upon those who had committed 
serious depredations upon the English trade by their priva- 

On the 19th of July the 30-gun frigate Scarborough, 
Captain Thomas Killingworth, was captured after a gallant 
fight by two large French privateers, one mounting forty, 
and the other twenty-six guns. Captain Killingworth, and 
thii'ty of his ship's company, were killed in the combat. 

In the same month, the Portsmouth frigate. Captain John 
Clements, engaged in the Channel, and took a French ship of 
thirty-six guns. Captain Clements was killed by a musket- 
ball just before the enemy surrendered, and was the only 
person hurt on the occasion. 

1695. — On the Mth of January the Nonsuch, fom^th- 
rate. Captain Thomas Tayler, was captured about seventy 
leagues west of Scilly (the captain and many of the crew 
being killed, and the ship dismasted), by a French 56-giin 

On the 27th of January, a squadron of six frigates, com- 
manded by Commodore James Killegrew, in the 60-g'un 
ship Plymouth, being between Cape Bona, on the Barbary 
coast, and Pantellaria, discovered two large French ships, 
Avhich proved to be the Content, of sixty guns, Captain the 
Marquis du Chalard, and the Trident, fifty-two guns. Captain 
Count d'Aulnoy. The French, mistakiiig the frigates for 
merchant-ships, made sail towards them : but discovering 
their error, hauled to the wind and endeavoured to escape. 
Commodore Eallegrew chased, and the Plymouth outsailmg 
the other ships of the squadron, at 4h. p.m. got within gun- 
shot of the French ships, upon which she gallantly opened 
fire. For more than an hour this ship, unsupported, main- 
tained a conflict with two powerful ships — the wind being 

• Mr. Meesters undoubtedly found in the English government very 
ready speculators ; but a short time svij6&ced to prove that the whole 
scheme was a perfect failure, the projector an impostor, and the mem- 
bers of the government his credulous dupes. 

92 BATTLES OF [1695; 

so light as to preclude the otlier ships from closing — during 
which time the brave commodore was killed bj a cannon- 
baU. The Falmouth, Captain Caleb Grantham, next got 
into action, but she also was alone for an hour. As soon as 
the four remaining frigates — Carlisle (Captain John Norris), 
Newcastle, Southampton (Captain Eichard Kirby), and 
Adventure had arrived up, the French ships separated, but 
were pursued — the Content, by the Carlisle and Newcastle ; 
and the Trident, by the Falmouth and Adventure. The 
French fought their sliips well, and maintained a running 
fight throughout the night ; but in the forenoon of the fol- 
lowing day both surrendered, ha\Tiig lost many men, and 
being much disabled. The Trident, being leaky, was sent 
into Gorcjonti, and the Content was carried to Messina. 
The Plymouth suffered the most severely, having, in addition 
to the commodore, foui-teen men killed and thkty wounded ; 
besides being greatly damaged, and with the loss of her 
fore-topmast. The other five ships lost together about 
double that number. Commodore Killegrew was buried at 
Messina with military honours. 

On the 16tli of April, the 70-gun ship Hope, Captain 
Henry Robinson, Vas captured in the Channel, after a brave 
and long-protracted resistance (in the course of which 
eighty men were killed and wounded), by five French ships 
of war. 

On the 4th of February, the 44-gun ship Dartmouth, 
Captain Roger Vaughan, was captured by two French 40- 
gun ships, after a gallant defence of six hours' duration. 

In the summer of this year, a second expedition was fitted 
out, consisting of English and Dutch vessels, to be employed 
on the French coast, under the command of Lord Berkeley, 
and the Dutch admii^al Allemonde. St. Malo was the first 
place selected. On the 4th of July they amved off Quince 
Fort, which was immediately cannonaded. Next day, three 
English and two Dutch mortar-vessels, under Colonel Richards, 
proceeded to attack the forts on one side of the channel, and 
the other side was committed to the Dutch, while Com- 
modore Benbow, at the head of a third party, with a red 
flag flying, proceeded in the Charles galley. The frigates 
followed, and anchoring as near the town as possible, the 
bombardment commenced at 6h. a.m., and continued for 

1695.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 93 

some hours witli great fmy. At 8h. a.m. the town was on 
fire in several places. Quince Fort, being of wood, was set 
on fire by two fire-ships, and burnt for two hours. The 
bombardment continued uninterruptedly all day, but at 
evening, the mortar-vessels, having expended their ammu- 
nition — nearly 9,000 shells and carcasses — put to sea. The 
force upon which this enterprise depended consisted of six 
Enghsli and four Dutch men-of-war, nine galliots, fourteen 
flat-bottomed boats, and two brigantines, which suffered 
a loss of sixty killed and wounded, and one mortar-vessel 
and several boats sunk. The houses of St. IMalo, being 
chiefly of wood, were completely destroyed. Benbow dis- 
tinguished himself in this attack, and was afterwards de- 
tached with a squadron of eight frigates to bombard 
Granville. Arriving there on the 8th of July, he attacked 
it so \dgorously that in a few hours he departed for Havre, 
leaving Granville in flames. A demonstration only was made 
at Havre, and the squadron returned to Spithead, to join the 
fleet fitting for the bombardment of Dunkirk. 

On the 1st of August at 9h. a. m. the attack upon Dun- 
kirk was commenced by several mortar- vessels and gun- 
boats ; but so great had been the preparations of the French, 
that little impression was made ; and misunderstandings 
•having arisen between the land officers and Mr. Meesters, 
the engineer, the attempt was given up, and the fleet sailed 
to Calais. On the 17th of August, Calais was bombarded — 
(600 shells were thrown into the to^vn, and much damage 
was occasioned. These attacks, however unsuccessfully con- 
ducted, had the eftect of doing great injury to the privateers, 
which, during the war, had done immense mischief to the 
trade of England and Holland. 

On the 30th of May, a small vessel belonging to Poole, 
commanded by William Thompson, was fishing ofi* Purbeck, 
when a privateer sloop from Cherbourg was perceived 
standing towards her. The fishing vessel was provided with 
two swivels, and a few muskets ; and her crew consisted of 
■the master, one man, and a boy. Thompson resolved to 
resist the privateer, and prepared for a defence. The pri- 
vateer closed, and an engagement ensued between these 
unequally-matched vessels ; but in a short time Thompson 
.wounded the captain and mate of the privateer, and six of 

94 BATTLES OF [1696. 

the men, upon which the privateer made sail and endea- 
voured to escape. Thompson chased ; and so skilfully 
manoeuvred his vessel and handled his two guns, that he 
compelled the vessel to surrender. Thompson carried his 
■pvize into Poole, with fourteen prisoners on board. The 
French vessel, when she commenced the action, mounted 
two patereroes, and had a crew of sixteen men. For this 
exploit, the Admiralty awarded to Thompson a gold chain 
and medal value <£60. 

A similar action occurred shortly afterwards. The coasting 
sloop Sea Adventure, commanded by Peter JoHffe, observing 
a French privateer off Portland taking possession of a small 
fishing vessel belonging to Weymouth, made sail after her, 
and attacked her so smartly that the privateer was glad to 
release the prize. Joliffe followed up his success, and at 
length succeeded in driving the privateer ashore in Lulworth 
Bay, and the inhabitants of the small village of Lulworth 
assembling on the beach, completed the triiunph by taking 
possession of the vessel and making prisoners of the crew. 
Joliffe was also rewarded by a gold chain and medal. 

1696. — On the 30th of April, the oO-gim ship Foresight 
Captain Hovenden Walker, and Sheerness, of thirty-two 
guns, having a small outward-bound convoy in charge, 
gallantly engaged in the Channel, and succeeded in beating 
off, two large French line-of-battle shij)s which attacked 
them, and preserved the convoy entire. 

In the month of December, the Weymouth, Captain 
William Jumper, engaged and sank the FougTieux French 
4 8 -gun sliip, pierced for sixty guns ; on the 22 nd of the 
month, the Weymouth gallantly engaged a French 50-gun 
ship ; but some powder on board the British sliip acci- 
dentally taking fire, blew up the poop and disabled the ship 
for further immediate action, when the enemy made sail and 
endeavoured to get away. Having repaired her damages, 
the Weymouth again closed with the enemy ; but the two 
ships falling foul, the Weymouth's bowsprit and three lower 
masts fell by the board. Having now no further difficulty 
in doing so, the French sliip escaped. 

Admiral Du Bart, with a French squadron of seventeen 
large ships, entered Dunkirk, in the month of January, and 
was afterwards blockaded by Bear- Admiral Benbow ; but 

1697.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 95 

Du Bai-t, taking advantage of a strong southerly wind, 
effected his escape, and attacked the Dutch Baltic fleet 
before Benbow (whom the Dutch refused to follow) was able 
to get up with them. During this year, also, various attempts 
were made ujDon the coast of France, particularly in Camaret 
Bay and at the isles of Bhe and Belleisle. The peace of 
Byswick was shortly afterwards concluded. 

1697. — On the 30th April, the 60-gun ship Medway, Captain 
William Cleveland, cruising off Scilly, chased and brought to 
action the French private ship of war Pontchartrain, mount- 
ing fifty carriage-guns and twelve swivels, with a picked crew 
of 400 men. The action began at 6h. a.m., and was con- 
ducted within musket-shot for three hours, the enemy 
attempting at one period to board the Medway ; but at the 
expiration of this time, the Pontchartrain, having nearly 
100 men killed or badly wounded, hauled down her colours. 
The Medway's loss amounted to five men killed, and ten or 
twelve dangerously and slightly wounded. 

On the 14th Augaist, a squadron, consisting of the 80-gTin 
ships Torbay and Devonshire, 70-gun sliip Bestoration, 
and 64-gun sliip Defiance, mider the command of Com- 
modore Thomas Harlow, had an action with a French 
squadron of five sail of the line, commanded by M. Pointis; 
but the enemy having the advantage of sailing, and conse- 
quently of declining action, after engaging some short time, 
made sail away. The EngHsh squadron pursued, and on the 
16th the French again allowed them to come within gam- 
shot, and a second time hauled off. In the two partial 
actions the Torbay had one man killed and five wounded, the 
Bestoration six killed and fomi;een wounded, the Devonshire 
eleven killed and eleven wounded, and the Defiance sixteen 

On the 19th Aug-ust, Captain Jumper, in the "Weymouth, 
had another opportunity of distingTiishiiig himself, which is 
thus descril^ed in his own letter : — 

" On the 19th, in the afternoon, I saw a sail to leeward, 
between the land of Clonne and St. Martin's, whereupon I 
crowded sail to leeward to him, trimming my sails on a wind, 
though I went before it, that he should not discover my 
square yards ; keepLug my head to him, and making a little 
yaw sometimes to show my French ensign. He kept his 

96 BATTLRS OF [1G97. 

wind to me, and braced to. Another frigate that was at 
anchor under a castle weighed and stood off to us ; and 
believing I could beat them both, I brought all the strength 
I could on one side for dispatch. The man-of-war first men- 
tioned coming near, suspected me, and made sail off shore ; 
but I outsailed him, and went close under his lee side. I 
kept my French ensign flying to prevent his firing at my 
masts till I was near enough, then put up the English ensign 
and poured a broadside in him. I braced my maintopsail 
aback, and before half the second round was fired she stnick, 
being called L'Aurore, of Rochefort, the king's ship, one year 
old, in the nature of our galleys, carrying twenty guns on the 
upper deck, none on the lower deck^ but four on the quarter- 
<leck ; and between decks small jDorts for oars." The other, 
Avhich was a ship of the same description, observing the fate 
of L'Aiu'ore, made her escape. 

On the 26th August, the 50-gun ship Hampshire, Captain 
John Fletcher, Avas destroyed in Hudson's Bay by a French 
.jsquadron, and Captain Fletcher killed in her defence. 

1700-2.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 97 


Queen Axxe ascended the throne on the 8th of March, 
1702, and on tlie 2nd of May declared war against France. 
In September, 1701, Vice- Admiral Benbow had sailed to the 
West Indies with a squadron of ten sail of third and fourth- 
rates, imder orders to detain the Sjoanish galleons. Admiral 
Chateau Renaud also sailed from Brest for the same place, 
with foiu'teen sail of the line and sixteen frigates, to meet the 
galleons, and convoy them to Cadiz. Benbow performed 
great service to the trade of the West Indies, and had intel- 
ligence of the proceedings of the French, which he, in a great 
degree, succeeded in combating. On the 19th of August, 
1702, in the evening, the vice-admiral with his small squadron, 
being off Santa Martha, fell m with ten sail of French ships, 
under Eear-Admii-al Du Casse ; the squadron, consisting of 
four ships, mounting seventy and sixty guns, one large Dutch 
ship, another full of troops, and the remainder chiefly small 
vessels, were running down close in-shore, under their top- 
sails. Benbow immediately chased ; but his ships being very 
much separated, he was under the necessity of waiting their 
arrival before commencing the attack. At 4h. p.m. the 
engagement began. 

The British squadron consisted of the following : — 

Guns. Ships. 

^^ -n 1 i Vice-Admiral John Benbow 
I Captain Christopher Fogg 

64 Defiance ,, Richard Kirkby 

54 Greenwich .... ., Cooper Wade 

f Ruby ., George Walton 

j^j^J Pendennis .... ,, Thomas Hudson 

I Windsor ., John Constable 

I Falmouth .... ,, Samuel Vincent 

Benbow s intention appears to have been to overtake the 
leading French ship, and as soon as his second astern was 
a,breast of this ship the action was to have commenced. His 
object, doubtless, was to disable these, when the remainder 
would have become an easy prey j but the Falmouth was 
the first to break liis orders, that ship, being in the rear, 
iiaving closed with and engaged the Dutch ship. The 

VOL. I. H 

98 BATTLES OF [1702. 

Windsor and Defiance also engaged the ships nearest them ; 
but the two latter, after a few broadsides, hauled off, and 
stood out of gunshot. The brunt of the action was borne by 
the vice-admiral, in the Breda, which ship was opposed to the 
two sternmost French line-of-battle ships, by which she was 
much disabled. The fight lasted from 4h. p.m. tUl night, and 
the British admii^al continued his pursuit of the enemy till 
the next morning ; but at daybreak he found he had only 
the Kuby near him, the rest of the ships being four or five 
miles astern. 

At 2h, P.M. on the 20th, the sea breeze having set in, the 
French formed a line and made sail on their way, followed 
by the Breda, Ruby, and Falmouth. The remaining four 
British ships — Defiance, Greenwich, Pendennis, and Windsor 
— made no effort to join in pursuit of the enemy. The 
Breda and her two seconds, in the course of the afternoon, 
distantly attacked the enemy's rear ships, but without making 
any visible impression ; Benbow, however, continued to fol- 
low, under every disadvantage, for the two succeeding days. 

At 2h. A.M. on the 24:th, owing to a change of wind, the 
Breda was enabled to pass within hail of the sternmost 
French ship, and a smart action ensued. Benbow in person 
boarded the French ship three times, in performing which 
he received a severe wound in the face, and another in the 
arm, and shortly afterwards the gallant admiral had his right 
leg shattered by a chain-shot, and was carried below ; but he 
insisted on being again taken upon deck, where he remained, 
and, while lying in his cradle, continued to give directions 
respecting the action. 

The Breda's immediate opponent was in a short time 
reduced to a wreck, having lost her fore-topmast, main-yard, 
and mizen-mast, and her hull was completely riddled with 
shot j but soon after daylight Benbow observed the French 
ships bearing down to her assistance. At the same time he 
had the mortification to witness the Windsor, Pendennis, 
Greenwich, and Defiance, actually bearing up and mnning 
away to leeward, in despite of his signal then flying for close 
action. The French, observing the dastardly conduct of 
Benbow's captains,^ steered for the Breda, upon which ship 

* The following anecdote of this gallant seaman, iisually termed 
''honest Benbow," marks in the strongest manner his feelings upon this 

1702.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 99 

tliey opened a fire, that shot away her main-topsail-yard, and 
otherwise damaged her considerably. Then they sent fresh 
hands on board the Breda's late opponent, and taking her in. 
tow, made sail away "s\ithout any attempt on the part of the 
ships before mentioned to prevent it. 

Admiral Benbow determined still to follow the enemy, 
communicated with his captains, and ordered them to keep 
their stations in the line, and behave like men ; upon which 
Captain Kirkby, of the Defiance, came on board, and told the 
admiral " that he had better desist ; that the French were 
very strong, and that from what was passed he might 
guess he could make nothing of it." On sending for the 
captains of the other ships, to his inconceivably great sur- 
prise and chagrin, they coincided in opinion with Kirkby ; 
and although at that time the English squadron possessed 
advantages in strength and position, the gallant Benbow 
found himself obliged to give over the pursuit, and to pro- 
ceed with the squadron to Jamaica, ^ where he died of his 
wounds on the 4th of November. ^ 

tiying occasion. One of his lieutenants having expressed his sympathy 
on the loss of the admiral's leg, he replied — '^I am sorry for it too ; but 
I had rather have lost them both than have seen this dishonour brought 
upon the English nation. But do you hear," he continued, '^ if another 
shot should take me off, behave like brave men, and fight it out." 

^ On the 16th of October, a court-martial assembled to try Captain 
Kirkby, on charges of cowardice, disobedience of orders, and neglect of 
duty ; and these charges having been most clearly proved, he was sen- 
tenced to be shot. Captain Constable, of the Windsor, was charged with 
the like offences ; but being relieved by his officers fi'om the charge of 
cowardice, he was only sentenced to be cashiered. Wade, of the Green- 
wich, had the offence of drunkenness added to the misdemeanours of 
Xirkby, and met with the same sentence. Wade and Kirkby met the 
just reward of their cowardice or disaffection (for their conduct was never 
fully explained) at Plymouth, in pursuance of the sentences of the court- 
martial. They were shot on board the Bristol, on the 16th April, 1703. 
Captain Hudson died a few days before the trial came on, and Captains 
George Walton and Samuel Vincent were alone exonerated from blame. 

2 Shortly previous to his death, Benbow received the following laconic 
epistle from Admiral Du Casse : — 

'' Carihagena, August 22nd, 1702. 

*' Sir, — I had little hopes on Monday last but to have supped in your 
cabin ; but it pleased God to order it otherwise ; I am thankful for it. 
As for those cowardly captains who deserted you, hang them up, for 

by they deserve it. " Yours, 

" Du Casse." 

100 BATTLES OF [1702. 

Captain Thomas Hardy, commanding tlie Pembroke, while 
lying in Lagos Bay, received intelligence that the galleons, 
which Benbow had been sent to intercept, had arrived at Yigo 
on the 16th of September, under convoy of the French 
squadron. He immediately sailed to communicate the in- 
formation to Admii'al Sir George Eooke. It was the 6th of 
October, however, before he could acquaint Sir George with 
the news, it blowdng a gale of wind for three days, and 
there being no code of signals to express the information. 
Sir George, in the Royal Sovereign, with the fleet, imme- 
diately quitted Cadiz, where he had met mth only partial 
success, and hastened to Vigo. On arriving off Vigo, the 
Kent's boat was despatched to obtain intelligence respecting 
the force and disposition of the French and Spanish sliips. 
This being ascertained, it was determined that since the 
whole fleet could not act upon the enemy's ships, and that 
they would, on the contrary, only impede each other, fifteen 
EngHsh, and ten Dutch men-of-war, Avith all the fire-sliips, 
should be sent in to destroy the enemy's fleet. The frigates 
and bomb-vessels were directed to follow this detachment, 
and the larger ships were to proceed in afterguards, should 
there be occasion for their services. The troops were ordered 
to land at the same time, and attack the foi-t on the south of 

To give greater eclat to the attack, all the flag- officers went 
on board the squadron. Vice- Admiral Hopson was ordered 
to lead the van, followed by Vice-Admii-al Vandergoes. 
Sir George Rooke, Rear-Admiral Sir Stafford Fairborne, and 
Admiral Callemberg, with Baron Wassenaer, commanded the 
centre division ; and Rear-Admiral John Graydon, and Vice- 
Admiral Pieterson brought up the rear, with the mortar 
vessels and fire-ships. 

On the 1 2th of October, in the morning, the squadron got 
underway, and made sail for the harbour ; the entrance of 
which is very narrow, and was protected by a strong boom, 
composed of masts and yards, secured to anchors, dropped in 
mid-channel, and the ends attached to two of the larsrest 
French ships, the Esperance and Bourbon. Within the boom 
five ships of from sixty to seventy guns were moored, with 
their broadsides bearing upon the mouth of the harbour. 
The van division had scarcely reached within gun-shot of the 




batteries, when the wind died away, and the ships were under 
the necessity of anchoring. A strong breeze, however, 
shortly afterwards sjDrang up, and Vice- Admiral Hopson, in 
the Torbay, immediately cut, and crowding every sail, bore 
down upon the boom. The velocity the ship acquired gave 
her such power, that the boom was broken, and the Torbay 
was instantly between the Bourbon and Esperance. The 
other ships had some difficulty in following their gallant 
leader, owing to the sudden flaws of wind. Vice-Admiral 
Vandergoes, however, and the remainder of the squadron, at 
length found a way through the passage which Hopson had 
made ; and the Bourbon was captured. Hopson, meanwliile, 
was in gi'eat danger from a fire-ship, and owed his presei-^^a- 
tion to a very singular circumstance. The enemy was a 
French merchant ship, having on board a large cargo of 
snuff, wliich, in the hurry of })reparing her for a fire-ship, 
had not been removed ; and when the fire reached the snuffy 
it so deadened the flames, that the Torbay was saved from 
destruction. Yet had the Torbay suffered very severely, for 
she lost no fewer than 115 men killed and drowned, besides 
many wounded, including among the latter Captain James 
Moodie. Her foretop-mast was shot away, the foreyard, and 
foresail destroyed by fire, and the larboard shrouds, fore and 
aft, burnt down to the deadeyes. The \'ice-admiral then 
shifted liis flag to the Monmouth. 

Captains William Bokenham (Association), and Francis 
"VVyvill (Barfleur), attacked the batteries on either side the 
harbour with great success, and the French admiral, finding 
that the land forces, which had made a simultaneous attack 
from on shore, had gained possession of part of the town, 
and that more ships were entering the harbour, gave orders 
for setting fire to the shipping. Before the order could be 
carried into effect, however^ a great many ships were taken 
possession of. The following is a summary of the French loss : — 

Burnt and otherwise destroyed 

rr, 1 i by the Ensrlish 

Ships. Guns. 





Taken < ■, ^i r\ ^ v. 

( by the Dutch 

Total loss to the French 




102 BATTLES OF [1703. 

Three Spanisli men-of-war, carrying 178 guns, were de- 
stroyed, and of fifteen galleons found there, four were taken 
by the English, five by the Dutch, and four destroyed. The 
gold and silver on board this fleet was computed at twenty 
millions of pieces of eight, fourteen millions of which had 
been removed previous to the attack : the remainder being 
either taken or sunk in the galleons. Merchandize, also, 
was taken or destroyed of a like value ; besides much plate, 
the property of individuals. This was a severe blow to the 
Trench and Spaniards, and was accomphshed with a very 
slight loss to the fleet, if we except that received on board 
the Torbay.^ The Kent had her boatswain wounded, and 
her foremast damaged ; the Association two men killed, and 
a few wounded ; and the land forces lost in killed one 
colonel^ two lieutenants, and forty men, and two colonels and 
thirty woimded. 

Sir George Rooke left Vigo in charge of Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel, who was intrusted to fit out the prizes j and who suc- 
ceeded in rescuing a large portion of treasure from the sunken 
galleons, and recovered the Dartmouth, an English 50-gun 
ship, which had been captured in the previous war. He 
also took out of some of the French ships, which were lying 
aground, partially destroyed, fifty brass guns, and about sixty 
from the shore ; and before sailing firom the port, completed 
the destruction of every ship that he could not bring 

1702. — On the 13th of October, the 50-gun ship Dragon, 
Captain Robert Holyman, being ofi* Vigo, gallantly engaged 
a French 70-gun ship. The action was continued for some 
considerable time, and Captain Holyman was killed, but his 
first lieutenant, Charles Fotherby, maintained a resolute 
defence, and eventually beat off" the enemy. Besides the 
captain, twenty-five of the Dragon's crew were killed and 
many wounded. 

1703. — On the 10th of April, the 50-gun ship Salisbury, 
Captain Richard Cotten, in company with the 44-gun ship 
A dventure, ofi" the coast of Holland, fell in with a squadron 
of seven French ships of war, from Dunkirk, commanded 

1 Vice- Admiral Hopson, on his return to England, was presented to 
the queen, and received the honour of knighthood, with a pension of 
£500 a year, and £300 a year to Lady Hopson, in the event of her sur- 
viving him. 

1703,] THE BRITISH NAVY. 103 

by M. St. Paul. Captain Gotten ha-vdng charge of a convoy 
of mercliant ships, which were some of them astern with the 
Adventure, gallantly ran down to their support j but one 
had surrendered before he was able to assist her. Had the 
Adventui-e supported the Salisbury as she might have done, 
it is probable the French would have been beaten off; but 
unfortunately that ship made all sail away, leaving Captain 
Cotten to engage the enemy single-handed. For two hours 
the Salisbury fought the French squadron. Two ships 
boarded her, and were beaten off ; but the commodore's and 
another ship, having at leng-th taken uj) theii' stations on the 
Salisbury's bow and quarter, and other ships also approaching 
to the attack. Captain Cotten deemed a further defence un- 
availing, and hauled down his colours. Before surrendering, 
the Salisbury was cut to pieces in hull and spars, and several 
of her guns were dismounted ; she had eighteen men killed, 
and two lieutenants, and forty-three men wounded. The 
Adventure was also chased and captured by the same 

In July, a squadron under the orders of Rear- Admiral 
Thomas Dilkes was sent to look after a large French convoy, 
in Cancalle Bay. On the 25th, he anchored with his 
squadron off the south-west end of Jersey, and despatched 
the Spy to obtain intelligence from the governor. The 
governor of Jersey sent Captains James Lempriere and 
Thomas PijDon, who were well acquainted with the coast, 
and who furnished the rear-admiral with information that 
a fleet of about forty sail had been seen endeavouring, on 
the 15th, to get into Granville. The rear-admiral imme- 
diately got underway, notwithstanding an unfavourable tide, 
and on the following morning discovered the French at 
anchor, a league to the westward of Granville. On seeing 
the EngHsh, the enemy got underway, and stood farther in- 
shore. The rear-admiral followed with his ships as far as his 
pilots considered it prudent, and then ordered the boats to 
the attack. The enemy's force consisted of three ships of 
war and forty-five merchant ships j and the boats captured 
and brought away fifteen, biu-nt six, and sank three ; but 
the remainder escaped to a bay between Avranche and 
Mount St. Michel, where they strengthened themselves 
against any further attack. On the 27th, a fire-ship and 

104 BATTLES OF [1704. 

several small A^essels, together with the boats of the squadron, 
proceeded in-shore — the rear-admiral being j^resent, and 
accompanied by Captains Robert Fairfax, Thomas Legge, 
James ^lighells, James Lempriere, and Thomas Pipon. One 
French ship of eighteen guns was burnt by her own crew; 
and another of fourteen gims set on fire by John Paul, first 
lieutenant of the Kent ; a third, of eight guns, was brought out, 
and seventeen merchant ships destroyed. Four only escaped 
by taking shelter under the guns of Fort Granville. lieu- 
tenant Paul was severely wounded in the lower jaw, and 
had four men kiUed ; but it does not appear that any other 
loss was sustained by the squadron. Queen Anne was so 
much gratified by the result of this expedition, that she 
caused o-old medals to be struck and distributed anion 2: the 
principal parties engaged. 

About the same time Captain John Norris, in the 70-gun 
ship Orford, captured the French 36-gun ship Pliilippeaux, 
after a very gallant defence. The Pliilippeaux, out of a crew 
of 240 men, had fifty killed and wounded, and the Orford 
eight men badly wounded, besides having her fore and mizeii- 
masts and main-yard disabled. 

In the month of July, the 50-gun sliip Chatham, Captain 
Robert Bokenham, cruising olf the Pock of Lisbon, vnth. the 
fleet of Sir Cloudesley Shovel, and beuig ahead of the 
admiral, at a little past midnight fell in with the Jason and 
Auguste, French line-of-battle ships. The Chatham engaged 
them within pistol-shot until daylight, when, discovering the 
fleet, the French ships endeavoured to get awg.y. The 
Chatham continued the pursuit, and several other ships 
ha\dng arrived up with the combatants, the Auguste, a fine 
new 54-gun ship, was at length, after a brave defence, 
obliged to surrender ; but the Jason succeeded in effecting 
her escape. The Auguste was added to the British iia^y. 

On the IGtli of November, the French 52-gun ship 
Hazard, Captain De la Rue, was captured by the Orford, 
Captain Sir John Norris, Warspight, and Lichfield, three 
ships belonging to Sir Cloudesley Shovel's fleet. The Hazard 
was added to the royal navy. 

1704. — On the 16th of January, the 32-gun ship Lyme, 
Captain Edmund Letchmere, engaged a large French pri- 
vateer, mounting forty-six guns, off the Deadman. The 




action was long and sanguinary, and Captain Letclimere was 
among the killed, which, with the wounded, amounted to 
thirty-six. After the fight had continued three hours, the 
privateer sheered off*, and the Lyme was too much disabled 
for pursuit. 

On the 17th of July, the combined English and Dutch 
fleets, under Admiral Sir George Rooke, having been aug- 
mented by the junction of Sir Cloudesley Shovel's fleet, it 
was decided to make an attack upon Gibraltar. The fleet 
therefore crossed over from Tetuan, and on the 21st anchored 
in Gibraltar Bay. The same day, at 3h. P. M., the marines, 
English and Dutch, amounting to 1,800, were landed to the 
northward, on the isthmus which joins the rock to the 
mainland, imder the orders of the piince of Hesse, who, 
having posted his men, sent a summons to the governor to 
surrender the fortress for the ser-sdce of his Catholic majesty 
Charles III. of Spain. The governor returned for answer, 
that the garrison had. sworn to be tnie to their natural lord, 
King Philip Y., and that, as faithful and loyal subjects, they 
would sacrifice their lives in defence of the place. 

Admiral Sir George Kooke then gave orders for the attack 
to commence, and on the 22nd, Rear- Admiral George Byng, 
in command of the following, — 




Eanelagh Rear- Admiral George Byng 

' Monmouth Captain John Baker 




Grafton . . . 
Montagu . 
Kingston . 
Nassau . . . 
Swiftsure . 
Berwick . . . 


Burford . . . 


Yarmouth . 

Robert Kirktown 
John Huhbard 
Sir Andrew Leake 
Samuel Whitaker 
William Cleveland 
Edward Acton 
Francis Dove 
iRobert Wynn 
Robert Fairfax 
Lord Hamilton 
Kerrit RofFey 
William Jumper 
Jasper Hicks 

together with Rear- Admiral Yanderdussen, and six Dutch 
ships, and the ships destined for the attack of the South 
Mole head, under Captain Hicks, in the Yarmouth, got 
underway in order to take up the stations assigned to them. 

106 BATTLES OF [1704. 

The wind proving contrary, the bombarding fleet was unable 
to get to their berths ; but in order to divert the enemy from 
the intended attack, Captain Whitaker was sent in with a 
detachment of boats, and burnt a French privateer of twelve 
guns, at the old mole. 

On the 23rd, before daylight, the ships having taken up 
their stations, the admiral gave the signal for the com- 
mencement of the cannonade, which was conducted with 
much spirit ; 15,000 shot were fired in five or six hours' 
time, against the town, and the enemy fairly driven from 
their guns, especially at the South Mole head. The admiral, 
perceiving the advantage which must result from gaining 
that important position, ordered Captain Whitaker, with all 
the boats, to endeavour to obtain possession of it. The 
landing was efiected with great expedition ; but Captains 
Hicks and Jumper, being in the headmost boats, and not 
waiting for the remaining boats to come up, dashed alongside 
the battery, and drove the Spaniards fi'om their guns. The 
enemy had prepared for the assault, and before quitting 
sprung a mine, which blew up the fortifications, killed two 
lieutenants and forty men, and wounded sixty. The re- 
maining portions of the crews of the boats, however, kept 
possession of the platform, until Captain Whitaker landed 
with the rest of the seamen. The whole party then united 
and advanced upon a small bastion half-way between the 
mole and the town, which they took, together with a great 
many guns. On a second summons being sent in to the 
governor, the garrison capitulated ; and thus on the 24th 
July, this impregnable fortress, as it is now deemed, fell into 
the hands of the besiegers. The attack made by the seamen 
is described to have been brave beyond example ; and the 
reduction of Gibraltar was accomphshed with the loss of two 
lieutenants, one master, and sixty men killed ; and one 
captain, seven lieutenants, a boatswain, and 216 men 

Having completed the capture of the fortress, the fleet 
stood over to Tetuan Bay to water, and while returning 
from that place to Gibraltar on the 9th of August, the 
Centurion made a signal for seeing an enemy's fleet to wind- 
ward. The fleet under Sir George Kooke's orders consisted 
of forty-five sail of the line, mounting 3,154 gims, and manned 

1704.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 107 

with 20,045 men ; six frigates, seven fire-ships, and five 
others ; but four line-of-battle ships being absent in charge 
of convoys, he had actually with him on this occasion only 
forty-one EngHsh, anu twelve Dutch sail of the line, so that 
we may reckon the line-of-battle force of the fleet at about 
3,700 guns and 23,200 men. 

The French fleet, which at this time made its appearance, 
was commanded by Admiral Comte Thoulouse, in the Fou- 
droyant, of 104 guns ; and consisted of fifty line-of-battle 
ships, in excellent condition, carrying 3,543 guns and 24,155 
men; eight frigates, mounting 149 guns, with 1,025 men; 
nine fire-ships, and two transports. The French fleet con- 
tained three ships of 104 guns, and four of ninety-two and 
ninety gams ; while the combined fleet contained only three 
of ninety-six guns, and two of ninety guns ; the remainder 
being from eighty to fifty ; the remainder of the French 
being from eighty-eight to fifty-two guns. The French ships 
were invariably better built, and better armed ; they had 
also a very great advantage in point of sailing. The follow- 
ing is a list of the English fleet : — 

Guns. Ships. 

90 Royal Catherine .-, Admiral Sir George Eooke 

Q^ ( St. George Captain John Jennings 

I Namur ........... „ Christopher Slyngs 

80 Shrewsbury „ Leonard Crow 

{Nassau „ Francis Dove 

Grafton. ....... ... „ Sir Andrew Leake 

Monmouth .-^ -. .-. „ John Baker 

60 Montagu ... „ William Cleveland 

50 Panther . . ... ... ... „ Peregrine Bertie 

Qfi T? rfl \ Vice- Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovel 

.......... I Captain James Stewart 

-^ \ Eagle . . ,- „ Lord Archibald Hamilton 

I Orford . . . . . . ._. ... „ John Norris 

66 Assurance......... „ Robert Hancock 

^.^ { Warspight „ Edmund Loades 

I Swift sure .......... „ Robert Wynn 

60 Nottingham . . ... ... „ Samuel Whitaker 

•50 Tilbury „ George Delaval 

70 Lenox . . . . ... ... , . „ William Jumper 

90 Prince George \ ^^-ice- Admiral Sir John Leake 

° ( Captam George Martin 

SBoyne . . . . ... . , . . ,, Lord Dursley 
Newark „ Richard Clarke 
Norfolk. . ... . . . „ John Knapp 

108 BATTLES OF [1704. 

Guns. Ships. 

^^ \ Yarmouth Captain Jasper Hicks 

I Berwick ,, Robert Fairfax 

( ^ , , { Rear- Admiral George Byng 

80 •> ° ( Captain John Cow 

( Somerset „ John Price 

70 Firme „ Baron Wild 

50 Triton „ Tudor Trevor 

82 Dorsetshire „ Edward Whitaker 

80 Torbay „ William Caldwell 

70 Essex ,, John Hubbard 

60 Kingston ,, Edward Acton 

56 Centurion „ John Home 

'■n -ir f \ Rear- Admiral Thomas Dilkes 

■ ■ ■ ( Captain Harman 

76 Royal Oak ,, Gerard Elwes 

50 Swallow ,, Richard Haddock 

80 Cambridge ,, Richard Lestock 

70 Bedford „ Thomas Hardy 

60 Monk „ James Mighells » 

^^ ^ Suffolk ,, Robert Kirktown 

I Burford , „ Kerrit Rofifey 

A council of war was called, which decided that the French 
fleet should be engaged to the eastward of Giljraltar. The 
confederate fleet was thus ordered : the centre was com- 
manded by Sir George Rooke, ha\dng for his rear-admirals 
Byng and Dilkes. Sir Cloudesley Shovel and Sir John Leake 
led the van, and Vice-Admu^al Callemberg, with Rear- Ad- 
miral Yanderdussen, commanded the Dutch shijis in the 

After a tedious pursuit, the French fleet was at length, on 
Sunday, the 13th of August, brought to action oft' Malaga. 
On the morning of this day, the combined fleet being to 
windward, the admiral made the signal to bear do^vn upon 
the enemy, who remained lying to until the fleet had reached 
\vdthin half gun-shot, when the French filled, edged ofl" 
the wind, and commenced the action. The design of Sir 
George Rooke was very probably to break the French line, 
and engage to leeward ; for being short of ammunition, he 
was anxious for close quarters : but this movement of the 
French set aside liis mode of attack, and a distant can- 
nonading commenced. Shovel's division was gallantly led by 
Sir John Leake, and the action maintained until 2h. p.m., 
when several of the English ships ceased filing for want of 

1704.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 109 

ammunition. The ]Monk was tliree times attempted to be 
boarded by a ship of seventy guns, but each time the boarders 
were repulsed with great slaughter. The contest throughout 
was most vigorous ; and had it not been for the shyness 
evinced by the French admiral in avoiding close action, the 
probability is that more than one trophy would have been 
gained by the allies. The Dutch behaved with their cus- 
tomary -valour, and continued the firing till night, their 
magazines having been better stored. 

In the night, the French made all sail to leeward, and on 
the following morning, the wind having shifted in the night, 
were discovered four or five leagues to windward. In this 
encounter both fleets suffered severely in loss of men. On 
board the English fleet. Captain Leake, of the Grafton ; Cow, 
of the Ranelagh ; four lieutenants, two warrant-officers, and 
687 men were killed ; and Captains Myngs, Baker, Jumper, 
IMighells, and Kirktown, thirteen lieutenants, thirteen warrant- 
officers, and 1,632 men wounded. The Dutch lost one cap- 
tain, and 400 men killed and wounded. The French loss 
was stated by themselves at "rather more" than 1,500 ; but 
from their retreat, and from their putting into Toulon for 
the remainder of the year, in consequence, as they said, of the 
great number of their wounded, we may fairly assume equal, 
if not a much greater, slaughter to have occurred on board 
their ships. Campbell gives 3,048 as the total number of 
private men killed and wounded, and 191 as the number of 
officers. The French admiral's object was to assist the 
Spaniards in the recovery of Gibraltar ; but that project was 
now relinquished. 

The following table ^vill show the loss on board each 
British ship : — 










Itoyal Catherine 
St. George . . . . ... 

Namur ... . . ... ... 

Shrewsbury ... ... 

Nassau ... . . . . ... 

Grafton ... ... ... ... 

Monmouth ... ... ... 

Montagu ... ... ... 

Panther ... . . ... . . 

Barfleur ^. 

Easfle . . .- -. ... 























Brought forward 





Somerset . . . . ._. 









Dorsetshire ... ... 



Orford... . . -. .-. .-. 

Assurance ... .- ... 

Warspight ... ... . . 

Swiftsure ... ... ... 

Nottingham ...... 


Lenox. . . . ... ... ... 

Prince George ... 
Boyne ... ... ... ... . . 

Newark ... 

Carried forward 


Centiirion . . . . ... 


Royal Oak 

Swallow .-. ... ... ... 

Cambridge . . . . ... 

Bedford .. 

Monk ... ... 


Burford ... ... 





1632 1 


d and wounded 

j English . . 2,3 
• • I Dutch . . 4 






The crews of the English ships amounted in all to 19,385, 
so that the killed and wounded were nearly one eighth part. 
In Lord Howe's actions of the 28th and the 29th of May, 
and 1st of June, 1794, in which the crews of the British fleet 
amounted to 17,241 men, the total loss was no more than 
290 killed, and 858 wounded, or one-fifteenth only. 

Queen Anne was pleased to bestow on Rear- Admirals 
Byng and Dilkes the honour of knighthood j and also upon 
Captain Jennings, of the St. George. 

Yice-Admiral Sir John Leake having been left with a 
squadron for the protection of Gibraltar, put into Lisbon to 
refit, and while there, received information of a projected 
attack, which induced him with all speed to repair to 


Gibraltar ; but on arriving at that place, bearing of the 
approach of a much larger fleet under Admiral Pointis than 
he could contend against, Sir John returned to Lisbon, On 
the 2oth of October he sailed for Gibraltar, and on the 29th, 
captured and destroyed seven ships lying there. Sir John 
then landed a portion of the crews of the ships to defend the 
outposts, which were continually besieged ; and succeeded in 
holding out until a reinforcement of troops having arrived, he 
was enabled to withdraw his sailors, and prepare for an attack 
from a French fleet then in Cadiz. He sailed to Lisbon, 
where he was shortly afterwards joined by Sir Thomas 
Dilkes, with four third-rates. 

On the 4th of August the 70-g-un ship Revenge, Captain 
William Kerr, and 48-gun ship Falmouth, Captain Thomas 
Kenney, were overtaken in the Channel by a French 
squadron, commanded by M. St. Paul. After a desperate 
action, in which Captain Kenney was killed, the Pevenge 
and Falmouth Avere overpowered and taken. The defence 
was highly creditable, and a court-martial honourably ac- 
quitted Captain Kerr. 

On the 12th of November the 70-gim ship Elizabeth, Cap- 
tain WilKam Cross, was captured l)y a French squadron. 
Captain Cross was tried by court-martial, and dismissed the 
service for not proi^erly defending the ship.' 

1705. — On the 10th of March, the squadron commanded 
by Sir John Leake being ofl* Cabrita Point, five large ships 
were observed standing out of the bay, which were imme- 
diately chased by Sir Thomas Dilkes, in the Revenge, with 
the Newcastle, Antelope, Expedition, and a Dutch ship, fol- 
lowed distantly by the remainder of the squadron. The 
French squadron made for the Barbary shore ; but finding 
the British gaining in the chase, tacked, and stood in for the 
Spanish coast. At 9h. A.M., the chasing ships captured the 
French 60-gim ship Arrogant. The Magnanime, seventy-foui', 
bearing Admiral Pointis's flag, and the Fleur-de-hs, eighty-six, 
made a good resistance, but were at leng-th driven on shore, 
to the westward of Morbella, and totally destroyed. The 
Magnanime took the ground with such force, that her masts 
went over the side, and she bilged almost immediately. The 

» This person died in April, 1746, a private pensioner in Greenwich 

112 BATTLES OF [1705. 

small portion 'wliich remained above water was fired by the 
French before quitting. The fourth ship, the Ardente, sixty- 
six, and the fifth, the Marquis, fifty-six, were captured by 
two Dutch ships. Sir John Leake having succeeded in 
relieving Gibraltar, and captured several merchant ships, 
returned to Lisbon. 

Sir George Rooke sailed from Plymouth in January with a 
squadron, to convoy a large fleet of merchant ships out of 
the soundings ; having effected which, he cruised off the 
French coast, and captured the French 44-,gun ship Thetis, 
twelve privateers, and seven merchant ships, comprising 
2,070 prisoners and 334 gims. 

On the 20th October, the 48-gun ship Blackwall, Captain 
Samuel Martin, together with two other small ships of war, 
while convoying twelve merchant ships from the Baltic, fell 
in with M. St. Paul's squadron from Dunkirk. After a 
most gallant action, in wliich the French commodore St. Paul 
(one of the most efficient officers in the French service) and 
Captain Martin were killed, the Blackwall and consorts were 
captured. Louis, on being told of this event, is reported to 
have said, " I wish they (the English ships) were in any 
English port, provided that would restore me St. Paul." 

On the 20th October, the 48-gun ship Pendennis, Caj^tain 
John Foljamb, was captured by a French ship of superior 
force, after a very gallant action, in wliich Captain Foljamb 
was killed, many of his crew killed and wounded, and the 
«hip knocked to pieces. 

In the morning of the 19th of November, the 60-gun ship 
Montagu, Captain Bennet Allen, ofi" Cape Nicolas, Hispaniola, 
discovered two strange sail to leeward, and to avoid being 
seen, furled sails, and lay under the land till noon, when sail 
was made towards them, the strangers keeping their wind to 
close the Montagu. At 41i. p.m., the Montagu brought the 
two ships — a frigate of fifty guns, and a fly-boat of forty guns 
— to action, and fought for an hour. At 5h. the Montagu 
tacked, as did the French ships also, when, having had her 
topsail cut from the bolt-rope by shot and the force of the 
wind together, the Montagu bore up to bend another. The 
French ships pursued, and the Montagu cut away her long 
boat ; but having bent another topsail, the French sliips 
hauled their wind, and the action ceased for the night, On 

1706.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 113 

the following morning, the French ships were within gun- 
shot, but no engagfinent took place ; the cause of which is 
thus recorded in the master's journal: — "At 6h. a.m., we 
were within gun-shot of them again ; but our captain, being 
unwilling to bear down to engage them any more, went into 
his cabin and writ a paper, and called all his officers, and told 
them that if we should lose a mast, he believed we should be 
taken ; and told them if they would sign that paper it Avould 
be no detriment to them at all, but to clear liim ; then after 
that they had signed, bore away for Jamaica, and would not 
engage them, having lost one man, John Miller, killed in the 
engagement." After this extraordinary proceeding, it is 
further recorded, that on the 29th of the same month, a 
court-martial was held at Jamaica ujDon the captain and 
officers, when all except the captain and " chirurgeon" were 
dismissed the sliij).^ 

1706.— On the 11th February, the 32-gun frigate Fowey, 
Oaptain Charles Parsons, had a severe engagement in the 
Mediterranean, in which Captain Parsons was killed. The 
Fowey was so much disabled in the action, that her enemy, 
a ship of superior force, was able to escape. 

On the 6th June, the 32-g-un frigate Winchelsea, Captain 
John Castle, was captured, after a brave defence (in which 
Captain Castle was killed), by a French shiji of sujierior 

Admiral Sir John Leake performed the imjiortant service 
of driving Marshal Tesse, who had an army of 14,000 men 
imder liis command, and a French fleet, from before Gibraltar. 
Sir John also succeeded in reducing Majorca, Ivica, and 
Palma, for the king of Spain. The takmg of Alicant deserves 

' We have taken much trouble to unravel this affair, in consequence 
of the confessions of Lediard and Campbell of their inability to furnisli 
the name of the captain of the ship. By referring to their statements, 
also, it will be seen that the blame is by those authors imputed to the 
officers and crew of the ship, and that the conduct of the captain is highly 
extolled. On the other hand, Chamock, in his JBiograr)hia N'avalis 
(vol. iii. p. 194), states that Captain Bennet Allen (making no mention 
of the above transaction) was dismissed the Montag-u in 1706, and that 
he died in 1750 in obscurity. Charnock is also WTong : Captain Allen 
commanded the Montagu till May, 1708, when he was succeeded in the 
command of her by another captain, and until his death was upon the 
half-pay list of the navy. 

VOL. I. I 

114 BATTLES OF [1706. 

particular notice. On the 28th of June, the siege was com- 
menced. Sir George Byng, with five ships, anchored in line 
close under the walls of the town, wliile Sir John Jennings and 
the marines attacked the suburbs. The battering from the 
ships commenced early in the morning, and in a short time a 
breach was effected in the round tower at the west end of 
the town, and another in the middle of the curtain. The 
land forces then advanced to the breach in the round tower, 
and the boats pushed off to support them. The grenadiers 
were beaten back before Sir John's party landed ; but the 
boats proceeded, and all the men getting on shore, Captain 
John Evans, of the Royal Oak, was the first to mount the 
breach, and succeeded with a party of seamen in getting into 
the town. Captains William Passenger, of the Royal Anne, 
and John Watkins, of the St. George, followed with more 
seamen, while Sir John Jennings, with the remainder, took 
possession of the suburbs, and then moved on to their 
support. The garrison surrendered the next day ; and 
this important conquest was achieved with the loss of 
thirty killed and eighty wounded, including land and sea 

The 50-gun ship Romney, Captain William Coney, being 
in company with the 3 2 -gun frigates Milford and Fowey, 
Captains Philip Stanhope and Richard Lestock, received 
intelligence on the 12th of December, that a French pri- 
vateer, with thirty brass guns on board, recovered from the 
wreck of the Magnanime, was at anchor under the forts of 
Malaga. Captain Coney resolved to proceed and endeavour 
to cut her out, and, on arriving off the port, steered directly 
for the French ship, and, unaccompanied by either of the 
frigates, succeeded in bringing her out in the face of the 
heavy fire to which his ship was exposed, and carried his prize 
to Gibraltar. On the 26th, the Romney, accompanied by the 
MiLford and Fowey, chased the French 64:-gun ship Con- 
tent, which ship took shelter close under a small fort at 
about eight leagues to the westward of Almeira. The 
Ronmey taking a position athwart her bows, and the Milford 
and Fowey on her bow and quarter, opened so destructive 
a fire, that in a short time she blew up with all her 

1707.] THE BKITISH NAVY. 115 

1707. — On the 19tli March, the 70-gun ship Resolution, 
Captain the Hon. Henry Mordaunt, having on board the 
earl of Peterborough, and the envoy to the duke of Savoy, 
on her way to Genoa, fell in with six large French ships. 
The frigates Enterprise and Milford'were in company with 
the Resolution, and the earl and Spanish envoy embarked on 
board the former, and made their escape to Oneglia. The Mil- 
ford, Captain Philip Stanhope,^ made sail in another direction, 
and effected her escape. The French squadron then chased the 
Resolution, but without gaining very rapidly, until the latter 
having carried away some of her spars, the enemy neared, and 
opened a destructive fire. In this emergency, the ship being 
much disabled and near the shore, Captain Mordaunt deter- 
mined to run the ship aground, wliich he effected at 3h. p.m. 
The Resolution took the ground in a sandy bay, within a 
short distance of the beach, and directly under the gTins of 
the Genoese castle of Ventigmilia, but which afforded her 
no protection. At 4h. 30m., Captain Mordaunt was wounded 
in the thigh. The squadron anchored as near the Resolution 
as possible, and were pouring into her a heavy fire ; but the 
commodore, finding he could not induce the Resolution to 
surrender, ordered all the boats of the squadron, under cover 
of the guns of a 74-gun ship, to attempt her destruction. 
Although nearly all the Resolution's guns were silenced, 
sufficient of her crew remained to repulse the boarders with 
great slaughter, and the remamder retired for the night. 
On the 21st, at 6h. 30m. A. M., the largest of the French 
ships, mounting eighty guns, took up her station as near to 
the Resolution as the depth of water would permit, and brought 
her broadside to bear. The Resolution could only bring her 
stern chase-guns to bear in return, and to add to her de- 
fenceless state, her magazine was swamped, the water being- 
over the orlop deck ; so that it was found impossible to hold 
out any longer ; orders were therefore given to set her on 
fire, and for the crew to make their escape to the shore, 
which was thoroughly effected, and the ship at 3h. p.m. 
was burnt down to the water's edge. Captain Mordaunt 

* Captain Stanhope was killed at the siege of Port Mahon, in the 
ensuing year. 


116 BATTLES OF [1707. 

never recovered from tlie effects of liis wounds, and died 
in 1710. 

On the 1st of May, a large outward-bound convoy, under 
the protection of the following shi2:)S, — 

Guns. Ships. 

, 76 Royal Oak Commodore Baron Wyld 

! ^^ ( Grafton ^ Captain Edward Acton 

' I Hampton Court „ George Clements 

sailed from the Downs, and on the 2nd fell in mth the 
Dunkirk squadron, of ten sail of the line, a frigate, and four 
privateers, commanded by M. Forbin. Commodore Wyld 
took five of the largest merchant ships into his line, and 
boldly met the attack. For two hours and a half a heavy 
fire was kept up ; but Captain Acton being killed, the 
Grafton surrendered to the overwhelming force opposed to 
her. The Hampton Court fought desperately, and sank the 
Salisbury, but was at length obliged to surrender. The 
Royal Oak having eleven feet water in her hold, escaped 
with great loss, by running on shore under Dungeness, 
from whence she was next day got off, and carried into the 
Downs. The French took twenty- one sail of merchant ships, 
and carried all into Dunkirk. It is recorded that a mid- 
shipman, whose name has never transpired, belonging to the 
Hampton Court, after the enemy had taken possession of the 
ship, conveyed Captain Clements, avIio was moi-tally wounded, 
into the long boat, which was towing astern, into wliich 
himself and seven men also got unperceived, and hid them- 
selves under the thwarts. They then watched their oppor- 
tunity to cut the boat adrift, and succeeded in reaching Rye 
harbour on the 3rd of May with the dead body of their captain. 
On the 30th of June it was determined l^y Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel and the confederated forces, to open the passage of 
the Var, where the enemy were strongly intrenched ; and Sir 
John Norris, with four English and one Dutch ship, sailed into 
that river, and advanced within musket-shot of the enemy's 
works. He then opened so well-directed a fire, that the 
cavalry and a great part of the infantry, being quite unpre- 
pared, quitted the camp, which Sir Cloudesley Shovel — who 
had followed Sir John Norris — observing, ordered Sir John to 
land with the seamen and marines, and attack them in flank. 
This service was performed so successfully, that the French 

1707.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 117 

fled from tlieir intrencliments in confusion, and the duke of 
Savoy, lialf an hour afterwards, passed up ^\ithout meeting 
any resistance. 

On the 1 7th of July, an attempt was made upon Toulon 
by the combined English and Dutch forces, again assisted by 
the fleet under Sir Cloudesley Shovel. 100 guns were 
landed from the difierent ships, for the batteries, and a great 
number of seamen to serve them j Sir Thomas Dilkes also 
bombarded the town with the fleet ; but, not-withstanding 
the success which at one time seemed likely to follow, it was 
afterwards deemed prudent to withdraw from before the 
place. The French, however, sustained much loss, for, in 
addition to eight of their largest ships, which were burnt, 
several magazines and 130 houses were destroyed. Shovel 
was greatly chagrined at the partial failure of this expedition, 
and departed for England, ^ leaving a squadron under the 
command of Sir Thomas Dilkes to blockade Toulon. 

Notwithstanding the fate of Commodore Wyld's squadron 
in May, the Admiralty provided no better convoy for the 
Lisbon fleet, which, after much delay, sailed in October. 
The merchant ships consisted of 130 sail, in charge of the 
following : — 

Guns. Sliips. 

o „ ( Cumberland .... Commodore Richard Edwards 

I Devonshire Captain John Watkins 

76 Royal Oak „ Baron Wyld 

p.^ { Ruby ,, Peregrine Bertie 

I Chester ,, John Balchen 

* On the 23rd of October, the fleet of Sir Cloudesley an-ived off Scilly 
in a gale of wind, and sounded in ninety fathoms. In the evening, it is 
believed, he thought he saw the lights of Scilly, as he soon afterwards 
made signals of danger. Sir George Bpig was only half a mile to wind- 
ward of him, and observed the sea breaking over the rocks, known as the 
Bishop and his Clerks, upon which rocks the admiral is believed to have 
struck, as his ship, the Association, was never seen afterwards. Besides 
the admiral's ship, the Eagle, seventy, Captain R. Hancock, and the 
Romuey, fifty, Ca.ptain William Coney, also perished, as did the Fire- 
brand fire-ship. Sir George Byng's ship, the Royal Anne, was saved by 
the great skill of her ofiicers and crew, in setting her topsails, when only 
a few feet from the rocks. The St. George, also, was miraculously saved. 
A magnificent tomb is erected to the memory of Sir Cloudesley in West- 
minster Abbey. Charnock, vol. ii. p. 28, states, upon what he believed 
to be good authority, that Sir Cloudesley reached Scilly alive, but, being 
in an exhausted state, was afterwards basely murdered by a female 

118 BATTLES OF [1707. 

On the 10th of October, being off the Lizard, the convoy 
fell in with the squadrons of Count Forbin and M. 
Du Guai Trouin, consisting together of twelve sail of the 
line. Commodore Edwards formed a line, and stood 
towards the enemy, in order to give the merchant ships 
an opportunity of escaping. At about noon the action 
commenced ; M. Du Guai Trouin and two other ships attack- 
ing the Cumberland. The fight was conducted with great 
skill ; but the Cumberland, being dismasted and reduced to 
a defenceless state, struck her colours. The Devonshire 
maintained a running fight with five French ships until 
dusk, when she blew up ; two only out of her crew of 700 
being saved, ^ The Achille boarded the Royal Oak, and a 
long and desperate action ensued ; but having disabled the 
Achille, the former escaped into Kinsale. The Chester and 
Ruby were also captured.^ The merchant ships effected 
their escape, and arrived at Lisbon in safety. 

As a very poor set-off to this success of the French, Cap- 
tain Nicholas Haddock, in command of the Ludlow Castle, 
on the 30th of December, off the Long-sand-head, fell in with 
two large privateers, each carrying more men than the 
British ship. These ships were the Nightingale and Squirrel, 
fitted out at Dunkirk ; the Nightingale being under the 
command of one Thomas Smith, who had been dismissed the 
English ser\dce. The two ships attacked the Ludlow Castle, 
but were so warmly received, that they endeavoured to make 

^ We perform the tardy justice of recording the names of the devoted 
captain and ofl&cers of this bravely-defended ship, which historians, who 
wrote when the subject was fresh in the memory of all, omitted to do. 
Captain John Watkins, who distinguished himself at the taking of 
Alicant, perished in command of this ship. This oflBcer removed into 
the Devonshire on the 30th of August, 1706, as flag-captain to Kear- 
Admiral Sir John Jennings, but the latter hauled down his flag on the 
28th April, antecedent to this action. The lieutenants were, Thomas 
Witts, William Payne, and Eobert Tempest ; master, Thomas Tribbett ; 
chaplain, Alexander Walker ; gunner, John Eollo. 

2 A court-martial assembled October 27th, 1708, to try Captains 
Edwards, Balchen, and Wyld, when the two former were honourably 
acquitted, and the latter cashiered, and rendered incapable of further 
service in the royal navy, a sentence which appears to have been a very- 
severe one upon Captain Wyld, who, on so many previous occasions, as 
well as on this, appears to have behaved well. It afibrds pleasure, 
however, to add, that he was subsequently reinstated, and lived to be a 

1708.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 119 

off. Captain Haddock gave chase to the largest, which he 
captured the same night. 

1708. — On the 1st March, the 44-gun ship Adventure, 
Captain Robert Clark, was captured in the West Indies by 
a superior French force, and Captain Clark killed. 

Commodore Wager, who commanded the West-India 
squadron this year, hearing of the arrival of a French squadron 
at the Havannah, under M. Du Casse, for the purpose of 
convoying home a fleet of Spanish treasure-ships, resolved to 
intercept the latter previous to their reaching the Havannah. 
The Severn, Captain Humphrey Pudner, was accordingly 
despatched to reconnoitre Porto Bello, where the Spanish 
ships were to assemble, from whom the commodore received 
intelligence, on the 23rd of May, that the fleet had sailed for 
Carthagena on the 19th. The ships with Commodore Wager, 
who had his broad pendant in the 60-gun ship Expedition, 
Captain Henry Long, consisted of the 60-gun ships Kingston 
and Portland, Captains Simon Bridges and Edward Windsor, 
and Vulture fire-ship, with which he cruised till the 27th. 
On the 28th, at noon, the Spanish ships, seventeen in num- 
ber, were seen from the mast-head. Commodore AYager 
immediately chased j but the Spanish admiral, despising a 
force so paltry, proceeded on his course without deig-ning to 
notice it. Unable to weather a small island called Baru, the 
Spaniards tacked, and thus neared the British. The Spanish 
admiral then drew his ships into a line, his own ship, bearing 
a white pendant at the main, in the centre. Of the seventeen 
sail, two were sloops, and one a brigantine, which withdrew 
from the action, and made sail in-shore. This squadron had 
on board specie to the amount of forty-eight million pieces of 
eight. Commodore Wager decided on engaging the Spanish 
admiral's ship of sixty-four guns himself, and ordered the 
Kingston to engage the vice-admiral, and the Portland the 
rear-admiral. The sun was just setting as the commodore 
commenced the engagement, which, as the ships neared, 
became very fierce. In about an hour and a half the Spanish 
admiral's ship took fire, and blew up with a tremendous 
explosion, vast quantities of the burning fragments falling 
upon the deck of the Expedition. Seeing the fate of the 
admiral, the Spaniards dispersed in the gi^eatest confusion, 
and it was some time before the commodore could renew the 

120 EATTLES OF [1709. 

actiou : but at about lOh., the night being very dark, he 
succeeded in getting alongside the Spanish rear-admii-al's 
ship, into which he poiu-ed a broadside. Commodore Wager, 
who had hoisted a Hght, being perceived by the Portland and 
Kingston, was soon joined by those sliips, and shortly after 
midnight the Spanish sliip surrendered. 

Before daybreak another large ship was discovered by 
Commodore Wager on his weather-bow, and three sail upon 
the weather-quarter, three or four leagues off ; upon wliich, 
his own ship being unable to carry a press of sail, he ordered 
the two ships of his squadron which were uninjured to chase 
to windward. This order was tardily obeyed ; but the signal 
being repeated, they at length ran the commodore out of 
sight. It appeared, by the captains' statement on rejoining, 
that the ship they had chased was the vice-admii'al's, but 
that she had got among the shoals of Salmadinas, and that 
they were deterred by the dangerous navigation from follow- 
ing.^ The freight on board the Spanish admiral's ship which 
blev/ up was valued at seven million pieces of eight ; the 
vice-admii'al had six millions ; and the one taken was the 
least valuable. Commodore Wager was promoted to be 
rear-admiral on the dav of the action. 

1709.— On the 25th of February, the following— 

Guns. Ships. 

70 Assurance Captain Anthony Toilet 

60 Sunderland .... ,, George Forbes 

! Hampshire .... „ Hon. Henry MajTiard 
Anglesea „ Thomas Legg 
Assistance „ Abraham Tudor 

sailed from Cork in charge of the traders for England ; and 
on the 2nd of March, being eight leagues south-south-west of 
the Lizard, four large sliips were discovered standing towards 
them. The convoy was ordered to disperse ; and the Sunder- 
land and Anglesea having parted company the day before. 
Captain Toilet signalled his three remaining ships to form a 
line. At 8h. a.m. the enemy bore down in Ime, and having 
arrived ^^^.tllin musket-shot, hoisted French colours. Com- 

' A court-martial was held on the 23rd of July, upon Cap tain. <i 
Bridges and Windsor, for not persevering more in endeavouring to 
destroy the Spanish vice-admiral, and they were both dismissed their 

1709.] THE BillTISH NAVY. 121 

modore Du Guni Trouin, in the 70-guii ship Achille, ranged 
up so close to the Assurance, that she fell on board, and both 
ships commenced a furious cannonade, their yardarms touch- 
ing. The French ship having men in her tops, committed 
great havoc on the quarter-deck of the Assurance, killing 
and womiding nearly every man upon it. For half an hour 
this destructive fire continued, when the two ships ha\ing 
fallen oft* before the wind, separated j but they again closed, 
and renewed the action in a short time upon the other side, 
and with equal fury, when the Achille sheered off", and pur- 
sued the merchant sliips. The other three French ships, 
wliich mounted from forty to fifty guns each, then engaged the 
Assm*ance, but were soon compelled to desist. The Assurance 
was left without a shroud or a stay uncut, her foresail and 
fore-topsail were shot to pieces, her best bower-anchor cut 
from the bows, one of the flukes of the sheet-anchor shot 
away, and her small 'oower-anchor driven into her bows. 
Captain Toilet had been four months absent from Ms duty 
sick, but was on this occasion taken on deck in a chaii^, in 
which he was wounded. The first lieutenant was wounded 
in the leg, but his wound being dressed, he returned on deck. 
The second lieutenant was killed, as were several French 
officers, passengers. Altogether, the Assurance sustained a 
loss of twenty-five kiUed and fifty-three wounded, many of 
the latter mortally. The French squadron having principally 
directed their strength upon Commodore Toilet's ship, the 
Hampshire had only two men killed and eleven wounded, and 
the Assistance eight killed and twenty wounded, among 
Avhich latter was Captain Tudor, mortally. M. Du Guai 
Trouin's ship and squadron suffered very severely, although 
their loss is not recorded. The Assurance lost no time in 
refitting, and in pursuing the French squadron, to protect the 
convoy. Five merchant ships, however, were unavoidably 
captured, two of which foundered loefore reaching France. 

Rear- Admiral Lord Dursley, who commanded a squadron 
in the Channel, having received intelligence that M. Du Guai 
was cruising oft" Scilly, departed in pursuit of him ; and 
having escorted the Lisbon fleet as far as he considered 
necessary, he on the 9th of April got sight of the Achille. 
The 50-gun ships Glorieux and Bristol were also in com- 
pany ; and these latter were overtaken and captured, but the 

122 BATTLES OF [1709. 

Achille escaped by her suj^erior sailing. Several smaller 
prizes were taken by Lord Dursley's squadron ; but the 
French were equally on the alert, and a very harassing and 
destructive warfare was canied on. 

In the month of April, the 32-gun frigate Sweepstakes, 
Captain Samuel Meade, was captured off the coast of France 
by two large French privateers, each of superior force to the 
British ship. Captain Meade was tried for the loss of his 
ship, and sentenced to be dismissed the service ; but he was 
shortly afterwards reinstated. 

On the 14th April, the 32-gun frigate Fowey, Captain 
E-ichard Lestock, was captured in the Mediterranean by two 
large French privateers. 

On the 18th of May, the 50-gun ship Falmouth, Captain 
Walter E-yddel, when off Scilly, in charge of the homeward- 
bound Xorth American convoy, feU in Avith four French 
men-of-war. The commodore of the French squadron, in a 
64-gun ship, attacked the Falmouth, and attempted to board 
her, which evolution Captain Kyddel gallantly met by laying 
the French ship athwart hawse, and in this position, with 
their bowsprits locked together, the two ships for an hour 
and a half kept uj) a heavy fire. The French crew several times 
attempted to board, but were beaten back with much loss ; 
and finding there was no chance of capturing the Falmouth, 
the French ship disengaged herself, and made sail away. 
Captain Ryddel made sail after the convoy, which he con- 
ducted in safety to Pljrmouth. In this truly gallant encounter 
on the part of Captain Eyddel, the Fahnouth sustained a loss 
of thirteen men killed ; and the captain, in the right leg, 
second lieutenant, Mr. Lawi-ence (a volunteer), and fifty-three 
men, wounded. The Falmouth had on board a freight of 

On the 18th May, Captain George Cammock, in the 
Speedwell, captured in Beerhaven a large French privateer, 
and recaptured a valuable merchant ship, her prize. On the 
next morning, the Speedwell captured a second privateer, 
consort to the above ; and three weeks afterwards, a fine 
vessel, mounting twelve guns, with ninety men, in the act of 
taking possession of three merchant ships. 

On the 20th of September, the 60-g-un ship Plymouth, 
Captain Jonas Hanway, being in the Channel, engaged a 

1709.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 123 

French ship of war. The action lasted an hour, when, 
having had fourteen officers and seamen killed, and sixty- 
wounded, the French ship hauled down her colours. She 
proved to be the Adriad, a Dunkirk privateer, mounting forty 
guns, with a crew of 260 men. The complement of the 
Plymouth being much reduced by sickness, was only able to 
man forty of her guns ; and her loss in this action amounted 
to a captain of marines and seven men killed, and sixteen 

The indefatigable Commodore Du Guai Trouin continued 
to harass every English convoy entering or quitting the 
Channel; and on the 26th of October, being about 150 
leagues to the westward of Scilly, captured the 64-gun ship 
Gloucester, Captain John Balchen. On the 2nd of Novem- 
ber, this same squadron, consisting of five sail of the line, 
with the Gloucester in company, captured the 50-gun ship 
Hampshii'e, Captain the Hon. Henry Maynard. One ship 
of fifty-six g-uns and 550 men closely engaged the Hampshire 
for several hours, but was beaten off. The Hampshire was 
chased into Baltimore (Ireland), into which harbour she was 
assisted by boats from the shore ; and it was not until the 
boats were observed coming off to her succour that Du Guai 
gave over the pursuit. The captain of the Gloucester, who 
was on board one of the French ships, afterwards stated 
that the chief opponent of the Hampshire had 120 men 
killed and wounded. The Hampshire received seventy-two 
shots in her hull, her masts were all more or less shattered, 
and her loss amounted to fifteen killed, as many dangerously, 
and others sHghtly wounded. The above particulars, which 
differ materially fi'om those given in our former version, and 
also from every other published account, are derived firom 
the Hampshire's log. 

Rear-Admiral Wager's squadron continued to do good 
service in the West Indies, in protecting the trade of the 
colonies, and in harassing that of the French. In the month 
of April, the 50-gun ship Portland, Captain Stephen 
Hutchins, after convoying the traders to Porto-Bello, was 
lying in the Bastimentoes, from which place four ships, two 
of fifty, and two of thirty guns, were observed at anchor in 
the harbour of Porto Bello. The two largest Captain 
Hutchins understood to be the Coventiy and Slignon, from 

124 BATTLES OF [1709> 

Africa. On tlie 1st of May, intelligence was brought to liiui 
that these ships had sailed on the previous night ; and the 
Portland immediately put to sea in quest of them. On the 
3rd, at 8h. a.m., two ships were discovered to windward, 
which at noon bore up to close the Portland. They did 
not, however, approach near enough to engage that day ; 
but on the morning of the 4th, by tacking in the night. 
Captain Hutcliins got within gun-shot on the lee quarter of 
the Mignon, which he engaged. The Coventry dropped 
astern to support her consort, and taking her station on the 
lee bow of the Portland, both ships kej^t up a cross fire upon 
her, wliich did great damage to the rigging and sails. A 
running fight of some hours continued, when the Portland 
having had her maintopsail-yard cut in two, dropped astern. 
All the remainder of the day and night was employed on 
board the Portland in repairing the damages of the pre^dous 
day's action, and at 4h. A. M. on the 5th, that ship was 
again in chase j but it was not until the 6th that Captain 
Hutcliins was again enabled to bring them to action. 
At 7h. A. jr., the Coventry having given the Portland an 
opportunity, those two ships closed, and a well-directed fire 
was opened. The Coventry's deck was observed to be so 
crowded with men, that Captain Hutcliins did not tliink it 
prudent to attempt to board ; but a close action was main- 
tained with spirit until llh. a. m., when the French ship 
lost her mainmast. "With much obstinacy, however, she 
continued the fight, but at 12h. 30m. surrendered. The 
Migiion escaf)ed. The Coventry had her captain killed, and 
her second captain wounded, together with a great many 
men ; her crew having been much augmented from the 
Mignoii. The Portland, out of a crew 220, sustained a loss 
of nine killed and twelve wounded. The prize had on board 
20,000 pieces of eight. 

On the 8th of November, at daylight, the 50-gun ships 
Defiance and Centiuion, Captains John Evans and John 
Miliell, being off Fuengirola, were chased by two French 
sliips of sixty or seventy guns. The British ships shortened 
sail to receive the enemy, and at 8h. 30m. the French ships 
ranging up to leeward of the Defiance and Centurion, com- 
menced a furious action, which lasted until about noon, when 
the French ships sheered ofi"; but not without making an 

1710.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 125 

imsiiccessfiil attempt to board the Centurion. The British 
ships chased the enemy till 4h. p. m. ; but, being very much 
shattered, were miable to overtake them. The loss of the 
Defiance amounted to the master, William Fearne, gunner, 
Thomas Griffin, and fifteen men killed ; and Captain Evans, 
the lieutenant of marines, and G7 wounded. The Centurion 
had twenty-one, including Lieutenant Thomas Best and the 
chaplain, Robert Williams, killed ; and forty men wounded. 
The French ships w^ere reported to have lost upwards of 100 
men ; and in a shattered state reached Malaga. 

On the 27th of November, the 40-gun ship Wincliester, 
Captain Robert Hughes, chased and, at 8h. p. m., overtook a 
large privateer belonging to Flusliing. On arriving ^^dthin 
hail, Captain Hughes ordered the stranger to heave to and 
send a boat on board ; but the only reply to this hail was 
a musket-ball. The Winchester then opened her fire, and 
after a short action, in which the Dutch captain was killed, 
the crew of tlie privateer called for quarter. The above is 
the account furnished by the Winchester's journal, and it will 
be seen, on comparison, that it differs materially from our 
former account, wdiicli was derived from the pages of Camp- 
bell and others. 

1710. — On the 10th of February, the oO-gun ships Salis- 
bury and St. Albans, Captains Francis Hosier and Thomas 
Laurence, captured, after a smart action, a French 60-gun 
ship off Cape Clear. The Salisbury lost in the action, John 
Kersey, boatswain, and four men killed ; and twenty-five 
men wounded. The prize was added to the navy under the 
name of Salisbury's Prize. 

On the 3rd of May, the 70-gun ship Suffolk, Captain 
William Cleveland, captured off Messina the French o6-gun 
ship GalHard, but which had only thirty-eight guns mounted. 

On the 29th of July, the fleet of Admiral Aylmer, com- 
mander-in-chief in the Channel, discovered several sail, wliich 
the Kent, Assurance, and York were ordered to chase. 
The 70-g-un ship Kent, Captain Robert Johnson, took the 
lead, and chased aU night ; and, on the following morning, 
having i-un her consorts out of sight, came up with, and, 
after a smart action, compelled the stranger to surrender. 
The pme proved to be the Superbe, of fifty-six guns, a 
well-kno^\m and skilfiil cruiser. Her crew was composed of 

126 BATTLES OF [1710. 

picked men, and more numerous than those of the Kent. 
The Superbe, being nearly a new ship, was added to the 
British navy. 

Towards the end of July, the combined English and 
Dutch fleet being off Toulon, stood into Hyeres Bay, where 
a French ship from Scanderoon, valuably laden, and mount- 
ing fifty guns, was discovered, which had taken shelter under 
the guns of three strong batteries. Sir John Norris, tliink- 
ing the service practicable, despatched the boats of the fleet, 
under the command of Captain Thomas Stepney, to endea- 
vour to bring her out. The boats, being manned, put ofl". 
and shortly afterwards the French crew were observed 
leaving the vessel. The boats rowed hastily alongside and 
boarded the vessel, which proceeding had been j)i^O"^'ided 
for by the French ; for the men had scarcely reached her 
deck, when all on board were blown to atoms. Before 
leaving the vessels, a train had been laid, which communi- 
cated with the magazine ; and previously to the last man 
quitting, a slow match Avas ignited. The vessel blew up 
with tliirty-five Englishmen on board, most of whom were 

On the 13th of December, the TO-gnin ships Warspight 
and Breda, Captains Josiah Crow and Thomas Long, cruising 
off Cape Boxent, chased a large French ship. The Breda, 
taking the lead, first engaged the enemy, but the latter did 
not surrender until the arrival of the Warspight. The prize 
proved the Maure, of forty-eight guns and 276 men. Cap- 
tain Long and his grandson were killed in the action, and 
eight men wounded. 

In the month of August, the 50-rgun ships Rochester, 
Severn, and Portland, Captains John Aldred, Humphrey 
Pudner, and George PurAds, visited the French harbours on 
the north side of Newfoundland, and committed gTeat devas- 
tation. In theii* way thither, also, they took two richly- 
laden merchant ships, valued at £30,000, one of wliich was 
afterwards surprised and recaptin-ed. The following was the 
amount of their successes : — In the harboui' La Couche, two 
vessels moimting together thirty guns, with 145 men ; in 
Carouse, three vessels, mounting in all sixty-four guns, with 210 
men ; at Petit Maitre, one vessel, of eighteen guns and eighty 
men j and at Great St. Julian, one vessel, of thirty guns and 

1711.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 127" 

120 men ; three of which were brought away, but the rest 
were destroyed. 

On the 29th of December, the 64-gTm ship Pembroke, 
Captain Edward Rumsey, and 3 2 -gun ship Falcon, Captain 
Charles Constable, were fallen in with to the southward of 
Nice, by three French ships of war of superior force. The 
Toulouse, of sixty-four guns, engaged the Pembroke with 
much spirit, and the other ships, mounting sixty and fifty- 
four guns, coming to the assistance of the Toulouse, the 
Pembroke struck. Captain Rumsey was killed, 140 of his 
crew killed and wounded, and the ship a wreck. The Falcon 
was also pursued, and Captain Constable, although severely 
wounded, refused to quit the deck, and continued the action 
as long as a chance of success remained, when he struck. 

1711. — On the 22nd of March, the Mediterranean fleet, 
still commanded by Sir John Norris, being in Vado Bay, the 
signal was made for seeing four ships, upon which the admiral 
ordered the 60 -gun ships Nassau and Exeter to proceed in 
chase. The Lion, Lyme, and Severn, British look-out ships, 
joined in the pursuit, and on the 26th an engagement 
took place. The French ships mounted from sixty to forty 
guns each, and maintained a running fight with such of the 
Enghsh ships as could get up. The Severn, Captain Hum- 
phrey Pudner, and Lyme, Caj)tain James Gunman, were in 
consequence disabled (the former having had twenty-three 
and the latter six men killed and wounded), and obliged to 
return into port ; but the Lion, Captain Galfridus Walpole, 
and the Exeter, Captain Beaumont Raymond, continued the 
chase. Captain Walpole lost his right arm, and had forty 
men killed and wounded, and his ship was almost unrigged 
before he relinquished the pursuit. The Exeter followed, 
and engaged the Pembroke (late English), a 50-g-un ship, 
which struck, but the Exeter could not take possession, 
owing to her disabled state. 

On the 27th of June, the 4:6-gun ship Advice, Captain 
Lord Duffus, while lying at anchor in Yarmouth Roads, was 
attacked by eight large Dunkirk privateers. Such was the 
vigour of their assault, that the Advice was in a short time 
reduced to a wreck, and had two-thirds of her crew either 
killed or wounded — the captain among the latter. The ship 
was can-ied to Dunkirk, where the indignities offered to the 

128 BATTLES OF [1711. 

English prisoners proved the captors to deserve the appel- 
lation of pirates, rather than privateers. 

On the 10th of June, the 50-gim ship Newcastle, Captain 
Sampson Bourne, oif Antigua, fell in with a flotilla com- 
prising a ship of thirty-six guns, one of twenty-four guns, 
-two merchant ships, and nine sloop privateers, which had 
put to sea from Martinique, with the design of reducing 
Antigua. Though for some time unable to brmg the New- 
castle's broadside to bear, Captain Bourne persevered, and at 
length, after a three hours' action, completely disabled them, 
and having killed sixty-four of their men, compelled the 
flotilla to return to Martinique. On the 27th July, the 
oO-gun ship Salisbury and 60-gun ship Salisbury's Prize, 
Captains Francis Hosier and Robert Harland, captured off 
Carthagena a Spanish galleon mounting 60 brass guns. The 
Salisbury's Prize had one man killed and six wounded in the 

On the 21st of October, the 70-gun ships Hampton Court 
and Stu^ling Castle, Captains James Mighells and Pichard 
Hughes, when off" Minorca, chased two French ships, the 
Trident and Toulouse, each of fifty-two guns. The Hampton 
Court overtook and engaged the Toulouse, and after an 
action of two hours' duration, the French ship surrendered, 
and was taken possession of by the Stirling Castle, the 
Hampton Court having no boat that would swim. The 
Toulouse was commanded by M. Grandprez, and had a crew 
of 400 men: she formerly mounted sixty-four guns. The 
Trident escaped. 

The operations of the combined English and Dutch fleet, 
under Admiral Sir John Leake, were tliis year confined to 
the protection of the English coast, and to destroying the 
privateers wliich infested the Channel, many of which were 
captured. Still fewer actions do the annals of 1712 afford; 
and we will therefore briefly sum up the events of this me- 
morable war, which was terminated by the peace of Utrecht, 
signed on the 1st of April, 1713, and which cannot be better 
done than in the words of Campbell : — 

" Upon the close of the war, the French found themselves 
totally deprived of all pretensions to the dominion of the sea. 
Most of our conquests — indeed, all of them that were of any 
use to us — were made, or at least chiefly, by our fleets. Sir 

1711.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 129 

George Rooke took Gibraltar; Sir John Leake reduced Mi- 
norca; and it is also evident that it was our fleet alone that 
supported King Charles in Catalonia, and kept the king of 
Portugal steady to the grand alliance; which, besides the 
advantages it brought to the common cause, secured to us 
the invaluable profits of our trade to that country. At the 
same time our fleets prevented the French from so much as 
saiUng on the Mediterranean, where they had made a fig-ure 
in the last war, and kejDt many of the Italian states in awe. 
The very Algerines and other piratical states of Barbary, 
contrary to their natural propensity to the French, were 
now obsequious to us, and entertained no manner of doubt 
of the superiority of our flag. In a word, to smn up all, we 
had to deal in the first of the war with the fleets of Brest 
and Toulon, capable of disputing with us the dominion of 
the sea in our full strength." 

Then follows a summary of ships of war captured or 
destroyed belonging to the English and French navies ; by 
which it appears, that in the course of the war the English 
sustained a loss of thirty-eight ships, mounting 1,596 ginis ; 
while that of the French exceeded ours by eighteen ships 
and 1,498 guns. Great Britain retained possession of 
Gibraltar, Minorca, Hudson's Bay, the whole of Nova Scotia, 
the island of St. Christopher's, and also Newfoundland, with 
a few exceptions. 


130 BATTLES OF [1715-18. 


George I. commenced Ids reign in a period of peace j and 
we have to pass over tliree years before any battle presents 

1716. — The piratical states being again on the alert and 
committing piracies, Vice- Admiral John Baker, commander- 
in-chief in the Mediterranean, cruised against them. But 
the Sallee rovers for a time continued their depredations 
with impimity, owing to their drawing little water, wliich 
enabled them to evade our cruisers. In the month of Octo- 
ber, Captain Arthur Delgarno, of the 20-gun ship Hind, 
fell in with one of their largest, a ship of twenty-four guns, 
which he engaged for two hours and a half, and compelled 
to strike. The vessel sank with all her crew immediately 
after surrendering. The Bridgewater destroyed another, 
moimting eight guns. 

1718. — A Spanish force having been despatched with an 
army to attack Sicily, the British court, determined to 
uphold Austria, and maintain the neutrality of Italy, ordered 
a fleet of 20 sail of the line, under the command of Admiral 
Sir George Byng, to proceed to the Mediterranean. On the 
3rd of June this fleet sailed from Spithead, and on the 24th 
arrived at Cadiz. At this place the admiral acquainted the 
king of Spain, by letter, ^dth his intention of acting against 
all those who should attempt to violate the peace of Italy. 
The king of Spain returned for answer, "that the admiral 
might follow his orders." The fleet then sailed for Naples, 
where it anchored on the 21st of July. 

On the 30th of July, being to the northward of, Messina, 
the admiral received intelligence that the Spanish fleet had 
been seen ofl" Reggio ; and early in the morning two sail 
were discovered. At the same time a felucca came from the 
Calabrian coast with intelligence that the Spanish fleet was 
visible from the heights. The fleet then made sail through 
the Faro of Messina, in chase of the two vessels, and at 
noon observed the Spanish fleet formed in a line of battle. 
Admiral Don Antonio Castaneta commanded the Spanish 




fleet, wliicli consisted of twenty-six ships of war, thirteen 
Lombs and smaller vessels, and several store-ships, &c. Upon 
seeing the British fleet, Castaneta made sail with the mnd 
abaft the beam, but maintaining the order of sailing. Sir 
George Bjng ordered the Kent, Superbe, Grafton, and Or- 
ford, to make what sail they could after the Spanish fleet, 
and endeavour to keep sight of them during the night. On 
the morning of the 31st of July, at daylight, the British fleet 
had gained considerably, and the smaller vessels of the 
Spanish fleet tacked and endeavoured to get in shore. Sii- 
George, however, despatched the Canterbury, Captain Wal- 
ton, together with the Argyle and six others, to cut them 
off" ; and as those ships approached, the Spaniards fired a 
broadside into the Argyle, thereby commencing hostilities. 

Leaving these eight ships to deal with the in-shore squa- 
dron, Sir George stood on after the larger ships; and here 
we will insert a list of the two fleets : — 




Admiral Sir Greorge Byng 

90 Barfleur - 


Sanders, 1st captain 


Richard Lestock, 2nd „ 

80 Shrewsbury 

Vice-Admiral Charles Cornwall (white) 
Captain John Balchen 

Dorsetshire .... - 

Rear- Admiral George Delaval (white) 
Captain John Furger 

Burford . , . . . . 

Charles Vanbrugh 


Richard Rowzier 

Grafton . . ... ... 

Nicholas Haddock 


Lenox . . . . ^. . . 

Charles Strickland 

Breda . . ... .^ ._. 

Barrow Harris 

Orford . . 

Edward Falkingham 


Thomas Matthews 

Royal Oak . . ... 

Thomas Kempthorne 

^Captain . . . . . . 

Archibald Hamilton 

' Canterbury .... 

George Walton 

Dreadnought ... 

William Haddock 

Rippon . . ... . . 

Christopher O'Brien 

60 ^ 

Superbe ... ... , . 

Streynsham Master 

Rupert . . ... ... . . 

Arthur Field 

Dunkirk ....... 

Francis Drake 

^Montagu .... ... 

Thomas Beverley 

j.^ ( Rochester . . ... 

Joseph Winder 


Coningsby Norbury 

The aggregate of the crews of the above ships is stated at 
8,88-5. The Spanish fleet consisted of the following : — 









74 Philip *» 

Name unknown f 

70 Prince ofAsturias* 

44 < 


' Royal * 


Porcupine (French) 

St. Louis 


Surprise * 

St. Ferdinand 



St. Carlos* 



Sta. Isabella * 

20 < 


Sta. Rosa* 

( Count de Tholouse 

St. John Baptist 
LSt. Peter 

26 Tyger * 

24 Eagle 



22 St. Francis Areres 

Name unknown f 

o/x j Little St. Ferdinand 
^" I Little St. John 


, St. Isidore * 

' Esperenzaf 

18 Arrow 



The crews of the above fleet numbered 8,830. 

Sir George Byng continued pursuing the main body of the 
Spanish fleet ; and the Orford and Grafton being the leading 
ships, were fired at by the sternmost ships of the Spanish 
fleet at about lOh. a.m. The admiral, however, cautiously 
ordered those ships not to return the fire of the Spaniards, 
unless it was repeated ; but this having been done, the 
Orford attacked, and in a shoi*t time took the Santa Rosa, 
sixty-four. The San Carlos, sixty, stinick to the Kent. The 
Grafton, having shot ahead, took up a position close to the 
Principe de Asturias, seventy, bearing the flag of Yice- 
Admiral Chacon, which he engaged with great eflect ; but 
finding the Breda and Captain to be closing Avith him, 
Captain Haddock gallantly made sail for the next ship, 
leaving the Principe, much shattered, to be taken possession 
of by those shij)s. This was the plan pursued throughout 
the action by the brave Haddock, which accounts for no ship 
having struck to the Grafton. At about Ih. p.m., the Kent 
and Superbe having arrived up, engaged the Spanish admiral 
in the St. Philip, but, supported by two ships of his fleet, 
Castaneta maintained a running fight for two hours. The 
Kent, by her superior sailing, passing under the stern of the 
St. Pliilip, fired a destructive raking broadside into her, and 
then hauled up on her lee-quarter. The Superbe also 
attacked her on the weather-quarter ; and after an obstinate 

^ We anticipate the course of the history by affixing * to those ships 
taken, and f to those burnt or destroyed ; the remainder escaped. 

1719.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 133 

defence, the Spaniard surrendered, having lost 200 men. 
The Barfleur was attacked by two 60-gun ships, just arrived 
from Malta in the midst of the engagement, one, the St. 
Louis, bearing Rear- Admiral Guavara's flag ; but after firing 
their broadsides, both tacked and stood in for the land. The 
Barfleur tacked after them, and pursued till nearly dark ; 
Ijut the ^\dnd being light and baffling, Sir George Byng was 
obli.o'ed to bear up for his o^vn fleet. The Essex captured 
the Juno ; the Montagu and Bupert, the Volante ; and the 
Dorsetshire, the Santa Isabella. Tliis memorable action was 
fought about six leagues from Cape Passaro. 

We now return to Captain Walton, from whom, on the 
18th, the admiral received the following laconic epistle : — 

" Sir, — We have taken and destroyed all the Spanish ships and vessels 
which were upon the coast, the number as per margin. 

" I am, &c., 
"Canterbury, off Svracusa, "G. Walton." 

"August 16 (N.S.), 1718." 

These shij^s, '•' as per margin," comprised the Royal, sixty, 
bearing Rear-Admii-al Mari's flag ; one ship of fifty, one of 
forty-four, and one of twenty-four guns, with a bomb-vessel, 
and a ship laden Avith military stores, captured. Those burnt 
were one of fifty-four guns, two of forty, and one of thirty 
guns ; Avith a fire-ship and bomb-vessel. 

The ship wliich suffered most on the 31st July was the 
Grafton. Her loss, by a reference to the ship's log, has been 
ascertained to have amounted to Lieutenant Richard Bram- 
ble and fifteen men killed, and thirty-seven wounded. Kone 
of our histories make the slightest mention of the above, or 
of the loss in the two fleets ; but little doubt can be enter- 
tained that it was severe on both sides, and particularly on 
board the Spanish ships. 

The conduct of Sir George Byng was wholly approved hj 
the government. 

The St. Philip was destroyed by fire at Port Mahon a 
short time afterwards, and Don Antonio Castaneta died of 
woimds received in the action shortly after having been 
landed at Sicily. War was formally declared against Spain 
on the 17th of December. 

1719. — In the succeeding year, Sir George Byng, who for 

134: BATTLES OF [1719. 

his eminent services liad been created Viscount Torrington, 
besieged and took the citadel of Messina, and carried on his 
operations, in conjunction with some Austrian forces, with 
such energy, that the Spaniards were under the necessity of 
evacuating the island. 

On the 28th of June, the 40-gun ship Looe, Captain George 
Protheroe, captured a large Spanish privateer between Corsica 
and Capri, after an heroic defence, in which the latter sus- 
tained a loss of eighty men killed and wounded, and the 
Looe of two men killed. 

On the 1st July, the 70-gun ship Grafton, Captain Ni- 
cholas Haddock, chased three Genoese ships, conveying a 
reinforcement of 800 soldiers to the Spaniards, and a large 
quantity of arms. Two were taken, and the third driven on 
shore. The 70-gun ships Lenox, Breda, and Essex, Captains 
Charles Strickland, Barrow Harris, and Bichard Rowzier, 
heaving in sight during the action, stood towards the stranded 
ship, and, after engaging the castle, close under which she was 
on shore, succeeded in burning her. 

In August, a British squadron, commanded by Captain 
Bobert Johnson, with a body of troops imder Colonel Stan- 
hope, attacked the Spanish shipping in Port Antonio : 200 
seamen landed with Colonel Stanhope ; and having destroyed 
two batteries and forty-seven pieces of cannon, they proceeded 
to the arsenal, where the seamen burnt one ship of seventy 
guns, and two of sixty guns on the stocks, nearly ready for 
launching, besides setting fire to the timber deposited there. 
This exploit was attended with the loss of four or five seamen 
drowned in landing. 

On the 15th of September, Captain Bobert Johnson, in 
the Weymouth, having under his orders the Winchester 
frigate and Dursley galley, received intelKgence that two 
Spanish ships of war and a large merchant ship were lying in 
the harbour of Bibades, about sixteen leagues to the eastward 
of Cape Ortugal. Leaving the Dursley off the Groine, Cap- 
tain Johnson, accompanied by the Winchester, arrived at 
Bibades on the 1 6th. Having sent the boats ahead to sound, 
the ships stood in under easy sail, and anchored between the 
ships and a battery of eight guns, withm musket-shot of each. 
In a short time the fire of the ships and battery also was 
silenced, and a party of men landed and took possession of 

1720-22.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 135 

the latter ; the sMps of war blew uj) before they could be 
boarded, but the merchant ship was caiTied off. Captain 
Johnson received the honour of knighthood. 

On the 29th September, a land and sea force, commanded 
by Lord Cobham and Vice-Admiral James MigheUs, attacked 
and surprised Yigo, with the loss to the British of two 
officers and four men killed. The operations were continued 
only about four days, when the place surrendered. Large 
quantities of brass cannon, 8,000 muskets, and ammunition 
were seized, all wliich were to have been employed against 
England. Seven ships, including three privateers, were 
captured. From Vigo the troops departed for Ponta Yedra, 
which place surrendered without opposition, and was found 
to contain vast quantities of military stores. 

On the night of the 7th of December, a squadron, com- 
manded by Commodore Pliilip Cavendish, consisting of the 
Dover, Advice, and Norwich, fell in, off Cape St. Vincent, 
with three large Spanish ships, which they engaged on 
the 9th ; but owing to the state of the weather, which pre- 
vented the British ships from opening their lower deck ports, 
the Spanish ships escaped. The British squadron lost in this 
engagement forty men killed and wounded. 

1720. — His CathoHc majesty acceded to the quadruple 
alUance in February of this year. 

1722. — The West Indies and coast of Africa were infested 
by pirates ; and one, who bore the name of Koberts, said to 
have been a man of good education, rendered himself parti- 
cularly formidable, as well by the squadron at his disposal, 
as by his dexterous seamanship. 

On the 4th February, the 60-gun ship Swallow, Captain 
Sir Chaloner Ogle (having a few days previously received 
intelligence at Whydah, on the west coast of Africa, re- 
specting this piratical ship, which had captured and de- 
stroyed several ships of various nations), being off Cape 
Lopez, observed three ships at anchor in-shore. Beheving 
the ships to be those of which he was in search. Sir 
Chaloner stood off shore, in order to draw out one or more 
in pursuit. Having disguised the Swallow as much as pos- 
sible, the pirate imagined her to be another Indiaman, of 
which he had la,tterly made many prizes ; and accordingly, 
the Little Banger, commanded by one Skyrme, mounting 

136 BATTLES OF [1722-34. 

tliirty-two guns, witli a crew of 130 meiij was ordered in 
chase. The Swallow contmued standing out to sea before 
the wind, but with her main tack aboard, and yards braced 
sharp up, so as to allow the pirate sliip to overtake her; and 
having by these means succeeded in drawing her out of sight 
of her companions, rounded to, and allowed the pirate to 
close. The latter bore down ^vith the black flag flpng, and 
enofasred the Swallow : but on the Swallow hoisting; her 
ensign and pendant, it was hauled down ; the flag was, however, 
rehoisted, and kept flying till her surrender. This soon took 
place, for on opening the Swallow's lower deck ports, the 
pirate received so heavy and unexpected a fire, that, Skyrme 
l3eing killed, the crew called for quarter. Ha\nng sent his 
prize to Princes Island, Sir Chaloner Ogle, two days after- 
wards, stood into the bay in which the Great Ranger and 
the remaining consort were lying ; and by employing the 
ruse of hoisting the black flag over English colours, he suc- 
ceeded in getting alongside the pirate before the true state of 
the case was known. Roberts was killed by the first broadside, 
otherwise he would have blown up the ship, or have sunk, 
instead of surrendering ; but the captain being dead, and the 
mainmast being shot away, the crew asked quarter, wliich 
being promised, the black flag was hauled down. The tliird 
ship, mounting twenty guns, had been captured from the 
French a short time previously, at "VYliydah. Several of the 
pirates escaped on shore, but the remainder, to the number 
of 160, Avere, Avith the three prizes, carried to Cape Coast. 
The pirates were there tried, and seventy condemned, fifty- 
two of whom were hung in chains along the coast. ^ 

1734. — The first occurrence of note in the reioni of 


Georoe II. was the reduction of Morocco. The blockade of 
their ports Avas so successfidly performed by Captain James 
Cornwall, in the Greyhound, Asdth the 20-g-un ships Dursley 
and Rose, Captains Thomas Smith and Chai'les Wyndham, 
that the emperor Avas compelled to release all his English 
prisoners, to the number of 140. During the A'arious opera- 
tions, tAvo large corsairs, each mounting tAventy-six gims, 
Avere destroyed by the 20-g-un ship Shoreham, Captain John 
Towry, assisted by the Rose. 

' Several of the gibbets until very lately remained standing. 

1739.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 137 


1739. — The conduct of the Spanish giiarda costas, and of 
the king of Si")ain in refusing to afford restitution and com- 
pensation for the injuries sustained, occasioned an expedition 
to be fitted out to act against the Spanish West India 
settlements, in the neighbourhood of which the atrocities 
complained of had been committed. At the same time, aa 
embargo was laid upon Spanish ships fomid in English 

On the 24tli of July, this expedition, commanded by 
Vice-Admii-al Edward Yernon, consisting of the Lenox, 
EHzabeth, Burford, and Kent, of seventy guns ; "Worcester, 
Strafibrd, and Princess Louisa, of sixty guns ; and 50-giui 
sliij:) ISToi^ch — sailed from Spithead. Owing to adverse 
winds in the Channel, the ships were forced into Plymouth, 
where Admiral Vernon received intelligence respecting the 
Azogues fleet, then daily expected, and for which a Sftanisli 
squadron was looking out off Cape Finisterre. The vice- 
admiral therefore sailed from Plymouth on the 3rd of 
August, and on the 9th arrived off Cape Ortugal. Here he 
received intelligence that the Azogues fleet had not arrived, 
and that the Spanish squadron had returned to Cadiz. 
Leaving the Lenox, EHzabeth^ and Kent, to cruise for it, he, 
with the remainder of the squadron, sailed for INIadeira and 
the West Lidies. On the 29th of September, he arrived at 
Antigua. After some delay in obtaining the requisite intel- 
ligence, the expedition having been joined by Commodore 
Charles Brown, sailed for Porto BeUo on the 5tli of Novem- 
ber. On the 20th, the squadron, consisting of the follo-sving, — 

Guns. Ships. Men. 

f Burford 500 i X'''!'^'^'^,^ ^^ ^^^i^''^ ^'^™^^ ^^^^^) 

( Captain Ihomas \> atson 

70 J TT„_,_i.^_ n <• Ac\- \ Commodore Charles Brown 
Hampton Court . .49o < ^ , . -n»- i, -r* j. 
^ ( Captain Digby Dent 

L Worcester 400 ,, Perry Mayne 

gQ j Strafford 400 „ Thomas Trevor 

\ Princess Louisa . .400 „ Thomas Waterhouse 

50 Norwich 300 „ Richard Herbert 

came in sight of Porto Bello, and having chased many ves- 
sels into the harbom-, the Spaniards became fully aware of 
their presence ; but so wanting was Don Francisco M. de 
Ketez, the governor, in energy, that no precaution was taken 

138 BATTLES OF [1739. 

to defend the place. Porto Bello stands on the north, side 
of the Isthmus of Darien, and has a convenient bay — ^in 
depth about a mile — with a good anchorage. On the north 
side of the bay, near the entrance to the harbour, stood a 
strong castle, caUed the Iron Castle, mounting seventy-eight 
guns, with a battery of twenty-two guns, nearly level with 
the water ; the whole garrisoned by 300 men. On the 
southern side of the bay, about a mile farther up, on an 
eminence, stood Gloria Castle, consisting of two regular 
bastions, towards the bay, which mounted ninety guns ; 
besides a Hne of eight g"uns, pointing towards the entrance to 
the anchorage ; which was garrisoned by 400 men. Above 
tins castle again, on a sandy point, running into the bay, 
stood Fort St. Jeronimo, a quadrangular redoubt, strongly 
built, mounting twenty guns. The two last-named castles 
commanded the anchorage, and, together with Iron Castle, 
rendered the entrance to the harbour difficult. At the 
bottom of the bay, built along the shore in the form of a 
crescent, was the town of Porto Bello. 

On. the 21st, the squadron got underway with an easterly 
wind, and worked up to the harbour ; and at 2h. p. m. the 
Hampton Court anchored close under the Iron Castle, and 
commenced cannonading it. The Hampton Court was soon 
supported by the Norwich and Worcester ; and the united 
fire of these ships quickly silenced the battery. Vice-Ad- 
mkal Vernon arriving up about this time, and observing the 
slackness of the enemy's fire, ordered the boats, manned and 
armed, to assemble near him ; but the enemy, on the arrival 
of the admiral, appeared to have been desirous of making 
another effort, and recommenced their fire ; but the admiral's 
ship, adding to the cannonading they had already endui^ed, 
again obliged them to slacken, and the soldiers in the lower 
batteries were driven from their guns by the small-arm men 
stationed in the ships' tops. Upon this, the vice-admiral 
ordered the boats, commanded by Lieutenant Thomas Bro- 
derick, to shove off from the ships, and in a short time the 
seamen, clambering up the face of the rampart, by the aid of 
each other's heads and shoulders, made themselves masters 
of the castle, and advanced towards the town. The Spa- 
niards fled in all directions ; and as reinforcements of sailors 
arrived from the ships, all appearance of opposition ceased, 

1740.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 139 

and a wMte flag was held out from the walls of the town, in 
token of a desire to capitulate. The castles of Gloria and 
St. Jeronimo still held out ; and means were resorted to for 
reducing these on the following day ; but the Spanish 
governor oifered to surrender upon certain terms ; but which 
not being admissible, the admiral proposed others, which the 
governor, after a few hours' deliberation, agreed to. Captain 
Newton was accordingly sent, with 200 soldiers, to take 
j)ossession of the castles and town, and a party of seamen to 
secure two ships of twenty gTins, in the harbour, together 
with a great number of smaller vessels. The loss on the 
part of the British was slight. The Bmford had three men 
killed, and five wounded; the Worcester, a like number; and 
in the Hampton Court, one man was wounded. Treasure 
to the amount of 10,000 dollars found in Porto Bello, in- 
tended for the payment of the garrison, was seized, and 
immediately distributed amongst the captors ; but the town 
was not plundered. Forty guns, ten field-pieces, four mor- 
tars, and eighteen patereroes, all of brass, were sent off to 
the ships, together with ammunition ; but the iron guns 
were destroyed. Captain Charles Knowles, assisted by 
Captain Boscawen, was ordered to superintend the destruc- 
tion of the forts. The task was one of difficulty, owing to 
the streng-th and thickness of the walls, and was not com- 
pleted till the 6th of December, when the mines being pro- 
perly charged and sprung, the castles, which had so long 
afforded protection to the guarda costas, were levelled. 

1740. — On the 18th of April, the Spanish 74-gun ship 
Princeza, Captain Don Parlo de Gera, was captured off Cape 
Pinisterre, after a most noble defence, by the 70-gun ships 
Lenox, Orford, and Kent, Captains Covill Mayne, Lord 
A. Pitzroy, and Thomas Durell. The Spanish ship, out of 
a crew of 650 men, had thirty-five killed and 100 wounded ; 
and the three ships before mentioned lost, in all, seventeen 
killed and forty wounded. Among the latter was Captain 
Durell, who lost one of his hands. The Piinceza was a fine 
new ship, and was, under the same name, added to the 
British navy. 

On the 22nd of ]March, Vice- Admiral Vernon entered the 
river Chagre with his squadron, demolished the Castle of 
Lorenzo^ and took a large quantity of plate; but, o^ving to 

140 BATTLES OF ' [1741, 

the arrival of a -s'astly superior force, he was compelled to 
remain in Port Royal harbour for the remainder of the year. 

On the 19th of December, an action took place ofi' His- 
paniola, between the Prince Frederick, Captain Lord Aubery 
Beauclerk, Orford, and Weymouth, and a large French ship 
which they fell in with. After the sliips had lost many 
men, it was deemed advisable to discontinue the action, the 
countries not being at war. 

1741. — The squacbon of Vice-Admiral Yemon was rein- 
forced by Rear-Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle, in the 80-gun 
ship Cumberland, and it was determined to attack Cartha- 
gena. On the 2oth of February, the vice-admiral got under- 
way with the fleet, consisting, with transports, &c., of 124 
sail, and on the 4tli of March, anchored in Plaza Grande 
Bay, between Carthagena and Point de Canoa. A feint was 
here made at landing, winch had the effect of drawing a 
large body of troops to this part of the shore, where they 
began intrenching. The garrison of Carthagena consisted of 
4,000 men; but to oppose to this, the expedition contained 
land forces to the number of 12,000, and twenty-nine sail of 
the line, with a large proportion of frigates, containing in 
the whole 15,938 seamen. On the 9th, Sir Chaloner Ogle 
shifted his flag to the 60-gun ship Jersey, Captain Peter 
Laui'ence, and the whole moved towards the intended place 
of debarkation. 

The entrance to Carthagena is six miles to the westward 
of the city, between two narrow peninsulas called Terra 
Bomba and the Baradera. This entrance is called Bocca 
Cliica, and is so narrow that only one sliip can enter at the 
same time. On the side of Terra Bomba, was the square 
fort St. Louis, having four bastions, mounted with eighty- 
two guns and three mortars; to which was added Fort St. 
PhiKp, mounting seven guns, and St. Jago, mounting fifteen 
guns ; and a smaller battery of four guns, called Battery de 
Chamba, serving as outworks to it. On Baradera side, the 
fortifications were equally strong, consisting of a fascine bat- 
tery of fifteen guns, called the Baradera ; and in a small bay 
at the back of that, another battery of five guns. Facing 
the entrance of the harbour also, on a small flat island, stood 
Foii, St. Joseph, mounting twenty-one guns. The Bocca 
was, in addition, protected by a strong boom, flanked by the 

1741.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 141 

broadsides of four large ships of the line, one of which bore 
the flag of Admiral Don Bias de Leso. 

As the ships passed along, the Chamba battery began to 
fire^ but was soon silenced by the Princess Amelia, Captain 
James Hemmington ; the fascine battery also gave no trouble. 
About noon, the 80-gun ships Norfolk, Russel, and Shrews- 
bury, Captains Thomas Graves, Richard ISTorris, and Isaac 
ToAvnshend, anchored very close to the forts St. Jago and 
St. Philip, which in an hour they so shattered that the 
Spaniards abandoned them, and the soldiers landed and took 
possession. This success was obtained with the loss of a few 
men killed on board the Norfolk and Pussel ; but the 
Shrewsbury, owing to having had one of her cables cut, 
whereby her stern became exposed to the united fire of the 
enemy's ships inside, as well as of two fascine batteries, 
sufiered more severely. Captain Townshend, however, 
refused to retire, but maintained the combat for seven hom^s ; 
and night having put an end to the contest, the Shrewsbury 
was brought off", having had twenty men killed, and forty 
wounded, the sliip being almost a wreck. 

The next three days were occupied by the land forces in 
making arrangements for the investment of Fort St. Louis ; 
but receiving much annoyance from the forts on the Baradera 
side, the vice-admiral determined that the forts on that side 
should be attacked, and taken, if possible, by surprise. Ac- 
cordingly, a division of boats was appointed, and the command 
of the party intrusted to Captain Thomas Watson, of the 
70-gim ship Biirford, having under his orders Captains Harry 
Norris and Charles Coleby. The storming party was under 
the orders of Captains Edward Boscawen, Wilham Laws, and 
Thomas Cotes. The enterprise was delayed by bad weather 
till the 19th. At midnight, the boats landed about a mile 
to leeward of Baradera battery, wliich batteiy mounted fifteen 
24-pounders. The boats pushed in between two reefs of 
rocks, and close under the walls of a 0-gun battery, which 
perceiving their approach, opened fire. The report of the 
guns acted as a spur to the crews of the boats, who, in the 
course of a few minutes, scrambhng over the walls and 
through the embrasures, quickly possessed themselves of tliis 
im})ediment. The guns of the small battery had, however, 
acted as an alarm also ; and the larger battery, rightly 

142 BATTLES OF [1741. 

guessing tlie cause of the firing, pointed three of tlieir guns 
at it, and poured in a constant fire of round and grape shot. 
Owing to the bad aim taken, few shot took efiect, and the 
storming party advanced at a quick pace upon the large 
battery, and after a stout resistance carried it also ; when, 
spiking the guns, and breaking up the platform, they set fire 
to everything that would burn within the battery, and 
returned to their ships, having sustained a very trifling 

The enemy still holding out against the besiegers, another 
attack from the shipping was determined upon ; and Com- 
modore Richard Lestock, with two ships of eighty, three of 
seventy, and one of sixty guns, was intrusted with it. Five 
ships, under Sir Chaloner Ogle, were appointed to take the 
place of any disabled ship. Early on the morning of the 
23rd, Commodore Lestock, in the Boyne, with the Princess 
Amelia, Prince Frederick, Hampton Court, Sufiblk, and Til- 
bury, Captains James Hemmington, Lord Aubery Beauclerk, 
Digby Dent, William Davies, and Charles Long, took up 
their stations under the batteries, and abreast of the foui* 
ships inside the boom ; aU which, upon the approach of the 
British, opened a heavy fire. The Boyne being a little to 
leeward of her intended position, was exposed to a tre- 
mendous cross-fire ; but the Princess Amelia being better 
stationed, did great execution, demolishing a fascine battery, 
while the Prince Frederick and Hampton Court kept up a 
smart cannonading throughout the day ; but towards night, 
the Boyne being obliged to quit her position, these ships had 
to sustain the fire which that ship had previously received, 
and before morning were so much shattered, that the admiral 
ordered them ofi". The Suffolk and Tilbury continued their 
fire upon the Fort St. Louis throughout the night. The 
effect of the fire of the British squadron was less destructive 
to the enemy than it was disastrous to the crews of the 
different ships, which suffered very severely : the exact 
amount of the loss is not recorded. Captain Lord Aubery 
Beauclerk was killed in this encounter. 

On the 24th, Captain Hemmington, in the Princess 
Amelia, with the 50-gun ship Lichfield, and 20-gun ship 
Shoreham, Captains Knowles and Boscawen, were ordered 
in to attack the battery on the Baradera side, which had 

1741.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 143 

before been taken j and at the same time Captain Watson, 
having under his orders Lieutenant Arthur Forrest, was 
sent with a party of sailors to effect a landing, which he did, 
and passing over the neck of land, burnt a sloop in the har- 
bour. The land forces having by this time succeeded in 
making a breach in Fort St. Louis, wliich it was determined 
to storm, Vice- Admiral Vernon ordered that, at the same 
time, a party of seamen should land on the Baradera side, 
in-order to distract the enemy's attention. Accordingly, on 
the afternoon of the 25th, Captain Knowles, at the head of 
the seamen, landed, and drawing up his party near the fascine 
battery, soon attracted the attention of the besieged to that 
side. At five o'clock General Wentworth gave the signal 
for the attack — the breach was stormed and carried, with the 
loss of only one man. The confusion into which the Spaniards 
were thrown by this successful and unexpected assault being 
observed by Captain Knowles, he, with his sailors, rowed, 
close up to Fort St. Joseph, and landing, stormed, and car- 
ried it with very little trouble. Leaving Captain Cotes in. 
charge of this fort, Captain Knowles, with Captain Watson, 
then proceeded to the entrance of the harbour, and getting 
inside the boom, boarded and captured the 70-gun ship Gal- 
licia, with her captain on board, before they could find time 
to take out a plug, by wliich she was to have been sunk. 
The boom was next destroyed ; and thus were the prmcipal 
obstacles to the advance of the fleet, and the total destruc- 
tion of Carthagena removed. But sickness among the troops, 
and ill temper among the land and sea commanders, lost the 
reward for which they had so long toiled. The want of 
unanimity, which characterized every subsequent j^roceeding, 
led to the most fatal results. On the 30th of March the 
fleet entered the harbour ; and the Spaniards, on observing 
its approach, abandoned such forts as they knew were not 
tenable, and sank their two remaining ships of war. Here 
the success terminated ; for the troops being repulsed with 
gi-eat loss at Fort Lazar, it was resolved to raise the siege, 
which on the 14th of April was accordingly done. 

Vice-Admii'al Vernon determined, on the 16th of April, 
to send in the Gallicia, fitted as a floating battery, to anchor 
off the city and attack it, wliich was performed with much 
gallantly by Captain Daniel Hore. After cannonading the 

144 BATTLES OF ' [1742. 

town for five hours, tlie Gallicia was reduced to a wi^eck by 
the fire from the Latteries, and ha\dng then cut her cable, 
with the sea-breeze succeeded in getting out from among the 
shoals, with the loss of six killed, and fifty-six v/ounded. 
That Vice-Admiral Vernon was blameable for the failure of 
this expedition, is proved by this fruitless attack. Where 
the Gallicia went, the fleet might have been conducted ; and 
there can be no doubt, that had the co-operation of the fleet 
and seamen been afibrded, the attack on Fort Lazar would 
have succeeded, and the town of Carthagena have fallen. 
The troops Avere reduced by sickness and casualties to 3,000 

On the 9th of October another unsuccessful attack w^as made 
upon St. Jago de Cuba. During the siege, the 20-gun ship 
SquiiTel, Captain Peter Warren, discovered a Spanish priva- 
teer of sixteen guns and 130 men at anchor in a small cove, 
under shelter of a rock ; most of her crew being at the time 
on shore cuttmg a spar. The SquiiTel stood in and anchored 
close to the privateer, and in the course of a short time 
compelled the crew to abandon her. To prevent the Squirrel 
from taking possession, the crew opened a galling fire of 
musketry from the shore. Upon this, Captain Warren de- 
spatched a lieutenant with twenty men to dislodge them ; 
and the privateer's men instantly retreated,^ but a great 
many were overtaken and made prisoners. 

1742. — On the 27th of December, the British 16-gun 
privateer Pulteney, with a crew of 142 men, James Piu'cell 
commander, on her return to Gibraltar from a cruise, was 
attacked by two large Spanish zebecks, each carrying twelve 
guns and 120 men. The wind being very light, the zebecks 
by the aid of their sweeps w-ere enabled to choose their 
position, and overtook the privateer close ofi" Europa Point. 
On arriving up, the Spaniards ordered the Pulteney to sur- 
render ; and being answered by a broadside, attempted 
several times to carry her by boarding, but were on each 
occasion repulsed with great slaughter. After an action 

' One of the sailors observing a Spaniard lying dead on an English 
ensign, swore he should not have so honourable a bed, and having rolled 
him off. carried the flag on board his ship, when concealed in a corner of 
it were found papers of much consequence relative to an intended junc- 
tion of the French and Spanish forces. 

1743.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 145 

which lasted near two hours, the Spanish vessels sheered off 
and returned to their port, with the loss of near 100 men 
killed and wounded. The Pulteney had only one man 
killed, and five wounded. 

1743. — On the 11th of January, Captain Charles Holmes, 
in the 40-gun ship Sapphire, received intelligence that five 
Spanish privateers, which had been doing much injury, were 
lying in the harbour of Vigo, under repair ; and on the 15th 
arrived off the town. The privateers had landed their guns 
and mounted them on the quay; and had also constructed 
a small battery to the southward for protection. The Sap- 
phire stood in for the harbour, and as soon as she got within 
gun-shot, the Spaniards commenced firing from the quay, a 
shot from which dismounted one of the Sapphire's lower 
deck guns, killed one man, and wounded seven. Another 
shot passed through her foremast, and a third struck 
her between wind and water. The Sapphire proceeded, 
without the ability to return a shot ; but at length, having 
anchored close to the town, opened so well-directed a fire 
upon the batteries and privateers, that she sank two of 
them, and greatly damaged the other three ; . when weighing 
anchor, Caf>tain Holmes stood out to sea, having sustained 
no further loss than that already mentioned. 

Vice-Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle, who had succeeded to 
the West-India command, determined on attacking the forts 
on the Caracca coast, and on the 18tli of February, Com- 
modore Knowles, having been despatched thither, arrived 
off La Guira with the under-mentioned squadron, for that 

Guns. Ships. 

( o^fT^iT, ^ Commodore Charles Knowles 

70 ^ ' \ Captain Edward Pratten 

Burford Franklyn Lushington 

Smith Callis 
Thomas Gregory 
Elliot Smith 
Richard Watkins 
Henry Stewart 
Laughlin Leslie 
John Gage 
Kichard Tyrrel 

The squadron stood in for La Guira, led by the Burford, 
and commenced the attack at noon. La Guira was protected 
VOL. I. L 

( Assistance . . 
50 < Norwich .... 

( Advice 

40 Eltham 

20 i ^'^""^^y 

( vScarborough 

li Otter 

Comet, bomb 

146 BATTLES OF [1743. 

by powerful batteries, and, owing to the sballowness of the 
water, the position taken up by the squadron was nearly 
a mile distant from them. In addition to this great disad- 
vantage, a heavy swell set into the roadstead, which ren- 
dered it difficult for the ships to point the guns properly. 
The Spaniards worked their g-uns very well, and, by means 
of red-hot shot, set the ships on fire. Notwithstanding these 
untoward circumstances, the and churches were 
greatly damaged, and the batteries also. At 4h. p. m. the 
fire of the batteries was beginning to slacken ; when a shot 
cut the Burford's cable, and before that ship could let go 
another anchor, she fell foul of the Norwich, driving her, and 
also the Eltham, out of the line. The current carried these 
ships out of range of the batteries before they could bring 
up again ; and, encouraged by this disaster, the enemy re- 
newed their fire upon the remaining ships. The mortar 
vessel committed great havoc in the town, throwing a shell 
into a magazine ; but night coming on, and the ships being 
greatly shattered, the commodore gave orders for discon- 
tinuing the bombardment, and next morning proceeded to 
Curacoa to refit. The loss sustained in this well-conducted 
but disastrous attack was very severe. The Suffolk received 
ninety-seven shot in her hull, nineteen between wind and 
water — lost mizen and main-topsail yards — had fourteen 
guns dismounted — was twice set on fire by red-hot shot, and 
had thirty men killed, and eighty wounded. The Burford 
suffered equal damages, and besides Captain Lushington, 
who was mortally wounded, had twenty-five men killed, and 
fifty wounded. The Norwich had one man killed and eleven 
wounded. The Advice was greatly damaged, and had two 
siu'geon's mates and five men killed, and fifteen wounded ; 
and the Assistance, twelve killed, and seventy-one wounded. 
The Eltham had fourteen killed, and fifty-five wounded. 
The Lively, a lieutenant and six men killed, and twenty -four 
wounded ; and the Scarborough, two men wounded. — Total, 
ninety-seven killed, and 308 wounded. 

Undaunted by the unfortunate issue of this expedition, 
Commodore Knowles, being reinforced by some Dutch 
volunteers, resolved to attack Porto Cavallo. On the 20th 
of March he sailed from Cura9oa ; but did not reach the 

1743.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 147 

Keys of Barbaret until tlie 15th of April. His squadron was 
tlie same as that already particularized, with the exception 
that Captain Richard Watkins now commanded the Burford, 
and Captain Pliilip Durell the Eltham, and that the Otter 
and Comet were not included. The Spaniards had strength- 
ened the place by every means in their power, and had 
moored a 60-gun ship, and another of fort}^ g^uis, close over 
on the north shore. A large ship was also prepared, chained 
to the shore, to sink, if necessary, at the entrance of the 
harbour. Several new batteries were also erected. Upon 
reconnoitring all these preparations, the commodore per- 
ceived that these batteries might be flanked, and that by 
obtaining possession of them, he could use them against the 
Spaniards, whereupon a plan was devised for attacking them. 
The Eltham and Lively were sent to cannonade the batte- 
ries, wliich they silenced at sunset. As soon as it was dark, 
a party to the number of 1,200, consisting of the Dutch 
volunteers, all the marines, and 400 seamen, landed, accom- 
panied by Commodore KJnowles in person ; but the whole 
returned to the ships without having effected anything. 
On the 24th the commodore resolved to make another 
attempt with the ships, and the squadron proceeded in ; but 
nothing was effected beyond a vast expenditure of ammuni- 
tion, and the loss of 200 men killed and wounded. 

The 60-gim ship Rupert, Captain John Ambrose, and 
40-gun ship Faversham, Captain Richard Hughes, per- 
formed several important services in the Mediterranean this 
year, by cutting out vessels in various ports in the possession 
of the Spaniards, particularly at Viveros. Captain Hughes, 
having chased a vessel into that place, observed two settees 
and a barca-longa at anchor, under the castle of Pensacola, 
and Captain Ambrose determining on attacking them, the two 
ships stood in and cannonaded the town for a great many 
hours. The boats were then sent in and destroyed the 
vessels, together with thirty other settees, which for security 
had been hauled close up, under the walls of the town. The 
ships did not lose a man. 

The oO-gun sliip Guernsey, Captain Samuel Cornish, 
destroyed a Spanish privateer of twenty-two guns, which 
had taken shelter under an eight-gun battery, near Cape De 


148 BATTLES OF [1743. 

Gatt. Captain Cornish also performed numerous other ser- 
yices of the same kind, and took and destroyed a fleet of 
zebecks laden with provisions. 

On the 20th of May, the 70-gun sliip Monmouth, and 
60-gun ship Medway, Captains Charles Wyndham and 
George Cockburn, cruising off the Canary Islands, stood into 
the road of Santa Cruz, in the island of Gomera. Three 
forts immediately commenced firing at them ; upon which 
the two ships, which had previously entertained no hostile 
intention, ran in, and anchoring Avithin a quarter of a mile 
from the batteries, opened so well-directed a fire upon them 
that they entirely demolished the forts, and did gi-eat injury 
to the to^\^l. 

On the 20th of June, the 50-gun ship Centurion, bearing 
the broad pendant of Commodore George Anson, being off 
Espirito Santo in search of the Manilla galleon, was fortu- 
nate enough to fall in with her ; and after a warmly-con- 
tested action, the galleon was overpowered. This action 
would have been far less commendable, had it not been for 
the fact, that the Centurion was not half manned, and that 
even those of her crew which sickness had left were in a very 
debihtated condition. The engagement lasted two hours, 
and the Spanish loss is reported to have amomited to sixty- 
seven men killed, and eighty-four wounded ; while that of the 
Centurion was only two killed, and seventeen wounded, all 
of whom, with one exception, recovered. The value of the 
galleon was X3 13,000 sterling. 

1744.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 149 


1744. — On the 21st of Marcli, France declared war against 
England; and, on the 31st, England issued a counter decla- 
ration against that comitry. 

The war commenced under favourable circumstances to 
England, since she had a large fleet and a great number of 
talented officers at command. In the Mediterranean, Ad- 
miral Matthews commanded a fleet of twenty-seven sliips 
of the line, nine of fifty gmis, and twelve of forty guns, and 
less. The French govermnent had despatched to the Medi- 
terranean a fleet of eleven sail of the line and ten frigates, 
to reinforce the Spanish fleet in Toulon. 

On the 9th of February, the French fleet having effected 
the junction, the Franco-Spanish fleet, numbering in all 
t^\'enty-eight sail of the line, including three of fifty guns, 
appeared outside Toulon, where the British fleet, wliich had 
been lying at anchor in Hyeres Bay, got sight of them. The 
two fleets spent that day, and all the next, in manoeuvring ; 
but on the 11th, Admiral Matthews, fearful of being drawn 
through the Straits of Gibraltar, made the signal for action. 
The Biitish fleet, consisting of the following, formed in the 
order of sailing on the larboard tack : — 

Guns. Ships. 

70 Stirling Castle Captain Thomas Cooper 

60 Warwick „ Temple West 

70 Nassau ,, James Lloyd 

80 Somerset „ George Slater 

90 Barflen \ Rear-Admiral William Rowley (red) 

I Captain Meyrick De L'Angle 

80 Princess Caroline . . ,, Henrj^ Osborne 

70 Ber-w-ick ,, Edward Hawke 

80 Chichester „ WiUiam Dilkes 

r.r. \ Kingston ,, John Lovatt 

I Dragon „ Charles Watson 

70 Bedford ,, Hon. George Townsend 

74 Princessa „ Robert Pett 

80 Norfolk „ Hon. John Forbes 

!Namur ^ Admiral Thomas Matthews (blue) 
- • • • • I Captain John Russell 
Marlborough ,, James Cornwall 

80 Dortetshire ,, George Burrish 


150 BATTLES OF [1744 

Guns. Ships. 

70 Essex ... Captain Richard Norris 

60 Rupert ... ., John Ambrose 

70 Royal Oak .-. „ Edmund Williams 

60 Dunkirk . . . . ,, Charles Wager Purvis 

80 Cambridge . . . . ... ... „ Charles Drummond 

70 Torbay... ......... ... ,, John Gascoigne 

f.^ XT i \ Vice- Admiral Richard Lestock (white) 

90 Neptune ........... -J n . • r< cj. 

^ ( Captain George btepney 

80 Russell .... ... ... .-. „ Robert Long 

70 Buckingham ... ... — ,, John Towry 

80 Boyne . . . . ... ... . . . . „ Rowland Frogmore 

-^ j Elizabeth . . . . ... . . „ Joshua Lingen 

I Revenge ............ „ Hon. G. Berkeley 

The following were not included in the line of battle : — 

Guns. Ships. 

I'Rominey ........... Captain Henry Godsalve 

Nonsuch . . ... .-. ... . . „ Edmund Strange 

Salisbury... _. . . ,, Peter Osborne 

Chatham .... . . . . ... „ Richard Hughes 

Guernsey. . ... . . ... . . „ Samuel Cornish 

^Oxford ,f Harry Paulet 

j.^\ Feversham „ Richard Watkins 

ij Diamond „ Giles R. Vanbrugh 

20-g'un ships, sloops, &c. 

At the time Admiral Matthews made the signal for 
action, his vice-admiral was unavoidably five miles astern, 
but endeavouring under all sail to close. The combined 
fleet were under easy sail, and the ships' heads to the south- 
ward on the starboard tack ; the French in the van. At 
Ih. p. M., the 90-gun ship Namur, bearing the admiral's flag, 
had arrived abreast the Koyal Philip, a ship mounting 114 
guns, bearing the Spanish Admiral jS^avarro's flag, and 
Kear-Admiral Kowley, in the Barfleur, was shortly after- 
wards abreast the 74-gun ship Terrible, bearing the French 
iidmiral's (M. De Court's) flag. At Ih. 30m., the Namur 
(and the example was quickly followed by the Barfleui-) 
bore down upon the enemy. The Marlborough also, being 
next astern of the Namur, gallantly bore up out of the line, 
and brought the E,oyal Philip to close action. The few 
other ships which, in very proper disregard of the admiral's 
signal for the line of battle, bore up and engaged the 
enemy, were the Norfolk, Princessa, Bedford, Dragon, and 
Kingston; the Barfleur was gallantly supported by the 

1744.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 151 

Princess Caroline and Berwick, which latter ship made a 
pri2;e of the Spanish 74-gun ship Poder. 

The wind was so light and variable, that the ships could 
with difficulty keep clear of each other ; and the action was 
therefore, for a time, fought at close quarters. The IsTamur 
and Marlborough soon reduced the Poyal Philip to a wreck ; 
and succeeded in beating her supporters out of the line. In 
the heat of the action Captain Cornwall, of the Marlborough, 
had both his legs carried off by a shot, and soon afterwards 
died ; when the command of that ship devolved on Lieu- 
tenant Frederick Cornwall, cousin of the captain, who nobly 
supplied his place, but soon after lost his right hand. Al- 
though the Marlborough was in the most perilous situation, 
and had only her foremast standing, none of the ships astern 
appeared at all desirous of assisting her, but continued firing 
distantly upon the Spanish ships. The Royal Philip lay 
close by her, equally disabled, but still having her colours 
flying ; and although a fresh ship must in a short time have 
compelled her surrender, no such was sent. Admiral Mat- 
thews, however, thought fit to try the old expedient of a 
fire-ship upon the Spanish admiral. He accordingly made 
a signal for the boats of such ships as were near to tow the 
Marlborough clear, and at 4h. 30m. p. M., the Anne, galley 
fire-ship, crowded all sail, and endeavoured to close the 
Royal Philip. As the Anne, Captain Mackay, neared the 
Spanish ship, the attention of the fleet was attracted towards 
her. The little vessel boldly pursued her way — a target for 
every ship which could bring a gun to bear upon her. 
Finding his people to be dropping fast from the enemy's fire, 
Captain Mackay ordered the principal part of the men into 
the boat towing astern, and took the helm himself; but the 
Spanish guns were pointed with much precision, and it soon 
became evident that the galley was sinking. A Spanish 
launch, full of men, was sent to tow her clear of the Royal 
Philip, and shortly afterwards the fire-ship was seen to blow 
up with all on board ; having, it is supposed, been set on 
fire by a shot : one man only, exclusive of those in the boats 
astern, was saved. 

These appear to have been the principal events of this 
encounter ; which, whether for want of skill in the dis- 
position of the attack, or (with two or three honourable 

152 BATTLES OF [1744, 

exceptions) in the execution, stands on record as one of the 
few actions of wliich Englishmen need be ashamed. A great 
deal was written on both sides, one tending to exculpate 
and others to inculpate Yice-Admiral Lestock, who, it is 
stated, did not do his utmost to join the admiral's division. 
However, Admiral Matthews made a fruitless attack ; and 
Vice- Admiral Lestock, on his court-martial, was able to adduce 
proof sufficient for his honourable acquittal, that the calms and 
baffling light airs which prevail in that part of the Mediter- 
ranean precluded him from taking his share in the action. 

The loss to the British on tliis occasion fell principally on 
the Marlborough. In the engagement that ship lost, besides 
her captain, Robert Cotton, master, Captain Godfrey, of 
the marines, and forty seamen and marines killed ; Lieu- 
tenant Frederick Cornwall, and 120 seamen and marines 
wounded, twenty of whom died of tlieii" wounds. The 
admiral's shij), ISTamur, had eight men killed, and Captain 
John E-ussell (with the loss of the left arm, of which he 
shortly afterwards died), and eleven men wounded. The 
Barfleur had twenty-five men killed (five by the bursting of 
a gun), and twenty wounded. The Princess Caroline, eight 
killed, and twenty wounded; and the Norfolk, nine killed, 
and thirteen wounded. The Poder was, on the succeeding 
day, destroyed, to prevent her from falling into the hands of 
the enemy. The loss to the Spaniards is estimated at 1,000 
men kiUed and wounded ; and a JFrench work^ asserts that 
700 wounded men were landed from the Spanish ships at 
Port Mahon. Courts-martial were successively held upon 
Vice-Admiral Lestock, who was, however, acquitted, and 
Admiral Matthews, who was cashiered; also upon four cap- 
tains, all of whom were dismissed the service. 

On the mornmg of the 8th of May, the fleet of Vice- 
Admiral Sir Charles Hardy, cruising off the Pock of Lisbon, 
discovered a sail to the northward, and the 70-gun ship 
Northumbei'land, Captain Thomas Watson, was ordered to 
chase. The stranger was soon made out by the Northimi- 
berland to be a ship of the line, and to be accompanied by 
two other ships. It was, in fact, a squadron, under M. Du 
Penier, bound to the West Indies, consisting of the 68-gun 

* Else and Progress of the Naval Power of England, p. 258. 

1744.] THE BRITISH NAYY. 153" 

ship Mars ; 60-gun sliip Content, M. De Conllans ; and 
26-gun frigate Venus, M. D'Aclie. Instead of signalling the 
force of tlie ships in sight to the admiral, Captain Watson 
continued standing towards them under all sail, and was 
soon out of sight of his own fleet. The French ships were 
much scattered ; and at 5h. p.m. having arrived up with the 
sternmost, which j^roved to be the Mars, that ship opened a 
hea\y Are upon the Northiunberland, which was immediately 
returned with vigoui*. Captain "VYatson, instead of con- 
tinuing to engage the Mars, pushed on and endeavoured to 
close the Content also ; maintaining, meanwhile, a running 
action with the Mars. On closing the Content, a furious 
battle took place, which lasted three hours. The Northum- 
berland being unmanageable, and having had her wheel 
knocked to pieces, flew up into the wind. About the same 
time Captain Watson was mortally wounded ; and the 
master, contrary to the captain's desire, and before any of 
the lieutenants could get on deck, struck the British colours. 
The Northumberland lost in this action eighteen men killed, 
and thirty wounded ; and the loss on board the French 
ships — proving the English guns to have been well pointed 
— is estimated at 130 killed and wounded. The ship was 
carried into Brest; and on the officers and crew obtaining 
their release, a court-martial was assembled, when all, except 
the master, were honourably acquitted, he being sentenced 
to the Marshalsea for life. 

In the month of September, Captain Robert Young, of 
the 44-gun ship Kinsale, lying in St. John's, Newfoundland, 
received intelligence that five French ships were in the port 
of Fishotte, in Nova Scotia, and resolved on desj)atching an 
armed prize to attack them. The prize was named the 
St. Philij), and was manned by eighty men of the Kmsale's 
crew, and commanded by one of her lieutenants,^ and 
accompanied by thi-ee 10-gim colonial privateers. The 
St. Philip succeeded, after grounding several times, in reach- 
ing the Moderate, of twelve guns and seventy-five men, 
wliich was boarded and carried ; then turning the Mode- 

' We have in vain sought to ascertain the name of the lieutenant thus, 
despatched in the St. Philip, but we have succeeded in finding the names 
of two of the lieutenants of the Kinsale at that time, which were — 
Thomaa Crosse and Charles Cheesemore. 

154 BATTLES OF [1745. 

rate's guns against tlie remaining sliips, without the assist- 
ance of the privateers (Avho did not get into the harbour in 
time), compelled the whole to surrender. The St. Phihp 
had ten killed, and thirty wounded. The loss ou board 
the French ships was more severe. The five vessels, which 
had on board 18,000 quintals of fish and eighty tons of oil, 
mounted together sixty-six guns, and carried 342 men. 

On the 1st of December, ^ the 24-gun ship Rose, Captain 
Thomas Frankland, overtook off the Havannah, and captured, 
after an action of five hours' dm-ation, the Spanish freight 
ship Conception of twenty guns, having on board 326 men. 
The prize, which was very valuable, had forty men killed, 
and 116 wounded ; and the Rose, foui' killed, and John 
Mitchell, master, and nine men wounded. 

1745. — On the 9th of July, the 58-gun ship Lion, Captaia 
Piercy Brett, fought a desperate action with the French 
64-gun ship Elizabeth. The Elizabeth sailed from France 
with the intention of escortiug the expedition of Charles 
Edward to the coast of Scotland; but on the day above named, 
being m lat. 47° 57' IST., she was discovered by the Lion, 
which ship immediately pursued. The chase contiuned for 
some time, but at 5h. p.m., having got within pistol-shot of 
the Elizabeth, the Lion opened her fire, and the action com- 
menced with fury, and lasted five hours. The French ship 
having sufferedveiy severely in hull — having had several of her 
ports beaten into one — endeavoured to make off, and a smaller 
vessel, belonging to the expedition, commenced an attack 
upon the Lion, but was soon compelled to discontinue it. 
The Lion was in no condition to pursue the enemy, having 
had her mizen-mast, main, main-topsail, and fore-topsail yards 
shot away, and her fore and main masts badly wounded, 
and had lost fifty- five men in killed, and 107 wounded, 
seven mortally. Captain Brett, all tlu'ee lieutenants (Samuel 
Scott, John Campbell, and Archibald Seaton), and the 
master (John Tory), were wounded, but with much gal- 
lantry these officers refused to quit their stations. The loss 
on board the Elizabeth was afterwards ascertained to have 
been sixty-four men killed, and 140 wounded. Lieutenant 
Scott was immediately afterwards promoted to be master 

' Chamock erroneously gives the date December 21st ; the above is 
from the ship's log. 

1745.1 THE BRITISH NAVY. 155 

and commander; and the gallant conduct of Lieutenant 
Walter Graham, of the marines, obtained for him a troop 
in the 4th di-agoons. 

On the 26th of July, the 60- gun ship Jersey, Captain 
Charles Hardy, fell in, near the Straits of Gibraltar, with 
the French 74-gim ship St. Esprit. An engagement ensued, 
which lasted two hours and a half, when the St. Esprit, 
being much disabled, having lost her foremast and bowsprit, 
and twenty of her crew killed, bore up for Cadiz to repair 
her damages. The Jersey was also much cut up, and being 
unable to follow her, proceeded to Lisbon. 

On the 31st of October, the squadron of Yice- Admiral 
Isaac Townshend, commander-in-chief of the Leeward Island 
station, chased a French fleet of forty sail of merchant 
vessels off Martinique, under the convoy of the 80-gun ship 
Magnanime, Commodore Macnamara, and four other ships 
of war. Thirty sail of the merchant ships were taken and 
destroyed, and the ships of war driven on shore. 

On the 29th of March, the 40-gun ship Angiesea, Captain 
Jacob Elton, cruising in the Channel, engaged L'Apollon, 
French privateer, of fifty g-uns and 500 men. After a gallant 
action, in which Captain Elton and his first lieutenant were 
killed, and upwards of sixty of the crew (originally but 200) 
were killed or wounded, the second lieutenant, Baker 
Philips, surrendered the ship. Mr. Philips was tried by a 
court-martial on the 8th of July, for the loss of the ship, 
and sentenced to be shot ; which sentence was carried into 
effect on board the Princess Royal at Spithead, on the 19th 
of July. 

In the month of April, the 60-gun ship Augusta, Captain 
the Hon. John Hamilton, with one broadside, sank a pri- 
vateer belonging to St. Malo, mounting twenty-four guns, 
and having a crew of 200 men, all of whom perished. 

On the 4th of June, the 70-gim ship Captain, Captain 
Thomas Griffin, captured in the Channel the French 32-gun 
privateer Grand Turk. The prize was added to the British navy. 

On the 12th of June, the 24-gun ship Fowey, Captain 
Polycarpus Taylor, drove on shore and destroyed the 26-gun 
privateer Griffin, of St. Malo, making prisoners of forty of 
her crew. 

On the 3rd of July, the 2 4- gun ships Bridge water and 

156 BATTLES OF [174G. 

Slieemess, Captains Lord George Graham and "William 
Gordon, together with the Ursula hired armed vessel, Lieu- 
tenant John Ferguson, fell in with three Dunkirk privateers, 
mounting twenty-eight, twenty-six, and twelve guns re- 
spectively, the whole of which, after an obstmate engage- 
ment, they compelled to surrender. Six or seven prizes, 
which the privateers were escorting to Dunkirk, were re- 

The French 3 2 -gun 2:)rivateer Lys was also captured by 
the Hampton Court, Captain Savage Mostyn, and being a 
fine new ship, was added to the British navy. 

In the monthof January the 7 0-gun ships Ca2:)taLQ and Hamp- 
ton Court, Captains Thomas Griffin («) and Savage Mostyn ; 
6 0-gun ships Dreadnought and Sunderland, Captains Thorpe 
Fowke and John Brett, in the Channel, chased the French 
74-gun ships Neptune and Florissant. A third ship, the Mars, 
an English privateer, captured a short time previously, being 
in comjiany, separated from the two French ships, upon which 
Cajjtain Griffin bore up in chase, leaving the other three ships 
to chase the two line-of-battle ships. The Mars was recap- 
tured ; but, owing to the Sunderland losing her fore-topmast, 
and to the want of anxiety on the part of the Hampton 
Court's captain to engage the enemy, the pursuit was aban- 
doned just as the action might have been commenced. Cap- 
tain Mostyn was tried by a court-martial, but acquitted. 
Captain Griffin's conduct in pui'suing the smallest ship was 
anything but creditable to him, while the more important 
enemy was in sight. 

1746. — On the 9th of February, the 50-gun ship Portland, 
Captain Charles Stevens, overtook in the Channel and engaged 
the French 50-gun ship Auguste. After a smart action, 
which lasted two hours and a half, in which the Portland 
had fi\"e men killed, and tliirteen wounded, the Auguste sur- 
rendered. The enemy, out of a crew of 470 men, had fifty 
killed, and ninety-four wounded, and was totally dismasted 
before she struck. The Auguste, being a fine new ship, was 
added to the British navy under the name of the Portland's 

On the IStli of April, the 60-gun ship Defiance, Captain 
Charles Powlett, captured, after a short action, the French 
40-gun ship Ambuscade ; wliich ship, of her crew of 365 

1746.1 THE BRITISH NAVY. 157 

men, had twenty-six killed and wounded. The Defiance 
had one man killed, and three wounded. The Ambuscade, 
beino- a fine ship of 906 tons, and just ofi" the stocks, was 
added to the British navy, to which she became a vakiable 

The 20-gun ship Shoreham, Captain James Osborne, ciiiis- 
incy ofi" the coast of Spain, having captured a small Spanish 
privateer, of two carriage-guns and twelve swivels. Captain 
Osborne gave the command of the prize to the master of the 
Shoreham, William Browne, and putting on board a few men, 
sent her out • to cruise. On the 24th of April, Mr. Bro^vne, 
being at anchor in-shore, and observing a vessel in the offing, 
immediately departed in pursuit, and shortly before noon 
approached the vessel, which, despising the paltry force of the 
tender, shortened sail, to allow her to close. A running 
tight commenced, and lasted five or six hoiu's, by which time 
Mr. Browne had succeeded in destroying the sails and rigging 
of his enemy, and having nearly expended his ammunition, 
determined on boarding her. With this intention, the 
wind being light, the sweeps were resorted to ; and having 
laid his vessel alongside the enemy, she surrendered without 
further resistance. The prize proved to be a privateer snow, 
from Bilboa, mounting ten carriage-guns and eighteen swivels, 
and commenced the action with seventy-eight men, of whom 
she had only thirty-two alive when she struck. On the 26th 
of the same month, Mr. Browne captured another Spanish, 
privateer, of five guns and thirty-two men. So highly were 
these exploits esteemed, that Mr. Bro"vvne was promoted on 
the 1st of August, to the command of a sloop-of-war named 
the Shoreham's Prize, and subsequently gained the rank of 

In the same month, the Alexander privateer of twenty 
guns, Captain Philips, being on a cruise oflT the Isle of Rhe, 
observed a large sliip at anchor in St. Martin's Road, under 
a small fort, which he determined on bringinsf out. The 
design was put into execution with such alacrity, that the 
crew of the sliip — wliich proved to be the Solebay, of twenty- 
two guns (captured two years before from the British) — were 
taken by surprise, and were unable to ofier any effectual 
resistance to the vigorous attack of the English. This ex- 
i^loit was performed without loss to the Alexander : and the 

158 BATTLES OF [1746- 

king was so pleased, that lie ordered Captain Pliilips a gold 
medalj and a gratuity of 500 guineas. 

On the 25th of June, being off Negapatam, a squadron, 
consisting of the following — 

Guns. Ships. 

60 Med way Captain Edward Peyton 

( Preston „ Lord Northesk 

50 < Hai-wich 

( Winchester ... 
40 Medway's Prize 
20 Lively 

Philip Carteret 
Lord Thomas Bertie 
Thomas Griffin (b) 
Nathaniel Stephens 

fell in with a French squadron of nine sail, commanded by 
M. La Bourdonnois. A partial action took place, in which 
the British loss amounted to fourteen killed, and forty-six 
wounded, when the French were suffered to escape. Cap- 
tain Peyton was severely censured for his conduct while 
holding the command on this station, and shortly after tliis 
action was superseded by Bear-Admiral Thomas Griffin. 

On the 8th of October, the British 12-gun sloop-of-war 
Weazel, Commander Hugh Palliser, engaged two French 
privateers — one of six g'uns, and forty-eight men ; and the 
other of ten gmis, and ninety-five men ; both of which he 
ca^^tured ; for which act of gallantry he was promoted, and 
placed in command of a frigate. 

On the 11th of October, the British 60-gun ship IN'ot- 
tingham. Captain Pliilip Saumarez, being off Cape Clear, fell 
in with the French 64-g-un ship Mars. A well-contested 
action followed, which continued for two hours, w^hen the 
Mars, having had forty of her crew (originally 550 men) 
killed and wounded, struck her colours, and was taken pos- 
session of The Nottingham's loss amounted to only three 
or four men killed and wounded. The Mars was added to 
the British navy under the same name. 

On the 18th of October, the 50-gun ships Woolwich and 
Severn, Captains Joseph Lingen and William Lisle, on their 
return from the West Indies in charge of a merchant fleet, 
were chased by a French squadron of three sail of the line, 
under M. De Conflans, in the 70-gun ship Terrible. The two 
ships, observing the enemy's superiority, ordered the convoy 
to make the best of their way into port, while the Woolwich 
and Severn hauled up, to enable the convoy to escape. A. 




ininning action was maintained throughout the day ; but at 
length the Severn was overpowered, and captured. The 
Woolwich escaped. In order to mark their approval of Cap- 
tain Lisle's conduct, the Admiralty, on liis release, appointed 
him to the command of the 64-gun ship Vigilant. 

1747. — Information was received by the British govern- 
ment that two powerful expeditions had been fitted out by 
the French for the purpose of prosecuting their designs in 
the East Indies ; and the following were put under the 
command of Yice- Admiral Anson, with instructions to en- 
deavour to intercept them : — 

Guns. Ships. 

90 Prince George 

66 Devonshire . 

74 Namur 

i Monmouth 
Prince Frederick 

Princess Louisa .-. 
Nottingham . . . , 

Defiance . . 

Pembroke . . .- .^, 


Centiirion ....... 


Bristol . . 

Ambuscade . . . . 



Vice -Admiral George Anson (blue) 
Captain John Bentley 
Eear-Admiral Peter Warren (white) 
Captain Temple West 

,, Hon. E. Boscawen 

„ Henry Harrison 

„ Harry Norris 

;, Piercy Brett 

„ Charles Watson 

„ Philip Saumarez 

„ Thomas Grenville 

,, Thomas Fincher 

,, Thomas Hanway 

„ Peter Denis 

,, Blomfield Barradell 

,, Hon. W. Montagu 
John Montagu 

Falcon, sloop ; Vulcan, fire-ship. 

Anson sailed from Plymouth on the 9th April, and crviised 
off Cape Finisterre until the 3rd May, on which day a French 
fleet of thirty-eight sail, commanded by M. Dela Jonquiere,was 
discovered. On observing the British, the French admiral, 
beiug to leeward, Avith the wind at north-east, formed a plan 
which, but for the able suggestions of Rear- Admiral Warren, 
might have enabled the greater part of liis fleet to escape. 
Nine of their largest ships shortened sail, and formed a line 
of battle, while the remainder, and subsequently the nine 
ships also, made all sail to the westward. The signal was 
then made for a general chase ; and at about 4h. p.m. the 
Centurion, having gained on her companions, arrived up with 
the rearmost French ship, and commenced the action in the 

160 BATTLES OF [1747. 

most gallant manner, and with such effect, that two large 
ships dropped astern to the support of their consort. The 
Namur, Defiance, and Windsor, however, soon after arriving 
up to the suj)port of the Centurion, a general action ensued 
between these and five of the French ships. The Centurion 
having had her main-topmast and fore-topsail yard shot away, 
and five feet water in the hold, dropped astern ; but Captain 
Denis, with commendable celerity, repaired the damages, and 
persevered in following the enemy, which he a second time 
brought to action. The Devonshire and Bristol having 
arrived up, the Serieux surrendered ; but without waiting 
to take possession of the vanquished ship, the Devonshire 
pushed on for the Invincible, which ship had already been 
engaged by and had suffered much from the fire of the 
Namur. Being ably supj^orted by the Bristol, the In- 
vincible also struck, Ijut afterwards rehoisted her colours, 
and again hauled them down on the arrival of the 
Prince George. The Bristol brought to action the Diamante, 
which struck at 6h. 30m. p.m., and eventually the v/hole 
squadron surrendered. The names of the French captured 
ships were — Serieux, sixty-six gams, 536 men, the commodore's 
ship ; Invincible, seventy-four, 700 men ; Diamante, fifty - 
six, 450 men ; Jason, fifty-two, 355 men ; Bubis, fifty-two, 
328 men ; and Gloire, forty-foiu", 330 men. There were 
also four armed ships belonging to the French East-India 
Company — tlie Apollon and Philibert, of thirty guns ; and 
Thetis and Dartmouth, twenty guns. In the heat of the 
action. Captain Thomas Grenville, of the Defiance, was killed, 
and Captain Boscawen badly wounded in the shoulder. The 
loss of men amounted to 520 killed and wounded.^ 

' Such is the vague account of the loss ; Lut we have ascertained that 
individually sustained by the ships principally engaged, with the excep- 
tion of the Centurion's, which is not mentioned in her log :— Devonshire, 
five men killed, and — Page, third lieutenant, and nine men wounded. 
Bristol, one man killed, and five wounded. Namur, thirteen seamen 
killed, and sixty-three wounded. Defiance, Captain Grenville and three 
men killed, and one mortally wounded. Windsor, Lieutenant Stewart, 
of the marines, and four men killed, and eighteen wounded. Princess 
Louisa, two men killed, and six wounded. The total of the above gives 
only 133 ; so that a large number remains to be accounted for, of which, 
however, the logs of the different ships make no mention. The Prince 
"George, Nottingham, and Prince Frederick, sustained no loss whatever. 

1747.] THE EEITISH 2^AYY. 161 

Vice- Admiral Anson was created a peer, and received the 
personal thanks of his sovereign ; and Rear- Admiral Warren, 
whose spirited exertions did much towards bringing about 
the successful issue, Avas honoured with the military order of 
the Bath. All the ships of war, and the Thetis Indiaman, 
vrere purchased into the navy. The name of the Serieux 
was changed to that of Intrepid, and that of the Diamante 
to Isis. 

Commodore Fox was despatched, simultaneously with 
Vice- Admiral Anson, in command of tlie following : — 

Guns. Ships. 

74 Kent Captain Thomas Fox 

64 Hampton Court . . „ Savage Mostyn 

Eagle ,, Geo. Bridges Rodney 

I Lion „ Arthur Scott 

50 Chester „ Philip Durell 

44 Hector „ Thomas Stanhope 

Pluto and Dolphin fire-ships. 

The design of this squadron was to intercept the French 
West-India homeward-bound fleet, under convoy of four 
ships of war. On the 20tli June Commodore Fox obtained 
sight of the expected fleet oflT Cape Ortugal, in all 170 sail 
of ships, and sail was made in pursuit. The French ships of 
war, however, being fast-sailing sliips, escaped ; but forty- 
eight sail of merchant ships, whose united tonnages amounted 
to 16,051 tons, and crews to 1,197 men, were captured by 
the British squadron. 

On the 2nd of June, the Fortune sloop, of ten guns, 
fourteen SAvivels, and 110 men, Commander Edward Jekyll, 
stationed off Yarmouth to protect the coasting trade, was 
attacked by five large French privateers. Taking the For- 
tune for a merchant ship, the privateers chased her. The 
Fortune made sail away, in order to draw them ofi* shore, 
and also to gain the weather-gage, which having succeeded 
in, she tacked and stood for the privateers. The enemy 
discovering their error, dispersed, but the Fortune, after a 
nine hours' chase, succeeded in overtaking and capturing the 
Charon, of ten guns, eight swivels, and eighty-five men. 

On the 11th of August, the 10-gun sloop Viper, Lieutenant 
Hobert Hay, engaged the French South-Sea shijD Hector, of 
twenty-eight guns and sixty men. The action commenced 

VOL. I. M 




at about 61i. p. m., and at 61i. 30m. tlie Yiper s commander 
was killed. Lieutenant John Lendrick then assumed the 
command, and continued the action till 8h. p. M., when he 
laid the enemy alongside, and shortly afterwards the Hector 
surrendered. The French ship had ten men kiUed and 
sixteen wounded j and the Viper, in addition to her com- 
mander, had the boatswain (William Connorton) and three 
men killed, and eight wounded, one of whom mortally. 
The prize had on board £7,000 freight. 

On the 12th of August, the 14-gun ship Merhn, Com- 
mander David Brodie, captured in the West Indies, after a 
smart action of two hours' duration, two richly-freighted 
French ships, having on iDoard specie to the amount of 
£30,000. In this action Captain Brodie lost his right arm. 
For the gallantry and activity he had disj^layed, he was pro- 
moted shortly afterwards, and appointed to the 50-g-un ship 

On the 9th of October, a squadron, under the command of 
Hear- Admiral Hawke, sailed fi'om Plymouth, consisting of 

( Rear-Admiral Edward Hawke 

I Captain John Moore 

„ Thomas Cotes 

„ Thomas Fox 

,, Charles Saunders 

„ Henry Harrison 

„ Charles Watson 

„ Thomas Hanway 

„ Arthur Scott 

„ Robert Harland 

„ Philip Saiimarez 

„ John Bentley 

„ Geo. Bridges Rodney 

„ Philip Durell 

„ Charles Stevens 



6Q Devonshire 

70 Edinburgh ... ... ... ... 

( Kent 

64 < Yarmouth 

f Monmouth ... ... 

r Princess Louisa ... ... 

Windsor ... ... ... . . . . 

Lion. . ... .-, ... ... . . ... 

60 j 


Nottingham ... . . . . 


Eno-lft . 

_„ i Gloucester ... . . ... . . 

50 ■ 


The object was to effect the destruction of a fleet of mer- 
chant ships in Basque Roads, lying under the protection of 
a strong squadron of ships of war. The French squadron, 
however, under the command of M. de Letendeur, had sailed 
from He d'Aix, on the 6th October, in charge of the convoy, 
and consisted of the following ; — 

1747.] THE BRITISH XAVY. 163 

Guns. Ships. Guns. Ships. 
80 Tonnant ( Trident 

( Intrepide 64 < Fougueiix 
74 ■< Terrible ( Content 

( Monarque 56 Severn 
70 Neptune 

And a great many frigates and smaller vessels. 

Early in tlie morning of the 14tli of October, when off Cape 
Finisterre, with a fi'esh wind at east-south-east, the squadrons 
got sight of each other. Hawke immediately made all 
sail to close the^ enemy, then on the weather-bovv- in the 
south-east quarter, and at lOh. a.m. had neared sufficiently 
to make out several large ships, upon which he deemed it 
prudent to form a line of battle. The French commodore, 
on the other hand, had hitherto considered the British 
squadron as a portion of his own convoy, w^hich had separated 
from him in the night, and edged away to close them, but on 
disco vermg his error, instantly ordered the merchant ships 
and transports, under the charge of the Content, sixty-four, 
and frigates, to make the best of their way, while he, %^dtli 
the abovenamed ships, drew into a line ahead to meet the 

The Intrepide, Trident, and Terrible formed the French 
van ; the Tonnant and Monarque the centre ; and the Severn, 
Fougueux, and Trident, the rear. But Hawke soon observing 
that the design of the French commodore was to cover the 
escape of his convoy to vrindward, hauled down his signal 
for a line of battle, and threw out another for a general 
chase ; and in half an hour afterwards to engage the enemy. 
The Lion and Princess Louisa took the lead in the 23iu'suit, 
and at llh. 45m. the former opened her fire ; but in his 
eagerness to reach the van of the enemy, and so retard 
their escape. Captain Scott exposed his ship to the 
fire of the whole French squadron. These ships were 
soon joined by the Tilbmy, Eagle, Windsor, Monmouth, 
Yarmouth, and Edinburgh, and the action became gene- 
ral. The Severn stimck to the Devonshire ; but Hawke 
j)ushed on, leaving the prize to be taken possession of by 
his frigates. He v/as, however, unfortmiately deterred 
from his intention of engaging the Tonnant by the Eagle, 
which ship, in a disabled state, fell on board the Devonshire, 
and both ships were placed hoi^s de combat for some time. 


164 BATTLES OF [1747. 

To add to this disaster, the breechings of the Devonshire's 
guns broke. ^ In this situation, the Tonnant closed and en- 
gaged the Devonshire, and but for the timely arrival of the 
Tilbury, she might have fared badly ; but having replaced 
the fittings of her guns, the Devonshire was soon in a con- 
dition to recommence the action, and succeeded in getting 
alongside the Trident and Terrible, both which ships struck 
at 7h. P. 51. The Neptune struck to the Yarmouth, after 
having lost her captain, and 200 of her crew killed and 
■wounded, and being dismasted. Three ^ other ships, the 
Monarque, Fougueux, and Severn, struck at 5h.. p.m. 

Towards the conclusion of the action, the Intrepide and 
Tonnant, after having behaved most gallantly, endeavoured 
to effect their escape ; which intention being perceived by 
Captain Saunders, of the Yarmouth, that officer determined 
on preventing it, if possible ; and accordingly hailed the 
Eagle and Nottingham to join in j^ursumg them. The three 
ships immediately made all sail in chase ; but, except the 
Nottingham, they could not get near enough to bring 
them to action. The Nottingham having the lead, might 
have succeeded in retarding their escape ; but Captain 
Saumarez being mortally wounded, the commanding officer 
relinquished the chase ; so that these two ships escaped into 
a French port. As the night closed in. Rear- Admiral Hawke 
recalled the ships of his squadron, and deeming it imprac- 
ticable to overtake the convoy, discontinued the further 

The loss to the British in this action amounted to 15-i 
killed, including the gallant Captain Philip Saumarez, and 
ijoS wounded. The same obscure and unfaii' mode of lumping 
the killed and wounded, of which we complained in Admiral 
Anson's action, is again followed -with reference to this ; and 
with great difficulty we have ascertained the loss individually 
sustained, as under, by a reference to the journals of the 
ships ; but it vvill be seen that we are unable to account for 
the v/hole number stated in the official return : — 

' This account is given out of respect to Rear-Admiral Hawke"s 
official letter ; but no mention whatever is made of the circumstance in 
the Devonshire's journal, neither is there of the breaking of the breech- 
jngs of the guns. 









Officers killed or wounded. 

Devonshire .... 




Loss not stated. 






Edinburgh .... 





( Lieut, of Marines (Clay- 

Monmouth .... 




y ton Brewster) and 
1 Gunner (Thomas Sut- 
( ton) wounded. 

Princess Louisa 








{ Lieuts. James Eobson 
( and Alex. Mills killed. 





Loss not stated. 


Nottingham .... 




Captain killed. 









j Lieut. P. Taylor (mor- 
( tally) wounded. 













The loss to the French was two 74-giin ships, one of 
seventy, two of sixty-four, and one of fifty-six guns, all of 
which, except two, were wholly dismasted ; and the loss in 
men is estimated at about 800 killed and wounded. As 
much time was necessarily occupied in refitting their prizes, 
they did not reach Plymouth until the 31st of October.^ 
Seven ships of the convoy shortly afterwards fell into the 
hands of Captain Peter Denis, in the Centurion. 

In this action Captain Fox, of the Kent, having been, 
thought to have neglected his duty, a court-martial was held 

' In his official letter, Rear- Admiral Hawke made use of the follow- 
ing mode of expression : — " As the enemy's ships were large, except the 
Severn, they took a deal of drubbing." The letter was being read to 
King George II., and on arriving at this part, his majesty, from his 
imperfect knowledge of the English language, not understanding the 
term " drubbing," requested Lord Chesterfield, who was reading the 
despatch, to explain it to him. At this moment the duke of Bedford 
entered the closet, and his grace having a short time previously been 
engaged in a fracas on the race-course at Lichfield, Lord Chesterfield, 
with his accustomed wit, referred his majesty to the duke for an expla- 
nation, upon which the king laughed heartily, and expressed himself 
perfectly acquainted with the term. 

166 BATTLES OF [1747. 

■upon liim j but it being proved that the fault in question 
arose principally from a misunderstanding of the signals 
made, Captain Fox was acquitted of the main charge, but 
dismissed his ship. 

On the 8th of October, the British 50-gun ship Dartmouth, 
Captain the Hon. John Hamilton, fell in with the Sj)anish 
70-gun ship Glorioso, which ship had, on the 15th July pre- 
viously, been chased by the 44-giui ship Lark, and 60-gmi 
ship Warwick, Captains Jolm. Crookshanks and Robert 
Erskine, and engaged by the latter. Captain Hamilton 
gallantly attacked the Spanish ship, but in the heat of the 
action the Dartmouth took fire and blew up. The Prince 
Frederick privateer being at some distance astern, succeeded 
in picking up Lieutenant Christopher O'Brien and eleven of 
her men ; but the captain, and the remainder of his gallant 
crew, perished. On the following day, the British 80-gun 
ship E-ussel, Captain Mathew Buckle, overtook the Glorioso, 
and compelled her to strike ; but the defence of this ship 
must ever rank foremost in Spanish naval history. 

On the 18th of August, the British 24-gim ship Bellona, 
Captain the Hon. Samuel Barrington, captiu^ed off TJshant 
the Due de Chartres, a French Indiaman, of 700 tons, 175 
men, and thirty guns, laden with pro^dsions and stores. The 
action lasted two hours. 

On the 12th of September, the British 26-gTin frigate 
Amazon, Captain Samuel Faulknor, cruising in the Channel, 
engaged the French 32-gun frigate Benommee. The action 
continued several hours, when the Benommee sheered off. 
The Amazon, having received much damage in sails and 
rigging, was unable to follow. The Amazon had a gTeat many 
men killed and wounded. On the following day, the 44-g-un 
ship Dover, Captain the Hon. Washington Shirley, fell in 
with the Benommee, and after a short action comj)elled her 
to strike. The Benommee was purchased into the navy. 

British cruisers and privateers were this year very success- 
ful, and the following is a summary of the respective gains 
and losses. British vessels captured by the Spaniards, 131 ; 
by the French, 420 ; taken by the British — Spaniards, 91 ; 
French, 556. The Spanish and French prizes were many of 
them very valuable, while those captured from the British 
were for the most part of small value. 

1748.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 167 

1748. — On tlie 31st of January, the squadron of Rear- 
Admiral Hawke, cruising in the Channel, observed a large 
ship to leeward. The 60-gun ship Nottingham, Captain 
Robert Harland, was ordered to chase ; and that ship having 
at lOh. A.M. closed with the stranger, commenced the actiou, 
and a running fight of six hoiu-s ensued. The rear-admiral 
observing the size of the sliip Captain Harland was engaging, 
ordered the 60-gun ship Portland, Captain Charles Stevens, 
to proceed to the jSTottingham's assistance. The Portland 
accorcUngly made sail, and having neared the enemy (still 
closely engaged with the Nottingham), and fired a few shot, 
the French ship surrendered. The prize proved to be the 
Magnanime, a large class 74-gun ship, commanded by the 
Marquis d' Albert. The Nottingham had sixteen men killed, 
and eighteen wounded, and the Portland four men wounded. 
The Magnanime, out of a crew of 686 men, had forty-five 
killed, and 105 wounded. Being a fine new ship, she was 
added to the British navy tuider the same name, and con- 
tinued long a favourite ship. 

In the West Indies this year, a Spanish squadron, under 
Admiral Beggio, was defeated by Bear- Admiral Knowles. 
This action was preceded, on the 8th of March, by an attack 
upon Port Louis, Hispaniola, in which, though the reduction 
of the place was achieved, it was severely bought, no less 
than seventy men being killed and wounded in the squadron. 
Among the former was Captain James Bentone, of the 
Strafford. The rear-admiral shortly afterwards attacked 
St. Jago de Cuba, but was beaten off" with loss. This failure 
was attributed to Bear- Admiral Knowles, and his after suc- 
cess did not entirely remove the remembrance of liis previous; 
failure. The British squadron consisted of the following : — 

Gtms. Ships. 
SO Cornwall . . 

70' Lenox . . . . 

(Tilbury ..". 
/.^ 3 StraflFord . . 

) Warwick . . 

( Canterbury 
50 Oxford 

{ Rear- Admiral Charles Knowles 
( Captain Poly car pus Taylor 
„ Charles Holmes 
„ Charles Powlett 
„ David Brodie 
,, Thomas Innes 
,, Edward Clarke 
Edmund Toll 

' This ship had only fifty-six guns mounted. 

168 BATTLES OF [1748. 

The squadron was manned with 2,900 men. 

The Spanish squadron also consisted of seven ships, but 
larger, and their crews numbered 4,lo0. 

On the 1st of October, these squadrons met half-way be- 
tween the Tortugos and Havannah ; and the Spanish admiral 
being to leeward, formed a line, and awaited the British 
attack. Owing to the bad sailing of the Canterbury and 
Warwick, the action was commenced upon unequal terms. 
At a little past 2h. p.m., the Cornwall having arrived within 
musket-shot of the T^-gain ship Africa, bearing the flag of 
"Vice- Admii'al Reggio, a spirited action ensued. The Spaniards 
firing liigh, quickly disabled the Cornwall, which ship having 
had her mamtopmast and foretopsail-yard shot away, dropped 
out of the line. The Lenox then took the Cornwall's place, 
and maintained the action ^vith great spirit ; when the 
Spanish shif)s closing round their admiral, rendered the situa- 
tion of the Lenox very critical. The Lenox was, however, 
soon supported by the arrival of the Canterbury and War- 
wick, and the action became general, and continued till 
8h. P.M., when the Spaniards commenced a retreat. The 
crew of the Cornwall having refitted their ship, she was 
again in a condition to renew the action ; and the Conquest- 
adore, seventy-four, having been likewise disabled, and much 
astern of her squadron, was the object of her renewed attack. 
The Cornwall opened so animated a fire upon her, that her 
captain and most of her officers being killed, with a great 
many of her men, she struck, and was taken possession of. 
The British rear-admiral having collected his squadron, made 
sail in chase of the Spaniards, but the pursuit was not prose- 
cuted with vigour. But chance added to his success ; for 
two days afterwards, the squadron fell in Avith the Africa, 
which having been dismasted soon after the chase was given 
up, had anchored in distress a few leagues from the Havannah. 
The Sjmniards, on the approach of the British, took to their 
boats, after setting her on fire, and she blew up before pos- 
session could be taken. Captain Don San Justo, of the Con- 
questadore ; Don Quitana, second captain of the Africa ; and 
Don Garrecocha, captain of the Galga, and eighty-six men, 
were kiUed ; and the vice-admiral, fourteen officers, and 197 
men, wounded. On board the British squadron, fifty-nine men 

1748.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 160" 

were killed, and 120 wounded; but no officer ia named 
among the number. 

Great discontent having prevailed in the squadron re- 
specting the mode of attack pursued by the rear-admii-al, a 
court-martial was assembled on his arrival in England ; and 
the Court having heard the arguments, were of opinion that he 
was guilty of negligence in not having shifted liis flag to a 
fresh ship when the Cornwall was disabled ; and for not 
bearing down on the Spanish squadron, as he might have 
done, with more effect ; and therefore adjudged liim to be 

The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle put an end to further hos- 
tilities. The follomng is a summary of results : — 


Ships captured from the Spaniards . . . .1,249 
„ „ French ...2,185 



Ships captured by the Spaniards 1,360 

„ „ French .1,878 

Balance in favour of the British .... 196 

The above is the mode in use by the earUer naval histo- 
rians ; but it is a method not at all suited to convey a correct 
notion of the subject, since, as in the case of the Spanish 
captures made, the value of one of their ships was more, 
than equivalent to twenty of the majority of those lost to 
the British. The gain to the British during this v/ar is. 
estimated by Dr. Beatson at two milHons sterling. 

170 BATTLES OF [1748-55. 


The terms of tlie peace concluded in 1748 liad been so 
frequently infringed by French ships, that it became at length 
necessary to retaliate. Accordingly, fleets were fitted out, 
and the command of one being given to Yice- Admiral Bos- 
cawen, he was ordered to proceed to North America, to 
counteract the measures of a French fleet under M. De la 
Motte. Although war was not formally declared, the warlike 
preparations of the French plainly evinced their hostile 
designs upon, the British North American colonies. Bos- 
cawen's orders were, to protect the British possessions, and 
to attack the French squadrons wlierever he found them. 
These instructions were not, however, given secretly, for 
they were communicated to the French ambassador at 
London, who conveyed them to the French king ; upon 
which, the latter repHed, " that the first gun fired on the sea 
in a hostile manner should be held equivalent to a declaration 
of war." 

Boscawen fidfiUed his instructions to the letter. On the 
6th of June, 1755, being near the entrance to the Gulf of 
St. Lawrence, he fell in with four sail of the line, which had 
parted from M. De la Motte in a gale of ^vind. On the 8th, 
at noon, after a chase of forty-eight hom^s, the 60-gun ship 
Dunkirk, Captain the Hon. Richard Howe, arrived up with 
the French 64-gun sliip Alcide. After some little preliminary 
hailing, the Dunkirk opened so furious a cannonade, that on 
the approach of the Torbay, the French ship struck her 
colours. The 64-gTin ship Lys, armed en-flute, was also 
captured ; but omng to a fog the third escaped. Thus Avas 
this, known as " the seven years' war," commenced. 

On the 14th of November, a squadron, under the command 
of Admiral the Hon. John Byng, cruising in the Channel, 
fell in %\dth, and took, the French 74-gun ship Esj)erance ; 
but bad weather coming on, and the ship being greatly 
damaged, the prize was set on fire and destroyed. 

1756. — War was formally declared : by the English on 

1756.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 171 

the 17th of May, and by the French on the 16th of June, 

Although the British government had received intelligence 
of an extensive armament fitting out at Toulon to attack 
Minorca, no steps were taken for its defence, mitil the 
clamom^s of the peoj^le ckove ministers to order the equip- 
ment of a fleet for that purpose. A fleet was appointed, 
but instead of its being of a description suited to obtain 
command of the Mediterranean, it consisted of ten sail of 
the line only, wretchedly prepared. The most unaccountable 
negligence was observable in manning this fleet ; for being 
ordered to convey a reinforcement of troops to Gibraltar and 
Minorca, the marines were ordered to be landed, to make 
room for troops ; and thus the proper complement of each 
ship was materially diminished. The fleet should have 
sailed early in the year, but delay followed delay, and 
the remonstrances of the admiral were unheeded. The 
crews were incomplete by several hundreds of men, yet 
they might have been filled up in a day, had the order 
been given to draft men from ships lying in comparative 

On the 6 th of April the squadron sailed ; it consisted of 
ten sail of the line, and although the admiral petitioned for 
only two or three frigates, one was denied him. On the 2nd of 
May the squadron, after having encoimtered much bad weather, 
arrived at Gibraltar, where Byng learnt the strength of the 
French squadron ; and that it had already escorted a large 
body of troops to Minorca, and obtained possession of the 
whole island, with the exception of Fort St. Phihp. The 
difficulty of throwing in succom's then occupied his attention, 
but he determined to make the attempt with the under- 
mentioned : — 

Guns. Ships. Men. 

90 EamilHes 780 \ ^"^^^^^^^ ,S°°- ^^^^ '^y^S (blue) 

( Captain Arthur Gardiner 

68 Buckingham . . 535 j ^^^^'f ^f/.^J^ Temple West (red) 

= ( Captain INIichael Everitt 

74 CuUoden ....600 „ Henry Ward 

( Trident 500 „ Philip Durell 

64 < Revenge . . . .480 „ Fred. Cornwall 

( Intrepid 480 ,, James Young 




Guns. Ships. Men. 

p, j Captain .^ . . .. 480 
I Lancaster . . . .520 
( Kingston 400 

60 < Princess Louisa 400 


Charles Catford 
Hon. G. Edgecumbe 
William Parry 
Hon. Thomas Noel 

( Defiance 400 

Tliomas Andrews 

;,. JDeptford ,...280 
^^ ( Portland .... 300 

John Amherst 
Patrick Baird 

40 Chesterfield ..220 

J. Lloyd 

20 Phcenix 130 

Hon. A Hervey 


Fortune, Experiment, and Dolphin, sloops. 

On the 8th of May the British squadron sailed from 
Gibraltar, and on the 16th reached Majorca, where in- 
telligence was received, fully confirming that which had been 
obtained at Gibraltar. At daybreak on the 19th, having 
had a fine wind during the preceding night, the fleet arrived 
in sight of Minorca, and the admiral despatched the Phoenix 
to reconnoitre Port Mahon, and ascertain the pos.sibility of 
throwing supplies into Fort St. Philip, as also with a letter 
to General Blakeney, the commandant of the garrison. In 
the meanwhile the squadron made every effort to get in- 
shore, but the appearance of the French fleet quickly changed 
the nature of the British admiral's movements. His first 
object was to strengthen his weakest-manned ships from the 
crews of the smaller vessels, and he converted the Phoenix 
into a fire-ship. Byng then stood towards the French fleet., 
which consisted of the following ships : — 






Frigates — Junon, 44 

Guns, Ships. 

64 -j Content 
I. Orphee 
50 Hippopotame, 30 ; Gracieuse, 30 ; Topaze, 26 ; 
N^-mphe, 26. 

This well-appointed fleet was manned vntli 9,552 men.. 
Towards night, the French had neared the British squadron 
wdtliin a few miles, when they tacked, to obtain the weather- 
gage, but Byng possessing at that time tliis advantage, tacked 
also. The two fleets therefore continued working to wind- 
ward all night, with light variable airs of wnnd, and at 
daybreak on the 20 th, they were not visible to each other. 

1756.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 173 

The Defiance, a little after daybreak, captured a tartan 
containing a reinforcement of men from Minorca for the 
French fleet, and shortly afterwards the latter was discovered 
to leeward, but at so great a distance that it was 2h. p.m. 
before Byng considered it necessary to form his order of 

The signal was then made for the British squadron in 
two lines to bear away two points, and engage the enemy. 
Hear- Admiral West, whose division was leading, misinter- 
preting the signal, bore up seven points ; and at 2h. 4om. p.m. 
the Defiance, in the most spirited manner, engaged the 
van ship of the enemy. The other ships of Rear-Admiral 
West's division engaged with equal gallantry, and the action 
soon became general wdth the British van, and the French 
van and centre. The French sliips were under topsails only, 
with their main- topsails to the mast. 

Byng, with his division, shortly afterwards bore up to the 
support of his rear-admiral ; but the Intrepid, the last ship 
of the leading division, had not been long in action ere her 
foretopmast was shot away, and, in a manner wholly un- 
accountable, threw the centre division astern of her into 
confusion. The loss of a foretopmast to a ship sailing with 
the wind on her quarter ought not to have been attended 
with any material consequences, and the only efiect it would 
have had upon experienced seamen would have been, that 
the ships astern would have passed the disabled ship to leeward, 
and have continued to close the enemy. It is impossible to 
justify the proceedings of Admiral Byng, and the ships of 
his division. The Intrepid rounded to, and threw all a-back, 
but not before she was in such a position as to engage the 
ship opposed to her in the line Avith efiect. The Revenge, 
the ship next astern, lufled up, in order to pass the Intrepid 
to vnndward, but did not in fact pass her at all, as she 
remained upon the Intrepid's- weather quarter. The Princess 
Louisa and Trident were also brought to by the same cause, 
as well as the Ramillies, bearing the admiral's flag. The 
latter ship did not get into action at all, although her crew 
wasted much ammunition by firing when out of gun-shot ; 
neither did the Revenge, Trident, Oulloden, or Kingston. 
The division of Rear-Admiral West, which led, sufiered 
most ; and had the French not filled, and made sail after 




about three hours' cannonading, his ships must inevitably 
have fallen into their hands. 

As so much has been said and written respecting this 
action, we tliink it ad\T.sable to illustrate it with a diagram, 
shoA\dng the position of the two fleets at the commencement 
of, and dulling the engagement. The facts upon which the 
diagram is foimded are derived from the minutes of the 

feH ^ 


^^,^.^■5^. 5^: 


^^ ^^. 

2 :; 








> 1 


^ ^ 4^ ■•^4^ 



^ ^ ^ 
^ ^ 

.,- ■••- ' \. '' 

The French squadron was vastly superior in weight of 
metal. This will be seen by comparing the ships of the two 
admirals :— 





British 90 -gun Ship. 

Lower deck 26 

Middle deck 26 

Upper deck 26 

Quarter-deck 1 

Forecastle 2 

32 prs. 

18 „ 

12 „ 

6 „ 

6 „ 

Total 90 guns. 
Broadside 686 lbs. 
Tons .... 1,742 


French 84 -gun Ship.^ 
Lower deck 30 ,-. 42 prs. 
Main deck 32 . . 24 „ 
Quarter-deck 18 ., 8 ,, 
Forecastle 4 ^ . 8 „ 

Total 84 guns. 
Broadside 1 , 1 59 lbs. ^ 
Tons 1,977 

The four 74-gmi ships of the French fleet mounted 
42-pounders on the lower deck, and the 64-gun ships, 
36-pounders. The conduct of M. De Gahssioniere, therefore, 
was surprising; for, with such ships, he ought to have cap- 
tured every ship of the British fleet. But this does not 
exonerate the British admiral, whose indecision is softened 
only by the severity of the penalty he paid. 

The British loss is shown upon the diagram. Among the 
number were Captain Andrews (who so nobly commenced 
the action in the Defiance), and Captain ISToel. Byng quitted 
Minorca and returned to Gibraltar, where he was soon after- 
wards superseded by Sir Edward Hawke. This unfortunate 
admiral was shot in Portsmouth harbour on the 14th of 
March, 1757, on board the 74-gun ship Monarch — an exe- 

* The Foudi-oyant was subsequently captured by the Monmouth, and 
was the first 84-gun ship upon two decks which ever belonged to the 
British navy ; all British 80 -gun ships being at that time three-deckers. 

2 Tliis calculation allows for the difference between the French and 
English weights, for w^hich see the following table : — 














English pj_ 
Weight. ^'''^• 









Ih. 03. 

39 114 

26 71 

19 134 

13 34 

8 134 

6 93 


Tb. 03. 

34 125 
26 2i 
18 94 
13 1 
8 104 
6 84 







lb. 03. 

38 14 

25 144 

19 7 

12 15^ 

8 10 

6 74 







lb. 03. 

36 S 

24 54 

18 4 

12 2% 

8 14 

6 Ik 


». 03. 

44 154 
39 54 
33 114 
28 1§ 
22 71 
16 13i 

11 ?3 

7 7i 

5 94 


lb. 03. 

37 14i 
32 74 
27 94 
21 104 
16 .3| 
10 13i 

7 H 
5 64 

a The French shot has been found to exceed this calculated weight by a few ounces. 

BATTLES OF [1756. 

cution the severity of whicli v/as undoubtedly, under all the 
circumstances, extreme. 

On the 17th of May, early in the morning, the 50-gun 
ship Colchester, and 2G-g\ni sliip Lyrae, Captains Lucius 
O'Brien and Edward Vernon, being off the Isle of Oleron, 
chased two sail. At 5h. p.m., the Colchester arrived up with 
the sternmost, which was the 50-gun sliip Aquilon, and 
engaged her very closely ; while the Lyme brought to action 
her consort, the 3 2 -gun frigate Fidelle. After an action of 
six hours' duration, the French ships made off, leading the 
Colchester and Ljnne much damaged in hull and rigging, 
■\vith the loss of a great many men. 

On the 6th of July, the Hon. Captain Richard Howe, in 
the 60-gun ship Dunkirk, having under his orders a squadron 
of six ships, destroyed a fort erecting on Chausse Island, near 
St. Malo. 

On the 7th of October, a gallant action was fought by the 
Dispatch sloop, Commander James Holbourne, with a French 
privateer, which mounted eighteen guns and had a crew ot 
170 men. The action lasted two hours, and the privateer 
made several ineffectual attempts to board, but was beaten 
off with much loss. Commander Holbourne, who behaved 
nobly, was mortally wounded by a flint stone about the size 
of a nutmeg, and died on the 9th. The lieutenant of the 
Dispatch (John Hodges) conducted the sloo]) in a shattered 
state into port. 

The Adventure, a small brig tender mounting six 
3 -pounders. Lieutenant James Orrock, was attacked off Bam- 
borough Castle, by the Infernale, of twelve guns, with a crew 
of 148 men. After two hours' action, and ha^dng expended 
all his ammimition, and had five of his crew kiUed and 
eighteen wounded. Lieutenant Orrock surrendered. The 
privateer had seven men kOled and twenty-five wounded. 
For his conduct on this occasion Lieutenant Orrock was 
deservedly promoted. 

On the 23rd of December, the 26-gun privateer Terrible, 
Captain Death, being on a cruise, fell in with and captured, 
after a sharp action, in Avhicli his lieutenant and sixteen of 
his crew were killed, the Grand Alexander, of twenty-two 
guns and 100 men. While the Terrible was convoying the 
prize into port, the latter was attacked and captured by the 

1757.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 177 

French privateer Vengeance, of tliirty-six guns and 3 GO men. 
The Fi'ench captain then manned his prize, and both pur- 
sued and attacked the Terrible. In the first broadside they 
siiot away her mainmast, but Captain Death defended his 
ship with the most obstinate valour for a considerable time. 
The contest was most desperate; but the English captain 
being killed, v.ith half of his crew, and nearly all the 
remainder wounded, the Terrible was taken possession of. 
The Vengeance lost in the action her first and second cap- 
tains killed, and two-thirds of the crew. 

1757. — Captain Arthur Forrest, of the 60-gun ship Au- 
gusta, belonging to the squadron on the Jamaica station, was 
despatched, in the month of October, to cruise ofi* Cape 
Francois, where the French were assembling a fleet of mer- 
chant ships for Europe. Captain Forrest had under his 
orders the 64-gini ship Edinburgh, Captain William Langdon, 
and 60-gun ship Dreadnought, Captain Maurice Suckling. 
E,ear-Admiral Cotes, the commander-in-chief on the station, 
had received intelligence relative to the force intended to 
convoy the fleet at Cape Francois, which led him to believe 
that the above ships would be found equal to cope with it ; 
but M. De Kersaint, the French commodore, had been 
unexpectedly reinforced by the junction of several ships, and 
when Captain Forrest arrived off the port, was in command 
of the undermentioned, — 

Guns. Ships. j Guns. Ships. 

- > li Intrepide 4i Outarde 

( Sceptre | r,.y ^ Sauvage 

64 Opiniatre "^"' | Licorne 

50 Greenwich ' j 

manned with 3,850 men, including many vokmteers from the 
garrison and merchant ships. 

With this force at his disposal, the French commodore had 
reason to believe he should be able to cMve Captain Forrest 
from his station ; and early in the morning of the 21st of 
October,- or more probably on the night previous, put to 

' Captured by a French squadron of five sail of the line, on the 14th 
of March preceding, while commanded by Captain Robert Roddam. 

- It is a singular circumstance, which has not been previously re- 
marked upon, that this action, which was the only one of any note 
fought by Captain Suckling, should have occurred on the 21st of Octo- 

VOL. I. N 

178 BATTLES OF [1757. 

sea, and stood off shore in search of the British squadron. 
At 7h A.M. the Dreadnought made the signal for an enemy, 
and at noon the Erench squadron was in sight from the 
deck. Captain Forrest then made the signal for liis captains, 
and on their arrival on the Augusta's quarter-deck, is said to 
have addressed them with — " "Well, gentlemen, you see they 
are come out to engage us." Upon which Captain Suckling- 
replied — '• I think it would be a pity to disappoint them." 
Captain Langdon being of the same opinion. Captain Forrest 
dismissed them to their ships, and hoisted the signal for the 
squadron to make all sail to close the enemy. Having a 
moderate breeze, the three British ships — the Dreadnought 
leading — at 3h. 20m. p.m., commenced the action with great 
spirit. The Intrepide, the headmost ship, was engaged ^vith 
such vigour, that being much disabled in her spars, she 
dropped astern and fell foul of the Greenwich, her next 
astern. This accident caused such confusion, that all the 
sliips of the French squadron fell foul of each other, and 
became exposed to the fire of the British ships, without the 
ability to return more than a few shot. The fight had con- 
tinued two hours and a half, when the French commodore, 
in the Intrepide, made the signal for one of the frigates to 
tow his ship out of the action, and the whole French squadron 
made sail to leeward. The British ships had suffered so 
much in their sails and rigging, that it was found impossible 
to follow; and Captain Forrest was reluctantly compelled to 
return to Jamaica to repair damages. 

In this gallant engagement the Augusta had her first 
lieutenant and eight men killed, and twelve dangerously and 
seventeen slightly wounded ; all her masts, sails, rigging, and 
boats received considerable injury. The Dreadnought had 
nine killed, and twenty dangerously and ten slightly 
wounded. She lost her main and mizen-topmasts, and mizen- 
yard; and every mast and yard was greatly injured, except 
the foretopmast and foretopsail-yard ; she also received a 
great many shot in her hull. The Edinbrn-gh lost only five 
in killed, and thirty wounded j but her masts, yards, and sails 

ber, and that Captain Suckling's nephew — the immortal Nelson, who 
went to sea under his uncle's auspices — should, on that very day forty- 
eight years, have completed his unparalleled series of victories by a 
glorious death at Trafalgar. 

1757.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 179 

were greatly damaged, and she had several shot in her hull. 
The French loss is stated to have amounted to near 600 
killed and wounded. The Opuiiatre was dismasted, and 
the whole much disabled ; but during the unavoidable absence 
of Captain Forrest, the French commodore sj)eedily repaired 
his damages, and made his escape from Cape Francois. 

On the 24th of November, Captain Forrest, in the Au- 
gusta, was despatched by Hear- Admiral Cotes to cruise off 
Gonave for two days. He proceeded up the bay between 
the islands Gonave and Hispaniola, with a view to cut out a 
rich fleet, im.der convoy of two armed merchant frigates. 
The day after parting company from the admiral, he stood 
in-shore, and disguised his ship with tarpaulins, and hoisted 
Dutch colours. At 5h. p.m. seven sail were seen standing to 
the westward; but in order to avoid suspicion, the Augusta 
made sail away from them until dark, when all sail was 
crowded in pursuit. At lOh. p.m. two ships were seen ahead, 
one of which fired a gun, and the other made sail in-shore 
for Leogane Bay. Shortly afterwards eight sail were seen 
to leeward, close under Petit Guave. The Augusta was 
very soon alongside the ship which had fired the gun, when 
Captain Forrest hailed the stranger and cautioned her cap- 
tain, on pain of being sunk, not to give the smallest alarm; 
at the same time the lower-deck ports were opened, to cany 
the threat into execution. The ship submitted without 
oi>position, and ha' taken her crew out, Captain Forrest 
put a lieutenant and thirty-five men into the prize, mth 
directions to stand in for Petit Guave to intercept any of the 
ships which might make for that port. The Augusta then 
made sail after the body of the convoy, and by dawn of day 
was in the midst of them, firing at all in turns. The French 
ships retm^ned an ineffectual fire for some little time ; but 
three of the largest having struck, they were employed by 
Captain Forrest to pursue the remainder. Only one small 
snow escaped; and thus, by the able measures of Captain 
FoiTCst, this valuable convoy, consisting of nine ships, the 
imited tonnages of which amounted to 3,070, carrying 112 
guns, and 415 men, fell into his hands. Their value was 
very considerable. 

Scarcely a week passed without some action occurring in 
the Channel between French j^rivateers and British cruisers. 


180 BATTLES OF [1757. 

More than forty were captured this year by the British 
men-of-war alone, independent of those taken by jDrivateers; 
but the commander most successful in capturing vessels so 
destructive to the trade of England, was Captain John 
Lockhart, in the 28-gim frigate Tartar. While cruising 
in the Channel, Captain Lockhart, on the 18th of February, 
fell in with the Mont-Rozier, Rochelle privateer, mounting 
twenty long 9-pounders, with a crew of 170 men. After 
a short engagement, the privateer struck ; but while 
preparations were making for taking possession of the 
prize, she bore up, and attempted to board the Tartar. 
The Tartar's crew were on the alert, and repelled the attack 
with such energy, that thirty-six of the privateer's crew 
were killed and a great number wounded. The privateer 
then sheered off and recommenced the action, but after losing 
fifty-eight men surrendered. 

On the 27th of March, Captain Lockhart being on shore 
sick, the Tartar, under the command of Lieutenant Thomas 
Baillie, fell in \vith the privateer Maria Yictoria, of 24 guns 
and 236 men ; and after a smart action, the privateer sur- 
rendered. Being a remarkably fine vessel, the prize was 
added to the British navy, by the name of Tartar's Prize, 
and the command deservedly conferred on Lieutenant Baillie, 
together with liis commission as master and commander. 

On the 1 6th of April the Tartar fell in ^vith the privateer 
Due d'Aiguillon, of 600 tons, twenty-six guns, and 2o4 men, 
and after an action which lasted an hour and a quarter, in 
which the privateer had fifty men killed and woimded, and 
the Tartar four men killed and one wounded, captured her 

On the 18tli of May, the same enterprising officer cap- 
tured the privateer Penelope, of eighteen guns and 181 men, 
fourteen of whom were killed. In October he captured the 
privateer Comtesse de Gramont, of eighteen guns and 155 
men. This vessel was purchased into the na^'y, and named 
the Gramont. 

On the 2nd of November, Captain Lockhaii; rendered 
himself still more conspicuous. Being in the Channel, in 
company of some other cruisers, the Tartar chased a large 
sail, which, after a pursuit of thirty hours, she overtook. The 
chase, which was the Melampe privateer, of Bayonne, of 700 

1757.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 181 

tons, and mounting twenty-six long 12 -pounders, and ten 
C-pomiders, with a crew of 330 men, engaged the Tartar 
with much spirit ; but after a running fight of three hours, 
in wliich the former suffered a loss of twelve men killed and 
twenty-six wounded, and the Tartar four killed, the privateer 
stnick her colours, and was taken possession of At this 
time the ships which had been in company with the Tartar 
when she commenced the chase were only in sight from the 
masthead. The prize proved a remarkably fine vessel, and 
had only been launched two months. She measured 116 
feet upon the keel, and thirty-three feet extreme breadth, 
and was added to the British na\y under her French name, 
where she long continued as a 3 6 -gun frigate, a favourite 
ship. Such distingTiished services called forth the gTatitude 
of the merchants of London and Bristol ; the former pre- 
sented Captain Lockhart with an elegant piece of plate, 
value 200 guineas ; and the latter, with a similar mark of 
their sense of his achievements, by a piece of plate valued 
at 100 guineas. The corporation of Plymouth also pre- 
sented him with the freedom of the town in a silver box. The 
master of the Tartar (Patrick Lukey) was made a lieutenant. 
In the month of February, as the British 12 -gun sloop 
Badger, Commander Thomas Taylor, was ciTiising off the 
French coast, she fell in with and captured a French privateer, 
of eight guns and seventy-two men, which was sent into the 
Downs. On the 24th of the same month, the Badger 
chased the privateer Escorte, belonging to St. Malo, of 
eighteen long 8-pounders and 157 men. Undeterred by the 
disparity of force, the Badger engaged her, and a close 
action of one hour and a half ensued, when the privateer 
surrendered. The Badger had only seven men wounded, 
but the captain of the privateer, and twenty of her crew 
were killed. This action was the more creditable to the captors, 
from the circumstance of the Badger's being sliort of com- 
plement, in consequence of the prize crew recently sent 
away. There were no marines on board ; but the purser, 
Andrew Butherford, ha\dng gallantly volunteered his ser- 
vices, was stationed on the forecastle of the sloop in charge 
of a -partj of small-arm men, and conducted himself with 
gi'eat braver}^ Commander Taylor was promoted, on the 
3rd of March, to post rank, and appointed to the Seahorse 

182 BATTLES OF [1757. 

frigate ; and Mr. Kutlierford was appointed to the Coventry. 
The Escorte was added to the navy under the same name. 

On the 10th of March, as the British 3-pounder 8-gnn 
sloop Happy, Commander Thomas Burnet, was on her 
return from Jersey, having on board twenty soldiers from 
that island, she was attacked by the French privateer In- 
fernal, mounting six 6-pounders, eight 4-pounders, and six 
swivels, with a crev/ of seventy-five men. To obviate the 
inferiority in point of armament, the commander of the 
Happy grappled the privateer, and boarded her. The troops 
being very useful in clearing the decks, the privateer's crew 
surrendered. For this gallant little exploit Commander 
Burnet was promoted, on the 5th of May following. 

On the 18th of May, the British 28-gun frigate Unicorn, 
Captain John Bawlings, criiisuig off the coast of Ireland, 
chased and overtook the French privateer Invincible, of 
twenty-four g-uns and 286 men. In the early part of the 
action which ensued. Captain Bawl ings was mortally wounded 
in the head, and the command of the ship devolved on 
Lieutenant Michael Clements, who conducted the fight with 
gi^eat skill, and compelled the privateer to surrender. The 
Unicorn lost, besides her captain, the boatswain and two 
men killed, and five men wounded. The Invincible had 
a great many men killed and wounded, before she struck. 
Having obtained information from some of the prisoners 
respecting another privateer, which had been cruising in 
company with the Invincible, Lieutenant Clements, after 
seeing his prize into Eansale, went in pursuit of the other, 
and had the good fortune to fall in with and capture her. 
The second prize proved to be a privateer, of eighteen guns 
and 143 men, belonging to Bordeaux. Lieutenant Clements 
was deservedly promoted for his gallantry. 

On the 13th of May, the 50-gun ship Antelope, Captain 
SamueP Hood, cruising off the French coast, brought to 
action the French 50-giin sliip Aquilon. After exchanging 
a few broadsides, the Aquilon sheered off and stood in for 

^ All our naval historians, with the exception of Schomberg, have 
given the credit of this action to Captain Alexander Hood ; and we 
formerly stated, in accordance with the concurrent testimony of so many 
authorities, that the Antelope was commanded by Alexander Hood, 
but, on turning to that ship's log, we find that Schomberg alone is right. 

1757.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 183 

the land, followed by tlie Antelope under aU sail. Finding- 
it impossible to escape, the Aquilon ran upon a ridge of rocks 
in Audierne Bay, and was totally wrecked. The Antelope 
had three men killed and thirteen wounded in this encounter. 
Among the latter was a young midshipman named Murray, 
who had both his legs carried away by a shot. It is stated, 
that while under the surgeon's hands, hearing the crew on 
deck give three cheers, he waved his hand round his head 
and expired. The loss of the Aquilon amounted to fifty- 
five killed and wounded. 

On the 30th of May, the Due d'Aquitaine, French East- 
India shijo, of 1,500 tons, mounting fifty long 18-pounders, 
with a crew of 463 men, was captured, after an hour's action, 
by the 60-gun ships Eagle and Medway, Captains Hugh 
Palliser and Charles Proby. The Eagle had ten men killed, 
and the Medway ten wounded, before they compelled the 
French sliip to strike. This shij) was pierced for sixty-four 
guns, and was purchased into the royal navy. 

On the 25th of July, at llh. p.m., the British 32-gim 
frigate Southampton, Captain James Gilchrist, being off St. 
Alban's Head on her way to Plymouth, conveying money 
to the dockyard at that port, was fallen in with by five 
large French privateers, comprising two ships, a snow, a 
brigantine, and a cutter. One of the ships shooting ahead, 
engaged the Southampton for half an hour, and the others 
also coming up, made several attempts to board ; but on 
each occasion were repulsed with much slaughter. Two of 
the privateers having the advantage of sailing, then took up 
their positions, one on the frigate's bow and another on her 
quarter, and for nearly an hour continued a well-directed fire ; 
but by the great skill of the British captain and crew, the 
whole were at length obliged to sheer off, leaving the South- 
ampton too much disabled for pm^suit. The Southampton 
had all her masts, sails, and rigging very much cut, and had 
received a great many shot in her hull, and several between 
wind and water, so that she was compelled to put into 
Weymouth. The Southampton had twenty-four men 
killed or mortally wounded, and a great many slightly 

On the 1st of August, the 21:-gun ship Seahorse, Captain 
Thomas Taylor, who so distinguished himself in the Badger 

184 BATTLES OF [1757. 

sloop, ^ liaviug under his orders the Raven and Bonetta sloops, 
Commanders John Bover and John Clarke, fell in with two 
12-poimder French frigates off Ostend. The Seahorse being 
at anchor \vith the sloops, weighed and stood out to meet the 
enemy ; and at 12h. 30m, p.m., brought the weathermost ship 
to action, within pistol-shot distance. The fire of the British 
sliip induced her opponent, after a short engagement, to bear 
up and close her consort to leeward, under jury topmasts ; 
but was closely followed by the Seahorse, which for a con- 
siderable time engaged the two French ships single-handed. 
The Baven and Bonetta joining, the frigates, at 3h. 45m. 
bore up and made all sail, leaving the Seahorse so much cut 
up in sails and rigging, as to be unable to chase. The Sea- 
horse had ten men killed or mortally wounded, and nine, 
including her captain, slightly wounded. Commander Bover, 
of the Baven, was also wounded. The Bonetta was dis- 
abled early in the action, and did not render any material 

On the 24th of August, the 40-g*un ship Prince Edward, 
Captaui "William Fortescue, engaged a French 36-gun frigate 
off Scilly. Owing to the freshness of the breeze, the Prince 
Edward, being a 40-giin ship on two decks, was unable to 
open her lower-deck ports, in consequence of which the 
French frigate possessed a very decided advantage. The action 
lasted till night, and was renewed the next day ; but the 
Prince Edward, having her main and mizenmasts shot away, 
was unable to bring her guns to bear on the frigate, which, 
fortunately for the former, sheered off The Prince Edward 
had ten men killed and forty wounded. 

On the 12th- of September, the British 32-gun frigate 
Southampton, stUl commanded by Captain James Gilchrist, 
belonging to the fleet of Admiral Sir Edward Hawke, cruis- 
ing off Brest, ha^-ing been despatched by the admiral to 
reconnoitre the harbour, was chased by a large ship. As 
soon as the stranger was perceived, the Southampton tacked 
and stood towards her, upon which the stranger shortened 
sail and hove to. Owing to light airs and calms, it w^as 2h. 
p.Ji. before the Southampton could get near enough to open 

* See p. 181, ante. 

- This date is erroneously given by historians as the 21st ; but the 
above is from the ship's log. 

1757.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 185 

her fire. At that time, bemg within musket-shot, the 
stranger, which proved to be tlie French 2 6 -gun frigate 
Emeraude, opened fire on the Southampton, but it was not 
returned until the British frigate had arrived within twenty- 
yards. In consequence of the calm caused by the firing, the 
ships di-ifted foul, when the French endeavoured to board the 
Southampton, but the attempt was repelled with vigour, and 
the boarders beaten back with loss. The struggle for \ictory 
lasted thirty-five minutes, at the expiration of which time, 
the Emeraude, having lost her first and second captains, most 
of the officers, and sixty men killed and wounded, surren- 
dered. The Southampton had her second Heutenant (Thomas 
Ford) and nineteen men killed, and every officer, except 
the captain, and twenty-eight men wounded. In this action 
the two ships were as nearly as possible of equal force, and 
the contest affords convincing proof of great coiu'age and 
skill on both sides. The Emeraude was added to the royal 
navy under the English name Emerald, and continued for 
many years a cruising ship.^ While conducting the prize 
into port, the Soutliampton captured a 10-gun privateer 
belongmg to Dunkirk. 

On the 2nd of ISTovember, the British 9 -pounder 28-gun 
frigate Unicorn, Captain Matthew Moore, cruising in the 
Channel, engaged the 12 -pounder 28-gun French frigate 
Hermione. The action lasted five hours, when the Hermione 
suiTendered. This prize was added to the British navy under 
the name of Unicorn's Prize. 

The following action affords sufiicient proof of the general 
inefiiciency of the two-decked forty and fifty-gim ships. On 
the 3rd of November, the 50-gam ship Antelope, Captain 
Thomas Saumarez, cruising in the Channel, captured the 
French 22-gun privateer Moras, having a crew of 285 men. 

* Charaock, in a memoir of Captain Gilchrist, adds, upon the 
authority of "an eye-witness," that the French frigate being a prime 
sailer was sent out on purpose to watch the motions of the British fleet, 
and that she was decoyed down to the Southampton by a feigned attempt 
on the part of tlie latter to run. It is further stated that two of the 
French officers w'ere killed by a discharge from Captain Gilchrist's 
blunderbuss, and that the action was at such close quarters that the men 
fought A\'ith handspikes. The remaining men of the French crew are 
described as such fine able seamen "that they derided the mean appear- 
ance of the Southampton's crew, although their conquerors." 

186 BATTLES OF [1758. 

Owing to the heavy sea rimning, the Antelope was unable 
to open her lower-deck ports, and the privateer engaged 
nearly two hours before surrendering, nor did she then strike 
until her mizenmast was shot away, and escape impracticable. 
The Antelope had two men killed and sixteen wounded. 

On the 23rd of November, the British 28-gim ship Hussar, 
Captain John Elliot, and 24-gun ship Dolphin, Captain 
Benjamin Marlow, chased a large French ship. The Hussar 
closed with the stranger at about 8h. p.m., and commenced 
the action, in which she was soon joined by the Dolphin. At 
lOh. P.M. the stranger, which was dismasted, went down with 
her colours flying. The enemy was supposed to have been 
the French 50-g-un ship Alcyon, armed en flute. The 
Hussar had received much injury, and had no boat that 
would swim ; the Dolphin, however, sent a boat, but, unfor- 
tunately, was not able to save any of the devoted French 

On the 24th of November, the French 36-gmi frigate 
Bien-acquis was captured by the 70-gun ship Chichester, 
Captain Saltren William Willett, and 24-gun ship Sheerness, 
Captain Thomas Graves. The Mgate was added to the 
British navy by the name of Aurora. 

1758. — On the 1st of January, the hired armed ship 
Adventure, of eighteen long 6-]oounders, Commander John 
Bray,l3ring at anchor in DungenessBoads, observed a large brig 
standing towards her, upon which the Adventiu-e cleared for 
action. Captain Bray, at 2h. p.m., ordered the Adventure's 
cable to be cut and sail to be made on the sliip, and shortly 
afterwards the action commenced. Observing the brig about 
to rake the Adventure, the latter's helm was put hard a-port, 
and she wore round, and fell athwart hawse of her opponent. 
Captain Bray and the pilot then passed a hawser round the 
brig's bowsprit, and secured it to the Adventure's capstan, 
and a vigorous fight with small-arms was maintained for 
nearly an hour ; when the brig's deck being nearly cleared, 
she struck. The prize was the Machault, Dunkirk privateer, 
mounting fourteen long 8-pounders, with a crew of 102 men, 
of which she lost forty in killed and wounded. Commander 
Bray was deservedly promoted to post rank. 

At daybreak on the 8 th of January, the British 28-gun 
frigate Hussar, Captain John Elliot, cruising off" the Lizard, 

1758.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 187 

observed a large ship to leeward, to whicli cliase was' imme- 
diately given. The pursuit lasted till 3h. p.m., at which time 
the stranger hove to, and the Hussar having arrived up, an 
engagement commenced, wliich lasted near two hours ; when 
the enemy having had her main and mizenmasts shot away, 
five g-uns dismounted, and eight feet water in the hold, 
hauled down her colours. The prize was the French privateer 
Vengeance, of St. Malo, and was armed with thirty-two 
12 and 8-pounders, and about twenty swivels. She com- 
menced the action with 319 men, out of which she had 
fifty-two killed, and thirty-seven wounded. The privateer's 
foremast was so much damaged that it fell next morning. 
The Hussar sustained a loss of six men killed and fifteen 
wounded. The Vengeance was added to the British navy 
under the same name. The Hussar captured, shortly after- 
wards, the Heureux, of twenty-two guns and seventy men, 
laden with merchandize. 

On the 28th of February, at daybreak, the Mediterranean 
fleet, commanded by Admu-al Hemy Osborn, being off Cape 
de Gata, came in sight of four large ships to leeward. From 
their not answering the private signal, the admiral dii'ected 
several ships to go in pursuit. The strangers, on perceiving 
the British fleet, separated, each steering a different course. 
At about 7h. p.m., the 64-gun ship Bevenge, Captain John 
Storr, having overtaken the ship she was chasing, com- 
menced action ; and for half an hour continued a close and 
spirited cannonading. The 64-gun sliip Berwick, Captain 
Bobert Hughes, having arrived up, and fired a broadside, the 
stranger, which proved to be the French 64-gun ship Orphee, 
sm-rendered. The Orphee, out of a crew of 502 men, had 
twenty-one killed and eighty-nine wounded. The Bevenge 
suffered more severely, in consequence of the heavier metal 
of the French sliip, and had thirty-two men killed and fifty- 
fom' wounded ; among the latter were Captain Storr and 
Lieutenant EdAvard Mountford. 

The 74-gun ship Swiftsure, Captain Thomas Stanhope, and 
64-g-im ships Monmouth and Hampton Court, CajDtains 
Arthiu: Gardiner and Hon. A. J. Hervey, pursued the 
larger sail, which was the 84-gun ship Foudroyant. At 
8h. P.M., the Monmouth having run her consorts out of sight, 
got up with the chase and commenced the action. Captain 

188 BATTLES OF [1758* 

Gardiner was among tlie earliest wounded, but liis hurt was* 
in tlie arm, and not considered by him to be of consequence 
sufficient to cause liim to go below. Having succeeded in 
knocking away some of the Fouch^oyant's spars, the Mon- 
mouth got close under her starboard quarter, and for foiu- 
hours maintained the unequal contest. At 9h. p.m. Captain 
Gardiner was mortally wounded in the forehead by a musket- 
ball,^ and the command of the sliip devolved on Lieutenant 
Robert Carket, who continued to fight the ship \nih the 
most exemplary courage and skill. At a little past nine the 
Monmouth's mizenmast was shot away, upon which the 
French crew gave three cheers ; but this was soon afterwards 
followed by the Foudroyant's mizenmast, when the British 
sailors returned the compliment, and shortly afterwards the 
British crew had the gratification to \^itness the fall of the 
French ship's mainmast. The action continued with un- 
abated \dgour till 12h. 30m. A.M., and the Foudroyant's fire 
had ceased. The Swiftsure arriving up, Captain Stanhope 
hailed the French ship to ask if she had struck j and 
being answered by a volley of musketry and a few guns, the 
Swiftsure opened fire, but before the second broadside, the 
French ship surrendered. M. Du Quesne, the captain of the 
Foudroyant, presented his sword to Lieutenant Carket, thus 
awarding the honour of capture to the Monmouth. The 
loss of the Monmouth in this most gallant and meritorious 
action amounted to the captain and twenty-seven killed, and 
seventy-nine wounded, and the Foudroyant had 190 killed 
and wounded. The armament of the Foudroyant consisted 
of long -lii-pounders on the lower deck, and 24-pounders on 
the maindeck ; while that of the Monmouth was only 
24-pounders on her lower deck, and 12-pounders on the 
maindeck, so that the comparative broadside weight of metal 
stood thus : — 

Monmouth, 5401bs. Foudkoyaxt, l,1361b3. 

When the disparity above shown, and the difference in 

1 Captain Gardiner was flag-captain to Admiral Byng in the action 
off Minorca, in which, it will be remembered, the Foudroyant bore the 
French admiral's flag ; and it is related that this gallant officer had been 
heard to say, that if ever he fell in with the Foudroyant, in whatever 
ship he might be, he would attack her at all hazards, though he should 
perish in the encounter. 


1758.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 189 

tonnage and number of men are taken into consideration, 
the above encomium will scarcely be found unmerited. Caj^tain 
Gardiner was Admiral Byng's caj)tain in the Ramillies, but 
on the court-martial stated that the admiral directed every 
movement. Had it been otherwise, we have a right to 
suppose that the man who thus, single-handed, brought to 
action so formidable an enemy, would not have suffered an 
eager ship's company to fire their guns at the air. 

The Foudroyant was for many years the finest ship in the 
British navy. She exceeded the largest British first-rate in 
length by twelve feet, and measured 1,977 tons. All her 
guns abaft the mainmast were brass. The Monmouth, in 
the action, expended eighty barrels of powder (near four 
tons), 1,546 round shot, 540 grape, and 156 double-headed 
shot. Admiral Osborn was so much pleased with the cap- 
ture of the Foudroyant, that he most deservedly promoted 
Lieutenant Carket to the command of that ship.^ 

On the 18th of April, the 90-gun ship Prince George, 
Captain Joseph Peyton, bearing the flag of Rear -Admiral 
Broderick, on her voyage out to Gibraltar, was accidentally 
burnt, and out of 745 people, only 260 were saved. 

On the 3rd of March, Admiral Sir Edward Hawke sailed 
from Spithead, with a squadron of seven sail of the line and 
three frigates, destined for the attack of a French squadron 
at the Isle of Aix, which had assembled there for the purpose 
of convoying a large fleet of transports to the French 
American colonies. Sir Edward arrived of£ the Isle of Rhe 
on the 3rd of April, and next evening discovered the enemy's 
squadron ofi* the Isle of Aix, consisting of one ship of seventy- 
four guns, and four 64-gun ships, besides six or seven frigates, 
and forty transj)orts, having on board 3,000 troops. Hawke 
immediately made the signal for a general chase, and stood 
in-shore ; but at 5h. p.m. the enemy's ships were observed to 
have cut, and slipped their cables, and to be lamning on 
shore. There not being sufiicient water to allow the 
squadron to follow, and night coming on, the signal was 
made to anchor. On the morning of the 5th, the French 

* This officer's post commission bore date March 12th, 1758. The 
names of the other three lieutenants (as given in a celebrated song pub- 
lished in the Xaval Ohronwle) were, Stephen Hammick (promoted 
X)ct. 30, 1761), James Baron, and David Winzar. 

190 BATTLES OF [1758. 

sMps were discovered aground, and almost dry, about four 
miles distant, many of the ships of "war, and most of the 
merchant ships, on their broadsides. Attempts Avere made 
to destroy the shipping, but except landing a party of 
marines on the island, who destroyed some new works 
erected there, the attempts were unattended ^Yiih. any 
great success. The injury occasioned by diiving the sliips 
on shore, delayed the French expedition, and facilitated the 
conquest of Cape Breton. 

On the 7th of April, twelve sail of transports, under 
convoy of the Galathee, of twenty-two gams, and a letter 
of marque, of twenty gims, were fallen in Avith, bound to 
Quebec, by the G4-gun ship Essex, Captain John Campbell, 
and Pluto fire-ship. Commander James Hume, when on 
their way to join Sir Edward Hawke's squadron. The 
Galathee, one transport, and letter of marque, were taken ; 
the latter by the Pluto, after a gallant action, in which the 
Pluto's commander was killed. Two other vessels of this 
convoy were taken by the Antelope and Speedy. 

On the 29th of April, an action was fought off Negapatam, 
in the East Indies, between the British and French squadrons, 
commanded respectively by Vice-Admiral Pocock and the 
Comte d'Ache. The British squadron consisted of the un- 
dermentioned : — 

Guns. Ships. 

■XT XT, \ Vice- Admiral George Pocock 

Yarmouth ._ •< ^-^ , . -n . ^ 9 

„. I ( Captain J onn Jdarrison. 

FT Vi +T \ Commodore Charles Stevens 

I Captain Richard Kempenfelt 

( Tiger ,, Thomas Latham 

I Weymouth 


56 Cumberland 
f.f. ) Salisbury.- 
°" I Newcastle 

Nicholas "Vincent 
William Brereton 
John S. Somerset 
George Legge 

Queenborough, frigate. 

The French squadron consisted of one ship of seventy-fom- 
guns, one of sixty guns, one of fifty-eight, two of fifty, two 
of forty-four, and one frigate ; and their loss is reported to 
have been 162 killed and 360 wounded. The loss sustained 
on board the British ships was as follows : — Yarmouth, seven 
killed, thirty-two wounded. Elizabeth, three killed, eleven 
wounded. Tiger, foiu" killed, twelve wounded. WejTUOuth, 

1758.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 191 

three wounded. Cumberland, seven killed, thirteen wounded. 
Salisbury, eight killed, sixteen wounded. Newcastle, two 
men wounded. The Cumberland received so much injury in 
the action, that it was found necessary to reduce her arma- 
ment by ten guns. The escape of the French squadron 
having' been attributed to the conduct of some of the British 
commanders, Captains Legge, Vincent, and Brereton were 
tried by comij-martial, when the former was cashiered, and 
the two latter dismissed their ships. 

An expedition against St. Malo, under the duke of Marl- 
borough and Commodore Howe, sailed on the 1st of June. 
The result of the first attack was the destruction at Solid ore 
of one 3^-gun frigate, four ships of twenty guns, one of 
twelve gims, two of sixteen guns, and twelve merchant 
shij)s and sloops, ready for sea, and one 30-gun ship building; 
and at St. Servan, a ship of fifty gams, on the stocks, one of 
thirty-six gains, one of twenty-two, one of eighteen gams, 
and sixty-two merchant ships and small craft, were de- 
stroyed j together with large storehouses and stacks of 
timber. The damage done was estimated at £800,000. 
The land forces re-embarked at Cancale Bay on the 10th of 
June, and a descent was intended to have been made near 
Gran\Tlle, but it was afterwards laid aside, as well as a 
projected landing at Cherbourg. 

Commodore Howe's fleet returned to Spithead, and ha\Tiig 
been reinforced by the 60-g-un ship Montagu, amounted to 
twenty-five sail of ships of war, principally frigates and 
small vessels, and near 100 sail of transports. The expedition 
sailed again on the 1st of August, expressly to attack Cher- 
bourg, and on the 6th arrived off that port. The French 
had meanwhile strengthened their works by throwing up 
batteries, in anticipation of the attack. Early in the morn- 
ing of the 7th the fleet moved to Marais Bay, about two 
leagTies to the westward, where the frigates and smaller 
vessels were anchored close to the shore, to cover the landing 
of the troops. These vessels opened so warm a cannonade 
on the enemy's intrenchments, that the troops quitted, and 
fled for shelter to an adjoining wood, from whence they were 
also dislodged by the bomb-vessels, which threw pound balls 
from the mortars. The British troops, therefore, in four 
divisions of boats, conducted by Captains Robert Dufi*, 

192 BATTLES OF [1758. 

Joshua Rowley, Jervis Maplesdon, and "William Paston, 
effected a landing in the afternoon with very little opposition 
or loss. The piers at the entrance of the harbour Avere 
destroyed, all the batteries and magazines demolished, and 
upwards of 200 pieces of ordnance brought away or de- 
stroyed. The army re-embarked, having sustained a loss of 
twenty killed and thirty wounded. 

A third attempt was made at St. Cas, in wliich the failui'e 
v/as lamentable ; but the loss of the British forces would have 
been still greater, had it not been for the able superinten- 
dence of their re-embarkation by Commodore Howe, and the 
captains under liim; four of whom, — Rowley, Maplesdon, 
Paston, and John Elphinstone, — were made prisoners. 

On the 29th of May, the British 70-gun ship Dorsetshire, 
Captain Peter Denis, being in company with the Intrepid 
and Achilles, Captains Edward Pratten and Hon. S. Bar- 
rington, was ordered by Captain Pratten to chase a strange 
sail in the south-west quarter. The Achilles was soon after- 
awards ordered to join in the pursuit, as the chase was 
observed to be of force. At 7h. p.m., the Dorsetshire closed 
■with the chase and commenced the action, and on the arrival 
of the Achilles, the enemy surrendered. The prize proved 
to be the French 64-gun ship Baisonnable, commanded by 
the Prince de Mombason, Chevalier de Rohan. Out of a 
crew of 630 men, with which she commenced the action, the 
Raisonnable had sixty-one killed and one hmidred wounded. 
The Dorsetshire had fifteen men killed and twenty wounded. 
The Raisonnable was added to the navy under the same 
name, but which, by some strange jumble, was written Rai- 

On the 25th of May, a French privateer appeared in St. 
Helen's Road, fired three guns and sent a boat on shore ; but 
their signals remaining unanswered, the jDrivateers boat 
returned on board. She then stood towards Spithead, and, 
by way of finesse, hoisted EngHsh colours and saluted the 
admiral ; then stood off again, and fired five guns. This 
conduct creating a suspicion that she was an enemy, the 
admiral ordered a frigate to slip and go in chase, on obserAdng 
which the privateer crowded all sail to get away ; which she 
in all probability would have effected, had not the 20-gun 
ship Lowestoffe, Captain Robert Haldane, coming into St. 

1758.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 193 

Helen's from the eastward, intercepted her. Tlie privateer 
made no resistance, having thrown her gnus overboard to 
expedite her escape. 

On the 21st of May, intelligence ha\dng reached Leith 
roads, where the British 24-gim ship Dolphin and 20-gnn 
ship Solehay, Captains Benjamin Marlow and Bobert Craig, 
were at anchor, that the French 44-gun privateer, Mareschal 
de Belleisle, v/as cruising ofi" the Frith of Forth, those ships 
immediately departed in pm-siiit. On the 27th the privateer 
was seen off the Bedhead ; and at 8h. a.m. the Dolj)hin com- 
menced the action, which she continued for an hour and a 
half before the Solebay was near enough to particijiate in the 
contest. At noon the privateer, having cut to pieces the 
rigging and sails of both her antagonists, made sail and 
escajDcd. The Dolphin had one man killed and fifteen 
wounded ; and the Solebay, five killed and tliirteen wounded ; 
among the latter was Captain Craig, who received so bad a 
wound in the throat, that he was ever afterwards precluded 
by it from active ser\dce. The privateer was commanded by 
M. Thurot, celebrated as well for his great skill as for polite- 
ness and humanity to his prisoners. According to the state- 
ment of a master of a merchant ship, who was a prisoner on 
board, the privateer had as many as eighty of her crew killed 
and wounded in tliis action. 

On the 26th of July, during the niege of Louisbourg by 
the British forces under Generals Amlierst and Wolfe, the 
following very creditable performance fell to the share of the 
boats of the fleet under Admiral Boscawen. Two ships, the 
remnant of the French squadron, the 74-gim ship Frudente, 
and Bienfaisant of sixty- four giTns, having severely galled the 
army during the progress of the siege, were ordered to be 
attacked; and accordingly, two boats from every ship, in 
each of which were a lieutenant and midsliipman, were 
selected; the whole formed in two di\isions, and placed in 
command of Commanders George Balfour and John Laforey. 
At midnight, the whole having pre\iously assembled along- 
side the ships of Sir Charles Hardy's squadron, stationed off 
the mouth of the harbour, departed on their mission ; and, 
aided by the foggy darkness of the night, entered the harbom- 
.unperceived either from the island battery or ships. The 
boats, after taking a ciixuit of the harbour, arrived within 

VOL. I. O 

194 BATTLES OF [1758, 

hail of the two ships, when the sentinels hailed and fii'ed into 
them. Commander Laforey's division then made for the 
Prudente, and Commander Balfour's for the Bienfaisant; 
and after giving thi'ee hearty cheers, boarded in gallant style. 
In a short time both ships were in possession of the British 
sailors, with very sHght loss. The cheers of the seamen soon 
convinced the besieged of the truth of what had occurred, 
and immediately a hea-\y fire of shot, shell, and musketry 
was opened upon the ships from the batteries ; but this did 
not deter the captors from endeavouring to carry off their 
prizes. The Prudente, however, was fast aground, and it 
was therefore found necessary to set her on fire, which was 
accordingly done, her own boats and a schooner being left 
alongside as a means of escape for the prisoners. Ha\dng 
effected this service. Commander Laforey, with his di-vision 
of boats, proceeded to the Bienfaisant, which latter ship was 
canied off triumphantly amidst a heavy fire from every gun 
which could be brought to bear upon her. The gallant leaders 
of the enterprise were immediately promoted to post rank. 

On the 2nd of October, the British 28-gun ship Lizard, 
Captain Broderick Hartwell, fell in with, the French cor- 
vettes. Heroine and Duke of Hanover, off Brest. After 
engaging for more than an hour, the Heroine — the largest of 
the two — made all sail for the rocks near the opening of the 
passage of Pontenoy, and escaped. Captain Hartwell then 
directed his attention to the Duke of Hanover, which latter 
struck. The prize mounted 14: guns. 

In the month of October, the British 32-gun frigate 
Southampton, Captain James Gilchrist, captured, after an 
obstinate engagement of three hours' duration, the Dunkirk 
privateer Caumartin, a new vessel of 280 tons, mounting 
sixteen long six-pounders, with a crew of 147 men. The 
Southampton also captured a Bayonne privateer of twenty 
guns and 210 men, which struck without firing a shot. 

On the 2nd of November, the British oO-gun ship Ante- 
lope, Captain Thomas Saumarez, captured off Lundy Island 
the French 64-gTm ship BeUiqueux, from Quebec, having on 
board merchandize and invalid soldiers. The Bhinoceros 
French 36-gun ship, also from Quebec, was captm'ed about 
the same time, in a very leaky state, by the 50-gun ship Isis, 
Captain Edward Wheeler. 

1759.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 195 

1759. — On tlie 21st of February, the 32-gun frigate Vestal, 
Captain Samuel Hood, belonging to the squadron of Rear- 
Admiral Holmes, bound to North America, being a-head of 
the admiral, descried a strange sail, which he asked and 
obtained permission to chase. The Rear- Admiral, fearing 
the Vestal might be overpowered, ordered the 28-gun ship 
Trent, Captain John Lindsay, to chase also. At 2h. p.m., 
Captain Hood closed with the enemy, and commenced the 
action, and after a running fight of four hours' duration, the 
enemy struck. The prize was the French 32-gun frigate 
Bellona, commanded by the Comte de Beauhonnoir, and out 
of a crew of 220, she had forty men killed and a great num- 
ber wounded. The Vestal, owing to the desire of the French 
frigate to disable her masts, had only five men killed and 
twenty-two wounded ; but her sails and rigging were cut to 
pieces, and her topmasts fell over the side shortly after the 
conclusion of the action. The Trent was four miles astern 
when the action ceased. The Bellona was added to the 
British navy under the name of Repulse. 

On the 12th of March, the 32-gun frigate Thames, and 
28-gun frigate Coventry, Captains Stej^hen Colby and Carr 
Scrope, while lying to in a gale of wind, ofi" Scilly, discovered 
at lOh. A.M. two sail on the lee bow. The frigates made sail 
to close with the strangers, which were the French 74-g'un 
ship Palmier and a 28-gun frigate. The Thames, about 
noon, commenced firing chase guns at the Palmier, when the 
latter hauled close to the wind, to bring her broadside to 
bear on the Thames, which also hauled wp and gallantly 
exchanged broadsides with the enemy. The sea was running 
so high, that the Palmier could not open her lower-deck 
ports ; she, however, pointed her upper-deck guns with such 
precision, that the Thames was obliged to tack and discon- 
tinue the action, having five feet water in the hold, and her 
magazine floor under water. The Palmier tacked in chase, 
but at night bore up and continued her course for the French 
coast. The French frigate did not take any active part in 
the action. The Thames and Coventry followed the French 
ships all night, firing signal gims in hope of drawing the 
attention of British ciiiisers, and also during the next day. 
On the afternoon of the 13th, Captain Colby, obser^dng that 
the Palmier had struck her foretopmast and foreyard, accom- 


196 BATTLES OF [1759. 

panied by tlie Coventry, made sail as soon as it was dark to 
close with her, and having got under her stern, the two 
British frigates raked her v/ith much execution, and con- 
tinued their fire till midnight. Captain Colby persevered in 
keeping sight of the French ships till they entered Brest. 
The Thames sustained no loss in killed, and the Coventry 
one man killed and four wounded. 

On the 15th of March, the British 50-gun ship Isis, 
and 32-gun frigate -^olus. Captains Edward "Wheeler and 
John Elliott, cruising off the French coast, got sight of 
a fleet of coasting vessels, under convoy of four frigates. 
Three frigates hauled up to meet the two British ships, when 
the Isis stood for the leewardmost, to prevent any of the 
rest from getting in shore, if jjossible. But the frigate the 
Isis steered for — ^the Savage, of thii-ty-two guns — bore up, 
and made all sail away without engaging. A second frigate, 
the Blonde, thirty-two, closed with the ^olus, and an action 
of short duration took place between the two frigates ; when 
the British ship having had all her braces and bowlines shot 
away, her sails were thrown all aback, which the Blonde, 
taking advantage of, made all sail away. The ^olus lost no 
time in reeving new running gear, and soon brought the 
third ship to action, which she compelled to surrender, having 
lost thirty men killed. The prize was the Mignonne, French 
ship of war, of twenty guns and 143 men. The Blonde 
escaped with some difficulty. 

On the 27th of March, the British 60-gun ship Windsor, 
Captain Samuel Faulkner, cruising off the Rock of Lisbon, 
discovered four warlike sail to leeward, and immediately 
bore up for them. As the Windsor closed, the strangers, 
three of which were line-of-battle sliips, formed a line-of- 
battle a-head. Undaunted by this formidable array. Captain 
Faulkner gallantly closed with the enemy, and brought the 
rear ship to action. The three headmost ships then made 
all sail away from their companion, which, after a short 
engagement, in which she had twenty-eight men killed and 
eighteen wounded, surrendered. The prize, which was very 
valuable, was the French 60-gun ship Duc-de-Chartres, 
armed en flute, and her consorts were a 74 and a 54-gun 
shij), similarly armed. The fourth was a 26-gun ship, 
mounting eighteen guns. The Windsor had one man killed 

1759.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 197 

and six wounded. The conduct of Captain Faulknei% in 
running do^vn to engage a squadron to all appearance trebly 
superior, caunot be too bigbly lauded ; and its successful 
issue was such, as he could scarcely have anticipated. 

We have next to record another, and the last exploit, of 
that enterprising officer. Captain James Gilchrist, of the 
Southampton. On the 28tli of March, the Southampton, 
and 36-gun frigate Melampe, Captain William Hotham, 
cruising in the North Sea, chased two large ships. The 
Melampe outsailing the Southampton, was the first to get 
into action, and for three-quarters of an hour engaged single- 
lianded the two strangers, which, proved to be large class 
French frigates. The Melampe being much damaged, 
dropped astern ; but the Southampton passing her, brought 
the sternmost frigate to action, when the other made all sail 
away. After a very warm contest, the Southampton's 
opponent, which was the French 40-gun frigate Danae, 
finding the Melampe to be again approaching to renew the 
action, surrendered. Out of a crew of 330 men, the Danae 
lost her first and second captains, and thirty men killed and 
a great many wounded. The Melampe sustained a loss 
of eight men killed and twenty wounded. The Southampton 
had one man killed and eight wounded ; but among the 
latter was her gallant captain, who received so bad a wound 
in the shoulder, from a pound shot, that he was disabled from 
further employment ; and in reward for past services, a 
pension of £300 was settled upon him. The Danae was 
purchased into the navy, and under the same name, as a 
38-gun frigate, continued for a long time a most desirable 

On the 4th of April, the British 60-gun ship Achilles, 
Captain the Honourable Samuel Barrington, cruising to the 
westward of Cape Finisterre, captured, after an action of 
two hours, the Comte-de-Florentine privateer, of sixty guns 
and 483 men, commanded by the Sieur de Montay. The 
Florentine was totally dismasted, and had the captain and 
IIG men killed and wounded; and the Achilles, two men 
killed and twenty-two wounded. The prize was of great 
value, and, being a fine ship, was added to the British na^y, 
as a 60-gun sliip, by the name of Florentine. 

On the 1 8th of May, a British squadron, consisting of the 

198 BATTLES OP [1759. 

50-gnn sliip Chatham, and frigates Yenus, and Thames, 
Captains John Lockhart, Thomas Harrison, and Stephen 
Colby, being in Andierne Bay, chased a strange sail. After 
a two hours' pursuit in a strong breeze, the chase carried 
away her topmasts, and the Thames, having closed with her, 
commenced the action. The enemy made a^good defence, 
and did not surrender until the arrival of the Venus, when 
she hauled down her colours. The prize was the French 
32-gun frigate Arethuse, commanded by the JNIarquis de 
"Vaudreuil, and, being a fine new sliip, was added to the 
British navy under the same name. 

The fleet in the Mediterranean, watching M. de la Clue 
in Toulon, consisted of the following : — 

Guns. Ships. 

T^ i Admiral Hon. Edward Boscawen (blue) 

r^amur | Captain Matthew Buckle 

p . ( "Vice-Admiral Thomas Broderick (blue) 

^^'^^^^ I Captain Josepb Peyton 

80 Newark „ William Holburne 

John Bentley 
Smith Callis 
Robert Harland 
Thomas Stanhope 
F. W. Drake 
Edward Vernon 
Edward Pratten 
James Kirk 
William Lloyd 
John Barker 


- , \ Warspight 

'* I CuUoden 

^^ i Conqueror .... 

\ Swiftsure 

^. i Edgar 

^* i St. Albans .... 

Intrepid . . . . -. 
^^ , America 

Princess Louisa 


Pf. j Guernsey. Lieut. M. Kearney, acting 

( Portland Captain Jervis Maplesdon 

Frigates — Ambuscade, Rainbow, Shannon, Active, Thetis, Lyme, 
Gibraltar, Glasgow, Sheemess, Tartar's Prize ; Favourite and 
Gramont, sloops ; ^tna and Salamander, fire-ships. 

On the 7th of June, perceiving two French frigates endea- 
vouring to enter Toulon, the fleet stood in to cut them off, 
upon which the frigates bore up for a bay, and anchored 
under some heavy batteries. The Culloden, Conqueror, and 
Jersey, were ordered next day to attack them. The ships had 
scarcely entered the bay when they were becalmed, and, 
drifting under the batteries, became exposed to a hea\y fire, 
without the power of making an adequate return. The ships, 
after some time, were towed by their boats to the stations 
assigned to them by Captain Callis and commenced firing on 

1759.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 199 

the batteries — the frigates having hauled so close in shore 
that it was impossible to get near them with the line-of- 
battle ships. After two hours' action, the admiral, observing 
that the Culloden had lost her main-yard and mizen-topmast, 
and that the frigates were beyond their reach, made the signal 
of recall, and sent the boats of the fleet to tow the Culloden off. 
In this affair the Culloden sustained a loss of sixteen men 
killed and twenty-six wounded, the Conqueror two killed 
and four womided, and the Jersey eight killed and fifteen 
wounded. All these ships were very much cut up in sails 
and rigging. 

The fleet sailed on the 24th of July for Gibraltar, to refit, 
lea\'ing the 24-gun sliip Lyme, Captain James Baker, to 
cruise off Malaga ; and the Gibraltar, Captain William 
McCleverty, off Ceuta, to give notice of the approach of the 
French fleet should it leave Toulon. On the 17th of August, 
the latter discovered the enemy close over on the Barbary 
shore, and immediately hastened to communicate their force 
to the British admiral. The French fleet, when seen by 
Captain jNIcCleverty, was composed of the following, under 
M. de la Clue -.i— 





80 Ocean (flag) 

' Modeste 

' Eedoutable 


Fantasqiie f 





.Triton + 



1 Tier f 


1 Oriflamme 

Frigates — Chimere,f Minerve,f Gracieuse.i* 

When the intelligence reached the British fleet the ships 
were very unprepared ; but after great exertion they got to 
sea at lOh. p.m., and at 7h. a.m. on the 18th gained sight of 
seven sail to the westward. The British ships were much 
separated, the only ships near the admiral being the War- 
spight, Culloden, S\viftsm^e, Intrepid, America, Portland, and 
Guernsey. Vice- Admiral Broderick, with the remainder of 
the fleet, was many leagues astern. The French admiral, 
who in the night had parted from eight ships of liis fleet, 
deeming the British to be the missing ones, stood towards 

^ The ships marked f parted company from the admiral on the night 
of the 17th. 

200 BATTLES OF [1759. 

them and made private signals; but finding tliem unan- 
swered, made all sail to escape. At 9ii. Boscawen made tlie 
signal for a general chase. At this time the sternmost 
British sliips, having a fine easterly breeze, were fast closing 
with the admiral. The French meanwhile were becalmed, 
and the British fleet, holding the breeze, were, at about 
Ih. 30m. P.M. fired at by the sternmost French ships. The 
enemy getting the breeze, the British chasing shijDs gained 
very little, and it was not until 2h. 30m. that the CuUoden, 
the leading ship, was near enough to fii'e ^\ith effect uj^on 
the Centaur, the French rear ship. The Culloden was soon 
supported by the America, Portland, Guernsey, and War- 
sx)ight ; but just as the latter ships commenced firing, the 
wind died away, and they were unable to close the enemy. 
At 4h. Admiral Boscawen, in the Namur, having shot a-liead 
of the other ships of the fleet, brought to action the Ocean, 
wliich bore the French admiral's flag, and a well-contested 
action of half an hour's duration ensued. At the expiration, 
of this time the Kamur, having had her mizen-mast and fore 
and main-topsail yards shot away, dropped astern out of the 
action. The French admiral, with all his ships except the 
Centaur, which was too much disabled, again crowded all 
sail to get away, but was closely pursued by the British. 
The Centaur, after a most determined and highly honourable 
resistance, having had her topmasts shot away, and her cap- 
tain and 200 men killed, surrendered. Admiral Boscawen, 
having shifted his flag to the Newark, continued the chase 
all night. 

At daylight on the IDtli, only four sad were in sight, the 
Souverain and Guerriere ha^dng escaped during the night by 
alterino- their course. These four ships were embayed, and the 
British were not more than three miles astern, and only five 
leaf^ies from Lagos. At 9h. a.m. the Ocean took the ground 
in the midst of the breakers ; l3ut the remaining three ships, 
less daring, anchored close in shore. The Ocean's masts fell 
shortly after her taking the ground, and the America having, 
by the admii-al's orders, anchored very close to her and fired 
a few guns, the French colours were hauled down. She was 
then boarded by a boat from the America, and Captain Comte 
de Carne, and her remaining officers and crew (many having 
quitted the ship with JM. de la Clue), bemg brought away. 

1759.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 201. 

the ship, as it was considered impossible to get her off, was 
set on fire and totally destroyed. The Warspight anchored 
near the Temeraire, and, after a short action, compelled her 
to suiTender. The Modeste was captured by Vice- Admiral 
Broderick's squadron; but the Eedoutable having followed 
the Ocean's example, was also destroyed. 

The loss on board the captured ships was very severe ; 
among the number was the French admiral, v/hose gallantry 
and perseverance merited a better fate. Having been 
wounded in the leg, he was taken on shore, and died of his 
wound at Lagos. The British loss was as follows : — ISTamur, 
— Caswell, midshipman, and thirteen men killed, and Lieut. 
Michael H. Pascall and forty-three wounded; CuUoden, four 
kQled and fifteen wounded; Warspight, twelve killed and 
forty-two wounded; Newark, five wounded; Swiftsure, five 
killed and thirty-two wounded; Conqueror, two killed and 
six wounded; Intrepid, six killed and ten wounded; St. 
AFoans, six killed and two wounded ; America, three killed 
and sixteen wounded ; Guernsey, fourteen wounded ; and 
the Portland, six killed and twelve wounded. Total, fifty- 
seven killed and 198 wounded. 

Admiral Boscawen received, in reward for his services, the 
appointment of General of Marines, with a salary of £2.000. 
a-year, and Captains Bentley and Stanhope were knighted. 
The Centaur, Temeraire, and Modeste, were added to the- 
British navy under the same names. 

The British squadron, in the East Indies, under the com-- 
mand of Yice-Admii'al George Pocock, consisted of the 
under-mentioned : — 

Guns. Ships. 

P^ -y- ^, j Vice- Admiral George Pocock (red) 

6S Grafton . . . 

64 Elizabeth . 


60 -^ Sunderland . 

( Weymouth . 
58 Cumberland 
-^ \ Newcastle . 
^" ( Salisbury . . . 
24 Queenborough 

Captain John Harrison 
j Rear-Admiral Charles Stevens (red) 
( Captain Richard Kempenfelt 
Richard Tiddiman 
William Brereton 
Hon. James Colville 
Sir William Baird 
John Stukely Somerset 
Colin Michie 
Digby Dent 
Robert Kirk 

Line-of-battle force, 536 guns. 

202 BATTLES OF [1759. 

The French squadron was discovered off Ceylon on the 
4th September, and after an anxious chase for six days, a 
change of wind favoured the British, and gave Admiral 
Pocock an opportunity of engaging. The French squadron, 
commanded by the Comte d'Ache, in the Zodiaque, consisted 
of the following : — 

Guns. Ships. 

i Zodiaque (flag) 
Comte de Provence 
70 Centaur 
n . { Illustre 
^^ Actif 

Guns. Ships. 

„ , \ Vengeur 
\ Fortune 
( Due d'Orleans 
60 ] St. Louis 

( Due de Bourgoyne 

Line-of-battle force, 740 guns. 
Frigates — Sylphide, 36 ; and Diligente, 24 guns. 

At 6h. A.M. on the 10th, the French squadron, in line 
ahead on the starboard tack, bore south-east, distant eight 
miles, the wind being about north-west, when the British 
fleet bore up in line abreast under easy sail, steering directly 
for the enemy. At lOh. the French squadron wore and 
came to the wind upon the larboard tack. The British 
fleet, having arrived vitliin pomt-blank range of the enemy, 
also hauled to the wind on the larboard tack, thus losing the 
opportunity of bringing on a decided action, and giving the 
French the full advantage resulting from their heavier metal. 
The Grafton gallantly commenced the action by firing on the 
Zodiaque ; but after a few broadsides, relinquished that ship 
to Admiral Pocock, and making sail a-head, attacked the 
Vengeur, until, to avoid the fire of the Grafton, that ship 
bore up out of the line. The Grafton then pushed on to the 
support of the Tiger and Newcastle, which ships were opposed 
to the St. Louis and Due d'Orleans, and having driven the 
St. Louis out of the line, the British rear-admiral followed 
up his plan, and, until the conclusion of the action, was 
warmly engaged with the Orleans and Minotaur. Admiral 
Pocock continued to engage the Zodiaque, while the Illustre 
was opposed to the 50-gun ship Salisbury. The Salisbury 
being disabled, the Sunderland and Weymouth having got 
into action, attacked her late opponent. Such was the nature 
of this action, that the details serve only to create confusion ; 
and it is sufficient to say, that after a combat of six hours' 
duration, the French squadron bore up, and quitted the scene 

1759.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 203 

of action, leaving tlie British too much shattered to follow. 
The Tiger had her mizenmast and fore-toj)mast shot away, 
and the Yarmouth a fore-topsail yard ; and the sails and 
rigging of all were very much damaged. The loss in killed 
and wounded on board the British ships was severe, and 
affords a tolerable proof of the weight of the French ships' 
shot ; it was as follows : — Yarmouth, thirty-nine killed and 
wounded, including the master killed ; Grafton, eighty- three ; 
Elizabeth, seventy-seven, including the boatswain, killed ; 
Tiger, 168, including Liutenant B. Elliot, killed. Captain 
Brereton ^ (slightly), and the gunner (mortally) wounded ; 
Sunderland, two ; Cumberland, fifty-two, including Captain 
Somerset, wounded ; Newcastle had Captain Michie, Lieu- 
tenant Redshaw, and Captain Gore, of the marines, killed, 
and 112 men killed and wounded ; and the Salisbury, thu-ty- 
six killed and wounded ; total, 569. The number killed, 
and who died of their wounds, was 184 ; 122 dangerously, 
and 263 slightly wounded. The French loss was estimated 
at 1,500 killed and wounded ; and had the action been 
fought at close quarters, it is probable there would have re- 
mained to Admiral Pocock one or two trophies of a victory, 
which, as it was, the French admiral claimed with about an 
equal right. The object of the French admiral was to avoid 
an engagement, and reUeve Pondicherry, and this he was. 
enabled to accomplish. 

The British fleet bockading Brest consisted of the 

Guns. Ships. 

T AA x> 1 ri \ Admiral Sir Edward Hawke (blue) 

100 Koyal George . . ] ri j. • r -u r^ u ^^ 
•^ ^ ( Captam J onn Campbell 

QQ jy . { Vice- Admiral Sir Charles Hai-dy (blue) 

( Captain Thomas Evans 

74 Mars Commodore James Young 

Q^ i Duke Captain Thomas Graves 

( Namur ,, Matthew Buckle 

^ Warspight 
j Hercules . . . 

74 J Torbay . _ 

j Magnanime. 
I Resolution , 
I Hero 

Sir John Bentley 
William Fortescue 
Hon. A. Keppel 
Lord Viscount Howe 
Henry Speke 
Hon. G. Edgecumbe 

' This is the same officer who, as mentioned at p. 191, was dismissed 
his ship by court-martial : his conduct on this latter occasion speaks 
volumes in his favour. 







Swiftsure . . . 
Dorsetshire . 

Captain Sir Thomas Stanhope 
,, Peter Denis 

Burford . . . 

, James Gambier 

Chichester . 

Saltren Wm. Willett 


, Hon. Washtn. Shirley 
, John Storr 

Revenge . . . 


, Liicius O'Brien 

Kingston . . . 
Intrepid . . , 
Montagu . . . 
Dunkirk . . . 
Defiance . . . 

, Thomas Shirley 
, Jervis Maplesdon 
, Joshua Rowley 
, Robert Digby 
, Patrick Baird 


The following ships, &c., being Commodore Duff's squadron, 
joined a few hours prior to the action : — 



Commodore Robert Duff 

I Rochester 

f,r.) Portland ._ Captain Harriot Arbuthnot 

^^ 1 Falkland „ F. S. Drake 

( Chatham ,, John Lockhart 

Frigates — Minerva, Venus, Vengeance, Coventry, Maidstone, and 
Sapphire — Captains Alex. Hood, Thomas Harrison, George Nightin- 
gale, Francis Burslem, Dudley Digges, and John Strachan. 

Sir Edward Hawke having been driven by stress of weather 
into Torbay, sailed from thence to resume his station off 
Brest, on the 14th of November, and on the same day 
Admiral M. de Conflans put to sea with the following : — 



( Soleil Royal 
) Tonnant 
\ Formidable 
( Orient 
I Intr^pide 
I Glorieux 
ii -> Thesee 
70 Juste 

Guns. Ships. 

7Q \ Superbe 

( Dauphin Royal 
^ Dragon 








Frigates^Hebe, Vestale, Aigrette, Calypso, and Prince Noir. 

Hawke conjecturing the destination of the French fleet 
to be Quiberon Bay, to attack Commodore Duff's squadron, 
on being made acquainted with its escape from Brest, pro- 
ceeded thither under all sail. Havmof to contend against a 
strong south-east wind, it was the 20th before the British 
ships arrived off Belleisie. 

1759.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 205 

At 8]i. 30m, A.M., Belleisle, by tlie reckoning, bearing 
about east by north, the Maidstone made the signal for a 
fleet. The weather was hazy, and blowing a fresh gale from 
the north-west. Hawke made the signal for the line abreast, 
in order to get his ships together. At 9h. 45m. the Mag- 
nanime, having been ordered in shore to make the land, and 
ascertain the precise position of the fleet with reference to 
it, signalled an enemy. Soon afterwards the weather clear- 
ing up, the French fleet was discovered crowding sail, to get 
away, and Sir Edward ordered the seven line-of-battle sliips 
nearest him to chase. The pursuit soon became general, both 
fleets under all the sail the fresh gale then blowing rendered 
it possible to carry. At 2h. 30m. p.m. the Warspight and 
Dorsetshire, having amved up with the French rear, gal- 
lantly commenced the action, but the Warspight having been 
driven foul of the Magnanime by the Montagu, the former 
received so much damage that she fell astern, and was passed 
by many sliips. The Magnanime (Lord Howe), Revenge, 
Torbay, Montagu, Kesolution, Swiftsure, and Defiance, 
having also got up with the enemy, the action became 
very animated. Rear- Admiral Verger, in the Formidable, 
sustained the fire of the Resolution, and of a great many 
other ships, for some time ; but having had 200 men killed, 
struck at -ih. p. M., and was taken possession of by the 

The Magnanime soon became closely engaged with the 
Thesee ; but the latter being disabled, drojDped astern, and 
was engaged by the Torbay, wliile Howe pushed on in search 
of a fresh opponent, which he found in the Heros. Captain 
de Kersaint, of the Thesee, imagining from a slight lull of 
the wind that he could fight his lower-deck guns, unfor- 
tunately tried the hazardous experiment, and commenced 
firing at the Torbay. Captain Kej)pel followed de Kersaint's 
example, and narrowly escaped the same fate. A heavy 
squall took the Thesee, and she filled and went down ; and 
out of her crew of 800 men, only twenty were saved by the 
British boats. The Torbay shipped a great deal of water, 
but by great exertion the ship was preserved. The Superbe 
^Iso overset and sank from the same cause. At 5h. the 
Heros having been closely engaged by the Magnanime, 
siuTendered, and anchored, but the sea ran so high, that it 

206 BATTLES OF [1760. 

was considered dangerous to lower a boat to take possession 
of her. The night coming on dark and tempestuous, and 
Hawke having no pilots for the French coast, considered it 
prudent to discontinue the chase, and to anchor the fleet. 
The Koyal George anchored in fifteen fathoms, the island of 
Dumet bearing about east, distant three miles. Unfortu- 
nately, the admiral's signal to anchor was not perfectly 
understood ; and the Resolution drove on shore, and was 
totally wrecked, with the loss of a great many men. 

At daybreak on the 21st,theHeros was discovered aground, 
and the Soleil E-oyal at anchor, dismasted ; the latter also cut 
and ran ashore, on seeing the British. Sir Edward ordered 
the Essex to stand towards her, but unfortunately that ship 
was wrecked on the Four Bank : her crew, however, was 
saved. The two French ships were set on fire. Seven or 
eight others were observed at anchor, near the YUaine, but 
it was found impracticable to destroy them ; and the French 
ships, after taking theu' guns out, crossed the bar of the 
river, and warped into a place of security. 

The British loss, on this occasion, is given in the same 
vague terms of which we have ah'eady comjDlained in Anson's 
and Sir Edward Hawke's former actions. Lieutenant Price, 
of the Magnanime, and fifty seamen and marines were killed 
in the fleet ; and Captain Baird, of the Defiance, and 250 
wounded. The greatest part of this loss must have been 
borne by the ships whose names have been prominently 

1760. — The squadron of M. Thurot escaped from Dunkirk 
on the 17th of October, 1759, and at that time his squadron 
was composed of five frigates, on board of which were 
embarked 1,300 troops. Thurot's object was a descent upon 
the north coast of Ireland. After a variety of adventures, 
among the most important of which was the taking of Car- 
rickfergus, the French squadron, reduced to three frigates, was 
returning to France ; but information ha\ reached Captain 
ElHot at Kinsale, that ofiS.cer at once proceeded in search 
of the French commodore. The British squadron consisted 
of the 32-gun frigate ^olus. Captain John EUiot, and 36- 
gun frigates Pallas and Brilliant, Captains Michael Clements 
and James Loggie. The sliips "v^dth M, Thurot were, the 
44:-gun ship Marshal- Belleisle, 32-gun firigate Blonde, and 

1760.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 207 

26-giui frigate Terpsichore. These ships, including troops, 
had on board 1,245 men. On the 28th of February, at 
4h. A.M., the two squackons got sight of each other, and the 
chase commenced. At 9h. a.m. the ^okis arrived up with 
the Marshal-BeUeisle, and commenced the action, and being 
well supported, it in a short time became general. The 
Marshal-Belleisle was defended with the utmost bravery by 
her gallant commander ; nor were her coloui's struck until 
the ship was reduced to a sinking state, and her decks 
covered with killed and wounded, amongst whom was M. 
Tlim'ot, who was killed. This ship also had her bowsprit, 
mizenmast, and main-yard shot away, affordmg proof of the 
skill of her antagonists. At lOh. 30m. all three ships sur- 

Captains Clements and Loggie behaved with the utmost 
gallantry, and their conduct was emulated by all engaged. 
The ^'Eolus had four men killed and fifteen wounded ; Pallas, 
one killed and five wounded ; and Brilliant, eleven wounded. 
The French loss was estimated at 300 killed and wounded. 
The Blonde and Terpsichore were added to the British navy, 
under the same names. 

Information of the miserable protection j^rovided for the 
convoy of the outward-bound Lisbon trade — consisting of the 
Jamaica sloop — having reached the French government, 
the 36-gun frigate Malicieuse and 32-gun frigate Opale 
were despatched to intercept it. The frigates were, how- 
ever, faUen in with by the 24-gun ship Flamborough and 
20 -gun ship Bideford, Captains Archibald Kennedy and 
Launcelot Skynner. On the afternoon of the 4tli of April, 
the British ships discovered the French frigates, and not^svith- 
standing the evidently superior force of the enemy, chased 
them. At about 7h. p.m., the enemy, perceiving the paltry- 
force of the pursuing ships, bore up to close, and commenced 
the action. At 7h. 30m. Captain Skynner was killed. Lieu- 
tenant KnoUis gallantly suppHed his place, until he also fell 
mortally wounded. The master, Thomas Stacey, then took 
the command, and continued to fight the ship with the most 
determined obstinacy. At 9h. the enemy made sail a-head, 
upon which the crews of the British ships repaired their 
damaged rigging, and again made sail after the frigates. The 
action was renewed at about lOh., and continued till past llh.. 




when the frigates again made sail and escaped. The British 
were in no condition to follow the enemy, and in a shattered 
state reached Lisbon, where the convoy was found to have 
arrived, having narrowly escaped capture — the giuis fired 
during the action having been distinctly heard. The Flam- 
borough lost in this most gallant affair, Lieutenant Thomas 
Price, of the marines, and four men killed, and ten wounded ; 
the Bideford, Captain Launcelot Skynner and eight men 
killed, and Lieutenant C KnoUis (mortally), and twenty-four 
men wounded. When the comparative force of the comba- 
tants is taken into consideration, the action •svill aj>pear in a 

still stronger hght. 


22 long 9-poiinders, 
2 „ S-pounders, 
Men, 170, 
Tons, 500, 
Weight of broadside, 102 lbs. 


20 long 9-pounders, 

Men, 150, 

Tons, 470, 

Weight of broadside, 90 lbs. 


26 long 12-pounders, 

10 ,, 6-pounders, 

Men, 350," 

Tons, 800,' 

Weight of broadside, 199 lbs. 


26 long 12-poiinder3, 
6 ., 6-pounders, 
Men, .300,* 
Tons, 700, > 
Weight of broadside, 187 lbs. 

In Se]otember, Captain Lucius O'Brien, of the British 
70-gun ship Temple, having under his orders the 28-gun 
frigate Griffin, Captain Thomas Taylor, received information 
that seven sail of vessels, including three large privateers, 
were at anchor at Grenada, laden with provisions for Mar- 
tinique. The two ships having proceeded tliither, anchored, 
under the batteries, which they quickly silenced. The boats, 
under the command of Lieutenant Nathaniel Vincent, then 
put off from the ships, boarded and brought out the vessels. 
Among the captures was the Virgin sloop, which had been 
taken in the previous April. The Temple had two men 
killed, and Lieutenant Vincent (with the loss of a leg) and 
nineteen men wounded. 

Rear-Admii'al Holmes, who commanded on the Jamaica 
station, having received intelligence that five French frigates 

^ Suppositious. 

1760.] THE BKITISH NAVY. 209 

with other vessels were at Cape Fran9ois, getting ready to 
sail for France, despatched thither the oO-gun ship Hamp- 
shire, Captain Charles Norbury, Avith the 28-gun frigate 
Boreas, Captain Samuel Uvedale, and 20-gun shij:* Lively, 
Captain the Hon. Frederick Maitland, to cruise off that port, 
and endeavour to intercept them. On the 17th of October, 
being off Cape Nicholas, the British ships discovered the 
expected squadron, and immediately crowded all sail in chase ; 
but owing to the variableness of the Avind, little progress was 
made until towards night. The Boreas, having outsailed the 
other ships, at midnight arrived up with and engaged the 
French 32-gun frigate Sirenne, bearing Commodore M'Cartie's 
broad pendant ; but the Boreas being disabled in sails and 
rigging, the Sirenne got out of gun-shot. Having repaired 
damages, the Boreas, on the 18th, at 2h. p.m., again got 
alongside of the Sirenne, and after two hours' close action, 
compelled her to surrender, with the loss of eighty, out of 
her crew of 280 men, killed and wounded. The Boreas had 
one man killed and one wounded. 

The remaining four ships, having taken different courses, 
were pm^sued by the Hampshire and Lively ; and on the 
18th, at daylight, the enemy's ships were six miles ahead, 
endeavouring to get into Port-au-Paix. By sweeping, the 
Lively, at a little before eight, brought the sternmost ship to 
action, and, after near two hours' hard fighting, compelled 
her to smTender, with the loss of a lieutenant and thirty- 
seven men killed, and her captain (Talbot), master, boat- 
swain, and twenty-tv/o men wounded. The Hampshii-e 
pursued the remaining three frigates, and, as the breeze 
freshened, neared them so fast, that at 3h. 30m. p.m. she got 
between the two headmost ships, and opened her fire on the 
Due de Choiseuil ; but the latter, having the advantage of 
the wind, escaped into Port au Paix, leaving her companion, 
the Prince Edward, to be engaged by the Hampshire. The 
Prince Edward, unable to contend mth her powerful adver- 
sary, ran aground about two miles fi^om Port au Paix, and 
the ship v/as set on fire so effectually that she shortly after- 
wards blew up. On the 19th, the Hampshire, having the 
Lively and her prize in company, stood into Freshwater 
Bay, to attack the Fleur-de-Lys, the fifth ship, which had 
taken refuge there. The French, however, did not wait 

VOL. I. p 

210 BATTLES OF [1761. 

their arrival, but took to the boats, having previously set the 
ship on fire. Thus were four out of the five ships accounted 

During this year the boats of the Trent, Captain John 
Lindsey, and Boreas, under the command of Lieutenants 
George Millar and Patrick Stuart, cut out of Cumberland 
Harbour the French 10-gun privateer Yainqueur, and 6-gun 
privateer Mackau, after a desperate fight. In the boats of 
the Boreas one man was killed, and five wounded, and her 
barge sunk by the enemy's fire ; and in those of the Trent 
three men were killed, one was wounded, and one missing. 

1761. — On the 4th of January, the 28-gun frigate Trent, 
Captam John Lindsey, being off Cape Tiberooh, fell in with 
the Bien Aime French merchant frigate of twenty guns and 
eighty-five men. The Bien .Aime, which was of great value, 
continued the action for one hour, and had t^'enty killed and 
wounded before she struck. The Trent had one man killed, 
and five wounded. 

On the 8th of January, the British 28-gun frigate Unicorn, 
Captain Joseph Hunt, cruising off the French coast, dis- 
covered, at 8h. A.M., and chased the French 32-g-un frigate 
Vestale. The action began at lOh. 30m., and Captain Hunt^ 
was mortally wounded by the tliird broadside of the enemy. 
The command devolved upon Lieutenant John Symons, who 
continued the action till 121]. 30m., when the Vestale siu-- 
rendered. M. Boisbertelot, who commanded the Vestale, 
had his leg shot away, and died the next morning ; and a 
great number of the French crew, which originally amounted 
to 220 men, were killed and wounded. The Unicorn had 
five men killed, exclusive of her gallant captain, and ten 
woimded. The Vestale was added to the British navy under 
the name of Flora, a Vestal being already in the service. 

' Almost immediately after Captain Hunt was carried down to the 
cockpit with his right thigh dreadfully shattered, and while the surgeon 
and his assistants were busily employed in attending to his case, one of 
the sailors less dangerously wounded than himself was brought down 
also, when Captain Hunt magnanimously insisted upon the surgeons at 
once attending to the wounded man, saying at the same time that his 
own case was too desperate to be benefited by surgical skill. Like 
Wolfe, he retained his senses just long enough to be made acquainted 
with the surrender of the enemy, when he expressed his satisfaction, 
and, fainting, breathed his last. — Charnock. 

17 61. J THE BRITISH NAVY. 211 

Lieutenant Symons was deservedly promoted to be a master 
and commander. 

On the lOtli tlie Unicorn cliased tlie French frigate Ai- 
grette,^ but the latter escaped, in consequence of the damaged 
state of the Unicorn's sails and rigging. The Aigrette, 
when cUscovered by the Unicorn, was engaging the Seahorse, 
Captain James Smith, which ship, having only twenty guns 
momited, was appointed to convey astronomers to Bencoolen, 
and who were at the time on board. The Seahorse was most 
gallantly defended, and had had eleven men killed and thirty- 
eight wounded when the Unicorn so opportunely hove in 
sight. Captain Smith, being obliged to return to England 
to refit his ship, was promoted to the command of the Guern- 
sey 50-gun ship. 

On the 10th of January, the British 36-gun frigate Yen us, 
Caj)tain Thomas Harrison, and 32-gun frigate Juno, Captain 
Philips Towry, being off Scilly, chased the French 36-gun 
frigate Brune. The Venus taking the lead, arrived up with 
the enemy, and commenced a running action, which lasted 
two hours, when the Juno having also closed, the Brune 
struck. The Venus had five killed, and Captain Harrison, 
the first lieutenant (Thomas Dumaresq), master (Thomas 
Tripp), and fifteen wounded. The Juno had two men 
wounded. The Brune had nineteen killed and tliirty-nine 
wounded. The prize was added to the British navy under 
the same name. The second lieutenant of the Venus (Wil- 
liam Abdy) was promoted in the month of May following. 

On the 23rd January, the British 32-gun frigate Rich- 
mond, Captain John Elphinstone, while ofl' the coast of 
Flanders, received intelHgence that a French frigate had the 
day previously ransomed an Enghsh merchant-ship. At 
7h. P.M. on the same day the Richmond obtained sight of the 
frigate in question, which was the French 32-gun frigate 
Felicite, and which at first stood towards the Richmond ; but 
discovering her character, endeavoured to escape. The two 
ships continued throughout the night mider all sail, neither 
gaining much on the other; but at lOh. 30m. a.m. on the 
next day, the Richmond got alongside the enemy, and com- 
menced the action, both ships standing in for the land near 

* This frigate is by Charnock, vol. vi. page 340, named the Grande. 


212 BATTLES OF [1761. 

the Hague. At a little past noon the two ships grounded 
close alongside each other, still continuing the action with 
unabated vigour, and appearing to hundreds of spectators on 
shore to be scarcely conscious of the fact of their being 
aground. The Kichmond, drawing less Avater than the Fe- 
licite, was floated off by the rising tide, and drifted some 
short distance from her enemy before her anchor brought 
her up, when the firing recommenced. The French crew 
were shortly afterwards observed quitting the ship, ujoon 
which she was boarded and taken possession of. The Fe- 
licite had her caj)tain, M. Donnel, and nearly a hundred men 
killed and wounded; and the Richmond three killed and 
thirteen wounded. The Felicite was bound to the West 
Indies, and had on board a cargo valued at £30,000 ; but the 
shijD being hard and fast aground, it was considered necessary 
to destroy her, and she was accordingly biu-nt. 

On the 23rd January, being off Cape Pinas, the British 
32-gun frigate Minerva, Captain Alexander Hood, discovered 
at daylight a large two-decked ship steering to the westward 
before a fresh easterly breeze. Notwithstanding the enemy's 
apparent superiority, Captain Hood determined to attack 
her, and at lOh. 20m. got alongside of her to leeward, and 
began the action. At llh. the stranger's fore a.nd main-top- 
masts being shot away, she fell foul of the jNIinerva's star- 
board bow, and then dropped alongside. The heavy sea, 
however, quickly parted the combatants, and just at the 
same time the British ship lost her bowsprit and foremast. 
Notwithstanding these untoward circumstances. Captain 
Hood, having secured the mainmast, put before the wind 
after the enemy, by that time some three leagues to leeward. 
At 4h. P.M., having again got within gun-shot, the action 
was resumed, and continued three-quarters of an hour, when 
the French ship surrendered. The prize proved to be the 
60-gun ship (late British) Warwick, armed en Jliite, having 
only thirfcy-four guns mounted, commanded by M. de Bellaii*, 
and had on board 295 men, including seventy-four soldiers, 
of which number fourteen were killed and thirty-two 
wounded. The Minerva had fourteen men killed and thirty- 
four wounded. At 9h. the Minerva's mizen-mast fell over 
the side, and her mainmast shortly afterwards followed, 

1761.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 213 

leaving her a complete wreck. Captain Hood, however, 
succeeded in conducting his prize to a friendly port. 

On the 31st of January, the British 28-gun frigates Sole- 
bay and Amazon, Captains John Dalrymple and Basil Keith, 
chased and drove ashore, under the walls of Calais, the French 
18-gun privateer CheM.'ette. The privateer, having hauled 
doAvn her colours, was got off by the exertions of the crews 
of the British ships, and added to the navy under the name 
of Pomona. 

On the 9th of March, the British 60-gun ship Bippon, 
Captaiu Edward Jekyl, being off Cadiz, chased the French 
61:-gun ship Achille and a frigate. At 6h. p.m. the latter 
bore up for the Rippon, under English colours; but on dis- 
covering the force of the British ship, crowded sail to get 
away. The chase lasted all that night and next day; and 
at 2h. 30m. p.m. on the 10th, the Rippon brought the Achille 
to close action; but the frigate, having altered her course, 
got away. The wind being very strong, and a heavy sea 
rimning (both ships before the wind, and going ten knots), 
the Rippon could with great difficulty fight her lower-deck 
guns, and the men w^ere up to their knees in water. The 
fire was slackening on board the Achille, when unfortunately 
one of the Rippon's lower-deck guns burst, killing eight, and 
wouncHng eight men, and extinguisliing all the lights. It 
was then found necessary to close aU the ports, except of the 
four aftermost guns. Having shot away the Achille's fore- 
topmast and fore-yard, the Rippon passed ahead of her, and 
liauling her \vind across the French ship's bows, raked her as 
she passed. The Achille then passed under the Rippon's 
stern; but the confusion was so great on board, that the 
opportunity of raking the British ship was lost. One gun 
only was fired, the shot from which cut away the Rippon's 
main-topsail sheet. The Rippon then endeavoured to put 
before the wind again after the enemy ; but having had liei- 
jib and staysail halyards shot away, as well as the head- 
braces, this was found impracticable until the running gear 
was replaced. In the mean time a hard squall with hea\y 
rain came on, adding to the pitchy darkness of the night, 
dining which the enemy w^as lost sight of ; and when the 
Rippon again got her head in the supposed direction of the 

214 BATTLES OF [1761. 

Achille, all sail was made j but at daybreak slie was nowhere 
to be seen. The Achille reached the Groyne, and her cajD- 
tain pubHshed an account of the action, in which he took 
credit for having beaten off an English 74-gun ship. 

On the 13th of March, the British 9-pounder 26-gun 
frigate Vengeance, Captain Gamaliel Nightingale, chased a 
large ship, and at 5h. p.m. commenced engaging. The Ven- 
geance, in less than an hour, was five times set on fire by the 
enemy's wads, and her sails so much cut, that becoming 
unmanageable, the enemy shot ahead. Having rej)aired 
damages, the Vengeance brought the enemy to action a 
second time, and another fight of an hour's duration took 
place, when the enemy sheered off and again made sail away. 
Owing to the damages received, it was some time before the 
British ship could wear and follow the enemy j but at length 
she brought the French ship to action for the thii-d time, 
and, after engaging for another hour and a half, compelled 
her to strike. The prize was the French 44:-gun ship Entre- 
prenant, armed en Jlide, and having only twenty-two long 
12-pounders and four long 6-pounders mounted. Her crew, 
when she commenced the action, consisted of 203 men, of 
which number she had five killed and twenty-four wounded. 
The crew of the Vengeance amomited to 200 men, of which 
she had six men killed and twenty-seven wounded — several 
mortally, and the rest severely. 

On the 1st of April, the 50-gun ship Isis, Captain Edward 
Wheeler, belonging to the Mediterranean squadron, being 
off Cape Tres-Forcas, discovered a large ship, which was 
immediately chased. At 6h. p.m., the Isis commenced 
action, and a running fight was kept up till lOh. 30m. At 
the beginning of the encounter. Captain Wheeler, together 
with a midshipman and quarter-master, were killed by one 
shot, and the command devolved on Lieutenant James Cun- 
ningham. The stranger, at a little before llh., evincing a 
disposition to close the Spanish shore. Lieutenant Cunning- 
ham ran the enemy on board, when the stranger surrendered. 
The prize was the French 50-gun ship Oreflame, valuably 
laden, but had only fourteen 18-pounders and twenty-six 
long 12-pounders mounted. Betw^een forty and fifty of her 
crew were killed or wounded. The Isis's loss, independent 
of her captain, was three killed and nine wounded. 

1761.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 215 

On the 3rcl of April, the French 64-gun ship Bertin, but 
having only twenty-eight guns mounted, laden vnth. ord- 
nance and naval stores, was captured by the 74-gun sliip 
Hero, Captain William Fortescue ; and Venus frigate. Gap- 
tain Thomas Harrison. The prize was of great value, and 
had on board 24,000 dollars. Being a fine ship, she was 
purchased into the British navy, and named the Belleisle. 

On the 5th of June, the French 64-gun ship St. Ann was 
captured in Donna-Maria Bay, Port-au-Prince, by the West 
India squadron, under Rear-Admiral Holmes, in the Cam- 
bridge. The chasing ships, which compelled the St. Ann to 
surrender, were the 74-gun ship Centaur and 50-gun ship 
Hampshire, Captains Arthur Forrest and Arthur Usher. 
The prize was added to the British navy under the same 

On the 14th of July, a British squadron, consisting of the 
74-gun ship Thunderer, Captain Charles Proby; 64-gTm ship 
Modeste, Honourable Robert Boyle ; 32-g-un frigate Thetis, 
Captain John Moutray ; and 18-gmi slooj) Favourite, Com- 
mander Philemon Po^atioU, was cruising ofi" Cadiz, in order 
to intercept the French 64-gun ship Achille (the Rippon's late 
opponent), and 32-gun ship Buffon, expected to sail from 
that port. Having discovered that the French ships had 
escaped out of port, the squadron departed in pursuit, and 
on the 16th succeeded in getting sight of the enemy. At 
Ih. A.M. on the 17th, the Thunderer arrived up with the 
Achille, and commenced a very animated cannonade, in the 
midst of which one of the Thunderer's quarter-deck guns 
burst, and blew up part of the poop, killing and wounding 
many men, and setting the ship on fire. By great exertion 
the fire was extinguished, and the chase resumed ; when, 
getting close alongside the Achille, the Thunderer ran her 
on board, and Lieutenant Charles Leslie, at the head of 150 
men, gallantly sprang on her deck. After an inefiectual 
resistance, the Achille surrendered. In this sjmited en- 
counter the Thunderer sustained much loss, amomiting to 
seventeen men killed, and Captain Proby (sHghtly), her 
second and third lieutenants, and 110 men woimded, seven- 
teen mortally. The Achille's loss is not recorded. 

The Thetis overtook the Buffon at 7h. a.m., and engaged 
till the Modeste also got up, when the French ship struck. 

216 BATTLES OF [176L 

The Thetis had none killed or wounded. The Favourite, a 
few days afterwards, captured a Spanish privateer, of twelve 
guns and eighty-five men. 

On the 13th of August, in the evening, the British 74-gun 
sliip Bellona, Captain Robert Faulkner, and 36-gun frigate 
Brilliant, Captain James Loggie, being off Vigo, discovered 
and stood towards tlu-ee large ships, evidently of force. The 
strangers, which were the French 74-gun sliip Courageux, 
and 36-gun frigates Hermione and Malicieuse, behe\'ing the 
British to be line-of-battle ships, made sail away ; they were, 
however, kept sight of during the night, and on the follo\\Tng 
morning, perceiving the real force of theu' pursuers, or rather 
taking the Bellona for a 50-gun ship, the French commodore 
made the signal for the two frigates to run down and attack 
the frigate, Avhile the Courageux stood towards the Bellona. 
The two frigates having closed the Brilliant, commenced the 
action, and the gallant Captain Loggie determined, if possible, 
to find so much for his adversaries to do, that the Bellona 
should be able to bend all her energies against the Coura- 
geux. So vigorously were the guns of the Brilliant plied, 
that the frigates received such injury to then' sails and 
rigging as to be obliged to sheer ofi" to repair damages. The 
Brilliant had her master and five men killed and sixteen 

The Bellona and Com-ageux, having got witliin musket- 
shot, commenced a furious action ; and, as the water was 
smooth and only a light air of Avind blowing, the contest 
became one simply of gamnery. Few .shots were wasted, 
and, in nine minutes after the commencement of the engage- 
ment, the Bellona's mizen-mast was shot away, and her 
standing and running rigging cut to pieces. Captain Faulk- 
ner fearing, from his ship's disabled state, that the Courageux 
might escape him, gave orders to board, and the Bellona. 
having wore round by means of her studding sails, fell on 
board the Courageux, her larboard beam taking the star- 
board quarter of the enemy. In this position the British 
ship's larboard guns were fired with, such effect into the stern 
and quarter of the enemy, that in twenty minutes she hauled 
down her colours. While preparations were making to take 
possession, the firing recommenced from the French sliip's 
lower deck. The British crew, exasperated at this proceed- 

1761.] THE BKITISH XAVY. 217" 

ing, poured two more broadsides into tlie Courageux, when 
lier men called for quarter. The two frigates made all sail 
and escaped. The action lasted from 6h. 2om. till 7h. 4m. p.m., 
when the French ship finally surrendered, during which 
interval the Courageux, out of a crew of 700 men, had 200 
killed and 110 wounded. Among the wounded was Captain 
M. Dugue Lambert, mortally.^ The loss of the Bellona 
amounted to six killed and twenty-five wounded. This 
action may be well selected as an instance of the proficiency 
of British seamen in gunnery at this period ; the carnage in 
half an hour is equal to that of any subsequent encounter 
on the ocean. The Courageux proved a valuable prize, 
having on board £8,500 in specie. She was taken to Lis- 
bon and refitted, and afterwards added to the British iiBbvy 
imder the same name. While a,t Lisbon, the French crev,-^ 
were in great distress ; but, with the proverbial liberality 
of British sailors, a subscription was set on foot on board the 
Bellona and Brilliant, as well as on shore, w^hich enabled the 
poor fellows to reach France. The first lieutenant of the 
Bellona, Thomas Male, was promoted. 

In August, Lieutenant John Macbride, commanding the 
hu'ed armed cutter Grace, stationed ofi' Dunkirk, observing 
that two prames, lately at anchor in the roads, had gone 
into the harbour, and that only four flat-bottomed boats and 
a dogger privateer remained, proposed to Captain Dudley 
Digges, of the Maidstone, if he w^ould allow him four of the 
ship's boats, to go in and cut out the privateer. Being- 
intrusted Avith the expedition, Lieutenant Macbride de- 
parted at lOh. P.M., and with muflled oars approached the 
privateer. As the boats neared, the privateer hailed, but 
the boats pushed on, and in a few minutes carried her with 
no other injury than two men wounded. This well-con- 
ducted enterprise was efiected close under a fort, on the east 
side of the harbour. 

Captain Francis Burslem, in the 28-gim frigate Coventry, 
having been despatched by Commodore Keppel to recon- 
noitre the French coast, chased and drove ashore the French 

• Captain Lambert, or L'Ambert, died at Lisbon on the 25th, and 
was buried on shore with the honours which his bravery deserved, being 
attended to the grave by the British as well as the remainder of his own 


218 BATTLES OF [1762. 

14-gun sloop of war Leverette in a smaU sandy bay, near 
the entrance to Port TOrient. The Coventry, having an- 
chored near the French vessel, comj^elled her to surrender, 
the crew abandoning her. The prize was got off, having 
sustained very little damage. That which adds a degree of 
interest to this little affair was the generosity of the captors, 
who gave up the entire proceeds of their prize to the widow 
of Lieutenant Cook, who was drowned a short time previ- 
ously in Quiberon Bay. 

In the course of the year 1761, the captures from the 
French numbered 117 privateers and armed merchant ships, 
which mounted 698 guns and 239 svdvels, and carrying 
5,576 men, exclusive of four Indiamen, whose cargoes were 
valued at £400,000, and other merchant sliips. The French 
navy lost six line-of-battle ships and eight frigates. In the 
course of the same year 800 English merchant ships were 
captured, which arose from the insufficiency of the sliips 
sent in charge of convoys, and from the large number of 
privateers, which, in point of fact, formed the chief naval 
force of France. Only one small vessel of war, the Speed- 
well cutter, captured in Vigo Bay, was lost to the navy in 
this year ; and one valuable East-India ship, the Ajax, com- 
manded by Captain Lindsay, who was killed, was taken by 
the French 64-gun ship Prothee. 

1762. — On the 4th of January, war was formally declared 
against Sj^ain, and on the 18th a counter declaration was 
issued by the king of Spain. These hostile announcements 
were occasioned by a treaty of alliance concluded between 
the courts of Madrid and Versailles. 

On the 31st of January, the British 38-g'un frigate Danae, 
Captain Willia,m Hay, having thirteen sail of merchant 
ships under convoy, bound to Gibraltar, feU in mth the 
French 26-gun jjrivateer Tigre.^ The French ship hove to 
for the convoy, and, having taken up a j)osition alongside 
the Danae, commenced an action with the yardarms of 
the two shii^s touching. The contest lasted nearly three 
hours, by which time the ships were both in an un- 

' The Tigre belonged to the French navy, but was lent to merchants 
to be used as a privateer, a tolerable proof of the poverty to which the 
war had reduced the French government, which, unable to maintain 
their navy, lent ships to private individuals. 

1762.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 219 

manageable state. The Tigre's bowsprit, foreyard, and 
fore and main-topmasts were shot away ; and a few more 
broadsides must have dismasted her entirely. The Danae's 
lower masts and all her spars had suffered so much, that it 
was impossible for her to make any sail after her enemy ; 
which the latter perceiving, put before the wind and escaped. 
The Danae lost in this engagement no less than eighteen 
men killed, seven mortally, and thirty-five severely wounded. 
The Tigre's loss is not recorded. The Danae carried her 
convoy in safety to Gibraltar. The Tigre also beat off the 
20-gun ship Deal Castle, Captain George Tindal ; but was 
ultimately captured by the King George privateer, Captain 
Read, after two hours' action. On this latter occasion tln-ee 
of the Tigre's guns burst, and killed a great many men ; and 
her loss is stated to have been eighty killed and wounded. 
The loss of the King George was three killed, eight mortally, 
and four slightly wounded. 

On the 6th of February, the British IS-gam sloop FeiTet, 
Commander Peter Clarke, while cruising off Porto Kico, 
captured a small Spanish trading vessel ; the master of 
which, on condition that his own vessel should be restored, 
gave information of a much more valuable vessel, moimting 
twenty-fom^ guns. The Fen-et was conducted by the Spanish 
master to the entrance of a small bay in the island ot 
Zaccheo, in which the ship was observed at anchor. The 
entrance to the anchorage was intricate and dangerous j and 
it was found necessary to delay the attack until the 10th, 
while the boats sounded in search of the channel. Having 
found a passage with fifteen feet of water. Captain Clarke de- 
termined to attempt it. The enemy, therefore, had had ample 
time to make preparations for defence, but probably from 
their supposed secure anchorage did not see danger. As the 
Ferret neared the enemy, she became exposed to a very gall- 
ing fire, to which no return could be made. The Ferret 
had hardly got within point-blank range when she took the 
ground ; but haAing at length brought her broadside to bear 
upon the enemy, she opened fire, and an action commenced, 
which lasted two hours, when the enemy hauled down her 
colom's, and the men took to the boats and quitted her. It 
is supposed that the enemy's loss v/as considerable, as much 
blood was upon the decks ; but all the killed and woimded 

220 BATTLES OF [17G2. 

were carried off. The i)rize, which was very vakiable, was 
bound from the Caraccas to Cadiz. Commander Clarke 
was promoted into the Melampe, his j^ost commission bearing 
date May 5, 1763. 

On the 7th of March, at lOh. a.m., the British 28-0^1 
frigate Milford, Captain Robert Man, in lat. 34° 15' N., 
long. 25° T W., after a twelve hours' chase, brought to action 
the French letter-of-marque La Glou'e, pierced for twenty 
guns, but ha\ing only sixteen long 6-pounders and ten 
swivels mounted. In the early part of the engagement 
Captain Man had his right thigh shot away (of which he 
died next morning), and the command devolved on Lieu- 
tenant T. Day, who fought the sliip with great spiiit till 
llh. 30m. P.M., when he also was mortally wounded by 
a musket-ball through the head. The second lieutenant, 
Ezekeil Nash, then took the command, and contmued the 
action till 2h. 30m. of the following morning, at which time 
the Milford's adversary hauled down her colours. Out of a 
crew of ninety-four men, the Gloire had six men killed and 
eighteen wounded ; and the Milford, exclusive of her captain 
and first lieutenant, two men killed and thirteen wounded. 

On the 14th of March, at 6h. 30m. p.m., the British 
24-gTin sliip Fowey, Captain Joseph Mead, being off Cape 
Tiberoon, fell in with and attacked the Spanish 12 -pounder 
26-g-un frigate Ventura. The Spanish ship being greatly 
superior in weight of metal and number of men (she ha^dng 
on board a creAV of 300, while the Fowey's crew, owing to 
the absence of a lieutenant and twenty-four men, did not 
consist of more than 130), was found to be a very formidable 
opponent, and after an action of one hoiu' and a half, the 
Fowey had sustained so much damage to her sails and rigging, 
that she was obliged to haul off to repair. The next morn- 
ing Cajitain Mead, shortly after daylight, again brought the 
Ventura to action. At 8h. 30m. the Spanish ship, having 
had forty men killed, and a great number wounded, hauled 
down her colours. The difficulty was to take possession of 
the prize, for neither ship had a boat that would swim, nor 
was there a tackle left to hoist one out. One of the Fowey's 
boats being at length patched up with a tarpaulin, was with 
difficulty got alongside the Ventura, and returned ^^dth some 
of the Spanish officers. The Fowey had ten men killed and 

1762.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 221 

twenty-four wounded. The Yentura was of gi-eat value, 
having on board money to pay the troops at the Havannah. 

On the 3rd of April, the British 28-gun frigate Hussar, 
Captain Robert Carket, observing four large French priva- 
tieers at anchor, under the guns of Fort Tiberoon, stood in 
to attack them, and succeeded in obligmg the crews to 
abandon tlieir vessels and take to the boats. One of the 
privateers, mounting sixteen guns, was burnt, and one of 
fourteen g-uns sunk ; but the other two, of sixteen and 
twelve guns, were brought out. In this affair the Hussar 
had one man killed and twelve wounded ; but the loss of the 
enemy is stated to have been seventeen killed and thirty- 
five wounded. The Hussar was shortly afterwards -s\Tecked 
off Hispaniola. 

On the 21st of May, the British 28-gun frigate Active, 
Captain Herbert Sawyer, and 18 -gun sloop Favourite, Com- 
mander Pliilemon PownoU, cruising off Cadiz, in the hope of 
intercepting a rich ship expected from Lima, chased the 
Spanish register ship Hermione. Ha\'ing arrived up witli 
her. Captain Sa\vyer hailed the frigate, and informing them 
of the war, requested the Spanish captain to strike. Being 
unprovided for a defence, the demand was submitted to, and 
possession obtained of the most valuable prize taken through- 
out the war. The net proceeds of the Hermione's cargo 
amounted to £519,705. Is. 6d.^ 

On the 3rd of November, the 26-gun frigate Terpsichore, 
Captain the Honourable John Buthven, cruising off the 
French coast, captured, after a short action, the French 
letter-of-marque Marquis de Marigny, mounting twenty long 
9-pounders, with a crew of 118 men, of which she had nine 
killed and eighteen wounded. The Terpsichore had her 
boatswain and four men killed, and Captain Buthven and 
fifteen men wounded. 

Having a large available force in the West Indies on the 
declaration of the war, the British ministry ordered an attack 

^ The treasure S*om the Hermione was landed at Portsmouth, and 
conveyed to London in twenty waggons, decorated with British colours 
over Spanish, and under escort of a party of sailors. The whole formed 
a grand procession, and entered London on the 12th of August, the day 
on which his royal highness the Prince of Wales (his late majesty King 
George IV,) was bom. 

222 BATTLES OF [1762. 

to be made upon the Spanish ^possessions, and the Havannah 
was accordingly selected. The army which proceeded on this 
service amounted to little less than 16,000 men, 4,000 of 
whom sailed from England with General the Earl of Albe- 
marle in the fleet of Admiral Sir George Pocock, on the oth 
of March, and eventually reached the Havannah, and efiected 
a landing on the 7th of July. The fleet employed at the 
reduction of the Havannah consisted of twenty-two sail of 
the line, four ships of fifty guns, ten frigates, fourteen vessels 
of from twenty-four to fourteen guns, and three mortar 
vessels. So formidable a force the Spaniards could not long- 
resist ; and on the 12th of August the Havannah and its 
dependencies fell into the hands of the besiegers. In the 
harbour were found twelve sail of the line, nine of wliich 
reached England, the remaining three ha^dng been sunk at 
the entrance to the harbour by the Spaniards. The prize- 
money paid to the captors amounted to £736,185. 

The British arms were also victorious in the East. Manilla 
and the port of rCavite were attacked by the British sea 
and land forces, under the orders of Yice-Admiral Samuel 
Cornish and Brigadier-General Draper. The naval force 
consisted of seven sail of the line, one 50-gun ship, a 28-gun 
frigate, and two 20-gun ships, carrying together 4,330 men ; 
but the army, composed partly of Cafli-es, Topasses, and 
Lascars, numbered only 2,330. Manilla and the Philippine 
Islands were surrendered on the 6th of October, together 
with a large quantity of ordnance, naval stores, and treasure. 
Manilla was saved from plunder upon the promise of a 
ransom of one million sterling, which terms, however, were 
afterwards negatived by the king of Spain, peace having 
occurred in the interim of their negotiation and demand for 
the settlement. 

During the progress of the siege, the \ice-admiral received 
intelHgence that the galleon from Acapulco had arrived in 
the straits, and immediately despatched the 60-gun sliip 
Panther, Captain Hyde Parker, and 28-gun frigate Argo, 
Captain Richard King. On the 30th of October, after a 
cruise of twenty-six days, the galleon was descried, and the 
Argo was the first to arrive up with the chase, but so well 
was the Spanish ship defended, that the Argo was obliged to 
discontinue the action in order to repair damages. On the 




31st, in the morning, tlie Panther overtook the galleon, which, 
after a distant cannonading of two hours, surrendered. The 
galleon, although pierced for sixty gims, had only thii^teen 
mounted when captured ; and when first engaged by the 
Argo had only six gims in use, but her sides were so thick as 
to have been almost impervious to the shot of the British 
ships, which accounts for the time occupied in effecting the 
capture. She was manned with a crew of 800 soldiers 
and sailors, and her freight registered and unregistered (or 
smuggled), was computed at two millions of dollars. 

The preliminaries for a peace with France and Spain were 
signed at Fontainebleau on the 3rd of November. 

Having now brought this celebrated war to its conclusion, 
it remains only to sum up, in as few words as possible, the 
results ; and the following table "wdll exhibit the loss of the 
French, Spanish, and British navies respectively : — 







74 70 








( captured 
















French < ■, , , i by the British 
( ( by accident . . 

Total loss 

. . 


31l' 119 







(^ • >, j captured 

1 1 

5 5 
1 2 






P \ destroyed 

Total loss 


















^"^^^^^destrd. jl^y^^^pjy ;••• 

( / by accident . . 



i 2 




3 7 








Spain paid dearly for the ten months' war. She lost the 
Havannah, with a gi*eat part of the island of Cuba, and a 
large squadron of ships of war ; the PhiHppine Islands, with 
a great many merchant vessels; the Manilla galleon, and 




tlie Hermione. This nation had, at the conckision of the 
war, neither fleets, cruisers, nor privateers, sufficient to give 
any great annoyance to the British commerce ; and almost 
any terms might at that time have been extorted from her. 
France, also, was reduced to a low ebb ; without a fleet 
Avhich could question British supremacy, she was compelled 
to trust only for her oflensive operations to frigates and 
privateers. These, for a time, inflicted much injury upon 
British traders, but towards the end of the war the coasts 
were nearly freed from their depredations ; and the mer- 
chants who fitted them out tii-ed of such unjorofitable specu- 

Notwithstanding that England at this time possessed a 
most powerful fleet,' and comparatively undiminished re- 
sources, she was contented to accept terms suited more to a 
nation overwhelmed by difficulties, and anxious for peace 
upon any conditions. Oiu* gains, and what was relinquished, 
are thus summed up by Beatson : — " By this famous treaty of 
peace, we gained in America the whole province of Canada, 
with the islands of St. John and Cape Breton, and all that 

EoYAL Navy at the 
Conclusion of the 
Seven Years' Wak. 

In commission 
In ordinary . . . 





































6 9 










2 6 





24 21 


57 34 



Tlae number of seamen voted by Parliament in each year, for 1760, 
61, and 62, was 70,000 ; but notwithstanding so great a number, it will 
be obvious that it was insufficient wholly to man the fleet above stated 
to have been in commission. The full complements of men for the above 
would have been about 85,000. 

* All 80-gun ships were at this time three-deckers, but no more were 
built after 1759 ; the building of 70 and 60-gun ships was also discon- 
tinued at about the same time. The first English 80-gun ship on two 
•decks was the Ccesar, launched in 1793. 

1762.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 225 

part of Louisiana which lies on the east of the river Missis- 
sippi (the town of New Orleans excepted), and the free 
navigation of the river Mississippi. The French were per- 
mitted to fish on the banks of Newfoundland, under certain 
limitations. The islands St. Pierre and Miguelon were 
ceded to them for curing their fish and conducting their 
fishery ; but they were not to erect any fortifications there, 
nor keep a gariison stronger than fifty men. Spain to 
relinquish her claim to fish on the banks of Newfoundland. 
Great Britain to be permitted to cut logwood and build 
houses in the Bay of Honduras, but not to erect fortifications, 
and to demolish those already erected. Spain to restore any 
places she may have conquered in Portugal, and to cede to 
Great Britain the pro\'ince of Florida, in consideration of 
which, Great Britain was to restore the Havannah and its 
dependencies to Spam. Martinico, Guadaloupe, Marigalante, 
to be restored to France, together with the neutral island of 
St. Lucia. Great Britain to retain the Grenadas and Gre- 
nadines, with the neutral islands of Dominica, St. Vincent, 
and Tobago. In Europe, the island of Minorca to be re- 
stored to Great Britain, and of Belleisle to France. The 
fortifications of Dunkh'k to be demolished. In Africa, Great 
Britain to retain Senegal, and restore Goree to France. In 
Asia, all our conquests made from France to be restored, but 
with the restriction that she was not to erect fortifications 
in the province of Bengal." 

VOL. I. 

226 BATTLES OF [1775. 


The preliminary treaty of peace signed at Fontaineblean, 
in the month of November, 1762, was confirmed in February, 
1763, and from this time till the disturbances in the British 
colonies of North America, which in the year 1775 burst out 
into open rebelhon, England enjoyed the blessings of peace. 

The North American colonists havins: resisted certain 
revenue laws imposed by the British government, orders 
were given to the cruisers on the station to assist the autho- 
rities, and suppress illegal traffic. At Rhode Island, the 
Gasp^j a schooner of 102 tons, carrying four or six 3-pounders, 
commanded by Lieutenant William Dudingstone, was 
stationed ; and the commander having rendered himself 
obnoxious to smugglers by his diligence, was among the first 
to be attacked by some of the rebellious colonists. On the 
night of the 10th June, 1772, the Gaspe having grounded 
while chasing a supposed smuggling vessel in the river lead- 
ing to New Providence, was surrounded in the night by a 
number of boats filled with armed men. The attack, though 
unexpected, was gallantly resisted ; but the crew were at length 
overpowered. Lieutenant Dudingstone had his right hand 
nearly severed from the wrist by a sabre-cut, and was also 
wounded dangerously in the thigh by a musket-ball. Several 
of the Gaspe's crew, originally but twenty-seven, were 
wounded. The lieutenant ^ and his crew w ere then put into 
boats to make their way to the shore, while the victors set 
the Gaspe on fire, and destroyed her. 

1775. — On the 23rd of November, a small fleet of trans- 
ports, under convoy of the Tartar frigate, arrived off Boston, 
and, with the exception of two, safely entered the port. The 
ship Hunter and a brig, owing to a shift of wind, were 
obliged to anchor outside the harbour ; which being observed 
by two American privateers that had been following the 

* Lieut. Dudingstone was tried by court-martial on board the Cen- 
taur, in Portsmouth Harbour on 15th Oct. 1772, for the loss of his vessel, 
and honourably acquitted. He was immediately afterwards promoted;, 
and ultimately attained the rank of a rear-admiral. 

1776.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 227 

convoy, they, in the most daring manner, attacked and 
boarded them, setting one on fire. A signal was imme- 
diately made for the Raven to weigh and go in chase ; but 
Lieutenant John Bourmaster, who had been appointed to 
protect the Boston lighthouse, then under repaii', and who 
was in command of an armed transport, on obsei'ving the 
privateers fii'e upon the Hunter, slipped, and reached the 
transports in time to retake both, and to save the one which 
had been fired from destruction. When Lord Howe assumed 
the command on the station. Lieutenant Bourmaster was 
promoted, and appointed to command a king's ship. 

1776. — Proclamations, tantamount to a declaration of war, 
having been issued by the British government, instructions 
were given by Vice-Admiral Graves, the commander-in-cliief 
on the station, to attack all places in opposition. Cariying 
out his orders, the vice-admiral directed the equipment of a 
small squadron, or flotilla, the command of which was con- 
ferred on Lieutenant Henry Mowat. 

The following composed the squadron : — Armed 6 -gun 
ship Canceaux, 6-gun schooner Halifax, and 6-gun armed sloop 
Spitfire ; to which was added the armed transport Symmetry, 
mounting eighteen fight guns. Lieutenant Mowat's instruc- 
tions were tempered with moderation. He was directed to 
confine his operations to certain enumerated towns, which had 
rendered themselves conspicuous by open acts of hostility. 

On the 1 7th of October, the squadron arrived at Falmouth, 
and anchored close to the town. Lieutenant Mowat then 
sent an officer on shore with a letter, informing the au- 
thorities that he would allow two hours for the inhabitants 
to remove themselves and families from the town, which he 
was ordered to burn. On the receipt of this message, de- 
puties were sent off to negotiate ; and Lieutenant Mowat 
agreed to suspend hostilities till he could communicate with 
the commander-in-chie1^ upon condition that they would send 
him four carriage-guns, deliver up their small-arms and 
ammunition, and give four hostages. These terms being 
finally rejected. Lieutenant Mowat, at half-past 9h. a.m. on 
the following day, opened tire, and threw carcasses into the 
town, by which it was quickly burnt. While the negotiation 
pended, the inhabitants removed their most valuable effects ; 
but the principal part of the town was completely destroyed. 


228 BATTLES OP [1776. 

The loss was a serious one to the Americans, as the store- 
houses burnt contained provisions and ammunition intended 
for the use of the army before Boston. The coast being 
by this time alarmed, Lieutenant Mowat returned to Boston 
on the 2nd November for the admiral's further instructions. ^ 

On the 5th of December, the 24-gun ship Fowey, Cap- 
tain George Montagu, being off Cape Ann, chased the 
American brig Wasliington, of ten guns (6 and 4-pounders) 
and ten swivels, which she captui-ed after a long chase. The 
Washington was commissioned by Congress, and had a crew 
of seventy-four men, commanded by Sion Martingale. 

A resolution of Congress, passed on the 13tli October, 
1775, appointed a committee to fit out two fast vessels ; and 
on the 30th of the same month further powers were granted. 
In consequence of these resolutions, the Alfred and Columbus 
were purchased. The Alfred is supposed to have been armed 
with twenty long 9-pounders on her main-deck, and from 
two to ten gims on the quarter-deck and forecastle. The 
Columbus mounted eighteen long 9-pounders. Commodore 
Ezekiel Hopkins w^as appointed commander-in-chief of the 
navy, and to hoist his broad pendant in the Alfred. Of this 
ship John Paul Jones was appointed first-lieutenant, and he 
has claimed to have first hoisted the flaor of America.^ Con- 


^ This expedition was for a long time the theme of animadversion in 
America, and Cooper stigmatizes it as a "ruthless proceeding ;" but it is 
difficult to discover in this particular act any great cause of complaint. 
Flushing had rendered itself obnoxiox;s ; and the pi'oceedings of Lieute- 
nant Mowat, so far fi-om being "ruthless," were marked bj'^ humanity, 
until he found that by a further extension of that virtue he would be 
neglecting the orders he had received. From some unexplained cause, 
unless it may be attributed to the animadversions above noticed, Lieu- 
tenant Mowat's services were overlooked for a considerable period ; for 
we find his name on the list of lieutenants in 1781, his seniority in that 
rank being 22nd January, 1759 ; but on the 26th October, 1782, he was 
promoted to the rank of post captain. 

^ Mr. Cooper, vol. i. p. 88, says : "This event could not have occuired 
previously to the vote appointing a commander-in-chief (December 22, 
1775), as we are expressly told that the flag was shown when that officer 
first repaired on board his ship. ^Vhat that ensign was is not now cer- 
tainly known, but it is thought to have been a device representing a pine- 
tree with a rattlesnake about to strike, coiled at its root, with the motto 
* Don't tread on me.' It is certain that .such a flag was used at the 
commencement of the revolution, and on board some of the vessels of 
war, though whether this was the flag wora by the Alfred is not quite 

1776.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 229 

gress having received information of the defenceless state of 
the island of Providence, despatched a squadron thither, con- 
sisting of the following ships : — 

Guns. Ships, 

oA ^^f.. A \ Commodore Ezekiel Hopkins 

-* Altrea j Captain Dudley Saltonstall 

20 Columbus ,, Abraham ^\^lipple 

^ , ( Andi-ea Doria .... ,, Nicholas Biddle 

( Cabot ,, John B. Hopkins 

12 Providence „ — Hazard 

Schooners — Hornet, 10, Wasp, 8 ; and despatch vessel. 

The object of the expedition was to obtain possession of 
the magazine on that island ; but the Governor, having 
received intimation of the -visit, caused the chief part of 
the gunpowder to be removed the day before the squadron 
made its appearance. The island being without a garrison, 
and incapable of making any defence, surrendered on the 
first summons,^ and the Americans obtained possession of a 
store of cannon and mortal's, but only fifteen barrels of 
powder. HaAing shipped these, and made the Governor 
prisoner, the squadron sailed for New London. On the 4th 
April, the squadron captured a tender of six guns, and on 
the oth the Bolton, 12-gun brig, commanded by Lieutenant 
Edward Sneyd. 

On the 6th of Aj^ril, being off Block Island, Commodore 
Hopkins fell in -wdth the British 20-gun ship Glasgow, Cap- 
tain Tyringham Howe. At 2h. a.m. the Cabot, a large brig, 
approached, and was hailed by the Glasgow, shortly after 

feo clear. It was not until June 14th, 1777, that Congress formally 
adopted the present national colours." Dr. Beatson conveys a different 
idea of the early American colours, he says : "The king's speech to both 
houses at the opening of this session of parliament, and the account of the 
fate of the petition of the continental Congress, excited in America great 
rage and indignation. The speech was publicly burnt in the rebel camp 
before Boston ; and the Congress, to show their displeasure, ordered their 
national colours to he changed from a ];>lam red ground, ivhich they had 
hitherto v^sed, to a flag with thirteen stripes." — Naval and Mil. Memoirs, 
vol. iv. p. 129. 

"' Mr, Cooper, in his Naval History, vol. i. p. 90, says: "The duty 
(making tlie descent) was handsomely perfonned, and Captain Nichols, 
senior marine officer, got complete possession of the forts and entire com- 
mand of the place in the course of the afternoon and of the following 
luoniing, after a vei^ insignificant resistance." 

230 BATTLES OF [1776. 

wliicli a gi'enade was tlirowii from the brig's top into the 
Glasgow. The latter immediately opened fire ; but having re- 
ceived much damage, and her captain being severely wounded, 
master killed, and several injured, the brig made sail ahead. 
A large ship with a top hght, supposed to have been the 
Alfred, then ranged up on the starboard beam of the Glasgow, 
and closely engaged ; Avhile the Providence and Andrea 
Doria bore up under her stern, and took up positions — the 
one on the larboard bow, and the other on the larboard 
quarter. After a smart connonading for one hour, the 
Alfred's wheel-rope was shot away, and the ship flew up in 
the wind, enabling the Glasgow to pour in a severe raking 
fire. At about 4h. a.m. the American vessels had dropped 
on the quarters of the Glasgow, and the brig was across 
her stern, firing occasionally. Captain Howe then gave 
orders to bear up for Rhode Island, and, at the same time, ran 
out two stern chase-guns, from which a brisk fire was main- 
tained until daybreak, at which time the real force of the 
enemy was discovered. Commodore Hopkins, apprehensive 
that the firing would bring the Newport squadi'on out against 
him, and seeing little chance of overtaking the Glasgow, 
made a signal for his vessels to haul by the wind. Thus 
terminated this unequal contest ; and after making every due 
allowance for the caution of Commodore Hopkins, which, 
circumstanced as he was, he was perfectly justified in using, 
it is clear that the Glasgow was ably handled and gallantly 
fought, and that very great credit was due to Captain Howe 
for his conduct on the occasion. The Glasgow was a ship 
of only 451 tons — inferior in size to either the Alfred or 
Columbus — and her armament consisted of twenty long 
9-pounders on the main-deck. The casualties on board the 
Glasgow amounted to one man killed and three wounded — 
all by small-arms ; while the Alfred and Cabot had twenty- 
three men killed and wounded between them. The action 
was made the subject of an American court-martial upon 
Captains Whipple and Hazard, the former of whom was 
acquitted, and the latter cashiered. Commodore Hopkins 
never regained favom- with the Congress, and in the following 
January was formally dismissed the service. 

The Americans, probably with the -view to diverting 
the attention of the British, invested Quebec. Veiy gal- 

1776.1 THE BRITISH NAVY. 231 

lantly did they fight, attempt to carry the city by assault, 
and endure fatigue and privation during the winter of 
1775-G ; and most nobly, also, did the British garrison per- 
severe in their defence amidst many sufieriiigs. The month 
of May brought the latter relief, a squadron, commanded by 
Captain Charles Douglas, having arrived from England con- 
taining large reinforcements. Attempts to burn the town 
were made during the siege by means of red-hot shot ; and 
a fire-ship was sent into the cul de sac for the purpose of 
burning the shipping and lower town. The arrival of the 
squadron was the signal for the Americans to decamp ; and 
General Carleton considered the moment a favourable one 
for making a sortie. A few shot only were exchanged on 
the occasion, and, on the British pressing forward, the enemy 
fled with precipitation, abandoning their artillery and 
mihtary stores. Captain Douglas immediately ordered the 
Surprise, Captain John Linzee, and Martin to proceed up 
the river as far as the rapids of Richelieu, to harass the 
enemy in their flight. This measure prevented the American 
forces on the opposite bank of the river from joining in the 
retreat towards Montreal. General Carleton officially ac- 
knowledged the services of the navy, and particularly men- 
tioned Captain John Hamilton, of the Lizard, who " com- 
manded the battalion of seamen ; and also the masters, 
inferior officers, and seamen belonging to the transports and 
merchant ships." The Americans having previously obtained 
possession of Montreal, the retreating army proceeded 
thither ; but from which they were soon driven by the 
advance of the British. The struggle now removed to the 
lakes, upon which the Americans held the ascendancy. 
Several vessels had been sent in frame from England in the 
squadron under Captain Douglas, and a party of 600 seamen 
from the ships of war and transports was forthwith sent 
off to Lake Champlain, to assist in building and equipping 
them. In twenty- eight days the Inflexible was put together 
at St. John's, and armed with eighteen long 12-pounders. 
The Inflexible was the largest vessel that had, at that time, 
been seen on the lakes. In six weeks a fleet of thirty vessels 
of war was built or put together ; and a gondola, and a large 
number of flat-bottomed boats and bateaux, were trans- 
ported over land, and dragged up the rapids of Theresa and 




St. Jolm's. Captain Douglas, who siiperiiitended this service, 
spoke in high tenns of the zeal which had conquered the 
difficulty of this operation. The Lake squadron having been 
got ready for sea, the command was given to Captain Thomas 
Pringle, vvith the title of commodore, who hoisted his pen- 
dant on board the 14-gun schooner Maria, and proceeded 
from its station at He aux Noix in search of the enemy. On 
the 11th October, the British squadron came in sight of the 
Americans at anchor under the island of Yalcour ; and 
formed in a line extending from the island to the west side 
of the continent. The British flotilla was composed of the 
following vessels : — 

Rig'. Name. Guiis. 

Schooner . . Maria 14 

Ship Inflexible 

Schooner . . Carleton 

Pounders. Commander. 

Commodore Pringle 
Lieut. John Starke 
„ JohnSchanks 


.18 ..12 

12 . . 6 ,, J. R. Dacres 

(6 . . 24 ) 

Radeau. . . . Thunderer. . . . < 6 ..12> ,, Wm. Scott 

( 2 howitzers ) 

Gondola . . Loyal Convert 7 . . 9 ,, E. Longcroft 

Twenty gwn-boats, each having from 24 to 9 -pounders, and some with 
howitzers ; four long-boats, with each a carriage-gun ; twenty-four 
boats with provisions. 

The American flotilla consisted of- 




Sloop . . 

Cutter . . 




Name. Guns. 

Royal Savage . . 12 
Enterprise .... 12 

Revenge 10 

Liberty 10 


Lee 4 "I 

Congress 10 ^ 





. . 6 and 4 

— "VVynkoop 

. . 6 and 4 

— Dixon 

. . 6 and 4 

— - Laman 

.. 4 

— Plumer 




.. 12 




.. 18 


. . 12 


.. 12 


. . IS 


.. 12 


.. 9 


.. 6 
the same 

. Trumbull 10 

Eight gondolas, each carrying an IS-pounder in the bow and two long 
9-pounders as broadside guns, and some with four broadside guns. 

1776.] THE BRITISH NAVY, 233 

The wind being unfavourable for the larger vessels, the 
<nm-boats only could be brought into operation. Lieutenant 
Dacres, in the Carleton, at length got up to their assistance, 
and for several hours this portion of the squadron sustained 
a very heavy cannonading. It appearing to the commodore 
impracticable to bring any more of the flotilla into action, he 
made the signal of recall, and came to anchor in the best 
l)osition to prevent the retreat of the enemy. But during 
the ensuing night the flotilla passed the British squadron 
unperceived, and at daybreak on the 12 th had got a con- 
siderable distance up the lake. The day was therefore em- 
ployed in pursuit ; and on the moruing of the 13th the 
flotnia, consisting of eleven sail, was got sight of making in 
for Crown Point. After an anxious chase of seven houi's, 
the Maria, having outstripped the Carleton and Inflexible, 
got within range of the Americans. It was then noon ; and 
although the smaller vessels of the squadron were a long 
distance astern, the Maria commenced the action with great 
vigour. The cannonading had lasted two hours, when the 
Congress galley (on board which was General Arnold) and 
five gondolas ran ashore. The Washington, with Brigadier- 
General Waterton (or Waterbuiy^) on board, hauled down 
her colours, and was taken possession of ; but the remainder 
reached Crown Point, and got in safety to Ticonderago. The- 
Congress and the five gondolas were set on fire, and they 
blew up before the British could get near enough to board 
them. In the action of the 11th, the Royal Savage 12-gun 
schooner received so much damage, that it was found neces- 
sary to destroy her, and one of their gondolas was sunk. 
Their loss during the day is stated by the Americans at 
sixty. On the 12tli, another gondola was captured. The 
destruction of the Ameiican flotilla, therefore, was almost 
complete, and their loss in men very considerable. Lieu- 
tenant Dacres was made the bearer of the despatches to 
England, and consequently promoted. General Carleton 
was made a K.B. ; Captams John Hamilton and Charles 
Douglas created baronets ; and Captains Mackenzie and 
Pringle immediately posted. The crews of the Isis and 
squadron engaged on this service, and who had greatly 

* Cooper's History of the Navy of the U. S. vol, i. p. 139. 

234 BATTLES OF [1777. 

exerted themselves in forcing the sliips tlirough opposing 
fields of ice, were granted double pay from the time of 
their leaving England to the raising the siege of Quebec. 

1777. — The army, unable any longer to retain possession of 
Boston, evacuated that place on the 17th March ; and it being 
desirable to secui'e some other position on the American coast, 
it was determined to make an attempt upon Charlestown, in 
South Carolina. Information of this intention had, however, 
been permitted to reach the Americans, and preparations 
were accordingly made by them to finstrate the design. A 
small squadron having arrived from England, under the 
command of Commodore Sh- Peter Parker, in the 50-gun 
ship Bristol, measures were taken to carry the plan into 
effect ; and on the 4th June the squadron anchored off 
Charlestown. Here it was found necessary to take the guns 
out of the largest ships, in order to admit of their crossing 
the bar ; and this circumstance, added to the necessity of 
sounding over the bar, and laying down buoys, occasioned 
serious delay. It was not until the 7th that the frigates of 
the squadron got over the bar, and anchored in Five-fathom 
Hole ; the Bristol did not get over till the 10th. On 
the 9th, General Clinton landed on Long Island with 
about 500 men, and by the 15th all the troops were 
disembarked, when measures were projected for a conjoint 
attack upon the fortress of Sullivan's Island by the squadron 
and land forces. This fortress is stated by Cooper to have 
been built of Palmetto logs, mounted with twenty-six 
guns (18 and 26-pounders), and garrisoned by about 400 
men, of whom 300 were regulars. Colonel Moultrie com- 
manded in the fort ; but Major-General Lee was in the 
vicinity with an army. It was intended that the British 
troops should ford the river at low tide, at a j)oint where 
there was usually not more than eighteen inches water ; but 
OAving to a succession of easterly winds, the water had been 
so forced up the passage, as to render its being forded im- 
practicable. This circimistance was not ascertained until the 
troops were about to attempt to cross it, when it was found 
there was a depth of seven feet. The squadron, upon which 
the whole brunt of the action therefore fell, was composed as 
follows : — 

1777.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 235 

Gxms. Ships. 

_. T, . , , S Commodore Sir Peter Parker 

^^ ■^"'*^^ \ Captain John Morris 

50 Experiment „ Alex. Scott 

/ Active ^ ;, Wm. Williams 

nn ) Solebay -. ,, Thos. Symonds 

i Actseon - „ Christoijher Atkins 

( Syren ,, Tobias Furneaux 

20 Sphynx ... „ Anthony Hunt 

22 Friendship (armed vessel) ,, Chas. Hope 

8 Ranger - „ Eoger Wills 

8 Thunder (bomb) ,, James Reid 

6 • St. Lawrence (schooner) Lieut. John Graves 

On tlie 28tli of June, tlie wind and other circumstances 
iDeing apparently favourable, Sir Peter Parker communicated 
to Major-General Clinton his readiness to proceed to the 
attack. At lOh. 4om. the Bristol, Experiment, Active, and 
Solebay, anchored in their aj)pointed stations, with springs 
on their cables. Owing to some mismanagement on the part 
of the pilots, the Sphynx, Actseon, and Syren got foul of 
each other, and drove on shore on the IVIiddle Ground. The 
Sphynx and Sjrren got off with the flowing tide, but the 
Actgeon remained immoveable. The Thunder commenced 
the action by thromng shells, but the shells fell short. 
Colonel James, of the Artillery (who was on board the 
Thunder throughout the action), endeavoured to remedy this 
miscalculation of distance by increasing the charge of powder. 
A few shells were thus thrown into the fort, but produced 
no effect, as they fell into a morass, and the fuses were 
extinguished. The increased charge of powder caused such 
a heavy recoil, that the beds of the mortars broke down, and 
the vessel was useless for the remainder of the day. . The 
ships, led by the Active, took up their positions without 
molestation. The Active anchored off the east bastion, 
the Experiment off the west bastion and curtain, the Solebay 
off the west bastion, and the Bristol off the curtain, in seven 
fathoms. A deadly fire was then poiu-ed into them from the 
Ajnerican batteries. This was returned with spirit, but to 
the e\ddent disadvantage of the British. The material of 
which the fort (afterwards named Fort Moultrie) was con- 
structed, rendered the guns of the British ships almost harm- 
less, while the shot of the enemy passed through both sides 

23G BATTLES OF [1777. 

of the ships, and did immense execution. It was about noon, 
when the action was at the hottest, that the commodore 
looked for the co-operation of the troops, but in which, from 
the cause previously stated, he was disappointed. The Bris- 
tol's quarter-deck was at one time cleared of all but the 
commodore. Captain Morris lost his right arm, and re- 
ceived so many other wounds, that he died a few days after- 
wards. The lieutenants of the Bristol were Toby Caulfield, 
Anthony J. P. MoUoy, and Charles E. Nugent, and of their 
conduct the commodore spoke in the highest terms. Their 
powers of endurance, and those of the brave crew, were put to 
a severe test during an almost incessant cannonading of nearly 
ten hours' continuance. For a shoi-t time the enemy slack- 
ened their fire, and it was thought their guns were effectually 
silenced ; but the cannonade was shortly renewed Avith \dgour. 
It was about 2h. p.m. when the fort ceased firing ; and it did 
not recommence till 3h. 30m. At this time the ebb-tide 
beginning to make, it was deemed advisable to drop the 
small bower-anchor astern, to prevent the ship from swinging 
to the tide ; but scarcely had this been done, when both the 
small bower cable and spring were cut by the shot from the 
foi-t, and the Bristol swang to her best bower anchor. 
While in the act of swinging, she became exposed to a tre- 
mendous raking fire, which swept her decks fore and aft. 
The Experiment was little better off than the Bristol. The 
carnage on board both was aj)palling ; but the Active and 
Solebay were more fortunate. Finding no probability of 
succeeding in silencing the fort, Avhich was constantly being 
reinforced by fresh troops from the mainland, ^ Sir Peter, at 
about 9h. p.m., ordered the sliips to cease firing, and make 
the best of their way out. All the ships, \vith the exception 
of the Actseon, succeeded in getting out ; but the latter was 
set on fire, and abandoned. 

The loss on board the Bristol amounted to Captain Morris 
(mortally wounded) and forty men killed, and the master 
(John Holland) and seventy-one men wounded. The Ex- 
periment had twenty-three men killed, and Captain Scotfc 
(with the loss of the right arm) and fifty-five men vrounded. 

* This is denied by the American accounts, but it nevertheless seems- 
very probable. 

1777.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 237 

In the Active, Lieutenant Pike was killed, and six men 
wounded ; and in the Solebay, eight men wounded : making 
the total loss sixty-foiu' killed and 143 wounded. The 
American loss is stated by themselves at thirty-six killed 
and wounded. Lord William Campbell, Governor of South 
Carolina, served as a volunteer in the Bristol, and took 
charge of a division of the lower-deck guns durmg great part 
of the action. Sir Peter Parker, in his official despatch 
eulogized the conduct of the seamen belonging to the trans- 
ports, fifty of whom gallantly volunteered their services, to 
supply the place of others in the sick list, and Mr. Chambers, 
the master of the Mercury, is specially named. 

Commander Hope, who took home the despatches, and 
also Commander Reid and Lieutenant Toby Caultiekl, were 
j)romoted to post rank, and Lieutenants MoUoy and I*^ugent 
were made commanders. 

The damages sustained by the Bristol in hull and rigging 
were considerable ; the main and mizen-topmasts were shot 
away, and the mizenmast fell over the side on the ensuing 
day, before it could be secm-ed. The sliip was comjjletely 
unrigged, and two lower-deck guns and one main-deck gun 
w^ere dismounted. 

On the IGth of June, a transport, having on board troops 
and stores, commanded by Lieut. -Colonel Archibald Camp- 
bell and Major Menzies, with two companies of General 
Frazer's newly-raised (71st) regiment of Highlanders, igno- 
rant of the evacuation, arrived off Boston. On the following 
day they were smTounded, and after a desperate defence, 
captured by privateers. Major Menzies and eight soldiers 
being killed, and fourteen soldiers wounded.^ 

' Mr. Cooper's version is much more animated, though not probably 
more correct. He says : "The Connecticut colony brig Defence, fourteen. 
Captain Harding, left Plymouth, Massachusetts, early in the morning of 
the 17th June, and on working out into the bay, a desultor}'^ firing was 
heard to the northward. The Defence crowded sail in the direction of 
the cannonading, and about dusk fell in with four light American 
schooners, which had been in a running fight with two British transports 
that had proved too heavy for them. The transports, after beating off 
the schooners, had gone into Nantasket Roads and anchored. One of the 
schooners was the Lee, eight, Captain Waters, in the service of Massa- 
chusetts — the little schooner that had so successfully begun the maritime 
warfare under Captain Manby — the other three were privateers. After 
laying his plans with the commanders of the schooners, Captain Harding 

238 BATTLES OF [1777. 

The na'vy found ample employment in co-operating witk 
Sir William Howe's army on the banks of the Delaware. 
An ingenious contrivance, invented by Dr. Franklin, was 
employed in this riA^er. It was a sort of chevaux de frise, 
formed of large square pieces of hea^y timber. Two long 
pieces, at a proper parallel distance from each other, fonned 
a horizontal base, winch rested on the bed of the river. Over 
these were placed two other beams of similar size, sharpened 
and pointed with iron, rising from toward the end of the 
horizontal base, at such an angle that a vessel striking upon 
them would almost inevitably be j)ierced. The points did 
not appear above the water, and the elevation was such as 
to offer the greatest resistance. The four main pieces were 
luiited by many transverse ones, and the whole so well con- 
trived, that its own weight, and the ballast attached to it, 

stood into the roads, and about 11 o'clock at night he anchored between 
the transports, within pistol-shot. The schooners followed, but did not 
approach near enough to do much service. Some hailing now passed^ 
and Captain Harding ordered the enemy to strike. A voice from the 
largest English vessel answered, 'Ay, aye, I'll strike,' and a broadside 
was immediately poured into the Defence. A sharp action that lasted 
more than an hour followed, when both the English vessels struck. 
These transports contained near 200 soldiers, of the same corps as those 
afterwards taken by the Doria, and on board the largest of them was 
Lieut. -Colonel Campbell, who commanded the regiment. In this close 
and sharp conflict the Defence was a good deal cut up aloft, and had 
nine men wounded. The transports lost eighteen killed and a large 
number wounded. Among the slain was Major Menzies, the officer who 
had answered the haU as just stated. The next morning the Defence, 
with the schooners in company, saw a sail in the bay and gave chase. 
The stranger proved to be another transport, with more than 100 men 
of the same regiment on board." There are in the above rich sparklings 
of Mr. Cooper's romantic imagination : First, in making one transport 
into " two ;" and secondly, in making the loss in killed eighteen instead 
of eight, and the number of wounded indefinitely hea-vy. " Two hundred 
men" would answer well to " two companies," and the capture of the 
second transport on the following morning plainly points to the fact that 
Captain Harding captured but one on the night of the 17th June, and 
the second in company with the schooners on the 18th. It is hardly pos- 
sible to conceive that Captain Harding woidd have dared to anchor a small 
low vessel, such as the Defence in all probability was, "within pistol-shot" 
and between the fire of two transports filled with troops, and still less 
conceivable that she should have escaped with only nine men wounded. 
Major Menzies was buried on shore at Boston, with military honours. 
Colonel Campbell was detained a prisoner for a long time, and endured 
many hardships. 

1777.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 239 

effectually prevented its being moved from its jDosition or 
tui'ned over. 

The squadron got as liigh as Chester, and endeavoured to 
force its way to Pliiladelphia. Captain Andrew Snape 
Hamond, in the 44-gun ship Roebuck, was very actively 
engaged in this ser\T.ce. While the army gave employment 
to the enemy on the banks of the river, Captain Hamond, 
and the ships under his orders, were employed in cutting a 
passage through the frames, and at length, after much hard 
work, succeeded in opening a channel sufficient for the 
lai'gest ships. The enemy, however, did not remain idle, 
and every of)position was made by means of fire-rafts, galleys, 
and other small craft ; but, through the care and skill of 
British officers and seamen, no injury was done by these 
dangerous enemies. The destruction of the enemy's forts 
and a free passage up the river, were the indispensable con- 
ditions of Sir William Howe's remaining at Philadelphia, 
The defences of the Americans consisted of an enclosed work 
named Fort Mifflin, constructed on a flat muddy island a 
little below the entrance of the Schuylkill, and strengthened 
by four block-houses. The island was further defended by 
two floating batteries of nine guns each, and twelve or 
fourteen galleys, and other river craffc, mounting heavy guns. 
Opposite to tliis island, on the eastern shore, at Redbank, 
above Manto Creek, they had a strong redoubt, with con- 
siderable outworks, which afforded protection to their flotilla. 
In front of these defences, to the extent of more than half a 
mile below Fort Mifflin, the deep-water channel was not 
more than a hundred fathoms in width. In this passage 
several tiers of chevaux de frise were sunk. Before this 
obstruction could be removed, it was necessary to obtain 
possession of both banks of the river. The most vigorous 
measm-es were pursued with this object ; but the first attempt 
to dislodge the enemy from Redbank failed. This took place, 
on the 22nd of October. The intended co-operation of the 
squadron was unavoidably frustrated, or it is probable another 
result would have been obtained, as the assailants were 
severely galled by the floating batteries and galleys, which 
the ships might have silenced. The armed ship Vigilant, 
of sixteen long 24-pounders, Lieutenant Hugh C. Christian, 
was selected for that service, but a strong northerly wind 

240 BATTLES OF [1777. 

prevented her proceeding to her appointed station. The 
particular service expected from that ship, was the making 
a passage through a shallow and confined channel between 
Hog Island and the Pennsylvanian shore, and so to be able 
to attack the rear and least defensible part of the work, 
Avhile the troops made the assault. A diversion was also to 
have been attempted in the eastern or main channel, by the 
50-gun ship Isis, Captain the Hon. W. Cornwallis, and 
64-gun ship Augusta, Captain Francis Rejmolds. 

Notwithstanding the inability of Captain Christian to 
reach his station, Captain Reynolds was ordered on the 22nd 
to proceed in the Augusta, taking the Roebuck, Captain 
Andrew S. Hamond, 28-gun frigate Liverpool, Caj^tain 
Henry Belle w, 32-gain frigate Pearl, Captain Thomas Wil- 
kinson, and 16-gun sloop Merlin, Commander Samuel Reeve, 
and to go above the first range of chevaux de frise, to be in 
readiness for any further ser^dce. As soon as it was per- 
ceived, on the evening of the 22nd, that Colonel Donop had 
commenced his attack, the Augusta and squadron slipped 
their cables and proceeded up the river with the flood tide. 
Owing to an alteration in the channel of the river, caused by 
the obstructions before described, the Augusta and Merlin 
took the gi'ound some distance below the second line of 
cJievazix de frise. The rise of the tide having been checked 
by the prevalent winds, the two ships could not be got off 
that night. A desultory firing took place for a time between 
the frigates and the enemy's galleys ; but as night advanced 
this ceased, the troops having been repulsed, and Colonel 
Donop and several officers killed. 

On the morning of the 23rd, at daybreak, the positions of 
the Augusta and Merlin became known to the Americans, 
and a heavy fire was immediately opened upon them from 
every gini. that could be brought to liear. The floating bat- 
teries and galleys joined in the attack ; but their gunnery 
being bad, and the distance too great, the injury inflicted 
was inconsiderable. Four fire-ships were next tried ; but 
the gallantry and readiness of the crews of the squadron and 
transports rendered this attempt also abortive. Accident, 
however, efiected that which the enemy had failed in doing. 
While the Isis was warping through the lower chevaux de 
■frise to the assistance of the Augusta, and light transports 

1777.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 241 

were getting ready to lighten the sliip, preparatory to lier 
being hove off, a number of wads took fire abaft, and the 
flames spread with such rapidity that all attempts to arrest 
their progTess were fruitless. ^ Boats were therefore sent to 
rescue the crew, and such were their surprising exertions that 
nearly the whole Avere saved. A few perished when the 
ship l3lew up, and among the nimiber, the second lieutenant 
(Baldock), the chaplain, and gunner. The Merlin was set 
on fire and abandoned, as, from her proximity to the Au- 
gusta, her destruction appeared inevitable. 

Captain Henry Duncan, of the Eagle, was now actively 
employed with the boats of the squadron in conveying 
artilleiy, provisions, and stores to the river Schuylkill, 
by the channel in the rear of Fort Mifflin. Six 24-pounders 
from the Eagle, and four 32-pounders from the Somerset, 
were mounted on different batteries constructed under the 
direction of Sir William Howe ; and on the 1 0th of Novem- 
ber, the wind being fair for the advance of the Vigilant, and 
a hulk, mounting three long 24-pounders, offensive operations 
w*ere recommenced. 

The hulk was commanded by Lieutenant John Botham, 
of the Eagle ; and these vessels were assisted by the Boebuck, 
Pearl, and Liverpool, a.nd Cornwallis, galley, and other small 
vessels. Captain the Hon. William Cornwallis, who had 
command of this expedition, gained much credit for the 
judicious and gaUant manner in which he attacked Fort 
Island, and the enemy's galleys. 

The means of resistance possessed by the besieged w^ere 
very great. In addition to the Fort and its contiguous 
batteries, block-houses, and two floating batteries, they had 
seventeen galleys and armed vessels, and a division of heavy 
guns mounted on the Jersey shore. The besiegers endured 
this heavy cannonading with great forbearance and resolu- 
tion ; but the fire of the British shij)ping soon told upon the 
American defences Avith terril^le effect. Dreading the con- 
,sequences of another assault, the Americans in the night of 
the loth of November, evacuated Fort Mifflin ; and it was 

^ Cooper states that the Augusta had been lightened previou.-^ly to 
going on this service, and partially fitted as a floating battery, and that 
the fire originated in some pressed hay which had been secured to her 
quarter to make her shot-proof. 

VOL. I. R 

242 BATTLES OF [1777. 

immediately taken possession of by the grenadiers of the 
guards. In this ajftaii* the loss sustained by the enemy 
amounted to near 400 killed and woimded ; while the casual- 
ties on board the squadi'on, and on shore, did not exceed 
thirteen killed and thirty wounded. 

The British squadron had now full command of the Dela- 
ware from the Capes to the American capital ; and the 
Americans were forced to destroy all their shipping (except 
a few galleys which escaped up the river), includmg the 
Andrea Doria, of foiu-teen, Wasp, of eight, and Hornet, of 
ten guns, to prevent their falhng into the hands of the 
British. The 24-gun sliip Dela^^•are, Captain Charles Alex- 
ander, had previously been captm-ed in an attempt to destroy 
the batteries thrown up by the British. 

The successes of the British cruisers were considerable. 
In March, the 14-gun brig Cabot, Captain Jose2')h Oluey, was 
chased on shore on the coast of Nova Scotia, by the 28-gun 
frigate Milford, Captain John Burr. The Cabot, a vessel of 
189 tons, was got off and taken into the British service. 

On the 27tli of June, the 12-pounder 32-gun frigate Han- 
cock, Commodore John Manly, and 24-gim frigate Boston, 
Captain Hector McNiel, being on a cruise near the banks of 
Newfoundland, fell in mth the British 28-g'un frigate Fox, 
Captain Patrick Fotheringhame. An action commenced, 
which lasted two hom-s. In the com-se of the fight the Fox 
took fire in the main chains, where a number of wads had 
been deposited. The Americans ceased firing until the flames 
were extinguished, when the fight was resumed. The Fox 
being reduced to a •\\-reck, and having sustained a severe loss 
in killed and wounded, Captain Fotheringhame ordered the 
colours to be hauled do%vn. Lieutenant of marines the Hon. 
James J. Napier was among the killed. 

On the 6th of July, the Hancock and Boston with their 
prize on their Avay to Boston, came in sight of the British 
44-gun ship Rainbow, Captain Sir George Collier, and Victor, 
brig.^ Sir George Collier immediately ordered all sail to be 
made in pursuit of the three ships, but lost sight of them 
in the night. At daybreak on the 7th, the enemy's vessels 

* So stated in Sir Geo. Collier's official despatch, but as no such vessel 
appears in the Na\y List, it is probable that the Viper, 10-gun brig. 
Commander Samuel Reeve is the one intended. 

1777.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 24:3 

were again got sight of, Lading a sloop in company, wliicli 
they had brought to in the night. Obsei-^ing the near 
approach of the Rainbow, Commodore Manly ordered the 
sloop to be set on fire ; and the three frigates formed a line 
of battle ahead, and set all possible sail. The chase, one of 
the most animated on record, lasted throughout the day, 
although the Rainbow was only about six miles from the 
Americans at daybreak. At about 6h. A.M., another saO. hove 
in sight to leeward, and was soon made out to be a fiigate, 
under British colours. Although the stranger fired two guns 
to leeward, yet, as she did not answer the private signal, Su' 
George Collier had considerable doubts as to her nationality. 
The stranger, however, proved to be the 32-gTin frigate 
Flora, Captain John Brisbane ; and after crossing the 
bows of the Rainbow on the opposite tack, hove round on 
the same tack as the Rainbow. The American shi23s now 
bore up, and steered difierent courses. The Flora chased the 
Fox, while the Rainbow pursued the Hancock, and by night- 
fall the Flora and Rainbow lost sight of each other. The 
Rainbow's piu'suit continued throughout the night, the Han- 
cock being near enough to be watched by night-glasses. At 
daybreak on the 8th, the two ships were only a mile apart, 
and the Rainbow commenced firing her bow giins. At 
8h. 30m., the Rainbow was within hail, and Commodore 
Manly was ordered to siuTcnder ; but the breeze freshening 
a little, which it was thought would favour his escape, the 
order was not attended to, and observing the men going 
aloft to set studding-sails, the Rainbow gave the American 
frigate a broadside, whereupon her colours were hauled down. 
Thus, after a most arduous chase of thirty-six hours, was 
captured the finest ship in the American service. The 
Hancock measured 730 tons (being only 100 tons less than 
the Rainbow), and was accounted the fastest-sailing ship at 
that time afloat, but was out of trim and foul. She was- 
armed with long 12-pounders on the main deck, and had on 
board when captured a crew of 229 men. The Hancock, 
imder the name of Iris, was added to the British navy. 
The Boston effected her escape ; but the Flora overtook and 
recaptured the Fox without resistance, which she carried 
into Halifax, whither she was soon followed by the Rainbow 
and prize. This capture was a very unwelcome blow to 


244 BATTLES OF [1777. 

tlie infant navy of the Americans. A court-martial was 
shortly afterwards held upon Captains Manly and Mc]N"eil ; 
and it appearing that the latter had parted company from 
the Hancock unad\isedly, or without orders, he was dis- 
missed the service. Captain Manly was honoui-ably acquitted. 
Captain Fotheringhame was tried by court-martial at Ports- 
mouth for the loss of the Fox, on the 3rd of March, 1778, 
and, together with liis officers and crew, lionourably ac- 

The province of Nova Scotia being threatened with an 
invasion from the eastern parts of New England, Sir George 
Collier, having under his orders the 32-gun frigate Blonde, 
Captain John Milligan ; 28-gun frigate Mermaid, Captain 
James Hawker ; and armed vessel Hope, Lieutenant G. 
Dawson, sailed from Halifax to Machias, where he arrived 
on the IStli of August. 

On the morning of the 14th, in the face of a strong 
opposition from armed bodies on both sides of the river, the 
marines of the squadron landed and destroyed the fort., and 
several magazines, and captured a quantity of naval stores. 
On this service Sir George Collier destroyed a ship laden 
with masts for the French navy, also three brigs, eleven 
sloops, and fifteen schooners. 

The ship sloop Beaver, of fourteen long 6-pounders, Com- 
mander James Jones, in the course of this year captured the 
American privateer Oliver Cromwell, of fourteen long 
9 -pounders, besides ten swivels and ten cohorns, and 150 
men, after a lengthened action. The Beaver escaped with two 
men wounded ; while the Oliver Cromwell's loss amounted 
to twenty killed and twenty wounded. Captain Jones 
was rewarded for liis meritorious action by promotion, and 
was shortly afterwards appointed to command the 28-gun 
frigate Penelope, which sliip is supposed to have foundered 
in the West Indies in the year 1782. 

On the 4th of September, the homeward-bound fleet from 
the West Indies under convoy of the 22-gun ship Camel, 
Captain the Hon. William Finch, 14-gun ship sloop Druid, 
and IG-gun ship sloop Weazel, Commanders Peter Carteret 
and Samuel Warren, being in lat. 40° 30' N., long. 50° 17' W., 
vv^as chased by two large ships. At the time, the convoy 
was much dispersed, and the largest ship was observed bear- 

1777.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 24:5 

ing down upon the Driiid, then about five miles astern of 
the Camel. This was the United States 12-pounder 32-giin 
fri<;ate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson. The American 
D -pounder 24-gun frigate Alfred, Captain Elisha Hinman, 
was some miles to leeward. The Druid cleared for action, 
and at 5h. fm., the Raleigh, being to windward, ranged up 
alongside the Druid, hoisted American colours, and ordered 
the British vessel to strike. Captain Carteret, undismayed 
by the overpowering superiority of the foe (the tonnage of 
the Druid being 285, and of the Raleigh 697), was not slow 
to return the American's broadside, and a smart action 
ensued. Captain Carteret was mortally wounded by the 
first broadside ; and the master killed. Lieutenant John 
Bourchier then took command, and sustained so vigorous 
a resistance, that at 6h. p.m. the enemy made sail ahead. The 
Druid endeavom'ed, with much persevering gallantry, to follow 
the frigate ; but was too much disabled in sails and rigging. 
At 6h. 20m., the Raleigh, having the mnd abaft, hauled dowTi 
her colours, and made sail to leeward to close the Alfred. 

The Raleigh and Alfred were now chased by the Camel 
and Weazel, but mthout effect ; and the two American 
frigates permitted themselves to be driven from the convoy 
"without a single trophy of victory. Cooper endeavoiu-s to 
account for this extraordinary exhibition of pusillanimity in 
the follovv^ing mannner : " A squall had come on, and at first 
it shut in the two ships engaged. When it cleared away, the 
convov was seen steerino- in all directions in the utmost con- 
fusion j but the vessels of war, with several hea^'y well- 
armed West Indiamen, tacked and hauled up for the Raleigh, 
leaving no doubt of their intention to engage. The frigate 
lay by her adversary until the other vessels were so near, 
that it became absolutely necessary to quit her ; and then 
she ran to leewai-d and joined the Alfred. Here she short- 
ened sail and waited for the enemy to come down ; but, it 
being near dark, the British commodore tacked and hauled 
in among his convoy again. The Raleigh and Alfred kept 
near this fleet for several days ; but no {)rovocation could 
induce the vessels of war to come out of it, and it was finally 
abandoned." ^ 

* History of tne U. S. Navy, vol. i. pp. 153 ei scq. 

246 BATTLES OF [1777. 

After incorrectly describing the force of tlie Druid at 
" twenty guns," Mr. Cooper goes on to comment upon the 
behaviour of Captain Thompson : " In this affair," he writes, 
" Captain Thompson discovered a proper spirit ( ! ) ; for he 
might easily have cut out of the fleet half a dozen merchant- 
men ; but he appears to have acted on the principle, that 
vessels of war should first seek vessels of war." A most 
lame and impotent conclusion ; but it will be worth while 
to analyze the British and American forces, and then judge 
whether Captain Thompson did indeed discover " a proper 
spirit." The Camel was a ship of 516 tons, and armed on 
the main deck with eighteen long 9-pounders, and four 
6 -pounders on the quarter-deck and forecastle : making her 
broadside weight of shot 93 lbs. The Druid — the only ship 
engaged — measured 285 tons, and mounted fourteen 
6-pounders : broadside weight of shot, 42 lbs. The Weazel 
was a sloop of war of 308 tons, and mounted sixteen 
6-pounders : broadside weight of shot, 48 lbs. : total of the 
three vessels, 183 lbs., and the aggregate of the crews about 
380. On the other hand, the Raleigh, a fine ship of 697 
tons, probably mounted on her main deck twenty-six long 
12-pounders, and six 9-pounders on the quarter-deck and 
forecastle, giving her a broadside weight of 183 lbs. ; and the 
Alfred, whose tonnage was probably about 563 tons, she 
being of the same class as the Delaware., mounted on her 
main deck twenty long 9-pounders, and four long 6-pounders 
on the quarter-deck, or 102 lbs. : total, 285 lbs.; and their 
united crews would not be less than 400 men. Thus we 
have the account as follows : — 




Weight of Shot. 



British ._. . 

3 . 

. 54 

.. 183 lbs. ., 

, 1,109 . 

. 380 

American . 

...2 . 

. 56 

. . 285 „ . , 

, 1,260 . 

. 400 

It is impossible, with such figures before us (and even these 
do not show the full extent of the advantage on the side of 
the American ships arising from their superior tonnage), to 
feel satisfied that Captains Thompson and Hinman did 
evince that ".proper spirit," for wliich the historian of the 
American navy gives them credit. Captain Carteret, whose 
left thigh was dreadfully shattered, underwent amputation 
of the Hmb, but died on the following morning ; the master 

1777.] THE BEITISH NAVY. 247 

of the Druid and five men were killed, and four more died 
of their wounds ; and the woimded amounted to twenty-one, 
including Lieutenant of marines James Nicholson, and 
Mr. Poison, surgeon's mate. The Americans state the 
Ealeigh to have had only three men killed and wounded, 
and to have sustained little or no injury. Lieutenant 
Bom-cliier received the reward of his spirited defence by 
promotion, and a confirmed commission for the Druid. ^ 

On the 18th of September, the American 4-poimder 
16-g-un brig Lexington, Captain Johnston, quitted Morlaix 
for America with despatches ; and on the 19th at daybreak, 
being about fourteen leag-ues to the westward of Ushant, 
was chased by the British 4-pounder 10-gun cutter Alert, 
Lieutenant John Bazeley. At 7h. 30m. a.m., the Alert, 
being close up with the Lexington, commenced the action, 
and a running fight was kept up till lOh., when the Lexing- 
ton bore up, and made sail. Having repaired damages, 
Lieutenant Bazeley renewed the pursuit; and at llh. p.m., 
again brought the brig to action. After another hour of 
close fighting, the Lexington surrendered, and was taken 
possession of by the gaUant little victor. The Alert, out of 
a crew of 60, had two men killed, and one mortally, and, 
two badly wounded ; and the Lexington, whose crew num- 
bered eighty-four, had seven killed, and eleven wounded, 
besides being considerably damaged aloft. The prepon- 
derance of force was greatly in favom' of the Lexington ; 
and Lieutenant Bazeley gallantly earned the promotion, 
which was immediately bestowed upon him.- 

About the same time the 12-g'un sloop Antigua, Lieu- 
tenant Billy Douglas, captured the American privateer 
Blacksnake, of twelve guns and sixty men, after a very 
severe action. Lieutenant Douglas also received promotion.*^ 

The 10-gun schooner Bacehorse (probably a tender to the 
Antelope, flag-ship to Yice- Admiral Layton on the Jamaica 
station), acting Lieutenant Joseph Jordan, fell in with the 

' This ofiBcer was made a post captain on tlie 13th of April, 1782 ; 
appointed a captain of Greenwich Hospital, 1801 ; and succeeded Sir 
Eichard Pearson as lieut. -governor of that establishment in 1805. 

2 He obtained his post rank April 15, 1778, and died an admiral. 

" This officer was promoted to post rank, August 15, 1781, and died 
an admiral. 

248 BATTLES OF [1777. 

American 16 -gun privateer Guest; and, after an engagement 
of two hours' duration, boarded and carried her. The 
was commanded by an officer holding a commission from 
Congress ; but the privateer's crew was chiefly French, and 
numbered between ninety and a hundred. The Racehorse, 
wdiose complement of men was only thirty-seven, had one 
killed and eight wounded ; wliile the enemy suffered a loss 
of sixteen killed and forty wounded, before surrendering. 
Several Ameiican privateers were captured in the Mediter- 
ranean^ among which was the Vigilant, of fourteen guns, Captain 
Kichard Whitear, which had been fitted out at Dunkirk. 
The Yigilant was taken by the Levant, Captain George 

The most enterprizing among American ciiiisers in the 
European seas was Gustavus Cunningham,^ a native of Ire- 
land, and the precursor to John Paid Jones. Tliis year the 
American commissioners at France sent across an agent to 
Folkstonc, to purchase a fast-sailing English-built cutter. 
The purchase was made, and the cutter brought across to 
Dunkirk. After fitting her as a vessel-of-war with ail the 
privacy possible, Gustavus Cunningham was appointed by the 
commissioners to command her, under the name of the Siu*- 
prise. Tlie legaHty of the commission given to Cunningham 
admitted of very great question. It was a blank com- 
mission from John Hancock, the president of Congress 'p' and 
this convenient descrij^tion of instrument the commissioners 
dated March 1st, 1777, and gave to Cunningham. The au- 
thorities of Dunku'k, however, notwithstanding the secrecy 
with which the vessel was fitted, having a suspicion that the 
Surprise was illegally equipped, demanded security that the 
vessel should not be employed in any improper manner. 
This security was given by Mr. Hodge, the American agent, 
and the Surj)rise left Dunkii'k aj^parently in ballast. The 
Surprise anchored in the roads at Dunkirk, and the gims, 
ammunition, and crew were sent off to the vessel, which im- 
mediately put to sea. 

This bold adventurer sailed on the 1st of May, and on the 
2nd fell in Avith the Harwich packet. This was the Prince 

' Mr. Cooper, for what reason, or upon what authority he does not 
state, persists in spelling tlie name of this person CvnDngliam. 
- History of the U. S. Navy, vol, i. p. 114. 

1778.] THE BRITISH NAYY. 240 

of Orange, then a few leagues from the Dutch coast. So 
wholly iniexpected was the presence of an enemy, that the 
captain of the packet was below at breakfast mth his pas- 
sengers when Cunningham walked down into the cabin, and 
acquainied him that he was a prisoner. Cunningham then 
secured the mail-bags, and thinking liis performance one of 
considerable merit and consequence, re-entered Dunkirk with 
liis prize. ^ 

1778. — It having been ascertained that several vessels of 
war were building along the Jersey banks of the Delaware, 
and that magazines were in course of erection, it was deter- 
mined by the admiral and general to send a conjoint force 
to destroy them. The troops selected for this service were 
placed under the command of Major the Hon. John Mait- 
land, and the seamen under Captain John Henry, of the 
24-g-un ship Fowey. On the night of the 7th of May, the 
second battalion of infantry and two field-pieces were em- 
barked, and proceeded up the river in eighteen flat boats, 
convoyed by the galleys Hussar, Cornwallis, Ferret, and 
Philadelphia, and by the armed schooners Viper and Pem- 
broke, and four gun-boats. After advancing about twelve 
miles, the ebb-tide obliged the flotilla to anchor ; but at 
5h. A.M. on the 8th, the expedition was again in motion, and 
at noon was abreast of Whitehill. At this place the troops 
disembarked in the face of a large pai"ty of horse and foot, 
but which did not offer any opposition. INIajor Maitland 
then commenced his march towards Borden Town, of which 
he gained possession after much rather sharp skirmishing. 
In the meanwhile, Captain Henry was not inactive, for the 

' The French governrneiit were compelled to take notice of tliia glaring 
infi'ingement of the law of nations, and, in deference to the vigorous 
remonstrances of the British ambassador, orders were given to the 
authorities at Dunkirk to imprison Hodge, the security, and also 
Cunningham and his men, to seize the cutter, and liberate the prize. 
Tlie make-believe commission, also, was taken from Gustavus, and sent 
to Versailles, and never returned. Proceedings apparently so decided 
pacified the British government, and it was for the time believed that 
France intended to pay some small respect to the existing treaty. It 
was, however, believed at the time, and so stated in the public papers, 
that the Prince of Orange packet was not restored to the British 
government in the manner above related, or out of any deference to their 
remonstrances, but that she was purchased with British money, and that 
Cunningham received the value of his prize. 

250 BATTLES OF [1778. 

seamen destroyed the 3 2 -gun frigate Washington and 28-giui 
frigate Effingham, neither of which had ever been to sea, toge- 
ther with a brig and sloop. Maj or Maitland having by tliis time 
got into Borden Town, the galleys and gun-boats moved up to 
Crosswell Creek, and burnt several large ships and privateers, 
including the Sturdy Beggar privateer of eighteen giins. The 
total of vessels destroyed by the naval force consisted of two 
frigates, nine large ships, three privateer sloops, each of six- 
teen guns, three of ten guns each, besides twenty-three brigs, 
with a number of sloops and schooners. 

On the 24th of May, an expedition started from Newport, 
Rhode Island, commanded by Captain Samuel W. Clayton, 
of the 32-gun frigate Isis, assisted by Lieutenant John 
Knowles, and the mihtary part by Lieutenant-Colonel Camp- 
bell, of the 22nd regiment. At midnight, the troops em- 
barked at Arnold's Point in flat boats, and proceeded towards 
Warren Biver. The 32-gun frigate Flora, Captain John 
Brisbane, and other ships, took the best positions they could 
to cover the advance of the expedition. The troops effected 
a landing at daybreak about three miles below Warren, and 
a mile above Bristol, and made a successful incursion as far 
as the Kickamuct Biver. At this place 12o large boats, 
some of which measured fifty feet in length, Avere destroyed, 
and also a galley, mounting six 1 2-pounders, and two sloops 
laden with stores. The guns of the galley and others cap- 
tured by the British were spiked, and otherwise effectually 
disabled by knocking off the trunnions. The troops re- 
tm-ned to Warren, Avhere they further destroyed a park of 
artillery, and a large quantity of ammunition and warlike 
stores. A privateer of sixteen guns ready for sea was bm^nt 
in the river. The troops re-embarked in the most perfect 
order, and with very trifling loss. 

On the 25th of May, another expedition, conducted by 
Captain Samuel Beeves, started at 2h. A.ii. with the Bigot 
galley. Lieutenant Henry Edwin Stanhope, and six armed 
boats, under Lieutenant James Kempthome, and passed the 
battery at Bristol Berry without molestation. The Bigot 
having anchored in Mount Hope Bay, Lieutenant Kemp- 
thorne was despatched ^vith. the armed boats to the mouth 
of Taunton Biver, where he landed, and brought off a 
galley armed with ten gains (18, 12, and 6-pounders). The 

1778.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 251 

Americans being surprised, offered no opposition. The follow- 
ing morning, Lieutenant Philip D'Auvergne, of the Alarm 
galley, landed a party of marines at Fogland Ferry, and 
burnt the guard-house, retiring without loss. The before- 
mentioned of&cers, and also Lieutenant Hugh C. Christian, 
received the thanks of the commodore. 

On the 24:th of May, an expedition quitted Rhode Island, 
the troops under Major Ep*e, of the 54th, embarking from 
Ai^nold's Point in flat boats. The Pigot, Lieutenant Henry 
E. Stanhope, and the armed boats, under the direction of 
Lieutenant Hugh C. Christian, of the Kingfisher, convoyed 
the expedition, the object of which was to destroy some saw- 
mills erected on a creek near Taunton Piver, busily at work 
preparing materials for building a flotilla to be employed in 
an invasion of Phode Island. The Pigot grounded in passing 
Bristol Ferry; but the boats proceeded, and soon after day- 
break reached the intended point of disembarkation. Here a 
formidable opposition was threatened ; but the guard being 
dispersed by the fire of the gun-boats, the troops effected a 
landing, and destroyed two mills, together with a large quan- 
tity of planks ready for ship-building purposes. The alarm 
having now spread, and the number of armed men increasing. 
Major Eyres gave orders to return to the boats ; and after 
destroying the guard-house, a store, and niue boats, the party 
made good their retreat, having sustained a loss of two men 
killed, and Lieutenant Goldsmith and four men wounded. 
The Pigot being assisted by the boats of the Flora, got off 
with the rising tide ; but Lieutenant Andrew Congalton, of 
that ship, Avas badly wounded, and two men were killed by 
the fire from the enemy's batteries. 

France, though fi:om the commencement of the struggle 
the secret abettor and ally of America, at length, openly 
espoused her cause ; and Comte d'Estaing was ordered to 
proceed to America Avith the Toulon fleet. D'Estaing sailed 
from Toulon on the 12th of April, but the British govern- 
ment, though there existed a moral certainty of the French 
fleet's destination, kept a fleet of thirteen sail of the Hne 
under Vice-Admiral Byi'on in reserve, instead of ordering it 
to proceed at once to New York. The North American 
squadron under Lord Howe was miserably small, and had it 
not been for its withdrawal from the Delaware on the 

252 BATTLES OP [1778k 

evacuation of Philadelpliia, it must have Deen crushed hy 
the advancing fleet. D'Estaing's fleet was watched coming 
through the Straits of Gibraltar, by Captain Evelyn Sutton 
in the Proserpine, and that officer conveyed the intelligence 
to the Admiralty on the 6th of June. Orders were then 
given to Vice- Admiral Byron to proceed — not to Nev/ 
York — ^but in search of D'Estaing. The British fleet was 
ovei-taken by a heavy gale and dispersed, thus leaving the 
oallant Howe to defend himself as he best could from his 


powerful enemy. 

On the 7th of July, while the British squadron was lying at 
Sandy Hook, a Heutenant from the 28-gTm frigate Maidstone, 
Captain Alan Gardner, arrived with despatches, announcing 
that the Toulon squadron had been seen by the Maidstone 
ofi" the coast of Yirgmia, apparently intending to enter the 
Chesapeake. Captain Gardner had continued to watch the 
motions of the squadron, however, and had seen it enter the 
Delaware ; where he left it on the 6th. Tliis intelligence 
was confirmed by the arrival of the Boebuck, Captain Andrew 
S. Hamond ; and while Lord Howe was busy in making 
preparations to receive a visit from such a superior force, the 
Zebra, Commander Henry Collins, arrived on the 11th, and 
gave information that on the evening before a fleet of twelve 
sail of two-decked ships, under French colours, had been 
fallen in ^vith, steering for New York. At noon on the 
same day (11th), the French fleet hove in sight, and in the 
course of the afternoon came to anchor ofi" Shrewsbury Inlet, 
four miles from Sandy Hook. Lord Howe's situation was 
not very enviable, for in addition to his squadron being very 
inferior to that now in sight, liis ships were all short-handed. 
The British squadi'on at tliis time was composed of the 
following : — 

Guns. Ships. Men. 

! Vice- Admiral Lord Viscount Howe (red) 
Cai)tain Henry Duncan 
,, Roger Curtis 
^ ., , e-ii~ \ Commodore John Elliott 

64 Trident .... 51 / j ^^^^^-^ ^_ J. P. Molloy 

^^ ^ ^ o/?- i Commodore William Hotham 

i,0 Preston .... 36/ j ^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ Uppleby 

( Nonsuch . . 500 „ Walter Griffiths 
64. \ Somerset . . 500 ,, Geo. Ourry 
f St. Albans 500 „ Richard Onslow 

1778.] THE BRITISH XAVY. 253 

(tuhs. Ships. Men. 

C)i Ardent .... 500 Captain Geo. Keppel 

50 Isis 350 ,, John EajTior 

^ Roebuck . . 280 ,, Andrew S. Hamond 

^^ { Phoenix .... 280 „ Hyde Parker 

In addition to the above, there were attached to the 
.squadron the 32-gTin frigate Pearl, Captain John Linzee, 
i20-gnn armed ship Vigilant, Captain Hugh C. Christian, 
three fire-ships, two mortar-vessels, and four galleys. 

The French fleet consisted of the following : — 

Guns. Ships. 

90 Languedoc 
80 Tonnant 


Guns. Ships. 

^., \ Marseillois 
' il Guerrifere 

( Vaillant 
64 ^ Provence 

( Fantasqne 
54 Saoittaire 

il6-gun frigates Fleche, Aimable, Alcmene, Chimfere, and Engageante, 
and 16 -gun sloop Eclaire. 

It was, however, gi*atifying to Lord H we in this emer- 
gency to find himself surrounded by a devoted band of 
followers. The spirit of patriotism soon extended itself to 
the crews of the transports and hired merchant ships. A 
thousand men presented themselves as volunteers. The 
^.gents could Avith difiiculty retain a sufficient number of 
men to take care of their own sliips. Not only did this 
/enthusiasm reign among the navy, the soldiers expressed also 
their readiness and desire to serv^e on board the ships in lieu 
of marines. So eager were the noble fellows belonging to 
the grenadiers and light infantry to devote their best 
energies to the service at this crisis, that it became necessary 
to cast lots to determine upon whom the duty should fall. 
Tlie masters and mates of the merchant ships offered to take 
their stations at the guns with their men, and in every 
way evinced their ardent love of country. It is recorded in 
particular that Gideon Duncan, the master of a merchant 
ship, offered to convert his vessel — the only property he had 
belonging to him — into a fire-ship, and further, to command 
her, with the determination to lay the French admiral's 
ship on board while at anchor off the Hook, and this without 
'hope or expectation of reward. The French admiral had 
aiTived too late to gain an undisputed victory over the 
British. A somewhat tedious voyage, and the chase of the 

254: BATTLES OF [1778. 

British. 28-guii frigate Mermaid^ Captain James Hawker, 
which vessel was driven on shore^ had delayed their progress. 
Had more sj^eed been observed, the French fleet might easily 
have reached the Delaware previously to the evacuation of 
Philadelphia, when Lord Howe would have been found with 
only two 64-gun ships, one 50-gun ship, and a few frigates. 
Thus the total defeat not only of the squadron but of the 
army must have ensued ; and tliis catastrophe was averted 
only by a succession of adverse winds. 

The British and French forces continued in the same posi- 
tion, Lord Howe daily expecting to be attacked. He therefore 
placed his ships so as to offer the most effectual resistance. 
The Leviathan, an old 70-gun ship, commanded by Captain 
Joseph Tathwell, but employed as a store-ship, was brought 
forward, armed with gims from the park of artillery, and 
manned with volunteers. This ship, with the Ardent, 
Nonsuch, Trident, Somerset, Eagle, and Isis, were an- 
chored with springs on their cables in a line stretching 
from the Hook towards the S.W. point of the spit. Astern 
of the Leviathan, the Carcass and Thunder, bombs, were 
placed ; and the St. Albans and some frigates, stationed 
inside the line, to render such services as might be re- 
quired ; while the Vigilant, Phoenix, and Preston were 
appointed to act as advanced ships, to aiuioy the enemy in 
passing the bar. The four galleys were ranged across the 
narrow part of the channel abreast of the Hook, from which 
position they could retreat into shoal water. Lord Howe 
personally sounded the channel and ascertained the peculiar 
sets of current, fr"om which practical knowledge he formed 
liis plans for defence. A battery of two howitzers, and 
another of three 18-pounders were erected on the point wliicli 
the enemy must have romided before entering the channel ; 
and four regiments, imder the command of Colonel O'Hara, 
were posted there to prevent the enemy from taking posses- 
sion of the place. 

This state of affairs continued until the 21st of July, 
by which time it appeared, from the less frequent communi- 
cations with the shore, that the French fleet had completed 
their water and provisions. On the 22nd, the wind blowing 
fresh from the northward, Lord Howe expected to be attacked, 
as at 8h. a.m. the French fleet was observed to be underweigh. 

1778.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 255 

and to be working to windward, in order, it was supposed, to 
gain the jDroper position for crossing the bar at about 9h., 
when the tide would best have served. All things seemed 
to favour the looked-for attack. It was an anxious time for 
the British admii^al ; for upon the result of the contest 
must have hung the fate of the British cause in America. 
Hemmed in and surrounded on all sides by enemies, with no 
prospect of reinforcements of any kind, the British had 
enough to damp the ardour of less gallant men ; but there 
stili existed the determination to do their duty to the last, 
and to sell their lives dearly. But there was no despair ; 
and despite the fearful odds against them, there were no 
anticipations of defeat. To the astonishment of the British, 
however, Comte d'Estaing made no attempt to bring on an 
action. After hovering about the entrance till the afternoon, 
apparently undecided, he at length hauled off to the south- 
ward. D'Estaing,^ however, seemed perfectly satisfied with 
having made a demonstration of his strength, and shortly 
afterwards entered Delaware Bay, from whence he proceeded 
to Rhode Island. 

Beinforcements now began to arrive. The 50-gun ship 
Renown, acting Captain George Dawson, came into New 
York from the West Indies on the 26th of July, having, 
the day before, passed the rear of the French fleet unob- 
served. The 64-gun ship Raisonnable, and 50-gun ship 
Centurion, Captains Thomas Eitzherbert and Richard 
Braithwaite, were shortly added ; and the 74-gun ship 
Cornwall, Captain Timothy Edwards — ^the first of Yice- 
Admiral Byron's fleet wliich reached America — crossed the 
bar on the 30th. The Cornwall had parted company from 
the admiral in a gale on the 3rd of July. At the same time, 
all the squadron separated except four ships, all of which 
subsequently parted company, and the admiral, in the Prin- 
cess Royal, prosecuted the voyage alone. 

In the meanwhile the Americans were j^rojecting an 

1 M. D'Estaing was made prisoner in 1758, before Madras, but was 
permitted to return to Europe on his parole, wliich, however, he broke, 
and made an attack on our settlements. This induced Boscawen to say 
that if ever he was successful enough to take him, he would chain him to 
the deck like a monkey. D'Estaing was guillotined iu the revolution 
of 1794. 

256 BATTLES OP [1778. 

expedition against Rhode Island, relying in a great measure 
upon the co-operation of their French ally. Major-General 
8ir Robert Pigot, who commanded the forces at Rhode 
Island, made every disposition for defence. The British 
squadron consisted of the 32-gim frigate Flora, Captain John 
.Brisbane ; 32-gun frigates Lark, OriDheus, and Juno, and 
28-gun frigate Cerberus, Captains Richard Smith, Charles 
Hudson, Hugh Dairy mple, and John Symons ; and the 
Kingfisher sloop. The French fleet appeared off JSTewport 
at llh. A.M. on the 29th July, when two line-of-battle ships 
and two frigates were detached to occupy the Narraganset 
and Seconet passages. In a few days they became masters 
of Connanicut, the British forces having been previously 
withdra^vn, and the batteries on Beavertail Point, and on 
the Dumplins destroyed. In order to jirevent the nearer 
advance of the French fleet. Captain Brisbane sank the 
Flora in the channel of the outer harbour, and several large 
vessels at the entrance to the inner harbour. On the 7th of 
August he caused the frigates and sloops to be burnt, not 
being able to bring them into the inner harbour ; and the 
crews of those ships were stationed on shore at batteries 
erected on Brenton's Point and Goat Island ; and, also, at the 
North batteries. On the 8th of August, the French fleet 
got underweigh at noon, and stood towards the harbour in 
line ahead ; and, after cannonading the batteries, brought up, 
at -ih. P.M., between Goat Island and Connanicut. The 
batteries smartly returned the fire of the French ships, 
being well manned by the seamen of the frigates, and ably 
commanded by Captain Hugh C. Christian, and Lieutenants 
Thomas Forrest and William A. Otway. Intelligence of 
the contemplated attempt on Rhode Island, and of M. d'Es- 
taing's movement, reached Lord Howe on the 1st of August; 
but he was unable to cross the bar until the 6th. He imme- 
diately proceeded to Rhode Island, and arrived off that place 
on the 9th, to the great relief of the British. The sight of 
Lord Howe's squadron appeared to be enough for JNI. d'Es- 
taing, who, on the 10th, got underweigh; and, bestowing a 
passing fire upon the batteries, stood out to sea. 

Twelve large sail of the line was a greater force than 
Lord Howe would have been justified in attacking with tlie 
squadron under his command, and especially without having the 

1778.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 257 

advantage of the weather gage, at that period considered an 
important one. During the 10th and 11th, the rival fleets 
continued in sight of each other ; and every preparation was 
made by Lord Howe for action. In order the better to 
direct the operations, Lord Howe shifted his flag from the 
Eagle to tlie Apollo frigate. In the night, however, it came 
on to blow a heavy gale, in which the squadron was dispersed, 
the Apollo disabled by the loss of her fore and main top- 
masts, and the n^iinmast sprung ; and the other ships more 
or less crippled. The gale continued several days, which 
obliged the sliips to run for Sandy Hook, where most of the 
squadron had reassembled, when Lord Howe arrived on the 

The French fleet had also been dispersed in the gale, and 
sufiered more severely than the British in masts and spars. 
The Languedoc was totally dismasted ; the Tonnant lost fore 
and mizen-masts ; and serious damages were sustained by the 
other ships. On the evening of the 18th of August, the Lan- 
guedoc was fallen in with by the 50-gun ship Renown, 
Captain George Dawson. M. d'Estaing was on board the 
Languedoc ; but the ship being totally dismasted, bore no 
flag to denote his presence. The Renown being under full 
command, had it, therefore, in her power to sail round her 
unwieldy enemy, and pour in her shot; receiving only in 
retui-n an occasional fire from the stern chase-guns. Captain 
Dawson, on closing the Languedoc, hailed and ordered them 
to show their colours ; after which he ordered the upper 
deck guns to be fired into her, and hauled ofi" to windward. 
The sea running very high, it was impossible to fire with 
much precision ; nor was it safe to open the lower deck 
ports, yet the Renown manoeuvred so as to pass close under 
the French 90-gun ship's stern, and to give her the contents 
of the lower as well as upper deck gims. The Renown con- 
tinued the engagement for a short time ; Captam Dawson 
intending to keep close to the disabled ship during the night, 
and to renew the action in the morning. Had he, however, 
given the Languedoc a few more broadsides, she must have 
suiTendered ; and Captain Dawson would have had credit 
for his capture. Had he been unable to carry his prize into 
port, he might have destroyed her. But it happened other- 
^vise ; and the first broadside, fired by the Renown next 

VOL. I. s 

258: BATTLES OF [1778. 

morning, brought six sail of the line to the rescue of the 
LangTiedoc, from which Captain Dawson ^ had much trouble 
in making his escape. 

The 50-gun ship Isis, Captain John Kaynor, fought 
another ship of the French squadron, while the Renown 
was engaged, as just stated, with the Languedoc. The 
74-gTin ship Cesar, bearing the flag of Rear- Admiral Bou- 
gain\alle, discovered the Isis in the afternoon of the 18th 
August ; and, observing the small size of the ship, made sail 
in chase. The C6sar was as superior in speed, as in tonnage, 
weight of metal, and number of men ; and Captain Raynor, 
no doubt, believed Ms capture to be inevitable. But it is 
the ruling principle of a British sailor never to despair while a 
possibility of escape remains ; and he will always endeavour 
to make up in stratagem, for that of which he may be 
deficient in power. The Cesar had cleared for action, and 
was fast overtaking the little 50-gun ship, the latter being 
under a heavy press of sail on the weather bow of the 
French ship. It was customary, at that period, for French 
ships to clear the ship for action on the engaged side only; 
and to stow between the guns of the intended-to-be-dis- 
engaged side, lumber which, in British ships, is usually 
thrown overboard. The Cesar, according to the prevailing 
custom, had only cleared away her starboard g*uns, expect- 
ing that the Isis would keep the weather gage, which she 
then had. Not so, however; for Captain Raynor suddenly 
bore up across the Cesar's bows, and brought her to action 
on the larboard side. By this manoeuvre the Isis made the 
Cesar a breakwater, and was enabled to ply her guns with 
steadiness, while the luiexpected change in her position 
caused the French ship's fire to be ineffectual. The Cesar 
soon felt that her antagonist, though small, was ably handled. 
Captain Raynor, who was well supported by his officers, 
encouraged the gallant tars at the guns, and the Cesar was 
soon glad to escape from under their hands. She bore up and 
made all sail before the wind, feehng that her safety consisted 
in flight. The Isis followed ; but the Cesar sailed two feet to 
the British ship's one. The damages of the Isis were chiefly 

^ Captain Dawson was dismissed the service in 1783, for some miscon- 
duct committed while captain of the Phaeton, in the Mediterranean. — 
Schomberg's Naval Chronology, vol. v. p. 348. 

1778.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 259 

confined to her rigging and sails. One man was killed and 
fourteen wounded. The French sliip suffered more severely^ 
ha\dng had seventy men killed or wounded, including, 
among the latter, Rear-Admiral Bougainville (wounded in 
the arm), and his first lieutenant, with the loss of a leg. 
Cajitaiu Furneaux, lato of the Syren, was a passenger on 
board the Tsis, and distinguished himself during the action ; 
and the duke of Ancaster was also a volunteer, and was 
highly spoken of 

A thii'd action was fought the same night by Commodore 
Wm. Hotham, in the 50-g*un ship Preston. The 80-gun 
ship Tonnant, having only her mainmast standing, was fallen 
in -with and closely engaged ; but the firing brought other 
ships to the Tonnant's rescue, and compelled the Preston to 

On the 7th of March, at 5h.A.M., the 64-gun ship Yar- 
mouth, Captain Nicholas Vincent, cruising to the eastward 
of Barbadoes, got sight of a squadron of six sail — two ships, 
three brigs, and a schooner. The Yarmouth made sail to 
close the strangers, and at 9h. a.m. was near enough to hail 
the largest, which proved to be the American 32-gun frigate 
Handolph, Captain Nicholas Biddle. The Pandolph imme- 
diately hoisted her colours, and fired a broadside at the 
Yarmouth, which being returned, a inmning fight of half an 
home's dui^ation ensued, when the Randolph blew up.^ The 
Yarmouth, being to windward, fortunately escaped being 
involved in the catastrophe ; but several pieces of the burning 
wreck fell on her deck. An American ensign, rolled up, was 
blown upon the Yarmouth's forecastle not singed. The 
Yarmouth had five men killed and twelve wounded. The 
temerity of Captain Biddle in thus engaging a ship so much 
superior to his own, deserved a better fate. Mr. Cooper 
states that the squadron comprised, besides the Randolph, the 
General Moultrie, eighteen, Polly, sixteen, Notre Dame, 
sixteen, and Fair American^ fourteen. 

1 On the 12th, the Yarmouth fell in with a piece of the wreck of the 
Kandolph, on which were found four men, part of the crew of the ill- 
starred ship. The poor fellows had been on the wreck four days, and 
had subsisted on the rain-water which had been imbibed by a piece of 
blanket which they had picked up. With these exceptions, all hands 
had perished. 


260 BATTLES OF [1778. 

The American frigates Raleigh and Alfred, Captains 
Thomas Thompson and Elisha Hinman, whose fruitless 
attack upon a British convoy has already been noticed,^ 
subseqiiently sailed for Port I'Orient. Here they took on 
board a considerable quantity of military stores and ammu- 
nition, and started on their return voyage to America in 
February. On the 9tli of March, they were discovered by 
the 20-gun ship Ariadne, CajDtain Thomas Pringle, and 
16-gun ship sloop Ceres, Commander Richard Dacres. The 
Ariadne and Ceres crowded sail in pursuit, and at noon the 
former ship succeeded in bringing the stemmost American 
ship — the Alfred — to close action. Here was an opportunity 
for the disjDlay of prowess, but Captain Thompson, of whose 
"projoer spirit" we have already given a sample,^ did not think 
proper to avail himself of it. Though his ship was greatly 
superior to the Ariadne, he left Captain Hinman to his fate, 
and the Alfred fell an easy prey to the British ships. The 
Alfred mounted when captured twenty long 9-pounders, and 
had a crew of 180 men. The Ariadne was a ship of 429 
tons, and her main deck guns were 9-pounders. The Raleigh 
succeeded in reaching America, where Captam Thompson 
was " reheved from the command " of the sliip, and Cap- 
tain John Barry, an officer of considerable merit, who had 
distinguished himself in the Lexington, appointed to the 

An event now occurred in the British waters which caused 
no slight sensation. The British government, regardless of 
the safety of our own shores, had not reserved a squadron of 
any importance to be employed upon it. A few small ships 
dispersed about the coasts of England and Scotland, were 
considered .sufficient to secure them from insult ; the sequel, 
however, proved the folly of such a presumption. The un- 
protected condition of many of our seaports, and especially 
mercantile ports, had been frequently represented to Con- 
gress by the American commissioners at Paris, and plans were 
submitted by Mr. Silas Deane-^ for burning Liverpool, Bristol, 
and other ports, as far back as 1776. In order to carry this de- 
sign into execution, it was necessary to procure the ser\ices of 
persons intimately acquainted with the localities to be destroyed, 

* See p. 244, ante. ^ See p. 246, ante. 

^ The supposed abettor of the incendiary Jack the Painter. 

1778.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 261 

and John Paul Jones was selected for the contemplated work 
of destmction. Captain Jones was a native of Scotland, and 
having for years been engaged in mercantile vessels, was well 
acquainted with the coasts marked out. He was appointed to 
command the 1 8-gun ship Ranger, in which he left Ameiica 
the beginning of the year. He arrived at Brest, and ha\dng 
refitted his ship, quitted that port on the 10th of April, 1778. 
Careful to lose no time, Jones attempted on the 17th to burn 
the shipping and town of Wliitehaven. Two parties landed 
in the night ; the forts were seized and the guns spiked, the 
few look-outs that were in the works being confined. In 
effecting tliis duty, Captain Jones was foremost in person, 
for ha-vdng once sailed out of the port, he was familiar with 
the situation of the place. An accident common to both 
the parties into which the expedition had been divided, was 
the principal cause of the object of the expedition being 
defeated. They had brought candles in their lanterns to 
serve for lights and torches, and when it became necessary to 
use them for the latter purpose, it was found that all had 
been consumed. As the day was appearing, the party under 
Lieutenant Wallingford returned to the boat without having 
effected anything ; but Captain Jones sent to a detached 
building and obtained a candle. With this, he boarded a 
large ship, kindled a fire in her steerage, and by placing a 
barrel of tar over the spot, soon had the vessel in flames.^ 
Captain Jones and his party then put off under a fire from 
the shore, and the alarm having been given, the people of the 
town and shipping came together in great numbers, and 
extinguished the flames. 

Captain Jones's next exploit was at St. Mary's Isle, the 
seat of the earl of Selkirk, where a party landed, with 
Captain Jones at their head, with the view, it is stated, 
of obtaining possession of the person of the earl of Selkirk. 
But his lordship being absent, the party demanded the family 
plate ; this was given, and Paul Jones and his men made 
off with their plunder. The Banger then crossed over to Car- 
rickfergu.s, where the 1 8-gun ship sloop Drake, Commander 
George Burdon, was at anchor. The Ranger had attempted to 
carry tliis ship a few days previously by boarding, but owing 

' Cooper's History of the United States Navy, vol. i. p. 168. 

262 BATTLES OF [1778. 

to tlie anchor's uot having been let go in oime, the Hanger 
was obliged to slip and stand out to sea again. On the 24th 
of April, the Kanger having made her appearance off the baj, 
Captain Biu'don sent a boat out to reconnoitre, which boat 
went alongside, and the officer and crew were of course 
made prisoners. Observing the capture of the boat, the 
character of the stranger was no longer doubtful ; and the 
Drake was shortly afterwards under sail, and working out of 
the harbour. It was dusk before the Drake arrived up with 
the Ranger, when an action commenced, but the night coming 
on very thick, the combatants parted. On the 25th, the 
action was renewed by the Drake, notwithstanding the 
superior force to which she was opposed ; but after an action 
of rather more than an hoiu*. Captain Burdon and his only 
lieutenant (William Dobbs) ^ being killed, and twenty-two 
of her crew killed or wounded, besides being much crippled 
in her spars, the Drake surrendered.- Captain Jones carried 
his prize into Brest, previously landing his prisoners on the 
coast of -Scotland. 

The conduct of France, at length, drew down the anger of 
the British ; and a fleet was fitted out, the command of 
which was conferred upon Admiral the Hon. Augustus 
Keppel. War had not been formally declared between the 
two nations, but the hostile feelings of each were so well 
known that its declaration was daily looked for, and both 
held themselves in readiness. The French had a powerful 
fleet in Brest, consisting of fine new ships. 

On the 12th of Jime, Admiral Keppel put to sea, with 
twenty sail of the line, three frigates, and a fire-ship, having 

^ This officer only joined the Drake a few hours previously to her 
putting to sea ; he belonged to the 64-gun ship Defiance. 

2 The crew of the Drake was more numerous than has been generally 
supposed. The exact number borne upon her books at the time of the 
action, including officers, supernumeraries, and boys, was 151, and it 
appears probable, from this excess over the Drake's established com- 
plement (100 men), that she had been employed in volunteering and 
pressing men on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. An extensive draft 
of her original, and doubtless best, men, had been made to other ships a 
few months previously, and judging from the large number on board 
rated landsmen, we may conclude that the general quality of the whole 
was exceptionable. The strongest proof of their general worthlessness is 
found in the iact that upwards of 20 volvmteered for the rebel service. 

J 778.1 THE BRITISH NAVY. 263 

discretionary power. On the 17tli, being off tlie Lizard, 
two frigates and a schooner were discovered, wliich the admi- 
ral ordered the Arethusa and Milford to pursue. The 32-gim 
frigate Arethusa, Captain Samuel Marshall, towards night 
arrived up with the stranger, which was the French 40-gun 
frigate BeUe-Poule. Captain Marshall hailed, and requested 
the stranger to accompany him to the admiral. This request 
being refiised, the Arethusa fired a shot across the French 
ship's bows, and received in return her broadside. The 
action then commenced, and continued at close quarters 
without intermission for two hours, when the BeUe-Poule 
made sail, and, being less cut up in sails, succeeded in getting 
under the land. The Arethusa was in a disabled condition, 
and had eight men killed and thirty-six wounded. The 
Belle-Poule had four officers and forty-four men killed, and 
fifty wounded. 

The 12-gun cutter Alert, Commander W. G. Fairfax, 
gallantly attacked the schooner, having first hailed with the 
same result as the Arethusa. After some little fighting, 
Captain Fairfax laid the schooner alongside, and, after much 
hard fighting, carried her. The schooner was the Courier, 
mounting ten guns, with a numerous crew, of which she had 
five killed and seven mortally wounded. The Alert had two 
mortally and two severely wounded. 

The Milford, Captain Sir William Burnaby, and the 74- 
gun ship Hector, compelled the other frigate to haul down 
her colours. This was the 32-gun frigate Licorne. On the 
18th, the French 32-gun frigate Pallas was also detained by 
the British fleet, and sent into Plymouth; and Admiral 
Keppel, having obtained intelhgence from this ship that 
the French fleet consisted of thirty-two sail of the line, re- 
turned to Spithead for a reinforcement. 

On the 11th of July, the British fleet, consisting of the 
following ships, departed in search of the French. 

Guns. Ships. 

( Admiral the Hon. A. Keppel (blue) 
100 Victory . . . . . . . . < Rear- Admiral John Campbell 

( Captain Jonathan Faulkner 
Q^ggj^ \ Vice-Adm. Sir Eobt. Harland (red) 

QQ ) ■ . • . I Captain Joseph Prescott 

Formidable j Vice-Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser (blue) 

( Captam John Bazeley 




Guns. Ships. 

Duke Captain "William Brereton 



Prince George 
( Ocean . . ., . . . . 
80 Foudroyant 

Courageux . . . . 
Thunderer . . . . 



Vengeance . . . . 







Elizabeth . . . 





Stirling Castle 

Bienfaisant , . . 


Worcester . . . 




Eichard Edwards 

Sir John Lindsey, K.B. 

John Laforey 

John Jervis 

Kight Hon. Lord Mulgrave 

Hon, E. B. Walsingham 

Hon. J. L. Gower 

Sir Richard Bickerton 

Michael Clements 
Joshua Rowley 

Sir John Hamilton 

Philips Cosby 

Sir John L. Ross 

Joseph Peyton 

Hon. Keith Stewart 

Hon. Frederick Maitland 

Alexander Hood 

John Carter Allen 

Robert Digby 

J. N. P. Nott 

Sir Charles Douglas 

John Macbride 

Richard Kingsmill 

Mark Robinson 

Right Hon. Lord Longford 

Samuel C. Goodall 

Frigates — Arethusa, Proserpine, Milford, Fox, Andromeda, and Lively ; 
Pluto and Vulcan fire-ships, and Alert cutter 

The French king, using the capture of the frigates as a 
pretext, gave orders for his fleet to make reprisals. Comte 
d'Orvilliers sailed from Brest on the 8th July, with one ship 
of 110 guns, one of ninety-two, three of eighty, thirteen of 
seventy-four, twelve of sixty-four, and one of fifty gmis, and 

thirteen frigates. The admiral's flag was in the 


ship Bretagne, the largest and finest ship afloat. This fleet, 
exclusive of the frigates, carried 2,222 guns ; but although 
the British fleet carried more, the advantages arising fr'om 
the heavier metal of the French ships, and theii' superior 
sailing qualities, more than compensated for the deficiency. 
In number of men the French greatly exceeded the British. 
On the 23 rd of July, the two fleets came in sight ; but 
the French being to windward, evaded every attempt to 
bring on an action. On the 27th, the British fleet, in con- 
sequence of the chase and variableness of the wdnd, was 
much separated ; and the wind shifting about foiu' points, 




enabled it to lay up for the French fleet. To bring his fleet 
into a more compact order, Keppel signalled several ships 
of Sir Hufifh Palliser's di\ision to chase to windward. At 
Oh. A. jr., the French fleet formed on the starboard tack, 
the British being then on the larboard, close hauled. At 
lOh. 4:5m., being then upon the weather quarter of the 
enemy, the British fleet tacked ; but the wind heading a 
little, threw the British more to leeward. Soon afterwards- 
a dark squall came on, which obscured the two fleets from 
view of each other for nearly half an hour, and on its clearing 
ofl", the wind fell light, and the French fleet was observed 
endeavoiu'ing to form on the larboard tack. Having fallen 
to leeward in the squall, the French admiral found that he 
could not cross the British with his whole fleet, and there- 
fore determined on bearing uj) and passing along the British, 
line to windward with his most advanced ships. This we 
endeavour to illustrate by a diagram. 







■^ ^ 



^. ^ 

^ ^ 



^ ^ ■ 


/ O 

■ ^\ 

At about llh. 45m., the Victory opened fire upon the 
Bretagne, to which succeeded the Ville de Paris, ninety-two, 




and each sliip of the French line as she passed to windward. 
The British van escaped with little danger or loss ; but the 
rear division, under Sir Hugh Palliser, suffered considerably, 
owing to the slow progress of the French ships, when be- 
calmed by the cannonading. At Ih. 30m. p.m., the French 
fleet ha^'ing passed along the British line, Keppel made the 
signal to wear and follow the enemy, and the Victory and 
other ships of the Bkie di^dsion wore accordingly ; but many 
hai'ing received several shot between wind and water on the 
starboard side, found it impracticable to continue on the lar- 
board tack. The admiral therefore wore round upon the 
starboard tack, and edged away, to be ready to cover his 
disabled ships, in case the French admiral should attempt to 
renew the action. After passing the British line as de- 
scribed, the French admiral came to the wind on the star- 
board tack, on the lee-beam of the British fleet j but, owing 
in part to some misunderstanding of Sir Hugh Palliser, 
who did not close with the Blue or Keppel's di\ision as they 
edged away in chase, the action was not renewed. This has 
been attributed to the bad code of signals in use at the time, 
which caused much delay in sending messages by frigates.^ 
The loss of the British fleet was as follows : — 











Shrewsbury .... 


Stirling Castle . . 


Courageux .... 
Thunderer .... 
Vigilant ...... 


Valiant . . . . ... . . 


Foudroyant .... 












Prince George ., 
Vengeance . . . . 


Worcester .... 




Formidable .... 




Egmont ...-,.. 
Ramillies ...... 

Total . . .^ . . 



















^ Courts-martial ensued upon Admirals Keppel and Palliser ; but the 
whole became a party squabble, and the different partisans gave so varied 
a colour to the transactions that it is most difficult to say to whom the 
blame of not renewing the action really attached. 

.1778.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 267 

The Formidable had Lieutenant jSTicholas Clifford ; the 
Shrewsbury, Lieutenant "VVilliam Samwell ; the Elizabeth, 
her surgeon ; and the Prince George, Lieutenant of marines 
John McDonald, wounded. The French loss amounted to 
163 killed and 519 wounded. 

On the 8th of July, the 14-gun sloop Ostrich, Commander 
Peter Rainier, on the Jamaica station, in company with the 
10-gun armed brig Lowestoffe's Prize, chased a large brig. 
After a long run, the Ostrich brought the brig, which was 
the American privateer Polly, to action, and, after an en- 
gagement of three hours' duration (by which time the Lowes- 
toffe's Prize had arrived up and taken part in the contest), 
compelled her to surrender. The prize, besides her armament 
of sixteen long 6 and 9-pounders, mounted twenty-three 
swivels and eight cohorns, and her crew amounted to 170, 
of which number the captain and a great many men were 
killed. When boarded, twenty-three men were found dead 
upon her deck, and several were thrown overboard previous to 
her surrender. The Ostrich's crew did not exceed 120 men. 
The master and four men were killed, and Captain Painier, 
Lieutenant L. O'Brien, and twenty-eight men wounded. 
Captain Painier was wounded by a musket-ball through the 
left breast ; he could not, however, be prevailed upon to go 
below, but remained on deck till the close of the action. He 
was posted, and apjDointed to command the 64-gun ship 

On the 2oth of July, the 32-gun frigate Pearl, Captain 
George Montagu, captured off Sandy Hook, after a smart 
action, in which three men were killed and fourteen 
wounded, the American 26-gun privateer Industry. The 
activity of Sir George CoUier on this station materially 
checked the hordes of privateers sent to sea by the Ameri- 
cans, and his tenders made a large number of prizes. 

On the 10th of August, a British squadron, under Com- 
modore Sir Edward Vernon, consisting of the following 

Guns. Ships. 

60 Rippon \ ^'''T^'^n^^ ^''' S-'^'^^'"^ ^^^^^'^ 

^ { Cap tain Cxeorge Young 

28 Coventry ,, Benjamin Marlow 

24 Seahorse _,, J. A. Panton 

16 Cormorant . . . . „ William Owen 

Armed ship Valentine .... ,, James Ogilvie 

268 BATTLES OF [1778. 

being off Pondiclierry, encountered a French squadron, con- 
sisting of the 64-gun ship Brillant, 36-gun frigate Pourvoyant, 
3 2 -gun frigate Sartine, and two armed country ships of 
twenty-four guns each, commanded by Commodore Tronjolli. 
The action was commenced by the Rippon, at about 
2h. 45m. P.M., and continued at close quarters till 4h. 45m.^ 
when the enemy made sail, and, being less crijDpled in spars 
and faster sailers, escaped into Pondicherry. The number 
of killed and wounded is believed to have been severe on 
both sides. Although Sir Edward Vernon frequently offered 
battle to M. de Tronjolli, he was imable to bring liim again 
to action ; but on the 25th of October, the Seahorse engaged 
and took the Sartine, which, being a fine ship only two years 
old, was taken into the British na\y. 

On the 10th of September, the 28-gun frigate Fox, Captain 
the Hon. Thomas Windsor, off the French coast, was chased 
by the French 34-gun frigate Junon, Vicomte de Beaumont „ 
The weather being thick, the Junon was not perceived until 
close aboard the Fox ; upon which the latter hove to, and 
awaited the enemy's approach. An action commenced, and 
lasted three hours, when the Fox, being totally dismasted, 
several guns disabled, eleven men kiUed, and Captain Windsor 
and forty- nine wounded, many of whom mortally, hauled 
down her colours. The armament of the Fox consisted of 
twenty-four long O-jDounders and four 4-pounders, and her 
crew of 200 men ; while that of the Junon was twenty-eight 
long twelves and six 6-pounders, ^vith a crew of 330 men. 

On the 25th of September, the United States 3 2 -gun 
frigate Raleigh, Captain John Barry, after an action of an 
hour and a half, was driven on shore near Boston, and sur- 
rendered. The boats of the Experiment, Captain Sh' James. 
Wallace, and Unicorn, bemg close to the ship, rendered it 
necessary for Captam Barry and his crew to make an expe- 
ditious escajie. The Raleigh's boats not being sufficient to 
contain all the crew, a number became prisoners of war. 
Mr. Cooper states that the Unicom had ten men killed and 
many wounded ; and that she was so much cut up by the 
fire of the Raleigh, that after the action she lost her masts. 
The same writer also states that the Raleigh had twenty-five 
men killed and wounded ; but we are unable to find any 
corroboration of these statements. The Raleigh was got off 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 269 

without damage, and added to the British navy as a 
12 -pounder 3 2 -gun frigate. 

On the 20th of October, the 50-gun ship Jupiter, Captain 
John Reynolds, and 28-gun frigate Medea, Captain James 
Montagu, cruising off the coast of Spain, engaged the French 
64-gun ship Triton. The Triton, after an action of short 
duration, made off, and had thii-teen men killed and thirty 
wounded. The Jupiter had three men killed and three mor- 
tally and eight slightly wounded. The Medea took no part 
in the action. 

On the 3rd of November, the 9-pounder 28-gim frigate 
Maidstone, Captain Alan Gardner, cruising off the Chesa- 
peake, observed at a little past midnight a sail bearing north- 
east, steering to the eastward before the wind. The Maid- 
stone was quickly under a crowd of sail in piu-suit, and at 
3h. 30m. A.M. got alongside the stranger, which hoisted 
French colom'S. An action at close quarters commenced ; 
but after engaging an hom^, the Maidstone had received so 
much injury in sails and rigging from the langridge fired by 
the enemy, that she was under the necessity of heaving to 
to repair her damages. At daybreak another ship hove in 
sight, which made signals to the Maidstone ; and as they 
were not understood, it was concluded that she was a consort 
of the enemy ; but not closing with the British frigate, the 
latter again made sail after her antagonist. At noon. Cap- 
tain Gardner brought the enemy a second time to action, and 
at 111. P.M. compelled her to surrender. The prize was the 
French 40-gun sliip Lion, 12 and 6-pounders, Captain 
James Mitchell, with a crew of 216 men, of which she had 
eight killed and eighteen wounded. The Maidstone had 
four killed, and Captain Gardner and eight men wounded. 
The Lion, which was laden with sugar and tobacco, had four 
feet water in her hold when she struck. 

1779. — On the 31st of January, the 32-gun frigate Apollo, 
Captain Philemon PownoU, cruismg off the French coast, 
chased a frigate and a convoy of ten sail. At Ih. 30m. a.m., 
being off St. Brieux, and close to the rocks, the Apollo 
brought to the fi'igate, and, after an action of one hour and a 
half, compelled her to surrender. The prize was the French 
26-gun frigate Oiseau, Chevalier de Tarade, and had on board 
224 men. The Apollo had six men killed, and Captain 

270 BATTLES OF [1779. 

Pownoll, his two lieutenants, and nineteen men wounded, 
two mortally. The master, John Milburn, who brought the 
action to its successful close, does not appear to have received 
any reward. 

On the 14th of March, the 10-gun cutter Rattlesnake, 
Lieutenant Wilham KneU, being off the Isle of Wight, got 
sight, at daybreak, of two French cutters. The Kattlesnake 
chased to within twelve miles of Havre, and at Ih. 30m. p.m. 
brought the largest to close action ; the other then tacked 
and closed the Rattlesnake. This unequal contest was main- 
tained till 4h., when the largest cutter hauled down her 
colours. Her consort then endeavoured to make off; but 
Lieutenant Knell, anxious to secure both, chased, and having 
arrived close alongside, gallantly boarded at the head of 
his men, and compelled her to surrender. In the mean time, 
however, his former prize repaired damages, and rehoisting 
her colours, escaped into port. The pri^e was the Frelon de 
Dunkerque, mounting twelve carriage-guns, with a crew of 
eighty-two men, and was considered the fastest-sailing cutter 
out of France ; she had her captain and twelve men killed 
and thirty wounded. Lieutenant Knell, one midshipman, 
and ten men were wounded. The commander of the Rattle- 
snake was most deservedly promoted. 

On the 18th of March, the 32-gun frigate Arethusa, Cap- 
tain Charles H. Everitt, chased a French frigate close to 
Brest. A line-of-battle ship in the outer road of Brest was 
despatched to the assistance of the frigate ; and the Arethusa, 
in endeavouring to escape from this latter enemy, struck on 
a rock in the night near Molines, and went to pieces. The 
crew were saved, but, mth the exception of a boat's crew, 
which escaped with much difficulty, were made prisoners. 

On the 30th of March, the 12-gun cutter Kite, Lieu- 
tenant Henry Trollope, cruising off Portland, was fired into 
by a French frigate, and sustained much damage. The 
frigate observing a deeply-laden brig to windward, quitted 
the Kite, and stood towards the merchant vessel ; and while 
the Kite was repamng damages, an 18-gun privateer brig 
bore down, and brought her to action. Lieutenant Trollope 
attacked this new opponent, and reduced her to a wreck, 
having shot away her mainmast, and killed a great many of 
her»crew : but the Kite was so much injured, that it wa& 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 271 

impossible to make a prize of the brig. Tlie Kite had only- 
four men wounded. Lieutenant TroUope was immediately 

A French expedition having been fitted out against the 
Channel islands, intelligence thereof was conveyed to Ports- 
mouth. Captains J. L. Gidoui, in the 32-gun ship Rich- 
mond, and Sir James Wallace, in the 50-gun sliip Experi- 
ment, having with them four frigates and seven smaller 
vessels, were instantly sent to Jersey. The squadron sepa- 
rated and took difierent courses, and on the 13th of May 
the ExjDeriment and squadron drove on shore in Cancale 
Bay, a division of the French force, all of which were 
destroyed except the 34-gun frigate Danae, which was 
brought off. The British were, for a time, exposed to a 
severe fire from the batteries, but which the Experiment 
silenced, after which the French ships were destroyed with- 
out difficulty. Two men were killed, and thirteen wounded 
on board the Experiment, and the 14-gun sloop Cabot, 
Commander Edward Dodd, had her purser and two men 

On the 26th of May, the 50-gun ship Jupiter, Captain 
John Reynolds, cruising off Cape Finisterre, chased a large 
outward-boimd West India convoy, under charge of a French 
squadron of five sail of the line, and some frigates. Having 
closed with the convoy in the night. Captain Beynolds suc- 
ceeded in capturing one of the merchant ships, into which 
he put a prize crew ; but, being observed, the large ships 
chased the Jupiter, recaptured the prize, and the British 
fihi]) escaped with difficulty. Captain Beynolds, the master, 
and two or three men, were wounded in engaging a frigate, 
which endeavoured to prevent their taking possession of the 
merchant ship. 

On the 31st of May, the 32-gun frigate Licorne, Captain 
the Honourable Thomas Cadogan, captured the French 
24-gun privateer Audacieuse after a sma^t action, in which 
the latter had twenty-two men killed and seventeen 
wounded, and the Licorne one man wounded. 

On the 2nd of June, the French 36-gun frigate Prudente 
was captm-ed in the Bight of Leogane, St. Domingo, by the 
64-gun ship Buby, acting Captam Michael John Everitt, 
accompanied by the ^olus frigate and Jamaica sloop. As 





tlie Ruby arrived up with the Prudente, the latter opened a 
fire from her stern chasers, by which Captain Everitt and 
one seaman were killed. The Prudente was added to the 
British navy under the same name. 

Comte d'Estaing, whose proceedings on the North Ame- 
rican coast we have just noticed, ha\dng quitted the latter, 
steered for the West Indies, when the fleet under his com- 
mand comprised two 80-gun ships, twelve of seventy-four, 
eight of sixty-four, and tln-ee of fifty guns ; besides ten frigates. 
The British force on the station consisted of the following : — 



90 Princess Eoyal . 
Prince of Wales . 






Royal Oak . . . 

Magnificent . 






L Grafton 


f Prudent 


Stirling Castle 

Yarmouth . . . 

I Lion 

j Vigilant 

L Monmouth . . . 


Vice-Adm. Hon. John Byron (Ijlue) 
Captain William Blair 
Vice-Adm. Hon. S. Barrington (blue) 
Captain Benjamin Hill 
Rear-Adm. Hyde Parker (red) 
Captain H. Harwood 
Rear-Adm. Joshua Rowley (blue) 
Captain H. C. Christian 

Thomas Pitzherbert 

John Elphinstone 

John Buchart 

Alan Gardner 

George Bowyer 

William Truscott 

Timothy Edwards 

Thomas Collingwood 

Herbert Sawyer 

A. J. P. Molloy 

Walter Griffith 

Robert Carket 

Nathaniel Bateman 

Hon. W. Cornwallis 

Sir Digby Dent 

Robert Panshawe 

William Affleck 

D'Estaing overpowered Grenada after a defence, which 
cost the besiegers nearly 400 men, and also took the island 
of St. Vincent. Tliis latter Vice- Admiral Byron determined 
to recapture, and departed from St. Lucia on the 3rd of July, 
in order to attempt it, ha\ing in company a fleet of trans- 
ports, with troops under Major-General Grant. Being off 
St. Vincent's, intelligence was received that a large fleet had 
been seen steering for Grenada, and tliither the British fleet 
proceeded. At daybreak on the 6th, the French fleet was 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 273 

observed iii St. George's Bay getting luiderweigh with a liglit 
air of wind. The Vice- Admiral, deeming the enemy's force 
inferior, made the signal for a general chase to the south-west, 
and for each ship to engage as she arrived up. The leading 
British ships close hauled on the larboard tack were, the 
Prince of Wales, Boyne, and Sultan, and they a fresh 
sea-breeze from east-north-east, while the French were 
nearly becalmed under the land, were at 7h. fired upon by 
the enemy, but at too great a distance to cause much execu- 
tion. As the sea-breeze extended itself to the French fleet, 
the ships, before lying in a cluster, were enabled to form 
their line of Ijattle by bearing away on the starboard tack 
across the bows of the British. The enemy's force was then 
first discovered to be superior j but, notwithstanding their 
great superiority. Vice- Admiral Byron made the signal for 
a close engagement. It was here that the superior sailing 
of the French ships became observable. All the French 
ships were coppered, and for the most part fine large ships ; 
but not so the British. The Prince of Wales, Boyne, and 
Sultan, gallantly commenced the action at about 7h. 30m. 
A.M., and the whole British line soon afterwards became 
exposed to the enemy's fire, as the French fleet passed to 
leeward, steering about north-west. The Grafton, Cornwall, 
and Lion, being the British rear ships and to leeward o 
their stations, suffered very much, being exposed to the fire 
of the whole French line, and the Monmouth, haAing bore 
up to close the enemy's van, was completely disabled. It 
appears possible that, had the fleet bore up together at this 
time, a close and decisive action might have been brought 
on. This we endeavour to illustrate by a small diagram. 

TOL. I. 




V. t 

z z 





'^P- ^^^ PFLof \MALES- 

^ -2» 


^ 1 


The opportunity was lost when the two fleets had passed ; 
for D'Estamg, having at lOh. cleared the British rear, tacked, 
and hauled close to the wind, with the intention of cutting 
off the disabled British ships and the transports. To frus- 
trate this design, Yice-Adrcdral BjTon tacked and bore up 
to their support, and the French fleet was enabled to escape 
to windward. The ships which sustained most damage were 
the Monmouth, Grafton, Cornwall, and Lion ; the latter lost 
her fore and main topmast, and was reduced to an un- 
manageable state. The loss on board the different ships will 
be shown by the follo^ving table : — 







Suffolk . . 








Stirling Castle ... 



Eoyal Oak .... 






Prince of Wales 

• 26 





Magnificent .... 



Cornwall ...... 






Monmouth .... 






Grafton . . 











Princess Royal . . 



The officers killed were Lieutenants W. B. Parrey (Royal 
Oak), John Hutchings (Grafton), Jonah Yeale, of the 
marines (Sultan), and Nicott Brown, g-unner (Grafton) ; 
and the wounded were Yice-Admii-al Barrington, Lieute- 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 275 

nants William Bett (Grafton), Kicliards, of the marines 
(Royal Oak), Caldwel], 46tli regt. (Siiltan), Bowdens, 4tli 
regt. (Magnificent). The French loss amounted to 1,200 
men killed and L500 wounded. 

D'Estaing retui-ned to St. George's Bay, and the British 
made sail for St. Christopher's, and anchored in Basseterre 
Boads on the 15th of July. "While Vice- Admiral Byron 
was refitting his fleet, D'Estaing appeared off the roadstead 
with twenty-eight sail of the line, but did not venture upon 
an attack, and the British fleet not being then in a condi- 
tion to put to sea, the enemy, after parading some time, 
made sail for Cape Fran9ois. 

The North American squadron during the active portion 
of tliis year was under the command of Commodore Sir 
George Collier.^ His squadron consisted of the 64-gun sliip 
Baisonnable, bearing his broad pendant ; the I&is, fifty ; three 
44:-gun ships, eight frigates, and twenty-four sloops and 
smaller vessels. Sir Henry Clinton, commander-in-chief of 
the forces, having received intelligence that the Americans 
had collected a great quantity of stores and magazines in 
Virginia, determined if possible to destroy them. He con- 
certed with Sir George Collier, and embarked a body of 
2,500 infantry, under command of Major-General Edward 
Matthew. Sir George Collier undertook the command of the 
naval part of the expedition, and with the Baisonnable, Baiu- 
bow, and Otter, Captains Francis H. Evans and Bichard 
Creyk, and Diligent and Haerlem sloops, and Cornwallis 
galley, sailed from New York on the 5th of May. The ex- 
pedition arrived off the Cape of Virginia on the 8th. On the 
9th, shipping were observed at the entrance of James's Biver 
getting underweigh, and afterwards running up Elizabeth - 

- The want of active flag-officers was felt at that period as it would 
be now, were the country to be involved in war. Promotions were, it 
is true, annually made to flag rank, but they came on so slowly that it 
was not until officers were nearly superannuated that they attained to 
that distinction. The junior captain promoted in 1779 to the rank of 
rear-admiral was Sir John Lockhart Ross, who had been twenty-three 
years on the list of post-captains. The senior captain (in 1851) upon the 
active list has held that rank for 35 years ; and the son of the above- 
named Sir George Collier, the late Eear- Admiral Sir Francis Augustois 
Collier, C.B., K.C.H., was thirty-eight years on the captains' list. 

^ Since termed Piscataqua Eiver. 


276 BATTLES OF [1779. 

and James rivers. The squadron ancliored in Hampton 
Roads, and as soon as tlie tide made up, Sir George shifted 
his broad pendant to the Rainbow, she drawing less water, 
and proceeded up the Elizabeth River with some of the 
smaller vessels m pursuit of the American shipping, and also 
to land the troops. On the 10th, it was calm, and the 
squadron being unable to sail higher up, omng to the 
want of wind and intricacy of the channel, Major-General 
Matthew embarked the first division of troops in fiat boats, 
and under cover of the Cornwallis galley, and two gun-boats, 
proceeded to the intended place of debarkation, about five 
miles distant. At 3h. p.m. the troops landed at the Glebe, 
three miles below the town of Portsmouth, and beyond the 
range of the heavy guns of Fort Nelson. A breeze enabled 
the Rainbow and squadron to follow ; and the whole of the 
troops efiected a landing. While General Matthew w^as 
making preparations to invest Fort Nelson, the garrison, 
finding their retreat would be cut ofi" if the preparations were 
completed, evacuated the fort before the British coidd obtain, 
command of the south branch of the river. The army then 
took possession of Portsmouth, where the troops encamped, 
the inhabitants having fied. Previously to evacuating Fort 
Nelson, the Americans set fire to the ships building in the 
dockyard, including a fine frigate just ready for launching. 
The flames quickly spread, and several vessels were involved 
in the destruction. The troops under Colonel Garth efiected 
the destruction of the magazmes, and also obtained possession 
of Norfolk. Immense quantities of j^rovisions and stores 
were captured or destroyed at these places. 

Sir George Collier, thinking that many of the enemy's 
vessels had penetrated higher up the river, despatched in 
pursuit the Cornwallis galley, two gun-boats, four flat boats, 
and four privateers, all under the command of Lieutenant 

Rose Bradley, assisted by Lieutenants Hitchcock and 

Clement Johnson. The party succeeded in capturing and 
burning a great nmnber of vessels, some on the stocks and 
nearly completed. The 14-gun privateer Black Snake, which 
•was one of the vessels captured, offered a stout resistance. 
After being cannonaded by the gun-boats for some time, she 
was at length boarded and carried with loss of part of her 
defenders ; and two men belonging to the British were 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 277 

wounded. Wliile the transports and squadi^on were engaged 
in the Elizabeth River, Captain Creyk, in the Otter, with a 
squadron of small craft, was despatched by Sir George Collier 
up the main branch of the Chesapeake. This expedition 
succeeded j)erfectly. Many vessels valuably laden were cap- 
tiu'ed and destroyed. Fort Nelson was razed ; and on the 
17th, a strong detachment of the 42nd regiment, under 
Colonel Stirling, escorted by gun-boats, destroyed a large 
quantity of public stores at Kempe's landing in Princess Anne 
county. On the 22nd, another expedition destroyed six 
vessels on the stocks in Tanners Creek, including a privateer 
pierced for sixteen guns, and nearly ready for launching.^ 
The intrinsic value of the naval and military stores shipped 
on board the trans])orts, and conveyed to New York, was 
considerable, and the loss to the Americans was incalculably 
severe. The number of vessels captured or destroyed ex- 
ceeded 130, including one 21:-gun ship almost rigged, one 
36-gun frigate nearly finished, and five privateers of eighteen, 
sixteen, and foui-teen guns. The squadron returned to Sandy 
Hook on the 28th of May, having seventeen valuable prizes 
in company. 

Sir Henry Clinton, having received information that the 

' Sir George Collier's official letter contains a paragraph the import- 
ance of which seems to have been overlooked. Had the suggestion been 
acted upon, it must have had a great effect in bringing hostihties to an 
earlier close. After detailing the proceedings of the squadron, he ■WTote, 
— " I have now informed your excellency of the detail of our militaiy 
operations by sea to the present time. Our success, and the present 
appearance of things, infinitely exceed our most sanguine expectations ; 
and if the various accounts the general and myself have received can be 
depended upon, the most flattering hopes of a return to obedience to 
their sovereign may be expected from most of this province ; the people 
seem importunately desirous that the royal standard may be erected, and 
they give the most positive assurances that all ranks of men will resort 
to it. Permit me, however (as a sea-officer), to observe that this port of 
Portsmouth is an exceeding safe and secure asylum for ships against an 
enemy, and is not to be forced even by great superiority. The marine 
yard is large and extremely convenient, having a considerable stock of 
seasoned tunber, besides great quantities of other stores. Prom these 
considerations, joined to many others, I am fimily of opinion that it is a 
measure most essentially necessary for his majesty's service that this port 
should remain in our hands, since it appears to me of more real conse- 
sequence and advantage than any other the crown now possesses in 
America ; for by securing this the whole trade of the Chesapeake is at an 
end, and consequently the sinews of the rebellion destroyed. " 

278 BATTLES OF [1779. 

Americans were fortifying the posts of Stony Point and 
Yerplanks, on the Hudson, considered it important to stop 
their progress, and to occupy the same. The troops intended 
for this service being all in readiness on the arrival of Sir 
George Collier, that officer at once undertook to proceed 
with them. The troops returned from Virginia also joined in 
the new expedition, and on the 30th of May, the whole 
proceeded up the river. The Eaisonnable led the squadron, 
followed by the 20-gun ship Camilla, Captain John Collins, 
Vulture sloop, Cornwallis, Crane, and Philadelphia galleys, 
and two gun-boats. After passing the chevaux-de-frise 
without accident. Sir George anchored the Raisonnable, shifted 
his broad pendant to the Camilla, and, together with the 
transports, made sail up the north river to Verplanks Point, 
where they anchored for the night. On the following morn- 
ing, a body of trooj)s landed on the east side of the river, 
under the command of Major-General Vaughan, while the 
squadron, with the 17th, 63rd, and 64th regiments, proceeded 
towards Stony Point. On the approach of the shipping, 
however, the Americans adandoned their works on Stony 
Point, and the troops obtained possession of the works after 
a, slight show of resistance. Fort de la Fayette, on Verplanks 
Point, held out till the 2nd of June, when, by the united fire 
of the squadron and guns mounted on Stony Point, the 
garrison was obliged to surrender. The possession of these 
points was of great importance, and Sir Henry Clinton 
caused them to be fortified and garrisoned. 

The next conjoint service was an expedition to Long 
Island Sound, which place had always been a harbour for 
small privateers. Sir George Collier despatched the 50-gun 
ship Renown, Captain George Dawson ; 32-gun frigate 
Thames, Captain Tyringham Howe ; 14-gun sloop Otter, 
Commander Richard Creyk ; and two armed vessels, to block 
up the eastern entrance to the Sound and New London, while 
he himself proceeded in the Camilla, with the Scorpion and 
Halifax, through Hell Gate. The commodore effected a 
junction with the Penown on the 3rd of July, and on the 5th 
the whole anchored off Newhaven. One division of troops, 
commanded by General Garth, landed a little to the south of 
Westhaven, and a second, under General Tryon, disembarked 
on the eastern side of the harbour. A 3 -gun battery, which 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 279 

commanded the entrance of the harbour, having been cap- 
tured, the squadron entered, and facilitated the junction of 
the two divisions of troops at Newhaven. The pubhc stores, 
and some vessels and ordnance were destroyed, and six field- 
pieces and a privateer ready for sea were brought off. The 
troops re-embarked on the 6th, and on the 8th arrived off 
Fairfield. Here they again made good their landing, although 
opposed by a formidable party of militia, and a body of con- 
tinental troops. During the march of the troops to Fairfield, 
the enemy unwisely opened a fire upon them from the house- 
tops and windows, in revenge for which some of the royalist 
party set fire to the houses, and nearly the whole town was 
consumed. Several whale-boats were here destroyed. 

On the 9th the troops crossed the Sound to Huntingdon 
Bay, for the purpose of procuring provisions, after which the 
fleet returned with them, and anchored near Norwalk Bay. 
The troops, on landing, were again attacked from the houses, 
and the general ordered the town to be burnt. Here five 
large vessels, two privateer brigs on the stocks, and twenty 
w^hale-boats, with saw-mills, warehouses, and stores, were 
destroyed. The same measiu'e was pursued towards Green- 
field from the same cause ; and two row-boat privateers, with 
many whale-boats, were destroyed. ^ The expedition was 
then recalled to New York, and shortly afterwards found 
sufficient occupation in regaining possession of Stony Point, 
which had been adroitly surprised and carried by a body of 
troops imder General Wayne on the night of the 15th July. 
Sir George Collier conducted a squadron up the river on the 
19th, as soon as the northerly winds which prevailed would 

^ It was a great subject of complaint in England that these towns 
should have been so severely dealt with. The American party loudly 
condemned the proceedings as of great inhumanity ; but it should be 
remarked that the act was not contemplated, and that the provocation 
to commit it came from the Americans. The design of the various 
destructive expeditions was not to distress private individuals, nor to 
attack private property. Public and warlike stores, vessels, and means 
of offence and defence, formed legitimate objects of attack, and any 
wanton destruction of private property was uniformly forbidden, and 
never resorted to unless provocation of the kind above described was first 
committed. This plan was also followed up during the American war 
in 1813-14. Sir George Cockburn, who commanded in the rivers and at 
the capture of Washington, studiously avoided attacking private houses, 
unless they were first turned into fortresses or made a cover for assailants. 

280 BATTLES OF [1779^. 

allow liim ; but upon the approach of the shipping, the 
Americans precipitately retreated. 

The expedition to the Penobscot was, however, the most 
important. Sir Henry CHnton, considemig it desirable to 
establish a post on the Penobscot, had given orders to 
Brigadier-General McLean, who commanded the forces at 
Halifax, to detach such part of the troops as he could safely 
spare for that purpose. General McLean personally took 
command of the expedition. The troops destined for this 
service accordingly embarked, and sailed from Halifax under 
convoy of the sloops of war Albany, North, and Nautilus, 
Commanders Henry Mowatt, Gerard Selby, and Thomas 
Farnham. On the 16th of June the expedition reached 
Penobscot Bay, and landed a body of troops on the peninsula 
of Majebig-^vaduce, consisting of 450 of the 74th regiment, 
commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Campbell, and 200 of the 
82nd. Here they made every exertion to clear the land, in 
order to build a fort ; but the difficulties with which they 
had to contend were so great, that the end of July still found 
them unprepared to contend against the enemy, wliich 
was advancing to drive them from their position. On the 
21st of July, General McLean received information that a 
considerable armament had sailed from Boston for the pur- 
pose of attacking him, under the command of General Lovell 
and Commodore Saltonstall. The works were at tliis time 
in a very unfinished state, but immediate jDreparations were 
made for the due reception of the enemy. The cr^ws of the 
three sloops of war Avere actively employed assisting to throw 
up batteries and mount gims, and the best possible use was 
made of the available means. On the 2oth of July, the 
American flotilla, consisting of thii^ty-seven sail, came in 
sight, and the armed vessels, whose united force amounted to 
330 guns and 2,150 men, in three divisions, attacked the 
defences of the British, wliile the land forces, numbering 
about 1,000 more, embarked in boats, and endeavoured to 
effect a landing. The sloops of war and temporary batteries, 
hovv'ever, gave the assailants so warm a reception tliat they 
retired ; and the attempted landing was also fi'ustrated. 
Active operations were carried on until the 12th of August, 
in the course of which tlie Americans obtained possession of 
the islands on the south side of the harbour, and effected a 

1779.] THE BRISTIH NAVY. 281 

landing on the peninsula, where they erected powerful bat- 
teries. General McLean having been informed that an 
attempt to storm the works would be made on the night of 
the 12th, made every preparation for defence ; but the 
Americans suddenly abandoned their camp and works, and re- 
embarked their troops, baggage, and artillery. This unlooked- 
for retreat was soon, however, accounted for by the arrival 
of a British squadron in the bay on the 14th, under Sir 
George Collier, consisting of the following : — 

Guns. Ships. 

64 Raisonnable . . Commodore Sir George Collier 

or) j Blonde Captain Andrew Barclay 

( Virginia ,, John Orde 

iGrej^hound .... „ Archibald Dickson 
Camilla „ John Collins 
Galatea ,, John Howorth 

li Otter „ Richard Creyk 

Sir George Collier's approach was known to the Americans 
by means of their look-out vessel, but was an agreeable 
surprise to General McLean and his gallant band. On the 
squadron entering, the Americans appeared disposed to dis- 
pute the passage, and formed a crescent across the river ; 
but tliis was mere show, for on the advance of the Blonde, 
Virginia, and Galatea, the enemy bore up in the greatest 
confusion, ^vithout firing an effective shot. Although the 
Americans could not perhaps have made a very successful 
resistance, yet so precipitate a flight was not creditable, as a 
list of their squadron will show : — 

Guns. Ships. 

32 Warren Commodore D. Saltonstall 

22 Sally Captain Holmes 

Putnam , ,, Watei's 


Hector ,, Cairns 

Kevenge „ Hallet 

Monmouth.... ,, Ross 

Hampden .... „ Salter 

Hunter ,, Brown 

( Vengeance .... ,, Thomas 

15 < Black Prince . . „ West 
( Sky Rocket . . „ Burke 


18 Hazard „ Williams 

16 Active 

2S2 BATTLES OF [1779, 

Guns. Brigs. 

Tyrannicide . . Captain Cathcart 


Defiance , 

Diligence .... ,, Brown 

Pallas . . .-. ... . . „ Johnstone 

12 Providence.-. . . „ Hacker 

Together with mneteen sail of transport-vessels. It is stated 
by Cooper 1 that the above consisted chiefly of privateers, bnt 
this, if correct, does not satisfactorily account for the panic 
which prevailed. Sir George CoUier, observing the pellmell 
retreat of the enemy without waiting to form his squadron, 
threw out the sigual for a general chase. The Hunter and 
Defence eudeavoured to escape by the west passage of Long 
Island, but finding it impracticable, the former ran ashore 
under all sail, and the latter entered a small creek, in the 
hope of escaping observation. This being seen by Sir George 
Collier, he despatched Lieutenant David Mackay, of the 
Kaisonnable, with fifty men, to board the Hunter ; and 
Captain Collins, in the Camilla, was directed to proceed after 
the Defence. Lieutenant Mackay succeeded in obtaining 
possession of the Hunter without loss, but the Defence was 
set on fire by her own crew on the approach of the Camilla. 
The British squadron, now including the sloops of war 
Albany, North, and Nautilus, which had quickly repau-ed 
the damages sustained during the siege, continued the pursuit 
of the flyiag enemy, but at the imminent risk of their own 
safety, from being ignorant of the pilotage, and from the 
narrowness and intricacy of the channel. Added to the 
danger arising from such difficulties, was that caused by 
the burning ships on each bank of the river. The Hampden 
being closely pursued and unable to escape by running ashore, 
surrendered ; but the Warren was set on fire by her own 
crew, and destroyed. A more finished day's work was 
never performed : twenty-four sail were completely destroyed 
by the enemy or by the pursuers, not one vessel escaping. 
The American force thus taken and destroyed had on board 
3,000 men. Sfr George Collier returned once more victorious 
to New York with his prizes, where he found Yice-Admiral 
Arbuthnot, who had just arrived from England to take com- 
mand of the squadron. , 

» History of the U. S. Nav}', vol. i. p. 237. 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 283 

D'Estaing, as we liave seen, after his action witli Admiral 
Bjrron, proceeded to Cape Francois. At this place he found 
himself besieged with overtures from the American Congress 
to joLD. his forces to those of General Lincoln, then about to 
attack the British army in South Carolina. D'Estaing ac- 
quiesced, hoping thereby to cancel the remembrance of his 
pre\dous short-comings at E/hode Island. The French fleet, 
consisting of twenty sail of the line, two 50-gun ships, and 
eleven frigates, quitted Cape Fran9ois on the 20th of August, 
having on board 5,500 troops. General Lincoln's army con- 
sisted of 3,500, including free blacks and mulattoes ; but 
which was afterwards reinforced with greater numbers. On 
the 1st of September, the fleet arrived ofi" the coast of 
Georgia, and on the 3rd, the advanced squadron was observed 
from Tybee, by Lieutenant Richard Lock, of the Rose, who 
had been detached in a fast-sailing tender to reconnoitre the 
strangers. Captain John Henry, senior officer in the Savan- 
nah, who commanded the Fowey, immediately despatched 
Lieutenant Whitworth in a tender to New York with the 
intelligence. The tender put to sea on the 6th, but was 
chased back into port by the enemy ; a second and more 
successful attempt was however made on the night of the 7th. 
The position of the British at this moment was extremely 
critical. The naval force in the Savannah was as follows : — 

Guns. Ships, 

o/v i Fowey . . ... . . ... . . . , . . Captain John Henry 

I Rose . . ... „ John Brown 

18 Vigilant (armed ship) .. ,, Hugh C. Christian 

Comet, Scourge, Vindictive, Viper, Hornet, and Snake, galleys ; and 

Keppel and Germain, hired aitned vessels. 

On the 8th, forty-one sail were descried to the southward 
of Tybee, beating to windward agaiust a northerly wind ; 
and on the 9th, the fleet anchored ofl" the bar. Captain 
Henry, upon the advance of the enemy, destroyed the marks 
for entering the channel, and ascended the river to join his 
force to that of General Prevost. Having; removed some of 
the guns and stores, the Fowey and Rose reached Five-fathom 
Hole, three miles below the town, where the remainder of 
the gims and ammunition were taken out. During the 14th 
and 15th, the seamen were employed landing the cannon 
and ammunition from the ships and small vessels, and the 

284 BATTLES OF [177&. 

sailors were tlien distributed among the different batteries, 
and the marines incorporated with the grenadiers of the 
60th regiment. All hands were now employed night and 
day in raising batteries and works. Soldiers and sailors, 
naval and mercantile, wrought side by side, and cheered 
each other on to redoubled exertions. The enemy were 
astonished at the resources of the besieged. It being appre- 
hended that the French ships would be brought up the 
river, and so approach too near the town. Captain Henry 
determined to sink the Rose, Savannah, four transports, 
and smaller vessels in the bed of the river. A boom was 
also drawn across to prevent an attack from fire-rafts. 
Previously to this, the Fowey, Keppel, Comet galley, and 
armed ship Germain, were brought up near the town, and 
the Germain, having her guns on board, was placed off 
Yamairaw so as to flank the British lines. Three French 
frigates advanced up the river as high as Mudflat, accom- 
panied by two American galleys ; but did not approach near 
enough to render their fire effectual. 

On the 3rd of October, the French having completed 
their battery of nine heavy mortars, opened upon the town. 
They also commenced a cannonade from thiii;y-seven heavy 
guns landed from the fleet. The bombardment continued 
until the morning of the 9th, the besieged making little or 
no return. D'Estaing now determined to storm the British 
lines ; but met ^vith a desperate resistance and disastrous 
repulse. Although only 300 men were opposed to the 
numerous force brought against them, the steadiness and 
skill of the British routed the enemy at all points. The 
fire from three seamen batteries, and the field-pieces, taking 
the assailants in every direction, threw them into some 
disorder ; and at this most critical moment. Major Glasier, 
of the GOth, vnth. the 60th grenadiers and the marines^ 
advancing rapidly from the lines, charged with fury. In an 
instant the ditches of the redoubt, and a battery to its right,, 
in rear, were cleared. The grenadiers charging headlong, 
drove the enemy in confusion over the abbatis, and into the 
swamp. On this occasion Captain Wickham, of the grena- 
diers, greatly distmguished himself. 

The loss amounted to one captain, one lieutenant, and 
fifteen rank and file killed ; and one captain, three subal- 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 285 

terns, and thirty-five rank and file wounded. The loss to 
the navy amounted to two seamen and two marines killed, 
and nine seamen and seven marines wounded. The French 
lost near 1,200 oflicers and men killed and woimded. After 
this severe repulse, they precipitately abandoned their works, 
and re-embarked their troops, while General Lincoln and his 
motley army retreated up the country, destroying bridges, 
and catting ofi" every means of pursuit. Captam Henry 
honoui'ably mentioned the services rendered by those under 
his orders, particularly by Captain Brown and Lieutenant 
Richard Lock, of the Rose, and Lieutenant David Crawford, 
of the Fowey. Captain Richard Fisher, who acted as bri- 
gade-major, and Captain John Knowles, who served on shore 
at the batteries, and Lieutenant Thomas Goldesborough (of 
the Vigilant, by whose zeal and activity the king's troops 
were brought through Wallscut to Savannah) were also 
warmly commended, and the latter appointed to command 
the Vigilant in the absence of Captain Christian, who was 
intrusted with the despatches. Captain Mowbray, of the 
Germain, and the following masters and mates of merchant 
ships, were also honourably mentioned in the gazetted des- 
patch — viz. Masters : John Wilson, Archibald M'^Curdy, 
John Higgins, Arthur Ryburn, Christopher Watson, and 
John Tate. Mates : James McDonald, John Steele,^ John 
Chapman, James Ryburn, Coward, and Harrison. 

The French fleet put to sea on the 26th of October, and 
their frigates and galleys on the 2nd November, having j^er - 
formed no other real service than the capture of the dis- 
masted 50-gun ship Experiment on the 24th of September, 
the 24-gun ship Ariel, the Myrtle, Navy Victualler, and 
Champion, store-ship. 

On the 14th of September, the British 32-gun frigate 
Pearl, Captain George Montagu, while cruising off the Azores, 
early in the morning, chased a large ship bearmg north-west, 
and at 9h. 30m. a.m. brought her to action. The chase, 
which was the Spanish 28-gun frigate Santa Monica, main- 
tained an animated fire for two hours, at the expiration of 
which, having had thirty-eight men kiUed and forty-five 
wounded, she surrendered. The Pearl sufiered a loss of 

' Distinguished himself so much during the siege that Captain Henry 
afterwards appointed him to command the Viper. 

286 BATTLES OF [1779- 

twelve men killed and nineteen wounded. The Santa 
Monica was a fine new sliip, mounting twenty-six long 
12-pounders on her main deck, and two 4-pounders on her 
quarter-dect, with a crew of 271 men. She exceeded the 
Pearl in point of tonnage, and became a great acquisition to 
the British navy, to which she was added as a 32-gun frigate. 

From the time that Captain John Paul Jones returned to 
Brest in the Banger with his prize, the Drake, until early 
in 1779, that individual had been vainly soliciting employ- 
ment iinder the French or American flag. His importunity 
at length succeeded in inducing some members of the French 
government to place under Jones's command a ship named 
the Duras, formerly an Indiaman. Ships of this class were 
at that period built very strong, and fit to carry either cargo 
or guns, and it was no uncommon thing to find them em- 
ployed as ships of war. Their scantling was stout, and 
their ports large, and properly fitted for guns of good calibre. 
The Duras, which name was subsequently changed for that 
of Bon Homme Bichard, was fitted out at L'Orient, under 
the personal direction of Captain Jones. The precise arma- 
ment of the Bon Homme Bichard is involved in some 
obscurity. Mr. James, in his introductory chapter to his 
" Naval History," describes a vessel called the Bon Acquis, 
which seems to embody many of the admitted peculiarities of 
the Bichard. The Bon Acquis, captured in 1757 by the Sheer- 
ness and Chichester, measm^ed 946 tons, and mounted on the 
lower deck eight 18-pouriders, on the main deck twenty-eight 
long 12-pounders, and two long 6-pounderson the forecastle : 
total, thirty-eight guns.^ Mr. Cooj)er, in describing the 
Bichard, says : — " She was properly a single -decked ship, or 
carried her armament on one-gun deck, with the usual addi- 
tions on the quarter-deck and forecastle ; but Commodore 
Jones, with a view to attacking some of the larger convoys 
of the enemy, caused twelve ports to be cut in the gun-room 
below, where six old 18-pounders were mounted, it being the 
intention to mount all the guns on one side in smooth water. "^ 
The Bon Acquis, however, is, we conceive, the best type of the 
Bichard, of which we have any authentic account. 

The squadron with which Captain Jones sailed from 

*■ James's Naval History, vol. i. p. 42, 2nd edition, 
' Cooper's History of the U. S. Navy, vol. i. p. 193. 


1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 287 

L'Oi'ient, consisted exclusively of the ship he commanded, 
of the American 36-gun frigate Alliance, Captain Pierre 
Landais, French 32-gun frigate Pallas, Captain Nicolas 
Cottineau, French armed 14-gun brig Vengeance, Captain 
Phihp N. Ricot, and French 14-gun cutter Cerf, Captain 
Joseph Yarage. Before quitting L'Orient, the whole of the 
above-named officers signed an agreement giving to each an 
independent authority, and which stamped the expedition 
as a privateermg one. Although ostensibly under the 
American national flag, and nominally under the commission 
of that government, the orders of the French minister of 
marine, and the American commissioners at the court of 
France, were to be executed. On the 23rd of Sej)t ember, being 
off" Flamborough Head, the Baltic fleet, under convoy of the 
44-gun ship Serapis, Captain Richard Pearson, and armed 
2 2 -gun ship Countess of Scarborough, Captain Thomas 
Piercy, was descried. As at this time the dockyards of 
England, in common with those of her hostile neighbours, 
were veiy deficient of stores, the importance of this convoy 
was very great ; and it leaves discredit upon the British 
naval authorities of that day, that it was intrusted to so 
puny an escort. Of all classes of ships belonging to the 
British navy, during the last century, none surpassed, in bad 
quaUties,the 44-gun ship on two decks ; the two-decked 50-gun 
ships were bad enough, but the 44-gun sliips were infinitely 
worse. Their lower deck ports were so close to the water's 
edge, that it was impossible to open them with safety in a 
sea-way, besides which the space between decks was so low 
as to render it extremely difficult to work the guns. On the 
other hand, the upper deck had only a light breast-high 
bulwark. The Serapis was one of this useless class of vessels, 
and being quite new, had not had an opportunity of proving 
her many defects until brought into the presence of a supe- 
rior enemy. In a letter from Captain Pearson, preserved 
among the admiralty records, it is stated, that the lower deck 
guns were so long and unwieldy as to prevent their being 
easily rmi in, and that the 12 -pounders on the main deck 
were old, and their vents so large that great part of the 
powder exploded through them ! Yet thus imperfectly 
armed did this slii^D proceed on a service of considerable 
moment ! The Serapis measiu-ed 886 tons, and her armament 

288 BATTLES OF [1779. 

consisted of twenty long 18-pounders on tlie lower deck, 
twenty-two long 12-pounders on tlie main deck, and two 
long 6-pounders on the forecastle: total — forty-four guns. 
Mr. Cooper greatly misstates the force of the Serapis, when 
he describes it as " twenty 18-pound guns, twenty 9 -pound 
guns, and ten G -pound gims, making an armament of fifty 
swas in the whole." 

Captain Pearson having received information from the 
bailiffs of Scarborough, that the squadron of Paul Jones 
was off" the coast, on seeing the strangers, instantly made 
the signal for the ships under his convoy to bear up under 
the lee of the Serapis. But although he endeavoured to 
enforce the signal with guns, his orders were disregarded 
until noon, when some of the most advanced of the merchant 
tieet got sight of the enemy. They then tacked and stood in 
shore for Scarborough, letting fly top gallant-sheets as a signal 
for an enemy. The Serapis was soon under all sail stretching 
off" shore to get a sight of the enemy's squadron, which, at 
Ih. P.M. was seen from the masthead. Captain Pearson, 
observing the enemy's force to be three large sliips and a 
brig, made a signal to the Countess of Scarborough to join, 
and hove to for the purpose of allowing her to close. At 
4h. P.M. the enemy's squadron was seen from the deck, bear- 
ing down with a light breeze from the southward and west- 
ward. At 6h. the Countess of Scarborough having closed 
the Serapis, both ships tacked with their heads in shore, the 
better to cover the retreat of the convoy, both ships being 
then on the larboard tack, and the Countess of Scarborough 
the headmost. The enemy's force was, by this time, dis- 
tinctly seen to be a two-decked ship,^ and two frigates ; but 
from their being end on, no colours were visible. At about 
7h. 20m., the two-decked ship brought to on the larboard bow 
of the SerajDis within musket-shot, when Captain Pearson 
hailed her and asked, " What ship is that f An answer was 
returned, " The Princess Royal." Captain Pearson then 
asked from whence they came, to which an evasive answer 
was returned, when Caj^tain Pearson said he would fire into 

^ This explicit declaration made by Captain Pearson is a positive con- 
tradiction of Mr. Cooper's theory, derived, however, from Paul Jones's 
assertion that the Bon Homme Richard's *' gun-room" only had porta 
in it. 

1779.1 THE BRITISH NAVY. 289 

them if they did not answer his question dii'ectly. A gim 
was then fired from the stranger, in return for whicli the 
Serapis gave her a broadside. Both ships were under top- 
sails and top-gallant sails. The Richard returned the fire 
of the Serapis, and several broadsides were exchanged, when 
the American sliip hove all aback, and dropped on the 
quarter of the Serapis. Mr. Cooper, who quotes Lieutenant 
Dale's authority, states that, at the second broadside, two of 
the six guns that were in the gun-room of the Bon Homme 
Richard " bursted," blowmg up the deck above, and killing 
or wounding a large proportion of the people that were 
stationed below, and that this disaster caused all the heavy 
gims to be instantly deserted. ^ The same story is told by 
Captain Jones. Captain Pearson, however, makes no men- 
tion of the alleged calamity ; and most assm-edly, had such an 
accident occurred, it must have been observed from the Serapis. 
Indeed, when it is considered that the renowned Commodore 
Decatm', as will be hereafter shown, attributed the escape 
of the Belvidera, in 1812, to the bursting of one gun on 
board the President, we think Commodore Jones would 
have been justified in at once hauling liis wind and quitting 
the Serapis after such an event as the bursting of two. But 
the facts, as stated by Captain Pearson, show that the ship 
was not disabled, and that she merely dropped astern, pro- 
bably with the view of attempting the manoeuvre of raking 
the Serapis, by bearing up under that ship's stern. But the 
Richard, after dropping upon the weather quarter of the 
Serapis in the manner described, filled again and ran the 
British ship aboard on the weather or larboard quarter. 
An attempt was then made to board, but Avliich was at 
once repulsed, and the Richard again dropped astern. The 
yards of the Serapis were now backed to enable her to get 
square with her antagonist ; but having gathered too much 
stern way, the Richard was able to fill and stand across the 
bows of the Serapis. This manoeuvre, however, did not 
wholly succeed, as the mizen shrouds of the Richard caught 
the jib-boom of the Serapis, and the spar giving way, the 
ships droj-tped alongside each other head and stern. The 
spare anchor of the Serapis, haAing entered the quarter 

* History of the U. S. Navy, vol. i. p. 207. 
VOL. I. U 

290 BATTLES OF [1779. 

gallery of the E-icharcl, held the shijDs fast, and a furious 
action then took place, the muzzles of the guns touching. 
This contact occurred, by Captain Pearson's calculation, at 
8h. 30m. P.M. From tliis time till lOh. 30m. the cannonade 
lasted uninterruptedly j but the contest had ceased to be an 
equal one. The 12-pounder 36-g'un frigate Alliance, shortly 
after the Serapis and Bon Homme Hichard had got foul in 
the manner described, bore do%vn upon the combatants, and 
" sailing round them," pom^ed in a galling fire, to which no 
retui-n could be made from the Serapis. 

Captain Jones, for some reason of his own, thought proper 
to stigmatize Captain Landais with treachery, and therefore 
charged him with directing his guns at the American ship 
instead of the British. The absurdity of this argument, upon 
which great stress is laid in all the American accounts, is 
sufficient to disprove it.^ Had the Alliance united her fire 
■with that of the Serapis in the manner stated, the Bon 
Homme Bichard must inevitably have been sunk in an hour. 
Captain Pearson, therefore, having two opponents to contend 
against, soon found his case a bad one : and to add to the 
difficulty of his position, an accident occurred which destroyed 
his hopes of success. The lower deck battery, for an hour 
after the ships had come in contact, had kept up a con- 

' Had Captain Landais fired the guns with his own hand, it is possible 
the act might have been committed and proof to the contraiy be still 
difficult ; but inasmuch as the guns were fired by his crew, most of whom 
were Americans, it is not possible that he could have ordered them to 
fire into their consort without some, at least, being able to bear out 
Jones in his calumnious and mendacious falsehood.^' But to look only 
at the facts — the Serapis was a superior ship to her adversary ; the 
latter, according to the Dale and Jones versions, had been reduced to 
her 12-pounder main deck battery. The action was at such close quar- 
ters, that skiU in gunnery on either side would have been comparatively 
valueless, and yet the Serapis was finally overpowered ! A braver or a 
better and more experienced officer than Captain Pearson did not grace 
the British na"vy list, his officers were efficient and skilfixl, his crew 
devoted, consequently, with such adjuncts, his victory must shortly have 
been complete, but for the circumstance of the guns of the AlUance. 

* Evidence, so-called, was, it is true, trumped up in order to substan- 
tiate the charges of treachery against Captain Landais, but they were 
not considered sufficient to establish Jones's barefaced assertions and 
those of his hireling crew. In Sherbiirne's Life of Paul Jones these 
evidences are given in extenso. 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 291 

tinuous fire ; but at 9h. 30m. a hand-grenade, wliicli had 
Ijeen thrown into one of the lower deck ports, ignited a 
quantity of powxler, and caused a most destructive explosion 
fore and aft the deck. It is supposed that the supply of 
2)owder from the magazme had been handed up faster than 
it could be used, and that an accumulation had consequently 
taken place. So hea\"y was the loss, that the guns from the 
mainmast affc were rendered useless during the remainder of 
the action. The Serapis had been on fire in at least a dozen 
places from combustibles thrown on her deck ; but still no 
thought save of victory was entertained. 

The condition of the Bon Homme Richard was no less 
desperate ; and had not a tliii'd ship been at hand,i her cap- 
ture would have been certain. At this juncture, a nise was 
tried, which, though natural and excusable enough in a 
privateer, is not to be justified in a national ship of w^ar. 
" At lOh. P.M.," says Captain Pearson, in his oflicial letter, 
" they called for quarter from the ship alongside, and said 
they had struck. Hearing tliis, I called upon the captain to 
know if he had struck, or if he asked for quarter ; hut no 
answer being made after rejjeating my ivords tioo (yr three titnes, 
I called for the boarders, and ordered them to board, which 
they did : but the moment they were on board they dis- 
covered a superior number lying under cover with pikes in 
theii* hands ready to receive them, upon which our j)eople 
instantly retreated into oiu* own ship, and returned to their 
guns." Captain Jones, in his letter reporting the action,- 
admits that some of his crew called for quarter, and in liis 
Memoirs states that the gunner, belie\Tiig the ship to be 
sinking, was among the number. Jones also acknowledges 
that he heard Captain Pearson's hail, to which for a time he 
paid no attention, but at lengih answered, "I have not 
dreamt of such a thing, but am determined to make you 
strike." At tliis time also the ensign of the Bon Homme 
Ptichard was hanging over the stern in the water, the staff 

'■ Mr. Cooper seems tacitly to admit this, when he says: "There is 
little doubt that the Alliance did materially more injury to the Eichard 
than to the Serapis, though, as Captain Pearson could not have known 
this fact at the time, it is highly 2^robahle that her proximity raay have 
influenced that officer in inducing him to lower his flag." — History of the 
United States Navy, vol. i. p. 227. 

^ Sherburne's Memoirs of Paul Jones. 


292 BATTLES OF [1779. 

having been shot away.^ These admissions are sufficient to 
warrant a belief that calling for quarter was a deliberate 
ruse, and that its object was to entrap a number of the 
Serapis's men on board, with probably the captain at their 
head, and so gain a mean and unfair advantage. Had Cap- 
tain Jones or Lieutenant Dale replied to the hail of Captain 
Pearson, as honoiu^able men would have done, the alleged 
unauthorized act of calling for quarter would have been nega- 
tived immediately. Coupling this with the fact that there was 
a large party of the enemy's crew lying in wait with pikes 
ready to receive unwary boarders, we cannot avoid terming 
the whole as a premeditated and most dishonourable 

The action continued till lOh. 30m. p.m. The Alliance 
had taken up her position under the stern of the Serapis, 
from which she was able to rake the British ship ^vith 
impunity. Captain Pearson was left almost alone upon the 
quarter-deck. Many of his officers were killed or woiuided, 
and two-thirds of his crew Jiors de combat. His ship was a 
wreck, the lower masts in a tottering state, and resistance 
could not hopefully be prolonged. Captain Pearson therefore 
reluctantly ordered the colours to be struck, in order to save 
the remainder of his gallant crew, and at the same moment 
the mammast fell over the side. His duty had been per- 
formed. The convoy was safe, and the cruise of Paul Jones 

Immediately the ship struck. Captain Pearson and his 
first-Heutenant were hurried on board the Bon Homme 
Bichard, which they found in a sinking state, her quarters 
on the lower deck having been completely driven in, and all 
her lower deck guns dismounted. The ship was also on fire 
in two places, and had six or seven feet water in her hold.^ 

> History of the U. S. Navy, vol. i. p. 218. 

- Mr. Cooper's description of the state of the American ship is scarcely 
credible ; but he had the authority of Lieutenant Dale for its veracity. 
" Abaft, on a line with the guns of the Serapis that had not l>een dis- 
abled by the explosion, the timbers were found to be nearly all beaten 
in or beaten out, for in this respect there was little difference between 
the two sides of the ship ; and it was said that her poop and upper decks 
would have fallen into the gun-room but for a few futtocks that had been 
missed. Indeed, so large was the vacuum, that most of the shot fired 
from this part of the Serapis must have gone through the Richard 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 293 

The water gained so rapidly during the night, that it was 
found necessary to remove the crew and prisoners to the 
Serapis ; but before all the wounded could be got out, the 
Bichard sank. Captain Pearson, in his official letter, states 
that the Bon Homme Bichard " sunk with a great number 
of her wounded people on board ;" but this has been con- 
tradicted by the advocates of Captain Jones. It is, how- 
ever, so exceedingly probable, that one is more inclined to 
think Captain Pearson s statement the most correct. 

The crew of the Bon Homme Bichard was very numerous. 
It is stated by Captain Pearson that the American ship had 
a complement of 375 men, and that 300 j:)nsoners were on 
board the squadron ; but Mr. Cooper states that the crew 
on the muster-roll of the Bon Homme Bichard when she 
commenced the action (exclusive of soldiers, and '•' a few 
volunteers not mustered"), did not exceed 227, and that 
many of those were absent in prizes. The soldiers numbered 
120, which increases the complement to 347 j and probably 
if the " few volunteers not mustered" are added. Captain 
Pearson's estimate will not be found so very extravagant. 
Of these there were, according to the Cooper version, forty- 
two seamen killed, or died of their wounds, and forty-one 
seamen wounded ; and the loss of soldiers serving as marines 
is set down at forty-nine, making a total of 132 killed and 
Tvounded. " It is known, however," writes Mr. Cooper, 
"that in the commencement of the action the soldiers, or 
marines, suffered out of proportion to the rest of the crew ; 
and general report having made the gross loss of the Bichard 
150 men, we are disposed to believe that it was not far from 
the fact." 1 Captain Bearson's letter, on the other hand, 
states that the enemy's loss was 317, which probably included 
some of " the few volunteers not mustered," and some of the 
English prisoners of war, which, it is generally believed, were 
forced to fight against their countrymen.^ The loss of the 

without touching anything. The rudder was cut from the stem-post, 
and the transoms nearly all driven out of her. Ail the after part of the 
ship in particular that was below the quarter-deck was torn to pieces, 
and nothing had saved those stationed on the quarter-deck but the 
impossibility of elevating guns that almost touched their object." 

' History of the U. 8. Kavy, vol. i. 

- Mr. Cooper acknowledges, upon the authority of Lieutenant Dale, 
that the 100 prisoners released from their place of confinement by the 

294 BATTLES OF [1779. 

Serapis was very severe. She commenced the action with 
264 men, exclusive of a number of lascars, being supernume- 
raries, borne for a passage, and of these she had one master's 
mate, WiUiam Brown ; two midsliipmen, George Ludwig 
and WiUiam Bunting ; the boatsv/ain, Edward Place ; pilot, 
George Posgate ; two petty officers, twenty-seven seamen, 
and fifteen marines killed ; and the second-lieutenant, Michael 
Stanhope ; second-lieutenant of marines, Samuel Wightman ; 
two surgeon's-mates, John McNight and Walter Elitchen ; 
John Brownell, master's-mate (severely) ; William Popple well, 
midshipman ; William Mycock, clerk ; three petty officers, 
forty-six seamen, and twelve marines wounded ; total, forty- 
nine killed, sixty-eight wounded. This number mcluded only 
the badly wounded; but numerous others sufiered from burns. 
The list was sadly augmented by the bad attendance and 
miseries to wliich the crew were subjected prior to the 
exchange of jDrisoners ; so that the deaths were increased to 
sixty-one, including sixteen marines. 

The armed sliip Countess of Scarborough, under the com- 
mand of Captain Thomas Piercy, was not at all a inatch for 
the Pallas ; but Captain Piercy, notwithstanding liis greatly 
inferior force, maintained a smart action, and did not siu"- 
render until four of his crew were killed and twenty wounded, 
three of whom died. 

Captain Pearson and his remaining crew were carried into 
the Texel on the 6th of October, and from the Dutch autho- 
rities they were demanded by the British government, and 
after some delay were at length released. Captains Pearson 
and Piercy were both rewarded, as was their due, for their 
gallant conduct : the former received the honour of knight- 
hood, and the latter promoted ; and the further to mark the 
public sense of the skill and bravery whicn preserved a 
valuable fleet ffom capture, the London Assurance Company 
presented both these officers with pieces of plate to the value 
of 100 guineas to Captain Pearson,^ and of fifty to Captain 

master-at-arms were mustered at the pumps, turning their consternation 
to account. 

' Sir Richard Pearson was afterwards appointed lieutenant-governor 
of GreenAvich Hospital, where he died in 1805. Tlie annexed portrait is 
kindly presented by his grandnephew, the Eev. George Thompson, M.A., 
of Wisbeach. 

1779.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 295 

Piercy. Yarious other pubKc companies and corporations 
ackiiowledgecl the meritorious service performed. The first- 
lieutenant of the Serapis, John Wright, was promoted, and a 
court-martial honourably acquitted the captains and officers 
of both ships. 

On the 6th of October, the British 12-pounder 32-gua 
frigate Quebec, Captain George Farmer, while cruising off 
Brest in company "vvith the Bambler cutter, Lieutenant 
George, chased two sail in the south-west quarter, which at 
8h. A.M. were made out to be a large frigate and a cutter. 
The stranger, which was the French 18-pounder 40-gTin 
frigate Surveiliante, at 9h. a.m. commenced firing upon the 
Quebec as she bore down to close her ; and as the two 
frigates, both edging off the wind, neared each other, a 
vigorous action took place. The Rambler, at llh., brought 
to action the French 16-gun cutter Expedition, and after 
engaging for three hours, obUged her to sheer off. So deter- 
mined was the fight between the two frigates, that at 2h. p.m. 
both were dismasted, and the fall of the Quebec's mizen-mast 
unfortunately caused the shij) to take fire, in consequence of 
the main-sail, which hung over the muzzles of the guns. 
The Rambler endeavoured to approach to the assistance of 
the Quebec, but the light air of ^\TLnd prevented her doing 
so ; boats were however sent to endeavour to save her crew. 
The Quebec continued to burn furiously till 6h. p.m., when 
she blew up with colours flying. The boats of the cutter 
picked up one master's mate, two midshipmen, and fourteen 
men ; Lieutenant Francis Roberts was saved by the French 
fi'igate, and Mr. Wilkie, captain's clerk, by a Prussian vessel. 
Previously to this conclusion, Captain Farmer and about 
eighty of his crew had been killed or wounded, when by this 
unfortunate catastrophe 1-50 brave men were lost. The 
SurveHlante was reduced to a sinking state, and reached 
France with great difficulty. The number of her crew killed 
and wounded is not known, but it must have been very 
great, judging from her shattered and dismasted state. The 
great inferiority of force under which the Quebec fought was 
such as to throw the highest lustre on Captain Farmer's 
determined conduct ; and the loss of so brave an officer was 
deeply to be deplored. To mark his sense of this action, the 
king conferred upon Captain Farmer's eldest son a baronetcy ; 

296 BATTLES OF [1780. 

and Lieutenant Roberts was most deservedly promoted to be 
a commander. 

On tlie S-lth of October, the French 30-gim frigate 
Alcmene was captured by a squadron under the command of 
Captain Richard Edwards, oft" Martinique. On the 18th of 
December, Caj^tain Walter Griffiths, when commanding the 
74:-gun ship Conqueror, was killed in a partial encounter on 
the same station with a French squadron under M. de la 
Mothe Piquet. On the 20th of December, the French 
36-gun frigate Blanche and 40-g'un frigate Fortunee, and on 
the 23rd the 28-gun frigate ElHs, belonging to Comte 
d'Estaing's fleet, were captured by the squadron of Rear- 
Admiral Hyde Parker. The Blanche and Fortunee were 
added to the British navy. 

On the 11th of November, the Spanish 38-gun frigate 
Santa Marguerita was captured off Cape Finisterre by the 
British 28-gun frigate Tartar, Captain A. Grasme, belonging 
to the squadron of Commodore George Johnstone. The 
Santa Marguerita, being a fine ship, was added to the British 
navy as a 12-pounder 36-gan frigate, in which she was for a 
long period a ser^^.ceable cruiser. 

On the 12th of December, at daybreak, the British 50-gun 
ship Salisbury, Captain Charles Inglis, being off Porto de 
Sail, in the Bay of Honduras, chased a large ship. The pur- 
suit lasted till 6h. 30m. p.m., when the chase hoisted Spanish 
colours, and an action commenced. At 8h. 30m. the Spanish 
ship's mainmast was shot away, and, being reduced to a 
defenceless state, with the loss of a great part of her crev/, 
she surrendered. The prize was the San Carlos privateer, of 
fifty guns, long 12 and 6-pounders, and 397 men. Her 
guns were principally brass ; and besides those momited, she 
had on board twelve brass 24-pounders, a quantity of shot and 
shells, and 5,000 stand of arms. On l)oard the Salisbuiy 
four men were killed, and fourteen wounded, five mortally, 
anions: whom was the master, Mr. ]Millar. Prizes were taken 
fi'om the French and Spaniards to the amount of no less than 
d£l,025,G00; and although the British also met wdth great 
losses, yet they were not to be compared with their successes. 

1780. — The fleet of Admiral George B. Rodney, consisting 
of twenty-one sail of the line and nine frigates, Avhile on its 
outward voyage for the relief of Gibraltar, captured on the 

1780.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 29? 

1st of January a Spanish squadron belonging to the Caraccas 
Company. This squadron, commanded by Commodore Don 
Juan Augustin de Yardi, in the 64-gun ship Guipuscoano, 
comprised six ships of war ; and the convoy, variously 
freio-hted, consisted of fifteen sail. Having arrived off Cadiz, 
Admii-al Rodney received information that a Spanish fleet 
of fourteen sail of the hue, commanded by Admiral Don 
Langara, was cruising off Cape St. Vincent, and made prepa- 
rations for action. 

On the 16th of January, at Ih. p.m.. Cape St. Vincent 
beai'iug north, distant four leagues, a fleet was discovered in 
the south-east quarter, upon which the signal was made to 
bear up east in line. At 2h. Admiral Rodney, perceiv- 
ing that the strange fleet was the one of which he had 
intelligence, and that the ships were crowding all sail to 
escape, made the signal for a general chase. The wind was 
blo^\'ing strong from the westward, with hazy weather. The 
coppered ships gained rapidly in the pursuit ; and shortl}^ 
after 4h. p.ji. the 74-gim shijjs Defence, Bedford, Resolution, 
and Edgar, Captains James Cranston, Edmund Affleck, Sir 
Chaloner Ogle, and John ElHot, commenced firing on the 
enemy, retreating in great disorder. The 64-gun ship 
Bicnfaisant, Caj^tain John Macbride, ha\dng at a little before 
5h. got up with the Spanish 70-gun ship San Domingo, the 
latter blew up with a tremendous explosion, and every man 
perished. One man, picked up by the Pegasus, was in so 
dreadful a state, that he expired before reacliing Gibraltar. 
The action was continued during the night, which was dark 
and squally ; but at 2h. a.m. on the following morning 
Admiral Rodney, conceiving the enemy's ships to be all so 
disabled as to prevent their escaping, and the wind ha\ing 
increased to a gale, ordered the fleet to heave to. 

The ships engaged, and which sustained any loss, were the 
following : — Prince George, Rear-Admiral Digby, Captain 
Philip Paton, one killed and three wounded ; Bedford, 
Captain Edmund Aflieck, three killed and nine wounded ; 
Defence, Captain James Cranston, ten killed and twenty-one 
wounded ; Edgar, Captain John Elliot, Lieutenant of 
marines C. H. Strachan, and six kiUed, and Lieutenant 
John Forbes and twenty men wounded ; Cumberland, 
Caj^tain Joseph Peyton, one man wounded ; Invincible, 




Captain Samuel Cornish, tliree men killed and fonr wounded ; 
Monarch, Captain Adam Duncan, three killed and twenty- 
six wounded ; Terrible, Capta,in John Douglas, six killed 
and twelve, including the master, wounded ; Ajax, Captain 
Samuel Uvedale, Lieutenant Forrest, mortally, and six men 
wounded. The number, force, and fate of the Spanish fleet 
were as under : — 

Guns. Ships. 

80 Phoenix (taken) 

' San Augustin (escaped) 
San Genaro do. 
San Justo do. 

San Lorenzo do. 
San Julian (taken) 
San Euo-enio do. 




San Domingo (blown up) 
Monarca (taken) 
Princeza do. 
Diligente do. 
Sta. Gertrudie (escaped) 
Sta. Rosalia do. 

The morn i no; was further advanced when the sis'nal was 
made to the admiral that the fleet was in shoal water ; and 
it then became necessary to get the sliips' heads ofi' shore. 
Two of the prizes, the San Julian and San Eugenio, on board 
which prize crews had been put — ^but from which, on account 
of the weather, it was found impossible to remove the 
officers and crews — being greatly damaged in their masts, 
were unable to get ofl* shore with the rest of the fleet, and 
the prize crews were overpowered by the Spaniards, who 
carried the ships into Cadiz. The Phoenix, accompanied by 
the Defence and Bienfaisant,^ parted company from the fleet, 
and arrived at Gibraltar two days after the action. 

On the 30th of January, the 28-gun frigate Surprise, 
Captain Samuel Reeve, being off the Dodman, fell in ^vith 
two French privateers, a brig and shij), in pursuit of which 
Captain Keeve had been despatched from Plymouth. The 
brig effected her escape, but ha\'ing brought the largest, which 
was the Du-Guai-Tromn, of twenty 8-pounders, to action, 
she soon compelled her to surrender, and Lieutenant Charles 

* Captain Macbride's conduct, in reference to the surrender of the 
Phoenix, deserves to be recorded. On board the Bienfaisant the small- 
pox was raging with much virulence, but, anxious to aveil that scourge 
from the Spaniards, he addressed a letter to the Spanish admiral, to the 
eiiect that he should not, under the circumstances, remove the men from, 
the ship, but should expect the Spanish officers to consider themselves 
prisoners of Avar on their parole of honour. The terms were rigidly 
abided by. 

1780.] THE BKITISH NAVY. 299 

Henry Lane, with a midsMpman, and seven men, were sent 
on board to take possession. The wind had, by this time, 
increased to a heavy gale, and it was Avith difficulty that the 
boat Could get alongside the ]irize, and, in effecting it, the 
boat was swamped and knocked to pieces. Lieutenant Lane, 
with his small party, was thus placed among 130 French- 
men ; and so heavy was the gale, that it was found imjDos- 
sible to give him further assistance from the Surprise. 
Dm'ing one whole day the Surprise was not in sight, and it 
required the utmost firmness on the part of Mr. Lane to 
keep the French crew from taking command of the ship. 
By perseverance and coui*age, however, the Du-Guai-Trouin 
was carried into Plymouth, and being a fine new ship of 
252 tons, was added to the British navy, under the name of 
Trouin as a 14:-giin ship sloop. 

On the 13th of March, the 74-gun ships Alexander and 
Courageux, Captains Lord Longford and Lord Mulgrave, 
ci'uising to the westward of Scilly, caj^tm'ed, after a pursuit 
of eighteen hours' duration, the French privateer Monsiem', 
of forty gams, 12 and 6-pounders, and 362 men. The 
prize, being a fine new frigate, was added to the British 

On the 20th of March, the 64-gun ship Lion, Captain the 
Honourable W. Cornwallis, having in company the 50-giui 
shij^ Bristol, Captain Toby Caulfield, and 44-gun ship Janus, 
Cajjtain Bonovier Glover, being off Monte Christi, fell in 
with a French squadron of five sail and a convoy, under the 
command of M. de la Mothe Piquet. The French squadron 
consisted of the 74-gun ships Hannibal and Diademe, 64-gun 
ship Befleche, 56-gun ship Amphion, and 32-gun frigate 
Amphitrite. The French squadron was to windward, and, 
on perceiving the inferior force of the British ships, made 
sail in chase ; upon which Commodore Cornwallis made sail in 
line ahead. At 5h. p.m., the Hannibal having gained on the 
British, opened fire upon the Janus; but, instead of bringing 
that ship to close action, yawed occasionally to fire her 
broadside, and in tliis way kept up a running fight during 
the night. The morning of the 21st was calm, and the 
Janus (by this time at some distance astern of her consorts) 
was in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy ; but 
Commodore CornAvallis, ordering the boats of the Lion and 




Bristol ahead to tow, succeeded in getting into action with 
the enemy, with whom a distant cannonading was kept up 
for two hours, during which the Hannilial's mizen topmast 
and foretop-gallant mast were shot away. The French 
squadron, taking advantage of a light air, then hauled off to 
windward, and the British ships employed the time thus 
afforded in reeving new running rigging, and repairing the 
damages sustained. At sunset, the French again stood 
towards the three British ships, but did not renew the 
action. At daylight on the 23rd, three fresh ships hove in 
sight, which proved to be the 64:-gun ship Ruby, and Niger 
and Pomona frigates ; upon seeing which reinforcement, the 
French squadron hauled to the wind, and made all sail away. 
Notmthstanding every endeavour to bring M. de la Motlie 
Piquet to action, it was found impossible. The British ships 
in this engagement had only twelve men killed and wounded. 
The commodore and the captains, officers and seamen, 
received the marked thanks of Sir Peter Parker. 

Admiral Sir George Bridges Bodney, commander-in-chief 
of the West India station, blockaded the French fleet, under 
Comte de Guichen, Ipiig in Fort Boyal Bay, Martinique ; 
but, on the night of the 15th of Apiil, this fleet, consisting 
of twenty-three sail of the line, five frigates, a corvette, a 
lugger, and a cutter, eluded the Aagilance of the British 
admiral, and put to sea. The French fleet comprised two 
80-gun ships, eleven of 74 guns, and ten G4:-gun ships ; and 
the British fleet the follomng : — 


o 1 • 1 \ Admiral Sir G-. B. Rodney (white) 

Sandwich i ri 4- • w^ ^^. ^^ 

( Lap tain VV alter i ounsr 


j Rear- Admiral H. Parker 
( Captain Henr}^ Harmood 
\ Rear-Admiral Joshua Rowley (red) 
\ Captain Thomas Watson 
p p, i Commodore T. Collingwood 

( Captain Thomas Newnham 
{ Commodore "W. Hotham 
\ Captain J. Holloway 

Samuel Uvedale 

Princess Royal 
Conqueror . . . 



Ajax . . 


Albion . . 




Hon. F. Maitland 
Geo. Bowyer 
John Douglas 
Timothy Edwards 
Thomas Crespin 

1780.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 301 

Guns. Ships. 

^,. j Montagu Captain Jolm Houlton 

' ( Magnificent „ John Elphinstone 

70 Boyne ,, Charles Cotton 

' Stirling Castle .... ,, Kobert Carkett 

Trident „ A. J. P. Molloy 

6-1 < Yarmouth „ Nat. Eateman 

Vigilant „ Sir G. Hume, Bart. 

^Intrepid „ . . ,, Hon. H. St. John 

60 Medway . . „ William Affleck 

Frigates, &c. — Centurion, Richard Braithwaite ; Venus, John Fer- 
guson ; Pegasus, Greyhound, Andromeda, and Deal Castle, Captains 
John Bazeley, William Dixon, Henry Byrne, and William Fooks. 

On the 1 Gtli of April, Sir George Rodney got sight of the 
enemy bearing north-west, and about eight leagues to lee- 
ward of the Pearl Rock, and made the signal for a general 
chase. The mnd was southerly, and at 5h. p.m. the two 
fleets had shortened the distance between each other so 
much, that the force of each was plainly discernible, and at 
sunset Sir George Rodney formed his fleet in line ahead, 
and ordered the frigates to keep sight of the enemy during 
the night. At daybreak on the 17th, the wind continuing 
southerly, the British fleet, in line ahead on the starboard 
tack, was to windward of the enemy, who was observed 
forming on the same tack. At 6h. a.m. Rodney, judging 
from the state of the French fleet that an attack on their 
rear would be attended with success, communicated his wish 
by signal ; and, having ordered his fleet to wear and form 
the line on the larboard tack, at one cable's length distance, 
Jhe continued under easy sail till 8h. 30m. Having, by this 
time, reached a desirable position, and being at no great 
distance to windward. Sir George Rodney made the signal 
to bear up in line abreast, and commence the action. This 
manoeuvre, however, v\^as adroitly frustrated by the French 
admiral, who, observing that his rear was about to be at- 
tacked, also wore round on the larboard tack, thereby 
reversing his line. Sir George Rodney, thus foiled in his 
design, hauled to the wind on the starboard tack, and stood 
on until 11 h. a.m., when, being nearly parallel with the 
French fleet, he made the preparatory signal, and a little 
before noon made that for the fleet to bear up in line abreast, 
and close the enemy. Orders so clear and explicit, joiaed to 
the example of the oommander-in-chief, and the sliips near 




Mm, coiild scarcely have been misunderstood ; yet several 
ships of the British van division, led hy Captain Kobert 
Carkett, kept their hxS, and endeavoured to bring to action 
the French van ships. Sir George Kodney, in the Sandwich, 
brought to action a French ship which was astern of De 
Guichen, and was nobly supported by Kear-Admu-al Rowley 
and the rear division ; and, but for the unfortunate mistake 
of the British van ships, a decisive action must have ensued. 
After engaging till 4h. p.m., the French fleet bore up and 
made sail before the wind, while, from the disunited and 
crippled state of the British fleet, it was found inexpedient 
to pursue the enemy. The killed and wounded were as 
follow : — 








Sandwich . . . . . . 

Princess Koyal _. 
Conqueror . . . . 


Vengeance ..... 













Magnificent ..... 


Stirling Castle . . 


Yarmouth .... 












Albion ._. 


Cornwall ...... 




The officers killed and wounded on board the fleet were 
as follow : — Intrepid : Captain the Hon, H. St. John, and 
Lieutenants Bichard Deacon and Thomas Hooper, killed ; 
and the gunner wounded. Sandwich : Lieutenant Monckton, 
killed. Medway : Lieutenant Wigmore, killed. Mon- 
tagu : Caj)tain Houlton, Lieutenant the Hon. A. Forester 
Cockrane, Captain of marines Bobert Carey, and Captain 
Ogle, 87 th regt., wounded. EHzabeth : Lieutenant of 
marines John Herriott, wounded. Grafton : Captain Newn- 
ham, and Lieutenants Nathaniel Stuart and Edward Smith, 
wounded. The French loss amounted, including officers, to 
158 killed and 820 wounded. 

Captains Carkett and Bateman were severely dealt with, 
and the latter dismissed the service by a court-martial, but 
immediately afterwards reinstated. That their conduct pro- 

1780.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 303 

ceeded from error in judgment only, is to be inferred from 
tlieir previous gallantry. Rear- Admiral Hyde Parker, who 
commanded the division, was, in strictness, answerable for 
the disobedience, as it was termed, but, more j^roperly, mis- 
construction, of the admiral's signals. Why did he not bear 
up in obedience to the signal 1 Captain Carkett, it will be 
remembered, was the first lieutenant of the Monmouth, 
when she captured the Foudroyant, and the same who nobly 
fought the ship after Captain. Gardiner's death ; neither ought 
Captain Bateman (who had more killed and wounded on 
iDoard his ship than his rear-admiral) to have been selected 
as a victim to appease the disappointment of the pubHc. 

A partial engagement took place on the 19 th of May, 
on which occasion the Albion had twelve men killed and 
sixty-one wounded ; and the YigUant, nine killed and fifteen 
wounded. The other ships sustained little damage. 

On the 7th of June, in the morning, the 32-gun frigate 
Iris, Captain James Hawker, while cruising ofi" the North 
American coast, discovered a strange sail on her lee beam, 
and wore towards her. The stranger was the French 36-gun 
frigate Hermione, commanded by M. La Touche, who had, 
a short time previously, made a pompous sjoeech to the State 
of Massachusetts Bay, ofiering to scour the coast of British 
frigates. The two frigates, having approached within 
musket- shot, exchanged broadsides as they passed on op- 
posite tacks ; when the Iris wearing round, brought the 
Hermione to close action, both ships running off the wind. 
After an action of one hour and twenty minutes, the Her- 
mione endeavoured to get away. The Iris lost no time in 
making sail after her opponent ; but having received much 
damage in her sj)ars, and having had most of her studding sail 
l)Ooms shot away, she was unable to overtake her. After 
following the Hermione for some time, a strange sail hove 
in sight ahead, to which the French frigate made signals of 
recog-nition, when Captain Hawker discontinued the pursuit. 
In hauling to the wind, the Iris's fore-topsail yard went in 
the slings, and her lower masts, being much wounded, it was 
feared, would follow : the smoothness of the water alone 
preserved them. The Iris had seven men killed, and Lieut. 
Bourne, of the marines (mortally), and nine men wounded. 
The Hermione escaped into Boston, leaving Captain 

304 BATTLES OF [1780. 

La Touclie very little to boast of in liis action wdtli the 

On tlie loth of June, the 32-gun frigate Apollo, Captain 
Philemon Pownoll, cruismg in the Korth Sea in company 
with the Cleopatra, Captain the Hon. George ]Murray, was 
despatched in chase of a cutter in the south-west quarter. 
At lOh. 30m. A.M., being nearly within gun-shot of the cutter, 
a large ship was observed standing out from the land, upon 
which Captam Pownoll endeavoured to close the stranger. 
The wind was about north-east, and the stranger, standing 
to the northward on the starboard tack, was enabled to 
cross the Apollo's bows. At llh. the stranger tacked to 
the eastward, and the Apollo also hove about, until the 
stranger being on her weather quarter, the Apollo again 
tacked, as did also the enemy. The stranger, which was the 
Prencli 32-gun merchant frigate Stanislaus (but ha\ing only 
twenty-six long I2-pounders mounted), and the Apollo 
exchanged broadsides in passing, when the latter again 
tacking, brought her to close action under all sail at about 
noon. As the fight proceeded, the two ships edged off the 
wind, standing in for Ostend. The cannonading had con- 
tinued nearly an hour, when the brave PoAvnoU was killed, 
and the command of the ship devolved on Lieutenant 
Edward Pellev/, who continued the fight with great spirit. 
Pinding the intention of the enemy was to run ashore, the 
AjjoUo's now youthful commander gallantly endeavoured, by 
every means in his power, to frustrate the design in crossing 
and recrossing the enemy's bows ; but being in little more 
than twenty feet water, he deemed it prudent, with the advice 
of the master and other officers, to wear the ship, and come 
to the wind with her head ofif shore. In a few minutes after 
the ApoUo discontinued the action, the Stanislaus took the 
ground, and her foremast and main-topmast fell over the 
side. Ostend being neutral ground, it was considered im- 
proper to violate the neutrality by renewing the engagement, 
and while the point was under discussion the Stanislaus 
fired a gun to leeward to claim the protection of the Dutch. 
The action, therefore, was not recommenced. The Stanislaus 
was afterwards got oflT and carried into Ostend, where she 
was bought by the British government, and added to the 
navy by the name of Proselyte. The Apollo lost in the 

1780.] THE BRITISH XAVY. 305 

action, besides lier captain, five men killed and twenty 
wounded. Her rigging was cat to pieces, and slie liad tliree 
feet water in lier hold when she left off the action. The 
loss of the French ship is not recorded. 

Lieutenant Pellew (who was promoted on the 1st of July), 
in a private letter addressed to the Admiralty, mentioned, 
in glowing terms, the assistance he derived from Mr. John 
Milburn, the master, and also from Lieutenant J. Browne 
Bunce, second of the ship, Lieutenant of marines George 
V. Mansfield, and Ritchie, master's mate. 

On the 1st of July, the 50-gun ship Romney, Capt^iiii 
Boddam Home, cruising off Cape Finisterre, after a close 
action of forty minutes, captured the French 18-pounder 
40-gun frigate Artois, Captain de Fabre. The Artois, out 
of 460 men, had twenty killed and forty Avounded ; and the 
Romney two men wounded. The Artois measured 1,159 
tons, and was the finest frigate at that time afloat, and was a 
valuable acquisition to the British navy, to wliich she was 
added under the same name. On the 6th, the Bomney captured 
the French corvette Perle, of eighteen guns and 138 men. 

On the 4th of July, the Prudente, of tliirty-six guns, and 
Licorne, of thirty-two guns. Captains the Hon. William 
Waldegrave and the Hon. Thomas Cadogan, cruising off 
Cape Ortegal, at lOh. a.m., chased a large frigate. Light 
airs and foggy weather delayed the pursuing ships ; but the 
Piiidente, at midnight, brought the stranger to close action, 
who fought until she had lost her mainmast and had five 
feet water in her hold, when she struck. The prize was the 
French 40-gun fi^gate Capricieuse, but with only thirty-two 
guns moimted, and 308 men, commanded by M. de Bausanne, 
who fell in the action. So desperate had been the defence 
of the Capricieuse, that, after being surveyed, it was con- 
sidered impossible to convey her into port ; and as soon as 
the prisoners were removed, she was set on fire and de- 
stroyed. The necessity of destroying so fine a frigate as the 
Capricieuse, a ship of 1,100 tons, and only a few months old, 
was much to be lamented, and her destruction does not 
appear to be justified by the report of her survey.^ The 

' Tlie following statement, of damaf'es was made previous to the 
destruction of this beautiful ship : — "Foremast shot in several plaues ; 
foretopmast over the side ; mainmast shot av/ay ten feet above the deck, 

VOL. I. X 

306 BATTLES OF [1780. 

Capricieuse lost lier first and second captains, and about 
100 men killed and wounded ; and the British loss amounted, 
in the Prudente, to four midshipmen (John Dismond, Richard 
Montgomery, Thomas England, and "William Dismond), 
twelve seamen, and one marine killed. Lieut. Joseph Ellison 
(lost right arm), one midshipman (William M'^Carthy), 
twenty-five seamen, and four marines wounded, three of 
whom mortally. The Licorne had three men killed and 
seven wounded. 

On the 14th of July, the 64-gTin ship Nonsuch, Captain 
Sir James Wallace, while cruising off Belleisle, chased a 
French convoy, which was under the protection of three 
frigates; but, with the exception of one frigate (La Lazere), 
wliich took the ground, the whole succeeded in entering the 
Loire. The Lazere, though pierced for thirty-six guns, had 
only twelve mounted, and the boats of the Nonsuch were 
sent to destroy her ; but while this service was being 
effected, three large ships were discovered in the ofiing 
making signals to each other. The attention of Sir James 
Wallace was accordingly dii'ected to this more important 
object, and the Nonsuch was soon under a crowd of sail to 
close with the strangers. About midnight the Nonsuch, 
being a remarkably fast-sailing ship, overtook the sternmost. 
which was the 12 -pounder 3 2 -gun frigate Belle Poule, com- 
manded by the Chevalier Kergariou, and after a ininning 
action of two hours' duration obliged the enemy to surrender. 
The Nonsuch had three men kiUed, and two mortally, and 
eight wounded, more or less severely. The loss on board 
the Belle Poule in her noble defence, out of a crew of 275 
men, amounted to twenty -five killed, including the captain ; 
and the majority of the officers and fifty men were wounded. 
The j)rize measured 902 tons, and was added to the British 
navy under her French name. The other two ships (one of 
which, the Aimable, was a frigate of the same class as the 
Belle Poule) effected their escape. 

On the 22nd of July, the 20-gmi ship Porcupine, Captain 
Sir Charles Knowles, while cruising off Valencia, beat off 

lying fore and aft ; mizenmast shot in several places ; mizen-topmast the 
same ; all her spare yards and masts rendered unserviceable by shot ; a 
number of shot-holes betwixt wind and water, and many other damages ; I ^ 
and we left her with six feet water in the hold/' &c. 

1780.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 307 

two large Spanish polacres, the largest of which mounted 
twenty-eight long 9 -pounders and the smallest twenty-four 
guns. A third vessel joined in the combat, but after several 
unsuccessful attacks the whole made sail away. The Por- 
cupine had only four men wounded. A few days afterwards 
Sir Charles Knowles, having in company the Minorca 
sloop, Captain Lawson, brought to action, off the Barbary 
coast, the French 32-gun frigate Montreal. After an en- 
gagement of near two hours, the ships separated, the Porcu- 
pine having had three men killed and two wounded, and the 
Minorca two men killed. 

On the 10th of Aug-ust, at 4h. 30m. p.m., while the 36-gun 
frigate Flora, Captain WilHam Peere Williams, was cruising 
off Ushant, a frigate and cutter were discovered to leeward. 
The wind was moderate from east-north-east, and the stran- 
gers were observed to be on the starboard tack, distant about 
lour miles. The Flora bore uj), and made sail in chase, and 
the ship, which was the 36-gun frigate Nymphe, having 
backed her mizen-topsail, the Flora, at 5h. 10m., commenced 
the action v/ithin musket-shot. The cannonading lasted for 
an hoiu', the ships gradually nearing each other, until the 
Flora's wheel being shot away, she fell on board the ISTymphe. 
The action continued fifteen minutes longer, when the enemy 
quitted their guns, and made several attempts to board, but 
were rej)ulsed with loss. The British crew, headed by Lieu- 
tenant Edward Thornborough, then boarded the ISTymphe, 
and, after a short but severe struggle, hauled do^vn the 
French colours. The Nymphe, commanded by the Chevalier 
Bomain, commenced the action with 291 men. She w^as 
pierced for forty guns, but had only thirty-two long 12 and 
G-pounders mounted. She lost her first and second cap- 
tains, her first lieutenant, and other officers — ^in all, sixty- 
three killed, and sixty-eight (including a great many officers) 
woimded. The Flora was an 18-pounder frigate, mounting, 
including carronades, forty-two guns, with a crew of 259 
men, of which she had nine killed, and the master (Mr. Creed) 
and seventeen men wounded. Lieutenant Thornborousfh 
was deservedly promoted on the 14th of September follo%ving. 
The ISTymphe was added to the British navy under the same 
name, as a 12 -pounder 36-gun frigate. 

On the 13th of August, the 64-gun ship Bienfaisant, and 


308 BATTLES OF [1780. 

44-giin ship Charon, Captains John Macbride and John 
Symonds, being off the Old Head of Kinsale, chased a large 
Prench ship. At 7h. 30m. a.m. the Bienfaisant brought the 
stranger to action, and being well supported by the Charon, 
the enemy at 9h. a.m. struck. The prize was the French 
64-gun privateer Comte d'Artois, ha\dng a crew of 640 men, 
and commanded by Chevalier Clonard, lieutenant de vaisseau. 
She had twenty-one men killed, and thirty-five wounded. 
The Bienfaisant had three men killed, and twenty-two 
wounded, and the Charon one man wounded. 

On the 30th of September, the 32-gun frigate Pearl, Cap- 
tain George Montagu, being off Bermuda, captured, after a 
well-contested action, the French merchant frigate Esperance, 
mounting tv/enty-eight guns, 12-pounders. The Pearl's loss 
in the action was Lieutenant Foulke, of the marines, and five 
men killed, and the master ( — Dunbar) and nine wounded. 
The EsjDerance, out of 123 men, had tw^enty killed, and 
twenty-four wounded. The prize measured 736 tons, and 
w^as added to the na"vy as the 32-gun frigate Clinton. 

On the 2nd of November, the 14-gun brig Zephyr, Com- 
mander John Inglis, caj^tured, after a gallant action, the 
French 18-gun ship Senegal (formerly the British Race- 
horse), lying vnth some prizes in the river Gambia. The 
French loss amounted to twelve men killed, and twenty-two 
wounded ; and the Zephyr's to two killed, and four wounded. 
On the 22nd of November the Senegal took fire and blew 
up, w^hen preparing for the homeward voyage. Lieutenant 
George Crofts and twenty-two ofiicers and men perished. 

On the 8th of December, while the squadron on the East 
India station, imder Vice- Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, was 
off Mangalore, several vessels belonging to Hyder Ally were 
observed in the Boads. There not being sufficient water for 
the ships, the boats were sent away under cover of two of 
the H. E. I. Company's snows, which with great gallantry 
boarded and destroyed the whole, with the exception of one 
armed brig, w^hich escaped by throwing overboard her guns, 
and running into the harbour. Tliis service was, however, 
attended with severe loss, amounting to Lieutenant — Gos- 
nam, of the Burford, and ten men killed ; and Lieutenants 
Samuel Sutton, of the Superb; Dunbar M'Lellan, of the Eagle, 
and fifty-one men wounded. 

1781.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 309 

On the SOtk of December, war being declared against 
Holland, the Dutch 54-gnn ship Princess Caroline was cap- 
tured off the Goodwin by the 74-gun ship Bellona, Captam 
Pdchard Onslow. The Dutch loss was four men killed, and 
twelve wounded ; and that of the British, one killed, and 
two Avounded. The prize was added to the British na\y 
under the same name. 

1781. — On the 4th of January, the 74-gun ships Courageux 
and Yaliant, Captains Lord Mulgrave and Samuel G-oodall, 
being off Brest, chased three French frigates, but were only able 
to overtake one, which, after a running fight of great obstinacy 
Avith the Courageux, surrendered. The ship captured was 
the (late British^) 32-gun frigate Minerva, Captain Chevalier 
de Grimouard j and she sustained a loss of forty-nine men 
killed, and her captain and twenty-three wounded : her hull 
was much damaged, and masts unserviceable. The Courageux 
was much injured by the frigate's fire, and had ten men 
killed, and seven wounded. The Minerva was restored to 
the British navy under the name of Recovery. 

On the .5th of Januaiy, the Dutch 50-gun ship Rotterdam, 
Captain Volbergen, was captured by the 50-gun ship War- 
wick, Cai>tain the Hon. George Keith Elphinstone, after a 
smart action. The Rotterdam had been pre\dously engaged 
by the 50-gun shij) Isis, Captain Evelyn Sutton ; but the 
British ship being fifty men short of complement. Captain 
Sutton did not prosecute the action with sufficient vigour, 
and the Dutch ship was permitted to escape. Captain 
Sutton was tried by court-martial for neglect of duty, and 
reprimanded. The Rotterdam was added to the British 
navy under the same name. 

On the 22nd of January, in the morning, the 36-gain 
fi'igate Prudente, in company with the Proserpine, chased 
a strange sail ; but the former outsailing her consort, con- 
tinued the pursuit alone. At night the Prudente brought 
the stranger to action within pistol-shot ; but the latter had 
recourse to some clever manceuvre, and succeeded in evading 
her pursuer until the 24th, and escaped a second time in the 
night. On the 2Gth the stranger was again seen to leev»^ard 

' The Minerva, Captain John Stott, was captured in the West Indies, 
by a large French fiigate, in 1777, Captain vStott being at the time 
unaware of the declaration of war. 

310 BATTLES OP [1781. 

without a main-topsail-yard, and tlie Prudente having once 
more closed with her^ she hauled down her colours, and was 
taken possession of. The prize was the French 32-gLin pri- 
vateer American, and had on board a crew of 245 men. She 
had thrown overboard her quarter-deck guns in the chase, 
so that, when captured, she had only twenty-four g-uns (long 
8-pounders) on board. 

On the 25th of February, the 32-gun frigate Cerberus, 
Captain Robert Mann, being twenty leagues to the westward 
of Cape Finisterre, chased a frigate bearing south-west. 
Having, in a few hours, closed with the stranger, the Cerberus 
opened fire, and in less than twenty minutes compelled her 
to strike. She proved to be the Spanish 28-gun frigate 
Grana, Captain Don Nicolas de Medina, and commenced the 
action with 166 men, of which she had six killed and seven- 
teen wounded. The Grana was added to the British navy 
by the same name. 

On the 1 6th of March, Yice- Admiral Marriot Arbuthnot's 
squadron, consisting of the undermentioned ships, being off 
the Chesapeake, foiu'teen leagues from Cape Henry, came in 
sight of the French squadron under M. Ternay. The British 
squadron was disposed in the follo^ving order, but which 
was reversed in the action which ensued. 

Guns. Ships. 

64 America Captain Samuel Thompson 

74 Bedford „ Edmund Affleck 

50 Adamant. ..... ,, Gideon Johnstone 

f^o T 1 \ Rear- Admiral Thomas Graves (red) 

98 London . . . . . . i n 4- • -r\ -a r^ 

( Captain David Graves 

"4- V lot \ Vice-Admiral Marriot Arbuthnot (white) 

^ ^ ^ .... I Captain William Swiney 

f,. ^ Prudent ....... „ Thomas Burnet 

( Europa ........ ,, Smith Child 

74 Hobust ........ ,, Phillipps Cosby 

32-gun frigates Iris and Pearl, Captains George Dawson and George 

Montagu, and Guadaloupe, twenty-eight, Captain Hugh Robinson, 

The French squadron, consisting of seven sail of the line, 
one ship of forty-four guns, two frigates, and one 64-guri 
ship, armed en jiute, was brought to action, at 2h. p.:m., by 
the Robust, Europa, and Prudent, the leading British ships, 
and they continued engaging imtil 3h., when the French 
squadron bore up. It appears to have been in the power of 

1781.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 311 

the sliips which were not engaged to have brought the 
enemy to action, but the Admiral chose rather to stay by 
his crippled ships, and the enemy was permitted to escape. 
The loss on the part of the British was as follows : — 
Kobnst, fifteen killed, including Lieutenant the Honourable 

Littleton, and twenty-one wounded. Eiu"opa, eight 

men killed and ten woimded. Prudent, seven men killed 
and twenty-four wounded. Royal Oak, London, and Ame- 
rica, each three wounded. Total : thirty killed and sixty- 
four wounded. The British squadron returned to Lynn 
Haven Bay to refit. 

On the 1 6th of April, a squadron, consisting of the 

Guns. Ships. 

rn -p i Commodore George Johnstone 

^ ■ * ■ ' ( Captain Eoddam Home 
74 Hero ...... „ Charle-s Wood 

. 64 Monmouth . . „ James Ahns 
Pf. { Jupiter .... „ Thomas Pasley 

I Isis . . ,, Evelyn Sutton 

Frigates, &c. — Diana, Active, Jason, San Carlos, E. Charlotte 

— together with a large convoy, lying in Porto Praya Bay, 
St. Jago, was attacked by a French squadron under Com- 
modore Suffrein. Commodore Johnstone, considering the 
neutrality of the port a security, was engaged in watering 
the ships, and had taken no measures for their defence. 
From the shoalness of the water in shore however, the Hero, 
Monmouth, Isis, and Jupiter were compelled to anchor 
outside, and opposed their broadsides to the entrance. The 
British ships were in this unprepared state, and great part 
of the crews on shore, when the French squadron, at about 
9h. 30m. A.M., appeared in the ofiing. The men were imme- 
diately recalled from the shore, and the ships put in the 
best posture which the time permitted for defence. 

The French squadron, consisting of five sail of the line 
{74-gTm ships Heros and Hannibal, and 64-gun ships Artisan, 
Sphynx, and Yengeiu^), and several fiigates and smaller 
vessels, in aU eleven sail, ha\ing a fine breeze of wind, 
rounded the east point of land at lOh. 45m., and stood in 
line of battle towards the British squadron. Shortly after- 
wards Commodore Suffrein, in the Heros, dropped anchor 
abreast of the Monmouth, intending to bring up with a 

312 BATTLES OF [1781. 

Spring on tlie cable, and engage that ship ; but ha\-ing too 
much way, the cable parted and the ship drove alongside 
the Hero. Suffrem was followed by other ships, and in a 
short time the firing became general. So well, however, did 
the two outermost British ships fight theii* guns, that the 
French were beaten ofi* with considerable loss. All except 
the Hannibal succeeded in getting out of the bay without 
difficulty ; but that ship, being totally dismasted, was com- 
pletely in the power of the British. But she was permitted 
to escape with a small sail set on the stump of her foremast, 
and was subsequently taken in tow by a French frigate. 

After some dehberation. Commodore Johnstone deter- 
mined upon going in pursuit of the enemy ; but, being 
accompanied by part of the convoy, he did not gain 
m.uch in the chase, and at sunset returned to Porto Praya. 
The loss sustained by the British, was — in the Bomney, 
seven men; Hero and Jupiter, each two men ; and Monmouth, 
six men wounded ; in the Isis, four killed and five woimded ; 
and in the Jason, Lieutenant George Keith, and one man 
killed, and seven wounded. The East-India ships suffered 
more by the enemy's fire than the ships of war ; and, in the 
whole, the British loss Avas tlm-ty-six killed, and 147 
wounded. The French made one capture among the East- 
India ships, but this vessel was retaken by the squadron on 
the next day. 

On the 20th of April, as the 28-g'un frigate Besource, 
Captain Bartholomew Samuel Bowley, on the Jamaica 
station, was cruising off Cape Blaise, a strange sail was 
observed standing towards her. Ha\ing tacked and made 
the private signal, which remained unanswered, the Besource 
cleared for action, and hove to for the enemy. At 4h. 30m. 
P.M. the stranger hoisted French colours, ranged up alongside 
the British frigate, and commenced the action, which con- 
tinued until 6h., when the French ship struck. The prize 
proved to be the late British 24-gun ship Unicorit 
(caj)tured in the preceding year by a French squadron) ; 
and, in addition to her twenty long 9-pounders, she mounted 
eight carronades, 12-pounders, Avith a crew of 181 men, 
commanded by the Chevalier de St. Ture. The Unicorn 
was not surrendered until reduced to an unmanageable state, 
>Yith eight men killed and thirty wounded. The Besource 

1781.] THE BRITISH XAVY. 313 

lia,d on board ^Major Alexander Campbell, with a party of 
Loyal American Rangers and ai-tillerjonen, and from the 
large number on her decks, her loss was severe, amounting 
to fifteen men killed and thirty wounded : among the latter 
was the second lieutenant, Valentine Edwards. The Unicorn 
was restored to the British navy as a 24-gun ship. 

On the 29th of April, an action took place oif Fort Royal 
Bay, Martinique, between the British and French fleets 
under Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Hood and Comte de Grasse. 
The French fleet was greatly superior in point of force, and 
also possessed the advantage of the wind, as well as superior 
sailing quahties, but the French admiral declined bringing 
on a decisive engagement ; and it was not in the power of 
the British fleet to do so. In the partial and distant can- 
nonading which took place, the principal loss and damage 
sustained was by the Centaur, Russel, Shrewsbury, and 
Gibraltar, and other ships of the rear division. The Centaur 
had her captain (John N. P. Isott), Lieutenant Jame^ 
Plowden, and ten men killed, and one lieutenant of marines 
and twenty-six men wounded. The Russel, Captain An- 
drew Sutherland, had the master, Robert Johnson, and 
six men killed, and sixteen wounded ; the Shrewsbury, 
Captain Mark Robinson, six men killed and fourteen 
wounded ; and the Gibraltar, Rear-Admiral Drake, five 
killed and sixteen wounded. The total loss sustamed by 
the British fleet was thirty-six killed and 161 wounded, and 
the French loss, 119 killed and 150 wounded. The Centaur 
and Russel received much damage in their hulls ; the latter 
was reduced to a sinking state, and ^vith difficulty reached 
St. Eustasius. The two fleets remained in sight for several 
days, but no action of consequence ensued. 

On the 1st of May, the 74-gun ship Canada, Captain Sir 
George Collier, ha\ing been detached by Vice- Admiral 
Darby, commander- in-cliief of the Channel fleet, to watch 
the port of Brest, discovered a squadron of small ships, which, 
dispersing on her approach, the Canada chased the largest. 
After a pursuit of 210 miles, the Canada overtook the chase 
on the morning of the 2nd. After a running fight, which 
w^as prolonged to an hour and a half, in consequence of the 
heavy sea, which prevented the Canada from opening her 
lower deck ports, the frigate smTendered. The prize was 

314 '. BATTLES OF [1781. 

Santa Leocaclia, Captain Don Francisco cle Wenthiiisen 
(who lost liis arm in the action), pierced for forty guns, but 
had only thirty-four (principally long 12-pounders) mounted. 
The Santa Leocadia was a remarkably fine, fast-sailing shi]D, 
the first in the Spanish service that was coppered, and Avas 
added to the British navy under the same name. The 
Canada had one of the trmmions of a lower deck gun shot 

On the 14th of May, the 64-g"un ship Xonsuch, Captain 
Sir James Wallace, being oif Brest, chased a large ship 
bearing east-south-east. At lOh. 30m. p.:m. the Nonsuch 
Avas alongside the chase, then discovered to be a large line- 
of-battle ship. A mutual cannonading took place, which 
continued at close quarters till midnight. During the action 
the ships fell foul, carrying away the sjoritsail-yard of the 
Nonsuch, and breaking the fluke of her anchor. The com- 
batants having separated, the French ship made all sail to 
get away. The Nonsuch, ha\ lost her mizenmast, and 
having sustained other serious damages to her sails and 
rigging, could not make sail in pursuit for some time j but, 
after great exertions on the part of her officers and crew, 
the Nonsuch, by daylight on the 15th, was in a state to 
renew the action. The enemy Avas the French 74-g-un ship 
Active, and obserAing the damaged state of her late oppo- 
nent, waited her approach, and at oh. a.m. the action recom- 
menced Avith gTeat spirit, and lasted till 6h. 30m, By this 
time the Nonsuch had her fore-yard shot aAvay, all her 
masts, sails, and rigging cut to pieces, and several of her 
guns dismounted ; and Sir James, finding he had no chance 
of OA^ercoming a ship so much superior in size and Aveight of 
metal, determined on relinquishing the contest. In this 
gallant encounter the Nonsuch, whose full complement was 
only 500 men, sustained a A^ery severe loss, amounting to 
twenty-six killed and sixty-four — including Lieutenants 
Thomas Spry, John K. Falconer, and Augustus Markett 

Stone, master, and Hotham, boatSAvain — wounded. 

Her opponent, which commenced the action Avith 750 men, 
had one lieutenant and fourteen men killed and thirty-eight 
Avoundedj and that the damage to her hull was great, may 
be inferred from her haAing relinquished the engagement 
when, to all appearance, victory was within reach. The 

1781.] THE BRITISH XAVY. 315 

Active, commanded by M. de Boades, belonged to tlie 
squadron of M. de la Mothe Piquet. 

On the afternoon of the 27th of May, the 16-gun shij) 
Atalanta and 14-gTin brig Trespassey, Commanders Edward 
Edwards and James Smith, while cruising off the Kortli 
American coast, got sight of a sail in the south-east. Per- 
ceiving, on closing, that she was a large frigate, the two 
British vessels hauled to the Avdnd, pursued by the stranger. 
At noon, on the 28th, being within half a mile to leeward, 
the frigate hoisted American colours. Finding an action 
inevitable. Captain Edwards determined on attacking the 
frigate, and the two brigs bore up accordingly. The action, 
under cu'cumstances so unfavourable to the British, was 
continued for two hours and a half. CaiDtain Smith was 
killed at a little past Ih. p.m., but Lieutenant King con- 
tmued the action with great spirit, until the brig being 
perfectly disabled, vnth five out of her small crew (originally 
not more than eighty) killed, and ten wounded, was com- 
pelled to strike. The Atalanta continued the action for 
some time after the Trespassey had surrendered ; but was at 
length compelled to surrender, ha^dng a great many men 
killed and wounded. Among the latter was Lieutenant 
Samuel Arden, in his right arm ; but, after having his w^ound 
temporarily dressed, he heroically returned to the deck, 
and continued to assist in fighting the sliip. The ship which 
had captured the two brigs was the American 40-gun frigate 
AlHance, of 300 men, commanded by Captain Barry. The 
Atalanta was retaken by a squadron of British frigates while 
steering for Boston. Lieutenants Arden (right arm ampu- 
tated) and King were most deservedly promoted shortly 

On the 30th of May, the 36-gTui frigate Elora and 28-gun 
frigate Crescent, Captams William Peere Williams and Hon. 
Thomas Pakenham, belonging to the Gibraltar squadron, 
chased the Dutch 36-gun frigates Castor and Brill. At 
oh. A.M. the British engaged the Dutch ships, the Flora 
singhng out the Castor, Captain Peter Melvill, and the 
Crescent engaging the Brill. After two hours' action, the 
Castor, having had twenty-two men killed and forty-one 
"ivounded, surrendered. 

The Crescent being a smaller ship, was unequally matched, 

316 BATTLES OF [1781. 

and tlie Flora liad received so mucli damage to her spars, as. 
to be unable to proceed to Captain Pakenbam's assistance. 
Thus unaided, Captain Pakenham, after a most gallant 
resistance — bis ship ha\ing lost her mainmast, and being' 
otherwise completely defenceless — ordered the colours to be 
hauled down. The Brill, however, had received so much 
damage, that she was unable to take possession of the 
Crescent, and, observing the exertions on board the Flora 
to reach the scene of action, the Dutch frigate made sail, 
and, in a shattered condition, reached Cadiz. The loss on 
board the Flora w^as nine killed and thirty-two wounded, 
eight mortally ; and on board the Crescent, Captain Play- 
ward, of the navy (a volunteer), and twenty-five men were 
killed, and Lieut. EUery (mortally) and sixty-six men wounded. 
Having struck his colours. Captain Pakenham declined to 
resume command of the Crescent. Captain Williams, there- 
fore, having effected her recapture, put Lieutenant John BHgh 
in command of the prize. While on their voyage to England, 
the fi'igates and their prize were fallen in wdth by two 
French frigates ; and Captain Williams made the signal for 
each sliip to shape a different course; and the Flora escaj)ed, 
but Captain Williams had the mortification of witnessing 
the recaj^ture of his hard-earned prize, and of the Crescent. 
The captors were the French frigates Friponne and La 
Gloire. Captain Pakenham was afterwards tried by court- 
martial for the surrender of the Crescent to the Brill, and 
most honourably acquitted, together with his officers and 
ship's company. 

On the 2nd of July, a small squadron on the North Ame- 
rican station, commanded by Captain Henry F. Evans, in the 
28-gun frigate Charleston, consisting of the 20-gun armed 
ship Allegiance, Commander David Phipps, 14-g-un sloop 
Vulture, Commander Morgan Laugharne, and Pupert, 
George, Vernon, and Jack, armed ships, bound to Cape 
Breton, with a convoy of fourteen sail, was chased by the 
French 40-gun frigate Astree and 36-gun frigate Hermione, 
Captains de la Perouse and de la Touche. Finding that the 
enemy gained rapidly in the pursuit, Captain Evans formed 
his little squadron in line ahead, and, at about 8h. p.m., 
commenced the action. The Jack, being more exposed to 
the fire of the enemy, was compelled to strike ; but so 

1781.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 317 

vigorous was the fire of the remaining British ships, that 
the two frigates were content with their paltry trophy. In 
the engagement, which lasted two hours, CajDtain Evans 
was unfortunately killed, together with seven of the Charles- 
ton's crew, and twenty-nine wounded. The Allegiance had 
one man killed and five wounded ; the Vulture, one killed 
and two wounded ; and the Vernon, seven killed and six 
wounded. Commander Phipps then became the senior 
officer ; and, during the night, he made a signal to the 
squadron to alter the course a few points, so that on the 
follo^ving morning the enemy was not in sight, and the 
convoy was preserved. 

We have next to record a very sanguinary battle familiarly 
knoAvn as the Dogger Bank action. The British squadron, 
under Vice-Admiral Hvde Parker, beinor oif the Doof^er 
Bank, on its return to England with the Baltic convoy, con- 
sisted of the following : — 

Guns. Ships. 

74 Fortitude \ ;^ice-Admiral Hyde Parker (red) 

( Captain George Kobertson 
80 Princess Amelia . . ,, John Macartney 

74 Berwick „ James Ferguson 

64 Bienfaisant „ Richard Braithwaite 

GO Buffalo „ William Truscott 

50 Preston „ Alexander Graeme 

44 Dolphin ,, William Blair 

Frigates — Belle Poule, Phillip Patton ; Latona, Sir Hyde Parker ; 
Cleopatra, George Murray ; Artois, John Macbride ; Iphigenia, 
Charles Hope ; and Tartar, Robert M. Sutton. Sloops, cutters, &c. 
— Cabot, Alert, Leith, Busy, Sprightly, and Surprise, 

On the 5th of August, at daybreak, a Dutch squadron, 
•commanded by Rear- Admiral Zoutman, was discovered 
steering nearly the same course as the British, and also 
^escorting a fleet of merchant ship.s. The Dutch squadron 
xjonsisted of the foUowincr : — 

Guns. Ships. 

Guns. Frigates. 

68 Admiral De Ruyter 


r Venus 

74 Admiral General 


C4 HoUandia 

36 -^ Zephyr 

;, , j Batave 


( Admiral Petit Hein 

I, Beliona 

50 Erns Prince 

24 Dolphin 

44 Argo 


South Carolina 

318 BATTLES OF [1781. 

At 411. A.M., Vice -Admiral Parker, placing tlie convoy in 
charge of Captain Sutton in the Tartar, ordered him to 
make the best of his way to England. At 6h. a.m., the 
British squadron was ordered to form a line of battle, at two 
cables' length distance, and make all sail in chase. The 
Dutch admiral, however, showed no desire to avoid an action, 
and, ha\4ng stationed liis frigates and convoy to leeward of 
the squadron, hauled to the wind on the larboard tack under 
easy sail. The morning was fine and clear, with a light 
breeze of wind from north-east, and the British, led by the 
Berwick, were soon bearing down in good order to the 
attack. At 8h. a.m., the British having arrived within 
25istol-shot to windward without the enemy's having fired 
a shot, an action commenced, which, for steadiness on both 
sides, has been in few instances surpassed ; but, o^ving to 
some little confusion among the British ships in taking 
Tip their stations, occasioned in some measure from the 
damages sustained by the fall of spars at the commencement, 
the ships were not equally matched. After an incessant 
cannonading of three houi's and forty minutes, Vice-Admiral 
Parker hauled down the signal for battle, and the British 
ships hove to, and commenced repairing damages. The For- 
titude lost in the action twenty killed, and Lieuts. Joseph Har- 
rington (mortally), John Waghorn, and Martin Hinckley, the 
boatswain, the pilot, and sixty-seven men wounded. Princess 
Ameha had her captain, the gunner, and nineteen men killed, 
and Lieuts. Richard Hill, Isaac Smith, and Bichard Leggatt, 
and fifty-six men wounded. Berwick, two midshipmen, and the 
pilot, and eighteen men killed, and Lieuts. "William Skipsey, 
George Maxwell, Captain James Campbell, and Lieut. Hugh 
Stewart (of the marines), six midshipmen, and fifty-eight 
men wounded. Bienfaisant, six men killed, and the gunner 
and twenty-one men wounded. Bufialo, twenty men killed, 
and Lieut. Bandall (mortally), the boatswain, and sixty-four 
men wounded. Preston, ten men killed, and Captain 
Graeme (lost right arm), Lieut. Da^id Hotchkis, and forty 
men wounded. Dolphm, Lieut. Dalby, and eleven men 
killed, and the boatswain and thirty-three men wounded. 
Total, 109 killed and 362 (many mortally) wounded. The 
Fortitude received ten shot between wind and water, masts, 
&c., badly wounded, most of the standing and running 

1781.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 319 

rigging sliot away, and seven guns rendered unserviceable. 
Princess Amelia, lower masts and bowsprit rendered unser- 
viceable, and hull much damaged. Berwick, fourteen shot 
between wind and water, mizen-topmast shot away, several 
ports beat into one, ten gTins dismounted, and part of the 
poop shot away. Bienfaisant, hull and masts much damaged, 
and main-topmast shot away. Buffalo, thirty-nine shot 
passed through the hull, stern gallery beat to pieces, and 
masts, (fcc, much damaged. Preston, five shot between wind 
and water, thirty-two 42 lb, shot sticking in her sides, and 
fourteen passed clean through her. Dolphin, all her masts, 
(fee, much damaged. 

The Dutch loss was even more severe, and the Hollandia 
sank the same night. Her flag, which was kept flying, was 
taken away by the Belle Poule, and carried to Admiral 
Parker. The total loss in the Dutch squadron, exclusive of 
the crew of the Hollandia, is reported to have been 142 
killed and 403 wounded. After Yice-Admiral Parker dis- 
continued the action, the Dutch admiral put before the 
wind with his shattered ships, and reached Holland. It is 
to be regretted that the British should have had nothing- 
else to show by way of trophy than the HoUandia's flag, 
which had been nobly kept flying by her gallant defenders. 
The Dutch claimed a victory, and published an exaggerated 
version of the affair j and the States-General hberally re- 
warded the surviving captains and officers.^ ^ 

On the 7th of August, the 14-gun brig Helena, Com- 
mander Francis Roberts, at 5h. a.m., was off the Eock of 
Gibraltar, to the southward of Cabrita Point, and a third 
across towards Europa Point. It being a dead calm, the 
crew were endeavoming to sweep towards the rock, when 
discovered by the Spanish gun-boats in Algesiras Bay, four- 
teen of which immediately stood towards the brig. Captain 
Poger Curtis, in command of the Brilliant frigate, observing 
the danger to which the Helena was exposed, immediately 
manned the Repulse and Vanguard, two gun-boats, and, 
taking with him as many boats as he could collect, proceeded 
to the Helena's assistance. The Spanish boats, however, 
succeeded in getting within gun-shot of the brig long before 

^ One of the mode.s of conferring distinction on the junior officers 
present in the action was by allowing them to wear epaulets. 

320 BATTLES OF [1781. 

Captain Curtis 'vvas able to assist her, and at 81i. a.m. opened 
a heavy fire of round and grape. The Helena, keeping her 
broadside to the enemy by the aid of her sweeps, opened a 
smart and well-directed fire in return, and, as soon as the 
British boats got near enough to commence the attack, a 
spiiited contest ensued between them. At about 9h. the 
sea-breeze having reached the Helena, she was enabled to 
close Captain Curtis, and by lOh. the Spanish gun-boats 
retreated in shore. A 30-gun xebeque was on the point of 
making sail to join the gun-boats, but, observing their 
retreat, she returned to her anchorage. The Helena had 
only one man killed on board, but her sails and rigging were 
very much cut. 

On the 9tli of August, the 32-gun frigate Iris, Captain 
George Dawson, on the Korth American coast, brought to 
action the American 32-gun frigate Trumbull, and, after 
engaging her one hour, compelled her to haul down her 
colours, with the loss of four men killed, and three officers 
and seven men wounded. The Iris had only one man 
killed and six wounded. 

On the 14th of August, the 14 -gun brig Cameleon, Com- 
mander Thomas Drury, being off" the Texel, chased a large 
Dutch lugger, mounting eighteen long 6-pounders. After 
engaging about a quarter of an hour, the lugger blew up 
with a tremendous explosion. Every endeavour was made 
by the British boats to save the imfortunate crew, but 
without effect. Commander Drury and eleven men were 
wounded, and the Cameleon damaged by fire. 

On the 2nd of September, the 50- gun ship Chatham, Captain 
Andrew Snape Douglas, captured the French 32-gun frigate 
Magicienne, in Boston Bay. The Magicienne was commanded 
by the Chevalier Bouchetierre, and commenced the action 
with 280 men, of which she had thirty-two killed and 
fifty-four wounded before she struck. The Chatham had 
only one man killed and one wounded. The Magicienne, 
being a very fine frigate, was added to the British na\y 
under the same name, in vrhich she continued nearly thirty 

On the morning of the 5th of September, a French fleet 
of twenty-four sail of the line, commanded by Comte de 
Grasse, was at anchor in Lynn Haven Bay, off* which 

1781.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 321 

anchorage Rear- Admiral Thomas Graves appeared with the 
following, which are placed in the order of sailing : — 

Guns. Ships. 

74 Shrewsbury .... Captain Mark Robinson 

64 Intrepid „ A. J. P. Molloy 

74 Alcide ,, Charles Thompson 

^^ T-, . \ Rear- Admiral F. S. Drake (blue) 

70 Prmcessa | ^^^^^j^ ^ Knatchbull 

^ . ( Ajax ^ ,, Nat. Charington 

'^ \ Terrible „ Hon. W. C. Finch 

64 Europa ,, Smith Child 

w , j Montagu „ George Bowen 

'* I Royal Oak „ J. P. Ardesoife 

„.., -J- , \ Rear- Admiral Thomas Graves (red) 
I Captain David Graves 

^ , ( Bedford ...... ,, Thomas Graves 

' I Resolution .... „ Lord R. Manners 

64 America „ Samuel Thompson 

- . ( Centaur „ John Inglefield 

I Monarch „ Francis Reynolds 

qn T) n j Rear- Admiral Sir Samuel Hood (blue) 

■ I Captain Alexander Hood 

74 Invincible .... ,, Charles Saxton 

64 Belliqueux .. ... ,, James Brine 

74 Alfred „ William Bayne 

50-gxin ship Adamant, Captain Gideon Johnstone. Frigates — Fortunde, 
H. C. Christian ; Sibyl, Hon. J. Rodney ; Nymph, F. J. Ford ; 
Solebay, Thomas Everitt ; Richmond, Chas. Hudson ; and Santa 
Monica, John Linzee. 

Tlie Solebay, being the advanced ship, at 9h. 30m. a.m., 
made the signal for seeing the French fleet at anchor, 
bearing south-west. At this time the wind was moderate 
from north-east, and the weather fine. The British fleet 
continued to stand in shore, and at llh. could plainly 
distinguish the enemy's fleet at anchor within the Capes 
of Virginia, when Rear- Admiral Graves signalled to form 
the line on the starboard tack at two cables' length distance. 
The French fleet got underweigh as soon as the tide served, 
and stood off shore on the larboard tack. 

At Ih. P.M. the two fleets were nearly abreast of each 
other on opposite tacks, and, .shortly afterwards, the signal 
was made for Eear-Admiral Drake, who commanded the 
rear di\asion of the fleet (but which then became the van), 
to bear up and close the enemy ; and, subsequently, the 
whole British fleet wore round on the larboard tack. At 

VOL. I. Y 




41i. 15m. the leading British ships, having got within 
less than half' gun-shot of the enemy's van, commenced the 
action. The engagement soon became pretty general with 
the British van and the centre, but the rear was unable to 
participate at all, and, after cannonading for about two hours, 
the British fleet hauled to the wind, and the action ceased. 
At the termination of the action. Cape Henry bore north- 
west three leagues distant. The British van ships suffered 
in their masts and rigging. The Shrewsbury's topmasts and 
topsaU-yards were rendered unserviceable, and she received 
much damage besides. The Intrepid had her fore and main- 
topsail-yards shot away, and her topmasts and other spars 
much cut. The loss in killed and wounded was as follows : — 







Shrewsbury . . . . 

Intrepid ... ... ... 

Alcide . . . . ... . . 

Princessa . . . . . . 

Ajax . . ... ... ... ... 

Terrible . . ... ... 

Europa ... ... ... . . 





Royal Oak .... 



Resolution .... 



1 22 


i 12 

1 4 
! 16 


' 230 

The first lieutenant of the Shrewsbury was killed, and 
Captain Mark Bobinson lost a leg. The loss on board the 
French fleet is stated, in their official account, to have been 
one captain and three other officers killed, and eighteen 
officers wounded, and about 200 men killed and wounded. 
The French fleet ^ was superior to the British in number, 
weight of metal, and men, and continued for fom- days in sight 
of the British with the power of bringing on an action at 
their pleasure, but no attempt appears to have been made to 
do so. 

The leading ships, and among the number the Intrepid, 
gained distinction on this day. We name the Intrepid, 
because on a subsequent occasion (we allude to the 1st of 
June, 1794), Captain Molloy's behaviour was severely stig- 
matized; but it would appear that, on the 5th of September, 

1 British 

! Ships . 
Guns . 
Men . 



French. - 




1781.J THE BRITISH NAVY. ' 323 

1781, at least, lie did his duty nobly. Comte de Grasse was 
reinforced a few days afterwards by eight sail of the line, 
under M. de Barras, which, in their passage from Rhode 
Island, had captured the British frigates Iris and Bichmond, 
Captains Dawson and Charles Hudson. Under such altered 
circumstances, the British fleet, after destroying the Terrible, 
in consequence of her damaged state, proceeded to New 
York to refit. 

On the 6th of September, in the morning, the Id-gun ship 
sloop Savage, Commander Charles Stirling, being ten leagues 
to the eastward of Charleston, observed a ship bearing do\sTi, 
which was at first taken for a privateer, of which Captain 
Stiiiing had received information. As the stranger neared, 
however, Captain Stirling, perceiving that her force was too 
great to allow him to hazard an engagement, endeavoured to 
escape. The enemy gained rapidly in the chase, and finding 
escape impossible. Captain Stirling determined on making 
the best defence in his power. At lOh. 30m., the enemy 
commenced firing bow guns, and at 1 Ih., having arrived close 
under the quarter of the Savage, a vigorous fire of great 
guns and musketry was opened, which continued for one 
hour ; when the enemy, having received much damage, 
dropped astern, leaving the Savage in a defenceless state. 
Having repaired damages, the stranger again got alongside 
the Savage, and renewed the action, and continued till near 
3h. P.M., when, from severe loss of men and the unmanageable 
state of the ship, deeming it to be useless further to protract 
the defence, Caj)tain Stirling ordered the colours to be struck. 
The enemy proved to be the United States ship Congress, 
Captain Geddes, mounting twenty long 12-pounders on the 
main-deck, and four long 6-pounders on her quarter-deck, 
with a crew of 215 men; of which eleven were killed and 
thirty wounded. The Savage in this gallant afiair lost, out 
of her small complement of originall}'- not more than 100 men, 
the master (Wightman) and seven men killed, and the 
captain. Lieutenant William Shield, three midshipmen, and 
twenty-seven men womided. It is gratifying to be able to 
state that Captain Stirling and his officers and crew received 
every attention and kindness from the American captain. 
The Savage, before reaching an American port, was recap- 
tured by the Solebay. 


324r BATTLES OF [1781. 

On the 3rd of December, the 40-gmi frigate Artois, Cap- 
tain Jolin Macbride, cruising in the North Sea, was attacked 
by two schooners, each mounting twenty-four long 9-pound- 
ers, both of which were compelled to siu'render after half 
an hour's fighting. The two vessels were quite new, belong- 
ing to Amsterdam, and were named the Mars and Hercules : 
the crew of the former numbered 145 men, of which she had 
nine killed and fifteen wounded; and of the latter to 16-4, 
out, of which she lost thirteen killed and twenty wounded. 
The Artois had one man killed and six wounded. The 
prizes, each measuring 399 tons, were added to the British 
navy under the names of Pylades and Orestes, and for a long 
time continued active and useful cruisers. 

At daybreak on the 12th of December, a fleet, fifty 

leagues to the southward of Ushant, of twelve sail of the 

line, one 50-gun ship, and four frigates, under Rear- Admiral 

Kichard Kempenfelt,in the Victory, fell in with a French fleet 

of twenty-one sail of the line (including five llO-gain ships) 

and six frigates, commanded by Admiral Comte de Guichen. 

Ignorant of the superior force of the enemy, Kempenfelt 

ordered all sail to be made in chase. At 9h. p.m., the British 

fleet, close hauled on the starboard tack, had neared the 

enemy's fleet sufiiciently to make out that it consisted of 

large ships steering to the westward, about two points ofl* 

the wind. At lOh. 30m., the rear-admiral observed the 

headmost ships to be forming a line, upon which he also 

made the signal for a line of battle, but continued under a 

heavy press of sail on the contrary tack to the enemy, 

hoping to cut off" part of the convoy. The 74-gun sliip 

Edgar, bearing the broad pendant of Commodore John 

Elliot, led, and as she closed the rear of the French fleet, 

the 80-gun ship Triomphant was observed crossing her bows. 

In order to avoid a raking broadside, the Edgar kept away 

a few points, and received the enemy's fire on her larboard 

bow" ; when lufiang up, she poured her broadside into the 

French ship, and shot away her main-yard and main- topmast. 

Finding his ships too much separated, Kempenfelt tacked to 

allow his sternmost ships to close before attempting to 

renew action. At daylight the next morning, the enemy 

was seen ahead, when, observing the disparity between the 

two fleets, the rear-admiral contented himself with attacking 


1 i^^^-'fyn/cl4. 

1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 325 

the convoy, fifteen sail of which, containing 1,062 soldiers 
and 548 seamen, were captured. A hea\'y gale shortly 
afterwards dis^^ersed the French fleet and convoy, and drove 
them back to France, five sail more of the convoy falling 
into the hands of Captain Benjamin Caldwell, in the Aga- 
memnon, -svith the Prudente, Captain Hon, W. Waldegrave. 

The British fleet, mentioned at p. 321, wliich engaged 
Comte de Grasse and returned to New York to refit, having 
been reinforced by two or three fresh ships, sailed to the 
"West Indies, under Rear-Admh-al Sir Samuel Hood ; and 
it being known that the French were besieging the island 
of St. Christopher's, Sir Samuel made sail for that place. 
The British fleet, on the 23rd of January, consisting of 
twenty-two sail of the line, was close off* the south-east end 
of Nevis, and on the following day captured the French 
16-gun cutter Espion, laden with shot and shells for the use 
of the besieging forces at St. Christopher's. At daybreak 
on the 2oth, the French fleet was discovered standing to the 
southward on the larboard tack, comprising one shii:> of 
110 ,gims, twenty-eight two-decked sliips, and two frigates. 
Hood stood towards the enemy, with the apj^arent intention 
of bringing on an action, which had the effect of drawing 
the French fleet off* the land ; but no sooner had he effected 
this, than, aided by a favom-able change in the wind, he 
tacked and fetched the anchorage of Basseterre, which the 
French admiral had quitted. Comte de Grasse, em-aged at 
being thus defeated, made three distinct and furious attacks 
upon the British fleet on the 2Gth ; but was each time 
repulsed ^vdth great loss. The loss on board the British 
fleet, if any, is not recorded. 

1782. — On the oth of January, a large party of seamen 
and maiines, belonging to the squadi'on of Vice- Admiral Sir 
Edward Hughes, landed on the island of Ceylon, under the 
command of Captain John Cell, of the Monarca, assisted by 
Captains James Montagu, of the Medea, and Henry Reynolds, 
of the Combustion, accompanied by a detachment of troops 
and sepoys. Before dark the whole had safely disembarked 
about three miles below Trincomale fort, and made so rapid 
a movement that the gamson suiTendered without opposi- 
tion. Learning, from the prisoners, that the remainder of 
the Dutch troops had retired to Fort Ostenburgh, it was 

326 BATTLES OP [1782. 

determined to attempt its reduction j and, at daybreak 
on tlie llth, 450 seamen and marines, covered on each, 
flank by a company of pioneers, and provided with a suffi- 
cient reserve, advanced to the assault, and, gallantly driving 
the enemy from their works, gained possession of the fort. 
The loss sustained on this occasion amounted to Lieutenant 
George Long, second of the Superb, and twenty men killed ; 
and Lieutenants William Wolsely (navy) and Samuel Orr 
(marines) and forty men wounded. The enemy's loss was 
very severe. In the harbour were found two richly-laden 
Dutch ships, and sixty-seven pieces of cannon, besides guns, 
dismounted mortars, &c., which also fell into the hands of the 

On the 8th of February, Sir Edward Hughes with his 
squadron arrived in Madras Koads, %Yhere he received infor- 
mation that a French fleet had arrived off the coast, and 
had taken several ships. The British squadron was at this 
time much too weak to risk an action ; but, on the following 
day, three ships, under the command of Captain Alms, 
fortunately joined company, and Sir Edward Hughes sailed 
on the 16th with his squadron, consisting of the under- 
mentioned : — 

Guns. Ships. 

^ , Q , j Vice -Admiral Sir E. Hughes, K.B. (blue) 

/4 aupero j Captain William Stevens 

„ , Tp , ( Commodore Richard King 

04 Jixeter j Captain H. Eeynolds 

Charles Wood 
John Gell 
Ambrose Reddal 
James Alms 
George Talbot 
Peter Eainer 
Hon. Thomas Lumley 

74 Hero 

68 Monarca . . 


Burford . . 

50 Isis 


Seahorse, 24-gun ship. 

Commodore Suffrein, w-ho commanded the French force, 
imaware of the reinforcement of the British squadron, ar- 
rived in sight of Madras Koads with the design of attacking 
it at anchor ; but on perceiving nine two-decked ships 
instead of six, he made dispositions for his own defence. 

On seeing the French squadron in the offing. Sir Edward 

1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 327 

Huglies made the signal to weigh. In the night he recap- 
tured several British merchant ships, and took one large 
ship laden with military stores. Continuing to stand to the 
south-east, the two squadrons, at daybreak on the 1 7th, came 
in sight — the French squadron bearing north by east about 
three leagues distant — the weather being hazy, with light 
winds and occasional squalls from north-north-east. The 
enemy was soon observed coming down before the wind to 
the attack, consisting of the following: — 74-gun ships H6ros, 
Annibal, Orient, and Artisan ; 64-gun ships Severe, Yengeur, 
Brillant, Sphinx, and Ajax ; 50-gun ships Flamband, and 
Hannibal.^ 40-gun frigates — -Pourvoyante, Fier, Bellone. 
Corvette — Subtile. 

At 4h. P.M., the two squadrons were within gun-shot, the 
British being formed in line ahead on the larboard tack. 
The French, in a double line abreast, or in no very regular 
order, began the attack upon the centre and rear of the 
British. The Exeter, being the sternmost ship, suffered 
severely, having four ships upon her at once ; and the ships 
between the Exeter and Superb (Monarca, Hero, and Isis) 
bore with them the brunt of the action. The van, in which 
were the heaviest British ships, was unable, from the light- 
ness of the wind, to tack to theif support. The steady 
bravery, evinced by the British ships, was most admirable ; 
and for two hours the action continued with undiminished 
vigour. At 6h. p.m., a squall came from the south-east, 
which took the British ships aback, and they paid off with 
their heads to the north-east ; and, as this would have 
enabled the British van to advance to the assistance of the 
centre, the French commodore made the signal for the action 
to cease, and hauled to the northward, leaving the majority 
of the British in no condition for pui^suit. The Superb had 
her mainyard shot away, all the rigging cut, and more 
than five feet water in her hold. The Exeter was a perfect 
wreck, and in a sinking state. The loss on board the 
different ships engaged was as follows : — Superb, eleven men 
killed, and Captain Wilham Stevens (mortally). Lieutenants 

^ Late British ; captured on the 18th of January previously, while 
commanded by Captain Alexander Christie, by the above squadron, after 
a protracted defence. 

328 BATTLES OF [1782. 

Charles Hughes and Henry Newcome, and thirteen men 
wounded. Exeter, Captain Henry Reynolds,^ and ten men 
killed, and Lieutenant Charles Jones and forty-five men 
wounded. INIonarca, one man killed and five wounded. 
Hero, nine killed and seventeen wounded. Isis, one killed 
and three wounded. Total, tliii'ty-two killed and eighty- 
three wounded. On the morning of the 18th, the French 
squadron was not to be seen, and Sir Edward Hughes, 
finding the defects of his own ship and the Exeter to be 
great, proceeded to Triacomale. 

"We continue to foUow the fortunes of the British squadron. 
On the 30th, Sir Edward was joined by the 74-gun ship 
Sultan, Captain James Watt, and 64-gun ship Magnanime, 
Captain Charles Wolseley, from England. These ships were 
extremely sickly ; but so urgent was the demand for their 
services, that they could not be spared to go to Madras to 
land the sick. 

On the 8th of April, the two squadrons again got sight of 
each other, and on the 12th the second action took place, 
the British squadron being then a few miles to the north- 
ward of Trincomale. The French, having on that day suc- 
ceeded in getting to windward of the British, were observed, 
at daylight, bearing down to the attack. At 9h. a.m.. Sir 
Edward Hughes made the signal for the line ahead on the 
starboard tack, at two cables' length distance ; the enemy 
then bearing north by east, distant six miles, and the wind 
being about north. The British line was thus formed : — 
Exeter, Hero, Isis, Burford, Monarca, Superb, Monmouth, 
Worcester, Eagle, Sultan, Magnanime. The French squadron 
consisted of twelve sail of the line and three frigates. The 
French commodore, whose broad pendant was still in the 
Heros, having at length formed his plan of attack, ordered 
£ve sail, which composed his van, to engage the British van, 

^ ^Miile the battle raged with the greatest fury, the blood, &c., of 
Captain Keynolds were dashed all over Sir Richard King by a cannon- 
ball, in such a maimer that he was for a time absolutely blinded ; stilL, 
however, he preserved a most admirable equality and composure of 
temper, and when at the close of the action the Exeter was little better 
than a floating wreck, the master came to ask him what he should do 
with the ship, as two of the enemy were again bearing down upon her, 
he with gi-eat firmness answered, "There is nothing to be done, but to 
fio-ht her till she sink." — Beatson. 

1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 329 

while, with the remaining seven ships, Suflrein bore dow^i 
upon the centre. The action commenced at Ih. 30m. p.m., 
with the van divisions, and almost simultaneously the Superb 
was attacked by the Heros and Orient, within pistol-shot 
distance, and the Monmouth by two other shijis. The 
action raged with much fury between the two commanders, 
but so vigorous was the fire of the Superb, that the Heros, 
after only ten minutes of close engagement, sheered off, and 
closed with the Monmouth. The brunt of the fin^ht was 
borne by the British centre, and particularly the Monmouth, 
which closely engaged three ships, without being able to 
receive succour from the ships astern. At 3h. p.m., this well- 
fought ship lost her mizenmast, and shortly afterwards the 
mainmast, when she dropped out of the line. At this 
juncture Sir Edward, considering the Monmouth in danger 
of being captured, nobly proceeded to her rescue. At 
3h. 40m., disappointed in the expected land-wind, and 
finding his ships di'ifting too near the shore, from which 
they were only a few miles distant, Sir Edward Hughes 
made the signal for the squadron to wear, and come to the 
wind on the larboard tack. The action continued until 
near 6h. p.m., when the British admiral, finding his squadron, 
especially the Monmouth, still drifting into shoal water, 
made the signal to anchor ; and, at 6h. 40m., the French 
ships hauled their wind to the eastward in great confusion, 
ha-ving suffered in about an equal degree in masts and yards, 
except that no French ship had lost a lower mast. The 
Heros was so disabled, that Commodore Suffrein was under 
the necessity of shifting his broad pendant to the Annibal, 
and the former sliip anchored at no great distance from the 
British, to repair damages. In the course of the night, 
the French frigate Fier, approaching to take the Heros in 
tow, fell on board the Isis, and struck her colours ; but 
availing herself of the darkness of the night, and of the 
crippled state of the Isis, rehoisted them and got away. 

The Superb had two lieutenants, the master, and fifty-nine 
men killed, and Benjamin W. Page, master's mate, and 
ninety-five men woimded. One of the above lieutenants, 
George Alms (son of Captain Alms, of the Monmouth), 
with several of the men, were blown up by the explosion of 
some cartridges. The Monmouth suffered in proportion to 




her extensive damages : she had one lieutenant of markies 
and forty-five men killed, and 102 wounded — nearly one- 
third of her crew. The Burford and Worcester had each a 
lieutenant wounded, and the casualties on board the. several 
ships, as they were formed in line, will be shown in the sub- 
joined table : — 







Exeter 1 

Hero . . . . -. 

Isis . . ... . . ... ... 

Burford... ... ... ... 

Monarca ... . . ... 









Worcester . . . . 


Sultan . . . . ... . . 

Magnanime .... 









The Erench owned to a loss of 139 killed and 264 
wounded ; but judging from the injuries their ships sus- 
tained, and from the duration of the action, this must be 
greatly under-stated. 

Having refitted his fleet at Trincomale, and re-embarked 
the wounded and convalescent, Sir Edward sailed on the 
23rd of June, to watch the French squadron on the Coro- 
mandel coast, and, on the following day, arrived at Nega- 
patam. On the 5th of July, at noon, while lying in that 
roadstead, the enemy appeared in the offing, upon which all 
despatch was used, and the British, at 3h. p.m., weighed and 
stood under all sail to the southward. 

At daylight, on the 6th, the French squadron was seen 
at anchor bearing north-north-east, distant seven or eight 
miles ; and at 5h. 50m. the British, with the wind at 
south-west, bore away in line abreast for the enemy. At 
6h. the enemy was observed getting underweigh, and standing 
out to the eastward ; upon which the admiral made the 
signal for a line ahead on the starboard tack, and at 7h. 
bore up for the enemy — each ship for her proper opponent in 

' Captain Charles Hughes was appointed to this sliip, vice Captain 

- Captain Dunbar McLellen succeeded to the vacancy caused by the 
death of Captain Stevens. 

1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 331 

the line. The firing commenced at lOh. 40m. by the French, 
and at lOh. 4om. Sir Edward Hughes made the signal for 
close action. From llh. 10m. till past noon, the action was 
general from van to rear ; within about 200 yards' distance. 
At Ih. P.M. the enemy appeared in some disorder. The 
French commodore's second ahead, the Brillant, had lost her 
mainmast, and the van-ship had bore up out of the line. 
At this time, when the victory appeared about to declare 
for the British, the sea-breeze set in strong from the south- 
south-east, taking most of the ships aback in both squadrons. 
The 64-gun ship Severe feU on board the Sultan, and after 
a smart cannonading, struck ; but while the Sultan was 
wearing to join the British admiral, the Severe hauled to 
the wind, and, pouring a broadside into the Sultan, rehoisted 
the colours, and got away.^ 

Sir Edward Hughes, finding his squadron greatly disar- 
ranged by the change of wind, made the signal to wear 
round on the starboard tack, intending a general chase ; but 
the breeze had, by this time, set in fresh, and most of the 
ships, which had been closely engaged, had suffered so much 
in their masts and rigging that to carry sail would have 
been very dangerous. The Hero having made the signal 
of distress. Sir Edward deemed it advisable to relinquish his 
intention for the time, and to form on the larboard tack, 
with the ships' heads in shore, so as to cover the crippled 
ships. The action ceased at about Ih. 30m., and, towards 
evening, the squadron anchored between Negapatam and 
Nazore. Sufirein anchored three leagues to the northward, 
and the next day proceeded to Cuddalore. 

' The following is the resvilt of an inquiry into this transaction, which 
afterwards took place at Paris and was published by authority. The 
second captain of the Severe being badly wounded and obliged to quit 
the deck, M. de VUleneuve Cillar, the first captain, ordered the colours 
to be struck. The firing was still continued below, notwithstanding the 
captain's orders to the contrary. The Sieur de Tien, an auxiliary officer, 
who was upon deck, could not without indignation see the ship strike to 
one more damaged than herself, and .therefore addressed M. de Cillar, 
saying : — "Monsieur^ you are wounded, and more dangerously than you 
think ; you had better retire, to be taken care of." M. de CUlar took 
the hint, and quitted the deck ; upon which M. de Tien assumed the 
command, harangued the crew, ordered the colours to be rehoisted, and 
rejoined the fleet. 




The loss of officers in this action was as follows : — Superb, 
Captain Dunbar McLellen ;^ Hero, Lieutenant Henry Chap- 
man, killed ; Burford, Captain Y. Jenkinson, 98th regiment, 
killed ; Edward Derby, master, wounded ', Magnanime, 
Lieutenant T. H. Wilson, and Captain of marines William 
Adlam, wounded ; IMonmouth, Lieutenant Sabine Gascoyne, 
wounded ; Eagle, Lieutenant William Wood, wounded ; Sul- 
tan, Lieutenant John Drew, and First-lieutenant of marines 
Richard Williams, wounded ; Monarca, Frederick Corrie, 
master, and Captain Abbot (H.E.I.C), wounded ; Exeter, 
Thomas Cribbon, master, wounded ; Worcester, First-lieu- 
tenant of marines George Johnson, wounded ; boatswains, 
Kobert Daniel and William Cunningham, wounded. The 
loss in men was as follows, in the order the ships were 
formed in Kne : — 







Hero , . . 








Worcester. ..... 

Monmouth .... 


Magnanime .... 










Superb ......... 





The best account of the French loss gives it at 412 killed 
and 676 wounded, of wliich number the Heros, it is said, 
alone lost 140 killed and 240 wounded, a number wholly 
incredible, were it not for the fact that the crew, together 
with the troops, numbered 1,200 men. 

The foiui;h action with SufFrein happened on the 3rd of 
September. The British squadron, with the addition of the 
64-gun ship Sceptre, Captain Samuel Graves, comprised three 
ships of seventy-four giuis, one of seventy, one of sixty-eight, 
six of sixty-foui-, one 50-gun ship, and four frigates. The 
French, four ships of seventy-four guns, eight of sixty-four 
guns, and three 50-gun sliijDS. The British were very badly 
found in stores, and their crews much reduced by sickness, 

* Captain McLellen was shot through the heart. Captain Henry 
Newcome succeeded to his vacancy. 

1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 333 

while the French were iii good condition, and full of men. 
The French had got j^ossession of Trincomale, where their 
squadron was at anchor, but on perceiving the British, imme- 
diately weighed, and stood out of Back Bay to the south- 
east, the wind l)lo^ving fresh from south-west. The British 
being to leeward. Sir Edward made the signal for the line 
ahead at two cables' length distance ; and in order to render 
the action the more decisive, as well as to get his sliips in 
order, stood off the land before the wind until llh. a.m. 

Having at length hauled to the wind on the larboard tack, 
the squadron formed thus : — -Exeter, Isis, Burford, Sceptre, 
Hero, Superb, Sultan, Monarca, Eagle, Magnanime, Mon- 
mouth, and Worcester. The French, at 2h. 30m. p.m., 
commenced the action, five ships bearing down upon the 
British van, and two on the Monmouth and Worcester. The 
latter shijD was very severely handled ; but the Monmouth 
observing her to be oppressed, and having beaten off the ship 
immediately opposed to her, gallantly threw all aback and 
dropped astern to her support. The action then became 
general from van to rear, the two flag-ships engaging with 
much spirit. At 3h. 30m. the ship astern of the Heros lost 
her mizenmast, and her next ahead, fore and mizen-topmasts. 
The action continued till oh. 30m., at which time the ^vind 
shifted to east-south-east. The British squadron immediately 
braced theii' yards round, and the action was continued in 
the same order, with this difference, that the British were 
now to windward, and had the power of closing with the 
enemy. The effect of the fire then opened was soon shown 
in the fall of the mainmast of the Heros, which was shortly 
followed by her mizenmast. The Worcester, about the same 
time, lost her main-topmast. At 7h. p.m., Suffrein wore and 
stood in shore to the southward, receiving a most severe fire 
from the British line as they passed to leeward. 

It apj)ears extraordinary that no effort should have been 
made to follow the beaten enemy. The vicinity of the land 
was an insufficient reason for declining to render this, the 
foui-th fight, decisive in its results, and yet, had the British 
wore and followed Suftrein, the Heros, with only a foremast 
standing, must have been captured. In the three preceding 
actions there were substantial reasons why Sir Edward 
Hughes did not pursue the enemy, but in the present in- 




stance there appears to have been no sufficient reason for 
this omission. 

The loss of officers was again remarkably severe in pro- 
portion to the men. Captains James Watt, of the Sultan ; 
Charles Wood, of the Worcester; and the Hon. Thomas 
Lumley, of the Isis ; Lieutenant Amyas Barret, and Captain 
of marines Robert Ckigstone, of the Monarca ; Lieutenant 
of nifirines Devereux Edwards, and the boatswain, of the 
Worcester, and master's mate, — Bell, of the Isis, were 
killed. The wounded were Lieutenants Joseph Murray, 
Charles Bartholomew, — Sandeland, — Armstrong, Thomas 
Stephenson, and James Atkia. Captain Maitland (78th 
regiment). Lieutenants Thompson (98th), Stewart (78th), 
and Samuel Orr, of the marines. The annexed table shows 
the loss each ship sustained in the four actions :^ — 


6th Feb. 

12th April. 

6th July. 

3rd Sept. 












Superb. . . . . . . . . . . . 

Hero .^ .^ . . . . ... . . 


















































Magnanime .-. . . .-. . . 


Monarca . . . . 


Sceptre ...... -. .-. 



Worcester ... .-. . . . . 
Isis - 


Total ... .- -. 










The French squadron re-entered Trincomale the same 
night, except the 74-gun ship Orient, which grounded going 
in, and was wrecked. Sir Edward Hughes, with his shattered 
squadron, proceeded to Madras. 

* Where there are asterisks instead of blanks, the ships were Bot 

1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 335 

On the l6th of March, at daylight, the 32-giiri frigate 
Success, Captain Charles M. Pole, and the armed store-ship 
Vernon (mounting twenty-two long 6-pounders), John Fal- 
coner commander, being off Cape Spartel, on their voyage to 
Gibraltar, observed a strange sail ahead, standing towards 
them on the larboard tack, with the wind at south-west. 
The weather being hazy. Captain Pole at first mistook the 
stranger for a line-of-battle ship, and wearing round on the 
larboard tack, made sail away. At 2h. 30m. p.m., observing 
that the Vernon was losing ground in the chase, Captain 
Pole shortened sail to allow her to close. Shortly afterwards, 
the haze clearing away, the ship in chase was discovered to 
be a large frigate with a poop, which, at about 5h. p.m., 
hoisted Spanish colours and a commodore's broad pendant. 
At 6h., the Spanish frigate having approached within random 
shot, the Success wore and steered for the lee bow of the 
enemy (still on the larboard tack), apparently with the in- 
tention of crossing her bows and engaging to leeward ; but 
having arrived within musket-shot, the Success suddenly 
hauled up, and passing to windward, poured a most de- 
structive broadside into the larboard bow of her adversary. 
So unexpected was this clever manoeuvre of Captain Pole's^ 
that the lee gims of the Spanish frigate were fixed, under the 
firm belief that the enemy was to leeward. The Success 
then wore round, and took up her position on the lee quarter 
of the enemy, and being most gallantly seconded by the 
Vernon, the Spanish frigate having lost her mizenmast, at 
8h. 20m. hauled down her colours, and was taken possession 
of by Lieutenant Oakley, of the Success. The prize was 
the Spanish 12-pounder 34-gun frigate Santa Catalina, com- 
manded by Don Miguel Tacon, the senior officer of the 
squadron cruising in the Straits. Out of 300 men, the 
Santa Catalina had twenty-five killed and eight wounded, 
and the Success one killed and four wounded. The piize 
being very leaky, and six strange sail heaving in sight the 
next day, Captain Pole considered it necessary to destroy 
her, and she was accordingly set on fire and blown up. The 
Spaniards had formed a plan to take possession of the Suc- 
cess, but which was happily frustrated by the vigilance of the 
British officers. 

On the 7th of April, the 18-gun sloop General Monk, 

336 BATTLES OF [1782. 

Commander Josias Rogers, being off Cape May, North 
America, in comijany Avith the 32-gun frigate Quebec, Cap- 
tain Christopher Mason, eight sail of vessels were discovered 
close in shore. The Quebec, during the night, endeavoured 
to get through the Henlopen Channel, to prevent the retreat 
of the vessels into Philadelphia, while the General Monk 
followed the Cape May Channel, and proceeded to the attack. 
At noon on the 8th, the General Monk, having been joined 
by a New York privateer of fourteen guns, entered Cape 
May Heads, upon which the Americans got underweigh and 
made all sail in shore. A privateer of sixteen guns ran 
ashore under the Cape, and was abandoned. A brig of 
foiu'teen guns struck to the General Monk, and was taken 
possession of ; and, in a short time, the whole eight vessels 
would have been taken or destroyed, had not the New York 
privateer grounded. Captain Rogers, however, contmued to 
pursue the enemy, and brought to action the Hyder Ally, of 
eighteen long 6-pounders, and 130 men. The armament of 
the British sloop- of- war consisted of only sixteen carronades, 
12-pounders, and two long 6-j)ounders ; but the former, 
nnder any circumstances almost useless, were in this case 
badly fitted, and upset at every discharge. This defect being 
observed on board the Hyder Ally, the captain was em- 
boldened to continue the attack, and, after an action of near 
two hours' continuance. Captain Rogers was under the 
necessity of ordering the colours to be hauled down. The 
loss on board the British vessel, out of 110 men, amounted 
to William Johnson, lieutenant, the master, Robert Thomas, 
and six seamen killed ; and Captain Rogers, the purser, 
Halliday, the boatswain, and twenty-five wounded, foiu' of 
whom mortally. The prize to the General Monk over- 
powered the prize crew, and regained her port. 

Early on the morning of the 8th of April, the look-out 
ships of the fleet of Sir George Rodney were perceived 
standing towards St. Lucia, where the fleet was lying at 
anchor, ^vith the signal flying for the enemy havmg put to 
sea from Martinique. The British fleet instantly weighed, 
and by noon the whole had cleared the bay and were 
under all sail in search of the enemy. It consisted of the 
following :- — 








Admiral Sir G. 

_, -in ) 1st Captain' Sir 

Formidable < ri„^^„;V. t^-u 

B. Rodney (white) 
Charles Douglas 
Captain John Symons 
„ Lord Cranstoun 
■r, r, \ Rear- Admiral Sir Sam. Hood (blue) 

^^^^"^^ j Captain John Knight 

( Rear-Admiral Fran. S. Drake (blue) 
I Captain Charles Knatchbull 
( Commodore Edmund Affleck 
I Captain Thomas Graves 
„ Robert Fanshaw 

70 Princessa , 
74 Bedford . 



iNamur , 
Prince George 

r Royal Oak . . . 




Monarch ...... 

Warrior ... . . . 


Magnificent . 



Resolution . . . 

Hercules . . . . _ 


Fame ....... 


Conqueror . . . 



, Marlborough . 

Yarmouth . . . 

Belliqueux . . . 

Prince William 


St. Albans . . . 

Agamemnon . 



Anson . 


Endymion, Fortun^e, 

, John Williams 

, Alan Gardner 

, Thomas Burnet 

, William Bajme 

, George Bowen 

, Samuel C. Goodall 

, Francis Reynolds 

, Sir James Wallace 

J. N. Inglefield 

, Robert Linzee 

, Nathaniel Charrington 

, Hon. Wm. Cornwallis 

, Lord Robert Manners 

, Henry Savage 

, James Saumarez 

, Robert Barbor 

, John L. Gidoin 

, George Balfour 

, Charles Thompson 

, Samuel Cornish 

, Taylor Penny 

, Anthony Parrey 

, Andrew Sutherland 

,, George Wilkinson 

:, Thomas Dumaresq 

,, Charles Inglis 

,, Benjamin Caldwell 

,, Charles Bucknor 

, Samuel Thomson 

,, William Blair 

„ William Truscott 
Nymphe, Flora, Santa Monica, Con- 

vert, Alarm, Andromache, Lizard, Pegasus, Sibyl, Triton, Champion, 
and Eurydice. Sloops — Zebra, Germaine, and Alert. Fire-ships — 
Salamander and Blast. 

VOL. I. 

' With rank of rearatlmiral. 

338 BATTLES OF [1782. 

On the morning of the 9th of Aj^ril, the French fleet was 
discovered ; two flag-ships and fourteen sail of the line bein'^ 
in the passage between the Saintes and Dominica, and the 
remainder with a numerous convoy of transports becalmed 
in Prince Rupert's Bay. Sir Samuel Hood's division was in 
the van, which, ha^dng, at 7h. a.m., got the sea-breeze (east- 
south-east), stretched to the northward on the starboard 
tack in chase, while the centre and rear divisions were still 
becalmed, or vmder the influence of a light air from the 
northward. The French fleet, ha\dng formed their line also 
on the starboard tack, observing the isolated position of the 
British van, bore up at 9h. 30m. a.m., in the hope of cutting- 
it off. The jDlan of attack pursued by De Grasse was both 
ingenious and novel, and we will endeavour to illustrate it 
with a diagram. 

,4 h 



■^ i.„... 

FRENCH FLEET. V^ ■: ■ , , ^j- 

1'* ' 

, 'T 






The dotted lines denote the track of the French during their attacl: 

The British ships, it will be observed, to enable the centre 
and rear to close, were hove to ; and, in consequence, the 
French ships, by keeping under sail, were enabled to manoeu- 
vre as they pleased ; but, at the same time, it is e^ddent 
that the plan pursued by Hood was, under the circumstances, 
most masterly. His shij)s were united in a compact body, 
opposing vigorous and well-directed broadsides to the enemy's 

1782.] THE BEITISH NAVY. 339 

In tliis manner from lOh. till llli. A.M., eight ships were 
opposed to fifteen, and so ably, that when at the latter 
period the sea-breeze extended to the British centre, the 
French admiral tacked, and stood in shore to rejoin his rear. 
The British centre, having been driven so much nearer the 
land by the northerly wind, was of course more to windward, 
when the sea-breeze reached ; but the sailing of the French 
ships was so superior, that it was found impossible to come 
up ^vith any part. At llh. 30m. the French fleet formed 
the line on the starboard tack ; but, with the exception of 
some distant and ineffectual cannonading, nothing further 
took place. The principal loss sustained by Hood's division 
was by the death of Captain Bayne, of the Alfred. 

The two succeeding days were occupied in chasing ; but 
the superior sailing of the French ships made it evident that 
a change of wind or some accident could alone enable the 
British to force an action. On the 12th of April, at sunrise, 
the British fleet was about five leagues north-west of Prince 
Rupert's Bay, standing to the northward, with a light air of 
wind, in the order of sailing. The French were upon the 
same tack to windward of the Saintes, with a fresh sea- 
breeze ; and one ship, having lost her foremast and bowsprit, 
was in tow of a frigate, standing in for Guadaloupe. Rodney 
made the signal for four ships to chase the disabled ship, 
which being perceived, De Grasse bore up with his fleet to 
protect them. But finding that by persevering in this course 
he should give the British the weather gage, he gave up his 
intention, and formed his line on the larboard tack. Rodney, 
perceiving an engagement inevitable, recalled his chasing 
ships, and made the signal for a line of battle on the star- 
board tack ; Rear-ildmiral Drake's division, on this day, 
leading. Thus formed, the two fleets gradually neared each 
other, the French being only far enough distant to windward 
to cross the bows of the British. At a few minutes before 
8h. A.M. the Marlborough, being the leading ship, opened fire 
upon the centre and rear of the French. At 8h. Sir George 
made the signal for close action, and shortly afterwards the 
action was commenced by all the other ships of Rear- Admiral 
Drake's division. Hood's division, and a great part of the 
centre, were nearly becalmed, but the leading ships had the 
breeze ; and the same variation in the strength of the wind 

340 BATTLES OF [1782. 

was soon afterwards experienced by the French. The breeze, 
as the ships got more to the southward, had also drawn more 
southerly, so that their van ships could not lay liigher than 
south-west, while the centre and rear, having the sea-breeze 
at about east, were lying up south. This southerly breeze, 
although it completely broke the French Hne, did not neces- 
sarily disarrange the British ; but Rodney, perceiving the 
aperture in the enemy's line, kept a close luff, and at a little 
before llh. passed through it. 


SOUTH Pt' OF CaADALOUnE ^-^f^^^ 


///;. AfA 

; U -=*- 





The arrows denote the various sets of the xoind. 

This point we endeavour to illustrate by the above dia" 
gi'am. It gives an entire ly new feature to the affair ; and 
although it does not accord ^\'ith the theory that Rodney 
deliberately planned the breaking of the enemy's line, ac- 
cords him the merit of abrogating the stiff notion of pre- 
serving a line of battle, when an advantage rendered a 
departure from it expedient. Rodney's movement was the 
main cause of the discomfiture of the enemy; and although 
many assert that the preservation of the line would have 

1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 341 

rendered the victory more decisive, yet when the sailing 
qualities of the two fleets are taken into account, it is very 
doubtftd. By pia-siung the plan he did, Rodney separated 
his ship, and the six ships which followed him m liis gallant 
movement, from the van, part of the centre and the rear. 
It has been said that tliis evolution was inadvertently per- 
formed; but this can hardly be. The Formidable luffed out 
of the line, which could not have been done inadvertently,, 
and it is therefore imfair to impute the victory obtained to 
accident, and still more so to Mr. Clerk's system of tactics. 
Sir Alan Gardner, however, who commanded the Duke. 
the admiral's second astern, was afterwards heard to say, 
" the wind was very Light at the commencement of the 
action, but as it advanced it fell calm : my ship drop2yed 
through the enemy's Ime, and I, thinking I was wrong, and 
out of my station, did everything I could to get back again,, 
but was unable to do so." 

Hood's division did not follow Rodney tlrrough the French 
fleet, for a reason wliich must be obvious. By continuing 
his course, he soon became necessarily opposed to the French 
van, separated from the centre, from the causes above de- 
sciibed, and between these a warm and close action was 
maintained, till at leng-th the smoke and concussion of the 
firing, which also dissipated the light air of wind, so com- 
pletely enshrouded the sliips of both fleets, that a cessation 
of filing on both sides took place. It was past noon ere the 
smoke cleared away, by which time the French ships, for the 
purpose, it is supposed, of effecting a rejunction, had all bore 
up, and were then seen to leeward retreating in disorder. A 
general chase ensued, and the 74-gun ship Glorieux, being 
dismasted, was taken possession of by the Royal Oak ; the 
Cesar, by the Centaur, after having been engaged by that 
ship and the Bedford ; the Hector, engaged by the Alcide 
and Canada, was taken possession of by the former. After 
the Hector smTcndered, the Canada made sail, and over- 
taking the Ville de Paris, brought her to action, and con- 
tinued to engage until Hood, in the Barfleur, arming up, 
fought her till she struck.^ The G-i-gun ship Ardent was 
captured by the Belliqueux. It being now sunset, Rodney 

* It has been stated that the Russel also engaged the Ville de Paris 
previously to the Barfleur's coming up. 




made tlie signal of recall, and the action ceased. The rela- 
tive force of the two fleets may be gathered from the fol- 
lov.'ing summary : — 


5 8 4 -gun ships 
19 74 „ 

6 64 „ 

3 80 


5 90 -gun ships 
20 74 „ 

6 64 
H 64 
(1 70 

The above calculation, which the heavy metal carried by 
the French ships warrants, leaves a preponderancy in their 
favour of the Ville de Paris. By another mode of reckoning 
— that of simply numbering the guns — it will appear as 
under : — 

French. | English. 
Guns. 2,560 | Guns 2,640 

The number of men on board the French ships greatly 
exceeded the British. 

The following table shows the number killed and wounded 
on the 9th and 12th ; the ships in order as they entered the 
action : — 







Marlborough . . 



St. Albans .... 



Arrogant . . ... ... 



Canada . . 



Alcide . . 



RepiJse. -. 



Nonsuch . . 






Conqueror ... ... 





Princessa . . .-. . . 



Prince William 



Prince George . . 



Magnificent . . . . 



Torbay ... . . ... . . 



Centaur. . 



Anson .^ ., -. 



Belliqueux .... 












Monarch ...... 



America . . , . . . 


1 , 

Barfleur ...... 



Hercules ....... 



Valiant _. ... 









Resolution .... 















Eoyal Oak .... 



Formidable ... ... 







1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 343 

The loss in officers -was as follows : — Formidable, Lieut. 
Christopher Hele killed. Royal Oak, Lieut, of marines 
George Watkins killed, captain of marines wounded. Alfred, 
Captain William Bayne killed. Montagu, master, WiUiam 
Cade, killed, Lieuts. of marines David Bruce and WiUiam 
Buchan wounded. Yaliant, Lieut. Richard Winterbottom 
killed, and Lieut. William Brown and the master, Thomas 

Backhouse, wounded. Warrior, Stone, master, wounded. 

Magnificent, Captain of marines Samuel Biggs, wounded. 
Ajax, Lieut. John Elliot and the pilot, Thomas Rossitor, 
wounded. Repulse, the master and captain of marines 
wounded. Duke, Lieut, of marines George Cornish, the 

master, Cooper, boatswain, Scott, wounded. 

Agamemnon, Lieut. W. A. Brice (mortaUy) and Richard 
Incledon wounded. Resolution, Captain Lord Robert Man- 
ners (mortally) wounded. Prothee, the master, Thomas 
Love, wounded. Hercules, Lieut. Hobart killed. Cap- 
tain Savage wounded. America, Lieut. John Callowhill 
killed, and Lieut. Trelawney wounded. Anson, Captain 
William Blair killed. Torbay, Lieut, of marines Benjamin 
Mounier killed. Princessa, Lieuts. George Dundas, David 
M'^Dowall, and Samuel Laban (marines) wounded. The 
French loss is stated to have been 3,000 killed, which 
number probably included the wounded also. The Yille de 
Paris had on board a great quantity of specie, and was con- 
sidered the finest ship afloat. She measured 2,300 tons, 
and had been presented by the city of Paris to Louis XV. 
at the close of the preceding war. It is stated that the cost, 
in building and fitting her for sea, was £156,000. The 
Cesar, also a very fine ship, was unfortunately burnt on the 
night after her capture, by which accident 400 of her crew, 
as well as a lieutenant and fifty British seamen, perished. 
Not one of the French ships captured on this day ever 
reached England, the Yille de Paris, Hector, and Glorieux 
having foundered on their passage home. 

This victory caused unbounded satisfaction, and Sir 
George Rodney and Sir Samuel Hood were both elevated 
to the peerage, and Rear- Admiral Drake and Commodore 
Affleck created baronets. Public monuments in Westminster 
Abbey were also erected in memory of the tlu^ee captains 
who fell in the action. 

344 BATTLES OF [1782, 

Sir George Rodney proceeded to Jamaica, Laving previously 
despatched Sir Samuel Hood in the Barfieur, ^\dth the 
Valiant and Magnificent, to look after disabled ships among 
the islands. On the 19th of April, in the Mona Passage, 
five sail were discovered and chased. After a smart action, 
the French 64-gun ships Caton and Jason, 3 2 -gun frigate 
Aimable, and corvette Ceres, were captured. The fifth, 
the 36-gun frigate Astree, escaped. The Valiant had four 
men killed and six wounded, and the Magnificent four 
killed and eight wounded. 

On the 20th of April, the 84-gun ship Foudroyant, Cap- 
tain John Jervis, attached to the fleet of Vice- Admiral 
Barriugton, ofi" Ushant, was ordered, with other ships, in 
chase of a strange fleet. At sunset the Foudroyant had got 
far ahead of her consorts, and near enough to the strangers 
to make them out a convoy, and four ships of war, two 
being line-of-battle ships. The squadron soon afterwards 
separated, and, at lOh. 4om., the largest ship, which the 
Foudroyant was pursuing, also bore up. A hard squall, 
Avith hazy weather, coming on about the same time, the 
Foudroyant lost sight of the fleet, and, about half an hour 
after midnight, brought the chase to close action. After 
engaging about three-quarters of an hour, the Foudroyant 
boarded the stranger, and compelled her to surrender. The 
prize was the French 7 4 -gun ship Pegase, commanded by the 
Chevalier de Sillaus. Out of a crew of 700 men, she had 
upwards of 100 killed and wounded. Only two or three 
men were wounded in the Foudroyant. Other ships ar- 
ri\ up, the Pegase was taken possession of; she was a fine 
ship of 1,778 tons, and was added to the British navy under 
the same name. The Queen, Captain the Honourable 
Frederick Maitland, next day captured the 64-gim ship 
Actionnaire, armed enjliite. 

On the 28th of April, the 14-gun brig Pelican, Com- 
mander Edward Pellew, being ofi* the Isle of Bas, several 
vessels were observed at anchor in the road. Commander 
Pellew stood in shore for the purpose of making an attack, 
when two privateers — a brig and schooner, each of equal 
force to the Pelican — sprang their broadsides towards the 
entrance to the roads to oppose her. The Pelican, however, 
entered the roads, and drove the two j^rivateers^ as well as a 

1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 345 

third, on shore, under shelter of some hea^y batteries, which 
opened fire upon the Pelican, by which two of her crew 
were wounded. For this well-executed and spirited per- 
formance. Commander Pellew received his post commission. 

On the 20th of June, the hired armed ship Defiance, 
mounting fourteen or sixteen long 4-pounders, Lieutenant 
George Cadman, being ofi" Portland, observed a large brig 
standing out of West Bay, As the two vessels closed, the 
brig hoisted Dutch colours, and an action of two hours' dura- 
tion ensued, when the brig hauled down her colours. The 
2)rize was the privateer Zeuse, belonging to Flushing, and 
mounted one long 18-pounder on a pivot, and sixteen broad- 
side guns, 6-pounders, with a crew -of 113 men, of which she 
had twenty-one killed and seventeen wounded. She had 
been launched only three weeks. The crew of the Defiance 
nmnbered only sixty-eight men, of which she had one killed 
and one wounded ; her masts, sails, and rigging were much 
damaged. Lieutenant Cadman was most deservedly promoted. 

On the 29th of July, at daybreak, the 36-gun frigate 
Santa Margaritta, Captain Elliot Salter, bemg off' the 
Chesapeake, chased the French 36-gun frigate Amazone. 
Shortly afterwards, eight large ships were observed standing 
out from the land, which induced Captain Salter to haul to 
the wind and make sail to the northward. The Amazone 
then became the pursuer, and, at 3h. p.m., the Santa Mar- 
garitta, having drawn her out of sight of the strangers, 
tacked, and again stood towards her. At 5h. p.m., as the 
two ships passed on opposite tacks (the Santa Margaritta on 
the larboard, and the Amazone on the starboard tack), the 
Amazone opened fire ; but the British frigate reserved her 
broadside until on the point of wearing, and, having arrived 
on the Amazone's weather beam, the Santa Margaritta's 
helm was put a-weather, and, wearing round under the 
French frigate's stern, a destructiA'e raking broadside was 
thrown in ; then lufiing up alongside of her to leeward, a 
most animated fight ensued. The action had lasted one 
hour and a quarter, when the Amazone surrendered, and 
was taken possession of. She was a fine ship, commanded 
by Vicomte de Montguiote, who was killed in the action ; 
and out of a crew of 301 men, she sustained a loss of seventy 
killed and eighty wounded, including every officer except one 

346 BATTLES OF [1782. 

in the ship. Her main and mizen-masts fell shortly after she 
was taken possession of, and she had four feet water in her 
hold. The loss on board the British frigate was compara- 
tively slight ; she commenced the action with 255 men, of 

which number she had one midshipman, Dalrymple, 

and four men killed, and seventeen men wounded. All her 
spars and rigging were greatly damaged, but none fell. 

Every exertion was made, during the night, to shift the 
prisoners, but, having only one boat that would swim, this 
was found difficult ; and only sixty-eight, including officers, 
were removed. The Amazone was then taken in tow, and 
Captain Salter made sail to the eastward, hoping to increase 
his distance from the French squadron, which he was in- 
formed by his prisoners those ships belonged to which he 
had seen in the morning. At daybreak, however, he had 
the mortification to see the French squadron in chase. So 
near was the enemy, that he had only time to remove the 
men from the prize, and, not being able to take out the 
remainder of the prisoners, could not destroy her, and she 
was shortly afterwards recaptured. This action reflects the 
highest praise on the skill Captain Salter evinced in the 
manner in which he conducted his attack ; and aware, at 
the same time, that he was not far from the formidable force 
which afterwards robbed him of his trophy. 

On the 12th of August, the 28-gun frigate Coventry, 
Captain Andrew Mitchell, had an action with the French 
40-gun frigate Bellone. The engagement continued upv/ards 
of two hours, when the latter sheered off, leaving the 
Coventry too much disabled to follow ; and with the loss of 
fifteen killed and twenty-nine wounded. 

On the 29 th of August, the 100-gun ship Boyal George, 
bearing the flag of Rear- Admiral Kempenfelt, overset and 
sank at Spithead, whereby near 800 human beings perished. 
Captain Martin Waghorn, Lieutenant P. C. C. H. Durham, 
and about 200 of her crew only were picked up. 

On the 1st of September, the 18-gun sloop Due de Char- 
tres. Commander John C. Piu^vis, on the North American 
station, fell in with the French 22-gun corvette Aigle, 
M. de Preneuf, bound from Cape Fran9ois to Boston with 
despatches. After a smart action of one hour's duration, in 
which the Aigle had her captain and twelve men killed, and 


1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 347 

t"wo officers and thirteen men wounded, the French ship 
surrendered. The Due de Chartres had not a man hurt. 
Commander Purvis was promoted for the abiHty displayed 
on this occasion. 

On the 4th of September, the 44-gun ship Rainbow 
(armed entirely with carronades), Captain Henry TroUope, 
being off the Isle of Bas, chased a French frigate. At 
7h. A.M., having arrived within gun-shot of the enemy, 
the Rainbow commenced firing chase-guns, which were 
returned by the frigate ; but, at 8h. 30m., the Rainbow 
having got alongside and fired a broadside, the stranger 
surrendered. The prize was the French 18-pounder 40-gun 
frigate Hebe, a fine new ship of 1,063 tons, commanded by 
the Chevalier de Yigny, capitaine de vaisseau, and had on 
board 360 men, of whom she had her second captain and 
four men killed. Her wheel was shot away, and one 
68-pound shot had disabled her foremast. The surrender of 
this ship, after so slight a resistance, is not surprising when 
the unusual armament of the Rainbow is taken into con- 
sideration, which is subjoined, as well as that of the Hebe : — 

Rainbow. Hebe. 

!10 68-pounders ) lbs. (,., ^o j Jibs. 

11 42 „ 1,238 1 1^ 1^°S 18-pounders / gg^ 

The Hebe was purchased into the British navy, and being 
a beautiful ship, served as a model to EngHsh shipwrights for 
many years. The Rainbow had no one hurt. 

On the 5th of September, the 74-gun ship Hector (one of 
the prizes captured on the 12th of April), Captain John 
Bourchier, being on her voyage to England, and having 
separated from the ill-fated squadron with which she had 
sailed from Jamaica, was fallen in with by the French 40-gun 
frigates Aigle and Gloire. The Hector was very ill prepared 
for two such opponents, having only fifty-two guns mounted, 
and her whole crew, officers included, being only 223. There 
were on board for a passage to England sixty-two French 
and American prisoners, and seven officers and sixty-six 
invalid soldiers from the different regiments in the West 
Indies : among the passengers was Captain William O'Brien 
Dnny. At 2h. a.m. the frigates were first descried bearing 

348 BATTLES OF [1782. 

down upon the Hector ; they were fine new ships, and fiilly 
manned, and had on board a great number of troops. Every 
preparation was made on board the Hector for defence ; and 
at 2h. 20m., the frigates having taken up their positions, one 
on the bow and the other on the quarter, commenced the 
action. Encom^aged by the slackness of the Hector's fire, 
the frigates closed and attempted to board, but were beaten 
back with much loss, and the fight was continued till half 
an hour after daybreak, when they made sail away. The 
Hector's masts and yards were all much damaged, and her 
sails cut to ribands ; several shot, also, had struck between 
wind and water, wliich, added to her previous unsea- 
worthiness, reduced her to a sinking state. Her loss 
amounted to Lieutenant Tothill and eight men killed, and 
Captain Bourchier (right arm shot away, and back much 
injured), and thirty-two men wounded. Captain Bourchier 
was wounded about the middle of the action, but the assist- 
ance rendered by Captain Drury prevented this loss from 
being felt so severely as it must otherwise have been. The 
Hector, unable to prosecute her voyage homeward, bore up 
for Halifax ; but after suliering dreadful privations, and 
losing nearly all her crew, it was found impossible to keep 
her afloat any longer, and on the 3rd of October she was 
abandoned ; the crew being rescued by the Hawke brig. 
Commander John Hill. 

On the 15th of September, L'Aigle and La Gloire were 
chased into the Delaware by Captain the Hon. Keith 
Elphinstone, in the 50-gun ship "Warwick, ha\TLng in com- 
pany the 64-gun ship Lion, Captain William Fooks ; 28-gim 
frigate Yestal, Captain William Fox ; and the Bonetta slooj;), 
Comm.ander Bichard G. Keats. The Gloire succeeded in orettinor 
so far up the river that she could not be attacked with any 
prospect of success, the British ships having no pilot on 
board ; but the Aigle having grounded, the Vesta and 
Bonetta, drawing less water, were despatched to the attack 
of the French frigate, accompanied by the Sopliie, a prize, 
mounting twenty-two guns, and manned with 150 men from 
the Warwick and Lion, under the command of Lieutenant 
Walter Lock, The Yestal ran aground on the starboard 
quarter of the Aigle, tlie Bonetta anchoring within 200 
yards of her larboard quarter, while the Sophie anchored 

1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 349 

under her stern. The ships were so judiciously placed, that 
the Aigle was unable to bring a gun to bear on them, and, 
after receiving a few broadsides, surrendered. The Aigle 
measured 1,002 tons, and was armed with long 24-pounders^ 
on her main deck, and twelve long 8-pounders on the quarter- 
deck and forecastle. She was commanded by Commodore 
Comte La Touche, and had on board M. de la Fayette, and 
several noblemen (who escaped), and GOO men, including 
troops. Before surrendering, the Aigle's masts were cut away 
and the ship scuttled ; but she was got off, and added to 
the British navy under the same name. The Soj)hie was 
also added to the navy. 

On the 17th of October, the 74-gun sliip Torbay, Captain 
John L. Gidoin ; 90-gun ship London, Captain James Kemp- 
thorne, and Badger sloop, being on a cruise off the east end 
of St. Domingo, chased a Hne-of-battle ship and frigate, 
bearing north-west, the -svind being from the southward. 
The strangers bore up and made all sail, with the wind on 
the starboard quarter ; and the London, taking the lead, at 
2h. 24m. P.M. was fired at by the French 74-gun ship Scipion. 
The London returned the enemy's fire from her bow-chasers, 
and occasionally yawed to fire her broadside; and at 8h. p.m. 
succeeded in getting alongside the enemy to leeward, and a 
close action of forty minutes' duration took place. The 
Scipion's consort, the 40-gun frigate Sibylle, meantime kept 
uj^ a galling fire under the London's bows. The Scipion 
showing a disposition to escape, the London \n\t her helm 
down in order to get athwart her hawse, and the two ships 
fell foul, the Scipion's larboard cathead being abreast of the 
London's starboard gangway, and in this position the action 
continued with increased fury. After a little time, however, 
the Scipion, having dexterously backed clear of the London, 
bore up imder her stem and fired her broadside. Immediate 
attempts were made to wear the London, but the leading 
block of the weather tiller-rope having ^^nfortunately been 
shot away mth part of the sweep, the ship came round head 
to wind. Having at length wore round, the London again 
closed the Scipion, and recommenced the action, in which 
the Sibylle again took part, and it was continued until 

* It does not appear that this ship was established with 24-pounders 
in the British navy, where she was classed as a 38-gun frigate. 

350 BATTLES OF [1782. 

lOh. 20m. P.M., when the Scipion ceased firing, and it was 
conckided that she had struck, as the Sibylle made all sail 
away from her. The London also ceased firing 3 but, having 
had the larboard fore-yardarm shot away as well as most of 
the irmning rigging and sails, was unable to close the Scipion 
to take possession. 

The Torbay now arriving up. Captain Kempthome com- 
municated the state of the London, and the Torbay made 
sail after the Scipion, which in the meanwhile, aided by a 
partial air of wind, was making sail in shore. Although 
Captain Gidoin crowded all sail, the Scipion preserved her 
distance, and at daybreak on the following morning, was 
stiU a mile and a half ahead. At 3h. 30m. p.m. of the 18th, 
the Torbay, having at length closed the Scipion, filled a 
broadside, when she bore up, and running into English 
Harbour, struck on a rock, and was totally lost The Scipion 
was commanded by the Chevalier de Grimouard (the same 
who commanded the Minerva when captured in 1781, by the 
Courageux), who was wounded in the action^ and, in his 
most gallant defence, sustained a loss of fifteen men killed 
and forty-six wounded. The London, in her equally gallant 
engagement with the Scipion and Sibylle, had nine men 
killed and two mortally wounded, and Lieutenants Richard 
Kundell Burgess, Hankey, and John Trigge, and seventy-two 
men wounded. 

On the 6th of December, the 64-gun ship Huby, Captain 
John CoUins, belonging to the squadron of Sir Richard 
Hughes, being to windward of Barbadoes, after an action of 
forty minutes' duration, compelled the French 64:-gun ship 
Solitaire to surrender. The Solitaire, commanded by the 
Chevalier de Borda, had her mizenmast shot away, and 
twenty men killed and thirty-five wounded. The Ruby had 
only two men wounded. Captain Collins received the honour 
of knighthood for this action. 

On the 12th of December, at 7h. a.m., the 44-gun ship 
Mediator, Captain the Hon. John Luttrell, being ofi" Ferrol, 
five sail were observed to leeward, which the Mediator bore 
up to examine. At 8h. the hulls of the strangers formed in 
line of battle, close hauled, were distinctly visible, and con- 
sisted of the frigate-built SG-gTin ship Eugene, with a crew 
of 130 men, Captain Baudin j an American brig, of fourteen 

1782.] THE BRITISH NAVY, 351 

guns and seventy men ; 6-i-gun sliip Menager, laden ^vitll 
gunpowder, mounting on her main deck twenty-six long 
12-pounders, and four long 6-pounders on her quarter-deck, 
with a crew of 212 men; Alexander, of twenty-four long 
9-f)0unders and 102 men, wearing a French ensign and an 
American pendant, and commanded by Captain Gregory, in 
the service of the American Congress ; the sternmost was 
the French ship Dauphin Royal, of twenty-eight guns and 
120 men. Notwithstanding this formidable array. Captain 
Luttrell continued bearing down under plain sail, and at 
lOh. A.M. was fired at by the Menager j but as the shot were 
observed to come from the upper deck only. Captain Luttrell 
rightly concluded she had no lower-deck guns. After rang- 
ing along the enemy's line to windward, the Mediator tacked 
and bore up, in order to bring the rear ship to action. At 
lOh. 30m. she opened fire on the Dauphin Royal, when 
that ship and the Alexander bore up out of the line. The 
Eugene, Menager, and American brig, then wore and en- 
deavoured to protect the two rear ships. The Mediator, 
after gallantly fighting her way through her nimierous foes, 
took possession of the Alexander ; and, as by this time the 
enemies were all endeavouiing to escape before the wind, 
great expedition was necessary to remove the prisoners ; but 
this being done, and a prize-master and crew put on board, 
the Mediator made sail after the retreating ships. At 3h. p.m. 
the Eugene hauled to the wind, but the Mediator now fol- 
lowed the Menager, which, at 5h. 30m. she brought to action. 
Just at this time a heavy squall coming on, the Mediator was 
nearly filled in consequence of the lowness of 'her lower-deck 
ports, and was obliged to put before the Avind to get the 
ports in and clear the ship of the water. At 9h. the Mediator, 
having again got up with the Menager, was on the point of 
filing into her, when she also struck and was taken possession 
of Being then not more than five miles from Ferrol, Cap- 
tain Luttrell judged it prudent to haul ofl* shore. In this 
most gallant attack, the Mediator sustained no loss, the 
enemy having fired principally at her masts, which Vv-ere 
much cut. The Alexander had six men killed and nine 
wounded, and the Menager a passenger and three seamen 
killed, and several wounded. The Dauphin and brig were 
seen next morning ; but having already 300 prisoners, and 

352 BATTLES OP [1783. 

being on an enemy's coast. Captain Luttrell was under the 
necessity of foregoing any further proceedings, and made 
sail for England with his two piizes, A villanous attempt 
was made by Captain Gregory, of the Alexander, at the head 
of a party of the prisoners, to gain possession of the Mediator. 
This was the more disgracefLil, as the man had received much 
kindness from Captain Luttrell ; it was, however, subdued 
after much exertion, and the originator placed in irons. The 
French officers had no part in the treacherous proceeding. 
Captain Luttrell's gallantry and skiU merit the highest 

On the 19th of December, the United States frigate South 
Carolina, Captain Joyner, carrying the unusual armament of 
twenty-eight long 36-pounders on her main deck, and twelve 
long 12 -pounders on the quarter-deck and forecastle, was cap- 
tured by a British squadron consisting of the 3 2 -gun frigate 
Quebec, Captain Christopher Mason ; 44-gim ship Diomede, 
Thomas L. Frederick ; and 32-gim frigate Astrea, Matthew 
Squire. The South Carolina was built at Amsterdam in 1780, 
mth the scantling and dimensions of a 74-gun ship. She 
was originally named the Indien, and belonged to France, 
but was hired by the Americans. It does not appear that 
she was purchased into the navy. 

1783. — On the 2nd of January, the 44-gun ship Endymion, 
and 36-gun frigate Magicienne, Captains Edward T. Smith 
and Thomas Graves, being ofi' Cape Francois, chased a French 
convoy of seventeen sail, under the protection of the 3G-gun 
frigate SibyUe, and 14-gun brig Ptailleur. The Magicienne 
was soon far ahead of the Endymion, and at noon brought 
the Railleur to action, and having silenced her, pushed on 
and brought the Sibylle to action. The engagement between 
these two sliips was very severe, they being so close together 
that the men fought with pikes and rammers out of the 
ports. At 2h. 30m. p.m. the Sibylle's fire slackened, and 
hopes v/ere entertained of bringing the matter to a success- 
ful termination, when the Magicienne's fore and main masts 
fell over the side, and she dropped astern. The SibyUe 
instantly made aU sail away, and at 3h. 30m. the Endymion 
passed \vithin hail, cheering as she passed, and pursued the 
Sibylle, but ineffectually, and the Magicienne with difficulty 
reached Jamaica on the 17th. Besides being totally dis- 

1783.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 353 

masted, the Magicienne had sixteen men killed and thii'ty-one 
wounded. The loss sustained by the Sibylle, as acknowledged 
by the French, amounted only to thirteen men killed, and 
her commodore (M. de Kergariou), and twenty-nine danger- 
ously, and eight slightly w^ounded ; but, considering the 
duration and severity of the contest, this appears much too 
sKght. That the Sibylle would have become the prize of the 
Magicienne, had it not been for the unfortunate fall of her 
masts, seems highly probable ; but this is at least certain, 
that the gallantry with which the action was conducted was 
such as to confer much honour upon the captain, officers, and 
crew of the Magicienne. 

On the 6th of January, the Sibylle was also dismasted, 
and, being jury-rigged, was fallen in with oif the Chesapeake, 
on the 22nd, by the British 28-gini frigate Hussar, Captain 
Thomas M. Russell. The Sibylle had been under the 
necessity of throwing twelve of her main-deck guns over- 
board, and was otherwise apparently in a defenceless state, 
and this, added to an inexcusable misuse of the signal of 
distress, and to her hoisting British over French colours, 
induced Captain Russell to nm down under her lee to afford 
assistance. On coming close alongside, however, the Hussar 
unexpectedly became exposed to a broadside from the Sibylle, 
which ship, bearing \\i) across the Hussar's hawse, badly 
sprang her bows2:)rit, and then attempted to board. Backing 
clear of the enemy, the Hussar quickly returned the fire, 
and the two ships running off the wind, maintained a deter- 
mined action for an hom\ The Sibylle then hauled to the 
wind on the larboard tack, followed by the Hussar, and, after 
two hours' chase, was again brought to action, and compelled 
to haul down her colours. At this time the French frigate's 
magazine was swamped in consequence of the damages re- 
ceived, and further resistance was impossible. Commodore 
Kergariou, on being brought on board the Hussar, presented 
his sword to Captain Russell, who, justly incensed at the 
treatment to which he had been subjected, broke the sword 
in pieces, and put the French commodore in confinement as 
a state prisoner. The 50-gun ship Centurion, Captain James 
Cotes, hove in sight to windward shortly after the action 
commenced. Captain Russell, on his return to England, was 
■offered the honour of knighthood, but which was declined. 

VOL. I. 2 A 

354 BATTLES OF [1783. 

On the lOtli of January, the 28-gTin frigate Coventry, 
Captain William Wolseley, was captui-ed in the Bay of 
Bengal by the French fleet, after an honourable defence. 

On the 18th of January, at Ih. p.m., the 50-gun ship 
Leander, Captain John Willet Payne, off Jamaica, observed 
a large ship coming down before the wind. The stranger, 
having approached within five or six miles, hauled up to the 
southward; and although evidently a large Kne-of-battle ship, 
Captain Payne determined on chasing. At 4h. p.m., the 
Leander tacked and made all sail, and at Ih. a.m. on the 19th, 
closed with the French 80-gun ship Couronne j and ranging 
up alongside to leeward at the distance of not more than 
fifty yards, gallantly commenced the action. The Leander's 
position was on the Couronne's starboard-bow, and was so 
near that she was three times set on fire by the French ship's 
wads. The ships were at one time foul, and the French 
attempted to board ; but, although the Couronne's deck was 
fuU of soldiers, who kept up a tremendous fire of musketry 
in order to cover the boarders, the assailants Avere beaten off 
with loss. For two houi^s the Leander sustained this un- 
equal contest, in the course of which, from the heavy metal 
of her opponent, the ship was rendered almost unmanageable, 
and had suffered a severe loss in killed and wounded. While 
in this crippled state she dropped to leeward of the Com^onne, 
and the latter, observing her apparently defenceless state, 
attempted to bear up under her stem to rake her ; but by 
putting the Leander's hehn aport, the two ships paid off be- 
fore the wind, the action meanwhile being continued with 
spiiit. After a short time the Couronne dropped astern, 
and hauling to the wind, discontinued the action, and at day- 
break the French ship was nowhere to be seen. Mr. James, 
in alluding to this gallant performance, states that the French 
ship was the Pluton, seventy-four. Captain de Bioms ; that 
she had a lieutenant and four men killed, and eleven wounded ; 
and that the Leander had thirteen killed or badly wounded. 
On the 18th of January, at daybreak, the 44-gun ship 
Argo, Captain John Butchart, being off Sombrero, on her 
way to Antigua, sprang her main-topmast in a fresh gale of 
wind ; and while getting another up, was chased by the 
French 36-gun frigates Concorde and Nymphe, which had 
sailed from Martinique to look after her. At llh. a.m. the 




Nymplie closed and commenced the action, wliicli tlie Ai^go 
was not able to return ^vith proper ejQfect, in consequence of 
the heavy sea nmning, and the lowness of her ports. The 
Argo put before the wind, closely followed by the frigate, 
and a lamning fight was kept up, the Argo's deck meanwhile 
being knee-deep in water. After having engaged the Nymphe 
for nearly two hours, the Concorde arrived up and took part 
ill the action. At 4h. p M. the Argo, having sustained a loss 
of thirteen men killed and a great many wounded, and all 
her lower masts being greatly injured, her main-topmast 
shot away, besides many shots between wind and water, 
hauled down her colours, and was taken possession of The 
Ai'go continued in possession of the enemy till the morning 
of the 20th, when she was chased and recaptured by the 
74-gun ship InAdncible, Captain Charles Saxton. 

On the 16th of February, the Concorde, after a long 
chase, was overtaken and captured by the 74-gun ship 
Magnificent, Captain Robert Linzee, after a very gallant 

The action which concluded this long and sangTiinary war, 
was a fifth engagement between the rival commanders in the 
East Indies, and took place ofi" Pondicherry on the 20th of 
June, the news of the peace not having then reached. The 
British squadron having been reinforced from England by 
five sail of the line, under Sir Richard Bickerton, consisted 

of the following :- 

Guns. Ships. 




80 Gibraltar..., 

( Cumberland 
74 "I Sultan ... . . 
( Defence ... 
70 Burford . . 
68 Monarca ... 
'' Monmouth 
Eagle . . . . 
r^i J Magnanime 
Sceptre . . 
Africa . . ... 

{ Vice- Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, K.B. 

\ Captain Henry Newcome 

( Commodore Richard King 

\ Captain Theophilus Jones 

i Commodore Sir Richard Bickertou 

\ Captain Thomas Hicks 

„ William Allen 

„ Andrew Mitchell 

„ Thomas Newnham 

„ Peter Rainier 

„ John Gell 

„ James Alms 

,, William Clarke 

„ Thomas Mackenzie 

„ Samuel Graves 

„ Robert Macdonald 

„ Charles Hughes 

2 a2 

356 BATTLES OP [1783. 

Guns. Ships. 

64 Exeter Captain John S. Smith 

54 Inflexible. ... ,, Hon. J. W. Chetwynd 

^„ j Isis ,, James Burney 

•"^ ( Bristol „ Charles Halliday 

Frigates, &c. — Chaser, Harriet, Medea, Naiad, San Carlos, Juno, 
Lizard, Minerva, Pondicherry, Combustion, Seahorse, and Active. 

The French squadron was still greatly superior in point of 
sailing, and De Suffrein able to decline or bring on an action 
at pleasure. After a continued endeavour on the part of 
Sir Edward Hughes to bring the enemy to action, the latter, 
on the day above mentioned being to windward, bore up, 
and at 4h. p.m., having taken up a position a Kttle Avithin 
long gun-shot of the weather-beam of the British, an engage- 
ment commenced, which continued three hours, when Suffrein 
made sail to mndward. M. Suffrein was probably induced 
to take this bold step in consequence of the known state of 
the crews of the British squadron, nearly one-third of whom 
"were labouring under the effects of virulent scurvy, and 
confined to their hammocks. The British squadron suf- 
fered very much in masts and rigging, the Gibraltar and 
Isis in particular, and the loss in killed and wounded, in the 
order the ships were formed, was as follows : — 













Magnanime .... 




















Monmouth .... 
Cumberland .... 




The officers killed and wounded were as follows : — Lieu- 
tenant Robert Travers (Monarca) ; James Dow (Sultan) ; 
and John Lett (Defence) ; and Thomas G. Parker, master 
(Defence), killed ; and Lieutenants Middlemore (Hero) ; and 
James Watson (Sceptre) ; and Thompson, of the marines 
(Hero) ; Ormsby Sloane, master (Sultan) ; — Hunter, boat- 




swain (Defence) ; and — Sinclair, boats\vain (Worcester), 

The French loss is not stated, News of the peace reached 
Sir Edward Hughes only a few days afterwards. 

On the 20th of January, preliminary articles of peace 
were concluded at Versailles between Great Britain and 
France, and also ^vith Spain. 

We will now endeavour to submit at one view the losses 
sustained by each of the belligerent powere during this 
war : — 


( captured 



























10 51 
1 6 

F^^^^^' destroyed j^y^^^.'jy;- 
( (by accident 

Total loss 







lli 62 


( captured 

Spanish' destroyed j^y^"^.°?yV 
( ( t>y accident 

Total loss 





..| 11 

5 12 

.. 1 





5i 24 


TN i T. . { captured 





1 6 

1 2 


Dutchi ] , ^, , 

1 destroyed 

Total loss 





2 8 

A • [ captured 



23 53 
17 32 

American < ^'^p^^^cu. 

( destroyed 

Total loss 





( captured 













^"'^^'^ j destroyed \ l^ ^"^.^?y •/ 
( (by accident 

Total loss 









19 f^^ 



■ 1 

' Exclusive of privateers. 



The following table exhibits the state of the jislyj at the 
close of the war : — 




Afloat .-. . 
Building . 





1 4 


60 1 to 



57 46 




40 34 
to I to 
36 28 

2065 2683 

6 29 1112 

I I 

8123 28 26 94!27'95 



With reference to the above, Beatson gives the following 
as the number in commission at tliis period : — Ships of the 
line, 112; of fifty gnns, twenty; frigates, 150; but this 
latter number is intended to include 20-gun ships and sloops. 
The number of seamen voted for the four years respectively — 
vi2., from 1780 to 1783, both inclusive— was 85,000, 90,000, 
100,000, and 110,000. 

1791. — On the 20th of November, an action took place 
off Mangalore between the British 36-gun frigate Phoenix, 
Captain Sir Bichard Strachan, and 32-gun French frigate 
Resolue, in consequence of the British captain insisting upon 
searching two merchant vessels in company with the frigate. 
The Besolue hauled down her colours after an engagement 
of twenty-five minutes' duration, in which she sustained a 
loss of twenty-five killed and forty wounded, including the 
captain dangerously. The loss on board the Phoenix was 
six killed and eleven wounded, including Lieutenant of 
marines Greorge Pinley, mortally. The merchant ships 
having been searched, were permitted to proceed on the 
voyage, and the Mgate was carried to Mahe Boads — the 
Trench captain declining to resume possession of the ship — 
and there left. 

^ Exclusive of armed ships, transports, cutters, fire-ships, &c. &c. 





Ox the 2nd of Januaiy, 1793, the 16-guii sloop Childers, 
Commander Robert Barlow, was standing in towards the 
harbour of Brest, when one of the batteries which guard 
the entrance fired a shot at her. Supposing the character 
of his vessel to be unknown, Captain Barlow hoisted his 
colours : upon which the forts also hoisted French coloiu's, 
with a red pendant over them, and both opened fire upon 
the British vessel, which had, by this time, been driven by 
the flood-tide still nearer. A breeze coming ofif the land, 
the Childers made sail and got out of gun-shot, without 
ha^ sustained any loss. One shot only — a 48-pounder — 
struck one of her guns, and split into three pieces, but 
injured no one. 

On the 21st of January, the French revolutionary party 
murdered Louis XYI. ; and the king of England, refusing 
to countenance such horrible proceedings, ordered the 
French ambassador to quit the comitry. On the 1st of 
Februarv, the National Convention declared war against 
Great Britain and the United Netherlands, which was fol- 
lowed by a counter declaration of war against France on 
the 11th of the same month. The king of Spain also not 
feehng an inclination to side with the French party, war 
was declared against that nation by France on the 4th of 
March, in which war Portugal was also involved. 

Mr. James gives the following as the actual line-of-battle 
force of the rival na\^es of England and France at this 
period : — 

British line 
French line 

No. of Ships. 

No. of Guns. 

Aggregate Broadside 

Weight of Metal 

in English Pounds. 





The above statement is very essential to a right under- 

360 BATTLES OF [1793. 

standing of the real difficulties and force which the British 
navy had to contend against. The first column, without 
the second, would not suffice, owing to the large number of 
64-gun ships in the British naw, and of 110 and 120-gun 
ships in the French ; neither would the second convey the 
requisite knowledge, without the third, in consequence of 
the heavier metal employed in the French na\y ; but 
together they show that the real preponderance of the 
English over the French navy did not amount to ^lore than 
15,000 lbs., or, in other words, about fifteen sail of the line. 
The navy of Spain was not much inferior to that of France 
and Portugal also possessed several fine 74-gun ships. 

The first action of tliis celebrated war was fought on the 
13th of March. The British 16-gun brig Scourge (but 
wliich had only eight long 6-pounders mounted). Commander 
George Brisac, being off Scilly, fell in with the French 
privateer Sans-Culotte, mounting eight long 8-pounders, and 
four 12-pounder carronades, with a crew of eighty-one men. 
The action lasted three hours ; but proved victorious to the 
Scourge, which, out of a crew of seventy men and boys, had 
one man killed and one wounded. The privateer had nine 
killed and twenty wounded. 

The first British officer who lost his life in tliis war was 
Lieutenant John Western, of the 32-gun frigate SjTen, who, 
in command of a gun-boat (the gun of which he was at the 
time levelling), was actively co-operating vnth. the forces 
under the orders of H. R. H. the duke of York, at the 
Noord, on the Moor Dyke, on the 21st of March, v»^hen he 
received a musket-ball through his head from the enemy's 
intrenchments. Lieutenant Western was buried in the 
church of Dordrecht, to vrliich place his remains were fol- 
lowed by the duke of York, who ordered a suitable monu- 
ment to be erected to his memory. The naval medal has 
been conferred upon the participators survi\-ing in June, 1847. 

On the 14th of April, a squadron under Bear- Admiral 
Gell, consisting of the following, — 

Guns. Ships. 

_„ C.J. /-I \ Rear- Admiral John Gell 

98 St. George . . j ^.^^^^.^ ^^^^^ p^^^^ 

(Ganges „ A. J. P. Molloy 

74 I Edgar „ Albemarle Bertie 

( Egmont ..... ,, Archibald Dickson 

38 Phaeton .... /, Andrew S. Douglas. 

1793.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 361 

bound to tlie Mediterranean, fell in with and captured the 
General Dumourier privateer, of twenty-two long 6 -pounders, 
and 196 men, together with the San-Iago Spanish galleon, 
which she was convoying to a port of France. The galleon 
was fi-om Lima, with a cargo valued at £200,000. Both 
w^ere taken to Plymouth, and ultimately condemned. The- 
seizure of tliis recaptured ship occasioned a great sensation 
at Madrid ; and was one of the principal causes of the war 
between Spain and Great Britain. 

On the 13th of May, at 5h. p.m., in lat. 42° 34' K, long. 
13° ,12' "W., the 12-pounder 32-gun frigate Iris, Captain 
George Lumsdaine, standing to the southward, with the 
wind at north-east, discovered a sail on her weather quarter. 
The Iris hauled to the Avind to close the stranger, and at, 
6h. hove to. At 6h. 30m. the stranger — a French frigate — 
hove to on the weather quarter of the Iris, and commenced 
the action. At 8h,, the stranger made sail to windward 
and escaped. The Iris endeavoured to piu'sue, and lost her- 
foremast, main-topmast, and mizenmast in the attempt. 
The Iris reached Gibraltar five days afterwards, and it was 
conjectured that she had engaged the Medee of thiriy-six 
guns, wliich statement subsequently appeared in the London 
journals ; but it was afterguards pretty clearly ascertained 
that her opponent was the Citoyenne Francaise, an old 
French 32-gun frigate, then a privateer, which ship arrived 
at Bordeaux in a shattered state. Out of a crew of 217, the 
Iris had foiu' seamen killed ; her first lieutenant, master, 

Magee (mortally), and tlurty seamen and marines 

wounded. The Citoyenne, out of 250 men, had her captain 
(Dubedal) and fifteen killed, and thirty-seven wounded. 

On the 27th of May, at daybreak, Cape Finisterre bearing 
south-east, distant 120 leagues, the 12-pounder 32-gun frigate^ 
Venus, Captain Jonathan Faulknor, and French 36-gun fri- 
gate SemiUante, descried each other. At 4h. 30m. a.m., the 
Semillante tacked, and hauled to the wind, and at 7h. 30m., 
having reached the lee beam of the Venus, a warm cannonade 
commenced, the two shij)s gradually nearing each other until 
lOh. A.M., when they were within a cable's length, the 
Venus to Tvindward. The Semillante had, by tliis time, lost 
her fii'st and second ofiicers, and her spars and hull were 
much damaged. For the last half-hour she had made but. 
a weak retui-n to the spirited fire of the Venus, and just as 

362 BATTLES OF [1793. 

Captain Faulknor had bore down, in tlie hope of taking 
possession, a stranger liove in sight to leeward, which made 
signals to the Semillante, upon which she bore up to join 
her friend. The Venus, which had also suffered severely in 
masts, yards, and rigging, hauled to the wind to repair 
damages. According to the statement of the captain of 
an EngHsh merchant-ship on board the Semillante, that ship 
had five feet water in the hold when she reached port. The 
Venus, out of a crew of 192, had two men killed and nine- 
teen wounded ; and the Semillante, out of 300 men, had 
twelve killed and twenty wounded. This ship's consort, 
which was the Cleopatre, crowded all sail after the Venus ; 
but being far to windward, with smooth water, the Venus 
got clear off, and rejoined the Nymplie, from w]uch she had 
parted two days before. 

On the 27th of May, early in the morning, about two 
leagues distant from Cape Tiburon, the Hyaena, of twenty- 
four guns,^ Captain William Hargood, was chased by the 
Concorde, the advanced frigate of a French squadron. Cap- 
tain Hargood, after making every possible effort to escape, in 
which the ship carried away several spars, finding that, as 
the wiud had fallen light, and the Concorde was bringing 
up a fine breeze, he could offer no effectual resistance, after 
consulting his officers, surrendered the ship. On the 11th 
of October, 1793, Caj^tain Hargood was tried by court- 
martial in Hamoaze, and most honourably acquitted. 

On the 17th of June, the 36-gun frigate Nymphe, Cap- 
tain Edward Pellew, sailed from Falmouth on a cruise. On 
the next day, at 3h. 30m. a.m., the Start bearing east by 
north five or six leagues, a sail was discovered to leeward, and 
the Nymphe bore up imder all sail. At 51i. the stranger — 
the French 36-gun frigate Cleopatre, — shortened sail, and 
awaited the approach of the Nymphe. At 6h. a.m., the 
Nymphe hauled up on the weather quarter, and was hailed 
from the Cleopatre. The hail was responded to by three 
loud British cheers. Captain MuUon, the French com- 
mander, then came to the gangway, and wa^vdng his hat, 
exclaimed, " Vive la nation!" his crew making a noise in 
imitation of the British cheers ; at the same time the 

^ The Hyaena had not more than ninety men on board; her second 
lieutenant and several of the crew being absent in prizes. 

1793.] THE BRITISH NAVY, 363 

Cleopatre filled and bore up. At 61i. lorn., tlie Nymphe, 
having taken up her station on the starboard quarter of the 
Cleopatre, commenced a furious action, both frigates running 
before the wind within hail. At 6h. 30m., the Cleopatre 
suddenly hauled to the wind on the larboard tack, but her 
mizenmast and Avheel being shot away, she paid round off 
before the wind, and fell on board the Nymphe, her jib-boom, 
passing between the fore and mainmasts, and pressing hard 
against the latter. As the main and spring stays were shot 
away, the mainmast was expected every moment to fall ; but 
the jib-boom of the French ship gave way, and the mast 
kept its place. Both ships then dropped alongside, head and 
stern. The Cleopatre's main-topmast studding-sail boom-iron 
having hooked the leech-rope of the IsTymphe's main-topsail, 
the mainmast was again endangered, but a tojD-man named 
Burgess sprang aloft and cut away the rope ; and, at the 
same time Lieutenant Pellowe let go the anchor. The 
Cleopatre was gallantly boarded, and, at 7h. 10m., the repub- 
lican colours were hauled down. The Nymphe had her 
boatswain Tobias James, master s mate Bichard Pearce, mid- 
shipmen George Boyd, John Davie, and Samuel Edfall, 
fourteen seamen, and four marines killed; her second lieut. 
George Luke, midshipmen J. A. Norway and John Plaine, 
first Ueut. of marines John Whittaker, seventeen seamen and 
six marines wounded : total, twenty-three killed and twenty- 
seven wounded. The Cleopatre had her captain kiUed,^ two 
lieutenants wounded ; and altogether 63 killed and wounded. 
Except in number of men, — the Nymphe having 240, and 
the Cleopatre 320, — the ships were equally matched; the 
only difference being that the Nymphe mounted eight 
32-pounder carronades, instead of long 6-pounders. On the 
21st, the Nymphe arrived at Portsmouth with her prize, and 
on the 29th, Captain Pellew, with his brother Israel, a volun- 
teer on board the Nymphe, were presented to George III. 
The honom' of knighthood was conferred on the senior,^ and 

1 Captain Mullon was wounded in the back and hip by a round shot ; 
and it is related of him, that having in his pocket the list of coast signals 
in use by the French, he took out what he considered to be the paper, 
and died biting it to pieces. 

- Tliis being the first decisive action of the war, rendered its termina- 
tion a matter of more than usual importance, and on the news being 

364 BATTLES OF [1793. 

the rank of post-captain on the junior brother. The first 
lieutenant, Amherst Morris, received immediate promotion 
to the rank of commander. The prize was purchased into 
the service, and named the Oiseau. 

Towards the end of July, the 12-pounder 32-gun frigate 
Boston, Captain George W. A. Courtenay, was ciTiising off 
New York, and watching the French 36-giin fi-igate Embus- 
cade, Captain Bompart, lying in that harbour. Caj^tain 
Bompart, mistaking the British frigate for the Concorde, a 
frigate under liis orders, sent his first lieutenant and twelve 
men on board the Boston, with orders for her to proceed in 
quest of a pu'ate. The lieutenant and his crew were, as a 
matter of course, made prisoners. On Captain Courtenay 
expressing to the Keutenant his desire to meet the Embus- 
cade at sea, the French officer assured him of his captain's 
readiness to accede to his wishes ; and that if he, the lieu- 
tenant, were permitted to write to his captain, the Embus- 
cade would be outside the Hook in a few hours. This was 
accordingly done, and the letter sent into New York by a 
pilot-boat, accompanied by a verbal message from Captain 
Courtenay that he would wait three days for the meeting. 
The master of the pilot-boat, not liking to deliver the 
message, posted it in a public coffee-room. While anxiously 
expecting the Embuscade, twelve sail appeared on the 30th 
in the ofiing, which the French lieutenant stated to be the 
74-gun ships Eole, and America, four frigates, and six cor- 
vettes, from the Chesapeake. At sunset they were about 
nine miles off. On the 31st, a ship was seen coming do^vn 
before the Avind, and the Boston cleared for action. At 3h. 
30m. A.M. the stranger passed about three miles to wind- 
ward, making signals with false fires, and at 3h. 50m. was 
discovered to be a French frigate. The Boston hoisted 
French colours, upon which the French ship hoisted a blue 
flag with a white cross at her peak, thus making herself 
known as the Embuscade. At 4h. a.m. both ships wore to 
the eastward, and set main-sails. At 5h., having hoisted 
each their proper colours, and apj)roached within pistol-shot, 
the Boston and Embuscade backing their main-topsails, 

announced to the king, at that time in the theatre, it was immediately 
communicated to the audience, by whom it was received with loud cheers 
and acclamations. The naval medal is awarded for this action. 

1793.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 365 

commenced the action. The land of Neversink, in the Jer- 
seys, bore north-west, about twelve miles distant. At 5h. 20m. 
the Boston's cross-jack-yard was shot away, and at 6h. 10m. 
her main-topmast and topsail-yard fell over the larboard 
iiide. At 6h. 20m. Captain Courtenay and Lieut, of marines 
James E. Butler, whilst standing together on the quarter- 
deck, were killed by one shot. The Boston's mizen-topmast 
soon afterwards fell. The only two Keutenants, — John Ed- 
wards and Alexander R. Kerr, were below, wounded ; the 
latter lost the entire use of one eye, and the former received 
a contusion in the head. On the captain's death, although 
Lieutenant Edwards had suffered severely, he returned on 
deck and took command of the ship. At 6h. 45m. the Em- 
buscade, which had also suffered very much in her masts and 
gear, dropped astern a little and bore up vvith the intention 
of raking the Boston, which the latter with difficulty wore to 
avoid. As the wreck of the main-topmast lay over the lar- 
board side and rendered her guns useless, the Boston, unable 
to offer an effectual resistance, made all sail before the wind. 
The Embuscade stood after her, to all appearance as much 
crippled as herself ; but at 8h. when about four miles off, 
the French ship brought to with her head to the eastward, 
and was soon lost sight of. The Boston had her captain, 
lieutenant of marines, and eight seamen killed ; two lieu- 
tenants, one master's mate, two midshipmen, and nineteen 
seamen and marines wounded : total, ten killed and twenty- 
four wounded. 

The Embuscade, a ship of 900 tons, and a crew numbering 
327, was also greatly superior in point of equipment to the 
Boston, the latter measuring only 670 tons with a crew of 
204 men, and armed with long 12 and 6-pounders, and useless 
12-pounder carronades. The Embuscade returned to New 
York with fifty men killed and wounded, and was obliged to 
have all her masts taken out. The Boston reached New- 
foundland on the 19th.i 

At the declaration of war against England, France pos- 
sessed in the harbour of Toulon a very large fleet, of which 
the subjoined tabular statement ^vill convey full infor- 
mation : — 

* The king settled a pension of £500 on Captain Courtenay's widow, 
and on each of his two children an annuity of £50. 





State of the ±'kench Meditekka- 
NEAN Force on the Arrival of 
Lord Hood in August, 1793. 











In Toulon - 

In the outer harbour, ) 

ready for sea ) 

In the inner ditto, refitting 

In ditto and basin repair- ) 

ing, or in want of repair ) 

^Building ... . . ... ...... ... 
















Cruising in the Mediterranean ... ... ._. 



















2 4 



In the montli of August the 
command of Vice-Admiral Lord 
Toulon : — 


fleets under the 
Hood, assembled off 


Guns. Ships. 


Britannia ... -. 
Windsor Castle 
i ■{ Princess Eoyal 

St. George ... ... 

^Alcide .- 

Terrible ... ... ... 

Egmont ... ... , . 

Kobust.-. ... ... ... 

Courageux ... ... 

Bedford ... ... ... 

Berwick ... ... ... 

Captain ... ... ... 

Fortitude -, ... 

Leviathan .... ... 


, Illustrious ... ... 


i Vice-Admiral Lord Hood 
< Rear- Admiral Sir Hyde Parker 
( Captain John Knight 
Vice-Admiral William Hotham 
Captain John Holloway 
Vice-Admiral Philips Cosby 
Captain Sir Thomas Byard 
Rear- Admiral Samuel G. Goodall 
Captain John C. Purvis 
Rear- Admiral John Gell 
Captain Thomas Foley 
f, Robert Linzee 
„ Skeffington Lutwidge 
„ Archibald Dickson 
„ Hon. G. K. Elphinstoue 
„ Hon. W. Waldegrave 
„ Robert Mann 
„ Sir John Collins 
„ Samuel Reeve 
■" „ William Young 
„ Hon. H. S. Conway 
„ Charles M. Pole 
,, Thomas L. Frederick 

1793,] THE BRITISH NAVY. 367 






, Captair 


1 Horatio Nelson 
Eobert M. Sutton 

Diadem . . 
Intrepid ... 

Andrew Sutherland 
Hon. Charles Carpenter 

The French fleet was commanded by Rear- Admiral the 
Compte de Trogoff, a monarchist, and his principles pervaded 
the fleet. The same spirit of disafiection to the cause of 
republican France also reigned to a great extent throughout 
the southern provinces. On the 23rd of August, two com- 
missioners, delegates from the monarchical party on shore, 
arrived on board the Victory to negotiate with the British 
admii'al for the surrender of Toulon to him, in trust for 
Louis XVII. They were well received, and every assistance 
promised upon the proposed terms. Lord Hood also caused 
to be circulated amongst the Toulonese, proclamations de- 
claring his object, which was to hold Toulon in the name of 
the French monarch. The Toulonese, however, anticipating 
the vengeance which they knew would be wreaked upon 
them by the monsters of the French revolution in case of 
failure, hesitated to comply with Lord Hood's requisition. 
A republican party existed in the fleet, and Rear- Admiral 
St. Julien, the second in command, and a large body of the 
captains, ofiicers, and men, professed similar principles. 

Matters being in this unsettled state. Lieutenant Edward 
Cooke, of the Victory, was sent on shore, on the 2-ith, to 
treat with the royalist party. After some perilous adven- 
tures, this officer returned to the ship, but the matter not 
being concluded, returned to Toulon, narrowly escaping 
capture ; and having by his presence afforded fresh impetus 
to the royaUst cause, and obtained much information, he 
retm-ned to the Victory, accompanied by a special com- 
missioner from the Committee-General. Upon the assurance 
of this latter personage that Louis XVII. had been pro- 
claimed by the sections, who were determined to suj^port his 
cause. Lord Hood agreed to land troops to take possession of 
the forts commanding the shipping. On the approach of 
the British forces under Captain Elphinstone, of the Robust, 
the forts surrendered, and the fleet also submitted, and 
hoisted the white flag ; but Rear- Admiral Julien, and 5,000 

368 BATTLES OF [1793. 

seamen, made their escape into the interior, and joined the 
republican forces. Lord Hood then entered Toulon, acconi- 
jDanied by a Spanish fleet of seventeen sail of the line, under 
Adliiiral Langara. 

The British admiral now found that he was to endure a 
long and harassing siege, in order to retain possession of the 
place. Undaunted by the formidable army of 33,000 men, 
under Generals Kellerman and Carteaux, which was marching 
against him, he determined on holding it as long as he was 
able. The total number of troops at Lord Hood's disposal, 
including 2,000 British, was only 1G,890 men. The details 
of the defence of Toulon are too lengthy to come within the 
scope of this work ; but the destruction of the sliipping in 
Toulon having been executed in an able manner by the 
British sailors, we must confine ourselves prmcipally to that 

On the night of the 14tli of December, the French be- 
sieging force, augmented to near 50,000 men, marched from 
their encami^ment in three columns, each division taking a, 
Toute leading to a difierent point of the line of posts, so that 
theu" attacks might be simultaneous. By the 16th, one 
division had thrown up five batteries in front of Fort Mul- 
grave, which they continued to bombard with great effect 
till the 17th. At 2h. that morning, in the midst of dark 
and tempestuous weather, they succeeded in entering the 
fort on the SjDanish side, and after a determined, but fruitless 
resistance on the part of the British garrison, headed by 
Captain Conolly, of the 18th regt., compelled it to retire. 
Among the officers wounded in the defence of this fort, were 
Lieut. Thomas Goddard and Midshi2:)man John Wentworth 
Loring. During these operations, the column under General 
LajDoype carried all the posts upon the height of Pharon, 
and the ships were consequently compelled to retire to a 
position of safety, as the guns mounted for their immediate 
protection were now available for their destruction. 

In this desperate state of affairs, a comicil of war was held, 
when it was resolved to evacuate Toulon as soon as proper 
arrangements could be made. The sick and wounded were 
embarked; the French ships, which were armed, were got 
ready to sail out with the fleet, and it was determined to 
destroy those that remained, together with the arsenal and 


mafrazines. Admiral Langara was charged with the destruc- 
tion of the ships in the basin, and to sink the Iris and Mon- 
treal, two frigates fitted as powder-ships. In the course of 
the 18th, the remaining troops had concentrated in the town 
and fort Lamalgue, ready to embark as soon as the destruc- 
tion of the shij)ping had been effected. Tliis latter service 
was intrusted to Sir W. Sidney Smith, who had arrived only 
a fortnight jDreviously from Smynia. On the same afternoon 
he repaired to the dock-yard, the gates of which had been 
closed and secured, to prepare the combustibles. The people 
had already assiuned the tricoloured cockade. The galley- 
slaves, to the number of 800, were, for the most part, 
unchained, and appeared to look mth a jealous eye upon the 
destruction about to begin. The guns of Sir Sidney's tender, 
the Swallow, and of a gun-boat, however, served to keep 
these in check. Sir Sidney was further mterrupted in his 
operations by the shot and shells fired from the fort Mal- 

As the night closed in, the enemy in great numbers 
descended the hill and opened a heavy fire of musketry and 
cannon ujDon the British, to which the gam-boats and small 
vessels returned a vigorous fire of grape. At 8h. P.ii. the 
Vulcan fire-ship. Commander Charles Hare, entered the basin. 
in tow of the boats, and was placed so that her v/ell-shotted 
^ms should served to keep the enemy in check. At lOh. rm. 
all being ready, the preconcerted signal was given ; the trains 
leading to the difierent storehouses and magazines were 
ignited, and the train of the Yulcan fired by the commander, 
who, by the bursting of the priming, was severely wounded. 
The flames now began to ascend from all parts with terrific 
splendour; the Vulcan's guns went off as the fire reached 
them. The devouring element spread rapidly, and the men 
were overpowered by the heat. The enemy, directed by the 
fire, were enabled to point their guns at the daring band 
thus employed. A tremendous explosion put a stop for an 
instant to the proceedings; but the work was speedily 
resumed. It was ascertained that the Spaniards had com- 
mitted the mistake, in their hurry to execute their part of 
the service, oi firing instead of scuttling the powder-sliips. 
The explosion shook the Union gun-boat to pieces, and killed 
the commander and three of the crew ; and a second gun- 

VOL. I, 2 b 

370 BATTLES OF [1793. 

boat was blown into the air, but her crew miraculously saved. 
Having completed the desti-uction of the arsenal, Sir Sidney 
proceeded 'towards the basin in front of the to\vn, across 
which a boom had been laid; but the British were received 
^yiih such repeated volleys of musketry, that Sir Sidney was 
compelled to abandon his design. He then proceeded along- 
side the two 74-gun ships Heros and Themistocle, lying in 
the inner road, and filled with French prisoners. Terrified 
by the awful work which had been enacted, these, although 
greatly superior in number to the British party, consented 
to be landed in a place of safety, and having cleared them, 
the ships were set on fire and completely destroyed. After 
having effected as much as it was possible for men to do, so 
badly supported as they had been by their allies the 
Spaniards, Sir Sidney was preparing to return to the fleet, 
when the explosion of the second powder-vessel — the Mon- 
treal — took place close to them, with an effect even more 
powerful than the former one. The little Swallow and three 
boats, although within the sphere of the falling timber — 
which in its fall caused the water to foam around them — 
singular to relate, received not the smallest injury. Many 
of the gallant British band, exhausted with their fatiguing 
employment, fell asleep on their oars as the boats slowly 
quitted Toulon on their way to join the fleet. 

Sir Sidney Smith in his perilous undertaking, was accom- 
panied and supported by the following oflficers, to whose 
exertions the effectual destruction of such a vast amount of 
property was due : — Commanders — Charles Hare and William 
Edge ; Lieutenants — Carre, Tupper, John Gore, John Mel- 
huish, Richard HoUoway, Matthew Wrench, Thomas F. 
Bichmond, Balph W. Miller, John Stiles, Charles D. Pater, 
Bobert G. Middleton, Henry HiU, Joseph Priest, James 
Morgan, and Francis Cox ; Master — George Andrews ; Sur- 
geon — WilUam Jones ; Master's Mates, &c. — John Eales, 
Bichard Hawkins, Thomas Cowan, WiUiam Knight, Henry 
Matson, P. H. Yaliant, and Thomas Young (killed). 

The troops commenced evacuathig Fort Lamalgue, when 
the conflagration began, and by dayhght in the morning- 
had all embarked under the superintendence of Captains 
Elphinstone, Hallowell, and Matthews, without the loss of a 
man. The British sailors, during the important transactions 

1793.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 371 

which called for their exertions throughout this harassing 
defence, deserved the highest praise. Their devotion and 
skill, not less than their strength and activity, afforded a 
theme of praise and admiration to all who witnessed their 
conduct. The melancholy fate of the unfortunate inhabitants 
of Toulon, forms a page in history of the most damning 
nature to the monsters in the shape of men connected with 
it. The miserable creatures fled from their homes, and 
flocked in numbers to the water-side, hoping to find an 
asylum on board the British fleet. Many succeeded in gain- 
ing the British boats, and to the number of 14,877 — men, 
women, and children — were received on board the different 
ships of the fleet. Many in their way to the shore were cut 
in two by cannon-balls, and others, overcome by terror, fancied 
the hurried steps of their pursuers were behind them, and 
fainted on the way ; while some, ^vith then- infants clinging 
to their breasts, rushed into the sea, and perished ! Those 
who remained in the town, trusting to their age and sex to 
shield them from the bayonets of the soldiery, trusted to a 
vain hope ! A savage decree of the Committee of Public 
Safety had doomed the whole to destruction, and those on 
whom the task of carrying this inhuman sentence into effect 
devolved, enacted it to the fullest measure. When the 
British entered Toulon, it was calculated that the town con- 
tained 28,000 souls; but in a few weeks after they quitted, 
there were but 7,000 left ! 

The subjoined table will show the exact amount of gain 
to the British, and loss to the French, caused by the seizm'e 
and evacuation of Toulon. 

The French vessels that were in the port when the British 
entered were thus disposed of : — 





'■ Statement of the Toulon Fleet on 
• the Evacuation of that Port, 
December 18, 1793, 


















Burnt, or otherwise destroyed 

( 4.U T. •^- 1. i serviceable . . 
Brought away by ] '^^ ^"tzsh j ^^^^^,^^^^,^ 

( the Allies 

Tn+-1 i ^°^* ^^ ^^® French 

■^^^" (left to ditto 



8 1 
2 2 
1 .. 

.. 2 
1 .. 





4 2 

3 ... 






Grand Total 


4 '251 4 

7 ^ 



Of the fifteen ships brought away by the English, the 
Perle, Arethuse, and Topaze were fine frigates ; but scarcely 
any of the smaller vessels reached a British port except 
to be laid up. The Puissant, seventy-four, never quitted 
Portsmouth, nor was that superb ship the Commerce de 
Marseilles ever employed as a British cruiser. The Com- 
merce de Marseilles measured 2,747 tons, and was the 
largest and most beautifid ship that had ever been seen, and 
sailed and worked like a frigate ; but being slightly put 
together, was found on examination unseaworthy. The 
Pompee, seventy-four, was a fine vessel of 1,900 tons, and 
long remained an ornament to the British na^y. The Scipion 
took fire and blew up in Leghorn Poads. 

In the month of September, Lord Hood despatched the 
follo^vulg squadron from Toulon, to co-operate with the in- 
surgent Corsicans under General Paoli : — 

Guns. Ships. 

„ - \ Alcide 

( Courageux .. 

64 Ardent 

Frigates — Lov/estoffe and 

Lord Amelias Beauclerk. 

On arriving off Corsica,' Commodore Linzee found that the 
only possible service which with his smaU squadron he could 

{ Commodore Robert Linzee 
I Captain John Woodley 

„ John Matthews 

„ Robert M. Sutton 
Nemesis, Captains William Wolseley and 

1793.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 373 

render, must be directed against the redoubt of Fomeilli, 
which^ being two miles in advance of the town of San 
Fiorenzo, coiild not, he believed, be supported by it. An 
attack being unexpectedly made by the Lowestoffe and 
Nemesis upon the Mortella Tower was successful ; the gar- 
rison abandoned it, and Lieutenants John Gibbs and Charles 
Annesley, of the Lowestoffe, at the head of thirty men, 
landed and effected an entrance to the fortification, although 
the sally-port Avas twenty feet from the ground. Three long 
gims, two twenty-foiu"s, and one 18-pounder, were found 
mounted on the platform of this remarkable erection ; but 
the powder had been destroyed. 

The Nemesis immediately conveyed intelligence of this 
success to the commodore, and had the squadron immediately 
attacked Forneilli, it is probable that the like success would 
have happened ; but a delay taking place, the garrison 
advantageously employed the time for the defence. On the 
1st of October, early in the morning, the three line-of-battle 
ships took up their stations, and opened then- broadsides upon 
the redoubt, but with so little effect, that after about four 
hours' cannonading, the commodore made the signal to dis- 
continue the action, and to haul out of gun-shot. The 
Courageux and Ardent having been exposed to a raking fire 
from the town of San Fiorenzo, suffered severely ; the 
former having been four times set on fire by hot shot. The 
Alcide had nine seamen wounded, three of whom mortally. 
Courageux, first Heutenant (Ludlow Sheils), and one seaman 
(in the act of cutting a hot shot out of the ship's side), 
killed ; and second lieutenant (William H. Daniel) and 
twelve seamen wounded. Ardent, John Martin, midship- 
man, and tliirteen men killed, and seventeen wounded. The 
enemy's force consisted of thirteen guns, principally long 
24-pounders, and six heavy mortars. 

On the 19th of October, the 36-gun fngate Crescent, 
Captain James Saumarez, sailed from Spithead, and having 
received information respecting a French frigate, stood over 
to the French coast close under Barfleur, and as the day 
dawned on the 20th, descried a ship and a cutter standing 
in shore. The Crescent, being to windward, edged away, and 
in a short time brought to, to wmdward of the French 36-gun 
frigate Heimion, Captain Fran9ois A. Denian. An action 

374 BATTLES OF [1793. 

ensued, in tlie early part of wliicli the Crescent had her 
fore-topsail-yard and her fore-topmast shot away, when, put- 
ting about, she brought her larboard guns to bear uj)on the 
Keunion's stern and quarter. The Reunion, having lost her 
foreyard and mizen-topmast, became unmanageable, and ex- 
posed to the raking fire of the Crescent ; and, after a gallant 
resistance of two hours and ten minutes, struck her colours. 
The Circe, of twenty-eight guns, Captaiu Joseph S. Yorke, 
which had been becalmed during the action, about three 
leagues off, was at that time coming up. The cutter made 
off as soon as the firing commenced, and got into Cherbourg. 
The Crescent had not a man hurt by the enemy's shot j but 
one seaman had his leg broken by the recoil of a gun. The 
Reunion had thirty-three mejn killed and forty-eight severely 
wounded. The French beiug a 12-pounder frigate, and the 
Crescent mounting 18-pounders, the defence of the former 
"svas highly honourable. The Reunion was superior to the 
Crescent in number of men, the former ha^dng had 300, the 
latter 257. Captain Saumarez received the honour of knight- 
hood, and the city of London presented him with a handsome 
piece of plate. First lieutenant George Parker was j)romoted, 
and the Reunion purchased into the British service by the 
same name. This action is selected for the naval medal. 

On the 22nd of October, at 2h. A.M., the 64:-gun ship 
Agamemnon, Captain Horatio Nelson, being off Sardinia, 
fell in with a squadron of five French frigates, under Com- 
modore Perree. 

At 2h. A.M. the strangers were observed standing across 
the Agamemnon's bows to the north-west, close to the wind. 
At 2h. 30m., observing the Agamemnon, they fired rockets 
^nd tacked, being then about three miles distant on the 
weather bow. At 4h. a.m. the Agamemnon hailed a frigate, 
l3ut receiving no answer, fired a shot ahead of her, when she 
made all sail, steering two points free. 

The Agamemnon crowded sail in chase, keeping the 
stranger on the weather bow. At daylight the chase hoisted 
French colours, and commenced firing her stern guns, and 
occasionally yawing and firing a broadside, which, from her 
superior sailing, she was enabled to do. The other four 
ships were under all sail on the Agamemnon's weather 
quarter j and at 9h. a.m. gaining fast — the Agamemnon 

1793.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 375 

being nearly becalmed. The French frigate, which was the 
Melpomene, then hauled up to rejoin her squadron. The 
Agamemnon, having had her masts badly wounded, a,nd her 
sails and lower and running rigging much cut, was not in 
a condition to haul to the wind in chase. The French 
squadron had the option of bringing the British sixty-four 
to action all day, but did not make the attempt, and the 
Agamemnon proceeded to Cagliari to repair damages. The 
Agamemnon had only 345 men on board during the action, 
of which number she had one killed and six wounded. The 
Melpomene's loss was never ascertained. 

On the 24th of October, at 9h. 30m. a.m., the 32-gun. 
frigate Thames, Captain James Cotes, being in lat. 47° 2' N., 
long. 7° 22' W., and standing to the south-east close hauled 
on the starboard tack, with the wind at west-south-west, 
observed a sail on the starboard bow. The weather soon 
afterwards coming on thick, the stranger was lost sight of 
until lOh. 15m., when she was seen standing towards the 
Thames. At lOh. 30m. the stranger, which was the French 
l-O-gTin frigate Uranie, passed close to windward of the 
Thames, hoisted her colours, and fired a broadside ; then, 
wearing round, hauled up on the British ship's weather 
quarter, and a spirited action commenced. At 2h. 30m. p.m., 
the Uranie, bearing up, passed under the stem of the Thames, 
and raked her with great effect. She then hauled up again 
and attempted to board her on the starboard quarter ; but 
receiving a well-directed double-shotted broadside, threw all 
aback and hauled off. The crew of the Thames gave three 
cheers at parting, but the ship was in too crippled a state to 

The Thames commenced the action with 184 men, and had 
ten seamen and one marine killed, George Eobinson (second 
lieutenant), George ISTorris (master), Da\id Valentine (mas- 
ter's mate), and James Dale (midshipman), fourteen seamen, 
and five marines wounded. The Thames was a small 
12-pounder frigate, of 650 tons, yet maintained a fight with 
a first-class French frigate, whose crew numbered 320 men, 
and whose broadside weight of metal was 403 lbs. The 
Uranie was a ship of 1,100 tons. The loss of the Uranie 
could not be ascertained, more than that her captain (Tartue) 
was killed. The Thames, having had most of her lower 

376 BATTLES OF [1793". 

rigging shot away, and lier masts badly wounded, was under 
the necessity of putting before the wind. Her main-topsail- 
yard was shot away, and her topmasts crippled ; her huU 
was torn to pieces by shot ; her decks in places ripped up, 
bitts cut away ; several guns dismounted ; and six shot 
between wind and water. The XJranie also suffered very 
severely. While in this helpless state, a French squadron 
hove in sight, and a frigate ranged up under the stern of the 
Thameif, and fired a broadside. Unable to offer further 
resistance, the Thames was surrendered, and the British flag 
struck to the 4:0-giin French frigate Carmagnole, Captain 
Allemand. The French commodore, taking his capture in 
tow, arrived at Brest on the following day. 

It was supposed that the Uranie had gone down after the 
action ; but in order to hide the disgrace of her defeat, the 
Uranie's name had been changed to Tortue. The Tortue 
was captiu-ed by the Polyphemus, in 1796, and was taken 
into the navy by her original name of Uranie. 

On the 2oth of November, at Ih. a.m., the 12-pounder 
32-gun frigates Penelope and Iphigenia, Captains B. S. Bow- 
ley and Patrick Sinclair, in the Bay of Leogane, St. Domingo, 
chased the Frencli 36-gun frigate Inconstante. At Ih. 30m., 
the Penelope got close alongside the French ship, and a smart; 
action commenced, which was obstinately continued by the 
Inconstante, until the Iphigenia joined in the contest, when 
she struck her colours. The Penelope had one seaman killed, 
and John Allen, midsliipman, and six seamen wounded. The 
Inconstante, out of 300 men, had her first lieutenant and 
six seamen killed, and her captain and twenty wounded. 
The prize was added to the British navy under the same 

On the 1st of December, the packet Antelope, Captain Cui'tis, 
being off Cumberland Harbour, Cuba, on her way to England, 
fell in with two large French schooner jDrivateers. The 
Antelope bore up for Jamaica, followed by the strangers 
under all sail. The Atalante, one of the privateers, outsail- 
ing her consort, continued the chase alone, and during that 
and the following day, the packet had a shght advantage in 
sailing ; but the wind falling light, the privateer took to her 
sweeps, and swept up alongside. After exchanging a few 
iihot, the schooner sheered off, and nothing more Avas done 

]793.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 377' 

until the Srd, when at oh. a.m. the schooner again swept up, 
grappled the Antelope on the starboard side, fired her broad- 
side, and attempted to carry her by boarding. The Ante- 
lope's crew behaved nobly, and drove back the assailants with 
much loss ; but unfortunately Mr. Curtis was killed, and the 
steward, and a French gentleman, a passenger, and the first 
mate badly wounded. The boatswain, Mr, Pascoe, now took 
the command, and, with the few brave men left, gallantly 
supported by the passengers, repulsed several attempts to 
board. The privateer at length endeavoured to cut the 
Antelope's grappHngs, and sheer ofi" ; but Pascoe observing 
this, ran aloft, and lashed the schooner's square-sail-yard to 
the Antelope's fore-topmast shrouds. The British crew then 
firing a Avell-directed volley of musketry into the privateer, 
the crew called for quarter. Although the schooner had 
fought under the red, or piratical flag, this was granted, and 
she was taken possession of. The Antelope mounted six 
3-pounders, and her eSective crew numbered only twenty-one 
men and boys, of which three were killed and four wounded. 
The Atalante's armament was eight 3-pounders, and her 
crew sixty-five men, French, Americans, and Irish, thirty of 
whom were killed and seventeen wounded in the encounter. 
The gallantry of a French passenger, M. Nodin, formerly a 
midshipman in the French nav^'-, was most conspicuous. The 
young man stood by the helm, which he attended to, while 
armed with a musket and pike he defended the stern and 
quarter of the packet from the boarders, and continued liia 
labours for an hour and a quarter, despatching in that time 
a great many men. The House of Assembly of Jamaica 
voted 500 guineas to the packet's crew. 

378 BATTLES OF [1794. 


On the lltb. of January, unaware of tlie evacuation of Tou- 
lon, the 32-gun frigate Juno, Captain Samuel Hood, arrived 
at that port from Malta, with 150 supernumeraries for the 
garrison. The Juno arrived abreast of the harbour at lOh. 
P.M., and anxious to get in, Captain Hood, although he had 
no pilot on board, nor any one acquainted with the dangers, 
determined to find his way in, if possible. As the frigate 
entered the outer road, the officer of the watch with night- 
glasses looked in vain for the British fleet; and Captain 
Hood concluded that, from the strong easterly winds which 
had jDi'ovailed, the fleet had gone for shelter to the inner 
harbour. The Juno accordingly proceeded under topsails, 
and entered the inner harbour, where seeing several ships at 
anchor. Captain Hood concluded he was close to the British 
fleet. Finding the Juno could not weather a brig that lay 
off Pointe Grande Toiu', the driver and foresail were set in 
order to enable her to tack under the brig's stern. As the 
Juno neared the brig, the latter hailed, but no one on board 
the Juno could understand the precise meaning of the hail; 
Captain Hood, however, deeming it to be simply an inquiry 
respecting their name, answered, and told them the name 
and nation of the frigate. " Viva ! " was the answer from 
the brig; and after seemingly not understanding several 
questions put to them in French and English, the Juno, as 
she passed under their stern, was hailed to "luff'." The 
dread of shoal water caused the Juno's helm to be instantly 
put down ; but the ship grounded before she came head to 
wind. As the wind was light, and the water perfectly 
smooth, the sails were clewed i\p and handed. Just then a 
boat was seen to pull from the brig towards the town, for 
what purpose was not suspected. Before the men who were 
aloft furling the sails had quitted the yards, a sudden flaw of 
wind drove the ship's head off" the bank, and the Juno's 
anchor was let go, when the ship swang head to wind ; but 
her heel was still on the shoal, and the rudder immovable. 
The launch was then hoisted out, and the kedge-anchor put 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 379 

into her, with hawsers, to warp the ship off. Before this 
service was completed, a boat appeared iii sight, and on being 
hailed, answered, '• aye, aye ! " as if she contained an officer. 
The boat pulled alongside, and the crew hiuTied up the ship's 
side, when one of two persons, apparently officers, addressed 
Captain Hood, and said, he came to inform him that it was 
the regulation of the port, and the commanding officer's 
orders, that the ship should go to another part of the har- 
bour to perform ten days' quarantine. Captain Hood de- 
manded where Lord Hood's ship was, when an unsatisfactory 
answer excited some suspicion ; and the remark of one of 
the midshipmen, " they are national cockades," induced 
Captain Hood to look at their hats more steadfastly, when 
by the light of the moon the three colours were distinctly 
visible. To a second question relative to Lord Hood, one of 
the officers finding they were now suspected, replied in 
French, '• Make yourself easy, the English are good people ; 
we will treat them kindly ; the EngHsh admiral has departed 
some time." 

Captain Hood's feelings may be easily imagined ; and the 
words, '■'• we are prisoners," ran through the ship like wildfire. 
The officers assembled aft to ascertain the truth of the 
report, and at this moment a flaw of wind coming down to 
the harbour. Lieutenant William H. Webley, third of the 
ship, said, " I believe, sir, we shall be able to fetch out if we 
can get her under sail." The attempt to escape was imme- 
diately decided upon ; the crew were ordered to their sta- 
tions, and the French gentlemen below. Some of the 
latter began to draw their sabres, but the half-pikes of the 
marines compelled them to submit quietly. In about three 
minutes every sail was set, and the yards braced up for 
casting ; when the cable was cut, the Juno's head paid off, 
and the sails being filled, the ship started from the shore. A 
freshening breeze of wind gave her, at the same time, addi- 
tional way through the water, and, pro\dded she was not 
disabled by the forts, the Juno had every prospect of 
escaping. The launch and the French boat were cut adrift. 
No sooner had the Juno began to loose sails, than a stii' was 
observable on board the brig, and lights appeared in the bat- 
teries. The brig soon afterwards opened fii-e, as well as a 
fort on the starboard bow, followed by every fort which could 

380 BATTLES OF [1794^ 

point a guxL. It was at one time feared that a tack would 
be necessary ; but the v>dnd favouiing a few points, the 
Juno, at about 12h, 30m. a.m., was clear of danger, without 
having lost a man. The frigate sustained much damage in 
sails and rigging, and two 36-pound shot struck her hull ; but 
she returned the fire occasionally with apparent effect. The 
escape of a ship from an enemy's 2:>ort filled with armed 
vessels, and flanked by guns in every direction, afibrds a proof 
of what may be done by perseverance and skill. 

After quitting Toulon, Lord Hood departed for Corsica to 
co-operate Avith General Paoli, in the attempt to expel the 
French from that island. On the 7th of February, Commo- 
dore Linzee's squadron, ^ with several transports containing 
troops, anchored in Mortella Bay, and the same evening the 
trooi:)s, to the number of 1,400, landed, and took possession 
of a height which overlooked the tower called Mortella, from 
which the point took its name. The Fortitude and Juno 
anchored on the 8tli in the best position for battering, and 
for near three hoiu's kept up a continuous fire without pro- 
ducing any visible efiect. But the fire from the tower had been 
very destructive to the Fortitude, which had received many 
shot in her hull (dismounting three of her lower-deck gims), 
and several hot shot, wMch set the ship on fire, so that gi'eat 
exertion was necessary to extinguish it by cutting them 
out of the ship's sides. The Fortitude had six men killed 
and fifty-six wounded, but the Juno was only sUghtly 
damaged. The attack from the heights was more successful, 
for by the use of hot shot, they set on fire the bass junk, 
wliich lined the parapet of the tower, and the garrison sur- 
rendered, two being mortally wounded. The tower, which 
was garrisoned vnih thirty-three men only, mounted one 6 
and two 18-pounders. 

The next object of attack was the Convention redoubt, 
mounted with twenty-one pieces of hea-vy ordnance, and con- 
sidered as the key to San Fiorenzo. By the most surprising 
exertions on the part of the ofiicers and seamen of the 
squadron, several 18-pounders were dragged to an acclivity 
700 feet above the level of the sea. This rocky elevation^ 

' See p, 372; ante. 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 381 

>owing to its being nearly perpendicular at its summit, was 
deemed inaccessible ; but the sailors surmounted every 
obstacle, and contrived to plant the gims upon it. The 
paths along which the men crept would often admit of only 
one at a time, and on the right was a descent of many hun- 
xlred feet, down wbich one false step would have jDrecipitated 
them, while on the left were beetling rocks, wliich occasion- 
ally served as fixed points to which to attach the tackle- 
blocks. From the guns so posted, a continual cannonading 
was kept up during the IGtli and 17th of February, when 
the works of the redoubt were stormed and carried. Part of 
the garrison were made prisoners, but the greater portion 
escaped. The 38-gun frigate Minerve, which the French 
bad sunk, was raised, and added to the British navy under 
the name of San Fiorenzo. 

Lord Hood having failed in bringing Major-General 
Dundas, the commander of the land forces, to his opinion as 
to the practicability of reducing Bastia, with the means at 
.their disposal, departed from San Fiorenzo on the 2nd of 
April, to execute that service with the seamen and marines, 
and such of the land forces under Lieutenant-Colonel Vilettes 
as had been ordered to do the duty of marines on board the 
.fleet. The command of the seamen employed on shore was 
committed to Captain Horatio Nelson, of the Agamemnon, 
who throughout this harassinoj service evinced that untirinoj 
energy and zeal which characterized all his actions, and 
eventually made him the idol of the British navy. The 
Proselyte, an old 28-gun frigate, brought from Toulon, was 
fitted up for a floating battery, and the command given to 
Commander "Walter Serocold. On the 1 1th of April, the 
cignal was made, upon which this ship, as well as the bat- 
teries on shore, opened upon Bastia. The Proselyte, how- 
ever, was found unfit for the service, and her cables being 
cut by shot, she swang round, and became exposed to a tre- 
mendous fii*e of hot shot, which in the course of a short time 
set the ship on fire. The boats from the fleet took out the 
gi^eater paii; of her crew, with the captain, but the Proselyte 
was totally destroyed. After a continued siege of thirty- 
seven days, a negotiation was opened, and the garrison 
■capitulated on honom-able terms. The possession of Bastia 

382 BATTLES OF [1794. 

was acquired with the loss to the besiegers of Lieut. Carre 
Tupper^ and six seamen killed, and Lieut. George Andrews, 
of the Agamemnon, and twelve seamen wounded. The loss 
to the army was seven private soldiers killed, and two cap- 
tains and nineteen private soldiers v/ounded. The principal 
naval officers associated mth Nelson in this exploit were 
Captains Anthony Hunt, Joseph BuUen, and Walter Sero- 
cold ; and Lieutenants John Gore, Hemy Hotham (acting), 
John Styles, George Andrews, and Charles Brisbane. 

This success was followed by the taking of Calvi, in the 
month of August, by forces, principally under the orders of 
Captain Nelson, after which the whole island was reduced, 
and the French for the time extirpated. The loss at the 
reduction of Calvi, on the part of the navy, was Captain 
Serocold, one midshipman, and five seamen killed, and Cap- 
tain Nelson (with the loss of the sight of the right eye) and 
six seamen wounded. Among the vessels found in the port 
were the 40-giui frigate Melpomene, and 32-gun frigate 
Mignonne ; the former of which for many years graced the 
list of the British nav}^, but the latter was afterwards burnt 
at the evacuation as unserviceable. 

On the 23rd of April, at 4:h. a.m., Guernsey bearing north- 
east, distant seven leagues, the wind south-south-west, a 
squadron, consisting of the following 

Guns. Frigates. 

38 Arethusa. . . . Captain Sir Edward Pellew 

Flora Commodore Sir J. B. Wan-en, Bart. 

Melampus . . Captain Thomas Wells 
Concorde.... „ Sir Richard Strachan 
Nymphe ..... ,, George Murray 


being on the starboard tack, discovered four sail ahead on 
the larboard tack, which proved to be the undermentioned 
French squadron : — 

Guns. Frigates. 


Guns. Frigates. 
44 Pomone 
20 Babet 

^ This gallant young ofl&cer, a lieutenant of the Victory, who had 
greatly distinguished himself at Toulon, was killed in the Victory's 
pinnace, in a volunteer attempt to obtain information as to the state of 
the enemy's garrison. His body was taken on board the ship, but after- 
wards buried under the waUs of Bastia. 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 383 

The French squadron formed in line ahead (the Engage- 
ante leading), crossed the bows of the British squadron, and 
the Flora, the headmost ship of the British, on reaching the 
enemy's wake, tacked, followed by the Ai-ethusa, Melampus, 
and Concorde in succession ; but the Nymphe was too far 
astern to tack with the rest of the squadron. The wind 
shifting to south, soon after the British ships tacked, enabled 
them to weather the enemy, and at 6h. 30m. the Flora, 
being then abreast of the rearmost French ship, opened fire. 
She however j)ushed on, engaging in succession the Babet, 
Pomone, and E-esolue. At 7h. 30m., having her maintop- 
mast shot away, and being much crippled aloft, the Flora 
dropped astern ; but her place was soon suppHed by the 
Arethusa. The Engageante and Besolue then set every sail 
they could crowd, and endeavoured to make off, leaving the 
Pomone and Babet to their fate. At 8h. 30m. the latter, 
having lost her foretop-mast, surrendered. The Pomone, 
having now to sustain the miited fire of the Arethusa and 
Melampus, in a short time lost her main and mizen-masts, 
and being defenceless;, at 9h. 30m. hauled down her colours, 
and was taken possession of by a boat from the Arethusa. 
The Concorde and Melampus meanwhile made sail after the 
Engageante and Besolue, and brought the former to action 
at a little past noon. The Besolue gallantly bore down to 
support her consort, and, having taken a position across the 
Concorde's bows, did great damage to her rigging and sails. 
Sir Bichard Strachan having at length brought the Engage- 
ante to close action, that ship, at Ih. 4.5m. p.m., after a brave 
defence, struck her colours. The Besolue escaped into Mor- 
laix. The British loss was as follows : — Flora, one killed and 
three wounded ; Arethusa, three killed and five wounded ; 
Melampus, master and four men killed, and a lieutenant of 
marines and four men wounded ; Concorde, one killed and 
twelve wounded. The Pomone had nearly 100 killed and 
woimded ; and the Babet and Engageante suffered in propor- 
tion. The Pomone, a 24-pounder frigate, of 1,239 tons, was 
the finest frigate afloat, and was added to the British navy 
under the same name. 

On the 5th of May, on the East-India station, the 32-gun 
frigate Orpheus, Captain Hemy Newcome, captured, after a 
short action, in which she had one midshipman killed, and 




one mate and eight men wounded, the French 34-giin ship 
Dugtiay Trouin (late Princess Royal Indiaman). The Cen- 
turion and Kesistance, Captains Samuel Osborn and Edward 
Pakenham, were in company with the Orpheus, but too far 
astern to participate in the action. The Duguay Trouin had 
twenty-one killed and sixty wounded. 

On the 5th of May, the 74-gun ship Smftsure, and G4-gun 
ship St. Albans, Captains Charles Boyles and James Vashon, 
conducting a convoy from Cork, came in sight of two frigates. 
Both ships made sail in chase ; but the Swiftsure, outsailing 
the St. Albans, continued the pursuit of one frigate until the 
7th, when having overtaken her, she struck, after a spirited 
resistance. The prize was the French 36-gun frigate Atalante, 
Captain A. L. D. Linois. Out of 274 men, ten were killed 
and thirty-two wounded. The St. Albans lost sight of the 
other frigate in the night. The Atalante was added to the 
British navy under the name of Espion. On the 8th, at 
lOh. A.M., the Swiftsure, ^vith her prize, narrowly escaped 
capture by three sail of the line. 

On the 2nd of May, the Newfoundland and West-India 
convoy, with the fleet under Lord Howe, numbering 148 
sail, of which forty-nine were ships of war, and thirty-four of 
the Ime, weighed from St. Helen's. On the 4th, when off 
the Lizard, the convoys were ordered to part comj^any, and 
Hear- Admiral George Montagu, with six 74-gun shijDs and 
two frigates, w^as ordered to accompany them as far as the 
latitude of Cape Finisterre — Captain Rainier, in the Suffolk, 
.74, one C4-gun ship, and five frigates, protecting them during 
the remainder of their voyage. The Channel fleet, consisting 
of the following twenty-six sail of the line, arrived off XJshant 
-on the 5th : — 





Queen Charlotte . . 

Royal Sovereign . . 
Royal George . . . . 


Admiral Rich. Earl Howe (union) 
1st Captain Sir Roger Curtis 
I Captain Sir And. S. Douglas 
i Admiral Thomas Graves (blue) 
\ Captain Henry Nicholls 
j Admiral Sir A. Hood, K.B. (blue) 
( Captain William Domett 
•on ( Rear- Admiral Geo. Bowyer (white) 

{ Captain Cuthbert Collingwood 

Rear-Admiral B. Caldwell (white) 


( Captain Geo. Biagdon Westcott 






Queen . . . . . . 



Gibraltar . . . . 


MontagTi .-. . . 
Valiant . . . . 
Ramillies . . . . 
Audacious . . 
Brunswick . . 


Defence . . . , 
Leviathan . , 
Majestic . . . . 
Invincible . . 



Thunderer . , 
Culloden . . . , 

j Rear- Admiral Alan Gardner (white) 
( Captain John Hutt 

,, John Elphinstone 
j Rear- Admiral Thomas Pasley (white) 
( Captain William Hope 

„ Thomas Mackenzie 

,, Anthony Jas. Pye Molloy 

,, James Montagu 

,, James Pigott 

„ Thomas Pringle 

„ Henry Harvey 

,, William Parker 

„ John Harvey 

„ John Bazeley 

„ James Gambler 

„ Lord Hugh Seymour 

„ Charles Cotton 

„ Hon. Thomas Pakenham 

„ John Thomas Dxickworth 

„ John Willett Payne 

,, Hon. George Berkeley 

,, Albemarle Bertie 

„ Isaac Schomberg 




Frigates, &c. 
Phaeton Captain William Bentinck 

Latona . 




Aquilon . . . . 
Pegasus . . . . 

Edw. Thornborough 
Hon. A. Kaye Legge 
Hon. Robert Forbes 
William Brown 
Hon. Robt. Stopford 
Robert Barlow 
George Countess 

Comet and Incendiary, Commanders WiUiam Bradley and John Cook. 
Cutters — Rattler and Ranger, Lieutenants John Winne and Charles 

The Orion, with the Phaeton and Latona, having recon- 
noitred the French fleet in Brest, Lord Howe departed on a 
cruise in the Bay of Biscay. He returned to Brest on the 
1 9th, and discovered that the French fleet had sailed. The 
fleet, consisting of twenty-five sail of the line and fifteen 
frigates and corvettes, had sailed from Brest on the 1 6th, and 
on the 17th, diu'ing a very dense fog, were so near the 
British as to hear their fog-signals of drums and bells. The 
Patriote, ond; of Admiral Nielly's squadron, who had shortly 
before captured the British 32-gun frigate Castor, Captain 
Thomas Troubridge, with part of a convoy from Newfound- 
land, joined the French fleet on the 19th, and on the 20th, 

VOL. I, 2 c 

386 BATTLES OF [1794. 

the Lisbon convoy of fifty-three sail, mostly Dutch, also fell 
into the hands of the French. 

On the 28th of May, after cruising in every direction, 
anxiously looking for the French fleet, at 6h. 30m. a.m., 
lat. 47° 34' K, long. 13° 39' W., the wind fresh at south- 
by-west, with a heavy sea, it was seen to windward by the 
British look-out frigates. The Bellerophon and three other 
line-of-battle ships, were ordered to reconnoitre, and at 
9h. A.M. the enemy's fleet having wore, was observed running 
down towards the British, with top-gallant sails set. The 
French fleet was then found to consist of twenty-six sail of 
the hne and five frigates. Having aj^proached within nine 
miles, the enemy hauled to the wind on the larboard tack, 
and hove to ; a three-decker was then obsei-ved passing along 
the line as if to speak each ^hip, after which the whole 
formed in line ahead. At lOh. 30m. the British wore in 
succession, and came to the wind on the same tack as the- 
enemy, and continued under a heavy press of sail endeavour- 
ing to close. At Ih. P.M. the French fleet filled and tacked, 
upon which Lord Howe, seeing that the enemy was declining 
the engagement, made the signal for a general chase, and to 
engage the enemy as the ships got up. 

At 2h. 30m. p.m. the Bussell, being the headmost British 
ship, fired at the rearmost ship of the enemy, and at 6h. the 
Bellerophon, having tacked before gettmg into the enemy's 
wake, reached the lee beam of the 120-gun ship Kevolu- 
tionnaire, and gallantly opened upon her. For more than an 
hour the Bellerophon maintained the unequal contest ; when, 
being disabled, she bore up to rejoin her fleet. The Bussell 
and Marlborough also closed the Bevolutionnaire, and the 
latter, having lost her mizenmast, and being otherwise much 
crippled, bore up out of the line. The French three-decker 
was, however, intercepted by the Leviathan, and closely and 
gallantly engaged by the Bussell and Audacious, which latter 
sliips bore up, and taking a position upon her lee quarter, 
poured in a destructive fire. The Bussell being recalled by 
signal, the Audacious, single-handed, continued the engage- 
ment, and the action became most animated. The sails and 
rigging of the Audacious being much damaged, it was with 
difiiculty she could keep clear of her huge opponent, which, 
by this time was almost mimanageable. At lOh. p.m. the Eevo- 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 387 

lutionnaire having lost, besides lier mizenmast, her main 
and maintop-sail-yards, fell athwart the bows of the Auda- 
cious ; but the latter having extricated herself, the French 
sliip fell off before the wind, and under her fore-topsail 
directed her course to leeward. The crew of the Audacious, 
and also of the Russell, declare that the Revolutionnaii'S 
struck ; but whether this was the fact, or not, the French 
ship was clearly in a beaten and defenceless state, and had 
only returned three shot to the last broadside of the Auda- 
cious. The Revolutionnaire's loss amounted to near 400 
men. The Audacious was so crippled, that she could with 
difficidty wear clear of the French fleet ; she, however, after 
being engaged by a frigate and corvette, made her way to 
Phmouth. This ship, notwithstanding her gallant and close 
action, had only six men killed, and sixteen (including George 
Morris, midshipman, who lost a leg) wounded. The Revo- 
lutionnaire subsequently lost her masts, and with much 
difficulty reached Rochefort in tow of the Audacieux. 

Both fleets carried a press of sail during the night, in a 
parallel coui'se, every British ship showing a light. At day- 
light, on the 29th, the enemy was about six miles on the 
weather bow. The wind was fresh fi'om south-by-west, with 
a hea^-y head sea. At 7h. a.m. the detached ships having 
rejoined, the whole formed thus : — Csesar, Queen, Russell, 
' Valiant, Royal George, Invincible, Orion, Majestic, Leviathan, 
Queen Charlotte, Bellerophon (remainder uncertain) ; and 
Lord Howe, A\'ith the desire to make some impression on the 
enemy's rear, ordered the fleet to tack in succession. When 
on the larboard tack, the signal was made to pass through 
the enemy's Hne ; and as the British neared the French 
rear, on the opposite tack, the latter commenced firing. In 
a few minutes Lord Howe displayed the union at the main, 
and all the ships hoisted their colours. The Caesar and 
Queen opened their fire, but at 8h. a.m. the French van wore 
in succession, and ran down to leeward of their line to 
support their rear, and after passing their rear ship, hauled 
close to the ^ind on the same tack as the British. At 9h., 
both fleets being on the larboard tack, — the French some dis- 
tance to windward, the latter edged away a few points, and 
at lOh. opened fire on the British van. At 12h. 30m. the 
signal was made to tack in succession, upon which the Coesar, 


388 BATTLES OF [1794. 

the leading sliip, making the signal of inability, wore, and 
ran down past the Majestic, the eighth ship in her own line, 
before hauling up on the starboard tack. At Ih. p.m. the 
Terrible, being the third French ship from the rear, pitched 
away her fore-topmast, and at that time the Queen, the van 
ship of the British, wore, and passing under the stern of her 
second astern, luffed up, so as to fire distantly on the third 
ship of the enemy's van. She then passed along their line, 
and having reached the centre, became warmly engaged, and 
continued so until she had passed to their rear ship. The 
signal to cut through the enemy's line was still flying, but 
the Queen having sustained much damage, made the signal 
of inability. 

Lord Howe observing that the Queen was suffering 
severely, and that the French ships, which carried their 
mainsails and single-reefed topsails, would reach so far ahead 
as to defeat his intention of passing through their line, 
resolved to set the example; and at Ih. 30m. p.m. the Queen 
Charlotte, under double-reefed topsails, courses, jib, and 
ffiaiiPtopmast staysail, tacked,, and 3racing sharp up, passed 
under tlie lee of the Orion, still on the larboard tack, and 
astern and to windward of the Csesar. Stretching on gal- 
lantly, and recei\dng the fire of the French line, the Queen 
Charlotte arrived abreast of the Eole, the sixth sliip 
from their rear, and luffing close round that ship's stern, 
poured a broadside into her. The Bellerophon and Leviathan 
quickly tacked after their chief, the Bellerophon passing 
ahead of the Terrible, and the Leviathan under the stern of 
the same ship, The Queen Charlotte having gone through 
the line, shortly afterwards tacked, and hoisted the signal for 
a general chase, leaving the Tyrannicide and Indomptable, 
the two sternmost and most disabled French ships, to be en- 
gaged by his rear. These were attended to by the Orion and 
Barfleur, which ships closed and maintained a spirited fire 
on them. The Tyrannicide and Indomptable were rescued 
by the French admiral, who gallantly wore out of the line, 
and led his fleet with the wind, on the starboard quarter, to 
their rescue. Lord Howe having only the Leviathan and 
Bellerophon with him, and they being both crippled, could 
not prevent the success of this skilful manoeuvre. This we 
have endeavoured to illustrate by a diagTam. 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 389 







> ^ 


/# , 




g / 


^ / 
# / 
















* ,«?" 

The Queen Charlotte then wore, and at 4h., calling the 
ships round her, ran down to cover the Queen and Royal 
George, on wliich the French admiral appeared to have some 
design. Both vans were again engaged, and the Glory pass- 
ing within pistol-shot of three ships in succession, knocked 
away a topmast from two of them. At 5h, the fire ceased, 
and both fleets formed in Ime on the larboard tack, the 
British being to windward. The damages of the British 
ships were soon repaired, and the utmost expedition ha\dng 
been used on board the Queen, that ship, on the following 
morning, was reported again ready for service. In this day's 
action, the Royal Sovereign had eight men killed and twenty- 
two wounded. The Caesar three killed and nineteen wounded. 
Queen, twenty-two killed and twenty-seven wounded, in- 

390 BATTLES OF [1794 

eluding Wm. Mitcliell, master, killed; and Captain Hutt, who 
lost a leg, and Lieutenants Robert LaA\Tie and A. P. Hollis (tlie 
latter sliglitly and not reported), wounded. Royal George, 
fifteen killed and twenty-three wounded, including Lieutenant 
George Heighham, and John Hughes, midshipman, killed. 
In^dncible, ten killed, and William Whithurst, midshipman, 
and twenty wounded. Orion and Ramillies, each three men 
killed. Defence, one killed and four wounded. Majestic, 
one killed and thirteen wounded ; and the Queen Charlotte 
lost her sixth lieutenant, Roger R. Rawlence, and one man 
killed ; making a total of sixty-seven killed and 128 

On the 30th, the fog (which during the night had been 
thick) clearing away, the enemy was seen on the starboard 
tack, bearing south-west, but who, on perceiving the British, 
wore round upon the larboard — the same tack as the British. 
The Invincible, having sprung her mainmast, quitted the 
line, and was taken in tow by a frigate. At lOh. a.m. the 
British fleet formed in two columns, and the starboard, fol- 
lowing the Queen Charlotte, bore up towards the enemy ; 
but the fog coming on tliick. Lord Howe made the signal for 
the fleet to come to the wind again on the larboard tack, and 
to form in close order ; but notAvithstanding all their caution, 
the ships became much scattered. On the 31st, at 9h. a.m., 
■the weather again cleared, and the British ships regained 
their proper order of sailing. At noon, the French fleet of 
thirty-two sail (twenty-six of the line) was seen bearing 
north, and in a perfect state. At 2h. p.m. Lord Howe again 
bore up, and the enemy also edged away and formed the 
line on the larboard tack. At oh. 30m. the British hauled 
up a little, and formed in line on the larboard bearing, still 
steering towards the Rrench. At 5h. p.m., when about five 
miles distant, the van and centre were signalled to engage 
respectively those divisions of the enemy ; but Lord Howe 
afterwards considered it advisable to delay his attack till the 
next day, and at 71i. p.m. the fleet hauled to the wind on the 
larboard tack, the Phaeton and Latona being stationed a mile 
to leeward to watch the enemy's motions. 

Between the 29th of May and this day, the Montagnard, 
Indomptable, and Montblanc, quitted the French fleet ; and 
the Juste, Trente-un-Mai, Trajan, Sans Pareil, and Temeraire, 

1794.] THE BEITISH NAVY. 391 

under Rear-Adniii-al Nielly, joined Admiral Yillaret, whose 
fleet thus reinforced consisted of the following twenty-six 
ships of the line, as they were formed in the order of battle 
on the 1st of June : — 







' Impetueux 

Guns. Ships. 

120 Montagne (flag) 







^ Pelletier 


Sans Pareil 






The English fleet continued, during the night, to stand to 
the westward. At daybreak on the 1st of June, in lat. 
47° 48' K, long. 18° 30' W., the wind moderate from south- 
by-west, the French were seen about six miles on the 
lee bow, formed in line of battle, on the starboard tack. 
At 5h. A.M., by signal, the British bore up together, steering 
north-west, and at 6h. 15m. north, until about 7h., when 
they hauled to the wind on the larboard tack, in order that 
the 2:)eople might breakfast. 

At 7h. 1 6m. Lord Howe made the signal that he intended 
to attack the enemy's centre, and engage to leeward. The 
fleets, at this time, were about four miles apart, and hove to. 
At 8h. 12m. the British fleet tilled and bore up, and Lord 
Howe made the signal for each ship to steer for and engage 
her proper opponent. After some interchanges, the British 
were thus formed in line abreast, beginning from to wind- 
ward : — Csesar, Bellerophon, Leviathan, Bussell, Royal Sove- 
reign, Marlborough, Defence, Impregnable, Tremendous, 
Barfleur, Invincible, Culloden, Gibraltar, Queen Charlotte, 
Bruns's\, Yaliant, Orion, Queen, Ramillies, Alfred, Mon- 
tagu, Royal George, Majestic, Glory, Thunderer. 

Both fleets were under single-reefed topsails ; the French 
backing and filling to preserve their stations in their Une, 
which extended about east and west. The British fleet, in 

392 BATTLES OP [1794. 

running down, steered about north-north-west, with the 
wind fresh at south-by-west, going about five knots an hour. 
At 8h. 30m. the preparative was hauled down, and signal to 
engage kept flying, upon which Lord Howe shut his signal- 
book, as the matter was so clear that it was impossible for 
any captain to mistake his duty. At 9h. the enemy's van 
opened fire upon the Defence, which ship was rather in 
advance of the line. 

At 9h. 30m. the Queen Charlotte, setting a noble example, 
steered for the Montague, 120, and was fired at by the 
Yengeur, the third ship astern ; but instead of returning it, 
the British admiral ordered the top-gallant sails and foresail 
to be set, which soon carried him abreast of the Achille. 
After receiving and returning that ship's broadside, Lord 
Howe directed his course for th^ larboard quarter of the 
Montague. It was a critical moment ; and ordering the 
Charlotte's helm to be put hard aport, that ship passed so 
close under the Montague's stern, that the French ensign 
brushed her lower rigging. A tremendous broadside was 
poured into the Montague's stern ; but just at this time the 
Jacobin, the Montague's next astern, was seen stretching 
ahead, and occupying the position abreast of the Montague, 
which Howe was himself desu^ous of taking. While Lord 
Howe was expressing his regret to the master, Mr. Bowen, 
that quick-sighted seaman observed by the movement of the 
Jacobin's rudder that she was in the act of bearing up, and 
instantly ordering the helm hard a-starboard, the Charlotte 
passed the Jacobin on the weather quarter, but so closely, 
that her jib-boom grazed the larboard mizen-shrouds of the 
French ship. As the Jacobin bore up, she received the 
Queen Charlotte's starboard broadside in her larboard quarter. 
In return, the Jacobin shot away the Charlotte's fore-topmast. 
The Admiral then endeavoured to haff alongside of the Mon- 
tague, but the loss of the fore-topmast prevented it ; and 
thus disappointed of liis object, the Charlotte could only keep 
up a cannonade upon the Montague's starboard quarter, 
which, however, proved most destructive, killing and Avound- 
ing nearly 300 men. After having sustained this fire for some 
considerable time without returning a shot, the Montague 
hauled aft her jib-sheet, and crossing the Charlotte's bows, 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 393 

quitted the line.^ Observing that tlie Jacobin and several 
other ships were following the Montagne's example, Lord 
Howe made the signal for a general chase. At this time the 
Juste was on the larboard bow of the Queen Charlotte, and 
the Jacobin on her starboard quarter. The Juste, being also 
distantly engaged by the Invincible, lost her foremast, which 
was soon followed by the fall of her main and mizen-masts. 
At about the same time the Charlotte's main-topmast fell 
over the side. The Juste, then lying abreast, and to wind- 
ward of the British admiral, with a French jack at her 
bowsprit end, set her sprit-sail, and wearing round, passed 
under the stern of, and raked the Charlotte. The Republicain, 
120, was now seen on the weather quarter, engaged by the 
Gibraltar ; and very shortly afterwards the Republicain's 
main and mizen-masts went by the board ; the latter then 
bore up, and passed astern of the Charlotte without firing. 
On quitting the Charlotte, the Montague and Jacobin set 
their top-gallant sails, and stood towards their own van, 
which having reached, the Montague wore, and, followed by 
eleven ships, directed their course towards the Queen, then 
lying in a disabled state not far from the Charlotte. Lord 
Howe, perceiving her danger, directed such ships as were 
near to close and form in line for her protection, and having 
with difficulty wore round on the starboard tack, the Queen 
Charlotte, followed by several ships, stood towards their 
disabled consort. The French admiral, on seeiag this, pro- 
ceeded to the aid of five of his crippled ships to the eastward. 

Taking the ships as they were placed in the line of 
battle, the following is a short statement of their proceed- 

The Csesar hove to about 500 yards to windward of the 
French line. On being directed by signal from the Bellero- 
phon, Captain Molloy endeavoured to bear up ; but a shot 
having disabled the Caesar's tiller, that ship did not bear up 
nor engage with any decided efiect. None of her spars were 

' This silence may be thus accounted for. French ships were not in 
the habit of clearing for action except on the side likely to be engaged, 
and believing the British admiral would bring to to windward, as had 
been usual in fleets, the Montagne's starboard guns were not cleared 

394 BATTLES OF [1794. 

shot away, but lier masts and yards were wounded. Sixty- 
four shot lodged in lier starboard side, and seven guns were 
disabled ; she had fourteen men killed, and twenty-three, 
including Lieutenant Edward S. Dickson, wounded. 

The Bellerophon did not open fire until uj^on the weather 
quarter of the Eole, within musket-shot ; and, owing to the 
Caesar's not closing, she had to sustain the fire of the three 
headmost ships of the enemy. At lOh. 50m. Rear- Admiral 
Palsey lost his leg, and was taken below. At llh. 4.5m. the 
Eole and the leading ship, setting toi:)-gallant sails, wore 
round, and after firing then* starboard broadsides at the 
Bellerophon, stood away to the eastward. The Bellerophon 
attempted to wear, but her fore and main-topmasts fell over 
the side ; and at noon, having sufiered considerably, Captain 
Hope called the Latona to her assistance. The frigate gal- 
lantly comjDlied, receiving the fire of the tvv^o ships in passing, 
which she returned with some effect. The Bellerophon had 
her mainmast badly wounded, all her boats and spars on the 
booms, her running, and a great part of her standing rigging 
cut to pieces ; but had only three seamen and one soldier 
killed, and the rear-admiral, captain of marines, Walter 
Smith, James Chapman, boatswain, and twenty-four seamen 
and soldiers wounded. 

The Le\iathan, at 8h. 50m., commenced firing on the 
America, and in less than an hour shot away her foremast. 
The Trajan and Eole, as they passed to leeward of the 
French line, hove to, and opened a galhng fire on the Le\da- 
than's starboard cjuarter. The Leviathan and her opponent 
then w^ore round, and the latter becoming the weathermost, 
the America endeavoured to escape ; but her main and mizen- 
masts falling, she lay a mere hulk, mth a third part of her 
crew killed and wounded. Her colours were flying on the 
stump of the mizen-mast when the Leviathan quitted her, 
and made sail to close the admiral in obedience to the sio'nal. 
The Leviathan's fore-topsail-yard was shot away, and all her 
masts wounded. She had ten seamen killed, and Nesbit 
Glen, midshipman, thirty-one seamen, and one soldier 

The Russell, at 8h. 30m., hove to, and engaged the Teme- 
rau-e to v>dndward. At lOh. her fore-topmast was shot away. 
At llh, the Temeraire, percei\dng that the ships in her van 

1794.] THE BRITISH KAVY. 395 

had wore, filled, and made sail to leeward, followed through 
the line by the Russell ; but the French ship hauHng up to 
starboard, the Kussell, in her disabled state, was unable to 
pursue her, and brought to on the larboard tack, to leeward 
of three Frencli van ships. Receiving the fire of the Eole 
and Trajan, the Russell, after firing into the stern of the 
America, joined the line forming astern of the Queen Char- 
lotte, and at 2h. 30m. p.m., hauled up, in obedience to the 
signal to stay by prizes. The Russell had eight seamen 
killed, and twenty-six, including John Stewart and Montagi' 
Kelly, midshipmen, and John Douglas, boatswain, wounded. 

The Royal Sovereign, at 9h. 23m., opened fire on the 
Terrible, which was immediately returned. At lOh. Yice- 
Admiral Graves was badly wounded and carried below. At 
IQh. 38m. the main and mizen-masts of the Sovereign's 
opponent were shot away, and she bore up, or rather fell off 
before the wind from the loss of her after-sail. In this 
position she was raked several times by the Sovereign ; but 
Captain IsTichols, observing the van of the enemy making off, 
ordered the Royal Sovereign's courses to be set, and pursued 
the Terrible. The Montague and Jacobin coming to the 
assistance of the latter, brought on an engagement at 
llh. 4om. between the Sovereign and Montague; but the 
latter, in about half an hour, bore away, and the Sovereign, 
after following her a short distance, hauled up in obedience 
to the signal to stay by prizes. Subsequently, she made sail 
after the America, which ship was escaping under her sprit- 
aail, and took possession of the prize. The Royal Sovereign 
had William Ivey, midshipman, ten, and three sol- 
diers killed ; and Yice- Admiral Graves, Captain of marines 
Charles B. Money, and Lieutenant of marines Stephen 
^Mitchell, and forty-one seamen and soldiers wounded. 

The Marlborough, at 9h., commenced firing upon the 
Impetueux, and having passed under that ship's stern, hauled 
up to leeward, and closely engaged her. At 9h. 15m. the 
Impetueux fell on board the Marlborough, hooking her lar- 
board mizen-rigging, and in this position a furious cannon- 
ading took place. At lOh. 15m. the Mucins, the next ship 
astern, made sail away from the Defence, and this ship also 
fell on board the Marlborough. Previously to this accession 
of opposing force, the British ship had lost her mizen-mast ; 

396 BATTLES OP [1794. 

and just after tlie Mucius fell foul of her, tlie fore and main- 
masts were also shot away J Still the gallant crew main- 
tained an undiminished fire, which soon dismasted both oppo- 
nents. To add to her already unequal contest, the Montague 
now ranged up, and fired a broadside into the Marlborough's 
stern, which occasioned much loss, and wounded Captain 
Berkeley (who was obliged to quit the deck) and a midship- 
man. Lieutenant John Monkton then took the command, 
and continued to fight the ship until, being in almost a 
defenceless state, the Aquilon frigate was called to her 
assistance, and took her in tow. The Impetueux, whose loss 
amounted to 100 killed and seventy-five severely wounded, 
was taken possession of by the Russell. The Mucius, although 
equally shattered, escaped. The Marlborough had one mid- 
shipman (Abraham Nelham), twenty-three seamen, and five 
soldiers killed ; her captain. Lieutenants Michael Seymour 
(lost left arm) and Alexander Rudach ; "William Pardoe 
(master s mate), William Fitzgerald, John Linthorne, Richard 
Shortland, Walter Clarges, and David Humphreys, midship- 
men (the two latter mortally), and eighty-two seamen and 
soldiers wounded. 

The Defence, being rather in advance, was the first ship to 
cut throught the enemy's line, passing between the Mucius 
and the Tourville. She was quickly surrounded, and her 
main and mizen-masts both fell, when her opponents, seeing 
her crippled state, passed ahead to the aid of their van sliips. 
After the Mucius left her, as before related, the Republicain 
and other ships approaching to attack her, the Defence, after 
losing her foremast, made the signal for assistance, and the 
Phaeton came down and took her in tow. William Webster, 
master ; John Fitzpatrick, boatswain ; eleven seamen and 
four soldiers were killed ; and John Elliot, master's mate ; 
William H. Dillon, midshipman (slightly) ; Ensign Charles 
Boycot, 2nd regt. ; twenty-five seamen and nine soldiers 

' It is confidently affirmed in Sir John Barrow's Life of Lord Howe, 
that a cock, which some of the numerous shot flying about had released 
from its coop, in the heat of the action, perched upon the stump of the 
mainmast, and, flapping his wings, crowed proudly. This anecdote was 
for a time subject to some ridicule ; but the testimony of several sur- 
vivors of the Marlborough's crew goes to prove its authenticity. The 
bird, on the arrival of the ship at Plymouth, was presented to Lord 
George Lenox, and lived to a good old age. 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY 397 

"wounded. The Phaeton, in approaching to take the Defence 
in tow, passed under the stern of the Impetueux without 
firing ; but the latter, contrary to the usage of war, opened 
her larboard guns on the frigate, upon which the Phaeton 
hauled up and returned the fire of the seventy-four for ten 
minutes, during which engagement she had three killed and 
five wounded. 

The Impregnable, Tremendous, Barfleur, Invincible, Cul- 
loden, and Gibraltar brought to at some distance to wind- 
ward. These ships were much damaged in sails and rigging. 
The Invincible had four men killed and ten wounded. Im- 
pregnable had her master, Da^^.d Caird, and six seamen 
killed, and Lieutenant William Buller (mortally), Patterlo, 
boatswain, and twenty-two seamen wounded : this ship had 
her three top-gallant-masts and fore-topsail-yard shot away. 
Tremendous had her first Heutenant (Francis Ross) and two 
men killed, and eight wounded. Barfleur, nine killed, and 
Pear-Admiral Bowyer, Lieutenant William Prowse, George 
Pogo, and William demons (midshipmen), and twenty-one 
men wounded. Culloden, two seamen killed, and Lieutenant 
Tristram Whitter and four men wounded ; and Gibraltar, 
two killed and twelve wounded. 

The Queen Charlotte's proceedings have already been 
related ; her main and fore-yard and three topmasts were 
wounded in several places, her fore and main-topmasts and 
topsail-yards shot away, and her sails and rigging much dis- 
abled. One lieutenant of foot (John Neville) and eleven 
seamen were killed, and Captain Sir Andrew Douglas, Mid- 
shipman John Holland, twenty-two seamen, and five soldiers 
wounded. Her principal loss was sustained in running down 
to break the enemy's line. 

The Brunswick, the next ship to the admiral, sufiered 
much from the fire directed at the Charlotte, and her cock- 
pit was filled with wounded before she returned a shot. The 
Jacobin having shot ahead, as before mentioned, and the 
Achille having advanced to fill her place, the Brunswick 
bore up for the opening astern of the Achille, and was 
attempting to pass between the Achille and Yengeui' ; but 
the latter gallantly pushed forward, and closed the interval. 
The Brunswick then, having no alternative, ran the Yengeur 
on board to windward, her anchor hooking the French ship's 

308 BATTLES OF [1794. 

larboard fore-sliroTids and channels. Captain Harvey, on 
being asked by tlie master, Mr. George Stuart, if they should 
endeavour to cut her clear, exclaimed, " No ; we have got 
her, and we will keep her." The ships then swang broad- 
side to broadside, and both paying round off before the wind, 
dropped out of the line, engaging furiously. So close were 
these ships locked, that the Brunswick was unable to open 
her midship lower-deck ports, which were consequently blown 
off by the eager crew. At llh. the Achille bore down on 
the Brunswick's larboard quarter, having her rigging and 
gangways crowded with men, as if intending to board the 
British sliip ; but the discharge of a double-shotted, well- 
directed broadside from the latter, added to the cannonading 
she had prcA^ously received from the Queen Charlotte, 
brought down all three masts, the wreck of which falling- 
over the starboard side, rendered her incapable of further 
resistance, and she struck her colours ; they were however 
subsequently rehoisted. The Brunsmck and Yengeur still 
continued their furious and destructive fight. Captain Har- 
vey was wounded and knocked down by a splinter ; but he 
still kept the deck, until having received a severe contusion 
in his right arm, he was obliged to go below. When de- 
scending the ladder, he called to those of his crew near him, 
and admonished them " bravely to fight the ship for the 
honour of their king and country," adding, " Remember my 
last words ! the colours of the Brunswick shall never be 
struck ! " The command of the ship devolved on Lieutenant 
William Edward Cracraft, and after remaining three hours 
entangled, the two ships separated, tearing away the 
Brunswick's sheet and bower-anchors. The Bamillies coming 
up, endeavoured to take a position under the Yengeur's stern, 
but the difficulty of striking one ship and not the other 
obliged Captain Harvey to haul off, after attempting a fev/ 
broadsides. The Ramillies then made sail after the Achille, 
of which ship she made a prize. The Vengeur, about Ih. p.m., 
ceased firing, and showed a imion-jack over her quarter, 
which she afterwards chsplayed at her cross-jack-yardarm ; 
but the Brunsmck had no boat to send to take possession. 
At 111. 30m. the Brunswick lost her mizen-mast, and her 
other masts were so badly wounded, that she was unable to 
haul up for the fleet ; she therefore steered to the northv,^ard, 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 399 

with the intention of making the first British port. The 
Brunswick had been three times on fire, twenty-three guns 
disabled, her starboard-quarter gallery knocked away, and 
the best bower-anchor, wdth the starboard cathead towing 
under her bottom. Her loss amounted to Captain of foot 
Alexander Saunders, Thomas Dalton (master's mate), and 
James Lucas (midshipman), thirty seamen and eleven soldiers 
killed ; and her captain (mortally), Lieutenants Rowland 
Bevan and Charles F. Wintour, Henry Hurdis, midshipman, 
Ensign Harcourt Yemen, ninety-one seamen and nineteen 
marines wounded ; total, forty-five killed, 113 wounded. 

Shortly after the Brunswick quitted the Yengeur, the 
latter's fore and mainmasts fell, and with her mizen-mast 
only standing, she lay rolling, her lower-deck ports in the 
w^ater, many of w^hich having been torn off or shot away by 
the Brunswick, she was soon filled with water ; but, although 
fast sinking, her colours, which had been rehoisted, were 
kept flying. Fortunately for her, at 6h. lom. p.m., the 
Alfred, Culloden, and Battler (cutter) approached her, and 
observing her state, humanely sent their boats alongside, and 
by great exertions saved about 400 men.^ 

The Valiant hove to at 9h. 30m. to windward of the 
Patriote, but soon afterwards passed through the line ahead 
of the French ship, and engaged the Achille just as the 
Queen Charlotte quitted her. At lOh. 5m. the Achille's 
main and mizen-masts fell over the side, upon which the 
Yaliant pushed on, • and brought to to windward of the 
Boyal Sovereign. The Yaliant had her main-topsail and 
cross-jack-yards shot away, two men killed and nine 

The Orion engaged the ]!^orthumberland and also the 
Patriote distantly, both which ships bore up at lOh. 30m., 
and the masts of the former having been much disabled by 
the Queen, fell over the side. The Orion lost her main- 

* Among the survivors were Captain Eenaudin and his son, a boy 
twelve years of age, Tliese were accidentally taken off by two boats 
belonging to different ships, and each, until they met again at Ports- 
moiith, believed the other to liave perished. The brave — for he had 
proved himself so — captain's feelings, on meeting his son, whose sup- 
posed loss he had wept, can be better imagined than described ; nor 
could the joy of the son have been less to find himself still in possession 
of so noble a parent. 

400 BATTLES OF [1794. 

topmast, which carried with it the maintop and topsail-yard. 
She then hauled up in support of the Queen Charlotte. She 
had two killed and twenty-four wounded. 

The Queen suffered much while running down into action, 
and in endeavouring to get alongside the Northumberland, 
which having set her courses was fast shooting ahead. Un- 
able to close the Northumberland, the Queen steered for the 
Jemappes, which ship also made sail and bore up ; but the 
Queen followed the Jemappes, keeping close upon her star- 
board quarter. At lOh. 45m. the Jemappes lost her mizen- 
mast, and at llh. a.m. the mainmast of the Queen fell, 
springing the mizen-mast, and crushing the fore part of the 
poop and larboard bulwarks of the quarter-deck. The 
Jemappes' fore and mainmast soon afterwards came down ; 
and her crew, having been driven from their guns, came on 
deck and waved their hats in token of submission. But the 
Queen was so disabled that, after an hour's hard work in 
repairing damages, she could only then be got round with her 
head towards her own fleet. At 12h. 30m. p.m. twelve sail 
were seen through the smoke standing towards her, but their 
designs were frustrated, as we have seen, by the Queen Char- 
lotte. The Montague and her second did not fire, but the 
remaining ships, the last of which was the Terrible, with 
only her foremast standing, fired upon the Queen in passing. 
The latter French ship was in tow of three frigates, two of 
which having cast her off, also hauled to the wind to engage 
the Queen, but soon bore away again, taking the dismasted 
Jemappes with them. The Queen had foui-teen men killed, 
and Lieutenant Richard Dawes, Acting Lieutenant George 
Crymes, Francis W. Kinneer (midshipman), and thirty-seven 
men wounded. The proceedings of the next five shij^s 
afibrd little room for remark. 

The Rami Hies, previously to her attack upon the Yengeur 
and taking the Achille, engaged the Pelletier. The Mon- 
tagTi's loss in the action amounted to Captain Montagu and 
three men killed, and thirteen, including the Honourable 
John A. Bennett and Thomas Muir, midshipmen, wounded. 
The Alfred had eight men wounded only ; and the Majestic 
two killed and five wounded. 

The Royal George, at 91i. 38m. a.m., opened fire on the 
Sans-Pareil and Republicain, and passed through the line 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 401 

between tliose sliips, engaging botli in gallant style. Her 
loss in tlie action amounted to five killed, and Lieutenant 
Thomas Ireland, Jolin Bamborougli, master, Thomas Boys 
and Thomas Pierce, midshipmen, and forty-five seamen and 
marines wounded. 

The Glory was a verj'' slow-sailing ship, but at leng-th got 
into action, and, passing under the stern of the Scipion, 
hauled up and closely engaged her to leeward. In a little 
time she knocked away the Scipion's three masts, herself 
losing her fore-topmast and main and mizen top-gallant 
masts. Then shooting ahead, the Glory became opposed to 
the Sans Pareil, whose fore and mizen-masts had just before 
been shot away by the Royal George. The Glory and Royal 
George then together raked the Republicain, and compelled 
her to retreat with her masts in a tottering state, so that 
shortly afterwards her main and mizen masts fell over the 
side. The Glory was much crippled, and had her master, 
George INIetcalfe, Da\T.d Greig, midshipman, and eleven men 
killed, and thii'ty-nine wounded. The loss of the Sans Pareil 
from the fire of the Royal George and Glory amounted to 
300 in killed and wounded ; but although she surrendered, 
neither of the two British ships were in a condition to take 
possession of her. 

Notwithstanding the number of ships which surrendered, 
and that others were in such a dismasted and crippled state 
that a single broadside from a British ship must have com- 
peDed them to strike, the following were the only trophies of 
the victory of the glorious fii-st of June : — 80-gun ships 
Sans Pareil and Juste, and 74-gun ships America, Impetueux, 
Achille, and ISTorthumberland. 

The following table shows the number killed and wounded, 
together -svith the name of the first lieutenant of each 
ship : — 

VOL. I. 2d 




Name of Ship. 

28 & 29 May 

1st June. 

First, or Senior Surviving 









Queen Charlotte 
Royal George . . 
Royal Sovereign 


Impregnable .... 














































Thomas Larcom 
John Draper 
Peter M'Kellar 
Adrian Renou 
William Burgess 
Samuel J. Ballard 
WiUiam Ogilvy 
John Marsh 
John Whitby 
George Burlton 
Ross Donnelly 
Thomas W. Clayton 
George Rice 
Joseph E^des 
Joseph Bingham 
William E. Cracraffc 
John Chesshyre 
John Larkan 
Robert Larkan 
Chapman Jacobs 
Henry Blackwood 
Roger Mears 
Henry Vaughan 
John Monkton 
Joseph Larcom 
Edward Rotheram 




Bellerophon .... 


Tremendous .... 



Audacious^ .... 









Marlborough .... 








It was the 3rd of June before Lord Howe was enabled to 
make sail with his fleet and prizes. He then steered to the 
north-east, and on the 13th anchored at Spithead with his 
six prizes. The royal family visited Portsmouth, and his 
majesty, attended by his prime minister, held a levee on board 
the Queen Charlotte at Spithead, and there presented the 
gallant veteran (then sixty-nine years of age) with a sword 
valued at 3,000 guineas, and also with a gold chain to be 

* This exceeds the admiral's official statement by five. 
^ Not present on Isfc June. 


OB , 1814, 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 403 

worn round his neck. The next officer in command of the 
fleet was created Lord Graves, and Sir Alexander Hood 
became Yiscoimt Bridport. Rear- Admirals Bowyer, Gard- 
ner, Pasley, and Curtis were created baronets ; and Sir George 
Bo^\yer and Sir Thomas Pasley had each a pension of £1,000 
per annum granted for their wounds. The senior lieutenants 
were made commanders, and a vote of thanks to the officers, 
seamen, marines, and soldiers passed both houses of par- 
liament. Mr. James Bowmen, the master of the Queen Char- 
lotte, was rewarded by promotion, and the captains, to testify 
their admiration of his conduct, appointed him their agent 
for the prizes. 

On the 29th of May^ the 28-gun frigate Carysfort, Captain 
Francis Laforey, fell in with the French (late British) 32-gun 
frigate Castor, Captain L'Hullier. After an action of an 
hour and a quarter, the Castor struck her colours. The 
Carysfort was but shghtly injured, and only had one man 
killed. The Castor had her maintop-gallant-mast shot away, 
mainmast injured, and sixteen men killed and wounded. 
The Castor was restored to her place in the British naw. 
The naval medal is granted for this action. 

On the 8th of June, at daybreak, a frigate squadron, con- 
sisting of the Crescent, thirty-six. Captain Sir James Sau- 
marez ; Druid, thirty-two, Captain Joseph Ellison ; and 
Eurydice, twenty-fom^, Captain Francis Cole, while proceed- 
ing from Plymouth to Guernsey, and being about twelve 
leagues to the northward of that island, fell in with the 
French oO-gun rases Scevola and Brutus, two 36-gun fngates, 
and a brig. DecHning to engage a force so superior. Captain 
Saumarez directed the Eurydice to make the best of her way 
to Guernsey, wdiile the Crescent and Druid kept under easy 
sail, and distantly engaged the enemy, in order to give the 
Eurydice an opportunity of escaping. Seeing the latter well 
ahead. Sir James Saumarez also made sail for Guernsey ; but 
this the French squadron endeavoured to prevent, and w^ould 
in all probability have cut off the Diiiid and Eurydice, had 
not Sir James, by a masterly manoeuvre, defeated their plan. 
The Crescent, hauling her wind, stood close along the French 
line, and thus diverted the attention of the French commodore, 
who considered himself sure of making the Crescent his prize. 
But the British captain, to whom, as well as to his pilot, every 

2 d2 

404 BATTLES OF [1794. 

inch of tliat critical navigation was well known, having pre- 
served the Druid and Eurydice, pushed through a narrow 
passage never entered before by a British man-of-war, and 
reached Guernsey in safety. This gallant movement was 
witnessed by hundreds of spectators assembled on the 

On the 17th of June, the 50-gun ship Komney, Captain 
the Hon. William Paget, while conducting a convoy from 
Smyrna to Naples, discovered a French frigate under the 
island of Miconi, in the Archipelago. Resigning his charge 
to the Inconstant, then in the offing. Captain Paget stood in 
for Miconi, and on nearing the port, sent a message to the 
French captain, requiring him to surrender. The demand 
being resisted, the Pomney warped into the harbour, exposed 
to the frigate's fire, and also to that of two armed merchant 
vessels, and at Ih. p.m. commenced action at close quarters. 
At 2h. 20m. the French 40-gun frigate Sibylle, commanded 
by Commodore J. M. Pondeau, struck her colours. The 
Sibylle, out of 380 men, had forty-six killed and 112 wounded. 
The Pomney had only 264 men on board, and had eight sea- 
men killed, and twenty-eight (two mortally) men wounded. 
The Sibylle, being a fine new frigate of 1,091 tons, was added 
to the British navy. This is a naval medal action. 

On the 23rd of August, Commodore Sir J, B. Warren, in 
the Flora, thirty-six, with a squadron of five frigates, chased 
the French 36-gun frigate Volontaire, and drove her on shore 
on the Penmarcks, where she was completely wrecked. This 
squadron also drove on shore the Alerte and Espion, of 
eighteen guns ; but the latter was got off again, without 
having sustained much injur}'-. 

On the 21st of October, the 38-gun frigate Artois, Cap- 
tain Edmund Nagle, being in company with the 38-gun 
frigates Arethusa, Diamond, and Galatea, Captains Sir E. 
Pellew, Sir Sidney Smith, and Pichard G. Keats, chased 
the French 40-g-un frigate Pevolutionnaire. The Artois 
took the lead, and having arrived up, engaged her for forty 
minutes. On the approach of the Diamond, the French 
frigate, having had eight killed, and her captain and four 
men wounded, surrendered. The Artois had first lieutenant 
of marines Patrick Craigie and two seamen killed, and five 
wounded. The Pevolutionnaire was a splendid ship, of 

1794.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 405 

1,148 tons, and under the same name was added to the 
British navy. Captain Nagle received the honour of knight- 
hood, and his first lieutenant, Kobert Dudley Oliver, was 
made a commander. 

On the 22nd of October, e^t llh. a.m., the 50-gun ship 
Centurion, Captain Samuel Osborne, and 44-gun ship Dio- 
mede, Captain Matthew Smith, cruising off the Isle of 
France, chased the French 40-gun frigate Cybele, 36-gun 
frigate Prudente, 20-gun corvette Jean Bart, and Courier of 
fourteen gims. The French ships formed a line ahead, 
Commodore J. M. Renaud, in the Prudente, leading. The 
Centurion placed herself abreast of the two frigates, and the 
Diomede was opposed to the Cybele and Jean Bart. The 
firing commenced at 3h. 30m. p.m., witliin musket-shot. At 
4h. the Centurion was much cut up in her sails and rigging, 
and the Prudente bore up and ran out of gun-shot. The 
Cybele having then closed the Centurion, shot away her 
mizen-topmast and fore top-gallant-mast. At 5h. 15m. the 
Cybele, having lost her main top-gallant-mast, bore up to 
close her commodore, who, with the other French vessels, 
had wore round, and were coming to her support. At 5h. 45m. 
the Cybele lost her fore-topmast : the Prudente then took 
her in tow, and made sail to the westward, followed and 
fired at by the Diomede until dark. The Centurion had 
three men killed, seven severely, and seventeen slightly 
wounded ; Diomede,^ none killed or wounded ; Prudente, 
fifteen killed and twenty wounded ; Cybele, twenty-one 
killed and sixty wounded. 

On the 6th of November, in lat. 48° 20' N., long. 
7° 53' W., a French squadron of five sail of the line, under 
Pear- Admiral Nielly, fell in with the British 74-gun ships 
Alexander and Canada, Captains Pichard P. BHgh and 
Charles P. Hamilton, on their return to England from 
escorting the Lisbon convoy. At 4h. a.m. the British ships 
bore up under all sail, pursued by the enemy. After gal- 
lantly sustaining the combined and separate attack of three 
ships, the Alexander surrendered at Ih. p.m., having had 
thirty-six men killed and wounded. The Canada escaped. 

On the 22nd of March in this year, a combined naval and 

' Captain Matthew Smith was tried by a court-martial and dismissed 
the service, but subsequently reinstated, though never again employed. 

406 BATTLES OF [1794. 

niililaiy force, under Vice- Admiral Sir John Jervis, K.B., 
and Lieutenanl-General Sir George Grey, after a long and 
arduous siege, gained possession of Martinique, with the loss 
to the navy of Captain James Milne and thirteen seamen 
kiUed, and Captain Sandford Tatham, Lieutenants Thomas 
H. AVilson and Thomas Clarke, one surgeon, and twenty-four 
men wounded. The Zebra, Commander Robert Faulknor, 
was particularly distinguished by running alongside and 
storming and capturing the bastion of Fort Royal ; and the 
naval medal has accordingly been granted to those who 
served in that brig. The medal has also been conferred upon 
those present in the boats of the fleet at the capture of the 
Bienvenue, and other vessels in Fort Royal Bay, on the 17th 
of March. On the 4th of April, St. Lucia was taken ; and 
Guadaloupe also fell on the 3rd of July to the same force, 
but was retaken on the 10th of December. At the reduction 
of Guadaloupe, the British naval loss amounted to Captain 
Lewis Robertson and six men killed, and two officers and 
twenty-seven men wounded j and at the recapture, three 
killed and eighteen wounded. 

On the 30th of December, the boats of the 12-pounder 
32-gTin frigate Blanche, Captain Robert Faulknor, cut out a 
French schooner mounting eight guns, from under a fort 
in the island of Desirade, in which affair — Fitzgibbon, 
midshipman, and one marine were killed, and four men 

1795.] THE BRITISH NA'STT. 407 


On the 4t]i of January, the Blanche, proceeding on 
her cruise, arrived off Pomte-a-Pitre, Guadaloupe, and at 
daybreak discovered the French frigate Pique lying at anchor 
outside the harbour. At 7h. A.M. the Pique, in company 
with a schooner, worked out from under the land, upon 
which the Blanche made sail to meet her. At 2h. p.m. the 
Pique and Blanche crossed on opposite tacks, the former 
hoisting French colours, and firing four shot, wliicli was 
replied to by the Blanche. At 2h. 30m., finding that the 
Pique had tacked and was standing towards her, the Blanche 
shortened sail to allow her to close ; but at 3h. 30m., hoping to 
induce the Pique to follow, she filled and stood towards Marie- 
Galante under easy sail. At 8h. p.m. the French frigate was 
seen astern, on which the Blanche tacked, and made all sail 
in chase. About midnight the Blanche, on the starboard 
tack, passed to leeward of the Pique on the larboard tack, 
and at 12h. 30m. a.m. the Blanche tacked, and at Ih., when 
within musket-shot of the Pique's starboard quarter, the 
Pique wore to cross her oj)ponent's hawse; but the Blanche, 
to defeat this manoeuvre, bore up, and both frigates became 
closely engaged, running off the wind. At 2h. 30m. the 
Blanche, being ahead of the Pique, luffed across her bows to 
rake her, when the Blanche's main and mizen-masts fell over 
the side, on which the Pique ran her aboard on the starboard 
quarter. Several vigorous attempts were now made to carry 
the Blanche by boarding, but the enemy was on each occasion 
repulsed with much loss ; the Blanche's guns, meanwhile, 
causing great havoc on the Pique's deck. At about 3h. a.m., 
while assisting the second lieutenant (David Milne) and 
some of the crew to lash the Pique's bowsprit to the Blanche's 
capstan. Captain Faulknor was shot through the heart by a 
musket-ball. The lashing of the bowsprit having parted, 
soon afterwards the two ships separated ; but the Blanche, 
for the want of any after-sail, paid round ofi", and again fell 
on board the Pique. The bowsprit of the French ship was 

408 BATTLES OF [1795. 

then lashed to tlie stump of the Blanche's mainmast, and in 
this manner, the two ships before the wind, a fire, principally 
of musketry, was kept up from both shijDS, but particularly 
from the Pique's tops. The fire of the Blanche's guns was 
principally confined to two quarter-deck 6-pounders, as she 
had no stem-ports on the main deck. After vainly endea- 
vouring to cut ports, it was found necessary to resort to more 
summary measures, and the two aftermost guns were fired 
through the stern frame, and from the openings thus made 
two 1 2-pounders were pointed, and phed with such destructive 
efiect, that the Pique's mainmast, at 3h. 15m., fell over the 
side, her fore and mizen having previously fallen. The fire 
was continued till 5h. 15m., the Pique having for a long 
time been imable to return a shot, when some of the crew of 
the Pique ran out to the end of the bowsprit and called for 
quarter. The Blanche commenced the action with 198 men, 
of which she had her captain, William Bolton, midshipman, 
five seamen, and one marine killed ; and Charles Herbert, 
midshipman, fourteen seamen, and four marines wounded : 
total, eight killed and twenty-one wounded. The Pique, 
out of a crew of 275 men, had seventy-six killed and 105 

The Pique was added to the British navy as a 12-pounder 
36-gun frigate. After a lapse of more than a year. Lieu- 
tenant Watkins was promoted to post rank ; but his com- 
mission was dated back to April 6th, 1795. Lieutenant 
Milne was made commander on the 20th of the same month, 
and his post commission bore date October 2nd of the same 
year. The naval medal has been granted for this action. 

On the 13th of March, at 7h. a.m., Ushant bearing south, 
distant thirteen leagues, the 32-gun frigate Lively, acting 
Captain George Burlton, discovered and chased three strange 
sail. The Tomi:erelle, of twenty-eight guns. Captain 
Montalan, tacked, and stood towards the Lively ; and at 
lOh. 30m. both ships fired their broadsides. The Tourterelle 
then wore, and having brought to on the Lively's weather 
beam, continued in close action until Ih. 30m. p.m., by which 
time her three topmasts having been shot away, and being 
much disabled in hull and rigging, the Toiu^terelle hauled down 
her colours. Her mainmast soon afterwards fell over the 
side. The Lively had only Lieutenant Loftus 0. Bland and 





two seamen wounded. The Tourterelle, out of a crew of 
230 men, liad sixteen killed -and twenty-five wounded. The 
Tourterelle was fitted vnih a furnace for heating shot, and 
several hot shot were fired from the privateer during the 
action. Upon this advantage Captain Moutalan must have 
relied for obtaining the victory ; otherwise his attack upon 
a ship of superior force is inexplicable. The Lively's first 
lieutenant, Joshua R. Watson, was promoted. 

The prize was purchased into the navy, and rated a 28-gun 
The above is a medal action. 

Intelligence having reached Toulon that the British fleet 
had quitted Corsica and retii'ed to Leghorn, 5,000 men were 
embarked on board the fleet under Rear-Admiral Martin, 
who, with fifteen sail of the line, six frigates, and two brigs, 
put to sea on the 3rd of March. 

On the 7th of March, the 74--gun ship Berwick, Captain 
Adam Littlejohn, being jury-rigged, was chased and captured 
by the French fleet. Captain Littlejohn was killed early in 
the chase, and four men wounded ; after which, Lieutenant 
Nisbet Palmer, upon whom the command devolved, suiTen- 
dered the ship. 

On the 8th, Admiral Hotham was lying in Leghorn Roads 
with the following : — 





-D .. . ( Vice-Admiral Wm. Hotham (red) 

I Captain John Holloway 
i Vice Admiral S. C. Goodall (white) 
\ Captain John Child Purvis 
j Vice-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker (blue) 
I Captain Thomas Foley 
i Rear- Admiral Robert Linzee (red) 
( Captain John Gore 

„ Chevalier Carraccioli, Neap. 

„ Samuel Reeve 

,, William Young 
,, Thomas Lenox Frederick 
„ George Campbell 

„ Augustus Montgomery 
„ Davidge Gould 
,, John Sutton 
,, Horatio Nelson 
Charles Tyler 

Princess Royal 
St. George . . . 

1 Windsor Castle 

f Tancredi 


Fortitude . . . 
Illustrious . . . 


Courageux . . ., 



Agamemnon . , 

Frigates — Pilade and Minerva (Neapolitan), and Inconstant, Lowestoffe, 
Meleager, and Romulus ; two sloops and a cutter. 

In the course of the day the Moselle, Commander Charles 

410 BATTLES OF [1795 

T>. Pater, appeared in the offing %^dtli the signal for a fleet 
bearing north-west. On the 9th, the British fleet put to sea 
with a strong breeze at east-north-east, and steered for Cape 
Corse ; and on the 10th, the French fleet was seen by the 
British advanced ships working back to Toulon, consisting of 

the following : — 

Guns. Ships. 

Guns. Sliips. 

120 Sans Culotte 

^ Duquesne 

80 I Tonnant 



( Victoire 



( Ak'ide 


^,. y Barras 

1 Censeur 

Peuple Souverain 


( Conquerant 

On the morning of the 1 3th, the British admiral, finding 
the French had no intention of fighting, made the signal for 
a general chase. At 8h. a.m. the (^a-Ira (third from the 
French rear) ran foul of her second ahead, — the Yictoire, — 
and carried away her own fore and main-topmasts. CajDtain 
Thomas F. Fremantle, of the Inconstant, at 9h, a.m., being 
far advanced in the chase, on seeing the disabled state of the 
(^a-Ira, gallantly ranged up on her larboard side, and engaged 
for some time. The French frigate Yestale then bore do^vn 
to take the (^a-Ira in tow, and fired into the Inconstant. 
At lOh. 50m. the Agamemnon and Captain attacked the 
^a-Ira, and continued annoying her until 2h. 15m. p.m., 
when several French ships bearing down to the support of 
their disabled companion, the Agamemnon and Captain bore 
up to rejoiu their fleet by signal from the admiral. The 
enemy kept on the larboard tack during the night, with the 
wind at south-west, followed by the British, each ship of 
which carried a light. 

At daybreak on the lltli, Genoa bearing north-east, dis- 
tant seven leagues, the ^a-Ira was observed a long distance 
astern and to leeward of her fleet, in tow of the Censeur. 
About 5h. 30m. a breeze springing up from the north-west, 
obliged the British to tack, and gave them the weather gage. 
The Captam and Bedford, in obedience to signal, bore up, 
■and at 7h. engaged the (^a-Ira and Censeur, while the re- 
mainder of the British fleet stood on in close order of battle 
for the body of the French fleet. The Captain in approach- 




ing the (^a-Ira received so much injury from the fire of the 
two French ships, that she made the signal for assistance. 
The Bedford was also disabled, and towed out of the action. 
At 8h. the French fleet having wore in succession, with the 
intention of passing between their disabled ships and the 
British line, closed the British fleet on opposite tacks ; but 
in order to frustrate the design of the French admiral, the 
British fleet edged away, and obliged the French fleet to go 
to windward. Beyond this passing fire, nothing appears to 
have been done ; for after having cleared the British fleet on 
the larboard tack, the French fleet tacked, and stood away to 
the westward under all sail, leaving the ^a-Ira and Censeur 
to their fate. These ships did not surrender until after a 
desperate resistance, in which their masts were shot away, 
and they sustained a loss of 400 men. The killed and 
womided in the British fleet were as follow j the ships in 
their proper order of sailing : — 










Princess Royal . . 
Agamemnon .... 


Courageux .... 



Windsor Castle 










St. George .... 




Inconstant .... 











The Illustrious lost main and mizen-masts, and fore-top- 
mast ; and the Courageux her main and mizen-masts. 
Several other ships had also received injiuy. The following 
are the names of the ofiicers killed and wounded : — Moore, 
midshipman of the Illustrious (killed), and Lieutenants 
Thomas Hawker (Windsor Castle), and Robert Honeyman 
(St. George), John Wilson, master (Agamemnon), and John 
Coleman, midshipman (Illustrious), wounded. 

Taking in tow the dismasted ships and prizes, the fleet 
bore away for Spezzia. The Illustrious, ha^/ing parted com- 
pany ill tow of the INIeleager, experienced very bad weather, 

412 BATTLES OF [1795. 

and ancliorecl in Valence Bay, where she parted her cables, 
struck the ground, and after every attempt having been made 
in vain to save the ship, the crew were taken out by the 
exertions of Captains Brisbane and Hallowell, and the ship 
set on fire. The naval medal has been granted to the parti- 
cipators in this action. 

On the 10th of April, at lOh. a.m., Rear-A dmiral Colpoys, 
with five sail of the line and three frigates, being in the 
Channel, discovered three frigates in the north-west quarter. 
The 74-gun ship Colossus, Captain John Monkton, having 
got within shot of the sternmost, opened fi^re, which the 
frigate returned. The frigates then separated, steering different 
courses. The 3 2 -gun frigate Astrea, Captain Lord Henry 
Paulet, with the 74-gun ships Robust and Hannibal, pursued 
the ship that steered to the north-west, and having, at 
6h. P.M., outsailed the line-of-battle ships, arrived up with the 
French 36-gTm frigate Gloire. At lOh. 30m. the Astrea 
brought her to close action, and after fifty-eight minutes' 
warm contest, the French colours were hauled down. Both 
ships were much disabled in masts and rigging. The Astrea 
had eight men wounded ; Gloire, forty killed and wounded. 
Lieutenant John Talbot was made a commander, and posted 
the following year. The Gloire's consorts were the 36-gun 
frigates Gentille and Fraternite. The former was captured 
by the Hannibal, seventj^-four, but the Fraternite escaped. 
The Gloii'e and Gentille were added to the British navy under 
the same name. The naval medal has been granted for the 
above action. 

On the 9th of May, at daybreak, as Captain Sir Richard 
Strachan's frigate squadron, consisting of the Melampus, with 
the Diamond, Hebe, Niger, and Syren, Captains Sir WiUiam 
S. Smith, Paid Mincliin, Edward J, Foote, and Graham 
Moore, was lying at anchor in Gourville Bay, Jersey, a 
French convoy of thirteen vessels was observed running down 
the French shore to the soutliward. The squadron weighed, 
and proceeded in chase. At 6h. a.m. the Melampus opened 
fire, and the whole convoy, with the exception of a cutter, 
which got round Cape Carteret, ran in shore, and took shel- 
ter under the guns of a small battery and of two gun-vessels. 
The boats of the frigates were then ordered away, and under 
cover of the frigates' guns, notwithstanding a smart fire from 

1795.] THE BRITISH NAVY. 413 

the battery and gun-boats, boarded and brought off all but 
one of the convoy (principally laden with ship-timber and 
stores), including also the gun-boats, each of which mounted 
three long 18-pounders. The casualties in the boats were in 
those of the Melampus, eight men wounded ; Diamond, two 
men wounded ; Hebe, John Leggatt, surgeon, and two men 
woimded ; Niger, Lieutenant Charles Long and one man 
woimded ; and in those of the Syren, John M'Guffock, mid- 
shipman, and one marine killed and two seamen wounded : 
total, two killed and seventeen wounded. On the 3rd of 
July, Sir Richard, having with him only the Hebe, captured 
off St. Malo six out of thirteen vessels laden with military 
stores, as well as one of the armed brigs which formed their 

On the 17th of May, the 38-gun frigate Thetis and 28-gun 
frigate Hussar, Captains the Hon. Alexander Inglis Cochrane 
and John P. Beresford, chased the French store-ships Trajan, 
Prevoyante, Heureux, and Raison, off Cape Henry, Chesa- 
peake. After a gallant defence, the Raison was captured by 
the Hussar, and the Prevoyante by the Thetis. The Thetis 
had eight men killed and nine wounded ; the Hussar, three 
wounded. This is a naval medal action. 

On the 25th of May, the 16-gun sloop Thorn, Commander 
Robert W. Otway, on the Windward Island station, cap- 
tured, after a warmly- contested action of thii^ty-live minutes, 
the 18-gun ship corvette Courier National. The Thorn, out 
of a crew of eighty men, had five men wounded ; and the 
Courier National, out of 119, had seven men killed and 
twenty wounded. 

On the 24th of June, the 28-gun frigate Dido, Captain 
George H. To wry, and 3 2 -gun frigate Lowestoffe, Captain 
Robert G. Middleton, having been despatched by Admiral 
Hotham to reconnoitre the harbour of Toulon, discovered 
nearly ahead, and standing towards them, the French 40-gun 
fi'igate Minerve, Captain Perree, and Artemise, thirty-six, 
Captain Charbonnier, which frigates had been despatched to 
obtain information of the British fleet. The private signal 
having been made by the Dido, the enemy wore and stood 
away, pursued by the British frigates. At 8h. a.m. the 
enemy, perceiving the inferiority of the pursuing sliips, wore 
and stool towards them. When witliin a mile of the Dido's 

414 BATTLES OF [1759. 

weather-bow, tlie Minerve, being aliead of her consort, wore 
and came to the wind on the larboard tack to windward, 
and at 8h. 30m. commenced the action. The Dido resei^ed 
her fire until 8h. 45m., by which time the Minerve was on 
her weather-beam. The Minerve then putting her helm 
a-weather, and squaring her yards, bore dovvTi upon the little 
ship with the apparent intention of sinking her, which, from 
her size and the fresh wind, she probably would have done. 
But just as her flying jib-boom was touching the main-yard 
of the Dido, the latter, to avoid the shock, bore up also, and 
the round of the Minerve's bow struck her on the larboard 
quarter. The shock was so great, that it threw the British 
frigate athwart the Minerve's hawse, the bowsprit of the 
latter locking in the Dido's mizen rigging. After a short 
time the bowsprit snajjped, carrying with it the Dido's 
wounded mizen-mast. With the bowsprit (which for a time 
had been a ladder for the French to board by, and had 
literally suspended the Dido by the latter's mizen rigguig) 
several of the French assailants were carried overboard, and 
also with the Dido's mizen-mast the British colours. These 
latter were, however, quickly replaced by a union-jack, which, 
with characteristic bravery, was nailed to the stump of the 
mizen-mast by Henry Barling, one of the Dido's quarter- 
masters. The Minerve now ranged ahead of the Dido, and 
the cannonade, which had scarcely ceased for a moment, was 
for a time suspended by the arrival of the Lowestoffe. 
Having passed ahead of the Dido, the Lowestofie placed 
herself on the French ship's larboard bow, and at 9h. a.m. 
shot away her foremast and remaining topmasts. At 
9h. 15m., the escape of the Minerve being impossible. Captain 
Towry made the signal to chase the Artemise (which ship was 
making off). The Lowestofie accordingly made sail in chase ; 
l)ut Captain Towry, perceiving that the French ship gained 
on the Lowestoffe, recalled the latter, and at llh. 30m. 
renewed the action with the IMinerve. At llh. 45m., on 
the fall of her mizen-mast, the Minerve surrendered. At 
this time the Artemise was hull down to windward. The 
Dido, out of a crew of 193 men, had her boatswain (Cuth- 
bert Douglas) and five seamen killed, and her first lieutenant 
(Richard Buckoll), captain's clerk (Richard Willan), and 
tliirteen seamen wounded. The Lowestoffe sustained no 




loss ; and tlie Minerve is said to liave had no more than 
twenty kiUed and wounded, exdusive of those lost overboard 
with the bowsprit. Captain Towiy was appointed to com- 
mand the Minerve, and Lieutenant Buckoll promoted to the 
rank of commander; Lieutenant Joshua S. Horton, of the 
Lowestoffe, was also promoted. This is a navy medal action. 
On the 30th of May the following squadron sailed from 
Spit head for a cruise off Ushant : — 





Eoyal Sovereign . 



Brunswick .... 



Kino'fislier .... 

j Vice-Adm. Hn. W. Cornwallis (blue) 

( Captain John ^\Tiitby 

„ Sir Charles Cotton 

,, Sir Erasmus Gower 

,, Lord Charles Fitzgerald 

,, Lord Cranstonn 

,, Hon. Robert Stopford 

„ Hon. Henry Curzon 

„• T. le Marchant Gosselin 

On the 8th of June, the Triumph, at lOh. 30m. a.m., made 
the signal for six sail bearing east by north. The strangers 
formed a squadron under Rear-Admiral Vence, with a convoy 
bound to Brest, and they chased them into Palais Road, 
Belle Isle. The British squadron, having secured eight sail 
of small vessels, continued to blockade the French squadron. 
Information of the blockade ha'vTJig reached Brest, a squadron 
of nine sail of the line sailed on the 12th of June, and on 
the 15th effected a junction with Admiral Vence off Groix. 
Theii' force was then as under : — 






120 Peuple (late Montague) 

' Mucius 

' Alexandre 


Droits de I'Homme 








^Jean Bart 



Brave ) , 
Scevola j ^^^^^ 








Name unknown 


On the 16th, at lOh. 30m., this fleet, under the command 

416 BATTLES OF [1795. 

of Yice-Admiral Yillaret Joyeuse, while beating to windward, 
with the wind at west-north-west, came in sight of Yice- 
Admiral Cornwallis's squadron, returning to look after 
M. Yence. The Phaeton, after making the signal for the 
enemy, did not haul to the wind until tiieir force had been 
ascertained to consist of thirteen sail of the line and fourteen 
frigates. This being signalled, the squadron came to the 
wind on the starboard tack in the following order : — Bruns- 
\vick, Eoyal Sovereign, Bellerophon, Triumph, Mars. At 
2h. P.M. the French fleet separated ; one division continuing 
on the same tack as the British, while the other stood to the 
northward on the larboard tack. At 6h. p m. the wind 
shifted to the northward. During the night the wind was 
light and variable, and at daylight on the 17th the French 
fleet was observed in three divisions ; the weather division, 
consisting of three sail of the line and five frigates, being 
nearly abreast, and to windward of the British squadi^on; 
the centre division, of six sail of the Hne and four frigates, 
being on the weather quarter of the squadron ; and the lee 
division, of four sail of the line, five frigates, two brigs, and 
two cutters, right astern. At 6h. a.m. the British squadron 
bore away two or three points, so as to enable the ships to 
set the starboard studding-sails, which altered the relative 
positions of the French fleet. At 7h. the admiral ordered 
the Bellerophon to go ahead of the Koyal Sovereign. At 
9h. A.M. the van ship of the French weather division, as- 
sisted by the Yirginie, Captain Bergeret, commenced firiag 
on the Mars. At llh. 10m. the Phaeton, being then along 
distance to •wondward, made the signal for a fleet, by letting 
fly top-gallant sheets, in order to deceive the enemy ; but 
the deception did not appear to take efiect, as the French 
ships continued to chase and engage the sternmost British 
ships without any apparent difference. At Ih. 30m. p.m. 
the Zele, having lost her maintop-gallant-mast, and being 
otherwise damaged by the fire of the Mars, dropped astern, and 
was succeeded by her next astern. Observing that the Mars 
had fallen much to leeward, and that it was likely, from her 
disabled state, she would be overpowered by the enemy's 
ships, then closing round her, the admiral, in the Boyal 
Sovereign, at 3h. 3om., gallantly wore out of the line, and 
bore ujD in company with, the Triumph to protect her. At 




3h. 52m., on nearing the Mars, the crew greeted the admiral 
•with three hearty cheers. The effect of this movement on 
the part of the Royal Sovereign was most decisive ; for the 
leading French ships, not desirmg to encounter the broadside 
of the British three-decker, wore, and left the Mars un- 
molested. A partial firing continued till 7h. 10m., when the 
French fleet hauled to the wind, and gave over the action. 
The only two British ships which sustained any injury from 
the fire of the enemy were the Mars and Triumph. The 
Mars had her masts and yards much cut by shot, and twelve 
men woimded, but none killed. The Triumph had her masts 
and sails cut, and received several shot in her hull, but had 
no one hurt. This action entitles the participators to the 
naval medal. 

The French fleet anchored off Belle Isle, and having 
weighed from thence, on the 22nd of June, at 3h. 30m. a.m., 
came in sight of the Channel fleet in the north-west, eonsist- 
iner of the folio wins: : ^ — 


Guns. Ships. 

( Royal Geor^^e ^ Admiral Lord Bridport (white) 

) .to^ai vreor^e .... ^ Captain William Domett 

( Queen Charlotte . . Sir Andrew S. Douglas 

Queen ^ Vice-Adm. Sir Alan Gardner (white) 

i[ Captain William Bedford 

i Vice-Adm. John Colpoys (blue) 

I Captain Edward Griffith 

( Rear- A dm. Henry Harvey (red) 

I Captain John Bazely 

„ Chas. Powell Hamilton 

„ James Richard Dacres 

,, William Edg-e 

98 -i 




London ...... 

Prince of Wales 



^, Prince George 
Sans Pareil ^ Rear-Adm. Lord H. fceymour 

( Captain William Browell 

'Valiant . . 

Robust* . . 

Orion . . . . 

I Irresistible 

Russell . . . . 
t Colossus . . 


Frigates, &c. — Revolutioimaire, 

Christopher Parker 
Edward Thornborough 
Sir James Saumarez 
Albemiarle Bertie 
Richard Grindall 
Thomas Larccm 
John Monkton 
Joseph Ellison 
Thalia, Nymphe, Aquilon, Astrea, 

^ The ships marked * were part of Sir John Warren's squadron, but 
were too far to leeward, when ordered by Lord Bridport to join, to be 
able to participate in the action. 

yoL. I. 2 E 

418 BATTLES OF [1795. 

Babet, Msegara, Incendiary, and Charon ; Captains, Francis Cole, Lord 
H. Paulet, George Murray, Robert Barlow, Eichard Lane, Edward 
Codrington, Henry Blackwood, John Draper, and Walter Lock. 
Argus and Dolly, luggers. 

Lord Bridport put to sea to protect an expedition to Qui- 
beron, under Sir John Warren ; and having reached Belle 
Isle, the fleet stood off again, to be prepared for the Brest 

Lord Bridport, finding that the French fleet had no inten- 
tion of offering battle, made the signal for the Sans Pareil, 
Orion, Colossus, L^resistible, VaHant, and Russell to chase, 
and at 6h. 45m. a.m. the signal was made for a general chase. 
The British fleet then crowded every sail, but at noon the 
enemy were twelve miles distant, standing in for the land. 
At 7h. 26m. P.M., having closed the French a little, directions 
were given to harass their rear ; but at lOh. it fell calm. 

On the 23rd, at daybreak, a light breeze sprang up from 
the south-west, and the French fleet was seen ahead in a 
cluster, about three miles to the eastward. The British ships 
were much scattered, the Queen Charlotte being a long dis- 
tance ahead of all except the Irresistible. At 4h. a.m. Belle 
Isle bore east, about eight miles distant on the lee bow. At 
5h. a French frigate took the Alexandre in tow ; and at 6h. 
this ship and two others opened fire on the Irresistible. The 
friga,te soon cut the Alexandre adrift, and made sail ahead, 
when the Irresistible engaged the latter, and was passed by 
the Orion and Charlotte. At about 6h. 15m. the Charlotte 
fired her starboard Ijroadside into the Formidable, Captain 
Linois, and a close action commenced. At 6h. 30m. the 
Formidable was fixed into by the Sans Pareil, but leaving the 
Formidable to the Charlotte, the Sans Pareil pushed on. The 
French ship about this time caught fire on the poop, and 
being much disabled, dropped astern. On her mizenmast 
falling, she bore up and struck her colours. The Queen 
Charlotte was also by this time quite unmanageable, and 
having dropped astern, at 7h. 14m. fired a broadside into 
the Alexandre, and that ship being akeady in a very crippled 
state, hauled down her colours. The Tigre was brought to 
action by the Sans Pareil, and the London and Queen also 
taking part, the French ship surrendered. At 8h. the Boyal 
George passed the Queen Charlotte, but the latter having 

1795,] THE BRITISH NAVY. 419 

repaired some of lier damages, speedily made all sail ahead to 
support the admii-al. At 8h. 15m. the Colossus and Sans 
Pareil's simals were made to discontinue the action. The 
Royal George, after receiving the fii^e of the Peuple, bore up, 
and fired her broadside into the latter ; but by this time the 
fleet had got so close in 'svith the land, that Lord Bridport 
considered it prudent to discontinue the chase. 

The British fleet having given over the pui'suit, the French 
admiral kept his wind, and after several tacks anchored 
within the Isle of Groix. The Queen Charlotte, Sans Pareil, 
and Irresistible were the only ships whose masts and spars 
were materially injured. 

The following is a statement of the loss sustained by each 
ship, in the order in which they engaged : — Irresistible, 
three killed, and eleven, including Captain Grindall and the 
master, Thomas Troughton, wounded. Orion, six killed 
and eighteen wounded. Queen Charlotte, four killed, and 
thirty-two, including David Coutts and Hornby Charles, mid- 
shipmen, wounded. Sans Pareil, Lieutenant C. M. Stocker, 
Lieutenant of marines William Jephcott, and eight men 
killed, and Francis J. Nott and Pichard Spencer, midshipmen, 
wounded. Colossus, five killed, and thirty, including Lieu- 
tenant Pobert Mends and John Wiley, midshipman, wounded, 
Pussell, three killed, and ten, including Captain Bacon, 118th 
regt., wounded. London, three wounded. Poyal George, 
seven wounded. Total, thirty-one killed and 113 wounded. 
The Tigre had 130 men killed and wounded; Alexandre, 
200 ; and Formidable, more than 300. Lord Bridport, 
Sir Alan Gardner, and Lord Hugh Sejrmour, received the 
thanks of Parliament. The naval medal has been awarded 
for this action. The Tigre retained her name in the British 
navy, but th