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A History 
From the Earliest Times to the Present 


Wm. Laird Clowes 

Fellmu of King's Collegr, Loitdi»l ; Gold Afedallisl U.S. Naval Ixstiiute; 
Hon. Member of the Royal United Service Institution 

Assisted by 

Sir Clements Markham. K.C.B., P.R.G.S. 

Captain A. T. Mahan, U.S.N. 

Mr. H. W. Wilson 

Col. Theodore Roosevelt, Governor of New York 

Mr. L. Carr Laughton 

Thirty Photogravures 

Hundreds of Pull Page and other 


Maps, Charts 


In Six Volumes 
Vol.. I\'. 


Sampson Low, Marston and Com pax v 

I l.ttlTED 

St. i3uii3taii'£i feousc, jTctttr iL.iiir, lE.C. 





The present volume contains the record of the Minor Operations of 
the Koyal Navy between 1763 and 1792, by Mr. H. W. Wilson ; the 
story of Naval Voyages and Discoveries during the same period, by 
Sir Clements Markham ; the Civil History of the Navy from 1793 
to 1802, and an account of the Major Maritime Operations during 
the war of the French Kevolutiou, by mj'seK ; a summary of the 
Minor Operations of that war, by Mr. H. W. Wilson ; and a notice 
of Naval Voyages and Discoveries, 1793-1802, by Sir Clements 

Mr. Wilson, while illustrating his subject with much fresh matter 
derived from hitherto imexplored sources, has, as will be seen, utilised 
Beatson as the canvas on which to do the main part of the work 
deaUug with the operations of 1703 to 1792. Similarly, both he and 
I have, almost perforce, taken James's invaluable volumes as the 
canvas for the period from 1793 to 1802. James, in common with 
the most painstaking and conscientious of chroniclers, occasionally 
falls into error ; but it is impossible to be as familiar as I now am 
with his monumental work, and with the authorities on which it is 
based, without man-elling at his extraordinary accuracy and careful- 
ness. It is not often, assisted though one is to-day by many aids 
which were not at his disposal, that one is able successfully to 
challenge either his statements or his conclusions. For example, 
his judgment on the conduct of Nelson at Naples in 1799 is, I think, 
the judgment which nmst still be come to by eveiy fair-minded man 
who has before him the large voliuue of additional evidence which 
has become available since James wrote. James had no bhnd 
dislike to the French, and no unreasonable prejudices against the 
other nationalities with which Great Britain found herself at issue 
during the period under renew ; and, almost invariably, he does 



even-handed justice to all. It is not until he has to describe the 
events of the American War of 1812 that he suffers himself to be 
misled bj- indefensible, and indeed nnavowable, bias, and becomes 
to any senous extent untrustworthy. I make no apology, therefore, 
for having used James as the substructure for the whole of Chapter 
XXXV., and for ha%'ing, in numerous passages, adopted almost his 
own words in telling the story. But I should add that I have never 
done this without, so far as possible, first satisfying myself, by 
independent research, that his version is in accordance with the 
facts. Minutes of courts-martial, admirals' dispatches, captains' 
letters, private logs and letters, ships' logs — used, however, with 
discretion — and my own large collections of original documents ^ 
relating to the affairs of the time, have enabled me to make, of 
course, some emendations, and many additions, to James's naiTa- 
tive ; yet, as a rule, I have found that it calls for singularly 
little correction. It is onh' in the matter of criticism, and of 
application of the story of the past to the circumstances of the 
present and the future, that his work seems to leave much to be 

Owing to a misconception, for which I was, I fear, partly to 
blame, Mr. "Wilson's contribution to the history of the events of 
1793-1802 is somewhat briefer and less detailed than it might have 
been. Mr. Wilson unwittingly devoted some of the space allotted 
to him to the consideration of events which had been already dealt 
with in other chapters ; and, with regret, I found myself obliged to 
delete all such passages as involved any repetition. 

For help in the preparation of the present volume, or for the loan 
of documents and illustrative material, I have to express mj' thanks 
to, among many others, the late Lord A^ernon, the Eev. A. G. 
Kealy, E.N., Mr. C. Constable, Mrs. Nelson Ward, Mr. E. W. H. 
Fyers, Mr. Hemy Carey Baird, of Philadelphia, and, for further use 
of his unrivalled collection of naval medals, H.S.H. Captain Prince 
Louis of Battenberg, E.K., G.C.B., who has throughout taken a 
most kindly interest in the progress of the work. I have also 
received invaluable aid from the Right Hon. G. J. Goschen, M.P., 
First Lord of the Admiralty, by whose special direction information 
which I could scarcely have obtained elsewhere has been carefully 
compiled for me by an Admiralty official, to whom, though his name 

' Inclusive of the volumiuoiis colleotion maile by Rear-Ailmiral Sir IToiiio Tiiggs 


remains unknown to nie, I would tender my heartfelt thanks. As 
usual, Mr. R. B. Marston has combined the ofi&ces of a friend with 
those of a publisher, and has been indefatigable in keeping me 
informed of all such fresh publications, newly-published corre- 
spondence, and out-of-the-way entries in booksellers' catalogues as 
he has thought would interest me and benefit the work. He has 
also charged himself with the forwarding to me in Switzerland from 
time to time of consignments of books from my own library in 
London. I would, moreover, take this opportunity of expressing 
my indebtedness to Mr. Alfred Hannsworth, to whom the steady 
progress of my lal)Ours, in spite of my continued ill health, has of 
late owed much. 

I would call attention to the unpubhshed portrait of Lord Nelson, 
which forms the frontispiece of this volume. I possess some scores 
of portraits of the great seaman, and I have seen hundreds of others ; 
but I know of no picture of him v.-hich is at the same time so 
characteristic and so beautiful. I am greatly obliged to the gentle- 
man who has allowed me the use of the original painting. 

Although in the present volume, and in the one which is to 
follow it, Nelson occupies the leading place, I have not thought it 
either necessary or wise to say much about that great hero's private 
life. I have thus made but few references to the very interesting 
batch of Nelson letters printed, with a running comment, in ' Litera- 
ture,' during the months of February, March, and April, 1898. 
Those letters, written by Nelson to his wife between 1794 and 1801, 
throw much new Ught upon the domestic relations of the pair, and, 
incidentally, enable one to correct certain errors of Clarke and 
M'Arthur, Morrison, Southcy, Pettigrew, Laughton, and Mahan ; 
but the papers thus tardily made public in ' Literature ' upset httle 
that is important in the generally accepted view of Nelson's sers'ice 
career. Those who are now responsible for bringing them to light 
have added to our knowledge of Nelson's treatment of his wife, and, 
it may be, afford grounds for the conclusion that the hero behaved 
to her with even greater duplicity than has been hitherto sup- 
posed ; but their papers scarcely touch the military aspect of 
Nelson's genius ; and it is with that that I have almost exclusively 
busied myself. That documents of such a character should have 
been kept in darkness for nearly a century is surprising. 

At my urgent instance, the Publishers have most generously 
agreed to allow me to extend the size of this History from five to 


six volumes. I am fully aware of the disadvantages of bulky books ; 
and, imtil quite recently I was as desirous as anyone else could have 
been to see the work completed in the five volumes which were origin- 
ally contemplated. But so much fresh matter bearing upon the naval 
events and developments of the present century, and especially of 
the last half of it, has come into my possession, that I now un- 
viilHngly come to the conclusion that if the work is to be a well- 
proportioned whole, and is to do justice as much to the services of 
the Hving as to those of the dead, a sixth vohmie is absolutely 
necessary. I trust, however, that the completion of the History 
will, not, in consequence, suffer more than a slight delay, much of 
the material for the fifth volume being already in type. 

W. L. C. 

Davos- am-Platz, ^witzkklasd. 
June, lyit'J. 


Tilt reader is requested to make the foUowing corrections of errors which escaped notice 
while the voluine was passiiKj through the press: — 

P. 108, line 11. For Cost}', read Cosby. 

P. 189. Thomas Totty was made a Post-Captain not on 31-1-1781, but ou 

P. 280, line 14. For Charles, read James. 
P. 529, first line of note. For Goelan, read Goelan. 




Military History of the Royal Navy, 1763-1792: 
Minor Operations . . . . , . 

Appendix to Chapters XXXI. and XXXII. : 

Naval Losses of the Belligerent Powers, 1775-1783 
(a) Losses of H.M. Ships, 1775-1783 . 
(fc) Losses of the LT.8. Navy, 1777-1782 

(c) Losses of the French Navy, 1778-1783 

(d) Losses of the Spanish Navy, 1779-1782 

(e) Losses of the Ddtch Navy, 1780-1782 


Voyages and Discoveries, 1763-1792 . . . . .117 

Civil History of the Royal Navy, 1793-1802 .... 150 

Appendix to Chapter XXXV. : 

Flag-Officers on the Active List, 1793-1802 . . .191 


Military History of the Royal Navy, 1793-1802: 

Major Operations . . .196 



Military Histoky of the Royal Navy, 1793-1802 : 
Minor Operations ...... 

Appendix to Chapters XXXV. and XXXVI. ; 

Naval Losses op the Belligerent Powers, 1793-1802 
(a) Losses of H.M. Ships, 1793-1802 . 
(6) Losses of the French Navy, 1793-1802 

(c) Losses of the Dutch Navy, 1795-1800 

(d) Losses of the Spanish Navy, 1796-1801 

(e) Losses of the Danish N.wy, 1801 . 


. 474 



Voyages and Discoveries, 1793-1802 

. .-,62 






Vic'k-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson, K.B. 
(From the oil-painling in the possession of Mr. W. Pugin 
TTinrnton, Canterbury.) ...... Frontispiece 

Admiral Sir Samuel Hood (1), Viscount Hood, Bart., K.B., 
Governor of Greenwich Hospital. (From the mezzo- 
tint by J. Jones, after the portrait by Jieynolds.) . . To face "206 

Sir John Jervis, Eabl St. Vincent, K.B., Admiral of 
the Fleet. (From the mezzotint by C. Turner, after the 
painting by Sir W. Beechey.) .....,, 306 

Admiral Adam, Viscount Duncan. (From the mezzotint by 

C. Turner, after the painting by D. Orme.) . . . „ 330 

Admiral Sir James Saumabez, Lord dk Saumarez, B.\rt., 
K.B., D.C.L., Vice-Admiral of Great Britain. (From 
the mezzotint by C. Turner, after the painting by Carbonier.) ,, 466 


The "Brunswick" and the " Vengeur," June 1st, 1794 . To face 234 
Commodore Nelson's Squadron chased by the French, 

July 8th, 1795 ,,274 

The Battle of the Nile, August 1st, 1798: Sunset . ,, 362 
The Battle of the Nile, August 1st and 2nd, 1798 : 

Height of the Action ....... 368 



The So0N(), and the Approaches to Copenhaqex . . To fnce 428 

The Attack on Copenha<;en ....... 430 

Capture of the "Clkopatre' by the "Ny.mphe," 

Jdne 18th, 1793 ,,476 


Pitch Pot, 1750 .......... 1 

Dutch Medal Commemorative of the Siei;e op Gibraltar a\d 

the Wreck oP' the " Royal George " . . . . .2 

Admiral John Bazely (1) . . . . . . . .9 

Captain John Paul Jones, U.S.N. . . . . . .11 

Signature of Captain George Anson Byron (1). . . .24 

Vice-Admiral Sir George Collier, Kt. ..... 28 

Captain "William Locker, R.N. . ...... 34 

Medal Commemoe.\.tive of Captain Paul Jones, U.S.N. . 37 

Captain Sir Richard Pearson, Kt., R.N. ..... 40 

Sir Charles Morice Pole, Bart., Admiral of the Fleet . . 78 


Captain Edward Thompson, R.N. ...... 101 

A Three-decker of the Eighteenth Century . . . .108 

Captain Nicholas Biddle, U.S.N. . . . . . .116 

Medal Commemor-\.tive of Cook's Second Yoyage . . .117 

Captain the Hon. Constantine John Phipps, R.N., later Lord 

Mulgbave .......... 135 

Signature of Admiral Skeffington Lutwidge, as Captain, 1789 136 
Medal Commemorative of Cook's Voyages .... 139 

H.M.S. " Discovery," which accompanied Cook on his last 

Voyage .......... 141 

Signature of the Earl of Cn.\THAM, First Lord of the 

Admiralty, 1788-97 ........ 150 

Ale.xander Dalrymple, First Hydrographer to the Admiralty 187 
The Union Flag of January 1st, 1801 ..... 189 

Signature of the Hon. Samuel Bareington, as Admiral . . 197 

Admiral John Macbride . . . . . . . .199 

Admiral John Holloway ........ 204 

Signature of Lord Hood, as Vice-Admiral .... 205 




Signature of Captain the Hon. G. K. Elpiiinstone, later 
Viscount Keith ........ 

Admiral Sir Samuel Hood (1), Viscount Hood . 

Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley, Bart. ..... 

Signature of Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley, Bart. 
Admiral Thomas Graves (2), Lord Graves 
Captain John Harvey (1), of the "Brunswick'' 
Signature of Captain William Edward Cracrapt, R.N. 
Admiral Sir Boger Curtis, Bart. .... 

Admiral, Lord Gardner ...... 



Admiral Sir Richard Rodney Bligh, G.C.B. 

Sir Charles Edmund Nugent, G.C.B. , Admiral of the Fleet 

Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, Bart., K.B. 

Admiral Sir Charles Cotton, Bart. ..... 

Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower, Kt. ..... 

Commemorative Medal of Lord Bridpoht's Action, June 23rd. 


Admiral Sir William Domett, G.C.B. .... 
Signature of Sir William Hotham (1), afterwards Lord Hotiiaji 
Scene of Hotham's Action, July 13th, 1795 
A^'icE- Admiral Sir Hugh Cloderry Christian, K.B. . 
Signature of Captain Ed>vard Pakenham, R.N. 
Admiral Sir John Colpots, K.B. . 
Admiral William, Lord Radstock, G.C.B. 
Battle of Cape St. Vincent, I., 11.3.") a.m. 

II., 12.30 p.m. 

,, „ „ III., 1.5 p.m. 

Sir James Hawkins Whitshed, Bart., G.C.B., Admiral of th 

Fleet ......... 

Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Troubridge, Bart. . 
Commemorative Medal of the Battle of Cape St. ^'INCENT 
Vice-Admiral Sir William George Fairfa.x 
Battle off Camperdown ....... 

CoMMEMOR.vnvE Medal of the Battle of Camperdown 











Admiral Sir Richard Onslow, Bart. ..... 332 

CoM.MEMORATivE Medal OP Warren'.s Actiox, OCTOBER 12th, 1798 347 

R ear-Admiral Sir Edward Berry, Bart. ..... 358 

Position of Frencu Fleet, Aboukir Bay, August Lst, 1798 . 359 

Signature of Admiral Sir Thomas Foley (3) . . . . 361 

Signature of Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Troubridge, Bart. 363 

Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Boulden Thompson, Kt. and Bart. . 365 

Comme.morative Medal op the Battle op the Nile, 1798 . . 371 
George Keith Elphinstone, Viscount Keith, K.B., F.R.S., 

Admiral op the Red ........ 383 

Chart of the Bay of Naples ....... 392 

Map of the Campaign in Egypt and Syria .... 401 

ADMIR.A.L Sir William Sidney Smith, G.C.B. .... 403 

Commemorative Medal op the Defence of Acre, 1799 . . 405 

Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell (1), K.B. ..... 407 

Commemorative Medal op Nelson's Return to England, 1800 . 420 

Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Bertie (formerly Hoar), Kt. . . 434 

Medal Commemorative op the B.attle op Copenhagen, 1801 . 441 

Vice-Admikal Viscount Nelson, Duke of Bronte, K.B. . . 443 
Action off Algeciras, July 6th, 1801 . . . . .461 

Signature of Admiral Sir Francis Laforey, Bart. . . . 473 

Mess Kettle, Eighteenth Century ...... 475 Robert Faulknor (3), R.N. ...... 489 

Admiral Sir Henry Trollope (1), Kt. ..... 500 

Admiral Sir Edward Hamilton, Bart. ..... 527 

Lantern Crank, Eighteenth Century ..... 562 

Captain Matthew Flinders, R.N. ...... 565 

Punt, Eighteenth Century . . . . . . .571 




H. W. Wilson. 

DiepuUi with Spain — Spanish armament — Actions on Xorth American coast — Capture 
o( Fox — Her recapture — Jlahifjh attacks a convoy — Lexinijton and Alert — 
Tarmouth and Itundolph — Paul Jones takes Drake — Licorne captured — Arethusa 
and lielle Poule — Languedoc and Renown — Preston and MarseiUais — his and 
Cesar — Minerva and Concorde — Fox taken by Junon — Capture of Raleigh — 
Apollo takes Oiseau — Attempt on Jersey — DiligenCs fierce action with Providence 
— Sir Geo. Collier at Penobscot— Franco-Spanish fleet captures Ardent — Causes 
of her loss — D'Estaing at Savannah — Pearl takes Sta. Monica — Paul Jones 
meets Serapis — Furious battle — Serapis taken — Quebec H^hU-Surveillante — 
Heroism of Capt. Farmer — Force of the shijis — Capture of Omoa — Jackal carried 
oft" — British squadron fires on the Dutch — Arbuthnot at Charleston — Capture of 
the Protee — Mutiny in Invincible — Cowardice of two Captains — Capture of 
Capricieuse — Of Belle Poule — Respect for neutrals — Moutray's convoy taken — 
Flora and Nymphe — Hurricanes and disasters — Capture of Rotterdam — Of 
Minerve — Capture of Dutch ships — Cerberus and Orana — Canada takes Sta. 
Leocadia — Actif and Nonsuch — Loss of Atalanta and Trepassey — Flora and 
Crescent against Castor and Uriel — West Indian actions — Iris takes Trumbull 
— Helena at Gibraltar — Chatham AnA Magicienne — Loss of Uannilxil — Hughes 
takes Trincomale— Success captures Sta. Catalina — Foudroyant and Pegase — 
Sta. Margarita reads Amazone a lesson — La Perouse in Hudson's Bay — Rainbow 
captures Hebe — Hectares glorious defence — She sinks — Heavy losses caused by a 
high gale — Capt. Inglefield deserts Centaur — Torhay and London chase Scipion 
— Leander and an imknown ship of the line — Hussar and Sibylle — Argo taken 
by French frigates — General remarks — Untrustworthiness of logs — Armaments 
— Weight of metal tells — lieview of ship actions — Nautical qualities — Privateers 
— Riou and the Guardian — His heroism — Spanish armament — Russian arnianient 
— Bhgh and the Bounty — Pandora's voyage. 


N 1766, Captain the Hon. John Byron returned 
from a voyage of discovery round the world, 
and reported so favourably of the Falkland Isles, 
that the Government determined to take effective 
iriLiiiui, 1700. possession of Port Egmont, in West Falkland.' 

' Beatson, iv. H, 20 ff. 

2 MINOR OPERATIONS, 17G3-1792. [1770. 

Accordingly Captain John Macbride, with the Jason, 32, and three 
smaller vessels, was despatched to carry out this purpose. Not 
long after ' his arrival the French established a settlement on East 
Falkland, at Port Louis, but soon abandoned it and handed it 
over to Spain. Port Louis was renamed La Solidad by its new- 

Captain Macbride having returned to England, the duty of 
maintaining the rights of Great Britain devolved upon Commander 
Anthony Hunt (1), of the Tamar, 14, Commander George Farmer, of 
the Swift, 14, and Commander William Maltby, of the Favourite, 16. 
The commander of a Spanish vessel, discovered by Commander Hunt 
surveying the islands during 1769, was warned to leave, and did 
so ; but two days later he reappeared with a protest from the 
governor of La Solidad, reqiuring the British to depart within six 


{From an original lent hy H.S.H. Capt. Prince Louis of Baltenherg, B.N.) 

months. On this Hunt sailed home for instructions. The Swift 
was wrecked, without serious loss of Ufe, and thus the Favourite 
alone was left to guard the settlement. In June, 1770, five 
Spanish frigates or corvettes appeared in Port Egmont, fired at 
the Favourite, compelled the small garrison to surrender and 
embark in the sloop, and detained her for twenty days by taking 
possession of her rudder and several sails. At the expiration of 
that period Commander Maltby sailed for England, where he arrived 
on September 22nd. 

The high-handed proceedings of the Spanish authorities caused 
great indignation in England, and strong representations were at 
once made to the court of Madrid. More eilectual than any 

' According to Beatson. Other authorities place the date of the French settlement 
in 1764. 


representations, however, was the display of force by commissioning 
a " Spanish armament." First sixteen, and then an additional force 
of twenty-five ships of the line, ten frigates, and numerous smaller 
vessels were prepared for sea. France, after secretly instigating 
Spain to war, changed her policy, and advised Spain to keep peace 
with Great Britain, or, if she went to war, to expect no aid. On 
January 22nd, 1771, the Spanish ambassador was authorised to 
promise the restitution of Port Egmont, and the dispute terminated. 
The Juno, 32, Captain John Stott, Hound, 14, and Florida, store- 
ship, were sent out to receive the surrender of Port Egmont. 

On July 4th, 1774, a terrible explosion occiirred on board the 
Kent, 74, Captain Charles Feilding (1), whilst lying at Plymouth. 
A quantity of powder had been carelessly left on the poop whilst 
the guns were being scaled. This took fire from some wads, and 
forty-five men were killed or injured. 

Throughout the years 1765-1775, the Navy on the North 
American station was constantly employed in police work and 
petty expeditions against the disaffected colonists. That it did 
not effect more than it did must be ascribed largely to the in- 
different state of too many of the ships and the extreme weakness 
of the crews. The Somerset, 68, Captain Edward Le Cras, during 
1775 co-operated with General Gage at Boston. On May 28th, 
the armed schooner Diana, 6, Lieut. Thomas Graves (3), had to be 
abandoned and burnt by her crew, in face of the colonists near 
Boston.' In the battle of Bunker's Hill on June 17th, the Glaagotv, 
20, Captain William Maltby, cannonaded the American position. 
The senior naval officer who was present on land in the action 
ordered the ships to fire red-hot shot to burn the village of 

On July 15th, 1777, the schooner Diligent, Lieutenant John 
Knight (2), was surprised and captured by the people of Machias, 
whither she had gone on a visit. 

The first naval action of the American War was the capture of 
the Hunter and a brig by two American privateers off Boston on 
November 23rd, 1775.- The British vessels were, however, almost 
immediately retaken by Lieut. John Bourmaster in an aiined 

Early in 1776, on April 6th, the British 20-gim ship Glasgow, 

' Beatson, iv. Ti;. 

' Beatson, ' Naval and Military Memoirs,' iv. 113. 

B 2 

4 MINOn OPERATIONS, 17G3-1792. [1776-77. 

Captain Tyringbam Howe, sailed into the midst of an American 
squadron under the command of Commodore Esek Hopkins, and 
composed of the Alfred, 24, Columbus, 20, Andrea Doria, 14, 
Cabot, 14,^ and Providence, 12.- The British vessel engaged for 
over two hours with this very superior force, hut succeeded in 
escaping, as the Americans were afraid that the noise of the firing 
would bring to the rescue a British squadron, which was lying at 
Newport. The Glasgow lost one killed and three wounded ; the 
x\mei-icans, twenty-three or twenty-four killed and wounded. 

On October 18th, Lieut. Henry Mouatt, with a small squadron 
of four ships, mounting thirty-six guns,^ burnt the town of 
Falmouth,' owing to the refusal of the inhabitants to deliver up 
four gmis and disarm. On December 5th, the American brig 
Washington, 10, was captured by the Foweij, 24, Captain George 
Montagu. Late in December, the American Andrea Doria, 14, 
captured the British Bacehorse, 12, Lieut. James Jones, after a 
desperate action of two hours. ^ On March 26th, 1777, the American 
brig Cabot, 14, after a forty-eight hours' chase, was driven ashore 
and captured by the Milford, 28, Captain John Burr.* On April 16th, 
the British tender Edward was captured by the Lexington, 16, off 
the coast of Virginia. On May 2nd, the Hai'wich packet Prince 
of Orange was taken in the Channel by the American Surprise, 10, 
Captain Gustavus Conyngham,. The latter vessel had been bought 
at Folkestone, and, with glaring disregard of French neutrahty, 
had been equipped at Dunkirk. On the Surprise's return to 
Dunkirk, the prize was seized and restored to Britain, though it 
was believed at the time, not without some reason, that the British 
Government, anxious to avoid a dispute with France, had purchased 
from Conyngham his captm-e. As showing the ubiquity of American 
privateers, it may be noticed that in June the British Levant, 28, fell 
in with and captured, after a short action, the American Vigilant, 14, 
in the Mediterranean. In the year 1777 there were attacks by 
American privateers on the shipping at DubUn and Penzance.' 

' Rated " 12 " in the List Books and borne as a " 12 " in tlio Kavy. 

* Beatson, 134. This action caused great dissatisfaction in America. One of the 
American captains was at once casliieied ; and Commodore Hopkins was shortly after- 
wards dismissed the service. 

' Beatson, 227, 228. 

* United States. 

" I can tind no reference to this action in the courts-mart iah 

' Beatson, 248. Log of Milford gives the (Jabot 16 guns and 182 men. 

' Ann. Heg. 1777, 192], 195]. 

1777.J LOSS OF THE FOX. 5 

On May 21st, 1777,' the Americau ships Hancock, 32, Captain 
John Manly, Boston, 30, Captain Hector McNeil, Mifflin and 
Tartar, 22, Hawke, 18, and five schooners, each of 14 guns, put 
to sea for a cruise. They were scattered by a gale, and only the 
Hancock and Boston were left in company. These two, on June 7th, 
off Boston, sighted a sail and gave chase. As both of them were ex- 
ceptionally fast, they speedily overhauled the stranger, which proved 
to be the British frigate Fox, 28, Captain Patrick Fotheringham. 
The latter was a httle slow in clearing for action, and, according to 
American accoimts, she was not ready to open when the Hancock 
got in her first broadside. Captain Fotheringham managed to 
i-etum the fire, and fought a sharp action for half an hour, until, 
noting that the Boston was coming down fast, and that she was a 
ship of formidable force, he made sail to draw the Americans apart, 
firing on the Hancock, meanwhile, with his stern-chasers. His ship, 
however, was an indifferent sailer, and the Hancock was not to be 
shaken off. The Hancock came up with the Fox a second time 
about noon, and engaged her closely till 1.1-5. At that point the 
Boston arrived on the Fox's starboard quarter, and opened a most 
galling fire. The Fox's main yard was shot away ; the maintop- 
mast was on the point of falling ; the mainmast was badly wounded ; 
the wheel had been shattered, and the ship would no longer answer 
her helm. The Hancock lay on the port bow, the Boston on the 
starboard quarter, so that they could scarcely be touched by a 
single one of the Fox's guns. At 1.45 Captain Fotheringham 
hauled dowTi his colours. The injuiy to the hull and loss of life 
on board his ship had been small, because the Americans fired 
chiefly at the rigging. As an interesting episode, it is recorded that 
one of the Boston's burning gun-wads had lodged in the Fox's 
mizen chains, and was starting a fire there, when the captain of 
the Boston hailed the Fox's men with a speaking-trumpet and 
desired them to put out the fire. According to the evidence given 
at the court-martial, the Fox was weakly manned, having only 
140 men fit to go to quarters, or 33 men short of her complement. 
From the same sovurce we gather that the Hancock carried twenty 
12's and twelve 6's - ; the Boston five 12's, nineteen 9's, two 6's, and 

> Coojier [J. F.], i. 79 ; Beatson, iv. 278 ; Courts Martial (Record Office MS.), 
vol. 50, Mar. 3rd ; Maclaj', i. 88 ff. ; Clark, T., ' Naval History,' i. 53. 

* Cf. Log of Jiainhow. 'A Detail of some Particular Services' (B.M. 1447, c. 15, 
a journal kept in the Bainhow) gives the Hancock 34 guns. 




four 4's. The usual tencleiicy for the defeated to exaggerate the 
victor's strength must, however, be allowed for. Still, the above 
figures have been iised in the estimate of comparative force. 









[Eancock . 
















Fox . . . 








Time, 120 minutes. 

1 Maclay. Bum, master of Fox stated at C. II. that Hancock threw teu deaii men overboard. Boston seems 
to have snffered no loss. 

The Hancock and Boston took a number of prisoners on board 
from their prize, and sent others in a captured fishing vessel to 
Newfoundland. The three then stood away for Boston, but on 
July 6th were sighted by the British 44-gun ship liainbow, Captain 
Sir George Colher, and the 18-gun brig Victor. The Americans, 
mistaking the Bainhoio for a vessel of the line, at once destroyed a 
prize that was in their company, and took to flight, forming in 
line of battle. The Hancock delayed the squadron. She was foul, 
and had been lightened too much forward, so that she did not sail 
well. During the 6th and 7th the pursuit continued, and early in 
the morning of the 8th a strange sail was seen from the Bainhoic. 
She failed to answer the private signal, and was at first taken for 
another American ; but as she joined in the pursuit and presently 
fired at the Americans, it was obvious that she was a friend. She 
was, in fact, the British frigate Flora, 32, Captain John Brisbane. 
At noon the Rainbow fired several shots, whereupon the Americans 
parted company and scattered. The Boston made off unmolested ; 
the Hancock was followed by the Bainhoic, and the Fox by the 
Flora. The brig Victor had now dropped behind. At 4 p.m. the 
Bainhoto was close enough to her enemy to open fire with her 
broadside ; a little later the report of distant guns told her that 
the Flora was also engaged. The Hancock was left by a sudden 
calm at the mercy of the Bainhotv's powerful broadside, and struck 
at 8.30 P.M.i 

The Flora sighted the enemy on the 7th, and at once gave 
chase. ^ On the 8th she ran the Fox to earth, and raked her as the 

' Log of Bainhow. ^ Log of Flora. 



enemy attempted to tack. A hot action followed before, about 
4.30 in the afternoon, the Fox struck. The Flora had her foretop- 
mast wounded and much of her running rigging shot away. For 
their conduct on this occasion the American captains, Manly and 
McNiel, were court-martialled, and the latter, who in the Boston 
had deserted his commodore, was dismissed the American service. 
The comparative force of the ships was as follows : — 









Rainbow . 









Hancock . 








(Flora . . . 








[Fox . . . 







The Hancock^ was purchased into the British sen'ice under the 
name of Iris. On board her were Captain Fotheringham of the 
Fox and forty of his men. On his arrival in England Captain 
Fotheringham was tried by com-t-martial for the loss of his ship, 
and honourably acquitted, as he had not struck till she was un- 
manageable and defenceless, when further resistance would have 
meant mere aimless waste of life. 

In the com-se of the year the Beaver, 14, Commander James 
Jones, captured a large American privateer of 14 guns, with a loss 
of only 2 wounded. The American loss was 20 killed and as many 

On September 4th, 1777, the Camel, 22, Captain the Hon. 
William Clement Finch, the Weazel, 16, Commander Samuel "Warren 
(1), and the Druid, 14, Commander Peter Carteret, were convoying 
the homeward bound trade from the Leeward Islands, when a sudden 
attack was made upon the Druid by an enemy who had stolen into 
the fleet.^ This was the 32-gun American frigate Raleigh, Captain 
Thomas Thompson. On September 2nd, cruising in the company 
of the Alfred, 24, she had captm-ed a vessel of the convo}', and 
ascertained from her master the order of sailing and the signals 
used. On September 3rd, the Americans were in sight of the 

' Dimensions : Chamock, ' Mar. Architecture,' iii. 257 : length, 137 ft. 1 in. ; 
beam, 34 ft. 3J in. : draught, 10 ft. 11 iu. 

' Allen, i. 245 ; Coojxjr, i. 153 ; Beateon, iv. 284 ; Log of Druid missing. 

8 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1777. 

convoy, and managed to get near without exciting any suspicion ; 
they were unable, however, to cut off any of the merchantmen, as 
the Alfred was a very bad sailer. Finally Captain Thompson 
decided to leave his consort behind ; ran into the midst of the 
British fleet ; exchanged signals with the British ships ; and bore 
down upon the unsuspecting Druid, till, having selected his position, 
he ran out his guns and gave her for twenty minutes broadside after 
broadside. Taken completely by surprise she could make but feeble 
reply. Her Commander, Carteret, was mortally wounded at the first 
fire ; her Master was killed ; the command passed to Lieut. John 
Bourchier. The convoy had meantime fallen into gi-eat confusion, 
each ship suspecting her neighbour to be a disguised enemy. But, 
as it was seen that the surprise had proceeded from one solitary ship 
and that other enemies did not appear, the British warships, 
supported by several anned merchantmen, made all sail to come 
up with the Baleigh! She had therefore to draw off when the 
Bi-itish vessels neared her. She left the Druid in a terribly damaged 
state ; with masts, yards, and rigging much shattered ; several shot- 
holes betwixt wind and water ; five feet of water in the hold, and six 
men killed and sixteen wounded. On her part the Baleigh is said 
to have only lost three men. She was chased after the action by 
the Camel and Weazel, but, being clean, could not be overtaken. The 
engagement is instructive as showing the difliculty of concentrating 
against a bold assailant the ships engaged in protecting a convoy. 
The Baleigh and the Alfred did not, however, succeed in captm-ing 
a single ship. The Alfred appears throughout to have held back. 

As this was a siirprise action, and therefore no fair test of either 
ship, the relative force of the two combatants is unimportant. The 
Baleigh was, of com-se, a far more powerful ship than the Druid, and, 
singly, should have been more than a match for the Druid, Weazel, 
and Camel combined. 

On September 19th, a sharp action took place in the Channel 
between the American brig, Lexington, 16, Captain H. Johnston, 
and the British cutter, Alert, 10, Lieut. John Bazely (1).^ The 
American was caught unprepared and brought to action early in 
the morning. She had a short supply of ammunition, and no match 
ready. After more than two hours' fighting the Lexington crippled 
the Alert's rigging, and managed to draw off", with scarcely a shot 
left in her magazines. The Alert, however, was very smartly 
' Log of Alert. Emmons, ' U.S. Xavy,' 42 ; ' Gent.'s Magazine,' xlvii. 458. 



repaired, and renewed the chase. She came up again with the enemy 
about 1.30, and, an hour later, was in a position to reopen fire. The 
Americans could now make no reply, and, after passively enduring 
the broadsides of the Alert for an hour, were compelled to strike. 
Cruising in the Channel in company with the Reprisal and Dolphin, 

(From an enoraving by Ridley, after the miniature by T. Langdon.) 

the Lexington had in five days captured fourteen prizes. The force 
of each ship was as follows : — 








Alert . . . 

1 205 














Time, 3 hours 30 minutes. 

Amongst the Lexinqton's killed and wounded were the master, 
first lieutenant, lieutenant of marines, and gunner. It should be 

lU MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1778. 

noted that the victory of so inferior a vessel as the Alert was 
probably due to sui-prise. 

In October the American ship Lexington, 16, was captured by 
the Pearl, 32, in West Indian waters, but the Americans rose on the 
prize crew and retook the ship.' 

On March 7th, 1778, the British 64, Yarmouth, Captain Nicholas 
Vincent, fell in with a squadron of American ships cruising off 
Barbados. She gave chase, and overtaking the 32-gun frigate 
Bandolpli, Captain Nicholas Biddle, engaged with her in a running 
fight. This had and could have had but one issue — defeat to the 
smaller and weaker vessel. The Randolph blew up and all her crew 
of 315 perished with her, except four who were rescued five days 
later by the British ship from some wreckage to which they had 
clung. At the explosion, burning spars and timbers six feet long fell 
upon the Yarmouth's deck, and with these an undamaged American 
ensign. The British loss was 5 killed and 12 wounded ; the 
damage to the Yarmouth was trivial." She was of com-se vastly 
superior in weight of metal and strength of hull. 

On March 9th, 1778, the British ships Ariadne, 24, Captain 
Thomas Pringle, and Ceres, 18, Commander James Richard Dacres 
(1), cruising in West Indian waters, saw two sail.^ Giving chase, 
they speedily came up with the sternmost, which struck after 
receiving a few broadsides. She proved to be the American cruiser 
Alfred, Captain Ehsha Hinman, armed with twenty long 9's and 
carrying 180 men. The other vessel, the Baleigh, of 32 guns, 
ignominiously escaped. 

Early in 1777, the American Marine Committee decided to 
despatch ships to attack British trade in British waters.* The 
unprotected state of our commercial ports and coastline had been 
represented to Congress by the United States' Commissioners in 
Paris, and, as far back as 1776, plans had been matured for the 
destruction of Bristol and other important places. Captain John 
Paul Jones was selected for the important enterprise, and putting 
to sea in the Ranger, 18, on November 1st, arrived at Nantes in 

' Probably the date should be 1776, but I can find no trace of the capture in the 
PearVs log for October 1776 or 1777. 

^ London Gazette, May 23rd ; Log of Yarmouth. 

* London Gazette, May 23rd; Navy List Book. 

* Laughton, ' Studies in Naval History,' 376-387 ; ' Life of Paul Jones from . . . 
manuscript of Miss J. Taylor,' 69-88 ; Hutchinson, W., ' History of Cumberland,' 1794, 
ii. 86 ; Beatson, iv. 439 ; Cts. Martial (MSS. Record Office), vol. 53. 


December, with two prizes. Thence he convoyed some American 
ships to La Motte-Piquet's fleet, and from the French admiral 
obtained a sahite for the new American flafj. Having refitted at 
Brest, he sailed on April 10th, 1778, for the Irish Sea. On the 
14th, north of the Scillies, he captured a brigantine ; on the 17th, off 
Dublin, a vessel laden with porter. On the 18th, off the Scotch 
coast, he chased a revenue wherry unsuccessfully ; on the 19th, he 

(.From J. B. Longacrc's engraving, after the portrait by C. W. Peak.') 

destroyed two more ships. On the 21st, learning that the British 
sloop Drake, 20, Commander George Burdon, was at anchor in 
Carrickfergus Bay, he determined to run in at night with his 
ship and board her. His plan, though bold and well-conceived, 
miscarried ; he entered the bay, but did not anchor quickly enough, 
and, a gale springing up, he was obliged to run out again. On the 
22nd, he decided to burn the shippmg at Whitehaven, which place 
he knew well. At midnight two boats with thirty-two men left the 

12 MINOS OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1778. 

Banger, and reached the land as the day was dawning. One party 
set the ships in the harbour on fire ; the other entered a dilapidated 
fort, which was supposed to protect the town, and spiked the guns. 
One of his men, however, had slipped away, misliking the work, and 
given the alarm ; and, though the harboiu: was dry, Jones foimd 
on returning from a second battery,^ a little waj' further off, whither 
he had gone with the men to spike the guns, that the shipping was 
not burning. With some trouble he kindled a blaze in the steerage 
of a large vessel, which lay in the midst of 150 other ships, 
poui-ed some tar on the flames, and re-embarked. The cannon 
in the fort were easily unspiked and fired at him by the fast- 
gathering inhabitants, as he made off; and the fire which he had 
so laboriously kindled was put out. He rowed across to the Scotch 
coast, hoping to seize Lord Selkirk as a hostage, for the better 
treatment of the American prisoners, but the nobleman was away. 
The American sailors carried off some of the family plate, which 
Captain Jones afterwards returned. 

On April 24th, the Ranger was again off Carrickfergus, hoping 
for an action with the Drake. A boat, in charge of a Midshipman 
and six sailors, was sent out by the latter ship to reconnoitre the 
privateer and was captm-ed. There must have been some careless- 
ness on the part of the British commander, Burdon, as news of the 
doings at Whitehaven had already arrived. A little later the sloop 
was seen by the Americans to be working her way out against the 
wind and tide, whilst numbers of the inhabitants could be perceived 
on the high land ashore. The Banger retired before the Drake to 
mid-channel, and when hailed replied : " The American Continental 
ship Banger ... it is time to begin." Accordingly her helm was 
sharply put up, she passed across the Drake's bows and raked her. 
Captain Jones quickly obtained the upper hand. The Drake was 
very short of officers : she had neither Lieutenant, Gunner, Boat- 
swain, nor Master's Mate ; her crew, though large in number, was 
composed mainly of volunteers or freshly pressed men, who were not 
at all to be trusted in action ; her scantling was weak ; her battery 
feeble and exposed ; her twenty 4-pounders were no match for the 
Ranger's eighteen 6-pounders,'' let alone the eight swivels which that 

' Probably the " Half l^Foun " battery. 

^ Jones complains of the ciankness and weakness of the Banger. Originally she 
carried 26 guns, but 8 had been removed. Of the 18 carried he complained that they 
were all three calibres too short. The Drake's Master (Cts. Martial, 53) states that the 
Ranr/e7-'s 6-prs. were "double fortified," i.e., extra heavy. 


ship carried ; the powder was bad, the match was bad, and, as there 
was no paper on board, cartridges were not prepared either for the 
great guns or for the small arms. For the heavy guns only twenty 
rounds were ready. In short, the ship had been taken by sui-prise 
and was at the gi-eatest disadvantage. Seventy-four minutes after 
the first shot, the Drake struck to her skilfuDy-handled and well- 
fought enemy. 














1 « 










me, 74 iii 


After this action Jones sailed round the north of Ireland with his 
prize, and on May 8th arrived safely at Brest. The quahty of 
the Drake's crew is shown by the fact that twenty of them enlisted 
in the American service. They were probably Irishmen who had 
been pressed for the Navy. 

On May 6th, the Hussar galley, under the orders of Captain 
John Henry, with a small flotilla and a battalion of infantry, 
ascended the Delaware from Philadelphia, the object being to destroy 
various works and vessels which the Americans possessed high up 
the river on the New Jersey shore.' A landing was effected at 
Bordentown ; a battery was destroyed, and 44 American sail were 
bm-nt or sunk. The expedition then retiurned to Philadelphia with- 
out the loss of a man. Towards the end of May a combined 
expedition, covered by the Flora, 32, destroyed a number of 
American boats and ships high up in Narragansett Bay, and carried 
off several gims without any loss. A similar expedition, but with 
less success, was made up the Taunton Kiver. On June 1st, the 
town of Banff, in Scotland, was alarmed by the landing, from an 
American privateer, of a party of raiders, who plundered some of the 
inhabitants of their plate and portable effects. - 

On June 1.5th, when the French Government was on the verge 
of hostilities with Great Britain, but before any declaration of war 
had been issued by either side, the frigates, Belle Poule, 30, 
Licorne, 32, the corvette, Hirondelle, 16, and the lugger Coureur, 10, 

' Land. Gazette, June 13 ; Beatson, iv. 314. 
" 'Gent's Magazine,' xlviii. 282. 

14 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1778. 

left Brest, under the orders of Lieut, de La Clocheterie ' of the 
Belle Poitle, to cruise in the Channel." On the 17th, they fell in 
with Admiral Keppel's fleet of twenty sail of the line, four frigates 
and three smaller craft, which had put to sea on the l'2th and which 
was cruising to the west of the Lizard. A general chase was 
signalled by the British Admiral, and by the evening the Milford, 28, 
Captain Sir William Burnaby, had closely approached one of the 
French vessels, the Liconte, commanded by Lieut, de Belizal. It 
was Admiral Keppel's wish that the chase should be brought to him, 
but M. de Behzal was not to be so easily caught. He attempted to 
escape and was only brought to by the Hector, 74, firing a shotted gun 
at him. Meanwhile, the Arethusa, 32, Captain Samuel Marshall (2), 
and two ships of the line were seen to be in pui-suit of another French 
ship, and as evening came on the Arethusa was engaged. The 
Licorne was led through the fleet to the Commander-in-Chief's flag- 
ship, Victory. On the morning of the 18th she made one more bid for 
freedom, but was at once fired upon by one of the British sail of the 
line. On this she discharged her broadside into the 64, A?nerica ; 
though M. de Belizal was, at the moment when the broadside was 
fired, talking in a friendly way to the A merica 's captain. Having done 
this and woiinded fom- men on board the America, she struck. The 
Licorne was probably armed with twenty-six 12's and six 6's ; though 
some French accounts give her only 26 guns. She carried 230 men. 
The Arethusa came up with Belle Poule soon after 6 p.m. on 
the 17th. Captain Marshall requested M. de La Clocheterie to bring 
to and follow the Arethusa to the British Admiral, and, on the 
French captain's absolute refusal to do any such thing, opened fire 
at a pistol shot's distance. The wind was very slight and would 
scarcely allow the two ships to steer. The frigates fought broadside 
to broadside, from 6.30 to 11.30 p.m.,^ when they parted. The other 
ships of the British squadron were several miles behind the A rethusa 
and could give her no aid. According to the French account she 
retired towards them with her masts and rigging much damaged. 
According to the British account, which is, on the whole, the more 

' Louis Chadeau de La Clocheterie, the son of a French naval ofiScer who fell in 
the action of May 14th, 1747, was born about 1736. For his action with the Arethusa 
he was made a captain. He fought in the battles off Cape Henry and St. Kitts, 
in 1781, and was killed in the battle of Apr. 12th, 1782.— W. L. 0. 

" Land. Gazette, June 26th ; Oazetfe de France, Jime 23rd ; Troude, ii. 23 ; 
Chevalier, 72 ; Allen, i. 263. 

' Two hours, according to Capt. Marshall of the Arethusa. 




probable, it was the Belle Poule that made off in the direction of 
the French coast. The French official version admits that, if the 
Arethusa retreated, it was impossible to pursue her, and that the 
Belle Poule anchored amidst the rocks of Plouascat. There, it says, 
next day she was blockaded by two British vessels, which, finding 
that they could not get at her, presently withdrew. The action was 
a very fiercely fought one. In the French ship the second in com- 
mand was killed ; whilst M. de La Clocheterie and several other 
officers were wounded. M. Bouvet, who was severely wounded, 
refused to leave the deck to have his injuries attended to. The 
Arethusa was a good deal cut up. The comparative force of the 
two ships was as follows : — 

Tons. GOBS. 


Men. KUled. [ Wounded. 


Arethusa . 
Belle I'uule . 






8 1 36 
45 57 


1 ime, 2 liouis .•* 

» The armament of these two ships is a little doubtful. The French account gives tiie Arethusa twenty- 
eight 12*8, but there do not appear to have been any British frig.ite3 of twenty-eighl so armed. 'I'he HelU Poule 
was taken iu 17»0 and appears as a 3'i when captured. Chevalier, p. 76, gives her twenty -six 12's and two 9*8 ; 
Beatson, t. 137, gives her thirty-two 12's ; Troude, whom I have followed, twenty-six 12*8 and four o's (ii. 23); 
Cbamock, ' Hist. Mar. Arch.' iii. 235, makes her a 3lj in the British Navy. As such she appears in all 
Steel's Lists. 

Whilst the Belle Poule and Arethusa were busy, the British cutter 
Alert, Lieut. William George Fairfax, attacked the French lugger 
Coureur} The Alert carried eighty men, twelve 6's, and as many 
swivels : the Coureur had fifty men, two 3's, eight '2's, and six 
swivels ; she was commanded by Enseigne de Eosily. She was 
ordered, like the Belle Poule, to go to the British Admiral ; refused ; 
and was at once fired upon. The two fought at pistol-shot range 
for nearly an hour and a half, imtil the Coureur struck. She hit the 
Alert several times on the water-hne and cut up her rigging. The 
following are the particulars of the ships : — 




.Men. Killed 



Akrt ... 205 
Coureur . 







Time, 90 minutes. 
' Log of Alert. 

16 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1778. 

On the 19th, the French 32-gun frigate Pallas was sighted and 
chased by Keppel's fleet. She was overtaken aiul her captain was 
invited to repair to the flagship, where it was decided to detain her. 
Her crew of two hundi-ed and twenty were taken out of her and 
distributed throughout the British fleet, and she was carried into 
port as a prize. 

Charges of treachery have been brought by French writers 
against Admiral Keppel, for the way in which he captured these 
ships. France, however, having in February signed a treaty of 
aUiance with the revolted Colonists, was virtually at war with Great 
Britain, and though Keppel was not, probably, over particular, the 
behaviour of the Licorne and Belle Foule was so unfriendly as to 
justify his proceedings. It should be remembered that a formal 
declaration of war seldom precedes the commencement of hostilities. 
If it did not suit France to declare war at that moment. Great 
Britain, as the power plotted against, was perfectly justified in 
striking at her secret enemy, as she did. 

On June 24th, the British cutter Folkestone, Lieut. William 
Smith (1), fell in with five French frigates, and was captured. 

On July 8th, the Mermaid, 28, Captain James Hawker, was 
chased ashore in Delaware Bay by d'Estaing's squadron. Her crew 
threw overboard her guns and their arms ere she struck to a small 
American ship which hailed her. 

On July 9th, the British 20-gun ship. Lively, Captain Robert 
Biggs, whilst cruising off Brest, was unlucky enough to be overtaken 
by the Count d'Orvilliers's fleet.' She was chased first of all by the 
cutter Curieiise of 10 guns, and ordered to lie to. The British 
Captain refused to obey, on which the large frigate Iphigenie, 32, 
stood close up to him and opened on the Lively. After one 
broadside the British ship struck her flag, and was conducted into 
Brest. On July 17th, the 12-giui cutter Alert, Lieut. AV. G. Fairfax, 
was overtaken by the French frigate Junon and captured in the 

The operations in Narragansett Bay, in July and August, 1778, 
have been described in Chapter XXI. 

On the evening and night of August 13th, two separate actions 

' C. M. (MS.), 53. 

^ An action between the Rose and Eiiii<i;ieante is given in Troude (ii. 24), as 
occurring in July, but is nut referred to in Beatson, Schomberg, or the London Oazvtie. 
From Chevalier (123), it appears that this Rose was a privateer of 22 guns, and was 
only taken after a most desperate resistance. She had to be sunk by her captors. 


took place between isolated line-of-battle ships of Lord Howe's and 
d'Estaing's squadrons.' The ships of both fleets had been much 
scattered and damaged by the great storm of the ll-12th : which 
explains a somewhat singular occurrence. The first action was 
fought between the Laiujuedoc, 80, Captain de Boulainvilliers, and 
the licnown, 50, Captain George Dawson (actg.). On board the 
Langtiedoc was d'Estaing himself. His ship was totally dismasted 
and the tiller had been broken, so that in spite of her immense ad- 
vantage in weight of metal the odds were against her. The Renown 
made her attack about sunset. She opened on the Languedoc with 
her 12-prs., and then wore under the enemy's stem to rake with her 
lower deck 24-prs. At half a cable's length, she battered the 
Languedoc, which could make no reply, except from two guns which 
were run out through her stern gallery. The French, despairing 
of their safety, were throwing their dispatches overboard, when 
darkness came on and the Iie)ioicn hauled off. Captain Dawson 
intended to renew the action next day, but when at dawn he 
reopened, he found six ships of the line coming down upon him 
and had to retreat. As the Languedoc could not sail or steer, it 
was only by this accident that she escaped capture. 

The action betw'een ihe Preston, 50, Commodore William Hotham, 
Captain Samuel Uppleby and the Marseillais,^ 74, Captain de La 
Poype-Vertrieux, was very similar. The Marseillais had lost her 
foremast and bowsprit, and had barely rigged a jury-mast when the 
Preston attacked her. After some hours of steady fighting the 
approach of other members of the French squadron compelled 
Commodore Hotham to retire. On August 16th, yet another of 
these combats occurred ; this time between the Lsis, 50, Captain 
John Kayner, and the Cesar, 74, Captain de Eaymondis, or, as it 
was supposed at the time, the Zele, Captain de Barras.* In this 
case the French ship was intact, and chased and brought to action 
the British vessel. The French, however, made the great mistake 
of clearing for action only on one side, and had stowed between the 
guns on the other side the lumber which should have been thrown 
overboard. It must have been a habit of theirs, for the Isis's 
Captain guessed what they were doing, let his ship drop to leeward, 

' Land. Gazette ; Howe's dispatch ; Beatson, iv. 348. Tlic date is also given as 
the 18th, wrongly. 

^ Troude, ii. 15, makes the French ship the Marseillais ; Chevalier, 118, the Cesar, 
and Beatson, iv. 349, the Toiinant. 

' Lond. Oazetle, Oct. 27th. 





and then engaged them on the encumbered side, at very close 
quarters. The French were confused by this manceuvre, and, being 
to windward, had some difficulty in opening their lower deck ports. 
After a short but furious fight the Cesar retired, because — ac- 
cording to French accounts — the rudder had been injured and two 
other British ships wei-e in sight. The Isis was unable to pursue, 
since, as usual, the French had aimed at the masts and rigging. 
In any case she was fortunate to escape from a ship of twice her 
weight of metal. Her crew, amongst whom was the Duke of 
Ancaster serving as a volunteer, behaved with great bravery. The 
Cesar's captain had his arm shattered ; the first lieutenant lost a 
leg; and from fifty to seventy men were killed or wounded.' 









Isis . 








Cesar . 




/ 500n.'l 

\ 700 ; 



50? 2 

11 =; uouiiiial complement. 

1 French 74's were of two types : both canied tweuty-eight Sli's and sixteen B's, but the first had thirty 24's 
and the second thirty 18's as well. 1 suppose Cesar to have been of the second-class. 

" The repoited loss in the Gazette is given as fifty, but this estimate is obviously untmstworthy. 

On August 14th, the French squadron captm-ed the British 
18-gun ship Senegal, the Tlmnder, bomb, and another small vessel. 
About the same time the Cesar captm-ed the British 10-gun brig 

On August 22nd, the- British 32-gun frigate Minerva, Captain 
John Stott, whilst on a cruise in the West Indies, and unaware that 
war had broken out, met the Concorde, 32, Captain de Tilly." Captain 
Stott, taking her for a harmless merchantman, was approaching to 
speak her, when the Concorde fired a broadside, and followed this 
up with a second before the Minerva could reply. The ships were 
of equal force, and the British crew, though caught ofi' their guard, 
made a brave resistance. But luck was against them : an explosion 
of powder under the half-deck dismounted three guns, killed or 
wounded eighteen men, and caused great confusion. Another gun 
was put out of action by an accident. The seamen, intimidated by 
the explosion, began to bolt from the guns. Captain Stott, twice 

' Tlie above three encounters are briefly referred to in vol. iii., p. 409. 
^ Troude, ii. 25 ; Gazette de France. 726 ; C. M., 53. According to French 
accounts, the Concorde carried twenty-six 12's and six 6's. 


severely wounded in the head, had been carried below. The mizen- 
mast went overboard ; the other masts were tottering ; the wheel 
was shot awa}' ; and the officers had lost control of the men. The 
battle lasted two and a half hours and then at last the Minerva 
struck. Her loss was very heavy, though exact figures cannot be 
given. Both Captain Stott and the first Lieutenant died of their 
wounds, aggi"avated by grief at the loss of their ship. On the other 
hand, the Concorde lost few men and suffered but little damage. 
Her captain's brother, who was serving on board, died of his 

The defeat of the Minerva cannot be ascribed to any want of 
valour or skill on the part of her crew. It was due simply to the fact 
that she was undermanned and unprepared. She was retaken later, 
and named liecoverij. 

Broadside. { 

Concorde . 
Minerva . 










Time, 2 liours oO iniiiuu-. 

On August '23rd, the British sloop Zephyr, 14, Commander 
Thomas West, was taken in the Mediterranean by a French frigate. 

In East Indian waters the Sartine, 32, which had been detached 
from the squadron of M. Tronjoly, was sighted on August 25th, and 
chased and captured by the Seahorse and Coventry. According to 
Barras, her captain displayed great cowardice, surrendering without 
firing a shot. Troubridge, then a lieutenant in the Seahorse, is said 
to have distinguished himself in boarding her. She was purchased 
into the British service.' 

On September 1st, the Active, 28, Captain William Williams, 

was captured off the San Domingo coast by the Channante, 38, and 

the Dedaigneuse, 26.^ In a previous stonn, the Active had thrown 

eleven of her guns overboard, lost her topmasts, and sprung her 

mainmast, and so, when her enemies came up to her, she had no 

resource but to strike, which she did at the second broadside. 

Captain Williams is said by Nelson to have died of mortification at 

his captm-e.^ 

' She mounted twentj'-six '.)'s. Barras, ' MOmoires,' i. 313. 

» C. M., 53. 

' Nicolas, ' NelsoD Dispatches,' i. 25. 

C 2 




On September 10th, whilst the British frigate Fox, 28, Captain 
the Hon. Thomas Windsor, was cruising off Brest, she saw and 
chased a ship and a sloop.' The weather was so dark and squally 
that she did not for some time observe a frigate chasing her, but 
when she did, she shortened sail and waited for the enemy. It was 
the French frigate Junon, 32, Captain Vicomte de Beaumont, of 
far greater weight of metal. After some preliminary manoeuvres to 
gain an advantageous position, the two frigates passed on opposite 
tacks, exchanging broadsides, and then the French captain attempted 
to rake his enemy, but with indifferent success. He next tacked 
and took up a position on the Fox's quarter, but to windward ; and 
yet, even there, found that he could do little. Once again he 
attempted to rake, and was thwarted, but succeeded in closing with 
his enemy. At musket range the heavy guns of the Junon, trained 
with skill and deliberation, did what they ought to have done far 
sooner and got the Fox's fire under. The British ship lost all her 
masts and had several of her guns disabled. The Junon s gunners 
had been ordered to fire at the enemy's hull, not at her masts after 
the usual French fashion. Having offered a protracted and heroic 
resistance to overwhelming odds, Captain Windsor, who had been 
severely wounded in the arm, waved with his hat that he surrendered. 
The Fox, during the last period of the action, could only fire a few 
shots, and was terribly injured. The Junon, on the other hand, 
suffered little of either damage or loss. 

Fox . 















198 n. 





Time, 3 liours 30 minutes. 

i According to Capt. Windsor's letter, the Junon fought on each side fourteen 12's and sis G's. The Junon 
is also described as an 18-pr. frigate. I have given her only the broadside of a 12-pr. 32, and therefore my figures 
are probably an underestimate. 

On September 26th, the British ships Experiment, ,50, Captain 
Sir James Wallace,^ and Unicorn, 20, Commander Matthew Squire, 
cruising off Boston, made out a large sail, and gave chase. The 
vessel thus discovered was the American 32-gun frigate Raleigh, 

' Beatson, iv. 431, Sept. 18tli ; Ouzette de France, 691, Sept. 10th ; Troude, ii. 27; 
C. M., 53. 

' Maclay, i. 92 ff. ; Cooper, i. 92 ff. ; Beatson, iv. 379 ; Log of Unicorn. 


Captain John Barry. The weather was thick, and by changing her 
course the American hoped that she had avoided the British ships ; 
but in the course of the morning of the '27th, the}' again hove in 
sight. The Raleigh was a fast sailer, and was leaving them behind, 
when suddenly the wind dropped, enabling her enemies to come up. 
The Unicorn attacked first. Her fire brought down the lialeif/h's 
fore-topmast and mizen-topmast, but the British ship was compelled 
by damage to her own rigging to haul off and refit. Meantime, the 
Experiment came up and opened on the Ualeifjh. Captain Barry, 
thus situated, determined to run his ship on some low-lying islands, 
which were in sight, and to abandon her. The first he was able to 
do, but before all his crew had got away, the Experiment's boats 
boarded the Raleigh and captured her with one hundred and thirty- 
six officers and men. She was got off without much difficulty and 
added to the British Navy. The presence of the Experiment, though 
she took but small part in the fighting, was doubtless the determining 
feature in the action. The details, so far as they are known, of the 
two ships are : 

1>'U<. Guus. 


Broad^i<^e. Killcl. Wouudel. ' Total. 

(Cnicorn . . 581? ' 20' 

[Expetiment . 923 50 

I}nJe,</h . . r.OT 32 



114 10 

414 ? 

IT-t ? 





1 in the MSS. Navy LL'^ts L'nitorn up{)ear9 a^ n '.:o-gun ^bip, but the touuage ib tbat of a 2d-gun sLip, aud 
ebe is given 28 guns in the account uf the action, 'i tie lialeitjk, by the C.'s log, carried twenly-six la's and tix 6*8 
She was 131 ft. long, 34 1\. in beam, and 11 ft. in draught. 

On October '20th, the Jupiter, 50, Captain Francis Eeynolds, 
aud the Medea, '2y, Captain James Montagu {1), whilst cruising off 
Finisterre, fell in with the French line-of-battle ship, Triton, 64, 
Captain Comte de Ligondes.* The Jupiter ranged up on one board, 
the Medea on the other, about nightfall, and cannonaded the Triton 
hotly. The French captain succeeded in turning the same broad- 
side to both his assailants, but after about an hour's fighting was 
wounded in either arm and had to hand over the command to Lieut, 
de Roquart. The engagement lasted two hours, before a squall of 
wind and rain, and the impenetrable darkness of the night separated 
the combatants. The Triton had thirteen killed and about twenty 

' Troude, ii. 27 ; Gazette de France, 840 ff. ; Log of Jupiter ; Log of Medea ; Char- 
nock, vi. 476. 




wounded : she hud lilty shot in her hull or masts ; and her sails and 
rigging were much cut up. According to Captain Keynolds, she 
stood off and abandoned the battle, though the Medea had been 
struck by a 30-pound shot on the liows below the water-line and was 
virtuall}- out of action after the first half-hour. The Jupiter's loss 
was three killed and seven wounded ; the Medea's loss was one killed 
and three wounded. 

On November 3rd, whilst cruising in the West Indies, the 
Maidstone, '28, Captain Alan Gardner, chased and came up with the 
40-gun French armed ship Lion} She was beaten off once, by 
damage to her masts and rigging, but, after refitting, came up again. 
The French ship struck an hour later. Captain Gardner was 
amongst the wounded. 














198 n. 




Lion . 








On December 17th, 1778, the British sloop Ceres, 18, Commander 
James Eichard Dacres (1), was chased by several French ships and 
finally captured by the frigate Iphigenie, 32, off the coast of 
St. Lucia.- The Ceres was in charge of a convoy from which she 
succeeded in diverting the attention of the French. 

On January 13th, 1779, the Weazel, Ki, Commander Lewis 
Robertson, whilst carrying Admiral Barrington's dispatches from the 
West Indies to England, was chased by the French Boudeuse, 32, 
and captured near St. Eustatius.^ She struck at the second broadside. 

On January 31st, the Bi-itish frigate Apollo, 32, Captain Philemon 
Pownall, was cruising off the Breton coast, when she came in sight 
of ten vessels.* On giving chase she overtook them, and made out 
one of the ten to be a frigate. She steered for her, whilst the other 
French ships, which were merchantmen under convoy, scattered and 
sought the land. Soon after noon the Apollo was close enough to 
fire upon the strange frigate, which was the Oiseau, 32,^ Lieut. 

' Lond. Gazetti; '79, Mar. 24th ; Li<,n had probably been liired from the king, a 
fairly common practice in France, though i-he may have been an ordinary privateer. 

" C. M., 52. 

" Lond. Gazette, Mar. 24tli ; Troiide, ii. 46 ; C. M. 

* Gazette de France, 77; Beatson, iv. 555 ; Troudc, ii. 47. Captain Pownall signed 
liis name "Pownoll," but the .spelling given is the one employed in the Navy Lists. 

" Gazette de Frinice. twentv-six 8's. 




de Tarade, and which as yet had hoisted no colours. The first 
broadside of the Apollo did the Frenchman some damage and led 
him to hoist his flag. The two ships were upon opposite tacks, 
when the Apollu luffed and came round on the same tack as the 
Oiseau. After some skilful manoeuvring on either side the Apollo 
got within pistol shot, but to leeward. The ships engaged very 
closely ; so closely that more than once the Apollo's bowsprit ail but 
caught in the Oiseau s foremast shrouds. The wind had fallen, and 
the Oiseau's advantage in speed had gone with it. The superior fire 
of the British sailors cleared the enemy's deck till Lieut, de Tarade 
and fom- men were all who were left on the quarter-deck ; the main- 
deck battery was dismounted and silent ; and finally a shot carried 
away the French flag. The Apollo's men cheered and hailed to 
know if the French had struck. No answer was made, but their 
fire had ceased, and so the English took possession. The Oiseau 
had lost her main-topmast and mizen-mast : her hull was terribly 
riddled, as many of the Apollo's shots had passed right through her ; 
and if it had not been for the calm weather she could scarcely have 
been taken to Great Britain. The armament of both ships is given 
differently in the French and British accounts. It is not probable 
that the Apollo carried carronades, though " obusiers " are mentioned 
in the French version, where she is credited with 38 guns. The 
minimum of force has been allowed for the Oiseau, but Troude gives 
her A'l «;uns and in the British Navv she carried that number. 






Kille 1. 



Apollo^ . . 











104 1 





Time, IJ-SJ liour.". 

< DniENsioxs :- 


125 ft. 
146 ft. 

35 ft. '.> in. 
31 ft. 1 In. 

12 ft. 
9 ft. lot in. 

Both commanders were wounded in this action. The French 
fought very bravely against what was perhaps a superior force, 
and Lieutenant de Tarade was, for his courage, treated with unusual 
deference when a prisoner.' 

' According to Troude (ii. 47), and Gazette de France (91) a Britisli frigate, called the 
Congress, encountered the Concorde, a French 32, off Brest on Feb. 18tb. Though the 
Frenchman had been damaged in a storm and had thrown twelve of her guns over- 

24 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1779. 

In January a small French squadron captured the British settle- 
ments in Senegal, and some weeks later those on the Gold Coast. 

On March 7th, an indecisive brush took place in the West Indies, 
between the Bubij, (J-4, and Niger, 32, on the one hand, and the 
French frigate Minerve, 32, on the other.' The Frenchman fired at 
the Niger's rigging, and thus disabling her, escaped, though the 
British ships Bristol and jEoIus were in sight. 

On March 14th the Batthsnake, 10, Lieut. William Knell, gave 
chase to two French privateer-cutters off the Isle of Wight." She 
came up with them and fought them for over three hours, when 
the larger one struck, and the other sheered oft'. Lieut. Knell, 
however, instantly pursued her, bore down upon her, fired three 
broadsides into her, and then boarded. She was the Frehn, of 
Dunquerque, carrying twelve guns and eighty-two men, of whom 


twelve had been killed and thirty severely wounded. The other 
privateer succeeded in escaping. The loss of the Baftlesnake was 
twelve wounded, including Lieut. Knell. 

Whilst cruising off Ushant the French frigate Aigrette, 32, 
Captain La Bretonniere, about nightfall of March 19th, sighted 
a frigate which was taken to be a friend.^ The stranger was 
really the British 32-gun ship Arethusa, Captain Charles Holmes 
Everitt,'' who lost no time in attacking the Aigrette. After a sharp 
action of two hours the two separated, as a line-of-battle ship was 

board, she is said to have beaten off the Britisli attack with tlie loss of four killed and 
twenty-three wounded. The name Coiif/resn, however, does not appear in our Navy 
Lists of the time, and the action is noticed by no British authority. Probably the 
British ship was a priva'eer. 
' Troude, ii. 48. 

* Gazette, 18th Mar. 

' Troude, ii. 49 ; C. M., 54. 

* So Schomberg, v. 46 ; Beatsrm, iv. 564. 


made out, coming to the help of the Aigrette ; but the British vessel 
was so unfortunate as to strike a rock during the night off the 
island of Molene. Her crew were rescued and made prisoners, 
with the exception of thirteen men who got away in a cutter. 

Towards the close of April a flotilla of fishing boats, carrying 
fifteen hundred men, and escorted by the French warships Danae, 26, 
Diane, 26, Ecluse, 8, Valeur, 6, and Guepe, 6, left St. Malo with 
the intention of effecting a descent on Jersey.' The wind, how- 
ever, was so unfavourable that the flotilla was forced to return, 
and could not again put to sea till May 1st, when it suddenly 
appeared in St. Ouen's Bay, and attempted a debarkation. The 
Jersey militia at once stood to arms, and, with the soldiers of the 
Seaforth Highlanders, arrived in time to repulse the French. A fast 
ship was despatched to Portsmouth for help, and by good luck fell 
in with Admiral ^Nlarriot Arbuthnot, who was in charge of a convoy, 
with a considerable force of ships. The French fell back to St. 
Malo, but on the 10th moved out and anchored off Coutances. 
Thence the British senior ofi&cer, Captain Sir James Wallace (1), of 
the Experiment, -50, resolved to cut them off. With his own ship, 
the Pallas, 36, Unicorn, 20, Cabot, 14, Fortune, 14, and another, 
he sailed round the west of Jersey, whilst the Richmond, 32, and 
seven others steered straight for the French. On May 13th the 
British squadrons had the enemy between them. Only one French 
frigate escaped by running past Sir J. Wallace ; the rest made 
for the shore in Cancale Bay imder the shelter of a small battery, 
and drove aground. Wallace followed them, silenced the battery, 
boarded the stranded ships, and, as the enemy's laud forces were 
mustering fast, set three, the Valeur, hcluse, and Guepe on fire, 
and carried off the Danae, a brig, and a sloop. The Guepe was 
saved by the French after the British had retired. Troude com- 
plains of the cowardice of the Danae s crew, who, when attacked, 
fled ashore in a panic. 

On May 1st the two French 74's Bourgogne and Victoire were 
on their way from Toulon to Brest when, just outside the Strait 
of Gibraltar, they sighted the British frigate Montreal, 32, Captain 
Stair Douglas (1), and 'Thetis, 32, Captain John Gell.^ The Thetis, 
being a verj- fast sailer, got away, but the Montreal wajS not so lucky. 
Overtaken by so superior an enemy, she struck her flag after a few 

' Beatson, iv. 538 ; Troude, ii. 49. 

' Beatson, iv. 536 ; Troude, ii. 50 ; C. M., 53. 

26 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1771). 

shots. The British Captain and crew were carried into AHcante and 
there released. 

On May 7th the British hrig Diligent, 12, Lieut. Thomas 
Walbeoff, fought a most desperate action with the United States' 
brig Providence, 14, Captain Hacker.' The contest was a very 
unequal one, as the Diligent's guns were all 3-prs., whilst the 
Providence carried six 6-prs., six 4-prs., and two 2-prs. The British 
crew was only fifty-three ; the American, eighty-three. The Dili- 
gent cleared for action only on her larboard side and was attacked 
by her enemy on her starboard side ; her timbers were so thin 
that musket shot came through ; she lay very low in the water, 
and the seas washed on to her deck. When they realised the 
heavy odds against them, thirteen or fourteen of her crew skulked 
and went below. None the less the heroic Walbeoff held out for 
three hours, when, with every officer but himself disabled, and with 
eleven dead and nineteen wounded, he struck. The Providence's 
sides were proof to grape, yet she lost fourteen, of whom eleven 
were killed or died of their wounds. 

In May, Commodore Sir George ColUer,^ then in command on 
the North American station, with the Uaisonnahle, 64, Rainbow, 44, 
Otter, 14, Diligent,'' 8, Haarlem, 14, and Cornivallis, 8, galley, 
embarked 2500 British troops, under Major-General Matthew, for 
an expedition to Hampton Boads and the neighbouring estuaries, 
where the Americans were known to be accumulating naval stores. 
On May 10th, the troops were disembarked at Portsmouth, Virginia, 
which place they captured, destroying stores and magazines. The 
Americans, before evacuating the place, had set fire to a frigate 
which was building, and to several other vessels. The American 
ships Elizabeth and Chesapeake were secured by boat parties, and 
when Collier returned to New York on May 28th he could report 
one hundred and thirty vessels captured or destroyed. 

On June 1st, a combined expedition captured a fort on Strong 
Point, commanding the Hudson, and, next day, a second on 
Verplanks Point. Similar expeditions to Long Island Sound and 
Huntingdon Bay followed. 

The Jupiter, 50, Captain Francis Keynolds, was cruising off 

' C. M., 52; Lond. Gazette, Sept. 24th; Maclay, i. 98; Cooi)er, i. 118. 

^ Lond. Gazette, June 22nd ; Allen, i. 275. 

' It is probable that the Dili<jent's name is given by mistake ; unless, indeed, she 
was captured on this very expedition. But then there is no notice of soldiers on 
board her. 


Finisterre on May 21st, when she sighted a large convoy in charge 
of La Motte-Piquet's division of ships of the line.' Anxious to 
discover whither the convoy was proceeding, Captain Reynolds ran 
into the midst of it, and was boldly attacked by the large French 
frigate Blanche, 32. In spite of her onslaught he captui-ed one of 
the convoy, took eighteen Frenchmen from her, and put five of 
his own men on board, before he was forced to retire by the move- 
ments of the French ships, which were stretching out on either 
llauk to cut him off. He was obliged to abandon his prize, and 
was himself wounded by flying splinters. 

The British ships Ruby, 64, Captain Michael John Everitt, 
.■Eohis, 32, and the sloop Jamaica, 18, were cruising off Hayti," 
when on June 2nd, in the liay of Gonave, they fell in with the 
French frigate Prudente, 36,' Captain d'Escars. The Bubi/ chased 
her for some hours, and was much annoyed by the well-directed 
fire of the enemy's stern-chasers, b}' which Captain Everitt and 
a sailor lost their lives. When within easy range of her, at about 
sunset, the Biibi/ compelled her to strike, with the loss of two 
killed and three wounded. She was pm-chased into the British 
Navy under the same name. 

On June 22nd, the French 16-gun brig HeUne, Captain de 
Montguyot, was captured by the British 32-gun ship Ambuscade,* 
Captain the Hon. Charles Phipps, in the Channel. On July 21st 
the British frigate Kinff George, 26,^ is said by Troude to have been 
captm-ed by the Concorde, 32, Captain de Tilly. On the 21st, 
according to the Paris Gazette,^ the British frigate Pelican, 24, 
fought a seventy-five minutes' action with a French frigate and 
lost twenty-three killed or wounded. Five days earlier the British 
sloop Haarlem, 14, Lieutenant Josias Rogers, was chased ashore by 
an Amei'ican flotilla and captured. 

On July 14th, the British schooner Er/monf, 10, Lieut. John 
Gardiner, was captured on the Banks of Newfoundland by the 
American privateer brig Wild Cat, 14.' The powder in the 

' Jupiter's Log ; Beatson, iv. 550 ; Troude, ii. 51. 

- Gazette de France, 80, -45 ; Beatson, iv. 488 ; Troude ; Log of Jiuby. 

' Troude, 26 guns. She was rated 3G in the British Xavy. 

* Troude, ii. 52. Not noticed in Beatson or Schoniberg. She seems to have been 
the British Helena, which liad been taken by the French Sensible in 1778. 

° No such ship appears in the Xavy Lists; probably a privateer. There was a 
famous Bristol privateer of that name. 

' Gazette de France, 308. Not noticed in Beatson, nor in Log of Pelican. 

' r. M., 52. 


MJyOli OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. 


British ship was wet ; her crew numbered only twenty-six, and 
was not sufficiently strong to work her sails and guns ; and she 
was in consequence boarded and easily overpowered by the 

Early in August Sir G. Collier received information that a 
liritish force was besieged in Penobscot by American troops and 
ships.' Accordingly, he left New York on August 3rd with the 

(Frutti a litlni[/rii}jh('(l iiortrait hy Bhud, in flic * Xdvnl Chronidc' 1814.) 

liaisunnahle, 64, Blonde and Virginia, 'S2's, Greijliound, Camilla, and 
Galatea, '20's, and Otter, 14. In spite of thick fogs, which scattered 
the squadron, all except the Otter were off the mouth of the 
Penobscot on the evening of August 13th. The ships immediately 
proceeded up the river, and next morning the rebel fleet came 
into sight. It consisted of one 32-gun ship, the Warren, two 
24-gun, two 22-gun, two 20-gun, two 18-gun, four 16-gun, three 
14-gun, and one 12-gun ships, with twenty-four transports and 

' l.tind. Gazette, Sept. 24tli ; Beatson, iv. 5i;!. 


other vessels, a total of forty-one,' and was drawn up in a ci'escent. 
Before the British came to close quarters, however, it took to flight, 
on which Collier made the signal for a general chase, and the 
British ships rushed on their enemies. The Hunter, 18, attempted 
to run round to the west of Long Island,- but was boai'ded and 
captured ; the Defence, IG, was fired by her crew and blew up ; 
the Hampden, 20, hard pressed by the British, struck; and the 
Warren, with the rest of the flotilla, was burnt. In this action the 
Albany, 14, Nautilus, 16, and North, 14, which had been stationed 
at Penobscot to support the garrison, joined with great effect. All 
the loss in killed and wounded was on board them. The total 
loss of the Na\y was foiu- killed, nine wounded, and three missing, 
whilst the enemy is stated to have lost 474. 

In the month of August a combined Franco-Spanish fleet of 
fifty-six sail of the hne and thirty frigates cruised in the Channel, 
and the British admiral. Sir Charles Hardy (2), too weak to offer any 
resistance, could onl}' observe its movements.^ On August 14th, 
the British warships Marlborough, 74, and Ardent, 64, Captain 
Philip Boteler, left Plymouth to join Hardj-'s fleet, and were so 
unlucky as to fall in with the French fleet on the 17th. No 
intimation of the presence of such an enemy had been given to 
either of the British Captains, and they were naturally quite un- 
prepared for battle. The Ardent had been hurried out of port 
with a raw crew, but she had spent twenty-six hoiu's in Torbay 
setting up her rigging. " There must have been time to send an 
express by land," said her Captain in his defence before the court- 
martial. On August 16th, the British Commander-in-Chief at 
Plymouth, having ascertained the presence of the enemj^ in the 
Channel, sent out the Kingfisher to warn not only the Ardent but 
also the Stag, which, with a convoy, was proceeding westwards. 
The Stag was turned back, but the Ardent, though sighted and 
signalled, paid no attention whatsoever to the Kingfisher. Either 
she did not see the latter or the signals were mistaken. 

The Marlborough in some way divined that the strange fleet was 
hostile ; the Ardent, however, fell into a trap. Her private signal 
was twice answered ; and, all unsuspectingly, she steered to join the 

' Many of these vessels did not belong to the U.S. Navy, nor to any of the regular 
Colonial marines. — W. L. C. 

^ Not the New Yoik Long Island, but the Long Island in Maine. 

" C. M., 54; Gazette de France, 332, 3G1 ; Charnock, vi. 406-7 ; Troude, ii. 52; 
Beatson, iv. 545. 


MlXOlt VPEltATIONS, 17G3-1792. 


supposed British Admiral. Presently a large frigate — the 32-gun 
Junon, Captain de Marigny — came up with her, and, as she discovered 
her mistake, fired two broadsides into her. Captain Boteler had not 
hoisted his colours. It was only after he had received this fire that 
he showed them. His ship was quite unprepared. There were few 
cartridges filled and scarcely any wads ready. The decks had to be 
cleared in a desperate hurry. On the starboard side the lower-deck 
ports had to be closed as soon as the guns were cast loose, because 
the water poured in. Noticing this, the Jinion passed under the 
British ship's stern, giving her a raking fire, and ranged up on the 
starboard beam. Almost at the same time the GentiUe, another 
French 32, came to the Junon s help. The British ship had now 
opened, but her fire was extremely ill-directed, slow, and ineffective. 
It was at this point that some unauthorised person lowered the 
Ardent' s colours, and the French imagined she had struck. As she 
did not shorten sail the frigates Bellone and Surveillante , which had 
come up, one on either quarter, joined in the attack ; and two large 
French line-of-battle ships neared her beam. Thus surrounded, and 
persuaded that further resistance was futile, Captain Boteler struck 
his colours. It cannot be supposed that he surrendered to tAvo, or 
even four, frigates ; the presence of the French battleships must be 
taken into account. The comparative force was as follows : — 








i Junon . . 




\ QentiUe . . 




Ardent . . l.'!7lj 







A stouter resistance and a heavier percentage of loss would certainly 
have been expected from a British battleship. The Ardenfs crew 
was, however, weak and of inferior quality. If Captain Boteler's 
defence can be believed, of the 500, 400 were landsmen, mostly 
pressed, not one of whom had ever seen a gun fired. The 
100 seamen, destitute of clothing and of every necessary, were 
mutinously inclined. There had not been time even to make 
up the quarter-bill, much less to drill the raw hands. " The 
whole force of the objection against sending ships to sea with men 
so totally unformed, lies in the danger of their falling in with an 
enemy before there is time to exercise them and discipline them," 




as he urged. Kevertheless, Captain Boteler was sentenced to 
be dismissed the service. Bemembering a very similar mistake 
on the part of a man so great as Boscawen, and the subsequent loss 
of the Pigase by France under identical circumstances, it would 
appear that the sentence was unjust.' 

The Ardent and the Active, a 12-gun cutter, captured in the 
Channel by the 14-gun cutter Miitine, Captain de Roquefeuil, were, 
with a number of merchantmen, the only trophies that this immense 
fleet carried home. 

In August, on the Jamaica station, the British frigate Boreas,- 
•28, Captain Charles Thompson (1), captured a French jiiite,^ the 
Compas, of 18 gims, laden with sugar. The Compass loss was nine 
killed or wounded. Early in September, the French 3-2-gun frigate 
Amphitritc, Captain de Langan-Boisfevrier, fell in with the British 
Sphinx, 20, Captain Eobert Manners Sutton. The Amphitrite 
opened ; her superior weight of metal soon brought down the 
Sphinx's main-topmast and cut her sails and rigging to pieces; and 
after a two hours' fight Captain Sutton hauled down his flag. 








Amphitrite . 




257 n. 




Sphinx . 




138 n. 




On December 29th, the Sphinx was recajituit-d frcnu the French 
by the Proserpine, 32, in the West Indies." 

On October 20th, the Proserpine, with a 44-gun ship in company, 
fell in with the French frigate Alcmhie, 26, dismasted and disabled 
by a stoi-m.^ The Alcmbne, incapable of any resistance to such a 
force, struck her flag at once. 

In September, d'Estaing's fleet on the American coast took 
two valuable prizes. The first was the Ariel of 20 guns. Captain 
Thomas Mackenzie.* She was chased by the 26-gun frigate 
Amazone and overtaken on September 10th. An action of ninety 

' Vide also ' Nelson Dispatches,' i. 36, and Capt. Evelyn Sutton's defence in the case 
of the Isis. C. M., 56. 
2 Troude, ii. 33. 
' A fli'iie, or a vessel armed en fliite, carried her lower deck gtins in her hold. 

* Log of Proserpine does not name the Sphinx and calls her a French 32. 
" Troude, ii. 54 ; Gazette de France, 80, 50. 

• C. M., 54. 

32 MINOIt OPERATIONS, 17G3-1702. [1779. 

minutes followed, in which the Ariel lost one of her masts and had 
another wounded, before she struck, with four killed and twenty 
wounded. On the '24th, the Experiment, 50, Captain Sir James 
Wallace, was captured. She was hound with a convoy from New 
York to Savannah, and the French, discovering this, detached the 
Pendant, 74, Zile, 74, and Sac/ittaire, 50, Captain de Rions, to look 
for her. The Experiment had lost her masts in a storm, and could 
not get away, though she did her best, and gave the Sagittaire some 
trouble. She struck after a short resistance.^ She had 150,000 
piastres on board ; and two store-ships in her company fell victims 
with her. 

On September 9th, the French admiral, d'Estaing, with twenty 
ships of the line and thirteen smaller craft, anchored at Tybee. 
at the mouth of the Savannah river.- The island of Tybee was 
seized, and between the 9th and 16th a large force of French troops 
numbering over three thousand, who had been drawn from the 
garrisons of the French West India islands, were landed at Beaulieu, 
thirteen miles from Savannah, and the town of Savannah was 
summoned to sm-render. The British ships, Foweij, 20, Captain John 
Henry, Rose, 20, Captain John Brown, Vigilant, 20, Commander 
Brabazon Christian, KeppeJ, 12, Germaine, 12, Savannah, 14, and 
seven galleys, were lying at that place. They landed men and guns 
as soon as d'Estaing's arrival was known, and the Bose, being old, 
dilapidated, and worm-eaten, was sunk in the channel. General 
Prevost, the British commander on land, brought up troops from 
Port Royal; and the place, which might have been carried by 
d'Estaing by an immediate attack, was, bj' the dela3's and short- 
sightedness of the French, allowed time to develop its resistance. 
A truce of twenty-foiu- hours gave Colonel Maitland time to come 
up from Port Royal. The French and Americans broke ground, and 
on the night of October 3rd-4th, bombarded the town. On the 
night of the 9th, they delivered an assault. D'Estaing was filled 
with alarm for his ships, which on that exposed coast were suffering 
much from storms ; and his attack was on that occasion as rash 
as his abstention from attack had previously been timid. The assault 
was repulsed vnth heavy loss, amounting to about 750 in the 
case of the French alone. The loss of the British Na\-y was 

' C. M., 54. 

' 'Ann. Register,' 1779, [207 ; Troude, ii. 4.3; Captain Henry's letter in Admirals 
Dispatches, N. American Station, vol. 7. 




four killed and sixteen wounded. The siege was abandoned on the 
18th, and d'Estaing re-embarked his diminished force.' 

The Pearl, 32, Captain George Montagu, was cruising off Fayal 
in the Azores, when at 6 A.M. on the morning of September 14th, 
she saw and chased a sail.^ At 9.30 a.m. she brought the stranger 
to action, and two hours later compelled her to strike, herself 
sustaining only damage to her rigging. The captured ship was the 
Santa Monica, Don M. de Nunes, a Spanish frigate of twenty-eight 
guns. The comparative force and loss of the two were as follows : — 





eight of Jktal. 





'Pearl. . . 








Sta. Monica . 

' 956 








Time, 2 hours. 

DniENSioxs :- 

sta, Monica 

125 ft. 

38ft. gin. 
35 ft. 3- in. 


lift. 10 in. 

12 ft. 

The Santa Monica was a finer and larger ship than the Pearl, 
though more feebly armed. She was bought into the British Navy 
and rated as a 36. 

In spite of his successes in the spring of 1778, Captain Paul 
Jones could not get another squadron to sea before June 1779, and 
then it was composed of vei-y indifferent material.^ Captain Jones's 
ship was the Bonhomme Richard, a former East Indiaman, equipped 
in singular fashion. As her sides were very high she carried guns 
on her lower deck — six long, old-fashioned 18-prs., which could all be 
fought on the same side. On her main deck she mounted twenty- 
eight 12-prs., and on the forecastle and quarter-deck eight 9-prs. 
Her crew was a medley of all races and nationalities,* and even her 
officers were not all Americans. As consorts she had the Alliance, 
a 32-gun frigate ° commanded by Captain Landais ; the Pallas, of 
thirty guns,* an ex-merchantman ; the Vengeance, also an armed 

' These operations liave been very briefly touched up<in in vol. iii. 442. 

' Lond. Gazette, Sept. 28 ; Log of Pearl ; Beatson, iv. 559. 

' See authorities already cited for the Banger's cruise. Add also Capts. Pearson 
and Piercy's Ofiicial Letters, London Chronicle, Oct. 12th ; the court martial [C. M., 54] ; 
Maclay, 'Hist. U.S.X.,' i. 104-136 ; 'Century,' vol. 49, 873 ; Beatson, iv. 548. 

* A number of American sailors were taken on board the Bonhomme Bichard 
whilst she was undergoing repairs. 

' Laughton calls Alliance a 36-gun ship, with D-prs. on the main deck. 

" Laughton says, thirty-two B-prs. 

VOL. IV. ^ 




merchantman, of twelve guns, and the 18-gmi cutter Cerf. Landais 
was at the best contumacious and insubordinate. At the worst he 
was a violent madman, more dangerous to friends than to enemies. 
The onlj' tie which united these five ships was a paper agreement 
to act together. This was certain to be broken as soon as it was to 
any one's interest to break it. 

Leaving Lorient on June 19th, 1779, the Bonhomme Bichard and 


{Lieut.-Govr. of Greenwich Hospital, 1793-1800.) 
(From a lithograph by Rldleii.) 

Alliance collided, and sustained so much damage that they were 
compelled to return to port. On their way back they chased three 
supposed British frigates, and the Cerf fought a sharp engagement 
with an unknown British vessel, which is said to have struck, but 
had to be abandoned on other British ships coming up. The 
repairs were completed by August 14th, when the squadron again 
put out, -with two French privateers. These, however, soon 
quarrelled with Captain Jones, and parted company. Off the south 


coast of Ireland two prizes were captured ; but, on the other hand, 
twenty-three Englishmen of the Bonhomme liicliard's crew escaped to 
the Kerry coast in two of the ship's boats. At the same time Landais 
began to show such insubordination as convinced Captain Jones 
of the man's madness. He practically asserted his entire independ- 
ence, and followed this up by parting company when he chose. The 
Cerf and Fallas vanished from sight on August 26th. Sailing north 
round the W'est coast of Ireland to Cape Wrath, Jones was rejoined by 
the Pallas. Some time was spent in waiting for the Alliance, and in 
endeavom-ing to persuade Landais to show some obedience when 
she arrived, but all in vain. The Bonliomme Richard, Pallas, and 
Vengeance doubled Cape Wrath and sailed down the east coast of 
Scotland, whilst the Alliance followed, joining or deserting the 
squadron according to her captain's fancy. On September 13th, the 
ships were off the Firth of Forth ; and Jones, hearing that a British 
'20-gun ship was lying at anchor off Leith, and anxious to lay Edin- 
burgh and Leith under contribution, wished to run up the estuary. 
The captains of Lhe Pallas and I'cngrancr, however, had no stomach 
for any such bold moves, and it was not till the 14th that Jones could 
overcome their reluctance. The wind was then adverse. Laboriously 
the ships beat their way up the firth, whilst the alarmed inhabitants 
gathered to make what resistance they could, and threw up a battery 
at Leith. Jones had picked up a pilot from a collier, and would have 
had the town at his mercy, had not the unfavourable wind freshened 
suddenly to a gale on the 17th, and swept the motley squadron out 
to sea. Thereupon he detennined to try in the Tyne what he 
had purposed to accomplish in the Forth. His conceptions were, as 
usual, accurate and judicious, but again the cowardice and insubor- 
dination of his captains balked him. On September 21st, three ships 
were taken or destroyed off Flamborough Head ; on the 22nd, the 
Bonhomme Bichard and Vengeance being in company, pilots were 
seized off the Humber, and from them Jones learnt that the wildest 
alaiTu prevailed in Great Britain. Up to that date the squadron had 
taken seventeen ships. On the morning of the 23rd, the Pallas and 
Alliance rejoined. Very little later, in the afternoon, a great fleet 
came into sight. It was the Baltic trade, convoyed by his Majesty's 
frigate Serajns of forty-four guns, Captain Kichard Pearson, and the 
aimed ship Countess of Scarborough of twenty. Commander Thomas 
Piercy. The warships at once placed themselves between their 
convoy and the American squadron, whilst the merchant ships went 

D 2 

36 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1779. 

off on the other tack. Captain Jones signalled to form line of battle, 
to which signal neither the Alliance nox Pallas paid much attention. 
On shore, the cliffs of Scarborough and the coast of Flamborough 
Head were crowded with spectators, who were to be rewarded by 
the sight of one of the fiercest fights in history. 

At dusk the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis were within 
musket-shot, both standing for the land on the port tack. The two 
hailed one another, each summoning the other to surrender. Almost 
at the same moment, at 7.20 p.m., the Bonhomvic BicJiard opened 
fire, and was replied to by the Serapis. At the first round two of the 
Bonhomvie Richard's lower-deck 18 prs. bm-st, killing several men and 
doing great damage to the ship. The other four were abandoned, and 
the American had to fall back upon her thirty-six 12- and 9-prs. 
Against her was the Serapis, a man-of-war, handy, a better sailer, 
with a homogeneous crew and a far more powerful armament.^ In 
leadership alone had the Ajuerican any advantage. Her captain, 
if not superior in sheer courage to Captain Pearson, hopelessly out- 
distanced him in audacity, resource, and inspiration. Whilst these 
two closed in desperate encounter, the Pallas engaged the Countess 
of Scarborough, and the Alliance sailed round and roimd, firing at 
random on British and Americans alike. 

The heavy shot of the Serapis quickly began to tell. The 
Bonhomme Richard received several hits between wind and water ; 
and she had her fourteen 12-prs. disabled or dismounted, and seven of 
her deck guns put out of action, so that she was left with a battery 
of only three 9-prs., one of which had to be shifted over from the 
starboard side. In these circumstances Jones determined, as 
his only hope of safety, to close with his enemy ; and Captain 
Pearson of the Serapis was foolish enough to allow his half- 
beaten opponent to lay himself alongside. The Serapis evaded the 
Bonhomme Richard's first attempt to grapple. At the second the 
Bonhomme Richard's mizen-shrouds caught the Scrapis's jib-boom, 
which was promptly lashed fast by the American captain himself. The 
boom broke, but the Serapis's spare anchor hooked the Bonhomme 
Richard's quarter, and held the two combatants side by side, bow to 

' Laiighton, ' Studies in Kaval Hist.' 398, states tliat slie carried IH-prs. on her 
lower and 12-i)rs. on her ujjper deek. Cooper, and Maclay, 'Hist. U.S.N .' i. 129, give 
her twenty 18'b, twenty 9'e, and ten 6's. The regular 44:-g\ui frigate carried 
twenty I8's, twenty-two 9's, and two 6's ; see James, ' Naval History,' i. 445, and 
Derrick, 279 ; but a MS. of Capt. Pearson, refers to the age and bad condition of the 
Serapis's 12-prs., which makes it evident that she had I2's and not 9'f. 




stern, starboard to starboard, with the muzzles of the guns touching. 
This happened at about 8.80 in the evening. The Scrapis let go her 
other anchor in the hope that the American would be swept clear 
by the tide ; but, owing to this entanglement, the manoeuvre did not 
succeed in its object. Meantime the Bo?ihomme Richard's men, 
driven from the 18 and 1'2-prs. below, had swarmed to the deck and 
the tops, whence they swept the Scrapis with a steady musketry fire, 
and from time to time pitched hand-gi"enades on board her. Below, 
the port lids of the Serapis's 18-pr. battery had been closed when the 
two ships swung alongside, from fear of boarders. The guns were 
fired through them, and speedily reduced to splinters the hull of 
the American. Their fire, however, though it ultimately sank the 

.MEDAl. coMMr.MuIlATlVK dl" LAl'T. I'AUL JONES, U.S.X. 
CFram an urUjinal hut bij B.S.II. Ciii't. Prince Louis <il Battfiiliirn. It.S'A 

enemy's ship, did not kill his men, since these had been withdrawn 
from the lower battery. The 18-prs. thus failed to exercise a 
decisive influence on the fate of the action. Akeady the Serapis's 
starboard side had taken fire in seven or eight places, and was blazing 
fiercely. Yet, in spite of this, victory was decidedly incHning to her 
when a temblc mischance befell her. An American seaman climbed 
out on the Bonliommc liichard's main-yard, which overhung the 
Serapis's deck, and dropped a hand grenade down the main-hatchway 
into the Serapis's gun-room, where a number of 12-pr. cartridges had 
been placed. The grenade fired the cartridges, and the explosion 
ran aft between the row of gims, scorching or kiUing officers and 
men, and disabling five of the guns. Thirty-eight were killed or 


38 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1779. 

woxuided at this one blow. Amongst those injured was Lieutenant 
the Hon. Heniy Edwyn Stanhope, who in his agony leapt overboard, 
but, climbing back, had his wounds di'essed and rctmiicd to his 
quarters A minute later the Allimice hove in sight and was seen 
to fire a broadside. The fire was directed on the Bonliomme 
Bichard, and not on the British ship, though Captain Pearson 
could hardly know this. The Serapis still fought on, her men by 
that time recovering from the shock of the explosion ; and at ten 
there was a call for quarter from the American. It came from 
her gunner, and was promptly silenced by Jones, who rapped him 
on the head with a pistol. But at the shout the British prisoners 
in the hold of the Bonhommc Bichard, taken from the various prizes, 
had been released. The ship was sinking : her lower deck ports were 
completely shattered, and she was on fire in more than one place. 
The prisoners poiu'ed up on deck : the fate of the battle was in 
their hands. With astounding coolness Captain Jones set them 
to work the pumps, and thus converted them from a source of 
danger into a som-ce of strength. Thej' seem without question to 
have obeyed him, perhaps dumbfomided by his assui-ance. Each 
ship was now at her last gasp ; each crew had fought fairly to a 
standstill ; the men on either side had done their best ; the issue 
rested with the captains. A refugee crawled through the ports of 
the Bonhommc Bichard and told Captain Pearson of his enemy's 
condition. He ordered the boarders awaj', but they could do 
nothing in face of the small arms' fire from the rigging of the 
American. The last effort of the British crew had failed : the 
Alliance could be seen passing across the Serapis's stern, and 
preparing to rake her, whilst the Serapis could not fire a gun. 
Her mainmast was tottering, and the bold face of Captain Jones 
made the British hopeless of success. At 10.30 Captain Pearson 
hauled down his flag, just as the mainmast went overboard. The 
Americans took possession of their prize, transfen-ed to her the crew 
of the Bonliomme Bichard, and saw the latter sink a day later. As 
the battle had been fought with unusual obstinacy, the loss on board 
each ship was very heavy.' 

' Many American writers deny that the Alliance exercised any influence on the 
issue of the action. I tliink, howevei-, that any unprejudiced man will allow, with 
Professor Laughton, that her mere presence had a very discouraging cflect on the crews 
of the Serapis and Countess of Scarhorough. 











Bon ho mm 







; 67' 


Serapis . 








Time, 3^ hours. 

I The American lossies are variously given and range from 317 (Capt. Pearson's estimate) to that given in the 
text. Cooper estimates the loss at 150, viz., 42 seamen killed or died of n-ounils, and 41 wounded ; the others 
marines or soldiers serving as marines, llie nnmber of the crew is variously given, the alxive Iwiug Cooper's 

The inferiority of the Bonhomme Richard's armament should be 
taken into account. If her 18-prs., which scarcely fired a shot, are 
subtracted, her broadside falls to 204 lbs. 

Captain Pearson was outwitted, and threw his advantage away. 
The action, however, has an interesting bearing upon a point which 
is much debated at the present day : — whether the gims should attack 
the enemy's water-line or his men. It seems to show that the efforts 
of the gunners should be directed to the killing of their opponents 
rather than to the disabling of the hostile ship. Captain Jones had 
paid great attention to his top-fire, and his marksmen cleared the 
Serajns's deck of all but Captain Pearson, whom they spared for his 

The Countess of Scarborough fought the Pallas for two hours, 
when Commander Piercy struck to the French- American, with heavy 
damage to his rigging, seven gims disabled, and twent3'-four out of a 
crew of one hundred and fifty killed or wounded. He appears, like 
the Serajjis, to have been fired upon by the Alliance. Owing to the 
vigorous resistance of the British ships the convoy was enabled to 
escape \vithout an)' loss, and the Americans were left unfit for any 
further depredation. Captain Pearson was deservedly rewarded for 
his determined resistance with a knighthood. After the battle Jones 
proceeded to the Texel, and thence, after some weeks' blockade, sailed 
with his usual audacity down the Channel to Lorient under the verj' 
noses of the British cruisers. There his squadron was broken up, 
and though liberal promises were made to him, and though the 
consternation and rage in England testified to the success of his 
methods of making war, he was not given another command, but 
seems to have been distrusted by the American commissioners. 

The French cutters, of 14 guns, Mutine and Pilate, fell in, on 




October Snd,' with the British ships Jupiter, 50, Apollo, 32, and 
Crescent, 28, and were captured after a short cannonade, in which 
the Mutine was dismasted. 

On October 6th, the Quebec, 32, Captain George Farmer, in com- 
pany with the Bambler, 10, Lieutenant Rupert George, was cruising 
off Usbant to watch for a squadron which was reported to be leaving 
Brest, when at dawn she sighted the French frigate, Surveillante, 32, 



Lieut.-Oovr. of Oreenivich Hospital. 
{From n>i engrarinti Ixj H. It. Cook.) 

Lieut. Du Couedic de Kergoualer, and the cutter. Expedition, 10, 
Lieut, de Eoquefeuil.- These vessels had put out from Brest to 
observe a British squadron, which was supposed to be on the point 
of saihng for Brest. Du Couedic was a man of ebullient courage, 
and had vowed to the king that the Surveillante should be his 

' Troude, ii. 5.5. 

' Land. Chronicle, xlvi. 354, 363, 381 ; ' Diet. Bingr.' : " Farmer, G." ; Henne- 
quin, ' Biogr. Nav.' i. 98 ; Gazette de France, 401, 424, 435, 448 ; Beatson, iv. 561 ; 
Troude, ii. 55 : Lond. Gazette, Oct. 12 ; C. M. missing. 


chariot of triumph, or his tomb. His enemy, Captain Farmer, 
was fully worthy of him, though of a temper less demonstrative. 
The spirit of their captains inspired the crews of the two ships. An 
encounter between such antagonists was certain to be desperate and 
bloody. Neither shirked the combat ; they stood eagerly towards 
one another; hoisted their respective flags, and fired each a long 
range shot as a signal of defiance. Du Couedic sailed as close to 
the wind as possible, whilst Farmer rapidly bore down upon him. 
Some time after ten in the morning the two frigates were within 
close range. The Siirveillante had already been firing for some 
time, but at long range, and without inflicting much injmy . Not till 
she was within musket range did the Quebec reply. The two then 
settled down to a furious battle, broadside to broadside. An hour 
passed and neither ship had the advantage, when Captain Fanner 
determined to rake his opponent. He tried to drop astern, ^ith 
this object in view, but was foiled by Du Couedic's promptness and 
judgment. Once more the two closed. They could no longer hug 
the wind, but had to go before it ; the masts of both ships were 
tottering ; the fire on each side was mui'derous ; and yet neither 
showed any sign of jnelding. Tmce, indeed, the Quebec's officers 
saw, or thought they saw, the French crew running from their 
guns, but for all that the SurvciUante maintained her fire. In 
the Quebec the crew w"as dwindling fast ; from seven men to 
each gun it had fallen to three ; Captain Farmer was wounded 
in the finger, and his collar bone was shattered. He did not 
leave the deck, but bandaged his womids as best he could, and 
called to his men, " My lads, this is warm work, and therefore 
keep up your fire with double spirit. We will conquer or die." 
Beside him stood his first Lieutenant, Francis Roberts, who 
had lost an arm. Most of the other officers were killed or 

It was verging upon noon when the masts of the Surveillante 
went overboard. They fell to port, and did not mask her battery, 
nor encmnber and endanger the ship. A few minutes before this Uu 
Couedic had been twice womided in the head by bullets. He did not, 
however, leave the deck. Just after the fall of the Surveillante' s 
masts, the Quebec's masts came down. Unfortunately for her, they 
did not clear the ship, but, falling fore and aft, blocked the gangways, 
and impeded the service of the forecastle and quarter-deck guns. 
The mizen-mast sails hung down on the engaged side, and were 

42 MINOR OPEHATIOXS, 1763-1792. [1779. 

almost instauth' set on fire by the flash of the guns. Du Couedic at 
that moment is said, in the French accomits, to have attempted to 
board. His dispositions for that end were made, and his bowsprit 
was fast entangled in the wreckage of the Quebec s masts, when he 
was wounded a third time, just as he had ordered his three nephews 
to lead the boarding party. Smoke was already pouring up from 
the Quebec's sails, and her quarter-deck was beginning to blaze. 
The French captain, for all his wounds, directed the fire of his guns 
to cease, and his boats to be lowered, whilst the Surveillante's bow- 
sprit was cut away, and the Quebec was pushed off with spars : not 
any too soon, for the French ship's rigging was akeady beginning to 
burn. The heat was intense. On board the Quebec, Farmer still 
kept his station, and refused to leave the ship whilst there was a 
man on board. The pumps were by his orders directed on the 
magazine, and thus there was no apparent danger of an explosion. 
The first Lieutenant was by him : the crew at his orders were 
jumping into the sea or saving themselves as best they could ; whilst 
the cutter Rambler had come up to the aid of the men in the water, 
though the constant explosion of the Quebec's guns made the work 
of rescue very dangerous. Of the Surveillante's boats, only one would 
float, and that one was damaged in getting it out. The French crew, 
however, threw oars and ropes to the drowning men. At six in the 
evening the Quebec, with her colours still flying, blew up. When 
last seen, her Captain was sitting calmly on the fluke of the 

His splendid gallantry was rewarded by his country in the way 
it deserved. His eldest son was made a baronet, and pensions were 
gi-anted to his widow and his children, " to excite an emulation in 
other officers to distinguish themselves in the same manner, and 
render Captain Farmer's fate rather to be envied than pitied, as it 
would give them reason to hope that, if they should lose their lives 
with the same degree of stubborn gallantry, it would appear to 
posterity that their services had met with the approbation of their 
sovereign." ' Thus died in the flower of his age a great and accom- 
plished officer ; ^ and one of those who may be said to have made 
and moulded our Navy for the next French war. Under him 
Nelson and Troubridge served, and the master was worthy of his 

' Admiralty Minute. 

^ Capt. George Farmer had been posted on Jan. lOtli, 1771.— W. L. C. 


Du Couedic died in port some months later.' His family were as 
splendidly rewarded, and a handsome monument was erected at 
Brest to his memory, to be defaced and destro3'ed in the shameful 
excesses of the Eevolution. 

The loss of both ships was terribly heavy. Of the Quebec's 195 
men only 68 were saved; 17 by the Rambler, 13 by a passing 
Russian ship, and 38 by the Surveillanfe ; and of these again two 
died of their injuries. The French behaved with a magnanimous 
humanity to their prisoners. Men who had so fought and suffered, 
they said, must be released ; and accordingly they sent them back to 
a British port. They are stated in one British account to have fired 
upon a British boat engaged in saving life. We may indignantly 
reject this maUcious libel. The fire probably came from the 
Quebec's own heated guns. In the SurveiUante 30 were killed and 
85 wounded. In one or other category were nearly all the ofScers. 
The ship herself was in a sinking condition. She had been 
frequently hulled between wind and water, and was leaking heavily. 
She was taken in tow by the Expedition : in time jury-masts were 
rigged ; and she succeeded in returning to Brest. 

The comparative force of the two ships is disputed. According 
to Farmer's own letters the Quebec carried twenty-six 9-prs., and six 
6-prs. This anomalous armament was due to the fact that she had 
struck a rock some months before ; and, being compelled to throw 
all her 12-prs. overboard, she could only replace them with the 
smaller 9-prs. on reaching a British port. French ^\Titers give her 
thirty-six guns, but are obviously untrustworthy, as they had no 
means of knowing accurately. The SurveiUante, by the official 
British version, carried twenty-eight 18-prs. and twelve small guns — 
probably in the writer's imagination 8 or 6 prs. To get the truth, 
however, we must go to the French accounts, and they dififer 
strangely. M. de Lostanges, who fought on board, gives her thirty- 
six guns — probably twenty-six 18-prs. and ten 8-prs. : Troude and 
the official French account give twenty-six 12-prs. and six (5-prs. It 
was the impression of the Quebec's sm-vivors that the SurveiUante 
was gi-eatly their superior in power and weight of metal, but men 
who have fought a desperate battle are naturally prone to exalt the 
strength of their enemy. We have, therefore, accepted Troude's 

' Du CouiJdic was instantly promoted to be capitaine de vaisseau, and, lor a time, 
his recovery seemed probable ; but he died of his wounds, three months after the action, 
aged forty. 


NINOIi OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. 


statement, though even then the disparity is quite sufficient to 
explain the result : — 

Tons, j Gum. 



KUled. Wounded. 


Surveillanle . ' 
Quebec . .685 





30 1 85 
127 [ ? ' 


' At least three of the sixty -eight sarvivors were " greatly wounded," besides the two who actually died. No 
wounded or men dying from their wounds have been bicluded in the above total. Troude gives the survivors as 
eighty -one. 

The Bambler and Exp&dition,^ whilst the fight between the Quebec 
and Surveillante was raging, were just as hotly engaged, from 
eleven o'clock onwards. At about two, however, the Expedition made 
off — either to aid the Surveillante or because she had had enough. 
She had, by the French account, suffered severely from the Bambler' s 
musketry. The Bambler was much cut up in her rigging, her gaff, 
topmast, and topsail halyards being shot through, and her mainsail 
rendered useless. She stood at once to the help of the Quebec, 
and with her boat rescued seventeen people — of whom two were 
Midshipmen, and one the Master's Mate. 

Tons. Guns. [ Broadside. 





Rambler . .139 
Expedition . 


Lbs. j 

? 50 
68 ? 





1 Navy List glve.^ her eight guns. 

2 Several slightly wounded Cthese as usual not being includei in the return or estimate). 

A brilhant episode of the autumn of 1779 was the captm'e of 

Omoa and two Spanish treasure ships by Captain the Hon. John 

Luttrell, with a small squadron, and a few armed " Baymen " from 

British Honduras.^ The squadron consisted of the Charon, 44, 

Captain Luttrell, Lowestoft, 32, Captain Christopher Parker (2), 

Pomona, 28, Captain Charles Edmund Nugent, Porcupine, 20, 

Commander John Pakenham, Bacehorse, schooner, and some other 

schooners and smaller craft. These arrived on the Honduras coast 

on September 15th. After some skirmishing in the Gulfs of 

' Log of Rambler. 

' BeatsoD, iv. 475 ; Cf. also C. M., 53 ; Court of inquiry on conduct of Capt. 

1779.] CAPTURE OF OMOA. 45 

Honduras and Dolce, and after an attempt to capture the town of 
Omoa by a purely naval attack from the sea had failed through the 
remissness of the pilots, a landing was effected at Puerto Caballo, 
and a force composed of seamen, 250 Baymen, a number of 
Mosquito Indians, and detachments of the Royal Irish Eegiment 
and Marines, began the march on Omoa, nine miles distant, on the 
night of October 16th. It was hoped to sui-prisc the fort, but the 
allowance of time was not sufficient and the difficulties of the march 
were enormous. The landing force had to make its way through 
mangrove swamps and across mountains, and, when day dawned, it 
was in gi-eat disorder and still six miles off the town. After some 
hours' halt the march was resumed. 

When the force was near Omoa it met ■with a party of 50 or 60 
Spaniards, who fired upon it, inflicting trivial loss, and then fled. 
The British sailors carried and fired the town ; but the fort they could 
not take, as the Ba}'meu, who were carrying the scahng ladders, 
had dropped them in their eagerness to fight. Meantime the British 
ships had stood in to the support of the assaulting party. The 
Lowestoft and Charon opened fire, but at somewhat long range. 
The Lowestoft then tried to run in closer, and grounded, but luckily 
got off again, though not without considerable damage. On the 
18th the sailors landed some of the Pomona's guns and opened with 
them on the fort ; but this was rather to hide the real plan of attack 
than to breach the walls. 

It was decided to assault the fort on the night of the 19th-20th, 
while the ships covered and aided the storming party. Accordingly, 
on the night of the 19th, the squadron attacked the fort, ^\^len 
the garrison was busy, four storming parties of seamen. Marines, and 
Eoyal Irish dashed forward and were in the fort before the Spaniards 
were aware of their presence, with a loss of only six killed and 
woimded. The treasm-e taken in the galleons and the fort was 
estimated at 3,000,000 dollars. The fort was garrisoned by British 
troops till November 28th, when it was abandoned on a Spanish 
force threatening it. In the assault only two Spaniards were 
womided by the British seamen. A story is told of a sailor who, 
with a cutlass in each hand, met an unarmed Spaniard, presented 
him with one of his cutlasses, and challenged him with these words, 
" I scorn to take any advantage : you are now upon a footing with 

On November 11th, the Spanish 28-gun frigate Santa Margarita 




was sighted in the afternoon bj^ Commodore George Johnstone off 
Finisterre.' The Tartar, 28, • Captain Alexander Grseme, was 
ordered to give chase, and came up with her at four o'clock, when, 
after a broadside or two, seeing that escape was hopeless in the 
face of the British squadron, she struck with four killed or wounded. 
The Tartar did not lose a man; but she suffered some damage, 
as, during the action, the Spaniard fell on board her, carrying 
away her mizen topsail yard. The Santa Margarita canied 
twenty-six 1'2-prs. and two 6-prs., with two hundred and seventy 
men. She was purchased into the British service under the same 

On November 19th, the Hussar, 28, Captain Elliot Salter, in 
company with the Chatham, 50, and convoying the trade home from 
Lisbon, saw a two-decked ship standing out of the convoy, and at 
once gave chase. She came up with the ship next day and, on the 
Spanish flag being hoisted, attacked, when, after a short engagement, 
the Spaniard struck. She was the Nuestra Senora del Buen Confeso, 
armed en flute, and mounting only twenty-six 12-prs., though pierced 
for sixty-four guns. She carried a valuable cargo. The force of the 
two was : — 








Hussar .... 

Nuestra Senora del \ 
Buen Confeso . 





198 n. 





Time, 45 miuutes. 

On November 27th, the cutter Jackal, 14, whilst lying in the 
Downs, was seized by seventeen of her crew and carried off to 
a French port. Her officers were mostly ashore ; several of the 
mutineers were smugglers impressed on the Irish coast. ^ Some of 
them were afterwards taken and executed for this act of mutiny. 
The ships lying near the Jackal had no idea of the intentions of her 
crew, or they could easily have brought her to. The Jackal was 

• Beatson, iv. 561 ; Tartar's Log ; Johnstone's squadron included one 50, tliree 
frigates and two sloops ; Schomberg, iv. 359. 

^ Often spelt at that time Sta. Mnrgaretta. She was rated as a 36. 

^ Beatson, iv. 505 ; C. M., 53, 61 ; Captains' Letters, 1781, 1782, Napier. She was 
renamed the Bouloijne, and was re-captured by the I'rudente in 1781, with many of 
lier original crew. 


sold at Calais, and turned into a privateer ; and she proceeded to 
plunder and harass British trade off the coast of Scotland. 

On December 21st, the French frigates Fortunie and Blanche, 
32's,' and Elise, 28, were off Guadeloupe, when they fell in with foiu- 
large vessels flying the French flag. These were the British ships 
Mafinijiccnt, 74, Suffolk, 74, Vengeance, 74, and Sfirling Castle, ()4, 
under Eear-Admiral Joshiia Eowley. The French ships were in bad 
order ; their crews were excessively weak ; and thus they could not 
escape the vastly superior British force. The Blanche was overtaken 
and captured on the evening of the 21st ; the Fortiinee, by throwing 
her quarter-deck guns overboard, kept away a little longer, but was 
captm-ed at last in the early morning of December 22nd, an hour 
before the Elise. 

In the course of the j^ear the French made themselves masters 
of the West Indian islands of St. Bartholomew, St. Vincent, and 

On the last day of the year ^ 1779 a British squadron ^ under 
Captain Charles Feilding (1) came up with a large Diitch convoy in 
charge of the Dutch Rear-Admiral van Bylandt, who had with him 
two sail of the line and two frigates. It was notorious that the 
Dutch ships were laden with naval stores and other contraband of 
war for the French. Captain Feilding requested permission to 
search these ships, but it was refused him ; and van Bylandt declared 
that he would fire if any such search were attempted. Next day, 
however (January 1st), boats were sent from the British shipS; on 
which the Dutch fired, and the British warships replied by opening 
on the Dutch. His honour being now satisfied, van Bylandt 
struck, though no blood had been shed in the interchange of com- 
phments. Captain Feilding refused to accept the surrender, and 
retm-ned to port with nine prizes, which were all condemned in 
due course. 

On December 26th, 1779, as soon as the departure of d'Estaing's 
French fleet from the coast of North America had been ascertained, 
Vice-Admiral Marriot Ai-buthnot * left New York with a squadron of 

' Bcatson, iv. -173 ; Qazctle, 80, Feb. 29th ; English accounts give the F., 42 guns, 
and the B., 36. 

' Beatson, iv. 573. Some allusion to the legal aspects of this afifair will be found 
in vol. iii. 351. 

' Namtir, 90 ; Centaur, Courageux, Thunderer, Valiant, 74's ; Buffalo, CO ; Port- 
land, 50 ; Emerald, 32 ; Seaford, Camel, 20 ; Hawk, 12 ; Wolf, 8. 

* See vol. iii. 472. 




warships and transports — in which were embarked 7550 troops under 
General Sir H. Chnton— for Charleston.' The following were the 
warships : — 



Russell . \ 
Robust . ) 

Europe. . j 

Defiance . l 










/F. S. Drake, Commod. 
tPhillips Cosby. 
/M. Aibuthnot, V.-Ad. 
\Wra. Swiney (1). 

{Max. Jacobs. 
T. Fitzherbert. 
Geo. Dawson. 
\Geo. Gay ton. 







!Chas. Hudson. 
And. Barkley. 
Ja. Gambler (2). 
Jno. Orde (1). 
Hon. G. K. Elphin- 

Jno. Collins. 

Armed ships, Sandwich and Oermaine. 

' r.eaclicil Cbark'ston after the rest of the fleet. 

Putting into Savannah in January, and capturing Port Eoyal, 
the armament proceeded to North Edisto Inlet, near Charleston, 
on February 10th, and the troops quickly made themselves masters 
of James Island, which shuts in Charleston Harbour to the south 
and south-west. Four hundred and fifty Marines and seamen, with 
guns from the ships, were landed under Captain the Hon. Geo. 
Keith Elphinstone, and on March 29th the siege was duly formed. 
Meantime, the smaller ships were lightened and carried over the bar 
on March 20th ; the 74's and G4's were sent back to New York ; and 
Arbuthnot's flag was hoisted in the Boebuck. 

A 44-gun ship, severi frigates and sloops, and a French frigate 
and polacca — of which, however, there is no mention in French 
authorities — had been moored by the Americans in the mouth of 
the harbour off Fort Moultrie. This work protected the entrance ; 
it mounted about forty guns ; and its fire had some years before 
repulsed Sir Peter Parker's attack. When Arbuthnot crossed the 
bar the American flotilla was retired and sunk in the channel 
between Charleston and the island of Shute's Folly .^ On April 9th, 
Arbuthnot led his fleet, consisting of the Roebuck, Bomulus, Blonde, 
Virginia, Balclgh, Sandwich, and Benoiun, through the entrance, 
past Fort Moultrie. The ships gave and received a heavy fire, 
the loss to the British being twenty-seven killed or wounded, and 

' Beatson, v. 16; Colomb, 'Naval Warfare,' 417; Scbomberg, ii. 16, iv. 359; 'Ann. 
Register,' 1780, [218 ; Log of Roebuck ; Admirals' Dispatches, North American Station, 
vol. vii. ; Allardyce, ' Lord Keith.' 

* On the capture of Charleston the American frigate Boston, whicli was one of tlie 
vessels sunk, was raised, and, under the name Charleston (spelt Charles-Town by 
Steel), added to the Navy. 


a good deal of damage to masts and rigging. The fleet anchored off 
James Island, out of range, it was hoped, of the American batteries 
at Charleston. These presently opened fire on the Roebuck at the 
head of the British line. Every shot went through her, but, with 
admirable judgment, she made no reply ; and the Americans, in con- 
sequence, jumped to the conclusion that their shots were falling short 
and ceased their cannonade, when they might have destroyed her. 
The coolness of the Boebuck's captain, Sir Andrew Snape Hamond, 
deserves a word of praise. The boats of the fleet endeavoured, 
unsuccessfully, to force their way up Cooper River ; but landing- 
parties of Marines and seamen stormed a work at ilount Pleasant, 
and compelled the surrender of Fort Moultrie on May 7th. This 
fort fell, as did the works at Mobile in 1864, when isolated by 
Farragut's fleet. On May 11th, Charleston capitulated. The loss 
to the Navy in these operations was twenty-three killed or wounded. 

In January, 1780, a small expedition of five hundred men was 
sent against the Spanish forts on the river San Juan, controlling 
the appi-oach to Lake Nicaragua in Central America.^ Captain 
Horatio Nelson, in the Hinchinbroke, 28, convoyed the transports to 
Greytown, where the troops landed. Nelson himself took part 
in the expedition, which succeeded in capturing Castillo Viejo on 
April '29th, though only after he had left, invalided. The climate 
was so unhealthy that the men died like flies ; the transports at 
Greytown were left without a man in charge ; and very few of the 
troops returned, though large reinforcements had been sent in the 
meanwhile. The survivors were withdrawn, defeated by the 
climate. The expedition was grievously mismanaged, and moreover 
it was sent at the wrong time of the year. 

A French convoy of two storeships and thirteen other vessels, 
bound for Mam-itius under the care of the 64's Protee and Ajax, 
the frigate Charmante, and the corvette Argus, was imlucky enough 
to be sighted to the south of Madeira on February 23rd by a 
British squadron under Rear-Admiral the Hon Robert Digby.^ The 
French at once scattered, and, darkness coming on, altered com-se, 
with the exception of the ProUe, Charmante, and two of the smallest 
ships. At one in the morning of February 24th, some hours after 
this change had been made, the Protee's captain came to the conclu- 
sion that the safety of his consorts was assured, and decided to look 

' Nicolas, 'Nelson,' i. 9 ; Collingwood's Correspondence (1 vol.), 7 ; Beatson, v. 96. 
' Beatson v. 130; Troiule, ii. 66; Gazette de France, 125. 

50 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1780. 

to that of his owu ship. Hitherto he had been sailing large ; now 
it was necessary to sail nearer the wind. In altering course, how- 
ever, his main topgallant mast came down, injm-ing the sails of the 
foremast, and hindering the working of the ship. In consequence, 
the ProfSc was quickly overtaken. At about two, the Resolution, 74, 
Captain Lord Kobert Manners, opened upon her. A little later 
the Bedford and Marlborough, both 7-1's, joined in the cannonade. 
Eesistance was perfectly hopeless from the first, but Captain Vicomte 
Du Chilleau did not strike till his wheel had been shattered, his 
sails riddled, and his ship rendered incapable of movement. He 
surrendered at 3.15 a.m., having lost thirty-two killed and a great 
number of wounded. The Resolution had not lost a man. On 
board the Protee was a large sum of money. Of the rest of the 
convoy, three sail only were taken. The Charmante was hotly 
pursued, but she got away. 

In April a serious mutiny occurred on board the Invincible, 74, 
Captain Charles Saxton, at Portsmouth.' She had been ordered to 
the West Indies, but as the seamen had six months' wages due, 
reckoning by Imiar months, they refused to weigh anchor till they 
were paid. It had frequently happened before that crews refused 
to proceed to sea without receiving their arrears of wages ; ^ and the 
men could point to an Act of Parliament enjoining prompt payment 
of all wages, leaving always, however, six months' wages due. On 
the other hand, the Articles of War decreed death to those who 
delayed the service and demanded arrears of wages. The mutineers 
were well behaved and obedient, but no threats or promises would 
induce them to go to sea. The Alexander, 74, was wai-ped along- 
side the Invincible, and ostentatious preparations were made for 
battle, but the mutineers did not tm-n a hair. They effected their 
purpose, as they were not sent to the West Indies till November, 
and the only punishment dealt out to them was the trial of four 
men by com-t-martial, and the infliction upon two of those fom- of 

' Jliiiutes uf C. M. wanting ; Beatson, v. 5. 

' In C. M., 52 (MSS. Record Ofiice), will be found a similar instance. Seven 
seamen of the Eymont, on Sept. 29th, 1779, demanded their pay. They were severely 
pimished. Three were condemned to death and petitioned for mercy in moving words. 
" We, the unhappy condemned objects never willing to offend, now posterate ourselves 
imploring mercy, strangers to mutiny, or dissatisfaction, always ready to obey, but 
now led away through error, misguided by insinuating men, fall a victim to the 
martial law. Pity our misconduct and be merciful to us. Take not away our lives 
but spare us from the approaching and gloomy day, being youiig in the service, that 
we may live to be an honour to our Sovereign and help to our country." 


five hundred lashes. It was not till the mutiny of 1797 that the 
Act for the better payment of the Navy reformed one of the worst 
abuses in the service. Till that Act it was extraordinarily difficult 
for the seaman to get his pay. 

On April 26th, the British sloop Fortune, 18, Commander Lewis 
Eobertson, was captvu-ed by the French frigates Iphighiie and 
Gentille in the West Indies.' 

At about that time, within ten days, the Iris and Galatea, 
cruising on the American coast, took nine privateers, manned by 
eight hundred men. 

On the 30th of the same month, a small British squadron, com- 
posed of the Ariadne, 20, Captain Matthew Squire, the Fury, 16, 
Commander Alexander Agnew, and the armed ships, each of 20 guns, 
Queen and Loudoun, Commanders Eichard Trotten and Stephen 
Eains (1), was cruising off Flamborough Head, when three French 
privateers of from 20 to 24 guns each were sighted.^ These were 
chased and attacked by the Ariadne and Queen, whilst the Fury and 
Loudoun held aloof and gave no assistance. The Queen suffered 
considerably. Seven men were- wounded in her and every running 
rope cut away. After a sharp action, the privateers got away by 
using sweeps. The conduct of two of the British Commanders was so 
unsatisfactory that Agnew and Eains were cashiered by court-martial. 
Commander Eains was a very old and infirm officer, which, perhaps, 
explains his indifferent behaviom-. Captain Squire, on the other 
hand, was honourably acquitted. 

On May 1st the cartel ship Sartine, John Dallis, master, with 
the French officers and soldiers who had surrendered at Pondicheny, 
after a ten months' voyage arrived oft' Cape St. Vincent, where she 
was sighted and fired upon by the Bomney, 50. Captain Eoddam 
Home. She carried a French flag and a cartel flag. At once she 
lowered her French flag, but she was again fired upon, with the 
result that Dallis and two French soldiers were killed and twelve 
wounded. Strong complaint was made by the French of the 
Bomney's conduct, but as it appeared at the court of inquiry that the 
Sartine had hoisted a broad pennant, contrary to the custom of cartels, 
and failed to lower it. Captain Home was acquitted of all blame.^ 

' Troude, ii. 78. The Iphigenie carried twenty-six 12-prs. and eight 6-prs. ; tlie 
Geiitilh, thirty-four 12-prs. and six 6 prs., according to evidence to be found in 
C. M., 56. 

= Beatson, v. 1-17 ; C. M., 57. 

' Chevalier, 105 ; C. M., 55, July 17th. 

E 2 




On June 6th, in West Indian waters, the Iris, 32, Captain 
James Hawker, engaged for eighty minutes the French 32 of equal 
force, Hermione,^ Captain de La Touche. Each side accuses the 
other of breaking off the engagement, but as the Hermione was 
coppered, and therefore presumably the fastest sailer, it is probable 
that she, rather than the Iris, retired. The British loss was seven 
killed and nine wounded ; the French lost ten killed and thirty- 
seven wounded ; which bears out the account of the Iris's log, and 
leads us to think that the Hermione had all the worst of it. 

On June 15th, the British 32-gun frigate Apollo, Captain 
Philemon Povraall, chased, and fought an indecisive action with, 
the French privateer Stanislas, 26, in the Channel. The Apollo 
lost her Captain and five other men killed, and twenty w^ounded. 
The Stanislas ran agi'Oimd off Ostend in neutral waters, but soon 
got off, was taken into port, and was there eventually sold to the 
British Government." 

On Jime 26th, in the West Indies, the French cutter Sans 
Pareil was captured by the British 44-gun Phoenix and two other 
frigates. On July 1st, the Bomney, 50, cruising off Finisterre 
under the command of Captain Eoddam Home, fell in with and 
captm-ed the French " frigate" Artois of 40 guns and four hundred 
and sixty men.^ The Artois' s battery is stated to have been com- 
posed of 24-, 18-, and 9-prs. She was a new ship and much was 
expected from her. In spite of this she struck after a short action, 
having lost very heavily. 








Bomney . 






4 CO 






45 mill 



A few days later, on July 5th, the Bomney made another prize ; 
this time the Perle, of 18 guns and one hundred and thirty-eight 
men, commanded by the Chevaher de Breignon. The Perle merely 
fired a broadside, and then struck. On July 5th, the British 

' Troude, ii. 78-i) ; Beatson, v. 4G-7 ; Log of Iris. 
' Lond. Gazette, Aug. 8tb. 

' Not in Troude. The Artois was possibly a privateer or a ship hired from the 
French king. 




frigates Priidente, 36/ Captain the Hon. William Waldegrave, and 
Licorne, 32, Captain the Hon. Thomas Cadogan, captured ofif Cape 
Ortegal the Capricieuse, 32, a French frigate commanded by Captain 
Le Breton de Eanzanne. The Prudente saw and gave chase to the 
Frenchman at 10 a.m. of the 4th; at midnight she was able to bring 
her enemy to close action, and attacked the Capricieuse yardarm to 
yardann, inflicting heavy loss upon her. The action had lasted 
an horn* before the Licorne could come up. She then stood across 
the Capricieuse' s quarter. The French ship, nevertheless, prolonged 
her determined resistance to ovei-powering odds till 4.30 A.M., when 
she struck, with five feet of water in her hold. The Capricieuse 
was a new frigate of 1100 tons, pierced for forty-four guns and 
mounting thirty-two, and was reduced to such a terrible condition 
by the British fire that no attempt was made to bring her into 
port. She was destroyed and her crew transferred to the British 
vessels. The loss of life on board her dm-ing the action was very 
heavy. Her captain and first lieutenant were killed, and all but 
two of the ofiicers were wounded. Her crew displayed the greatest 
intrepidity in offering so stubborn a resistance to so superior a 

Prudeitff . 
Licorne . 









174 n. 


32 > 


Men. Killed. Wonnded. 

220 n. 




" at least 


Time, 4i-5i hours. 
I So Tronde, thongh British authorities say forty. I have reckoned her as an ordinary French 32 (12-pr.). 

A third French ship fell a victim to the Enghsh on this day. 
This was the Hussard, 18, which struck to the Nomuch, 64, 
Captain Sir James Wallace, off Ushant. 

On the night of July 11th, the Nonsuch, Captain Sir James 
Wallace, cruising off Croisic, came up with the French frigate 
Belle Poule, 32, commanded by the Chevalier de Kergariou-Coatles.* 
Against a Hne-of-battle ship, such as the Nonsuch, a frigate could 

' Of 44 <:uns according to Troude ; Gazette de France, 297, gives her twenty-eight 
12'8, eight 6's, and four 18's = " obusiers." Lond. Gazette, July 18th ; Troude, ii. 81. 
She was officially rated a 32. 

» Gazette de France, 303 ; Beataon, v. 137 ; Troude, ii. 81 ; Log of Nonsuch. 




hope to effect little ; but, notwithstanding the great disparity of 
force, the Frenchman offered a brave resistance. For about twenty 
minutes a running fight was maintained, in which Captain de 
Kergariou in vain endeavoured to dismast or cripple the rigging 
of his opponent. Just after midnight he yawed three times, and 
fired as many broadsides at the Nonsuch's masts, but without 
success. The Nonsitch closed him fast ; her musketry fire cut 
down the men exposed on the poop and forecastle, which were 
not barricaded, or the barricades of which had been throw^l over- 
board ; and her heavy guns quickly deprived the Belle Poide of all 
manoeuvring power. Then the line-of-battle ship placed herself 
on the frigate's port bow, and held this advantageous position for 
a quarter of an hour. Soon after two the French captain was 
mortally wounded ; but the French did not strike till three. Half 
their guns were dismounted ; the masts and rigging were much 
cut up ; the sea was pouring in through the shot-holes on the 
water line; and from below the cry w'as coming up, "We are 
sinking." The British took possession about four o'clock. They 
had suffered very shght loss, probablj' owing to the greater strength 
of the hne-of-battle ship's sides. 



Guus. 1 Broadside. 



WulmJeJ. Tutal. 

Nonsuch . 
Belle Pouk . 





491 n. 






* Eight 12-pr. can-ouailes, [of. Gazette de France^ 301] iucludeil. 

The Belle Poule was bought into the British Navy and rated 
as a 36. 

An action, which is interesting as showing the British respect 
for a strong neutral, is that between the Porcupine, 24, Captain 
Sir Charles Henry Knowles, and Minorca, 18, xebec. Lieutenant 
Hugh Lawson, on the one hand, and the French Montreal, 32, on 
the othcr.^ The Montreal had under her charge a convoy of six 
ships. On July 30th, she was attacked by the two British ships on 
the Algerian coast ; but these did not venture inshore to rake her 
owing to the risk of running aground. The three ships fought at 
long range for an hour- and forty minutes, when the Porcupine and 
Minorca hauled off. The French lost four killed, including their 
' Qazttte de France, 320; Troude, ii. 82; Beatsou, v. 116. 

1780.] MOVTRAY'S CONVOY. 55 

captain ; the English had five killed and two wounded. They retired 
because, had the MontrSal struck, they could not have carried her off 
from Algerian waters, and because three other ships had appeared 
above the horizon. The French version represents the British as 
employing three frigates, three " corsaires,' a " senau " (snow), and 
a schooner. There is no mention of these craft in the British 
reports ; the names of their captains, as given by the French, are 
suspiciously un-English, and their existence seems to have been due 
to a vivid imagination. Some days before this action the Porcupine 
had fought an indecisive action with two Spanish polaccas. 

On July 29th, a convoy of sixty-three valuable ships, bound for the 
East and West Indies, left Great Britain under the care of Captain 
John Moutray in the BamiUies, 74, with the frigates Thetis and 
Southampton, both of 36 guns.' On August 8th, in lat. 36^ 40' N., 
long. 15' W., strange sails were seen, and Captain Moutray signalled 
his ships to alter course and follow him close to the wind. They 
paid no attention to his orders, and by daylight of the 9th the bulk 
of the convoy found themselves close to the enormous combined 
Franco-Spanish fleet. The warships, wath eight of the convoy, alone 
escaped ; the other fifty-five merchantmen, with 2805 prisoners, and 
cargo worth a miUion and a half, were captured. It was a ten-ible 
blow to British commerce, and especially to the forces in the West 
Indies, which lost a vast quantity of military stores. The merchants 
at home were so enraged that Captain Moutray had to be made a 
scapegoat. He was tried by court-martial and dismissed his ship, 
but w'as again employed before long. Early in July, the outwai'd- 
bound Quebec fleet was attacked on the Newfoundland Banks by 
privateers, and about fourteen of its richest ships were carried off.^ 

On August 10th was fought the famous action between the Flora 
and Nymphe, which demonstrated the value of the carronade, then 
newly introduced into the British Navy.-' The Flora, 36, Captain 
William Peere Williams, was off Ushant, when, in the afternoon, 
she sighted and chased a cutter and a frigate. The fonner got 
away ; the latter was overhauled and brought to action soon after 

' Qazdte de France, 334, 347 ; Beatson, v. U'J ff. ; C. M., 56, Feb. ISih. During 
the earlier [lart of this wav tlie French were exceedingly well informed of British 
proceeding i. Cf. 'Annual Begister,' 1781, [230, for the trial of a French sjiy named 
Lamotte, who appears to liave sent them intelligence. 

» ' Ann. Register,' 1781,3. 

' GazHle de France, 323-4 ; Troude, ii. 82 ; James, i. 39 ; Log of Flora ; Beatson, 
V. 138. For an account of the introduction of the carronade, see vol. iii., 330-333. 




five, when she proved to be the French 32-gun Nymphe, Captain 
Du Eiuuain. The two fought yardarm to j^ardarm from 5.4-5 
to 6.15 I'.M., during which time the Flora's wheel was shot away 
and her shrouds and rigging were greatly cut up. On the other side 
the French captain was mortally wounded Ijy four musket-shot, 
a magazine of cartridges exploded, the ship was twice on fire, 
and terrible havoc was wrought on deck by one of the Flora's 
18-pr. forecastle carronades, handled by only the boatswain and 
a boy. At 6.15 the ships fell on board one another. The French 
sounded " boarders away," abandoned their guns, and endeavoured 
to carry the Flora. The attempts of the French to board having 
been easily repulsed, it was now the turn of the British. They 
dashed on to the Nymphe's deck, which presented a horrible scene 
of slaughter, and quickly were masters of the ship. 





Kille:!. , \\'ouuclea. 


Flora . 
Nymphe . 


42 > 








Time, about 50 minutes. 

1 III tlie toxt above I have described the Kom by her official rating as a 36-guu sliip. Bvit the official 
rating is wiioUy misleading as it does not include carronades, nor does it give any real idea of tlie great 
superiority of force ou tlie liritlsh side. The French have always coinjilained— and justly — of these iictious. 
According to the account of the (French) Lieut. Taillard in the Gatetle tie France, the Flora liad eight carronades, 
18-prs. James ('Naval History." i. 39), whom I have followed, gives her only sis. 

The number of the Nymphe's killed and wounded is given 
differently in all the accounts, but the substantial fact remains 
that she lost in less than an hour from 43 to 45 per cent, of her 
crew, whilst inflicting on her enemy a loss of just 10 per cent. 
Without doubt it was the superior weight of the Flora's metal, 
her 18-prs. against the Nymphe's 12-prs., her 9-prs. against the 
French 6-prs., and her carronades, which gave her the victory. 
The Nymphe was a larger ship, a longer ship, and a better sailer,' 
but she had not the battery. We cannot accuse the French of 
either lack of spirit or mismanagement. 

On August 13th, the Bienfaisant, 64, Captain John Macbride, 
and Charon, 44, in charge of a convoy on the Irish coast, captured 
a French privateer of unusual size, the Comte d'Artois, of sixty-four 



Length of 



' Flora . 


. 137 
. 14U 






guns and 644 men. The French lost 57 killed or wounded, the 
English ships 26. 

On September 13th, the British sloop Rover, 18, Commander 
Henry Savage, was captured by the French Junon, 32, in the West 
Indies.' At the second shot one of the Rover's masts fell. She was 
in a leaky condition, and had four feet of water in her hold, yet she 
offered a good resistance, though she suffered no loss. On the 4th, a 
French frigate and two ships of the line captured the Unicorn, 20, 
Captain Thomas Lenox Frederick, off Tortuga, after a bravely 
fought action in which she had two guns and two carronades 
dismounted, and lost 4 killed and 13 wounded.^ Later in the same 
month, oft' San Uomingo, the British 14-gun ship Leveret is said by 
Troude to have been captured by the French 18-gun cutter Serpent.^ 
The Leveret must have been a privateer, or an armed ship, since the 
name does not occur in the Navy List. 

On September 10th, a capture of great importance was made 
by Captain George Keppel in the Vestal, aided by the Fairy.* 
This was the American packet Mercury from Philadelphia, with the 
American minister to Holland, and important dispatches, on board. 
The dispatches, as usual, were thrown into the sea when capture 
was inevitable, but not being weighted they did not sink ; and an 
English sailor leapt overboard and picked them up. Amongst them 
was a treaty between the United States and Holland, which 
betrayed the Dutch intentions of war. It is claimed that in October 
the French frigates Aimahle and Diligente captured three British 
cutters, the Alert, Tartar, and Jersey, in the Bay of Biscay. As 
their names do not occur in the Navy Lists of 1780 these ships 
may have been privateers. 

Between the 4th and 16th of October the West Indies were 
visited by an extraordinary series of violent hurricanes, which 
inflicted on the British Navy the severest losses. On October 5th 
Eear-Admiral Eowley was caught at sea to the N.E. of San 
Domingo with the Grafton, 74, Thunderer, 74, Hector, 74, 
Berwick, Ti, Ruby, 64, Trident, 64, Stirling Castle, 64, and 
Bristol, 50. In the afternoon waterspouts were seen. Towards 
dark the wind rose steadily, till at midnight a fm-ious hurricane 
blew. The TJiunderer disappeared and was never seen again; the 
Grafton was dismasted, and the wreckage, dashing against her 

' C. M., 56, Jan. 18th. » Troude, ii. 84. 

2 lb. * BeatsoD, v. 52. 

58 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1780. 

sides, was threatening to disable her, T,hen twenty-five of her crew 
volunteered for the desperately dangerous work of cutting it away. 
In this they succeeded without suffering hurt or loss. That night 
the Stirling Castle struck on the San Domingo coast and quickly 
went to pieces, only fifty of her crew being saved. The Berwick 
was so much damaged that she had to part company and steer 
for Great Britain, and the Trident, Buby, Bristol, and Hector were 
all dismasted. A day earlier the Phoenix, 44, was vnrecked on the 
Cuban coast; the Scarborough, 20, Barbados, 14, and Victor, 10, 
foundered ; and the Ulysses, 44, and Pomona, 28, were dismasted. 

On October 10th, the Ajax, Montagu, Egmont, Endymion, 
Amazon, Vengeance, and several smaller ships at St. Lucia, were 
driven from their anchorage and dismasted. The Ajidromeda and 
Laurel, both of 28 guns, were swept ashore at Martinique and but 
few of their crews saved ; the Deal Castle, 24, was lost at Puerto Eico ; 
the Cameleon, 14, and Blanche, 32, foundered at sea with the loss 
of all hands ; the St. Vincent, 14, and Vengeance, 74, drove ashore 
at St. Lucia, but got off again slightly damaged ; the Venus, 36, 
and Alcmene, 32, were dismasted and carried to Antigua. Thus, 
in all, His Majesty's fleet lost through these storms one 74, one 64, 
one 44, a 32, and seven smaller ships.' 

On November 2nd, the British ship Zephyr, 14, Commander John 
Inglis (1), engaged in trade protection on the coast of Africa, with 
the Polly, 16, privateer, entered the Gambia Eiver, and attacked the 
French 18-gun ship Senegal, which, under the name of Bacehorse, 
had been captiu-ed from Great Britain.- There was a sharp action 
of five hours' duration, after which the enemy struck, with twelve 
killed and twenty-eight wounded. The British loss was two killed 
and four wounded. The Senegal did not long survive her capture, Ijut 
blew up on the 22nd, from some unexplained cause, kilhng twenty- 
three British officers and men who were on board at the time. 

In November and December, Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Hughes 
gained some small successes against the armed ships of Hyder Ali.^ 
One of the Madras Eajah's ships was cut out by the boats of the 
squadron at Cahcut ; a second was driven ashore ; but the Sartine, 32, 
in covering these operations, was unfortunate enough to strike on 

' Beatson, v. 80-1. ; 'Ann. Register,' 1781, 30 ff. 

2 Lond. Gazette, Mar. 13th, 1781 ; Beatson, v. 93. This was the Racehorse of the 
Arctic ex])edition in which Nelson took part. 
^ Lond. Gazette, June 16th, 1781. C. M., 55. 

1780.] THE ISIS AND THE liOTTEliDAM. 59 

a rock and sink on November 26th. Her Captain, Eobert Simonton, 
had previously protested against being sent too close inshore. 

The Spanish sloop Real Carlos, 20, on a voyage between 
Montevideo and Ferrol, met the British West Indiaman Mary, 
M. Stewards, master, of twenty-two guns and eighty-three men 
in the latitude of the West Indies on December 27th.' She 
fought the merchant ship for five hours, shooting awaj' all her 
topmasts, hitting her three times between wind and water, dis- 
mounting seven guns and killing or wounding eight men. Each 
side claims to have driven off the other, but, be this as it ma}', it 
is wonderful that the merchant ship should have been able to 
escape from a man-of-war. The Spanish loss was foiu-teen. Un- 
fortunately the Mary, in her disabled state, was attacked a little 
later by the American privateer Pilgrim and compelled to strike. 

On December 30th, the Marlborough, 74, Captain Taylor Penny, 
and Bcllona, 74, Captain Eichard Onslow, overtook and engaged 
the Dutch warship Prinses Carolina, of fifty-four guns and three 
hundred men, in the Channel.^ She could offer little resistance 
to a force so superior. After thirty minutes' fight she struck with 
sixteen killed or wounded to the British loss of three. She was 
purchased and added to the Navy as the Princess Caroline. 

On the last day of the year 1780 the Dutch 50-guu ship 
Bottcrdam was chased and attacked bj' the Isis, Captain Evelyn 
Sutton, of her own force, in the Channel. The British ship fired 
a broadside and came very precipitately to close quarters, when 
the crew, who were raw and undisciplined, fell into great confusion. 
The Rotterdam is said to have struck ; but Captain Sutton failed 
to take possession of her. Eor his conduct he was com't-martialied 
and reprimanded. His defence was that his men had deserted 
their quarters ; that on the lower deck there was much disorder, 
and cartridges were left lying about ; that of a total crew of 284, 
in place of 350, fifteen were sick, that of the rest many w'ere un- 
disciplined, had never been afloat before, and did not understand 
English ; and, finally, that the men could not work the ship pro- 
perly, but tacked slowly and awkwardly.^ The Isis had been sent 

' Gazette de France (1781), 77 ; Beatsoii, v. liOo. 

- Bcatson, v. 148. 

' BeatsoD, v. 419 ; C. M., 56, Jau. 19 ; Xicoks, 'Xelson's Dispatches,' i. 36. In view 
of the theory that Irisli were not numerous in the licet during this war, the mention of 
men who could not understand English, and who were almost certainly Irishmen, is in- 
teresting. Similar statements are not infrefjuent in the Mins. of C. M. during the period. 

60 ^rIX01i OPERATIOSS, 17C3-1792. [1781. 

to sea in hot haste, and the hands had never been exercised. In 
these circumstances she was perhaps fortunate in escaping capture. 
Some daj's later, on Januar)' 5th, 1781, the Botterdum was brought 
to action by the Warwick, 50, Captain the Hon. George Keith 
Elphinstone. Though the Warwick's crew had been weakened by 
detachments for the purpose of manning prizes, the Dutch ship 
struck to her without causing her the loss of a man. Prior to this 
action the Botterdam had fought a British ship of the line and two 
cutters, but had got away from them through the aid of two 
French privateers.' 

In January a weak French force landed in Jersey and seized 
St. Helier, but was quickly overpowered and captured.^ 

On January 4th, whilst the French ship Minerve, 32, Captain 
de Grimouard, was cruising with three other frigates in the Channel, 
she and her sisters were chased by the British 74's Courageux, 
Captain Lord Mulgrave, and Valiant," Captain Samuel Granston 
Goodall. The Courageux was quickly within range of the Minerve, 
but, to the sm-prise of the British, the frigate did not, as was the 
custom, strike promptly to the line-of-battle ship. On the contrary 
she fought on for an hour at pistol-shot range. Then, on the Valiant 
coming up, the Minerve, reduced to a complete WTeck, surrendered. 
Her captain was wounded ; her crew had lost very heavily, two 
oflQcers being amongst the killed ; her guns had for the most 
part been dismounted ; her masts had fallen or were threatening 
to fall ; her rigging was terribly cut up ; and her hold was fiUing 
with water. Nor had the Courageux escaped scatheless. She had 
seventeen killed or woimded, and had sustained grave injury to 
her foremast, mizenmast, and bowsprit. For a frigate to have 
offered such a resistance against such terrific odds, and to have 
inflicted so much loss and damage, was no mean achievement. 





1 Wounded. 


Courageux . 


Lbs. ; 
82!) i 

590 n. 




Minerve . 








1 hour. 

1 Eight c&rronades allowed. 

' Gazette de France, 25. 

' Beatson, v. 367. 

' Gazette de France, 55 ; Troude, ii. 110 ; Beatson, v. 419. 


The Minervc had to he towed into port, where she was purchased 
for the Navy and named Recovery. She was the same Muierva that 
had been captured by the French frigate Coyicorde on August 22nd, 
1778.' A new Minerva of thirty-eight guns had been built for the 
British fleet in 1780. 

On January 9th, 1781, the Fairy, IG (6-pdrs.), Commander 
Joseph Browne, was captured by a large French privateer of 30 or 
32 gims, ten leagues S.S.W. of the Scillies. Her loss was due to 
the fact that no private signals had been issued to the Plymouth 
cruisers. It was consequently impossible for her to discover an 
enemy at a distance. 

On January 25th, a small combined expedition proceeded from 
Charleston to Cape Fear Eiver.^ Captain Andrew Barkley had 
under him the Blonde, 32, Otter, 14, Commander Kichard Creyke (1), 
and Delight, 14, Commander John Inglis (1), and some smaller craft, 
and was the naval commander. On board were 300 soldiers under 
Major Craig. These, with 80 Marines were disembarked, and on 
the 28th occupied Wilmington and captured seven American ships. 
The object of this expedition was to open up sea communication 
with Lord ComwalUs, and to secure a base for his army, then 
moving northward. And here it may be mentioned that on 
March 20th General Phillips, with 2000 men, was convoyed from 
New York to the Chesapeake and James Eiver by the Ambus- 
cade, 32, Chatham, 50, Orpheus, 32, Savage, 16, Halifax, 18, 
Bonetta, 14, and Vulcan, fireship. 

On Eodney's arrival at St. Eustatius, the Dutch frigate Mur.i, 
38, and five other vessels of from 26 to 14 guns fell into his hands. ^ 
A day before his coming a rich convoy of thirty ships had sailed for 
Europe under the convoy of Eear-Admiral Willem Crul, in the Dutch 
hne-of-battle ship Mars,* 60. Captain Francis Eeynolds, with the 
Monarch, 74, Panther, 60, and Sibyl, 28, was despatched in chase. 
On February 4th, at ten in the morning, he was alongside the Mars. 
She refused to strike and a short action took place in which the 
Dutch flag-officer lost his hfe. On this the Mars sun-endered, to be 
purchased into the Navy under the name of Prince Edward. All 

' Vide pp. 18, 19. 

^ Land. Qazette, Mar. Slst; Bcatson, v. 2.3G-T. 

' See Chap, xxxi., (vol. iii. 481). 

* The duplication of the name Mars is, at first, puzzling. No 60-gun Mars apjiearB 
in the list of the Dutch Navy (Beatson, vi. 256). [But the account of the cajiture 
appears in its place in De Jonge, iv. 463 et seq. — W.L.C.] 




the ships of the convoy were taken, and by four in the afternoon 
Captain Eeynolds was on his way back to join Eodney. 

False colours were kept flying at St. Eustatius, and in this 
way several merchant ships, American, French, and Dutch, were 
captured. The goods seized in the island were sold by auction — 
much below their real value — or shipped to Great Britain. It was 
found that many of the merchants, who had warehouses at 
St. Eustatius, were Englishmen. These were particularly detested 
by Eoduey, and were treated with inexcusable severity by him. 

In the month of February the sloop Bover, 18, which had been 
taken by the French on September 13th, 1780, was retaken by 
a privateer, but was lost at sea with her crew.^ In the same month 
the Bomulus, 44," Captain George Gayton, was proceeding to the 
Chesapeake when she was captured by a squadron from Des 
Touches's squadron under the orders of Captain Le Gardem- de 
Tilly, composed of the EveilU, 64, GentiUe, 32, SurreiUanfc, 32, and 
Guepe, cutter.^ 

On the 25th, the Cerberus, 28, Captain Eobert Man (3), whilst 
cruising off Finisterre, sighted, chased, and brought to action the 
Spanish 30-gmi frigate Grana, Don N. de Medina. She was a 
mouth out from Ferrol on a cruise. Her armament was wretchedly 
light, consisting of twenty-two 6-prs. and eight 4-prs., and to this 
must probably be ascribed her easy capture.* She was purchased 
into the Navy under the same name, and rated as a 28. 








Cerhirus . 




176 n. 






, 15 minutes 

Towards the end of February, a flotilla of six British privateers, 
of from thirty-two to four guns, entered the river Demerara, 

1 Troude, ii. 117. 

2 Troude, ii. 07 ; C. M., 58, Sept. 26. 

' Land. Gazette, Mar. 10th ; Cerberus's Log. 

* The proportions of the Grana and Cerberus were these (Charnock, ' Mar. Arch.' iii. 
258-9) :— 

Length. Beam, Tonnage. 

Cerberus 118 It. 34 593 

Grana 118 „ 31 528 


and on the •27th of the month captured fifteen Dutch ships of 
considerable value.' In the meantime the British governor of 
Barbados had sent an officer under a flag of truce to demand the 
surrender of Demerara and Essequibo on favourable terms. The 
governor, alarmed at the depredations of the privateers, at once 
acceded to this demand. On March 17th, the French island of 
St. Bartholomew surrendered to Commander Lawrence Graeme, of 
the Sylph, 18. 

On April 14th,'- the 36-gun American frigate Confederacy, 
Captain Seth Harding, was captui'ed by the British frigates 
Boebuck, 44, Captain John Orde (1), and Orpheus, 32, Captain 
John Colpoys, on a voyage from the West Indies to Washington. 
She was loaded with stores for the American arm}-, and with 
colonial produce. She was purchased into the Navy under the 
name Confederate.^ 

On April 16th, the George and Molly, 8 (3-prs.), Lieutenant 
Eichard Saunders, captm'ed an American 16-gun privateer in the 

The British 28-gun frigate Resource, Captain Bartholomew 
Samuel Kowley, was cruising in the West Indies, when, on 
April 20th, she sighted a large sail.* As the stranger bore down 
upon her, she cleared for action, and engaged at about 4.30 in the 
afternoon. The enemy struck at six ; she proved to be the Licorne, 
a French frigate, commanded by Captain de St. Ture, and mounting 
twenty 9-prs. and eight 12-pr. carronades. The Resource had her 
Gunner killed and her second Lieutenant wounded. Her loss in 
killed and wounded was much heavier than that of the French ship. 
The gallantry of his crew was greatly commended by Captain 
Kowley, as was that of some soldiers of the Loyal American 
Rangers who were on board. The Licorne had passed through 
many vicissitudes, as she had been originally a British vessel, 
but had been taken by the French in September 1780, as has been 

' BeatsoD, v. 172. 

^ Beatson, v. 303. Maclay, i. 147, gives the 22nd as the date, but he is wrong by 
I he Roebuck" s log. 

' Charnock, 'Mar. Arch.,' iii. 256, gives these particulars of her: Lenjih, 
159 ft. 7i in., beam, 3G ft. 9 in., draught, 12 ft. IJ in., displacement, 959 tons. She 
was at the date of her capture tl e largest 36-gun ship in the Navy. 

* Beatson, v. 209; Log of Resource. The Licorne's name was commonly angUcised 
as Unicorn, 

' See p. 57. 










WoundeJ. Total. 

Resource . 
Licorne . 






194 n. 



30 : 45 

30 38 


1 IV»ssibly the liesouixe was armed as ttie Licorne, though th ' 2s.guu ship properly carried tweuty-fovir 9's, 
four 3's, and six 12-pr. earrouades. There seems in the rating to be some confusion between ships carrying 
20 guns + 8 carronades. and 28 guns + carronades. In Sehomlierg and the List Books, the Lwtmie is a 
20-gmi ship; in Cbamoelc and Beatson a 28-guii ; in Allen she is a 24. Log of Itesource calls her a 28-gun 

She was restored to the Navy as the I'nicm^t 20. 

On May 1st, the Canada, 74, Captain Sir George Collier, having 
been detached from Admiral Darby's fleet, then on the west coast 
of Spain, to scout, came in sight of the Spanish frigate Sta. Lcocadia, 
34, Captain Don F. Winthuysen, and a small sloop, standing towards 
a number of British merchantmen.' The sloop escaped, but the Sta. 
Leocadia was hotly chased all that day. At nightfall the ships were 
still some distance apart when the wind began to fall. The Sta. 
Leocadia endeavoured to make her escape by changing course. Un- 
fortunately for her there was a bright moon and she failed in her 
attempt. It was now calm and the Canada had almost forged within 
pistol shot. The action was opened by the Sta. Leocadia, which 
offered a desperate resistance to the tremendous fire of the ship of 
the line. A heavy swell made the shooting difficult for the gunners 
on both sides, and prevented the Canada from opening her lower- 
deck ports. Some twenty minutes after the engagement had begun, 
Winthuysen's arm was broken by a cannon-ball and he had to give 
up the command. A little later his successor had also to retire 
— wounded in the tongue. After fighting for rather over half an 
hour the Sta. Leocadia, disabled and leaking heavily, struck her flag. 
Though pierced for forty guns, she carried only thirty-four. 








Canada . 
Sfa. Leocadia 










Time, 35-45 minutes. 
Eight 12-pr. carronades included. 

The Sfa. Leocadia was purchased into the Navy and rated as a 

' Loud. Gazette, June 5th ; Gazette de France, 317 (1781) ; Log of Canada. 




36-gun ship. In size and lines ^ she was little inferior to the 
Confederate . 

On May 14th, the Nonsuch, tj4, Captain Sir James Wallace, was 
scouting with Admiral Darby's fleet in the Bay of Biscay when she 
saw and chased a sail, looking like a French hne-of-battle ship.- 
Soon after ten in the evening she was close enough to open on the 
strange vessel, which was the Actif, 74, Captain de Boades. The two 
interchanged broadsides and then the Nonsuch wore and raked her 
opponent. The fight lasted for an hour, during part of which time 
the ships were on board of one another, as the Nonsuch's anchor 
hooked the Actifs quarter. Getting free, the Actif made sail and 
stood away, and the Nonsuch, owing to injuries to her mizenmast 
yards and rigging, could not again overtake her for some hours. The 
British ship, however, having repaired her injuries, pursued and 
came up a second time about daylight on the loth. A second and 
still hotter action of ninety minutes' duration followed, in which the 
Nonsuch sustained much damage. Her fore-yard fell, and her masts, 
yards, and rigging were badly cut up. She, therefore, hauled off and 
left the Actif free to retire to Brest. The latter ship made no 
attempt to pursue, as there was some risk of falling in with Admiral 
Darby's fleet. The Nonsuch's lighter metal and weaker hull were 
probably the cause of her comparatively heavy loss. 








(Actif . . 

1 1 

74 2 






[ Nonstick . 

. ' 1372 

72 3 


491 n. 




Time, 2i hours. 

1 Probably of from 1680 to 1780 tons. Wecapturod no French 74's of less displacement between IT.'iOand 1783. 

2 Tioude, loc. cit.^ gives her only 64 guns, but Beatson, vl. 91, in his 'Correct List of the Kreuch Navy, 1778, 
makes her a 74 ; so also C'apt. Wallace describes her ; ioitd. Gasttle, loc. cit. 

3 Sixty-four guus, and eight 12-pr. carronades which she most probably carried. 

On May 27th, the British brigs Atalanta, 16, Commander 
Sampson Edwards, and Trcpassey, 14, Commander James Smyih, 
saw and chased a strange vessel in the North Atlantic. As they 
closed with her, however, ascertaining that she was of great size, 
they hauled their wind, and made off, chased in turn.^ The 

' Length, 144 ft. 10 in., beam, 38 ft. 8 iu., draught, 11 ft. 7J in. 
^ Lond. Gazette, May 22nd ; Troudc, ii. 118 ; Beatson, v. 384. 
' Beatson, v. 308 ; C. M., 58, Oct. loth ; Gazette, Aug. 4th. 



MISOB OPERATIONS, 1703-17112. 


stranger came up with them on the ^Hth about noon, when they 
discovered that she was the American frigate Alliance, 36, Captain 
John Barry. The wind had fallen to a dead calm ; the brigs 
had no chance of escape ; they therefore turned, and with sweeps 
headed for the enemy. The Trepassey, endeavoming to take 
up a favom-able position on the Alliance's quarter, unfortunately 
overshot the mark and came up on her broadside. Then the 
Atalanta gallantly stood in to the rescue, between the American 
and the British brig, but the Trepassey was so shattered that 
she could not get away. The American captain early in the 
action was struck by a grape shot on the shoulder ; Commander 
Smyth of the Trepassey was killed. Lieutenants in each ship 
took up the command. The Alliance, with a freshening breeze, 
was able to use her heavy battery to the greatest advantage. Three 
and a half hours after the first shot the Trepassey struck with a loss 
of seventeen. The Atalanta had been in action an hour longer than 
her consort, and she still held out, but in the end struck with a loss 
of twenty-fom:. On board her Lieutenant Samuel Arden ' lost an 
arm, but vdth heroic courage, as soon as the amputation had been 
performed, he returned to his quarters. All the ships were badly cut 
up in masts and rigging. If evidence given at the com't-martial 
can be beUeved, the Alliance carried twenty-eight 12's and eight 9's. 

Alliance . 

At al an til 














Killed. Wounded. 

6 26 

6 I 11 

6 1^^ 



Time, 4^-5 hours. 

The Trepassey was sent to Halifax as a cartel ; the Atalanta was 
shortly afterwards retaken off Boston by the Assurance, Charleston, 
and Amphitrite. Considering the immense disproportion between 
the two sides, the British must be held to have got off very lightly. 

The British frigates Flora, 36, Captain WiUiam Peere Williams, 
and Crescent, 28, Captain the Hon. Thomas Pakenham, had been 
detached by Admiral Darby with a convoy to Minorca." On 

' He was promoted for his gallantry, and posted in 1783. In 1806 he retired. 
^ Beatson, v. 387 ; Lond. Gazette, June 30th, 1781 ; Gazette de France, p. 258, 
1781 : C. M., 57. 


their return, early on May '23rd, when off the south-east coast 
of Spain, they were chased hy a Spanish squadron, and only 
escaped after a sharp skinuish, in which the Flora lost a man 
killed and another badly injured, through loading a gun before 
it had been sponged out. The British frigates, having shaken 
off their pursuers by altering course, reached Gibraltar safely on 
the '29th. After communicating with the garrison, they stood 
over to Ceuta to look for two large ships which had been seen 
earlier in the morning. They discovered these to be Dutch 
frigates, and were preparing to attack when a storm compelled 
them to haul off. Next day the wind fell and they were able to 
attack the two Dutch vessels, which were the Castor, 36, Captain 
Pieter Melvill,' and the Briel, Captain Gerardus Oorthuijs, also of 
36 guns. The ships paired off, the Flora engaging the Castor, and 
the Crescent the Briel. 

The Flora was very much more heavily armed than the Castor,'^ 
but the Dutchman fought her, none the less, for two hours and 
a quarter before striking. The Flora lost her Lieutenant of Marines 
killed, as also did the Castor; of the British wounded eight, and 
of the Dutch eleven, died after the battle. 








Flora . 
















Time, 2 liuure 15 iiiiuutes. 

The Crescent, a far smaller and weaker ship, was less fortunate 
in her combat with the Briel, a vessel of equal if not superior force. 
The quarter-deck gims and four main-deck guns were disabled ; the 
head-yards and sails were shot away early in the engagement ; and 
a little later the wreck of the mainmast, mizenmast, and booms 
fell into the waist of the ship, fatally encumbering her deck, dis- 
abling all the guns before the mainmast, and rendering the ship 

' Pieter Melvill, born at Donlrecht in 1743, entered the navy at the age of fourteen ; 
lieutenant, 17C2; commander, 1766; captain, 1777; Schout-bij-Nacht, 1789; quitted 
the service from 1795 to 1813 ; vice-admiral, 1814 ; died 1826. — W. L. C. 

' Flora mounted t\ventj--six long 18-prB., six 18-pr. carronades, and ten 9-prs. ; 
Castor only twenty-six 12-prs. and ten G-prs. 

F '2 




unmanageable. The Briel was to windward and could not be 
boarded by the Crescent, and the Dutch frigate at once made use of 
her advantage and came round under the Crescent's stern, whence 
she began to rake the British ship. Captain Pakenham, as not 
a gmi would beai', and not a yard of canvas was left standing on 
his frigate, was compelled to strike. The Dutch were not able 
to take possession, since by that time the victorious Flora was 
approaching. The Briel, therefore, made off to Cadiz in a very 
shattered condition, and though her maimnast fell, succeeded in 
reaching that port. 



{ Guns. 








Briel . . 
Crescent . 





200 n 



Time, 2 

hours, 30 minutes. 

1 firid mouut€d tweuty six 12-prs., two G-prs., eight 4-prs. ; descent's establisbmenl was tneuty.four 9-pn*. 
aud four 3-prs., iu addition to which she probably carried four to six 18-pr. carronades. She has been allotte i 
therefore six carronades. 

The Crescent's heavy loss was probably due to her weaker 
scantling and sides, and to the fact that she was raked more than 
once. That her crew faced a loss which probably exceeded 50 per 
cent. — for British ships were as often as not below their nominal 
establishment in number of men — speaks volumes for their obstinacy 
and corn-age. Captain Pakenham, when his ship had stnick, refused 
to resume his command, considering that a court-martial was 
necessary to clear him of guilt. The first lieutenant of the Flora, 
John Bligh (1), was therefore appointed by Captain Williams to 
the command. 

Beatsou justly remarks that a want of combination between 
the British frigates is obvious. The evidence at the court-martial 
showed that a considerable time intervened between the Castor's 
striking to the Flora, and the Crescent's surrender, when the 
Flora's help would have decided the action in favour of the Crescent. 
Another British ship, the Enterprise, 28, Captain Patrick Leslie, 
was in sight and soimd of the engagement, but gave absolutely 
no aid. She had a convoy in her charge, it is true, but her 
mere appearance would probably have decided the captm'e of the 
Briel. This action, again, appears to bear very strong testimony 


to the importance of a heavy battery. The men on either side 
were of equal courage and skill, and so it was the weight of 
metal which decided the day. Of course, if the Crescent carried 
no carronades — a point on which we cannot speak with absolute 
assurance — her weight of broadside would be only two-thirds that 
of the BrieVs. 

The three ships repaired their injuries as well as they could, 
and stood away for England.' On June 19th, however, while the 
Flora was chasing a privateer, a squall suddenly cleared and revealed 
to her two French frigates, which at once gave chase. The battered 
appearance of the three British vessels doubtless encouraged the 
French to confront such formidable odds. Captain Williams did 
not think it safe to risk an action after the heavy losses he had 
sustained. He had not much more than three hundred unwounded 
people to work and fight three ships requiring crews of seven 
hundred luen. The three parted company aud steered different 
courses. The Castor was overtaken by the Friponne, 32, and 
with only seventj'-five Biitish seamen on board, nearly all of 
whom were at tlio pumps or working the ship, struck at the 
first shot. The Crescent had only five men to each gun on her 
broadside, and but nine Marines to act as a small-arms' party. 
She offered some resistance, but she, too, had quickly to strike. 
The Flora alone succeeded in escaping. 

On May 28th, the British ship Champion, 32, attacked the 
Dutch fort of Commendah, on the Gold Coast, and was repulsed.^ 
At about the same time the Dutch captured Secondee, a British 
fort near Cape Three Points. 

On June 5th, in West Indian waters, the Ulysses, 44, Captain 

John Thomas, had an indecisive action with the Surveillante, 40, 

Captain de Villeneuve Cillart.^ The Uli/sses laid the French frigate 

alongside. Captain Thomas was almost at once wounded, and had 

to be carried below, as also had the Master and one of the 

Lieutenants. The wheel and tiller ropes were shot away, the 

rigging was badly cut up, and the mainyard fell. At about midnight 

the Surveillante made off after a four hours' fight. She is said to 

have sustained severe damage. On July 28th, there was another 

indecisive action, between the Fee, 32, Captain de Boubee, and the 

' Tioude, ii. 119, and other autlioritics cited ; Letter of j^.cting Capt. John Bligh 
in Oazftte. 

^ Oazette de France (1782), 2G5 ; Log of Champion. 
" Beatson, v. 208; Troude, ii. 1 If) ; Log of Ulysses. 

70 MINOR OPERATIONS, 17G3-1792. [1781. 

Soutliampton, 32, Captain William Affleck (1).' The Fee is said by 
Troude to have had a previous engagement on June 2nd with the 
Ulysses,^ but that ship's log pi'oves him to have made a mistake. 
The vessel which the Fee fought cannot be discovered. The Fee 
had lost her topmasts and was carrying jury rigging when sighted 
by the Southampton. She was chased and closed by the British 
vessel late in the night of the 27th-28th. The action began at 
midnight at a cable's distance, and was maintained for ninety 
minutes, when the two ships, having received serious damage to 
masts and rigging, separated. Most of the Southampton's standing 
and running gear had been shot away, and her foresail came 
down just before the close of the action. She lost four killed and 
twenty-three wounded ; the Fee, three killed and twenty-three 

On June 13th, in the Atlantic, the Snake 12 (4-prs.), Lieu- 
tenant William Jackson, fell in with two American privateers 
of immensely superior force, the Pilgrim and Rambler, and was 

On July 21st, Commodore George Johnstone's squadron, on the 
way to the East Indies, captured five valuable prizes in Saldanha 
Bay.^ These were the Dutch East Indiamen Dankbaarheid, 24, 
Perel, 20, Schoonkoop, 20, Hoogcarspel, 20, and Middelhurg, 24.* 
Their masters were surprised and could not escape ; they therefore 
cut their cables, loosed their fore-topsails, and drove on shore, 
where the ships were fired, and the men landed. The British 
boats, however, were smartly on the spot and checkmated the 
Dutch designs. The fires were got under on board all the ships 
except the Middelburg, which burnt furiously, floated ofif, and 
nearly drifted on board two of the other prizes. Finally she 
blew up. A hooker laden with the sails of the captured ships, 
was discovered hidden away, and captured. Two other hookers 
were taken, but restored to the Dutch inhabitants by the Com- 
modore. The prizes were sent home, but it is noteworthy as 
showing the extreme insecurity of British waters at that time, 
that two of them had sharp fights in coming up the Channel. 

' Log of Southampton ; Gazette de France, 381. 

" Troude, ii. 118. 

' Gazette, Oct. 15th. 

* Tlie exact names of some of tliese ships are iloubtful. They are suggested as 
above by the misspelt travesties in the Britisli accounts. They are not "iven by 
De Jonge.— W. L. C. 


The Huo(jcarspcl was chased by a French Irigate, and had to retire 
to Mount's Bay, there to await an escort. The Perel was attacked 
by two privateers, which only retired when their ammunition was 

On July 21st, the two French frigates Astree, 32, Captain de 
La Perouse, and Hermione, 32, Captain de La Touche-Treville, 
whilst cruising off Cape Breton Island, perceived several sail 
approaching/ They were a number of British merchant vessels 
escorted by the Charleston, 28, Captain Henry Francis Evans ; 
Allegiance, 14, Commander David Phips; Vulture, 14, Commander 
Kupert George; Vernon, 14, and Jack,'' 14. The two last were 
armed ships. After a long chase the French vessels came up 
with them. The British formed single line ahead, the Charleston 
in the centre, between their enemy and the convoy, and opened 
fire between 7 and 8 p.m. The heavy fire of the French frigates 
soon began to produce effect. The Jacli — probably weakly built — 
had to strike, and the French assert that the Charleston, having 
lost her maintopmast, struck also, but that she took advantage 
of the darkness to steal away. The Allegiance, Vulture, and 
Vernon likewise made off, but the Astree had been so damaged 
in her rigging dm-ing the action that she could not pm-sue. 
The British ships altered course and got safely away, whilst the 
French, after taking possession of their prize, returned to Boston. 
Since the French official account represents M. de La Perouse 
as fighting against odds, it is well to remember that two large 
and heavily-aiTued frigates would have a great advantage against 
a number of weak and small frigates, sloops, and armed ships. 
The British ships, if they had carronades, no doubt carried a 
greater weight of metal, but their scantling would be weaker, 
and their force was scattered in several ships. 

Amongst the British killed was Captain Henry Francis Evans of 
the Charleston. 

' Gazette de Paris, 40G ; Beatsou, v. 303 ; Troude, ii. Ill* ; Allen, i. 317. 

* In the Navy List Book for June, Charleston apiiears as a 32, Allcr/itiiice as a 16, 
Vultwe as a IG ; but Steel gives the ratings as above. Allen adds to the ships given 
the Rupert, armed ship, and wrongly names the Vultures commander (William) 
Langhorne. The Charleston was the American Boston, renamed after her capture. 
Charleston's log is missing; Allegiance's log makes no reference to the action. There 
does not seem to have been a C. M. on the loss of the Jack, which was therefore 
probably a merchantman. Possibly the Vernon was also a merchantman, as slie does 
not figure in Steel's contemjwrary lists. 


.VJXOB OPERATIONS, 1763-1702. 
































34 = 

168 = 




Allegiance . 






\ Vulture . . 






Vernon . 






Jack . 






1 -Jl I 

' French losses from Gazette de France, p. 407. 

• Include carronades, viz., six 18-prs. for Charleston, and ten 12-prs. each for Allegiance, Vulture, and 
Vernon, It is possible t'lat they carried these guns. In auy case the armaments of these ships are quite 
micertain. French accounts givt- the AUeffiance and Venwn, 24 gnus, ani t^ie Vulture, 26. If this I ernon be 
tho same as the r. which on Mar. iCth, 1782, w th the Success enconnterei the Sta. Catalina, she was a 22gini 
(6-pr.) ship. Bnt there is no Vernon in the Navy 1 ist-> of t Je time. 

On Jul}- 29tb, the French ships Lively, 26, and Hirondelle, 16, 
fell in with a British fleet in the Channel, and though the HirondeUe 
got away, the Lively had to strike to the 36-gun frigate Perseverance,^ 
Captain Skeffington Lutwidge, after a short but desperate defence, 
iu which she lost six killed and ten wounded. 

On July 30th, when de Grasse's fleet was entering the 
Chesapeake, two British ships were seen off Cape Henry and 
chased by the Glorieux, 74, and Biligente, 26. The British vessels, 
which were the Guadaloupe, 28, Captain Hugh Kobinson, and 
Loyalist, 16, Commander Morgan Laugharne, took to flight, and 
the Guadaloupe got safely into York Eiver. The Loyalist, how- 
ever, was run down and captured. 

In August the crews of the British hne-of -battle ships Lion 
and Canada, which had been ordered with Admiral Bigby to 
escort a fleet to the West Indies, refused to go on foreign service 
till they had received their pay, then a year in arrear.^ Thereupon 
the men received six months' pay, and no longer raised any 

On the 8th of that month the American frigate Trumbull, 32, 
Captain James Nicholson, off Delaware, was sighted and chased 
by the British Iris, 82, Captain George Dawson.^ The American 
was badly manned ; she had a weak crew on board, and of these 

' Troude, ii. 121 ; Log of Perscuerance. 

^ Oazeite de France, 305. 

' Land. Gazette, Sent. 25th ; Maclay, i. 142, 143 ; Beatsoii, v. 304. 




many were British deserters. What her normal crew could have 
been is difficult to conjecture, for American writers tell us with 
one accord that she was two hundred men short. On the 9th 
there was a heavy gale which brought down the American's fore 
topmast and main top-gallantmast. Late in the evening, while she 
was thus crippled, and before the wreckage had been cleared away, 
the Iris came up. The TrumbulVs crew showed the greatest 
cowardice or disaffection ; they put out the battle lanterns and flew 
from their quarters, whilst Captain Nicholson and Lieutenants 
Alexander Murray and Richard Dale, with a handful of American 
seamen, alone fought the ship. After an hour's engagement the 
Trumbull struck her flag. 



Broa IsMe. 






ins . 


32 > 


220 u 










'rime, 1 liour. 
* Carrouades not inclutie-l. as it is doubtful wbether ebe carrieti them. 

On August 7th, a brilliant display of courage and seamanship 
was given by Commander Francis Roberts and the crew of the 
Helena, 14.' Roberts had served under a good master, as he 
had been first Lieutenant to Captain Farmer of the Quebec. He 
ran into Gibraltar in the face of fom-teen Spanish gunboats, 
though the weather was so calm that the Helena's sails were 
useless, and sweeps had to be employed. From the rock the 
hostile boats could be seen close to her, "and," it is added, "the 
clouds of grape and other shot that seemed almost to bury her 
were astonishing." Presently the British gunboats licpuhe and 
Vanguard went to her aid, and the Spaniards fell back. The 
Helena was dreadfully cut up, but, strange to say, only lost 
one man. 

On Augixst 14th, the British sloop Cameleon, 14, Commander 
Thomas Drury, cruising in the North Sea, came up with and engaged 
a Dutch dogger of 18 guns.^ The Cameleon, which carried, in 
addition to her gun armament, four carronades, was probably 
of the heavier metal. The two fought furiously at the closest 

Lond. Gazette, Sept. 18tli. 

Ih , Aug. 21st. 




quarters for forty-five minute.?, when the Dutch ship blew up, 
setting the Cameleon's sails and rigging on fire, and covering her 
deck with human fragments. Not one of the dogger's crew 
survived the explosion. The British loss was thirteen, including 
Commander Drury, wounded. 

On August 19th, an allied expedition, under the Due de Crillon, 
laid siege to Port Mahon in Minorca.^ Serving with the 
British garrison was, according to the ofScial account, a small 
corps of Marines and sailors, who, " being more accustomed to live 
on salted provisions, kept their health much better than the other 
troops of the garrison did." They do not appear to have numbered 
more than one hundred or two hundred men. 

On August '24th, the armed ship Sandwich, 20, Commander 
William Bett, and sloop Cormorant, 14, Commander Eobert M'Evoy, 
were captured by de Grasse's fleet off Charleston Bar. 

Early in the morning of September 2nd, the British 50-gun 
ship Chatham, Captain Andrew Snape Douglas, overtook, after a 
long chase, the French 32-gun frigate Magicienne, Captain de La 
Bouchetiere.- The Magicienne endeavoured to regain Boston, from 
which port she was sailing to Portsmouth, New Hampshire ; but, 
after a desultory cannonade, she found it impossible to escape, and 
turned to fight a broadside action. She engaged the Chatham 
in that way for thirty minutes. The weakness of her scantling 
and battery, however, brought inevitable defeat, and, as usual in 
cases where frigates fought sail of the line, she suffered very 
heavy loss and inflicted little upon her enemy. 









Chatham . 








Magicienne . 








Time, 90 ininuti's. 

I Including ten ijl-pr. carronades, wbicb were probably carried. In tbc British Navy the Magicienne was 
rated 36. 

The time as given in the British accounts is thirty minutes, 
but this probably does not include the desultory fire carried on 
before the two came to close quarters. 

' Beatson, v. 309, 363. 

' Beatsou, v. 304 ; Troude, ii. 121. 




On the 6th of September, the British sloop Savage, 16, Com- 
mander Charles Stirling (1), whilst craising off Charleston, was 
chased and brought to action by the American privateer Congress, 24, 
of vastl}' superior force.' The Savage, as the enemy was so much 
stronger, fired at the Congress s rigging, hoping thus to get away. 
She did, indeed, compel the privateer to he to to make repairs, but 
not before her hull had been wrecked by the Congress's broadsides. 
The privateer came up afresh, and, after another hour's fighting, 
received the surrender of the Savage. According to American 
historians — on what authority does not appear — the Congress's crew 
was largely composed of landsmen. The Savage, on her way to 
an American port, was retaken by the Solehay. 



Ciiuis. 1 






Congress . 








Savuy . . 


" ! 







, about 1 

J houi>^. 

' Eight calTonade«. 12 

prs., alloweJ. 

Eear- Admiral Thomas Graves (2), when he appeared off the 
Chesapeake and the French fieet put to sea to meet him, had reason 
to suppose that the enemy's ships had slipped, and buoyed their 
cables.^ He therefore despatched the Iris, 32, Captain George 
Dawson, and Richmond, 32, Captain Charles Hudson, to cut away 
the cables from their buoys. These ships were thus engaged when, 
on September 11th, they were surprised by M. de Barras' squadron 
and compelled to strike. 

Early in October a number of British ships were destroyed by 
the American batteries before Yorktown. On the one side was 
Washington's aiTuy, on the other de Grasse's fleet, so that no 
escape was possible. Four vessels were set on fire by hot shot on 
October 10th, the Charon, 44, Captain Thomas Symonds, Guada- 
loupe, 28, Captain Hugh Eobinson, Foweij, 24, Captain Peter Aphn, 
and Vulcan, fireship. Commander George Palmer, in addition to 
some transports. In this way they were saved from the indignity 

' BeatsoD, v. 305; Maclay, i. 140: C. M. wanting: Ann. Register, 1781 [251. 
^ Beatson, v. 277 ; Troude, ii. 122. 

76 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1781-82. 

of a surrender to the Americans and French. The Bonetta, 14, 
Commander Ralph Dundas, was taken, however, hy the French 
when Yorktown fell. 

On October 2(;th, the Hannibal, .50, Captain Alexander Christie, 
whilst cruising off the Cape of Good Hope, saw and chased a 
fleet of merchant ships mider convoy of the French Necker, 28.' 
The Necker was captured, her mainmast, foremast, and mizen- 
topmast going overboard just as the Hannibal was closing her. 
With one other prize the Hannibal arrived at St. Helena. The 
Necker was purchased into the Navy and was sent to the East 
Indies. Though Beatson describes her as a frigate, Troude does 
not mention her, and thus it is probable rather that she was an 
armed merchantman, or a hired privateer, than a frigate of the 
Royal French navy. 

A marked featm-e of the year 1781 was the growing audacity of 
the privateers, French, Dutch, and American, which infested British 
waters.^ Aberbrothick was cannonaded and a ransom demanded ; 
ships were carried off from Aberdeen ; French privateers cruised off 
Dublin and Belfast ; American off Wexford ; and Dutch off Flam- 
borough Head. Amongst the privateers taken this year was the 
Jackal, 14, captm-ed by the Prudenfe, 36. The Jackal, it will be 
remembered, had been carried off from the Downs by her crew 
on November 27th, 1779. Amongst the brilliant achievements of 
British privateers was the capture by the Tigress, 22,^ T. Hall, of 
Appledore, of a large Dutch ship, the Tromp, 46, which was 
escorting two merchant ships.* They also were taken. 

On January 3rd, 1782, the Bonetta, 14, which had been 
captured by the French, was retaken by the Anvpliion, 32, Captain 
John Bazely (1), on the American coast. ^ 

On January 4th, Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, with his 
fleet, arrived off Trincomale, the Dutch garrison of which place had 
been for some time blockaded by the frigate Seahorse, 24.^ A force 
of five hundred sepoys, a battalion of sailors, and a detachment of 
Marines were landed ; and on the evening of the 5th the Marines 
carried Trincomale fort. On the 11th, Fort Oostenburg, which com- 
manded the town and anchorage, was stormed by the sailors and 
Marines. The British loss was considerable, as a Lieutenant of 

' Beatson, v. 329. * Beatson, v. 42f<, 429. 

2 Beatson, v. 401 (T., 422 ff. " Beatson, v. 553. 

' Six-pounders. ' Beatson, i. 560 ff. 


the Superb, and twenty seamen were killed, and two officers 
and forty men were wounded. A garrison was left in the captm-ed 
forts and the British squadron withdrew. 

On January 11th, the British frigate Coventry, 28, Captain 
WiUiam Wolseley, cruising in the Bay of Bengal, sailed into the 
midst of a French squadron on the Orissa coast, mistaking it for a 
fleet of British merchantmen, and was captm-ed.' 

On Januarj' 18th, the Hannibal, 50, Captain Alexander 
Christie, which had been detached by Commodore Johnstone 
to the East Indies, was seen and chased by the French fleet 
in the Indian Ocean.' Calms and unfavourable winds prevented 
her from making her escape, and on the 21st she was overtaken, 
brought to action, and compelled to strike to the Heros, 74, and 
Arfesien, 64. A month later, on February 25th, the British 
sloop Chaser, 18, Commander Thomas Parr, was captm-ed by 
the Bellone, 32, in the Bay of Bengal, after an action of twenty 

At the end of January and the beginning of February the settle- 
ments in Guiana, which had been captm-ed by the British from the 
Dutch, were recaptm-ed by a French squadron of five ships, com- 
manded by Captain de Kersaint, in the Iphigcnie, 32.'' With 
the Colony were surrendered the following ships of the Navy : 
Oronoqiie, 20, Commander William Tahourdin ; Barbuda, 10, Com- 
mander Francis Pender; Sylph, 18, Commander Lawrence Graeme ; 
Stormont, 16, Commander Christmas Paul, and Rodney, brig, 16, 
Lieutenant John Douglas Brisbane. 

On March 16th, off Cape Spartel, the British frigate Success, 32, 
Captain Charles Morice Pole, and the storeship Vernon, 22,* sighted 
a sail right ahead, which was presently made out to be a large 
frigate with a poop.'^ The stranger directed her course towards the 
British vessels, and at about five o'clock hoisted Spanish colom-s. 
The Success, as the enemy closed, raked her on the lee bow, passed 
to windward, pouring in a vigorous fire at very short range, 
wore, and renewed the attack on her lee quarter. The Spaniards, 

' Troude, ii. 225 ; Chevalier, 452. 

* BeatBon, v. 568 ; Troude, ii. 107 ; Gazette de Fiance, 1782, 300. 
» Troude, ii. 203 ; Beateon, v. 569. 

• Gazette de France, 185 ; Troude, i. 212-219 ; C. M., 59. 

^ The Vernon did not belong to the Navy. Her master's name was John 
Falconer.— W. L. C. 

" Lond. Gazette, Mar. 30th; Gazette de France, 173 ; Log of Success. 

78 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1782. 

who had expected the British ship to engage broadside to broad- 
side, were taken aback by this manoeuvre and fell into confusion. 
According to the Spani-sh accounts the British ships had made 
their approach under the Dutch flag/ and just as a Spanish officer 
was about to speak them, hauled down the false colours and sent 
the true ones, opening fire simultaneously. The I'cnion gave the 
Sticcess good support, and at about 8.20 a.m. the enemy struck. She 

(.From n. 11. Cook's cnyraviiig a.fter the portrait bij J. Nurtheotc, It.A.) 

proved to be the Sanfa CataUna, 34, Captain Don Miguel Jacon.- 
He had been especially ordered to look out for the Success, and had 
already chased her twice. He complained no httle of the behaviour 
of his crew. The details of the ships were as follows— for though 
the Spaniards made the Success out a 24-pr. 38-gun frigate, there 

' This is corroborated by the log. 

' Tlie log calls him Joron ; Schomberg, Jacen, and the Gazette, Jacon. 




were then none such in the Navy, and their estimate was an 


I Guns. 






i Success . 









\ Vernon , 







Sta. Catalina 








' Canvuatles iucluded. 

The Sta. Catalina was a much larger and finer ship than the 
Success, as the following figures will show : — 

Length of Deck. 



126 ft. 

35 ft. 2 in 

Sta. Catalina 

151 ft. 

39 ft. 4 in 

but she was palpahlj' under-armed. Her hull was tenibly shattered, 
being, according to Captain Pole's letter, "like a sieve, the shot 
going thro' both sides." Her mizenmast fell before she struck, and 
her mainmast afterwards. So damaged was she that when, on the 
18th, other supposed hostile sail were seen, Captain Pole decided 
to set her on fire. This was accordingly done, after the prize crew 
and prisoners had been removed. The strange sail, however, 
proved to be the British ships Apollo, 32, and Cerberus, 28, with 
a convoy. The Success underwent some danger on her voyage 
home in consequence of the great number of prisoners whom she 
had on hoard. 

In the winter of 1871, and spring of 1782, the Leander, 50, 
Captain Thomas Shirley, and the Alligator, 14, Commander John 
Frodsham, were engaged in operations against the Dutch forts on the 
Gold Coast. ^ Between February 16th and 21st unsuccessful attacks 
were made on Elmina. Aided by troops who were disembarked 
from his ships Captain Shirley took Mouree (March 2nd), Com- 
mendah (March 6th), Apam (March 16th), Barracoe (March 23rd), 
and Accra (March 30th) .^ 

■ The 38-gun frigates of the time mounted 18, not 24-pr8. 

' Lond. Oazdte, July 9th ; Log of Leander. 

' Mouree, near Cajx; Coast Castle ; Commendah or Cormantyne, some miles to the 
west ; Apam, east of Cape Coast Castle ; Barracoe, between Apam and Accra further 
to the east again. They will all be found on an old map of West Africa : Brit. 
Museum, 63690. 




On April 8th, the General Monk, 18, Commander Josias Eogers, 
whilst operating in Delaware Bay, was \mfortunate enough to be 
captured. Aided by a 16-gun privateer she had driven a 16-gun 
American ship on shore, and had taken a brig of 14 guns, when 
she was engaged by the Pennsylvanian ship Hijdcr All, 18.' The 
General Monk was armed almost entirely with 9-pr. carronades, and 
those, at the range the Hijder All selected, were quite useless. 

(_From an original lent bij Qijjt. H.S.B. Priiwc Laiiis of BalUnboy, It.X.) 

Moreover they were badly mounted and upset on being fired. The 
British ship was compelled to strike. 









Byder AH . 









General Monk- 


18 > 






I .Sixteen 9-pr. carrouades, two G-pr. cauuous. 

On April 11th, the armed cutter Jackal, 20, Lieutenant Gustavus 
Logie, was captured in the West Indies by the American Deane, 32, 
otherwise known as the Hague. 

On April 20th, Vice- Admiral the Hon. Samuel Barrington, who 
was cruising off Brest with twelve sail of the line and three frigates, 

' Beatson, v. 555. 


watching for a French convoy which was to sail for the East Indies, 
came within sight of a hostile squadron and signalled a general chase.' 
The 80-gun ship Foudroijant, which had the honour of being the 
largest two-decked vessel in the British Navy, and which was com- 
manded by Captain John Jervis, quickly outstripped the rest of 
her consorts. By nightfall she got sufficiently close to discover 
that the French squadron consisted of " three or four warships, 
besides eighteen vessels under convoy." The warships were the 74's 
Pegasc and Protcctcur ; the 32-gun frigate A ndromaque ; and another 
frigate and the Actionnaire, 64, equipped as storeships. The other 
vessels of the British fleet were almost out of sight, when Captain 
Jervis made up his mind to pursue the Pegase, the largest of the 
French ships. He cleared for action, and, as the night was dark 
and it was diflicult to keep the chase in sight, ordered Midshipman 
Kichard Bowen^ to the forecastle with directions not to take his eyes 
off her. At midnight the Foudroi/ant wSiS near enough to her enemy 
to make out that she was a ship of the line. The other French 74 — 
the Protecteur — was too far off to give her consort any support, 
and the way was open for the Foudroijant. The Frenchman put 
his hehn up, and endeavoured at the outset of the action to 
rake the British ship, but, owing to the smartness of young 
Bowen, the Foudroyant anticipated this manoeuvre, put her helm, 
to port, passed under the Frenchman's stern, and raked her with 
deadly effect. The French captain, de Sillans, had failed to make 
use of his stem-chasers, though for nearly foiu- hours the Foudroyant 
had been within their range. He had not been able to place small- 
arms'-men in the rigging and tops, nor to get the grappling-irons 
into position. Though his crew had suffered hea%'ily from the 
British fire, and though his ship had sustained considerable 
damage, he attempted to board his antagonist.* His attempt was 
made without suSicient preparation and determination ; everj'one 
was summoned on deck, the batteries between decks being thus 
abandoned; and the result was a repulse. The British then 

' Tucker's ' Life of St. Vincent,' i. 71-7C ; ' Dictionary of National Biography,' 
article, 'John Jervis'; Chevalier, 330-334; Beatson, v. 656; Reiwrt of Barrin-jrfon, 
Loml. Gazette, Apr. 27tb, May 4th ; Gazette de France, 189. This affair is briefly 
alluded to in chap. xxsi. 

2 Richard Buwen, born, 1761 ; Lieutenant, 1782 ; Commander and Captain, 1701 ; 
won great fame as a frigate captain ; fell at Santa Cruz, July 24th, 1797.— W. L. C. 

' One of the jud<;e8 at the court-martial held JI. de Sillans's manccuvrcs to be so 
bold, that with a better crew he would infallibly have captured his enemy. Chevalier, 
i. 333. 



MIKOn OPEIiATlONS, 17G3-1792. 


boarded, laying the Fuudroijant along the French ship's port side, 
and, headed by Bowen, carried her easily, a little after one o'clock. 

The action was in manj' ways surprising. The Foudroyant was, 
it is true, of superior metal, having an advantage of about one-eighth 
in weight of broadside, but that advantage would not be expected 
to give her the victoiy with such trifling loss as she actually 
sustained. No one was killed on board her ; and the wounded, 
amongst whom was Captain Jervis, were only five. A desperate 
resistance was to be looked for from a French line-of-battle ship, 
at a time when France had, in single-ship actions, fairly held her 
own. But the truth w^as that the Fegase had been built and sent 
to sea in the extremest haste.' She had only been launched on 
April 11th ; on the 13th M. de Sillans had taken command ; on 
the 19th she had left Brest. She was very heavily laden and could 
not open her lower-deck ports. As a fm-ther disadvantage her 
personnel was exceedingly bad. A young sub-lieutenant of nineteen 
commanded her lower-deck battery, and her men were raw landsmen, 
as sailors could not be found. AVhen she fought the Foudroyant 
her quarters' bill had not been drawn up. Her captain had 
doubtless made mistakes, but, though he was suspended from 
•command by the sentence of the French court-martial, his superiors, 
who sent him out, must bear some part of the blame for the loss 
of the ship. A vessel sent to sea in war-time should be in a state 
to uphold the honour of her flag when she puts out, and should 
certainly not be manned by landsmen. 

The comparative force of the two ships was as follows : — 




Killed. Wounded. ! Total. 











Time, 45 minutes.^ 

1 'I be Foudroyant is assumed to liavo oairiel tlie ordinary armnmeHt for 80-gnn ships, viz., thirty 32'8 
thlrty-twf) 'il's, and elgljteen li's. She liad probaUy, in addition, four 12-i)r. raiTonades. 

2 Frc-ucli shot were also one twcluh heavier than tlieir nominal weight, which would bring the broadside of 
the I'ci/ute to alHjut yoo lbs. See James, * Naval History,* i. 45. 

3 ; According to Chevalier (i. 330) and II. de Sillans (^CazMt de Frame, 189) the PJyase did not strike till 3 a.h. 
in which case Ihi' action lasted three hours. Banlngtou's letter gives the time as 45 minutes. 

' The Pcgase was laid down, built, completed, and at sea iu three months and five 
<lays ; thus surpassing the record of the Couronne, which was laid down on May 17, 
1781, and was cruising with de Guiehen in December. See ' Parliamentary History, 


Aftei' the action the Peijase's rnizen mast and fore topmast 
went overboard. On the morning of the '21st, other ships of the 
squadron came np, and Captain Jervis was able to jrat eighty men 
into his prize, and to withdraw forty from her. More he could 
not take on board owing to the heavy sea. The Queen, however, 
came to the assistance of the Pcfjase, took three hundi-ed prisoners 
on board, and placed forty more men on the prize. Next morning a 
fresh sail was seen and chased by the Queen. After some hours the 
British ship came up with the stranger, which proved to be the store- 
ship Actionnaire. She received a broadside, and then stnick, with 
thirt}'-four men killed or wounded. She was boimd for Mauritius 
with masts, sails, rigging, and stores for the French squadron in the 
East Indies, and with five hundred and fifty soldiers. Of the 
convoj', ten were taken and sent safely into British ports. ^ In this 
ignominious rout ended the second attempt of the French to de- 
spatch a convoy to India ; the Protectcur only, with three or four 
ships, succeeding in evading the vigilance of the British observing 

For his victory Captain Jervis was rewarded with a K.B., and 
permitted to bear on his coat-of-arms a winged horse. 

On May 8th, the British governor of the Bahamas was obliged 
to capitulate to an overwhelming Spanish force, which was aided 
also bj^ a considerable number of Americans. 

On June 26th, the Alligator, 14, Commander John Frodsham, 
whilst canying dispatches home from West Africa, was chased off 
the Lizard by the French frigate Fee, 32, and taken.- The AUigatur 
defended herself with great courage and held out to the last. She 
lost three killed and sixteen wounded. 

On July 29th, whilst cruising on the American coast, the 
Santa Margarita, 30, Captain Elliot Salter, was chased by the 
French frigate Amazone, 3(5. The British frigate made all sail away, 

xxii. 902. At Brest France had three thousand shipwrights at that time, whilst 
Portsmouth only employed eiglit luiiidred, and Bntisli ships were often three or four 
years on the stocks. 

' The names were Lion, Grand Sarpedon, JleUonc, Fidelitc, Dtic dc Clmrtres, 
Superbe, llonore. Villa Xoia, Amphion and Chalnutir. 'I'he Marquis of Castries, 
which is included in some lists, was not taken with this convoy, but later: ses 
Beatson, v. (559. Lapeyrouse, iii. 259, gives the trausjiorts captured as twelve in 

' Gazelle dc France, 265 ; Land. Gazette, July 9th ; C. M., 59, Aug. 7th. According 
to evidence there given the Fee carried four 18-pr. carronadcs. 

G 2 




for astern of the Frenchman several other warships could be made 
out. About the middle of the afternoon these other ships were lost 
to sight ; and at the request of the crew, Captain Salter tacked and 
stood to meet the Amazone, which did not dechne the fight. The 
battle opened at five, the two ships closing gradually to within 
pistol shot. At that range thej' fought for an hour and a quarter 
before the Amazone struck, with her captain killed, half her men 
killed or wounded, four feet of water in the hold, and her masts and 
rigging very much cut up. The main and mizen masts fell just 
as the flag was hauled down. The force of the two ships was as 
follows : — 








Santa Marga-v, 
rifa^ . . j 

Amazone . 










1 Troude gives the Sta. Margarita, 33 guns and 10 carronades and calis her an 18-pr. frigate. This is a 
ridicnlous exaggeration, as the List Book. shows her to have been a 36-gnn ship, and James, i. 366, pivves 
her a 12-pr. frigate. At the seme time Troude proliably understates the armament of the Amazone. He gives 
her no e-prs. and oniy twenty-six 12's. Capt. .Waiter's letter gives her ten e's, and these I have allowed in the 
table. The Sta, Mtri/arita probably carried eight 18-pr. carronades. 

The British frigate was severely wounded in masts and rigging, 
but otherwise suffered little injury. A lieutenant and sixty-eight 
men were sent to take possession of the prize, which was taken in 
tow. Although all possible sail had been made. Captain Salter was 
chagrined next morning to discover the enemy's fleet in sight. 
In these circumstances he had no alternative but to recall his men 
from the prize and abandon her to the enemy. This was done, and 
he safely effected his retreat. 

On July 30th, the Cormorant, 16, Commander John Melcomb, 
captured the French sloop TcmSraire, 10, some days out from Brest 
with dispatches.' 

At the end of May a French expedition imder M. de La Perouse 
sailed from Hayti for Hudson's Bay, which it entered, after 
sustaining some damage and being in imminent danger in the ice, 
on July 17th. ^ It was composed of the Sceptre, 74, Astree, 36, 
and Engageante, 36, with 290 soldiers on board. On August 8th, 

' Beatson, v. 675. 

' Oazctte de France, 413 ; Beatson, v. 510; Troude, ii. Ii20 ; Annual Register, 1783, 
116 ff. 


it arrived off Fort Churchill. The governor of the fort, panic-stricken, 
surrendered without sending information of the coming of the 
French to the other stations. Having destroyed the fort, the 
French sailed for Fort York at the mouth of the Nelson, which 
they surprised and captured in the same way. There, too, the 
governor, who might have made a successful resistance, displayed 
only discreditable cowardice, and sui-rendered at the first parley. 
The French landing party had to wade ashore through nearly a mile 
of soft mud, far out of the reach of the covering squadron. They 
had then to enter the trackless forests and to cross a marsh six 
miles wide. The fort was hm-nt, and the troops re-embarked. 
M. de La Perouse, with a kindness and humanity rare in the annals 
of war, left a certain quantity of ammunition and provisions for 
some of the British, who had fled to the woods. A Hudson's Bay 
Company's ship in those lonely waters was all but taken by the 
French, but succeeded in making her escape. 

On August 11th, the British sloops Sivift and Speedy were 
captm-ed by the French frigates Friponne and Resohie,^ according 
to Troude. British authorities do not notice this, and the Speedy 
appeared in the Navy List for long afterwards. 

On August 12th, the British frigate Coventry, 28, Captain 
Andrew Mitchell (1), whilst on her way from Bombay to join 
Hughes's squadron of Ceylon, fell in with the French Bellonc of 
32 gims. Captain de Piervert.^ The two closed and fought a 
desperate but indecisive action for two or two and a half hours, 
early in which the French captain fell. The second and third 
officers of the BcUone disputed as to the command, and meanwhile 
the French ship was paralysed. Each side accuses the other of 
retiring; the British Captain alleging that the Bellone was only 
saved by the arrival of the main French fleet. Both ships sustained 
severe damage and heavy loss. 

> Trouilc calls bor « 30-guil ship anj gives her twenty-six IJ's unci four 6's. He gives bcr uo i«rrun«de». 
But our 28'6 were usnally O-pr. ships and with carroua Jes the broadside would be 174 lbs. : without, 120 lbs. Brlltoh 
accouuts give Bellone 48 guns; Troude, twenty-six I2's and six 6*3. 

' Troude, ii. 205. ' li- ; Beatson, v. 590. 




On September 1st, the ]>ntish 18-gun sloop Buc de Chartres, 
Commander John Child Purvis (1),' captured the 22-gun Aigle, 
described as a corvette in the French navy, off the American 
coast. As the only Aigle in the French navy which the author 
can trace was a 40-gun frigate, it is probable that this sloop 
was a hired craft. 

On September 4th, the British ship Bainbow, 44, Captain Henry 
Trollope, cruising off the He de Bas, sighted and chased a large 
French frigate, the Hebe, 40, Captain de Vigny- The liainbow 
opened on her with her bow-chasers. The enemy responded from 
her stern-chasers, but as the Bainbow closed, the Hebe luffed, 
fired a broadside, and, to the great surprise of Caj)tain Trollope, 
struck. It appeared that the 32-lb. shot from the Bainbow's bow- 
chaser carronades had fallen on board the HebS, and that their size 
led Captain de Vigny to suppose he was dealing with a vessel of the 
hne. The Bainboic was armed entirely with carronades, of which 
she had twenty 68-prs., twenty-two 42-prs., and six o2-prs., against 
the Hebe's twenty-eight long 18-prs. and twelve long 8-prs. At 
close quarters, therefore, the Bainboic would have had an enormous 








Rainbow . 




297 n 



Hebe . . . 









• KjUeJ by accident. 

2 Troude, 38 guns, as also Charnock. The dimensions of the two i-bips were- 

JiainJ ow 


133 ft. 

too ft. 

zi ft. im iu. 

39 ft. 1 1 in. 


12 ft. 10 in. 

Captain de Vigny was court - martialled for misbehaviour, 
and cashiered and sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment for his 
conduct. The Hebe's only injury was a woimd to her foremast 
and some damage to her wheel. 

At the end of July, Eear-Admiral Graves, with the BamiUies, 
Canada, and Centaur, all 74's, and the Pallas, 32, •' left Jamaica with 
a large convoy, consisting of the sail of the line captiu-ed on 

' Capt. Purvis was, in consequence, posted as from Sept. 1. — W. L. C. 
* Beatson, v. G75, vi. 379 ; James, i. 40 ; Tiomle, 206 ; Log of Itni-nhow. 
' Annual Ecgister, 1783, [121 ; llood's Letters, 138 ; Beatson, v. -195-525 ; Gazette 
de France, 429 ; Troude, ii. 207. 




April 12th from the French fleet by Eodney — Ville de Paris, 110, 
Glorietix, 74, Hector, 74, Jason, Caton, and Ardent, all 64's — 
and of some 180 homeward bound merchantmen. Both the 
Ardent and Jason had ahuost at once to put back owing to 
their very leaky condition. The others joined Eodney 's fleet 
off Havana on August 14th, and lost it during the night. Part 
of the convoy was bound for New York, the rest for England, and 
so the course steered was a northerly one. On August 22nd, the 
Hector, Captain John Bourchier, being in a miserable state, 
shattered, leaky, and with a crew of but 223 men, of whom many 
were sickly, dropped asteni. On September 4th, she was sighted 
by two veiy powerful French frigates, the Aigle, 40, Captain 
La Touche-Treville, and Gloire, 32, Captain de VaUongue. They 
chased her during the night, and, noting that she only mounted 
fifty-two guns aud that, from the want of men, she was very feebly 
handled, brought her to close action at about 2 a.m., one on the bow 
and the other on the quarter. A three or four hours' engagement 
followed, in which the Hector, in spite of her weakness, showed 
herself a formidable antagonist. Captain La Touche-Treville made 
one attempt to board, but was repulsed. The resistance of the 
Hector was almost as creditable as was, years later, that of the 
Leander. Both ships were manned by seamen from a victorious 
fleet. At last the two French ships retired, leaving the Hector in 
a very battered condition, with all the masts womided and the hull 
very leaky. The excuse for their retreat was that other British 
sails could be seen on the horizon. This, however, was incorrect. 

















Aigle. . . 




500 ) 







2.-5 n 1 

Time, 3 hums. 

I TwcntJ--eght 2l's and twelve 8'8. Shs was the finest frigste in the French navy. Both frigates had n:any 
truopa uu board. 

Amongst the severely wounded was the British captain, 
Bourchier. After the action the water gained so on the pumps 
that the hold filled and the provisions spoiled. A temble scene 
followed. The officers with swords and pistols kept the faiUng 

S8 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1782. 

seamen to the pumps, at which several men dropped dead. After 
incredible sufferings the remnant of this licroic crew was rescued by 
a gallant privateersman, Hill of the Hawke, a Dartmouth snow. 
At imminent risk to his own small craft, he embarked the Hector's 
men, and reached St. John's in safety with them. 

The other warships of Graves's squadron were equally un- 
fortunate. In a gale on September 8th the Caton sprang a leak, 
and, with the Pallas, was ordered to put back to Halifax, where 
both arrived. On September 16th, the fleet and convoy, then 
ninety sail strong, were off the Banks of Newfoundland, when a 
terrific E.S.E. gale caught them, rising steadily during the evening 
and night, till, early in the morning, a furious N.N.W. squall 
succeeded. The sudden shift of the wind was disastrous to the 
fleet. The Eamillies lost her main, mizen, and foretop masts. 
A perfect deluge of water descended ; the seas swept the deck ; 
on all sides signals of distress were flying ; and there was scarcely 
a man-of-war which was not dismasted and fomidering. At 10 A M. 
of the 9th, the BamiUies, with fifteen feet of water in her hold, 
was abandoned and set on fire, her crew taking to the boats. The 
Ville de Paris and Glorieux were never seen again. A seaman, 
floating on a mass of wreckage, was picked up by a Danish 
merchant ship. He had been in the ViUe de Paris, had seen the 
Glorieux sink, and could tell nothing more. Memory had left 
him. The Centaur lost all her masts and her rudder. When she 
heeled in the squall, the water in the hold burst up between decks, 
and the ship became a water-logged hulk, setthng slowly. The 
tale of those who survived is one of the most piteous records of 
human agony— mental and physical. Her captain, John Nicholson 
Inglefield, untrue to the greatest traditions of our Navy, which 
ordain that the Captain shall be the last to quit his ship, at what- 
soever peril to himself, left her in a pinnace with eleven others, 
and, after enduring incredible tortiires, reached the Azores sixteen 
days later. The Canada— owe suspects very skilfully handled by 
such a captain as Corn wallis— lost her mizenmast, but reached 
Great Britain, though leaking heavily. The Jason arrived in a 
similar condition. 

That the men-of-war must have been in a dilapidated condition 
is evident from the fact that the losses of the convoy were by no 
means so heavy. The captured vessels would naturally be in bad 
order. The liamillies was an old craft— built in 1763— and had 


been some time on the station ; the Centaur, built in 1759, was 
even worse. But such was our want of ships that these vessels 
had to be employed. 

On September 9th, foiu- East Indiamen and "country ships" 
beat off the French frigate Pourvoijeuse, 40, in the Straits of Malacca. 

On September 12th, the French frigates Aigle and Gloire chased 
and captured the British 14-gun brig Racoon, Lieut. Edmimd 
Nagle.' On the same day they were chased by a British squadron 
under Captain the Hon. George Keith Elphinstone, composed of 
the Warwick, 50, Lion, 64, Vestal, 28, and Bonetta, 14. On the 
13th, the two Frenchmen entered the Delaware by a shallow and 
difficult channel, whither Captain Elphinstone followed them. On 
the 14th, after a desperate pm-suit, the Aigle ran aground in shallow 
water. The Vestal and Bonetta placed themselves on her quarter, 
the Sophie, a prize captured from the French, took station imder 
her stem; and, unable to make any reply, the Aigle struck, 
not, however, without Captain La Touche-Treville having cut 
away his masts and bored through the bottom of his ship. She 
was got off and repaired by her captors. The Gloire, of lighter 
draught, escaped up the river. La Touche-Treville was made 
prisoner and taken to Great Britain. 

On October 14th, Captain George William Augustus Courtenay 
of the Eurijdice, 24, captured the French 14-gun brig Sainea (sic), 
of one hundred and six men. At about the same time the 
Jackal, 14, captured the French lugger Sylph. ^ 

On October 17th, the London, 98, Captain James Kempthorne, 
Torhaij, 74, Captain John Lewis Gidoin, and the sloop Badger, 14, 
sighted and chased two strange sail off San Domingo.^ These 
were the Scipion, 74, Captain de Grimoard, and the 40-gun frigate 
Sibylle, both French vessels. The London, in the course of 
the afternoon, drew up with the Scipion, and a running fight began, 
both ships using their chasers, and the London yawing from 
time to time to bring her broadside to bear. The Sibylle kept on 
the London's bows, and maintained a galling fire. At 8.30 p.m. 
the London got close enough to use her broadside with effect. For 
twenty minutes the two fought, and then fell on board one another, 

' Beatson, v. 548 ff. ; Troude, ii. 209 ; Lond. Gazette, Nov. 12th. 

" Lond. Gazette, Oct. 19th. Not in Troude ; probabl.v the Samea and Sylj^h were 
privateers or amied ships. This Jackal was a cutter, commanded by Lieut. Daniel Dobree. 

' Beatson, v. 526 ff. ; Gazette de France, 489 ; Troude, ii. 210; C. M., 60, Nov. 26th, 
which also gives extracts from logs. 




the Sciplon's larboard cathead being abreast of the London's star- 
board gangway. "When the Scipion got clear, the small-arms' fire 
of both ships had, in the few minutes duiing which the ships were 
locked together, wrought terrible ravages amongst the men at the 
upper deck guns. The Scij)ion passed astern of the London and 
raked her, shooting away her weather tiller-rope and fore-yard arm, 
and wounding her mizenmast. Thus disabled, the London all but 
fell on board the Torhaij, which had come up on the French 
ship's larboard quarter and opened fire. Both ships were much 
delayed, and the Scipion was given a start. The Torbay and 
the London, as soon as it was possible to wear her, resumed the 
pursuit, and exchanged some shots with her and with the Sibylle 
during the night, but the two-decker was able to get away. Closely 
pui-sued, she entered Samana Bay on the morning of the 18th, and 
was just anchoring there when she struck a rock and sank. Her 
behaviour in the action with, and her escape from, two such 
powerful ships as the London and Torbay were most creditable 
to her. The Sibylle easily effected her escape. 








j London . 





743 d. 




1 Torhay 




594 n. 







734 n. 




{Sihtjlh . . 



275 n. 



1 The I.omloii is described as a 90-giiii sbip, but ( liamoik, Sttel, and the French autliorities call her a 93. 
Here she has been recki-ueJ as a 98 with 10 carronades. 

A court of inquiiy into Captain Kempthome's behaviour acquitted 
him houom-ably. 

Troude mentions the capture, dm-ing October, of the Molly, 18, 
off jNIadeira, by the French corvette Scinillante, 18. 

On December 6th, Eear-Admiral Sir Eichard Hughes (3) fell in 
with a small French squadron off Barbados ; and the Buby, 64, 
Captain John Collins, succeeded in bringing the Solitaire, 64, 
Captain Chevalier de Borda, to close action at about 1.30 p.m.* 
After a stout fight, the French ship struck, as a second vessel of 
the line was coming up to the help of the Ruby. 

' Trouae,!211 ; Beatson, v. 480. 











Ruby . . . 




401 n. 

. , 



Solitaire , 





over '.'0 



At the same time, the Erench 18-guu bloop Anipliitritc was 
captured.^ The Solitaire was pm-chased for the Navy, and kept 
her old name. 

On December 12th, Captain the Hon. John Luttrell, in the 
Mediator, 44, sighted five French and American vessels, mostly 
storeships or vessels armed en flute, and bound for the West Indies. 
They shortened sail and waited for him, on whicli he bore down, 
captured the Alexandre, mounting twenty-four 9-prs. ; then, resuming 
the chase, got possession of two more large ships, the Eiujbne and 
Menagb-e, without the loss of a man in the Mediator. The 
Alexandre's captain, when a prisoner in the Mediator, attempted 
to foment a mutiny, for which he was placed in irons. 

On December '20th, a British squadron, consisting of the 
Diomede, 44, Captain Thomas Lenox Frederick, Quebec, 32, and 
Astrcea, 32, off the Delaware, fell in with the South Carolinan frigate 
South Carolina.^ After an eighteen hours' chase, the Diomede, 
seconded by the Quebec, closed the American, which fought for two 
hours, and then, as the Astrcea was coming up fast, struck. The 
South Carolina carried an extraordinarily heavy battery for a 
frigate — twenty-eight 32-prs., and twelve 12-prs. 









(Diomede . 





297 n. 




( Quebec 




217 u. 




Soiifh Ciirdlinn 







On January 2nd, 1783, the British ships Endijviion, 44, and 
Magicienne, 36, Captain Thomas Graves (3), chased a French 
convoy, in charge of the Sibylle, 32, Captain Kcrgariou Locmaria, 

' Possibly a piivatcer, as another Amphilrlle appears iu the Kieiieh uavy a few 
weeks later. 

'^ Bcatson, 551. He gives the South Carolina, 42-pr6., not 32-prs. She was 160 ft. 
long. Logs of Diomede and Quebec. 




and Bailleur, 14, off San Domingo.^ The Magicienne quickly out- 
stripped her consort and overhauled the two French ships. She 
gave the Bailleur two broadsides, and then closed with the Sibylle, 
at about 2 p.m. Almost at once she lost her foremast. The two 
frigates laj' so close together that their sides touched, and the men 
fought from their ports with pikes and rammers. At 2.30 the 
Magicienne s remaining masts followed her foremast, and she was 
left helpless. At about the same time Captain Kergariou was 
wounded. The Sibylle drew ahead and made off, as the Endymion 
was fast coming up. She succeeded in escaping. The Railleur 
got away for the time, but was taken on Januarj' 11th by the 
Cyclops, 28, on the American coast. The aimament of the Sibylle 
is disputed. British authorities describe her as a 36-gun ship,^ 
Prench, as a 32. Accepting the French version her defence was 
exceedingly creditable. 








275 n. 




270 n. 





Time, 90 minutes. 

On January 19th, in the West Indies, the Leander, 50, Captain 
John Willett Payne, with a convoy in charge, fell in with a 
hostile 74-gun ship.^ Iii spite of the weakness of his command, 
with a temerity that merits the epithet of glorious. Captain Payne 
pursued his enemy and closed with her early in the morning of 
the 19th. A desperate action of two hours' duration followed, in 
which the Leander was, as might be expected, reduced to a wreck, 
her rigging in particular being terribly cut up. Her crew, how- 
ever, repulsed all attempts to board. The Leander was three 
times set on fire by burning wads from the stranger, but each time 
the fires were extinguished. Finally the two separated, and at 

' Troude, ii. 257 ; Beatson, v. 531. 

'^ Admiral Digby's letter describes her as a 3G-gun sliip, with 350 mfen. The 
Hussar's log malies her a 38. 

' Beatson, V. 482 ; Log of Leander. No notice in French authorities. James, ii. 
2C8, calls the French ship the Phdon, Ca])t. de Itions, a 74, and gives the French loss as 
five killed and eleven wounded. He states that the riuton was partially disabled. My 
own belief is that the hostile ship of the line was, as asserted in the Leander's log, 
a Spaniard. Beatson gives no authority for his statement that she was the Cuuronne. 
French gunnery was capable of indicting mucli more damage. 




daybreak neither could discover the other. Beatson calls the 
stranger the Courontie. 



Broadside. lien. 




Leander . 





534 , 350 1 


12 » 


Stranger . 



fiOO? 010? 





2 hours 20 minutes. 

1 Carronades 


deJ. The S 

tranger's bi*oadsiile is calculated as that of au IS-p 

r. ship. lu 



log the enemy is said tu have been a Spanish 74. 
2 Several mortally. 

Most of the Leander's wounded died of their injuries. 

On January 6th, as soon as the Sihylle had completed her repairs 
after her action with the Magicienne, she was caught by a storm 
and totally dismantled.' Jury masts had been rigged, and she was 
beating up the American coast, when, on January 22nd, the British 
frigate Hussar, 28, Captain Thomas Macuamara Kussell, sighted her 
off the Chesapeake. Twelve of the SibijUe's guns had been thrown 
overboard, so that she was in no situation to resist her antagonist. 
She tried to escape by hoisting British over French colours, and 
also, it is alleged, by a misuse of the signals of distress. The Hussar 
closed her, supposing her disabled, when suddenly the Sihylle fired 
a broadside at the British frigate, and ran on board her. Before 
the French could board, however, the Hussar drew clear and opened 
fire. After an hom-'s action the Sihylle tried to make off, but was 
hotly pursued and again brought to action. Her magazine was 
flooded by shot-wounds below the water-line, so that further re- 
sistance became impossible, and she was forced to strike. Owing 
to Captain Kergariou's very questionable behaviour, Captain Russell 
broke his sword and placed him in close confinement. The British 
ships Centurion, 50, and Harrier, 18, were close at hand when the 
Sihylle surrendered ; and the Centurion actually gave her a broad- 
side. Twelve guns were thrown overboard during the chase, so 
that when she struck she had only eight pieces left. 







200 n. 


Killed. Wounded. TotaL 

Tioude, 238 ; Beatson, v. 553, vi. 34'J ; GazHte de Fan's, 177 ; Log of Hussar. 




On January 30th, the Dutch 50-gun East Indiaman Vrijheid was 
captured under the guns of Cuddalore, on the Indian coast, by the 
boats of the Medea, 28, Captain Erasmus Gower.^ The Vrijheid 
was unfortunately wrecked soon after her capture. 

On February 16th, the Argo, 44, Captain John Butchart, was 
tmfortunate enough to be discovered and chased by the French 
frigates Nijmphr, 36, Captain Vicomte de Mortemart, and Amphi- 
trite, 32, Captain de St. Ours, whilst attempting to replace a sprung 
main topmast.- At 10.30 a.m. the Amphitrite opened the action, 
and, a little later, gained a position on the Argo's starboard quarter. 
The Argo's lower deck ports could not be opened, owing to the sea 
that was nmning and to their small height above the water-line ; and 
she was hard pressed. The Amphitrite next gained a position on 
her larboard quarter, and a steady fight continued until 5 p.m., 
when the Nijmphe came up and the Argo struck. Her main top- 
mast — a new one, it would appear — had been shot away, her rigging 
much cut up, and she had been badly hulled between wind and 
water. On February 19th, she was chased and recaptured by the 
Invincihle, 74, Captain Charles Saxton, the Ampliitrite and Nymphe 
effecting their escape. In the British accounts the Concorde, 40, is 
substituted for the Amphitrite. 








Amphitrite . 


255 u 


Nymphe . 



301 n 




Argo . . . 




297 n 




On Februaiy 1.5th, the French frigate Concorde, 32,^ Captain de 
Clesmeur, whilst in company with the Triton, 64, and Amphion, 
60, was chased by a British squadron in the West Indies. The 
other two escaped, but the Concorde was overhauled and captured 
by the St. Albans, 64, Captain Charles Inglis (1). 

On March 2nd, the Resistance, 44, Captain James King, and 
Dugucnj Troiiin, 14, Captain John Fish, overtook and captured the 

' Beatson, v. GOG. 

' Troudc, i). 240; Beatson, v. 483. The Log of tlie An/o was split to pieces bj- a 
shot, but a copy remains. C. M. missing. 

' Troude, 242 ; Schomberg, ii. 13G ; Log of St. Albans gives lier 41 guns and 
399 men. 


French frigate Coquette, 28,' Captain the Marquis de Grasse- 
Brian^on.^ Learning from his prisoners that the French had seized 
and occupied Turk's Island, Captain King informed Captain Horatio 
Nelson of the Albemarle, 28. Eeiuforced by the Drake, 14, the ships 
landed one hundred and sixtj'-scven men on the island under Com- 
mander Charles Dixon of the Drake, but the attack was repulsed, 
and the ships lost eight wounded. 

On April 14th, the French corvette Na'iade, 20, Captain do A^illaret- 
Joyeuse, was chased in the East Indies by the British 64-gun ship 
Sceptre, Captain Samuel Graves (2), and captured after two hours' 
desperate resistance.^ She lost two topmasts, her wheel shot away, 
and seven guns dismounted. According to Villaret-Joyeuse's report, 
the Sceptre had her mainmast damaged, her main topmast shot 
away, and twenty-foiir of&cers and men killed or womided, whereas 
the Nalade lost not a man. The Sceptre's log, however, shows that 
only the mizenmast was woimded. This was a most honourable 
and creditable defence on the part of the French. 

There is great difficulty in obtaining accurate and detailed 
information of many of the minor actions in the period of the 
American War. The Captains' letters, givmg the official version, 
were usually published in the Gazette, and were thence transcribed 
almost literally by the writers Beatson and Schomberg. But these 
letters are often curiously unreliable, and almost invariably ex- 
aggerate the enemy's force. Both in letters and in ships' logs the 
number of men killed and wounded is, for the most part, omitted. 
We hear in the log if a topmast is woimded, or if a cask of pork is 
opened, but the loss of human life makes little or no impression.'' 
Again, logs and letters frequently contradict one another, and it is a 
nice question which to believe. Courts-martial only took place 
when the British ship was beaten and sm-rendered, or when some 
officer behaved badly ; but the full evidence recorded in them gives 
a most valuable and interesting picture. The French authority, 
Troude, is not, on the whole, much more trustworthy than Schom- 

' Twenty-three mounted. 

^ St'hoMiberg, ii. 137 ; Kicolas, 'Nelson Dispatches,' i. 73 ; Beatson, v. 534. 

' Chevalier, 459; Beatson, v. G08 ; Uughes's letter describes the Kdiadc as of 
30 guns and 160 men ; Log of Sceptre. 

* " I do not think that log-books, which are kept in the manner in which ships' 
log-books are, ought to be implicitly taken as evidence," said Capt. Alex. A. Hood at 
the C. M. on Kepjiel in 1779. 

96 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1763-83. 

berg. He often misdates actions by days or weeks ; he always 
exaggerates the force of the French ship, and depreciates that of 
the British ship ; and it is difficult to suppose that he drew upon 
original French sources of information. Chevalier scarcely touches 
minor actions. The French Gazette gives the French captains' 
letters, and is usually as trustworthy as the London Gazette. 

The armament of ships is a veiy puzzhng subject during both 
this and the next war. The trouble is caused by the carronade, 
which appears, at first permissorily, in a few British ships in 1779, 
and quickly spreads. But it is always uncertain whether a par- 
ticular British ship did or did not carry carronades. Many Captains 
had a great prejudice against them ;^ others wanted, and obtained, 
more than they were properly allowed. In regard to foreign ships, 
there is even more uncertainty. It appears, however, from a casual 
mention or two, that towards the close of the war, French ships 
may occasionally have carried caronnades. For example, if we 
can believe evidence given at the court-martial on Commander John 
Frodsham,- the French Fee, 32, carried four 18-pr. carronades in 
1782. Still, we captured no prize that included carronades in her 

A fact which does seem to emerge from the ship actions of this 
period is the extreme importance of weight of metal. Otherwise, 
why should each side endeavour to diminish its own weight of 
broadside, and exaggerate that of the enemy ? In this war, the 
quality of both French officers and seamen was excellent. There 
was little to choose between them and our men for valour and skill ; 
and if their operations on a grand scale so often miscarried, it was 
the faulty strategy imposed by the French Government that was in 
the main to blame. Instructed to avoid fighting, their action was 
timid. Even in ship to ship encounters we find this fatal plan of 
campaign exercising its paralysing effect. Discipline in the French 
fleet had not as yet been subjected to the rude shocks of the Revolu- 
tion. There were no such actions as we find in the next war, when 
British frigates repeatedly captured enemies of equal force, suffering 

' Tims the Endi/mion's Captain wants to get rid of his forecastle 18-prs. Capt. 
Tovey (Ordnance Board Letters, 1778-1783, MS., Record Office) reports against 
carronades ; the wads blow bacli and set the ship on fire ; the guns jump about and 
break tlie breeching. 

^ C. M., 50, Aug. 7th. 

' Except, of course, vessels that had been British, such as the Licorne. There 
seems to be no positively trustworthy evidence that any foreign warships had 
carronades until after 1783. — W. L. C. 


little or no loss themselves, but inflicting terrific slaughter. Hence, 
with men equal in quality on both sides, and with, as was usually the 
case, the better built ship on the French side, weight of metal won 
with a singular constancy in the actions between British and French 
ships. In fifteen cases, superior broadside gave a British ship the 
victory — omitting many instances where there was a great ad- 
vantage on our side. I have not yet been able to discover a case 
of a French warship striking to a British ship of inferior broadside.' 
There may be error in the figm-es given in the text in one of two 
directions : (1) , overstatement of the British ships' force through 
wrong inclusion of carronades; (2), understatement of French ships' 
force through usually accepting the French version. Still, I am 
disposed to think my figiu-es the most accurate that can now be 
obtained, and in general correct. 

Taking eight typical instances of British ships captured or 
destroyed by the French, in four cases {Sj}hi?ix,~ Unicorn, Bover, 
and Jack), the French force was so very superior that we can feel 
no surprise at the result. The other four cases are of larger and 
more important ships — the Minerva, Fox, Quebec, and Argo. The 
Minerva's and Quebec's loss was due, in part, to accident. In the 
first there was an explosion of powder, in circumstances that remind 
us of that in the Serapis in her action with the Bonhomme Eichard : 
the second was so unlucky as to catch fire. In each instance, the 
British ship was the weaker in broadside — the Minerva slightly 
(allowing for the extra weight of the French pound, which was one- 
tweKth heavier than the English), the Quebec very much so. The 
Minerva also was weakly manned, and was taken by surprise. The 
Fox was much inferior in weight of metal to the Junon, which beat 
her. The Argo was superior in broadside to the pair of French 
frigates that attacked her ; but she was one of our wretched class of 
44-gun ships with lower-deck ports only a few inches above the 
water, and was, owing to the swell, imable to open those ports, or to 
use her heavj- guns. Her case, however, is all in favom- of a heavy 
broadside perfectly mounted. 

In actions with United States' ships, we lost seven ships and 
took six under conditions that illustrate the value of broadside. 
Two American vessels, the Lexington and the Trumbull, were 

' The Lion, taken in 1778 by the Maidstone, a British ship of inferior broadside, was 
a privateer ; and so of many other cases, which are apparent exceptions. 
' See index for references to these actions. 


98 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1763-83. 

captured by British ships of inferior force. The Lexington was 
surprised : the Trumbull is said to have been miserably manned. 
On the other hand, the British brigs Trepasseij and Atalanta were 
captured by an American frigate whose force was just equal to theirs 
combined ; and the General Monk was taken by a Yankee privateer 
of equal force. The Trepasseij and Atalanta, however, were two 
weak ships against one strong one. The General Monk was aiined 
almost entirely with carronades, and was attacked at ranges where 
these weapons were inefficient : moreover, the carronades were badly 
mounted. There remains the case of the Scrap is, which was taken 
by Paul Jones in a ship nominally her superior in force, but actually, 
through the defective artillery carried, her infericr. Jones, how- 
ever, was such an exceptionally able and skilful captain that, pitted 
against a commonplace, if brave, man, his victory was almost certain. 
The case illustrates the value of leadership, but it does not destroy 
the argument for a heavy broadside. Moreover, accidents played a 
certain part. A gun burst in the American, but there was also a serious 
explosion of powder in the Serapis with the most disastrous results. 
A featm'e of these minor actions is that such an explosion usiially 
decides the fate of the day against the ship in which it occurs. This 
is natural when the shock to the confidence of the crew caused by 
such an incident is remembered. In the battle of Santiago (1898) 
the bad shooting of the Spaniards was probably due in part to the 
accidents which occurred when firing-pins were blown out of the 

In actions with Spanish ships, we took six and lost not one ship. 
But all through this century the Spanish navy was almost worthless 
as a fighting force. " A Spanish ship chased is a Spanish ship 
captured," was a French proverb of the time. The Spanish ships 
were wretchedly manned and officered. Of the six ships we took, 
two were of superior force to their captors, but in each case there 
were other British ships close at hand. 

There were two actions with Dutch ships, both at the same time 
and place. The result is very instructive. The heavier broadside 
won in each case — a British ship winning one action and losing 
the other. 

A few instances may next be examined where a veiy inferior ship 
fought a very superior one. In these cases it will generally be foimd 
that, unless the superior ship is crippled in some way, by loss of 
her rudder or masts, she inflicts very heavy punishment on her 

] 763-83.] ANOMALOUS ACTIONS. 99 

antagonist ; though there are some ver}- sti-iking exceptions. Thus 
the British Notisueh, 64, in an action with the French Actif, 74, 
loses 90 men to the enemy's 53, though she is not taken. The 
British Flora meets the French Nymphe, of half her weight of 
metal, and takes her, inflicting a loss of 136 to her own 26 incurred. 
The French Capricieuse, in action with two ships of more than 
twice her weight of broadside, loses 100 men against the loss of 58 
which she inflicts. The Belle Poule and Magicieune, French 3'2's, 
meet, the first, a 64, suffering a loss of 68, and inflicting a loss of 13 ; 
the second, a 50, suffering a loss of 86, and inflicting a loss of only 2. 
Both were taken. Their fate shows the very great risk which is 
incurred by a ship if she assails a vessel of superior class. The 
Leander, a British 50, engaged a Spanish 74, and though her loss 
was not heavy, she was reduced to a wreck. 

On the other hand, there are four or five instances where the 
weaker ship inflicts disproportionate loss on the stronger. The 
French Belle Poule, of 168 lbs. broadside, loses 102 men against the 
44 men of the British Arethusa, of 114 lbs. No explanation can be 
given, except that the British gunnery was better, and that the 
French fired to dismast. The British Isis, of 414 lbs. broadside, is 
said to have inflicted on the French Cesar, of 828 lbs., a loss of 50 
men, as against her own loss of 16. Special circumstances, such as 
the clearing for action of the Frenchman on only one side, may 
account for this. Then there is the case of the French Scijnon, of 
828 lbs. broadside, engaged with the London, of 1018 lbs., or perhaps 
even more. The Scipion loses 58, and the Londan 83 men. Each 
ship had some assistance — the Scipion from a 32-gun frigate, and 
the London from a 74. Possibly the French 74, Scipion, was a 
stronger and stouter ship than the British 90, London. 

Superior nautical qualities and size in ships, strangely enough, 
seem to go for very little in action. Again and again, short, 
small, heavily-aimed British ships capture longer, larger, but less 
heavily-armed enemies. The Spaniards seem to have been the 
worst offenders in undergunning their ships. Thus the Gratia, 
of 528 tons, carries thirty 6- and 4-pounders. Her captor, the 
Cerberus, of 593 tons, carries twenty-eight 9-pounders. So, again, 
the Sfa. Catalina, though far lai'ger than her captor, has an 
annament inferior by 25 per cent. 

Actions with privateers were very niunerous, but have, for the 
most part, been omitted. The want of discipline in those craft 

H 2 

100 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1763-83. 

rendered them usually an easy prey to far smaller men-of-war. 
There were exceptions, however, when privateers captm-ed British 
men-of-war. For instance, the Eginont, Savage, and General Monk, 
all three small vessels, were taken by American privateers. In the 
first the powder was wet ; in the second the British crew was too 
small, and the ship too weak to stand up against her opponent. 
The loss of the General Monk has akeady been explained. 

French, Dutch and American privateers swarmed in British seas. 
In May, 1777, there were five American privateers lying off Water- 
ford, waiting for the Newfoundland fleet. In the same year, two 
privateers anchored in Solway Firth ; off KintjTe there were two 
more, and others cruised between Jersey and Guernsey. " Fall, the 
Pirate," one of the most notorious, was chased, unsuccessfully, by 
Nelson, in 1781.^ He had harried the coast of Scotland. The 
letters of Captain the Hon. Charles Napier (1) show the Firth of 
Forth to have been much troubled by such freebooters.- The 
Jackal, which had been carried off by her crew from Sheerness, 
under one Luke Ej'an, an Irish outlaw, was particularly active. As 
the Navy, owing to the immense biu'deus which were imposed upon 
it, was unable to afford adequate protection against the inroads of 
these gentry, shipowners generally armed their ships ; and several 
privateers discovered that an aimed merchantman was quite capable 
of giving very nasty knocks. In the course of the war, Dubhn, 
Penzance, Banff, Wbitehaven, Aberbrothick, Leith, and Newcastle, 
were either actually attacked, or threatened by American privateers. 
There were practically no fixed defences at those places ; but there 
usually were Navy tenders at Dublin and Leith on the impress 
service. Liverpool, however, had "two grand batteries of twenty- 
seven 18-pdrs." 

Thi-ee actions illustrate the danger of sending ships to sea with 
raw crews when there is a chance of their falling in with the enem}\ 
The cases are those of the Ardent, captured by the French, of the 
Isis, badly fought in an action with a Dutch ship, and of the 
P^gase, captm-ed with ridiculous ease by Jervis in the Fouclroijant. 

Two instances show a very un-British respect for neutrals, the 
explanation being that the Navy was weak in this war, and miequal 
to all its work. A hostile privateer, the Stanislas, runs aground in 

' Nicolas, i. 50. 

= Captains' Letters, N. 1780, 1781, Record OfTice ; Cf. also G. Williams, 'Liverpool 
Privateers,' p. 200 S., where many curious and interesting details are given. 




territorial waters off Ostend, and is not touched. A French frigate 
and a convoy, in Algerine waters, are spared. As against this, a 
Dutch convoy is fired upon on resistance being offered to an attempt 
to search it. 

If, generally speaking, the minor actions issued favom-ably to 
England, it was because her ships were better armed, and because 
she had a plentiful supply of officers and seamen. In quality, it 

^ , ^^Zytrm^i^, 

(From Bidlei/s engraving after a miniature once in the possession of the Popham family.) 

does not appear that her officers were better than those of the 

The events of the peace, which lasted from 1783 to 1793, do not 
call for long description here. 

' Capt. Thompson died Commodore on the West Coast of Africa, in 1786. 

102 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1787. 

In the course of 1787, the interference of France in the affairs of 
Hollaud ahnost precipitated a fresh war between England and her 
old adversary. But as Fredexnck William II. of Prussia, whose 
sister was the wife of the Dutch Stadtholder, the Prince of Orange, 
supported the policy of Britain, France withdrew her assistance 
from the rebels, or " patriots " as they called themselves in Holland, 
and the crisis ended peacefully. Britain had given to Prussia an 
undertaking to place forty ships of the line in commission, and had 
commissioned in October a powerful squadi-on which included, with 
the guardships at the naval ports, thirty sail of the line and eleven 
frigates or 44-gun ships. As an answer to this, France equipped 
sixteen sail of the line at Brest, and recalled an evolutionary 
squadron from the coast of Portugal. On October '27th, however, a 
joint declaration was signed in Paris by which England and France 
agreed to disarm ; and towards the close of the year a great part of 
the British squadron was paid off.^ 

On December 23rd, 1787, the Bounty, Lieutenant William Bhgh, 

left Spithead on a voyage to the South Seas," for the purpose of 

collecting bread-fruit plants, which were to be introduced into the 

West Indies. She was an armed transport of two hundred and 

fifteen tons, with a crew of forty-four officers and men, and two 

gardeners for the care of the plants. Her chief officers were, besides 

Bhgh, John Fryer, Master ; William Elphinstone, Master's Mate ; 

Fletcher Christian, Lieutenant (actg.) ; and John Hallett, Thomas 

Hayward, Eobert Tinkler, Peter Heywood, Edward Young, George 

Stewart, Midshipmen. Unfortunately the offices of Captain and 

Purser were combined in Bligh's person. He himself was a harsh 

and tyrannical officer, as his subsequent behaviour when governor 

of New South Wales proved.^ From the very outset he behaved 

vdth great violence and brutality to his crew. The provisions issued 

were hght in weight and defective in quality. At Tenerife he 

accused his men of steaHng cheese, and stopped the rations of both 

officers and men till the deficiencj' was made good. When the 

crew remonstrated mildly he told them, "You damned infernal 

scoundrels, I'll make you eat grass or anything you can catch before 

I've done with you." On further complaints he threatened to flog 

' Ann. Reg. 1787, 192 flf.] ; Malmesbury, 'Memoirs'; Stanhoiie, 'Pitt,' i. 344. 

' Bligh, 'Narrative of tlie Mutiny ou board H.M.S Bounty'; Marshall, 'Naval 
Biography,' ii. 747, Sujiplement, i. 98 ; ' Courts-Martial,' vol. 70. 

' He was deposed and dei)orted for " harsh and despotic conduct " in that capacity, 
in 1806. 

1788.] MUTINY IN THE BOUNTY. ' 103 

the first man who said a word. What with hard duty in the in- 
temperate weather of the Southern Atlantic, confinement in a small 
ship usually battened down, and bad food, many of the crew fell ill. 
But the service was perfonned with alacrity, and all went well 
between the Cape and Tasmania, where the Bounty anchored in 
Adventure Bay on August 20th, 1788. There Bligh confined his 
Carpenter, WiUiam Purcell. Leaving Adventure Bay the Bounty 
anchored in Matavie Bay, Tahiti, on October 26th. Bligh's conduct 
now became more arbitrary than ever.' We read that — 

" Lieutenant Bligh seized on all hogs that came to the ship, whether large or small, 
dead or alive, claiming them as his property, and serving them out as the ship's 
allowance in the proportion of one pound per diem. He also seized on those belonging 
to the Master, and slaughtered them for the use of the crew, although he had more 
than 40 of his own on board . . . When the Master remonstrated with him on the 
subject, he replied that he would convince him that everything became his as soon as 
it was brought on board ; that he would take nine-tenths of any man's property." ^ 

On various pretexts the crew's allowance of spirits was curtailed ; 
Christian was bullied and abused ; and a Midshipman who was on 
watch when three seamen deserted was put in irons and kept there 
for the greater part of three months, because he had slept on watch. 
To the natives Bligh behaved with most undiplomatic severity. On 
April 26th, 1789, the Bounty weighed for her homeward voyage. 
Next day Bligh pretended to miss some cocoanuts, and accused 
Christian of stealing them, abusing him in the presence of the other 
officers, and calling him a " damned hound," and them " scoundrels," 
"thieves," and "rascals." On the night of the 28th, Christian, 
exasperated, determined to leave the ship and swim ashore, but 
suddenly conceived the idea of seizing the vessel. He took into his 
confidence four seamen who had been flogged by Bhgh, distributed 

'■ Johu Adams, the sole survivor of the mutineers who tied to Pitcairn Island, 
spoke to Capt. Tliomas Staiaes, in 1814, of Bligh's " harsh and severe treatment in 
terms of strong feeling." Marshall, Suppl., i. 103. He was living in 1820. 

" From the diary of James Morrison, Boatswain's Mate in the Bounty. Marshall's 
account of the mutiny (loc. cit.) is based on this and not on Bligh's own version, which 
is a masterpiece of suppression and innuendo. The diary has never been published in 
full. Morrison was a man of good character. He was not one of the mutineers ; and, 
though he was sentenced to death, was immediately pardoned and promoted. He 
served under Troubridge, as Gunner in the unhappy Blenheim, and was lost in her 
in 1807. He is therefore a witness who can be trusted. Bligh had obvious reasons 
for concealing the truth about his own brutalities and arbitrariness. He served 
afterwards with credit at Copenhagen, where he won Lord Nelson's praise, and apiiears 
to have been brave and capable as an officer. But he was a type of the worst kind of 
naval officer, such as we find gibbeted in Marryat and Smollett, and appearing from 
time to time in the records of the courts-martial, a man intoxicated with ]iuwer. 

104 MINOn OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1788-89. 

alius to them from the anns'-chest, at which he got bj' stratagem, 
and then seized and secm-ed BHgh, the Master, the Gminer (WiUiam 
Peckover), and the botanist (David Nelson). BHgh offered little or 
no resistance, and not one of his officers raised a hand ; which is not, 
perhaps, to be wondered at in the circumstances. Other seamen 
joined Christian's party, either willingly or by compulsion. Bhgh 
and eighteen officers and men were placed in the cutter. They were 
given food, spirits, tools, a sextant and charts, and tm-ned adrift. 
The boat laj' very low in the water, and this circimistance prevented 
thi-ee or four of the officers and men who were loyal to Bligh from 
going in her. There w^ere left in the Bounty at the Friendly Islands, 
Christian, three Midshipmen,^ and twenty-five other officers and men. 

Enduring great hardships in his crowded boat, Bligh steered for 
Timor. Being unanned — for the only weapons in the boat were four 
cutlasses — he did not venture to toiich at any of the New Hebrides. 
His party landed on islands near the Australian coast, where they 
obtained quantities of oysters and much-needed rest after their 
sufferings. Leaving these islands on June 2nd, 1789, they pro- 
ceeded towards Timor, which they reached on June 14th. Through- 
out this long and painful voyage in an open, undecked boat, Bligh's 
conduct and management were admirable. He showed firmness and 
character, and he succeeded in bringing his party to Timor without 
the loss of a life. From Timor he went to Batavia, and so home. 

On his return the Pandora, 24, Captaiia Edward Edwards, 
was despatched in 1790 to search for and capture the mutineers. 
BUgh seems to have made no distinction between the innocent and 
the guilty, and naturally had suppressed all evidence of his own 
bad conduct. Edwards, who was entrusted with the task of 
avenging him, was, as subsequent events showed, a cruel and 
merciless man. 

When the boat left the Bounty, the ship was steering W.N.W. 
She soon altered course and put into Tahiti, whence she pro- 
ceeded to the small island of Toobouai, where a fort was built. 
Christian maintained strict discipline and placed offenders in irons. 
On September 11th, 1789, the Bounty returned to Tahiti, where 
sixteen of her crew wished to remain. Christian, with the other 
eight, who, we may suppose, were the really guilty, dreading 
vengeance, decided to retire to some unknown island. They 

' Heywood, Stewart and Young. Stewart was drowned iu irons when the Pandora 
was wrecked ; Youn" died at T,ihiti. 


sailed, therefore, from Tahiti, and nothing more was heard of them 
for many years. 

Of the sixteen men left at Tahiti, two were murdered. On 
March 23rd, 1791, the Pandora arrived at the island, and Mid- 
shipmen Heywood and Stewart came off and gave themselves up. 
The other twelve men surrendered or were captured. All were 
confined as " piratical villains," with both legs in irons, in a small 
box, eleven feet long, on the Pandora's deck. The only ventilation 
was through two gratings nine inches square. "The heat of the 
prison during calm weather was so intense that the perspiration ran 
in streams from their bodies." Every torture that Edwards could 
invent was applied. These men, most or all of them innocent of 
mutiny, were confined in this diminutive space until the}' were 
covered with filth. Their bedding was vermin-infested, and their 
food wretched. On August '28th, 1791, the Pandora struck a reef 
in Torres Strait and foundered. It will scarcely be believed that 
Edwards refused, though entreated by Heywood, to release his 
wretched prisoners. Fortunately for them there were more merciful 
hearts in the crew. As the Pandora sank the Master-at-Arms 
dropped the keys of the irons into the dreadful box. William 
Moulter, a boatswain's mate, at the risk of his own life, opened 
the small scuttle in the roof, which was the only means of entrance 
or exit, and ten of the fourteen escaped, though all had their wrists 
handcuffed. The other four were drowned. The survivors were 
landed on a small island, where Edwards left them without clothing 
or shelter under the scorching sun by day and the icy dew at night.' 
Finally, they were sent to the Cape in Dutch vessels and fed, by 
Edwards's orders, in this way : each man was to have 3 lbs. of bad 
meat, 1^ lbs. of stock fish, 1^ lbs. of tamarinds and sugar, i pint 
each of ghee and rancid oil, and 1 pint of vinegar a fortnight, 
with 2 drams of arrack and a scanty allowance of the very worst 
rice a daJ^ 

On June 19th, 1792, the so-called mutineers reached England 
and were tried by court-martial. Eemembering the rigours of the 
tribiinals which punished offences against discipUne, it is not 
wonderful to learn that six of the ten survivors w^ere foimd guilty, 
though it is probable that not one was really guilty, and though 
two of the men so condemned had taken up arms to rescue the ship 

' It need scarcely be said that Edwards's own account of his voyage says nothing of 
all this quite unnecessary cruelty. 

106 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1763-1792. [1789. 

in Bligh's interest, whilst two more were mere boys when the 
mutiny occuiTed. Bligh had promised to make a distinction 
between the innocent and guilty, and had broken his promise. 
He was absent from England on a second voyage during the 
com-t-niartial, but it is evident that he had condemned all alike 
in his reports to the Admiralty. The six were sentenced to death, 
and three were executed at Spithead, amongst them being two men 
who were undoubtedly innocent. Midshipman Heywood and Boat- 
swain's Mate Morrison were pardoned, and a third man was re- 
spited. Heywood was employed in the subsequent war in Howe's 
flagship, and great interest was taken in him by both Howe and 
Hood. He served with marked distinction throughout the war. 

It is strange that such men as Bligh and Edwards were in 
no way censured or punished. Both died after having attained 

Nothing more was heard of Christian and the other mutineers 
till 1813, when the Admiralty was informed by an American trader, 
who had touched at the small and remote Pitcairn's Island in the 
Southern Pacific, that he had found it, to his great surprise, in- 
habited by survivors or descendants of the mutineers. On September 
17th, 1814, Captain Thomas Staines, of the Briton, independently 
discovered the island and its inhabitants. After this lapse of time, 
John Adams, the sole survivor of the Bounty mutineers, was not 

On December 24th, 1789, whilst on a voyage from the Cape of 
Good Hope to Australia, the Guardian, armed en fli'de. Lieutenant 
Edward Eiou, being in want of water, approached an immense 
iceberg, a little to the north-east of the (then unknown) Marion 
Isles, to obtain blocks of ice. Boats were lowered and a quantity 
of ice was collected ; but on the ship attempting to stand off from 
the berg she was embayed by an indraught, and struck violently 
upon a submerged hummock, damaging her stern and rudder. With 
gi'eat difficulty she got off, after striking a second time abreast of the 
main chains. It was then found that the water in her well was 
rising fast. All hands manned the pumps, but at midnight of the 
25th the water in the hold was 4 feet 6 inches ; at 6 a.m. of the 26th, 
7 feet deep. A furious sea was running, and this further em- 
barrassed the crew. There were many convicts on board, and to 

' The Pitcairn islanders have since been removed, at their own wish, to Norfolk 
Island, in the South Pacific. 

1789-91.] WRECK OF THE GUARDIAN. 107 

keep order amongst them was by no means easy. Riou gave 
permission to his officers and crew to take to the boats, but for 
himself announced his absolute determination to remain in the ship. 
From this resolve he could not be moved by any entreaties. The 
launch, the large cutter and the jolly-boat were got out, and a 
certain number of officers and men jumped into them or swam 
to them when they put off, leaving Riou and sixty-one souls in the 
Guardian, as it seemed, to hopeless destruction. The jolly-boat, 
however, had not gone far when she foundered. The launch was 
picked up by a French merchantman on January 3rd, 1790, after 
her crew had suffered terrible privations. The cutter appears to 
have been lost. 

Wonderful to relate, the Guardian did not founder. Her hold was 
full of casks which buoyed her up, and, on the other hand, the ballast 
washed out through the gaps in her bottom and lightened her. She 
drove before the wind and sea till, on February 21st, 1790, the coast 
of Cape Colony was sighted. She was beached in Table Bay, and 
all those who had remained on board her were saved. Eiou, whose 
conduct rose to a height of courage above all praise, met an early 
and glorious death eleven years later in the battle of Copenhagen. 
His example will inspire men to heroic devotion and self-sacrifice so 
long as the annals of om* Navy are read and studied. 

The years 1790 and 1791 were chiefly famous for the Spanish 
and Russian armaments.' Spain had laid claim to Nootka Sound on 
the west coast of A'ancouver, and had despatched a force to eject the 
British traders there estabhshed. Following the precedent of 1770, 
the British Government at once demanded restitution, and com- 
missioned a powerful fleet under Admiral Lord Howe (W.). It 
included no fewer than twenty-nine ships of the Hue, with nine 
frigates, two sloops, four cutters, and two fireships. Under Howe 
were the flag-officers. Admiral the Hon. Samuel Barrington (B.), 
Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Arthur Hood (W.), Rear- Admiral 
William Hotham (1) (R.), Eear-Admiral Sir John Jervis (B.), and 
Rear- Admiral Sir Richard Bickerton (B.). This great fleet, 
perhaps the most powerful ever assembled by England up to that 
time, cruised at sea dm-ing Avigust and September. In October, Rear- 
Admiral Samuel Cornish (B.) w^as detached to the West Indies with 
six ships of the hue. On the 28th of the same month Spain came 
to terms and agreed to surrender Nootka Sound and compensate the 
' Schomberg, ii. 217-210, iv. 428 ; Stanhope, 'Pitt,' ii. 4'J. 




dispossessed settlers and merchants. The specially commissioned 
ships were then paid off. 

In 1791, difficulties with Russia, marking an important change 
in British policj', hut hardly falling within the scope of a history of 
the British Navy, led to the commissioning of a squadron even more 
powerful.' This was composed of thirty-six ships of the hne, one 
50-gun ship, and nine frigates. The officers in command were Vice- 
Admirals Lord Hood (B.), the most able and capable flag-officer then 
serving in the Navy, and William Hotham (1) (B.), and Eear- 
Admirals Sir Eichard King (1) (E.), Jonathan Faulknor (1) (E.), 
Phillips Cosby (W.), the Hon. John Leveson Gower (W.), and 
Samuel Granston Goodall (B.). In August the differences were 
settled, whereupon most of the ships were put out of commission. 

■ Stanhope, ' Pitt,' ii. 113 ff. ; Schomberg, iv. 437. 


( 109 ) 



-Vessels of H.M. Navy, or employed under Naval Officers, Taken, 
DESTitojED, Burnt, Foundered or Wrecked, 1775-1783. 






• Lost his life. 



Pomona .... 


Com. Thomas Eastwood.* 


Stimiie . 


,, Hugli Bromeiige. 


July 16. 

Diligtut. 8 


Lieut. Jolin Kiiinlit (2). 


Itoltou, brig 



,. Edward Suryd. 


June 29 

Artaon . 


Capt. Christopher Atlcins. 



l-'erret . 


Com. James Rodney.* 



Hacehnrse, a 



Lieut. James Jones. 



Repulse . 



Capt. Henry Daviea.* 




„ Henry ISellew. 


\ Ebip . 



Com. Benjamin Hill. 


Pejasus . 


„ J — Hamilton Gore.* 


Spriijhtly, c 

itter '. 


Lieut. Hills.* 


Cruiser . 


Com. Francis Parry (2). 



r«(<i( . 


Capt. James Shirley.* 


Jtme 7 

fhx . . 


f „ Patrick Fothering- 
\ ham. 


Oct. 23 

Merlin . 


Com. Samuel Reeve. 


„ 23 



Capt. Francis Reynolds. 


Nov. 10 

Syren . 


„ Tobias Fumeaux. 


I transp. 



Com. John Frod&ham. 


• • 


Capt. James Hawker. 




„ James Montagu (1). 




Com. C— Warre.* 


Swift . . 


„ Joseph Tathwell. 


Cupid . . 


„ ^\'iUiam Carlyon. 


Ifispatch. . 


., J— Itotham.* 


York, tender . . 


Lieut. Thomas Walbeoff. 


Spy . . ■ . . 


/ ,, Thomas Lenox 
I Frederick. 


illiuchinbroke, 1 
I armed vesael . 1 



Helena .... 


„ Thomas Hicks. 




,, John Wright. 


i'liferjimc, tender . 



Apr. 24 

Drake .... 


Com. George Burden.* 


June 24 

Folkestone . . . 


Lieut. W— Smith (I). 


.Inly 9 

Lively .... 


Capt. Ilolwrt Riggs. 



Alert, cutter . . 


(Lieut. William George i 
[ Fairfax. i 


„ 30 

Ki?ii/fisker . 




Stanley .... 






Capt. Hugh Dalrymple. 



Lark .... 


„ Richard Smith. 



Orpheus .... 


„ Charles Hudson. 



Flora .... 


„ John Brisbane. 



Cerberus, . . . 


,, John Symons. 



^Icon .... 


Com. Harry Harmood. 


.. 14 

Senegal.ix liacehone 


„ John Inglls (1). 


„ 17 

Thunder, bomb. . 


„ James Gambler (2). 


Foundered in the West Indies. 

Lost near Louit-buorg. 
Tttken at Macbias. 
Taken by the Americans. 
Abandoned and destroyed at Charleston. 
Foundered in tlif Wvst Indies. 
Taken liy the Andrea Dorian 14. 
Foundered off Bermuda. 
"Wrecked off Long Island. 

I Foundered in the Cnlf of Florida. 

Fnundereii off Ncwfuun<llaud. 
, Capsized off (iuenisey. 
' liurut off S. Carolina. 
j Foundered off Newfoundland. 
v( I'aken by the Ilanaick. 32, and Boston 
] I 24. Retaken, 17V7. 
I Abandoned and burnt at Mud Island. 

Accidentally burnt at Mud Island. 
j Wrecked off Rhode Island. 

Foundered off Newfoundland. 

: Driven ashore by d'Estaing's fleet. 
Wrecked near New York. 
I Foundered coming from the Cape of 
' Good Hope. 

Wrecked off Cape Henry, and burnt. 
Foundered off Newfoun<lland. 
I Capsized in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 
' Taken off the American coast. 

[ Wrecked off Newfoundland. 

I Taken by American privateers. 

Taken by the Sensible. Retaken, 1779. 

Wrecked off Florida. 
' I'akcu by the Americans, and burnt. 

Taken by thefiaw'/t^r, IS.near Itelfast. 
I (Taken by the French, off the French 
( coast. 

Taken by Iphiij,'nic, etc. RetakeQ. 

[ Taken by the Jumm. 

I Abandoned and burnt at Rhode Island. 
I Taken by fcsar, 74. 
I Abandoned and biinitat Rhode Island. 
Abandoned and bunitat Rhode Island. 
I Abandoned and bumtat Rhode Island. 
I Sunk at Rhode Island. 
Abandoueti and bunitnt Rhode Island. 
( Hunit at Rhode Island ; weighe-1, and 
\ was lost. 

rTaken by d'Estalng: retaken. 1780. 
i and blown up. 
Taken by d'il^ing, in America. 



Year. Date. 

• Lost his life. 



17(3 Aug. 32 








„ 23 

Sept. 1 

.. to 


Dec. 17 


1779 I 
1779 Jan. 

1779 JIai. 























May 1 

June 19 

July U 

.. 16 



!! 10 

» 23 

1. 23 

.> 24 

Oct. 6 

Nov. 27 



Sept. 13 

Oct.' " 

Oct.' ' 4 

„ 5 

Oct. 6 

Zephyr , 

fbr .... 
Somerset . . 
Zebra . . . 

Ceres . . . 
Supply, etoreship 

Tortoise, anned 
. transp. . . 
North, armed ship 

Thorn . . . 

Tapageur, cutter 

Hope .... 
West Florida . 
Tork. . . . 
tLeriatftan, ex NoT' 

Penelope. . . 
Weazel . . . 

Arethusa . . 


Diligent . . . 
Glasgow . . . 

Hgmont, schooner 

Haarlem . . 

HoltUrnesse, cutter 

Active, cutter 

Ardent . . 

Sphinx . 

Jtose .... 

Savannah, brig 

Ariel. . . . 

Serapis . . 
(Countess of Scar-\ 
I borough . . 

Experiment. . 
Quebec . . . 
Jackal, cutter . 
Hussar . . . 
True Briton, brig 
Active . . . 
Dejiance . . . 

Viper . . . 

Scorpion . . . 

Coureur, schooner 

Cormorant . . 
Fortune . . 

Vigilant, armed ship 
Rover . . 

Bellona, anned ship 
Endeavour, brig 
Nimble, cutter . 
Phcenix . . . 
Victor, brig . 

Incendiary, fireshlp 
Scarborough . . 


28 {' 

Capt. Jobu Stott.» 
Com. Thomas West. 

Capt. WUliam AVil-j 

liams. / 

„ Hon. Thomas Windsor.' 
„ George Ourry. | 

Com. Heury Colins. i 

( „ James Uichardil 
\ Dacres(i). jj 

f „ John Lockhart Na-ll 
{ smyth. J 

,, Jahleel Brenton (1). j 

„ George Selby.* 

„ William Wardlaw. 

f Lieut. Lord Charles Fitz-V 
I gerald. ] 

„ ]^licbael Hiudman. i 

„ John Willett I'ayne. 

„ Daniel Dobree. 
fCapt. Robert Alesanderi 
\ Lambert. / 

„ James Jones.* 
Com. Lewis Robertson. < 
/Capt. CharlesHolmesil 
I Everitt. i\ 

,, Stair Douglas (1). 
Lieut. Thomas "WalbeofF. ! 
Capt. Thomas Lloyd ( ). I 

Lieut. John Gardiner. 
,, Josias Rogers. 

fTaken by the French in the West 

I Indies. Retaken, I7dl. 

(Taken by the French. Retaken, 1780, 

I and bomt. 

(Taken by the French in the West 

I Indies. 

Taken by the Junoit. 

Wreeked near Cape Cod. 

A\'recked at Egg Island Harbour. 

Taken by the French. Retaken, 1782. 
Accidentally burnt at St. Kitts. 

Foimdered off Newfoundland. 

Wrecked off Nova Scotia. 

[Taken by an American frigate. Re- 

I taken. 

Capt. Philip Boteler. 

f ,, Robert Manners .Snt-) 
I ton J 

,, John Brown. 
Lieut. Richard Fisher. 
Capt. Thomas ilackenzie. 
„ Richard Pearson. 

Com. Thomas Piercy. 
fCapt. Sir James A\'allace,i 
I Kt. J: 

„ George Farmer.* 

Lieut. John Gibson. ! 

Capt Charles Maurice Pole. 
Lieut. Hon. Patrick Napier. 

,, 'William Quarme. 
Capt. Maximilian Jacobs. 

„ John Augustus, Lord"! 
Hervey. J 

Lieut. C — -Major. 

Robert .M'Evoy. 
Com. Lewis l;obertson. 
fCapt. Thomas Lenox^ 
I Frederick. j 

Com. Thomas Goldes-] 
brough. J 

„ Henry Savage. 

„ Francis Tinsley. 
Lieut. Francis Wooldridge. 

,, W. Fumival.* 
Capt. Sir Hyde Parker (2). 

/Com. William Augostusi 
I :\Ierrick. ] 

Capt. Samuel Hoodl 
Walker.* ] 

^V^ecked in the W. Indies. 

Taken by an A merican privateer. 
Taken at Pensacola by the Americans. 
Taken by d'Estaiug at Grenaila. 

Foundered returning from Jamaica. 

Lost in the A\'. Indies. 

Taken by Boudeuse in W. Indies. 

Wrecked off Ushant. 

( Taken bj' two French vessels In 

I Mediterranean. 

; Taken by the Providence. 

I Accidentally burnt at Jamaica. 
(Taken by Wild Cat, 14,off Kewfound- 
» land. 

Taken by American privateers. 
(Taken by the allied fleets in the 

I I Channel. 

Taken by the Mutine in the Channel. 
'/Taken by the allied fleets. Retaken 
1 ns2. 

Taken by AmpkitHte. Retaken. 

Sunk to block Savannah Bar. 
Simk at Savannah to block the Bar. 
Taken by Amozone off Carolina. 
Taken by Htmhomme JiicJiard. 

Taken by squadron of Paxil Jones. 

Taken by d'Estaing off Georgia. 

Blown up engaging StirveiUante. 
(Carried to France by mutineers. Re- 
\ tal^en in 1781. 

Wrecked near Hell Gate, New York. 

Taken by the French. Retaken. 

Taken by Americans, near New York. 

Wrecked on Savannah Bar. 

Wrecked in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

Wrecked in N. America. 
/Taken by the Americans off New- 

Taken by de Grasse off Charleston. 

Taken by the French in the W. Indies. 
/Taken by the French in the W. Indies. 
{ Retaken as the Licorne. in 1781. 

Burnt at Beaufort, S. Carolina. 

/Taken by the French in the W. Indies. 
I Retaken in 1781, but lost. 

Wrecked in the mouth of the Elbe. 

lA)bt in the hurricane. W . Indies. 

SVrecked in Mount's liay. 

Lost in the hurricane, W. Indies. 

Lost in the hurricane, W. Indies. 

Wrecked off the Isle of Wight. 
Lost in the hurricane, W. Indies. 



Year. I Date. 

























Oct. 11 

.. 11 






May : 



Stirlitvi CastU 



Laurel . . 
Slulrk . . 
Aiidrom&tij . 
Deal rastle . 
lilanche . 

Beaver's Prize 

Sartine . 
Hiiri) , . 
Cttlhjden. . 

Terrihle . . 

Mentor . . 
MoH'j, armed ship 
Qtnnaine, anued) 

ship . . 
Rhu ... 
Minorra^ xebec. 
Port Royal . 

St. Pirmin . 


Trepa$sey . 
Bope, cutter. 
Antigua . 
Pbjt armed cutt 

lionetta . . 

Rnnke . . 
Castor . . 

Loyalist , . 

Pigmy, cutter 


Thuwler, bomb 
Pelican . 
Sandwich, tjrmed 

















Savage . . 

Swallow . . 
Hope . , . 

Skelanagig . 

I Duchess of Camber 
land . , 

Delight . , 


Pheasantt cutter 

Jris . . 






Greyhound , 

Charon . 


Firebrnti'l, fireship 
Vukait, fireship . 
Conjlagratii/Ut tlre-'» 
ship . . . ./ 



* Lo6t bis life. 


Capt. Iti.bert Carkett.* 
Com. Ralph Mllbank.* 

iComuKKl. lluu. Robert I 
Capt. Robert Boyle 

„ Timothy Edwards. 

,, Thomas Llovd (1).* 
., Howell Lluyd.* 
„ Heury Uoiie.* 
„ James Iliiwkin:^. 
Com. James Jiihusume.* 
Capt. Samuel Uppleby.* 
(Com. John Auriol Drum-l 
\ mond.* J 

,, Robert Slmoutou. 
Com. Jiweph Hrowuc. 
Capt. (George llalfour. 
f „ Hou. William^ 
1 Clement Fiuch. j 

„ George Gayton. 
„ Robert I)eau8(l). 
Com. ^Villiam Long.* 
( ,, George AugtititU6\ 
I Keppel. i 

„ John .Mauley (l). 
Lieut. U. Lawsou. 

Com. Jonathan Faulknori 
t2). / 

„ Sampson Edwards. 

,, James Smyth.* 
Lieut. L. Vickere.* 

,, John Hutt. 
Com. Jlilbam Fousonby. 

,, Ralph Dimdas. 

Lieut. William Jackson. 

• „ John Bligh (l).-» 
actg. i 

Com. Morgan Laugbame. 
„ I'hilip d'Auvorgue. 

Lieut. Thomas Dyson. 

„ J. Duncan. 

„ W. Anderson. 
Com. John Wallace.* 
Capt. Cuthbert Collingwood. 
Com. William Bctt. 

„ Robert M'Evoy. 

„ Charles Stirling. 

„ Thomas Wells (I). 
„ William Thomas. 

,, James Keith Shepard. 

Lieut. Edward Marsh. 

/Com. Francis Thomas i 
I Drake.* j 

Lieut. Georg' Brisac. 

„ George Matthews.* 
Capt. George Dawsun. 
„ Charlrs Iludsuu. 
„ Peter Aplin. 
„ William Holt. 
,, Isaac Vaillaut. 

„ Hugh liobinson. 

,, William Fox. 

„ Thomas Symonds. 

I „ Rubort Llnztie. 
I Com. Richard Hill. 
George Palmer. 

J. Duncan. 

Lost In the hurricane, W. Imlies. 
Lost in the hurricane, W. Indies. 

Lost in the hurricane, W. Indies. 

Sunk, being unserviceable, at St. 
1 Lucta. 

Lost in the hurricane, W. Indies. 
Wrecked in North America. 
Lost in the hurricane, W. Indies. 
L<>st in the hui ricauf, W. Indies. 
Lust lu the hurricane, W. Imlles 
Lost in the hurricane. \V. Indies 

Ijost in the hurricane, W. Indies. 

Wrecked in the E. Indies. 
Taken by the French. Retaken. 
Wrecked off Long Island. 

BuiTit in America as unserviceable. 

'I'akeu by tht? Freucb. 
Burnt at I'ensacola. 
Aceiik'Utally burnt. 

Taken by the /Vmericans. 

Wrecked in i'lymonth Sound. 

Sunk at Mahon to save from capture. 

Taken by the Simnianis at Pensacola. 

Taken by the Spanlanls off Gibraltar. 

(Takon by the American Alliaitce. 
\ Retaken. 

Taken by the American Alliance. 

'I'aken by the French in America. 

Taken by the French in the W. Indies. 

Taken by the French in America. 
rTaken by the Freucli In the Chesa- 
{ peak*-. Retaken 3. 1 .8-2. 

Taken by American privateers. 

Taken by Gloire and Frijiunne. 

Taken by Gloire and Pi-iponne. 

Taken by the French in theChesapeake. 
Lost in the E. Indies. 

I Driven ashore and taken at Dan- 
( querque. 

Wrecked in Amrrica. 

Taken by the Spaniards off Gibraltar. 

Foundered m the Channel. 

I,#ost in a hurricane at .famaica. 

Taken by de Grasse's Uoet. 

I'aken by de Grasse's fleet. 
ijTakeu by the privateer Congress, 24, 
I Retaken by SoUhay. 
! Wrecked off "Long Island. 

Wrecked otr Savannah. 
fTaken by the French in the W. 

I I Indies. 

I Wrecked off Newfoundland. 

Foundered going to N. America. 

Wrecked off Beachy Head. 
I Capsized in the Chauuei. 
! J'aken by de Grasse. 

I'aken by de Grassc. 

Sunk in the Chesai>eakc. 

Taken by the AmericansoffCharlestOD. 

I Wrerkeii on the coast of Su.-isex. 

I J Sunk iu the Chesapeake to save firom 

I I atpture. 

I Wrecked on .South Sand Head. 

I I Burnt in the Chesapeake to save from 
\ captiue. 

Wrecked «.ff St. Lucia. 
Aa'ideuuUy burnt near Falmouth. 
Burnt in tht,- Chesapeake. 

Lost in N. America. 






1782 I 









• Loft bis life. 



Jan. 25 I Solebay . 

21 Sannibal . 
Santa Monica 
Blonde . 


Apr. 8 

June 26 

1VS2 .\ug 29 















Feb. 16 

Nov. 5 

Coventry . . 

ninchinbroke . 

Oronoque . . 

Sylph . . . 

Barbuda . , 

Stormont . , 

Rodney, brig . 
Chaser . . . 

General Monk . 

JacTcal, armed ship 
(Britannia, arm&l 
I Bbip . . . 

Alligator . . 

Jiejiulse, cntter . 
Swan . . . 

Boyal George . 

HamilUes . 
Sector . , 

Centaur . . 

rule de Paris , 
Racoon, brig 
Polecat, brig 
Allegiance . 

Lively, brig. 

Prince Edwa rd, brig 
^Resolution, amied 
I transp. . , 

7?(7 (7:e5. armed transp. 

Flying Fish, cutter 

Placentia, brig . 
^Cornwallis, armed 
L ship . . . 

Argo. . . . 

Suferb . 

Cato . . 

Pallas . 
Cerberus . 

Raven . 

Mentor . 

TicTcler . 

Taken by tlie Fttnch off Sumatra. 
■\\'recked off Tortola. 
M'recked on Nantucket Shoals. 

Capt. Alexander Christie. 
I, John Liuzee. 
„ Eii\\ard i hombrough. 

'. " '^E^erUt'"''^"'''] ^Vrecked and burnt at Xevis. 

rTaken by the French in the Bay of 
I Bengal. 

Founiiered off Jamaica. 
Taken at capitulatiuu uf Deraerara. 
'lakeu at capitulatiuu of bemerara. 
Taken at capitulation of Demerara. 
Taken at lapitulatiou of Demerara. 

{"Se!'"''" ^"^^ ^'^} T^k^" »' "■« "Pi'"l*«« "I Demerara. 
("Taken by the French in the Bay of 
I Bengal. 

(Taken by the Pennsiylvanian ship, 
I Uyder All, 10. 
Taken by the 1/eane in the ^^'. Indies. 

AV recked ou the Kentish Knock. 

„ MilUam Wolseley. 

Com. William Tahourdin. 
„ Lawrence Grseme. 
„ Frauds Pender, 
(.'hristmas Paol. 

Com. Thomas Parr. 

Josias Kogere. 
Gustavus Logie. 
M. Davis.* 

John Frodsham. 

("Taken by the French at the month of 
I the Chanuel. 

Wrecked off Yarmouth. 

Capsized off W'aterford. 

Capsized at Spithead. 

Burnt as unserviceable. 

I Sunk on tLe Banks of Newfoundland. 
Foundered returning from Jamaica. 

Lieut. J. Atkinson.* 

Com. Lewis Eobertson. 
iRear-Adm. Kichard Kem-l 
^ penfelt.* ' 

(Capt. Martin "Waghora. | 
|Rear-Adm. ThomasGraves 
{ (2). 
ICapt. Sylverius :\Ioriarty. \ 

„ John Bourchier. 
f „ Hon. Thomasi 
I Cadogan.* j 

|Capt. J ^^l^g^JJ^;^ «^ ^«"} Foundered returning from Jamaica. 

,, ('Oorge \\'ilbinson.* Foundered returning from Jamaica. 
Lieut. Edmund Kagle. j Taken by Gloire and Ait/le. 

Hon. Patrick Napier.i Taken by the French iu N. America. 
"■'■■" I Taken by the Americans. 

(Captured by prisoners and taken to 
I, Havana. 
I Captured by her American prisoners. 

I Taken by the French iu the E. Indies. 

Norris Thompson. I Taken by the French iu the E. Indies. 
Charles Craven. I Wrecked near Calais. 

Charles Anderson.* i Wrecked off Newfoundland. 

Com. David Pbips. 
Lieut. M. Stanhope. 

„ Richard Simmonds. 

„ R. F. Hassard. 

„ R. T. Appleby.* 

Capt. John Butchart. 

iVice-Adm. Sir Edwardi ' 
< Hughes. V 

I Capt. Henry Xewcome. ]' 
iVice-Adm. Sir Hydei' 
I'arker (.1), Kt* ] 

[Capt. James Clark.* 
[ „ Chribttipher Parker^ 

„ Sir Jacob Wheate, Bt. 

Com. John '\\''ells. 

„ E. TuUidge. 

r „ William O'Brien) 

Foundered in the Atlantic. 

[Taken by the yi/niphe, 3G,aiidJmphi- 
■j trite, 32. Retaken, 19.2.83, by 
( Invincible^ V4. 

^Vrecked off Tellicherry, E. Indies. 

Lost going to the E. Indies. 

Run ashore on St. George's Isle. 

Wrecked near Bermuda. 
(Taken by two French frigates in W. 
\ Indies. 

Wrecked near Bermuda. 
(Taken by a French frigate iu W. 

y{ Indies. 



B. — Vkssels ok the United States Navv, and ok the 1{euulaii Colonial 
Marines Taken, Destkoyed, Buknt, Founiikiikd ok Wkelkei) i)ritiN(i the 
War ok American Revolution. 

1777 Mar. 
1777 .May 
1777 July 

1777 j „ 

1777 I 

1777 I Sept. 
1777 ., 

I77» Oct. 


1777' Kov. 

1777 „ 
1777 ' „ 

1777 j „ 

1778 Mar. 7 

1778 „ 9 

1778 Mar. 

1778 .Sept. 
1770 Aug. 

1779 i „ 



1779 Sept. 

1780 May 



1780 ,, 










Caliot ' . . 
Hancock • . 

Fox . 

An-lrti IHirta 

Lexington . 
Velawdre ' . 

Cbiiffress . 


mffinyham . 
Hachem . 
Ifttfphin . 
Wasp . . 

Ranlulph . 

Alfred . . 

Virtjinia > . 

Raleiijh^ . 


Diligent . . 

Providence i 

Hazard (Massa. 

Tyrannicide (Ma:$sa. 
Honh'imme Itichard 
Queen of France 

I'rocidence . 

Hoston J . . . 

Ringer*. . . 
Protector^ (Ma'<sa 
Rricole (S. Car.) 

(Grneral ifoultr 
(S Car.) . . 

I yotre Dame (S. Car. 

I Siratoga 

Trnmbull . 

f.^nth Carolina (S. 

( Car.) . 

t iimmuudcr. 
* I.u^l hid life. 











Joseph Oiuey. 
Gu^^tavus Couyughara. 
Juhn Mauly. 

11. JuhnsWu. 
Charles .-Vlexauiler. 

) '* 




' 24 

I 18 

f 26 


Xivhjias HidtJle.* 

j KIit>lia Il.iiuiati. 
Lamlwrt Wiikes.* 

' J;imes Nicholsun. 

.Inh« liarry. 
, Duilley SalWustall. 



, lla.ker. 

iJolm Fu:?ter William^) 
\ (Mass.)- i 

C'athcart (Mass.)* 
Juhu Paul Juues. 

Abraham Whipple. 



} 20 

) 16 



.lohu Yoiintt. 
Setb HardiiiK. 
Jamed Nicbutsuu. 

.I.-yiicr (S. CaT.^ 

(Chase I asbure, Ukeu. aiut Kut ufT by 
\, 'IS. rapt. .Jnbii Kor.l. 

Seize! by the French, as a pirate. 
/'I'aken by /iainhinv, 44, C'^pt. Sir 
( (ie»rne Collier. 

( Retaken by Flora, 32, Capt. Jubu 
\ hrisbiiic. 

/Hiinit t:i!>ave her frum capture in the 
I Delaware. 

i I'akeu by .1 Int. 1 0. Lieut. .John 
I Pazely (I), in Channel. 
;SurrenlereU tu British truops in tlie 
{ IVlaware. 

f l>e>tn'yeil to save h;r from capture in 
( the llu.lsuu. 

I)c--*tn.)ye,i in the lliiUson. 

l)estn)yet in the I)elaware. 

Pestroyeii in tlie Iielaware. 

Itestroye.I in the Delaware. 

De?truye-1 in the Delaware. 

Destroyed in the Delaware. 

Destroyed in the Delaware. 

Destroyed in tlie Delaware, 
j lilew up in action with the Yarmouth, 
( ij4. Capt. N'icli. Vincent. 

I'akeu by tiie .4?'i(n/n;,24, and flcrc.»,lb. 

Kouudereii at sea. 

i<Jrounded, and was taken lu theChesa- 
\ i>eake. 

(I'akeu by ExperimenU 50» aud Cni- 
\ riirti, VO. 

i Ittinit 1 1 .save her from capture, iu the 
[ i'enubscot. 

I Hurnt t^ save her from capture, in the 
i Penobscot. 

I Taken by Sir George Collier iu the 
\ Penobsc4it. 

I liumt to save her from capture, iu the 
( i'euobs^ot. 

iMUinit to .save her frcm capture, iu the 
\ Penobscot. 

Sauk after action with the Serapif, 44. 
I Taken at i.'liailestun, by Vice-Adm. 
I Arbutbuot. 

I Taken at Charleston, by Vice-Adm. 
( .\rbuthnut. 

(Taken at t'harlestju, by Vi"e-Aitui. 
I Arbutlniut. 

f'Taken at Charleston, by Vi.^^e-Adm. 
{ Arbutbuot. 

Taken l)y U'te'mck; 44, an i ifc/ei, '.8. 
) De>troye I at Charlest.jn, by Vice-Adm. 
) Arbiithnot. 

, De.Htixye i at Charlestnu, by Vice-Adm. 
( .\rbuthnot. 

1 Destroyed at Charleston, by Vice-Adm. 
i ,\rbuthnot. 

Su)>pose i lot^t at Bea. 

I'aken by (frfiluns. 32. and Hnebuck, 44, 
(Taken by the Iris, 'i2, and General 
I Mmk, 18. 

t'TaUen by liiomc^le,AA, ^t«(r<7fl. 33, and 
( i^uebec, 32. 

I Added to the Royal Navy under tame name. » AdJei to the Royal Navy as rluirlesUm, 28. 

= Added to the Royal Navy as Iris. * Addwl to the R4.yal Navy as IJali/ttx. 

» Added to the Royal Navy a^ irttstar, 28. 




-Vessels of the Frenxh Navy, Taken, Destroyed, or Burnt ry II. M. 
Ships, and also, so far as can be Ascertained, Similar A'essels Lost or 
Wrecked during the War, 1778-1783. 


1778 I June 17 












1779 I 





















1782 I 


M 19 

Aug. 25 

Jan. 31 

May 13 

„ 13 

May 13 

May 13 

June 2 


Oct. 2 
.» 2 
„ 20 

Feb. 24 

June 26 

JiUy 1 


Aug. 10 

Nov. 2 

Jan. 4 







^.„.,.„ , -,. (Taken by the Mett, cutter, 10, Liout. \Vm. Geo. Fairf^ 

"""*"' ' ^* I Uhaunel. 

Licorne^ 32 

Pallas^ .... 

Siirtint^ . . 
Oiseo K 1 . 
Dieppe, cutter 
Fendtm . 
Pnuhnte ' 

Cffittpas, flrlte 
Pilote > . - 
Hiittnei . . 
Alcmeiie i 
Blanche i . . 
Fortuntfe ^ 
Elise . . . 

Protei^ . . . . 
San$ Pai'eit, cutter. 
.4r(oi*sl . . . . 

Hussard . . . . 

Capricietise . 


Belle Poule » . 
Renaril ' . 

yympJie i . 

Intrepide . 
Palmier . 
Junon . 

Senegal^ ex Racehorse . 

Minerve ' 

^uer Ox-Pritish) . . 

Alerte . 

20 ! Licorne i 
26 Lively. . 

2 Magidenne ' 

Keeker,'^ armed ship 
Ville de Parish . . 
Glorieux i 
Hector I . . 


Ardent i . . . . 
Caton " . . . . 
Bizarre .... 
Jason 1 . . . . 
Aimable^ .... 
Ceres * 

Apr. 23 

Pdgaxe i 


Actionnairt, flute (24) . 

Taken by the fleet under Lord Keppel, Channel. 
(Taken by the fle:*! under Lord Keppel, Channel. Renamed 
I Conceit. 

Taken by the squadron of Vice-Adra. Sir E. Vernon, E. Indies. 

Taken by the Ap>,llo, 32, Capt. Philemon J'ownall. (."hanuel. 

Destroyed by the squadron of Sir James Wallace. Cancale Ray. 

Destroyed by tlie squadron of Sir .Tames Wallace, Cancale Ray. 

Ta'ien by the Proserpine, 2S, Capt. tieorge Anson RjTon. 

Destroyed by the sqiunlron of Sir James \\'aUace. Cancale liay. 

Taken by the Bnttlesnake, cutter, 10. Lieut. William Ivnell. 

Taken by the Experiment , 5'i, Capt. Sir Jas. AVallace. 

Taken by the litdnj, 04, Capt. aiichael Jubn Everitt.* 

Taken by the Amlmscade, 32, Capt Hon. Cliarles Phipps 

Taken l)y the H'ne'is, 28, Capt. ( harles Thompson (1). 

Taken by the Jupiter. 50, and ci nsorts, Ch innel. 

Taken by tlie Apollo, 32, and consorts, Channel. 

'lakeii by the Pmserpine, 32, Capt. George Anson Byron. 

Taken bv the Miignijicctit, 74. 

Taken by the Snff»lf.-, 74. 

1'aken by the JJagniJirent, 74, and Stirling Castle, 64. 
(Taken by thesquadfou of Rear-Adm. Hon. Robt. Digby, Fay 
I. of liiscay. 

Taken in W. Indies by Phcenix, 44, etc. 

(Taken by the Romney, 50, Capt. Roddom Home, coast of 
\ I'urtugal. 

Token ofl" Ushaut by Nonsuch, 64, Capt. .*=ir Jym^s Wall.iC3. 

Ta'Ncn and burnt by the Prudent*; 36. and Licm-ne, 32. 
paken by the R'fmneg, 50, Capt. Roildam Home, coast of 
I Port n fill I. 

(Taken by the Xonsuch, 64, Capt. Sir Jas. Wallace, coast of 
1 France. 

Diiveu ashore and desiroyed by the Xonsuch, 64. 
(Taken by the Brune, 32, Capt. Fras. John Hartwell, W. 
I Indies. 

(Taken by the Hora, 36, Capt. William Peere Williams, off 
\ Ushant. 

Lost iu the hurrica? e, AV. Indies. 


Lost in th" hurricane, W. Indies. 

(Taken by the Zej hyr, 14, Com. John Inglis (1\ coast of 
I Africa. 

(Ex 3f:nerra. Taken by the Cmirai.euT, 74, Capt. Lord Mul- 
1 grave, etc. Renamed Hei-uvery. 

Taken by a privateer, but lost at se». 

(Taken by the Persecerance.Z^, Capt. Skeffington Lutwidge, 
l N. America. 

(Taken by the Resmirce, 28, Capt. Bar. Samuel Rowley, W. 
\ In lies. 

Taken by the Perseverance, Capt. S. Lutwidpe, Channel. 
('I'akeii by the (liatham, 50, Capt. And. Snape Douglas, N. 
\ Am-riea. 

Taken by the IJnnnihal, 50, Cape of Good Hope. 

Taken in Lord Rodney's victory. 

'Jaken in Lord Rodney's victory. 

Taken in Lord Rodney's victory. 

Ruvnt iiftiT Lord K<Miney's victoiy. 

Taken hi Lord Rodney's victory. 

'Jaken by Lord Ho<Mi in the Mona Passage. 

Wrecked near Trini'omale. 

'Jaken by Lord IbHxl in the Mona Passage. 

Taken by Lord Hotxi in the Mona Passag?. 

Taken by Lord Hoo<l in the Mona Passage. 
flaken by the fhudi-oyant, 80, Capt. John Jervis, Pay of 
I Riscay. 

\N recked near 'J'rincomale. 

(Taken by the Queen, 98, Capt. Hon. Fred. Lewis Mainland, 
\ l!ay of Ris.ay. 

1 Added to U.M X&vy. 

LOSSES OF THE SVASlslI NAVY, 1779-1782. 


Tetr. Date. 
























Dauphin^ flrite 
Amaztjtte . . 
Tenu^raiie . 
Aitjle, hired . 
Espinn, nitter 

/fcfc-l . . . 

Aif/le^. . . 


■ " 
. 36 


. 22 


. 40 

. IS 
. 61 
. 14 
. 1 20 

. 30 

. ,36 
. 1 28 
. 20 

Takeu by the .Ir./.i, 44, 

rTakeii, but ul>aii>ltiiieil, 

I Sailer. N. .\iiierlc«. 
Takeu by the Cm moral 

(Taken by hue tie (tiat 

\ Caiw Henry. 
Taken by the hiznrd, 2 
Tiikcn by the Itaiiiboir, 

(Ta'ten by squadron of C 

I the Delaware. 
Driven ashore by I^milo 
lakeu by tlie Hahi/. 64. 
Tak>n by .Sir U. Ilughi-t 
Taken by Mtdiitlor, 44, 
TakfH by the * 'if, tops, * 
Taken by the Jtetlea, 2< 

[Taken by Hofsar, 28 

I N. Aiiierl.a. 
Taken by St. Allans, et 
Taken by the Hesistmice 
Taken by the Sreptre, 6 

Cupt John llulchart, \V. ludirs. 

by A'un(u SInrijiiritii, 36, tapt. KUiot 

(, 16, Com. John MiUonib^. 

liM, 18, Capt. John I'hlhl l-urvls, off 

!, Capt. Eilnnni.l Di>l, ..IT St. Kilts. 
44, (apt. ))i-nry 'Iroltopf. ( bannel. 
apt. Hon. tieo. Keith Klphiu.stone, olT 


;i, 98, and Torlniy, 74. MispauioU. 
("apt. John Otdlins, .Atlantic. 
's squadron, 
(apt. Hon. Joliu l.uttrill. 


solitaire . . 
Amjthitritu . 
M'-iinflere, fl'"itc 



, (.'apt. Krusiuiis Gower. 

, Capt. 'Ihus. .Macuainara KU!i6elI, 




Oviucttc . . 


44, Capt. .Tames King. off Tnrk '8 Ir'iaud. 

.Capt. .SamueHIra\es(jt, Ka.-^t Indies. 

.\ddedto H.M. Navy. 

D. — Vessels or the Spanish Xavv, Taken, Destuoyed, or Bukxt dy II. M. 
Ships, and, so fab as can be Ascertained, Similar Vessels Lost ou 
Wrecked durinc. thk War, 1770-17^*'-'. 







Satita Mottica 1 . . 





Siiita Maryaritu^ . 





Unix 1 . . . . 





J/onarcrt 1 . . . 





I*rineesa t . . . 





mligeiite ' . . . . 

; 70 




.S(in DomintfO 





San Julia no . . . 





^H Eugenia . . . 





tirana i . . . . 





Santa Leocadia 1 





Santa Catalina . . 




Santa Catalina . . 





fattar .... 





/*'Ih/<i Prima 





Talla Fiedra . . 





liomrio .... 



S\n illguel l . . . 





.SViit rristdlHil . . 




Principe Carltnt. 





Paula Seguwla . . 





Sii n Jua 11 . 




Siiiitt Ann . . . 




/''.''.).-.■ ... 


Takeu by the /'eir^, 32, Capt. Geo. ^Iciit^KU, off the Azores. 

'iakeii by tbe Tirtnr. 'IH, Capt. Alex, finini' Liislxm. 
r'laken in Lord Kmluey's victorj' off St. Vincent. Kenamed 
\ tiihniUnr. 

Takpn in Lonl It^nlney's vict;>ry off St. Viuient. 

'lakeu in L<inl K«Kiney'.s victory off St. N'lui'CuC. 

laken In LonI KixJneyV vict«»ry off St. Viu^eut. 

Itlnwii up in action witb Lonl liiNlney's fleet. 

Prove a>hore after lapture in Lonl K«»thiey's a-.tlou. 

Drove ashore after capture in KtHluey's actiou. 
I Takeu by tbe'er'/^iMx, 3J.<'apt. Kobert Man (3), I'ay »*f J'i'^cay. 
I Takeu by the fanmln, "4, Capt. Sir tJeo. Collier Mayof Hbcay. 
fTakeii and bunit by the Success, 32, Capt. Charles .Murice 
( Tnle. Ilay of Hi.>«:ay. 

Taken by the F x 32, Capt. Geo. Stoney, off Jamaica. 

Ihinit iu ai.cion at (iibralur. 

Kunit iu adlon at fiibr.iltar. 

Hunit IU action at ifibmltar. 

Itunit in tiction at liibraltir. 

Driven Of-hore and taken by garrbM>u ff Gibraltar. 

lUinit in action at <iibraltur. 

Hnnit in action at liib.altar. 

lUirnt in action at (iibrullar. 

Burnt iu action at Gibraltar. 

Humt in a-.tioii at tiibraltar. 

Hunit iu aaiou at Gibraltar. 

i Added U» II. M. Navy. 

I 2 



E. — Vessels of the Dutch Navy, Taken, Desthoyed, ok Buunt by II. M. Sllu■^ 
uriiiNG THE War, 1780-1 TiS'J. 











Dec. 30 

Jau. 5 
Ftb. i 

May 30 
Aug. u 

rriitses Carolina ' . . 
Hollandia .... 

liotUrdavi l . . . . 



SI. Eiistatia 1 . . . 


A dogger .... 

A brig 






Taken by tiip Jtarlltiirotitili, 74, (apt. T. Penny, etc., C'bauuel. 
t^uuk afti-r tbe battle of tlie JJoggersbank. 
f'Jakeu by tbe Waiwick, f.u, C'apt. Huu. Geo. Keith Klphiu- 

l stiilie, et;:. 

(Takeu by Lord Koduey's fleet, W. Indies. Renamed I'lime 

\ Klwiiiil. 

Taken by Lord liodiiey's fleet, ^^". Indies. 

Taken by Lord Kmluey's fleet, W. Indies. 

'I'aken by Ibe /•■haa. 36, Capt. W. I'. Williams, off Ceuta. 

Blew up in action with Cavieloiu, 14. 

(Taken by Ikfwm-e, armei ?Iiip, !8. Lieut. Ooriie Cadnian. 
\ N. Sea. 

' Added to II. IM. Navy. 


Blown up in tho U.S.S. Eandolph, March 7th, 1778. (Sec p. 10.> 

(From an engraving hij D. Edwin.) 

( 117 



Sir Clements Markham, K.C.B., F.K.S. 

IJyron to the Pacific — W.illis and Carteret to tlie Pacific — Cook's first and t-ecdiul 
voyages — Phipps and Lutwidge to tlie Arctic — Abortive voyages to the Arctic — 
Cook's third voyage and death — Wilson at the Pelew Islands — McCluer at New 
Guinea— Bligh's expedition — Voyages of Vancouver. 

\ FTEE the voyage of Anson, the British Government fully recog- 
-^^ nised that discovery and exploration formed an important part 
of the duties of the Navy. In the instructions to Captain Byron, 
the Lords Commissioner of the Admiralty declared that " nothing 

{From an tiri'jUial lent by H.SM. C<i]/t. Prince Louis of BatUnbcrtj^ li.X.) 

can redound more to the honour of this nation as a maritime power, 
to the dignity of the Crown of Great Britain, and to the advance- 
ment of the trade and navigation thereof, than to make discoveries 
of countries hitherto unknown." 

In accordance with these views, an expedition was fitted out for 
the circumnavigation of the globe, consisting of a sixth rate, the 
Dolphin, of 24 guns, with a complement of 150 men, and the 

118 VOYAGES ASD DISCOVERIES, 1763-1792. [17G4-65. 

Tiunar, 14, Commander Patrick Mount. It was placed in command 
of Captain the Hon. Jolni Byron, an officer then aged forty, who 
had been shipwrecked in the Wager during Anson's expedition, 
and whose narrative of hardships and sufferings on the coast of 
Chile is so well known. 

Byron's expedition sailed from the Downs on the 21st of 
June, 1764. Before enteiing the Pacific Ocean, Byron had orders 
to examine the land that had been reported between the Cape 
of Good Hope and Magellan's Strait, and called Pepys Island. 
He was also to visit the Falkland Islands, which had not hitherto 
been sufficiently surveyed. 

On leaving Eio de Janeiro on the '22nd of October, Captain 
Byron turned the hands up, and announced for the first time that 
thej' were on a voyage of discovery, and that they would receive 
double pa)' if their conduct was satisfactory. They all expressed 
gi'eat joy at the news, and declared that there was no danger or 
difficulty that they would not cheerfully face, in the service of 
their country. Byron encountered a furious "pampero" off the 
Patagonian coast, and, after resting his people at Port Desire, 
he commenced his search for Pepys Island on the 5th of December. 

This land was reported to be in 47" S., and is shown in that 
parallel on Halley's chart ; but the only person who pretended to 
have seen it was Cowlej', and, in his narrative, he gave no longitude. 
The two ships of Byron's squadron spread, and, as the weather was 
clear, they could see, between them, over about twenty leagues. 
Having convinced himself that there was no such island, Bj'ron 
shaped a coui'se for Cape Virgins, at the entrance of Magellan's 
Strait, anchoring about four or five leagues up the Strait on the 
north shore. There took place the Commodore's interview with the 
Patagonians, whose stature excited his astonishment. He did not 
measure them, but thought that the height of the chief could not 
be much less than seven feet. Mr. James dimming, the first 
lieutenant, who was the standard of measurement, was six feet 
two inches in height. Byron then proceeded up the Strait for 
wood and water, before complying with his instructions relating 
to the Falkland Islands. For that purpose the vessels were anchored 
first at Sandy Point and aftei'wards at Port Famine. 

In January, 1765, Captain Byron left the Strait, and took formal 
possession of the islands by the name of the Falkland Islands, 
Captain Strong, in 1689, having given the name of Falkland to 

1765-C6.] BISON IN THE PACIFIC. 119 

the Strait which divides them. Byron came to the conclusion that 
they were identical with the Pepys Island of Cowley. He named 
the bay in which he anchored Port Egmont, and another large 
bay was called Berkeley Sound. Having made a cursory examina- 
tion of great part of the group, the squadron proceeded to I'ort 
Desire again, to meet a store ship sent out from England, which 
duly arrived and was sent on to Port Famine. There she filled 
up the discovery ships, and sailed on her return to England on 
February '25th, 1765. 

Byron passed Cape Pilar and entered the Pacific Ocean, running 
at the I'ate of nine knots before a slashing, south-easterly gale. As 
yet all his men were free from scurvy, which immunity he attributed 
to the supply of fresh vegetables of various kinds obtained in the 
Strait. The passage had occupied seven weeks and two days, the 
vessels having encountered very severe weather during the greater 
part of the time. Wood, water, fresh fish and goats were obtained 
at the island of Masafuera on the 28th and following days, and the 
squadron proceeded on its voyage on jNIay 1st. 

During his voyage across the Pacific, although he passed through 
the Dangerous Archipelago and not far from the Society Islands, 
Byron succeeded in discovering nothing, a most difficult feat on his 
part. He appears to have shaped a course direct for Tiniau, where 
Anson had recruited his scurvy-stricken people. He sighted a coral 
island on the 7th of June, and it was unavoidable that he should see 
several others, but he appears to have made no attempt at explora- 
tion. Reaching Tinian on the 30th of July, he put up tents for the 
sick, who soon recovered from the scurvy which had afflicted them 
during the voyage. Byron remained nine weeks at Tinian, and 
touched at Pulo Tiuman and Batavia, proceeding home round the 
Cape. He sent the Tamar to Antigua to be hove down and have 
her rudder newly hung, proceeding home in the Dolphin, and arriving 
in the Downs on May 9th, 170(3. His voyage was not satisfactory, 
the results being so small, and it was decided to despatch another 
expedition almost immediately. Byron was Governor of Newfound- 
land in 17(59, commanded a squadron in North America and the 
West Indies against d'Estaing in 1779, with no success, and died, 
a Vice-Admiral, in 178G. He was gi-andfather of Lord Byron, 
the poet. 

Captain Samuel Wallis was selected to command the new 
expedition on board the Dolphin, 24, with Commander Philip 

120 VOYAOES AMI DlSCOVEIilES, 17G3-i:92. [17G0-G8. 

Carteret (2), who had served in B.yron's voyage, under his com- 
mand, in the Swalloir. They left Plymouth on the 2'2nd of 
August, 1766, a little over three months after Byron's return. Tn 
December, the two ships anchored in the same place, inside Cape 
Virgins, where the former expedition had been, and where Captain 
Byron had roughly over-estimated the stature of the Patagonians. 
Captain Wallis made exact measurements, with the result that 
the tallest among them were found to be from six feet five inches 
to six feet seven inches in height ; the average being from five 
feet ten to six feet. 

On the 17th of December, 1766, Captain "Wallis commenced the 
passage of Magellan's Strait, anchoring at Port Famine on the 27th, 
where the ships were refitted, and abi;ndance of fish was caught. 
There also, owing to the diet of fresh vegetables, the scurvy entirely 
disappeared. But the expedition was detained in the Strait longer 
than that of Byron. It was not until April llth, 1767, that the 
Dolphin passed Cape Pilar, and on the same day the Swallow 
parted companj-, never again rejoining her consort. Captain Wallis 
devoted a chapter of his work to some useful sailing directions, 
describing the best anchorages in the Strait. He made his way 
across the Pacific, sighted land on the 4th of June, 1767, and 
passed several islands of the Low Archipelago, to which he gave 
names. On the 19th he came in sight of the lofty mountains of 
Tahiti, anchoring in seventeen fathoms on the following day, and 
thus making a great and important discovery. 

Captain AVallis had a verj' difficult game to play during his stay 
at Tahiti, especially in managing the intercourse of his people with 
the natives. On the whole he displayed sound judgment and con- 
siderable patience. Native encroachments were firmly and consis- 
tently resisted, open attacks were duly but not too severely punished, 
and in the end he estabhshed friendly relations both with the people 
and with the Queen Oberea. His difficulties were increased by 
ignorance of the language, and the absence of any interpreter. 
WaUis remained for seven weeks at Tahiti, which enabled him to land 
his sick and restore health to the crew, as well as to obtain stores of 
fresh provisions. He gave the name of George III. Island to his 
discovery. Sailing on the 27th of July he shaped a westward course, 
passed near the lovely island of Eimeo, and also discovered Sir 
Charles Saunders Island, which has a high hill in its centre. 

But there the discoveries of the Dolphin ended, for, as an 


explorer, Wallis was only half-hearted. With very little excuse, 
either on the ground of his vessel being unseaworthy, or his people 
being exhausted, he made the best of his way to Tinian, and thence 
home by the Cape, arriving at Plymouth on May 20th, 1768. 
Captain Wallis was appointed a Commissioner of the Navy in 1782, 
and lived in Se5Tnour Street for many years, where he became the 
friend of Major Eennell and other geographers of that time. He 
died in 1795. 

Carteret, in the Swallow, was parted from his consort just 
outside Magellan's Strait, with no rendezvous assigned, while the 
principal stores were on board the Dolphin, to which vessel the 
Swallow was httle more than a tender. It required considerable 
nerve on Carteret's part to continue the exploring work single 
handed; and, in the circumstances, he would have been justified 
in returning home. He steered for Juan Fernandez to take in 
wood and water, resolving to caiTy out the work entrusted to him 
to the best of his ability, with the insufficient means at his disposal. 
He found that Juan Fernandez was no longer a desert island, but 
that it had been fortified and occupied by Spanish troops. He 
beheld the fort and surrounding houses with astonishment, for no 
news of this measure of the Spanish government, which had 
been adopted eighteen years before, had reached England. The 
order was sent out to occupy Juan Fernandez in 1747, after the 
pubhcation of Lord Anson's voyage by his chaplain : and the 
arrangements were made by the Conde de Superunda, Viceroy of 
Peru. In 1751 a terrible earthquake destroyed the settlement, the 
governor and all his family being submerged by a huge wave ; 
but the new Viceroy, Don Manuel Amat, promptly sent another 
governor, succour and reinforcements. Thus it was that Carteret 
beheld guns pointed at him from a fort, instead of the lonely beach 
described by Anson's chaplain. 

Disconcerted by this surprise, Carteret, who bad the experience 
gained from his voyage with Byron, made for the less accessible 
island of Masafuera. By throwing his casks into the surf, and by 
recourse to swimming, the boat's crew succeeded in watering the 
ship, but not without some hairbreadth escapes and enduring 
great privations on the island. Three men swam on shore, 
and the weather became so boisterous that they could not return. 
Abandoned and naked they kept warmth in their bodies by each 
one taking turns to be sandwiched between the two others. Their 

122 VOYAGES AND DISCOVERIES, 1703-1792. [1768-09. 

postures must have been unlike those of the Three Graces of 
Canova, remarks the Chilian historian of Juan Fernandez. 

All the men were got on board by the 19th of May, 1768, and 
Carteret then took a northerly course, wishing to solve the question 
of Davis's Land which had been placed on the chart in consequence 
of a report from Davis the buccaneer. He suggests that the land 
seen by Edward Davis in 1687, was the small isles of San Felix and 
San Ambrosio near the coast of South America. The description, 
in Wafer's voyage, makes this impossible, and Burney had little 
doubt that Davis's Land is identical with the Easter Island of 

Steering westward across the ocean, Carteret discovered an 
island on July 2nd, which was named Pitcairn's Island, because it 
was first seen from the masthead of the Swallow by a midshipman 
of that name. Carteret then sighted several coral islands to the 
south of the Low Archipelago, and thus missed Tahiti. In August 
the crew began to be afflicted bj' scurvy, and land was anxiously 
looked out for ; but none was reached until they fell in with an island 
of the Santa Cruz group. The attacks of the natives with poisoned 
arrows made it impossible to refit. Carteret, who was himself very 
ill with scurvy, could do no more than get in a supply of water, and 
the next land he sighted was the New Britain of Dampier. There 
he made the important discovery that this land consisted of two 
islands, and he sailed between them. He named the other island 
New Ireland, and the strait St. George's Channel. At last he was 
able to careen and caulk his vessel, and to get some fruit for his 
scurvy-stricken people ; but he was again fiercely attacked by the 
savages. Beaching Macassar, he was treated most inhospitably by 
the Dutch, who refused to allow him any fresh provisions, and he 
was obhged to sail onwards to Batavia. Carteret brought the 
Swalloiu back to Spithead on the 20th of March, 1769, ten months 
after the return of Captain Wallis. He became a Superannuated 
Bear- Admiral and died at Southampton in 1796. 

During the absence of Wallis's expedition, the Boyal Society 
had addressed the Government with a view to a vessel being 
despatched to the South Pacific to observe the transit of Venus 
over the sun's disc, which was to occur in the year 1769. The 
enlightened Government of that day readily acceded to the request, 
and resolved to fit out and despatch an expedition mainly with the 
object of observing the transit, hut also for exploration and discovery. 

1708.] CAPTAIN JAMES COOK. 12'3 

The selection of a leader for this famous expedition was the 
most fortunate that ever was made ; and the honour appears to 
have been due to Mr. Philip Stephens, the Secretaiy of the 

James Cook, the founder of modern marine surveying, possessed 
qualifications which are rarely combined in one man, and which 
place him first in the glorious roll of maritime discoverers, not only 
in his own time, but for all time. He has no equal, and stands alone. 
He excelled all others in resolute determination, in patience and 
reasonableness, in devotion to his work, and in the power of taking 
trouble and of attending to minute details as well as to important 
matters. Others have had one or more of those qualifications in 
equal degree. No other has ever combined them so pre-eminently 
as Cook did, in a way which amounted to genius. The son of a 
farm labourer near Guisborough, in the North Hiding of Yorkshire, 
James Cook was born on October 27th, 1728. He was taught to read 
and cipher at a village school, and at the age of twelve was bound 
apprentice to a man who kept a general shop at the little fishing 
village of Staiths, near Whitby. At Staiths, he saw the sea for the 
first time, and before long he got his discharge from the shop and 
bound himself apprentice for seven years to Messrs. Walker of 
Whitby, who owned the 'True Love in the coal trade. After he had 
served his time, young Cook continued to work as a foremast hand, 
until at last he was made mate on board one of Mr. Walker's ships. 
In 1755, Cook was in the Thames when there was a great demand 
for seamen to man the fleet, and, to avoid being pressed, he 
volunteered as an able seaman on board H.M.S. Eagle. She sailed 
to North America under Captain Hugh Palliser and took part 
in the capture of Louisboiurg. It appears that Palliser was so 
impressed with yomig Cook's intelligence and abihty, that he used 
all his influence to get him made an officer, and so successfully that 
in 1759 Cook was appointed Master of the Mercury, 24, which 
ship was also sent to North America, at the time of the expedition 
against Quebec. Then followed a series of valuable services in 
sounding the St. Lawrence during the war, and in surveying the 
coasts of Newfoundland. Cook's work was so highly appreciated 
at the Admiralty that, when it was resolved to send out an 
expedition to observe the transit of Venus, he was selected for 
the command, at the recommendation of Mr. Stephens, and 
received a commission of Lieutenant in His Majesty's Navy. The 

]'24 VOYAGES AND DISCOVKEIES, 17G3-1792. [17C8. 

transfer of a Master to the executive line in those daj's was most 
unusual, while such a rise, from the rating of ahle seaman, was 
almost unprecedented. It reflects the highest credit on the Admiralty 
of that day, for no selection could have been better in any respect. 
Cook was by that time an officer of experience, an accurate and 
conscientious surveyor ; and he possessed those far higher qualifica- 
tions which could only be developed when he was face to face 
with the responsibilities of his position, and with the innumer- 
able difficulties which surrounded the commander of such an 

Cook was allowed to select his vessel, and he chose a strongly 
built bark of 370 tons, and drawing little water, named the 
Endeavour. Built at AVhitby, she was purchased into the Navy, 
brought round to the Thames, and fitted out at Deptford Dockyard. 
Besides the Lieutenant-commanding, her complement of officers con- 
sisted of two Lieutenants and a Master, three Master's Mates, seven 
Midshipmen, a Surgeon and Surgeon's Mate, a Clerk, and three 
warrant officers. Mr. Joseph Banks of Eevesby Abbey, a scientific 
botanist as well as a Lincolnshire squire of large fortune, volunteered 
to accompany the expedition, taking with him a Swedish naturalist 
named Solander, and four artists. Mr. Charles Green, one of the 
assistants at Greenwich Observatory, was appointed astronomer. It 
was originally intended to proceed to the Marquesas Islands to observe 
the transit. But Captain "Wallis returned before the expedition sailed 
and recommended his new discovery so strongly that Tahiti was finally 
selected. Harrison had completed his invention of the chronometer, 
but none were supplied to the Endeavour. The expedition had to rely 
entirely upon the observations of lunars for its longitudes. This was 
one of the special duties of the astronomer, constantly assisted by 
Cook himself ; and the accuracy of these lunar observations is, as the 
present Hydrographer has pointed out, one of the most remarkable 
results of the voyage. The first Nautical Almanac was published by 
Dr. Nevil Maskelyne, the Astronomer Koyal, 1767 ; but it then only 
contained tables of declination, and distances of the moon from the 
sun and fixed stars, computed for the meridian of Greenwich and 
expressly designed for finding the longitude at sea. It was quite a 
thin volume. 

Mr. Banks and his scientific staff joined at Plymouth, the ex- 
pedition finally saihng on the ■2()th of July, 17(58. Besides twenty 
officers and seven members of the scientific staff, she had a crew of 

17U8-69.] COOK'S I'lIiST VOYAGE. 125 

sixty-seven men ; so that the httle vessel must have been very 
closely packed. Tliis of course necessitated constant attention to 
the sanitary conditions, and to the diet, if the crew of the Endeavour 
was not to be decimated by scurvy ; a fate which had attended all 
previous expeditions of the kind. 

Cook resolved to abandon the practice of his predecessors, who 
navigated through Magellan's Strait during many weary weeks, in 
the face of strong adverse winds. He saved much time and fatigue 
by rounding Cape Horn, arriving safely at Tahiti on the 13th of 
April, 17()9. The Endcuronr anchored in the "Port Eoyal "' of 
Captain Wallis, called by the natives Matavai. Lieutenant Cook's 
first care was to establish friendly relations with the people, and 
with that object he drew up rules to be observed by the ship's 
company, " for the better estabhshing of a regular and uniform 
trade for provisions, with the inhabitants of King George's Island." 
An observatoiy was established on shore, and the transit of Venus 
across the sun's disc was successfully observed by Captain Cook, 
Mr. Green, and Dr. Solander on the 4th of June, 1769. 

Having taken this important observation, the commander, 
accompanied by Mr. Banks, circumnavigated the island in the 
pinnace, with a view of mapping the coasts and harbours. A very 
full and interesting account was drawn up of the island of Tahiti, 
its physical aspects and products, the appearance of the people and 
their manners and customs, manufactures, implements, language, 
religion, and government, with detailed descriptions of their weapons 
and canoes. When Captain Cook prepared for his departure, one of 
the most influential men in the island, named Tupia, volunteered to 
accompany him. This was very desirable, chiefly as a means of 
acquiring the language, and Tupia was received on board with a 
native boy as his servant. The Endeavour sailed on the 13th of July 
after a stay of three months, during which time judicious measures 
were adopted for maintaining friendly relations with the people, and 
order was maintained in the regulation of the traffic, which was 
principally managed by Mr. Banks. The northern extremity of 
Tahiti was named Point Venus. 

Tupia informed Captain Cook of the existence of several in- 
habited islands to the westward of Tahiti, which were visited by the 
Endeavour ; and the excellent chart based on Cook's survey was the 
only guide to mariners for more than a century. Retaining the 
native names for the six islands, some of which he visited and 

126 VOYAOES ASD niSCOVERIES, 170.3-17O2. [1770. 

surveyed, Cook gave the name of Society Islands to the whole 
group, in honour of the Royal Society. 

Sailing from the Society Islands, Cook shaped a southerly course 
with the object of ascertaining whether the alleged southern con- 
tinent existed. He went as far as 40° S., but, meeting with very 
tempestuous weather, he laid aside this design and stood to the 
northward. On the 7th of October the laud of the North Island of 
New Zealand was sighted from the masthead, and on the 9th the 
Endeavour was anchored in the entrance of the small river of 
Tauranga nui. On the 15th, Cook was off Akuriri Cliff, at the back 
of which now stands the flourishing town of Napier. On the 5th of 
November, the Endeavour anchored in what is now known as Cook's 
Bay. Passing the harbour where Auckland now stands, which is 
hidden behind a number of islands. Cook reached Hauraki Gulf ; 
and on the 27th he named a cape after Sir Piercy Brett, one of the 
Lords of the Admiralty, who had served in Anson's expedition. On 
the 29th he anchored in the Bay of Islands ; and on the llth of 
December he reached the northern extremity of the North Island. 
Cook then examined the west side of the island. On January 13th, 
1770, he was off the lofty -peaked mountain which he named Mount 
Egmont, and on the 15th he anchored in Queen Charlotte Sound, in 
the north-east part of the Middle Island. 

Sir William Wharton, in annotating this part of Cook's journal, 
remarks on the extraordinary accuracy of his positions, on the 
characteristic tenacity with which he stuck to the coast in order to 
complete his survey, and on the mingled audacity and caution of his 

He next proceeded to examine the coasts of the Middle Island of 
New Zealand. He named the southernmost point of the North 
Island after his patron Sir Hugh Palliser, but was not near enough 
to see the entrance to Port Nicholson, within which Wellington, the 
present capital of New Zealand, is situated. On the 17th of 
February, Banks's Peninsula, which Cook believed to be an island, 
was sighted, with its harbours of Lyttleton and Akaroa. On the 
5th of March the Endeavour was off the south point of the Middle 
Island, and on the 9th South or Stewart Island was sighted. Cook be- 
lieved that it was part of the Middle Island, and proceeded to examine 
the mountainous western coast. Sir William Wharton remarks : — 

" The astonishing accuracy of Cook's outUiic of New Zealand must be the ailniira- 
tion of all who understand the difliculties of laving down a coast: and when it is 


considered that this coast line is 2400 miles in extent, the magnitude of the task will 
be realised by everybody. Never has a coast been so well laid down by a first 
explorer, and it must have required unceasing vigilance and continual observation in 
fair weather and toul to arrive at such a satisfactory conclusion; and with such a dull 
sailer as the Kiuhnmui; the six-and-a-half months occupied in the work must be 
counted as a short interval in which to ilo it." 

Cook devotes a chapter to a full and interesting account of New 
Zealand and the Maoris. Cook then discusses the question of a 
southern continent, the routes of Quiros and Roggewein, and the 
position of the much disputed Davis's Land. His conclusion is 
that there could he no continental land to the north of 40' S. 
between New Zealand and Cape Horn. 

On the 1st of April, Cook left New Zei and and stec'^d to the 
westward, sighting the south-east coast of Australia on the 19th. 
A gale forced him to run to the northward, and on the 29th the 
Endeavour was anchored in Botany Ba}'. Leaving it in Mav, he 
passed a bay which he named Port Jackson, after one of the 
secretaries of the Admiralty, on the 6th, hut did not detect the 
existence of the magnificent harboui" of Sydney. Proceeding north- 
wards, Cook steered the ship between the land and the Great 
Barrier Reef, of the existence of which he was not aware. Soon he 
got among numerous shoals and islands, " the whole sea in his track 
being strewn with dangers," and on the 11th of June the ship struck 
and stuck fast on the Endeavour reef. Upwards of fifty tons of 
guns, ballast, and old stores were thrown overboard to lighten her, 
and the two bower anchors were laid out astern. Meanwhile the 
leak gained considerably on the pumps. Nevertheless Cook resolved 
to heave her off, and at ten on Jmie 12th she floated, the leak 
still gaining. The commander fully expected that the ship would 
sink. He knew that the boats could not convey all his people to 
the distant and inhospitable shore. But when the ship floated it 
was found, to his surprise and joy, that the pumps actually gained 
upon the leak. Once more the Endearoiir was under sail and 
standing for the land. Yet it was impossible long to continue the 
labour by which the pumps were made to hold their own against 
the leak. As its exact position could not be found, there was 
no hope of stopping it from inboard. Cook determined to 
t'other the ship, and as a young midshipman, named Monkhouse, 
had seen this done on board a merchant ship, the operation was 
entrusted to his superintendence. Taking a lower studding sail, he 
mixed together a large quantity of oakum and wool chopped pretty 

128 yorAGES AND DISCOVERIES, 1763-1702. [1770. 

small, and stitched it down in handfuls upon the sail, which, thus 
prepared, was hauled under the ship's hottom. "When it came over 
the leak, the suction which drew in the water also carried with it 
the oakum and wool from the sui-face of the sail. The leak was so 
far reduced, by this means, that it was easily kept under. 

During the whole of this trying time every soul on hoard, having 
I)8rfect confidence in the commander, behaved admirably. The 
ship was brought into a river on the coast, which was named 
Endeavour Eiver, where the flourishing port of Cook-town has 
recently ris3u into importance. A monument to the memory of 
Captain Cook has been erected on the very spot where his ship was 
careened. Here the Endeavour was thoroughly refitted; and it 
was here that kangaroos were first seen \>y Europeans. The 
name was obtained from the natives by Mr. Banks. Cook found 
a safe passage through the Barrier Reef, 150 miles to the north, 
which led him into Torres Strait, and which he named " Providential 
Channel." Thus was the whole coast of New South Wales dis- 
covered by the great navigator. 

The navigation of Torres Strait is difficult and very intricate. 
The passage discovered by Cook, through what he called Endeavour 
Strait, is now little used, the difficulty of finding a narrow pass 
among the reefs, so far from land, having caused it to be abandoned. 
Cook estabhshed the existence of the strait between Australia and 
New Guinea, for the fact that Luis Vaez Torres passed through it 
in 1606 was unknown, the detail of that voyage having been 
concealed by the Spanish Govermnent. It was first made known 
by Dalrymple. 

After a short detention to examine the coast of New Guinea, 
and to effect a landing, on its western side, Cook made the best of 
his way to Batavia, where he anchored on the 11th of October, 1770. 
Among the successful achievements of this gifted sailor the greatest 
was perhaps his preservation of his people from scurvy. The usual 
r.ntiscorbutics were supplied such as saar-kraut, inspissated lemon 
juice, molasses, portable soup, and malt to be made into wort ; but 
this had been done before. Cook's success was due to his constant 
vigilance, and close personal inspection. No opportunity was ever 
allowed to be missed of procuring supplies of green food ; such as 
the wild celery of Tierra del Fuego. Wort was served out as a 
regular article of diet. Cold bathing was enforced, unusual attention 
was paid to cleanliness, stoves were used to keej) the decks dry even 

1771-2] COOK'S SECOND VOYAGE. 12& 

in hot weather, cand the commander personally saw that all his 
sanitaiy regulations were carried out. Three slight cases of scorbutic 
disorder occurred on the voyage to Tahiti, and were promptly 
cured ; otherwise there was no scurvy on board during the expedi- 
tion ; a result which was entirely due to Cook's vigilance and close 
personal attention to the sanitation of the ship. 

But two months in the sickly climate of Batavia, a detention 
which was unavoidable in order to refit and execute repairs, 
brought on diseases against which the commander was unprepared. 
Dysentery and fever broke out, and the return home was saddened by 
the loss of both the Lieutenants, the Master and Surgeon, two Mid- 
shipmen, the Boatswain and Carpenter, Mr. Green the astronomer, 
three of Mr. Banks's artists, Tupia the Tahitiau, and his boy ; while 
the ship's company was decimated before the Endeavour reached 
the Cape. Out of 04 persons who left England in her, only .54 were 
alive when she reached home on the l"2th of June, 1771. 

The beneficial effect of this memorable voyage on the Govern- 
ment and on public opinion immediately became evident. It was 
fully admitted in Byron's instructions that one of the duties of the 
Navy was the prosecution of voyages of discovery. But now that- 
important duty was carried out with an amount of alacrity and 
zeal which is deserving of all praise. Cook was justly looked upon 
as a genius, and as possessing unrivalled qualifications for such 
sei^vice. The old Endeavour was sold, and she sailed for many years 
as a collier in the North Sea. But within three months of paying 
her off, James Cook was appointed to command a second expedi- 
tion of discovery in the Pacific Ocean. He again selected two Whitby 
built colliers, the Resolution, of 462, and the Adventure, of 33(3 tons. 
Cook was promoted to the rank of Commander,' and Lieutenant- 
Tobias Furneaux, who had served with Captain Wallis in the 
Dolphin, was appointed to the Adventure. Two officers who had 
been out as Master's Mates in the first voyage, Charles Clark and 
Richard Pickersgill, were selected by Commander Cook as second and 
third Lieutenants respectively of the Resolution. There were other old 
Endeavours among the junior officers and men. Mr. Wales sailed 
in the Resolntion and Mr. Bagley in the Adventure as astronomers, 
and two German naturalists, father and son, named Forster, were 
taken. There were also Mr. Hodges an artist, and a Swedish 

' Cook's CommandeiV commission was dated Aug. 29tli, 1771, and his coraiuissioa 
as Captain, Aug. dtli, 1775.— W. L. C. 


130 VOYAGES AM) DISCOVERIES, 1703-1702. [1772. 

botanist, shipped at the Capo, named Spaiman. Among the Mid- 
shipmen were George Vancouver the future commander of a famous 
expedition, and James Bui'ney (1),^ who afterwards wrote the 
standard work on voyages to the Pacific Ocean. 

This time the ships carried four chi'onometers ; and close 
attention was given to the supply of antiscorbutics, the vigilant 
Commander redoubling his efforts to preserve his people from the 
scourge of scurvy. 

The chief object of Cook's second voyage was to solve the 
question of the existence of a great southern continent ; a subject 
which, during the first expedition, had engaged the attention of the 
accomplished navigator. He was well acquainted with the early 
Spanish and Dutch voyages through the translations of Dalrymple, 
and with the speculations of cartographers ; and the importance of 
deciding the question was recognised alike by men of science and 
by statesmen. Thus the avowed object of Cook's second voyage 
was to complete the discovery of the southern hemisphere. He was 
to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope, and to sail thence in a 
southerly direction in search of Cape Circumcision, reported in 1739 
by M. Bouvet, a French commander, as having been sighted in 
54° S. and 11 20' E. If it proved to be part of a continent he was 
to use his best endeavours to explore it, and he was to continue 
prosecuting discoveries in high latitudes, penetrating as near to the 
south pole as possible. On the 13th of July, 177"2, Captain Cook 
sailed from Plymouth, with the Adventure in company, arriving at 
the Cape of Good Hope on the 29th of October. 

On the 22nd of November, the expedition sailed from the Cape 
and shaped a coiu'se to the alleged position of Bouvet's Cape 
Circumcision. On the 10th of December, they sighted one of the 
flat-topped Antarctic icebergs, passing six on the 12th, some of them 
near two miles in circumference ; and next day there were upwards 
of twenty in sight. On the 14th, the ships were stopped by the 
great polar pack. Having ascertained that Cape Circumcision had 
no existence. Commander Cook continued to examine the edge of 
the ice, amidst very perilous navigation, until he had crossed the 
Antarctic Circle, and reached a latitude of 67° 15' S. He 
then bore up, and, having searched the Antarctic seas from the 

' James Buriicy (1) was made a Commander on Oct. 2nd, 1780, and a Pust-Captain 
«iu June lyth, 17H2. He retired in 1801, and died man}' years later, a Superannuated 
Ilear-Admiral. — W. L. C. 


meridian of the Cape of Good Hope to that of New Zealand, he 
anchored in Dusky Bay, in the [Middle Island, on March "iOth, 177;:!. 
The Adventure liad parted company, during thick weather, in 
February. Commander Cook found her in May, when the Resolution 
went northward to Queen Charlotte Sound. Lieutenant Furneaux 
had examined the east coast of Van Diemen's Land. In June, the 
two vessels sailed for Tahiti, arriving there on the 16th of August. 
Friendly relations were renewed with the amiable natives of that 
lovely island, and with their King Otu, who afterwards took the 
name of Pomare I. and reigned until 1808. On September 1st, 
the ships left Tahiti, and proceeded to Huaheine, one of the 
Society Islands, where Furneaux consented to take on board his 
ship a young native named Omai, whose conduct was excellent 
throughout the voyage, and during his residence of two years in 
England. The Prince of Wales, in a letter to"A.rchbishop Markham, 
described the visit of Omai to King George III. at Kew. The ships 
then visited Uliatea, another of the Society Islands, and Commander 
Cook took on board a j'outh named Uadidi, who was a native of 

The expedition next shaped a course to the Friendly Islands, 
which had not been visited since their discovery by Tasman. 
Commander Cook touched at the islands of Tongatabu and Eua, 
and then returned to New Zealand. There very severe weather 
was encoimterod, gale succeeded gale, and the Adcenture parted 
company never again to rejoin. Lieutenant Furneaux went home by 
Cape Horn, and annved in England a year before his senior officer. 
Thus left alone, the Resolution proceeded to Queen Charlotte's 
Sound on November 2nd, and waited in vain for her consort 
until the 25th. 

On November 25th, 1773, Commander Cook sailed from New 
Zealand on his second attempt to penetrate far to the south. 
The first iceberg was encoimtered on the 12th of December in 
<j2° 10', eleven degrees further south than the first ice they saw- 
in the preceding year, after lea^^ng the Cape of Good Hope. On 
the 14th, there was loose ice, with many bergs, which rapidly 
increased in number as the ship proceeded southwards. The pack 
ice appeared to be composed chiefly of calvings from the bergs. 
For six weeks Cook faced the stonny Antarctic seas, and braved 
the perils of the ice ; until, on the 29th of January, 1774, he was 
stopped by a field of ice extending far beyond sight to east and 

K 2 

132 VOYAGES AND lUSCOVElUtS, 17t!3-lT92. [1774. 

west, with a strong ice bleak to the south. This was in 70" 23' S. 
As many as niuetj'-seven icebergs were counted within the ice, 
many of them of great size, besides those outside. The Commander 
beheved that there must be laud beyond the ice-field. He had 
reached 71' 10' S. before he resolved to turn his ship's head north- 
wai'ds. Cook had now complied with his instructions ; but, with a 
good ship and healthy crew, he felt it to be his duty to continue his 
discoveries. His plan was to fix the position of the Easter Island of 
Eoggewein, and then to go in search of the " Espiritu Santo " of 
Quiros, finally retm-uing by Cape Horn, and examining the southern 
part of the Atlantic Ocean. All his officers heartily concmTed in the 
plans of their leader, and were resolved zealously to carry out his 

In the morning of the 11th of March, 1774, land was sighted 
and was identified by Cook as Davis's Land or Easter Island. 
Indeed, with the help of a glass, he could make out the colossal 
stone statues, described by the authors of Eoggewein's voyage. On 
the 13th, he anchored off the island, and during the next three days 
he made a thorough examination of the curious platforms and 
statues, and noted the products and the character and appearance 
of the inhabitants. Thence the Eesohttion shaped a course to the 
Marquesas Islands, and on the 6th of April a young Midship- 
man named Hood sighted land, which proved to be an undis- 
covered island of the Marquesas gi'oup. Cook gave it the name 
of Hood's Island. The others discovered by Mendana in 1595 
soon came in sight, San Pedro, San Dominico and Santa Cristina ; 
and the ship was anchored on the 7th at the entrance of 
Mendana's Bay in Santa Cristiua's Island. It was in July, 1595, 
that Alvaro de Mendana had discovered the group, and four of the 
islands which compose it were described by his chief pilot, Pedro 
Fernandez de Quiros. On the 28th, the ships of Mendana anchored 
in a bay of the island of Santa Cristina, which was named Puerto 
del Madre de Dios, and on the 5th they left the group which received 
the name of " Las Marquesas de Mendoza,'' in honour of the 
Marquis of Caiiete, Viceroy of Peru, whose surname was Mendoza. 
The British Commander sought for and anchored in Mendana's 
port. The Resolution left the Marquesas on the 11th of April, 
1774, and Cook devotes a chapter of his narrative to a description 
of the islands and an account of the inhabitants. On the 21st of 
the same month the Hesolution was once more anchored at Tahiti,. 


ill Matavai Bay. The chief object of this second visit was to 
obtain the error and rate of the chronometers, and Mr. Wales 
landed at once with his instruments. At that time there was no 
one on the sick list. Once more the friendly relations with King 
Otu and his people were renewed. The ship also underwent 
a thorough refit ; and the naturalists made a botanical excursion 
into the mountains of the interior. In May, the Society Islands 
were revisited, and young Uadidi, an excellent and useful lad who 
had been nearly a year on board, remained at Uliatea. 

Continuing the voyage from the Society to the Friendly Islands, 
Commander Cook discovered several islands on the way, anchoring at 
Anamoca on the '27th of June, 1774. Thence he shaped a course 
to the " Espiritu Santo," discovered by Quiros on the 80th of 
April, 1606, and supposed by him to be the "Australia" of which 
he was in search. On the 21st of July, 1774, the Resolution was 
anchored in a bay of the island of Malicolo, one of the largest 
of the New Hebrides group. Several other islands were after- 
wards discovered and surveyed, and on the 5th of August the 
Resolution was anchored in a bay of the island of Tanna. Cook 
explored the whole group of islands forming the New Hebrides, 
which extends over three hundred and fifty miles. Sir William 
Wharton says : " Cock's chart of the New Hebrides is still, for 
some of the islands, the only one; and, wherever superseded by 
more recent surveys, the general accuracy of his work, both in out- 
line and position, is very remarkable. On several occasions, up to 
the present year (1893), Cook's recorded positions have saved the 
adoption of so-c tiled amendments reported by passing ships, which 
would have been anything but amendments in reality." After 
leaving the New Hebrides, Captain Cook discovered the island 
of New Caledonia, exploring the eastern side three hundred miles 
long, and Norfolk Island. 

The Resolution returned to New Zealand to refit, anchoring in 
Queen Charlotte Sound on October 19th, 1774. After three weeks 
the ship resumed her voyage across the Pacific Ocean to Tierra del 
Fuego, making the desolate looking land on the 17th of December. 
At Christmas the Resolution was anchored in a bay which received 
the name of Christmas Sound, with numerous islets and snowy 
mountains bounding the view. The voyage was continued round 
Cape Horn, and through the strait of Le Maire. On the 3rd of 
January, 1775, Captain Cook left Staten Island and steered S.E. to 

131 VOi'AGES AND DI&COVKlllLS, 17G3-1792. [1775. 

discover the extensive coast line laid down by Mr. Dahymple on 
his chart, in which was " the Gulf of San Sebastian." On the 14th. 
snow-covered land was sighted, and received the name of South 
Georgia, in 5-4^ 30' S. Pressing southwards, the existence of 
Dalryniple's continent was disproved, and Sandwich Land was 
discovered amidst snow, fogs, gales of wind and icebergs, in 60' S. 
On March 23rd, the Besolution was anchored in Table Bay. There 
Cook heard of the discoveries of the French captains, Surville and 

The Besoluiiux was safely anchored at Spithead on the 30th of 
July, 1775, after an absence of three years and eighteen days. 
During the whole of that time Cook lost only four men, and only 
one from sickness. This remarkal)le immunity was not due to 
antiscorbutics, or very slightly due to them, for the Adventure was 
supplied in exactly the same way, yet suffered much from scurv}'. 
It was due to the untiring vigilance of the Commander. He person- 
ally saw that his orders were carried out, that the men shifted into 
dry clothes when wet ; that their persons, bedding, and clothes were 
kept clean and dry ; that the ship was always clean and dry between 
decks, and frequently aired with swinging stoves ; the air purified ; 
the ship's coppers always kept clean. Cook modestly ends his 
narrative with the remark that " without claiming any merit but 
that of attention to my dutj', our having discovered the possibility 
of preserving health amongst a numerous ship's company for such 
a length of time, in such varieties of climate, and amidst such 
continued hardships and fatigues, will make this voyage remarkable 
when the disputes about a southern continent shall have ceased to 
engage the attention, and to divide the judgment of philosophers." 

This cei"tainly was an achievement deserving of the highest 
praise. It was a great and important service to the nation ; and it 
should be remembered that the explorers and surveyors, in expelling 
the scurvy from their ship, set an example which was but slowly 
followed by the rest of the Navy. The healthful condition of the 
officers and crew of the Resolution ensured that efficiency which 
resulted in so many valuable discoveries, and in the examination of 
the whole circuit of the southern ocean in the highest latitudes ever 

Commander Cook was promoted to post rank on his return, and 
was elected a Fellow of the Eoyal Society. He communicated papers 
on the prevention of scunT and on the tides of the Pacific to the 




Society, and prepared his own narrative for the press. The Eoyal 
Society caused a fine portrait medal to be struck in his honour. 

It may liiive been the instructions to Cook to endeavour to 
solve the question of a southern continent, which suggested to 
the mind of Mr. Daines Barrington the importance of a renewal 
of Arctic exploration. Certain it is that he urged the matter on 
the attention of the Council of the Eoyal Society immediately 

(^From 0)1 engmvfd pnrti-ait hij Itiilh'ii in thr ^ Xaval Cfironicle,' 1802.) 

after Cook's departure on his second voyage, representing that 
there was evidence to show that a near approach to the north 
pole was not impracticable. The Koyal Society was convinced of 
the importance of despatching an expedition to make the attempt, 
and submitted a request to the First Lord of the Admiralty that 
such an enterprise might be undertaken by the Government. Lord 
Sandwich entered warmly into the project, which was brought 
before him at the end of February, 1773. Two bomb vessels. 

13(J VOYAGES AXn DlSCOVElilES, 1703 ITyi'. [1773. 

the Racehorse and Carcass, were selected for the service and 
speciallj' strengthened, the command of the expedition being en- 
trusted to Captain tlie Hon. Constantine John I'hipps (afterwards 
Lord Mulgrave), who sailed in the Racehorse, while Commander 
Skeffii}gton Lutwidge was appointed to the Carcass. In the Race- 
horse there were three Lieutenants and a Master, three Master's 
Mates, and six Midshipmen. The Carcass had three Lieutenants 
and a Master, three Master's Mates, and six Midshipmen. One 
of these six midshipmen was Horatio Nelson, who thus, like Hyde 
Parker, Saunders, Brett, Riou, and many others among his predc- 
■cessors and contemporaries, prepared himself for his glorious naval 
career by the very best training that a sailor can possibly have — 
service in an exploring expedition. 

Captain Phipps's expedition left the Thames on June 4th, 1773, 
and in a month the two vessels were off the north-west point of 
Spitzbergen. On the 9th, they were in latitude 80° 36' N. Captain 



Phipps then stood into every opening he could find to the north- 
ward ; but was stopped, at every attempt, by solid fields of ice. 
He forced the ships, by press of sail, as far as possible through 
the loose pack. His highest northern latitude was in 80" 48' N. ; - 
and he examined the edge of the ice extending over 20° of longitude, 
finding no opening in the polar pack in any direction. The ex- 
pedition returned to England in September, after a careful and 
persevering examination of the ice, and after having attempted 
to bore through it at every point that offered the remotest chance 
of success. To force a way through the drifting pack, away from 
the land, against the current, is an impossibility ; and this is what 
Captain Phipps was trying to do. But he did all that energy and 
good seamanship could possibly achieve, and he was well supported 
by his officers.' He is entitled to a very honourable place in the 
roll of Arctic worthies. 

On the return of Captain I'hipps, the British Governmi'ut 

' Commander Lut\vidj;e wa^* jiosted on Oct. lotli, 1773. He iliwl a lull Admiral 
on Aug. 21st, 1814.— W. L.C. 


luriied its attention to the discoverj- of a passage, round tlie 
northern coast of America, from the Pacific to the Atlantic. After 
full consideration, an expedition had been determined upon, when 
Cook returned from his second voyage. He miglit well have 
rested on his laurels ; but this loyal and indefatigable public 
servant considered it to be his duty to volunteer once more. The 
offer of his services was gladly accepted by Lord Sandwich, and 
he was entrusted with the conduct of the projected voyage. The 
Resulution was employed again, and a vessel of three hundred tons, 
named the Discovery, was purchased to act as her consort. 

Cook's instructions were to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope, 
and thence to shape a southerly course in search of some islands 
reported by the French in 48' S. Touching at New Zealand, he 
was next to proceed to Tahiti and land Omai, who had come to 
England with Captain Furneaux.' From Tahiti Captain Cook 
was directed to proceed to the coast of New Albion in about 
45° N., steering northward along the coast of North America to 
G.5° N., or further, if not obstructed by land or ice, and then 
to seek for any inlet leading in the direction of Hudson's or 
Baffin's Bays, and, if there were such an opening, he was to use 
his utmost endeavour to pass through. If there were no passage 
he was to proceed to Petropaulovski, or some other port, to refresh 
his people ; and, in the spring of 1778 he was to make another 
attempt. If his object were found impracticable, he was to return 
to England by such route as he might think best for the improve- 
ment of geography and navigation. Captain Cook's instructions 
were dated July 6th, 177(5. 

The Admiralty also resolved to cause an examination of the 
west coast of Baffin's Bay to be made, to ascertain whether there 
was any opening leading to the westward. With this object the brig 
Lion was commissioned, and Lieutenant Richard Pickersgill, who 
had been with Captain Cook during his second voyage, received the 
command. Pickersgill sailed to Davis 8trait in July, 177(5; but 
only went as far north as 68° 14' N., and returned in the autunm. 
His conduct was not considered satisfactoiy, and in the following 
year Lieutenant Young was appointed to the Lion, but his pro- 
ceedings were even less successful than those of Pickersgill. The 
two voyages, in 1776 and 1777, to find a western outlet to Baffin's 
Bay were abortive. 

' Commander Tobias Furneaus bad been jiosted on Aug. 10;l!, 17T.">.— W. L. C. 

138 VOyAGKS ASD DISCOVKIUES. 1703-1702. [177G-77. 

Meanwhile, Captain Cook proceetled on bis last voyage. The 
Discuvenj was commanded by Commander Charles Clark, who had 
been with Captain Byron in the Dolphin, and a Lieutenant in Cook's 
second voj'age. Lieutenants John Gore,' James King,^ and John 
Williamson' were in the Bcsolutiun; Lieutenants James Burne}\^ 
who had been a Midshipman in the second voyage, and John 
Rickman^ in the Discovery. The Master of the Resolution was 
William Bligh ; * of the Discovery, Thomas Edgar ; ' and among the 
Midshipmen was Edward Riou, who afterwards fell gloriously at the 
battle of Copenhagen, in command of the Amazon frigate, and 
Vancouver. Mr. Bagley, the astronomer, who had been with 
Furneaux, now sailed in the Discovery, and chronometers were 
supplied to both ships. Dr. Anderson was surgeon and naturalist, 
and Mr. Webber joined as draftsman. Omai, the Society Islander, 
was loaded with presents, and embarked for a passage to his native 
countrj'. The expedition sailed from Plymouth on July 14th, 177(5. 

Captain Cook's first duty, after sailing from the Cape, was 
to examine the discoveries, in high southern latitudes, reported 
by French vessels ; but he was supplied with few details. He 
visited Kerguelen Island, made a survey of Christmas Harbour, 
and then shaped a course for Van Diemen's Land, remaining a 
few days in Adventure Bay, and having friendly' intercourse with 
the natives — a race now extinct. 

On February 10th, 1777, Captain Cook was at Queen Charlotte's 

Sound, in New Zealand, and, after staying there a fortnight to 

recruit and refresh his people, he resumed his voyage. During 

the passage to the Friendly Islands, Mangia and other islands were 

discovered. After a stay of nearly three months at the Friendly 

Islands, where the people were presented with several useful 

animals, the expedition arrived at Tahiti on August l'2th, having 

discovered the Island of Tubuai on the 8th. The old friendly 

relations with the king and people were renewed, and useful 

animals and plants were imported. After leaving Tahiti on 

' John Gore (1) became a Captain on Oct. 2n(i, 1780, and died in 1790. — W. L. C. 
^ James King became a Captain on Oct. 3id, 1780, and died in 1784. — W. L. C. 

* John Williamson (1) became a Captain on June lltli, 1782, and died in 1799. 
— \V. L. ('. 

* See note, p. I.'IO, antea. 

' John Kickman, a Lieutenant of 177(1, was never further promoted. — \V. L. ('. 
° William hVigh (" lioun/y Bligii"), of whum later, died a Vice-Adujiral in 1817. 
— W. L. C. 

' Thomas Edgar was made a Lieutenant in 17!-1, and dieii in that rank. — W. L. C. 


cooics run: I) voyaue. 


September 30th, the islands of Eimeo, Huaheine, UHatca, and 
Bolabola were visited. Omai was landed, with his numerous 
presents, at his native island of Huaheine. In the narrative of 
his third voj-age, Captain Cook devotes a chapter to another full 
account of the Tahitians, their customs and language, chiefly from 
information collected by Di'. Anderson, the surgeon and naturalist. 

Captain Cook then steered northwards with a view to carrying 
out the most important part of his instructions. In January, 177H, 
he came in sight of the north-western islands of a previously 
unknown group which ho named tlie Sandwich Islands. It was 
a most important discovery. He touched, on this occasion, at the 
islands of Atooi (Kauai) and Oneehow (Nihau), and then proceeded 
on his northern course. On IMarch fith, he sighted the coast of New 

(Front fl'J original lent bij C«i>t- lI.S.fT. Prince Louis nf BaClenlerii. H.y.) 

Albion, discovered by Sir Francis Drake nearly two hundred years 
before. Cook remained a month in Nootka Sound, on the west 
coast of what, in honour of one of his own Midshipmen, is now 
called Vancouver's Island. Continuing his voyage to the north, 
he looked out for any strait or outlet leading in the direction of 
Hudson's Bay. Prince William's Inlet and Cook's liiver were 
examined and the western extreme of North America was reached. 
Passing through Behring's Strait, Captain Cook proceeded to 
examine the ice on either side. On the American coast he went 
as far as Icy Cape ; but he was in shoal water on a lee shore, with 
the ice to windward driving down upon his ship. An immense 
herd of walrus was seen on the ice. The ships reached a latitude 
of 70" 6' N., and attention was then tui-ned to the Asiatic side. 

1-10 VOYAGICS AXJ) DlSCOVKlilES, 17G3-1792. [ITT'J. 

Captain Cook resolutely persevered in this hazardous navif^ation 
for several weeks, hut on Octoher 'iGth the ships' heads were turned 
to the south, as the illustrious commander of the expedition had 
resolved to winter at the Sandwich Islands. The islands of Maui 
and Hawaii were si<;hted on Decemher 1st, and on Januaiy 16th, 
1779, i\Ir. Bligh, the Master, was sent to examine the Bay of 
Karakakoa, on the west coast of Hawaii. Next day the ships were 
anchored in that bay, friendly relations being established with the 
natives ; and there the narrative of Captain Cook ceased. His 
life-work was completed. The story is continued by his faithful 
lieutenant, James King. 

The king of the island, named Tiriobu, who had been absent 
in Maui, returned a few days after the ships had anchored, and was 
cordial in his reception of the explorers, while an observatory 
established on shore was made tahii and placed under the protec- 
tion of the priests. On the 7th of February, the ships put to sea, 
but returned on the 11th, having encountered a gale of wind, during 
which the head of the foremast of one of the ships was sprung. 
The foremast was got out and towed on shore for repair, and the 
sails were also sent on shore to be overhauled and repaired, near 
the observatory and the watering-place. Soon afterwards the con- 
duct of the natives became suspicious, the watering parties were 
molested, and a cutter was stolen. On the 14th, Captain Cook 
ordered guard to be rowed to prevent canoes from leaving the bay, 
sent Lieutenant King to the watering-place, and went himself in 
the pinnace, with Lieutenant Phillips of the Marines and nine 
privates, to a village called Kowrowa, where the king resided, 
intending to take him on board as a hostage for the restoration 
of the cutter. 

Captain Cook marched with the Marines into the village, where 
he was respectfully received. He invited Tiriobu to spend the day 
on board. He at once consented, and his two young sons ran down 
to the beach and got into the pinnace. The rest of the party had 
nearly reached the seaside when the king's wife ran after him and 
entreated him not to go on board. At the same time two of the 
chiefs laid hold of him and insisted upon his remaining, while an 
immense crowd assembled along the shore. He sat down pei'plexed 
and irresolute. Lieutenant Phillips formed the Marines on some 
rocks near the water's edge. After vainly urging the king to come 
with him Captain Cook abandoned his plan, and was walking down 




to the boat. The boats stationed across the bay had fired at some 
canoes, and, at this juncture, the news arrived that a chief had been 
killed. The women and children were at once sent away, and the 
men armed themselves. One of them flourished his spear and 
threatened the Captain with a stone. The man persisting in his 
insolence, the Captain fired a charge of small shot which fell harm- 
lessly on the war mats. Stones were then thrown at the Marines, 
and Captain Cook at length fired his second barrel loaded with ball. 

H.M.S. " UlsluVKItV ": 

(From a drawing by E. TT. Cuuke, R.A.. made when the " DiMtivenj" lay at Deptfurd as a 

convict hulk, 1829.) 

and a native fell. There was a general discharge of stones, answered 
by a volley from the Marines. The natives stood their ground, and 
rushed upon the Marines with shouts and yells before the men could 
reload. There was a scene of horror and confusion. Four Marines 
were cut off and slaughtered, while the rest swam to the boat. 
Captain Cook kept the savages at bay while he faced them. But, 
when at the water's edge, he turned round and hailed the boat to 
cease firing and pull in. This humanity proved fatal to him. He 

142 VOFAGES AND DISCOVERIES, 1763-17!i2. [1779. 

was stabbed in the back, and fell with his face in the water. The 
body was dragged on shore by the yelling savages and lost sight 
of ni the crowd. A fire was oj^ened from the boat, and some 
guns were directed at the crowd from the Resolution, which at 
length forced the savages to retire. Four young Midshipmen then 
manned a small boat and pulled in to rescue any survivor, but no 
one was to be seen. When IMr. Bligh brought the news to the 
observatory, the foremast, and the sails which were under repair, 
were brought off to the ships. 

After some consultation. Captain Clark," who now assumed the 
command,, decided upon adopting a policy of extreme leniency, 
though there was difficulty in restraining the officers and men. 
He ordered no reprisals to be made, even when the watering parties 
were attacked. There was, however, a revulsion of feeling among 
the natives, and eventually all that could be recovered of the gi-eat 
navigator's body, including the skull and hands, with his shoes and 
the barrel of his gun, were given up. The remains were placed in a 
coffin and committed to the deep with military honours. 

Lieutenant King truly said that "after a life of so much 
distinguished and successful entei-prise. Captain Cook's death, as 
far as regards himself, could not be reckoned premature." His 
glorious career was suitably closed. He died in the midst of his 
discoveries, and in the very act of humanely striving to protect 
his murderers. It is not possible to conceive a more glorious end. 
Lieutenant King went on to say : " Perhaps no science ever received 
greater additions from the labours of a single man than geography 
has done from those of Captain Cook. As a navigator his services 
were not less splendid, certainly not less important and meritorious. 
The method which he discovered, and so successfully pursued, of 
preserving the health of seamen, forms a new era in navigation, 
and will transmit his name to future ages amongst the friends and 
benefactors of mankind." 

On the 20th, the foremast was stepped, and on the "i'ind peace 
■was restoi'ed. The cutter had been broken up. The ships then 
left this fatal spot and, after a cruise among the Sandwich Islands, 
they made sail for Kamschatka on the 1.5th of March, 1779, arriving 
on the 28th of April at Petropaulovski. Another attempt was 
made to penetrate the ice beyond Behring Strait, but it was given 
up in July, and on August 22nd Captain Clark died. Lieutenant 
' Cum. Charles Clark hail been i»iste<l im Kcb. lOtli, 177!i.- \V. L. C. 

1780-83.] DISCOVERIES UY II. K. I. CO.'S S/IJl'S. 143 

John Gore (1) then assumed command of the expedition on board the 
Resolution, and Lieutenant James King was given command of the 
Discovery. Captain Clark was buried on shore at Petropaulovski. 

Passing along the east coast of Japan, and visiting Macao, the 
ships returned Ijy the Cape. They were driven to the northward 
when approaching the Channel, and anchored at Stromness in 
the Orkney Islands, whence King was sent with dispatches to 
the Admiralty. The licsohdion and Discoverij reached the Nore 
on the 4th of October, 1780. There is a memorable fact connected 
with Cook's third voyage which ought to be borne in mind, 
especially at the present day. When the expedition sailed, the 
insurgents in the American colonies had bz'oken out into open 
rebelhon. The Declaration of Independence was on the 4tli, the 
departure of Cook's expedition on the 14th of July, 177C. The 
French and Spaniards declared war in 1778, when Cook was 
making discoveries in the icy seas. Thus was Great Britain 
calmly employing her sons to explore the unknown regions of the 
earth, for the advancement of civilisation and the good of man- 
kind, at the veiy time when rebels and powerful enemies were 
banded together for her destruction. When Captain Cook met 
his glorious death in the midst of his discoveries Elliot was defying 
the united forces of France and Spain on the rock of Gibi-altar. 
The necessity for repelling the attacks of enemies in front and of 
rebels in rear, did not for a moment induce the country to abandon 
her work of exploration and discovery. 

At that period the ships of the East India Company were 
making occasional discoveries. In August, 1783, the Antelope, 
commanded by Henry Wilson, ran on a rock near one of the 
Pelew Islands and became a wreck. The group had been sighted 
by the Spaniards and others but it had never been explored 
This was done by Wilson. He was very hospitably treated 
by the natives, and the crew built a small vessel in which they 
returned to Macao, taking with them a son of the king of the 
Pelew Islands named Prince Libu. Wilson took him to England, 
and he died of small-pox at Rotherhithe in December, 1784. 
McCluer, an accomplished surveyor in the service of the East 
India Company, was sent, with the rantlur and Endeavour, 
to announce the sad news to the father. He had with him 
two officers, Wedgborough and White, who had both been 
with Wilson in the Antelope. They had been educated at the 

144 VOYAGES AND DISCOVElllES, 1703-1792. [1789-01. 

uavigatiou school of Christ's Hospital, uu institution which did 
such useful work in training youths for the Navy and mercantile 
marine in those days. Leaving Bombay in August, 1790, McCluer 
reached the Pelew Islands in Januarj^ 1791, and performed 
his melancholy task. He then proceeded to carry out the other 
part of his instructions, which was to survey the north coast 
of New Guinea. He was engaged on that work from July to 
December, 1791, and he discovered the great inlet at the western 
extremity w^hich is still known as McCluer 's Inlet. Eeturning to 
the Pelew Islands he addressed a letter on service to Wedg- 
borough, dated February, 1793, resigning his command of the 
Panther, asking for arms and ammunition, which were given to 
him, and announcing his intention to remain on shore. The 
Panther returned to Bombay under the command of Wedg- 
borough, while McCluer had wives and children and lived happily 
for fifteen months. He then began to long for news, and went 
in an open boat to Macao. There he got a vessel, returned 
to the Pelew Islands, took his family on board, and went to 
Bencoolen. He sailed from thence and was never heard of again. 

Commander William Bligh's voyage in the Bounty to collect 
plants of the bread-fruit tree at Tahiti, and convey them to the 
West Indies, does not come within the category of voyages of dis- 
covery ; and has been described in the preceding chapter. Bligh's 
stern and austere character did not expose him to the risk of 
succumbing to those temptations to which McCluer fell a victim. 
But the majority of his people were much more susceptible. 
After the mutiny in April, 1789, when Bligh was turned adrift 
in an open boat with eighteen men, his wonderful voyage, con- 
ducted with such extraordinary skill, almost amounted to an 
expedition of discovery. For he sailed over more than 3600 miles 
in three months before he reached Timor, and sighted several islands 
which were previously unknown. Bligh reached England with 
twelve survivors in March, 1790, and in 1791 he went out again 
in the Providence, and at length successfully perfonned the service 
of transporting bread-fruit plants from Tahiti to the West Indies. 

When the news arrived in England of the seizure of Nootka 
Sound by the Spaniards, negotiations were opened which ended 
in the Spanish Government consenting to its restitution. The 
British Government resolved to send a vessel to receive Nootka 
Round from the Spanish officials, and to complete a survey of that 


part of the North American coast. The Discovert/ was commis- 
sioned, a new vessel of 350 tons, and the command was entrusted 
to Commander George Vancouver," who had served as a Midship- 
man under Captain Cook in the two last voyages, and afterwards in 
the West Indies vmder Sir Alan Gardner. An armed tender named 
the Chatham, of 13.5 tons, under the command of Lieutenant 
William Eobert Broughton,^ was placed under his orders. Van- 
couver received a written order signed by the Count of Florida 
Blanca, Spanish Prime Minister, and addressed to the Spanish 
authorities, ordering them to deliver up Nootka Round to the 
British officer who should present it to them. On the 1st of 
April, 1791, the Discovery and Chatham left England. 

Leaving the Cape on July 10th, Commander Vancouver dis- 
covered King George's Sound, on the south-west coast of Australia, 
in September, 1791, and proceeded thence to Dusky Bay in New 
Zealand. He reached Tahiti in the end of December. The tender 
had parted company in thick weather, discovering Chatham Island 
in November, and rejoining the Discovery in December, 1791. 

Vancouver, a man trained under the eye of Captain Cook, had 
considerable ability and resolution, was a good sailor, and an accom- 
plished suTi'eyor. But some other qualifications for command were 
wanting. He was austere and unsympathetic. The corporal 
punishments on board the Discovery were excessive, and some of 
the Midshipmen were treated with harshness and even cruelty. It 
must, however, be admitted that young gentlemen such as Lord 
Camelford ^ were not easy to manage. 

In January, 1792, the Discovery left Tahiti and shaped a course 
for the Sandwich Islands. On March 7th, Vancouver anchored at 
Waititi Bay, near Honolulu, the present capital, in the island of 
Oahu. He afterwards visited Kauai (Atooi), and found that, 
although so short a time had elapsed since their discovery by 
Captain Cook, several British subjects had already made their way 
to the Sandwich Islands. 

' George Vancouver was a Commander of Dec. lotli, 1790, and a Cajitain <ii' 
Aug. 28th, 1794. He died in 1798.— W. L. C. 

^ William Robert Brougbton became a Captain on Jan. 28th, 17!i7, and died in 
that rank on Mar. 12th, 1821.— W. L. C. 

' Thomas Pitt, Lord Camelford, born in 1775, was an officer whose eccentricities 
bordered upon madness, and led him more than once into serious trouble. He attained 
the rank of Commander in 1797, but resigned his commission, and was killed in a duel 
in 1804.— W. L. C. 


146 VOrAOES AXD DISCOVERIES, 1763-1792. [1792. 

On the 17th of April, 1792, the expedition sighted the coast of 
New Albion, near Cape Mendocino, and on the 29th the vessels 
anchored within the strait of Juan de Fuca, on the southern shore. 
Proceeding up the strait Vancouver again anchored in a harbour 
which he named Port Discovery. During the month of May the 
exploration of the strait was continued, and a deep inlet received the 
name of Paget Sound, after one of the lieutenants.' In June the 
survej'ors continued their discoveries within the strait to the north- 
ward, in boats. They went thi-ough very severe work, and their 
indefatigable exertions established the insularity of Vancouver's 
Island by the discovery of a narrow channel, which received the 
name of Johnstone's Strait, after the Master'- of the Chatham. In 
Jul}- the ships passed through an archipelago which was called after 
Lieutenant Broughton, who commanded the Chatham, and entered 
Fitzhugh Sound, on the coast of the continent, to the north of 
Vancouver's Island. This part of the coast had been visited by 
English traders in 1786, who had given the names of Queen 
Charlotte Sound and Fitzhugh Sormd. On the 6th of August, 
the Discovcrij suddenly grounded on a bed of sunken rocks in 
Queen Charlotte Sound at the northern end of Vancouver's 
Island. The Chatham sent all her boats, the stream anchor was 
laid out, and an attempt was made to heave the ship off, but without 
success. But when the tide rose the efforts of a well-directed crew 
were rewarded and the ship was hove off. Luckily the water was 
smooth and there was no swell. On the 28th of August, Commander 
Vancouver safely arrived in .Nootka Sound, and was cordially 
received by the Spanish commandant, Don Juan Francisco de la 
Bodega y Quadra. A storeship, the Dccdalus, had also arrived, but 
she brought the unwelcome news that two of her officers ^ had been 
murdered by the people of Oahu. 

Nootka Sound had been occupied by the Spaniards, under orders 
from the Viceroy of Mexico in 1789. Senor Quadra had instruc- 
tions to deliver over the settlement, with all its buildings, to the 
British. He was very anxious that some place should receive the 

' Peter Puget, a Captain of Ajir. 20th, 17y7, became a Eear-Ailin. ir 1821, and died 
in that rank. — W. L. C. 

^ James Johnstone (2) was promoted during his absence to be a Lieutenant, became 
a Commander on June 22nd, 1802, and was posted on Jan. 22nd, 180G. He was 
afterwards Commissioner at Bombay. 

^ Lieut. IJichard Hergest, commanding, and Mr. Williaui Gooch, astronomer. 
Hergest was a Lieut, of 1780. — W. L. C. 

1792-93.] VANCOUVER'S VOYAGE. 147 

joint names of the British captain and himself. In compliance 
with this request the whole island, on September 5th, 1792, received 
the name of the Island of Quadra and Vancouver. 

In October, Vancouver left Nootka Sound and proceeded to 
examine the Spanish survey of the west coast of the island as far 
as the strait of Juan de Fuca ; and in November he proceeded to 
the port of San Francisco, containing " a variety of as excellent 
harbours as the known world affords." No habitations were visible, 
though the herds of cattle and flocks of sheep on the surrounding 
hills indicated their existence. The inhabitants, it was afterwards 
ascertained, consisted of thirty-five Spanish soldiers in the Presidio, 
with some Indian servants and a few Franciscan monks. What a 
mar\^eIlous change has since taken place ! The Spanish settlement 
was only formed in 1775. Vancouver was enchanted with the 
scenery when he rode into the country over twenty miles of what 
he described as comparable only to an Enghsh park. From San 
Francisco \'ancouver proceeded to Monterey, where he found the 
Chatham. Her commander. Lieutenant Broughtou, had been en- 
gaged in examining the Columbia Eiver. From Monterey the 
storeship Dadalus ' sailed for Port Jackson ; and in January, 1793, 
Lieutenant Broughton was sent home with dispatches by the over- 
land route across Mexico. Lieutenant Puget succeeded him in 
command of the Chatham. 

In February, 1793, Vancouver returned to the Sandwich Islands, 
anchoring in Karakakoa Baj' on the 2'2nd. The new king was the 
famous Kamehameha I., who came on board in a magnificent 
feather cloak and helmet, bringing numerous presents. He received 
in return five cows, two ewes, and a ram ; and he gave all possible 
facilities for refitting and provisioning the vessels. In March, 
Vancouver proceeded to Oahu, where the murderers of the officers 
of the Dcedahis were given up, tried, and executed. The islands 
of Maui and Kauai were also visited, and in April Vancouver 
retm-ned to Nootka Sound to resume the sui-vey of the North 
American coast. The work was very intricate and laborious, and 
a great deal of it was done in boats away from the ship. It was 
continued until October, extending as far as 56° 30' N. ; and in 
November the Discover;/ went south, and revisited Monterey. In 
December, the coast of California was examined as far as San Diego- 

' Under Lieut. James Hanson, who became a Commander in 1795, and was lost in. 
the Brazen, sloop, on Jan. 25th, 1800.— W. L. C. 

L 2 

148 VOYAGES AND DISCOVERIES, 1763-1792. [1791-94. 

in 34' 42' N. ; and Captain Vancouver gives a detailed account of 
all the Spanish settlements and missions. 

In January, 1794, Vancouver's expedition paid a third visit to 
the Sandwich Islands, again anchoring in Karakakoa Bay, and 
receiving visits from King Kamehameha. His ^Majesty solemnly 
ceded the island of Hawaii to the King of Great Britain, a cession 
which Vancouver conceived it to be his duty to accept. He 
then completed a survey of the other islands, and in March, 1794, 
directed his course northwards, and reached Cook's Kiver in April. 
Prince William Sound was surveyed by the boats ; and the survey 
was then connected with the work of the preceding year. In August, 
the surveys of the continental shores of north-western America were 
completed, and the Discovenj and Chatham proceeded to Nootka 

After a pleasant visit to INIonterey, Captain Vancouver proceeded 
southwards, having completed his arduous surveys. On December 
14th, he sighted Cape Sau Lucas, the southernmost point of 
the peninsula of Cahfornia, and fixed its position. He then 
visited the Tres Marias Islands on the coast of Mexico, and 
passed Cape Corrientes on the 19th. Touching at the island 
of Cocos, he next sighted the Galapagos ; and diiring the subse- 
quent voyage to the Chilian coast, scurvy broke out in the ship. 
This was a great mortification to Vancouver, who had endeavoured 
to follow the precepts of Captain Cook ; but not with the same 
vigilance, nor could he count upon the same obedience, incited 
by respect and affection. The blame was throw'n on the cook, 
for allowing the men to have lard to mix with their peas. The 
Discovenj and Chatham arrived at Valparaiso on March 25th, 
1795. Vancouver had orders not to put into any Spanish port 
on the west coast of South America, except in a case of necessity, 
but he considered that the damaged state of his mainmast justi- 
fied the course he adopted. He was received with the gi-eatest 
hospitality by order of the enlightened Captain General of Chile, 
Don Ambrosio O'Higgins ; and he at once proceeded to get the 
mainmast out, and haul it up on the beach near the Almendral. 
It proved to be sprung two-thirds through, a little below the hounds. 
The mast was fished, but Captain Vancouver felt that " it would be 
but a rotten stick to depend upon." The sails w^ere repaired and 
the ship refitted, while the Captain, with five of his ofiicers, went up 
to Santiago to pay his respects to the Captain General. Vancouver 


gives some very interesting particulars respecting the origin and 
services of Don Ambrosio, and describes the road to Santiago, and 
the condition of the city as it was in 1795. On his return to 
Valparaiso he found that his troubles had been increased in his 
absence by the discovery that the mainyard was rotten half through 
and unfit for service. His only resource was to use the spare topsail 
yard, lengthened by the yard arms of the condemned mainyard. 
The work was done on shore, while the Captain drew up sailing 
directions for the port. At length, on May 7th, 179r), the Discovery 
departed from Valparaiso on her homeward voyage ; with the 
Chatliain in company. The Discovvrij arrived in the Thames on 
the '20th of October, the Chatliam having reached England three 
days earlier. Notwithstanding the outbreak of scurvy, the Discovery 
only lost six men, their deaths being all due to accidents, and the 
Chatham not one, during a prolonged service of four years and nine 

Captain Vancouver's narrative was published in 179^!, in three 
quarto volumes. The survey of the intricate inlets and channels 
along the north-west coast of North America, the discovery of the 
straits and channels dividing Vancouver's Island from the continent, 
and the examination of Puget Sound, the Colombia river, and the 
Californian coast, form a service which reflects the highest credit on 
Vancouver and his officers. Much of the work was done in open 
boats, and in boisterous weather, privations and hardships of long 
continuance had to be endured, yet the surveys were worthy of the 
disciples of Captain Cook — they can receive no higher praise. It is 
to the credit of our Government that these exploring operations 
were steadily supported and continued through the fii'st and most 
critical period of our struggle with revolutionary France. 

' Aiiiuug the otTiceis, not already iiieutioneil, of tlic Discovery ami Chatham, were 
Lieut. Zachary Mudge (who died an Admiral in the fifties); Lieut. Joseph Baker 
(who died a Captain in 1817) ; Master's Mate Spehnau Swaine (who died a retired 
Kear-Adni. in 1848) ; Master's Mate Thomas Manhy (who died a Kear-Adin. in 1831) ; 
Midshipman Robert Barrie (who died Rear-Adm. Sir Robert Barrie in 1831); Midship- 
man Volant Vashon Ballard (wlio died a Rear-Adm. in 1832) ; Master's Mate John 
Sheriff" (who was killed in 1806, Commander of the Curieux) ; and Midshipman John 
Sykes (1) (who died an Admiral in 1858).— W. L. C. 

( I-'U ) 



Administration of the Navy — '1 he succession of officials — Salaries of Commissioners — 
Kxpenditure on the Navy — Number of seamen and Marines — Strength of the 
effective fleet — Naval architecture — Some typical ships — Changes of armament — 
Naval works —Manning — Bounties — Impressment — Allotment of pay — Deserters 
— Officers — Half-pay — Servants — Conduct money - Surgeons' head-money — 
Widows' pensions — Poor Knights of Windsor — Character of the officers — Prevalent 
abuses — False certificates — Prize money — Points in prize law — Points in inter- 
national law — The right of search — Contraband of war — Freight money — Discipline 
— Mutinies — In the Ciilloden — In the Shark — At Spithead— At the Nore and in 
the North Sea — Other examples — St. Vincent's sternness — The case of the Uermione 
— Mutiny at the Cape — Punishment of mutineers — The Marines — Naval uniform 
— Medals — The Army and naval law — Morality of the lower deck —Prisoners of 
war — Signal towers — Telegraphs — Sea Fencibles — The Hydrograplier — The Itoyal 
Naval Hospitals — Various Luiprovenients — Admiralty fees — Tlie Flag. 


THE ADMIRALTY, 1788-97. 


riIHE succession of the more impor- 
taut administrative officers of the 
Navy during the brief period 1793-1802 
was as follows : — 

First Lord of the Admiralty. 

John, Earl of Chatham. 
17t)7. Earl Spencer. 
1!), 1801. John, Earl St. Vincent, K.l!., Admiral. 

Secretary' of the Admiualty. 


Sir Philiji Stephens, Bart. 
(As Assistant) John Ibbetsou. 
Evan Nepean. 

rsden (2nd. Sec). 

iEvan Nepea 
W illiaiii JMa 

Treasurer of the Navy. 

Kt. Hon. Henry Dundas. 
1800. Rt. Hun. Dudley liider. 
Nov. 'l\, 1801. Kt. Hun. Charles Bragge. 

Controller of the Navy. 

Sir Henry Martin, Bart., 
Captain, li.N. 
Aug. 30,1794. Sir Andrew SnapeHanioud, 
Bart., Captain, li.N. 




Dki'uty Controllkr. 



17;i3. Edward Le Cras, Captain, 

17iJ4. Sir Andrew Snape Ha- 

mond, Bart., Captain, 

1794. Sir Samuel Marshall, Kt., 

Captain, ll.X. 
1796. Charles Hoije, Captain, 

Jan. 1, 1801. Henry Duncan (1), Caj)- 

tain, K.X. 

SUUVK volts OF THK -N.WV. 


Kdward Hunt. 

\.Jolin Henslow. 

T .!,■ i-r,o (Sir John Henslow, Kt. 
Jan. 26, l(93.i 

\\Viuiam Kule. 

Clekk of the Acts. 

George Marsh. 
This office ceased on Aug. 2, 



George Rogers. 
This office ceased on Aug. 2, 



William Pahiicr. 
This oiKce ceased on Aug. 2, 



Sir William Kellingham, 

'Jliis office ceased on Aug. 2, 


Extra CoMMI^sI<lXERS. 

Samuel Wallis, Captain, 
1793. Sir Andrew Snai* Ha- 
mond, Bart., Captain, 
Dec. 1793. Samuel Marshall, Captain, 
1793. Harry Harmood, Captain, 
July 1794. Cliarles Hope, Captain, 
This office, as such, cease<i 
on Aug. 2, 1796.' 

i.'ommissioners without special 

June 25, 1796. George Marsh. 

June 25, 1796. George Kogers (omitted 

from patent of Nov. 23, 

Jime 25, 1796. William Palmer. 
June 25, 1796. Sir William BellinghaMi, 

June 25, 1796. Harry Harmood, Captain, 

June 25, 179i>. Samuel Gambler, Captain, 

Jan. 1, 1801. Francis John Hartwell, 

Captain, R.N. 
Nov. 9, 1801. Benjamin Tucker. 

Commissioners at H.M. Dockyards, etc. 

Charles Proby, Captain, 
1799. Francis John HartwelJ, 
Jan. 1, 1801. Charles Hope, Captain, 
(Until 1796 Sheerness Yard was under 
the insjjection of the Chatham 


March 13, 1790. Sir Charles Saxton, Kt. 
and Bart., Captain, R.X. 

' When these offices ceased. Commissioners, having no special branch to attend to, ' 
were apiwiiited. By Urder in Council of June 8th, 1796, it had been directed that, 
instead of Commissioners presiding over distinct dciiartmeuts. Committees should be 

152 CIVIL UlSTUltY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1793-1802. 


Kiiv. l;l, 1789. Robert Faushawe,Captaiu, 


17y6. Harry Harmuod, Gaptaiu, 
Sept. 179G. Francis Johu Hartwell, 

Captain, R.N. 
June 28, 179'J. Isaac Coffin, Captain, R.N. 

Sept. 1797. Isaac Coffin, Captain, R.N. 

Oibraltar, Malta, etc. 

1793. Harry Harniood, Captain, 
Nov. 1794. Andrew Sutherland, Cap- 
tain, R.N. 
1796. John Nicholson Inglefield, 
Captain, R.N. 
Jan. 1. 1801. Sir Alexander John Ball, 
Bart., Captain, R.N. 


1795. John Nicholson Inglefield, 

Captain, R.N. 

1796. Isaac Coffin, Captain, R.N. 

Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Henry Duncan (1), Cap- 
tain, R.N. 
Jan. 1, IbOl. Jolin Nicholson Inglefield, 
Captain, R.N. 

Commissioners of Tuanspout. 

!Hugh Cloberry Christian, 
Captain and Rear-Adni. 
Philip Patton, Captain and 
Ambrose Serle. 
-Rupert George, Captain, 

Johu Schanck, Captain, 

William Albany Utway, 

Captain, R.N. 
John Marsh. 
\Ambrose Serle. 
1798. Joseph Hunt (vice Marsh). 
(At the Peace, Captain Schanck was 
retired on a pension of £500 and 
Mr. Hunt was transferred to the 
Ordnance Department, leaving but 
three Commissioners of Transport.) 


Sept. 11, 1795. Alexander Dalrymple. 




The salaries of the Commissioners at Chatham, Portsmouth, 
and Plymouth, which, until 1801, were in each case ^500 a year, 
with £12 for paper and firing, were then increased to £1000. The 
Commissioner at Sheeruess was paid ^£800 a year until 1801, and 
then ±1000. The Lisbon Commissioner's pay was i'lOOO. The 
Commissioner for Malta, etc., received first £1000, and, in 1801, 
£1200. The Commissioner at Corsica was paid £1000. The 
Commissioner at Halifax received £1000 until 1801, and, thence- 
forward, £1200. Each Commissioner of Transport received £1000 
a year. 

The total expenditure, as voted by Parliament for the Navy 
from year to year, and the number of seamen and INIarines 
authorised, were : — 





" Kxtia." 

Xu. of Seamen 

Total Naval 

auU .Marines. 

Supplies li routed. 









































2 mos. 
,11 mos. 



^ 1801 



3 mos. 
.10 mos. 
f 5 mos. 



' 1802 



1 1 mos. 
( 7 mos. 



' Iiu luJiug £'1,000,000 ■• f ■!■ pi-cveuliiig the m.-rease of the Jebt of tlie Xavy," et 

The fluctuations in the strength of the effective fleet are thus 
summarised from the annual abstracts compiled by Mr. James : — 

Cruising Ships, exclusive of H.^rbouh and St.\tiox.\rv Vessels, Troop and 



Second-rates . 
Third-rates . 

Total of tlie line 
Fourth-rates . 
Fifth-rates . . 
Sisth-rates . 
Fireship ; 
Brigs, cutters, etc. 

Grand total. 

































































































































The total toimage of the vessels enumerated above was, in 
1793, 295,409, and, in 1802, 41G,56G. 

Concerning the shipbuilding of the period 1793-1802, there is 
little that needs saying. Naval architecture underwent but small 
changes. In 1794, the Admiralty directed that frigates, from the 
18-pounder 82's upwards, should in future be constructed with 
four-inch instead of three-inch bottoms. It was also at about the 
same time decided to give ships of war greater length in proportion 

154 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1793-1802. 

to their beam than had been customary in Great Britain, and to 
raise the lower batteries in new vessels of the higher rates. Fir, 
as a material for hulls, was reintroduced for sloops in 1796, after 
it had been disused since 17-57 ; and in 1797 seven frigates, with 
hulls of the same wood, were under construction. 

Details of some of the most typical and important ships added 
to the Navy in 1793-1802 are given in the accompanying table : — 

[.engtb uf 



Deplh of 

i i 


■\VLeu auil ^^■he^e Biiiit, or bow 

Acquired, etc. 



■~ E 




Ft. 111. 





YiUe de Paris ■ 


156 IJ 




2332 850 


1 Built at Chatbaiu. 1795 : desigu by 
I Heiisiow. 

Ccmmetvede i'ar-\ 
seiltes . . .i 



172 Oi 





2747 875 


Takeu at loulon, 1793. 

San Josef. . . 



150 11) 





2457 840 


Takeu from tbe .^p.iuiarilti, 1797. 



152 01 




2111 750 


1 Built at I'oitsmouth, 1801 : design 
\ bv Heu>low. 

Fuiidroyant . ■ 


151 52 





205.J 600 


1 Built at I'lymoutb, 1798: design 

1 by Heuslow. 

(Taken from tbe Freuch, 1798: e.\ 

Canopus . . . 



160 8 




2223 718 


\ franklin. 

Mars .... 


144 3 



1842 600 


1 Bui It at Deptforii,1794: design by 
I Henslow. 

tJelleisle . . . 



149 oi 





1889 690 


1 Takeu from tbe French, 1795: ex 

t Fvrmidahie. 

San Isidro 


144 1 





1836 590 


Takeu from tbe Spaniards, 1797. ' 

Vrijheid . . 



I3S 5 





1562 . . 


Takeu from tbe llut.b, 1797. 

Atioukir . . . 



150 5 




1869 . . 


(Takeu fixtm tbe Freuch, 1798 : ex 
1 A'niil'in. 

Couragtux . . 



150 91 





1772 590 


Built at Heptford, 1800. 

York .... 



144 4 







Built iu tbe 'J bames, 1796. 

A-imiraldi Vrits 








1360 490 


Takeu from tbe llut.b, 1797. 

Tramp. . . . 



117 10 





10:0 420 


i'Jakeu from tbe liut^h, 1797: ex 
\ M. h. 'fivmp. 

JHomede . . . 


124 71 




1 14 3.0 


Built at Heiitford. 1798. 

Pi/mvnt . . . 



132 41 





1239 300 


Takeu from tbe Freuch, 1794. 

Pandour . . . 



10-< 11 





894 300 


/Taken from tbe Dutcb, 1799 : ex 
( I/eilvr. 

S-ine .... 



131 4 





1146 280 


1 Takeu from tbe French, 1798, as 

\ a 42. 

Endym ion 



132 3 





1277 320 


Built iu tbe 1 bauies, 1797. 




131 lU 





1148 290 


■J'akeu from the Freucb, 1794. 

Fishguard . . 


134 2 





1182 280 


(Taken from the Freucb, 1797 : ex 
\ /ii-sista life. 

Hussar . . . 



125 8 





1043 280 


Built at \Vi«ilwiib, 1799. 

Rt^union . 



118 4i 





951 255 


'I'akeu from tbe French, 1793. 

FmtUipe . . . 


125 i 




1051 260 


Built at Bu|-sle.lou, 179». 

Jntmfirtalitt' . 



123 10 





1010 260 


riakeu from tbe Freuch, 1793, as 
I a 42. 

Kthali'.n. . . 


129 2 



992 250 


Built at Woohvich, 1802. 

Janus .... 



110 7 




740 ;200 


(lakeu from the Dutch, 1796: ex 
I A<:io. 

(Taken from tbe Freuch, 1796, as 
\ a 38. 

Unite .... 



118 5 




893 250 


Piqut .... 



123 1 





1028 270 


(Taken fmm the French, 1800 : ex 
■( Piillas, 40. 

Tartar . . . 



118 5 





886 2t0 


. Built at Frindi-bury, 1801: desigu 
\ by Heuslow 

i;raak. . . . 


9. 8 





613 150 


/Taken from tbe Dutch, 1799: ex 
( Miiterra. 

Kourdelais . . 



lie 6 





625 190 


(Takeu from the French, 1799 (.a 
( privateer\ 
Takeu from the Freuch, 1794. 

Babet .... 



99 H 





511 170 


Heureux . . . 



102 9 





598 l.-,0 


(Taken from (be Freucb, 1799 (A 
t privateer). 

Swift .... 


81 111 





3 9 100 


Built at Poitsmoutb, 1793. 

Hornet . . . 



9U 9i 




423 125 


Built iu tbe Thames, 1794. 

Himne CiUnjeuue 



100 6 





511 120 


Takeu from the French, 1796. 

Arrow. . . . 






386 120 


Built at Bedbridce. 1796. 

Jlavik. . . . 



83 5 





365 1 


■J'akeu from tlie Dutch. 1796. 

J.utine. . . . 



121 8 



332 120 


Taken from tbe French, 1798. 

Attack, guuboat . 



62 2} 





147 50 


Built at Frind.-bury, 1794. 

Firm, gunUtat 


77 HJ 




397 100 


Built at Deptford, 1794. 

Hecate, guulxiat . 


62 3 





168 60 


Built at Frindsbury. 1797. 

1793-1802.] CAIiliONADE ARMAMENTS. 155 

More important changes were made in the arming of ships, 
especially in the direction of the increased employment of car- 
ronades. In 1794, when the Albion, 74, and Nonsuch, 64, were 
fitted as floating batteries, they were given, the one twenty-eight, 
and the other twenty 68-pounder carronades ; and, at about the 
same time, many of the smaller vessels, which could have canied 
no bigger long guns than 3 or 4-pounders in equal numbers, were 
armed almost exclusively with 18-pounder carronades, to the great 
improvement of their fighting value at short range. On November 
19th, 1794, indeed, a new establishment of carronades, superseding 
that of 1779, was adopted ; but seeing that many Captains preferred, 
and were allowed to have, in lieu of long guns, more carronades 
than the establishment, and seeing also that many ships then in 
commission retained their old armament until long afterwards, it 
is of little use to give it at length. On August 28th, 1795, every 
ship bigger than a 16-gun brig was ordered to be supplied vdih a 
carronade for her lamich ; and on jNIarch 17th, 1798, it was further 
ordered that eveiy line-of-battle ship coming forward to be fitted 
should be prepared to receive cannonades all along her quarter-deck 
and forecastle, except in way of the shrouds. In the same year, 
six out of eight bomb-vessels, which had been purchased in 1797, 
were ordered to be fitted with eight 24-pounder can-onades each, 
instead of with eight long 6-pounders as previously. In 1799 the 
carronade was made the general quarter-deck and forecastle gun in 
frigates. And on February 21st, 1800, it was directed that for the 
future all ships of twenty-four and twenty guns should be fitted 
on the main deck for 32-pounder carronades in place of the long 
9-pounders, which up to that time had been carried. 

To consider all suggestions with relation to building, fitting out, 
arming, navigating, and victualling H.M.'s ships, as well as with 
relation to docks, basins, buildings, etc., the office of Inspector- 
General of his Majesty's Naval Works was established on March 28th, 
1796, and General Bentham was appointed to it, with a technical 
staff to assist him. 

Very soon after the commencement of the war with revolutionary 
France, difficulty began to be experienced in obtaining the required 
number of seamen for the manning the fleet. Even in 1793, before 
war had been actually declared, the City of London deemed it 
desirable to supplement the usual royal bounty by offering forty 
shillings to every able seaman, and twenty shillings to every 

156 CIVIL niSTOUY OF THE ROYAL XAVY, 17;i3-1802. [1793-1802. 

ordinary seaman who should voluntarily enter the service ; and, 
when the war had been in progress for less than eighteen months, 
the Lord Maj'or opened a subscription with the object of giving 
additional bounties as follows : to every able-bodied seaman, 
i;iO lOs. ; to every ordinary seaman, £,% 8s. ; to every landsman, 
£Q 6s. ; and to boys, according to height, etc., £2 2s. and £1 Is. 
Yet these extra bounties, large though they were, were quickly 
exceeded, and in 1795 many seaport towns were offering as much 
as ^30 a head to able seamen. Boimties alone failed, however, to 
attract all the men who were needed. Parliament had to take 
action, and the position of the seamen had to be in some measure 
improved ere those who were wanted could be secui-ed ; and this 
in spite of the press, of the engagement of numerous foreigners, 
especially Americans, and of the practice which obtained of per- 
mitting to certain offenders the option of joining the Navj- or going 
to prison. On March 5th, 1795, an Act was passed for raising men 
in every county in England and Wales in proportion to its popula- 
tion, the quota rising from 23 in the case of Rutland, and 33 in 
the case of Flintshire, to 451 in the case of Middlesex, 589 in that 
of Lancashire, and 1081 in that of Yorkshire. And on April 16th 
following, another Act was passed for obliging the ports also to 
contribute, and for laying an embargo on all British shipping until 
the assigned quota should be provided. Under this Act there were 
demanded from Bristol, 666 ; from the Clyde, 683 ; from Newcastle, 
1240; from Liverpool, 1711; and from London 5704 men. The 
Act which applied to the counties was designed to raise 9764, and 
the Act which applied to the ports, 20,354 men. To render the 
Navy more attractive than it had been. Acts were also passed 
in 1795 to enable men who had voluntarily entered the service 
to allot part of their pay ' for the maintenance of their wives and 
families, this to be paid every lunar month upon production of 
a properly signed and witnessed ticket ; to enable Boatswains, 
Guimers, and Carpenters to similarly allot ; and to reduce the 
postage of letters to or from seamen on board men-of-war in all 
parts of the world to one penny. These concessions, no doubt, 
contributed to make the service a little less unpleasant than it 
had been previously ; but they did not touch the more serious 
causes of discontent, which, as will be seen, led during the war 

' An able Keanian, 5rf. ; an ordinary seaman or a landsman, -1(/. ; and a Marine, 3rf. 
l^er diem. 

1793-1802.] ALTERATIONS OF PAY. 157 

to graver and more frequent outbreaks of mutiny and insubordina- 
tion than the Royal Na\^' has ever witnessed before or since. Nor 
did they, one may safely conclude, induce the right kind of men 
to flock on board his Majesty's ships in the large numbers which 
the exigencies of the times demanded; for, as late as 1801, a royal 
proclamation was issued, offering a pardon to all seamen or Marines 
who should surrender themselves as deserters before September 1st 
in that year, and assuring to all seamen who had deserted, but who 
had re-enlisted, and who were then ])orne in any of his Majesty's 
ships, the payment of wages due to them at the time of their 

There seems never to have been any con-esponding difficulty in 
obtaining as many ofdcers as were needed ; yet quite as much was 
done during the period to increase the attractiveness of the quarter- 
deck as was done to make the lower deck more tolerable. Indeed, 
upon the whole, the officers fared better than the men at the hands 
of the authorities. An Act of 1795 permitted all flag-officers, 
Captains, Commanders, Lieutenants, Masters, and Surgeons, upon 
being appointed to ships from half-paj', to apply for three months' 
pay in advance ; and it entitled officers on half-pay to have their 
pay remitted to them free of expense. It also entitled pensioned 
widows of officers to have their pensions similarly remitted to 
them. An Order in Council, of September '21st, 1796, raised the 
pay and half-pay of the Lieutenants, and conceded other benefits 
to the same officers, as follows : Lieutenants of ships bearing a 
flag or a broad pennant, and having also a Captain, were given 
5s. Q)d. a day, and Lieutenants of other ships, 5s. a day, with one 
servant apiece as before ; and Lieutenants commanding his Majesty's 
vessels were granted two servants. All these officers, moreover, 
were allowed conduct money at the rate of Q>d. a mile, whenever 
called upon for service. The half -pay of the Lieutenants was 
settled at : for the first hundred, 5s. a day each ; for the second 
hundred, 3s. ikJ. a day each ; and for the rest, 3s. a day each. It 
was at the same time directed that the first fifty Lieutenants on the 
list should be superannuated with the rank of Commander, and 
should receive 6s. a day, and that the widow of any such should 
be entitled to a pension of £45 a year. 

The position of the Masters was improved in 1795, when, by 
an order of August 8th, they were granted half-pay, subject to 
their possession of certain qualifications, at the rate of from 2s, 

158 CIVIL HISTOEY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1793-1802. 

to 4s. a day, according to their seniority. It was at the same 
time directed that those of them who were entitled to super- 
annuation should receive pensions upon the scale of half-pay. 
Somewhat similar advantages were extended to the Surgeons, whose 
half-pay, subject to certain conditions, was fixed at from 2s. 6(7. to 
.5s. a day, according to their seniority. Sm-geons had, up to 1795, 
been allowed lo.s. per patient for the cure of venereal diseases. 
In lieu of this, under regulations then introduced, £.5 a year was 
allowed to a Surgeon for every hundred men borne in his ship ; 
£5 a year in cases where the number borne was less than one 
hundred and exceeded fifty ; and £'4 a year in cases where the 
number borne was less than fifty. Widows of Masters and 
Surgeons were, under the same regulations, entitled to pensions 
of i'30 a 3'ear, provided their husbands had been upon the half- 
pay list. 

Under the will of Mr. Samuel Travers, who, in 1724, had left a 
residuary estate in trust for building or buying a house near 
Windsor Castle for the reception of superannuated or disabled 
Lieutenants, being single men of blameless character, the first seven 
Poor Knights of Windsor were appointed by the King on November 
•27th, 1795. These officers benefited to the extent of ±'60 a year 
each, ±26 of that sum being applied to " keeping them a constant 
table." The seven officers thus chosen as the earliest recipients 
of the charity, and the dates of their commissions as Lieutenants, 
were : William Ha}-garth, 1757 ; George Trussell, 1761 ; John 
Bowen, 1762 ; Alexander Brown, 1765 ; Ambrose Warham, 1778 ; 
William Bampton, 1781 ; and Wilham Elliott, 1781. There were 
then many older Lieutenants on the hst ; but the wiU of Mr. Travers 
did not contemplate the appointment of officers merely on the 
ground of length -of service. It directed, on the contrary, thiit 
twenty-one names should be submitted by the Commissioners of the 
Navy to the Lords of the Admiralty, and that, of these, fom-teen 
should be submitted by the Lords of the Admiralty lo the King, 
who should be prayed to select the seven to be appointed. 

The naval officers of the period were, as a rule, men of higher 
character and finer feelings than those of the early part of the 
eighteenth century; but a vast number of abuses still flourished 
among them ; and the records of the courts-martial of the time 
seem to prove that the sense of honour throughout the higher 
mnks of the Navy was not nearly so keen as it afterwards became. 

1793-1802.] NAl^AL ABUSES. 159 

Lieutenant AVilliam Walker,' of the Sparkler, gun-vessel, who, on 
July 2nd, ISOO, was dismissed the service, was a type of too many 
Lieutenants, Commanders, and Captains of his day. According 
to the verdict of the court-martial, he had repeatedly answered, 
at the time of muster, for men who had run, declaring that they 
were on liberty ; he had answered for his own child, aged one 
year, whom he had rated as an A.B., saying that he was on duty 
ashore ; he had sent a member of the ship's company, under the 
assumed name of William Walker, his aforesaid son, to receive 
i'5 bounty money at Portsmouth ; he had deprived his people of 
fresh provisions, and had himself drawn the provisions for his 
own table while he was on shore ; and he had drawn provisions 
for his full complement of fifty men, when he had less than that 
number on board. Some, even among the most gallant officers in 
the service, were guilty of extraordinary brutality to their men. 
Captain Sir Edward Hamilton, the hero of the heroic recapture of ^ 
the Hermione, was tried on board the Gladiator, on January 22nd, 
1802, and sentenced to be dismissed the service, for having seized up 
William Bowman, gunner of the Trent, in the main rigging for an 
hour and a half in frosty weather until the man, who was old, 
fainted. Sir Edward was reinstated in his rank in the following 
June, it appearing that he had acted in the heat of passion, and that 
there had been some informality in the procedure ; but there can be 
no doubt that cases of the sort were terribly common at the time. 
and that far too frequently they went entirely unpiuiished. A 
common abuse was struck at by an order of July 1st, 1801, which 
directed that for the future all naval officers who might come ashore 
on sick-quarter tickets, should go to the officers' wards in one of the 
Royal Naval Hospitals, and not to private lodgings. 

Other prevalent abuses were the outcome of the regulations 
which existed as to officers' servants. An order of April 16th, 
1794, ranged these servants in three classes, officers being allowed 
in respect of each servant £11 8s. 2d. a year, being the uett wages 
to which such servants were entitled. The classes were: (1), 
Young gentlemen, not under eleven years of age, who were in- 
tended for the sea-service, and who were styled volimteers ; (2), 
boys of between fifteen and seventeen years of age, intended to 
become seamen ; and (3), boys of between thirteen and fifteen years 
of age, intended to do actual duty as servants. It became a 
' C. M. in Gladiator, at Portsmouth. 

KiO CIVIL HISTORY OF THE EOYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [I7'.i0-1802. 

common practice to bear upon a ship's books young gentlemen 
who, besides being much under eleven years of age, were still in 
the nursery at home, or were at school ; and to bear, nominally 
as seamen-boys or as working servants— and to the prejudice of 
those classes — youngsters who were designed for the quarter-deck.* 
Nor is it any exaggeration to say that very few naval officers of 
the period now under consideration considered it in the least dis- 
honourable — unless they chanced to be found out and piinished — 
to make, or to connive at the making of, false statements on certain 
subjects. False certificates of age were, indeed, generally winked 
at. Under the instructions which held good during the eighteenth 
century, no one was to be made a Lieutenant who had not passed 
his examination ; and the examining officers were required to 
certify, among other things, that the candidate had served six 
years at sea, two of them being as Midshipman or Mate in his 
Majesty's ships, and was not under twenty years of age. These 
instructions were, as Professor Laughton says, systematically evaded, 
and little boys in the nursery or at school were borne on the books 
of a ship for a time, which was afterwards counted towards the 
stipulated six years. ^ It ultimately became the fashion for the 
candidate for examination to present a baptismal certificate as 
evidence of age ; and then, if the age was not really sufficient, the 
certificate was unblushingly forged. Says Admiral the Hon. Sir 
George EUiot : — 

" In July, 1800, having completed my six years' servitude, I was sent, with nine 
other Midshipmen, to London, to pass the necessary examination for a Lieutenant's 
commission. Our examinations before the old Commissioners of the Navy were not 
severe ; but we were called on to produce certificates that we were all twenty-one years 
of age — I was sixteen and four days. The old porter in the hall furnished them at os. 
apiece, which, no doubt, the old Commissioners knew; for, on our return with them, 
they remarked that the ink had not dried in twenty-one years." 

Barrington had been certified as "more than twenty" in 1745, 
when, in fact, he was only sixteen ; Nelson had been certified as 
" more than twenty " in 1777, when, in fact, he was less than 
nineteen ; but there were many far more flagrant cases than these. 
The distingitished officer who afterwards became known as Sir 

' Adra. Sir John Louis was borne as a first-class volunteer in the Minotaur before 
he was eleven ; Adm. of the Fleet Sir Thomas John Cochrane was borne as a first-class 
volunteer in the Tlteiis when he was seven ; and the name of the second Lord Radstock 
was borne in the Courageux when the boy, aged eight, was at home or at school. 
Instances of the kind may be multiplied almost to infinity. 

» ' Study of Nav. Uist.' (Eoy. U. S. Inst. 189G). 

1793-1S02.] I'HI/K LAW. 161 

Thoniaw Boulden Thompson, Bart., was actually commissioned as a 
Lioutenaut when, according to family records, he was six weeks less 
than sixteen years of age; and that undistinguished otticer, the Hon. 
John Rodney, hy the interest and connivance of his father, Lord 
liodney, not only became a Lieutenant at the immature age of fifteen 
years and four months, but was a full-blown Post-Captain five weeks 
later.' There were examples almost as glaring in the period 1793- 
1802 ; and even Admiral of the Fleet Sir Provo William Parrj' 
Wallis, who died as recently as February 10th, 1892, was borne on 
more than one ship's books while he was still in the nursery, and 
was a Lieutenant long before he was twenty. 

For seamen, and especially for officers, all questions connected 
with the distribution of prize-mone}' possessed great interest during 
the French wars, for, although a seaman's share of prize-money 
came to him merely as a small, though welcome, addition to his 
W'ages, an officer's share not infrequently amounted to many times 
as much as his pay, and often, changing a poor man into a wealthy 
one, enabled him to buy an estate and found a family. The lower 
deck was chiefly anxious for prompt payment of whatever prize- 
money happened to be due to it. This was recognised, after the 
Battle of the Glorious First of June, by the King, who, with much 
forethought, ordered that the following proportion of prize-money 
should be immediately advanced in respect of the captures in that 
engagement, viz., to each warrant officer, £20 ; to each petty officer, 
£10 10.5. ; and to each seaman, Marine and soldier, £2 2s. But 
more difficult problems often arose to trouble the minds of officers 
whose interests were less superficially affected. A case in point 
arose in 1794, when Captain Francis Laforey, in the Carysfort, 
recaptured H.M.S. Castor, which had been taken nineteen days 
earlier, and commissioned by the French. Upon the arrival of the 
prize in port, she was claimed by the Commissioners of the Navy as 
belonging of right to the King. The French captain, upon being 
interrogated, said that he had been appointed to command the Castor 
by the French admiral, who had given him a commission to do so as 
commander of a man-of-war in the sei"\'ice of the liepubiic ; and that 
the admiral in question had power and authority to condemn prizes, 
and to arm, equip, and commission such ships as he might capture, 
without first sending them to France to be fonnally condemned 

' Hon. John Rodney. Born, May 10th, 1765. Lieutenant, Seiiteiiilier lOtli, 1780. 
Post-Cajitain, October 1-ltli, 1780. 

VOL. IV. :.i 

162 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1793-1802. 

there. The point for decision was, therefore, whether, in the cir- 
cumstances, the re-captors had merely re-taken a British vessel, or 
whether they had, in effect, taken a French one ; whether, in fact, 
they were entitled to salvage onl)',' or to the whole of the prize. 
Sir James Marriot, Judge of the High Com-t of Admiralty, relied 
upon a clause in the Prize Act, which declared that, " If any ship 
or vessel retaken shall appear to have been, after the taking of his 
Majesty's enemies, bj' them set forth as a ship of war, the said ship 
or vessel shall not be restored to the former owners or proprietors, 
but shall, in all cases, whether retaken by his Majesty's ships, or by 
any privateer, be adjudged a lawful prize for the benefit of the 
captors " ; and he therefore adjudged the whole value of the Castor 
to the captors. 

Another interesting point in prize law was decided in 1795. A 
very valuable French vessel had been taken without the firing of a 
shot by several East Indiamen, on board of which, at the time of 
the capture, there were many recruits and non-combatant pas- 
sengers. The question for decision was whether these recruits and 
passengers were entitled to share in the prize. The right of the 
recruits was admitted with little demur, but although it was urged, 
on behalf of the passengers, that the East India Company and its 
commanders held all on board to be liable to the performance of duty 
in case of action, and that the passengers had, by their presence, 
assisted in overawing the foe, the judge decided against the pas- 
sengers' claim, observing that it was certain that the women and 
children had not intimidated the French, and that it was unlikely 
that the gentlemen, who probablj' were looking through the cabin 
windows with their hair full dressed, struck any terror into the 
minds of the enemy. 

Yet another point was decided in 1799. In 1781, Captain Evelyn 
Sutton had commanded the Isis in the squadron of Commodore 
Johnstone. After the action at Porto Praya, Johnstone had put 
Sutton under arrest, and had appointed Captain the Hon. Thomas 
Charles Lumley to command the Isis in his stead. The question 
was whether Captain Lumley was entitled to share the prize-money 
arising from captures made by the Isis while he was in command of 
her during the arrest of Captain Sutton. Lord Kenyon decided that, 
to all intents and purposes, Captain Sutton had been Captain of the 

' At that time, men-of-war effecting recaptures were entitled to one-eighth, and 
privateers to one-sixth, of the value of ships so recaptured. 

1793-1802.] DROITS OF ADMIIiALTY. 163 

Ids SO long as he remained entitled to pay as such, and had not 
been displaced either by the Admiralty, or by sentence of comrt- 
martial ; and that the fact of aiTest — apart from that arrest having 
been, as was proved, improper — had not displaced him. There could 
be but one Captain of a ship at a time, and the Captain of the Isis, 
at the moment of the making of the captures in question, was 
undoubtedly Captain Sutton, He gave judgment accordingly. 

In the same year, 1799, several other interesting cases were 
determined. In January, it was decided that, when ships with 
cargo on board were captured, even though the ships were com- 
missioned and armed, the captors were not entitled to head money.* 
A little later. Sir William Scott, in the case of the Rebecca, delivered 
an important judgment touching the droiis of Admiralty. The 
Rebecca, having put into St. Marcou for safety, had been fired at 
from a work on shore, and had struck her colours ; and she had then 
ridden there a whole day before possession had been taken of her, 
and until she had been boarded by a boat's crew from the fort, 
which was held by the Navy. The Admiralty, claiming under a 
grant confirmed by an Order in Council of 16(j.5, urged that the law 
gave to the Lord High Admiral, as his peciiUum, the benefit of all 
captiures made in roadsteads, creeks, or havens. The captors 
declared that the capture was made by naval ofiicers in their naval 
character, and that, therefore, it was, prima facie, acquired to the 
King, and, through him, to the actual captors. They submitted that 
the place of captm-e was not a port or haven ; and they contended 
that there was no proof that the vessel had anchored when she 
struck her colours. Sir William Scott admitted that the Lord High 
Admiral was entitled under the grant to the benefit of captures " of 
all ships and goods coming into ports, creeks or roads of England or 
Ireland, unless they came in voluntarily upon revolt, or were driven 
in by the King's cruisers," and that usage had extended the area of 
the Lord High Admiral's rights in that matter from England and 
Ireland to all the dominions thereimto belonging. But he could not 
admit that a road or roadstead within the meaning of the grant 
existed wherever a ship could find anchorage ground. " For," he 
continued, " if that be so, the Lord High Admiral would be entitled 
to all captures made within a moderate distance of most parts of the 
coasts of England and Ireland, and the foreign dominions belonging 
to them, which, assuredly, is not the case ; for who would say that, 

' ' Admlty. Keps.' i. 157. 

M 2 

104 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1TU3-1802. [1793-1802. 

if a ship at anchor iu the channel of Dover be seized by a com- 
missioned cruiser, the Lord High Admiral is entitled? Every 
anchorage ground is not a roadstead. A roadstead is a known 
general station for ships, statio tutissima itaufis, notoriously used as 
such, and distinguished by the name, and not every spot where an 
anchor will find bottom and fix itself." The judge was inclined to 
think that St. Marcou possessed no road. He was not sure, more- 
over, that St. Marcou, occupied temporarily as a mere naval station 
for the convenience of a couple of small vessels, could be recognised 
as a possession of the Crown of England within the meaning of the 
grant ; but, leaving those points undecided, he preferred to base his 
decision upon the consideration whether, at the time of her sur- 
render, or deditio, the vessel had entered the alleged road or not. 
She had struck upon being fired at. She had not then anchored ; 
but, ere being taken possession of, she had anchored. He must 
regard the effective deditio as dating from the moment of striking — 
a moment at which the vessel had, it was admitted, not taken up 
any anchorage. Nothing had occurred after the deditio to prejudice 
it. The French had not, for example, attempted to defeat the 
surrender. The formal submission had never been discontinued or 
reversed. Therefore, he must hold that the ship had not entered 
any road when she was captured. The Admiralty might claim that 
the capture had been made from the land, and by a land force. 
There might possibly be something to say in favour of such a 
contention in certain cases. A vessel compelled to strike by the fire 
from Dover Castle would be a droit of Admiralty. 

" I likewise," lie went on, " think that oases may occur in which naval persons, 
having a real authority to take upon the sea for their own advantage, may yet entitle 
the Admiralty and not themselves, by a capture made upon the sea by the use of a 
force stationed upon the land. Suppose the crew, or part of the crew of a man-of-war 
were landed, and descried a ship of the enemy at sea ; and that they took possession of 
any battery or fort upon the shore, such as may be met with in many parts of the coast, 
and, by means of such battery or fort, compelled such a ship to strike ; I have no 
doubt that such a capture, though made by persons liaving naval conniussions, yet 
being made by means of a force upon the land, which they employed accidentally, and 
without any right under their comniissinii, would be a droit of Adiuiralty, aud nothing 

But at St. Marcou there was no garrison or military establishment ; 
it was occupied entirely as a temporary naval station. Everyone in 
it was borne upon some ship's books, and was victualled from a 
ship, and such defences as existed had been made by the Navy, and 
mounted with ships' guns, or with spare guns specially procured. 

1793-1802.] INTERNATIONAL LAW. 165 

The judge, therefore, cousidered St. Marcou as a part or appendage 
of the Navy, as a sort of stationary tender, and he held that the 
capture was a regular maritime one, effected in a spot where the 
right of Admiralty had not begun. He consequently jaronounced in 
favour of the captors.' 

In the same year. Sir William Scott decided a case involving the 
right of the Anny to share with the Navy in the distribution of prize- 
money arising out of the capture of Dutch men-of-war in Saldanha 
Bay, in August, 1796. He came to the conclusion that the case for 
the Army could not be sustained. With regard to a claim on behalf 
of several non-commissioned East India ships for an interest in the 
captm-e'of the Cape of Good Hope, in June, 1795, Sir William Scott 
concluded a lengthy judgment with the following words : — 

" Upon the whole of these facts, I feel myself obliged to pronounce that it not 
been shown that these ships set out in an original military character, or that any 
military character has been subsequently impressed upon them by the nature and 
course of their employment; and therefore, however meritorious their services may 
have been, and however entitled they may be to the gratitude of their country, it will 
not entitle them to share in this valuable capture." 

Some important questions of international, as well as of prize 

law, arose during the period. In 1798, Captain Loring, of the 

Caniatic, exercised a right which was claimed and exercised by 

Great Britain for many years afterwards, and which was one of the 

causes of the war of 1812-15, and stopped and searched an American 

man-of-war off Havana for British sailors. This incident led to the 

issue of the following letter by the Secretary of the United States 

Navy: — 

"Sir, — It is the jwsitive command of the President that, in no pretence whatever, 
you permit the public vessel of war under your command to be detained or searched, 
nor any of the oQicers or men belonging to her to be taken from her by the ships or 
vessels of any foreign nation, so long as you are in a capacity to repel such outrage on 
the honour of the American flag. If force should be exerted to compel your sub- 
mission, you are to resist that force to the utmost of your power ; and, when over- 
IKjwered by superior force, you are to strike j-our flag, and thus yield your vessel as 
well as your men, but never your men without your vessel. You will remember, 
however, that your demeanour be respectful and friendly to the vessels and jieople of all 
nations in amity with the United States ; and that you avoid as carefully the 
commission of, as the submission to, insult or injury. 1 have the honour to be your 
obedient servant, 

" Besj.\min Stoddart. 

"Given at the Xavy Department, Dec. 20, 1798. 

" To the Commanders of armed vessek in the service of the United States." 

Crews of the Sandfly and Badger. 

166 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1793-1802. 

In a message sent to Congress on Januaiy 7th, 1800, the President, 
after aUuding to the same incident, concluded — 

" It is but justice to say that this is the first instance of misbehaviour of any of the 
British oflicers towards our vessels of war that lias come to my knowledge. According 
to all the representations I have seen, tlie flag of the United States, and the officers and 
men, have been treated by the civil and military authority of the British nation, in 
Nova Scotia, the West India Islands, and on the ocean, with uniform civility, 
poUteness, and friendship. I have no doubt but that this first instance of misconduct 
will be readily corrected." 

A case arising out of the detention, and bringing into the Downs, 
by Commodore John Lawford, in January, 1798, of a Swedish frigate 
which had offered resistance to search for contraband of war, and of 
her convoy, the latter laden with pitch, tar, hemp, deals and iron, 
and bound, some to enemy's ports, and some elsewhere, was the 
subject of a lengthy and learned judgment of Sir William Scott, in 
1799. The points in dispute were too numerous and comphcated to 
be noticed here, but as the judgment is one which has since been 
often cited, it may be well to mention that it is to be found at 
length not only in the Admiralty Eeports, but also in Schomberg.' 

Yet another interesting question was decided by the Court of 
Common Pleas on June 12th, 1800. The point was whether junior 
Flag-officers were entitled to a share in the third of freight-money 
which was allowed by the regulation to Commanders-in-Chief. The 
case was brought before the court by Sir William Parker, on behalf 
of himself and the junior Admirals in the fleet of Lord St. Vincent. 
It was admitted that there was no law upon the subject ; it was a 
point of usage and precedent. Admirals Wolseley, Lord Hotham, 
Caldwell, Bligh, and Pole, and Captain Caleb O'Brien, gave evidence 
in support of the alleged custom of the service as understood by Sir 
William Parker. Admiral Lord Hood, and Mr. Alford, agent for 
Lord St. Vincent, supported the opposite view. In the result. Lord 
Eldon held that the usage was fully established, and the jury found 
a verdict for the plaintiff. It would appear from the evidence given 
in the case, that it was the practice for a Commander-in-Chief to 
sunrender one-third of his third to his junior, where he had but one 
Flag-officer under him, and to surrender one-half of his third for 
division among the juniors, when there happened to be two or more 
of them in the fleet. Lord Hood, in the course of the proceedings, 
appealed to Lord Hotham, who had served under him as junior 

' ' Nav. Chronol.' iii. 264-284. 


Admiral in the Mediterranean, whether he had ever paid hina a 
shilling of freight-money. " I kept it all myself,*' said Hood. 
" You did, my lord," assented Hotham ; " but I thought that I was 
entitled to a part of it." Howe seems to have invariably recognised 
the existence of the usage. 

One of the most painful features of the period under review is 
the whole subject of the discipline of the Navy. Not only did nearly 
everyone of these eight <eventful years vdtness mutinous outbreaks 
such as hardly ever before had disgraced the service ; not only was. 
mutiny more than once accompanied by murder and l)y treason ; hut 
also the disaffection became so general that, for a time, it threatened 
to imperil the very existence of the country. At first, the outbreaks 
were isolated ones. They occurred in ships commanded by Captains 
of the best reputation, as well as in those commanded by Captains of 
the worst ; and, although there were undoubtedly many excuses for 
discontent upon the lower deck, it would almost seem as if the state 
of unrest among the seamen was rather of the nature of an epidemic, 
the germs of which were afloat in the air of the age, than the result 
of any more obvious causes. In France, there had been a revolt 
against all constituted authority. Britons, as a body, suffered little 
from the infection from across the Channel ; but, in cases where 
there was already a nidus favourable to the reception and propaga- 
tion of the germs, some Britons caught the contagion in a very 
severe form, and were as completely dominated by it as the most 
susceptible of Frenchmen.' 

Symptoms of trouble manifested themselves very soon after the 
beginning of the war ; but, perhaps, the first outbreak which in- 
dicated the existence of an abnormal state of affairs in the Navy, was 
a mutiny on board the CuUoden, Captain Thomas Troubridge, in 
December, 1794. The ship's company refused to proceed to sea. 
Troubridge, who behaved with admirable firmness, seized the 
ringleaders, and brought them to trial by court-martial on the 15th. ^ 
Eight were sentenced to death, and, on January 13th following, five 
of these were executed on board the CuUoden at Spithead, the 
remaining three receiving his Majesty's pardon. The outbreak in 
the Windsor Castle at San Fiorenzo, in November, 1794, is noticed 

' There is a certain amount of evidence that some of tlie mutinies were assisted, if 
not actually fomented, by French agents. See the curious revelations in Sroreau de 
.Tonnes: ' Aventures de Guerre ' (Ed. 1858), i. 424-461. 

^ The court first assembled in the Casar at Spithead, and^then adjourned to the 
Sliitely, in Portsmoutli Harbour. 

168 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE liOYAL XAVy, 1703-1802. [1797. 

in the following chapter. It is to be regarded as of an altogether 
different character from the mutiny in the CuUoden, seeing that the 
Windsor Castle's crew assigned as the reason for their action their 
dislike to certain officers of the ship ; but it was, in all probability, 
not without its effect upon the subsequent development of events, 
for the mutineers, instead of being met firmly, were humoured in 
the most extraordinary and indefensible way, and not only were 
given new officers in place of those objected to, but also were 

A very significant incident of 1795 was the mutiny of the crew 
of the Dutch hoy SliarJ:, 4. The mutineers carried the little craft 
into La Hougue, and handed her over to the enemies of their country. 
Dming 1796 the slumbering evil manifested itself only in compara- 
tively mild forms ; but in 1797 there occurred several mutinies which 
were of an altogether unexampled character among British seamen. 

In February of that year petitions, purporting to come from 
each of the line-of-battle ships at Portsmouth, were forwarded to 
Lord Howe. No attention was paid to them. Early in March 
the Channel Fleet put to sea for a cruise ; and, on its return to 
port, the seamen, finding that their petitions had been ignored, 
began a correspondence among themselves. The result of this 
was a general agreement throughout the fleet that no ship belonging 
to it should again weigh anchor so long as the alleged grievances 
remained unredressed. The resolution bore its first fruit when, 
on April 15th, Admiral Lord Bridport ordered the fleet to prepare 
for sea. Thereupon the crew of the Queen Charlotte ran up the 
shrouds, and, giving three cheers, the signal for mutiny, were 
answered in like manner from every other ship.' Attempts were 
everywhere made to persuade the people to return to their duty ; 
but in vain. On the 16th, two delegates from each ship were 
chosen as representatives of the fleet, and the Admiral's cabin of 
the Queen Charlotte was appointed as their place of meeting. On 
the 17th, every man in the fleet was solemnly sworn to adhere to 
the cause ; unpopular officers were set ashore : and ropes were 
reeved at the fore-yardarm of many vessels, as a sign that the 
mutineers were ready to proceed to extremities, and also, it may be, 
that they were determined to presei-ve some sort of order among 

' The (sliips ul' tlie line tljus implicated were : Ili>i,al George, Queen Cliarhitte, 
Royal Sorertiyii, London, Glory, Duke, Mars, Marlhoroi(f/li, Ramillies, Jlohtist, 
Impclueux, Defenec, Terrible, Fumpee, Minotaur, ami Dejiani-e. 

1797.] Ml TINY AT SPITIIEAD. 169 

themselves. On the 18th, a committee of the Board of Admiralty, 
consisting of Earl Spencer, Lord Arden, Eear-Admiral William 
Young (1), and Mr. William Marsdeu, reached Portsmouth from 
London, and made some ineffectual overtures to the mutineers. On 
the '21st, Vice-Admirals Sir Alan Gardner and John Colpoys, and 
Rear-Admiral Charles Morice Pole went out to the Queen Charlotte, 
and had an interview with the delegates, but were assured that no 
conclusive arrangement could be made unless it were duly sanctioned 
by Parliament and the King, and were accompanied by a proclama- 
tion of general pardon. This answer unfortunately led Sir Alan 
Gardner to lose his temper and to lay hold of one of the delegates, 
declaring that the man and all his associates, together with every fifth 
seaman throughout the fleet, should be hanged. The consequence was 
that only with difficulty did the Yice-Admiral escape alive. "When the 
delegates from the lioijul Geoiye returned to their ship and reported 
what had occurred, a council of the leaders of the mutiny was 
summoned on board that vessel, the signal being the hoisting of a red 
flag. Utterly disgusted at the conduct of the fleet, Bridport struck 
his flag, with the intention of never again hoisting it. Some kind of 
personal apology having, however, been made to him, he rehoisted 
his flag in the Eui/al George on the "iard. In the meantime, the 
mutineers had caused all the guns of the fleet to be loaded ; had 
confined the remaining officers to their respective ships ; had ordered 
the keeping of watches on board as if the fleet were at sea ; and 
had despatched an explanatory letter to the Admiralty. Before 
rehoisting his flag on April '23rd, Lord Bridport, addressing his 
ship's company, informed the mutineers that a redress of all 
grievances had been granted, and that he had with him the King's 
pardon for the offenders. 

The grievances set forth in the petitions of the seamen were 
substantially as follows : that wages had not been raised since 
the time of Charles II., when the necessaries of life, and slops of 
all sorts, were 30 per cent, cheaper than in 1797 ; that the wages 
of the Anny had been augmented while those of the Navy had 
not been increased ; that provisions were served out of short weight 
and inferior quality ; that no vegetables were issued to ships in 
port ; that the sick were insufficiently attended to, and that luxuries 
intended for them were embezzled ; that liberty, within reasonable 
and stipulated bounds, was not commonlj* enough granted to the 
crews of ships in harbour ; and that men wounded in action were 


170 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1797. 

deprived of their wages, pending cure or discharge.^ These 
grievances were set forth in moderate language, and with many 
professions of loyalty. The Committee of the Board of Admiralty 
promptly undertook to recommend an increase of wages by the 
addition of 4s. a lunar month to the pay of petty officers and able 
seamen, of 3s. a month to the pay of ordinary seamen, and of 2s. 
a month to the wages of landsmen ; and determined also that 
seamen wounded in action should be continued in pay while their 
wounds were healing, or iintil, being declared unserviceable, they 
should be given a pension, or should be received into Greenwich 

The seamen protested against the drawing of any distinction 
between ordinary seamen and landsmen — a distinction which, they 
declared, had never before existed in the Navy ; and they pressed 
for the raising of an able seaman's wages to Is. a daj', and of 
Marines', other seamen's, and petty officers' wages in proportion. 
They asked, fm'ther, for the raising of Greenwich Hospital pensions 
from £1 to £10 a year, and suggested that, to make good the 
difference, merchant seamen should contribute Is. instead of &d. 
a head a month to the Hospital funds, adding, " and as this, in 
time of peace, must be paid by your petitioners, we trust it will 
give a convincing proof of oui- disinterestedness and moderation." 
They suggested, too, that the new advantages as to pensions should 
be granted as well to seamen of the East India Company as to 
those of the Royal Navy ; and asked that the provisions issued 
should be at the rate of sixteen ounces to the pound of bread and 
meat, with cheese, butter, and liquors in proportion, and with 
vegetables as well, and that the quality should be better than in 
the past, and that no flour should be issued with fresh beef .^ 

The Commissioners finally conceded an addition of 5s. &d. a 
month to the wages of petty officers and seamen, making an able 
seaman's pay Is. a day ; an addition of 4s. 6rf. a month to the 
wages of ordinary seamen ; an addition of 3s. 6(7. a month to 
the wages of landsmen ; the non-stoppage of shore allowances to 
Marines when embarked ; the issue of full weight of provisions, 
without deduction for leakage or waste ; and, pending the com- 
pletion of arrangements to that end, the payment of short-allowance 
money in respect of deductions ; and the payment of full wages 

1 Petition of April 18th, 1797. ^ Comnirs. to Bridport, April 18tli, 1797. 

' Reply of April lOtli, 1797. 


to the wounded ; and they promised pardon to every ship's company 
which, within an hour after being apprised of their Lordships' 
resolutions, should return to its duty and cease to hold iutercom'se 
with the mutineers.' The seamen received these concessions with 
satisfaction, but added: "But we beg to remind yom- Lordships i^/ 
that it is a firm resolution that, until the flour in port be removed, 
the vegetables and pensions augmented, the grievances of private 
ships redressed, an Act passed, and his Majesty's most gracious 
pardon for the fleet now lying at Spithead granted, the fleet will 
not lift an anchor ; and this is the total and final answer." In 
spite of this threat the Government contented itself with pro- 
claiming a pardon," and with regarding the afl'air as at an end. 

But it was not at an end. Part of the fleet dropped down to 
Bt. Helen's, ^\^len, however, on May 7th, Lord Bridport signalled 
to weigh and put to sea, every ship's company refused to obey. 
The men considered that the silence of the Government indicated 
that the grievances which had not been specifically dealt with 
by the Commissioners, were not to be redressed. They therefore 
resolved to hold another meeting of delegates on board the London, 
which still lay at Spithead ; and for that pui-pose their boats 
proceeded alongside that ship. Vice-Admiral Colpoys, whose flag 
flew in her, refused to allow them on board, and declared that 
if they persisted he would order the Marines to fire at them. The 
delegates did persist ; a scuffle ensued ; a delegate fired at and 
wounded Lieutenant William Sims of the Marines ; the Marines 
were ordered bj^ the London's first Lieutenant to fire; and five 
seamen, including two delegates, were killed. An active mutiny 
immediately broke out on board the London, and the seamen 
obliged the officers and the Marines to surrender. They would 
have hanged the first Lieutenant had not Vice-Admiral Colpoys 
satisfied them that that officer had acted in pursuance of specific 
instructions from the Admiralty. All the officers were confined 
to their cabins, and the Marines were made prisoners. Similar 
violence was displayed in other ships ; and most of the superior 
officers who were strict disciplinarians were sent ashore. So things 
went on until- Maj- 14th, when Lord Howe, armed with plenaiy ^ 
powers, arrived from London, bringing with him an Act of 
Parliament, which had been passed on May 9th, in accordance 

' Commrs. to Brulport, April 20tli, 1797. 
2 Dated at Windsor, April •22nd, 1797. 

172 CIVIL niSTOBY OF THE IWYAL NAVY, 1703-1802. [1797. 

with the desires of the seamen, and a new proclamation of pardon 
for all such as should retvirn at once to their duty. The Act, the 
proclamation, and Lord Howe's popularity and tact restored order 
and discipline ; on the 15th the mutiny ceased ; and on the 16th 
the Channel Fleet put to sea. 

It was generally hoped and expected that there would he no 
more trouhle ; but within a day or two a new and more serious 
mutiny broke out in the ships at the Nore and in the North Sea. 
As before, the mutineers chose two delegates from each ship. In 
addition, they appointed a man named Kichard Parker ^ president 
of the delegates, and elected in every ship a committee of twelve 
to manage the affairs of the vessel. On May '20th, the delegates 
sent to Vice-Adiniral Charles Buckner, Commander-in-Chief at 
the Nore, the following statement of demands : — 

" 1. 'I'liat every indulgence granted to the fleet at Portsmouth be granted to Ids 
Majesty's subjects serving in the tleet at the Nore and places adjacent. 

" 2. That every man, upon a ship's coming into harbour, shall have liberty (a 
certain number at a time, so as not to injure the ship's duty) to go and see tlieir friends 
and families ; a convenient time to be allowed to each man. 

"3. That all ships, before they go to sea, shall be paid all anears of wages, down to 
six months, according to the old rules. 

"4. That no officer that has been turned out of any of his Majesty's ships shall be 
employed in the same ship again without consent of the ship's company. 

" 5. That when an}' of his Majesty's ships shall be paid that may have been some 
time in commission, if there are any pressed men on board that may not be in the 
regular course of payment, they shall receive two months' advance to furnish them 
with necessaries. 

" 6. That an indemnification be mnde any man who ran, and may now be in Ids 
Majesty's service, and they shall not be liable to be taken up as deserters. 

" 7. That a more equal distribution be made of jirize-money to the crews of his 
Majesty's ships and vessels of war. 

"8. That the Articles of War, as now enforced, require various alterations, several 
of which ought to be expunged therefrom ; and, if more moderate ones were held forth 
to the seamen in general, it would be the means of taking otT that terror and prejudice 
against his Majesty's service, on that account too frequently imliibed by seamen, from 
entering voluntarily into the service." 

The statement was forwarded to the Admiralty, which, on the 
22nd, replied, refusing some of the demands, but promising forgive- 
ness to the men if they would then return to duty. Vice-Admiral 
Buckner delivered the answer to the delegates, and allowed them 
ten minutes wherein to make up their minds concerning it. Instead 
of submitting, the mutineers went into harbour in their boats, and 
took thence all the gunboats which lay there. They then carried 

' At one time a Mids!ii)>nian in the Navy ; court-martialleil and reduced for mis- 
behaviour, Dec. 12th, 17'J3; discharged the service as insane, 17'J1. 

1797.] MUTINY AT THE NOItE. 173 

them to the Nore ; and, as the boats passed the fort at Sheemess, 
each of them, in defiance, fired a gun at it. The delegates informed 
Vice-Admiral Buckner " that nothing could be settled until three 
of the Board of Admiralty came down to Sheemess.'* On May 23rd, 
they struck his flag on board the Sandwich, which was the head- 
quarters of Parker, and hoisted instead of it the red flag of mutiny. 
Moreover, they obliged every ship lying near Sheemess to drop 
down to the Nore, where they concentrated their forces. Among 
these ships was the San Fiorenzo, which had been fitted up for 
the conveyance of the Princess of Wiirttemberg to GeiTuany. Her 
crew, however, was loyal, and, although the frigate was ordered 
to lie close under the stern of the Sandwich, her captain, Sir Harry 
BmTard Neale, found means, a few days later, to cany her un- 
molested into Harwich. 

On May "iith, the mutineers were again offered a conditional 
pardon by the Admiralty, but Kichard Parker peremptorily refused 
the conditions. Up to about that time the delegates and committee- 
men were in the habit of landing daily at Sheemess, holding 
meetings, and parading the streets with flags and music ; but the 
arrival on the spot of Admiral Lord Keith and General Sir Charles 
Grey, who were charged with enforcing naval and military measures 
of repression, put a stop to those proceedings, and thenceforth the 
mutineers visited the shore at their peril. 

On May 26th, Admiral Dmicau, whose orders were to watch 
the Dutch coast, succeeded in putting to sea with the whole of 
his squadron except the Montagu, 74, and Nassau, 64, which ships 
refused to get under way upon pretence that their crews were 
being paid at the time ; but the evil example presently spread ; 
and, by May 31st, the Admiral had been deserted by all his vessels 
except the Venerable, 74 (flag), and Adamant, 50. Mutiny actually 
broke out in the Venerable, but Duncan repressed it, largely by a 
personal exhibition of strength and determination ; and, in spite 
of his isolation, he managed to keep his station until he was 

On Ma}' 27th, a number of delegates went up the river in order 
to tamper with the crews of some ships which were Ijang in Long 
Reach. Below Tilbury they were fired at from the shore, and, 
landing at Gravesend, thej' were arrested by the inhabitants ; but 
they succeeded in regaining their liberty, and in corrupting the 
crew of the Lancaster, 64. 

174 CIVIL mSTORT OF TEE ROYAL NAV7, 1793-1802. [1797. 

The same members of the Board of Admiralty as had gone to 
Portsmouth to deal with the mutiny there, now went to Sheerness, 
and, on May 27th, held a meeting at the house of Commissioner 
Francis John Hartwell, where they saw the delegates and tried in 
vain to bring them to reason. The only result was that the mutineers 
became more aggressive and insolent than ever ; whereupon their 
Lordships returned to London, after annomicing that no fm-ther 
concessions whatsoever were to be expected. It is tolerably clear, 
from the revelations of M. Moreau de Jonnes and other Frenchmen, 
that the leaders of the rebels, or some of them, were by that time in 
communication with the enemies of their country, and had formed 
projects for carrying the fleet across the Channel, though Parker 
resolutely denied any suggestion of the kind ; but the general body 
of seamen revolted at the idea of so treasonable a proceeding. The 
situation of the mutineers had, however, become a desperate one. 
Success was hopeless ; punishment was almost certain ; and flight, 
either with or without the ships, seemed to promise the sole chance 
of safety. It is, upon the whole, astonishing, therefore, that the 
fleet did not desert. Instead of fleeing, the delegates attempted 
to coerce London into supporting their demands. They moored 
the Standard, 64, Brilliant, 28, Inspector, 16, and Swan, 16, across 
the river to block the traffic, and allowed no vessels to pass them 
•without an order signed by Eichard Parker, and then only neutral 
ships, colliers, and a few small craft. In the meantime, com- 
mimication with the shore having been cut off, the rebels turned 
pirates, helping themselves to provisions and water from merchant 
ships which they detained, carrying off sheep from the Isle of 
Grain, and plundering the storeship Grampus, which had been 
fitted out to proceed to the fleet in the West Indies. They did 
not, nevertheless, omit to fire a royal salute on June 4th, the 
anniversary of the King's birthday, though they still kept the red 
flag flying at the main-topmasthead of the Sandwich. On June 6th, 
when the mutineers were joined by the last of the deserting vessels 
from Admiral Duncan's fleet, their total force consisted of the 
twelve ships of the line, two 50's, six frigates, and six smaller 
craft mentioned in the note.' That day sealed the fate of the 

• Sandwich, 90; Montagu, 74; Agamemnon, 64; Ardent, 64; Inflexible, 64 
Monmouth, G4 ; Director, 64 ; Nassau, 64 ; licptdsc, 64 ; lielliqueur, 64 ; Standard, 64 
Lion, 64 ; Leopard, 50 ; Isis, 50 ; Terpsichore, 32 ; Iris, 32 ; DriUiant, 28 ; Vestal, 28 
Proserpine, 28 ; Champion, 20; Pylades, 16; Inspector, 16; Swan, 16; Comet, fire- 

1797.] MUTINY AT THE NO RE. 175 

It was on June Gth that two Acts of Parliament were hastily 
introduced, passed, and assented to. One was " for the better 
prevention and punishment of attempts to seduce persons serving 
in his Majesty's forces by sea or land from their duty and allegiance, 
or to entice them to mutiny or disobedience " ; and the other 
was " for the more effectually restraining intercourse with the 
crews of certain of his Majesty's ships now in a state of mutiny 
and rebelhon, and for the effectual suppression of such mutiny 
and rebellion." In pursuance of the intention of the authorities 
to ci'ush the outbreak at all costs, new batteries were erected on 
both sides of the Thames ; the buoys at its mouth were removed ; 
furnaces for heating shot were prepared at various points ; and 
the Neptune, 98, Commodore Sir Erasmus Gower, Lancaster, 64, 
Agincourt, 64, and several gunboats, which lay near Gravesend, 
were directed to drop down and attack the insurgents. The 
mutineers, feeling that the end was approaching, opened negotia- 
tions through the Earl of Northesk, Captain of the Monmouth ; 
but still simulated an uncompromising demeanour. Their overtures 
were rejected ; and the preparations for reducing them by force 
were almost complete when, on June 9th, it became apparent that 
the insurrection was about to collapse. On that day the Repulse 
and Leopard escaped from the fleet, the latter getting up the 
Thames, but the former, unfortunately, taking the groi;nd, and 
being fired at by the Monmouth and Director. In the following 
night the Ardent also made off, though she, too, was fared at by 
the Monmouth. Both in her and in the Repulse^ several people 
were hit. On the 10th, several vessels hauled down the red flag, 
and the river traffic was reopened. On the 12th, other ships struck 
the symbol of disaffection, and" expressed a desire to submit ; and 
on the evening of that day the rebels had only seven ships still 
adhering to them. Early on the 13th, the Agamemnon, Standard, 
Nassau, Iris, and Vestal, after there had been bloody struggles in 
most of them, took refuge either up the Thames or under the guns 
of Sheerness ; and, later on the same day, the general body of 

ship, 14 ; Grampus, stureship, 20 ; and Serapis, stoieship, 20. The Lancaster,<ii, had 
by that day returned to its duty. The Serapis appears on that day to liave escaped into 
the Medway. The Discovery, bomb, had entered the Med way some days before. 

' Lieutenant George Augustus Delanoe, of the Repulse, lost a leg on the occasion. 
He was in consequence promoted and given a pension of 2s. a day. He was also 
granted a pension by the City of London. He was promoted in the course of the year, 
and died, still a Commander, in 1S02. 

17G CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1797. 

rebels, even including the crew of the Sdiu/irich, aiHK)iince(l un 
inclination to submit if a general pardon should be granted. On 
the morning of the 14th, the Sandwich was carried under the 
guns of Sheerness, and Vice-Admiral Buckner, sending a boat full 
of soldiers on board of her, effected the arrest of Eichard Parker, 
of a man named Davies, who had acted as his flag-captain, and 
of about thirty other delegates. One delegate, named Wallace, 
to escape capture, committed suicide. Parker was tried by court- 
martial on board the Saiulicicli on June 22nd. Tlie trial continued 
for several days, and resulted in the man's condemnation to death. 
He was executed on June 29th on board the SandicicJi, and died 
acknowledging the justice of the sentence. Other mutineers were 
then tried. Many were executed ; several were flogged from ship 
to ship ; some were imprisoned in the Marshalsea ; and a number 
remained under sentence on board the Eagle, 64, prison ship in 
the Medway, until after the battle of Camperdown, when, at the 
prayer of Admiral Duncan, the King was pleased to pardon them. 

Yet the mutinies did not cease with the collapse of the great 
outbreak at the Nore. There were further outbreaks in the 
I'ompee, 80, Boyal Sovereign, 100, Satttni, 74, Mars, 74, Marl- 
Ininnigh, 74, Bedford, 74, Ardent, (54, Grampus, storeship, BcauJieu. 
40, Phcenix, 36, Calypso, 16, and other vessels, and, during the 
whole of the summer of 1797, courts-martial were sitting to try the 
ofl'enders, many of whom were condemned to death, or to floggings 
-^ so severe as to be scarcely preferable. In July, there was a mutiny 
of a particularly determined type on board the St. George, 98, in the 
Mediterranean. This was quelled by the personal gallantry and 
firmness of her commander. Captain Shuldham Peard, and punished 
with the sternness which, in such circumstances, always charac- 
terised Lord St. Vincent, the Commander-in-Chief. The Admiral, 
however, on that occasion, issued a general order in which, some- 
what prematurely, as the issue proved, he expressed his high sense 
of " the loyalty, fidelity, and subordination of the rest of the fleet," 
which he would not " fail to make known to the Lords Commis- 
sioners of the Admiralty, and request their lordships to lay it before 
the King." St. Vincent had, very soon afterwards, to contend with 
the evil in many forms and in many vessels. The epidemic, after having 
broken out in the Mediterranean, was continually renewed by the 
arrival of ships and drafts from the home station. In England 
disafiection had, perhaps, been too tenderly dealt with in its in- 


ception. St. Vincent adopted a different method. It has been 
noted that the Marlhorvur/h, then connnanded by Captain Henry 
Nicholls, had been concerned in the mutiny at Spithead. Under 
another Captain, she had subsequently given much troul)le to her 
officers, when lying in Bantry Bay, and, being despatched in 1798 to 
join the fleet of Earl St. Vincent, some of her crew were again 
mutinous while she was on her passage. The Commander-in Chief, 
aware of her character at the time, ordered her, as soon as she was 
within signalling range of him, to take up a berth between the lines 
of the fleet, which was then at anchor; and, immediately after her 
arrival, application was made to him for a court-martial to be held 
on a seaman. There was also trouble on board the Lion^ and the 
Centaur- — a fact which St. Vincent may have accepted as a proof 
that the spirit of insubordination was not merely of a local character, 
though the evidence, as it now stands, does not altogether bear this 
out. Tucker, in his ' Memoirs of St. Vincent,' relates what followed 
in the case of the Marlborough ; and the whole episode is sufficientlj' 
instructive to demand a full chronicle here. It is given in Tucker's 
W'Ords : — 

"A court-martial on tlie principal mutineers was iniiiieiliately assemblcil, and one 
was no sooner sentenced to die than the Commander-in-Chief ordered him to be 
executed on the following morning, ' and bj' the crew of tlie Marlborovgh alone, no 
part of the boats' crews from the other ships, as had been usual on similar occasions, 
to assist in the inmishment' — his Lordship's invariable older on the execution of 
mutineers. On the receipt of the necessary commands for this execution, the captaiu 
of the Marlhorouijh, Cajitain Ellison,' waited upon the Connnander-m-Chief, and, 
reminding his Lordship that a determination that their shipmates should not sutler 
capital punisliment had been the very cause of the ship's company's umtiny, expressed 
liis conviction that the Marlburoiir/h's crew would never permit the man to be hanged 
on board that ship. 

"Keceiving the Captain on the Ville de Paris's quarter-deck, before the officers and 
ship's company, hearkening in breathless silence to what passed, and standing with his 
hat in his hand over his head, as was his Loi-dship's invariable custom during the 
whole time that any person, whatever were his rank, even a common seaman, addressed 
him on service, Lord St. Vincent listened very attentively till the ('ai)tain ceased to 
speak ; and then, after a pause, replied : ' What ; do you mean to tell me, Captain 
Elhson, that you cannot command his Majesty's ship the M<irlburo)i/jh': For, if that 
is the case, sir, I will immediately send on board an officer who can. 

" The Captain then recjuested that, at all events, the boats' crews from the rest of 
the fleet might, as always had been customary in the service, on executions, attend at 
this also, to haul the man up: for he really did not expect the Marlboroiiyh would do 

' Captain Manley Dixon. 
- Captain .John Markham 

" Captain .Jo5e[)h Ellison : born, 1753 ; Commander, 1782 ; Captain, 1783 ; retired, 
ISOfJ ; died, IblG. 


178 CIVIL niSTOBY OF TEE ROYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1798. 

it. Lord St. Vincent sternly answered : ' Captain Ellison ; you are an old officer, sir ; 
have served long, sufifered severely in the service, and have lost an arm in action ; and 
I should be very sorry that any advantage should be now taken of your advanced 
years. That man shall be hanged, at eight o'clock to-morrow morning, and by his 
own ship's company ; for not a hand from any other ship in the fleet shall touch the 
rope. You will now return on board, sir ; and, lest you should not prove able to 
<'onimand your shiji, an officer will be at hand to you who can.' 

" Without another word Captain Ellison instantly retired. After he had reached 
his ship, he received orders to cause her guns to be housed and secured, and that at 
<laybreak in the morning her ports should be lowered. A general order was then 
issued to the fleet for all launches to rendezvous under the Prince at seven o'clock on 
the following morning, armed with carronades and twelve ro\mds of ammunition for 
service ; each launch to be commanded by a Lieutenant, having an exjiert and trusty 
gunner's mate and four quarter-gunners, exclusive of the launch's crew ; the whole to 
be under the conuuand of Captain Campbell,' of the Blenheim. The written orders to 
the Cai)tain will appear in their place. On presenting them. Lord St. Vincent said, 
* he was to attend the execution, and, if any symptoms of mutiny appeared in the 
Marlhorough, any attempt to open her ports, or any resistance to the hanging of 
the prisoner, he was to proceed close touching the ship, and to fire mto her, and to 
■continue to fire until all mutiny or resistance should cease ; and that, should it become 
absolutely necessary, he should even sink the ship in face of the fleet.' 

" Accordingly, at seven the next morning, all the launches, thus armed, proceeded 
from the Prince to tlie Blenheim, and thence. Captain Campbell having assumed the 
command, to the Marlborouyh. Having lain on his oars a short time alongside, the 
Captain formed his force in a line athwart her bows, at rather less tlian pistol-shot 
distance ofl"; and then he ordered the tompions to be taken out of the carronades, and 
to load. 

" At half-past seven, the hands throughout the fleet having been turned up to 
witness punishment, the eyes of all were bent upon a powerfully armed boat as it quitted 
the flag-ship ; every one knowing that there went the provost-marshal conducting his 
jirisoner to the Marlhorouyh for execution. The crisis was come ; now was to be seen 
whether the Marlborough's crew would hang one of their own men. 

"The sliip being in the centre between the two lines of the fleet, the boat was soon 
nlonfside, and the man was speedily placed on the cathead and haltered. A few awful 
minutes of universal silence followed, which was at last broken by the watch-bells of 
the fleet striking eight o'clock. Instantly the flagsliip's gun flred, and, at the sound, 
the man was lifted well uji ; but then, and visibly to all, he dropped back again ; and 
the sensation throughout the fleet was intense. For, at this dreadful moment, when 
the eyes of every man in every ship were straining upon this execution, as the decisive 
struggle between authority and mutiny, as if it were destined that the whole fleet 
should see the hesitating unwillingness of the Marlborough's crew to hang their rebel, 
and the efficacy of the means taken to enforce obedience, by an accident on board the 
ship the men at the yard-rope unintentionally let it slip, and the turn of the balance 
seemed calamitously lost ; but then they hauled him up to the yard-arm with a run, — 
the law was satisfied, and, said Lord St. Vincent at the moment, perhaps one of the 
greatest of his life, ' Discipline is preserved, sir.' 

" When the sentence was executed, and not any disturbance ap])eared, that it might 
lie again made perceptible to aU the fleet that abundant force had been provided to 
t)verpower any resistance which a line-of-battle-ship could offer. Captain Campbell broke 
liis line, and, rowing down, placed his launches as close alongside the Marlborough as 

' Captain Robert Campbell (1): bom, 1770; Commander and Captain, 1707; died, 

1707.] MUTINY OF nil-: " iiermione:' 179 

their nars would jiermit ; and then, re-forming them, resumed his station across her 
bows, continuing tliere until, the time for the body's hanging having expired, it was 
taken down, sewed up as usual in its own hammock with a shut, and carried in one of 
the Marlhoroii<jh's boats to half a mile from the ship, and sunk ; ui>ou which Captain 
Campbell withdrew his force, and the MarJburouyh's signal was made to take her 
station in the line. . . . The dreadfid sentence was again and again inflicted, and, in 
all cases of insubordination, the crews were invariably the executioners of their o^vn 
rebels ; but never again was the power of the law doubted by anyone." ' 

But the sequence of events has been anticipated. The many 
serious mutinies of 1797 have not yet all been enumerated, and some 
of the worst remain to be described. 

The Hermione, 32, commanded by Captain Hugh Pigot (2), a 
courageous but very tj'rannical officer, had begun what promised to 
be a distinguished commission on the Jamaica station, where, on 
September 22nd, off Puerto Kico, part of the crew rose in the night, 
seized those of -their fellows who were not parties to the plot, and 
savagely murdered Captain Pigot in cold blood. It is admitted — 
although the fact does not in the least excuse their conduct — that 
some of them had been ill-treated by his orders ; but that admission 
affords no shadow of explanation for the barbarity of their further 
procedure. After murdering Pigot, against whom they had personal 
grievances, they murdered two Lieutenants,^ the Purser, Mr. Pacey, 
the Surgeon, Dr. Sansom, the Captain's Clerk, Mr. Mainwaring, a 
Midshipman named Smith, the Boatswain, William Martin, and 
Lieutenant M'Intosh, of the Max-ines, against the majority of whom 
they certainly had none ; and not only did they murder them, but 
they also mangled their bodies. To complete their crime they 
carried the ship into La Guayra, and handed her over to the 
Spaniards, to be employed against their own countrymen. The 
splendid story of the frigate's recapture will be found in 
Chapter XXXYI. It is a further satisfaction to be able to say 
here that many of the mutineers were subsequently taken, and that 
they suffered for their villainy.^ 

On yet another station — that of the Cape of Good Hope — the 

' ' Mems. of St. Vmcent,' i. 303, etc. 

^ Tliey had previously murdered the first Lieutenant, Samuel Read, who had 
bravely endeavoured to suppress the outbreak at its inception. The two Lieutenants 
killed after the death of the Captain were Archibald Douglas, and Henry Fanshawe. 

' A somewhat analogous case of mutiny occurred in the West Indies in the same 
year on board the schooner, Mark Antohiette, 10, the crew of which murdered their 
commander, Lieutenant .Tohn M'Inerheny, and carried the ship into a French port. In 
the following year, an attempt, happilj- ineffectual, was made by her crew to seize 
the Jlanyhty, 12, and deliver her to the enemy. 

N 2 

180 CirjL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1707-98. 

contagion from Spithead and the Nore broke out ere the close of the 
year. In October, a mutiny manifested itself in the Tremendous, 74, 
the crew of which attempted to try by a court, nominated by them- 
selves, their captain, George Hopewell Stephens, for cruelty and 
misconduct. This initial outbreak was suppressed, and Captain 
Stephens demanded a court-martial, which was held on board the 
Sceptre in Table Bay, and which honourably acquitted him. In the 
coui'se of the proceedings, some of the seamen witnesses grossly 
misbehaved themselves, and one of them was consequently punished. 
Soon afterwards, symptoms of mutiny appeared in several ships of 
the squadron, but, thanks to the prompt and determined measures 
of Lord Macartney, the governor of the Colonj', Rear-Admiral 
Thomas Pi'ingle, and General Dundas, the outbreak was quelled ; 
the delegates who, as at the Nore, had been chosen, were given up ; 
the leading offenders were executed or flogged, and discipHne was 

For some time afterwards, mutiny was lamentably common in 
the Navy, but it never again reached the height to which it had 
attained in 1797. On September 18th, 1798, nineteen seamen of 
the Defence were sentenced to death, and six to flogging and 
imprisonment, and on October 9th foUovidng, eight seamen of the 
Glory were sentenced to death, two to receive one hundred lashes 
each, to be mulcted of all their pay, and to suffer twelve months' 
solitary confinement, and one to receive two hundred lashes, and to 
be fined and imprisoned. In March, 1800, the Danae, 32, Captain 
Lord Proby, was seized by her crew, while engaged in blockading 
Brest, and carried into that port ; but the mutineers, to their no 
small astonishment, were imprisoned by the French, while Lord 
Proby and his officers were extremely well treated. Again, in 
November, 1800, another British vessel, the Albanaise, bomb, 
Commander Francis Newcombe, was taken possession of by her 
crew, and carried into a foreign port ; but it appears that, in this 
case, many of the offenders were foreigners.' Yet cases of the kind 
became from year to year fewer and fewer, probably in consequence 
of the extremely severe punishments which it became the practice to 
deal out to mutineers. For example, for having written anonymous 
letters, endeavoured to make mutinous assemblies, and uttered 

' C. if., June 17tli, lyOl. At this inqiiiiy Lieutonaut Williaui Prosser Kent 
refused to give evidence upon oatli, " fiuni mistaken religious motives," and was there- 
upon adjudged to be unfit to hold his Majesty's conuiiissiou. 

1793-1802.] THE MARINES. 181 

seditious and mutinous words, King, a seaman of the Active, 38, 
was condemned, in April, 1801,' to receive five hundred hishes, and 
two of his shipmates, Beetham and Forrest, were condemned to 
receive three hundred apiece, from ship to ship. The last serious 
mutinous outbreak of the period under review occurred in December, 
1801, in the Temeraire, 98, flagship of Rear-Admiral George Camp- 
bell, upon the ship being ordered from Bantry Bay to the West 
Indies. On January 6th, 1802, the trial of fourteen of the alleged 
offenders began at Spithead. Thirteen of them were condemned to 
death, and one was sentenced to receive two hundred lashes. On 
January 14th, the trial of six more began, and of these, five were 
condemned to death, and one was adjudged to receive two hundred 
lashes from ship to ship. On all these regrettable occasions, the 
Marines behaved with conspicuous discipline and loyalty, and, 
more than once, they were publicly thanked for their conduct. 
When the war was renewed, an almost equally good spirit reigned 
among the seamen, and there were but few outbreaks of serious 
insubordination. It may be that officers, as well as men, had 
learnt a lesson, and that the better treatment meted out to the 
latter was, as much as anything, responsible for their improved 
behaviour, for it is noticeable that, after 1797, prosecutions of 
officers for ill-treatment of their men became, for a time, more 
common than before, and then almost died out. Yet, at a consider- 
ably later date, we find the Naval Chronicle complaining that ill- 
treatment of seamen was still often overlooked or inadequately 

Not onl}- in assisting to maintain discipline in the fleet, but also 
on nearly every possible occasion throughout the war, the behaviour 
of the Marines was admirable, and the good conduct of the corps 
was more than once officially recognised. In 1759, George II. had 
formed a new establishment of Marine officers of superior rank to be 
chosen from officers in the Royal Navy, viz., a General,^ a Lieut.- 
General,^ and three Colonels.* The first General was Admiral the 
Hon. Edward Boscawen, and among his successors up to the time 
of the Peace were Howe, Barringtou, and Bridport. The first 
Lieut.-General was Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Saunders, and among 
his successors were Palliser, Barringtou, Bridport, and St. Vincent. 
The first three Colonels were Captain Sir Piercy Brett (1), Kt., 

' C. M. in Gladiator, at Portsmouth, April 9th, 1801. 

* Salary, £2000 a year. ^ Sahiiy, ^V200 a year. * Salary, £S00 a year each. 

182 CJVIL IlISTOEY OF THE nOYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1793-1802. 

Captain the Hon. Augustus Keppel/ and Captain Lord Howe. 
Among their successors, up to 1802, were Captains the Hon. 
Augustus Hervey,^ the Hon. Samuel Barrington, Thomas Graves (2),^ 
Joshua Eowle}-, the Hon. Eobert Boyle Walsingham, William 
Hotham (1),* Sir John Lindsay, K.B., the Hon. "William Corn- 
wallis. Sir Hyde Parker (2), Sir Eoger Curtis, Kt., James Gam- 
bier (2),^ Lord Hugh Seymour, Horatio Nelson, the Hon. George 
Cranfield Berkeley, John Thomas Duckworth, Sir James Saumarez, 
Sir Edward Pellew, Bt.,"^ and Sir Thomas Troubridge, Bt. In 
June, 1794, a Major-General of Marines was also appointed, the first 
holder of the rank being Eear- Admiral Sir Alan Gardner, afterwards 
Lord Gardner. In 1802, after the close of the war, the King, to 
mark his satisfaction with the behaviour of the corps, signified his 
pleasure that it should be styled for the future the Eoyal Marines. 

An alteration in the uniform of naval officers was effected by an 
order of June 1st, 1795. It was then that the wearing of epaulettes' 
— a French fashion, to which Nelson, for a time, most strongly 
objected — was first inti'oduced into the service. Admirals were 
directed to wear two gold epaulettes, with three silver stars on each ; 
Vice-Admirals the same, with two stars on each ; Eear- Admirals the 
same, with one star on each ; and Post-Cai^tains of above three years' 
standing, two epaulettes without stars. A Post-Captain of under 
three years' standing was assigned one gold epaulette, to be worn on 
the right shoulder, and a Master and Commander the same, to be 
worn on the left. It was at the same time ordered that the lappels 
and cuffs of Captains' uniforms were to be blue instead of white, 
and that the lace was to be the same as before the previous altera- 
tion ; but neither lace nor embroidery was to be worn on the undress 
coat. The only survival of the old white facing remained in the 
shape of the piping on the Lieutenant's coat, and both remained, and 
still remains, in the patch on the Midshipman's collar. 

Medals continued to be very sparingly granted. As will be seen 
in the next chapter, medals for the battle of the Glorious First of June, 
1794, were issued to certain selected flag-officers and Captains who 

' Later, A'iscouut Keppel. * liater, Lord Graves. '' Later, Lord Gaiubier. 

- Later, Earl of Bristol. * Later, Lord Ilothaiii. " Later, Lord E.Muouth. 

" Mr. Poiihani Letlibridge says that the wearing of epaulettes arose out of tlie fact 
that some British naval ofiicers, while visiting France during the peace, observed that 
the sentries did not salute them, though they did salute British ^Marine oflicors, who 
then wore silver epaulettes. When one of the naval officers became a Lord of the 
Admiralty he jirocured the adoption of the new regulation. 

1793-1802.] MEDALS. IS^* 

had been present on that occasion. In addition, a gold chain, to 
which his medal was to be suspended, was given to Earl Howe. 
Concerning the manner in which these distinctions were conferred. 
Captain Isaac Schomberg ' very sensibly says : — 

" The meritorious ctpiiduct nf these officers was, no doubt, highly deserving of sr> 
distiiiguislit'd a iiiarU of ruyal favour. How far .such selections may he consistent with 
the well-being of so imiwrtant a service as that of the British Xavy, in which every 
officer is supposed on like occasions to act to the best of his abilities, needs no comment. 
If, iu the presence of an enemy, or in action, a connnander appears delicient either in 
courage or conduct, it is more candid and decided in a Commander-in-Chief to have 
such conduct investigated before a public tribunal, rather than leave a doubt on the 
minds of his country by such oblique insinuations that some have fallen short in their 

Medals were again granted to the flag-officers and Captains — 
this time without exception ^ — present at Jervis's victory off Cape 
St. Vincent in 1797, at the battle off Camperdown in the same year, 
and at the battle of the Nile in 1798. These were all of gold, and 
all alike, and were directed to be worn with uniform, hanging from 
a neck-chain, by flag-officers, and, attached to a blue and white 
ribbon passed through the third and fourth buttonholes on the left 
side of the coat, by Captains. The gold medal was also given to 
Captain Edward Hamilton, of the Surprinc, for his recapture of the 
Hermione, on October 25th, 1799. After the Nile, Lord Nelson's 
friend and agent, Mr. Alexander Davison, at his own expense, 
presented handsome medals, or " tributes of regard," in gold, silver, 
bronze-gilt and bronze, to the various ranks engaged ; and, in com- 
memoration of St. Vincent, Lord St. Vincent distributed to the 
seamen a medal which he styled " a testimony of approbation " ; liut 
these, of course, had no official significance. Not until very many 
years afterwards, when most of the participants were dead, were the 
services of the junior commissioned officers, warrant officers, seamen, 
and Marines, during the War of the French Eevolution, recognised 
by the issue by Government to the survivors of a naval war medal 
with appropriate clasps. 

On many occasions during the war, and especially in the earlier 
part of it, large numbers of troops were embarked in the fleet, to 
serve in lieu of Marines, and for other purposes.^ This practice 

' ' Xav. Chrouol.' ii. 270. 

^ Save in tlie case of one of the Camperdown Captains. 

" At the battle of St. Vincent, in 1797, part of the (!9th Regiment served in Xels.m's 
ship, the Captain. In consequence, the present Welsh Regiment, the 2nd Battalion of 
which was formerly the G9th Regiment, bears on its colour " St. Vincent." The Royal 

181 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL XAVY, 1793-1802. [1793-1802. 

quickly led to a conflict of authority between the Navy and the 
Army, and, in 1795, H.K.H. the Duke of York, then the military 
Commander-in-Chief, saw fit to issue an order that regular troops, 
serving on board men-of-war, should not be amenable to naval 
discipline, but, in case of misbehaviour, should be sent ashore for 
trial by a military court. A meeting of flag-officers and Captains 
was held at Portsmouth on November 3rd in that year to consider 
the situation thus created, and, in the meanwhile, certain vessels, 
having troops on board, and about to sail for abroad, were detained. 
In the event, it was very wisely decided by the Government that no 
alteration should be made in the naval Articles of War, and that 
officers and privates of the army, serving in his Majesty's ships, 
should be subject to the laws of naval disciphne. 

The morality of the lower deck remained, it must be feared, at a 
rather low ebb. Numerous allusions are to be found in the logs and 
journals of the time to the presence of women on board ship, not 
only in port, but also at sea. After the Resistance, 44, had blown 
np in the Strait of Banca on July 24th, 1798, Thomas Scott, one of 
the four survivors, deposed that, among those who perished in her, 
were three English women, married on board, and one Malay 
woman of Amboyna. And in the Eules and Orders to be observed by 
the mutinous crews of the ships at the Nore in 1797, occurs the 
significant paragraph, " No woman shall be permitted to go on shore 
from any ship, but as many may come in as please." But as it will 
be necessarj' to revert later to this subject, nothing further shall 
here be said about it. 

It was, naturally, inevitable that, in the course of a gigantic 
struggle such as was waged from 1793 to 1802, questions connected 
with the maintenance and exchange of prisoners of war should often 
arise. Early in 1798, the problem of maintenance, and, in Sep- 
tember of the same year, the numerous problems involved in the 
arrangement of a satisfactory scheme of exchange, appeared to be 
finally and equitably solved. It was agreed between Great Britain 
and France that the prisoners of each should be supported at the 
cost of their respective countries ; that each country should send to 
the other an agent to superintend the furnishing of the prisoners of 

ISuiksliire liegiinciit, the 1st Battalion of which was formerly the -I'Jth Foat, and the 
Kitle Brigade, the 1st Battalion of which was then known as Col. Manningham's Corps 
of Riflemen, similarly bear " (>openhagen," on account of tlieir services in Nelson's 
division in 1801. 

1793-1802.] PlilSONEIiS OF U'Ali. 185 

his nationality with provisions ; that the markets should be open to 
these agents ; and that the prisoners should be concentrated in a 
few central localities, instead of being distributed over the two 
countries. The agents first appointed in pursuance of this conven- 
tion were, on the part of Great Britain, Captain James Cotes, K.N., 
and, on the part of the French Kepublic, M. Niou.' As regards 
exchange, it was agreed that France should begin by returning in a 
French vessel a batch of British prisoners, including five per cent, of 
officers ; that Great Britain would then i-eturn in a British vessel a 
corresponding batch of French prisoners, and that afterwards the 
two countries should take it in turns to commence the exchange. 
Prisoners for exchange were to be selected ]jy their resident agents. 
A table showing the equivalent in men for an officer of every rank 
was drawn up, and the allowance of food to be provided daily by the 
surrendering government to prisoners while on board the cartels was 
fixed. Moreover, it w^as agreed that men incapacitated by wounds, 
age, or infirmities, and boys under twelve years of age, should be at 
once surrendered without equivalent, and that Surgeons, Pursers, 
Secretaries, Chaplains, Schoolmasters, and non-combatant passengers, 
should not be detained as prisoners of war. Provision was also 
made for the liberation, on parole not to serve again during the war 
until regulai'ly exchanged, of combatant officers. But in 1799, 
when the balance of prisoners ^ was even more against France than 
it had been in 1798, the government of the Republic refused anj' 
longer to support or clothe its prisoners in Great Britain, the idea, 
no doubt, being that a captor could not well refuse to keep his 
captives alive, and that the expense of doing so would help to 
weaken his resources. There ceased also, for a time, to be any 
regular system of exchange. Remonstrance was made, but without 
effect, and, pending negotiations, the prisoners in Great Britain 
suffered gi-eat hardships. Eventually, so heavy was the mortality, 
that it w^as ordered, on January 1st, 1801, that the French prisoners 
in Great Britain should be supplied with warm clothing at the 
public expense. 

Among the nmnerous improvements which were effected during 
the period, three of the most important were the construction of 

' At that time tliere were in Britain 30,205 French prisoners, besides 300 officers 
on pardle, contineil at Portsmouth, Plynioutli, Norman Cross, Liverpool, Edinburgh, 
Cliatliam, and Stapleton ; and in France only al>out 4000 liritish prisoners. 

'' There were then in Great Britain 25,64U French prisoners, ami in France only 
about 1470 British. ' Keport to Transiwrt Board ' of December 21st, 17US). 

1S(J CIVIL IIISTOHY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1793-1802. 

signal towers along the coasts of England to facilitate the rapid 
transmission of intelligence from point to point ; the creation of lines 
of telegraph stations between London and Deal, with a branch to 
Sheerness, and between London and Portsmouth ; and the institution 
of the force known as the Sea Fencibles. The signal towers, to the 
number of eighty-seven, were built in 1795, and to each of them 
were allotted a Lieutenant at 7s. 6d. a day over and above his half- 
pay, a Midshipman at 2s. a day, with, in addition, the pay of a 
Midshipman of a fourth-rate, and two seamen at Is. a day. This 
staff lodged in a house adjoining the tower, and was allowed coals 
and candles. The telegraph stations were erected in 1795 and 179G. 
The method whereby messages were transmitted was by semaphore, 
the invention of the Eev. Lord George Murray, later Bishop of 
St. David's, and the various stations were: (1), Between London and 
Deal, Admiralty, West Square, New Cross, Shooter's Hill, Swans- 
combe, Gadshill, Galium Hill, Beacon Hill, Shottenden, Barliiuu 
Downs, Bettishanger, and Deal; (2), Between Beacon Hill and 
Sheerness, Tong, Barrow Hill, and Sheerness; and (3), Between 
London and Portsmouth, Admiralty, Chelsea, Putney, Cabbage Hill, 
Netley Heath, Hascombe, Blackdown, Beacon Hill, Portsdown, and 
Portsmouth. The Sea Fencibles were raised in the spring of 1798 
at the instance of Captain Home Eiggs Popham. The corps was 
composed of fishermen, sailors employed in coasters, and other 
persons engaged on the water ; and the men were trained in the use 
of the pike, and, whenever possible, in gunnery also. For the 
purpose, the coast was divided into districts, to each of which a 
Post-Captain, and one, two or three Commanders were appointed, the 
Captains receiving £.1 10s. a day as pay and allowance, besides 5s. for 
the expense of a clerk, stationery, and traveUing, and the Com- 
manders receiving £1 a day, besides Is. Sid. for contingencies. The 
men were given protection against impressment, and were paid Is. 
each at every muster or drill. Aljout nine thousand were raised, 
chiefly in the southern counties and in Yorkshire ; but, upon the 
signing of the preliminaries of peace, the Sea Fencibles were dis- 
continued, and their officers were discharged. The corps was, in 
some respects, the prototype of the modern Coastguard. 

In 1795 it was decided to establish a Hydrographical office at 
the Admiralty, and the post of Hydrographer was offered to, and 
accepted by, Mr. Alexander Dalrymple, who, since 1779, had been 
Hydrographer to the East India Company. For more than a 

1793-1802.] IMPROVEMENTS. 187 

hundred j^ears previously there had been government hydrographers 
in France, but Dahymple's appointment was the first of its kind in 
Great Britain. Dahymple did good work for some years, but was 
dismissed from his post on May 28th., 1808, and died, it is said of a 
broken heart, on June li^tli following. 

Other improvements were ; the appointment, in 1795, as gover- 
nors of the Koyal Naval Hospitals there, of Post-Captains, each with 
three Lieutenants under him, to Plymouth and Haslar, and of 




AI.EXASDEli DAI.RYMPI.R, 1733-1808. 

iFi'om BtoosTs cngraiinfj a,fter a ilratciitg by John Brown.') 

Lieutenants to Deal and Great Yarmouth ; the allowance of servants, 
in 1799, to some of the principal shipwrights in the dockyards; the 
abolition, in 1801, of the ancient but iniquitous practice of per- 
mitting shipwrights to remove chips from the yards, and the 
allowance to them instead of 6d. a day ; the creation of a Victualling 
Yard' at Deptford ; and the adoption, about the year 1799, of 

' The sliipbiiililing premises known as Duiimuu's Dock were puichased for that 

188 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE BOYAL NAVY, 1793-1802. [1793-1802. 

appliances for filtering, before use, the water supplied to ships' 
companies. The fitting of locks to heavy guns for the pui-pose of 
firing them, in substitution of, or as alternative to, the firing-irons 
and smouldering ropes' ends then generally in use, was experi- 
mented with during the period, but was not generally adopted until 
some years later. 

At the beginning of 1800, a new scale of fees was established for 
the issue of Admiralty commissions and warrants. The more 
important of these were : commission to a flag-officer, £5 7.s. dd. ; 
to a Captain or Commander, £2 3s. ; to a Lieutenant, £1 Is. ijd. ; 
warrant to a Purser, Gunner, Boatswain, or Carpenter of a ship of 
one of the three higher rates, £2 3s. ; to a Chaplain of a man-of-war, 
10s. 6d. ; warrant to admit a scholar into the Eoyal Naval Academy, 
£1 Is. 6(7. Fees also had to be paid on orders for superannuation, 
on orders for pensions, on the granting of passes to piotect against 
Moorish pirates and against impressment, on letters of leave, and on 
the issue of various certificates. 

The national ensign had remained unchanged since the time of 
the union with Scotland, when, on January 1st, 1801, the accom- 
plishment of the Union between Great Britain and Ireland necessi- 
tated an addition to the Union Flag of an emblem to represent 
Ireland. The emblem fixed upon was what is vulgarly called the 
cross of St. Patrick. A cross is the attribute only of a martyr, and 
St. Patrick, not having been a martyr, has no cross. But the 
saltire adopted, besides figuring in the coat armour of the Fitz- 
geralds, long one of the greatest of Irish families, seems to have 
been recognised before the Union as a badge of Ireland, and, though 
its origin as such is, perhaps, obscure, it was wisely made use of in 
preference to the harp or to the shamrock, neither of which would 
have readily lent itself to inclusion in the general heraldic scheme of 
the old Union Flag.^ At the same time the Royal Ensign was altered, 

" The Proclam.ation of .January 1st, 1801, contained tlie fullowiiig descriptive 
paragraph : — 

" The Union Flag shall be : Azure, the cro.sses saltire of St. Andrew and 
St, Patrick quarterly per saltire, couiiterchanged Argent and Gules, the latter 
fimbriated of the second; surmounted by the cross of St. George of the third, 
finiliriated as the saltire." 

According to the practice of the Koyal Navy, the Union Flag has ever since been 
constructed of the following proportions: All British naval flags are of twice the 
length of their breadth. Assuming, therefore, that it be desired to construct a Union 
Flag 60 in. in length, then, the total breadth will be 30 in. ; the breadth of the red 
St. George's cross, 6 in. ; the breadth of the fimbriation, or white border, on each side 




the arms of England figuring in the first and fourth quarters, those 
of Scotland in the second, those of Ireland in the third, and those of 

of the St. George's cross, 2 in. (tluis making the whole breiuUh of the upright cross an'l 
its borders 10 in.); tlie breadth of the visible part of the rid Irish saltire, 2 in.; tlie 
breadth of its narrow fiuibriatiou, 1 in. ; and the breadth of the visible part of the 
white cross of St. Andrew, 3 in. (thus making the whole breadth of the comjxjsite 
diagonal cross, 6 in.). 

The diagrams given herewith will help to make clearer the scheme of composition 
of the Union, which is very often improperly made, and which, in the British mercliant 
service, as forming part of the Blue and Red Ensigns, is almost invariably incorrect. 
The diagrams will also explain tlie heraldic process known as " counterchanging," — a 
proce.-s here ap[ilied with the olijcct of giving erpial pronunence to the two saltires. 


Tlie.flgures at»ve show (1) the saltire intriKluceJ to rcpreser.t Irelaud ; and (2) the method of "countcr- 
chaugiug" the saltires of Scotland and Irt-lauJ in the Cuiou Flag as it has stood since 1801. 

The Scots saltire, as representing an older member of the Union than the Irish, takes 
the suiierior jiosition in the upper corner of the flag, next the staft'; and the flag should 
not, of course, be hoisted so as to exhibit it in any other position. 

On the same day (January 1st, 1801) it was further proclaimed that :— 
" Whereas, according to ancient usage, the ensigns, flags, ' Jacks,' and pennants 
\vorn by our ships, and appointed as a distinction for the same, ought not to be worn 
on board any sh'p or vessel belonging to any of our subjects, so that our ships and 
those of .mr sulijects may be easily distinguished and known, we have therefore 
thought fit, by aiid with the advice of our Privy Council, to order and apiwint the 
ensig'n"(the Hed Knsign), " dcsciibeil on the side or margin hereof, to be worn on 
l-xjartl of all ships or vessels of any of our subjects whatsoever, and to issue this our 
Royal Projlamation to notify the same to all our loving subjects, hereby strictly 
char^iD" and comuiandiug the masters of all merchant ships and vessels belonging to 


Hannovei-, etc., being borne on an escutcheon of pretence. From 
the new Koyal Ensign, as from the arms of the United Kingdom, the 
arms of the Eoyal House of France, which had figured for centuries 
as a quartering in the arms of the Kings of England, were very 
sensibly expunged. The omission was made the more appropriately 
at a time when Great Britain was victorious over her hereditarj- foe, 
when the French Koyal Family was in exile, and when the tricolour 
had become the flag of France. 

our subjects, whether employed in our service or otherwise, to wear the said ensign on 
board their shijis or vessels: And we do strictly charge and command all our subjects 
whatsoever that they do not presume to wear in any of their ships or vessels our 
' Jack,' commonly called the ' Union Jack,' nor any pendants, nor any such colours as 
are usually borne by our ships, without particular warrant for their so doing from us or 
our High Admiral of Great Britain." 

This proclamation gave the Red Ensign (a red flag with the Union in the upper 
canton next the stall") as the flag of the merchant service ; but it did mit remove it 
from the Eoyal Navy. On the contrary, until the distinction in the colours of flag- 
officers was abolished, more than half a centur}' later, flag-ofKcers of the Ked, the 
White, and the Blue, and the ships of their divisions, continued, as before, to fly, 
respectively, the Red Ensign, the White or St. George's Ensign (which is now the flaw 
of the Eoyal Navy), and the Blue Ensign, in order to indicate their rank and place. 
But, when several Flag-officers of difi'erent ranks and colours were together in a fleet, the 
senior officer often ordered the ships of all the squadrons to fly, for convenience, a 
single ensign. So it haj)peDed that, at the Glorious First of June, all ships fought 
under the Eed, and that, at the Nile and Trafalgar, all fought under the White Ensjo-n 
which was pre-eminently Nelson's favourite. 


( 191 ) 


List, in contitiuiitii.n of the list in vol. iii. pp. 5(i5-568, or British Flag-Officers 
o.\' THK Active list at the outiiueak hk the War with France in 1703, 
and of all officers who were subsequently iironioteJ to flag-raiik on the active list 
up to the conclusion of the war in 1802. 

Note. — Tlie jyvomotions of the fuUowing officers are given in d<t<iil in the list ahove- 
menti'oned. The names are repeated here only to show the complete list us it stood at 
the opening of the u-ar. 

Admiral ok the Fleet. 
lion. John Forbes, General of Marines. 

Apmirals of the White. 

ITarrj', Duke of Bolton. 

Sir Francis Geary, Bart. 

George, Earl Mount Edgcumbo. 

John Montagu. 

Richard, Earl Howe, Vice-Adm. of 
England (K.G., 17!>7). 

Mulyneux, Lord Shuldham. 

Sir Hugh Palliser, Bart., Gov. of Green- 
wich Hospital. 

Matthew Barton. 

Admirals ok the Blue. 
Sir Peter Parker (1), Bart. 
Hon. Samuel Barrington, Lieut.-General 

of Marines. 
JIarriot Arbiithnot. 
Robert Roddain.' 
William Lloyd (1). 
Sir Edward Hughes, K.B. 
John Evans. 
Mark Milbanke. 

Vice-Admirals of the Red. 
Nicholas Vincent.' 
Sir Edward Vernon, Kt. 
Richard Edwards. 

Thomas Graves (2) (Lord Graves, 1794). 
Hon. Robert Digby.' 
Benjamin JLarlow. 

Sir Ale.xander Artliur Hood, K.B., Kear- 
Adm. of England (Lord Bridport, 1794).' 

Sir Chaloner Ogle (2), Kt. (Bart., 1816).' 
Samuel, Lord Hood (Viscount, 179G ; 
G.C.B., 1815).' 

Vice-Admirals of the White. 

Sir Richard Hughes (:',), Bart.' 

John Elliot.' 

William Hotham (Lord Hotham, 1797).' 

Joseph Peyton (1). 

John Carter Alien. 

Sir Charles Middleton, Bart. (Lord Rar- 

ham, 1805).' 
Sir John Laforey, Bart. 
John Dalrymple. 


Herliert Sawyer. 

Sir Richard King, Bart.' 

Jonathan Faulknor (1). 

Philip Aflleck. 

Sir John Jervis, K.B. (Earl St. A'incent, 

Adam Duncan (Visct. Duncan, 1797). 
Richard Brathwaite. 
Phillips Cosby.' 

Rear-Admirals of the Red. 

Thomas Fitzherbert. 

Samuel Pitchford Cornish.' 

Jolin Brisbane.' 

Charles Wolselej-.' 

Samuel Granston Goodall. 

Hon. Keitli Stewart. 

H.R.H. William Henry, Duke of Clarence.' 

' These officers were promoted to be Admirals of the Red at the creation of that 
rank on November 9th, 1805. The fact is noted here, as promotions to the rank of 
Admiral of the Red are not given in the list in vol. iii. pp. 565-5G8. 


FLA O-OFFICEIiS. 1703-1802 


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( 1!'6 ) 



Tlie fleet at the outbreak of the war of the French Revohition — British superiority — 
British allies — Sercey to the West Indies — -Howe in the Channel — Mutiny in the 
French Heet— Howe and Vanstabel — Jervis to the West Indies — Hood in the 
Mediterranean — Toulon occupied — Evacuation of Toulon and destruction of French 
ships — Liuzee to Corsica — Proceedings at Genoa and Spezzia — St. Pierre, Miquelon 
and Tobago taken- — Miscarriage at Martinique — Commodore Ford at San Domingo 
— Successes in India — Reorganisation of the French Navy — ^Villaret-Joyeuse and 
Jean Bon St. Andre — Cruise of Howe — Manceuvres — Battle of the Glorious First 
of June — Montagu's cruise — Mutiny in the CuUoden — Loss of the Alexander — 
Destruction of the Ardent — Operations in Corsica — Nelson at Bastia — Fall of 
Calvi — Chase of Martin — Hotham in the Mediterranean — Mutiny in the Windsor 
Castle — Capture of Martinique — Gallantry of Bowen and Faulknor — Capture of 
St. Lucia and Guadeloupe — Guadeloupe retaken — Ford at San Domingo— Raid 
upon Sierra Leone — The Diamond reconnoitres Brest — Disasters to the French 
fleet — Henaudin to Toulon— Cornwallis's retreat — Bridport's action off Groix — 
Warren's expedition to Quiberon — Loss of the Berwick — Hotham's action ofl' 
Genoa — Loss of the Illustrious — Hotham off Hyeres — Operations of Nelson — 
Chase of de Richery — Loss of the Censeur — Cruise of Ganteaume — Jervis in the 
Mediterranean — Holland allied with France — Duncan in the North Sea — Reinforce- 
meul and successes of Hugues — Capture of Cape Colony — Rainier off Ceylon — 
Malacca taken — Blockade of the Texel — Nelson on the Genoese coast — Evacua- 
tion of Leghorn — Spain joins France — Difficulties of Jervis — Man and de Langara 
— De Langara to Toulon — Man's desertion — French successes in the Mediterranean 
— Evacuation of Corsica — Sailing of Villeneuve — Loss of the Counujeux — Jervis 
abandons the Mediten-auean — De Richery in North America — Capture of Demerara, 
etc. — Christian takes St. Lucia, St. A'ineent and Grenada — Repulse at Leogane — 
Colombo captured — Amboyna and Banda siu'rcndered — Dutch squadron surrenders 
in Saldanha Bay — Exjiedition of Hoche to Ireland — The French evade Colpoys — 
Failure of the expedition — The IndefatiguUe and Droits de T Homme — Jervis lein- 
forced — Howe resigns command — Sailing of de Cordova — Battle of Cape St. Vincent 
— Intrepidity of ^elson, Troubridge and Collingwood — Berkeley and the Santisima 
Trinidad — Bowen and the same — Cadiz bombarded and blockaded — Nelson at 
Santa Cruz — Battle of Camjierdown — Capture of Trinidad — Failure at Puerto Rico 
— Operations off San Domingo — Loss of the Tribune — The conmiands in 1708— 
The Mars and the Berciile — Dreams of an invasion of England — Najioleon's 
projects — The Invasion Flotilla — Operations at St. Marcou — Failure at Ostend — 
Burning of the Conjiante — Humbert's expedition to Ireland — A\'arren's action — 
Fate of Rompart's squadr(m — Chase of Savary — Nelson to the Mediterranean — 
Napoleon's Egyjitian schemes — Sailing of the Toulon fleet — Nelson in chase — The 
Battle of the Mle— Malta blockaded — Flight of King Ferdinand — Operations at 
Corfu — Blockade of Alexandria — Capitulation of Minorca — Events in San Domingo 


— Defence of Belize — The coiiimamls in 1799 — Bruix leaves Brest — Keith in chase 
— Massaredo leaves Cadiz — Caiiture of French frigates — Failure of Keith — Junction 
of Massaredo and Bruix — The allies enter Brest — Pole oflf the Isle of Aix — French 
progress in Italy — Blockade of Naples — Oi)erations of Nelson — Suwarofl' in Italy — 
Foote at Naples — Nelson and the Neapolitan rebels — Execution of Caracciolo — 
Najiles, Gaeta, and Rome taken — Nelson " sicilified " — Na]X)leon in Syria — 
Bombardment of Alexandria-- Sidney Smith on the coast of Syria — Raising of the 
siege of Acre — Napoleon returns to France — Operations in the Red Sea — French 
difficulties in Egypt — Combuied exjiedition to Holland — Surrender of the Dutch 
squadron in Nieuwe Dieii — Surrender of the Dutch squadron in the Vlieter — 
Evacuation of Holland — Surinam captured — -The commands in 1800 — Loss of the 
Repulse — Operations in Quiberon Bay — Loss of the Marlborouyh — Blockade of 
Malta — liurning of the Queen Charlotte — Operations near Genoa — French successes 
in Italy — Capture of the Genereux — Nelson returns to England — Capture of the 
GuiUaume Tell — Capture of the Diane — Cai)itulation of Malta — The French in 
Egypt — Exiie<lition to Ferrol — SiuTender of Cura9oa — Union of Great Britain and 
Ireland — Confederation of the Northern Powers — Capture of the Freja — The Armed 
Neutrality — Parker to the Baltic — Battle of Co])euhagen — The lleet in the Baltic — 
Murder of the Tsar Paul — Russia and Sweden make concessions— Nelson in the 
Downs — The Invasion Flotilla — Operations oft" Boulogne — Ganteaunie to the 
Mediterranean — Search for the Brest fleet — Keith to Egypt — Operations near Elba 
— Ganteaume flees from the Egyptian coast — Loss of the Swi/tsure — Keith at 
Alexandria — Expulsion of the French from Egyjit — Operations in the Red Sea — 
Enforced hostility of Portugal — Linois leaves Toulon — Action oft" Algeciras — 
Saumarez in the Gut of Gibraltar — Swedish and Danish colonies cajitured — 
JIadeira occupied — Losses of Holland — The Peace of Amiens — Gains and losses of 
the war. 



T the time of the 

outbreak of 

war with Frauce in 

Febri:arj\ 1793, the 


AS ADMiBAL. ^^ foreigii stations 

were very weak. In 
the Mediterranean there were one 50-gun ship and five small vessels ; ' 
on the Leeward Islands station there w'ere two 50-gim ships and 
six small craft ; ^ at Jamaica there was one 50-gmi with nine small 
craft ; ^ at Hahfax and Newfoundland there were one .50-gun ship 

' Romney, 50, Rear- Admiral Samuel Granston Goodall, Capt. William Domett; 
Aquilon, 32, Capt. the Hon. Robert Stopford ; Lapiving, 28, Capt. the Hon. Henry 
Curzon ; Fury, IG, Com. the Hon. William Paget; Bulldog, 14, Com. George Hoj* (1); 
and Mutiiie, cutter, 14, Lieut. Hum]>hrey West. 

^ Trusty, 50, Vice- Admiral Sir Jolm Laforey, Capt. John Drew(l'); Centurion, 
50, Capt. Samuel Osbom ; Blanche, 32, Capt. Christopher Parker (2) ; Hermione, 32, 
Capt. John Hills ; Perseus, 20, Capt. George Palmer ; Orestes, 18, Com. Augustus 
Fitzroy ; Fairy, 16, Com. Francis Laforey ; and Serpent, 14, Com. Richard Lee. 

' Europa, 50, Commod. John Ford, Capt. George Gregory ; Penelope, 32, Capt. 
Bartholomew Samuel Rowley ; Proserpine, 28, Capt James Alms (2) ; Triton, 28, 

198 MAJOl! OFEIiATIONS, 1793-1802. [1793. 

and four small craft ; ' in the East Indies there were five frigates 
and small craft ; - and on the coast of Africa there was one 44-gun 
ship.^ But at home and in the Channel there was a large force 
in commission, including twenty-five ships of the line, three 50-gun 
ships, forty-six frigates of twenty-four guns and upwards, and above 
thirty smaller craft. There were, moreover, iu serviceable condition 
in ordinary fifty-nine ships of the line, one 50-gim ship, and twenty- 
five frigates ; and numbers of other ships of all classes were either 
undergoing repairs or awaiting them. In addition, twelve ships 
of the line and three 50-gun ships were building. It may be said 
that there were available for immediate service about seventy-five 
ships of the line, and that forty others were nearly ready. As 
against this total of one hundred and fifteen, or thereabouts, France 
could dispose of, at most, seventy-six, though she added to them 
vdth feverish rapidity. Great Britain, therefore, went into the 
conflict with a substantial nimierical majority of ships in her favour. 
She had, it is true, wider interests than France to defend ; for 
France had ceased in the previous contests to be an American and 
an Asiatic power ; and, almost in proportion as she had lost, Great 
Britain had gained in both hemispheres. Great Britain had, 
moreover, to attend to the needs of a sea-borne commerce very con- 
siderably superior to that of France, and she was dependent upon 
the sea iu a sense which France never had been, and never can be. 

Yet, upon the whole, France was at an enormous disadvantage. 
The numerically superior fleet of King George was manned by 
people who were not tainted with the subversive opinions which 
had turned France into chaos ; and in Howe, Peter Parker, 
Barrington, Edward Hughes, Thomas Graves, Sir Alexander Hood, 
Lord Hood, Sir Kichard King, Sir John Jervis, Adam Duncan, 
Samuel Pitchford Cornish, Sir Hyde Parker, and Hon. Wm. Corn- 
waUis, not to mention many more, it had flag officers who had 

Capt. George Murray (3) ; Ilyxna, 20, Capt. William Hargood (1) ; Fly, 16, Cora. 
William Brown (1) ; Falcon, 14, Com. James Bissett ; Hound, 14, Com. John 
Lawford ; Helena, 14, Com. William Charleton ; and Advice, cutter, Lieut. Edward 

' Assistance, 50, Yiee-Admiral Sir Kicliard King, Capt. Jolm Samuel Smith ; 
U'inchclsea, 32, Capt. Richard Fisher; Hussar, 28, Cajit. Kupert George; Placciiiia, 12, 
Lieut, the Hon. Charles Herbert ; and Trepassy, 1 2. 

^ Minerva, 38, Kear-Admiral Hon. AVilliam Cornwallis, Capt. John Whitby (after 
April); Perseverance, 36, Capt. Isaac Smith; Flmuix, 36, Capt. Sir Richard John 
Strachan, Bart.; Atalanta, 14; and Simn, 14. 

' Charon, 44, Capt. Eilmund Dod. 

1793.] INFERlOIilTT OF THE FJtEXCIf. 199 

fout;lit well, and for the most part with success, in the previous 
war ;■ who were full of experience, and who possessed absolutely 
the confidence of the service and of the country. Above all, the 
British Navy had fresh, most splendid, and absolutely unbroken 
traditions at its immediate back. But the numerically inferior 
fleet of the Republic was in a very different condition. Discipline 
had become partially demoralised by the Revolution ; many of 


(Front Ihe enitranno hy Jamen Fittler, txfter the portrait hi/ J. ^orthcotf, It. A., ijainted ii'hi-ii 
ilacbriJe uuis a Cautain, 1765-93.) 

the old aristocratic officers had been obliged to quit the service ; 
most of the new officers were without either experience or 
authority ; and monarchical opinions lingered in m^ny a wardroom 
and captain's cabin, and rendered obscure the path of duty to 
conscientious officers. 

In addition to all this Great Britain had, as her naval allies, 
soon after the conflict broke out, the Netherlands, which brought 

200 MAJUE OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1793. 

to the common cause about twelve serviceable ships of the line : 
Spain, which brought about thirty-five; Portugal, Sardinia, and, 
presently, the two Sicilies. It is probably within the mark to 
say that the confederacy could, in the early summer of 1793, 
dispose of one hundred and seventy-five ships of the line, or much 
more than twice as many as France. The broadside weight of 
metal of the French line is estimated by James at 73,957 lbs., 
thrown by 6002 guns ; that of the British contingent alone at 
88,957 lbs., thrown by 8718 guns. Prussia and Austria, which 
were almost entirely mihtary powers, were also enemies of the 
Eepubhc. Russia, Denmark, and Sweden were neutral. On the 
other hand, France had not a single ally. 

The French fleet began to move within two or three weeks 
after the declaration of war. Towards the end of February Rear- 
Admiral Pierre Cesar Charles Guillaume Sercey sailed from Brest 
with three 74-gun ships ' and some frigates and small craft for the 
West Indies, whence he was to bring home a convoy. At about 
the same time, a fleet, drawn from Brest, Lorient, and Eochefort, 
began to assemble in Quiberon Bay. It would have been of the 
utmost importance to France could a formidable blow have been 
struck at the British West India Islands or at British commerce 
in the Atlantic. But the hands of the Republican government 
were bound by the consideration that there was a strong royalist 
feehng on many parts of the French littoral, and that there were 
signs that Great Biitain meditated aiding the monarchists by 
making descents in their favour. Thus, although by August Vice- 
Admiral Morard de Galles had with him off Belleisle twenty-one 
ships of the line and four frigates, he remained in an attitude of 
expectancy, and did little or nothing. 

Great Britain, also, was at first hampered by ^\■hat may be 
called ulterior considerations. She had to reinforce her squadrons 
abroad ; and not until she had done that was she able to send 
Lord Howe, with fifteen ships of the line and some frigates and 
sloops, to watch the then rapidly increasing force of Morard de 
Galles. Howe, with the Channel fleet, sailed from St. Helen's 
on July 14th. On the 18th, he had to send back to port the 
BeUeroplwn, 74, which had been damaged by collision with the 
Monarch, 74. For her the London, 98, was promptlj' substituted. 

' Eoh, Jupiter, and America. The Phocion, 74, had previously sailed to the West 

1793.] HOWE'S FIRST CRUISE. 201 

On the 23rd, Howe anchored in Torbay. His strength was later 
brought up to seventeen ships of the Hne, nine frigates, and five 
small craft ; and with this fleet he went to seek the French, who 
were supposed to be lying in wait to cover the convoy expected 
from the West Indies under Eear-Admiral Sercey. On the after- 
noon of July 31st, the French, then seventeen sail of the line, 
were sighted near Belleisle ; but on that day, and again on 
August 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, Howe was baffled in his attempts to 
get near them ; and, the weather then becoming stormy, the 
British had to stand off. On August 10th, they again anchored 
in Torbay. 

Morard de Galles had, in the meantime, anchored once more 
in the Road of Belleisle. There, owing to adnainistrative mis- 
management, a mutiny broke out among the seamen, who, in 
September, desired Morard de Galles to carry them into Brest, 
which they represented as on the point of being surrendered by 
its inhabitants to the British. This idea was no doubt inspired 
by the knowledge of what, a few weeks earlier, had happened at 
Toulon. The Admiral had to yield ; and on the 29th the fleet 
anchored in the Eoad of Brest. 

On August 23rd, Howe had weighed from Torbay and sailed 
to the westward to escort to sea a convoy for Newfomidland, and 
to see home another coming from the West Indies. After a cruise, 
he returned to Torbay on September 4th. In October, he detached 
a squadron, under Commodore Thomas Pasley, to look for five 
French frigates which had chased a British vessel into Falmouth. 
On the 27th of that month, with the fleet increased to twenty-two 
sail of the line, he himself set out for a cruise in the Bay of Biscay. 
Pasley rejoined on November 7th off Scilly ; and on the 17th two 
ships of the line parted company, leaving Howe with twenty-two 
sail of the line. On November 18th, in lat. 48° 32' N., and 
long. 1° 48' W., the Latona, 38, Captain Edward Thombrough, 
signalled a strange squadi-on, which proved to be Commodore 
Vanstabel,' with six ships of the line, two frigates and two 
small craft from Brest, ^ under sail in Cancale Baj'. The French 
at first approached, evidently taking the British fleet for the 

' Pierre Jean N'anstabel. Bom at Dunquerque, 1746 ; served the French East India 
Company ; entered the navy, 1778 ; captain, 171)3. 

' Tiyre, 74, Aquilon, 74, Jean Bart, 74, Touruilk, 74, Impetueux, 74, Revolution 
74, Insurgente, 36, Semillante, 36, Espiegle, and Ballon. 

202 MAJOR OFKltATWXS, 1793-1802. [1793. 

expected convoy. But thej' were chased off by the BusseU, 74, 
Captain John Willett Payne, Audacious, 74, Captain William 
Parker (1), Defence, 74, Captain James Gamhier (2), Bellerophm, 74, 
Captain Thomas Pasley, and Ganges, 74, Captain Anthony James 
Pye Molloy. Howe pursued, endeavourino; to keep touch with 
the enemy by means of his frigates. In the afternoon the Latona 
drew within shot of the two rearmost French frigates, but was 
driven off by two French se van tj'-f ours, which went to their 
assistance. In their anxiety to get into action several British 
ships carried away their topmasts. The enemy was again sighted 
on the 19th ; but bad and thick weather inteiiered with the 
operations, and, although Howe cruised until the middle of 
December, he failed to fall in with the foe. 

M. Vaustabel had sailed from Brest on November 18th with 
the foUovdng object in view. What had occurred in the Mediter- 
ranean will be shown later. Suflice it now to saj- that Lord Hood 
had occupied Toulon in August. The French Government learnt 
of a supposed intention of the British Admiralty to despatch Vice- 
Admiral Sir John Jervis in November with four sail of the hne, 
and a convoy conveying stores and troops to reinforce Hood ; and, 
in order to intercept Jervis, Vanstabel had been sent to sea with 
a squadron of new ships chosen especially for their speed. 

But Jervis was not destined for Toulon. He sailed from 
St. Helen's on November 26th with three ships of the hne, two 
44-gun ships, and several frigates, sloops, and transports to aid 
the French royahst cause, not in Toulon, but at Martinique. 
Vanstabel cruised for a time, but, not finding the expected convoy, 
retm-ned to Brest on November 30th, having snapped up part of 
a homeward-bound Newfoundland fleet, which recompensed him 
for his disappointment. The French seem to have been further 
fortunate in that Eear- Admiral Sercey, who had been sent out to 
bring home a provision-laden convoy from the West Indies, saw 
it safely into Brest.' 

At the time of the declaration of war France had a very 
powerful fleet in Toulon. To hold it in check, various detachments 
were successively sent out from England to the Mediterranean : 
one, early in April, under Eear-Admiral John Gell ; a second, on 
April 15th, under Vice-Admiral Phillips Cosby; a third, early in 
May, under Vice-Admiral WilUam Hotham ; and a fourth, on 
' Sercey, at least, returoed thitlier with the Eoh, Jupiter, and America. 




May 2-2ud, uuder Vice-Admiral Lord Hood, who, upon reaching 
the station, superseded Kear-Admiral Samuel Granston Goodall 
as Commander-in-Chief. Hood arrived off Toulon in the middle 
of August, when his force consisted of the twenty-one or twenty- 
two sail of the line, and the other vessels mentioned in the note.^ 
The French had in the port, ready for sea, one 120, one 80, 
and fifteen 74's, besides one 120, one 80, and two 74's refitting, 
two 80's and seven 74's repairing, or needing repair, and one 74 
building — a total of thirty-one ships of the line, in addition to 
twenty-seven frigates and corvettes.- The French naval com- 

* Fleet under Vice-Adiuiial Lord Ilcnd, emiiloycd at Toulon aud on otlicr services 
August to December, 1T?3 : — 






Britannia . . 
Windsor Castle 

Princess lioyaf 

St. George 

TeiTibU . 
Egmont . 
Robust . 

Bedford . 
Captain . 

Colossus . 
Ardent . 
Diadtm . 
Intrepid I 






(X'icf-Ailiiiiral Samuel, 
Lurd H.Hj.l (10. 
llear-Admiral Sir Hyde 
I I'arkt-r t_2) (;W)- 1^*^ 
I Capt. 

ICapt. John Knight (21. 
iVice-Adniinil William 
' HothQiu(\V>. 
lOapl. Jubii HuUoway. 

I Vice- Admiral rhillips 
Capt. Sir Thomas Bvard, 
I Rear- Admiral Samuel 

Granston Goodall (K). 
K.'apt. John Child Purvis. 
lUear-Admiral John 

leapt. Tliomas FoU'y. 
tOommod. lioht-rt Lin/fc.a 
tCapt. Juliii Woodley. 
( „ Skeffingion Lut- 
( widge. 

I ., Archibald Dick- 
( sun(l) 

)■ „ Hon. George Keith 
t Elphinstoiie. 

i „ Hon. William 
i Ualdegrave (!).■» 

,. llob.-rl .Man (3). 

„ Sir John Collins, Kt. 

,, Samuel Keeve. 

„ William VMung(l). 

{„ Hon. Hugh Sey- 
mour Con way. i 
f ,, i'harU'8 Mork-e 
) Pole. 

) „ 'I'liomas Leuo.v 
I Frederick. 

( „ Kobi-rt Maimers 
\ Suttnn. 

f „ Andrew Sulher- i 
I land. I 

f „ Hon. Charles Car- I 

t pt'IltlT. 

St. Albans- . 
Homney . 

Aiyle. . . 


J.eda . 
Is is . 



AquHon - 
Castor- . 

Tartar . . 

Ampkitritc . 
liulldoij^ . 
Ihilphin, hosp. ship 

Gorgon, st. ship 

Camel, st. ship. 

Fury- . 
Weazel - 

Speedy . . . 

Scout, brig . 

Eclair . 


Conjtai/ratioii, f.s. 
Vulcan, f.s.. 











Capt. Horatio NVUou. 
,, .Tames Vashon. 
,, Hon AVilllam Pag.t. 
( „ John Nicholson 
I lugleheld. 

I „ Angiisitus Mont- 
[ goraery. 

,, George Campbell. 
„ John Sutton. 
„ George Lumsdalne. 
„ Samuel H..od (2). 
' ,, Sir Harry Burrard, 
,, William Wolseley. 
,. Charles Tyler. 
„ John 'Iriggc. 
■ „ Hon. Robert Stop- 
„ Thomai) Trou- 

„ Sir Charles Hamil- 
ton, Bt. 
., Lord Amelius 

,, Thomas Francis 

„ Anthony Hunt. 
Com. George Hope (.1). 
„ James Mav. 
„ Charles William 

,, Benjamin Hallo- 
well. o 
,, Frank Sotheron. 
„ William Taylor. 
„ Charles Cunning- 
„ .Joseph Hanwvll. 
,, GeoiTje Henry 

To wry. 
„ Thomas By am 

,. Kdward Browne. 
,. Jnbn Matthews.' 

1 Appt-ais. not to have joined until the end of August. 
' Employed on convoy service, etc. 
5 Apjioiuted in Si^ptrmber. 

* When he went home with dispatches, Capt. John Matthews acted. 

» When he went home ultli dispatche:^, Capt. Benjamin Hallowell acted. 

• Later, Com. Joseph Short. 
' Later, Com. Charles Hare. 

* French ships of the line at Toulon, distiuguishiug their fate : — Burnt or 
DESTROYED: THomphant, 80; Dtbtin, 74; Centaure, 74; Duguay Trouin, 74; Heros^ 




mancler was Kear-Admiral the Cointe de Trogoff, a waiin royalist. 
Many of his officers were royaHsts also ; and a large part of the 
population of the neighbourhood shared their opinions. 

On August 2'2nd, two envoys came off from Marseilles to Hood's 
flagship, the Victory, to treat for the surrender of the port and 
shipping of Toulon to the British, with a view to aiding the 
re-establishment of a monarchical government in France. These 

(From an cnoraved portrait bij B. li. Cook, when Holloway was a Vice-Admlral, 1804-9.) 

74; Liherte (as.-Dictateur), li; Siiffisaut, 'A ; Thiiiiust(jcle, 'i; Tricolor (ex-Lys), 74. 
Taken and fitted oot by the Bkitish: Commerce de MarsecUes, 120; Pompee, 74; 
Puissant, 74; Scipion, 74. Left to the Fkench : Dauphin Royal (later Sans 
Calotte), 120; Tonnant,SO; Languedoc (later Victoire), iiO ; Co uro7ine (later ^a Ira), 
80; Beureux, 74; Commerce de Bordeaux (later Timoleon), 74; Mercure, 74; Con- 
querant, 74 ; Barras, 74 ; Alcide, li ; Censeur, 74 ; Guerrier, 74 ; Souverain (later 
Snuverain Peujile), li; Genereux, 74; Untreprenant, li; Apollon (later Oasparin), 
74 ; Orion (later Trente et Un Mai), li ; Patriote, li. Tlie frigates and small craft 
carried ofi' by the British were : Arithuse (later Undaunted), 40; Topaze, 40; Pcrle 
(later Amdliysl), 36; Aurore, 36; Lutine, 36; Poulette, '.'.S; Belette, 28; Proselyte, 24; 
Mozelle, 20; Mulct, 18; Sincere, 18; and Tarlcton, 14. 


envoys represented that Toulon and its inhabitants agreed with 
their \aews and would also send off delegates to the Victory, though, 
as subsequently appeared, they had somewhat overstated the case. 
The delegates never arrived. In Toulon the state of parties was 
somewhat more evenly balanced than the people of Marseilles 
believed. Hood, however, at once publicly declared that, if Toulon 
were placed in his hands, the people of Provence should be assisted 
in securing their desire ; and he also called upon the local population 
to rally to the monarchy. In the meantime, Eear-Admiral Saint- 
Julien, a republican, second-in-command of the fleet at Toulon, 
declared against Trogofl", and was instrumental in preventing the 
Toulon delegates from going on board the Victory. As the expected 
representatives did not arrive. Hood, on the '24th, sent Lieutenant 

Jy ^y erj 


Edward Cooke, of the Victory, to the town to ascertain the state 
of affairs there. This officer, by the exercise of great tact, managed 
to get into the dockyard at night, but was not pennitted to land 
until the following morning. He was then taken before the 
royalist committee, which agreed to Hood's proposals. On his 
way back Cooke was arrested, but was rescued by the mob. He 
afterwards made a second trip, returning on the evening of the 
20th with Captain Baron d'Imbert of the Apollon, 74, as Eoyalist 
Special Commissioner. D'Imbert assured Hood that Louis XVII. 
had been proclaimed in the town ; whereupon Hood decided to 
land troops and to take possession of the various w'orks com- 
manding the ships in the road. It should, perhaps, be mentioned 
that, on the 2oth, Marseilles had been compelled to open its gates 
to the French Eepublican general, Cartaux. 

Saint Julien, in whose favour the republican seamen had 
superseded Trogoff,' had already occupied and manned the forts 

' Trogoff had been seized with an attacli of gout, which was probably of a 
diplomatic tj-pe. — 'Mems. p. serv. i I'Uist. de Toulon en 1793.' 

206 MAJOB OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1793. 

on the west side of the harbour. Hood on the ilih. landed 1500 
troops and about 200 seamen and Marines under Captain the 
Hon. George Keith Elphinstone, of the Robust, to take possession 
of Fort La Malgue/ on the east side ; and Saint JuHen was then 
infonned that such ships as did not at once proceed to the 
inner harbour and land their powder, would be treated as enemies. 
Saint Julien, and about 5000 French seamen, promptly abandoned 
the fleet, and took refuge inland ; and the French ships as a body 
then moved to the inner harbour, while the British, and a Spanish 
contingent of seventeen ships of the line which had just arrived 
under Admiral Don Juan de Langara, anchored in the outer 
road. On the same day Hood issued a fresh proclamation to the 
inhabitants ; and on the '28th he received a satisfactory address 
from the civil and military authorities ashore. On that day Spanish 
reinforcements were landed at La Malgue ; and Hood appointed 
Eear-Admiral Goodall to be governor of Toulon, and the Spanish 
Rear- Admiral Gravina to be military commandant. 

During this time the French republican army had approached 
from the direction of Marseilles ; and on August 31st, its advance 
guard was defeated and driven back from Ollioules by the British 
and Spanish under Captain Elphinstone. 

In September, Cartaux's army from the west, and Lapoype's 
from the east, gathered round the town and perpetually annoyed the 
alUes, whose difficulties were increased by the turbulent behaviour 
of the French seamen, lately belonging to the ships in harbour. 
Hood deported these on September 14th, sending them oS under 
flags of truce in the French 74-gun ships Orion, ApoUon, Patriate, 
and Entreprenant, the first going to Kochefort, the second to 
Lorient, and the third and fourth to Brest. He also sent the brig 
Pluvier, 16, to Bordeaux. 

On the 18th the republicans opened two masked batteries at 
the head of the north-west arm of the inner road near La Petite 
Garenne, upon the prize frigate Aurore, 36, Captain Henry Inman, 
and a gunboat, which had been stationed near the Poudriere, to 
defend the head of the harbour and to cover Fort Malbousquet. On 
the 19th they opened another battery ; and the St. George, 98, Rear- 
Admiral Gell, Captain Thomas Foley, and a second gunboat moved 
up to assist the Aurore. The gunboats, however, were presently 
obliged to slip their cables; but on the ^Oth they returned to 
' Possession was not actually taken till the 2Sth. 

'4«-. /■/. ^Ct^/i^jfy,„ 

'"" 7 ■/'"-'-' 




the attack, and one of them was subsequently sunk by the enemy's 
fire. Eear-Admiral Gell was later detached to command the British, 
Spanish, and French Koyalist squadron bound for Genoa ; and the 
place of the .S7. George was taken on the '24th by the Princess 
Boyal, 98, Captain John Child Purvis. A Spanish 74 also co- 
operated ; and so the engaf^ement went on day after day, at 
intervals, for several weeks. In the course of that time troops 
were brought from various quarters by ships which had been 
detached for the purpose ; and the Neapolitan 74-gun ships, 
Guiscardo and Tancrcdi, ariived. On the night of the 30th the 

iManij <if llif namea are misspcU; but all should be recognUabU.^ 

French seized the heights of Faron ; but on the following day 
they were driven from them with great slaughter by Brigadier- 
General Lord Mulgrave, Kear-Admiral Gravina and Captain Elphin- 
stone. Napoleon Bonaparte took a prominent part in this affair, 
and, it is also interesting to note, Nelson was present in the port in 
command of the Agamemnon. On October 5th the Neapolitan 74, 
Samnita, escorting more troops, came into the harbour ; and on the 
8th it was resolved to attempt the destruction of certain batteries 
which the French had recently erected to threaten the shipping. 
They were carried that night by a detachment of British, Spanish, 
Piedmontese and Neapolitans, with a British naval brigade, under 

208 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1793. 

Lieutenant Walter Serocold ; and the guns, which it was found 
impossihle to remove, were destroyed. 

But the circle of works to be lield by the allies was large ; there 
were only 2100 British troops in the place ; and there was much 
friction, and even jealousy, between the Spanish and British. On 
one occasion de Langara even went so far as to covertly threaten 
Lord Hood. Reinforcements of men were obtained from the Grand 
Master of Malta ; and other troops dribbled in from Naples and 
Sicily, till, at the beginning of November, the allies had a nominal 
force of little fewer than 17,000 men in the place. But only 1'2,000 
were fit for duty, and three-fourths of them had to be actually on the 
line of defence. Moreover, they were of five different nationalities. 
On the other hand, there were, round Toulon, at least 30,000 men 
under General Dugommier. Nevertheless, the allies won some 
slight successes at Balaguier, on the night of November 15th ; but 
on the 30th they received a severe check in an attempt upon a 
work opposite Fort Malbousquet. Early in December the besieging 
army had increased to at least 45,000 men, while the available 
strength of the besieged was less than 11,000 men, the majority 
being distributed over a line of works fifteen miles in length. On 
the night of December 14th, while a storm was raging, the French 
approached the works at three different points simultaneously, and 
began their final operations. By the afternoon of the 17th they 
liad seized Fort Mulgrave on the height of Balaguier, and had made 
themselves masters of the works on Faron, so that the line of 
defence was broken in two essential places. Many of the ships had 
at once to unmoor and retire to safer points. 

A council-of-war, composed of the aUied naval and military 
commanders, was instantly held, and it was unanimously determined 
to evacuate Toulon as soon as the necessary arrangements could be 
made to carry off such ships, and with them such of the royalist 
insurgents, as could be taken away ; and to destroy the remaining 
vessels, with the arsenal and magazine. So decided was the 
advantage gained by the besiegers that the council-of-war was 
anxious to begin these measures that very night. Admiral de 
Langara undertook personally to see to part of the destruction. 
The troops from the further posts were speedily yet quietly with- 
drawn ; but the orderly evacuation of Forts Malbousquet and 
Miessiesy was prevented by a j)anic which seized on some 
Neapolitan soldiers, who retired to their ships in great confusion. 


By the evening of the 18th, however, all the remaining troops 
were withdrawn into the town and Fort La Malgue, ready to be 
«nil)arked as soon as the burning of the ships should announce 
that the inght moment had arrived. 

The important task of destroying the shipping and magazines 
was entrusted, at his own request, to Captain Sir William Sidney 
Smith, E.N., who had come as a volunteer in the SicaUoir, a little 
■vessel purchased and manned by himself at Smyrna. On the 
afternoon of the 18th, with the Swallow, and three Spanish and 
three British gunboats, he entered the inner harbour, and in spite 
of falling shot and shell from the batteries of the besiegers, of the 
threatening attitude of a number of liberated galley slaves, and 
finally, of a heavy fire from the approaching French troops, he 
began his business at about 8 p.m. The Vulcan, fireship. Com- 
mander Charles Hare, was towed into the basin, and placed in the 
most advantageous position athwart the tier of French men-of-war 



there. At 10 r.M. she, and all the trains laid to the magazines 
and storehouses, were simultaneously fired, upon signal being 
made. Instantly a gigantic blaze burst forth. By its light the 
British hurriedly sought to complete their mission of ruin, while 
the French from without, drawing ever nearer, sought to slay 
•or drive off the destroyers. The excitement and danger of the 
situation seem to have proved too much for the Spaniards, who 
were co-operating with Smith. They have even, and with some 
:show of reason, been axjcused of deliberate treacherj'. Instead of 
scuttling the Iris, 32,^ which was laden w'ith an immense quantity 
of powder, they fired her, and she blew up with a tremendous 
explosion, smashing to pieces the British gunboat Union, and 
another vessel, which lay near her. Providentially only thi-ee of 
the Union's people were killed, the rest being picked up. "When 
•Smith had finished his work in the dockyard to the westward, he 

' Taken by the Frencli from the British in 1779. 

210 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1793. 

tried to enter the inner basin, which lies in front of the town quaj'" 
and to the eastward of the arsenal ; but its mouth had been boomed, 
and he could not get in. He destroyed, however, the Hews and 
Themistocle, 74's, in the inner road; and then, having done all he 
could, he was about to retire, when a second powder vessel, the 
Montreal, 32,^ blew up close to him, fortunatel}-, however, causing 
no serious damage to the British. Half dead from the effects of 
heat and fatigue. Smith and his party went back to the fleet, Forts 
Balaguier and Aiguillette sending a few shots after them. 

Among the number of officers who assisted Smith in this critical 
service were Commanders Charles Hare and William Edge (of the 
prize sloop Albert, which was destroyed), and Lieutenants Charles- 
Tupper, Eichard Holloway, Matthew Wrench, John Gore, Thomas 
Foord Kichmond, John Melhuish, Kalph Willett Miller, Charles 
Dudley Pater, John Stiles, Eobert Gambier Middleton, Joseph 
Priest, Francis Cox, James Morgan and Henry Hill. The loss, 
was sUght. 

On the outburst of the conflagratioii in the dockyard the 
evacuation of the town had begun under the direction of Captains 
the Hon. J. K. Elphinstone, of the Robust, Benjamin Hollowell 
of the Leviathan, and John Matthews of the Couragcux ; and all 
the troops were on board the fleet by dajdight on the 19th, having 
lost not a single man in the process of withdrawal. A British 
fireship, the Conflagration, being under repair, could not be moved, 
and was burnt to save her from falling into the hands of the enemy. 
The Robust was the rearmost ship as the fleet quitted the harbom\ 
During the operations ashore, as well as afloat, the seamen behaved 
most admirably. 

The fleet carried off 14,877 of the royalist population : it could 
not take on board more. The fate of those who were perforce left 
behind was terrible. Pm-sued by the victorious EepubHcans to the 
quay, men, women and children were shot down or bayoneted 
ruthlessly by hundreds, perhaps by thousands. Some rushed 
frantically into the water after the retreating boats of the allies, and 
were drowned. The French Government had deliberately decreed 
the death of all the inhabitants, and the demolition of the town. 
General Dugommier protested ; but the Eepublican Deputies, not 
content with the slaughter by the troops, held daily executions, 

' Captured fii'in tlie Auiericans by the British, aud, from them, by the French, 
ill 1781. 




until, so it was estimated, over GOOO of the Toulonnais had, in one 
way or another, paid the penalty. 

The work of destruction was but badly done by the allies. Of 
thirty-one French ships of the line in port nine only were burnt 
or sunk, and four only carried off; so that no fewer than eighteen, 
including the four which had been despatched to Atlantic ports 
with the refractory seamen, remained to the Republicans.' Of the 


ADMIR.VI. sni S.\MUKL Uiiiili I , \l-( .1 ST IIOOU, li.VUT., Q.C.B. 
(.From the portrait hij Sir J. Reynolds.) 

twenty-seven frigates and corvettes, five were destroyed, fifteen were 
carried off, and seven left to the Eepublicans. Still, looking to 
the suddenness of the events which compelled the hasty evacua- 
tion, to the jealousy and treachery of the Spaniards, and to the 
cowardice of the Neapolitans at the last moment, it is perhaps 
astonishing that so much was done as was done.^ 

' For the names, see note on i>p. 20.t- \. 

^ ' Mum. p. serv. i\ ruistoire lie Toulon en 1793': 'Hist, de I'Armee des Bouches 
du Rhone,' etc. (J. E. Michel. Paris, 1797) ; Corresp. de Trogoff (Sect. Hist, de la 

P 2 

212 MAJOB OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [17:)3. 

Hood detached from Toulon in September a small squadron' 
under Commodore Kobert Linzee, who, after a vain endeavoiir to 
raise the Eojalists at Ville Franche, stood across to Corsica, the 
garrisons of which he had been ordered to reduce if they should not 
declare in favour of the monarchy. A few peasants came down to 
the shore in the country districts and gladly accepted anus and 
ammunition from the squadron ; but Calvi, San Fiorenzo, and 
Bastia, the strong places of the island, made no signs of amity. 
It was obviously impossible for Linzee, with but three ships of 
the line and two frigates, to attempt to blockade three separate 
parts. But the Conmiodore decided to do something, and began 
operations with an attack on the defences of Forneilli, a post 
about two miles from San Fiorenzo, which town lies at the head 
of a deep bay near the north end of the island. At the mouth of 
this bay, on the west shore, stood a remarkable tower, said to be 
the first of its kind, a Martello, or, more properly, a Mortella tower. 
It was a nearly cyhndrical stone building, having one 24-poimder and 
two 18-pounder guns on its summit. The only means of entrance 
was by a door about twenty feet up the wall. After a couple 
of broadsides from the Loivestoft, the enemy abandoned the tower, 
which was taken possession of by boats imder Lieutenants John 
Gibb and Francis Charles Annesley. The squadron then entered, 
and anchored in, the bay ; but instead of at once attacking Forneilli, 
Linzee, for some unexplained reason, delayed until October 1st, 
when the garrison had perfected its pi'eparations. Fire was opened 
on the main redoubt at 3.30 a.m. on that day by the Anient, 
followed by the Alcide and Courageux ; but no visible effect was 
produced on the work ; and at 8.15 a.m. the Commodore signalled 
the ships to haul out of gunshot. The Courageux and Ardent had 
hoth suffered severely, and had lost, the former, Lieutenant Ludlow 
Jjheils and 1 seaman killed, and 13 people wounded, and the latter 
1-1 killed and 17 wounded. The guns opposed to the ships on this 
occasion were thirteen 2-4-pcunders, two 8-poimders, and one 
4-pounder, with six heavy mortars, mounted, some in the redoubt, 
and some near the town. 

INfariiie); 'Eevol. Koyaliste de Toulon' (d'Imbert); 'Rapport sur la Trahison,' etc. 
(.1. B. Saint- Andre) ; Afon item; and other contemporary journals. In addition to the 
luhlished British authorities. 

' Alcide, 74, Commod. Kobert Linzee, Capt. John Woodley ; Votirageux, 74, Capt. 
John Matthews; Ardent, 64, Capt. Robert Manners Sutton; Lowestoft, 32, Capt. 
A\'illiani Wolseley ; and Nemesis, 28, Capt. Lord Amelius Beauclerk. 


Apart from the French fleet at Toulon there were, cruising in 
the Mediterranean, one 74-gun ship, twelve frigates, and four 
corvettes, belonging to the French Toulon fleet. Of these two 
were captured by a detachment which Hood, while at Toulon, 
had sent in search of them. The Modeste, 36, was discovered by 
the Bedford, 74, Captain, 74, and Speedy, 14, on October 5th, 
with two armed tartans, at anchor within the mole of Genoa. 
The French party being strong in the city, it was decided not to 
respect the nominal neutrality of the port ; and in the afternoon, 
therefore, the British ships stood in, and the Bedford, Captain 
Eobert Man (3), warping herself close to the Modeste, boarded and 
carried her, while the boats of the Speedy, Commander Charles 
Cunningham, took and brought off the tartans. The Captain, 
Captain Samuel Eeeve, afterwards proceeded to Spezzia Bay, 
where the Impcrieuse, 38, was known to be lying. On the morning 
of October 12th, Eeeve towed in his ship and moored her close to 
the frigate, and to the battery of Santa Maria ; and at 8 a.m. the 
Captain's boats took possession of the Frenchman, which was- 
found to be abandoned and scuttled. The Imperieuse, however, 
was weighed and, imder the name of the Unite, there being already 
an Imperieuse in the service, was added to the Eoyal Navy. 

On more distant stations hostilities began very early in the 
year. On May 7th, in pursuance of instructions from home, a small 
military force was embarked at Halifax, and, convoyed by the 
Alligator, 28, Captain William Affleck, and the Diligente, an armed 
schooner, captured the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon 
without resistance on May 14th. 

In pursuance of other instructions from home, a militarj' force 
embarked on April 12th at Bridgetown, Barbados, on board the 
Trusty, 50, Vice-Admiral Sir John Laforey, Captain John Drew, 
Nautilus, 16, Commander Lord Henry Paulet, Hind, amied 
schooner, and Hero, merchantman, and, on the 14th, was landed 
on the French island of Tobago. The governor refused to sur- 
render, and at 1 p.m. on the 15th the fort of Scarborough was 
carried by assault, the British losing only 3 killed and 25 wounded. 
The island then capitulated. 

An attempt upon Martinique in co-operation with some French 
royalists was less successful. It was made by Eear- Admiral Alan 
Gardner's squadron, which included the Queen, 98, Captain John 
Hutt, Duke, 98, Captain the Hon. George MmTay (2), Hector, 74. 

•^14 MAJOR OPERATIOKS, 1793-1802. [1793. 

Captain George Montagu, and Motutirh, 74, Captain Sir James 
Wallace, troops from Barbados co-operating under Major-General 
Bruce. The attack miscarried owing to some misunderstanding, 
but many of the French Koyalists ^^■ere taken off. Those, how- 
ever, who remained met, it is to be feared, with heavy punishment 
for having assisted the cause of the enemies of republican France. 

On the Jamaica station Commodore John Ford was encouraged 
by Eoyahst overtm-es from San Domingo to attempt Jeremie and 
St. Nicolas Mole. Taking on board troops at Port Koyal on 
September 9th, he proceeded, with his broad pennant in the 
Europa, .50, Captain George Gregory, to Jeremie, where he arrived 
on September 19th. Accompanying him were the Goelan,^ 14, 
Commander Thomas WoUey and the Flying Fisli, schooner. The 
British were welcomed with joy, and the place was taken possession 
of in the name of the French crown. On the '21st the Commodore 
was off St. Nicolas Mole, which was found to be in expectation of 
an assault from a body of blacks and mulattoes. He induced the 
place to capitulate ; and, later in the year, he received the surrender 
of other towns in the island, including Leogane. 

Information of the outbreak of war reached Foi't George on 
June 1st, and Fort William on June 11th. The French were 
almost powerless in India ; and Chandernagore, Carical, Mahe, 
and other ports were summoned, and yielded without resistance. 
But when Colonel Prosper de Clermont, governor of Pondicherry, 
was summoned on August ] st, he refused to capitulate. The town 
was, therefore, bombarded on and after August '20th, and on the 
■23rd it was induced to surrender. During the brief siege, the 
•Minerva, 38, Rear-Admiral the Hon. William Cornwallis, Captain 
John Whitby, assisted by three East Indiamen, blockaded the port 
and on one occasion drove off the French frigate Cijhele, Captain 
Pierre Julien Trehouart, which, with three smaller vessels, en- 
deavoured to throw supplies and reinforcements into the town. 

"During the year 1793," says Jauies, " the British cruisers had eil'ected the capture 
or destruction of 140 French armed vessels, including 52 belonging to the national 
navy. Of the national ships, but 35 were captured; and, out of these, 30 were added 
to the British N.ivy, exclusive of si.\ of the 88 captured privateers. On the other hand, 
the loss sustained by the latter was coniji.aratively slight, including but four vessels, 
ni'.d not one of these above a small 32-gun frigate." 

The war had therefore begun well, although there had been no 
general engagement between the combatants. 

' Sucli was the Navy List's rendering of the Fiench Goilund, i.e.. Seagull, 


After the French Brest fleet had returned to that port from off 
Belleisle in September, 1793, the French republican Government 
remorselessly weeded out all officers and men who were believed 
to be disaffected to the new order of things. M. Louis Thomas 
Villaret-Joyeuse, previously a lieutenant,' was promoted to be rear- 
admiral, and was given command-in-chief in place of M. Morard 
dj Galles. He hoisted his flag in the Montague, a r20-gun three- 
decker, which had been previously known as the Cdte d'Or, and still 
earlier as the Etats de Bourgogne. It was at about that time that 
the tricolour was adopted as the French national ensign. It was 
not believed in Pans that either the spirit of the officers and men 
or the ability of Villaret was sufficient to insure that the fine fleet 
assembled at Brest would do its duty. The deputy, Jean Bon Saint 
Andre, induced the National Convention to adopt a' decree declaring 
that the captain and officers of any ship of the line belonging to 
the Kepublic who should haul down the national colours to the 
vessels, however mmierous, of an enemj', unless the French ship 
should be shattered so as to be in danger of sinking before the 
crew could be saved, should be pronounced traitors to their country 
and suffer death ; and that the captain and officers of any frigate, 
corvette, or smaller vessel, who should sun-ender to a force double 
their own, unless their ship was reduced to the before-mentioned 
extremity, should be pmiished in the same manner. Eventually 
Jean Bon Saint Andre himself accompanied the fleet to sea, in 
Older to encourage or terrorise the officers and men into doing their 
best for the Eepublic. 

The British Channel Fleet had lain at anchor during the winter; 
yet it had cruisers near the French coast, and it was always ready 
to put to sea on receipt of news that the Brest fleet had come out. 
But, as the spring drew on, additional duties claimed its services. 
Large convoys were preparing to sail for the East and West 
Indies, and for Newfomidland, and these had to be seen clear of 
the Channel ; and a large French-American convoy, under Rear- 
Admiral Vanstabel, laden with stores, which were greatly needed 

' Previous to tlie reiirganisation of the French navy unde.' the Republic, both 
Villaret-Joyeuse and Bouvet were merely lieutenants, and Nielly was only a sub- 
lieutenant. Of the twenty-six captains commanding French ships of the line on the 
glorious First of .June, but one had been a captain under the monarchy. Of the rest, 
fi.ur liad been lieutenants, ten sub-lieutenants, one a jietty officer, and one a seaman in 
the navy ; two had been merchant captains, aad seven bsen pilots, mates, 
masters of coasting craft, etc. — Guerin, vi. .503, .504. 

216 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [17'J4. 

in France, was known to be on its way home, and this had to 
be, if possible, intercepted. The British outward-bound convoy 
assembled at St. Helen's by May 2nd. On that day it weighed, 
and on the -Ith, being off the Lizard, it was ordered by Lord 
Howe, the Commander-in-Chief, to part company with him, Eear- 
Admiral George Montagu (B.) being directed, with six 74-gun ships 
and two frigates, to accompany it as far as the latitude of Cape 
Finisterre, and Captain Peter Eainier, with the Suffolk, 74, one 
64, and fom: or five frigates, being directed to see it further on its 
voyage. These detachments reduced the fleet to twenty-six sail 
of the line, seven frigates, one hospital ship, two fireships, one 
sloop, and two cutters. Howe then made for, and early on the 5th 
arrived off, Ushant. He sent the Phaeton and Latona, covered by 
the Orion, round the island to ascertain if the French fleet were 
still in port, and they discovered the enemy to be at anchor in 
Brest Koad. Howe realised that there was great probability of 
the French coming out to extend their protection to the expected 
convoy from America, and therefore he made for the latitude 
through which the latter would be likely to pass. From the 5th 
to the Ibth he cruised in the Bay, but saw nothing of the French. 
On the 19th, having returned off Ushant, he again ordered the 
Phaeton and Latona to reconnoitre the anchorage, which was 
found to be empty ; and the reconnoitring vessels came back with 
the information, derived from an American craft, that the French 
had sailed some days previously. 

Eear-Admiral Vanstabel had left Brest on September 26th, 
1793, with the Jean Bart, 74, Tigre, 74, two frigates and a brig, 
subsequently reinforced by two sail of the line, to bring home the 
American convoy. He had reached Virginia in February, 1794, 
and had sailed on his return on April 2nd, with a merchant fleet 
of 117 sail. On May 6th, Kear-Admiral Joseph Marie Nielly with 
the Sans Pareil, 80, the Aiidacleux, Patriote, Tenieraire, and 
Trajan, 74's, and several frigates and corvettes, including the 
Republicaine, Inconnue, and Maire Guiton, had left Rochefort to 
meet Vanstabel and his convoy, and to see him into port. On 
May 16th, the main French fleet under Villaret, consisting of 25 
ships of the line and a contingent of frigates and corvettes, had sailed 
from Brest with a fair north-east wind, its object being the same 
as that of Nielly's division, namely, the safety of the American 
convoy. It has since been established that on May 17th, during 


a fog, the French and British fleets were quite close to one another. 
On the 18th, however, when the fog lifted, they had passed out of 

On the 19th, Villaret was joined by the Patriate, of Nielly's 
squadron, with the information that Nielly had captured the 
Castor, 32, Captain Thomas Troubridge, and a large part of a 
British Newfoundland convoy ; and on the same day Villaret 
himself took part of a Dutch Lisbon convoy. 

On the 19th, also, the Venus, 32, Captain William Brown (1), 
from Rear-Admiral Montagu's squadron, joined Howe with the 
news that Montagu, having parted company with the East India 
convoy on the 11th, had afterwards cruised in search of the French 
American convoy, and had, on the 15th, captured the Maire Guiton 
of Nielly's squadron, and recaptured ten sail of the Newfoundland 
convoy. Montagu had learned from these captm-es that Nielly and 
Vanstabel were likely to unite, and that their strength would then 
be nine ships of the line, besides several frigates and corvettes ; and 
he had, therefore, detached the Venus to request reinforcements, 
while he himself steered in a direction which, he believed, would 
enable him to intercept Vanstabel before Nielly could join him, or 
to receive the solicited reinforcement in time to give him power to 
strike at Nielly and Vanstabel imited, should they join. 

Howe, from information in his possession as to the course of 
Villaret, came to the conclusion that Montagu was in danger ; and 
on the 20th, at 4 a.m., he made sail with the intention of joining his 
subordinate. Early in the morning of the 21st he sighted that part 
of the Dutch Lisbon convoy which had been taken by the French 
main fleet, and, in the course of the morning, he took and burnt 
more than half of it. The convoy had quitted Villaret on the 19th 
in lat. AT 46' N. and long. 11" 22' W. 

As, therefore, the French were probably quite close to him, 
Howe abandoned his intention of joining Montagu,' and went in 
pursuit of the enemy. He was, however, eventually driven too 
much to the south. At 8 a.m. on the 23rd he came upon some 
captured Dutch vessels, which had parted from the French fleet on 

' Howe has been blamed for not liavina; ado])ted measures to secure the junction 
with him of Montagu, when he liad determined not himself to seek further for that 
oflicer. He might have sent frigates to look for him. Even then, however, he could 
not have ensured the presence of Montagu ere the meeting with the French fleet. On 
the other hand, any detachment of frigates would have weakened himself, and might 
have resulted in leading the enemy to Montagu. 

218 MAJOR OI'EUATIONS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

the "Jlst. The wind them luNdunxl him ; and on the 'iith, at noon, 
the British were within a few miles of where the French were 
estimated to have been on the '21st, namely in lat. 47° 34' N. and 
long. 13' .5.j' W. The British held a course about W.S.W. till 
4 P.M. on the 'i.'jth, when a French 74, towing a merchant brig, was 
discovered far to windward, and two other strange ships were seen 
to the eastward. The brig was taken and proved to be an Amei'icau. 
The 74, which cast off and escaped, was found to be the Andacieu.r 
on her way to join the Brest fleet from Nielly's squadron, which she 
had quitted only on the previous evening. She subsequently reached 
ViUaret in safety. The two strange sail, the liepiihUcainc, 20, and 
Inconnue, 16, which were also from Nielly's squadron, were taken ; 
a,nd as Howe did not desire to weaken his force by sending away 
prize crews, they were burnt. 

The fleet tacked in chase, and, at noon on the 25th, again hauled 
on the starboard tack with the wind at N. by E. At dawn on the 
26th it tacked once more, and at noon, when the wind had changed 
to W. by S., it steered to the north. On the 27th, at 9 a.m., Howe 
bore up, and ran to the eastward, with the wind then on his star- 
board quarter. On the 28th, at about 6.30 a.m., being, as the 
following noon observation showed, in lat. 47^ 34' N. and long. 
13° 39' W., with a fresh wind from S. by W. and a rough sea, the 
British look-out frigates signalled a fleet to windward. At 8.15 a.m. 
Bear-Admiral Pasley, with the weathermost division, consisting of 
his ship, the Bellerophon, and the liusseU, Marlhoruugh, and 
Thunderer, was ordered to reconnoitre ; and at 9 A.M. the strangers, 
who had wore, were seen bearing down under topgallant sails. 
Upon that, Howe signalled to prepare for action, and, having re- 
called his frigates, directed Pasley, at 9.45, to shorten sail. At 
10 A.M. the French fleet, of twenty-six sail of the line and five 
frigates, being then within nine or ten miles, hauled to the wind on 
the larboard tack, and lay to. A little later it formed a rather 
ragged line ahead. The British ships were ordered to wear in 
succession ; and at 10.35 they came to on the larboard tack and 
pressed to windward in two divisions, with Pasley's division as a 
flying squadi'on. At 11.10 a signal was made to the effect that 
there would be time for the men to have dinner. 

Soon after one o'clock the French filled, made sail, and began to 
tack. At 1.30 Howe ordered Pasley to annoy the enemy's rear, and 
at 1.45, as the French appeared to be inclined to make off', Howe 


IIO]yE OS MAY 287/1. 


ordered a general chase, signalling soon afterwards for the ships to 
engage the enemy as they came up with him. 

At "2.40 the liiisscll, which was nearly a mile to windward of the 
rest of Pasley's division, tired a few rounds at the rear-most French 
ships as they hauled on the starhoard tack, and was fired at bj' 
them. Just before 3 p.m., the enemy's rear ship being immediately 
abeam of her, the Delleroplwn tacked ; and soon afterwards th 

I From an ciiijrmiwj hy Bohcrts, nftrr Ihf iminling Inj J. F. Ahliol.) 

whole British fleet did the same by signal, except the Eiifi.sell, 
Mdrlburuitijli, Thunderer, and frigates, which, in order to get into 
the wake of the Fi'ench fleet, then close hauled on the starboard 
tack in line ahead with a fresh and squally wind from the south, 
stood on for a short time longer. A little after 5 P.M. the French 
van and centre shortened sail to allow the lievolutionnaire, 110, 
which was rapidly falling astern, to regain her station. This, 
however, .she did not do ; and at G p.m. the Bellerophon, by excellent 
seamanship, got near enough to her to open fire. It would almost 

220 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

appear that the BevolutioiuHiirc, in defiance of signals, assumed the 
rearmost position out of sheer devihy on the part of her captain, 
M. Vandangel. At (3.30 the Marlborough, which, with the Russell 
and Thunderer, was then on the Bellerophon's weather quarter, was 
signalled to engage the rear of the French, who, immediately before, 
had made sail. The Bellerophon, being damaged aloft, was obliged 
to take in her main topsail, and, after an hour and a half's unsup- 
ported action, informed the Commander-in-Chief that she was unable 
to continue the engagement, and bore up. By that time the Bussell, 
Thunderer, and Marlborough, which had tacked their maintopsails, 
were firing at long range at the Bevolutionnaire, and at the ships 
next ahead of her. The French three-decker had lost her mizen 
mast, and had suffered considerable damage ; and she therefore wore 
round and put before the wind. No sooner had she done so than 
she was engaged by the Leviathan, which, with the Audacious, 
Captain William Parker, had passed to windward of the disabled 
Bellerophon. At 7.30 Howe signalled to assist the ships engaged, 
and, a little later, repeated the order and hoisted the pennants of the 
Marlborough and Eussell. In the interval the Leviathan continued 
to engage the Bevolutiomiaire until the Audacious got up. The 
Leviathan then passed on, and fired a broadside at the next French 
ship ; but at 8 p.m. she dropped down towards the body of the 
British fleet, signals having been made, to the Bclleroplion, Levia- 
than, Bussell, and Marlborough, to reHnquish the chase, and, to the 
fleet, to foini a line ahead and astern as most convenient. 

The Audacious, on the Bevolutionnaire' s lee quarter, fired 
heavily. The Bussell, until recalled, also annoyed the Frenchman 
very seriously. The Bevolutionnaire had by that time become 
almost unmanageable, and the Audacious had great difficulty in 
avoiding being fouled by her. At a little before ten, the Bevolution- 
naire, which, besides her mizenmast, had lost her fore and main- 
yards and her main topsail yard, fell athwart the hawse of the 
Audacious. But Captain Parker extricated himself; and the French 
ship went to leeward. Some of the men of the Audacious reported 
that the Bevolutionnaire struck while the ships were close to one 
another. The Bussell also reported that the three-decker had no 
colours flying when she passed under the British ships astern. But 
possibly the colours had been mei'ely shot away. The ship, how- 
ever, had lost heavily ; and she might, no doubt, have been taken, 
had the Thunderer, when hailed by the Audacious to take possession 

1794.] J/OW£ ON MAT 28T/I. 221 

of her, attempted to do so. The Audacious herself was not under 
control, and was for some time unable to wear clear of the French 
line. Her injuries were chiefly aloft. She had, indeed, lost only 
ii killed, and 3 mortally and 16 more slightly wounded, while the 
BecoUitionnaire had lost nearly 400 men. As soon as Captain 
Pai-ker had got clear, he did his best to repair damages with a view 
to regaining his station in the morning ; but when, at dawn, he saw 
nine French sail to windward, he judged it best, looking to his 
crippled condition, to put before the wind. At that time he had his 
foresail and three topsails unbent, and his mainsail in the act of 
being bent. What the strange craft were has not been ascertained. 
They may have been the ships and prizes of Vanstabel, or the 
squadron of Nielly ; but it is more likely that they belonged to one 
of two light squadrons which at that time were cruising out of 
Lorient and Rochefort. 

The disabled A udacious was favoured by rain and mist ; but, 
before she was again under anything like proper sail, the mist 
lifted, and she discovered two ships, which seem to have been 
the Audacieux and a brig, detached by Villaret to look after 
the Revolutionitaire. That ship, without a mast standing, laj' 
then about a mile and a half away. Immediately afterwards the 
French frigate Bellone, 36, with a ship and a brig, appeared in the 
eastward. These vessels, discovering the state of the Audacious, 
and encouraged by the proximity of their friends, stood athwart 
Parker, and exchanged shots with him. The other craft soon fell 
astern, but the Bellone hung on the quarter of the Audacious until 
12.30 P.M., when she hauled to the wind. During all this time the 
British ship, owing to the state of her masts, was powerless to alter 
course. She subsequently sailed into a fog; and, feeling that, all 
things considered, it was useless to attempt to rejoin the fleet, 
Parker proceeded for port, and on June 3rd anchored in Plymouth 
Sound. The Bevolutionnairc was found by the French Audacieux 
and towed into Bochefort. 

One of the chief lessons of this partial action on the 28th of 
May, seems to be the greater relative value of a vessel of large 
size as compared with several vessels of smaller size but, in 
the aggregate, of largely superior armament. The escape of the 
Bevolutionnairc, after having had to deal with so many 74's, surely 
shows this. 

The British and French fleets continued on parallel courses 

222 MAJOR OPEllATJoyS, lT'.i3-180'-'. [ITO-i. 

during the night of the •28th, carrying a press of sail on tlu; star- 
board tack. At dawn on the '29th tlic wind still blew freshlj- from 
south by west, and there was a heavy head sea. The fleets were 
then about six miles apart, the French being on the weather-bow of 
the British. By that time, Howe's signal of the previous evening 
for the fleet to form line ahead and astern of the Queen Charlotte as 
most convenient, had, of course, been carried out ; and the order of 
the head of the British column was, Camr, Queen, Russell, Valiant, 
lioijal George, Invincible, Orion, Majestic, Leviathan, Queen Char- 
lotte and Bellerophon. With the object of making some impression 
on the enemy's rear, Howe, at 7 a.m., signalled his ships. to tack in 
succession ; and at 7.30, when the fleet was on the larboard tack, 
he ordered it to pass through the French line, in order to obtain the 
weather gage. But, in endeavouring to execute this manoeuvre, 
the British fleet passed astern of the enemy's rear, the French firing 
when the ships were at a great distance, and the C(csar and Queen 
returning the comphment w-hen they were well within range. It is 
interesting to note that during this action all the ships in the fleet 
flew the Eed Ensign, although there were present flag oflicers both 
of the Ked and of the White squadrons. The Commander-in-Chief, 
who was at the time Vice-Admiral of England, flew the Union at 
the main. 

At 8 A.M. the French van ships began to wear in succession to 
support their threatened rear, and, running to leeward of their line, 
edged down towards the British van and centre. When she was 
clear of the rear of her own fleet, the leading French ship, which 
was then about three miles distant from the British centre, hauled 
close to the wind ; and her example was followed in succession by 
the ships astern of her. At a little after 9 a.m., when the whole 
French fleet was on the larboard tack, the van ships again bore 
away; and, at 10 a.m., opened an inefl'ectual fire upon the British 
van. But presently the distance between the two vans lessened ; 
and the Invincible (which luffed out of the line in order to get nearer 
the foe), Boijal George, Valiant, Russell, Queen and Ccesar exchanged 
broadsides with the French van. In this brush several of the 
British ships suffered aloft; and the leading French vessel, the 
Montagnard, received evident damage. At 11.30 Howe signalled 
to tack in succession in order to pass through the enemy's line ; but 
when he found that his van was not still sufficiently advanced to cut 
off more than a few ships of the French rear, he annulled the signal 

1794.] HOWE OX MAV 20 r//. 223 

and continued to stretch on as before. At 12.30 p.m. he a^ain 
signalled to tack. There was then much smoke hanging about ; 
and the signal was only partially obeyed ; so that, in the result, 
when, at 1.15 I'.xi., signal was made to engage the enemy and pass 
through his line, the ships which had been ahead of the Queen 
Charlotte were, from various causes, not in a position to carry out 
in due order their share of the intended niameuvre. 

This being so, some of his van ships being engaged at a consider- 
able distance, and the French having begun to wear in succession, 
Howe, in the Queen Charlotte, at 1.30, set the example of breaking 
the line, which he passed through astern of the Eolr, the sixth ship 
from the enemy's rear. The Bellerophon and Leriatha.i followed 
Howe's lead, the former passing across the bows, and the latter under 
the stern of the Terrible, the third ship from the enemy's rear. As 
soon as she was through, the Queen Charlotte put about on the larboard 
tack, hoisted the signal for a general chase, and devoted herself to the 
Terrible, which had lost her foretopmast and was struggling to regain 
her station. The two ships astern of her, the Tyrannicide and Indomp- 
table, which had been previously engaged by the Queen and the 
Royal George, were both a good deal disabled. But the French van 
had, in the meantime, wore round on the starboard tack ; and the 
Terrible managed to reach the centre of her own fleet ere the Queen 
Charlotte could get near her. The Indonijitable was afterwards 
warmly engaged by the Orion and Burfleur, but she gallantly kept 
her colours flying till she and the Terrible were rescued by Admiral 
Villaret, who dexterously led his fleet on the starboard tack to their 
assistance. Howe, who had only the Bellerophon and Leviathan, 
both disabled, near him, could not prevent this, and was only able 
at about 4 p.m. to obtain sufficient support to cover the Queen and 
Royal George, which had suffered severely. 

In the course of these operations the two vans once more ap- 
proached one another within gunshot, and a partial action resulted, 
the Glory distinguishing herself by the accuracy and deadliness of her 
fire. But no general engagement followed, Villaret contenting himself 
with saving his disabled ships, and then wearing round, and standing 
away large on the larboard tack and rejoining his rear. The British 
wore in the same direction, keeping, however, the weather gage ; and 
so the firing ceased. This was just after 5 p.m. Each fleet then 
formed line on the lai-board tack, and set to work to repair damages. 
Among the officers killed in this encounter were Lieutenants Georjre 

224 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 17!»3-1802. [1794. 

Heigham, of the Boyal Georgr, and Roger K. Eawlance, of tbe 
Queen Charlotte, and Mr. William Mitchell, Master of the Queen. 
Captain Hutt, of the Queen, lost a leg, and subsequently died of 
his wound. The total British loss was 67 killed and 128 wounded. 
Several ships were much damaged, but they were quickly made 
again fit for action ; and, at 10.30 a.m. on the 30th, the only vessel 
which reported herself as still unready was the Ccesar,^ a ship which 
had been badly handled during the engagement, and which had 
probably, bj' her apparent hesitation, encouraged Villaret to attempt 
to cover his crippled ships. ^ 

On the night of the 29th the weather was thick and foggy ; but 
on the morning of the 30th it cleared for a time and the French 
were seen in the north-west on the starboard tack. After some 
preparations had been made on both sides to renew the action, the 
weather grew thicker than ever, and the ships in consequence 
became much dispersed. At 9 a.m. on the 81st the fog lifted, and 
the British ships at once took measures to regain their stations. At 
noon the French were seen to the northward, numbering twenty- 
six sail of the line and six others. At 2 r.M. Howe bore up, and 
the French, who had previously edged away a little, formed line on 
the larboard tack. Later in the day a general action might have 
been brought on ; but Howe, mindful of the confusion which had 
occurred on the 29th, preferred fighting by daylight, when signals 
could be seen. At a little after 7 p.m., therefore, he hauled to 
the wind on the larboard tack, and so stationed a couple of his 
frigates as to ensure that he should be at once informed of any 

' " On this occasion, we, the Lieutenants on the quarter-deck, were sj^eaking oiu- 
minds very freely res)iecting the conduct of the different Ca]itains, and, upon some 
particular observation made by Larcom, first Lieutenant, on the conduct of tlie C'sesiir, 
Lord Howe said : ' 1 desire you to hold your tongue, sir. I don't desire you to shut 
your eyes, hut I desire you to hold your tongue till I call upon you, as I jirobably shall 
do hereafter, lor your observations.' " — Bourchier, "Codrington," i. 20. 

^ Says Mahan : " The merit of Howe's conduct upon these two days does not . . . 
depend merely upon the issue, though fortunate. By persistent attacks, frequently 
renewed upon the same and most vulnerable part of the French order, he had in effect 
brought to bear a large part of his own fleet upon a relatively small number of the 
■enemy, the result being a concentration of injury, which compelled the damaged ships 
to leave the field. At the same time the direction of tlie attack forced the French 
admiral either to abandon the endangered vessels, or, step by step, to yield the advan- 
tage of the wind, until it was finally wrested from him altogether. By sheer tactical 
skill, combined with a fine display of jjersonal conduct, Howe had won a marked 
numerical prejionderance for the decisive action. . . . Unfortunately, the tactical gain 
was soon neutralised by the strategic mistake which left Montagu's squadron unavail- 
able on the day of battle."—' Fr. Revol. and Emp.' i. 135. 


attempt on the part of Villaret to weather the British during the 

After the action on the 29th, the Montagnard had deserted the 
French fleet, and the Seine, frigate, which had been sent after her, 
had also failed to rejoin. But on the evening of that day the 
T rente-et-iin Mai, 74, Captain Honore Ganteaume, had joined 
Villaret from Cancale Bay ; and on the 30th the French admiral 
was further reinforced by the Sans Pareil, Trajan and Temeraire, 
of Rear-Admiral Nielly's squadron. This accession of force induced 
Villaret to send home the crippled Indomptable, convoyed by the 
Mont Blanc, 74, and left him still with twenty-six sail of the hne. 

During the night of the 31st the British stood to the westward ; 
and at dawn on June 1st they were in lat. 47' 48' N., and 
long. 18^ 30' W., with a moderate breeze from south b)' west 
and a fairly smooth sea. The French fleet, in line of battle on the 
larboard tack, was six miles on the starboard or lee bow of the 
British. At 5 a.m. the British, by signal, bore up together and 
steered north-west, and at 6.15 A.M. altered course to the north. 
At about 7.10 the fleet again hauled to the wind on the larboard 
tack. At 7.16 Howe signalled that he should attack the French 
centre, and, at 7.25, that he should pass through the enemy's hne 
and engage from leeward. The two fleets were then about four 
miles apart. Howe himself had scarcely quitted the deck of his 
flagship for three days,* and the men were correspondingly fatigued. 
The fleet was, therefore, hove to, and the men breakfasted. At 
8.12 A.M., Howe again filled and bore down. A little later, each 
ship was ordered to steer for, and to independently engage, the ship 
opposite her in the French line ; and, with a view to making the 
combat as equal as possible, Howe effected some changes in his 
formation, after which, the order of the two lines was as follows : — 

' Howe was then sixty-eight. Looking to his age, the manner in which he bore 
the fatigue and anxiety was marvellous. Codrington says: "When the report was 
brought to him" (on Juno 1st) " the French fleet showed every symptom of 
determination to sustain a battle, I watclied his face when he came to the quarter-deck 
to look at them. It expressed an animation of which, at his age, and after such 
fatigue of mind and body, I had not thought it capable." ... "He went to bed 
completely done up after the action of the First. We all got round him ; indeed, I 
saved him from a tumble. He was so weak that, from a roll of the ship, he was 
nearly falling into the waist. ' Why, you hold me up as if I were a child,' he said 
good-humouredly." — Bourchier, ' Codrington,' i. 27, 31. For nearly five days he had 
rested only in a chair. Yet the strain of naval warfare would press more hardly on a 
Commander-in-Chief to-day than it did in 1794. 


226 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

riisiTisH AND French Links or Battle on" June 1st, 1794. 



Losses on 
May 28, 29, 



and June 1. 




— 3 

5 ^ 


Casar . . . 


fCapt. Anthony Jamest 
\ Pye Molloy. / 



Trajan ... 74 
SoU. . . . ' '.1 

Capi. Dumoutier. 

f ,. BertrandKer- 
( anguen.2 

(Rear-Adaiiral Thomas) 


Bellerophon . 


1 Pasley(\V).i 1 
jCapt. William Jolin-( 



America* . . 


( ,, Louis L'Heri- 
I tier. 

( stone Hope.i j 


Tanfraire . . 


,, Morel. 



f „ Lord Hugh Sey-i 
I mour.i / 



Terrible . . 


iRear-Admiral Fran- 
■' 5018 Joseph liouvet. 

HuuM . . . 


f ,, Joba Willetti 
I Payne.i / 



Impel ueux 3 . 


(Capt. Juiien Le Ray. 
„ DouviUe. 

iVice-A'imlral Thomasi 

Macius . . 


„ Larreguy. 

Itm/al Sovereign 


{ Graves (2) {,R).i \ 



Tourville . . 


„ Langloij;. 

leapt. Henry NichoUs.i | 

Gasparin . . 


„ Tardy. 

Marlborough . 


/ „ Hon. 'Gf'ur;;eCran.i 
I field Berlselcy.i / 



Convention . 74 
Trente- et - unt ,,, 

., Joseph Allary. 
( ., Houore Gan- 

; ,, James Gambler 1 
1 i2).i 1 

Mai ■ . .) 


1 teaume. 

Defence. . . 


18 ;i9 

Tyrannicide . 


„ d'Ordelin. 

/Rear- Admiral BenjaminJ 

Jusle3 . . . 


„ Blav^t. 

1 Caldwell (W). I 
jCapt. George Blagdenf 
( Westcott. J 

rRear-Admiral Louis 

Impregnable . 




Montague . . 


1 Thomas Villaret- 
1 Joveuse. 

Tremendous . 


„ James Pigott. 



(Capt. Bazire.2 

1 Rear- Admiral George) 

Jacobin . . 


„ Gassin. 

Barjleur . . 


1 Bowyer(\V).i 
jCapt. Cutlibert Colling- 


25 i 

Achillea . . 


f „ G.J.N.deLa 

i Villegris. 

1 wood. 

Venijeur dut 

1 „ Jean Francois 

Invincible . . 


f ,, Hun. Thomasi 
I Pakenham.i / 



FeupUi . .) " 
Patriate . . 74 

1 Renaudln. 
.. Lucadou. 

Culloden . . 


„ Isaac .SchciHberg. 



Xorthumber- \ ., 

f „ Francois Eti- 
( enne. 

Gibraltar . . 


„ Thomas Mackenzi-, 



land^ . .) 

(•Admiral Earl Howe 

Eittreprenant . 

,, Le Francq. 


Jemmapes ^ 

„ Desmartis. 

Queen Charlotte 


Capt. Sir Roger Curtis, 
1 Kt. (ist)i 
1 ,, Sir .\ndrew Snape 



yeptune . . 
Pellelier . . 

„ Tiphaigne. 
,, Berrade. 
^Rear-Admiml Joseph 

Brumvrick . 


I Douglas, Kt.i 
„ John Harvey .2 



Hi'publicain . 


) Marie Nielly. 
Capt. Pierre Jacques 

Valiant . . 


„ Thomas Pringle.i 

2 9 


Orion . . . 


r ,, John Thomasi 
1 Duckworth.i / 



Sans Parens , 


f „ Jean Fran9ois 
[ Courand. 

iReiir- Admiral Alani 

Scipion . . . 


,, Huguet. 

Queen . 


{ Gardner (\V).l \ 
(Capt. John Hutt.: | 



Precieuse, 36 

Ramillies . . 


„ Henrv H.uvev.l 

2 7 

Ifaiade . . 

Alfred . . . 


„ John (1). 


Proserpine, *0 

il&ntagu . . 


., James ^Iontagu.2 



Tamise S** 

/ „ J.M.A.LHer- 
1 mile. 

|\'ice- Admiral .sir Ale.'t-j 

A .Alfkktf.'t Um . 

Royal George . 


] ander Arthur Hood,! 

(Capt. William Domett.') 



GcUatee, 36 . 

Majestic . . 


„ Charles Cotton. 



Gentille, 36 . 

Olory . . . 


f ,, John Elphiustonet 
I (2)-' / 



Aud three or foil 

r small craft. 



„ Albemarle Bertie. 
„ William Bentinck. 



rbaeton, 33. 

Latona, 38 . 

f „ Edward Thorn- 1 
I brougfa, / 

» Received medals, a 

LS having particularly 

mger, 32 . 

f „ Hon. Arthur Kaye) 
I Legge. / 

signalised themselves. 

Capt. "William Parker, 

ot the Audacious, also 

received a medal tor 

32 . . .J 

,, Hon, Robert Forbes, 

bis conduct on May 28t 

b, and Capt. Cuthbcrt 

Collingwocxl. of the Ik 

irjleur, after protest, 

Venus, 32 . 

„ William Brown (1), 

received one at a later p 


Aquilon, 32 . 

( „ Hon, Robert Stop-i 
\ for.l. I 

2 Killed, or mortally 


* Struck and mfliie pr 

ize of. 

reiiasus. 28. 

„ Robert Barlow. 

* Struck and founder 


Total . . 

290 8S8 

5 Struck, but retaken 

by the French. 

And the Pharon, 4 

4, hosp. ship, Capt, George Countess ; 

Comet, 14, flreshlp, Co 

m. WUlinm Bradley; Incendiary, 14, 

flreship, Com. John Coo 

ke ; Kiniifsher, 18, sloop. Com. Thomas 

Le Marchant Gosselin ; 

nattier, 16, cutter, Licnt. Joho Wlnne; 

and Hanger, 14, cutter, 

Lieut. Isaac Cotgrave. 


The French were in a close head and stern Hne,' heading west ; 
and both fleets were under single-reefed topsails, some of the 
Fi'ench lying to, and others backing and filling, to presence 
station. The British headed about north-west with a fresh breeze 
from south by west ; and they were moving at the rate of about 
five knots. 

At 9.24 the French van opened a distant fire upon the British 
van, and especially upon the Defence, which was a little ahead of 
her hue. At 9.50 the French fire became genei-al, and the British 
fire opened, the flagship's bearing the signal for close action. It 
had been intended that each British ship should pass astern of her 
natural opponent, and engage her from leeward ; but only a few 
vessels did this. The rest hauled up to windward and engaged, 
some at short, but many at longer, distance. At 10.10 A.M., Villaret 
in the Moiitcujne made sail ahead, followed by the second astern, 
and afterwards by such other ships as had suffered little damage 
aloft. Howe ordered a general chase at 10.13. By 11.30 a.m. the 
action was practically over, though no ships had then been taken 
possession of. The British had eleven, and the French twelve, 
more or less dismasted vessels. The latter were doing their best to 
escape with such sail as they could make on their stumps ; and 
they fired, from time to time, at such British ships as came within 

The Montague and Jacobin stood on till nearly abreast of the 
French van, and then wore round, with several other French vessels 
making twelve sail in all, and steered for the Queen, which la_y 
crippled on their starboard bow. Howe saw the Queen's danger, 
and, having signalled his ships to form line ahead and astern of him, 
managed to wear round on the starboard tack, and, followed by the 
Barfleur, Thunderer, Royal Sovereign, Valiant, Leviathan and 
others, stood away, with the wind abaft the beam, to assist Kear- 
Admiral Gardner. This induced Villaret to relinquish his design, 
and to stretch on to the support of five of his crippled ships, which 
were towing towards him in the eastward, two of them being wholly 
dismasted. He succeeded in covering and saving four of these, the 
Bepuhlicain, Mucins, Scipion and Jemmapes. The fifth, the Terrible, 
joined him by pluckily fighting her way through her opponents. 
There was no general firing after about 1.15 p.m. ; but it was not 

' The Tyrannicide, having lost her upper masts on May 29th, had to be towed 
iintil the opening of the battle of June 1st. 

Q 2 

228 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

until 2.30 that the six crippled ships, that lay nearest the body of 
the British, were secured. Several did not submit without firing 
upon the vessels which w^ere about to take possession of them. A 
httle after 6 p.m. the seventh French ship, the Vengeur, was taken ; 
but she was so shattered that, ten minutes later, she went down, 
having still on board about 200 of her crew, chiefly wounded men. 

The British loss in the three days' engagement was 290 killed 
and 858 wounded.' The French lost, in the six captured vessels 
alone, upwards of 1200 killed and wounded, and, in the whole fleet, 
about 7000 killed, wounded and prisoners. Among the British 
officers killed or mortally wounded, in addition to those already 
mentioned, were Captains James Montagu and John Harvey ; 
Lieutenants Francis Eoss, of the Tremendous, Richard Dawes, of 
the Queen, and Thomas Ireland of the Boijal George ; Masters 
William Webster, of the Defence, David Caird, of the Impregnable, 


and George Metcalfe, of the Glory ; and Captain of Marines Walter 
Smith, of the Bellerojjhon. Of the seven British flag-officers, three, 
Graves, Pasley and Bowyer, were wounded. 

The general scheme of the action has now been made apparent. 
That scheme was of course not strictly carried out. No scheme of 
the kind ever is. It will, therefore, be well to say something about 
the experiences of individual ships ; and, for the sake of convenience, 
these will be mentioned according to the order which they occupied 
in the line. 

The Ccesar,- in bearing down to engage, dropped somewhat 
astern, and brought to about 500 yards to windward of the enemy. 
Captain MoUoy, choosing to exercise a discretion,^ which, as he 

' Details will be found in the table on p. 226. 

' Howe, owing to MoUoy's previous behaviour, had been unwilling to put him at 
the head of the line. The unwilliiigness, justified when the action opened, had been 
waived at the personal request of Sir Eoger Curtis, to whom Howe said significantly, 
after Molloy had brought to : " Look, Curtis, there goes your friend ! AMio is 
mistaken now ? " 

' The signal concluded as follows: "The difi'erent Captains and Commanders, not 
being able to effect the specified intention . . . are at liberty to act as circumstances 
require." This qualifying clause was wisely omitted when the signal code was next 




contended, was allowed him by Lord Howe's signal to pass through 
the line and engage from leeward. His reason, as suggested during 
the court-martial which was subsequently held upon him, was that, 
had he passed astern of the Trajan, his proper opponent, he must 
afterwards have shot so far ahead of her as to be beyond effective 
range. When he realised that he had made a mistake, and when 
he endeavoured to wear and make sail, his tiller became jammed ; 

(From a lithograph by Ridley, after the imrtrait by Northcole.) 

and for half-an-hour the ship dropped astern. At length she did 
bear up ; but it was then too late to be of much use. 

The BeUerophon bore dowai upon the weather quarter of the 
Eole, and, at 8.45, opened fire with good effect. She continued this 
until the Eole wore round asteni of her leader, and stood on the 
starboard tack, having had enough of it. As the BeUerophon had 
received the fire of both the Trajan and the Eole, especially towards 
the end, the British ship was so damaged aloft that she had to 
signal to the Latona to come to her assistance. The Latona, to 

230 MAJOR Ol'E/tAnoyS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

make a diversion, gallautlj' fired on the two French 74's as she 

The Leviathan seems to have engaged the America without 
passing through the hue, and, at length, to have dismasted her. 
The Bussell did not pass through the hne, but hove to windward of 
the Temeraire, which, at 11 A.M., made sail to leeward, and was 
followed through the line by the Bussell, whicn, unable, owing to 
damage aloft, to trim her sails in more than one direction, found 
herself to leeward of the Trajan and Eole, and was by them badly 
mauled ere she could be assisted by the Leviathan. Later in the 
day she took possession of the America. 

The Boyal Sovereign engaged the Terrible at too great a distance ; 
and a signal was consequently made for her to engage more closely. 
Eventiially she forced the Terrible to bear up ; and, while the 
French ship was doing so and yawing, the three-decker repeatedly 
raked her. She then chased her, until the French ship was aided 
by the Montague and Jacobin. The Valiant assisted the Boyal 
Sovereign a little ; and, at length, the Montagne bore awaj' followed, 
for a short distance, by Graves's flagship. In the afternoon, not 
knowing that the Bussell had already taken possession of the 
America, the Boyal Sovereign boarded that ship and sent back the 
Bussell's men to their own vessel. 

The Marlborough passed through the line astern of the Impetueux, 
and ranged up alongside of her to leeward. The two vessels 
presently fell on board one another, and a very fierce action ensued. 
At 10.15 the Mucins, which was next astern of the Impetueux, made 
sail ahead in order to free herself from her own opponent, the 
Defence, and fell on board the bow of the Marlborough ; so that the 
Marlborough, Impetueux and Mucins formed a triangle. Soon after- 
wards, the Marlborough lost all her masts ; but she nevertheless 
dismasted both her opponents. She was, a little later, raked by the 
Montagne, which passed by her stern ; and, being at length obliged 
to signal for help, she was taken in tow by the Aquilon.^ The 

' After the Marlborough had been entirely dismasted and otherwise very seriously 
disabled, owing to her succeBsive encounters with the Sans Pareil, Mucius, and 
Montagne, and the Captain and Lieutenant Michael Seymour (1) had been severely 
wounded, some whispers of surrender seem to have been heard on board ; whereupon 
Lieutenant John Monckton resolutely exclaimed: "I'll be damned if she shall ever 
surrender : I'll nail her colours to the stump of the mast." This attitude, and the 
sudden crowing of a cock that had found its way out of a smashed coop, and perched 
itself on the stump of the mainmast, reanimated the crew, who at once gave three 


Mucins escaped ; but the Impetueux was ultimately taken possession 
of by the Russell. 

The Defence got through the French line between the Mucins 
and the Tourville, and was presently in the thick of the action. 
She was so badly treated that, being threatened by the Republicain, 
she signalled for help, and was taken in tow by the Phaetou. Before 
the latter did this, she very pluckily engaged the Impetueux for ten 
minutes. The Impregnable, Tremendous and Barfleur kept much 
too much to windward to produce any great effect. The Invincible, 
instead of engaging her proper opponent, engaged the Juste,^ and 
forced her to bear up until, meeting with the fire of the Queen 
Charlotte, she struck. The Culloden and Gibraltar also engaged 
somewhat too far to windward, and therefore did little damage. 
The Queen Charlotte, steering to cut the line astern of the Montague, 
received, as she approached, a heavy fire from the Vengeur and 
Achille. As she was about to pass astern of the Montague,^ the 
Jacobin stretched ahead under that ship's lee, nearly taking the 
place which the Queen Charlotte was to have taken. Thanks, 
however, to the promptitude of Mr. James Bowen, Master of the 
Queen Charlotte, the British flagship was neatly luffed up between 
the two French vessels, and warmly engaged both, until the Jacobin^ 
dropped astern, and the Montague made sail and ranged ahead. It 
was then that Howe signalled for a general chase. The Queen 
Charlotte next engaged the Juste, which she dismasted, and 
ultimately forced to strike. But, in the interim, Howe was 
threatened by the liepublicain ; and he only escaped receiving 
severe damage from her owing to the opportime fall of the French 

cheers, and thought no iiKjre of aught save victory. Lieutenant Michael Seymour 
received a baU between the elbow and the wrist, and the limb mortifying, the left arm 
had in a few days to be amputated well above the elbow. — Barrow, ' Howe ' ; ' Life of 

' The Juste, according to Ckxirington, was a red-sided ship, yet, for a time she was 
mistaken by Lord Howe, and others in the Queen Charlotte, for the Invincible. 

' The Montague would ai>i)car to have iM^en quite unprepared for Howe's mode of 
attack, and to have had her starboard or lee ports closed, and her guns on that side 
unloaded and unmanned until about the time when, having sutVercd very heavily, she 
ranged ahead. 

' The French were placed at a disadvantage by the close proximity of the two 
ships. They could not use their BjKDnges and rammers, wliich had rigid wooden shafts. 
The British, however, had siwnges and rammers with flexible rope shafts, specially 
prepared for such an eventuality. The French, therefore, could only use with freedom 
a few forward and after girns on the starboard side of the lower deck while the ships 
remained in contact. 

232 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

three-decker's main and mizeu masts, thanks to the distant fire of 
the Gibraltar. This fire was, however, so carelessly directed that 
some of it struck the Queen Charlotte} 

The Brunswick was well forward at the commencement of the 
attack, and received much of the fire intended for the Queen 
Charlotte. This did her great damage hefore she returned a single 
shot. The French hne closed up so much that Captain Harvey 

(From an oiijravino hi/ Hidh'n, after the portrait by Stuart.) 

could not pass thi'ough astern of the Jacobin. He tried, as an 
alternative, to pass between the Achille and the Vengeur ; but the 
latter stretched ahead and blocked the opening. The Brnnswiclx, 
therefore, put her helm to port, and ran foul of the Vengeur, the 
starboard anchors of the British ship hooking into the French ship's 
larboard fore-shrouds and channels. The master, Mr. George 
Stewart, asked Harvey: " Shall I cut the ship clear, sir?" "No," 
said Harvey; " we have got her and we will keep her." The two 
' Bourchier, 'Codrington,' i. 27. 


ships at once swung close together, and, paying off before the wind, 
dropped out of the Hne. The seamen on the British ship's lower 
deck, finding that they could not open some of their lower ports 
owing to the pressure of the French ship's hull against them, blew 
them off ; and so, with their heads to the north, the two vessels 
began a most sanguinary engagement. Harvey was soon wounded 
in the hand by a musket-shot, but remained on deck. At 11 A.M. 
the Achille bore down through the smoke upon the British ship's 
larboard quarter, and threatened to board. But the Brunswick shot 
away her last remaining mast as she came up, and, since the wreck- 
age fell over the starboard or engaged side of the Achille, that ship 
was unable to continue the action ; and, in a few minutes, struck. 
The Bnmswick could not, however, take possession ; and the Achille 
subsequently rehoisted her colours, and attempted to escape by 
setting her spritsail. She had got some distance away when another 
ship was seen bearing down on the Brunswick. This was at first 
taken for a foe ; but she proved to be the Bamillies, commanded by 
Henry Han-ey, brother to the Captain of the Brunsicick. By that 
time the fire from the Brunsicick's quarter-deck, forecastle, and 
poop had almost ceased ; ' but she fought her principal batteries as 
vigorously as ever. 

"On the lower-deck," says James, "the seamen, profiting by the rolling of the 
Vengeur, frequently drove home the coins, and depressed the muzzles of the guns, each 
of which was loaded with two round shot, and then again withdrew the coins, and 
pointed the muzzles upwards ; thus alternately firing into their opponent's bottom, and 
rijiping up her decks. During this deliberate and destructive operation, Captain 
Harvey was knocked down by a splinter ; but, although seriously hurt, he was 
presently on his legs again. Soon afterwards, however, the crown of a double-headed 
shot, which had split, struck his right arm, and this gallant oflScer was compelled to 
go below." 

On this occasion Captain Harvey is reported to have said to his 
men : " Persevere, my brave lads, in your duty. Continue the 
action with spirit, for the honour of our King and country ; and 
remember my last words : The colours of the Brunsicick shall never 
be struck." After Captain Harvey's disablement, the command of 
the ship devolved upon Lieutenant WiUiam Edward Cracraft. 

At about 12.4.5 p.m., the action having lasted some three hours, 

' Some French accounts go bo far as to say that, attracted by the deserted state of 
the Brunswick's upper deck, a few French seamen, seeing that fire had broken out on 
it, and considering the ship as good as taken, clambered over the British ship's 
bulwarks, and were not opjxjsed ; but that these people were withdrawn upon the 
approach of the RamilUes. Cf. Guerin, vi. 40. 

234 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

the Brunswick and VeiKjeur switng apart, the Brunswick's three 
iiuchors being torn away. The BamiUies then attacked the 
Vengeur, the rudder of which was spht by the last shots from the 
Brunswick, and which also received a large hole in her counter 
from the same discharges. The BamiUies, at not more than forty 
yards' distance, concentrated her fire on this hole, and soon reduced 
the Vengeur to a sinking state. The BamiUies only desisted when 
she saw the AchiUe making off, and felt it her duty to pursue her. 
The Vengeur then hung out a Union Jack in token of surrender. 
The Brunswick, which had no boats left, could do nothing to 
relieve her late foe ; and she put her own head to the north, 
intending to make the best of her way to port. At 3 p.m. she 
fell in ^^•ith the Jemmapes, which was dismasted and rolling her 
lower ports under. The Brunswick hiffed up under her lee, where- 
upon the Jemmapes signified that she had already struck. The 


Brunswick had lost her mizen. Her bowsprit, and her main and 
foremasts were badly wounded, and her running and standing 
rigging was shot away, all her yards being shattered, and all her 
sails in pieces. She had also twenty-three guns dismounted, had 
been on fire three times, had lost her starboard quarter-gallery, 
and had her best bower anchor, with the starboard cathead, towing 
under her keel. 

The VaUant hove to to windward of the Batriote, which 
she soon drove to leeward. She next engaged the AchiUe. The 
Orion engaged the Northumberland and the Patriate until they 
bore lip. She then hauled up to support the Queen Charlotte. 
The Queen suffered heavily while bearing down to engage, and 
failed to get abreast of the NorthumherlaiuJ. She therefore closed 
with the Jemmapes, keeping on her starboard quarter when the 
French ship made sail ahead, and bringing down her mizenmast. 
The Queen herself had lost her main and sprung her mizen ; but 
she managed, in another quarter of an hour, to shoot away the 
main and foremasts of the Jemmapes, which struck, though the 
Queen was far too disabled to take possession. The latter had 

« ■ 








by that time lost her mizen-topmast, and was otherwise un- 
manageable for the moment ; but, in an hour, she got her head 
towards the British fleet, and was steering to leeward of it, when 
she saw, at 1'2.30 p.m., twelve French ships standing towards her. 
She was fired at by ten of them, and by two frigates, which were 
towing the Terrible ; but she pluckily returned the fire, and was 
presently reheved by the Queen Charlotte and the newly-formed 

{From an engraving hy Ridley, after the picture by Rivers.) 

British line. The escaping French, however, rehoisted the colours 
of the Jemmapes and towed her away. 

Of the British ships towards the rear of the line little need be 
said. The Bamillies, after succouring the BrunswicJi\ secured the 
Achille. The Alfred, assisted by the Culloden and Battler, cutter, 
took ofif great part of the crew of the gallant Vengeur ere the ship 
foundered. As she went down a few of her people cried, " Vive la 
Nation ! " and " Vive la Repuhlique ! " and some one is said to have 

236 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

waved a tricolour flag from her deck. Her brave captain, Eenaudin,' 
was happily saved. '^ The Montagu engaged the Neptune. The 
Royal George, after engaging the Sans Pared and Bepublicain, 
passed through the French line between those ships, subsequently 
rendering very valuable service. The Glory, sailing badly, was 
slow in getting into action, but at last cut the French line astern 
of the Sclpion, which she engaged from leeward, losing her own 
foretop-mast and mizen topgallant-mast, but entirely dismasting 
her opponent. Then, ranging ahead, she engaged the Sans Pareil, 
and, with the Royal George, attacked the Republicain, which was 
driven off greatly injured aloft. The Scipion and Sans Pareil, 
completely silenced, had dropped astern, but could not be taken 
possession of, the Royal George having lost her foremast, and 
main as well as mizen topmast, and having had her wheel 
rendered useless, and the Glory also being seriously disabled. 

Having, as has been seen, saved what he could from the wreck 
of his fleet, Villaret went off to the northward, and, by 6.15 P.M., 
was almost out of sight.' Not until 5 a.m. on June 3rd had Howe 

^ Renaudin, exchanged soon afterwards, was made a rear-admiral on November 16th, 
1794, and died on May 1st, 1809. 

" Jean Bon Saint- Andre, in his report, makes no mention of the affair of the 
Vengeur. Not until July 10th, 1794, was the exaggerated story, much of which is 
still accepted in France, put forward by Barere in the Convention. Barere then 
announced, not only that three British vessels had been sunk, but also that the Venyeur 
had gone down firing at the enemy and with all her colours flying, while her people, 
preferring death to captivity in the hands of tyrants, cheered for the Republic, for 
Liberty, and for France. All this implied, of course, that the Vengeur never struck. 
Barere further suggested, if he did not actually declare, that Eenaudin and the entire 
ship's company had shared the fate of the vessel. Thiers, by the way, also makes 
Renaudin to have perished. Upon the strength of Barere's declamations, the Con- 
vention decided that a small ivory model of the Vengeur should be suspended from the 
ceiling of the Salon de la Liberte. But when Renaudin reappeared, and when scores of 
other survivors of the gallant ship returned to France, the truth began to be realised 
by those in authority, and the project was not pursued. Not only Barere and Thiers, 
however, but also Lebrun and Lamartine, have allowed themselves to be carried away 
by the story of what never happened. The truth will be found in a proces-verbal, 
dated Tavistock, ler Messidor, an II., and signed by Renaudin and other officers, which 
was first printed by M. Jal. — (' Rev. Brit.' vol. xxiii. 4th ser.) 

' French authorities for the action of the 9th, 10th, and 13th Prairial : "Journal 
de J. B. Saint-Andre ' (untrustworthy at all points, yet suggestive) : " Precis des princ. 
Evenements,' by Admiral Kerguelen : procis-vtrhal signed by Renavuliu, etc. ; account 
by M. E. Dupaty, later of the Academic Franfaisc, who was in the Patriote ; orders of 
Villaret-Joyeuse (Arch, de la Marine) ; reports of various captains (Sect. Hist, de la 
Marine); Report of Villaret-Joyeuse (published by M. Chasseriau), etc. The chief 
published English authorities, in addition to the official ones, are : Barrow, ' Life of 
Howe'; 'Mems. of Collingwood ' ; 'Life of Codrington'; 'The Naval Chronicle,' 
passim ; ' A Narr. of the Procs. of H.M. Fleet,' etc. (4to, London, 1796) ; Marshall, 


sufficiently refitted his fleet to be able to make sail. He then 
steered north-east, and at 11 A.M. on the 13th anchored, without 
further adventure, at Spithead, with his six prizes and all his 
fleet, except nine vessels of the line, which he had scut into 

Rear-Admiral George Montagu had been ordered to cruise on 
the lookout for Vanstabel until May '20th, and then, if unsuccessful, 
to rejoin Howe. But in consequence of information which reached 
him, he took upon himself to cruise a little longer. In the interval, 
he recaptured some vessels of the Lisbon convoy, and from them 
he learnt that Villaret was at sea, looking, as he himself was, for 
Vanstabel. Montagu also learnt that Howe was no longer at the 
rendezvous off Ushant, but far to the westward. He, therefore, 
in comphance with the spirit of his orders, turned his head home- 
wards, and on May 30th anchored in Plymouth Soimd. The 
Admiralty, however, anxious to have the French-American convoy 
intercepted, at once ordered him to sea again, with a reinforcement, 
which brought his strength up to that set forth in the note.' He 
was directed to proceed off Ushant, and there await news from 
Howe, and, in the event of an action between the French and 
British fleets, to be ready to afford assistance in protecting damaged 
friends or in captmiug damaged foes ; but, above all things, to 
look out for the American convoy. 

The Audacious reached Plymouth on June 3rd, with intelligence 
of the partial action between the fleets ; but, no further orders 
reaching Montagu, he sailed on the -Ith, and on the 8th aiTived 
on his station. At 3.30 that afternoon he sighted and chased 
twelve sail in the E.S.E., there being a moderate breeze from the 
N.N.E. ; and, half-an-hour later, he discovered eight of the strangers 
to be French line-of-battle ships ; whereupon he formed a line of 
battle, and stood on to meet them. But, crowding sail, they stood 
into Bertheaume Bay, and Montagu at night tacked and stood off 

' Roy. Nav. Biog.' ; Steel, ' Navy List,' and ' Naval Chronologist ' ; Ealph, ' Nav. Chron.' ; 
Charnock, ' Biog. Nav.,' and Brenton's and James's histories. The logs of the ships 
engaged have also been consulted. 

' Hector, 7-t, Rear-Admiral George Montagu (B), Capt. Lawrence William Halsted ; 
Alexander, 7-t, Capt. Richard Rodney Bligh; Ganges, 74, Capt. William Truscott; 
Colosstis, 74, Capt. Charles Morice Pole ; Bellona, 74, Capt. George Wilson ; Theseus, 74, 
Capt. Robert Calder; Arror/anl, 74, Capt. Richard Lucas; Minotaur, li,C3\>t. Thomas 
Louis ; Muby, 64, Capt. Sir Richard Hussey Bickerton ; Pallas, 32, Capt. Hon. Henry 
Curzon, and Concorde, 36, Capt. Sir Richard John Strachan. 




under easy sail. This French squadron, under Eear-Adniiral Comic,' 
seems to have been sent from Cancale Bay to look out for A'illaret. 

On the 9th at 7 a.m., when the wind blew light from the north, 
Montagu sighted a fleet bearing west. It was soon made out to be 
a French fleet of nineteen ships of the line, three frigates, and two 
smaller vessels. As a matter of fact, it was the remains of Villaret's 
force retm-ning to port. Five of the French ships, being wholly or 


(From a drawing by Geo. Dance, after a portrait by W. Daniell, painttd in 17M, soon nfter 
Gardner hatl become a rice-Admiral.) 

partially dismasted, were in tow of others. Yet, even deducting 

these, Villaret had a great superiority. Moreover, inshore of 

Montagu was Comic's squadron of eight sail of the line. In these 

circumstances, the British Eear-Admiral deemed it ad\'isable to 

avoid an action, and stood away to the southward. Villaret chased ; 

but at 5 P.M., when his headmost ships were within four miles of 

' An inexperienced man who liad been lately raised to flag-rank, and who appears 
not to have been in the French Navy at all in 1791. 




the British rear, he hauled upon a wind to the eastward, on the 
larboard tack, fearing lest, with his crippled vessels, he should be 
drawn to leeward of his port. Montagu then for a short time 
sought in vain for Howe ; and, at 4 p.m. on the 10th, bore away 
for the Channel. On the I'ith he anchored in Cawsand Bay. 
Villaret, in company with Rear-Admiral Cornic, had anchored 
in Bertheaume Bay on the 11th; and on the I'Jtli, Kear-Admiral 
Vanstabel, with the long-expected American convoy, also arrived 
there. He had been previously joined by the Montagnard, and 
apparently, also, by the Mont Blanc. 

For their services in these engagements, Howe received a 
diamond-hilted sword and a gold chain, and was visited on board 

(From an original lent by H.S.B. Gii'tain Prince Louis of Battenberg, B.X.) 

the Queen Charlotte at Spithead by the King and the royal family ; 
Vice-Admiral Thomas Graves (2) was made Baron Graves in the 
Irish peerage ; Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Arthur Hood was made 
Viscount Bridport ; Kear-Admirals Bowyer, Gardner, Pasley, and 
Curtis were created Baronets ; and Bowyer and Pasley also received 
a pension of £1000 a year each, on account of their wounds. 
Certain Captains and Flag officers, who are indicated in the table 
on page 226, were given medals ; and the surviving first Lieutenants 
of every ship which had been in the line on June 1st, as well as 
he of the Audacious, were made Commanders. Several Lieutenants 
of the various flagships were also promoted. The officers, seamen, 
Marines, and soldiers who had been present received, of course, the 
thanks of both Houses. For INIr. James Bowen, who, both on 

240 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

May 29th and on June 1st, had specially distinguished himself, 
as Master of the Queen Charlotte, special provision was made. 
In the navigating line he could not obtain further promotion. He 
Avas therefore reduced from the rank of Master, and Vi^as appointed 
11 Lieutenant. He was rapidly promoted in his new career, being 
made a Commander in 1795 for his conduct in Lord Bridport's 
action, and a Post-Captain on September '2nd of the same year. 
He died a retired Rear- Admiral in 1835. 

Several British ships had notoriously behaved themselves some- 
what ill, both on May 29th and on June 1st. It would, therefore, 
have been but natural if courts-martial had followed ; but the 
Government, anxious not to do anything to detract from the effect 
of the victory, did not take the initiative. Thus, only one court- 
martial was held. This was applied for by Captain Molloy, of 
the Ctpsar. The court sat on board the Glory, at Portsmouth, 
from April 25th to May 15th, 1795 ; and, in the result, while 
admitting Captain MoUoy's personal courage, it decided that he 
had not done his best to pass through the enemy's line on 
May 29th, nor to take up his proper station on June 1st. He 
was therefore sentenced to be dismissed his ship, and he was 
never again employed. 

The Culloden, one of the other ships which had least distinguished 
themselves on June 1st, rendered herself further notorious towards 
the end of the year. She had been commanded, during the action, 
by Captain Isaac Schomberg, and that officer had been followed 
by Captain Eichard Bundle Burges, and he again by Captain 
Thomas Troubridge. When, on December 3rd, the vessel lay at 
Spithead, the greater part of her crew suddenly burst into a state 
of mutiny, and barricaded themselves below. News of what had 
occurred was sent to the Admiral commanding in the Channel, 
and to Captain Troubridge, who was on shore ; and the Marines 
were got under arms. On the morning of the 4th it was found 
that about two hundred and fifty of her people remained mutinous, 
and that the rest, including all the Marines but six, were well 
disposed. That afternoon. Admirals Lord Bridport, the Hon. 
William Cornwallis, and Colpoys went on board, and in vain 
endeavoured to persuade the men to return to their duty. Matters 
continued unsettled mitil the 11th, when Captain the Hon. Thomas 
Pakenham, going on board, succeeded in restoring discipline. The 
men were then mustered, and ten of the ringleaders seized and 


sent away for trial. They were court-martialled on December 
15th. Two were acquitted and eight sentenced to be hanged. On 
January 13th, five of the eight were executed on board the 
CuUoden. The other three were pardoned. 

On June 22nd, Kear-Admiral the Hon. William Comwallis, in 
the Excellent, 74, Captain John Whitby, with eleven other sail of 
the line, one 50-gun ship, and three frigates, sailed from Plymouth 
to escort an East India convoy clear of the Soundings, and to cruise 
in the Bay of Biscay. On September 7th, Lord Howe, in the 
Queen Charlotte, 100, with thirty-four sail of the hne, including 
five Portuguese under Admiral de Valle, and with a number of 
frigates, left Torbay to cruise on the coast of France. After 
having made an ineffectual attempt to look into Brest Road, he 
steered down the Channel to protect the British, Spanish, and 
Dutch outgoing and incoming convoys. Bad weather supervened ; 
and, on the 21st, Howe returned to Torbay. He again sailed in 
November ; but he had no opportunity of again meeting the French 

The main body of that fleet did not, in fact, put to sea until 
the last week of the j'ear ; but Eear-Admii-al Nielly, w^ith five 74"s, 
three frigates, and a corvette, sailed from Brest early in November, 
in order to endeavour to intercept the homeward-bound British 
convoy from Portugal. On November 6th, at 2.30 a.m., in 
lat. 48' 25' N. and long. 7' 53' W., he feU in with the British 74's 
Alexander, Captain Richard Rodney Bligh, and Canada, Captain 
Charles Powell Hamilton, which had been engaged in escorting 
merchantmen out of Soundings. The British ships stood to the 
north-west and were chased. At daybreak, in order to confuse 
the enemy, they separated somewhat, the Alexander continuing 
her course, and the Canada steering more to the north. Of the 
enemy, two ships of the line and two frigates followed the Canada, 
and three ships of the line and one frigate pvu-sued the Alexander. 
Between 8 and 9 a.m., both vessels had been gained upon sufli- 
ciently to allow of a running fight to begin. The British ships then 
endeavoured to rejoin for mutual support, but were prevented from 
doing so by the French admiral. At about 11 A.M. the Alexander 
was brought to close action bj' a vessel supposed to be the Jean 
Bart, which, in half-an-hour, was obliged to sheer off. The Ti(ire 
took her place ; but in another half hour she lost her maintop- 
mast, main yard, and mizen topmast. A third ship then took up 



MAJOIi OrERATIONS, 1793-1802. 


the contest, until, at a little after 1 p.m., the Alexander had lost 
her main yard, spanker boom, and all three topgallant yards. She 
had all her other masts and yards wounded ; her rigging and sails 
cut to pieces ; her hull badly damaged and set on fire ; and- her 
hold nearly full of water. As the other French vessels were 
rapidly coming up, she struck. The Canada got safely into port. 
The Alexander appears to have lost only forty killed and 

.\L1M1K.41. Sill lilCHARD RODNEY BLIGH, G.C.B. 
(F;v)»i a lillioriraiih hij RUUcii, after the portrait lii/ Opie.) 

wounded, and to have caused her opponent a loss, according to 
French accounts, of no fewer than four hundred and fifty men. 
She was carried into Brest. Her Captain, who, in the meantime, 
had be&n promoted to be Eear-Admiral, was very kindly treated by 
Captain Eenaudin, the late commander of the gallant Vengeur ; 
but there is ground for fearing that his people fared much less well. 
Bligh, after his exchange, was tried by court-martial on May 27th, 
1795, and was most honourably acquitted. 


After the evacuation of Toulon, Lord Hood, with the Mediter- 
ranean fleet, proceeded to Hyeres Bay, and thence, hearing that the 
repubhcans in Corsica were in difficulties owing to lack of provisions 
and stores, detached several cniisers to prevent supplies from being 
thrown into the island. It was while engaged upon this duty that 
a sudden and terrible fate overtook the Ardent, 64, Captain Robert 
Manners Sutton. She was stationed off Villa Franca to watch two 
French frigates and a convoy, and, it is supposed, caught fire and 
blew up ; but not a single soul survived to tell the tale. 

Hood, however, meditated more active measures than a mere 
blockade ; and, having opened communication with General Paoli, 
he got under sail on January 24th, and made for the Bay of San 
Fiorenzo. On the 25th the fleet was dispersed by a gale ; and on 
the 29th, not without difficulty, it made Porto Ferrajo, in Elba. 
From that place Hood detached the 74's, Alcidc, Commodore Robert 
Linzee, Captain John Woodley ; Egmont, Captain Archibald Dick- 
son, and Fortitude, Captain William Young (1) ; and the frigates 
Lowestoft, 32, Captain WiUiam Wolseley, and Juno, 32, Captain 
Samuel Hood (2), with transports, containing troops commanded by 
Major-General Dundas, to Mortella Bay, where they arrived on 
the 7th. The troops were landed that evening ; and on the 8th a 
combined attack by land and sea was made on Mortella Tower, the 
Fortitude and Juno battering it for two hom-s and a half. The 
attempt miscarried, and the ships had to draw off, the Fortitude 
having lost 6 killed and 5G wounded, and having been set on fire. 
The fire from the artillery on shore, however, obliged the tower to 
surrender, after its little garrison had made a really magnificent 
defence. The next post attacked was the Convention Redoubt, 
which mounted twenty-one hea^^' guns, and was considered the key 
of San Fiorenzo. The seamen from the squadron, by incredible 
exertions, dragged some 18-pounders into a commanding position 
which had been supposed to be inaccessible, and, after a bombard- 
ment on the 16th and 17th, the redoubt was successfulh- stormed. 
The French retired to San Fiorenzo, where, on the 19th, thej- burnt 
the Fortunie, one of the two frigates which they had with them, 
and allowed the other, the Minerve, 38, to sink from the effects of 
the damage, which she had sustained from the fire of the British. 
They then retreated to Bastia. San Fiorenzo was occupied the 
same evening; and, within a few days, the Minerve was weighed 
and carried off. There being already a Minerve in the service, the 

R 2 

244 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

prize was added to the Navy as the Sail Fiorenzo, 36. In this affair 
the British loss was small. General Paoli had heen at hand to 
co-operate in case his assistance should be required. 

Hood desired next to reduce Bastia ; but Major-General Dundas 
considered the scheme impracticable with so small a force. Hood, 
therefore, who had, in the meantime, moved with the body of the 
fleet to San Fiorenzo, left his anchorage on the •23rd and made a 
demonstration off Bastia, cruising there for a fortnight, and gathering 
intelligence. He returned to San Fiorenzo Bay on March 5th ; and, 
as Dundas still declined to act pending the arrival of 2000 troops 
from Gibraltar, the Commander-in-Chief merely embarked such 
soldiers as would supply the deficiency of Marines in his ships, 
together with a handful of artillerymen, and sailed on April 2nd, 
leaving, however, part of his fleet to watch Toulon. He anchored 
off Bastia on April 4th, and disembarked the troops, under the 
command of Lieut. -Colonel Vilettes, and some seamen, under the 
command of Captain Horatio Nelson, of the Agamemnon, at a spot 
a little to the north of the town. Exclusive of the Corsican patriots 
who co-operated, only 1248 officers and men were employed ; while 
the garrison numbered fully 3000. Hood moored his fleet in 
crescent formation round the harbour, just out of reach of the 
batteries, and entrusted the inshore blockade of the harhom^'s 
mouth to Captain Benjamin Hallowell, with a flotilla of gunboats 
and armed launches. The Imperieuse, Captain William Wolseley, 
was detached, as a precautionary measure, to watch the island of 
Capraja, where the republicans had a depot of stores. 

On April 11th, when several British batteries had been erected 
in the heights and were ready to be opened. Hood summoned the 
town. But the French governor. General Lacombe Saint-Michel, 
refused even to read the communication. The batteries were, 
therefore, opened on the enemy's works, and were promptly and 
hotly replied to. The Proselyte, a 12-pounder bomb, brought from 
Toulon, and under the orders of Commander Walter Serocold, was 
directed to act against one part of the defences, but, owing to a 
heavy swell, became for a time unmanageable under the guns of the 
batteries, and was set in flames by red-hot shot. Serocold, however, 
fought her gallantly, until he and his people were taken off by the 
boats of the squadron. The Prosehjte was ultimately burnt to the 
water's edge. 

The siege continued with varying fortunes. Among the naval 

17'J4.] NELSON AT CALVI. 245 

officers who assisted Nelson on shore were Captain Antony Hunt ('2), 
Commanders Joseph Bullen and Walter Serocold, and Lieutenants 
John (lOre, Henry Hotham, John Stiles, George Andrews, and Charles 
Brisbane. On May '21st, after a siege lasting for thirty-seven, and 
negotiations lasting for four, days, the town and citadel surrendered. 
The capture cost the British anny only 7 killed or mortally wounded, 
and 27 wounded or missing. The naval loss was Lieutenant Cary 
Tupper, of the Victory, and seamen killed, and 1 lieutenant and 
12 seamen wounded. As a result of this success, the island was 
induced by General Paoli to formally transfer its allegiance from 
France to Great Britain. The transfer was made to Sir Gilbert 
Elliot,' as viceroy, on June I'Jth ; and the members of the Assembly 
took the oath of allegiance to King George. 

Ere that time, the expected reinforcements of troops from 
Gibraltar had arrived ; and preparations had been made to attack 
Calvi, which was still held by the republicans. Hood had gone 
away to watch Toulon, leaving Nelson as senior naval officer; and 
the latter transported troops to Port Agra, three miles from Calvi, 
and there landed them on June 19th. Hood sent a detachment of 
the Victory's seamen, with guns, etc., under the orders of Captain 
Hallowell and Commander Serocold, to assist ; and on the 27th he 
himself arrived before the beleaguered town, and landed some guns. 
The siege lasted for .51 days, but, at length, on August 10th, the place 
capitulated. The British loss on the part of the army was 23 killed 
and 53 wounded, and on the part of the Navy, Commander Walter 
Serocold, 1 Midshipman, and 5 seamen killed, and (> seamen 
wounded. Nelson was not reported as having been wounded ; but, 
nevertheless, he was badly hurt b}' some particles of sand or gravel 
which had been driven up by a round shot ; and eventually he lost 
the sight of one eye, though the injury does not appear to have kept 
him from duty even for a day. With Calvi were captured the 
French frigates Mignonnc, 28, and Melpomene, 40. The former, 
being in bad condition, was never commissioned by her new owners ; 
but the latter was added to the Navy as a 38-gun frigate. 

Lord Hood's anxious watch on Toulon had been instigated by 
the knowledge that the French there were rapidly refitting such 
ships as had been left to them after the evacuation. The French, 

' Sir Gilbert Elliot was the 4tli Bart, of the creation of 1700. Born in 17.J1, he 
was created Baron Slinto, of Minto, in 1797, ami, having served as Governor-General 
of Bengal, was made Viscount Melgund and Earl of Minto in 1813. He died in 1814. 

246 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [179-'. 

indeed, had actually put to sea on June 5th, with seven sail of the 
line and four or five frigates under Rear-Admiral Pierre Martin ; 
and Hood had at once proceeded in search of them, with a fleet 
which, although it numbered thirteen sail of the line and four 
frigates only, had in it, owing to recent promotions, no fewer than 
eight flag-officers. Hood sighted the enemj- on the 10th, and 
chased ; and on the 11th he di'ove the French into Gourjean Baj', 
the only British ship fortunate enough to get within gunshot being 
the Dido, '28, Captain George Henry Towry. The Commander-in- 
Chief intended to follow the French, and to destroy them at their 
anchors ; but he was prevented by unfavourable weather from 
making the attempt. A scheme for attacking the enemy with fire- 
ships had also to be abandoned ; and Hood, with part of the fleet, 
proceeded, as has been seen, to Calvi, leaving Vice- Admiral Hotham, 
with eight ships of the line and four frigates, to watch Eear-Admiral 
Martin, who, however, during a spell of bad weather, managed to 
get out and re-enter Toulon. 

At the beginning of November Hood went home in the Victory, 
leaving the command to Vice-Admiral William Hotham (1), who 
had his flag in the Britannia, Captain John Holloway. A few days 
later, on the 11th, a most serious mutiny showed itself in the Windsor 
Castle, 98, Eear-Admiral Eobert Linzee, Captain Wilham Shield. 
The crew expressed a disUke for the Rear-Admiral, Captain, first 
Lieutenant and Boatswain, and demanded that all should be changed. 
Vice-Admiral Hotham and Eear-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker ('2) tried 
to settle the difliculty, and Shield asked for a court-martial, which 
honourably acquitted him. Nevertheless, Hotham, who seems to 
have behaved with regrettable weakness in this matter, sent to the 
Windsor Castle a new Captain, John Gore, and a new first Lieu- 
tenant and Boatswain, and even went the length of pardoning the 
mutineers. This incident thi'ows some light on the condition of 
the Mediterranean fleet, save so far as particular ships were con- 
cerned, up to the time when the command passed into the firmer 
hands of Sir John Jervis. 

Nothing of great importance happened during the year on the 
North American station, but in the West Indies events were manj' 
and rapid. Vice-Admiral Sir John Jervis, K.B., arrived at Barbados 
in the Boijne, 98, at the end of January, 1794, to take command. 
He was accompanied by Lieut. -General Sir Charles Grey, K.B., 
who was to command the troops to be employed against the French 




colonies. On February 2nd, an expedition composed of the ships 
mentioned in the note,' with about 6100 troops on board, sailed 
from Bridgetown, and on the 5th arrived off Martinique, of which 
island General Rochanibeau was governor, and in which there 
were about 600 soldiers, including militia. But, although the island 
was ill-manned, its forts were well-ai-med, mounting as they did 
about ninety guns. The only French ships of war there were the 
Bienvenue, 32, at Fort Koyal, and an 18-gun corvette at St. Pierre. 
The troops were disembarked at three several points, and, by 
March 16th, all the island except Fort Eoyal and Fort Bourbon, was 
in the possession of the British, who, however, by that time had 
lost 71 killed and 196 wounded or missing. The seamen co-operated 
with the troops on shoi'e, and were most useful in dragging up guns 
and mortars. A division of 200 of them, under Lieutenants Thomas 
Eogers and William Gordon Rutherford, also greatly distinguished 
themselves in actual fight ; and another, of 300 seamen with a few 
Marines, under Captains Ehab Harvey, William Hancock Kelly and 
Lord Garlies, materially aided in the reduction of Fort Bom-bon. 
Lieutenant Richard Bowen of the Boijne, under the fire of Fort 
Louis and in broad daylight, boarded and attacked the Bienvenue 
on March 17th, but subsequently had to abandon her, as men could 
not be sent aloft to bend the sails on her vards. The success of 

1 Ships. 



iVlce-Aduiiral is\i John 

Soyne .... 


' Jervis, K.B. 
'Capt. (jeorge Grey. 
Commodore Charles 

Vengeance . . . 


Capl. Lord Henry 

JrresittMe . . . 


„ John Henry. 



„ John Hr<>wn. 

Veteran .... 


r ,, Charles Edmund 
I Nugent. 

„ John Salisbury. 1 

Beaulieu . . . 


Hanta Margaritta. 


rt E.lttb Harvey. 



Solebay . . . 

Queb^ . . . 
Ceres. , . . 
Winchelsea . , 
Jtose .... 

Rattlesnake, . 

Zebra . . . 
Avenger . . . 
Vfsuviuit bomb 
Dromedary, st-s. 
Woolwick, Bt.8. 



John Markham. 

f ,. Wlltiam H.ncock 
I Kelly 

,. Josias Rcpers. 

„ Kiclmrd Inch-duii. 

,, Viscount Carllos. 

„ Edward ICiou.2 
Com. James Carpenter. 

f ,, Matthew Heiiry 
L .-■cott. 

,, Robert Faulknor.* 

,, James Milne (1).* 

,, Charles .*<a%vyer. 

„ Sandford Tatham. 

„ John Parker. 

Thf /ot lowing also shared in the operations at 
Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, etc. 

Assurance . . 

Experim*nt, st.s. 
lifiebuck . 
Vlyise<, St.*. 
Tcf psichore . . 

Itlanihe . . . 


i'ndaunted . . 
Itulldog . . . 

Seajloxier, cut. . 

TickUr, g.b. 

I'ernon, g.b. 

Teaser, g.b. . . 
Vexer, g.b. . 

Spile/ul, g.b. . 

Tormenlor, g.b. 

I Capl. Wltets Cornwall 
\ Berkeley, 
("om Simon Miller. 
1 Capt. AlexanderChrislie. 
, Com. Itichard Muriee. 
Capt Sanip!H)ii Edwards. 
f „ Chri^UtI>her Par- 
l k.T [_'i\i 

(Com. Hon. Charles 
I Herbert (i;. act. 
Capt. Kobert l-aulknor.< 
Ci'Ui. Wyndham Itrycr. 

., t^iwurd Browne. 
(Lieut. Wmi..m Plerrc- 
[ point. 

„ Henry Wray. 
f „ Thomas Henry 
[ Wilson. 

,. J Hope. 

„ K Smith. 

( ,, John Hlndes 

i Sparkes. 

„ William Wells (2) 

' Succeeded by Capt. Edward Kiovi. 

- „ », Matthew Heno' Scott. 

3 „ Com. Richard Bowen. 

< Succeeded by Com. Henry William Riyiituii. 
i ,, Capt. Robert Faulknor. 

« „ „ James Cariteoter. 

248 MAJOR OrEBATIONS, 1793-1802. [1794. 

this daring ventui-e of Bowen's led to an attack on the town of Fort 
Eoyal and its chief work, Fort Louis, under cover of the Asia, 64, 
and Zebra, sloop, the hoats of the fleet being led in by Captains 
Nugent of the Veteran, and Riou, of the Rose, under the direction 
of Commodore Charles Thompson. On the '20th this attack was 
made, though the Asia was unfortunately unable to get into her 
assigned position. Commander Robert Faulknor, however, more 
than made up for the Asia's inability to co-operate ; and running 
the Zebra close under the walls of Fort Louis, he jmnped over- 
board with his ship's company and stormed and carried the work, 
greatlj' facilitating the success of the day's operations. The boats, 
meanwhile, attacked and took Fort Royal, the result being that, on 
the 22nd, General Rochambeau at Fort Bourbon surrendered, and 
the island passed into British hands. The British naval loss 
between the 16th and the 22nd was Commander James Milne (1), of 
the Avenger, and 13 seamen killed, and Commander Sandford 
Tatham, of the Dromedary, Lieutenants Thomas Henry Wilson 
and Thomas Clarke, and 25 others wounded. The Bienvenue was 
added to the Navy as a 28-gun frigate, under the name Undaunted, 
and the gallant Robert Faulknor was posted to the command of 
her. Lieutenant Richard Bowen being made, in his stead. Com- 
mander into the Zebra. 

A garrison and a small squadron, under Commodore Charles 
Thompson, were left at Martinique ; and on March 31st troops 
were embarked at Fort Royal for an attack on St. Lucia. The 
fleet arrived there on April 1st, and, in the course of the evening, 
the troops were landed at three different places. On the 4th, 
General Ricard surrendered. On the 5th, the greater part of the 
troops returned to Martinique ; and on the 8th, Jervis sailed thence 
to attack Guadeloupe. On the 10th, he anchored in Gosier Bay in 
that island ; but all his transports did not arrive till the 12th. On 
the 11th, however, some troops were landed under cover of the 
Winchelsea, 82, which silenced the enemy's batteries. Her captain. 
Lord Garlics, was the only person wounded on that occasion. On 
the 12th, Fleur d'Epee was taken by Major-General Dundas and 
Captain Robert Faulknor, and soon afterwards Fort St. Louis, 
Point a Pitre and a battery on Islot a Cochon were abandoned, thus 
handing over Grande Terre to the British. The conquest cost the 
Navy only 13 wounded. In the meantime a detached squadron, 
consisting of the Quebec, 32, Captain Josias Rogers, Ceres, 32, 




Captain Eichard Incledon, Bose, 28, Captain Matthew Henry Scott, 
and a sloop, had carried the works on the Saintes, on the 10th, 
without loss. Leaving small garrisons at Fleur d'Epee, Point a Pitre 
and other places, the rest of the troops quitted Grande Terre in trans- 
ports on the 14th, and went round to Petit Bourg, on Basse Terre, 
where the}' landed without opposition. On the 20th, after some 
batteries had been carried, General Collot snrrendcrred th(> entire 

iFrom (I lithiifjrafth hi/ Jiidlvy, after the jnfrtrait hij It. Coswaij. It. A.) 

island but its dependencies. Major-General Dundas was placed 
in command, and the Yice-Admiral, with Sir Charles Grey, left the 

But the British occupation of Guadeloupe was not for long 
accepted by the French. On June 4th, a squadron of nine vessels 
bearing the French flag appeared off Cape Fran9ois, and, in the 
afternoon, anchored in Gosier Bay, there disembarking troops 
under Victor Hugues. The Royalist inhabitants behaved badly, 
and deserted the British; and Lieut. -Colonel Druimuond, com- 

250 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [179-1. 

manding in Basse Terre, had to retreat in boats to Grande Terre. 
The situation was reported, early on the 5th, to the Vice-Admiral, 
who was at St. Christopher ; and he at once despatched reinforce- 
ments, following on the same day, with Sir Charles Grey, in the 
Boyne, with the Veteran in company, having sent the Winchchea to 
Antigua, and the Nautilus to Martinique, for troops. 

On June 7th, the Vice-Admiral and General arrived off Guade- 
loupe, and were there joined by Commodore Charles Thompson in 
the Vanguard, 74, Captain Charles Sawyer, with the Vengeance, 74. 
Sir Charles landed on Basse Terre, and Sir John Jervis, with the 
Boy lie, Vanguard, Vengeance and Veteran, proceeded off Point a 
Pitre. A landing on Grande Terre was eilected on June 19th, 
under cover of the Solebay and Wiiichelsca, at Anse a Canot 
without loss, two battalions of seamen co-operating under Captain 
Lewis Eobertson, of the Veteran, and Captain Sawyer. Several 
skirmishes occurred, but without definite result ; and, after a failure 
at Point a Pitre, the British forces were re-embarked on July 3rd. 
The Navy lost in the operations Captain Eobertson, of the Veteran, 
and 6 men killed, and Lieutenant Isaac Wolley, Lieutenant of 
Marines John Mercer, and '27 men womided, besides 16 men miss- 
ing. The French remained at Grande Terre till September 27th, 
when, having received reinforcements from France, they landed at 
Goyanne and Lamentin in Basse Terre, whence they attacked the 
British camp at Berville. The British defended their position until 
October 6th, when they surrendered to Victor Hugues. The only 
post then remaining to them on the island was Fort Mathilde, the 
garrison of which, after a two months' siege, was cleverly taken off 
on the night of December 10th, by Captain Richard Bowen, of the 
Terpsichore. Bowen had the misfortune to be badly wounded while 
leaving the shore in the last of the boats. Vice-Admiral Sir John 
Jervis, who had gone home in November, had by that time been 
relieved by Vice-Admiral Benjamin Caldwell. 

It has been seen that at the end of 1793, Commodore Ford was 
in possession of Jeremie, and other places in the French part of 
San Domingo. Meanwhile the Spaniards had taken possession of 
many posts on their side. On January 2nd, 1794, Ford detached 
the Penelope, 32, Captain Bartholomew Samuel Eowley offering 
terms of capitulation to Port au Prince. These were refused ; 
and, in consequence, the Commodore blockaded the harbour. On 
February 3rd, Cape Tiburon was taken, after slight resistance ; and 


on the 11th Aoul was carried. On May Blst, the Europa, 50, Com- 
modore Ford, Captain George Gregory ; Irresistible, 74, Captain John 
Heniy ; Bdliqtieux 64, Captain James Brine ; Sceptre, 64, Captain 
James Eichard Dacres (1), and three frigates and three sloops, with 
1465 effective troops on board imder Brigadier-General White, arrived 
in the Bay of Port au Prince from Cape Nicolas Mole. On June 1st, 
the Belliqueux, Sceptre and Penelope opened fire on Fort Brissoton, 
the Europa and Irresistible, under sail, lending occasional assistance ; 
and, in the course of the day, troops were disembarked under the 
direction of Commander Thomas Affleck, of the Fly, sloop. The 
operations were interrupted at 6 p.m. by a most tremendous storm ; 
but, in the consequent confusion and obscurity, the fort was rushed 
and carried. On the 3rd, the Hermione, 32, Captain John Hills, 
and the Iphigenia, 32, Captain Patrick Sinclair, bombarded a work 
at Bemadou to make a diversion during the advance of the troops ; 
and, on the 4th, Port au Prince was taken possession of. There 
was little loss, the Hermione having 5 killed and 6 wounded, and the 
Belliqueux 10 wounded. 

Tiliuron, after its capture, was garrisoned by a small force under 
Lieutenant George Bradford of the ^Srd Foot. Its main defences 
were a battery of three inefficient 18-pounders, and an armed 
transport, the King George. On December 25th, at dawn, a body 
of French from Aux Cayes made a descent, and sank the King 
George after she had made a plucky fight. They then drove out the 
garrison, who retired to Cape Donna Maria. 

On the coast of Africa the French won a small and not par- 
ticularly creditable success. On September 28th, a small squad- 
ron, under Captain Z. J. T. AUemande, approached Sierra Leone 
under British colours, and, suddenly changing them for French, 
began a bombardment of the town, which was entirely improtected, 
and which quickly hauled down the British flag. In spite of this, 
firing was continued for nearly two hours ; after which the French 
landed and began to plunder. The French commander studioush' 
protected the mulattoes and half castes, but burnt the church, ware- 
houses and residences of all British inhabitants. He later captured 
Banca ; the garrison of which escaped. The French remained at 
Sierra Leone until October 23rd, and then, being very sickly, with- 
drew, destroying the Guineamen and other craft along the coast, and 
then returning home. They claim to have burnt or sunk during 
this raid 210 sail of British, Spanish and Portuguese vessels. 

•25"2 MAJOR OPEBATIOXS, 1793-1802. [1795. 

In spite of the numerous French losses, there were still in Brest, 
at the end of 1794, thirty-five sail of the line more or less ready for 
sea, besides five others that were being built or repaired.' But 
there was a great scarcity of stores, and there was immense difficulty 
in feeding the seventy-two thousand people in the town, who were 
more or less dependent on the government. It was, therefore, 
considered to be desirable to send some of these elsewhere, in order 
to relieve the pressiire ; and, at the same time, it was thought ex- 
pedient to strengthen the French fleet at Toulon. In pursuance of 
these designs, six sail of the line, under Kear-Admiral Eenaudin, 
who had been captain of the Vengeur, were filled up with six 
months' provisions, and sent out of Brest under convoy of the 
remainder of the Brest fleet, which was instructed to see them 
beyond the usual cruising-grounds of the British Channel fleet. 
This last had been joined by a weak Portuguese contingent. Owing 
to the scarcity at Brest, that part of the force which was merely to 
go out and return had but a fortnight's stores on board, and was, 
upon the whole, hardly fit to put to sea. The fleet, under the 
command of Vice-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, and consisting of thirty- 
five sail of the line, thirteen frigates, and sixteen small craft, sailed 
in the last week of December during a gale of wind, but, in going 
out, lost the Bepuhlicain, 110, and sustained so much other damage 
that it had to put back, and was not able to make an offing until 
December 31st. 

Vague news of this reached England on January '2nd, 179.5 ; and 
the British frigates Flora, Captain Sir John Borlase Warren, 
Arethusa, Captain Sir Edward Pellew, and Diamond, Captain Sir 
"SVilliam Sidney Smith, were on that day despatched from Falmouth 
for Brest to ascertain what had really occurred. On the 3rd, being 
ofl' the French port, Warren ordered the Diamond to look into the 
harbour, and, with an east wind, that ship began to beat up towards 
the entrance. At 2 p.m., Smith observed that three men-of-war, 
evidently French, were also working in. At .5 p.m. he anchored, so 
as to take advantage of the next flood tide, but he discovered that he 
was barely two miles from a ship of the line, apparently one of those 
vessels which he had seen beating to windward. At 11 p.m. the 
Diamond again began to work in, and, when the ebb tide made, 

' In addition, tlierc were building at Lorient one 80 and two 74's, and at Kochefort, 
one 110, one 80, and one 74. These, with all the ships at Brest, brought up the total 
of ships of the line in the French Atlantic jiorts to t'orty-six. 


tacked between Bertheaiuue and Camaret Koads, so as to create 
as little suspicion as possible. She had previously passed close to a 
French frigate at anchor in Basse Buzee. At dawn on the 4th, 
Smith saw two vessels coming out, and fifteen small craft at anchor 
in Camaret Koad, but he discovered nothing in Brest itself, and 
therefore bore up towards St. Mathieu. A little later, signals were 
made to him from the shore at Bertheaume, and, in consequence. 

(From II litUtiiiriiph bi/ Bidleij, lifter the portrait by Opie.) 

the Diamond hoisted the French national colours. She stood on, 
and passed within hail of the hne-of-battle ship, which was anchored 
off St. Mathieu, and which had jury yards and topmasts, and 
appeared to be very leaky. Sir Sidney was bold enough to ask the 
French captain if he needed help, and received a reply in the 
negative, and the information that the ship was the Nestor, 74, 
which, having suffered in a gale of wind, had left the Brest fleet 
three days earlier. Upon this the Diamond crowded sail, and 

2.54 MAJOR OPERATIOXS, 1793-1802. [1795. 

rejoined her consorts, and, although the French frigate Virginie, 40, 
and the Fougueux, 74, which had lately been launched at Kochefort, 
and which had been escorted up the coast by the frigate, were quite 
close at hand, she safely rejoined WaiTcn. 

This exploit deserves attention because it indicates very pointedly 
the immense value to naval officers of a first-rate colloquial know- 
ledge of a foreign language. Smith happened to speak French with 
admirable facilitj^ and purity. No one who did less could have 
accomplished what he effected. Seeing how exceedingly rare a 
thing it is to-day to encounter a British naval officer who can 
speak any language but his own, without at once betraying 
his lack of familiarity with it, it is unhappily doubtful whether, 
even if she were disguised as carefully as the Diamond was, and 
if she knew the private signals, a British cruiser could now, in 
war time, repeat the Diamond's audacious and successful recon- 

The gale, which had sent the Nestor back to port, damaged 
several other ships of the Brest fleet, and so much delayed the rest 
that the vessels destined for Toulon had to share their six months' 
stores among their consorts, and to surrender all idea of prosecuting 
the voyage at that time. A little later, during a fog, a division of 
eight sail of the line and some frigates pai'ted company, and returned 
to port, but the other divisions still cruised together, chiefly perhaps 
for exercise, until January 28th, when they encountered a very 
violent storm, in which the Neuf Thermidor (ex Jacobin), 80, the 
Scipion, 80, and the Superbe, 74, foundered, with considerable loss 
of hfe, and the Neptune, 74, was wrecked on the rocks of Peros. 
The Temeraire made St. Malo ; the Convention made Lorient, and 
the other part of the fleet, very crippled, made Brest on February 2nd. 
During its absence from port it had captured or destroyed about one 
hundred sail of merchantmen, besides the Daphne, 20, Captain 
^Yilliam Edward Cracraft. 

In the meantime, Howe, with the Channel fleet, had been 
lying at anchor, waiting for definite news of the French. On 
February 14th he sailed from Torbay, and, on the 1.5th, was joined 

' In 1892, when the author was a passenger in H.M.S. Korthampton, the Brazilian 
training ship, Almirante Barroso, entered Queenstown Harbour, where the cruiser laj' 
at anchor. Upon the Brazilian captain putting oif in his boat to visit his British 
colleague, inquiry was made for an interpreter ; but no one among the officers of tlie 
British ship was foimd wlio could speak even Frencli — much less Portuguese. The 
author, tlierefore, bad to act as interpreter to the two captains. 


off Plymouth b}' a British 74, and five Portuguese ships,' which 
brought up his strength to forty-two sail of the hne, and about an 
equal number of frigates and small craft. He saw some foreign- 
bound convoys safely out of the Channel, and then, learning that 
the French were again in Brest, proceeded to Spithead. 

As soon as Yillaret had returned to port, every effort was made 
to again complete for sea the six French sail of the line intended for 
Toulon. By great exertions, this was done in time to enable Eear- 
Adniiral Eeuaudin to sail on February 22nd. He reached his 
destination without serious misadventure on April 4th, with the 
Formidable, 80, Jupiter, 74, Mont Blanc, 74, Jemmapes, 74, Revolu- 
tion, 74, Tyrannicide, 74, three frigates, and two or three small 
craft. This opportune reinforcement made the French fleet in the 
Mediterranean supei'ior to the British. 

SuppUes were still short at Brest, and there was continued 
difficulty in refitting the ships there. Yet, early in May, it was 
found possible to send out Bear- Admiral Jean Gaspar Vence, with 
three seventy-fours, and six or seven frigates, to bring in a convoy of 
coasters, which had been collected at Bordeaux, in order to proceed 
up the coast. 

It does not appear whether the sailing of this force was known 
in England ; but, on May 30th, 1795, Vice-Admiral the Hon. William 
Cornwallis, with a squadron which is described in the note,^ was 

' Vasco da Oama, Maria Primeira, L'ainha de Portugal, Conde de Henrique anil 
I'linrissa de Beira, all 74'p. 

- Ships. Guus. Coiiimautiers. 

Boyal Sovereign . ... 100 {SSiStSlt.''""^™ '°™"^"'- 

Mars I 74 I „ Sir Charles Cotton, Bt. 

Triumph | 74 I „ Sir Erasmus Gower, Kt. 

Brunswick 74 „ Lord Charles Fitzgerald. 

Bellerophon 74 „ Jame-i, Lord Cranstoiin. 

Phaeton I 38 I „ Hon. Kobert Stopford. 

Pallas ! 32 I „ Hon. Henry Curzon. 

Kiiijlfisher' IJ^ Com. Thomas Le Marchant Gosseliii. 

1 Detached on Jime lltb, with prizes. 

The united French squadrons, after the junction of MM. Villaret-Joyeuse and 
Vence on June 15th, were composed as follows : — Peuple, 120 ; Aleocandre, 74 ; Droits 
de V Homme, 74 ; Formidable, 74 ; Fougueux, 74 ; Jean Bart, 74 ; Mucins, 74 ; 
Nestor, 74; Bedoutable, 74; Tigre, 74; Wattignies, 74; Zile, 74; Brave Cras^), 50; 
Scevola (rase), 50; Virginic, 40; Proserpine, 40; Insurgenie, 36; Dryade, 36; 
Fraternite, 40; Fi'lele, 36; Cocarde, 30; Begeneree, 40; with another frigate, three 
armed ships, two brigs and two cutters. 

256 MAJOn OPJi/iATinxS, 17!)3-1802. [1795. 

detached from the fleet at Spithead to cruise off Ushant. On 
June Sth, being off Point Penmarck, Cornwalhs sighted a number 
of sail E. by N. These ships were Vence's squadron returning with 
its convoy, which was a very large one. As soon as Vence had 
assured himself that the vessels in sight, and now in chase of him, 
were British, he stood for Belle Isle under a press of sail. The 
British sailed very unequally, and when, at 2 p.m., the Kingfisher, 
Phaeton and Triumph began to fire on the rear of the enemy, one 
at least of their consorts was hull down. As the leading French 
ships were already well under the island, Cornwallis signalled his 
vessels to close. At 4 p.m. he chased two French frigates, one with 
a ship in tow, in the S.W., and took the ship, which was cast off 
and abandoned as he approached. A little later, the leading British 
vessels exchanged shots with the batteries of Belle Isle. In the 
meantime, a few other vessels of the French convoy had been taken, 
and, having recalled his chasing ships, the Vice-Admiral stood off, 
leaving the enemy plying to windward for the anchorage in Palais 
Road. On the 11th, Cornwallis sent the Kingfisher into port with 
the prizes, and stood back to the S.E. to watch M. Vence. 

By that time, news of what had occurred had reached Brest, and, 
as it was supposed by some French officers, and by the deputies there, 
that Vence was blockaded, all the available ships were ordered to 
proceed to his rescue, although, in fact, he could have reached 
Lorient in perfect safety without any assistance. On June 12th, 
therefore, Vice-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, in the Peuple (ex Mon- 
tagne), 120, with Eear-Admirals Y. J. Kerguelen and Eustache 
Bruix, got under way, with nine sail of the line, two fifty-gun rases, 
seven frigates, and four corvettes, and on the 15th, off Isle Groix, 
fell in with M. Vence, who was then on his way to Brest. The 
combined French fleet was then as given in the note above. On the 
16th, at 10.30 A.M., while working off the land near Penmarck, with 
the wind W.N.W., the French sighted Cornwallis direct to wind- 
ward, making for Belle Isle. 

The Phaeton, after signalling that the enemy was of superior 
force, did not haul her wind, but stood on. Cornwallis, who pro- 
bably had in his mind that he was in the presence merely of Vence 
and his convoy, did the same, and thus drew much nearer than he 
would have approached had he known how strong, as well as how 
numerous, were the French. But at 11 a.m., being obviously too 
weak to offer battle, be hauled to the wind on the starboard tack. 


under all sail, and foniied a line ahead, the order being : Brunswick, 
liojial Sovereign, Bellerophon, Triumph, Mars. At 2 p.m., the 
French, then on the same tack as the British, separated into two 
divisions, one tacking and standing to the north, and the other 
continuing its course to the south. A little later the wind shifted to 
the north, and thus enabled the northern division to weather, and 
the southern division to lie well up for, the British squadron. At 
that time one French division bore, E. by N. from the Bellerophon, 
about eight miles, and the other, S.E., about ten miles, the one 
being on her starboard, and the other on her port (juarter. In the 
night, however, during which the Bellerophon and the Brunswick 
had to cut away their anchors, and to throw overboard a quantity of 
gear and provisions in order to improve their sailing, the French 
formed in three divisions, and, at daylight on the 17th, were seen 
coming up fast, the weather division consisting of three sail of the 
line and five frigates ; the centre division of five sail of the line and 
four frigates, and the lee division of four sail of the line and five 
frigates, two brigs, and two cutters ; and the weather division being 
already abreast of the British rear. 

At about 9 A.M., the French van ship, a seventy -four, opened on 
the Mars, and the frigate Virginie, 40, ran up on the lee quarter of 
the Mars, and repeatedly yawed to fire at her, the British ship, of 
course, replying. At 9.30 a.m., as the Bellerophon, of all the ships 
of the squadron, could least afford to lose a spar or a sail, Cornwallis 
ordered her ahead. She passed to leeward of the Royal Sovereign, 
which shortened sail for her, and the order of the line then stood : 
Brunswick, Bellerophon, lioijal Sovereign, Triumph, Mars. Just 
before noon, all the British ships were engaged, each firing her stern 
and quarter guns as they could be brought to bear. At 1 p.m., the 
second ship of the French van took up the action, and at 1.30, the 
leading ship, having lost her main topgallant mast, sheered off, and 
dropped astern. For the following three or foiir hours the French 
van harassed the British rear, and, at length, the Mars, considerably 
damaged aloft, began to fall to leeward. Observing this, Cornwallis 
signalled her to alter course to starboard, or away from the French 
lee division, which was most troublesome to her ; and then, in the 
Royal Sovereign, the Vice-Admiral himself bore round towards her, 
followed by the Triumph, and delivered raking broadsides into the 
bows of those French ships which were closest up with the chase. 
This manoeuvre saved the Mars, and presently enabled ComwaUis to 

VOL. IV. s 




form anew a close order of battle. Four French van ships, which 
had bore up, hoping to secure the Mars, considered it wise to haul 
to the wind, and, although distant and desultory firing continued for 
a time, it entirelj' ceased at 6.10 p.m. Half-an-hour later the French 
shortened sail, and relinquished the pursuit.' 

In the coiu'se of this admirably managed and celebrated I'etreat 
of Cornwallis, the Mars and Triumph were the only British ships 

.\DMIR.\I, SIU CHAIiLliS COT! OX, llAltT. 
(From im eiitjravirig by I\ujr, ii/ltr a fttiiiili/ miiiialtor.) 

that suffered from the enemy's fire. The Mars had her mainmast 
and her fore and main topsail yards damaged, and much standing 
and running rigging destroyed ; but she had only twelve people 
wounded. The Triumph also was somewhat injm-ed aloft ; but she 
had no one hurt. All five ships, however, sacrificed their stern 
frames and galleries more or less in order to keep up the heaviest 
possible stern fire ; and the Triumph cut away a large part of her 
stern, except the timbers, so as to improvise the necessary ports. 

' ' Precis des Ev&einents,' by Kerguclen. 


The failure to capture Cornwallis's little squadron is explained in 
French accounts by the statement that some of the French leading 
ships disobeyed signals and were badly handled, and that Bridport's 
fleet was sighted at the critical moment. The truth is that Brid- 
port's force was never sighted at all. James points out that it is 
probable that the real cause of the failure was the moral effect 
produced by a ruse which was practised by the Phaeton on the 
morning of the 17th. Detached some miles ahead of her squadron, 
she made the signals for a fleet in the W.N.AV., and, later, began 
pretended communications with this imaginary force to windward, 
indicating at the same time to Cornwallis that the supposed ships 
were of the line. This comedy was pursued until 6 p.m., when, by 
a strange chance, several small sail appeared in the quarter towards 
which all French eyes were by that time directed. The Phaeton 
then wore to rejoin her friends. That w^as enough. A short time 
afterwards Villaret tacked to the eastward. Thus, thanks to ex- 
cellent discipline and faultless behaviour, combined with sound 
tactics, did five ships of the line make a triumphant escape from 
twelve, and from more than as many frigates.' CornwaUis in his 
modest dispatch said : — 

"I shall ever feel the impiession which the guixl cduilnct of the Captains, officers, 
seamen, ilarines, and soldiers in the squadron has made on ray mind ; and it was the 
greatest pleasure I ever received to see the spirit manifested hy the men, who, instead 
of being cast down at seeing thirty sail of the enemj^'s ships attacking our little 
squadron, were in the highest spirits imaginable. I do not mean the Royal 
Sovei'eiijn alone : the same spirit was shown in all the ships as they came near me ; 
and although, circumstanced as we were, we had no great reason to complain of the 
conduct of the enemy, yet our men could not help repeatedl}' expressing their contempt 
of them. Could common prudence have allowed me to let loose their valour, I hardly 
know what might not have been accomplished by such men." 

It is characteristic of Cornwallis that his only allusion to the 
most gallant episode in the whole affair is the following : — 

" In the evening they made show of a more serious attack upon the Mars, and 
obliged me to bear up for her support." 

' Cornwallis's thanks to his squadron were thus handsomely conveyed : " Royal 
Sovereign, June 18th, 1795. Vice-Admiral Cornwallis returns his sincere thanks to the 
Captains, officers, seamen, and Marines of the fleet under his orders, for their steady 
and gallant conduct in the presence of the French fleet yesterday ; which firmness, he 
has no doubt, deterred the enemy from making a more serious attack. It would give 
the Yice-Admiral pleasure to put the whole of their exertions in effect by meeting a 
more equal force, when the country would receive advantage, as it now does honour, 
from the spirit so truly manifested by its brave men." 

s 2 


MAJOR OPEIiATIONlS, 1793-1802. 


The thanks of both Houses were unanimously given to the 
participators in this action. 

Coi-nwalhs proceeded to Plymouth with his intelligence, and 
Villaret made for Brest ; but, before he reached it, a gale from the 
north, lasting for twenty-seven hours, dispersed his fleet and drove 
him to take shelter iinder Belle Isle. There he collected his vessels, 
and, weighing, made sail ; but scarcely had he done so ere, on 
June '22nd, the British Channel fleet appeared. Howe being ill, it 
was commanded by Admiral Lord Bridport. It had sailed from 
Spithead on June I2th and consisted of the ships set forth below.' 

The Channel fleet had put to sea to protect an expedition bound, 
under Commodore Sir John Borlase Warren, in the Pomoiie, 40, for 
Quiberon Bay. This expedition, the proceedings of which will be 
narrated presently, had parted company on the 19th, near Belle Isle ; 
and Bridport had then stood out from the coast with a view to 
preventing any interference from the direction of Brest, the absence 
from which of Villaret's fleet was then unknown. WaiTen's ad- 
vanced frigate soon afterwards saw the French coming out from 
under Belle Isle ; and the Commodore, altering course, sent a vessel 
with the information to Bridport. On the 20th Warren himself 
sighted the Commander-in-Chief ; but he had already received an 
order from him to detach to the main fleet the three line-of-battle 
ships Robust, 74, Captain Edward Thornbrough, Thunderer, 74, 
Captain Albemarle Bertie, and Standard, G4, Captain Joseph 
Ellison, as a reinforcement. 

Bridport, with his own fourteen sail of the line, kept between 

' Lord Bridport's fleet in the action off Groix, June 23rd, 1795 : — 



Royal Geor(ie . 
Queen Charlvttt 
Quien . . . 

London . . 

Princt of Waits 

Prince . . . 
Sarjleur . . 
Prince Gtovfje . 

Sam Par til 




Admiral Lord Riidport 

Capt. William Domett. 
,, Sir Andrew Siuipe 
Douglas. Kt. 

{Vice- Admiral Sir Alan 
Capt. William 
iVice-Aiimiral Jubn Col- 
< poys(B). 
(Capt. Kdward Oriffith. 

{Rear - Admiral Heury 
Harvey (R). 
Ciipt. John Bazely (2). 
f „ CI aries Powell 
I Hamilton. 

f ,, James Richard 
\ Dacres(l). 

„ William Edge. 

(Rear - Aduiiral Lord 
Hugh Seymour (R). 
Capt. William Browell. 



Jiussell . 
Colossus . 
Thalia . 
A'l/mplte . 
Aquilon . 
Astraa . 
Babtt . . 

Afegara, f.s. 

Incendiary, f.s. 
Charon, hosp. s, 
Argus, lugger 
Dollyt lugger. 

,, (Capt. Christopher Parkei 

" X (2). 

-, i „ Sir James Sau- 

i marez, Kt. 

74 ,, Richard Griudall. 

74 „ Thomas Larcom. 

74 „ John Munktoa. 

4 I ,, Franris Cole. 

3(i ,. Lord Henry Paiilet. 

3G „ George Murray (3). 

32 ,, Robert Barlow. 

32 ,, Richard Lane. 

20 M Edward Codringtou. 

, , f ,, Hon. Heury Black- 

^■* I wood. 

14 ,, John Draper. 

44 Com. Walter Locke. 

14 j 




Warren and the French fleet, while Warren's three ships of the hne 
were endeavouring to join from the N.W. ; but, owing to a shift 
of wind, the Commander-in-Chief did not sight the enemy until 
3.30 A.M. on June '22nd. The British were then in lat. 47' 4' X., 
and long. 4r 16' W. with Belle Isle bearing E. by N.^N., distant 
forty-two miles ; and they were standing upon the starboard tack 
with a light w^nd from the S. by E. 

Villaret appearing to have no desire for battle, Bridport at 

.\dmii;al su; kr.\smus (jowku, kt. 
(From a lithograph by liidley, after the portrait In/ Livcm'j.) 

6.30 A.M. signalled the Sans Pareil, Orion, Colossus, Irresistible, 
Valiant, and Russell, his best sailing ships, to chase, and, at 
6.45 A.M., ordered the entire fleet to do the same. Each ship 
thereupon set all possible sail that could be carried on a wind ; and 
by 12 noon the centre of the French fleet, which was then standing 
in for the land, bore E.S.E., distant about twelve miles. It was 
then nearly calm ; but such wind as there was had southed some- 
what. At 7 P.M. the Commander-in-Chief signalled to harass the 

262 ^[AJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1795. 

enemy's rear, and, at 7. '25, to engage as the ships got up and to 
take stations for mutual support. B_y sundown the British fleet had 
gained considerably; but, at about 10.30 iMi., the ships were all 
taken aback, and it afterwards fell nearly calm. At 3 a.m. on the 
23rd, however, a light breeze rose from the S.W. by S., and at 
daylight the French fleet was visible directly ahead, all the ships 
being in a crowd except three or four which tailed out. The 
rearmost of these was not more than three miles from the British 
van. The British were then much scattered, the Irresistible 
leading, the Queen Charlotte, which had been most excellently 
handled, being on her starboard quarter, and all the rest being 
astern. Behind the Queen Charlotte the next ships were the Orion, 
Sans Pareil, Colossus, and Russell. 

At 4 A.M. Isle Groix bore on the Queen Charlotte's lee bow, that 
is nearly east, distant eight miles. The rearmost ship of the French 
fleet was then the Alexandre, which, as the Alexander, had been 
captured in the previous year from the British. She was a wretched 
sailer; and, at 5 A.M., she was taken in tow by a French frigate. 
Just before 6 a.m. she and a few of the ships next ahead of her 
began to fire their aft guns at the Irresistible, and at 6 the latter 
opened on the Alexandre, the example being soon followed bj' the 
Orion. Upon this, the Alexandre was abandoned by the frigate 
which had been towing her. 

At about 6.15 a.m. the Queen Charlotte l)egan to fire her star- 
board guns into the Formidable,^ the next ahead of the Alexandre, 
the Formidable reph'ing ; but, at 6.30, after receiving in addition 
some shot from the Sans Pareil, the French ship caught fire on the 
poop. From that moment she suffered very severely, and began to 
drop astern ; and when, at length, she lost her mizen mast, she bore 
i;p and struck. By that time, besides the Irresistible, Queen Charlotte, 
Sans Pareil, and Orion, the Colo.ssus, Russell, London, and Queen, 
on the British side, and the Peuple, Mucins, Wattignies, Nestor, 
Tigre, and Redoutable, in addition to the Alexandre, on the French 
side, were, or had been, all more or less engaged. The other French 
ships, Zele, Fougueux , Jean Bart, and Droits de VHomme, were too 
far ahead, and the remaining British ships too far astern, to partici- 
pate. The Queen Charlotte, which had already done so much, was 
so injured aloft as to have become almost unmanageable ; but at 
7.14 she was still able, by opening her broadside on the crippled 
' Comiiiandeil by the celebrated C. A. L. Durauil, Comte de Linois. 




Alexandre, to compel that ship to surrender. At about the same 
time the Ticjre, which had been already engaged by the Queen 
Charlotte and Sans Pareil, stn;ck, after receiving the fire of the 
Queen and London. 

It was not until a few minutes before 8 a.m. that Lord Bridport's 
flagship, the Royal George, passed ahead on the starboard side of the 
Queen Charlotte, which then lay repairing her damages aloft, but 
which almost immediately afterwards hauled her fore and main 
tacks on board to assist the Commander-in-Chief. At 8.15, although 
Rear- Admiral Kerguelen wrote of the British at that time that " s'ils 
avait bien manreuvre, ils auraient pu, ou prendre tous nos vaisseaux, 

'.mmi:mu1!.\tivk of i.ui:i) biudpout's actiux, junk li.ji;D, IT'.L"). 
(From an original lint hii n.S.H. Capt. Priihr Dmis of Butliiihf ly. 7?..Y.) 

OU les faire perir a la cote." Bridport signalled the Cohssus, then a 
mile and a half on the Queen Charlotte's starboard or weather bow. 
to discontinue the action ; and, at 8.20, he made a similar signal to 
the Sans Pareil, which was about a mile and a half on her port 
bow, lying imder the quarter of the Peuple. Directly afterwards 
the Royal George, being about half a mile from the west point of 
Isle Grois, bore up, and fired her starboard broadside into the stern 
and port quarter of the Peuple, and her other broadside into the 
Tigre, which she did not then know had struck. She thereupon 
wore round from the land, and from the French fleet, and was 
followed by the other British ships. The Admiral ordered the 
Prince, Barfleur, and Prince George to take the prizes in tow ; and 
the fleet stood awav with them to the S.W. The French, thus 

264 MAJOIi OPEIIATIOSS, 1T'J3-18U2. [1795. 

unexpectedl_y relieved, kept their wind, and, after making several 
tacks, took refuge between Isle Groix and the entrance to 

None of the British ships lost any spars ; and the only ones 
which had any seriously damaged seem to have been the Queen 
Charlotte, Sans Pareil, and Irresistible. Among the ofticers killed 
were Lieutenant Charles Maurice Stocker, and Second Lieutenant 
of Marines Wilham Jephcott, both of the Sans Pareil, and Captain 
Bacon of the 118th Eegiment of Foot, who was in the Eussell. 
Among the wounded were Captain Grindall, of the Irresistible, and 
Lieutenant Robert Mends, of the Colossus. The total loss in the 
British ships engaged was : Irresistible, 8 killed, 11 wounded ; 
Orion, 6 killed, 18 wounded ; Queen Charlotte, 4 killed, 32 wounded ; 
Sans Pareil, 10 killed, 2 wounded; Colossus, 5 killed, 30 wounded; 
Russell, 3 killed, 10 wounded ; London, none killed, 3 wounded ; and 
Royal George, none killed, 7 wounded : total, 31 killed, and 113 

The total French loss cannot be stated ; but the losses in the 
prizes were heavy, the Tigre losing 130, the Alexandre 220, and the 
Formidable 320 ; total, 670 killed and wounded in those three ships 
alone. The Tigre awA Alexandre Y;eve aAAei to the Navy by their 
old names. As there was already a Formidable, the prize of that 
name was adopted as the Belleisle, under the mistaken impression 
that the action had been fought off Belle Isle, instead of, as was 
actually the case, off Isle Groix. 

As soon as Villaret was in comparative safety, he called a council 
of his flag-officers, who assured him that, if he anchored on the 
coast, he would imperil the rest of his fleet, which the British would 
certainly attack from windward. Under their advice, therefore, he 
anchored in the port of Lorient before 8 p.m.^ 

Bridport's strange and almost unaccountable forbearance pro- 
vokes from Mahan the following remarks : — 

" Such was the extivme circumspection characterising the early naval operations of 
the British, until Jervis and Nelson enkindleil their service with the relentless energy 
and spirit inspired by Bonaparte on laud. Those to whom St. Vincent and the Nile, 
Algeciras and Copenhagen, have become history, see with astonishment nine ships of 
capital importance permitted to escape thus easily from fourteen, forgetting the hold 

' 'Precis des Evenements,' by Kerguelen, who was present with his flag in the 
Fraiernile; Disp. of A^illaret-Joyeuse ; MS. notes of Adni. Linois: Eeport of 
M. Veuce. 




tradition has on the minds of men, and tliat it belongs to genius to open the way into 
which otliers tlien eagerly press. How the Admiralty viewed Bridport's action may be 
inferred from his retaining command of the fleet until April, 1800. The ships that 
reache<l Lorient bad to remain till the winter, when they slipped back two or three at 
a time to Brest." ' 

Of the five British flag-officers present, three, viz., Bridport, 
Alan Gardner and Lord Hugh Seymour, received the thanks of 
Pariiament. As James hints, it is difficult to understand the reason 

(From a litluxjmjili hij ItMlei/ ami HoII, aflcr the itoiirait hi/ Bowi/cr.) 

for the selection, and why, while Gardner, whose flagship, the 
Queen, was not in action, was included, Colpoys, whose flagship, 
the London, was in action, was omitted. The anomaly was 
probably due chiefly to the meagre and almost grudging terms of 
Bridport's dispatch, wherein, for example, the Queen Charlotte, 
which had distinguished herself above all other ships that day, 

' Some, however, went elsewheie. 

2(56 MAJOR Ol'EIiAriOXa, 1793-1802. [1795. 

was passed over unmentioned. That the action was a victoiy 
was trae, but it left much to be desired. We may be pretty 
sure that had a Nelson, a Hawke, or even a Boscawen, com- 
manded on the occasion, the fleet of Villaret would have been 

But, though the victory was thus unsatisfactoiy, it eventually 
cleared the way for the expedition to Quiberon. Consisting of the 
ships mentioned below,' and of manj' small craft and fifty sail of trans- 
ports, having on board about 2500 French emigrants, commanded by 
the Comte de Puisaye, it entered the Bay of Quiberon on Jmie '2bth. 
On June '27th the troops were landed without loss, and drove back 
the few Republicans who opposed them. A vast quantity of arms 
for the disaffected population was also put ashore. Fort Penthievre, 
on the northern extremity of the peninsula of Quiberon, soon fell ; 
but on July 16th an attack, shared in by 200 British Marines, upon 
the French Eepubhcan army, under General Hoche, was repulsed ; 
and the Eoyalists owed their safe retreat to the coveriiag fire of 
some British small craft. ^ This misfortime led to desertion and 
encouraged treachery ; and on the 20th the fort was sm-reptitiously 
handed over to the Eepublicans, and a terrible massacre ensued. 
Only about 1100 of the troops, and about 2400 inhabitants of the 
district, escaped to the fleet, leaving behind them about 10,000 
stand of arms, and an enormous quantity of stores. Six newlj-- 
arrived transports also fell into the hands of the enemy. Warren 
took possession of the islands of Hoat and Hoedic, and disembarked 
near Lorieut, at their own request, 2000 of the people who had been 
brought from Quiberon. He also, but in vain, summoned Belle 
Isle. An attempt upon the Isle of Noirmoutier, at the mouth of 

1 ships. Guiis. Cummau'lere. 

Bobust 74 Caiit. Edward Tliorubrough. 

lliunderer 74 „ Albemai'Ie Bertie. 

Standard 64 I „ Joseph Ellison. 

Pomona 44 1 Commodiire Sir Joliii Borlase Warren. 

Anson 44 ! Capt. Philip Oalderwood Durham. 

Artois 38 „ Sir Edward Nagle, Kt. 

Areihusa 38 „ "Mark Robinson (2). 

Concorde 3(5 „ Anthony Hum (2). 

Oalatea 32 „ Kichard Goodwin Keats. 

with several cutters, gunboats, etc. 
^ Tlie Fdter and Lark. 

1795.] LOSS OF THE B KB WICK. 267 

the Loire, was unsuccessful ; but later, the little Isle of Yeu was 

In October, Warren was reinforced by the Jason, 32,^ Captain 
Charles Stirling, with transports containing 4000 British troops 
under Major-General Doyle. Troops and stores were landed on 
Yeu, but the KoyaHst cause looked so black that, towards the end 
of the year, Yeu was evacuated, and the troops and stores were sent 
back to England. - 

Lord Bridport cruised to protect the ill-fated expedition until 
September 20th, when he went to Spithead with some of his ships, 
leaving Kear-Admiral Henry Harvey to watch the French at Brest 
and Lorient. On the 17th and 18th of November, the British 
Channel experienced a most terrible westerly gale. Bear- Admiral 
Hugh Cloberry Christian, who had sailed for the West Indies with 
transports, troops, and a convoy, had to retiirn in confusion to 
Spithead, having lost several merchantmen ; and when he sailed 
again on December 5th, it was only to encounter another storm, 
which lasted for over a fortnight. 

The events in the Mediterranean must now be described. Yice- 
Admiral Hotham, who was still in command there, loosely watched 
Toulon dm-ing the winter, using as his chief base the Bay of San 
Fiorenzo. While he was anchored there on January 16th, in a 
heavy cross swell, the Berwick, 74, Captain William Smith (2), 
which w'as refitting, rolled all three of her masts out of her. This 
led to a court-martial, and to the dismissal from their ship of the 
Captain, first Lieutenant and Master. Captain Adam Littlejohn 
was appointed in Captain Smith's place ; and, directing him to 
foUow the fleet as soon as the ship could be rigged with jury 
masts, Hotham sailed for Leghorn Koad. It would have been, as 
the sequel will show, more prudent on his part to tow the disabled 
ship, supposing it to have been necessary for him to leave port 

The observation of Toulon during Hotham's period of command 
was never veiy close or effective. Just previous to the accident. 
Commodore Perree had safely returned thither, after a most success- 
ful cruise in the Mediterranean, with a squadron of six frigates. 

' On board her was the Comte d'Artois. 

- There is a very curious account of these Quiberon operations by Moreau de 
Jonnes in his ' Avent. de Guerre.' See also, ' Vie et C'orr. de Hoche ' ; ' Eelat. du Baron 
Antrechaus'; ' Mems. de Puisaye ' ; ' Mems. de Vaublanc ' ; 'Mcms. sur la Guerre 
Civile' (1823). 

268 MAJOB OPEnJTlONS, 1793-1802. [1795. 

The impunity which had attended his sally, and the removal of the 
British fleet from San Fiorenzo to Leghorn, encouraged the French 
to issue forth in greater strength, and to attempt the recovery of 
Corsica. The latter scheme was a mad one, in view of the " potential " 
fleet which still lay, comparatively speaking, close at hand. The 
proper way to recover Corsica woiild have been to begin by de- 
feating Hotham. But the attempt was fatal to the Berwich. On 
March 3rd, Eear-Admiral Martin, with fifteen sail of the line and 
six frigates, carrying about 5000 troops, put to sea, and on the 7th 
sighted Cape Corse. As the advanced French frigates were about 
to look into San Fiorenzo Bay, they sighted the jury-rigged Berwick 
coming out. She was chased and engaged bv the Alceste, 86,' 




Minerve, 38, and Vestale, 36, and, possibly,''^ bj'. one or two ships of 
the line as well ; and in less than an hour, after losing Captain 
Littlejohn, the only person on board who was killed, she was 
suiTendered by Lieutenant Nesbit Palmer. Her jury-rig may be 
held to have excused her easy capture. Upon her officers being 
exchanged and tried by court-martial, they were honourably 

On March 8th, Hotham, who still lay at Leghorn, learnt that 
the French had been seen two days earlier off Isle Ste. Marguerite. 
He despatched the Tarlefon, brig, to San Fiorenzo, with orders 
for the Bencick to join him off Cape Corse ; and, on the 9th, he 

' Lieut. LejoiUc, coiniiiamiiiig tliis frigitte, was made a post-captaiu for his share in 
the affair. — Biog. l\v Heiincquin. 

' That any ships of the line were concerned is strenuously denied by all French 




weighed -with, the fleet, a hst of which is given in the note.* After 
receiving certain inteUigence from the Moselle, and apparently also 
from some other source, he altered course during the night from 
S.W. to N.AV., and, on the 10th, his look-out vessels sighted the 
French standing towards Cape Noh, or, in other words, back 
towards Toulon against a S.W. wind. They had, no doubt, learnt 
from the Berwick's people that they were close to the British. On 
the afternoon of the 11th, the enemy's fleet of fifteen sail of the line, 
six frigates and two brigs, was seen in the south by some British 
ships of the hne, which were five or six miles to windward of their 
main body. At dawn on the 12th they were again seen ; and soon 
afterwards they bore up as if to reconnoitre. When she was within 
about three miles of the Princess Boijal, the French van ship hauled 
to the wind on the larboard tack, and was followed in succession by 
the vessels astern. The wand was then very hght, and there was 
a nasty swell from the west ; but, towards evening, a fresh breeze 
sprang up from the S.W., and the British closed and formed in 
order of battle heading to the westward. During the night the 

1 Sllif.S. 



/ Captain 


Capt. Samuel Reeve. 

Bedford . . . 


„ Davidge Gould. 


Tancredi (Neap.) . 


„ Chev. Caraccioli. 


Princess Royal , 
I Aqamemnon 


Yice-Admiral Samuel Granston GoodaU 
Capt. John Child Purvis. 
„ Horatio Nelson. 


Minerva (Xea[>.), 


Pilade (Neap.) 

Lowestoft, 32 . 

, , 

„ Benjamin Hallowell (actg.). 

Pouktte, 26 . 

Cora. Ralph Willett Jliller. 

Tarleton, brig,' 1-1 

„ Charles Brisbane. 

/ Illustrious . 


Capt. Thomas Lenox Frederick. 

Courageux . 


„ Augustus Montgomery. 


Britannia . 


Vice- Admiral William Hotham (1) (R). 
\Capt. John HoUoway. 


Egmont .... 

Windsor Castle 


„ John Suttou. 
jRear-Admiral Robert Linzee (R). 
\Capt. John Gore (1). 

IncoHstant, 36. 

^ , 

„ Thomas Francis Fremantle. 

Me'eager, 32 . 

, , 

„ George Cockburn. 

/ Diadem .... 


„ Charles Tyler. 

s' 1 St. George . . . 


fVice-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker (2), Kt. 
\Capt. Thomas Foley. 


^ j Terrible . . . . 


„ George Campbell. 

\ Fortitude . 


„ William Young (1). 

Romvlus, 36 . 

. , 

„ Geoige Hope (1). 

Moselle, 18 . 

Com. Charles Dudley Pater. 

Fox, cutter 

Lieut. .John Gibson. 

1 Detached, but rejoined on nigbt of March 9lh. 

270 MA JOB OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1795. 

weather became squally, and the Mercure, 74, losing her main top- 
mast, was allowed by Eear-Admiral Martin to part company and 
to proceed, attended by a frigate. She and her escort ultimately 
anchored in Gom-jean Bay, where the Berwich also lay with a 
frigate in attendance. 

On the 13th, soon after daylight, as the French showed no signs 
of any intention to engage, Hotham signalled for a general chase, 
and, the wind being fresh and squally, good progress was at once 
made. At 8 A.M. the Qa Ira, 80, the third ship from the French 
rear, fouled her second ahead, the Victoire, 80,' and carried away 
her own fore and main topmasts. This misfortune was at once 
taken advantage of by the Inconstant, 36, Captain Thomas Francis 
Fremantle, which had advanced far ahead. At about 9 A.M. she 
ranged close up on the port quarter of the Qa Ira, gave her a 
broadside, and stood on. The Vestale, 36, thereupon bore down, 
firing distantly at the Inconstant, and took the disabled 80 in 
tow ; but the Inconstant, having tacked, again passed under the 
(Ja Ira's lee, and repeated the broadside. In the meantime the 
Qa Ini had cleared away the wreck of her topmasts, and, opening 
fire, so punished the gallant Inconstant as to oblige her to bear up. 

At 10.45 the Agamemnon placed herself upon the fa Ira's 
quarter, and, aided for a time by the Captain, annoyed the French 
80 till about 2.15 p.m., when, several French ships bearing down to 
protect their consort, Captain Nelson dropped into his station in the 
line. During this time there had also been a partial action between 
the Bedford and Egmont and the three French rear ships; but all 
firing ceased when the Agamemnon bore up. The French then put 
about on the port tack, and kept close to the wind under all sail, the 
wind being moderate from the S.S.E. The British fleet followed 
on a port line of bearing with all possible despatch. In the course 
of the night, by accident or mismanagement, the Sans Cidotte, 120, 
separated from her consorts, so that the French were left with 
thirteen two-deckers against the British four three- and eleven two- 
deckers. During the night, also, the Censeur, 74, instead of the 
Vestale, 36, took the (^a Ira in tow, and, with her, fell astern and to 
leeward of the French line. 

At sunrise on the 14th, Genoa bore N.E., distant about twenty 
miles. The French were seen to windward, standing as before on 
the port tack with a moderate south wind. At 5.30 a.m., the breeze 

' 'Ex-LanijUedoc. 


changed to the N.W., thus bringing the British fleet to windward. 
At 6.30 the Captain and Bedford, by signal, stood for, and engaged, 
the Censeur and (^a I>xi. The Captain, being well ahead of her 
consort, had to sustain alone the broadsides of both French ships for 
fifteen minutes, ere she could make effectual return ; and, when she 
had been engaged for an horn- and a half, she was very badly 
injured aloft, and had received serious damage to her hull and boats 
as well. Captain Eeeve, therefore, signalled for assistance, and was 
presently towed clear. The Bedford, also, was eventually obliged 
to discontinue the engagement, and to be towed out of the line. 
But, in the interval, the Illustrious and Courageux had made sail to 
support the Captain and Bedford, and had got well ahead, and 
somewhat to leeward, of the British line. To cover the ^'a Ira aiad 
Censeur from these, Eear- Admiral Martin ordered his fleet to wear 
in succession and to form line upon his van ship, the Duquesne, 74. 
His design was to pass on the starboard tack to leeward of the 
British line, which was then on the port tack, and to windward of 
his threatened ships. The Duquesne, in the light wind, came round 
slowly : in fact, just then, nearly every ship in both fleets was more 
or less out of control, owing to the lack of breeze ; and in the 
consequent confusion the Lowestoft's stern was exposed to a distant 
fire from the Duquesne's port batteries. But Captain Hallowell 
saved his people by ordering all, except the ofiicers and the man at 
the wheel, to go below ; and he suffered only a little aloft ere the 
attention of the French 7-± was taken off by the Neapolitan frigate 
Minerva. When, at length, the Duquesne got round on the star- 
board tack, she failed to obey the signal and, instead of leading her 
line to leeward of the British van, led it to windward of it. 

At 8 A.M., the Illustrious began, at a distance of a little more 
than a quarter of a mile, to engage in succession the Duquesne and 
the Victoire. She and the Courageux subsequently kept up a hot 
fire with these ships and with the Tonnant. At 9 a.m. the Illus- 
trious lost her fore-topmast, and, at 9.1.5, her main mast, which also 
brought down her mizen. Her other spars were by that time 
badly wounded, and her hull was mauled in every direction ; and 
the Courageux, which had lost her main and mizen masts, was in 
little better condition. Owing to the calm, the remainder of the 
French line could not get up to them, nor, on the other hand, could 
assistance reach them. But, happily, the three French ships at 
length drifted ahead, and so relieved them from a situation which 

■112 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1795. 

was at one time extremelj' perilous. After very little more firing, 
the French abandoned the crippled (^'a Ira and Censeur, and, as the 
breeze freshened, stood away under all sail to the westward. The 
action, which had begun at 6.20 a.m., entirely ceased at about 2 p.m., 
when Hotham, influenced by the condition of his van ships, thought 
it desirable not to tack in pursuit. The two fleets in consequence 
soon lost sight of one another. The Qa Ira ' and Censeur, which 
had made a most gallant defence, and had lost together about 400 
killed and wounded, had, in the meantime, been taken possession of. 
The loss in the other French ships is not known. - 

The allied loss in personnel was as follows : Captain, 3 killed, 
19 wounded ; Bedford, 7 killed, 18 wounded ; Tancredi, 1 killed, 
•5 wounded; Princess Eoyal, 3 killed, 8 woimded; Agamemnon, 
killed, 13 wounded; Illustrious, 20 killed, 70 wounded; Courageux, 
1-5 killed, 33 wounded; Britannia, 1 killed, 18 wounded; Egmont, 
7 killed, 21 wounded ; Windsor Castle, 6 killed, 31 wounded ; 
Biadeni, 3 killed, 7 wounded ; St. George, 4 killed, 13 wounded ; 
Terrible, killed, 6 wounded ; Fortitude, 1 killed, 4 wounded ; In- 
constant, 3 killed, 14 wounded; and Minerva, killed, 4 woimded; 
total, 74 killed, and 284 wounded. No commissioned ofiicers were 
killed, but among the woimded were Lieutenants Wilson Eathbone, 
of the Captain, Thomas Miles, of the Bedford, Thomas Hawker, 
of the Windsor Castle, and Eobert Honeyman, of the St. George. 

James estimates that, on March 14th, the relative strength of the 
two fleets, as regards ships of the line, was, British, 14 sail ; 
557 guns, throwing broadsides weighing 12,711 lbs. ; and 8810 men ; 
and French, 13 sail ; 490 guns, throwing broadsides weighing 
12,807 lbs. ; and 9520 men. On the earlier days, of course, the 
French had a slight superiority in every respect. 

Again, as in the case of the action off Isle Groix, it was an 
unsatisfactory victory. Hotham took two ships of the line, but 
gained little credit, seeing that he might have, and should have, 
done much more. 

' It is stated in Frencli accounts that Capt. Coude, of the fa Ira, surrendered his 
sword to Vice- Admiral Goodall, and that the latter said : " Sir, I will keep this 
glorious sword for myself, but I beg you to accept mine in recognition of your noble 

- French authorities for this action : ' Precis des Evenements,' etc., by Kerguelen ; 
Reports of Marec, in the Moniteur ; Letter of Capt. Coude (of the Ca Ira) ; and papers 
of Martin, Coude, Savary, etc., in the Arch, de la Marine. The published account of 
the Picpublican deputy, Le Toumeur, who was present, is recognised, even by the French, 
to be mendacious. 


Taking in tow his dismasted ships and the prizes, he bore away 
for Spezzia Baj'. On the night of the 17th, in a S.E. gale, the 
Meleager, with the Illustrious in tow, separated from the fleet ; and, 
when the hawser parted and a new one could not be passed from the 
frigate, the lUuatrious hove to, labouring heavily, shipping much 
water, and losing her jury masts by the board. At dawn on the 
18th, as land was seen ahead, both ships headed to the eastward. 
At noon the Meleager parted company. At 2 p.m., after having 
experienced various additional trials, Captain Frederick, upon making 
the land eastward of the Gulf of Spezzia, delivered up charge of his 
ship to a self-professed pilot ; but the man, at 7.30 p.m., managed 
to run the vessel ashore in Valence Bay, between Spezzia and 
Leghorn ; and the ship became a wreck. The arrival of the 
Tarleton, on the evening of the 19th, of the Lowestoft, on the 
evening of the 20th, and, eventually, of other craft from the fleet, 
enabled the men and part of the stores to be taken off; but the 
Illustrious had to be set on fire and destroyed. On the 25th, after 
the damaged ships had been partially repaired, the fleet weighed 
from Spezzia Bay, and on the 26th anchored off San Fiorenzo, 
where it lay refitting until April 18th, when Hotham, by that time 
promoted to be Admiral of the Blue, left his prizes behind, and 
proceeded to Leghorn, where he anchored on the 27th. 

It has already been noted that, on April 4th, Rear- Admiral 
Renaudin, with six sail of the line, three frigates and two or three 
corvettes, safely reached Toulon from Brest, and gave Martin, who 
on March 22nd had been made a Vice-Admiral, seventeen serviceable 
sail of the line. Martin, after having lain for a time in Hyeres Bay, 
moved into the Eoad of Toulon, where he had much trouble with 
the crews of some of the Toiilon ships, who became mutinous, until, 
thanks to the influence of the Eepublican deputy, Niou, who worked 
upon their patriotism, the men, repentant, pledged themselves " to 
purge their offence in the blood of the enemies of the state." Hoping 
to profit by the sentiments thus aroused, Martin put to sea on 
June 7th with his seventeen sail of the line, six frigates, and two or 
three smaller craft. 

On May 8th, anticipating, perhaps, for the moment that the 
French Toulon fleet might have some idea of proceeding to the 
Atlantic, Hotham sailed from Leghorn to cruise off Cape Mola, 
the S.W. point of Minorca ; and he was there joined on June 14th 
by nine sail of the line from Gibraltar and England, under Eear- 




Admiral Kobert Man (3). These ships were the Victory, Barfleur, 
Gibraltar, JBomhay Castle, Saturn, Cumberland, Defence, Culloden 
and Audacious. Hotham cruised till the 24th, when he bore up for 
the eastward, and on the 29th anchored in San Fiorenzo Bay. On 
July 4th, he detached Commodore Nelson in the Agamemnon, 64, 
with the Meleager, Ariadne, Moselle and Mutine, to proceed to 
Genoa, and then to cruise along the coast to the westward ; and, on 
the 7th, being oif Cape del Melle, Nelson discovered the Toulon 
fleet about fifteen miles to the N.W. In the evening, the French 
chased him, and in the night they nearly came up with the Moselle. 
At 7.20 A.M., on the 8th, Nelson, being off Cape Corse, began to fire 
guns as signals to the fleet at San Fiorenzo ; and, by 9.30 a.m., the 
French could see the British fleet of twenty-two sail of the line at 
anchor in the bay. They therefore relinquished the chase. 

The fleet was, however, neither fit nor able to sail at once. 
Many ships were refitting or watering, and the wind blew right into 
the bay ; but at 9 p.m. Hotham's fleet succeeded in getting under 
way, and in taking advantage of the land wind. The fleet, when 
rejoined by Nelson's squadron, was composed of the ships named in 
the note.' 

On the 9th, having cleared the land, Hotham steered to the west 
under all sail, with a S.S.W. wind. On the 12th, being off Isle 
du Levant, he learnt that the French had been seen a few hours 
earlier to the south of Hyeres, and consequently he prepared for 
action, and made sail to the S.W. In the night a heavy gale from 
the W.N.W. split the main-topsails of several British ships, and on 

I Sbips. 






Admiral William 

Terrible .... 


Capt. George Campbell. 

Britannia . 


} Hotham {«■). 

Dffence .... 


„ Thomas Wells (1). 

ICapt. John HoUowiy. 

Eiiviont .... 


„ .John Suttuu. 

Victory .... 


iKear- Admiral Robert 

Culloden . . . 


r „ Thomas Trou- 
t bridge. 

leapt. Jolin Knight (-1). 

nedford .... 


„ I'avitlgr Gould. 

I Vice- Admiral Samuel 



f ,, Ron.jaiuiu Hallu- 
l well. 

Princess Royal 


< Granpton f-iooilall {10. 

i,ouraQeux . 

(Capt. Jolm Chilli Purvis. 

Audacious . 


„ William Shield. 

IVice-Admiral Sir Hyde 
< Parker (a), Kt. (R). 



St. George . . . 


Samnita (Neap.) . 


K'apt. Thoma.s Foley. 



Commod. HoralioNelsou. 

IViie- Admiral Robert 
{ LinzeeOV). 

liiadem .... 


Capt. Charles Tyler. 

Windsor Castle . 


1 Meleager . . . 


,, George Cockbiirn. 

Icajit. John f;ore(l). 

Cyclops .... 


f „ William Hotham 
I (2). 

Itlenheim . . ■ 


„ John lia?.ely(l). 

CibraUar . . . 


f ,, Jolin I'akeuham 
I (1). 

Ariadne . . . 
Comet .... 


Capt. Robert Plampin. 

Captain .... 


,, .Samuel Reeve. 

Kclair .... 


Fortitude . . . 


„ William Younn(l). 
f „ Charles Cliamh.-r- 
l layne. 

Flh-ke .... 
Jiesol)ition, cutter 


Com. Thomas Boy6(l). 

Bombay Castle . . 




Com. Charles Brisbane. 

5a(wrn .... 


„ James I)o«glas(2). 



Cumberland . . 


f ,, Bartholomew 
( .Samuel Rovvli-y. 





the 13th, at dawn, when the wind was still fresh and there was a 
heavy swell, and while these ships were bending new sails, the 
French were seen about five miles off on the lee beam, standing in 
very scattered order on the starboard tack. The Biitish were then 
standing on the port tack to the southward. At 3.45 a.m. Hotham 
signalled his fleet to form on a starboard, and, an horn- later, on a 
larboard line of bearing, and preserving that order, to make all 
possible sail. The professed object of this was to keep the wind and 
to cut off the enemy from the shore. 

At 8 A.M. the French fleet, formed in a close line on the port 
tack about two points off the wind, which was from the west, was 



1 ^^^"'""^ A 

IE X) I T 

R R A 


Tiox, jri.Y I.'th, litJo. 

doing its best to get away without fighting. Hotham, therefore, 
made the signal for a general chase, directing his ships to take 
suitable stations for mutual support and to engage the enemy as 
they came up with him. In the course of the morning the wind 
moderated, and southed somewhat ; and at noon, in consequence 
of the eagei'ness of the chase and of the imequal sailing of the ships, 
although the French rear, bearing N.N.E., was only thi'ee-quarters 
of a mile from the British van, the British rear ship was nearl}' 
eight miles to the W.S.W. At 1-2.30 a shift of wind from S.W. by 
N. to N., brought the starboard broadsides of the three rear French 
ships to bear upon the British van, and especially upon the Victory, 
Culloden and Cumberland, which led it. This brought on a 

T 2 

276 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 179;;-ie02. [I79r>. 

partial action, in which the French ship Alcidc, 74, soon suffered 
very severely. By 1.30 the Culloden also had her main topmast 
shot away ; hut she continued to use every effort to close with the 
enemy. Just before '1 r.M. the Alcide struck' to the Cumberland, 
which, not stopping to take possession, passed on to the second ship 
from the French rear. As she did so, the French frigate Alceste, 36, 
Captain Hubert, which, with the Justice, had approached to take 
the Alcide in tow, lowered a boat for the pm-pose. This was cut 
in two by a shot from one of the British ships ; and the French 
frigates, very ably handled, made off. At that time the Agantemiion, 
Blenheim, Captain and Defence, were just getting into action ; but 
at 2.42 P.M., when the Cunihcrland, having assisted in driving off 
the Justice, had almost got up with another French ship of the 
line near the rear of the column, a signal, to the general astonish- 
ment, was made to discontinue the action. The Victory had to 
repeat it, with the Cumberland's pennants, ere that ship paid any 
attention . 

At that moment Cape Koux" bore from the Vicfori/ N.W. ^ W. 
distant twelve miles. It is true that the French, owing to a change 
of wind to the east, had gained the weather gage on the starboard 
tack, and were standing with a light breeze towards the bay of 
Frejus, while the British centre and rear were almost becalmed ; 
but it turned out that, as the breeze again shifted at about 7 p.m. 
to the south-west, Vice-Admiral Martin's progi'ess to his anchorage 
was veiy slow. "Had the British fleet," says an officer,^ who was 
present in the Victory, " only put their heads the same way as the 
enemy's and stood inshore at four o'clock, the whole of the French 
line might have been cut off from the land, taken, or destroyed ; and, 
even afterwards, they might have been followed into Frejus Bay, 
and wholly destroyed." 

Of the few British ships engaged in what James calls " this 
miserable action," the Culloden alone lost a mast. The Victory and 
Cmnberland, however, suffered considerably aloft. The losses in 
personnel were, Culloden, 2 killed, .5 wounded; Victory, 5 killed, 
15 wounded; Blenheim, 2 killed, 2 wounded; Captain, 1 killed; 
and Defence, 1 killed, 6 wounded : total, 11 killed and 28 wounded. 
The Cumberland, strange to say, had no one hurt. No com- 
missioned ofiicers were killed. Among those wounded were Lieu- 

' This is not admitted by the French. - The French call the action by this name. 
' Admiral Sir Edward Hamilton, Bart. 


tenants Tristram Whitter, of the CuUoden, and John Hinton, of the 
Victonj. Soon after having struck, the Alcide caught fire in the 
foretop. The conflagration could not be staj-ed, and, spreading till 
about 3.45 p.m., then caused an explosion, which blew up the vessel 
with more than half her crew. 

The French fleet returned to Toulon. The British went, first 
to San Fiorenzo, and then to Leghorn. Hotham sailed again on 
August Gth, and on the 8th looked into Toulon Eoad, where. he saw 
the French fleet. He then detached Commodore Nelson, in the 
Agamenuion, with the Inconstant, Mcleagcr, Tartar, Southampton, 
Ariadne, and Speedy, to co-operate with the x\ustrian and Sardinian 
armies in Genoese territory, and himself stood to the eastward. 
On August 26th, Nelson's squadron, under Nelson's personal 
direction, cut out of the bays of Alassio and Langueglia, near Vado, 
two French gun brigs, two five-gian galleys, and five vessels laden 
with stores, and destroyed two other vessels, without losing a man. 

The French Government was at that time anxious to make some 
kind of demonstration in the neighbourhood of Newfomidland, but 
was unwilling to detach from the Brest fleet any force for such a 
pm-pose. On the contrary, it was anxious rather to strengthen that 
fleet. It therefore directed Eear-Admiral Joseph de Eichery,' with 
the Victoire, 80, Barras, 74, Jupiter, 74, Berwick, 74, Resolution, lA, 
Duquesne, 74, and the frigates Emhuscade, Felicite, and Friponne, 
to seize an opportunity to slip out of Toulon, and then proceed to 
Newfoundland, finally returning to Brest. De Eichery, therefore, 
put to sea on September 14th. 

News of the evasion did not reach Hotham at San Fiorenzo 
until September 22ud ; and not until October 5th was Eear-Admiral 
Eobert Man (3), with the Windsor Castle, 98, Cumherlaud, 74, 
Defence, 74, Terrible, 74, Audacious, 74, and Saturn, 74, and the 
frigates Blonde and Castor, detached in pursuit. The French had 
thus a start of three weeks, and, as will be seen later, Man naturally 
failed to be of any service. Indeed, the method in which he carried 
out his mission led later to the imperilling of the whole British fleet 
in the Mediterranean. The laxity displayed by Hotham on that 
occasion, both in regard to the observation of the French movements 
at Toulon, and with regard to the pursuit of the escaped force, offers 
additional proof of that officer's unfitness for the very important com- 

' Bum at All.jiis, Pmvcnce. He had been expelled fruin the Xavy auriiig the Terror, 
but afterwards reinstated. 

278 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1795. 

mand with which he had been entrusted. Moreover, de Kichery's 
escape led to immediate bad results, even in European waters. 

Hotham had detached for England in the early autumn the 
Fortitude, 74, Captain Thomas Taylor ('2), Bedford, 74, Captain 
Augustus Montgomery, and the French prize 74, Censeur, whicii 
was jury-rigged and armed en flute, and which was commanded by 
Captain John Gore (1). This squadron left Gibraltar for the 
Channel on September 25th, reinforced by the Argo, 44, Captain 
Richard Eimdle Burges, Juno, 32, Captain Lord Amelius Beauclerk, 
Lutine, 32, Commander William Haggitt (acting), and Tisiphone, 
fireship. Commander Joseph Turner, with a valuable convoy of 
sixty-three sail from the Levant. That same night the Argo, Juno, 
and thirty-two of the convoy parted company, the remainder keeping 
with the senior officer until October 7th, when, being off Cape 
St. Vincent, they fell in with de Eichery's squadron. Signal was 
at once made for the convoy to disperse, and the Fortitude, Censeur, 
and Bedford foirmed line so as to show as good a face as possible to 
the enemy. But hardly had the line been formed, ere the Censeur 
rolled away her foremast, and was forced to drop astern ; and as the 
French were rapidly approaching. Captain Taylor deemed it proper 
to bear up. This was soon after 1 p.m. At 1.50 the leading 
French ship opened fire on the Censeur, which made a spirited 
return to the best of her ability, and was assisted by the after guns 
of the Fortitude and Bedford. In the meantime the French 
frigates were picking up the merchantmen. At 2.30 the Censeur, 
having expended nearly all her powder, and having lost her two 
remaining masts, struck. The other British men-of-war escaped ; 
but, of the convoy, thirty out of thirty-one sail were taken. The 
thirty-two merchantmen with the Argo and Juno safely reached 
their destination. De Eichery, with his prizes, put into Cadiz, 
where he may be left for the present. 

This squadron of de Eichery's was not the only one which, in 
the autumn of 1795, escaped from Toulon, owing, to some extent, 
to the bad management or incompetence of Hotham. Towards 
the end of September, Commodore Honore Ganteaume, with the 
Mo7it Blanc, 74, Jiinun, 40, Justice, 40, Artcinise, 36, Serieusc, 36, 
Badine, 28, and Hasard, 16, left Toulon expressly to intercept the 
convoy, part of which subsequently fell into the hands of de Eichery. 
That convoy was supposed by the French to be then to the eastward 
of Malta ; and Ganteaume steered for the Levant, where ho not 


only made many prizes but also raised the blockade of Smyrna, in 
which port two French frigates and a corvette had been shut up 
by the Aigle, 38, Captain Samuel Hood (2), and the Cijdojos, 28, 
Captain William Hotham (2). Ganteaume cruised in the Archi- 
pelago until the Justice was dismasted in a storm. He then made 
for the Dardanelles, but, learning that two British ships of the hne 
and three or foiu- frigates were in search of him, and conscious that, 
as the French had not respected the neutrality of the Turkish ports, 
the British would attack him no matter where he might anchor, he 
left the Justice, and made for the westward. On December 27th, 
the British squadron under Captain Thomas Troubridge, consisting 
of the Culloden, 74, Diadem, 64, Inconstdnt, 36, Flora, 36, and 
Lowestoft, 32, being off Cape Matapan, chased the Badine, which 
had been detached by Ganteaume expressly to mislead his enemy. 
The Badine could not rejoin, and took refuge in the Gulf of 
Coron ; but Ganteaume, escaping pursuit, re-entered Toulon on 
February .5th, 1796. 

On November 1st, 179.5, Hotham struck his flag, and was 
temporarily succeeded by Vice-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker (2). On 
November 11th the fleet left Leghorn, and, on the 20th, put mto 
San Fiorenzo Bay. On the 30th, there aiTived from Portsmouth 
the Lively, 32, Captain Lord Garlies, having on board Admiral Sir 
John Jervis, who had been appointed Commander-in-Chief. On 
December 3rd, Jervis shifted his flag from the Lively to the Victory, 
and, on the 13th, he sailed with the fleet to cruise ofl' Toulon. 

Since the commencement of hostilities in 1793, the political 
situation had altered considerably to the disadvantage of Great 
Britain. France had conquered Holland,^ and had ranged that 
country on her side. In consequence of this, orders were issued 
early in 1795 for the seizure of all Dutch vessels in British ports. 

On February 9th, further orders were issued for the detention of 
neutrals bound for Dutch ports ; measures were taken to attack the 
Dutch settlements over sea; and a small squadron, under "V'ice- 
Admiral Adam Duncan, in the Venerable, 74, was sent to watch the 
Dutch ships in the Texel. In August, Duncan was joined on his 
station by an ill-found fleet of twelve Eussian ^ ships of the hne, and 

' It was in the course of this campaign that, on January 20tb, 1795, some Frencli 
hussars and horse artillery captured a Dutch squadron, whicli was ice-bound at the time. 

* In this fleet there were several officers of British nationality or birth, including 
Eear-Admiral Tate, and Captains Frederick Thesiger and Brown. 

280 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [IT'J."). 

seven frigates ; but, daring the autumn and wintei', the combined 
fleets saw nothing of the enemy, and had nothing before it save the 
honom-able, yet far from exciting, work of observation and blockade 
in the North Sea. Letters of marque and reprisals were issued 
against Holland on September 1.5th. In the interim, Great Britain 
had also lost the countenance of Prussia, which had made her peace 
with France on April 30th. 

The French no sooner learnt of the success of Victor Hugues at 
Guadeloupe, than they sent to him from Brest a number of trans- 
ports, with supplies, and about three thousand troops, convoyed by 
the Hercule, 50, Astree, 36, two corvettes, and some armed ships. 
This convoy was fallen in with off Desirade on January 5th, 1795, 
by the BcUona, 74, Captain George Wilson, and Alarm, 32, Captain 
Charles Carpenter ; but, owing apparently to mismanagement on the 
part of Wilson, only one French vessel, the Duras, 20, was taken. 
The rest of the convoy reached Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe, on 
January tjth. The reinforcement thus brought to him enabled 
Hugues to prosecute his designs against St. Lucia, St. Vincent, 
Grrenada, and Dominica. At St. Lucia he was quickly successful, 
that island being evacuated on June 19th by the British troops, 
which were taken off by the Experiment, armed stoi'eship. Lieutenant 
John Barrett,' and a transport. At Dominica he was unsuccessful. 
In Grenada and St. Vincent his schemes were still in progress at the 
end of the year. In these operations, the British naval officers who, 
in addition to Lieutenant Barrett, most conspicuously distinguished 
themselves, were Captains Josias Eogers, of the Quebec, Charles 
Sawyer, of the Blanche, and Frederick Watkins, of the Resource. 

The hostility of Holland led to the despatch from England of an 
expedition against the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope. 
This expedition consisted of the ships mentioned in the note,- under 

' Drowned, t';i[it;iin nf tlic Muiotaur, in 1810. 

- Sliip^. Guns. Commauders. 

I fVice-.Admiral Sir George Keith Elphiu- 

(Ciipt. Jciliii El]iliinstone (2). 

Victorious 74 „ William Ciiirk. 

Arro(jant .... .74 „ Kioliard l.iicas. 

Ameriai til „ .Jolni l!lanl;ett. 

Stalel() •■i4 „ Billy Doiit^his. 

Echo I'i Com. Teni]ile IliirJy. 

Rattlesuakc lH „ .Tolm William Spranscr. 


Vice-Admiral Sir George Keith Elphinstone, K.B., with a detach- 
ment of the 78th Eegiment, under Major-General Craig. The 
squadron anchored in Simon's Bay early in July, and proposals 
were made to the Dutch governor to place the colony under British 
protection. The governor refused, and was making preparations to 
burn Simon's Town, when, on July 14th, the 78th Eegiment and 
350 marines landed and seized it. The Dutch withdrew to Muijzen- 
burg, six miles from Cape Town. Elphinstone reinforced the army 
ashore by landing 1000 seamen under Commanders Hardy and 
Spranger, by improvising a gunboat, and by arming the launches of 
the squadi-ou. On August 7th, when the troops began their 
advance, the America, Stately, Echo, and Rattlesnake, also co- 
operated, the result being that the Dutch were easily driven from 
post to post with very slight loss to the British. On the 8th, the 
enemy attempted to regain some of his lost positions, but was again 
compelled to retire, largely in consequence of the admirable be- 
haviour of Commander Hardy's battalion of seamen and Marines. 
Elphinstone detained such Dutch vessels as he found, and subse- 
qiiently commissioned one of them, the Willemstadt, as the Prin- 
cess, 20. On September 3rd, the Dutch were about to make a 
general attack on the British positions, when they were deterred by 
the sudden appearance in the offing of fourteen sail of British East 
Indiamen, which brought a large reinforcement of stores and troops 
under General Alured Clarke. These were all disembarked by the 
14th, and an advance on Caj^e Town was begun, while the America, 
Echo, liattlcsnale, and an Indiaman, made a demonstration in Table 
Bay. This induced the Dutch governor, on the following night, to 
S2nd a flag of truce, with a request for a cessation of hostilities, 
pending negotiations of a capitulation, the result being that, on the 
morning of the 16th, the town and colony, together with about 1000 
regular troops, the East Indiamen, Castor, and the anned brig 
Star, 14, were sm-rendered. The Star was added to the British 
Navy as the Ho})e. 

The British Commander-in-Chief in the East Indies was Com- 
modore Peter Kainier, who, it may be remembered, had taken a 
convoy thither in the early summer of 1794, with his broad pennant 
in the Suffolk, 74. Kainier, in June, 1795, obtained his flag. On 
July 21st, in pursuance of orders, he sailed from Madras in the 
Suffolk, Captain Robert Lambert, with the Centurion, 50, Captain 
Samuel Osboni, and some transports with troops under Colonel 

282 MA JOB OPERATIONS, 1T03-1SO2. [1705. 

James Stuart, to make an attempt against the Dutch possessions in 
Ceylon. At the same time he detached the Bcsistance, 44, Captain 
Edward Pakenham, with a tender and a transport, to reinforce a 
little expedition which, under Captain Heniy Kewcome, of the 
Orpheus, 32, had previously sailed against Malacca. 

On July 23rd, off Negapatam, Kainier was joined by the 
Diomede, 44, Captain Matthew Smith (1), and one or two more 
transports, with additional troops, and on August 1st, after having 
been joined on the previous day by the Heroine, 32, Captain Alan 
Hyde Gardner, he anchored in Back Bay. Two days were expended 
in negotiations, and on the third da}', while the Diomede was 
working into the bay with a transport in tow, she unfortunately 
struck on an uncharted rock, and went down with all her stores. 
But the troops were landed on August 3rd, four miles from Trin- 
comale, without opposition. Bj' the 23rd, it was found possible to 
open the British batteries, and by the 26th, a practicable breach was 
effected. A summons was then sent in, and, after some discussion 
and misunderstanding, the place surrendered, with 679 officers and 
men, and nearly 100 serviceable guns. This conquest cost a loss to 
the British and East India Company's troops of 15 killed and 54 
wounded, and to the Navy of 1 killed and 6 wounded. On the 31st, 
the fort of Oostenbui-g also surrendered, and, on September 18th, 
Baticalo followed siiit. Jaffnapatam, near Point Pedro, was quietly 
taken possession of on September 28th by a subsidiary expedition 
under Captain Samuel Osbom, of the Ceittinion, and Colonel Stuart. 
Muletivu was similarly occupied on October 1st by Lieutenant 
Benjamin William Page, commanding the Hohart, 18, and by a 
detachment of the 52nd Regiment under Captain the Hon. Charles 
Monson ; and the island of Manar surrendered on October 5th to a 
detachment from Jaffnapatam. The expedition to Malacca was not 
less successful. Malacca itself capitulated on August 17th to 
Captain Henry Newcome and Major Brown, and, before the end of 
the year. Cochin, and all the other Dutch settlements on the Indian 
mainland, were under the British flag. 

Until quite the end of the year 179G the Brest fleet did not quit 
port ; but, during the whole summer and autumn, it was known to 
be preparing assiduously for some great stroke. According to one 
view, Ireland was to be attacked; according to a second, Gibraltar; 
and according to a third, Portugal ; and, as the French carefully and 
successfully kept their intentions secret, the British Admiralty had 


to be ready for any development. lu consequence of this necessity, 
it divided the Channel fleet into three divisions. One, under Eear- 
Admiral Sir Eoger Curtis, in the Formidable, 98, cruised to the 
vyestward ; another, under Vice-Admiral Charles Thompson, in the 
London , 98, was stationed off Brest ; and another, under Lord 
Bridport, Commander-in-Chief, in the Eoi/al George, 100, remained 
at Spithead. On October •29th, A^ice-Admiral Sir John Colpoys 
reheved Vice-Admiral Thompson off Brest, and, for a short time 
after November 7th, Curtis, with seven sail of the hue, joined 
Colpoys, who had twelve. But Curtis anchored at St. Helen's on 
November 17th. The proceedings of the Brest fleet, after it had 
put to sea, belong rather to the events of 1797 than to those of 

It has already been said that Vice-Admiral Adam Duncan's 
squadron blockaded or watched the Dutch force in the Texel. On 
February 23rd, during the temporary absence of the blockading 
squadron, a Dutch division of two 64's, one 54, one 44, and several 
frigates and sloops, escaped to sea, but was observed by the 
Espiegle, 16, Commander Benjamin Koberts, and a cutter, which 
had been sent by Duncan to reconnoitre the port. The Dutch 
headed to the northward, with a fresh N.E. wind, and were followed 
for some hours by the Espiegle, while the cutter went home with 
the news. On the •24th, when the enemy was 120 miles north-east 
of Yai-mouth, Commander Eoberts left him. Two or three days 
afterwards, the Dutch fell in with a part of Bear-Admiral Pringle's 
division of Duncan's squadron, consisting of the Glatton, 54, Captain 
Henry TroUope, and a few smaller vessels, but made no effort to 
force an action.^ Not long afterwards, Duncan resinned his station, 
and effectually shut up the Texel for the rest of the year. 

Jervis, who, at the end of 1795, had succeeded Hotham as 
Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean, had under him, at the 
beginning of 1796, eighteen sail of the line, and a large number of 
frigates and small craft. At Toulon were fifteen French sail of the 
line, besides three building ; and at Cadiz was the division of Eear- 
Admiral de Eichery. In addition to all these, there were at Carta- 
gena seven Spani-sh sail of the line, which, owing to the condition of 
poUtics in the peninsula, needed to be carefully watched ; and there 
was a very large Spanish fleet at Cadiz. The position of Jervis 
was, therefore, difficult and perplexing. It called for the exercise 
' Its object being, as will be seen, the recapture of the Cape of Good Hope. 

'284 MAJOn OVEHATIOXS, lT93-]fi02. [179G. 

of great ability and firm determination if a catastrophe were to be 
avoided, and it demanded, as it j>rovidentiall_y found, the services 
of a man of more than common quahties. Jervis, from the 
first, adopted a Hne of policy snch as had not been properly illus- 
trated in the Mediterranean since the days of Dilkes and Walton, 
and which had not, perhaps, been illustrated with equal thorough- 
ness since the days of Blake. He realised that, above all things, he 
was sent to look after British interests, and that, in compaiison with 
them, all other interests were perfectly subsidiary. One of his first 
acts was a charactex-istically high-handed one. The captured British 
frigate Nemesis, '28, lay, with two French vessels, in the neutral 
port of Tunis. Jervis despatched Yice-Admiral the Hon. William 
Waldegrave, in the Barjienr, 98, with four 74's, to bring out the 
Nemesis at all hazards, and, on March 9th, the service was executed 
with Httle opposition, thanks, no doubt, to the overwhelming 
strength of the force employed. Jervis, indeed, never made the 
mistake of failing to employ even an excessive force for the execu- 
tion of an object when such a force happened to be available. Said 
Nelson : " Where I would take a penknife, Lord St. Vincent takes a 

The most active of the numerous esceptionallj' able officers who 
served with Jervis was, of course, Nelson. On April '23rd, Jervis, 
then cruising off Vado, detached Nelson, in the Agamemnon, (54, 
with the Diadem, 64, Captain George Hemy Towry, Meleagcr, 32, 
Captain George Cockbiu-n, and Petrel, 16, Commander John 
Temple,' to blockade Genoa, and to annoy the French along the 
coast. Nelson learnt that a convoy laden with stores for the French 
army lay at Finalmarina, in Loano Bay, and on April 2.5th he made 
for that place. Four vessels were found anchored under the 
batteries, which opened on the Petrel as she approached, leading in 
the boats which were to attack ; but the fire from the ships covered 
the little expedition, and, in a very short time, the British brought 
off the transports, losing only three wounded, including Lieutenant 
James Noble. Among the other officers who distinguished them- 
selves on the occasion were Lieutenants Maurice W. Suckling, 
Henry Compton, Charles Eyder, and John Culverhouse. Nelson 
was subsequently joined by the Blanelie, 32, Captain d'Arcy Preston, 
and Speedjj, 16, Commander Thomas Elphinstone. On May 31st, 
ci-uising off Oneglia, he chased six French vessels under a battery. 
' D.ii\v!iC(l, (.'iiiitaiii 111' llij Crescent, in 180 i. 


The Meleager, Againemnoii, Petrel and Hpeedij, anchored close 
in, with only a few inches of water under them, and silenced 
the battery ; and then the boats, in spite of the fire from three 
18-pounders in the French ketch Genie, and one 18-pounder in a 
gunboat,' carried both. The other four vessels, which were trans- 
ports, had, in the meantime, run themselves ashore, yet thej' were 
not only taken, but also brought off, in the face of a heavy musketry 
fire from the beach. The British loss was but one killed and three 
wounded. The transports were full of guns and stores destined for 
employment at the siege of Mantua, operations against which city, 
it is believed, failed mainly in consequence of the non-arrival of 
these supplies. 

Another very active officer under Jervis was Captain Thomas 
Francis Fremantle, of the Inconstant, 36, who, when Leghorn was 
seriously threatened by the French, was employed, with some store- 
ships in company, to remove thence the British residents, and public 
and private property. Fremantle embarked everybody, and nearly 
everything having a claim upon his care, on the morning of 
June 27th, and also brought away thirty-seven merchant vessels, 
large and small, and two hundred and forty oxen, which had been 
pui-chased for the use of the fleet. At noon on the same day, the 
French entered the town, and at 1 p.m. their batteries opened on 
the Inconstant, which, however, got away without damage or loss. 
Commodore Nelson, now transferred from the Againeninuii to the 
Captain, 74, anchored off the Malora to warn unsuspecting ships of 
the change in the ownership of the town, and the rest of the British 
fleet on the coast rejoined Jervis, who was then in the Bay of San 

The French occupation of Leghorn was palpably a step towards 
the recovery of the possession of Corsica. Leghorn then belonged 
to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. There was little doubt but that the 
French would also attempt to occupy Elba, another possession of 
the Grand Duke, and another useful base for operations against 
Corsica. With the object of frustrating anything of the kind, Sir 
Gilbert Elliot, Viceroy of Corsica, and Sir John Jervis, entered into 
negotiations, in pursuance of which. Commodore Nelson, on 
July 10th, quietly occupied Porto Ferrajo. 

At that time. Great Britain's difficulties were increasing rapidly. 
On August 19th, an offensive and defensive treaty of alhance was 

' Called No. 12. 

286 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [IT'.iG. 

signed at Madrid between France and Spain, and it was therein 
stipulated that either of the parties should be entitled to call upon 
the other to place at its disposal fifteen sail of the line, and ten large 
frigates or corvettes. France hastened to exercise her new right, 
even before the treaty was actually signed, by asking for a Spanish 
fleet to escort the squadi-on under Kear-Adniiral de Richery clear of 
the squadron of Eear-Admiral Man, who was supposed to be still 
watching it at Cadiz. De Kichery, with the Victoirc, 80, 
Barras, 74, Bencick, 74, Censeur, 74, Duquesne, 74, Jupiter, 74, 
and Bevolution, 74, and his three frigates, left the port on 
August 4th, escorted b}' a Spanish fleet of twenty sail of the line, 
and foui'teen frigates and corvettes, commanded by Admiral Don 
Juan de Langara, Hood's old colleague at Toulon. The collection 
of this huge force was, in reality, qiiite unnecessary, for Eear- 
Admiral Man, with his modest seven sail of the line, had left the 
neighbourhood on July 29th, having been ordered by Jervis to rejoin 
him off the coast of Corsica. Soon after making an ofliug, de 
Langara detached Rear-Admiral Solano, with ten sail of the line and 
six frigates, to see M. de Eichery 300 miles to the westward. 
Solano did this, and de Eichery then proceeded to North America, 
his original destination. 

The Franco-Spanish treaty was ratified in Paris on Sep- 
tember l'2th ; and, immediately afterwards, Great Britain laid an 
embargo on all Spanish ships still in her ports. On October 8th, 
Spain foi-mally declared war against Great Britain. But, before 
this, de Langara, who had returned to Cadiz, left that port again, 
with nineteen sail of the line, and ten smaller craft, and headed to 
the eastward. On October 1st, when off Cape de Gata, he was 
sighted by Eear-Admiral Man, who was then on his way from San 
Fiorenzo to Gibraltar, with three transports and a brig under his 
convoy. He had been sent back by Jervis for the reason that he 
had imprudently gone eastward with scarcely any stores on board. 
Jervis was naturally unable to supply the deficiencies of his sub- 
ordinate, and, therefore, ordered him again to Gibraltar to fill up 
with what he lacked. The Spaniards chased Man, and, on the 
morning of the 3rd, captured the brig and one of the transports. 
But Man's squadron and the other transports got safelj' into Eosia 
Bay, close to Gibraltar Mole. De Langara then returned to the 
eastward, and, calling off Cartagena, was joined by seven ships from 
that port, bringing up his total force to twenty-six sail of the line. 

1796.] MAN'S DESERTION. 287 

besides frigates. With this formidable fleet he cruised as far as Cape 
Corse, near which he was sighted, on October 15th, by some of the 
cruisers belonging to the fleet of Sir John Jervis, who then, with only 
fourteen sail of the Une, lay in Mortella Bay. The only other British 
ships of the line east of Gibraltar were the Captain and Egmonf, which 
were at Bastia. De Langara might theoretically have overwhelmed 
Jervis ; but, instead, he made for Toulon, where he anchored in the 
last week of the month, and found twelve French ships of the line ; 
so that the allies then had a combined fleet of thirty-eight sail of the 
line, and eighteen or twenty frigates. 

Man, as has bsen said, had been sent back by Jervis to Gibraltar 
to supply himself with stores, which he ought to have taken on 
board previous to sailing for San Fiorenzo. His business was to 
take them on board, and to return. He had been given no dis- 
cretion. Upon anchoring at Gibraltar, however, instead of following 
out the orders both of the Commander-in-Chief and of the Admiralty, 
he called a council of his Captains, and he and they, influenced 
apparently by the knowledge of the immense Franco-Spanish force 
to the eastward, decided to proceed to England. This extraordinary 
decision deprived the Mediterranean fleet, at one of the most critical 
moments in its history, of just one-third of its force. When the 
squadron reached home, Man's action was severely disapproved, and 
he was ordered to strike his flag, nor was he again employed afloat.' 
"When," saj's Mahan, " it is remembered that only forty years had 
elapsed since Byng was shot for an error in judgment, it must be 
owned men had become more merciful." 

Bonaparte's successes in Italy had dealt a heavy blow at British 
prestige in the Mediterranean. Sardinia had already yielded Savoy 
and Nice to France ; the Two Sicilies had solicited, and obtained, a 
cessation of hostilities ; and, with Sardinia and the Sicilies neutral, 
and Spain as an active ally, France seemed to be upon the point of 
attaining all her ambitions in the Mediterranean. The situation 
naturally led to renewed trouble in Corsica, where the partisans of 
France were greatly inspirited. The Viceroy soon perceived that he 
was threatened with a rising of formidable proportions ; and, in 
consequence of his representations to the home Government, it was 
ordered that Corsica should be evacuated, and that the troops and 
stores should be removed to Porto Ferrajo, in Elba. Before this 
order could be fully carried out, the island was invaded by a small 
' He died, a full Admiral, in 181-3. 

288 MAJOR OPEUATIOSS, 17SI3-1NJ2. [iTtiO. 

force from Lowborn under General Casalta, who landed in Corsica, 
on October I'Jtb. Casalta, wbo was a popular Corsicm, marcbed 
against Bastia, before which he arrived on October 21 st. He sum- 
moned the place to surrender. In the town was a respectable 
British garrison, and in the port were the Captain, 74, and 
Ecjmont, 74. Under the superintendence of Nelson, who, by his 
determined attitude, deterred any interference, nearly the whole of 
the British garrison, besides a vast amount of public and private 
property, was taken off. Immediately afterwards, the French party 
occupied not only Bastia, but also San Fiorenzo and Bonifacio. 
Casalta, having been joined from Leghorn by General Geutili, a 
brother Corsican, with a large reinforcement, Ajaccio was also 
presently captured. By November '2nd, the British evacuation, so 
far as it could be carried out, bad been completed, and Jervis, who 
bad learnt of the arrival of de Langara at Toulon, and who did not 
know what had become of Man, sailed from Mortella Bay with 
fifteen sail of the line and several frigates, besides a convoy of 
merchant vessels from the Levant. On December 1st, he anchored 
in Eosia Bay, Gibraltar, and, for the first time for generations, not a 
single British ship of the line lay or cruised on the waters of the 

Jervis * had been forced to proceed westwards owing to scarcity 
of provisions and stores. His relative weakness must also have had 
some effect on his proceedings. On his way to Gibraltar, while his 
crews were on half rations, or even less, he received instructions 
countermanding the evacuation of Corsica, if it had not already been 
carried out, and, in the other event, ordering the retention of Elba. 
Man had then put it out of the power of the Commander-in-Chief to 
go back. Had Man obeyed orders, and promptly rejoined Jervis, it 
,is possible that, as Mahan says, the battle of Cape St. Vincent 
would have been fought in the Mediterranean." It is probable also, 
that that sea would never -have been abandoned, even for an hour. 
Napoleon was elated. 

" Tlie expulsion of the Eiif^lisli," he wrote, " has a gi-eat effect upon the success 
of our miUtary operations in Ital.v. We must exact more severe conditions of Naples. 

' The limits of his command had been extended fmin the Meditcirancan to 
embrace the Atlantic coasts of Spain and Portugal. 

^ Such, too, was Jervis's opinion. — 'Life of St. Vincent' (Tucker), i. 2-!0 ;, 
' Nelson's Disps.,' ii. 2'.)4. 


It has the greatest moral influence upon the minds of the Italians ; assures our 
comniimications ; and will make Naples tremble even in Sicily."' 

Sir Gilbert Elliot, a far-seeing statesman, must have been 
correspondingly depressed. 

" I have always thought," he wrote, " that it is a great and important object in the 
contest between the French Republic and the rest of Europe, that Italy, in whole or in 
part, should neither be annexed to Prance as dominion, nor affiliated in the shape of 
dependent republics ; and I have considered a sujierior British fleet in the Mediter- 
ranean as au essential means for securing Italy and Europe from such a misfortune." 

Just previous to Sir John Jervis's arrival at Gibraltar, the 
Spanish fleet, accompanied by Eear-Admiral Villeneuve, with one 
French 80, four French 74's, and three French frigates, put to sea 
from Toulon. De Langara, with his twenty-fom- sail of the hne, 
and twelve or thirteen frigates, put into Cartagena, leaving Ville- 
neuve to prosecute his voyage to Brest alone. For the moment, it 
looked as if the allies were destined to lose a great part of the 
advantage which they had so recently gained, thanks to the with- 
drawal of Eear-Admiral Man ; for it is inconceivable that Ville- 
neuve can have supposed that Jervis lay ahead of him when the 
French squadron parted from the Spanish fleet ; and it is certain 
that, owing solely to accidental circumstances, ViUeneuve was not 
annihilated as he traversed the Gut. On the afternoon of De- 
cember 10th, Villeneuve, as he passed the Eock, was sighted by 
some of the British ships at anchor in the Bay, and he would have 
been chased, had not a heavy gale from the E.S.E prevented the 
British from getting out in time to have any chance of coming up 
with him. Jervis, who imagined that the enemy was bound for the 
West Indies, despatched a sloop, on the 11th, with warnings to the 
Commanders-in-Chief at Jamaica and Barbados. 

The gale of December 10th, which was so favourable to Ville- 
neuve, was fatal to the British 74-gi"m ship Courageux, temporarily 
commanded by Lieutenant John Burrows, acting for Captain Ben- 
jamin HaUoweU, who was on duty ashore. She drove from her 
anchors, brought up ahnost imder the guns of a Spanish battery on 
the N.W. side of the Bay, and, when she weighed again and stood 
towards the African coast, ran on some rocks below Ape's Hill, 
where, in a few minutes, she became a wreck. Of 593 persons who 
were apparently on board at the time, only 129 escaped. The 
Gibraltar, 80, Captain John Pakenham (1), and the Culloden, 74, 

' ' Napol.'s C'orr.,' ii. 76. 

VOL. lY. U 

290 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1796. 

Captain Thomas Troubridge, also drove from their anchors, and 
were onlj- saved from destruction by good seamanship and strength 
of huU. 

Jervis entrusted the naval command at Porto Ferrajo to Com- 
modore Nelson, who, for the pui-pose, transferred his broad pennant 
from the Captain to the Minerva} With the remainder of the fleet, 
the Commander-in-Chief sailed, on December 16th, for the Tagus, 
where he hoped to be speedily joined by a reinforcement from home. 
He arrived there on the -Jlst. During these movements his fleet 
was fm-ther i^nfortunate, for the Zealous, 74, greatly injured herself 
by fouling a rock ofl:' Tangier, and the Bombay Castle, 74, Captain 
Thomas Sotheby, while endeavouring to avoid a collision with the 
storeship Camel, ran on a sandbank at the mouth of the Tagus, and 
could not be got off again. The loss of the Bombay Castle was, 
however, in some measure made up by the fact that, at Lisbon, the 
Commander-in-Chief found the St. Albans, 64, flagship of Vice- 
Admiral George Vandeput. He had, therefore, still fourteen sail 
of the line, though he had presently to send home the damaged 
Gibraltar to be docked at Plymouth. 

Had the French and Spanish, in November and December, 1796, 
strained every effort to assume the offensive with their thirty-eight 
sail of the line, they could scarcely have failed to change the whole 
course of European history. Jervis, it is of coiurse possible, might 
have evaded them ; but it is also quite possible that he would not 
have refused them had they seriously challenged him, and it is still 
more hkely that he might not have been able to refuse them." The 
opportmiities then lost did not recur during the remainder of the 
war of the French Revolution. After following the movements of 
de Langara and his Toulon friends, the student is inclined to ask 
himself whether the Spaniards and French of that day had even the 
vaguest suspicion of the simple truth that the first objective in naval 
warfare should be the enemy's fleet. 

Eear-Admiral de Bichery, after his release from Cadiz, made for 
North America, and, on August 28th, 1796, arrived on the Banks of 
Newfoundland. The British Commander-in-Chief on the station 
was Vice-Admiral Sir James Wallace, Kt., who had under his orders 

' For the further proceedings of Nelson iu tlie Mediterranean in 1796, see next Cli.i]). 

" "The Admiral is as fiim as a rock. He has at present fourteen sail of the 
line against thirty-sis, or perhaps forty. If Man joins him, tlicy will certainly attack, 
and they are all confident of victory." — ' Lile of Minto,' ii. 358. 


ouly the Bomney, 50, and three or four frigates ; and, of his whole 
force, only the Venus, 32, Captain Thomas Graves (3), happened to 
be at St. John's. Graves, and most of his crew, went ashore to 
assist in manning the batteries ; and de Eicherj', looking into 
the port, hked the appearance of the defences so little that he 
bore away to the southward. On September 4th, he entered the 
Bay of Bulls, where he plundered or destroyed the huts, boats and 
stages, of the fishermen. On the 5th, he detached Commodore 
Zacharie Jacques Theodore Allemand, with the Duquesne, Censeur, 
and Frljwnnc, to the Bay of Castles, in Labrador, and, with the rest 
of his squadron, proceeded to St. Pierre and Miquelon, where he did 
the same kind of damage as in the Bay of BuUs. Allemand, delayed 
by adverse winds and fogs, did not make the Bay of Castles till 
September '22nd, and, ere that time, most of the fishing vessels 
had left for Eiu-ope. He demanded the sm-render of the settle- 
ment, which was refused ; but, as his ships approached, the people 
themselves burnt their fishing-stages. Both the French divisions 
went home independently, de Kicher}' reaching Eochefort on 
November 5th, and Allemand entering Lorient on November 15th. 
This expedition destroyed about one hundred fishing and merchant 
vessels, and took a great many prisoners, most of whom were, 
however, sent in a cartel to Halifax. 

Vice-Admiral Sir John Laforey, Bart., who had succeeded Vice- 
Admiral Benjamin Caldwell, in June, 1795, as Commander-in-Chief 
on the Leeward Islands' station, detached the Malabar, 54, Captain 
Thomas Parr, with one 64, and a few frigates ^ and transports, and 
some troops under Major-General John Whyte, on April 15th, 1796. 
On April 23rd, this expedition quietly took possession of the Dutch 
settlements of Demerara and Essequibo, and, on May 2nd, of 
Berbice. At Demerara, the Thetis, 24, Zeemeeuw, 12,^ and several 
richly laden merchantmen were made prizes of. 

Eear-Admiral Hugh Cloberry Christian, who was made a K.B. on 
February 20th, 1796, had left England, on December 9th, 1795, for 
the West Indies,^ ^vith two ships of the hne, five other men-of-war, 

' Scipio, 64, Caiitain Francis Laforey; Undaunted, 40, Captain Henry Roberts; 
Pique, 40, Captain David Milne ; and Bahet, Captain William Granville Lobb. 

'^ The Thetis was afterwards snnk at Demerara, and the Zeemeeuiv was lost. 

' Vice-Admiral the Hon. William Cornwallis, with his flag in the Royal Sovereign, 
sailed with reinforcements for the West Indies on February 29th, 1796, but, his flag- 
ship being disabled in a gale, he put back to Spithead on March 14th. Cornwallis was 
at the time in ill-health. He was tried by court-martial on April 17th, and following 

u 2 




and a large fleet of transports, but had been driven back by bad 
weather in January. He did not finally leave Spithead til I 
March 20th, 1796, reaching Carlisle Bay, Barbados, on April 21st. 
On the following day Laforey and Christian proceeded with their 
whole force to Marin Bay, Martinique, where they anchored on the 
23rd ; and, on the 24th, Laforey resigned his command to Christian, 
and retm-ned to England in the Majestic, 74. 

Christian's first object was the reinforcement of St. Lucia. On 

[From an cngravlno ill B. R. Cook, after the portratt by J. Narthcote, M-A.) 

April 26th, with a squadron, in which was a large body of troops 
under Lieutenant-Geueral Sir Balph Abercromby, he made for that 
island, off which he arrived on the following morning. A lauding 

days, for having returned in defiance of oi-ders, for having omitted to sliift his flag 
-vvlien the Royal Sovereign was disabled, and for having disobeyed an Admiralty order 
to hoist his flag in the Astnva and proceed. lie was, however, acquitted. Soon 
afterwards he struck his llaj at his own request, and did nut again hoist it until 
February, 1801. 


was at once effected in Longueville Baj-, under the guns of the 
Ganges, 74, Captain Kobert M'Douall, and the Pelican, 18, 
Commander John Clarke Searle. On the 28th another landing was 
made in Choc Bay, and, on the 29th, a third, in Anse La Eaye. 
Eight hundred seamen, under Captain Eichard Lane, of the 
Astrcea, 32, and Commander George Frederick Kyves (1), of the 
Bulldog, bomb, were then set ashore to co-operate in the projected 
mihtary operations. Morne Chabot was carried on April 28th ; but, 
on May 3rd, an attack on some batteries, and, on May 17th, an 
assault on Vigie, were repulsed with heavy loss. The French, 
however, finally retired to Morne Fortunee ; and, on May 24th, the 
whole island capitulated, 2000 men surrendering. From St. Lucia 
the expedition went to St. Vincent, which capitulated, after an 
obstinate resistance, on June 11th, and to Grenada, which sur- 
rendered a few days later. In June, Christian was relieved in the 
command of the Leeward Islands' station by Eear-Admiral Henry 
Harvey, and returned to England in the Beaulieu. 

On the Jamaica station, where Eear-Admiral William Parker (1) 
commanded, the Navy co-operated in an attack, made by the troops 
under Major-General Forbes from Port au Prince, San Domingo, upon 
Leogane, in the same island. The forces were landed on March 21st, 
under the fire of the Ceres, 32, Captain James Newman Newman, 
Lark, 16, Commander William Ogilvy, Iphigenia, 32, Captain 
Francis Farriugton Gardner, Cormorant, 18, Commander Francis 
ColHngwood, and Sirene, 16, Commander Daniel Guerin ; and the 
town and works were simultaneously cannonaded by the Leviathan, 
74, Captain John Thomas Duckworth, Africa, 64, Cai)tain Eoddam 
Home, and Swiftsure, 74, Captain Eobert Parker. But the place 
proved stronger than had been anticipated, and, the Leviathan and 
Africa having been considerably damaged aloft by the guns on 
shore, the attempt was abandoned. It is noteworthy that in spite 
of the large British force on the station and of the midoubted 
activity and vigilance of the British officers, in spite too of the close 
watch kept upon the French Atlantic ports, the enemy, early in the 
year, was able to send from Eochefort and Brest large reinforce- 
ments to Cape Fran§ois. Still more remarkable is it that the two 
squadrons, one under Commodore Henri Alexandre Thevenard, and 
the other under Captain Guilleaume Thomas, which convoyed these 
reinforcements, both returned in safetj' to France. 

In the East Indies the operations against the Dutch were 




continued. On February 5th an expedition, composed of the 
Heroine, 32, Captain Alan Hyde Gardner, BatUcsnahe, 16, Com- 
mander Edward Eamage, and Echo, 16, Commander Andrew Todd, 
with five Indiamen and troops under Colonel Stuart, an-ived off 
Negombo, near Colombo, from the Cape of Good Hope, and pro- 
ceeded to occupy the port and disembark the forces. The troops 
inarched to Colombo, before which the squadron had in the mean- 
time stationed itself ; and on February 15th that valuable possession 
surrendered . 

On Februaiy 16th, Kear-Admiral Peter Rainier, Commander-in- 
Chief in the East Indies, arrived, with the force set forth in the 


H.M.s. 'resistance,' 1798. 

note,' off Amboyna, in the Moluccas, and took possession of the 
island and its dependencies without resistance. On March 5th 
the Eear-Admiral weighed and made for the Banda Islands ; and on 
the 8th he disembarked a force on Banda Neira, imder cover of the 
Orpheus and an Indiaman. Though some resistance was met with, 
it was speedily overcome, and the islands were surrendered on the 
same evening. At each of these places large stores of valuable spices 
and considerable amounts of public money were taken. A Captain's 
share of the prize money for Amboyna and Banda is said to have 
been £15,000. 

It has been already mentioned that in February, 179G, a small 
Dutch squadron escaped from the Texel and subsequently was seen 
by the Glaiton, and other British ships, in the North Sea. The 

1 Ships. 


Suffolk. . . . 


Centurion . 


Resistance , 




Swift .... 


Amboyna,^ brig . 



"Rear-Admiral Peter Rainier (B). 



Samuel Osborn. 
Edward rakenham. 
Henry Newcome. 
Jiihn Sprat Eainier. 

Lieut. William Hugh Bobbie (1). 

1 Ex I/arlitif/en, taken frnm the riitch, .ind aiUled to the squadron at Amboyna. 




object of this squadron, the constitution of which will be found 
below/ was the recaptiu-e of the Cape of Good Hope. The force 
was in fact entirely inadequate for the purpose ; but James considers 
that the Dutch had been misled, either as to the strength of the 
British squadron at the Cape, or as to the probability of French 
co-operation being offered to them. 

On August 3rd, when Vice-Admiral Sir George Keith Elphinstone, 
with his squadron,^ was lying in Simon's Bay, it was reported in 
Cape Town that this Dutch squadi-on had arrived off Saldanha Bay, 
fifty or sixty miles to the northward. Owing to the weather and 
other causes, Elphinstone could not put to sea until August 6th, 
and then, learning that some suspicious sail had been seen off False 
Bay, he steered to the south and west. The weather became worse, 
and, several of the ships being damaged, he had to return to Simon's 
Bay on August l'2th, and there received the intelligence that nine 
sail of vessels had been in Saldanha Bay since the 6th. He could 
not sail again until the loth ; and, on the evening of the 16th, when 
off the port, he sent in the Crescent, which saw the Dutch squadron 
at anchor. The British ships then formed in line, and anchored 
within gunshot of the Dutch, who were invited to surrender quietly 
to the vastly superior force of which they were in presence. On 
the 17th a capitulation was agreed to. No reflection attaches to 
Rear- Admiral Lucas for having thus given up his squadron, seeing 

' British axd Dutch Squadrons at the Cai-k of Good Horn, August, 179G. 



Ships. Guns. Commanders. 

Ships. Guns. Commanders. 

(Vice-Admiral G. K. 
Uonnrrh -i J Elphinstone. K.B. (B). 
Jfi.naic/1 ... .1 capt. John Elphinstone 

I (1). 

iRear-Admiral Thomas 
Tremendous . . \ H { Pringle (R). 

(Capt. John A.vlmer (1). 
Amfrrica . . . ; 64 „ John Blaukctt. 

«""!' ' «M " "Suntpe^^"^" 

StaUhj .... 64 „ Billy Douglas. ' 
Sceptre .... 64 .. William Esfington. 

TriO^nt. ... .. { " ""Kn. °""'^ 

Jupiter .... 50 „ George Losack. 

Crescent. ... 36 „ Edward Bullor. 

Sphinx .... 24 Com. Andrew Todd. 

MvscUe .... 16 „ Charles Brisbane. 

Battlesnake . . 16 „ Edward Ramage. 

£cho 16 „ Jobn Turnor. 

„ ,, (Lieut. John Alexander 

^""^ 'M (I). 

Dordrecht . 

Uevolutic > . 

If. H. Tiomp 

Castor 2 . . 

Braved . . 

Sirene* . . 

Bellona^ . 

Havik . . 
Yrouw Maria 

g, (Rear-Admiral Engel- 
I bertus Lucas. 
1 64 Capt. Jan Rijubende. 

p., /Com. Jan Valkenbnrg 

^* I (actg.-). 

44 , Capt. Jacob Claris. 
! ... (Com. Jacob Zoetemans 

" ( (actg.). 

26 1 „ C. He Uerf (actg.) 

,. (■ „ G. A. De Faick 

-* ( (actg.). 

13 Lieut. Pieter Besemer. 

16 „ lleruiaims Barbier. 

1 Ex Prins Frederik; Ten&med Prince Frederick. 

2 Later Saldanha, 38. 

5 Later Vindictive. 

3 Ex Princes Fi: Louisa Wilkelmina. 
* Later Laurel. 

296 MA JOB OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1796. 

that it mounted little more than half as many guns, and that it had 
on board less than half as many men, as the British squadron. In 
October, Elphinstone relinquished his command to Bear-Admiral 
Thomas Pringle, who had previously been his second, and returned 
to England in the Monarch. The only other transaction on the 
station during the year that calls for notice here was the captirre 
and destruction, on December 2nd, of the French settlement at 
Foul Point, Madagascar, by the Crescent, 36, Captain John William 
Spranger, Brave, 36, Captain Andrew Todd, and Sphinx, 24, Com- 
mander Francis Holmes Cottin ; which also captured five merchant- 
men there. 

By the middle of 1796, the young French Kepublic had rid itself 
of its gi-avest internal difficulties. The disaffection in the south had 
been quelled, and the royalists of La Vendee had been subdued. 
Nor did France any longer stand alone. She had with her the 
resources of Holland, and she was about to command the active 
co-operation of Spain. It seemed, therefore, to those who had the 
direction of her naval and military forces, that the moment had 
arrived for her to concentrate her energies in the dealing of as 
serious a blow as possible at Great Britain, her most formidable 
enemy. At first it was intended to attempt upon a grand scale 
an invasion of England ; but it was soon realised that to do this 
with a reasonable prospect of success would necessitate an 
expenditm'e greater than could be incurred with convenience 
at that time. Ireland, however, was disaffected ; and it was 
imagined that a force much smaller than any with which it 
could be hoped to make a direct impression upon England might, 
if despatched to Ireland, enable the rebels there to gain their 
object. An Ireland freed by French help from its connection 
with Great Britain could, it was felt, scarcely fail to become a 
useful ally of the Eepubhc, and a grave menace to the United 
Kingdom. The French government, accordingly, offered to send 
25,000 men under General Hoche, to the support of the rebel- 
lion. The Irish delegates in Paris considered that 15,000 men 
would be sufficient ; and, when France had made some progress 
with her preparations for the despatch of that number of troops, 
and of supplies of arms and ammunition for the insurgents, 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Mr. Arthur O'Connor met General 
Hoche at Bale, and settled with him the details of the coming 


The broad outlines of this had been aheady arranged by Hoche 
in conjunction with Vice-Admiral Truguef', French minister of 
marine. Vice-Admiral ViUaret-Joyeuse, with fifteen sail of the 
line which lay at Brest, was to carry to Ireland a first division of 
the invading force. In the meantime seven sail of the hue under 
Eear-Admiral de Eichery, from Lorieut, and five sail of the line under 
Eear-Admiral Villeueuve, from Toulon, were to proceed to Brest, 
and, taking on board the rest of the expedition, were to follow 
Villaret-Joyeuse, who, after landing his part of the army, was to 
detach himself with his eight fastest two-deckers, and make the 
best of his way to the Indian seas, where he was to assist Tippoo 
Sahib and the Dutch, and to act with energy against the British 
possessions, in co-operation with Eear-Admiral Sercey, who was 
already on the station. But the plan was presently altered. 
Hoche, behev-ing that Villaret-Joyeuse attached too much im- 
portance to the Indian, and too little to the Irish part of the 
scheme, induced his government to supersede Villaret-Joyeuse 
in favour of Vice-Admiral Morard de Galles as commander-in- 
chief, and to consent to the whole expedition being transported at 
once, instead of in two divisions. This change in the plans 
involved delay. According to the original intention, the first 
division should have left Brest at about the end of October, 1796 ; 
but de Eichery, while on his way from Lorieut, was induced, by the 
proximity of a British squadron under Eear-Admiral Sir Eoger 
Curtis, to put into Eochefort on November 5th ; and he did not 
again get under way until December 8th. On the 11th, having 
evaded the squadi'on which lay off the port under A'ice-Admiral Sir 
John Colpoys, he entered Brest. It was then found that only two 
of his ships of the line were in a condition to go to sea again 
immediately. Moreover, Villeneuve, from Toulon, had not arrived.^ 
Nevertheless, it was decided to wait no longer. On December loth, 
part of the fleet weighed and anchored outside the port ; and, by 
midday on the IGth, having been joined by the remaining vessels, it 
began to make sail with a fair easterly wind. The naval force 
which thus set out had on board about 18,000 troops of all arms, 
numerous field-guns, much ammvmition, and stores of aU sorts in 
profusion ; and it appears to have been unusually well-equipped, 
though it was provisioned for too short a period. Under Hoche 

^ Ou December 23rd, Villeueuve was driven by Colpoys to take refuge in 




■svere Generals Hiimbert and Grouch}', besides others of less note. 
The constitution of the fleet is set forth in the note.^ 

M. Morard de Galles at first intended to make an ofiing by way 
of the Passage du Raz, in order to evade the observation of the 
British Admiral who was cruising off Ushant ; but, when darkness 
came on and the wind gi"ew variable, he altered his design, and 
signalled from the frigate Fraternite, where he temporarily flew his 
flag, for the fleet to proceed through the Passage d'Iroise, which 
presents a wider and easier channel. As the signal was seen by 
only a few ships, part of the fleet pursued the original, and part the 

' Fleet of J[. Moivaud de G.\lles, fob the Convoy to Ireland of 
THE Aemy under Genkral Hoche, 17;i6-97. 




/Seduisant' . 

PJufon . . 
Trajan . 


Waitignies . 

74 Capt. Dulbssey. 

74 „ J. M. Lebrun. 
74 Commod. .J. Le liny. 

f Wrecked on night of 
I Deo. lOth. 

i Proper flagship of Rear- 
Adm. JT M. Nielly. 

.74 „ L. L'Heritier. 

74 Capt. H. A. Thevenard. 

Kase, Sceoola,^ 44; Frigates, Impatiente^ 44, Rhohte, 40 (flag of Rear-Adm. 
Niclly), SurveiUante,^ iilj, Charenie, 36 ; Brigs, Affronteur, 16, Vatitour, 16. 


Mucius . 









Commod. .J. Bedout. 

(Projjer flagship of Vice- 
I Adni.Morardde Galles. 

B. T. Maistral. 
P. U. J. Quer- 
Capt. Moncousu. 
„ La Fargue. 
Commod. P. H. M. E. Du- 
raanoir Le Pelley. 

Frigates, Fraternite, 40 (flag of Yice-Adm. Morard de Galles), Bomaine, 40, 
Sirene, 36, Tortue,^ 40; Powder vessel, Fidele, 40; Brigs, Afalante,^ 20, 
Voltifjeur, 16. 

Nestor . . . . 
iCassard . . . . 

I Droits de V Homme ' 

Tour villi: 
( Eole 

\Pegase . . . . 

74 C. A. L. Durand-Linois. 
74 Capt. Dufay. 

74 Commod. J. R. La Crosse. 

74 1 Capt. J. B. Henrv. 
74 : Capt. .J. P. A. Malin. 
- , jRear-Adiuiral de Richery. 
\Capt. C. Laronier. 

[Proper fiagshijj of Rear 
I Adm. F. J. Bouvet. 

[Frigates, Vocarde, 40, Bravovre, 40, Immortalite, 40 (flag of Rear-Adm. BoUvet), 
Bellone, 40 ; Brigs, Mutine,' 14, Rtnard, 16. 

Transports : Nicodeme, Justine,^ Fille Unique,^ Ville de Lorient,^ Suffren,^ 
Allegre^ Experiment. 

I lakeii or before their return to port. 




new course ; and thus, at the very commencement of the voyage, 
the expedition fell into confusion. This confusion was increased by 
the guns which were fired and the lights which were sho-^ra by the 
Fraternite to call attention to her movements ; by the firing of more 
guns by the Atalante, which was detached by the commander-in- 
chief after that part of the fleet which had not followed him ; by 
the firing of still more guns by the British frigate Indefatigable, 44, 

(From an cnijraviinj hij R'uUiii. after the picture hij Mather Brmrii.) 

which had been watching the port ; and by the signals of distress 
which proceeded from the Seduisant, 74. In her efforts to make 
the Passage du Eaz she had struck on the Grand Stevenet, where, 
ere morning, she became a total loss, about 680 of her people 
perishing with her. 

The Indefatigable was then commanded by Captain Sir Edward 
Pellew, who, with the Bevolutionnaire, 38, Captain Francis Cole, 
Amazon, 36, Captain Eobert Carthew Eeynolds, Phoebe, 36, Captain 

300 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1796. 

Eobert Barlow, aud hired aiined lugger, Duke of York, Mr. 
Benjamin Sparrow, had been stationed to get early information 
of any movement at Brest, and to commimicate it to Vice-Admiral 
Sir John Colpoys at a rendezvous about twenty miles west of 
Ushaut. On December 11th, Pellew had sent the Amazon to 
England and the Phwbe to Colpoys with news of the arrival of 
de Kichery at Brest, and on the 15th he had again sent the Phccbe 
to Colpoys^ to report that the French fleet was coming out. In 
the afternoon of the 16th he had also sent the RicoJutionnaire 
to further inform the Vice-Admiral of what was going forward. 
Pellew remained to watch the enemy, which he even allowed to 
get wnthin gunshot of him ere he made off. Early on the 17th, he 
sent the Duke of York to Falmouth with dispatches ; and soon 
afterwards, having lost sight of the French in the night, he 
followed her.^ 

At dawn on December 17th, part of the French fleet had cleared 
the Passage du Raz. Eear- Admiral Bouvet was the senior ofiicer 
with this part, and, seeing nothing of the rest of the expedition, he 
opened his instructions, in accordance with the directions which he 
was to follow in case of separation, and learnt from them that he 
was to make Mizen Head, in county Cork, and to cruise off it for 
five days to await orders. He steered nearly due west until the 
morning of the 19th, when he altered coui-se to the north. Soon 
afterwards he fell in with some of his missing consorts, the result 
being that by noon he had with him the whole of the expedition 
except the Nestor, 7-4, Fraternite, 40, Cocardc, 40, Bomaine, 40, three 
of the brigs, and two of the transports. The command, in the 
absence of M. Morard de Galles, who was still in the Fraternite, 
thus devolved upon M. Bouvet, who, on the morning of December 
21st, sighted Mizen Head, and, soon afterwards, made the signal to 
prepare to anchor in Bantry Bay. 

' The Phoebe on tliis occasion did not reach Colpoys until the 19th, when he, with 
thirteen sail, was in latitude 48° 51' N., and longitude 5° 43' W., whither he had 
cruised. On the following day he sighted, and sent some of his ships in chase of, 
Villeneuve's squadron, which was on its way from Toulon, aud which escaped into 
Lorient. Then, liaving suffered in a gale, he had to bear away for Spitheail. Thus he 
failed to sight Bouvet. 

- Pellew reached Falmouth late on December 20th. On the 25th, Bridport weighed 
from Spithead to go in chase of the Brest fleet, but he was delayetl by a series of 
accidents, and was unable to leave St. Helen's until January 3rd, 1797. Proceeding 
first off Ushant and then off Bantry, he saw nothing of the enemy until, on the 10th, 
as will be seen, he vainly chased the Rcfoliition and Fraternite. 


From pilots who, mistaking the fleet for a British one, went out 
unsuspiciously to it, and were detained, the French learnt that no 
vessels had appeared off the coast during the previous three days ; 
and that the only force lying in the Cove of Cork ^ consisted of six 
frigates. There was a fresh wind from the eastward ; and, as the 
fleet made little way in beating up against it, M. Bouvet, at 4 p.m. 
on the 22nd, anchored the Immortalite to windward of the eastern 
end of Bere Island, another frigate, eight ships of the line, four 
brigs, and one transport anchoring near her. The other ships 
remained under way, and, on the morning of the 23rd, were not 
\'isible from the anchorage. During the following twenty-four 
hour's there was a heavy gale from the eastward. On the 24th, at 
the instance of Grouchy, who was the senior military officer present, 
preparations were made to land troops, either at "Waterfall or in 
the mouth of the little river Ardrigole, higher up the Bay. To 
facilitate the landing, the ships weighed in order to move nearer 
in ; but, the weather again becoming dirty, the squadron re- 
anchored. On the 25th, the weather was so bad that such 
vessels as did not voluntarily put to sea drove from their 
anchors ; ^ and, for the next three days, there was no j)Ossibility 
of again entering the Bay. When, on the 29th, the weather 
moderated and the wind became fair, Bouvet, who did not know 
what had become of his consorts, and who had only a few days' 
provisions remaining on board the Immortalite, headed his frigate 
for Brest, which he reached on January 1st, 1797. On the same 
day the Indomptahle, Mucins, Fougueux, Patriote, and Bedoutable 
also entered the road. 

The Nestor, Fraternite, Cocarde, Romaine, and small craft, 
which, on December 19th, had become separated from the rest of 
the French fleet, lost sight of one another dming the 20th. On the 
21st, the Fraternite, still bearing the flag of M. Morard de Galles, 
was chased by a British frigate and driven far to the westward of 
her destination ; and not until the morning of the 29th was she able 
to stand for Bantry Bay. On her course thither she fell in with the 
Revolution, which was occupied in taking out the people from the 
Scevola, the latter having become quite imseaworthy owing to the 
bad weather which she had encountered. No French ships were 

' Now Queenstown Harbour. 

2 On this occasion tlie Indomptdble, 80, fouled the Besolue, 40, and carried away 
all her masts. 

302 MA JOE OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1797. 

found off Bere Island ; aud, as both the Revolution aud the 
Frafcrnite were now overcrowded and getting short of provisions, 
Morard de Galles and Hoche decided to retui-n to France. On their 
way, the two French ships, on January 8th, sighted, and tacked 
away from, the British frigates Unicorn, 32, Captain Sir Thomas 
WilHams, and Doris, 36, Captain the Hon. Charles Jones,' which 
were themselves at the same time being chased by a considerable 
part of the returning expeditionary squadron, and which might have 
been easily taken, if the French commander-in-chief had only 
known how near his friends were to him. On the 10th, again, 
the Bevolntion and Fraternite were chased by Lord Bridport's 
fleet ; - but, thanks to the thick weather, they got away, and, 
on the 14:th, entered Eochefort. 

Some of the ships which had failed to make Bantry proceeded 
eventually to the mouth of the Shannon ; but they attempted 
nothing there ; and, after a short stay, headed again for France. 
One of them was the Droits de I'Homme, 74, on board of which was 
General Humbert. After quitting the Shannon, off which she 
captured a rich letter of marque, and looking a second time into 
Bantry Bay, she left the coast of Ireland on January 9th, and made 
for Brest. On the 13th the weather was thick, and, although 
Captain La Crosse believed himself to be near his destination, he 
stood to the southward under easy sail with the wind on his star- 
board beam. Early in the afternoon he imagined himself to be 
chased by two vessels, and, in his endeavours to escape from them,* 
he ran up against two more, which were sighted at 3.30 p.m., and 
which turned out to be the Indefatigable, 44, Captain Sir Edward 
Pellew, and the Amazon, 36, Captain Kobert Carthew Reynolds. 
These frigates were still engaged in watching Brest, and were then 
in latitude 47° 30' N., Ushant bearing N.E. 50 leagues. When they 
first saw the French 74, she bore N.W. from them. At 4.15 p.m. 
the Droits de I'Homme was so unfortunate as to carry away in a 
squall her main topsail braces and, soon afterwards, her fore and 
main topmasts ; but long before 5.30 p.m., when the Indefatigable, 
then seven miles ahead of her consort, got within hail, the French- 
man had cleared away the wreck. A hot action then began, the 

' These frigates belonged to a squadron stationed off the coast of Ireland under 
Vice-Admiral Robert Kingsmill. The Hon. C. Jones was afterwards Viscount Eane- 
lagh. He died, still a Captain, m December, 1800. 

2 The Channel Fleet. 

' They seem, after all, to have been French ships. 


natural superioritj- of the two-decker being to some extent 
neutralised bj' her crippled condition, and by her inability to 
keep open her lower ports when she was rolling in a heavy 
sea with but little sail to steady her. At about 6.4.5 p.m. the 
Amazon came up, and pom-ed a broadside into the Frenchman's 
quarter; but Captain La Crosse handled his ship so as to avoid 
being raked, and so as to bring both of his opponents on one side of 
him, and at 7.30 p.m. he was temporarily reheved by both the 
British ships shooting ahead, the Amazon, on accoimt of the 
quantity of sail which she carried, and the Indefatigable, to repair 
damages aloft. The Droits de rHomine utihsed the respite as best 
she could, and continued running to the east-south-east. At 8.30 
the action was renewed, the frigates stationing themselves one on 
each bow of the 74, and yawing to rake her, and she, from time to 
time, also yawing to rake them, though without much effect. At 
10.30 P.M., she was obliged to cut away her mizen ; whereupon the 
frigates took up positions on her quarters. With a brief inter- 
mission, the fight continued until about 4.20 a.m. on January 14th, 
when land was suddenly sighted close ahead. The Indefatigable 
promptly hauled off, and made sail to the southward. The Amazon 
wore to the northward ; but, being unable, owing to her crippled 
state, to work off, she ran agroimd in about half an hom- and 
became a wreck. Except six men, all her people saved themselves, 
though they were, of course, made prisoners.^ 

In this action the Indefatigable had all her masts wounded; 
and, at its conclusion, she had four feet of water in her hold ; but 
she had only Lieutenant John Thompson ^ and 18 men wounded, 
and nobody killed. The Atalante suffered almost as severely aloft 
and in hull, and had 3 men killed and 15 badly wounded. 

As for the gallant Droits de VHomme, which, in the engagement, 
had lost no fewer than 103 killed and about 150 wounded, she also 
altered coui'se, hoping to avoid the danger, but immediately after- 
wards lost her foremast and bowsprit. In vain did she try to bring 
up. In a few minutes she struck on a sandbank in the Bay of 
Audierne. As she pounded there her mainmast went by the board. 
Dming the whole of the following day and night, and also on the 

■ Captain Eeynolds and his officers were " most honourably and fully acquitted," 
with the court's highest approbation. C.ll., September 29th, 1797. 

^ First Lieutenant. He was promoted to be Commander, but died in that rank 
in 1804. The first Lieutenant of the Amazon, Bendall Robert Littlehales, who was also 
promoted, died a Tice-Adniiral in 1847. 

304 MA JOB OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1707. 

15th and 16tb of January, she lay, her people being washed out 
of her by the heavy sea, or being drowned in their endeavours to 
make the shore. Few managed to reach it. On the 17th, when 
the weather had cl(!ared, the Arrogante, brig, and Aiguille, cutter, 
reached the spot ; and on that day and the following the survivors 
were taken off from the wreck. The disaster is supposed to have 
cost the loss of upwards of 1000 lives.' This was the most 
terrible episode of an adventui'e which, from beginning to end, 
was singularly unfortunate.^ 

Lord Bridport, though on the look-out for the returning 
remnants of the Brest fleet, failed to intercept any part of it ; and, 
on Januaiy 19th, having satisfied himself that nothing of im- 
portance remained for him to intercept, he detached five ships of 
the line and a frigate' to Gibraltar under Eear- Admiral William 
Parker (1) to reinforce Sir John Jervis. For a few days longer he 
cruised with the rest of his fleet off Ushant, and then went, 
by way of Torbaj', to Spithead, where he dropped anchor on 
February 3rd. He sailed again on March 3rd for a cruise off 
Brest, and retm-ned to his anchorage on the 80th. On April 6th, 
it being held that it would be suflicieut merely to watch the enemy, 
Eear-Admiral Sir Eoger Cmiis, with nine sail of the hne, sailed to 
take up a position off the enemy's port. Up to about that time 
Lord Bridport had been only the locum tenens for Iiord Howe in 
chief command of the Channel Fleet ; but Howe's continued ill- 
health then obliged him to resign. It was on April 1.5th, when 
Bridport signalled to prepare for sea with a view to making his 
first cruise as real Commander-in-Chief, that the great mutiny, 

' 'Nav. Chron.,' vii. 465; Marshall, ' Nav. Biog.,' ii., undef "Littlehales"; 'Vict, 
et Conquetes,' vii. 296. 

^ Those of the exjieditionary ship-s which never returned to port are to be thus 
accounted for: Scduiscmt, 74, wrecked, December 16th, 1796, going out of Brest; 
Droits de Vllomme, 74, wrecked, January 13th, 1797, while in action off the Pen- 
marcks ; Scevola, 44, foundered, December 30th, ofl' Ireland ; Impatiente, 44, wrecked, 
December 30th, near Crookhaven ; SurveiUanU, 36, wrecked in January in Bantry 
Bay; Tortile, 40, taken, January 5th, off Ireland, by the Polyphemus, 64; Atalaiite 
20, taken, January 10th, by the Phile, 36; Mutine, 14, taken May 29th, at Santa 
■Cruz ; Justine, taken, December 30th, by the Polyphemus, 64 ; Fille Unique, foundered 
January 6th, in the Bay of Biscay ; Ville de Lorient, taken, January 7th, by the 
Unicorn,' 32 ; Suffren, taken by the Jason ; retaken by the Tortiie ; again taken by 
the D.rdalus, 32, and sunk ; AUei/re, taken January 12th, by the Sjntjire, 16. 

' Prince Oeorge, Namiir, Orion, Irresistible, Colossus, and Thalia. These were 
given a rendezvous with Admiral Sir John Jervis off Cape St. Vincent, where, as will 
be seen, they joined him on February 6th. 


some account of which is given in the previous chapter, broke 
out at Spithead. That regrettable event had the effect of post- 
poning the weighing of the fleet until May 16th, and, even then, 
it was not able to make an offing until the 17th. Thenceforward, 
during the rest of the summer, Bridport remained almost con- 
tinuously cruising in the Channel, while frigate squadrons under 
8ir Edward Pellew and Sir John Borlase Warren more closely 
observed the enemy's harbours ; but, chiefly owing to political 
convulsions in Paris, the French did not venture out, and a 
meditated second attempt upon Ireland had to be, for that year, 
abandoned. Elsewhere the foes of Great Britain were much more 

Admiral Sir John Jervis, with the fleet which had temporarily 
abandoned the Mediterranean in the previous year, remained in 
the Tagus until January 18th, 1797, when, with eleven sail of the 
line, he left Lisbon in order to escort to a safe latitude a Brazil 
convoy, and to make rendezvous off Cape St. Vincent with the 
reinforcement which Eear-Admiral Wilham Parker (1) was bringing 
out from the Channel. In attempting to leave the riVBr the St. 
George, 98, Captain Shuldham Peard, after colliding with a Portu- 
guese frigate, grounded on the Cachopo Shoal, and suffered so 
much damage that she had to return for repairs. The Admiral's 
force was thus reduced to ten ships of the line ; but, after he had 
seen his convoy on its way and was making for St. Vincent, he 
fell in, on February 6th, with the reinforcements which had been 
detached from the Channel Fleet. This brought up his immediately 
available strength to fifteen ships of the line, besides frigates. In 
addition the St. George, 98, and Zealous, 74, were repairing at 
Lisbon, and the Gibraltar, 80, at Plymouth. 

In the meantime the grand fleet of Spain, under Admiral Don 
Jose de Cordova, who had superseded Admiral de Langara, lay 
at Cartagena. It consisted of 27 sail of the hue, 12 frigates, a brig- 
corvette, and some smaller craft. According to the plans of the 
allies this fleet was eventually to make its way to Brest, and there 
to join the French and Dutch fleets in order to clear the way for 
an invasion of England. But it was not to attempt to make the 
voyage to Brest directly. It was to halt on its way at Cadiz for 
refreshment and supplies. 

Sir John Jervis, upon whom devolved the task of preventing 
Don Jose de Cordova from joining hands with M. Morard de 



MA JOB OPEHATIOyS, 1793-1802. 


Galles, had with him a numerically inferior force. MoreoTer he 
did not know that the Spaniards intended to put into Cadiz. And, 
seeing that he expected his enemy off Cape St. Vincent, which is 
far to the westward of Cadiz, he could have neither fought nor 
sighted Don Jose when he did, had the Spanish admiral been able 
to carry out his design. But for an accidental circumstance Don 
Jose wotdd have got safely into Cadiz ; and, instead of the glories 

(From an ensrarino by Ridley, after the portrait by J. Northeote, £_i.) 

of St. Vincent, the British fleet would probably have tasted the 
monotonous weariness of a long period of blockading duty. That 
accidental circumstance was the continuance, for a comparatively 
long period, of strong easterly and south-easterly winds in the 
neighbourhood of the Strait. 

After his reinforcement had joined him Jervis worked slowly 
up against these winds for his station off Cape St. Vincent. Don 
Jose de Cordova had already left Cartagena on February 1st. On 


^^Lpyriir' IT II "Tm^^Mfiii " ^^B 

:« a^ 


■V -- 


V J 

' I ) 






4 - 


'f/',u'/ir-' C'i^h : 



f^€44^zM^. ^£e4^'€ne' i^eu-ri 



the 5th, as he passed Gibraltar, he sent into Algeciras a number 
of gunboats and transports, escorted by the Neptiuio, 80, Bahama, 74, 
Terrible, 74, and Nuestra Senora del Guadalupe, 34. One of the 
two-deckers rejoined the fleet at once. The other two * ships of 
the Hue did not leave port until the 10th, and, on the 11th, sighted 
and chased the Mineroe, 38, Commodore Horatio Nelson, Captain 
George Cockbm-n, which was returning from Porto Ferrajo with 
Sir Gilbert Elliot, late Viceroy of Corsica, Lieut. -Colonel Drink- 
water, and other officials on board. The Minerve escaped without 
much difficulty, and, early on the 13th, joined Jervis, to whom she 
brought the first news ^ of the Spaniards being at sea. 

Ere that time Don Jose de Cordova would have been in Cadiz, 
had not the easterlj' gale driven him much to westward of his port, 
and into the neighbom-hood of the British fleet. Not until the 
night of the 13th did the vpind change to west-by-south. The 
Spaniards ^ then began to crowd in towards the land without much 
regard to order. Their signal guns had been already heard by 
the British ; and at 2.30 A.M. on the 14th Jervis learnt from a 
Portuguese frigate that the enemy was but about five leagues from 
him, to windward. 

The early morning of the 14th of February, 1797, was misty 
and dark. The British fleet was then standing in two columns on 
the starboard tack, with the wind west by south, Cape St. Vincent 
bearing east by north, distant twenty-five miles. At about 6.30 a.m. 
the Culloden signalled five sail in the south-west by south ; and 
a little later the news was confirmed by the Niger and Lively, 
which were able to add that the strangers were by the wind on 
the starboard tack. Thereupon the Bonne Gitoyenne was directed 
to reconnoitre ; and at 8.15 A.M. the Admiral ordered his fleet to 
form in close order. He had already, over night, ordered it to 
prepare for action. He now repeated that signal, and, at 9.30, 
detached ahead the Culloden, Blenheim, and Prince George, rein- 
forced twenty minutes later by the Irresistible, Colossus, and Orion, 
to chase to the south-west. Still, neither side knew the numerical 
strength of its foe. The Spaniards, unintentionally misled by an 

' They did not rejoin the flag iintil the afternoon of the 14th, during the action. 

2 The Niger, 32, Captain Edward James Poote, had kept company with and 
ohserved the Spaniards for several days, but did not join the fleet until 5 a.m. on 
the 14th. 

' They had previously sighted some of the British ships, but, mistaking them for 
merchantmen, paid little attention to them. 

X 2 

308 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1797. 

American skipper who had sighted the British on the 4th, believed 
that Jervis had but nine sail of the line with him. The British 
at 9 A.M. coiild count but twenty sail of the line. Not until about 
11 A.M. did the Spaniards realise that fifteen sail of the line were 
opposed to them, nor did Jervis know that he had to deal with 
twenty-six.^ Up to that time the two parallel British lines had 
been heading for a gap which separated the Spanish fleet into two 
divisions, one, the larger, of twenty-one ships, being to windward, 


.. — ^= — — - — --^ — ■ 


\ ^ 


l\ ■S»./f\ 

/\.. y'-^ 

1 ^ ' '' -'--v^ 


*' ^ ^ * 

<= "-' ^ ^ 

^ ^ 

Bat-tue of Cape: S'^ Vincent. 

/^'-'^ rEe"" /7pr 

r. o. 1 . 

/JaouT // 3S A M. 



^/i/7-/SM ^^ 3^/t/^/Sf^ CO 


running (with the exception of two, which were far to the south- 
west) in a mass under all sail with the wind on the starboard 
quarter, and the other, the smaller, of six ships, being to leeward, 
close-hauled on the port tack, and endeavouring to join the larger 
ere Jervis could cut in between the two. 

At a few minutes before 11 a.m. some of the headmost ships of 

' The logs of the Victory and Bonne Citoyenne, as well as Jervis'e dispatch, as 
publislied in the ' Gazette,' put the number at only twenty-five, but the two line-of- 
battle ships which had put into Algeciras, and «-hich had not already rejoined, joined 
during the battle. 




the Spanish weather division began to wear and trim on the port 
tack, as if with the intention of ultimately forming line and passing 
along the British weather column, so exposing that colmnn, con- 
sisting of eight ships only, to the fire of twenty or twenty-one 
vessels, and, at the same time, preventing the British lee column 
from using its guns for fear of injuring its friends. Jervis's 
reply was, at 11 A.M., to order his own ships to form in single 
column ahead and astern of the Victory, as most convenient, and 
to steer S.S.W., or close-hatded on the starboard tack, a course 
which kept the Spanish lee division upon the British lee or port 
bow. When this signal had been obeyed the order of the column 
was as given in the note below.' A little later Jervis made the 
signal to pass through the enemy's hne ; and, at about the same 
time, five of the six ships of the Spanish lee division, perceiving 

' Fleet of Admikal Sir John Jervis in the Battle off Cape St. Vincent, 
February 14th, 1797, witli the Names of the Captains and First Lieutenants, 
and the numbers Killed and seriously Wounded in each ship. 


Culloden . . 
Blenlteim . 

Prince George 

OrUtn . 
Colossus . 




Britannia .... 





Minerve ... 38 
Southampton . 32 
Lively ... 32 
Niffer ... 32 
Bonne Citoyenne 20 
Raven, brig. . 18 
JPox, cutter . . 10 








Capt. Thomas Troubridge .... 

,, Thomas Leiiox Frederick . 
fRear-Adm. William Parker (1) (R.) ) 
ICapt. John Irwin J 

,, Sir James Samnarez .... 

,, George Jlurray (3) .... 

,, George Martin 

(Admiral Sir John Jervis, K.B. (B.) .) 
.^Capt. (1st) Robert Calder . . . .S 
I „ (2nd) George Grey (1) . . .) 

,, John Sutton 

„ .Sir Charles Henry Knowles, Bart. 
(Vice-Adm. Hon. AVilliam W'alde-] 

grave (B.) 

,Capt. James Richard Dacres (1) 
(Vice-Adm. Charles Thompson (B.) .\ 
ICapt. Thomas Foley (3) . . . ./ 

,, James Hawkins Whitshed . . 

fCommod. Horatio Nelson . . . • \ 

ICapt. Ralph Willett II Uler . . ./ 

„ George Henry Towry , . . 

,. (^thbert Ci'llingwood . . 

„ George Cockbum 

,, James Macnamara (2) . 

„ Lord Garlies 

,, Edward James Foote 
Com. Charles Lindsay 

„ William Prowse (1) . . . . 
Lieut. John Gibson 


First Lieuienants.i 





Auselm John Griffitlis. 
Robert Campbell (1). 

Robert Williams (1). 

James Barker. 
Richard Prater. 
William Bevians. 

William .Sclby. 

George Burdett. 
William Collis. 

John Bligh (2). 

Valentine CoUard. 

I James Nash. 
fEdward Berry (Com.) 
I actg. 

/Henry Edward Reginald 
I Baker. 
John .Mortimer. 

1 l>romoted to be Commanders, chiefly on .March 8th. 1797. Commander Berry was posted ou March 6tb. 

Spanish Ships of the Lise Pkesext in the Action : 130 guns, Santisima Trinidad ; 112 gims, Concepciiin, 
Conile de Megla, Mexicano, Principe de Asturias, Satoador del ilundo (taken), San Josef (taken); 80 guns, 
yeptuiw, San .Yicolus (taken); 74 guns, Jtlaiite, Haluimo, Conquistador, Pirme, Glorioso, Oriente, Pelayo. San 
Antonio, San Domimjo, San Pirmin, San Francisco de Paula, San Genaro, San Ildefonso, San Juan 
Neponiuceno, San Pablo, San Tsidro (taken), Soberano, Terrible. 

310 MAJOR OPERATIOi^S, 1793-1802. [ITiiT. 

that the British were for the moment neglecting them, and that 
they could not in any case cross Jervis's bows, hauled up on the 
starboard tack as if in indecision, but finally settled upon a north- 
east course. The sixth ship, a 74, made off at once and alone 
under a crowd of sail to the south-east, and was soon out of sight ; 
but the five were almost simultaneously reinforced by two three- 
deckers and one two-decker,^ which, standing across the head of 
the British column, joined them. These evolutions reduced the 

"--co""- -cP 


a <=^ <= a 


CD «= <= 

C3 CD a 

Battue, of Capf. S"^ Vimcent 

/4 ■"" r^a "■' /79P 
Fic. II 

• ^* 

Spanish weather division to eighteen sail of the line, inclusive of 
the two vessels which were about to rejoin from Algeciras. At 
11.31 A.M., when the CuUodcn was abreast of the leading ships of 
the enemy's weather division, she opened fire upon them by signal, 
and was replied to, though the range was distant. The ships in 
her wake followed her example as they approached within gunshot ; 
and at 12.8 p.m., just as Troubridge had passed the last ship of the 
Spanish weather division, he was signalled to tack. The Blenheim 
did the same a little later, and then the Prince George, which was 

' Probably Conde de Begla, 112, Principe de Asiurias, 112, and Oriente, 74. 


a good deal out of station to leeward. At about that time the 
Spanish lee division put about on the port tack as if with the in- 
tention of cutting the Bi-itish column at the point at which the 
vessels composing it were tacking in succession. The Orion got 
round ; the Colossus, her next astern, was in the act of going about, 
when her foreyard and fore-topsail yard were shot away in the 
slings, and her fore-topmast went a little above the cap. She had, 
in consequence, to wear instead of tack ; and while her head still 
pointed to leeward, the headmost Spaniard of the lee division 
drew so near as to thi-eaten her with a raking broadside. Seeing 
Murray's danger and exposed position, Saumarez most gallantly 
backed his main topsail, and lay by to cover his friend ; but the 
danger passed. Jervis signalled to his van to alter course one 
point to starboard, and to pass through the enemy. As he got up 
to the tacking point the Irresistible, his next ahead, became hotty 
engaged with the Spanish lee division. When she had tacked 
after the van the advancing Spaniards made an effort to break the 
Une ahead of the Victory ; but the British flagship was too quick 
for the enemy, and the leading Spaniard, a three-decker, had to 
tack close under the Victory's lee, receiving a raking broadside as 
she did so, and then bearing up in confusion. Her seven consorts, 
with more or less determination, tried to pass ahead or astern of 
the Egmont and Goliath, but were driven off, and, with the ex- 
ception of the Oriente, obliged to bear up. The Oriente continued 
on the port tack, and, passing to leeward of the British rear under 
cover of the smoke, succeeded in joining the Spanish weather 

It was about 1 p.m. when the Excellent, the rearmost ship of 
the British line, had advanced so far ahead on her course on the 
starboard tack as to leave, as James puts it, an open sea to leeward 
of the Spanish weather division, and when the leading ships of 
the latter bore up together by way of making an effort to join 
their friends to leeward. This was the critical moment of the 
action, which, up to that time, had been of a very partial 
character, and which, had the Spaniards been allowed unchecked 
to accomplish their pm-pose, would, no doubt, either have ended 
indecisively almost at once, or have become a long and tedious 
running fight, the quicker Spaniards crowding sail for Cadiz, and 
the better-handled British hanging upon their rear and doing such 
damage as they might. Nelson, in the Captain, quickly perceived 

312 MA JOB OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1797. 

this, and realised that the head of the douhled up British cokimn, 
pursuing the main body of the Spaniards, was too far astern of it 
to be able to interfere unaided with success. Giving, therefore, a 
very wide interpretation to a signal ' which had been hoisted by 
the Victory at 0.51 p.m., the Commodore ordered Captain Miller to 
wear the Ccq^tain. As soon as the two-decker was round, he took 
her between the Diadem and the Excellent, and ran her athwart 
the bows of the Spanish ships forming the central mass of the 


— — 111 



;^.« . 

,--<=' i 

- / / 

^ ^ ^ Battue, of Cape S^ Vimcemt 

^ ^aouT /J PM 



weather division. This mass included the Santisima Trinidad, 130, 
San Josef, 112, Salvador del Mxindo, 112, San Nicolas, 80, San 
Ysidro, 74, and another three-decker which is supposed to have 
been the Mexicano, 112. At about 1.30 p.m., when the Culloden, 
which had gradually overhauled the Spanish rear, had for ten 
minutes sustained a renewed, but as yet not very close, engagement 
with this same group of ships, the Captain opened fire upon her 
gigantic opponents. Yet ere that Jervis, at 1.19 p.m., had signalled 

' " To take suitable stations for mutual support, and engage tlie enemy, as coming 
up in succession." 


to his rearmost ship, the Excellent, to come to the wind on the 
larhoard tack, and, in comphance, Colhngwood had hauled sharp 
up, so that, by 2.15 p.m., he had reached a station ahead of the 
leading or weather portion of the British line. The Blenheim and 
Prince George being then well up behind the Culloden, and there 
being thus five British ships in a position to bar the way, the 
Spanish plan was effectively frustrated. Indeed, the enemy had 


(From a lUhonnuJi hij H B. Cnuk, dftcr the portrait Ml J- Northcotc, painted v>hen Sir James was 

Ecar-AdmiraU 1799-1804.) 

already relinquished the design of running to leeward of the British, 

and had hauled upon the starboard tack. 

"At about 2 P.M.," says James, "the OuUoden had stretched so far ahead as to 
cover the Captain from the heavy fire poured upon her by the Spanish four-decker 
and her companions, as they hauled up and brought their broadsides to bear. Of the 
respite thus aflbrded to her, the Captain took immediate advantage, replenishing her 
lockers with shot, and splicing and repairing her running rigging. Shortly afterwards 
the Blenheim, passing also to windward of the Captain, aflbrded her a second respite, 
which was taken advantage of as before. The two more immediate opponents of the 

314 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [I7t>7. 

Captain and CuUoden had been the San I'sidro and Salvador del Mundo : these, having 
already lost some of their topmasts, and being otherwise in a crippled state, the 
Blenheim, by a few of her heavy broadsides, sent staggering astern, to bo cannonaded 
afresh by the Prince Oeorye, Orion, and other advancing ships .... At 2.26 p.m. the 
Excellent, having been directed by signal to bear up, edged away, and at 2.35, arriving 
abreast of the disabled Spanish three-decker, Salmdov ilcl Mundo, engaged the latter 
upon her weather bow for a few minutes ; then passing on to the nest Spanish ship in 
succession, the San Ysidro, whose three topmasts had already been shot away. This 
ship Captain CoUingwood engaged closely on the lee beam until 2.53 p.m. ; when, after 
a gallant defence in her crippled state from the fire of her former opponent, the San 
Ysidro hauled down the Spanish, and hoisted the English flag ' . . . . Ver}' soon after the 
Excellent had quitted the Salvador del Mundo for the San Ysidro, the Irresistible and 
Diadem commenced an attack upon the former, the 74 stationing herself upon the 
weather bow, and the C-t upon the lee quarter, of the Spanish three-decker, then, with 
her fore and main topmasts gone, and otherwise much disabled .... Observing the 
Victory about to pass under her stern, and that the Barjltur was following close, the 
Salvador del Mundo, whose mizen topmast had since shared the fate of the fore and 
main, very judiciously hauled down her flag as soon as some of the Victory's bow guns ^ 
began to hear upon her .... At about 3.15 p.m. the Excellent .... came to close action 
with the 80-gun ship San Nicolas, then with her fore topmast gone, and who, until the 
Excellent arrived abreast of her to leeward, had been in hot action with the Captain. 
Passhig within ten feet of the San Nicolas's starboard side, the Excellent poured in a 
destructive fire, and, in compliance with the signal then flying, to fill and stand cin, made 
sail ahead. In luffing up to avoid Captain Collingwood's salute, the San Nicalas ran 
fold of the San Josef, whose mizen mast had already been shot away, and who had 
received considerable other damage .... As soon as the Excellent was sufficiently 
advanced to be clear of her, the Captain luffed up as close to the wind as her shattered 
condition would admit ; when her fore topmast, which had already been ssverely shot 
through, fell over the side. In this vmmanageable state, with her wheel shot away, and 
all her sails, shrouds, and running rigging more or less cut ; with the Blenheim ahead, 
and the Culhden crippled astern, no alternative remained but to board the Spanish 
two-decker. As a well-judged preparative, the Captain reopened, within less than 
twenty yards, her larboard broadside, the heavy fire from which the San Nicolas 
returned with spirit for several minutes, when the Captain suddenly p\it her helm 
a-starboard, and, on coming to, hooked with her larboard cat-head the starboard 
quarter-gallery of the San Nicolas, and, with her spritsail yard, the latter's main' 
rigging." * 

The account of the extraordinary feat which followed may be 
given in Nelson's own words. He called for the hoarders, and 
ordered them to board the San Nicolas, on the port side of which 
lay the San Josef, still foul of her consort. 

" The soldiers of the 69th," wrote Nelson in a paper ^ which was published some time 
afterwards, " with an alacrity which mil ever do them credit, and Lieutenant Pearson 

' "But Captain CoUingwood, disdaining the parade of taking possession of a 
vanquished enemy, most gallantly pushed up, with every sail set, to save his old friend 
and messmate, who was to appearance in a critical state." Nelson : ' A Few Remarks 
relative to Myself,' etc. 

'•' It is doubtful whether she fired any of them at the three-decker. 

' Nelson says " the mizen rigging " ; and such it obviously was. 

* James (ed. 1837), ii. 38-40. 

' Nav. Chron.,' ii. 500. 




of the same regiment, were almost the foremost on this service : — the first man who 
jumped into the enemy's mizen chains was Captain Berry, late my first lieutenant 
(Captain Miller was in the very act of going also, but I directed him to remain) ; he 
was supported from our sprit-sail yard, which hooked in the mizen rigging. A soldier 
of the 69th regiment having broken the upper quarter-gallery window, I jumped in 
myself, and was followed by others as fast as possible. I found the cabin doors 
fastened, and some Spanish officers fired their pistols : but having broke open the doors, 
the soldiers fired, and the Spanish Brigadier (Commodore with a distinguishing 
pendant) fell, as retreating to the quarter-deck. I pushed immediately onwards for the 

1. ^•-*'^ 


(From a draining by W. Evans, after a picture by Sir Wm. Beechcij, It.A.) 

quarter-deck, where I found Captaui Berry in possession of the poop, and the Spanish 
ensign hauling do\ni. I passed with my people, and Lieutenant Pearson, on the 
larboard gangway, to the forecastle, where I met two or three Spanish officers, prisoners 
to my seamen : — they delivered me their swords. A fire of pistols, or muskets, oiiening 
from the admiral's stern-gallery of the San Josef, I directed the soldiers to fire into her 
stem ; and calling to Captain Miller, ordered him to send more men into the San Nicolas ; 
and directed my people to board the first-rate, which was done in an instant. Captain 
Berry assisting me into the main chains. At this moment a Spanish officer looked 
over the quarter-deck rail, and said they surrendered. From this most welcome 
intelligence, it was not long before I was on the quarter-deck, where the Spanish 

31t) MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [171)7. 

captniu, witii a bow, presented me his sword, and said the admiral was dying of his 
wounds. I asked him on his honour, if the ship was surrendered. He declared she was : 
on which I gave him my hand, and desired him to call on his officers and ship's 
company, and tell them of it : which he did : — and on the quarter-deck of a Spanish' 
first-rate, extravagant as the story may seem, did I receive tlie swords of vanquished 
Spaniards : which, as I received, I gave to William Fearney, one of my bargemen, who 
put them, witli the greatest sang-froid, mider his arm." 

There is no doubt that Nelson beheved that the surrender of the 
San Josef was brought about chiefly if not entirely by the fact that 
he boarded her from the San Nicolas ; but it is practically certain 
that the immediate cause of the surrender, both of the San Nicolas 
and of the San Josef, was the heavy fire to which, at the time, they 
were being treated by the Prince George, and which was not, indeed, 
suspended until the Captain hailed Parker's flagship to say that the 
Spaniards had struck. Yet, even if such be the truth, it detracts 
nothing from Nelson's dash and gallantry. He boarded, supposing 
on each occasion that he was boarding a still unbeaten foe. 

After having left the San Nicolas, the Excellent added her fire to 
that which, by that time, the Blenheim, Orion, and Irresistible were 
pouring into the Santisima Trinidad. The four-decker is said not 
only to have struck, but to have actually hoisted British colours : 
yet, be this as it may, she became no prize, for, relieved by two of 
her van ships, which wore to her support, by the two vessels which 
all daj- had been coming up from the west-south-west, and by the 
approaching junction of the Spanish lee division, she at length got 
clear of her foes. At 3.52 p.m., perceiving how many fresh ships 
were coming up, Jervis signalled to his fleet to prepare to bring to, 
in order to be ready to cover the four prizes and the disabled vessels. 
At 4.15 P.M. the frigates were directed to take the prizes in tow ; 
and at 4.39 the fleet was ordered to form close line ahead in wake of 
the Victory. The action had then practically ceased, although as 
late as 4.50 the Britannia and Orion exchanged some shot with the 
ships which were covering the Santisima Trinidad.^ 

The numbers killed and wounded in each of the British ships 
have already been given in a note. It should be explained that 
the numbers returned as wounded included only the very severely 
injured, and that, though the practice of omitting them was not 
usual in the service, the less seriously hurt were not counted. With 
these latter, the total of the wounded probably amounted to 400 

' Nelson, at 5 p.m., shifted his broad pennant from the disabled Captain to 
the Irresistibk. 


officers and men. The only officers killed were Major of Marines 
William Norris {Captain), Lieut, of Marines George A. Livingstone 
(CuUoden), Midshipman James Goodench {Captain), and Boatswain 
Peter Peffers {ExceUen t) . The officers wounded were : Commodore 
Nelson (bruised only), Lieutenants Andi-ew Thompson {Irresistible) 
and Edward Libby {Blenheim) ; Master's Mates Hugh M'Kinnon 
{Irresistible), Edward Augustus Down {Excellent), and Joseph 
Wixon {Blenheim, mortally) ; Midshipmen Thomas Mansel {Orion), 
William Balfom- {Irresistible), and Thomas Lund {Captain) ; and 
Boatswains James Peacock {Blenheim), and Carrington {Cap- 
tain). The Captain w&s the only British ship that lost any mast ; 
but the Colossus, CuUoden, Egmont, and Blenheiin all had masts and 
spars badly wounded, and were severely cut up. Only about ten of 
the Spanish vessels, exclusive of the prizes, appear to have been 
seriously handled, the greatest sufferer being the Santisima 
Trinidad, which, moreover, lost upwards of 200 people killed and 
wounded. All the prizes lost masts ; and the casualties on board 
them were : Salvador del Mundo, 42 killed, 124 wounded ; San 
Ysidro, 29 killed, 63 wounded ; San Josef, 46 killed, 96 wounded ; 
and San Nicolas, 144 killed, 59 wounded. 

It was a great victory, but not, in the circumstances, a surprising 
one. True, twenty-seven Spanish ships were opposed to the British 
fifteen, and the numerical advantage of the Spaniards was even 
greater in guns and men than it was in ships. But, while Jervis 
commanded a highly disciphned and splendidly trained force, Don 
Jose de Cordova had under his orders little better than a raw and 
presently a panic-stricken mob of men. Some of his ships, with 
complements ranging from 530 to 950 people, had on board but 
60 or 80 seamen apiece, aU the rest being soldiers and fresh 
landsmen. The poor wretches fought courageously enough, but, 
natiu'ally, many of them lost their heads ; and no better testimony 
of the general disorganisation can be cited than the fact that, after 
the San Josef had been taken possession of, it was foimd that some 
of the guns on the side on which she had been most hotly engaged 
had still their tompions in them. The inexperience of the crews 
was in no wise compensated for by any skill on the part of the 
officers. From first to last the Spanish fleet was so much in 
confusion that half the ships composing it could not use their gans 
without inflicting more damage on their friends than on their foes. 
The officers were as brave as gentlemen of their nationahtv com- 




monly are ; but, from highest to lowest, they were excelled by 
Jervis's officers in knowledge, seamanship, coolness, and prescience. 
Jervis himself, in boldly attacking what seemed to be so alarmingly 
superior a force ; Troubridge, in leading with an undaunted front ; 
and Nelson and Collingwood, in resom'cefully doing the right thing 
at the right moment, all contributed equally to the general result ; 
yet so weak were the Spaniards that they must have given way 
before almost any opponents bold enough to be blind to mere 
numerical superiority and to lay on with dash, skill, and decision. 
Indeed, the deed was done when it was shown that the Spaniards 
were not feared. 

Why then was the victory not more complete? Why were only 

(From an original lent hij B.S.H. Captiiin Prince Louis of Batkiiherg, II.N.) 

four ships taken ? Why did Jervis allow his opponent to carry off 
his disabled vessels, three or four of which were almost entirely 
crippled ? It is difficult to reply. Night, it is true, was coming on 
when Jervis at 5 p.m. stopped the pursuit, but, as James says, "it 
was that very night which would have brought the two fleets nearer 
to an equality. The greater the difficulties of manoeuvring, the 
greater were the chances in favour of the British ; and, with 12 
ships formed as British ships usually are formed, it is a question 
whether, when the darkness of a February night added its horrors 
to the destructive broadsides of a gallant and well-disciphned, though 
numerically inferior enemy, the Spanish admiral would not have 
abandoned the whole of his crippled ships to the conquerors." 

During the night of February 14th, both fleets lay to in order to 
repair damages, and at dawn on the l-5th, the two were within sight 


of one another in line of battle ahead on opposite tacks. The 
Spaniards had the wind, and could have provoked a renewal of the 
action ; but they contented themselves with bearing down at 
2.30 P.M., and hauling their wind as soon as Jervis hauled his. 
They then disappeared, and, on the afternoon of the 16th, the 
British fleet and its prizes anchored in Lagos Bay. When last the 
enemy was seen, his disabled four-decker, the Santisima Trinidad, 
was distant from the main body, and in tow of a frigate. Jervis, 
therefore, with a view to the possibihty of picking her up, detached 
from Lagos the Emerald, 36, Captain Velters Cornwall Berkeley ; 
Minerve, 38, Captain George Cockbiirn ; Niger, 32, Captain Edward 
James Foote ; Bonne Citoijenne, 20, Commander Charles Lindsay ; and 
Baven, 18, Co mm ander James Prowse (1), to look for her. The 
httle squadron sighted the Santisi?na Trinidad at 3 p.m. on Febru- 
ary 20th, about eighty miles south-south-east of Cape St. Vincent ; 
and Berkeley, who was senior officer, signalled for a chase. The 
Emerald, Minerve, and Niger ^ were overhauling the enemy, when, 
at about 6 p.m., Berkeley made a signal " to keep sight of the 
enemy, or make known their motions by day or night," and then, 
as the Emerald's log puts it, " only being answered by the Minerve, 
wore ship to the northward." Why Berkeley behaved in this extra- 
ordinary manner has never been satisfactorily explained. It has 
been suggested that he had reason to beHeve that he could not count 
upon the co-operation of the Bonne Citoijenne. But against this 
theory are to be set the two facts that he never brought the Com- 
mander of that ship to a court-martial, and that, although soon 
after 6 p.m. he was joined by the Terpsichore, 32, Captain Eichard 
Bowen, he still kept his ships headed to the northward, and so 
presently lost sight of the disabled Spaniard. Bowen parted com- 
pany almost immediately, and, whether by accident or design, found 
the Santisima Trinidad at 7 p.m. on February 28th. On March 1st, 
although he was then alone, he pluckily engaged her. He was 
naturally unable to effect much against his huge antagonist, but he 
nevertheless kept company with her until, off Cape Spartel, she fell 
in with part of the Spanish fleet. It is perhaps unfair to draw 
comparisons between the conduct of Berkeley - and that of Bowen ; 
but it is difficult to avoid regretting that the motives of the former 
for his mysterious action have never been made pubhc, and that 

' The Haven had previously parted company. 

^ Berkeley soon afterwards, as James says, "judiciously," resigned his command. 

320 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1797. 

they are not by any means so obviously creditable as is Bowen's 

On February 23rd, Sir John Jervis sailed from Lagos, where 
he had landed his prisoners, for Lisbon. For his services, he was 
created ' Baron Jervis of Meaford and Earl St. Vincent, in the 
peerage of Great Britain, and was granted a pension of £3000 a 
year; Vice-Admiral Thompson^ and Rear- Admiral Parker^ were 
made Baronets ; Vice-Admiral Waldegrave * was rewarded with the 
governorship of Newfoundland ; Nelson* was rewarded with a K.B., 
and the freedom of the city of London ; and Captain Calder was 
knighted. The thanks of both Houses were voted to the fleet, and 
a gold medal was conferred upon each of the Flag-oflicers and 
Captains. Collingwood sturdily refused to receive bis, unless he 
should first be given one for the Glorious First of June, on which 
occasion, he said, he had equally done his duty. His country 
honoured itself by sending him both medals, together with an 

The unfortunate Spanish admirals and captains had to pay 
heavily for the folly of their government in sending to sea a fleet 
that was not fit to fight. Many of them were deprived of their rank ; 
others were suspended ; and yet others were publicly reprimanded. 
The defeated fleet took refuge in Cadiz, where Admiral Massaredo 
assumed command of the twenty-six or twenty-eight sail of the hne 
that lay in the port. 

Jervis, who had been reinforced, lost no time in blockading the 
enemy. He left Lisbon on March 31st, and appeared off Cadiz on 
April 4th. But he could not induce the Spaniards to risk another 
general action, although, with a view to provoking them into coming 
out and doing so, he bombarded the town on the night of July 3rd, 
sending in the Thunder, bomb, 8, Lieutenant John Goiu'ly, to throw 
her 13 "5 in. shells into the place. The Thunder was covered by 
gunboats, launches, and boats of the fleet, under the orders of 
Nelson, who commanded the inshore squadron ; but, it being 
presently discovered that her largest mortar was unserviceable, she 
had to be withdrawn, protected by the fire of the Goliath, 74, 
Captain Thomas Foley (3), Terpsichore, 82, Captain Eichard 

' On May 27th, 1797. ^ Qq June 23rd, 1797. ' On June 24th, 1797. 

* Subsequently created Lord Radstock in the peerage of Ireland, December 29th, 

' Promoted to be Bear-Admiral on February 20th, six days after the battle. 

17'J7.] NELSON OFF CADIZ. 321 

Bowen, and Fox, cutter, 10, Lieutenant John Gibson. As she 
retired, she was chased by gunboats and launches from the harbour, 
and these were met by similar craft under the personal leadership of 
Nelson, who, in a boat containing but sixteen hands all told, came 
into close and fierce conflict with the barge of Don Miguel Tyrason, 
manned with a crew of twenty-eight men. Eighteeia of the 
Spaniards were killed ; all the rest, including Tyrason, were 
wounded and taken prisoners ; and, after the enemy had been 
driven under the forts, the British retired with two mortar boats 
and the barge, and with a loss of but one killed and twenty wounded. 
Among the latter were Captain Thomas Francis Fremantle {Sea- 
horse), Lieutenants William Selby {ViUe de Paris), Henry Nathaniel 
Rowe (Diadem), and Gregory Grant {Prince George), Master's Mate 
Hugh Pearson (Barfleur), and Midshipman Robert Tooley {Prince 
George). Nelson's cockswain, John Sykes, who had stood with him 
on the quarter-deck of the ,S'rt/( Josef, was severely wounded while 
defending the Bear- Admiral. 

Another bombardment was effected on the night of July 5th, 
Nelson again commanding. Three bombs, the Thunder, 8, Terror, 
8, and Stromholi, 8, were employed, and were covered by the 
Theseus, 74, Captain Ralph Willett Miller, the Terpsichore, 32, 
Captain Richard Bowen, and the Emerald, 86, Captain Thomas 
Moutray Waller. Much damage was done, and part of the Spanish 
fleet, apprehending a renewal of the firing, warped out of range on 
the following day. As before, the small craft encountered one 
another during the darkness ; but the British lost, in the desultory 
fighting, only three killed and sixteen wounded, the latter including 
Captain of Marines, Thomas Oldfield {Theseus), Lieutenants John 
CoUins {Victory), and John Hornsey {Seahorse), and Midshipmen 
John Collier {Theseus), and John Stephenson {Audacious). A third 
bombardment, planned for the night of the 8th, had to be relinquished 
owing to the state of the weather. 

While the blockade still went on. Lord St. A^incent determined 
to make an effort for the capture of a rich galleon which, it was 
rumoured, had arrived at Santa Cruz,^ Tenerife, from Manilla. The 

1 Here, on May 29th, the boats of the LiveJy, 32, Captain Benjamin Hallowell, and 
Minerve, 38, Captain George Cockbum, under the orders of Lieutenant Thomas 
Masterman Hardy, first of the Minerve, had cut out in broad daylight, vmder a heavy 
fire, tlie French corvette Mutine, 14. Hardy, and Midshipman John Edgar, with 
thirteen men, were wounded in the affair, but no one was killed, and Hardy, for his 
gallantry was made a Commander intfi the prize. 

VOL. IV. '^ 


MA J OB OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. 


Commander-in-Chief, who perhaps for once underrated the difficulties 
of an enterprise, entrusted the expedition to the orders of Eear- 
Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, who, when his force was complete, had 
under him the following vessels : — 


TJieseiis . 

CuUoden . 
Zealous . 
Leandey^ . 
Seahorse . 
Emerald . 
Tcrpsichori- - 
Fox, cutter 
and a mortar 


. . .74 

. . . 74 





. . . 32 


fKear-Adiu. Sir H. Xelson, KB. (B.). 
iCapt. lialjih Willett Miller. 

„ Tliouias Troubridge. 

„ Samuel Hood (2). 

„ Thomas Boulden Thompson. 

„ Tliomas Francis Fremautle. 

„ Thomas Moutray Waller. 

„ Richard Bowen. 
Lieut. John Gibson. 


' /.€'»(?e/* joined un .Iiil.v 24111. 

2 Ttfjysw-ftore joined ou July UltU. 

Nelson parted company on Julj' 15th, and on the '20th arrived off 
Tenerife, and on that night the Seahorse, Emerald, Terpsichore, and 
Fox, with some of the boats of the squadron, endeavoured to land 
men to seize a fort on the north-east side of the bay, but failed, 
owing to adverse winds and currents. On the 22nd, the squadron 
drew closer in, and, at night, succeeded in landing some men ; but, 
as the heights were found to be strongly held, the people were 
re-embarked. On the evening of the 24th, Nelson anchored his 
squadron to the north-east of the town, and made a feint as if to 
disembark a force in that direction ; but at 11 p.m. he put 700 
seamen and Marines into his boats, 180 more into the Fox, and yet 
another 75 into a captured provision boat, and, himself assuming the 
command, pushed off" in rough weather and thick darkness for the 
mole head. At 1.30 a.m. on the 25th, the Fox and the boats 
containing Nelson, Fremantle, Thompson, and, Bowen, as well as a 
few other craft, got undiscovered within half gunshot of their 
destination ; when suddenly an alarm was sounded and a heavy 
fire was opened on them. The Fox was sunk, and with her went 
down 97 men, including Lieutenant Gibson. Nelson was struck on 
the right elbow, just as he was drawing his sword and jumping ashore 
from his barge, and he had to be conveyed back to his ship.' Another 
shot sank Bowen's boat, drowning seven or eight people. Yet, in 
spite of these disasters, that part of the British force landed and 
carried the mole head, driving off in confusion the three or four 
' His right arm was immediately amputated. 


hundred men who had held it, and capturing and spiking six 24- 
pounders mounted upon it. But a heavy fire of musketr}' and gi'ape 
was immediately afterwards directed upon the mole from the citadel 
and houses near it, and the British were mowed down by scores, the 
brave Bowen and his first lieutenant, George Thorpe, being among 
the killed. 

During this time the boats under Captain Troubridge, Captain 
Waller, and others, unable, owing to the darkness and the surf, to 
make the mole, had landed under a battery to the southward of the 
citadel ; and Captains Hood and Miller subsequently landed further 
to the south-west. Several boats, however, had to put back. Trou- 
bridge and Waller, having collected a few men, advanced to the great 
square of the town, where they expected to meet the Eear-Admiral 
and the remaining Captains. They sent a summons to the citadel, 
but, receiving no answer, they joined Captains Hood and Miller, and 
resolved to make an attempt upon the citadel, although thej' had 
lost all their scaling ladders. No sooner did they begin to move 
than they discovered that the place was crowded with troops, and 
that every street was commanded by field-pieces. To add to their 
difficulties, most of their ammunition was wet, and nearly all their 
boats were stove in. Unable, thus, either to advance or to retire, 
Troubridge, with magnificent effrontery, sent Hood with a flag of 
truce to the governor, to say that, if the Spaniards advanced, the 
British would burn the town. At the same time, he offered to 
capitulate on the following terms : the British to be allowed to 
embark with their arms in their own boats, or, if these were 
destroyed, in others to be furnished to them ; and the ships before 
the town to molest it no further, and not to attack any of the Canary 

The Spanish governor ' seems to have been taken captive by the 
very audacity of these proposals, coming as they did from people who 
were already practically at his mercy. Not only did he provide the 
British with boats, and allow them to depart, but he also supplied 
them with wine and biscuit, ordered that the wounded should be 
received into his own hospital, and sent a message to Nelson to 
the effect that the squadron was at liberty, during its stay, to send 
on shore and purchase whatsoever refreshments it might need. 

This lamentable but not inglorious affair, was very costly to the 
squadron. In addition to Captain Bowen, and Lieutenants George 
' Don Juan Antonio Gutteii. 

Y 2 

324 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1797. 

Thorpe and John Gibson (Fox), Lieutenants John Weatherhead 
(Theseus) and WilHam Earnshaw (Leander), Lieutenants of 
Marines, Eahy Eobinson (Leander) and William Basham (Emerald), 
and twenty- three seamen and fourteen Marines were killed. Eear- 
Admiral Nelson, Captain T. F. Fremantle, and T. B. Thompson, 
Lieutenant John Douglas (2) (Seahorse), Midshipman Robert Watts, 
and eighty-five seamen and fifteen Marines were wounded. In 
addition, ninety-seven seamen and Marines were drowned, and five 
were reported missing. 

The Mediterranean, which had been abandoned by the British in 
the previous year, was not again effectively occupied by them during 
1797. Nelson, as has been seen, having effected the evacuation of 
Elba, passed the Strait in the middle of February ; and from that 
moment, until November, scarcely a British frigate went east of 
Gibraltar. Even in November, nothing approaching to a re- 
occupation was attempted. Lord St. Vincent merely detached 
from his fleet in the Tagus the Leander, 50, Captain Thomas 
Boulden Thompson, the Hamadryad, 36, Captain Thomas Elphin- 
stone, and a sloop, to Algier, to settle some disputes with the Dey ; 
and, when the service had been executed, the little force withdrew. 
This long abandonment was contemporary with a great and natural 
increase of the French power on the Mediterranean coasts. Austria 
and the Pope relinquished, for the time, the struggle with the 
Republic ; which, by the Treaty of Campo Formio,' acquired, besides 
the Austrian Netherlands, Corfu, Zante, Cephalonia, and the other 
Venetian islands south of the Gulf of Drin. The republic of Genoa, 
moreover, had ceased to exist on June Gth, and, under the name of 
Liguria, had become French. And, with the Ionian islands, France 
had seized, and added to her navy, six Venetian 64-gun ships and 
six frigates, beside other men-of-war which she had seized at the 
capture of Venice in May. The islands, and the ships there, were 
taken over without resistance, and garrisoned or manned by a 
squadron from Toulon, under Rear-Admiral Brueys, reinforced by 
a flotilla of transports under Captain G. F. J. Bourde. Brueys 
returned to Toulon in November. 

In the North Sea, the observation of the Dutch ports was, for 
a time, almost put a stop to by the mutinies and disaffection in the 
fleet. Towards the end of May, Admiral Duncan's effective force 
was, in fact, reduced to two ships, the Venerable, 74, and the 

' October 17th, 1797. 


Adamant, 50. Yet the gallant old officer did not hesitate to proceed 
to, and maintain, his station off the Texel, where lay a Netherlands 
fleet of fifteen sail of the line and 50-gun ships. By repeatedly 
signalling, as if to ships in the offing, he conveyed to the Dutch the 
impression that he was amply supported, and so induced them to 
remain in harbour while he was anxiously awaiting reinforcements. 
These began to join him in the shape of single ships and small 

(From an cnijrar'inij hij RiiUeij, 1801.) 

groups in the second week of June ; and at length Uuncan was 
again in a position to deal with the enemy. But, at the beginning 
of October, being short of stores and having received a certain 
amount of damage in boisterous weather, Duncan put into 
Yarmouth road to revictual and refit, leaving Captain Henry 
Trollope, of the Russell, 74, with the Adamant, 60, Beaitlieii, 40, 
Circe, 20, and Martin, 16, to observe the motions of the Dutch. 

Early in the morning of October 9th, the hired armed lugger. 
Black Joke, appeared at the back of Yarmouth sands with the signal 


MA JOB OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. 


fl3"ing for an enemj'. Duncan succeeded in weighing before noon 
with the eleven ships of the hue then with him, and at once steered 
across, with a fair wind, for his old station. Later in the day he was 
joined by the Powerful, 74, Agincourt, 64, and Isis, 50 ; and on the 
afternoon of the 10th, he was off the Texel, within which his scouts 
counted twenty-two square-rigged vessels, chiefly merchantmen. 
TroUope had informed him of the course which the Dutch fleet 
had taken, and, in consequence, the British headed to the south- 
ward, parallel with the shore. At 7 a.m. on the 11th, the Bussell, 
Adamant, Beaulieu, which were in the south-west, signalled that 
the enemy was in sight to leeward ; and at 8.30 a.m. the Dutch fleet 
was visible in the indicated quarter. The two forces thus in presence 
of one another are set forth below. 

The Fleets in the Action off C.-viirERDOWN, October 11, 17!I7; indicating their 
Older, or intended order in line of battle, and slidwing the numbers killed and 
wounded in each British ship, and the fate of each Dutch ship. (Note. — The 
British starboard division led ; but several ships of both British divisions were out 
of station. The Dutch line was as given.) 


1)1 1. II. 





[» KiUed or mortally 




[• Killed or mortally 









£ ^ 



Jtussell . . . 


Capt. Heurv Troll ])e. 

Gelijkkeid . . 


Com. H. A. Ruijsch. 


IHrector . . . 


„ \\illiam Cligh. 

.. 1 



Capt. Hm.\t.« 


Montagu . . 


,, John Knight (2). 

3 5 

Hercules . . 


Com. Euijsojrt. 



Veteran . . . 


,, George Gregory. 
(Vite-Adni. Eiihardi 
> Onslow (in. \ 
K'apt. Edward O'Brien. 1 

4 21 

Admiraal T. 11. ) 
re Vries ./ 


Capt. J. B. Zegers. 



Monarch. . . 


36 100 

(\i e-Adm. .1. \V. Ilei 


Vrijhei.l . . 


1 Winter. I 



Powerful . . 


< „ WilliamO'Brienl 
I brury. ) 

10 V8 

U.'om. L. \V. van Ki.s-|' 
1 sum.* 1 

Monmouth , 


(Com. Jam s \Valkeri 
• (2) attg. ] 
(Capt. John \\ illiam-\ 
I son (1). / 

5 22 

Staien Geiieiaal 


llicar-.AUm. Saniuetj 
StoriJ. ^ 


.Ayincouri . . 




Com. A. Holland. 


Triumph . . 


( „ "W dliam Esshig-1 
1 ton. ] 

29 55 

Batavier . . 


,, .Souter. 
lUear-Adm. J. A. I 
< Bloijsvan Treslong.i 
\C"m. Polders. \ 

„ J. D. Musf|uetier. 



(Admiral Adam Dun-l' 

Brutus . . . 




Venerable . . 


can cm. 1 ,, „„ 
Capt. William Georgef '^ "" 

Leijdeii . . 




Fairfax J 

Mars, rase . 


., D. H. Kolff. 


~ ■ 

Anient . . . 


/ „ Richard Kuudlei , ,„- 
\ Uurgcs.* Ji ■" ^l" 

Cerberus . . 
Jupiter . . 



„ .lacobson. 
(V.-Adm. H.Reijutjes.j 


Beilford . . . 


„ Sir Thomas Byarl. 

30 41 


Lancaster , 


„ John Wells. 

3 18 

Haarlem . . 


Capt. 0. Wiggerts. 



Jielliqueuz . . 


„ John Ingl s (2). 

26 78 

Alkmaar . . 


lom. J. W. Krafrt. 



Adamant . . 


/ „ William Hothaml 
I (2) i 

" 1 " 

Jle'ft . . . 


r'apt. G. Verdooren. 


\lsis .... 


,, WilliamMitcheU. 

2 ' 21 

A tain lite, hrig 


Cora. B. I'letsz. 



j „ Francis Fayer-i 
{ man. J 


Heldii, . . . 
(lalathee, brig 


( ,, Dumenil de Le-i 
1 strille. i 
„ Riverij. 

Beaulieu . . 



(Hire. . . . 


., I'etfr Halkett. 

Minerva . . 


„ Eijlbracht. 


Martin . . . 


iCiim. Hon. Charlesi 
i I'aget. / 

Ajiix, hrig . . 


Lieut, .\rkenbimt. 




Com. M. van. Nierop. 


liose^ hir. cutter 


Lieut. Joseph lirodie. 



„ J. Huijs. 


King George, d<j. 


,, James Ilains. | . 

Haphnt, brig . 


Li.ut. Frederiks. 


Active, do. . . 


,, J— Hamlltim. | | 



Com. Th. Lauiester. 


JJilij/ejit, do. 
fifpecnlator, bir.i 
lugger. . . i 


„ T — Dawson. 
H— Hales. 


HiHigJe, adv. i 
l«wt . . . .( 


Lieut, Hartingveld. 



The Dutch had left the Texel at 10 a.m. on October 8th, with a 
Hght breeze from east by north. According to French writers, 
Admiral De Winter quitted port expressly to meet and fight 
Duncan ; but it is upon the whole more probable that his im- 
mediate object was to join hands with the French at Brest. Be 
this as it may, Trollope discovered the Dutch that night, the wind 
being then south-west, and the enemy to windward. De Winter 
made for the mouth of the Maas, where he had expected to be joined 
by a' 64-gun ship ; but, not finding her, he stood to the westward, 
still observed by Trollope. He made some efforts to drive off or 
capture the little British force ; but on the night of the 10th, he 
was obhged to recall his chasers upon learning that Duncan was 
within about thirty miles of him ; and, getting his ships together, 
he made, with a north-west wind, for a point off Kamperduin his 
place of rendezvous. 

At daylight on the 11th, the Dutch were about eighteen miles off 
Scheveningen in loose order. Soon afterwards, seeing Trollope's 
signals to windward, and knowing from them that his enemy was 
close at hand, De Winter ordered his captains to their stations, 
and, to facilitate the junction of his rearmost ships, stood towards 
the land. When the nearest coast bore east, about twelve miles, he 
directed his fleet to haul to the wind on the starboard tack ; and, as 
soon as he sighted Duncan in the north-west, he put aboiit on the 
port tack, formed a close line from south-west to north-east, and, 
with main yards square, awaited the attack. 

The British fleet, when first it had sight of the Dutch, was in 
very straggling order, chiefly owing to the unequal sailing of the 
ships. Duncan made his van ships shorten sail, and, at about 
11.10 A.M., brought to on the port tack; but, observing a little 
later that the Dutch, who kept their main topsails now shivering 
and now full, were drawing in with the shore, he signalled in 
quick succession ; for each ship to engage her opponent in the 
enemy's line ; to bear up and sail large ; and for the van to attack 
the enemy's rear. At 11.30, when the centre of the Dutch line 
bore south-east, distant between four and five miles, the British 
bore down, still, however, in straggling, and, indeed, in somewhat 
confused order. At 11.53 A.M., Duncan signalled that he should 
pass through the enemy's line and engage from leeward ; but, as the 
weather was thick, this signal was not generally taken in. At about 
12.5 P.M. there was substituted for it the signal for close action. 


MAJOR OPEIiATJOXS, 1793-1802. 


It was about 12.30, when the Monarch, leading the larboard 
division of the British fleet, cut through the Dutch line between 
the Jupiter and the Haarlem, firing, as she did so, a broadside into 
each, and then luffing up alongside the Jupiter, while the pDU'crful, 
coming up, tackled the Haarlem. To leeward of his line of battle, 
De Winter had stationed a subsidiary line of frigates and brigs ; and 
two of these, the Monikenclam and the Daphne,'^ each seized the 

BAT--ri_E OFF Camperdown. 

//"" ocr" /yg?- 

About- /2SO /^AfC^^sT ^^ti.^ ^^C^ijirid^ 

/Iniertt » <^y^ijhct<i 

Circe K 


■^' ^ ° ^i?l 

/ \ft _ 

> < 


_ — ^11 

opportunity of pouring a raking tire into Yice-Adiniral Onslow's 
flagship as she rounded to. Both the small craft suflered severely 
for their temerity in thus deliberately inviting attention from a ship 
of the line. Most of the other vessels of the British larboard 
division were close behind the leaders ; and, in a very few minutes, 
the Dutch rear, with the exception of the three headmost ships ^ of 
it, was very closely engaged. Those three ships were exposed only 
to a more distant fire ; and it was to some extent owing to this that 

' James says that the brig was the Atalaniti, not the Daphne ; but he is mistaken, 
'i'lie Atakinta was the headmost sliip in the Dutch second line. 
^ Brutus, LeiJJen, and Mars. 


they were subsequently able to attempt to succour De Winter, and 
that they ultimatelj' escaped capture. 

About eighteen minutes after the Monarch had broken the rear 
of the Dutch line, the Venerable, first endeavouring to pass astern 
of the Vrijheid, but being fnistrated by the promptitude of the 
Stafeii Generaal in closing the interval, put her helm to larboard, 
and delivered such a broadside into the port quarter of Storij"s 
flagship as obliged her to bear up. The Venerable then ranged 
along the lee side of the Vrijheid, while the Ardent engaged the 
same vessel from windward. A little later, the Triiinipli got into 
close action with the Wassenaar, and the Bedford with the Admiraal 
Tjerk Hiddes De Vries and the Hercules. The last named presently 
took fire ; and, although the flames were promptly extinguished, the 
danger was at one moment so great that she had to throw all her 
powder overboard. In the meantime she had lost her mizen mast ; 
and, having no means of defence, she struck. In her encounter 
with the Wassenaar the Triumpli experienced no interruption ; and 
she shorth' compelled that vessel to surrender.^ She then passed 
ahead towards the Vrijheid, which, though terribh' mauled, was 
still firing, and which, indeed, distantly assisted by ships from the 
rear, had compelled the Venerable to haul off and wear round on 
the starboard tack. Nor, until De Winter's flagship had defended 
herself long and bravely, and, losing all her masts, had had her 
starboard battery put out of action by their fall, did she haul down 
her colours. She seems to have struck at about the same moment 
as the Jupiter; and, with the surrender of these two flagships, 
■the action ceased. The British were then masters of seven ships 
of the line, two 50's, and two frigates,- or more than half the 
strength of the Dutch fleet. To attempt to pursue the rest was 
out of the question, for Duncan was already in but nine fathoms, 
and the low land, between Kamperduin and Egmond, was only five 
miles off. 

It had been a most determined and sanguinarj' fight. On the 
side of the Dutch, Eear-Admiral Johan Arnold Bloijs van Treslong,^ 
and Commander Souter,* and, on that of the British, Captain John 

' The Wassenaar, after striking, was fired at by a Dutch brig, which induced her 
to rehoist her colours ; but she struck again later to the Russell. 

^ Vrijheid, Jtipiter, GeKjkheid, Admiraal De Vries, Haarlem, Hercules, Wassenaar, 
Alkmaar, Delft, Monnikendam, and Emhuscade. 

' Condemned, but subsequently reinstated. 

' Broken and inijirisoned. 




Williamson (1),' were, it is true, afterwards charged with dereliction 
of duty. But, upon the whole, and equally on both sides, the 
combatants fought with a thoroughness and pertinacit}' which 
recalled the hot work of the old Dutch wars. A full list of the 
Dutch losses is not obtainable ; but it is known that, of killed alone, 
there were 40 in the Gelijkheid, 43 in the Delft, 61 in the Jupiter, 
.50 in the frigate Monnikendam, and 58, besides 98 wounded, in the 
Vrijheid. These figures suffice to indicate the gallantry of the 
defence, and to prove that the victory was no easy one. As for 
the captured ships, they were all, says James, " either dismasted 
outright, or so injured in their masts that most of the latter fell, as 
soon as the wind and sea, in the passage home, began to act power- 
fully upon them. As to their hiills, the ships were like sieves, and 

(From on orkiinul lent hij E.S.H. CapUiin Prince Louix of Batknhini. H.S'J 

only worth bringing into port to be exhibited as trophies." The 
Embiiscade, driven upon the Dutch coast, was re-captured- by her 
original owners; the M vnn ike nda in wan vf recked off West Capelle ; 
and the Delft, with many hands still in her, foundered in a storm ^ 
on the 14th. The other prizes reached British ports, and were all 
added to the service, the Jupiter as the Camperdown, the Hereules 

' Convicted of disobedience to signals, and of not going into action, and sentenced 
to be placed at the bottom of the post-list of ITllT, and to be rendered inca]iable of 
further service CM. December 4th to January 1st. Captain Williamson, who was 
acquitted of cowardice or disaffection, died in 1799. 

- Only to become again a British prize in August, 1799. 

' In striving to save the jieople from this disaster. Lieutenant Heiberg, late first of 
the ship, and Lieutenant Charles Bullen, in charge of the prize, vied with one another 
in gallantry. IJeiberg perished ; Bullen, who oidy saved himself by swimming, died 
Admiral Sir Cliarles Bullen in 18.53. 

. ^^oTfz. ^^y^'^PZa^d^^'. 



as the Delft, and the rest under their own names, but none of them 
were ever again fit for sea. Their old masters had effectively used 
them up in that hard tussle. 

The British ships also suffered very severely, but almost ex- 
clusively in the hulls. The Dutch had not wasted time in efforts 
to destroy rigging. They had fired low, and had generally reserved 
their fire until it could hardly fail to tell. The Ardent had 98 
round shot in or through her timbers. The Voierable, Bedford, 
Belliqueux, Triiimp]i,2bnA. Monarch, too, had been badly mauled; but 
no ship lost any more important spar than a foreyard. The casualties, 
therefore, as will be seen on reference to the note above, were 
relatively heavy, almost exactly ten per cent, of the whole number 
of officers and men engaged in the British line being killed or 
wounded. The officers killed were : Captain E. E. Burges {Ardent) ; 
Lieutenants Francis Ferrett (Veteran), and Eobert Webster {Belli- 
queux) ; Master Michael Dun (Ardent) ; Master's Mate James Milne 
(Belliqueux), and four midshipmen, of whom two, J. P. Tindall 
and Moyle Finlay, belonged to the Monarch. Among the wounded 
officers were Captain Essington (Triumph), and Lieutenants Edward 
Sneyd Clay and William Henry Douglas (Venerable), James Eetalick 
(Monarch), George Keenor (Bedford), Ulick Jennings (Powerful), 
James Eose and John Sobriel (Ardent), Eobert England (Belliqueux), 
Benjamin Morgan (Lancaster), Patrick Chapman and George Trollope 
(Triunipli), Ealph Sneyd (Montagu), and David Johnson (Russell). 
The Dutch loss in officers, both by immediate death and by mortal 
wounds, was equally heavy ; but it is not true that, as Mr. James 
says. Admiral De Winter died in London during his captivity.^ On 
the contrary, that gallant officer enjoyed many years of useful 
activity after his exchange, receiving from King Louis the rank 
of Marshal and the title of Graaf van Huessen, and, in 1810, taking 
the oath of allegiance to Bonaparte, when the kingdom of Holland 
was incorporated with the Empire." 

Admiral Duncan reached the Nore on October 15th. On the 

' .James, ii. 72 (ed. 1837). 

- Authorities for the battle of Camperdown : Duncan's dispatch of October 13th ; 
Journal of an Officer in 'Nav. Chron.,' iv. ; 'Biography of Sir H. Trollope' in 
U.S. Journal, 1840; 'Sententie' of Admiral De Winter; 'Volledige Verslag,' etc., 
(1797); Rear-Admiral C. Richardson in U.S. Magazine, 1844; ' Anecs. of Camper- 
down' in U.S. Journal of 1841; Decree of Nat. Ass. of November i)th ; 'Aanmerk. 
van een Zee-Officier ' (1805) ; ' Leven van V.-Ad. Huijsch ' ; ' Life of Duncan ' ; ' Voor- 
loopig Bericht,' etc. : Alius, of C.Ms., British and Dutcli. 

332 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1703-1802. [ITHT- 

'20th of the same month he was created Baron Duncan nf Lundie, 
and Viscount Duncan of Camperdown in the peerage of Great 
Britain ; and, on the 30th, Yice-Admiral Onslow was made a 
baronet, while, a little later, Captains Henry Trollope and William 
George Fairfax were knighted. Duncan was further granted a 
pension of £3000 a year for three lives. The city of London 
presented its freedom to Duncan and Onslow, and to the former a 

(From II litlioijmjih hii D. Ormc, l»(l:i. i 

sword costing 200 and to the latter one costing 100 guineas. The 
thanks of both Houses were unanimously voted to the fleet ; gold 
medals were granted to the Flag-officers, and to all the Captains, 
except Captain Williamson, who had fought in the line ; most of 
the first Lieutenants engaged were promoted ; and the King was only 
prevented ^ by adverse winds from visiting the fleet and the prizes. 
On December 19th, his Majesty went in state to St. Paul's to return 
' He embarked for the purpose iu the Royal Charlotte on October 30th. 




thanks for the three great naval victories which thus far had blessed 
his arms since the beginning of the war. 

The most important colonial expedition of the year 1797 was 
the one which led to the captm-e of Trinidad. On the Leeward 
Islands' station Eear-Admiral Henry Harvey (1) commanded, and, 
in pursuance of instructions, he quitted Port Eoyal, Martinique, on 
February l'2th, with a squadron, on board of which was a body 
of troops under Lieut. -General Sir Ralph Abercromby. At a 
rendezvous off Cari'iacou, on the 14th, he picked up reinforcements, 
and, on the 16th, made Trinidad, and steered for the Gulf of Paria 
by way of Boca Grande. At 3.30 p.m., just as the British had 
cleared the channel, they discovered at anchor, in a bay * within, 
a Spanish squadron of four sail of the line and a frigate.^ As the 
entrance to the enemy's anchorage appeared to be well protected 
by a battery of twenty guns and two mortars posted upon the 
island of Gaspargrande, and as the day was already far advanced, 
Harvey sent his transports, protected by the Arethusa, Thorn, 
and Zebra, to find a berth about five miles from Port of Spain, and 
ordered the Alarm, Favourite, and Victorieuse to keep under sail 
between the enemy and Port of Spain, while, with his ships of the 
line, he anchored within long gunshot of the Spanish ships and 
batteries, with the intention of preventing the foe from escaping 
during the night, and of taking measures in the morning for his 
destruction. But, to the surprise of the British, the Spaniards, 

' Called Shaggaramus Bay in the dispatclies. 

^ Squadron of Eear-Admlral Henry Harvey at the Capture of Trinidad, 
February, 1797, and List of the Spanish Squadron Burnt or Taken in 
Shaggaramus Bay on February 17th. 









iRear-Atlm. Henry Har- 

lEear-Adm. Don S. R. de 

Prince of Wales 


i vey(lKRO- 

ICapt. John Harvey (2). 

San Vincente i . 


< Apodaca. 

(Capt. Don G. Mendoza. 

BeUona . . . 


„ George "Wilson. 

Gallardot . . 


„ Do;i. G. Sorondo. 

Vengeance . . 


f „ Tliomas Macuamara 
I Eussell. 

Arrof/ante^ . . 


„ I>uQ R. B'jnasa. 

.s'drt Jjamaso^ . 


„ Don J. Jordan. 

Invincible . . 


f „ George William 
I Cayley. 

Santa Cecilia i . 


„ Don M. Urtesebal. 

Scipio. . . . 


f „ Charles Sydney 
\ Davers. 

' Burnt. 

= Added to the Navy. 

Arethusa . . . 


„ Thomas WoUey. 



„ Edward Fellowes. 

Favourite. . . 


Com. James Athol AVood. 

Zebra .... 



Thorn .... 


,, John Hamstead. 

Victorieuse . . 


/ ,, Edward Stirling 
[ Dickson. 

Terror, bomb 


,, Joseph Westbeach. 

334 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [IT'.iT. 

at about 2 a.m. on the 17th, began to set fire to their ships, and, 
ere dayhght, ioixr out of the five were practicallj' destroyed. The 
fifth, the San Damaso, 74,^ escaped the flames, and was brought off 
without resistance by the boats of the squadron, the Spaniards 
having evacuated Gaspargrande island. This was occupied in the 
early morning by part of the Queen's Regiment, and, in the course of 
the day, other troops were landed, without interruption, three miles 
from Port of Spain, which was quietly entered that evening. On 
the following day the island of Trinidad peacefully capitulated. The 
Spaniards, it afterwards appeared, had burnt their ships because they 
had barely half enough officers and men wherewith to man them. 

From Trinidad Harvey proceeded to the attack of Puerto Rico,'- 
for which island he sailed on April 8th, having been joined by the 
Alfred, 74, Captain Thomas Totty, Tamer, 38, Captain Thomas 
Byam Martin, and a few smaller craft. He anchored off Congrejos 
point on the 17th, and, on the following day, disembarked some troops 
with but slight opposition ; but San Juan, upon being reconnoitred, 
was found to be strongly fortified, and to be well provided with 
floating defences ; and, after it had been bombarded without effect, 
Abercromby, on the 30th, abandoned the enterprise and re-embarked 
the troops, of whom he had lost during the operations 31 killed, 70 
wounded, and 124 prisoners or missing. During the rest of the year, 
the squadron on the Leeward Islands' station confined its efforts to 
capturing the enemy's cruisers and protecting British trade. 

Vice- Admiral Sir Hyde Parker (2), who commanded at Jamaica, 
drove ashore ^ and obliged the destruction, near Jean Eabel, in San 
Domingo, of the French frigate Harmouie, 44, on April 16th. It 
was discovered that she had been sent to sea from Cape Fran9ois 
to convoy thither a number of captured provision-laden American 
vessels, which had been collected at Port au Paix and Jean Eabel 
by French privateers. The Henniune, 32, Captain Hugh Pigot (2), 
was accordingly despatched, with the Quebec, 32, Captain John 
Cooke (2), Mermaid, 32, Captain Robert Waller Otway, Drake, 16, 

' Brenton mistakenly calls her the Sail Domingo (i. 425.) 

2 In the meantime, on March 22na, the Ilcrmio/ic, 32, Captain Hugh Pigut (2), had 
most pluckily sent in her boats, imder Lieutenants Samuel Reid and Archibald Douglas, 
and had cut out or burnt from a bay under a small battery at the west end of Puerto 
Eico, three French privateers and their twelve prizes. On the day following, Lieutenant 
Reid again landed and dismantled the battery, all without the loss of a man. Tins 
was six months before the mutiny which is described in the previous chapter. 

' By means of the Thunderer, 74, Captain William Ugilvy, and Vuliaiit, 7-1. 
Captain Edmund Crawley. 


Commander John Perkins, and Penelope, cutter, Lieutenant Daniel 
Burdwood, to captm'e or destroy the craft in the last-named port. 
Towards midnight on April '20th, the boats of the squadron 
were sent in, and by 4 a.m. on the 21st, in spite of a heavy 
musketry fire, a ship, three brigs, three schooners, and two sloops, 
had been taken possession of, and were standing out with a land 
breeze. On the night of April 6th, another resort of privateers, at 
Cape Roxo, San Domingo, was raided by the boats of the 
Magicienne, 32, Captain William Henry Eicketts, and Begulns, 44, 
Captain AVilliam Carthew, under the orders of Lieutenants John 
Maples, and Alexander M'Beath, assisted by Lieutenants of Marines 
Philip Luscombe Perry and George Frazer, and bj- other officers. 
The harbour was entered, thirteen sail of square rigged vessels and 
schooners lying in it were taken, sunk, or burnt, and two batteries 
were destroyed. Both at Jean liabel .and at Cape Eoxo the work 
was done without the loss of any British Ufe. On his way back to 
Jamaica after his visit to Cape Eoxo, Captain Eicketts' was able, on 
the 22nd, to frustrate a French attack upon the port of Les Irois, near 
Cape Tibuxon, and to capture a privateer sloop and four schoonei-s, 
besides a number of field-pieces, and a quantity of ammunition and 
supplies. In this service the Navj' lost 4 killed and 11 wounded. 

On other foreign stations no actions of much importance 
happened in the course of 1797. In North America the Tribune, 44, 
Captain Scorj' Barker, was unhappily lost, with nearly all hands, 
in particularlj' sad circumstances, off Herring Cove, near Halifax, 
November 16th ; and, at the Cape, as elsewhere, the mutinous 
spirit then rife in the Navy manifested itself and had to be violently 
repressed. But allusion to this will be found in the previous 
chapter ; and such other occurrences as deserve mention may be 
looked for in the following one. 

In 1798, Admiral Lord Bridport, with several flag officers under 
him, continued to command in the Channel; Admiral Lord Duncan, 
in the North Sea ; and Admiral Lord St. Vincent, on the Mediter- 
ranean and Lisbon station. A^ice-Admiral Eobert Kiugsmill com- 
manded at Cork ; Vice-Admiral George Vandeput, in North 
America ; Vice-Admiral the Hon. William Waldegrave, at New- 
foundland ; Eear- Admiral Henry Harvey (1), at the Leeward Islands ; 
Vice-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker (.2) at Jamaica ; Eear- Admiral 
Thomas Pringle, and later Eear-Admiral Sir Hugh Cloberry 
' AVho then had also in company the Fortune schooner. 

336 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

Christian, at the Cape of Good Hope ; and Kear-Adminxl Peter 
Eainier, in the East Indies. At Portsmouth, Admiral Sir Peter 
Parker, Bart.; at Plymouth, Admiral Sir Eichard King (1), Bart.; 
in the Downs, Admiral Joseph Pej'ton (1) ; and at the Nore, Vice- 
Admiral Skeffington Lutwidge commanded. 

On January 25th, Lord Bridport detached a division of the 
Channel fleet, under Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Thompson, Bart., to 
watch the French in the Bay of Biscay ; on April 9th, he detached 
a smaller division, under Eear-Admiral Sir Roger Curtis, Bart., to 
cruise off the coast of Ireland ; and, on April I'ith, the Commander- 
in-Chief, with the main body of the fleet, left St. Helen's for Brest. 
On the -ilst, at 11 a.m., as the fleet was standing across the Iroise * 
on the port tack, with the wind N.E. by E., the look-out ships to 
windward sighted and gave chase to two sail, distant about 12 miles 
to the eastward. At 2 P.M., when the advanced British ships 
were getting abreast of the strangers, a third and much larger 
vessel was seen in the E.S.E. distant about 1-5 miles, working 
up under the shore towards Brest. This was chased by the 
Mars, 74, Captain Alexander Hood, BamiUies, 74, Captain Henry 
Inman, and Jason, 38, Captain Charles Stirling, the only ships of 
the fleet near enough to see her. At 6.20 p.m., the RamiUies 
carried away her fore topmast and dropped astern ; but the Mars 
continued to overhaul the French ship of the line— for such she was 
seen to be — and also to outsail the Jason. 

At 7.30 P.M., when the Penmarcks bore S.E.^E., distant about 
7 miles, the enemy betrayed a design to make his escape through 
the Passage da Eaz. A little later the Mars went about on the 
starboard tack : and at 8.30 p.m., when Bee du Eaz bore N. by E. 
two or three miles, the Frenchman abandoned the effort to work 
up against the current, and, dropping anchor, furled his sails, and 
carried out a spring abaft, so as to be able to bring as heavy a fire as 
possible to bear upon the Mars, then fast coming up. The enemy 
was the Hercule, 74, Captain Louis L'Heritier, and was on her way 
from Lorient, where she had been built, to join the Brest fleet. 

At 8.4.5 P.M., the Mars, which had run the Jason- nearly out of 
sight, hauled up her courses, and, at 9.15, received and returned 
the fire of the starboard broadside of the Hercule ; but, prevented 

' The Iroise may be called tlie wide outer bay of Brest. It lies outside the fifty 
fathom line, between Ushant and the peninsula of Douarnenez which ends in Point du Raz. 
' The Jason was still two miles away when the Hercule surrendered. 




by the current from fighting to the best advantage under sail, 
Hood, at 9.25, ranged a httle ahead of his opponent, let go an 
anchor, and dropped astern, the anchor on the port bow of the 
Mars hooking the anchor on the starboard bow of the Hercule, so 
that the two ships lay close, broadside to broadside. From that 
time until 10.30, the well-matched 74's fought with equal despera- 
tion ; and then, the Hercule having twice failed in efforts to board, 
and having suffered terribly, hailed to announce her surrender.^ 
The damages of both vessels were chiefly confined to their hulls^ 
and the French ship, by the estimate of her own officers, had 
lost 290 killed and wounded. The Mars also had lost heavily, but 
far less so than her gallant foe. She had 30 killed or missing,- 
including among the former. Captain Alexander Hood, Captain of 
Marines Joseph "Wtite, and Midshipman James Blythe ; and 60 
wounded, including Lieutenants George Argles and George Arnold 
Ford, and Midshipman Thomas Southey. Hood^ was wounded 
twenty minutes after the beginning of the action, by a ball in the 
femoral artery, and died just after the enemy had submitted. The 
force of the two ships is thus given by James : — 

Broadside guns 

Crew on board 
Tons . . , 

I Lbs. 


1 . 9.r>?< 





There was, therefore, little on paper to choose between the opponents ; 
but, whereas the Mars, to quote Lord St. Vincent, was " an old- 
commissioned, well-practised ship," the Hercule was brand-new, and 
had only been twenty-four hours out of port. The command of 
the Mars, after Hood's death, devolved on Lieutenant ^Yilliam 
Butterfield, who was at once promoted to be a Commander. 

The French Brest fleet, as a body, gave little trouble dming 1798 
to the British commanders in the Channel. It was kept in port, 
perhaps as an object upon which the attention of Great Britain 
might be expected to concentrate itself while the Egj'ptian aspira- 

' She was added to the Navy undei' her old name. 

° These had probably been knocked overboard during the French efforts to board. 
' Alexander Hood was a nephew of Lords Hood and Bridport ; born 1758 ;. 
Commander and Captain, 1781. 


388 MAJOR OFEJIATJOXS, 1793-180L'. [1798. 

tions of France were developing themselves, perhaps as the nucleus of 
a force with which a serious invasion of England was to be attempted. 
Bonaparte himself apparently favoured the latter plan, for, in a letter' 
of April 13th, 1798, he thus explained his views on the subject :— 

" lu our ]xii-itiiin we ought to fight England with success, and we can do so. 
Whether we have jieace or war, we ouglit to sjiend forty or fifty millions in re- 
organising our navy. Our land armj' will be neither more nor less powerful in 
consequence ; but, on the other hand, war will force England to make inmiensu 
jireparatiuns which will ruin her tinances, destroy her commercial spirit, and completely 
change the constitution and manners of her people. We ought to spend the whole 
summer in getting ready our Brest fleet, in exercising our seamen in the roadstead, ami 
in finishing the vessels which are under construction at Eochefort, Lorient, and Brest. 
If we jiut some energy into this business, we may hope to have, in September, thirty- 
tive ships- at Brest, including the four or five which can be built at Lorient and 

"Towards the end of this month we shall have in the various ports of the Channel 
nearly two hundred gunboats. These sluiuld be stationed at Cherbourg, Le Havre, 
Boulogne, Dunquerque, and Ostend, and should be utilised throughout the smiimer for 
training our soldiers. If we continue to grant to the Commission des Cotes de La 
Manche 300,000 francs every ten days, we can effect the construction of two hundred 
other boats, larger in size, and fit for the transport of horses. Thus we should have in 
September four himdred gunboats at Boulogne and thirty-five shijjs of war at Brest. 
By that time the Dutch should also have twelve ships of war in the Texel. 

" In the Mediterranean we have ships of two kinds : twelve ships of French build 
which, between now and September, can be supplemented by two new ones ; and nine 
of Venetian construction. It would be possible, after (the accomplisliment of the 
objects of) the expedition which the government is projecting in the Jleditcrranean, 
to send round the fourteen to Brest, and to retain in the Mediterranean only the nine 
Venetian ships ; and thus, in the course of October or November, we should have at 
Brest fifty men of war and nearly as many frigates. 

" It would then be possible to transport to any desired spot in England 40,000 men, 
without even fighting a naval action if the enemy should be in sti'ouger force ; for, 
while 40,000 men would threaten to cross in the four hundred gunboats and in as 
many Boidogne fishing-boats, the Dutch squadron, with 10,000 men on board, would 
threaten to land in Scotland. An invasion of England, carried out in that way, and 
in the month of November or December, would be almost certainly successful. 
England would exhaust herself by an effort which, thougli immense, wovdd not protect 
her against our invasion. 

" The truth is that the expedition to the East will oblige the enemy to send six 
additional ships of war to India, and perhaps twice as many frigates to the mouth of 
the Red Sea. She wouM be forcal to have from twenty-two to twenty-five ships at 
the entrance to the ilediterranean ; sixty before Brest ; and twelve off the Texel : and 
these would make a total of a himdred and three ships of war, besides those already in 
America and India, and besides the ten or twelve 50-gun shi]is and the score of frigates 
which she would have to keep ready to oppose the invasion from Boulogne. In the 
meantime we should always be masters of the Mediterranean, seeing that we should 
have there nine ships of Venetian build. 

' ' Victoires et Conquetes,' x. 375. 

'' Bonaparte speaks of " vaisseaux de guerre," or simply " vaisseaux," when he 
means "ships of the line." 


" There would be yet another way of augmenting our forces in that sea ; that is, by 
making Spain cede three vessels of war and three frigates to the Ligurian Republic. 
That republic can no longer be anything more than a French department ; it possesses 
more than 20,000 excellent seamen. It is excellent policy on the part of France to 
favour the Ligurian Kepublic, and even to see to it that she shall possess a few ships 
of war. Should difficulties be foreseen in inducing Spain tu hand over to us or to the 
Ligurian Republic three vessels of war, I think that we ourselves might usefully sell 
to the Ligurian Republic three of the nine ships which we have taken from the 
Venetians, insisting that the Republic shall construct three more for itself. We 
should find that we had thus gained a good squadron manned by good seamen. AVith 
the money which we should have from the Ligurians we might cause three good 
■vessels of our own construction to be biult at Toulon ; for the ships of Venetian build 
require as manj' sailors as a fine 74 ' ; and sailors are our weak point. In future 
-events which may occur, it will be much to our advantage that the three Italian 
republics, which should balance the forces of the King of Naples and the Grand Uuke 
of Tuscany, shall have a stronger navy than that of the King of Naples." 

But, although the Brest fleet lay beyond reach of attack, there 
was plenty to occupy the attention of the British force in the 
Channel during 1798. Since the autumn of 1797, all the harbours 
■along the coast, from Antwerp to Cherbourg, had been rapidly 
filling with gun-vessels and flat-bottomed boats for the much 
advertised invasion of England. The creation and maintenance 
■of this flotilla was the business of that Commission des Cotes de La 
Manche of which Bonaparte spoke in the above letter. The 
Commission consisted of General Andreossi, director-general, M. 
Forfait,^ director, and Eear-Admiral La Crosse, inspector-general ; 
and as local inspectors, under La Crosse, were Captains Gan- 
teaume, Decres, Dumanoir Le Pelley, and de Casa Bianca. The flat- 
bottomed boats, which were built by hundreds by order of the 
commission, were popularly known as " bateaux a la Muskein," 
after an Antwerper named Muskein who had introduced the plans 
of them to France ; but the plans themselves seem to have been the 
work of the Swedish naval architect Chapman. As these boats, and 
the seamen and soldiers who were intended to man them, accumu- 
lated in the ports, it occurred to the French authorities that, pending 
the sailing of the flotilla, parts of it might l)e usefully employed for 
local purposes. It was, moreover, desirable to familiarise the men 
with the vessels, and to prevent them from stagnating in idleness. 

In the road of St. Vaast, within sight of La Hougue, he the 
two small islands of St. Marcou. They are three or four miles 

' Bonaparte apparently, therefore, contemphited tlie building at Toulon of onlv 
IJO or 64 gun sliips. Otherwise it is hard to grasp his meaning. 

'^ Pierre A. L. Forfait, one of the most distinguished naval architects and marine 
"engineers of his time. Born, 1752; died, 1807. 

z 2 

340 MAJOR OPEBATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

distiint from the shore, and near the route of coasters plJ^ng between 

Le Havre and Cherboui-g. As he considered they would form a good 

base for harassing the traffic between those two ports, Captain Sir 

William Sidney Smith, of the Diamond, 38, took possession of them 

in Jiily, 1795, without opposition ; and they were subsequently held 

by a force of about 500 seamen and Marines, and placed under the 

orders of Lieutenant Charles Papps Price, of the Badger, 4, a Dutch 

hoy which had been purchased and armed for the service. It was 

determined by the French to attempt the recapture of these islands. 

On April 8th, the Diajnond, 38, Captain Sir Eichard John Strachan, 

and Hydra, 38, Captain Sir Francis Laforey, discovered in the 

Eoad of Caen thirty-three flat-bottomed boats, which, accompanied 

by a few gun-brigs and commanded by Muskein ' in person, were on 

their waj' from Le Havre to St. Marcou to oust the little garrison. 

The British frigates worked up to the enemy and opened fire, but, 

owing to the grounding of the Diamond, were unable to effect much 

that night. On the following morning the flotilla proceeded to the 

westward ; but, upon the appearance in the offing of the Adatnanf, 

50, Captain William Hotham {-2), it ran back to the eastward, pursued 

by the frigates, and finally took refuge in the Orne. There it was 

in time joined by about 40 additional flats and armed fishing-boats, 

and seven gun-brigs from Cherbourg ; and at length, quitting his 

shelter, Captain Muskein, with his largelj' increased force, made his 

way unobserved along the coast as far as the road of La Hougue, 

where he lay, awaiting neap tides and calm weather, in order ta 

attack Lieutenant Price. 

His opportunity came on the night of May 6th. The British 

had warning of his approach ; but, owing to the utter absence of 

wind, the Adamant, 50, Eurydice, 24, Captain John Talbot, and 

Orcsfcs, 18, Commander William Haggitt, the only cruisers in 

the neighbourhood, could not get near the islands to co-operate 

in their defence. In the darkness, the French, who brought up no 

fewer than 52 craft, having on board five or six thousand men, 

stationed themselves in the most advantageous positions ; and at 

daybreak on the 7th the enemy's brigs were seen to be ranged at a 

distance of about 350 yards from the British works, which instantly 

opened fire upon them from the only 17 ^ guns which would at first 

bear. The French replied vigorously, and their flats advanced 

' Made oapitaine de vaisseau in the French navy. 

^ Six 24-iiounders, two 6-pounders, four 4-i)ouuders, two 32-iiOunder carronades,. 
and three 24-pouuder carronades. These had been borrowed from ships on tlie station 




with great determination in order to land their men ; hut, when six 
or seven flats had been sunk, the rest were glad to retire. The loss 
of the attacking force was never officially announced ; but one 
French authority has put it at upwards of 1200 killed, drowned and 
wounded. On the British side, but one man was killed, and only 
four were wov;nded, in spite of the fact that the defence had been 
exposed to the fire of upwards of 80 guns. As the enemy drew off, 
the three British cruisers managed to get within range, but the calm 
prevented them from cutting off the retreat of the flotilla. Lieu- 
tenant Charles Papps Price, who commanded the whole position, 
and Lieutenant Richard Bourne (1), of the Sandfly, 5, who com- 
manded the eastern island, were promoted for this service to be 

But all the encounters which resulted from the threatened 
invasion of England were not equally successful. In the spring 
of the year it became known to the British government that very 
many small craft were fitting at Flushing for the transport of 
troops, and were about to be conveyed, by way of the Bruges 
Canal, to Ostend and thence to Dunquerque. It was determined,^ 
if possible, to frustrate this plan by destroying the lock gates and 
sluices at Ostend, and so rendering the canal useless ; and, for the 
purpose, the naval force mentioned in the note ^ was entrusted to 
Captain Home Riggs Popham ; and a body of troops under Major 
General Sir Eyre Coote was embarked in the vessels composing it. 

and were on the western island. The work on the eastern i-slaud, where Lieutenant 
Richard Bourne (1) commanded, mounted, among other gtms, two 68-pounder 
carronades ; but it could not do much tmtil towards the close of the action. 
' Popliam Papers, in Author's Coll. 

^ Expedition to Ostend, under Captain Popham and Major-Geneiial 
Sir Eyhe Coote, Mat, 1798; — 




Expalition, flute (44) 

Ciri:e . . . 
Vestal . . . 
i-^hntitpioii . 
Htlie, (iiHe(:i8) 
Minerve. (lute (42 
Jlruid, flute (32) 
Harpy, brig . 

Savage . 

Dart . . . 
Kite, brig . . 
Tartaiitu, bomb 




Home IMpgs Pop- 

Robert Wintlirop. 

Charles \\ bite. 

James Bradby(2). 

Henry Itaper. 

William Hirchall. 

Jolm Mackellar. 

Charles Apthorp. 

Henrj- Bazely. 

Norborue Thomp- 

Richard Raggett. 

William Brown. 

Thomas Hand. 

JM-la, lM}mb 
M'olferine . 
Vesuve . . 

Crash' . . 

Uox'-r' . . 
At-Utel . . 
Aspi . . 

yarnace' . 

Vigilant . 

niter' . . 


Cora. James Oughton. 
Lieut. Lewis Mortlock. 

., D Burgess. 

,, Thomas Lowen. 

„ William Elliott. 
f „ Bulk ley .Mack- 
l worth. 

,. Thomas (iilbert. 

, , .Jeremiah leavers. 

,, Joseph Edmonds, 
f ,, .Maurice William 
I SuL-klicg. 

.Tohn Denis de 


• Carr>iDg ten 18-pr. carronadcs, besides two loug 24-prs. 

342 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 17!13-1H02. [1798. 

The expedition assembled off Margate, sailed for the opposite 
coast on May 14th, and anchored off Ostend at 1 a.m. on May 19th. 
Although the weather was most unfavourable, all the troops,' with 
the exception of those on board the Mitirrrc, which had parted 
company and had not yet rejoined, were at once landed to the 
north-east of the town without opposition. At about 4.1.5 a.m., the 
Ostend batteries, having been alarmed, opened fire upon the nearest 
British vessels, the Wolverine, Asp, and Biter, and, by about 8.30^ 
had so severely damaged the two former, that Popham signalled to 
them to weigh and move further out. The Hecla and Tartarus had 
already begun to shell the town and harbour; and, upon the with- 
drawal of the Wolverine and As}), the Dart, Kite, and Harpij took their 
places as nearly as the fact of its then being low tide would admit. 

At 9.30 A.M. the Miiierve rejoined ; and her Commander went 
ashore by Popham's order to report her arrival to the general. 
Lieut. -Colonel Ward, with part of the First Eegiment of Guards, 
would also have hastened on shore from the Minerve, had he not 
been stopped and dissuaded while on his way by the prudent 
counsels of Captain James Bradby (2), of the Ariadne. 

The lock gates and sluices, together with several gunboats, are 
said to have been destroyed by the troops at 10.20 a.m. ; but at 
noon, when it was sought to re-embark, the weather was fomid 
to render the attempt perfectly hopeless. The British had, in 
consequence, to remain ; and, ])eing attacked on the 20th by the 
French in force, they were obliged, after they had lost 65 killed 
and wounded, to capitulate. Among those who surrendered was 
Commander Mackellar, of the Minm-e. It is doubtful whether 
the objects to be attained justified the risks involved in this un- 
fortunate expedition ; it is still more doubtful whether those 
objects were attained, for the French deny the fact ; and it is 
certain that, whether the objects were attained or not, the troops 
ought never to have been landed at a time when every indication 
went to show that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to 
re-embark them until after the lapse of some days. 

Anotlier action in which the invasion flotilla was concerned 
took place on May 30th. Early in the morning of that day, 
the Hydra, 38, Captain Sir Francis Laforey, the Vesuvius, 
bomb, 8, Commander Eobert Lewis Fitzgerald, and the Trial, 
cutter, 12, Lieutenant Henry Gan-ett, while standing in towards 
' .\liii\it 1140 (iITkhts iuiil iHcn, witli six guns. 


Le Havre to observe the preparations there, discovered the French 
frigate Confiante, 36, Captain E. Pevrieux, which, accompanied by 
the Vesuve, 20, and a cutter, was bound from Le Havre to Cherbourg. 
The British ships chased the Frenchmen back towards Le Havre, 
the Hydra warmly engaging the Confiante for about 50 minutes, at 
the expiration of which time the latter ran herself ashore opposite 
Beuzeval, and the Vesui^e, harassed by the Vesuvius and Trial, 
beached herself under a liattery near the mouth of the Dives. On 
the following morning the boats of the Hydra, under Lieutenants 
George Acklom, and William Joseph Symons, burnt the Confiante, 
which had been abandoned by her people ; but the Vesuve, being 
refloated, escaped, and joined Muskein's gunboats and flats. These 
lay at Sallenelle, so well protected by batteries that it was judged 
useless to attempt to attack them. The destruction of the Confiante 
was effected without any loss on the British side. 

The disaffection in Ireland, which, at the end of 1796, had 
encouraged the Directory to attempt to send French troops to the 
island, developed, in 1798, into open rebeUion. Apart from the fact 
that the Eepviblicans in Paris were, to a large extent, morally 
responsible for the outbreak, and were, therefore, morally bound 
to support it in every way, it was obviously to the advantage of 
France to lose no opportunity of feeding and fanning a con- 
flagration that could not but gravely preoccupy Great Britain, 
and add immensely to her numerous anxieties. It cannot be said 
that the Republic manifested great promptitude in proceeding to 
the assistance of its unfortunate and over confiding pupils ; yet, 
after much delay, it organised two independent expeditions, which 
were to have sailed simultaneously, one from Rochefort and one 
from Brest. Owing to lack of money at the latter port for the pay- 
ment of the forces, the plan for the simultaneous departure of the two 
squadrons was not carried out ; and the Rochefort division, which 
had on board 11.50 troops and 1 field-guns, under General Humbert, 
with a quantity of ammunition, arms, and accoutrements, was the 
first to leave. This division consisted of the following ships : — 

,, , ,„ (Commodore Daniel SavaiT. 

Concord, ... 40 (capt. Andre Pa,.in. 

Franchiae . . . 3G „ J- L. Guiliotiii. 

Medee .... 36 „ J. D. Coudin. 

Venus .... 28 „ A. Senez. 

Savary weighed from Aix road on August 6th, 1798, and, on 
the 22nd of the same month, anchored off Kilcummin Head, at the 

344 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

mouth of Killala Bay, iu Mayo. That evening he disembarked his 

troops, in face of a very feeble resistance ; and, on September 7th, 

having returned to France without sighting an enemy, anchored in 

the mouth of the Gironde. On the following day, Humbert, after 

having won some successes and marched halfway across Ireland, 

was obliged to surrender to the British forces at Ballinamuck. 

That Savary escaped the attention, both going and retmning, of 

the very numerous British line-of-battle ships and cruisers in the 

Bay and at the mouth of the Channel, aud of the considerable 

squadron of frigates on the Irish station, is, upon the whole, 

surprising ; but it must be borne in mind that the expedition was 

one which, in itself, was almost entirely impotent either for good or 

for evil. The squadron was not strong enough to defend itself 

against any but the smallest naval flotilla ; the coi-ps of Humbert 

was not strong enough by itself to meet a couple of British 

regiments. The raid could have produced effect only by evasion 

in the first place, and by powerful Irish co-operation in the second. 

A serious invasion is a different affair altogether. It cannot be 

organised in holes and corners ; it cannot move with the secrecy 

and speed of a little frigate squadron ; and it cannot afford to 

neglect a " potential fleet." Therefore, although Savary went and 

retm-ned unobserved, and although Humbert was, as it were, flung 

ashore to shift for himself, it by no means follows that, had Savary 

had a more formidable squadron, and Humbert a force of more 

independent character, the expedition would have enjoyed even that 

very qualified deg);ee of success which actually attended it. That 

such is the case is shown by the history of the second French 

expedition of 1798 to Ireland. 

This was a much more serious expedition, consisting, as it did, 

of about 3000 troops under Generals Menage and Hardy, a number 

of field and siege guns, and a vast quantity of stores, embarked in 

the ships named below : — 

IIoche\ ... 74 jCounuoaore.T B.F Bunipart. 
ILapt. D. M. Maistral. 
„ M. C. 15erj;evin. 
„ A. J. Si'i;oiuL 
„ J. F. Legraiul. 
„ L. de I'eronne. 
„ L. L. Jacb. 
„ J. P. Bergcau. 
„ X.ClenientdeLa Houcieie. 
„ M. A. Lacouture. 
„ Lieut. J. M. P. La Bastard. 

» Ex I*egase. Renamed iu bouour of General Hocbe, wlio had died .it Wetzlar ou September I8tb, 170". 

JJt/t,/tC . 

Romaiiie . 

1 "I 

. 40 

Loivf . 

. 40 


. 40 


. 36 


. 3(; 




. 36 

Semillaute . 

. 36 

Biche . . 

. 36 


Bompart sailed from Brest on the evening of September 16th, 
hoping to get out unobserved during the night by waj' of the 
Passage du Eaz. But, at dayhght on the 17th, he was seen by 
the Boadicea, 38, Captain Eichard Goodwin Keats, Ethalion, 38, 
Captain George Countess, and Sylph, IS, Commander John 
Chambers \\1iite, cruisers belonging to the Channel fleet. Keats 
at once went northward to communicate with Lord Bridport, and 
Countess and White kept company with the French and watched 
their motions. On the 18th, at 2 a.m., the Ethalion and Sylph 
were joined by another cruiser, the Amelia, 44, Captain the Hon. 
Charles Herbert. That morning the French, after working up as if 
they intended to make Lorient, chased the British frigates, but 
without success. They then steered as if they might be bound for 
the West Indies. On the 20th, the Anson, 44, Captain Philip 
Charles Durham, joined Countess. At noon that day the British 
were in latitude 46' 27' N., and longitude 5' 3' W., and the French 
were nearly huU down to the S.W. by S. At noon on the 22nd, 
Bompart was seen to be steering W.N.W., and, in the afternoon of 
the 23rd, Countess, having no longer much doubt as to the real 
•destination of the foe, sent the Sylph to warn the Commander-in- 
Chief on the Irish station. 

The three British frigates kept the enemy in sight until the 
evening of October 4th, and then, the weather being dirty and there 
springing up a gale from the S.S.E., they hauled up. On the 7th, 
the Amelia parted company ; on the 9th, the Anson rolled away 
her main topmast and mizen top-gallant-mast ; and on the 11th 
Coimtess and Dm-ham joined the squadron of Commodore Sir John 
Borlase Warren off the coast of Donegal. 

Wan-en had been despatched from Cawsand Bay on September 
23rd, when it became known that Bompart had sailed, and had 
made direct for Achill Head, it being supposed that the French, if 
bound for Ireland, would steer for some point not very far distant 
from that at which Humbert had landed. He had been joined on 
the 10th by two frigates, which had left Lough Swilly in con- 
sequence of the intelligence brought by the Sylph, and one of which, 
the Doris, 36, Captain Lord Kanelagh, he immediately detached 
to warn the coast. On the following day, reinforced by Countess 
and Durham, his squadron consisted of: — 

346 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 


OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. 



Commodure Sir John Borlasc Warren. 



Cajit. Sir Thomas Bj-ard. 

Robust .... 


„ Edward Thorubroiigli. 

Magnanimc . 


„ Hon. Michael de Courcy (1). 

Anson .... 


„ Philip Charles Durham. 



„ Hon. Charle.«i Herbert. 

Ethalion . 


„ George Coimtess. 

Melampus . 


„ Graham Moore. 

It had, in fact, been intended by the French to disembark in 
Killala Bay ; but, it not being known what had become of Humbert, 
and it being imagined that he would be found somewhat more to 
the northward, it was determined to attempt to land in Lough 
Swilly. On the 11th, at noon, however, Bompart was on his way 
thither, and was bearing up for Tory Island, when his leading ship, 
the Immortalite, signalled the appearance of the British to leeward. 
Bompart, in consequence, eventually bore away to the south-west, 
intending to land his troops at any point where occasion should 
offer. Warren, on learning of the presence of the enemy, instantly 
ordered a general chase, and directed his ships " to form in 
succession as they aiTived up with the enemy." That night 
it blew very hard from N.N.W. ; and, while the Ansou carried 
away her mizen-mast, main-yard, and main-topsail yard, the 
Hoche, still more unfortunate, lost her main-topmast and her 
fore and mizen top-gallantmasts, and the ResoJuc sprang a bad 
leak. Soon after 5.30 a.m. on the 12th, when the two squadrons 
were again able to see one another, the following were, according 
to James, their relative positions : — 

" The French squadron, loosely formed in two rather distant lines, with the Hvche^ 
who had bent herself a new mainsail, in the centre of the second line, was standing to 
the south-west, the wind, as before, from the north-north-west, but now very moderate. 
Right astern, at the distance of about four miles, were the Robust and Magnaiihne; 
about a point on the lee quarter, at a somewhat greater distance, the Amelia ; a little 
further forw ard in that direction, and at about the same distance, the Melampus ; a 
little before the lee beam, at the distance of seven or eight miles, the Futidmyanf ; and 
on the lee bow, about a mile nearer, the Canada.^ The Anson, at this time, was not 
in sight 01 either squadron. Consequently, M. Bompart, in his crippled state, the wind 
being in the north-west, found ever)' avenue of escajie shut against him, except the 
south-west, the direction in which he was steering." 

By 7 A.M., M. Bompart had formed his ships in a single 
straggling line ahead, the order being : SemiUante, Bomaine, 
Bellone, Immortalite, Loire, Hoche, Coquille, Emhuscade. The 
Resolue had previously gone in shore as a precautionary measure, 

' The position of the hthalion is not here given. She seems to have been near 
the Amelia. 




on account of her leakiness ; and the Biche had been sent after her 
with orders. Warren was thus in every way superior to his enemy, 
and could have easily afforded to keep flying the signal for a general 
chase ; but, instead, he formed line of battle, directing the Robust 
to lead, " and the rest of the ships to form in succession in the rear 
of the van." This order brought the Eobusf, which was followed by 
the Magnanime, within long-range stern fire of the Embiiscade and 
Coqiiille at about 7.10 a.m. About fifteen minutes later, ^ the Bobusf, 
having retm-ned the fire of the two Frenchmen, hauled up her 
mainsail, and, taking in her spanker, bore down to leeward of 
them. By 8.50 a.m., she closed in this manner with the Hoche, 
and began a hot action with her, broadside to broadside, checking 

iFnim an in-i'jiniil lent htj H.S.H. C<!pt. Pri/tcc Liniis nf Bnttcnhcra, U.K.) 

her way to keep alongside of the enemy. The Magnanime engaged 
the Embuscade and CoqitiUe, and, passing on to leeward of the 
Bobiisf, had to starboard her helm to clear the latter. The Loire, 
Inunortalite, and Bellone bore out of line to rake her as she did so; 
but they were soon driven to resume their south-west course, the 
Foudroijant, Amelia, and Ethalion then coming up. These ships, 
as well as the Melamjjus ' and Canada, all helped more or less to 
distress the Hoche, which at 10.50 a.m., after a brilliant defence, 
struck.^ The Embuscade, badly treated first by the Magiianimr 

' I.e., at 7.2.3 A.M., when the Bosses bore from the Canada, S.S.W., distant 
fifteen miles. 

' Captain Moore either did not see, or neglected, Warren's signal to form line, and 
so got into action much sooner than he could otherwise have done. 

^ In the Hoche was Wolfe Tone, one of the chiefs of the Irish insurgents. 

348 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

and afterwards by the Foudroyant, surrendered at 11.30 to the 
Magncuiime, which, having herself suffered severely, remained by 
her prize. The other British ships, with the exception of the 
Bobtist, which was disabled, and the Anson, which was still 
struggling up from the south-east, chased vigorously ; the results 
being that the CoquiUe struck in about an hour and a half, and 
that the Bellone, after having made a desperate resistance to the 
Foudroyant and Melampus in succession, hauled down to the 
Ethalion, but not until she had fought her for very nearly two 
hours. The other French vessels escaped for the moment, and, as 
they got away, engaged the Anson, and inflicted considerable damage 
upon her. 

The British losses were as follows : Canada, 1 wounded 
(mortally); Foudroyant, 9 wounded; Robust, 10 killed, 40 wounded ; 
Magnanime, 7 wounded ; Anson, 2 killed, 13 wounded ; Ethalion, 
1 killed, 4 wounded ; and Melampus, 1 wounded ; total, 13 killed, 
and 75 wounded. No one in the Amelia was hurt, and the only 
British officers injured were Lieutenant David Colby, and Lieu- 
tenant of Marines William Cottle, both of the Robust. This was, 
all things considered, a very slight loss ; for the French had fought 
well. Of the prizes, the Hoche had 270 killed and wounded ; the 
Embuscade, 15 killed and 26 wounded ; the CoquiUe, 18 killed and 
31 wounded ; and the Bellone, 35 ^ killed and wounded. The Hoche 
(renamed Donegal), Bellone (renamed Proserpine), and Embuscade, 
were added to the Royal Navy. The CoquiUe probably would have 
been, had she not been accidentally burnt at Plymouth on 
December 14th, 1798. 

It can hardly be said that Warren's conduct of this little action 
was particularly brilliant, or that his subsequent dispositions were 
particularly wise ; for, in consequence of his having ordered the 
Robust, which was seriously crippled aloft, to tow the still more 
disabled Hoche into Lough Swilly, he narrowly escaped losing the 
largest of his prizes. Indeed, had not the Doris, 36, Captain Lord 
Ranelagh, come to the Robust's assistance, and had not the crew of 
the Hoche most loyally worked to save their ship for her captors, the 
74 must in all probability have been abandoned, or retaken. Yet 
the service rendered was, after all, no small one ; and Sir John, his 
officers, and men richly deserved the thanks which were voted to 

' This is the miuiher j;iven in tlie Freuch i-ejioits. Suiiie liritish i-eports jiut 
it at 05. 


them by both Houses. The action seems also to have won pro- 
motion for Lieutenants David Colby (liobust), George Sayer (2) 
(Ethalion), and WilHam James Turquand ^ {Canada). 

The five French frigates which made off to leeward were chased 
by the Canada, Foudroijant, and Mdampus. At about midnight on 
the 13th, the Melampus ^ighieAthe ImmovtalMa.i\A.Iiisolue,xunm-a(r 
out of St. John's Bay before a fresh wind ; and at 1 a.m. on the 
14th she succeeded in bringing to action the latter frigate, which, 
after attempting a feeble reply to a few broadsides, surrendered, 
having lost ten killed and several wounded. She was making foux-^ 
feet of water aii hour,^ and she appears to have had some of her 
maindeck guns housed, and to have been unable to fight them. The 
Melampus, which, it should be remembered, was of about twice the 
Besohie's force, ^ and which had no one hurt, was in a condition to- 
at once engage the lynmortaUte, had that ship been still at hand. 
But unable to near her consort, she had prudently made off. 

Two other frigates of M. Bompart's squadron, the Semillante 
and Loire, were sighted on the morning of October 1.5th by the 
Bevolutionnaire, 38, Captain Thomas Twysden, Mermaid, 32, Captain 
James Newman Newman, and Kangaroo, 18, Commander Edward 
Brace, off the mouth of Blacksod Bay, and, after having been chased 
before the wind, separated. The Bevolutionnaire, which followed 
one, lost her in the evening, and saw her no more. The Merviaid 
and Kangaroo pursued the other, and also lost her, but found her 
again at dawn on the 16th, and renewed the chase. This one was. 
the Loire. At 3 p.m. the Kangaroo* got up with her, and most, 
pluckily engaged, until she lost her fore-topmast and had her fore- 
mast badly wounded. She then had to drop astern. At daybreak on 
the 17th, the Loire shortened sail to allow the Mermaid, which was 
then alone, to come up ; and at 6.45 a.m., the two frigates went off 
together in hot action nearly before the wind. After an engagement 
of two hours and a half, the Loire sensibly slackened her fire, and 
Captain Newman had given orders to run athwart the hawse of his 
sorely crippled opponent, when the Mermaid lost her mizen-mast by 
the board, the falling wreckage disabling several of her after guns. 
Soon afterwards she also lost her main-topmast, and, being in many 

' Drowned in command of the Hound, 18, in Septemlier, 1800. 
^ Chiefly in consequence of the leak already mentioned. 
^ The MclampKs carried 24:'s, and the Rcsohie only 12-j)rs. 
* She carried sixteen 32-pr. carronade.s and two long 6-prs. 

350 MAJOll OFERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

other ways terribly mauled, she had to discontinue the action ; 
whereupon the enemy put before the wind and made off. The 
gallant MennaiiP lost 4 killed and IS wounded. We know from 
French sources that she inflicted very severe damage upon her 
opponent ; and, indeed, she must have done so in order to induce 
an officer like Captain Segond ' to quit so small and so crippled a 
foe as the British frigate. But the Loire was not to escape. At 
daybreak on the 18th, being by that time without a main as well as 
without a fore-topmast, she found herself to leeward of the Anson, 
44, Captain Philip Charles Durham, and the Kangaroo. The Anson 
was as crippled as the Loire. The Kangaroo, since the 16th, had 
got up a new fore-topmast and made good her other damages. An 
action between the two larger vessels began at 10.80 a.m. ; and at 
11.45 A.M., when they had almost completely disabled one another, 
the brig was able to throw the weight of her broadside into the scale 
and to decide the issue. When the Loire struck, she had six feet of 
water in her hold, and, according to French returns, had 46 killed 
and 71 wounded. The Anson lost but 2 killed and 13 wounded, and 
the Kangaroo had no one hurt. Both the Loire ^ and the Resolue 
were added to the Navy. 

Yet another of M. Bompart's vessels never returned to a French 
port. The Jmmortalite, while making for Brest, and, in fact, while 
nearing it, was fallen in with, on October '20th, by the Fishguard, 38, 
Captain Thomas Byam Martin, a frigate of fairly matched force.'' 
An action began at 12.30 p.m., and, although the Fishf/uard had at 
one time to drop astern, and was, towards the conclusion, half full 
of water, she obliged her opponent to strike at about 3 p.m., after 
having reduced her to a sinking state and killed or wounded 115 of 
her people, including Captain Legrand, who fell fighting his ship 
most gallantly. The Fishguard's loss was 10 killed and 26 wounded. 

' Slie was only a 12-iir. 32-gim frigate. Tlie Loire, a 40, carried 18-prs. The 
weight of broadside was : Mermaid, 252 lbs; Loire, 442 lbs. ; and tlie tonnage was : 
Mermaid, 693 ; Loin-, 1100. 

^ Born 1769; died 1813. Upon his return to France, after his captivity, he was 
not received with favour, on account of liis intolerance of discipline ; and in 1803 he 
resigned liis connnission in disgust. At one time he proi>osed to the Minister of 
Marine a romantic scheme for kidnapjiing George III. from AVeyniouth. 

' Guerin, in liis anxiety to magnify SOgond's defence, says: "Quant il Lm Loire, 
elle ne tarda ]ias a colder Vias." On tlie contrary, she was of much service to her new 

* Fishtjuard: broadside guns, 23; weight of broadside, 425 lbs.; crew, 284; 
tons, 1182. Jmmortalite: broadside guns, 21; weight of broadside, 450 lbs.; 
crew, 330 ; tons, 1010. 


The prize was piirchased for the British service, and refitted as 
an 18-pr.' 36-gun frigate. The FishcjuanVs first heuteuant, John 
Surman Garden,^ was promoted. 

Of M. Bompart's remaining ships, the Romaine, after having 
communicated with the Irish coast, siiri'endered all idea of landing 
troops, and returned to Brest. On her way thither she picked up 
the Biche ; and the two vessels anchored in their port of destination 
on October '23rd. The Seniillante reached Lorient. 

In the meanwhile much anxiety had arisen in France as to the 
fate of Humbert and Bompart ; and, on October 12th, Commodore 
Savary had been despatched from Bochefort, with his old squadron, 
consisting of the Concorde, Medee, Franchise, and Venus, to discover 
what had happened to his compatriots. He was so fortunate as to 
make Sligo Bay, on the 27th, without adventure ; and, learning of 
the fate of his friends, he at once headed again for home. On the 
28th, 29th, and 30th he was chased by the Ccesar, 80, Captain 
Koddam Home, Terrible, 70, Captain Sir Richard Hussey Bickerton, 
Bart., and Melpomene, 38, Captain Sir Charles Hamilton ; but he 
succeeded in escaping from them and in getting back safely to 

After his misfortune at Santa Cruz in July, 1797, Nelson 
returned to England to allow his wound to heal, and to recover his 
health ; and he did not rejoin the fleet off Cadiz until April 29th, 
1798. During his absence, the Mediterranean remained practically 
abandoned by the British. But, at about the time of his return, the 
Admiralty became very anxious concerning the object of the pre- 
parations which were being made by the French at Toulon ; and 
orders were accordingly sent to Lord St. Vincent to detach Nelson ^ 
w^th a few ships to endeavour to discover what was going forward. 
In pursuance of these orders. Nelson, with his flag in the Vanguard, 
74, Captain Edward Berry, parted company on May 2nd, and, on 
the 4th, reached Gibraltar. There he found, and took under his 
command the Alexander, 74, Captain Alexander John Ball, Orion, 
74, Captain Sir James Saumarez, Kt., Emerald, 36, Captain Thomas 
Moutray Waller, Terpsichore, 32, Captain William Hall Gage, and 
Bonne Citoijenne, 20, Commander Richard RetaHck. With these he 

' Her li4-iirs. were deemed too heavy for her. 

^ He died, an Admiral on the retired list, in 1858, aged 87. 

' Unless, indeed, St. Vincent saw fit to go himself. The selection of Nelson gave 
■great umbrage to Rear-Admirals Sir William Parker (1), Bart., and Sir John Orde, Bart., 
botli of whom were with the fleet, and both of whom were Nelson's seniors. 

352 MA JOB OPEIiATIOXs. 1703-1802. [1798. 

proceeded on May 9th. On the 17th, when off Cape Sicie, he 
ohtained news that there were in Toulon nineteen sail of the line, of 
which fifteen were ready for sea, and that an immense body of 
troops, under Bonaparte, lay ready to embark for an unknown 
destination. Very early in the morning of the 21st the squadron 
suffered severely in a gale, south of Hyeres, and, in consequence, 
the Emerald, Teiysichore and Bonne Citoyenne lost company.' The 
Vanguard, much ci-ippled, towed by the Alexander and accompanied 
by the Orion, made for the coast of Sardinia, and, on the 22nd, 
anchored in the road of San Pietro, where she refitted. 

The genesis of the plan of Bonaparte's Egj'ptian campaign is 
thus summarised by James : — 

" During the negotiations at Campo-Foriiiio, in the summer of 1797, General 
Bonaparte took away from the Ambrosian Library at Milan all the books he could find 
on subjects connected with the East ; and, on their being brought to Paris, marginal 
notes were discovered in every page that treated specially on Egypt. Hence, it has 
been inferred that Bonaparte was, even at this time, ruminating u]ion the plan in the 
attempted execution of which his military fame subsequently received so serious a 
check. ... At all events, in the early months of the year 1798, he submitted the 
plan of a campaign in Egypt to the directory, and, on the 5th of March, was appointed 
its commander-in-chief. ' Les ministres de la Guerre, de la Marine, et des Finances,*^ 
proceeds the letter of appointment, ' sont prevenus de se conformer aux instructions que 
\ous leur transmettrez sur ce point important dont votre patriotisme a le secret, et dont 
le Directoire ne pouvait pas mieux confier le succes qu'a votre genie et a votre amour 
pour la vraie gloire.' " 

Bonaparte's original view seems to have been that the Ottoman 
Empire was likely to crumble to pieces in his. day, and that France 
ought either to sustain it, or to take a share in it." He next acquired 
the belief that if, at the peace, the Cape of Good Hope should be 
confirmed to Great Britain, Egypt .vould form a satisfactory com- 
pensation for France,^ and that any attempt to sustain the Ottoman 
Empire was vain.* Later still he undoubtedly fancied that he saw 
in Egypt the door to a career of world-wide conquest similar to that 
of Alexander, and, above all, the way to India and to Great Britain's- 
position there. Yet, although he could say, " Let us concentrate 
all our activity upon the navy, and destroy England," ^ he was- 
capable of embarking upon his Egyptian expedition without having 
first reflected upon the elementary principles of sea power, and of 
landing his army without paying the slightest attention to the risks. 

' Owing, apparently, to the assumption of their Ca]>tains that the Vanf/iiard was so- 
seriously damaged that she must return to Gibr.iltai'. 

2 ' Corr. de Nap.' Aug. 16, 1797. '' Ibid., iii. 392. 

' Ikid., iii. 313. ' Ibid., iii. 520. 


to which he was exposed by doing so while a "potential" iieet 
remained to threaten his communications. Had not Napoleon been 
thus blind upon a single point, he might perhaps have attained all 
his ambitions. 

In pursuance of his directions, immense preparations were made 
in most of the Mediterranean ports then under French control ; and, 
on May 8th, Bonaparte reached Toulon from Paris to assume the 
command. The expeditionary force was made up of fifteen sail of 
the line (including two armed en flute), fourteen frigates (including 
six armed en flute), and other vessels of war bringing the total to 
seventy-two, besides about four hundred sail of transports,' under 
the orders of Vice-Admiral Brueys, and Eear-Admirals Villeneuve, 
Blanquet du Chayla, and Decres ; together with an army of 36,000 
men, commanded, under Napoleon, by the Generals of Division, 
Kleber, Desaix, Bon, Eegnier, Vaubois, Menou, Duqua, Dumas and 

On May 19th, the Toulon division of this fleet got under way, 
and, running towards Genoa, was joined by the transports from the 
ports along the coast. Then, standing southward, it made Cape 
Corse on the 23rd ; and from that day until the first week in June 
it remained in sight of Corsica awaiting further transports from 
Civita Vecchia. On June 3rd, having learnt that some British ships 
had been seen off Cagliari, Napoleon sent a division of vessels to 
look for them ; but the detachment rejoined, having discovered 
nothing ; and, as the expected convoy from Civita Vecchia had not 
arrived, the French proceeded without it, and passed Mazzaro del 
Vallo, on the south-west coast of Sicily, on the 7th. On the 
following day Bonaparte received news, which was, in fact, 
erroneous, that he was closely pursued by Nelson. On the 9th, 
the French, being off Malta, were joined by the transports from 
Civita Vecchia, numbering seventy sail ; on the 10th, landings were 
effected at seven points on the island ; and on the 12th, after slight 
resistance, Malta, Gozo and Comino capitulated, with two 64-gun 
ships, one frigate, and three galleys which were in port. 

By almost incredible exertions the Vanguard was refitted in four 

' The figures here given are those from the ' Hist. Scient. et Milit. de PExpedition,' 
etc. (Paris, 1830-36). But it is right to say that, according to the ' Camp. d'Egypte 
et de Syrie,' as dictated by Napoleon to Bertrand, and published in 1847, there were 
but 33 men-of-war, 8 fldtes, and 224 transports, having on board 24,300 infantry, 
4000 cavalry, and 3000 artillery. M. Thiers, on the other hand, exaggerates eveu the 
figures given in the text. ' Hist, du Cons, et de I'Emp.' 

VOL. IV. 2 A 

354 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

da3'S, and on Ma)' 27th, she and her two consorts put to sea again, 
and made for Toulon, off which port they found themselves on the 
31st. Nelson had b}' that time learnt of the saihng of the French, 
but he had nothing to guide him on the subject of their destination. 
On Jime 5th, the Mutine, 16, Commander Thomas Masterman 
Hardy, joined him from Lisbon at the rendezvous with news that 
reinforcements were on their way to him from the Commander- 
in-Chief, and with orders that, after their junction, he should go in 
search of the fleet from Toulon. The reinforcement fell in with the 
Eear- Admiral on June 7th. 

.This reinforcement, consisting of ten sail of the line and a 50-gun 
ship, had been detached by St. Vincent on the night of May 24th. 
It would have been detached earlier, but it could not be spared from 
the work of blockading Cadiz until after a reinforcement from 
England, under Kear-Admiral Sir Eoger Curtis, had reached the 
Commander-in-Chief ; and Sir Eoger did not join the Commander- 
in-Chief imtil May 24th. Unhappily, St. Vincent, who supposed 
that the Emerald, Terpsichore, and Bonne Citoyenne were still with 
Nelson, omitted to send to his subordinate any more frigates ; so that 
the Eear-Admiral, although at length in command of thirteen sail of 
the line and a 50-gun ship, had, to scout for him on a service the 
success of which essentially depended upon his ability to secure 
intelligence, nothing but a single brig-rigged sloop. 
Nelson's orders from St. Vincent were : — 

" To proceed in quest of the armament preparing by the enemy at Toulon and 
Genoa, the object whereof appears to be either an attack upon Naples or Sicily, the 
conveyance of an army to some part of the coast of Spain for the purpose of marching 
towards Portugal, or to pass through the Straits, with a view to proceeding to 

Nelson was further told that he might follow the enemy to any 

part of the Mediterranean or even into the Black Sea. There 

is, however, nothing in the instructions to indicate that St. Vincent, 

or the Admiralty, whose views he translated, ever dreamt that 

Napoleon was bound for Egypt ; and all that the Eear-Admiral 

had to guide him was the single fact that the Toulon fleet had 

quitted Toulon with a north-west wind. As soon, therefore, as he 

could move, he steered for Corsica ; and, on June 12th, he was off 

Cape Corse. That night he detached the Mutine to Civita Vecchia 

to seek inteUigence, while he pm-sued a course down the Tuscan 

' Dated May 21st. 


coast. The Mutine rejoined without having secui-ed any news. The 
Leander spoke a Moorish craft which falsely reported the French to 
be at Syracuse. On the 17th, the fleet stood into the Bay of Naples. 
Sir William Hamilton, the British Ambassador, suspected that the 
enemj' had gone to Malta ; and, following his indication. Nelson 
entered the Strait of Messina on the 20th, and learnt from the 
British Consul at Messina that Malta and Gozo had fallen, and that 
the French were believed to be off the latter island. A north-west 
breeze carried the Kear- Admiral through the strait ; but on the 
22nd, when the fleet was about thirty-five miles south-east of Cape 
Passaro, intelligence was obtained to the effect that the enemy had 
quitted Malta on the 18th with a north-west wind. This news 
suggested Alexandria as the probable aim of the French ; and, in 
consequence. Nelson bore up, and steered south-east under all sail. 
During the next five days, nothing was heard of the foe, and 
when, on the 28th, Alexandria was sighted, and the Mutine was 
sent in, it appeared that no enemy either was, or had been, on the 

Nelson, accordingly, on the 29th, steered north-east with a fresh 
north-north-east breeze, and made the coast of Anatolia on July 4th. 
For several days afterwards the weather was unfavourable, but on 
the 19th, the British were able to put into Syracuse for provisions 
and water. Supplies were obtained, thanks mainly to the deteiTuina- 
tion of the Kear- Admiral to secure them at all costs, and to suffer no 
difficulties to stand in the way of his Majesty's service. Nelson him- 
self beheved, however, that he would not have obtained them as he 
did, but for the influence of Lady Hamilton, the wife of the British 
Ambassador at the Court of Naples. By July 24th, the fleet was 
again able to sail. Nelson was practically certain that the French 
were not at Corfu nor to the westward of that island ; and once more, 
therefore, he determined to make for Alexandria. He steered first, 
however, for the Morea, and on the 28th, being off Cape Gallo, sent 
the CuUoden into Coron, the governor of which informed Troubridge 
that the French had been seen about four weeks earlier off the coast 
of Candia, heading south-east. South-east, thereupon, went Nelson 
with a fresh vdnd astern. At 10 a.m. on August 1st he sighted for 
the second time the minarets of Alexandria. The French flag flew 
over the city ; the harboiU'S were crowded with shipping ; and 
for an instant it appeared as if the British had found the object of 
their long and indefatigable search. But when the Alexander and 

2 A 2 


MA JOB OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. 


Swiftsure stood in to reconnoitre, they reported, to the general 
disappointment, that the flotilla in port was almost entirely com- 
posed of transports and merchantmen, and that there were with it 
but eight ships of war,' none of which were large. 

After quitting Malta, where a garrison of four thousand men was 
left under General Vaubois, the French had headed eastward with a 
favourable breeze, and on June 30th had made Cape Durazzo, in 
Candia. They had then steered for a point on the African coast 
about seventy miles westward of Alexandria, and, having made the 
land, had proceeded along the shore and anchored before the city on 
July 1st. A landing had been immediately begmi. On the 2nd, 
after a slight action, Alexandria had been seized ; and on the 8th, 
the Old Harbour being supposed to be inconvenient for the men-of- 
war, Vice-Admiral Brueys, with his ships of the line and such of his 
frigates as were not aimed en flute, had anchored in Aboukir Bay,* 
twelve or fifteen miles to the eastward. 

Thus it was that the Alexander and Siviffsure, upon looking 
into Alexandria, failed to find the ships which they desired. But 
the disappointment caused by their signal lasted but for a short 
time. A few minutes before 1 p.m. the Zealous, from which the 
Pharos then bore S.S.W., distant about fourteen miles, signalled 
that seventeen ships of war, thirteen or fourteen of which were 
formed in line of battle, lay at anchor in a bay upon her larboard 
bow. Nelson instantly hauled up, and headed eastward under 
topgallant sails, with a brisk breeze varying from N. by W. to 

' The Dubois, Causse, and six ex- Venetian vessels. 

' Napoleon, on hearing of this, sent a message ordering Brueys to remove to the 
Old Harbour; but the message never reached him. Brueys, however, ujion his own 
initiative, was thinking of removing thither when Nelson caught him. (Bruej'-s to 
Nap., July 30th.) 

' It may be convenient to give in the following form some tabulated particulars of 
Nelson's celebrated search for Brueys : — 




Date. ! XeUon. 

1 Brueye, 

May 2 

Cadiz, dep. 

June 14 Off Clvita Vecchla. 



17 Off Naples. 


Off Cape Sicie. 

20 OffMesBlna. 


Toulon, dep. 

221 Off Cape Pas.'iaro. 


80 mUes S. of Hyercs. 

„ 28-29 , Off Alexandria. 

M 22 

San Pietro, arr. 


Off Cape Durazzo. 


Off Cape Carbonara. 

July 11 

Off Alexandria. 


San Pietro, dcp. 

4 1 Off Anatolia. 


Off Toulon. 

8 ' 

Aboukir Bay. arr. 

June 8 

Off Toulon, dep. 

Off Mazzara. 

18 Off Cape Passaro. 

., 10-19 


„ 19-24 ' Syracuse. 


Off Cape Corse. 

Aug. 1 Off .Alexandria. 

I On the 22u<i and tb<' two following days the fleets were comparatively near one another. 




The fleets which had for so long played hide and seek with 
one another, and which were at length about to meet, w^ere thus 
composed : — 



Goliath . 
Zealous . 

Tkeseus . 


Defence . 


Majestic . 

Leander . 



* Lost their lives. 

Capt. Thomas Foley (3). 

„ Samuel Hood ('2). 

„ SirJamesSaomarez. 

„ Davidge (-ionld. 
r „ Ralph Willett 
[ iliUer. 

{Rear-Adm. SirH. Nelson, 
K.B. (B). 
Capt- Edward Berry. i 
,, Thom:is Ivouls. 
„ John Pej-ton. 

Henrj- d'Esterre 

George B 1 a g d e n 

Thomas Boolden 

Alexander John 

Benjamin Hallo- 
Thomas Troubridge, 

II Hardy. 

1 QTounded, and failed to get into action. 


. -s 

3 ^ 


* Lost their lives. 

21 I 41 
1 I 7 

13 29 
1 i 35 

5 ' 30 








Aquilon . 
Peuple Sou- 
verain . 


T(mnant . 
Mcrcure . 


TM . . 


Sirieiise . 


Justice . 
Rn i lie ur 
brig. . 
Alerte, brig 



Capt. J. F. T. TniU.t (1). 
„ S. Dalbaradc (-i). 
„ M. J. Emeriau. 
„ H. A. ITieTenard (2).* 

P. P. Raccord. 



Rear-Adm. A. S. M. 

quet du Chayla. T 

(Capt. M. Gilet. I 

1 Vice-Adm. F. P. Brucys.* 
120 ^Capt. H. Ganteaume, let. Burnt 

[ ,, L. de Casa Bianca, 2ud.* 
80 „ A. A. Dupctit Thouars.* T 
74 „ J. P. Etienne. Tt 

74 „ C'ambon. T* 

|Bear-Adm. P. C. J. B. S. ViUe- 
80 < neuve. Escpd 

(Capt. Sanluier. , 

74 „ Le Joille. ' Escpd. 

74 ,. J. F. T. Trullet (2). Burnt 

„ C. J. Martin. 

,, P. J. Standelet. 
/Rear-Adm. D. Decres. 
leapt. E. J. N. Solen. 

„ Villeneuve (2). 




and three bombs, besides several gunboats. 

* Burnt, as useless, August 18th. 
f Burnt, as useless, August 16th. 

The Bay of Aboukir lies along the coast, a few miles to the 
north-east of Alexandria, and is a nearly semi-circular indentation 
opening to the northward, between Aboukir Point, on the west, and 
the Eosetta mouth of the Nile, on the east, a distance of about 
sixteen miles. This opening is not, however, an uninterrupted one, 
for, from Aboukir Point, in a nearly northerly direction there extends 
a chain of shoals and rocks. Of the rocks, the largest, Aboukir 
Island, is about two miles from Aboukir Point, and in 1798 both it 
and the town of Aboukir, on Aboukir Point, were fortified and held 
by the French. There is no passage, save for very small craft, 
between the shoals and rocks composing the chain above-mentioned, 
and a continuation of the shoal extended in 1798 north-eastward 
beyond Aboukir Island for nearly a mile ; so that the mouth of the 
bay, so far as large vessels were concerned, practically narrowed itself 
to little more than thirteen miles. 




The French ships, in line, at single anchor with springs on their 
cables,' extended from a point about 2-400 j^ards south-east of Aboukir 
Island, towards the south-east, in the direction of the shore. The 
Hne was not quite straight, but was shghtly bowed to seawards. 
The Guerrier, at the north-western end, lay about 1000 yards from 
the edge of the shoal that sm-rounds the island, and, as the ships 
were anchored with intervals of about 160 yards, the length of the 


(From the engraviJig bij D. Orme, after the portrait hy himself, paintiid about 1805, when 
Bcrnj was a CajMin.) 

whole line was about 2850 yards. Within it, with its edge curving 
in the direction away from the convexity of the line, was a shoal ; 
yet this shoal was not so close but that there was room for ships to 
work in between it and the French fleet. Nearly midway between 
the line and the shoal, and parallel with the former, Brueys anchored 

• When Brueys perceived that Nelson was about to attack, he ordered each ship to 
lay out an anchor to S.S.E., and to send a Btream cable to the ship next astern of her, 
making a hawser fast to it. ' Vict, ct Conq.,' ix. 89. 




his four frigates. His bombs and gunboats were still closer inshore, 
under Aboukir; and all these vessels, as well as a battery of two 
brass and two iron 12-ponnders, two l.S-inch brass mortars, and 
some lighter pieces, on Aboukir Island, were so disposed as to lend 
more or less support to the whole position, the general nature of 
which is made clear by the accompanying plans. 

It was 2 P.M. when the Heureux signalled the presence of a fleet 
of twelve sail of the line ' in the N.N.W. The French commander- 



Position of French FuEEi-r 


Aboukir Bay. 

• ' 


,.^.- — '' , :^lhoukLrJ. A bau k I r 



^ \\ '^- ■■ - ^^__^ 

LaA-e ^'^^^^^^ " 

Mad i eM. ^ 

=! ^ = 

in-chief at once recalled to the ships a number of men who were on 
shore with water-casks, and ordered part of the crews of the frigates 
to go on board the vessels of the line. At 3 p.m. he further signalled 
to prepare for battle, and, at the same time, detached the brigs 
Bailleur and Alerte to endeavour to tempt the advancing British on 
to the Aboukir shoals. At 4 p.m., when he learnt that not twelve, 
but fourteen ships were about to fall upon him, he betrayed 
symptoms of an intention to get under way, and ordered top- 
gallant yards to be crossed ; but he seems to have subsequently 

' The Alexander and Swiftsure being not then in sight. 

360 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

concluded that his enemy would not attack him until the follow- 
ing morning, and to have, in consequence, decided to remain at 

At 2.15 P.M., when the Alexander and Swiftsure, which had 
reconnoitred the harbours of Alexandria, and had been recalled by 
signal, were standing under all sail to rejoin the Eear-Admiral, they 
were about twelve miles from the main body which was making the 
best of its way to the eastward. At 3 p.m.. Nelson signalled to 
prepare for battle, and at 4 p.m., when the Orient bore S.E. by S., 
distant about nine miles, he ordered his ships to prepare to anchor 
by the stern. Each ship, in pursuance of this direction, made fast a 
stream cable to her mizenmast, and, passing it out of one of her 
,gun-room ports, carried it along her side, just below the lower deck 
ports (from several of which it was slung by spun yarn lashings), and 
then bent it to an anchor at her bow, so that, upon that anchor 
being let go, the ship would run over the cable leading from the 
hawse-hole, and would bring up by the cable out of the gunroom 
port. This arrangement had a double object ; namely, to prevent 
the ships, upon anchoring, from swinging head to wind, and from, 
perhaps, being seriously raked while doing so ; and to enable them, 
by hauUng upon one cable and slackening the other, to bring their 
broadsides to bear in any desired direction. Having signalled to 
prepare to anchor. Nelson next intimated that he intended to attack 
the enemy's van and centre.' As he had previously explained to 
his captains the general plan upon which he purposed to proceed in 
case he should discover the French in such a position as that which 
they were actually found to occupy, he was then able, with con- 
fidence, to leave the execution of the details to his subordinates. - 

The manoeuvres of the Bailleur and Alerte failed to divert the 
attention of the British van. " The bait," admits Guerin, " was 
a clumsy one to put before a man like Nelson,'" and the fleet paid 
absolutely no attention to it. At 5.30 p.m., when he was nearly 
abreast of the Aboukir Island shoal, the Eear-Admiral signalled to 
form line of battle ahead and astern of the flagship, as most con- 
venient, and, soon afterwards, he hailed Hood, of the Zealous, 
inquiring whether the latter thought that the ships were far 

' Brueys, strange to say, had anticipated a concentration upon his rear. Brueys to 
Nap., July 13th. But it may be that, when he wrote, his rear lay to windward, and 
could not, consequently, be readily succoured by his van. 

2 Sir E. Berry in ' Xav. Chron.,' i. 52. 

1798.] BATTLE OF TEE NILE. 361 

enough to the eastward to be able to clear the shoal if they bore 
up.^ There was no trustworthy chart of the bay, and the ground 
was strange to every Captain present. Hood answered that he 
was then in 11 fathoms, and that, if permitted, he would bear up, 
soimding carefully, and so serve as guide to the fleet. Nelson 
assented; and, while the Zealous cautiously rounded the head of 
the shoal, with the Goliath on her port or outer bow, the Vanguard 
hove to and allowed several vessels to pass her. As the Theseus 
approached, Miller was hailed by Berry and told that he was to 
be Nelson's next ahead. The Theseus accordingly ran past, the 
Vanguard fiUed, and at 6 p.m., by signal, the column stood on, 
the order then being: Goliath, Zealous, Orion, Audacious, Theseus, 
Vanguard, Mvwtaur, Defence, Bellerophon, Majestic, Leander, with, 
considerably to the northward, CuUoden, and, still far to westward, 
Alexander and Siciftsure under a press of sail. 

At 6.20 P.M. the Conquerant, followed by the Guerrier, opened 


fire upon the Goliath and Zealous, and the battery on the island 
began to throw shells, but without effect. Ten minutes afterwards 
the Goliath, which had with difficulty kept ahead of the Zealous, 
passed under the forefoot of the Guerrier, fired a raking broadside 
into that vessel, and endeavoured to anchor on her port bow. As, 
however, the anchor was let go rather late, the Goliath ran down 
somewhat further than Foley had intended, and only brought up 
abreast of the port quarter of the Conquerant, with which ship, and 
with the Serieuse,- on her starboard bow, she began a warm action. 
The Zealous, also rounding the head of the French line, brought up, 
in only five fathoms, abreast of the port bow of the Guerrier. It 
was sunset ; and, as the Zealous brought down the Guerrier' s fore- 

' Williams, who was present, tells a slightly different story. " Nelson hailed Hood, 
and asked him if he thought there was sufficient depth of water for our ships letween 
the enemy and the shore. ' I don't know, sir,' replied Hood ; ' but, vnth your permission, 
I will stand in and try.' " According; to this. Nelson inquired not about getting round 
the shoal, but about getting round the head of the French line. 

^ The Serieuse had, of course, already fired at her. So, also, had the Eercuh, 
bomb, to which the Goliath distantly replied. 

362 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

mast ere she had been five minutes in action, the advancing British 
ships gave three cheers. (Fig. on opposite page.) 

The Orion, which vf&s next in order, rounded the starboard 
quarter of the Zealous, and running along outside her and the 
Goliath, poured her starboard broadside into the presumptuous 
Sirieuse, dismasted her, cut her cable, reduced her to a sinking 
condition, and then, dropping anchor, veered away so as to bring up 
head to wind a little abaft the port beam of the Peuple Soiiverain, 
but at a rather greater distance from her than Saumarez had 
intended.' In the meantime the Audacious, cutting between the 
Guerrier and the Coitqueixuit, dropped her small bower anchor so 
as to bring up close athwart the latter ship's hawse, and, presently 
swinging round head to wind, came to again less than fifty yards 
from the Conquiranfs port bow. The Theseus, taking a shorter 
coiurse than the Orion, passed romid the head of the French line, 
and between it and the already anchored Zealous and Goliath, and 
herself anchored by the stern, abreast of, and about three hundred 
yards from the Spartiate. 

Nelson, in the Vanguard, followed; but, instead of cutting 
through the line, he anchored at 6.40 p.m. on the starboard beam of 
the Spartiate, at a distance of about eighty yards. The Minotaur 
passed along the Vanguard's disengaged side, and at 6.45 p.m., 
anchored abreast of the Aquilon ; and the Defence, passing in a 
similar manner along the disengaged side of the Minotaur, brought 
up at 7 P.M. on the beam of the Peuple Souverain. At that moment, 
therefore, the five leading French ships found themselves in con- 
flict with eight British, five of which were on their port, and three 
on their starboard hand. It was at about that time that the fleet, 
which had gone into action with the White Ensign flying,^ began 
to hoist the lights which Nelson had prescribed in order that his 
vessels might easily recognise one another — fom' disposed horizontally 
at the mizen peak. At about the same time, also, the Bellerophon 
anchored by the stern abreast, and on the starboard side, of the 
Orient. A few minutes later the Majestic ^ brought up in a similar 

' Saumarez had to deviate from his course, in the first place, in order to deal with 
the Serieuse, and, in the second, in order to avoid fouling the Theseus, which had 
anchored before him. 

^ Nelson, although he was then of the Blue Squadron, had a peculiar alTection for 
the White Ensign, under which he eventually fell. 

' At about 8.30, finding that she was drifting athwart the hawse of the IJeureux, 
the Majestic slipped her stern caVile, and, lotting go her best bower, brought up again 
head to wind on the port bow of the Ileureux, 

\Tofacef. 363 

1798.] BATTLE OF THE SILE. 363 

position with regard to the Tonnant. Such was the situation in 
the immediate neighbom-hood of the French hue at about 7.15 p.m. 

At about 6.40 p.m. the CuUodcn,^ while rounding the point of 
shoal eastwai'd of Aboukii- Island, had, uufortvmateh% grounded 
and stuck fast, to the immense mortification of the gallant Trou- 
bridge and his ship's company, who soon reahsed that the accident 
must debar them fi'om having any share in the furious action that 
was going on under their eyes. The accident for a time detained 
the Leander, which was the CuUodeiis next ahead ; but, quickly 
perceiving where he could be of most use, Captain Thompson 
proceeded on his course towards the enemy. All that was possible 
was done to get the Ciilloden off; and the Mutinc, after a time, 
anchored hard by and lent her assistance; but not until "2 a.m. ou 
August •2nd could the ship haul hei-self clear; and by that hour 
she had bumped her rudder off and was making seven feet of water 
an hour. As soon, however, as she had gi'oimded, she had signalled 


hermishap ; and her signals warned the Alexander and Sui/tsure, 
as they came up, of the danger in their way ; so that although, 
just as they were rounding the shoal, the wind shifted from Is.X.W. 
to N., they cleared it. To do so, however, the Alexander had to 
tack, and so sm-rendered her lead to the Swi/fsure, which, as she 
neared the centi-e of the French hue at a few minutes after 8 p.m., 
fell in vnth a dismasted hull, drifting without Ughts or colom's. 
Hallowell providentially hailed her instead of at once firing into 
her, and learnt that she was the Bellcrophon, going out of action 
disabled. Hallowell, in the darkness, smoke, and general confusion, 
could not tell exactly where he was, but, realising that he was 
quite close to some part of the French Une, he at once let go and 
brought up by the stern opposite the interval between the Franklin 
and ihe Orient, at a distance of a cable from the latter's starboard 
bow. A little earher the Peii2)le Son vera in had parted her cable 

' Ekins makes the extraordinary mistake of saying that the CuUoden grounded 
while leading the fleet in. ' Nav. Battles,' 237. < 

364 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

and dropped out of the French line, and the Leander, arri^dng on 
the scene of action, and obsen'ing the gap thus occasioned in it, 
had kept for a time under way in the vacant space, and had then 
anchored with great judgment athwart the bows of the Franklin, 
in such a manner that with her port broadside she raked the 
Franklin and the ships astern of her, while, with her starboard 
broadside, she could also rake the Aquilon, receiving comparatively 
httle harm herself. The Alexander had, ere that, cut the line 
astern of the Orient,^ and, coming round to the wind, had anchored 
by the bow on the three-decker's port quarter. 

It is now time to look at the fortunes of the French ships which 
were thus attacked. 

The Guerrier, raked not only by the Zealous, which was 
anchored on her port bow, but also by the Orion, Theseus, 
Audacious, and Goliath as they proceeded to their stations, speedily 
lost all her masts. She nevertheless fought on wdth great heroism 
until after 9 p.m., when she surrendered to the Zealous. The Con- 
querant, first engaged by the Goliath, then raked by the Audacious,'' 
and finally assailed with steady persistency by both ships, resisted 
only for about twelve minutes ; yet, when she struck, she had lost 
her fore and mizen masts and was completely disabled. The 
Spartiate, engaged first by the Theseus, and then by that ship and 
the Vanguard, received also some more distant fire from the 
Minotaur, and ultimately from the Audacious as well. The Aquilon, 
her next astern, assisted her for a time by using her springs to 
bring her port broadside to bear upon the Vanguard's bows; but 
at length the Spartiate was completely dismasted, and soon after 
9 P.M. she struck. The Aquilon had as her nearest opponent the 
Minotaur, which alone of all the ships in the two fleets carried, as 
an upper battery, a tier of 3'2-pounder can-onades. The Theseus, 
though much more distant, also devoted some attention to the 
Aquilon, which, having lost all her masts and suffered hea\'ily, 
hauled down her flag at 9.2-5 p.m. The Peuple Souverain, hotly 
assailed by the Defence and Orion, both of which occupied advan- 
tageous positions with respect to her, soon lost her fore and main 
masts, and either parted her cable, or had it shot away. She 
consequently dropped down abreast of the Orient, where she 

' The manoeuvre being facilitated by the fact that the Tonnant had driven a little 
to leeward. 

' The Conqu»rant also received a passing fire from the Orion and Theseus. 

1798.] BATTLE OF THE NILE. 365 

reanchored, having ceased firing. The Franklin had for a time no 
near opponent, but received a distant fire from the starboard quarter 
guns of the Orion. The Leander then, as has been seen, placed 
herself athwart the hawse of the French 80, and began systemati- 
cally to rake her ; the Swiftsure gave her the fire from her star- 
board quarter and stem guns ; and the Defence, together with the 
Minotaur, when the latter had settled matters with the Aquilon, 


(.From Ridley's lithograph after the miniature by G. Engleheart, painted when Thompson 

teas a Captain.') 

annoyed the Franklin on her starboard bow and beam. But before 
the Franklin was silenced there happened an event of so awful a 
character as for a time to paralyse, as it were, both fleets. 

The French flagship Orient^ was first sought out by the 
Bellerophon, which anchored close alongside of the great three- 
decker, but which soon found the position untenable. By 7.50 p.m. 

' She had previously been known as the Sans Culotie, and had been renamed in 
honour of the object of the expedition. 

366 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

the British 1-k had lost her mizen mast ; a httle later her main mast 
went over the starboard how, and she caught fire in several places ; 
and at 8.20 p.m., being absolutely disabled, she set her sprit-sail, 
cut her stern cable, and got clear. An attempt to set her fore- 
topsail brought down her shattered foremast. In that condition 
she was fii-ed into by the Tonnant,^ and, as has been shown, 
narrowly escaped being fired into by the Swiftsure. The attack 
upon the Orient was almost instantly taken up by the Swiftsure 
and the Alexander ; and at 9 p.m. the former vessel perceived the 
French flagship to be on fire. The Siviftsure concentrated as 
much of her broadside as possible upon the burning spot, and thus 
probably interfered with the attempts to extinguish the flames. 
Early in the action Vice-Admiral Brueys had received two wounds, 
and at aboiit 8 p.m., while descending from the poop to the quarter- 
deck, he had been almost cut in two by a round shot ; but, when 
asked to allow himself to be taken below, had proudly answered, 
" Un amiral franpais doit mom'ir sm* son banc de quart." He had 
not survived to witness the outbreak of the fire. Soon after his death 
his flag-captain, de Casa Bianca, had fallen dangerously wounded; 
and it would appear, from the accounts of survivors, that, ere the 
conflagration began, the ship had already become a shambles. 
Yet worse was in store. The flames increased and spread along 
the deck and leapt up the rigging. Foreseeing the inevitable 
catastrophe, all the vessels near the doomed three-decker either 
shifted their berths, or, closing their ports and hatchways, and 
removing all ammunition from their upper decks, held in readiness 
large bodies of men with filled buckets. At about 10 p.m. the 
Orient was blown into the air by the explosion of her magazine.^ 
The concussion alone was so violent as to seriously injui'e ships 
which lay even at some distance ; and the hurtling fragments of 
spars and wreckage presently fell a burning shower all around. 
Some fell in the Siviftsure, some in the Alexander, but most in 
the Franklin. The latter two vessels were set on fire; yet in both 
cases the flames were quickly extinguished. 

' Many French accounts have it that the BeUerophon's people, while near the 
Tonnant, " et principalement lea officiers, jeterent de grands oris, pour faire connaitre 
qu'il etait rendu." ' Vict, et Conq.,' ix. 101 ; Gue'rin, vi. 168, etc. There is not a 
shadow of evidence that any soul in the ship ever dreamt of surrender ; but there is 
evidence that her crew was a noisy one 

2 About 70 of her people were saved by British boats, and Capt. Gantcaume and a 
few more made their way to the French brig Salamine ; but, with these exceptions, 
all perished. 

1798.] BATTLE OF THE NILE. 367 

It is clear that the physical and moral effects of the shock 
■stupefied almost everyone in both fleets. All accounts of eye- 
witnesses agree in declaring that not for several minutes after this 
frightful catastrophe was another gun fired on either side. The 
Franklin, though nearly disabled, was the first ship to renew the 
struggle ; but she did not much longer maintain it. The Defence 
and Sivi/tsure brought down her main and mizen masts ; and, 
being scarcely able to make any reply, she hauled down her flag. 
By midnight, therefore, all the ships of the French line ahead of 
the Tonnant had struck or had been destroyed. The Tonnant 
continued her most gallant resistance. She had thus far been 
engaged chiefly with the Majestic, whose main and mizen masts 
she had shot away, but, more distantly, with the Swiftsure and 
Alexander. At length, when all her own masts had been cut off 
close to the deck and had encumbered her batteries with their 
wreckage, she had to cease firing, but, instead of immediately 
surrendering, she managed, by letting out cable, to drop into 
a station in which, for the time, she suffered but little further 
annoyance. She had indeed offered a magnificent defence ; and 
the end of her captain, the brave Dupetit Thouars, deserves to be 
remembered as one of the brightest episodes in an action which 
was full of splendid deeds. Eouud shots deprived him successively 
of his right arm, his left arm, and one of his legs ; whereupon the 
heroic officer, instead of letting himself be taken below, caused 
himself to be placed in a tub of bran, whence he continued to give 
his orders until from loss of blood he became insensible. One 
of these was for nailing the French flag to the ship's masts. ^ 
Almost his last words were to implore his people to sink rather 
than surrender.^ 

In her new position the Tonnant practically constituted the head 
of a fresh but very irregular line, which had been formed inside 
and to leeward of the tail of the old one, by the ships of the French 
rear, all of which, with the exception of the Tonnant, were still 
undamaged. At about 4 a.m. on the 2nd, as day was breaking, 
some of these ships became distantly engaged with the Alexander 

' Ab these afterwards fell, the precaution was useless. 

^ Aristide Aubert Dupetit Thouars : born, 1760 ; fought at Ushant and in North 
American waters ; captain, 1783 ; led the expedition in search of La Perouse. His sou 
Abel, another brilliant naval officer, established the French protectorate over Tahiti, 
and died a vice-admiral, 1864. His son Abel (2), also a naval officer, served in the 
Crimea, at Simonosaki, and at Strasburg (1870), and died a rear-admiral in 1890. 

368 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

and Majestic. The firing attracted to the spot the TJieseus and 
Goliath, which anchored near the French frigate Artemise. Her 
captain fired a broadside into the Theseus, and then struck ; but, 
when taken possession of, she was found to be on fire ; and she 
afterwards blew up. In the meantime the vessels of the French 
rear, and the two remaining frigates, had dropped so much further 
to leeward as to be almost out of gunshot. The Heureux and 
Mercure, in fact, had gone to the length of running themselves on 
shore in the bight of the bay. 

At 6 A.M. the Zealous, Goliath, and TJieseus were signalled to 
weigh, and the first-named was presently directed to chase the 
frigate Justice, which was making for the disabled Bellerophon 
with a view to summoning her to surrender. The other two 
British 74's, accompanied by the Alexander and Leander, followed 
up the Heureux and Mercure, and, after exchanging a few shots 
with them, forced them to strike. The Zealous easily induced the 
Justice to abandon her absurd design against the Bellerophon, and 
then, by Nelson's direction, joined Captain Darby's ship in order 
to protect her from molestation by any more serious foe. 

While the Zealous, Goliath, Theseus, Alexander, and Leander 
were thus employed, the Guillamne Tell, Genereux, Timoleon, 
Tonnant, and Diane, which had been rejoined by the Justice, 
found themselves with no British vessels very near them. The 
Tonnant, of course, could not move; the Timoleon, which had 
got herself fairly embayed among the shoals to leeward, en- 
deavoured to make sail upon the port tack, and, in the effort, 
ran herself ashore. But the other French ships had room to 
manoeuvre and were perfectly able to do so; and, seizing their 
opportunity, they hauled close on the port tack, and made a 
bold bid for safety. The Zealous, observing them, chased and 
was, a few minutes afterwards, actually engaging single-handed 
the four uninjured ships, and endeavouring to cut off the rear- 
most frigate, when Nelson recalled her. Thus did Eear-Admiral 
Villeneuve, with the GuiUaume Tell, GinSreux, Diane, and Justice, 
escape from the fatal Bay of Aboukir.^ The whole of the rest of 
the fleet of Brueys either fell into the hands of the victors or was 
destroyed ; for, on the morning of August 3rd, the Tonnant, being 

' These escaped only for a time. The Ge'iiereux was taken on Feb. 18th, the 
Ouillaume Tell on March 30th, and the Diane on Aug. 24th, 1800. The Justice wan 
captured at Ale.xandria on Sept. 2nd, 1801. 

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' ' ' ■\ „*'' '"\ 1 [\OutUt3umc 7e// 

The Battle of The' Nile ^tJre -f' 

The Heicmt Of the. Act\on ',.'' ' _,-^ 

^Boi"-3 3oAM.oA> ^ua 2''''\ : ,--'' C\7imo/e'on 

so a 


[To face jj. 36S. 

1798.3 BAITLE OF TEE MLE. 3G9 

threatened by the Theseus and Leander, struck, and, dui'ing the 
afternoon of the same day, the gi'ounded Timolcon was set on fire 
by her crew, and eventually blew up. 

Nearly all the British ships had suffered in their rigging. The 
Belleroplion lost all three masts, the Maji:dic lost her main and 
mizen. But these were the only vessels which had lost any 
lower masts, and the damages of the others aloft were, with few 
exceptions, not very serious. The chief sufferers in their hulls 
were the Bellerophon , the Majestic, and the Vanguard. The total 
loss of each British ship in killed and wounded will be found set 
forth in the table on page 357. The officers killed were : Captain 
George Blagden Westcott {Majestic) ; Lieutenants Eobert Savage 
Daniel (1783), Philip William Launder (1790), and George Jolliffe 
(1797), (BeUerophon), John G. Kirchner (Minotaur), and John 
Collins (Alexander) ; Captain of Marines William Faddy (Vanguard), 
Master's Mates William Davies (Goliath), Peter Walter (Minotaur), 
and Thomas Ellison (Bellerophon) ; Midshipmen Andrew Brown 
(Goliath), Thomas Seymour and John George Taylor (Vanguard), 

and Zebedee Ford (Majestic) ; Captain's Clerk Baird (Orion) ; 

and Boatswain Andrew Gilmore (Majestic). Among the officers 
wounded were Eear-Admiral Sir H. Nelson ; Captains A. J. Ball, 
Sir J. Saumarez, and H. d'E. Darby ; Lieutenants Nathaniel Vassall 
and John Miller Adye (Vanguard), Kichard Hawkins (Theseus), 
John Jeans (Audacious), William Wilkinson (Goliath), and Thomas 
Irwin (Minotaur) ; Mr. John Campbell, Nelson's secretary, and 
Captains of Marines John Creswell (Alexander), and John Hopkins 

Nelson was wounded early in the action by a splinter, which 
struck him above his blind right eye, and w^hich left pendent a strip 
of flesh. For a short time he believed the wound to be a mortal 
one, but, when it had been sewn up, the Eear-Admiral was able to 
retiu-n to his duties on deck. Captain Westcott,^ of the Majestic, 
lost his life by a musket ball fired from the Toiuiant. After his 
death, the ship continued to be most effectively fought by her first 
lieutenant, Eobert Cuthbert.^ 

' George Blagdeu Westcott was made Comruander in 1787, and was jjosted on 
Oct. 1st, 1700. 

- The first Lieutenants of the ships engaged were, it would appear: Goliath, George 
.Tardiue ; Zealous, William Henry Wehley ; Orion, James Barker ; Audacious, 
Thomas AVhite (2) ; Tlieseus, Puchard Hawkins ; Vanguard, Edward Galwey ; 
Miniifnur, Charles Marsh Schomherg; Defence, Richard Jones (1); BeUeropho?/, 

VOL. IV. 2 B 

370 MAJOI! OPERATIONS, 1703-1802. [1798. 

From what has been ah-eady written, it will be understood that 
the French ships which were closely engaged were all very badly 
damaged. Five of them were left without a stick standing, and 
were so shattered in hull as to be, for the time, quite unseaworthy. 
Two others remained with but one mast each, and with riddled 
hulls. Estimates of the French loss in killed, drowned, burnt, 
wounded, taken and missing, vary between '2000 and 5000, but no 
official returns exist. It is probable, all things considered, that 
about 3500 was the true number. Among the French officers who 
perished were, in addition to Vice-Admiral Brueys,^ and Captain 
Dupetit Thouars, Captains Thevenai'd ('2), and de Casa Bianca.^ 
Captain Dalbarade (2) never recovered from his wounds. 

The CuUoden, it will have been seen, was able to take no part 
whatsoever in the action ; yet, even if she be counted as part of 
Nelson's effective force, the British in this great battle were in 
tonnage and gun power inferior to their opponents. Brueys, 
leaving aside his frigates, had thirteen ships, mounting nominally * 
1026 guns. Nelson had fourteen ships, mounting nominally 1012 
guns. But the French ships threw, upon the whole, much heavier 
broadsides than the British, and were also, upon the whole, much 
larger vessels. The biggest British ship in the battle was the 
Minotaur, of 1718 tons. Of the prizes, the Spartiate measured 
1949, the Franklin, 2257, and the Tonnant, 2281 tons. The 
Orient, the GuiUaumc Tell, and several more were also larger than 
anything in the British line on that glorious occasion. And when 

Robert Savage Daniel, killed ; Robert Cathcart, senior surviving ; Majestic, Robert 
Cuthbert; Swiftsure, John Lawes Waters; Alexander, .John Yule; Leander, William 
Richardson (1). These seem to have been all promoted, though one, Lieutenant 
Schomberg, did nut receive that reward until 1802, and another, Lieut. Yule, vmtil 1805. 
Lieut. Cathcart was posted. Owing to the fact that two Lieutenants of the name of 
Thomas White were made Commanders in 1798, and that both these officers were posted 
in 1810, it is exceedingly difficult to separate all their services ; but the first Lieutenant 
of the Audacious was the officer who was born in 1755, made a Commander ou 
Oct. 8th, 1798, and posted on Oct. 21st, 1810, and who died in 1833, being still a 
Captain. {Naut. Mofj., ii. 624.) I have not succeeded in ascertaining the name of the 
CuUoden's first Lieutenant ; but he also was ordered to be promoted. 

' Francois Paul, Comte de Brueys d'Aigailliers ; born 1753 at Uzes ; lieu- 
tenant 1780; cajitain before the Revolution; made a rear-admiral by Truguet and a 
vice-admiral by Bonaparte. lie was brave, but quite incapable as a flag-officer. 

^ Lueieu, Comte de Casa Biauca ; born, 1755. His sun, aged ten, perished with him. 

' I say "nominally," iu order to avoid having to enter here into elaburate explana- 
tions of the real number of guns carried by each ship. As a matter uf fact, the ships on 
both sides carried mure than their nominal number of guns: but iu real, as in nominal 
number, the French were suj criur. 




it is remembered that the CuUoden had no share in the fight, and 
that Nelson had no frigates, while Brueys had four frigates, 
nominally mounting 152 guns, besides a battery on shore to 
support the head of his line, the disadvantages under which the 
British laboured become even more noteworthy. Looking, there- 
fore, to the unflinching determination with which the French 
fought, to the completeness of the victory gained, and to the 
effects produced, the Battle of the Nile may justly be deemed 
the most splendid and glorious success which the British Navy 
gained up to the end of the eighteenth century. Nelson not only 
defeated an enemy of superior force, but practically annihilated 
his fleet. In addition, he inflicted the first serious blow upon the 

(From an original lent hi/ H.S.H. Cajil. Prince Louis of Battenhenj, B.X.) 

colossal schemes of Napoleon, and saved, certainly great part of 
the Ottoman Empire, and possibly also India, from becoming, 
temporarily at least, a prey to France. 

To what causes, then, was the victory owing? They were both 
positive and negative. The chief causes were Nelson's prescience 
and unrivalled boldness, and the complete military efliciency of his 
ships, his officers, and his men. The plan of attacking the head 
and centre of the enemy's line and of doubling upon it was, of 
comrse, at the root of all. Yet the negative causes were, it must 
be admitted, scarcely less instrumental than the positive in securing 
the result. Brueys, in spite of his personal bravery, was both 
sluggish and incompetent. He stationed his fleet so that the two 
sides of it which formed the angle, the apex of which was the 

2 B 2 

:^7•2 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1708. 

Orient, could not, without moving, support one another. He 
dehberately, in spite of the advice of his most experienced officers, 
elected to fight at anchor. He underrated his enemy. Till the 
very hour of the onset he exclaimed, " They dare not attack me." 
In spite of the number of small craft at his disposal, both at 
Aboukir and at Alexandria, he had no scouts out, and secured no 
warning of the approach or the force of his foe. He had no 
assurance, for he did not take the trouble to sound the passage, 
that the British, by entering between Aboukir and the island, could 
not eet inside his line : and he must have known, had he reflected, 
that they could get round the head of it ; yet he caused his fleet to 
clear for action only on the starboard or seaward side ; and so 
imperfectly did his own ship clear that numerous special cabins 
which had been fitted in her for mihtaiy and civilian passengers 
were never removed at all. Nor were the junior flag-officers, 
Villeneuve and Decres, less remiss than their chief. If, as James 
says, the six French rear ships — and I would add, the frigates — as 
soon as they saw the manoeuvre that was about to be practised on 
their friends in the van, — had 

"got under way aud stood out, they -would have found full employment for the five or 
si.\ British ships tliat had not yet got into action. They -would undouhtedly have 
captured the C'liUnden, and prevented the Alexander .and Swifts^irc flora entering the 
bay. Had those six French ships -weighed at .any time before 7 p.m., they might, with 
the -wind as it then was, have made a good stretch out of the bay, and, by tacking, when 
the wind, as it afterwards did, shifted to north, might liave stood for the van of 
their line with their yards nearly square." 

Of the nine prizes, the Giierrier, Heureux, and Mcrcure, as being 
useless, were ultimately burnt by the victors. The Petiple Souverain, 
ha\ang been brought as far on the way to England as Gibraltar, was 
renamed Guerrier, and was left there as a guardship. The five 
remaining ships, which aiTived in safety at Plymouth, were added 
to the Navy, the Franklin as the CanopuA, the Aquilon as the 
Aboukir, and the others under their old names. 

On August 5th, Nelson sent oft" dispatches for his Commander-in- 
Chief, Lord St. Vincent, by Captain Berry, late of the Vanguard, 
who sailed in the Leander. Berry's place as flag-captain was taken 
by Thomas Masterman Hardy, previously of the Mufinc ; and Hardy's 
place as Commander of the Mutine was given to the Hon. Thomas 
Bladen Capell,^ who, on the 13th, sailed in his sloop for Naples with 

'■ He had been junior and signal Lieutenant of the Vanyuani. 

i79y.] noA'OUJis for the victors. 373 

duplicate dispatches. Berry, as will be seen in the next chapter, 
had the misfortune to be captured, while on his way to Cadiz, \>y 
the Gcnereux, 74 ; but Capell safely reached his destination. With 
a view to reassure the officials of the East India Company, Nelson 
also sent overland to Bombay Lieutenant Thomas Duval, of the 
Zealous, who arrived there, after many adventiu-es, on October 
21st. On August 14th, the main part of the fleet, under Sir James 
Saumarez, and such of the prizes ^ as were to be removed, stood out 
of the road, and on the following day proceeded westward ; and on 
the 19th Nelson himself, in the Vanguard, with the CuUoden and 
Alexander, sailed for Naples, leaving Captain Samuel Hood (2), as 
senior officer, before Alexandria, with the Zealous, Goliath, Swiftsiire, 
Seahorse, 28,- Emerald, 36,'' Akniene, 32,* and Bonne Citoijenne, 20.^ 
Napoleon learnt on the 14th of what had happened in Aboukir Bay. 
News of the victory, travelling by way of Naples, reached the 
Admiralty on October 2nd. For three months prior to that daj'. 
Nelson's popularity had been under a cloud, and had not saved the 
Rear- Admiral from the most baseless accusations of remissness and 
incompetence. The Government hastened to make amends for the 
popular unreasonableness. On October Gth, the victor was created 
Baron Nelson of the Nile, and of Burnham Thorpe ; on November 
20th, at the opening of Parliament, the King's speech contained a 
most handsome reference to the triumph which had been won ; and 
this was presently followed by the granting of a pension of .£2000 a 
year to Nelson and his two next heirs male by the Parliament of 
England, and of one of £1000 a year by the Parhament of Ireland. 
Both Parliaments also voted thanks to the officers and men who had 
been concerned ; gold medals were presented to the Bear- Admiral 
and his Captains, including Troubridge ; the first Lieutenants of all 
ships present were ordered to be promoted ; the East India Compauj' 
gave Nelson £10,000 ; the Porte created a new order in honour of 
the occasion and made the Rear- Admiral the first member of it ; and 
rewards or presents were showered upon the conqueror by the 

' Ultimately commissioned as follows : Canopus, Capt. Bartholomew James ; 
ToTDiant, Cayit Loftus Otway Bland; Conqnerant, Capt. George Clarke; Guenier 
(es. Peuple Souverain), Capt. Thomas Steplien.son ; Spartiate, Capt. Hon. Charles 
Herbert Pierrep^nt ; and Aboukir, Capt. Thomas Bowen. 

^ Capt. Edward James Foote, joined on the ITtli. 

' Capt. Thomas Montray Waller, joined on the 13th. 

* Capt. George Hope (1), joined on the 13th. 

^ Com. Richard Retalick, joined on the 13th. 

374 MAJOE OPERATIONS, 1703-1802. [1798. 

corporations of London and of Liverpool, by the Sultan, and by 
several other foreign sovereigns. 

While on his way to Gibraltar with the prizes, Sir James 
Saumarez fell in, near Malta, with a small Portuguese squadron, 
which, mider Eear- Admiral the Marques de Niza, had been sent 
into the Mediterranean by St. A'incent to reinforce Nelson. On 
September 25th, Saumarez and de Niza summoned the French 
garrison of Valetta, which, however, declined to submit ; and, being 
precluded by the nature of his orders from unnecessarily delaying 
his voyage, Sir James contented himself, ere he proceeded, with 
putting ashore, for the use of the numerous islanders -^iio were 
well disposed to the British, 1200 muskets and a quantity of 
ammunition. De Niza remained for a time in the vicinity, and was 
presently joined by the Alexander, 74, Captain Alexander John Ball, 
Culloden, 74, Captain Thomas Troubridge, and Colossus, 74, Captain 
George Murray (3), which had been detached by Nelson from 
Naples for the blockade of Malta. That blockade became effective 
from about October l'2th ; * and on the 24th, Nelson himself, in the 
Vanguard, with the Minotaur, 74, Captain Thomas Louis, assumed 
immediate command of the blockading force. The French position 
in the island was already a precarious one. The garrison, of about 
3000 soldiers and seamen, had been driven by the inhabitants, who 
occupied Old Valetta under Neapolitan colour's, into New A^aletta ; 
and the invaders were very short of supplies. General Vaubois 
commanded the troops, Eear-Admiral Decres commanded the 
seamen who had been put ashore, and Eear-Admiral Yilleneuve 
had under him in the harbour the Guillamne Tell, 80, Diane, 40, 
Justice, 40, Athenien, 64,^ Dego, 64,^ and CartJiagenaise, 36;" but, on 
the other hand, 10,000 Maltese were in arms, and the patriots 
possessed not only cannon but also armed gallays and gunboats. 
It was expected, therefore, that Malta would not hold out for very 
long, and this expectation seemed to receive some degree of justifica- 
tion when, on October 28th, the French garrison of the neighbouring 
and dependent island of Gozo capitulated. Captain John Cresswell, 
of the Alexander's Marines, hoisted British colours on the castle 
and took temporary possession ; and on the day following the place 
was handed over to the islanders, the Neapolitan flag was sub- 

' It nominally commenced on Sejitember 2Gtli, and lasted till the surrender of Malta 
on Septemlier 4tli, 1800. 

- Formerly of the Maltese navy. 


stituted, and the sovereignty of Ferdinand IV. was acknowledged. 
From that time forward, however, little progress was made ; 
and, for very many months afterwards, the observation' of Malta 
remained one of the most anxious duties of the British fleet in the 

In the meantime, the check inflicted on the French arms by the 
Battle of the Nile encouraged the tottering Italian kingdoms to 
make new struggles for life. As soon, however, as Sardinia made a 
movement, the French drove King Charles Emmanuel from the 
mainland and occupied Piedmont. The efl'orts of Naples were not 
quite so quickly stifled. The French, indeed, were actually driven 
from Eome ; but, in little more than a fortnight, they repossessed 
themselves of it, and then marched upon Naples. Despairing of his 
ability to resist, and distrusting his own people, Ferdinand IV., 
on December 21st, took refuge on board Nelson's flagship, the 
Vanguard, and, five days later, landed at Palermo, the capital of 
his Sicilian dominions. Russia and Turkey were similarly stimulated 
to activity, and, by October 10th, their fleets, under Vice-Admiral 
Ushakoff ^ and Cadir Bey, had deprived the French of all their new 
acquisitions at the mouth of the Adriatic, except Corfu, where 
General Chabot held command, and where there lay in harbour the 
Genh-enx, 74, her prize, the Lcander, .50, the Brune, 28, a bomb, a 
brig, and four armed galleys. Ushakoff and Cadir appeared before 
that island on October 20th, and presently disembarked troops and 
began siege operations ; but, although they gradually reduced the 
defenders to greai straits, they could not, or at least did not, prevent 
the GenereiLC from getting away to Ancona ; and, at the end of the 
year ths French flag still flew over Corfu.- A reinforcement from 
Ancona intended for the island was, however, deterred by the obvious 
hopelessness of the French position from attempting a landing. 

The French naval force blockaded in Alexandria by the 
division under Captain Samuel Hood (2) consisted of the Causse, 64,^ 
Dubois, 64,3 Juno)i, 38, Carrere, 38,' Miiiron, 38,^ Alceste, 36, 
Courageuse, 36, Leohen, 32,^ Mantoue, 32," Montenotte, 32,* four 
brig-corvettes, and nine gunboats, etc." These vessels had left 
Toulon armed en flide ; but, after having disembarked their troops 

» I'eodor Feodorovitcli Ushakoff; entered the Russian navy, ITGG; fought against 
Turkey, 1768-74; retired, 1807; died, 1817. 

- Chahot did not capitulate until March 3rd, 1799. 

' Previously of the Venetian navy. 

* Ganteaunae's return of 14 Fructi<lor (August .Slst). 

376 MAJOli OPEBATIONS, 17D3-1802. [1798. 

in Egypt, they had all got up such guns as they had stowed below, 
and were once more fully armed. Moreover, as appears from an 
official return which was intercepted by the British, they were 
fully manned. They were commanded, first by Eear-Admiral 
Granteaume,' and subsequently by Commodore Dumanoir Le Pelley. 
Besides the squadron at Alexandria, there were, co-operating with 
the army up the Nile, fifteen large gun-vessels under Commodore 
Perree. Several gallant deeds were done during the early part 
of the blockade ; and some of them must be recorded here. 

The Alcmine, on August '22ud, was in the act of capturing the 
French gunboat Leijire, 6, carrying dispatches for Bonaparte, when 
a French officer on board the prize was observed to throw some 
papers overboard. Although the Alcmbie was travelhng at the rate 
of nearly six knots, the seamen John Taylor and James Harding 
instantly jumped into the water and saved the whole of the papers 
at the risk of their lives. Three days later, the boats of the Goliath, 
under Lieutenant William Debusk, most bravely cut out in the 
small hours of the morning from under the guns of the castle of 
Aboukir the armed ketch Torride, 7. And on September 2nd, after 
the French cutter Anemone, 4,^ had been driven ashore, and had 
gone to pieces, near Marabou, when it was seen that the crew, 
which had got safely ashore, was about to be attacked by a party 
of Arabs, boats from the British squadron generously attempted 
to rescue the unfortunate Frenchmen. A landing was found to 
be impossible, owing to the breakers ; but Midshipman Francis 
William Fane,^ of the Emerald, voluntarily swam through the 
heav}' surf with an empty keg to which a line had been fastened, 
and so brought off enseigne de vaisseau Blaise Gaudran and four 
men, in spite of the fact that some of the fugitives had actually fired 
on the boats which were trying to save them. Many of the rest 
were massacred by the natives before the eyes of the British, who 
were powerless to interfere. 

In October, the Portuguese squadron, lender the Marques de 
Niza appeared for a short time off Alexandria, but soon returned 
to Malta. The Lion, 64, Captain Manley Dixon, which had been 
serving with the Portuguese, was left with Hood ; and later in the 
month the blockading force was further strengthened by the arrival 

' (jouimoiloi'e imtil November 7th, 1708, wlien he promoted. 

- Six days from Malta, with disjiatehes, and a few officers and soldiers. 

■' Dieil a liear-Admiral in 1S4-1. 

1798.] CAPTUBE OF MINOnCA. ^11 

of two Russian frigates, two Turkish corvettes, and sixteen other 
Tui-kish craft, chiefly gunboats. On October 21st, Captain Benjamin 
Hallowell, with the Siciftsure and three gunboats, was detached 
to attack the castle of Aboukir and a French camp lying on the shores 
of Lake Madieh. The Turks being found to be too careful of 
their skins, Hallowell sent fifteen of his own men on board each 
gunboat; and from the 25th to the 28th the enemy was daily 
annoyed, though no great damage was done on either side. It is 
worth noting that the most effective missiles thrown by the gunboats 
were certain fireballs and shells which had been taken in the 
Spartiate at the battle of the Nile, and that, little suspecting the 
origin of these missiles, some French officers went off under a flag 
of truce to protest against the employment of such incendiary 
projectiles. In December the Turkish and Russian contingents 
departed, and the Lion rejoined Nelson; yet, though Hood was 
ultimately left with but two ships of the line ^ and one or two 
frigates, no attempt was made to drive him from his station. 

After the departure eastward of Nelson and the reinforcements 
which followed him. Lord St. Vincent continued to blockade Cadiz 
with, upon the whole, much success, although, on April 12th, the 
Monarca, 74, with two frigates and a small convoy of merchantmen, 
managed to get to sea. The blockade continued throughout the 
summer with but little excitement or variety ; and it is probable that 
it was his growing familiarity with the lukewarmness of the Spanish 
attitude towards France, and with the unenterprising character of 
Admiral Massaredo, that induced the Commander-in-Chief, at the 
end of October, to weaken his numerically inferior fleet by detaching 
a squadron against Minorca. This squadron, commanded by Com- 
modore John Thomas Duckworth, and constituted as shown below, - 
carried a body of troops under General the Hbn. Charles Stuart, and 
appeared off Fornello, on the north of the island, on November 7th. 
After but slight resistance had been offered, a landing was effected 
in the neighbouring creek of Addaya. Fornello was abandoned by 
the Spaniards, and the troops quickly took possession of Mercadal, 

' Xnilous and Siviflsuri'. 

^ Zei'M</inn, 74, Commodore J. T. Duckworth, Capt. Henry Digliy ; Cintuur, 'i-i, 
Capt. Thomas Markham ; Argo, 4-.I-, Capt. James Poweu (1) ; Dulphin, ii, Capt. Josiah 
Kisbet (actg.) ; Aurora, 28, Capt. Thomas Gordon CauUeikl ; Cormoraiit, 20, Capt. 
Lord Mark Robert Kerr; Feirel, 16, Com. Charles Long; Ulysses, 44, storeship, Com. 
Thomas Pressland ; Calcutta, 24, armed transjwrt. Com. Eichard Pouklen ; Voromandel , 
24, armed transport, Lieut. Robert Simnionds; Constifiitivn, hired armed cutter, Lieut. 
.Tolm Whiston, and several merchant transport.s. 

378 MAJOB OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1798. 

thence following np the enemy to Ciudadella and to Mahon. On 
November 9th, Fort Carlos, an outpost of the latter town, sur- 
rendered; on the 13th, Duckworth chased off a small Spanish 
squadron, and retook from it the late British sloop. Petrel ; ' and on 
the 15th, the whole island capitulated, together with its garrison 
of about 3.500 men, an unfinished brig, which was afterwards 
completed and named Port Mahon, and several small craft. ^ In 
these excellently managed operations, the British suffered no loss 
whatsoever. For the service. General Stuart was made a K.B. ; 
but Commodore Duckworth, apparently in consequence of the rather 
ungenerous manner in which St. Vincent officially wrote of him, 
received no reward whatsoever. 

In the North Sea, no great events happened during the year. 
The Dutch, taught by the lesson received off Camperdown, and 
threatened by largely superior forces, remained in their ports, and 
were observed, or blockaded, by a British fleet ^ under Lord Duncan, 
and a Eussian one * under Vice-Admiral Makaroff. Both in the 
Portuguese and in the Eiissian contingents, which were co-operating 
with the Navy of Great Britain, many British officers served,^ and it 
may be said without exaggeration that each contingent owed much 
of such efficiency as it possessed to its British Captains. 

In distant waters, also, the year 1798 witnessed no very im- 
portant transactions. Early in May, the British troops, under 
Brigadier-General the Hon. Thomas Maitland, still holding outlying 
ports in the western part of San Domingo, evacuated Port au Prince, 
Saint Marc, and Aux Cayes, in pursuance of an agreement arrived at 
with the republican general Toussaiut Louverture, and, together 
with those of the inhabitants who desired to leave, were embarked 
in British ships of war, and conveyed to Cape Nicolas Mole. A little 
later, the position of the French was further strengthened by the 
arrival at Cape Fran9ois, with supplies from Europe, of three French 
frigates, which, eluding the blockade, safely re-entered Lorient on 
December 4th. In September, the Spaniards made repeated attacks 
upon the British settlements in the Gulf of HondiTras, and especially 
upon the approaches to Belize, which was garrisoned by small 

' Belonging to the squadron. She had been captured on the 12th, and owed lier 
recapture to the Argo, 44. 

^ Including fourteen gun-vessels. 

' Of si'Cteen sail of the line, and many 50-gun ships and frigates. 

* Of ten sail of the line. 

° See lists in James, ii. 181 ; Schombsrg, iv. 595. 




detachments of the 63rd regiment, and of the 6th West India 
regiment, tinder Lieut. -Colonel Thomas Barrow. The onlj' ship of 
the Eoj'al Xavj' in the port was the Merlin, 16, Commander John 
Ealph Moss, but the colony had fitted out and armed the gunboats 
Tickle)-, Tou-zer, and Mermaid, and the schooners Teazer and 
Swinger, besides eight gun launches ; and with this force, under the 
direction of Captain Moss, the vastly superior Spanish flotilla was 
beaten back on September 3rd, 4th, and 5th, off Montego Key ; on the 
6th, off St. George's Key ; and on the 10th, in the same neighbour- 
hood. On the British side no one was hurt. The Spaniards, whose 
loss is unknown, remained off Key Chapel until the loth, when 
they retired, some going to Bacalar and some to Campeche. They 
appear to have employed in these futile operations about twenty 
schooners and sloops and about ten transports and victuallers, 
having on board five hundred seamen and nearly two thousand 

In the year 1799, the chief naval commands at home and abroad 
were held as follows : — 

Portsmoutli .... 

Sept. 14th 
Plymouth .... 

Mar. 29th 
Tlie Downs .... 

Ap. . . 

T)ie Nore .... 

„ Ap. . . 

Aug.. . 


The Channel 

The Xortli Sea . 

Lisbon and Mediterranean 

„ June. 

North America. 
Newfoundland . 
Leeward Islands 
„ later . 


Cape of Good Hope 
East Indies .... 

Admiral Sir Peter Parker, Bt. (W). 
Admiral Mark Milbanke (W). 
Admiral Sir Bichard King (1), Bt. (B). 
Vice-Adm. Sir Thomas Pasley, Bt. (R). 
Admiral Joseph Peyton (1), (.B). 
Vice-Adm. Skeffington Lutwidge (R). 
Vice-Adm. Skeffington Lutwidge (R). 
Vice-Adm. Andrew Mitchell (B). 
Vice-Adm. Alexander Gramme (Wj. 
Admiral Robert Kingsmill (B). 
Admiral Lord Bridport (W). 
Admiral Lord Duncan (W). 
Admiral Lord St. Vincent (W). 
Vice-Adm. Lord Keith (R). 
Admiral George Vandeput (B). 
Vice-Adm. Hon. William Waldegrave (R). 
Vice-Adm. Henry Harvey (1), (W). 
Vice-Adm. Lord Hugh Seymour (B). 
Admiral Sir Hyde Parker (2), (B). 
Vice-Adm. Sir Roger Curtis, Bt. (W). 
Vice-Adm. Peter Rainier (1), (B). 

It has been seen that the external preoccupations of France had 
been much added to by reason of her sudden attack upon Egypt in 
the previous year ; that Sardinia and Naples, though with no great 
success, had recommenced active hostilities against her; and that 
Turkish and Kussian fleets had been provoked into aiding her other 

380 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1799. 

foes in the Mediterranean. In 1799, Austria joined the coalition 
against the Kepubhc. But the exertions of France grew greater as 
the number of her enemies increased. She laid down many new 
ships ; she stinted herself to pay the arrears of wages due to her 
seamen ; and A^'ice-Admiral Bruix,' her Minister of Marine, himself 
went to Brest to accelerate the preparations, and to take command 
of the rapidly increasing fleet in that port. 

The British squadron off Brest during the earlier part of the year 
consisted of but eight or nine sail of the line detached from the 
Channel Fleet and successively commanded by Vice-Admiral Sir 
Charles Thompson, Bart., Vice-Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour, and 
Bear- Admiral the Hon. George Cranfield Berkelej\ On April 16th, 
though chased by this squadron, a large and valuable French convoy 
succeeded in getting into the harbour; and on the following day 
Lord Bridport, arri\ang in the Boijal George, 110, with five or six 
other ships, himself assumed the command of the watching force. 
In the forenoon of the '2oth, Bridport, who had with him or near 
him sixteen sail of the line and three or four frigates, looked into 
Brest, and saw thirteen French ships of the Une at anchor, and five 
more under way in Bertheaume road, as if preparing to put to sea 
with the fresh north-east wind which was then blowing. It is 
difficult to guess what were the conclusions of the British Com- 
mander-in-Chief; but it is probable that he beheved that if the 
French really put to sea, Ireland would be their destination. Be 
that as it may, he made sail at 2 p.m. to the W.N.W. ; and at 4 p.m. 
he was about twelve miles W.S.W. of Ushant. That evening, while 
Bridport had thus for a time lost touch of his foe, Bruix left port 
with a fleet which, after it had been joined on the following day by 
one or two vessels that were late in weighing, consisted of twent}'- 
five ships of the line, five frigates, and several small craft, — one of 
the best manned and best found fleets that ever issued from a 
French harbour. 

At 9 A.M. on the 26th, when part of this fleet was rounding 
the Saintes, it was discovered b}- Captain Percy Fraser, of the 
NijmpJie, 36, who at once made all sail to rejoin Lord Bridport, but 
who, in doing so, lost sight of the enemy. At 1 p.m. Fraser signalled 

' Eusticlie Bruix; bom 1759; obliged to quit the Xavy at the Hevolutiou ; 
rejoined it and served under Villarct-.Joyeuse ; as Minister of Marine took the Brest 
fleet to tlie assistance of Massena at Genoa ; returned ^Yith it in safety ; commanded 
the Invasiop Flotilla ; resigned because of ill-health ; died 1£05. 

1799.] BRUIX AND KEITH. 381 

his intelligence to the Dragon, 74, Captain George Campbell, and 
the Dragon instantly repeated it to the Commander-in-Chief, who 
immediately steered again for Brest, to find, at noon on the STtb, 
that Bruix had vanished. Bridport instantly sent off dispatches to 
England, directing reinforcements to join him off Cape Clear ; to 
Lord Keith,* off Cadiz ; and to Lord St. Vincent, off Gibraltar ; and 
then made the best of his way towards the coast of Cork, which he 
sighted on the 30th, and where he found ships which augmented his 
fleet to twenty-six sail of the line. Unhappily, the conviction, 
which he had by that time certainly formed, that Bruix was bound 
for Ireland, was fortified by the perusal of some dispatches which 
had been taken on the 27th in the French chasse-maree Rebecca, 1(3, 
by the hired armed lugger Black Joke, 10, Lieut. James Nicolson, 
and which had been deliberately prepared for the purpose of being 
captured. While, therefore, Bridport remained off the Irish coast, 
Bruix was able, unhampered, to steer across the Bay of Biscay 
before a fine north wind. 

St. Vincent, who was in bad health, had delegated the active 
work of the blockade of Cadiz, where Admiral Massaredo still lay, 
to a force varying from eleven to fifteen sail of the line iinder Vice- 
Admiral Lord Keith. Keith made occasional trips to Tetuan to 
water his ships, but, upon his return, invariably found the Spaniards 
where he had left them. On May 3rd he was off the port when he 
was joined by the Childers, 14, Commander James Coutts Crawford, 
wath news that five Spanish sail of the line had left Ferrol;^ and by 
the Success, 32, Captain Shuldham Peard, with the still more 
important intelligence that the Brest fleet had been seen at noon on 
May 1st about one hundred miles west of Oporto steering S.W. bj' S. 
Keith, who then had with him fifteen ships of the line and no frigate 
save the Success, instantly weighed and prepared for action, at the 
same time sending the Childers, with three transports under her 
convoy, to Lord St. Vincent at Gibraltar. The fleet stood oft' and 
on with a fresh N.W. breeze until 8.30 A.M. on May 4th, when 
the French were sighted about fifteen miles to the W.N.W. At 
10 A.M. the Majestic, 74, Captain Eobert Cuthbert, signalled that 
they numbered thirty-three sail. At about that time they wore from 
the rear, and formed on the port tack with their heads to the N.E., 
the British soon afterwards forming on the same tack ; but a little 

' Second in command of tlie Lisbon and jNIediterranean station. 

' These ships, failing to fall in with Bruix, ultimately put in to nocheloi't. 

382 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1799. 

later, when the wind had very much increased, the enemj' wore 
again, and stood S.W. By 5 p.m., owing to the mist and spray, the 
French were ahuost invisihle from the flagship Barfleur. As the 
gale blew right into Cadiz, it was impossible for Massaredo to come 
out ; but, on the other hand, nothing could be more favourable for 
the French, who obviously desired to pass the Strait. On the 5th, 
at break of day, four more French ships, stragglers from the main 
fleet, were sighted by the British, to windward of whom they passed 
at a distance of about seven miles ; and, in the afternoon of the 
same day, twenty-six sail of the enemy, of which at least nineteen 
were of the line, were observed from Gibraltar,^ bound eastward 
through the Strait. - 

The immediate object of the French Government, and of Bruix, 
was to eflect in the Mediterranean as large a concentration of 
men-of-war as possible, and then, by employing overwhelming force, 
to again oust the British, who, since the battle of the Nile, had 
resumed their activity and influence in that sea, and to re-open 
communications with Egypt. There is no evidence that Bruix, in 
the prosecution of this plan, ever thought of entering^ Cadiz. The 
idea seems rather to have been that when the French fleet should 
show itself off those Spanish ports in which lay men-of-war ready 
for sea, the Spanish vessels should go out, and join the great 
armament which was bound for Toulon. Five sail of the line had 
quitted Ferrol in accordance with this scheme, but had missed 
Bruix and had found their way to Eochefort. The ships in Cadiz, 
as has been seen, had been prevented by the state of the weather 
from leaving port. The French, in consequence, having failed to 
pick up any reinforcements* on their way, did not acquire that 
overwhelming superiority of force which was necessary for the 
complete fulfilment of their ambitions. Yet the appearance of Bruix 
within the Strait once more rendered the British position in the 
Mediterranean most precarious ; for, though St. Vincent's command 
was formidable, it was scattered ; and several of the detached 

' There was at the time no efteetive British force at the Kock. St. Vincent had his 
flag in the guardship Guerrier ; and Kear-Adm. Thomas Lenox Frederick was living 
on shore. 

^ It entered Toiduu on May 13th, witliout serious adventure. 

' Brenton says tliat he " wished to enter " it, but produces no evidence to that 
effect, i. 478. 

* Instead of gaining, they actually lost strength, on their voj-age ; for certainly the 
Censeur, 7-i, and possibly two other French ships as well, suffered so much in the bad 
weather of the 4th as to be obliged to run for Cadiz. 



divisions of it were liable to be sui-prised and cut off ere they could 
be warned of what had happened. So soon, therefore, as the Com- 
mander-in-Chief learnt, by the arrival of the Childers at Gibraltar, 
of the movements of the French, he took steps to concentrate his 
forces. Keith was still off Cadiz with his fifteen sail of the line ; 
the Edgar, 74, Captain John M'Dougail, was at Tetuan ; Duckworth, 
with four sail of the line, was at Minorca ; other vessels were at 


CFruin I! drawiiio by J. Jacksori, after a portrait hi/ G. Saunders, painted irlicii liix Lurdsliip «'«s an 

Admiral of the White.) 

Palermo with Nelson ; yet others were with Ball blockading Malta ; 
and yet others were at Alexandria. Keith's squadron, and the 
Edgar, were ordered to join the Admiral at Gibraltar ; and the other 
detached commands were communicated with, and directed as to the 
com-se which was to be pui-sued in certain contingencies ; but Keith, 
and the Edgar, did not reach Gibraltar until May 10th ; and not 
until the morning of the 12th was St. Vincent able to weigh and 

384 MAJOR OPEHATIONS, 1793-1802. [1799. 

bear np for the Mediterranean with the sixteen sail of the Hne 
named in the note.' On the 17th and 18th he encountered bad 
weather ; but on the ^Oth he was off Minorca, and was joined 
by Rear-Admiral John Thomas Duckworth, with the four Ti's 
Leviathan, Centaur, Bellerophon, and Fou-crfuh That night he 
anchored in Port Mahon. 

In the meantime, encouraged by the knowledge that a strong 
French fleet was to the eastward of him, and by the disappearance 
of the blockading force mider Keith, Admiral Massaredo had, on 
May 14th, put to sea from Cadiz with seventeen sail of the line. 
The bad weather of the 17th and 18th did him more harm than it 
did to St. Vincent ; and when, on the '20th, he struggled into 
Cartagena, nine of his seventeen ships of the line were more or 
less dismasted, three of them, besides a frigate, having lost every 

St. Vincent, who by that time knew that Bruix had reached 
his port, weighed from Mahon on May 22nd, and made sail for 
Toulon ; but, on the 26th, in consequence, so James believes, of 
information that the Spaniards were at Cartagena, he altered com-se 
to the westward, so as to place himself between Massaredo and 
Bruix, and, from the 27th to the 30th, cruised off Cape de Creus. 
On the 30th he received news that the French had left Toulon on 
the 27th, and, fearing for Nelson at Palermo, he at once detached 
Eear-Admiral Duckworth, with the Leviathan, 74, Foudroijant, 80, 
Northumberland, 74, and Majestic, 74, to reinforce him there. Later 
on the same day the Commander-in-Chief was joined by Eear- 
Admiral James Hawkins Whitshed, with the Queen Charlotte, 100, 
Captain, 74, Defiance, 74, Bellona, 74, and Bepulse, 64 ; and, with 
the tweiaty-one sail of the line thus at his disposal, he cruised down 
the Spanish coast until he was off Barcelona, and then returned to 
the north-east, having seen nothing of the enemy. By that time 
St. Vincent's health was in such a bad state that, on June 2nd, his 
lordship, in the Ville de Paris," quitted the fleet, the charge of which 

1 Villc de Paris, 110 (flag of Adm. Lord St. Vincent) ; Barfleur, 98 (flag of Vice- 
Adm. Lord Keith) ; Prince George, 98 (flag of Vice-Adm. Sir AVilliam Parker (1) Bt.) ; 
Princess lioi/a^, 98 (flag of Kear-Adni. Thomas Lenox Frederick); London, 98; 
A^rwiHr, 90: Foudroyant, 80 ; Oibrcdiur, SO; Edgar, l-^; Montagu, 1-^ \ Northumh:r- 
Jand, 74; Marlhoro'igh, 74; Warrior, 74; Hector, 74; Defence, 74: and Majestic, 74. 

- James reproaelies St. Vincent for having thus withdrawn a llO-gim sliip from the 
fleet, wlien a frigate would have answered. But St. Vincent was very feeble, and could 
ill bear transfer fruva sliip to An]>, while, in .iddition, frigates were scarce. 


he handed over to Lord Keith, and proceeded to Port Mahon, 
whence he determined to go home. 

Keith continued towards Toulon, and, on the 3rd, when he 
was close oS the port, his advanced ships, the Centaur, 74, 
Captain John Markham, and Montagu, 74, Captain John Knight, 
captured four settees, from the people in which it was learnt that 
the French fleet had gone to the eastward. Eastward, therefore, 
Keith also went ; and on the 15th he was infonned by the hired 
armed brig Telegraph, Commander James Andrew Worth, ^ that 
on the previous evening the enemy had been seen at anchor in 
Vado Bay, near Savona.' The British headed in that direction, and 
on the 6th were fired at in passing by some small island forts off 
Antibes. On the 8th, however, ere he could enter the Gulf of Genoa, 
Keith received three separate dispatches from St. Vincent at Port 
Mahon, ordering him to send off two additional 74's to Nelson, and 
then, with the rest of the fleet, to proceed to Kosas Bay, on the 
north-east coast of Spain, so as to be ready to intercept the French 
who, he had reason to believe, were on their way to join the 
Spaniards in Cartagena.^ The Vice-Admiral, therefore, detached the 
Belleroplion and Powerful to Palermo, and crowded sail to the south- 
west. But instead of making direct for Kosas Bay, he steered for 
Cape de la Mola in Minorca, off which he was joined on Jmie 15th 
by the Ville de Paris.* He then went to the northward, and on the 
19th, when he was about sixty miles south of Cape Sicie, his 
advanced division, consisting of the Centaur, 74, Captain John 
Markham, Bellona, 74, Captain Sir Thomas Boulden Thompson, 
Captain, 74, Captain Sir Eichard John Strachan, Emerald, 36, 
Captain Thomas Moutray Waller, and Santa Teresa, 42, Captain 
George Barker, were so fortmiate as to capture a French squadron, 
bound from Jaffa to Toulon, and made up of the Junon, 40 (bearing 

' He had been so promoted on March 29th, but still held what was onl.y a Lieu- 
tenant's command. 

" This news, so far as the French fleet itself was concerned, was incorrect. There 
were probably transports at Vado : but the fleet had left the bay on the 1st or 2nd. 

^ Keith's lack of success during this cruise is attributed by Dundonald to the 
manner in which St. Vincent hampered him, and to the Commander-in-Chiefs pro- 
fessional jealousy. ' Autobiog. of a Seaman' (Ed. 1861), i. 84, 85. Dundonald was 
in Keith's flagship at the time; but he wrongly states that St. Vincent ordered Keith 
to return to Port Mahon, instead of to Rosas Bay, and so somewhat vitiates the value 
of his testimony. 

* St. Vincent remained at Port Mahon, preparing to go home. On the 14th Keith 
had shifted his flag to the Queen Clmrlotte, and Whitshed his to the Barfleur. 

VOL. IV. 2 c 

386 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [179?. 

the tlcig of Eear-Admiral Perree), Alceate, 8G, Courageuse, 32, 
Calamine, 18, and Ahrte, l-i} Lord Keith cruised off Toulon until 
June 23rd, and, seeing no more of the enem}', looked into Vado Bay 
on the 24th, and into Genoa on the 2Gth : but, still learning nothing 
fresh concerning his foe, he next headed for Minorca. 

The French fleet, then including twenty-two sail of the line, had 
indeed quitted Toulon on May 27th, and had gone to the eastward. 
On the 31st it had anchored in Vado Bay, there landing troops and 
stores for the relief of Savona, which was besieged by the Russians 
and Austrians. On June 3rd it had appeared off Genoa ; and 
it had remained there until the 6th, when it had made sail to the 
westward. On the 9th it had passed in sight of Toulon ; and 
on the 22nd it had arrived off Cartagena. If, therefore, Keith, upon 
receiving St. Vincent's orders on June 8th, had proceeded with the 
greatest possible despatch direct for Eosas Bay, it is more than 
possible that he would have fallen in with the French, and would 
have been able either to bring them to action or to prevent them 
from uniting with the Spaniards. The Vice-Admiral's i-easons for 
not implicitly obeying the instructions of the Commander-in-Chief 
have never received adequate explanation. But, so far as British 
interests in the Mediterranean were concerned, Keith's conduct, 
though it may have deprived him of a victory, led to no immediately 
baneful results. The allies, no doubt, knew that Keith had with 
him nineteen sail of the Hue; that Nelson, Ball, and Troubridge 
had fifteen (besides two or three Portuguese 74's) ; and that sixteen 
sail of the line had been detached from the Channel Fleet for 
Lisbon and the Mediterranean. Although, therefore, the French 
and Spaniards in Cartagena numbered 40 '^ sail of the line ready 
for sea, their leaders appear to have arrived at the conclusion that 
that huge fleet would find a more untrammelled field for action 
in the Atlantic than in the Mediterranean ; and, after they had 
transferred to a flotilla of transports a body of about five thousand 
troops destined for Majorca, they quitted Cartagena in company on 
June 24th, when Keith was off Vado, and headed for the Strait 
of Gibraltar. 

Keith reached Minorca from Genoa on July (5th ; Ijut he was 

' These were all added to the Xavy, the Juiion as the J'rinnss Charlotte (later the 
Andromache), the Ahrte as the Minorca, and the rest under their old names. 

' In addition, two 74'b, which had been left under repair at Toulon, eventually 
joined the allies. 


still in ignorance of the movements of the enemy. On the 7th, he 
was joined by twelve ' out of sixteen - ships of the line which had 
been detached to him from the Channel Fleet. ^ A day later, news 
reached him that the junction, of which St. Vincent had forewarned 
him, had been effected between Bruix and Massaredo ; and on the 
10th, he weighed and went in pursuit, after having sent orders 
to Nelson to detach ships for the protection of Minorca.^ On 
July 26th, the British put into Tetuan for water ; and on the 29th 
they made Gibraltar, to find that the allies had passed the Strait 
three weeks ahead of them. 

The allies had, in fact, passed on July 7th, capturing on their 
way the British hired cutter Penelope, 18, Lieut. Frederick Lewis 
Maitland, which had been sent out of harbour to reconnoitre, and 
which, unfortunately, had on board a considerable sum of money. 
On the 10th and two following days the enemy entered Cadiz, and 
on the 21st they sailed once more, bound for Brest. As they were 
leaving port, the Santa Ana, 112, grounded, and was with difficulty 
floated again. Being leaky, she was sent back under convoy of the 
Mexicanu, 112 ; and Admiral Massaredo proceeded with fifteen sail 
of the line, Bruix having twentyrfive.^ In the afternoon of 
July 30th, an easterly wind sprang up, and Keith, with his thirty- 
one sail of the line, continued the pursuit. On August 8th, when 
off Cape Finisterre, he fell in with a Danish vessel which had passed 
through the allied fleets two days earlier. On the 9th, he was met 
by the Stag, 36, Captain Joseph Sydney Yorke, with news that the 
allies had been seen off Cape Ortegal, steering north-east. On the 
14th, when he detached Sir Edward Pellew to look into Brest, that 
ofi&cer saw the French and Spaniards moored in the road. They 
had arrived only on the previous day, so that Lord Keith, in the 
chase, had almost overtaken them. 

' Prince, 'J8 (flag of Rear-AJiii. Sir Charles Cotton) ; Trinmph, 7-1 (Hag of Hear- 
Adm. Cuthbert Collingwood) ; Formidable, 98 ; St. Oeorye, 98 ; Neptune, 98 ; 
Glori/, 98 ; Pragon, 74 : Impetueux, 74 ; Terrible, 74 ; Superb, 74 ; Pompee, 74 ; 
• and Canada, 74. 

- The other four ships had put into the Tagus, to escort thence a convoy and the 
Xile prizes. They were the Royal Sovereign, 110 (flag of Admiral Sir Alan Gardner); 
Csesar, 80; Magiiifrent, 74 ; and Russell, 74. 

' It is remarkalile that these ships did not sight tlie allies. Tliey must, at one 
time, have been very near them. 

■* Nelson deliberately disobeyed this order, although it was more than once 

° This number included the Alliance, 74 (ex San Sebastian), which had been 
.presented by Spain to the Repviblic to take the place of the unseaworthy Censeur. 

2 c 2 

388 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1793-1802. [1799. 

This cruise of Bruix was, in many respects, a vei-y remark- 
able one ; but, owing rather to the vacillating plans of the 
French and Spanish leaders than to any strategj' on the part of 
the British Admirals, it was practically futile. It has been sug- 
gested that Bruix, after he had joined the Spaniards, would have 
sought and fought Keith, had he not seen signs which con- 
vinced him that Massaredo's ships were not to be depended 
upon. This explanation may be correct. There was no reason 
to beUeve that the fighting quality of the Spanish navj' had 
improved since the daj^ of the battle of St. Vincent ; and, although 
Keith had showed himself but a poor strategist, it was notorious 
that his fleet was in a most efficient state. If, therefore, he, with 
his thirty-one sail of the line, had been offered an opportimitj' 
of trying conclusions with the forty or forty-two sail of the allied 
line, he would almost certainly have defeated them. But, though 
he was the man to have won a victory, he was, unhappil}', not 
the man to find the enemj' and to force him, against his will, 
to fight. 

It should be added that the arrival at Rochefort of the five 
Spanish ships of the line ^ from Ferrol, and the southward course 
of the Brest fleet, ^ had been promptly reported to Admiral Lord 
Bridport, who then lay in Berehaven, waiting for the anticipated 
French invasion of Ireland ; and that, in pm-suance of orders from 
the Admiralty, he had, on Jime 1st, detached Admiral Sir Alan 
Gardner, with the sixteen sail of the line named in the notes on 
page 387 to reinforce Lord St. Vincent. 

This detachment left Lord Bridport with but ten sail of the line 
under his immediate orders. He sailed, also on June 1st, for 
Basque road, and, on June 4th, sighted the Spanish squadron, 
which, as soon as it perceived him, moved to the road of Aix. The 
Admiral remained off Eochefort until the 8th, when he returned 
to England with the Boyal George, 100, Atlas, 98, Achilles, 74, and 
Agincoiirt, 64, lea^^ng, as a blockading force, the six 74-gmi ships 
Mars (flag of Eear-Admiral the Hon. George Cranfield Berkeley), 
Venerable, Benoivn, Ajax, Bamillies, and Robust. Within the next 
few weeks, this squadron was joined by the Sans Pareil, 80, the 

' These had been watched by the Indefatujahh, 44, Captain the Hon. Henry 
Curzon, from April 28th, when they left port, till April 30th. The news of their 
having entered Kochefort was brought by another cruiser. 

' Reported by the Childers, which had been sent home from Gibraltar by Lord 
St. Vincent. 

1799.] PULE IN AIX liOADS. 389 

Royal George, 100 (then bearing the flag of Kear-Admiral Charles 
Morice Pole), and several bombs and small craft ; and, on the other 
hand, the Mars and RamilUes parted company. On July 2nd, Pole 
made an attack upon the Spanish ships, which were moored in line 
ahead between the Isle of Aix and the Boyart shoal, and which 
were protected by a floating mortar battery ; but it was soon found 
that the French mortars were of so much greater range than the 
British that, while the latter could not reach their target at all, 
the former threw shells well over not only the British bombs but 
also the covering frigates. When, therefore, the enemy, finding 
that he could not be injured, began to assume the offensive, and 
to send gunboats to inflict additional annoyance upon the attacking 
party, both frigates and bombs were ordered to weigh and stand out. 
They were followed, for a time, by the hostile gunboats ; and, in 
consequence, the French claimed the affair as a British defeat ; but 
the fact is that on neither side was there any loss or damage.^ 
For some time afterwards, the Spaniards were blockaded, but in 
the middle of September they managed to put to sea. They first 
endeavoured to enter Brest, but, finding it too well watched, 
returned at last to Ferrol. During the absence of Bruix, five 
additional French sail of the Ime had been commissioned at Brest, 
so that, after his return with Massaredo, no fewer than forty-seven 
ships of the line ^ lay in the port, ready for service ; yet, strange 
to say, this immense fleet made no fm-ther movement during 1799. 

In the meantime great events were in progress in that part 
of the Mediterranean which had fallen to Nelson's command. In 
January the French had captm-ed Capua and Naples ; in March 
they had seized Florence and Leghorn, and, while Ferdinand of 
Naples had retired to Palermo, Charles Emmanuel of Sardinia 
had fled to Cagliari ; the Grand Duke of Tuscany had sought refiTge 
in Austria ; and the Pope had been taken prisoner.^ On the other 
hand, the Eussians and Turks had completed the reduction of the 

' The British ships present at tliis harmless afl'air were : Bvyal George, 100, Rear- 
Adin. Charles Morice Pole, Captain William Domett; Sans Pareil, 80, Captain 
William Browell ; Venerable, 74, Captain Sir William George Fairfax ; Renown, 74, 
Captain Albemarle Bertie; Ajax, 74, Captain Hon. Alexander luglis Cochrane; 
iiloiiisi, 74, Captain Herbert Sawyer; Boadicea, ZB, Ca.\)t3.m Richard Goodwin Keats; 
Uranie, .38, (.'aptain George Henry 'I'owry ; San Fioremn, 36, Captain Sir Harry 
Burrard Neale ; f«('cor«, 32, Captain Philip Wilkinson; Sylph, 18, Commander John 
Chambers White ; and the bombs Sulphur, Explosion, and Volcano. 

' Besides nearly forty frigates and corvettes. 

' He died soon afterwards at Valence. 

390 MAJOH Ol'EIUTIONS, 1793-lt02. [V.W. 

Ionian Islands, capturing at Corfu, which capitulated on Marcli Hrd. 
the Leander, 50, and the Brune, 'IS. The former, which had lieen 
taken by the French from the British, was restored l)y the Tsar 
to her original owners. Later in the year, an Austrian army, 
assisted by Russian and Turkish squadrons, retook Ancona. 

Before he was reinforced, Nelson occupied himself at I'alermo 
in inducing the authorities to mount in the batteries guns which 
had been broi;ght from Naples, and to fit out a number of gunboats. 
Troubridge joined him from Alexandria on March IBth, with his own 
ship, the Ciilloden, 74; the Zealous, 74, Captain Samuel Hood (2) ; 
the Stviftsure, 74, Captain Benjamin Hallowell ; the Seahorse, 38, 
Captain Edward James Foote ; the Perseus, bomb. Commander 
Jaaies Oswald, and the Bulldog, bomb, Commander Adam Drum- 
mond. The Minotaur, 74, Captain Thomas Louis, also joined on 
the 24th ; whereupon Nelson, on the 31st, despatched Troubridge 
with the Culloden, Zealous, Swiftsure, Mmotaur, Seahorse, Perseus, 
Bulldog, and the Portuguese Sao SebastiTio. 74, to blockade Naples. 
The squadron anchored in the bay on April 2nd, and, on the part 
of Iving Ferdinand, quietly took possession of I'rocida, Ischia, Capri, 
and the Ponza Islands. But on May 13th Nelson hurriedly recalled 
Troubridge to Palermo, in consequence of having received in- 
telligence ^ that the fleet of Bruix had passed the Strait of Gibraltar 
and was in the Mediterranean. Nelson also sent on the disquieting 
news to Captain Ball, who was off Malta with the Alexander, 74, 
Goliath, 74, and, perhaps, a Portuguese ship of the line ; and to the 
Russian Admiral. Troubridge, who, by direction, left his small 
craft to take care of the newly surrendered islands, joined the Rear- 
Admiral on the 17th with the Culloden, Swiftsure, and Sao Sebastido, 
the Minotaur following on the 20th, and another Portuguese 74, 
the Sao Affonso, arriving. Nelson previously had with him his 
flagship the Vanguard, 74, Captain Thomas Masterman Hardy, a 
Portuguese, 74 {Principe Real), and a frigate, and the Haarlem, 64 
{en fiute), Captain George Burlton ; and with these ships he cruised 
for several days off the western end of Sicily, being joined in the 
meantime by the Zealous, 74, and the Lion, 64, Captain Manley 
Dixon. On the 30th he returned and re-anchored off Palermo. 
The Audacious, 74, Captain Davidge Goi;ld, arrived on June 1st ; 

' The Espoir, 14, Com. James Sanders, reached Palermo on the 12th, with news 
that tlie French bad been seen oft' (Jporto; and an ofticer who had travelled through 
Sicily reported on the 13th that they had passed Gibraltar. 


and on June 7th the squadron was further reinforced by Rear- 
Admiral John Thomas Duckworth/ with the Foudroijant, 80, 
Captain William Brown (1), Leviathan, 74 (flag), Captain Henry 
Digby, Nvrthumhedand, 74, Captain George Martin