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i Hi JOHN STOCJKDAJ !.. PU ( \ f i 






Naval History from tlie Beginning of the first French 

Revolutionary War, in 17^3, to the end of 1797. 

Memoirs of Mar riot Arbuthnot, Esq. - 1 

Captain John Harvey - 9 

Constantine John Phipps - 23 

Captain Robert Fan 1 1: nor - 31 

Honour a lie John Forbes - oG 

Sir John Lq/brey, .Bart. - 6i 
Captain Richard Botcen - - 69 

Captain Sir Andrew Snape Douglas, C. M. 91 


Naval History from the beginning of the } ear 1798 to 

the. Peace of A aliens. - 104 

Memoirs of Ear/ Ilorce - 2-28 

- Captain Richard lticr];<:/l - - 240 
.S'/Y Jfagh C/ohern/ C/iriatian } K.B. - C45 

Captain Alexander Hood - - '2JO 

- Molineitjc Lord Shuldham - 2,38 
If'>n. Samuel Harrington C(i3 

J:,/ni. Curler Jl/i'ii, Jwj. - -271 

Jolin Macbride, ./vv/. - ~ 274 

Captain Edii'ard Hiou - 281 

- Lord Hugh. Seymour - 2S() 



Naval History j from the Commencement of the Second 
French Revolutionary War, to the Death of Lord 
Nelson. ----__ 205 
Memoirs of the Right Hon. Thomas Lord Graves - SQ4 

John IVilletl Payne, Esq. - 405 

Right Hon. Lord Discount Duncan - 415 

Sir Robert Kingsmilt, Bart. - - 436 

Sir Frederick Thesigt* - 453 

Captain William Henry Jem's - - 464 

Captain John Cooke . - - 471 

Captain George Duff - 473 






Natq! History from t/te Bcgi-miug of tlta first French Revo- 
lutionary II ttr, in 179-^ to t/m cud of 1797- 




DMIRAL ARBUTIINOT, wlio \vas particularly 
distinguished by his services in the American 
war, has generally, though, probably, without foun- 
dation, been considered as the nephew of the cele- 
brated Dr. Aihuthnot, the friend of Swift, Garth, 
and Pope. 

His father was a resident of Weymouth, in Dorset- 
shire, and he himself was born about the year 1711- 
lie entered the naval service at an early period of 
life; but it was not till towards the close of the 
Scotch rebellion, in 1746, that he attained the rank 
of commander, He was then appointed to the Ja- 
maica sloop, a cm her on the home station ; and, at 
the latter end of the year, he took the Furet and the 
Fly, t\vo small privateers belonging to Boulogne. 

'On the <-l>d of June, 1747, Mr. Arhutlmot was 
made post-captain in the Surprise frigate, of twenty- 
lour guns; mid, in the course of the year, lie partici- 



pated in the capture of the, a French armed 
ship of thirty-si-; guns, and one hundred and thirty-six 
men, which surrendered to the Surprise and the Jamaica. 

Captain Arbiithnot was next removed into the Tri- 
ton, a frigate of the same force as the Surprise ; in 
which, in January 1748, lie captured the Tiger, a 
stout French privateer, of sixteen guns, and one hun- 
dred and forty-six men, belonging to Bayonne. This 
was a very satisfactory instance of* success, the Tiger 
having committed considerable depredations on the 
English trade She had made three prizes in the 
early part of the cruise on which she was taken. 

In 1?57, Captain Arbuthnot commanded the Gar- 
land, a vessel of twenty guns, employed to cruise in 
the channel ; and in 1759, he was appointed to the 
Portland, of fifty guns. In the spring of the latter 
year, the French had assembled a very powerful arma- 
ment at Brest, for the alleged purpose of attempting 
the invasion of Great Britain or Ireland. To counter- 
act this intention Sir Edward Hawke sailed from 
Spithcad, in May, with a strong fleet, to cruise oil 
Brest, and in the Soundings. When he readied his 
station, lie detached three small squadrons to scour 
the enemy's coast; one of these, to which the Port- 
land, Captain Arbuthnot, was subsequently attached, 
was employed under the command of Captain Duff, 
in blocking up a fleet of transports in the Moibihan ; 
another, under the Honourable Captain Keppel, in 
Basque Roads, and off the Isle of Aix ; and the 
third, under the Honourable Captain Herbert, to watch 
the motions of the enemy in Brest. While blocking 
up th" transports in the Morbihan, Captain Dufl's 
squadron took one or two insignificant vessels; but in 
the latter service on which it was employed, towards 
the close of the year, it was more fortunate. In the 
m<;iuh of November, ha\ing increased his force, 
Captain Duff took his station in Quiberoii Bay, and 
effectually blockaded a numerous fleet of transports, 
which were intruded for the reception of the troops, 


to be convoyed by the fleet of the Marquis De Con- 
flans, to effect the threatened invasion. The vigi- 
lance of this squadron very much impeded the equip- 
ment of the expedition, and ultimately rendered it 
abortive. Sir Edward Ilawke's force having been 
driven from off Brest, by adverse winds, the Mar- 
quis De Conflans naturally took advantage of the cir- 
cumstance, to put to sea. Having left the harbour, 
his first object appeared to be the destruction of Cap- 
tain Duff's squadron : and he was actually in full chase 
of it, when Sir Edward Hawke, who had been apprized 
of his movements, came up with him. Thus to the 
marquis's too eager pursuit of what he deemed a cer- 
tain prize, may, in some measure be ascribed the glo- 
rious victory which ensued ; as he had thrown himself 
so near the British fleet, as to render his escape back 
into Brest totally impracticable. 

Captain Arbuthnot continued some time longer at- 
tached to the Channel Fleet ; and in August, 1760, 
he sailed with Sir Edward Hawke, to relieve Admiral 
Bos ca wen, in Quiberon Bay; where! he, probably, re- 
mained till March, J761. 

He was soon afterwards removed into the Orford, 
of seventy guns, in which he proceeded to the Jamaica 
station, to reinforce the squadron of Renr-admiral 
Holmes: and in the following year, 17^, he was 
employed at the memorable reduction of the Ilavan- 
nah, under Admiral Pocock and Commodore 1 Keppel. 
This was the last active service in which ho vvas en- 
gaged, during the war; and from the peace of ]?63, 
to the year 1770, he is notunderstood to have enjoyed 
any command. 

In 1770, Captain Arbuthnot was appointed to the 
Terrible, of seventy-four guns, one of the j^uard ^iiips 
at Portsmouth, in which he remained curing the Usual 
period of three years. In the year 177-5, inconse- 
quence of the rebellion which ha i broken out in North 
America, Captain Arbuthnot was ;Hv;-.Mnted a com- 
missioner of the navy, resident, at i-iaiifax, in Nova 

E 2 


Scotia ; the only port in America where ships of war 
could then he refitted, and where the best provisions 
which existing circumstances would allow, were made 
for the requisite service. He continued to fill this im- 
portant otfice, till the year 1778: in the autumn of 
v.'hich he returned to England, having been previ- 
ously promoted to a flag, as rear-admiral of the white 
squadron, on the DScl of January. He reached Ports- 
mouth about the middle of September : and in the 
beginning of 1779, sat as one of the members of the 
court martial, on the trial of Admiral Keppel, which 
terminated, as we have seen, so much to the honour 
'A' that officer. 

On the 19th of March, 1779, he ^"<^ s promoted to 
the rank of vice admiral of the blue squadron ; and, 
about the same time, lie was appointed to the chief 
command on the North American station. lie ac- 
cordingly hoisted his Hag on board the Europe, and 
sailed from Spithead, with four men of war, on the 
1st of May. 

With this squadron Admiral Arbuthnot took under 
his convoy the trade bound to North America and 
Newfoundland, consisting altogether of nearly three 

* O O *, 

hundred sail. On his passage down channel, he fell 
in with a vessel which had been sent express from Jer- 
sey to England, with an account of the imminent dan- 
ger that island was then in, by an attack from the 
French : and, conceiving it to he his dutv to prevent 
the loss of so valuable a place, lie made direct for Jer- 
sey, leaving the convoy in loihay, to await his re- 
turn. The report which induced the admiral to take 
this step was, that a Ficnch aniuiir.enr, consisting of 
live shins of war, besides bomb-ketches, and other 
small vessels, had arrived cff the i.sland, and landed a 
considerable r. umber of troops. Ik fore he could reach 
Jersey, however, he found that the enemy had been 
repulsed ; consequently he rejoined his convoy, pur- 
sued hi? original instructions, and proceeded for Ame- 
lica, The time v, hiol^ lie thus lost, and a continu- 


ance of westerly winds, prevented him from clearing 
the channel before the end of June ; but he at length 
reached New York without any farther impediment. 

Just before his arrival, Sir George Collier, whom 
Admiral Arhuthnot had been appointed to succeed, 
had returned to New York, with his squadron, after 
taking and destroying Commodore Saltenstall's squad- 
ron, of nineteen armed vessels and twenty-four trans- 
ports, in Penobscot Bay. 

Admiral Arbuthnot immediately assumed the com- 
mand ; but, in consequence of the arrival of the 
Count D'Estaing from the West Indies, with upwards 
of twenty sail of the line, besides a number of smaller 
vessels and transports, he found himself under the ne- 
cessity of remaining for some time at New York. 
Failing, however, in his attempt upon Savannah, the 
capital of Georgia, D'Estaing sent a part of his fleet 
back to the West Indies, and returned to Europe with 
the remainder, in the month of November. Finding 
the coast clear, Admiral Arbuthnot now prepared to 
co operate with General Sir Henry Clinton, in the 
long meditated reduction of Charlestown, in South 
Carolina; and having shifted his flag from the Europe 
into the Roebuck, he sailed with his squadron from 
-New York on the 1 1th of February, 1/80. 

In consequence of the badness of the weather, and 
the annoyance which the boats employed to sound the 
channel, sustained from the enemies' gallics, it was 
not till the 2()th of March, that the ships of war were 
able to pass the bar ; and even then the whole of the 
above force did not proceed to the place of destina- 

Admiral Arbuthnot having passed the bar, the ene- 
my's ships of war, to the number of ten sail, which 
had till then made a shew of resolutely defending the 
passage up the harbour, abandoned that plan of de- 
fence, and retreated towards the town, off which five 
were sunk, with chevaiLV de frize on their decks, for 
the purpose of blocking up the channel. 


On the C)'-h of April, the admiral, who had been 
joined by the Richmond and the Virginia, frigates, 
and the Sandwich armed ship, approached nearer to 
the town, for the purpose of straitening and closing in 
with the enemy. To effect this, however, he was 
obliged to pass under a very strong fort, possessed by 
the enemy, on Sullivan's Island ; but though a severe 
cannonade commenced immediately on his moving, 
his entire loss amounted only to twenty-seven in killed 

/ .' 

and wounded. After passing this fort, Admiral Ar- 
buthnot immediately proceeded to attack a post of the 
enemy's at Mount Pleasant, and also the fort on Sul- 
livan's Island ; the reduction of which he was anx- 
ious to accomplish, without delaying or interfering 
with the regular operations of the army. A brigade 
of five hundred seamen and marines was accordingly 
formed, an<j l , landed under the command of the Cap- 
tains Hudson, Orde, and Gambier, who took posses- 
sion of Mount Pleasant without opposition, on the 
2.9th of April ; the garrison retreating into Charles- 
town on their approach. Thinking it practicable to 
carry the fort on Sullivan's Island by storm, covered 
and supported by the ships of war, the admiral deter- 
mined to make the attempt ; and in the night of the 
4th of May, another detachment of two hundred sea- 
men aiid marines, was landed under the command of 
the Captains Hudson, Gambier, and Knowles. This 
detachment succeeded in passing the fort before day- 
light, unobserved by the enemy, and took possession 
of a redoubt, on the east end of the island. The 
shins of war being drawn up ready to support the at- 
rack, and every arrangement having been made for 
the storm, Captain Hudson summoned the fort, the gar- 
ii-'jn of which almost immediate!}' surrendered as 
prisoners of war. 

This success was followed by the surrender of 
Charlestown itself, on the 10th of the same month, 
when the following frigates and other vessels were 
also taken : The Providence, of thirty-two guns, 


eighteen and twelve pounders ; the Boston, of the 
siime force; the Ranger, of twenty guns, six pound- 
ers; L'A venture (French) of twenty-six guns, nine and 
six pounders ; a polacre, mounting sixteen six pound- 
ers ; four armed gallies, and some empty brigs, and 
other small vessels. 

After the completion of this service, Admiral Ar- 
buthnot returned to New York ; and for his exem- 
plary conduct, had the satisfaction of receiving the 
thanks of both houses of parliament. 

On the 14th of September, Sir George Rodney ar- 
rived at New York, fioiri (he West Indies, with ele- 
ven sail of the line and four frigates, and took upon 
himself the American command during the hurricane 
season. On the 26'th of the same month, the subject 
of this memoir attained the rank of vice-admiral of 
the white squadron. 

The ensuing year opened very inauspiciously. In a 
violent storm, which happened on the 23d of Janu- 
ary, Admiral Arbuthnot's squadron, which was lying 
in Gardiner's Bay, sustained considerable damage. 
The Culloden, of seventy- four guns, was driven 
ashore on the east end of Long Island, and totally 
lost; the Bedford was dismasted, and otherwise 
much damaged : and the America was driven to sea, 
and for a time supposed to be lost ; but after en- 
countering some difficulties, she fortunately rejoined 
the squadron. The masts of the Culloden were saved 
and put on board the Bedford. 

In this disabled state, the Adamant, another of 
Admiral Arbuthnot's ships, being also absent, the 
squadron v/as threatened with an attack from the ene- 
my. On farther consideration, however, it was not 
found prudent to carry the threat into effect. The in- 
tention of the enemy was next directed against ,1 
small naval force which had been dispatched from 
New York to co-operate with Brigadier-general Ar- 
nold, whose corps had nearlv over-run the whole pro- 
vince of Virginia. In this also they were disappointed 


but on their return, they captured the Romulus, 
of forty-four guns, whose captain had not been ap- 
prized that an enemy was off' the coast. 

M. De Ternay, encouraged by the information that 
the Bedford was not in a fit state for sea, took two 
thousand French troops on board, for the purpose of 
co-operating with a strong detachment from the Ame- 
rican army, in an attack upon General Arnold, and 
put to sea with the whole of his force, on the evening 
of the 8th of March. Admiral Arbuthnot, apprized 
of his motions and object, got the Bedford into a 
state tit for service, and followed on the 10th; and 
on the 16'th, when about fourteen leagues distant from 
Cape Henry, he descried the French squadron making 
towards the Capes of Virginia. About two P.M. the 
same day, after a few uninteresting manoeuvres, a 
partial action commenced ; Captain Cosby, in the 
Robust, of seventy-four guns, leading the van. 
The brunt of the engagement fell chiefly on the Ro- 
bust, Europe, and Prudent, till the rest of the van 
and centre could come up to their assistance; it then 
became more general, and continued till three o'clock, 
when the enemy bore up and ran to leeward. The Ro- 
bust had far more than her proportion of killed and 
wounded ; and by having at one time three ships upon 
her, her masts, rigging, sails, and boats, were torn 
to pieces. But the French commodore and his bhips 
were unable to withstand the animated attack that was 
made upon them ; and in half an hour after the com- 
mencement of the action, they till into disorder, and 
broke their line. Unfortunately, however, a thick 
haze, which had prevailed previously to, and during the 
engagement, together with the disabled situation of 
some of the British ships, j-urticularlv the Robust, 
Europe, and Prudent, rendered it impossible for the 
English admiral to pursue his advantage, ami thus the 
contest proved indecisive. 

The only service of consequence that Admiral Ar- 
buthnot hud an opportunity of performing, after the 


above, during- the time that he held the- command on 
this station, was the capture of two or three Ameri- 
can frigates, and some privateers of force, by differ- 
ent cruisers under his orders. 

Having received orders of recall, Admiral Arbuth- 
not shifted his flag from the Royal Oak, on board of 
which it had for some time been flying, into his old 
ship, the Roebuck, and resigned the command to Ad- 
miral Graves. He sailed from New York early in 
July, 1781 ; and, after a very prosperous passage, ar- 
rived at Spit head on the 1st of August. He imme- 
diately struck his flag, and proceeded to London, 
where he had the honour of being presented to his 
Majesty, and was most graciously received. 

Admiral Arbuthnot, in consequence of his advanc- 
ed age, now passed from a life of active and arduous 
service, into the shades of retirement. He never ac- 
cepted of any subsequent command ; but on the 124th 
of September, 1787, was made vice-admiral of the 
red; and on the 1st of February, l?<)o, admiral of 
the blue squadron. He survived his last promotion 
but a short time ; dying at his house, in Great Suffolk- 
street, Charing Cross, on the 31st of January, 1/94, 
a<red eighty-three. 


THIS distinguished officer was born at Elmton, in 
the parish of Eythorn, in Kent, on the ninth of 
July, 1740, O. S. He was the third son of Mr. 
Richard Ilarve} 7 , and Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. 
Henry Nicholls, of Barham, in the same county : at 
the age of fifteen he went to sea with Captain Brett, 
who then commanded the Ealmouth of fifty guns. 
Mr. Harvey soon became noticed for his assiduitv in 
the service ; and on one occasion in particular, when 
only seventeen, displayed a quickness of mind and 


watchful observation, \vhich distinguished his cha- 
racter in the subsequent events of his professional 

The pilot of the Falmouth had mistaken the North 
Foreland light for that on the coast of Suffolk, and 
was actuaiiy steering towards the Goodwin Sands ; 
when Mr. Harvey, whose watch it was on deck, en- 
deavoured to convince him of his error, but without 
effect the pilot obstinately persisted. Mr. Harvey 
as strenuously maintained his opinion ; in which 
Captain Brett fortunately coinciding, the ship's 
course was immediately ordered to be changed: at 

L/ 55 y 

that very instant the breakers were seen close along- 
side ; and but for this providential circumstance, as 
it blew hard, the ship and crew would inevitably 
have beer, lost. 

On the thirtieth of Januaiy, 1759, Mr. Harvey 
quitted the Falmouth, and was recommended to the 
notice of Admiral Francis Holbourne, >vho then, com- 
manded at Portsmouth. This officer was so well 
pleased with the zealous assiduity of Mr. Harvey, and 
the professional skill he had now acquired, that the 
admiral gave him an acting order as lieutenant; in 
which nuik he was confirmed on the 18th of Septem- 
ber foHowirg', and appointed to the Hornet sloop, 
comnv.uuled by vlie Honourable C. Kapler. 

Lieutcvmit Harvey continued under this officer but 
a .short tiir.e, the late Commodore Joimsun having 
superseded (/attain Napier, and on the twenty-first 
of March, l/'ol, was removed into the Arethusa fri- 
gate, the Honourable Ruby Vane, commander, then 
on the Lisbon station ; in which ship Mr. Harvey 
continued until the conclusion of the war. 

The mind of this aspiring officer, though formed to 
sustain the hardships and fatigue of his profession, and 
to glow amid its various scenes of peril, could equally 
enjoy the quiet of domestic happiness, without ever 
ferling oppressed by the calm tenor of retirement. 
On the twenty-seventh of September, 1763, he mar- 


ried Judith, the daughter of Mr. Henry Wise of 
Sandwich. From the month of November 1766", to 
that of June 1?6H, Lieutenant Harvey was appointed 
to his Majesty's cutter Alarm, stationed on the coast 
of Scotland ; when he was advanced commander. 
Having succeeded Captain Pearson in the Speedwell 
sloop in the month of January, 1776, he continued 
in this ship until September, 1777; when he was ad- 
vanced to post rank, and appointed to the Panther 
of sixty guns. 

Vice-admiral Robert Duff being appointed com- 
mander-in-chief of his Majesty's ships in the Mediter- 
ranean, in the month of September, 1777, Captain 
Harvey, sailed in the Panther, for Gibraltar ; where 
he arrived on the twenty-first of January, 1778. 
A guard ship, during this period, afforded but little 
scope for the display of such professional talents as 
Captain Harvey possessed. Early in 1779, prepara- 
tions in the ports of Spain were redoubled ; and when 
their design was ripe for execution, the Spanish am- 
bassador, the Marquis D'Almodover, having received 
orders in June to withdraw from Great Britain, deli- 
vered a manifesto on the subject to Lord Viscount 
Wey mouth. 

Towards the conclusion of the year 1779, the 
blockade of Gibraltar was completely formed. When 
Admiral Rodney's fleet, on the twenty-second of Ja- 
nuary, 1780, first arrived in the bay, the Terrible, 
Alcide, and Monarca, together witli a transport, were 
driven by a strong current within gun-shot of the 
Spanish forts ; the signal was immediately thrown 
out from the Panther, for all boats to go to their as- 
sistance. On this occasion, Captain Harvey's daring 
spirit and activity would not allow him to remain a 
mere spectator of the exertions made by others : 
thinking that his local knowledge might afford con- 
siderable aid, he immediately went on board the Ter- 
rible ; and it was principally owing to his directions, 
that the ships were at lemrth towed back with safety 


into Gibraltar Bay. What idea Admiral Rodney en- 
tertained or' Captain Harvey's conduct on this occa- 
sion, may be discovered from his giving this brave 
officer a commission for the Guipuscoana, of sixty- 
four guns ; the ship that with four frigates had 
sailed to protect the convoy captured by Sir George 
on the eighth of January. On board of this ship, 
however, called afterwards the Prince William, Cap- 
tain Harvey never hoisted his pendant. 

By the departure of Vice-admiral Duff, and his 
successor Commodore Elliot, the chief command de- 
volved on Captain Harvey ; and never perhaps were 
cool judgment and firm resolution more necessary, 
than in the dangerous situation in which he was soon 
placed. During the night of the 6th of June, a bold 
and well concerted effort was made by the Spaniards 
to destroy the British ships in the bay, and the New 
Mole; several fire ships were sent down for this pur- 
pose, attendee! by a large number of boats. Don 
jBarcello's squadron lay at the entrance of the bay to 
intercept the British ships, it' they should cut their 
cables, and endeavour to escape. Many favourable 
circumstances seemed almost to ensure success: the 
wind was moderate from the north-west, the night 
cloudy, and, considering the season of the year, un- 
commonly dark : the foremost of the fire-ships was 
within hail of the Enterprise, Captain Leslie, before 
they were discovered not a moment was to be lost, 
the danger was instant, and alarming : to endeavour 
to avoid it by putting to sea, was to fall into the 
hands of the enemy. 

Captain Harvey with great coolness and presence 
of mind ordered all boats out to grapple the lire-ships, 
and tow them on shore the largest, equal in size to 
a fifty gun ship, drove past the Mole Head within the 
distance of one hundred and fifty yards ! Not only the 
size of the ship, but the violence of the heat, rendered 
it impracticable for the boats to grapple her : had she 
got within the Mole, every vessel, which was lying 


there, tog-ether with the storehouses and stores, in 
the naval yard, must have been destroyed. Three 
others were linked together with chains and strong 
cables; yet with uncommon resolution and activity 
the British seamen separated, and towed them ashore. 
The Panther was in the utmost danger ; three of the 
enemy's ships were directed towards her : one, not- 
withstanding the exertions of the boats, came so near 
as to melt the pitch on her side; and as some of the 
sails were set for canting her, part of the crew were 
constantly employed in wetting them. By the strong 
light of these seven ships, all blazing at one time, t\vo 
other vessels of the same description were seen on the 
larboard how of the Panther ; but so heavy and well- 
directed a fire did she keep up, that the crews were 
obliged to abandon them, before they could be -placed 
in a situation to produce any mischievous effects. 
Thus was the attempt of the enemy rendered ineffec- 
tual by the valour of British seamen under the gui- 
dance of the resolute and skilful Captain Harvey; 
who never failed to acknowledge the interposition of 
Providence, in this signal and momentous overthrow 
of a design which the enemy had planned with so 
much skill. 

Orders having been sent from England for the 
Panther to take the first opportunity that offered, lor 
returning home; during the night of the second of 
July, the wind suddenly shifting to the eastward, 
Captain Harvey immediately prepared to get under 
weigh ; and before day-break his ship was clear of the 
enemy's squadron. The garrison were in the morn- 
ing much surprised that the Panther was not to be 
seen ; and o-reatly mortified was Don Barcello when 

c* */ 

he perceived that Captain Harvey had eluded all Ins 
vigilance: on the twenty-fifth the Panther arrived at 
Spithead, having captured a Spanish packet in her 

Sir Samuel Hood, in the month of November fol- 
lowing, was sent to the West Indies to reinforce Sir 


G. B. Rodney with a squadron, which the Panther 
joined : they arrived at Barhadoes on the seventh of 
January, 1781. Captain Harvey was present at the 
subsequent capture of St. Eustatia, February the 
third; and on the evening- of the same day joined his 
Majesty's ships, the Monarch and Sybille, under the 
command of Captain Francis Reynolds (Lord Ducie), 
in pursuit of a Dutch convoy, richly laden, that had 
sailed only thirty-six hours before the arrival of Sir 
G. B. Rodney. The next morning, at day-break, 
they hove in sight of them, and soon captured the 
whole fleet of' merchantmen, together with a sixty 
gun ship that was in company. 

. From this time, to the first of August, 1781, the 
Panther continued cruising anong the different 
islands : when, as she was an ol<; ship, considerably 
weakened by being constantly a: sea, Sir George 
Rodney sent her home with the Triumph, Captain 
Stair Douglas, as convoy to a large fleet of merchant 
ships, then under sailing orders. During the passage 
they experienced much blowing weather, with thick 
fogs: though the enemy's fleet was at sea to intercept 
them, they happily brought the whole of the convoy 
(one hundred and thirty-five vessels) safe into Cork, 
the place of their destination. In the month of Ja- 
nuary, 1782, the Panther was ordered into Dock at 
Portsmouth ; when Captain Harvey was appointed 
to the command of the Sampson, of sixty four guns. 

During the ensuing spring of this year, Lord 
Hov.e, having been advanced to the rank of a peer 
of Great Britain, was appointed to command the 
fleet destined for the relief of Gibraltar. Captain 
Ilarvev in the Sampson, who had been cruising wi'h 
different squadrons on home stations, received onK-is 
to pur himself under his lordship's Hag. With what 
superior lustre the professional skill of our brave sea- 
men, and their admiral, shone forth on this occasion 
is well known, nevertheless Captain Harvey was in- 
ferior to no one either in courage or in conduct. 


Don Louis l)e Cordova, the Spanish admiral, with 
his flag 1 on board the Santa Trinidada, showed consi- 
derable skill in the composition of his official account 
of the proceedings of the combined squadron under 
his command on this occasion ; yet appeared insen- 
sible to the judicious manoeuvres of the British fleet. 
He however described the stormy night of the tenth 
of October, witli which both fleets had to struggle, 
in much stronger colours than his brave adversary 
Lord Howe, who had other events to narrate:--- 
" Night came on, and with it a furious tempest, 
which lasted until seven o'clock next morning, and 
put all the ships in the greatest danger of being 
wrecked on the coast, or of being dashed to pieces 
against each other : in such circumstances it was not 
easy to procure new anchors ; especially as all the 
small vessels which could have performed that service 
had been removed from the line of battle. It was 
only by dint of assiduous labour that we preserved 
ourselves from the greatest part of the danger which 
threatened us." 

Notwithstanding such tempestuous weather, the 
British fleet on the morning of the eleventh entered 
the Straits ; and contending with repeated difficul- 
ties, at length, on the eighteenth, accomplished the 
arduous service of relieving the garrison. 

On leaving Gibraltar, Captain Harvey was ordered 
by Lord Howe to take under his command the Crown. 
Vigilant, Andromache, and Minerva; and to cruise 
for a month according to his own judgment : they 
accordingly parted from the British fleet on the first of 
November, and readied Spithead on the seventh of 
the ensuing month, after an unsuccessful cruise. 

Captain Harvey had now attained a very high pro- 
fessional char.icter, and had greatly attracted the no- 
tice of Lord Howe, not only by the zeal with which 
he executed his duty, but also by the skill he displayed, 
when firmness and presence of mind were required : 
he had so far recommended himself to this discerning 


patron of merit, that, with a view to being appointed 
to Lord Howe'^s ship, the Victory, he was soon su- 
perseded in the Sampson : but, the peace that took 
place in 1783, prevented his commission from being 

When a rupture with France seemed inevitable, in 
the year 1/87, Captain Harvey, at the particular re- 
quest of Lord Howe, who then presided at the Admi- 
ralty, undertook to superintend the impress-service at 
Deal; with the express condition, that a ship should 
be reserved for him at Chatham. So beneficial and 
salutary were the regulations which Captain Harvey 
made in this service, that Lord Howe offered him a 
guard-ship at Chatham ; and he, in consequence, on 
the 21st of November, 1788, was commissioned to 
the Arrogant, of seventy-four guns. This ship hav- 
ing been attached to the western squadron, during 
both the Spanish and Russian armaments, was paid 
off on the 14th of September, 1791; when Captain 
Harvey again returned to the solace of a domestic 
life, and to enjoy that happiness, he soon was called 
on to sacrifice upon the altars of his country. 

At the commencement of the last eventful war, 
Captain John Harvey pressed forward in the path of 
naval glory, regardless of the bourne to which it 
sometimes leads, and addressed to the Admiralty, in 
the most anxious terms, his desire to be soon em- 
ployed. The talents of such a man were too well 
known, to suffer any delay to paralyse his earnest 
wishes for active service ; he was soon appointed to 
the Magnificent, but did not join her; as, in conse- 
quence of the particular request of Lord Howe, he 
was appointed soon afterwards, February 7th, 17P3, 
to the Brunswick, a seventy-four of a large and parti- 
cular construction, with a complement of six hundred 
and fifty men. Lord Howe's sentiments on this oc- 
casion will best appear from the following extract of 
a letter sent by Mr. Brett, his lordship's confidential 
friend, to Captain Harvey : 


" As his lordship has an idea, occasions might 

arise, wherein it might be more convenient for him 
to shift his flag into a two-decked ship ; in that case 
lie would prefer the Brunswick, and, therefore, wishes 
to have a captain in her with whom he is acquainted ; 
and has authorized me to ask you whether it would 
be agreeable to you to be appointed to her, in case 
he can get it done." 

Lord Howe sailed from Spithead on the 14th of 
July, 1793 ; but during that, and several subsequent 
cruises, nothing particularly worthy of notice occur- 
red until the memorable 29th of May, 1794; when 
the British and French fleets commenced that contest 
for the sovereignty of the ocean which terminated 
with such glory to Great Britain on the 1st of June. 

On the 29th of May, 1794, the Brunswick being 
to leeward of the line, Captain Harvey, after using his 
utmost endeavours, found it impossible to take his 
proper station, as second to the Queen Charlotte ; 
but resolving, as he said, " to have a berth some- 
where !" he tried to get in between several of our 
ships; and, hailing the Culloden, he desired the cap- 
tain to shorten sail, when he pushed the Brunswick 
in between her and the Montague, about the seventh 
ship from the rear; and in that station received the 
fire of the French line, as the fleets passed each other. 
Perceiving his friend, Captain Bazely, in the Alfred, 
hard pressed by an eighty gun ship, Captain Harvey 
bore down to his assistance, and obliged the French 
ship to quit the Alfred, and follow her own fleet. On 
the 30th and 31st, the weather being very thick and 
hazy, no engagement took place. 

On the 1st of June, the Brunswick was in her sta- 
tion, and had continued close to the Queen Char- 
lotte's stern all night; the instant the signal was 
made for every ship to bear down, and engage her 
opponent to windward or leeward, as circumstances 
would admit, the Brunswick's helm was put up at 



the same time with the Queen Charlotte's, and both 
ships ran down together for the centre of the French 
line. The signal being thrown out to make more 
sail, to shut in the angle of fire from the rear as soon 
as possible, both ships dropped their foresails ; and the 
Brunswick's being first down, brought her rather 
a-head of the Charlotte, and covered that ship from 
the galling fire of the centre and rear of the enemy's 
fleet : but she suffered severely by it, for the cockpit 
was filled with wounded men before a single shot was 
fired from the Brunswick. 

Lord Howe, cutting through the French line, close 
under the Montague's stern, raked the Jacobin a-head 
with his starboard-guns; it was Captain Harvey's in- 
tention to pass between the Jacobin and the next 
ship, that he might engage his proper opponent, as 
second to the commander in chief; but the enemy lay 
in such close order, that the Brunswick was obliged to 
bear up for an opening, which presented itself be- 
tween Le Patriot the third, and Le Vengeur the 
fourth ship, from La Montague. The latter, endea- 
vouring to frustrate this design, shot a-head ; which 
being observed by Captain Harvey, he kept his helm 
a port, and the two antagonists were immediately laid 
alongside each other the starboard anchors of the 
Brunswick hooking into the fore-chains of Le Ven- 

When the master informed Captain Harvey of this, 
and asked whether he should cut Le Vengeur clear, 
liis animated reply was, " No ! we have got her, and 
we will keep her! 1 ' So closely were they grappled, 
that the crew of the Brunswick, unable to haul up 
eight of her starboard ports from the third port abaft, 
were obliged to fire through then) : thus situated, 
they went of)' large from both fleets, hotly engaged 
in an hour and ten minutes they were about a mile 
to lecu'ard of the French fleet: when the smoke dis- 
pnv.hnv for a. fe.\v minutes, they perceived a FVench 
);ne of batdc ship, with IUT rigging and decks covered 


with men ready for boarding, and gathering upon 
their larboard quarter. Captain Harvey immediately 
ordered the lower deck to prepare for receiving her; 
the men from the five after-starboard guns were in- 
stantly turned over to the larboard. The French ship 
being now within musket reach, a double headed 
shot was added to each gun, already loaded with 
single thirty-two pounders : the \vord was then given 
to fire and re-load as quick as possible: at the same 
time continuing to engage Le Vengeur with the star- 
board guns forwards. When about live or six rounds 
had deeu poured in, the gallant crew of the Bruns- 
wick had the satisfaction to behold first the fore- 
mast, and then the other masts go by the board. 
Many of the crew fell into the sea, and implored as- 
sistance ; but Le Vengeur still required so much at- 
tention, that it \vas impossible to afford them any 

The joy which was experienced on board the Bruns- 
wick, from disabling their new assailant, may easily 
be conceived ; but what words can express their glow 
of soul, when, in about an hour after this successful 
event, word was passed throughout the ship "The 
brave Captain Henry Harvey, in the Ramillies, is 
coming to the support of his gallant brother" The 
air resounded with their cheers. 

As the Ramillies stood towards the Brunswick, the 
crew of the former made signs, by waving, to cut 
Le Vengeur a-drift, that she might drop, and receive 
the fire of the Ramillies. 

A most tremendous broadside was poured into 
her ; every shot of which seemed to take place : 
this was followed by a sccord, equally animated ; 
and then the Ramillies made sail for another French 
ship, bearing down upon them, and went off engaging 

Previously to this, the rudder of Le Vengeur had 
been split, by some well-directed shot from the 
Brunswick; her stern-post had also been shivered, 


and such havoc made in her counter, that the water 
was rapidly pouring in. When the llamillies left 
them, the Brunswick was lying across the bows of 
her opponent ; and in that position kept up a steady 
raking fire, until the fore and main-mast of Le Ven- 
geur went by the board, dragging the head of the 
mizen-mast with them. This dreadful conflict had 
now continued for two hours and a half: the crew 
of the Brunswick with the greatest coolness at one 


time driving home the coins, watching attentively 
the rising of the enemy's ship to fire below the water- 
line; and at another withdrawing the coins to elevate 
the muzzles of their guns, and rip up the decks of 
Le Vengeur. 

At length the French ship was obliged to confess 
the superiority of our professional skill, and to yield 
to British valour; her colours having been shot away. 
she hoisted an English jack in token of submission, 
and implored assistance. The boats of the Bruns- 
wick had all been shot to pieces ; no relief, therefore 
could by her be given to the vanquished opponent. 
Le Vengeur sunk between three and four o'clock ; 
and though every exertion that humanity could dic- 
tate was made, onlv two hundred of the crew were 
saved the remainder, in number about six hundred, 
went to the bottom in the ship. 

The Brunswick was now left a dismal wreck her 
mizen and fore-top-gallant-mast gone ; the bowsprit 
cut two-thirds through, near the lower gammon; the 
main-mast greatly crippled ; the fore-mast in a simi- 
lar state, with a deep wound three feet below the 
tressel- trees; all the running, and much of the 
standing rigging, shot away ; the sails torn to shreds; 
eight ports on the starboard side wanting of their 
batteries; the starboard quarter-gallery entirely ground 
off; twenty-three guns dismounted; three anchors 
carried away from the starboard bow ; the best 
bower, with the cat-head, towing under her bottom, 
untl all the yards in a shuttered state, The ship hav- 


ing been on fire three times, the hammocks taking 
fire on the gang-way, were partly cat over-board, 
and the quick-work, just before the gang-way, was 
much burnt and splintered. The loss she sustained 
in her crew \vas considerable ; forty-seven of them 
were killed, and one hundred and eighteen were badly 
wounded. Their wounds in general were peculiarly 
distressing and severe, being lacerated by langridge 
shot of raw ore, and old nails ; stink-pots were 
thrown into the port-holes; which occasioned the 
most painful excoriations : burning and scalding the 

I * CT> O 

faces and arms of the British sailors in so shocking a 


manner, that they anxiously wished for death to ter- 
minate their agonies. 

In this forlorn state the opinion of the officers 
was taken ; when it was unanimously agreed that 
they could not possibly join the British fleet. They 
now perceived, at the extent of the French line, two 
ships in tolerable condition, that threatened to bear 
down to the Brunswick : next them lay all the dis- 
masted ships, and those that had struck; and on the 
larboard and weather quarter, appeared the remain- 
der of the French ships, veering under each other. 
It was imagined also, that these ships were preparing 
to attack, the Brunswick and the Queen, about two 
miles to windward of the former, in order to cut them 
both off. Captain Harvey, who was severely wound- 
ed, on being informed of the supposed intention of 
the enemy, gave his express commands, that the 
Brunswick, if attacked, should be defended to the 
last extremity ; all his officers had but one sentiment. 
on i he occasion. The French, however, made no 
attempt upon the Brunswick; and, therefore, finding- 
it impossible to regain their station, it. was judged 
necessary, in order to save the ship, to bear away for 
port : favoured by Providence, and good weather, 
she first made Cape Clear, in Ireland ; and then 
coasting it up the Channel; anchored on the evening 


of the eleventh nt St. Helen's; and the next morn- 
ing proceeded to Spithead. 

As our biographical memoir draws towards its close, 
it will powerfully awaken the commiserating regard of 
every reader, and recall to the memory of the brave 
companions of Captain Harvey, the heroic fortitude, 
and patient endurance, which this illustrious officer 
displayed in his last moments, 

lie was wounded earl}' in the action by a musket 
ball, which tore away p-irt of his right hand; but 
this he carefully concealed, and bound the wound up 
in his handkerchief. Some time after this he received 
a violent contusion in the loins, which laid him almost 
lifeless on the deck : from this severe blow he however 
rallied his strength of mind, and continued on the 
quarter deck, directing and conducting the action ; 
until a double-headed shot splitting, struck his right 
arm near the elbow, and shattered it to pieces : this 
seems to have been about half past eleven, just after 
his encounter with L'Achille. Growing faint through 
loss of blood, he was now compelled to retire; but 
\vhen assistance was offered to conduct him below, he 
nobly refused it, ' l I will not have a single man leave 
his quarters on my account! my legs still remain to 
bear me down into the cockpit.""' In this wounded and 
shattered state, lie essayed to go : when casting a 
languid, yet affectionate look towards his brave crew, 
" Persevere, my brave lads, in your duty ! continue 
the action with spirit for the honour of our King and 
Countrv; and remember my last words," " The 
Colours of the Brunswick shall never be struck !" 

When he at length had reached the surgeon, sur- 
rounded by the maimed and dying', who were involved 
in F,nu:ke and suHhur, lie displayed a fortitude that 
nothing could aifcct, ;ir.;i a Underlie^ of arfection to- 
wards his crew, which all the anguish <-f liis wounds 
could not diminish. About sun-. set it was found nc- 
ctcsaiy to amputate his arm above the elbcnv. Oa 


the Brunswick's arrival at Spithead, Captain Harvey 
was the next morning conveyed on shore at Ports- 
mouth ; where, after bearing the most excruciating 
pain with Christian resignation, he was released from 
this world and lost to his country, on the SOth of 

His remains being carried to Eastry in Kent, were 
deposited, with every respect an affectionate sorrow 
could bestow, in a vault in that church; and the 
following inscription points out the hallowed spot to 

" In a vault, near this place, are deposited the 
remains of Captain John Harvey, late Commander of 
his Majesty's ship Brunswick; who, after gloriously 
supporting the honour of the British Navy, on the 
memorable 1st of June, 1794, under Earl Howe, 
died at Portsmouth, on the SOth of the same month, 
in consequence of the wounds he received in the en- 
gagement ; aged fifty-three. 

" The House of Commons, to perpetuate his most 
gallant conduct on that day of victory, unanimously 
voted a monument to his memory in Westminster Ab- 
bey ; his untimely death only, prevented his being 
honoured in the flag promotions which took place on 
that occasion. 

" In him his afflicted family, and numerous friends, 
have sustained an irreparable loss ; his public charac- 
ter being only equalled by his private virtues." 



WAS the eldest son of Constantine, created Baron 
Mulgrave, of Xew Hoss, in the county of \Vex- 
iord and kingdom of Ireland, by writ of privy seal, 
da led at St. James's, August the 8th, 1/67, and by 
patent, at Dublin, on the 3d of September following;. 


The mother of the noble lord, whose memoirs we arc 
about to give, was Lepell, eldest daughter to John, 
Lord Hervey, of Ickworth, son of John, lirst earl of 
Bristol. His lordship was bom on the 30th of May, 
1744, and, having made choice of a maritime life, 
entered into the sea-service at a very early age. He 
was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on the 17th 
of March, 1762; but no particular information rela- 
tive to him has come to our knowledge during the 
time he continued in this rank, or the superior one of 
commander, to which he was advanced on the 24th 
of November, 1763. On the 20th of June, 1765, 
lie was raised to the rank of post-captain, and ap- 
pointed to the Terpsichore frigate ; but, excepting 
the mere date of the commission just given, we know 
no particulars whatever relative to him. In 1767, 
he was captain of the Boreas, of twenty-eight guns, 
then employed as a cruising frigate, but did not long 
continue to retain this command. At the general 
election in 1768, he was, after a very strong contest 
with Mr. Vyner, chosen one of the representatives 
for the city of Lincoln, and very soon became distin- 
guished as a speaker, but does not appear to have 
held any subsequent naval commission till the begin- 
ning of the year 1773, when an expedition to the 
North Pole having been undertaken, by the advice 
of the Royal Societv, as well for the purpose of as- 
certaining to what degree of latitude it was possible 
to penetrate, as of making some astronomical obser- 
vations which might be serviceable to navigation, 
and advance the discovery of a north-east passage 
into the South Seas, Captain Phipps was proposed 
as an officer in every way qualified to command so 
difficult and dangerous an expedition. Of this ex- 
pedition we have given a full account in vol. v. 

Captain Phipps, in consequence of the death of his 
father, which happened on the 13th of September, 
177.5, succeeded to the title of Lord Mulgravc, and, 
ill the year 1777, he was chosen representative in 


parliament, in consequence of bis friendship and con- 
nexion with the earl of Sandwich, for the town of 
Huntingdon. At the close of the same year, that is to 
say, on the 4th of December, he was appointed one of 
the commissioners for executing the office of lord-hiq-h 

vJ vTJ 

admiral, a station which he uninterruptedly held, 
through four commissions, till the general political 
convulsion, which caused him to quit it on the 30th 
of March, 1782. Soon after the commencement of 
the dispute with the American colonies, his lordship 
was appointed to the Ardent, of sixty guns, one of 
the ships employed to cruise in the Bay of Biscay, as 
well as off other parts of the coast of France, for the 
double purpose of watching the naval armaments of 
that country, and of restraining the commerce of the 
colonies; but a short time before the actual com- 
mencement of hostilities with the former power, his 
lordship was promoted to the Courageux, of seventy- 
four guns. 

In this ship he served during the whole of the 
war, except at intervals, where his attendance in par- 
liament, or the indispensable attention to the station 
he held, of commissioner of the Admiralty-board, ren- 
dered his absence from command necessary, anil 
caused, as was sometimes the case, the Courageux to 
be sent to sea under an acting captain. To enume- 
rate the most material occasions on which hi.s name 
is mentioned, as concerned he was present at the 
encounter with the French fleet, off Ushant, on the 
27th of July, 1778, and very materially engaged, 
having had nineteen men killed or wounded Being 
one of the witnesses examined on the trial of Admi- 
ral Keppel, which took place in the ensuing spring, 
a long and disagreeable altercation, carried on with 

o ' 

considerable warmth on both sides, arose between his 
lordship and Admiral Montague, one of the members 
of the court : the dispute terminated, however, with- 
out being productive of any serious consequences. 
During the year 1779? as well as the succeeding, 


no extraordinary occurrence appears to have- fallen 
\vithin the sphere of his lordship's command. He 
continued constantly on the home or channel sta- 
tion, belonging to the fleet under the orders of 
Admiral Sir Charles Hardy ; and after the death 
of the gentleman last-mentioned, of Admiral Geary 
and Mr. Darby progressively, a period which, we 
have already had occasion to observe, owing to 
the cautious conduct, or very superior force, of 
the enemy, passed on without contest. At the 
conclusion of the year iirsi mentioned, his lord- 
ship was ordered out on a winter cruise in the Chan- 
nel, in company with the Valiant, a ship of the same 
force with his own. On the 4th of January, 1781, 
they fell in with two French frigates, one of which 


being chased by the Valiant, his lordship pursued 
the other, which proved to be the Minerva, of thirty- 
two guns, and three hundred and sixteen men, taken 
from the English, in tie V/csi Indies, at the com- 
mencement of the war. The sea ran extremely hii>ii 

t O 

at the time the Conrageux got up with the chase, a 
circumstance which encouraged the Chevalier De 
Grimouard, who commanded the enemy's ship, and 
in this instance, unfortunately for him, possessed a 
bravery, bordering on frenzy, to attempt a resistance 
which the smallest reflection must have convinced 
him, was not only intemperate, but nugatory and who 
futile. The Minerva did not sui render till after a 
most obstinate contest of an hour's continuance; by 
which time all her masts were rendered unservice- 
able; her hull very considerably damaged ; one of 
her lieutenants, with forty-nine of the crew, killed ; 
the captain himself, with his nephew and twenty-one 
other persons wounded, the greater part of them very 
dangerously. The Courageux, though far less in- 
jured in this very unequal, and frantic contest, a con- 
test prolonged in consequence of not one twentieth 
part of her shot having taken place owing to the 
great swell, had, nevertheless, ten men killed and 


seven wounded ; with her fore-mast, mizen-mast, and 
bolt-sprit, also very materially injured. The follow- 
ing is an extract of a letter from Lord Mulgrave to 
Mr. Stephens, dated Spithead, January 8, 1781. 

" I arrived here this morning with La Minerve, a 
French frigate of thirty-two guns, and three hundred 
and sixteen men, taken by the Courageux, in com- 
pany with the Valiant, on the 4th of this month, 
about three in the afternoon, Ushant bearing east, 
distant fourteen leagues. She had sailed from Brest 
on the 3d, with La Pine, L' Aigrette, and La Dili- 
gente, to cruise for a fortnight off Scilly. The Che- 
valier De Grimouard, who commanded her, did not 
strike till she had been for about an hour under the 
fire of our broadside, within musket-shot. From the 
ships being so near each other, the few shots fired by 
the trio-ate in the course of that time necessarily took 

O v 

place, by which the Courageux had ten men killed, 
and seven wounded. The fore-mast, mizen-mast, and 
bow-sprit, are damaged. On board La Minerve, 
Mons. Audrieu, one of the lieutenants, and forty- 
nine men, were killed, and twenty-three wounded, 
amongst whom, it is with great concern that I men- 
tion, the Chevalier Grimouard, and his nephew, Mons. 
Nossay, both I fear very dangerously. All her masts 
were rendered unserviceable, and the hull much da- 
maged. The Valiant parted from us in chase of one 
of the other frigates. The disabled state of the prize 
made it absolutely necessary to tow her into port." 

In this engagement, Lord Mulgrave had a very 
narrow escape. His valet stood at his left hand, and 
was in some conversation with his master, when a 
cannon-ball came, and struck him dead at the noble 
lord's feet. 

The frigate proved an important capture, as she 
had on board all the signals for the French squadron, 
iii the West Indies; and Lord Mulgrave thought so 
highly of the gallantry of her captain, who fortu- 
natelv recovered from his wound-:, that he wrote a 


letter to the French minister of the Marine, praising 
the conduct of the Chevalier De Grimouard during 
the action, and recommending him to further promo- 
tion, which was attended with the desired effect. So 
noble-minded an instance of generosity towards an 
enemy, reflects great honour on the character of 
Lord Mulgrave, and bespeaks him a man gifted with 
the finest qualities of the heart. 

Soon after his return into port, and his consequent 
refitment, he was sent, with another ship of the same 
force, and some others of inferior rate, to make an 
attempt on the Dutch port of Flushing; but, owing 
to information received by the enemy, previous to 
any attack, or even the preparations for one, the 
whole design \\ r as obliged to be abandoned. 

o o 

Early in the ensuing spring, his lordship accom- 
panied Vice-admiral Darby with the fleet to Gibral- 
tar; but neither on this, nor any subsequent occasion, 
is he particularly noticed during the remainder of the 
war, except as having accompanied Lord Howe, and 
the main fleet, to Gibraltar in 1782. In the slight 
encounter which took place off the Straits with 
the combined fleet on the 20th of October, he led 
the division of the commander in chief, and had one 
midshipman killed, together with four seamen wound- 
ed. Peace took place in a few weeks after the return 
of the fleet into port, and the Courageux being, con- 
sequently, paid off, was put out of commission early 
in the ensuing spring: after which. \ve do not believe 
his lordship ever to have accepted of any naval com- 

He continued to represent the town of Hunting- 
don from the time lie was first chosen, till the general 
election in 1784, when he was returned for the town 
of Newark- upon-Trent. In the month of April 1784, 
he was appointed to the high station of joint pay- 
master-general of the forces ; and, on the 18th of the 
ensuing month, one of the commissioners for ma- 
naging the affairs of the East India Company; both 


which offices, together with that of a lord of the 
committee of council, appointed by his Majesty for 
the consideration of all matters relative to trade and 
foreign plantations, he continued to hold till 1791. 
On the 1 6th of June 1790, he was raised to the dig- 
nity of a peer of Great Britain hy the same title he 
had hefore held in Ireland, hut did not long continue 
to enjoy this accumulation of honours, dying on the 
10th of October, 1792. 

His character has heen thus drawn in the Naval 
Chronicle : 

" At sea he joined humanity to the strictest disci- 
pline. The meritorious officer found in him a liberal 
patron; the sober and active sailor a warm friend. 
Nor did he forsake them onshore: his grave was 
bedewed with the tears of the veteran tar, and the 
seaman's widow. Ardently attached to science, and 
a steady friend to merit, his regard was shewn more 
to the arts which contribute to utility, than to those 
which tend only to embellishment. He was cautious 
and tardy in his professions, but his promise, once 
made, was inviolable. 

" In his private life, those who saw him at a distance 
thought him rough and sullen ; but on a nearer ap- 
proach, through the hardy features of the British tar, 
shone forth the beni<niitv and urbanity of the accom- 

O *- v 

plished gentleman. ll:s tender regret for the prema- 
ture death of his most amiable lady, it is to be feared, 
greatly contributed to shorten a most valuable life. 
In fraternal a tree t ion he was almost beyond example, 
and it was returned with veneration and love. His 
table was most hospitable and convivial; there, among 
his select friends, he was confessedly superior. His 
wit, especially in repartee, was brilliant and keen, 
but never gave pain, and, what must ever be men- 
tioned to his honour, lie scorned to borrow it from 
the polluted sources of indecency or infidelity. As a 
landlord, his character was singularly benevolent and 
humane, and he was adored by his tenants, into 


whose houses he would frequently go, asking them 
about their affairs with the most en'rao-ing conde- 

O O O 


The following elegant and spirited picture, drawn, 
by Lord Mulgrave, of the character of his relation 
the earl of Bristol, is so descriptive of himself, that 
we should be highly censurable were we to omit in- 

C? v 

setting it here : 

" His constant employment in active service from 
his first going to sea, till the close of the American 
war, had furnished ample matter for experience, from 
which his penetrating genius and just observation, 
had deduced that extensive and systematic know- 
ledge of minute circumstances and important princi- 
ples, which is necessary to form an expert seaman 
and a shining officer: with the most consummate 
professional skill, he possessed the most perfect cou- 
rage that ever fortified a heart, or brightened a cha- 
racter ; he loved enterprise, he was cool in danger, 
collected in distress, decided in difficulties, ready and 
judicious in his expedients, and persevering in his 
determinations; his orders in the most critical situa- 
tions, and for the most various objects, were delivered 
with firmness and precision which spoke a confidence 
in their propriety, and facility in their execution, 
that insured a prompt and successful obedience in 
those to whom they were addressed. 

" Such was his character as an officer, which made 
him deservedly conspicuous in a profession, as ho- 
nourable to the individual, as important to the public: 
nor was he without those qualifications and abilities, 
which could give full weight to the situation in which 
his rank and connexions had placed him in civil life; 
his early entrance into his profession had, in some 
measure, deprived him of the advantages of a classical 
education; this defect was, however, more than ba- 
lanced by the less ornamental, but mi; re solid, in- 
struction of the school he studied in : as a member 
of parliament, he was an eloquent, though not a cor- 


reet speaker: those who differed from him in politics, 
confessed the extent of his knowledge, the variety of 
his information, and the foree of his reasoning, at 
the same time that they admired the ingenuity \\iih 
which he applied them to the support of his opinions, 

" He was not more eminent for those talents hy 
which a country is served, than distinguished by 
those qualities which render a man useful, respected, 
esteemed, and beloved, in society. In the general 
intercourse of the world, he was an accomplished 
gentleman and agreeable companion ; his manners 
were noble as his birth, and engaging as his disposi- 
tion ; he was humane, benevolent, compassionate, 
and generous; his humanity was conspicuous in his 
profession ; when exercised towards the seamen, 
the sensibility and attention of a commander they 
adored were the most flattering relief that could be 
afforded to the sufferings or distresses of those wiio 
served with him; when exerted towards her enemies, 
it did honour to his country, by exemplifying, in the 
most striking manner, that generosity which is the 
peculiar characteristic, and most distinguished virtue, 
of a brave, free, and enlightened people. In other 
situations, his liberality was extensive without osten- 
tation, and generally bestowed where it would be 
most felt and Inst seen, upon modest merit and silent 

In consequence of his lordship having left no issue, 
the English title became extinct; but, in 1794, it 
was revived in the person of his brother, the Right 
Honourable Henry Phipps, now Lord Mulgrave of 
the kingdom of Great Britain, as well as of Ireland. 


THE name of Faulknor, which has descended from 
an ancient family in Hampshire, claims pre-eminence 
in the naval history of the British Isles. From the 


close of the seventeenth century, and as it would ap- 
pear even previous to that time, it has uniformly 
adorned the list of our Admiralty. 

Captain Faulknor's great grandfather, was William 
Faulknor, Esq. who in the year, I6y5, appears as 
fourth lieutenant of the Royal William. On the 17th 
of March, 1707, he was advanced to the rank of 
captain, with the command of the Torhay. He was 
afterwards removed into a frigate; and, in 1715, was 
appointed to the Cumberland, of 80 guns, under the 
flag of Admiral Sir J. Norris, commander of the Bal- 
tic fleet. In 1720 he commanded the Sandwich, of 
90 guns, on the same station, and under the same 
Admiral. He was afterwards, in 1722, for a short 
time, Master Attendant of Woolwich Yard ; and 
died Lieutenant-Governor of Greenwich Hospital, on 
the 2Sth of February, 1724-5. 

Our hero's grandfather, Samuel Faulknor, Esq. 
was captain of the Victory, with Admiral Sir .). Nor- 
ris'.s flag on board, in the spring of 1741 : previously 
to this, in the same year, Captain S. Faulknor had 
commanded the Royal Sovereign, and, in 1736', the 
Britannia. It was in 1744, that he attended Admiral 
Balchen, Governor of Greenwich Hospital, with his 
flag on board the Victory, and sailed with a fleet of 
British and Dutch ships from St. Helen's for Lisbon, 
on the C 28th of July. During that fatal voyage they 
took six French ships from St. Domingo, and obliged 
M. De Rochambeau to retire into Cadiz. On the 3d 
of October they were overtaken by a dreadful gale, 
which dispersed the ileet ; and, during the night, be- 
tween the 4th and 5th of the same month, the Vic- 
tory, then considered the finest ship in the world, was 
lost, as supposed on a ridge of rocks called the 
Casketts, off Alderney. No boat could venture to 
their assistance. The whole crew perished, amount- 
ing to nearly a thousand men ; besides fifty young vo- 
lunteers, sons of the first families in the kingdom. 
It was afterwards said, that the loss of this ship was 


in a great measure owing to her having heen huilt too 
lofty for her breadth ; which probably was the truth ; 
as our principles of naval architecture, at thai period, 
were very erroneous. 

The next ancestor of the subject of our present 
meTnoir, was an uncle, who also bore the name of 
Samuel, and distinguished himself in 1746, as comman- 
der of the Vulture sloop. He was afterwards made post. 

On the 2 1st of April, in the same year, 1746, Cap- 
tain Faulknor having obtained his post-rank, was ap- 
pointed to the Amazon frigate, of twenty guns, and 
afterwards into the Fox frigate, of twenty guns, and 
one hundred and sixty men, in which he sailed to 
Jamaica: during the hurricane 011 the llth of Sep- 
tember, 1751, the Fox was lost, but Captain Faulk- 
nor, and the greater part of his crew were saved. 
He returned to England during the summer of 1752, 

O O 

and was again appointed to a twenty gun ship called 
the Hind, and early in 1755, to the Lyne, also of 
twenty guns. In the spring of the same year he re- 
ceived his commission for the Windsor, of sixty guns ; 
and distinguished himself in the cruising service on 
various occasions, particularly on the 17th of April, 
1758, when he chased two French frigates, and three 
storeships, until he captured the Grand St. Pierre; 
and on the 27th of March, 1751), when being off 
the rock of Lisbon, he attacked four large French 
ships, and took the Due de Chartres, East-India- 
nian. This gallant officer died on the 28th of May, 

Our hero had another uncle in Admiral Jonathan 
Faulknor, who had been made lieutenant on the 24th 
of August, 1753. On the 28th of September, 1758, 
he was made commander, and was appointed to the 
Furnace bombketch, under Commodore Keppel, in 
the Goree expedition. On the 9th of July, 1759, he 
appears as Captain of the Mercury, a twenty-gun 
ship, in which he sailed to the West Indies. In 1767 he 



was appointed to the Superb, of seventy-four guns, the 
flag-shipof Rear-Admiral Sir John Moore, who then had 
the command at Portsmouth. The Superb soon after- 
wards was ordered to the Mediterranean ; and on her 
return, with a regiment which had been stationed at 
Minorca, she was nearly lost, owing to the care^ess- 
ness of the pilot who had undertaken to conduct her 
into Cork harbour. 

Captain Faulknor was next appointed to the Royal 
Oak, of 74 guns, in 1777 ; and in 1778 sailed under 
the flag of Admiral Keppcl, as second captain of the 
Victory. On this memorable service he received 
the highest commendations for his cool intrepidity, 
from the commander, and from Admiral Campbell, 
who was Captain of the fleet ; and was sent home 
with the dispatches. In 1782, he was appointed to 
the Princess Royal, of ninety-eight guns, and proceeded 
with Lord Howe's fleet to the relief of Gibraltar: 
where he was stationed as one of the seconds to the 
commander- in-chief. Captain Faulknor afterwards 
continued in the Princess Royal as a guard-ship at 
Portsmouth ; and was appointed to the Triumph, of 
seventy-four guns, on the same service. He was ad- 
vanced to the rank of rear-admiral of the white, 
on the 24th of September, 1787; rear-admiral of the 
red, September 21, 1/1)0; vice of the blue, February 
1st, 1793; vice of the white, April 12, 1794 ; vice, 
of the red, on the 12th of July following; and ad- 
miral of the blue on the 1st of June, 1795. Dur- 
ing the whole of these periods he resided chiefly at 
Havant-park, in Hampshire; but on receiving his 
last promotion, he came to London, in order to be 
presented. He arrived there on the evening of the 
122d of June in the above year ; and to the grief of ail 
who knew him, was struck on the following morning 
with a lit of apoplexy, while engaged in conversation 
at the Hon. Colonel Stanhope's, in Park-lane, who 
warned his niece. He lived onlv till the next day, 


The following tribute to bis memory appeared in tbe 
public prints: " By bis death the country has lost 
a most gallant and meritorious officer, and bis family 
an excellent father and friend. His well known nau- 
tical abilities, and extensive knowledge in his profes- 
sion, are above panegyric, and his name will be revered 
to future ages." 

This short account of tbe naval ancestors of our hero 
is closed with some interesting anecdotes relative to 
his gallant father, Captain Robert Faulknor, brother 
to the late Admiral Jonathan Faulknor; the intimate 
and honoured friend of the Lords Anson and Howe, 
and of the Admirals Barring-ton and Cornwallis. Mr. 
Robert Faulknor was tbe son of the unfortunate cap- 
tain of the Victory, Samuel Faulknor, Esq. who was 
drowned with Sir John Baichcn. He was born in 
1726, and being always destined for the navy, entered 
it when very young. At the siege of Carthagena, 174 1, 
then in his fifteenth year, he served as a volunteer on 
board the Galicia prize, of seventy guns, taken by 
Captain Knowles. which Admiral Vernon had ordered 
to be prepared as a floating battery, mounting sixteen 
guns eighteen and twelve-pounders, and commanded 
by Captain Hore. This ship was manned with volun- 
teers from the different ships ; and from the manner 
in which she was fitted up, having her merlons filled 
with earth and sand, drew full as much water as some 
of our eighty gun ships. In this perilous service Mr. 
Faulknor received a severe wound, from the effects of 
which lie never entirely recovered ; sixteen splinters 
of bone were taken from his ankle. Mr. Faulknor 
was made lieutenant soon afterwards, and among other 
service, was in the en^a^emcnt between Admiral Bvny 

" O / v_) 

and M. De Galissioniere, May 20, 1756. Soon after 
that aciion Lieutenant Faulknor was promoted to the 
rank of commander, in a sloop of war ; and, accord- 
ing to Mr. Cliarnock, was one of the witnesses on the 
memorable trial that ensued. In 1757, Captain Faulk- 
i;or was advanced to post rank, and held the com- 

D 2 


mand of the Marlborousrh. of ninctv suns, for a short 

O * v O ' 


During the year 17f>], Captain Faulknor, who 
then commanded the Bellona, of seventy-four guns 
and five hundred and fifty -eight men, whose crew had 
been previously well disciplined, by the brave Captain 
Dennis, in the Dorsetshire; distinguished himself in 
the most eminent manner, amidst the brilliant actions 
which then took place. On the 10th of August, Cap- 
tain Faulknor sailed from the Tagus, in company with 
the Brilliant, of thirty-six guns, Captain Loggie, 
with a considerable sum of money on board, belong- 
ing to the merchants. For the first three or four days, 
the wind though extremely moderate, continued fa- 
vourable for England. On Thursday evening, the 
13th, a little off Vigo, the wind veered about to the 
northward, when both ships were obliged to trim 
their sails sharp, and ply off and on, until next day, 
the 14th, when, in the afternoon, three sail were dis- 
covered in the oiling, standing in for the land. The 
enemy bore down on the English, with their top-gal- 
lant sails clewed up, until they came within about 
seven miles ; when, all of a sudden, they wore round, 
let fall their top-gallant sails, set their studding-sails, 
and crowded away before the wind, \rith all the can- 
vas they could carry. Chase was immediately given ; 
and being favoured by the moon, they could clearly 
discern the enemy during the whole of the night. At 
sun-rise the French ships were perceived near five 
miles a-head ; the Bellona, though at that time one 
of the best sailing ships in the service, and built only 
in the preceding year, having, in a long chase of four- 
teen or fifteen hours, gained little more than two miles. 
No sooner had the French Commodore, M. Du Gue 
Lambert, (in the Courageux, of seventy-four guns 
and seven hundred men, with the Malicicuse and Er- 
mine frigates, each of thirty-six guns,) a view of his 
opponents bv clear day-light, than he hoisted a red en- 
fcign in the mizen shrouds, as a signal for his frigates 


to close with, and en^ao-e the Brilliant; and hauling: 

7 O O ? O 

down his own studding-sails, wore round and stood 
for the Bellona, mistaking- her, as it \vould appear, for 
a fifty gun ship. As this was one of the most memo- 
rable actions in the splendid annals of the British navy, 
we give a more detailed account than has hitherto ap- 
peared, from a private letter sent from Commodore 
Johnstone, who commanded at Lisbon, to the late 
Lord Howe. 

" MY LORD, Ltibo?}, Sept. 4, 1701. 

" As I have always considered your lordship's cha- 
racter incapable of admitting the smallest spot of envy 
to sully its lustre; so I sincerely believe no man re- 
joices with greater warmth at the noble actions of 
others. It is from this consideration that I venture to 
send you some account of the taking the Courageux, 
by Captain Faulknor of the Beilona. His conduct 
naturally calls your lordship to my mind; and there- 
fore I hope it will prove the more agreeable, since it 
seems to confirm the method of attack which you. 
were pleased to illustrate at the beginning of this war. 
But I feel my own weakness 5 Who is capable of 
painting the lightning of Jupiter, or what words can 
convey the idea of his thunder? It was Apelles alone 
who could communicate those terrors among the an- 
cients ; it is your lordship's imagination that now must 
supply their place. 

" The Beilona, of seventy-four guns, Captain Faulk- 
nor, and the Brilliant, of thirty-six guns, Captain 
Loggie, sailed from Lisbon, with immense treasure on 
board. In passing by Cape Finisterre they had sight 
of the Courageux, of seventy-four guns, the Mali- 
cieuse, of thirty-six, and the Ermine, of the like 
number. These were returning full of wealth, and 
full of pride, from a successful voyage round the 
French West India Islands, in which they had made 
many prizes, having now eight ransomers on board.. 
The seventy-lour was commanded by Mons. Du One 
Lambert, who was esteemed the best officer in France, 


and bad been entrusted with discretionary power, un- 
der promise of \vbat be was to perform. The glory of 
this scheme departed on the issue of the battle. The 
French ships (intending for Vigo) bore down to make 
the British distinctly : the close of the evening left 
them uncertain, but rather inclined to believe both of 
the line of battle. The French fled ; the British pur- 
sued ; during a serene night, a pleasing gale, and 
every circumstance that could keep the imagination 
employed. The beams of Aurora discovered the force 
of the Brilliant. The French Commodore immediately 
shortened sail, and made the signal for the frigates 
to attack her. At six the combat be^an between 


those three; when Mons. Lambert, like a fair games- 
ter, hauled for the Bellona ; so that their bows pointed 
to each other: at the distance of two cables' length 
the enemy began to fire ; Captain Faulknor received 
his second broadside before he permitted a gun to be 
discharged ; this enabled him to lock the yards when 
he gave orders to begin. The execution (as I had it 
from the French) was incredible. They received two 
broadsides in that situation, when the Bellona backed 
astern, in order to run on the other side. In per- 
forming this, her mizen-mast went awav, and fell 

<J V ' 

directly over the stern ; several were bruised, none 
killed, and all the men in the top srot in at the gun 
room ports. The driver boom broke the fall ; this 
rather served to assist Captain Faulknor's scheme of 
wearing quickly under the Courageux's stern: and 
ranging on the other side: it was performed to a mi- 
racle : every gun was told on the quarter as they 
passed, till the Bellona was placed on the Courageux's 
bow, whose jib-boom was entangled in the other's fore 
shrouds. Here the guns were as quickly traversed, 
and as keenly plied. Taken in all directions, beat and 
buffctted on every quarter, her captain killed, her 
mizen-mast gone, her main-mast, wagging, her tiller 
rope cut, her quarters laid open, two hundred and 
forty of her crew caniagecl, one hundred and thirty 


Wounded, courage submitted to superior power, the 
main-mast fell with the flag. The action lasted fifty- 
ve minutes. 

" The prize was conducted into Lisbon, under the 
eyes of the King and Court, as well as those of every 
nation in Europe. The opposite shores were covered, 
from St. Julien's to the town, with millions of people. 
What is strange, the Bellona had onlv a few shots, 

O 7 *> 

which pierced her hull ; though shattered and torn in 
the sails and rigging. She lost but five men, and 
twenty wounded ! mostly by musket balls, and the 
tumbling of destruction. It is natural to enquire into 
the reason of this disproportion, and it is imputed, 
with truth, to superior management: for the ship was 
more shattered than the Formidable. She appears to 
have been appointed in every respect superior to any 
of the French captures which have fallen under my 
notice short guns, smooth cylinders, good powder, 
and grape well prepared ; clear of cabins and other 
obstructions; the oliicers regarded as the best in 
France ; the captain confident in his strength, and 
daily wishing for an opportunity to redeem the credit 
of his countiy : but the fact is, he was fairly out- 
worked. I can only compare the conduct of the Bel- 
lona to a dexterous gladiator, who not only plants his 
own blows with surety, but guards against the strokes 
of his antagonist. Fortune had little to say in the 
action ; because it appeared that every thing that hap- 
pened was told and foreseen. Each design was car- 
ried into execution : no confusion, no balk, no powder 
blown up, no cannon fired in vain. The people, it is 
true, had been twice in action: all the officers were 
of a superior class. The first lieutenant, Mr. Male, 
is not to be equalled for modesty or merit ; nor can 
the master be compared with anv of his corps. Cap- 
tain Faulknofs speech *, in the note below, to the 

I have been bred a soaimn from my youth, and consequently am 
no orator ; but I promise to carry you all near enouglij and then 


people, will explain what I mean, by saying every 
thing was foreseen : 

" Every action corresponded with the speech, which 
is the circumstance I admire the most. It appears 
wonderful to some, that so many men should be killed 
in so short a space. But on viewing the ship, that 
passion is called to account how any could escape. 
The force of a man of war when well applied, was 
never more evident. Your lordship will easily con- 
ceive this, who knows the slaughter committed in the 
Hero about the same time. 

" There is an anecdote of Faulknor, which I think 
not unworthy of being related even to your lordship. 
It is true, and it is natural ; and I think favours more 
of presence of mind, than some I have met with in 
noted histories : - 

" When the Bellona's mizen-mast went away, a 
fellow, looking afraid, cried out, " Oh Lord ! we have 
lost our mizen-mast ! Faulknor immediately replied, 
" What has a two-decked ship to do with a mizen-mast 
in time of action ? See, and knock away his mizen- 

" Not to interrupt the thread of the principal ac- 
tion, I seemed to have forgot poor Loggie in the Bril- 

you may speak for yourselves. Nevertheless, I think it necessary 
to acquaint you with the plan I propose to pursue in taking this 
ship, that you may be the better prepared to execute my orders with 
quickness and facility. French men of war have been taken with 
their guns lashed on the opposite side. They know little of this 
business; put them to management, and they run into confusion: 
for this reason, I propose to lead you close on the enemy's larboard 
quarter; when we will discharge two broadsides, and then back 
astern, and range upon the other quarter ; and so tell your guns 
as you pass. I recommend it all times to point chiefly at the quar. 
ters, with your guns slanting fore and aft : this is the principal 
part of a ship. If you kill the officers, break the rudder, and 
snap the braces, she is yours of course : but for this reason I de- 
sire you may only fire one round shot, and grape above, and two 
round shot only below ; take care and send them home with exact- 
ness. This is a rich ship : they will render you in rcturu their 
weight in gold. 


liant. We left him engaged with two. He never per- 
fectly closed with either, hut pursued his excellent 
plan of employing hoth, to prevent any from inter- 
fering with the Gladiators, who were fitted. He 
succeeded, and they left him. They are since got 
into Vigo. 

" The circumstance which amazes foreigners most 
in this affair, is the pursuing a superior force with so 
much money on board. It shows so much despite, so 
much confidence; and the issue appears so complete 
a proof, that even the French, on this occasion, yield 
with the tongue what they lost with the sword. When 
the second captain came on board, he told Faulknor, 
he had got a rich prize ! By Jove, says Bob, I gave 
you a chance for a better. There is 100,000/. in the 
hold; you might have divided, without agency. The 
man stood amazed, as he declared himself." 

During the action Captain Faulknor was induced 
from the heat to throw off his coat ; nor would he 
listen to his officers, who fearing it might prove a 
mark to the enemy, earnestly requested him to put it 
on : but he peremptorily refused " Never mind such 
thoughts, I must take my chance for that." 

After the action had thus terminated, our heroes 
stood for Lisbon ; that being the only port they could 
expect to reach in their disabled condition. But the 
night before they arrived, one of the sentries in the 
hold, being intoxicated, set fire to some rum on board 
the Gourageux, near one of the magazines. The in- 
trepidity and presence of mind of Mr. Male saved the 
ship: he instantly jumped down the hatchway, and 
extinguished the flames, which had already commu- 
nicated to some shavings and lumber. 'Hie sentry 
was so much burnt, that he died soon afterwards; 
and twenty of the French prisoners, hearing the alarm, 
threw themselves overboard, and were drowned. On 
the arrival of the ships at Lisbon, it was discovered, 
that no provision had been made by the French go- 
vernment for the relief of SLR h of their subiects us 


the fortune of war might bring there : a subscription 
was therefore immediately set on foot by their humane! 
conquerors, in which the British factory took a leading 
part: and the very persons who had acted so basely 
and dishonourably towards the brave crew of the Bel- 
lona, experienced that noble return, which the 
Christian mariner alone feels it his duty and his incli- 
nation to render. M. Du Gue Lambert, who had 
been wounded in the neck, died on the 25th, and his 
funeral was honoured both by the British and French 
officers. Lieutenant Male was advanced to the rank 
of commander. The Courageux was added to the 
British navy ; in 1777, she was commanded by the 
present Lord Hood; and in 1778, under Admiral 
Keppel, by Captain Lord Mulgrave ; and has since, 
in 1797, been lost on the coast of Barbary, when she 
drove from her anchors in Gibraltar bay. 

The fame of Captain Faulkner's action prepared a 
cordial and flattering reception for him when he re- 
turned to his native land ; and had awakened an en- 
thusiastic admiration in Miss Elizabeth Ashe, whom 
lie married in Nov. 1/61. 

The next ship to which Captain Faulknor was ap- 
pointed, during the peace which took place in 17<53, 
was the Kent, of seventy-four guns. 

After this his health beino; considerably affected bv a 

O it/ 1 

fall from his horse, whilst hunting in Northampton- 
shire, he, for sometime, resided chiefly atBath, and af- 
terwards at Dijon, in the south of France, where he 
died on the 9th of May, 17^9. His body was brought 
to England, and buried in the family-vault at Gosport. 
' The widow of Captain Faulknor returned to Eng- 
land in the same year, 1769, with her children. 
Through the intercession of the duke of Cumber- 
land, she at length obtained, in 1770, a pension from 
the king himself. She placed her two eldest sons at 
a grammar-school at Northampton, the place of their 
former residence and birth : and when the Royal Aca- 
demy at Portsmouth was first established, under the 


auspices of liis present Majesty, and the direction of 
the earl of Sandwich ; Mrs. Faulknor's eldest son, 
Robert, to whom our attention is now directed, was 
admitted the first scholar. 

The wonderful progress which he displayed, called 
forth his master's repeated encomiums; and when 
the three years, the period allotted for his education, 
had elapsed, this excellent young man had the ad- 
vantage of being appointed to the Isis, of fifty guns, 
on the 9th of March, 1777, commanded by the lion. 
Captain Cornwallis, in North America, attached to 
Lord Howe's fleet. Letters of marque and reprisal 
had been issued against the thirteen revolted pro- 
vinces of America, on the 6th of February in the 
same year. During the month of November, the 
Isis particularly distinguished herself at the attack of 
Fort Island, in the River Delaware, and drew forth 
the following encomium from the commander in 
chief: " The Isis being as well placed in the eastern 
channel, as the circumstances of the navigation 
would permit, rendered very essential service against 
the fort and gallies, much to the personal honour of 
Captain Cornwallis, and credit of the discipline of 
his ship." On the 7th of December, 1777, Mr. 
Faulknor having been a few hours on board the Chat- 
ham, was moved with his noble friend into the Bris- 
tol, of fifty guns, vice Captain J. Rayner, who suc- 
ceeded to the Isis, and gallantly supported her cha- 
racter during the action, in which the duke of An- 
caster served as a volunteer. The Bristol was at this 
time in the Delaware River; and the following letter 
from his gallant commander, will shew what he then 
thought of our young hero. 

o >/o 

River Delaicarc, Dec. 10. 
" MADAM, 1/77. 

c ' I will not trouble you with a letter relative to 
your son, as I hope you will see him very soon : but 
us I thought it probable that you might hear I had 


changed my ship, and be anxious to know the fate 
of my dear little friend, I could not let slip the op- 
portunity of a few lines, to inform you, I have brought 
him with me for many reasons. He has behaved ex- 
tremely well in all things, and [ do assure you, is 
perfectly good in every respect, and bids fair to be 
as great a credit to the service as his father was. 

" I am, &c. 


On the 23d of December, 1777, Mr. Faulknor 
followed his commander into the Ruby, of sixty-four 
guns, and Medea; and having returned with him to 
England, probably in the latter ship, was appointed 
to the Lion, of sixty-four guns, under his command, 
on the 18th of August, 1778. This ship was attached 
to the fleet under Lord Shuldam, with his flag in the 
Poudroyant, Captain J. Jervis, that sailed from Spit- 
head on the 25th of December, 1778, to escort the 
trade to America, and the East and West Indies. 
The Lion proceeded with the squadron under Com- 
modore J. Rowley, in the Yarmouth, to the West 
Indies ; and opened a new scene of enterprise and 
experience to our young mariner. 

Air. Faulknor terminated his professional services 
as midshipman, under this excellent officer, on the 
20th of December in the same year, 1780; when he 
was appointed lieutenant on board the Princess Royal, 
of ninety-eight guns, Rear-admiral J. Rowley, Cap- 
tain J. T. Duckworth; and, during the next year, 
obtained that admiral's leave to come home in the 
Princess Royal, then commanded by Captain Sir 
Thomas Rich, Bart, who, with seven other ships, 
Captain G. Bowyer, Commodore, sailed from Ja- 
inaica on the 2Cd of August, with the homeward- 
bound trade. On the passage, they were separated 
in a heavy gale of wind ; some of the merchantmen 
foundered, and the Albion, of seventy-four guns, the 
commodore's ship, with the Princess Royal, were the 


first of the squadron that readied Eno-Jand: the latter 

A. C7 

had only bread for three days longer, and was in a 
shattered and sickly state. Lieutenant Faulknor's 
arrival had been preceded by a letter from Sir Peter 
Parker, in which he informed Mrs. Faulknor, " That 
her son more than answered the good opinion he had 
formed of him." Admiral Rowley also, in a subse- 
quent letter from Jamaica, spoke of him as a " young 
man of great merit." These testimonies are essen- 
tial, as they mark the progressive merit of our hero; 
and prove that his future glory was the fruit of pro- 
fessional virtues, that had been tried and approved. 

After so long an absence from his native country, 
Lieutenant Faulknor enjoyed the comforts of the 
shore for upwards of a twelvemonth; and on the 7th 
of April, 1782, was appointed to the Britannia, of 
ninety-eight guns, Vice-admiral Harrington, Captain 
B. Hill; who sailed from Spithead with a powerful 
squadron on the 13th of the same month, in order to 
intercept a French convoy, under M. De Soulange, 
bound to the East Indies. The Pegase, of seventy- 
four guns, Chevalier De Cillart, and L'Actionnaire, 
of sixty-four guns, armee en flute, with twelve mer- 
chant vessels, were taken. The Britannia arrived 
witli most of the prizes at Spithead, on the 26th, and 
then joined the Channel fleet; and on the llth of 
September, Admiral Barrington sailed as second in 
command under Lord Howe, to the relief of Gibral- 
tar. On the 20th of January, 1783, the preliminary 
articles of peace were signed at Versailles, and on 
the 3d of September, the definitive treaty. Lieute- 
nant Faulknor, on being paid off from the Britannia, 
March 13th, 1783, continued on half pay until the 
17th of April in the same year, when he was ap- 
pointed to the Merlin, of fourteen guns, commanded 
by Captain G. Lumsdaine ; in which ship he conti- 
nued until the 28th of December, when he was 
moved into the Daphne, of twenty guns, Captain 
the Hon. M. Fortescue; and, on the yth of October 


1787, Lieutenant Faulkner again served under his 
friend Admiral Barriugton, in the Impregnable. On 
the 6th of March, 1788, he was appointed tor a short 
time to the Hero, of seventy-four guns; and, on 
leaving it, remained on half-pay from the 9th of April 

1788, to the 26th of July J78[); when his name ap- 
pears on the hooks of the Carnatic, of seventy-four 
guns, where he continued until the ensuing Septem- 
ber. He then remained on half-pay until -May 10, 
3790, when he served for the last time as lieutenant 
on board the Royal George, of one hundred guns, 
Admiral Barring-ton ; and was advanced, on the 22d 
of November, in the same year, to the rank of com- 

After continuing for some months on half- pay, 
Captain 11. Faulknor was appointed to the Pluto, 
fire-ship, of fourteen guns, April 2, 1791> and conti- 
nued in her until September 7, in the same year. He 
then remained on half-pay until the ]2th of June, 
1793, when he commanded the Zebra sloop, of six- 
teen guns; the ship in which he closed his service as 
commander with so much glory. 

On the 15th of October, in the same year, Lord 
Chatham sent Captain Faulknor directions to fit out 
the Zebra for foreign service, and at the same time 
informed his mother " That her son should be sent, 
according to her wishes, to the West Indies, under the 
protection of Sir John Jcrvis." 

On the 3d of February 1794, Vice-admiral Sir John 
Jervis, with his flag on board the Boyne, of ninety- 
eight guns, Captain George Grey, sailed with a part 
of the fleet, and a large body of' troops, under Gene- 
ral Sir Charles Grey, to the attack of Martinico ; 
and, before the iGth of March, the whole of the 
island, excepting forts Bourbon and Royal, were in 
our possession. On the 17th, Lieutenant Bowen, of 
the Boyne, who had the command of the night- 
guard and gun- boats, nobly pushed into the careen- 
age, and captured the Bienveuu frigate, under a SL- 

<j * l * / / 


vcre discharge of grape-shot and musketry from the 
ramparts and parapet of the fort. His gallantry, and 
the success which attended it, brought on an imme- 
diate attempt to take the town and Fort Royal by 
storm. Accordingly the Asia, of sixty-four guns, 
Captain J. Brown, and the Zebra, Captain II. W. 
Faulknor, were ordered to hold themselves in readi- 
ness to enter the careenage, and to cover the flat 
boats, barges, and pinnaces, that were under the com- 
mand of Commodore Thompson, supported by Cap- 
tains Riou and Nugent : a detachment from the 
army advancing at the same time along the side of 
the hill, under Fort Bourbon, towards the bridge 
over the canal, at the back of Fort Royal. Sir John 
Jervis in his dispatches adds as follows : 

" This combination succeeded in every part, ex- 
cept the entrance of the Asia, which failed for the 
want of precision in the ancient lieutenant of the 
port, Monsieur De Tourelles, who had undertaken to 
pilot the Asia. Captain Faulknor observing that ship 
baffled in her attempts, and the Zebra having been 
under a shower of grape-shot for a great length of 
time (which he, his officers, and sloop's company, 
stood with a firmness not to be described), he deter- 
mined to undertake the service alone; and he exe- 
cuted it with matchless intrepidity and conduct: 
running the Zebra close to the wall of the fort, and 
leaping overboard, at the head of his sloop's com- 
pany, he assailed and took this important post before 
the boats could get on shore, although they rowed 
with all the force and animation which characterize 
English seamen in the face of an enemy. No lan- 
guage of mine can express the merit of Captain 
Faulknor upon this occasion ; but, as every officer 
and man in the army arid squadron bears testimony 
to it, this incomparable action cannot fail of being 
recorded in the page of history. In addition to this, 
we shall; in the note at the foot of the page, give the 


copy of a letter from Commodore Thompson* on the 
same subject. 

Sir Charles Grey, in his dispatches, highly com- 
mended Captain Faulkner, and the exertions of the 
navy : " The navy acquitted themselves with their 
usual gallantry (particularly Captain Faulknor, whose 
conduct justly gained him the admiration of the whole 
arm}'), carrying the fort hy escalade about twelve 
o'clock of the 20th instant, under the able conduct of 
Commodore Thompson, whose judicious disposition 
of the gun and flat boats, assisted by that spirited 
and active officer, Captain Rogers, contributed ma- 
terially to our success. 

The death of the pilot of the Zebra, which Com- 
modore Thompson mentions in the above letter, was 
attended with some extraordinary circumstances, 
which have been preserved : 

* " SIR, Fort Rnj/afj March 20, 1794. 

u I have the pleasure to acquaint you, that the only loss we 
have sustained in the rapture of Fort Royal is, the pilot of the 
Zebra killed, and four seamen belonging to the same ship wounded. 
So soon as I perceived she could fetch in, I gave orders to Cap- 
tains Nugent and Riou, who commanded the flat boats; which, 
ivith the men embarked in them, were lying upon their oars, to 
push in, and mount the walls ; when every exertion was made, 
and the boats seemed to fly towards the fort. Captain Faulknor, 
in the mean time, in a most spirited and gallant manner, entered 
the harbour, through the fire of all their batteries, and laid his 
sloop alongside the walls, there being deep water close to : when 
the enemy, terrified at his audacity ; the flat boats full of seamen 
pulling towards them ; and the appearance of (he troops from all 
quarters ; struck their colours to the Zebra. A well-directed and 
steady fire from the gun-boats under Lieutenant Bowen, as also 
from our batteries, was of great service. The alacrity and stea- 
diness of the officers and seamen in general under my command, 
was such, that I had not the least doubt of success against the 
whole force of the enemy, had they disputed our entrance. 

The fort is full of ammunition and stores of all sorts, but the 
buildings are in a miserable condition from the effects of our 
bomb-, the gun-boats, and batteries. 

I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

(f'op}0 J. THOMPSON. 


" Captain Faulknor's collected mind observing a vi- 
sible confusion in the countenance of the pilot of the 
Zebra, when he received Captain Faulknor's orders to 
place the sloop close under the walls of Fort Royal ; 

said to one of the officers, ' I think Mr, seems 

confused, as if he did not know what he was about. 
Was he ever in action before?' ' Many times, Sir ; 
he has been twenty-four years in the service.' Cap- 
tain Faulknor, however, being more convinced that 
his suspicion was well founded, went up to the pilot, 
and asked him some trifling question, to ascertain the 
real state of the case : when his agitation was such, 
as entirely to render him incapable of giving any an- 
swer. But he added in a low voice, and without 
raising his eyes to his noble commander's face * I 
see your honour knows me. I am unfit to guide her. 
I don't know what is come over me. I dreamt last 
night I should be killed ; and am so afraid I don't 
know what I am about. I never, in all my life, felt 
afraid before.' Captain Faulknor, with that presence 
of mind which marked his character, and when all 
around was confusion and death, replied in a still 
lower tone : ' the fate of this expedition depends on 
the helm in your hand 'Give it me! and go and 
hide your head in whatever you fancy the safest part 
of the ship. But fears are catching : and if I hear 
you tell yours to one of your messmates, your life 
shall answer for it to-morrow.' The poor fellow, 
panic struck, went away ; and, overcome with shame, 
sat down upon the arm-chest; whilst Captain Faulk- 
nor seized the helm, and, with his own hand, laid the 
Zebra close to the walls of the fort : but before he 
had got upon them, at the head of his gallant fol- 
lowers, a cannon-ball struck the arm-chest, and blew 
the pilot to atoms." 

The following extracts of letters from some of this 
illustrious officer's letters to his mother, cannot but be 
very acceptable to the future historian. The first is 
dated from Martinique harbour, March 25th, on board 



the "Undaunted, the Bienvenu's prize," into which he 
had been made post by Sir John Jervis, on the 20th of 
the same month ; and which was thus named by the 
admiral, in compliment to our hero: 


" On the 20th of this month I was made post cap- 
tain into the Undaunted, a French frigate, of twenty- 
eight guns, captured in Fort Royal harbour, the ma- 
gazine and arsenal of all the French West India 
islands: the whole island has surrendered to the Bri- 
tish arms... The Zebra' has been em ployed during' 

the whole siege ; and I have served alternately on 
board, and on shore. At the storming of Fort Royal 
a circumstance so fortunate happened to myself, that 
I cannot help relating it : I had a ship's cartouch 
box, which is made of thick wood, buckled round 
my body, with pistol cartridges m it, for the pistol 
I carried by my side. As the Zebra came close to the 
fort, a grape shot struck, or rather grazed my right 
hand knuckle, and shattered the cartouch in the 
centre of my body: had it not miraculously been 
there, I must have been killed on the spot. Thanks 
to Almighty God for his kind preservation of me in 
the day of battle ! 

" This important island being secured, the fleet and 
army will next proceed to St. Lucia, and then to Guada- 
Joupe; where we expect to find but little resistance. 
The admiral told me to day, I was immediately to go 
into the Rose; a removal which will be very pleasant 
to me, as she is an excellent English frigate, quite 
manned, arid in good order. She becomes vacant bv 
Captain Salisbuivs being appointed Commissioner of 
the dock-yard, at Martinique. Adieu, my dearest 
mother ! may this find you well and happy, sincerely 
prays your most affectionate and dutiful son. 

"Pustcript. The admiral has appointed me to the 
Rose, paying me such compliments, that it is impos- 
sible for me to relate them, "i he sword and colours 
of Fort lloyal were delivered to me by the Governor 


uf the Fort ; and I take some credit to myself, that 
after the Zebra had stood an heavy "'re, and when we 
had the power to retaliate, for we were mounted upon 
the walls, I would not allow a man to be hurt, on 
their being panic struck, and calling for mercy. It 
would take a volume to relate the events which have 
happened to me since I left England. The Zebra, 
when she came out of action, was cheered by the ad- 
miral's ship; and the admiral himself publirkly em- 
braced me on the quarter deck ; and directed the hand 
to play ' See the conquering Hero comes !' Such 
compliments are without example in the navy ; I never 
could have deserved them.' 5 

Captain Faulknor's next letter is dated from on 
board the Blanche, Barrington Bay, St. Lucia, April 4 : 


" Since my last of the 2oth of March, from Mar- 
tinique, the fleet and troops have proceeded to this 
island, and found it an easy capture, after sustaining 
the fire from the different batteries, and intending to 
storm the strong fort of Morne Fortunee, in which 
I was to have commanded a party of my own seamen 
of the Rose, which ship I had till the island was taken; 
when the admiral was good enough to remove me to 
a frigate, of thirty-two guns (the Blanche), where 
I mean to stop, not wishing to have a larger ship. 
The Rose was the first ship into Barrington Bay, so 
named by Sir John Jervis, it being the famous place 
where that sjood admiral made so gallant a (iefcnce in 

O O 

'the late war: I think he will receive pleasure to hear 
of this event, and had I a moment's time I should 
not fail to write to him. We next proceed to Guada- 
loupe, where we shall probably meet with some op- 
position." I am ever, c. 

In the subsequent conquest of this island, Captain 
Faulknor continued to distinguish himself; and at the 
storming of the principal fort, which was attended 


with a good deal of loss, he commanded a detach" 
ment of seamen. 

In a subsequent letter from Halifax, Captain Faulk- 
nor enters at large on the late 'transactions in which 
lie had been engaged, of which the following is an 
extract : 

Blanche, Halifax, May 18, 1794: 

" After a pleasant passage of eleven days, I arrived 
safe at this port on the 16th instant, with his Royal 
Highness Prince Edward. I was ordered to take my 
old ship the Zebra under my command, and to cruise, 
after the two ships are refitted, along the whole coast 
of America, until the end of October. A large force 
of one hundred and fifty ships have sailed from Ame- 
rica to France, guarded by three sail of the line, and 
six large frigates. One frigate, and a sloop, are left 
in the Chesapeak to block up the Dffidalus, a British 
frigate, which has been kept in port these last five 
months by superior force. The Blanche, I trust, will 
be ready for sea in a few days, and I mean without a 
moment's delay to proceed to her relief. 

" The public papers, and the different letters I have 
written, will inform you of the singular success of 
our arms in the West Indies. The exertions in the 
execution of the different operations were a conti- 
nued -competition ; and each officer and man, in the 
army and navy, were zealous to excel the other: the 
sailors became good soldiers. Among others it fell 
to my lot, to serve alternately on board, and on shore, 
but chiefly the latter; and although I had but a small 
share in the business, yet the escapes 1 have had have 
been great. 

" In a former letter I related to you my receiving 
a shot in a cartouch box, that was buckled round the 
centre of my body : since which, I commanded a de- 
tachment of seamen at the storming the strong fort of 
Fleur d'Epee, at Guadaloupe; a.nd \vhich \vas thought 
impracticable to be taken by assault. The grenadiers, 
light infantry, and seamen, were sent on this service. 


The side of the mountain which the seamen had to 
get up, was almost perpendicular, and defended by 
nature and art. All difficulties were overcome : but 
by the time we got upon the ramparts, we were so 
blown, and our strength so exhausted, that the 
strongest amongst us were unmanned. I was at- 
tacked by two Frenchmen, one of whom made a 
thrust at me with his bayonet, which went through 
the arm of my coat without wounding me; and the 
other made a blow at me, which I parried, and he 
eluded mine in return : but immediately sprung upon 
me, clasping his arms round my neck, and fixing his 
teeth in the breast of my shirt, wrenched the sword 
out pf my hand, and tripped me up; falling with 
great violence upon the ground, with this French 
officer upon me. In this situation two of my own 
seamen flew to my relief, and saved my life; and at the 
moment, when the man upon me had his hand lifted 
up to stab me. An escape so providential, and an 
event so critical, calls for my warmest thanks to the 
Almighty. The conquest of this fort determined the 
fate of Guadaloupe : the troops who had intended 
before to make a vigorous opposition, now ran before 
its ; and we had little to do afterwards but to march 
through the island : a march indeed of great severity 
in a climate so unhealthy. Thus ended the conquest 
of the French West Indies, before the rainy season 
had set in, which alone might have frustrated all our 

In a letter, dated December 31, 1794, Captain 
Faulknor informs Admiral Catdwcll, that he had 
chased an armed schooner on shore, laden with gun- 
powder, near Fort Louis, Guadaloupe, which he 
afterwards got off, and sent to St. John's, Antigua. 
He also, the day before, chased a national corvette, 
commanded by a Lieutenant de Yaisseaux, into the 
bay of Deseada, where she anchored close under a 
battery, and a long range of musketry on the shore. 
From the annoyance which such vessels rendered the 


trade, he thought it expedient to anchor, to silence 
the batten-, and bring the schooner out ; which his 
Jbravery accomplished. The Blanche suffered a little 
in her hull, masts, and rigging. A midshipman and 
one man were killed, and five wounded. The enemy, 
both in the battery and on board the schooner, suffered 

We no\v come to the glorious, but melancholy ter- 
mination of our hero's career; in the desperate engage- 
ment of five hours, which tool' place off Point a Petre, 
on January oth, 1795, between the Blanche, of thirty- 
two guns, who had two master's mates, and twelve 
men, a way in prizes; and La Pique frigate, of thirty- 
eight guns, with a number of brass swivels on her 
gunwale. In this engagement, Captain Faulknor was 
shot through the heart by a Frenchman, from the 
bowsprit of La Pique; having previously lashed the 
bowsprit of La Pique to the capstern with his own 
hands. Mr. Watkins, first lieutenant, gallantly 
fought the ship after Captain Faulknor was killed; 
Air. David Milne, was second lieutenant. This officer 
was promoted to the rank of post captain, and com- 
manded La Pique, when she was lost on the coast of 
France, after an action with the Seine frigate. Her 
crew were saved ; and Captain Milne was appointed 
to the Seine, in 1 79^- 

An extract of a letter, contains a merited tribute to 
the hero who fell, also some further account of the 
action* : 


Dut&l <>fj Martinique, the l\th of January, 1795. 

For the informuiion of my Lords Commissioners of the Admi- 
ralty, 1 enclose, two copies of letters received from i.ieiitenanr 
"\VmkiiH, of UK- L>ia;;ciu\ \\i;!i minutes of Mr. Aiilne, her second 
lie;Hv"i;i:it. who c-tne io me e\j.ress. giving an account of their 
taking the French frigate La i'iqiu 1 , of thirty-eight guns, "and three 
luiridivti and sixty men, uf'u-r -tit union of live hour-, as brilliant 
and decided .is e\er happen;"! : nor can too n.uch praise and com- 
mendation be given to uli the ollkvrs and ship's company. Tilth 


The death of this gallant officer made a considera- 
ble impression on the public mind, and the gallantry of 
this action was long the theme of his country's praise. 
On the 6th of May, an Interlude, called " The Death 
of Captain Faulknor," was performed at Covent Gar- 
den Theatre. It also was selected by an eminent 
artist, as a subject well adapted to his genius ; and the 
efforts of his pencil were worthy of this glorious event. 
But the sense which the nation at large entertained of 
the professional renown of this excellent officer, is 
best ascertained by what took place in the House of 
Commons, on Tuesday, April 4, respecting the pub- 
lic monument which was then voted.* 

His monument, executed by Rossi, has been placed 
in St. Paul's, with the following inscription: 


Was voted by his Country 


Commander of his Majesty's Ship Blanche, 

Whose Ancestors had, without cessation, 

Served with glory in the Britisb Navy, 

For nearly two Centuries, 


Who himself fell on the 5th of January, 1795, 
When engaging La Pique, 

Of superior Force, 
Which was afterwards captured by the Blanche. 

Lordships will see by the minutes, the judicious manner in which 
the Blanche laid the enemy on board, and twice lashed her bowsprit 
to the Blanche's capstern ; and when the former's main and mizen- 
masts fell, she payed off' before the wind and towed the enemy ; 
when the stern posts not being large enough, they blew the upper 
transom beam away, to admit the guns to run out, and fired into 
her bows for three hours. The marines under Lieutenant Richard, 
son keeping so well directed and constant a iire, that not a man 
could appear upon her forecastle until she struck, when the second 
lieutenant and ten men swam on board, and took possession of her. 
Captain Faulknor was unfortunately killed after two hours' action, 
by which his Majesty has lost an officer as truly meritorious as the 
navy of England ever had. 

* See Stockuale's Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 41. p. 185-93, 




Sru GEORGE FORBES, third earl of Granard, the 
father of the Honourable John Forbes, was a flag offi- 
cer in his Majesty's service. He entered into the 
navy very early in life; was promoted to the com- 
mand of the Lynn, on the 16th of July, 1/06; was 
appointed to the Sunderland, of sixty guns, in 1708; 
and, afterwards, he commanded the Greenwich, of 
the same force. In 1?2(S, he commanded the Can- 
terbury, also of sixty guns, one of the squadron em- 
ployed on the Mediterranean station, under Admiral 
Hopson, to whom he was captain, and subsequently 
under Sir Charles Wager, who succeeded that officer 
in the command. The events of the temporary war, 
which broke out about that period were compara- 
tively unimportant ; but it fell to the lot of Lord 
Forbes, to give the first proof of the actual commence- 
ment .of hostilities ; and in the trivial occurrences of 
the time, he had the satisfaction of being engaged, as 
much as any of his contemporaries, on the same station 
The contest terminated in June, 17^7; but Lord 
Forbes did not return to England till April, 1728. 
In 1731, he commanded the Cornwall, of eighty 
guns, one of the fleet which was sent to Cadiz, under 
Sir Charles Wager, to settle the difference between 
the Spaniards and the emperor of Germany. After 
his return to England, he was, in April, 1733, ap- 
pointed minister plenipotentiary to the court of St. 
Petersburg;!!, at which he arrived in the month of June 

O ' 

following. In May, 1734, he was made rear-admiral 
of the white; and in the succeeding month he re- 
ceived his letters of recall. On his departure from 
St. Peter burgh, the Czarina presented him with a 
diamond ring of considerable value, her picture ele- 
gantly set with diamonds, and a purse of six thousand 


rubles. By the death of his father, on the 24th of 
February, 1734, lie became earl of Granard. In the 
same year, lie was made rear-admiral of the red : in 
1736, vice-admiral of the hlue; and in June 1738, 
he was appointed commander-in-chief of a squadron 
of ships intended for the West Indies ; a command 
which he very soon resigned, and he does not appear 
to have accepted of any farther naval employment. 

The Honourable John Forbes was the second son of 
the nobleman, of whose professional services we have 
given the above rapid sketch. He was born about the 
year 1714: and received the first part of his naval 
education under Sir John Norris, with whom he ac- 
quired an exalted share of professional credit. 

On the 7th of March, 1737, Mr. Forbes was pro- 
moted to the rank of post captain, and appointed to 
the Poole. On the 24th of October, 1738, he was 
removed into the Port Mahon, a frigate of twenty guns 
employed on the Irish station ; and on the 10th of 
August, 1739, he was promoted to the Severn, of 
fifty guns, at that time principally engaged as a 
cruiser in the Channel. In this service, Captain For- 
bes had very little success; his chief prize being a 
Spanish privateer of fourteen guns, which had done 
considerable mischief to our commerce. On the 9th 
of July, 1740, he was removed into the Tiger of fifty 
guns ; and in 1741, he commanded the Guernsey of 
the same force, in which he proceeded to the Medi- 
terranean, with some other ships, as a reinforcement 
to Admiral Haddock. 

Alter the arrival of Admiral Matthews in the Medi- 
terranean in 1742, Captain Forbes was removed into the 
Norfolk, of eightv guns: and, in our memorable en- 
counter with the French and Spanish fleets off Toulon, 
in 1744, he \v;is stationed as one of that officer's se- 
conds, in the centre division of the fleet. On this occa- 
sion, he behaved with the most distinguished gallantry. 
"The Norfolk/' says F.ntick, the naval historian, "after 
three quarters of an hour, obliged the Constant, com- 


mancled by Don Augustine Eturiago, the Spanish 
admiral's second, to bear away out of the line, much 
disabled ; on which the Spanish admiral and his se- 
cond astern, notwithstanding their warm exercise 
against the Namur and Marlborough, fired some 
guns at her to bring her back, but to no purpose, for 
she continued to lie to leeward of them, and never 
more returned to the battle ; the Norfolk did not 
think proper to quit the line in pursuit of her ; and 
havino- no antagonist, she fell to windward, having: 

O O ' O 

twenty men killed, and twenty-five wounded, and her 
rigging, masts, and yards, considerably shattered.''' 
As to the Norfolk, not thinking proper to quit the 
line in pursuit of the Constant, the fact is, that she 
was too much disabled to pursue that ship, which 
crowded all the sail she could set. " All the letters" ob- 
serves Charnock, " written from on board the fleet im- 
mediately subsequent to the action, many of which are 
still extant, bear the same uniform testimony to the 
intrepidity and very distinguished conduct of this 
gentleman: and the tribute of popular applause appears 
to have been very equally divided between himself 
and the very brave but unfortunate Captain Corn- 

Captain Forbes ; mained in the Mediterranean, 
during the continuance of hostilities, and was em- 
ployed in the most important services of the time. 
" On November 29, 1?4(5, he commanded the small 
vessels and pinnaces which supported the Austrian 
army under Count liruwn, in forcing the passage of 
the Var. The force under Mr. Forbes consisted of 
the P ;a>nix frigate, the Terrible sloop, a barcolongo, 
on board which a party of German soldiers were em- 
barker!, and eight armed pinnaces. These vessels 
were stationed along shore to the westward of the 
Var, and at day-bu-ak, on the 30th, commenced a 
very brisk fire on the French post to the left of the 
village of St. Laurent. General Drown bestowed the 
highest encomiums on the conduct of Captain Forbes, 


and declared, in the wannest terms of gratitude, that 
he assistance he received from the English had been 
the principal cause of his success. 

On the 15th of July, 1747, this officer was pro- 
moted to the rank of rear-admiral of the blue squad- 
ron: and, shortly afterwards, lie became, pro tempore, 
commander -in- chief in the Mediterranean. On the 
12th of May, 1748, he was made rear-admiral of the 
white, and subsequently rear-admiral of the red : but 
in consequence of the war having terminated, he was 
not appointed to any command. 

On the 4th of February, \155-, he was promoted to 
be vice-admiral of the blue : and on the 1 1th of De- 
cember, 1756, he was nominated one of the commis- 
sioners for executing the office of lord high admiral : 
an honourable station, which he filled in a manner 
highly creditable to his abilities, and with eminent 
service to his country. Shortly afterwards, however, 
a remarkable circumstance deprived the nation, for a 
time, of his exertions. On the condemnation of the 
unfortunate Admiral Byng,' Admiral Forbes, who cer- 
tainly possessed the mildest manners, blended with 
the most conscientious integrity, was the only mem- 
ber of the Admiralty Board, who refused to sign the 
warrant for carrying the sentence into execution. 
For his refusal, he assigned the undermentioned rea- 
sons :* 


* " It may be thought great presumption in me, to differ from 
so great authority as that of the twelve judges ; but when a man is 
railed u, on to sUn his name to an act which is to give authority to 
the shedding of blood, he ought to be guided by his own conscience 
and not by the opinions of other men. 

'' In the case before us, it is not the merit of Admiral Byng, that 
I consider ; wh.-ther he deserves death or not, it is not a question 
for me to decide: b:it whether or not his life can be taken away by 
the sentence pronounced on him by the court martial, and after 
having so clearly explained their motive for pronouncing such a 
sen'i-nce, is the point "which alone has employed my moat serious 


Notwithstanding all the efforts which were made 
for the preservation of Admiral Byng's life, that oifir 

f ' The 12tli article of war, on which Admiral Byng's sentence is 
grounded, says (according to my understanding of its meaning), 
' that every person who, in time of action, shall withdraw, keep 
back, or not come into fight, or do his utmost, &c. through mo- 
tives of cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, shall suffer death.' 
The court martial does, in express words, acquit Admiral Byng of 
cowardice and disaffection, and does not name the word negligence. 
Admiral Byng does not, as I conceive, fall under the letter or de- 
scription of the 12th article of war. It may be said that negligence 
is implied, though the word is not mentioned, otherwise the court 
martial would not have brought his offence under the 12th article, 
having acquitted him of cowardice and disaffection. But it must 
he acknowledged, that the negligence implied cannot be wilful nog. 
ligence ; for wilful negligence in Admiral Byng's situation, must 
have proceeded either from cowardice or disaffection ; and he is 
expressly acquitted of both these crimes ; besides, these crimes, 
which are implied only, and not named, mav indeed justify suspi- 
cion and private opinion, but cannot satisfy the conscience in case 
of blood. 

" Admiral Byng's fate was referred to a court martial. His life 
?,nd death were left to their opinions. The court martial condemn 
him to death, because, as they expressly say, they were under a 
necessity of doing so by reason of the letter of the law, the severity 
of which they complain of, because it admits of no mitigation. 
The court martial expressly say, that for the sake of their con- 
science, as well as in justice to the prisoner, they must earnestly 
recommend him to his Majesty for mercy. It is evident then, that 
in the opinions and consciences of tlic judges; he was not deserving 
of death. 

" The question then is. shall the opinions or necessities of the 
court martial determine Admiral Byng's fate ? If it should be the 
].itter, he will be executed contrary to the intentions and meaning 
of his judges : if tb t e former his life is not forfeited ; his judges de- 
rlare him not deserving death ; but, mistaking either the meaning 
of the law, or the nature of his offence, they bring him under an 
article of war, which according 'to their own description of his 
offence, he does not 1 conceive, fall under; and then they condemn 
liim to death, because as they say the law admit? of no mitigation. 
Can a man's life be taken away by such a sentence? I would not 
willingly be misunderstood, and have it believed that I judge of 
Admiral Bvnij's deserts ; that was the business of a court martial, 
and it was ni) duly only to act aceordiujj to my conscience ; which, 
after deliberate consideration, assisted by the best light a poor un- 
derstanding can ulloid it, remains still in doubt; and, therefore. 


cer suffered, pursuant to his sentence," on the quarter 
deck of the Monarque, at Portsmouth, on the 14th 
of March, 1757-t Admiral Forbes, inconsequence 
of his non-acquiescence with this obnoxious sacrifice, 
quitted the Admiralty Board ; a new commission for 
which was sealed and published on the 6th of April 
following. His inflexible integrity, however, obtain- 
ed its deserved triumph over his opponents ; and, in 
a short time, he was recalled to his former station, 
with a brilliancy of character which the world rnio-ht 
probably have been less acquainted with, had not 
such an opportunity offered of making it, without 
the least ostentation, so generally known. 

He retained his seat at the Admiralty Board, till 
the 23d of April, 1763; during which period, viz. 
on the 31st of January, 1758, he was promoted to 
the rank of admiral of the blue squadron. 

On his quitting the Admiralty Board, he was ap- 

I cannot consent to sign a warrant, whereby the sentence of the 
court martial may be carried into execution, for 1 cannot help 
thinking, that, however criminal Admiral Byrig may be, his life is 
not forfeited by that sentence. 1 do not mean to find fault with 
other men's opinions ; all I endeavour at is, to give reasons for my 
own ; and all I desire or wish is, lhat 1 may not be misunderstood. 
I do not pretend to judge Admiral Byng's deserts, or give any 
opinion on the propriety of the act. 

Signed 6th February, 1757, " J. FORBES." 

at the Admiralty. 

\ In the church at South-Hill, Bedfordshire, is the following 
inscription to the memory of this unfortunate officer : 
" To the perpetual disgrace of 

Public Justice, 

The Honourable John Byng, 

Vice-admiral of the Blue, 

Fell a martyr fo 

Political persecution, 

On March 14, in the year 1757 ; 

When bravery and loyalty 

"Were insufficient securities 

For the life and honour 

Of u naval olliocr." 


pointed general of marines : in the year 1770, lie 
was made admiral of the white squadron : and on the 
death of Lord Hawke, in 178J, he succeeded that 
nobleman as admiral of the fleet. 

During the latter part of Admiral Forbes's lif^, a 
remakable circumstance occurred respecting his hold- 
ing the appointment of general of marines ; the par- 
ticulars of which, reflecting the highest honour upon 
the admiral, i:re thus related in the " European Ma- 
gazine,"' for March, 1796: 

" During a late administration, it was thought ex- 
pedient to offer a noble lord, very high in the naval 
profession, and very deservedly a favourite of his so- 
vereign and his country, the office of general of ma-* 

O */' * CJ 

rines, held by Admiral Forbes, and spontaneously 
conferred upon him by his Majesty, as a reward for 
his many and long services ; a message was sent by 
the ministers, to say it would forward the kind's ser- 

7 */ O 

vice if he would resign, and that he should be no 
loser by his accommodating government, as they pro- 
posed recommending to the king to give him a pension 
in Ireland, of 3000/. per annum, and a peerage to de- 
scend to his daughter. To this Admiral Forbes sent 
an immediate answer. He told the ministers, the ge- 
ralship of the marines was a military employment, gi- 
ven him by his Majesty as a reward for his services ; 
that he thanked God he had never been a burthen to 
his country, which he had served, during a long life, 
to the best of his ability, and that he would not con- 
descend to accept of a pension, or bargain for a peer- 
age ; he concluded by laying Iris generalship of ma- 
rines, together with his rank in the navy, at the 
king's feet, intreating him to take both away, if 
they could forward his service ; and at the same time 
assuring his Majesty, he would never prove himself 
unworthy of th^ former honours he had received, by- 
ending the remnant of a long lift- as a pensioner, or 
accepting of a peerage obtained by political arrange- 
ment. His gracious master applauded his manly spi- 


rit, ever after continued him in his high military ho- 
nours, and to the day of his death, condescended to 
shew him strong marks of his regard." 

In the publication from which we have transcribed 
the above anecdote, we find the subjoined sketcli of 
Admiral Forbes's character : 

" He was remarkable, above all other men, for his 
extensive and universal knowledge of naval affairs, 
having studied them in all their branches, with a per- 
severance, and observed upon them with an acuteness 
and judgment altogether unparalleled his mind was 
capable of embracing the greatest and most complicat- 
ed objects : and having bent it towards the study of 
that profession, of which he was allowed, by the uni- 
versal voice of his contemporaries, to be a principal 
ornament, he attained such a summit of nautical skill, 
as rendered him the oracle of ail those who were most 
eminent, whether in the direction of the fleets of this 
nation, or in the equally arduous task of superintend- 
ing the civil departments of the different branches of 

the marine/' " In the earlier part of his life, he 

was peculiarly noticed as an able, enterprising, and 

intrepid officer." " Such are the outlines of the 

public character of Admiral Forbes. Infirmity de- 
prived him of exerting his great talents, in his latter 
days, publicly for the service of his country : but all 
who had the happiness of his acquaintance will agree, 
that in private life he continued, to his last breath, an 
example of the brightest virtue which can adorn the 
human character." 

For some years prior to his death. Admiral Forbes 
lived totally in retirement ; a retirement rendered 
truly honourable bv his former faithful and perfect 
discharge of all public and private duties, as an officer 
and as a man. lie died at the advanced age of eight v- 
two, on the 10th of March, !?)(), respected, revered, 
and lamented bv all. 




Sin JOHN' LAFOREY was the son of Lieutenant- 
colonel John Laforey, a descendant of the family of 
Laforey, or La Forest, which came over to England 
with William III. and of Alary, daughter of Jasper 
Clayton, Esq. a lieutenant-general in the army. 

This officer wa"s born about the year 1 729 ; and, 
having been educated for the navy, he passed through 
the regular gradations of service, and obtained a lieu- 
tenant's commission in the year 1749. lie was pro- 
moted to the rank of commander on the 24th of May, 
1755 ; and, in 1/56, he was appointed to the Hunter 
sloop of war, one of the small vessels which, in the 
following year, were attached to the fleet sent under 
the orders of Admiral Ilolbourn, against Louisbours;. 

7 O O 

Continuing in the command of the Hunter, he served 
under Admiral Boscawcn, in the third expedition 
against Louisbourg, in 1758. It was on the 28th of 
May that the admiral sailed from Halifax, with a 
fleet amounting 1 to one hundred and fifty-seven sail. 

Cj v 

By the 2d of June, the greater part of the troops were 
landed; after which, from the tempestuous state of 
the weather, the communication between the fleet and 
the army was cut off, for several days. The military 
commander (General Amhcrst) as he advanced, drove 
the enemy from their outposts, and obliged them to 
take shelter in the town ; against which, by the 25th 
of the month, lie had erected batteries, and opened 
upon it with considerable success. On the 28th, the 
enemy sunk a ship of the line, a fiigate, and two 
corvettes, across the harbour. On the 21st of July, 
the Entreprenantc, of seventy- four guns, took fire, 
and blew up; by which accident two other ships 
were also consumed. There now remained in the 


harbour only two ships of the line La Prudente, 
and Le Bienfaisan,t, which the admiral determined 
cither to take or destroy. For this purpose, on the 
night of the 25th, he ordered six hundred seamen to 
be sent in the boats of the fleet, under the command 
of Captain Laforey, and of Captain Balfour, who 
rowed into the harbour and executed this service 
with the greatest resolution and bravery, amidst an 
incessant fire from the enemy's ships and batteries. 
Captain Laforey boarded La Prudente; but, finding 
that she was a-ground, and also moored with a strong 
chain, he set her on fire. Captain Balfour, his asso- 
ciate in this enterprise, carried the Bienfaisant, and 
towed her into the north-east harbour. 

Captain Laforey's very spirited conduct, on this 
occasion, was justly rewarded by Admiral Boscawen, 
who immediately promoted him to post rank, and 
gave him the command of the Echo frigate, which 
had been taken by the enemy a short time before. 

He continued in the Echo, employed on the West 
India station, till the beginning of the year 176*2, 
when he returned to England, and, we believe, had 
no farther command till 1770. He was then ap- 
pointed to the Pallas, a large frigate, of thirty-six 
guns, in which he remained about a twelvemonth, 
In 1776, on the expectation of a rupture with France, 
lie was appointed to the Ocean of ninety guns, one 
of the ships which were at that time put into com- 

During the whole of the time that the Ocean was 
commanded by Captain Laforey, she was attached to 
the Channel fleet; and, in the memorable encounter 
off Brest, on the 27th of July, 1778, she was sta- 
tioned as one of the seconds to Sir Hugh Palliser, 
who commanded the rear division, and, though very 
warmly engaged, she had only two men killed, and 
eighteen wounded. 

In 1779, soon after the termination of Sir Hugh 
Palliser's trial, Captain Laforey was appointed resi- 



dent naval commissioner, at Antigua. This appoint" 
nient resulted from the conviction, on the part of 
government, that it was indispensably necessary to 4 
the service, that a naval officer of rank should con- 
stantly reside in the West Indies, for the purpose of 
superintending, conducting, and accelerating the re- 
fitment of such ships as might receive damages, of 
a nature to be repaired without their returning to 

On the death of Captain P. H. Ourry, the naval 
commissioner at Plymouth, in February, 1783, Cap- 
tain Laforey was appointed to succeed him. He re- 
tained this station till the year 1789, when he was 
promoted to be rear-admiral of the red, having, by 
the special order of his Majesty in council, taken 
rank according to his seniority on the list of captains, 
as though he had been promoted to be a flag-officer 
two years before, in his regular turn. 

On the 3d of November, 1780, seven days prior to 
his promotion to a flag, he was advanced to the dig- 
nity of a baronet of Great Britain ; and, imme- 
diatelv afterwards, he hoisted his flasj on board the 

*/ *J 

Trusty, of fifty guns, and proceeded to the Leeward 
Islands, as commander-iii-chief on that station. It 
was not, however, till after the commencement of 
hostilities with France,- that any thing occurred, 
within the limits of his command, deserving of 

In the spring of I7S3, an attack was projected, 
and immediately carried into execution, against the 
island of Tobago; a settlement which had been 
ceded to the king of France, at the preceding peace. 
The expedition sailed from Barbadocs on the 12th 
of April; and, on the 15th, the French commandant 
having refused to surrender, the principal fort of the 
island was stormed and carried by the land-forces, 
with the slight loss of three men killed, and twenty- 
five wounded. The whole island consequently sur- 


The usual period allotted for a command on the 
West India station having expired, Sir John Laforey 
was succeeded by Rear-admiral Gardner, who ar- 
rived a few days after the surrender of Tobago. Sir 
John, in consequence, sailed from Antigua, in the 
Trusty, on the 23d of June, and reached England, 
after a month's favourable passage. During his ab- 
sence he had been promoted, on the 1st of February, 
1793, to the rank of vice-admiral of the white squa- 
dron ; on the 12th of April, in the following year, he 
was made vice-admiral of the red ; and, on the 1st of 
June, 179-5, he was promoted to be admiral of the 

In the last- mentioned year, Sir John was re-ap- 
pointed to the chief command on the Leeward Island 
station, whither he proceeded, as a passenger on board 
the Aimable frigate, commanded by his son (the 
present Baronet) Captain Francis Laforey. He sailed 
on the 9th of May, and reached Antigua after a 
very speedy and prosperous passage. The West 
India seas at this time swarmed with French pri- 
vateers, which greatly annoyed the trade, and cap- 
tured many merchant vessels; and the Islands of 
St. Vincent, Grenada, and Dominica, were in a 
dreadful state of insurrection. The Charibs and ne- 
groes, encouraged by t':e French Republicans from 
Guadaloupe, committed the most horrid acts of 
cruelty on the defencelcs inhabitants; putting to 
death men, women, and children, and burning the 
plantations. However, by the steady and determined 
bravery of a few British troops, assisted by the loyal 
inhabitants, the insurgents were completely defeated, 
with great slaughter, in several attacks. 

On the 15th of April, in the ensuing year, (179^) 
Sir John detached a small squadron, under the com- 
mand of Captain Parr, to take possession of the 
Dutch settlements of Demcrara, I^equibo, and lier- 
bice. Twelve thousand troops were embarked on 
board this squadron, under the command of Major- 

t ii 


general Whyte. They arrived off Demerara on th<? 
2 1st of April; on the evening of which, the Pique 
and Babet frigates, with the Grenada transport, and 
small vessels, passed the bar, and came to an anchor 
at the entrance of the river, within random shot of 
the fort. The night was employed in making the 
necessary arrangements for landing the troops ; and, 
at day- light, on the following morning, a flag of 
truce was sent to the governor, to demand the sur- 
render of the colony and its dependencies to his Bri- 
tannic Majesty, on certain terms proposed by Ge- 
neral Whyte and Captain Parr; which were imme- 
diately accepted, and his Majesty's troops put in pos- 
session of the place. In the harbour were taken, the 
Thetis, Dutch frigate, of twenty four guns ; the Sea- 
gull cutter, of twelve guns ; and several merchant 
vessels, richly laden. Having left a sufficient num- 
ber of troops for the defence of Demerara, General 
Whyte and Captain Parr proceeded to Berbice, which 
also surrendered on the 2d of May. 

On the a 1st of April, the day that Demerara sur- 
rendered, Rear-admiral Sir Hugh Cloberr.y Christian, 
K. B. arrived in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, and joined 
Sir John Laforey, with a squadron of ships of war and 
transports, from England. The next day, Sir John 
sailed with the fleet of ships of war and transports, 
and, on the 23d, anchored in Marine Bay, Marti- 
nique. He then resigned the command to Admiral 
Christian, and sailed for England in the Majestic. 
Unfortunately, he fell a victim to the yellow fever, 
on the 14-th of June, two days before the ship made 
the land. His remains were publicly interred at 
Portsmouth, on the 21st of the same month; Sir 
Peter Parker,* the port admiral, having issued the 
order mentioned below, on the 19th: 

* "Royal JriHiam, at S pithead, June 19. 

MEM. It beinsj my intention to pay the deceased, Admiral Sir 
John Laforey, Bart, every military honour due to an officer of 
his high rank, at his funeral on Tuesday next, the 21 st instant, the 



THIS Gentleman was born at Ilfracombe, a 
sea-port in the north or' Devonshire, in the year 

flag-officers and captains of the fleet are to assemble on board the 
Majestic at ten o'clock in the morning of that day, aud to attend 
the procession in the following; order ; viz. 

" A twelve-oared cutter with the marine band. 

<c Barge with three C n , 1 Barge with three 

, . ) Corpse in a barge f 

C ;^ tainS > 1 the crew dressed. \ ^f ins > 
pall-bearers. ( j pall-bearers. 

u Admiral Sir Peter Parker, Bart, chief mourner. 

" Rear-admiral Sir Roger Curtis, Bart. 

u Vice-admiral Colpoys. 

" Rear-admjral Bligh. 

* l The 8th captain in seniority. The 7th captain in seniority. 

" 10th ditto. 9th ditto. 

" 12th ditto. llth ditto. 

u The remainder of the post-captains according to seniority, two 

and two. 

u Commanders in like order. 
The flags and pendants in the different boats to be hoisted only 


" As soon as the procession begins from the Majestic, the flag* 
ships and all his Majesty's ships and vessels, at Spithead and in 
Portsmouth harbour, are to strike their flags and colours half- 
mast, following the example of the Royal William in striking the 
same and hoisting them again. The Majestic to fire minute-guns, 
when the boats are at a proper distance, and continue doing so 
until the Royal William hoists her flag to the mast-head. The 
Majestic only to keep her Hag and colours half-masted till sun-set. 
The ships near which the procession passes are to man the shrouds, 
the crews with their hats off, and turn out a guard presenting their 
arms, but not to beat the drum or cheor, and the boats which row 
are to land in regular succession at. the Sally port. 

" As many lieutenants as cau be spared from the duty of each 
ship, and all the chaplains of the fleet, to assemble at the Fountain 
Inn, in time to join the procession, when the body is landed at the 
Sally port. The commission officers to wear their uniforms, with 
crape round their arms. The admirals and captains iu the new 
frock uniforms. It is expected that, a profound silence be ob- 
served, and that every person strictly attends to precedence agree- 
able.' to the above arrangement. 

"PETKli PARK Ell, 
' Admiral and anumaiuk T-iu-clnef. wye." 

176] ; and having early in life, manifested a pre- 
dilection for the sea, he commenced his career, at 
the age of thirteen, with his father, who commanded 
a ship in the merchant service. Two years afterwards, 
he joined his eldest brother, Captain James Bowen, 
then commanding a ship belonging to London, in the 
Canada and Jamaica trade. This removal fortunately 
opened the way to an employment more congenial to 
the wishes of an active and intelligent mind. While 
Mr. Bowen was at Jamaica, in the year J778, the 
news arrived of hostilities having been commenced 


between Great Britain and France; a circumstance 
which impressed him with a desire to volunteer his 
services in the navy. Having intimated this wish to 
his brother, it was by him communicated to Captain. 
Caldwell, with whom he was on terms of friendship ; 
and, with the frankness and liberality which that 
officer was well known to possess, he offered the young 
adventurer his protection. Captain Caldwell at that 
time commanded the Emerald frigate, in which Mr. 
Bowen served, and returned with him to England, at 
die latter end of the year 1779- Immediately on his 
return, Captain Caldwell was appointed to the Han- 
nibal, a new ship, of fifty guns ; but as she was not 
ready for sea, Mr. Bowen, with several of the officers 
of the Emerald, joined the guard-ship at the Nore, 
pro tempore. 

Before the Hannibal was launched, Capt. Calder, 
who was fitting out the Lightning fire-ship, at Sheer- 
ness, having applied to the port admiral for assist- 
ance, Mr. Bowen, with a party of seamen, was di- 
rected to attend his commands. Whilst thus em- 
ployed, Captain Calder soon discovered him to be an 
active, diligent, and attentive young officer ; and he 
therefore requested Captain Cald well's permission to 
retain him in the Lightning till the Hannibal should 
be ready for sea. It does not appear that Mr. Bowen 
ever served in the latter ship ; as, on the promotion 
of Captain Calder, that officer strongly recommended 


him to the protection of Captain Jervis (now Earl 
St. Vincent), of the Fouclroyant, "where he soon had 
an opportunity of displaying those qualities which se- 
cured to him the esteem of her distinguished com- 
mander; an esteem which, during the entire re- 
mainder of his life, continued to reflect equal honour 
on both parties. 

On the 2Jth of July., 1781, Vice-admiral Darby's 
squadron, to which the Foudroyant belonged, fell in 
with two French men of war. Chase was immedi- 
ately given ; but the wind dying away, the boats of 
the squadron were ordered to tow the Perseverance 
to the enemy. On this occasion, the conduct of Mr. 
Bowen, who commanded one of the boats of the 
Foudroyant, excited the admiration and praise of his 
captain. The Perseverance captured the largest ship, 
which proved to be the Lively (formerly British) of 
twenty-six guns and two hundred and five men, 
seven of whom were killed in the action : her consort, 
JL'Hirondelle, a corvette, escaped by means of her 

In April, 1782, Admiral Barring-ton succeeded Adm. 
Darby in the command of the Channel fleet : and on 
the 20th of that month, while on a cruise, an enemy's 
squadron was discovered by the look-out frigate, the 
Artois, Captain, who led to the general 
chase which immediately ensued. Before night, the 
whole force had advanced so near to the enemy, as 
to cause him to make the signal to disperse. The 
Foudroyant, now taking the lead of the British 
squadron, kept sight of two of the enemy's line-of- 
battle ships, which separated on her drawing near 
them. This was before midnight, and not a ship of 
Admiral 13arringtou's fleet was in sight. Captain 
Jervis, however, continued the chase : ahout one 
A.M. on the 21st, he brought the sternmost ship to 
close action ; and, in less than an hour, by skilful 
management and a well-directed fire, he obliged the 
se. of seventy-four li'ims. and Si-vcn hundred mvi 


fifty men, to surrender. The Foudroyr.nt was much 
crippled, and had eighty men killed and wounded ; 
but her commander was the only officer who received 
a personal injury in the action. 

Mr. Bowen had the honour of acting as aid-de-camp 
to Captain Jervis upon this occasion ; and he dis* 
played so much courage and ability, that on the re- 
turn of the Foudroyant into port, he received a com- 
mission from his gallant captain, to act as junior lieu- 
tenant of that ship. He was also presented with a 
handsome sword by his friend, Captain Calder. 

Whilst the Foudroyant was refitting, Sir John 
Jervis, desirous of giving to his eltive employment 
more suitable to his active spirit, sent him, with a 
party of the Foudroyant's crew, to Captain Macbride, 
of the Artois, who had been ordered to cruise in the 
Bay of Biscay. In this ship he acted as third lieute- 
nant, and had the pleasure of once more serving with 
his brother, who was the master. Before the cruise 
ended, Sir John Jervis was appointed commodore and 
eommander-in-chief of a secret expedition. He there- 
fore sent for Mr. Bowen and his men, who rejoined 
their ship at Plymouth ; but, in consequence of the 
sudden termination of the war, the intended expedi- 
tion never sailed. 

Not havino- served his time, when the Foudrovant 

~ 7 * 

was paid off, Mr. Bowen entered on board the Pe- 
gase, Captain Marshall, as master's mate ; a situation 
from which Sir John Jervis removed him, to the 
Blenheim; and, at the latter end of the year 1783, 
he joined the Adamant, to go to the West Indies, on 
promotion, under the flag of Rear-admiral Sir Rich- 
ard Hughes. During a service of three years on that 
station, he was thrice appointed a lieutenant, in va- 
cancies, and as often disappointed of confirmation ; 
and he came home acting junior lieutenant of the 
flag-ship, and was again paid oif. He availed him* 
self of this opportunity of passing his examination at 
the Navy Office ; and soon afterwards, on the pros- 


;pect of a Dutch war, in 1787, he joined the Royal 
Sovereign (intended for the flag-ship of Admiral Pigot, 
as commander-in-chief of the Channel fleet) on pro- 
motion. Again he was destined to experience a se- 
vere disappointment; as, on the reduction of the ar- 
mament, notwithstanding the utmost efforts of Sir 
John Jervis, who had heen recently promoted to the 
rank of rear-admiral, the Admiralty could not be 
prevailed on to give him a lieutenant's commission. 
These repeated checks, however, seem only to have 
redoubled the ardour of this indefatigable young offi- 
cer; for, at the latter end of the same year (1787) 
he proceeded in a packet to the West Indies, by the 
advice of his eldest brother, and of his unshaken 
friend, Sir John Jervis, by whom he was strongly re- 
commended to Commodore Parker, the commander- 
in-chief on the Leeward Island station. He joined 
the commodore in the month of January, 1788, and 
was immediately appointed acting lieutenant of the 
Jupiter; a situation in which he continued, until his 
hopes of confirmation were again destroyed, by the 
arrival of a young nobleman (Lord William Beauclerk) 
to supersede him. Incompetent as he was to combat 
with such superior influence as that which had now 
crushed his well-founded expectations, and as the 
profound peace which subsisted held out no farther 
prospect, he made up his mind to relinquish the pur- 
suit of promotion, till a more favourable opportunity 
should occur. At the request of Sir John Orde, then 
governor of the island of Dominica, he therefore ac- 
cepted the command of the Lord Howe, government 
brig, in which he was occupied in cruising against 
smugglers, till the month of July, 178). 

Whilst serving in the West Indies, Mr. Bowen assi- 
duously employed himself in the study of the mathe- 
matics, and astronomy, in surveying coasts and har- 
bours, and in amassing such a store of useful know- 

* o 

ledge, as placed him on a level with our best and 
most celebrated navigators ; of which., his subsequent 


voyage to New Holland and India, alone, afforded a 
sufficient proof. 

In the Spanish armament of 1790, Mr. Bowen had 
the satisfaction of rejoining his friend and patron, Sir 
John Jervis, as his flag-lieutenant, on board the 
. Prince, and was included in the list of the first twenty 
young officers, who were promoted hy the Admiralty 
in consideration of former disappointments. At the 
request of his early Iriend, Captain Calder, Lieu- 
tenant Bowen was next appointed to the Stately ; in 
Avhich he continued, till, in consequence of the ad- 
justment of our differences with Spain, that ship was 
paid off, in the same year. 

Agreeably to the constant activity of his mind, 
Lieutenant Bowen then offered his services to the 
Navy Board ; by which he was immediately ap- 
pointed to the command of a division of transports, 
destined to relieve the new colony in New South 
Wales. In March, 1791, he sailed from Plymouth, 
on board the Atlantic, accompanied by two other 
ships, and arrived at Port Jackson in the month of 
July following. The governor, not deeming the 
supply thus obtained adequate to the wants of the co- 
lony, dispatched him to Bengal for another cargo. 
In his way thither, he landed Lieutenant-governor 
King, and his family, on Norfolk Island; and then, 
steering an eastern course, he passed New Caledonia, 
the Isle of Pines, and Terra Arsacides, forming a route 
never traced before. In order to shorten the distance, 
lie passed through an unexplored passage, between 
Borneo and Paragua, into the China Sea; thence he 
proceeded through the Straits of Malacca, and arrived 
at Bengal in the latter end of January, 179-- There 
he purchased a cargo of rice, and other provisions, 
v/ith a quantity of live stock for the colony ; and, 
leaving Bengal on the 4th of April, he reached Port 
Jackson on the 19th of June. After relieving Nor- 
folk Island, he finally quitted New Holland, with 
Governor Phillips on board, on the 1 1th of December, 


17^2. He arrived at Spithead on the 10th of May 
following; having-, in little mor p than two years, 
made two voyages, one of which was round the 
world, in a common transport. Service, more essen- 
tial to his country, was never performed by any in- 
dividual, similarly employed ; and, as he was pre- 
sented with the thanks of the Navy hoard, and of the 
Secretary of State for the Colonial Department, he 
had the satisfaction of knowing, that his exertions' 
were duly estimated. 

On his return to England, he found that hostili- 
ties had been commenced against France; and Sir 
John Jervis having been promoted to a flag, and, 
some time afterwards, appointed commander-in-chief 
of an expedition, destined for the attack of the French 
settlements in the West Indies, Lieutenant Bowen 
declined a very advantageous offer that was made to 
him, on a service similar to that which, with so much 
credit, he had recently . performed, and again em- 
barked with his distinguished patron, as fourth lieu- 
tenant, and signal officer, on board the Boyne. Nor 
had he any reason to repent of this preference ; for he 
was soon furnished with an opportunity of displaying; 
his undaunted courage, and professional skill, and of 
recommencing a career of glory, which terminated 
only with his life. 

The whole of the force, intended for the attack of 
the enemy's possessions, having rendezvoused at Bar- 
badoes, Sir John Jervis sailed from that port on the 
3d of February, 1794 ; and, on the arrival of the 
squadron in Fort Royal Bay, he selected Lieutenant 
Bo wen to command the guard and gun-boats, at the 
intended siege of Martinique. Sir John also directed 
him to take the first opportunity, that he might judge 
favourable, of boarding the Bien Veriu, a large 
French frigate, which lay in the Careenage, under the 
walls of Fort Royal, and was reported to have a num- 
ber of English prisoners on board, whom the enemy 
meant to blow" up and destroy should the Fort be<nt- 


tacked by storm. As the time for executing this 
daring enterprise was left to his discretion, he formed 
the necessary arrangements, and determined on mak- 
ing a dash at mid-day ; which he accordingly did, on 
the 17th of February, to the astonishment and admi- 
ration of the whole British fleet and army. Lieute- 
nant Bowen took the lead in the Boyne's barge, fol- 
lowed by the boats which he had chosen to support 
him ; and, before the enemy's frigate could bring a 
gun to bear, he was alongside, boarded, killed and 
drove overboard every man except twenty, under a 
most tremendous fire of round and grape shot from 
the fort. Finding no Englishmen on board, how-* 
ever, he manned the frigate's guns, fired a broadside 
into the fort, and brought off his prisoners in triumph, 
though not without some loss. The wind, blowing 
directly into the harbour, prevented him from bring- 
ing the frigate out; which, otherwise, he could have 
doi;e with ease, although .she was chained to the 

This gallant exploit of Lieutenant Bowen's was 
duly noticed in Sir John Jervis's official account of 
the attack on Fort Royal, contained in the London 
Gazette Extraordinary of April 22, 1794, inthefol* 
lowing terms : - 

c< Lieutenant Bo wen, of the Boyne, who had com- 
manded the night guard and gun-boats for a consider- 
able time, perceiving a favourable moment, pushed 
into the Careenage with the rowing boats of the guard, 
boarded the Bien Venn, french frigate, and brought 
off the captain, lieutenant, and about twenty men 
who were on board her, under a smart fire of grape 
shot and musketry, from the ramparts and parapets of 
the fort. The success of this gallant action deter- 
mined the general and me to attempt the fort and 
town of Fort Royal by assault." [See the Memoir of 
Captain Faulknor.] 

On the 20th of March, 1794, the same day 


that the Bien Venu was commissioned for Captain 
Faulknor, and named the Undaunted, Lieutenant 
Bowen was promoted to the rank of commander, and 
appointed to the Zebra, which was afterwards actively 
employed in the reduction of St. Lucia, Guadaloupe, 
and other islands, 

In the month of April following, Captain Bowen, 
was made post in the Veteran, from which he was 
soon afterwards removed into the Terpsichore frigate 
of thirty-two guns. In the latter ship he was sent to 
America, upon a particular service; and, hearing 
that the Daedalus, Sir Charles Knowles was blocked 
up in the Chesapeak, by two large French frigates, 
he determined to push into her relief. This, to the 
great mortification of the enemy, he successfully ef- 
fected, on the 17th of May. The Frenchmen made 
a shew of following the Terpsichore and Dredalus out 
to sea ; but, when our frigates hove-to, to receive 
them, they prudently returned to their anchorage. 

After accompanying the Daedalus to Halifax, the 
Terpsichore returned to Guadaloupe, which Captain 
Bowen had the mortification to find was invested, 
and partly in possession of the enemy, Fort Matilda 
being closely besieged, he was directed by Admiral 
Caldwell to cover and guard the supplies which were 
brought for the garrison ; a service which he per- 
formed with such vigilance and activity, as obtained 
the applause of the whole army ; and when it was 
deemed expedient to evacuate the fort, the garrison 
were greatly indebted for their safety to his judicious 
arrangements. His services were most handsomely 
acknowledged, by the sea and land officers, who com- 
manded on the evacuation of Guadaloupe, as appears 
by the extracts from the London Gazette, of Fe- 
bruary 14, 179-5, inserted below.* 


" SIR, 

At Yesterday morning Captain Bowcn 3 of his Majesty's ship 


The shot, referred to in Captain Thompson's letter, 
having cut deep into Captain Bowen's cheek-hone, the 

Terpsichore, accompanied by Captain Thomas, aid-de-camp to 
Lieutenant-general Prescott, brought me a letter from the general, 
saying that he had held out at Fort Aiatiida as long as possible (in- 
deed from the ships we could perceive that the walls of the fort 
were much shattered, and many of the guns dismounted,), and re- 
quested that I would make an arrangement for taking off the troops, 
who would 1)0 ready at the water side by seven o'clock that evening. 
On ray mentioning to Captain Bowcn, that it would be necessary 
an officer of rank should conduct the embarkation, he, in a very 
handsome manner, offered to undertake the service, provided I 
thought him equal to it. Knowing his abilities, 1 accepted his offer 
with pleasure, and he performed it very much to my satisfaction ; 
bringing the whole garrison off", without any loss on their part. 
Unfortunately, in rowing along shore, to inquire after an out 
picket (which there was some doubt about, but which had been 
called in, and was embarked) Captain Bo wen received a bad wound 
in the face A mate and one man were killed in the Alarm's launch, 
in consequence of her being thrown on the beach by the surf. This 
was all the loss we sustained, although the enemy kept up a smart 
fire of musketry, and from some, of their batteries. Considering 
the short notice, every thing succeeded beyond my expectations, 
and i felt myself much obliged to all concerned, officers and men ; 
but Captain Bowen I beg leave to recommend particularly on the 
present occasion, and for his exertions during the whole siege, of 
which 1 have no doubt but Lieutenant-general Prescott can bear 
ample testimony. We are now employed in arranging the troops, 
in order to send them for the protection of the different islands. 
When that is finished, 1 shall make the best of my way to join you 
at Martinique. 1 have the honour to be, &c. 



u Lieut. -general Prescott reports, that it has been greatly owing 
to the ready assistance afforded to the garrison by Vice-admiral 
Sir John Jervis, and since by Rear-admiral Thompson, that he was 
enabled so long to resist the efforts of the enemy, lie also gives 
the highest encomiums to Captain Bowen, of his Majesty's ship 
Terpsichore, who superintended the embarkation, and by whose 
able disposition of the boats every thing was managed with the 
most perfect order and regularity. Unfortunate!) 1 he was severe! v 
wounded, but we hope not in such a manner as to endanger his 

Testimonies equally strong and pointed were given to Sir. Bowcn. 
from Lieutenant-general Prescott. 


wound soon became so dangerous in that climate, that 
Vice-admiral Caldvvell, duly appreciating the value of 
. this gallant officer, sent him to England, with his 
dispatches. After his return, he was actively em- 
ployed in the North Sea. 

In December, 179^5, Sir John Jervis was appointed 
to succeed Admiral Hotham, as commander-in-chief 
of the Mediterranean fleet ; and soon after his arrival 
on that station, the Terpsichore joined him, and Cap- 
tain Bowen received a fresh proof of the attachment 
and confidence of his patron, by being appointed to 
command a squadron of small vessels, for the purpose 
of protecting the trade and supplies of the garrison of 
Gibraltar. Sir John Jervis in a letter to General 
O'Hara, mentioned in Clarke and M'Arthur's " Life 
of Nelson," thus introduces our hero to the general's 
notice : " Captain Bowen, who is a child of my own, 
is selected to command the small naval force at Gi- 
braltar; and you will find in him the most inexhausti- 
ble spirit of enterprise and skilful seamanship, that 
can be comprised in any human character." 

While Captain Bowen was employed on this service, 
frequent opportunities occurred for displaying his nau- 
tical abilities ; and it ought particularly to be men- 
tioned, that, by the practical application of the ob- 
servations which he had made on the regular tide, on 
each side of the Gut of Gibraltar, he refuted the 
common opinion, of the impossibility of beating out 
against a westerly wind. lie also conducted the im- 
portant duties committed to his charge, with a zeal, 
activity, and judgment, which gained him the admi- 
ration and gratitude of the garrison, and the warm 
attachment of the governor. 

Early in October, 179(i, Rear- admiral Man's squa- 
dron was chased into Gibraltar by a Spanish fleet; and 
Captain Bowen was despatched, in the Terpsichore, 
to give the information to the commander in-chief. 
On the 10th, he fell in with the Pallas, delivered his 
despatches for Sir John Jervis to the Hon. Captain 


Curzon, and hauled his wind, to return to his statidii. 
On the 13th, being off Carthagena, at day-light in 
the morning, a strange frigate was seen to windward, , 
apparently in chase, under all sail. Notwithstanding 
the Terpsichore's company had been considerably re- 
duced by sickness, Captain Bowen depended on the 
tried valour of his remaining crew, and determined 
to risk an action, the particulars of which, with its 
splendid result, we give in the note* from the Gazette ; 


Gibraltar, October 23, 1796. 

On the morning of the 13th instant at day-light, we discovered 
a frigate to windward, standing towards us. About eight I could 
perceive her making every preparation for battle, and was then? 
apparently in chase of us; our situation altogether was such as to 
prevent my being over desirous of engaging her : out of our small 
complement of men we had left thirty at the hospital, and we had 
more than that number still on board on our sick and convalescent 
lists, all of whom were either dangerously ill. or extremely weak. 
We were scarcely out of sight of the spot, where we knew the Spa- 
nish fleet had been cruising only two days before, and in fact we 
had stood on to look for them, with a view of ascertaining their 
movements ; a small Spanish vessel, which we conjectured to be a 
sort of tender, was passing us, steering towards Carthagena; so 
that I could hardly flatter myself with being able to bring the frigate 
off, in the event of a victory, or of even escaping myself if 
disabled. On the other hand, it appeared that nothing but a flight 
and superior sailing could enable me to avoid an action, and to do 
that from a frigate apparently not much superior to us, except in 
point of bulk, would have been committing the character of one 
of his Majesty's ships more than 1 could bring myself to resolve 
on. I, therefore, continued standing on, without any alteration of 
course. Having, with infinite satisfaction and comfort to myself, 
commanded the Terpsichore's crew for two years and a half, 
through a pretty considerable variety of services, I well knew the 
veteran stuff which I had still left in health to depend upon, for 
upholding the character of British seamen: and I felt my mind at case 
as to the termination of any action with the frigate in sight only. 
At half-past nine she came within hail, and hauled h^r wind on our 
weather beam ; and as I conceived she only waited to place herself 
to advantage, and to point her guns with exactness, and being my- 
self unwilling to lose the position we were then in, 1 ordered one 
gun to be flred, as a trier of her intention. It was so instantane- 


only adding, that the satisfaction of having humbled 
the pride of the enemy, and nobly maintained the 
glory of the British flag, was considerably enhanced 
by an opportunity of rendering 1 justice to the merits 
of his youngest brother, who was one of his lieute- 
nants, and whose conduct on this and many other 
occasions, justly entitled him to the encomiums of his 
gallant relative. 

ously returned, and followed up by her whole broadside, that I 
am confident they must have done it at the sight of our flash: the 
action of course went on, and we soon discovered that her people 
would not, or could not resist our fire. At the, end of about an 
hour and forty minutes, during which time we had twice wore, and 
employed about twenty of the last minutes in chase, she surren- 
dered. At this period she appeared almost entirely disabled, and 
we had drawn close up alongside with every gun well charged and 
well pom ted.' It was, nevertheless, with considerable difficulty that 
I prevailed on the Spanish commander to decline the receiving of 
such a broadside, by submitting ; and from every thing I have sines 
heard, the personal courage, conduct, and zeal of that cilicer, 
whose name is Don Thomas Agaldc, was such during the action, 
notwithstanding the event of it, as reflects on him the greatest 
honour, and irresistibly impressed on my mind the highest admira- 
tion of his character. After (from the effect of our lire) his booms 
had tumbled down, and rendered his waste guns unserviceable, all 
the standing rigging of his lower masts shot away, and L believe 
every running rope cut through, am! a great number of his people 
killed and wounded, he stiil persevered, though he could rally but 
few of his men, to defend his ship, almost longer than defence uas 
justifiable. Had there been the smallest motion in the sea, every 
mast must have inevitably gone by the board. Our loss (which will 
appear by the enclosed list) has been much less than could have been 
expected ; but our masts, sails, ami rigging, were found to be 
pretty much cut up. The spirited exertions of every o nicer, man, 
and boy, belonging to the ship I command, as well in the action as 
in securing the two disabled ships, and brining thorn oil" inslantly 
from a critical situation, by taking thu prize in tow, and by their 
incessant labour ever since, will. 1 trust, when their small number 
is considered, place them in a li^ht superior to any praise I c'o:,!d 
bestow. I am even unwilling to speak of the particular conduct 
of any of the officers ; but the talents displayed b\ (he lirst lieute- 
nant, Devonshire, who \* as but jsistoul of tin 1 sick list, during the 
action, added to his uncommon fatigue iii taking care of lii ' ; fi/.e, 
and the very able manner in whii'.h he conducted .in' 1 pivpared to 
defend her, entitle him to this distinction: and prove him highly 


In consequence of the well-merited commendation 
bestowed in the above letter, the Admiralty promoted 
Lieutenant Devonshire to the rank of commander; 
and the merchants at Lloyd's evinced their sense of 
the importance of this gallant action, by voting Cap* 
tain Bo wen a piece of plate.* 

deserving of the recommendation you gave him with his appoint- 
ment in the West Indies ; and although I had rather any other 
person should observe the conduct of a brother of mine, in action, 
and speak of it afterwards, yet I feel it my duty, as captain of the 
ship, to state that I thought Mr. Bowen's (the second lieutenant's) 
conduct was particularly animating to the ship's company, and 
useful, from the number of guns which he saw well pointed in the 
course of the action ; added to which, from the absence of the first 
lieutenant on board the prize, the labouring oar of this ship has 
fallen on him ; and, in my mind, the task we have had, since tha 
action, has been infinitely more arduous than that of the action 
itself. The name of the prize is the Mahoncsa, carrying on the 
main deck twenty. six Spanish twelve, pounders, weighing eighteen 
ounces more than ours ; eight Spanish sixes on the quarter-deck, 
and a number of brass cohorns, swivels, &c. had on board two 
hundred and seventy-five men, besides six pilots, qualified for the 
Mediterranean, as high as Leghorn, and to be put on board Admi- 
ral Langara's fleet, which she had been sent from Carthagena to 
look for. She was built in 1789, at Mahon; is of very large di- 
mensions, measuring eleven hundred and fourteen tons and a half 
(Spanish) ; was before the action in complete good condition ; 
and is considered by the Spanish officers the fastest sailer, and one 
of the best constructed, and what they attach considerable im- 
portance to, the handsomest frigate in their navy. Both the fri. 
gates have this moment anchored in safety. 

" 1 am, &c. " RICHARD BOWEX." 


RAW s ON AISLAEIE, Esq. in the Chair. 

fi Resolved, '' Merchant Seaman's Ojjice^ Dec. 1, 1796. 

" That Captain Richard Bowen, of his Majesty's ship Terpsi- 
chore, be requested bv this committee to accept a piece of plate, 
value one hundred guineas, in acknowledgment of iiis very gallant 
behaviour in the capture of the Sp:i;ii-h friiz^te Mahonesa, of su- 
perior force, in the aciion of the Ulli of October last: and in 
testimony of the high c:n-;s> this committr-: 1 entertain?; of the 
protection he has thereby aiioi'ded to tin- commerce of Great 


Captain Bowen lost no time in refitting his ship ; 
which having accomplished, he sailed on a cruise to 
the westward. On the 12th and 13th of November, 
he captured several small vessels, and sent them into 
Gibraltar. On the 22d of the same month, off Cape 
St. Mary's, he spoke an American brig, the master of 
which informed him, that he had the evening before 
parted from a large Spanish ship from Monte Video, 
bound to Cadiz, and that he supposed she was then 
a little to the southward of him. The weather being 
thick and hazy, she was not discovered by the Terp- 
sichore before noon ; when a Spanish ship of the line 
also hove in sight, apparently in chase of the Terp- 
sichore. Captain 13o\ven, by a judicious manoeuvre, 
drew her after him, until it was dark ; then shaped 
his course for Cadiz ; and, at ten the next morning, 
he captured the Monte Video ship in the mouth of 
the harbour, and towed her off in triumph. 

At day-light, in the morning of the 12th of De- 
cember, while cruising about twenty leagues to the 
westward of Cadiz, a gale of wind blowing at south- 
east, with a heavy short sea, a strange frigate was 
discovered about four miles on the weather-quarter 
of the Terpsichore. Chase was instantly given, under 
all the canvass she could bear. The enemy made all 
sail, upon a wind, and the chase was continued, with 
much maneuvering on both sides, for nearly fortv 
hours; during which, from the weather being ex- 
tremely squally, and at times blou'ing an aboolnte 
storm, the Terpsichore sprung her fore and main- 
top-masts. At length, however, the enemy, finding 
it impossible to avoid an action, brought to; and 
I'bout ten o'clock at night, on the 13th, Captain 
Jlowenhad the satisfaction of <ivttina; along- side or her. 
A most spirited battle immediately commenced, yard- 
arm and yard-arm; and, alter a hard cont 1 i of 
nearly two hours, the enemy surrendered to the su- 
perior bravery ami discipline 1 of the Terpsichore. She 
proved to be La Vestale, French frigate, of thirty- 


six guns, and two hundred and seventy men ; having 
her captain, and forty men killed ; the second cap- 
tain, and about fifty nien wounded; and, in a few 
minutes after she had struck her colours, all her 
masts, and bowsprit, went by the board. The Terp- 
sichore's loss in this action was one quarter-master, 
and three seamen, killed ; Lieutenant George Bowen, 
Mr. Fane, midshipman, and seventeen seamen wound- 
ed. Two lieutenants, and thirty seamen, were ab- 
sent in prizes. Of his brother's conduct in this 
action (for which he was afterwards promoted by the 
Admiralty to the rank of commander) Captain 
Bowen writes to his Commander-in-chief thus: 

" My brother, who was the only lieutenant on 
board, and on whom fell the task of conducting the 
duty on the main-deck, was, by a shot fired after 
our opponent had actually struck, very severely, and 
as I much dread, incurably wounded, chiefly in the 
shoulder, but with the addition of several bad con- 
tusions in different places. I feel thankful, however, 
that I was not deprived of his co-operation, or my 
feelings agitated by the occasion, until our united 
efforts were crowned with success." 

Captain Bowen sent the master, and a boat's crew, 
to take charge of the prize, which had by this time 

o i - \j 

drifted amongst the shoab between Cape Trafalgar and 

Cadiz, the breakers of which were seen by the light 
of the moon. She had not an anchor clear for letting 
go, and most of the Frenchmen were drunk. How- 
ever, by great exertions, Mr. Elder (the master) 
succeeded in bringing her up in fifteen fathoms, and 
rode out the night about two miles from the shore. 
The Terpsichore, from, her crippled situation, and 
want of hands to rcpuir damages, could render her 
prize no assistance; and it was with much difficulty 
that she weathered the rocks of St. Sebastian. On 
the following morning Captain Bowen stood in and 
anchored in the hav>;i: of his prize, tour miles south- 


west of the Island of Sancti Petro, the whole Spanish 
fleet in Cadiz clearly in view. In the evening, a fa- 
vourable slant of wind gave him an opportunity of 
getting under weigh, with his prize in tow; but the 
tow rope getting foul of a rock, it was cut for the 
safety of both the ships, and he was under the ne- 
cessity of abandoning La Vestale to her fate, and 
standing off for the ni;ht. The next morning, on. 

O O O 7 

standing in, he had the extreme mortification to see 
her running into Cadiz, under jury sails, and French 
colours re-hoisted ; the French having risen upon the 
master and his small party, and got assistance from 
the shore during the night. Captain Bowen, after 
a painful detail of the unfortunate sequel to the gal- 
lant exertions of himself and his brave followers, 
adds " As we feel conscious of having done our 
duty, to the utmost of our power, we endeavour to 
console ourselves with the expectation of our con- 
duct being approved." How well this expectation 
was answered, the Letter,* given below, from the 
pen of his Commander-in-chief, will prove. 


<( The intelligence we received from the patrons of two pilot- 
boats, when oil' Cadiz, on the 17th December, that the French 
frigate then lying between the Diamond and Pocros, had been dis- 
masted and captured by an English frigate, impressed us all with 
an opinion, that the Terpsichore had achieved this gallant action. 
1 lament exceedingly that you and your brave crew were deprived 
of the substantial reward of your exertions; but you cannot fail 
to receive the tribute due to you from the government and country 
at large. I was very much agitated with the danger you appre- 
hended your brother was in, when you wrote : I have, however, 
derived great consolation from the report of Captain Mansfield, 
that he was much recovered, and able to walk down to the Mole, 
before he sailed. The account you gave of Francis Fane is very 
grateful to my feelings, and I have sent your postscript to Lady 
Elizabeth, as the greatest treat I could give to a fond mother, and 
an high-minded woman. 

' ; I hope when the upper-works of the Terpsichore are tho- 
roughly repaired, and well caulked, you will not find her so crazy 
as you apprehend. I agree with the commissioner, that it was 
not justifiable to rip the copper off her botfoai, recollecting that 


The moment that the intelligence of the glorious 
14th of February, 1/97, arrived at Gibraltar, Cap- 
tain Bo wen got uiuk-r weigh to join his victorious 
chief; and, on his passage to Lauos Bay, he fell in 
Avith the Emerald, Captain Wallers, the Cornwall, 
Captain Berkeley, and two other frigates, watching 
the Santissima Trinidada: it was late in the evening, 
and Captain Bovren was confident that lie saw the 
union jack flying over Spanish colours on board her, 
and congratulated the senior officer on the event; 
but, as it blew too strong for any communication, 
but by hailing, it was doubted by Captain Berkeley, 
whether the prize colours were a token of surrender, 
or a mere ruse de. guerre. In the night, Captain 
Berkeley, with his frigates lost sight of her, and Cap- 
tain Bowen proceeded to the commander in-chief, to 
whom he communicated the circumstance. On his 
return to his station, lie had the peculiar good fortune 
to fall in with the same mighty ship, carrying four tiers 
ofii'ims, by herself with only her foremast standing. 

O ' v *j O 

Captain Bowen determined to ascertain, whether she 
would surrender to him. The wind was very light, 
and it falling calm when the Terpsichore arrived 
within gun-shot, he soon found that the Spaniards 
treated him with contempt. How this arrogance of 
a four-decker was chastised by a little two-arid thirty 
gun frigate, will long be remembered , and the effect 

she underwent that operation on her return from the West Indies ; 
and holding an opinion, that, alihough your two actions have been 
Tory heavy, the shock cannot have materially affected her body, 
much below the line of flotation. In respect to your going to Eng- 
land, I submit to voiir cooler judgment, now }our brother is re- 
covering and the Terpsichore putting to rights, -whether it would, 
not. look like a dereliction of the very honourable post you have 
been selected to 1:11. and which 1 consider as, the highest situation 
;i captain of your standing on the list could be appointed to. 

" i de-ire you v, ill remember me kindly to your brother, and 
to n'l the i;ood fciicjus in the Terpsichore, and believe me to be, 
most truly your-^ 


" /Ycter?/. indie T('n; 1 :-.''. Januar. 1737." 


of his fire was made known to Captain Bowen, in a 
letter from his admiral, dated Ville de Paris, April 2, 
17.97, of which an extract is given below.* 

On the 2.9th of May, two Spanish frigates at Al- 
gesiras, having troops and money on board, for 
Ceuta, took advantage of the Terpsichore being 
in the Mole, and pushed out; but as soon as their 
intentions were perceived, Captain Bowen warped 
his ship out, joined the Pallas, and gave chase to the 
Spaniards, who, the instant that they saw the Little 
Devil (a name which the Terpsichore had acquired 
among them) under weigh, returned to their anchor- 
age. This conduct of the enemy's ships contributed 
not a little to the amusement of the garrison. The 
Pallas returned to Gibraltar; but the Terpsichore 
continued out, and, that night, took a small prize 
from under the Spanish batteries. 

On the 12th of June, Captain Bowen was detached 
by Sir John Jervis to look into Teneriffe ; and on the 
18th, at midnight, he cut out from under the bat- 
teries of the Mole of Santa Cruz, a rich ship from 
the Manillas, bound to Cadiz. On the 5th of July, 
after having been actively engaged in the first bom- 
bardment of Cadiz, under Rear-admiral Nelson, he 
was, by that officer, entrusted with the command of 
the second bombardment, of which the London Ga- 
zette gives the following detail : 

" Rear-admiral Nelson ordered a second bombard- 
ment of Cadiz on the night of the 5th, under the 
direction of Captain Bowen, of the Terpsichore, Cap- 


" You were very unfortunate, indeed, not to have fallen in 
with Oakes or Tyler ; either would have done. The gallant at- 
tack you made deserved success : it is not given to mortals to 
command it. An American gentleman, who called upon me at Lis- 
bon, saw the second captain of the Trinidada, who was badly 
wounded by the Terpsichore, and told my informant that yon had 
killed nine on the spot, and wounded a great number, several of 
whom he had reason to believe had since died of their wounds, and 
they described your fire as infernal. 1 ' 


tain Miller, of the Theseus, and Captain Waller, of 
the Emerald, and appointed Mr. Jackson master of 
the Ville de Paris, to place the Thunder, Terror, and 
Strornholo. 'ihe bombardment produced consider- 
able effect in the town, and amongst the shipping; 
ten sail of the line (amongst them the ships carrying 
the flags of Admirals Alazzairdo and Giavina) having 
warped out of the range of the shells with much pre- 
cipitation the following morning." 

The enemy's gun-boats, on this occasion, kept close 
under the walls; "and no opportunity (says Nelson, 
in one of his letters to Earl St. Vincent) was offered 
to Bowen to make a dash." 

Captain Bowen, whose numerous services had 
pointed him out as a fit person to be employed on 
any bold and adventurous enterprise, was one of the 
officers who were selected to carry into effect the long 


projected attack upon Teneriffe. It is evident, in- 
deed, from the following extract of a letter from Sir 
John Jervis to Rear-admiral Nelson, dated June 6*, 
3797, that the commander-in-chief had long had his 

eye upon him, for this service:- 


" If I obtain a reinforcement of four ships of the 
line, as I have reason to believe 1 shall, from the 
strong manner I put the necessity of the measure in 
my public letter to Nepean, and private correspon- 
dence with Lord Spencer ; I will detach you with the 
Theseus, Culloden, Zealous, Leander, Emerald, and 
Andromache, with orders to attempt the surprise of 
Santa Cruz, in the Grand Canary. Terpsichore 
Bowen shall also be of the party; but I rely chiefly 
on the local knowledge of Captain Thompson, of the 
Leander. Turn this in your mind ; for the moment 
the expected ships arrive, I \\ ill dash you oil'.'' 

On the succeeding day, Sir John Jervis also wrote 
to Rear-admiral Nelson as follows : 

" ^ our train of artillery, fixed ammunition artil 


lery, and devil-cart will be supplied cheerfully by 
General O'Hara. Terpsichore Bowen will come with 
the bomb-vessel, and shall be sent for them the mo- 
ment I have notice of the 'approach of the reinforce- 

On the 24th of July, every necessary arrangement 
having- been made, Captain Bowen had the glorious, 
but eminently hazardous post assigned to him, of 
leading the rear-admiral to the attack. At the head 
of forty or fifty of his crew, he landed at the Mole 
Head of Santa Cruz, stormed the battery, spiked the 
guns, and was proceeding towards the town, in pursuit 
of the fugitive Spaniards, when a tremendous dis- 
charge of grape, from some field pieces in his front, 
brought him to the ground, with his first lieutenant, 
and many of his brave followers, at the moment that 
Nelson received nis wound on landing. 

Thus fell Captain Richard Bowen ! than whom, 
says the immortal Nelson, " a more enterprising, able, 
and gallant officer, does not grace his Majesty's naval 
service ! ' The failure of this enterprise, by the other 
boats mistaking their direction in the darkness of the 

O ( 

night, is too well known, tor a repetition of the 
painful detail to be at all necessary. The body of 
Captain Bowen, covered with wounds, was discovered 
in the morning, under those of his first lieutenant 
and his whole boat's crew, who had been his faithful 
companions in many hazardous and successful en- 
terprises ; had been the witnesses, and imitators 
of his gallantry in many triumphs over the enemies 
of his country ; and who had sealed their attachment 
to their lamented leader, by participating in his glo- 
rious fate. His body was committed to the deep, 
with the honours of war, on the 127th of July. The 
dark wave rolls over the remains of the hero; the 
tears of his friends and of Ins shipmates embalm his 
memory ; and the fame of his gallant actions shall 
endure, when the marble shall have mouldered into 


Lord Spencer, who then presided at the Ad mi" 
rait} 7 , was strongly urged by Earl St. Vincent, and 
by his eldest brother, on the subject of a monument 
to Captain Bowen's memory. On this subject, Ad- 
miral Nelson, in one of his letters to Earl St. Vincent 
(published in Clarke and M 'Arthur's splendid work) 
thus writes : ' Why is not a monument voted in 
St. Paul's, to perpetuate the memory of the gallant 
Bowen? I put it strongly to Loid Spencer. If you 
have an opportunity, pray express my surprise, that 
no mention has been made of him in either House of 

Lord Spencer, however, declined bringing the sub- 
ject forward, on the ground that no precedent ex- 
isted of such an honour, to the memory of an officer 
who had perished in an unsuccessful enterprise. In 
consequence of his lordship's declining to introduce 
the subject to the notice of parliament, a monument, 
erected by his father, in the church of his native 
place, is the only memorial of the services, and of 
the fate, of Captain Richard Bowen ; of that spirited 
and indefatigable officer, who, in time of peace, had 
relieved and rescued from ruin an infant colony ; 
who had taken from the enerny three frigates, of 
very superior force, after obstinate engagements, and 
one of them with boats only, in the face of a power- 
ful land force ; who had preserved, to render further 
services to his Majesty, the brave garrison of Fort 
Matilda, at Guadaloupe ; who had, in his little frigate, 
engaged the largest first-rate in the Spanish navy ; 
who had annoyed the enemy's trade, almost beyond 
example; who, for the protection which he had af- 
forded to the commerce of Britain, had received the 
most honourable acknowledgments from the mer- 
chants of London ; who had been dangerously wound- 
ed in the execution of his duty; and who had finally 
laid down his inestimable life, for the glory of his 
king and country! Tin's monument, the tribute of 
paternal affection, is ail that the nation boasts, to 


record the fame of an officer, whose character is so 
strongly depicted in the services which he performed, 
as to render all panegyric superfluous : and whose 
greatest reward was, the steady and constant friend- 
ship of his noble patron, Earl St. Vincent, whose dis- 
cerning eye first discovered his hidden talents, and 
whose magnanimity and great example called them 
forth to victory and renown ! 



on the 8th of August, 1761, was the son of a Scotch 
gentleman, that had married Sir An-.lrew Hamond's 
eldest sister, and who died at Edinburgh in the year 
1770- At the time of his father's decease, and when 
young Douglas was only ten years old : having shewn 
an inclination for the sea-service, his mother sent him 
up to his uncle in London, after having received some 
slight education at a school in Edinburgh. Captain 
A. Hamond had just been appointed to the Arethusa 
frigate, of thirty-two guns, in which his nephew sail- 
ed with him for the coast of North America: and, it 
being a time of peace, his active commander and rela- 
tion took the opportunity of making his officers well 
acquainted with the coast and harbours of that coun- 
try. In 1/73, the Arethusa returned to England, 
and was pai<i off; but Douglas was sent by his uncle 
to the West Indies, with the late Eord Gardner, in a 
twenty-eight gun frigate, and continued on that sta- 
tion until the American war broke out in 177^- He 
then rejoined his ur.cle, who had the command of 
the Roebuck at Virginia, a new ship of forty-four 
gnus, and built on a new plan. In December 1775, 
the line-buck arrival at Halifax, and, in this ship, 
whilst on most active and perilous service, Mr. Doug- 


las went through all the gradations of midshipman, 
third, second, and first lieutenant ; until at the siege 
of Charlestown, Admiral Arbuthnot being com man- 
der-in-chief, with his flag on board the Roebuck, Lieu- 
tenant Douglas was advanced by him master and 
commander into the Germain. Captain Douglas shall 
now speak for himself. 

" I was," says he in a letter to his uncle, " made a 
master and commander on the 15th of February, 1780, 
and appointed to the command of the Germain : but 
instead of joining her, I commanded the Sandwich, 
floating battery, at the siege of Charlestown. At 
the surrender of which I was made a post captain into 
the Providence, American frigate, of thirty-two cruns. 

o / c* 

On the 15lh of May, 1780, my uncle, Sir Andrew 
Hamond, captain of the Roebuck, being ordered to. 
England, with the admiral's dispatches, and other 
public business, I was directed to take the command 
of the Roebuck during his absence : and I was suc- 
ceeded in the Providence by Captain Henry. Through 
the kindness of my uncle, a confirmation was sent to 
me from the Admiralty, as captain of the Roebuck, 
in which ship I remained until July, 1781; having, 
during that time, been very actively employed, and 
having taken two frigates, viz. the Confederacy, of 
thirty-six guns, and the Protector of twenty-eight, 
besides several privateers. 

" In July, 1/8J, the Roebuck being ordered to 
England, 1 was appointed captain of the Chatham, 
of fifty-four guns; in the command of which ship I 
continued, during the war, upon the coast of North 
Amciica. During the first part of the time, about 
three months, 1 was employed, from my knowledge 
of the coast, as conductor of the fleet under Admiral 
Graves, in a cruise to the Bay of Boston, which was 
at that time the rendezvous of the French fleet ; and 
during the latter part of the same period, about two 
years, I was commander of a squadron of frigates, 
and senior oliicer upon the northern coast of North 


America ; having taken or destroyed in the last twen- 
ty months iifty sail of vessels from the enemy, one 
French frigate, of thirty-six guns, the Magieienne, 
and several stout privateers. Some circumstances, 
which existed at the time, made this capture of the 
Magieienne, of great consequence: for her comman- 
der was also commodore upon the same station, and 
had appointed his squadron, a fifty gun ship, and 
three frigates, to meet him, on the morning upon 
which I took him, exactly on the spot where I first 
engaged his ship : he had steered directly for the har- 
bour of Boston, where the French squadron then lay, 
and they were actually under way, coming out with 
their headmost, the Astrea, of forty guns, command- 
ed hy Mons. De la Perouse, not more than three or 
four miles off, when the Magieienne struck. Having 
sent all my ships upon different services, I was alone. 
The intention of the commander of the Magieienne, 
in ordering his ships to join him off Cape Ann was, to 
have attempted the destruction of our mast ships, in 
the river of St. John's, Bay of Fundy : this capture 
was, therefore, of the more consequence, as it de- 
feated such an intention in the enemy. 

" When the war ended, I went on half-pay, and 
continued so from that period until August, 17S6\ 
Having, during that interval, studied naval architec- 
ture at Chatham dock-yard ; and made a tour of ob- 
servation on the continent, when I embraced the op- 
portunity of rendering myself acquainted with both 
the French and Italian languages, On my return to 
England, I was immediately appointed commander of 
the Southampton frigate, of thirty-two guns, and was 
sent to the Mediterranean, where 1 continued until 
the year 1787; and was then ordered home, \vilh an 
account of the state of the French aiul Spanish fleets ; 
England having thought it necessary to arm, in con- 
sequence of some disturbance in Holland. At the 
end of the Dutch armament, I returned to the Medi- 
terranean, where I continued some time ; and alter- 


wards commanded my ship, the Southampton, in the 
channel of England, nominally stationed between the 
South Foreland and Dun nose ; but I had private leave 
to visit Cherbourg, and the ports of France in the Chan- 

(: During the latter part of my continuance on this 
station, I was ordered to put myself under the king's 
directions at Weymouth ; when his Majesty, with 
the royal family, sailed in the Southampton : the first 
time the king had ever been under way in one of his 
men of war; and he was pleased to repeat it after- 
wards between thirty and forty times. When the 
royal family went to Plymouth by land, I carried 
the first lord of the Admiralty there, Lord Chatham, 
in the Southampton. The royal family, with the 
king and board of Admiralty, came on board the 
Southampton in Plymouth Sound, and proceeded to 
sea to review a squadron of line of battle ships, under 
the command of Commodore Gooclall. The South- 
ampton carried the Standard at the main, the Admi- 
ralty flag at the fore, and the Union at the mizen- 
top-mast head. The royal family then returned to 
Weymouth by land, but Lord Chatham accompanied 
me thither by sea in the Southampton. After this ser- 
vice, the king was pleased to confer upon me the ho- 
nour of knighthood : and when the royal family left 
W r eymouth, I was ordered to Portsmouth. 

" The Southampton was now paid off. I had com- 
manded her three years and a quarter, and the next day 
I was appointed to the Goliah, of seventy-four guns, 
in which ship I continued six months ; when she 
was found defective, and I was removed from her, 
with my officers and ship's company, into the Alcide 
of seventy-four guns, upon the armament then fitted 
out to check the insolence of Spain, in May, ] 790. 
On that occasion, I sailed as one of a fleet consisting 
of thirty-one sail of the line, under the command of 
the Earl Howe, who did me the honour of appointing 
me to lead the centre division or column of the fleet. 


We continued a month at sea ; and upon our return, 
the object of the armament having been adjusted 
without coming to blows, I was put under the com- 
mand of Lord Hood, who was at the head of a large 
fleet then intended to act against the Empress of Rus- 
sia. But at length that design was relinquished, and 
the Alcide, with other ships, were ordered into Ports- 
mouth harbour, where I continued the command of 
her, until the latter part of the year 1792, at which 
time she was paid off. I had commanded her and 
the Goliah for three years. 

" Afterwards, that is on the breaking out of the 
present war, in 1793, I was appointed to the Phaeton, 
of thirty-eight guns, which was the first ship sent out 
to cruise for the destruction of the enemy, and the 
protection of our commerce ; for which service the 
merchants of London presented me with a piece of 
plate. While I commanded the Phaeton, a fortu- 
nate accident enabled me to take the French privateer 
General Dumourier, and a Spanish galleon, the St. 
Jago, which she had captured.* 

* The following letters from Sir A. S. Douglas, to his uncle Sir 
A. Haraond, particularly illustrate this part of the above nar- 


On leaving him the Charge of my Wife ami Children., tchcn / 
sailed in the Phaeton for the Mediterranean. Dated February 
12, 1793. 

" The uncertainty of human affairs induces me to leave this 
with my clear friend, that he may be assured of my gratitude to the 
last, for his fatherly attention to me. AVords are insufiicicnt to 
express all I wish to say to him upon this occasion. Mv heart 
feels the tender est affection towards him. Jf the chancy of war 
should prevent me from returning, 1 commend to his care a dear 
and most beloved wife, and my infant family : and at (his moment 
it is a source of infinite consolation to me to reflect, that 1 have 
o sincere a friend whose protection they will be sure of. 

' ; Adieu, thou best of friends. Heaven jjuard you, Lady Ila- 

mond, and your children Your ailVctiomito and most a;rati- 

pl ncphev." 


" I continued upon that and other services, until 
Lord Howe proceeded to sea with the Channel fleet. 
This happened just at the time I had returned from 
Lisbon, with a small frigate of the enemy, La 
Prompte, of twenty-eight guns, and a privateer, 
which I had taken ; and I was then attached to the 
western fleet by the Admiralty. Lord Howe gave 
me a distinguishing pendant, and the command of all 
the frigates of the fleet, formed into a separate squad- 
ron. This was the first appointment of the kind that 
had ever taken place; and as such I considered it as 
a very honourable one, although it was very fatigu- 
ing : for it might in some measure, be considered in 
the same light as the flank corps of an army. I con- 
tinued to serve in that situation, sometimes cruising: 

. ^ 

separately, but in general with the fleet, until the 

On taking the Spanish galleon. Dated Phaeton April 15, 1793. 

41 il-.'g. 43 min. A', lat. 25 cleg. W. 

u Yesterday our squadron gave chase to two sail in the north- 
west, I came up with a large Spanish galieon under French co- 
lours : dropped a boat on board of her as 1 passed, leaving her to 
be taken possession of by Molloy, and stood on in chase of the 
headmost, which I took t<; o hoars afterwards, a French privateer 
coppered, the General Duinourier. of tuenty-two guns, six 
pounders, one hundred and ninety-.-ix men ; having on board six 
hundred and eighty cases of silver, each case containing three thou- 
sand dollars. The galleon is from Lima, she had been taken by 
the French eleven days before. The two pri/es are of immense 
value, exceeding Commodore Ar.soifs. We have had a meeting in 
the admiral's cabin, and we consider ourselves fully entitled to all 
and every thing found on hoard the (Jcneral Dumourier ; but we 
imagine we shall only receive the salvage of the galleon, I think it 
is one half. The admiral semis the Kdgar in, with the prizes. If 
this money hail got to France, how it would have operated in their 
favour! The money in the privateer, weighs iifly-iive tons: we 
have put it all into the Kdgar. You may tasSK imagine, as suc- 
cess iias a very sensible c licet upon the human mind, how much we 
are elated at this stroke of fortune, and 1 feel much gratified at 
having been the principal feature in the picture : Phaeton sails re- 
markably well . . . . i'ver believe me. my dear uncle, your most 
grateful and affectionate nephew." 


.captain of the Queen Charlotte, Lord Howe's ship, 
quitted the command of her, and went to be a com- 
missioner of the Transport Board; when Lord Howe 
applied for me to be appointed to succeed him. I was 
accordingly nominated captain of the Queen Char- 
lotte, on the 8th day of April, 1/94. 

" In that situation, as captain of the Queen Chai> 
lotte, I have remained ever since, with the good for- 
tune of having commanded her in three engagements 
with the enemy's fleet, viz. on the memorable 29th of 
May, and 1st of June, 1794, under the union flag 
worn by the Earl Howe. And again, on the 23d of 
June, 1 795, when she was a private ship, commanded by 
myself, under the flag of Lord Bridport, off L'Orient. 
I trust I may say, I had it in my power to ren- 
der my country some service upon those occasions, 
without incurring the imputation of arrogating to my- 
self what I have no right to. 

" I forgot to mention my having gone over to 
France a second time, as you may remember I did 
by your advice, just before I was appointed to the 
command of the Southampton, for the purpose of 
visiting the different ports in the channel upon the 
French coast, in order to form some judgment of the 
practicability of the French being able to invade this 
country suddenly, by their large fishing boats and 
coasters, without giving us the alarm of a prepara- 
tion. I did so, and freely confess, that I had hopes 
of sometime or other rendering my visit useful to the 

" I remember, my dear uncle, your desiring me 
some time ago, to put down in writing the principal 
occurrences of my life for your perusal : which I have 
now done, in the hope, that, as I owe every thing to 
your fatherly kindness, and continued affection to- 
wards me, it may enable you at least to imagine that 
my life has not been badly spent ; and that I have 
done all in my power, by pursuing a steady course. 
with unremitted attention to my diity, io second those 

VOL. V] I H 


kind endeavours on your part for my welfare. I do. 
not mean to say, that there are not many parts of 
my public life, which might be altered for the better 
if it were to come over again ; but I have, at the same 
time, the invaluable consolation of reflecting, that 
every determination I have taken, in the journey I 
have now related to you, has been governed by ho- 
nour and bv honestv, and according to the best of 

/ * O 

my judgment upon the circumstances existing at the 
moment. I never have for one moment lost sight of 
the good of the king's service and the welfare of my 
country. I have been nearly twenty-seven years in 
his Majesty's service, upwards of twenty-four years 
in actual employ, and nearly seventeen years of that 
time a post captain. 

" You may put this by amongst your papers, and 
it may fall into the hands of your, or my children, 
when we may be no more ; and as it contains the ge- 
neral outline of my public life, it may afford them 
some satisfaction. Although there is nothing brilli- 
ant in it, yet I trust there is nothing that will cause 
them to blush upon my account : and that, upon the 
whole, I shall have acquired the credit of having 
been a zealous officer, a steady well-meaning friend 
to my country, and a faithful servant of the king." 


Such was the modest letter of this great sea-officer, 
to his intimate friend and relation : and it remains to 
be added, what is far from being generally known, 
that the glorious victory of the Ut of June, or ra- 
ther the glorious termination of the battle which com- 
menced on the 28th of May, and did not entirely ter- 
minate until the 1st of June, was much indebted to 
the great and painful exertions of Captain Douglas. 
During the action on the 1st of June, and at a. most 
critical moment, in that memorable contest, a piece 
of grape-shot forcibly struck Sir Andrew Douglas in 
the forehead, above the right eve. li;^ i'jre \vas co- 


vered with blood, and the pain was intense. Yet. did 
that lamented officer, knowing the importance of the 
moment, order the tourniquet to he applied to what 
proved a mortal wound, even with a piece of the shot 
still remaining in it ; and, in that state, holding the 
tourniquet on with one hand, and grasping his speak- 
ing trumpet with the other, he instantly returned to 
the quarter-deck ; where a gloominess and even a des- 
pair prevailed, which his activity and unparalleled 
exertions soon dissipated. Lord 11 owe, with his 
usual liberality, afterwards declared, that Sir A. Doug- 
las was a prodigy ; and that his admiral could never, 
as Commander-in-chief, say enough of Sir Andrew's 
services during that action. 

If the services of Sir A. S. Douglas had been great, 
whilst he continued in Lord Howe's fleet during the 
year 1794, they were equally pre-eminent, in the me- 
morable action which Lord Ikiclport had with the 
French fleet on the 23d of June, 1795. 

During the whole night that preceded the morn- 
ing of the 23d of June, Sir A. S. Douglas never left 
the deck ; thus taking immediate advantage of every 
flaw of wind, and by his presence imparting additio- 
3ial promptness and energy to his judicious orders. 

" By watching every breath of wind," acids one of 
his officers, " that blew T from the heavens, and trim- 
ming incessantly to give it with the best advantage 
to the sails, Sir Andrew' Douglas, soon after the 
morning broke on the C 23d, had the satisfaction to 
Jind himself within two miles of the enemy's rear. 
Undismayed by the lire which they soon poured upon 
the Queen Charlotte, and the lender prospect of 
an essential support, he appeared willing, if necessary, 
to sacrifice his ship for the public benefit. She was 
seen to approach the enemy with a silent intrepidity, 
that at least deserved a pointed notice ; and with evcij 
royals and steering sails set, she dashul amidst tho 
thickest of the enemy. Sir A. Douglas thus receive.-! 
the broadsides of rive or six oi' their ships, and fhr 


stern chasers of three of them at the same time; but 
closing with the nearest, four of them were brought 
into one point, by which the effect of their guns was 
greatly diminished." 

Sir A. Douglas, on going to the admiral's ship after 
the action, was received by Lord Bridport at the gang- 
xvay, and thanked by him publicly for bringing the 
French fleet to action, and thereby retarding their 
design of getting into L'Orient. And these senti- 
ments of Lord Bridport, were afterwards supported 
by Captain Domet, on his arrival in town, who ex- 
pressed, in very strong terms, his admiral's sense of 
Sir A. Douglas's services, of \rhich he assured his 
friends, lie could not say enough. 

It had long been the wish of Sir A.Douglas's friends, 
that as lie had been captain of the Queen Charlotte, 
Lord Howe's flag ship, in the battle of the 1st of 
June, and had rendered such great and known ser- 
vice in Lord Bridport's action, of June 23, 179.5 : go- 
vernment would extend the rank of mere knighthood, 
to that of a baronet. A reference to the list of baro- 
nets, will shew some names that were created at that 
time, whose claims we re certainly not superior to that 
of an eminent naval officer, already knighted by his 
Sovereign, and standing deservedly high in his Ma- 
jesty's opinion. The tide did not, however, lead on 
to this distinction ; and although Lord Spencer, as first 
lord of the Admiralty, declared himself to be of that 
opinion ; lie thus concluded the letter, which he felt 
it to be his duty to write on this subject to the comp~ 
trollcr of the navy : " I shall say no more about it at 
present, except repeating, that I have so high an 
opinion of your nephew's merit, that whenever an 
opportunity offers, when I can with propriety press 
for any tiling in his favour, it will give me a great 
deal of pleasure to contribute towards the gratification 
of any wish he may have formed of distinction or ad- 

The following is the answer which this officer wrote 


in consequence to Sir A. Hamond, dated Ports- 
mouth, June 14th, 179(>. 


" I must begin my letter, by thanking you most 
sincerely for your kind conduct towards me, just as 
much as if you had succeeded, by induci-*>_v Lord 
Spencer to confer upon me the distinction of a baro- 
net ; and the sensation I feel for your having done so 
is indescribably grateful to my mind. I have said so 
much already, upon the subject of my pretensions, 
that I will say no more of that kind, but have done 
with it for ever : feeling, however, perfectly satisfied 
in my own mind, that what I have looked for, and 
what you had the kindness to ask for me, could not 
have been considered as a prostitution ('tis a word of 
my own) of the favours of government. And I am 
also certain, I could convince the whole world, by 
an explanation, that I have been treated extremely 
ill by all those people, who pretended to be my friends. 
Now then I have done, and never again will mention 
the subject. Assuring you that I have too much of 
the spirit of a man, to let it affect me for a moment ; 
on the contrary, I shall really go to sea in better spi- 
rits ; as I am more perfectly convinced, that true 
happiness is only to be derived from the state of one's 
own mind. I could add a great deal more, but to 
say the truth, I am in much pain, and it is taking up 
your time. There is a promise that you must make me, 
in the first place, as the greatest favour you can possi- 
bly confer -never to mention this subject again to Lord 
Spencer, nor to sutler yourself to be drawn into con- 
versation upon it ; I beg this particularly : And, in 
the next place, that you will not in the slightest man- 
ner allow it to interfere with the good understanding 
and harmonv that ought to subsist between you both, 
and which, for your own comtort, I trust, and hope 
you will not fail to cultivate; for I cannot bear the 
idea of your feeling ail that you have donr, for sun it- 


time past. You will naturally give your opinion 
upon the public service, as you always have done, 
like an honest man : if your advice is not follow- 
ed, you should not for that make yourself un- 
easy, and if it is not asked, you have the less to an- 
swer for. A truce for the future with honours and 
distinctions. And now let me tell you, what you 
will he sorry to hear. I have been extremely ill ; all 
apprehension, however, is removed, and I am now 
getting better very fast : the pain will leave me to- 
day, and then I shall be as well as ever. Our love 
and affection to you and yours. Keep your mind at 
ease, and continue to go right forward." 

Notwithstanding the energy and vigour of this 

o o/ o 

great seaman's mind, he was at that time suffering the 
most acute and increasing pain in his head, from the 
wound he had received on the 1st of June, 1/94; 
and his days in consequence of it began to draw to- 
wards a close. The effects of this wound long baffled 
the experience and solicitude of the medical men who 
atlcnded him ; and like all complaints, whose latent 
cause cannot be discovered by the imperfect ken of 
human penetration, the general term of nervous had 
too hastily been given to the mortal effects, which 
the severe contusion had produced. Yet neither him- 
self, nor any of his friends, imagined for a long time 
any immediate danger. " Let me assure you," said 
lie, in writing from Widley to Lady Hamond, " let 
me assure you, upon my faith, that there is not the 
smallest occasion to be under any apprehension 
about my speedy and most perfect recovery ; and I 
do not speak in the least more favourably than I 
ought to do. My constitution has undergone, as it 
appears to me, a perfect revolution, and I have not 
the smallest doubt of enjoying better health than I 
have ever done. Tor God's sake take care of my 
uncle I hope in a very few days to report myself fit 
for service. I am as retired here as a hermit, and in 
all respects am very comfortably situated. P. S. To 


sav the truth, I bad not an idea that I was so far 

X ' 

down the hill, as I found to be the case when I came 
on shore : but then you are to recollect, that I had 
been very ill three weeks before that, and perhaps the 
crisis of the disorder happened at St. Helen's," 

With these delusive ideas of the state of his health, 
this resolute and zealous servant of his king and 
country, was induced to return to the command of 
bis old ship, the Queen Charlotte ; which at the close 
of the year appears to have been attached to the flag 
of Admiral Thompson. 

On the 20th of January, in the ensuing year 1797, 
Mr. White, surgeon of the Royal William at Spithead, 
reported the declining state of Sir Andrew Douglas's 
health to his uncle, and recommended change of 
scene ; with every caution to be observed, to avoid 
any thing that might agitate a mind too susceptible 
of slight impressions, and a constitution already iu 
much too irritable a state. He, in consequence of 
this, was removed to a villa of Sir Andrew Hamond's 
at Fulham. Where, after the severest sufferings 
which he bore with all the fortitude and resignation of 
a Christian, he expired on the 4th day of June, 1797. 
Having just outlived the third anniversary of a proud 
day for his country. 



Ratal JJistory from the Beginning of the Year 1798 to the 
Peace of Amiens. 

JLX the speech from the throne, which was deliver- 
ed on the meeting of parliament, November 2d, 1797, 
his Majesty adverted to the endeavours which lie had 
used to bring about a peace between Great Britain 
and France, through the nes;ociations which had 

n o 

been carried on by Lord Malmsbury, a few months 
before at Lisle. These endeavours had been frustrat- 
ed by the ambition and insincerity of the French go- 
vernment; they had, however, been made so evidently 
in the spirit of peace, and had been carried on so 
openly in the face of all Europe, that the continu- 
ance of the war could be justly and fairly attributed 
only to the enemy. His Majesty, therefore, trusted, 
that, as he had proved that peace could not be obtain- 
ed on safe and honourable terms, Europe would not 
censure him for the future mischiefs and miseries 
which the war might engender and spread, nor would 
his subjects object to those additional burdens which 
might be deemed in the wisdom of parliament, ne- 
cessary to prosecute it with vigour and success. 
That these burdens would not press very heavily, he 
was induced to believe, from the flourishing condi- 
tion of British commerce ; that they would be cheer- 
fully borne,, the spirit of the British nation unimpair- 
ed, and yet fresh, led him confidently to expect. 
His Majesty then adverted in terms of congratulation 
and pride, to the successes of the navy, during the pre- 
ceding year; and particularly he dwelt upon the vie- 


tory of Carnperdown. The address was opposed in 
the House of Lords, principally by Earl Fitzwiiliam, 
on the same grounds which had induced him to op- 
pose it at the commencement of the preceding ses- 
sion : peace, he contended, was no more desirable, 
or if desirable, no more attainable with the govern- 
ment of France now, than it had been some years be- 
fore; indeed, he would go further; if peace were 
justifiable now, the war had been unjust in its origin, 
since the same spirit, principle, and conduct, which 
had called Great Britain into the contest, against 
French Jacobinism, still existed in all their genuine 
and undiminished influence and vigour. His lordship 
concluded his speech, by moving, as an amendment, 
to omit the words in the address, which expressed 
approbation of his Majesty's endeavours to procure 
for his people the blessings of peace: since, in the 
opinion of his lordship, if these words were retained, 
tiie justice and legality of the French government 
were virtually acknowledged. The amendment of 
Earl Fitzwilliam was rejected without a division, but, 
as on a former occasion, he entered a strong protest, in 
which all his peculiar sentiments were expressed in 
nervous and manly language. 

As very few of the opposition appeared in the 
House of Commons, no formal amendment to the ad- 
dress was moved there: but Mr. Bryan Edwards, in a 
speech of great eloquence, dwelt upon the evident 
and striking change in the language which his Ma- 
jesty had used on opening the parliament this session, 
compared with his language on former occasions of 
the same kind. There was no longer any promise 
held out of indemnity for the past and security for the 
future. He then particularly adverted to our West In- 
dia conquests ; and his knowledge of those Islands 
led him to give it as his decided opinion, an opinion 
which has been most fully and fatally confirmed, that 
if it was to-morrow in our power to conquer the whole 
of the French islands, the conquest so far from being 


advantageous or productive, would be ruinous in the 


The supplies granted for the navy this year were 
rather greater than those which had heen granted for 
1797, while the total supplies were considerably less : 
as will appear from the following statement; for the 
maintenance of one hundred and twenty thousand 
men, including twenty thousand marines ; and ord- 
nance for sea-service, 6,680,000/. ; wear and tear of 
ships in which they are to serve, 4,290,00()/. Ex- 
pence of the transport service, and for maintenance 
of prisoners of war in health, 1,200,000/. ; ordinary, 
including half-pay to sea and marine officers, 689,S58/. 
19<?- 7d. ; building and repairs of ships and other ex- 
tra work, 6'39,53()/. : making a total of 13,449,388, 
19*. Id. ; whereas the total for the sea-service of 1797 
was 13, 133,673/. Is. Id. The grand total of the sup- 
plies for 1798, was 3,5, 028, ?98/. 4,9. lOd. ; and for 
1797, 44,783,262/. 3s. 5{d. In the month of May, 
a resolution passed the House of Commons to aug- 
ment the naval force, ten thousand men : and on this 
occasion Mr. Pitt moved for a bill to suspend the pro- 
tections granted by the allowed prerogative of the 
crown, to watermen, masters who had apprentices on 
board, <Scc. ; and, at the same time, to suspend, for 
one month, protections granted in the coal trade, and 
for five months, all protections granted in other 
trades. This bill was brought forward in consc- 


quence of the disturbed state of Ireland, and the ap- 
prehension very generally entertained that the French 
was again to attempt the invasion of that island ; it 
was carried through the House of Commons in all its 
stages the same evening, and in a day or two after- 
wards passed into a law. 

Early in this year, Sir Home Popham proposed a 
plan for the farther protection and defence of our 
coasts : Sea Fenciblcs, composed of fishermen, sea- 
men employed in coasting vessels, and all sea-taring 
me;i engaged in the different harbours, idvcrs, ami 


creeks, along the coast, were formed into corps. 
These Pencibles were to be trained to the use of 
the pike, and when they had an opportunity, they 
were to be exercised with the great guns. The whole 
coasts were divided into districts : and over each dis- 
trict a post captain and a certain number of masters 
and commanders were appointed. Protections were 
granted to all the Sea Fencibles, which were to con- 
tinue in force, so long as they regularly attended 
muster and exercise ; besides this privilege, at each 
muster one shilling was given to each man. The 
districts were 1st. from Emsworth to Beachy Head ; 
2 d. from Beachy Head to Deal ; 3d. from Deal to 
Faversham ; 4th. from Leigh to Harwich ; 5th. from 
Harwich to Yarmouth ; 6'th. Isle of Wight; 7th. 
coast of Hampshire; 8th. coast of Dorsetshire; 9th. 
coast of Devonshire; 10th southern coast of Cornwall, 
from Plymouth to the Land's-encl ; and llth. be- 
tween Salt Fleet and Flamborough Head. The Sea 
Fencibles were afterwards extended to other parts of 
the kino'dom. The following is the number of men 

O O 

raised on those coasts which were supposed most lia- 
ble to invasion : Sussex, eight hundred and fourteen; 
Hampshire, three hundred and seventy-nine ; Isle of 
Wight, five hundred and seventy-nine; Devonshire, 
one thousand two hundred and sixty-eight : Dorset- 
shire, seven hundred and thirty-four; Kent, three 
hundred and eighty-nine ; Essex, one thousand two 
hundred and five; Suffolk, one thousand one hund- 
red and forty-two; and Cornwall, one thousand one 
hundred and forty-three. 

In the month of January, a cartel for the ex- 
change of prisoners was agreed upon between Great 
Britain and France ; at that time the number of French 
prisoners in this country, amounted. to thirty thousand 
two hundred and sixty-five, besides three hundred 
officers, who were on their parole : while the British 
prisoners in France were only two thousand eight 


As on the conquest of Holland by the French, ait 
immense numher of Dutch seamen had entered the 
British service, the Directory passed a decree, declar- 
ing that all persons, natives or, or originally belong- 
ing to neutral countries, or countries in alliance with 
France, who may form a part of the crews of any of 
the king's ships of war, or any .British vessels, shall 
be considered and treated as pirates. In consequence 
of this decree, the commissary for French prisoners 
in Great Britain was officially informed, that if it 
should in any instance, be carried into execution, it 
was his Majesty's firm resolve to retaliate in the most 
severe and effectual manner against those subjects of 
the French republic, whom the chances of war might 
bring into his power. This determined spirit, thus 
explicitly manifested, rendered the decree of the Di- 
rectory a mere dead letter, as they never deemed it 
safe or prudent to cany it into execution. 

We have already adverted to the disturbed state of 
Ireland, and to the designs which the French enter- 
tained of again attempting the invasion of that coun- 
try, in consequence of that, state ; but from some 
cause or other, not explained, the enemy were so 
tardy in their operations, that the rebels had suffered 
a most severe and decisive defeat at the battle of Vi- 
negar Hill, before any French succours appeared on 
the coast. Those succours not only arrived too late, 
but in point of numbers they were very contemptible ; 
on the 22d of August, nine hundred men were land- 
ed in the Day of Killala, from three frigates. Tri- 
lling as this force was, it was enabled to beat the 
British forces at Castlebar, to march a considerable 
way towards Dublin, and to spread terror over the 
whole island; at length they were met, defeated, and 
taken prisoners at Ballinamuck. 

Before the failure of this expedition had reached 
France, the government the: re had planned and pre- 
pared another much more formidable : it consisted 
of one ship of the lin:', and eight frigates, which 


iiad on board a large reinforcement for the army 
\vhich had already reached Ireland. The British go- 
vernment, though tliev had discovered some ne<Hi- 

. v . " 

<rencc in not having prepared such a force as might 

O ~ 1 i O 

have defeated the -troops that landed at Killala, be- 
fore they could advance into the interior; were on 
the alert to prevent any reinforcement being sent ; 
for this purpose, a squadron under the command of 
Sir John Borlase Warren, consisting of the Canada, 
of seventy-four guns ; the Robust, seventy-four; the 
Foudroyant, eighty ; the Magnanime, forty ; and 
the Melampus, thirty-six ; were ordered to cruise off 
Loch S willy. On the 10th of October, he was joined 
by the Amelia frigate, from whom he learnt, that the 
French fleet had been watched from the time it sailed 
from Brest, by the Ethalion, Anson, and Sylph, and 
that it was now near at hand. Accordingly about 
noon the next day the three English frigates first made 

/ O O 

their appearance, and very soon afterwards the ene- 
my. The signal for chase was immediately thrown 
out by Sir John Warren; which was kept up all that 
day, and the following night, the weather the whole 
time, being very stormy. Early in the morning of the 
12th, the French squadron was discovered to wind- 
ward bearing down with their line formed in close or- 
der on the starboard tack ; the line of battle ship having 
carried away her top-mast during the chase. Sir John 
Warren's squadron at this time was much dispersed 
so that it was two hours after he perceived the 
enemy, before they could collect and prepare to receive 
them. The action was begun between the Robust, 
seconded by the Magnanime, and the IJoche, the 
French line of battle ship : it continued with great 
fury, from twenty minutes past seven, till eleven, 
when the enemy struck. In the mean time, the 
frigates were attacked by the rest of the British squa- 
dron : but on porcciving the fate of the line of battle 
ship, they crowded all the sail they could carrv, and 
sa.deavo.ured to escape : i'u- iiv: 1 hours thev w^ra 


closely pursued, a running fight being kept up all trie 
time ; three of them then surrendered, La Bellona, 
and La Coquiiie, each carrying- forty guns : and 
L'Ambuscade, of thirty-six guns. La llesolue, having 
steered a different course during the chase, was pur- 
sued by Captain Moore, in the Melampus, who about 
midnight came up and captured her : she proved to be 
La llesolue ot fortv guns. L'Immortalite made her 

4/ C7 

escape at that time. The loss of the enemy, on this 
occasion was sixty-eight killed, and one hundred and 
eighteen wounded ; that of the British, three killed, 
and thirty-five wounded. 

The French government, whether serious or not in 
their designs to invade England, kept up every ap- 
pearance of such a design ; they constructed an im- 
mense number of gun-boats, and flat-bottomed boats, 
at Boulogne, Dunkirk, Ostend, and the neighbour- 
ing ports ; as it was necessary to assemble these 
boats at one place, and as this could not be effected 
while we were masters of the sea, and watched their 
coasts so completely and effectually, by the usual 
mode, it was determined to transport them by the 
Bruges Canal. In order, therefore, to destroy this 
channel of conveyance, which was useful, both for 
the purpose to which it was about to be applied, and 
for the transportation of troops and stores, a plan 
was formed by the British government, for the de- 
struction of the basin-gates and sluices. As the 
depth of water near Ostend, where it would be neces- 
sary for the expedition to land, was very trifling, 
small vessels of war and gun-boats, were employed 
for this occasion : they assembled at Margate, early 
in the month of May, with two thousand troops on 
board, under the command of General Coote, Sir 
Ho?ne Popham being entrusted with the naval super- 
intendance and direction of the enterprise. 

Owing to adverse winds, they did not arrive off' Os- 
tend till the morning of the LSth of May : when it 
was found that the surf broke with great violence on 


the shore ; this was caused by the wind having sud- 
denly shifted to the west, which not only rendered 
the landing dangerous, hut the re-embarkation of the 

tj C> ' 

troops very doubtful. Under these circumstances, 
the first opinion and design of both the commanders 
were, to abandon the enterprise ; but having learnt 
that the enemy's force was very trifling, and that the 
whole operation of blowing up the sluices might be 
performed in a very short time, and with little risque 
or difficulty, General Coote determined to Land; 
though if the surf continued, his re-embarkation 
might be impracticable. The troops were accordingly 
landed without opposition ; while the Hector and 
Tartarus bombs set the town on fire in different pla- 
ces, and much damaged the vessels in the basin, by 
the shells which they threw. General Coote lost no 
time in proceeding against the sluices : and about 
twenty minutes past ten, a great explosion was seen 
from the ships, which proved that he had succeeded 
in his object ; the only difficulty now remaining was, 
to get the troops on board again : this, however, it 
was found impossible to do that day ; and the re- 
embarkation was put off till the following day, in 
hopes that then the surf would have fallen. The situ- 
ation of the troops was by no means comfortable or 
safe; they were stationed on the sand hills near the 
coast, and were obliged to lie on their aims all night. 

The next morning, the enemy was discovered in 
great force on all sides of them; so that General Coote, 
after having defended his post with great gallantry, 
for several hours, was compelled to capitulate. It 
may fairly be questioned, whether the object of the 
expedition, though fully accomplished, was not too 
dearly purchased, by the capture of the ami}' employ- 
ed on the occasion. 

Among the cabinet papers, of which the French 
republican government gained possession, when they 
overturned the monarchy, it is said there was one, 
eonlahihu;- a project, drawn up by the Count De Ver- 


gennes, for the seizure and colonization of Egypt, 
This the Directory determined to put in execution ; 
and the year 1798 was chosen for this purpose, on 
various accounts ; France, by the treaty or Campo 
Forniio, was freed from most of her enemies : while a 
numerous and victorious army, with a general, a great 
favourite with it, who had conducted it so often to 
victory, was entirely unemployed. The Directory, 
therefore, readily embraced the proposal of Buona- 
parte, or perhaps suggested the scheme to him, of 
invading and conquering Egypt. The Turkish go- 
vernment, at this time, was so much weakened and 
distracted hy internal commotions and rebellions that 
no formidable opposition was to be dreaded from it ; 
Egypt indeed, could be regarded only as nominally 
part of the Turkish dominions; and if the French 
Directory even had any scruples respecting the attack 
which they meditated, they might perhaps quash 
them, by the reflection that Egypt was, in a manner, 
common property, open to those who could seize it : 
and that the Turks would no more he injured by its 
being in the power of France, than by its continuing 
under the dominion of their rebellious subjects. 

Besides the motives which had led the French go- 
vernment, during the monarchy, to plan the subjuga- 
tion of Egypt, there were others which, no doubt, 
prompted the republic to undertake that enterprise. 
France had been nearly stript of all her West India 
colonies ; and while England was mistress of the seas 
there was little prospect or probability that she would 
be able to regain them, or to preserve them when re- 
gained. But Egypt offered itself as a colony, as va- 
luable, in point of fertility, as any of the West India 
Islands ; and much more convenient and desirable ia 
many oilier respects. The distance from France was 
comparatively short : the navigation from that, and 
other circumstances, not so liable to be interrupted 
by British cruisers ; and the climate \vas much more 
healthy. Ail these conoider.utions had theirwemhr, 

*> O * 


viewing Egypt merely as a substitute for the French 
West India Islands : but it was placed and considered 
by Buonaparte and the Directory in another point of 
view. England derived a great deal of her wealth 
from her possessions in the East Indies ; the attempts 
to invade and conquer her, though still held out by 
the government of France, as not only practicable, 
but easy of execution, were known by them to be 
hopeless and desperate ; the only chance, therefore, 
of humbling this haughty and mighty foe was, to cut 
off her wealth ; if this were done, her naval power 
fell of course. To the East Indies, therefore, the 
Directory looked ; and the invasion of Egypt they 
planned as the most easy route for a nation inferior at 
sea, to reach those distant British possessions. Be- 
sides, whoever possessed Egypt, had the key to the 
Turkish dominions : and, if they were acquired, not 
only would the glory and the strength of France be 
much encreased, but the resources of Great Britain 
would be deeply cut into, while Austria would be laid 
bare in a very important quarter. 

Such seem to have been the motives and considera- 
tions that led to the invasion of Egypt by the French ; 
and this enterprise the Directory were resolved to un- 
dertake with means, much more, to all appearance, 
than commensurate to the mere conquest and occupa- 
tion of that country. The ports in the South of 
France were chosen for the assembling of this mighty 
armament; but troops and ships were collected from 
all quarters ; from Normandy, Brittany, Venice, Ge- 
noa, and Corsica. From documents which were af- 
terwards found on board some of the captured ships, 
the armament, at its sailing from Toulon, was com- 
posed of forty-two thousand land-forces ; tea thous- 
and eight hundred and ten seamen ; besides four 
thousand nine hundred and forty-eight, which were on 
board the vessels that were destined against Alexan- 
dria. The flotilla, which was to go up the Nile, con- 
sisted of one thousand five hundred sail, each on' 

yoj.. vii. .1 


which contained one hundred men ; and the trans- 
ports which carried out the troops, were manned with 
three thousand and seventeen ; making a grand total 
of sixty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-five 
men. The fleet, which was to protect this army, con- 
sisted of thirteen ships of the line, one of which car- 
ried one hundred and twenty guns, three eighty, and 
nine seventy -four ; seven frigates, carrying forty guns 
each; besides smaller vessels, making on the whole 
forty-four sail. The command of the fleet was given 
to Admiral Brueys. 

On the 0th of May, this fleet sailed from Toulon ; 
and en the .9th of June, it arrived oft" the island of 
Malta. This island was too desirable an object in the 
eyes of Buonaparte, to permit any scruples of con- 
science, to stand in the way of its acquisition ; but as it 
is excessively strong, it was necessary to adopt some 
method of gaining it by fraud, rather than have re- 
course to force, which might prove ineffectual, and 
would, whatever were the result, retard the accom- 
plishment of the ultimate object of the expedition. 
This was carefully to be avoided, since, if England 
gained intelligence of its object, before the fleet reach- 
ed Egypt, its success would be very doubtful. The 
plea on which Buonaparte called at Malta, was a very 
flimsy one; his fleet, he said, wanted water, although 
three weeks had not elapsed, since it sailed from Tou- 
lon ; and Malta was not the most suitable place to 
obtain water for so large an armament. Unfortu- 
nately, however, this pretext met, on the part of the 
Maltese,either with perficly,orwith a want of confidence 
in their own strength ; for they granted permission 
for the fleet to enter, but only two nhips at a time. If 
the Maltese government hoped by this concession, to 
satisfy Buonaparte, they were grossly mistaken ; for 
he immediately construed this limited permission into 
a proof of a hostile disposition; and after a weak and 
ineffectual resistance on the part of the Maltese, land- 
ed such a number of French troops, as in less than 


i\vo days put him in possession of the whole island, 
notwithstanding the garrison consisted of seven thou- 
sand men, the shores were defended by ten fortresses, 
of wonderful and unequalled strength, and the eity 
of Valetta itself was deemed impregnable. On the 
20th of July, Buonaparte sailed from Malta, leaving a 
sufficient force to guard it, and on the 1st. of July he 
reached the coast of Egypt. As soon as he had effect- 
ed a landing and gained possession of Alexandria, he 
directed Admiral Brueys to enter the Old Port with 
his fleet, apprehensive, it would seem, of the approach 
of the English ; but when the channel was sounded, it 
was ascertained that there was not sufficient depth of 
water for the admiral's ship ; the design, therefore, 
was given up : and all the Erench squadron, except 
two Venetian men of war, and a few transports, who 
went into the Old Port, remained at their anchorage 
off Aboukir. 

Although the British ministry were ignorant of the 
precise destination of this armament/ yet they were 
not uninformed of its equipment, and the probable 
time of its sailing : instructions were, therefore, sent 
to Earl St. Vincent, to dispatch Admiral Nelson in 
quest of the French fleet. At the time Lord St. Vin- 
cent received these instructions, Admiral Nelson was 
cruising in the Mediterranean with three sail of the 
line and a few frigates; but as this force was totally 
inadequate to the object on which he was now to be 
employed, Lord St. Vincent resolved to send him ten 
sail of the line; these, however, could not be imme- 
diately spared, without endangering the blockade of 
Cadiz, which was still continued. The Admiralty at 
Lome had taken the necessary preparations to enable 
Lord St. Vincent to reinforce Admiral Nelson, by 
ordering out the same number of vessels from Eng- 
land, as he meant to send iiUo the Mediterranean . 
of this intention of the Admiralty, his lordship was 
informed ; and he accordingly victualled ten sail of 
his squadron, and had them cuniu'i'lcly ready in oU;t::. 


respects, to sail the moment the ships from England 
came in sight. Frigates were stationed to be on the 
look out; and as soon as they made the signal that 
the reinforcement was in sight, Captain Trowbridge, 
of the Culloden, who, as senior captain, had the 
command of the squadron destined to join Admiral 
Nelson, got under weigh, and the whole were out of 
sight, before the squadron from England had anchored 
off Cadiz. About sun-set on the 8th of June, they 
joined Lord Nelson, who having previously learnt 
that the enemy's fleet had sailed from Toulon on the 
22d of May, with the wind at N. W. concluded that 
their course was up the Mediterranean, and accord- 
ingly directed his pursuit thither. Before, however, 
he proceeded in quest of the French fleet, he arranged 
the order of battle, and the plan of attack, which 
was to be followed, in case he came up with them : 
he divided his squadron into two divisions; in the 
centre of the van, his own ship was stationed ; and 
the Orion, Captain Sir James Saumarez, in the centre 
of the rear-division : the post of leading the line on 
the starboard tack, was assigned to the next senior 
captain, Trowbridge, in the Culloden ; and Captain 
Darby, in the Bellerophon, who ranked in point of 
seniority next to Captain Trowbridge, was directed 
to lead the line on the larboard tack. In this arrange- 
ment, Admiral Nelson was actuated by an earnest 
desire, to conform to the old fashion, of paying a 
compliment to seniority, and of placing confidence 
in those who had had the most expedience. 

Admiral Nelson first steered to Corsica, but not be- 
ing able to gain any intelligence respecting the French 
fleet, he proceeded to Naples, where he anived on 
the l6th : here he merely gathered from vague report, 
that the enemy had been seen steering towards Malta. 
As the wind was fair, Admiral Nelson resolved to pro- 
ceed to that island, by the nearest passage, through 
the Faro di Messina ; as he passed between Sicily and 
the main land, he learnt that the French had actually 


been at Malta, and had conquered it. When lie 
reached this island, they had sailed a few days before, 
directing their course to the south-east. As their object 

could only be Egypt, the British admiral pressed on 
thither, under all the sail that his ships could carry; 
but when he arrived off Alexandria, there was no 
appearance of the French fleet, nor could he gain any 
intelligence respecting them. His future course was 
now to be directed principally at random ; he first 
steered for the coast of Caramania, and afterwards 
towards the island of Candia. Changing his route, 
he then returned to Sicily, whither he arrived on the 
] 8th of July. Here it was absolutely necessary to get 
a supply of water; but so eager were the admiral, 
officers, and crew, to resume the pursuit, that in five 
days, the fleet was 'ready for sea. Admiral Nelson 
being still impressed with the idea, that Egypt was 
the object of the French expedition, towards it he 
again steered ; when he came o1f the coast of the 
ISlorea, he learnt that the enemy's fleet had been seen, 
about four weeks before, steering in a south-east 
direction, from the island of Candia. After them 
then in this direction he pressed forward under a 
crowd of sail, and it was a fortunate circumstance, 
that the rate of sailing of all the ships was so nearly 
equal, that none were delayed, and none were strained 
in the pursuit. 

At length, on the 1st of August, the Pharos, of 
Alexandria, was descried; and very soon after, the 
French fleet at anchor in Aboukir Bay, drawn up in 
line of battle. The admiral immediately hauled his 
wind; and in this, he was instantlv followed by the 
whole squadron ; he then made the signal to prepare 
f<>r battle: as soon as he had determined on the plan 
of attack, which u'as formed on a principle and system 
which he had before fully explained to all the captains 
of the ileet, he gave orders to prepare to anchor by 
the stem, and to wear at the same time. By this 
UKinocuvie. the relative position of the ships was com- 


pletcly changed ; those, which while their heads 
were to the offing, were dropping a stern to take 
their position in the rear, now took the lead ; while 
those which before had composed the van, now fell 
into the rear. The next sisnial was to form the line 


of battle a head ; each ship to fall into its situation at 
the time best suited, without regard to the established 
order of battle , in order to be ready for anchor- 
ing, a bow or cable of each ship was got out abaft, 
and bent forward. 

The enemy's fleet was moored in a strong and com- 
pact line of battle, close to the shore ; their line de- 
scribed an obtuse angle, the flanks of which were de- 
fended by numerous gun-boats; while on the island 
on their van, a battery of guns and mortars was 
erected. To a common mind the obstacles and diffi- 
culties in the way of attacking a powerful fleet, tbus 
situated and thus protected, would have appeared 
insurmountable : but Admiral Nelson was not a com- 
mon mind ; it rejoiced, and found its most pleasing 
and congenial exercise, in overcoming those difficul- 
ties, from which other men would have shrunk. It 
immediately occurred to him, that if the enemy's 
ships had room to swing, there must be between them 
and the shore, room for the English vessels to anchor. 
This idea no sooner rose in his mind, than it was che- 
rished and adopted as the main principle of the plan of 
his attack. 

The wind was from theN. W. and X. N. W. ; dur- 
ing the day, it had blown rather fresh; but as the 
evening came on, it nearly died away. The honour 
of leading was assigned to the Goliah and the Zealous ; 

O O 

before the first of these ships had approached within 
a mile of the enemy's van, they began to fire with 
their starboard guns, and at the same time the batte- 
ries also began a cannonade. This was borne with 
great coolness by the British tars, as from the situation 
of the French fleet, and the shallowness of the water 
around them, it could not possibly be avoided. Cap- 
tain Foley, in the Goliah, soon changed the appear- 


rmce of the combat ; by passing- round the bow of 
the enemy's van, and thus getting on the inside of 
their line, in which manoeuvre he was followed by the 
other ships in the van of the British squadron. In 
doing this, lie was compelled to go very near the edge 
of the bank, but having succeeded in getting round 
the enemy, he laid his ship alongside Le Conquerant, 
the second vessel in the line, and immediately drop- 
ped anchor. Close after the Goliah, followed the 
Zealous, who dropped her anchor alongside Le Guer- 
rier, the ship which Captain Foley had passed in order 
to get to Le Conquerant. The Orion, Audacious, 
and Theseus, also took their stations on the inside of 
the enemy's line, and immediately commenced a close 

In the mean time, the Vanguard, Admiral Nelson's 
ship, anchored on the outside of the enemy, within 
half pistol shot of Le Spartiate ; and by her fire, not 
only did great damage to this vessel, but also covered 
and protected the advance of her own comrades, the 
Minotaur, Defence, Bellerophon, Majestic, Swiftsure, 
and Alexander, which came up in the order in which 
they are named. As all the vessels, when they took 
their stations, anchored by the stern, the line became 
inverted from van to rear. The Culloden, Captain 
Trowbridge, was not so fortunate ; in his anxiety to 
gain his station on the van of the enemy's line, he 
grounded on the tail of a shoal, which run out in a 
north-west direction from the island, on which the 
French batteries were erected ; every effort was made 
to get the ship off, but without effect, while the en- 
gagement continued ; and it was not till the morning 
of tlie 2d, that this was accomplished, after having 
lost her rudder, and having received considerable da- 
mage in other respects. 

Soon after the battle became general, the sun set; 
and as is the case in those latitudes, darkness spread 
over the sea and land : this darkness was, however, 
most awfully removed at intervals, by the fire of the 


hostile fleets: at those times, the hemisphere was 
illuminated, like as if the most vivid lightning had 
burst through the clouds. 

About nine o'clock, the enemy's van, as far as the 
fourth ship, had surrendered; a few minutes after, a fire 
was discovered on board the centre ship of the enemy, 
L'Orient, which spread with such rapidity, that she 
was soon in a complete blaze. As soon as this circum- 
stance was made known to Admiral Nelson, he im- 
mediately came from below, whither he had retired, 
in consequence of a severe wound he had received on 
the head, and gave orders that the boats of the Van- 
guard should be hoisted out, to endeavour to save the 
crew; the same humane measure was adopted by se- 
veral other of the British ships, which saved the lives of 
upwards of seventy men. L'Orient continued burning 
till ten o'clock, when she blew up with a most appal- 
ling and tremendous explosion ; for a few minutes 
afterwards, as if by common consent, all was silent, 
and the silence was like that of death. The masts, 
rigging, &c. of L'Orient, fell in all directions, and ex- 
posed the surrounding ships to great danger ; fortunate- 
ly, however, none of them suffered the least damage. 

About ten minutes after the explosion, the canno- 
nade was renewed ; and it continued at intervals, till 
three o'clock in the morning: when day broke, it was 
ascertained, that the greatest part of the French van, 
were dismasted, and had struck ; a French frigate 
was seen going down ; the Bellerophon was at anchor, 
some miles to the eastward, without a single mast 
standing. Part of the centre and rear of the enemy 
were still unconquered : and against them, such of 
the Britisluships as were least damaged proceeded : 
this caused the action to he partially, and for a very 
short time renewed ; but it was soon terminated by 
the surrender of L'Heureux, and Mercure, and by the 
dismasting of Le Tonnant. Only two of the rear 
were in a condition to effect their escape; these were 
Le Guillaume Tell, and Genereux ; Le Timoleon 


endeavoured to follow their example, but being badly 
manoeuvred, she ran on shore, and was set fire to by 
her crew. Two frigates also escaped, La Diane, and La 
Justice. None of the British were in a condition to 
pursue them but the Zealous; this she did for a short 
time, but finding that though she gained on them, 
none were coming up to support her, the admiral 
called her back by signal. 

Only one ship of the French line of battle ships 
remained unconquered, Le Tonnant ; she was entirely 
dismasted, and had driven very considerably to lee- 
ward. On her surrender being demanded, her captain 
promised to comply, provided his crew, which he 
said amounted to fifteen hundred, were sent to France. 
He was told that he must surrender unconditionally ; 
and as he still kept his flag flying, on the morning of 
the 3d of August, the Theseus and Leander were 
ordered to attack him, but on the approach of the 
former, the flag of truce was hoisted. At the com- 
mencement of this action, the French fleet consisted 
of thirteen sail of the line, and four frigates, having 
on board twelve hundred guns, and between ten and 
eleven thousand men. Of the ships of the line, nine 
sail were taken, two were burnt, and two effected 
their escape; one of the frigates was sunk, ano- 
ther was burnt, and two escaped. Besides Ad- 
miral Brueys, two other admirals, and three cap- 
tains were slain, the loss of the French on the 
whole was estimated at between seven and eight thou- 
sand men ; but the wounded and prisoners were given 
up, on condition, that they should not fight against 
England, till they were regularly exchanged. The 
British fleet consisted, at the commencement of the 
action, of thirteen sail of the line and a fifty gun-ship, 
carrying in all a thousand guns, and having on board 
eight thousand men : of these, the killed and wounded 
amounted to nine hundred. Among the former, was 
Captain Westcott of the Majestic, who was greatly 
and deservedly lamented ; his own merit, which had 


always been conspicuous, had been the sole cause of 
his rise to the rank which he held at the time of 
his death. 

As the battle was fought so very near the shores of 
Egypt, they were crowded with astonished and anxi- 
ous spectators. The French wing, at Rosetta, though 
at the distance of thirty miles from Aboukir, were 
enabled by the help of glasses, to gain a confused 
and imperfect sight of what was going on; and their 
anxiety was still greater than that of the natives, 
since, if their fleet were defeated and destroyed, all 
hopes were cut off, of reinforcements, or of being able 
to return to their native land, in case they should 
not succeed in their conquest of Egypt. When the 
explosion of L'Orient took place, the earth shook 
even to the distance of Rosetta. As the battle ter- 
minated during the darkness of the night, the French 
on shore would have remained for some hours ignorant 
of the issue, had not the shouts and the actions of 
the Arabs, too unequivocally and fatally pointed it 
out to them ; for these people, either sincerely and 
really hostile to their invaders, or disposed to take 
part with the conquerors, whether British or French, 
committed every outrage on such of the latter as fell 
into their hands, in their endeavours to escape on shore 
from their captured and burning ships. 

The effects of this most glorious and decisive vic- 
tory, were felt over nearly the whole of Europe: 
Austria refused to ratify the treaty of Campo Formio; 
and made immediate and formidable preparations for 
the renewal of hostilities ; even the lethargy of the 
Turkish government was roused, and a declaration of 
war against France was issued : the King of Naples 
marched an army against Rome, with a view of driv- 
ing the French beyond the Alps ; and Russia sent a 
fleet into the Mediterranean to act against the com- 
mon foe. It is not possible to describe, and it is diffi- 
cult even to conceive the exultation and joy which were 
manifest on every Biitish countenance 1 , when the in- 


telligence of the victory of the Nile reached England : 
for many years, she had not seen such a day : proud 
as she justly was of her navy, what had been now a- 
chieved, surpassed all its former exploits. But it was 
not merely on account of what had been achieved on 
the 1st of August, that the country rejoiced ; it was 
not less from the anticipation of future glory, which 
that day promised. A race of heroes, with the gal- 
lant Nelson at their head, had that day sealed their 
fame; and while they existed, England was certain 
that the empire of the sea was hers; and before 
their course was run, she knew that the desire of 
emulating them would produce others, not unworthy 
to succeed and rival them. 

Parliament only echoed the voice of the nation, in 
voting their thanks to the whole fleet. Admiral Nel- 
son was advanced to the peerage, by the title of Lord 
Nelson of the Nile : the captains of the fleet were 
honoured with a gold medal, as a testimony of his 
Majesty's approbation of their conduct; the first lieu- 
tenants of each ship of the line were promoted, by 
the Board of Admiralty, to the rank of commanders ; 
while most liberal subscriptions were entered into for 
the support and relief of the wounded, and the widows 
and orphans of the slain. 1 1 ()()/. were subscribed at 
Lloyd's Coffee-house alone, in the course of the same 
day, on which the intelligence of the victory arrived. 

In order that Lord Nelson might be enabled to sup- 
port his new rank, the parliament of Great Britain 
voted him a pension of ()()(.)/. a year for his own life, 
and that of his two next heirs ; while from the parlia- 
ment of Ireland he received a pension of ]()()()/ per 
annum. So sensible were the East India Company of 
the importance of the victory which he had gained, 
to the security of their possessions, that they pre- 
sented him with the sum of 1(),00()/. Besides these, 
he had several other presents, as marks of gratitude 
and respect from the city of London, the Turkey 
Company. Sec. c. But that which he valued most 


was, an elegant sword, with the names of the ship.? 
and of their commanders engraven on it, \vhich was 
presented to him by the captains of the fleet. 

Nor were honours and presents bestowed on Lord 
Nelson by his country alone : as soon as this import- 
ant victory was made known at Constantinople, the 
Grand Seignor, ordered a superb diamond aigrette, 
or plume of triumph, taken from one of the imperial 
turbans, to be sent to him, and a purse containing 
2000 sequins, to be distributed among the wounded 
British seamen ; while the mother of the Grand 
Seignior sent the Admiral a rose, set with diamonds 
of great value. 

The King of Naples created him Duke of Bronte, 
ceding to him, for the support of this title, the terri- 
tory annexed to it, worth 3000/. per annum ; and at 
the same time, presented him with a sword richly set 
with brilliants, and valued at 60,000 ducats. 

The refitting of the British disabled ships and the 
prizes, occupied the attention of Lord Nelson com- 
pletely till the 18th of August ; and even then, it was 
performed in rather a temporary and imperfect man- 
ner, in consequence of the great damage, which many 
of the latter, and some of the former had sustained ; 
and of the comparatively small stock of stores, which 
could be procured : as soon as this business was com- 
pleted, Lord Nelson sailed from Aboukir, leaving 
Captain Hood, with four sail of the line and two fri- 
gates, to block up the port of Alexandria, and inter- 
cept any supplies which the French might endeavour 
to send to their army in Egypt. Part of the British 
fleet was put under the command of Sir James Sau- 
marez, with orders to take the prizes under his care and 
protection, and make the best or his way for England. 
Accordingly, after stopping at Sicily to obtain water 
and refreshments, Sir James Saumarez, having been 
joined by a Portugueze squadron, proceeded off Malta, 
where he summoned the governor to surrender; but 
his summons not being complied with, he pursued 


his course to England, leaving the Portuguese squa- 
dron to blockade that island. 

On the 2LM of September, Lord Nelson, in the 
Vanguard, accompanied by the Thalia, arrived at 
Naples : the Culloden, Alexander, and Bonne Citoy- 
enne, havmg reached there a tew days before him. 

Bonapartex-'r.deavoured to throw the blame of the 
defeat of the- French squadron entirely on Admiral 
Brueys : it has been already noticed,, that he left 
orders for the admiral to carry the ships into the Old 
Port of Alexandria ; and that the attempt was found 
to be impracticable, owing to the shallowness of the 
water across the channel. That this order was given 
by Bonaparte there can be little doubt, as Admiral 
Brueys actually endeavoured to obey it; but it is not 
so certain, as asserted by Bonaparte in his intercepted 
dispatches, that he directed the fleet to sail to Corfu 
as soon as possible after the landing of the troops, if 
they should find it impracticable to enter the Old Port. 
This assertion of Bonaparte's is contradicted by the 
testimony of different French officers of rank and 
character, who positively and concurrently affirm, 
that Admiral Brueys was detained in the bay of 
Aboukir, by the express orders of the commander-in- 
chief, who did not wish to deprive himself of the 
means of retreat. This statement is in some measure 
confirmed by another passage in one of Bonaparte's 
intercepted letters, in which he acknowledges that, at 
one time, he did direct the admiral not to put to sea : 
but this, he says, was, when it was known that the 
English fleet were cruizing on the coasts of Syria and 
Egypt, and some weeks after the troops had been 
landed. This admission, however, is sufficient, to re- 
move the blame of the defeat from Admiral Bruevs, 
and to fix it on Bonaparte ; and the character of the 
latter suffered much in the opinion of all candid per- 
sons, on account, of his endeavours to tarnish the 
reputation of the admiral, after he hail lost his life, 
- jj; the service of his country, and in consequence of 


the commands, or at least, having in view the interest 
and support of the very person who censured him. 
Thus much we have thought it butjust to say in de- 
fence of the character of a brave but unfortunate 

In order to render our account of the battle of the 
Nile complete, and to connect with it every trans- 
action of importance that resulted from it, we shall 
deviate a little from our usual plan, and relate some 
actions which, otherwise, would more properly fall 
to be noticed, at the close of the year's narrative, 
under the head of single actions. 

Admiral Nelson considered the defeat of the French 
fleet off Aboukir of so much importance, that he 
sent his own captain, Berry, in the Leander, a fifty 
gun ship, with the dispatches relating to it, to Earl 
St. Vincent the commander-in-chief in the Mediter- 
ranean. On the 18th of August, the Leander being 
then near the island of Candia, a large vessel \vas 
seen in the south-east quarter, standing down under 
easy sail, and with a fine breeze. The Leander, on, 
account of the importance of the dispatches \vhich 
she was carrying, her captain, Thompson, did not 
think it proper to detain or to put out of her track, 
in order to engage the enemy ; and she would there- 
fore have proceeded, had she not unfortunately been 
quite becalmed, at the time that the strange vessel 
was enjoying a favourable breeze. It was soon ascer- 
tained that she was a ship of the line; and as the Le- 
ander was eighty men short of her usual and regular 
complement, the captain was fhemore anxious to avoid 
an engagement with such a very superior force : this, 
however, was found to be impossible; and, therefore, 
every precaution was taken to enable the Leander to 
sustain the unequal combat. When the strange vessel 
came near the Leander, she first hoisted Neapolitan 
colours, hoping thereby to throw Captain Thompson 
off his guard ; but he was not to be so deceived : 
soon afterwards the Neapolitan colours were hauled 


tiown, and French displayed in their stead. The 
Lcander still kept on her course with all sail set ; but 
all the men were in readiness to alter her situation, 
when necessary, so as to bring her fire to bear with 
the greatest eiiect on the enemy ; accordingly, when 
the latter had come within half-gun shot of the Le- 
ander' s weather quarter, she was hauled up so as to 
bring her broadside to bear directly on the enemy, 
and immediately she poured in upon her a most tre- 
mendous cannonade. The firing was returned, the 
ships still keeping under a crowd of sail, and the 
Frenchman gaining on the Leander. As the latter had 
suffered considerably in her rigging in the battle of the 
Nile, she was rather unmanageable ; and the enemy 
taking advantage of this, succeeded in laying heron 
board, on the larboard bow, intending to board her ; 
but this intention was frustrated by the fire of the 
marines, supported by a furious cannonade. In this 
attempt to board the Leander, the enemy sustained a 
dreadful slaughter. It was, however, evident, that 
unless Captain Thompson could completely free his 
ship, the superiority of the enemy, especially in point 
of men, would enable him, at last, to succeed in 
the object he had in view; this the British commander 
Avould have found it difficult to effect, had not a slight 
breeze sprung up, which gave the ships head way : 
this favourable circumstance was improved by the 
great skill and promptness of Captain Thompson, for 
lulling under the enemy's stern, within a few yards 
of him, he poured in every gun, as he passed with 
great effect. 

The enemv, however, was not to be driven from 

*j ' 

his purpose; and his next attempt was unfortunately 
snore successful : perceiving that the guns on the 
starboard side of the Leander were rendered almost 
useless, by the spars and rigging which had fallen on 
them, h-j took advantage of a light breeze, to pass 
the Lcander's bow, and recommence the action on 
that quarter, Here he could not be opposed j and 


the enemy on this, hailed to kno\v, if she had sur- 
rendered. The Leader, indeed, was by this time, 
in no condition to continue the fight any longer : she 
was completely ungovernable, lying like a log on the 
water; her hull and rigging were cut to pieces, and her 
decks were covered with the wounded and dead. 
Under these circumstances, Captain Thompson, with 
the advice of Captain Berry, replied in the affirmative 
to the enquiry of the enemy, and the Leander was sur- 
rendered to Le Genereux of seventy-four guns, which 
had escaped from the battle of the Nile. The French 
ship had one hundred men killed, and one hundred 
and eighty-eight wounded, out of a crew of nine 
hundred men : the Leander had thirty-five killed and 
fifty-eight wounded ; among the former were Cap- 
tain Thompson, and two lieutenants. The behaviour 
of the French captain and crew to the crew of the 
Leander was extremely cruel; they were plundered 
of every thing, even to the clothes on their backs ; 
and what was still more barbarous, the instruments 
of the surgeon of the English ship were stolen from 
him while he was attending to the wounded : no re- 
dress could be got from the captain of Le Genereux. 
What we are about to relate, forms a most striking 
contrast to this behaviour, and proves (if proof were 
necessary), that British seamen are as anxious to sur- 
pass their enemies in humanity, as the}" are in bra- 
very ; and that they actually do surpass them in this 
noble quality, the constant attendant of real courage. 
It has already been stated, that Admiral Nelson, after 
the battle of the Nile, left part of his fleet, to block 
up the port of Alexandria, and to watch the motions 
of the French ; this was the more necessary, as the 
French had still a great number of gun-boats, besides 
a large flotilla on the Nile. One of these gun-boats 
was observed by the Seahorse and Emerald frigates, 
while they were cruising oif Alexandria, to anchor 
near an Arab town; the boats of the frigates were 
immediately sent to bring luer off, or if that were 


impracticable, to set fire to her ; the Frenchmen, on 
their approach, deserted their vessel, and made for 
the shore : the destruction of the vessel, as she lay 
among- the breakers, and could not be brought off, 
was therefore easily performed : but as the men were 
about to return to the frigates, they perceived that 
the crew of the gun-boats, on their landing', were at- 
tacked by the Arabs, who put to death all who of- 
fered any resistance, and were proceeding to strip 
those who quietly submitted : a few of these unfor- 
tunate men, having escaped from these savages, made 
their way to the shore, and threw themselves under 
the protection and on the humanity of the British 
those very British, from whom a very short time be- 
fore they had been so anxious to escape- The Bri- 
tish sailors immediately forgot that they were ene- 
mies, and what was still more, that they were French- 
men ; a species of foes that they regard with pecu- 
liar dislike; and resolved to use their utmost endea- 
vours to rescue them from the Arabs; for tin's pur- 
pose it was absolutely necessary to swim ashore : this 
they immediately did, notwithstanding the danger 
was very great on account of the tremendous surf: 
and by means of small lines and casks, which they 
carried with them, they succeeded in saving their 

The only other naval events, worthy of record, 
which happened in the Mediterranean this year, were 
the reduction of Minorca, and of the small island of 
Gozo ; and the blockade of Malta by Sir Alexander 
Ball. The reduction of the island of Minorca was ac- 
complished by Commodore Duckworth, and General 
the Honourable Charles Stuart : they landed a consi- 
derable body of troops near Fournelia, without meet- 
ing with any opposition from the enemy. Their next 
object was the to\vn of Mercaval, which they also 
took possession of without resistance ; the Spaniards 
having retired to Mahon, and appearing there de- 
termined to defend themselves. The principal em- 



ployment of the squadron, while the troops were 
pursuing their conquests, was, to block up the island, 
particularly on that side next Majorca, in order that 
no supplies or reinforcements might arrive from 
thence : it was also intended that some part of the 
squadron should co-operate in the reduction of Mali on, 
but this they could not do, till the boom which ob- 
structed the entrance into the harbour was removed : 
this, however, was soon done, in consequence of the 
surrender of Fort Charles. As it was of the utmost 
importance to the defence of Mahon that reinforce- 
ments should be thrown into it, from Majorca, and 
as this could not be effected while the British squa- 
dron blockaded the island, four forty-gun ships left 
Majorca, and succeeded in drawing off Commodore 
Duckworth ; he did not, however, continue in pur- 
suit of them long, or to any great distance from Mi- 
norca, suspecting that their object was, by drawing 
him off, to free the island from blockade, but having 
directed Captain Markham in the Centaur of seventy- 
four guns, to pursue the enemy, he resumed his sta- 
tion oft' Minorca. On his return, he learnt that the 
whole island had surrendered on capitulation to his 
Majesty's arms on the 15th of November. This con- 
quest did not cost the British the loss of a single 
man : the Spanish forces amounted to between three 
and four thousand. 

The squadron employed in the blockade of Malta, 
consisted of three sail of the line, a frigate, and fire 
ship ; and so active and vigilant was Sir Alexander 
Ball in the execution of this service, that he not only 
kept this important island so completely blockaded, 
that it was of little or no use to the French, but while 
employed on this service, he dispatched a force suffi- 
cient to take possession of Gozo. 

In the West Indies, nothing of importance occur-' 
red this year, except the evacuation of St. Domingo. 
The principal causes which led to this measure were, 
he excsfcive unhealthiness of the climate; and the 


formidable opposition which the French were enabled 
to raise, by means of the negroes whom they had li- 
berated and trained to aims. In the month of May 
the evacuation took place; the terms and conditions, 
on which it was agreed to give up the Island, were 
settled between General Maitland and the Republican 
General Touissant Louverture ; the latter guaranteed 
the lives and properties of all the inhabitants who 
might choose to remain on the island, while General 
Maitland, on his part, consented to leave all the 
works which were in possession of the English; in 
perfect order. 

An event, in which the navy were p-irtly concerned, 
and which, therefore, calls for more particular notice 
than the evacuation of St. Domingo, took place in 
the month of September, on the continent of America, 
adjoining the West India Islands. The 13ritish settle- 
ments in the Bay of Honduras have always been the 
object of Spanish jealousy, even in time of peace; it 
was natural, therefore, to suppose, that, when war 
broke out between Great Britain and Spain, the latter 
would use considerable efforts to reduce them, or at 
least, to harass the British settlers. Accordingly, on 
the 4th of September, the Spaniards appeared off St. 
George's Key, in great force ; they had fifteen sail of 
sloops and schooners, carrying from twelve to twenty- 
two guns, besides six armed schooners of an inferior 
size ; and eleven transports and victuallers : the flo- 
tilla was manned by five hundred seamen, and had 
on board two thousand soldiers. To oppose this 
formidable force, the British had the Merlin, carrying 
sixteen guns ; two sloops each, with one gun, and 
twenty-five men; two schooners, and seven gun- 
flats ; the land forces consisted only of two West- 
India regiments, and a detachment of the royal ar- 
tillery, besides bay men, and negroes, who were 
employed in cutting logwood, c, From the 4th 
till the 15th of September, the Spaniards made re- 
peated attempts to land and dispossess the JJritish; 

K 2 


but though their attacks were well planned, and sup- 
ported with their whole force, yet, by the prudent 
and gallant conduct of Lieutenant-colonel Barrow, 
and Captain Moss, who commanded the Merlin, they 
were compelled to desist from their attempts, and to 
retreat in considerable confusion, and with no small 
loss. On the side of the British, not a single man 
was killed. 

In the East Indies the French were successful in 
several valuable captures which they made ; particu- 
larly in the capture of two East India ships, by La 
Precieuse, a frigate of forty guns. This loss was 
much more than compensated by the success of an 
expedition planned and executed by Captain Edward 
Cooke in La Sybille ; who, along with the Fox, Cap- 
tain Malcolm, having received information that se- 
veral rich and valuable Spanish vessels were lying in 
Manilla Roads, proceeded against them. Great gal- 
lantry was displayed on this enterprise ; the first fruits 
of which was the capture, in broad day-light, in view 
of all the people of Manilla, of three gun-boats ; a 
guard-boat ; a felucca ; arid the barge of the Spanish 
admiral,- on board of the last were twenty -three offi- 
cers and men. So completely did Captain Cooke suc- 
ceed in disguising his vessels, that the Spaniards, hav- 
ing no suspicion that they were English, came on 
board them, and continued there for a considerable 
tiinf, without discovering their mistake. Besides the 
capture of these boats, Captain Cooke succeeded in 
taking some valuable coasters, but the most lucrative 
part of the enterprise was frustrated, as the two Spa- 
nish ships, which had on board an immense number of 
dollars, were ascertained to be not at Manilla, as had 
been represented, but in the Cavita, where they 
could not be attacked. 

Of the actions b:-l:we'-n British frigates, or single 
ships of the line, aiul those of the enemy, which 
rook nlace this veiir, the ibilov.'Jna,' a: - e the most re- 

i ^ / o 



On the 29th of June, the Jason, Captain Sterling, 
the Pique, Captain Milne, and the Mermaid, Cap- 
tain Newman, were cruising off the Saintes, when a 
large French trio-ate was discovered : she was imme- 

O O 

diately chased by all the frigates ; but so well did she 
sail, that though the chase began at seven in the 
morning, she was not overtaken and brought to ac- 
tion till eleven o'clock at night; and then only by the 
Pique : a running fight continued between them till 
two o'clcck in the morning, when the Jason crane up, 
and the Pique, having lost her main top-mast, fell 
astern. The Jason had scarcely commenced the ac- 
tion, when she and her opponent ra;i aground ; on 
the rise of the tide, the stern of the Jason beins: in 

J O 

deep water, swung round so, as to expose her to the 
broadside of the French ship, which poured in upon 
a raking and destructive fire. In this situation, Cap- 
tain Sterling had recourse to the only means that 
could be adopted to defend himself and harass the 
enemy: he ordered several guns to be brought aft; 
by which lie so damaged his opponent, v, ho had been 
previously dismasted, that she soon struck her co- 
lours. In the mean time the Pique, having relit ted, 
came up ; but not perceiving that the two ships were 
on shore, she also ran aground, and was so much 
damaged, that it was found necessary to destroy her. 
The enemy's ship, with great labour and diliiculty 
was got oiF; she was La Seine, of forty-two guns, 
having on board six hundred and ten seamen and 
soldiers, one hundred and seventy of whom were 
killed, and one hundred wounded. The Jason lost 
seven killed ; and had twelve wounded : the Pique 
one killed, and six wounded. The Mennuid did not 
come up till the enemy had surrendered. About four 
months after this action, the Jason was not s:> for- 
tunate, lor bcinq; in pursuit of a French convoy, near 
Drest, she struck so fast upon a rock, that every ex- 
ertion to get her off proving ii.ctieetual, the crew 
were glad to escape on shore, and to swix'uder them- 


Sf ives prisoners of war ; six alone excepted, who, hav- 
ing been permitted to take the cutter, arrived safe in 
her at Plymouth. 

Although the Mermaid had not an opportunity of 
joi ling in the action with La Seine, yet a short time 
afterwards she was engaged in a battle still more des- 
perate, and in which Captain Newman, though not 
victorious to the degree that his courage and skill de- 
se-ved, had a favourable opportunity of displaying 
his seamanship and bravery. The Mermaid, on the 
occasion alluded to, was in company with La Re- 
volution naire ; and the Kangaroo brig. They were 
proceeding to Black Cod Bay, when they discovered 
and chased two large frigates. In order to divide 
the attention and the force of the British, the enemy's 
ships steered different courses ; and, consequently, the 
Mermaid and La Revolutionnaire also separated : the 
Kangaroo brig for some time accompanied the former ; 
but having come up with the enemy before she could 
be seconded by the Mermaid, her fore top-mast was 
carried away by a ball from one of his stern chasers, 
and she was obliged to give up the chase : fur two 
nights and one clay the Mermaid continued the pur- 
suit; at. last the French frigate hauled her wind, and 
evidently appeared preparing for action. As her deck 
was crowded with troops, Captain Newman concluded 
from this circumstance, and from her manoeuvres, that 
she intended to board the Mermaid ; this, however, he 
prevented ; and the action commenced at a quarter 
before seven in the morning, both ships going before 
the wind. At half past nine, the Mermaid, having 
received several shot between wind and water, and se- 
vcnil of her guns being rendered useless by the 
faHhu;; of the rigging, was obliged to relinquish the 
coiit; si. The French frigate was bv no means dis- 
posed to renew, or continue the combat, as she ap- 
reared to have suffered even more than the Mermaid, 
i.i her hull and rigging, and to have lost a consider- 
able r. i;;nber of men. The Kangaroo, in the mean 


time, had fallen in with the Anson, Captain Dur- 
ham ; and shortly after their junction, the same frigate 
was seen, without her fore and main top-masts. The 
Anson was also greatly disahled, so that they were 
nearly on an equality. Captain Durham lost no time 
in brino-ino- her to action : and after a resistance of 

o o * 

an hour and a quarter she surrendered: she proved to 
be La Loire, of forty-six guns, though pierced for 
fifty ; having on hoard six hundred and sixty-four 
seamen and soldiers, forty-eight of whom were killed, 
and seventy-five wounded; she proved a valuable and 
important capture, as she contained complete cloath- 
ing for three thousand men, besides a great quantity 
of ammunition and stores. The Anson had two 
killed, and fourteen wounded ; the loss of the Mer- 
maid was three killed ard thirteen wounded. 

As line of battle ships generally sail in squadrons, 
or fleets, it very seldom happens that an engagement 
takes place between them single-handed ; when such 
engagements do occur, the superiority of British sea- 
manship in the manoeuvring of the vessels, and of 
British bravery in the result of the battles, are equally 
conspicuous and glorious, as when two frigates fight 

single-handed : the naval annals of this year furnish a 


decisive proof and example of this. 

Lord Bridport this year had the command of the 
Channel fleet ; and on the 21st of April he threw out 
a signal for Captain Hood in the Mars to give chase 
to a strange ship, which was evidently keeping near 
the French coast, for the purpose of endeavouring to 
escape through the passage Du Raz ; it is probable 
she would have completely and speedily succeeded in 
this attempt, had not the wind been directly against 
her, and the tide at the same time setting in from the 
shore ; she was, therefore, obliged to come to an an- 
chor. Captain Hood took immediate and effectual 
advantage of this circumstance; and it is difficult to 
decide, whether the skid which he manifested iu 


Jaying the Mars alongside of the enemy, or the 
bravery with which he afterwards fought her, is 
most to he celebrated and commended. The British 
captain \vas resolved to do the business so effectually, 
as to put it entirely out of the power of the .French 
ship to escape, or even to resist for any length of 
time ; and besides, it was to encourage and accommodate 
his brave crew by coming to close quarters, that he 
laid the 3, Jars so near, that several of the lower deck 
ports were unshipped. The enemy on his part was 
not dismayed by having a British man of war so near 
him ; he fought this ship with great gallantry and 
coolness; and a most bloody conflict commenced and 
continued for upwards of an hour and a halt'; when 
British bravery received its due and just reward in the 
surrender of the French ship. The prize was a valu- 
able one; proving to be a quite new and w r ell-finished 
seventy-four gun ship; the Hercules of seventy-four 
guns, and seven hundred men. She had sailed but 
a very short time before from I/Orient to join the Brest 
fleet. Her loss was dreadful : upwards of four hun- 
dred men were killed or wounded ; and on the side, 
where, from being at anchor, she was exposed to the 
lire of the Mars, her hull w r as burnt, and almost torn 
to pieces. 

The loss on board the Mars was trifling, if the 
mere number of men killed and wounded is taken into 
account ; but heavy and lamentable indeed, from the 
circumstance that the gallant Captain Hood fell in 
this well fought action ; just before it terminated, 
he received a wound in the thigh, that proved mor- 
tal ; he lived long enough, however, to be gratified 
in the hour of his dissolution, with the joyful news 
of the enemy's surrender, and expired as a Briton 
ought to die, whose life is devoted to his country, in 
the arms of that victory, which had been won by 
liis courage. Besides her captain, the Marshad seven- 
teen killed, sixty-five wounded, five of whom died cf 


their wounds, and eight missing. It is probable that 
the last had fallen overboard during the heat and bustle 
of this dreadful engagement. 

o c? 

An action between the Fisguard of forty guns, 
commanded by Captain Thomas Martin, and LTm- 
mortalite, a new frigate, mounting forty-two guns, of 
very heavy metal, was notinferior in pointof bravery to 
that which we have just described. At first the French 
frigate endeavoured to escape ; but, after a running 
fight of an hour's continuance, she was brought to 
close action : the enemy perceiving that the fire of 
the Fisguard was so well served and directed that she 
must soon surrender, directed her fire \vithgreateffect 
against the masts and rigging of the English ship, and, 
in the course of twenty-five minutes, succeeded so 
well and completely in her object, that the Fisguard 
became entirely unmanageable. Having accomplished 
this, the enemy endeavoured to escape; but the ac- 
tivity and exertions of Captain Martin and his crew, 
were so great and unremitting, that, in a very short 
space of time, the Fisguard's rigging was put into 
such a condition, that she was able to pursue her fly- 
ing opponent ; and coming up with her, the battle 
again commenced. The Frenchman, though evidently 
desirous to getaway, yet when lie found that he must 
fight, fought with the courage and obstinacy of des- 

The renewed battle lasted an hour and fifty minutes, 
when LTmmortalite hauled down her colours. The 
Fisguard had ten men killed; and twenty-six wound- 
ed. LTmmortalite lost ten officers and forty-four men 
killed ; and sixty-one wounded. 

We have already had occasion to mention the par- 
ticulars of the capture of one British ship this year, 
viz. the Leander : another also fell into the hands of 
the enemy; and this happened under circumstances 
which gave them rather too much the appearance of 
reason in the gasconades which, according to their 
usual practice, they published on this occasion. On 


the 14th of December, the Ambuscade, commanded 
by Captain Henry Jenkins, being on a cruise in the 

Bay of' Biscay, fell in with a large French pri- 

i i 

vateer, mounting thirty-two guns, and carrying 

three hundred men. An obstinate and bloody en- 
gagement immediately commenced; the issue of 
which, in all probability would have been favourable 
to the Ambuscade, had not a series of untoward and 
unfortunate accidents occurred: the action was scarce- 
ly began, when Captain Jenkins was wounded by a 
musket ball in the groin ; the wound was dreadful 
and almost unprecedented, since it not only attacked 
that mortal part, but, at the same time, carried away 
the top of his thigh bone. In this situation, Captain 
Jenkins was absolutely compelled to quit the deck; 
scarcely was he gone below, when the master received 
a severe wound ; he still, however, kept on deck, 
when a cannon shot laid him dead. The French seem 
to have directed their musketry principally against the 
quarter deck ; as they directed the fire of their can- 
non, contrary to their usual practice, rather against 
the hull, than the rigging of the Ambuscade. The 
action still continued with unabated fury, when Lieu- 
tenant Mayne, who had taken the command on the 
death of Captain Jenkins, was also killed. Under 
these circumstances, the ship being deprived of the 
skill and encouraging influence of three of her officers, 
Lieutenant Sinclair of the marines came forward, and 
volunteered his services out of his regular and official 
line ; but scarcely had he began to act in his new cha- 
racter, when he received a ball in his shoulder, and 
having been previously severely wounded, he was 
reluctantly obliged to leave the deck. The loss hitherto 
was principally confined to the quarter-deck; the offi- 
cers there having suffered in more than the usual 
proportion to the men ; but an accident now hap- 
pened, which not only destroyed a great many of the 
crew, but alarmed and intimidated the remainder, in 
a most fatal manner. Mr. Brings, the second lieute- 


nant, had assumed the command of the Ambuscade, 
and while he was exerting himself with the greatest 
bravery to defend the ship, and setting a noble ex- 
ample to the men, a gun burst on the main deck ; 
dismay and confusion spread on all sides : it was at 
first supposed, that a more serious accident had hap- 
pened ; terror spread among the crew ; and in spite 
of all the representations, and threats of Lieutenant 
Briggs, they could not be kept to their stations. 

In the mean time, the enemy aware of the loss 
which they had occasioned in the Ambuscade, and 
perceiving the state of her crew, resolved to take ad- 
vantage of this favourable opportunity : the Bayon- 
naise (for this was the name of the privateer) was to 
windward of the Ambuscade at this period of the 
engagement ; this enabled her to run her bowsprit 
through the shrouds of the English frigate, and to 

o ^ o j 

grapple her. Nothing now prevented the enemy from 
boarding to great advantage, and with almost any 
number of men they thought fit to employ; accord- 
ingly a colonel and fifty soldiers boarded from the bow- 
sprit ; the quarter deck was soon cleared ; and pro- 
ceeding thence to the main deck, where the crew had 
not yet recovered from their confusion and alarm, oc- 
casioned by the bursting of the gun, they drove them 
all below. The principal opposition in this contest 
was made, when the enemy first boarded ; the colo- 
nel and eleven men were killed. Had not the engage- 
ment been terminated in this manner, it is probable 
the French privateer would not have succeeded in cap- 
turing the Ambuscade : since just at the moment that 
the boarding took place, the masts and bowsprit of the 
former fell. In the Ambuscade there were ten killed 
and thirty-six wounded, including Captain Jenkins, 
and Lieutenant Sinclair of the marines ; for, extraor- 
dinary as it may appear, the captain, though his wound 
was received in a part, which is usually considered 
n'ortal, and attended besides with the fracture of 
his thigh bone, was not deprived of life. On the 


26th of August, 1799, a court martial was held on 
board his Majesty's ship Gladiator, in Portsmouth 
harbour, for the trial of Captain Jenkins ; we have 
not usually adverted to the proceedings and sentences 
of court martials, unless on some particular occa- 
sions: but such was the bravery of this contest, and 
the extraordinary circumstances attending it, that we 
shall briefly state the opinion of the court, respecting 
the loss of the Ambuscade. Captain Jenkins was ac- 
quitted in the most honourable manner ; the court 
adverting to the disastrous circumstances, which had 
attended the commencement of the .eno?ii>-eiiicnt, it 
appearing in evidence, tiiai the mizeu mast of the 
Ambuscade was carried away, and the wheel shot to 
pieces, and rendered useless; while the explosion, 
to which we have already alluded, besides creating 
such confusion and alarm among the crew, blew up 
the stern of the ship. The court, therefore, consider- 
ing these circumstances, and moreover the great loss 
in officers, which the Ambuscade sustained, not only 
honourably acquitted Captain Jenkins, bin paid ajust 
tribute to part of the ship's company, for their heroic 
exertions : the evidence, which was adduced, par- 
ticularly pointed out Mr. Penny, a midshipman, 
scarcely fifteen years old, who bad preserved the most 
cool and resolute courage, while older and more expe- 
rienced seamen had given way to alarm, and who had 
contributed in a most honourable degree to the de- 
fence of tr,r Ambuscade. While, however, the court 
acquitted the officers and the greater part of the crew, 
they passed a severe censure on those, who by the 
explosion of the gun, had suffered themselves to lose 
that cool and unapplied intrepidity, which should 
always characterize British seamen, 

We have already mentioned that the French govern- 
ment did not neglect such an opportunity, as the 
capture of the Ambuscade by a piivateer, afforded, 
cf displaying their usual taste for gasconade : in the 
first place, they misrepresented the actual and compa- 


rative force of the two ships ; stating thai ' V* Bayon- 
naise mounted only twenty guns, while thtj ^pre- 
sented (lie Ambuscade as carrying thirty-four g.nis, 
of much heavier metal than her opponent; and in 
the next place, tliey bestowed rewards of a very ex- 
traordinary nature, on the officers and crew of the 
privateer; thus holding out the capture of the Am- 
buscade, fis an enterprise of most singular bravery. 

The unfortunate capture of Sir Sidney Smith has 
already been noticed: as the liberation of this officer 
was, very laudably, a matter of great interest and im- 
portance 1 with the British government, they used every 
effort and means to accomplish it. M. Lergeret, 
captain of the Virginia frigate, vhich had been cap- 
tured by Sir Edward Pellew, was liberated, per- 
mitted to go to France, to endeavour to negotiate an 
exchange berween himself and Sir Sidney Smith. But 
though he used every endeavour for this purpose, lie 
did not succeed ; and like an officer, under the old 
regime, rather than like one under the modern govern- 
ment of France, he very honourably relumed to Eng- 
land, and surrendered himself into captivity when 
lie found he could not liberate Sir Sidney Smith. The 
British government duly appreciated and rewarded 
this honourable conduct; for, afterwards, when Sir Sid- 
ney Smith returned to England, though his liberation 
was not brought about, in the smallest degree, or in the 
most indirect manner, by M. Bergeret ; and though 
it was effected, even against the utmost endeavours 
of the French government to retain him, yet, on his 
return, M. Bergeret was immediately permitted to 

^' */ 1 

return to his native country. 

Although it may appear foreign to the plan and 
purpose of this work to enter into all the details, 
which relate to the escape of Sir Sidney Smith, yet 
this circumstance must not be passed over in silence. 
There are two considerations which ir,d;;ce us to 
give an account of it,, which we are v. til assured, 


will fully excuse us with all our readers : in the first 
place, the character of Sir Sidney Smith; for who, 
that feels a British heart beat in his bosom, does not 
feel it beat with a more vigorous and proud pulsation, 
while reading of his exploits ; and in the second place, 
the circumstances attending his escape are extraordi- 
nary and interesting, independently of their connection 
with the individual ; and still more interesting, as they 
serve more completely to unfold his character, and to 
display to view, his active and comprehensive mind, 
expanding and exerting itse'f in proportion to the ar- 
duous nature of the circumstances, in which he was 
placed. In the account which we subjoin, we shall 
use the words of Sir Sidney Smith himself. 

" When I was taken at sea, I was accompanied by 
my secretary, and Mr. Tr a French gentleman, 
who had emigrated from his country; and who, it 
had been agreed was to pass for my servant, in the 
hope of saving his life by that disguise ; nor were 
our expectations frustrated ; for John, as I called him, 
was lucky enough to escape all suspicion. 

" On my arrival in France, I was treated at first with 
unexampled rigour ; and was told I ought to be tried 
under a military commission, and shot as a spy. The 
government, however, gave orders for my removal to 
Paris, where I w r as sent to the Abbayc, and together 
with my two companions in misfortune., was kept a 
close prisoner ; meanwhile, the means of escape were 
the constant object on which we employed our minds. 
The window^ of our prison was towards the street ; 
and from this circumstance we derived a hope sooner 
or later to effect our object. We already contrived to 
carry on a tacit and regular correspondence, by means 
of signs, with some women, who could see us from 
their apartments, and who seemed to take the most 
lively interest in our fate. They proposed themselves 
to assist in facilitating my liberation ; an offer which 
I accepted with pleasure ; and it is my duty to con- 


fess, notwithstanding the enormous expences occa- 
sioned by their fruitless attempts, they have not less 
claim to my gratitude. 

" Till the time of my departure, in which, however, 
they had no share, their whole employment was, en- 
deavouring to save me : and they had the address at 
all times to deceive the vigilance of my keepers. On 
both sides we used borrowed names, under which we 
corresponded, theirs being taken from the ancient 
mythology, so that I had now a direct communica- 
tion with Thalia, Melpomene, and Clio. At length 
I was removed to the Teaiple, where my three muses 
soon contrived means of intelligence, and every day 
offered me new schemes for effecting my escape. At 
first I eagerly accepted them all ; but reflection 
soon destroyed the hopes to which the love of liberty 
had given birth. I was also resolved not to leave my 
secretary in prison, and still less poor John, whose 
safety was more dear to me than my own emancipation. 
In the Temple, John was allowed to enjoy a consi- 
derable degree of liberty ; he was highly dressed like 
an English jockey, and knew how to assume the 
manners that corresponded with that character. Every 
one was fond of John, who drank and fraternized 
with the turnkeys, and made love to the keeper's 
daughter, who was persuaded he would marry her; 
and as the little English jockey was not supposed to 
have received a very brilliant education, he had learnt 
by means of study sufficiently to mutilate his native 


" John appeared very attentive and eager in my ser- 
vice, and always spoke to his master in a verv re- 
spectful manner. I scolded him from time to time 
with much gravity ; and he played his part so well, 
that I frequently surprised myself, forgetting the 
friend, and seriously giving orders to the valet. At 

length John's wife, Madame De Tr , a very 

interesting lady, arrived at Paris, and made the most 
uncommon exertions to liberate us from our captivity. 


She dared not come, however, to the Temple, through 
fear of discovery ; but from a neighbouring house she 
daily beheld her husband, who, as he walked to and fro, 
enjoyed alike in secret the pleasure of contemplating 

the friend of his bosom. Madame De Tr now 

communicated a plan for delivering us from prison, 
to a sensible and courageous young man of her ac- 
quaintance, who immediately acceded to it without 
hesitation. This Frenchman, who -was sincerely at- 
tached to his country, said to Madame De Tr , 

' I will serve Sir Sidney Smith with pleasure, because 
I believe the English government intend to restore 
Louis the XVIIIth to the throne. But if the com- 
modore is to fight against France, and not for the 
king of France, heaven forbid I should assist.' 

" Charles L'Oiseau (for that was the name our young 
friend assumed) was connected with the agents of 
the king when confined in the Temple, and for whom 
he was also contriving the means of escape. It was 
intended we should all get off' together. M. La Vil- 
heurnois being condemned only to a year's imprison- 
ment, was resolved not to quit his present situation; 
but Brothiere and Duverne I/s Presle were to follow 
our example ; had our scheme succeeded, this Duverne 
would not peihaps hare ceased to b? an honest man; 
for liil then lie had conducted himself as such. His 
condition must now be truly deplorable, for I do not 
think him turned bynatuie for the commission of 

" .Every thing was now prepared for the execution of 
our project : the means proposed by C. L'Oiseai: ap- 
peared practicable, and \ve resolved to adopt them. 
A hole twelve feet long was to be made in a cellar 
adjoining to the prison ; and the i:pnrtnu j nts to which 
the cellar belonged were at our disposal. Mademoiselle 
1). rejected every prudential consideration, gene- 
rously came to reside therefor a week, and beingyoung, 
the other lodgers attributed to her alone tl.e frequent 
visits of Ch, L'Oiseau. Thus every thing seemed to 


favour our wishes. No one in the house in question 
had any suspicions ; and the amiable little child Ma- 
demoiselle D had with her, and who was only 

seven years old, was so far from betraying our secret, 
that she always beat a little drum, and made a noise 
while the work was going on in the cellar. Mean- 
while I/Oiseau had continued his labour a consider- 
able time without any appearance of day-light, and 
he was apprehensive, he had attempted the opening 
considerably too low, it was necessary, therefore, that 
the wall should be sounded, and for this purpose a 
mason was required. Madame De Tr recom- 
mended one, and C. I/Oiseau undertook to bring 
him, and to detain him in the cellar until we had 
escaped, which was to take place that very day : the 
worthy man perceived the object was to serve some 
of the victims of misfortune, and came without he- 
sitation, lie only said, 'If I am arrested, take care 
of my poor children.* 

" But what, a misfortune now frustrated all our 
hopes ! Though the \vall was sounded with the 
greatest precaution, the last stone fell out and rolled 
into the garden of the Temple ; the sentinel perceived 
it; the alarm was given; the guard arrived, and all 
was discovered : fortunately, however, our friends 
had time to make their escape, and none of them 
were taken. 

" They had indeed taken their measures with the 
greatest care; and when the commissaries of the Bu- 
reau Central came to examine the cellar and apart- 
ment, they found only a few pieces of furniture, 
trunks filled with logs of wood and hav, and t:u 
with tri-colourcd cockades provided for our ill 

I *^ 

those we wore were black. 

"This first attempt, though extremely well con? 
ed, having failed, I wrote, (continued Sir Si 
Smith) to Madame De Tr , both to console he-l- 
and our young iriri-d, who was miserable at hiving 
foundered just as he. was going into port. We were 



so fur however from suffering ourselves to be discou- 
raged, that we still continued to form new schemes 
for our deliverance; the keeper perceived it, and I 
was frequently so open as to acknowledge the fact. 
" Commodore,' said he, ' your friends are desirous 
of liberating you, and they only do their duty; I 
also am doing mine in watching you still more nar- 

c? d? / 

rowly.' Though this keeper was a man of unparal- 
leled severity, yet he never departed from the rules 
of civility and politeness. He treated all the prisoners 
with kindness, and even picqued himself on his gene- 
rosity. Various proposals were made to him, but he 
rejected them all, watched us more closely, and pre- 
served the profounclest silence. One day when I 
dined with him, he perceived that I fixed my atten- 
tion on a window, then partly open, and which 
looked upon the street. I saw his uneasiness, and it 
amused me: however, to put an end to it, I said to 
him, laughing, ' [ know what you are thinking of; 
but fear not, it is now three o'clock, I will make u. 
truce with you till midnight; and I give you my 
word of honour until that time, even were the doors 
open, I would not escape ; when that hour is passed, 
my promise is at an end, and we are enemies again.' 
'Sir,' replied he, 'your word is a safer bond than 
my bars or bolts ; till midnight, therefore, I am per- 
fectly easy.' 

" When we rose from table, the keeper took me 
aside, and said, ' Commodore, the Boulevard is not 
far; if you are inclined to take the air there, I will 
conduct you.' My astonishment was extreme; nor 
could I conceive how this man, who appeared so se- 
vere and so uneasy, should thus suddenly persuade 
himself to make me such a proposal. I accepted it, 
however, and in the evening we went out; from 
that forward this confidence always continued. 
"Whenever I was desirous to enjoy perfect liberty, I 
oiil-red him a suspension of arms tiil a certain hour; 
this my generous enemy never refused; but when 


the armistice was at an end, his vigilance was un-r 
bounded ; every post was examined ; and if the 
government ordered that I should be kept close, the 
order was enforced with the greatest care : thus I 
was again free to contrive and prepare for my escape, 
and he to treat me with the utmost rigour. This 
man had a very accurate idea of the obligations of 
honour; he often said to me, 'If you were under 
sentence of death, I would permit you to go out on 
your parole, because I should be certain of your re- 
turn. Many very honest prisoners, and I myself 
among the rest, would not return in the like case ; 
but an officer, and especially an officer of distinction, 
holds his honour dearer than his life : I know it to be 
a fact, commodore, and therefore I should be the less 
uneasy if you desired the gates to be always open.' 

" My keeper was right : while I enjoyed my liberty, 
I endeavoured to lose sight of the idea of my escape: 
and I should have been averse to employ, for that 
object, means that had occurred to my imagination 
during my hours of liberty. One day I received a 
letter containing matter of great importance, which 
I had the strongest desire immediately to read ; but 
as the contents related to my intended deliverance, I 
asked leave to return to my room and break off the 
truce. The keeper, however, refused, saying, with a 
laugh, that he wanted to take some sleep ; accord- 
ingly he lay down, and I postponed the perusal of 
my letter to the evening. 

"Meanwhile no opportunity of flight offered ; but 
on the contrary the Directory ordered me to be 
treated with rigour. The keeper punctually obeyed 
all the orders he received; and he, who the preceding 
evening had granted me the greatest liberty, now 
doubled my guard, in order to exercise a more perfect 

" Among the prisoners, was a man condemned for 
certain political offences, to ten years confinement : 
=vnd \v-hom all the other prisoners suspected of acting 


in the detestable capacity of a spy on liis companions* 
Their suspicions, indeed, appeared to have some foun- 
dation, and I felt the greatest anxiety on account of 
my friend John. I was, however, fortunate enough 
soon after to obtain his liberty; an exchange of pri- 
soners being about to take place. I applied to have 
my servant included in the cartel ; and though this 
request might easily have been refused, fortunately 
no difficulty arose, and it was granted. When the 
day of his departure arrived, my kind and affection- 
ate friend could scarcely be prevailed upon to leave 
me, till at length he yielded to my most earnest en- 
treaties. We parted \vilh tears in our eyes, which to 
me were the tears of pleasure, because my friend was 
leaving a situation of the greatest danger. 

" The amiable jockey was regretted by every one; 
our turnkeys drank a good journey to him ; nor 
could the girl he hud courted help weeping for his 
departure; while her mother, who thought John a 
very good youth, hoped she should one day call him 
her son-in-law. I was soon informed of his ai rival 
in London, and this circumstance rendered my own 
captivity less painful. I should have been happy also 
to have exchanged my secretary; but as he had no 
other dangers to encounter than those which were 
common to us both, he always rejected the idea con- 
sidering it as a violation of that friendship of which 
be has given me so many proofs. On the 4th of 
September (18th Fructidor) the rigour of my con- 
finement was still further increased. The keeper, 
whose name was Lasme, was displaced, I was again 
kept close prisoner, and, together with my liberty, lost 
the hopes of a peace which I had thought approach- 
ing, and which this, event must contribute to postpone. 

"At this time a proposal was made to me for my 
escape, which I adopted as my last resource. The: 
plan was, to have forged order.-, drawn up lor iny remo- 
val to another prison, and then to carry me off. A 
French gentleman, M. DC Phclipcaux, a man of 


equal intrepidity and generosity, offered to execute 
this enterprise.* The order then being accurately 
imitated, and, by means of a bribe, the real stamp 
of the minister's signature procured, nothing re- 
mained but to find men bold enough to put the plan 
in execution. Phelipeaux and C. L Oiscau would 
have eagerly undertaken it, but both being known, 
and even notorious at the temple, it was absolutely 

necessary to employ others. Messrs. B and 

L therefore, both men of tried courage, accepted 

the offer with pleasure and alacrity. 

" With this order then they came to the Temple, 

Mr. B in the dress of an adjutant, and Mr. 

L - - as an officer. The keeper having perused the 
order, and attentively examined the minister's signa- 
ture, went into another room, leaving my t\vo deli- 
verers for some time in the cruellest uncertainty and 
suspense; at length he returned, accompanied by 
the register (or grefiier) of the prison, and ordered 
me to be called. When the register informed me of 
the orders of the Directory, I pretended to be very 
much concerned at it, but the adjutant assured me 
in the most serious rn-nner, ' that the government 
vrere vcrv far from intending to aggravate my mis- 
fortune*;, and that I should be very comfortable at 
the place \vhither he was ordered to conduct me. I 
expressed my gratitude to all the servants employed 
about the prison ; and, as you may imagine, was not 
very long in packing up my clothes. 

" At my return, the register observed, that at least 
six men from the guard must accompany me ; and 
the adjutant, without being in the least confounded, 
acquiesced in the /justice of the remark, and gave 
orders for them to be called out. But on reflection, 
and remembering as it were the laws of chivalry and 
of honour, he addressed me saying, ' Commodore, 

* IJeafK'r.', ards accompanied Sir Sidney Smith to Egypt, find died 
at the bi'.-irc of Ac;e. 


you are an officer, I am an officer also ; your parole 
will be enough. Give me that, and I have no need 
ot' an escort.' ' Sir,' replied I, ' if that is sufficient^ 
I swear on the faith of an officer to accompany you 
wherever you choose to conduct me.'' Every one 
applauded this noble action, while I confess I had 
myself great difficulty to avoid smiling. The keeper 
now asked for a discharge, and the register gave the 
book to Mr. B , who boldly signed it with a pro- 
per flourish, L. Oger, adjutant-general. Meanwhile 
I employed the attention of the turnkeys, and loaded 
them with favours to prevent them from having time 
to reflect, nor indeed did they seem to have any 
other thought than their own advantage. The re- 
gister and keeper accompanied us as far as the second 
court, and at length the last gate was opened, and 
\ve left them after a long interchange of ceremony 
and politeness. 

" \Ve instantly entered an hackney coach, and the 
adjutant ordered the coachman to drive to the suburb 
of St. Germain. But the stupid fellow had not gone 
a hundred paces before he broke his wheel against a 
post, and hurt an unfortunate passenger. This un- 
lucky accident brought a crowd about us, who were 
very angry at the injury the poor fellow had sustained; 
we quitted the coach, took our portmanteaus in our 
hands, and went off in an instant. Though the peo- 
ple observed us much, they did not say a word to us 
only abusing the coachman". And when our driver 

/ c^ 

demanded his fare, Mr. , through an inad- 

vertency that might have caused us to be arrested, 
gave him a double louis d'or. Having separated when 
we quitted the carriage, I arrived at the appointed 
rendezvous with only my secretary and M. De Pheli- 
peaux, who had joined us near the prison, and though 
I was very desiroi^ of waiting fur my two friends to 
thank and take my leave of them, M. De Phelipeaux 
observed there was not a moment to be lost. I there- 
fore postponed till another opportunity my expression 


of gratitude to my deliverers, and we immediately set 
off for Rouen, where Mr. R*** had made every pre- 
paration for our reception. 

" At Rouen we were obliged to stay several days, 
and as our passports were perfectly regular, we did not 
take much care to conceal ourselves, but in the even- 
ing we walked about the town or took the air upon 
the banks of the Seine. At. length, every thing being 
ready for us to cross the channel, we quitted Rouen 
and without encountering anv further dangers, I ar- 

CT5 d ^ J 

rived in London, together with my secretary and my 
friend M. Phelipeaux, who could not prevail on him- 
self to leave us." 

1799- In the speech from the throne, which was 
delivered at the meeting of Parliament, on the 20th 
of November, 1798, his Majesty naturally took the 
opportunity of dwelling with great emphasis on the 
glorious naval victory which had been lately achieved. 
" The unexampled series of our naval triumphs had 
received fresh splendour from the memorable and 
decisive action, in which a detachment of his fleet, 
under the command of Rear-admiral Nelson, had at- 
tacked and almost totally destroyed a superior force of 
the enemy, strengthened by every advantage of situa- 
tion. By this great and brilliant victory, an enter- 
prise, of which the injustice, perfkh', and extrava- 
gance, had fixed the attention of the world, and 
which was peculiarly directed against some of the 
most valuable interests of the British empire, had, in 
the lirst instance, been turned to the confusion of its 
authors; and the blows, thus given to the power, and 
influence of France, had afforded an opening, which, 
if improved by suitable exertions on the part of other 
powers, might lead to the genera! deliverance of Eu- 

His Majesty then proceeded to panegyrize the wis- 
dom and magnanimity of the Emperor Paul of Russia ; 
and to notice the decision and vigour, which had 
been infused into the Ottoman Porte, by the victory 


of the Nile. The whole tenor and bearing of the 
speech, so far as it regarded France, was more full of 
hope and confidence respecting the final successful 
issue of the war, than any of the speeches which had 
been delivered for several years before. France, it 
was contended, had not only been defeated in her 
grand object against Egypt : she was not only now 
opposed 'by a more formidable, and well organized 
and concordant combination of powers, than had ever 
before been brought to bear against her ; but she had 
been completely unsuccessful in a scheme, to which 
sbe had directed her most secret and crafty manoeuvres, 
and by means of which, she had hoped to intlict a 
mortal blow, on the prosperity and very existence of 
Great Britain. In Ireland she luul failed; rebellion, 
excited and kept alive, and in action, by French in- 
trigue, and by French principles, was crushed and 
extinguished. His Majesty trusted that his deceived 
subjects in that island, would now open their eyes to 
their real interests ; and at last be convinced, that 
France would lead them to ruin, while Great Britain 
alone was disposed, and had the means to benefit 

Both Lord Darn ley who moved the address, and 
Lord Craven who seconded it, in the House of 
LOR!S,. celebrated with great warmth and effect, the 
achievements of Lord Nelson; and insisted with 
much force on the consequences of his brilliant vic- 
t:ry. After Lo;d Craven had sat down, the Mar- 
<jiti.s of Lansdowne arose, and in a speech, distin- 
guished by his u^ual political acumen ;md know- 
ledge reprobated in strong terms the attempts \\hich 
were m;ikiru>; to renew Continental alliances aginnst 
1 ranee: he perfectly coincided in the opinions which 
had U-cn expressed icspccting the battle of the Nile, 
and in the praises which had been biMOvad upon that, 
victory; but wly.n he '.aw this triumph, and the pros- 
pect of a new Continental combination, producing 
only :i. more eau'i r and determined desire to prosecute 


the war, he could not but lament that our government 
knew not how to procure peace, or were indisposed 
to seek it. In reply to the Marquis of Lansdowne, 
the ministers, and particularly Lord Grenville, as- 
sumed a high tone; already he seemed to behold the 
subjugation of France, or at least the contraction of 
her power, and the destruction of her principles ; and 
with such fair and cheering prospects, he was by no 
means disposed to court peace, but to win it in the only 
manner, in which it could possibly be safe, honour- 
able, or permanent, viz. by such victories over France, 
as he had reason to anticipate, and as might restore 
lier to a sense of moderation and justice. 

In the House of Commons, as well as in the House 
of Lords, both parties concurred in extolling the 
brilliant achievements of the navy, which had distin- 
guished the year 1798, and particularly the victory of 
the Nile. Lord Grenville Levison Gore, who moved 
the address, went very fully into the consequences 
Mvhich had resulted from this victory ; besides noticing 
those that have been already pointed out, he informed 
the house, that the destruction of the French licet 
in the Iky of Aboukir, had not only given spirit and 
energy to the Turkish government, but it had in- 
spired all Europe with hope and joy. " When the 
news of that great event, reached Rastadt, the deputies 
of tiie empire, for the iirst time, ventured to resist 
the ambitious projects of the French plenipotentia- 
ries." In short, according to the opinion and asser- 
tions of the paiiizans of ministers, the victory of the 
Nile had changed the face of Europe, and placed the 
destruction of French principles, and the overthrow 
of the projects of French ambition, so completely and 
easily within the power of England, that it would have 
been the extreme of folly and madness to think of 

The first member of opposition who ventured to 
oppose the address in the House of Commons, was 
Sir John Sinclair, and as he seldom stood up to ex- 


press his opinions on political events or measures, his 
speech attracted a good deal of notice, and did not fail 1 
to draw down upon him the caustic animadversions of 
the ministerial party. Among- the naval topics which 
he introduced, he mixed up a severe censure of mi- 
nisters : the victory of the Nile was undoubtedly 
most brilliant and important ; hut the laurels which 
had been won on that occasion, had nearly been 
blasted by the misconduct of our rulers. "The orders 
for the sailing of the fleet had been shamefully delayed, 
in consequence of which, Lord Nelson had not been 
able to attack the French fleet at Malta ; had he been 
able to have done this, in all probability both the fleet 
and army of Bonaparte, must have surrendered." No 
frigates, or very few, had been sent along with the 
British fleet; in consequence of this, Lord Nelson 
bad been under the necessity of sending home the 
Leander, a fifty gun ship, with the news of the vic- 
tory, and she had fallen into tbehands of the enemy. If 
bomb vessels had been sent outalong with Lord Nelson, 
the French transports would not yet ride in safety in 
the harbour of Alexandria. In short, Sir John Sin- 
clair seemed on this occasion to put forth all his nau- 
tical knowledge ; and to be determined, if possible, 
to deprive ministers of all share in the glory of the 
victory of the Nile. There was, however, one cir- 
cumstance, mentioned by Sir John, deserving notice, 
as it proves on how apparently trifling a cause, the 
opportunity of gaining a victory may depend : he 
stated, that if the L'Oricnt had not drawn too much 
water to enter the harbour of Alexandria, the French 
fleet, in all probability, would have been moored there 
in safety, long before Lord Nelson had arrived off the 
shores of Egypt. We have already stated, 'that the 
non-entrance of the French tleet into Alexandria, is by 
some ascribed to a different cau.-^e; but if this were 
really the cause, certainlv ministers were to blame, if 
while they could, they did not dispatch Lord Nelson 
into the Mediterranean buf!;cicnt!y soon, to have iu- 


Incepted the enemy before they arrived at Egypt. 
The replies that were made to this speech of Sir John 
Sinclair, were more distinguished for their personal 
severity and bitterness, than for their cool and per- 
suasive argument. As, however, Sir John did not 
move an amendment to the address, it was carried 
without a division. 

The total amount of the supplies granted for the 
year 1799, was 44,782,923/. 3*. 44</.; of which, for 
the sea service, there was voted 13,654,()13/. 6s. "jd.\ 
composed of the following items; for the wages of 
1 '20.000 seamen and 120,000 marines, 2,886,000/.; for 
victuals, 2,964,()00/.; for wear and tear, &c. 4,6\80,000/. 
ordinary, 399, OOO/. ; ordnance, including half pay, 
729,06'3/. (xy. Id. ; building, repairs, and extra-work, 
693,7.50/.; and lor transport service and prisoners of 
war, in health, 1,31 1,200/. 

During the year 5799, no naval action on a large 
scale, or of very important consequences occurred; 
but we nevertheless succeeded in gaining possession of 
several line of battle ships belonging to one of our 
iocs. The British ministry had received information, 
from various quarters, and at different times, on which 
they thought they could depend, that the inhabitants 
of the United provinces, particularly of the north 
part of Holland, were so completely tired of the 
French, and of the new form of government which 
they had introduced, that they would willingly co-ope- 
rate with a British force, if it were landed among 
them, for the purpose of expelling the French, and 
restoring the Stadtholder. Accordingly, a formidable 
expedition was equipped by the British ministry; and 
the Emperor Paul professed his readiness to send a large 
Russian force, on the receipt of an adequate subsidy. 
In order that no means might be- omitted which could 
ensure success to this enterprise, the Prince of Orange 
addressed a proclamation to the people, stating that 
the troops, which were about to be sent to their assist- 
ance, would not appear or act as enemies, but as 


friends and deliverers. As little danger or difficulty 
was supposed to attend the expedition, and great glory 
and success were confidently anticipated, it was re- 
solved that the Duke of York should go over to take 
the supreme command, as soon as the troops had i airly- 
landed on the shores of Holland. 

On the 13th of August, the 1st division of the army 
embarked on hoard one hundred and forty trai^ports, 
at Ramsgate, and proceeded on their destination, un- 
der the convoy of Vice-admiral Mitchel. Lord Dun- 
can was already cruizing in the North Seas; and his 
fleet was also to he employed on this expedition. On 
account of adverse winds and the unfavourable state 
of the weather, the troops could not be landed till 
the 27th : the enemy at first seemed disposed to op- 
pose the landing, and for this purpose were assembled 
in considerable force upon the beach ; but the bomb- 
vessels sloops of war, and gun-brigs, effectually scoured 
the beach, and drove the enemy to such a distance, 
that the British troops were landed without difficulty 
or loss. At this time the Dutch men of war were 
lying at anchor in the Mais Diet); but as soon as our 
army landed and gained possession of the Ilelder, 
they got under weigh, and retired to the Xieuve Diep. 
It was well known that the Dutch naval officers and 
seamen were, in general, well disposed to the Stadt- 
holder ; Admiral Mitchell, therefore, opened a com- 
munication with them, and soon obtained possession 
of nine armed ships and three Indiamcn : of the for- 
mer, there was one sixty-four gun ship ; one of fifty- 
four guns; three of forty-four, one of thirty-two, and 
three of twenty-iburguns. The others refused to comply 
with theproposalsofAdrniml Mitchell, and proceeded up 
theTexc! ; us the navigation of this sea is very difficult 
and dangerous for large ships, Admiral Mitchell was 
obliged to wait a few days tor pilots ; but as soon as 
lie procured them, he sailed up the Texel \vith the 
whole of his squadron, lie pointedly and determin- 
edly told the Dutch Admirals, that he was resolved 


to gain possession of all their ships, either by 
persuasion or by force; " that he was determined to 
follow them to the walls of Amsterdam, unless they 
either surrendered to the British flag, or capitulated to 
the Prince of Orange." Notwithstanding that Ad- 
miral Mitchell proceeded under the guidance and 
direction of very experienced pilots, with the utmost 
circumspection and caution, two ships and a frigate 
grounded. The admiral, however, still advanced, 
passed the Mars Diep, and continuing his course to- 
wards the Vlieter, the Dutch fleet were discovered at 
anchor, off the Red Buoy. 

A summons was immediately sent to Admiral Story, 
who commanded them; requiring him instantly to 
hoist the flag of his Serene Highness the Prince of 


Orange; if he did, Admiral Mitchell would imme- 
diately receive and treat him as a friend ; if he did not, 
he must take the consequences : the blood that might 
be spilt in case of his refusal, would be on his own 
head. The Dutch admiral returned an answer in about 
an hour ; in this answer, he agreed to surrender the 
fleet under his command, but this, he said he did un- 
willingly ; he was reluctantly compelled to tins step, 
since the traitors whom lie commanded, refused to fight. 

The consequence of this successful negociation 
was, that twelve sail were immediately surrendered 
by the Dutch commander, viz. ; one of seventy-four 
guns ; four of forty-eight; two of fifty-four; two of 
forty-four ; a small frigate, and a sloop of war. 

It is foreign to the nature of this work, to notice 

o * 

the operations which were carried on by land, nor 
were they on the whole, or in their final issue and re- 
sult, such as Britain should be proud of. Indeed, the 
only honour, glory, and real advantage in this expe- 
dition to Holland, were gained by the navy ; and to 
the other exploits which they performed on this occa- 
sion, we shall entirely confine ourselves. 

The nature of the coast of Holland, intersected 
by navigable rivers, lakes, and arms of tlie sea, af- 


forded many opportunities for the squadron under 
Admiral Mitchell, to annoy the enemy, and to pre- 
vent them from sending re-inforcements to their main 
army : in the squadron, there were several light ves- 
sels, which drew little water, and \\hich were armed 
in such a manner, as enabled '-hem to act against 
bodies of men as they were marching along the shore, 
and against the boats which were employed to defend 
the coast. Several enterprises, in which British skill 
and valour were conspicuous, were successfully un- 
dertaken by them. At the mouth of the Zuyder Zee, 
a Dutch ship, and brig of very superior force, were 
lying : against them, the Arrow sloop, Captain Port- 
lock, and the Wolverene, Captain Bollin, determined 
to proceed ; and notwithstanding they had to work to 
windward against a strong tide, and during this 
traversing, were exposed to the raking fire of the 
enemy, they succeeded in gaining possession, not only 
of the Dutch vessels, but also of an island in the 
Texel, near which they were lying. 

On the 21st of September, Admiral Mitchell, al- 
ways active, and co-operating to the utmost of his 
power in the grand object of the expedition, gained 
possession of several towns and villages, and hoisted, 
with the consent of the inhabitants, the colours of 
the Prince of Orange. These successes alarmed and 
distracted the enemy; and as they were now in great 
force, and had gained several advantages over the 
British arni}', they turned their thoughts and endea- 
vours to regain the conquests, which the British navy 
had won; for this purpose, on the 1 1th of October, 
they made a formidable attack on the town of Lem- 
mer, one of those places, which had surrendered to 
Admiral Mitchell ; but as it was defended by the 
British sailors arid marines, they were repulsed and 
obliged to retire with considerable loss. 

In the mean time, the Duke of York found him-* 
self under the painful necessity of entering into a ca- 
pitulation with the enemy; according to this capita? 


tation, he was to be permitted to re-embark with his 
troops without molestation : but this was purchased 
by the dishonourable surrender of eight thousand 
of their seamen, whether Batavians or French, who 
were prisoners in England. No time was lost in re- 
embarking- the British and Russians ; and along with 
them a great number of Dutch loyalists, to the 
amount of nearly four thousand, came to England. 
Thus ended an enterprise which brought glory only 
on the navy. 

Our attention is next called to one of the most 
brilliant exploits which the first French revolutionary 
war can furnish ; to an exploit in which it was made 
abundantly evident, that the bravery of British sea- 
men, even when exerted and employed on services 
not congenial to their taste or habits, meets with few 
or no obstacles or difficulties which it cannot sur- 
mount or remove. Buonaparte, for a considerable 
time after he landed in Egypt, met with almost uni- 
form success : the Turks, indeed, were extremely 
hostile to him, and offered every opposition to his 
plans, and his progress, in their power : but a lawless 
and undisciplined rabble, however numerous or zea- 
lous, stood very little chance, when brought into the 
field against the veteran troops of France, headed by 
one of their most favourite and victorious generals. 
Accordingly, Buonaparte was rather harassed than 
impeded by the Turks : and having gained posses- 
sion of the greater part of Egypt, he resolved to ad- 
vance into Syria : what was his grand and ultimate 
object, it is not easy to divine. His first object un- 
doubtedly was, to chastise and remove out of the 
way, the army of Achmet, Pacha El I)' Jczzar, who 
commanded at the frontier town of Acre, and who 
had brought a formidable force to act against the 
French general. 

In this expedition against Syria, Buonaparte em- 
ployed only one thousand chosen men : with these, 
lie heo-au his nidi'di ; every mvoo.sUion made bv the* 

' v I. J. v 


native troops was unavailing : no fortress could re- 
sist him ; and in a very short time he sat down be- 
fore Acre. Here, however, his ambitious projects 
were 'destined to be foiled; and foiled by a man who 
had already incurred his most deadly hatred. 

Sir Sidney Smith had no sooner escaped from the 
Temple, in the manner already narrated, than he de- 
termined to oppose himself personally to Buonaparte. 
He accordingly arrived in the Mediterranean : and 
as soon as he understood that Acre was threatened, 
lie proceeded to the coast of Syria, and on the llth 
of March, arrived before Caipha. By being' very ex- 
peditious and active, he succeeded in getting the 
start of the enemy by two days, which he employed 
in making preparations for the defence of Acre. 
Although this place was neither by nature nor art, 
strong, Buonaparte eager to reduce it with the least 
possible delay, had ordered round heavy cannon, 
ammunition, platforms, and other articles, neces- 
sary for the siege, on board of the French flotilla. 
This flotilla Sir Sidney Smith took measures to inter- 
cept, and on the iGth of March, about eight in the 
evening, he captured the whole of them, off Cape 
Cannel : the artillery were immediately landed, and 
mounted on the ramparts of Acre. 

The French, however, being favoured by the na- 
ture of the ground, were enabled to carry their tren- 
ches within half a musket-shot of the ditch place ; 
and on the ^Oth of March, having effected a breach in 
the wall, they endeavoured to take the town by assault. 
They were repulsed with dreadful loss ; the ditches he- 
ing absolutely filled with their dead bodies. Nine se- 
veral times did Buonaparte attempt to storm Acre; 
each time with increased vigour and obstinacy; and 
each time he was repulsed with dreadful loss. In 
the mean while, the garrison, instructed an<i encourag- 
ed by Sir Sidney Smith, made frequent sorties, which 
kept the French on the defensive, and impeded the 
construction of their coveriiv works. No relax:!- 


tioii was permitted on either side, except what was 
unavoidably produced by excessive fatigue. Buona- 

*. 1 \J O 

parte seemed as resolutely bent on carrying the place, 
as Sir Sidney Smith was on preserving and defending 
it. There can be little doubt, that, independently 
or' all considerations of the immense importance of 
Acre, the rival chiefs were inflamed by personal mo- 
tives of hatred and giory. On the 7th of May, after 
the town had been besieged fifty-one days, a rein- 
forcement to the British appeared in sight, under the 
command of Hassan Iky ; and nearly at the same 
time, Buonaparte was encouraged and strengthened 
by the arrival of a fleet of corvettes and transports. 

As Buonaparte's reinforcement landed before Has- 
san Bey actually reached Acre, he resolved to make 
one more desperate e fib it to gain immediate possession 
of it ; their success was partial and temporary. At, 
day-light, on the morning of the 8th of May, the 
French colours were discovered on the outer an,le of 


the tower. The native troops were alarmed and dis- 
couraged : at this critical moment, Hassan Bey's 
troops were seen in the boats, having just begun to 
disembark. No time was to he lost ; the safety of 
the place depended entirely upon the decisive courage 
of Sir Sidney Smith. He, therefore, landed the boats 
at the Mole, and headed the crews, armed with pikes, 
up to the breach ; he thus rallied the fugitive and 
terrilied Turks, and supported the few brave men of 
that nation, who were still defending the breach. 
The French, apprehensive that the prize would be 
snatched from them just as they had gained poses- 
sion of it, advanced in great numbers: the ruins of 
the wall served as abreast-work for both parties; and 
so close did ihey approach, that the muzzles of their 
guns touched one another, and their spear-heads 
\\ere absolutely locked together. After a most dread- 
fid contest, in which the Turks, animated by the pre- 
sence and example of the Biitish, behaved w th won- 
derful steadiness and coinage; Sir Sidney Smith pro* 
VOL. vii. M 


^>osed that a sally should be made ; accordingly, the 
gates were opened : the Turks rushed out, but though 
they were a match for the French, while behind their 
entrenchments, they were inferior to them without 
the walls : they were driven back to the town with 
great loss. 

At this moment Buonaparte, surrounded by his 
generals and aides-de-camp, was conspicuously distin- 
guished on a mount called Richard Coeur De Lion. 
His officers formed a semicircle; in the centre of 
which he stood. It was soon apparent, from his 
movements, that he had by no means abandoned the 
idea of gaining possession of Acre ; another assault, 
if possible, more dreadful and determined than any of 
the former-) was anticipated and prepared for. The 
bashaw was resolved to adopt the Turkish mode of 
warfare, by admitting the enemy into the breach, 
and then cutting them off. The French mounted 
the breach unmolested ; conceiving that the garrison 
were incapable or unwilling to offer further resistance, 
they proceeded with too little caution ; but scarcely 
had they descended into the bashaw's garden, when 
a great part of them were attacked, and destroyed, 
and the remainder compelled to seek their safety in 
a precipitate retreat. 

Buonaparte, utterly and most ignominiously foiled, 
endeavoured to gain the town, by a most unfair and 
dishonourable stratagem ; here, however, he was 
again disappointed; and only reaped fresh ignominy 
and chagrin. During the whole of this siege, he 
discovered more impatience than is consistent with 
the idea of a truly great man ; and his determination 
to conquer the town seemed to encrease, in propor- 
tion as the probability of conquest lessened ; in short 
he displayed a greater degree of obstinacy than talent, 
throughout the whole of this enterprise. Even the 
measures which he took to accomplish the object 
which he had in view, were not characterized by 
common prudence or skill : his loss of temper had so 


completely darkened his understanding, and render- 
ed useless his military talents and experience. At 
last, his grenadiers absolutely refused to mount the 
breach again ; and on the night between the 20th and 
2 1st of May. after a sie;e of sixty days he \vas com- 

/ * O v \f 

pellet! to retreat. Part of his artillery were put on 
board of the country ships, to be conveyed along with 
the wounded men to Eo-ypt : but Sir Sidney Smith 

<I7t' 1 V 

took such effectual measures, that they all fell into 
his hands. The humanity of Sir Sidney on this oc- 
casion, could only be equalled by the bravery he had 
displayed at the defence of Acre ; and drew from the 
enemy expressions of the most lively gratitude : 
while they poured out their execrations against Buo- 

By the treaty, which had been concluded between 
Great Britain and Russia, the latter was bound to 
send a fleet into the Mediterranean, to be employed 
there against the common enemy ; this fleet accord- 
ingly appeared in that sea ; but the only enterprise 
to which its successful efforts were directed was, the 
conquest of the island of Corfu ; amongst the vessels 
captured in the harbour was, his Britannic Majesty's 
late ship the JLeander, which the Emperor of Russia, 
out of compliment to his ally, ordered to be restored. 

The only further naval events that occurred during 
the year 1799, which deserve our notice are, the ac- 
tions that took place, either between squadrons of fri- 
gates, or between frigates single handed : these, ac- 
cording to our plan, we shall now proceed to detail. 

The coast of France, this year, was watched, not 
only by whole squadrons of sine of halrlc ships, but 
also by frigates, either singly, or in company. On 
this employment, were the St. Fiorenzo, of forty guns, 
commanded by Sir Harry Pun-anl Neale, and the 
Amelia, of forty guns, Captain Herbert, when three 
French frigates, and a large gun-vessel, were disco- 
vered in the great road off Belleislo, apparently reads' 
r.o come out. Although they \vric superior to the 


British, the enemy probably would not have ventured 
to sea, had not a sudden squall of wind unfortunately 
carried away most of the Amelia's masts. As soon 
as the enemy perceived this, he made sail : but Sir 
Harry Ncale was not intimidated ; lie resolved not 
only to protect his consort, but if possible to gain 
possession of some part of the French force. In the 
mean time the crew of the Amelia were very busily 
engaged in repairing the damage which she had sus- 
tained ; and she was soon brought into such a state, 
that she could be kept close and under command : a 
brisk action soon commenced. The French finding 


that the British ships were well prepared to meet them, 
no longer shewed the same disposition to continue a 
close engagement ; but gradually edged down to- 
M'ards their own coast ; by this means they gained the 
protection of the batteries, which fired on the English 
frigates. The action continued in this manner, for 
an hour and fifty-five minutes, when the enemy's fri- 
gates being dreadfully shattered, took refuge in the 
Loire; the British commanders finding it absolutely 
impossible to prevent their escape. 

The next action of frigates, which we have to re- 
cord, is more remarkable for the rich prize, which 
victory brought into the possession of the British, 
than for any very superior bravery which was display- 
ed by the captors. On the 16th of October, the 
Xaiad and Alcmene discovered and chased two Span- 
ish frigates in the Bay of Biscay : the Triton and the 
Kthalion soon afterwards joined in the chase. The 
Kthalion succeeded in coming up with and cap- 
turing one of the frigates ; she proved to be the The- 
tis, of thirty-six guns, and two hundred and fifty 
men, from Vera Cruz, bound to any port in Spain, 
which she could reach ; she had on board one million 
four hundred and eleven thousand two hundred and 
fifty-six dollars, and a large quantity of cocoa. 

In the mean time, the rest of the British frigates 
continued to pursue the other Spanish frigate: the 


captain, perceiving that he had no chance of escap- 
ing 1 , stood close on the rocks of Monte Lora ; and 
the Triton, headmost and eager in the pursuit, while 
going at the rate of seven knots an hour, struck on 
these rocks ; she luckily, however, received no da- 
mage, and, by the exertions of her crew, was soon 
got off, and commenced a brisk fire upon her oppo- 
nent. The other British frigates were not long in 

o o 

coming up and joining in the battle; the Spaniard de- 
fended himself bravely against this unequal force, 
but was at length compelled to strike; she proved to 
be the Santa Brigada, of thirty-six guns, and three 
hundred men ; she had also come from Vera Cruz, 
and had on board one million four hundred thousand 
dollars, besides other articles of great value. The 
treasure taken in these frigates, was conveyed to the 
bank of England ; the prize money received by the 
officers and crew, was as follows. 

Captains, each, 40,730 18 

Lieutenant^ ditto, 5,091 73 

Warrant-officers, ditto, 2,408 10 9{- 

Midshipmen, c. ditto, 791 17 0^ 

Seamen and Marines, ditto, .. 182 4 9j 

The Success, frigate, Captain Peard, in the Medi- 
terranean, performed a most brilliant exploit ; a Spa- 
nish polacre, which she had chased, took refuge in 
the harbour of La Seva ; but Captain Peard was by 
no means disposed to forego the acquisition of her: 
he accordingly sent in his boats to attempt her cap- 
ture ; they found her defended by a strong boarding 
netting, and under the protection of a small battery. 
Nothing, however, could discourage or daunt the 
boat's crew ; they were only forty-two in number : 
but, with tni'j British courage in their hearts, they 
overcame all opposition. During this enterprise, a 
marine, who had his right arm broke by a grape shot, 
was asked, by the officer who commanded the boat, 
if his right arm were not disabled, to which he nobly 
replied, " yes, it was, but, thank God, though he 


could not pull a trigger with his right, he could han- 
dle a cutlass with his left hand :" and he was as good 


as he promised, for he was very active, notwithstand- 
ing his wound, in assisting to board and cany the 

So convinced, were the British naval commanders, 
of their superiority to their enemies, that they were 
not deterred from attacking them, even when the 
force was very disproportionate. A striking instance 
of this occurred in Ballasore Roads, in the East In- 
dies : where Captain Edward Cooke, in La Syhille, 
of forty guns, after a most gallant and spirited action 
of an hour and forty minutes, dismasted arid captured 
La Forte, a French frigate, of fifty-four guns, and 
seven hundred men. So heavy and well-directed was 
the fire of the English frigate, that the French crew 
were twice driven from their quarters ; and the cap- 
tain and almost all the officers were either killed or 
desperately wounded. When La Forte was taken 
possession of, her decks exhibited a scene of dreadful 
carnage. The French captain was a worthy pupil of 
the celebrated Suffrein, and was reckoned one of the 
ablest officers in the French navy. On board of La 
Sybille, Captain Cooke was wounded, and obliged to 
quit the deck : he lingered till the <23d of May, when 
he died, respected by all who knew him ; the loss of 
the English frigate, in other respects, was not heavy, 
as she had only three killed, and eighteen wounded. 

We cannot close the naval records of the year 1799, 
with a more daring and gallant enterprise, than that 
which was executed on the />th of October, by Cap- 
tain Edward Hamilton, in the Surprise, of twenty- 
four guns. In the year 17.97, the crew of the Eng- 
lish frigate Ilermione, mutinied, and carried her into 
a Spanish port in the West Indies ; in 1799, she was 
-lying in Port Cavallo, ready for sea, mounting foity- 
four guns, with a ship's company of three hundred 
and twenty-one officers and sailors, fifty-six soldiers, 
and fifteen artillery-men on board, Captain liamil- 


ton, who was cruising off the Jamaica station, could 
not bear to think that an English frigate should con- 
tinue in possession of the enemy. " The honour of 
my country, and the glory of the British navy," to 
use his own lano-uao-e, " were strong inducements for 

d? O ' CJ 

me to make an attempt to cut her out." The enter- 
prise was bold and arduous in no common degree ; 
the port in which the Hermione lay, was defended by 
two hundred pieces of cannon. Yet, as soon as Cap- 
tain Hamilton announced his intention to his crew, 
they returned three cheers, and declared they would 
all follow to a man. Accordingly at half past twelve, 
on the morning of the 25th, the boats, containing 
one hundred men, proceeded on this enterprise ; they 
first met and beat the launch of the Hermione; and 
afterwards proceeded against the frigate herself ; when 
they boarded her, they gained possession of the fore- 
castle without much resistance ; a dreadful carnage 
took place on the quarter deck, which, however, the 
British gained possession of in a quarter of an hour : 
from thence, they proceeded to the main-deck, which 
offered a long and bloody resistance : while part of 
the boats' crew were thus engaged, the rest had cut 
the cables, hoisted sail, and by the assistance of boats 
a-head to tow, were getting the frigate out of the 

* o o r? 

harbour ; still, however, the main-deck held out for 
some time, and when the Spaniards were driven from 
it, they retreated to the lower decks ; and continued 
firing till their ammunition was expended ; then, but 
not before, they called for quarter. The Hermione 
had one hundred and nineteen killed, and ninety-seven 
wounded ; of the boats' crew of the Surprise, none 
were killed, and only a very few wounded. It adds 
greatly to the merit of this enterprise, that the fri- 
gate thus taken was not only of such great compara- 
tive force: but was also defended with so much bra- 
very ; while we do justice to the gallant defence of 
the Spaniards, we should not forget, that, notwith- 
standing this defence, they were vanquished by a 


very inferior force, placed in very unfavourable cir- 

During 1 the whole of the year 1799, ^ r e have not 
to record the loss of a single ship of war belonging to 
the British, while no fewer than twentv frigates, cor- 

.' O ' 

vettes, and luggers, belonging to Fiance, and ten to 
Spain, were captured : and the Dutch navy was nearly 
annihilated, twenty-five ships belonging to that nation 
were added to the British navy. 

1800. In consequence of the combination against 
Trance, which had in a great measure, resulted from 
the battle of the Nile, and the decided part which the 
British ministry had resolved to take in the war on 
the continent, parliament were assembled so early as 
the 24th of September, in 1799. His Majesty, in his 
speech to both houses of parliament, informed them, 
that the principal object he had in view, in assembling 
them at that unusual period was, that they should con- 
sider of the propriety of enabling him, without delay, 
to avail himself of the voluntary service of the militia, 
at a moment, when our actual force abroad might be 
productive of the most important and beneficial con- 
sequences, lie also hinted at the prospect of a union 
between Great Britain and Ireland; this measure, 
however, would require the most calm and serious de- 
liberation. As the number of members, who attend- 
ed either house at the opening of parliament, weie few, 
little debate or opposition occurred ; indeed little bu- 
siness, except what respected the measure mention- 
ed expressly in his Majesty's speech, was done this 
year. In a committee of supply, 1,(>80,000/. was 
voted for the use of the navy, for two calendar months, 
beginning the 1st of January, 1800; 121, IK)/, for 
the ordinaries of the navy, and 1 }5,( : ~5/. for the ex- 
traordinarie.s. The houses then adjourned till the Cist 
of January. ] son. 

When parliament met. according to adjournment, 
the first subject of importance to which their attention 
and deliberations were directed v, ;^, the proposal oi 


peace, which had come from the consular govern- 
ment of France. Buonaparte, after having been foiled 
in his attempts upon Acre, had directed his thoughts 
and plans entirely to his escape from Egypt: to this 
he was incited, not only by the difficulties and dan- 
gers which opposed his further progress and victo- 
ries in that country, but also by the state of affairs in 
France. The government there, totally incapable of 
concerting measures equal to the emergency of the 
occasion, had lost the confidence of the French peo- 
ple : defeat attended their armies; their conquests 
were snatched from them, by the valour and enterprise 
of the Austrians and Russians : and France, in a short 
time, would probably have been again compelled to 
defend her own ancient territories, had not the good 
fortune of Buonaparte enabled him to escape from 
Egypt, at this most critical moment. It is surprising, 
how he eluded our cruisers in the Mediterranean, 
who were constantly on the alert, and look out for him. 
aware, that, in the then state of France and Egypt, 
he would, in all probability, endeavour to return to the 
former country. Having seized on the supreme au- 
thority immediately on his arrival in Paris, and soon 
afterwards been invested with the name and dignity 
of consul, he lost no time in offering peace to Great 
Britain, in a letter expressly addressed to his Ma- 
jesty. The consideration or this proposal, was the 
first object which employed parliament, when it 
met, after the adjournment, in January, 1800. Mi- 
nisters insisted, that no peace could be made with 
France, while she was actuated with the same spirit, 
and entertained the same views, which were manifest 
to the whole world. The opposition, on the contrary, 
contended, that, as France had now, in some form 
and degree, a regular government, we should not ob- 
ject to treat with her: that a refusal to treat, could 
only be considered as a virtual declaration, that we 
meant to interfere in her internal government, and 
that we still wished to restore the Bourbon family. 


The opposition, however, were \veak, and the mea- 
sures and votes of ministers were carried by a very 
large majority. The ministers had also equal ma- 
jorities, when the nature, the management, and the 
result of the expedition into Holland came under con- 

Although we have already mentioned the naval 
supplies which were voted when parliament first met 
in the month of September 1799; yet, as these were 
only for two months, in the beginning of 1 800, we 
shall now, according to our r, .>uai custom, give a 
connected and detailed view of all the naval sup- 
plies for the whole year. The total supplies grant- 
ed for the year 1800, comprehending every de- 
scription of service, were to a great amount: viz. 
47,6'90,739/. 6s. QI!T. of these, the naval supplies 
amounted to 13,619,079^ 13*. lid. composed of the 
following particulars ; the first two months, one 
hundred and twenty .thousand seamen, including 
twenty-two thousand six hundred and ninety-six ma- 
rines : and, for the remaining eleven calendar months, 
one hundred and ten thousand seamen, and the same 
number of marines, 2,682,500/. ; the victualling of 
these seamen and marines, 2,755,000/. ; the wear and 
tear of ships, 4,350,000/. ; ordnance for the sea-ser- 
vice, 36 ( 2,5QOl. ', extraordinaries, 1 15,65.5/. ; for the 
ordinary, including half-pay to the sea and marine 
officers, 8()6,939/. 13-s. lid. ; for building and repairs 
of ships, 365, 3 15/. ; for the probable expence of 
transport-service, 1,300,000/. ; for the maintenance 
of prisoners of war in health, 500, OOO/. ; for the care 
and maintenance of sick prisoners of war, 90, OOO/. 

As the British ministry had formed, on the conti- 
nent, a regular combination against the power of 
France, they were resolved to give it every assistance 
which our navy was capable of affording. The Aus- 
trians being employed in the siege of Genoa, a de- 
tachment of men of war was ordered to assist them, 
and was of great use during the operations of tie 


siege. That the French might tint he able to send 
re- enforcements to Genoa, Toulon was hlockaded ; 
Alexandria, Cadiz, Flushing, Malta, and Belleisle, 
were also hlockaded nearly at the same time by Bri- 
tish fleets, or cruisers. The whole coast of Europe, rom 
Holland to the extremity of the Mediterranean, was 
thus held in check by the navy of England; and ter- 
ror was inspired into our enemies, by the names of 
St. Vincent, Nelson, Smith, and Mitchel. Such is a 
rapid and general sketch of the services, which the 
British navy afforded to the common cause, in the 
year 1800 : we shall now proceed to the detail of par- 
ticular naval events. 

As the royalists, on the coast of Britanny, had 
again appeared in strength, and expressed a wish to 
be assisted by the British, Lord St. Vincent, in the 
month of June, dispatched Sir Edward Pellew, with a 
squadron of ships of war, having a considerable body 
of troops on board, on this service. Major-general 
Maitland had the command of the land forces. Qui- 
beron, and the Bay of Morbihan were the places 
where the royalists were in the greatest force, and 
where, it was supposed, a landing and co-operation 
might be effected with the greatest ease and success. 
But the issue of this enterprise, though not so disast- 
erous and fatal, as that which formerly took place at 
Quiberon, was not attended with any important or 
permanent success ; this was owing entirely to the 
circumstance of the royalists being much less formida- 
ble than they had represented themselves to be. The 
forts on the south west end of Quiberon were silenced 
and destroyed ; several vessels were cut out and 
captured ; but this is nearly the sum total of the re- 
sult of this expedition. 

As so little could be done at Quiberon, Sir Edward 
Pellew and General Maitland resolved to make an at- 
tack on Belleisle : if this had been done, as soon as 
the plan w r as matured, it probably would have suc- 
ceeded ; but some delay took place from unforeseen 


circumstances ; the enemy were alarmed and prepar- 
ed ; and on the morning of the l^th of June, Gene- 
ral Maitland received information, that a body of 
troops amounting to seven thousand, were assembled 
on the island. Nothing, now, could be done against 
Belleisle ; the small island of llouatt, was, indeed, 
taken possession of for a short time, but this also was 
abandoned, and the troops proceeded for the Medi- 
terranean, where, it was thought, thev might be more 

O ' */ O 

serviceably employed. 

If we look at this attempt on the coast of France, 
solely with reference to the assistance and support 
which it might have given to the royalists, we shall 
be disposed to regard it as having utterly failed : but, 
if it be viewed as a measure intended to distract the 
intention of the enemy, it had no slight degree of 
success. At the time, when the coasts of France 
were kept in constant alarm, it was of the utmost im- 
portance for the French government to send all the 
troops they could spare, against their continental foes : 
this, undoubtedly, they were prevented from doing, 
by our expedition ; and, so far, the design was good, 
and the result beneficial. 

We are afraid, that not even so much can be said 
in praise, or in defence of the expedition against Fer- 
rol, which was undertaken in the month of August, 
this year ; indeed, it is not easy to divine, what was 
the ultimate and real object of this expedition, and, 
upon wiiat kind of information, respecting the place 
to be attacked, it was planned and executed. A large 
bodv of troops, under the command of Sir James Pul- 
teney, were embarked on board Sir John Boilase 
Warren's squadron. When they arrived in the Bay of 
Playa de Dominos, near Fcrrol, the disembarkation 
took place ; this was effected without the loss of a sin- 
gle man. by the able measures which were taken by 
the admiral ; he also sent on shore, along with the 
troops, a number of seamen with scaling ladders, in 
order to grt the guns up the heights which com- 


mantled Ferrol. As soon as the troops bad landed, 
they advanced against the enemy with great spirit ; 
it was iirst necessary to obtain possession of a ridge of 
hills adjoining the bay ; just as they reached the sum- 
mit of these hills, they encountered the Spaniards, 
whom they drove back. In consequence of this suc- 
cess, and of the repulse of another considerable body 
of the enemy, on the morning of the 26th, the British 
gained complete and undisturbed possession of the 
heights which commanded Ferrol ; the loss which 
they sustained, during these operations, was very 
trilling, and occasioned more by the nature of the 
ground, than by the enemy's fire. Hitherto, every 
thing had gone on as well as could possibly have been 
expected or desired ; and Sir John Borlase Warren 
was congratulating himself on the ultimate and com- 
plete success of the expedition, when, on the evening 
of the 26th, Sir James Pulteney informed him, that, 
on account of the strength of the country, and the 
enemy's works, no farther operations could be carried 
on, and that he had resolved to re-embark die troops 
without delay. This was accordingly done, fortu- 
nately without loss; every thing relating to it, being 
performed with the greatest order and regularity. 
From Ferrol, the squadron proceeded to Vigo, where 
an enterprise of signal courage was achieved ; a French 
privateer was observed lying in Vigo Bay close to the 
batteries. Sir John Borlase Warren ordered the. 
boats of the squadron to be manned for the attack, 
and he placed them under the command of Lieutenant 
Burke: they proceeded with the utmost coolness to the 
attack. The privateer was fully prepared for them ; 
her captain was determined not to give up his vessel 
without a brave defence and resistance ; in crcler to 
prevent his crew from giving wav, and flving below, 
lie had laid over the hatches ; and as the boats advan- 
ced, the privatcer's-men cheered them. This only 
inflamed the British ; they perceived their foes were 
worthy of them, and with sudi they always prdiu 


fighting : they pushed on, boarded the privateer, and, 
in the short space of fifteen minutes, had obtained 
possession of her. The captain and crew of the priva- 
teer fought as resolutely as they were expected to do; 
nor did they yield, till twenty-five men were killed, 
and forty wounded ; among the latter, was the brave 
captain : and his wound was mortal. On the part of 
the British, four were killed, and twenty wounded ; 
Lieutenant Burke was among the latter. 

This was not the only time, during the year 1800, 
that Lieutenant Burke had distinguished himself on a 
similar enterprise to that which we have just related. 
Sir John Borlase Warren having been informed, that 
a ship of war, and a large convoy of the enemy, were 
Ivino- within the island of Normontier, destined for 

*J Cj ' 

the fleet at Brest, resolved to attempt their destruc- 
tion ; Captain Martin was appointed to head and di- 
rect this enterprise: and the boats to be employed, 
were ordered to assemble on board the Fisguard. 
As the enemy never conceived themselves free from 
danger, while there was a bare possibility of the Bri- 
tish seamen getting at them, they had used every 
means in their power, to defend and protect these 
vessels : they were lying within the sands in Bour- 
neuf Bay, moored in a strong position, under the pro 
tection of six heavy batteries, besides flanking guns, 
on every projecting point. The boats destined for 
the attack, were formed into three divisions, and the 
whole plan was arranged with great judgment and 
skill by Captain Martin ; he was fully aware of the 
difficulties he had to encounter, and the opposition 
which he should probably meet with; and he had ta- 
ken his measures accordingly : after having given 
proper directions to Lieutenant Burke, to whom was 
entrusted the immediate management and command 
of the enterprise, the boats were sent from the Fis- 
guard, soon after it became dark. By midnight, they 
reached their destination ; immediately boarded : and 
after experiencing a very formidable resistance, sue- 


.ceetled in obtaining possession of the ship of war, 
four armed vessels, and fifteen merchantmen : but, 
as they found it impracticable to bring them out, the 
whole were burnt. The most arduous and dangerous 
part of the enterprise was still to be performed : it has 
been already stated, tfcat the enemy's vessels were ly- 
ing within the island, and very near the sands ; before 
the boats could get out into deep water, the tide fell, 
and they grounded ; in less than ten minutes they 
were left completely dry. In this unfortunate and 
unexpected situation, they were exposed to a conti- 
nued fire from the forts, and besides this, a body of 
four hundred soldiers drew up in their rear, and fired 
on them with great effect. In this critical state of 
their affairs, they resolved to make an attempt, so 
very singularly daring, that none but British seamen 
could have either executed or conceived it : they re- 
solved to make an attack on some other vessels of the 
enemy, for the purpose of securing one sufficiently 
large to carry off the whole party, as there was no 
chance of their succeeding in getting off all their own 
boats : they accordingly, deserting their boats, set 
out on this enterprise, and succeeded in gaining pos- 
session of a vessel suited for their purpose; but this 
vessel lay on the opposite side of the bay, and before 
she could be of service to them, it was necessary to 
drag her upwards of two miles over the sands ; this, 
too, with great intrepidity, exertion, and strength, 
they accomplished ; but, before she was afloat, they 
were up to their necks in the water. Having secured 
the vessel, they proceeded on board the Fisguard. 
On this enterprise, seven officers, eleven petty offi- 
cers, one hundred and thirteen seamen, and sixty-one 
marines, were employed; of these, one hundred se- 
cured their retreat; and four officers, and eighty-eight 
men were made prisoners. 

As the British government had received informa- 
tion, that a formidable naval force was equipping in 
Cadi/; which was to be sent round to Brest, to join 


the French fleet there, they judged it proper to at- 
tempt the bombardment of the former place. Lord 
Keith commanded the fleet, and Sir Ralph Abercrom- 
bie the land forces, \vhich were em ployed for this purpose. 
It happened, that, at the time they arrived before Cadiz, 
a violent epidemic disease \vas raging in the city : the 
governor, therefore, represented this circumstance to 
the British commanders, hoping they would he thereby 
induced to give up the enterprise. In the letter, 
which he sent on this occasion, he expressed too ex- 
alted an opinion of English humanity, to think, that 
they would wish to render the condition of the peo- 
ple of Cadiz more deplorable than it actually was ; " if, 
however," he added, " in consequence of the orders 
your excellencies have received, you are inclined to 
draw clown upon yourselves the execration of all na- 
tions ; to cover yourselves with disgrace, in the eyes 
of the whole universe, by oppressing the unfortunate, 
and attacking those, who are supposed to be incapable 
of defence ; I declare to yon, that the garrison under 
my orders, accustomed to behold death with a serene 
countenance, and to brave dangers, much greater 
than all the perils of war, know how to make a resist- 
ance which shall not terminate, but with their entire 

In reply to this communication, a joint letter was 
sent by Lord Keith, and Sir Ralph Abercrombie : in 
this letter, they expressed compassion at the suffer- 
ings of the inhabitants of Cadiz, which, however, 
they believed to he much exaggerated : but, though 
they felt for the inhabitants, their duty, and the com- 
mands of their sovereign, compelled them to continue 
the bombardment, unless his Catholic Majesty's ships, 
\vhich were armed to join the naval power of France, 
and prolong the troubles which afflicted all the na- 
tions of Europe, were given up ; if these terms were 
not immediately complied with, they declared their 
linn determination to take every measure in their 
power, to destroy the fleet and the arsenals. This pro- 


posal was rejected by the governor with indignation ; 
lie considered it as insulting to the person to whom it 
was addressed, and little honourable to those who 
made it. The British commanders prepared to cany 
into full execution the threats which they had held 
out : but, the weather proving unfavourable, and, it 
is said, some apprehensions being entertained, that the 
contagion would spread among the troops, if they 
should succeed in their enterprise, it was abandoned. 

In the Mediterranean, several events occurred, none 
of them, however, of very great importance, or which 
will detain us long in the narration. Lord Keith, 
who commanded the fleet on that station, was chiefly 
employed, during the first part of the year, in co-ope- 
rating with the Austrian general, Melas, in the siege 
of Genoa, as has already been noticed ; Lord Nelson, 
who served under Lord Keith, was, at the same time, 
employed in blockading the island of Malta ; infor- 
mation having been received, that a squadron of the 
enemy were about to attempt its relief Lord Nelson 
was directed to proceed to the windward of the island, 
with three sail of the line. During this course, he 
fell in with and captured Le Genereux, of seventy- 
four guns, bearing the Hag of Rear-admiral Pervie, 
commander- in-chief of the French naval force in the 
Mediterranean, bound from Toulon, with a number 
of troops for the relief of Malta. 

In the month of March, a most melancholy acci- 
dent happened. Lord Keith was indefatigable in his 
exertions to harass the French in Italy, and to make 
diversions in favour of the Austrians ; the former had 
obtained possession of the small island of Cabrera, 
about thirty miles from Leghorn ; the reduction of 
this, Lord Keith was resolved to attempt ; he accord- 
ingly sent his own ship, the Queen Charlotte, under 
the command of Captain Todd, to reconnoitre the 
island. When she had arrived about three or four 
leagues from Leghorn, she was discovered to be on 
fire ; every assistance was immediately given from 



the shore ; but notwithstanding this, and the exertions 
of her crew, she was totally destroyed. Most of the 
boats from the shore, when they approached her, were 
terrified, in consequence of the firing of the guns, 
which were shotted, and, when heated by the fire, 
went, off in all directions. Captain Todd, with the 
first lieutenant, remained on deck till the last moment, 
and sacrificed their own lives, that they might be ser- 
viceable in saving the lives of the crew. The crew of 
the Queen Charlotte amounted to upwards of eight 
hundred and forty ; some of these were on shore ; of 
those on board, only one hundred and sixty-seven were 

Lord Keith, on the loss of this ship, hoisted his flag 
on board the Minotaur ; and proceeded to blockade 
the port of Genoa; this he continued to do, till the 
French army evacuated that city, and the whole Ge- 
noese territory. 

The blockade of Malta was still continued ; the 
squadron regularly employed on this service, was, at 
first, commanded bv Captain Alexander John Ball ; 
in the autumn of 1800, he gave up the command, and 
was succeeded by Captain George Martin, who perse- 
vered, with equal success, in cutting off all the suc- 
cours that were sent by the French, for the relief of 
the island. At last, after having been blockaded 
nearly two years, the fortress of Valette, with the 
whole island, surrendered to the British arms. 

From Malta, we shall now turn our attention to 
what was going on in Egypt. Buonaparte left that 
country in the month of August, 17^9; on his de- 
parture, he sent a letter to General Kleber, in which 
he assigned his reasons for returning so abruptly and 
suddenly to France, and appointed him commander- 
in-chief. In the mouth of December, 1 7.9.9-. General 
Kk'bcT offered proposals for the evacuation of Egypt; 
as the grand vizier left the whole arrangement to Sir 
Sulncv Smith, the conferences respecting the mode 
and terms of the evacuation were held on buarcl the 


Tigre. The terms proposed by the French, were, 1st. 
That the Porte should restore to France all possessions, 
which she might have taken from her during the war; 

O O ' 

2d. That the relations between the Ottoman emperor, 
and the French republic, should be re-established on the 
same footing as before the war; and 3d. That the French 
army should evacuate Egypt, with arms, and baggage, 
whenever the necessary means for such evacuation 
should be procured ; and that they should proceed to 
such ports as should be agreed upon. It must be con- 
fessed, that these were high terms for an army, 
which was cut off from all supplies and re-enforce- 
ments, to insist upon. The Turks, therefore, objected 
to the spirit of the proposals; and General Kleber, 
finding his situation growing daily more precarious, 
hastened the termination of the negociation, which 
was signed on the 24th of January, 1800, By this, 
it was agreed, that the French army, with all its 
stores, artillery, baggage, &c. wifh the ships of war, 
and transports, lying in the harbour of Alexandria, 
should be permitted to return to France, unmolested 
by the allied powers. As soon as Lord Keith was 
informed of the nature of this convention, he dis- 
patched a letter to General Kleber, in which he gave 
notice, that he had received positive orders from his 
Majesty, to consent to no capitulation with the 
French army, unless it laid down its arms, and sur- 
rendered itself prisoners of war; giving up, at the 
same time, to the allies, all the ships and stores in the 
port and citadel of Alexandria. The French general, 
on the receipt of this letter, immediately re-commenc- 
ed hostilities, and gained several important advan- 
tages over the Turks ; inspirited by these advantages, 
they refu-ed, in their turn, to abide by the convention, 
when orders shortly afterwards arrived from the Bri- 
tish government, to accede to it. 

Although the naval annals of 1800, are in a great 

cr o 

measure, destitute of events of prime importance; yet 
there are several transactions, that occurred during it, 

N 2 


which, as they display the British character, on its 
native element, to great advantage, deserve our par- 
ticular and minute notice and record. 

The first of these, to which we shall advert, took 
place during the blockade of Malta. On the 30th of 
-March, Captain Blackwood, in the Penelope, of thir- 
ty-two guns, was directed by Captain M. Dixon, 
who at that time commanded the blockading squad- 
ron, to stand close in to Vaiette, in order to observe 
the motions and proceedings of the enemy on the 
island, with more certainty. While employed on this 
service, he descried a large ship, apparently a French 
man of war ; he immediately sent off the Minerva, 
brig, to inform Captain Dixon ; at the same time, 
hoisting the proper signals, and giving chase in the 
Penelope. As it was now completely dark, the squa- 
dron, which instantly cut their cables, were guided 
in the pursuit solely by the guns of the Penelope, 
When day broke, the Lion, a sixty-four gun ship, 
commanded by Captain Dixon, came nearly up with 
the enemy, and, at the same time, observed the Pe- 
nelope, within musket-shot, raking her in a most gal- 
lant and successful manner. The enemy was already 
greatly disabled in consequence of the running fight, 
which the English frigate had sustained with her dur- 
ing the night ; she was reduced to the necessity of 
steering with her head sails only, having the wind on 
her quarter. The Lion was immediately laid along- 
side ; and the two ships, for a short time, were entangled. 
Captain Dixon, aware of the very superior force of 
the enemy, manoeuvred in such a manner, as to pre- 
vent his being boarded, or receiving her whole broad- 
side, by laying the Lion across her bow ; in this po- 
sition, he poured in a most tremendous fire, while the 
enemy was not able to return it, except by the feeble 
fire of musketry, and her bow-chasers, As she was 
full of troops, her Captain did all he could to take up 
such a position, as would enable him to board the 
Lion ; but he was constantly disappointed ; and in a 


very short time, the Fouclroyant, of eighty guns, Cap- 
tain Sir Edward Berry, came up under a press of sail, 
and called to the enemy to strike ; as she, however, 
still held out, notwithstanding the damage she had re- 
ceived, and the great superiority of the force which was 
now opposed to her, the Fouclroyant, Penelope, and 
Lion, attacked her with great impetuosity. In about 
an hour and a half, the French captain, iinding fur- 
ther resistance unavailing, and his ship being com- 
pletely dismasted, struck his colours. She proved to 
be the Guillaume Tell, mounting eighty-six guns, 
with one thousand men on board; the only vessel 
which remained to the French, of all those which 
were in the action of the Nile. 

On the Newfoundland station, the most successful 
enterprises were undertaken and executed by some of 
the numerous privateers which were fitted out by the 
merchants and traders of Nova Scotia ; particularly 
by the brig Rover a privateer of fourteen four pound- 
ers, and fifty -five men, commanded by Captain God- 
frey. This vessel, being on a cruise in the month of 
September, off the Spanish main, discovered, while 
they were becalmed near the land, a schooner, and 
three gun-boats making towards them. In a short 
time, the enemy, having the advantage of oars, came 
nearly close up with the Rover ; and Captain Godfrey 
hearing the commander of the schooner give orders to 
the gun-boats to board the privateer, while the 
schooner run up on the starboard quarter, he per- 
mitted them to advance, till they came within fifteen 
yards. As soon as they reached this distance, he or- 
dered the Rover to be put round, so as to lay her 
.starboard broadside across the bow of the schooner; 
he then poured in a dreadful fire of great and small 
shot, raking her deck, which was full of men prepared 
for boarding, fore and aft. As soon as he had poured 
his broadside into the schooner, in this manner, and 
with most terrible effect, he ordered the Rover to be 
put about again, and raked both the gun-boats, kil- 


ling and wounding an immense number of men. As 
he now perceived that the gun-boats were no longer 
capable or disposed to molest him, and as the schooner 
recovered a little from her contusion and damage, 
was preparing to renew the attack, he directed his at- 
tention solely to her, commencing a close action, 
which continued three glasses. Her sails and rigging 
were soon completely disabled; and, about this time, 
a slight breeze of wind springing up, Captain God- 
frey took advantage of it to back his head sails, thus 
bringing his stern on board of the enemy, by which 
means, he was enabled to board and carry her. She 
proved to be the Santa Putta, mounting ten six pound- 
ers, and two twelve pound carronades, with one hun- 
dred and twenty-live men. She had been fitted and 
sent out of port for the express purpose of taking the 
Rover: her loss was very great ; every officer, except 
one, was killed ; fourteen men were found dead on 
her deck, when she was boarded, and seventeen 
wounded. Not a single man was hurt in the priva- 

Captain Milne, who was the second lieutenant on 
board the Blanche, when she captured La Pique ; and 
who swam on board to take possession of her, had an 
opportunity of signalizing himself this year. lie had 
been raised to the rank of captain, and appointed to 
the command of the Seine, a frigate of forty-two 
guns : in her he was cruising off St. Domingo, when 
a large ship, standing to the northward, was observed, 
apparently intending to pass through the Monu pas- 
sage. Chase was instantly given; but it was near mid- 
night before Captain Milne could bring her to action ; 
the enemy seemed resolved to escape if possible ; and 
even after Captain Milne had commenced the action 
by firing at the rigging of the Seine, he contrived to 
prevent its becoming, tor some time, so close and rcgu-. 
lar as the British captain wished, Captain Milne, ob- 
serving this disposition on the part of the enemy, em- 
ployed his crew, during the remainder of the night, 


in repairing the damage which his vessel had sus- 
tained ; and by day-break, next morning, was ena- 
bled to accomplish his object most completely and sa- 
tisfactorily. The battle raged with great violence for an 
hour and a half ; and, by that time, so powerful and 
well directed had been the fire of the Seine, that the 
enemy had lost her fore-mast, mizen-mast, and main- 
top-mast, all of which falling on board, created great 
confusion. It was, therefore, necessary, when she 
had determined to surrender, for an officer to come 
out on the end of the bowsprit; for from no other 
part of the ship could he have been seen, and to de- 
clare, that she had struck to the British flag. When 
she was taken possession of, she was found to be the 
Vengeance, mounting twenty-eight eighteen pound- 
ers, on the main-deck ; sixteen twelve pounders, and 
eight forty-two pounder carronades on her quarter deck 
and fore-castle, \vith shifting guns on the main and 
quarter-decks. At the commencement of the action, 
she had on board four hundred and fifty-three men, 
of which number, when she was taken, there were 
found only two hundred and ninety-one. On board 
of the Seine, one officer and twelve men were killed : 
and three officers and twenty-six wounded. 

The enemy, this year, gained possession of a Bri- 
tish frigate by the treason of her crew ; the Danae, 
commanded by Captain Lord Proby, was one of the 
ships that were employed to watch the enemy's fleet 
in Brest harbour ; on the 1 4th of March, she had 
chased an armed brig into Camaret Bay. On the day 
after, when she had returned to some distance from 
the coast, the mutineers, who had formed their plan 
with great secresy, resolved to carry it into execu- 
tion ; forty-one of the ship's company, headed by a 
man of the name of Jackson, one of the captains of 
the fore- top, and assisted by the prisoners, who were 
on board, composed the mutineers. At nine o'clock 
at night, they rushed on the quarter deck, knocked 
clown the master, and threw him down the main hatch- 


way. This was the signal tor revolt agreed upon. In 
order to prevent the great majority of the crew, who 
were ignorant of their intentions, from offering any 
resistance, they fastened down the grating of the 
hatchways, and placed the boats, filled with shot, 
over them. The officers were now alarmed ; but, in 
order to intimidate them, the mutineers pointed some 
guns aft, and fired through the cabin ; no person, 
however, there was injured. Lord Proby, as soon as 
he heard the noise, suspecting something serious was 
going on, attempted, along with his officers, to get 
up the ladder of the quarter-deck ; but be was forced 
back into the cabin, and sentinels placed over him. 
Jackson, who now took the command of the frigate, 
steered for Camaret Bay, came to anchor, and sent a 
boat on board a French armed brig that was lying 
there. The lieutenant, who commanded her, return- 
ed to the Danae ; and on his asking Lord Probv to 

O ' 

whom he surrendered, he very pointedly and spirit- 
edly answered, " To the French nation, but not to 
mutineers." Two of the British blockading squad- 
rons, suspecting what was going on, gave chase to 
the Danae, when she first steered for Camaret Bay ; 
but as Jackson having obtained possession of the sig- 
nals, hoisted the one which indicated that the Danae 
was giving chase, they did not press forward with suf- 
ficient quickness to conic up with her. It fortunately 
happened, that Lord Prohy found an opportunity of 
sinking the box containing all the private signals. 
When he landed, he and his officers were treated 
with the greatest politeness and attention, by the 
French commander, while the mutineers, much to 
their surprise and disappointment, were marched to 
Dinan prison. 

After this instance of British treachery, it is consol- 
ing to record instances of qualities, more congenial to 
the hearts and habits of British sailors. Of these 
qualities, the most common, distinguishing 1 , and ho- 
nourable, arc undoubtedly their skill in seamanship,, 


and their courage in battle. Of each of these, this 
year affords remarkable proofs. 

Earl) in the month of January, the Amity, a pilot 
boat, belonging: to liembridge, was on the look out 
for ships, the day was extremely hazy, so that a lug- 
ger privateer of the enemy, was nearly close upon 
them, before they perceived her. Little or no chance 
of escape presented itself to the master of the pilot 
boat; since the enemy was rowing with thirteen oars 
on each side, and there was little or no wind ; as She 
was fast approaching to the Amity, there was no alter- 
native, but to leave her to her fate, and endeavour to 
get awav in a small boat, which was lying alongside. 

v / V* C? 

The whole crew of the Amity consisted of the master, 
another man, and a boy, named James Wallis ; as 
soon as the t\vo former had got into the boat, they 
desired the boy to quit the Amity and follow them ; 
but he bravely answered, he would remain by the ves- 
sel, whatever might be the consequence. So cool and 
determined was he, that no persuasions could induce 
him to alter his mind; he merely desired that they 
would take charge of his watch, and of the little mo- 
ney he had, and give them to his father ; this they 
promised to do, and left him to his fate. The priva- 
teer, at this time, was only a quarter of a mile distant, 
and was approaching very rapidly. In a few mi- 
nutes after the captain and the other man had left 
the pilot boat, the enemy run up under her Ice-quarter, 
with an intention to grapple her ; but just as they 
were in the very act of throwing their grappling-line, 
the boy, aware of their design, put the helm of the 
boat down, and tacked ; as the privateer had lowered 
part of her sails, while in the act of grappling the 
pilot boat, by this manoeuvre, the boy was thus ena- 
bled to make head way from her, before the enemy 
bad time to resume his course : they immediately be- 
gan to fnc small arms and swivels at him ; but without 
effect: as soon as the boy perceived that they were 
qgain approaching him, he tacked again and weathered 


them about the length of the lugger; the privateer, on 
this, was also obliged to tack, sailing in the wake of 
the boat. The boy constantly followed the plan of 
tacking every time the lugger set her sails ; and this 
was repeated sixteen or seventeen times ; the distance 
between them was seldom more than thirty yards ; 
and though, at this short distance, the privateer kept 
up a regular and constant lire ; she did not succeed, 
either in wounding the bov, or in damaging the risr- 

^ O _ *J ' CO o 

ging or hull ol the pilot boat. For two hours, these 
manoeuvres were carried on; and, about the end of 
that time, afresh breeze happily sprung up ; the pilot 
boat had then gained about a cable's length of the 
privateer, which, observing no chance of success, 
after firing all her fire-arms and swivels, bore up and 
left her. The coolness, firmness, and presence of 
mind of this boy, cannot be too much applauded; 
left by himself, with no person either to counsel or 
assist him ; obliged alone to manage the helm and the 

' ',* j 

sails, while, at the same time, his attention was neces- 
sarily called off, almost every minute, to watch the 
motions of the enemv, he succeeded in saving the 

** m ^7 

pilot boat, and in baffling all the manoeuvres of a fast 
sail.'iiff vessel, fully manned, and seriously bent on 
his cap ; ve. 

The othc vploit, which we have to record, pos- 
sesses the charactei of heroism, in a very uncommon 
degree; when we say L'-I common, we have reference 
to the annals of British bravery at sea ; and, there- 
fore, this commendation is one of no slight moment 
The Viper cutter, commanded by Lieutenant Coghlan, 
was employed to watch Port Louis : while engaged 
on this service, several of the enemy's vessels were ob- 
served in the harbour; these, Lieutenant Coghlan 
thought he eon Id succeed in boarding. The enter- 
prise was not onlv one of a most arduous, but also of 
a most dangerous nature ; but, having obtained per- 
mission of Sir Edward Pellew, the commanding officer, 
and being joined by twenty men, who volunteered 


their services, in two boats, be set out, resolved to 
capture a gun brig, mounting tbree long twenty-four 
pounders, and four six pounders ; she was full of men, 
and lying at anchor with springs on her cables. The 
harbour of Port Louis was extremely difficult of ac- 
cess, on account of the intricacy of the navigation ; 
three batteries were within pistol-shot of the gun-brig, 
and a seventy-four gun ship and two frigates were 
scarcely a mile distant from her. The enemy were 
soon apprized of the object of the attack ; this, how- 
ever, did not discourage Lieutenant Coghlan ; nor 
yet the circumstance of the boat in which he was, 
having gained greatly the start of the other, and be- 
1112: in fact, almost close alongside of the eun-brigr, 

O f O O O * 

while their companion was at a considerable distance. 
Lieutenant Coghian well knew how much depended 
upon instant and firm action ; but unfortunately, as 
it was still dark, in attempting to board, he got en- 
tangled in a net, which was hung up to dry, and be- 
ing pierced through the thigh with a pike, he ; and se- 
veral of his men were knocked back into the boat. 
Their ardour, however, was not to be checked; haul- 
ing the boat further ahead, they again boarded; their 
opponents consisted of eighty-seven men, sixteen of 
whom were soldiers ; the contest was obstinate and 
bloody, rather than long. Nothing could withstand 
Lieutenant Coghlan ; lie succeeded in bringing off 
his prize, notwithstanding the fire of the batteries, 
and several vessels which lay around her. Only one 
man M'as killed and eight wounded on this occasion ; 
among the latter, were Lieutenant Coghlan, and a 

1801. One of tiie most favourite objects with Mr. 
Pitt, was a Union between Great Britain and Ireland; 
to this, he long directed the attention of his vigorous 
and comprehensive mind ; from it he anticipated, in 
the most confident and sanguine manner, consequen- 
ces of the highest interest and importance to both the 
divisions of the British empire. By the friends of 


that statesman, bis views in endeavouring to bring 
about tbis Union, were said to be of the purest and 
most patriotic nature ; and, indeed, it was not difficult 
to foresee, that, if this Union were accomplished with 
the good-will of the Irish nation ; if it were formed 
and arranged on terms of liberal and just policy ; if it 
were meant and calculated really to incorporate Ire- 
land with Great Britain, by abolishing every regula- 
tion, law, and practice, which pointed^out the one as 
an inferior and conquered country, and the other as 
the master and victor ; if it were intended to apply 
the gentle hand of conciliation towards the allaying 
of discontents, and the healing of the wounds of the 
sister kingdom ; if, in short, the Union, which Mr. 
Pitt proposed, had become the object of his wish and 
endeavours, solely because he intended by means of 
it, to make Ireland as much a part of Great Britain, so 
far as regarded her interests and happiness, as any 
English county was ; then this measure must have 
been deemed the greatest glory and pride of Mr. Pitt's 
administration, and would have proved the greatest 
blessing, which these kingdoms had ever received from 
the hands of a prime minister. 

But there were not wanting many, who ascribed 
the fondness, which Mr. Pitt manifested towards this 
measure, to far different, and, indeed, opposite motives 
and views : notwithstanding the influence which the 
prime minister of Great Britain necessarily possessed 
over Ireland ; notwithstanding the latter country was 
pressed down by the harsh and impolitic measures of 
the sister island ; still a spirit of resistance and inde- 
pendence very frequently broke out, in a strong and 
even violent degree. The Irish parliament, more 
than once, had formed and displayed an opposition to 
the British ministry, which had caused him no small 
uneasiness and trouble ; and when they were support- 
ed by the Irish nation, they had extorted the remis- 
sion of some of the marks of servitude, that Great Bri- 
tain had imposed upon them. All parties were agreed. 


that Ireland had long been in a state, in which she 
neither benefited herself nor Great Britain ; and the 
rebellious spirit, which, since the commencement of 
the French revolutionary war, had broken out in the 
most violent manner, and which had not been got 
under, till after great resistance and bloodshed, more 
strongly called the attention of every friend to both 
countries, to the state of that island. 

The measure for an Union with Ireland, was first 
brought forward by Mr. Pitt, in the year 1799: and 
the resolutions that were passed as a basis for that 
measure, were sent over to Ireland, in the month of 
May, in that year, for the consideration of the Irish 
parliament and nation. As may be supposed, on such 
a topic, there was very great diversity of opinion ; 
many parts of Ireland, and many classes of people there 
were strongly and decidedly averse to a Union, on 
any plan or terms. The people of Dublin, anticipat- 
ing from this measure, the loss of a great deal of the 
wealth and respectability of their city, when it should 
be deprived of its parliament, were violently against 
the measure ; those also, and they were very numer- 
ous, powerful and active in various parts of the king- 
dom, who fondly cherished the memory of the days, 
when Ireland w r as an independent nation; who re- 
garded national independence as the first of blessings, 
which a patriot ought to wish, or endeavour to ob- 
tain and secure for his country ; who clung to the ro- 
mantic and idle idea, that Ireland might, at some dis- 
tant day, throw off entirely her dependence upon 
Great Britain, and assume that rank and character 
among nations, which her fertility, and the genius of 
her sons deserved. All these were decidedly against 

/ O 

a Union on any plan or terms. 

Of those who were favourable to the measure, some 
looked forward to it, with approbation, because they 
thought, if brought about with the approbation of 
the nation, and if formed on a liberal ami just basis, 
it must eventually prove a great benefit to Ireland. In 


the first place, it would place her more on a footing 
with Great Britain ; sh? would participate in her pri- 
vileges arid rights ; she would gain a share of her pros- 
perity and wealth ; the knowledge and civilization 
which distinguished Great Britain, would gradually 
find their way into Ireland. But above all, animosity 
and jealousy would be allayed and put down ; and these 
friends of the measure sanguinely anticipated the pe- 
riod, when Great Britain and Ireland would, in reality, 
become one nation ; one in their views and objects ; in 
their interests ; in their hopes and fears ; though still 
distinct and peculiar in their character and manners. 
But these, and similar blessings, these friends of the 
Union anticipated only if it were brought about in 
the fair and liberal spirit of a wise and comprehensive 
policy, and with the approbation of the more enlight- 
ened and impartial part of the Irish nation ; even 
from them, at first, they thought the measure might 
meet with some resistance and ill-will : but if the con- 
ditions of it were honourable and liberal, they thought 
that this resistance and ill-will would gradually disap- 
pear, and give way to approbation and joy. 

Other friends to this measure, did not embrace, in 
the consequences which they thought it would pro- 
duce, such patriotic and disinterested views ; they re- 
garded it merely as a measure which would promote the 
commercial and pecuniary interests of Ireland ; and in 
this hope they became its supporters. 

In the Irish parliament, it met with very great and 
violent opposition ; and this opposition was not put 
clown by the most fair and honourable means. Mr. 
Pitt, however, was determined to cany the measure 
through ; and on the 5th of May, 1SOO, the resolu- 
tions to that errect were agreed to. The following is 
the substance of' them : The lirst resolution declared, 
that on the 1st day of January, ISO!, the kingdoms 
of Great Britain and Ireland should for ever after be 
united into one kingdom, by the name of the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The second, 


that the succession to the crown of the United King- 
dom, and of the dominions thereunto belonging, 
should continue limited and settled in the same man- 
ner, as it no\v stands, according to the Union between 
England and Scotland. The third, that the United 
Kingdom be united in one and the same j.arliament. 
The fourth, that four lords spiritual of Ireland, iL/ Do- 
tation of Sessions, and twenty-eight lords temporal 
of Ireland, elected for life by the peers of Ireland, 
should be the number to sit and vote, on the part of 
Ireland, in the House of Lords: and one hundred 
members in the House of Commons of the United Par- 
liament. The fifth, that the churches of England and 
Ireland should be united into one protestant episcopal 
church, to be called " The United Church of Ens:- 


land and Ireland :'' and that the continuance and pre- 
servation of the said United Church, should be for 
ever held, as a fundamental article of the Union. The 
sixth article provided for a fair participation in com- 
mercial advantages. The seventh left to each king- 
dom the separate discharge of its public debt, already 
incurred, a; id ordained that from twenty years from 
the union, the national expence should be defrayed, 
in the proportion of fifteen parts for Great Britain, and 
two for Ireland. The eighth article declared, that 
the laws and courts of both kingdoms, civil and eccle- 
siastical, should remain as they were established, sub- 
ject, however, to such alterations as the united legis- 
latures might hereafter deem expedient. 

The meeting of the imperial parliament was fixed 
for tli e 1st flay of January, 1801 ; but it was judged 
proper that there should be a short session, previously, 
in the winter of liSOO. This was, indeed, necessary to 
form some minor regulations respecting the Union, and 
also to take into consideration the state of the lower 
and poorer classes of the community, who were under- 
goingdreadfu! sufferings and privations, inconsequence 
of the high price of provisions. Accordingly, the par- 
liament assembled on the 13th of November, loOU; 


His Majesty in bis speed], on this occasion, dwelt 
first and principally on the distresses of his people, 
and recommended to parliament the most serious and 
prompt measures for their relief; he then passed on 
to the subject of the pacific overtures, which the 
French government had again made. He justified 
his not acceding to these overtures, on the ground, 
that the enemy wished him to treat separately from 
his allies ; at the same time, he expressed his most 
sincere and earnest wish to put a stop to the miseries 
and ravages of war, whenever it could be done with 
safety and honour. An amendment to the address 
was moved by Lord Holland, the spirit of which was 
decidedly hostile to his Majesty's ministers; as it de- 
clared that, while they continued in power, the na- 
tion must not look for peace ; after a debate, which 
presents nothing, very novel, or interesting, the 
amendment was rejected, there being only five votes 
for it, while there were fifty against it. In the 
House of Commons, the motion for the address gave 
rise to a long discussion on the causes of the scarcity 
and the high price of provisions ; which, of course 
does not fall within our plan to notice. 

During the remainder of this short session, a mo- 
tion was made in the House of Commons, and a si- 
milar motion in the House of Louis, for papers 
respecting the evacuation of Egypt. The opposition 
contended, that the convention agreed upon by Sir 
Sidney Smith, ought to have been ratified ; that in- 
dependently of all considerations of honour, we 
should have been glad to have got the French out of 
the country on those terms. Ministers on the other 
hand, maintained, that, as the French army was com- 
pletely shut up in Egypt, they must fail unconditi- 
onally into our power; and that Sir Sidney Smith 
had exceeded his authority in entering into any con- 
vention with them. In order to meet the expeiices 
of the nation, till this imperial parliament began to 
act, supplies were voted for three lunar months; for 


the service of the navy, one hundred and twenty 
thousand men, including twenty-two thousand six 
hundred and ninety-six marines; a sum not exceed- 
ing 666,0001. was voted for the payment of these 
men; at the rate of ]/. 7s. per month ; 6'84.000/. 
was granted for victualling them, at the rate of I/. 8,?. 
per man per month; 205, 000 1. for defraying the or- 
dinary establishment of the navy; 20.000/. for de- 
fraying the extraordinary expences ; 35,000/. for 
the maintenance of sick prisoners of war ; 475, OOOl. 
for the expence of the transport service, and for the 
maintenance of prisoners of v/ar in health. In order 
to present a complete view of the whole naval sup- 
plies for the year 1801, we shall give them as they 
were voted by the Imperial parliament in addition to 
those, which we have already enumerated. The 
total supplies for the navy were ]. 5, 800, OOOl. 14s. 6d. 
viz. for the wages and victuals of one hundred and 
thirty-five thousand men, including thirty thousand 
marines, .5,()62,500/. ; wear and fear 4,500,000/. ; 
ordnance 337,500/. ; ordinary, &c. 637,i)00/. ; 
extraordinaries, &c. 733, OOO/. ; transport service 
1,445,718/- 14s. 6V.; maintenance for prisoners of 
war 155, OOO/. ; voted the preceding year for three 
lunar months 2,928,3827. The total "supplies of all 
kinds, and for all services voted, amounted this year 
to 42, 1.97, OOOl. 

On the 1st of January 1801, a proclamation was is- 
sued, declaring his Majesty's pleasure concerning the 
royal style and titles appertaining to the Imperial 
Crown of Great Britain and Ireland, and its depen- 
dencies, and also the ensigns armorial, flags and ban- 

' O ' O 

ners thereof. The arms were ordered to be quar- 
terly ; first and fourth, England : second, Scotland ; 
third, Ireland. The standard of the United King- 
dom to be the same quartering as on the arms ; the 
Union flag to be azure, bearing the crosses of Saint 
George, Saint Andrew, and Saint Patrick : the co- 
louis to be borne at sea by merchant ships, belong- 
VOL. vii. o 


ing to any of his Majesty's subjects of the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or the domi- 
nions thereunto belonging, were to be distinguished 
from the colours borne by the royal ships in a man- 
ner, particularly pointed out and described in a pro- 
clamation issued for that purpose. To celebrate the 
Union, among other promotions, a very numerous 
promotion of flag officers took place. 

Although the Imperial parliament met on the 1st 
of January 1801, his Majesty did not deliver his 
speech till the C 2d of February ; the intervening period 
being occupied, principally, in swearing in the mem- 
bers of both houses. His Majesty's speech chiefly 
insisted on the injustice of the armed neutrality, 
which had been formed by the Northern powers, for 
the purpose, as they asserted, of recovering and 
maintaining the independence and liberty of the seas; 
but in reality, to crush the maritime power of Great 
Britain, and thus subserve the views and interests of 
France. As there was nothing interesting in the de- 
bates which took place, we shall direct our attention 
to this armed neutrality. 

The Emperor Paul, to whom, at one period, Great 
Britain, or at least her ministers, looked up for the 
salvation of Europe, and the destruction of France, 
was, it is now universally acknowledged, a madman ; 
bis caprices were so extravagant, and his passions so 
violent, that no dependence could be placed on his 
measures or alliance. Buonaparte, fully aware of his 
disposition and frame of mind, took advantage of it, 
and brought him completely over to his interest. 
^\fter he had succeeded in detaching him from the 
continental confederation, he resolved to render hirn 
subservient to his views and plans, against the ma- 
ritime power of Great Britain. These intentions of 
Buonaparte were seconded by the conduct of the 
British Government towards Paul; among other 
freaks, he had set his mind on the acquisition of 
Malta ; and us our ministry were not so eager to give 


up this important island to him, as he was to receive 
it, he became violently indignant, and ready to unite 
with Buonaparte, in any or his designs against this 
country. In less than a year after he had issued his 
famous proclamation for restoring the Bourbons to 
the throne of France, he sent an ambassador to Paris; 
and Buonaparte, in order the more effectually to .se- 
cure him, did not hesitate to promise him Malta, 
whenever it could he wrested from the English. 

But Buonaparte had designs on other governments 
besides that of Russia, in order that his favourite 
scheme of the liberty of the seas might be accom- 
plished. Denmark and Sweden were to be brought 
into the confederacy ; how favourite this scheme was 
with Buonaparte, and how constantly it was present 
to his mind, is evident from the following curious 
circumstance. In January 1801, the National Insti- 
tute of France, made a present of some valuable books, 
most magnificently bound, to the Royal Society of 
London. Buonaparte was at this time president of 
the National Institute ; and in that character, he 
accompanied the present with a letter of compliment 
signed Buonaparte, president of the National Insti- 
tute and First Consul of France. On the letter was 
a finely executed vignette representing Liberty sail- 
ing on the open ocean in a shell, with this motto, 
Libert 6 de Mer. 

Besides the powerful interference of the Emperor 
Paul with the Courts of Denmark and Sweden, these 
courts were induced from other causes, to join the 
armed neutrality. France, in consequence of our 
great superiority at sea, was unable, in her own ves* 
sels, to bring from the Baltic, the naval stores which 
were necessary for her fleets. The Swedes and Danes 
tempted bv the high price which these articles bore, 
were disposed to run all risks in carrying them to 
France ; and when their merchant-ships were .searched 
and stopped by our cruizers, the courts of Denmark 
Sweden gave countenance, and, as they thought, 
.0 9, 


protection, to this contraband trade, by sending out, 
in more than one instance, ships of war to protect 
their merchant-men. Our government were aware 
of this ; and, though extremely unwilling to bring- 
on a rupture with these northern courts, they could 
not sufrer such a practice to go on unchecked. In 
the year 1800, particularly, in consequence of the 
captain of a Danish frigate refusing to have his con- 
voy searched, an engagement took place at the mouth 
of the Channel ; this, it was at the time apprehended, 
would have produced an immediate and open rupture, 
which however, was prevented at this time, partly 
by the negociations of Lord Whitworth, and partly 
by the appearance off Copenhagen of nine sail of the 
line, four bomb-ships, and five gun-vessels, under 
the command of Admiral Dickson. A convention 
was signed by Lord Whitworth, and the Danish mi- 
nister Bernstorf, in which it was agreed that the Da- 
nish frigate and convoy, which had been captured 
and carried into Deal, should be repaired at the ex- 
pence of Great Britain ; and that the discussion re- 
specting the right \Hiich the English claimed, of 
visiting convoys, should be adjourned to a further 
negotiation to be carried on in London. Till this 
negociation was brought to a termination, the Danish 
ships were to sail without convoy, except in the Me- 
diterranean for the purpose of protection from the 
Barbary corsairs ; and they were to be liable to be 
searched, as before. It is evident that the grand 
point in dispute was thus left open and undeter- 
mined ; and in this state of affairs, the Emperor Paul 
found no difficulty in gaining over the court of Den- 
mark to the armed neutrality. 

Sweden also was by no means indisposed to act 
liostilely against Great Britain, and to assert what 
was tinned, the liberty and independence of the seas. 
Her first cause of complaint against this country oc- 
curred in the year 17y8. In the month of January 
in thai year, a tleet of Swedish merchant-men laden 


with iron and hemp for France, was detained by the 
British cruizers. When the cause came into the Ad- 
miralty court, Sir William Scott condemned the ships 
and cargoes, stating at the same time, what was the 
law of nations on this point. The pride and resent- 
ment of the Swedish king were greatly irritated hy 
this condemnation; and they were still further roused 
by the following circumstance, which happened about 
the end of August 1 SOO. An English frigate, and 
the boats belonging to the Minotaur man of war, re- 
solved to attempt the capture or destruction of two 
Spanish frigates, which were lying in the inner har- 
bour of Barcelona : in proceeding on this enterprise, 
they fell in with a Swedish merchant-man ; as they 
conceived they would gain the harbour much sooner 
on board of her than in their own ship and boats, 
they took forcible possession of her, till they ap- 
proached the harbour ; they then let her go. The 
court of Spain made loud complaints to the King of 
Sweden on this subject ; and the latter vented his 
hostile spirit against this country in very bitter and 
violent language. 

o o 

Prussia also, though she can hardly be regarded 
as a maritime power, joined in this confederacy; she 
did not want plausible nretexts. In the beginning 

11 ~ O 

of October 1800, a Prussian vessel with naval stores, 
bound for the Texel, was taken by an English fri- 
gate, and carried into Cuxhaven. The king of 
Prussia immediately ordered a body of troops to 
march into this place; and though the senate of 
] lam burgh, to whose territory Cuxhaven belongs, 
purchased the captured vessel, and restored her to 
her owners; the Prussian troops still continued in 
possession of the town. 

On the 10th of September 1800, the Emperor Paul 
caused it to be announced, as his own opinion, in the 
Petersburg!] Gazette, that a rupture would probably 

>._ 1 i v' 

ensue between Russia and England ; and in the same 
(iazette on the 7th of November, an official note to 


the foreign ministers at the Russian court was pub- 
lished, in which it was declared, that his Imperial 
Majesty, being determined to defend his rights, had 
been pleased to command that an embargo should be 
laid on all English ships, till the convention between 
hi iii and England, by which he was promised the 
possession of Malta, should be executed. 

At this time, there were in the ports of Peters- 
burgh, Riga, Revel, and Cronstadt, nearly three hun- 
dred British ships; these were all seized: and their 
commanders and crews were marched into the inte- 
rior of the country, some to the distance of one thou- 
sand miles, where they were thrown into prison. At 
Narva, the British seamen making some resistance to 
this measure, the emperor ordered all their vessels 
there to be burnt : and he again declared in the Pe- 
tersbursii Gazette, that the embargo should not be 

O * O 

taken off, till Malta was given up to him. The king 
of Sweden soon afterwards visited his Imperial Ma- 
jesty; and, on the 16th of December 1800, the north- 
ern confederacy \vas signed by Russia, Sweden, and 
Denmark; and, on the 19th of the same month, 
Prussia acceded to it. It was nearly the same as the 
armed neutrality of 1780, but rather more favourable 
to belligerent powers at sea, and less so to neutrals. 

The British government were still disposed to settle 
the differences in an amicable way by negotiation ; 
but they also thought it prudent to meet the embargo 
laid on by the Northern powers, by a seizure of all 
vessels belonging to them, at that time lying in the 
British harbours. Of these, the greatest number be- 
longed to Sweden and Denmark: the merchant-ships 
belonging to Sweden and abroad were calculated to 
amount to four hundred and fifty ; of tiiese, two hun- 
dred were either seized at sea, or detained in English 

At the time of this rupture, the Danish navy con- 
sisted of twenty-three sail of the line; one or two of 
which, however, were old and unlit for service ; and 


very few of them were in good repair. They had 
also fourteen frigates and cutter-brigs, mounting from 
twenty to forty guns; seventeen gun-boats, each car- 
rying twenty four guns ; together with guard-ships. 
The whole fleet was very indifferently manned, in 
respect to numbers, though the sailors which they 
had on board were excellent. 

Sweden had eighteen ships of the line, fourteen 
frigates, sloops, and other vessels of war; and seventy- 
four gallies and flat-bottom boats, besides gun-boats; 
they were all well and fully maimed ; and most of 
them in good order and repair. 

The maritime force of Russia consisted of eighty- 
two sail of the line, and nearly forty frigates, besides 
galiies and small craft: several of the ships of the line 
were totally unfit for service; and some of them be- 
ing at Archangel, could not be immediately made 
use of: in this port, and in Cronstadt, Revel, and 
Petersburg!], there were forty-seven sail of the line. 
In respect to the officers and men, they were all very 
ill off: and, as the British, who commanded many 
of them, would not act in this war, the Russian fleet, 
on the whole, though numerically much greater than 
those of Sweden and Denmark, could hardly be re- 
garded as efficiently equal to them. 

As it was naturally supposed that Copenhagen 
would be the first object of British attack, every pre- 
caution was taken to strengthen it, and the whole 
island of Zealand ; the Sound, particularly, was forti- 
fied, both on the Swedish and Danish sides. Batte- 
ries were erected on the island of Amack, and on the 
Sproe in the Belt, in case the British fleet should ven- 
ture to take that passage. Red-hot shot were pre- 
pared ; and artillery-men were stationed in all the bat- 
teries for the purpose of firing them. 

Such were the preparations made by the Danes for 
their defence ; Ictus now look to the means which 
the British ministry had resolved to employ, to bring 
the Northern courts to reasonable terms of accommp- 


elation, when it found that the differences could not 
be adjusted, without having recourse to war. 

The fleet which was destined to dissolve this formi- 
clahle Northern confederacy, consistedof eighteen sail 
of the line, four frigates, and a great number of bomb- 
vessels and gun boats, amounting, in the whole, to fifty- 
two sail : it had on board several regiments of marines 
and of riflemen. Admiral Sir Hyde Parker commanded 
it, and he had under him Lord Nelson, as second in 
command. It sailed from Yarmouth on the 12th of 
March; soon after its departure, the Invincible, a 
seventy-four-gun ship, struck on a sand-bank, off the 
coast of Norfolk, by which accident she was so much 
injured, that she soon afterwards sunk, 

As soon as thislleet arrived in the Cattegat, the ad- 
miral sent a letter to the governor of Cronenburgh, 
in which he demanded explicitly and directly to be in- 
formed, whether he would permit the fleet to pass that 
fortress without impediment and in a peaceable man- 
IHV ; he added, that he should deem the firing of the 
iirst gun a declaration of war on the part of Denmark. 
In reply to this letter, the governor stated that, as a 
soldier, he could not meddle \vith politics ; but that he 
was not at liberty to permit a fleet, the intentions of 
which were not. known, to approach the guns of the 
castle, which he had the honour to command. Sir 
Hyde Parker immediately entered the Sound 3 keeping 
near the Swedish coast, from which he received no 
hostile indications, while the fire from the fortress of 
Cronenburgh was distant and harmless. The fleet 
were nearly four hours in passing the Sound; after 
"which, having come toan anchor within a short distance 

' O 

of the city of Copenhagen, the admiral, in company 
with Vice-admiral Lord Nelson, and Admiral Graves, 
reconnoitred the formidable preparations, which were 
made for defending it. 'I'lie^e consisted principally of 
an extensive and very strong line of ships, pontoons, 
galleys, lire-ships, and gun-boats, all of which were 
ranged in the road of Copenhagen. Near the entrance 


to this road, are two small islands called the Crowns; 
on these were erected strong and formidable batteries, 

^ . . 

which flanked and supported the line of ships, &c. : 
on the largest of these batteries, were mounted nearly 
fifty pieces of cannon. In the inner road of Copen- 
hagen, two ships of seventy guns and a large frigate 
lay; while on the starboard side of the entrance into 
the arsenal, two sixty-four-gun ships, without masts, 
were moored. After two days spent in examining 
these preparations for defence, the British admirals 
formed their plan, and came to the resolution of com- 
mencing the attack from the southward. 

Lord Nelson volunteered his services on this most 
important and arduous enterprise ; and he prepared for 
its execution, with his accustomed circumspection 
and prudence ; he first examined and buoyed the outer 
channel of the middle ground, and then, on the even- 
ing proceeded to an anchor off Draco point, with the 
armament he meant to employ on the occasion : this 
consisted of twelve sail of the line, all the frigates, 
bombs, fire-ships, and all the small vessels. While 
Lord Nelson was employed in the grand and principal 
attack, the other ships were to menace the Crown bat- 
teries, and the four Danish ships of the line, that lay 
at the entrance to the arsenal. 

On the morning of the 2d of April, Lord Nelson threw 
out the signal for the attack : the ileet immediately 
weighed anchor and made sail : their principal object 
was six sail of the line, eleven floating batteries, car- 
rying from eighteen eighteen-pounders, to twenty- 
six twenty-four pounders, and one bomb-ship, besides 
gun-vessels. As the navigation in this part was very 
narrow and intricate, the Bellona and Ilussel, t\vo of 
Lord Nelson's fleet, unfortunately took theground, where 
they were however of some service in the attack. The 
Agamemnon not being able to weather the shoal, 
which lay in the middle of the entrance, was obliged 
to anchor. As these vessels were more particularly 
meant to have acted against the Crown batteries, the 


British line opposed to them was necessarily inadequate 
to the purpose for which it was intended : not stretch- 
ing out so far as to be opposed to the whole range of 
these batteries. The result of this mi?:. uP'ne was, that 
the Defiance, ard the Monarch suffered a very heavy 
loss of men ; and exposed Captain Riou, to whom 
Lord Nelson had assigned the command, and direction 
of a small squadron of frigates to a most galling lire, 
in which he lost his life. 

Lord Nelson had hoisted his flag on board of the 
Elephant ; and a-hreast of her were stationed the bomb- 
vessels : the gun-boats, in the mean time, though 
every exertion was made to bring them up, were una- 
ble to stem the strong current; and their services were 
of course, in a great measure, lost. 

A few minutes after ten o'clock the action com- 
menced. The Edgar, commanded by Captain George 
Murray, led the van in a very gallant style : for upwards 
of four hours and a half, the battle raged in a most 
dreadful manner. The Danes fought for the defence 
of their native land, in the view of their prince, and of 
their wives and children. Their native courage, which 
is, perhaps, second only to that of the British, was 
roused by the situation in which they were placed. 
The British fought directed and animated hy the ex- 
ample and presence of Nelson ; nmd he was able to 
call from the British heart, all the courage and bravery 
which it contained. V\ hen such were the respective 
opponents, it may well be conceived, what was the 
nature of the engagement : at the expiration of four 
hours and a half, the Danish fire slackened, and it was 
apparent that victory must declare in favour of the 

As soon as Lord Nelson perceived that he had gained 
a clear and decided advantage; that the Danish fire 
was dying away, and that most of their ships and bat- 
teries were in his power, he desired pen, ink, and 
paper, to be brought up on the quarter deck; 
and wrote a short note, directed " To the Brothers 


of Englishmen, the Danes," in which he declared, 
that he had directions to spare Denmark, when no 
longer resisting ; hut if the fire continued on the part 
of Denmark, he should be obliged to set on fire all 
the floating batteries which lie had taken, without 
having it in his power to save the brave Danes, who 
had defended them. An incident is mentioned, rela- 
tive to this letter, which points out in a most striking 
manner, not only Lord Nelson's coolness of mind, 
but his knowledge of human nature. After the letter 
was written, the officer who was near Lord Nelson, 
offered him a wafer to put. into it ; but Lord Nelson 
desired he would go below and bring up a candle and 
sealing wax ; the officer, on this, observed, that in 
the circumstances, under which the letter was written, 
this formality might be excused, and that the Danes 
would know to what to attribute the letters being sent 
only with a wafer in it. His lordship immediately re- 
plied, that this was really the time to do all things with 
due form, and in regular order, that the Danes might 
perceive that the letter was written under no perturba- 
tion, with no hurry, and on their account rather than 
on that of the British. 

It must not, however, be concealed, that Lord 
Nelson, at the time he dispatched this note to the 
Danes, was placed in rather awkward and difficult 
circumstances: the principal batteries, as well as the 
ships, which were stationed at the mouth of the har- 
bour, were still unconquered ; two of his own- vessels 
were aground, and exposed to a heavy lire, others, if 
the battle continued, might be exposed to a similar 
fate: while he found that it would be scarcely practi- 
cable to bring off the prizes under the fire of the bat- 
teries. These considerations, undoubtedly influenced 
him in resolving to endeavour to put a stop to hostili- 
ties, in addition to the instructions he had received 
from the British ministry to spare the Danes, and the 
respect he must have felt for their brave defence. 
iiis lordship's note was delivered to the Prince 


Royal of Denmark, who sent an officer on board to 
enquire what was the object in sending it : Lord 
Kelson replied, that his object in sending the truce 
was humanity ; and that with humble duty to his 
Royal Highness, he should consider this the greatest 
victory he ever gained, if it were the cause of a happy 
reconciliation between his own most gracious Sovereign 
and his Majesty the King of Denmark. Lord Nelson, 
at the same time, told the prince, and the officer who 
brought the message from the prince ; " that the 
French fought bravely, but that they could not have 
stood an hour the fisHit which the Danes maintained 


for four. I have been (added hej in one hundred and 
five engagements, in the course of my life, but that 
of to day was the most terrible of all." An armistice 
was soon concluded, for fourteen weeks; the principal 
condition of which was, that for that period, the 
armed confederation, so far as it respected Denmark, 
should be suspended ; while the British admiral was 
to reap all the fruits of his victory. 

According to the account which the Danes published 
of tin's en-ao;ement, their loss amounted to between 

o o * 

sixteen hundred and eighteen hundred men ; on our 
side, txventv officers, including Captains Moss and 
Riou were killed, and two hundred and fifty four 
men forty-eight officers, including" Captain Sir Tho- 
mas Thompson, were wounded ; and six hundred and 
eighty-nine men ; in all, nine hundred and forty-three 
killed and wounded. 

As several of the British ships were very much dis- 
abled, Sir Hyde Parker left them at Copenhagen, 
under Lord Nelson, and proceeded with the remain- 
der up the Baltic. It has been already mentioned, 
that though the fleet, in passing through the Sound, 
kept very near to the Swedish coast, the batteries there 
did not fire a single shot at them. This seemed to in- 
dicate that Sweden, though she had joined the armed 
confederation, was not very sincere in the cause; or 
at least, from the jealousy which iias long subsisted 


between her and Denmark, that she was not indisposed 
to see that power injured by the British fleet. After 
the battle of Copenhagen, Sir Hyde Parker learnt that 
the Swedish fleet had actually left Carlscrona, for the 
purpose of forming a junction with the Russian fleet 
at Revel ; he therefore directed his course towards the 
northern extremity of the island of Bornholm; but as 
soon as the Swedish admiral learnt that the British 
were in quest of him, he very prudently returned to 

When Lord Nelson received information that the 
Swedish squadron had put to sea, and that Sir Hyde 
Parker was in pursuit of them; he became restless 
and impatient; he could not endure the idea, that a 
battle should take place, in which he was not engaged, 
while there was a possibility of joining in it. He, 
therefore, ordered a boat to be manned, and set off in 
hopes of reaching Sir Hyde Parker, before he came 
up with the Swedish fleet. In his hurry and impati- 
ence, he forgot his cloak, and the weather being very 
cold, the master of the Bellona, whom he had taken 
with him, offered him his great coat, which his lord- 
ship refused, " No, I am not cold, my anxiety for 
my country will keep me warm." He then asked the 
master, if he thought the fleet had sailed ; and on his 
replying, " I should rather suppose not my lord," his 
lordship observed, " If they are, we shall follow them 
to Carlscrona, in the boat, by God." The distance 
was at least fifty leagues. At midnight, however, they 
reached the British ilcet. 

While Sir Hyde Parker was endeavouring to induce 
the Swedish Admiral to abandon hostile measures, an 
express arrived from Petersburg!), of the death of 
the Emperor Paul, and of the accession of Alexander; 
which led to a pacification, first with Sweden, and 
afterwards with Knssia. 

Karly in the spring of 1801, Mr. Pitt went out of 
office, in consequence it is generally believed of his 
opinions respecting the Catholic Question : lie \vus sue- 


ceeded by Mr. Acldington, as prime minister, while 
the Karl of St. Vincent was appointed First Lord of 
the Admiralty. 

The mind of Bonaparte was at this period bent upon 
invading England ; or at least, the measures which 
he took, and the military movements which he made, 
were intended to produce the helief that such was his 
intention. He had made peace with Austria, after 
the battle of Marengo; and his troops being no longer 
occupied with Continental warfare, nor enriched with 
Continental plunder, were promised the conquest and 
the plunder of these Islands. Camps were formed at 
Amiens, so early as September, 1800; afterwards 
near Bruges, Ostencl, Gravelines, and Dunkirk: by 
the month of July 1801, an immense number of troops 
were collected in these camps, among whom were many 
of the emigrant Irish. At Brest also, a large arma- 
ment was collected, destined, it was supposed for 
the invasion of Ireland; and in order still more to 
weaken the force and distract the attention of this 
country, Jersey and Guernsey were threatened, from 
St. Maloe's, Granville, and Cherbourgh. It was 
stated upon good authority, that the fleet in Brest 
harbour, in January, 1801, amounted to fifty-two 
sail of the line. 

As the establishment of a marine was a favourite 
and leading object with Bonaparte, he divided the 
whole sea-coasts of France into six maritime prefec- 
tures, viz. Brest, Toulon, L'Orient, Rochefort, Havre, 
ancl Antwerp Along the whole line of this coast, 
gun-boats, flat-bottomed-boats, and ships, were euuip- 
ped, under the direction and superintendance of the 
prefect. At the same time, in order that these pre- 
parations might not be exposed to the attacks of the 
British, redoubts were constructed, and furnaces 
erected for :iMkin^ brills red-hot ; telegraphs also were 
crtcied ;i!^r,2; ihe whole line of the sen coast. 

Bur the means on uhich Bonaparte principally de* 
pciidcd, cilht i 1 for mvddiiig or alarming Grcut Britain, 


v/ere the flat-bottom boats : these were first proposed 
and constructed for the purposes of invasion in 1744, 
by the famous Lalii, but the design was abandoned 
as impracticable. Indeed, if we seriously reflect on 
the nature of an invasion, and on the relative and 
peculiar circumstances of Great Britain and France at 
the time we are now treating of, we shall be convinced 
that the design \vas utterly chimerical : while Britain 
commands the sea, so entirely as she did then, and does 
now, it will never be in the power of France to land any 
number of troops, sufficient even to gain, or retain 
possession of a small portion of this island. It ought to 
be considered, that an army, destitute of cavalry and 
artillery, is deprived of its main and most important 
machines: and though France might succeed in land- 
ing some thousands of men, it is not to be supposed, 
that the same favourable circumstances would conti- 
nue, till she had time to bring over cavalry and artil- 
lery, necessary for their equipment and action. 

The British ministry and nation, however, acted 
very prudently and wisely in adopting measures of de- 
fence ; orders were given early in the year for thecon-; 
etruction of a great number of gun-boats ; these were 
stationed at the entrance of the principal ports and 
rivers in the kingdom, and the sea fencibles were in- 
structed in their management. The East India Com- 
pany granted to government the use of such of their 
ships as were not engaged for the current year. Liver- 
pool set the example of arming for its own defence ; 
and this town was followed in other parts of the king- 
dom. About the end of July, a circular letter was 
sent from the Secretary of State for the Home Depart- 
ment, to the Lord Lieutenants of counties, informing 
them of the preparations for invasion that the enemy 
were making; and particularly recommending, that 
the respective corps of volunteer cavalry and infantrv 
should assemble, for the purpose of performing their 
military exercises, as frequently as tht'ir necessary avo- 
cations would admit. 


Nor was the sea coast neglected ; from the Nore to 
Falmouth, night signals were erected to announce the 
appearance and approach of the invading enemy. Fri- 
gates and gun-boats were stationed off those counties, 
which were thought exposed to the most danger, or 
where a landing could most easily be effected. While 
our own coast was thus guarded, that of the enemy 
was completely blockaded, and their fleets so closely 
watched, that they could not put to sea. Admirals 
Dickson and Graves lay off the coast of Holland; for 
in the Dutch ports the preparations were nearly as 
great and as forward as in the ports of France ; the 
former admiral had along with him, twelve sail of the 
line, besides frigates. Admiral Graves commanded 
six sail of the line, and a proper proportion of smaller 
vessels. Brest was blocked up by Admiral Cornwal- 
Jis, with fourteen sail of three-deckers, one eighty- 
gun ship, and several frigates and armed vessels. The 
port of Toulon, and the neighbouring coasts of the 
Mediterranean were guarded by Sir John Borlasc War- 
ren ; while the watching of Cadiz was committed to 
Admiral Sir James Saumarez, with a squadron of eight 
sail of seventy-fours, two of eighty-four, and frigates, 
cutters, and gun-boats. 

As notwithstanding the vigilance and exertions of 
our cruizers. which were stationed off the coast of 
France, the enemy succeeded in collecting a large 
number of gun boats in Boulogne, which appeared 
to be the principal rendezvous for them, it was re- 
solved to attempt their destruction there. On this 
enterprise, a flotilla of gun-boats and other armed 
vessels, protected and supported by several ships of 
the line, were employed. The command was given 
to Lord Nelson. As soon as the equipment of this 
armament was known in France, and that Nelson 
was to command it, the enemy ceased to go on with 
their preparations for invasion, and contented them- 
selves with making preparations for their own de- 
fence. On the 30th of Julv, Lord Nelson hoisted 


liis flag on hoard the Leyden, of sixty-eight 
guns, at Deal; and, on the 1st of August, the squa-^ 
dron stood over for the eoast of France ; the 3d of 
that month was employed in reconnoitring the forti- 
fications of Boulogne) and in devising the hest mode 
of attacking and destroying them, 

The coast of France ahout this place, stretches 
nearly east and west. On the east, a point of land 
runs out, which forms one side of the hay; in the 
middle of this is the mouth of the harbour, which 
fronts the north. In a line along the shore, about 
half a mile distant from it, lay the enemy's arma- 
ment ; consisting of si:v brigs, two schooners, and 
about twenty gun-boats ; in front of the mouth of 
the harbour, the largest brig was placed. 

As soon as Lord Nelson had ascertained from what 
distance at sea his bombs could reach the enemy, he 
gave orders to begin the attack at day-break, on the 
4th of August, at four o'clock in the morning ; he 
stationed the bomb-vessels in an oblique line, stretch- 
ing from the west end of the line of the enemy. The 

O i/ 

other ships were stationed in another line behind the 
bombs. Lord Nelson's first object was, to discover 
the strongest points of the enemy's defence; for this 
purpose, he sent his ships of war close in shore near 
the batteries ; a heavy cannonade now commenced ; 
but, as soon as the tide fell, our vessels were obliged 
to draw off into deep water. The next object was, 
to send the bomb-vessels to act against the flotilla; 
and this they did with so much effect, that six of the 
French boats were obliged to be towed from the 
scene of action. As soon as it was dark, Lord Nelson 
intended to have sent three bomb-vessels close upon 
the enemy, but the wind shifting, this was imprac- 
ticable ; the fleet, therefore, hauled off, having rather, 
in this enterprise, ascertained what could he done, 
than effected much : to use the words of Lord Nelson, 
" it would serve to convince the enemy, that they 
could not come out of their harbour* with impunity." 
VOL. vj i. .p 


But Lord Nelson was not a man to leave any un- 
dertaking- in which he had engaged, undone, or but 
imperfectly executed : he, therefore, resolved to make 
a second attempt. The force collected for this pur- 
pose amounted to ahout seventy vessels, of different 
sizes and descriptions. On the evening of the J4th 
of August, when it became dusk, this flotilla was 
formed in four divisions, in order to storm the French 
line of boats ; these boats, besides being strongly made, 
and armed, were defended by long poles, headed with 
spikes of iron, which projected from their sides; a 
very strong netting was fastened up to their lower 
yards; they were moored head and stern across the 
harbour, with iron chains ; on board of each vessel 
was from one hundred and fifty to two hundred sol- 
diers ; and, in addition to all this, they were protected 
by land-batteries and musketry from the shore. The 
circumstance of these vessels being so strongly fast- 
ened to each other, and to the shore, was unknown 
to Lord Nelson at the time he arranged the plan of 

The British sailors were provided with boarding- 
pikes, tomahawks, and cutlasses; fire-arms were for- 
bidden, lest, by making use of them, they should 
alarm the enemy. Each of the divisions, into which 
the British fleet was formed, consisted of three flat- 
bottomed boats, and ten six-oared boats. The re- 
spective divisions left the Medusa, the vessel on board 
of which Lord Nelson had hoisted his flag, at half- 
past eleven at night, on the loth ; part of the boats 
of the second division run alongside of a large brig 
off the mole-head, which wore a commodore's pen- 
dent ; but they could make no impression upon it, 
in consequence of the strong netting by which she 
was protected. At the same time, an instantaneous 
fire from two hundred soldiers in her, either killed or 
desperately wounded all the men in the boats. None 
of the other divisions were more successful ; that un- 
der Captain Somerville was particularly unfortunate ; 


.he succeeded, indeed, in carrying one brig; but, after 
lie hud got possession of her, he discovered that she 
was fastened to the shore, and that it was utterly im- 
possible to get her off; while he was making attempts 
towards this, he was exposed to a most tremendous 
fire, by which his men suffered very severely. The 
loss of the English in this affair, in officers, seamen, 
and marines, killed and wounded, amounted to one 
hundred and seventy-two; while only one French 
lugger was brought off, with a lieutenant, eight sea- 
men, and eight soldiers. 

It is said that the French commodore addressed 
the first boat's crew that approached his ship, in the 
following words, which were spoken in pretty good 
English : " Let me advise you, my brave English- 
men, to keep your distance ; you can do nothing 
here; and it is only shedding the blood of brave men 
to make the attempt." 

At Deal, Lord Nelson did every thing in his 
power for the relief or comfort of the brave men who 
had suffered in this unfortunate expedition ; and his 
kind and cordial sympathy afforded to our brave and 
generous seamen and marines, a very sensible conso- 
lation and pleasure. His time was chiefly occupied 
in visiting the wounded in the hospital. He paid 
the utmost attention to every individual; inquiring 
into their several cases, and consoling them with a 
promise, that he would shortly bring them good 
news. On asking one man, whom he recollected, 
how he was, he learnt that he had lost an arm ; Lord 
Nelson told him, never to mind that; for that he 
himself had lost one also, and, perhaps, should shortly 
lose a leg; but that they could never be lost in a 
better cause, than in the defence of their country. 
This had a wonderful effect on the seamen. Several 
of them exclaimed, that they only regretted their 
wounds, as they prevented them from accompanying 
him in another attack on their enemies. 

In the Mediterranean, t\v, ; very .severe actions were 

> ' 


fought, Admiral Sir James Sanmarez, while he was 
cruising off Cadiz, received intelligence that three 
French line of battle ships and a frigate were at an- 
chor off Algesiras ; he immediately made sail for that 
i>laee, determined to attack them if it were practica- 
ble. As soon as he came in sight of the Bay of Al- 
gesiras, the enemy warped their ships close under the 
batteries; no time was to be lost the Venerable, Cap- 
tain Hood led into the bay, and was directed to pas 
the enemy's ships without coming to an anchor; the 
Pompe'e and Audacious had, at the same time, been 
directed to anchor abreast of the inner ship; the 
Cassar, Spencer, and Hannibal, abreast of the other 
ships and the batteries. These directions could not 
be strictly complied with; Captain Hood being obliged 
to come to anchor, in consequence of the wind failing 
him. The Pomp6e reached the position which she 
had been ordered to occupy, and opened a well-di- 
rected and tremendous fire on the French admiral ; 
the Caesar and Audacious also began the action : 
in a short time, it became general on both'sides, the 
batteries not only protecting the French ships, but 
also acting with great effect against ours. The Han- 
nibal, which had been under the necessity of coming 
to an anchor, at some distance from the scene of 
action, took advantage of a slight breeze; and her 
commander, Captain Ferris, determined to pass be- 
tween the enemy's ships and the batteries ; unfortu- 
nately the depth of water was not sufficient, and she 
grounded close under one of the batteries. Every 
effort was made to o;et her afloat again, but it was 

impossible to succeed : in this state she made a most 
gallant and determined resistance ; but, as she fought 
to great advantage, Captain Ferris was, at length, 
reluctantly compelled to strike his colours. While 
the engagement was going on, the enemy had been 
continually employed in warping their ships nearer 
the shore; Sir James Saumarez, on perceiving this, 
ordered the cables to be cut, being determined, jf pos- 


sible, either to destroy or bring them off. The wind, 
however, failing him, and a strong current opposing 
the attempt, he found all his endeavours ineffectual. 
In this unfortunate enterprise, the loss of the British 
was very severe, one hundred and twenty-one being 
killed, two hundred and forty wounded, and fourteen 
missing. The enemy acknowledged that they had 
three hundred and six killed, and one hundred and 
eighty-four wounded. 

As soon as the British admiral returned to Gibral- 
tar, every exertion was made to repair the damages 
that the ships had sustained, and to prepare them 
again for sea. On the 8th of July, the admiral re- 
ceived intelligence that a Spanish squadron, consist- 
ing of five sail of the line and three frigates, had 
stood in and anchored oft' Algesiras, where they were 
soon afterwards joined by a French ship of the line. 
On the 12th, the governor of Gibraltar informed the 
admiral that he had heard it was the enemy's inten- 
tion to put to sea that evening. Upon this, Sir James 
Saumarez re-doubled his exertions to get his fleet out 
of the Mole ; and, within a few hours after, the ene- 
my were observed under sail, with a strong easterly 
wind, the whole British fleet was under weigh, except 
the Pompe'e, which had not time to take in her masts. 
At this critical juncture, the genuine spirit of British 
seamen broke forth in a most conspicuous manner ; 
several of the PompeVs men concealed themselves on 
board the other ships, in order that they might par- 
take in the battle ; and even many of those who had 
been wounded in the former engagement, and were 
still in the hospital on shore, hired a boat, went off, 
and requested to be taken on board the Cajsar. 

The Superb, Captain Keats, formed the van ; he 
was directed to attack the stern most ships of the 
enemy, and, if possible, to keep between them and 
the shore, in order that there might be no possibility 
of their running for their own harbours. Captain 
Keats obeyed these instructions with great alacrity 


and skill ; about eleven o'clock at night, the Superb 
was abreast of a Spanish three-decker, about three 
cables' length from her; a tremendous f're was im- 
mediately commenced : the shot of the Superb ac- 
tually went over the enemy, and struck two other of 
their ships, which were in a line abreast of her. 
Owing to the darkness of the night, these ships, 
when the shots struck them, began to fire on each 
other. The Superb soon vanquished her opponent; 
for, in a quarter of an hour, she was on fire ; and 
shortly afterwards, drifting down, she ran foul of an- 
other ship to leeward, and communicated the flames 
to her. As the wind was blowing very fresh at this 
time, it was impossible to afford any assistance to 
the miserable crews of these vessels : in the course 
of half an hour they both blew up ; each ship mount- 
ed one hundred and twelve guns, and had on board 
upwards of one thousand two hundred men, all of 
whom perished. 

When Captain Keats left the vessel which was first 
on fire, he bore down upon the St. Antoine, of se- 
venty-four guns and seven hundred and thirty men, 
which struck, upon the Caesar's joining in the action. 
The rest of the enemy's fleet now made saii, and en- 
deavoured to escape ; Sir James Saumarez pursued 
them during the whole of the night; when day broke, 
the Venerable, Captain Hood, was nearly alongside of 
the French ship, the Formidable; soon afterwards, he 
commenced firing into her, and probably, would have 
.succeeded in capturing her, had not the Venerahle's 
main-mast been shot away : the enemy took advan- 
tage of this accident to make sail again ; Cap- 
tain Hood pursued, but going too near the shoals, 
the ship struck upon one of them, and, in order 
to save her, it was found necessary to cut away her 
remaining masts. A light breeze springing up, ihe 
St. Anloiue succeeded in getting into Cadiz. 

On hoard the Venerable, there were eighteen killed 
and eighty-seven wounded ; or, board the Superb. 


none were killed : Lieutenant Waller, and fourteen 
searpen and marines were wounded. 

As the French, after the refusal of Lord Keith to ra- 
tify the convention, which Sir Sidney Smith had en- 
tered into, still maintained themselves in Egypt, the 
British ministry were determined to send such a force 
there, as would subdue them, and restore that country 
to the Turks, This determination was strengthened 
by the contents of several letters, which were inter- 
cepted, from which it appeared, that the French had 
suffered greatly from the climate, and were very 
dissatisfied with their situation and prospects. The 
armament designed to act against them, assembled 
in the Bay of Marmorice ; the fleet was commanded 
by Lord Keith, along with whom was Sir Sidney 
Smith ; and the army by General Sir Ralph Abercrom- 
bie; the latter amounted to fifteen thousand five hun- 
dred men. The Ottoman Porte had promised to send 
a squadron to co-operate in this enterprise; but as it 
did not make its appearance, Lord Keith resolved to 
wait no longer for it, but on the 25th of February 
set sail for the coast of Egypt. The passage was ra- 
ther long, and very boisterous : in the beginning of 
March, the fleet anchored in the Bay of Aboukir, very 
near the place where the victory of the Nile had 
been won. 

General Abercrombie, and Sir Sidney Smith lost 
no time in examining the shore : and, as soon as they 
had decided on the spot, where a landing could be 
effected with the least difficulty and danger, and on 
the mode of conducting it, preparations were made 
for that purpose. The enemy were prepared for 
them : all the commanding heights were lined with 
artillery and infantry, and the whole garrison of 
Alexandria, amounting to nearly three thousand men, 
were employed on this service. Numerous sand-hills 
line and cover the shore; musketry and field-pieces 
were placed not only upon these, but in the intervals 
between them : the beach, on each wing was flanked 


with cannon ; and at a short distance from the coast, 
parties of cavalry were stationed to advance and sup- 
port the infantry. 

The first division of the army, which consisted of 
six thousand men, commanded by General Coote, 
began to dis-embark at three o'clock in the morn- 
ing on the 8th of March ; as the boats approach- 
ed the shore, the enemy opened their fire from their 
mortars and field pieces; this fire, encreased by the 
discharge of grape-shot and musketry from behind the 
sand-hills, was so galling and tremendous, that it 
scarcely seemed possible to effect a landing in tolerable 
order, and without very great loss. Nothing, how- 
ever, could damp or discourage the troops ; while the 
seamen pushed on the boats with great steadiness 
and celerity, and in a very short time, the reserve, 
under General Moore, reached the shore, and oblig- 
ing the French to retreat, secured a landing for the 
rest of the troops. The 23d regiment and part of the 
fortieth, under the command of Colonel Spencer, 
particularly distinguished themselves on this occasion, 
they gained a hill, which seemed almost inaccessible, 
and drove the enemy from it, taking, at the same 
time, seven pieces of artillery. On the succeeding 
day, the troops were all landed. The first military 
operation, was the reduction of the Castle of Abonkir; 
when this was accomplished, Sir Ralph Abercrombie 
proceeded to give battle to the French army ; this 
jnost important and decisive battle took place on the 
21st of March ; it commenced an hour before day* 
light ; and after a contest unusually obstinate, in 
which the enemy were twice repulsed, and their ca- 
valry were repeatedly mixed with the British infan- 
try, they were completely defeated. On both sides 
the slaughter was dreadful ; near the conclusion of 
the battle Sir Ralph Abercrombie received a wound, of 
which he died on the 28th on board of the Foudroy- 
3nt. " His memory will be recorded in the annals of 
his country; will be sacred to every British soldier; 


and embalmed in the recollection of a grateful poste- 

The reduction of Alexandria was the next object 
of the British ; towards this, both the navy and army 
were employed ; Admiral Bickerton closely blockad- 
ing it by sea, while General Hutchinson, who suc- 
ceeded to the command on the death of Sir Ralph 
Abercrombie, cut off all communication by land. 
On the Lake Mareotis, the French had a numerous 
and powerful flotilla; this, in the opinion of Lord 
Keith, could easily be destroyed ; and, as its destruc- 
tion would greatly facilitate and hasten the reduction 
of Alexandria, it was resolved to attempt it. Troops 
were accordingly landed for this purpose ; and while 
the operation was going on, Sir Sidney Smith made 
a feigned attack upon the city itself with some sloops 
of war, and armed boats. As soon as the enemy- 
perceived the imminent danger to which their flotilla 
was exposed, they set it on lire, all of it was destroy- 
ed, except two or three, which were captured. Af- 
ter some other operations, in which the navy were 
signally and very advantageously employed, the 
blockade of the city was rendered complete ; and on 
the morning of the 27th, General Menou sent to re- 
quest an armistice for three days, in order to adjust 
the terms of a capitulation ; the armistice was granted 
and on the 2d of September, the capitulation was 
signed. The Venetian and French ships of war 
which were found in the harbour of Alexandria, were 
divided between Lord Keith and the Captain Pacha : 
the latter receiving for his share, one of sixty-four, 
one of forty-six and one of twenty-six guns : Lord 
Keith received one of fifty, one of thirty two, and 
one of twenty -six guns. 

In the West Indies, little of importance occurred 
during this year ; as soon as the rupture with the 
Northern courts was inevitable, the British govern- 
ment sent out orders to the commanders on that sta- 
tion, to commence hostilities against the Danish and 


Swedish islands ; these, though small, were of con- 
siderable value : especially the Danish islands of St. 
Thomas, and St. Croix. The circumstance of the 
long continuance of hostilities between France and 
England, had thrown into these islands a degree of 
wealth, which neither their own natural fertility, nor 
the capital of their inhabitants could have acquired. 
These islands, as well as St. John, St. Martin, and 
St. Bartholomew, were reduced by a squadron under 
Rear-admiral Duckworth. As soon, however, as the 
armed neutrality was dissolved by the battle of Co- 
penhagen, and the death of the Emperor Paul, they 
were restored to their respective owners. 

One line of battle ship was this year taken by the 
enemy ; but not under such circumstances as to tar- 
nish the name of British seamen. Four French ships 
of the line, and a frigate determined to make an at- 
tempt to succour Alexandria, while it was blockaded 
by the British, before the arrival of Lord Keith's fleet; 
notice of this was given to Captain Hallowell, of the 
Swiftsure, of seventy-four guns ; who was, at this 
time, employed in conveying some cartels and trans- 
ports to Malta. He thought it would be of much 
more consequence to inform Sir John Warren of this 
circumstance, than to proceed on his destination : 
he, therefore, made sail for that purpose. On the 
24th of June, three large ships were seen to leeward, 
which immediately chased the Swiftsure; as Cap- 
tain Hallowell soon perceived that they were gaining 
fast upon him, he came to the resolution of bearing 
down upon the headmost ship in the hopes of being 
able to dismast or otherwise injure her in such a man- 
ner, that lie might effect his escape. The enemy, 
perceiving this intention, tacked, and stood toward* 
the Swiftsure ; and at half past three o'clock, the Indivi- 
sible of eighty guns, having the flag of Rear-admiral 
Gantheaume, and the Dix Aout of seventy-four, run 
up within gun-shot, and opened a terrible fire, which 
was instantly returned. 


Nothing now could be done, but to fight the Swift- 
sure against this very superior force, as long as pos- 
sible : and she was fought accordingly : a few mi- 
nutes after four o'clock, the Jean Bart and Constitu- 
tion of seventy-four guns each came up ; at this time, 
the Indivisible was nearly on board of the Swiftsure 
on the larboard bow : the Dix Aout on her larboard 
quarter : and the other vessels run up on her star- 
board quarter. Under these circumstances, his ship 
a complete wreck, and no chance of escape, or hope 
of succour existing, Captain Hallowell, in order to 
save the lives of his brave men, ordered the colours 
to be struck. Notwithstanding the Swiftsure was ex- 
posed to the fire of all these ships, her loss was very 
trifling ; only two men were killed, and Lieutenant 
Davis and seven wounded. According to the official 
account of the enemy, the Indivisible had four men 
killed and wounded : and the Dix Aout had six men 
killed, and twenty-three wounded. 

The first single action to which we shall direct our 
attention, was fought near Ceuta, off the coast of 
Barbary. The Phoebe, Captain Robert Barlow, on 
the 19th of February, discovered a French frigate of 
a very large class, steering along the African coast, 
to the eastward under a crowd of sail. He immedi- 
ately gave chase ; and about seven in the evening 
came up with her, and brought her to close action : 
the battle continued within pistol shot for nearly two 
hours. The bravery and skill displayed on each side 
were nearly equal; and the consequences were dread- 
ful. The Phoebe, before the conclusion of the en- 
gagement, was nearly a complete wreck : she had 
five feet water in her hold ; several of her guns were 
dismounted ; and her decks were covered and encum- 
bered with dead. Still Captain Barlow and his crew 
persevered ; they perceived that the enemy, notwith- 
standing his force was much greater than that of the 
Phoebe, was suffering much more dreadfully; and 
their perseverance and resolution were, at length, 


crowned with complete and deserved success. The 
French frigate struck her colours ; she proved to be 
L'Africaine, of forty-four guns ; twenty-six eighteen 
pounders on her main-deck ; and eighteen nine 
pounders on her quarter-deck and fore-castle ; at the 
commencement of the engagement she had on board 
seven hundred and fifteen men, four hundred of 
whom were troops and artificers. She had a broad 
pendant flying, being commanded by the chief of a 
division, who was slain along with several of his offi- 
cers : her loss amounted to two hundred slain, and 
one hundred and forty-three wounded. In the Phoe- 
be, only one man was killed, and Mr. Holland, the 
first lieutenant, the master and ten seamen were 

Several other gallant actions took place in the Me- 
diterranean, from which we have selected the follow- 
ing, as most deserving of notice and record. As the re- 
taining possession of Egypt was of the utmost import- 
ance to the French, they used every exertion to send 
supplies and re-enforcements there; single vessels were 
principally employed for this purpose as most likely to 
elude the vigilance of our cruisers. One of these was 
lyingin the Mole at Ancona, ready for sea, in the month 
of May, when Captain Thomas Rogers, of the Mercury, 
determined to attempt her capture or destruction. 
On the 26th of that month he anchored, after it was 
dark, off the Mole; as the fortifications were very 
strong, the only mode of succeeding in the enter- 
prise was, by manning the boats. Accordingly, a 
little before midnight, the boats put off under the 
command of the first lieutenant, Mr. Mather. As 
the enemy were ignorant that the Mercury was in the 
Adriatic, they were taken completely by surprise, and 
the boats succeeded in boarding and carrying the 
sloop of war. When, however, they attempted to 
brins; her away, thev found that her stern was secured 

O / ' */ 

to the Mole by a cable, and that three cables were 
out ahead ; these, of course, it was necessary to cut ; 


but, by this time, the alarm was given, and a most, 
tremendous fire was opened upon them from the Mole. 
In this critical juncture, they were at first favoured 
by a slight breeze of wind, by means of which the 
ship, in less than an hour, got beyond the reach of 
the batteries. At this period, it fell calm, and the 
current setting in towards the shore, carried the ves-. 
sel back; the enemy, perceiving this, put off a great 
number of boats, filled with men, to attack her. Mr. 
Mather and his crew used every exertion to get the 
sloop away, but as the men had been rowing all night, 
they were nearly exhausted with fatigue. It was in 
vain to think of defending their prize ; as the gun- 
boats were fast approaching, and, besides, Mr. Mather 
was apprehensive, that, in the event of an engage- 
ment) the prisoners whom he had taken in the sloop, 
and who were under the hatchways, would rise on his 
crew. He was, therefore, compelled to give up his 
prize, having failed in several attempts to set her on 
fire. Captain Rogers, in the Mercury, was a specta- 
tor of what was going on ; but the same want of 
wind, which prevented the boats from bringing off 
their prize, prevented him from getting near enough 
to support them. In this enterprise, the loss was 
trifling ; only two men being killed, and four wound- 
ed : the enemy lost twenty killed, wounded, and 

Among the young naval officers who distinguished 
themselves this year, and who bid fair to approach 
(for who can hope to come up to) the fame of Nelson, 
was Lord Cochrane. While cruising off Oropeso, in 
the Speedy, in company with Captain Pulling in the 
Kangaroo sloop of war, they perceived a Spanish con- 
voy, consisting of twelve vessels, at anchor in the 
bay; they were protected by a strong battery: but 
this circumstance only incited the British seamen, and 
their commanders to the attack ; for in the course of 
this war, having decisively proved their superiority to 
their enemies at sea, they extended their hopes and 


ambition to conquering them, under still more ardu- 
ous and difficult circumstances. Besides the battery, 
mounting twelve guns, that protected these vessels., 
there was a xebec, of twenty guns, and three gun- 
boats. The mode of attack was soon planned ; the 
two brigs anchored within half gun shot of the ene- 
my, against whom they opened a brisk fire ; in a few 
hours, the fire of the Spaniards slackened ; it feebly 
and partially recommenced, on the approach and as- 
sistance of a felucca of twelve guns ; but about half- 
past three in the afternoon, the xebec, and two of the 
gun-boats sunk. The battery still continued its fire 
till nearly six o'clock, when it also was silenced : as 
soon as this was perceived, the Kangaroo cut her ca- 
bles, and made close to it, upon which the remaining 
gun-boats fled. No obstacle was now in the way of 
destroying or capturing part at least of the convoy ; 
for this purpose, the boats were manned, and they 
succeeded in cutting out such as were afloat ; the re- 
mainder were either sunk or driven ashore. The loss 
on the side of the British, in this affair, was very 

An exploit of a somewhat similar nature, equal in 
point of bravery, but not fortunate in its result, was 
performed on the coast of Africa. The Melpomene, 
commanded by Sir Charles Hamilton, was stationed 
off the mouth of the Senegal river; within which a 
brig and armed schooner were at anchor ; their cap- 
ture or destruction were, if possible resolved upon ; 
the motive to this enterprise was not so much the de- 
sire to obtain these vessels, as, by means of them, to 
gain possession of a battery at the entrance of the 
river. Lieutenant Dick, with ninety-six men, in five 
boats, was dispatched on this service. Off the mouth 
of the river, there was a very :Cavy surf ; tin's, how- 
ever, they got over in safety ; nor was iheir design 
observed, till they got near the brig. When they 
came near her, she fired on the boats with her bow- 
chasers, and with such effect, that two of them were 


.sunk, and Lieutenant Palmer, and seven seamen kil- 
led. The rest, however, were not intimidated ; but, 
on the contrary, pushed on with still greater alacrity 
and courage, boarded the brig, and in twenty minutes 
were in complete possession of her. On seeing this, 
the schooner cut her cables, and run under the pro- 
tection of the batteries. After the loss of so many of 
his men, and the destruction of two boats out of five, 
Lieutenant Dick did not think it practicable to pro- 
ceed against the schooner ; he, therefore, used every 
effort, and directed his sole attention to bring oft* 
the brig : in this, lie would have succeeded, but, 
by this time, the tide had begun to ebb, with a 
considerable current, which, added to his ignorance 
of the channel of the river, caused the brig to run 
a-ground : nothing now remained, but to save them- 
selves in the boats, which they did, under a most 
dreadful fire from the batteries, having first destroyed 
the brig. The loss was very great : three officers 
and eight men were killed, one officer and seventeen 
men were wounded. 

As the French had several large frigates, besides 
privateers, in the Indian Ocean, which had been 
very successful in annoying our trade there, and as 
the grand rendezvous for them, and the place to 
which they carried their prizes, were the Isles of 
France and Bourbon, Sir Roger Curtis, who com- 
manded the squadron on this station, was indefatiga- 
ble in watching these islands. Besides the regular 
squadron under his command, there was a private 
ship of war, fitted out at the Cape, commanded by 
Mr. White, which was very enterprising and success- 
ful. In the month of August, as she was cruising 
off the Island St. Lawrence, a large ship bore down 
upon her; an action was not declined by the Chance, 
which was the name of Mr. White's vessel, though he 
found out, almost as soon as the enemy began to lire, 
that his metal was much heavier. On percdvino- this 
he resolved to board her ; and to board her in such a 


manner as might give him the best chance of gaining 
possession of her. The bowsprit of the Chance was, 
therefore, lashed to her mizen-rnast, and the boarders 
entered the upper deck ; a desperate resistance was 
made by the enemy, but after they had defended 
themselves for three quarters of an hour, they were 
driven below into the cabin, and under deck : here 
they continued to fight, being armed with pikes, till 
the captain and twenty-eight were wounded, and 
twenty -five killed. On this the British gained com- 
plete possession of her. She proved to be a fine new 
vessel, mounting fourteen brass guns, with one hun- 
dred and twenty men. 

In September, Mr. White had another engagement 
still more honourable to him, with a Spanish man of 
war brig, mounting eighteen guns, and having on 
board one hundred and forty men. The enemy be- 
gan firing at the Chance, at a considerable distance ; 
but Mr. White reserved his fire till he came close up 
to her, when, being yard-arm and yard-arm, the ac- 
tion was kept up with great spirit for two hours and 
three quarters ; the Spanish vessel frequently endea- 
voured to escape, but by the skill and activity of Mr. 
White, all her endeavours to this purpose were inef- 
fectual ; and her captain being mortally wounded, 
and fourteen men killed, he struck her colours. 
The Chance had two men killed, and one wounded. 
When it is considered that the Chance had only six- 
teen guns, and fifty men, the bravery with which she 
was fought on both occasions must be highly ap- 

On the East India station, properly so called, one 
action was fought, which must not be passed over. 
The Sybille frigate, Captain Charles Adams, was sta- 
tioned to protect the trade from China, off the Sey- 
chelles islands. About the middle of August, he was 
induced to think that a vessel of the enemy's was ly- 
ing- among these islands, from having observed a sig- 
nal flying on one of them, In order that he might 


get near enough to ascertain this circumstance, he 
stood in under French colours ; and descried a large 
French frigate lying at anchor in the roads ; the navi- 
gation was extremely intricate, as several shoals with 
which Captain Adams was but imperfectly acquaint- 
ed, lay in the passage. These obstacles, however, 
did not prevent him from attempting the capture of 
the enemy. Using every precaution to prevent the 
ship from grounding, he succeeded in getting within 
a cable's length of the enemy, when he hauled down* 
the French, and hoisted English colours, at the same 
time anchoring with a spring on his cable. The ene- 
my had erected a small battery on the shore for the 
protection of their frigate, which was mounted with 
four guns ; and from this battery and the vessel, a fire 
was opened against the Sybille. Captain Adams, 
from the state of the shoals, was obliged to anchor in 
such a manner, that the battery raked him; and as 
they also fired red hot shot from it, he suffered con- 
siderably. Notwithstanding these circumstances, in 
about twenty minutes, the enemy struck his colours ; 
she proved to be La Chiffone, mounting forty-two 
guns, and having a complement of two hundred and 
fifty men ; twenty-three were killed, and thirty 
wounded. The Sybille had two killed and one 

The following anecdote should not be omitted, as 
it displays a singular instance of bravery and presence 
of mind. On board the Immortalite", one of the squa- 
dron which was appointed to watch Brest harbour, 
was a pilot, who spoke French extremely well, lie 
frequently requested the captain of the Immortalite 
to permit him to go ashore on the coast of France, 
that he might learn some particulars respecting the 
fleet in Brest. The Captain was at length prevailed 
upon to give his consent, he accordingly went ashore, 
it having been previously agreed upon, that, in a few 
hours, a boat should be sent to bring him back : for 



five successive nights, the boat was sent to the place 
appointed ; but he was not there. Three days more 
passed away, when he came alongside the Immorta- 
lit, in a French boat rowed by two men ; the fol- 
lowing is his narrative : " As I was apprehensive that 
I should be taken and treated as a spy, I gave up all 
idea of attempting to get on board in the manner, and 
at the time agreed upon, and came to the resolution of 
hiring a boat to go into Camaret Bay. I, accordingly, 
hired a boat, but when we came near Camaret Bay, 
I told the men I did not mean that bay, but Ber- 
theaume Bay, which was much nearer the ship : the 
men rowed me towards this place ; and when we came 
near it, I again told them, I wished to go to point St. 
Matthew's only within two gun shots of the frigate ; 
upon hearing this, the men flew into a violent passion, 
telling me that they would take me back to Brest. I 
immediately took a brace of pistols from my pocket; 
and pointing one at each of them, exclaimed, ' I am 
an Englishman : if you do not put me on board of 
my ship without delay, I will blow your brains out. ' 
The Frenchmen judged it best to comply with my 
request." This man had actually been on board se- 
veral of the French ships of \var, and gave a particu- 
lar and accurate account of their force and condition. 
Soon after Mr. Addington became prime minister, 
it was rumoured, that he was much more disposed to 
peace than Mr. Pitt had been ; and it was soon known, 
that negociations were actually on foot between Great 
Britain and France : from the length of the war ; the 
great changes which had been produced in the relative 
situation and power of the two countries, since its 
commencement; and the jealousy which subsisted be- 
tween them, the negociations were long protracted, 
and met with many obstacles. The delay was so long, 
that it was apprehended that the iiegociation would 
be broken oil'; when on the 1st of October, 180], 
Lord iiavvkesbury, secretary of state for foreign uf 


fairs, after a long- but secret discussion with M. Otto, 
who resided in this country, as agent for French pri- 
soners, announced, that the preliminaries of peace were 
signed between Great Britain on the one part, and 
France, Spain, and Holland on the other. The defini- 
tive treaty, however, was not signed at Amiens, by 
the Marquis Cornwallis, until the 27th of March, 

No war had ever occurred, in which this country 
had ever won so much glory by sea, as in the war 
which was now terminated ; and her superiority at 
sea had enabled her to strip the enemy of nearly all 
her insular and distant possessions. Eighty sail of 
the line had been captured : in America and the West 
Indies, Tobago, Martinique, St. Lucia, Guadaloupe, 
and part of St. Domingo, had been taken from France : 
Trinidad from Spain ; Demerara, Issequibo, Surinam, 
Curacoa, Berbice, and St. Eustatia, from the Dutch: 
in the East Indies, Pondicherry, Malacca, Ceylon, 
Amboyna, and Banda, fell into our possession. In, 
Africa, we had subdued the Cape of Good Hope and 
Malta ; while Egypt had been liberated and restored 
to the Turks ; even the French and Spanish posses- 
sions in Europe had for a time confessed our superio- 
rity, as Toulon, Minorca, and Corsica, had been taken 
possession of. 

Of all our conquests, Ceylon and Trinidad alone 
were retained ; the terms of the peace were much 
canvassed and blamed ; especially those by which 
Malta and the Cape of Good Hope were to be 
given up. 



THE Right Honourable Richard Earl Howe, was 
the second son of Sir Emanuel Scrope, the second 
Lord Viscount Howe, Baron of Clonawly, who was 
appointed governor of Barbadoes, in May 1732, and 
Maria Sophia Charlotte, eldest daughter to the Baron 
Kilmanseck, master of the horse to George I. as 
Elector of Hanover. 

Sophia Charlotte, the Baroness Kilmanseck, of the 
house of Offlen, was sister to the celebrated Countess 
of Platen, of the German empire. On the death of 
her husband in 1721, she was created Countess of 
Leinster in the kingdom of Ireland, and afterwards 
Baroness of Brentford, and Countess of Darlington 
in England. She was a woman of uncommon beauty. 
The family of Howe were of distinction in the coun- 
ties of Somerset, Wilts, and Dorset, for several gene- 
rations. The manor of Langar, in the county of 
Nottingham, came into the possession of the family 
by the marriage of John Howe, Esq. with Arabella, 
daughter of the Earl of Sunderland ; whose eldest 
son, Sir Scrope, was created a baron and viscount, 
and was succeeded by Scrope the father of the late 
Earl Howe, in the year 1712. 

His lordship was born in, or near, the year 1725. 
He lost his father early in life, who died March 29th, 
1735, in Barbadoes, after having been three years 
governor of that island. At fourteen years or age 
his lordship left Eton school, to share whatever perils 
the squadron destined for the South Seas, under Com- 
modore Anson, might experience. Even at this age, 
there was an hardihood and intrepidity about the 


noble youth that promised much ; and this probably 
induced his parents to devote him to the naval pro- 

The South Seas opened a scene adapted to his 
daring and enterprising spirit; and he embarked, for 
the first time, on board the Severn, of' fifty guns, 
commanded by the Honournble Captain Edward 
Legge. His first voyage gave the young mariner no 
inconsiderable idea of the various dangers and con- 
tinued fatigue both of body and mind, which were 

O v 

annexed to the profession he had embraced. On the 
arrival of the squadron off Terra del Fuego, a most 
violent and continued tempest reduced it to the 
greatest distress. The situation of the Severn was 
particularly desperate; the fury of raging and con- 
trary winds, formed a sea sufficiently tremendous to 
strike the stoutest hearts with terror. 

Captain Legge returned to Europe as soon as Iris 
weakened and dispirited people had recovered a suf- 
ficient degree of strength at Rio Janeiro, where he 
was driven in by distress to navigate the ship, The 
next officer under M'hoin our young sailor was placed, 
appears to have been Sir Charles Knowles, then Com- 
modore of a squadron detached in the month of Fe- 
bruary, 1?43, from Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle's fleet, 
to attempt the town of La Guira on the Coast of 
Caraccas. Mr. Howe, who was at this time about 
eighteen years of age, served on board the Burford, 
commanded by Captain Franklin Lushington, one of 
the officers concerned in the capture of the well- 
known prize, the San Josef. The squadron arrived 
on the Curac-oa coast on the 18th of February. The 
Burford suffered considerably in the action. Captain 
Lushington, having lost his thigh by a chain-shot, 
died in two hours after he was lauded at Curacoa a 
on the 23d of February, 174^-3. 

The attachment which our young officer enter 
tained for his captain, must not be passed unnoticed. 
Being required to give evidence, relative to the con- 


duct of the Burforcl, at a court-martial held subse- 
quent to the action ; lie proceeded in a clear and col- 
lected manner, until he came to relate the melan- 
chol} T death of his beloved and gallant friend. Though 
possessing the strongest nerves ; nerves, which he 
afterwards proved, were not liable to be affected by 
those passions which often distract the minds of the 
bravest men ; the keen emotions of his youthful 
heart so overcame his hitherto firm recital, that, un- 
able to proceed, he requested the indulgence of the 
court, until he could sufficiently collect himself. lie 
then related, that Captain Lushington, having his 
thigh shot off, continued giving directions to his first 
lieutenant, until he sunk down, fainting from loss of 
blood. He was then conveyed to the cockpit. " I was 
soon sent," said the young officer, " by the first lieu- 
tenant, for orders ; "My dear Howe," said the noble 
Lushington, on seeing him approach, " since I have 
been brought down, I have received a mortal wound: 
tell the lieutenant to use his own judgment." He was 
proceeding to relate the death of his brave com- 
mander, when he again burst into a flood of tears, 
and retired. 

Soon afterwards, Mr. Howe was appointed acting 
lieutenant by Commodore Knowles, and in a short 
time came to England with his ship. His commis- 
sion not being confirmed by the Admiralty, he re- 
turned to his patron in the West Indies, where he 
was made lieutenant of a sloop of war. An oppor- 
tunity here offered to display his active and resolute 
character ; an English merchantman had been cap- 
tured, at the Dutch settlement of Eustatia, by a 
French privateer, under the guns and protection of 
the governor, who disregarded the transaction. Lieu- 
tenant Howe, unable to bear such an insult to his coun- 
try, was, at his own earnest request, sent with orders 
to claim her for the owners; but not meeting with 
that reply which national faith and justice demanded, 
he desired leave to go with the boats, and attempt 


the cutting her out of the harbour. It was in vain 
that the captain represented the danger of so adven- 
turous an attempt. The ardour of this young officer 
was permitted to operate ; and the event showed, 
that his prudence in conduct \vas equal to the energy 
of his original conception. The vessel was cut out, 
and carefully restored to the proprietors. 

In the eventful year of 1745, Lieutenant Howe 
was with Admiral Vernon in the Downs, whose flag, 
in the month of August, was flying on board the St. 
George in Portsmouth harbour; but his squadron 
being soon afterwards equipped, he removed into the 
Norwich, and sailed for the Downs, where he con- 
tinued, the intervals of cruising excepted, during the 
greatest part of the ensuing winter. Lieutenant 
Howe was about this time raised to the rank of com- 
mander, in the Baltimore sloop of war, which joined 
the rest of the squadron, on the coast of Scotland, 
under the command of Admiral Smith. 

In the journal of the siege of Fort William, the 
conduct of Captain Howe, at this period, is thus re- 
corded : "The Baltimore, Captain Howe, went up 
towards Killarndy Barns, on Tuesday, March 1, 1746, 
in order to protect the landing of our men. He iired 
several shot, and threw some cohorn shells, and set 
one hovel on fire; but could not attempt landing, for 
the rebels were intrenched by an hollow road or rill, 
and in great numbers. The Baltimore's guns, being 
only four-pounders, had no effect on the stone walls 
of these barns, which the rebels had before loop- 

During the cruise off the coast of Scotland, an 
action took place, which stamped the character of 
Captain Howe for ever, as a most able and intrepid 
officer. The Baltimore, in company with another 
armed vessel, fell in with two French frigates of 
thirty guns, crowded with troops and ammunition 
for the Pretender. Captain Howe immediately ran 
the Baltimore between them, and almost close on 


board one of the ships. A desperate and bloody 
action commenced. After fighting; with that sino-u- 

o -~ o 

Jar coolness and resolution, which have since so much 
distinguished his character, he was at length severely 
wounded by a musket ball in the head, and carried 
off the deck, to all appearance dead. The anxiety of 
the crew for their young hero, was, however, but of 
short duration. With medical assistance he soon 
discovered signs of life : and during the painful 
dressing of his wound, cheered and encouraged the 
ardour of his men. Scarcely was the operation 
finished, when he flew again to his post, and was 
received with shouts of joy by the sailors. The 
action was now continued with redoubled spirit, 
until the French ships sheered off, leaving the Balti- 
more in so shattered a state, that she in vain at- 
tempted to pursue them. He was immediately raised 
by the Admiralty to the post list of captains, and on 
the 10th of April, 1746, appointed to the Triton fri- 
gate, destined for the coast of Scotland. 

Being ordered, with the Triton, to Lisbon, he there 
found the Rippon, commanded by Captain Holborne, 
who being indisposed, and destined for the coast of 
Guinea, they changed ships. Having visited that 
station, Captain Howe joined his early patron Ad- 
miral Knowlcs at Jamaica, and was by him appointed 
first captain of his ship, the Cornwall, of eighty guns. 
At the conclusion of the war in 1748, he returned 
with her to England, enjoying a character com- 
pletely established for an high sense of honour, and 
every principle that constitutes a brave and valuable 

In March 1750-51, Captain Howe was appointed 
to the command of his Majesty's ships on the coast 
of Guinea, in La Gloire of forty-four guns. On his 
arrival at Cape Coast, the governor and council re- 
presented to him the ill treatment they had received 
from the Dutch governor General Van Voorst. Justly 
indignant at their recitals. Captain Howe prepared his 


own ship, and the Swan sloop ; and proceeding imme- 
diately with them, anchored as near the Dutch castle 
as the depth of water would permit. In this situation 
he sent a letter by Captain Digges, to the governor- 
general, demanding immediate satisfaction, in favour 
of the English merchants, and a release of all the 
free negroes who were imprisoned. The Dutch com- 
mander sending an evasive answer to the first demand, 
and an absolute refusal to the second, Captain Howe 
sent another letter to acquaint him, that he should 
immediately execute his orders ; which were to dis- 
tress those who interrupted the commerce of his 
countrymen to the utmost in his power. Captain 
Howe's vigilance in cutting off all communication 
with the Dutch ships, soon reduced the governor to 
reason, when every difference was finally adjusted. 

At the close of the year 1751, Captain Howe was 
appointed to the Mary yacht, as successor to Captain 
Allen, then deceased ; but quitted this station in the 
month of May 1752, on being commissioned to the 
Dolphin frigate, lie was soon afterwards ordered to 
the Straits, and employed in many difficult services, 
which he executed with his usual spirit. In the course 
of the year 1 754, he returned to England ; and at the 
beginning of the ensuing one, obtained the command 
of the Dunkirk of sixty guns, one of the ships that 
were commissioned, in consequence of the appre- 
hended rupture with France. 

The government of Great Britain, roused by the 
intelligence that a powerful armament was preparing 
in the ports of Rochefort and Brest, which was des- 
tined for America, ordered a squadron to be immedi- 
ately equipped : and towards the end of April 1755, 
Admiral Boscawen sailed with eleven ships of the line 
and one frigate. In this fleet Captain Howe had the 
command of the Dunkirk of sixty guns, to which 
ship he had been appointed in March. 

Captain Howe, with a press of sail, came first along- 
side the sternmost ship, the Alcide, *at twelve o'clock; 


and, hailing the captain, delivered his orders, that he 
should go immediately under the English Admiral's 
stern. Monsieur Hoquart quaintly asked " whether 
it was peace or war." Captain Howe repeated his 
orders, and generously exclaimed, " Prepare for the 
worst, as I expect every moment a signal from the 
flag ship to fire upon you, for not bringing to. The 
ships being now close together, Captain Howe had an 
opportunity of seeing the officers, soldiers, and ladies, 
who were assembled on the deck. He on this took off 
his hat, and told them in French, that as he presumed 
they could have no personal concern in the contest, 
he begged they would leave the deck : adding, that 
he only waited for their retiring to begin the action. 
Captain Howe then, for the last time, demanded that 
the Frenchman should go under the English Admiral's 
stern. Monsieur Hoquart, still vehemently refusing, 
was informed that the signal was out to engage. He 
replied with the civility and sang froid of his nation, 
Commencez, S'ilvous plait ! to which Captain Howe 
answered, S'il vous plait, Monsieur, de commencer ! 
Orders to begin the action were given by both nearly 
at the same instant. After the first broadside, the 
most dreadful groans, and screams, were heard from 
the Alcicle; every shot of the Dunkirk went through, 
all her sains beino- double-shotted with round shot. 

d/ C.* 

In about half an hour the Alcide struck to the Dun- 
kirk, her inferior in rate, guns, and men. Captain 
Howe, perceiving this, generously exclaimed, " My 
lads ! they have behaved like men, treat them like 
men !" 

Thus did Captain IIo\ve strike the first blow of 
that memorable war, in which the naval honours of 
Great Britain were carried to an higher pitch than had 
been yet attained. The Alcide had on board nine 
hundred men, chiefly land forces. The General was 
killed. The Governor of Louisbourg, and four offi- 
cers of note, were taken prisoners, with 30, GOO/, 


It was about this period, that Captain Howe was 
hastily awakened in the middle of the night by the 
lieutenant of the watch, who informed him, in great 
agitation, that the ship was on lire near the gun- 
room. " If that be the case," said this resolute offi- 
cer, rising leisurely to put on his clothes, " we shall 
soon know it." The lieutenant flew back to the 
scene of danger, and instantly returning, exclaimed 
" You need not, Sir, be afraid, the fire is extin- 
guished !" " Afraid ! exclaimed Captain Howe, " what 
clo you mean by that, Sir ? " I never was afraid in 
my life :" and looking the lieutenant full in the face, 
he added ; " how does a man feel, Sir, when he is 
afraid? I need not ask how he looks." Of other acts 
of heroism we have already given an account in our 
history, and, therefore, pass on to the year 1758, when 
he succeeded on the death of his brother to the title of 
Lord Howe, and on the 23d of August 1/63, he was 
appointed to the Board of Admiralty ; a station which 
he continued to hold through two commissions, until 

O ' 

the 30th of August 1765. Pie was then made Trea- 
surer of the Navy; and, on the 18th of October 
1770, when he resigned this post, as well as his Co- 
lonelship of marines, was promoted rear-admiral of the 
blue, and commander in chief in the Mediterranean. 
He experienced no farther advancement until the 31st 
of March 1775, when he was appointed rear-admiral 
of the white; and, on the general election, which 
took place in the same year, was chosen member for 
the borough of Dartmouth. On the 7th of Decem- 
ber 1775, according to the Admiralty list, he was 
made vice-admiral of the blue. 

We now come to a very critical and important part 
of his lordship's life ; his conduct during the American 
war. lie was nominated commander in chief of the 
fleet to be employed on the American station, soon 
after his promotion of vice-admiral of the blue. Hav- 
ing hoisted his flag on board the Eagle of sixty-four 
guns, equipped for him, he arrived oil' Halifax on the 


1st of July 1776. Every enterprise in which the fleet 
was concerned, was uniformly successful; every un- 
dertaking that was proposed by the general on shore, 
was warmly supported by the fleet. The conquest of 
New York, of Rhode Island, of Philadelphia, of 
every settlement within the power or reach of a naval 
force, are irrefragable proofs of his abilities and at- 

On the memorable change of ministry, in the spring 
of the year 1782, Lord Howe was advanced to the 
dignity of a peer of Great Britain, by the title of Vis- 
count Howe of Langar, in the county of Nottingham ; 
his patent bearing date the 20th of April. On the 8th 
of the same month he had been previously advanced 
to the rank of admiral of the blue. He now accepted 
the command of the fleet equipping for the relief of 
Gibraltar. The British fleet, with its convoy, entered 
the Straits on the morning; of the llth of October, 


and about five o'clock in the afternoon arrived off the 

Respecting the relief of Gibraltar, it has been justly 
said, " That foreign nations acknowledge its glory, 
and every future age will confirm it. Not only the 
hopes, but the fears of his country, accompanied Lord 
Howe. The former rested upon his consummate abi- 
lities, and approved bravery ; while the latter could 
not but look to the many obstacles he had to subdue, 
and the superior advantage of the fleet that was to 
oppose him. Nevertheless, he fulfilled the grand 
objects of the expedition ; the garrison of Gibraltar 
was effectually relieved, the hostile fleet baffled and 
dared in vain to battle; and the different squadrons 
detached to their important destinations ; while the 
ardent and certain hopes of his country's foes were 

Lord Howe returned from this expedition on the 
10th of November 1782, and arrived in safety at 
Portsmouth. The corporation of London, in com- 
mon council assembled; ordered an historical picture 


of the siege and relief of Gibraltar to be executed by 
Mr. Copley ; as a testimony of respect to Lord Heath- 
field the governor, and Earl Howe, commander of 
the fleet, as well as the soldiers and sailors, for their 
gallant conduct. 

Peace was concluded almost immediately after Lord 
Howe's return. On the 28th of January 1783, he 
was nominated first Lord of the Admiralty, which 
office he resigned to Lord Viscount Keppel on the 
8th of April following ; but again succeeded to it on 
the 30th of December in the same year. On the 24th 
of September 1/87, he was advanced to be admiral 
of the white. On the 1 6th of July 1788, he finally 
quitted his station at the Admiralty, which he had 
occupied so much to the satisfaction of his country ; 
and on the 19th of August following, was created an 
earl of Great Britain, by the title of Earl Howe. 

In 1790, until the Queen Charlotte was ready, he 
hoisted his flag on board the Victory. On the com- 
mencement of the war with France, in 1793, his lord- 
ship, at the particular request of his sovereign, ac- 
cepted the painful and arduous command of the 
western squadron. Powers, such as have been sel- 
dom delegated to any commander in chief, were 
wisely entrusted to his prudence. By the short cruises 
which he made, the fleet was never obliged to remain 
long in harbour to refit; but was constantly ready to 
engage the enemy. He entirely altered the signals, 
then in use, for others more simple and perfect ; and, 
by the system he adopted throughout, prepared the 
way for the glorious successes which have followed. 
On the 19th of May 1794, he received the ne\vs, off 
Ushant, that the French fleet under command of Rear- 
admiral Villaret, with the representative of the people, 
Jean Bon St. Andre, on board the admiral's ship, La 
Montague, had left Brest, It was not till the 29th 
of May, that he discovered the enemy, and from that 
time till the 31st at noon, a fog prevented any thing 
dec isive from taking place. The glorious victory of 


the first of June soon followed ; the fleet which was 
one of the most powerful that France had ever equip- 
ped for sea, was totally vanquished, and seven ships 
of the enemy's line were in possession of the con- 

On the morning of June the 13th the fleet with 
the prizes were seen from Portsmouth in the offing-. 
Crowds of eager spectators lined the ramparts and 
beach. When the Queen Charlotte had come to an- 
chor, a salute was fired from the battery. About half 
past twelve his lordship landed at Sally Port, when a 
second discharge of artillery took place. He was re- 
ceived on his landing with military honours and re- 
iterated shouts of applause, the band of the Glou- 
cester regiment playing " See the conquering Hero 
comes !" It was a scene that baffles description ! the 
surrounding spectators alternately cheered and wept. 

Their Majesties, with three of the Princesses, ar- 
riving at Portsmouth on the 26th, proceeded next 
morning, in barges, to visit Lord Howe's ship the 
Queen Charlotte at Spithead. His Majesty held a 
naval levee on board, and presented the veteran com- 
mander with a diamond hilt and sword, valued at 
three thousand guineas ; and a gold chain, to which 
the medal, given on the occasion, is suspended. His 
lordship also received the thanks of both houses of 
parliament, and of the common council of London, 
with the freedom of that city in a gold box. Lord 
Howe \va.s obliged, on account of ill health, to resign 
the command in the Channel, in May I7o ; on the 
18th of March in the ensuing year, he kissed hands, 
being appointed general of marines, vacant by the 
death of Admiral Forbes. 

Lord Howe resigned the command of the western 
squadron in April 1797. Lord Bridport, who for 
for some time had acted in that capacity, succeeded 
to this service ; and Vice-admiral Sir Alan Gardner 
became, in consequence, second in command. The 
conduct of Lord Howe, during the mutiny in 1797, 


was as commendable as it was arduous. The difficul- 
ties he had to encounter would almost baffle the exer- 
tions of the human mind. The kingdom contem- 
plated, with a degree of unusual anxiety, this ve- 
nerable character, whose head was silvered over with 
age and long service, struggling, at the close of life, 
with a monster, that required the strength and energy 
of youth. He felt humanely for those who were in- 
fected by its noxious poison, and strove with paren- 
tal tenderness in their behalf. He stood like the 
guardian genius of his country, between the dead and 
the living, and stayed the plague. 

His lordship did not long survive this business, 
which concluded as much to his own honour as to 
the advantage of the navy and country. lie died 
August 5, 1799, in the seventy-third year of his age; 
and in the following October, Mi: Secretary Dundas 
said, that he had a motion to offer, on which he 
should say but a few words, as it was, in its own na- 
ture, calculated to excite the general attention and 
approbation of the house. On the death of the late 
respected Earl Howe, it was the general sentiment 
that such a man should not go out of the world with- 
out some public testimony of esteem and regard for 
his public services. On other occasions, when his 
Majesty had conferred marks of honourable distinc- 
tion on those who were deserving, that house had 
interposed, by a peculiar grant, to prevent the no- 
minal reward from becoming a burthen to the person 
so distinguished. The noble lord to whom he now 
alluded, had obtained an earldom by his own merits, 
but the circumstances of his family were such as not 
to stand in need of any aid from the public genero- 
sity. The gratitude of the house might, however, be 
manifested in another way, by voting a monument, at 
the expence of the nation, to the memory of a man 
so eminent and so meritorious. It would be some 
consolation to his surviving relatives to find that his 
deserts had not been forgotten by his country. Such 


attentions to the memory of the departed great were 
necessary, to keep alive the ardent and burning spirit 
of emulation, to cherish the feelings of those who 
had fought and bled with this brave man, and to en- 
courage others to persevere, in the hope of having 
their names transmitted in the same honourable man- 
ner to posterity. He should propose, that this monu- 
ment should be erected in St. Paul's, rather than in 
Westminster Abbey; and he should do this for a reason 
which, he trusted, would meet with the approbation 
of the house. It was, that, on a late solemn occa- 
sion, the colours which Lord Howe had taken from 
the enemy on the 1st of June, 1794, had been placed 
in the former cathedral. He therefore moved, "That 
an humble address be presented to his Majesty, pray- 
ing that he may be graciously pleased to direct that 
a monument be erected in St. Paul's cathedral to the 
memory of the late Earl Howe, with an inscription, 
stating the public sense of the services rendered to 
the state by that great personage during a long and 
active life, and particularly by the important benefits 
derived from the brilliant victory obtained over the 
fleet of the French republic on the 1st of June, 
] 794." See Stockdale's Parliamentary Debates, vol. x. 
of the third session of the 18th parliament. 


THE subject of our present memoir, Mr; Richrml 
Buckoll, received his education at Guildford, in the 
county of Surrey, where he was born on the ( 23d of 
June, 1771. His early patron Admiral Sir Francis 
Geary, being much struck with the open character 
and daring spirit of the boy, recommended to his 
friends to send him without loss of time to Mr. Bet- 
tesworth's academy at Chelsea, that he might prepare 
himself for the naval profession. Mr. Buckoll was 


accordingly sent thither ; and, after making a most 
rapid progress through every branch of nautical 
science, in the month of February, 1787, he joined 
the Adventure frigate, of forty-four guns, Captain 
Parry, bound for the coast of Africa. 

There are few officers who have made five voyages to 
the coast of Africa during the period of their continu- 
ing midshipmen : Mr. Buckoll by this means acquired 
considerable experience. The Adventure having re- 
turned to England in the month of June, 1788, sailed 
again for the same station in the Autumn following. 
The health of Captain Parry being too precarious to 
allow him to undertake the voyage, the command of 
the Adventure devolved on Captain Inglefield, who 
came back in August, 1789. This officer afterwards 
made three successive voyages to the coast of Guinea 
in the Medusa, of fifty guns, during the whole of 
which, as on the first, Mr. Buckoll accompanied him 
as midshipman. 

On his return to England, Mr. Buckoll received 
fresh assurances of patronage from Sir Francis Geary, 
whose friendship was as steady as those principles 
which gave such a lustre to his character. In Sep- 
tember, 1791, the Medusa sailed again for Africa : 
being so continually exposed to the dangers of this 
unhealthy coast made no impression on the spirit of 
our young officer, though numbers daily fell around 
him ; and he began to flatter himself that he was at 
length seasoned against all the contagion of the 

o o o 


After leaving this station at the usual period, the 
crew of the Medusa experienced, during their pas- 
sage, considerable hardships: their whole allowance 
per day consisted of three quarters of a pound of 
biscuit, iu so damaged a state as to be scarcely eat- 
able. On reaching the Island of Ascension, they 
caught great numbers or' turtle ; but even these, 
from being ate without moderation, added to the 
great scarcity of biscuit, had nearly proved fatal to 



many of them ; Captain B. Hallowell, of the Scor- 
pion of sixteen guns, was left dangerously ill at An- 
tigua, and the master of the Medusa died. Captain 
Inglefield immediately made Mr. Buckoll signal offi- 
cer ; a situation which prevented him from being so 
continually exposed to the night dews. 

When the Medusa came round to Chatham, she 
was ordered to be laid up in ordinary, Captain In- 
glefield, being thus out of employ, was doubly 
anxious to serve Mr. Buckoll, whose interest he had 
always warmly patronised, and of whose -merit he 
had long been sensible. Nothing better offering at 
the time, he sent him on board the Childers brig 
then under orders to act against the French gun- 
boats : fearful, however, that this might not turn 
out sufficiently to his advantage, Captain Inglefield 
soon procured his appointment to the Alfred of 
seventy-four guns; and prompted by the same friendly 
zeal, without loss of time wrote to a person of high 
rank in his behalf, expressing himself in the warmest 
terms respecting the conduct and professional skill 
of our young officer. On the 7th of February, 1793, 
Mr. Buckoll passed the regular ordeal of examination, 
previous to his attaining the rank of lieutenant. 
Captain Inglefield, being soon afterwards appointed 
to L'Aigle of thirty-eight guns, again received Mr. 
Buckoll on board his own ship. By the 23d of March, 
L'Aigle was under sailing orders at Sheerness, and 
narrowly escaped being lost in a heavy gale of wind 
off Land Fort. She by no means proved what the 
seamen term a lucky ship, for soon afterwards she 
missed the famous St. Jago register-ship, then a 
prize to the Dumourier French privateer, by the dis- 
tance of merelv a few lea^nes : btinir then in com- 

*/ O O 

pany with only one frigate, the St. Jago would have 
proved a most valuable capture; the fear of falling in 
with the enemy's fleet induced them to steer in a diffe- 
rent direction. To increase their chagrin, they were 
afterwards detained for more than two months at 


Smyrna, before they could procure a convoy to 

About the commencement of the year 179-1, Mr. 
Buckoll was appointed by Lord Hood to the Victory: 
during' the time that the combined forces remained 
at Toulon, this ollicer particularly distinguished him- 
self, and shewed an active and daring spirit whilst 
executing the various service of peril that fell to his 
lot during this memorable period. When the French, 
more by intrigue than by any skilful manoeuvre, had 
regained possession of that place. Mr. Buckoll was 
so unfortunate as to lose the whole of his clothes, 
and every thing of value which he possessed. In 
the subsequent gallant achievements of Lord Hood, 
this young officer had his share of glory, and of 
praise; acting with his usual intrepidity at the siege 
of Bastia, and during the whole of the operations 
which were carried on by the British admiral in sub- 
duing the Island of Corsica. In the month of Ja- 
nuary, 179->, Mr. Buckoll was made, by Lord Hood, 
lieutenant of the St. Fiorenzo frigate. 

This ship being soon ordered home, he was ap- 
pointed first lieutenant of the Dido frigate, Captain 
George Henry To wry ; nor was Mr. Buckoll long- 
without enjoying that opportunity of distinguishing 
himself, which is thus described : The Dido and 
Lowestoffe were sent to look into Toulon, and on 
their passage thither fell in with two French frigates ; 
the Dido, a little eight-and-twenty, of nine-pounders, 
the Lowestoffe, a twoand-thirty, of twelve pounders, 
had to contend with the superior force of LaMiuerve, 
a two and forty, whose guns were eighteen pounders, 
those of the other Frenchmen, were twelve-pounders, 
each having on board three hundred and fifty men ; 
the Dido had two hundred, the Lowestoffe two hun- 
dred and twenty. They engaged; the LaMinerve sur- 
rendered. The other ship, L'Artemise escaped by su- 
perior sailing. On this Admiral Hotham, in his letter 
to the Admiralty, writes: "The capture of LaMinerve, 

K 2 


when the great superiority of the enemy's force is 
considered, reflects the highest honour on the captains, 
officers, and crews of the Dido and Lowestoffe. " 

The undaunted behaviour of Lieutenant Buckoll, 
during- the whole of this brilliant action, was such 
as might be expected from his character. Though 
severely wounded at the beginning of the engage- 
ment, he steadily refused to quit the deck ; and 
though exhausted with the blood that flowed from 


his wound, he continued firmly to execute his duty, 
until the colours of La Minerve were struck. He 
was then conveyed to his cot, where he shortly be- 
came senseless ; and his life was long despaired of 
by his brave commander and messmates, who anxi- 
ously watched the progress of his recovery. 

Captain To wry not only wrote home to the Ad- 
miralty, in behalf of his suffering officer, but like- 
wise sent a letter to his father, Commissioner To wry, 
anxiously desiring him to forward the promotion of 
his wounded lieutenant, in terms at once expressive 
of gratitude and respect. With the continued care 
and affection of every one around him, Lieutenant 
Buckoll was at length able to reach Ajaccio Harbour, 
in Corsica; where, to his great joy, he found his old 
patron Captain Inglefield. lie was appointed to the 
Serpent sloop on the 4th of November following; 
and, on the 5th of January, 1797, he again sailed for 
the coast of Africa, and in his voyage captured the 
Axmar, a Swedish vessel laden with Spanish and 
Dutch property to the amount of 40,()00/. Captain 
Buckoll returned to Porstmouth in July, and land- 
ed ;o]d dust to the value of lo,000/. with fourteen 

tons of ivory. On his passage home, he captured a 
Spanish felucca. The Serpent, on her arrival, was 
put into dock, and being refitted, she cruised off 
Havre, and joined Sir Richard Strachan. They soon 
afterwards drove a privateer on shore, which was 
immediately destroyed by the crew of the Serpent, 
Vvlio landed and burnt her. Besides this, Captain 


Buckoll took many small vessels, one of which was 
laden with naval stores, destined for Ha\re. On 
the 6th of January, 179$, he sailed once more for 
the shores of Africa: before, however, lie left his na- 
tive country, he felt himself in a declining state of 
health, owing to the dreadful wounds that lie had 
received in the action with the French frigates. 
During- his absence he was advanced to the rank of 
post-captain, an event which he had looked to as 
the pinnacle of his hope, but the news never reached 
him. He died on the 23d of April, 1798, after an 
illness of eight days, in Acre Roads, off the coast of 
Africa : his remains were deposited in the fort with 
every respect that could be shewn them. 



THE late Admiral Sir Hugh Clobcrry Christian was 


a descendant from the ancient family of Christian, in 
the Isle of Man. Mis father, Thomas Christian, Esq. 
who died in the year 17ol, at the early age of thiriy- 
five, was a captain in the royal navy- His mother 
was the daughter of Owen Hughes, Esq. or Bangor. 

Sir H. C. Christian, who, from his birth, is be- 
lieved to have been destined for the naval service, 
was born in Buckingham-street, York-buildings, Lon- 
don, in the year 1747. With the period at which he 
entered into the naval service, and with his early pro- 
gress, we are unacquainted ; but he received a lieu- 
tenant's commission on the 21st of January, 1771: 
and on the 9th of August, 1/78, having previously 
been advanced to the rank of master and commander, 
we find him in the Vigilant armed ship, of twenty 
guns, in the fleet under Lord Howe, off Rhode Is- 

In the succeeding month, Lord Howe returned to 


England ; and Captain Christian either accompanied 
him, or returned about the -same time. On the 8th 
of December, in this year, 1778, he obtained post 
rank; and on the 0.5th of the same month, he sailed 
from Spithead in the Suffolk, of seventy-four guns, in 
which Commodore Rowley had hoisted his broad pen- 
dant, with the fleet under the command of Lord Shuld- 
ham, to escort the trade to America, and to the East 
and West Indies. The Suffolk proceeded with the 
West India convoy. 

Captain Christian remained some years in the 
West Indies, where he was engaged in much active 
and arduous service. In Admiral Byron's memorable 
action with D'Estaing, off Grenada, on the 6th of 
July, 1779, his ship, the Suffolk, sustained a loss of 
seven killed, and twenty-five wounded. 

Soon after this action, Vice admiral Byron returned 
to England, and the chief command devolved on 
Rear-admiral Hyde Parker. Captain Christian re- 
mained in the Suffolk, with Mr. Rowley. Towards 
the latter end of the year 1/79, intelligence having 
been received at St. Lucia, that three large ships had 
been seen from the Morne, steering to the northward, 
the cornmander-in-chicf detached Rear-admiral Row- 
ley with a squadron in pursuit of them. 

The enemy were soon descried, and, after a chase 
of several hours, were all captured. They proved to 
be three large French frigates ; La Fortunte, of for- 
ty-two guns, and two hundred and forty-seven men; 
La Blanche, of thirty-six guns, and two hundred 
and twelve men ; and the Ellis, of twenty-eight guns, 
and sixty-eight men; all of which were added to the 
royal navy. 

On the 18th of December, Captain Christian as- 
sisted in the capture and destruction of a considerable 
French convoy off Martinique. In the spring of 
1780, Sir George Rodney joined Rear-admiral Parker, 
in Gros-islet Pay, St. Lucia; and, in the succeeding 
actions with De Guichen, on the 17th of April, and 


the 15th and 19th of May, Captain Christian had the 
honour of hearing a part, In the first of these actions 
the Suffolk had twelve men wounded ; in the second, 
none either killed or wounded ; and, in the third, one 
killed and twenty-one wounded. 

Admiral Rowley having shitted his flag into the 
Conqueror, Captain Christian was appointed to the 
Fortunee, of thirty-eight guns, one of the French 
frigates, in the capture of which he had formerly as- 
sisted. When Sir Samuel Hood's fleet was attacked 
by De Grasse, at anchor off St. Kitt's, in January, 
1782, the Fortunee was one of. the frigates attached 
to the centre division. On the 9th and 112th of April 
following the Fortunee was attached to the white di- 
vision of Sir George Rodney's fleet, in the memorable 
defeat of De Grasse, but was not present during the 
action. On the 21st of July, Captain Christian 
sailed from Jamaica, with Admiral Pigot's fleet, and, 
on the 5th of September, he arrived at New York. 
lie returned to Port Royal, with Rear-admiral Lord 
Hood, on the 6th of February, 1783, having been 
cruising some time off Hispaniola, on the passage. 
In the succeeding months of March and April, he 
continued to be employed in Lord Hood's squadron, 
in cruising off Capes Francois and Nicholas Mole. 
On the u'th of April, he sailed from Port Royal, for 
England, with Lord Hood, and is supposed to have 
been paid off shortly after his arrival ; as we do not 
find his name mentioned again, till the Spanish arma- 
ment of 1790, when he \vas appointed second cap- 
tain of Lord Howe's flag-ship the Queen Charlotte. 

At the commencement of the late war, Captain 
Christian was again appointed to the same ship, un- 
der the same commander ; he was, consequently, with 
Lord Howe, in the bay, when he fell in with a French 
squadron, on the 18th of November, 1793. Chase 
was immediately given ; but the enemy heing consi- 
derably to windward, and the weather thick and 
squally, they effected their escape. Shortly after this 


period, Captain Christian left the Queen Charlotte, 
and does not appear to have held any subsequent com- 
mand, as a private captain. 

On the 1st of June, 1795, he was promoted to the 
rank of rear-admiral of the blue squadron ; and on the 
16th of November, in the same year, having hoisted 
his flag in the Prince George, of ninety-eight guns, 
he sailed from St. Helen's, with a squadron of ships 
of war, and a convoy of more than two hundred sail 
of transports and West Indiamen, on board of which 
were embarked upwards of sixteen thousand troops. 
The late period of the season to which this expedition, 
destined against the French and Dutch settlements in 
the West Indies had been protracted, occasioned the 
most disastrous result. On the second night after 
Admiral Christian sailed, the wind shifted to the west- 
ward, and blew a violent gale, which separated the 
fleet ; many of the ships put into Torbay, others into 
Portland, and some returned to Spithead with the 
admiral. The gale continued with unceasing fury 
the whole of the 18th ; several of the transports and 
merchantmen foundered, and were wrecked ; and 
above two hundred dead bodies were taken up on the 
coast between Portland and Brklpoit. 

Having repaired the damage which they had sus- 
tained, the squadron sailed again from St. Helen's, 
on the 9th of December ; Admiral Christian having 
shifted his flag into the Glory, the Prince George be- 
ing in too bad a condition to undertake the voyage. 

This ill-fated squadron was again dispersed by a 
violent storm. On the ^9th of January, 179$, the 
Glory, Impregnable, Colossus, Irresistible, Trident, 
Lion, Alcmene, and Prompte, and the Vesuvius 
bomb, with about fifty sail of transports and mer- 
chantmen, were obliged to return to Spithead ; many 
of them in a very disabled condition, having for seven 
weeks encountered weather of the most dreadfully 
tempestuous description. The rest of the ships of 
\var, and several of the merchant vessels arrived safely 


at their places of destination ; but others, less fortu- 
nate, were either lost, or taken by the enemy's 

On the 17th of February, Admiral Christian had 
the honour of being invested with the insignia of the 
most honourable military order of the Bath, at St. 
James's, previously to his going out to assume the 
chief command in the West Indies. On the 20th of 
March, having hoisted his flag in the Thunderer, he 
sailed from Spithead with a squadron, which arrived 
in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, on the 2 1st of April, and 
joined Admiral Sir John Laforey,who, on the following 
day, sailed with the fleet of men of war and trans- 
ports, for Martinico, where he anchored on the 23d, 
and resigned the command on the 24th. 

On the evening of the 26th, Sir Hugh proceeded 
with ?. large squadron, and a number of transports, 
having on board a body of troops, under the com- 
mand of Lieutenant-general Sir Ralph Abercrombie, 
to the attack of the island of St. Lucia. 

After the reduction of the island of St. Lucia, Sir 
Hugh Christian detached a squadron of frigates, un- 
der the command of Captain Wolley, to co-operate 
with Sir Ralph Abercrombie, in quelling the insurrec- 
tion?, which raged with great virulence, in the islands 
of St. Vincent and Grenada. 

The insurgents were chiefly Charibs, and people of 
colour ; and after an obstinate resistance, they laid 
down their arms, and surrendered by capitulation. 
On this service, two seamen belonging to the Arc- 
thusa, who were acting with the troops on shore, 
were killed ; and at Grenada, seven seamen were 
killed, and five wounded, on board the Mermaid, by 
the bursting of one of her main-deck guns. 

Towards the latter end of June, Rear-admiral Her- 
vey arrived at Martinique, in the Prince of Wales ; 
and in the month of October following, having re- 
signed the command of the fleet to that officer. Sir 
ilugli returned to England in the Beaulieu frigate. 


On the 20th of February, 1797, he was made rear- 
admiral of the white ; and, in the course of the year, 
he sailed to the Cape of Good Hope, as second in com- 
mand on that station, in the Virginie, of forty-four 
guns. In the following year he succeeded Admiral 
Pringle, as commander in chief at the Cape ; hut he 
enjoyed that post only a very short time, as he died, 
in November 1798. His services, though not gene- 
rally of the most brilliant description, had been ardu- 
ous and useful ; and by his death, the country lost an 
attentive, able, and excellent officer. His remains 
were interred at the Cape. 

Sir Hugh Christian's lady, whose health was in so 
critical a state, when the admiral left England, that 
she despaired of ever seeing him again, survived him 
about two months; but died at the Isle of Wight, be- 
fore the intelligence had arrived of the death of her 


THIS brave commander was born April 23, 1758, 
and was the son of Samuel Hood, Esq. of Kingsland, 
Dorsetshire, who was son of the Ilev. Arthur Hood, 
Minister of Dawlish, Somersetshire, elder brother of 
the father of Lords Hood and JBridport. 

The example of his illustrious relatives early called 
his attention to a sea life, and indulging the natural 
bent of his disposition, he entered into the navy under 
the protection of the present Lord Uridport. Mr. 
Hood's first voyage was with that distinguished officer 
Captain James Cook, whom lie accompanied in the 
Endeavour, during the voyage of discovery, which 
commenced in the year 1772, and returned to England 
with that celebrated navigator in 17 75. 

In the beginning of the American war, which com- 
menced shortly alter his return from the Southern 
Ocean, our young seaman served under the command 


of the late Earl Howe. The active scene of warfare in 
which Mr. Hood now became engaged, was as well cal- 
culated to form the officer, as the previous service in the 
South Seas had been to perfect the scientific part of his 
education. After serving some time on this station as 
midshipman, he obtained the first and most desirable 
step in the service, and on the 14th of March, 1780, 
was appointed to command the Ranger cutter. Lieu- 
tenant Hood remained actively employed for some time 
on the American station, and was then ordered to join 
the fleet in the West Indies under the orders of Lord 
Rodney. The Ranker was shortly after her arrival in 

\j O v 

the West Indies put on the establishment of a sloop of 
war, by the name of the Pigmy, and Lieutenant Hood 
was continued in her with the rank of master and com- 
mander, on the 17th of May, 1781. His illustrious 
relative Sir Samuel Hood, who then commanded a 
division of the fleet, had been lately engaged on very 
important and arduous services, his flag was flying on 
board the Barfleur, into which ship the subject of our 
memoir was appointed post on the 26'th of July, 1781. 
Shortly after this period, Sir George Rodney sailed 
for England, leaving Rear-admiral Sir Samuel Hood 
to command the Leeward Island fleet, his flag still 
flying on board the Baifleur. In the month of August 
the fleet sailed for the coast of America to oppose the 
progress of the French in that quarter, Monsieur De 
Grasse having left St. Domingo with an intention of 
proceeding to the Chesapeak, and co-operating with 
the French squadron under Monsieur Barras, who was 
to join him in the previously concerted attack on the 
army of Lord Cormvallis. The fleet returned to the 
West Indies in the month of December J781, and 
early in January 1785, proceeded to the relief of the 
island of St. Christopher's then attacked by an army of 
8000 men, under the command of the Marquis De 
Bouille, the Comte De Grasse covering the siege with 
a licet of thirty-three line of battle ships; the British 
squadron consisted only of twenty. Shortly after the 


memorable events which took place at this siege, 
Captain Hood was appointed (February 4, 1782,) to 
command the Champion, a situation highly suitable to 
his youth and activity of disposition. 

During the short time Captain Hood was on board 
the Barfleur, a succession of important operations had 
followed each other, which were calculated to make a 
lasting impression on an inquiring mind. 

The operations of the fleet during the siege of St. 
Christopher's will ever hold a conspicuous situation in 
the history of those achievements that have reflected 
such honour on the naval character of our country. 
It must have been equally gratifying and instructive 
to Captain Hood, to contemplate and admire the con- 
duct of his illustrious relative who commanded in the 
arduous scenes he had lately witnessed ; to behold a 
generous and gallant band of warriors led to fame and 
honour by one of the heads of his family, must have 
excited in his youthful breast a degree ot enthusiastic 
emulation ; and acting under the immediate notice of 
this great man, the council and instruction he would 
constantly receive, were peculiarly calculated to qualify 
him for the high station to which his ardent mind 

Sir George Rodney, shortly after this, returning from 
England with a reinforcement, resumed the command 
of the fleet, and having ineffectually endeavoured to 
cut off a convoy from Brest with stores for the 
Comte De Grasse's fleet, he returned to St. Lucia to 
refit, and remained in Gros Islet Bay, watching the 
motions of the French fleet in Port Royal harbour 
nearly within sight; the Champion was one of the 
chain of frigates stationed to observe the enemy's 
movements. In this important situation Captain 
Hood evinced great zeal and activity. By the atten- 
tion of the officers employed on this duty, earlv notice 
\vas given of the enemy's getting under weigh. The 
arduous contest of the 9th, and the glorious victory 
of the 12th of April, 1782, have been already fully 


detailed in our history, and in the memoir of Lord 

On the 18th of April, a division of the fleet was de- 
tached under the command of Sir Samuel Hood to 
pursue the flying enemy ; on the 19th he came up 
with a part of them, who were endeavouring to escape 
through the Mona passage, and captured the Cato and 
Jason, of sixty-four guns each, having a number of 
troops on board in addition to their complement, 
L'Aimable, of thirty-two guns, and retook the Ceres 
sloop, of eighteen guns ; the latter struck to the 
Champion. Captain Hood displayed a degree of zeal 
and exertion on this occasion, that did him infinite cre- 
dit, and gave promise of what might be expected when 
an opportunity offered of performingmore distinguished 

The Ceres was commanded by the Baron De Parry, 
a nephew to the Marquis De Vaudreuil, who then 
commanded the French fleet at Cape Francois. In. 
the general disposition of the prisoners, the baron had 
been embarked for Europe, and sailed with the con- 
voy ; but when Sir Samuel Hood received information 
that he was related to the commander of the enemy's 
squadron, with that generous attention to humanity 
which ever distinguishes the brave, he immediately 
dispatched a frigate in quest of the convoy, and re- 
stored the baron to his uncle, who gratefully acknow- 
ledged the obligation by the letter below.* 


On board the Triumphant, at Cape Fransoix, 
SIK, June 11, 1782. 

IT is not in my power to express to your Excellency the gratitude 
I feel to you for your great attention in sending a frigate to bring 
hack the Baron De Parry, after that lie had departed from Port 
Royal with the convoy for Europe, neither can I describe my joy 
at the return of a nephew so very dear to me. 

He speaks continually with the wannest affection of your rela- 
tion, Captain Hood, to whom he surrendered, and considers him- 
self under the greatest obligations to that gallant young o Hie or for 
tie affable and geuerous uiiumer in which he was treated by !uiu. 


Captain Hood, shortly after the arrival of the fleet 
at Port Royal, was appointed to command L'Aimable, 
of thirty-two guns, one of the ships captured in the 
Mona Passage ; in her he remained until the termina- 
tion of the war ; actively employed on various services, 
he acquired some prize-money, much credit, and the 
universal esteem of his brother officers, who looked 
on him as a young man of great promise. On the 
final ratification of peace he returned to Europe, and 
L'Aimable was paid off at Chatham on the 29th of 
July, J? 83. 

Shortly after this, at the invitations of the Vaudreuit 
family, who were highly desirous of testifying their 
gratitude for the generous treatment the Baron De 
Parry had received, Captain Hood went to France, 
and passed some time in the enjoyments of elegant 
hospitality \vith that noble family. After visiting va- 
rious parts of the country with observation and im- 
provement, he returned to England. On his return 
from the Continent, Captain Hood married Miss 
Periam, of Wootton, in Somersetshire, a lady of a 
very respectable family in that neighbourhood, and 
said to be possessed of great accomplishments. By 
the mildness of his manners, and the kindness of his 
disposition, Captain Hood was peculiarly adapted to 
the enjoyment of domestic society ; he remained seve- 
ral years in this scene of tranquil happiness, improving 
his mind by study, and sharing the esteem and respect 
of his neighbours and family. 

The appearance of his service being wanted, called 
him from this scene of calm delight, and in the year 
1790, when the disputes relative to territorial posses- 
Permit me now, Sir, in addition to those tributes of admiration 
Avh'rch have been so fully decreed to your Excellency by the world 
at large, to present you "with the assurances of the high sentiments 
I personally entertain of your \irtues and character, which can 
only be equalled by the high respect with which I have the honour 



sion on the coast of America, threatened a rupture 
with the Court of Spain, Captain Hood was appointed 
to the Hebe frigate. He continued to command this 
ship until she was paid off in March 1792. Captain 
Hood was again appointed to the Hebe in the year 
17^3, and in July 1794, he was promoted to the com- 
mand of a line of battle ship, the Audacious, and re- 
mained in her ahout a twelvemonth. Captain Hood's 
strength of body had never been equal to the energies 
of his mind ; and a constitution naturally weak, was 
so shook at this period, as to compel him reluctantly 
to quit the ship he commanded, that he might prolong 
a life destined to be devoted to the service of his 

His health being re-established, he again cheerfully 
came forward, and was appointed on the 7th of Ja- 
nuary, 1797, to command the Ville De Paris; in the 
month of February he was removed to the Mars, which 
ship then formed part of the Channel fleet. 

Hitherto Captain Hood had not been so fortunate 
as to distinguish himself by any action of eclat, al- 
though he stood high in the opinion of his brother 
officers, and possessed tiie skill, perseverance, and 
gallantry, that form the character which requires only 
a great occasion to develope itself, and shine with a 
splendour that shall command the applause and admi- 
ration of posterity. But on the 21st of April, a sail 
was discovered in shore, and the Mars made signal to 
chase. The extracts below from the London Gazette 
will give the best account of this action,* and the 
loss of Captain Hood : 

BllIUrultT, TO EVAN NEl-'EAN, li.SQ. 

SIR, Royal George ) at Sea, April 11. 

I have the satisfaction to acquaint you, for their lordships' infor- 
mation, that L'Hercule, of .seventy-four guns, was taken by his 
Majesty's ship Mars last ni^ht. 

The enclosed copy of a letter from Lieutenant Butterfield will 
best show to their Lordships "the spirit and judgment manifested on 
tiis occasion. No praise of mine can add one ray of brilliancy to 


Thus fell, at the age of forty, the gallant Captain 
Alexander Hood, a man universally esteemed and re- 
gretted by his brother officers ; his publie character 
will be upheld by his actions; in private life, his 
amiable and unassuming manners endeared him to 

the distinguished valour of Captain Alexander Hood, who carried 
his ship nobly into battle, and Mho died of the wounds he received 
in supporting the just cause of his country. It is impossible for 
me not to sincerely lament his loss, as he was an honour to the 
service, and universally beloved ; he has fallen gloriously, as well 
as all those who are so handsomely spoken of by Lieutenant Butter- 
field. I have appointed him to the command of L'Hcrculc, to carry 
her into port. 



I bee; leave to acquaint your lordship, that the ship chased by 
his Majesty's ship Mars yesterday, per signal, endeavoured to 
escape through the Passage du Haz, but the tide proving contrary, 
and the wind easterly, obliged her to anchor at the mouth of that 
passage, which alForded Captain Hood the opportunity of attack- 
ing her by laying her so close alongside as to unhinge some of the 
lower-deck ports, continuing a very bloody action for an hour and 
a half, when she surrendered. 

I lament being under the necessity of informing your lordship, 
that his Majesty has. on this occasion, lost that truly brave man (Jap- 
tain Hood, who was wounded in the thigh late in the conflict, and 
expired just as the enemy's ship had struck her colours. This ship 
proves to be L'Jiercule, of seventy-four guns, and seven hundred 
rnen, her first time at sea, from L'Orient, to join the Brest fleet. 

I cannot sufficiently commend the bravery and good conduct of 
the surviving officers and men, who merit my warmest thanks. I 
must particularly recommend to your lordship's notice Mr. Southey, 
the signal midshipman. 

Lieutenants Argles and Ford are the only officers wounded : Cap. 
tain Hood, and Captain "White, of the marines, are killed. Lieu- 
tenant Argles, though badly wounded, never quitted the deck. 

From a number of the people being with Lieutenant Dowker in 
charge of the prize, I cannot at present inform your lordship the 
exact number of killed and wounded ; but from the best information 
circumstances afford, I think thirty killed, and as many Mounded, 
ir.ost of them dangerously. I have the honour to be, 

My Lord, 

Your Lordship's most obedient humble ^ervnnt, 



every one that had the pleasure of his acquaint- 

The more we consider the particulars of this actfon, 
the greater subject we find for praise and admiration ; 
and even among the numerous instances of skill and 
gallantry, so frequently displayed by our naval heroes, 
none will be found more characteristic of the cool in- 
trepidity and persevering bravery that has ever distin- 
guished the British seamen, and to which England 
owes her boasted superiority. Had the enemy's ship 
been under weigh, superior seamanship would have 
aided the captain of the Mars ; but she was anchored, 
waiting for the attack with the advantage of being 
on her own coast, in a difficult and dangerous passage, 
a dark night, and adverse current. In this situation 
the British Captain did not hesitate an instant; when 
nautical skill could not avail him, he trusted to per- 
sonal bravery, laid his ship alongside the enemy ; the 
battle was fought hand to hand, and valour was to de- 
cide the contest. Palmam qui mcruit jentt, was 
truly the motto of the combatants, and a dread- 
ful conflict it was. Lieutenant Butterfield observes in 
his letter, that some of the lower-deck ports were car- 
ried away in laying the enemy on board ; the ships 
were so close to each other that the lower-deck o-uris 


were actually fired within board, there not being dis- 
tance enough between the Mars and L'Hercule to ad- 
mit of their being run out. In this situation the French 
maintained a most sanguinary conflict with obstinate 
bravery, for a length of time, that appears astonish- 
ing; they were at length, however, compelled to 
yield after losing nearly 300 men. It was said that 
the enemy hailed the Mars, saying they had struck. 
Captain Hood, anxious to prevent the further effusion 
of human blood, ordered the firing to cease. 

The enemy, perhaps by accident, renewed the fire : 
in this latter part of the conflict, Captain Hood fell, 
and was carried below; when he recovered his recollec- 

VOL. vrr. s 


tion, he expressed considerable regret at having been 
moved from his post. He died like an aneient Roman, 
or rather like a British seaman ; the duty he owed to 
his country was his last thought. 

Captain Hood left two children, a son and a daugh- 
ter; his widow, who resided at Wootton, in Somerset- 
shire, has erected a neat monument over his remains 
in the church-yard of that parish, and the following 
inscription is the effusion of conjugal affection : 

Sacred to the Memory of 

Captain in the Royal Navy ; 
Who sailed round the world with that justly celebrated 


In the year 1794. 

He devoted his life to the service of his country, which was 

engaged in a war with France since the year 1793 ; and, 

being appointed to the command of the Mars, a seventy. 

four gun ship, was killed on the 21st of April, 

1798. at the close of a successful action with 

the French ship L'Hercule, in the 40th 

year of his age ; leaving a widow 

and two children to deplorc- 

the loss of a most 

Husband and Parent. 




LORD SHULDHAM, whose title is now extinct. 
>vas the descendant of a German family of the name 
of Shuldham, or Shouldham, which had been some 
time settled in Ireland. His father, of whom he was 
the second son, was a clergyman, in the diocese of 


Ossory ; and his mother was a daughter of Daniel 
Molincux, Esq. of Ballymulvy, in the county of 

He entered the service at the very early age of ten 
years ; and, after passing the subordinate gradations 
of rank, he was, on the 12th of May, 1746, made 
post captain in the Sheerness, a frigate at that time 
employed in cruising off the coast of Scotland, where 
Commodore Smith then enjoyed the command. From 
this period, till 1754, he does not appear to have been 
employed on any particular service; but, at the latter 
end of that year, he was appointed to the Seaford, of 
twenty guns; from which lie was soon afterwards re- 
moved into the Warwick, of sixty guns, and ordered 
to the West-Indies, under Rear-admiral Frankland. 
Preparations for war were at this time making, by both 
Great Britain and France. 

On the llth of March, 175(5, upwards of two 
months before the actual declaration of war, Captain 
Shuldham, while on a cruise off Martinique, had the 
misfortune to fall in with a French squadron of three 
ships, one a seventy-four, under the command of 
M. D'Aubigny, who had sailed from Brest on the 30th 
of January preceding, and was captured. 

Captain Shuldham, it is said, mistook their ships 
for merchantmen ; and it was not till a broadside from 
one of the frigates had convinced him of his error, that 
he would open his lower ports. Conscious of the 
hopelessness of resistance, he then made all the sail 
lie could set, with a view of effecting his escape. His 
efforts, however, were unsuccessful; for, as the enemy's 
ships sailed and worked much better than the War- 
wick, the latter was soon surrounded. She defended 
herself as long as it was possible, but the vast supe- 
riority of the assailing force compelled her speedily to 
surrender. No blame whatever attached to Captain 
Shuldham on this occasion ; for, immediately after 
Jbis exchange, he was tried by a court martial, most 
honourably acquitted, and appointed to the Panther, 


a sixty-gun ship, then newly launched. In the 
month of November, 1758, Captain Shuldham sailed 
for the West-Indies, under the orders of Commodore 
Hughes, who was sent thither with a squadron, to 
join Commodore Moore, for the purpose of enabling 
him to make a successful attack upon the French 

Commodore Hughes's squadron joined the com- 
mander-in-chief, in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, on the 
3d of January, 1759; and, in the subsequent attack 
upon Basseterre, the capital of the island of Guada- 
loupe, which surrendered after a very spirited defence, 
Captain Shuldham particularly distinguished himself. 
There being no longer any occasion for so great a naval 
force in the West Indies, several of the large ships, 
amongst which was the Panther, were sent home with 
the convoy. 

On the 22cl of November, 1761, Rear-admiral 
Rodney arrived in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, with a 
strong reinforcement from England; on the 14th of 
December, he was joined by the Temeraire, of seventy- 
four guns, and the Action frigate, from Belleisle, with 
a body of troops on board, under the command of 
Bri<>;adier-2;eneral Rufan : on the 24th of the same 

o o * 

month, the rest of the army arrived from America, 
under Major-general Monckton ; and, consequently, 
at the close of the year, the entire force was assem- 
bled, and ready to proceed, on the intended expedi- 
tion against Martinique. Accordingly, on the 5th of 
January, 1762, Rear-admiral Rodney sailed from Bar- 
badoes, arrived off Martinique on the 7th, and an- 
chored in St. Anne's Bay on the 8th ; Sir James Doug- 
las having been previously sent forward to silence the 
forts on the coast. The Raisonable, Captain Shuld- 
ham, was one of the ships employed on this service; 
and, unfortunately, when standing in to attack a bat- 
tery, she ran upon a small reef of rocks, of which the 
pilot was ignorant, and was totally lost. Her crew, 
stores, and guns, however, were preserved. 


Immediately on the anchoring of the fleet in St. 
Anne's Bay, a large hody of troops was lauded, and 
batteries were erected ; but, as it was soon found, 
that the position which had been chosen was not 
favourable, the troops were re-embarked, and carried 
to Fort Iloya' Bay. On the subsequent landing of 
the army, which took place early on the morning of 
the 17th, without the loss of a man, Captain Shuld- 
ham commanded the right division of boats. The 


siege of Fort Royal, which was then immediately 
commenced, continued till the 4th of February, when 
the garrison surrendered ; and, on the 16th of the 
month, the whole island was in possession of the Bri- 
tish, whose entire loss had not exceeded five-hundred 
and six men. 

An attack upon the Havannah having been deter- 
mined on, Sir George Pocock left England for that 
purpose. lie arrived at Barbadoes on the 20th of 
April; joined Admiral Rodney, at Martinique, on the 
2 6th ; and, on the 6th of May, having completed 
the necessary arrangements, he sailed for the Havan- 
nah ; leaving a sufficient squadron under the command 
of Admiral Rodney, for the protection of the Lee- 
ward Islands. Captain Shuldham remained with this 
squadron, and served for some time as flag-captain in 
the Foudroyant. 

From this period, in consequence of the peace which 
ensued, in 1763, we find no mention of Captain Shuld- 
ham, till about the year 1768, when he was appointed 
to the Cornwall, of seventy-four guns, then lying at 
Plymouth. Early in the following year, he was re- 
moval to the Royal Oak, of the same force, one of 
the ships which were ordered to be equipped at Ports- 
mouth, in consequence of the apprehended rupture 
with Spain. 

In the year 1772, Captain Shuldham was appointed 
governor of Newfoundland; for which settlement he 
sailed, with a commodore's pendant, in the Panther, 
of sixty-guns, a ship which he had formerly com- 


mantled. On his return to England, at the close of 
the year, he fortunately picked up the crev/ of the Dis- 
patch sloop of war, which had foundered at sea. He 
also brought home with him an Esquimaux chief, who 
was presented to his Majesty. 

On the 31st of March, 1775, he was promoted to 
the rank of rear-admiral of the white squadron ; and, 
at the general election which took place in the ensuing 
autumn, he was returned member of Parliament for 
the borough of Fowey, in Cornwall. On the 3d of 
February, 1776, lie was farther promoted to be vice- 
admiral of the blue squadron ; a short time previously 
to which, he had been appointed to command on the 
American station, whither he proceeded, with his flag 
on board the Chatham, of fifty-guns, 

The first service which the vice-admiral had to per- 
form, on his arrival in America, was, to carry Gene- 
ral Sir William Howe and his army to Halifax ; that 
officer having found it expedient to evacuate Boston 
early in the year. An expedition against New York 
having been determined on, Admiral Shuldham and 
General Howe sailed from Halifax in June; and on 
the 3d of July, the fleet, which, in addition to the 
ships of war, consisted of an immense number of 
transports, victuallers, and store-ships, passed the 
bar at Sandy Hook, and anchored off Staten Island, 
which was taken possession of without opposition. 
Not the slightest loss, either by accident or capture., 
was sustained during the passage. Every preparation 
was now made, under Admiral Shuldham 's inspection, 
for the commencement of offensive operations, as soon 
as Lord Howe, and the reinforcements which were ex- 
pected from England, should arrive.- His lordship 
reached Halifax, on the 1st of July; and, finding 
that the fleet had sailed, he immediately proceeded to 
New York, where lie joined Admiral Shuldham on the 

On the 31st of July. 1776', Admiral Shuldham was 
raised to the dignity of a baron of the kingdom of Ire- 


land, by writ of privy seal, bearing date the 24-th of 
June preceding. 

During his stay in America, his lordship was not 
employed in any farther service of a distinct nature. 
He returned to England early in the year 1777; and, 
after the commencement of hostilities with France, in 
1778, lie was appointed to command the additional 
convoy, which was sent with the outward-bound West 
India and American fleets, as is sometimes necessary 
in time of war, to protect them to a safe latitude. 
On this occasion, Lord Shulclham hoisted his flag in 
the Foudroyant, of eighty guns (of which ship the 
present Earl St. Vincent was then captain,) and sailed 
from Spithead, with upwards of three hundred sail of 
merchantmen under his convoy, on the 25th of Decem- 

On the ]<)th of March, 1779, he was made vice- 
admiral of the white-squadron ; on the 26th of Sep- 
tember, 1780, vice of the red ; on the 24th of Sep- 
temper, 1787, admiral of the blue; and, on the 1st 
of February, 1793, admiral of the white. Lord Shulcl- 
ham died at Lisbon, at a very-advanced age, in the 
year 1798. 




THE subject of the present memoir was the fifth 
son of John, first Lord Viscount Barrington, of the 
kingdom of Ireland, and Anne his wife, daughter and 
coheiress of Sir William Daines. The family from 
which he was descended was of very remote anti- 
quity, of Norman extraction, arid its original name 
was Shute. Having settled in the county of Cam- 
bridge, the first person who rendered himself conspi- 
cuous among them, was Robert, son to Christopher 
.Shute, of Stockington, in that county. This Robert 


was a barrister, and was appointed a baron of the 
exchequer, from which court he removed into the 
King's Bench. John, the grandson to Robert, was 
made a commissioner of the customs in 1701, and 
became, in 1710, legatee to John Wild man, of Becker, 
in the county of Berks, Esq. who, though no relation, 
bequeathed to him a very noble landed property in 
that county, after having made a declaration in his 
will, most highly honourable to the object of his 
bounty. He expressed on that occasion, that his 
only reason for so doing was, because he considered 
Mr. Shute as the man of all others .most deserving of 
being adopted by him. 

Some years after this, a second very considerable 
estate was bequeathed to the same honourable person 
by Francis Barrington, of Tofts, in the county of 
Essex, Esq. who had married his aunt. In compli- 
ance with the deed of settlement by which the estate 
was conveyed, Mr. Shute then assumed the name of 
J3arrington ; and, on the first of July 1720, he was 
created an Irish peer, by the titles of Baron Barring- 
ton of Newcastle, and Viscount Barrington of Ard- 
'lass, in that kingdom. John, the first lord, died 
December the 14th, 1734, leaving several children. 

Samuel, the fifth son, being intended for the naval 
service, was entered in 1740, being then scarcely, 
eleven years old, on board the Lark, a fifth rate, of 
forty guns, commanded by the Right Honourable 
Lord George Graham. The first service in which 
that ship was engaged after Mr. Barrington's con- 
nexion with it, was as one of the convoy to the 
outward-bound Turkey fleet ; and, soon after his re- 
turn from that voyage, he removed into the Leopard, 
a fourth rate, of fifty guns, one of the fleet employed 
on the Mediterranean station. Mr. Barrington con- 
tinued tl ere and in the same ship till the year 174fi, 
and then returned to England, having been a short 
time before promoted by Admiral Rowley to the rank 
f lieutenant: but neither is the time known with 


precision when this advancement took place, nor the 
name of the ship to which he was appointed. 

At the latter end of the year 174-6', or the begin- 
nin- of the ensuino;, he was raised to the rank of 

O ~ 

commander, and appointed to the Weasel sloop, from 
which he experienced a still farther promotion on the 
29th of May, 1747, when he became a post-captain, 
and was commissioned to the Bellona, a fifth rate, of 
thirty-guns. This vessel had been a private ship of 
war, captured from the French a short time before, 
but, being; thought an excellent sailer, and well iitted 
for war, was received into the royal navy. As soon, 
as Captain Harrington had entered upon his com- 
mand, being then scarcely more than eighteen years 
old, he was ordered out on a cruise off Ushaut, anel 
distinguished himself exceedingly in a very smart 
action which took place on the 18th of August fol- 
lowing, between the Bellona and the Duke de Char- 
tres, a French East India ship of considerable force. 

Not long after the return of Captain Barringtoa 
into port with his prize, at least before the conclusion 
of the then current year, he removed into the Ilom- 
ney, a large fifth rate, mounting forty-four guns, in 
which ship he continued till the conclusion of the 
war; but, unfortunately without meeting with any 
second opportunity of distinguishing himself so con- 
spicuously as he had before done. Not long after the 
cessation of hostilities, he was appointed to the Sea- 
horse, of twenty guns, and ordered to the Mediter- 
ranean with the late Admiral Keppel, who was ap- 
pointed to command on that station, with the estab- 
lished rank of commodore. While, employed in that 
quarter, he was particularly occupied in the civil'ca- 
pacity of a negociator with the different piratical 
:states of the coast of Barbary, for the ransom of 
many British subjects who had been captured at dif- 
ferent times, and were then held in a state of slavery. 
Thb occupation, melancholy and disagreeable as it 
might on sonic accounts be considered, was on others 


far from unacceptable to a man of Mr. Barrington's 
benevolent turn of mind. After much difficulty, he 
succeeded in effecting his purpose. 

On his return from the station last mentioned, he 
was appointed to the Crown, a fifth rate, of forty- 
four guns, and ordered to the coast of Guinea; a 
quarter, more particularly in time of peace, where he 
could have no opportunity of being otherwise than 
very uninterestingly employed. He did not, how- 
ever, long remain on that station, and immediately 
on his return to England, was promoted to the Nor- 
wich, a fourth rate, of fifty guns, one of the ships or- 
dered to be put into commission and equipped for 
immediate service, in consequence of the various en- 
croachments made by the French on the British set- 
tlements in North America. 

Captain Harrington, after having remained for a 
short time, subsequent to his return to Europe, with- 
out holding any commission, was, in 1757, appointed 
to the Achilles, a new ship of sixty guns, one of the 
fleet destined for the home or Channel service. He 
continued occupied in the same line of active service 
till the year 1760, when he was ordered to Louis- 
bourg, which fortress had not long before been cap- 
tured from the enemy. Previously, however, to his 
quitting a station on which he had been so long em- 
ployed, he had the happiness, in the month of April 
1759, of falling in with a French ship of war called 
the St. Florentine, which was of equal force with the 
Achilles. After a short chase, he got close up with 
his antagonist, whom he brought to a very close ac- 
tion, which was closed after a continued contest of 
two hours, by the surrender of the enemy. 

The peculiar manner and address with which the 
Achilles was manoeuvred during the encounter, re- 
flected a brilliancy on the character of her com- 
mander, superior, if possible, to the lustre produced 
by the most splendid achievement Furious and un- 
interrupted as the action had raged for such a length 


pf time, two persons only were killed, and twenty- 
three wounded, among Mr. Barring-ton's crew; while 
on board the French, the carnage had exceeded five 
times that number; the ship itself being reduced at 
the same time almost completely to a wreck, not only 
by the loss of all her masts, but by the extreme in- 
jury she had received in her hull. Prudence and 
ability, connected with a proper portion of spirit, ren- 
der the character of a commander perfect ; and, in 
few instances have these united qualities appeared 
with greater advantage than they did in that of Cap- 
tain Barrington, in the different occasions which he 
met with of displaying them. 

Afcer the return of Captain Barrington from Louis- 
bo ug, at the close of the year 1760, the Achilles \vas 
taken into dock for repair; a necessary operation, in 
winch the greatest part of the winter was consumed : 
\vhen completed, he was ordered to put himself under 
tiie command of Commodore Keppel, with whom he 
accordingly proceeded on the expedition undertaken 
against Belleisle. Here he again signalized himself, 
particularly in the attack of one of the forts situated 
near the shore, which, had it not been previously 
silenced, would very materially have incommoded 
the troops during their debarkation. So much did 
he distinguish himself, that, as a mark of Mr. Keppel's 
esteem, he was chosen by that gentleman to be the 
bearer of his official despatches. 

In the early part of the year 1762, he served in the 
small armament to which the causes just mentioned 
had enabled Britain to reduce her naval force sta- 
tioned in the Channel. Before the actual cessation of 
hostilities took place, he was appointed to the Hero, 
of seventy-tour guns, one of the ships employed in 
the same line of service th:it the Achilles had been, 
and under the same flag-officer, the late Sir Charles 
J lardy. The Hero having been put out of commis- 
sion and dismantled, as soon as the definitive treaty 
of peace had taken place, Mr. Barrington did not take 


upon him any subsequent command till the year 176$, 
when he was appointed to the Venus frigate, of thirty- 
six guns, which was at that time considered as the 
finest ship of that class that had ever brlono-ed to the 
British navy. The cause of this appointment was, 
that Captain Harrington might act as naval instructor 
or -tutor to his Royal Highness the late duke of Cum- 
berland, \vho had then determined on entering into 
the naval service, and whom he afterwards attended 
to Lisbon. After his return to England, he conti- 
nued without holding any commission till the year 
1771, when, in consequence of an apprehended rup- 
ture with Spain relative to the Falkland Islands, he 
was appointed to the Albion, of seventy-four guns, 
one of the ships ordered to be equipped at Chatham 
-on that occasion, The dispute being accommodated, 
the ship just mentioned was ordered to be retained in 
commission as a guard-ship stationed at Plymouth, 
where Captain Barrington continued to command her 
during the three succeeding years. 


In 1777, he was commissioned to the Prince of 
Wales, a third rate, of seventy-four guns, one of the 
ships ordered to be fitted for immediate service. As 
soon as the ship was ready for sea, it was ordered out 
on a cruise in the Bay of Biscay, for the purpose of 
distressing the American commerce, and met with 
no inconsiderable share of success. Mr. Barrington, 
however, was on the point of engaging in a far more 
active scene, and one more agreeable to his active 
turn of mind. Being promoted on the 23d of Ja- 
nuary, 1778, to the rank of rear-admiral of the white, 
lie hoisted his flag on board the same ship, and was 
ordered to the West Indies, having been invested 
with the chief command of the naval forces employed 
in that quarter, as successor to Admiral Young. The 
rupture with France, the event which had been so 
long meditated by that country, and considered as 
inevitable by Britain, having commenced, in 1778, 
the force under the orders of the vice-admiral became 


totally inadequate to the protection of such valuable 
possessions as the West India Islands. Mr. Hotham 
was accordingly detached to reinforce him from North 
America, with two ships of sixty-four guns each, three 
of fifty, and a bomb-ketch. This squadron also served 
to convoy to the West Indies, which were then very 
ill garrisoned and provided with troops, a fleet con- 
sisting of fifty hired transports, having' on board a 
considerable land-force, intended not merely for the 
protection of the British possessions, but for the an- 
noyance and attack of any colonies, the property of 
the enemy, which should be considered as vulnerable. 
A junction having been happily formed with Mr. 
Barrington at Barbadoes, where he had collected the 
whole force under his command, which consisted of 
no more than two two-decked ships, the Prince of 
Wales, and Bovne, with six or seven small frigates and 

v O 

sloops of war, it was resolved to commence the ope- 
rations against the enemy, by an immediate and 
powerful attack on the French island of St. Lucia. 
Scarcely had the troops obtained a footing on the 
island, when the whole attention of the admiral was, 
through necessity, diverted to a sudden, though hardly 
unexpected, enemy, in the Count D'Estaing, who had 
arrived at Martinico a few days before ; but of this, 
and the other events of the American war, we have 
already given so full an account, as to render any 
additions here unnecessary. On the return of peace, 
Mr. Barrington struck his flag, and held no farther 
naval appointment till 1790, when, on the apprehen- 
sion of a rupture with Spain, he re-hoisted it on board 
the Royal George, on being appointed to the station 
of second in command in the main or channel rleer, 
then under the orders of Earl Howe. 

During the preceding interval of peace, he was, in 
1785, appointed one of the board of hnd and sea- 
olricers convened for the purpose of inquiring into a 
system of national defence, brought forward under 
the auspices of the master-general of the ordnance : 


and, on the 24th of September, 1787, he was ach 
vanced to the rank of admiral of the blue. 

Far, however, more important to the character of 
this good man, than any honours of this kind, well 
merited as they certainly were, was his attention to 
the interests and promotion of a society instituted for 
the relief of indigent naval officers, their widows, and 
their children. Unprotected by any public aid, the 
promoters, among the first and most active of whom 
was Mr. Barrington, had to contend with those diffi- 
culties which all societies, notwithstanding the bene- 
volence of their tendency, scarcely ever fail to meet 
with on their first introduction to the world. Ne- 
vertheless, such was the assiduity of this friend to 
distress, and of his no less amiable associates, that, in 
a short time, they had the satisfaction of beholding 
the philanthropic plant thriving under their hands, 
and diffusing its comforts, as far as its strength and 

J f <T* 

magnitude permitted, to all who sought its friendly 
shelter and support. 

The dispute with Spain having been amicably con- 
cluded,' without the necessity of even sending the 
armament to sea, Mr. Barrington struck his flag, and, 
owing to his infirm state of health, never took upon 
him any subsequent command. On the 22d of April 
1794, he was, in consequence of a promotion of flag- 
officers which then took place, raised to the rank of 
admiral of the white, and, at the time of his death, 
was senior in that class of officers, the admiral of the 
fleet being the only officer in the service who pre- 
ceded him. In the month of October 1770, he re- 
ceived the honourable appointment of colonel to the 
Chatham division of marines, a station in which he 
succeeded the late Earl Howe, who \\ r as then pro- 
moted to be rear-admiral of the blue, and, conse- 
quently, became incompetent to hold that station 
any longer. Mr. Barrhigton held that post till his 
own promotion to the rank of a flag-officer, in the 
mouth of January 177t>. In 1785, he succeeded Ad- 


miral Sir Thomas Pye, then deceased, as lieutenant- 
general of the same corps ; and, on the death of Earl 
Howe, on the 5th of August 1799, succeeded him in 
the generalship thereof. He died in September 1800. 



THIS gentleman obtained a lieutenant's commission 
on the 14th of June, 1745, and was made commander, 
in the Grampus sloop, on the 5th of April, 1757, 
which proved to be a very fortunate appointment; as, 
in the course of the year, after a very gallant action 
in the Bay, he took the Due d'Aumont, French pri- 
vateer, of sixteen guns and one hundred men ; for 
which, in March, 1758, he was promoted to post 
rank, in the Experiment frigate, of twenty guns. 

Captain Allen did not remain long in the Experi- 
ment ; but, early in the year 17^0, he sailed from 
England, in the Repulse frigate, which formed par** 
of a small squadron, sent under the command of the 
Hon. Captain (afterwards admiral) Byron, to demo- 
lish the fortifications at Louisbourg, Whilst em- 
ployed on this service, Captain Byron received intel- 
ligence that some French ships of war had put into the 
Bay of Chaleur, with several small ves-sels under their 
convoy, laden with ammunition, stores, c. for the 
French army in Canada. He accordingly proceeded 
thither, with his own ship, the Fame, of seventy- 
four guns, the Repulse, Captain Allen, and the ScaV- 
borough, of twenty guns, Captain Stott. On the 
24th of June, this little squadron entered the bay, 
and discovered three French ships at anchor. 

On Captain Byron's approach, the French retired 
higher up, landed their men, and began to erect bat- 
teries on the shon\ to obstruct his passage up the 


Channel, which was very narrow and shoaly. Oh the" 
8th of July, our ships were lightened, and with some 
difficulty warped up within shot of the enemy, who, 
for a time, sustained a brisk cannonade, which ulti- 
mately compelled them to set fire to their ships, aban- 
don them, and fly to the shore. The batteries were 
now speedily silenced; and a party of seamen and 
marines was landed, by which the fortifications of the 
place were destroyed, with twenty sail of sloops, 
schooners, and small privateers. 

On this service, which was of considerable impor- 
tance, Captain Allen distinguished himself in a very 
gallant manner, and returned to Louisbourg with 
Captain Byron. In the following year, he was de- 
tached by Lord Colville, w r ith some other ships, to 
convey troops to the West Indies, where he remained, 
in the Repulse, till the conclusion of the war. On 
the 4th of June, 1761, after he had joined Commo- 
clofc Sir James Douglas with the convoy, he pro- 
ceeded with that officer to the attack of the island of 
Dominica; which, after a short resistance, surrendered 
on the 8th of the month. In 1762, he was with Ad 
miral Rodney at the reduction of Martinique, and 
other French settlements. 

In 176*3, Captain Allen returned to England; the 
Repulse was dismantled, and laid up ; and, in con- 
sequence of the peace, her commander was not again 
employed, till the month of May, 1770. At that 
time, Captain Allen was appointed to the Ajax, of 
seventy-four guns, one of four ships, all of the same 
force, which were soon afterwards ordered to Ireland, 
and thence to Gibraltar; having taken on hoard a 
body of troops, at the former place, for the purpose 
of relieving such part of the garrison as had been 
quartered abroad, during the usually allotted period of 
service. This mode of conveying the soldiers was 
adopted from economical and prudential motives ; to 
save the expense of hiring transports, and to ensure 


their safe arrival at Gibraltar ; the dispute between 
Britain and Spain, respecting Falkland's Islands., be- 
ing then at its height. 

In 1771, the above-mentioned service having been 
executed, and the difference with Spain settled, the 
Ajax was put out of commission ; and Captain Allen 
is not known to have holden any farther command 
till the year 1777, when hq was appointed to the Al- 
bion, of seventy-four guns. Fiom that ship lie was 
removed, early in the ensuing year, into the Egmont, 
of the same force. In the latter he served tinder 
Admiral Keppel, on the home station ; and, in the 
memorable action with the French fleet, off Ushant, 
the skill and gallantry which he displayed did him 
great credit. On that occasion, the Egmont had 
twelve men killed, and nineteen wounded. 

In 1779, he served in the Channel fleet, under Sir 
Charles Hardy; and, in the month of August, in 
that year, when the combined force of* France and 
Spain appeared before Plymouth, he was in the rear 
division, with Admiral Digby. 

Towards the close of 1779, or early in 1780, Cap- 
tain Allen removed into the Gibraltar, of eighty 
guns; and, in the summer of the latter year he was 
employed in the Soundings, under the command of 
Sir Francis Geary. 

About the month of May, 1782, Captain Allen 
was appointed to the Royal William, of eighty-four 
guns, one of the ships which were at that time equip- 
ping for Channel service. In September following, 
lie proceeded in that ship to Gibraltar, under the or- 
ders of Admiral Lord Howe, for the relief of that 
fortress. In the partial action which ensued, with 
the combined fleets, off Cape Spartel, on the COth 
of October, he was stationed in the line, as one of the 
seconds to Vice-admiral Harrington; on which occa- 
sion, the Royal William had two men killed, and 
thirteen wounded ; amongst the latter of whom, were 
her second and third lieu tenants. 

VOL. vi i, T 


^ This appears to have been the last command which 
Captain Allen enjoyed. On the 24th of September, 
1787, he was promoted to the rank of rear-admiral of 
the white squadron ; but, in consequence of the o- e - 
neral tranquillity which then, and for some years af- 
terwards prevailed, he was never called upon to hoist 
his flag. On the 21st of September, 1790, he was 
made rear-admiral of the red squadron ; on the 1st of 
February, 1793, vice-admiral of the white; on the 
12th of April, 1794, vice-admiral of the red, on the 
first of June 1795, admiral of the blue, and on the 
14thofFeb. 1799, admiral of the white. He died in 



THIS gentleman was born in Scotland ; but, as his 
father shortly afterwards settled in Ireland, he was 
bred and educated in the latter country ; whence, at 
a suitable period, he passed over into England, with 
the view of entering into the naval service. 

With the early services of Mr. Mac bride, we arc 
very slightly acquainted ; but, in every situation, he 
is known to have evinced uncommon skill and bravery. 
lie was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on the 
27th of October, 1758 ; previously to which he is 
understood to have had some successful cruises, and 
also to have been captured by a French ship of war, 
which carried him into Brest, M-here he remained for 
some months on parole, till exchanged bv cartel. 

i ' o *- 

The first instance in which he particularly distin- 
guished himself was in the month of August, 176' I, 
whilst commanding the Grace armed cutter. Assisted 
bv the boats of the Maidstone frigate, he then cut a 
1-Vench privateer out of Dunkirk road ; the official 


account of which exploit is given in the following 
words : 

" Mr. Macbride being off Dunkirk, and observing 
a dogger privateer in the road, immediately left his 
station to join the Maidstone, and proposed cutting 
out the privateer that night, if Captain Diggcs would 
let him have four boats manned and armed, which he 
very readily complied with, knowing his abilities and 
resolution. The boats left the ships at ten o'clock at 
night, and when they came near the road, laid all 
their oars across, except t\vo in each boat, which 
they muffled with baize, to prevent their being heard 
at a distance. They rowed in that manner till they 
were within musket-shot of the privateer; when, be- 
ing hailed, they made no answer, but in a few minutes 
boarded on both sides, and took possession of the vessel 
without the loss of a man killed, two only being wound- 
ed. Mr. Macbride shot the lieutenant of the privateer 
through the head with'a musket, as he was pointing 
a gun into the boat : besides this person, one common 
man was killed, and five wounded belonging to the 


enemy. This was done within half a gun-shot of a 
fort on the east side of the harbour, but it did not 
fire at them ; and when the prisoners were secured, 
the captors cut the cables, and sailed out of the 

On the 7th of April, 17^-, Mr. Macbride was 
made commander, in the Grampus fire-ship, from 
which he was removed into the Cruiser sloop. On 
the COtli of June, 176\5, he obtained post rank in the 
Renown, a thirty-gun frigate; in l/6'o, he com- 
manded the Jason, of thirty-two guns, in which he 
was ordered to the Falkland Islands, or South-Sea ; 
.and, after his return from thence, in 17^8, lie \vas 
appointed to the Seaford, a twenty-gun ship s em- 
ployed as a cruiser on the home station. In this ship 
lie continued two years ; and, on quitting her, he 
took the command of the Southampton, of thirty-two 


In May, 1772, Captain Macbricle sailed for Elsi- 
neur, accompanied by the Seaford, Captain Davies, 
and the Cruiser sloop of war, Captain Cummings, for 
the purpose of conveying the Queen of Denmark from 
thence to Stade. 

Captain Macbride removed from the Southampton, 
either in 1773, or 1774- ; in 1775, he commanded 
the Orpheus, a frigate of the same force ; and, in 
1777, shortly after die commencement of the dispute 
\vith the North American colonies, he was appointed 
to the Bienfaisant, of sixty-four guns; in which he 
continued till the commencement of the year 1781, 
employed constantly either on the home station, or 
on services in which the main fleet, or detachments 
from it, were occasionally engaged. In July, 1778, 
he was with Admiral Keppel, in his encounter with 
D'Orvilliers, off Ushant. The Bienfaisant was sta- 
tioned in the centre division, but does not appear to 
have been materially concerned in the action. 

Towards the close of the year 1779, at which time 
the late Sir Thomas Louis was first lieutenant of the 
Bienfaisant, Captain Macbride was ordered to Gib- 
raltar, with Admiral Rodney, for the purpose of re- 
lieving that fortress. 

On the 16th of January, Admiral Rodney's squa- 
dron fell in with that of Don Juan de Langara ; and, 
in the engagement which ensued, it was the lot of 
Captain Macbride to be very particularly concerned, 
and was engaged with the Bienfaisant when she was 
blown up, by which every soul on board perished, 
and had the explosion been retarded only a few mo- 
ments, the Bienfaisant must inevitably have shared 
her fate. After this event, which occurred in the 
midst of a tremendous storm, the Bienfaisant com- 
pelled the Phoenix, of eighty guns, Langara's flag- 
ship, to surrender. Captain Macbride immediately 
took possession of his prize; but, as the small-pox 
\vas on board the Bienfaisant, he felt anxious to pre- 
vent the infection from being spread amongst the pri- 


soners. He therefore sent a proposal to the Spanish 
admiral, stipulating, that neither officers nor men 
should he removed from the Phoenix, provided Ad- 
miral Langara would he responsible for their conduct; 
that, in case they should fall in with any Spanish, or 
French ships of war, he would not suffer Lieutenant 
Louis, the prize-master of the Phoenix, to he inter- 
rupted in conducting and defending the ship to the 
last extremity, agrceahly to his orders; that if, meet- 
ing with superior force, the Phoenix should be re- 
taken, and the Bienfaisant fight her way clear, Don 
Langara, his officers and men, should hold themselves 
prisoners of war to Captain Macbride, on their parole 
of honour ; and that, should the Bienfaisant be re- 
taken, and the Phoenix escape the Spanish admiral, his 
officers, &c. should he freed immediately. Don Lan- 
gara readily assented to these conditions. 

Under the guidance of Lieutenant Louis, the 
Phoenix was carried safely into Gibraltar; and Cap- 
tain Macbride was sent home with Admiral Rodney's 
despatches relating to the engagement. In the month 
of March, 1780, on the return of the fleet to England, 
Captain Macbride again took th.? command of the 
Bienfaisant; and, after the lapse of a few weeks, was 
ordered into St. George's Channel, in quest of a large 
private French ship of war, which was known to have 
sailed from Brest, on a cruise in that quarter. Until 
the 1 3th of August, his look-out was ineffectual. On. 
the preceding day, he had sailed from Cork, with a 
squadron, and a large convoy. Having been lying- 
to for such of the convoy as were unable to ;et out 


on the 12th, Captain Macbride found himself, at day- 
light, on the morning of the 13th, as far down as the 
Old Head of Ivinsale. Perceiving a large ship in chase 
of some of the convoy, he immediately made sail after 
her; and at ? A.M. he got within pistol-shot of the 
chase, which had hoisted English colours. On being 
hailed by the Bicnfaisant, she hauled them down, and 
hoisted French, A smart action commenced on both 


sides with musketry, now took place ; and, at the 
expiration of an hour and ten minutes, the French 
ship struck, having had twenty-one men killed, arid 
thirty-five wounded, with her rigging and sails cut to 
pieces. The Bienfaisant had three men killed, and 
twenty wounded ; and the Charon, which came up 
at the close of the engagement, had one man wounded. 
The prize proved to he Le Comte d'Artois, a private 
ship of war, of sixty-four guns, and six hundred and 
forty-four men, commanded hy the Chevalier Clo- 
nard, who was slightly wounded. In the succeeding 
month, Captain Macbride captured another French 
privateer, La Comtesse d'Artois ; and, at the close of 
the year, he was removed into L'Artois frigate, which 
had been taken from the French a few months before, 
and was considered to be the finest vessel of her class 
in the world. 

During the year 17S1, Captain Macbride served in 
the North Seas, in the squadron which was employed 
there to watch the motions, and to oppose any at- 
tempt that might be made by the Dutch squadron, 
which was then ready for sea, in the Texel. He was, 
consequently, present, in the month of August, at 
the engagement off the Dogger Bank, between the 
late Sir Hyde Parker and Admiral Zoutman ; after 
the close of which, at the request of the commander 
in chief, he removed into the Princess Amelia, of 
eighty guns, as successor to Captain Macartney, who 
had fallen in the action. This removal was highly 
flattering to Captain Macbride, as it took place in 
consequence of Sir Hyde Parker's conceiving it pro- 
bable that the contest might be renewed ; in which 
case, at so critical a time, and in so excellent a ship, 
the services of this experienced officer would have 
been of the utmost importance. 

On the return of the squadron into port, Captain 
Macbride resumed the command of L'Artois; and, 
during the remainder of the year, he continued to be 
employed in cruising on the home station. On the 


3d of December, be fell in with, and captured, two 
very stout Dutch privateers, the Hercules and 

Early in 1782, Captain Macbride was ordered into 
the Channel ; and in the month of April, he attended 
the fleet which was ordered out, under Admiral Bar- 
rington, for the purpose of intercepting a small 
Trench squadron, tbat was then known to be ready 
to sail from Brest, for the East Indies. Being a-head 
of the fleet, Captain Macbride had the satisfaction of 
being the (irst who discovered the enemy on the 20th; 
And in the course of that and the following day, 
nearly half the vessels, both ships of war and trans- 
ports, of which the French armament was composed, 
fell into the possession of different ships of the British 

Captain Macbride, immediately on his return into 
port, was ordered on the Irish station ; and, in con- 
sequence of considerable influence which he enjoyed 
in that kingdom, he was appointed regulating officer 
onshore, to superintend the raising of a large body 
of men, which had been voted for the sea service, by 
the Irish parliament. He continued in this employ- 
ment nearly the whole remainder ol'the war; and by 
the exertions which he made, aided by the general 
esteem in which he was held, he greatly advanced 
the service. 

During the same period, L'Artois remained on the 
Irish station, under the temporary command of her 
first lieutenant. 

On the cessation of hostilities, Captain Macbride 
quitted this ship ; and, in the month of July, 1/83, 
he was appointed to the Druid frigate, of thirty-two 
guns, in which he was employed to cruise in the Ii isb 
Channel. lie retained this command until the latter 
end of 178-1, or the beginning of 1785 ; after which 
lie was for some time out of commission. 

In the last-mentioned year, he was returned to 
parliament, as a representative of the town of Ply- 


mouth. During' the time that he held his seat, which 
was till the year 1790, he distinguished himself by 
opposing an expensive plan, which was then in agi- 
tation, for fortifying the doek-yards ; not only as a 
member of parliament, but as a member of the board 
of officers, which was convened for the purpose of 
investigating the propriety of the measure. He also 
gave a firm support to every proposal which was cal- 
culated to advance the good of the service, or the 
welfare of his brother officers ; and steadily endea- 
voured to remedy such abuses as had crept into the 
civil departments of the navy. 

In 1788, Captain Macbride was appointed to the 
Cumberland, of seventy-four guns, a guard-ship, 
stationed at Plymouth ; in which he remained during 
the customary period of three years. In July, 17^0, 
he repaired to Torbay, with the Cumberland, as one 
of the fleet assembling there, under the orders of 
Lord Howe, in consequence of an apprehended rup- 
ture with Spain. 

On the 1st of February, 1793, at the commence- 
ment of the late war, he was promoted to the rank 
of rear-admiral of the blue squadron. His Hag was 
some time on board his old ship, the Cumberland, in 
the Channel fleet ; but he afterwards shifted it into 
the Quebec, of thirty-two guns, and took the chief 
command on the Downs station. In the spring of 
this year, he was engaged in taking possession of 
Ostend, on the retreat of the French ; and in check- 
ing their progress, in the month of October, after the 
failure of the attempt on Dunkirk, by convoying thi- 
ther a reinforcement of troops, under the command 
of General Sir Charles Grey. 

In 17^4, this officer was appointed to the com- 
mand of a small squadron, stationed to the westward ; 
but, though much occupied in cruising, he met with 
no opportunity of increasing the reputation which he 
had so long possessed. Unfortunately, too, he was 
for some time rendered incapable of taking an active 


part in his profession, from the accident of breaking 
his leg, whilst mounting his horse. On the llth of 
April, he was made rear-admiral of the red squadron ; 
and, on the 4th of July following, vice-admiral of 
the blue. In the course of this year, and the 
following, he had his flag on board several ships ; 
amongst which were, the Echo sloop, the Mino- 
taur, of seventy -four guns, and the Sceptre, of sixty- 

On the 1st of June, 179 -'5, lie was promoted to the 
rank of vice-admiral of the white squadron; and, 
early in 1796, he hoisted his flag in the Russell, of 
seventy-four guns, and was employed in the North 
Seas, to watch the motions of the Dutch fleet, then 
lying in the Texel. He quitted this command before 
the close of the year, and never afterwards held any 
other. On the 14th of February, 1799, he was 
made admiral of the blue squadron; an honour which 
lie enjoyed but a short time, as he died, much ic- 
gretted, in the course of the year 1800. 


THIS gentleman having passed through the sub- 
ordinate stations of a naval officer, was promoted to 
the rank of lieutenant on the 128th of October, 1780. 
Little is known of him (luring the earlv part of his 
service, and most probably a much longer part of it 
would have been devoted tt> oblivion, had not one of 
the most melancholy disasters, surmounted bv the 
most intrepid conduct, and concluded by the most 
miraculous preservation, raised him in an instant 
from obscurity. Having been, in 1789, appointed 
to the (iuardian, pierced for forty-four guns, but 
then armed enjltiie, and laden with stores destined 
for the British settlement made at Botany Bay ; no 
sinister accident took place on their passage to the 

i i O 


Cape; but in the course of the voyage from thence 
to the place of their destination, one of the most 
dreadful misfortunes, short of shipwieck, overtook 
this ill-fated ship, for such she in the end proved, as 
will be seen in the note,* in which is given extracts 
from an interesting- narrative written by an ofiicer 

* December 24, 17S.Q. At five saw an island of ice about three 
miles to the southward and westward of us; bore down, and 
brought to about a quarter of a mile to windward of it: at half 
past five hoisted out the cutter and jolly-boat, and sent them to 
j;ick up the broken pieces that were floating off at a distance from 
the main body, with orders not to approach near it, as it seemed 
dangerous on account of the force of the sea which beat against 
it, and the large pieces of ice which were seen to fall froii the top 
of it. It was necessary to get this ice for water on account of the 
cattle, fowls, Sec. which were received on board at the Cape of 
Good Hope, and were carrying to Port Jackson. This mountain 
appeared half as high again as the head to 
windward ; it formed a kind of bav, having another large piece 
nearly as high as the main. mast head, which was hung to the for. 
mcr by some low ice. which the sea beat over every now and then : 
during the time the boats were absent, the ship made short tacks, 
and laid to occasionally to windward of the ice. At six P. M. the 
boats returning loaded, the men employed in clearing them, and 
putting the ice into different casks to dissolve. At half past eight 
P.M. (it being very thick and fogiiy weather), the horizon a-head 
appeared light just as if it were clearing up ; in about one minute 
afterwards the people on the forecastle called out, put the helm 
np, that the ice was right a-head; the helm was accordingly put 
up, a mountain of ice now hung over our mast-heads, and the 
fore part of the ship seemed already under it. Mr. Riou having 
heard the noise that prevailed on deck (he being below drinking 
some tea), immediately came up, and seeing the situation of the 
ship, with great presence of mind ordered the helm to be put down, 
as it was certain if it remained up, the ship must run upon the ice, 
which projected out to leeward, and which was not at first seen. 
The ship was going seven miles an hour stem on towards the ice 
when the helm was put down ; the ship answered her helm, and 
coming up to the wind, struck forward upon a part of the ice 
which projected out under water, forging headway upon it (being 
at the distance of about six feet from the mountain above water). 
At three quarters past eight P. M. the carpenter, who had been 
sounding (he well, reported that there were two fret water in the 
hold, and that it was incn.'a>ing very fast; the pumps were imme- 
diately set to work, and the officers and men joined with a spirited 


In the midst ot these surrounding horrors, \\hich, 
though affectingly, are but imperfectly related. 

complianre thereto. The chain-pumps were frequently out of 
order, and the (Jole's pumps were also choaked at times ; when 
out of condition, people v, e;e stationed in the well to repair them. 
Some hands were employed in cleiring the decks of the cattle, 
&c. and guns, the booms of ihe hay, and gun-carriages. We cut 
away the spare anchors from the bows, and threw overboard from 
between the decks what could be come at. At a quarter past 
nine P. M. the pumps were all going, and the men in very good 
spirits ; two or three men were left down between decks to heave 
overboard \\hat they could. The water had now increased to 
three feet and a half. Tin; men that were left between decks got 
up and threw overboard more than could be expected. The chains 
of the pumps were continually breaking, and while they were re- 
pairing, th; 1 people were employed in hoisting up and heaving over- 
board what they could from between decks. 

December C 25th. Supposed latitude, -J4 deg. 10 min. south, 
longitude, 44 deg. 25 min. east. Hard gales and cloudr, with 
rain and hail at times, and a very heavy sea. About tour P. M. 
the crew became very much benumbed and stiff, so that they were 
hardly able to perform any work, the weather being so very cold. 
The water now again gained upon us: Mr. Clements went down 
into the bread-room by the way of the rudder, to try if he could 
perceive any thing of the leak in that part, but found none. The 
deck close aft was scuttled, it being out of the roll of the water, 
and we might thereby be enabled to heave over-board out of (he 
gun-room. The captain, chaplain, and purser, and two men (not 
being abie to spare any move men from the pumps), went accord- 
ingly to this work, but it was shortly after given up, owing to a 
cask which fell back and bruised our commander's hand so that 
he was not able to give any further assistance; all hands were 
accordingly once more at the pumps. 

December '2(ith. The people used their utmost endeavours at 
the pumps, and -paid due respect to tlu'ir oiliccrs, who attended 
to give them every assistance and enconrageim nf. l;ut all was in 
vain, for from flu- time that the \unch broke, the le.ik continu- 
ally gained upon us. At four A. M. the water was reported to 
have increased to six feet. The people now began <x> secrete 
themselves in their hammocks and other places, lo get clear of the 
pumps, or any other v, ork which might be going on, and only 
by threatening and persuasion could they be prevailed upon to go 
to their work. At six o'clock the water had increased to seven 
feet in the hold. The people till now had been unacquainted 
with the true state of the ship, as the report had always been on 
the favourable side, but it was now discovered by one of the car- 


Mr. Rion, with a serenity of mind never exceeded by 
the greatest stoic of antiquity, considering a very 

pcnters, who was down sounding the well, coming up, and report- 
ing that the water was within one foot of the orlop-deck beams, 
and increasing very fast upon us. This morning exhibited a scene 
of horror and confusion, for the top-sails were all shivered to 
pieces by the v\ii;d. the shi;> roiling so very heavy, that the water 
came in on each side through the upper deck ports, the wea- 
ther was dark, black, and cloud)' ; many of the people, fa- 
tigued with watching and labour, gave themselves up to perish ; 
others got drunk to make themselves insensible of their danger. 
A part of tiie people now seeing their eiibrts to save the ship in 
vain, went aft and applied for the boats ; they were promised 
they should have them, but were persuaded to go down to the 
pumps again, and exert themselves while the boats were getting 
ready. The boatswain was ordered to get the masts, sails, &c. 
into the boats; the cooper was also set to work to lill some water- 
casks out of the butts on deck ; provisions also, and other ne- 
cessaries, TV ere got up on the quarter-deck. Jt being now eight 
o'clock, and the people having stood about an hour at the pumps, 
they came aft again, and applied for the boats to be hoisted out, 
saving, " that they should be worked till they were not able to 
take any means for their safety in the boats." At half past eight 
the boats were hoisted out, our commander and other officers 
seeing the supposed inevitable loss of the ship ; our jolly-boat, 
which hung across the stern, in lowering down was unluckily 
swamped, and the surgeon with two seamen were drowned a-steru 
of the ship. The ship was now apparently in a sinking state, as 
the water increased in the hold, and was coming up through the 
rudder case in great quantities, so that the ship settled down abaft ; 
in this situation .Mr. ivioii wrote a letter to the Admiralty, which 
he gave to Mr. Clements, our master. The launch being hoisted 
out first, she was forced to be dropped a-stcrn to make room for 
the otiier boats, and in dropping she had nearly been drawn under 
the ship's counter. All the bjats were fortunately got into the 
water ; thbsc were the launch, two cutters, and a jolly-boat, -which 
we were carrying out for the Sinus at Fort Jackson, though in 
gre;it danger of being stove by the, heavy sea that was running. 
Our commander, before the boats left us, was asked, and pressed 
to go with them, but all would not do; he said, if all the people 
could get out of the ship lie had no objection, but as that was 
impossible (for the boats could not take them all), he was there- 
fore determined not to leave her, but to perish with the major 
part. The water was now about two feet above the orlop-deck 
beams in the hold. It was about (en o'clock, the boats Ivid 
all left us ; and we had no prospect of safety but by keeping the 


lew hours only, perhaps moments, between eternity 
and himself, together with the rest of his wretched 
but brave companions, who faced death with all its 
terrors rather than abandon him, retired to his cabin 

ship afloat, if possible, till we could get her to some port, every 
person therefore resolved to do their utmost towards it, but even 
now two or three people were lying down drunk below. Some 
people were therefore employed at the pumps, and preparing a 
fore-sail to get under the bottom, and others employed in heav- 
ing articles overboard out of the gun-room. The boats were now 
quite out of sight, arid nothing remained but to preserve our- 
selves and ship. We found the spirit-room open, which was im- 
mediately locked, and liquor, &c. given out to the people from 
the cabin. Got the fore-sail over the bows and under the bottom 
with great difficulty, there being a great sea on, and the ship 
pitching heavy, secured the sail, and frapped it as well as circum- 
stances would admit. During the time the foresail was fixing, the 
pumps were obliged to stand still, not having men enough to do 
both together; but as soon as it was done the men returned to 
one chain-pump, and to heaving overboard through the hole 
which was cut in the cabin-deck out of the gun-room. Found 
the water not to gain so fast upon ns, cleared the decks of all 
lumber, &c. except two horses, which were by chance not hove 
overboard the night that we struck. 

December 27th. The pumps continually going. Having now 
got to rights, found our company as follow : 

Edward Riou, lieutenant and Thomas Anderson 

commander John Cock 

John Williams, boatswain John Davenport 

Murray Sampson, carpenter John Reeves 

David Gilmore, midshipman John Broad 

Thomas Pitt, midshipman William Swan 

John Gore, midshipman Edward Duger 

John Quintus Thomas Humphries 

James Koss Andrew Anderson, cook 

Edward Conolly, John Fairclough, surgeon's mate 

Richard James John Hobbs 

John Burke John Turner 

James Brown (1) Richard Chambers 
James Brown (j) 

At eight saw an island of ice right a-hcad, hauled up the foresail 
and down jib, as there was a hrec/.o, and the ship going a-heud to 
avoid it in the night. A. M. S3\v the island of ice to windward : 
it ciyht the puuips all sioppul. 


and wrote a very concise but most affecting recom- 
mendation of his female relatives to the compassion 
and regard of the Admiralty. 

This singular preservation was owing, under Pro- 
vidence, to the peculiar nature of the cargo shipped 
on board the vessel; and since it lias been by no 
means an uncommon ciicumstance for ships to have 
been seen floating about at random, it may be fairly 
concluded that vessels are more frequently aban- 
doned, or at least in a much more early stage of dis- 
tress, than necessity requires. It would contribute 
extremely to the advantage of commerce if more 
serious attention was paid to the quality of the goods, 
and the relative proportions of them shipped on 
board all vessels, since it appears from the singular 
occurrence of the Guardian's preservation, that it is 
very possible to load a vessel completely, and far 
from lightly, with respect to its specific gravity, 
^without endangering the absolute loss of the vessel, 
under any circumstances whatever, so long as she 
continues to hold together. 

But to return to the Guardian. After having 
been abandoned by a considerable part of the crew, 
the commander, with those intrepid spirits who still 
resolutely adhered to his cause, continued to use every 
means their limited powers afforded them, for the 
preservation of the vessel and their own lives : they 
had very soon the satisfaction of finding that leaky 
and disabled as it was, it did not sink lower in the 
water than one certain point, which accidental ex- 
perience taught them ; deriving new hopes from this 
totally unexpected relief, they immediately applied 
their redoubled efforts to navigate her back to the 
Cape of Good Hope, from whence they had departed. 
In this they were fortunately successful ; for the ship, 
after having been three weeks the sport of the winds 
and waxes, accidentally falling in with a Dutch 
packet, was conducted to her hoped-for port in safety, 
aficr live weeks had elapsed from the time the misfor- 


tune first befcl her. Arrived safe in harbour, it might 
naturally have been expected that the vessel which had 
fortunately survived so melancholy a disaster, might 
have been considered perfectly secure from all farther 
injury, but this proved to be by no means the case : 
the Guardian was immediately removed into False 
Bay lor the purpose of receiving such repairs as cir- 
cumstances would allow, in order to render her pas- 
sage to Europe as little dangerous to the navigators 
as possible ; but these were not entered upon when 
one of those furious hurricanes, which are by no 
means uncommon in that quarter, drove her on shore, 
and finally completed that destruction which the vio- 
lence of the elements, and the misfortune which had 
befallen her, had, till the latter accident took place, 
been only able to effect imperfectly. 

Mr. Riou having returned to England soon after 
the total loss of his ill-fated vessel, was promoted to 
the rank of commander, but at what particular time 
does not distinctly appear. He is not known to have 
held any commission except that pro forma, which 
constituted his rank, so that he continued it but a 
very short time, and was advanced to the station of 
post captain on the 4th day of June, 1794. His ap- 
pointment on this occasion was like that last- 
mentioned, a mere matter of form, for the first really 
eilicient command in which he appears to have been, 
engaged, was that of the Beaulieu, of forty guns, 
in which ship he was ordered to the West Indies in 
the year 1 794. 

While on that station he very particularly distin- 
guished himself in a variety of services, such as the 
force of the vessel which he commanded permitted 
the performance of. His continuance on that quar- 
ter was, however, abridged in consequence of his 
very ill state of health, which compelled his speedy 
return to Europe, in the month of August \7i)5. As 
an honourable testimony of the high opinion which 
xru* entertained of his conduct, he was immediately on 


his arrival appointed to the Princess Augusta Yacht, 
a species of command very rarely conferred on any 
but the oldest officers, and intended principally for 
the purpose of conferring on them an honourable and 
easy income without subjecting them to the fatigues 
and dangers naturally incident to active service : and 
as a supposed reward for those who had spent the 
best years of their life in it, or who have become debi- 
litated in constitution through the hardships they 
have experienced, or the unwholesomeness of the cli- 
mate in which the necessities of their country have 
rendered it necessary they should serve. 

Captain Riou's health having, however, contrary to 
human expectation, very materially improved, he 
quitted so passive a command, as ill suited to his 
own active turn of mind, and was appointed to the 
Amazon, a new frigate, of thirty-eight guns, in the 
month of July, 175)9. In this vessel fortune afforded 
him no particular opportunity of adding to that ce- 
lebiity which his misfortunes and his conduct had 
procured, till the attack on the city of Copenhagen, 
during which, to use the emphatic words of Lord 
Nelson, " The gallant and good Captain Riou" having 
by the unfortunate, but unavoidable accident, which 
prevented the Agamemnon, lleliona, and Russel, from 
taking up the stations regularly assigned them in the 
line of battle, been exposed to a very heavy iire, he 
himself, together with many of his brave officers and 
men, unhappily lost their lives. He was killed the 
2d of April, 1801. See The Memoirs of Lord NEL- 
SON, Vol. VIII. 



THE family of Seymour appeared in the navy so 
early as the reign of Edward the VI. When Edward 
Seymour, earl of Hertford, uncle to the young king, 
was declared protector, and created duke of Somerset, 
his brother, Sir Thomas Seymour, was made baron of 
Sudley, and raised to the station of lord high admiral, 
on the resignation of Viscount Lisle, earl of Warwick. 
Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset, was descended 
from the St. Maurs, who came to England with William 
the Conqueror ; by corruption of speech, they were first 
called Seymour about the time of Edward the Third. 
Both the protector, and his brother fell, owing to 
the envy and machinations of the earl of Warwick. 
The ducal dignity was restored to the family by Charles 
the Second, in the person of the marquis of Hertford, 
great grandson to his predecessor, for eminent services, 
to that prince during exile. 

The Honourable Mr. (afterwards Lord) Hugh Sey- 
mour Conway, son to the late marquis of Hertford, 
and nephew to the late Right Honourable General 
Conway, was born in the year 17o9; and entered 
into the navy, from his own choice, when only eleven, 
years of age. He received his education at Green- 
wich School, under the learned Dr. Brackyn, when 
that seminary was in great repute. 

Lord Hugh went first to sea under the Honourable 
Levison Gower, in the Pallas, then destined for the 
Newfoundland station. He afterwards went out to 
the West Indies, in the ship that was sent to relieve 
the Princess Amelia, Sir George Rodney, at Jamaica, 
Mild returned with the latter to England. His lord- 
ship, we believe, next served, as lieutenant, on the 
Mediterranean station, before the American war, in 
the Alarm frigate, Captain Stott. In the year 1/79, 
Lord Hugh was advanced to the rank of post, cap- 
VOL. vii. v. 


tain ; and, during the American war, highly estab- 
lished his character, as a brave and good seaman, in 
the command of his Majesty's ship Latona, of thirty- 
six guns. This frigate was mostly attached to the 
grand fleet : when Lord Howe sailed for the re- 
lief of Gibraltar, 17<S2, the Latona was the first 
that entered Rosia Bay, and gave intelligence of 
the arrival of succours to the brave defender of that 

At the close of the American war, Captain Lord H. 
Con way, with his brother, Lord George, and Cap- 
tain John Willett Payne, who, during the war, had 
particularly distinguished himself, by a most despe- 
rate action in the Leander, enjoyed the leisure which 
a peace afforded them, in the domestic arrangements 
of a house they had conjointly taken in Conduit-street. 
It was amid the convivial elegance and hospitality 
which these young officers displayed, that an inti- 
macy first commenced between Captain Lord Hugh 
Conway, and his Royal Highness the Prince of 
Wales. On the appearance of hostilities with Spain in 
1790, Captain Con way was appointed to the Canada, 
of seventy-four guns, in the fleet under the command 
of Lord Howe. Whilst the ship was lying at Spithead 
reedy for sea, orders came down to convtoy the trade 
into the Downs ; these orders being shortly afterwards 
countermanded, Captain Con way solicited, and obtain- 
ed permission, to try his ship's sailing, by working- 
down to Cowes. From the shallowness of the water 
in the passage, it became necessary to sound the 
depth without intermission ; the person who is thus 
employed in the main chains, or outside of the ship's 
gangway to windward, having the line all ready to 
run out, at an extend from Ins hand nearly equal to 
his height from the water; after swinging it back- 
wards and forwards repeatedly, to acquire the greater 
velocity, is obliged to heave it with considerable force 
two or three times over his head before he casts it for- 
wards ; so that by the lead's sinking, while Uie ship 


advances, the line may be almost perpendicular when 
it reaches the bottom. Unfortunately, whilst a man 
was thus sounding on board Captain Conwdy's ship, 
a small rope hanging from the main yard, caught the 
sounding line, and gave the lead so different a direc- 
tion, that it came on board, and struck Captain Con- 
way, then walking on the quarter-deck, a most vio- 
lent blow on the head, above the temple. The shock 
made him stagger, but he was still able to walk to 
his cabin ; and sufficiently collected to desire the dis- 
tressed sailor, who had been the cause of it, would 
not be uneasy, as he was convinced it was a mere ac- 
cident : adding, " I sincerely forgive him." The 
surgeon recommended, that some blood should be 
taken, which was immediately done; and as no alarm- 
ing consequence appeared after several days, a perfect 
recovery was thought to have ensued. It was about 
this time that Lord Howe hoisted his flag; when 
Captain Con way being on board the Canada, during 
the general salute, was so alarmingly affected with 
the report of the guns, as to be obliged to leave the 
ship without delay ; he found himself grow much 
worse on being landed, and was compelled to retire 
to his farm at Hambleton, about twelve miles from 
Portsmouth. During this retreat, he continued in 
a very precarious state, unable to bear the least noise 
or light, until the month of July, 1791, when his 
complaint gradually yielded to medical skill ; and in 
the month of February, 1793, he was so far recovered 
as to take the command of the Leviathan, seventy- 
four guns, built in 1790 at Chatham, and, as was re- 
ported, on a plan of Lord Mulgrave's. Captain Con- 
way, in this ship, was attached to Lord Hood's fleet, 
then on the eve of sailing for the Mediterranean. 
On the surrender of Toulon to Lord Hood, Captain 
Conway was sent to England with the intelligence of 
this important event; he returned, and joined his 
ship before the evacuation took place. 

During the ever-memorable actions of the 29th of 

v 2 


May, and 1st of June, 1794, this officer bore a distin- 
guished part. 

On the 1st of June, 1795, Lord Hugh was advanc- 
ed rear-admiral of the blue. On Monday, the 8th of 
the same month, his lordship, accompanied by Cap- 
tain Browell, went on board the Sans Pareil at Spit- 
head ; and the next morning, at eight o'clock, his 
flag, blue at themizen, was hoisted under a salute, re- 
turned by Admiral Lord Bridport, in the Royal 
George, who commanded at that time in the absence 
of Lord Howe. The Sans Pareil being ready for sea, 
sailed soon afterwards with the Channel fleet; and in 
a few days falling in with Sir J. B. Warren, received 
intelligence from him, that the French fleet were at 
sea, and in great force : not a moment was lost, and 
the second day brought them in sight of each other. 
So little confidence had the enemy in risking an action 
that they made every possible effort to regain L'Orient. 
Lord Bridport's ardour was not to be restrained by the 
proximity of an hostile, and most perilous shore, or 
the consequent annoyance of its well-directed and 
numerous batteries ; he pursued with undaunted firm- 
ness. The rear of the French fleet was, in conse- 
quence of such firmness, brought to action, June 23, 
in which the Sans Pareil, though at that time a dull 
sailer, owing to a fortunate shift of wind, bore a con- 
spicuous part ; as the list of killed and wounded on 
that memorable day sufficiently proves. 

In the month of December, 1796, Lord Hugh 
Seymour had his flag in the fleer, which, under Lord 
Bridport, sailed in pursuit of the enemy, who at- 
tempted the invasion of Ireland, by landing in Ban try 
Bay. On Christmas day, the British fleet weighed 
anchor with a fresh easterly wind ; but from the too 
great zeal of several of the captains, a great part of 
the fleet weighed at the same instant; and not having 
sufficient space to work, so many ships became dis- 
abled, by running on board each other, and getting 
'onshore, as obliged Lord Bridport to come to an- 


chor at St. Helen's. The Sans Pareil was so much 
pressed by another ship's keeping on her weather quar- 
ter, that it became indispensable, from the proximity 
of the shoals, for the former to tack under the lee of 
the Prince, at the same time also in stays ; unfortu- 
nately the Prince failed in her attempt, and paying 
round off, came on board the Sans Pareil abreast of 
the starboard gangway ; by which accident the Prince 
received so much injury, as to be obliged to return, 
and go into dock. 

Lord Hugh Seymour, in the month of April, 1797, 
commanded a small squadron of four sail of the line, 
and two frigates ; whose object was, to intercept some 
Spanish ships of war then expected from the Ha- 
vannah, with the late Governor Brancioforte, of Mex- 
ico, and treasure to the amount of five millions of 
dollars. It appears from subsequent accounts, that 
the ship on board of which the governor intended to 
take his passage, was detained that year at the Havan- 
nah ; and only two frigates, freighted with a very con- 
siderable sum, hazarded the voyage. 

Towards the end of the year 1798, his lordship 
resigned his seat at the Admiralty board, which he 
had held since the 4th of March, 1795, and resumed 
his situation as a junior admiral in the western squad- 
ron. In the month of July, 1799, the Sans Pareil 
formed one of the detachment commanded by Rear- 
admiral Pole, who made a spirited attack on the 
Spanish ships in Basque Roads, under the protection 
of the Isle of Aix. In the autumn of this year, he 
went, to the West Indies, and was commander-in- 
chief on the Jamaica station, where he died on the 1 1 th 
of September 1801, in the forty-sixth year of his age. 
His lordship was attacked by the fatal fever of that 
clime, about the middle of summer, from which he had 
but a temporary respite, as it returned with increased 
violence, and finally put an end to his existence. He 
had on the 10th, sailed on a cruise for the sake of change 
of air, from which he had before received much benefit : 


the vessel, the Tisiphone, immediately stood overto the 
Spanish main, in order to try the effects of a rapid 
change of climate. In the course of the clay, he 
found, as he and his friends thought, wonderful be- 
nefit, and was believed, even by the medical attend-' 
ant, to be in a state of convalescence ; but at night 
he became restless ; in a few hours extremely delir- 
ious, and at six o'clock in the morning he terminated 
his earthly career. In the evening of the 12th, theTi-. 
siphone arrived in Port Royal, with her colours low- 
ered half mast, and firing minute guns, while she en- 
tered the harbour, and his lordship's body was remov- 
ed to the Sans Pareil, and from thence to his Ma- 
jesty's schooner, to be conveyed to England. 



"Naval History, from the Commencement of the second French 
Revolutionary liar, to lite Death of .Lord jSelson. 

VV E have already remarked, that some of the arti- 
cles of the peace of Amiens \vere strongly and pretty 
generally objected to, even by those who were advo- 
cates for a. termination of the w;ir between Great Bri- 
tain and France ; but a very powerful parry in the 
nation were decidedly against the peace itself: they 
contended that it could not be lasting; that we should 
be soon compelled, by the unjust and restless ambi- 
tion of Buonaparte, to renew t lie war; and that the 
treaty of Amiens was only calculated to throw Great 
Britain olf her guard, and to lull her into an insecure 
and dangerous repose. Circumstances soon occurred, 
which seemed to justify these suspicions and antici- 
pations. Before the definitive treaty was actually 
signed, Buonaparte despatched an immense armament 
to the West Indies; annexed to Fiance the govern- 
ment of the Italian republic and of Parma; entered 
into a treaty with Spain, by which Louisiana was given, 
up to France; and obtained from the king of Etruria 
the island of Elba, in the Mediterranean. His grand 
object evidently was, to make use of the peace, while 
it lasted, to form and establish a maritime power; 
towards this object, the acquisition of Elba, lie 
trust; (1, would conduce in no slight degree, since 
lie had agreed, by the treaty of Amiens, to give up 
Malta. While Elba was in possession of Tuscany, 
it was not deemed a place of much consequence ; but 
as soon as the French republic became formidable in 
I till v, its value and importance were discovered, and 


duly appreciated. Py the peace of Amiens, it was 
agreed that the British, who had garrisoned it, in or- 
der to assist the nation in its defence against the 
French, should evacuate it, and that it should be 
o-ivcn to the kin^r of Etruria. It was accordingly 

O o i 

evacuated ; hut, in a very few days, it was occupied 
by the French, Buonaparte having obtained it in ex- 
change for some trifling territory on the continent of 

That the object of Buonaparte, in procuring posses- 
sion of this island was, to indemnify himself for the 
loss of Malta, there can be no doubt ; and that his 
ultimate view was, the establishment of a naval force 
in the Mediterranean, is equally certain. By the 
peace of Arniens, it was agreed that a grand master 
was to be elected in full chapter, by the knights of 
St. John of Jerusalem ; that a Maltese laiigue should 
be established, in the room of the French and the 
English, which were for ever abolished ; that the 
British troops should evacuate the island in three 
months, provided there were a grand master and com- 
niis-ioners fully -empowered to receive the possession; 
and that a force, consisting of two thousand Neapo- 
litan troops, furnished by his Sicilian Majesty, had 
arrived in the island, as a garrison ; that Great 
Britain, France, Austria, Russia, Spain, and Prussia, 
should guarantee this arrangement, and the inde- 
pendence of the islands ; that these powers should 
be invited to accede to it; and that the Neapolitan 
troops were to remain till the knights had raised a 
sufficient force to protect the island. 

We have been thus particular in detailing the pro- 
visions of this article of the treaty of Amiens, be- 
cause the non-fulfilment of it, on the part of Great 
Britain, was the cause of the renewal of hostilities. 
It was, indeed, easy to perceive, and accordingly it 
\vas foretold by many, that this most important arti- 
cle could not be fulfilled : it was not to be supposed 
that Great Britain would consent to evacuate the 


island, unless it was protected from the French by 
the guarantee of the powers named in the treaty ; 
but, as they had not been previously consulted, it 
was hardly to be expected that all of them would 
agree to undertake the guarantee. There were other 
difficulties in. the way, but this was the principal and 
fatal one. Nearly two months after the signature of 
the treaty of peace, Great Britain and France ap- 
pointed their respective ministers to the order of St. 
John, as a preliminary step towards the fulfilment of 
the article respecting Malta. Before this, however, 
namely, in the month of April, the English minister 
at St. Petersburg!! began to entertain apprehensions 
that the Russian Emperor would decline taking any 
share in the proposed guarantee, and these apprehen- 
sions he immediately communicated to his court. 
The period between that time, and the 2 1st of August 
following, seems to have been principally occupied 
in the election of a grand master : on that day, M. 
Otto, the French resident in London, sent an official 
note to the English government, in which he stated, 
that the time allowed for the purpose of evacuating 
Malta had expired; and that the English minister at 
Naples had not been authorized by his government 
to facilitate the transport of the Neapolitan troops, 
which, by the terms of the treaty, were to form the 
future garrison of the island : he concluded by ex- 
pressing a hope, that the treaty, so far as it regarded 
the evacuation of Malta, would be fulfilled ; inti- 
mating, that the proposed guarantee might be after- 
wards obtained. To this, Lord Hawkesbury replied, 
that the Neapolitan troops were on their passage to 
Malta ; at the same time desiring M. Otto to inform 
his government that the British ministers at the con- 
tinental courts would again, if joined by the French 
ministers there, apply respecting the guarantee. In 
this reply of Lord Hawkesbury, no notice is taken of 
that part of M. Otto's note, which claimed the im- 
mediate evacuation of Malta, 


In the meantime, the English ministers at the 
courts of Vienna, Berlin, and St. Petersburg!], used 
every exertion, and tried every method to obtain the 
long protracted guarantee ; the emperor of Germany 
assented to it; at Berlin, the French minister not se* 
conding the representation and request of the British 
minister, the king of Prussia delayed giving any final 
and positive answer. Spain had been named in the 
treaty as one of the powers which were to form the 
guarantee ; but she was so notoriously and completely 
under the influence of France, that no application 
seems to have been made to her for this purpose. 
The emperor of Russia pointedly and positively re- 
fused to join in the guarantee ; no representation of 
the British minister at St. Petersburgh made any im- 
pression upon him. It does not appear that the French 
minister used his influence with this monarch ; in- 
deed, it became now pretty evident, that France ex- 
pected to persuade Great Britain to evacuate Malta, 
before the lull guarantee was given. Such was the 
state of the treaty, so far as it regarded' Malta, at the 
commencement of the year 1803. 

Uut there were other subjects of dispute and jea- 
lousy between Great Britain and France. We have 
already mentioned that Buonaparte had seized on the 
Italian republic and on Parma; he likewise made en- 
croachments on Switzerland, Germany, the Pais cle 
Vaud, and Portugal, and displayed, throughout the 
whole of his conduct, an implacable hostility towards 
Great Britain. During the tyranny of Robespierre, 
a law was passed, by which it was enacted, that all 
vessels under one hundred tons burden, carrying Bri- 
tish merchandise, and approaching within four leagues 
of France, should be forfeited. This law had never 
been executed since the death of Robespierre, till 
nearly three months after the preliminary articles of 
peace were signed, when it was put in force against 
an English vessel which had been driven by stress of 
weather, into the road of Cherbourg. An official 


correspondence on the subject of the detention of this 
vessel, took place between Mr. Merry and M. Tal- 
leyrand; and, after nearly nine months delay, the 
latter, on the 4th of August, acquainted Mr. Merry 
" that the case having been reported to the first con- 
sul, and it having appeared that the cargo in question 
consisted of prohibited goods, he had decided that 
justice should take its course." Several other cases 
of a similar nature occurred, in all of which, this law 
of Robespierre, enacted during the heat of rancor- 
ous hostility, was strained in its application to British 
vessels, after peace had b.:en concluded between the 
two countries. One case deserves to be particularly 
noticed, as displaying the hostile feeling and dispo- 
sition of the French government towards Great Bri- 
tain, the brig George arrived at Charente in ballast, 
having only the necessary provisions on board, for 
the purpose of taking in a cargo of brandy for Lon- 
don. It might have been supposed that this vessel, 
bv no construction of the law of Robespierre was 
liable to seizure ; yet seized she actually was, on the 
flimsy pretext that some plates, knives, forks, and 
glasses, the property of the captain, were contra- 
band ; the whole value of these things did not exceed 
four pounds : and yet for these was the vessel seized ; 
and notwithstanding the remonstrances and represen- 
tations of Mr. Merry, no redress was obtained. 

These instances are sufficient to prove beyond a 
doubt, that the disposition of Buonaparte was by no 
means friendly to Great Britain, and that the peace of 
Amiens could not be of long continuance; we shall 
now describe the manner in which lie seemed deter- 
mined to employ the short period of intercourse be- 
tween Great Britain and France, for the purpose, when 
he did renew the war, of waging it with more effect 
against this country. Under the name and character 
of commercial agents, Buonaparte sent into the United 
Kingdom, a number of men, whose sole object was, 
to make enquiries into the state and commerce of all 


our ports ; the number of vessels that entered in, and 
cleared out of them ; the course of exchange ; the 
state of the neighbouring manufactures and fairs ; and 
a variety of other subjects of a similar nature. Nor 
was this all: each agent was required to furnish apian 
of the ports of the district with a specification of the 
soundings for mooring vessels ; or where they could 
not procure such plan, " to point out with what wind 
vessels could conic in and go out ; and what was 
the greatest draught of water with which they could 
enter deeply laden." These latter instructions, how- 
ever, were privately given, and had they not been 
discovered by accident, the French agents would 
have been fixed all over the kingdom. These instruc- 
tions proceeded from M. Talleyrand; and as he had 
long resided in England, his knowledge, joined to his 
great political acuteness, enabled him to draw them 
up in the most able manner; fortunately a copy of 
them intended for Fauvelet, who was to reside at 
Dublin, fell into the hands of government ; and Lord 
Hawkesbury immediately informed the agents, who 
were in London, that if they proceeded to the places 
of their destination, they should receive orders to 
quit the country. Two of them, who had already 
began to act upon their instructions, at Guernsey, 
were actually ordered to quit his Majesty's domi- 

According to the treaty of Amiens, the Cape of 
Good Hope was to be restored to the Dutch ; but that 
it might in reality be restored to them, and not put 
into possession of the French, it was also expressly 
agreed in that treaty, that the French troops should 
evacuate Holland ; as, however, they delayed to do 
this, and as the French government, in other respects 
manifested a hostile disposition, the British ministry 
sent out orders, rescinding those which had been 
given for the restoration of the Cape, and the other 
Dutch colonies. At the time when these counter 
orders were received, the greater part of the English 


troops were embarked on board tbe ships, which were 
to convey them from the Cape, and a formal surren- 
der of some of the ports had actually taken place to 
the Dutch government ; tbe English commander-in- 
chief, however, re-possessed himself of the places, 
which he had given up, and relanded his troops. He 
continued in possession, till orders were again sent 
out, to deliver up the settlement. 

Having thus briefly adverted to such of the obsta- 
cles, to the fulfilment and continuance of the Treaty 
of Amiens, as more particularly refer to maritime 
events, we shall now proceed to detail the transactions 
of the year 1803, beginning as usual with the open- 
ing of parliament. 

1803. The new parliament was called together on 
the 16th of November, 1802; and on the 23d, after 
the Speaker had been chosen, and the members of 
both houses sworn in, his Majesty came down to 
the House of Peers, and delivered his speech. In 
this speech there were passages which evidently be- 
trayed an apprehension that the peace would not be 
of long continuance; particularly the following; 
'' In my intercourse with foreign powers, I have been 
actuated by a sincere* disposition for the maintenance 
of peace : it is nevertheless impossible for me to lose 
sight of that established and wise system of policy, 
by which the interests of other states arc connected 
with our own ; and I cannot be therefore indifferent 
to any material change in their relative condition or 
strength." In both houses the address was carried 
without a division, though many members reprobated 
in severe terms the peace of Amiens, and some went 
so far as to maintain, that by that peace out 1 ruin was 

The first debate which took place on Maritime sub- 
jects, occurred on the 14th of December: the for- 
mer parliament had imposed an additional tonnage 
fluty, and against this Mr. Burden presented a 
petition to the House of Commons from ihe ship- 


owners of Blythe in Northumberland. He repro- 
bated this additional duty as imposed at a time, when 
protection and encouragement ought rather to have 
been given to British shipping: our maritime force, 
as well as our commerce had been nourished by our 
navigation laws; but as other nations now had simi- 
lar laws, they would be able to rival us, unless the 
shipping interest was protected and supported by go- 
vernment. In reply to this statement, the chancellor 
of the exchequer contended that this new duty had 
not injured the shipping interest; on the contrary, 
it appeared that the tonnage in the principal ports had 
encreased, instead of being diminished; he could not, 
therefore, give any encouragement to the prayer of 
the petition. 

A much more important debate connected with 
maritime affairs, took place in the House of Com- 
mons, upon a bill brought in before the Christmas 
recess, for appointing commissioners to enquire into 
frauds and abuses committed in the naval department. 
This bill originated with the board of Admiralty, who 
were sensible of its importance and necessity : but as* 
they had not the power of administering oaths, they 
wished a special commission to be appointed with full 
and adequate powers. The principal objections made 
to the bill were, that the lords of the Admiralty, by 
their patent, possessed those powers, which it was 
now intended to give to the commissioners : that the 
principal object of the bill was, to extract confession 
of guilt from the delinquents, or to punish them for 
perjury; that it was an ex post j act o law, and conse- 
quently unjust, and that it would burden the public 
without necessity, with new places, while the board 
of Admiralty would be freed from part of that duty 
and responsibility, which ought to attach to them. 
In reply to the first objection, it was satisfactorily 
shewn, that the patent, under which the board of 
Admiralty acted, did not give them those powers, 
which tne bill would invest in the commissioners : and 


besides that, these commissioners were to be im- 
povvered to enquire into abuses, if any existed, in 
the higher departments of the navy, even in the Ad- 
miralty board itself; and that, therefore, it would 
be improper that the members of this board should be 
judges in their own case ; with respect to the second 
objection, it was contended that it was a misrepresen- 
tation of the bill, to say that its object was, to ex- 
tract confession of guilt from the delinquents: its 
object was exactly the same as that of every other 
bill which had received the sanction of parliament 
for similar purposes. The chancellor very justly ob- 
served, in answer to the third objection, that every 
enquiry must, in the nature of things, be ex 'post 
facto \ and that the object of the bill was not to in- 
flict penalties, but to institute enquiry. If the bill 
was necessary, if by the appointment of commis- 
sioners, frauds were detected or prevented, and thus 
the money of the public recovered or saved, the pub- 
lic must expect to be at some expence for this pur- 
pose, and therefore it was absurd to object to the 
bill, merely on the ground that it would create more 
places. On the suggestion of Mr. Sheridan, how- 
ever, the chancellor of the exchequer agreed to an 
amendment, by which it was enacted, that in case 
the persons nominated, did not accept of the appoint- 
ment, members of parliament, hereafter, should be 
disqualified from holding the office of naval commis- 

The appointment of these commissioners was 
viewed with great dislike and jealousy by many pub- 
lic men ; and their conduct was attacked in the Huse 
of Commons on the 4th of May, by Sir Henry Mild- 
may ; he brought forward a motion calling upon ihe 
commissioners to make their report; he grounded and 
supported this motion on the following circumstances: 
in ihe first place, they had dissolved a contract with 
Mr. Taylor for supplying the navy with blocks, with- 
out assigning any reason whatever: in the second 


place, Mr. Leycester, whose known talents and abi- 
lities as a commissioner, was one of the principal 
reasons for passing- the bill, hud resigned ; it was sup- 
posed from being dissatisfied with their proceedings: 
and, hit he last place, it had been held out to the pub- 
lic, that if these naval commissioners were appointed, 
the affairs of the navy wot! Id be so well regulated, 
and, put into such excellent, train, that fifty sail of the 
line could be got ready and completely equipped for 
service, in the space of a month, if necessary. Sir 
Henry Mildmay contended, that they were now ne- 
cessary, but the ships were not ready. He was, 
however, induced to withdraw his motion, on an inti- 
mation from Sir C. Pole, one of the commissioners, 
that the report would be laid before the house in a 
very few days. 

Jn the House of Lords, the earl of Carlisle, on the 
18th of March, gave notice of a motion respecting 
the artificers in the dock-yards ; which he accordingly 
brought forward on the 21st of that month ; the ob- 
ject of his motion was, that the proper officers should 
lay before the house, a monthly return ol the number 
of artificers employed hi his Majesty's dock-yards, 
from the 1st March, 1802, down to the present time. 
This motion was founded on the idea, that Lord St. 
Vincent, who was then at the head of the Admiralty, 
had carried his schemes of retrenchment and economy 
so far, as to weaken the British navy ; the motion 
was viewed in this light by Lord Ilobart, one of his 
Majesty's ministers, who consequently opposed it : 
and on the suggestion of I/>rd Grenville, who, how- 
ever, approved of the principle of the motion, the 
earl of Carlisle consented to withdraw it. 

We have been thus particular in noticing these pn> 
ceedings in parliament respecting the revision of naval 
abuses, because though they did not immediately pro- 
duce any important results ; yet it will afterwards ap- 
pear, that they were connected with, and, indeed, 
<>\)vc rise to, verv hnnortant transactions, 

>-M * " J i 


Having noticed the principal debates and motions, 
connected with maritime affairs, we shall now ad- 
vert to the message from his Majesty, which was 
justly regarded by the nation as the signal of the ap- 
proach of war between Great Britain and France. 
This message was delivered to both houses of parlia- 
ment, on the 8th of March : it stated, " That con- 
siderable military preparations were carrying on in 
the ports of France and Holland ; and that it was, 
therefore, expedient, to adopt additional measures of 
precaution, for the security of the king's dominions ; 
that discussions of great importance were carrying on 
between his Majesty and the French government, the 
result of which was uncertain; and, therefore, he re- 
lied with confidence on parliament, to enable him to 
take such measures as circumstances might require, 
for supporting the honour of his crown, and the essen- 
tial interests of his people, &c." 

On the next day, the message was taken into con- 
sideration, both in the House of Lords and House of 
Commons; and in both houses the consequent ad- 
dress was carried unanimously. On the 6th of May, 
Lord Pelham, informed the House of Lords, that his 
Majesty had given orders to Lord Whit worth, his 
ambassador at Paris, that if he could not, within a 
specified period, bring the pending negotiations to a 
close, he should immediately return to England ; and 
that General Andreossi, the French ambassador, hadalso 
applied for a passport to be ready, to quit London as 
soon as he should learn that Lord Whitworth had left 
Paris. On the 16'th of May, a message was delivered 
from his Majesty to both houses of parliament, in- 
forming them, that he had recalled his ambassador 
from Paiis, and that the French ambassador had left 
London. On the 23d of the same month, the dis- 
cussion of the causes of the war, and of the whole 
conduct of ministers, during the negpciation, took 
place, both in the House of Lords and the House of 
Commons. In the former, Lord Pelham moved an. 

VOL. vn x 


address to his Majesty, expressing the sense the house 
entertained of the anxious desire which his Majesty 
had shewn tor the preservation of peace ; their re- 
gret that France had not manifested the same desire ; 
their indignation at the spirit of encroachment which 
that power had displayed : and the reliance which 
his Majesty might place on their support and assist- 
ance. In the course of the dehate, the great import- 
ance of Malta, in a maritime point of view, to Great 
Britain, was strongly and very generally insisted 
upon. Lord Melville particularly expressed his satis- 
faction, that the negociation, as respecting Malta, 
was at an end, and that the treaty had on this point, 
become a dead letter by the act of France, who had 
rendered the execution of it impossible. He was con- 
tent to say, that we went to war to keep Malta, and 
to support the address to his Majesty, on this ground 

An amendment to the address was, however, moved 
by Lord King: by which amendment, he wished 
those expressions to be expunged, that so warmly 
imputed to France, the guilt of breaking the treaty. 
This amendment was supported by the speeches and 
the votes of only nine peers ; viz. the dukes of Bed- 
ford and Leinster, and the earls of Derby, Cowper, 
Besborongh, Thaner, Albcmarle, Stanhope, and 
Guilford ; while one hundred and forty-two peers 
voted for the original motion. 

In the House of Commons, Mr. Pitt supported mi- 
nisters ; he thought they would have been highly 
blameable if they had surrendered Malta without 
sufficient security ; besides its importance to us, the 
first consul had betrayed the use he meant to make of 
it, if he should ever regain it, when he declared to 
Lord Whitworth, that sooner or later Egypt must be- 
long to France ; while this country retained Malta, 
Egypt was secure from French invasion and conquest ; 
if Malta were given up to France, Egypt would soon 
be theirs also. Mr. Grey moved an amendment of 


a similar import with Lord King: the debate was ad- 
journed to the next day, when, after a warm and ra- 
ther violent debate, in which Mr. Windbam applied 
some very severe epithets to Mr. Fox, the house di- 
vided, wiien there appeared for the amendment sixty- 
seven ; against it three hundred and ninety-eight. 

On the 17th of June, Lord Hawkesbury brought 
down a message from his Majesty to the House of 
Commons, stating, that his Majesty had sincerely 
and earnestly ^wished to have respected the neutrality 
of the Batavian republic; but that he had felt him- 
self compelled by the conduct of France, which had 
refused to acknowledge its neutrality, to order letters 
of marque and reprisal to issue against that power and 
its subjects. 

As the supplies for the navy, for the service of the 
year 1803, were granted at different periods, they will 
be best exhibited in the following table : 

On the 2d of December, 1802, it was voted, 
That fifty thousand men be employed for the sea-service for th 
year 1803, including twelve thousand marines. 

For wages for ditto - 1,202,500 

For victuals for ditto 1,235,000 

For wear and tear of ships, in which they arc 1 _ 

to serve ... -j * 

For ordnance, sea-service, on board such ships 162,500 


For the ordinary of the navy, including half- 1 

i Ir* * i CJMO ( * 5--i<..Jo Id L 

pay to sea and marine onjccrs tor IbOo-- j 

For the extraordinary establishment of ditto 901,140 

For the hire of transports 590,000 

For defraying the charge of prisoners of war \ nm f 

11.1 r ^,*vJv_*|J \J \Jf 

in health , j 

Ditto of sick prisoners of war _ 5,000 G 

MARCH 14, 1803. 

That an additional number of ten thousand men 
be employed for the sea-service, for eleven lunar 
months, commencing 26 February, 180,'j. includ. 
ing two thousand four hundred marines. 

For wages for ditto T 203,500 

For victuals for ditto -209,000 Q 

Carried over 7,708.878 1.3 1. 

X <J 


Brought over 7,7C8,878 13 1 

For wear and tear of ships in which they are to ~\ O c,rv n n n, 

f 33U.UUU U U 
serve ... . J 

For ordnance sea-service on board such ships 27,500 

JUNE 1 1. 

That a further additional number of forty 
thousand men be employed for the sea-service, for 
eleven lunar months, commencing 12th June, 
1803, including eight thousand royal marines. 

For wages for ditto 518,000 

For victuals for ditto 532,000 

For wear and tear of ships in which they are to 7 cannon O 

serve . _ 3 

For ordnance sea*service on board such ships 70,OuO 

For the further hire of transports for the year 7 inn TOO 

1 803 .............................. ) 

For the further charge of prisoners of war \nl _ c 

health \ 65 > 000 

Ditto of sick prisoners of var 20,000 

Total supplies for the navy for the year 1803 10,211,378 13 1 
The total of supply for the year amounted to 38,056,019 19 1> 

111 the conference winch Lord Whitworth had 
with the first consul early in the month of February, 
the latter stated, that he was very anxious to remain 
at peace with England ; what could he gain by go- 
ing to war ; a descent was the only means of offence 
he had, and that he was determined to attempt, by 
putting himself at the head of the expedition. But 
how could it be supposed, that, after having gained 
the height on which he stood, he would risk his life 
and reputation in such a hazardous attempt, unless 
forced to it by necessity, when the chances were, 
that he and the greater part of the expedition would 
<>-o to the bottom of the sea. He talked much on 
this subject, but never affected to diminish the dan- 
ger. He acknowledged that there were one hundred 
chances to one against him, but still, he was deter- 
mined to attempt it, if war should be the consequence 
of the present discussion ; and that such was the dispo- 
sition of the troops, that army after army would be 
found for the enterprise ! 


It is highly probable, that, notwithstanding these 
declarations and threats, Buonaparte was not sincere 
in what he said ; but, when war did break out, he 
deemed it necessary to begin preparations of such a 
nature and extent, as might, at least, alarm Great Bri- 
tain, and give a colour to his purpose of invasion. A 
very numerous fleet was collected at Brest, immedi- 
ately on the departure of Lord Whitworth from Paris; 
transports and flat-bottomed boats were ordered to 
be built with the greatest expedition. Every thing, 
in short, indicated that Buonaparte was seriously dis- 
posed to invade this country ; the French beheld an 
immense flotilla assembled at Boulogne, and an army 
sufficient, in their opinion, if they could be trans- 
ported across the Channel, to effect the conquest of 
England ; but the difficulty of transporting these 
troops was obviously very great ; and as Buonaparte 
must have been aware of this, it is reasonable to sup- 
pose, that his principal object in these preparations 
\vas fully answered in the alarm that it excited in this 
country, and the expence to which it was put to com- 
plete the necessarv means of protection and defence. 

So great, indeed, was the apprehension, that the 
most efficient and vigorous measures were instantly 
adopted for the defence of the country: the people 
more than seconded the views of government; they 
voluntarily came forward, and in a very short time, 
above three hundred thousand effective volunteers 
were in arms. But the. British government did not 
depend solely on these measures : they determined, if 
possible, to prevent the flotilla from assembling at Bou- 
logne, or at least their numbers from being increased : 
for this purpose, vessels draw ing little water, and, at the 
same time, of sufficient strength, were stationed off 
the coast of France : but it was soon found that the 
small-craft of the enemy could elude our ships ; this 
they were enabled to do, by sailing so near the shore, 
that there was not depth of water for our vessels, while 
the batteries on the coast effectually protected them. 

Admiral Bruix was appointed by Buonaparte to com- 
mand the flotilla, "destined to carry war to England;'* 
and after it had been assembled, and every thing 
appeared ready for its sailing, he addressed his sea- 
men in the true French style of gasconade. He told 
them, that the first consul had chosen them to fulfil 
that career of glory, which his genius had prepared ; 
and as they were so distinguished, what man, at this 
proof of the confidence of a hero, would notbe raised 
above himself, or could doubt of his own powers? 
As Buonaparte had fixed on him to command them, 
that circumstance alone was a sufficient proof, that 
lie was fit and worthy for such a dignity ; " Already 
you hear the cry of vengeance ; our towns and dis- 
tricts bring in their voluntary gifts in multitudes ; 
all Frenchmen are ready to punish a government, 
which is an enemy of the peace of the world, and es- 
pecially an enemy to the glory and welfare of our 
country." He then proceeds to rouse them to feel- 
ings of vengeance, while he promises them complete 
success in the enterprise on which they were about to 
engage. Notwithstanding, however, all these prepa- 
rations, threats, and gasconades, it was soon apparent 
that, though the flotilla might assemble in full force 
at Boulogne; though all the troops might be embark- 
ed> yet Buonaparte was too sensible of the extreme 
danger of putting to sea, to carry his designs against 
England into execution. 

In the mean time, the F>!iglish government, with 
much less pomp of preparation, and in a much more 
silent and less ostentatious way, were carrying on hosti- 
lities against France. Her West India Islands were 
the first objects of attack ; on the SJOth of June, an 
expedition sailed against St. Lucia and Tobago from 
Barbadoes ; and, on the 21st, it arrived off the former 
island ; a landing was soon effected with little oppo- 
sition or loss : the advanced posts of the enemy were 
driven in ; the town of Castries was taken, and Ge- 
neral Nogues, who commanded the island, was sum- 


inonecl to surrender at discretion. This, however, 
he refused to do ; and as the rainy season was expect- 
ed soon to set in, General Grinfield, and Commodore 
Hood, who commanded the expedition, determined 
to adopt the most prompt and vigorous mode of at- 
tack. Accordingly the fort of Morne Fortuue'e was 
assaulted at four o'clock in the morning, and in the 
course of half an hour, it was in the possession of the 
British. The French garrison, amounting to six 
hundred and forty men, were made prisoners of war; 
the loss of the British, on this occasion was one hun- 
dred and thirty -eight men killed and wounded. 

The expedition lost no time in proceeding against 
Tobago; as the French garrison here was very weak, 
they did not make any resistance, hut immediately 
on the appearance of the British, proposed terms of 
capitulation, by which they were to be sent to France 
at the expence of Great Britain : these terms being 
acceded to, this island fell into our hands. The 
small island of St. Peter's, and the Dutch settlements 
of Berbice and Demerara, were also reduced in the 
course of the year, with little trouble or loss. 

The armament, which Buonaparte sent out to St. 
Domingo, immediately after the signing of the pre- 
liminaries of peace, has been already noticed : it was 
deemed of sufficient force to reduce to complete and 
final subjection, the black troops which opposed the 
French power in that island ; but the climate and the 
opposition which these troops made, soon reduced its 
numbers and force; and General Le Clerc, who com- 
manded it, was made sensible that the object on 
which he was sent, was unattainable ; but he did not 
long survive his chagrin and disappointment. Before 
his death, he sent sealed instructions to General 
llochambeau, to assume the command of the French 
army in the island. When he assumed the command, 
it was in a very reduced state, he was obliged to keep 
it confined in a few sickly towns ; his only means of 
defence consisted in the strength of his fortifications : 



and as he possessed the sea coast, he could transport 
detachments of his army from one port to another, as 
circumstances might require. Under these circum- 
stances lie anxiously expected reinforcements from 
France; these reinforcements, however, came in such 
small bodies, and at such great distances of time from 
one another, that they hardly were sufficient to keep 
up his army to the strength, at which it was, when he 
assumed the command. 

Such was the state of the French force in St. Do- 
mingo, when war re-commenced between Great Bri- 
tain and France ; General Roc ham beau was immedi- 
ately sensible that the advantage he had hitherto de- 
rived from a line of posts, on the sea coasts, would be 
done away. Not only did the British deprive him of 
this advantage, but they lost time in blockading Cape 
Francoise, the head quarters of the French, and all 
their other principal positions. Thus was General Ro- 
ch am beau deprived of all hope of receiving reinforce- 
ments from France, while the army he had, was con- 
tinually weakened by the effect of the climate, and by 
rencontres with the blacks. These now became more 
daring and successful in their enterprises, aided as they 
were by the British blockade: they first took Port au 
Paix, with a garrison of five hundred men ; after- 
wards Port au Prince, Leogane, and St. Martin, were 
reduced by the black General Dessalines. The blacks, 
whenever the French fell into their power, treated 
them in the most cruel manner ; and had it not been 
for the humane efforts of the English ships, in carry- 
ing off the garrisons of most of these places, they all 
must have fallen into the hands of their implacable 

No place of strength now remained to the French 
in the whole island but Cape Francoise ; and in it 
General Rochambeau, with his troops, was completely 
shut up by Desvalines. As there was no possibility 
of retreat or reinforcement, the French general at 
length, resolved to capitulate, provided he were al- 


lowed to carry off the garrison : a negociation was 
opened tor that purpose ; but it is probable, either 
that the terms would not have been acceded to by 
Dessaiines, or if acceded to, that they would not 
have been kept, when fortunately the English squa- 
dron came into the Roads. A capitulation was soon 
afterwards signed, on the 30fh of November, on 
board the Surveillance, by which, Captain Bligh, of 
the Theseus, on the part of Commodore Truscot, and 
General Boyer, on the part of General Rochambcau, 
agreed that all the ships of war and merchant vessels 
should be surrendered to the English, and that the 
garrison should he received by the latter, as prisoners 
of war. Although Dessaiines agreed not to disturb 
the garrison during the evacuation, yet it was with 
the greatest difficulty that the British commodore 
prevented him from ordering his batteries to fire on 
the French ships; and he declared that if they did not 
quit the Roads in twelve hours, he would drive them 
away with his cannon, and that when the English 
met them at sea, they were at liberty to treat them 
as they pleased. 

The first capture of a ship of war of the enemy's 
took place in the month of May : Captain R. H. 
Pearson, in the Doris, was cruising off Ushant, when 
he discovered a French lugger; as she evidently was 
bent on declining battle, and for that purpose made 
all sail to escape, the Doris, upon making up to her, 
fired a shot, in the expectation that she would bring 
to ; but this not being done, a second shot was fired, 
and the lugger returned this shot, still keeping under 
a press of sail. A running tight then took place, 
which continued till the Doris got up alongside of her, 
when she was again hailed to surrender, but. notwith- 
standing the gieat disparity of the force, she held out 
some time longer ; at last having lost her captain, and 
eight men, and having fourteen wounded, she struck 
her colours ; she proved to be L'AfTronteur, mount- 


ing fourteen long nine-pounders, and having on board 
ninety-two men. 

This action is deserving of notice and record, only 
because it was the first that took place since the com- 
mencement of hostilities; it afforded room for the 
display of British naval superiority j but in the month 
of June an enterprise was achieved, amply deserving 
of being recorded for its bravery, and \vorthy of Bri- 
tish seamen. Captain Francis Maitland, who com- 
manded the Loire frigate, was cruising off LTsle de 
Bas : under the batteries of this place, the national 
brig Venteux, carrying four long eighteen pounders, 
and six thirty-six pound brass carronades, was lying, 
protected by them in such a manner, that the enemy 
did not expect that any attempt would be made to 
carry her, or cut her out. Three of the boats of the 
Loire, however, commanded by Lieutenants Temple 
and Bowen, boarded her in a most gallant manner. 
On her deck were eighty-two men ready to receive 
them : the batteries under which she was lying, im- 
mediately opened a tremendous fire; yet, notwith- 
standing these circumstances, in the space often mi- 
nutes, the Venteux was in possession of the British. 
This brilliant enterprise, it ought also to be noticed, was 
in fact performed by only two of the boats ; for the 
third, owing to the circumstance of her rowing 
heavi/, did not arrive till the brig was taken posses- 
sion of. Captain Maitland, in his dispatch to Ad- 
miral Colpoys, who commanded on that station, 
justly represented it " as one of those brilliant exploits 
which add lustre to the British arms, of which, 
though so many instances occurred during the late 
war, no one has been happy enough to have thrown 
in his way during the present." The loss on the side 
of the British, in this enterprise, was rather heavy ; 
two men were so severely wounded, that they did not 
recover, and the boatswain and three seamen were 
wounded, but not in so dangerous a manner. The 


Ventcux had her second captain and two seamen 
killed ; the Captain, with all her officers and eight 
seamen wounded. 

The services which the British cruisers were of, in 
reducing the French general Rochambeau to surrender 
and evacuate St. Domingo, have already been gene- 
rally noticed ; hut it is proper more particularly to 
narrate the enterprises of Captain Loring in the Bel- 
lerophon and the squadron under his command : lie 
had received orders from Admiral Sir J. T. Duck- 
worth, to blockade Cape Franchise; in pursuance of 
these orders he was unremitting in his endeavours to 
prevent any reinforcements from entering the Cape, 
and at the same time two line of battle ships, which 
were lying there, from escaping. While the British 
squadron was able to cruise off the Cape, these ships 
did not attempt to come up ; but a heavy squall com- 
ing off from the land on the 24th of June, the Bri- 
tish ships were compelled to draw off'; the enemy, as 
soon as they perceived this circumstance, resolved to 
take immediate advantage of it. They actually got 
out of the harbour, when they hauled to the west- 
ward, in order to receive the benefit of the land wind ; 
by this time their escape was known, and as the wea- 
ther had moderated, the signal was made for a general 
chase. As night was coming on, it was necessary 
to be on the alert, and to keep sight of them till day 
broke ; this was done in the most effectual manner by 
the vigilance and activity or' Captains Evans and Per- 
kins, in the /Eolus and Tartar. As soon as it was 
light. Captain Loring was informed that the two 
ships of the enemy had separated ; one continuing 
close alon- shore, steering to the westward, while her 

v? o 

consort, having altered her course during the night, 
was steering to the eastward. On receiving this in- 
formation, Captain Loring gave directions to Captain. 
Dundasof the Elephant, which was the weathermost 
ship, to tack, and try to cut off the vessel which was 
steering to the eastward, while the Bellcrophoii, with 


the JEolus and Tartar, went in pursuit of the other. 
The other two ships of Captain Loring's squadron, the 
Theseus and Vanguard, having been far to leeward, 
when the squall of wind came on, were not able to 
join till twelve o'clock at night. When they did 
join, the latter gave chase to the same vessel, that 
was pursued by Captain Loring. At three o'clock in 
the afternoon, on the 25th, one of the enemy's ships, 
the Duquesne, of seventy-four guns, struck her co- 
lours to the Tartar and Vanguard : the other ship 
effected her escape. 

A reward was this year bestowed by parliament for 
an invention, which, to a maritime nation like Great 
Britain, is almost invaluable ; we mean the Life Boat 
of Mr. Greathead. It appears from the evidence 
which was taken before the committee of the Mouse 
of Commons, on this occasion, that the ship Adven- 
ture, of Newcastle, in the month of September, 17H<), 
was stranded on the Herd Sands, on the south side 
of Tyneinouth Haven, in the midst of tremendous 
breakers, and in the sight oF thousands of spectators. 
Although she was within three hundred yards of the 
shore, no assistance could be given to her crew, and 
they actually dropped from the rigging one by one, 
and all perished. In consequence of this dreadful 
accident, Sir Cuthbert Heron, Bart, of South Shields, 
with some other gentlemen of that place, immediately 
called a general meeting of the inhabitants, when a 
committee was appointed, who offered a premium for 
the model of a boat which should appear best calcu- 
lated to stand the force of the sea in a storm, and thus 
to preserve the lives of seamen. Many plans were 
proposed, but that of Mr. Greathcad was accepted ; 
he was ordered by the committee to build a boat ac- 
cording to this plan, which was launched on the 30th 
of January 17yO. It was at first found difficult to 
get it manned; but, in consequence of a reward of- 
fered, when there was occasion to use it, the sailors 
embarked in it, and brought the crew of a stranded 


vessel safe to shore. Many boats on Mr. Greathead's 
plan have since been built and used in various parts 
of the kingdom, and they all have been found to an- 

o *J 

s\ver extremely well: it is calculated that at the en- 
trance of the river Tyne alone, not fewer than two 
hundred lives have been saved by means of it. In the 
year 1803, Mr. Greathead was honoured with an order 
for one of his boats, from the Emperor Alexander of 

Some notion may be formed of this boat, if we 
suppose a hollow bowl to be cut in two; and one of 
the parts set a swimming: if it is attempted to over- 
set it, it will be found impossible, as after every at- 
tempt, the two high and pointed ends always bring 
it back to its former and proper position. It may, 
however, be still more clearly and strictly represented, 
if we take the fourth part of an orange, and separate 
the juicy part from the peel, the latter may represent 
the boat; and it will readily be seen how well it is 
calculated for floating even in the roughest water. 

, *~ 

In order to render it still more safe, Mr. Greathead 
Jines the sides with cork ; and in several other subor- 
dinate respects, he has improved its construction 
since its first invention. Many others have also 
turned their attention and ingenuity to the construc- 
tion of life boats, of which it may be necessary only 
to particularize the following, which has been an- 
nounced by Mr. Dodd : it is formed upon pneumatic 
and hydrostatic principles. " It is made of malle- 
able iron, lead, or tin, twenty feet long, and six feet 
wide, and draws only ten inches of water, with twentv- 
five persons. These boats possess valves, which not 
only discharge all the water from them, without per- 
sonal aid, but act occasion-illy as air valves ; they are 
ballasted with confined water, taken in and put out 
at pleasure ; are remarkably buoyant and lively in 
agitated water, will neither sink nor overset, and will 
yet serve all the ordinary purposes of ships boats, 
cither for rowing or sailing." 


Of the instances of the advantage and benefit of 
Mr. Greathead's life boat, which are numerous and 
undisputed, we have selected the following one, as 
calculated to exhibit them in the strongest point of 
view: it is sriven in a letter from Mr. Hinderwell of 


Scarborough to Mr. Greathead. 

" The life boat at Scarborough, which was built 
without the least deviation from the model and the 
plan which you sent here at my request, has even ex- 
ceeded the most sanguine expectations ; and I have 
now received experimental conviction of its great abi- 
lity in cases of shipwreck, and of its perfect safety in 
the most agitated sea. Local prejudices will ever 
exist against novel inventions however excellent may 
be the principles of their construction ; and there were 
some, at this place, who disputed the performance of 
the life boat until a circumstance lately happened 
which brought it to the test of experience, and re- 
moved every shadow of objection, even from the 
most prejudiced minds. 

" On Monday the 2d of Novemher, we were visited 
with a most tremendous storm form the eastward, 
and I scarcely ever remember seeing a more moun- 
tainous sea. The Aurora of Newcastle, in approach- 
ing the harbour, was driven ashore to the southward ; 
and as she was in the most imminent danger, the life 
boat was immediately launched to her assistance. The 
place, where the ship lay, was exposed to the whole 
force of the sea, and she was surrounded with broken 
water, which dashed over the decks with consider- 
able violence. In such a perilous situation, the life 
boat adventured, and proceeded through the breach 
of the sea, rising on the summit of the waves, with- 
out shipping any water, except a little from the 
spray. On going upon the lee quarter of the vessel, 
they were endangered by the main-boom, which had 
broken loose, and was driving about with great force. 
This compelled them to go alongside, and they in- 
stantlv took out four of the crew; but the sea, which 


broke over the dedis, having nearly filled the boat 
with water, they were .induced to put off for a mo- 
ment, when seeing three hoys (the remainder of the 
crew) clinging to the rigging, and in danger of pe- 
rishing, they immediately returned and took them into 
the hoat, and brought the whole to land in safety. 
By means of the life boat, built upon your plan, and 
the exertions of the boatmen, seven men and boys 
were thus saved to their country and their friends, and 
preserved from the inevitable destruction which other- 
wise awaited them. The boat was not in the least 
affected by the water, which broke into her when 
alongside of the vessel, and, indeed, the boatmen 
thought it rendered her more steady in the sea. I 
must also add, that it was the general opinion, that 
no other boat of the common construction could have 
possibly performed this service ; and the fishermen, 
though very adventurous, declared they would not 
have made the attempt in their own boats. 

" We have appointed a crew of fishermen to ma- 
nage the boat, under the direction of the commit- 
tee ; and the men are so much satisfied with the 
performance of the boat, and so confident in her 
safety, that they are emboldened to adventure upon 
the most dangerous occasion." 

1804. Parliament had been prorogued little more 
than three months, when it was again assembled on 
the 22d of November 1803, in consequence of the 
pressure of public business, and the necessity of pro- 
viding supplies of men and money. In his Majesty's 
speech, on this occasion, the successes which had al- 
ready attended his arms, by the capture of St. Lucia, 
Tobago, "St. Peter's, Demerara and Kssequibo, \\ere 
particularly adverted to. The menaced invasion was 
next noticed, and his Majesty graciously declared 
his firm determination, if it actually took place, "to 
share the exertions and dangers of his people in the 
defence of the country." The speech concluded with 
another reference to the invasion. His Majesty de- 


claring his most sanguine and well-grounded belief, 
that if the enemy did attempt it, discomfiture, con- 
fusion, and disgrace would be the result ; while to 
this country it would bring additional safety and glory, 
by proving the extent and solidity of its energy and 
resources. In the House of Lords there was little de- 
bate on the address, which was moved by the Mar- 
quis of Sligo, and seconded by the earl of Limeric. 
In the House of Commons, Mr. Fox delivered his 
sentiments on his Majesty's speech ; not, he said, that 
he wished to disturb the unanimity which was at that 
period, and under the existing circumstances of the 
country, so very desirable; but he had expected, as 
ministers acknowledged, that thev were ready even to 

O f v 

solicit the mediation of the Emperor of Russia, in or- 
der, if possible, to bring about a peace; that iiis Ma- 
jesty's speech would at least have adverted to this cir- 
cumstance, and informed the house and the nation, 
whether such mediation had been offered or solicited. 
He also declared his conviction, that Ireland, which 
in the speech from the throne, had been represented 
as satisfied and tranquil, could not possibly be or re- 
main so, at least while the same system of govern- 
ment was pursued in that unhappy and ill-treated 
country. As, however, Mr. Fox did not propose 
any amendment to the address, it was carried with- 
out opposition. 

On the 14th of February, the nation were alarmed 
by an official bulletin at the Palace of St. James's, 
stating, that his Majesty was much indisposed ; this 
alarm, however, was in some measure removed by 
the declarations of the chancellor of the exchequer 
in the House of Commons, on the 2th of February, 
that there was " no necessary suspension of the 
royal functions ;" and of the lord chancellor on the 
] ith of March, in the House of Lords, " that the 
lords commissioners were wan anted in expressing the 
royal assent to several bills, which had already passed 
through both houbcs of parliament." It was not. 


however, till the 9th of May, that his Majesty was 
able to appear in public. 

For some time after Mr. Addinsrton became chan- 


cellor of the exchequer, he received the countenance 
and support of Mr. Pitt, in all his most important 
plans and measures ; but soon after the recommence- 
ment of the war, Mr. Pitt seemed disposed rather to 
desert Mr. Addington, and to connect himself with 
Mr. Fox. He did not, however, openly oppose the 
minister on any material question, till the 15th of 
March 1804, when he moved for an enquiry into the 
administration of the navy : his motion consisted of 
several parts; first, for an account of the number of 
ships of the line, and armed vessels of all descrip- 
tions, which were in commission on the 31st Decem- 
ber 1793; on the 30th of September 1801, and on 
the 3 1st of December 1803. He wished to prove, 
that though the public danger \va.s greater now than 
it had been in 1793, our means of naval defence were 
less adequate than they were at that period. The 
Admiralty, he asserted, had only built twenty-three 
gun-boats in the course of a year, while, in the same 
space of time, the enemy had built one thousand : 
and these twenty-three gun-boats were six months in 
building, while in 1794, 1797, and 1801, when it 
was deemed necessary to have the same kind of ves- 
sels, a considerable number were got ready in ten or 
twelve weeks. Government, he also maintained, 
instead of taking the necessary steps to increase the 
number of line of battle ships and frigates, had only 
contracted, during the war, for two ships of the line 
at the merchants yards, though it was well known, 
that the king's yards, while the war lasted, were con- 
stantly employed in repairing the damage which the 
ships might meet with on service. In the course of 
1793, the first year of the former war, the number 
of our seamen was encreased from sixteen thousand 
to seventy-six thousand ; whereas, we began the pre- 
sent war with fifty thousand, and in the course of the 
VOL. vji. y 


first year this number was augmented only to eighty- 
six thousand. As Mr. Pitt wished to see the fate of 
his first motion, before lie proceeded in his investi- 
gation and charges, he concluded his speech by 
moving for the accounts stated. 

The reply to Mr. Pitt was principally entrusted to 
Mr. Tierney, who, in the preceding year, had left the 
opposition party, and enlisted under Mr. Addington, 
as treasurer of the navy. The first part of his reply 
was rather personal ; he called to the remem- 
brance of Mr. Pitt the high opinion which he had 
formerly entertained and expressed of the Earl of 
St. Vincent, whom he now wished to stigmatize, by 
his present motion, as utterly incapable to have the 
care and management of the navy ; but though Mr. 
Pitt might be a good volunteer, he ought to leave 
the sea-service to abler hands. Mr. Tierney then pro- 
ceeded to a more direct and specific reply ; and he 
thought he could shew tlie injustice of the com- 
plaints against the Admiralty more clearly and 
forcibly, than by stating the number of vessels which 
Lord St. Vincent had then ready equipped ; the num- 
ber of ships of the line, frigates, sloops, and other 
smaller vessels, amounted to live hundred and eleven; 
block-ships, nine; lighters and small-craft fitted out 
in the king's yards, three hundred and seventy-three; 
and the flotilla, completely equipped and fit for ser- 
vice, amounted to six hundred and twenty-four, 
making a grand total of one thousand five hundred 
and thirty-six vessels. Mr. Tierney then adverted to 
the plan of building ships by contract, in the mer- 
chants yards, which he reprobated as most injurious 
to the public service, while at the same time it was 
very expensive. The contract ships were found, on 
trial, not to be nearly so good as those which were 
built in the kind's yards : he particularly adverted to 

O J ^ 

the case of the Ajax ; she had been built by contract 
in a merchant's yard, and in three years' time she 
renuj.'cd an additional sum of 17.,000/. to be laid 


out upon her in repairs. With respect to the com- 
parative number of seamen in the last and the pre- 
sent war, Mr. Tierney satisfactorily explained the 
difference, by the great draught of the population 
for the land-service, in consequence of the extension 
of the volunteer system, which must necessarily in- 
jure the sea-service. 

The debate was long and animated ; but it was 
particularly distinguished by Mr. Fox supporting Mr. 
Pitt's motion, and by Mr. Sheridan opposing Mr. 
Fox : when the question was put, there appeared for 
the motion 130, against it 201 ; leaving a majority 
of 71 against the motion. There were, however, two 
circumstances, which indicated the approaching fall of 
Mr. Addington ; in the first place, his being able on 
such an important occasion as a debate on the ma- 
nagement of the navy, only to muster 201 of his 
friends ; and in the second place his possessing such 
a comparatively small majority as 71. 

It was soon understood that Mr. Addington, 
alarmed at the decreasing strength of his party, 
which became more and more evident on every di- 
vision, both in the House of Lords and the House of 
Commons, would resign his situation ; and as Mr. 
Pitt and Mr. Fox had united in their opposition to 
Mr. Addington, and in their declarations that, in 
the situation of the country, a strong and efficient ad- 
ministration was very desirable, if not absolutely ne- 
cessary, it was hoped that they both would come into 
power; these hopes, however, were not fulfilled. Mr. 
Pitt alone, and his party, formed the new administra- 
tion ; but not all his party, for Lords Grenville and 
Spencer, and Mr. Windham, attached themselves to 
Mr. Fox, M horn they conceived not to have been 
fairly treated by Mr. Pitt : the latter, therefore, was 
under the necessity of taking in some of Mr. Ad- 
dington's administration, those very men, who, while 
acting under Mr. Addington, he had declared to be 

O ^ ? 7 

incapable and unfit for their situations. On the 


of May, it was publicly announced, that Mr. Ad- 
dington bad resigned the office of chancellor of the 
exchequer, and that Air. Pitt had been appointed in 
his room. Lord Melville succeeded the Earl of St. 
Vincent as first lord of the Admiralty; and the Right 
Honourable George Canning succeeded Mr. Tierncy 
as treasurer ot the navy. 

The following are the supplies granted by parlia- 
ment for the service of the navy, for the year 1804, 
and the periods at which they were respectively 
voted : 

DECEMBER 1, 1803. 

It was roted that 100,000 men should be employed for the sea- 
service for the year 1804, including 22,000 marines. 

For wages for ditto ^2,405,000 

For victuals for ditto 2,470,000 

For \vear and toar of ships in which they are j ~ OQO 

to serve _ j ' ' 

For ordnance sea-service on board such ships 325,000 


For the ordinary of the navy for 1804 1,020,670 O 

For the extraordinary establishment of the same.. 04*8, 520 10 


For hire of transports for 1804 709,249 9 8 

For prisoners of war in health 220,160 8 1 

For sick prisoners of war 42,000 

JLLY 3, 1804. 

Forencreasing the naval defence of the country., 310,000 O 

Total naval supplies for the year 1804 =12,350,606 7 9 

The Grand total of supplies this year 

amounted to j53,G09,574 17 6 

Buonaparte, this year, again renewed his threats of 
invasion, and notwithstanding the vigilance and ac- 
tivity of our cruisers, he succeeded in assembling a 
large flotilla at Boulogne; for the destruction of this 
flotilla, thus assembled in the enemy's port, a scheme 
was proposed, which gained the approbation of Lord 
Melville and Mr. Pitt; and which it was, therefore, 
resolved to carry into execution. Those who had 
merely learnt, that the scheme had met with the ap* 


probation and countenance of these statesmen, but 
W;>'> M\:re ignorant of its nature, were very sanguine 
wiiii :r<>ard to its success : they confidently looked 
for\v;ud to the complete destruction of the enemy's 
ftWiiia, by means of it, while those, who were in the 
svc:vr, who were acquainted with the nature of the 
scheme, anticipated from it nothing but defeat, dis- 
grace, ridicule. 

It- appears to have originated, or at least to have 
been first proposed to Lord Melville and Mr. Pitt, 
by an American of the name of Fulton ; had they 
been well acquainted with the history of the Ameri- 
can war, they would have known that it was tried at 
that tiir.e against our shipping, and that it did not suc- 
ceed. But, besides the folly of the scheme, there was 
another objection to it, even had it been wise and 
practicable, which ought to have led them utterly to 
reject it: if it did succeed, it must, succeed, not by 
open bravery, or professional skill, and no real friend 
to British seamen would wish these qualities for which 
they are so eminently distinguished, to be set aside on 
any pretext whatever. 

According to this new plan, copper vessels of an 
oblong form, containing a quantity of combustibles, 
and .so constructed as to explode at a given time by 
means of clock-work, were to be employed. The 
great difficulty was supposed to be in fixing these 
vessels to the bottom of the ship which was to be 
destroyed by their means ; ami the mode adopted for 
this purpose was in every respect worthy of the 
main project; a small raft was to be rowed by one 
man, who was to be seated up to his chin in the 
water, in order that he might escape detection ; this 
man, so seated, was to tow the copper vessels in the 
dead and darkness of night, and fasten them under 
the bottoms of the enemy's "'un-boats. In order 
that no vestige of the Boulogne flotilla might remain, 
ministers were not satisfied with this most wonderful 
engine of destruction, fire-ships were also to be em- 


ployed in the projected enterprise. But as ministers 
in some degree attempted to justify these ridiculous 
measure's by the failure of the rational and usual 
mode of attack on the French flotilla, which had heen 
previously resorted to, it will he proper, hefore \ve 
detail the result of the new scheme, to attend to 
the operations of Sir Sidney Smith, Captain Owen, 
and Captain Oliver, who were employed in this 

The first in order of time was made by Sir Sidney 
Smith : the enemy having 1 built a great number of 
gun-boats at Ilelveot, Flushing, and Ostend, the 
object of Sir Sidney was to prevent them from 
reaching- the grand rendezvous at Boulogne. On the 
16 ih of May he was informed that the enemy's flo- 
tilla was coming out of Ostend harbour; and shortly 
afterwards that the Flushing flotilla was also under 
weigh, for the purpose of uniting with the former, 
that they might both proceed along the coast of 
Boulogne; the Flushing flotilla was very formidable 
in point of numbers, as it consisted of fifty-nine sail. 
As soon as the flood-tide permitted Sir Sidney's squa- 
dron to get over the Banks, he made the signal to 
weigh anchor, and to give chase ; as the officers and 
men had long waited with impatience for an oppor- 
tunity to meet, and try their strength with these 
flotillas, the signal was obeyed with the utmost 
promptitude and alacrity. Of the enemy's flotilla,, 
there were two praams, ship-rigged, of greater force 
than the rest ; to these Captains Hancock and Mason 
dirc-ctvd their principal attention and endeavours; 
these praams, when attacked, were supported and 
defended by a cross lire from the schooners and 
schuyts ; so that Sir Sidney perceived that assistance 
would be necessary to Captains Hancock and Mason. 
Accordingly lie ordered the Amiable to support the 
Crui:-:er and the Rattler: in the mean time the Ostend 
flotilla was attacked by the Penelope, Captain Brough- 
toi;; which ship, by the skill of her pilot, was worked 


up to the centre of the enemy's line, cross into the 
shore ; and that there might he little or no chance 
of their getting past to port, the Antelope went round 
the Stroom Sand, to cut off the van from Ostend. 
But ail these efforts of the squadron of frigates 
were hut partially successful, in consequence of the 
gun-boats not coming up: they had directed their 
attention to preventing the Ostend division of the 
flotilla from proceeding to the westward. The Flush- 
ing flotilla being warmly attacked by the Cruizer and 
Rattler, put about, and endeavoured to get back to 
port; but at this moment the wind chopping about, 
they were obliged to alter their course, and run to 
the westward, keeping close under the protection of 
the batteries. 

As soon as the Antelope got within the Stroom 
Sand, the pilot directed his skill and attention to find 
out a passage, by which she might sail between it 
and the shore ; and this being obtained, she was en- 
abled to bring her broadside to bear on the headmost 
schooner before they got to Ostend ; the batteries 
and the horse-artillery from the shore immediately 
began to fire, and annoyed our ships very much. In 
spite of these obstacles and this opposition, however, 
the leading vessel of the enemy was compelled to 
strike, her crew deserting her and escaping on shore : 
our men were not able; to secure her before the other 
schooners came up, by whom she was ao-ain taken 

*/ o 

possession of. While the Penelope and Antelope 
were attacking the whole tine of the enemy from four 
o'clock till eight, the Amiable, Cruizer, and Rattler, 
continued to press on their rear; the praam which 
was sternmost, struck her colours, but, after being- 
deserted by her crew, the artillery-men from the 
shore took possession of her, and renewed her fire on 
the Amiable with the precision and effect of a land- 
battery. Indeed it was apparent through the whole 
of this enterprise, that, however ably planned and 
bravely executed, it could be of little avail or ser- 


vice, from the circumstance that the enemy's flotilla 
could keep so near the shore, that if any one of them 
was compelled to strike, or was deserted by their crew, 
it was immediately again taken possession of by the 
troops, or so protected by the batteries, that our 
men could not possibly bring it off. At eight o'clock, 
the tide having fallen, Sir Sidney Smith was obliged 
to haul off into deeper water; and thus the enemy's 
vessels, that were not either on shore, or too much 
shattered, were enabled to reach Ostend, where along 
with the Ostend division, they hauled into the har- 

The English squadron immediately anchored in 
such a position as to observe the motions of the 
enemy, who, however, for some time did not attempt 
to proceed towards Boulogne. 

In the mean while Captain Owen, in the Immor- 
talite, with a squadron of frigates and small vessels, 
w r as stationed off Boulogne : nothing particular oc- 
curred till the 20th of July, when the wind setting 
in strong from the north-east, the enemy's vessels 
which were lying in the Road of Boulogne, suffered 
considerably from the sea which set in, and at last 
the leemost brigs began to get under weigh. At this 
time their force consisted of forty-five brigs and 
forty-three Infers. The s:ale still continuing, at 

.' O Cj <- " O * 

day-break on the 21st, some of them were observed 
endeavouring to slip out, one by one, in order to 
run to the southward for shelter and more secure an- 
chorage. Captain Owen, unfortunately, was not 
able to prevent them from effecting their escape ; but 
on standing close into the harbour of Boulogne, he 
perceived a brig, a lugger, and several large boats 
stranded on the beach, while three other brigs and a 
lugger were totally destioyed on the rocks. He im- 
mediately took advantage of the confusion into which 
the enemy were thrown, and by the promptness and 
activity of the Harpy, Bloodhound, and Archer, 
was enabled to do them considerable mischief. 


Captain Oliver, in the Melpomene, was stationed 
with a small squadron off Havre ; for some time he 
could not get. sufficiently near the shore for the bomb- 
vessels which he had with him to act with effect; 
but on the 23d of July, the wind having veered 
round to the south-west, he made the signal for the 
bombs to try whether they were within range; they 
were immediately placed as near the pier-head as pos- 
sible, and opened a most tremendous and destructive 
fire of shells and carcasses, for upwards of an hour 
and a half. This fire was so well directed, that in a 
short time the town was observed to be in flames in 
various places, and the vessels which lay near the 
pier-head also suffered considerably. Captain Oliver 
was not long before he made another attack on the 
enemy: his principal object this time, was rather the 
vessels in the pier of Havre, than the town itself; on 
the inside and outside of this pier, there were twenty- 
eight brigs, and as many luggers. At seven o'clock 
in the evening the bomb-vessels took their stations, 
but their fire, though directed against the ships, was 
more destructive against the town than against them; 

o o 

the former was soon in flames, while of the latter 
only a few, which were lying on the outside, were 
compelled to move to the inside of the pier; none ap- 
peared to have been destroyed, or even much in- 
jured. In the evening the wind coming off the land, 
Captain Oliver was obliged to haul off; and the next 
morning he again placed the bombs near the pier- 
head, where they kept up a constant fire for nearly 
three hours ; much confusion and dismay were agaii* 
created among the enemy, but still no material in- 
jury or damage was inflicted on them. 

It was therefore resolved to have recourse to the 
new plan of attack ; and in order that justice might 
be done in the execution, five ships of different con- 
structions were employed ; the most active and en- 
terprising officers were put on board the several 
exploding vessels ; and Lord Keith, who had the 


command on the Downs station, was directed to su- 
perintend the management of the whole scheme, 
while his powerful fleet was to cover and protect the 
smaller vessels. Stiil more precaution was taken to 
secure success to this enterprise; no attempt was to 
be made until the enemy's flotilla appeared on the 
outside of the pier of Boulogne; it was thought that, 
the explosion vessels might then reach it with ease 
and safety, and that if they did succeed in damaging 
the flotilla, assistance from the shore could not be 
so speedily or effectually given. Towards the end of 
September, one hundred and fifty of the flotilla made 
its appearance on the outside of the pier, and it was de- 
termined that not many clays should be suffered to pass 
over before their destruction should be accomplished. 
Accordingly, on the 2d of October, Lord Keith, with 
nearly fifty ships of different sizes, anchored about 
a league and a half to the north-west of the port of 
Boulogne; his first object was, to dispatch part of his 
fleet to take up an advanced and convenient anchor- 
age, to cover the retreat if that were found necessary, 
and to protect and succour the boats, which might 
be injured during the enterprise: as it might also 
happen that the wind might change, or blow too 
fresh, the vessels so stationed were, in that case, to 
tow off the boats. The enemy seem to have been 
fully aware of the meditated attack ; but as they 
either did not know the exact nature of the engines 
we meant to employ; or, if they did, regarded them 
as ridiculous rather than formidable, their means of 
defence were directed rather against our regular ships 
than against them. Besides the batteries, which ever 
since Buonaparte had formed the design of as- 
sembling a flotilla at Boulogne, had been much 
strengthened, and put in the best state of defence, a 
large army was stationed in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of the town. 

At a quarter past nine, the advanced force of the 
British squadron opened a heavy (ire, in order to pro- 


tect the approach of the explosion vessels : this fire 
was immediately returned by one still more heavy and 
tremendous from the shore : the object of which, 
however, was soon seen to be, rather to conceal the 
real designs of the enemy, than to prevent the ad- 
vance of the explosion ships. The first detachment 
of these ships was now launched ; every person, who 
witnessed them, on board the British squadron, was 
eager to perceive what would be the consequence, 
and how the enemy would avoid the dreadful effects 
which it was confidently expected would result from 
them. They approached the French line ; for some 
time the enemy seemed indifferent to their approach ; 
but they had taken effectual measures to avoid the im- 
pending destruction, and they were as simple as they 
were effectual. When the explosion vessels had got 
near the flotilla, the different ships of the latter 
opened to let them through, and so completely were 
they avoided, that they passed to the rear of the line, 
without falling on board, or touching any one of 

" At half past ten, the first explosion ship blew 
up ; it produced an immense column of tire ; its wreck 
spread far and wide, but not the slightest mischief 
was done either to the ships or the batteries : a second, 
a third, and a fourth succeeded no better ; at length, 
after twelve had been exploded, the engagement 
ceased about four o'clock on the following morning, 
and the English smaller vessels withdrew in perfect 
order, and without the loss of a man. No mischief 
whatever was ascertained to be done to the flotilla, 
but, from the missing two brigs and some smaller 
vessels in their line, the next day, Lord Keith thought 
it possible they might be destro}' ed. The French re- 
ports acknowledge the loss of twenty-five men in 
killed and wounded. Thus terminated to the confu- 
sion of the projectors, and the bitter disappointment 
of the public, an enterprise, in the preparation of 
which, much time, expeiice, and ingenuity were 


wasted, and which fully committed the reputation of 
the government and the country to derision and con- 
tempt, both at home and abroad." 

Notwithstanding this complete and humiliating 
failure, the British ministry resolved to make another 
attempt of the same nature, upon Fort Rouge, and 
the flotilla protected by it in the harbour of Calais. 
This second enterprise, Lord Keith committed to the 
.management and superintendance of Sir Home Pop- 
ham, and from the character of that officer, it may 
safely be concluded, that if it was not successful, it 
was not owing in the smallest degree, to any want of 
skill, courage, or perseverance. 

On the 8th of December, the wind having come 
round to the south east, Sir Home Popham sent the 
Dart, Captain H. Stewart, to a station, fixed upon 
between Sengate, and Fort Lapin, with an explosion 
vessel, and two carcasses, in order to make an attempt 
against Fort Rouge, Captain Stewart had the charge 
of the explosion vessel, and l\fr. Bartholomew and 
Captain Brown rigg of the two carcasses. 

Captain Stewart proceeded in shore till the water 
shoaled to two and a half fathoms, when he tacked, 
and reached the battery ; he lost no time in placing 
the bowsprit of the explosion vessel between the piles, 
and left her in that situation; in a few minutes the 
vessel blew up : it was not easy to ascertain exactly 
and fully the damage that was done by this explosion; 
a great quantity of plank and timber were observed 
floating about ; the east side of the fort, when exa- 
mined the next day by Captain Blake of the Fox 
cutter, who was sent in for that purpose by Sir Home 
Popham, did not appear to have been injured ; but 
most part of the west side was damaged, the breast- 
work knocked down, and a number of people were 
perceived at work repairing it. 

Mr. Bartholomew, who had the command of one 
of the carcasses, could not reach the port ; and the 
Other carcass; though Captain Brownrigg succeeded 


in fixing it against the piles, and it bad evidently been 
striking against them from an indentation on one end, 
was prevented from going off by some accident. 
Thus ended the second attempt to destroy the enemy's 
floti'ta, by this most absurd and ridiculous plan, 
which henceforward, in derision, was called " The 
Catamaran Project." 

A most disastrous and distressing calamity happened 
early this year, of which it may be proper to give a 
pretty full and particular account. The Apollo, ofthirty- 
eightguns, Captain Dixon, was appointed along with 
the Carystbrt, to convoy sixty-nine sail of merchant- 
men, part of which were destined for the West Indies, 
and part for Portugal The ships assembled in Cork 
harbour about the middle of March; and on the 26th 
of that month, they sailed from the Cove, with a 
fair wind and moderate weather for the season of the 
year. Nothing particular took place, till Sunday 
the 1st of April, when the fleet was in the latitude 
40 degrees, 51 minfites, N. and in the longitude, 
12 degrees, 29 minutes, W. On the evening of that 
day, a little after sun set, the wind shifted to the 
south-west, and began to blow fresh ; no alarm was 
excited, however, either for the frigates, or the con- 
voy on that day ; but on the Monday, the squalls 
became more violent and frequent ; the Apollo was 
reduced to the necessity of running under her storm 
stay sails, and all hands were upon deck. As, however, 
there was no apprehension of the vicinity of the shore, 
but on the contrary, it was confidently believed by 
all on board, both from their reckoning, and the course 
they had run, that the ship had sufficient sea-room, 
no immediate danger was yet dreaded. About half- 
past three on the Monday morning, the ship struck 
the ground ; it was immediately supposed that she 
had struck on some unknown shoal ; she continued 
striking several times with great violence, the effects 
of which were soon alarmingly apparent, as her bot- 
tom being much damaged, she made so much water, 


tli at the pumps could scarcely keep her clear. In 
about ten minutes she beat over the shoal into deep 
water; but when an attempt was made to put her 
about, it was discovered that she had lost her rud- 
der; she was ROW forced before the wind, and as the 
pumps were no longer able to keep the water under, 
and she was filling very fast, there was every proba- 
bility that she would soon founder. The wind conti- 
nued to drive her along before it for the space of five 
minutes more, when she again struck the ground with 
most tremendous violence ; and continuing repeatedly 
to strike in this manner, she drove further on the 
sands, the sea, at the same time, breaking completely 
over her. Her after deck soon became a perfect 
wreck, and when the guns were examined for the 
purpose of firing signals of distress, it was found that 
only four or five of them could possibly be used for 
this purpose. When the vessel struck the second 
time, the most dreadful cries were heard ; all was 
alarm, confusion, and dismaT, they were sur- 
rounded with the most imminent danger, and yet 
neither officers nor crew, had the least idea where they 
were, or what means would most probably secure 
their lives. Below, chests were floating about, and 
the bulk-heads were giving way ; and yet it was ex- 
tremely difficult to get upon deck, as the sea was 
pouring down the hatchways in immense and power- 
ful volumes ; and when any of the crew got upon 
deck, they found that they had only changed, not 
lessened the danger to which they were exposed. As 
the ship still continued to beat against the shoal with 
great violence, those on deck were compelled to keep 
their footing, to cling to some part of the wreck, 
otherwise they would have been washed by her waves, 
or forced by the concussions of the ship, overboard. 
The captain, in the mean time, half nuked, (for the 
calamity had come upon them all so suddenly and 
unexpectedly . that they had not time to put on 
their cloaths) stood upon the cabin sky-light grating, 


holding fast by the stump of the main-mast, encou- 
raging the men by every soothing expression in this 
their most perilous situation. About half-past four 
o'clock day-light broke, and opened to their view all 
their horrors ; they had trusted that when light ap- 
peared, they should be able to form some conjecture 
where they were, and to fall upon some means of 
saving their lives: they did indeed discover land, but 
the sight, instead of cheering, dispirited them; in- 
stead of holding out any prospect of safety or preser- 
vation, it banished from the minds of the most san- 
guine, every hope of succour : c.nd was discovered 
about two cables distance, this land was known to be 
Cape Mondego, on the coast of Portugal ; and the 
shoal on which the ship had struck, was perceived to 
reach as far as the cape. 

One reason why Captain Dixon had wished the 
<nms to be fired, when the frigate first took the ground, 

.0 f o 

was, that the convoy apprized of his dangerous situa- 
tion, might have avoided a similar fate ; but they had 
already advanced too far; not supposing that the coast 
of Portugal was so near them, they apprehended no 
danger, but pursued their course : the consequence 
was, that when day-light broke, between twenty and 
thirty sail of the convoy were seen on shore, both to 
the northward and southward of the Apollo, and 
many of them were perfect wrecks. At eight o'clock 
it was too evident that the frigate was going to pieces; 
the only part of her which was above water and af- 
forded any shelter was the forecastle ; thither Cap- 
tain Dixon ordered all the crew to come: but this 
place only presented the prospect of a few minutes 
longer life : all the boats were stove to pieces, or 
w r ashed overboard, and there was no time or means 
to make a raft. Shortly after the crew came to the 
fore-part of the ship, she parted at the gang-ways ; 
this compelled the men to go into the fore-channells ; 
and as she continued to sink, they crowded on the 
bowsprit to the number of two-hundred and twenty : 


for twenty, the rest of her crew, had already perished. 
No hope now remained but that of gaining the shore 
by swimming ; and several who were expert swim- 
mers attempted it, but such was the power and vio- 
lence of the surge, that they were all drowned ; at 
this time, several spars being observed floating along- 
side, suggested to others the idea of endeavouring to 
gain the shore on them, and about thirty were so for- 
tunate as to succeed. In the course of the Monday 
night, many died from fatigue and hunger. On the 
Tuesday, the hopes of the survivors were somewhat 
raised by observing^, boat hoisted out from one of the 
merchantmen, and standing on towards the Apollo ; 
but their hopes were soon dashed; the boat was 
obliged to return and leave them to their fate. About 
three o'clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, Captain 
Dixon ventured upon a spar, exclaiming as he leapt 
into the sea, " My lads I'll save you all," in a few 
seconds he lost his hold of the spar, which he could 
not regain, drifted to sea and perished. 

Nigm again approached : one hundred and fifty of 
the crew were still on the wreck ; the violence of the 
sea had driven them from the bowsprit, and compelled 
them all to crowd into the forechairis : here many of 
them were actually suffocated, while several worn out, 
lost their hold, and were washed away by the waves. 
Hunger also added its terrors and misery: some un- 
fortunate wretches drank sea-water; others their own 
urine, while some more prudent, contented them- 
selves with chewing pieces of lead, and thus creating 
a flow of saliva, appeased for a .short time the cravings 
of their appetite. Thus they continued till about 
three o'clock on the Wednesday afternoon, when they 
had the satisfaction to perceive a boat put off from 
the shore, and making its way through the surf by 
the indefatigable exertions of two of the oilicers, who 
had reached land on the Monday by means of the 
spars ; these officers were cheerfully assisted by the 
Portuguese peasantry, and after a great risque and 


much fatigue, they succeeded in getting the boat 
alongside of the Apollo. By this means, all the crew 
then remaining on the wreck, were hrought safe on 
shore, though some of them died soon afterwards; 
from imprudently drinking too large a quantity of 

Of the merchant ships, about forty sail were 
wrecked at the same time with the Apollo; some 
of them sunk with all their crew ; while others, 
drawing little water, went completely over the shoal, 
and were driven so close on the shore, that their crews 
were enabled to land with little difficulty. Of the 
officers and crew of the Apollo, sixty-one were lost ; 
the loss on board the merchantmen was not so well 
ascertained, but it is supposed that nearly five hun- 
dred must have perished. 

The subserviency of the court of Spain to Buona- 
parte was so complete and notorious, that little hope 
was entertained that peace could long subsist between 
Great Britain and that power, after hostilities had 
recommenced with France. As, however, it was un- 
doubtedly trie policy and the plan of Buonaparte, to 
derive all possible assistance from Spain, without hav- 
ing her directly implicated in his quarrel with England, 
he did not permit her, for some time, to commit any 
direct and gross acts of hostility: he knew, that the 
greatest benefit he could derive from her was, not 
men, or even ships, but money ; this was necessary 
to enable him to carry on his continental warfare, 
and to follow up his scheme of raising and equipping 
a navy. Accordingly, Spain remained for a short 
time, nominally at peace with this country; and re- 
presented herself, and wished to be considered and 
treated by the cabinet of St. James's as a tree and 
independent nation. It was soon, however, disco- 
vered, that her South American treasures were en- 
tirely at the disposal of Buonaparte; and that her 
neutrality was employed for the purpose of replenish- 
ing the coffers of our enemy. Representation?; ami 

VOL, vii. z 


then remonstrances were repeatedly made on this head 
to the court of Madrid, but in vain: her frigates still 
came from the new world laden with bullion, and 
this bullion was regularly transmitted to France. At 
last, the British ministry determined effectually to put 
a stop to these proceedings ; and for this purpose, 
Captain Moore, in the Indefatigable, with three other 
frigates, was ordered to cruize off Cadiz, to intercept 
some ships very richly laden, which were expected in 
that port from South America. On the 5th of Octo- 
ber, one of the British squadron made the signal fop 
four sail being in sight, nine leagues from Cape St. 
Mary, a general chase was immediately commenced, 
and it was soon ascertained that they were the ex- 
pected Spanish frigates, making for Cadiz. The van 
ship carried a broad pendant, and the ship next her a 
rear admiral's flag : as they were not under the least 
apprehension of being intercepted, or attacked by 
the British, they did not either attempt to escape, 
nor were they prepared for action. Captain Moore, 
having ordered each of his squadron to run up along- 
side of the four Spanish frigates, hailed them to 
shorten sail; to this request no answer was given; 
a shot was then fired by the Indefatigable, across the 
rear-admiral, upon which he hove to, and an officer 
"was sent onboard to inform him, that Captain Moore 
had peremptory orders to detain his squadron. The 
officer, after waiting some time, returned with an 
unsatisfactory answer, when the Indefatigable bore 
down close upon her opponent, the other British ships 
doing the same. The signal for close battle was im- 
mediately thrown out ; and in less than ten minutes 
after the engagement commenced, the admiral's second 
nstern, blew up alongside the Amphion, with a dread- 
ful explosion. 

On board of this frigate called the Mercedes, was 
embarked a native of Spain, who was returning from 
.America, with the savings of twenty-five years in- 
dustry, and -with his whole family, consisting of his 


wife, four daughters, beautiful and amiable women, 
and five sons grown up to manhood. Before the ac- 
tion began, the merchant himself, and one 1 of his 
sons, went on board the largest ship, from which he 
witnessed the loss of his whole property, and saw his 
wife, daughters, and four of his sons surrounded with 
flames, and sinking into the abyss of the ocean. It 
would be profanation to attempt by words to describe 
the feelings of this man's agonized soul at this dread- 
ful moment,- while it would be doing injustice to 
Captain Moore, not to suppose, from his known 
character, that it required the strongest sentiments 
of duty to his country, to keep down regret that he 
had been instrumental in bringing about this catastro- 
phe ; as soon as the action terminated, he took the 
unhappy husband and father into his own cabin, and 
was unceasing in his endeavours to administer all irj. 
his power towards the alleviation of his sufferings. 

The Spanish admiral's ship continued to hold out 
for about half an hour after the Mercedes had blown, 
up ; when finding that she could not escape, her op-> 
ponent having got to leeward of her, she struck her 
colours : her example was immediately followed by 
another of the squadron; while the fourth, which 
carried the broad pendant, endeavoured to make her 
escape. This, however, she was prevented from 
effecting, by the Medusa and Lively giving chase to 
her ; at first she gained on them, but before sun-set, 
Captain Hammond in the Lively (which had outsailed 
the Medusa), having brought her to action, she sur- 

Notwithstanding every exertion was made by the 
British sailors to save the crew of the Mercedes, only 
fort}- of them were picked up ; this vessel had on 
board eight hundred thousand dollars, all of which, 
of course, were lost. This squadron was coming from 
Monte Video, and had on board the following goods 
and effects : on account of the king, total seventy - 
five sacks of Vicuna wool ; sixty chests of 


four thousand seven hundred and thirty two bars of 
tin; one thousand seven hundred and thirty-five pigs 
of copper; twenty-eight planks of wood; and one 
million three hundred and seven thousand six hun- 
dred and thirty-four dollars in silver. On account of 
the merchants, thirty-two chests of ratinia; one mil- 
lion eight hundred and fifty-two thousand two hun- 
dred and sixteen dollars in silver; one million one 
hundred and nineteen thousand six hundred and fifty- 
eight gold, reduced into dollars; and one hundred 
and fifty thousand and eleven ingots in gold, reduced 
into dollars. On account of the marine company, 
twenty-six thousand nine hundred and twenty-five 
seal-skins, and ten pipes of seal oil. On board the 
Mercedes which blew up, were twenty-sacks of Vicuna 
wool ; twenty chests of cascarella ; one thousand one 
hundred and thirty-nine bars of tin ; nine hundred 
and sixty-one pigs of copper ; and two hundred and 
twenty-one thousand dollars in silver. This state- 
ment is taken from the ships' official papers; but it is 
well known that they never discover nearly the whole 
of the treasure or merchandise which is brought to 
Spain from her American colonies; and, indeed, it 
afterwards turned out that the quantity of specie was 
much greater than this statement represented it to be. 

The following is the force of the Spanish squadron, 
with the number of men which was killed and wound- 
ed in each ship ; La Mede"e (the flag-ship), forty-two 
guns, eighteen pounders, and three hundred men, of 
whom two were killed and ten were wounded. La 
Fama, thirty-six guns, twelve-pounders, and two 
hundred and eighty men. of whom eleven were killed 
and fifty wounded; La Clara, thirty-six guns, twelve- 
pounders, and three hundred men, of whom seven 
were killed and twenty wounded ; and La Mercedes, 
thirty-six guns, twelve-pounders, and two hundred 
and eighty men, of whom only the second captain 
and forty sailors were saved. 

Jn the English squadron the loss was very trifling: 


two were killed and one wounded on board the Lively; 
and on board the Amphion, Lieutenant Bonnet and 
four seamen were wounded. 

When hostilities recommenced, some delay took 
place in communicating the intelligence to Admiral 
Rainier, who commanded on the East India station, 
in consequence of which, the French Admiral Linois 
escaped from the road of' Pondicherry, and directed 
his attention to the capture of our East India fleets. 
His force consisted of the Marengo, of eighty-four 
guns, and several frigates, and he not only made a 
successful descent at Bencoolen, and plundered the 
inhabitants; but also captured some vessels richly 
laden. These successes induced him to extend the, 
sphere of his enterprise, and to aim at the capture or 
destruction of the homeward-bound China fleet; for 
this purpose he cruised, in the beginning of 1804, 
with his whole force, in the Indian seas, near the en- 
trance of the Straits of Molucca. 

The China fleet, which it was the object of Admi- 
ral Linois to intercept, consisted of fifteen of the 
company's ships, twelve country ships, a Portuguese 
East Indiaman, and a fast sailing brig; of these, Cap- 
tain Dance, of the Earl Camden, as the senior cap- 
tain, was appointed commodore. On the 14th of 
February, four strange sail were seen in the south- 
west ; they were immediately reconnoitred, and ascer- 
tained to be an enemy's squadron, consisting of a line 
of battle ship, three frigates, and a brig: the English 
fleet was immediately formed, by signal from the 
commodore, in a line of battle in close order, the ene- 
my giving chase under a press of sail. At sun-set, 
the rear of the company's ships was attacked by the 
van of the French squadron. As Commodore Dance 
now perceived that a general engagement was inevi- 
table, he took every necessary precaution to render it 
successful, and to protect the weakest ships under his 
command; accordingly, he placed the country vessels 
on his Ice-bow. The enemy, however, from some 


cause not understood, did not bring on a general en- 
gagement that evening; hut rather seemed disposed 
to stand off during the night. The next morning, at 
day- break, they were observed about three miles to 
windward lying to; Commodore Dance immediately 
offered him battle, which he did not appear inclined 
to hazard ; but, as the commodore was apprehensive 
that the object of the enemy was to cut off some of 
his rear ships, he made the signal to tack, and bear 
down in succession. By this bold and spirited ma- 
noeuvre, he decided the fate of the day; Admiral Li- 
nois, as soon as the company's ships bore down upon 
him, closed his line, while he opened his fire on the 
van, without much effect. Commodore Dance did 
not permit the fire of the enemy to be returned, till 
he approached him very near ; then the headmost 
vessels, the Royal George, Ganges, and Earl Camden, 
began to fire; but before they could get well into ac- 
tion, Admiral Linois hauled his wind, and stood away 
to the eastward under a press of sail. The signal for 
a general chase was immediately made, which was 
continued for two hours; when the commodore, not 
judging it prudent to go too far out of his course, 
gave it up, the enemy still continuing to fly under all 
the sail he could carry. 

The fleet which had been thus saved by the skill 
and intrepidity of Commodore Dance, and of the offi- 
cers and men who were with him, was valued at eight 
millions and a half sterling : on this account, as well 
as a reward for their behaviour, a sword and a vase, each 
valued at 100/. were voted by the patriotic fund to 
Commodore Dance ; the same to Captain Timmins, 
of the lloyal George ; and a sword of the value of 
50l. was ordered to be presented to each of the other 
captains. The East India Company also voted to the 
commanders, officers, and seamen, the following sums 
for " their gallant conduct in beating oft' the I 7 rench 
squadron, under Admiral Linois, in the Chinese seas:" 

Captain Dance, two thousand guineas and a piece 


of plate, value 200/. ; Captain Tinimins, one thousand 
guineas, and a piece of plate, value 100/. ; Captain 
Moffat, five hundred guineas, and a piece of plate, 
value one hundred guineas ; to Captains H. Wilson, 
Farquharson, Torin, Clarke, Meriton, Wordsworth, 
Kirkpatrick, Hamilton, Farrer, Prendergast, Browne, 
Larking, and Lochner, five hundred guineas, and a 
piece of plate, value fifty guineas, to each ; to the 
chief officers, one hundred and fifty guineas each ; to 
second and third officers, one hundred and twenty- 
five guineas ; and to fifth and sixth, fifty guineas 

Eighty guineas each were given to the pursers and 
surgeons ; fifty guineas each to the mates, boatswains, 
gunners, and carpenters ; fifteen guineas each to the 
other petty officers ; and to the seamen, ordinary sea- 
men, and servants, six guineas each ; to Lieutenant 
Fowler, who had been a passenger on board the Earl 
Camden, and who had rendered essential service to 
Commodore Dance during the action, the East India 

O ' 

Company presented a piece of plate, value three hun- 
dred guineas. The whole remuneration amounted to 
nearly 50,000/. Besides these rewards for his valour, 
Commodore Dance received the honour of knight- 
hood from his Majesty. 

W T e have dwelt long and fully on the particulars 
of this enterprise, and of the rewards which were be- 
stowed in consequence of it ; but not at greater 
length, nor more fully than its merit and success de- 
serves. For a frigate regularly equipped and prepared 
for warfare, and manned with sailors, accustomed to 
the management of guns, and to the manoeuvres of a 
ship during action, to beat off a line of battle ship, 
or even not to be captured by one, is deemed, and 
justly too, a meritorious enterprise ; the weight of 
metal which a line of battle ship carries, being so 
much heavier than that of a frigate, that the latter, 
unless most skilfully fought, is almost certain of be- 
ing sunk by the lire of the former. What then ought 


we to think of East Incliamen ? of vessels deeply ladeu, 
and, therefore, not in fighting or sailing trim ; very 
inadequately manned, both in respect to numbers, 
and description of seamen (since most of them have 
a great proportion of Lascars on board) ; beating off 
a line of battle ship of eighty guns, besides three fri- 
gates. When all circumstances are considered, it 
must be allowed that too much praise cannot be be- 
stowed on Commodore Dance and his brave compa- 
nions, and that they amply deserved the rewards 
which were not less liberally than wisely voted to 
them by the East India Company. Rewards, when 
thus bestowed, bear fruit a hundred fold; they che- 
rish that spirit, and conviction of superiority, which, 
while they continue, must render Britain invincible 
at sea. 

In giving an account of the naval events of tin's 
year, we have deviated in some degree from our for- 
mer and usual arrangement, and this we have been 
induced to do, because there occurred no engagement 
of a general nature, between opposing fleets, such as 
we used to place first in the order of our narrative : 
those engagements which we have noticed, w'z. that 
between the East India ships and Admiral Linois, and 
that between the squadrons of English and Spanish 
frigates, appearing to come nearest in character and 
importance to actions between fleets, we have dwelt 
upon them with a proportional degree of minuteness. 
TTe shall now proceed to record the other events and 
transactions of the year, which may properly find a 
place in a naval history. 

Early in the month of January, a small French 
squadron, under the command of the Chevalier Ma- 
hee, made its appearance off the English settlement 
of Goree, on the coast of Africa : this settlement was 
in no condition to resist the attack, even of this small 
force; Colonel Erazer was the commanding-officer 
there, and as soon as he was apprized of the approach 
of the enemy, he posted as many troops as he could 


spare to oppose their landing; this, however, they suc- 
ceeded in effect ing, without difficulty or loss, near 
the rocks to the eastward of the town, where the surf 
was the least violent; as soon as they were landed, 
they advanced against Goree, and having surprised 
the main guard, Colonel Fratfcr was under the neces- 
sity of capitulating. It appeared that this expedition 
had been reu'ularlv planned at Cayenne; that not 
only was their strength considerable, but that they 
had brought along with them every thing that could 
ensure success; while Colonel Frazer had on!} 7 twenty- 
five white men to oppose their principal body in its 
main attack. 

As it was known in England that this settlement 


was not in a proper state of defence, and was, more- 
over, in want of supplies, Captain Dixon, of the In- 
constant, had been sent out with a store-ship and 
some sloops under his command; when he arrived 
off Goree, the place was in the hands of the enemy, 
but the English colours were still flying ; some cir- 
cumstances, however, leading him to suspect the real 
.state of the case, he .despatched his first lieutenant to 
ascertain the fact ; and lie not returning nor answer- 
ing the signal which was made according to agree- 
ment, Captain Dixon had then no doubt of the cap- 
ture of the settlement. He took his measures ac- 
cordingly; he knew, that if he could cut off the com- 
munication between Goree and Senegal, the French 
would soon be compelled to capitulate; he, therefore, 
stationed the vessels under his command in the most 
judicious and effectual way for this purpose. While 
these things were going on, and Captain Dixon was 
anticipating a tedious, rather than a formidable re- 
sistance, he was agreeably surprised to perceive the 
English colours hoisted over the French, and he soon 
afterwards learnt, that the officer whom he had sent 
on shore, and who, he supposed, had fallen into the 
power of the enemy, had actually gained possession 
of the fort, the garrison having capitulated to him. 


The settlement was thus retaken, and three hundred 
black and white troops made prisoners, without a shot 
having been fired, or a life lost. 

Under the year 1803, we mentioned the conquest 
of several of the French and Dutch colonies in the 
West Indies ; this year Surinam also fell into our pos- 
session. The expedition against it sailed from Bar- 
badoes under the command of Major-general Sir 
Charles Green and Commodore Hood, in the begin- 
ning of April. On the 25th of that month they ar- 
rived off the mouth of the river Surinam ; no time 
was lost in effecting a landinq- of six hundred men, 

o o " 

about ten leagues to the eastward of the river, where 
the enemy were in some force. Next day this post 
was attacked, and after a slight resistance from the 
fort and the shipping- in the river, Braam's point was 
carried. A summons was immediately sent to the 
Dutch governor, who, however, refused to capitu- 
late ; the principal strength of the enemy consisted of 
forts Leyden and Frederica, which still presented a 
formidable defence to the river ; and as it was not 
judged prudent to attack these forts in front, it was 
determined to send two hundred soldiers and seamen 
to endeavour to find a route through the woods to 
attack them in rear; for upwards of five hours they 
had a most laborious march through paths always 
difficult, and sometimes nearly impassable; and, had 
it not been for the direction of the negroes who knew 
the way, and for their assistance, accustomed to the 
climate, the expedition must have returned. At 
length, the detachment arrived in the rear of Frede- 
rica Battery, which was immediately carried by as- 
sault ; the troops which were in it, flying to Fort 
Leyden, having previously blo\\'n up the powder- 
magazine, by which some of our troops were wounded. 
They were pursued, without the least delay, to Fort 
Leyden, which was also carried by assault in the 
same bold and enterprising manner. 

By these successes, tlie British had already gained 


possession of the finest part of the colony ; there was 
still, however, one other fort, which it was necessary 
to take, before the conquest could be deemed com- 
plete or secure ; this was Fort Amsterdam, situated 
at the junction of two rivers, and defended by eighty 
pieces of cannon. As this was a place of such strength, 
and the last defence of the settlement, a long and for- 
midable resistance was anticipated ; and the British 
commander was taking measures accordingly, when a 
flag of truce arrived from the general of the Batavian 
troops, proposing terms of capitulation ; these, after 
being altered in some trifling particulars, were finally 
agreed to. General Green, in his official account of 
this capture, says, " that the inhabitants seemed 
greatly to rejoice at the event which had taken place, 
restoring them to the powerful protection of the Bri- 
tish government, and the solid advantages resulting 
therefrom." Besides the valuable settlement, and a 
large quantity of stores, &c. the Proserpine frigate, of 
thirty-two guns, and the Pylades sloop of war, of 
eighteen, fell into our possession : the number of pri- 
soners taken exceeded two thousand ; the loss of the 
British did not exceed, in killed and wounded, sixty 

Two single actions took place this \car, which 
amply deserve to be recorded. Captain G. N. Har- 
dinge, of the Scorpion, was reconnoitring off the coast* 
of Holland, when he perceived two of the enemy's 
brigs at anchor in the roads of Vlie; as the water 
here was very shallow, it was impossible for the Scor- 
pion to get near them. Captain Hardinge, therefore, 
resolved to make a dash at the outermost with his 
boats. The Beaver sloop coming up at that time, 
her boats joined in the enterprise, three proceeding 
fiom the Scorpion, and two from the Beaver. Cap- 
tain Hardinge took the lead, the captain of the Beaver 
serving under him, as a volunteer; the whole number 
of men amounted to sixty. When they came up to 
tilt 1 brig, they found her well prepared ; ht a r boarding 


nettings were up ; and the crew were all on deck, 
armed with various implements, and resolutely deter- 
mined on a vigorous defence. Captain Hardinge was 
the first man who boarded her; as soon as the Eng- 
lish succeeded in following the example of their 
leader, part of the Dutch crew took fright, and fled 
below ; but those who remained on deck, amply made 
up for the cowardice and desertion of their compa- 
nions. What follows cannot be so well told as by 
Captain Hardinge himself, in an excellent and admi- 
rable letter which he wrote to his father; as it disco- 
vers all the characteristics of a real man of courage, 
who esteems and pities while he conquers his oppo- 
nent. " The decks were slippery in consequence of 
rain, so that grappling with my first opponent, a mate 
of the watch, I fell, but recovered my position, fought 
him upon equal terms, and killed him. I then en- 
gaged the captain, as brave a man as any service ever 
boasted ; he had almost killed one of my seamen. To 
my shame be it spoken, he disarmed me, and was on 
the point of killing me, when a seaman of mine came 
up, rescued me at the peril of his own life, and en- 
abled me to recover my sword. At this time all the 
men were come from the boats, and were in posses- 
sion of the deck. Two were going to fall upon the 
captain at once. I ran up, held them back, and 
then adjured him to accept quarters. With inflexible 
heroism, he disdained the gift, kept us at bay, and 
compelled us to kill him; he fell, covered with ho- 
nourable wounds. The vessel was ours, arid we se- 
cured the hatches, which, headed by a lieutenant, 
who has received a desperate wound, they attempted 
repeatedly to force. Thus far we had been fortunate; 
hut we had another enemy to fight; it was the ele- 
ment. A sudden gale that rose, and shifted against 
us, impeded all the efforts we could make. But, as 
we had made the capture, we determined, at all 
events, to sustain it, or to perish. We made the 
Dutch below surrender, put forty of them into their 


own irons, and stationed our men to their guns ; 
brought the powder up, and made all the necessary 
arrangements to attack the other brig. But as the 
day broke, and without abatement of the wind, she 
was off, at such a distance and 'in such a position, 
that we had no chance to reach her. In this extre- 
mity of peril, we remained forty-eight hours; two of 
the boats had broke adrift from us, two had swamped 
alongside. The wind shifted again, and we made a 
push to extricate ourselves, but found the navigation 
so difficult, that it required the intense labour of 
three days to accomplish it. We carried the point 
at last, and were commended by the admiral for our 
perseverance. The captain and four others were 
killed on board of our prize ; eleven are wounded, 
and so dreadfully, that our surgeon thinks every one 
of them will die. To the end of my existence, I shall 
regret the captain ; he was a perfect hero ; and if his 
crew had been like him, critical indeed would have 
been our peril. The Atalante (the name of the cap- 
tured ship) is much larger than my vessel ; and she 
mounted sixteen long twelve-pounders; we have not 
a single brig that is equal to that calibre. Her in- 
tended complement was two hundred men, but she 
had only seventy-six on board. In two days after the 
captain's death, he was buried with all the naval ho- 
nours in my power to bestow upon him ; during the 
ceremony of his interment, the English colours dis- 
appeared, and the Dutch were hoisted in their place. 
All the Dutch officers were liberated, one of them 
pronounced an eloge on the hero they had lost, and 
we fired three volleys over him as he descended into 
the deep." 

The other single action which we have to record, 
derives as much of its celebrity from the character 
and exploits of the commanding officer of the enemy, 
as from the nature and success of the enterprise. 
Captain Blackman had long eluded the pursuit of our 
ships of war, and by his daring and skilful activity 


had captured a great many verjf valuable coasters 
and merchantmen. He had been so watched, and 
even chased in vain, that little hope remained that he 
would be taken: having been engaged as a smuggler, 

O u- - O u>O * 

he was well acquainted with our coasts, and with the 
mode and rate of sailing of most of our ships of war. 
His depredations at length became so daring and so 
detrimental to our trade, that new and vigorous efforts 
were made to capture him ; for some time these \\ r ere ' 
also unsuccessful, and in the end he was secured by 
a vessel which was sent on another though a similar 
enterprise. Captain Hancock, in his Majesty's sloop 
Cruizer, was ordered by Lord Keith to watch the 
enemy's movements at Ostend and Flushing, between 
which ports Captain Blackman, in Le Contre-Admiral 
Major privateer, was known generally to be cruising; 
on the evening of the 16th of October a strange sail 

O O 

was observed standing in shore; as soon as she per- 
ceived the Cruizer, she wore, and under a press of 
sail, with the wind on her beam, endeavoured to 
escape ; the chase was continued all night, and it 
was a wonderful and admirable display of seaman- 
ship. Captain Blackman exerted his utmost skill, 
and made use of every kind of manoeuvre; trying the 
Cruizer on every point of sailing, with various suc- 
cess : sometimes, for a short while, he gained on the 
British sloop ; at other times, the latter evidently 
came up with him ; in eight hours they had run 
ninety-seven miles : it was now five in the morning, 
and Captain Hancock almost despaired of getting 
along-side his opponent, when fortunately the wind 
freshened, and Captain Hancock's hopes at the same 
time revived; but this freshening of the wind did 
not bring the advantage he expected ; the enemy, 
on the contrary, rather appeared to be move bene- 
fit ted by it than the Cruizer, till the former croud- 
ing too much sail, carried away both his top-masts. 
In this extremity Captain Blackman's presence of 
mind and adroitness did not desert him, he resolved 


upon a manoeuvre, which perhaps none hut himself 
would have thought of, or could have put in com- 
plete and safe execution. The morning' was very 
hazy and dark; the lee-tide was setting strong in; 
these circumstances suggested to him the idea of in- 
stantly furling up his remaining sails and coming to 
an anchor, though there were twenty-five fathoms 
depth of water, in the hopes that the Cruizer not ob- 
serving this manoeuvre, would sail past him, or fall 
down to leeward; in either case, he would have heeri 
able to have escaped before Captain Hancock could 
have put his vessel about, and renewed the chase. 
This manoeuvre was totally unexpected by Captain 
Hancock ; but he was astonished at perceiving that 
all of a sudden the Cruizer was gaining very fast on 
the enemy ; thinking now that as there was a cer- 
tainty of coming up with him, and being apprehen- 
sive if he continued under a press of sail, that some 
of his masts or rigging would fall by the board. Cap- 
tain Hancock ordered some of the sails to be taken 
in ; still by this time he was so near Captain Black- 
mail, and the Cruizer was going at such a rate (be- 
tween ten and eleven knots an hour) that when Cap- 
tain Hancock actually discovered that the enemy was 
at anchor, he was afraid to haul to wind with the 
sail he had then set, as by this means he probably 
would have lost all his masts, lie was therefore 
under the necessity of passing him, but as soon after- 
terwards as possible, having reefed his topsails, he 
tacked and succeeded in reaching along-side of him : 
before a broadside could be fired, Captain Blackmail 
called out that he had struck. The privateer which 
he commanded was <mite new ; she was pierced for 
eighteen, and actually mounted seventeen <>'uns of 

r^ * */ O 

different calibres ; tv.:. fourteen long six-pounders, 
t\vo eighteen-pound carronades, and one long nine- 
pounder, and was manned with eighty-four men, 
Trench, Danes, Swedes, and Americans. Twenty 
English seamen were found on board of the privateer, 


who had been taken in different vessels in the course 
of her cruise. 

We are always anxious to select, where an op- 
portunity presents itself, some instance that dis- 
plays any of the peculiar and characteristic qua- 
lities of British seamen ; we thus vary our narrative, 
at the same time that \ve more completely answer 
the aim and purpose of our work. Such an instance 
occurred this year, and with it we shall conclude 
the history of the naval transactions of 1 804. 

On the evening of the 24th of November, the 
signal was made at Torbav, for the fleet, which was 

O v ' * 

lying there, to put to sea; as the ships were stand- 
ing out of the bay, the Venerable, Captain Hunter, 
while endeavouring to weather one of the ships near 
her, missed stays, and went on shore on some 
rocks. She immediately began to beat violently: as 
signals of distress were made, the boats from the 
other ships put off to her assistance; and out of five 
hundred and fifty five seamen, all were saved, except 
eight. The captain and officers remained on board 
till the last, though there was scarce a hope of 
saving their lives, as the surf was breaking most tre- 
mendously over the ship. One of the officers thus 
forcibly states what, he felt and witnessed on this 
occasion : " The officers persuaded their good and 
still undaunted captain to think of saving his life, 
and with it their own, as they had resolved one and 
all to share his fate ; after some time he consented, 
on condition that the officers should go first. This 
point being concluded, the hope of life, long dis- 
missed from our minds, began to revive, when ano- 
ther difficulty arose, which of the officers was to lead 
the way. The extinction of this new-revived hope 
was indeed dreadful, and the pause had nearly been 
fatal to us all ! At length, one of the junior lieute- 
nants, long known to the crew, and as brave a man 
as ever trod a quarter-deck, agreed to lead, the rest 
solemnly promising to follow. One alter another, 


\ve now descended from over the stern (the only part 
above water) by single ropes; cold, benumbed, and 
wet through ; and in this condition gained the boats, 
themselves in perilous attendance beneath. In tins 
manner was it, that the poor old Venerable was aban- 
doned to her fate ; and about six o'clock we reached 
the Impetueux, where it is needless to say, \ve were 
treated with every attention and kindness that one 
ship's officers could shew to another in distress." 

1805. Parliament did not meet till the 15th of 
January this session ; the principal feature in his 
Majesty's speech related to the rupture with the court 
of Spain ; and on this part of it the opposition mem- 
bers made some remarks ; but as the minister pro- 
mised to lay before parliament all the papers which 
related to this subject, no formal amendment was 
moved to the address. The first debate of im- 
portance in a naval point of view took place on 
the 6th of April, when Mr. Whithread, in pursuance 
of a former notice, brought under the consideration 
of the house the tenth report of the commissioners of 
naval enquiry. As this report contained the sub- 
stance of some very heavy and severe charges against 
Lord Melville (while treasurer of the navy, before he 
was advanced to the peerage) great interest was ex- 
cited in the public mind respecting the conduct and 
issue of this debate. The staunch and long intimacy 
both personal and political between Lord Melville 
and Mr. Pitt, it was naturally supposed would induce 
the latter to exert all his influence and eloquence to 
protect or exculpate Ins friend, It happened most 
unfortunately for Lord Melville, that he himself, when 
treasurer of the navy, had brought in the act which 
he was accused of having broken or evaded. Mr. 
Whitbread reduced his charges under three heads ; 
first, Lord Melville, having applied the public money 
to other uses than those of the naval department, in 
express contempt of an act of parliament, and in 
gross violation of his duty ; secondly, his conniving 



at a system of peculation in an individual, for whose 
conduct in the use of the public money, he was 
deeply responsible ; and for this connivance he de- 
nounced him guilty of a crime and misdemeanour; 
thirdly, his having himself been a participator in that 
system of peculation ; but as this rested only on sus- 
picion, at present, he should not now much insist 
upon it ; but if the enquiry should be instituted, he 
pledged himself to follow it up, with moderation on 
his own part, but with firmness and steadiness for the 
country. Mr. Whitbread concluded a long and ani- 
mated speech, with exhorting gentlemen of all de- 
scriptions in that house to join with him in bringing 
such enormous delinquency to punishment, and with 
reading thirteen resolutions founded on the state- 
ments which he had made ; as, however, two of these 
resolutions related to the charge which he was not 
yet prepared fully and completely to substantiate, he 
only pressed the first eleven of them. 

As this speech had evidently made a strong im- 
pression upon the house; even on that part of it, which 
usually voted with ministers, Mr. Pitt felt himself 
called upon to rise after Mr. Whitbread. He found 
it prudent to admit that the tenth report contained 
matters of a grave and serious nature, but he thought 
the fair and candid, as well as the most simple and 
obvious method was, not for the house instantane- 
ously to decide on the truth of the charges contained 
in it, but to refer the whole to a select committee. 
Thus every thing would be coolly and satisfactorily 
investigated ; whereas Mr. Whitbread, both by his 
speech and by his motion, had endeavoured to pre- 
judge the case, and to inflame the passions and pre-^ 
judices of the house. It was evidently the intention of 
*Mr. Pitt to finish this speech by moving as an amend- 
ment, that the tenth report should be referred to a 
committee of the whole iiou^e ; but on the suggestion, 
of Mr. Fox. he consented to move the previous ques- 
tion. Mr.Wilberforce, in his speech, plainly shewed 


)iow many of those members, on whom Mr. Pitt 
usually depended for support, intended to vote ; he 
contended that none of the friends of Lord Melville 
attempted to deny, that he had borrowed \ery 
large sums of money from one of his elerks, and had 
afterwards admitted that he had allowed the same 
man to remove large sums of publie money to his 
private hankers. With this broad fact, allowed by 
the friends of the accused, lie did not see how they 
could object to Mr. Whitbread's motion. The house 
was now appealed to, as the constitutional guardian 
of the rights of the people, and he should ill discharge 
his duty to the public, if he did not give his most 
cordial and sincere support to the motion. 

When the house divided, there appeared for Mr. 
Whitbread's motion 216', against it 210; the num- 
bers being thus equal, the speaker gave his casting 
voice in favour of Mr. Whitbread. This gentleman 
seemed resolved to follow up his victory; for he pro- 
posed to move an address to his Majesty, to remove 
Lord Melville from his councils and presence for 
ever; but on the suggestion of Mr. Pitt, it was agreed 
to postpone the consideration of this motion, till the 
Wednesday following. On this day Mr. Pitt, as soon 
as he entered the house, informed the members, that 
Lord Melville had resigned the oifice of iirst lord of 
the Admiralty. As, ho\\ ever, Mr. Whitbread was 
suspicious that his lordship would be restored to 
office and favour, lie moved the reading of the 
eleventh resolution, charging him with being privy 
to, and conniving at, the withdrawing, for purposes 
of private interest or emolument sums issued to him, 
as treasurer of the navy : as soon as this resolution 
was read, he entered fully and strong! v into the 
charge which it contained, and concluded his speech 
with moving, " that an humble address be presented 
to his Majesty, praying, that he would be graciously 
pleased to remove Lord Melville from all offices under 
flic cron'ii during pleasure, and from his councils and 

A A 2. 


presence for ever." This motion, however, appeared 
to many of the independent members to press too 
heavily on his lordship, and it was particularly ob- 
jected to by Mr. Bankes and Mr. Wilberforce ; the 
former did not think there was any necessity for the 
eagerness shewn to follow up the blow already struck; 
as he thought there was no probability that his lord- 
ship would be restored to his Majesty's council. He 
also thought it contrary to precedent, as he never 
understood it to be the usage of the house, to ad- 
dress his Majesty against persons out of office ; there- 
fore, though he voted for the motion, on the former 
Slight, he should resist the present. Mr, Wilber- 
force felt himself undecided in what manner he 
should vote, and strongly recommended to Mr. Whit- 
bread the withdrawing of his motion. Mr. Whit- 
bread accordingly withdrew it, and in its stead 
moved, that the resolutions of the former night be 
laid before his Majesty by the whole house, which 
\vas carried unanimously. 

No further parliamentary proceedings took place 
on this important business till after the Easter recess y 
when Mr. Whitbread, understanding from the chan- 
cellor of the exchequer, that he did not mean to re- 
commend it to his Majesty to expel Lord Melville 
from the privy council, gave notice of a motion to 
that effect; and, in the mean time, moved for a select 
committee to take into further consideration th$ 
tenth report of the naval commissioners. This mo- 
tion was opposed by Mr. Pitt, who moved an amend- 
ment, by which the powers and duties of the select 
committee were limited to the investigation of that 
part of the report which related to the application of 
sums granted for navy services, to other branches of 
the public service, and also to the irregularities com- 
mitted in the mode of drawing the money granted 
for the service of the navy from the bank ; on a di- 
vision of the house, there appeared for the amend- 
ment 229, for Mr. Whitbrcud'a motion Ijl. This 


committee was appointed by ballot, and Mr. Whit- 
bread complained I hat twenty-one names had been 
selected by the minister; that these names were 
handed about, previously to the ballot taking place, 
and that these names were actually voted to form the 

On the 29th of April, Mr. Spencer Stanhope moved, 
that the attorney-general be directed to take such 
measures as may appear most effectual in ascertaining 
and securing-, by a due course of law, such sums as 
may be due to the public, in respect to the profits 
arising from money applicable to the service of the 
navy, which came into the hands of Lord Melville 
and Mr. Trotter, since the 1st of January, 1786'. 
This motion was opposed by Mr. Bankes,who moved as 
an amendment, that the attorney-general be directed 
to prosecute the said Lord Melville and Mr. Trotter, 
for the said offence ; in order that a criminal, instead 
of a civil prosecution might be commenced ; the 
original motion was however carried, there being for 
it 223, and against it 128. 

The opposition perceiving that they had the popu- 
lar side of the question, and being determined either 
to drive Lord Melville from the privy council, or to 
shake the credit and power of Mr. Pitt, if he per- 
severed in retaining him a member of it, again 
brought forward this part of the subject on the 6th 
of May; when Mr. Whitbread moved that his Ma- 
jesty's answer to the communication made to him of 
the resolutions of that house, be taken into consider- 
ation. The chancellor of the exchequer upon this 
rose, and informed Mr. Whitbread that he had a cir- 
cumstance to state which would render that motion 
unnecessary since he had felt it his duty to advise his 
Majesty to erase Lord Melville's name from the list 
of the privy council. 

As Mr. Whitbread had given no Lice that he in- 
tended to move an impeachment against Lord Mel- 
ville, his lordship begged permission of the House of 


Commons to attend and be heard upon the subject 
of the tenth report. Upon this occasion he displayed 
all his accustomed coolness and adroitness of argu- 
ment; he acknowledged that he had appropriated 
the public money, entrusted to him for the service of 
the navy, toother public services ; but he most so- 
lemnly and unequivocally denied that he had ever 
derived, either directly or indirectly, any private be- 
nefit from it ; or that he had in the smallest degree 
participated in the profits which Sir. Trotter had 
made. To one charge, that of having applied the 
sum of 10,000/. in a manner unexplained., and unac- 
counted for, he pleaded guilty, if guilt it could be 
called : that sum had been employed for the public 
benefit ; but he could not, consistently with private 
honour and public duty, reveal the mode in which 
it held been applied. As soon as his lordship had 
left the house, Mr. Whitbread rose; he contended 
that Lord Melville, instead of weakening the charges 
by his defence, had rather added to their weight ; 
and that the house, if they acted consistently with 
their character, as the guardians of the public money, 
could not object to his motion, which was, that 
Henry Lord Viscount Melville be impeached of high 
crimes and misdemeanours. A very Ion"- debate en- 

/ O 

sued : Mr. Bond moved an amendment, recom- 
mending- a criminal prosecution; on the division, 
there appeared for the impeachment 195, against it, 
72 ; and for Mr. Bond's amendment, 238, against 
Jt C,9 ; majority for the criminal prosecution 9- 

It wu;s naturally imagined, that the mode of pro- 
ceeding against Loid Melville, was now finally ar- 
ranged ; but ;V<>m some cause, Mr. Pitt soon after- 
wards hinted in the house, that he thought impeach- 
ment preferable to a criminal prosecution : and on 
the ! J.3>h of June, Mr. Leyccster moved, that the 
house do proceed by impeachment : he justified this 
alteration in the mode of proceeding, and this opposi- 
tion to a former decision of the house, on the ground 


that the rank of Lord Melville demanded all the res- 
pect due to the high order of which he was a mem- 
ber : that the trial of an accused person before his 
peers, was more consistent with the spirit of the con- 
stitution ; that there was a strictness of proceeding* 
in courts of law, which must be productive of embar- 
rassment in point of form ; and that a proceeding by 
impeachment would be more injurious to Lord Mel- 
ville if he were guilty, and more advantageous if he 

O * * O 

were innocent. Mr. Bond, who had moved and car- 
ried the mode of proceeding by criminal prosecution, 
opposed Mr. Leycester's motion ; and strongly insist- 
ed on the inconsistency of those, who before opposed 
impeachment, and now supported it. In reply to 
this charge, the attorney-general observed, that those 
who voted for impeachment were one hundred and 
ninety-five, but being driven out of that, and think- 
ing a criminal prosecution better than none at all, 
they had joined the other party of forty-three, which 
made up the majority. Mr. Fox endeavoured to 
postpone the decision by a motion for proceeding to 
the other orders of the day, which being lost, the im- 
peachment was carried ; and an order passed, " That 
Mr. Whitbread do go to the House of Lords, and at 
their bar, in the name of the House of Commons, and 
of all the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland, impeach Henry Viscount Melville 
of high crimes and misdemeanors, and acquaint them, 
that this house will in due time exhibit particular ar- 
ticles against him, and make good the same." The 
only further proceeding in parliament this session, re- 
lative to Lord Melville, was a bill brought in by Mr. 
Whitbread, for indemnifying Mr. Trotter and others, 
giving evidence in the case of his lordship; the parti- 
culars and the result of the impeachment will be de- 
tailed under the year 1806'. 

Besides this most interesting and important case of 
Lord Melville, there were, during this session of par- 
liament, some other debates and proceedings, connect- 


eel with the navy, to which it may be proper to ad- 
vert. One of the most striking features in the ma- 
nagement of the earl of St. Vincent, while he was at 
the head of the Admiralty, was economy and minute 
attention to every branch of expenditure; this, in the 
opinion of many, was carried much too far : so far, 
indeed, as to weaken and injure the cause which it 
was intended to benefit and support. When Lord 
Melville was placed at the head of the Admiralty, he 
seemed disposed completely to avoid the extreme of 
his predecessor. On this ground, Earl Darnley brought 
the economy of the navy before the House of Lords ; 
he contended, that had the important naval reforms, 
which were proposed, and begun to be acted upon, 
been gradually carried into execution, the navy might 
not only be kept up without resorting to the private 
yards, but a considerable annual addition be also 
made to it. But the present board of Admiralty had 
despised and neglected that economy and arrange- 
ment which their predecessors had begun in the king's 
yards, as if they had come into office with the specific 
pledge to reverse their whole system. His lordship 
then moved, for a return of all the ships and their 
rates, which had been built, either in his Majesty's 
yards, or in those of the merchants, for several years: 
the actual and comparative expence of building in 
these different yards ; and several other papers, which 
he said would clearly prove, that, in every point of 
view, the system pursued by Earl St. Vincent, was 
preferable to that now adopted. In answer to this 
most elaborate harangue, Lord Melville contented 
himself with a brief speech; he could not be accused 
of deviating from the usual plan ; he had only pursued 
what his predecessors (with the exception of Lord St. 
Vincent) had uniformly done ; and that the innova- 
tions brought in by that nobleman, were real improve- 
ments, was very far from being clear or certain ; the 
presumption was, that they were mischievous, rather 
than beneficial ; for it ought to be recollected, that 


money was not always saved in reality by what ap- 
peared plans of economy : and that even where it 
was saved ; the saving might be obtained at too clear 
a rate. After a few words from the duke of Clarence 
in support of the motion, it was put and negatived 
without a division. 

Earl Darnley, however, was not to be daunted : 
on the 24th of May, he moved for a select committee 
of the House of Lords to take into consideration the 
several papers on the table, respecting the state of the 
navy. His object was the same in this as in his for- 
mer motion : viz. to institute a comparison between 
the late and the present board of Admiralty; the 
practice of the former, he said, was to dismiss useless 
.ships, which crowded without strengthening the navy ; 
to confine the building to the king's yards; to dismiss 
useless officers and artizans, and to put a stop to pro- 
lusion and abuses : the system of the present board 
was exactly the reverse ; and it was necessary it 
should be enquired into. Lord Melville, in reply, 
again maintained that the present board followed the 
old and established system ; that even Lord St. Vin- 
cent had pointed out the necessity of contracting for 

* / 

as many seventy-four gun ships, as persons could be 
found to undertake, though from some cause not ex- 
plained, nor easily imagined, he had altered his opi- 
nion. This of course brought up Earl St. Vincent, 
who stated that he had altered his opinion for a very 
sufficient reason ; when he was placed at the head of the 
board of Admiralty, there was a most lamentable de- 
iiciency of timber in his Majesty's dock-yards: so 

*/ t/ / tj 

that he was compelled to enter into contracts for 
building ships, till the dock-yards were replenished. 
Some severe, and rather personal, remarks fell from 
Lord Melville and Earl St. Vincent, after which Lord 
Darn ley's motion was rejected by a large majority. 

'] he naval supplies for the service of this year \\erc 
voted as follows ; on the 'J3d of January, one hundred 
and twenty thousand men. were voted, including 


thirty thousand marines ; and a sum not exceeding 
2,88&,000/. for the pay of the said men, at the rate of 
M. \7s. per man : a sum of 2,964,0001. for victualling 
c. at the rate of I/. !8.v. per man : and 4,680,000/. 
for the wear and tear of shipping. The number of 
men at that time actually employed in the navy, was 
stated to be between one hundred and seven, and one 
hundred and eight, thousand. 

On the 13th of February, the House of Commons 
voted 1,004,9467. for the ordinary expences of the 
navy ; 1,553,6901. for building and repairing ships 
of war; 975,0001. for the hire of transports ; 525,0001. 
for prisoners of war in health ; 57,0()0/. for sick pri- 
soners of war ; and 300,000/. for ordnance for the 

On the 15th of February, the chancellor of the 
exchequer stated to the House of Commons, that the 
total amount of what had been already voted for the 
navy, exclusive of the 300,0001. for ordnance sea-ser- 
vice, was 14 6'-i5,fi30/. : exceeding by 2,600,GOO/. the 
amount of what had been voted the preceding year 
for the same service. This excess arose from the sum 
of ],800,()00/. and from the expences attending the 
twenty thousand additional seamen, and the encreasc 
in the extraordinaries and the transport service. The 
total of the supply for the year 1805, amounted to 
55,590,1221. 136'. "5d. 

As the important naval transactions which were 
carried on, upon a large scale this year, both by 
Great Britain and her enemies, are much inter- 
woven it will be necessary, in order to present a com- 
plete and luminous view of them, in the first place, 
to notice the naval actions of less magnitude, so that 
there may be no interruption to the narrative of those 
most o-lorious events, which terminated in the death 

o ' 

of Lord Nelson. 

The first of these inferior actions to which we shall 
advert, took place off the coast of Spain ; Captain 
Farquhar, of the bomb-vessel Acheron, in company 


with the Arrow sloop, was cruising off that station, 
in the beginning of February. At day-light, two 
vessels were seen in chase of the British; they 'soon 
approached so near, that Captain Farquhar knew 
them to be French ; he used every effort in his power 
to escape, as their force was so very much superior : 
hut owing to their sailing much better, and the wind 
favouring them, he soon found that Avas impossible; 
the Acheron and Arrow, therefore prepared for ac- 
tion. About four o'clock in the afternoon, one of 
the enemy's ships, a large frigate, came abreast of 
the Acheron, and, after having hailed her, poured in 
a broadside of round and grape-shot, which damaged 
the masts and rigging very considerably, but did not 
kill or wound any of the crew. The Acheron was' 
manoeuvred with a gteat deal of skill and promptitude, 
for, after having returned the broadside, she was wore, 
and the guns from the other side fired. The Arrow, 
in the mean time, bore up joined in the action, and 
raked the frigate. The second French frigate now 
came up, and passing the Arrow without iiring, she 
presented her stern towards the Acheron, who, there- 
upon, gave her two rounds from the larboard guns. 
The frigates, soon after this, hauled their wind and 
stood off: and the night was employed, by both par- 
ties, in repairing the damages which they had respec- 
tively sustained, and in making ready for a renewal 
of the engagement. When day broke, the frigates, 
one of whom had a broad pendant flying, stood down 
towards the Arrow and Acheron : about half-past 
seven, the action recommenced : the enemy seemed 
at first principally to direct their attention against the 
Acheron ; but afterwards they both pressed hard 
against the Arrow ; the battle continued for some 
time with various success, but the great superiority 
of the enemy could not. be withstood ; about eight 
o'clock, the Arrow was compelled to strike, havii;<>- 
suffered considerably tVoni the lire of the encmv, 
while from the lightness of the wind, she lay with 


her bead to them in the act of wearing. Further re- 
sistance on the part of the Acheron would now have 
been fruitless, and only destructive to the lives of her 
brave crew ; Captain Farquhar, therefore, justly con- 
ceiving that a regard to them ought to influence his 
conduct, resolved to surrender ; but previously to 
carrying this resolution into effect, he made sail, to 
ascertain whether there was any chance of escape. 
This he soon found absolutely impossible ; and, hav- 
ing received another broadside, he surrendered to the 
French frigate LTIortense, of forty-four guns. The 
Acheron was so much disabled, that, as soon as the 
officers and crew were removed, the enemy set her 
on fire. 

The Cleopatra, a small thirty-two gun frigate, com- 
manded by Sir Robert Lawrie, being on a cruise, dis- 
covered an enemy's vessel in latitude 28 N. long. 67 W, 
When the ships neaied each other, Sir Robert per- 
ceived that the enemy was much superior to him in 
number of guns, and apparently in weight of metal, 
and in her complement of men. However, instead 
of declining, he resolved to court an action; and, for 
this purpose, in order to entice the enemy nearer, the 
Cleopatra shewed American colours ; from some cause, 
however, at first, the enemy seemed desirous of mak- 
ing off: and this induced Sir Robert to pursue under 
a press of sail. The weather being squally, the Cleo- 
patra carried away some of her rigging during the 
pursuit, which of course impeded her, and prevented 
her coming up so soon as she otherwise would have 
done, with the enemy. The chase began on the 16th 
of February, and on the 17th, at day-light, the Cleo- 
patra was about four miles astern. The enemy no 
longer seemed desirous of declining an engagement; 
but directed all his endeavours and manoeuvres to gain 
the wind of the Cleopatra; this, by his superior sail- 
ing, lie was enabled to accomplish. Firing now com- 
menced, though at such a distance, as not to product- 
much effect ; but the guns of the enemy appeared so 


Well directed, and of such heavy metal, that Sir Ro- 
bert Lawrie, in order to prevent being raked, was 
obliged to steer up, so as to keep on the enemy's quar- 
ter, though by this means he prolonged the chase. 
When the two ships were within a half-cable's dis- 
tance, the enemy suddenly luffed close to the wind, 
and poured in two broadsides ; these were returned 
immediately ; the action now became warm and regu- 
lar ; while each party used every endeavour to ma- 
noeuvre his ship in such a manner, as to gain the ad- 
vantage of his opponent ; sometimes they steered close 
to the wind ; at other times they sailed rather free ; 
in this latter case, the Cleopatra had considerably the 
advantage* About five o'clock, Sir Robert Lawrie 

o 7 

found that his rie'orins was so very much cut, that it 

iT^O CT* / 

was impossible either to shorten or back a sail ; in or- 
der, therefore, to prevent his stern from being exposed 
to the lire of twenty-live pieces of cannon from his 
broadside, he endeavoured to cross the enemy's bow, 
that by this position he might rake him : but while 
the ship was in the act of wearing, an unfortunate 
fehot struck the wheel, so as to render it completely 
useless : the rudder, at the same time, was in the same 
predicament, in consequence of being choked by 
splinters, pistols, c. placed near it. The Cleopatra 
now was utterly ungovernable ; this the enemy per- 
ceived, and did not fail to take immediate advantage of 
it ; other circumstances likewise favoured him ; he had 
the wind on his quarter; the ships being thus respectively 
placed, the enemy run his head and bowsprit over 
the quarter deck of the Cleopatra ; and opening a very 
heavy fire of muskets, endeavoured to effect a board- 
ing ; in this attempt, however, he did not succeed, 
but was drove back with considerable loss and confu- 
sion ; but as the French frigate was considerably 
higher out of the water than the Cleopatra, she was 
enabled to fire down upon her with such effect, that 
her decks were soon cleared. The Cleopatra was 
now in a very dangerous situation ; she had, lviiu T 


across her, a very superior frigate, going- almost before' 
the wind; a great sea was running, and every heave 
of the sea seemed as if it would drive the enemy quite 
through her sides. Sir Robert La \vrie could not, 
however, think of surrendering, while there was any 
prospect or chance of saving the ship ; the only 
chance for this was, by getting clear of his opponent. 
He, therefore, ordered some of the remaining sails to 
be set ; but every man who attempted to execute his 
orders, was knocked down by the musketry and small 
shot of the enemy. Hitherto, the Frenchmen, not- 
withstanding the advantage they derived from the rela- 
tive circumstances and positions of the ships, did not 
seem disposed to renew the attempt to board the Cleo- 
patra ; but about five o'clock they did make the attempt, 
and they succeeded ; resistance now no longer could be 
made; and Sir Robert Lawrie was compelled to surren- 
der to the French frigate La Ville cle Milan, of forty-six 
guns, French eighteen pounders, on the main-deck, 
and eight pounders on the quarter-deck and fore-cas- 
tle ; her complement of men was three hundred and 
fifty, besides officers and passengers. The French fri- 
gate was nearly double the size of the Cleopatra, as 
she had been built for a seventy-four, and was one 
thousand two hundred tons burden ; the Cleopatra 
also had scarcely more than half the number of men 
of the enemy, as she could only muster one hundred 
and ninety-nine. It is not necessary to point out the 
gallantry and persevering courage displayed through 
the whole of this very unequal contest; a detail of 
the particulars, which we have given at considerable 
length, renders this unnecessary. 

Sir Robert Lawrie and his brave crew were destined 
not to remain long prisoners. On the 23d of Febru- 
ary, the Leander of iifty gu'ns, Captain Talbot, disco- 
vered a large ship under jury-masts, in company with 
another of smaller size. Chase was immediately 
given : as soon as they perceived the force of the Le- 
aacler, the two vessels closed to support each other, 


at the same time hoisting French colours. When the 
Lcander came nearer them, they separated, one of 
them putting before the wind, while the other steered 
with it on her quarter ; this was evidently done in 
the hope that one of them might escape. A little 
after four o'clock, the Leander came within musket- 
shot of the smaller vessel ; which struck as soon as 
a single gun was fired at her. This was the Cleopa- 
tra, having heen only six days in the possession of 
the enemy. As soon as her colours were struck, her 
crew came upon deck, and took possession' of her. 
Captain Talbot, therefore, committing the charge of 
her to them, chased the other frigate ; alongside of 
which, he got in less than an hour, when she also 
struck, without a gun being fired on either side. The 
officers of La Ville cle Milan informed Captain Talbot, 
that as they had despatches on board for France, and 
their orders were peremptory, not to pursue, nor speak 
to any ship, during their passage the}' had done 
every thing in their power to avoid being brought to 
action by the Cleopatra. Monsieur Reynaud, who 
commanded La Ville de Milan, was killed by the last 
shot which had been fired from the Cleopatra. " It 
is not possible," continues Captain Ttdbot, " for offi- 
cers to speak in stronger terms than the French offi- 
cers do, in praise of Sir Robert Lawrie's perseverance 
in so long a chase, except it is in the praise they be- 
stow on him, his officers, seamen, and marines, for 
their gallant conduct, during so long and severe an 

O ' O CT* 

action. The French officers, whom I have prisoners 
on board this ship, cannot themselves avoid to ac- 
knowledge, that, had not the Cleopatra unfortunately 
forged a head of La Ville de Milan in the latter part 
of the action, La Ville de Milan must have surren- 
dered to the Cleopatra." 

In the naval history of last year, we had occasion 
to notice the enterprising and successful bravery of 
Captain F. Maitland, of the Loire frigate: an action 
took place this year in Muros Bay, which amply 


proved that his officers and crew were worthy of 
their commander. Captain Maitland being perfectly 
acquainted with this bay, and having received infor- 
mation that a privateer of twenty-six guns was fitting 
out there, resolved to attempt her capture or destruc- 
tion : for this purpose, she stood as close in as possi- 
ble, and having made every preparation for engaging 
at anchor, he directed Mr. Yeo, his first lieutenant, 
with two other officers, and fifty men, to land, and 
storm the fort which protected the privateer. The 
boats in which they were to embark, were kept along- 
side of the frigate, till she got well into the bay ; as- 
sooii as she cleared a point of land, a small battery 
unexpectedly opened its fire; and as Captain Mait- 
land found that, unless this fire was silenced, the fri- 
gate would be much annoyed, he desired Lieutenant 
Yeo and his men, to push on shore, and spike the 
guns. Captain Maitland, at the same time, very 
much roused the spirits of the boat's crew, by remind- 
ing them that it was their sovereign's birth-day. The 
nearer the Loire approached to the scene of action, 
the more difficulties presented themselves; besides 
the privateer, of which Captain Maitland had re- 
ceived information, a very long corvette, of twenty- 
six ports, nearly ready for sea, was seen. Captain 
Maitlar.d, however, was in hopes, as neither of them 
began to fire, that they had not their guns on board ; 
he, therefore, directed his first and principal attention 
to a heavy fort, which he observed within less than a 
quarter of a mile, and which opened a well-directed 
fire. This fort in a very short time had sent several 
shot through the hull of the Loire; and as it was 
evident the nearer the frigate approached, the more 
she would be exposed, Captain Mainland anchored 
in an advantageous position, and began to return 
the fire. 

In the meantime Lieutenant Yeo, with the men 
under his command, had made good their landing; 
us soon as they approached the fort on the point, the 


enemy abandoned it. Lieutenant Yeo next directed 
his attention to such other measures, as he thought 
would best aid the endeavours of the Loire, and fulfil 
the purpose for which lie had been sent on shore ; he 
soon observed the strong fort at the entrance of the 
town, which, as has been noticed, fired with such 
effect against the Loire. Notwithstanding its great 
strength, both from its position, and from the guns 
"Which were in it, Lieutenant Yeo was convinced it 
might be carried by storm ; lie knew well the bravery 
of the officers and men that were with him ; and that 
whatever was possible, they would attempt and exe- 
cute. He, therefore, ordered them to follow him for 
the purpose of taking the fort by storm ; no sooner 
was the word out of his mouth, than he was obeyed 
with all that energy and bravery which, on such an. 
occasion, Britons always display. It fortunately hap- 
pened, that the enemy had neglected to secure the 
gate of the fort, through which the British entered : 
they were, however, met at the inner gate by the go- 
vernor with all the troops he could collect, and the 
crews of the privateers ; Lieutenant Yeo was the first 
who entered the fort, and, with one blow, he laid the 
governor dead at Iiis feet, at the same time breaking 
liis own sabre in two. The enemy had the advan- 
tage at first, from the extreme narrowness of the 
gate; but they were soon dislodged, and compelled 
to fly to the farthest end of the fort ; such was their 
confusion and dismay, that many of them actually 
leaped from the embrasures, a height of about twenty - 
five feet, on the rocks below. "\ lie instant the British 
gained possession of the fort, they laid aside one of 
their characteristic qualities, bravery, and assumed 
another, humanity; as soon us the enemy had surren- 
dered, he was to them a fellow-creature, to whose 
assistance and comfort they were anxious to contri- 
bute all in their power; each rivalled the others in 
relieving the poor wounded prisoners; and their hu- 
manity was amply acknowledged and repaid by the 



gratitude which the unfortunate men's friends ex- 
pressed, when they came to take them away. 

It is now time to advert to the situation and the 
transactions of the Loire. As soon as the British 
flag was displayed on the fort, Captain Maitland 
found there was a little remaining obstacle to his 
taking possession of the enemy's vessels in the road : 
they consisted of the Confiance, French privateer, 
pierced for twenty-six, twelve, and nine-pounders, 
none of which, however, were on board ; the Belier, 
a French privateer brig, pierced for twenty eighteen- 
pound carronades ; and a Spanish merchant-brig in 
ballast Captain Maitland, after taking possession of 
these, hoisted a flag of truce, and informed the inha- 
bitants that, if they would deliver up such of the 
stores as were on shore, he would do them no da- 
mage ; this proposal was instantly and cheerfully 
agreed to. Captain Maitland, in his official despatch, 
praises in the highest terms, the bravery and disci- 
pline of such of his men as were on shore: " much 
to the credit of the ship's company," he says, " the 
bishop and one of the principal inhabitants of the 
town, came off to express their gratitude for the or* 
derly behaviour of the people (there not being one 
instance of pillage), ami to make offer of every re- 
freshment the place afforded." The following is an 
account of the enemy's force, at the commencement 
of tiie action ; a fort, of twelve Spanish eighteen 
pounders ; twenty-two Spanish soldiers ; several Spa- 
nish gentlemen and townsmen volunteers; and about 
one hundred of the Contknce's crew ; the small bat- 
tery on the point, two Spanish eighteen pounders, 
manned by eight artillery-men and ten other Spa- 
niards. In the bav, La Confiance pierced for twenty- 

V ' t * ^ 

six guns; she was to have sailed in a few days for 
India, with a complement of three hundred men ; 
this vessel was brought away. Le Belier, pierced 
tor twenty guns; she was burnt, as it was found im- 
practicable to bring lier off. 


In consequence of the war which recommenced 
this year, between France and Austria, Buonaparte 
was under the necessity of breaking- up his camps 
near Boulogne, and, of course, the threat and prepa^ 
rations of invasion were laid aside. As, however, his 
enmity to Great Britain was paramount even to his 
designs against Austria, and will be as long as he 
lives, the master passion of his soul, he directed new 
and unusual efforts to increase his navy. The official 
gazettes of France alluded in pretty open and strong 
terms to the measures that were pursuing, and the 
expectations which they indulged. " Years," they 
said, " it was true, had elapsed, but they had not 
l>een passed inactively. Arms, ships, and men, had 
been secretly in preparation, and fleets were now to 
be poured forth from all the harbours of France. 
The ocean was no longer to belong to England ; she 
was bade to tremble in every quarter of the globe, 
for in every quarter of the globe would her possessions 
be assailed." 

Much allowance must always be made for French 
gasconade, especially where this national tendency 
is fostered by hatred against England : but there 
was more truth in these representations, so far as 
they respected the efforts which Buonaparte had been 
making for several years, to increase his navy, than 
was at the time suspected. It was, indeed, known 
that a squadron of six sail of the line and two fri- 
gates had been long lying in Rochcfort, but so closely 
and constantly blockaded by our ships, that thev 
could not get to sea. This year they eluded our vi- 
gilance, and got out ; and about the same time the 
Toulon fleet, consisting of eleven sail of the line and 
two frigates, also got out of the harbour. Lord 
Nelson had been stationed before Toulon, but it was 
not part of the plan of this great man to blockade an 
enemy's poits strictly ; he rather wished, by keeping at 
a distance, to entice them to sea ; and, in the course 


of the year 1804, lie had written rather an indignant 
letter to the common-council of London, hecause 
they had voted him thanks for having blockaded the 
ports of the enemy. 

The unusual circumstance of two fleets of the ene- 
my having escaped to sea much about the same time, 
created great alarm in Great Britain ; it was impos- 
sible to conjecture on what enterprise they were gone, 
or whither they were bound. The most common 
opinion was, that Malta was their object ; other peo- 
ple supposed that they had gone to Brazil or the 
West Indies ; all, however, were apprehensive that 
they would do much mischief before they returned to 
port, or were captured by the British. The general 
source of consolation arose from the circumstance, 
that Lord Nelson knew that they were at sea, and 
that he would use every exertion to ascertain their 
route, and to come up with them ; and, if he did 
come up with them, not one individual was doubtful 
of the result. 

At length it was ascertained, that, on the 22d of 
February, the smaller fleet which had sailed from 
Rochefort had made its appearance in the West In- 
dies, and made an attempt on Dominica. This at- 
tempt, however, was only partially successful ; the 
town of Rousseau, indeed, was set on fire during the 
attack of the French ; but, on the C 27th, they thought 
it prudent to re-embark their whole force, and to sail 
towards Guadaloupe. Early in March, the same ar- 
mamentnppcared before St. Kitt's ; where the enemy 
landed, levied a contribution of 18,000/. ; burnt some 
merchant-men ; and then re-embai ked. They also laid 
the small island of Nevis under contribution, and this 
Was the whole that was effected by this force, as Ad- 
miral Cochrane, who had been despatched to the 
West Indies as soon as the sailing of the Rochefort 
squadron was known, alarmed them so, that they 
thought it prudent to return to Europe. It was for- 


tunate enough to get into Uochefort, though there 
were several Uritish fleets at sea, and several squa- 
drons were cruizing expressly to intercept it. 

Although when Admiral Villeneuve sailed from 
Toulon, Lord Nelson was out of sight of that port, 
he was speedily informed of the circumstance; and 
he lost no time in proceeding in that direction 
which he supposed the enemy had taken. It struck 
the British admiral that Malta and Egypt were the 
destination of the armament; and he accordingly 
sailed towards Alexandria; hut neither there, nor in 
any part of the Mediterranean, which lie crossed in 
all directions, could he gain any intelligence of Ad- 
miral Villeneuve, who, indeed, after having hecn to 
sea only a few clays, encountered such a violent gale 
as induce*! him to return to Toulon. Lord Nelson 
in the mean "ime not being ahle to ascertain where 
he was, took his station in the Sicilian seas, as tl e 
most likely place, either to hear of, or to meet with, 
the enemy. 

On the 30th of March, Admiral Villeneuve again 
ventured out of Toulon, having employed the inter- 
vening time in repairing the damage which his fleet 
had sustained during its former short cruise: his ob- 
ject now was, to reach Carthagena, where he ex- 
pected to find several Spanish sail of the line ready 
to join him; hut, as they were not in a condition fit 
for sea or action immediately, he proceeded to Cadiz; 
here he was joined hy one French and six Spanish 
sail of the line. His whole tleet now amounted to 
eighteen sail of the line, in a perfect state of equip- 
ment, having on board, beside their full complement 
of men, ten thousand veteran troops. With this for- 
midable armament, the French admiral proceeded di- 
rectly to the \Vest Indies, having forced Sir John 
Orde, who was before Ca-iiz with live sail of the line, 
to retire' from that station. 

The \Vcst Indies were now considered to be in 
great am! imminent danger, especially as the move- 


ments and intentions of Lord Nelson were for some 
time unknown. His lordship had wailed at Palermo 
only a sufiicient time to take in the necessary supply 
of provisions; still ignorant of the motions of the 
French fleet. Ahout the middle of April, he, at last, 
learned that it had actually passed the Gut of Gib- 
raltar; he immediately proceeded in the same direc- 
tion, and, having anchored early in the month of 
May, off the Barbary coast, he received certain intel- 
ligence that the French fleet had proceeded to the 
West Indies. The great inferiority of hrs force to 
that of th enemy ; the distance ; the great improba- 
bility that he should arrive there before they had 
done their meditated mischief; none of these cir- 
cumstances weighed with his active and vigorous 
mind. lie instantly formed his resolution, and di- 
rected his course from the Straits of Gibraltar to the 
West Indies, having previously received at Tetuan 
and Lagos Hay such articles of the first importance 
and necessity as the wants of his fleet demanded. 

This was, indeed, a bold and arduous enterprise : 
Admiral Nelson had with him only ten sail of the 
line, and .most, if not all of these, were foul, having 
been cruising for more than two years ; yet, had he 
not taken the step \vhich he did, it is highly pro- 
bable that all our valuable possessions in the West 
Indies would have fallen into the hands of the 

So well were the measures of the French planned 
to distract the attention of the English, that scarcely 
had the apprehension and alarm created by the sail- 
ing of the Toulon fleet, reached its height, when the 
Brest fleet put to sea also. Admiral Gardner block- 
aded tins port with seventeen sail of the line; the 
enemy came out with twenty-five sail. The British 
admiral, however, notwithstanding his very great in- 
feriority, did not decline the contest ; but the French 
contented themselves with a few manoeuvres, and 
then returned to port, leaving the English admiral 


to continue the blockade, without any subsequent 

On the 11 tli of May, Lord Nelson left Lagos Bay, 
in pursuit of Admiral Villeneuve, across the Atlantic; 
on the 15th of that month he was twenty leagues to 
the eastward of Madeira ; and, on the 4th of June, he 
anchored in Carlisle Bay, in the island of Barbadoes. 
There he was informed that the French admiral had 
arrived at Martinique, on the 14th of May, but that 
from some unknown cause, he had hitherto achieved 
nothing with his immense force, but the capture of 
the Diamond Rock, off that island. At. Barbadoes, 
Lord Nelson was joined by Admiral Cochrane, with 
two sail of the line, and he immediately proceeded 
against the enemy. 

The inactivity of the French has been variously ac- 
counted for ; the most probable cause was, the great 
sickness among their troops, not fewer than three 
thousand of whom it is said, perished at Martinique, 
from the disorders so fatal and common in that cli- 
mate. It was also believed that the French and Spa- 
niards, jealous and mistrustful of each other, could 
not agree in any one plan of operations, and that their 
inactivity was partly owing to that cause. 

As soon as it was known in England, that Lord 
Nelson had proceeded to the West Indies ; all appre- 
hension subsided, for such was the confidence in him, 
so iirm the belief, that where he was, victory was 
also, that the nation looked upon the great superiority 
of the enemy as nothing, where Lord Nelson was 

His lordship was still doubtful with respect to the 
actual intentions and course of the enemy; but he 
concluded that Trinidad was as likely an object of at- 
tack as any : not only because it was less strong than 
many other of the islands, but because it was natural 
to suppose, that the Spanish Admiral Gravina, would 
be anxious to wrest it from us, and to restore it to his 
own Sovereign. In the .short space of twenty-four 


hours, Lord Nelson had taken in water for the whole 
fleet, and had also received on board t\vo thousand 
troops under SirWilliam Myers. On the 7 th of June, he 
arrived off Trinidad, where he learnt that the enemy 
had never been, nor could he ascertain their course, 
lie now sailed for Grenada, which he reached on the 
i)th, there he had the mortification to learn, that the 
fleet of the enemy, amounting to seventeen sail of 
the line, had that very morning sailed from Marti- 
nique, in a northerly direction : this lead him to sup- 
pose that Antigua was their object, and to it he di- 
rected his .course ; but on his arrival off this island, 
lie was again disappointed in not meeting with the 
foe; he ascertained the fact, however, as flattering 
to him, as it was disgraceful to the enemy, that they 
had. under the impression of terror, which his name 
inspired, betaken themselves to a precipitate and 
shameful ilight, and were actually on their return to 

Lord Nelson immediately disembarked the troops 
\vhichhe had on board, at Antigua; and having dis- 
patched several fast sailing vessels, to inform the 
British ministry of the return of the enemy, and to 
spread the same intelligence in every direction, he 
sailed in pursuit of his living foe. 

Admiral Villeueuve, with twenty sail of the line 
French and Spanish ; three large ships armed enjiute, 
five frigates, and three brigs, proceeded without mo- 
lestation till he arrived off Cape Fmisterre: here he 
encountered Sir Robert Cakler, who was cruizing off 
the Cape, in the hope of intercepting the enemy, 
with fifteen sail of the line, two frigates, a cutter, 
and a lugger. 

An action immediately began, which continued four 
hours ; the enemy, besides their superiority in point of 
force, had every advantage of wind and weather, 
d,uring the whole dav : soon after the action com- 
menced, the fog became so very thick at intervals, 
that the nearest ships could scarcely be distinguished, 


so that the signals of Sir Robert Calder were of little 
use. At the termination of the action, the St. Rafael, 
of eighty-four guns, and the Firme of seventy-four 
guns, remained in the possession of the British. Sir 
Robert Calder now conceived it necessary to bring-to 

t/ O 

his fleet, in order to coyer his prizes ; and the night 
was spent by both fleets in repairing their respective 
damages. The next morning the enemy appeared 
disposed to renew the engagement, v, Inch, had they 
been in earnest, they might easily have done, as they 
had the advantage of the wind. However, they never 
came nearer than four leagues, while Sir Robert Calder 
kept on his course in such a manner, as he judged best 
qualified to secure his prizes, and the Windsor, which 
had suffered much during the engagement. When 
night came on again, the fleets were about six leagues 
from each other ; and when day broke on the 24th, 
the enemy were seen steering away under easy sail, 
and in the evening of that day, they could no longer 
be distinguished. 

The -British nation were very much chagrined, 
displeased, and disappointed, when they learnt the 
issue of this battle. Sir Robert Calder was severely 
blamed for not having done more. The nation, very 
naturally, though perhaps not very fairlv, conceived 
what Lord Nelson would have done, had he been in 
the situation of Sir Robert Calder. They made no 
allowance for the (which at any other 
time would have weighed with tlv/m) that Sir Robert 
had only fifteen sail of the line, while the enemy had 
twenty sail, besides three large lifty gun ships; nor 
did they sufficiently advert to the circumstance that 
he had actually beaten the enemy, and taken two of 
their ships. They merely looked to this, that a battle 
had been fought between him and the enemy, and 
that the greater part of the latter had escaped ; they 
also recollected that this enemy had tied before Lord 
Nelson, though his fleet was so very inferior, and yet 
had not been beaten by another British admiral. The 


disappointment of the public was so great, that it 
was judged proper to bring Sir Robert Calder to a 
court martial, the sentence of which was, that he 
had not done his utmost to take and destroy every 
ship of the enemy, which it was his duty to engage ; 
but at the same time they ascribed such conduct to 
error in judgment, acquitting him completely of any 
imputation or' fear or cowardice, and, therefore, only 
sentenced him to be severely reprimanded. After 
the public mind began to cool, the fate of Sir Robert 
Calder was thought to be very hard, especially as he 
had meritoriously served his country for more than 
forty years, and was Captain to Earl St. Vincent on 
that day, when he won his title, by the defeat of the 
Spanish tleet. 

After the engagement off Cape Finisterre, the com- 
bined fleet reached the Port of Ferrol in safety ; where 
having received a considerable reinforcement, they 
again put to sea, to the number of twenty-seven sail 
of the line, and eight vessels of a smaller force. On 
the '21st of August, they entered Cadiz, having 
compelled Admiral Collingxvoocl, who was stationed 
off there, with a very small squadron, to retire. 

It is now time to return to Lord Nelson: on the 
lyth of July, his lordship again reached the Straits; 
without even having been able to get a glimpse of the 
enemy. In the short space of seventy-eight days, 
he had twice traversed the Atlantic ocean ; and visited 
all the Leeward islands; besides this, he had taken 
in his stores, embarked and re-embarked troops ; so 
that it may safely be asserted that there never was 
such an example of unremittecl activity and rapid en- 
terprise. Lord Nelson, on his return, first enquired 
whether the enemy had entered the Mediterranean, 
and finding that they had not, he next directed his 
attention to the state of his fleet : it was absolutely in 
want of provisions and water, so that Lord Nelson 
was under the necessity of steering for the Bay of 
Tetuiin, where he anchored on the 22d of July. Four 


days were requisite to get on board the supplies ; he 
then repassed the Straits, but still could learn no- 
thing respecting the movements or operations of the 
enemy's fleet ; he had, indeed, notwithstanding the 
foul state in which his ships were, actually outsailed 
it, and reached the coasts of Europe some time 
before it did. 

Cadiz was now his next object : but when he arrived 
off that port, lie was informed that the enemy had not 
entered it; he then steered northward, and crossed 
the Bay of Biscay, without tracking them. As a last 

/ ^ ' o 

hope, he pursued his course to the north-west of Ire- 
land, when being still unsuccessful, he resolved to 
return to England ; having previously dispatched 
nine ships of the line to reinforce the Channel fleet, 
under Lord Gardner, in case the enemy, making 
for Brest, should, by joining the vessels in that port, 
place his lordship in a dangerous situation. 

On the 18th of August, Lord Nelson, with the 
Victory (his own ship) and the Superb, arrived at 
Portsmouth ; and on the 120th he came up to London ; 
where his reception from all ranks and classes of men 
was such as he deserved : such as the man, who had 
done every thing for his country, that the most pure 
and ardent zeal, united with perseverance, skill, 
and courage, almost more than human, had a ri'ht 

O 7 * O 

to expect. 

Lord Nelson was not long to enjoy repose ; nor, in- 
deed, was he happy in it : his whole pleasure lay in an 
active life : as soon, therefore, as it was knoxvn that 
the enemy were refitting their fleet, with the most 
unremitting attention in Cadiz, and that their object 
undoubtedly was, to come out, as soon as their ships 
weic in a state Cor sea and action, he was offered the 
command of an armament, to be prepared without 
delay, of such a nature and force, as should enable 
him to meet and cope with the strongest squadron 
which Era-nee and Spain could assemble. His powers/ 
were to be unlimited; no particular station was assigned 


tp him ; wherever lie ihought proper to go in quest of 
the enemy, thither he might go, and there he was to 
have the supreme and uncontrolled command. This 
unrestricted authority was very wisely and properly 
bestowed on this great man : he had shewn that he 
knew how to use it, and that he would in no case 
abuse it : he had proved that no passion, no feeling, 
no wish, no thought of his mind was unoccupied 
with his country's good ; and that which he thus 
wished ardently, what he thus thought on in- 
tensely and constantly, he could accomplish most 

On the 14th of September, Lord Nelson, once 
more hoisted his flag on board the Victory, which 
had been completely refitted at Portsmouth ; and put 
to sea on the next day. Five sail of the line, lying 
in that harbour, had been ordered to be got in readi- 
ness to sail along with him ; but as they were not quite 
in a condition to go to sea, he sailed with the Euryalus 
frigate only, in company with the Victory. When 
lie arrived off Plymouth, he was joined by t\vo ships 
of the line, the Ajax and Thunderer, and after this 
lie immediately directed his course to the coast of 

Admiral Collingwood was at this time cruizing off 
Cadiz: and notwithstanding the immense superiority 
of the enemy's fleet in that port, he contrived by his 
skill and caution to watch them very closely and 
effectually. When Lord Xclson took the command, 
he found, that, by the exertions of the Admiralty, 
squadrons of two or three ships were coining up to his 
rc-inforcement almost daily, so that, in a short time 
his fleet was nearly equal to that of the enemy. 

It was not easy to ascertain or conjecture the desti- 
nation or object of the combined fleet; it seemed, 
however, probable that they had received orders from 
Buonaparte, when they came out of Cadiz, to make 
a push for the Mediterranean, in order to unite with 
the ships of war which were lying in the port there; 


for Buonaparte by this time was convinced, that till 
the main naval force of Britain was destroyed, or 
greatly weakened, it would be in vain for him to send 
out any armament, either against this island itself, or 
any of its colonies ; and he was equally persuaded, 
that he could not hope or expect to destroy or weaken 
our fleets, unless his own, opposed to ours, was very 
greatly superior. 

Lord Nelson, on this occasion, pursued his usual 
plan : he did not blockade the port of Cadiz, because 
ins object and wish were, not to keep the enemy in 
port, but to draw them into the open sea ; his object 
and wish were, not to render the enemy's squadron 
inactive and merely useless, but either to annihilate it, 
or to add their ships to the British navy. lie, there- 
fore, kept with his fleet, out of sight of Cadiz, sta- 
tioning a single frigate there, in order to watch the 
motions of the enemy, and to give him early intelli- 
gence of them. lie afterwards even improved on this 
plan; very near to Cadiz a single frigate was stationed, 
as we have already observed : at a short distance, but 
barely within sight, a detachment of his fleet took 
up its position, and at a much greater distance the 
main body of it; a line of frigates being placed be- 
tween these, so as to communicate with each other 
by signal ; by this plan, Lord Nelson, who was him- 
self stationed off Cape St. Mary, was certain, that 
he should become' instantly acquainted with the least 
motion made by the enemy, while they could not pos- 
sibly ascertain the exact amount or distribution of his 

In the mean time, the Admiralty were not inactive: 
Lord Nelson had communicated to them, before he 
left England, his plans and hopes; and they took 
care that these should not be frustrated bv any fault 
of theirs. They despatched a reinforcement of seven 
sail of the line, having previously sent off a fast sail- 
ing frigate, to inform Lord Nelson of this circum- 
stance. As soon as his lordship had reason to conclude; 


that this reinforcement was at hand, he determined 
to detach Admiral Louis and six sail of the line, a 
fourth part of his fleet: this he did in an open and 
undisguised manner, being more anxious to let it be 
known to the enemy, than to conceal it from them, 
as he then hoj'ed they would be induced to put to 
sea. Indeed, his lordship would not have sent off 
the squadron under Admiral Louis, before the ships 
from England arrived, had it not been that thus he 
hoped to draw the combined fleets out of Cadiz; at 
the same time, he knew that before they were ac- 
quainted with the reduction of his force, and were 
ready to take advantage of it, by putting to sea, he 
should be joined by at least as many ships as he had 
sent off. 

This stratagem completely answered Lord Nelson's 
purpose. Admiral Villeneuve, believing that the 
English fleet was now reduced to twenty-one sail of 
the line, while the combined fleet, thoroughly refitted 
and equipped, consisted of thirty-three, resolved no 
longer to remain in port, but to take immediate advan- 
tage of his great superiority, in the hopes of being able 
to destroy his opponent, and to reap the honour of being 
the conqueror of Lord Nelson. The French admiral 
had also other reasons for adopting this resolution : 
there was great jealousy between him and the Spanish 
commander in chiefj who upbraided him, and the 
French in general, with not having properly support- 
ed them during the engagement with Sir Robert Cal- 
der, oil' Cape Finisterre. Buonaparte, also, it was 
said, had spoken sarcastically of him, and had actu- 
ally sent Admiral Rosilly from Paris, to take the com- 
mand of the fleet from him. This circumstance was 
known to Admiral Villeneuve, and hastened his de- 
termination to put to sea. 

On the l<)th of October, the combined fleets left 
Cadi;:, with a slight breeze from the west.; they con- 
sisted of thirty-three sail of the line; eighteen of 
Vv iiidi weif French, and fifteen Spanish. Their sail- 


ing was immediately made known to Lord Nelson, 
who bad been joined by tlie expected re-inforcement 
from England ; bis tleet, therefore, now consisted of 
twenty-seven ships of the line, three of which were of 
sixty-four guns. His lordship, supposing that the 
combined fleet meant to enter the Mediterranean, 
made sail for the Straits ; when he arrived there, be 
was informed bv the frigate who was on that station, 

*/ o 

that the enemy had not yet passed that way. Two 
days elapsed, without their being descried; at length, 
at clay-break, on Monday, the 2 1st of October, the 
combined fleet was descried about six or seven miles 
to the eastward, Cape Trafalgar bearing east by 
south, distant about seven leagues. There was still 
very little wind, and that was from the west. 

" The commander in chief immediately made the 
signal for the fleet to bear up in two columns, as they 
formed in the order of sailing, to avoid the inconveni- 
ence and delay in forming a line of battle in the usual 
'manner ; a mode of attack his lordship had previously 
communicated to his officers, as that alone calculated 
' to make the business decisive;' in the last orders he 
ever gave. They were dated on the 10th of October, 
in contemplation of the event which we are about to 
detail, and they exhibit, in the strongest manner, the 
comprehensive mind of this great man, and his pro- 
found knowledge of his profession. Lord Nelson, 
in the Victory, led the weather column, and Admiral 
Collingwood, in the Royal Sovereign, the lee-column." 

The plan of attack formed by the French admiral, 
had proceeded on the supposition that Lord Nelson 
had only twenty one sail of the line: had this been 
the case, lie meant to have drawn up his fleet in the 
usual line of battle, keeping out of it, however, twelve 
sail, with which to form, as it were, a body of reserve : 
these twelve sail were to bear down after the engage- 
ment had commenced, and double on the British line, 
thus placing more than one half of it between two 
.tires. There can be no doubt, that this plan of at- 


tack was as well judged as it was novel : and if it 
could have been executed \vith skill, promptitude, 
and decision, it might have been very injurious to the 
British fleet ; but when Admiral Villeneuve perceived 
the actual strength of his opponent, he was under 
the necessity of abandoning this plan: lie could no 
longer have twelve sail of the line useless at the com- 
mencement of the action : his who.le force would then 
be absolutely required. 

He, therefore, formed his ships into one line, but 
in a manner very unusua] ; for they formed a crescent, 
con vexing to leeward. The admiral himself was in 
the Bucentaur, of eighty guns, in the centre ; the 

C> */ O 

Spanish admiral, Gravina, was in the Prince of As- 
turias, of one hundred and twelve guns, in the rear; 
and the other French and Spanish ships were inter- 
mingled, without any regard to the order of their 
respective nations. On hoard of the combined fleets, 
there were distributed nearly five thousand troops ; 
and each ship was furnished with every species of 
combustibles and fire-balls, for the purpose of setting 
their adversaries on fire, or facilitating their boarding 


when opportunity should offer. 

At noon, the action commenced. Admiral Colling- 
wood, at the head of one column, advanced against 
the enemy's line, which he broke through in the most 
gallant and complete manner ; he pierced the line 
about the twelfth ship from the rear of the enemy, 
leaving the van unoccupied; the ships which followed 
him, soon afterwards also broke the line in various 
parts, engaging the enemy as close as the ships could 
lye to each other, so that the muzzles of the guns 
actually touched each other. In twenty minutes 
from the time that Admiral Collingwood broke 
through the line, the ' engagement became general. 
"While Admiral Collingwood, at the head of the lee 
column, was thus employed in his successful attempt, 
Lord Nelson had formed the plan of breaking through 
the line, at about the tenth or eleventh ship in the 


Va.n ; but, when lie approached, lie perceived that the 
enemy's vessels lav so close and compact to each other 
that it would he impracticable ; lie, therefore, aban- 
doned this place, and ordered the Victory to be run 
on board the ship that was opposed to him, this proved 
to be the Redoubtable ; while the Victory was thus 
engaged, her second, the Temeraire, followed her ex- 
ample, and was laid on board the ship that was op- 
posed to her. These four ships, two of the British, 
and two of the enemy's, were lying so close to each 
other, that they formed a solid mass ; and every gun 
which was fired, told. The Redoubtable, Lord Nel- 
son's opponent, was soon set on fire by the Victory's 
firing : and the British sailors were obliged, in order 
to prevent the flames from spreading and reaching 
their own ship, at intervals in the midst of the hottest 
action, to be pouring buckets of water on the enemy's 

Admiral Collingwood, in the Royal Sovereign, was 
fighting in a manner not unworthy the fellow officer 
and friend of Nelson ; and there was need of all the 
bravery of British seamen, for the enemy's ships were 
fought with the greatest gallantry. Nothing, how- 
ever, could long withstand Lord Nelson and his fleet : 
just before the engagement commenced, he had- tele- 
graphed, " England expects every man to do his duty," 
and every man on that day did do his duty. There was 
no failure ; each tried to rival or surpass his fellows. 
About three in the afternoon, Admiral Gravina, and 
ten sail of the line, bore away to leeward, where the 
enemy's frigates were stationed, and having joined 
them, they all stood toward Cadiz; their example 
was followed in the space of a few minutes, by Ad- 
miral Dumanoir, with five of the headmost ships of 
the van, which tacked and stood to the southward, 
to the windward of the British line. These were im- 
mediately pursued, and the stcrnmost taken; the 
four others got off. The remainder of the fleet thus 
deserted, fell into the hands of the British; it eon- 

VOL. vn. c c 


fisted of nineteen ships of the line, of which two 
were first-rates, the Santissima Trinadada, and the 
Santa Anna; and none carried fewer than seventy- 
four guns. vThree flag- officers, Admiral Villeneuve, 
the commander in chief, and the Spanish Admirals 
D'Oliva and Cisneros, were taken prisoners; as was 
also General Contamin, who commanded the land- 
forces : he was captured on hoard the Bucentaur. 

Lord Nelson had been wounded early in the action, 
His ship was engaged first with the Redoubtable of 
seventy-four guns, and afterwards with the .Santis- 
sima Trinidada, of one hundred and forty : the Vic- 
torv at last eno-a^ed the Bucentaur of eighty e;iins, 

v f OO^ . ** . /, 

having the flag of the French com m and er-m- chief: 

while the Santissima Trinidada was still also opposed 
to her. About fifteen minutes after one o'clock, as 
Lord Nelson was standing on the quarter-deck, 
" moving, as was his custom, whenever he was much 
pleased, the shoulders or rather sleeves of his left 
arm up and down with great rapidity ; he received a 
wound from a musket ball, discharged by a marks- 
man on the poop of the Bucentaur, which entered 
his left breast, and which he himself immediately de- 
clared to be mortal. To the last moment of his life, 
which now ebbed fast, his solicitude for the event 
of the action never ceased ; every consideration, save 
the anxious wish for the glory of his country, being 
dormant in him. He constantly, while below, de- 
manded the news of the battle, and expressed the 
most lively satisfaction, on being told it went well. 
About four his anxiety became extreme, and he re- 
peatedly sent for Captain Hardy, who fought his 
ship. That officer, however, could not consistently 
with prudence then quit the deck ; at length, how- 
ever, .seeing the enemy striking their colours on 
every side, or flying the scene of action in confusion ; 
assured of victory, Captain Hardy carried the glad 
tidings to the dying hero, who, after thanking God 
most fervently 'for" the event, that he had survived 


long enough to have it made known to him, and that 
he had been enabled once more to do his duty to his 
country shortly after expired without a groan. 

Thus fell Lord Nelson, a man whose character is 
written in his actions; whose name will always he 
pronounced with the utmost veneration, while Bri- 
tain is worthy of him. " Thus ended the hattle of 
Trafalgar, the most glorious, whether in respect to 
the science and judgment with which it was con- 
dueled, the bravery and spirit with which it was 
fought, or its fortunate and brilliant result to the 
conquerors, ever recorded in the naval annals of Great 
Britain. The boasted victory of La Rogue, which 
crushed the navy of France, and kept it for nearly 
a centurv at the lowest ebb, sinks in the comparison: 
the English and Dutch fleets, under Admiral Russel, 
upon that occasion, were nearly double those of the 
enemy, and the number of vessels destroyed amount* 
ed to sixteen or seventeen at most, many of them 
under sixty guns; while at Trafalgar, the enemy had 
a superiority of six sail of the line, were fresh from 
port, and in the most perfect state of equipment. 
Vet against such odds was this splendid victory 
gained, through the transcendent abilities of the Eng- 
lish commander, and the bravery of his officers and 
men, and which would probably have been extended 
to the capture or destruction of every vessel of the 
enemy, had not the wind been so dull as to prevent 
the rear of the British fleet from coming up in proper 

Several instances of individual courage occuirca 
on this memorable day ; for all seemed determined to 
prove themselves worthy of their brave admiral. The 

1 " 

Tenieraire, Captain Harvey, it lias been already no- 
ticed, seconded Lord Nelson in his attack on the 
enemy : this ship was boarded, on one side, by a 
French line of battle ship, and by a Spanish on the 
other; and she compelled bulh of them, after a most 
vigorous and well-contested action, to strike thw'.;. 

c c c 


colours. This brave action was nearly paralleled by 
the Neptune, Captain Fremantle, who manoeuvred 
his ship in such a skilful manner, that he compelled 
two of his adversaries to surrender to him, at the 
same time suffering very little loss himself. The 
very nature of the action, indeed, was such as to call 
for, and exactly to suit, the peculiar qualities of 
British seamen ; what they most ardently desire on 
all occasions, is to come to close quarters with the 
enemy: hard fighting suits them best; and in the 
battle of Trafalgar, they had it to their hearts' con- 
tent. It is under these circumstances too, that the 
French, Spaniards, and most other nations lose their 
courage, or at least, that best part of courage, cool- 
ness, and presence of mind. When the ships at the 
battle of Trafalgar were engaged so closely, that the 

o o o */ * 

muzzles of the guns actually touched one another, 
the French immediately lowered their ports, and de- 
serted their guns upon the deck ; while, on the con- 
trary, " the English sailors were deliberately loading 
and firing their guns, with two, and often with three 
round shot, which soon reduced the enemy's ships 
to a perfect wreck. 

On the whole, however, it must be acknowledged 
that the enemy fought bravely, and displayed great 
resolution and firmness throughout the whole action ; 
their ships were most dreadfully cut up, and their 
loss was very severe. Two Spanish vessels, in par- 
ticular, were fought with uncommon bravery, the 
Argomuita and Bahama, and were not surrendered 
while it. was possible to defend them; each of them 
lost four hundred men ; and the San Juan Nepomu- 
ceno had nearly three hundred and fifty killed and 
wounded. Our loss also was very great; besides 
Lord Nelson, Captain Cooke, of the Bellerophon, 
;<nd DuiF of the Mars, fell. The Royal Sovereign 
had forty-seven killed, and sixty-four wounded : the 
Dreadnought, seven killed, and twenty-six wounded: 
the Mar.s, twenty-nine killed, and sixty-nine wound- 


ed ; the Bellerophon, twenty-seven killed, and one 
hundred and twenty-three wounded ; the Menelaus, 
three killed, and twenty-two wounded; the Revenge, 
twenty-eight killed, and fifty-one wounded ; the Le- 
viathan, four killed, and twenty-two wounded ; the 
Ajax, two killed, and nine wounded ; the Defence, 
seven killed, and twenty-nine wounded ; and the De- 
fiance, seventeen killed and fifty-three wounded : 

When the intelligence of this most signal and glo- 
rious victory reached England, it was difficult to de- 
termine whether exultation or grief most predomi- 
nated : the empire of Britain over the ocean had heen 
sealed beyond recall or dispute ; but it had been 
sealed by the blood of her hero. Few there were who 
did not acknowledge that this- victory had been pur- 
chased at too dear a rate, or who would not have 
given up the victory to have preserved the life of 
him who obtained it. "Can more be said forEngland, 
or for Nelson." Every honour was heaped on his 
remains and his memory ; a public funeral took place; 
his brother, his nearest heir, was created Earl Nelson, 
and a large sum was voted by parliament to purchase 
an estate similar to that of Blenheim. Columns were 
erected in various parts of Great Britain, and inscribed 
to the departed hero ; and in most parts of the king- 
dom a public mourning took place. 

On the death of Lord Nelson, Admiral Colling- 
wooci succeeded to the command of the fleet: and 
he soon had occasion for the display and exertion of 
all his professional skill. Scarcely was the battle 
finished, when a most tremendous gale of wind arose: 
under the circumstances in which the fleet was placed, 
the most serious consequences were to be dreaded 
from it. The ships that had been capLurcd, as well 
as most of the British, were much damaged, both ia 
their hulls, and in their rigging; on board of the for- 
mer, a great many prisoners still remained; and to 
add to the danger, these shattered and disabled ves-* 
pels, scarcely yet in our possession, were in thirteen 


fathoms water, off the shoals of Cape Trafalgar. Ad- 
miral Collingwood \vas immediately sensible of the 
nature and extent of the danger to which his fleet was 
exposed, and took his measures accordingly, with the 
most cool and prompt judgment and decision. In a 
short time after the gale hegan, it increased to a per- 
fect hurricane; and no other men, hut those who had 
achieved the victor)-, could have preserved the fleet 
from utter destruction. But British seamen are alike 
conspicuous and unequalled, when fighting against 
their foes, or against the elements ; and those men, 
who but a very few hours before were cool, collected, 
and finally victorious, against the combined fleets of 
Trance and Spain, put forth all their nautical skill, to- 
preserve their own lives, and the fruits of their bravery. 

On the 22d, the bad weather still continued : and 
Admiral Collingwood found it necessary to secure the 
prizes ; for this purpose, he ordered them to be towed 
off to the westward, and collected round the Royal 
Sovereign, which ship, being much disabled, was 
herself in tow by the Neptune. On the 23d, how- 
ever, the storm encreased to such a degree, that many 
of the prizes broke loose, and drifted ashore. The 
enemy who had escaped into Cadiz with ten sail of 
the line, as has been already noticed, resolved to take 
advantage of the condition in which the British were 
placed by the storm, and accordingly they came out* 
of that harbour. Admiral Collingwood was sensible 
that nothing could preserve his prizes, but a resolute 
appearance of defence ; this, therefore, he put on ; 
collecting such of his ships as were the least damaged, 
he succeeded not only in protecting his own vessels, 
but also in capturing one of the enemy's, the El llayo. 
Admiral Gravina, who commanded this squadron, 
finding that the British were completely prepared for 
him, and his own ship, the Prince of Asturias, being 
dismasted by the violence of the storm, thought 
proper to return to Cadiz. 

The two succeeding d;vy$, the 24th and 25th, the 


storm instead of abating, rather encreasecl. Admiral 
Collingwood was now sensible that it would be im- 
practical le to carry his prizes into a British port; he 
therefore, gave orders that they should be destroyed. 
These orders, though very galling and mortifying to 

O */ C> O * v.^7 

the sailors, were obeyed with the same zeal and per- 
severance which they had displayed on the day of 
battle. Five of the prizes were sunk and burnt, 
amongst winch was the Santissima Trinidada, the 
largest and iinest ship of war which was ever huiit : 
nine of the prizes were wrecked on the coast of Spain, 
by the violence of the gale ; many of them with their 
whole crews on board. One, the Achilles, a French 
seventy tour gun ship, had blown up during the action; 
four, only, therefore, of all the prizes (three Spanish, 
and one French seventy-four gun ship) were carried 
into Gibraltar ; and these were not saved without the 
most wonderful efforts of activity and skill, on the 
part both of the British officers and men. Besides 
these, some other of the enemy's vessels had actually 
struck their colours, but taking advantage of the 

^ . 

vicinity of Cadiz, and of the gale which so immediately 

succeeded the battle, they got into port, in the most 
wretched state, seven of them complete wrecks, and 
the three others scarcely fit for future service. 

It has been already noticed, that, towards the close 
of the action, Admiral Dumanoir, with four sail of 
the line, bore away to the Southward : he afterwards 
appears to have altered his course, probably uncertain 
whither to fly, to be safe from the British. On the 
2d of November he was met with by Sir Richard 
Strachaiij who was cruizing oif Fcrrol, with four sail 
of the line and three frigates. Sir Richard at first 
supposed it was the Roche-fort squadron, and under 
this idea, lie immediatelv gave chase ; the chase was 
very long, continuing the whole of the night of the 
L ? d, and the next day. Two of the British frigates, 
tiie Santa Margarita, and Phoenix, having outsailed 
the 1 ships of 'die line, by day-break on the ni.;nih:g 


of the 4th, got up with the enemy, and immediately 
commenced the action in the most gallant style : by 
firing on their rear, they retarded their flight so much, 
that the main body of Sir Richard Strachan's fleet 
were able to come up. The French admiral, about 
noon, perceiving that a general action was unavoid- 
able, made his disposition accordingly; the battle 
lasted ueaily three hours and a I 1 , a If, during the whole 
of which time, the enemy fought remarkably well : 
at last, four of their ships, being completely un- 
manageable, struck their colours; viz. the Formidable 
of eighty 'guns, Admiral Durnanoir, and the Duguai 
Trouin, Mont Diane, and Seipion, of seventy-four 
guns each. Ihe slaughter on board these ships was 
very great ; the admiral himself was wounded, and 
one of the captains was killed. The loss of the Eng- 
lish was trifling. Sir Richard Strachan immedi- 
ately proceeded to Gibraltar, where he arrived safe 
with his prizes. 

The combined fleet originally consisted of thirty- 
five sail of the line; of these, two were taken by Sir- 
Robert Calder ; four captured at Trafalgar were car- 
ried into Gibraltar; four, captured by Sir Richard 
Strachan, were carried into the same port ; fifteen 
were burnt, sunk, or wrecked; three escaped into 
Cadiz, serviceable ; and seven escaped into the same. 
port, complete wrecks : thus accounting for the 
"whole original number, thirty-five sail of the line. 

Having thus brought our Naval History to that pe- 
riod, which may justly be considered as sealing' the 
existence of the maritime power of the enemy, at 
least so far as regards great and extensive maritime 
enterprises, we shall take a reviexv of the naval acti- 
ons, since the victory of I.;>rd Rodney in 1782, in 
order to point out, accorilii;^' to our promise, M'lien 
discussing the merits of Mr. Clerks hysfcm of Xaval 
Tactics, which of our victories was achieved accord- 
ing to that: system. 

Three du\ s bclbrc tbe victory gained by Lord 


IIo\ve on the first of June, he made the signal twice 
for the British fleet to leeward, to tack in succession, 
and to cut and pass through the opposite line ; but 
the Caesar neglected to keep to the wind, so that only 
the admiral's ship in the centre, and her two seconds 
could succeed in obeying the signal and breaking 
the enemy's line, while the rest of the fleet passed to 
leeward, having tacked before they were sufficiently 
advanced. On the great day of the victory, the 1st 
of June, the Queen Charlotte, Lord Howe's ship, 
cut the French fleet in the centre, between the ad- 
miral's ship and her second. The French convention 
were so sensible of the cause of this victory, that they 
passed a decree of death against that captain, who 
should permit the line, where he was stationed, to be 

In the battle on the 14th of February 1797, Lord 
St. Vincent, with fifteen ships of the line, " disre- 
garding the regular system," intersected the Spanish 
fleet, amounting to twenty-seven sail of the line, and 
cut off the division to windward, four of which were 
taken, before those which were to leeward, could up to their assistance. 

In the battle of the Nile, the circumstance of the 
French fleet being at anchor, precluded the adoption 
of the new system. 

In tlie engagement off Camperdown, Lord Duncan 
bore down on the Dutch fiect, which were to lee- 
Avard, in two divisions, against the centre and rear of 
the enemy, acting .strict iy according to Mr. Clerk's 
system, instead of attacking the van, as formerly : 
the division, which was ied. by his lordship, broke the 
Dutch line between the eighth and ninth ships; 
while the division, which was led by Admiral Onslow, 
parsed between the Icmrtcciuh and iifiLcnth .^hips 
from the van ; the result was, that, though six ships 
of the van escaped, the centre an;! the rear were all, 
except a single ship, captured. Chi the battle ofTr;;- 
iui^r, it is not iii'CvjnSarv to oiler anv t>;u'ticu!:r re- 


marks : the detailed account which we have already 
gi en, sufficiently points out that Lord Nelson fol- 
lov-^-d the new system of naval tactics, while the re- 
sult of the battle affords an additional proof 




THOMAS LORD GRAVES is the second son of Rear- 
Admiral Thomas Graves, of Thancks, in the county 
of Cornwall, at which place the gentleman last men- 
tioned had settled in consequence of his second 
marriage with Elizabeth Budgell, daughter of the 
Rev. Giles Budgell, D. D. Rector of St. Thomas's, 
Exeter. Mr. Graves himself was descended from a 
family long settled in the county of York, which 
had originally passed into England from Bourdeaux, 
in Gascony. A branch of that which reached Britain 
after a considerable interval, settled at Little Wres- 
sil, in Yorkshire, and was collaterally related to that 
of Hugh Graves, who served as representative for 
the city of York, in several parliaments during the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth. Both the families just 
mentioned are supposed to have been descended from 
the family of les Graves, of Beghly, and Graves, of 

His lordship went first to sea, at. a very early age, 
under the protection of Commodore Medley, who 
was, at that time, Governor of Newfoundland; and 
where, in consequence of the peaceable situation oi 
public affairs at that place, he met with no opportu- 
nity of acquiring any other ad vantage than a complete 
knowledge of his proi'c.ssion, suited to the rank lie 
then held, which he was the better enabled to do, as, 
serving inkier the auspices of one of the most mtelh- 


gent and able officers then in the British navy. Soon 
after the commencement of hostilities with Spain, 
he repaired on board the Norfolk, of eighty guns, a 
ship at that time commanded by his father, under 
whom he served at the memorable attack and siege of 
Carthagena, carried on under the command of Ad- 
miral Vernon, on which occasion the Norfolk had the 
dangerous honour of being appointed to lead the at- 
tack made on the batteries which defended the har- 
bours. The enterprise having failed, the Norfolk re- 
turned to England in the month of August with Mr. 

CJ * ' 

Lestock, and was, not long afterwards, sent under 
the orders of the same officer to the Mediterranean, 
where Mr. Graves continued to serve in the capacity 
of a Midshipman till the 25th of June 1743, when 
he was promoted by Mr. Matthews, who had been 
sent over from England to take upon him the chief 
command of the naval force in that quarter, to the 
rank of lieutenant. In this station he served on board 
the Romney, of fifty guns, at the time of the me- 
morable encounter with the combined fleets of France 
and Spain off the islands of Hieres, in the month of 
February, 1743-4. The Romney being only a fifty 
gun ship, was consequently not concerned in the en- 
counter, but Mr. Graves was nevertheless one of the 
witnesses examined on the trial of Mr. Matthews, 
the commander-in-chief. 

After the termination of the civil dispute which 
immediately followed the more active professional 
scenes, Mr. Graves seems to have particularly attached 
himself to, and to have been very materially noticed 
by Mr. Lestock, under whom he served as second 
lieutenant on the successless expedition undertaken 
against Port 1'Orient. 

The death of the admiral quickly followed the fai- 
lure of the enterprise just mentioned, and Mr. Graves 
immediately removed into the Monrnouth, in which 
ship he served under the command of Captain Henry 
Harrison, during the remainder of the war, and was 


consequently present at the fortunate encounter which 
took place with the French squadron under the orders 
of Jonquiere, which was defeated, and the whole of 
it captured by the squadron under the command of 
Lord Anson and Sir Peter Warren. In the month of 
October following he had the additional good fortune 
to bear a part in the second discomfiture of the same 
enemy, under the orders of L'Entendiere, by the late 
Lord Hawke. In this action the Monmouth was 
most conspicuously engaged, and was supposed to 
have suffered more than any ship in the whole arma- 

Peace soon succeeded to this victory; and during 
its continuance, .Mr. Graves, anxious to acquire every 
information, and perfect himself in every science that 
would render him better qualified to fill the station of 
a naval officer, having also a natural turn, in all pro- 
bability, for the mechanical part of philosophy, he 
applied himself to the study of gunnery, engineering, 
and fortification, and withal perfected himself in the 
French tongue. He moreover went twice to the 
coast of Africa, as first lieutenant, with the Commo- 
dores Buckle and Stepney ; and upon his return the 
second time in 1754, was commissioned by Lord An- 
son to the command of the Hazard sloop. At the 
breaking out of the war in the next year, he, with 
others, was ordered off Brest, to look for the French 
grand fleet under Mr. Macnamara, which was ru- 
moured to be destined for North America; and hav- 
ing the good luck to fall in with them when returning 
into the port of Brest, stood twice across their line, and 
ascertained so exactly the force of every ship, that 
he was able to transmit a circumstantial as well as 
positive account to Lord Anson at a critical moment. 
His lordship immediately made him a post captain as 
a mark of his satisfaction, and promised him his future 

To this circumstance is attributable the rapid pro- 
motion which this gentleman experienced from 


rank of lieutenant to that of post captain, so that 
his tedious continuance for the space of ten years in 
the former station hecame at last little to be felt or re- 
gretted. The first ship to which he was appointed 
was the Sheerness, his commission for which bore 
date July the 8th, 1755. From this time to the early 
part of the year 1759, he does not appear to have 
met with any particular opportunity of distinguish- 
ing- himself out of the ordinary routine of service as 
an attentive commander. In the month of February, 
1759, however, we find him to have been Captain of 
the Unicorn frigate^ On the 14th of the month just 
mentioned he had the good fortune to fall in with and 
capture a very large privateer belonging to St. Maloes, 
carrying twenty guns, andmanned with a crewof more 
than two hundred men. While occupied in the same 
line of service as an home cruiser, two other vessels 
of the same description, but of somewhat inferior 
force, fell into his hands at different times. In 1761, 
Captain Graves was appointed to the Antelope, of 
fifty guns, in which ship he was quickly afterwards 
ordered out to North America, where he continued for, 
some time, having been raised to the very honoura- 
ble and important post of governor and comman-. 
der-in-chief of the island of Newfoundland and its 

On his arrival off the American coast in the follow- 
ing year, he learnt that a French squadron, under 
M. De Tiernay, with a body of land forces, had taken 
St. John's, and meditated the conquest of the whole 
island. Upon this intelligence he pushed through a 
frozen sea filled with dreadful floating islands of ice, 

O ' 

and at great risk, for Placentia. He sailed directly 
into the harbour, and contrary to the advice of the 
captain of the man of war there, as well as of the 
lieutenant-governor, and all the officers, landed and 
assumed the supreme command. By his spirit he en- 
couraged the military of both services into a resolution 
to defend the place, against the French. forces, should 


they march, as was expected, to its attack. He in- 
stantly set about repairing the old fortification and 
erecting a new fort, forwarding a detail of his situ- 
ation to General Amherst and Lord Colville, in Ame- 
rica, praying their united aid toward the recovery of 
St. John's, and if possible the capture of the enemy's 
squadron. The general and admiral lost no time in 
supplying a force for this purpose, Lord Colville com- 
ing himself with his squadron, and the general send- 
ing his brother with a body of troops. So soon as 
they arrived off St. John's, Colonel Amherst called a 
council to determine the proper place for landing his 
soldiers, but adopted the advice which the commodore 
gave, although different from that of the other officers : 
succeeding in all his operations, the French were de- 
feated, and the town with its whole garrison taken. 
M. De Tiernay, under favour of a dark night at the 
commencement of a N. W. breeze, stole out of the 
harbour with all his ships, and made the best of his 
way for France, although they were much superior in 
force to the English. Mr. Graves acquired great 
credit for his judgment and abilities during these 
transactions, and had the thanks from Colonel Am- 
iierst for his advice. This re-conquest was accom- 
plished with so much alertness, that it preceded the 
peace then in treaty between the two nations. When 
Mr. Graves returned to this country, he proposed se- 
veral new regulations with respect to the government, 
and for the security of the island in future, which 
being approved, were adopted by the ministry. He 
had also the satisfaction, upon his voyage back, to 
save the captain and crew of the Marlborough, of se- 
venty four guns, then returning from the siege of the 
Havaimah, just before the ship herself foundered at 
sea. In the year 1764, the merchants having made 
various complaints of the misconduct of the gover- 
nors of forts on the coast of Africa, Lord Egmont, 
then at the head of the Admiralty, pitched upon Mr. 
Graves as a proper person to go thither with a squa- 


<lron for the purpose of inspecting the actual state of 
affairs : lie performed this service with so much dis- 
cernment, as to satisfy the merchants and the public. 
He reformed several abuses, and occasioned the re- 
moval of some of the governors. 

After the return of Mr. Graves from the coast of 
Africa, no mention is made of him during the ensuing 
peace, till the year 1/69, when he was appointed to 
the Terneraire, of seventy-four guns, a ship fitted as 
a. guard-ship at Portsmouth, which is the only com- 
mission we know him to have received during nearly 
the whole of the ensuing peace ; nevertheless, on the 
4th of April 1775, he received the very honourable; 
appointment of colonel of marines, in which station 
he became the successor to the late Admiral Pigot, 
who was promoted to the rank of a flag officer. He 
was about the same time chosen representative in Par- 
liament for the borough of East Looe, in Cornwall. 
In 1776, the unhappy dispute which had some time 
before taken place with the American colonies, ren- 
dered it expedient, in the opinion of government, to 
augment the number of ships kept in commission and 
readiness for immediate service. Mr. Graves was, in 
consequence of this resolve, appointed to the Mon- 
mouth, of sixty-four guns, one of the ships pitched 
upon to belong to this extra armament, in which they 
still, however, retained their original peaceable ap- 
pellation of guard-ships. 

The conduct of France having about two years af- 
terwards rendered it still farther necessary to aug- 
ment these preparations, Mr. Graves was promoted 
to the Conqueror, of seventy-four guns, one of the 
fleet which was ordered to North America for the pur- 
pose of opposing that of Louis XV r I, which was re- 
ported to be on its passage thither uiiiler the orders 
of the Count D'Estaing, to support the revolted colo- 
nies in their opposition to Great Britain. Misfor- 
tune and distress attended this armament from the 
moment of its emitting the shore of Britain- ova- 


taken by a most violent gale of wind, the ships be- 
came separated from each other; but Mr. Graves 
having had the good fortune in the Conqueror to 
keep company with the rear-admiral, and four other 
ships of the line, the fortunate and critical arrival of 
six ships of such force, proved a very considerable re- 
lief and support to the squadron previously employed 
in that quarter, which was, till that junction took 
place, very considerably inferior to the fleet of the 
enemy which had arrived in the same quarter. 

Mr. Graves having been promoted to the rank of 
rear-admiral of the blue on the 19th of March 1779, 
quitted the command of the Conqueror, and returned 
to England with a convoy, which he was fortunate 
enough to conduct home in perfect safety. He re- 
ceived no appointment after his return till the ensuing 
summer, when, having hoisted his flag on board the 
London, of ninety-eight guns, he was again sent to 
North America with a squadron, censisting of six 
ships of the line, including the flag-ship, and the 
Amphitrite frigate, the situation of public affairs de- 
manding that the utmost expedition should be used, 
as it was known that the Chevalier De Tiernay, the 
ancient antagonist of Mr. Graves, had been dispatch- 
ed thither with a squadron, consisting of eight or ten 
ships of the line, besides frigates, on the same errand 
on which M. D'Estaing, his predecessor, had been 
employed. The British fleet was, according to the 
original intention, to have consisted of eight ships of 
the line; but, after consideration of the force already 
employed on that station under Mr. Arhuthnot, the 
number was reduced to six : with these Mr. Graves 
put to sea, though with a contrary wind, from Ply- 
mouth Sound, knowing the pressing situation of af- 
fairs, and he had the good fortune to effect a speedy and 
prosperous passage, in the course of which, he cap- 
tured a verv valuable East India ship, which he left 
to the care of the Amphitrite frigate, in order that 
not the smallest delay might be occasioned to the 


squadron, by his attention to a vessel which might 
probably sail but ill. 

On the 2oth of September, which quickly followed 
his arrival on the North America station, he was 
raised to the rank of rear-admiral of the red ; but, 
notwithstanding 1 the zeal and alacrity displayed by 
him in the attempt to precede the arrival of the ene- 
my, they had been fortunate enough to reach the 
port to which they were bound, Rhode Island, where 
they secured themselves so completely, as to put it 
totally out of the power of the British to make an 
attack, with any other prospect than that of discom- 
fiture. The enemy put to sea on the 8th of March, 
and the British, furnished with tolerably correct in- 
telligence of their motions, pursued them on the 10th; 
on the 16th, the two squadrons got sight of each 
other, and a trivial encounter took place, which, 
owing to the conduct of the French admiral, and his 
extreme care to avoid entering into a closer contest 
than he was absolutely compelled to do, ended as un- 
flecisively as the greater part of those did which took 
place with the same enemy during nearly the first 
five years of the war. 

Soon after this action took place, Mr. Arbuthnot, 
who till then, as the senior officer, had held the chief 
command in that quarter, resigned his office to Mr. 
Graves. His utmost exertions, abilities, and pru- 
dence, soon became extremely necessary ; for the 
French fleet, which, during the preceding summer 
had been employed in the West Indies under the or- 
ders of the Count De Grasse, repaired to North Ame- 
rica for the purpose of forming a junction with the 
Chevalier DeTieniay, and defying, as it were, all op- 
position by the tremendous superiority of so formida- 
ble a force: a secondary plan of operation was also 
concerted between Fiance and America, uhich was, 
that, in consequence of so great an ascendance at sen 
as appeared sufficient to prevent any inlrrruprio:: 
fr< m the JJirish fleet, even when nil tl.e expected .re 

ViU.. VJI. P D 


inforcemcnts should arrive, the American army under 
Mr. Washing-ton should form a junction with the 
French troops commanded by the Count De Ro- 
chambeau. Rear admiral Sir Samuel Hood had, in- 
deed, arrived from the West Indies with a squadron 
of fourteen ships of the line, with which he reached 
Sandy Hook on the s>8th of August, but still the 
enemy remained most tremendously superior. Sir 
Samuel's arrival too, brought with it the uncomfort- 
able intelligence, that the French squadron from 
Rhode Island, consisting of ten ships of the line, 
which had before been under the orders of the Che- 
valier De Tiernay, but were then commanded by the 
Count De Barras, had been seen off the Capes of Vir- 
ginia, being then on its passage to form a junction 
with their main fleet. 

As to the motions of the Count De Grasse, no cer- 
tain intelligence had been procured concerning them. 
Mr. Graves had at tMs time only five ships of the 
line, and one of fifty guns, in a condition for service; 
two others, the Prudent and Robust, being in a state 
of necessary refitment, and not capable of being 
made ready for sea in less than ten days. With this 
force, however, reduced as it was, he proceeded over 
the bar on the 31st of August, having, on the day 
before, arranged and delivered to the fleet the line of 
"battle. He proceeded to sea immediately, steering 
tlirectly for the Chesapeak, in hopes of arriving there 
before the French admiral from the West Indies, and 
effecting in succession the discomfiture of De Barras 
and De Grasse. 

On the 5th of September, between nine and ten 
o'clock in the morning, the frigate detached by Mr. 
Graves to look out a-head, discovered the enemy's 
fleet Iving within Cape Henry. Between ten and 
eleven o'clock it was seen by the whole fleet; and 
though its number could not be ascertained on ac- 
count of the close, though confused, manner in which 
their ships were anchored, as is customary with the 


French nation, yet its force was not supposed to 
consist of more than fifteen ships of the line. Mr. 
Graves formed his force in a line a- head, and ad- 
vanced towards the enemy with all expedition. At 
half past noon the enemy bei>'an to <>~et under weirh, 

v O O * 

and ran out to leeward of the British line; tney were 
discovered ahout two o'clock to consist of twenty^ 
four heavy ships of the line, a circumstance which 
then first convinced the English that the Count De 


Orasse had arrived. 

When the van of the English had passed on the 
contrary tack to that of the French, so far that the 
enemy's headmost ship was nearly abreast of the 
London, on board which ship Mr. Graves had his 
flag, the signal was made to wear, as well for the 
purpose of bringing the fleet on the same tack with 
the enemy, as of avoiding a shoal called the Middle 
Ground, which the headmost ships had very nearly 
approached. The signal for this purpose was made 
at eleven minutes past two, and the English fleet 
continuing to approach that of the enemy as fast as 
the Count De Grasse, who kept occasionally edging 
away, would permit them, about a quarter past four 
the action commenced between the van of each fleet, 
and progressively extended to the twelfth ship in the 
English line. We must observe in this place, that 
the van of both fleets were fairly abreast of each 
other, hut the rest of the French fleet was consider- 
ably to leeward of its van and centre ; and from the 
circumstance of its consisting of five ships more than, 
that under Mr. Graves, reached a considerable dis- 
tance beyond his rear division to the westward. The 
enemy taking every possible opportunity of bearing 
away, the seven rear ships were not at all engaged. 
The contest ended with the setting sun ; and, short 
as it was, several of the English ships received much 
damage. The enemy retired from the combat ; and 
though the English admiral was under a necessity of 
destroying one of his ships, not murely on account 

D D 2 


df the damage it bad sustained in the action, but 
from ber general ill state of repair and condition, the 
Count De Grassc, with a superiority of six ships of 
the line, did, during- the five succeeding days, stu- 
diously avoid all farther contest. Without entering 
further on this subject, which has been detailed in 
our history, we observe, that, after the peace was con- 
cluded, Mr. Graves did not take upon him any sub- 
sequent naval employment till the year 17H8, when 
be was appointed commander in chief at the port of 
Plymouth, and accordingly hoisted his flag on board 
the Impregnable, a second rate, of ninety guns. On 
the 24th of September, iii the preceding year, he had 
been advanced to the rank of vice-admiral of the blue, 
as he afterwards was to the same rank in the white 
squadron on the 21st of September, 1790. When a 
rupture was apprehended with Spain in the summer 
of the year last mentioned, the vice-admiral removed 
his flag into the Cambridge, which is the only anec- 
dote we meet with concerning him in the three years 
during which he held the station just mentioned. 

After the commencement of the contest with 
France, he was appointed to command the second 
post under Lord Howe, in the main or Channel fleet, 
and on the 1st of February, 1793, was advanced to 
be vice-admiral of the red, as he moreover was, on 
the 12th of April, 1794, to be admiral of the blue: 
in this station he served in the Royal Sovereign 
during the ever memorable action of the 1st of June 
in that year. On this occasion the admiral had the 
happiness of contributing in a very eminent degree 
to the success of this brilliant encounter, in which 
the Royal Sovereign lost her fore and main-top- 
gallant-masts, had fourteen men killed and forty-four 
wounded; among the latter was the admiral himself, 
very severely/ in his right arm. 

His spirited conduct on this occasion was rewarded 
by an Irish peerage, he being created, by patent, 
bearing date August 12, 1794, Lord Graves, Harem 


of Gravesend, in the county of Londonderry ; and on 
the Ji2th of June, 179-5, was advanced to be admiral 
of the white. The wound his lordship received in 
his arm rendered it necessary for him to quit his com- 
mand for a time; and as well on account of this as 
of his advanced age, he never was called on to take 
another command. He died 180J, in the seventy- 
sixth year of his age, having spent nearly threescore 
of them in the almost uninterrupted naval service of 
his country. If fortune did not favour him with one 
of those first-rate opportunities of distinguishing him- 
s.elfj which, in truth, fall to the lot of hut few com- 
manders, nevertheless, the name of Admiral Graves 
will always hold a respectable rank in the annals of 
the British navy. 




Mr. JOIIN T WILLETT PAYXF, the youngest son of 
the Honourable Mr. Payne, lieutenant-governor of 

/ ' O 

the Island of St, Christopher, was born in that island ; 
and received the early part of his education at Dr. 
Brackyn's academy at Greenwich. He continued but 
a short time under the tuition of this gentleman ; and 
having made a greater progress than was expected, 
was, removed to the Royal Academy at Portsmouth; 
and there applied with unremitting assiduity to ac- 

i I O \> 

(juire a thorough knowledge of the first elements of 
science, connected with the naval profession which 
lie had embraced. This youth about the close of the 
year 17^9, having remained three years at the aca- 
demy, received an admiralty discharge for the Quebec, 


thirty-two guns, Lord Ducie,* to which ship his lord- 
ship had been appointed on quitting the Feversham 
of forty-four guns. Mr. Payne sailed in the Quehec 
to the Leeward Islands ; and having experienced in 
this ship the first toils and pleasures of a naval life, 
to which he daily grew more and more attached, he 
was received on hoard the Montague, Rear-admiral 
Robert Mann,'}" who had hoisted the red ensign, as 
comander-in-chief on that station. During the 
dreadful fire that broke out in the town of St. George, 
Antigua, on the night of the 27 th of December, 
1771, and before day-light nearly reduced the whole 
to ashes, the officers and men from the Montague 
rendered the most essential service : by their exer- 
tions, a few buildings in the careenage, near the court 

7 O O ' 

and custom-house, were preserved. 

Mr. Payne left the admiral's ship, on being ap- 
pointed acting lieutenant in the Falcon sloop, eigh- 
teen guns, Captain Cuthbert Bayne ; and sailed in 
her on the Caiib expedition to the island of St. Vin- 
cent, in 1772. The windward side of the island is 
not inhabited by the original settlers, but by the de- 
scendants of a cargo of African slaves, belonging to 
an English vessel, wrecked on the coast : being hos- 
pitably received by the yellow Caribs, they over- 
powered them, and became their sovereigns. France 
endeavoured, but in vain, to reduce them to a state 
of Aibjection. St. Vincent's was long a neutral island : 
at the peace of 1763, the French agreed, that the 
right to it should be vested in the English : but, 

O O 

* Francis Reynolds Morton. Lord Uncle, was born on the 28th 
of March, 1739 ; was. advanced commander on the C 2 1st of Novem- 
ber 1760. On the 12fh of April, 1762, was advanced to post 
rank, and appointed to the Garland. The Ducks \\ere descended 
from a family in Normandy, liis lo.dship in 1785, on succeeding 
to the title, resigned his rank in the service. 

-f Admiral iJ. Mann, had afterwards the command on the Me- 
diterraiK'an station, with his liag in the Mcdway, sixty guns. In 
April, 1779, he. was made one of the lords of the admiralty ; but 
he quitted the board in September, 1780 j he died in 17 


when a proclamation was issued, commanding all the 
inhabitants to come and swear allegiance to his Bri- 
tannic Majesty, few obeyed ; and even those few 
retracted, being influenced by the threats of the rest. 
In consequence of the repeated memorials, peti- 
tions, and remonstrances of the planters, to govern- 
ment, who represented these inhabitants as faithless, 
cruel, and insolent, the above expedition was under- 
taken; and Colonel Dalrymple, with the pay and 
rank of a major-general, was made commander-in- 
chitf of the forces. After the loss of a considerable 
number of men, the Caribs were reduced to obedience ; 
on the 17th of January 1773, a treaty of peace and 
friendship, was concluded, by which his Majesty was 
acknowledged the rightful sovereign of the island and 

CJ O ^j 

domain of St. Vincent. 

Early in the year Mr. Payne, having completed his 
time, returned to Europe in the Sea-Horse, Sir T. 
Paisley, and soon afterwards went as acting lieutenant 
on board the Rainbow, forty-four guns. Commodore 
T. Collingwood, then under sailing orders for the 
coast of Guinea : the usual circuit of the coast being 
made, and the various settlements visited, Mr. Payne 
next sailed in the Rainbow for Jamaica; and touch- 
ing at Antigua, the scat of government, went into 
English Harbour. Mr. Payne's elder brother, Sir 
Ralph Payne, K. B. was at this time governor of the 
Eeeward Islands ; a station to which he has lately 
been again appointed. About the commencement of 
the American war, in 1774, Mr. Payne returned in 
the Rainbow to England. 

Commodore Sir Peter Parker being appointed to -a 
command on the American station, hoisted his broad 
pendant on board the Bristol, fifty guns, then newly 
launched, towards the close of the year 177J. In 
this ship Mr. Payne sailed from Portsmouth, as act- 
ing lieutenant, on the 20'th of December. On the 
lath of February 1/70', Sir Peter left Cork with se- 
veral transports under convoy, containing six regi- 


merits, and seven companies of the forty-sixth, under 
the command of Lord Cormvallis; to co-operate with 
the loyalists in North Carolina. After a long voyage 
of near three months, occasioned by the lateness of 
their departure from Great Britain, all the fleet, ex- 
cept some fe\\ r ships, arrived off Cape Fear,* on the 
3d of May. 

The whole squadron having joined by the 1st or 
2d of June, proceeded to Charlestown, and arrived 
there on the 4tn ; General Clinton immediately took 
possession of Long Island, and encamped the troops 
upon it. Half a mile from Charlestown Harbour 
the Americans had constructed a strong fortification 
on Sullivan's Island; which, commanding the har- 
bour, General Clinton resolved to attempt the reduc- 
tion of it. At half past ten o'clock in the morning 
of the 28th of June, Sir Peter Parker, in the Bristol, 
made the signal for action to the Experiment, fifty 
guns ; the Active, Solebay, Aclaeon, and Syren fri- 
gates ; the Sphynx sloop ; the Thunder bomb, and 
the Friendship armed ship, of twenty-four guns : at a 
quarter past eleven all the ships, having got springs 
on their cables, began a most tremendous fire on the 
fort. Three of the ships, the Actaeon, Syren, and 
Sphynx, got aground ; the two last, however, hove 
off, but the first stuck fast, and was set on fire the 
succeeding morning, to prevent her falling into the 
hands of the enemy : the batteries on Long Island 
now opened, and the ships continued an unremitting 
fire; between two and three o'clock, that of the ene- 
my slackened for a short time. A fresh supply of 
ammunition being procured, their fire was renewed, 
and did not cease until between nine and ten o'clock. 

* An headland in North Carolina, uhich gives name to a consi- 
derable river (C(i]>f Fear Hirer) extending into two branches. 
Oil' the Cape there runs out a spit of sand into the sea, for seven 
le.LMies due south, and at the end of it. after narrowing to a very 
small thread, it ends in a large circle of sand, a full league ia 


In this action, the Bristol and Experiment suffered 
most ; the lire of the enemy being principally directed 
against them, they were left almost wrecks on the 
water. Mr. Payne, during the whole, displayed that 
cool intrepidity ibr which he was so much noted; 
and considerably recommended himself to the com- 
modore amidst scenes, that would have proved the 
resolution of even an older seaman. After this, when 
Lord Howe was appointed commander of the fleet, 
Mr. Payne was removed from the Bristol, into the 
Eagle, his lordship's ship, as aide-de-camp to the ad- 

Durino- the time that Mr. J. W. Pavne acted in 


tins station, he was continually detached from the 
.ship on a variety of important service, that demanded 
considerable address, and a continued presence of 
mind to accomplish ; there is hardly any class of 
light sailing vessels, which, during this period, he did 
not occasionally command, in keeping up the com- 
munication between the admiral and his brother Sir 
William Howe in the execution of which, he had 
either some extensive river to explore, some ford to 
sound, or the devious windings of some creek to exa- 
mine, during the silence of the night; surrounded by 
an enemy, rendered desperate from the calamities of 
intestine war. Lord Howe, who, to the latest period 
of his life, considered this officer among the first of 
that school which he had taken such pains to form, 
was soon sensible of his diligence and abilities; and, 
at an early age, appointed him second lieutenant of the 
lii'une frigate, thirty-two-guns, Captain Ferguson. 

Before Lord Howe left the American station, Mr. 
Payne was appointed one of the lieutenants of the 
Eagle : he, however, did not accompany his lordship 
to Europe at the close of the year 1778; but, having 
been made second of the Roebuck, forty guns, Sir 
Andrew Snape Hammond, returned with him from 

Xo o tliccr has served under a greater variety of 


characters, or with persons more diametrically oppo- 
site to each other, than the object of our present at- 
tention; and, what is most remarkable, he possessed 
the happy faculty of gaining the esteem and friend- 
ship of them all, From the Roebuck, Lieutenant 
Payne was removed into the llomney, fifty guns, 
of which he was appointed first, having the broad 
pendant of Commodore G. Johnstone, to whom the 
command on the Lisbon station had been given. 

With this officer, Lieutenant Payne prepared to 
embark at the close of the year 1779- The Romney 
was at the time lying at anchor in Torbay, having 
returned from a cruise in the Channel, under the 
command of Sir Charles Hardy. It was late in the 
day before the wind allowed the squadron under 
Commodore Johnstone to sail. When the night was 
considerably advanced, the commodore demanded of 
his first lieutenant if all the boats were in; and being 
informed that they were, seemed displeased, and ra- 
ther sharply ordered one to be hoisted out. 

The commodore's Borders were obeyed: but what 
was the surprise of his lieutenant when he was thus 
addressed : " I am desired to advance you commander, 
as soon as I have lost the admiral's light can you see 
it?" No light could be discerned ! " Go then, Sir, 
immediately on board the Cormorant, and call up 
lloddarn Home; tell him he is appointed to the 
Romney, and that you are to command the Cormo- 
rant. Hasten ! the wind may come about before 
morning, and force ns back into Torbay ; and you 
both may wait many years for your promotion/' 
Lieutenant Payne obeyed, and was thus advanced to 
the rank of commander. 

Among the prizes taken by the squadron, was the 
Arrois, forty guns, four hundred and sixty men, then 
esteemed the finest frigate which had ever been con- 
structed. Captain Payne, who particularly distin- 
guished himself during; the occasional cruises on which 

O O 

the ships were sent, was advanced to post rank, with 


the command of this ship, on the 8th of July 1780; 
and had soon an opportunity of supporting the in- 
sulted honour of the British flag, in a manner that 
received his Majesty's approbation. 

On his return to England, Captain Payne was ap- 
pointed to the Enterprise, twenty-eight guns: in this 
ship lie, on various occasions, both in Europe and in 
different parts of America, continued to display that 
exertion and daring spirit which denotes the British 
seaman. Amongst others, his spirited attack on some 
ships in harbour, under the protection of a battery in 
the Island of Cuba, the whole of which he either de* 
stroyed or brought away, particularly recommended 
him to the notice of his commanding-officer, Admiral 
Pigot. Captain Payne was, in consequence, soon 
appointed to the command of the Leander, of fifty 
guns ; the ship which has so well supported her re- 
nown during the present war, and was restored to 
Great Britain by the noble liberality of the emperor 
of Russia. Nor was it long before Captain Payne en- 
joyed an opportunity of adding considerably to his 
professional fame, by one of the most daring engage- 
ments that was fought during the war.* 

ij f* 

* The following is a copy of Admiral Pigot's letter to Mr. 
Stephens, giving an account of this engagement: 

u Sir Captain Payne, whom 1 had appointed to the command 
of the Leander, and sent to convoy a cartel ship to the northward 
of the Islands, acquaints me by his letter, dated the 20th of 
January, which I received on the 5th of February, that he had on 
the night of the 18th fallen in with and engaged a large ship; for 
the particulars I inclose Captain Payne's letter. 

" 1 have not a doubt of the ship being at least of seventy-four 
guns; having seen and examined several of the shot that were 
lodged in the Leander. i should not do justice to Captain Payne, 
his officers, and ship's company, if I did not acquaint their lord- 
ships, that from eu-rv enquiry as to the action, it appears to have 
been conducted with the greaiest bravery and good order; and 
indeed 1 have in several instances found Captain Payne a very 
active, good officer: a proof of \\hieh he has given me since the 
action by refitting his ship in English harbour in a short time, 
where she has had every thing new, but her mizen-mast ; and is 
r-Jiurued to me without losing a man by desc'rtioii. I am surry to 


Before his return to Europe, this gallant officer was 
appointed to the command of the Princess Amelia, 

say, his wounded men are all dead, excepting two, and they have 
lost their limbs. It is rumoured at this island, that the ship he 
engaged, was the Couronne, and that she got into Porto Rico. 
Nothing has arrived at the French islands excepting the Venus 
frigate five weeks ago ; she had a passage of twenty. one days only. 
The naval force of the enemy at these islands is the Triton and 
Zele of the line, the last lately hove down, with a number of large 
frigates. A flag of truce I sent to Martinique is just returned; 
they say they know nothing of the ship that engaged the Leander j 
and that the Marquis de Bouillie is to go to Europe upon the ar= 
rival of D'Estaing. 

" I am, Sir, 

" Your most obedient humble servant, 

Philip Stephens, Esq. 

Captain Payne, in his letter to the admiral, mentions some par. 
ticulars, which we shall extract. 

" You may therefore guess our surprise at seeing no- 

thing of him at the break of a very clear morning, though our 
head had continued invariably to the southward, which was the 
course he had been steering the whole day; nor can I conceive 
under any possible circumstances he could have been out of sight, 
though he had even put before the wind, had no accident hap T 
pened to him. As 1 lay all that clay, and the following night, 
directly in his way between Guadaloupe and Antigua, where I 
thought he might pass, without hearing any thing of him, I am ai 
a loss what account to give yon of him ; yet in spite of his Spa- 
nish colours (in which I might also be mistaken), I am persuaded 
she is one of Mons. De Vaudreuil's squadron, from the number of 
troops she had on board ; which enabled them to place small arms 
at every port. I am also confirmed in this opinion by the weight 
of her shot, which are stamped thirty-six pounds, having on them 
the French mark, and which announces her also to be a seventy- 
four : and from her situation, and the place I met her in, I should 
conjecture, that the rendezvous of that squadron is to the north- 
ward of the islands, and they mean to go to leeward of them into 

" I am persuaded, Sir, that I am not too sanguine in saying, I 
believe, could we have got our head to the enemy when we at- 
tempted it (from the cool and determined conduct of every ofl'icer 
and man on board), that our success would have been equal to 
our Avishes ; and for whose credit. I cannot omit mentioning the 
steadiness they displayed in putting out three fires occasioned by 


t>f eighty guns ; in which ship, at the conclusion of 
the war, he safely arrived in England. 

About the end of the month of August, 1/85, 
Captain Payne, in company with Lord Northington, 
embarked in the packet at Dover, and arrived at 
Calais, after a tedious passage of fourteen hours. 
Continuing their tour through Boulogne to Paris, 
Lord Northington prevailed on his friend to accom- 
pany him still further. When they had reached Ge- 
neva, they separated for a few days j Lord Northing- 
ton directing his course towards Lausanne, where, 
on the borders of the Lake, his sister Lady Jane Aston, 
and Sir William, had taken up their abode at a cottage 
delightfully situated in a most romantic part of the 
country. Captain Payne, unattended by any one 
but a guide, indulged his favourite wish of wandering, 

without restraint, amid the sublime scenery of the 

. ... ^ . 

Glaciers.- -Having again joined Lord Northington, 

they passed Mount Cenis, and remained a fortnight 
at Turin. 

Captain Payne, soon after his return to England, 
was elected one of the members of the borough of 


Huntingdon ; which borough he twice represented 
in parliament. He also previous to this had been ap- 
pointed private secretary, and keeper of the privy seal, 
to the Prince of Wales, whose friendship he had ob- 

At the first commencement of hostilities with 
France, the Russel, seventy-four guns, was commis- 

the enemy's wads, without the smallest confusion, or discontinu- 
ance of the action. 

u The enemy's loss of men, must, I think, from the concourse 
of them, be very great: ours is only thirteen men killed and 
wounded ; though 1 am sorry to say, that most of the latter can. 
not recover, being torn with large shot. 
" I am, Sir, 
(i Your most obedient humble servant, 

" J. W. PAYNE 

" Hugh Pigot, Esq. Admiral of the Blue, %c. ,Vc. $c." 


sioned by Captain J. W. Payne ; and, on the ever 
memorable first of J une, 1 794, this officer was among 
those who received the particular thanks of Lord 
Howe, with a public mark of their Sovereign's ap- 
probation in the medal that was presented to them as 
the honourable badge of naval merit. 

On the 31st of December, during the severe winter 
of 1794-95, Captain Payne hoisted his broad pendant, 
in the Jupiter, fifty-guns, as commodore of the 
squadron that was destined to bring her Royal High- 
ness the Princess Caroline of Brunswick to England ; 

O 7 

after various delays, occasioned by the peculiar in- 
clemency of the season, and the critical importance 
of an expedition, which had at the same time been 
well digested by government, and wisely intrusted to 
his skill, he sailed from the Nore on the 27th with a 
fair wind, and dropped further to the eastward : on 
Monday, the 2d of March he attain unmoored, and 

v } O 9 

made sail with the squadron. 

On the evening of Saturday the 28th of March, 
her Highness was received under a royal salute on 
board the Jupiter, and on Saturday the 4th of April, 
having come to anchor off Gravesend, she the next 
day left the Jupiter for the Augusta yacht, Captain 
Browell, and about noon landed in perfect health 
and safety at Greenwich. 

Being appointed during the summer of 1796, to the 
command of the Impetueux, eighty guns, which had 
undergone a complete repair at Portsmouth, so as to 
be nearly rebuilt, and early in November sailed out 
of Portsmouth harbour for Spithead. Captain Payne, 
having his officers and ship's company discharged 
from the Russel, came on board, and took the com- 

During a cruise, Commodore Payne, from the 
constant anxiety and fatigue which he endured, 
had a violent attack of fever, which had nearly de- 
prived the country of his services. Unwilling to 
give himself the smallest indulgence when in a con- 


valescent state, he ventured out too soon after this 
attack ; which brought on the gout and rheumatism, 
to such a degree, that his life was despaired of: he, 
however, was at length restored to his friends. Cap- 
tain S. Edwards, in the mean time, was appointed 
acting captain of the Impetueux, and continued to 
hold the command of her until the 14th of February, 
17.97, when Captain Payne was advanced Uear-admi- 
ral of the Blue. 

During the month of August, 1799, Rear-admiral 
Payne, in a manner the most flattering to his feelings, 
both as an officer, and a man, was appointed Trea- 
surer of Greenwich Hospital. An office that he held 
till his death, which happened November 17, 1803, 
at the age of fifty. The prevailing features of his 
character were mildness and good will for all about 
him : he possessed an elegant taste for literature : his 
judgment was prompt and correct: his wit, though 
brilliant, was never severe, and his benevolence, 
though carefully concealed from public notice, was 
very widely extended. He was buried with much 
funeral pomp, in the cloisters, of St. Margaret's church, 




THE family of Liuulie, from whence the noble 
and gallant subject of the present memoir is sprung 
and of which he is at this time the representative, is 
ofvery high antiquity : it was originally styled Dun- 
can of Sea-side ; and there is a well authenticated he- 
raldic tradition relative to it, which accounts parti- 
cularly for its crest, a dismasted ship, now borne over 


the arms of Camperdown. A person belonging to the 
family, who lived about two hundred years since, be- 
ing supercargo on board a vessel bound from Norway 
to his native place, Dundee, was overtaken by a tre- 
mendous storm, in which the ship was reduced almost 
to a complete wreck, and the crew experienced, in 
consequence of that misfortune, the greatest extre- 
mity of hardship and distress. Contrary, however, 
to all human expectation, the crew were providentially 
enabled to navigate their crazy crippled vessel safe 
into port, and the parents of their fortunately rescued 
son immediately adopted the crest alluded to, in com- 
memoration of the dangers which he had escaped, as 
well as in grateful acknowledgment to that Providence 


which had preserved him. 

On the establishment of the Presbyterian form of 
worship in Scotland, the family of Lundie immedi- 
ately attached themselves to it, and have ever since 
that time uniformly adhered to the same principles ; 
nor have they shewn less steadiness in their political 
conduct than in their religion. During the rebellion 
which broke out in the year 1745, the late Lundie (as 
the head of the family, according to the custom of 
Scotland, was always called) and his" lady distin- 
guished themselves exceedingly, by their loyalty and 
attachment to the house of Hanover. Although their 
possessions could not be considered more extensive 
than in proportion to the rank of a private gentleman, 
yet the liberality with which they on every occasion 
entertained the officers of the royal army, and all 
other adherents to the cause which they espoused, 
appeared better suited to the affluence of a noble, 
than the more narrowed income of a person inferior 
in rank and apparent consequence. 

Mis lordship, of whom we have now to speak, was 
born in the month of July, 1731, and received the 
first rudiments of education at Dundee. His debut, 
as a naval officer, was made either in the year 1746, 
or the following, when he was put under the com- 


of Captain Robert Ilaldane, who, we believe, 
then commanded the Shoreham frigate, and with 
whom he continued two or three years. After the 
cessation of hostilities, he was entered in 174$ as a 
midshipman on board the Centurion, of fifty guns, a 
ship then ordered to be equipped to receive the broad 
pendant of Commodore Keppel, who was appointed 
commander in chief on the Mediterranean station, for 
the customary period of three years. Mr. Duncan 
continued under the command of that able officer 
during the whole time, and, by a very diligent at- 
tention to his duty in the subordinate station which 
he then held, attracted the early regard of his com- 
mander so strongly, that the attachment of the latter 
was quickly succeeded by friendship, and friendship 
by the strictest intimacy. 

The time necessarily passed by a young man, after 
his entrance into the service in the capacity of a mid- 
shipman, is rarely diversified with events peculiarly 
interesting. Those years are the years of probation, 
in which the naval student is to endeavour by all the 
means he possesses, to fit. himself with a laudable am- 
bition of filling the highest rank of that particular line 
in which his own genius, his particular situation, or 
the wish, of his relatives, has placed him ; and it were 
an act of injustice to Mr. Duncan, were we not to 
declare lh:;t his conduct and exertions were such as 
though lie truly considered that to be his condition. 
lie aimed with a commendable and glorious ambition 
at attaining the most, elevated command, and appeared, 
without the .'smallest tincture of vanity, conscious of 
his own ability to deserve it. 

On the 10th of January, 17-: : , he was promoted 
to the rank of lieutenant. This advancement was oc- 
casioned by a determination on the part of the British 
government to send out General Braddock with a 
strong military force to North America, where the 
French had been guilty of a variety of encroachments. 
Commodore Keppel, who was chosen to command 

VOL vn. EE 


the ships of war intended to convoy the transports, 
was not forgetful of the merits of Mr. Duncni, and 
accordingly seized the opportunity of recommending 
him so strongly to the Admiralty Board, thai he was 

O . */ 

the first selected for promotion. 

Mr. Duncan, immediately when he became a lieu- 
tenant, was appointed to the Norwich, a fourth rate, 
commanded hy Captain Harrington, and intended as 
one of the squadron which was to accompany Mr. 
Keppel to America. After the arrival of the arma- 
ment in Virginia, two of the lieutenants ou board tne 
commodore's ship, the Centurion, being advanced to 
the rank of captains, Mr, Duncan was removed into 
the Centurion, as well that he might be in the surer 
channel of advancement, as that his friend and patron 
might the better watch over and cherish those rising 
abilities which he had beheld with so much pleasure 
in. their less mature state. Mr. Duncan continued on 
board the Centurion till that ship returned to England, 
and Captain Keppel, after having for a short time 
commanded the Swiftsure, being appointed to the 
Torbay, of seventy-four guns, procured his much 
e:>teemed eleve to be appointed second lieutenant of 
that ship. After remaining on the home station, and, 
owing to the extreme caution of the enemy, very un- 
interestingly employed for the space of nearly three 
years, he proceeded on the expedition sent against the 
French settlement of Goree, on the coast of Africa. 
He was slightly wounded at the attack of the fort, 
and soon afterwards rose to the rank of first lieutenant 
of the Torbay, in which capacity he returned to 

On the 21st of September, 17-59, and subsequent 
to his arrival, he was advanced to the rank of com- 
mander, but he does not appear to have been fortu- 
nate enough to have met with any opportunity in his 
new station of adding to that reputation which he had 
already so deservedly acquired. He did riot, how- 
ever, long continue in so inactive a suite; for having 


been advanced to the rank of post captain, by com- 
mission bearing date February the twenty-fjfth, 1761, 
appointing- him to the Valiant of seventy four guns, 
he again became materially connected, in respect to 
service, with his original friend and patron, Mr. Kep- 
pel. An expedition against the French island of Belle- 
isle having been determined on in the British ca- 


binet, Mr. Keppel, who was pitched upon to com- 
mand the naval part of the intended enterprise, hoisted 
his broad pendant on that occasion on board the Va- 
liant. The reduction of the citadel of Palais, and 
the general success \vhich attended the whole of this 
spirited undertaking, proved, as it were, an encou- 
ragement and incentive to the equipment of a more 
formidable armament, not long afterwards sent to 
attack that most important of all the Spanish settle- 
ments in the West Indies, the town of Havannah. 

Thither also Captain Duncan repaired with Mr. 
Keppel, and in the same ship. His friend and pa- 
tron, who was appointed to command a division of 
the fleet, was ordered to cover the disembarkation of 
the troops ; and, as the post of honour belongs on 
such occasions, as of right, to the captain of the ad- 
miral or commodore, Captain Duncan was accord- 
ingly invested with the command of the boats ; he 
was afterwards very actively employed, and highly 
distinguished himself during the siege. When the 

o o o B 

town itself surrendered, he was despatched with a 
proper force to take possession of the Spanish ships 
\vhich had fallen on that occasion into the hands of 
the victors. These consisted of the Tyger, the Reyna, 
the Soverano, the Infante, and the Aquilon, of se- 
venty guns each ; the America, the Conquestadore, 
the San Genaro, and San Anthonio, of sixty guns; 
and a singular anecdote respecting Captain Duncan 
was confidentially related to have taken place at this 
time. It may still be remembeicd that much hesi- 
tation appeared on the pait. of the Spanish commander 
in chief, with respect to the capitulation, he being' 

t E 2 


extremely averse from the surrender of the ships. 
Captain Duncan being informed of the object of con- 
tention, which prevented the absolute cessation of 
arms, privately took a few persons on whom he could 
depend, and put an end to the controversy, by set- 
ting fire to the cause of it. This act was much ap- 
prover, by the besiegers in both departments of the 
service, as being certainly the most expeditious mode 
of settling a troublesome dispute; but the whole 
affair being, for obvious reasons, kept extremely 
quiet, it was known only to a few persons by what 
means this apparent accident so fortunately and criti- 
cally happened. 

After the surrender of the Havannah, he accom- 
panied Mr. Keppel, who was appointed to command 
on the Jamaica station, in the same capacity he had 
before held, and continued with him there till the 
conclusion of the war. Having then returned to 
England, we hear no more concerning him, till the 
recommencement of the war with France, in 1778, he 
having continued unemployed during the whole of this 
intervening period, Xvhich must have passed on most 
tediously for a person possessing so active a turn of 
mind as himself. His first appointment was to the 
Suffolk, of seventy-four guns ; and after a very short 
continuance in that slr'p, without being able to meet 
with any opportunity of distinguishing himself, he 
removed, before the end of 1778", into the Monarch, 
of the same rate. 

Attached to no part}', influenced by no political 
persuasion or opinion, he sat as member on the dif- 
ferent courts martial held on his friend Admiral Kep- 
pel, and his colleague the late Sir Hugh Palliser, 
without subjecting himself to the slightest reproach 
on either occasion. 

During the summer of the year 1779, the Monarch 
was uninterruptedly employed in the main, or Chan- 
nel tieet, commanded by Sir Charles Hardy. Noen- 
or memorable occurrence took lace o 


to the British admiral being under the necessity of 
avoiding an action, and continuing merely on the de- 
fensive, since the alliance between the French and 
Spaniards, had raised the force against which he had 
to conre.ud so high as nearly to double that which he 
liim.seH connnaiidcd. At the conclusion of the same 
year, the Monarch was one of the ships put under the 
orders o Sir George Bridges Rodney, who was in- 
struct.- ] to force his way to Gibraltar through all im- 
pediments, and relieve that fortress, which was then 
closely blockaded by a Spanish army on the land side, 
and a flotilla by sea, sufficiently strong to oppose the 
en; ranee of any trivial succour. Captain Duncan ac- 
cordingly '-'uiled, with transport, the opportunity of 
acquiring fame ; and fortune was propitious enough 
not to Dcnnic his expectations and hopes to be disap- 

On the 16th of January, 1780, the British fleet 
being then oft* Cape St. Vincent, fell in with a Spa- 
nish squadron, commanded by Don Juan de Langara, 
who was purposely stationed there to intercept Sir 
George, who, according to misinformation received 
by the court of Spain, was supposed to be on his pas- 
sage towards the besieged fortress, with a squadron 
consisting of no more than four ships of the line, 
having a fleet of victuallers and transports under their 
protection. The Monarch had not the advantage of 
being sheathed with copper ; but, notwithstanding 
this inconvenience, added to the additional circum- 
stance of her being by no means remarkable as a swift 
sailer, Captain Duncan was fortunate enough to get 
into action before any other ship in the fleet. 

Notwithstanding the disadvantages under which, it 
has been stated, the ship he commanded laboured, 
she was pressed ahead of the fleet, under ail the sail 
that could, with any degree of propriety, be set upon 
her ; and it is reported, that when Captain Duncan 
was warned, by some coppered ships which he passed; 
pf the dagger he incurred, by dashing so hastily 


amidst three of the enemy's squadron, which were 
just ahead, without some support, he replied, with the 
utmost coolness, and in no other terms, than, " / 
wish to be among them." The strength of the wind, 
the agitation of the sea, and the swiftness with which 
the Monarch passed through it, united to put an end 
to any farther conversation, and Captain Duncan 
had his wishes complied with, by speedily rinding 
himself well up within engaging distance of his anta- 
gonists. He found himself alongside one of the Spa- 
nish ships of equal force, though of much larger di- 
mensions, than the Monarch, while two others of the 
like rate and magnitude lay within musket shot, to the 
leeward of him. 

He accordingly directed his best efforts against the 
opponents, and after a short, though animated, re- 
sistance, had the satisfaction of seeing the colours of 
San Augustin, of seventy guns, struck, in token of 
her submission to the Monarch. 

The rigging of the victor had, by this time, re- 
ceived too much damage, to render it possible for 
Captain Duncan to hoist out a boat for the purpose 
of boarding his prize, particularly as it then blew so 
hard, and the whole fleet was on a lee shore : he was 
therefore compelled to resign the honour of taking 
possession of the vanquished enemy, to a fresh ship, 
which was then coming up astern. The fate of this 
vessel was singular, and must have been extremely 
mortifying to the conqueror. She was found so much 
disabled, that it was judged necessary to take her in 
toM 7 ; but on collecting the squadron with the prizes, 
preparatory to the entrance of the fleet into the Straits 
of Gibraltar, it was found that the only trophy of 
victory to which Captain Duncan, though he had 
afterwards engaged many other ships in the fleet, 
could claim an exclusive right, was, through neces- 
sity, abandoned, after taking out the few British offi- 
cers and seamen who had been put on board her. In 
consequence of this, the original crew, repossessing 


themselves of their ship, restored her to their coun- 
try ; and having navigated her in safety to Cadiz, she 
being refitted, was despatched on the 28th of April, 
to the West Indies, as one of the squadron ordered 
thither under Don Solano. 

Captain Duncan quitted the command of the Mo- 
narch not long after his arrival in England, and did 
not receive any other commission until the beginning 
of the year 1782, when he was appointed to the Blen- 
heim of ninety guns, a ship newly come out of dock, 
after having undergone a complete repair. He conti- 
nued in the same command during nearly the whole of 
the remainder of the war, constantly employed with 
the home, or, as it was called, the Channel fleet, 
which was, during the greater part of the time, com- 
manded by the late Earl Howe. Having accompa- 
nied his lordship in the month of September to Gib- 
raltar, he was stationed to lead the larboard division 
of the centre, or commander in chief's squadron, and 
M'as very distinguishedly engaged in the encounter 
with the combined fleets of France and Spain, which 
took place off the entrance of the Straits. 

Soon after the fleet arrived in England, Captain 
Duncan removed into the Foudroyant, of eighty-four 

i/ O */ 

guns, one of the most favourite shipsin the British navy 
at that time, which had, during the whole preceding 
part of the war, been commanded by Sir John Jems. 
He continued in that ship no longer than till the ces- 
sation of hostilities ; an event which, it may be well 
remembered, took place in the ensuing spring. He 
then removed into the Edgar, of seventy-four guns, 
one of the guard-ships stationed at Portsmouth, and 
continued, as is customary in time of peace, in that 
command during the three succeeding} ears. This was 
the last commission he ever held as a private captain, 

On the 14-th of September, 17H9, Captain Duncan 
was promoted to be rear-admiral of the blue, as he 
moreover M'as to the same rank in the white squa- 
dron, on a second advancement of flag-officers, which 


took place on the 22d of September, 1790. He was 
raised to be vice-admiral of the blue, on the 1st of 
February, 1793; of the white, on the 12th of April, 
1794; to be admiral of the blue, on the 1st of June, 
1795 ; and, lastly, to be admiral of the white, on 
the fourteenth of February, 1799. During all these 
periods, except the two last, singular as it may ap- 
pear to posterity, the high merit Admiral Duncan 
possessed, continued either unknown, or, to give the 
treatment he received what may perhaps be a more 
proper term, unregarded. Frequently did he solicit 
a command, and as often did his request pass un- 
com plied with. 

At length, however, his merit burst through the 
cloud which had so long obscured it from public 
view. He received, in the month of February, 17|)5, 
an appointment, constituting him commander in 
chief in what are called the Korth Seas, the limits of 
his power extending from the North Foreland, even 
to the Ultima Thuic of the ancients, or as far beyond 
as the operations of the enemy he was sent to en- 
counter should render necessary. He accordingly 
hoisted his flag on board the Prince George of ninety- 
eight guns, at Chatham ; but that ship being con- 
sidered too large for the particular quarter in which 
the admiral was destined to act, he removed soon 
afterwards into the Venerable, of seventy-four guns, 
and proceeded to carry into execution the very im- 
portant trust which was confided in him. 

AVhen the patience and unwearied constancy 
M'ith which this brave officer continued to watch a 
cautious and prudent enemy, during the whole time 
lie held the command, a period of five years, arc 
considered, it becomes a matter of difficulty to de- 
cide, whether those invaluable qualities just men- 
tinned, or the gallantry, as well as the judgment, he 
displayed on the only opportunity the enemy afforded 
him of contesting with them the palm of victory, 
ought most to render him the object of his country % 


love .T,rd admiration. The depth of winter, the tem- 
pt iv tnous attacks of raging winds, the dangers pecu- 
liarly attached to a station indefatigably maintained 
off the shoals and sands which environ the coasts of 
the United Provinces, added to many dark and com- 
fortless nights, all united to render the situation, 
even of the common seaman, peculiarly irksome; 
what then must have been the situation of the com- 
mander in chief? Yet, in the midst of these dis- 
couraging inconveniences, surrounded, as he stood, 
on every side, by perils of the most alarming kind, 
lie never shrunk even for a moment, from his post 
during the whoie time he held the very important 
command allotted to him. There does not appear to 
have been a single month in which he did not shew 
himself off the ho.stile coast that he insulted ; though 
he was, through necessity, compelled to be content 
with the secondary consideration, of having dared a 
foe to a contest, which they very wisely, prudently, 
or timidly, shrunk from. 

In endeavouring to counteract the effects of the 
French Revolution, different alliances were formed 
by Great Britain; and in 1796, a formidable Russian 
squadron arrived in the Downs, with instructions 
that its admiral should put himself totally under the 
orders of the British commander in chief, h* the same 
quarter. To command a body of men whose man- 
ners, whose customs, whose discipline were totally 
dissimilar to those of his own people, must have re- 
quired no common share of judgment, patience, ami 
benevolence ; these qualities, there can be no doubt, 
Admiral Duncan possessed in a very eminent degree. 
So highly did he acquire the love and the respect 
of his foreign associates, that, in consequence of a 
representation made by their admiral to the Im- 
press Catherine, of the satisfaction that he had felt 
in acting under the orders of lUr. Duncan, slrj 
thought propei 1 , unsolicited, to honour him witii 
flic imperial order of Alexander Ne\vski, being tlui 


second, in point of rank, among the degrees of Rus- 
sian knighthood. 

It would be tedious to enter into the minutiae of 
those numerous services which he rendered his coun- 
try during the more early part or his command : they 
were, at least, proofs of his diligence; though the 
inferior force of the many prizes made by the ships 
lie commanded* might render any exertion of gallan- 
try on his part unnecessary. A melancholy occur- 
rence, however, which took place in the month of 
May, 1797, called forth all those powers which had 
so lono- lain dormant : the ursrencv and peculiarity of 

o <J *j i / 

the case might be said far to exceed, in difficulty and 

O ' > 

danger, any situation in which an officer could be 
thrown, who had to contend with only the public 
and avowed enemies of his country. We advert to 
that dreadful mutiny, or commotion among the sea- 
men, which, after having raged some time with tre- 
mendous fury on hoard the Channel fleet at Ports- 
mouth, had spread its deleterious contagion through 
the ships employed under the orders of Admiral Dun- 
can. See our History. 

As an officer bearing command, no person had 
ever more endeared himself to those whom he was 
appointed to conduct, than Admiral Duncan ; for, 
while benevolence and good humour had acquired 
him the universal love of all who knew him ; a re- 

* Amon^ which may be reckoned the capture of the Dutch com- 
modore, Vanderkin : the Argo, of thirty-two guns, taken by 
Captain Haisleau, in the Phoenix, May, 1796 ; and the Mercury, 
of sixteen gnus, a brig sloop of war, taken by the Sylph on the 
same day: the Kcho. of eighteen gi::i^, and De Gier, of fourteen; 
two sloo ::- of v, ar were driven on shore by the Pegasus at ihc same 
time, 'l <> ii'if-e we may add a considerable number of \ery valu- 
able t radii;.; vessels, as well as oi:ur.s of inferior consequence. 
From the I'Venrh, the Victorieuse and Siiilisante French national 
brigs, moun'.ing fourteen guns each, wore captured in August, 
170.'), soon after lie. put to sea. The pandora, a vessel of tht.> 
same force and description, in the monih of December following. 
The Jalousie corvette, mounting ciglrteon guns, in the month of 
May. 1706'. 


gularity of government or discipline, unalloyed by 
severity, and unmixed with the smallest portion of 
that species of conduct which too often appears in 
very humane well-disposed men, perpetually remind- 
ing those over whom they are put in authority, of 
the great inferiority of their station, had rendered 
him revered as well as adored. On the instant the 
baneful influence of this disease made its appear- 
ance, lie visited every ship in the fleet; his presence 
had the temporary effect of Ithuriel's spear; it com- 
pelled the daemon of discord to quit the more pleas- 
ing shape which it had taken, and resume its natural 
one, disgusting, loathsome, and terrific; its idola- 
trous worshippers became, for a short space, ashamed 
of their deity, and returned to their duty without ap- 
parent reluctance. The disease, however, was only 
checked, not cured ; for when the fleet put to sea, it 
renewed its appearance, attended by all its former 
virulent s^ymptoms, the: Venerable and Adamant ap- 
pearing the only ships that were not thoroughly 
tainted with the infection. On the evening before 
the admiral himself intended to put to sea, he made 
the signal for the Trent frigate to get under weigh : 
his commands were not complied with ; and on in- 
quiring into the cause, it was found that the crew 
peremptorily refused obeying their officers, on pre- 
tence that the regulation established immediately 
before, by act of Parliament, in respect, to the weight 
'and measure of provisions, had not been adopted 
with respect to them. The fact really was, the aug- 
mentation had so very recently passed into a law, 
that the particulars of it had not been at that time 
officially notified to the oh'icers whose particular duty 
it was to attend to it. The fomenters of dissention, 
eagerly snatching at the only existing chance of ex- 
civini;' farther tumult, had set fire to the train, by 
merely suggesting the hardship, and the conflagration 
spread to the utmost of their wishes. 

The admiral, on this alarming occasion, ordered 


all hands to be called upon deck ; he publicly made 
known to them the delinquency of their companions; 
he informed them of his intention to go alongside the 
frigate early in the ensuing morning, and compel the 
rebellious crew to return to their duty. " Who ia 
there, "said he, "that on this occasion will desert 
me?" The question was immediately answered in 
the negative; his people, with one accord, declaring 
their utmost abhorrence of such conduct, and their 
assurance of support, to the utmost of their power 
in the punishment of it. In the course of the even- 
ing, however, a letter, couched in the properesi 1 - terms 
possible, was transmitted to him from his ship's com- 
pany ; they offered, by way of satisfying the discon- 
tent which pervaded the crew of the Trent, and to 
shew them they fared no worse than all others em- 
barked in the same cause did, to deliver to him the 
different weights and measures used by the purser in 
the allotment of their provisions, and depend en- 
tirely on his justice and candour, as far as regarded 
their own allowances. This offer convinced the mu- 
tineers of the impropriety of their conduct; the ef- 
fusion of British blood, and by the hands of Britons, 
was happily prevented ; for before the ensuing morn- 
ing the frigate proceeded on the service previously 
ordered by the commander in chief. 

Towards the end of May, Admiral Duncan quitted 
Yarmouth Roads by order of the Admiralty board, 
with instructions to cruise off the back of those sands 
which at some distance environ that anchorage, till 
he should be reinforced. The Nassau and Montague, 
one of sixty-four, the other of seventy-tour guns, 
refused to put to sea, under pretence that they were 
in the course of payment, though there were at that 
time scarcely ten shillings due to each man on board. 
This sad example induced the rest of the ships to 
pursue the same line of conduct; so the Venerable 
and Adamant, whose crews, as already observed, 
never relaxed from their duty, were left to proceed 


by themselves off the Texel, whither the admiral, un- 
attended as he was, immediately repaired. 

Stratagem supplied, on this occasion, the place of 
numbers ; for the admiral, hy making a variety of 
signals, as to ships in the offing, effectually duped 
Admiral De Winter, as he himself afterwards con- 
fessed, into the belief that the channel of the Helcler 
was blocked up by a force superior to that which he 
himself commanded. At this critical period, the only 
symptom of mutiny that ever was observed on board 
the Venerable made its appearance. It becomes, indeed, 
rather a matter of wonder, considering how preva- 
lent is the force of example, that it should have been 
so tardy, or so languid, as it fortunately proved: a 
plot, however, was actually on foot, and was happily 
discovered by some truly valuable men belonging to 
the gunner's crew. The admiral, as he had before 
been frequently compelled to do, during the critical 
period alluded to, ordered all hands to be turned 
upon deck. He immediately addressed them in 
the firmest, and, at the same time, the coolest, 
terms : after a few minutes, six men, among the 
vtoutest in the ship, and who were charged with 
being the ring-leaders of the conspiracy, were brought 
before him. It was, at that time, impossible to say 
to what height the disease had reached ; the moment 
was more than critical ; it was awful ; and, while 
the delay of an instant might have rendered it fatal, 
a strong measure too hastily or unadvisedly taken, 
might have been equally injurious to the cause of 

" My lads," said the admiral, " I am not in the 
smallest degree, apprehensive of any violent measure 
you may have in contemplation: and though I a-sure 
you I would much rather acquire your love than incur 
your fear, I will, with my own hand, put to death the 
first man who shall presume to display the slightest 
symptom of rebellious conduct" Turning round im- 
mediately to one of the mutineers ; " Do you, sir," saicj 


he, " want to take the command of this ship out of 
my hands r" " Yes, sir," replied the fellow, with 
the greatest assurance. The admiral immediately 
raised his arm, with an intent to plunge the sword 
into the mutineer's breast : he was prevented by the 
chaplain and secretary, who seized his arm, from ex- 
ecuting this summary act of justice; an act rendered., 
at least justifiable, if not necessary, by the particular 
situation in which not only himself, but the greatest 
part of those whom he commanded, were at that time 

The b!ow being prevented, the admiral attempted 
not to make a second, but immediately called to the 
ship's company with some agitation : " Let those 
who will stand by me, and my officers, pass over 
immediately to the starboard side of the ship, that 
we may see who are our friends, and who are our op- 
ponents." In an instant the whole crew, excepting 
the six fomenters of the disturbance, ran over with 
one accord. The culprits were immediately seized, 
put in irons, and committed to the gun-room ; from 
whence they were afterwards liberated, one by one, 
after having shewn those signs of real penitence, 
which induced the admiral, by well-timed acts of le- 
nity, to endear himself, if possible, still more to a 
faithful crew, who, in the midst of tumult, had stood 
faithful to their trust, uncorrupted in the very focus 
of seditious seduction. 

The instance of mild forbearance and forgiveness 
just related :may not impossibly be thought cen- 
surable by the stern and rigid disciplinarian ; when, 
however, the existing complexion of the times, added 
to the very exemplary conduct of the remaining part 
of the crew, are considered, together with the little 
danger that was to be apprehended from any dis- 
turbance that could be excited by six headstrong 
persons, surrounded as they were by as many hun- 
dreds, who revered their commander as a father, and 
Jovcd him as a friend, it certainly was worth making 


the experiment whether even dissolute morals might 
not be reclaimed by lenity. The motive was bene- 
volent, and the eiiect happy ; for, except in the 
slight instance already related, not the smallest symp- 
tom of discontent ever appeared on board the Ve- 

Let us now turn our minds from a subject as dis- 
gusting as il is unusual, and hasten to the account of 
one of uiosc events which will, to the latest posterity, 
continue to grace, with the utmost splendour, the 
page of British naval history the engagement with 
the Dutch fleet off Camperdown. The fleet of the 
enemy had long been in a complete state of equip- 
ment for actual service; it consisted of fifteen ships 
of the line, six frigates, and five sloops of war ; the 
wind was favourable for their putting to sea, and no- 
thing but the ingenious artifice already related, in all 
probability prevented it. At length the admiral, in 
the hope of annoying them very materially, if they 
attempted to come out, the channel being so narrow 
as not to admit of more than one ship passing at a 
time, anchored, having the Adamant in company, at 
the outer buoy of the Texel, both ships having springs 
on their cables. What the event of so unequal a 
contest would have been, is now of little consequence; 
but whatever it might have proved, the measure cer- 
tainly reflected the highest honour on the man whose 
gallantry not only projected it, but made every pos- 
sible preparation in his power to carry it into execu- 
tion in the most advantageous manner possible. 

The crew were at their quarters for three days and 
three nights, almost in momentary expectation that 
the enemy would come out. Their admiral even made 
the preparative signal for sailing ; but a few hours be- 
fore the time when their intention was to have been 
executed, the wind came round to the westward, and 
prevented it. During the eight following days, the 
admiral and his consort were on the tiptoe of expecta- 
tion, waiting for a reinforcement, when, at len^r.!). 


to their great joy, they were joined by the Sans Pareif, 
of eighty-four, and the Russel of seventy-four-guns. 
Other ships coming in soon afterwards, the disparity 
of numbers so far decreased, as to annihilate all 
anxiety for the event of the expected contest. The 
Venerable herself kept the sea during eighteen weeks 
and three days, without intermission, in which time 
many of the ships which had joined the admiral after 
the mutiny, had been compelled to iruke a temporary 
return into port, either on account o:' a want of pro- 
visions, or the damage they had received in the gales 
of wind which happened about that period. 

At length the commander in chief, in spite of all 
the care and economy he could contrive, found him- 
self under a necessity of returning into port, to re- 
victual and procure a supply of stores, the Venerable 
being in want of nearly every species of necessary 
requisite to a ship employed on so active a service. 
The Dutch admiral, who had accurate information 
from small vessels, which were kept out as scouts, of 
all the motions which the British tleet made, wearied 
by his long confinement in port, urged by the repre- 
sentations made from his own executive government, 
and stimulated by the influence of the French faction 
in Holland, ventured at last to put to sea. Though 
a man inferior to no one, perhaps, in personal cou- 
rage, he knew too well the superiority of the British 
.ships, and the crews which navigated them, both in 
respect to equipment and nautical knowledge, to sup- 
pose that the event of an action would be conforma- 
ble to the wishes or interests of his countrymen, un- 
less he outnumbered his antagonists far higher than 
lie could expect or hope. But by putting to sea, lie 
considered that he should at least quiet the minds of 
his countrymen for a time; and that calm he hoped 
to produce, without putting his armament to the risk 
of a defeat: this he was induced to flatter himself 
with, under the reflection that the same wind which 
his encmv from the British shore, would rcn- 


his return into port so easy, that he might avoid 
an action. 

The activity of Admiral Duncan rendered these ex- 
pectations futile. Having previously dispatched or- 
ders to Yarmouth for the preparation of the different 
articles he stood in need of, so that as little time as 
possible might he lost, the fleet had no sooner got to 
an anchor, than the vessels employed in victualling 
were alongside. The commander in chief setting the 
first example of assiduity, quitted not his ship for a 
moment; he continued almost constantly on deck, 
encouraging the men, and promoting every possible 
exertion, insomuch, that the Venerable herself was- 
ready for sea in four days, and the whole of the fleet 

\j v ' 

in less than eight. He lost not a moment in getting 
out to his station, having received early intelligence 
that the event he had so long wished for, had actually 
taken p ! ace. 

Foriune propitiously decreed that the zeal and un- 
remitting perseverance of the admiral should not pass 
without acquiring the reward of victory, which ha 
had so long and so diligently laboured to win. On 
the eleventh of October, at nine o'clock in the morn- 
ing, the headmost ships of the fleet made the signal 
of having discovered the enemy, and after a pursuit 
of three hours, succeeded in the well-judged opera- 
tion of cutting through the enemy's fleet, by which 
means they were cut off from their own ports. The 
subsequent events of the glorious victory obtained on 
that occasion, and the minute, though highly inte- 
resting particulars with which the contest abounded, 
have already been related. 

It has .been remarked, and with some truth, that 
the laconic manner in which the gallant admiral first 
announced his success to the Admiralty board, in no 
small degree resembled the celebrated letter of Captain 
Walton written in consequence of bis having attacked, 
taken, or destroyed, a detachment of the Spanish 

VOL. vir. K F 


fleet off Syracuse. " We have taken," said that 
brave officer, " and destroyed all the Spanish ships 
and vessels that were upon the coast ; the number as 
per margin. Yours, &c. G. Walton. 1 ' That which 
we bring into comparison with it was to the follow- 
ing purport : 

Venerable, off the coast of Holland, the IZth of October. 
Camper down E. S. E. eight miles. 


I have the pleasure to acquaint you, for the infor- 
mation of the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, 
that at nine o'clock this morning I got sight of the 
Dutch fleet; at half past twelve I passed through 
their line, and the action commenced, which has been 
very severe. The admiral's ship is dismasted, and has 
struck, as have several others, and one on fire. I shall 
send Captain Fairfax with the particulars the moment 
I can spare him. 

I am, &c. 


The admiral, as a public and proper reward for his 
very brilliant conduct on the foregoing occasion, was 
raised, by patent bearing date October the 30th, to 
the dignity of a Baron and Viscount of Great Britain, 
by the titles of Baron Camperdown and Viscount 
Duncan. He also received the thanks of both Houses 
of Parliament, and the City of London voted him the 
freedom, with a sword of the value of two hundred 
guineas. The Venerable had received so much damage, 
and had become so leaky, owing to the number of 
shot she had received in her hull, that she was, with 
the greatest difficulty, brought into port; and being 
found unfit for further service, without previously un- 
dergoing a thorough repair, was, of course, ordered 
to be dismantled for that purpose. His lordship, who 
continued to retain his command, shifted his flag into 


the Kent, a new ship of seventy-four guns, then just 
launched. Soon as the ships destined to remain un- 
der his orders were refitted, he returned again to his 
station ; ami, hy his continued vigilance, the Dutch 
trade was almost annihilated : their vessels, whenever 
any were found hardy enough to attempt putting to 
sea, were captured in sight of their own ports ; for 
the whole coast was so completely blockaded, that 
instances very rarely occurred of their heing ahle to 
elude the extreme vigilance of the British cruisers. 
His lordship continued to retain the command on 
the north-sea station, till the commencement of the 
vear, 1801, when he retired from active service to 
his country-seat. He died the fourth of August, 
1804, in the seventy-third year of his age, lie met 
the stroke of death with the dignity of a hero, and 
the resignation of a true Christian. He had enjoyed 
a large share of the glories and comforts of the world, 
but had likewise experienced its afflictions, in the loss 
of some of his children. It is said by those who per- 
sonally knew his lordship, "that it would be difficult 
to find, in modern history, another man, in whom, 
with so much meekness, modesty, and unaffected 
dignity of mind, were united so much genuine spirit, 
so much of the skill and fire of professional genius; 
such vigorous and active wisdom; such alacrity and 
ability for great achievements, with such entire in- 
difference for their success, except so far a.s they 
might contribute to the good of his country." Lord 
Duncan was a tall man, and of an athletic and finely 
proportioned form. His countenance was remarkably 
expressive of the benevolent and ingenuous excejv 
Jencies of his mind. 

F Q. 




SIR ROBERT KINGSMILL, whose original name 
was Brice, is the descendant of a very ancient and 
respectable family long settled in the town of Belfast, 
in Ireland ; he was born about the year 1730. Having 
from his earliest infancy discovered a predilection in 
favour of a naval life, he was indulged, by his parents, 
in that propensity, and accordingly entered at a pro- 
per age into the royal navy. In the subordinate ranks 
of midshipman, and master's mate, he constantly 
displayed a diligent attention to the duties of his sta- 
tion, as well as a care, and a conviction of the neces- 
sity of it, far beyond what has generally appeared in. 
the character of youth. Such having been the out- 
line and traits of his conduct, he was appointed a 
lieutenant on the 29th of April 17.56'. By an unre- 
mitting perseverance in the same steps, he established 
his own credit, and acquired the esteem, the confi- 
dence, and the love of all his superiors in rank, 
with respect to the service, under whom he was 
placed. After remaining from the commencement 
of the war, till the beginning of the year 1761, 
without obtaining any advancement, a circum- 
stance which he endured not only without mur- 
mur, but without manifesting any other kind of 
impatience, than what was produced by the wish of 
distinguishing himself in the service of his country 
more conspicuously than the station which he then 
was in, permitted, he was at the end of the month of 
January, sent to sea, for the first, in an inde- 
pendent station, as acting commander of the Swallow 
sloop of war. 

His outset as a naval commander, was luckily at- 
tended with one of those successes, which, though 


trivial in themselves, are considered even by persons 
whose minds soar above superstition, as ominous of 
future prosperity ; at least they serve as incentives to 
exertion ; they afford both hope and encouragement 
to the youth and spirit of an hero, and reconcile him 
at once to the fatigues incident to his occupation, by 
permitting him to taste the honours together with the 
pleasures which almost invariably attend, as the na- 
tural consequence of the steady pursuit of it. Being 
employed in cruising off the coast of France, he fell 
in with and captured almost without resistance, a 
privateer belonging to Bayonne, called the Sultan. 
Equalling as it did in force the vessel which Air. 
Kingsmili himself commanded, the adroitness and 
ease with which he effected his conquest, reflected no 
less honour on him than he could possibly have ac- 
quired by the most hard fought action. 

Being confirmed on the 3d of July following in 
that rank and station which had before been only 
temporary, and as it were permissive, for it was hourly 
subject to revocation, he was ordered to the West 
Indies as commander of the Basilisk bomb-ketch. 
This vessel formed one of the armament ordered thi- 
ther with Rear-admiral, afterwards Lord, Rodney, on 
an expedition planned against the island of Marti nico, 
which w r as the most important colony then belongingto 
the French in that quarter of the world. The armament 
sailed from Spitheaclon the 1 8th ofOctober, and arrived, 
after a very prosperous passage, at the Island of Bar- 
badoes in the course of the ensuing month. Here a 
strong reinforcement joined them under the orders of 
Commodore Barton,* who had proceeded to the same 

* This gentleman commanded the Litchfickl, of fifty guns, in the 
vear 1758, and being unfortunately wrecked on the coast of Africa, 
was carried together with his crew into slavery by the Moors, into 
\\ hose hands IK' fell. The following extract from the account given 
of their su Ill-rings by Lieutenant Sutherland, will be considered 
nlUcie.ntly interesting to warrant the insertion, especially as we nothing very similar in the compass of our work : 


rendezvous with a numerous fleet of transports, having 
on board a considerable part of that army with its 

" The Litchfield left Ireland on November 11, 1758, in com. 
pany with several other men of war and transports, under the com- 
mand of Commodore Keppel, intended for the reduction of Goree. 
The voyage was prosperous till the 28th, when, at eight in the even- 
ing Lieutenant Sutherland, took charge of the watch, and the wea- 
ther turned out very squally with rain. At nine it was exceeding 
dark with much lightning, the wind varying from S. W. to 
"VV. N. W. At half past nine we had an extreme hard squall ; Cap- 
tain Barton came upon deck and stayed till ten, he then left or- 
ders to keep sight of the commodore, and to make what sail the 
weather would permit. At eleven we saw the commodore bearing 
S. but the squalls coining so heavy, were obliged to hand the main- 
top sail, and at twelve o'clock were under our courses. 

" November 29, at one in the morning," says Mr. Sutherland, 
" I left the deck in charge of the first lieutenant, the light which 
we took to be the commodore's right ahead bearing south, the wind 
W. S. W. blowing very hard. At six in the morning I was awaked 
by a great shock and a confused noise of the men on deck ; I ran 
up, thinking some ship had run foul of us, for by my own reck- 
oning, and lhat of every other person in the ship, we were at least 
thirty-five leagues distance from land ; but before I could reach the 
quarter-deck the ship gave a great stroke upon the ground, and the 
sea broke all over her: just after this I could perceive the land 
rocky, rugged, and uneven, about two cables length from us. The 
ship lying with her broadside to windward, the masts soon went 
overboard, carrying some men with them. It is impossible for any 
but a sufl'erer to feel our distress ; at this time the masts and yards, 
and sails hanging alongside in a confused' heap, the ship beating 
violently upon the rocks, the waves curling up to an incredible 
height, then dashing down with such force as if they would imme- 
diately have split the ship to pieces, which we indeed every moment 
expected. When we had a little recovered from onr first confusion, 
we saw it necessary to get every thing we could over to the lar- 
board side, to prevent the ship from heeling off, and exposing the 
deck to the sea. Some of the people were very earnest to get the 
boats out ; contrary to advice, and after much intreaty, notwith- 
standing a most terrible sea, one of the boats was launched, and 
eight of the best men jumped into it; but it had hardly got to the 
ship's stern when it was whirled to the bottom, and every one pe- 
rished; the rest of the boats were soon washed to pieces upon the 
deck. We then made n raft with the davit, capstan bars, and some 
hoards, and waited with resignation for Divine Providence to assist 
us. The ship was soon filled with water, so that we had no time 
to get an) provision up, the quarter-deck and poop were now the 


camp equipage, battering train, and other necessary 
appendages, that had just before been so successfully 

only places we could stand on with any security, the waves being 
mostly spent by the time they reached us, owing to the fore-part 
of the ship breaking them. At four in the afternoon, perceiving 
the sea to be much abated, one of our people attempted to swim, 
and jjot safe on shore. There were a number of Moors upon the 
rock ready to take hold of any one, and beckoned much for us to 
come on shore, which at first we took for kindness, but they soon 
undeceived us, for they had not the humanity to assist any body 
that was entirely naked, but would fly to those who had any thing 
about them, and strip them before they were quite out of the water, 
wrangling among themselves about the plunder; in the mean time 
the poor wretches were left to crawl up the rocks if they were 
able ; if not, they perished unregarded. The second lieutenant and 
myself, with about sixty-five others, got ashore before dark, but 
were left exposed to the weather upon the cold sand, and to keep 
us from starving were obliged to go down to the shore and bring up 
pieces of the wreck to make a fire, and if we happened to pick up 
a shirt or a handkerchief, and did not give it to the Moors at the 
first demand, the next thing was a dagger offered to our breasts. 
They allowed us a piece of an old sail which they did not think 
worth carrying off, of which we made two tents, and crowded 
ourselves into them, every one sitting between another's legs to 
prcserre warmth and make room. In this uneasy situation, con- 
tinually bewailing ourselves and our poor shipmates upon the wreck, 
we passed a most tedious night, without so much as a drop of water 
to refresh us, except what we caught through our sail-cloth co- 

" Nov. 30, at six in the morning, we went down with a num- 
ber of our men upon the rocks to assist our shipmates in coming 
ashore, and found the ship had been greatly shattered in the night. 
It being now low water, many attempted to swim ashore ; some 
got safe, others perished. The people on board got the raft into 
the water, and about fifteen men upon it, but they were no sooner 
put off from the wreck than it was quite overturned ; most of 
the men recovered it again, but were hardly on before it was 
overturned; there were only three or four that got hold of it 
again, the rest perished. During that time a good swimmer 
brought a rope ashore with much difficulty, which 1 had the good 
fortune to catch hold of just as he was quite spent, and had 
thoughts of quitting it. Some people coming to my assistance, 
we pulled a larger rope ashore with that, and made it fast round 
a rock. AVr found this gave great spirits to the poor souls upon 
the wreck, for it being hauled tight from the upper part of the 
stern, made an easy descent to any one who h id art enough tu 


employed in the attack and conquest of the island of 
Belleisle. A second addition of strength, particularly 

walk or slide upon % rope with a smaller rope fixed above to holt! 
by. This was a means of saving a number of lives, though many 
were -washed oft' by the impetuous surf and perished. The flood 
coming on raised the surf and prevented any more coming at this 
fime, and the ropes could be of no farther use. We then retired 
from the rocks, and hunger prevailing, we went about broiling 
some of the drowned turkeys, &e. which, with some flour mixed 
and baked amongst the coals, made our first meal upon this bar- 
barous coast. We found a well of fresh water about half a mile 
off, which very much refreshed us ; but we had hardly finished this 
coarse repast when the Moors (who were now grown numerous), 
drove us every one down to the rocks to bring up empty iron 
bound casks, pieces of the wreck which had most iron about them, 
and other things. About three o'clock in the afternoon -we had 
another meal upon the drowned poultry, and finding this was the 
best we were likely to have, some were ordered to save all they 
could find, others to raise a larger tent, and the rest were sent 
clown to the rocks to look out for people coming ashore. The surf 
greatly increasing with the Hood, and breaking upon the fore part 
of the ship, she was divided into three parts : the fore part was 
turned keel upwards, the middle part was soon dashed into a thou- 
sand pieces ; the fore part of the poop fell likewise at this time, 
and about thirty men went with it, eight of whom got ashore with 
onr hdp, but so bruised that we despaired of their recovery. 
Nothing but the after part of the poop now remained above water, 
with a very small part of the other decks, on which our captain 
and above one hundred and thirty more remained, expecting every 
wave to be their last. Every shock threw soyie off, few or none 
of whom came to shore alive. During this distress, the Moors 
laughed very loud, and seemed much diverted when a wave larger 
than common threatened the destruction of the poor tottering souls 
upon the wreck. Between four and five o'clock the sea was much 
decreased with the ebb : the rope being still secure, they began to 
venture upon it; some tumbled off and perished, others got safe 
ashore. About five we beckoned as much as possible for the cap, 
tain to come upt.nthe rope, as this seemed to be as good an oppor- 
tunity as any we had seen, and many came safe with our assistance. 
Some told us that the captain was determined to stay till all the 
men had quitted the wreck. However we still continued to beckon 
for him, and just before it was dark we saw him come upon the 
rope, he was close followed by a good able seaman, who did all he 
could to keep up iiis spirits and assist him in warping. As he could 
nut swim, and had been so many hours without refreshment, with 
the surf hurling him violently along, lie was no longer able to ru- 


hi respect to troops, having reached the same port 
from North America soon afterwards, with General 

sist the violence of the waves, l)iit had lost his hold of the threat rope, 
and must unavoidably have perished, had not a wave thrown him 
within reach of our ropes, which he had barely sense left to catch 
hold of. We pulled him up, and after resting a little while upon 
the rocks, coming to himself, he walked up to the tent, desiring 
us still to continue to assist the rest of the people in coming ushorc. 
The villains of Moors would have stripped him, Though he had 
nothing on but a plain waistcoat and breeches, if we had not 
plucked up a little spirit and opposed them, upon which they 
though, proper to desist. The people continued to come ashore, 
though many perished in the attempt; but the Moors, growing 
tired with waiting for so little plunder, would not let us stay upon 
the rocks, but drove us all up. I then, with the captain's appro- 
bation, went and r.uule humble supplication by >igns to the Bashaw, 
>vho was in his tent with many other Moors, dividing the valuable 
plunder, lie understood me at last, and gave us leave to go down, 
sending sonx % . Moors with us ; we carried fire-brands down to let 
the poor t-,onls upon the wreck see we were still there ready to assist 
them. About nine at night, finding no more men venture upon 
the rope as the su; '' was again greatly increased, we retired to the 
tent, leaving, by the last man's account, between thirty and forty 
souls upon the wreck. We now thought of stowing every body hi 
the tent, so n'\e<'>'.' by fixing the captain in the middle, then made 
everyone lie down upon their sides, as we could not find them a 
breadth ; but af.?r all there were many took easier lodgings in 
empty casks. 

" December 1. Moderate and fair weather. In the morning 
the wreck was all in pieces upon the rocks, and the shore quite 
Covered with lumber. The people upon the wreck all perished 
abou' one in the morning. At one in the afternoon we called a 
musfer, and found our number to be two hundred and twenty, so 
that there were one hundred and thirty drowned. 

'" Dec. C 2. Moderate and fair weather. We subsisted entirely 
on the drowned stock, witii a litlle salt pork to relish it, and the 
flour made into cakes, all which we issued regularly and sparingly, 
not knowing whether we should have any thing from the Moors or 
not, as they still continued to be very troublesome, wanting to rob 
us of the canvas which covered our tent. At two in the aitornoon 
a black servant arrived, sent by one Mr. Butler, a Dane, factor 
to the Danish African Company at Sallce (a town about thirty 
miles oiF), to inquhv into our condition, and give us assistance. 
The captain wrote him a letter, the man having brought pens, ink, 
and paper: finding there was one who olfercd us help, it greatly 
fcfrebhcd our heavy hearts. 


Monckton, who was appointed commander in chief,, 
the combined force proceeded immediately towards 

" Dec. 3. Moderate weather, sometimes rainv. In the after- 
noon, we received a letter from Mr. Butler, with some bread, ;ind 
a few other necessaries. 

" Dec. 4. Moderate weather. The people were employed in 
picking up pieces of sail, and what else the Moors would permit 
them. We put ihe people into messes, and served the necessaries 
we received the day before. They had bread and the flesh of the 
drowned stock. In the afternoon, we received another letter from 
Mr. Butler, at the same time, we had a letter from Mr. Andrews, 
an Irish gentleman, a merchant at Sallee. The Moors were not so 
troublesome now as before, most of them going off with what they 
had got. 

" Dec. 5. Squally weather, with rain. The drowned stock was 
all expended ; the people employed at low water in gathering mus- 
cles. At ten in the morning, Mr. Andrews arrived, and brought 
a French surgeon with him, with some medicines, which many of 
the bruised men stood in very great need of. 

" Dec. 6. Squally, rainy, weather. We served one of this 
country blankets to every two men, and pampooses, a sort of slip- 
pers, to those who were most in need of them. These supplies 
were brought by Mr. Andrews. The people were forced to live on 
muscles and bread, these villanous Moors having deceived us and 
not returned, though they promised to supply us with cattle. 

a Dec. 7. Dirty, squally, weather, with rain. The people 
employed in gathering muscles and limpits. The Moors began to be 
a little civil, for fear the emperor should punish them for their 
cruel usage of us. In the afternoon, a messenger arrived from the 
emperor at Sallee, with orders in general to the people to supply 
us with provisions. Accordingly, they brought us some poor 
bullocks, and lean sheep, which Air. Andrews purchased for us ; 
but, at this time, we had no pots to make broth in, and the cattle 
were scarce fit for any thing else. 

" Dec. 8 ami 9. Squally weather, -with rain. 

" Dec. 10. In the morning, we got every thing ready to march 
to Morocco, the emperor having sent orders for that purpose, and 
camels to carry the lame and the necessaries. At nine, we set out 
with about thirty camels, having cot all our liquor with us, divided 
into hogshead*, for the convenieney of carriage on tin; camels. At 
noon, \\e joined the crews of one of the transports and 2. bomb- 
tender, that weir wrecked about three U-^ues to the northward of 
n<, then every bodv was mounted upon camels, except the captain. 
\Ve never stopped till seven in the evening, when they procured 
u> two tents on'v, which won!;! not contain one 'bird oi the men. 
M> that most of them lay expose:! to the dew, which was heavy, and 
very cold. \Vc found our -A hole Dumber to be three hundred and 


tlic object of its vengeance, after the necessary ar- 
rangements or dispositions were made, and arrived off 
the Island of Martinico on the 7 th of January. 

eighty-eight, including officers, men, and boys, three women, and 
a child, which one of the women brought ashore in her teeth. 

" Dec. 11. We continued our journey, attended by a number 
of Moors on horseback. At six in the evening, we came to our 
resting place for the night, and were furnished with tents sufficient 
to cover all the men. 

" Dec. 1 1 2. At fire in the morning, we set out as before; and 
at two in (hi- afternoon, saw the emperor's cavalcade at a distance. 
At three, a relation of the emperor, named Muley Adriss, came to 
us, and told the captain, it was the emperor's orders he should that 
instant write a letter to our governor at Gibraltar, to send to his 
Britannic Majesty, to know whether lie would settle a peace with 
him or not ; Captain Barton sat down directly upon the grass, and 
wrote a letter, which, being given to Muley Adriss, he went and 
joined the emperor again. At six in the evening, \ve came to our 
resting place for the night, and \vere well furnished with tents, but 
very little provision. 

" Dec. 13. We were desired to continue here, till the men were 
refreshed, which they were much in need of. They brought us 
more provision than before. This morning, Lieutenant Harrison, 
commanding officer of the soldiers belonging to Lord Forbes's regi- 
ment, died suddenly in the tent ; in the evening, while we were bu- 
rving him, the inhuman Moors disturbed us, by throwing stones 
and mocking us. 

' Dec. 14 and 15. We found the Moors had opened Lieuten- 
ant Harrison's grave, and stripped the body. 

' ; Dec. 16. We continued our journey ; at four in the afternoon, 
ranie to our resting place, pitched the tents, and served the people 
with provisions. Here, some of the country Moors used our 
people ill ; as they were taking water from a brook, the Moors 
would always spit in the vessel be-fore they would let them take any 
away. Upon this, some of us went down to enquire, but were im- 
mediately saluted with a shower of stones ; we run in upon them, 
beat some of them pretty soundly, put them to tlight, and brought 
away one, who defended himself with a long knife. This fellow 
was severely punished by the Alcaide who had the charge of con- 
ducting us. 

" Dec. 17 and 1. We proceeded on our journey ; at three in 
the afternoon, came to the city of Morocco, without having seen 
one dwelling house in the, whole journey. Here we were in.Milied 
by the rabble ; and, at live, were carried before the emperor, sur- 
rounded by live or six hundred of his guards. lie was on horse- 
back before his palace-gate, that being the place where lie distri- 
butes justice to hi-* j>'jo]>l. He told Captain Barton, by a: 1 , inter. 


The attack of the batteries, which defended the 
poast of St. Anne's Bay, where it was agreed the de- 

prctcr, tliathc was neither at peace or war with England, that lie 
would detain ns till an ambassador came from England to settle a 
firm peace. The captain then desired that we might not be used as 
slaves, he answered hastily, we should be taken care of. Then we 
were directly thrust out of his presence, conveyed to two old 
ruined houses, and shut up amidst dirt and innumerable vermin of 
all sorts. Mr. Butler, being here upon business, cam o and assist- 
ed us with victuals and drink, and procured libutty for the captain 
to go fyome with him to his lodgings : he likewise sent some b!an-r 
Jtets for the officers, with which we made shift to pass the night 
tolerably comfortable, as we were very much tired and fatigued. 

" Dec. 21. At nine in the morning, the emperor sent for the 
eaptain and every officer to appear before him. \Ve immediately 
repaired to his palace, where we remained waiting in an outer 
yard two hours ; in the mean time, he diverted himself with seeing 
a clumsy Dutch boat rowed about a pond by four of our petty olli- 
ccrs. About noon, we were called before him, and placed in a 
line about thirty yards from him. He was sitting in a chair by the 
side of the pond with only two of his chief alcaides by him. After 
viewing us some time, he ordered the captain to come forward, and 
asked him a good many questions concerning our navy, and where 
our squadrpn was going. We were also called forward by two 
and three at a time, as we stood, according to our rank, then ask- 
ing most of us some very insignificant questions, and taking some 
to be Portuguese because they had black hair, and others to be 
Swedes because they had white hair, he judged none of us to be 
English, except the captain, the second lieutenant and myself, and 
the ensign of the soldiers ; but, assuring him we were all English, 
he cried " Bonno," and gave a nod for our departure, to which 
we returned a very low bow, and were glad to get to our old 
ruined house again. Our number, at this time, was thirty from 
highest to lowest. 

u Dec. 25. Being Christmas day, read prayers to the people, 
as usual in the church of England. The captain received a present 
of some tea and loaves of sugar from one of the queens, whose 
grandfather had been an English renegado. 

" Dec. 26. This afternoon, we heard the disagreeable news, 
that (he emperor would oblige all the English here to work thfa 
same as the other Christian slaves, except the officers that were 
before him on the 21st instant. 

u Dec. 27. At seven this morning, an alcaide came and ordered 
ail out to work, except those who were sick, and, by intercession, 
right were allowed to stay every day as cooks for the rest, which 
they took by turns through the whole number. At four in the 
afternoon, the people returned, some having been employed in car- 


barkation should take place, was of necessity tlie first 
measure undertaken. The whole Island of Martinico 
having submitted to the British arms on the 13th of 
February, all the rest of the French possessions and 
colonies in that part of the world, as though consider- 
ing resistance as fruitless against men who had so ra- 
pidly forced some of the strongest fortified holds, either 
in that, or any other, country, immediately surrender- 
ed ; and the Islands of St. Lucia, Granada, together 
\vith St. Vincent, passed into the possession of the 
conquerors of their countrymen, without the smallest 
attempt towards defence. 

This service being so successfully accomplished, 

tying wood, some in turning up the ground with hoes, and others 
in picking weeds in the emperor's gardens. Their victuals were 
got ready by the time they came home. 

" Dec. 28. All the people went to work as soon as they could 
eCj and at four in the afternoon, they retvirned. Two of the sol- 
diers had one hundred bastinadoes each, for behaving in a disre- 
spectful manner, while the emperor was looking at their work. 

" Dec. 30. Captain Barton received a kind message from tha 
emperor, with his leave to ride out or take a walk in his garden* 
with his officers. 

"From this time the men continued in the same state of slavery 
till April, when, their ransom having been settled, they set out for 
Saliee, attended by a bashaw and two soldiers on horseback. They 
had a skirmish the fourth day of their march with some of tho 
country Moors. It began, by some of our men in the rear stop- 
ping to buy milk at a village, for which the Moors wanted them 
to pay an exorbitant price after they had drank it, which the 
men would not comply with. Upon this the Moors began to beat 
them, which the men returned, and more coining to assist, they 
maintained a smart battle, till they grew numerous ; in the mean 
time, some rode off to c^ll thegunrd, who instantly came up \\ith 
their drawn scymitars, and dual t round thorn pretty briskly. In 
the interim, we were not idle, and had the pleasure to see the blood 
trickling down a good many of (heir faces. The guards seized the 
chief man of the village, and carried him Mill) us to the, bashaw, 
Mho was our conductor ; who, having heard (hi- cause, dismissed 
him without farther punishment, in consideration of his having been 
well drubbed by us. 

t: On the 2'2d of April, we got to Sallcc. and pitched our tent i:i 
an old castle, whence we SOCHI afterwards embarked on board the 
Uudc-l ui utCabrallur on the 27th of Ju:u\" 


Mr. Price was ordered back to England, and imme- 
diately on his arrival appointed to command one of 
the yachts then equipping for the purpose of convey- 
ing from Stade the Princess Charlotte of Mecklen- 
burg, the betrothed queen to his present Majesty, to- 
gether with her suite. This honourable and compli- 
mentary command was not held, however, without 
danger, the whole fleet being assailed by a most tre- 
mendous storm of long continuance, in the course of 
which not only the yachts, but the ships of war which 
convoyed them, were in the utmost peril. Neverthe- 
less, seamanship and exertion enabled them all to wea- 
ther it, and bring their charge to England in perfect 
safety. The yacht being paid off, Captain Brice re- 
mained unemployed from the conclusion of the year 
17()'l till the 26th of May in the ensuing spring, when 
he was raised to the rank of post captain, and ap- 
pointed to the Crescent frigate. He was immedi- 
ately ordered to the West Indies, where he remained 
till the end of the year 1764; being then ordered to 
England, lie was paid off early in the ensuing spring, 
and retired for a time from the fatigues of service, to 
the comforts of domestic society. In 1766, he mar- 
ried Miss Kingsmill, a Berkshire lady of very re- 
spectable family, and in consequence of that union 
obtained possession of a considerable landed pro- 
perty, and likewise received his Majesty's permission 
to assume the name of Kingsmill. The activity of 
his mind being rather ill suited to the nature of the 
service required in time of profound peace; his pecu- 
niary circumstances very affluent, and bin, self pos- 
sessing no desire to encounter the fatigue and trouble 
of a naval life when he could so very immaterially 
contribute to the service of his country; he declined 
accepting any commission from the time of his quit- 
ting the Crescent till the beginning of the year 177^, 
when the conduct of the court of France rendering a 
rupture more than probable, and holding forth indeed 
every expectation of a long, severe, and bioudy con- 


test, he quitted without the smallest regret the plea- 
sures of retirement, and accepted the command of the 
Vigilant, a third rate, of sixty-four guns, then under 
equipment for the Channel or home service. 

In this ship he was present, on the ^7th of July 
following, at the memorahle encounter which took 


place off Ushant, between the French fleet command- 
ed by the Count D'Orvilliers, and that of Britain by- 
Admiral Keppel ; and although very materially en- 
gaged, yet was so fortunate as to have no more than 
two of his people killed and three wounded. The 
rage of party, and the known independence of Cap- 
tain Kingsmilfs principles, caused the country to lose 
the advantage of his knowledge and abilities during 

o o t cj 

the greater part of the war which had then com- 
menced. The Vigilant being ordered at the conclu- 

d? *_,J 

sion of the year to the West Indies, this gentleman, 
removed from that ship, and was not appointed to 
any other till 1782, when he received a commission 
appointing him to command the Elizabeth of seventy- 
four guns, a ship which had immediately before re- 
ceived so complete a repair as to be considered nearly 
equal to one just launched. 

The delays naturally incident to the complete equip- 
ment of a naval force, intended for a long and active 
service on a far distant station, were very consider- 
ably augmented by the inclemency of the weather, 
so that it was the 17th of January before Captain 
Kingsmill was enabled to sail from Spithead for the 
East Indies. The force under his orders consisted 
of the Elizabeth (his own ship), with the Grufton, 
of seventy-four guns, the Europe, of sixty-four, and 
the Iphigenie frigate, of thirty-two. Misfortune and 
adversity attended and pursued this armament from 
the iirst moment of its departure. After it had with 
much difficulty reached the Hay of Biscay, a conti- 
nued tempest, rendered still more inauspicious from 
the wind which occasioned it, being adverse to the 
mtended course of the squadron, completely dispersed 


ai< the ships which composed it; the greater pait of 
the;:; yere not only completely dismasted, but so 
much shaken and injure:! in their hulls by the re- 
peated shocks of the sea, that it was with the greatest 
difficulty some of tbem were prevented from foun- 
dering. Tiiev all, however, were fortunate enough 

*j O 

to effect their return ; anil Captain Kingsmiit, who, 
with the most unremitting perseverance, strove to 
make his passage, though separated from all his com- 
panions, was at length, notwithstanding he was more 
fortunate in having sustained less injury than they 
had done, compelled to put back. He returned to 
Spithead on the 1st of February, with the loss of all 
his top-masts; and. the preliminaries of general peace 
between Great Britain, France, Spain, Holland, and 
the United States of America, having been concluded 
at the commencement of the year J?S3, the necessity 
of sending any farther naval reinforcement to the East 
Indies became of course superseded. The Elizabeth 
was, nevertheless, ordered to be retained in commission, 
being one of those intended for a guardship on the peace 
establishment. A continuance in the same command 
being offcied to Captain Kingsmill as a very proper 
compliment, and as a proof of the value set on his 
former sei vices, he accepted the offer, and continued 
to command the Elizabeth during the three years en- 
suing, which is the period customarily allotted to ap- 
pointments of that nature. 

In 3790, when the insolent behaviour of the court 
of Spain, or rather of certain officers acting under its 
orders, had rendered the apprehension of a serious 
dispute with that country relative to Nootka Sound, 
very general, Captain Kingsmill was among the first 
officers who received commissions on that occasion. 
The ship to which he was appointed was the Duke, 
of ninety guns ; winch, however, was put out of com- 
mission when the expectation of war was abandoned. 

On the 1st of February 1793, Mr. Kingsmill was 
promoted to the rank of rear-admiral of the white. 


Squadron, and had scarcely experienced this advance- 
ment, ere his merits were still farther rewarded by his 
being appointed to command in chief on the Irish 
station. His gallantry and activity in any case of 
sudden emergency were indubitable; and the private, 
the personal, (if it may be so termed) qualification, of 
his being a native of the country, marked him out, 
independently of every other circumstance, as a man 
that must be peculiarly grateful to those among 
whom in some cases it might be necessary for him to 
display his authority. The event fully established 
the truth of that reasoning on which it may be sup- 
posed the appointment itself was founded : while his 
private demeanour most deservedly acquired him the 
esteem of those who were unconnected with the ser- 
vice, his public conduct not only raised the highest 
esteem in all those persons who served under his or- 
ders, but in those who had most judiciously con- 
fided to him so important a trust. 

The passage between Ushant and Cape Clear inter- 
sects the track of all ships bound to England from 
the East or West Indies, the Levant, and in short every 
other quarter of the world, the Baltic, ami ports of 
Sweden or Denmark excepted, together with a very 
inconsiderable portion of ships, who, warned of any 
peculiarly imminent danger, have sometimes "'one 

*/ o c? 

north about. The advantage which has rewarded on 
many occasions, particularly in former wars, the crui- 
sers of the enemy, as well those belonging to the ki'ug as 
to private persons, who devote their time and attention 
to this marauding service, encouraged an unremit- 
ting perseverance that required the strictest attention 
to prevent them from becoming most extremely injuri- 
ous to the British commerce. To adopt the term com- 
monly used to express the peculiar situation of naval 
affairs in that quarter; the entrance of the Irish and 
English (Channels became, from the instant hostilities 
commenced, most grievously infested by cruisers be- 
longing to tlve enemy, of all descriptions. The injurv 



effected against the British trade in consequence of 
this measure mio-ht have been of the most serious 


kind, if the utmost diligence had not been used in 


counteraction of it. Scarcely a month passed for a 
considerable period without the capture of some ves- 
sel of consequence; but these successes were trivial 
in comparison with that which he had the fortune 
to effect in the month of June, 1796. A squadron 
of frigates, consisting of four sail, had been fitted 
out at Brest for the express purpose of committing 
depredations against the British trade in that parti- 
cular quarter. The vessels composing it were se- 
lected with the utmost care, and considered of the 
first character as sailers in the whole French navy. 
They were manned with chosen crews, and com- 
manded by Officers held in the highest estimation for 
gallantry and nautical knowledge. Notwithstanding 
these precautions, the enemy had scarcely made their 
appearance on the station ere they were met, en- 
gaged, defeated, and captured. 

To pass over a variety of inferior successes which 
took place during the remainder of the year, we may 
notice that the conclusion of the year was productive 
of an event and plan of operations set on foot by the 
enemy, which had in its intention nothing less than 
the reduction of all Ireland. A very formidable ar- 
mament, consisting of no less than seventeen ships 
of the line, with twenty-seven frigates, cutters, or 
other vessels, having a considerable body of troops 
on board, sailed from Brest in the hopes of effecting 
an immediate descent on the south of that island. 
Of these several were taken, others destroyed, and 
the threatened danger completely averted. The du- 
ties and attention of Vice-admiral Kingsmill did not, 
however, cease or relax ; repeated captures continued 
still to add as well to the reputation of the comman- 
der in chief, as of those who immediately acted 
under his instructions. 

Sixteen months at tei \vaids France resumed her 


project, and exposed herself a second time to the gallan- 
try of the British navy. The Hoche, a ship of the line, 
eight frigates, a schooner, and a brij*, found an oppor- 
tunity of clearing Brest harbour. 1 hey had on board 
nearly five thousand troops, together with great quan- 
tities of arms and stores of all kinds, so that they were 
well prepared to make a powerful effort. Captain Coun- 
tess, in the Ethalion, to whose judicious management 
the fortune of the day ought, perhaps, in a great 
measure to be attributed, kept the enemy continually 
in sight, from the moment of its leaving port, on the 
17th of October, 1798, when Lord Bridport was 
driven off his station. This excellent officer had been, 
detached by Captain Keats of the Boudicea, to watch 
the motions of the squadron, with the Anson and 
Amelia frigates, together with the Sylph brig, under 
his orders. He continued watching the enemy's 
ships till the 10th of November, when, having ascer- 
tained their real situation, he ordered Captain Her- 
bert of the Amelia, to go in quest of some of the 
.divisions of the British fleet, which he knew were off 
the northern coast of Ireland. On the 1 1th, Captain 
Countess himself fell in with Sir John Borlase Warren, 
whom he acquainted with the approach of the enemy. 
Happily, meanwhile, the vigilance of the board of 
Admiralty had procured the most accurate information 
of the ultimate destination of the Brest squadron, 
and nothing could have been better directed than the 
stations of the British fleet. 

No sooner had the enemy's ships appeared off the 
Irish coast, than Admiral Kingsmill was made ac- 
quainted with their situation, and his cruisers dis- 
played the utmost activity in intercepting such of 
the French as escaped from the general action, the 
glory of which fell to the share of thai gallant officer 
Sir John Borlase Warren, of whom we shall .speak in 
the next volume. Mr. Kingsmill continued occu- 
pied on this station, industriously employing the same 
means which he had before exerted, and with so 


much effect, against the enemies of his country, till 
toward the conclusion of the year 1800, when he 
resigned his command to Sir Alan, afterwards Lord 
Gardner, and never accepted of any subsequent naval 

On the 4th of November, 1800, just at the time 
he quitted the Irish command, Mr. Kingsmill was 
raised to the dignity of a baronet of Great Britain ; 
after which he passed the remainder of his life in re- 
tirement. He died on the f23d of November, 1805, 
in the seventy-fifth year of his age. Of his charac- 
ter and talents nothing need be added to the fore- 

going memoir. 



THE first entrance of this gentleman into maritime 
life, was in the service of the Honourable East India 
Company ; but, after having made two or three voy- 
ages, he found that his genius was but ill-adapted to 
trading pursuits, and he became anxious for some 
more active employment, in which his talents might 
be displayed to advantage. It has been judiciously 
observed by Dr. Johnson, in his life of Boerhaave the 
physician, that " Providence seldom sends any into 
the world with an inclination to attempt great things 
who have not abilities likewise to perform them." 
This may in some measure be accounted for, by ad- 
verting to the fact, that projects of enterprise and 
spirit are scarcely ever conceived or executed but by 
persons of an ardent temperament. The same ardour 
which inspires a man to attempt the accomplishment 
of some favourite object, furnishes him with energy 
and perseverance to achieve it. Thus it was with 
Mr. Thesiger. He felt no interest in the routine of a 


trading voyage ; but, impelled by a wish for some 
situation, in which his powers might be called into 
more active exertion, his mind was continually occu- 
pied on the subject, and he remained on the alert, to 
embrace the first opportunity that might offer. 

At the period on which we are treating, Great Bri- 
tain was at war with France, in consequence of the 
assistance which the latter power afforded to the Ame- 
rican States ; and, encouraged by the hope of dis- 
playing his genius and gallantry, an opening having 
presented itself to Mr. Thesiger for entering into the 
royal navy, he placed himself under the directions of 
Sir Samuel Marshall. With that gentleman lie served 
several years, during which time he w r as uniformly 
distinguished as one of his most active midshipmen. 
When on board, he was particularly noticed by his 
commander; and, when on shore, he always found 
a warm reception at his house. A friendship and an 
attachment so honourable, ceased not (put with thq 
life of his protector and patron. 

At the beginning of the year 1782, when Sir 
George, afterwards Lord Rodney, took upon himself, 
for the last time, the command of the fleet in the 
West Indies, Mr. Thesign* was appointed acting 
lieutenant on board the Formidable ; and, on the 
memorable 12th of April, was recommended to the 
admiral, by Sir Charles Douglas, captain of the fleet, 
as a most correct repeater of signals. In consequence 
of this recommendation, he was appointed aid-du- 
camp to Sir George ; and, after being stationed near 
his person during the whole of the action, he was 
one of the first officers sent to take possession of the 
Vil.le de Paris, after she had struck to the British flag. 
Fortunately, however, lor Mr. Thesiger, one of his 
brother officers, who preferred returning to England 
to remaining on the West India station, solicited and 
obtained permission to exchange with him ; in conse- 
quence of which, he was rescued from the melancholy 


fate which befell the many brave men who perished on 
board the Yille de Paris.* 

Mr. Thesiger continued with his friend, Sir Charles 
Douglas, t who, for some time, retained his post as 
captain of the fleet, under the command of Admiral 
Pigot, the successor of Lord Rodney. He after- 

* The fate of this ship has never been precisely ascertained. 
The general opinion is, that she, as well as the Glorieux, foun- 
dered on her passage to Europe. This opinion is corroborated by 
the following circumstance : A seaman, of the name of Wilson, 
iv ho was picked up by a Dane, floating on a piece of wreck, said 
that he had belonged to the Ville de Paris ; and that, when she 
foundered, he had ciung to the piece of wreck. lie was so over- 
come with terror, that he could not recollect any thing farther, 
excepting that he had seen the Glorieux go down on the day pre- 
ceding that on which the Ville de Paris perished. 

+ Sir Charles Douglas was a gentleman of Scotch extraction, 
and having been an officer in the Dutch service in the early part of 
his life, he is said to have experienced some difficulty in obtaining 
liis rank in the British navy. He was made lieutenant on the 4th 
of December, 1753; commander on the 24th of February, 175Q ; 
and post captain, in the Syren, of twenty guns, on the 13th of 
March, 1761. In this ship he served, first on the West India 
station, whence he passed over to North America ; and afterwards 
under the orders of Lord Colville, he proceeded to Newfound- 
land, for the purpose of dislodging the French squadron under 
the Chevalier De Ternay, which had attacked that settlement. 
Captain Douglas, with great diligence, attended the transports, 
and covered the landing of the troops on this occasion. In 1767 
he was appointed to the Emerald frigate, employed as a cruiser, in 
which he remained for three years. In 1770, he was appointed to 
the St. Albau's, of sixty-four guns, one of the ships which were 
commissioned under the apprehension of a rnptuic with Spain, and 
afterwards employed as a guard-ship. In this ship he also re- 
mained three years. In 177.5, he hoisted his broad pendant, as 
commodore, on board the Isis, of fifty guns ; on the llth of 
March 1776, he sailed from England for Quebec ; on the llth of 
April he made the island o.f St. Pierre ; and after having, with in- 
credible difficulty, forced his ship for the space of nearly sixty 
leagues through large fields of thick iee, he arrived off the Island 
of Antico>ti on the 21st, and entered the river St. Lawrence the 
same evening. I sing every possible endeavour to get up to Que- 
bec, whi.h was then closely besieged by the North American army, 
he reached L'Jalc aux Coudrcs on the 3d oi' May, and came sale to 


wards accompanied him to America, where Sir 
Charles, as commodore, was invested with the chief 
command. Having remained there until the peace 
of 1783, lie then returned to England. 

Great Britain, after a long, destructive, and un- 
popular war, was now at peace with all the world; 
but it was not long hefore another field of honour 
and glory opened to his view, and presented to Mr. 

an anchor in the bason of Quebec on the 6th of the same month ; 
when the siege was immediately raised, and the American army 
driven up the rirer in the greatest confusion. The Commodore con- 
tinued on the same station, as long as the season would permit, to 
direct the establishment of a flotilla to be employed on the lake ; 
and on his return to England, at the close of the year, he waspre- 
aentcd with a baronetcy, as a reward for his services. In 1777, 
Sir Charles was appointed to the Stirling Castle, of sixty. four 
guns, and was engaged in the action off ITshant, on the 27th of 
July. After this he was promoted to the Duke, of ninety-eight 
guns, and continued to be employed in the Channel fleet till the 
end of 1781, when he was appointed first captain of Sir George B. 
Rodney's flag. ship, the Formidable, on the West India station. 
In the engagements with the Count de Grasse, on the 9th and 12th 
of April, 17S2, he distinguished himself in the most conspicuous 
manner; as is evident from the following compliment paid to him 
by Admiral Rodney, in his official dispatches : " My own cap- 
tain, Sir Charles Douglas, merits every thing I can possibly say : 
his unrcmitted diligence and activity, greatly eased me in the mu 
avoidable fatigue of the day." In October 1783, shortly after Sir 
Charles's return to England, he sailed for Nova Scotia, as an esta- 
blished commodore, and commander in chief on that station, in 
the Assistance, of fifty guns. Jle returned to England in 1786 ; 
and in September 1787, he was promoted to be rear-admiral of the 
blue. In January 1789, he is said to have been re-appointed to 
the Nor til American command ; but his death, which took place by 
an apoplectic fit, at Edinburgh, in the month of February, pre- 
vented him from proceeding to sea. 

Sir Charles Douglas had a particular taste for mechanical pur. 
suits ; and the locks which were introduced intathe navy, as sub- 
stitutes for matches, by the advice of General Dcsaguliers, were re- 
vived and improved by him, who caused them applied, accord, 
ing to an invention of his own, to all the cannon in the docks. 
The following laconic, but truly honourable character, was given 
of Sir Charles Douglas, in some (<:' the periodical publications, just 
alter his death : < lie was a very good, a very brave, and a very 



Thesiger a fair prospect of obtaining renown. In the 
year 1788, hostilities having- commenced between 
Russia and Sweden, each of the contending powers 
was exceedingly anxious to obtain naval fame and 
superiority ; and, to facilitate the accomplishment of 
their wishes, they held out, through the medium of 
their respective ambassadors at the British court, 
very high inducements to such of our naval officers 
as had distinguished themselves, to join the hostile 
fleets. This temporary exchange of service being 
permitted by the British government, Mr. Thesiger 
devoted his exertions to the support of the Russian 
flag, under the ambitious, but munificent Catherine. 
About the same period, or rather before, Sir William 
Sidney Sn/ith entered into the service of Sweden ; and, 
in the adverse fleets, these two officers had various 
opportunities of displaving their native valour and 

Lord Rodney, as will appear from his letter to the 
Russian ambassador, exerted himself in the most 
friendly and flattering manner on this occasion for 
Mr. Thesiger.* 

A testimony so honourable, from so distinguished 
a character as Lord Rodney, could not fail of ope- 
rating in a manner highly favourable to the interests 
of Captain Thesiger. The Russian ambassador ac- 
cordingly promised him the command of a seventy - 

London, 30th April, 1789. 

* Your excellency will pardon me for troubling you ; but as it 
is at the- request of a very gallant officer, Captain Thesiger, who 
has remarkably done his duly to his King and country, and was 
one of my aides-du-camp on the memorable day of the 12th of 
April, 1782, and is i;o\v anxious to offer his services to her Impe- 
rial Majesty of all the Russias, I beg leave to recommend him to 
your excellency's protection, and to assure you that 1 look upon 
him in the light of an excellent and gallant officer; and I am con- 
vinced that he will do honour to any command that may be con- 
ferred upon him. 

I brg leave so assure your excellency, that I have the honour to 
be, wiih the highest respect, jour excellency's most obedient and 
most humble servant, RODAEY. 


four gun ship as soon as he should arrive in Russia, 
and immediately presented him with a liberal sum in 
advance, to defray his travelling expenses ; request- 
ing at the same time, that he would take the most 
expeditious method of passing to Cronstadt, where a 
fleet was preparing for sea, in order to attack the 

Captain Thesiger fortunately arrived at Cronstadt 
just as the fleet was on the point of sailing ; and, 
having joined the ship that he had heen appointed to, 
and which was ready for him, he proceeded to sea in 
quest of the Swedish squadron. 

During the cruise, the Russians succeeded incom- 
ing up with the enemy, and a desperate engagement 
ensued, in which the fleet of Catheripe proved tri- 
umphant. The Swedish admiral, on hoard the Gus- 
tavus, struck his colours to Captain Thesiger ; and, 
as a reward for his distinguished skill and bravery, the 
command of the prize was afterwards conferred upon 
the gallant captor. 

When the Russian fleet returned into port to refit, 
the Empress complimented those officers who had 
most distinguished themselves, by bestowing on them 
titles, orders, c. On Captain Thesiger she con- 
ferred the order of merit, the ensign of which is a gold 
sword, with Russian characters, allusive to gallantry 
and courage, engraven on it. 

In the following year, 1790, the Russian and 
Swedish fleets were again repeatedly engaged ; victory 
sometimes declaring for one, and sometimes for the 
other. The action in which Captain Thesiger had 
the chief opportunity of distinguishing himself, took 
place in the month of June; and, in its issue, proved 
dreadfully destructive to the Swedish marine. When 
the Russians bore down to attack the Swedes, the 
latter made sail, after a short resistance, for the 
purpose of taking shelter between the Island of Bour- 
liolm and the main land, the entrance to which chan- 
nel was defended by shoals and formidable batteries. 


As the Russians could not follow them, the outlet 
was ordered to be defended by six ships of the line, 
five of which were commanded by Englishmen. The 
situation of the Swedes was now extremely critical. 
In addition to a scarcity of ammunition, and a want 
of provisions, they were fearful that the Russians 
might send in fire-ships and endeavour to destroy 
them. Ar'ter submitting to this alarming blockade 
for some days, they determined, by a bold push, to 
attempt a passage through the opposing squadron. 
To effect this, they had to sustain the fire of the six 
Russian ships of the line, which were blockading the 
entrance of the channel ; and, afterwards, to engage 
the whole of the Russian line, which, at some 
distance, was drawn up along the coast. Watching, 
however, a favourable opportunity, when the re- 
mainder of the Russians were considerably to lee- 
ward, they got under weigh ; but, m endeavouring 
to pass the blockading ships, a dreadful conllict en- 
sued. The result of the action was, that the Swedes 
lost nine ships of the line, three frigates, and upwards 
of twenty gallies. Some of these were captured, and 
others driven and wrecked upon the rocks. Those 
which escaped into the nearest Swedish ports were in 
so shattered a state, as to be for a long time unfit for 
service. The Russians, as may be supposed, also 
suffered very considerably ; and, after the battle, one 
of their ships of the line sunk. The carnage was 
dreadful on both sides ; but the English officers who 
were engaged in the Russian service were particularly 
unfortunate. Out of six English captains who com- 
manded in the action, Captain Thesiger, we believe, 
was the only one who survived. The Captains Ue- 
nison and Trevenon were killed; Captain Marshal, in 
gallantly attempting to board one of the Swedish 
ships, fell into the sea and was drowned ; and Cap- 
tains Aikin and Miller were mortally wounded. It 
was in this action that Sir Sidney Smith served as a 
volunteer on board a vacht belonging to the Kinu: o 


Sweden, who fought in person ; and, for his skilful 
manoeuvre in retreating with the galley-fleet, by 
which he prevented the Swedish Monarch from being 
taken prisoner, and for other services, he was com- 
plimented with the grand cross of the Swedish order 
of the sword. 

Both powers being tired of the contest, the 
peace of Reichenbasch speedily followed this victory 
of the Russians. 

Catherine was never remiss in bestowing favours 
and rewards on those who deserved them : it is not 
therefore to be expected that, on this important oc- 
casion, she neglected to bestow some token of her 
royal pleasure on Captain Thesiger. None better 
than herself knew the mode of enhancing the value 
of a favour; and in return for the exertion, valour, 
and skill, displayed by our officer on the memorable 
day of victory, she conferred upon him the Order of 
St. George, accompanying the insignia thereof with 
a letter, signed by her own hand. 

In 1796, when a Russian squadron came over to 
the Downs, for the purpose of co-operating with the 
British fleet under the late Admiral Duncan, Sir Fre- 
derick Thesiger was one of the captains selected on the 
occasion. The service in which this combined force 
was employed, was chiefly that of cruising off the 
coast of Holland, and of blockading the Texel. 

Sir Frederick remained in this country till the re- 
turn of the Russian fleet. On the death, however, of 
the Empress Catherine, the Russian service, from the 
puerile and capricious orders that were given, and 
from the new regulations that were made in the navy, 
by Paid I, became exceedingly irksome and disagree- 
able to him. Through the medium of his friends in 
England, Sir Frederick Thesiger therefore commenced 
a negotiation with the first lord of the Admiralty ; 
and, on a promise of being promoted by degrees to au 
equal rank to that which he held under the Emperor 
Paul, he resolved on an immediate return to the 


service of his native country. He accordingly sent in 
his resignation to the Russian Admiralty, and soli- 
cited a passport to return to England ; but Paul, 
though attached rather to the French than to the 
English, was fully aware of the superiority of the 
latter in every thins; which related to naval affairs. 

*, o ' 

and was therefore anxious to retain him in his service. 
With this view, he made every effort to induce his 
continuance in Russia ; and, among a variety of bril- 
liant offers, promised immediately to make him an 
admiral. Sir Frederick, however, firm in his determi- 
nation to return to England, and anxious to signalize 
himself in the service of his native country, resisted 
the temptation. Paul was so irritated at his refusal, 
that, with a degree of injustice highly disgraceful to 
a monarch, he detained him at St. Petersburgh, out 
of employment and pay, upwards of twelve months, 
before he permitted him to receive his passport. This 
he no sooner obtained, than he joyfully quitted a ser- 
vice which he loathed, for one that his heart panted 
after. But he paid dearly for his resolution, as he 
was under the necessity of leaving the Russian domi- 
nions, without receiving any of his prize-money, or 
other pecuniary rewards to which his services had en- 
titled him. He came away with merely his orders of 
knighthood, the only ostensible proofs that he had 
merited and obtained such marks of favour from the 
Empress Catherine. 

Sir Frederick Thesiger fortunately arrived in England 
at a moment when his services proved highly accept- 
able. It was just at the time when the Northern 
Confederacy began to be formed ; and, as he was in- 
timately acquainted with the state of the Russian navy, 
with the navigation of the Baltic, and with other 
matters of importance, which his residence in the 
northern ports had given him an opportunity of nor 
ticing, he was frequently honoured by conferences 
with Earl Spencer, who was then at the head of tlm 


On its being finally determined by tbis country to 
attack, and to endeavour to break the chain of the 
Northern league, which had been formed for the pur- 
pose of subverting the naval superiority and commer- 
cial greatness of Britain, which had been sanctioned 
by ages, it became necessary to employ such officers 
as, from their bravery and local knowledge, were 
likely to be peculiarly serviceable. Lord Spencer, 
therefore, witli that promptitude, discernment, and 
decision, which uniformly distinguished his adminis- 
tration of naval affairs, iixed upon Sir Frederick The- 
siger as a proper person to act in a conspicuous situ- 
ation on board the fleet which was preparing to effect 
this great national purpose. Sir Frederick was then 
acting in the subordinate capacity of a lieutenant on 
board the Excellent. His lordship sent for him ; and, 
having promoted him to the rank of commander, in- 
troduced him, in the most flattering manner, as such, 
to Sir Hyde Parker, and Lord Nelson. 

In the memorable attack on the line of defence be- 
fore Copenhagen, where the illustrious Nelson " co- 
vered himself with glory," Captain Thesiger was one 
of his lordship's aides-du-camp ; and, during the tre- 
mendous fire from the Crown Battery, he volunteered 
his services to proceed with the flag of truce to the 
Prince Royal of Denmark, a measure which produced 
a cessation of firing, and led to a truce. See the Life 
of Nelson in Vol. VIII. In this act, the undaunted 
bravery of Sir Frederick shone eminently conspicuous. 
Entering fully into the feelings and views of his noble 
chief and commander, and perceiving how necessary 
it was to reach the shore with as little delay as possi- 
ble, instead of taking a circuitous route, which would 
have occupied the greater part of an hour, and in 
pursuing which he would have been out of the reach 
of the Danish fire, he rushed impetuously forward, 
encouraging" 1 his men to persevere through the cloud 

O t ** 

of smoke and the heavy lire which prevailed the flag 
of truce not being 1 either *ecn or respected and 


landed safely at Copenhagen, without the least injury 
to himself or any of his boat's crew. The Crown 
Prince immediately acquiescing with the terms pro- 
posed by Lord Nelson, sent off with Sir Frederick a flag 
in return, and instantly gave orders for the firing to 
cease in every direction. As many of the batteries, 
however, were at a considerable distance from the 
capita!, Captain Thesiger had goi. half way back to 
the British fleet before the orders coald be thoroughly 
attended to ; and before he joined his ship, several of 
our fleet had grounded. These circumstances evince 
the merit which he possessed, in braving all danger 
to reach the shore in the quickest manner that was 
possible ; for, had he proceeded by tne circuitous and 
safe way, the situation of the English ships might 
have been perceived, before he could have landed, 
and the consequences might have been incalculably 
fatal to the interests of this country. A large portion, 
of public praise and gratitude is therefore due to Cap- 
tain 'I hesiger, for having so fully performed his duty 
on that ever-memorable day ; and for so nobly se- 
conding the views of the hero who achieved the 

After the truce, the British fleet proceeded up the 
Baltic, with the view of compelling the Russians and 
Swedes to the same submission as had been extorted 
from the Danes, who had severely suffered for their 
temerity. The premature death, however, of the 
Emperor Paul, who fell a victim to his ill-advised 
system of politics, superseded the necessity of corn- 
pulsatory measures: a ncgociation was commenced, 
which ultimately led to a general pacification. 

On its passage towards Revel, in going through the 
intricate and narrow channel called the Grounds, be- 
tween the Islands of Arnag and Saltholm, our fleet 
was exposed to considerable danger, several of the 
larger ships often touching the ground. This pro- 
ceeded from the circumstance of there not being a 
sufficient number of pilots to carry the ships through 


with safet} 7 , and from the flags, or buoys, pointing 
out the channel, having been all removed. In this 
-emergency, Sir Frederick Thesiger, from his known in- 
timacy with the navigation of the place, was requested 
to take charge of Admiral Graves'* ship, with which 
desire he complied, and led the division till the whole 
squadron anchored in safety. 

Immediately afterwards, in consequence of his un- 
derstanding the language of the country, he was 
sent on shore by Lord Nelson to negociate for the 
supply of fresh provisions for the daily consumption 
of the fleet. This service he also had the pleasure of 
accomplishing to the perfect satisfaction of his em- 
ployer. When the negociation, which led to a resto- 
ration of peace with the Northern Powers, had made 
considerable progress, Sir Hyde Parker resigned the 
command of the fleet to Lord Nelson ; from whom, 
when the negociation was nearly concluded, it shortly 
after devolved upon Sir C. M. Pole. Captain The- 
siger remained with the fleet until after the latter of- 
ficer had assumed the command ; when he became 
the bearer of some of Sir Charles's dispatches for 
England ; on his arrival, he was most flatteringly 
received by Earl St. Vincent and the Admiralty 

Shortly afterwards, he had the satisfaction of being 
made a post captain in the British navy ; a rank to 
which he had aspired. Having attained the same 
height of command in the English service, which he 
had formerly sustained in the Russian navy, he now 
obtained his Majesty's gracious permission to assume 
the rank of knighthood, and to wear the order of St. 
George, which had been conferred upon him, for his 
meritorious conduct while in her service, by Cathe- 
rine the Great, Empress of all the Russias. 

At the commencement of the present war, Sir 
Frederick Thesiger was, through the interest of his par- 
ticular friend, Sir Thomas Trou bridge, then one of 
the lords of the Admiralty, appointed British agent 


for prisoners of war at Portsmouth ; an office which 
he continued to fill till his death, on the ^6th of Au- 
gust 1805. On this melancholy occasion, his coun- 
try had to lament the loss of a brave and meritorious 

Sir Frederick Thesiger had passed a life of toil, of 
danger, and of honour. He had heen present at 
eighteen different engagements, in ail of which he 
distinguished himself hy cool intrepidity and great 
professional skill ; and had the good fortune to escape 
through the whole of them without sustaining any 
other injury than a few scratches and bruises, occa- 
sioned by the stroke of splinters. At length, after 
having signalized himself by a variety of successes, in 
the service of two great nations, unlike his friend, 

O * * 

the departed hero of Trafalgar, he breathed his last 
on British ground. 


Ricketts), the son of William Henry and Mary Rick- 
etts, was born November 4, 1?64, in Park-street, 
Grosvenor-square. At the age of eight, he was placed 
at the grammar-school at Odiham, under the tuition 
of the Reverend Thomas Webb. From this school 
he was removed to Winchester college, and placed 
under the instruction of the learned Air. Hunting- 
ford, afterwards Bishop of Gloucester. There he de- 
rived every advantage which an active and industri- 
ous mind so rapidly acquires from the erudition of an 
intelligent master. 

In reviewing this period of life, the dawnings of 
intellectual ability and intrinsic merit are never hid- 
den from us. We may al \vays trace the expanding 
genius of youth with confidence, when the natural 
disposition is generous and open. Such was particu- 
larly the case with the subject of this memoir, who, 


very early fired I>y an ardent inclination to enter that 
walk -of life which had been trodden by so many with 
honour to themselves, and benefit to their country, 
imbibed a desire for the sea-service. His excellent 
and indulgent parents, solicitous to cherish the grow- 
ing- zeal of their son, arid having the happy opportu- 
nity of placing him under an officer so highly distin- 
guished as his maternal uncle, Captain Jcrvis (now 
Earl St. Vincent), determined to accede to his wishes; 
and, in 1781, he embarked in the Foudroyant In 
this ship he served during the gallant action and cap- 
ture of La Pegase, and was one of the midshipmen 
.sent to take possession of, and bring her into port. 

Having served the usual time as midshipman, he 
was made a lieutenant into his Majesty's ship Success; 
and, passing on to the next rank in his profession, 
served as commander in the Shrewsbury and Bonetta 
sloops of war successively, until September 1790. In 
each of these gradations, Captain Ilicketts had an. 
opportunity of seeing service, and of maturing his ca- 
pacity for the vocation which he had engaged in. 
On all occasions, we find his conduct universally ap- 
proved, and highly meritorious; and, in the desultory 
kind of warfare in which vessels of this cla-.vs are 
usually engaged, he frequently distinguished himself. 
But, sit the present epoch of the naval service, when 
victories so numerous and brilliant have raised it to a 
height unparalleled in history ; when small actions of 
gallantry are forgotten bv their number, and are lost 
upon comparison, we must be content with recording 
the proud satisfaction which every British oiiicei 
must feel, who, like the subject of this memoir, de- 
serves well of his profession; each, like him, eagerly 
looking forward to the hour when his opportunity 
may arrive, of sharing the laurel of victory, and of 
coupling his name with the heroes that have pre- 
ceded him. 

In the year 175)0. Captain Rickelts commanded 
jhe Hermoine; and, in October 17^5., he v.a> ap- 

yoi, vii. 11 H 


pointed to the Magicienne frigate. In the spring of 
1796, the Magicicnne was one of the frigates under 
the order* of the zealous and gallant commodore Sir 
Sidney Smith, and shared equally the fatigue and the 
exploits of that active squadron on the French coast, 
until Captain llicketts was ordered to join Rear- 
admiral Man; with whom he continued until he was 
sent express with despatches to the West Indies, con- 
taining information of the probable rupture with 
Spain. He arrived at Jamaica in the month of Sep- 
tember follow in 2'. 


At this period, a war with Spain was by no means 
certain ; but the probability of that country being 
forced to coalesce with the French republic against 
Great Britain, was so strongly the prevailing opinion, 
that Captain liicketts undertook to detain a valuable 
Spanish ship from Cadiz, bound to Vera Cruz, which 
he fell in with on his passage. The declaration of 
war, which followed shortly after, proved this pro- 
ceeding- to have been well judged. 

o u * j 

Captain Ricketts' services in this quarter of the 
world, under Sir John Duckworth and Sir Hyde 
Parker, were active and brilliant, annoying the enemy 
incessantly. His several gallant exploits gained him 
the approbation of both tliose commanders in chief, 
and he was complimented with a flying squadron, 
which cruised under his orders. 

Upwards of forty sail of letters of marque, of vari- 
ous sizes, w r ere taken or destroyed by his indefatigable 
little squadron. Amongst that number was the Bru- 
tus, of twenty-four guns ; on which occasion, Vice- 
admiral Sir Hyde Parker highly complimented Cap- 
tain Ricketts in his letter to the Admiralty, which ap- 
peared in the gazette of the 8th of April, 1797. The 
French commodore, Barney, with the Medusa and 
Insurgent frigates, of forty-four and thirty-six guns, 
narrowly escaped the vigilance of the Magicienne and 
Regulus, in consequence of their being favoured by 
the land breeze. 


The attack on the vessels in the harbour of Cape 
Porto Rico, in the night of the .5th of April, 
1797, was well conceived, and as veil conduct- 
ed ; the boats of the Magieienne and Regulus having 
effected the destruction of eleven sail of square- 
rigged vessels, cut out a Spanish schooner and sloop, 
and spiked two two-gun batteries at the entrance of 
the harbour ; which, from the darkness of the night, 
and the intricate navigation, was found to be a very 
difficult enterprise. 

The latter end of the same month, we find Captain 
Ricketts making a gallant attack upon the enemy, in 
Carcass Bay, St. Domingo, which obliged them to 
raise the siege of Irois, a post which formed the 
key to the grand Anse ; and thus, by the active ex- 
ertions of the Magieienne and Regulus, the whole 
of our western possessions in St. Domingo, against 
which plans of attack had been concerted, were pre- 
vented from falling into the hands of the enemy. 

Another most essential service was performed in 
the beginning of 1798, under the orders of Captain 
Ricketts. The Magieienne, Regulus, and Drake 
brig, sailed from Cape Nichola Mole, with detach- 
ments of only two hundred and fifty troops, for the 
purpose of dislodging a considerable body of bri- 
gands, who had established themselves in Platform 
Bay, about seven leagues to the westward of the 
Mole ; whence, by small vessels and row-boats, car- 
rying about twenty men each, they daily committed 
depredations and acts of piracy against merchant 
vessels of every description. To secure themselves 
more effectually, they had collected a thirteen-inch 
mortar, and several guns (some of large calibre), for 
the purpo-e of mounting them on the Platform, an 
eminence so called, from its shape, and presenting by 
nature a position of great strength. The summit is 
as level as a bowling-green, about the third of a mile 
in circumference, and affording the most command- 
ing situation oi* the bay and adjacent countrv ; -o 

11 H 2 


steep withal, as to render it very difficult of ascent, 
and capable of being- made, with a little art, defen- 
sible by a small body, against any number that could 
be brought against it. On this advantageous spot, 
therefore, the pirates had fixed to fortify themselves, 
and had already succeeded in getting the mortar up 
the hill, when the sudden arrival of the squadron 
put an end to their operations. By the dawn of day, 
on the 13th of February, the ships were in the bay, 
and the troops landed with so much celerity, under 
cover of La Magicienne's lire, to scour the beach, 
flanked by the Drake brig, that the enemy was sur- 
prised and routed before he had time to gain the Plat- 
form, which was immediately taken possession of by 
the troops, and several advanced posts on the com- 
manding heights occupied, to interrupt the proceed- 
ings of the brigands, who were assembled in large 
bodies from the country. The seamen at the same 
time were landed, and brought olf four row-barges, 
and, in the course of the day and following morn- 
ing, all their ordnance, consisting of the thirteen-inch 
mortar and six guns. In the afternoon the troops 
reimbarked ; the whole enterprise having been fortu- 
nately accomplished without the loss of a man. The 
Magicienne was soon afterwards despatched to Ca- 
raccas, on a particular duty ; and, on the 4th of May, 
3798, when Captain Rickctts returned to the Mole, 
private affairs requiring his immediate return to Eng- 
land, the country was for a time deprived of the 
services of this zealous officer. In 1800 he resumed 
his employment, and was appointed to the Naiad 

Of the glorious victory of the 14th of February, 
1797, which had raise;! his uncle Sir John Jervis to 
the peerage, by the title of Karl St. Vincent, we have 
already spoken. His Majesty having also been gra- 
ciously pleased, on the '21st of April, 1801, to renew 
his grant of the dignity of Viscount St. Vincent, of 
Meaford, in the county of Stafford, with remainder to 


Captain llicketts, lie soon after received his royal li- 
cense ami authority to use and take the surname 
or' his illustrious and nohle relative. 

Towards the latter end of the war, Captain Jervis 
received the command of the Robust, of seventy-four 
guns, and was employed in the Channel fleet. This 
ship, like many others which lie had commanded, 
was considered a complete man of war, both in her 
interior regulation and military discipline; and a 
squadron being ordered to the West Indies, after the 
cessation of hostilities, the Robust was one of the 
ships selected by Earl St. Vincent, who then presided 
at the Admiralty board, for this duty : a signal in- 
stance of impartiality, as that country was suffering 
under a most malignant contagion, lie resigned the 
command of this ship in July, 1802. 

Hostilities being again on the point of com- 
mencing, Captain Jervis was amongst the foremost 
in seeking employment. His seniority as a captain 
not entitling him to the command of a frigate, he 
was appointed to the Magnificent, one of the smaller 
class of seventy-fours, on the 31st of -May, 1803. 
Being attached to the Channel fleet, he, for a time 
formed part of a small squadron employed on the 
south-west coast of Ireland ; and, upon his being re- 
called, Admiral Cornwallis allowed him to remain 
for some time senior oliicer of the in-shore squadron, 
off Brest. 

Whilst commanding in shore, Captain Jervis was 
not unmindful of the trust reposed in him ; and, as- 
siduously reconnoitring the 'enemy's coast, he disco- 
vered several sail of vessels in the Bay of Conquit. 
lie determined upon laying hold of them ; and hav- 
ing manned and armed the boats of the squadron, the 
night of the <J4th of March, 1801, was lixed upon 
to cut them out. Unfortunately, on approaching the 
bay, a very strong current setting to the eastward, 
with the appearance of threatening weather from the 
^outh-wes.t, obliged them to abandon the enterprise, 


which had otherwise heen so well digested and ar- 
ranged, that the whole of the.enemy's vessels must 
inevitably have fallen into their hands. 

It was on the following dav, after setting; under 

O / ' O 

weigh (in consequence of thick weather and strong- 
winds from the south-west), and endeavouring to 
round the outermost of the Black Rocks, that the 
Magnificent struck upon a rock (unknown to the 
French pilot on board, and not noticed in any chart), 
and every effort having been made in vain to get 
her off, the tide rising rapidly, she was unfortunately 

A court-martial was held upon the captain, officers, 
and ship's company belonging to the Magnificent, im- 
mediately upon Captain Jervis's return to England, 
on board the Salvador del Mundo, in Hamoaze, when 
they were all honourably acquitted of blame. 

A state of inactivity in his profession, however, at 
a period when the probability of soon striking some 
important blow at sea, formed an additional incite- 
ment to a mind like his, was incompatible with the 
character of Captain Jervis. He lost no time in ap- 
plying for a command ; and, upon the promotion of 
flags, in May, 1804, he went out to supersede Sir 
Edward Pellew, as captain of the Tonnant, of eighty 
guns, and formed part of the Channel fleet, occa- 
sionally off Ferrol, Rochfort, and Brest. During a 
cruise this winter, in the Bay of Biscay, with the 
squadron under the command of Rear-admiral Sir 
Thomas Graves, the Tonnant suffered much in a 
violent storm of thunder and lightning; her main- 
mast being severely damaged, and having one man 
killed, and ten wounded, by the lightning. 

Upon the squadron resuming its station off Roche- 
fort, in January, ]805, it was discovered that the 
Doris frigate had been wrecked, and that the Roche- 
fort squadron had escaped from port. The rear- 
admiral, anxious to apprize the commander in chief 
of such an event, without delay, despatched the Ton- 


iiant to the Channel fleet ; and, on his arrival there, 
on the 26th of January, Captain Jems, eager to make 
the communication, left the Tonnant in one of the 
ship's boats, to proceed to the St. Joseph, the flag- 
ship of Vice-admiral Sir Charles Cotton. Unfortu- 
nately, when she got about half way, a sea broke 
into the boat, and, before the crew could extricate 
her, another sea broke ; she upset, and Captain Jer- 
vis and one of the boat's crew were drowned, every 
effort having been unsuccessfully made to save them. 
Thus was cut off, in the prime of life, an officer 
promising to have been among the first characters 
of his profession generous, brave, humane; ardent, 
active, and zealous ; determined, temperate, and col- 
lected ; uniting the best qualities of the heart and 
understanding, with every characteristic of an intel- 
ligent mind. As an officer, his death may truly be 
considered a national loss to his friends, an irre- 
parable one : his memory will ever be dear to those 
who had the happiness of knowing him. 



CAPTAIN JOHN COOKE was the second son of 
Francis Cooke, Esq. .cashier of his Majesty's navy. 
At the early a'e of eleven vears, he embarked on 

t/O , 

board the Greyhound cutter, commanded by Lieute- 
nant Bazelev. From this first introduction into his 


profession, he, however, soon returned to Mr. Bra- 
ken's naval academy at Greenwich, that no time 
might be lost for acquiring thoroughly the first ele- 
ments of nautical science and military tactics. 

It was during his residence at this seminary, that 
lie first received that patronage from Sir Alexander 
Hood, now Lord End port, which was never with- 
drawn through life, By his favour and kindness, he 


was borne on one of the king's yachts' books, and 
thus obtained the double ad vantage of prosecuting his 
naval studies, and reckoning his time as though in 
actual service. 

He was placed in a more active situation at the age 
of thirteen, by accompanying Lord Howe to America 
in the Eagle of sixty-four guns. His exertions and 
activity at the attack of Rhode Island, where he par- 
ticularly distinguished himself, and was one of the 
first who entered the fort, procured him the favour 
and approbation of his commander ; as a proof of 
which it may be mentioned, that, on his return home 
in the Eagle, whilst busily employed in the discharge 
of his duty, his juvenile modesty was startled by Lord 
Howe's clapping him on the hack, in his abrupt man- 
Tier, and saying to him, in the presence of many per- 
sons, " Why, young man ! you wish to become a 
lieutenant before you are of sufficient age." 

During the station of the Eagle on the American 
coast, in order to see more active service than in a 
ilag ship, he served as a supernumerary midshipman 
on board the Liverpool frigate, under Captains Bellew 
and Christian. On the arrival of the Eagle in Eng- 
land, he was made a lieutenant, and appointed to the 

In this ship he went to the East Indies with Sir Ed- 
ward Hughes, whose fortunes he followed, until his 
active services at Trincomale and Seringapatam, so 
much affected his health, that he was under the ne- 
cessity of returning home in the Nymph sloop, Cap- 
tain Sutton. By this step, however indispensable at 
the time, he lost his promotion for some years, being 
the next on Sir E. Hughes's list, who was his sincere 
friend upon LI' 1 occasions, and never evinced it more, 
than by sending him back to his native country at 
that period. 

His stay in England was about two years, during 
which time, his health was fully re-established, after 
which, for the purpose of improving in the Trench 


language, so useful in his profession, he went to 
France. His stay was nearly a year, when he was 
unexpectedly appointed to go with Admiial, after- 
wards Lord, Gardner, to the West Indies. He soon 
became his first lieutenant ; and fortune, during three 
years, seemed to promise certain promotion. At the 
expiration of this period, he had a severe fall while em- 
ployed in the active performance of his duty on board 
the flag-ship, Europa, by which accident he was 
wholly confined to his bed, and the surgeons declared 
that a longer continuance in the West Indies, would 
bring on complaints the most dangerous. He was, 
therefore, immediately sent home by his commodore, 
with a certificate to the Admiralty, stating, that his 
return to that climate must, at any future period, 
prove fatal to him. In England, his natural strength 
of constitution prevailed, and he recovered his usual 
health in the course of a year. 

About this time an armament took place, and he 
was appointed, by Lord Bridport, his third lieutenant 
on board the London. Before he joined his ship, how- 
ever, he married the fourth daughter of Mr. Hardy, 
his Majesty's consul at Cadj/:, and niece to the late 
Sir Charles Hardy, who died when commanding the 
Channel fleet. In about seven months this arma- 
ment was dispersed, and he returned to his cottage in 
Essex, to enjoy the comforts of domestic fife. 

After fifteen months' residence in this place, he 
was again called from his retreat by the breaking out 
of the French revolution. His character and abilities 
procured him an immediate appointment. Lord Brid- 
port nominated him one of the first to his own ship, 
as first lieutenant of the Royal George. 

At the end of the year, through the good offices of 
Lord Bridport, he was made a commander, and ap- 
pointed to the Incendiary fire-ship. Whilst she was 
lifting at Plymouth, an accident happened to the cap- 
tain of the Monarch, which obliged him to come on 
shore, and Captain Cookc was appointed to super- 


sede him. Here Lord Bridport again interposed his 
kind services, and got this appointment confirmed, by 
which he was at once made a post captain, without 
ever going to sea as a commander. The Monarch 
was appointed to carry the flag of Sir James Wallace 
to Newfoundland ; and, after the summer spent on 
that station, returned to England, when he, being too 
young a captain to keep a seventy-four at home, re- 
signed his command, lie put in his claim, however, 
for a frigate, and, after some months, was appointed 
to the Tourterelle. She was fitted at Plymouth, and 
then ordered to the West Indies; bur, upon proper 
representation to the board, Lord Gardners certificate 
was proved to have full weight, and Lord Spencer su- 
perseded him with a promise of another early appoint- 
ment. This was punctually fulfilled, by his being 
named the spring following, to La Nymphe frigate of 
thirty-six guns. By the month of August, following, 
she was rcadv for sea, and ordered to attend the kin"- 

J O 

at Weymouth, together with the St. Fiorenzo, com- 
manded by his particular friend, Sir Harry Biirrard 
Neale. After the usual period at Weymouth, they 
were ordered together to join the Channel fleet, at that 
time under the command of Lord Bridport ; who sent 
him, together with Sir II. 13. Neale, on some particu- 
lar observation, close in on the coast of France ; after 
which, on their return to the fleet, they fell in with 
two French frigates, on their way from the Welsh 
coast, where they had succeeded in disembarking the 
troops with whom they had been freighted. After a 
smart action, thcv were both taken and brought into 

t ^ o 


During the unfortunate mutiny in the navy, which 
broke out about this time, Captain Cooke was one of 
the greatest sufferers. The complaints preferred against 
birn, like those against other officers, were without 
foundation, and frivolous. He treated them, there- 
fore, with the contempt which they deserved, ar.d re- 
solutely determined never to give up his ship till com- 


pellecl to do it. He remained, for some days, under 
circumstances the most painful and distressing to a 
British officer, till sent on shore l>y the mutineers ; 
but his cool steadiness and dignified behaviour always 
commanded personal civility. A few days after this, 
they requested his return to the ship, which he 
thought it right to comply with. But, when the 
violent measures \vere pursued against Admiral Sir 
John Colpoys, La Nymphe, as she lay next ship to 
the London, supported, as long as her captain had 
power, those on board that sl.ip who were on the side 
of government. For this proper conduct, however, 
with many other officers, under similar circumstan- 
ces, he was sent on shore, and returned no more to 
that ship. 

He was next appointed to the Amethyst frigate. 
His first voyage in her was, to cany the duke of York 
and his suite to Holland, when his Royal Highness 
commanded the expedition in October, ]799. He 
was, some time after, employed in the North Seas, 
and, from thence, was ordered to join the Channel 
fleet, in which he continued two years. 

At. the peace of ] HO2, Captain Cooke, of course, 
gave up his ship, to the sincere regret of every one on 
board, and by none more than the young men he 
had taken under his care. He was not only their 
commander, but their real friend and adviser: he was 
most rigidly attentive to their morals, and whilst they 
feared they loved him. A flue sense of religion, to 
him, as to many others of his profession, a primary 
object, he ever inculcated in them. The boys, on 
Sundays, read their bibles to him in his own cabin ; 
and, when the weather permitted, having no chap- 
lain, lie himself performed the service. 

At the cud of sixteen months, while residing at 
Donhead, in October, 1804, Admiral Yonnsr, who 
commanded at Plymouth, long an acquaintance and 
friend of Captain Cooke, wrote to oiler him the com- 
mand of his ship. It was a situation of some cmolu- 


ment ; he \vas to live on shore, and of course his fa- 
mily could be with him ; but it was a sinecure little 
suited to his active mind ; and, although he accepted 
the proffered honour from the hand of friendship, he 
fully determined to resign it, whenever he might be 
able to make an exchange adequate to his rank in 
more active service. In about six months after, be- 
ing at Plymouth, an opportunity offered for an ex- 
change : he applied to the board of Admiralty, and 
was appointed to the Bellerophon. She was immedi- 
ately ordered to fit for foreign service, and Captain 
Cooke prepared for his new station with all that ener- 
gy and promptitude which marked his character ; ne- 
ver lukewarm in what he had undertaken from princi- 
ple, few circumstances could induce him to relinquish 
his purpose. 

In the beginning of October, 180.5, the Bellero- 
phon joined the blockading squadron off Cadiz. It is 
singular, that it had ever been Captain Cooke's strong- 
est wish, even when he had no thought of employ- 
ment, to be once under the command of Lord Nel- 
son ; to be in a general engagement with Lord Nel- 
son, would, he used to say, crown all his military 
ambition. By the concurrence of events, this actu- 
ally happened, and they were both doomed to fall at 
the same moment, and almost in the same manner. 
His letters from this station, expressed the general 
opinion of the fleet ; anxiously hoping the enemy 
might face them, certain, if they did, they would soon 
receive, to use his own words, their " final blow.' 5 
He was often summoned to attend his lordship, dur- 
ing the three weeks previous to the action ; and was, 
together with the friend of his earliest youth, Captain 
Durr, chosen as part of that division which was to 
commence the attack. 

Immediately previous to the battle (iff Trafalgar, 
Captain Cooke went down below, and exhorted his 
men on every deck, most earnestly entreating them 
to lemembtr the words of their gallant admhal, just 


communicated by signal " England expects that 
every man will do his duty." lie was cheered on his 
.let urn upward, by the whole ship's company, who 
wrote on their guns in chalk, " Bellerophon! death or 
glory !'' He had appointed his orders to be given by 
the sound of a bugle horn ; but unfortunately, just as 
the Bellerophon was bearing down, an unforeseen ac- 
cident happened, which afterwards materially affect- 
ed her. In the bustle of preparation, one of the mid- 
shipmen inadvertently trod upon a rope, which, com- 
municating with the lock of a gun, let it off. The 
enemy immediately took this for a signal, and con- 
ceived that she was the flag-ship; a circumstance 
which, in a great measure, accounts for the Bellero- 
phon's being so much overpowered by numbers after- 
wards. Having broken the line, and taken the Mo- 
narcha of seventy-four guns, she was immediately 
surrounded by four line of battle ships, UAigle, Swift- 
sure, Bahama, and another. 

L'Aigle's main-mast, and the Bellerophon's fore- 
mast came in close contact ; and the former being a 
lofty ship, her men stationed aloft fired into the latter to 
great advantage. The men on the poop fell so fast, 
that Captain Cooke was obliged to call them down on 
ibis quarter deck. The master's leg was taken oft* and 
another man wounded, as he was speaking to them ; 
till, at last, only his first lieutenant and a midshipman 
were left on deck. It was now noticed by his lieu- 
tenant to Captain Cooke, that he had his epaulets on, 
and that he was marked out by the men in the tops. 
Mis reply was, " It is now too late to take them off, 
I see my situation : but I will die like a man." His 
last orders to his first lieutenant were, to go down and 
order the coins to be taken out of the guns to raise 
them, in order to force the decks of L'Aigle. This 
had the desired effect, for she disengaged herself im- 
mediately, and went off, receiving under her counter 
three broadsides from the Bellerophon. It was during 
she lieutenant's absence, that Captain Cooke fell. 


He had discharged his pistols very frequently at the 
enemy, who as often attempted to board, and he had 
killed a French officer on his own quarter deck. He 
was in the act of re-loading his pistols, when he re- 
ceived two musket balls in his breast. He immedi- 
ately fell ; and, on the quarter master's going up, 
and asking him if he should take him down below, 
his answer was, " No, let me lie quietly one minute ; 
tell Lieutenant Cumby never to sti ike." Thus falling 
in the glorious cause of his king and country, died 
Captain John Cooke, in the 43d yeir of his age. To 
his professional talents and personal conduct as an offi- 
cer, the foregoing particulars will bear ample testi- 



THIS officer, born in 17^4, was the son of the late 
James Duff, Esq. of Banff, a younger brother of the 
family of Hatton, in the county of Aberdeen, and 
nearly related to the Earl of Fife. His mother was a 
daughter of Mr. Skene, of llubislaw, in the same 
county, an amiable woman, of delicate health, who 
died six weeks after she had brought tins son into the 

Few persons have ever shewn a more early predi- 
lection than the subject of this memoir did, for the 
navy. When only a boy, he, in hours of play, was al- 
ways found, either among the shipping in the har- 
bour of Banff, about half a mile from the town, or 
in boats on the Doveran, which skirts its lower streets, 
and runs into the sea, near to which was his father's 
house. As a boy he was sprightly, active, and en- 
terprising ; aiul so bent towards the navy, that seeing 
his father was averse from his going to sea, he endea- 
voured, when about nine years of age, 1 , to escape; by 


concealing himself on board a small merchant vessel, 
in which he actually sailed to a neighbouring port. 
The master, upon finding him on board, sent him 
back to his father, who then became sensible that his 
son's inclination could not be counteracted, and 
wisely agreed to his going into the royal navy. He 
had been educated at home by a private tutor, who 
was now directed to turn the whole attention of his 
pupil towards studies most connected with his in- 
tended profession ; and he was immediately rated in a 
ship of war, and two years afterwards was sent to join 
his grand-uncle, Commodore (afterwards Admiral) 
Robert Duff, who commanded at Gibraltar, with his 
flag on board the Panther, of sixty-guns, in Septem- 
ber, 1777. It is to be regretted that we cannot 
trace this zealous and active youth throughout the first 
period of his interesting career. He was always re- 
markably modest and reserved in whatever regarded 
himself; but he had been in thirteen engagements 
before he was sixteen years of age. These were during 
the American war, in the Mediterranean, and in the 
West Indies ; and in consequence of his gallant ser- 
vices, hewasatthat early age made a lieutenant. He was 
at the taking of the Spanish Admiral Langara, and his 
squadron of five sail of the line, off' Cadiz, in the 
beginning of 1780, and went from thence with Sir 
George Rodney's fleet to the West Indies. Mr. Duff 
was probably at that time a lieutenant in the Mon- 
tagu, of seventy-four guns, for in October, that year, 
he served in her when she was blown out of St. Lucia 
in the great hurricane, totally dismasted, thrown upon 
her beam ends, and in the greatest danger of being 
lost. Upon that occasion his manly exertions were 
gaid to have been very conspicuous, and by the falling 
of one of the masts he unfortunately got a contusion 
on his right leg, which was healed with great difficulty, 
and was often troublesome to him durii:<>- the rest of 


his life, particularly in tropical climates. 

The Montagu having miraculously outlived the 


hurricane, was ringed with jury-masts, and got back 
with great difficulty to St. Lucia. She was there re- 
fitted, and Lieutenant Duff continued to serve in her, 
in the various encounters which our fleet had with 
the French till the glorious 12th of April, \7$ ( 2; when 
the Count De Grasse, their commander-in- chief, in 
the Ville De Paris, of one hundred and ten guns, the 
largest ship in the world, and four other ships of the 
line, were taken and brought to Jamaica by our vic- 
torious fleet. 

Although disappointed, during the American war, 
in his hopes of promotion, Lieutenant Duff persevered 
in his profession, continued upon foreign service, and 
was employed in different ships. 

In 1790, Lieutenant Duff, then upon the home 
service, was recommended by the Duke and Duchess 
of Gordon in the handsomest and strongest manner, 
to the protection of the Right Hon. Henry Dundas, 
Minister for Scotland, and he was immediately ap- 
pointed captain and commander of the Martin sloop 
of war, upon the coast of Scotland. 

Soon after his promotion, Captain Duff married 
Miss Sophia Dirom, second daughter of Alexander 
Dironi, Esq. of Muiresk, to whom he had been from 
childhood attached; and fixed the residence of his 
familv at Edinburgh. 

Upon the breaking out of the war, in the begin- 
ning of 17^3, he was one of the very few masters 
and commanders, who were appointed post captains 
by the Earl of Chatham; when his lordship, then a 
captain in the army, went out to Gibraltar in the ship 
in which Mr. Duff served, during the former war. 
At his Lordship's desire, Captain Duff' soon after re- 
linquished the command of a frigate, then fitting out 
for him ; in which at so early a period of the war he 
Yv'ouid probably have made his fortune, in order to go 
upon tn expedition to the West Indies, as captain of 
the Duke, oi' ninety guns, bearing the flag of the Hon. 
Commodore Murray. This ship led the attack on the 


batteries at Martinico ; and, at the close of the action, 
after silencing the battery to which she had been op- 
posed, the powder magazine had but just been secured, 
when she was struck by lightning, her main-mast 
shivered to pieces, and her hull so damaged, that it 
was necessary to send her home to be repaired. 

The further attack upon Martinico having been de- 
ferred, the commodore returned to England in the 
Duke. He expressed the highest esteem for Captain 
Duff; and reported his conduct to have been so me- 
ritorious, that he was immediately appointed to the 
command of the Ambuscade frigate, of thirty-two 
guns, and t\vo years afterwards to the Glen more, of 
thirty-eight guns. In these ships he served in the 
North Seas, and upon the coast of Ireland, until 
1801 ; when, upon a general promotion in the navy, 
he was appointed to the Vengeance, of seventy-four 
guns, belonging to the Channel fleet. 

This ship, after having been detached to the 
Baltic to reinforce the fleet that attacked Copen- 
hagen, became one of the squadron under Rear- 
admiral Campbell ; which, after cruising for some 
time off Rochefort, was sent to Ban try Bay for the 
protection of that part of Ireland. Upon this station 
they continued until the signature of the prelimina- 
ries of peace ; when, instead of returning to their 
homes, to which, after so long a war, the officers and 
men anxiously looked forward, they were ordered to 
Jamaica, to watch the movements of the armament 
sent from Fiance, to attempt the recovery of the 
French part of the island of St. Domingo from the 
usurped government of the Blacks. 

On the trials at Portsmouth, it came out in evidence, 
that when the ringleaders of the mutiny, which arose 
in the squadron in Bantry Bay, sounded the crew of 
the Vengeance 1 , titty found them so attached to their 
captain, that they could not be moved. That ship, 
there is reason to believe, was the only one in which 
no mutinous spirit broke out; and upon the squadron 



coming to Portsmouth, previously to their sailing for 
the West Indies, her cr,ew was indulged with leave to 
come on shore hy turns, while all the others were con- 
fined to their ships. 

Upon the general promotion in the navy, which 
took place in April 1804, Captain Duff was appointed 
to the command of the Mars, of seventy-four guns, 
and immediately proceeded to join her off Ferrol. He 
cruised off that port, and successively off Rochefort 
and Brest, as one of the Channel fleet, until in May 
last, he was detached to Cadiz, under Vice-admiral 
Collingwood ; whose small squadron of four ships of 
the line, afterwards increased to eight, continued to 
keep their station off that port, unawed hy the arrival 
of the combined fleet. 

Vice-admiral Lord Nelson having, in the end of 
September, returned from England to resume the 
command upon that most important station, made a 
disposition of his increased force into two divisions, 
one of which was to be led by himself, and the other by 
Vice-admiral Collingwood. Rear-admiral Louis hav- 
ing been detached to the Mediterranean with seven 
sail of the line, Captain Duff had the honour, upon 
his departure, though there were senior captains in 
the fieet, to be appointed to command the advance, 
or inshore squadron, of four sail of the line; by the 
recommendation, no doubt, of Vice-admiral Colling- 
wood, who selected the Mars as second to himself, in 
his division. 

The .squadron commanded by Captain Duff was 
stationed mi ; way between our frigates, which cruised 
close to the harbour of Cadiz, and our fleet, which 
kept out of sight of the port. From the time the 
enemy's fleet began to come out on the l)th, he was 
almost constantly employed repeating signals from 
the frigates to the fleet ; he followed, and kept sight 
of the ei.cniv on the 20th, and continued making 

v % -- 5 

signals with colours by day, and blue lights at night, 
until the memorable morning of the 21st : when, it 


being certain that the enemy's fleet could not escape, 
the signal was made for his squadron to return, and 
take their places in the order of battle. The signal 
was then made for the Mars to lead the lee division 
of our fleet, and to break the enemy's line. Captain 
Duff, knowing that his ship sailed ill, ordered every 
stitch of canvas to be instantly set ; and in the mean- 
time, while bearing down upon the enemy, he went 
through his ship to see that every thing was in readi- 
ness for action. He spoke to his officers and men in 
every part of the ship ; and, among other directions 
for their conduct, strictly enjoined them not to waste 
their fire, as he would take care to lay them close enough 
to tlie enemy. The Alars, notwithstanding every ex- 
ertion, was passed by the Royal Sovereign, bearing 
the flag of Vice-admiral Collingwood ; then the Belle- 
isle also shot a-hcad, and they were in action a few 
minutes before the Mars: each ship breaking through 
a different part of the enemy's line. 

The wind, which had been light, then became 
more uncertain, and prevented the rest of the ships 
from closing immediately with the enemy; so that 
the few who were first engaged, were, in a manner, 
surrounded, and had for some time to maintain a most 
severe conflict. There was a French ship on each side 
of the Mars; and a Spanish ship, a first rate, on her 
bow ; and a fourth ship also within range of shot. 
The ship on her starboard quarter, the Fougueux, was 
soon disabled, audit was thought she had struck, but 
her colours had only been shot away, as she had never 
ceased to iire. The captain of marines on the poop, 
seeing that the Fougueux in dropping to leeward, was 
getting into a position which would enable her to rake 
the Mars, and that she was preparing to do so, came 
down to the quarter-deck to mention it to Captain 
Duff. The want of wind rendered it impossible 
to alter the position of the Mars, nor could it with 
safety be attempted, in regard to the enemy's other 

l 12 


ships : Captain Duff, therefore, said to the captain of 
hi ari nes, " Do you think our guns would bear on her?'* 
He answered, " I think not, but I cannot see for 
smoke."-" Then," replied the captain, " we must 
point our guns at the ships on which they can bear. 
I shall and look ; but the men below may see better, 

O v 

as there will be less smoke." Captain Duff went to 
the end of the quarter deck to look over the side ; and 
then told his aide-de-camp, Mr. Arbuthnot, to go be- 
low, and order the guns to be pointed more aft, mean- 
ing against the Fougueux. He had scarcely turned 
round with these orders, when the Fougueux raked 
the Mars. A cannon shot killed Captain Duff, 
and two seamen who were immediately behind him : 
the ball struck the captain on the breast, and carried 
off his head ; his body fell on the gangway, where 
it was covered with a spare colour, an union jack, un- 
til after the action. 

The battle now raged in its utmost fury, and both 
fleets were enveloped in smoke. The carnage on both 
sides, particularly on that of the enemy, was immense: 
and about the same time that the gallant Duff fell in 
the Mars, Captain Cookc, the companion of his 
youth, was killed in the Bellerophon, and their com- 
mander-in-chief, the illustrious Lord Nelson, was 
mortally wounded on board the Victory. 

The Mars continued engaged during the whole of 
the action, frequently with fresh ships; but suffered 
from none so severely as she had done from the Fou- 
gueux, which continued to drift to leeward, until 
she was engaged by others of our ships, and finally 
captured by the Temeraire. 

On board the Mars, besides Captain Duff, there 
were killed in the action, Mr. Alexander Duff, mas- 
tcr's-matc, acting lieutenant, Messrs. Corbyn and 
Morgan, midshipmen, and twenty-five seamen and 
marine's. The wounded amounted to nearly sixteen 
, five petty officers, and sixty seamen and ma- 


rines: in all ninety-eight killed and wounded. Among 
the latter was the gallant captain of marines, Norman, 
who afterwards died of his wounds. 

When the battle had ceased, and it was generally 
known in the Mars that their gallant Captain was 
killed, there was scarcely a dry eye among the crew. 
Every one felt that he had lost his friend and benefac- 
tor ; and they all exclaimed, " We shall never again 
have such a commander ! ' 

Captain Duff was a man of fine stature, strong and 
well made, above six feet in height, and had a manly, 
open, benevolent countenance. During thirty years 
service he had not been four years unemployed, and 
that was about twenty months after his return from 
the West Indies in 1787; and not quite two years 
after the last war. Although he went early to sea, 
he lost no opportunity of improving himself in the 
theory, as well as in the practice of his profession ; 
and acted the part of an instructor, and father, to 
the numerous young men who were under his com- 
mand. By his wife he had five children ; of whom a 
boy and twogirls remained, together with their mother, 
to mourn their father's death. His son, thirteen years 
of age, had joined him as a midshipman on the 19th 
of September last, and soon after his arrival on board 
the Mars, wrote exultin<;ly to his mother, that his 
fathers ship had been put in the post of honour next 
to Vice-admiral Collingwood, in his division of the 
fleet. This spirited youth, who commenced his career 
in so interesting a manner, was, after the glorious 
victory of Trafalgar, removed by Admiral Colling- 
wood, with the kindest attention, from on board the 
Mars, to the Euryalus frigate; which soon afterwards 
Was scut with dispatches to England. 

UN?} OI' VOL. VM. 

5flnted!>y Joyc* Gold, 1C?, Shoe-Unr, L-.->i'-.\y,. 


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