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A History 
From the Earliest Times to the Present 


Wm. Laird Clowes 

Felloru of Kings College, London ; Gold MedaUist U.S. Naval Institute ; 
Hon. Member of the R.C/.S. Institution 

Assisted by 

■ Sir Clements Markham. K.C.B., F.R.S. 

Captain A. T. Mahan, U.S.N. 
Mr. H. W. Wilson 
Col. Theodore Roosevelt, late Assist. Sec. U.S. Navy- 
Mr. L. Carr Laughton 


Twenty-five Photogravures 

an, I 

Hundreds of Full Page and other 

Maps, Charts 

Iji Five Volumes 
Vol. III. 


Sampson L.ow, M.vrstox and Compan\- 


^t. JSuiigtau'si ©oiiSf, .-fcttn- !£niir, ii.C. 

1 898 





Some of the causes which contnbiited to delay the appearance of 
the second vohime of this History of the Eoyal Navy, have con- 
tributed to delay the appearance of this, the third. The progress 
of the work has, as before, been hampered by my ill-health and 
my enforced residence in the high Alps during the greater part 
of the year. A certain amount of delay, moreover, has resulted 
indirectly from the recent war between the United States and 
Spain. Captain A. T. Mahan, whose critical narrative of the 
major operations of the AVar of the American Kevolution fills 
about a third of the present volume, was employed in the service 
of his country^ at Washington during the late conflict, and was 
thus prevented for a time from devoting his attention to other 
matters. So much of the delay as has been caused by his pre- 
occupation will, I am sure, be readily forgiven, seeing that he 
has now been able to revise proofs, etc., which mirst otherwise 
have been sent to press without his final imprimatur. This book 
has much to say concerning the beginnings and the early exploits 
of the United States' Navy, which, in the days of Hull and 
Decatur, proved itself to be as capable and chivalrous an 
opponent as Great Britain ever had to meet upon the seas, and 
which since, — and not only in the days of Tatuall, — has shown 
itself as true and loyal a friend to Britain and her Navy, in peace 
time, as it was gallant a foe in war. I cannot, therefore, refrain 
from expressing here a sentiment which, in the course of the late 
short but brilliant struggle, must have welled up often in the 

' I should mention that my other American collaborator, Mr. Theodore Eoosevelt, 
resigned his appointment as Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Navy, in order to take au 
active part in the war, and, having obtained a commission as Lieut.-Colonel of the now- 
famous " Hough Riders," fought with very distinguished bravery before Santiago 
de Cuba. He has since been elected Governor of the State of New York. 




heart of many a Biiton. We triumph wherever the race wins 
fresh glories ; and we feel proud in the thought that the victory 
has heen gained by men speaking our speech, hearing our names, 
.sharing our blood, and inspired by the traditions bequeathed e(jually 
to both nations by Howard, Drake, Hawkins, Blake, Boscawen and 
Hawke. Not to us has it fallen in these recent years to illustrate 
those traditions, and to add to them fresh epics. Yet, since our 
brothers of the New World have shown themselves at Manilla and 
Santiago the same men that they were at Mobile and New Orleans, 
we are surely justified in hoping that we, should the hour for action 
come again, shall be alile to prove that our branch of the old stock 
retains, in a similar manner, the old grit and the old sea virtues. 

Although, as I have said, the progress of the work continues to 
be somewhat delayed by my personal disabilities, I am not conscious 
that the book suffers in any other way in consequence of my ill- 
health. Thanks to my numerous and indefatigable helpers and 
■correspondents, I am not, in spite of my necessary absence from 
home, obliged to forego reference to any documents, state papers, or 
books which ought to be consulted. Happily, too, most of the 
materials for my part of the work were collected, and, to some 
extent, set in order, ere I became a prisoner here ; and although, of 
course, I still very often have to appeal for further particulars to the 
public libraries, the Eecord Office, private muniment rooms, and 
other storehouses of fact, there is, I find, remarkably little supple- 
mentary research of this kind which cannot be carried out for me 
by my assistants. It is a longer process, and a costlier, but not, I 
hope, a less effective one. 

I make this exj)lanation because some friendly critics who have 
been so good as to point out certain small eiTors of omission or 
commission in the previous volumes, have generously hinted their 
conviction that, were I not the invalid I mifortunately am, these 
errors would not have appeared. If I really believed that my state 
of health were mcompatible with the carrying out of the work in 
hand, I should assuredly try to find someone else to take over my 
duties and responsibilities. But the fact is that such errors as I 
have had brought to my notice, — and fortmiately they are neither 
serious nor numerous, — are inevitable imperfections in any book of 
this nature ; for, paradoxical though it be, I can safelj' assert that 
in nothing is it so impossible to attain to absolute correctness and 
finahty as in a critical record of historic facts. The difficulty 


would Ijesct ine equally, were I sound instead ol' sick, and in Jjondon 
instead of in Switzerland. There are conflicts of evidence which 
appear irreconcilaljle ; there are original authorities which cannot 
be laid hands upon, or which even the most studiously careful will 
by chance overlook ; and there are many questions, the discussion of 
which cannot be seriously attempted in a work to which limits have 
been set. I am sure that some at least of the critics to whom I 
have alluded, have made the mistake of supposing that it is because 
of my condition and my position that I have ignored this witness' 
testimony on a court-martial, have seemed to pay little or no heed 
to the statements contained in that document, or have failed to 
enter upon such and such an interesting, biat wide point of criticism. 
I am obliged to say that such shortcomings as are to be found in 
these volumes are due, for the most part, to very different causes. 
Firstly, I am restrained by the space at my command from touching 
upon many subjects with which I should otherwise like to deal at 
length, and from entering upon long discussions as to the credibility 
of evidence. The same consideration even obliges me to omit many 
footnotes and references which I should otherwise gladly include. 
Secondly, I am guided by the conviction that anyone who aspires 
to complete a book so voluminous as this History, must perforce 
proceed upon principles somewhat similar to those which Dr. 
Johnson sketched in a very famous passage. 

" Failures,'' he wrote, " however frequent, m.ay admit of extenuation and apology. 
To have attempted much is always laudable, even wlien the enterprise is above the 
strength tliat midertakes it. To deliberate whenever I doubted, to enquire whenever I 
was ignorant, would have protracted the undertaking without end, and perhaps without 
improvement. I saw that one enquiry only gave occasion to another, that book referred 
to book, that to search was not always to find, and to find was not always to be 
informed ; and that thus to pursue perfection was, like the first inhabitants of Arcadia, 
to chase the sun, which, when tliey had reached the hill where he seemed to rest, was 
still beheld at the same distance from them." 

If, to put matters in other words, one were determined, in an 
undertaking of this kind, to be content with nothing short of absolute 
completeness and finality, neither the initiator, nor, after his death, 
any of his successors, would live long enough to finish the work. 
I make bold to recommend this reflection to all my critics, and 
especially to one of them, who, in his review of my second volume, 
said, speaking of the account there given of the first Dutch War 
(1652-.54), that it was "premature." I do not doubt that it will be 
possible, say a hundred years hence, to write a better and completer 


history of that war than can be written now ; hut to admit so mucli 
is surely not the same thing as to agree that a history, carefullj' 
written now, and illustrated with scores of previously unpu):)lished 
facts, is written too soon. It is surely not " premature " to brush 
away even a single published error or misconception concerning the 
course of our naval history ; and, I think, I may safely say that this 
volume and those volumes which have preceded it, — although they, 
too, possibly contain many errors on minor points, — give, upon the 
whole, a much fairer and more accurate version of that history than 
has been hitherto presented. One dares not hope for — much less 
can one wait for, — absolute finality. But, by means of an under- 
taking planned and carried out as this one is, in accordance with 
the principles set forth in my General Preface, one may at least be 
instrumental in enlarging general knowledge of a great subject, and 
in rendering impossible the future acceptation of some of the gross 
and astonishing misstatements on naval matters which one finds in 
almost every English history. I have no wish to say here anything 
unkind about any of my brother men of letters : but I cannot 
abstain from citing from one particular book a few misstatements of 
the sort to which I allude, in order that it may be seen that the 
present work is not " premature," and that there does exist alreadj' 
a real necessity for something of the kind. I speak of a book, dealing 
with English history generally, and consisting of upwards of eleven 
hundred large pages of small type. It bears the imprint of reputable 
publishers ; and upon the title-page are the names of two distin- 
guished universitj' men, one of whom is described as a lectiu'er on 
modern history, and the other as a late professor on history, in a 
well-known English college. The second edition of this book, dated 
1885, is responsible for the following extraordinary statements, 
among others. 

Of Admiral Edward Vernon (1), it is said that he was a "rear- 
admiral at twenty-four," and that he " failed in his attempt to 
seize Porto Bello, from an insufficiency of force." The truth is 
that Vernon was made a vice-admiral in 1739, when he was fifty- 
five, that he had never before held flag-rank, and that, far from 
failing at Puerto Bello, he brilliantly captured that place on 
November *22nd, 1739, "with six ships only," as may be seen on 
reference to pp. 51-57 of the present volume. 

Surely there is some unconscious supprcssio i^eri in the assertion 
that, "foiled in his attempt to catch tlie Spanish treasure-ship. 


Anson bailed west\v;inl liuiu Anicric;i with the Centurion, his sole 
remaining ship, and arrived at 8pithead in June 1744." The story 
of what really happened, and of liow the Manilla galleon was taken, 
will be found on p. 328 of this volume. 

Episodes, localities, and individuals are curiouslj' jumbled and 
confused in the following passage : — " On tlie 1st of June, 1794, the 
division of the Channel fleet commanded by Lord Howe attacked 
and utterly defeated the French fleet off the Hyeres Islands. In 
this action Hood played a conspicuous part, and in the following 
August he was created Baron Bridport, in the Irish peerage." It is 
true, of course, that a great battle was fought on " The Glorious 
First of June," 1794 ; but it was fought, not off the Hyeres Islands, 
which lie near Toulon, in the Mediterranean, but off' Ushant, near 
the mouth of the British Channel. The only important action 
fought off Hyeres during the war of 1793-1802 was fought in July, 
1795, by a British fleet under Admiral William Hotham (1). That 
force was not a division of the Channel fleet, nor were the French 
utterly defeated on the occasion. Moreover, Lord Bridport was not 
upon the scene. 

Rodney is described as " the son of a naval oiScer of some 
renown." Henry Eodney, his father, is usually supposed, neverthe- 
less, to have been a country gentleman, living at Walton-on-Thames. 
It is further said of Eodney that, while he was residing in France, 
" offers were made by the French to tempt him to desert his 
country ; but he rejected the overtures, and was rewarded in 1778 
by being promoted to be an admiral." It is news that promotion in 
the Navy has ever been a reward for a flag-of&cer's refusal to become 
a traitor : yet, seeing that when Eodney was made an Admiral of 
the White, on January 29th, 1782, he was still in France, and that, 
according to the generally accepted story, he owed his ability to 
return to England to the fact that a French gentleman lent him the 
necessary money, it is difticult to believe that the authorities at 
Whitehall, if they had ever suspected him of treasonable prochvities, 
could have felt sure, when they promoted him, that their suspicions 
were baseless. 

Of Sir Charles Napier it is said : " in 1829 he was employed off" 
the coast of Portugal in the Galatea. He supported the Constitu- 
tionalists ; defeated the fleet of Don Miguel, and settled Donna 
Maria on the throne. Don Pedro was unbounded in his gratitude : 
created him Viscount of Cape St. Vincent ; gave him all the 


l*ortugiie&e orders, and named him adminil-in-cliiel'." From this it 
would certainly appear to the ordinary reader that, while com- 
manding H.M.S. Galatea, Napier took an active part in the internal 
affairs of Portugal and defeated Don Miguel ; and that, in conse- 
quence of his action, he was given command of Don Pedro's fleet. 
Yet, in fact, Napier quitted the Galatea early in 1832; succeeded 
Sartorius in counnand of Don Pedro's fleet in 1833, and did not, 
until he was already serving in that capacity, defeat Don Miguel. 

I might, if it were worth while, cite scores of other misstate- 
ments, equally astonishing, from the book in question, and from 
other recent works dealing with Enghsh history. Surely, when 
such misstatements are being circulated broadcast, it is not 
" premature " to put forward a Naval History which, though it 
may possibly contain errors on obscure points of fact or criticism, 
and though it make no pretence to be absolutely complete and 
final, has been, at least, prepared with a vast amount of care, 
which is the outcome of reference, — not, of course, to all existing 
original authorities, but to many thousands of unpublished docu- 
ments, private and public, and to many thousands of printed 
histories, biographies, official papers. Navy lists, pamphlets and 
periodicals ; and which has involved research in, and, in some 
cases, special journeys to, not merely many parts of England, but 
also France, America, Spain, Holland, Russia, Denmark and Italy. 

For Chapters XXVI, XXVII, and XXX, of the present volume, 
and for the appendix and some of the notes to Chapter XXXI, I am 
directly responsible. Sir Clements Markham contributes Chapter 
XXIX ; Captain Mahan, Chapter XXXI, and Mr. L. Carr Laughton, 
Chapter XXVIII, and the appendix thereto. 

Captain Mahan desires me to express here, on his behalf, very 
cordial thanks to Professor J. K. Laughton, K.N., who has kindly 
assisted him in many ways in the preparation of Chapter XXXI, in 
the present volume.^ With regard to that chapter, I ought to point 
out that the plan, on p. 375, of the naval attack on Fort Moultrie, 
Charleston, in 1770, will be found to differ, in some small and un- 
important details, from Captain Mahan's description of the disposi- 
tions of the ships and of the guns in the works. Seeing, however, 
that the plan in question is based upon a contemporary di'awing 

' "He kiuJly pfaced at my disposal numerous notes made by liim at tlie Record 
Office. These liave been of great, and indeed of indispensable assistance in the 
narrative." — Letter of Captain Mahan to W. L. ('. 


made upon the spot l)y a British naval ollicer, and intended to 
accompany and illustrate the dispatch of Commodore Sir Peter 
Parker (1), I have deemed it to he of more than suflicient interest 
to warrant its reproduction. For its inclusion, however, Captain 
Mahan is not responsible. Among other supplementary illustrations 
which I have ventured to add to his chapter, is the valuable note on 
p. 396. It is l)ut a brief note ; but it represents the results of many 
days' labour ; and we should not have been able to obtain the 
figures contained in it, had we not had the co-operation of Colonel 
H. Hozier, Secretary of Lloyd's, who most kindly allowed some of 
the clerks in his office to compile the table from the original 

To Lord Vernon, for information concerning his distinguished 
kinsman, Admiral Edward Vernon (1), and to Captain Thomas 
Suckling, E.N. (retd.), I desire also to express special thanks. 

I regret that, owing to the fact that more than one chapter 
of the present volume has extended to greater length than was 
originally intended, I have found it impossible to conclude the 
history of the period 176'2-1793 with Mr. H. W. Wilson's account 
of the minor operations of the War of American Revolution. That 
account will form the first chapter of Vol. IV, which, since most 
of it is already in type, will, I hope, be in a condition for publication 
very early in the year 1899. 

W. L. C. 

Davos-am-Platz, Switzerland. 
Nov. 1898. 


The reader is requested to correct the following errors, the presence of which was 
not discovered until after the greater part of the volume had been sent to press. 

P. 9, at end of the iahh, in the two lower lines, under Cables, 

for Diameter of bower cables, read Circumference of Viovver cables. 

P. 37?i, line ifrom hottom, 

for Captain James Eeid, read Commander James Pieid. 
„ line 2 from hottom, 

for Christopher, read Tobias. 

P. 380, line 5, 

for Admiral Lord Howe, read Vice-Admiral Lord Howe. 

P. .387, line 21, 

for Caulfield, read Caulfeild. 

P. 406, ill tahle in note, tinder Vigilant, 

for Com. Hugh Cloberry Christian, rmd Com. Biabazon Christian 

P. 471, line 18, 

for Thomas Graves (1), read Thomas Graves (2). 

P. 473, line 25, 

for Caulfield, read Caulfeild. 
„ line 26, 

for Bonovier, read Bonavia. 

P.'474, line 2 from bottom, 

for Caulfield, read Caulfeild. 

P. 505, in 2nd col. of tahle, 

for Capt. George Murray, read Capt. Hon. George JIurra}'. 
for Capt. IJobert Sutton, I'ead Capt. Bobert Manners Sutton. 

P. 538, line 14, 

for Bichard Hughes, Bart. (2), read Richard Hughes (3j, Bart. 
„ in first foot-note, 

for Bichard Hughes, Bart. (1), read Bichard Hughes (2), Bart. 

P. 546, in ard col. of note, 

for Ileros, read Eeros. 

P. 550, *;; line 8 of ith col. of table, 

for Lapalliere, read Lapelliere. 

P. 554, line 35, 

for Batacalo, 7-ead Batticaloa. 

P. 557, line 12, 

for Batacalo, read Batticaloa. 




Civil History of the Royal Navy, 1714-17G2 .... 1 


Military History of thh Royal Navy, 1714-1762 : 

Major Operations ........ 24 


Military History of toe Royal Navy, 1714-1762 : 

Minor Operations ........ 250 

Appendix to Chapters XXVII. and XXVIII. : 

Losses of the Belli<;erent Powers — 

(a) Losses of H.M. Ships from 1714-1763 . . . 310 

(h) Losses of the French Navy, 1744-48 and 1755-62 . 312 
((•) Losses of the Spanish Navy, 1718-19, 1739-48, 

and 1762 314 


Voyages and Discoveriks, 1714-1762. ..... 316 

Civil History of the Royal Navy, 1763-1792 .... 325 




Military History of the Koyal Navv, 17fi-i-1792 : 

Major Operations ........ 353 

Appendix to Ch.\pter XXXI. : 

Llst of British Flao-Ofkicers on the Active List, 1762-1793 5G5 





George, Lord Anson, Admiral of the Fleet 
George Brydges, Lord Rodney, Admiral . 
Captain James Cook, R.N. 
Richard, Earl Howe, Admiral of the Fleet 
Sir Edward Huohes, K.B., Admiral . 

. Front wpiece 
Fdrinij iwrfp 242 



H.M.S. "Grafton," pitted with a jury ruddek, etc., for 
her voyage to Englakd, after the storm off Loris- 

nouRO, 17-t7. (Rwh Hervey's ' Naval History ) . Fdchiij [laiji? 1G9 

Attack on Fort Moultrie, 1776 ..... Paijc .37-5 

Part of North America and the North Atlantic, and 

the West Indies .......,, 377 

New York Harbour, and Neighbourhood . . . ,, 381 

Martinique ........... 485 

India and Ceylon ......... 544 


\,Tlir illiiKtrnlimis IIii/m nnirki'ij (') arc taken from 'A Naval Exitositar,' bij Tliainax Bih'ii Bhinrkhy : 

Luinhii, 1750.] I 


iTop 1 

The French " Invincible," 74 
The Spanish " Glorioso," 74 
The French "Terrirle," 74 
Hadley's Quadrant . 







' Royal Standakd, of George II. . 

CoMMEMouATivE Medal OF Mathews's Action, 1744 

iSiu John Norris, Kt., Admiral ok the Fleet . 

George Byng, Viscount Torrington, Admiral of the Klki 

Commemorative Medal of Hyng's Victory', 1788 

Admiral Nicholas Haddock .... 

Admiral Ed\vaed Vernon. .... 

Attack on Puerto Bello, 1739 

Admiral Sir Charles Knowles. . . 

Commemorative Medal of Operations at Cartagena, 

The Neighbourhood of Toulon 

Sir William Rovvlev, Admiral of the Fleet 

Mathews's Action off Toulon, 1744 . 

Admiral Thomas Mathews .... 

Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Warren 

Commemorative Medal of Anson's Victory, 1747 

Admiral Sir Charles Knowles. 

Port Louis, Hispaniola ..... 

Byng's Action, 1756, I., 2 p.m. . 

Byxg's Action, 1756, XL, 2.30 p.m. 

Byng's Action, 1756, III., 3 p.m. 

Admiral the Hon. John Bvng .... 

Vice-Admiral Charles Watson. 

Captain Maurice Suckling, R.N. 

Admiral Sir Charles Saunders 

Admiral Sir George Pocock .... 

Rear-Admiral Richard Kempenfelt . 

The Harbour of Louisbourg .... 


Commemorative Medal op the Battle of Quiberon, 1759 

Sib Peter Parker, Admiral of the Fleet 

Admiral Sir Richard King 

' Bittacle, or Binnacle, 1750 . 

1 Voyal Block ..... 

' Ships' Fire-Engines, 1750 

'Log, 1750 

Hand Screw, or Jack, 1750 
Signature of Richard, Earl Howe, Admiral of the Fleet 
Comme.mobative Medal of Keppel's Action, 1778 
Lake Champlain ...... 

;Manceuvres of Howe and d'Estaing . 
Admiral Aui:u.stus Viscount Keppel. 














































Kkppel's Action off Ushant, 1778, T., 2.30 p.m. 

Keppel's Action off Ushant, 1778, II., 6 p.m. 

Admiral the Hon. Samuel Barrington 

Northern Part of St. Lucia . 

Vice-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker (1) . 

Byron's Action off Grenada 

Admiral Harriot Arbutunot . 

Admiral Sir Charles Hardy (2) 

lloDNEY and de Guichen, April 17tii, 1780, I., 8 to 9 a.m 

Rodney and de Guichen, April I'tii, 1780, II., noon to 1 p.m. 

Rodney and de Guichen, May 15th, 1780 

Cornwallis and de Ternay, June 20th, 1780 

Admiral the Hon. Sir William Cornwallis 

Commemorative Medal of the Capture of St. Eusta 

Part of the Windward Islands 

Arbuthnot and des Touches 

Graves and de Grasse .... 

Hood and de Grasse, January 2.5th, 1782, I. 

Hood and de Grasse, January 2.5tii, 1782, II 

Hood's Anchorage at St. Kitt's, 1782 

Rodney and de Grasse, April 9th, 1782, I., 9.45 a. m 

Rodney and de Grasse, April 9Tn, 1782, II., noon 

Commemorative Medal of Rodney's Victory, 1782 

Rodney and de Grasse, April 12th, 1782, A. 

Rodney and de Grasse, April 12th, 1782, B. 

Rodney and de Grasse, April 12Tn, 1782, C. 

Rodney and de Grasse, April 12th, 1782, D. 


Suffren and Huches, February 17th, 1782 


Suffren and HuciHES, July Gth, 1782 
SuFFKEN and Hu(;hes, September ord, 1782 




































Administration of the Navy — The Admiralty Board— The Sick and AVoundad Board — 
The Admiralty Buildings— The Navy Office— The Navy Pay Office— First Lords 
and Secretaries of the Admiralty, and Principal Officers of the Navy, 1714-1702 — 
Naval Expenditure — Increase in various classes of ships — State of the fleet in 1714, 
1727, 1752 and 1760 — The introduction of the true frigate — The dimensions of ships 
— Conjplements — Small arms — Anchors — Gahles — Method of computing tonnage 
— Service ordnance — The armament of ships — S(ime typical men-of-war — Cost of 
men-of-war in 1719, 1733 and 1741 — Hadley's quadrant — Harrison's timel<eeper 
— Coppering — Sail-cloth — The Eddystone Light — Lighthouses — Lightships — Tlio 
King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions — Pilots — Smugglers — Vernon on 
smugglers and their dangers — Repression of piracy — The Articles of War — 
Greenwich Hospital — The encouragement of seamen — Prize money — Bounties to 
seamen — Pay and half-pay — Officers' servants — Promotion to flag-rank — Super- 
annuation of Captains — The establishment of uniform for officers — The rough life 
of the service — The character of officers — Immorality i>n tlie lower deck — Health 
of the Navy. 

TAUKING the i^eriod 1714-17(32 very little change 
^^ took place in the character of the machinery 
whereby the Eoyal Navy was administered. That 
machinery had attained a certain degree of perfection, 
and was in fairly good working order. The Act of 
William and Mary,^ which specified and defined the 
functions of the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High 
Admiral of England, continued to be the authority in virtue of which 
the Admiralty Board acted; and the patent granted to her Admiralty 
Board by Queen Anne was substantially reproduced from time to 
time as fresh Boards succeeded one another. In the civil depart- 
ment, the most important alteration was the appointment, in 
1740, of a Sick and Wounded Board. The sick and hurt seamen 
of the Navy had been looked after by a Commission in the reign 

' 2 W. & M., sess. 2, c. 2. 

2 CIVIL lIlSTOltV, 171.4-17G2. [1714-1762. 

of Willi.iiu III. ; ))ut in 1092 the business Ixad been translerred to 
the (Commissioners of the Register Office, and thence, in 1702, to 
another separate Commission, which had lasted until ITI-'i. There- 
after, for some years, things remained unsettled ; but in 1740, in 
consequence of the war with Spain, a Commission was specially 
granted to three persons, who were entrusted not only with the care 
of sick and wounded seamen, but also with the superintendence of 
medical stores supplied for the use of the Navy, the management of 
naval hospitals ashore and afloat, the examination and appointment 
of naval surgeons, and the maintenance and exchange of prisoners 
of war. From 1745 to 1749, this Board consisted of four instead 
of three Commissioners ; from 1749 to 1755, of two only ; from 
April to November, 1755, of three, as at first ; and from 1755 to 
1763, of four. Its offices were on Tower Hill. 

The old Admiralty buildings at Wallingford House fell into decay 
about the year 1722, when the office of the Commissioners was 
temporarily transferred to a house in St. James's Square. The 
older part of the present Admiralty buildings in Whitehall, was 
completed and occupied in 1725, though not until 1760 was the 
colonnade or screen built across the street-side of the court-j'ard to 
mitigate the unpleasant effect produced by the attenuated propor- 
tions of the columns on the western side of the square. The Navy 
Office remained during the period at the corner of Seething Lane 
and Crutched Friars ; and the Navy Pay Office was in Old Broad 

The succession of the more important administrative officers was 
as follows : — 

First Lord op the Admiralty. 

Oct. 14, 1714. Edward, Eari of Orford, Admiral. 
Ap. 16, 1717. James, Earl of Berkeley, Admiral. 
Aug. 2, 1727. George, Viscount Torrington, Admiral. 
June 21, 1733. Sir Charles Wager, Kt., Admiral. 
Mar. 19, 1742. Daniel, Earl of Winchelsea. 
Dec. 1744. John, Duke of Bedford. 

Feb. 20, 1748. John, Eari of Sandwich. 
June 22, 1751. George, Lord Anson, Admiral. 
Nov. 20, 1756. Richard, Eari Temple. 
Ap. 1757. Daniel, Earl of Winchelsea. 

June 30, 1757. George, Lord Anson, Admiral. 
June 19, 1762. George, Eari of Hahfax. 
Oct. 16, 1762. George Grenville. 



Seceetaky of the Admiralty. 


Josiah Burchett. 

1742. Thomas Corbett. 

1751. John Clevlaiul (with, 

John Mihaes). 

Treasdkeb of the Navy. 

John Aislabie. 
1718. Hichard Hampden. 
1720. Sir Geo. Byng, Kt., Adni. 
1724. Hon. Henry ]?attee Byug. 
■ 1725. William Corbett. 
1734. Arthur Onslow. 
1742. Thomas Clutterbuck. 

1742. Sir Charles Wager, Kt., 


1743. Sir John Rusbont, Bart. 

1744. George Doddington. 
1749. Hon. Henry Bilson Legge. 
1754. George Grenville. 

George Doddington. 
George Grenville. 
George Doddington. 
George Grenville. 
William Wildman, Vis- 
count Barrington. 


















Controller of the Navy. 

Sir Charles Wager, Kt., 

1718. Thomas Swanton (1), 

Captain, R.N. 
1722. James Mighells, Vice-Ad- 

1734. lUchard Haddock (2), 

Captain, E.N. 
12, 1749. Savage Mostyn, Captain, 

1755. Edward Falkingham (1), 

Captain, E.N. 

1755. Charles Saunders, Cap- 

tain, R.N. 

1756. Digby Dent (2), Captain, 

1756. George Cockburne, Cap- 
tain, R.N. 

Surveyor of the Navy. 
William Ijee. 
1715. Jacob Ackworth. 
1746. Joseph Allin. 
— fThonias Slade. 
' ■^■'•\ William Bateley 

as assistant and deputy, 


V OF THE Acts. 
Samuel Atkins. 



Tempest Holmes 



Thomas Pearce. 



John Clevland. 



Robert Osborne. 



Daniel Devert. 



Timothy Brett. 



Edward Mason. 


\ Fel). 





Controller of the TREAsaREu's 
Dennis Liddell. 
1717. Richard Burton. 
17, 1727. Sir George Saunders, Kt., 
Captain and Rear-Adui. 
1735. George Purvis, Captain, 

1740. John Philipson. 

1743. William Corbett. 
1753. Richard Hall. 

r. 1761. Timothy Brett. 

Controller of the Victualling 
Benjamin Timewell. 
1714. Eichard Burton. 
1717. John Fawler. 

1744. Francis Gashry. 
1747. Robert Osborne. 

Controller of the Storekeeper's 

Thomas Jennings, Cap- 
tain, R.N. 
1714. Charles Cornwall, Cap- 
tain, R.N. 
Thomas Swanton (1), 

Captain, E.N. 
William Cleveland, Cap- 
tain, R.N. 
Robert Byng. 
1739. John Philipson. 
George Crowle. 
Eichard Hall. 
George Adams. 
Hon. William Bateman, 
Captain, R.N. 

B 2 



















Isaac Towne.sen(l, < 'n|jtaiii, 

Lawrence ^V^ii!;llt, ('ap- 
tain, E.N. 
171-). .Tolm Fawlcr. 
1717. Thomas Colby. 
1727. Sir George Saunders, Kt., 
Captain, 1!.X. 

CIVIL niSTOUY, 1711-1702. 


\~ti\. Artliur Scott, Cai)tain, 
N'ov. 1755. Thomas Cooper, Captain, 

Jan. 17'!]. Thomas Hanway, Caj)- 

tain, K.N. 
Portsrnouth : — 

Nov. 1714. Isaac Townesenil, Captain, 

M.iy 1720. Sir Isaac Townesend, Kt., I ]^^j. 1729. Richard Hughes (1), 

Captain, R.N 

1731. Robert Byng. 

1732. Lord Vere Beauclcrk, Cap- 
tain, R.N. 

1738. George Crowlc. 

1740. Francis Gashry. 

Aiiril •;, 1743. James Comjiton, Captain, 

April (1, 1743. Alexander Geddes, Cap- 
tain, K.N. 
1744. James Oswald. 
174G. Edward Falkinghani (1), 

Captain, R.N. 
1747. John Russell. 
1755. Thomas Cooiser, Captain, 

1755. Arthur Scott, Captain, 

1756. Digby Dent (2), Cap- 
tain, R.N. 

1750. Hon. William Bateman, 
Captain, R.N 






Captain, R.N. 
Feb. 175!. Richard Hughes (2), 

Captain, K.N. (Bart. 

Phjrnuiith : — • 
Nov. 1714. Sir William Jumper, Kt., 

Captain, R.N. 
Mar. 1715. Thomas Swauton, Caii- 

tain, R.N. 
July 1716. Francis Dove, Captain, 

April 1726. Sir Nicholas Trevaniou, 

Kt., Captain, R.N. 
Dec. 9, 17:57. Matthew Norris, Captain, 

Jan. 173i<. Philij) Vanbrugh, Captain, 

Oct. 1753. Frederick Rogers, Captain, 

R.N. (Bart. 1773). 

Beptfvvd and Woohcich ' : — 

_ .^■. r, • Henrv Greenhill. 

1756. Digbv Dent (2), Caiitam, ,, or- T-it rri " ti-u i r. 

° •, , .^.■" ' ' May 26,1(44. Thomas \\ horwood, Cain 

R.^ . (agaui). J ' ^ ■ T, XT 

^ " ^ tarn, R.N. 

Jan. 1745. Edward Falkingham (1), 

Captain, R.N. 

May 1746. James Compton, Captain, 


Dee. 1747. William Davies, Captain, 


Jan. 1761. Edward Mason. 

Mar. 1761. Sir Richard Temple. 

Mai-. 1761. Sir John Bentley, Cap- 

tain, R.N. 

Commissioners at H.^I. Dock- 
yards, ETC. 
f'hntham : — 
Nov. 1714 James Littleton, Captain 

and Rear-Admiral. 

Gihraltar ami Minorrn : — 

Dec. 10, 1742. Eilward Falkingham (1), 
Captain, R.N. 


1722. Thomas Kempthorne, Jime 20, 1744. Thomas Trefusis, Captain, 

Captain, R.N. 


1730. Thomas Mathews, Cap- ; Feb. 25, 1747. John Towry, Captain, 

tain, E.N. 


1742. Charles Brown, Captain, j June 22, 1750. Charles Colby, Captain, 



' The business of these Yards was conducted by the Commissioners in Loudon, 
after the death of Captain Davies on February 16th, 1759. 



The following statement of the sums annually voted by Parlia- 
ment for the " extra " and for the " ordinary " expenses of the 
Royal Navy, and of the number of seamen and Marines authorised 
for each year, is taken from Derrick's ' Memoirs of the Rise and 
Progress of the Royal Navy.' ' It should be explained that the 
money voted under the head of " extra," was almost invariably 
used for building or repairing ships, for providing furniture and 
stores for such vessels, or for improving the Royal Dockyards ; but 
that, occasionally, portions of the money were employed for the 
replenishment of the supplies of hemp, timber, etc., when the 
quantities in hand happened to be low, and for other special 
services : — 




No. of Seamen 
and Marmes.i 




Xit. of Seamen 
and Marines.! 








((a) 10,000 
\(h) 16,000 




























13,. 500 
































































206 , 025 





































































222 , 885 

J- (c) 10,000 
t(rf) 20,000 

1 The cost of these was in addition to the sums specifier! in the " Extra " and ' ' Ordinary " columns, 
(a) Number to Midsummer. (&) Number from Midsummer to December 31st. (c) Number to April 10th. 
{iT) Number from ,\pril luth to December 31st. 

For several years after the death of Queen Anne, the number of 
ships belonging to the Royal Navy showed no increase, but rather 
a slight diminution. Nevertheless there was, even in those days, 
an increase in the total tonnage. But, from the death of George I. 

1 4tu. Loufkin, 1806. 

CIVIL niSTOJ!); 1711-17'i2. 


onwards, the Navy grew enormously There was no tendency to 
add to the number of the first and second rates — vessels which 
were only useful for special purposes, and which, as late as the 
middle of the eighteenth century,' it was customary to lay up 
every winter. Of the third, fifth, and sixth rates, and of the 
sloops, on the other hand, increasingly greater numbers were built. 
The third rates were the vessels which experience showed to be, 
upon the whole, most serviceable for the line-of-battle. The fifth 
and sixth rates were the ships with which the country found it 
could best deal with the enemy's cruisers ; and the sloops were 

THE FRKNcit III riiicibJe, 74. THE SPAXISH GIvrioso, 74. 

Taken hi/ I'uii'-Aclininil Anson, 1747. Taken bij the KusseU, 80, 1747. 

{From Ihe drawinijs by Clianiock.) 

the natural foes of small privateers, and the natural agents for 
the general policing of the seas. That the number of fourth rates 
did not increase is attributable to the gradual discovery of the 
fact that fifty and sixty-gun ships, while too small and hght for 
the line-of-battle, were too large and heavy for ordinary cruising 
pui-poses. They continued to be built in small numbers, chiefly 
because they were suitable craft for service in the colonies, and, as 
flagships, on the less important stations, in war, and almost every- 
where in peace ; and, because they continued to be built, they 
occasionally found their way into the line-of-battle. But occupying, 

' \'eruun"s correspondeuce with the Admiralty in 1745 is full of references to the 
danger of keeping three-deckers at sea during the winter mouths. 



as they did, an intermediate position Ijetween the linc-oi-biiitlesliips 
and the regular cruiseris, and belonging positively to neither, their 
value was limited in l)i>th directions. 

The " state " of the fleet at four different dates during th(! period 
now under review is given below ; — 

Rates oit Classes. 

First-rates, 100 guns . 
.Sfciiml-ratos. 84 to 90 guns . 
Tliiril-ratcs, (J4 to 80 guns . 
Fuurtli-rati'S, 50 ' to (iO guns. 

Ships of tlic line, or of 50 guns ^ 
and upwards .... I 

Death of 

Queen Aiiue. 

Aug. 12th, 17U. 




Fifth-rates, 30 to 44 guTis . 
Sixth-rates, 10 - to 30 guns . 
Sloops, 8 to 20 guns . 





Hospital ships 

Yachts j 15 

Hoys, lighters, transports . 13 
Hulks S 

Ships under the line, or of ) , , ,. 
less than 50 guns . . . (■ ^" 

Total ships of all classes . i247 



Death i)f 

George I. 

June lOtb, 1727. 


51,379, 04 











Dec. 31st, 1752. 


12,945 5 
20,125 13 



15,0G5 39 
9,700 39 









Death of 

George II. 

Oct. 25th, 1700. 






165,284155 : 210,177 

28,813: 54 
19,129' 61 











69,640 257 

170,802 291 I 234,924412 


1 The 50-guu ships were not couuted as of the liue-of-battle after about 1756. 

- l\Iost ships of under 20 ginis were cuuute.t as sloops, ^'.t'., Commanders' commands, after ahout ITou. 

The Seven Years' War (1756-1762) saw the introduction to the 
service of a class of vessel which, for nearly a hundred years after- 
wards, was of the highest value. This was the regular frigate, 
built to cruise at good speed, and carrying a . reasonably heavy 
armament on one deck. There had previously been no vessels 
that thoroughly fulfilled this ideal. The forty -four, and even the 
forty-gun ships of an earlier date were cramped two-deckers ; and 
below them, until after 174.5, there was nothing more formidable 
than the wretched twenty-gun ship, carrying nine-pounders as her 
heaviest weapons. Genuine frigates, mounting twenty-eight guns, 
began to be built about 1748 ; but still no larger gun than the nine- 
pounder found a place in them. The twelve-pounder thirty-two- 
gun frigate appeared at about the same time, the earliest examples 


CIVIL IIISTOBY, 1714-1702. 


being the Adventure (1741), and Diana, Juitu, Suuthuinj)tun, and 
Vestal (1757). Then came the twelve-pounder thirty-six-gun frigates, 
the best British fighting cruisers of the days before the accession of 
George III. The first of these, the PaUan and the Brilliant, were 
built under the superintendence of Sir Thomas Slade in 1757. Yet 
even they were inferior to thirty-six-gun frigates which were in 
possession of the French at about the same time. In a table 
given hereafter, the student will find materials for comparing the 
British Brilliant, 36, of 1757 with the French Aurore, which was 
captured from her original owners in 1758, and added to the Royal 
Navv as the Aurora, 3(5. 

THE Terrible 74. taken from the i-kench, 1747. 
(Fnnn a dniwir/g hij John Chantuc.k.) 

The first half of the eighteenth century witnessed repeated 
efforts to establish unvarying standards of size, tonnage, and 
armament for each of the classes of men-of-war then in most 
general use. At least two of these efforts — those of 1719 and 
of 1745 — met with considerable success ; and the rules tentatively 
adopted in each of those years were for some time largely, though 
not exclusively, adhered to in the construction of ships. But it was 
probably discovered that to aim at rigorous uniformity was to check 
improvement ; and, after about the year 1755, all efforts in this 
direction were wisely relinquished. Seeing, however, that many 
vessels were built according to these successive "establishments," 




it may not l)e deemed improper to give here some particulars of 
them : — 










No. of guns .... 




74 70 : 64 60 53 





1 ! i 


Length ou gundeck, ft. in. 


164 158 

. . 151 . . 144 134 



Length of keel for ton i 
nape,' ft. in j 

140 ? 

132 5128 2 

.. |123 2 .. 117 7 

109 8 

101 8 

87 9 

Breailth, extreme, ft. in. . 


47 2 44 6 

.. ] 41 6 .. 



33 2 

28 4 

Depth in hold. it. in. . . 


IS 10 18 2 

..17 4 .. 

16 5 

15 2 


9 2 

Burthen in ions 


1666 1350 

.. 1 1128 [ .. 







Length on gundeck, ft. in. 


166 158 

151 .. 






Length of keel for t(»u-| 
nage. ft. in J 

140 7 

134 1 

127 8 

122 0, .. 

116 4 

108 3 

100 3 

85 8 


Breailth, extreme, ft. in. . 


47 9 

45 5 

43 5] .. 

41 5' 38 6 

35 8 

30 6 


Depth ill Iiold, ft. in. . . 

20 6 

19 6 

18 7 

17 9 .. 

16 11 15 9 

14 6 

9 5 

Burthen in tons . . . 




1224 1 .. 

1068 853 


- - 




Length on gundeck, ft. in. 


163 161 

154 .. 

147 140 




Length of keel for ton-j 
nage, ft. in j 

142 4 

137 130 10 

125 6 .. 

119 9 113 9 


102 6 


91 6 


Breadth, extreme, ft. in. . 


48 46 

44 o' .. 






Depth in hold. ft. in. . . 


20 2, 19 4 

18 111 .. 

IS 1 

17 2i 

15 5i 


Burthen in tons . . . 




1291 j .. 






Length on gundeck, ft. in. 



160 .. 150 144 



Length of keel for tou-| 
nage, ft. in J 

144 6i 

138 4134 101 

131 4 .. 

123 Oijn7 8i 

108 10 

93 4 

Breadth, extreme, ft. in. . 


48 6 47 

45 .. 

42 8 





Depth in hold, ft. in. . . 

21 6 

20 6 20 

19 4 .. 

1< 6 

17 8 



Burthen in tons . . . 


1730 1585 

1414 . . 




• • 




Complement of men . . 




440 ' .. 







11 H )1 • - 











>1 H >) • • 
























fMusket:^, bayonets, cavt-l 
\ ridge-boxes . . ■. ./ 








Piiii-s -of pistols .... 








Poie-axes (l)oarding-axes) 




50 .. 





Swords (cutlasses) with i 
belts ( 




200 . . 





Hand ^ Hades .... 



200 , .. 

1.0, .. 







f Weight of bower auchors, ) 
i cwts ) 


67-5 1 61-5 .. 


.. 46-5 1 39-5 


^TA^ (Weight of bower audiurs, i 
^^*^ 'I cwts f 


73-5 1 69-5 69-5 


.. 53 






/Diameter of bo*er cables, t 
i in / 









..1 14 



fDiameter of bower cables.l 
I in ) 











I In 1719 IbL- uicthod of deteruuuiug the length of keel for tonnage, and the rule for ooluimting tonnage, were 
settled by the Lords of the Admiralty as follows : — 

" On a straight line with the lower part of the rabbit of the keel ere.t a perpendieidar or square line to the 
upper edge of the wiug transjm, at the afterpart of the plauk ; and, at the stern, to the forepart of the plank at 
5th8 p^rt of the height of the wiug transom. The length between the said perpendiculars, added to -„»^"' of the 
extreme breadth (allowing for the stern and stern post without the rabbit), from which subtract ,^'Vths of the 
height of the wiug tran,s<jm for the rake abaft, and also ^'i>» of tue main breadth for the rake afore, leaves 
the length of the keel for tonnage. Multiply this by the breadth, ami the product by half the breadth, and 
divide by 94. The result gives the tonnage." 

A simpler and more commonly-used method, both before and after tlo- official adoption of the above highly- 
conventional formula, was: to multiply the length of the keel into the e.Ktreme breadth of the ship withiu-board, 
taken along the midship beam, and to multiply the product by the depth of the hold from the plank joining to the 
keelson upwards to the main deck ; and to divide the last product by 94. The result gave the burthen in tons. 
See Derrick ; ' Mems. of the Roy. Navy,' 301 ; Falconer, * Diet, of the .Marine ' ; Willett, in ' Archa'ologia,' ii. 154. 
The last erroneously says that the nnmber to be divided by was 96. 

The establishments of 1733 and 1741 were proposed, but never 


CIVIL II] STORY, 1714-1702. 


officially adopted. Many ships were nevertheless bnilt in accord- 
ance with them. 

The establishniont of 174.5 was generally adhered to for about 
ten years. There was never afterwards any regular estabbshnient 
so far as dimensions were concerned. 

The mode in which these and other vessels of the period were 
armed can be seen at a glance on reference to the tables on the 
following pages. 

Although practically all the ships of the Navy were armed ac- 
cording to a regular "establishment" as thus indicated, many vessels 
were built upon lines which differed from any of the " establish- 
ments " for dimensions and tonnage ; and it is therefore well to give 
particulars of a few craft, both British built ships and prizes taken 
from the enemy and added to the service, which may be regarded 
either as typical specimens of the best home constructions of the 
time, or as models, the capture of which drew the attention of 
British constructors to points wherein foreign designers excelled 
them. These will be foixnd on page 12. 

The estimated cost of building and equipping a ship of each of 
the principal classes, and of storing her with eight months' boat- 
swain's and carpenter's stores, according to the Navy Board Regula- 
tions, was, in 1719, 1733, and 1741 respectively : — 











for Sea. 






for Sea. 





Masts and 





Masts and 






Masts and 




for S^a. 



















































1 14, 027 





















I 6,355 




















Many improvements which increased the material efficiency of 
the Royal Navy were made in the period 1714-1762. One of these 
was the invention of the reflecting quadrant, an invention usiially 
associated with the name of Doctor Hadley, and introduced by him 

XT14-17G1'.] GUNS. 11 

l'AI!'J'li'tI|,Ai;S (IF Sf.KVK'K OuNS (EsTABI.TSIlMENT OF 171.'!).' 


















Lb. 055. 

Lb. oz. 

Lb. 07,. 










11 4 









21 8 


9 1 



" 'V\ 

24-pounder (a) 













! ' 

, , 


, , 

18-pounder («) 







(i (.) 







, , 

12-pouiider (a) 







4 12 



• „ (?') 



, , 

J J 





, , 

9 -pounder (o) 





4 8 

4 i) 







, ^ 

J ' 




, , 

, , 





, , 

» ) 




, , 

(i-poimder (a) 













, , 

, , 




, , 

) ) 





, , 

> ' 





, , 

, , 

, , 





, , 

, , 














1 S 

1 8 



i-pouudei' ^ . 




I -(III 





1 From Mouutaine, 'Practical Sea-Guuner"s Cfmipaniou,' 174". 

- The reference letters in this column refer to the similar letters employeil in the next table (Disposition of Guns). 

3 These were swivels, usually inounteil on the bulwarks, etc., anil sometimes referred to as patereroes. 

Disposition of the Gcxs ls the vaiiious Cl.%.sses op H. M. Smrs, 171G. 1743. 17;"i7. 

I Low er Deck. 


Classes op Ships. 

Kg. Prs. I No. I Prs. 

Upper Deck. 


No. Prs. No. Prs. 

100 .'lius. 




(large class) . 
(ordinary class) 

„ (large class) . 
„ (ordinary c4nss) 

„ (large class) . 
„ (ordinary class) 

C4 , 

GO „ (large class) . 
,, (ordinary class) 


(small class) . 

50 „ (large class) . 

1716 28 



42 or 


42 28 

' 42 I 28 

32 I 30 

32 j 26 

> 32 26 

32 , 26 

32 26 

32 I 2G 

32 1 26 

32 I 26 

32 I .. 

32 .. 

24 .. 

32 .. 

32 .. 

24 , .. 

24 .. 

24 .. 

24 .. 

24 I .. 

24(a)| .. 

1 24 I . . 

24 I 28 

24(a) 28 

1 24 28 

j 18 30 

18 26 

18(a) 26 

18 I 26 

18 24 

12 I 24 





























6 ((0 




















IS (i) 10 

12 10 







•JOI) 2 

6 2 

G 2 

6 2 

G 2 

6 2 

G((/) 2 

6 2 







9 0') 




CIVIL lIISTOItY, 1714-1762. 

Disi'ijsiTiON (IK THE GrN.s, ETC. — Continued. 


Classes of Sllirs 

50 guns (ordinary class) 





,. (liirjrt! ('lass) . 
,, (ordinary class) 

,, (ship-rigged) 


Lower Deck. 


Upper Deck. 






Pre. 1 No. 


No. Prs. 






.. 1 22 


4 6 







.. ! 22 
.. 22 









.. 22 





































.. 20 














2 3 






















Length of 


Dat.' of 



Beam. Depth. 

in Tons. 

Where, and by whom Built. 


Deck, i '"«'• 


in. : ft. 



in. ft. 


Royal Sovereign 100 




7 50 




Chatham, J. EosewcU. 

Boyal George 









Woolwich, J. Pownall. 






9' 47 

3 IS 










3 49 

1 21 


AVoolwieb. J. Pownall. 






2 44 

6 IS 




Primess Amelii 

I ' 80 





3 20 


Woolwich, J. Pownall. 

Invhicihle . 




3 il39 


3 21 



*Takeu from the French. 

Terrible. . 




1 ,133 


3 20 



*TfiUen from the French. 





6 1134 

4 46 

3 19 



Woolwich. .1. Pownall. 





1 ll30 

3 49 

8 22 



*Tal£en from the Spaniards. 

Monmouth . 





2 43 

5 17 




Dorsetshire . 






10 19 



Portsmouth. E. Allen. 

Captain . 






6 17 



Woolwich, J. Holland. 

Fhjmnuth . 







(1 16 




lit pan . 







7 IS 



Woolwich, J. Pownall. 





9 128 



3 19 



*Taken from theSpaniards. 

Oxford . . 




6 109 



3 15 




Bomney . 





Si 30 




Woolwich. J. Harris. 

Ludlow Castle 





8 36 

3' 15 




Phainix . 




9 ill6 




Thames. M. Batsou. 

Brilliant . 




4 [106 

2; 35 

8 12 




Aurora . 





9 38 

Si 15 



*Taken from the French. 





10 107 


3 11 



Thames, Alexander. 

Crescent . 




5 107 


9 11 



*Taken from the French. 

Co rent ry 




43 97 

OA 34 




Beaulieu, H. Adams. 






4 32 

1 11 


Woolwich. Fellowes. 

Gibraltar . 




SJ 88 


4 9 



Beaulieu, H. Adams. 





2 74 


4 12 



Furnace^ lu iiuli 




6 73 



4 11 



Terror, bomb 




6 : 74 



8 12 



Harwich, Barnard. 

Princess Angus 

a' vt. 



8 1 57 



61 9 



Deptford. J. Allen. 

Boyal Charlotte 




' 72 

2l 24 

7 11 


Dc|itt'ord. .7. Holland. 




about 17.'51. ]!at after Hadley's doatli, there was found ainoiii^' liis 
papers a dnciiinent in the handwritin<,' of Sir Isaac Newton, con- 
taining a drawing and description of an instrument somewhat 
similar to Hadley's ; so that, apparently, the credit of the innova- 
tion should he divided between these men of science, if not given 
altogether to the elder of them. 

The efforts which had been made under Queen Anne to induce 
inventors to turn their attention to the perfection of methods for 
discovering the longitude at sea, were continued ; and in 1753 a new 

{From Juh/t liohcrtwu's ^ Elinncnta of Navigatiuti^ Luitdoit, 1742. > 

Act was passed in furtherance of the desired object. In 1761 the 
Board of Longitude decided to give official trial to the timekeepers 
of Mr. Harrison, a watchmaker who had produced a clock or 
chronometer of unusual accuracy ; and at the instance of the Board, 
the Admiralty placed the Deptford, 50, Captain Dudley Digges, at 
Mr. Harrison's disposal for the purpose. The ship, with Harrison 
on board, sailed from Portsmovith on November 18th ; and, both at 
Madeira and at Jamaica, it was found that the timekeeper which 
had been experimented with still showed the correct time. From 
Jamaica, Harrison returned to England in the Merlin, 14, Captain 

]4 rjvjL JiisTonr, 1711-1702. [1755. 

Eichard Carteret. On March •2:Siil, ITIi'i, the Mrrlin fell in with 
the Essex, G4, Captain Alexander Schombei'g, which had been off 
Scilly on the preceding evening. Her reckoning agreed exactly with 
that of the timekeeper ; and on the '26th, when Harrison reached 
Portsmouth, he found that his instrument, in spite of much shaking 
owing to had weather, had lost only 1 minute 54 'o seconds since it 
had left England more than four months earher. This result mai'ked 
a great advance upon anything that had been attained up to that time. 

It was at about the same time that the experiment of coppering 
ships' bottoms to preserve them against the w'orm was first officially 
tried in the Navy. In 1761, the Alarm, 32, was so treated, but, 
although the effect was found to be satisfactory, the general 
introduction of the improvement was impeded for several years, 
owing to the galvanic action which was set up between the copper 
and the iron bolts of the vessel's hull, and to the evils which this 
action wrought. The difficulty was ultimately got over by using 
only copper fastenings in the under-w"ater portion of ships' 
hulls ; yet it was not until 1783 that this measure of precaution 
was ordered to be generally adopted, and, until then, copper 
sheathing, while applied to specimens of every class of ships, 
was very far from being universal in the service. 

To encourage home manufactures, it was enacted in 1746 that 
every ship built in Great Britain or in the American colonies should, 
when first prepared for sea, be provided wdth a suit of sails made of 
cloth woven in Great Britain, under penalty of £50 ; and that every 
sailmaker in Great Britain or the plantations should, upon failing 
to place his name and address legibly and fully upon each new sail 
made by him, be fined ^10. 

After the burning of Budyard's wooden tower in 1755, the 
lessees of the Eddystone Light, by the advice of the Eoj'al Society, 
placed the work of constructing a new" lighthouse in the hands of 
John Smeaton, F.E.S., a distinguished engineer. Smeaton built 
his tower entirely of stone, dovetailing every block into its neigh- 
bours, and so making the column practically solid. Operations were 
begun on August 5th, 1756 ; the first stone was formally laid on 
June 12th, 1757, and the last on August 24th, 1759 ; and a hght 
from twenty-four candles, weighing five to two pounds,* was shown 

' Smeaton invented a timepiece, wliich struck a single blow every half hour, 
and so warned the keejiers to snufl' these candles. The original now belongs to the 
Corporation of Trinity House. 


from the rock on October llitli, 175i), aiul thenceforward every iiiglit 
until 1810, when the candles gave place to oil lamps and reflectors. 
Smeaton's tower, it is almost needless to add, remained effective 
until, in 1879-81, owing to the base on which it stood having been 
seriously shaken by the sea, a new tower, Douglass's, had to be 
built on a neighbouring rock, i'ai't of Smeaton's tower was there- 
upon removed, and reconstructed on Plymouth Hoe. 

Several other lighthouses which were in their day triumphs of 
engineering, were erected during the first half of the eighteenth 
century. One of the best known towers, that on the island of 
Skerries, near Holyhead, dates from 1730. At about the same time, 
also, lightships began to be placed round the coasts. The one first 
moored in Enghsh waters was fitted out in 1731 by Mr. Eobert 
Hamblin for the Nore Sand, at the mouth of the Thames ; the next, 
in 1736, by Mr. Daniel Avery for the Dudgeon Shoal, Norfolk. 

Until 1730, every commander-in-chief, with the sanction of the 
Admiralty, issued his own code of instructions. In that year the 
volume of material provided by the accumulations of lapsed codes 
was in some measure digested ; many additional instructions were 
set forth ; the principles of naval usage were crystallised ; and 
in 1731 there appeared the first issue of ' The King's Regulations 
and Admiralty Instructions.' This book has since been revised at 
intervals, but it remains in substance very much what it was in 
1731, and most of the important alterations that have been made in 
it are merely such as have been necessary to bring it into confoiTuity 
with modern ideas and modern conditions.^ 

In 1717, the rate of pilotage for pilots of Deal, Dover, and 
Thanet, taking charge of ships in the Thames and Medway, was 
fixed by Act of Parliament at ten shillings per foot of draught. The 
Act was subsequently amended with a view to prevent these pilots, 
who, of coirrse, possessed exceptional opportunities for smuggling, 
from engaging in that pursuit. The repression of smuggling, indeed, 
was a burning question during the whole of the period now under 
review, and especially in war time. The smuggler, besides being a 
professional cheater of the revenue, was, of necessity, a man of lax 
patriotism and easy conscience, and one whose success depended 
upon his maintenance of good relations with both sides of the 

' 'The King's Eegulations and Ailuiiialty Instructions' contain, as it were, the 
civil code of the Navy. The penal code is supplied by the Xaval Discipline Act. 
Sue p. 17, infra. 

16 CIVfL HISTORY, 1714-17i;2. [1745. 

Chatinel. He was, consequently, ever available as a spy. The 
frequency with which he impeded, and sometimes even confounded, 
the operations of the Navy, appears in the correspondence of several 
of the flag-officers of the time ; and there is very little doubt that 
the many treacherous betrayals, which, in the reigns of the first two 
Georges, prevented the secret carrying out of naval plans and 
combinations, were, as often as not, attributed to grave Jacobite 
and French sympathisers, when they were really the work of 
persons owning no more serious political conviction than that he 
who paid duty was a fool. There are several pregnant references 
to this subject in the letters of Admiral Edward Vernon, who was 
in command in the Downs at the time of the young Pretender's 
descent in 1745. Advocating the more extensive recruiting of the 
Navy from the seaport towns, he writes of men who " are now 
thought to he principally employed in the ruin of their country by 
the smuggling trade, and as daily spies to give the enemy intelligence 
of our proceedings," and goes on to say : — 

"I can't but tliink it a seasonable time to suggest to their Lordships tliat there are 
said to be in tliis town of Deal not less than twn hmidred able young men and seafaring 
people who are known to have no visible way of getting a living but b,y the infamous 
trade of smuggling, many keeping a horse and arms to be ready at all calls. At Dover, 
it is conjectured, there may be four hundred : at Eanisgate and Folkestone, three 
hundred each. And it is said that, within these three weeks, no less than nine cutters 
at a time have gone off from Folkestone to Boulogne; and it is conjectured that, from 
the town of Folkestone only, a thousand pounds a week is run over to Boiilogne in the 
smuggling wa.y. And, about six or seven days past, a Dover cutter landed goods in the 
niglit under the Castle, that was carried off by a party of sixty horse, and the cutter 
supposed to have done it came into Dover pier next day ; and, though most believed it 
was she, no one proceeded against them in any inquiry about it. This smuggling has 
converted those employed in it, first from honest, industrious fishermen, to lazy, drunken, 
and profligate smugglers, and now to dangerous spies on all oiu- proceedings, for the 
enemy's daily information." ' 

And again : — 

" Captain Scott, in the Badger, is just returned from his cruise off the coast of 
Sussex. On the 25th of last month he was informed of a cutter being going from 
Fairleigh to Boulogne that night ; but she was gone over before he could get there. 
t)n the 3rd of this month, he got sight of the French dogger privateer, and chased him, 
and neared him as the other was edging down to get to leeward of him ; and, when he 
got within shot of him, he exchanged some guns with him; but the other, getting 
afore the wind and hoisting her studding sails as the night was coming on, he soon lost 
sight of him. He has the repute there of being a confederate with the smugglers, and a 
convoy to them. I send you enclosed Captain Scott's day's work, when he seized two 
of the smugglers' boats, in which you have the names of the two reputed notorious 

' Letter of November 13th, 1745. Letter Book in Author's Coll. 

1749] rill': AirncLEs of wail 17 

smugglers tlu-y belong to: wliich are Ueorge Harrison and Zebuloii Morphet; ami a 
copy of the Collector of Oustoms' certiticate that they are reputed as such. And a 
little before that, above a hundred horse had been upon the shore to carry off goods 
brought by another cutter ; and, by all accounts, they carry on as great an intercourse 
with tlie French now as they did in time of profound peace with them : by which they 
are undoubtedly their daily spies to inform them of all our proceedings. I am informed 
there are lawyers who say, as the laws now stand, such an intercourse with his 
Majesty's enemies is now by our laws high treason ; and, if so, I should think we want 
a speedy proclamation to inform these infamous wretches that it is high treason ; and 
they shall be prosecuted as such ; for, surely, no nation but this would suffer itself to 
be daily betrayed with impunity." 

While smuggling and smugglers' treachery at home engaged the 
attention of the authorities, piracy required, once more, their 
energetic interference in the West Indies ; and on September 5th, 
1717, a proclamation was issued, offering a pardon for piracies 
committed before January 5th, 1717, to all such pirates as should 
surrender themselves withiri a twelvemonth. After the expiration 
of that period of grace, a reward would be paid to any of his 
Majesty's officers, by sea or land, upon the legal conviction of a 
pirate taken by him. The rewards promised were : tor a captain 
(master) iilOO ; for any officer from a lieutenant down to a gunner, 
£40 ; for any inferior officer, £30. Any private seaman or other man 
who should deliver up a pirate captain (master) or " commodore," 
would, upon the offender's conviction, be entitled to ,£'200. 

In 1749, there was brought in "a Bill for amending, explaining, 
and reducing into one Act of Parliament, the laws relating to the 
Navy." One of the results of this Bill, had it been passed in its 
original form, would have been to subject officers on half-pay to 
martial law. The measure was, in consequence, strongly opposed 
and petitioned against. The upshot was that the obnoxious clauses 
were deleted. The Bill then passed ; all older laws for the govern- 
ment of the Navy were repealed ; and, in place of them, the first 
regular Articles of War ^ were estabhshed. In the same year, another 
Act authorised the Admiralty for the first time to grant commissions 
to flag-officers, or officers commanding-in-chief, to assemble courts- 
martial in foreign parts. 

The changes and alterations which more intimately affected the 

' This was the Consolidation Act of George II. 22. It was based upon the Act of 
13 Car. II. c. 9. Being found to be too stringent, it was amended in 19 Geo. III. 
In the amended form, it is the foundation of the existing Articles of War; which, in 
almost exactly their present guise, date from 1847. The proper name of the measure is 
The Naval Discipline Act. It receives small alterations and amendments from time 
to time. 


18 CIVIL IlISTOUY, 1714-1701.'. [1711-1762. 

personnel of the Eoyal Navy between 1714 and 1762, were numerous. 
The more important of those relating chiefly or exclusively to the 
seamen may be first noted. 

In 1735 an Act ^ appropriated the forfeited Derwentwater estates 
to the completion and support of Greenwich Hospital, and extended 
the benefits of the Hospital so as to allow maimed merchant seamen 
to participate more fully in them. A little later two naval Acts were 
passed. One was for procuring a better supply of seamen to serve 
in the Navy ; for permitting merchant vessels to be navigated by- 
foreign seamen in a proportion not exceeding three-fourths of the 
crew ; and for giving the right of naturalisation to such foreigners, 
after two years' service in British ships. The other was to prevent 
the impressment of seamen aged fifty and upwards, or aged less 
than eighteen ; of foreigners serving in merchant vessels ; of sea 
apprentices of under three years' service ; and of all persons under- 
going their first two years' service at sea.^ In 1749, Mr. Henry 
Pelham brought in a Bill to revive the sj'stem of registering seamen ; 
but, it being violently opposed, he withdrew it. In 17-58, another 
Bill, brought in by Mr. George Grenville, though opposed in the 
Upper House, was ultimately carried. It provided in general for 
the encouragement of naval seamen, and, in particular, for the 
establishment of more regular and frequent payment of wages ; and 
for enabling seamen to remit money for the support of their wives 
and families by means of tickets payable in cash on demand by any 
collector of customs or excise. An Act of 1747 authorised masters 
of merchant vessels to detain from the wages of their seamen 
sixpence a month, as a provision for the widows and children of 
men drowned. 

On April 3rd, 1744, a royal declaration assigned to the officers 
and crews of men-of-war all property in prizes taken by them : and, 
to the officers and crews of privateers and letters of marque, such a 
proportion as might be conceded to them by the agreement of the 
owners. It also provided that shares not claimed within three years 
should go to Greenwich Hospital. 

Bounties to seamen were several times offered. In 1734, the 
rate was '20s. for an able-bodied seaman, and 15s. for an able-bodied 
landsman. lu 1740, it was 4'2s. for an able-bodied, and 30s. for an 
ordinary seaman. In 1742, it rose to 100s. for an able-bodied, and 
60s. for an ordinary seaman ; and it was further ordered that the 
' 8 Geo. II. c. 29. ^ 13 Qg^^ ji_ g_ 3_ 


widows of such bounty men as should be killed on service were to be 
granted a sum equivalent to a year's pay of their late husbands. In 
the same year, apparently to keep down rivalry, pay in the merchant 
service was, for a time, restricted by Act of Parhament to a 
maximum of 35s. a month. 

The pay of officers remained as it had been at the conclusion of 
the period 1660-1714 ; but the position of officers of nearly every 
rank was improved in various ways. Surgeons were, for the first 
time, given half-pay in 1729 ; and, in 1749, an increased number, 
both of surgeons and of masters, were granted half-pay. The 
number then entitled to it was, in each case, fifty, of whom the first 
thirty received 2s. &d., and the remaining twenty, 2s. a day. 

The number of domestics and servants allowed to officers had been 
considerably reduced at the end of the seventeenth, but was again 
increased in the first half of the eighteenth century ; and, in 1740, it 
stood thus : — ' 

Adniiral nf the Fleet . ,50, of whom 16 only to be borne as servants on the books. 

Admiral .... 30, „ 12 

Vice-Admiral . . . 20, „ 10 

Rear- Admiral . . . 15, „ 10 „ „ „ 

Captain . . . . -t jier 100 of the complement. 

1, in ships having GO men or above. 

Lieutenant, Master, \ 

Second Master, Pur- 1 

ser, Surgeon, Chap- j 

lain and Cook, each ' 
Boatswain, Grunner,-! 2, in ships having 100 men or upwards, and 1 in ships 


Carpenter, each. ./ liaving between 100 and GO. 

This generous allowance of servants permitted captains to take to 
sea with them young gentlemen who aspired to the position of 
officer ; and the better captains usually benefited the service by 
having with them a large proportion of "servants" of that kind, 
training under their own eyes. Yet, even captains who were heartily 
devoted to the interests of their profession, took with them to sea, in 
those days, many retainers of a class that would, nowadays, be 
deemed very superfluous in a man-of-war. Tailors, barbers, footmen 
and fiddlers, followed their patron. As late as 1785, Commodore 
Edward Thompson, who, it is true, always had his quarter-deck 
crowded with such young gentlemen as were destined, a few years 
later, to shine in the front ranks of the service, had a painter on 
his personal staft', and used to smnmon the poor artist on deck at 

' And so remained until April, 1794. 

c 2 

'20 CIVIL HISTORY, 1714-1701^. [1718. 

strango hours to record impressions of sunrise efl'ects or nocturnal 

In 1718, it was, for the first time, formally oi'dered that captains 
should, if duly qualified, be promoted by seniority to flag-rank, and 
so onward to the rank of full admiral. But since, in those days, 
the entire flag establishment consisted only of nine officers, viz., an 
Admiral of the Fleet, an Admiral of the White, an Admiral of the 
Blue, and Vice and Rear-Admirals of the Red, White and Blue 
respectively, captains soon began to grow very old ere, in con- 
sequence of deaths above them, they became eligible for advance- 
ment. If, also, the order had been loyally carried out — which it 
was not — and had not been followed by other modifications, it 
would presently have resulted in a flag-list composed exclusively 
of officers too aged to go afloat. The threatened evil was fended 
off by the gradual increase of the flag-list in 1743 and subsequent 
years, and by the provision, in 1747, of arrangements in virtue of 
which senior captains, indisposed, or too infirm, to accept active 
flag-rank, might be superannuated as rear-admirals, with pay at 
the rate of 17.s. Gf7. a day. The first officers to be superannuated 
under this scheme were captains of 1713, or, to put it otherwise, 
captains of thirty-four years' service in that rank. Some of them 
were septuagenarians. 

The estabhshment of a regular uniform for certain officers of the 
Eoyal Navy dates from 1748. Three years earlier, some officers 
appear to have petitioned the Admiralty for the boon ; and, in 1746, 
sundry captains, at Anson's wish, prepared tentative coats from 
which a uniform pattern might be selected. But, though a captain 
may have designed the uniforms which were finally adopted. King 
George II. himself decided upon the colours of them. Having 
noticed the Duchess of Bedford, wife of the First Lord, riding in 
the Park in a habit of blue, faced with white, his Majesty chose 
blue and white for the first uniform dress of his officers. The 
innovation applied only to admirals, captains, commanders, lieu- 
tenants, and midshipmen, and the wearing of the new uniform was 
made compulsory, as regards these ranks, by an order dated April 
14th, 1748. But there were difficulties in the way of obedience. 
Patterns were not sent to foreign stations, nor were the regulations 
sufficiently explicit to enable officers, by their aid only, to instruct 
their tailors concerning what was required. It is therefore probable 
that, for several years, the order was not fully carried out. 

1748.] OFFWEUh' UNIFOIiM. 21 

Admiralty patterns of these uniforms were lodged at the Navy 
Ofdce and the Dockyards, hut they have not hecn preserved. A few- 
coats, waistcoats, breeches and hats, for captains and lieutenants, 
were, however, found at Plymouth, in 1S4(), and are now in the 
Eoyal United Service Institution. 

" The hats are three-cornered in shape ; one is trimmed with silver or tarnished gold 
lace ; and both bear the silk cockade instituted by George I. Lace and frills being 
then worn, there are no collars to the coats. They are made of thick blue cloth ; the 
lappels, which button back, are blue ; but the cuffs of the captain's coats are white, 
and the sleeves of all are purposely made short to allow the laced sleeves of the white 
kerseymere waistcoats to show beyond. There are two kinds of buttons, one flat, 
bearing a rose ; the other round and plain. Although we have not the patterns, 
pictures of the dress of the admirals and midshipmen have come down to us, the 
embroidery and lace on those of the flag officers being most elaborate." ' 

Some written advice, given by Edward Thompson,- in 1756, to a 
relative who was about to enter the Navy, throws light upon the 
condition of young gentlemen in the men-of-war of the time. 

" Here," he says, " are no back doors through which you can make your escape, 
nor any humane bosoms to alleviate your feelings ; at once you resign a good table for 
no table, and a good bed for your length and breadth ; nay, it will be thought an 
indulgence, too, to let you sleep where day ne'er enters, and where fresh air only comes 
when forced." ..." Your light for day and night is a small candle, which is often 
stuck at the side of yoiu- platter at meals, for want of a better convenience ; your 
victuals are salt, and often bad ; and, if you vary the mode of dressing them, you must 
cook yourself. I would recommend you always to have tea and sugar ; the rest you 
must trust to, for you'll scarce find room for any more than your chest and hannuock, 
and the latter at times you must carry upon deck to defend you from small shot, 
unless you keep one of the sailors in fee with a little brandy (which is a good friend 
at sea, but always drink it mixed with water.") . . . "Low company is the bane of 
all young men ; but in a man-of-war you have the collected filths of jails. Con- 
demned criminals have the alternative of hanging, or entering on board. There's not 
a vice committed on shore but is practised here. The scenes of horror and infamy on 
board of a man-of-war are so many and so great that I think they must rather disgust 
a mind than allure it. I do not mean, by this advice, to have you appear a dull 
inactive being, that shudders amidst these horrors. No ; I would wish you to see them 
in their own proper shapes, for, to be hated, they need to be seen." ..." You will 
find some little outward appearance of religion — and Sunday prayers I — but the con- 
gregation is generally drove together by the boatswain (like sheep by the shepherd), 
who neither spares oaths nor blows." " 

' ' The British Fleet,' 500. The first Admiral's uniform is well shown in the 
portrait of Lord Anson, forming the title-page to this volume. This was painted 
between 1748 and 1761. 

- Died Commodore on the West Coast of Africa, January 17th, 1786. He edited 
some old writers ; wrote plays, stories, and songs ; and was a friend, and also 
probably a benefactor, of Dr. Samuel Johnson. 

^ ' Seaman's Letters,' i. 147. 

22 CIVIL HISTORY, 171 1-1762. [1756. 

Concerning subordinate officers, and the abuse of power by 
superiors, Thompson wrote : — 

" The disagreeable circumstances and situations attending a subaltern officer in the 
Navy are ho many, and so hard, that, had not the first men in the service passed the 
dirty road to preferment to encourage the rest, they would renounce it to a man. It is 
a most mistaken notion that a youtli will not be a good officer unless he stoops to the 
most menial offices ; to be bedded worse than hogs, and eat less delicacies. In short, 
from having experienced such scenes of filth and infamy, such fatigues and hardships, 
they are sufficient to disgust the stoutest and the bravest, for, alas! there is only a little 
hope of promotion sprinkled in the cup to make a man swallow more than he digests 
the rest of his life. The state of inferior officers in his Majesty's service is a state of 
vassalage, and a lieutenant's preferment the greatest in it ; the change is at once from 
a filtliy maggot to a shining butterfly. Many methods might be introduced to make 
the lower officers of more consequence on their duty, and their lives more agreeable to 
themselves ; for that power of reducing them to sweep the decks, being lodged in the 
breast of a captain, is often abused through passion or caprice ; besides, it is too 
desjiotic an authority to exercise on a man who has the feelings of an Englisliman. 

" We are likewise to recollect that all commanders of men-of-war are not gentle- 
men, nor men of education. I know a great jjart are brave men, but a much greater, 
seamen. I allow the maxim of learning to obey, before we command ourselves ; but 
still there is no reason to be vulgar, for we are to consider these young people are the 
active machines of duty, the wheels which give motion to the main body ; and it is 
absolutely necessary to give them authority in their office to carry on the duties of the 
ship : but rendering them low in the eyes of the jieople creates a contempt for 
midshipmen in general, and turns that necessary respect due to them into contempt. 

" I propose to warrant this body of officers, and make them answer to the Board of 
Admiralty for their conduct. They should possess a third table in the ship, and have 
the countenance of their superiors. This would enliven their servitude, and make 
them of consequence on their duty." ' 

But some improvement was alread}- to be noticed, for Thompson 
continues : — 

" The last war, a chaw of tobacco, a rattan, and a rope of oaths were sufficient 
qualifications to constitute a lieutenant ; but now, education and good manners are 
the study of all ; and so far from efl'eminacy, that I am of opinion the present race 
of officers will as much eclipse the veterans of 1692 as the polite the vulgar." ^ 

There was, however, as yet little improvement either in the code 
of morals, or in the sanitary provisions on board his Majesty's ships. 
There is evidence that, towards the end of the seventeenth century, 
women were systematically canied to sea in the proportion of so 
many per company of Marines ; and Thompson, writing in the 
middle of the eighteenth, after describing the unsavoury persons 
and dwellings of the negroes of Antigua, goes on : — 

" But bod smells don't hurt the sailor's appetite, each man possessing a temporary 
lady, whose pride is her constancy to the man she chooses ; and in this particular they 

' ' Seaman's Letters,' i. 140. ^ lb. 1-14. 


are strictly su. I liavc known 350 wonion sup ami sleup ou buard ' on a Sunday 
evening, and return at, daylurak tii tlieir diiTerent plantations." " 

As for sanitation, suffice it to say, by way of example, in addition 
to the many cases which will be cited in the two following chapters, 
that, in 1756, at the time of the outbreak of war with France, when 
she had been on no long cruise, and had been exposed only to the 
hardships of a few months of service in the Channel, the Stirling 
Castle, 64, Captain Samuel Cornish, arrived at Portsmouth with four 
hundred and eighty men, of whom two hundred and twenty-five 
were the pressed refuse of gaols and scum of streets. She was full 
of fever and other sickness, and, when the diseased had been sent 
ashore, but one hundred and sixty men remained for duty. Less 
than three months later, when, having filled up her complement in 
England, she had proceeded to New York, Edward Thompson 
wrote from her : " We have now one hundred and fifty-nine people 
ill in fluxes, scurvies, and fevers." Two months afterwards, ashore 
at English Harbour, Antigua, he added — 

" I have been l(jng declining with the white flux, and, for recovery, am stuffed into 
a small room with twenty-six people ; but am now in better health. I officiate as 
chaplain, and bury eight men in a morning. Fluxes and fevers are the reigning 
distemper, and both I attribute to the water drunk by the seamen, which is taken out 
of tanks or cisterns, built by Admiral Kuowles. It is all rain water, and covered 
close up, which, for want of air, breeds poisonous animalcute, and becomes foul and 
putrid. The melancholy effects it produces might be in a great manner prevented by 
boiling the water before it is issued, or ordering the peopJe to do it. This would 
destroy the vermin, and correct the putrefaction. I am convinced from long observa- 
tion that most of the distempers in southern climates arise from the water drunk, as 
ship sicknesses do from the bilge water ; which is evidently proved in leaky shijis 
being always healthful. I therefore recommend to all officers, naval and mercantile, 
to let in salt water every day, and boil their fresh, for the good of themselves and 

' He speaks of H.M.S. Stirliny Castle, 64, carrying 480 men. 
^ ' Seaman's Letters,' ii. 24. 

( 24 ) 


Military History of the Eoyal Navy, 1714-1 7()2. 

major operations. 

Accession of Greorge I. — Trouble with Sweden — Xorris to the Baltic — Co-operation 
with Holland, Denmark, and Russia — A Swedish consjnracy — Byng to the Baltic 
in 1717 — The Quadruple Alliance — Irritation of Spain — Byng to the Mediterranean 
in 1718 — Spanish operations in Sicily— The battle off Cape Passaro — The British 
and Spanish accounts — Mahan's comments — War with Spain — Projected invasion 
of England — Dispersal of the Spanish fleet — The Ross-shire fiasco — Reduction of 
Sicily — Peace with Spain — Norris in the Baltic in 1718 — Alliance with Sweden — 
Norris in the Baltic in 1719, 1720, and 1721 — Peace between Russia and Sweden 
— The Treaty of Vienna — The Treaty of Hannover — Jennings to the coast of 
Spain — Wager to the Baltic — Hosier to the West Indies — Sickness in the fleet — 
Death of Hosier, Hopsonn, and St. Loe — Wager relieves Gibraltar — Norris in the 
Baltic— Death of George I. — The Treaty of Seville— Difficulties in the New 
World — Xorris to Lisbon — Haddock to the Mediterranean — Spanish depredations 
— Jenkins's ears — Reprisals granted — War with Spain — Anson's expedition — 
Edward Vernon — Vernon to the West Indies — Capture of Puerto Bello — Enthusiasm 
in England — Co-operation between France and Spain — Vernon reinforced — France 
holds her hand — Vernon at Chagres — Vernon again reinforced — Death of Cath- 
cart — Beauclerk and de Boisgeroidt — Unsuccessful cruises of Haddock, Balchen, 
and Korris — Junction of the French and Spanish fleets in the Mediterranean — 
Vernon's difficulties with Wentworth — Attack upon Cartagena — Early success 
— Failure of the attempt — Attack on Santiago de Cuba — Abandonment of the 
plan — Criticism of the scheme — The commanders censured — Projected exjiedition 
against Panama — Collapse of the venture — Recall of Vernon and Wentworth — 
Lestock joins Haddock in the Mediterranean — Lestock's character — Mathews 
commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean — Friction between Mathews and Lestock 
— Blockade of Toulon — Martin at Kaples — Martin to Alassio — Ogle in the West 
Indies — Repulse of the attack on La Guayra — Repulse at Puerto Cabello — France 
supports Spain — Norris in the Channel — Escape of de Roquefeuil — -War with 
France and Spain — The Dutch join Great Britain — Disposition of the fleets — 
Navarro and de Court leave Toulon — Mathews's action off Toulon — Suspension 
and trial of Lestock — Trials of captains — The court-martial and the Lord Chief 
Justice — Trial of Mathews — Rowley in the Mediterranean — Gabaret escapes him — 
Hardy blockaded— Balchen relieves him — Loss of the Victory — Barnet in the 
East Indies — Davers at Jamaica — French intrigues in North America — Annapolis 
summoned in vain — Schemes of the Pretender — He lands in Scotland — -His escape 
— Capture of Louisbourg — Townsend to the West Indies — Afiairs in the Mediter- 
ranean — French failures in North America — Lestock on the coast of France — 
Peyton and La Bourdonnais — Fall of Madras — Duplicity of Dupleix — Lisle and 
de Conflans — Disgrace of Mitchell — Medley in the Mediterranean — French ex- 
pedition to Cape Breton — Anson's action with de La Jonquiere — Hawke defeats 
de L'Elenduere — Trial of Captain Fox — Exhaustion of France — Boscawen to the 




East Indies — Failure at Pmidiclierry — Peacu of Aix-la-Cliu])(;!le — Surrender of 
Madras — Knowles takes Port Louis— Attempt on Santiago de Culja— Kuowles's 
victory off Havana — Trial of Knowles— Pocoek takes a French convoy — Losses 
during the war — Terms of the peace — French aggressions — Kejipol to North 
America— French designs on Canada — Boscawen to North America — Capture of 
the Alcide and Lyi — Threatened invasion — French expedition to Minorca — 
Operations against Angria — Success of Holmes — Koconnaissance of Brest — British 
weakness in the Mediterranean — Byng ordered to Minorca — Byng's action with 
de La Galissonniere — The dispatches — Byng superseded, tried, and executed — 
Conclusions on his case — Fall of Minorca — Watson takes Calcutta — Fall of 
Chandernagore — D'Ache to the East Indies — Forrest's action with de Kersaiut — 
Expedition to Louisbourg — Misfortunes of the fleet — The expedition abandoned — 
Escape of du Revest — Expedition against Kochefort — Pocock's action ofl" Cudda- 
lore — Capitulation of Fort St. David — Pocock's action off Negapatam — With- 
drawal of d'Ache — Kempenfelt relieves Madras — Siege and capture of Louisbourg 
— Boscawen and du Chaffault — Marsh to West Africa — Keppel takes Goree — 
Capture of the OrpUee and Fovdroyanl — Hawke at He d'Aix — Howe's expedition 
to the French coast — Capture of Cherbourg — Disaster at St. Cas — Renewed Frencli 
preparations — Pocoek again engages d'Aclie — The Dutch at Chinsura — Failure at 
Martinique — Operations at Guadaloupe — The conquest of Canada — Saunders in 
the St. Lawrence — Boscawen to the Mediterranean — Boscawen defeats de La Choe 
— Rodney off Le Havre — Blockade of Brest — Hawke defeats de Conflans — 
Blockade of Pondicherry — Hurricane in the East Indies — Fall of Pondicherry — 
Norbury's action in the West Indies — French attempt against Quebec — Montreal 
occupied — Elliot defeats Thurot — Boscawen and Hawke in Quiberon Bay — 
Further operations in the East Indies — Keppel's expedition against Belleisle — The 
Family Compact — War with Spain — Capture of Manila — Conquest of Martinique 
— Conquest of Grenada and St.. Lucia — Pocoek reduces Havana — Misfortunes of 
Pocock's fleet — De Terney at Newfoundland — Recapture of St. John's — The raid 
on Buenos Ayres — Enforcement of the right of search — The Treaty of Fontaine- 
bleau — Results of tlie Seven Years' War. 

Althoi'gh, at 
the accession 
of George I., 
Great Britain 
was at peace 
with all the 
world, the re- 
lations of the 
country with 
certain north- 
ern powers 
were far from 
being satisfac- 
tory ; and from 
the first it was foreseen that difficulties were hkely to arise, and 
to call for the active employment of the Navy towards their solution. 


(From an orlfiinal kindlii lent by B.S.H. Captain I'lince Lutiis of 
Baltntliny, li.A'.) 

26 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 17U-1702. [1716. 

Sweden had not yet allied herself with Eussia, and was, in fact, 
still at war with her and with Denmark ; and Swedish privateers 
had seized many British ships which were alleged to contain arms, 
ammunition, and stores, destined, in contravention of treaty, for 
the service of the Tsar. Remonstrances had been made by the 
British minister at Stockholm, but they had produced no results. 
The Dutch, who had similar causes of complaint against the 
government of Charles XII., found it equally difficult to obtain 
either redress or apology ; and it was therefore determined by Great 
Britain and Holland to despatch a combined fleet to the Baltic in 
1715 to intimidate the Swedes, and to convoy, and prevent further 
undue interference with, the trade. 

The British contingent, under Admiral Sir John Norris (B.) and 
Eear-Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy (B.), was made up of twenty ships 
of the line, besides a few small craft. It sailed from the Nore on 
May 18th, and, reaching the Sound on June 10th, there joined the 
Dutch contingent of twelve sail under Eear-Admiral Lucas de Veth. 
The merchantmen were escorted to their ports, but nothing of 
importance happened during the rest of the year. In 1716, Sir 
John, unwilhng to adopt strong measures against Sweden unless 
he had the gravest reasons for doing so, sent an officer to Stockholm 
to inquire whether or not the practice of seizing British and Dutch 
ships was to be persisted in. A vague and ambiguous reply being 
returned, it was determined by the allied commanders, in pursuance 
of orders from home, to make a demonstration of an exceptional 
nature. A Danish squadron lay at Copenhagen. There also lay a 
Eussian squadron under the Tsar Peter himself. After the necessary 
negotiations had taken place, it was agreed that, while the Dutch, 
then under Commodore Hendrik Grave, with five British men-of- 
war, should coavoy to their destinations such merchantmen as had 
followed the fleets, the British, Eussian, and Danish squadrons, 
forming for the moment a single fleet, should proceed up the Baltic, 
in order to let it be seen that, rather than permit any further 
meddling with her trade, Great Britain w'ould take active part 
against Charles XII. The Tsar Peter became, for the nonce, com- 
mander-in-chief ; Norris assumed command of the van, and Count 
Gyldeulove,' the Danish admiral, took the rear under his orders. 

' Ulrich Christian Gyldenliive, known in England as Count Gueldenlew, was a 
natural brother of King Frederick IV. of Denmark, and had commanded the Danisli 
fleet at the time of Kuoke's operations against Copenhagen in 1700. 


The confederate fieet assembled in Kjoge Bay, and thence 
proceeded to Bornhohii, where, learning that the Swedes had 
retired to Karlskrona, unwiUing to hazard an action, tlic Tsar gave 
directions that the convoys might continue their voyages to their 
various ports. He then, with his squadron, sailed to the coast of 
Mecklenburg. Norris and Gyldenlove took measures for collecting 
the homeward-bound trade, most of which joined them at Bornholm 
on November 9th, and with them entered the roadstead of Copen- 
hagen on the day following. The remaining merchantmen, chiefly 
Dutch, anchored there on the 12th. Sir John Norris left behind 
him in the Baltic Captain William Cleveland, with seven ships, to 
act, if necessary, in concert with the Danes ; and, with the rest of the 
fleet, he retunied to England. On his voyage he met with terrible 
weather, and, although he succeeded in preserving his convoy, he 
had the misfortune to lose the Auguste, 60, and the Garland, 'li} 
The fleet arrived at the Nore on November S'.Jth, 1716. 

The ostensible reasons for this Baltic expedition have been given 
above. It must be borne in mind, however, that the situation, as 
between Great Britain and Sweden, was exacerbated by the fact 
that George I., besides being King of Great Britain, was Elector of 
Hannover. In his latter quality he had purchased from Denmark 
territories which had been conquered from Sweden ; and, in order to 
defend these, he had declared war against Sweden, and carried on 
the conflict at a time when, in his quality of King of Great Britain, 
he was at peace with Charles XII. The Swedish monarch did not 
scruple to charge King George with having prostituted the honour 
of the British flag in order to serve the interests of Hannover ; and, 
although it may be that Charles, in his natural resentment, failed to 
do exact justice to his opponent, it cannot be denied that the 
personal union of the crowns of Great Britain and Hannover, if not 
in 1715-16, at least on many subsequent occasions, led Great Britain 
into ventures which, had her own interests only been consulted, she 
would never have embarked upon. 

The irritation of Sweden was increased by Norris's demon stratioia 
in the Baltic ; and one of the results was that, soon afterwards, 

' So say all historians, but no authority can be found for one part of the statement. 
The Auguste, Captain Kobert Johnson, ran ashore, it is true, on November lOtli, 
her captain and most of her people being saved. The Garland, however, remained 
in commission, under Captain Ellis Brand, until February 22nd, 1717 ; from which 
fact it may be concluded that, if she went ashore, she did not at once become a total 
loss. There seems, too, to have been no court-martial. MS. List in Author's Coll. 


MAJUli OFEliATIOSa, 1714-17G2. 


certain Swedish diplomatists, including the minister in London, 
associated themselves in plots, having for their object the further- 
ance of the cause of the Pretender. The discovery of these intrigues 
aroused the liveliest indignation throughout Great Britain ; and vk^hen 
Parhament met in 1717, it was formally resolved by the House of 
Commons to introduce a Bill to authorise the King to prohibit 
commerce with Sweden "during such time as his Majesty shall 
think it necessary for the safety and peace of his kingdom." On 

(From fhc iiict(,rc hi/ Sir G. Enflhr, hii pt'riins!--i(in of H. C. Xorris, Esq.) 

March '2nd, the Bill having in the meantime been jjassed, a 
proclamation in accordance with its provisions was made pubUc. 
To properly enforce the prohibition, it was requisite to send another 
fleet to the Baltic ; and on March 30th, twenty-one ships of the line, 
with frigates and fireships, sailed for Copenhagen under Admiral Sir 
George Byng. A few days later, though in face of strong opposition, 
the Government obtained a grant of a quarter of a million sterling to 
enable the King " to concert such measures with foreign princes and 


states as may prevent any charge and appreliensicjn from the designs 
of Sweden for the future." 

Byng agreed upon a plan of united action with Denmark, and 
made various dispositions to ensure the carrying out of the objects 
for which he had been sent to sea ; but his proceedings were, upon 
the whole, uneventful, the Swedes not venturing outside their ports. 
Eeturning at the beginning of winter, he arrived in the mouth 
of the Thames on November 15th. A note of such small services 
as. were performed by the cruisers of the fleet will be found in the 
next chapter. In the meantime, thanks largely to the good offices 
of France and Eussia, the difficulties in the north were for the 
moment smoothed over, although, for many years afterwards, they 
remained a source of much anxiety and expense to the Com-t of 
St. James's. 

" But this," aays Campbell, " was not the unly affair ol' consequeuce that employed 
the thoughts of the admiuistration. We were then in close confederacy with the 
Emperor and France; and, in conjunction with these Powers, had undertaken to settle 
tlie affairs of Europe on a better foundation than the Treaty of Utrecht left tliem. 
AVith this view, the Triple Alliance was concluded on January 4th, 1717 ; and, that 
not answering the end expected from it, we next entered, as will be shown, into the 
famous Quadruple Alliance,' which was intended to remedy all these defects, and to 
fix the general tranquillity for ever. Yet, by unforeseen accidents to which human 
policy will be always liable, this alliance proved the cause of an immediate war 
between us and Spain, and, in its consequences, was the source of all the troubles that 
disturbed Europe from the time of its conclusion ^ to the peace of Aix-la-Chapello." 

The terms of the alliance were decided upon some months before 

the treaty was actually signed. It was determined that Spain 

should restore Sardinia to the Emperor, and that the King of Spain 

should renounce his claim to succeed to the French crown, while the 

Emperor was to renounce his claim to what had been guaranteed to 

Philip V. under the Treaty of Utrecht, and Philijj was to surrender 

his claim to the Netherlands and to the Italian possessions of the 

Emperor. In return for Sicily, the Emperor was to hand over 

Sardinia to the King of Sicily, and was to recognise the right of 

the House of Savoy to succeed to the crown of Spain in the event 

of the failure of the heirs of Philip V. France and Great Britain 

undertook to assist the Emperor to acquire Sicily ; and France and 

the Empire undertook to maintain the Protestant succession in 

Great Britain.^ 

' Of Great Britain, France, Holland, and the Empire. 

2 August, 1718. 

' Koch & SchoU, ' Hist, des Traites de Paix.' 

30 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1702. [1718. 

The arrangement was excessively displeasing to Bpain ; and no 
sooner had the House of Savoy transferred Sicily to the Emperor 
than Spain, whose policy was then controlled by Cardinal Alberoni, 
made preparations for attacking that island. Great Britain made 
corresponding preparations for enforcing the provisions of the 
still unsigned treaty, and, early in 1718, commissioned a large 
number of ships. The Spanish minister in London remonstrated. 
George I. rather bluntly replied that it was not his intention to 
conceal the object of his armaments, and that he purposed to send 
Sir George Byng to the Mediterranean with a powerful force " to 
maintain the neutrahty of Italy against those who should seek to 
disturb it." 

In March, 1718, Byng was accordingly appointed Commander-in- 
Chief in the Mediterranean ; and on May 24th he received his written 
instructions. They were not as explicit as might have been wished ; 
but they appear to have been explained and supplemented in the 
course of an interview which the Admiral, ere he left London, had 
with Lords Sunderland and Stanhope, and Mr. Secretary Craggs.^ 
He was, upon his arrival upon his station, to inform the King of 
Spain, the Viceroy of Naples, and the Governor of Milan, that he had 
been sent to sea to promote all measures that might best contribute 
to the arrangement of such differences as had arisen between the 
two crowns, and to the prevention of any further violation of the 
neutrality of Italy, which he was to see preserved. He was also 
to enjoin both parties to abstain from acts of hostility, so that 
negotiations for peace might be begun and concluded. But, should 
the Spaniards persist, after all, in attacking the Emperor's territory 
in Italy; or should they land in any part of Italy for that pm-pose; or 
should they endeavour to make themselves masters of Italy (which 
would be a step towards the invasion of the kingdom of Naples), 
Byng was, to the best of his power, to hinder and obstruct them. If, 
however, they were already landed, he was to try by amicable means 
to induce them to abandon their project, and was to offer to help 
them to withdraw their troops ; and, should all his friendly offices 
prove ineffectual, he was to defend the territories attacked, by 
keeping company with, or intercepting, Spanish ships and convoys, 
and, if necessary, by openly opposing them. 

Sir George Byng sailed from Spithead on June 15th, 1718, with 
twenty ships of the line, two fireships, two bomb vessels, a store- 
' iSee a letter from Craggs in Campbell, iv. 3-18. 


ship, a hospital-ship, and two tenders, and, passing Lisbon, sent the 
Rupert in thither for intelHgence. Being off Cadiz on June 30th, he 
despatched the Sivperbe with a letter to the British minister at 
Madrid, desiring him to inform the King of Spain of the presence 
of the British fleet, and of the instructions under which it was to 
act. The Spanish reply, returned after some delay, was curtly to 
the effect that Byng might execute his sovereign's orders. The 

[From T. llunhnikni^ fugyiivinij iiftcr tht portrait tni Sir G. Ki/ctlrr.i 

minister. Colonel Stanhope, continued, almost up to the very 
outbreak of hostilities, to endeavour to induce Spain to give way ; 
and in the meantime, foreseeing the probable futility of his efforts, 
he did his best to warn British merchants in the Spanish ports to 
take such measures as would protect their property against the 
results of any sudden rupture. 

Sir George, who had to contend with unfavourable winds, did 

32 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1702. [1718. 

not make Cape Spartel until July 8th. He was there rejoined by 
the Rupert and the Superhe, and learnt that Spain had been making 
great preparations for war, and that a considerable Spanish fleet had 
quitted Barcelona on June 18th for the eastward. Off Gibraltar, 
the Admiral was joined by a small division of ships under Vice- 
Admiral Charles Cornwall. The fleet subsequently watered at 
Malaga, and thence proceeded to Port Mahon, where it landed 
troops and took off the soldiers who had been in garrison there. 
It sailed again on July 25th, upon receipt of news that the Spanish 
fleet had been sighted on June 30th near Naples ; and on August 1st 
it anchored in the Bay of Naples. Sir George had previously taken 
care to apprise the imperial Viceroy, and the governor of Milan, of 
his arrival in the Mediterranean. 

The Spaniards had not been idle. They had landed the Marques 
de Lede in Sicily ; and, except the citadel of Messina, the whole 
island bad quickly fallen to him with little or no resistance. The 
citadel was held by Savoyards; and as Savoy, under the terms of the 
understanding, was presently to surrender Sicily to the Emperor, it 
could scarcely be expected that the fortress would hold out for long. 
In these circumstances, the imperial Viceroy of Naples hurriedly 
embarked two thousand German troops ' on board the British ships, 
and requested Sir George Byng to endeavour to throw them into 
Messina citadel, and the neighbouring Fort Salvatore. The fleet 
quitted Naples on August 6th, and on August 9th arrived off the 
Faro of Messina. 

The Spaniards were besieging the place which Byng desired to 
relieve ; but Sir George does not seem to have known how near their 
fleet was to him. Indeed, he had some reason to suppose that it 
was endeavouring to avoid him. Instead, therefore, of moving 
onwards to Messina and striking at once, he sent ashore the Captain 
of the Fleet, George Saunders, with a letter to the Marques de Lede, 
proposing a cessation for two months of the operations on shore, and 
adding that, unless a truce were agreed to, he would use aU his force 
" to prevent further attempts to disturb" the dominions w^hich his 
master stood engaged to defend. De Lede replied that he had no 
powers to treat, and that he intended to carry out his orders. Upon 
receiving this answer. Sir George weighed, with a view to place his 
fleet in front of Messina and to relieve the garrison of the citadel. 

' These troops, under General Wetzel, were, before the battle ofl' Cape Passaro, set 
ashore at Eeggio. 


The story of what followed is given in tlie foniial relations which 
will be presently printed. 

"The engagement which ensued can," says Mahaii, "scarcely be called a battle 
and, as is apt to happen in smli atTairs, wlien the parties are cm tlio verge of war, but 
war has not actually been declared, tliere is some doubt as to liow far tlie attack was 
morally justifiable on the part of the English. It seems pretty sure that Hyng was 
determined beforehand to seize or destroy the Spanish fleet, and that as a military man 
he was justified by his orders. The Spanish officers had not made up their minds to 
any line of conduct ; they were much inferior in numbers, and, as must always be the 
case, Alberoni's hastily revived navy liad not within the same period reached nearly 
the efficiency of his army. The English a[>pr()ached threateTungly near : one or more 
Sjianish ships opened fire: whereupon tlie Knglish, being to windward, stood down ami 
made an end of them. A few only escaped. . . ." 

The forces in face of one another were, aw Captain Mahan 
indicates, as unequal in numbers as in discipline. Over leaf is a 
comparative statement of them. Tlie ships of the British fleet are 
arranged according to Sir George Byng's order of battle, in which 
the Cauterhuvij was to lead with the starboard, and the Rochester 
with the larboard tacks on lioard. The exact order of the Spaniards 
cannot be determined. 

Sir George Byng, in liis despatches,' thus describes the events of 
August 10th, and the following days : — 

From on' iuiaiih Tin-; Barfleur, off of Syi!Aci;sa, 
Auyust 6th (O.S.). 

" Early in the morning, on the thirtieth of July,- as we were standing in for 
Messina, we saw two scouts of the Spanish fleet in the Faro, very near us ; and, at the 
same time, a felucca, coming oft' from the Calabrian shore, assured us they saw from 
tlie hills the Spanish fleet lying by. Upon which the Admiral stood through the Faro 
after the scouts, judging they would lead us to their fleet; which they did; for, before 
noon, we had a fair sight of all their ships as they were drawing into line-of-battle. 

" On our approach, they went from us large, but in their order of battle, their fleet 
consisting of sis and twenty men-of-war, great and small, two fii'eships, four bomb 
vessels, seven galleys, and several ships with stores and provisions. 

"The Admiral ordered the Kent, Superhe, (jraftun, and Or/o rd, he'mg the best 
sailers in the fleet, to make what sail they could to come up with the Spaniards ; and 
that the ships which could get headmost, and nearest to them, should carry the lights 
usually worn by the Admiral,' that he might not lose sight of them in the night ; 
while he made what sail he could, with the rest of the fleet, to keep up with them. It 
being little wind, the Spanisli galleys towed their heaviest sailers all night. 

"The thirty-first,* in the morning, as soon as it was day, they finding us pretty 
near up with their fleet, the galleys and smaller ships, with the fireships, bomb vessels. 

' Sent home by liis son, Pattee Byng. Oazette, No. C()73. 
■■' Le. August 10th, N.S. 

' An Admiral commanding in chief carried three lights on the poop and one lii;lit 
in the main-top. 

■* I.e. August 11th, N.S. 



MA.lOIt Ol-EIiATIONS, 1714-17G2. 


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1718.] JilWO'S DESPATCH. 35 

and storeslii]is, sepanited tVum llio iiiliiiiial iiiul bii;.^er slii]is, and slnnd in I'm' llic sliiire : 
after whom the Adininil sent C'aptain Walton, in tlie ('anlerlmri/, witli the Ar(/i/le and 
six ships niuie. As tliose ships were conung up with them, one of the Spaniards ' fired 
a broadside at the Argyle. 'J'he Admiral, seeing those ships engaged with tlie S]iaiush, 
which were making towards the shore, sent orders to Captain Walton to rendezvous, 
after the action, at Syracusa (where the Viceroy for the King of Sicily was, with a 
garrison). The like orders he despatched to the flags, and to as many ships as were 
within his reach, that place being defended against the Spaniards, and being the most 
proper port on that coast for the Heet to gather togetlier again. 

"We held on our chase after the Spanish admiral, witli three of his rear-admirals, 
and the biggest ships, which stayed by their flags till we came near them. The 
captains of the Kent, Superhe, Orafton, and Orford, having orders to make what sail 
they could to place themselves by the four headmost ships, were the first that came up 
with them. The Spaniards began, by firing their stern-chase[rs] at them : but they, 
having orders not to fire unless the Spanish ships repeated their firing, made no return 
at first. But, the Spaniards firing again, the Orford attacked the Santa Rosa, which, 
some time after, she took. The St. CTi«r/es - struck next without much opposition, 
and the Kent took possession of her. The Grafton attacked the Prince of Asturias, 
formerly called the Cumberland,^ in which was Rear- Admiral Chacon: but, the Breda 
and Captain, coming up, she left that ship for them to take, which they soon did ; and 
stretched ahead after another sixty-gun ship, which was on her starboard while she 
was engaging the Prince of Asturias, and ke]>t firing her stern-chase into the Grafton. 

"About one o'clock, the ^e«< and iS'tt^o'te engaged the Spanish admiral,* which, 
with two ships more, fired on them, and made a running fight imtil about three ; when 
the Kent, bearing down upon her, and under her stern, gave her a broadside and went 
away to leeward of her. Then the Supterbe put for it, and laid the Spanish Admiral on 
board, falling on lier weather quarter : but the Spanish admiral shifting her helm and 
avoiding her, the Swperhe ranged up under her lee quarter; on wliich she struck to her. 
At the same time, the Barfteur being within shot of the said Spanish adndral astern, 
inclining on her weather quarter, one of their rear-admirals,'' and another sixty-gun 
ship, which were to windward of the Barfleiir, bore down and gave her their broad- 
sides, and then clap'd upon a wind, standing in for the land. The Admiral, in the 
Barfleiir, stood after them till it was almost night. But, it being little wind, and they 
galing from her out of reach, he left pursuing them, and stood away to the fleet again ; 
which he joined two hours after night. Tlie Essfx took the Jutio ; the Montarju and 
Rupert took the Volante. Vice-Admiral Cornwall followed the Grafton to support 
her; but, it being very little wind and the night coming on, the Spaniard galed away 
from the Grafton. 

" Rear- Adndral Delavall, with tlie Royal OaA-, chased two ships that went away 
more leewardly than the rest, (one of them said to be Rear-Admiral Cammock'') but 
we, not having seen them since, know not the success. The ship whicli suffered most, 
with us, was the Grafton, the captain of which, though he had not tlie fortune to take 

' The San. Isidoro, 46. '' San Carlos. 

^ The Cnmherland, 80, Captain Richard Edwards (a), had been taken by the French 
in 1707. See Vol. II. p. 513. In Spanish hands she carried a lighter armament than 
she had been built for. 

* Real San Felipe. ^ Apjiarently the San Luis. 

* George Cammock had been a post-captain in the Royal Navy until 1714, and had 
repeatedly distinguished himself. Owiug to his Jacobite leanings, he had been 
dismissed the service, and had entered that of Spain. The Pretender afterwards 
appointed him Admiral of the White. He is said to have died in banishment at 
Ceuta. Chariiock, iii. 221. 

D 2 

36 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1718. 

;iiiy particvilnr ship, yet was engaged witli several, behavc<l liiinself very iiiucli like an 
ollicer and a seaman, and bid fair for stopping the way of those four ships that he 
pursued; who escaped, not through his fault, but failure of wind ; and liis own sails 
and rigging were much shattered." 


"Fhom on jiOARi) TJii: IIiii-JIkut, at ska, 
Amjust Ith (O.H.). 

"Just now is returned one of the eight ships which the Admiral sent with Captain 
Walton to pursue those of Spain that went in with the shore, with a letter ' from that 
Captain, dated the fifth instant, giving an account that he, witli the said ships, had 
taken one Spanisli rear-admiral of sixty guns, one man-of-war of four and fifty, one of 
forty,- which gave the Argyle the first broadside, one of four and twenty, one ship 
laden with arms, and one bomb-vessel ; and had liurut one man-of-w'ar ai four and 
fifty guns, two of forty each, one of thirty, one fireship, one bomb-vessel, and one 
settee.' At the writing of this letter. Captain Walton was making into Syracusa. 
The ship which brought this letter saw Rear- Admiral Delavall last night ; who liad 
taken the Isahela, a ship of sixty guns, with which he was standing in likewise for 
Syracusa ; to which place we are now going ;- and hope to get in there this night. 

" When the Admiral lias joined the ships absent from the fleet, and which we 
judge are now in Syracusa with their prizes, he designs to send Vice-Adniiral 
Cornwall, in the Argyle, with seven or eight ships more, to carrj' the ships taken to 
Port Mahon, to be secured there till his Majesty's pleasure be known. He will also 
put ashore, in Sicily, the Sjianish admirals and commanding officers, with as many of 
the common prisoners as will not be necessary to help navigate the ships taken." 

What may be regarded as an official Spanish narrative of the 
battle, and of the circumstances which led up to it, was compiled by 
the Marques de Beretti-Landi, and published at the Hague. It is 
interesting, as well as fair, to append the following translation of 
part of it : — 

"On August 'Jth, in the morning, the English Meet was discovered oil" the tower of 
Fai'o. Towards night it lay by, ofl' Cape della Metelle, opposite the tower in question. 
The Spanish fleet was at the time in the Strait, but was without the detachment 
commanded by Rear- Admiral Don B. de Guevara, and some shijjs and frigates which 
had been sent to other places. As the intention of the English Admiral in thus 
approaching was unknown, the Spanish Admiral determined to quit the Strait, and to 

' The letter liere alluded to is the famous one which, erroneously, has so often been 
cited as a model of modest brevity and sailor-like conciseness. As given by Campbell, 
it runs: "Sir, we have taken and destroyed all the Sjmnish ships and vessels which 
were upon the coast, the number as jjer margin. I am, etc., G. Waltok." Even 
Mahan, following Campbell and Charnock, accepts this docked version of the letter as 
genuine, and comments upon its shortness ; yet, as a matter of fact, the real letter is 
one of some little length, and the above quotation forms only the first paragraph of it. 
Walton's blunt brevity is as mytliical as certain well-known stories which are 
associated with FiJiitenoy and Waterloo. 

" The San Jsidoro, 46. 

^ Some of the vessels here said to have been burnt by Walton were undoubtedly in 
reality fired by Mari to save them from capture. It comes, however, almost to the 
same thing. 

1718.J THE al'ANJSH HTOUY. 37 

collect his forces ott' Cape Spartivuntu, taking with him his vessels laden with stores, 
his object being the better to prepare against the designs of the English, seeing that an 
utTicer who had been sent by Sir George Byng to the Marques de Lede had not 
returned. This officer had had orders to suggest to the Marques a suspension of 
hostilities for two months; but tlie Marques had replied that he could do nothing 
without directions from his Court. And although it was believed that a courier had 
been despatched with the suggestion to Madrid, the Spaniards were unwilling to risk a 
surprise from the English fleet, and a, resort to such tactics as might be prompted by 

" On the morning of the 10th, the Kuglish fleet advanced furtljer into the Faro, and 
was saluted by all the Spanish ships and vessels lying there. It is to be here noted 
that although Admiral Byng had convoyed to Reggie some transjiorts having on board 
troops ' of the Archduke, the officer who had been sent to the Marques de Lede 
declared that this was not for hostile purposes, but merel}' to secure from any insults 
the transports which were under his protection. 

"The Spanish fleet sent out two light frigates to reconnoitre the English fleet ; and 
although these perceived that the English, whose designs were not understood, made 
all possible sail to close with the Spaniards, whose Admiral was ignorant whether tlie 
English came as friends or as enemies, yet the Spaniards, who were two leagues from 
the strangers, decided to withdraw towards Cape Passaro under easy sail, in order that 
there might be no pretence that they anticipated hostilities. Soon afterwards a calm 
supervened, and thus the ships of both fleets fell among one another ; whereupon the 
Spanish Admiral, witnessing the danger, caused his ships of the line to be towed avN'ay 
from the English with a view to collecting them in one body. Yet he did not permit 
the galleys to commit any unfriendly act, such as they nught have committed with 
advantage while it remained calm. When the Marques de Marl was near the land and 
was separated from his consorts in the rear and from the frigates and transports of his 
division, the weather changed, so that he strove in vain to regain the main body of the 
Spanish fleet. But the English, with dissimulation, held on their way, trimming their 
sails so as to secure the wind, and to cut ofl" the Marques de Marl's division. When 
they had at length succeeded in this, they attacked him with six ships, forcing him to 
separate from the rest of the fleet and to retire towards the shore. As long as it was 
jiossible, the Marques defended himself against seven ships of the line, and, when he 
was no longer able to resist, he saved his people by running his vessels aground. 
Some of them were burnt under his own direction : others were taken by the enemy. 

" The rest of the English fleet, consisting of seventeen sail of the line, fell upon the 
Real San Feli^ie, Principe de Asturias, San Fernando, San, Carlos, Santa Isahehi, 
and San Pedro, and the tVigates Santa Bosa, Perla, Juno, and Volante, which 
continued to make for Cape Passaro; and as, owing to their inferiority of force, they 
drew off in line, the English attacked their rearmost ship with four or five vessels, and 
cut her off. They did the same in succession with other ships, which, in spite of the 
fact that they made all the sail they could, were unable to avoid being captured- 
Thus, every Spanish vessel being separately fought by five, six, or seven of the enemy, 
the English finally subdued the Peal San Felipe,^ Principe de Asturias, San Carlos, 
Santa hahela, Santa Rosa, Volante, and Juno, though each offered a bloody and 
determined resistance. 

" While the Real San Felijie was engaged with the English, Rear- Admiral Don 
Balthazar de Guevara returned from Malta with two ships of the line, and, heading for 
the Peal San Felipe, passed tlie English ships which were then alongside her, firing 
upon each. He then attacked such of Admiral B_vng's vessels as followed the Peal 

' Under General Wetzel. 

'^ Admiral Castaileta subsequently died of his wounds at Port Mahon. 

38 MAJOIt OI'F.HATIONS, 1714-1702. [1718. 

Sun Felipe. Tliese, being very iiiiicli damaged, drew off in ilie night, and, after the 
action, remained fifty leagues at sea for three or four day.s not only to repair the 
Spanish shijis which they h.«l ca])tured, and which were most severely mauled, but 
also to make good their own damages. Admiral Byng, therefore, eould not enter 
Syracuse until August Ulth or ITth, mid then oidy with much ilifficult}'." ' 

After giving some account of the services of individual ships and 
captains, the account continues : — 

" Such is the story of the action ofl' Abola, or the Gulf of I'Ariga, in tlie Malta 
Channel, between the Spanish and English fleets. The English ships, thanks to ill 
faith and superior strength, were able to beat the Spanish vessels singly, one by one : 
but it may be conceived, judging from the defence made by the latter, that, had they 
acted in unison, the battle might have ended more advantageously for them. 

" Immediately jfter the action, a captain of the English fleet, on behalf of Admiral 
Byng, arrived to make a complimentary excuse to the Marques de Lede, and to assure 
him that the Spaniards had been the aggressors, and that the battle ought not to be 
considered to constitute a rupture, siting that the English did not take it as doing so. 
But it was replied that Spain, ou the contrary, must hold it to constitute a formal 
rupture ; and that the Sjianiards would do the English all possible damage and ill, by 
ordering the commencement of reprisals. In pursuance of this, several Spanish 
vessels, and Don Guevara's division, have already seized certain EnglLsh ships." * 

" It is difficult," comments Mahan, " to understand the importance attached by some 
writers to Byng's action at this time in attacking without regard to the line-of-battle. 
He had before him a disorderly force, much inferior both in numbers and discipline. 
His merit seems to lie rather in the readiness to assume a responsibility from which a 
more scrupulous man might have shrunk ; but in this, and throughout the campaign, 
he rendered good service to England, whose sea power was again strengthened by the 
destruction not of an actual but a possible rival : and his services were rewarded hy a 
peerage." ■' 

It will be well to conclude the history of the major operations of 
the Spanish War ere turning to the work done in the meantime by 
British fleets in the Baltic, where a state of unrest continued for 
several years. 

Sir George Byng, after having taken measures to enable the 
imperial troops to attack the Spaniards in Sicily, and to gradually 
make themselves masters of the island, proceeded to Malta, and 
brought away some Sicilian galleys, which, under the Marchese de 
Kivarole, had been blockaded there by Eear-Admiral Camniock. He 
returned to Naples on November ^nd. In the interval, Eear-Admiral 
Guevara, as related in the narrative of the Marques de Beretti- 
Landi, entered Cadiz, and seized all the English ships there, while 

' Tiiere are, of course, discrepancies between the Spanish and the British accounts 
as here given ; but, upon the whole, tlie two agree unusually well. 

^ For the translation, I am indebted U< Dr. Henry Lopes. 

' Not, however, until September Oth, 1721, when he was made Baron Byng of 
Southill, and Yiscovmt Torrington. 




British merchants and their effects were laid hands upon in Malaga 
and other ports of Spain. Reprisals followed immediately, yet war 
was not formally declared until December 17th, 1718. 

Spain, though weak, was exasperated and obdurate, and was 
even more unwilling than at first to accept the terms dictated to her 
by the Quadruple Alliance. She therefore collected a considerable 
armament at Cadiz and Corunna, and boldly projected an invasion of 
the west of England by troops to be led by James Butler, the 
attainted Duke of Ormonde. A fleet, under Admiral of the Fleet 
James, Earl of Berkeley,^ and Admiral Sir John Norris, was fitted 
out, and cruised in the Channel in April ; and troops were con- 
centrated, especially in the west country and in Ireland ; but, long 

[Frotil an iiriijiiml kindhi lent hij II.S.H. Captain Primr Loilh of Batteiibciy, S-^'-) 

ere these preparations had been completed, the Spanish expedition 
had been dispersed by a violent and long-continued storm, and the 
scheme had been rendered abortive. Three frigates and five trans- 
ports, however, conveying, among others, the Earls of Marischal and 
Seaforth, and the Marquis of TuUibardine, persisted in their design, 
and, pushing on to the coast of Ross-shire, there landed about four 
hundred men. These were joined by fifteen or sixteen hundred 
Jacobite Scots ; but they had no success. Their depot at Donan 
Castle was taken and destroyed by the Worcester, Enterprise, and 
Flaniboruitf/Ji, and they themselves were soon afterwards defeated 

' So appoiuteil on Mai-fh 21st, ITIU. He was then also Vice-Adrairal of Great 
Britain and First Lord of the Admiralty, and he hoisted his flag witli no fewer than 
three captains under him, viz.. Vice- Admiral James Littleton (1st) ; Captain Francis 
Hosier (2nd, or Captain of the Fleet) ; and the captain of tlie llag<hip. 

40 MAJOR Ol'KJlATJONS, 1TH-17(;2. [171'J. 

iit Gleiisliiel, wliercupoii tlu; Spanish auxiliaries surrendered at 

Sir Geoi-ge Byng sailed IVoiu Port Mahon for Naples early 
in tlu! spring ol' J71'.), and, thenceforward, co-operated with the 
Imperialists in the complete reduction of Sicily. In August, when 
that reduction was nearly accomphshed, a dispute arose between the 
Admiral and the allies as to the disposal of the Spanish ships that 
still lay in the ports of the island. As a settlement of the question, 
so far as it concerned the ships at Messina, Sir George proposed to 
General Count de Merci, the Imperiahst commander, that a batteiy 
should be erected, and that the vessels should he destroyed at their 
anchors. De Merci pleaded lack of orders ; but Byng, insisting that 
no commander needed specific instructions to destroy the property 
of an enemy, gained his point, in spite of the opposition of the 
Savoyards ; and most of the ships were duly bombarded and burnt 
or sunk. The citadel of Messina, and the remaining vessels, were 
handed over to the Imperialists by capitulation on October 7th, 1719. 
The Spanish troops in the island were not permitted to evacuate it, 
and were kept, by the fleet on the one hand, and by the Imperiahsts 
on the other, in much discomfort ; and this fact, combined witli 
the persuasive force of an expedition which was fitted out against 
Vigo under Vice-Admiral Mighells and Viscount Cobham, and which 
will be described in the next chapter, at length induced the King of 
Spain to agree with the Quadruple Alliance. A cessation of arms 
resulted in February, 1720 ; and, soon afterwards, both Sicily and 
Sardinia were evacuated under the terms of a convention, the former 
going to the Empire, and the latter to Savoy.' Thus the objects for 
which Great Britain had entered into the war were attained. The 
wisdom of British interference is a matter which it is unnecessary 
here to discuss. 

The difficulties with Sweden, suspended for the moment in 1717, 
again became acute in 1718, and led to the dispatch of Admiral Sir 
John Norris once more to the Baltic. He sailed from the mouth of 
the Thames on April '28th, and from Solebay on May 1st, with a 
squadron composed of ten sail of the line,' a bomb ketch, and a 

' Authorities for tlie War of tlie Quadruiile Alliance : ' Accouut of the Esped. of 
the Brit. Fleet to Sicil}' ' ; ' Annals of K. George IV.' ; ' Historical Register ' ; ' C'ori)S 
Univ. Diplomatique,' viii. pt. I. ; Chandler's ' Dehates,' v. and vi. ; ' Merc. Hist, et Pol.' 
xliv. and xlv. ; ' Mem. pour servir a I'Hist. de I'Espagne,' iii. ; Letters of Earl 
Stanhope, Alberoni, Beretti-Landi, etc. ; London Gazette. 

^ CuinherJand, 80, (flag). Captain William Faulknor; Ijurliiujham, 70, Captain 


fireship, with Eear-Adiiiii'al James Migliells as second iu couiuiaiul, 
and with a nniuber of merchantmen in convoy. Upon his arrival off 
Copenhagen, he was joined by a Danisli K(|iiadi'(iii, with whicli lie 
cruised to the northward; but as the Swedes, upon his approach, 
shut themselves up iu their ports, no naval action resulted. Sweden 
was, however, by no lueans intimidated by the action of the Allies. 
She made peace with the Tsar ; and, having thus freed herself from 
anxiety in one direction, turned with renewed energy to prosecute 
the land war with Denmark, whose territories she invaded with 
two considerable armies. In this campaign, although it was upon 
the whole successful, Sweden suffered the loss of her brave but 
quixotic king. Charles XII. was killed by a cannon ball at 
the siege of Frederikshald on December 11th, 1718. Sir John 
Norris, with the fleet, had returned to England in the month of 

After the death of Charles XII. and the accession of Queen 
Ulrica Eleanora '■ the policy of Sweden changed. She entered upon 
very friendly relations with Great Britain, and, on the other hand, 
was attacked by her late ally and Great Britain's old friend, Peter 
the Great. The Russians ravaged the Swedish coasts until, a fresh 
British fleet having been entrusted to the command of Sir John 
Norris in June, and having joined the Swedish fleet in September, 
1719, the enemy was obliged to take refuge in the harbour of Keval. 
A little later, the old quarrel between Sweden and Denmark was 
settled by British mediation : - but when Norris, in order to avoid 
being frozen up there, left the Baltic in November, Sweden and 
Russia remained unreconciled, in spite of the efforts which had been 
made by Lord Carteret — afterwards Earl Granville — the British 
minister at Stockholm, to pacify them. 

In 17'20 Russia's attitude continued as before, and Sir John 
Norris went back to the Baltic to protect Sweden during the open 
weather. He sailed on April l(5th ; was joined in May by a Swedish 
squadron under Admiral Baron Wachtmeister ; and, after cruising off 

Tudor Trevor ; Hampton Cuurt, 70, Captain Robert Coleman ; Prince Frederick, 70, 
Captain Covill Mayne; Salisbury, 50, Captain John Cockburne (1); Defiance, 60, 
Captain Joseph Soanes ; Winchenter, 50, Captain James Campbell (1) ; Guernsey, 50, 
Captain Charles Hardy (1) ; and Windsor, 60, Captain Francis Piercy. These were 
afterwards joined by a few other vessels. 

Whose fousort, Friedricli of Hessen-Cassel, was presently chosen king, to the 
great annoyance of Russia. 

'■^ Thougli the formal treaty of peace was not signed until tlie summer of 1720. 

42 M A.I on (tPEUATIOSS, ITM-lTfJli. [1725. 

lieval, returned to England in November/ In 1721, Sir Jolui was 
employed in the same way, his mission being, however, not only to 
protect Sweden, but also to lend moral support to the mediatory 
efforts of the British minister at Stockholm. He sailed from the 
Xore on April 13th with a fleet of twenty-one ships of the line, two 
fireships, three bombs, and two tenders, and with Eear-Admiral 
Francis Hosier (W.), and Eear-Admiral Edward Hopsonn (B.), in 
command under him. His appearance in the Baltic undoubtedly 
favoured the conclusion of peace between the belligerents : and on 
September 10th hostilities between Sweden and Russia wei"e 
formally terminated by the Treaty of Nystadt. Sir John dropped 
anchor at the Nore on October 20th. During these various ex- 
peditions to the north he seldom had occasion to fire a gun in anger, 
and his proceedings were throughout of an uneventful and un- 
exciting character ; yet, thanks to his tact, patience, and diplomatic 
ability, and to the recognised strength and efficiency of the forces 
under him, he was able to exercise a very weighty influence upon 
the councils of the northern powers, and to peaceably biing about 
results which a less capable officer might have failed to secui'e even 
by fighting for them. 

From 1721 onwards, for four or five years, the Xavy had no 
great tasks assigned to it ; but the Treaty of Vienna, concluded on 
April 20th, 1725, between Spain and Austria, introduced new 
sources of trouble to Europe. By a secret article of that treat}', 
marriages between the houses of Spain and Austria were arranged, 
and both countries pledged themselves to assist the restoration of 
the Stuarts, and to compel, if necessary by force, the retrocession of 
Gibraltar and Minorca to Spain. To oppose these schemes. Great 
Britain, France, and Prussia entered, on September 3rd, 1725, into 
the Treaty of Hannover ; whereupon, Spain began to intrigue with 
Russia ; and, as the Empress Catherine, the successor of Peter the 
Great, was by no means amicably disposed towards Great Britain 
and her allies, it became advisable, in 1726, not only to send a fleet 
to the coast of Spain, but also to dispatch once more a strong force 
to the Baltic. In addition to these fleets a squadron was got ready 
for the West Indies. 

The fleet destined to check the immediate designs of Spain was 
entnisted to Admiral Sir John Jennings (W.), who was afterwards 

' In a storm in the North Sea, the Monck, 50, Captain the Hon. George Clinton, 
was driven ashore near Golston on Nov. 24th, and lost ; but all her people were saved. 

1726.] WAGL'/i TO rilE JiALTIC. 43 

joined by Keai--Admiiiil Edward Hopsonii (K.)- ^ir John, with 
nine ships of the hne, sailed from St. Helen's on Jnly 'JOtli. T\u: 
appearance of the British so nmch disquieted tlu; S2)aiiiards that, for 
the moment, they abandoned their hostile projects : and in October, 
Jennings was able to return to England, leaving Hopsonn, with a 
reduced squadron, as commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean. 

The Baltic fleet, under Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Wager (R.) and 
Eear-Admiral Sir George Walton (B.), consisted of twenty ships of 
the line, a twenty-gun ship, two fireships, and a hospital ship. It 
quitted the Nore on April 17th, and, proceeding to Copenhagen and 
Stockholm, obtiiined the co-operation of Denmark and the friendly 
support of Sweden. A Danish squadron, under Kear-Admiral Bille, 
joined Sir Charles in May, and, with him, proceeded to the Gulf of 
Finland. The Russians had, in and about Cronstadt, a considerable 
force under the General-Admiral Apraxine, Vice-Admiral Thomas 
Gordon,' and a rear-admiral said to have been an Englishman : " 
but, although they were much inclined to issue forth and defy the 
alhes, Gordon succeeded in dissuading them from this suicidal 
course ; and eventually the ships were laid up. Wager displayed 
throughout great tact and diplomatic ability. In the autumn he, 
like Jennings, returned to England, anchoring off the Guufleet on 
November 1st. 

Vice-Admiral Francis Hosier ■' (B.) was given command of the 
squadron for the West Indies. He sailed from Plymouth on 
April 9th with seven men-of-war, and, after a tedious passage, 
arrived off the Bastimentos, near Puerto Bello, on June 6th. He 
was then or thereafter joined by several vessels which were already 
on the station, and by others from home. These brought u]i liis 
total force to a strength of sixteen ships.'' 

' Tliuiiias Gordon, a captain of 1705, severed his connection with the Britisli Navy 
at the death of Queen Anne, and entered that of Russia, in which he was at once given 
flag-ranl<. Other Jacobite naval officers, notably the gallant Kenneth, Lord Duflus, 
took the same service at aliout tlie ■••anie time. 

^ Some authorities specify him as Rcar-Adnaral Saunders, an ex-Master and 
Commander in the British Navy. 

' Francis Hosier. Commander, 1694. Captain, IGSXi. nistinguished himself as 
captain of the Salisbury, 1707-171.3. Rear-Admiral, 1720. Second in command in 
the Baltic. Vice-Admiral, 1723. Died Commander-in-Chief in the West Indies, 
August 23rd, 1727. 

■* Fu., three third-rates, tlie Bmiii, JSerwick, and I.ema: ; eight fnurth-ratcs, the 
liipov, Leopard, Sitperhe, Nottiiuiliam, Diuikirk, Dragon, Tiijcr, and Portland ; one 
fifth-rate, the Diamuud ; and three sixth-rates, the Greyhouvd, Winchehea, and 

44 MA.JOll OPEllATIOI^S, 17M-17G2. [iTliT. 

The appearance ol' the British fleet in the West Indies gave great 
uneasiness to the Spaniards ; and, as soon as it was reported, the 
treasure-ships, which were then ready to make their voyage to 
Europe, were unloaded, and their cargo of pieces of eight and other 
valuables was placed on shore in security, part at Havana and part 
elsewhere. The men-of-war which were to have convoyed the 
treasure-ships were, moreover, laid up at Puerto Bello ; and it was 
determined that, so long as a powerful British force remained in the 
neighbourhood, no attempt should be made to dispatch the annual 
flota to Spain ; although, of course, the non-arrival of the usual 
supplies would inevitably put the mother country to immense 

The governor of Puerto Bello sent a civil message to the Vice- 
Admiral desiring to know the reason for the unexpected visit. The 
real reason was that the galleons might be watched : but as there 
lay in Puerto Bello at the time a South Sea Company's ship, the 
Royal George, and as this vessel would probably have been detained 
if Hosier had at once proclaimed the nature of his mission, the reply 
returned was to the effect that the fleet had come to convoy the 
lioijal George. The governor thereupon took measures to faciUtate 
the early departure of that ship ; and, when she had joined the fleet, 
he politely requested the Vice-Admiral, seeing that the ostensible 
reason for the presence of the force had ceased to exist, to withdraw 
from off the port. But Hosier then answered that, pending the 
receipt of further orders, he purposed to remain where he was ; and, 
that his intentions might no longer be in doubt, he stationed a ship 
of the line within gun-shot of the castle, and suffered no vessel to 
enter or leave the port wdthout being strictly examined. He 
maintained this blockade for six months, his ships in the mean- 
while becoming daily more and more distressed by the ravages of 
epidemic and other diseases ; and when, on December 14th, 1726, he 
proceeded to Jamaica, his command was so completely enfeebled 
that he had the greatest difficulty in navigating it into harbour. 

The Vice-Admiral refreshed his people and, to the best of his 
ability, made up his weakened complements to their full strength ; 
and in February, 1727, he stood over to Cartagena, where some 
galleons then lay. Until August he cruised upon his station ; but 
his instructions were of a nature which prevented him from being 
of much use to his country. They authorised him to make reprisals 
siibject to certain restrictions, but not to make war ; and although 


the Spaniards, after a time, began to seize the property of British 
merchants and to detain and condemn British vessels. Hosier was 
obUged to content himself with demanding a restitution which the 
Spaniards refused, and which he was unable to compel. During 
that period disease was even more rife throughout the fleet than it 
had been in the previous year ; and, after thousands of officers and 
men had perished miserably, the misfortunes of the expeditimi 
culminated on August 23rd, when Hosier himself died.' 

His death has been attributed to anxiety and chagrin, but it 
was, in fact, caused by fever. Nor is it astonishing that the fleet 
was then little better than a floating charnel-house. Tlie most 
elementary prescriptions of sanitary science seem to have been 
neglected, and there is perhaps no better illustration of the extra- 
ordinary indifl'erence to the simplest laws of health than the fact 
that in that hot and pestilent climate the Vice-Admiral's body was 
given a temporary burial-place in the ballast of his flagship, the 
Breda, where it remained, a necessary source of danger to all on 
board, until it was despatched to England, late in the year, on board 
H.M. snow Happy, Commander Henry Fowkes. Hosier's death left 
Captain Edward St. Loe,^ of the Siipcrbf. (iO, as senior officer on the 

St. Loe pursued the same policy as Hosier had followed, and pre- 
vented the sailing of the galleons, until he was superseded by Vice- 
Admiral Edward Hopsonn, who arrived at Jamaica on January '29th, 
1728. Hopsonn died of fever on board his flagship the Leopard, 50, 
on May 8th, leaving St. Loe once more senior officer. But by that 
time the difficulties with Spain were in a fair way of adjustment. 
It was still, however, necessary to keep a large force in the West 
Indies ; and ere it was materially reduced, St. Loe also fell a 
sacrifice to the climate and to the insanitary condition of the ships. 
He died on April 22nd, 1729.^ 

It is doubtful whether any other British fleet has ever suffered 
from disease so severely as that of Hosier suffered in 1726-27. Its 
horrible experiences made a deep and lasting impression upon the 
nation,^ and it may be hoped that they have had the effect of 

^ Hosier had been promoted on August 11th to be Vice-Admiral of the White. At 
tlie time of his death, a commission empowering the Governor of Jamaica to knight 
him is said to have been on its way out. Charnock, iii. 139. 

^ St. Loe fiew a broad pennant. 

^ Having been promoted on March 4th, 17'iii, to be Rear-Admiral uf the Blue. 

' See, for exanqile, Glover's popular ballad, 'Admiral Hosier's Ghost.' 

46 MAJOl! OI'EIIATIONS, J 7 14-1 7(52. [1727. 

iiupresHiiig upon all later British admirals the supreiue importance 
of taking systematic and rif^orous measures for preserving the health 
of their men. During the two years immediately following Hosier's 
first arrival off the Bastimentos, the fleet, the nominal complement 
of which never, roughly speaking, exceeded 4750 persons,' lost, in 
addition to two flag officers and seven or eight captains, about fifty 
lieutenants, and four thousand suljordinate officers and men, by 
various forms of sickness. 

The attitude of Great Britain 'with regard to the galleons pro- 
voked Spain to make great preparations for a siege of Gibraltar ; 
and as that fortress was neither thoroughly armed nor properly 
held, corresponding measures had to be taken for its protection. 
A squadron of six men-of-war and two sloops - was fitted out at 
Portsmouth towards the end of 1726 ; seventeen companies of 
troops and large quantities of provisions and ammunition were 
embarked ; and on December 24th Vice-Admiral Sir Charles 
Wager (E.) hoisted his flag in the Kent, 70, and took command. 
He sailed on January 19th, 1727, and on February 2nd, having 
picked up the Stirling Castle, 70, on his way out, arrived in 
Gibraltar Bay, where he found Eear-Admiral Edward Hopsonn (E.), 
who had remained upon the station during the winter.^ As the 
Spaniards, fifteen thousand strong, were seen to be working hard, 
troops, guns, and stores were landed ; but no actual hostilities took 
place until after February 10th, when the enemy began a new 
battery within half gunshot of some of the defences of the place. 
Colonel Jasper Clayton, the Lieutenant-Governor, made a spirited 
remonstrance ; but the Conde de las Torres, the Spanish commander- 
in-chief, returned an unsatisfactory and truculent answer; where- 
upon fire was opened from the Mole Head, and from Prince's 

' Uiu-iug much of the time the total complement was not more than 3.300 officers 
and men. If there had not heen at Jamaica ]ileniy of men whose ships happened 
to he laid up there owing to the difficult)- with Spain, the deficiencies could not 
have heen made good, and the fleet must literally have become an array of immobile 
and impotent hulks. 

'' Kent, 70, Lenox, 70, Berwick, 70, Royal Oak, 70, Portland, 50, Tiger, 50, 
Hawk, 6, and Cruiser, 6. The Torhaij, 80, and Poole, fireship, 8, followed on 
March Otli. 

^ Hopsonn had with him the Burford, 70, York, GO, Winchester, 50, Culchester, 50, 
Swallow, 60, Dursley Gallei/, 20, and Thunder, bomb, 4. A few days later the 
Solfhny, bomb, 6, which had been ciuising, joiued. The Berwick and Lenox were 
detached to the West Indies on February 13th, and the Portland and Tif/er on 
April 21st. On the other hand, several fresh vessels arrived from England and 
elsewhere at various times. 

ITl'T.] iilEOK OF <lll!l!Al/rAR. 47 

and Willis"« batteries; and 8ir Charles Wa<,'er, on tin; evening,' oT 
the 11th, sent the Tiger, 50, Durslei/ Gallci/, 20, and So/r/xn/, 
bomb, 6, to throw a flanking fire ujion llic Spanisli lines IVoni 
the eastward. 

From that day the Spaniards prosecuted th(! siege in earnest ; 
but as they had nothing larger than boats and small settees afloat 
in the Bay, they accomplished very little. Sir Charles, while 
always leaving a few vessels to enfilade the Spanish attack, fre- 
quently cruised in the Strait and oft' Cadiz ; and on those occasions 
his vessels made prizes of several merchairtmen . On March 11th, 
moreover, the lioijal Oak, 70, being detached, took the new Spanish 
man-of-war, Nuestra Sefiora del Bosario, 46, which was on her way 
from Santander to Cadiz ; and, in the meantime, the small craft 
employed by the enemy within the Bay were from time to time 
nearly all seized. So mattei^s went on, until, on June 16th, Sir 
Charles Wager, having heard that the preliminaries of peace had 
been agreed to, ordered a cessation of hostilities.' 

"But," says Smollett, '•when the siege was on the [Kiiiit ni lieino- entirely raised, 
and the preliminaries ratified in form, Spain started new difficulties and urged new 
pretensions. The Spaniards insisted that a temporary suspension of arms did not 
imply an actual raising of the siege of Gibraltar. . . . Upon this, hostilities began 
between the ships of the two nations ; and Sir Charles Wager continued to cruise on 
the coasts of Spain, after the cessaiion of arms at Gibraltar. . . . However, after many 
cavils and delays, the preliminary articles were at last signed at Madrid on Febrviary 
24th,- above eight months after the death of King George the First, by the ministers 
of the Emperor, England, Spain, France, and the States ; which opened the way to 
the Congress." '' 

Sir Charles Wager, with part of his fleet, reached Spithead on 
April 9th, on his return from the Mediterranean. During his 
absence there, Admiral Sir John Norris (B.), Eear- Admiral Salmon 
Morrice (W.), and Kear-Admiral Eobert Hughes (1) (B.), with twelve 
ships of the line and several smaller ones, made another demonstra- 
tion in the Baltic, in order to induce the Empress of Bussia to 
refrain from attacking Sweden. The fleet reached Copenhagen 
on May l'2th, 1727, and its appearance in northern waters created 
so powerful an impression that Russia, in spite of the fact that 
she had already threatened Sweden in definite terms, laid up her 
ships and abandoned her designs. Sir John returned without having 
had occasion to fire a shot. 

' Sir Charles utilised the leisure which this cessation gave him by proceeding to 
Tangier, and renewing the peace with MaroccO. 

'' 1728. ^ Begun at Soissons on June 1st, 1728. 

48 MA.IOll Ol'EHATIONfi, 17U-17C2. [1720. 

The death of George I., which had occurred at Osnabriick on 
June 11th, 17'27, made no difference to the foreign policy of Great 
Britain. George II., in his first message to Parhament, while 
expressing a hope that peace would be re-established as a result 
of the deliberations then in progress, pointed out that it was still 
necessary to continue the preparations for war. Eleven ships had 
already been commissioned in January ; and, as the sincerity of 
Spain remained in some doubt, fifteen more were commissioned in 
June, 1728. When Parliament re-assembled in January, 1729, the 
Congress at Soissons had failed to devise tenns of peace that were 
satisfactory to all the numerous parties concerned, and the Spaniards 
in the West Indies were more troublesome than ever to British 
trade. But the manifest determination of the King to stand by 
his allies ; his plainly-expressed intention to preserve his " undoubted 
right to Gibraltar and the island of Minorca" ; ^ his assurance that 
he would secure satisfaction for Spanish depredations in the West 
Indies ; and his orders, issued on May 25th, for the commissioning 
of twenty sail of the line and five frigates,- were not without 
effect ; the result being that, by the Treaty of Seville, concluded 
on November 9th, 1729, Great Britain, Spain, and France, who 
wei'e subsequently joined by Holland, became defensively allied. 
Gibraltar was not mentioned in the treaty ; and the fact that 
it was not mentioned was regarded as a tacit renunciation of the 
claim of Spain to the Kock ; but, in some other respects, the 
settlement was disadvantageous to Great Britain,^ and, upon 
the whole, it was beneficial rather to France than to any other 

During the peace which followed, Admiral Sir Charles Wager,'' 
in 1731, assisted the Marques de Mari in convoying a large body of 
Spanish troops to Leghorn, in order to place Don Carlos de Bourbon 
in possession of Parma and Piacenza, to which, under the terms of 
the treaty, the Prince had become entitled by the death of the 
Duke of Parma. Yet, notwithstanding this friendly co-operation 
between Great Britain and Spain in Europe, the relations between 

' Answer of the Iviiig tu the Coramuiis, March 25th, 172!J. 

^ These were presently joined at Spithead by fourteen Dutch ships under Vice- 
Adnural van Soramelsdijck. 

^ Tt did not, fur example, secure satisfaction for the Spanish depredations in tlie 
West Indies. 

* He had his flag in the Naraur, 'JO. Hear- Admiral Sir John Balchen. Kt. (W.), 
in the Norfulk, 80, was second in command. 


run ruGA l a tininTEi). 


the representatives of the two countries in the New World became 
ever more and more strained. And even in Eiu'ope very menacing 
clouds arose when, in 17315, the death of Augustus II., Elector of 
Saxony and King of Poland, brought about a hostile combination 
of France, Spain, and Sardinia against tlie Empire. Great Britain, 
as a necessary measure of precaution, connnissioned no fewer than 


(From Ffihei'^s I'lifimviinj aftir tin' jniint'niit hi/ T. (^ihsufu 
rcpirm'ntiiitj Httdtlock ivhin Jlnir-Admjnrl nf !}ir Jlnl, 17ii.^.) 

eighty-six^ ships of war early in 1734, recalled British sailors from 
the service of foreign powers, and offered bounties to seamen. 

In 1735, a dispute having broken out between Spain and Portugal, 
the latter power solicited British aid against the Spaniards ; and, 
in response, a large fleet, under Admiral Sir John Norris, with 
Vice- Admiral Sir John Balchen (R.), and Eear-Admiral Nicholas 

^ Bi'ingmg up the total miinljer iu commission to one Iniudred and twentj'. 

50 MAJOJ; OPEL-ATIONS, 1714-1762. [1738. 

liaddock' (W.), was dispatched to Lisbon, sailing from Spithead on 
May 27th, and reaching the Tagus on June 9th. The demonstration 
was made not only in the general interests of peace, but also in 
the particular interests of the many British merchants whose welfare 
was more or less dependent upon the safety of the then homecoming 
Portuguese flota from Brazil ; and it was so efficacious that an actual 
rupture between the two countries was prevented. 

Yet Spain was not to be permanently intimidated. After Fi-ance, 
going behind the backs of her allies, had patched up, vastly to her 
own benefit, her differences with the Empire by the treaty of 
December 28th, 1735, Great Britain, awaking to the fact that she 
had been neglecting her own peculiar business in order to be ready 
to intervene on behalf of powers that deserved no such kindness at 
her hands, once more turned her attention to the outrages which 
had for j'ears been committed upon her commerce by the Spaniards 
in the West Indies. In 1737 she sent Kear-Admiral Nicholas 
Haddock to the Mediterranean with a squadron, the appearance of 
which was intended to lend weight to the demands which she then 
felt it necessary to make. Spain haggled and temporised. In reply 
to an address from the Commons, King George II., on March 6th, 
1738, said : "I am fully sensible of the many and unwarrantable 
dej)redations committed by the Spaniards,- and you may be assured 
I will make use of the most proper and effectual means that are in 
my power to procure justice and satisfaction to my injured subjects, 
and for the future security of their trade and navigation." 

Still, however, Spain temporised. A paper presented to Parlia- 
ment in 1738 showed that since the Treaty of Seville the loss 
caused to British merchants by the operations of the Spaniards 
had been upwards of i'140,000, that fifty-two British vessels had 
been taken and plundered by them, and that British seamen had 
been very cruelly treated. This caused much excitement. Then 
came the examination by the House of persons who had, or were 
alleged to have, suffered at the hands of the Spaniards. Among 
these persons was Richard Jenkins, sometime master of the Bebecca, 
brig, of Glasgow. He declared that his craft had been boarded by 
a guarda-costa, whose captain had wantonly cut off one of the 

' Nicholas Haddock. Burn, 168G. Captain, 1707. Eear-Admiral, 173-1. Vice- 
Admiral, 17-11. Admiral. 1744. Died, 1746. 

^ Accounts of some of tliese, and further notes about Jenkins, -vvill be found in the 
next chapter. 

1739.] JENKINS'S EARS. 51, 

deponent's ears, and handed it to him with the insolent remark : 
" Garry this home to the King, your mastcir, whom, if he were 
present, I would serve in lik(! fashion." " The truth of the story," 
says Mr. Lecky, " is extremely doubtful." It has even been said 
that Jenkins lost his ear at the pillory. Yet the indignation ai-ousc;(l 
by the man's deposition was general ; and popular opinion grew 
uncontrollable when it became known that, upon having been 
asked by a member what were his feelings at the moment of 
the outrage, Jenkins had replied: "I recommended my soul to 
God, and my cause to my country." 

Spain at length agreed to make some reparation, and to settle 
outstanding differences. The convention to this effect was sub- 
mitted to Parliament in 1739, and, after a most stormy debate, 
approved of ; yet, when the time came for it to be carried out, 
fresh difficulties cropped up, and Spain, possibly because she had 
gained by negotiation all the delay which she deemed necessary to 
enable her to perfect her preparations, silently declined to play 
her promised part. At about the same time, owing to the pre- 
carious state of affairs, the British consuls at Malaga, Alicant, 
and other Spanish ports, were compelled to advise British merchants 
and vessels to depart thence with all haste. 

Great Britain was to be satisfied only by the adoption of strong 
measures ; and on July 10th, 1739, the King issued a proclamation 
in which he set forth that the Spaniards had committed depredations, 
and that they had promised and failed to make reparation ; and in 
which he authorised general reprisals and letters of marque against 
the ships, goods, and subjects of the King of Spain. Half-hearted 
endeavours were made at the last moment to preserve peace ; but 
Spain declared that she regarded the making of reprisals as a 
hostile act ; France reminded the world that she was bound to 
look upon the enemies of Spain as her own foes ; and Holland 
averred that, if called upon to do so, she could not but observe 
the spirit of her treaty of alliance with Great Britain. 

The British minister presently withdrew from Madrid, and the 
Spanish minister from London ; the British squadrons abroad were 
reinforced ; ' numerous ships were commissioned ; stringent measures 
were adopted to procure the necessary number of seamen for the 

' Information as to the state of affairs was also sent to Commodore Charles Brown, 
who was senior officer at Jamaica, and who at once began reprisals. For an account of 
them, see next chapter. 

E 2 

52 MA.Iol: (irKUATlOSS, 1714-17GL'. [1739. 

tieet; letters of marque were aiiiiouiiced on July 'Jist' as ready for 
issue by the Admiralty ; and on October 'iSrd, 1739, war was 
formally declared against Spain, which put lorwaid hvr own 
declaration on November '28tli. 

The power of Spain was then most vulnerable in the AVest 
Indies and the Pacific. An expedition under Captain George Anson, 
of whose proceedings an account will Ik; found in Chapter XXIX., 
was prepared for the Pacific, but did not sail until the autumn of 
1740. Dispatched primarily for warlike purposes, and originally 
intended to co-operate with another force under Captain James 
Cornwall, Anson's command, owing to various adventitious circum- 
stances, gained for its leader an even more brilliant reputation as 
a navigator than as a fighting officer ; and the history of it falls 
naturally among the chronicles of the great British voyages. But an 
expedition to the West Indies, which was entrusted to Vice-Admiral 
Edward Vernon (1), (B.),' was, from beginning to end, entirely a 
fighting venture ; and as it was not without effect upon the issue 
of the war, it may fitly be described here, although it led up to no 
fleet action, and although it did not, to any appreciable extent, 
directly strengthen the maritime position of Great Bi-itain. 

Edward Vernon was a blunt, well-intentioned, honest, and very 
popular officer, whose chief service faults were that he could not 
always control either his tongue or his pen, and that he was too 
fond of vulgar applause. He had served in the West Indies for 
several years after his first appointment as a post-captain, and 
was generally believed to have an intimate acquaintance with the 
whole of that station and with the weak points of the Spanish 
position there. He had also been for a long time member of 
Parliament for Ipswich and for Penryn ; and, in the course of one 
of the debates upon the depredations of the Spaniards, he had taken 
upon himself to declare in strong terms that the Spanish possessions 
in the West Indies might be reduced -with great ease, and that 
Puerto Bello,' in particular, might be taken by a force of six 

^ Edward Vernon was born in 1G8-1, and became a Post-Captain in 1706, and a 
Vice-Admiral, witliout liaving ever been a Rear-Admiral, on .July 9th, 1739. Having 
captured Puerto Bello, etc., in that and the next year, he led an attack upon Cartagena 
in 1741. In 1745 he attained the rank of Admiral, but, in the following year, owing, 
among other things, to his fondness for pamphleteering, he was struck off the list of 
flag-oflScers. See note on p. Ill, i»/ra. He died iu 1757. 

^ Puerto Bello stands on the north side of the Isthmus of Darien, and is abou 
seventy miles from Panama. It has a considerable bay and good anchorage. 




ships of the hue. He said, moreover, that he would gladly venture 
liis life and reputation upon the success of such an enterprise, if 
only he were permitted to attempt it. Vernon was popular in the 
country, and troublesome to the ministry ; and the Government, 
anxious to be temporarily rid of him, and perhaps equally ready 
to take credit for his triumph or to rejoice over his disgrace, 
promoted him, and gave him exactly the mission and force which 
he had demanded. 

iFroin McAnkll's I'/tijntri/hj tttlir the portrait bij T. (liiiiixhorunaU, li.A.') 

Vernon sailed from Portsmouth on July 24th, 1739,^ with four 
ships of seventy guns, three of sixty, one of fifty, and one of fort)*. 
Of these, he presently detached three of the seventies, viz., the 
Lenox, Captain Covill Mayne, Elizabeth, Captain Edward Falking- 
ham (1), and Kent, Captain Thomas Durell (1), to cruise for a month 
off Cape Ortegal, and to look out for some treasure-ships which were 
daily expected in Spain. The vessels were to return afterwards to 
' Hu ilid uot, liowever, leave Plymouth until August .'inl. 

54 MAJOR OrEItATlONti, 1714-1762. [1739. 

England. He also detached the Pearl, 50, Captain the Hon. 
Edward Legge, to cruise for three months between Lisbon and 
Oporto. With the rest of his force he crossed the Atlantic, reaching 
Jamaica on October 23rd.' There he was joined by the senior 
officer already on the station. Commodore Charles Brown, whose 
broad pennant was in the Hampton Court, 70. 

On the voyage out Vernon took every opportunity of disciplining 
his men, and of exercising them both at the heavy guns and at small 
arms ; and there is little doubt that, under his direction, his small 
squadron rapidly became, for its size, the most efficient that Great 
Britain had sent to sea for many years. 

The intelligence received by the Vice-Admiral was to the effect 
that the Spanish galleons were about to make rendezvous at 
Cartagena, and to proceed thence to Puerto Bello, where they would 
exchange their European goods for the gold and silver which had 
been sent for the purpose from Panama. The news that the bullion 
was already at Puerto Bello determined A'ernon to lose no time in 
attacking that place. He obtained pilots, embarked two hundred 
soldiers under Captain Newton, and, on November 5th, 1739, sailed 
from Port Eoyal." On the following day he issued the following 
instructions to his captains : — 

" Ujiou making the land at Puerto Bello, and having a fair wind to favour them, 
and daylight for the attempt, to have their ships clear in all respects for imm'ediate 
service ; and, on the proper signal, to form themselves into a line of battle, as directed ; 
and, being formed, to follow in the same order of battle to the attack, in the manner 
hereafter directed. And as the north shore of the harbour of Puerto Bello is 
represented to the Admiral to be a bold steep shore, on which, at the first entrance, 
stands the Castillo de Ferro, or Iron Castle, Commodore Brown, and the ships that 
follow him, are directed to pass the said fort, within less than a cable's length distant, 
giving the enemy as they pass as warm a fire as possible, both from great guns and 
musketry. Then Commodore Brown is to steer away for the Gloria Castle, and anchor 
as near as he ]iossibly can to the eastermost part of it, for battering down all the 
(lefences of it, but so as to leave room for Captain Maj'ne, in the Worcesttr, to anchor 
astern of him against the westermost bastion, and to do the same there ; and to follow 
such orders as the Commodore may think i)roper to give him for attacking the said 
castle. Captain Herbert, in the Sonmch, after giving his fire at the Iron Castle, is to 
push on for the castle of San Jeronimo, lying to the eastward of the town, and to 
anchor as near it as he possibly can, and batter it down ; and Captain Trevor, in the 
Strafford, following the Admiral, to come to an anchor abreast of the eastermost 
part of the Iron Castle, so as to leave room for Captain Waterhouse, in the Princess 
Louisa, to anchor astern of him, for battering the westermost part of the (/astle; and 

' Having called in the meantime at Antigua and St. Kitt's. 

- With the ships mentioned in the table infra, and the Sheerness, 20, Captain Miles 
Stapleton. This vessel was preseutlj" detacheil to reconnoitre Cartagena. 



coiitinuu there till the service is euuipleloil, aiul make lliemselves masters of it: tlie 
youngest officers to follow the further orders of the elder in the further prosecution of 
the attack : and, if the weather be favourable for it on their going in, each ship, 
besides having her long-boat towing astern, to have her barge alongside to tow the 
long-boats away with such jiart of the soldiers as can conveidently go in them, and to 
come under the Admiral's stern, for his directing a descent with them, where he shall 
find it most proper to order it. From the men's inexperience in service, it will be 
necessary to be as cautious as possible to prevent Imi'i-y and confusion, and a fruitless 
waste of powder and shot. The captains are to give the strictest orders to their 
respective otlicers to take the greatest care that no gun is fired but what they, or those 
they particularly appoint, first see levelled, and direct the firing of; and tliat they shall 
strictly prohibit all their men from hallooing and ntaking irregular noise that will only 
serve to throw them into confusion, till such time as the service is performed and when 
thej' have nothing to do but glory in the victory. Such of the ships as have mortars 
and cohorns on board are ordered to use them in the nttacU." 

Link oi^ Batti.k at the AxrACK ox Pitekto I'.ki.i.d, Xllv^:^^'.l■:l^ I'lsr, ITMii. 



Hampton Court, 

Worcester . 


J^riucess Loiiitui^ 

Commodore (!haiies Brown, 
.'aptain Digby Dent, (ii ). 

„ Richard Herbert. 

„ Perry Mayne. 
Yice-Adiiiiral Edward Vernon, (B.). 
C'a]itain Thomas Watson (1). 

„ 'Phomas Trevor. 

,, Thomas Waterhouse. 

The squadron sighted Puerto JJello in the night of November ^Oth, 
and chased into harbour some small vessels, which apprised the 
enemy of Vernon's presence on the coast. That he might not be 
driven to leeward, the Vice-Admiral anchored about six leagues from 
the shore. Early on the '21st he weighed, and, the wind being 
easterly,^ he plied to windward in line of battle ahead. At about 
2 P.M., the Hampton Court, being close to the Iron Castle, began the 
attack, and was well seconded by the Noncivh and Worcester. The 
fire of the enemy, vigorous at first, gradually lessened. Seeing this, 
Vernon, who was rapidly approaching, signalled for the manned 
boats to go under his stern, and then ordered them to land beneath 
the walls of the castle. In the meantime, the Burford, which had 
come abreast of the castle, had received and returned a very heavy 
fire. The men in her tops forced the enemy to abandon his lower 
battery, whereupon the landing-party made an assault, and, by 
climbing into the embrasures upon one another's shoulders, the men 
entered, and quickly carried the work, most of the defenders of 

' This prevented tlie attack from being carried out in tlie jiresci'lbed manner. 


MJJdj; (tl'KHJ'nONS, I7M-1702. 


wliicli fled to the town, tliout^h ;i few Kbut tliuinselves ux) in the 
keep, whence they presently shouted appeals for quarter. 

By that time night had come on. Owing to the wind, Commo- 
dore Brown and his division had been unable to get up the bay and 
attack the castles of Gloria and San Jeronimo, and his ships, having 
fallen to leeward, were obliged to anchor, ready to proceed at 
daybreak should the wind permit. The lUirford and Htrafford, 

Attack on Pcekto Bei.lo, Xovember 21st., 1739. 

{Fj'om a plan hij Com. Jamt'n Bt'ntonc kindly lent by Lord Vernon.) 

C. Warcester. 

D. Noririeh. 

E. Biirfurd. 

F. Hnoipton Court. 

G. Strafford. 

H. Princess Louisa. 
1. Two tenders, 
-fir. Two Spanish giiarda-eostas. 
21. Three trading sloops. 
0. Boats on their wav to land soldiers. 

which were just within reach of the heaviest guns in Gloria, were 
fired at all night, but received little damage beyond the wounding of 
the former's fore topmast. The fire was returned wdth effect from 
the lower deck of the Burford. Early in the morning of the 2'2nd, 
the Vice-Admiral went on board the Hampton Court, and, after he 
had consulted with his ofiicers, directed steps to be taken for warping 
his ships up the harbour during the night, in order to be able to 


attack Gloria and San Jeronimo on tiio I'oUovving day. But these 
measures proved to be unnecessary. The Spanish governor, Don 
Francisco Martinez de lletez, hoisted a white flag, and sent out a 
boat with a flag of truce to convey to Vernon the terms on wliicli 
the place would be surrendered. These terms were deemed in- 
admissible by the Vice-Admiral, who drew up others which he was 
prepared to grant. He allowed the governor only a few hours in 
which to make up his mind; yet, well within the specified time, the 
terms were accepted. Captain Newton, with two hundred soldiers, 
was sent to take possession of the town and castles ; and detachments 
of seamen boarded the vessels in port. The crews of these had, it 
appeared, landed during the previous night, and committed various 
outrages. The garrison was allowed to march out with the honours 
of war, and to carry off two cannon with ten charges of powder for 
each. The inhabitants were permitted either to remove or to remain, 
and were promised security for their goods and efl'ects. The ships ' 
were surrendered absolutely, though their crews were permitted to 
retire with their personal effects. And, contingent upon the due 
performance of all the stipulations, the town, the clergy and the 
churches were guaranteed protection and immunity in their privi- 
leges and properties." 

Public money to the amount of ten thousand dollars was found 
in the place, aird at once distributed by Vernon among his men. 
There were also taken forty pieces of brass cannon, ten brass fleld- 
pieces, four brass mortars, and eigliteen brass patereroes, besides 
iron guns, which were destroyed, but not carried oft". The fortiflca- 
tions were then demolished — a work which needed the expenditure 
of one hundred and twenty-two barrels of captured Spanish powder, 
and which occiipied three weeks. ^ 

On November '27th, the Diamond, 40, Captain Charles Knowles, 
and on November 29th, the Wiitchur, (50, Captain George Berkeley, 
and the Anglesey, 40, Captain Henry Keddish, joined the flag from 
the Leeward Islands ; and on December 6th, the Sheerness, '20, 

1 One of them, a snow, was commissioned as tlie Triumph, sloop, by Commandei- 
James Eentone, wlio was sent home with Vernon's dispatches. Another prize was 
renamed the Astriea, 12. 

2 The loss on the British side during tlie attack was almost incredibly small, the 
liurfurd and Worcester having each three killed and five wounded, and the Hampton 
Court having one man mortally wounded. 

= In the service Captain the Hon. Edward Boscawen assisted as a volunteer. His 
shiji, the S/wi-fham, 20, was at the time unfit for sea. 

58 MAJOR OPJ^nATIONS, 1714-1702. [1739. 

Captain Miles Staplc^ton, wliicli liad been detaclied to reconnoitre 
Cartagena, returned. While the Vice-Admiral still lay at Puerto 
Bello, be sent to Panama a demand for the release of certain servants 
of the South Sea Company, who were confined in that city ; and, 
although Vernon, being on the wrong side of the isthmus, was 
scarcely in a position to have hacked up his demand by force, the 
governor, who seems to have been greatly impressed by the easy 
captuie of Puerto Bello, saw fit to comply. The Vice-Admiral 
sailed on December 18th for Jamaica. 

The news of the success was hailed with great joy in England, 
and Vernon was voted the thanks of both Houses, and the freedom 
of the City of London in a gold box. Commander James Eentone, 
the bearer of the intelligence, was presented with two hundred 
guineas, and made a post-captain. The Ministry realised that it 
could do nothing more popular than follow up the blow already 
struck, and it at once arranged to send to Jamaica, if possible in the 
early autumn, a strong military force composed of two regiments of 
infantry, and six newly-raised regiments of Marines — the whole 
under Major-General Lord Catbcart — to be employed by Vice- 
Admiral Vernon in the prosecution of further designs against the 
Spaniards in the AVest Indies and Central America. It was also 
decided to endeavour to recruit in the North American Colonies a 
corps of three thousand men, to be commanded by Colonel Spottis- 
wood,' and to be sent to Jamaica to strengthen the hands of Lord 
Catbcart upon his arrival. 

In the interval, the Spaniards, thoroughly alanned for the 
security of their empire in the New World, sent to the West Indies 
a strong squadron,- with troops and stores, under Admiral Don 
liodrigo de Torres. They also jsrevailed upon France to proclaim 
not only that she was in strict alliance with Spain, but also that she 
could not suffer Great Britain to make new settlements or conquests 
in the West Indies ; and this proclamation was succeeded by the 
dispatch across the Atlantic of three French squadrons. One, of 
four ships of the line, under the Chevalier de Nesmond, left Brest on 
July '28th. A second, of eighteen sail, under the Marquis d'Antin, 
quitted the same port towards the end of August, and, soon after its 
departure, suffered so severely in a storm, that two or three of its 

' This officei' unfortunately died in A'irginia ere the troo]is which lie had ccjllected 
couUl be embarked. 

- This sailed from Spain on .Jidy lOtli, 17+0. 


best vessels bad to return. The tliird, of fifteen sail, under tbe 
Marquis de La Roche-AUard, weij^died from Toulon on August 25tb. 
Wben be bad passed tbe Strait of Gibraltar, tlu; Marquis opened 
bis orders, and, in pursuance of them, sent back to port four 
of bis largest sbips. Proceeding with tbe rest, he made a junc- 
tion with tbe other squadrons at Martinique in September and 

But tbe force there assembled was formidable chiefly on paper. 
The vessels were not in good condition, and they were both ill- 
manned and ill-found. Many of them bad been much damaged by 
bad weather ere they arrived ; and when they essayed to move in 
company from Martinique to Hispaniola, they fell in with another 
storm which caused serious losses, and reduced them to a condition 
of impotence. 

That they had been sent out to co-operate with Spain is 
certain. But before they bad an opportunity of co-operating, 
reinforcements had reached Vernon : and tbe situation in Europe 
had been changed by tbe death of tbe Emperor Charles VI., on 
October '20th, and by the accession of tbe Elector of Bavaria as 
Charles VII. France then decided to hold her band, to recall her 
squadrons,' and to postpone her definite rupture with Great Britain. 
It is not necessary, therefore, to further follow tbe movements of tbe 
French. As for tbe Spanish squadron under Don Rodrigo de 
Torres, it reached San Juan de Puerto Rico in a sorely-damaged 
condition in September, and there slowly refitted. In course of time 
it went on to Cartagena, threw additional troops into the town, and, 
leaving a detachment under Don Bias de Leso in the roadstead, 
proceeded to Havana. 

Vernon's squadron, on its voyage from Puerto Bello to Jamaica, 
was dispersed and shattered by a storm. All the vessels, neverthe- 
less, reached Port Royal by February 6th, 1740, except the Triumph, 
sloop, which had foundered off Sambala Keys, bi;t tbe officers and 
men of which had been saved. Tbe Greenwich, 50, Captain Charles 
Wyndbam, with four bombs, some firesbips, and several other 
craft, was found in harbour. The Vice-Admiral did all that lay in 
his power to speedily refit his command, but, finding that tbe 
Burford would take some time to prepare for sea, be transferred his 
flag from her to the Strafford, 60, and sailed on February 25th with 
tbe greater part of his force, leaving tbe rest of it, under Commodore 

' Except a few sliips left .'it Hisiiaiiinhi uiuler tlie Conitc de liuquefeuil. 




Charles Erowii, lor the protection of Jamaica. His deteriuination 
was to bombard Cartagena. 

On March 1st, the Vice-Admiral sighted the land near Santa 
Martha, and, having detached the GrecnwicJi, ^jO, to ply to windward 
of that place, to intercept any vessel that might be bomid thither, he 
bore away ; and, on the evening of the 3rd,' anchored in nine fathoms 
off Playa Grande, in the open bay before Cartagena. On the 4th 

vice-.\dmii:al sir charlks knowles. 
iFrom Fabci's mczzutiiit after thf pnrtraif bij T, Hudson.) 

and 5th he reconnoitred the place, and made his dispositions ; and on 
the 6th he ordered in the bombs Alderney, 8, Commander James 
Scott, Terrible, 8, Commander Edward Allen, and Cumberland, 8, 
Commander Thomas Brodrick,- with the tenders Pompey and 
Goodly, and other craft to assist them, to bombard the town. This 

' On which day be had been joined by the Fnhnoutli, 50, Captain William 

^ This officer, who died a Vice-Admiral in 1769, in later life spelt his name 
Broderick ; but it was, properly, Brodrick. 


they did until \) a.m. on the 7th, receiving no dainii^^e whatsoever, 
and probably doing little, although they terril)ly frightened the 
inhabitants. It is difficult to understand why Vernon made this 
demonstration, for he knew well that the force which he had with 
him was insufficient to take the city. It has been suggested that 
his action was intended as a reply to an insulting letter which he 
had received from Don Bias de Leso, and this is certainly a plausible 
explanation, for the quick-tempered Vice-Admiral was ever fully 
as eager to resent a slight offered to himself as he was to resent 
one offered to his country. It does not, however, appear that the 
bombardment of Cartagena assisted, in the slightest degree, the 
general policy which Vernon had been sent westward to carry out. 

From Cartagena he coasted along the Gulf of Darien, exchanging 
shots with Bocca Chica as lie passed, and making observations 
concerning the defences of the various towns. He detached the 
Windsor, 60, Captain George Berkeley, and the GreenicicJi, 50, 
Captain Charles Wyndham, to cruise off' Cartagena with the object 
of looking out for the galleons and of intercepting three Spanish 
ships of war which, he had heard, were about to attempt to join 
Don Bias de Leso there. Vernon then proceeded to Puerto Bello 
to refit and water his squadron. He was rejoined on March 13th 
by the Diamond, 40, Captain Charles Knowles,^ an officer in whom 
he appears to have reposed exceptional confidence. Knowles was 
ordered to go on board the Success, fireship, 10, Commander Daniel 
Hore," and, accompanied by one of the tenders, to move round to 
the mouth of the River Chagres, there to reconnoitre and to make 
soundings with a view to reporting on the manner in which the 
fort of San Lorenzo and the town of Chagres might best be 
attacked. Measures were also taken to blockade the estuary. The 
Vice-Admiral obtained much information and assistance from an 
English pirate or buccaneer named Lowther, who, in consequence, 
received the King's pardon and permission to return home. 

On March 2'2nd the Strafford,^ the NonvicJi, the three bomb 
ketches, and the small craft, put to sea from Puerto Bello, instruc- 
tions being left for the other vessels to follow as soon as possible. 

' Charles KnowleB. Born, 1702. Captain, IToT. Eear-Ailrairal, 1747. Coiii- 
niander-in-Chief at Jamaica, 1748. Captured Port Louis, Hlspaniola. Defeated 
Eeggio off Havana, October 1st, 1748. A'ice- Admiral, 1755. Admiral, 1758. Baronet, 
17G5, and Rear-Admiral of Great Britain. Served lUissia, 1770-1774. Died, 1777. 

■•^ Or Hoare. 

' In wliich tlie Yice-Adnjiral still Hew liis flair. 

G2 MAJOR OI'EltATIONS, 1714- 17G2. [1740. 

The Strafford met witli a slight uccident on the passage, and was 
detained i'or a few licnirs, hut the Norwich, by order, proceeded with 
the remaining craft, and by 3 p.m. Captain liichard Herbert, with 
the assistance of Captain Knowles, had not only placed his bombs 
in position, but had begun to bombard Fort San Lorenzo. The 
Diamond also opened fire in the evening; and, during the night, the 
Strafford, Princess Louisa, and Falmouth, arrived and took up their 
stations.' The ships maintained a leisurely fire from their heavier 
guns until March '24th, when the governor of the place, Don Juan 
Cailos GutieiTez de Zavallos, surrendered. Captain Knowles took 
possession in the course of the afternoon. 

A large amount of booty, including cocoa, Jesuit's bark, and 
wool, valued at ±70,000, besides plate, etc., was captured. Two 
guarda-costas, found in the river, were destroyed ; all the brass 
guns and patereroes - in the defences were embarked in the 
squadron ; and, after the works had been demolished, Vernon 
quitted the river on March 30th. He was rejoined on the 31st 
by the Windsor and Greenwich from before Cartagena, and on 
April 2nd by his old flagship, the Burford, from Jamaica. After 
making dispositions, which proved to be vain, for intercepting the 
new Spanish viceroy of Santa Fe, who was on his way out from 
Ferrol, the Vice-Admiral returned to Jamaica, sending Captain 
Knowles home with dispatches. 

A little later, Vernon, advised from Lisbon of the Spanish 
preparations for sending out the squadron under Don Rodrigo 
de Torres, and of the actual departure from Cadiz of a squadron, 
the supposed destination of which was the West Indies, put to sea 
again, hoping to fall in with the enemy ; but, having encountered 
bad weather, and having failed to get any news of his foe, he 
returned to Port Eoyal on June '21st. During the summer his 
cruisers were active, but he was himself detained in port by lack 
of supplies. On September 5th, however, a number of store-ships, 
convoyed by the Defiance, 60, Captain John Trevor, and the Tilhwry, 
60, reached him, and on October 3rd he was able to put to sea once 
more. On the 19th he fell in with eight transports, convoyed by the 

' The ships engaged in the attack on Chagres were the Strafford, 60, Princess 
Lottisa, 60, Falmouth, 50, Noru-ich, 50, Diamond, 40, Aldrrney, Terrible, and 
Cumbe.rhuid, hombs, and Pomjiey and Goodly, tenders. The commanders of all these 
have already been named. In addition, there were the fireships, Success, 10, Com- 
mander Daniel Hore, and Eleanor, 10, Commander Sir Robert Henley, Bart. 

^ There were eleven brass guns and as nianv iiatereroes. 


Wolf, sloop, lU, Coiuuiandcr W illiam Daiidridgc, and ladcju willi 
troops from North America.' These he escorted to Jamaica. Soon 
afterwards he heard of the arrival at Cartagena of Don Kodrigo de 
Torres, and at Martini(]ue of the Manpiis d'Antin ; and not having 
force sufficient to justify him in risking an encounter at sea with his 
known enemies, even if they were not assisted by his suspected ones, 
he remained at Port Royal, anxiously awaiting news of the jjroniised 
reinforcements from England. 

These reinforcements, which included the transports carrying 
Lord Cathcart's army, were to have been under the orders of 
Vice- Admiral Sir John Balchen. But Balchen's division of men- 
of-war consisted only of one 3rd-rate, five 4th-rates, and one 
Gtli-rate ; and when, after the armament had actually put to sea 
and had been driven back to port by contrary weather in August, 
tlie Ministry learnt wliat powerful squadrons Spain and France had 
dispatclied across the Atlantic, it was decided to make new arrange- 
ments. Balchen's orders were cancelled, and a very much larger 
and entirely different squadron, under Sir Chaloner Ogle (1), was 
appointed to escort the troops. The change of plan necessarily 
involved much delay, and it was not until October '2Gth that the 
fleet at length sailed. 

It cleared the Channel ; but on October 31st, when it was about 
seventy leagues to the westward of the Start,- it met witli a heavy 
gale, in which the Buckiughani, 70, Captain Cornelius Mitchell, 
Prince of Orange, 70, Captain Henry Osborn, and Stq)crhe. 60, 
Captain the Hon. William Hervey, were so badly damaged that the 
first had to be sent back to Spithead, and the others had to proceed to 
Lisbon under convoy of the Cumberland, 80, Captain James Stewart. 
In spite of these deductions the fleet still consisted of upwards of 
twenty 3rd and 4th-rates, besides several frigates, fire-ships, bombs, 
etc., under fiear-Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle (1), Kt. (B.), and 
Commodore Richard Lestock (2), together with transports carrying 
about 9000 troops, ^ under Major-General Lord Cathcart, and 
Brigadier-Generals Thomas Wentworth, John Guise, and William 
Blakeney. It anchored on December 19th, 1740, in Prince Rupert's 

' These troopis had taken part iu the fruitless attack on St. Augustine, Florida, some 
account of which will be found in the next chapter. 

2 In lat. 17° 54' W. 

^ I.e. the 1.5tli and 2-lth regiments of foot, six regiments of Marines under Colonels 
Fleming, Robinson, Lowther, Wynyard, Douglas and Moreton, and some artillery and 
miscellaneous detacliments. 

(11 MAJOR OPEHATIONS, 17U-17G2. [1740. 

liay, Dominica ; and, on tlic loUowing day it had to lament the 
loss, by dysentery, of the mihtary commander-in-chief.^ 

Sir Chaloner weighed again for St. Kitt's, his general rendez- 
vous, on December 27th, and thence steered for Jamaica. On the 
passage thither, being ofi' the western end of Hispaniola, he sighted 
liiur large vessels, and signalled to the Prince Frederick, 70, Captain 
Lord Aubrey Beauclerk, Orford, 70, Captain Lord Augustus Fitzroy, 
TAon, ()0, Captain Charles Cotterell, Weymouth, 60, Captain Charles 
Knowles, and two more ships of the line, to proceed in chase. At 
4 P.M. the strangers - hoisted French colours ; but as they did not 
shorten sail, it was 10 r.M. ere the headmost British ship, the Prince 
Frederick, got up with them. She hailed them, first in Enghsh and 
then in French, and then, having failed to get an answer, fired into 
one of the ships, which promptly returned a broadside. The Orford 
next got into action ; and she and the Prince Frederick engaged the 
chase for about an hour and a half before the remaining ships could 
approach within gunshot. The Weijmoidh was the third to overhaul 
the strangers ; and, upon her arrival on the scene. Captain Knowles 
boarded the Prince Frederick, and expressed his conviction that the 
enemy was French. Lord Aubrey Beauclerk thereupon made the 
signal to desist ; yet, as the enemy continued firing, the engagement 
was renewed for about half an hour. At daybreak Lord Aubrey sent 
an officer on board the senior ship of the chase, and at length it was 
satisfactorily established that the strangers were indeed French, and 
not, as Lord Aubrey had at first believed, Spaniards sailing under 
French colours. The Prince Frederick lost four killed and nine 
wounded ; the Orford, seven killed and fourteen wounded ; and the 
Wei/moiitJi, two killed; and all three vessels were much damaged 

The French, who bitterly complained of the manner in which 
they had been treated, suffered much more severely. They declared 
that, upon being hailed, they had at once replied ; and modern 
French writers seriously contend that the true cause of the action 
was the refusal of their senior officer to send a boat to Lord 
Aubrey, when he called for one. It is possible, seeing how un- 
favourable to Great Britain was the attitude of France at the time, 

' Lord Cathcart was succeeded in the command by General AVentwortb, a far less 
experienced and competent officer. 

'■' Ardent, di, CuTptam d'Ei>ma\ ie Boisgeroult: J/ercucp, 54-, Captain des Herbiers 
de I'Etenduere ; Diamant, 50, Captain de Poisins ; and Parfaite, 46, Captain 
d'Estonrnel. Gueriu, iv. 242. These vessels formed part of d'Antin's sqiia'lron. 

1710.] BALCHEN'S CHUJSK. ()5 

that neither Ogle nor Lord Aubrey was prepared to exercise much 
forbearance with the French, and that the action was the result of 
provocation and irritation on lioth sides. The squadrons, however, 
parted with mutual apologies ; and Lord Aubrey proceeded to rejoin 
Sir Chaloner Ogle, who arrived at Jamaica on January 9th, 1741, 
and there placed himself under the orders of Vice- Admiral Vernon. 

It is necessary to return for a time from the West Indies, and to 
look at the course of events elsewhere. 

The outbreak of war had found Eear-Admiral Nicholas Haddock 
(R.) commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean. Under him was 
Eear-Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle (1) (B.). At first. Haddock blockaded 
the Spaniards in Cadiz, but he was soon drawn off by the foulness 
of his ships and by the requirements of Minorca, which, it was 
supposed, might be attacked from other Spanish ports ; and while 
he and Ogle were at Port Mahou, such Spanish ships ^ as had been 
lying at Cadiz slipped out, under Don Roderigo de Torres, and sailed 
to Ferrol. Not long afterwards, when it appeared that Minorca was 
in no danger, and that the Spaniards in the Mediterranean were 
weaker than had at first been believed, Ogle, with a strong division, 
was sent home by Haddock. He arrived in England on July 7th, 
1740, and, as had been shown, went out later in the year - to 
reinforce Vice-Admiral Vernon. No event of importance occurred 
in the Mediterranean during the rest of 1740. 

Nearer home, much was designed but little was effected. On 
April 9th, Vice-Admiral John Balchen (R.) was dispatched from 
Plymouth to intercept a Spanish treasure fleet which, escorted by 
a squadron under Admiral Pizarro, was on its way home from 
America. Balchen cruised in the very track which Pizarro had 
intended to take ; but the Spaniards, learning of the British 
Admiral's station and design, sent out a fast dispatch vessel which, 
warning Pizarro, caused him to make for Santander by way of the 
Lizard and Ushant, instead of for Cadiz by way of Madeira, as he 
had originally purposed. He consequently took his convoy safely 
into port. To defeat Balchen, Spain in the meantime fitted out and 
sent to sea a superior force under Admiral Pintado, who, however, 
failed to find his enemy, and, upon his return, was disgraced. 
Balchen, against whose conduct no objections were ever alleged, 

' 'I'heso were they whicli subsequently proceeded to the West Indies, as lias lieen 
already related. 

- He first, h<i\vever, cruised for a short time under Sir John Xorris. .SVe infra. 


<>0 MAJOR OPKliATlONS, 1714 17HL'. [1741. 

went back to port, having done little but capture the Princeaa, 70.' 
Later in the year he commanded a squadron in the Channel. 

The large concentration of Spanish force at Ferrol, and the 
knowledge that Spain cherished plans for aiding the Pretender in 
a descent upon (^-reat Bi'itain or Ireland, led to the assemblage of a 
large fleet- at Spithead. It was entrusted to Admiral-of-the-Fleet 
Sir John Norris, and, undo- liini, to Admiral Philip Cavendish (B.), 
and Kear-Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle (1) (B.). Sir John, who hoisted 
his flag first in the Victori/, 100, and afterwards — the Victory having 
been disabled by collision with the Lion,^ 60 — in the Boyne, 80, had 
secret instructions ; but what they were is, even now, not certainly 
known. It is supposed by some that he had orders to attack Fen-ol, 
but this is upon the whole unlikely. It is more probable that his 
force was designed merely to convoy outward-bound merchantmen 
until clear of the Channel, and to be ready for any special service 
that might appear desirable. The Admiral of the Fleet took to 
sea with him as a volunteer Prince William Augustus, Duke of 
Cumberland,^ second son of George II. The fleet sailed from 
St. Helen's on July 10th, but was three times driven back into port 
by contrary weather : and on Aiigust '28th, Sir John, being then in 
Torbay, hauled down his flag and departed for London with the 
young Duke. 

In 1741 the proceedings of the fleets in home waters were equally 
luiinteresting. In July, and again in October, the Admiral of the 
Fleet and Admiral Philip Cavendish put to sea with a considerable 
force and cruised off the north coast of Spain ; but, beyond picking 
up a few small prizes, the command did nothing. It returned to 
Spithead on November 0th. 

In the Mediterranean, Vice-Admiral Haddock, who was from 
time to time reinforced from England, endeavoured to prevent the 
junction of a Spanish squadron which lay in Cadiz with the French 
fleet which la}- in Toulon, and to intercept the transport of Spanish 
trooiDS from Barcelona to Italy. But he failed in both objects. 
While Haddock was refitting at Gibraltar, the Tordon fleet, under 

' For au account of her capture, .s«- uext chapter. 

- Made up of one ship of 100 guns, eight ships of SO, five of 70, seven of 60, and 
one of 50, besides smaller craft. 

' The Vidori/ carried away her head and bowsprit : tlie Lion lost Iter foremast, 
and twenty-eight men who were tln'own overboard by the shock. 

* Tlie victor of Culloden, then in his twentieth year. This short cruise seems to 
have decided him to adopt a mihtary instead of a naval career. 


M. La Bruyere de Court, weiglied and steered towards tlie Strait ; 
and Don Jose Navarro, from Cadiz, issued forth to meet and join 
hands with it. Haddock suffered Navarro to pass by him,' and only 
went in cliase when it was too lii.l(; to ]>r('vciit tlie accomplishment 
of the junction. His advanced frigates sighted the allies off Cape 
de Gata on December 7th, 1741, and the British and Spanish fleets 
were distantly visible one from the other on the following morning ; 
but at that time the junction was actually being effected. The 
Vice-Admiral called a council of war which, in view of the fact that 
French neutrality could not be depended upon,- judged it inadvisable 
to continue the pursuit. Soon afterwards the French and Spanish 
fleets proceeded to Barcelona and eml)arked 1.5, 00() men, who were 
thence transported to Orljetello, in Tuscany, there to act against the 
allies of Great Britain. The ill-success both of Norris and of 
Haddock was doubtless due rather to the nature of the instnictions 
given to these officers by the Ministry than to any fault on the 
part of either. Popular indignation rose high, especially when it 
became known that the passage of Spanish reinforcements to Italy 
had not been prevented : and the general discontent on this subject 
contributed much to the fall of Sir Robert Walpole's administration. 
In the West Indies, as has been said. Sir Chaloner Ogle joined 
Vice-Admiral Vernon at Jamaica on January 9th, 1741. A fleet 
such as had never before been assembled in the waters of the 
New World was now at the disposal of the British commander, 
who, unlike his fellow-admirals in Europe, had very full powers to 
act as he might deem best for the advantage of the service. 
" Bfetter," says Beatson, "had it been for Great Britain if his 
powers had been more limited ; for, had he been directed to proceed 
immediately against the Havana, there can be no . doubt but he 
would have succeeded in reducing that place before the hurricane 
months set in. His instructions pointed strongly at this as the 
most proper place to commence his operations : and letters from the 
most able and well informed of his friends^ in England strongly 
enforced this idea." 

' Hadtkick, wliii had Itt't cruisers to watch Cadiz, seem.s ti) liave been very ill-serveil 
by Ids scouts. 

^ ,The Frauco-Siiainsli tieet outnumbered tlie British by nearly two to one. 

^ " 'Take and hold,' is tlie cry. Tliis points plainly to Cuba, and if the people of 
Faigland wei-e to give you instructions, I may venture to say, ninety-nine in a hundred 
would be for attacking that island." Pulteney to Vernon, August 17, 1740, in ' Letters 
to an Honest Sailor.' 

F 2 

68 MAJOR OI'EIIATIOAS, 1714-17C2. [1711. 

It would seem that, up to the day of Ogle's arrival, Vemon had 
formed no distinct plans for the future. He had been looking 
forward to talking over everything with Lord Cathcart, in whom 
he had reason for placing the highest confidence. But Cathcart 
died, and Wentworth, who took his place, was an officer of veiy 
inferior ability, for whom Vernon, from the first, entertained dislike 
and distrust. Wentworth, it is fair to add, did not deserve this. 
He appears to have been sensible, if not very able ; and he was 
certainly anxious to do for liis country the best that lay in liis 

As the result of a council of war held on January 10th,' it was 
determined to proceed with the whole force to windward to observe 
the motions of the French at Port Louis in Hispaniola. Vernon 
formed his large fleet into three divisions, one under himself, one 
under Ogle, and one under Commodore Bichard Lestock. Part of 
the force got out of harbour on January '22nd, but the whole did not 
make an offing until January 29th. On February 8th it was off 
Cape Tiburon, the western point of Hispaniola. There the Vice- 
Admiral was rejoined by the Wolf, 10, Commander William 
Dandridge. She had been sent ahead to gain intelligence, and 
she reported that there were in Port Louis nineteen large ships, one 
of which had a flag at the main, and another a broad pennant flying ; 
but, when the fleet arrived off the place on the 12th, it was found 
that Dandridge had been mistaken," and that there were in port only 
some unrigged merchantmen and a large frigate. Three days later 
Vernon obtained permission from the governor of Port Louis to 
wood and water the fleet, and learnt that the Marquis d'Antin 
had returned to Europe. At another council of war it was 
decided, mainly in deference to Vernon's representations, to attack 
Cartagena. The fleet, therefore, weighed on January 25th, the 
WcijDioiifh, GO, Captain Charles Knowles, Experiment, 20, Captain 
James Eentone, and a sloop, being sent ahead to sound the coast 
and to find a safe anchorage for the huge flotilla, which consisted, 
with the transports, of a hundred and twenty-four sail. 

Vernon dropped anchor in the Bay of Playa Grande ^ on 
March 4th, and at once made such a disposition of his small craft 

' There were present, in addition to Vernon and Ogle, Oovernur Trelawney of 
Jamaica, and Generals Wentworth and Guise. 

" He was misled by a haze which prevailed when he made his reconnaissance. 
^ It is to the windward df Cartagena, between it and Point Canoa. 


as to suggest that he intended them to cover a diseniharkali(jn ol 
the army. This had the desired effect. It drew a large part of the 
enemy's troops down to the shore in that neighliourliood, and 
induced them to hegin throwing up intrenchments there. 

But no actual attack was made until March 9th, and in tiie 
meantime the Spanish garrison of four thousand men, besides 
negroes and Indians, and the naval force under Don Bias de Ijeso, 
perfected its preparations for defence. 

The following description of Cartagena, as it then was, is mainly 
from Beatson : — ^ 

'I'lie city is in a great measure siirroumled by water. It is divided iiitu two 
unequal parts, the city of Cartagena, and its suburb, called Xiniani. The walls of the 
former are washed by the waves of the Bay of Mexico ; but, on account of some rocks, 
and perpetual surf, there is no approaching it on that side. The water on tlie outside 
of the harbour is seldom smooth, so that landing is at most times difficult. The only 
entrance to the harbour is upwards of two leagues to the westward of the city, between 
two narrow peninsulas, the one called Tieriva Bomba, the other called the Baradera. 
This entry is called Boca Chica, or the Little Mouth, and is so narrow that only one 
ship can enter at a time. It was defended, on the Tierra Bomba side, by a fort called 
San Luis, a regular square, with four bastions, mounted with eighty-two pieces of 
cannon and three mortars; but the counterscarp and glaces were not completed. To 
this were added Fort San Felipe, mounted with seven guns, and Fort Santiago, of 
fifteen guns, and a small fort of four guns, called Battery de Chamba. These served as 
outworks to Fort San Luis. On the other side of the harbour's mouth lies a fascine 
battery,^ called the Baradera ; and, in a small bay at the back of that, another battery 
of four guns. And, facing the entrance of the harbour, on a small, flat island, stood 
Fort San Jose, of twenty-one guns. From this fort to Fort San Luis, a strong boom, 
made of logs and cables, was laid across, fastened with three large anchors at each end; 
and just behind the boom were moored four ships of the line. Beyond this passage lies 
the gi'eat lake or outer harbour of Cai-tagena, several leagues in circumference, and 
land-locked on all sides. About mid-way to the town, it grows narrower ; and, within 
less than a league of it, two points project into the lake from the inner harbour. ( >n 
the northmost of these was a strong fort called Castillo Grande, being a regular square 
with four bastions, defended to the land by a wet ditch and glacis proper. The face of 
the curtain, towards the sea, was covered by a raveliu, and a double line of heavy 
cannon. The number of guns in this fort was fifty-nine, though there were embrasures 
for sixty-one. On the opposite point was a horseshoe battery of twelve guns, called 
Fort Mancinilla. In the middle, between these two forts, is a large shoal with otdy a 
lew feet of water on it. On each side of this were sunk large ships. At the end of the 
inner harbour stands the city of Cartagena, on two flat sandy keys or islands, well 
fortified to the land, and with lakes and morasses running round it. On the fortifica- 
tion of the city are mounted one hundred and sixty guns, and on those of the suburbs, 
one hundred and forty. South of the city, about a quarter of a mile from the Ximani 
gate, stands Foi-t San Lazar, on an eminence about fifty or sixty feet high. It is 
composed of a square of fifty feet, having three demi-bastions, and two guns in each 

' ' Nav. and Mil. Mems.' iii. 24. 

'^ It was for fifteen 2-1-pounders ; Imt these seem not to have been mounted until 
after operations had been begun. 

70 MAJOJt OPEIiATlONS, 1714-1702. [1741. 

face, oue iu eacli llaiik, ami three in each curtain. It completely commands the town ; 
but there is a hill about t'nur liuiulrcd yards IVoni it whicii overlooks and commands it 

Early in the iiioriiiug o! March 'Jth, Sir Chaloner Ogle, who hail 
shifted his flag from the Bussell, 80, to the Jersey, (50, Captain I'citer 
Lawrence, and who had General Wentworth with him, moved with 
his division,^ towards the mouth of the harhour. He was presently 
followed by Vice-Admiral Vernon and his division,- convoying the 
transports full of troops. The third division,^ under Commodore 
Lestock, was left at anchor, so as to distract the attention of the 

The Princess Amelia, 80, was specially told off to attack Battery 
de Chamba, and the Norfolk, 80, Ihissell, 80, and Shrewsburij, 80, 
were similarly told off to batter forts Santiago and San Fehpe. As 
the division of Ogle approached, Chamba opened fire, but was soon 
silenced by the Princess Amelia, Captain John Hemmiugton. At 
about noon the Norfolk, Captain Thomas Graves (1), Russell, Captain 
Hany Norris, and the Slireivsbury, Captain Isaac Townsend, 
anchored in their assigned positions and fired so vigorously that 
both the forts opposed to them were rendered untenable within an 
hour. They were then taken possession of by landing parties. 
Generals Wentworth and Guise, and Colonel Wolfe also landed soon 
afterwards, and on that day and the 10th, most of the troops were 
put ashore. These initial successes were gained at little cost. Only 
six men were killed on board the Norfolk and Bussell, and although 
the Shrewsbury had her cable shot away and fell into a position 
where she lay for seven hours under a most infernal fire from two or 
three hundred guns she had but twenty killed and forty wounded. 
She received, however, two hundred and forty shot in her hull, and 
of these sixteen were between wind and water. 

The following days were employed in landing guns and stores ; in 
forming a camp in a somewhat ill-chosen position, before Fort San 

' Princesft Amelia, 80, Windsor, 60, I'ui/i-, (JO, Norfolk, 80, Russell, 80, Shrews- 
bury, 80, Ripon, 60, Lichfield, 50, Jersey, 60, Tilbury, 60, Experiment, 20, Sheer- 
ness, 20, Vesuvius, fireship, IWrible, bomb. Phaeton, fireship, and Goodly, tender. 

- Orford, 70, Princess Louisa, 60, Worcester, GO, Chichester, 80, Princess Caroline 
(flag), 80, Tnrhay, 80, Strafford, 60, Weymouth, 60, Deptford, 60, Burford, 70, 
Squirrel, 20, Shoreham, 20, Eleanor, 10, Seahorse, 20, tlie fireships Stromholu, Success, 
Vulcan and Cumherland, the tender Pomjipy, and a brig. 

' Defiance, 60, Dunkirk, 60, Lion, 60, Prince Frederick, 70, Boyne, 80, Hiinipton 
Court, 70, Falmouth, 50, Montagu, 60, Suffolk, 70, ^4s^-oeo, 12, Wolf, 10, the fireships 
j£tna and Firebrand, and the Virgin Queen, tender. 


Liuis ; and in (]uaii'el8 between Wcntworlli and Vernon, wlio was 
dissatisfied with the manner in whieh tlii^ engineers ihd their work, 
and who used unbecoming language to tlie military commander-in- 
chief. As the camp was exposed to the fire of the Spanish fasciae 
battery on the Baradera side, an attack upon this was made on the 
night of March li)th, when tlie hoats of the fleet, under Cai)tain 
Thomas Watson (1), of the Princess Caroliite, Captain Harry Norris, 
of the Russell, and Captain Charles Colby, of the Boijne, landed a 
party of five hundred seamen and soldiers commanded by Captains 
the Hon. Edward Boscawen, of the Hhurrham, William Laws, and 
Thomas Cotes,' E.N. The party was put ashore about a mile to 
leeward of the Baradera Battery, under the very muzzles of a 
masked battery of five guns that had been thrown up on the beach ; 
but, although a little confused at first by the hot fire which was 
opened from this, the men promptly rushed it, and then, pushing on, 
carried the Baradera Battery itself, and, suffering very little loss, 
spiked the guns, and set the carriages, fascines, platforms, magazines 
and guard-houses, on fire. 

This well-managed exploit relieved the army before San Luis ; 
but there was much sickness in the camp, the works did not progress 
with the expected rapidity, and Vice-Admiral Vernon grew daily 
more impatient and irritable. To add to his annoyance, the 
Spaniards partially refitted the abandoned Baradera Battery, and 
again began to fire upon the camp from it. They were driven out 
by the Ripun, 60, Captain Thomas Jolly, which later prevented any 
further attempts from being made to mount guns there. The main 
British battery opened against Fort San Luis on the morning of the 
21st ; and on that and the next day a furious fire was maintained on 
both sides. 

On the morning of March '23rd, a general attack upon all the 
forts and batteries was begun. Commodore Lestock, with the 
Bo//ne, 8U, Captain Charles Colby, Princess Amelia, 80, Captain 
John Hemmington, Prince Frederick, 70, Captain Lord Aubrey 
Beauclerk, Hampton Court, 70, Captain Digby Dent (2), Suffolk, 
70, Captain Thomas Davers, and Tilbury, 60, Captain Robert Long, 
engaged the Spanish forts, batteries and ships,- there not being room 
to bring more vessels to bear upon the enemy's defences. The 

' 'I'lie military ofticers were Captains .James Murray and \\'ashingtoii. 
- (jidicia, 70, flag of Don Bias de Leso ; Sun Carlos, 66, Africa, 60, ami 
San FcUpr, (iO. 

72 MAJOll OPEHATJONH, 1714-1702. [1741. 

Boijue suffered so severely that she had to be called off at night ; the 
Fri)ice Frederick, which lost her captain/ and the Hampton Court, 
very much shattered, had to be recalled on the following morning. 
The other ships did excellent service, and were less injured ; yet it 
was found expedient to withdraw even these on the 24th. During 
this attack, the chief engineer was mortally wounded : on the other 
hand, Fort San Luis was breached, and General Wentworth, who 
went in person to view the effect of the bombardment, determined to 
assault the place on the night of March 25th. 

Vernon undertook to make a diversion on the Baradera side, 
and, in the afternoon of the 25th, landed Captain Charles Knowles 
and some seamen near the I'emains of the fascine batterj'. The 
assault was then made with complete success, and with the loss of 
but a single man. Owing to the fall of Fort San Luis, the Spaniards 
had to scuttle or burn the Africa, San Carlos, and San Felipe, and 
they were thrown into so much confusion that Captain Knowles, 
taking advantage of it, apparently upon his own authority, pulled 
across to Fort San Jose, on the island, and stormed it without the 
slightest difficulty. Still unwilling to let shp what seemed to be so 
splendid an opportunity for dealing serious blows, he, w'ith Captain 
Thomas Watson, forced a way within the boom, and boarded and 
took the Galicia, TO.'* They also destroyed the boom, so that on the 
morning of the 26th part of the British fleet entered the lake. A 
few days later, it passed up to the narrow entrance leading to the 
harbour proper,^ and, upon its approach, the enemy abandoned 
Castillo Grande, sank two line-of-battleships* which had been moored 
in the channel, and blew up Fort Mancinilla. Such was the general 
situation on March 31st. ^ 

All would, doubtless, have continued to go well, but for the 
unhappy dissensions between the Yice-Admiral and the General. The 
siege had caused much disease, especially among the troops, which, 
on March 25th, had lost about five hundred men, and had about one 
thousand five hundred more sick on board the hospital-ships Princess 
Boijal and Scarboroiu/li. The fleet w'as considerably less unhealthy ; 
yet, while the fleet had plenty of water, and, very often, fresh meat 

' Whose place was taken by Captain the Hon. Edwaril B(jscawen. 

^ She was towed out. 

* Called the Surgidero, or Anchorage. 

* C'ojiijuistador, 66, and Dragon, 60. 

'■ On April 1st Vernon sent home a sanguine dispatch which leached the Duke of 
Xewcastle on May 17th, and caused general exultation. 

1741.] attach: on UAllTAOKNA. 73 

and turtle, the army sometimes suffered from absolute want. 
Vernon seems to have forgotten that troops and seamen alike served 
a common sovereign and a common cause. He took no measures 
for supplying water to the army ; he refused Wentworth's reasonable 
request that two or three small craft should be told off to catch 
turtle for the use of the sick ; and, speaking generally, his relations 
with his military colleague were unaccommodating; boisterous, and 
overbearing. Wentworth, in consequence, became disgusted, and, 
rather than seek the co-operation of so bearish and dictatorial a man 
as Vernon, he sometimes stood sullenly aloof, regardless of the 
magnitude of the public interests involved. 

On April 1st the Vice-Admiral moved his bomb-ketches, covered 


(Fniin an ori'jinal ki/idlif lent bij H.S.H. Ca/jtairr Fhnri' Lnr/i.^ uf Btttfintuni, li.X. ) 

by the Experiment, '20, Captain James Kentone, and the Shoreham. 
20, Captain Thomas Brodrick,^ into the Surgidero ; and Commodore 
Lestock, who had re-embarked the troops from Tierra Bomba, joined 
Vernon off Castillo Grande. On the 2nd, three lireships took up 
their station within the Surgidero in order to protect a projected 
landing of troops at a place called La Quinta. On the 3rd, the 
Weymouth, 60, Captain Charles Knowles, also passed the narrows ; 
and, early on the morning of the 5th, General Blakeney, with about 
one thousand five hundred men, was set ashore, and presently 
pushed forward towards Fort San Lazar, the only remaining 
outwork of Cartagena. Some resistance was encountered, but the 
enemy eventually retired. On the 6th, more of the army dis- 

' Who had succeeded Captaiu the Hon. E. Boscaweu. 

74 MA.IUl! DPKItATlOSS, 1714-17(i2. [l"!l. 

cuibailcud, and, liaviiig joined Blakeney's brigade, encamped with it 
on a plain about a mile from San Lazai-. 

On the 7th, a niilitarv council of war came to the conclusion that 
Fort San Lazar ought not to be attempted until a battery should be 
raised against it, and that the reduction of the w-ork would be greatly 
facilitated by the co-operation of the bomb-ketches and a ship of the 
line with the arm)'. Vernon, on being informed of this, testily 
leplied that he strongly disapproved of waiting for the erection of a 
battery, and that, if a battery should be erected against so paltry a 
fort, he felt sure that the enemy would not wait for it to be made 
ready for action ; but, in his answer, he paid no attention to the 
council's suggestion as to the co-operation of the ships ; nor could 
Wentworth induce the Vice-Admir'al to order his vessels to cover a 
detachment of troops which had been posted with a view to cutting 
oft' communication between Cartagena and the country at its back. 
In short, it appears that Vernon believed that the army could do, 
and ought to do, all that remained to be done, and that Wentworth, 
with wiser intuition, knew that only by co-operation could the 
desired results be attained. But sickness increased ashore, water 
grew daily scarcer, and the Spanish defences became hourly more 
formidable ; and, in an evil moment, at the pressing instance of 
Vernon, and against the better judgment of some of the land officers, 
the storming of San Lazar was ordered, and was attempted before 
daybreak on April 9th. Things were mismanaged ; officers were 
confused by lack of detailed instructions, and the assault was repulsed 
with heavy loss.' 

Operations were continued for two daj's longer ; but on the 11th 
a council of land officers decided that, " without a considerable 
reinforcement from the fleet, it would not be possible to go on with 
the enterprise." Vernon still shut his ears to the suggestions of his 
military colleagues ; and when the council, having received from him 
a very non-pertinent answer, reassembled, it desired that the Vice- 
Admiral would make arrangements for re-embarking the forces and 
stores, since it appeared, from his silence concerning the material 
point, that no reinforcement was to be looked for. On the 14th, 
after some further interchange of messages, a general council of war, 
consisting of the sea as w^ell as of the land officers, met on board the 
flagship. The conference was stormy ; and, in the course of it, 
A^ernon quitted his cabin in a passion. After his departure. Sir 
' l"he loss was 179 killed : 459 woundeil, many mortally; and 10 taken prisoners. 


Chaloner Ogle gave reasons for ob)(!cting to diseiiibai'k the seamen 
frona the fleet ; and Vernon, who sat in his stern-walk within hearing, 
interjected a remark to the effect that, if the men were set ashore, 
some of them would inFiillibly desert to the enemy. The Vice- 
Admiral then returned to his cabin, and the council unanimously 
determined that the troops and guns should be re-embarked. In 
pursuance of this decision, the guns, stores, and baggage were 
reshipped on the 15tli, and the troops, only 356i) of wliom remained 
fit for duty, on the lOth. 

Vernon, who may, by that time, have begun to feel uneasy 
concerning the effect which so signal a miscarriage would have upon 
his reputation,' made a last, but quite useless effort, against the 
town. Having fitted up his prize, the Galicia, as a floating battery 
of sixteen guns, and having fortified her with earth or sand, he 
caused her to be warped in as near as possible to the town. During 
the morning of the Kith, under the command of Captain Daniel 
Hore, she fired into the place continuously for seven hours. She 
was then so damaged that she was ordered to cut her cables and 
drift out of gunshot, but she grounded on a shoal, and had to be 
abandoned." She lost six killed and fifty-six wounded. But for 
the happy chance that she grounded, she would probably have sunk 
with all hands, for she had received twenty shot between wind and 

As soon as the works which had been already taken had been 
dismantled and destroyed, the wretched remains of the expedition 
sailed for Jamaica, where the fleet arrived on May 19th, and where 
it found a welcome convoy from England awaiting it. Commodore 
Lestock, with many of the heavier ships ^ and five frigates, was soon 
afterwards sent home in charge of the trade. Vernon, chiefly in 
consequence of his dislike to be further associated with Wentworth, 
wished to go home also ; but the ministry, which adroitly flattered 
him, persuaded him to remain. 

' It is also suggested that A'ernon desired to convince Gener.Tl Wentwnitli, by 
actual experiment, that ships could not operate with success against the town. But, if 
so, the experiment was not a fair one. The OaUcia did not get near the walla because 
she approaclied them at the wrong point. Elsewhere there was deep watei- within 
pistol-sh(.)t of the ramparts. Smollett, vii. 287. 

^ She was subsequently burnt by the British. 

' Princess Caroline, 80, Bussell, 80, Norfolk, 80, S/n-eivshury, SO, Princess Amelia, 
80, Torhay, 80, Chichester, 80, Hamilton Court, 70, Barfoid, 70, Windsor, 60, and 
Fiihiiuufh, .')0. Vernon transferred his (lag to the TSnyne, 80. 

76 MAJOR Ol-EliATlUN!i, ITH-ITUL'. [1741. 

The next attempt of the fleet in the West Indies was against 
Santiago de Cuba. The home Government would have preferred 
to see Havana attacked, but the place was strong, and the squadron 
of Don Bodrigo de Torres lay in the port. Governor Trelawney, 
of Jamaica, urged an expedition, across the Isthmus of Darien, 
against Panama, but gave way to the representations of Vernon, 
Ogle, Wentworth, and Guise, all of whom voted for Santiago de 
Cuba as the town which, upon the whole, offered the brightest 
prospects of success. On June 25th, therefore. Captain James 
Kentone, in the Uipon, GO,* was dispatched to reconnoitre the 
harbour and its defences, and on June 3()th the fleet - put to sea. 
The Vice-Admiral left at Jamaica the Suffolk, 70, Strafford, 60, 
Dunkirk, 60, Bristol, 50, Lichfield, 50, and Vulcan, 8, under 
Captain Thomas Davers, to protect the island and its trade, and 
ordered the York, 60, Augusta, 60, and Depfford, 60, which were 
refitting at Port Koyal, to be completed for sea, and to be sent after 
him, as soon as possible. 

A spacious harbour lying near the south-east end of Cuba, and 
then known as ^yalthenham Bay,^ was selected as the general 
rendezvous ; and there the expedition dropped anchor on July 18th. 
This harbour is about sixty-five miles to the eastward of Santiago, 
which occupies the head of a much smaller bay, and which has 
a well-defended narrow entrance, closed at that time by means of 
a substantial boom. Santiago was supposed to be impregnable from 
seaward, and the leaders of the fleet and army decided to attack it 
overland from Cumberland Harbour. To facilitate this operation, 
Vernon despatched some cruisers to watch twelve Spanish sail 
of the line which la^' at Havana, and which constituted a " potential " 
fleet of decidedly dangerous strength. He also sent other vessels 
to blockade Santiago ; and across the mouth of Cumberland Harbour 
he stationed six of his largest ships, so that, should any enemy 
approach, the transports within could not be reached without a 

' Captain Thomas Jolly bad died iu May. Lord Augustus Fitzroy, of the Orford, 
70, had also fallen a victim to the climate soon after the arrival of the fleet at Jamaica. 

^ Boyne, 80, flag of Vernon, Camherlwid, 80, flag of Ogle, Grafton, 70, Kent, 70, 
Worcester, 60, Tilbury, 60, Montagu, 60, Chester, 50, Tiger, 50, Shoreiiam, 20, Experi- 
ment, 20, Sheerness, 20, Alderney, bomb, Strombolo, Phaeton, and Vesuvius, fireships, 
Bonetta and Triton, sloops. Princess Boyal and Scarborough, hospital ships, and 
Pompey, tender, besides about 40 transports carrying 3400 troops. 

^ Re-named Cumberland Harbour by Vernon. It is the bay between Punto de 
(i\iantaiianio and Caimamtra. 


severe struggle. But iii tlie luoantinu! W(!iitwortli lost heart. He 
landed, but he did not go far. The country IxU'ort' hiiu was thickly 
wooded ; his men had rapidly become sickly ; he found great 
difficulty in dragging his guns along with him ; and, although 
Vernon assured him that, if he pressed on, he should find ships 
before Santiago ready to co-operate with him, the General declined 
to advance any further. The Vice-Admiral in person went round 
to Santiago with a view to seeing whether, after all, he could not 
devise some method of capturing it from the sea ; but he was obliged 
to agree that the venture offered no chances of success. The whole 
scheme, therefore, was abandoned, the troops being re-embarked on 
November 20th, and the fleet quitting Cumberland Harbour for 
Jamaica on November 28th. 

This abortive enterprise was as ill-conceived as it was pusillani- 
mously attempted. It was the professed desire of the ministry in 
England, and of the naval and military chiefs on the spot, to 
conquer Cuba.' Havana was then, as it is now, the capital and heart 
of the island ; and Santiago was a comparatively insignificant place 
of less strategic and commercial importance than to-day. Yet it was 
determined to avoid Havana, and to attack Santiago, in spite of the 
fact that at Havana lay the strong squadron of Don Kodrigo de 
Torres. Sane strategy would have dictated firstly the annihilation 
or neutralisation of that formidable "potential" fleet, and secondly 
the dealing of a blow at the heart instead of at the extremities of the 
island. That Don Eodrigo lay fast, and did not come out, affords no 
justification of the British action. He might have elected to come 
out ; and, had he done so, he might, with his superior force, have 
crushed Vernon, who would have been hampered by the presence 
of his transports and by the necessity of looking to their safety. As 
for the pusillanimity with which the descent was attempted, it is 
sufficient to say that Wentworth lay for about three months, almost 
inactive, within three or four days' march of Santiago ; that there 
was at no time any considerable body of Spanish troops between him 
and that city ; that the landward defences of Santiago were known 
to be contemptible ; and that the delay involved the sacrifice of 
more men than would have perished in any active operations that 
could have been necessary to secure the fall of the place. 

' Settlers were actually iuvited to cross from North America, and were jirumiseil 
grants of land in the island. — Speech of Gov. Shirley at Boston, Sept. 23rd, 1741. The 
re-naming of places by the Britisli leaders was also significant. 

78 • MAJOIl (JPEIIATIONS, ]71-!-lT<12. [iTtl. 

The Ministry censui-ed botli Venujii and Wentworili, yet (jnly 
with mildness, and chiefly on account of the personal quarrels which 
had been allowed to spring up between them. The Duke of 
Newcastle, on October 31st, wrote to Vernon : — 

"His Majesty has coiiiiimnded me tu acquaint yuu and (ieneral Wentworth tliat 
he sees with great ci>nceni the heals and animosities tliat have arisen hetween his 
officers by sea and land, contrary to his orders, whereby tlie service cannot but greatly 
sufi'er ; and I am ordered to recommend to you in the strongest manner carefully to 
avoid the like for the future, and that, in case of any difi'erence of opinion, all acrimony 
and AViirriitli of ex]iressioTi should be avoided." 

After the collapse of the undertaking had become known in England, 
neither Admiral nor General received from the Government any 
much stronger blame than this. Yet one, if not both, should have 
been recalled. It was obvious, even to their best friends,' that they 
could not work satisfactorily one with the other. Unhappily, they 
were allowed to embark together upon further adventures. 

The transports from Santiago reached Jamaica in safetj', while 
the fleet cruised for a time off Hispaniola in order to protect the 
arrival of an expected convoy ^ from England. After a time, the 
Vice-Admiral left part of his force, under Cai)tain Cornelius Mitchell, 
of the Kent, 70, to look for the convoy, and proceeded to Jamaica, 
where a council of war was held on January 8th, 174'2. The council 
eventuallj' decided to adopt a plan which had been submitted to it 
by Lowther, the ex-buccaneer, who knew the country well. This 
involved a landing at Puerto Bello, and a march across the isthmus 
to Panama, with three thousand soldiers, five hundred negroes, and 
four hundred friendly Mosquito Indians. But many delays occm-red. 
In the interval, Lowther, in the Triton, sloop, convo}-ed by 
Captain Henry Dennis in the Exjjeriment, went to the Mosquito 
coast to procure information and to make arrangements with the 
natives. The Triton was for this service disguised as a trader. As 
for Vernon, who was terribly impatient at the slowness with which 
the land forces were being got ready, and who had learnt that 
Spanish reinforcements were on their way to Cartagena, he occujjied 
some of his spare time in making a cruise off Cartagena, with the 

' Piilteney"s amiable appeals to A'ernuu to control liis temper were almost pathetic. 
See especially Pulteney's letter of Nov. 17th, 1741, in 'Letters to an Honest Sailor.' 

- The convoy, consisting of the Oreenwich, 50, »S'^. Albans, 50, and Foi; 20, with 
transports containing about two tnousand troops, reached Jamaica on January 15th, 
without having sighted Mitchell's squadron. 

1711'.] FAlLlIllEti Oh' VERNON AND WENTWORTII. 79 

object of suggesting to tlie eucniy that lu; wms coiitniijiliiiing a iu:\v 
attack upon that place. Sir Clialoner Ogle, wlio liail been left hcliimi 
at Jamaica to bring on the main bndy of the expeditionary forces, 
was not able to sail until the middle ol' Maicli, 171'2. On the 'iHth 
of that month, he rejoined the Vice-AdmiraJ, and the fleet ^ then 
made the best of its way to its destination. 

The Experiment and Triton had been directed to make rendezvous 
with the fleet off the Bastinientos Islands, in what is now called the 
Gulf .of San Bias. On March 'J(3th, Vernon detached the Montagu, 
Captain William Chambers, to look for those vessels, and to order 
them, in case they should be fallen in with, to join a detachment 
which was to land a body of troops at Nombre de Dios, at the 
head of the gulf of San Bias.- The fleet sighted land near the 
Bastimentos on March '28th, but, seeing nothing of the Expcrhumt 
and Triton, passed on to Puerto Bello, and, entering the harbour 
in line of battle, dropped anchor there before nightfall, without any 
opposition on the part of the Spanish Governor, who fled with such 
troops as he had. 

Lowther's report, received when the fleet was at Puerto Bello, had 
the effect of convincing General "VVentworth that the design against 
Panama was impracticable ; yet Wentworth was so lacking in tact 
that, instead of communicating his decision directly to A'ernon, he 
mentioned it casually to Governor Trelawney, the result being that 
A^ernon's first intimation that the expedition was destined to be a 
failure was conveyed to him in the form of a private request from 
Trelawney for a passage back to Jamaica. Wentworth's views were 
formally adopted at a council of war at which seven military officers 
were present, and were ratified at a general covincil composed of 
three military and two naval officers. A^ernon and Ogle formed the 
minority, and could do notliing but acquiesce, although the A'ice- 
Admiral was strongly of opinion that, seeing that Panama had in 
earlier years been taken from across the isthmus by Sir Henry 
Morgan with five hundred buccaneers, it might be taken again by 
the much larger forces which were at the disposal of the British 

' Boyne, 80, flag of Vernon, Cumhcrland, 80, flag of Ogle, Keni, 70, Or/ord, 70, 
IVorcester, 60, Defiance, GO, York, 60, Montagu, 60, St. Alhans, 50, and Grcenu-ich, 50, 
with three fireships, two hospital ships, and abo\it forty transports. Covernor 
Trelawney, as a colonel, was with the troops. 

^ This landing was never cft'ected. The Jixjicriinent and Triton rejoined the fleet 
at Puerto Bello. 

so MAJoit opehations, r,u-\nvi. [1742. 

leaders in 1742. The fleet, therefore, quitted Puerto Bello for 
Jamaica on April 3rd, having effected nothing.' 

Indeed, the only important advance made in the West Indies in 
the course of the year was the annexation and settlement of lioatan 
Island, in the bay of Honduras, by an expedition ^ from Jamaica 
convoyed by the Lichfield, 50, Captain James Cusack, and the 
Bonctfa, sloop, Commander William Lea. Nor is it astonishing 
that so little was done. The Admiral and the General were on 
worse terms than ever, and their quarrels were taken up by all 
around them. Even Ogle and Trelawney fell out. So scandalous 
a state of things was terminated, after it had endured far too long, 
by the arrival at Jamaica on September '23rd of the Gibraltar, 20, 
Captain Thorpe Fowke, with orders for both Vernon , and Went- 
worth to return to England. Vernon sailed in the Boyne, 80, on 
October 18th, leaving Sir Chaloner Ogle in command of the station ; 
and Wentworth, with the remnants of the army, departed soon 
afterwards, under convoy of the Defiance, 60, Captain Daniel Hore, 
and the Worcester, 60, Captain William Cleland. 

In the Mediterranean, where there had been scarcely a large 
enough naval force for the due protection of trade, and for the due 
observation of the declared and the suspected enemies of Great 
Britain, Vice-Admiral Nicholas Haddock had been joined, in 
February, 1742, by a considerable reinforcement under Commodore 
Kichard Lestock (2), who, on March 13th following, was promoted 
to be Rear-Admiral of the White. ^ According to Charnock, Lestock, 
during this period, " exhibited some proofs of that impatient temper 
and improper professional pride which, afterwards becoming infinitely 
more apparent, cannot but be condemned even by those who are so 
warmly attached to him as to insist that no part of his conduct was 
ever injurious or prejudicial to the cause and interests of his native 
country."* Haddock, owing to ill-health, had to resign his 
command and return to England ; '" and, pending the arrival in the 
Mediterranean of his successor, Lestock officiated as commander-in- 
chief. Lestock acted with some energy against the enemy, whom 

' The British cruisers were, Imwever, very .succes.sful, as will be seen in the next 

^ Which reached Eoatan ou August L'3rd. 

' He was further advanced to he Hear of tlie Red, on August 9th, 1743, and Vice 
of the AVhite, on December 7th, 1743. 

' ' Biog. Kav.' iii. 340. 

^ Which he reached in the Roebuck, 40, on Ma}' 2Gth, 1742. 

17-12.] LESTOCK'S ciiahacteh. 81 

he obliged to postpone an intended embarkation of troops ; but, on 
the other hand, he again allowed his unfortunate temper to get the 
better of him. In view of what happened at a later date, it is 
desirable to reprint here from Charnock ' an order and certain letters 
which will explain not only Lestock's peremptory methods, but also 
his interpretation, at that time, of some of the duties of subordinate 
commanders when in face of the enemy. 


Ann GalUty, fiuesiih'. 

"Captain Hod sell : Go to the Lenox, Nass'in, Royal Oah, L'oinney, a.m\ ])i-ayo».'' 
Tell them I am the centre from whence the line of battle is to he formed, and, if any 
ship or ships cannot get into their stations, I am to find remedy for that ; but those 
who can, and do not, get into their stations are blanieable ; and a line of battle is not 
to be trifled with nor misunderstood. Go with this yourself to the several captains, 
from. Sir, 5'our most humble servant, lUcliard Lestock. Nevtune, at sea. April 14th, 
1742. P.S. — An enemy in sight would not admit of this deliberation." 

Capt,\in Cuktis Barxet, of tub Dragon, to Rear-Admiral Lestock. 

"I thought that all the ships of a fleet or squadron were to sail in their proper 
divisions. 1 have heard and read of divisions ge;ting late into the line, not in time 
to have any part in the action ; but never knew till now that it was my duty to leave 
the flag, or officer representing one, in whose division I am, without a particular order 
or signal. I therefore kept my station in the division, not with a design to trifle with 
the line of battle. I am, etc., C. Barnet." 

Kear-Admiral Lestock to Captain Curtis Barnet. 

" I have your letter of the 15th inst., in answer to wine I sent you and several 
other ca]itaius by Captain Hodsell ou the 14th inst., at the time the signal was out for 
the line of battle abreast of each other. Yoiu' not getting into line wlien you could 
have done it, gave me that occasion by the fireship. 

"You say you thought that the ships of a fleet or squadron were to sail in their 
proper divisions ; and you have heard and read of divisions getting late into the line, 
not in time to have any part of the action ; but never till now knew that it was your 
duty to leave the flag, or officer representing one, in whose division you are, without a 
particular order or signal. 

"Let us suppose that you are in a division, and that a signal for the line of battle 
is made; and tliat the commanding ship of that division, by bad sailing, could not 
get into the line, though all the rest of the squadron could have got into the line, but 
did not. That division makes one-third of the sqnadron. 

" Now : is it your duty to see two-thirds of the squadron sacrificed to the enemy, 
when you could, but did not, join in the battle? An admiral, in such a case, would 
either leave the bad sailing ship for one that could get into the action, or would send 

' ' Biog. Nav.' iv. 213 et seg. Charnock says : " Mr. Lestock appears in his 
vehemence of rage to have been guilty of a few literary omissions and mistakes, which 
we have supplied and corrected." The present editor has adopted some of Charnock's 
emendations and made others, chiefly with respect to punctuation. 

^ The Dragon, 60, Captain Curtis Barnet. 


82 MAJOIl OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1742. 

you such orders ;is should just ify you at a court-martial lor not corning into the action 
when you could have done it. Captain Rowley,' indeed, has not the power either to 
shift his- -ship, or to stop you with him. 

" Such an account would lell Init ill to our country after the Kss of a battle. But 
I hoj^e such a thing can never hajipen to an Englishman ; and the punishment inflicted 
on a breach of the 12th article of the Statute of Charles the Second upon those who 
withdraw, or keep back, or do not come into the fight and engage, would be what 
must follow in such a case. 

"So I will say no more of trifling nor misunderstanding of a line of battle ; as 
these are, and must be, the consequences of a not trifling want of duty in the weighing 
of circumstances in regard to battle : for that is the cause why lines are formed.^ 

" The 13th article of the Fighting Instructions ' leans that way also. So, having, I 
think, answered your letter, I am. Sir, your most humble servant, Richard Lestock. 
Nepimic, at sea. April IGth, 1742." 

Captain Curtis IJakxkt to liiCAR-AnMiRAi, Lkstock. 

•• Dragnn, April 16th, 1742. 

" Sir, — As you have given yourself the trouble to answer the letter I thought 
necessary to write in excuse for my continuing in my station in the division of which 
1 am, when you made the signal for the line of battle abreast, and in it are pleased to 
say : ' Is it your duty to see two-thirds of the squadron sacrificed to the enemy, when 
you could, and did not, join in the battle?' I answer that I should readily concur 
in punishing rigidly any man who could, and did not, join in the battle. But, as the 
commanders of divisions will, I imagine, always expect that the captains, in their 
respective divisions, should, in anything like the late case, take directions from them, 
and, as we are to supipose every officer of that distinction neither wanting in zeal or 
capacity, I can make no doubt that such orders would be immediately given as would 
be most essential for his Majesty's service; and that a signal or order might be 
expected for the ships to make sail into the line if the commander of the division 
could not get up with his own ship, and did not think proper to remove into another. 
Without such an order or a proper signal, I could not in my conscience condemn any 
man for i-emaiuing with his division, or think that he fell under the 12th article of the 
Statute of Charles the Second, or the 13th of the Fighting Instructions ; for a man in 
his station cauuot be said to withdraw, keep back, or not use his endeavours to engage 
the enemy in the order the admiral has prescribed. In this manner I should judge, 
were I to sit at a court-martial on such an occasion ; but in this manner shall no 
longer act, since you have been pleased to tell me Cajjtain Rowlej' has not the power 
to shift his ship or stop me. 

" I presume there are instances both of whole divisions going down to the enemy 
too soon, and of coming in so late as to have no part in the action ; but I never heard 
that the private captains who kept their stations in those divisions fell under the least 
censure; and, as I was neither called nor sent from the division by order or signal, I 
bad no apprehension of being blameable. 

' Afterwards Admiral of the Fleet, Sir AVilliam Rowle}' : then senior officer of 
Barnet's division. Lestock meant that, as there was no flag-officer of the division, 
there was no jiossible question as to what was Barnet's duty. 

^ I.e., " After all, I will not speak of this as trifling, for it is far too light a word to 
apply to so serious a subject." 

' " As soon as the Admiral shall hoist a red flag on the flagstaff at the fore-topmast 
head, and fire a gun, every ship in the fleet is to use their utmost endeavour to engage 
the enemy, in the order the Admiral has prescribed unto them." 


"Willi luguiJ to what you are ]ileaseil to say of seeing the squach'oii sacrificed to 
the enemy, that cannot happen while yuii, Sir, command it, who will never go down 
to the enemy in an improper mnniicr. witli more sail than the ]]riiicipal ships of the 
line can keep you company. . . ." 

Lestock had, undoubtedly. Loped to be continued as commander- 
in-chief in the Mediterranean ; but Vice-Admiral Thomas Mathews 
(K.) ' was appointed to that post on March 25th, 1742, and, having 
hoisted his flag in the Naiiiar, 90, sailed on April 16th, ^ and arrived 
at Gibraltar on May 7th. Lestock was hurt, and he is said to have 
foolishly showed his resentment by neglecting to obey instructions 
to send a frigate to meet Mathews. For this supposed omission 
Mathews publicly reprimanded Lestock as soon as the two flag- 
otiicers met.'' From that moment the junior seems to have regarded 
his senior with scarcely-disguised hostility. 

Mathews was a good oflicer, as strict in obeying as he was in 
enforcing discipline, and a jealous, yet not intemperate, believer in 
the dignity of the great position to which he had been called by his 
country. He was, moreover, a highly honourable man, of con- 
spicuous gallantry. Lestock, on the other hand, was ever more 
ready to enforce than to obey the laws of discipline. In his eyes, 
his own person was fully as dignified as any rank or place with 
which his country could invest him. " Unconciliating in his 
manners, austere when in command, restless when in a subordinate 
station, he had," says Charnock, "fewer friends than fell to the lot 
of most men, and that number, which was gradually diminishing, 
his behaviour never appeared of a nature to recruit." His courage 
has not been questioned, but his abilities, which were considerable, 
were contracted and neutralised by a petty meanness of spirit and 
smallness of view that prevented him from ever commanding either 
confidence or respect. That Mathews disliked Lestock cannot be 
gainsaid.^ Almost every naval officer of the day dishked Lestock. 

' Thomas Mathews ; horn, lUTO ; captain, 1703 ; took the Bien Aime, 26, in 1707, 
and the Olorkux, 44, in 1700 ; commanded the Kent at Cape Passaro, in 1718 ; 
Commissioner at Chatham, 1736 ; Vice-Admiral and Commander-in-Chief in the 
Mediterranean, 1742 ; Admiral, 1743 ; fought a spirited hut jiartial action oil" Toulon, 
1744 ; dismissed the service, 1746 ; died, 1751. 

- In Company with the Friiicess Caroline, 80, Norfolk, 80, and Bedfonl, 70. 

^ Lestock alleged that he had sent a frigate, which had failed to fall in with 
Mathews. It is admitted that, in this instance, no matter what were the tacts as to 
the frigate, the Vice-Admiral behaved with somewhat unnecessary warmth. 

* When he accepted his appointment, he stipulated that Lestock should be speedily 
recalled, but the stipulation was afterwards either forgotten or misunderstood. — 
Beatson, i. 153. 

G 2 

84 MAJOR OI'ERATIONH, 1714-17G2. [1742. 

But Mathewa was the last man in the world to allow his private 
disliives to interfere with his duty. 

The Vice-Admiral met the Rear- Admiral and part of the fleet at 
Villa Franca on May 27th. He at once instituted a strict watching 
blockade of Toulon, where a Spanish, as well as a French force, lay. 
This blockade was maintained chiefly by the division of Lestock, 
whose headquarters were off Hyeres, while Mathews himself 
remained in reserve at Villa Franca, ready to sail upon the receipt 
of news that the enemy was at sea. In June, five S])aiiish galleys, 
which were to have escorted some Spanish troops to Italy, and 
which were laden with ammunition and stores, ventured to quit the 
shelter of Fort Ste. Marguerite, and crept round under the coast as 
far as the Gulf of St. Tropez. Captain Harry Norris, of the 
Kingston, 60, with a small detachment, blockaded them there, and 
when, although they were in a neutral port, they fired on him, he 
effected their destruction.^ Other Spanish vessels were destroyed at 
Palamos, Mataro, and elsewhere. 

In July, 1742, the Vice-Admiral, who had intelligence that the 
King of Sicily had dispatched a body of troops to the assistance of 
the Spaniards in Italy, ordered Commodore WiUiam Martin, with a 
small squadron,^ to Naples, to endeavour to induce the King to 
withdraw his forces, and to adhere to a declaration of neutrality. 
Should the King refuse, Martin was to bombard the city. The 
squadron arrived, and anchored in the Bay on August 19th ; and 
Martin sent ashore Commander de I'Angle with an ultimatum, and 
a demand for an answer in half-an-hour, unless, indeed, the King 
could not be reached within that time. After very little delay, the 
required assurance was given on the 20th, and the squadron there- 
upon departed, to the great relief of the Neapolitans. The incident, 
most creditably managed by Martin, would, perhaps, have had 
comparatively little importance, had not the same prince who, in 
1742, was King of Sicily, become, in 1759, King Carlos III. of 
Spain. He then remembered against Great Britain the coercion 
which had been employed against huu by the Commodore, and, 
towards the end of the Seven Years' War, and during the War of 

• ' For details of this, see next chapter. 

^ Ipswich, 70, Commodore William Martin, Panther, 50, Captain Solomon Gideon, 
Oxford, 50, Captain Lord Harry Powlett, Feotraham, 40, Captain Eichard Huglies (2), 
Dursley Oallcy, 20, Commander Merrick de I'Angle; and the bombs, Carcass, 8, 
Lieut. John Bowdler, Salarnand'-r, 8, Lieut. John Philhpson, and Terrible, 8, Lieut, 
the Hon. George ; besides four tenders. 

1743.] ATTACK ON J, A (lUAYllA. 85 

Anieric.LU Ilevolutioii, never ceiiscd to do all tliat lay in his power to 
ruin the naval might which ha,(l tlins liiuniliatcd liini. 

Commodore Martin rejoined the flag, and was soon afterwards 
again detached to destroy certain storehouses and magazines at 
Alassio, in the territory of the repubhc of Genoa. These, which 
were known to he destined for the use of the Spaniards, were all set 
on fire by a landing-party from the ships. 

In 1743, the blockade of Toulon was continued, and Admiral 
Mathews, as before, exerted himself to the utmost to hinder the 
operations of the Spaniards in the Italian peninsula, and the trans- 
mission thither of stores and reinforcements from Spain. But the 
transactions on the station were not of sufficient importance to 
deserve description in this chapter. They are, therefore, relegated 
to the next. 

One of the first actions of Sir Chaloner Ogle (1) ' after he had, as 
has been seen, been left as commander-in-chief in the West Indies, 
upon Vernon's recall, was to organise an expedition against the 
Spanish settlements at La Guayra and Puerto Cabello, on the coast 
of Caracas, in what is now Venezuela. These were reported to be 
almost defenceless, and to be at the mercy of the fleet. Ogle 
entrusted the conduct of the expedition to Captain Charles Knowles, 
in the Suffolk, 70, and gave him directions to proceed first to 
Antigua, there to take under his orders such additional vessels as 
could he spared, and to embark a certain number of troops. 
Knowles carried out these instructions, and on February 12th, 1743, 
sailed for La Guayra. After touching at St. Christopher, he arrived 
off his port of destination on the 18th. 

It is quite true that when Ogle first contemplated the descent 
upon the coast of Caracas, La Guayra was almost defenceless. 
Unfortunately, the Admiral suffered his projects to become known, 
and the Spanish governor of the place, with great promptitude and 
vigour, thereupon set himself to work to repair the fortifications, to 
build new ones, to raise extra forces, and to obtain fresh supplies of 
ammunition. - 

When, consequently, on February 18th, the squadron began the 
attack at about midday, a warm and formidable opposition was met 

' Promoted to be Vice-Admiral of the Red on Avigiist 9tli, and Vice- Admiral of the 
White on December 7th, 1743. 

'^ Some of this ammunition was obtained from tlie Dutcli Governor of Curacoa, 
who, by handing it over, committed an imwarrantable breach of the Dutch under- 
standing; with Great Britain. 




with. There was a swell which prevented the vessels from 
approaching within ahout a mile from the forts, and the landing of 
the troops was found to be impracticable. Yet, although an attempt 
to burn the shipping in harbour, by means of armed Vjoats, failed as 
a result of confusion of orders, and although the ships suffered badly, 
it looked, at 4 o'clock p.m., as if the fire of the batteries was about 
to be silenced. But at that hour, a chance shot cut the cable of the 
Burfonl, which was anchored at the head of the British line. The 
Burford drove on board the Norwich, and forced )>oth her and the 
Eltham. out of station, the three vessels drifting almost helplessly to 
leeward. This re-encouraged the enemy, and although, up to 
nightfall, the attack was pluckily continued, the Biitish, after the 
accident, had much the worse of the encounter, and were ultimately 
obliged to draw off. La Guayra was severely damaged ; a magazine 
was blown up by a shell from the Comet, and about seven hundred 
Spaniards were killed and wounded. Yet, in spite of the gallantry 
of the assailants, the day ended with their decisive repulse. The 
composition of Knowles's squadron, and the damage and loss 
sustained by each ship, are shown in the following table : — 









Suffolk. . 


Cajjt. Charles Knowles . 







„ Franklin Lushingtou . 





Aorunch . 


„ Thomas Gregorv (1) . 





Advice . 


„ Elliot Smith .... 





Assistance . 


„ Smith Callis .... 







„ Richard Watkins (actins;). 





Lively . 


„ Henrv Stewart (actin») 







Commander Lachlin Leslie . 




OWr . . 


„ John Ga^e . 





Rii-hara Tyrrell. . 


I Shot iu the hull uuly are intliided. 

Captain Lushington, of the Burford, a most excellent officer, was 
mortally wounded by a chain-shot, which carried off one of his legs 
at the thigh. He died at Cura(,'oa on February •23rd, two hours 
after he had been landed there. The Burford, Eltham, and 
Assistance, were almost completely disabled ; the flagship had 
fourteen guns dismounted ; and the squadron, as a whole, was, for 
the moment, unserviceable. It, therefore, proceeded to Cura9oa 
to refit. 

1743.] liEl'in.S^K AT rVKRTO CAJIh'L/JK 87 

As soon as liu ])a(l rcfittc-d, :uid had supplemented liis ratlicr 
reduced forces by taking on board a few Dutch volunteers, Captain 
Knowles, in pursuance of tiie C'.oniinander-in-Cbief's design, turned 
his attention to Puerto Cabelio. He sailed on March '20th, but, 
owing to a strong lee current, could not anchor in the neighbourhood 
of his destination until April 15th. 

Puerto Cabelio was even better prepared to receive him than La 
Guayra had been. There were in the place three hundred regular 
troops, twelve hundred seamen belonging to the vessels in port, and 
a large body of negroes and Indians. The Spaniards had hauled all 
their smaller craft up to the head of the harbour out of gunshot, and 
had moored a ship of sixty, and another of forty guns, in good 
defensive positions, while they had placed a large vessel ready for 
sinking in the mouth of the liarbour. Newly-erected fascine 
batteries flanked the entrance, and two more, one mounting twelve, 
and the other seven guns, occupied a low point called I'unta Brava. 
These last, in the opinion of Knowles, were ill-placed, and might be 
easily taken, and then employed against the fortress itself. He 
therefore, after having held a council of war, ordered in the Lively 
and Elthaiii, on the afternoon of the 16th, to cannonade the Punta 
Brava works, and prepared a landing-party, consisting of Dalzell's 
regiment, all the Marines of the squadron, and four hundred seamen,^ 
which, as soon as the batteries should be silenced, was to storm 
them, while the Assistance lay anchored within pistol-shot of the 
shore to cover a retreat, should one be necessary. 

The Lively and Eltham effected their part of the work by about 
sunset. All firing then ceased. As it grew dark the storming-party 
landed, and began to march along the beach towards the batteries, 
Knowles accompanying the advance in his galley. Just before 
11 P.M. the foremost troop seized one of the batteries ; but, at that 
moment, the Spaniards, being alarmed, began to fire from the other 
works, and, to the mortification of the British leaders, so blind a 
panic seized the men that they retired pell-mell in the most absolute 
confusion, and did not regain their self-possession until they were 
once more on board the ships. 

After this disgraceful repulse, another council of war was held on 

April '21st, and, in pursuance of the resolutions then come to, a 

general attack from seaward was made upon the place on the 

morning of the '24th. The Assistance, Bur-ford, Suffolk, and 

' The whole being under Major Lucas, of Dalzell's Eegiment. 

88 MAJOn Ol'EllATlONS, 1714-17(;2. [1743. 

Noririvli were told off to liiitter the luaiii work, and the Scar- 
l)oniin/l/, Liri'lij. and I'JIIIkiiii, to attack the fascine hatteries at the 
entrance of the harhour. Fire was opened at about 11 a.m., all the 
ships taking up their stations * as well as they possibly could, except 
the Norwich, which apparently hesitated to get into close action. 
Seeing this, Knowles very promptly sent Captain Henry Stewart 
(acting), of the Livchj, to supersede Captain Thornas Gregory, who 
was put under arrest." Thenceforward, the engagement was hotly 
maintained until the close of day, when the enemy's fire slackened, 
and it became evident that his batteries had suffered severely. He 
reopened fire, however, after dark, and so badly mauled the ships — 
some of which had, by that time, expended nearly all their ammuni- 
tion — that, soon after 9 P.M., Knowles made the signal to cut cables, 
and drew off his shattered vessels. 

The ships actually engaged in this disastrous affair were, saving 
the Advice, Otter, and Comet, the same as had been engaged at La 
Guayra, but some of them were differently commanded. Captain 
Bichard Watkins had been promoted from the Elthatn to the 
Burford, vice Lushington, killed; Captain Pliilip Dui'ell (1) had suc- 
ceeded Captain Watkins in the Eltham ; and, after the supersession 
of Captain Gregory, Commander John Gage, of the Otter, assumed 
command of the Livchj. The loss of the squadron was about two 
hundred men killed and wounded. The ships refitted under shelter 
of the Kej's of Barbarat, and were there rejoined by the Advice, 
which had been detached on scouting duty on March 23rd. On 
April '28th it was determined that the force was no longer in a con- 
dition to attempt anything more against the enemy ; and, after an 
exchange of prisoners had been carried out, the ships belonging to 
the Leeward Islands' station ^ returned thither, and the rest of the 
squadron proceeded to Jamaica. Captain Knowles, in the autumn, 
cruised off Martinique, and, soon afterwards, went home to 

Late in 1743, the excited condition of parties in England, and 

' In til is they were impeded by the sinking of the Spanish vessel in the harbour's 

- He was latei- sent to Enghand and court-rnartialled at Spithead for misbehaviour. 
(C. M. Sept. 17th, 1743.) The court dismissed liim from the service ; but, after distin- 
guishing liimself iis a volunteer, he was restored to his rank as from Xov. 12tli, 17-15. 
He ended his life in a duel. 

^ Where Commodore (later Vice-Admiral Sir) Peter Warren commanded, witli his 
broad'pennant in the Superbe, GO. 

1744.] IIOSrJLlTY OF FltANCK. 89 

the widespread dissatisfaction tliere at the iiianiuT in wliicli the 
interests of Great Britain had, according to the views of many, been 
sacrificed to those of Hannover, encouraged France to take up an 
active, instead of a merely benevolent attitude, with reference to the 
cause of Spain. ^ France was further encouraged in the same 
direction by the growing jealousy with which tlie Emperor, the 
King of Prussia, and their allies, regarded the pretensions of Maria 
Theresia, Queen of Hungary, and by the results of the secret 
negotiations which were set on foot at Frankfurt-on-Main with the 
object of checking the alleged ambitions of that very able princess. 
France, therefore, concluded at Fontainebleau an offensive and 
defensive family alliance with Spain, each party guaranteeing the 
possessions and claims of the other, and agreeing that no peace 
should be concluded until the restoration of Gibraltar by Great 
Britain. France also despatched reinforcements to the aid of Philip 
in Savoy ; directed M. La Bruyere de Court, Lieutenant-General of 
the French squadron in Toulon, to co-operate with the Spanish 
squadron which, under Don Jose Navarro, had so long lain blockaded 
there by Admiral Mathews ; and, early in 1744, sent forth from 
Brest Lieutenant-General de Eoquefeuil, with nineteen men-of-war,^ 
to cruise in the Channel. 

The objects of France were manifold. She desired, firstly, to 
expel Great Britain from the Mediterranean, and then, by sending 
her own Mediterranean fleet to join her squadrons in the Channel, 
to annihilate British superiority in those waters as well : she hoped, 
next, to oblige Great Britain to recall her troops from the Continent, 
and to desist from supporting on shore the cause of Maria Theresia : 
and, finally, she looked forward to fomenting revolution in England, 
and to restoring to the throne the exiled family of Stuart, by means 
of an invasion from Dunquerque. 

The assumption by France of this actively hostile attitude had 
the happy effect of partially calming the violence of party rage in 
Great Britain. The command of the Channel Fleet ^ was given to 
Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Norris, with Vice-Admiral Sir 
Charles Hardy (1) (B), and Bear- Admiral \Yilliam Martin (B), as his 

' The Treaty of "Worms, September 1743, leagued together Great Britain, Holland, 
Austria, Saxony, and Sardinia. This was met, in October 1743, by the Treaty of 
Frankfurt, which banded together France, Prussia, Hessen Cassel, and the Pfalz. 

^ These were presently joined by some from Eochefort. 

' This presently included twenty-five ships of 50 guns and upwards, and twenty- 
four frigates and small craft. 

!t() MAJOl! OI'KIIATIONS, 1711-1702. [1741. 

immediate subordinates. Norris wished to go in seaiuh of M. de 
Roquefeuil, but, it being feared that the latter might possibly pass 
the British fleet at night, or in thick weather, and so get to 
Dunquerque, where a French army was awaiting his escort, the 
Commandei--in-Chief was ordered to proceed with his whole strength 
to the Downs. De Eoquefeuil was sighted off the Eddystone on 
February 3rd, with, it would appear, sixteen ships of fifty guns and 
upwards, and seven frigates and smaller craft. A little later, 
believing Norris to have taken refuge in Portsmouth, he detached 
five vessels, under M. de Barrailh, to Dunquerque, and himself 
anchored off Dungeness on February •24th. 

De Barrailh seems to have passed Nonis in the night. The 
latter, learning of De Eoquefeuil's presence to the westward, 
weighed, and, although the wind was contrary, worked up towards 
him. At that moment the position of the French was extremely 
precarious. But, when he was not much more than six miles from 
the enemy, Norris was obliged by the tide, which made strongly 
against him, to anchor. De Eoquefeuil thereupon got all his anchors 
apeak, and, as soon as the tide set in his favour, ordered his ships 
to weigh, and make independently for Brest. Many of the captains 
were too apprehensive to literally obey the command. Most of them 
cut or slipped, in order to lose as little time as possible; and, a 
strong north-westerlj' gale springing up, they went off at a great 
rate. The gale increased to a storm, and a fog supervened. The 
French reached Brest, ship by ship, in a more or less crippled 
condition, and Norris, hopeless of being able to overtake them, and 
having himself suffered considerably, returned to the Downs, and 
thence despatched his three-decked ships to Spithead, where they 
could lie in greater safety from the weather.^ 

In the meantime, the French flotilla before Dunquerque had 
experienced the full effects of the storm ; and several transports with 
troops and stores on board had foundered, or had been driven ashore. 
"When news arrived of the flight of de Boquefeuil, de Barrailh also 
returned to Brest ; and, there being no longer any prospect of a 
successful invasion of the United Kingdom, the rest of the French 
troops were disembarked, and the Young Pretender, who had been 
with them, returned to Paris. De Eoquefeuil died on board his 
flagship, the Superbe, 76, on March 8th, and was succeeded in the 

' Sir John Norris soon afterwards hauled down his flag for the last time. He was 
succeeded in command of the Channel Fleet by Sir John Balclien. 

17-14.] CO-OriaiATION OF IIOLl.AND. !)1 

command by the Chef d'Escadre, later Vice-Admiral, Blonet de 
Camilly, who was directed to <,niard tlK; French coasts and to detach 
de Barrailh to cruise off the Scilly Islands. In spite of the nature 
of these events, war was not formally declared by France until 
March '20th.' A counter-declaration was returned by Great Britain 
on the 31st" of the same month. 

The outbreak of formal hostilities enabled the British Government 
to request Holland, under the stipulations of the treaty, to supply a 
naval force to co-operate with the British fleets. The States-General 
had already, in view of war, equipped some ships of forty-foixr guns 
and upwards ; and they presently sent these and others, a few at 
a time, to the Downs, under Lieutenant-Admiral Hendrik Grave,'' in 
the Haarlem, 74, Vice-Admiral AVillem 'T Hooft, in the Dordrecht, 
54, Vice-Admiral Cornelis Schrijver, in the Damiateu, 64, and 
Eear-Admiral Jacob Keijnst, in the Leeuwenhorst, 54. As the 
names and force of the ships are wrongly given in all English 
histories, they are here copied from De Jonge : — * 

Haarlem, 72, JJuidrecht, 04, Damiateu, (U, Leeua-tnliurft, 54, Delft, iA, Assen- 
delft, 54, Edam, 54, BeekvUet, 54, Oorcum, 41-, Oud 'I'ijHngen, 44, Middelburg, 44, 
Goiiderak, 44, Bnderode, 54,^ Tholen, 64,^ Zierikzce, G4,' Goes, (i4,'' Kasteel van 
Medemblik, 54,^ Bamhorst, 54,° Prins Friso, 54,'' Vrieslcnd, CA.^ 

Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Hardy (1) (E) was sent southward with 
a squadron to escort the trade to Lisbon and some storeships to 
Gibraltar ; Admiral Sir John Balchen and Vice-Admiral William 
Martin (B) cruised with a fleet in the Channel ; and Sir John 
Balchen subsequently sailed with Martin and Vice-Admiral James 
Stewart (E) '^ to release Hardy's convoy, which was reported to have 
been blocked up in the Tagus by a French squadron. A small force, 
under Commodore Curtis Barnet, was also despatched to the East 
Indies ; and Vice-Admiral Thomas Davers proceeded to the West 
Indies to relieve Sir Chaloner Ogle. The operations of these officers 
will be followed later. First, however, some attention miist be 

' By ordinance dated March 15th. 

- By ])roclamation dated March 29tli. 

' Botli Beatson, i. 184, and Ilervey, iv. 257, fur sunic iinexpLained reason, call this 
officer "Admiral Baccarest, or Baccherest." The contingent was officially styled the 
Auxiliary Squadron. 

■* ' Nederl. Zeewezen,' iv. 182. 

^ These did not join until late in the year. 

° Stewart, Hardy, and Martin were not promoted t<i the raid;s here given until 
June 23rd. 


MA.IOIl (ll'ERATIONH, 1714-1702. 


paid to the work oi' the Navy in the Mediterranean, wliere the 
earliest fleet action of the war was fought. 

Admiral Thomas Mathews,^ being then at Turin,- was informed 
on Deceml^er 30th, 1743, that de Koquefeuil had sailed from Brest. 
The intelligence was incori'ect, Irat it induced him to suspect that 
co-operation between the Brest and Toulon squadrons was intended. 
He therefore sent orders to Minorca that all ships there were to put 
to sea at once. A little later, he heard that M. La Bruyere de 
Court and Don Jose Navarro purposed to quit Toulon together on 
January '20th ; and, hastening to Villa Franca, he embarked to join 
Vice-Admiral Lestock, off Hyeres. Upon arriving there early in 

■'me n I t e j< r .1 y e >i * 

Too/' <t &^ a It^ut 

January, 1744, he found himself at the head of only twenty sail 
of the line, four of which mounted but fifty guns apiece ; but on 
the 11th he was reinforced by the Elizabeth, 70, Berwick, 70, 
Priiiccsa, 70, and Marlborough, 90 ; on Februar}' 3rd, by the 
Somerset, 80, Warwick, 60, and Dragon, GO; on February 10th, by 
the Boyne, 80, and Chichester, 80, which had been sent out from 
England ; and on the 11th, on the very eve of the battle, by the 
jRoi/al Oak, 70. In the interval, he kept himself admirably informed, 
by means of his frigates, of the motions and designs of the enemy. 

' He was pronwted to be Admiral of the White by tlie Guzetie of February 18th, 1744. 
- Where he had been concerting measures with the Sardinian Government for the 
defence of the Italian coasts. 




On February 9tli, the coniLincd fleet appeared under sail in the 
outer road of Toulon, and there formed a line of battle. Mathews 
had already unmoored and shortened in cable, and at 10 A.M. he 
weighed, the wind being westerly. Half an hour afterwards, he 
formed his line of battle ahead, and then plied to windward between 
the islands and the mainland, as if inviting the enemy to bear down 
on bim. At night, having stationed cruisers to watch the foe, be 


anchored in Hyeres Bay. That evening, when Vice-Admiral 
Lestock visited bis chief on board tbe Namur, Mathews seems to 
have received bim coldly, and to have presently desired him to 
return to his own ship. 

At dawn on February 10th, tbe British weighed with a land 
breeze ; and at 7 A.M., tbe wind being from E. or E.S.E.,^ Mathews 

' At tliat time tlie allies had, or aiipeareJ to liave, a westerty wind. 

!'4 MA.IOI! Dlr-KnATIOS'S, 1711-1762. [17.44. 

signalled for his tieet to draw into line of battle ahead with the wind 
large, and for Lestock's division to lead with the starboard tacks 
on board. Both A^ce-Admiral Lestock and Eear-Adrniral M''illiam 
Eowley repeated the signal, but, as the wind was very light, and 
there was a hea\^' swell from the westward, there was much 
difficulty in getting out of the bay in anything hke the prescribed 
order ; and for some hours many of the ships had to tow with their 
boats in order to keep clear of one another. The enemy was seen 
at a distance of twelve or fifteen miles to the S.W. At 1 p.m. 
Mathews again signalled for the line of battle ahead ; and at 2 p.m. 
he hoisted a blue flag at the mizzen-topmast head, and fired a gun.' 
He brought to ; the junior flag-officers repeated the signal ; and the 
whole fleet brought to with the larboard tacks on board. The wind 
was then so light as to be almost imperceptible, and the swell drove 
the ships nearer and nearer to the island of Porquerolles. But at 
3 P.M., when there was a nearly easterly breeze, Mathews signalled 
for the line of battle abreast,- and then stretched with his division to 
the south-west, Vice-Admiral Lestock stretching to the west, and 
Eear-Admiral Eowley making all possible sail with a view to 
extending the fleet and forming line of battle. Yet, towards evening, 
most of the ships were still out of station ; Eowley's division was 
scattered, and was far astern of Mathews's ; and neither Mathews's 
nor Lestock's division was in line. The allies, on the contrary, were 
in admirable order, at a distance of between four and five miles, 
M. de Court being in the centre, M. Gabaret in the van, and 
Don Jose Navarro in the rear. 

Soon after nightfall, Mathews signalled to bring to, the most 
windwardly ships to do so first and to lie by with their larboard 
tacks on board. The fleet accordingh- brought to close to the alhes, 
and, during the night, lay well in sight of them, the wind varying 
in the eastern quarter. The Essex, 70, and Winchelsea, 20, were 
told off to watch the enemy, and to signal intelligence as to any 
movement on his part ; but these ships do not appear to have 
observed that, after the moon had set, the allies made sail, and thus 

' " When the fleet is sailing before the 'vvind, and the Admiral would have them 
bring to with the starboard tacks on board, he vnQ. hoist a red flag at the flagstaff on 
the mizzen-topmast head, and fire a gun ; if to bring to with the larboard tack, a blue 
flag at the same place, and fire a gun ; and every ship is to answer with the same 
signal." — ' Sailing Instruction,' ix. 

^ Hoisting the Union and a pennant at the mizzen-peak, and firing a gun. — 
' Fighting Inst.' ii. 


increased tlieir distances I'l-om (Ik; lii'itisli, \sli(), in the meantime, had 
drifted between the enemy and Toulon, and lay with Cape Hide 
about twelve miles to the N.N.W. At dawn, at least nine miles 
intervened between the headmost and tiie sternmost ships ol' 
Mathews's connnand ; and tlie vaiious divisions were not in close 
order. Neither were the allies as well stationed as M. de Court 
must have desired. Not more than six miles, however, represented 
the extreme length of their line. 

As soon as he realised how^ far he was from the Admiral, Lestock 
oh his own responsibility made sail; but when, at 6.30 a.m., 
Mathews ordered the fleet as a whole to do the like, Lestock was 
still five miles astern. M. de Court had already signalled for the 
line of battle upon a wind ; and the allies at that time, now with 
their topsails and now with their IViresails set, were stretching in 
fairly good order to the southward. The British followed, but, says 
Beatson : — 

"As the leiir divi.siou was at su great a distance tVuiu fhe centre, and tiie vau not so 
close as it should have been, the Admiral, at 7.30 a.m., made the signal for Rear- 
Admiral Rowley and his division to make more sail — which signal the Vice-Admii-al 
repeated ; and, soon after, the like signal was made for the Vice-Adniiral and his 
division. At S a.m. the Admiral made the signal for the fleet to draw into a line of 
battle, one ship abreast of the other, with a large wind ; and, half an lioin- after, he 
made the signal for the fleet to draw into a line of battle, one ship ahead i>f another. 
These signals were repeated by the junior flags." 

Yet it took some time to form the line ; and, in the meanwhile, 
M. de Court seemed inclined to avoid a general action, and to 
endeavour to draw the British towards the Strait. Mathews divined 
his opponent's intention to be either to escape altogether, or to 
proceed without fighting until, reinforced by the squadron from 
Brest, he should be in a condition to go into battle with superior 
forces in his favour. Mathews was, of course, unwilling to allow- 
either object to be attained ; and it was for that reason that, at 
about 11.30 A.M., when, as has been hinted, the order of battle was 
still very incompletely formed, the Admiral hoisted the signal to 

The fleets which were about to be opposed one to anotlier were 
constituted as follows ; — ^ 

' The lists are taken, with sliglit alterations, from those in Beatson and Schomberg, 
and from the evidence in the courts-martial. It would appear, however, that some of 
the Spanish ships practically formed part of the allied centre. 


M A.J on OPERATIONS, 17U-J762. 




/ Stirling Castle . 
Warttnck . 
A'asmu . 

liarjteur . 

Princess Caroh'ni 

Ite}~wick . 



Kingston . 
Oxford. 50 . 
Feversham, 40 
Winchefsea, 20 

/ Ih-agon . 
Bedford . 
Somerset . 
Princesa . 
Norfolfc . 

■S ( Dorsetshire . 
JCssex .... 
Jiotjal Oalc . 

Guernsey, 50 . 

Salislmri/. 50 . 

Durslei/ GaUi-ij, 

Anve Galle;/ f.s. 

Sutherland h.i 
■' IS . , . 

90 765 

70 480 I Thomas Cooper. 
60 400 Temple West. 
"0 ,480 , James Lloy-l. 

iRear-Adm. William Rowley, 

(Merrick tie I'Aiigle. 
SO 600 : Heury Osborii. 
"0 4s(j Eiiwaril Hawke. 
HU (iOO I William hilko-s. 
80 6(tO I RoftiamI l-rogmnre. 
CO 400 I John Lovet. 
. . 300 I liord Hairy Powlett. 
.. 250 j Ji)bn Watkin8(2). 
.. !l25 William Marsh. 

60 4U0 

70 4.^0 

80 600 

74 550 

80 600 

90 780 

80 (iOO 
70 480 
60 4UU 
70 480 

I Charles Watson. 

i Hon. George Townshend. 

I (Icorge Sclater. 

I Iiol)eitPett. 

j Hon. John Forbes. 

lAdm. Tbomas Slalbews, 

{ (B.). 

, l.lobn Uussel. 

.Fames (.'oniwaH. 
, (icorge Burrish. 

Riibard Norris. 

.lolm Ambrose. 

I Edmnnd Williams. 
! Samuel Cornish. 

Peter Osborn. 
Giles Richard Vanbnigb. 
— Mackie, (Com.). 
/Alexander Lord Colville, 

I I (Com.). 

Dutihirl- . 
Cambridgt . 
Torbay . . . 

Xeptune . 

Elizabeth. . . 
Jiereiige . 

Nonsuch, 50 . 

Bomne'/t 50 

Diamond, 40 . 

Mercury f.s., 8 

60 400 

80 600 

80 600 

90 770 


Charles Wager Pnrvis. 
Charles Drummoud. 
John Gascoigne. 
( Vice-Adm. R. Lestock, (W.). 
(George Stepney. 
600 ' Robert Long. 
480 I John Towry. 
480 I Joseph Lingen. 
4'*0 ! George Berkeley. 
300 Edmund Straage. 
31)0 i Henry Godsalve. 
250 James Hodsell. 
45 I M. Peadle, (Com.). 

Note. — The Burford, 70, Captain Richard Watkins, 
several vessels not of the line, were absent from the fleet. 


lior^e . 
Toulouse . 
hue d'Orlf-ans 


esif M. Ue iJamaquart. 

800 M. d'Orves. 
820 >]. Cabaret (Chef d'Eec). 
M. de Cavlus. 




11. de Vautlrcull. 

A'luiUjn . 



Kole . . . 



11. d'AllK-rt. 

AtalavU, 20 

A firpshlp, « 

Farietix , 



M. de Gravier. 

Se'rieax . . 

1 64 


Fei-me . . . 



M. de I)esorqua't- 

TIgre . . . 



M. de Sauriiis-Mnrat. 

Terrible . . 



Adm. de Court. 

Saint Esprit . 



Diamaitt . . 



M. de Marrilart. 

SoUde . . . 



M. de Cbateauneuf. 

Fltur. 20 . 

Xeplii/r. 20. 

A fireship, H 

A fileship, » 

Orietite . . . I 60 I 600 

Amtrica . . . i Co ' 600 

^'f^plu^lo ... 60 600 

Podcr . . . . I 60 600 

Constante. . . 70 , 750 

BealFelijte . . ill4 1350 

Sercult-S . . . C4 650 

Alcitin- ... 58 600 

BriUante . . . i hO 600 

San Fernando . 64 650 

Sobiero . . . I 60 600 

Jsabela ... SO 900 
lolage, 20 . . 

A firesbip, 8 . , | | 

1 A French officer. Captain Lage de Cueilli, also 
exercised some executive authority on board. 

- Some lists omit this vessel, and substitute for her the 
Betiro, 54. 

Dun M. de Vileiia. 

I)on A. Petru'be. 

Pon H. Olivares. 

Don R. Errntia. 

Don. A. Eturiago. 
(Adm. Don Jose Navarro. 
(Don N. Geraldine.i 

I Ion C. Alvario. 

Don J. Rentorin. 

Don B. de la Barrida. 

Conde de Vega Florida. 

Don J. B. Castro. 

Don I. Dntabil. 

Captain Mahan's account of this action ^ is far too brief to be 
of much vahie to the student. What he writes should, however, 
be here quoted, since it describes in a few words the general 
lines upon which the battle, such as it was, was fought. After 
mentioning the issue of the allied fleets from the port of Toulon, 
he continues : — 

"The English fleet, which had been cruising oft' Hyeres in observation, chased, and 
on the nth its van and centre came up with the allies ; but the rear division was then 
several miles to windward and astern, quite out of supporting distance. The wind 
was easterly, both fleets heading to the southward ; and the English had the weather- 

' Infl. of Sea Power,' 265. 


gage. Tiie numbers were nearly e([iial, the Knglisli having twenty-nine to tlie allied 
twenty-seven ; ' but this advantage was reversed by the t'aihue (j1' the Eiiglish rear to 
join. The course of the Kear-Adnnral lias been generally attributed to ill-will t(jwards 
Mathews; for, although he proved that in liis separated position he made all sail to 
join, he did not attack later on when he could, on the plea that the signal for the line 
of battle was flying at the same tirne as the signal to engage; meaning that lie could 
not leave the line to fight without disobeying the order to form line. This technical 
excuse was, however, accepted by the subsequent court-martial. Under the actual 
condition, Mathews, mortified and harassed by the inaction of his lieutenant, and 
fearing that the enemy would escape if he delayed longer, made the signal to engage 
when his own van was abreast the enemy's centre, and at once bore down himself 
out of the line and attacked with his flagship of ninety guns the largest ship in the 
enemy's line, the Eoyal Philip of one liundred and ten guns, carrying the flag of the 
Spanish admiral. In doing this he was bravely supported by his next ahead and 
astern. The moment of attack seems to have been judiciously chosen; five Spanish 
ships had straggled far to the rear, leaving their admiral with the support only of his 
next ahead and astern, w'hile three "^ other Spaniards continued on with the French. 
The English van stood on, engaging the allied centre, while the allied van was without 
antagonists. Being thus disengaged, the latter was desirous of tacking to windward of 
the head of the English line, thus putting it between two fires, but was checked by 
the intelligent action of the three leading English captains, who, disregarding the 
signal to bear down, kept tlieir commanding position and stopped the enemy's attempts 
to double. For this they were cashiered by the court-martial, but afterwards restored. 
This circumspect but justifiable regard of signals was imitated without any justifica- 
tion by all the English captains of the centre, save the Admiral's seconds already 
mentioned, as v^ell as by some of those in the van, who kept up a cannonade at long 
range while their Commander-in-Chief was closely and even furiously engaged. The 
one marked exception was Captain Hawke, afterwards the distinguished admiral, who 
imitated the example of his chief, and, after driving his first antagonist out of action, 
quitted his place in the van, brought to close quarters a fine Spanish ship that had 
kept at bay five other English ships, and took her — the only prize made that day. 
The commander of the English van, with his seconds, also behaved with spirit and 
came to close action. It is unnecessary to describe the battle further. . . ." 

After having, at 11.30 a.m., hoisted the signal' to engage, 
Mathews stood on, but overhauled the enemy only very gradually. 
At 1 P.M., the Naviur was abreast of the Real Felipe, and the 
Barjieur, of the Terrible. Half-an-hour later, the Namur bore 
down within pistol-shot of the Bcal Felipe, and began to engage her 
furiously, and the Barjieur presently did the same with the Terrible. 
Lestock's division was still far astern, and to windward, and, 
according to the evidence at the court-martial, could not have then 
been up with the centre, unless Mathews had shortened sail and 
waited for it. 

' This statement seems to be a little misleading. According to the lists already 
given, the British liad in line twenty-eight shi]js, and the allies the same number. But, 
in addition, the British had five .50 and two 40-gun ships, for which the allies had no 
equivalents. The guns in line on each side were : British, 2080 ; Allies, 1822. 

2 Qy. " four." 

^ This was repeated by liowley, but not hy Lestock, who was at a great distance. 



MA.IOn OPERATIONS, 1711-1702 


The Nainiir was well supported by the Mdrlbdrongli, which 
attacked the I.sahi'hi,^ and by the Norfolk, which attacked the 
ConsttDife. The Princesa, Bedford, Dragon, and Kingston fired into 
the I'odcr, and the Nephino,^ America, and Oriente, after exchanging 
rather distant broadsides with the same British ships, passed on 
with tJio rear of the French part of the allied fleet. The remaining 

Spanish ships were, at 
first, considerably astern 
of their station, but, as 
the breeze freshened, they 
came up, and, towards the 
end of the action, assisted 
the Real Felipe. Lestock 
made some effort to pre- 
vent this, but the wind 
was still very hght with 
him, and he was also im- 
peded by the swell, so that, 
although he had all sail 
set, his efforts were vain. 

The Barfleur^ got to 
close quarters with the 
Terrible, and was much 
assisted by the Princess 
Caroline*^ and the Ber- 
tvick. The Chichester and 
Boyne also threw in their 
fire, but they were not 
close enough to the enemy 
to do much execution. As 
for the leading ships of the van — the Stirling Castle, Warwick and 
Nassau — they did not bear down to the enemy at all, although the 
signal for- them to do so was flying. They chose to disregard it, 
and to keep their wind, in order, as was afterwards explained or 
suggested, to prevent the French froua doubling upon the head of 
the British column. 

' Tlie Isabela, which lost uearly three liuiKh'ed killed and wounded, had by that 
time moved up to the position next astern of the Heal Felipe. 
- The Ntptuno lost nearly two hundred killed and wounded. 
^ The Barfieur had twenty-tive killed, and twentj- wounded. 
■* The Priiicess Caroline had eight killed, and twentv wounded. 

FEBRUARY llTH, 1744. 

British. Maek : Freneh, icliite ; Spanish, sluidcd. 

[Mathews's flagship, the Xamiir. is the centre one of tlie 
three rearmost Britisli ships that are closely engaged. 
Hawke's ship, the Beriinck, is the rearmost one of the 
larger closely engaged gronp. She has already silenced 
the Ptidcr, which lies head to wind astern of her.] 




The hottest part oi' the uclioii was, in the- uuiiuitiuu.', being 
waged l)y the ships immediately about Mathews. The Norfolk ^ 
drove the Constante out of the hue, a shattered wreck, but was 
herself too much damaged to pursue her. The Nainur and Marl- 
borough were, at one moment, so close to one another that Mathews, 
to avoid being fallen on board of by his eager second, was ol)liged to 
fill his sails, and draw a little ahead. Tlie Ndiiuir was tlien scarcely 

(From T. Ftilwra nirinirin.i ii/Irr llir i«,iiniit h,i Arnidpht (1743).) 

under control, owing to the rough handling which she had received, 
and could give little help to the Marlburough, which, fought by her 
captain, and afterwards by his nephew. Lieutenant Frederick 
Cornwall, in the inost magnificent manner, was very sorely 
pressed. None of the vessels immediately astern of her volunteered 
to assist her in the least, but, keeping their wind, fired fruitlessly at 
an enemy who was beyond the reach of their shot ; and, in spite of 

Tlie NorfiiJk had nine killeil, and thirteen wounded. 

H -1 

100 MAJOR OPBllATIONS, 1714-1762. [1744. 

the fact that the Spaniards Ijetrayed every desire to meet them in 
the most handsome manner, few British captains properly took up 
the challenge. The most brilliant exception was Captain Edward 
Ilawke, of the Berwick, who, noticing how the Poder had vainly 
endeavoured to draw on some of his reluctant colleagues, quitted his 
station, and bore down upon her. His first broadside did her an 
immense amount of damage, and, in twenty minutes, when she had 
lost all her masts, she was glad to strike. 

The Beal Felij}e ' was disabled, but the ships of the rear 
were crowding up to her assistance, and Lestock remained afar off, 
so that it looked as if the British strength about the Spanish admiral 
would not suffice to compel her to haul down her colours. In these 
circumstances, Mathews ordered the Anne Galley, fireship, to go 
down and burn the Heal Felipe, and, seeing that the Marlborough''' 
was in no condition to help herself, he further signalled for the boats 
of the British centre to tow her out of the line. 

The Anne Galley was handled with great ability and gallantry. 
As she bore down on the Real Felijje she was received with a well- 
directed fire from such guns as that crippled ship could bring to 
bear, and with a more distant cannonade from the Spanish vessels 
astern of the flagship. Commander Mackie, match in hand, stood 
alone upon the deck of his little craft, ready to fire her at the proper 
moment. Most of his crew were alongside in a boat, which was 
waiting to take him on board. The rest, by his orders, had taken 
shelter from the storm of shot that hurtled across the fireship. But 
the Anne Galley, struck repeatedly between wind and water, was 
already sinking. Moreover, a Spanish launch, crowded with men, 
was approaching to board her, and tow her clear. Mackie felt that, 
at all hazards, he must endeavoiTr to destroy the launch, and, in 
spite of the fact that his decks were littered with loose powder, that 
his hatches and scuttles were open, and that his funnels^ were 
uncapped, he fired his waist guns at the boat. This was fatal. 
The blast from the guns set fire to the loose powder ; and, while the 
A)ine Galley was still too far from the Beal Felipe to seriously 
damage her, she prematurely blew up, and then sank, carrying down 

' Tlie Real Felipe bail about five bundred nun killed and wounded. 

^ The Marlhorough lost Captain Cornwall, and forty-two men killed and one 
bundred and twenty wounded. 

^ Funnels: in a firesbip, tubes leading from the deck to the main body of explosives 
in the hold. 

1744.] THE /!ATTL;<; off TOULON. 101 

Commandur Miickii!, a liuiiicMiiiiit, a luato, a gunner, and two 

In the meantime, M. do Court, wlm, owing to tlie confusion and 
smoke, seems to have supposed that the Spaniards were much more 
closely pressed than was actually the case, tacked to their assistance. 
Eear-Admiral Rowley tacked too, and followed the allied centre. 
Very soon afterwards, Mathews, to quote the words of Beatson — 

" hauled down the signal to engage the enemy, and also the signal for the lino of 
battle ; making the signal to give over chase ; but, at half-past five o'clock, he made 
the signal for the fleet to draw into a line if battle ahead. There was then but little 
wind, and so great a swell that the ships could only wear. The Admiral wore, and 
formed the line of battle on the larboard tack. This last manoeuvre of the Admiral's 
appears to have been made with a design to collect his fleet, draw them out of the 
confusion they were in, and ari-auge them in a proper order for battle, which he had 
every reason to think would be speedily renewed ; the French squadron being now at 
hand, and in an e.xtremely well-formed line. They crowded, however, to the assistance 
of the Spaniards. The Foder, prize, being dismasted, and being unable to follow the 
British fleet when they wore, was retaken by the French squadron, she having on 
board a lieutenant and twenty-three men belonging to the Berwick. The Dorsetshire, 
Fssex, Rupert, and Boyal Oak, wearing at the time the Admiral did, brought them 
nearer to the sternmost ships of the Spanish squadron, which had by this time joined 
tlieir admiral in a close line. In passing each other, being on contrary tacks, a short 
action took place, in which the Namur, Dunkirk, and (Jrtnhri'lye joined, but with 
little execution on either side. Daylight was almost gone, and the British fleet passed 
on, leaving the confederate fleet astern." 

Owing to the condition of the Namur s ' masts, Mathews, at 
about 8 P.M., shifted his flag from her to the Russell, and intimated 
the fact of the change to Lestock and Eowley. On the morning of 
the 12th, when the wind was E.N.E., the enemy was seen about 
twelve miles to the S.W. At about 7 a.m., the Somerset, which 
had become separated from her consorts in the night, fell in with, 
and for half-an-hour engaged, the Hercules, which had likewise 
straggled from her friends ; but, the Hercules being assisted by some 
French ships, the Somerset had to draw off and rejoin her division. 
At 9 A.M. Lestock ordered his squadron to chase to the S.W., and 
crowded sail ahead of the fleet. At 11 p.m., Mathews signalled for 
the fleet to draw into line of battle abreast, and then brought to on 
the starboard tack in order to collect his command. In the after- 
noon, the British fleet, in admirable order, was going down on flie 
enemy, which was retreating in some confusion before the wind, the 
Spaniards being ahead of, and to leeward of the French, and the 

' The A»m»/' liad eight killed and twelve wounded. Among the latter was 
Cniitain liussel, who lost his left arm, and wlio subsequently died at Port Mahou. 

102 MAJOR Ol'Ji RATIONS, 1714-1762. [1744. 

Heal Felipe still bearing Navarro's Hag, although she was in tow of 
another vessel. As for the Poder, she fell so far astern that the 
enemy fired her to prevent her from again falling into British hands ; 
and, in the course of the following night, she blew up. But, in the 
meantime, Mathews, at about 5.30 p.m. on the l'2th, had ordered his 
fleet to bring to, there being no more than a light wind from the 
N.E., and by 10 p.m. that night the enemy was out of sight. 

On the 13th, Mathews again chased to the W. and W.S.W. ; but 
at U A.M. he ordered the pursuit to be relinquished, his reasons, as 
afterwards explained, being, that he saw no prospect of bringing the 
allies to action ; that, if he had continued to follow them, he would 
have been drawn towards the Strait's mouth, and would have left 
Italy entirely unprotected ; and that, as his instructions were 
stringent as to the protection of Italy, he was unwilling to risk 
leaving the way clear for the transport thither of a large number of 
troops which he had reason to believe had been collected for that 
purpose in the ports of Spain. Yet it was unfortunate that the 
Admiral did not persist. Had he pressed the chase, he must 
inevitably either have picked up several of the crippled ships ^ of the 
allies, or have obliged de Court and Navari'o to accept action on 
disadvantageous terms in order to cover their lame ducks. 

After having relinquished the chase, Mathews tried to beat back 
in the face of strong contrary winds, but failed ; so, first showing 
himself in Eosas Bay, with a view to letting the Spaniards know 
that he was observing their motions, he ran for Port ]\lahon. Upon 
reaching that harbour, he suspended Vice-Admiral Lestock, and sent 
him to England. 

Both in France and Spain, as well as in Great Britain, there 
was great disgust at the result of the battle off Toulon. In France, 
Admiral de Court, in consequence of Navarro's representations, was 
superseded. De Court in a letter to the Bishop of Eennes, who 
was then Ambassador from France to the Court of Madrid, said, 
" It was not I, my lord, who forced M. Navarro to fight against all 
laws of war and prudence ; it was not I who separated his ships 
from him and drove him into danger ; but when he had taken so 
much pains, after all I could do, to get himself beaten, it was I who 
came to his assistance and gave him the opportunity to get away, 
which otherwise he never could have had." De Court was at the 
time an officer of nearly eighty years of age. 

' Four, at least, and probably more, were sei'iously tlisablecl aloft. 


In Great Britain, Lestock's nii\villin^'n(!ss to sit (]uictly under 
his suspension led to a succession ol' courts-martial. These were 
preceded by an enquiry by the House of Commons, which began on 
March l'2th, 174.5, and lasted until tin- middle of April. The King 
was then addressed to order a court-nuu-tial into the conduct of 
Admiral Mathews, Vice-Admiral Lestock, the captains of a number 
of ships, which had been engaged in the battle off Toulon, and the 
lieutenants of the Dorsctaliiir. In his reply his Majesty said, 
" I am sensible how much depends on preserving an exact 
discipline in the fleet, and of the necessity there is of bringing 
to justice such as have failed in their duty on this important 
occasion." In the meantime, Mathews, in pursuance of orders 
from England, had resigned his command and returned home, 
leaving the fleet under the orders of Vice- Admiral William Eowley. 

The court-martial first assembled on board the London at 
Chatham on September '23rd, 1745, under the presidency of Sir 
Chaloner Ogle (1), Kt., Admiral of the Blue. The officers brought 
before it were the Heutenants of the Dorsetshire , who were charged 
with having advised their Captain, BiuTish, not to bear down upon 
the enemy. They were all acquitted. On September 25th Burrish's 
trial began, and sentence was delivered on October 9th. The court 
declared, " That by reason of Captain Burrish lying inactive for 
half-an-hour when he might have assisted the Marlhorongh, and 
not being in line with the Admiral when he first brought to, he is 
guilty of a part of the charge exhibited against him, as he did not 
do his utmost to burn, sink, or destroy the enemy, nor give the 
proper assistance to the Marlborough till after the message he 
received from the Admiral : that he is guilty on the 12th and 
13th Articles of the Fighting Instructions, and that therefore the 
court adjudge him to be cashiered and forever rendered incapable 
of being an officer in his Majesty's Navy." Captain Edmund 
Williams, of the lioijal Oak, was next tried on four charges. The 
court found that Captain Williams had failed in his duty by not 
being in line with the Admiral, and by keeping to the windward of 
the line during the greater part of the action, and not within proper 
distance to engage with any effect during the most part of the time 
he was engaged : but, in regard of his long service and his eyesight 
being very defective and other favourable considerations, the court 
was unanimously of the opinion that all this greatly weighed in 
mitigation of the punishment due, and therefore only adjudged 

]U4 MAJOR OVKRATIONS, 1714-17G2. [1745. 

him unfit to be employed any more at sea, Init recommended him 
to the Lords Commissioners of tlie Admiralty to be continued 
on half-pay according to his seniority. This recommendation their 
Lordships corajjlied with.' 

Captain John Ambrose, of the Rupert, was tried on October 18th. 
In his case the court found that he had failed in his duty in not 
engaging closer while he was engaged, when he had it in his power : 
but in regard that both before and since the action he had borne 
the character of a vigilant officer, and that his failure in action 
seemed to have resulted from mistaken judgment, the court onl}' 
sentenced him to be cashiered during His Majesty's pleasure, and 
mulcted of one year's pay for the use of the Chest at Chatham. He 
was presently restored to his rank, and was in 1750 superannuated 
as a rear-admiral, dying in 1771. Captain William Dilkes, of the 
Chichester, had to answer the charge of not bearing down and 
engaging the enemy closer when he had it in his power so to do. 
The court found the charge proven, and dismissed him from the 
command of his ship, but he also was afterwards restored to his 
rank, though relegated to the half -pay list.^ Captain Frogmore, of 
the Boyne, who was to have been tried with these officers, had died 
on November 8th, 1744, while still abroad. 

At a rather earlier date. Captain Norris, of the Essex, who had 
been accused by his own officers of bad behaviour during the battle, 
had demanded and obtained a court-martial at Port Mahon, but, as 
he had previously resigned his command and was on half-pay, the 
court, after much debate, considered that it had no jurisdiction. 
The account of the proceedings, and a strongly-worded protest from 
the accusing officers, having been sent to England, the Admiralty 
ordered Norris to come home to stand his trial ; but on his way he 
seized the opportunity to abscond at Gibraltar, thus, it must be 
feared, admitting his guilt. He died in deserved obscurity. 

Vice-Admiral Lestock had brought charges of his own against 
Captains Kobert Pett, George Sclater,^ Temple West, Thomas 
Cooper, and James Lloyd. In consequence of his complaints of 
their misconduct, these five captains were tried in due course. The 
first two were acquitted, the last three cashiered ; but as the 
offences of which the latter had been convicted did not reflect 

' Eduniud Williams, wlio was a caiitain of 1734, subsequently became a super- 
aunuated rear-admiral, and dit-d in 1752. 

^ Captain Dilkes died in I75(j. ^ Or Slaughter. 


upnii tlieir professional honour or cajiacity, and as tlicir case was 
considered a hard onc^, tlie ]vii),u at once restored them to their 
former rank in the service. After an adjournment of the court, 
the trial of Vice-Admiral Lestock himself began at Deptford on 
board the Priiicr of Ontiif/e, and, Sir Chaloner Ogle being in ill- 
health, Rear-Admiral Perry Mayne officiated as president. The 
other flag-officer in attendance was Kear- Admiral the Hon. John 
Byng, who, a few years later, was shot for his behaviour in the 
action off Minorca. Lestock urged in his defence that he could 
not have engaged without breaking the line, and that he was not 
authorised to do this because, though the signal for engaging had 
been made, that for the line-of-battle was still flying. He was 
mianimously acquitted. The truth is, that he took shelter through- 
out behind purely technical excuses, which availed hiin, although he 
had acted in opposition to the spirit of his earlier correspondence 
with Barnet, that a subordinate should go to the length of quitting 
his station, even without orders, for the sake of joining and 
supporting the main body of the fleet in action. In short, for 
reasons of his own — and they are not hard to formulate — he chose 
to forget his broad duty to his country, and his comrades in aims, 
rather than depart from the narrow letter of his instructions. 

During Lestock's trial a very remarkable occurrence happened. 
On May 15th the president of the court was arrested by virtue of 
a writ of capias, issued by Sir John Willes, Lord Chief Justice of 
the Common Pleas, in consequence of a verdict which had been 
obtained by Lieutenant George Frye, of the Marines, against 
Sir Chaloner Ogle, Rear-Admiral Perry Mayne and others, for 
false imprisonment and maltreatment in the West Indies, resulting 
from an illegal sentence passed upon him by a court-martial. 
The arrest of their president so incensed the members of the 
court that, oblivious of the fact that the civil law must always 
of necessity take precedence of the military, they passed resolutions 
in which they spoke of the Lord Chief Justice of the Common 
Pleas with violent disrespect. These resolutions they forwarded 
to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who laid them before 
the King. His Majesty was somewhat hastily advised to express 
his displeasure at the insult which had been offei"ed to the court- 
martial ; but he, like the Lords Conmiissioners of the Admiralty, 
had little idea of the great authority vested in the Lord Chief 
Justice of the Connuon Pleas, who, as soon as he heard of the 

106 MAJOR OPEIiATTONS, 1714-1762. [1745. 

resolutions of the court-martial, promptly ordered each member 

of it to be taken into custody. He was beginning to adopt further 

measures to vindicate liis ofHce, when the episode was happily put 

an end to by the submission of the offending officers. 

The trial of Admiral Mathews began on June Kith, 174G, iiear- 

Admiral Perry Mayne, as before, being president, and Rear-Admiral 

the Hon. John Byng being of the court. Lestock exhibited fifteen 

charges against his superior. Once more the advocates of a broader 

interpretation of the instructions were defeated by the advocates 

of the strict letter. It is perhaps well that in those days it was so, 

for, for several years previously, naval discipline had been none too 

good. Mathews, whose anxiety to do his best against the enemies 

of his country cannot be denied, though his wisdom may be, heard 

his fate on October 22nd, when the following sentence was passed 

upon him : — 

" The court having examined the witnesses produced, as well in supixjrt of the 
charge as in behalf of the prisoner, and having thoroughly considered their evidence, 
do unanimously resolve tliat it appears thereby that Thomas Mathews Esq., by divers 
breaches of duty, was a principal cause of the miscarriage of his Majesty's fleet in the 
Mediterranean in the month of February 1744, and that he falls under the 14th Article 
of an Act of the 13th of Charles II., for establishing articles and orders for the better 
government of his Majesty's Navy, sliips of war and forces by sea : and the court do 
unanimously think fit to adjudge the said Thomas Mathews to be cashiered and 
rendered incapable of any employ in his Majesty's service." 

There is no question that, from a purely legal point of view, 
Mathews deserved his punishment, but it is equally undoubted that 
Lestock's conduct throughout was really far more reprehensible 
than that of the superior officer. Mathews blundered, but his 
intentions were good. Lestock clung tightly to the dead letter of 
his duty ; but his intentions were contemptible, for, in effect, he said 
to himself, " My superior is making a mess of this affair. I will 
stick fast to my instructions and let him, and even the fleet and 
country, go to ruin before I will strike a blow to help him. I shall 
then be safe, and he, whom I happen to regard as my private enemy, 
will pay the penalty." ' 

' The minutes of these courts-martial are enormously voluminous, and the 
pamphlets called forth by the action off Toulon are extremely numerous. See 
especially : ' A Partic. Account of the late Action ... by an officer in the Fleet,' 8vo, 
1744 ; ' Captain Gascoigne's Answer,' etc., 8vo, 1746 ; ' Admiral Mathews's Hemarks 
on the Evidence,' etc. ; ' Defence made by J. Ambrose,' etc., 8vo, 1745 ; ' Case of 
Captain G. Burrish,' etc., Svo, 1747 ; ' A Narrative of the Proceedings of H.M. Fleet,' 
etc., Svo, 1745 ; ' Vice-Admiral L — st — k's Account,' etc., 1745 ; ' Yice-Admiral 
Lestock's Piecapitulation,' etc., 1745. 

1744.] BALCIIEN'S J, A ST SEnVJ(JI<:. 107 

Mathews, after tho fi^'ht oil' 'I'oiildii, liiul mlittod at Port Malioii, 
and had then detached Captain UoWcrt Lonj,', with a small division, 
to cruise off the Itahan coast and to intercept supplies for the 
Spanish army there. Mathews himself put to sea as soon as 
possible, and on June 14th, 1744, drove ashore and destroyed a 
number of French transports near Marseilles. In fact he and his 
cruisers were very active until his return to England in September. 

His successor. Vice- Admiral Wilham Eowley, had many objects 
which he was compelled to keep in view. He had to guard Italy 
from the French and Spaniards, coming by way of the sea ; he had 
to observe a French squadron from Brest, which lay at Cadiz ; lie 
had to watch a French fleet at Toulon ; he had to keep his eye on the 
Spanish squadron at Cartagena ; above all, he had to protect British 
trade. At that time Admiral de Torres was expected in Spain with 
a valuable convoy of treasure ships from Havana ; and on the other 
hand, as has been mentioned, Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Hardy (1) had 
gone southward with a convoy bound for Lisbon and Gibraltar. 
The French and Spaniards, anxious to facilitate the safe arrival 
of de Torres, and, if possible, to intercept Hardy, arranged that the 
Toulon squadron should put to sea, and join with the Spanish at 
Cartagena, and with the French at Cadiz. Admiral Gabaret, 
therefore, left Toulon on September '20tli with sixteen sail of the 
line and four frigates. Bowley, who was then at Minorca, with 
only a part of his forces, did not hear of this till October 7th. He 
at once put to sea in chase ; and, as soon as he realised that the 
enemy's plan involved an attempt upon a division of Hardy's convoy, 
which had reached Gibraltar, Rowley made for Spain. Although 
he ultimately found the merchantmen safely under the liock, he 
thereby managed to miss the enemy. 

Hardy had sailed in April 1744, and, having sent his main convoy 
into the Tagus, whence it was to proceed by divisions to points 
further south, he returned, and re-anchored at St. Helen's on 
May 20th. But scarcely had he quitted Lisbon when the transports 
and store-ships, which he had left there, were blockaded in the 
river by the French squadron, under M. de Kochambeau, from 
Brest. As the stores were much needed by the Mediterranean fleet, 
Admiral Sir John Balchen, with his flag in the Victory, and with 
a considerable force, was detached from the Channel to relieve the 
blockade. He sailed on July 28th, made several j)rizes, compelled 
de Eochamheau to return to Cadiz, and then escorted to Gibraltar 

108 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-17(i2. [1744. 

that part oi' the convoy which was siibsequeiitiy found there by 

Balchen returned; Init on October 3rd his command was over- 
taken by a violent storm and was dispersed. Several ships were 
much damaged and were at times in great danger ; but all of them, 
except the Victory, safely reached Plymouth on October 10th. 
The Victory, which was at that time considered the finest ship in 
the world, had become separated from her consorts on October 4th, 
and was never again seen. It is supposed that she struck on the 
ridge of rocks called the Caskets, near the island of Alderney, seeing 
that on the night l)etween the 4th and 5th of October the booming 
of guns was heard, both by the people in charge of the Casket Light 
and by the inhabitants of Alderney. The wind, however, was so 
strong that no boat could venture in the direction whence the 
sounds proceeded. The Victory's crew, including her Admiral,' her 
Captain, Samuel Faulknor," her officers, and about fifty young 
gentlemen volunteers, amounted to iipwards of one thousand souls, 
all of whom perished. The loss of the ship was at that time 
imputed to some defects in her construction, but it is probable that 
this really had nothing to do with it, and that the disaster must 
be attributed solely to the storm and thick weather which prevailed 
at the time. 

Owing to the situation of affairs with France, a small squadron 
of four ships, imder Commodore Curtis Barnet, sent at the request 
of the directors of the East India Company to the East Indies, had 
sailed on May 5th, 1744, from Spithead. In January following, 
after having taken measures to intercept home-coming French ships 
from China, and after having disguised his own vessel, the Deptford, 
60, Captain John Philhpson, and the Preston, 50, Captain the Earl 
of Northesk (1), Barnet was so fortunate as to take in the Strait of 
Banca the French Indiamen Dauphin, Herculr, and Jason, each of 
30 guns. 

The Commodore had not long left England when the successful 
return of Commodore Anson suggested to the British Ministry that 
it might be easy to capture the next treasure-ships bound from 
Acapulco to Manilla ; and a despatch to that effect was sent to 
Barnet by the Lively, 20, Captain Elliot Elhot. But the activity 

' Sir John Balclien was then in his seventy-sixth year. 

^ A captain of 1736, and a member of one of the most distinguished of British 
naval families. 


and Uiroatcuiu^' attitude oi' tlio I'^rench in India prevented tlie 
scheme from being carried out ; and, after his squadion had taken 
a few other French ships, Barnet went to Madras and confined 
himself mainly to observing and harassing the enemy in the Bay 
of Bengal. 

Vice-Adniiral Thomas Davers was sent with reinforcements to 
Jamaica to relieve Sir Chaloner Ogle in 1744 ; but the French and 
Spaniards were so strong on that station, and so many battleships 
were carried home with him by Ogle, that Davers had to restrict 
himself to the defensive. His cruisers, however, made several prizes 
and the French failed in their only important enterprise, an attack 
on Anguilla. 

The war which broke out in 1744 was destined to have an 
important influence on the fate of the British and French empires 
in North America. At first the French there were very active, and 
the British were extremely indifferent to their own interests. In 
consequence of this, the French territories, which had been handed 
over to Great Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht, were neglected and 
were badly affected to the new government. They were, indeed, full 
of active French sympathisers. The natural outcome was a scheme, 
hatched by the French, to take advantage of the dissatisfaction, 
and to deprive Great Britain of part at least of her new possessions. 
M. de Quenel, who was then Governor of Cape Breton, fitted out 
a small armament from Louisbourg and put it under the command 
of Captain Duvivier. The native Indians gave, or at least promised 
to give him some assistance. The armament made first for Canso, 
where the French arrived on May 11th. They were joined by 
two hundred Indians, and by many disaffected inhabitants. The 
place was held by a company of the 40th Regiment, but, as it was 
indefensible, it presently surrendered. The French demolished 
such fortifications as existed, and set the place on fire. M. Duvivier, 
who, in the meantime, had been reinforced by five hundred Indians, 
proceeded with all his forces to Annapolis Eoyal. This important 
position, like Canso, was in a very neglected state ; I)ut it was saved 
by the activity and patriotism of the New Englanders. 

Governor Shirley and the Assembly of Massachusetts, well 
knowing the consequence of Nova Scotia to Great Britain, en- 
couraged the raising in New England of a Iwdy of volunteers, 
which, promptly dispatched to Annapolis, arrived before the French 
made their appearance. When, therefore, M. Duvivier, who landed 

110 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1745. 

on June •2nd, smainoned the town, lie was informed that it would 
1)0 defended to the last exti'emity ; and, although he made some 
preparations for an assault, the strength of the defenders so deeply 
impressed him that he finally returned to Louisbourg without 
attempting anything further. 

This activity of the French suggested to the Governor and 
Assembly of New England a project for the conquest of Louisbourg, 
which was then the chief French base in North America. A re- 
quest was made to the home Government to the effect that, as the 
necessary naval forces could be sent more quickly from the West 
Indies than from England, Commodore Peter Warren might be 
detached from the former station to co-operate with a colonial 
expedition. To this the Government agreed, and orders were issued 
accordingly. The Assembly of Massachusetts raised £27,000 for the 
service. Troops were collected and confided to the command of 
Mr. WiUiam Pepperel, of Kittery, Maine ; and, though no fewer 
than 38-50 volunteers were assembled and sufficient transports and 
stores for their accommodation were provided, all was done vpith so 
great secrecy that the enemy seems to have suspected nothing. But 
as this expedition did not sail till 17-4o, the histor}^ of its proceedings 
must be for the present deferred. 

While Great Britain was fully occupied with her foreign foes she 
had to contend wath not less dangerous enemies at home, for France 
in 1745, at a time when the greater part of the British army was on 
the Continent, engaged in supporting the schemes of the House of 
Austria, suddenly transported the Young Pretender to Scotland. 
France did not believe that Prince Charles Edward would be 
successful, nor did she ever mean to assist him very actively ; but 
she realised that he might cause a most useful diversion. With a 
slender retinue the Prince embarked at St. Nazaire on board a small 
vessel, the Dentelle, which was lent him by a Mr. Walsh, who was 
a merchant of Nantes but was of Irish extraction. He had arms for 
about 2000 men and about £2000 in money, and he sailed on 
July 7th. When off BeUe Isle he was joined by the Elisabeth, 64, 
which had orders to escort Prince Charles Edward round Ireland to 
the Hebrides. On July 9th, in lat. 47^ .57' N., the little expedition 
was discovered by the Lion, 58, Captain Piercy Brett (1), which 
immediately gave chase. At 5 o'clock the Lion ran alongside and 
poured a broadside into the Elisabeth at short range. The two vessels 
continued warmly engaged until 10 o'clock, when the Lion had 

1745.] i''i!jyaj<: and tuk yovnq phetendf.r. Ill 

suffered so severely in lier rigging tli:it slie was incapiil)ie of milking 
sail. The Elisahetli, on the contrary, had suffered chiefly in her 
luiU; and, although it is reported that several of her gun-ports were 
knocked into one, she was able to get away. The smaller vessel at 
the beginning of the action had endeavoured to assist her consort, 
but had soon been beaten off by the Lion's stern-chasers; and, 
when she saw that the Elisabeth had failed of success, she crowded 
sail and made her escape. The Lion, whose complement was 440 
men, lost 55 killed and 107 wounded, of whom seven ultimately 
died. The French lost 65 killed and 186 dangerously wounded. 

Prince Charles pursued his voyage and reached the coast of 
Lochaber at the end of July. The Young Pretender, on landing, 
was dissuaded by his best friends from pursuing his adventure ; but 
he persisted, and they then gave way and joined him. For a time 
he had some success, but he was too fond of pleasure to act with the 
necessary energy, and presently the British Government began to 
recover from its first amazement. A regular plan of defence was 
elaborated. Admiral Edward Vernon (1),' with a squadron, was sent 

' It shovild liere be inentioued that Vernon's ultimate disgrace arose out of this 
appoiutmeut of his to the command in the Downs. He had with him but very few 
ships, and in a letter of November 16th, 1745, to the Earl of Sandwich, he said : " It 
must have made an odd appearance in the Bye of the World to have seen two Tlag- 
Officers lye so long in the Downs with but one forty-gun ship lo form a line of battle 
with." This paucity of command, condiined with the fact that he had no commission 
as a ()ommandcr-in-Chief, was the origin of liis discontent. He was also irritated by 
the conduct of the Admiralty which, in the same letter, he stigmatises in rather strong 
language. Things came to a head when, on December 1st, Vernon wrote to the 
Admirali}': "I have read, with great surprise, the long paragraph in j'our letter 
informing me their Lordships don't approve of my having appointed a Gvmner to the 
Poole when the necessity of the Service required it, and his Matie's Service must have 
suffered for the want of it; and acquainting me, it is their Lordships' directions I 
should withdraw the Warrants that I gave to them for his Majesty's Service. I must 
say with concern, in answer to it, that I did not expect to have been treated in such a 
contemptuous manner, and that 1 can hardly conceive it to be their directions till I see 
it from under their hands in an Order for me to do it, and shall now entreat the favour 
of their Lordships that, if they think it deserves an Order, they will please to direct it 
to my Successor to put in Execution, as I must, in sucli case, intreat the favour of 
their Lordships to procure me His Majesty's leave to quit a Command I have long 
thought too contemptibly treated in regard to the rank I hold for His Majesty's honour 
and service, and I should rather chuse to serve His Majesty in the capacity of a private 
man in the Militia, than to permit the rank I hold in His Majesty's Service to be treated 
w'ith contempt, which I conceive to be neither for our Royal Master's honour or Service. 
A private Captain over two ships on any foreign service exercises the power of filling up 
all vacancies mider him, and it is for his Matie's Service he should be empowered to do so. 
When I attended the Regency, I was spoke to as a person of confidence that was tu have 
had the Chief Command at home. Their Lordsliips' Orders of the 7th August seem'd to 
design me for such, tho" that was speedily altered by those of tlie 14th, and I always 

11- MA.JOlt OrEHATIONS, 17l4-17i;2. [1745. 

to the Downs to watch the motions of the French at Dunquerque 
and Calais, and he from time to time detached squadrons under the 
command of Commodores Thomas Smith and Charles Knowles, 
who intercepted many small vessels destined for the rebels. At the 

su.spected there was something lujkiiig under tlic avoiding to call me Commander-in- 
Chief anywhere, but only Admiral of tlie White, tho', at the same time, Letters had 
]iassed thru" my hands, directed to Vice-Admiral Martin (whom, by my first orders, I 
was lo take under my Command), stiling him Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's 
Ships ill tlie Soundings. But your letter, Sir, has now explained the whole to me." 
The controversy led the Admiralty to quote what it believed to be a ]>recedent for its 
action, whereupon, in a letter of December (ith, Vernon wrote : "I am now come to the 
last part of your letter in answer to mine of the first, and was ])leased to find you had 
quoted the precedent of Sir John Nurris's case in the year 1740. Sir John Norris 
thought it right to appoint two officers on a vacancy that happened under his command, 
and, I dare answer for him, would not have thought it right ; but, as he judged it for 
his Majesty's Service, and that his ]iredecessors had done it before him, and I don't 
think anyone will say that Lord Orfurd, Sir George Kooke, Sir Clowdisley Shovell, Lord 
Aylmer, Lord Berkeley, Lord Torrington, and Sir Charles Wager, have not done the 
same. Sir John Norris thought it so much a right in him, that, when a pirson was 
sent down by the Board to supersede a warrant granted by him, he sent the person 
back with his warrant, and he was not received while he commanded, but when the 
service was over, and he returned to town, their Lordships superseded him, so that his 
acquiescence was necessity, not approbation. And I hope the haughty temper of the 
noble Lord that presided at the Board at that time, will not be thought a fit precedent 
to be followed by their Lordships." Again, on December 13th : " As to what I am so 
politely acquainted with, that their Lordships have appointed a gunner to the Poole 
after my liaving informed their Lordships that I had warranted the gunner of the 
Sheeniess to that ship, I must acquaint you in answer — it was what I little expected — ■ 
and that I am determined to follow the example of Sir John Norris, and not permit that 
indignity to be put on me while I remain in command here, but when he arrives, shall 
civilly send him back again. That officer that don't pique himself on supporting his 
own honour, and the dignity of the commis.sion he holds under his Majesty, may not 
be the likeliest to defend the honour of his Prince and the Security of his Country 
against the face of his enemies, and I will, therefore, never take the fatal step of 
abandoning my own honour." And on December 14th : " A private Colonel in the 
Army, who has no command but his regiment, shall be allowed to fill up most of the 
vacancies for ensigns in his regiment, and the poor slighted admiral bearing his 
Majesty's flag at main-topmast head, and in actual command, shall be denied the 
filling up the low vacancy of a gunner ! " The only result of this condition of things 
was Vernon's supersession, on December 26th. He was succeeded by Vice-Adm. Wm. 
Martin (1). Immediately after his supersession, he engaged in controversial pamphlet- 
eering, and, according to general belief, was responsible for two somewhat plain-spoken 
pamphlets, respectively entitled, ' A Specimen of Naked Truth from a British Sailor,' 
and 'Some Sensible Advice from a Common Sailor, to whom it might have Concerned, 
for the Service of the Crown and Country.' He was summoned to the Admiralty to 
deny the authorship of these productions, but as he did not choose to do so, he was 
informed, on April 11th, 1746, that the King had been pleased to direct their Lordships 
to strike his name from the list of flag-officers. Thus ended the service career of a 
great and honourable officer, who owed his fall to his petulance and pugnacity. — Letter- 
book in Author's Coll. ; the pamphlets above mentioned ; and ' Original Letters to an 
Honest Sailor ' (published by Vernon after his dismissal from the service). 


Nore Captain the Hon. Edward Boscawen commanded : at Ply- 
mouth, Captain Savage Mostyn. A further squadron cruised in the 
Channel under Vice-Admiral William Martin (1) ; and Eear-Admiral 
the Hon. John Byng went northward, and, by means of his cruisers, 
greatly annoyed the rebels on the Scots coast. 

The Young Pretender reached Derby, but then lost heart and 
retreated to await reinforcements. In Scotland for a time he won 
more successes, but the assured British command of the sea really 
made his enterprise almost hopeless from the first ; for even his 
private sympathisers in France could not aid liini with supplies, 
such vessels as they dispatched being almost invariably snapped up 
by British cruisers. Yet individual loyalty, after the disaster at 
Culloden, saved the Prince from capture, in spite of the fact that 
the Government had set a price of £'30,000 upon his head. He 
reached the Hebrides, and, after suffering great distresses, was taken 
on board a French privateer, the BcUoiic, on September '20th, 174(3. 
This vessel had been sent on purpose from St. Malo by some of his 
French friends. She reached Eoscoff, a small port in Brittany, on 
September 29th, not, however, without having very narrowly 
escaped captm'e by a British cruiser in the Channel. It is worth 
mentioning that she was at least the third vessel which had been 
sent to Scotland to rescue him. Two large French privateers, one 
of 34 and the other of 32 guns, had anchored off the coast of 
Lochaber in the previous April, with the object of picking up 
fugitives from the rebel army. They had Ijeen there discovered by 
Captain Thomas Noel of the Greijhound, 20 ; but, though he had 
been joined by the Baltimore and Terror sloops, and had then 
attacked them, they had succeeded in beating him off and in 
carrying away several of the rebel chiefs. 

The expedition against Louisbourg assembled at Boston, Massa- 
chusetts, and the troops were there embarked, with all the necessary 
stores, on board eighty transports. It was convoyed by eight 
privateers of twenty guns, and ten small vessels ; and it sailed on 
March 20th, 174.5, arriving at Canso on April 4th. This was 
immediately after it had become known in New England that 
Commodore Warren had received orders to co-operate in the iinder- 
taking. The expedition reached Canso before the Commodore, 
and Mr. Pepperel wisely employed his time in exercising and 
drilling his troops. Meanwhile Mr. John Eons, master of the 
Shirley Galley, the largest of the privateers, proceeded off the 




harbour of Louisbourg to intercept supplies intended for the place. 
That he did so was fortunate, for the French Government, hearing 
of the projected attack, had hastily despatched the Benommce, 32, 
one of its fastest frigates, commanded by the celebrated Kersaint, ^ 
with dispatches for Louisboiu-g. On April 18th, she sighted Eous's 
blockading squadron, which very pluckily attacked her and forced 

■^ w- 

(From a lilhograph bij BitUei/ H: the ' Xaval Clironick; 1804.) 

her .to fly, greatly disabled. In her flight she encountered some 
transports, which, escorted by a privateer, were on their way to join 
Pepperel. These she attacked, but the privateer defended them so 
well that once more she made sail and got awaj'. The Renommee 
had finally to retmn to France without having effected her purpose. 
Commodore Warren's squadron from the West Indies reached 

' A biographical note concerning this officer will be found on pp. 219, 220 of 
the present volume. 

1745.] CAPTUIil': OF LOUISBOURG. 115 

Canso on April 22nd and 23rd, and consisted of His Majesty's ships 
Superb, 60, Captain Thomas Somers, bearing the Commodore's broad 
pennant; Eltham, 40, Captain Philip Durell (1) ; Launceston, 40, 
Captain Warwick Cahuady ; and Mermaid, 40, Captain James 
Douglas (1). In the course of the subsequent operations, it was 
joined by several other vessels. Warren lost no time in landing 
and in conferring with Mr. Pepperel. Returning on board, he sailed 
again, and effectually blockaded the harbour of Louisl)ourg. The 
troops at Canso were re-embarked on April 2'Jth, conveyed to Gabarus 
Bay, near Louisbourg, and landed on the morning of the 30th. The 
French garrison was discontented and mutinous, and its officers 
were tyrannical and corrupt, so that M. do Chambon, the Governor, 
feared to attack the invaders after they had indicted one small check 
upon him. Thus, the expedition had leisure to establish itself 
ashore and to rapidly become disciplined and formidable. In the 
meantime, the Renommee had returned to France with the news 
of what was going on, whereupon the French Government hastily 
despatched the Vigilante, 64, with stores for the threatened fortress. 
She was, however, intercepted and captured by Warren's squadron 
on May 19th. A general attack by land and sea upon Louisbourg 
was imminent, when on June 28th the place surrendered. The 
British lost during the operations only 101 killed, while the French 
loss was 300. 

AVith Louisbourg fell the whole of Cape Breton. The conquest 
was of immense importance. It not only destroyed a nest of French 
privateers, but it also relieved the British fishermen on the banks 
of Newfoundland from much dangerous rivalry. Moreover, it had 
a great moral effect upon the Indians throughout North America. 
Those who had taken part in it were fittingly and liberally rewarded. 
Warren was promoted to be Eear-Admiral of the Blue, Governor 
Shirley, of Massachusetts, was made a colonel, and Mr. William 
Pepperel, besides also being made a colonel, was created a baronet of 
Great Britain. Nor were the sailors neglected. The Hlnrlcij GuUeij 
was purchased by the Government, and added to the Navy as a 
post ship ; and her late master, Mr. John Rous, was presented with 
a post-captain's commission and appointed to her. Finally, the 
Colonists were reimbursed by Parliament for all the expenses which 
they had incurred in connection with the expedition. 

The despatch of Vice-Admiral Thomas Davers with reinforce- 
ments to the West Indies has already been mentioned. Upon 

I 2 

116 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1745. 

the French Ministry hearing of it, it also sent thither a strong 
reinforcement, under the ChevaHer de Caylus, who arrived at 
Martinique on March '28th, 1745. Xo sooner was the British 
Ministry advised of its departure, than it ordered Vice-Adiuiral 
WiUiam Eowley, then in command in the Mediterranean, to detach 
to the West Indies a considerable division under Vice-Adniiral 
Isaac Townsend (2), who left Gibraltar on August 2nd, and arrived 
off Martinique on October 3rd. He fell in, on October 31st, with a 
squadron of shi];)s of war and store ships, destined to further 
reinforce the French ; and, chasing it, ultimately took or destroyed 
upwards of thirty out of about forty sail. 

In the Mediterranean, Vice-Admiral William Bowley blockaded 
the Spaniards in Cartagena, while Kear-Admiral Henry Medley 
watched the coasts of Italy and prevented supplies from reaching 
the Spanish Ai-my there. Commodore Henry Osbom observed the 
French Brest squadron, which lay at Cadiz. When Genoa threw 
in her lot with the House of Bourbon, Commodore Thomas Cooper 
was detached to bombard the ports of that Eepublic, and he caused 
several of them to suffer very severely. The difficulties of Genoa 
induced the Corsicans to make an effort to throw off the Genoese 
yoke and to seek British and Sardinian assistance ; whereupon 
Commodore Cooper went to Corsica, and on November 17th, 1745, 
anchored off Bastia. The place was bombarded until the 19th, 
when the ships rehnquished the attack, and withdrew, Cooper 
despairing of the arrival of the promised Corsican assistance. But 
his action was a little ]5remature ; for one of the rebel chiefs, the 
Marchese de Kivarole, had already arrived, and, just after the 
disappearance of the British, threatened the town with such good 
effect, that the Chevalier de Mari, the representative of Genoese 
authority, finding the defences untenable in consequence of the 
damage that had already been received by them from the British 
squadron, carried off his garrison by sea. A little later Commodore 
Cooper sent to Corsica Captain the Hon. George Townshend, who 
discovered that the Genoese held only a few towns, and that the 
island was in a fair way of falling into the hands of the patriots. 

The success at Louisbourg directed attention to the importance 
of British interests in North America, and in 1746 suggested fresh 
undertakings in that quarter. An attack on Quebec was projected, 
and it was proposed to utilise for the purpose the colonial troops, 
which had done so well at Cape Breton in the previous year, 


strengthening them of course by means of large detachments from 
England. Preparations were made, and troops were assembled at 
Portsmouth and even embarked ; but various causes detained the 
fleet at Spithead until too late in the season, and the enterprise was, 
for a time, abandoned. Kumours of the intentions of the Govern- 
ment had, as was usual in those days, promptly reached the ears of 
the French Ministry, which decided to retaliate for the threatened 
British invasion of Canada by a descent upon Nova Scotia. In 
pursuance of this determination a large force was sent across the 
Atlantic under the Due d'Anville. 

British public opinion had Ijeen much attracted l)y the Quebec 
idea, and was greatly disgusted by the failure of the expedition to 
sail. To pacify the people, it was hinted that the troops which 
had been assembled were not to remain unemployed ; and, a 
little later, as will be seen, they were directed upon the coast 
of France. 

The French fleet of eleven sail of the line and fifty-gun ships, 
three frigates, three fireships and two bomb-vessels, under the Due 
d'Anville, with transports and storeships containing 3500 troops, 
sailed from Brest on June '2'2nd, 1746, and arrived off the coast of 
Nova Scotia on September 10th. But on its passage it was much 
damaged and weakened by a violent storm. Vice-Admiral Isaac 
Townsend, who was then at Louisbourg, had with him an inferior 
force, but had the advantage of assistance from New England, and 
of a well fortified base. The sudden death of d'Anville depressed the 
spirits of the French expedition, and although the enemy did land, he 
soon decided not to prosecute the object for which he had crossed the 
Atlantic. D'Anville's successor, M. Toiu'nel, a man of impetuous 
temper, could not agree with the resolutions of the majority of his 
officers ; and, considering that if he retreated he would be dis- 
honoured, he solved his own difliculties by committing suicide, while 
at the same time he complicated the confusion into which his un- 
fortunate command had fallen. M. de La Jonquiere succeeded him ; 
but by that time, owing to delay and neglect, the troops had been 
almost exterminated by scurvy and by a small-pox epidemic. Some 
succour was therefore sent to Quebec, and the rest of the expedition, 
in a very bad case, returned to Europe. On the voyage several of 
the vessels composing it were snapped up by British cruisers. 

The troops which had been assembled at Portsmouth for the 
undertaking against Quebec were, as has been said transported to 

118 MAJOR OPEHAriONS, 1714-1702. [1746. 

the coast of France. Commaud of thein had been given to Lieut. - 
General the Hon. James St. Clair, chiefly for the reason that, 
besides being an excellent officer, he had made a special study of 
the military position in Canada. When the destination of the 
expedition was altered, the command, perhaps unwisely, was not 
changed. The fleet destined to convoy the army was -entrusted to 
Admiral Bichard Lestock (B.) The idea of the Government was 
that a descent upon the coast of Brittany might induce the French, 
who were very powerful in Flanders, to detach part of the army 
which was operating there under Marshal Saxe. But the affair 
was wretchedly managed. The General had no special knowledge ; 
the troops were unprepared for the service ; and no maps of the 
country to be attacked were provided. St. Clair asked for a map of 
Brittany, and the Government sent him, by express, a map of 
Gascony. Nor had the coast been properly reconnoitred. It was 
little known to any of the British naval officers of the time, and 
the charts of those days were very indifferent. 

Lestock detached Commodore Thomas Cotes to look in at Port 
Louis and neighbouring places, and to find some convenient spot 
for landing near Lorient. With the main body of the fleet he 
himself sailed from St. Helen's on August .5th, but did not clear 
the coast of England until September 14th, nor reach that of France 
till September 19th, when Cotes rejoined him. A landing was in 
time effected, and the troops began to advance upon Lorient ; but 
the country was a close one, and greatly facilitated the guerilla 
operations of the French. Lorient, nevertheless, appeared to be 
disposed to treat ; and it would no doubt have surrendered to the 
British commander if he had been inclined to deal leniently. Yet 
as he would accept all or nothing, the place sturdily prepared to 
defend itself. The siege was begun in a partial and ineffectual way ; 
but so many necessary supplies were wanting that progress was 
very slow, and, though the sailors from the fleet co-operated with 
marvellous energy, the enterprise was at last concluded to be 
impracticable and the troops were re-embarked, very sickly from 
the consequences of exposure, on September 30th. At a council of 
war the project of a landing in Quiberon Bay was discussed and 
rejected, but on October 1st, Lestock received so favourable a report 
from Captain Thomas Lake of the Exeter, of the anchorage there, 
that he and General St. Clair decided, in spite of the resolutions of 
the council of war, to proceed and there await reinforcements from 


England, meanwhile harassing the enemy whenever possible. The 
fleet sailed, and some troops were landed and works erected ; but, 
after hesitation and paltering, the forces were re-embarked. Mean- 
time the isles of Houat and Hoedic had been reduced and the 
fortifications upon them destroyed. The troops were ultimately 
sent under convoy to Ireland, and Lestock, with the bulk of the 
fleet, returned to England. No glory was won, but the expedition 
partially attained its original object, for orders were actually sent to 
Marshal 8axe from Paris, directing him to despatch troops to 
Brittany. These did not, however, reach him until he had so well 
established his position in Flanders as to be well able to afford to 
weaken himself. 

At the time of the commencement of the active alliance between 
the French and Spaniards, M. La Bourdonnais, governor of the Isle 
of France, happened to be at Versailles. He was a most far-sighted 
administrator and capable soldier, and, had his advice been followed, 
the fate of India might have been very different from what it has 
been. He advised his Government to send a strong squadron to the 
Indian seas, so as to be ready for all eventualities. A squadron of 
five sail of the line was accordingly collected, and command of it 
was entrusted to La Bourdonnais himself. He was given great 
powers over the officers of the French East India Company in 
India ; and the Company became anxious concerning its rights and 
privileges as soon as he had sailed. The directors persuaded the 
French Ministry that hostihties in India were not likely, and that, 
the representatives of the two countries there being exclusively 
traders, it was unwise in the highest degree to provoke ill-will where 
neutrality would, in all probability, be observed if no aggressive 
measures were taken. The squadron was accordingly recalled ; but 
La Bourdonnais himself proceeded, and, with the slender resources 
he possessed, he assembled a motley squadron, which included only 
one king's ship, the Achille, 70. With her and seven other vessels, 
armed merchantmen, he sailed for the coast of Coromandel. 

Commodore Curtis Barnet, who had gone to Madras in the 
beginning of 1746, would have been a worthy opponent even for so 
great a man as La Bourdonnais ; and he was preparing to take 
active measures against the French, when, on April 29th, he died. 
His successor, Commodore Edward Peyton, was apparently a less 
energetic and capable officer. He was cruising between Fort St. 
David and Negapatam when, on June '2.5th, he sighted the French 




squadron.' M. La Bourdounais, though conscious that his ships in 
strength of aiinament and in discipHne were very inferior to the 
British, decided to utilise the only superiority which he possessed, 
the superiority in men, and to attempt to board. During the earher 
part of the day there was little breeze ; and Peyton, who probably 
grasped the idea of the French admiral, kept as near the wind 
as possible, so that the two fleets were unable to come to close 
action. Not until four in the afternoon did they begin to engage ; 
and even then the firing was maintained at such a distance that 
little damage was done to either side. Peyton might have an- 
nihilated his foe had he ventured sufficiently close to take full 
advantage of the stouter scantling of his ships, and of the heavier 
guns which they carried. But he did not attack \\ith dash ; and at 
dusk the action ceased, the British having lost fourteen men killed 
and forty-six wounded, and the enemy twenty-seven killed and fifty- 
three wounded. The Biitish vessel which suffered chiefly was the 
Medway's Prize. On the other side, the Insula ire was so badly 
mauled that, immediately after the action. La Bourdonnais had to 
order her away to repair. Peyton's behaviour gave great umbrage 
to the East India Company ; but no one ever brought any specific 
charge against the commodore. Commodore Thomas Griffin (1) 
afterwards superseded him, put him under arrest, and sent him 
home ; but the matter went no further. 

' Squadrons of Cojimoiiore Peytox and M. La Bourdoxnais ix 
THE Actios of June 2.jtu, 17-iG. 





Preston . 
Winchester . 
Medway^ s Prize 

Lively , 



40 i 

20 ll 


Commod. Edward Pevtou. 
Cajit. Henr.v Ru.sewell. 

„ George, Earl of Xortliesk. 
„ Lord Thomas Bertie. 
„ Philip Carteret (1). 

Thomas Griffin (2), actg. 
Nathaniel Stephens., 


Guns 1 o „ 



Due d: Orleans 56 

Bourhon . 


Neptune . 


Phenix . 


St. Louis . 


Lys . . 






Some French, accounts mention another armed vessel, the Renomiaee, 28, as ha\'ing 
been with La Bourdonnais, in addition to the ships named above. The British official 
account also mentions a ninth ship, name unknown, mounting, however, 20 guns only. 
All tlie French ships, however, except the Achille, were merely improvised men-of-war, 
and were, in that respect, greatly inferior to the British. 


The activity of La Bourdonnais was hampered by the jealousy 
of M. Dupleix, Governor in India for tiie French East India 
Company. Dissensions continually arose owing to the natural 
complications of authority ; and the naval commander could obtain 
.scarcely any help from the civil one. La Bourdonnais, neverthe- 
less, made shift to refit, and on July 24th sailed again from 
Pondicherry and worked to the southward. On August 6th he 
sighted the British squadron, which was returning from Trincomale, 
where it had refitted. Peyton avoided action, and, after three days 
of futile manoeuvres, made sail and disappeared. This conduct 
encouraged La Bourdonnais to plan an attack upon Madras. He 
was taken ill and had to remain at Pondicherry ; but his squadron 
appeared before the place on August 15th ^ and bombarded it. The 
guns, however, produced little effect upon the town ; nor did the 
French succeed in an attempt to capture the Princess Mary, East 
Indiaman, which lay in the road. 

One of the objects of the British squadron in the East Indies 
was of course to be a protection to British settlements and British 
trade; yet it did not proceed to the succoiir of Madras. Peyton, 
lying in Pulicat Eoad, thirty miles to the northward, heard, on 
August 2.5th, of what had happened in the previous week ; but, 
instead of going to the rescue of the threatened town, he went 
to Bengal, his excuse being that the Medway's Prize was very leaky 
and needed repairs. La Bourdonnais was thus induced to proceed. 
On September 3rd his squadron disembarked troops, and on the 
7th a bombardment of Madras by land and sea was begun. On 
the 10th the place capitulated, upon the understanding that it 
should subsequently be ransomed. On September 27th, while still 
before Madras, La Bourdonnais was reinforced by three ships of 
the line from Europe, the Centaure, 74, Mars, 56, and Brillant, 50. 
His operations were still hampered by the interference of Dupleix ; 
but, on October 1st, he was able to send ofJ two of his vessels with 
booty, etc., to Pondicherry. It was fortunate that he did so, for 
otherwise he would probably have lost almost all his squadron. On 
the night of October 2nd there was a great storm ; and, in the course 
of it, the Due d'OrJeans, Phenix, and Lys foundered, and about 
twelve hundred men were lost with them. Two prizes, the Mermaid 
and the Advice, shared the same fate, and the flagship, AchiUe, and 

' An account issued by the Hon. E. I. C. says that the enemy appeared at Madras 
on August 10th. 

122 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1746. 

two other vessels were dismasted. In fact, every craft in the road- 
stead either sank or suffered most severely. 

In regard to the promised ransom of the town, La Bourdonnais 
behaved throughout like a man of honour ; but Dupleix seems 
never to have intended that the conditio as should be carried out ; 
and when La Bourdonnais had gone to Mauritius, on his way home 
to France, Dupleix, to the astonishment of many even of his own 
officers, caused the treaty to be declared void. The arrival of 
Commodore Thomas Griffin (1) fi'om England soon afterwards, com- 
pelled the French to desist from a projected attack on Fort St. 
David, and to withdraw nearly all their forces to Pondicherrj-. 

On the Leeward Islands' station, Vice-Admiral Isaac Townsend 
commanded at the beginning of 1746 ; but very early in the year 
he was ordered to proceed with the greater part of his squadron 
to Louisbourg. He sailed from St. Kitt's in Januarj', and, on his 
way, met with so violent a storm that all his ships except two, 
the Princesa and Ipswich, were obliged to return, and those two, 
ten-ibly disabled, had to bear away for England. The Ipswich, 
which reached Pljrmouth on April '22nd, was only saved by a 
most In'illiant display of seamanship, after her crew had suffered 
great hardships. 

When Vice-Admiral Townsend had refitted, he again sailed for 
Louisbourg, leaving Commodore the Hon. Fitzroy Henry Lee in 
command in the West Indies. Lee was ultimately superseded by 
Commodore the Hon. Edward Legge. Both Lee and Legge were 
uufortmaate in their attempts to intercept French convoys, several 
of which, under the care of M. de Conflans, escaped them. On 
one occasion, as will be seen, Conflans would have come off badly 
but for the cowardice of Commodore Cornehus Mitchell. On 
another occasion, he fell in \\ith the British Leeward Islands' 
convoy, escorted by the Severn, 50, Captain William Lisle, and 
the Woolwich, 50, Captain Joseph Lingen. Lisle, who was the 
senior officer, ordered the convoy to disperse and each vessel to 
shift for herself. Conflans, in the Terrible, 74, with another ship 
of the hne, chased him, and after three hours' action, obhged the 
Severn to strike ; but the Woolwich got away, and none of the 
convoy were taken. Lisle's action was considered so creditable 
that, after his exchange, he was at once given the command of 
a larger ship, the Vigilant, 64. 

At Jamaica, Vice-Admiral Davers commanded until his death ; 


but, being very ill \\illi gout, had to depute Captain Cornelius 
Mitchell to go in search of M. do Conflaus, who was expected with 
a convoy of ninety merchantmen at Cape Fran<,'ois. Mitchell had 
four sail of the line, a frigate, and a sloop ^; Conflans had l)ut four 
vessels in all"; and Mitchell's superiority, though small, should, 
perhaps, have sufficed. Mitchell sighted the convoy on August 8rd 
off Cape St. Nicolas ; but, as promptly as possible, he ordered his 
ships to close, and held a council of war. It was thereupon resolved 
to wait till daylight before bearing down upon the enemy ; but, on 
the following morning, Mitchell was so backward in bringing on 
an engagement, in spite of the evident willingness of Conflans, that 
at 4 P.M. the squadrons had not exchanged a shot. At that hour 
everything was in his favour, and the breeze was fair ; but he 
hauled to the wind and shortened sail. The enemy, after he had 
recovered from his astonishment, gave chase ; and his headmost 
ship overhaiiled the Lenox, 64, at about 8 p.m., and fought her, 
without result, for an hour and a half. Mitchell that night ordered 
his ships to proceed without lights, and laid his course for Jamaica, 
where, on October 16th, owing to the death of A^ice-Admiral Davers, 
the command devolved upon hnu. His behaviour having been 
represented to the Admiralty, he was siiperseded, and was tried 
at Jamaica by court-martial on January '28th following. The court 
convicted him of cowardice and neglect of duty ; but less severe 
than many of the naval courts of that period, sentenced him only 
to be mulcted of five years' pay, adjudging him at the same time 
to be incapable of again serving in the Navy. 

In the Mediterranean during 1746 a large fleet, under Vice- 
Admiral Henry Medley and Eear-Admiral the Hon. John Byng, 
offered much assistance to the Austrians and their allies, and co- 
operated with success with the army which, under General Browne, 
crossed the Var on December 1st. A detachment of small vessels 
under Captain Hugh Forbes, of the Phceuix, 20, and Commander 
William Martin (2), of the Terrible, 6, lent valuable aid to the 
troops. Medley also blockaded Antibes, assisted in the capture of 
Ste. Marguerite, and lent help to the insurgents in Corsica. 

The year 1747 was upon the whole very successful for Great 

Straffurd, 60, Capt. Cornelius Mitchell ; Lenox, 64, Capt. Peter Lawrence ; 
Plymouth, 60, Capt. Digby Dent (2) ; Worcester, 60, Capt. Thomas Andrews (2) ; 
Milford, 44, Capt. Edward Rich ; and Drake, 14, Commander Edward Clark (1). 
- Terrible, 74; Niptune, 74; Alcion, 50; and Oloire, 40. 

124 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 17U-1762. [l7-!7. 

Britain, although it witnessed some check to the cause of Britain's 
aUies in the Mediterranean. The Austrians were obliged, by 
Marshal Belleisle, to recross thje Var; and the Genoese succeeded 
in defeating the patriots in Corsica, and in driving them to the 
interior of the island. On the other hand, Vice-Admiral Medlej^ 
not only maintained the blockade of Cartagena, but also intercepted 
a French expedition from Toulon to Genoa. Medley died in Vado 
Bay on August 5th, when Eear-Admiral the Hon. John Byng 
succeeded to the command. 

In the East Indies, Bear-Admiral Thomas Griffin kept M. 
Dupleix on the defensive, and, at Madras, took and burnt the 
Nej^tune, 34, which had been left there by M. La Bom-donnais. 
At Jamaica, Captain Digby Dent (2) commanded until the amval of 
Eear-Admiral Charles Knowles. On the Leeward Islands' station, 
Commodore the Hon. Edward Legge commanded until his death 
on September 9th, 1747, and was succeeded by Captain George 
Pocock. On each of these stations the cruisers were successful as 
well as active, but all the great naval transactions of the year 
happened on the Atlantic coasts of Europe. 

France fitted out two considerable squadrons ; one under the 
Marquis de La Jonquiere, intended for the recoveiy of Cape Breton, 
and the other under M. Grou de St. Georges, of the French East 
India Company's service, for co-operation in the conquest of British 
settlements on the coast of Coromandel. It was arranged that, in 
order the more surely to escape the dangers presented by British 
naval superiority in the home seas, the two squadrons should depart 
from France together and proceed for some distance in company. 

The projects of the French were known in England ; and a 
squadron, under Vice-Admiral George Anson and Eear-Admiral Peter 
Warren, was specially fitted out to checkmate them. The forces 
which were ultimately opposed one to the other are set forth in the 
note^ (p. 12.5). The French had with them a convoj', which brought 
the total number of their sail up to thirty-eight. M. de St. Georges 
left Groix in March, but, after suffering some losses from British 
cruisers and from very bad weather, had to put into the road of 
Isle d'Aix. La Jonquiere there joined him and the two finally sailed 
on April 29th. Anson and "Warren had left England on April 9th 
and had proceeded off Cape Finisterre, where, on May 3rd, the Cape 
bearing S.E., distant twent.v-foin leagues, they sighted the French. 
La Jonquiere thereupon caused twelve of his best ships to shorten 




sail and form a line of hattU; ahead, while the rest stretched to the 
westward and crowded every possible stitch of canvas. Anson also 
made signal for a line of battle, believing apparently that he was in 
the presence of a more fonnidable squadron than was really before 
him ; but, at Warren's instance, he substituted the signal for a 
general chase. La Jonquiere was but ill-supported. Several of the 
French East India ships, especially the Vigilant and Modeste, and 
later the Thetis and ApoUun, looked to nothing but the idea of saving 
themselves. It is useless to examine the tactical details of an action 
of this kind. Suffice to say, that, after a running fight lasting from 
4 to 7 P.M., in which several of the French captains behaved with 
great courage and others conducted themselves with equal cowardice, 
all the ships which had remained in the French line struck. At 
7 P.M. Anson brought to, and detached the Monmouth, Yarmouth 
and Nottingham in pursuit of the convoy, which then bore W. by 
S.W., distant about five leagues, and which had been followed and 
observed during the action by the Falcon. These ships captured the 
Vigilant, the Modeste and the Dartmouth, once a British privateer, 
together with six of the convoy. Night saved the rest. 

' Action between Vice-Admiral Anson and M. de La Jonquieke, 
May 3rd, 1747. 
The account of the action, as well as the following list, is based upon the British and 
French dispatches, and especially upon the papers of La Jonquiere in the Archives 
de la Marine, and upon the rejiort of La Galernerie. 










iVice-Admiral George 

Diantant- . . . 


Capt. de Hocquart. 

Prince Gmrge . . 


} Anson. 

Philibert'S . . 


„ Larr. 

(Oapt. John Bentley. 

Vigilant ■'2. . . 


„ Vauueulon. 

1 Rear- Admiral Peter 
{ Warren. 

Chimene 3 . . . 



Devonshire'^ . . 


nuUs "- (en fli'it") . 


„ Macarty. 

leapt. Temple West. 

Jason- .... 


„ Beccait. 

Namur^. . . . 


f „ Hon. Edward Bos- 
t cawen. 

Serieux - . . . 


( M. de La Jonquiere, Capt, 

( d'Aubigny. 

M&nmoilth . 


,, Henry Harrison. 

Invincible- . . . 


Capt. Grou de St. Georges. 

Prince Prederiik . 


„ Harry Nnrris. 

Apollon'3 . . . 


„ No81. 

Tarmouth l 


„ Piercy Brett (1). 

Thetis^' . . . 


„ Massou. 

Princess Louisa . 


,, Charles Watson. 

Modeste^' . . . 


„ Thiercelin. 

Nottingham . . 


,, Philip de .^umarez. 

Gloirc^ .... 


,, de Saliez. 

Defiance I . . . 


,, IhuniasGrenville. 

Pembroke^ . . . 


,, Thomas Fincher. 

Emeraude* . . . 


f ,, de la Jonquiere de 
I TafTauel. 

Windsor I . . . 


„ TlioniasHanway. 

Centurion l . . . 


,. Peter Denis. 

J Dartmouth-* . . 



Falkland . . . 


( „ Bloomfleld Barra- 
( dell. 

/Iristoli . . . 


; „ Hon. William 
( Montagii. 

Ambuscade . . . 


,, John Montagu. 

1-alcon .... 


/Commander Richard 
I Gwynn. 

Vulcan (flreship) . 


(Commander William 
1, Pettigrew. 

1 I'bese ships only were engageil. 
- Taken. 

3 These ships beloDged to the Freuch East India Company. 

4 With the convoy but not in line of battle. 

126 MAJUn OFERATIoys, 17U-17(i'_>. [1747. 

The battle, considering its nature, was a costly one. The French 
lost about 700 killed and wounded, and the British, .520. Among the 
French officers killed was Captain de Sahez, and among those 
wounded were La Jouquiere himself and d'Aubiguy, his flag captain. 
On the British side Captain Thomas Grenville, of the Defiance, 
was killed, and Captain Boscaweu, of the Namtir, wounded. The 
victors found specie to the value of i;800,000 on board the prizes. 
For this service Anson was created a peer, and Warren, a K.B. All 
the men-of-war taken, and also the East Indiaman Thetis, were 
purchased into the Koyal Navy. The name of the Serieux was 
changed to Intrepid, and that of the Diamant to Isis. 

The victory was valuable if not exactly brilliant. Commenting 

upon it, and upon the other great action of the year. Captain Mahan 

says : 

"Two encounters between Englisli and French .squadrons happened during the year 
1747, completing the destruction of the French fighting navy. In both cases the 
EngHsh were decidedly su]ierior, and though there was given opjrartunity for some 
brilliant fighting by particular captains, and for the displa}- of heroic endurance on the 
jiart of the French, greatly outnumbered, but resisting to the last, only one tactical 
lesson is afforded. This lesson is that, when the enemy, either as the result of battle, 
(.jr from original inequality, is greatly inferior in force, obliged to fly without standing 
on the order of his flying, the regard otherwise due to order must be, in a measure at 
least, dismissed, and a general chase ordered." . ..." In both cases, the signal was 
made for a general chase, and the action which resulted was a mi'Ue. There was no 
opportunity for anything else; the one thing necessary was to overtake the running 
enemy, and that could only certainly be done by letting the fastest or best-situated 
ships get ahead, sure that the speed of the fattest pursuers is better than that of the 
slowest of the imrsued, and that, therefore, either the latter must be abandoned, or the 
whole force brought to bay." 

It would appear that in 1747 the Admiralty had begun to be 
better served by its intelligence officers than it had been earlier in 
the war ; and it is not the least merit of the administration that, on 
several important occasions, it was able to bring superior forces to 
bear upon its enemies. Anson's success was one result of this fore- 
knowledge ; the success of Captain Thomas Fox, to be noted in the 
next chapter, was another ; that of Kear-Admiral Edward Hawke, 
now to be recounted, was a third. 

Information was received in England that France w^as collecting 
in Basque Eoad a huge convoy for the West Indies, and that a 
squadron of men-of-war had sailed from Brest to pick it up and 
escort it to its destination. Thereupon a squadron, under Hawke, 
was despatched from Plymouth to intercept it. It left Plymouth 
Sound on August 9th. The French left Isle d'Aix on October 6th ; 




and, on October 14tb at 7 a.m., were sighted in lat. 47" 49' N. and 
long. 1° 2' W., off Finisterre. Hawiie made signal to chase, but at 
8 A.M., seeing the enemy's ships to be very numerous, many of tliem 
being large, he, as a measure of prudence, formed a line of battle 


(From an vriijiintl kinilbj lent hij II.S.H. Caiitnin Pr'uiee Luui.i uf BiiUeiiierg, R.X.) 

ahead.' There were in fact no fewer than 252 merchantmen with 
the French squadron. Commodore de I'Etenduere, who at first 
mistook the British for part of his own convoy, no sooner discovered 
his mistake than he ordered the merchantmen to make the best of 
their way under the care of the Coiiteiif, 64, and himself also formed 
a line of battle ahead. These manreuvres informed Hawke as to 

' Action between Eeak-Aumiral Hawke and M. de i/Etenduere, 
October 14Tir, 1747. 


Devonshire . 

K'-nt . . . 
Edinbinyh . 
Yaniiontk . 
Mmviitoath . 
Princess Louisa 
Lion . 
Tilhnrij . 

Eagle . , 

Gloucester . 

I Guns. 







{Rear-Admiral Edward 
Capt. John Moore (1). 

,, Thomas Fox. 

,, '1' Cotes. 

,. I 'balit'^ Saunders. 

,, H'lity Ilanisou. 

„ I'liaiie^ ^\'at>ou. 

,, Thomas Hallway. 

„ Atthiir Soitl. 

,, Kol:iertHarlaud(2). 

,. PhiHp df Sauniarez. 

„ Johu iJeutley. 
i ,, George Brydges 
\ Rodney. 

„ Philii) ImreU(l). 

,, Charles Stevens. 

and some frigates. 





pi. des Herbiers de 

Timnant. . . . 


1 rEtemiuere, Oief 
) d'Escadre. 
(Capt. DucbaBFault. 

Intn'pide . . . 


,, de Yaudieuil. 

TridentK . - . 


„ d'Arablimont. 

Terrible i , . . 


„ du Guay. 

Monarqut i . . . 


,, de La iJedovere. 

Stvin-n 1 . . . . 


,, du llouvet. 

Fougueux i . . . 


„ de Vig;uault. 

Neptune i . . . 


„ de Fromeuiieres. 

Castor'i .... 


„ d'Ossonviile. 

i'ontenfi . . . 


- AVith the couvoy. 

128 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1747. 

the nature of the force before him, and induced him to haul down 
the signal for the line and to again make that for a general chase, 
following it half-an-hour later with the signal to engage. A running 
fight resulted. The French behaved with great spirit but were over- 
powered by sheer weight of numbers. They had in line but eight 
ships and of these six were taken. Towards night the Intrepide and 
Tonnant, finding that the day was lost, set all sail with a view 
to escaping. Their intention was perceived by the Yarmouth, 
Nottingham and Eagle, which, at the instance of Captain Saunders 
of the Yarmouth, and on their own responsibility, followed. These 
ships engaged the fugitives for an hour, in the course of which 
Captain Saumarez ' of the Nottingham fell. The two French ships, 
.though very badly damaged, succeeded in getting into Brest. At 
dark Hawke brought his ships to ; and in the morning, at a council 
of war, it was decided, in view of the mauled condition of the British 
squadron, not to pursue the convoy. The Weazel, sloop, was, 
however, despatched to the West Indies, to apprise Commodore 
Pocock of the approach of the French ; and thanks to this precaution, 
many of their ships were ultimately taken. - 

The French loss in the action was about 800 killed and w^ounded, 
among the former being Captain de Fromentieres of the Neptune. 
The British lost 154 killed, including Captain Saumarez, and 558 
wounded. As nearly all the vessels captured had been dismasted, 
it took some time to refit them ; but on October 31st, Hawke had 
the satisfaction of carrying them and his squadron into Portsmouth. 
A little later he was made a K.B. for his services. All the prizes, 
except the Neptune, were purchased into the Eoyal Navy. 

Hawke in his despatch had occasion to complain of Captain 
Thomas Fox of the Kent, who, in the action, when ordered by 
signal to make sail ahead after the Tonnant and to engage her, had 
failed to obey. Captain Fox was consequently tried by court-martial 
at Portsmouth on November '25th upon the charge that " he did not 
come properly into the fight, nor do his utmost to distress and 
damage the enemy, nor assist his Majesty's ships which did." 
Fox's personal courage was not impeached ; and there is no doubt 

' Philip Saumarez, or de Saumarez. Born, 1710. Commander, 1741. Captain, 
1743. Killed, as above, October 14th, 1747. He had served vnth. Anson in his voyage 
round the world, and had distinguished himself greatly, when already commanding 
the Nottinyhaiii, by his capture of the Mars, 64, in 1746. A monument to him is in 
Westminster Abbey. 

'^ See next chapter. 


that his faihire to obey orders was chiefly due to the faulty system 
of signals then in use. Both his first lieutenant and his master 
mistook the signal for close action for one to proceed to the assist- 
ance of the Admiral ; and he acted accordingly. The trial lasted 
until December 'i'ind, when the court came to the conclusion that 
" he had been guilty of backing his mizen-top-sail and leaving the 
Tonnant, contrary to the 10th and 11th Articles of War." He was 
acquitted of cowardice, but, because he had paid too much regard to 
the advice of his officers, contrary to his own better judgment, he was 
sentenced to be dismissed from the command of the Kent. Captain 
Fox, whose post-captain's commission dated from August 6th, 1737, 
and who always had been a good officer, was never again employed, 
but was superannuated as a Kear-Admiral in 1749. He died 
in 1768. 

Criticising the battle. Captain Mahan ' says : 

" If . . . Hawke showed in liis attack the judgment and dash which always 
distinguished that remarkable officer, it may be claimed for Commodore I'Etenduere that 
fortune, in assigning him the glorious disadvantage of numbers, gave liim also the 
leading part in the drama, and that he failed nobly." 

Troude, the French naval critic, remarks ' of de TEtenduere that : 

"he defended his convoy as on shore a position is defended, when the aim is to save 
an army corps, or to assure an evolution. He gave himself to be crushed. After an 
action that lasted from midday to 8 p.m., the convoy was saved, thanks to the obstinacy 
of the defence, and 250 ships were secured to their owners by the devotion of I'Eten- 
duere, imd of the captains under his orders. This devotion caimot be questioned, for 
eijht ships had but few chances of surviving an action with fourteen ; and not only did 
tlie commander of the ei'j;ht accept an action which he might possibly have avoided, 
liut also he knew how to inspiie his lieutenants with trust in himself, for all supported 
the fight with honour, and yielded at last, slKuving the most indisputable proofs of their 
fine and energetic defence." 

"The whole affair," concludes Mahan, "as conducted on both sides, affords an 
adiniriible study of how to follow up an advantage, original or secured, and of the 
results that may be obtained by a gallant, even hopeless defence, for the furtherance of 
a particular object." 

The squadron of Anson and Warren, as well as that of Hawke, 
cruised in the Channel and Bay after the actions above narrated, 
and took numerous prizes : but an account of such smaller engage- 
ments as were fought in the course of the year may be reserved for 
the next chapter. 

The war had been very costly to France. The French Navy had 

' ' Influence of Sea Powei,' 272. 
- ' Bats. Nav. de la France.' 


130 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1748. 

been almost crushed, and Fi-euch maritime trade had been ahnost 
ruined, though the armies of France had been successful on land. 
But all the Powers engaged were to some extent weary of the 
conflict ; and it was thei-el'ore felt, when a Congress met at Aix-la- 
Chapelle to consider the terms of an arrangement, that there was 
every prospect of the conclusion of a satisfactory peace. In the 
meantime, Great Britain did not relinquish, nor even diminish, her 
preparations to continue the struggle. In 174K, as in previous years, 
all ships, as they became ready for sea, were put into commission. 
Squadrons were sent to cruise at various times in home waters, 
under Vice-Admirals Sir Peter Warren and Sir Edward Hawke, and 
Eear-Admiral William Chambers. Commodore the Hon. George 
Townshend watched the coast of Flanders ; Vice- Admiral the Hon. 
John Byng remained in the Mediterranean ; and in the West Indies 
Rear-Admiral Charles Knowles and Commodore George Pocock, let 
slip no opportunity of annoying the enemj'. 

Eear-Admiral the Hon. Edward Boscawen had been sent out in 
1747, as Commander-in-Chief, to the East Indies, and had taken 
with him reinforcements to the station. Before his arrival, Eear- 
Admiral Thomas Grifiin (1) had received three additional ships from 
England, so that his squadron consisted of three 60's, three 50's, 
three 40's, and one 20, and was considerably superior to the French 
force in the same seas. But Mr. Griffin had been outwitted and 
out-manceuvred by the French commander-in-chief, M. Bouvet, 
who, in spite of him, had thrown troops into Madras. 

The French ministry was warned of Boscawen's departure from 
England ; and M. Dupleix, being advised from home, took such 
measures as he could to meet the Eear-Admiral, who had with him 
six ships of the line or 50"s, and four smaller craft, and who 
convoyed eleven ships of the East India Company with 1500 
soldiers on board. Boscawen reached the Cape of Good Hope in 
March, 1748, and was there joined by six Dutch East Indiamen, 
having on board 400 troops. On May 18th he sailed again, and on 
June 'JBrd, after a troublesome vo}'age, sighted Mauritius, which he 
had decided to make an attempt upon. The island had been 
informed by Dupleix of its danger, and was to some extent prepared, 
though it was but ill garrisoned. On the 2.5th, after having 
reconnoitred the coast, Boscawen decided to abandon the project 
and to proceed to Coromandel. Had he known how few troops were 
in the island, he would certainly have persisted, and would probably 




have been successful ; for the works, though strong, could not be 
properly manned.^ 

The Dutch convoy parted company at Mauritius, and proceeded 
for Batavia ; and Boscawen, on June '27th, sailed for Fort St. David 
(Cuddalore), where he arrived on July '29th. There he met Rear- 
Admiral Griffin, who, in the meantime, had been promoted to be 
Vice-Admiral, and who soon afterwards returned to England by way 
of Trincomale with part of his command. 

Besides the naval force, Boscawen had under him many 
armed East Indiamen, and 3'240 troops, including sepoys but not 
including Marines. Indeed, he was m a position to dispose of 
5'2'20 men to act on shore ; and, in addition, 2000 native auxiliary 
cavalry were placed at his service for the contemplated siege of 
Pondicherry, whither Boscawen presently proceeded. Leaving 
Captain William Lisle in command of the squadron, he landed to 
direct the operations on shore. Early in August the army closed 
round the town, which was closely blockaded from seaward by 
the Exeter, Chester, Pembroke and Swallow. An assault upon one 
of the outlying works was repulsed with loss on August 12th, but the 
siege was formally begun and some successes were gained. The 
engineers upon whom Boscawen was obliged to depend were, how- 

' Rear-Admihal the Hon. Edward Boscawen's Squadi!(in, which arrived 
OFF Mauritius in June, 1748. 





f Rear- Admiral Hon. Edward Boscawen. 
tCaptain Samuel Marshall (1). 

Namur ... '^■' 




„ William Lisle. 



I'lKPiiias Lake. 



„ 'I'liomas Fincher. 



„ Joseph Knight. 

Chester . 


„ Richard Sjjry. 

Deal Castle 


„ John Lloyd (2). 



Commander John Rowzier. 

Basilisk (bomb) 


„ William Preston. 

Apollo (hospital ship) 


Lieutenant Robert Wilson. 

The above, proceeding 

Exeter . 
York . 
Preston . 
Lively . 

found on the East Indies Station, the following 



Captain Lord Harry I'owlett. 
„ Thnothy iMucella. 
„ Philip Carteret (1). 
„ William Adams (1). 
„ Nathaniel Stephens, actg. 

in addition to the other vessels, which, upon Boscawen's arrival, returned home or went 

K 2 

lo2 MAJOR OPKIIATIONS, 17H-I762. [1748. 

ever, incompetent ; and little progress was made, though the JJufiUisk, 
bomb, threw some shells into the place. In the operations Ensign 
Clive, afterwards Lord Ciive, gained his first military distinction. 
As the siege threatened to be a protracted one, Boscawen ordered 
Captain Lisle to begin a general bombardment from the ships of 
the squadron ; but, owing to the shallows, these could not approach 
near enough to do much damage. The business, however, cost the 
life of Captain William Adams (1), then commanding the Harwich. 
In the meantime the weather was bad, and the troops were sickly; 
and, as the neighbourhood of the town was liable to be completely 
flooded at the beginning of the rainy season, the siege was raised 
at the beginning of October, the sick being removed to the ships, 
and the army retiring overland to Fort St. David. The expedition 
cost the lives of 1065 British, and of only about 200 French. The 
fiasco reflected no disgrace upon Boscawen, and was entirely due 
to the incapacity of the engineers and some of the military leaders. 
Nevertheless, it greatly lowered Biitish prestige with the natives, 
and led to some serious defections. 

Boscawen learned in November of the cessation of hostilities 
between Great Britain and France, but was ordered to remain on 
his station until advised of the final conclusion of peace. Part of 
the squadron went to Acheen, and part to Trincomale, to avoid the 
monsoon, and the whole returned in January, 1749, to Fort St. 
David, where it lay maintaining an observant attitude, while 
M. Bouvet, with the French forces, lay at Madras, or as it was 
then often called. Fort St. George, 120 miles to the northward. 
But the British did not remain wholly idle, and in April ships 
were detached to assist the East India Company in a war with the 
King of Taxajore. While this service was being performed, a violent 
hurricane WTecked the Pemhrolce and Namur. The former lost her 
captain,' and all hands except fourteen, 330 in all ; the latter lost 
520 souls, though the admiral, captain, and a few ofiicers, being on 
shore, fortunately escaped. Two East Indiamen were also wrecked. 
In August, in pursuance of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which 
had been concluded on April 18th, 1748, Madras, in a dismantled 
condition, was surrendered to the British. 

In the West Indies, in Februarj', 1748, Eear-Admiral Charles 
Knowles, with a squadron and detachment of troops, left Port 

' Tliis was on April \?A\u Captain Tlionjas Fincher's post-commission dated from 
Deeemlier Gtli, 17-15. 




Koyal to make an attack on Santiago de Cuba ; but, the winds 
blowing persistently from the north, the ships could not make that 
place. Knowles therefore determined to attack Port Louis, on 
the south side of Hispaniola. The squadron ' arrived there on 

{From an cngravimj hy Bidlfi/.') 

' British Squadron at the Capture of Port Louis, Hispaxiola, 1748. 








(■Rear-Admiral Charles Knowles 
(.Captain Eichard C^hadwick. 






Digby Dent (2). 

Elizahetli . 




Polycarpus Tavlor. 

Canterbury . 



David Brodie. 

Strafford . 



James Kentone. 

Warwick . 



Thomas Innes. 




Thomas Andrews i^'S). 

Oxford . 



Edmond Toll. 




Merlin . 




MAJUll OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. 


March 8tb, and was at once ordered by signal to cannonade the 
fort, which mounted seventy-eight guns, and was garrisoned by 
600 men. A warm engagement resulted, and in the height of it 
the enemy sent out a fireship, which was designed to fall on board 
the Cornwall or the Elizabeth. She was towed off by the boats 
of the fleet, and left to burn out and explode innocuously. The 
British boats then boarded and brought away two other craft, 

which had been prepared as 
fireships. The action con- 
tinuing, the Spanish fire after 
a time languished, and the 
Kear- Admiral sent a summons 
to the governor, who, first 
taking some time for reflection, 
suri'endered upon terms. The 
place was then taken posses- 
sion of. The squadron lost 
only 70 killed and wounded, 
but among these was Captain 
Eentone,^ of the Strafford, and 
Captain William Cust,''^ of the 
Bofiton, who, with the Eear- 
Admiral's permission, was 
serving as a volunteer on board 
the Elizabeth. The enemy 
lost inO killed and wounded. 
With the place were captured 
three ships, a snow, and three 
privateer sloops. The fort was 
burnt, it not being advisable 
to retain it ; and, the conditions 
of wind being at length more favourable, the Eear-Admiral decided 
to prosecute his scheme against Santiago de Cuba. 

The place had been much strengthened since the time of 
Vernon's attack upon it ; and, as the appearance of the British had 
been anticipated, all possible precautions had been taken. Knowles 
arrived before the town on April 5th, and, the mode of procedure 
having been determined. Captain Dent of the Plymouth, as senior 

James licntone ; cominaudei', 1739 ; captain, 1740. 
William Cast ; commander, 1746 ; captain, 1747. 




captain, claimed and ol)laincd the lionoui' ol leading in. He was 
seconded by the flagship. When the Pli/mouth had approached 
close to the harbour's mouth it was seen that the passage was 
obstructed by a boom, backed by vessels held ready to be used as 
tireships. The nearest forts were cannonaded and the fire was 
returned ; but Dent, having taken the opinion of his officers, came 
to the conclusion that it was impracticable to proceed, and so 
reported to the Bear-Admiral, who thereupon drew off and went 
back to Jamaica. 

Dent's apparent hesitation on this occasion was taken exception 
to by Knowles ; and, in consequence, the captain of the I'li/iiioiit]/ 
was court-martialled on his return to England, but he was honour- 
ably acquitted. 

Later in the year Knowles was informed that the Spanish Plate 
fleet was expected at Havana from Vera Cruz. He therefore 
detached Captain Charles Holmes, in the Lenox, to convoy a great 
body of trade, which had been collecting to sail for England ; and 
himself went to cruise off the Tortuga Banks in search of the enemy. 
The convoy under Holmes sailed from Jamaica on August 2.5th ; 
and, being prevented from getting through the Windward Passage, 
had to bear away for the Gulf of Florida. On September '29th it 
sighted seven large ships, which were presently recognised to be 
Spanish men-of-war.' Holmes signalled the convoy to disperse 
and to look to its own safety, while he endeavoured to draw the 
attention of the enemy to his own ship ; and, knowing where the 
Rear- Admiral was cruising at the time, he succeeded, under press of 
sail, in joining him on the following morning, when he reported what 
had occurred. Ivnowles instantly went in quest of the Spaniards, 

Order of Battle of the British and Spanish Squadrons in tiik 
ArxioN OFF Havana, On-niiFR 1st, 1T!S. 




1 Guns. 





Tilbuni . . . 

. ' 60 

Capt. Charles Powlett. 

Iiimvcihle . . 

. ' u 

Rear- Admiral Spinola- 

Siraffurd . . 


„ David Bvudie. 

Conquistador . 

. 1 64 

Dou de Sail Justo. 

1 Rear -Admiral Charles 

Africa . . . 

. ' 74 

Vice- Admiral Reggiu. 

Cornwall . . 


I Kuuwles. 

Drai/6n . . . 


Don de La I'a^:. 

(Capt. Polycarpus Taylor. 

Nttiioa Eapaiio . 

. 1 64 

Don Barrella. 

Lenox . . . 


,, Charles Holmes. 

Meal Familia . 


Don Furre-stal. 

Warwick . . 


,, Thomas lunes. 

Canterbury. . 


,. Edward Clark (1). 

GaUja 1 . . . 


Dou Garrecocha. 

Oxford 1 . . . 


., KdiiKaidTull. 

1 N..t hi 

the line. 

136 MAJOR OPEIIATIONS, 1714-17G2. [1748. 

aud sighted them early in the morning of October 1st between 
Tortuga and Havana. The Spaniards at once formed a line ; yet 
the British, though they had the advantage of the wind, edged down 
only very gradually, and it was 2 o'clock before either side fired. 
The distance was then too great for much damage to be done, but 
at about 2.80 p.m., the two squadrons being nearer, a brisk action 
was begun. The Spaniards seem to have been in good order and 
close together, but the Wancick and Canterbiuij were far astern 
of station, so that for nearly two hours the British had but four 
ships opposed to six of the Spanish. During this time the Cornwall 
engaged the Africa at pistol range, and was so gallantly received 
that in half an hour she was obliged to fall astern and quit the line, 
having lost her main-topmast and received other damage to her 
rigging. Soon afterwards the Conquistador, also much damaged 
aloft, di'opped astern of her consorts and fell nearly where the 
CornicaU lay refitting. Knowles lost no time in attacking her, and 
quickly killed her captain ; but that officer's successor fought the 
ship bravely until she had thrice been set on fire by shells from 
the eight cohorns,^ which the CornicaU, unlike most of her class, 
carried. Not until then did he surrender. The Lenox had taken 
the Cornwall's place and had warmly engaged the Africa; but 
other Spanish ships succoured their admiral, and Captain Holmes 
was hard pressed for about an hour until he was relieved bj^ the 
Warwick and Canterburi/. The action then became general and 
fierce, and so continued until about 8 p.m., when the Spanish drew 
off towards Havana, closely pursued. All, however, escaped except 
the Conquistador. The Africa, owing to her damaged condition, 
had to anchor before she reached port ; and, being discovered by 
the British two days after the action, was burnt by the Spaniards 
to save her from capture. The enemy lost 86 killed and 197 
wounded ; the British had 59 killed and 120 wounded. But whilst 
the Spaniards had several officers of rank included in each category 
the British had none in either. 

Knowles continued to look out for the Plate fleet, but in vain. 
In the course of time he learnt from a prize that the preliminaries 
of peace had been concluded and that hostilities were to cease, 
whereupon he returned to Jamaica. When he went home to 
England he comj)lained of Holmes for having left the convoy, 

' ('i)li()ni, a small mortar, so named from its inventor, Menno van Coehoorn, the 
Dutch military engineer (born 1641 ; died 1704). 


oblivious of the fact that, had IJolnies not rejoined the llaj,', tJie 
victory off Havana could not have been gained. Holmes was most 
honourably acquitted. On the other hand, some of the captains 
of the squadron complained of the conduct of the Kear-Admiral, who 
was in consequence tried on board the Charlotte yacht, at Deptford, by 
a court-martial which sat from the 11th to the '20th December, 1749. 
It appeared that while Rear-Admiral Knowles was standing for the 
Spanish fleet he might, by a different disposition of his squadron, 
have begun the attack simultaneously with six ships, and might 
have begun it earlier in the day. It appeared too, that, owing to 
the method which he pursued, he had begun to attack with only 
four ships. Upon these points the court condemned him ; and it 
was also of the opinion that, in order proj)erly to conduct and direct 
the operations of his command, he ought to have shifted his flag 
from the ConuniU to some other vessel, after the former had 
been disabled. For the rest, the proceedings amply vindicated the 
Rear-Admiral's personal courage. The sentence was thus worded : 

" The court uiiaiiimously agree tliat llear-Adniiral Knowles falls under part of the 
14tli Article of War, being guilty of negligence, and also under the 23rd Article. The 
court therefore unanimously adjudge him to be reprimanded for not hringing up 
the squadron in closer order than he did, and for not beginning the attack with so 
great a force as he might liave done; and ahio for not shifting his flag, on tlie Cornwall's 
being disabled." 

On the Leeward Islands' Station, Commodore Pocock learned 
by the arrival of the Weazel, sloop, despatched to him by Hawke, 
of the approach of the large convoy, which had been under the 
escort of M. de I'Etenduere ; and, although he had not time to 
collect the whole of his squadron to intercept it, his ships, and the 
privateers on the station, succeeded in capturing no fewer than 
thirty-five sail of it. 

In the Mediterranean, where Eear-Admiral the Hon. John Byng 
commanded, the British fleet was too strong for the French and 
Spanish to attempt at sea anything of importance before the 
conclusion of the peace. The British hampered the passage of 
reinforcements to the allied armies at Genoa, by arming a number of 
small craft and entrusting them to lieutenants, who cruised with 
great success inshore, and intercepted many transports. On the 
peace being concluded, Byng returned to England with most of the 
larger ships of his fleet. 

In the home seas Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Hawke went on 

138 M A.I on Ol'KliATJONti, 1714-17G2. [174'J. 

a cruise with a considerable squadron in the month of January ; 
and, ere he returned to port, made several prizes, including the 
Magnaiiiiiic, 74, an account of the capture of which will be found in 
the next chapter. liear-Admiral Sir Peter Warren, in April, also 
went on a cruise ; but in May both he and Hawke were recalled to 
England upon the settlement of the preliminaries of peace. 

" In the course of the war," says Beatson,' " the British captured 
from the Spaniards 1'249 ships, and from the French 2185, making 
in all 3434. The Spaniards captured from the British 1360, and the 
French 1878, making together 3238, being 196 fewer than w'hat had 
been taken by the British." Yet, in spite of this, the general balance 
was in favour of Great Britain, for not only were several of the 
Spanish prizes extraordinarily valuable, but also the British mer- 
chant marine, on account of its superior strength, was far better 
able than either the French or Spanish to suffer great losses without 
being seriouslj' crippled. The main gain to Great Britain by the 
war was the reduction of the French navy to proportions which, for 
the time, were no longer formidable. The peace itself benefited 
her but little, for, in accordance with it, all conquests made by any 
of the combatants were to be restored. On the other hand, the 
point which had been the chief occasion of the war — the right of 
British ships to navigate the American seas without being searched 
— was not touched upon, and i^emained unsettled. The right to the 
province of Nova Scotia, or Acadia, was to be left to be discussed by 
commissioners appointed for the piu-pose. This last matter, never 
having been properly arranged, was, as will soon be shown, pro- 
ductive of another bloody and expensive war. 

The first care of France after the conclusion of peace was to 
reorganise and revive her navy. Great numbers of ships were laid 
down at home ; and contracts were placed abroad, especially in 
Sweden, for the construction of others. None of the ambitious 
projects of King Louis were surrendered. He had merely accepted 
peace in order the better to prepare for the realisation of his designs. 
Nor did the French agents invariably take the trouble to obey the 
spirit of the treaty. As early as 1749 the French Governor of 
Martinique seized and fortified the neutral island of Tobago ; and 
the place was not evacuated until grave international comphcations 
threatened to arise out of the matter. Again, in 1751, the French 
contemplated aggressions on the "West African coast, and only 
' ' Xav. anil Milit. Mems.," i. -414. 


desisted when Captiiiii Matthew Jiucklc (1), of the Asui.staiicc, 50, 
informed M. Perrier de Salvert, the French commodore, that if he 
persisted in his designs of building a fort at Annamaboe, the British 
would look upon it as a breach of the peace and would repel force by 

French aggression in other (piarters was not always checked 
with equal promptitude. M. dc^ La Jonquiere, the French com- 
mander-in-chief in North America, and M. de La Galissonniere, 
Governor of Canada, hatched between them a project for tampering 
with the Indians of North America and for gradually driving British 
settlers out of that continent ; and French officers occupied British 
territory in Nova Scotia and built forts there. Kemonstrances were 
made, and in 1750 commissioners were appointed to adjust the 
disputes ; but nothing came of their conferences. Still, while Great 
Britain herself remained almost indifferent, the Colonists at last 
took up the question. Virginia raised 400 men and £10,000 for the 
defence of its inland borders, and confided the command of its 
troops to Major George Washington.' The French Canadians, 
iowever, in spite of the heroism of the Americans, captured them 
and their commander on July 8rd. Thereupon the colonial 
governors held a congress and agreed upon a common plan of 
defence; and the Ministry at home, shamed into action, sent troops 
under General Braddock to the assistance of the Colonists. These 
were convoyed to America in 1754 by two 50-gun ships'" under 
Commodore the Hon. Augustus Keppel. Such signs assured the 
French that, if they persisted in their policy, an open rupture could 
not but result : and they therefore endeavoured to associate Spain 
with them in the coming quarrel ; but their schemes were foiled by 
the watchfulness of Sir Benjamin Keene, the British ambassador at 

In India, where M. Dupleix still governed Pondicherry, the 
French were as aggressive as elsewhere ; and, in consequence, 
hostilities between the two East India Companies were almost 
unceasing, so that the peace in that quarter was a merely nominal 
one. Clive in this contest won great successes and opened up to 

' This was the begiuuing of the great Washiugtou's iuilit;iiy career. See ^^'alpole : 
' Mems. of George II.,' i. 347 ; and ' Corresp.,' iii. 73. 

'' Centuriun, Ca\it. the Hon. Aug. Keppel; and Norwich, Capt. the Hon. Samuel 
Barrington. In the latter, Adam Diuaeau, afterwards Lord Duncan, served as acting 
lieutenant. — Keiipel : ' Life of Keppel," i. 201. 

140 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1755. 

the British East India Company such a vision of future wealth and 
glory as induced it to beg the Ministry at home to assist it in pre- 
serving its rapidly growing superiority over its French I'ival. In 
response the Government in 1754 despatched Kear-Admiral Charles 
Watson with a force which, as ultimately constituted, consisted of 
the Kent, 70, Cumberland, 66, Tiger, 60, Salisbury, 50, Bridf/e- 
water, 24, and Kingfisher, 16. France at the same time sent out 
a squadron of neai-ly equal strength; but, before the ships arrived, 
Dupleix had been recalled, and the French in India had adopted 
a more peaceable policy, which might have led to permanent 
harmon}^ between the two Companies had not the outbreak of war 
elsewhere precluded such a consummation. 

The despatch of General Braddock to America led France to 
throw off her mask and to assemble a large expedition at Brest and 
Eochefort, destined for Canada. Great Britain in reply prepared 
for war ; and on March 11th, 1755, a proclamation was issued 
offering bounties for seamen and able-bodied landsmen. On 
March 14th thirty-five sail of the line and numerous small craft 
were commissioned ; a hot press for men was instituted in each of 
the chief ports, and fifty companies of Marines were ordered to be 

The French expedition left Brest under the convoy of twenty- 
five sail of the line, commanded liy ^l. de Macnamara, who, after 
seeing it fairly to sea, returned with nine sail, leaving the rest of the 
command to M. Dubois de La Motte, who later detached four sail of 
the Hne and two frigates to Louisbourg, and proceeded with the rest 
of the fleet to Quebec. The British Ministry was only vaguely 
informed as to these movements, and sent to North America Vice- 
Admiral the Hon. Edward Boscawen with but eleven sail of the line, 
a frigate, and a sloop, convoying two regiments. He sailed from 
Plymouth on April '27th, 1755, with instructions to protect the 
British colonies and to attack the French squadron wheresoever he 
should find it. An intimation of what instructions had been given 
was, at the same time, communicated to the French ambassador, 
who replied that the king his master would consider the first gun 
fired at sea in a hostile manner to be a declaration of war. "When 
it became known how greatly superior a French force had gone to 
America, a reinforcement of six sail of the line and a frigate, under 
Rear-Adniiral Francis Holburne, was sent to Boscawen ; and the 
necessary arrangements were so quickly made that Holburne sailed 


on May 11th and joined Boscawen off the Banks of Newfoundlaiul 
on June '21st. 

The mihtary operations in North America of the force under 
General Braddock need Jiot be followed in detail. HulHce it to say 
that an American expedition against Niagara Fort miscarried ; that 
Colonel William Johnson, a colonial officer, on his way to occupy 
Crown Point, defeated a considerable French force which had 
attacked him ; and that Braddock himself, while leading an ex- 
pedition against Fort Duquesne,^ was routed and killed. A com- 
bined naval and military expedition under Captain John Rous, R.N., 
and Lieut. -Colonel Monckton, against French forts in Nova Scotia, 
took Fort Beau Sejour, which was renamed Fort Cumberland, and 
several other works ; and was completely successful with but little 

The fleets of Boscawen and Dubois de la Motte did not 
meet, although four French line-of-battle ships, which had become 
separated from their consorts, were chased by the British on 
June 6th. For a time they escaped in a fog ; but on June iSth, 
when the weather cleared, three of the French vessels were again 
visible and a general chase was ordered. The Dunkirk, 60, Captain 
the Hon. Richard Howe, assisted by the Torhaij, 74 (Boscawen's 
flagship). Captain Charles Colby, after a brisk action took the 
Alcidc, Captain de Hocquart ; and the Drfiaiice, 60, Captain Thomas 
Andrews (2), and Fotigucnx, 64, Captain Richard Spry, took the Li/s, 
which, though pierced for 64 guns, had only 22 mounted. The third 
ship got away owing to the return of the fog. 

When Boscawen discovered that the French had safely reached 
Quebec, and that his own fleet was very sickly, he left Rear-Adniiral 
Holburne with a small squadron to blockade Louisbourg, and went 
to Halifax to refresh his men. But the epidemic of putrid fever 
could not be checked; and, before Boscawen, with the main part of 
his squadron, got home to England, the ships had lost 2000 people. 
Captain Spry, with a few vessels, was left to winter at Halifax. 
Boscawen and the rest of the fleet anchored at Spithead on 
November 4th. It should be added that M. Dubois de la Motte 
returned to France without adventure, and that the vessels which 
he had sent into Louisbourg escaped and rejoined him at the time 
when the British blockading squadron had been driven from its 
station by bad weather. 

' l)n the site of what is lunv Pittslnira. 

142 MAJOR OPEItATlONS, 1714-17G2. [17oC. 

The capture of the Alckle and Jjijti produced gi-eat excitement in 
France, and fanned the flame of war in England ; but although 
hostilities thereupon ))egan, formal war between Great Britain and 
France was not declared until May 18th, 1756, upon the receipt in 
London of the news of the French invasion of Minorca. 

In the summer of 1755, Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Hawke and 
Eear-Admiral Temple West, with a strong squadron, put to sea in 
hopes of intercepting the Comte du Guay, who was expected back 
from the West Indies after having carried reinforcements to the 
Leeward Islands. But the enemy avoided them, and re-entered 
Brest without loss ; whereupon Hawke returned to Spithead. The 
fleet soon afterwards sailed again under Vice- Admiral the Hon. 
John Byng and Eear-Admiral Temple West, Ijut re-anchored at 
Spithead on November '21st. When Parliament met in November, 
the addresses in reply to the speech from the throne were very 
warlike, and France, which had previously believed that the gi-eat 
body of Englishmen was averse to hostilities, made efforts to 
negotiate : but too late. 

Early in the new year, troops were assembled on the French 
coast as if for an invasion of Great Britain ; and a fleet was collected 
at Brest. The threat of invasion produced almost a panic in 
England, and in February the Ministry increased the alarm by- 
issuing a foolish proclamation, ordering the proper officers, in case 
the French should land, to cause all horses, oxen and other cattle, 
which were fit for draft or burden and not actually used in the 
interest and defence of the country, and all other cattle as far as was 
practicable, and all provisions, to be driven or removed at least 
twenty miles from the point at which such an attempt should be 
made. The Government also unwisely detained at home a large 
fleet, while it left America and the West Indies and the Mediter- 
ranean very insufficiently guarded. It did not realise that Great 
Britain is best protected from invasion by the activity and efficiency 
of her Navy at sea. France took advantage of the alarm and con- 
fusion to quietly embark at Toulon about 16,000 men, imder the Due 
de Bichelieu, and to send them to Minorca, convoyed by a strong 
squadron under M. de La Galissonniere. The expedition landed at 
Ciudadella on April 19th. 

Before proceeding to give an account of the operations of the 
war, it may be well to say something of an expedition, which, under 
Eear-Admiral Charles Watson, rendered valuable service to commerce 


by destroying the power of a most dangerous pirate in the East 
Indies. This pirate, Tulagee Angria by name, was the representative 
of a family which for about a hundred years had committed outrages 
on tlie Mahratta coast, and had accjuired both wealth and territory. 
Angria was feared not only by the natives of India, but also by 
European traders, and even by the East India Company ; and he 
had extended his authority from the small island stronghold of 
Severndroog over a large stretch of coast, which included the town 
and port of Geriah. In 1734 Angria had taken the East Indiaman, 
Derby, richly laden, and later the Restoration, 20, armed ship, and 
the French Jupiter, 40. He had also ventured to attack Commodore 
William Lisle, who had two ships of the line and several other 
vessels in company ; and he had wrought much damage to the 
Dutch trade. He was by origin a Mahratta, but he had thrown off 
his allegiance ; and the Mahrattas had long urged the East India 
Company to assist in effecting his downfall. More than one attempt 
had been made to destroy him, but in vain ; when, in 1755, an 
agreement of the East India Company, the British Government and 
the Mahrattas led to the fitting out against the pirate of a force, 
which finally secured the desired object. Mr. James, Commodore 
of the East India Company's ships in India, sailed in March with 
the Company's ships Protector, Sivallow, Viper, and Triumph, and 
attacked and captured Severndroog, afterwards delivering it up to the 
Mahrattas. He also took Bencote (Fort Victoria), the most northerly 
port in Angria's dominions. 

In November Eear- Admiral Watson reached Bombay, and further 
operations were begun. James, with the Protector, Revenge, and 
Bomhaij, went to reconnoitre Geriah, Angria's chief stronghold ; 
and, upon his retm-n on December 31st, the Eear-Admiral sent His 
Majesty's ships Bridgewater and Kingfisher, with some of the 
Company's armed vessels, to cruise off the port. James joined them 
on January '27th, 1756, with the Protector, and Guardian ; and the 
Eear-Admiral, with Eear-x4dmiral George Pocock as second in 
command, and with Lieut. -Colonel Clive in command of the troops, 
followed with his squadron, arriving on February 12th. In addition 
to the King's and Company's ships, there was a contingent of Mahratta 
craft, which, however, did httle or nothing. Angria, terrified at the 
force arrayed against him, fied to the Mahrattas to try to make 
terms, and left Geriah under the orders of one of his brothers-in-law. 
His offers and promises induced the Mahrattas to withdraw their 

144 MAJOn OI'EHAriONS, 1T14-ITG2. [175C. 

active co-operation, in retui-n for an undertaking to put them in 
possession of the place ; and the hrother-in-law would have carried 
out this arrangement but that Watson refused to be satisfied with 
anj'thing short of the destruction of the pirate's stronghold. 

In the afternoon of February 12th, the garrison having refused 
to surrender, the squadron weighed and stood in in two divisions : 
one to attack the fort and the other to attack Angria's fleet and 
dockyard. A brisk cannonade resulted. The shipping was soon 
burnt, and part of the town was set on fire. After about three 
hours, the enemy's guns were nearly silenced, and the British guns 
in consequence ceased also ; but, soon afterwards, firing was re- 
commenced, and not until 6.30 p.m., the engagement having begun 
at about 1.30 p.m., did the pirates cease to make further resistance. 
Troops were then disembarked under Clive, ready to take possession ; 
and during the night, lest the enemy might again take heart, the 
bombs occasionally shelled the fort. In the morning Watson 
summoned the garrison and was refused ; whereupon the bombard- 
ment was again recommenced. At length a flag of truce was hung 
out, and an offer of submission was made ; but, as it was not com- 
plete and unconditional, fire was renewed. The governor then 
surrendered unconditionally. On the morning of the 14th, Clive 
marched into the place. Not more than twenty men were killed 
and wounded on the British side in the affair. The victors found 
in the fortress two hundred and fifty pieces of cannon, six brass 
mortars, and a large quantity of stores and ammunition, besides 
about i-100,000 sterling in rupees and ±'30,000 worth of valuables. 
Ten Englishmen and three Dutchmen, who had been enslaved by 
Angria, were released. The pirate fleet which was burnt at Geriah 
consisted of one ship, eight grabs or galleys, and a large number of 
armed row-boats called gallivats. At the end of April Watson left 
the coast of Malabar, and on May 14th arrived off Fort St. David. 

In North Ameiica the Earl of Loudoun commanded the British 
land forces, but, before he could take the field, the French had won 
several successes and had made themselves masters of the British 
armed vessels on Lake Ontario. 

It has been mentioned that Commodore Spry had remained at 
Nova Scotia after the return of Boscawen to England in 1755. 
Commodore Charles Holmes, convoying some troops from Cork, was 
sent out with a reinforcing squadron, and assumed command. With 
the Grafton, Notthujliani, Hornet and Jamaica he cruised off 


Louisbourg in July, and nearly succeeded in cutting off a small 
French force ; and on the following day he fought another French 
force, which, however, also got away. 

On the Leeward Islands' station Commodore Thomas Frankland 
commanded ; and, although he fought no action, and rendered himself 
very unpopular, his cruisers greatly annoyed the enemy. On the 
Jamaica station, the squadron was under the orders of Bear-Admiral 
the Hon. George Townshend ; but it was so small that he had to 
remain almost entirely on the defensive. It, however, prevented the 
French from carrying out an intended attack on Jamaica. 

At home, the threat of invasion continued to cause popular 
uneasiness, and in January, 1756, Vice-Admiral Henry Osborn 
was sent to sea with a large squadron to convoy outward-bound 
merchantmen, and, on his return, to reconnoitre Brest. He would 
have been better employed in reinforcing the fleet in the Mediter- 
ranean, for, although the enemy had sixteen ships of the line in 
Brest and Rochefort, it was discovered that these could not be 
ready before May ; and in the meanwhile. Great Britain had eight 
ships of the line and twenty-three frigates quite ready, and thirty- 
two ships of the line and five frigates nearly ready for sea in the 
home ports. 

Nor was the threat of invasion ever a serious one. The French 
knew too well that the project at that time was hopeless. Upon the 
return of Osborn, Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Hawke was sent with a 
squadron to cruise off Brest, and was reinforced in April by additional 
ships under Eear-Admiral Francis Holburne. But these precautions 
were taken too late, for Vice-Admiral d'Aubigny had left Brest for 
Martinique on January 30th, and M. de Beaussier had sailed on 
February 19th for San Domingo. Yet Hawke, ere he came back 
to England in May, made many valuable prizes. He left Holburne 
to cruise before Brest ; and Holburne was presently joined by Vice- 
Admiral the Hon. Edward Boscawen, who assumed command of the 
united fleet of eighteen ships of the line, six 50-gun ships and two 

This demonstration naturally induced the French squadron to 
keep within its harbour; but some of Boscawen's vessels engaged 
stragghng French ships. The invasion scare still continuing, the 
Vice-Admiral took effectual means to put an end to it. He sent 

the Hunter, cutter. Lieutenant Cockburn, to reconnoitre Brest. 

Mr. Cockburn ran close into the harbour's mouth, and then with 
VOL. III. '^ 

146 MAJOR OPERATTONS, 1711-1702. [175C. 

five companions, got into ii bout iind rowed into the port in tlie 
dark. He reported that he had found there only nine ships of war 
of 50-gims or under and six large merchantmen. Boscawen and 
Holburne returned to England in November, leaving Kear-Admirals 
Savage Mostyn and Harry Noiris before Brest, chiefly to intercept 
such of the enemy's ships as might be coming home from abroad. 
The blockading force was afterwards entrusted to Vice-Admiral 
Charles Knowles, who came hack to port with most of it in 
Decemljer. His departure was somewhat prematm-e, in that it 
enabled M. de Kersaint to get out with a small force for the coast 
of Africa, and M. de Beauffremont to escape with another small 
force bound for the West Indies. It also allowed some small 
cruising squadrons to proceed to sea in safety. 

The British Ministry was very negligent in the matter of 
Minorca. It is quite clear that as early as October, 1755, it had 
received intelligence that the expedition prepainng at Toulon was 
destined for that island ; and that French reports to the same effect 
reached it in November and December, as well as later.' Yet it 
took no proper measures for the defence of the place, the reason 
apparently being that, at that time, it undervalued the importance of 
the position. The military command of the island was in the hands 
of General AVilliam Blakeuey, an officer in his eighty-second year, 
who was so infirm that when Port Mahon was besieged by the Due 
de Richelieu, he, though mentally very active, was obliged to spend 
great part of his time in bed. The garrison also was very weak, 
and most of the officers belonging to it were on leave until some 
time after the French expedition had sailed from Toulon. More- 
over, the British squadron in the Mediterranean, including as it did 
only three ships of the line and a few small craft, was a seiious 
danger rather than a source of strength. 

Yet at length public opinion in England insisted that something 
must be done; and on March 11th, 1756, Vice-Admiral the Hon. 
John Byng was appointed to the command of a fleet, which was 
then ordered to proceed to Minorca. The position of second in 
command was given to Rear-Admiral Temple West. But this fleet, 
which should have been a large and powerful one, was by no means 
of formidable proportions. It consisted only of ten sail of the line ; 
and even those few ships were not fitted out without the greatest 
difficulty and friction. At that late date the Ministry seems to have 
' Kesols. of Ho. of Conims., May 'ivA, 1757. 


been still blind to the importance of Minorca. There were at the 
moment twenty-seven ships of the line uruising in the Channel and 
Bay of Biscay, twenty-eight ships of the line in commission at 
home, and many small craft, whicb might bave been detailed for 
the service. But Byug was not permitted to utilise any of these, 
or to draw crews from them ; and his mission was evidently 
regarded as a wholly subsidiary one. He was directed to take on 
board the absent officers of the Minorca garrison and a reinforce- 
ment of troops, consisting of the Eoyal Regiment of Fusiliers, 
under the command of Colonel Lord Robert Bertie. To make 
room for tliese men, all the Marines belonging to the squadron were 
sent on shore, with the result that, had Byng been successful in 
throwing troops into Port Mahon, he would, owing to the absence 
of Marines from his sliips, have been in a condition uniit for sub- 
sequently fighting an action at sea. 

The Vice-Admiral prepared his fleet with as much dispatch as 
possible, and sailed from St. Helen's on April 6th, arriving at 
Gibraltar on May 'ind. He was there joined by some of the ships, 
which, under Captain the Hon. George Edgcumbe, were already in 
the Mediterranean ; and he received intelligence that the Toulon 
squadron had landed a French army in Minorca, and that the enemy 
was already in possession of almost every strong position in the island. 
Byng communicated to General Fowke, the Governor of Gibraltar, 
an order from home to the effect that, subject to certain conditions, 
a detachment from the garrison, equal to a battalion of men, was 
to be embarked on board the fleet. But General Fowke and his 
advisers came to the conclusion, firstly, that it would be extremely 
dangeroiis, if not impracticable, to throw succour into Port Mahon ; 
and secondly, that the garrison of Gibraltar was already too weak to 
spare the specihed detachment without danger to itself. Yet as the 
fleet was in great want of men, and as Edgcumbe's ships had left 
their Marines, and some of their seamen, in Minorca to assist in the 
work of defence, the Governor permitted 1 captain, 6 subalterns, 
9 sergeants, 11 corporals, .'j drummers and '200 privates to embark, 
it being represented to him that, without such reinforcement, 
several of the ships would be absolutely unable to go into action. 

Captain Edgcumbe, with his little squadron, had been obliged to 
retire from off Minorca upon the appearance of the French. He 
had left behind him Captain Carr Scrope of the Dolpliin, who 
commanded the naval detachment on shore, and who was to 

L 2 




act as signal officer in the event of the appearance of a British 
squadron before the island. Ere Byng, with an easterly wind, 
sailed from Gibraltar on May 8th, he had been joined by the whole 
of Captain Edgcumbe's little force, excepting the Fhaniix, which 
had been blockaded at Paliua, Majorca, by two French frigates, 
and which was only able to get out upon the appearance of the 
British fleet off that island. The wind was for the most part 
easterly until 9 p.m. on the 18th, when a brisk northerly breeze 
sprang up ; and the squadron, having sailed large all night, sighted 
Minorca at daybreak next morning. Byng at once sent ahead the 
Phoenix, Chesterfield and Dolphin to reconnoitre the mouth of 
Mahon Harbour, to pick up intelligence, and to endeavour to send 
ashore a letter to General Blakeney. Captain the Hon. Augustus 
John Hervey, the senior officer of the advanced squadron, drew in 
with the shore and endeavoui'ed to communicate with the castle of 
St. Philip ; but, before he could effect anything, the enemy's fleet 
appeared in the S.E., and the detachment had to be recalled. 

Vice-Admiral Byng then stood towards the foe and made the 
signal for a general chase. Both squadrons ^ made sail towards one 

' The British and Fre.\-ch Fleets in the Action off Minorca, Mat 20th, 175(5. 




Ships. 1 




Gnns. Flag-Officers. 

Dejiance . . . 


fCapt. Thomas Andrews 

I (2). ! 

Or pit re .... 
Sippopotame . 


Portland^ . . . 


„ Patrick Baird. 

Pedoutable . . . 

,. fM. de Glandevez (Chef 

iMncaster . . . 


f „ Eon. George Edg- 
• cumbe. 


I d'Escadre). 

iKear-Admiral Temple ' 

Guerrier . . . 




\ We5t(R). ; 



(Capt. Michael Everitt. 

Foudroyant. . . 

/M. de La Galissouuiere 
I (Lieut.-Geueral). 

Captain .... 


„ Charles Catford. 


Intrepid . . . 


„ James Young (1"). 

Tthnu'raire . . . 


f ,, Frederick Com- 
t wall. 

Content .... 


Revevgt .... 




Princess Louisa i . 


„ Thrtmas Noel. 

CouronTie . . . 


(M. de La Clue (Chef 
I d'Escadre). 

Trident .... 


„ Philip Durell (1). 

iVice-Adm. Hon. John 

Triton .... 


Eamillies . . . 


{ Byng(E). 

Culloden . . . 


ICapt. Arthur Gardiner. 
„ Henry Ward. 

FltlGATlS, EIC.4 

Kingston . . . 


„ WmiamParry(2). 

Junon .... 


Frigates, etc. 

Gracieitse . . . 


Bept/ordi'. . . 
Chesterfield i . . 


„ John Amherst. 
„ John Llojd (2). 

Topaze .... 
Nymphe .... 



Phmnix''- . . . 


f „ Hon. Augustus 
\ John Hervey. 

i'b7-(«nei . . . 


Com. Jervis Maplesdeu. 

Experiment^ . . 


Capt. James Gilchrist. 

Dolphin i . . . 


Com. Benjamin Marlow.3 

1 Were iu the Meditevrauean iimler Capt. the Hon. G. Edgcumbe, hefore Acimiral Bjmg's arri\al. 

2 The Deptford, haviug heeu origiually placed iu the Hue between the Culloden and the Kiiuji^ion^ and then 
removed from it, was later ordered to take the place of the dit^abled Intrepid. 

3 Capt. Carr Scrope being on service ashore at Port Slahon. 

4 La Galissouuiere mentions only four French frigates as having been present. 




another; aud at '2 p.m. the Briti.sli Commander-in-Chief made the 
signal for a Hne of battle ahead. But, the wind dropping, this 
order could not be properly carried 
out. In the meantime he took the 
precaution of reinforcing such of the 
ships as were most weakly manned, 
by means of drafts from the frigates ; 
and he directed that the Pluriiix, 
which had been reported as unfit for 
general service, should be made ready 
to act as a fireship in case of necessity. 
At about six o'clock in the evening 
the enemy advanced in order, with 
twelve ships of the line and five 
frigates ; the van being commanded 
by M. Glandevez, the centre by M. de 
La Galissonniere, and the rear by M. 
de La Glue. An hour later the French 
tacked, and went away a distance of 
about six miles, with a view to gaining 
the weather-gage ; and Byng, to pre- 
serve that advantage, tacked likewise 
On the following morning two tartans, 
which had been sent out by M. de 
Eicheheu with soldiers to reinforce 
M. de La Galissonniere, were chased 
by the British ships, one of them 
being taken by the Defiance, and the 
other escaping. That morning at 
daybreak, the weather was hazy, and 
the enemy was not at once seen ; but, 
a little later, he came in sight in 
the S.E. 

Captain Mahan's account of the 
action which followed may be here 
quoted, as it admirably summarises 
what occurred. 

byng's action, may 20Tn, 175G. 

I— At 2 P.M. 

British, black,- French, while. 

[The angle of approach "was somewhat 
greater than as shown in the plans.] 

dyng's action, may 20th, 

n— At 3.30 P.M. 

BritLsh, binck : French, ivhite. 

ilntrepitl should he flying up into the 
wind. She is here represented as before 
the wind.] 

"The two fleets," lie writes, "having sighted each other on the morning of 
May 20th, were found after a series of manoeuvres both on the port tack, with an 
easterly wind, lieadiug southerly, the French to leeward, between the English and the 




liarbour. Bviig ran down in line aliead oft' the wind, tlie Frencii remaining by it, so 
tliat when tlie former made the signal to engage, tlie fleets were not itarallel, but 
formed an angle of from 80° to 40° (PI. I.). The attack wliicli ]?yng I).y his own account 
meant to make, each ship against its opposite in the enemy's line, difficult to carry out 
under any cii-cumstances, was here further impeded by the distance between the two 
rears being much greater than that l)etween the vans ; so tliat liis whole line could not 
come into action at the same moment. When the signal was made, the van shijis kept 
away in obedience to it, and ran down for tlie French so nearly liead on as to sacrifice 
their artillery fire in great measure (PL II.). They received three raking broadsides 

and were seriously dismantled aloft. The sixth 
English ship" {Intrepid) "counting from the 
van, had her foretopmast shot away, flew U]i 
into the wind, and came abacK, stopping and 
douliling up the rear of the line (PI. III.). Then 
undouljtedly was the time for Bj-ng, having 
committed himself to the fight, to have set the 
example and borne down, just as Farragut did 
at Mobile when his line was confused by the 
stopping of the next ahead ; but according to 
the testimony of the flag-captain, Mathews's 
sentence deterred him. ' You see. Captain 
Gardiner, that the signal for the line is out, and 
that I am ahead of the ships Louisa and 
Trident' (which in the order should have been 
ahead of him). ' You would not have me, as 
admiral of the fleet, run down as if I were going 
to engage a single ship. It was Mr. Mathews's 
misfortune to be prejudiced by not carrying 
down his force together, which I shall endeavour 
to avoid.' The aflair thus became indecisive; 
the English van was separated from the rear 
and got the brimt of the fight. One French authority blames Galissonniere for not 
tacking to windward of the enemy's van and crushing it. Another says he ordered the 
movement, but that it could not be made from the damage to the rigging ; but this seems 
improbable, as the only injury the French squadron underwent aloft was the loss of 
one topsail-yard, whereas the English sufl'ered very badly. The true reason is probably 
that given and approved by one of the French authorities on naval warfare. Galisson- 
niere considered the support of the land attack on Port Mahon paramount to any 
destruction of the English fleet, though he thereby exposed his own. ' The French 
navy has always preferred the glory of assuring or preserving a conquest to that, 
more brilliant perhaps, but actually less real, of taking some ships ; and therein 
it has approached more nearly the true end that has been proposed in war.' The 
justice of this conclusion dejiends upon the view that is taken of the true end 
of naval war." ' 

byng's action, mat 20th, 1756. 
in.— 3 P.M. 

The losses (see following page^) in killed and wounded were 
nearly equal ; but the French lost no officers of rank, whereas in 
Byng's fleet Captain Andrews, of the Defiance, was killed, and 
Captain Noel, of the Princes>; Louisa, was mortally wounded. 
The British ships also suffered much more than the French in 

' ' Iiifl. i.f Sea Power u]iou Hist.,' 28G, 2S,. 




their masts, yards and rigging ; so much so, in fact, that Byng 
deemed it right, before venturing to do anything further, to call a 
council of war on board the Jiaiiii/Jirx, and to suninion to it not 
only the naval officers, but also several of the land officers who 
were on board the ships. The questions debated in this couiicil, 
and the conclusions arrived at, were as follows : — 

1. Wliether an attack on the French fleet ijave any iirospect of relieving Mahon ? 

Eesolved : It did not. 

2. AVliether, if there were no French lieet cruiKing at Miiioica, (lie British Heet 

could raise the siege? Resolved: It could not. 
o. Whether Gibraltar would not be in danger, shouM any accident befall Piyng"s 
fleet? Piesolved : It would be in danger. 

4. Whether an attack by the British fleet in its present state U]ion that of the 

French woidd not endanger Lribraltar, and expose the trade in the Mediter- 
ranean to great hazards ? Re.solved : It would. 

5. Whether it is not rather for His Majesty's service that the fleet should proceed 

immediately to Gibraltar? Eesolved: It should proceed to Gibi-altar. 

As a result, the squadron sailed for Gibraltar, and, on the way, 
occupied itself in repairing such damages as could be repaired at 

' The losses in killed and wounded in the two lleets were as follows: — 



Defiance . 
Biichimjlmm . 
Cii'ptain. . 
Intrepid . 
Princess Louisa 
















Sa</e . 

Guerrie.r . 
Fier . 
Conten t . 
Lion . 
Triton . 




















London Gazette of June 26th, 1756. Lists in Beatsou, iii. 118, put the total losses 
at — British, 43 killed, 168 wounded ; French, 38 killed, 181 wounded. La Galissonniere 
puts the French loss at 38 killed, and 1 15 wounded. It may be that 26 French were 
killed outright, and that 12 more died of their wounds. No two accounts of the 
number of wounded can be expected to agree exactly, some enumerators naturally 
including among the wounded men with only slight injuries. 

152 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1702. [1756. 

sea. At the Eock the Admiral ^ found reinforcements,''* which had 
been sent out to him under Commodore Thomas Bi'oderick,^ the 
Ministry, after Byng's departure from England, having apparently 
realised for the first time the full extent of the danger in the 

It was unfortunate for Byng that the first detailed news of what 
had happened off Minorca reached the Government through French 
channels. M. de La Galissonniere's dispatch cannot now be found 
in the Ai-chives de la Marine in Paris, and possibly it no longer 
exists ; but a copy of it, or a translation, reached the Secretary 
of the Admiralty some time before Byng's own dispatch arrived 
in England ; and upon the former the Government took action, 
recalling Byng and West, and sending out Vice-Admiral Sir 
Edward Hawke and Eear-Admiral Charles Saunders to supersede 
them. The important part of this dispatch of La GaUssonniere's * 
is as follows : — 

" At half-past two in the afternoon the two squadrons were in line of battle and 
began the engagement. The English consisted of eighteen sail, of which thirteen were 
of the line, and ours, of twelve sail of the line and four frigates. The action lasted 
almost three hours and a half, but was not general during the whole of the time. The 
English ships that had suffered most from our broadsides got away to the windward, 
out of gunshot. They continually preserved this advantage that they might keep 
clear of us as they pleased. After having made their greatest efforts against our rear 
division, which they found so close and from which they received so hot a tire that 
they could not break in upon it, they made up their itdnds to sheer oft', and did not 
appear again during the whole of the next day, the 21st. Speaking generally, none of 
their ships long withstood the fire of ours. Our vessels suftered but little. They were 
repaired in the night, and on the following moi-ning were fit for action." ..." Our 
total killed was thirty-eight, and wounded one hundred and fifteen." 

' On Jime 4th, 1756, Byng was promoted to be Admiral of the Blue. 
^ Heinforcement despatched to Admiral the Hon. John B\-ng under Commodore 
Broderick ; — 

ships. 1 Guus. Commau'iei:s. 

Prince Georije. 


Hampton Court 


fCommod. Thomas Broderick. 

\Capt. Abraham North. 
64 j „ Richard Tyrrell. 
64 [ „ James Sayer. 
64 I „ James Webb. 
50 I „ Edward Wheeler. 

^ This officer, who was born in 1704, and died a A'ice-Admiral in 176ii, usually 
spelt his name Broderick. It was, however, properly spelt Brodrick. 
■* As published in the journals of the time. 

1756.] BVNG'S DISPATCH. J 53 

It may here be pointed out, in passing, that this report makes 
the British fleet to have been considerably superior to the French, 
whereas if there were any real difference between them it was only 
a very slight one ; and that it does not agree, in other respects, with 
the facts as they are now accepted. 

Before going further, it is right to print the dispatch which Byng 
addressed to the Admiralty on May 2.5th, and in which he gave his 
version of what had haj)pened. It is right also to say that the 
Admiralty, after receiving this dispatch, kept it for some time 
before making it public, and that, when it did publish it, gave 
it to the world in a mutilated condition. The complete dispatch 
was printed by Byng after his return to England, and ran as 
follows : — 

RttmiUies, off MinOec.\, May 'Ibtli, 17511. 
" Sir, — I have the pleasure to desire that you will acquaint their Lordships that, 
having sailed from Gibraltar the 8th, I got off Mahou the| I'Jth, having been joined by 
his Majesty's ship Phcenix off Majorca two days before, by whom Iliad confirmed the 
intelligence I had received at Gibraltar, of the strength of the French fleet, arid of their 
being off Mahon. His Ma/esty's colours were still flying at the castle of St. Philip ; 
and I could perceive several bomb-batteries 'playing on it from different parts. French 
colours I saw flying on the ivest part of tit. Philip. I dispatched the Phcenix, 
Chesterfield, and Dolphin ahead, to reconnoitre the harbour's mouth; and Captain 
Hcrvey to endeavour to land a letter for ileneral Blakeney, to let him know the fleet 
was here to his assistance ; though every one was of the opinion tve coidd be of no use 
to him; as, by all accounts, no place was secured for covering a landing, could we have 
spared the people. The Phoenix was also to make the private signal between Captain 
Hervey and Cajjtain Scrope, as this latter would jindoubtedly come off, if it were 
practicable, having hpt the Dolphin's barge with him : but the enemy's fleet appearing 
to the south-east, and the wind at the same time coming strong off' the land, obliged me 
to call these ships in, before they could get quite so near the entrance of the harbour 
as to make sure what batteries or guns might he ptlaced to prevent our having any 
communication with the castle. Falling little wind, it was live before I could form 
my line, or distinguish any of the enemy's motions ; and could not judge at all of their 
force, more than by numbers, which were seventeen, and thirteen appeared large. 
They at first stood towards us in regular line; and tacked about seven; which I 
judged was to endeavour to gain the wind of us in the night ; so that, being late, 
I tacked in order to keep the weather-gage of them, as well as to make sure of the 
land wind in the morning, being very hazj', and not above live leagues from Cape 
Mola. We tacked off towards the enemy at eleven ; and at daylight had no sight of 
them. But two tartans, with the French private signal, being close in with the rear 
of our fleet, I sent the Princess Louisa to chace one, and made signal for the Rear- 
Admiral, who was nearest the other, to send ships to chase her. The Princess Louisa, 
Defiance, and Captain, became at a great distance ; but the Defiance took hers, which 
had two captains, two lieutenants, and one hundred and two private soldiers, who were 
sent out the day before with six hundred men on board tartans, to reinforce the 
French fleet on our appearing off that place. The Phcenix, on Captain Hervey's offer, 
prepared to serve as a fire-ship, but without damaging her as a frigate ; till the signal 
was made to prime, when she was then to scuttle lier decks, everything else prepared, 
as the time and place allowed of. 

154 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [175C. 

"Tlie enemy now Ijcgan to i»]jpear In mi tlie niast-liead. I called in the cruisers; 
and, when tlicy had joine<l nic, I tacked tOwards the enemy, and formed the line ahead. 
I found the Freuchjwere prejiaring theirs to leeward, having unsuccessfully endeavoured 
to weather me. They were twelve large ships of the line, and live frigates. 

"As soon as I judged the rear of our fleet the length of their van, we tacked 
altogether, and immediately made the signal for the shijis that led to lead large, and 
for the Dei'Tford to quit the line, that ours nught become equal to theirs. At two 
I made the signal to engage : I found it was the surest method of ordering every shiji 
to close down on the one that fell to their lot. And here I must express my great 
satisfaction at the very gallant manner in which the Rear-Admiral set the van the 
examjile, liy instant]\- hearing down on the shi]is he was to engage, with his second, 
and who occasioned one of the Fiench shi]is to begin the engagement, which they did 
by raking ours as they went down. The Iktrei'ID, uvfortunatdy, in the very begin- 
ning, had her foretopniast shot away ; and as that hung on her foretopsail, and backed 
it, he had no command of his ship, his fore-tack and all his braces being cut at the 
same time ; so that he drove on the next ship to him, and obliged that and the ships 
alifiad of nie to throw all back. This obliged me to do also for some minutes, to avoid 
their falling on board me, though not before we had drove our adversar)' out of the 
line, who ]iut before the wind, and had several shots fired at him by his own admiral. 
This not only caused the enemy's centre to be unattacked, but the Rear-Admiral's 
division rather imcovered for some little time. I sent and called to the ships ahead of 
me to make sail, and go down on the enemy ; and ordered the Chesterfield to lay by 
the Intrepid, and the Deptford to supply the Intrepid's place. I found the enemy 
edged away constantly ; and as they went three feet to our one, they would never 
permit our closing with them, but took advantage of destroying our rigging ; for 
though I closed the Rear-Admiral fast, I found that I could not gain close to the enemy, 
whose van was fairly drove from their line ; but their admiral was joining them, by 
bearing away. 

"By this time it was jiast six, and the enemy's van and ours were at too great a 
distance to engage, I jierceived some of their ships stretching to the northward ; and 
I imagined they were going to form a new line. I made the signal for the headmost 
ships to tack, and those that led before with the larboard tacks to lead with the 
starboard, that I might, by the first, keep (if possible) the wind of the enemy, and, by 
the second, between the Rear-Admiral's division and the enemy, as he had suffered 
most ; as also to cover the Intrepid, which I jjerceived to be in very bad condition, 
and whose loss would give the balance very greatly against us, if they attacked us 
next moniing as I exjiected. I brouglit to about eight that night to join the Intrepid, 
and to refit our ships as fast as possible, and continued doing so all night. The next 
morning we saw nothing of the enemy, though we were still lying to. Mahon was 
N.X.W. about ten or eleven leagues. I sent cruisers to look out for the Intrepid and 
Chesterfield, who joined me next day. And having, from a state and condition of the 
squadron brought me in, found, that the Captain, Intrepid, and Defiance (which latter 
has lost her captain), were much damaged in their masts, so thai they were in danger 
of not being able to secure their masts properly at sea ; and also, ih'it the squadron in 
general were very sickly, many killed and ivounded, and nowhere to put a third of 
their number if 1 made an hospital of the forty-gun ship, which was not easy at sea ; 
I thought it proper in this situation to call a council of war, before I went again to 
look for the enemy. I desired the attendance of General Stuart, Lord Effingham, and 
Lord Robert Bertie, and Colonel Cornwallis, that I might collect their opinions upon 
the present situation of Minorca and Gibraltar, and make sure of protecting the latter, 
since it was found impracticable either to succour or relieve the former with the 
force ive had. So, thowjh we may Justly claim the victory, yet we are much inferior 
to the weight of their ships, though the numbers are equal ; and they have the advantage 
of sending to Miiiorca their wounded, and getting reinforcements of seamen from their 

1756.] FALL OF PORT MAUON. 155 

transports, and soldiers from their camp; all which uudoubl dlij has hcea d/>rie in tins 
time that we have been lying to to rffit, and often in si(/ht of Minorca ; and their ships 
have more than once appeared in a line from our mast-heads. 

" I send thnr Lordships the resolutions of the council of war, in lohirh there was 
not the least contention or doubt arose. J hope, indeed, v;e shall find stores to refit its 
at Gibraltar ; and, if I have any reinforreinent, will not lose a moment of time to 
seek the enemy again, and once more give them battle, though they have a great 
advantage in being clean ships that go three feet to our one, and therefore have their 
choice hoiu they will engage us, or if they ivill at all ; and will never let us close them, 
as their sole view is the disabling our ships, in which they Imve but too well succeeded, 
though we obliged them to bear up. 

. "I do not send their Lordships the particulars of our losses and damages by tliis, 
as it would take me much time ; and I am willing none should be lost in letting them 
know an event of such consequence. 

" I cannot help) urging their Lordships for a reinforcement, if none are yet sailed 
on their knowledge of the enemy's strength in. th'se seas, and which, by very good intelli- 
gence, will in a few days be strengthened by four more large ships from Toulon, almost 
ready to sail, if not sailed, to join these. 

" I dispatch this to Sir Benjamin Keene, by way of Barcelona ; and am making 
the best of my way to cover Gibraltar, from which place I propose sending their 
Lordships a more particular account. I remain, Sir, your most humble servant, — 

"J. BVNR. 

" Hon. John Clevlaxd, Esq." 

The above dispatch appears to have arrived in England on 
June 16th ; but it vi^as not pubHshed in the London- Gazette until 
June 26th, and then only with the omission of those passages which 
are now printed in italics. The omissions, it is clear, were some- 
what unfair, and, being calculated to prejudice Byug, they show the 
bias of the Ministry, which, previously inclined to underrate the 
importance of Minorca, at length seemed disposed to attach the 
utmost significance to it. The dispatch is, however, an unsatis- 
factory one, even as it stands. It is too full of excuses, too 
apologetic, to be the work of a strong and self-reliant man. It 
smacks, indeed, more of a Persano than of a Nelson or a Saumarez. 

To avoid a break in the narrative, it may here be said that the 
town of Port Mahon defended itself gallantly, but had to capitu- 
late, on .June '29th, on honoixrable terms. The garrison was sent to 

Commodore Broderick, with the reinforcement, had reached 
Gibraltar on June 1.5th, and was there found by Byng on his arrival 
there on June 19th. The Admiral at once began preparations to 
return to Minorca ; but, while he was still engaged in these, on 
July 3rd, the Antelope, 50, came in with Vice-Admiral Sir Edward 
Hawke, Eear-Admiral Charles Saunders, and the order for the 
supersession of the Commander-in-Chief and Eear-Admiral West. 

156 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1757. 

She had sailed from home ou June IGth. Captains Gardiner and 
Everitt, Captain WilHam Gough (who had been a lieutenant of the 
BainiUies, and who had since been appointed captain of the Experi- 
ment), and Commander Chi-istopher Basset (who had also been a 
lieutenant of the liamiUies and had been appointed after the action 
to the command of the Fortune), were also recalled, besides other 
officers, who were required as witnesses in England. The original 
order to Hawke directed only the supersession of Byug ; but after 
Hawke's departure from England and the receipt of Byng's dispatch 
of May 25th, the Admiralty decided to go further and to make 
prisoner of the late Commander-in-Chief. He sailed for England 
in the Antelope, on July 9th, and, upon arriving at Spithead on 
July •26th, he was put mider arrest. He was landed on August 19th 
and sent to Greenwich. There he remained in confinement until 
December 23rd, when he was removed to Portsmouth. His trial 
began on board the St. George in Portsmouth Harbour on 
December 27th, and continued until January 27th, 1757. On that 
day sentence was pronounced, and the Admiral was transferred to 
the Monarch, then in harbour. 

The court-martial, summoned to try Byng, consisted of Vice- 
Admiral Thomas Smith (4), who was president, Eear-Admirals 
Erancis Holburne, Harry Norris and Thomas Broderick, and nine 
captains. After hearing the evidence, the court agreed to thirty- 
seven resolutions or conclusions, which embodied, among others, 
the following : — 

Tliat when the British tieet, on the starboard tack, was stretched abreast, or was 
about abeam, of the enemy's line, Admiral Bj'ng should have caused his 
ships to tack together, and should have immediately borne right down on 
the enemy ; his van steering for the enemy's van, his rear for its rear, each 
ship making for the one opposite to her in the enemy's line, under such sail 
as would have enabled the worst sailer to preserve her station in the line of 

That the Admiral retarded the rear division of the British fleet from closing with 
and engaging the enemy, by shortening sail, in order that the Trident and 
Princess Louisa might regain their stations ahead of the RamilUes ; whereas 
he should have made signals to those ships to make more sail, and should 
have made so much sail himself as would enable the CuJIoden, the worst 
sailing ship in the Admiral's division, to keep her station with all her plain 
sails set, in order to get down to the enemy with as much expedition as 
possible, and thereby projjerly support the division of Rear- Admiral West. 

That the Admiral did wrong in ordering the fire of the RamilUes to be continued 
before he had placed her at proper distance from the enemy, inasmuch as he 
thereby not only threw away his shot, but also occasioned a smoke, which 
prevented his seeing the motions of the enemy and the positions of the ships 
immediately ahead of the RamilUes. 


That after the ships whicli had i-cceived dainai^e in tlie action had been refitted as 
circumstances would ])ermit, tlie Admiral ought to have returned with his 
squadron off Port Mahon, and endeavoured to open communication witli the 
castle, and to have used every means in his power for its relief, before 
retiu-ning to (5ibraltar. 

In short, the court considered that Byng had not done his 
utmost to reheve St. Phihp's Castle. It also considered that 
during the engagement he had not done his utmost to take, sink, 
burn, and destroy the ships of the enemy, and to assist such of 
his own ships as were engaged ; and it resolved that the Admiral 
had fallen under the 12th Article of War ' ; and the court decided 
that, as the 12th Article of War positively prescribed death, without 
leaving any alternative to the discretion of the court under any 
variation of circumstances, Admiral Byng should be shot to death, 
at such time and on board such ship as the Lords Commissioners 
of the Admiralty should direct. 

" But," concludes the thirt^'-seveuth resokition, "as it appears by the evidence of 
Lord Robert Bertie, Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, Captain Gardiner and other officers 
of the ship, who were near the person of the Admiral, that they did not perceive any 
backwardness in him during the action, or any marks of fear or confusion, either from 
his countenance or behaviour, but that he seemed to give his orders coolly and dis- 
tinctly, and did not seem wanting in jjersonal courage, and from other circumstances, 
the court do not believe that his misconduct arose either from cowardice or disaffection ; 
and do therefore unanimously think it their duty most earnestly to recommend him as 
a proper object of mercy." 

The court forwarded the sentence to the Admiralty, with an 
accompanying letter signed by all the members. In this the 
officers represented the distress of mind which had been occasioned 
to them by being obliged to condemn to death, under the 12th 
Article of War, a man who might have been guilty of an error of 
judgment only ; and, for the sake of their consciences, as well 
as for Byng's sake, they warmly pleaded for an exercise of 

In consequence of this letter, and of the recommendation to 

^ " Every person in the fleet, who, through cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, 
shall, in time of action, withdraw, or keep back, or not come into fight, or engagement, 
or shall not do his utmost to take or destroy every ship which it shall be his duty to 
engage ; and to assist all and every of his Majesty's ships, or those of his allies, which 
it shall be his duty to assist and relieve ; every such person, so offending, and being 
convicted thereof by the sentence of a court-martial, shall suffer death." — Act of 
22 George IL, Art. 12. 

This article superseded one in the Act of 13 Car. IL, which, after the word 
"death," had the words, "or such other punishment as the circumstances of the offence 
shall deserve, and the court-martial shall judge fit." 

158 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1757. 

mercy, the opinion of the twelve Judges was asked for as to the 
legality of the sentence which had been pronounced. The decision 
was given on February 14th, 1757, and was to the effect that the 
sentence was legal. Some of the members of the court then made 
an effort to save Byng by applying to Parliament to release them 
frnui the oath of secrecy, by which they were bound not to reveal 
the votes or opinions of individual members, upon the allegation 
that they had something vital to disclose relative to the sentence. 
Byng was respited, and a Bill for the desired purpose passed the 
Commons, but was thrown out by the Lords, it not appearing to 
that House that there was anything material to be divulged. The 
fact is, that certain members simply desired to be able to make 
public the fact that, had they realised that the result of their 
sentence would be the infliction of the death penalty, their sentence 
would have been other than it was. The severitj' of the punishment 
caused Vice-Admiral the Hon. John Forbes, one of the Lords of 
the Adnairalty, to refuse to sign the sentence, and it also induced 
Eear-Admiral West, who had been offered a command, to decline 
it, on the plea that although he could answer for his loyalty and 
good intentions, he could not midertake to be held capitally 
responsible on all occasions for the correctness of his judgment. 

Byng, both dming his trial and after his sentence, behaved like 
a brave man. It was at first ordered that he should be executed on 
the forecastle of the Monarch. This ignomiuj' was, however, spared 
him at the solicitation of his friends. On March 14th, 1757, the 
day appointed for the carrying out of the sentence, the Marines of 
the Monarch were drawn up under anus upon the poop, along 
the gangways, in the waist, and on one side of the quarterdeck. 
On the other side of the quarterdeck was spread some saw-dust, 
on which was placed a cushion ; and in the middle of the quarter- 
deck, upon the gratings, a platoon of nine Marines was drawTi up 
in three lines of three. The front and middle lines had their 
bayonets fixed, as was customary on such occasions. The captains 
of all the ships in Portsmouth Harbour and at Spithead had been 
ordered to attend with their boats ; but, to avoid crow^ding, thej^ 
were directed to lie abreast upon their oars, without coming on 
board. A little before twelve o'clock, the Admiral retired to his 
inner cabin for about three minutes, after which the doors of the 
outer cabin were throwii open, and the Admiral walked from his 
after cabin with a dignified pace and mimoved countenance. As 




he passed through the fore cahin, he howed to liis acquaintances 
there, and, saying to the Marshal oi' the Admiralty " Come along, 
my friend," went out upon the quarterdeck. There, turning to 
the Marshal, he politely bowed and gave him a paper containing 
a sober vindication of his position, adding: " Eememher, sir, what 
I have told you relative to this paper." He next went to the 
cushion and knelt down. One of his friends, following him, offered 

iFroni Ti. Somfou's fngravhuj ftj'tn' ilif puiiniit hi/ Uiidsuii.) 

to tie the bandage over his eyes, but Byng declined the service and 
blindfolded himself. The Marines, in the meantime, advanced two 
paces and presented their muskets, waiting for the Admiral to give 
them the signal to fire. He remained upon his knees for about 
a minute, apparently praying, and then dropped a handkerchief, 
the signal agreed upon. Six of the Marines fii-ed. One bullet 
missed ; one passed through the heart ; and four others struck 
different parts of the body. The Admiral sank to the deck, dead. 

160 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1756. 

A little later the corpse was put into a coffin ; and in the evening 
it was sent on shore to the dockyard, whence it was forwarded to 
the family burial place at Southill, in Bedfordshire. His monument 
bears this inscription : " To the Perpetual Disgrace of Public 
Justice, the Hon. John Byng, Esq., Admiral of the Blue, fell a 
Martyr to Political Persecution, March J4th, in the year mdcclvii; 
when Bravery and Loyalty were insufficient Securities for the Life 
and Honour of a Naval Officer." 

The tragedy, viewed from nearly every aspect, is to j^e most 
heartily regi-etted. Byng was neither traitor nor coward ; but he 
was not an original genius, and, having seen Mathews punished for 
doing a certain thing, he believed that under no circumstances was 
it his duty to do anything even remotely of the same kind. His 
chief fault was that he was not independent enough, where a great 
object was to be gained, to shake himself loose from formulae and 
precedents, and to dash in when occasion allowed him. Yet, in 
one way, the sentence may have been productive of good. It may 
have taught the admirals who followed the unfortunate Byng, that 
they must pay more attention to victory than to red tape, and 
that not even the most honest devotion to conventional methods 
is so great a merit in a naval, officer as success against the enemies 
of his country. 

Sir Edward Hawke, soon after his arrival at Gibraltar, sailed 
with the fleet to Minorca, but found that the island had fallen, and 
that the French army and fleet had returned to Toulon. The 
enemy had no longer any squadron at sea in the Mediterranean, 
and the Vice-Admiral therefore had to confine himself to protecting 
British trade and preserving British prestige. This he did with 
conspicuous energy and success. On December 3rd, 17.56, he set 
out with part of his fleet for home, leaving Pear-Admiral Charles 
Saunders in command. 

It has been said that Vice-Admiral Charles Watson, Commander- 
in-Chief in the East Indies, arrived off Fort St. David in the middle 
of May, 1756. He had not been there long ere he received an 
important piece of news, to the effect that six large French East 
Indiamen, full of troops, were expected in India, where they were 
to be fitted as men-of-war. Thereupon, in response to an m-gent 
summons, he went to Madras, where he learnt that the Nawab of 
Bengal, Surajah Dowleh, had seized Cassimbazar and Calcutta. 
Almost at the same moment Watson received orders from the 




Admiralty to return with his squadron' to England. He had, 
however, sufficient strength of character to disregard orders which 
he knew had been sent to him under misconception of the position 
in India ; and he proceeded at once to the mouth of the Ganges, 
with a detachment of troops under Lieut. -Colonel Clive. In spite of 
great difficulties he assembled at Fulta, on December 15th, a force 
consisting of the Kent, Tiger, Brklgeioater, SdlUhunj, and Kingfisher, 
with some ships belonging to the East India Company. He there 
found Governor Blake and other fugitives from Calcutta, and learnt 
of the horrible fate of those Europeans who had been less fortunate, 
and who had been confined in the infamous Black Hole. Watson 
reinforced his command by the purchase of a craft, which he named 
the Thunder, and fitted as a bomb under the command of Lieutenant 
Thomas Warwick. The squadron sailed on December '27th ; and 
on the 29th the force was landed, and Fort Bougee-Bougee was 
attacked. This place was captured by an impromptu assault, 
brought on by an incursion into the works of a drunken British 
seaman named Strachau ; and on December 30th the white troops 
were re-embarked, and the squadron proceeded up the river, the 
sepoys of the Company's service marching parallel with it along 
the shore. 

On January 1st, when the ships entered the channel between 
Fort Tanna and the battery opposite to it, the enemy abandoned 
both. The Salisbury was left there to bring off the guns from the 
works, and to demolish the defences, and at night the Vice-Admiral 
manned and armed the boats of his squadron and sent them a few 

' The Squadron uxder Vice-Admirai, AVatson in the East Indies, 175(j-17,')7. 


Kent . 

Cumhe.rland . 

Tiller . 
Salisbury . 
Brid'jeioater . 
Triton ^ 
Kingfisher . 
Thunder, bomb - 
Blaze, fireship- ^ 






/Vice-Adm. Charles Watson (B). 
ICapt. Henry Sjieke. 
fUear-Adm. Geoi-ge Pocock (1!). 
(.Capt. John Harrison. 

„ Thomas Latham. 

„ William Martin (2). 

„ Henry Smitli. 

„ Edmund Townley. 
Com. Richard Toby. 

„ Tliomas Warwick. 
Lieut. ? 

1 Aniveil from Euglaml, aftpr tlie rest nf the s(iua<lruil had guue to Bjugat. 

- Purchased aud anu'd by the Vice- Admiral iu India. 

3 Could not make the Ganges, and had to b^ar away for Bombay. 



162 MAJOR OPKllATWNS, 1714-1762. [1757. 

miles up the river, where they boarded and burnt some fireships, 
which had been collected there. Early on the 2nd, Colonel Clive, 
with the troops, landed and began the march towards Calcutta ; the 
Kent, Tiger, Bridgeicater, and Kingjisher proceeding as the army 
advanced. At 9.40 a.m. the enemy opened upon the Tiger from 
their batteries below Calcutta, but abandoned them as the ships 
drew near. At 10.20 the Tiger and Kent began a hot cannonade 

(Frum E. Fi:<her's ciigraviiifj after the poTtrnit bij Hudson.) 

of Fort WiUiam, and after two hours drove the defenders out of it. 
In this action the British lost only nine seamen and three soldiers 
killed, and twenty-six seamen and five soldiers wounded. Calcutta 
was at once occupied. 

The Vice-Admiral later detached an expedition, the naval part 
of which was under Captain Eichard King (1), who was serving as a 
volunteer in the squadron, to seize the town of Hugh, thirty miles 
above Calcutta. Another expedition, under Captain Speke, bm-nt 


the enemy's granaries at Gongee, and, assisted by the troops, 
defeated a body of natives which had attacked them. This action 
provoked Surajah Dowleli to send a large army against Calcutta. 
Clive obtained from the Vice-Admiral the aid of a detachment of 
seamen, under Commander Warwick, and tried to bar the way to 
the city ; but, being misled by his guides in a fog, he had to retreat 
upon Calcutta. In this affair Lieutenant Lutwidge of the Salisbury 
was mortally wounded, and seventeen seamen were killed and 
fifteen wounded. Chve, however, quickly regained his former 
advanced position, and so disconcerted his opponent that the latter 
sued for a peace, which was concluded on February 9th. The 
British might undoubtedly have obtained more favourable terms 
than they did, had they not been anxious to patch up all their 
differences with the native princes, in order to be able to concentrate 
the whole of their resources in opposition to the French in India. 

These matters having been settled, the Vice-Admiral made 
preparations for at once attacking Chandernagore ; but the French 
made overtures for the neutrality of the place, and thus to some 
extent delayed him. Failing in their efforts in this direction, the 
French began to tamper with Surajah Dowleh. In the mean- 
time, however, Watson and Clive invested Chandernagore. On 
March 19th, the British boats destroyed some French fireships 
which were collected near the town. On the '21st, Eear-Admiral 
Pocock joined the flag ; but he had been obliged to leave his own 
flagship at Ballasore, as she drew too much water to come up the 
river ; and he arrived in a boat. On the '22nd he hoisted his flag in 
the Tiger. On the 23rd there was a general bombardment of the 
fort from land and water; and, after three hours" hot tiring, the 
French capitulated. The Salisbiirij, owing to an accident, was 
unable to get into action. The Kent lost 19 killed and -49 wounded ; 
the Tiger, 13 killed and .50 wounded. Among those hurt was Eear- 
Admiral Pocock. 

The fugitives from Chandernagore were received and sheltered 
by the Nawab, who acted throughout with great duplicity ; and, as 
the British soon afterwards learnt of a plan of his own discontented 
subjects to depose him, they determined to aid and abet it. It 
cannot be pretended that the negotiations to this end were altogether 
honourable to those Englishmen who were concerned in it ; and 
Vice-Admiral AVatson declined to be a party to certain questionable 
undertakings, which, in pursuance of the resolution, were entered 

M 2 

164 MAJOR OPEUATJONS, 1714-17C2. [1757. 

into by Clive and the council ; but his name was, without his 
privity, affixed to the treaty with the malcontents. Clive then 
attacked the Nawab, and on June '23rd, 17.57, defeated him at 
Plassej'. This victory eventually led to the fall and death of 
Surajah Dowleh, and to the establishment in his place of Meer 
Jaffier, a nominee of the British. The settlement was barely con- 
cluded when, on August 16th, Vice-Admiral Watson died. His part 
in the foundation of the British Empire in India has scarcely been 
done justice to, and his loss, just then a serious one, would have 
been much more severely felt than it was, had he not had as his 
successor so capable an officer as Rear-Admiral Pocock. 

Commodore James, of the East India Company's service, in 
the Revenge, 22, had been stationed off Pondicherry to watch 
the motions of the enemy, and had been joined there by H.M.S. 
Triton, 24. But these vessels were driven off in September by 
a strong French squadron ; and, since Pocock's ships were in a rather 
bad condition, and some of them temporarily unfit for action, the 
situation began to look threatening, especiall}' seeing that an 
expected British reinforcement, under Commodore Charles Stevens, 
had been detained at Bombay, and did not actuallj^ sail thence for 
the coast of Coromandel until January 20th, 1758. 

Indeed, the French were making great efforts to defend their 
challenged possessions in India. They had already fitted out an 
expedition, the naval command of which was given to the Comte 
d'Ache, and the mihtary, to General Comte de Lally. The squadron 
consisted of three king's ships, and one ship and a frigate belonging 
to the French East India Company, with about 1200 troops on 
board. D'Ache sailed on March 6th, 1757, but was driven back to 
Brest by a stonn, and, while there, was deprived of two of the 
king's ships, in order that they might be despatched to Canada. 
Instead of them he received five more East Indiamen. He sailed 
on May 4th, and on December 18th reached Isle de France, where 
he found four additional ai-med East Indiamen. Choosing the best 
vessels at his disposal, he put to sea with them on January 27th, 
1758. The further movements of d'Ache and of Pocock will be 
referred to later. Operations in other quarters during 1757 must 
first be followed. 

On the Leeward Islands' station. Commodore John Moore (1) 
relieved Eear-Admiral Thomas Frankland and rendered valuable 
service in protecting trade. On the Jamaica station, Eear-Admiral 




Thomas Cotes was in command, and was not less successful. In 
the autumn, learning that the French were assemhling, at Cape 
Fran9ois, a convoy for Europe, he sent the Augusta, Ediiihiiri/li 
and Dreadnought to cruise off that place to intercept it. This 
convoy was to be escorted by M. de Kersaint, with a small squadron, 
which Cotes believed would be little, if at all, superior to that under 
Captain Arthur Forrest of the Augusta. But de Kersaint was 
reinforced at Cape Frangois, and had in consequence a considerably 
more powerful command ^ than the British officer. On October '21st,' 
de Kersaint issued forth, hoping by his very appearance in such 
force to drive Forrest away. The latter, upon the French being 
signalled, summoned his brother captains on board the Augusta, 
and, when they met him on his quarterdeck, said, " Well, gentle- 
men, you see they are come out to engage us." Upon which 
Captain Suckling answered, " I think it would be a pity to dis- 
appoint them." Captain Langdon was of the same opinion. 
"Very well," replied Captain Forrest; "go on board your ships 
again " ; and he at once made the signal to bear down and engage 
the enem}\ The French had seven vessels to the British three. 
Captain Suckling took the van. Captain Forrest the centre, and 
Captain Langdon the rear. The action began at about 3.20 p.m., 
and continued very briskly for two hours and a half, when the 
French commodore ordered one of his frigates to come and tow 
him out of the line. Others of his squadron soon followed his 
example ; and eventually the French made off. The British ships 
were all much cut up aloft. The Augusta lost 9 killed and 
29 wounded ; the Drcaduuuglit, 9 killed and 30 wounded; and the 
Edinburgh, .5 killed and 30 wounded. The loss of the French is said 

' The British and Frexch Squadroxs engaged on' OcTonEii '21st, 17-"i7. 







Ships. [Guns. 

Com man lie IS. 

Aujjitsta. . . . 
JJiradnouf/ht . 
Edinhiinjh . . . 


Capt. Arthur Forrest. 
,, Maurice Suckling. 
,, \ViUiam Laugduu. 

Tntrepide . . . 
Sceptre . : . . 
Opinidtre . 
0'ree7tivick . . . 
Outarde .... 
Sauvage .... 
Lirorv .... 

3 -J 

M . de Kersaint. 

- Oil the same day, rorty-eight years later, was fought the battle of Trafalgar. 
Nelson, before goiug into action, recalled the fact that the day was the anniversary of 
his uncle's gallant behaviour, and regarde.l it as of good omen. 




to have exceeded 500 in killed and wounded. Few pluckier or more 
creditable actions have ever been fought ; and it is worth noting 
that among the British captains, all of whom greatly distinguished 
themselves, one, Maurice Suckling, was a maternal lincle of Lord 
Nelson, and Nelson's earliest patron. Forrest had to bear up for 
Jamaica, in order to get his ships refitted. De Kersaint, in the 
meantime, picked up his convoy and sailed for France. But, at the 

(By permission, j'nim tlic portrait bij Bcirdinll, in the jiossession a! Cnpt. Thomas Suckling, i?.jV.) 

very end of his voyage, he met with a severe storm, in which 
the Opinidtre, Greenwich, and Outarde drove ashore and were. 

On the North American station Lord Loudoun, the new military 
commander-in-chief, had formulated in the autumn of 1756, a plan 
for the conquest of Cape Breton ; and, in the winter, the Ministry 
at home approved his scheme. On January 3rd, 1757, he laid 
a general embargo on all outward-bound ships in American colonial 


ports. His objects were, firstly, to prevent the communication of 
intelligence to the enemy ; secondly, to obtain the necessary trans- 
ports ; and thirdly, to secure additional seamen for his Majesty's 
ships. The- measure, though perhaps it was wise, produced strong 
dissatisfaction both in America and at home ; and, in spite of the 
precaution, the French heard of the project. In the early spring, 
therefore, they sent a fleet and strong reinforcements to Louisbourg. 

Loudoun assembled at New York ninety transports ; and, 
presently. Sir Charles Hardy (2), Governor of New York, received a 
commission as Eear-Admiral, with orders to hoist his flag and co- 
operate with the military commander-in-chief. He first hoisted his 
flag in the Nightuif/ale, 20, but removed it later to the Sutherland, 50, 
Captain Edward Falkingham (2). The army, consisting of 3500 
men, was all embarked by the 25th ; but, just as the fleet was ready 
to sail, news arrived that a French squadron, of five ships of the 
hne and a frigate, was cruising off Halifax. This delayed the 
departure of the expedition until the Kear-Admiral had sent two 
sloops to reconnoitre. As they saw no enemy. Hardy sailed on 
June 5th, and a few days afterwards disembarked his forces for 
refreshment and exercise at Halifax, where were found three 
infantry regiments and a company of artillery, bringing the total 
force up to about 11,000 men. 

Loudoun would scarcely have left New York with so feeble 
a convoy' as that which was available under Hardy, had he not 
had reason to expect to meet at Halifax Vice-Admiral Francis 
Holburne, with a fleet from England, to support him. But, owing 
to mismanagement at home, Holburne did not leave St. Helen's for 
Ireland, where he was to pick up troops, until April 16th ; and 
sailing from Cork on May 27th, he did not reach Halifax until 
July 7th, when the season was almost too far advanced for the safe 
commencement of an enterprise which could not but be met with 
the most vigorous opposition. Moreover, the French had been 
beforehand, and had despatched from Brest a fleet, which, under 
M. de Beauffremont, went first to the West Indies, and, proceeding, 
entered Louisbourg on June 5th, finding there four sail of the Hne 
which a few days earlier had arrived from Toulon under M. du 
Eevest. A further reinforcement from Brest, under M. Dubois 

' Sutlierhinil, 50, Captain Edward Falkingham (2) ; Nir/htingale, 20, Captain 
James Campbell (2) ; Kennin/jtoa, 20, Captain Dudley Digges ; Vulture, 16, Commander 
Sampson Salt ; and Fernt, 14, Commander Arthur Upton. 

168 MAJOR Ol'EBATIONS, 1714-1702. [1757. 

de la Motte, sailed on May 3rd, and, evading the British blockade, 
reached Louisbourg on June 29th, when the united French 
squadrons included eighteen sail of the line and five frigates, a 
force much superior to that which Holbume and Hardy were able 
to dispose of. The town also contained 7000 regular troops. 
Dubois de la Motte had been expressly ordered to protect Louis- 
bourg, and on no account to hazard an engagement with the 
British fleet unless he should be in such overwhelming force as to 
place the question of his success beyond a doubt. It is right to 
point this out in order to excuse him for having neither annihilated 
Holburne, nor blockaded the British in Halifax. 

Vice- Admiral Holbm-ne sent the Winchelsca, 20, Captain John 
Kous, and other frigates, to look into Louisbom-g. Rous returned, 
and, in consequence of his report, the army was re-embarked on 
August 1st and 2nd, and a rendezvous was appointed in Gabarus 
Bay, six miles west of Louisbourg. Ecus seems to have underrated 
the strength of the French forces ; but tmer infoiination concerning 
it was presently received from some papers which had been dis- 
covered in a prize. This led to the abandonment of the project. 
Some regiments remained in Halifax ; others, under convoy, went 
to the Bay of Fundy, to Fort Cumberland, and to Annapolis Eoj'al ; 
and the rest, with Loudoun, against whom there was a great outcry, 
retm-ned to New York. 

Holburne, however, was not satisfied, and resolved to reconnoitre 
Louisbourg for himself. Leaving, therefore, a few vessels for the 
defence of Hahfax, he sailed on August 16th, and arrived before the 
place on August 20th. Near the harbour's mouth some of his ships 
got close enough in to draw the fire from the island battery. The 
Vice-Admiral was thus able to satisfy himself that the strength of 
the enemy had not been exaggerated. Dubois de la Motte signalled 
his fleet to unmoor, whereupon the British tacked, stood ofl', and at 
nightfall bore away. On September 11th, Holbiime was again at 
Halifax, where he found reinforcements of four sail of the line from 
England, under Captain Francis Geary. 

The original project could not then be persisted in, bi;t Holbume, 
after w^atering and rewooding his fleet, which by that time consisted 
of nineteen sail of the line, two fifty-gun ships, and several frigates, 
sailed for Louisbourg with the intention of blockading the French, 
until the approach of winter and shortness of supplies should obUge 
them to come out and fight him. On September 2-4 th, he was only 

1757.] STOliM OFF LOUlSBUUliO. ItlU 

about sixty miles south of LouisLourcr, when a fresh easterly gale 
sprang up. In the night it veered to the southward and blew an 
awful hurricane until about 11 a.m. ou the 2.5th. Then, fortunately, 
it again veered to the north, otherwise the fleet could scarcely have 
been saved from destruction. The Tilbiirij, 60, Captain Henry 
Barnsley,' who, with nearly all the crew, was lost, struck and went 
to pieces. The Grafton,- 70, Captain Thomas Cornewall, bearing 
the broad pennant of Commodore Charles Holmes, also struck, but 
was got off. The Ferret, 14, Commander Arthur Upton, foundered 
with all hands. All the other ships of the fleet were seriously 
damaged, no fewer than twelve being dismasted either wholly or in 
part. It was the fiercest hurricane ever experienced by anyone then 
on the station ; and it naturally put an end to Holburne's plan. The 
Vice-Admiral sent his most damaged ships direct to England, under 
Sir Charles Hardy (2) and Commodore Charles Holmes, and went 
with the rest to Halifax, whence, having refitted, he too sailed for 
England, leaving a few ships under Captain Lord Colville, of the 
Nurthumberland, 70, to winter at Halifax. Lord Colville had 
orders to endeavour, when the season should permit, to prevent 
supplies from getting into Louisbourg. The French force there, 
however, put to sea at the end of October, and, after suffering from 
very bad weather during the voyage, reached Brest at the end of 

The proceedings of M. de Kersaint on the Jamaica station have 
already been described. Previous to going thither he had cruised 
on the coast of Guinea ; and, in the absence of any sufficient British 
squadron there to oppose him, had taken many prizes. He had also 
attempted Cape Coast Castle, but had been beaten off by the resource 
and courage of Mr. Bell, the Governor. 

In the Mediterranean, Bear-Admiral Charles Saunders, who had 
been left in command after the return to England of Sir Edward 
Hawke, heard at the end of March that four sail of the hne — the 
same which later reached Louisbourg — and one frigate, under 
M. du Revest, had quitted Toulon. He therefore left Gibraltar on 
April 2, 1757, to intercept them with the CuUudcn, 74, Benrick, G4, 
Princess Louisa, 60, Guernsey, 50, and Portland, 50. On April 5th, 

' In some Xavy Lists of tlie period tliis ollicer aiipears as Barnsby. He was a 
captain of 1748. 

- Slie lost her mainmast, foiotopniast, and rudiler ; luit tlie sliip was safely steered 
to England by means of a jur\'-rudder devised by Commodore Holmes. (See plate.) 




at 5 P.M., he sighted the enemy and, being to leeward, formed his 
Hne. At sunset the French did the same, and began to fire at very 
long range. The British chased, and gained so much on them that 
the Gwernse!/ and Princess Louisa were able to engage; but in the 
night the French got away. Vice-Admiral Henry Osborn arrived 
with reinforcements in May, and assumed the command; but, 
though the trade was well protected and many prizes were taken. 


CFrom a portrait in the ' Xaval Chronicle' 1802.) 

no further fleet operations of any importance took place on the 
station during the j^ear. 

It has been said that M. Dubois de la Motte escaped from Brest 
in May 1757, with nine sail of the line and four frigates, and 
reached Louisbourg. He was enabled to escape by the fact that 
the blockading squadron before the place, iinder Vice-Admiral 
Temple West, had been driven from its station by bad weather. 
West was afterwards relieved by Eear-Admiral Thomas Broderick, 


who remained cruising till June, when Vice-Admiral the Hon. 
Edward Boscawen took the command of the squadron for about a 
month. Prizes were made, but there was no meeting between the 
fleets of the two countries. 

As the French still notoriously cherished the design of an in- 
vasion of England, the Ministry determined if possible to be before- 
hand and to deal a blow on the French coasts. A military officer, 
who had made a short stay at Kochefort before the outbreak of the 
war, gave information concerning the condition of the defences of 
that port, which, though supposed to be weak, contained a most 
valuable dockyard, arsenal, and foundry. The representations of 
this officer. Captain Clarke by name, induced the authorities to 
undertake an expedition against the town, and they were the more 
readily inclined to adopt this course seeing that nearly the whole of 
the French army was believed to be employed in Germany, and that 
but few troops were supposed to be available on the Atlantic seaboard. 
The scheme was kept secret ; but a large squadron was prepared 
and entrusted to Admiral Sir Edward Hawke (Bamillies, 90), 
Vice-Admiral Charles Knowles {Neptune, 90), and Eear-Admiral 
Broderick {Princess Amelia, 80) ; and troops were collected and em- 
barked under Lieut. -General Sir John Mordaunt and Major-Generals 
Conway and Cornwallis. The instructions to Sir Edward Hawke 
were " to attempt, as far as it shall be found practicable, a descent 
on the coast of France, at or near Kochefort, in order to attack and, 
by vigorous impression, force that place ; and to burn and destroy to 
the utmost of his power all such docks, magazines, arsenals and 
shipping as shall be found there." 

The fleet consisted of sixteen sail of the line, besides numerous 
frigates, small craft, and transports ; and it sailed on September 8th ; 
but its destination was not known, nor even suspected, by any with 
it, except the chiefs, until September 14th, when the alteration of 
course revealed it. 

On the 20th Sir Edward Hawke issued orders to Vice-Admiral 
Knowles, directing him to attack Isle d'Aix ; and at noon the A^ice- 
Admiral proceeded to execute these directions ; but, in doing so, he 
chased a two-decked French ship, which escaped into the Garonne 
and gave the alarm. Early on the SSrd the Vice-Admiral, with the 
Neptune, 90, Captain James Galbraith ; Magnanime, 74, Captain 
the Hon. Eichard Howe; Barfleur, 90, Captain Samuel Graves (1) ; 
Turhaij, 74, Captain the Hon. Augustus Keppel ; Boijcd William, 84, 

172 MAJOIt OrEllATIONS, 1714-17C2. [175P. 

Captain Wittewronge Taylor, and two bombs, the Firedrake and 
Infernal, attacked the works on Aix. The Matjnanime got into 
action within forty yards of the fort, and, she being well seconded 
by the Barflcur, in half an hour the position surrendered. It was 
taken possession of, and the defences were later destroyed. In the 
meantime vessels were sent to reconnoitre, and to sound for a 
suitable place of disembarkation on the mainland ; but it was 
discovered that a landing in any case would be difficult, and that, 
if opposed, it could scarcely be effected. At a council of war, held 
en the 25th in the Neptitne, it was therefore decided not to proceed ; 
but at another council of war, on the 28th, this decision was re- 
versed, and it was determined to attempt an attack, in spite of the 
fact that the enemy, who had been very active, was then better than 
ever prepared. Yet when, in the early morning of the 29th, all was 
ready, the wind blew off shore, and the scheme had finally to be 
abandoned. On October 1st the fleet sailed for England, and on the 
6th arrived at Spithead. The collapse of the expedition, and the 
waste of money, which its mismanagement by the Government had 
entailed, caused grave public dissatisfaction. 

Almost immediately afterwards a fleet of fifteen sail of the line 
and several frigates, under Admiral Sir Edward Hawke and Vice- 
Admiral the Hon. Edward Boscawen, was sent to sea with a view 
to intercept the home-coming French squadron from Louisbourg. 
It sailed from Spithead on October 22nd, but, when on its station, 
was dispersed by a gale; and, before it could regain its assigned 
position, M. Dubois de la Motte got into Brest unperceived, except 
by the Vanguard, Captain Eobert Swanton, which sighted it on 
November 23rd, and which was engaged by some of the enemy. 
M. Dubois de la Motte finally called off his chasers for fear of 
attracting the attention of the British fleet. Hawke and Boscawen, 
therefore, returned to Spithead on December 15th. 

The Earl of Loudoun was in 1758 succeeded a^ military com- 
mander-in-chief in North America by Major-General Abercrombie ; 
and it was determined to begin operations for the year with the 
siege of Louisbourg. Admiral Boscawen, Eear-Admiral Sir Charles 
Hardy (2), and Commodore Philip Durell (1), were nominated to the 
command of the fleet which was designed for the service ; and, in 
January, Hardy sailed in the Captain, 64, for Halifax, to assume 
charge of the ships already there, and wdth them to blockade 
Loiiisbourg as soon as the season should permit. Early in February, 




DurcU followed him in the Diana, 3(5, to make the necesisary local 
preparations; and on February 19th Boscavven himself sailed witli 
the fleet. After Boscawen's departure, Sir Edward Hawke was 
despatched to blockade the French Channel ports, while Commodore 
Charles Holmes cruised off the north coast of Holland, and assisted 
in obliging the French and their allies to evacuate Emden. At 
the same time, troops were assembled in the Isle of Wight for an 

(From an enfirainttfj bi/ liidlcij, after tlw portrait >"! Uwlmn.) 

intended iucm'sion upon the coast of France, and Admiral Lord 
Anson assumed the command of the blockading fleet before Brest, 
while a squadron for the descent upon the French coast was collected 
under Commodore the Hon. Eichard Howe. It should be added 
that reinforcements were sent to India, under Captain Kichard 
Tiddeman ; that a small force under Captain Henry Marsh went to 
the west coast of Africa; and that an expedition, ultimately en- 
trusted to Commodore John Moore, sailed later for the West Indies. 




Having thus summarised some of the chiel' naval movements of 
1758, we may proceed to give accounts of the squadrons and their 
principal doings. 

In the East Indies Vice-Admiral Pocock was joined in Madras 
Eoad, on March '24th, hy Commodore Charles Stevens, and, on 
April 17th, sailed, with the object of getting to windward of Fort 
St. David, to intercept the French squadron which was expected on 
the coast. Comte d'Ach6 had reached Mauritius on December 17th, 
17.57, and had there joined the small squadron under M. Bouvet, 
with whom he sailed on January 27th, 1758, and made for the coast 
of Coromandel ; but, owing to the monsoon, he did not anchor off 
Fort St. David imtil April 28th. Having eleven vessels, the French 
cut off the escape of H.M.S. Bridgewater, 24, Captain John Stanton, 
and Triton, 24, Captain Thomas Manning, which were lying there, 
and which, to save them frona capture, were run ashore and burnt. 
D'Ache detached thence the Comte de Provence, 74, and the Dili- 
gente, 24, to carry to Pondicherry M. de Lally, the new governor of 
the French East India possessions. On the 29th, at 9 a.m., ere the 
detachment had disappeared, Pocock sighted the French squadron 
which then consisted of eight ^ ships fit for the line, whereas the 
British consisted of only seven. ^ Pocock signalled for a general 
chase ; upon which the French weighed and stood out to sea 
E. by N., with the wind from the S.E. At 12.30 p.m. Pocock got 
within three miles of the enemy, who waited for him in line of battle 
ahead. He then hauled down the signal for a general chase and 

' Xine were actually put into line by the French. 

- British axd French Squadrons in the Action off Cuddalore 
ON April 29th, IT-^s. 







Guns. 1 Commanders. 



Capt. Thomas Latham. 

Bien Ainu- . . . 

.is' ' Capt. de La P.allieie. 

Salishiiry . . . 


( „ John tftukley 
I Somerset. 

Vr7i(/eur .... 

64 > „ Bouvet (2"). 

Conde .... 

441 1 „ de Rosbau. 

iCommfHl Charles Stevens, 
^Capt. Richard Kemptn- 
1 felt. 

Due d'Orleans . . 

561 „ de Surville (2). 

Elizabeth . . . 


'■ Zodiaque . . . 

M, (Comte d'Ache. 
(Capt. Gotho. 

iVice-.\dmiral George 

St. Louis . . . 

501 ,, .loaunis. 

Tarmoutk . 


). Pocock. 

Moras .... 

441 1 ,, Bee de Lievre. 

fCapt. John Harrison. 

Sylphide. . . . 

36 , „ Mahe. 



,, William Brereton. 

Dae de Bourgoyne. 

60 1 „ d'Apret. 

MuxaHle. . . . 


,, George Legge. 

Weymouth . 


„ JJicholas Viuceut. 

Comte de Provence. 

74 ,. de La Chaise. 

DiUgente . . . 


Queenboroiiffh . 


„ Hon. James Colville. 

Protector, storcsbip 

1 Umis actually m(.'uute l. Each of these ships could, aul later did, carry mure. 


made that for line of battle aliead, with the ships at a distance of 
half a cable apart. The Cumherland and Tiger, sailing badly, did 
not get into their positions until '2.15, when Pocock bore down on 
the Zodiaque, d'Ache's flagship, which occupied the centre of the 
French line. The captains of the Newcastle and Weymouth un- 
fortunately mistook the signal for the line, and did not close up to 
the ships ahead of them ; and, when the Vice-Admiral signalled for 
closer action, these ships did not obey. The enemy opened fire as 
the British approached. The Cumberland was so long in getting up 
that the Vice-Admiral, and the three ships ahead of him, had, for 
some time, had to sustain the whole fire of the French. Yet, Pocock 
did not return a shot until his ship had hauled up exactly abreast of 
the Zodiaque, and then, at 3.55 p.m., he made the signal to engage. 

Commodore Stevens, with the ships ahead of the Vice-Admiral, 
behaved magnificently, but the three ships astern did not properly 
support the van. This might have been serious, and even fatal, if 
there had not been corresponding mistakes and derelictions of duty 
on the French side. The captain of the Due de Bourgogne took up 
a post behind the French line, and, in the most cowardly manner, 
fired across it at the British ; and the Sijlphide, 36, a weak ship, 
which seems to have improperly found a place in the line, was 
driven out of it at the first broadside The Conde lost her rudder, 
and was also obliged to fall out. In the van and centre, however, the 
action was for the most part fought with the greatest determination 
on both sides. In her somewhat belated attempts to get into action, 
the Cumberland nearly fouled the Yarmouth, and forced her to back 
her topsails, thus obliging the Neuxastle and the Wcgmouth'to back 
theirs hkewise. But when the Cumherland had at length gained 
her station, the Newcastle held back, in spite of signals from the 
Vice-Admiral, and in spite of the WeijmoutJi's hailing her to close 
up ; whereupon the Weymouth hai^led her wind and, passing to vdnd- 
ward of the Neivcastle, got into line ahead of her and quickly obliged 
the Moras to bear away. The Cumberland in the meanwhile en- 
gaged the St. Louis, so materially relieving the Yarmouth. 

In the height of the engagement explosions of powder on board 
both the Zodiaque and the Bieii Aime caused some confusion. 
D'Ache signalled for those of his ships which had withdrawn to 
return to the action ; but they paid no attention. Still the fight was 
hot, and the Tiger was very hard pressed until she was assisted 
by the Salisbury and Eli-abetJi. As the battle neared its termiua- 

176 MAJOR oi'EHatkjns, 1714-1762. [1758. 

tion, the ship and frigate which had been detached by d'Ache to 
I'ondicherry, and which M. de Lally had refused to allow to 
return at once, although d'Ach^ had signalled for them, were coming 
up ; but, the British rear then closing somewhat, and the fugitive 
French vessels not rejoining, d'Ache at about 6 p.m. bore down to 
his friends, and then, hauling his wind, made for Pondicherry. His 
final movement, which seems to be thus rightly interpreted, appeared 
to Pocock to have a different significance ; for he wrote : — 

" At half-past four p.m. the rear of tlie French line had drawn pretty close up to 
their flagship. Our three rear ships were signalled to engage closer. Soon after, 
M. d'Ache broke the line and put before the wind. His second astern, who had kept 
on the Yarmouth's quarter most part of the action, then carue up alongside, gave his 
fire, and then bore away ; and a few minutes after the enemy's van bore away also." 

From this, as Captain Mahan points out, it would appear that 
the French deliberately, before leaving the scene of the action, 
effected upon the principal English ship a movement of concentra- 
tion, defiling past her.' 

Pocock hauled down the signal to engage, and rehoisted that for 
a general chase ; but such of his ships as had fought well were too 
disabled to come up with the enemy, and, night approaching, he 
stood to the southward with a view of keeping to the windward of 
the enemy, and of being able to engage him in the morning, if the 
French did not weather the British. With this object he ordered 
the Queenhorough, 24, ahead to observe the enemy ; and he con- 
tinued to endeavour to work up after the French until fi a.m. on 
May 1st, when, as he lost ground and pursuit appeared to be useless, 
he anchored three miles south of Sadras. 

In this battle, which was fought about twenty-one miles from 
Lampraavy, the British had lost '29 killed and 89 wounded. At 
10 P.M. on the day of the action, the French anchored off Lam- 
praavy. There, owing to the loss of her anchors and to damage to 
her cables, the Bien Ainie drove ashore and was WTecked ; all her 
crew, however, being saved. In the engagement the French had 
suffered far more severely than the British, having lost 162 killed, 
and 860 wounded ; for the ships had been full of troops and the 
English fire had been directed, as usual, against the hulls rather 
than against the rigging. D'Ache afterwards proceeded to Pondi- 
cherry, where he lauded 1200 sick, and superseded M. d'Apret, 
captain of the Due de Bourgogne, by M. Bouvet. It seems to have 

1 ' Tnfl. of Sea Power,' iiOi^. 

1758.] B'ACJJJ-J AT rONDlVlIEUliY. 177 

been chiefly owing to the backwiU'dncss of the captains in the 
British rear that the French were not completely defeated. 

At about the time of the action, the French on land had taken 
Cuddalore, the garrison of which was allowed to retire to Fort 
St. David. That place was soon afterwards besieged by M. de Lally. 
Pocock received some additional men from Madras, including eighty 
lascars, and, having repaired the worst damages of his ships, tried in 
vain to work up along the coast. He then stood to sea, and on 
May 10th had stretched as far south as lat. 9° 30', whence he 
endeavoured to fetch to the windward of Fort St. David ; but, 
standing in, he met with a strong west wind, and, being unable to 
get higher than Lampraavy, he anchored there on May '26th. On 
the 30th he sighted Pondicherry, and saw the French squadron in 
the road. 

D'Ache, upon descrying the British, called a council of war, 
which decided that the ships should remain moored close under the 
batteries to await attack ; but M. de Lally, arriving from before 
Fort St. David, insisted that the British should be met at sea, and 
sent out to the fleet 400 lascars as a reinforcement. As de Lally 
had the supreme command in India, d'Ache weighed with eight ships 
of the line and a frigate ; yet, instead of bearing down on Pocock, 
who could not work up to him, he kept his wind and plied for Fort 
St. David, whither de Lally returned by land to prosecute the siege. 
But no sooner had de Lally departed than the governor and council 
of Pondicherry, who had full powers during de Lally's absence, 
recalled d'Ache to protect their town. This order was most service- 
able to the British ; for, soon after the return of the French squadron, 
three valuable East India Company's ships, which must otherwise 
have been taken, got safely into Madras. 

Chiefly owing to the bad sailing of the Cumberland, Pocock failed 
to get up with the French squadron. On the 6th he heard that 
Fort St. George was likely to be invested ; and, realizing that should 
this be so, his ships would be unable to re-water on the coast, he 
made for Madras, where he brought his defaulting captains to court- 
martial. Captain George Legge, of the Newcastle, was dismissed 
the service ; Captain Nicholas Vincent, of the Weymouth, was dis- 
missed his ship; and Captain William Brereton, of the Cumberland, 
was sentenced to the loss of one year's seniority as a post-captain. 

Fort St. David capitulated on June 2nd, and M. de Lally destroyed 
the place. Had he then gone at once to Madras, he could have 


178 MAJOn OVEllATIONIi, 1714-1762. [1758. 

taken it easily ; but he delayed, and, in the interval, Fort-8t. George 
was considerably strengthened. Instead of going to Madras, he 
attacked Tanjore, in order to obtain payment of some money which 
had been promised by the king to M. Dupleix in 1749. Before 
Tanjore, his army, weakened by sickness and want of provisions, 
was defeated ; and, being obliged to raise the siege and to retire, 
closely pursued by his native opponents, he had some difficulty in 
reaching Carical. On his retreat thither he learnt that d'Ache, 
then off Pondicherry, had intimated his intention of proceeding to 
Mauritius. He therefore sent to remonstrate with the French 
commodore, and was thus able to induce him to postpone his 

Vice-Admiral Pocock refitted, and, on July '25th, sailed with a 
favourable wind southward along the shore to seek the enemy. On 
the 26th he anchored off Lampraavy, where he took or bm-ut some 
small craft of the enemy. On the evening of the 27th he got within 
nine miles of Pondicherry, and saw the French fleet at anchor in 
the road. On the 28th, at 10 a.m., the French got under sail and 
stood to the southward with a land breeze ; on which Pocock 
signalled for a general chase ; but the enemy kept to windward and 
anchored early next morning off Porto Novo. When the land breeze 
arose, the French weighed and stood to windward ; and at about 
8 A.M. were out of sight. In the afternoon Pocock burnt the French 
ship Bestitution, a British prize, off Porto Novo. At 10 a.m. on 
August 1st he again sighted d'Ache, who was getting under sail off 
Tranquebar, and who soon afterwards fonned his line of battle 
ahead with starboard tacks on board, and seemed to edge down 
towards the British. But when Pocock made sail and stood for the 
French, they hauled on a wind. At about 1 p.m., however, they 
formed line of battle abreast and bore down on Pocock under easy 
sail. He, at 1.30, signalled for a line of battle ahead with the 
starboard tacks on board, and stood to the eastward under topsails, 
or with the maintopsails square so as to allow his ships to take 
station, in waiting for the enemy. At 5 p.m. the French van was 
abreast of the British centre at a distance of about two miles. The 
enemy stood on till his van was abreast of the British van, and then 
kept at about that distance until (5.30, when he hoisted his topsails, 
set his courses, and stood to the south-east. Admiral Pocock 
signalled to his van to fill and stand on, and made sail to the south- 
ward, keeping his line until midnight, when he judged the French 




to have tacked. He then signalled the fleet to wear, and stood after 
the enemy to the westward. But, at daylight on the 2nd, the enemy 
was not to be seen. In the evening, however, four sails were sighted 
inshore to the north-west; and on the 3rd, at 5 a.m., the British 
sighted the French fleet off Negapatam, about three miles to wind- 
ward, formed in line of battle ahead, with the starboard tacks on 

Pocock also formed his line of battle ahead on the starboard tack, 
and stood towards the French ; and, seeing that the Comte cle 
Provence, 74, led their van, he ordered the Elizabeth, 64, to take the 
place of the Tiger, 60, an inferior ship, as the leader of his own line. 
At 11 A.M., the wind dying awa}% the British were becalmed ; though 
the enemy still had a light breeze from off the land, and, with it, 
stood on, their line stretching from east to west. On that course the 
French passed at right angles so close to the rear of the British that 
they might almost have cut oft' the Cumherhttid and Newcastle, the 
sternmost ships. At noon a sea breeze sprang up, and gave Pocock 
the weather-gage. Both fleets thereupon formed line afresh ; and at 
12.20 P.M. Pocock signalled to bear down and engage. 

The Elizabeth and Comte cle Provence began the action ; l)ut, the 
latter's mizen catching fire, she had to quit the line and cut away 
the mast. The French charge Pocock with throwing inflammables 
on board of them ; but the Vice- Admiral does not seem to have taken 
any special measures for setting his opponents on fire, though 
certainly in this battle they were unusually unfortunate in that 
respect. The Elizabeth's next opponent was the Due de Bourgogne, 
which, being hardly pressed, would have been assisted by the 

' List of the British akd French Squadrons in the Action- off 
Negapatam, on August 3Rn, 17.58. 










Tarvwuth . 

Elisabeth . . . 


Weymouth . 

Cumberland . . 
Salisbury . . . 
Newcastle. . . . 







iVice-Adm. (leorge Po- 
l cock. 

iCapt. John Harrison. 
K.:ommoci. Charles Stevens. 
<Capt. llichard Kempeu- 
1 felt. 

„ Thomas Latham. 
f ,, John Stukley 
l Somerset. 

,, William Martin (2). 

„ Williaui Brereton. 

,. Hon, Jamest'olville. 

„ DigbyDent(3) 

Zodiaque . . 
Comte de Provence 
St. Louis . . 
Vengeur. . . 
Due d'Orleans . 
Due de Bourgogne 
Condii . . . 
Moras . . . 
Diltgente . . 


Comte d'Acbo. 
Capt. de La Chaise. 

„ de La Palliere. 
„ de Surville (2). 
„ Bouvet (2). 

,, Bee de Lievi-e. 

Queenhorouyh . 

N 2 




Zodiaque, had not the latter had her wheel carried away by a shot 
from the Yarmouth, her first antagonist. To repair it, she went 
under the lee of the Due d'Orlcans; but, as soon as she returned to 
the line, one of her lower-deck guns burst, and a fire broke out near 
her powder room. In the consequent confusion, her new steering 
gear gave way, so causing the ship to fall on board the Due 
crOrlcaits ; and, while the two ships were entangled together, both 


{From a lithofirajihrii i'f/(jr<m/t<j hy liidhnj.) 

were heavily cannonaded with impunity by the Yarmouth and Tiger. 
By that time the Conde and Moras had been driven out of the line ; 
and, at 2.8 p.m., the Zodiaque being free, M. d'Ache bore away. He 
was followed in about a quarter of an hour by the rest of his ships. 

Pocock signalled for closer action ; and the retiring enemj^ was 
badly mauled as he went off under all possible sail. The signal for 
a general chase followed ; whereupon the French cut away the boats 
which most of them had towing astern ; and crowded to the N.N.W. 


A running fight was maintained till about 3 p.m., when the French 
were out of range. Pocock, however, pursued until dark, and, at 
about 8 P.M., anchored three miles off Carical, while the Frencli 
pursued their course to Pondicherry. 

The fight, considering its indecisive character, was a very bloody 
one, especially on the side of the French, who lost '250 killed and 
000 wounded. The Zodiaquc alone lost 188 killed or dangerously 
wounded. On the British side, however, only 31 were killed and 
166 wounded. Both d'Ache and Pocock received slight injuries ; 
and Commodore Stevens had a musket wound in his shoulder. 
Aloft the British suffered more than the French ; and, had the 
weather not been fine, many of them must have lost their masts. 

D'Ache refitted at Pondicherry ; and, being apprehensive of an 
attack there, anchored his ships close under the town and forts. 
Feeling also that he could not, in his then state, again fight the 
British, and that his remaining on the coast might lead to disaster, 
he again announced his intention of proceeding to Mauritius. M. de 
Lally and the French military and civil officers were astounded at 
this new determination, and endeavoured to dissuade him ; but he 
was supported by his captains, and, having landed 500 marines and 
seamen to reinforce the army on shore, he sailed for his destination 
on September 3rd. Pocock could not l)elieve that d'Ache had any 
idea of withdrawing from the scene of operations, and sujDposed that 
he would presently set out on a cruise. The Queenhorough, 24, was 
therefore despatched to get news of the French ; but she failed to 
obtain any. The British sailed from Madras on August '20th for 
Bombay, calling at Trincomale for water. The Admiral ordei'ed the 
Revenge, a Company's ship, to cruise off that port ; and she actually 
sighted, and was chased by, d'Ache on his way to Mauritius ; but, 
though the British put to sea, they could not come up with the 
enemy. Pocock afterwards continued his voyage to Bombay. 

In spite of the withdrawal of d'Ache, between whom and 
M. de Lally the worst possible relations existed, the latter continued 
his activity, and on December 14th laid siege to Madras. The town 
was hard pressed, when, on February 16th, 1759, Captain Eichard 
Kempenfelt, with two twenty-gun ships and six other vessels, 
containing men and stores, arrived. Early on the 17th de Lally 
raised the siege, retiring in such haste that he left behind him much 
of his siege artillery, and large quantities of stores and ammunition. 
It was a remarkable and dramatic instance of the influence of sea 

182 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-176!^. [1758. 

power upon history. Had d'Ache held the sea, and had he been in 
a position to prevent the arrival of reinforcements and stores, the 
place must have fallen. The raising of the siege of Madras may be 
said to mark the beginning of the end of French dreams of empire 
in India. 

On the Leeward Islands' station, where Commodore John 
Moore (1) commanded in 1758, no fleet action or engagement of 
much moment happened during the year ; but there was great and 
commendable activity ; and more than one of the transactions in 
those seas will be found noticed in the next chapter. 

On the Jamaica station, hkewise, there were very few events of 
importance, though the enemy's trade suffered severely, thanks to 
the excellent dispositions of Vice-Admiral Thomas Cotes and to the 
vigilance of his cruisers. 

It has been seen that in North America preparations had been 
made for a new attack on Louisbourg. Eear-Admiral Sir Charles 
Hardy (2) placed himself off that port as soon as the season permitted ; 
but, owing to fog and gales, he was unable to prevent the entry into 
the harbour of M. du Chaffault, who took out a strong squadron 
from Brest. Du Chaffault, however, fearing to be blockaded, left 
there six ships of the line and some frigates under M. de Beaussier 
to assist in the defence, and himself went to Quebec. Hardy only 
succeeded in intercepting the Foudroyant, 22, and a few other 
French craft bound up the St. Lawrence. The Foudroijant pluckily 
stood a short action with, the Captain, 64, ere she surrendered. She 
had on board a large amount of very valuable stores. 

Admiral the Hon. Edward Boscawen, who had been appointed 
to the command of the expedition against Louisboui-g, sailed from 
Portsmouth in February. At the verj^ commencement of his voyage 
he lost the Invincible, 74, Captain John Bentley, which, missing 
stays, ran on a shoal east of St. Helen's and became a total loss. 
But the Dublin, 74, was as quickly as possible substituted for 
her by the Admiralty ; and she carried out Major-General Jeffi-ey 
Amherst, who was to command the mihtary forces. The Dublin 
met Boscawen on May 28th, as he was coming out of Halifax with 
his fleet ; but, being very sickty, she went on into port, while 
Boscawen with his whole force, numbering in aU one hundred and 
sixtj'-seven sail of various kinds, made for Gabarus Baj'. The fleet 
was dispersed by bad weather, and the main part of it did not reach 
the rendezvous until June 2nd. Among the celebrated men who 

1758.] CAl'TUltE OF LOUISBOUBG. 183 

shared in this expedition were George Brydges Eodncy, Edward 
Hughes, later the opponent of Suffren, and James Wolfe, the hero 
of Quebec. 

The French were found to be well prepared, Louisbourg being 
very thoroughly fortified, especially on the sea face. Between the 
day of his arrival and January 8th, General Amherst several times 
caused the troops to be put into the boats, ready for landing ; but 
on each occasion he was compelled by the state of the surf to desist 
and to re-embark them. In the interval the enemy was busy on 
his defences, and never omitted to fire on the ships when they 
ventured within range. On the 8th the army was again put into 
the boats ; and it was decided to make three separate attacks. 
Those on the centre and right were intended as feints or diversions, 
• and were to be made in Freshwater Cove and on White Point 
respectively. That on the left was to be the real attack. It was 
made under Brigadier-General Wolfe, under cover of the Kenning- 
ton, 28, Captain Dudley Digges, and Halifax, 12. The Diana, 36, 
Captain Alexander Schomberg, Gramont, 18, Commander John 
Stott, and Shannon, 36, Captain Charles Meadows,' covered the feint 
in the centre ; and the Sutherland, 50, Captain John Eous, and 
Squirrel, 20, Commander John Cleland (1), the feint on the right. 

These ships, as soon as they had taken up their stations, began 
a hot cannonade ; and, a quarter of an hour later, Wolfe's division 
landed in the steadiest manner through the surf under a heavy fire. 
Many men were unavoidably drowned through the oversetting of 
boats, and much ammunition was wetted ; but the troops, fixing their 
bayonets, drove the defenders from their position near the beach ; 
and, before night, all the other troops had been landed. Almost 
immediately afterwards the wind arose, and communication with the 
fleet was cut off for several days. Siege operations were begun on 
June 13th, the troops being at first much annoyed by the fire of 
the French ships in the harbour. The Admiral landed his Marines 
to assist. On the 28th the enemy sank the Apollon, 50, Fidele, 36, 
Biche, 16, and Chevre, 16, in the mouth of the harbour to blockade 
the entrance ; and on July Uth he made a vigorous but ineffectual 
night sortie. On July 21st the Entreprenant, 74, one of the largest 
French ships in the harbour, took fire, blew up and set in flames two 

' Properly Medows, but the Navy List spelling is Meadows. This geutleman, 
afterwards known as Charles I'ierrepont, became Viscount Newark and Earl Mauvers. 
He resigned while yet a captain, and died in 1816. 




more ships of the hne, the CeUhre, 64, and the Cwpricieux, 64. 
All three eventually become total losses. The fire from the two 
remaining ships of the line being still troublesome, Boscawen, on 
the night of the 25th, sent into the harbour in boats 600 seamen, 
under Captains John Laforey and George Balfour ; and these, in 
spite of a very fierce fire from the vessels and batteries, executed 
their mission. Laforey took the Prudent, 74, which, being aground, 
he burnt. Balfour carried the Bieiifaisant, 64, and towed her into 
the north-east harbour. This decided the issue. Boscawen was 
making preparations to send in six ships of the line, when the 

governor proposed terms ; and, after a brief correspondence, the 
place was surrendered on the '26th. About 3600 combatants 
became prisoners of war ; and 216 guns, besides mortars, were 
taken. With Louisbourg was siu-rendered, not only the island of 
Cape Breton, but also that of St. John.^ Boscawen sent home 
Captain the Hon. George Edgcumbe with the naval dispatches. 
The colours which were captured were placed in St. Paul's 

Immediately after the fall of the place, Boscawen sent Bear- 
Admiral Sir Charles Hardy (2) , with seven ships of the line, to destroy 
the French settlements at Miramichi, Gaspee, etc., General Wolfe 

' The island of St. John was renamed Prince Edward's Island in 1709, in lionour 
of Prince Edward, Dnke of Kent, and father of H.Jl. Queen A'ictoria. 


accompanying him. Some ships were also sent to the island of 
St. John, with a garrison for it. General Amherst, who heard at 
about that time of the repulse of Abercrombie at Ticonderoga, 
embarked six battalions under convoy of the Captain, (54, for 
Boston, and then marched for Lake George. Boscawen left Mr. 
Durell, who in the meantime had been promoted to be a Kear- 
Admiral, with a part of the squadron, to winter in America, and 
himself sailed for England. On his passage, his squadron became 
separated, so that when, on October 27th, as he was entering 
the Soundings, he sighted the French squadron returning from 
Quebec under M. du Chaffault, he had with him in company only the 
Namur, 90, (flag). Captain Matthew Buckle (1), Boijal William, 84, 

[From nn original liindhj lent bij n.S.H. CiipUiin Friiice Louis of Batteiiberg. Ji.X.) 

Captain Thomas Evans, Somerset, 64, Captain Edward Hughes, 
Bienfaisant, 64, Captain George Balfour, Boreas, 28, Captain the 
Hon. Eobert Boyle Walsingham, Trent, 28, Captain John Lindsay, 
Echo, 28, Captain John Laforey, with two fireships ; and the 
Bienfaisant was useless, having but a few rounds of powder on 
board. The French squadron consisted of the Tonnant, 80, 
Intrepide, 74, Heros, 74, Protee, 64, and Belliqiteux, (54, besides a 
frigate, and the Carnarvon, a captured British East Indiaman. The 
enemy, being on the contrary tack, passed the British squadron, very 
near, to leeward ; and, in passing, discharged his broadsides. 
Some of the British ships returned the fire ; but, the wind blowing 
hard, most of the vessels could not open their lower ports ; and 
thus, in this partial action, very little damage was done. Boscawen, 
in spite of the superiority of the French, changed his course and 

186 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1702. [1758. 

stood after them. The night was verj' stormy ; but, on the follow- 
ing morning, the enemy was again discovered, though his force 
then consisted of only four ships of the line and a frigate, one 
ship of the line having evidently lost company in the darkness. 
Boscawen also had lost sight of all his frigates. He nevertheless 
renewed the chase ; yet, although there was at first no great 
distance between the squadrons, the British did not gain ground. 
The only prize made was the Carnarvon. The rest of the French 
ships got away. One of them, the BelUqueux, was afterwards taken 
off Ilfracombe by the Antelope, .50. Boscawen arrived at Spithead 
on November 1st. 

For their services in North America both Boscawen and Amherst 
received the thanks of the House of Commons. The conquest 
which had been effected, besides being very important in itself, had 
involved a loss to the enemy of six ships of the hne and five frigates,^ 
and had deprived France of one of her best fisheries, and of a 
valuable station for the privateers which long had preyed on the 
coast commerce of the American colonies. It paved the way for 
future British successes on the North American continent, and 
sounded the death knell of the French dominion there. In fact, 
just as the raising of the siege of Madras was the turning point of 
the struggle in India, so the capture of Louisbourg was the turning 
point of the struggle in North America ; and both results were 
brought about by the force of sea power. 

It has been said that in 1758 a small sqiiadron under Captain 
Henry Marsh was despatched against the French settlements in 
West Africa. It is curious to note that this belligerent expedition 
was first suggested by a Quaker, Mr. Thomas Cumming, who had 
been on the coast, and who knew some of the native princes. One 
of these had promised his co-operation against Goree and Senegal, 
and had undertaken, in case of the success of the adventure, to 
grant exclusive trading privileges to British subjects. Cumming 
represented that a force of a certain strength would be required for 
the service ; but the administration unwisely cut down his estimates, 
and repeatedly deferred action, until Mr. Samuel Touchet, an 
influential London merchant, warmly seconded the project. The 
force finally assigned for the service consisted of the Harwich, 50, 

' In addition to the three frigates sunlc in the mouth of the harbour by the enemy, 
the Diane (renamed Diana), 36, had been taken by Sir Charles Hardy (2), and tlie 
Echo, 28, had been captured by the Juno and Scarborough. 


Commodore Henry Marsh, the Nassau, 64, Captain James Sayer, 
the Rijc, '20, Commander Daniel Uering, the Swan, 16, Commander 
Jacob Lobb, and the two eight-gun busses, London and Portsmouth, 
Commanders Archibald Millar and James Orrok, together with five 
small hired vessels carrying from fonr to eight guns apiece. The 
troops included 200 Marines under Major Mason, and a detachment 
of artillery with ten guns and eight mortars. Mr. Gumming 
accompanied the expedition, which sailed from Plymouth on 
March 9, 1758. 

From Tenerife, where the squadron called for wine and water, 
Mr. Cumming, in the Sican, went on in advance to arrange for 
assistance from the natives ; but, before he could conclude matters, 
the squadron itself arrived on the coast. Marsh decided not to 
wait for negotiations, but at once to proceed ; and on April 23rd, 
he reached the mouth of the river Senegal, and sighted the 
French flag flyiirg on Fort Louis in midstream, twelve miles 
above the bar. 

The enemy had armed a brig and six sloops, and had placed them 
above the bar to defend the channel through it. These much 
annoyed the British boats, which went in to sound. In the mean- 
time troops were put into the small craft. On the 29th the Swan, 
with the busses and armed vessels, weighed and made up the river 
with a fair wind. The London, and some of the small craft, were 
wrecked on the bar ; but no lives were lost ; and most of the rest of 
the vessels got in safely, and made for the enemy's ships, which 
promptly retired under the guns of the fort. On May 1st the work 
surrendered ; but the actual handing over of the place was delayed, 
owing to the action of the natives, w-ho, not thinking that their 
interests had been sufficiently secured, blockaded the French. The 
difficulty being got over, the fort was occupied. In it ninety-two 
guns were found ; and, with it, sixteen craft of various sizes were 
given up. The entire estimated value of the capture was about 
.£200, 000. Podor, and other stations further up the river, were 
included in the capitulation. For his services Mr. Cumming was 
granted a pension during his lifetime. These possessions had long 
supplied negro slaves to the French settlements in the West Indies ; 
and for that reason their loss was soon severely felt. 

Commodore Marsh, leaving a few small vessels on the spot, 
sailed next to attack Goree, about ninety miles to the southward. 
He arrived off the island on May 24th, and at once began a hot 

188 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1758. 

cannonade, having anchored his ships with springs on their cahles. 
But he had miscalcuhited the strength of the defence ; and in ahout 
two hours and a half he had to signal his little squadron to cut, as 
the rigging and spars, as well as the hulls, were badly mauled, and 
about twenty men were killed, and forty wounded. This check was 
owing purely to the inadequacy of the force employed ; and towards 
the end of the year, the Government sent out a stronger squadron 
to complete Commodore Marsh's work. In the meantime the 
Nassau, SuKm and Portsmouth returned to England, with such 
trade as was bound thither ; and, later, the Bye sailed with a convoy 
for the Leeward Islands. Marsh himseK escorted the trade which 
was bound for Jamaica. 

The new expedition was entrusted to Commodore the Hon. 
Augustus Keppel, who hoisted his broad pennant in the Torbay, 74, 
Captain Thomas Owen, and who had under him the Nassau, 64, 
Captain James Sayer, the Fougueux, Captain Joseph Knight, the 
Dunkirk, (iO, Captain the Hon. Eobert Digby, the Lichfield, 50, 
Captain Matthew Barton, the Prince Edward, 44, Captain William 
Fortescue, the Experiment, 20, Captain John Carter Allen, the 
Boman Emperor, 20, Commander William Newsom, the Saltash, 14, 
Commander Walter Stirling, and the two bombs, Firedrake, 
Commander James Orrok, and Furnace, Commander Jonathan 
Faulknor (1). At Cork he picked up troops, under Lieut. -Colonel 
Worge, who had been appointed governor of Senegal ; and, after 
some delay, he finalh' sailed thence on November 11th, 1758. 

In the early morning of November 29th, owing to an error in 
reckoning caused by bad weather, the Lichfield ran ashore on the 
coast of Marocco, and became a total loss.^ On the same occasion 
a transport also went to pieces. On December 28th, after having 
made a short stay at Santa Cruz, in the Canaries, the squadron 
sighted Goree, and at 3 p.m. anchored in the road in eighteen 
fathoms of water, the island bearing S.W. by S. distant about four 
miles. The Saltash and the transports containing the troops were 
sent into the bay between Point Goree and Point Barrabas ; and, 
early on the 29th, the troops from them were disembarked in boats 
in readiness to land on the island upon signal being made by the 
Commodore. Most of the ships gradually took up their assigned 

' There was uiifoi'tunatelj' some loss of life. The survivors were detained b}' the 
Sultan of Marocco until ransomed, with other British subjects, for 170,000 doUars. 
Captain Barton was tried for the loss of his ship, and honourably acquitted 

1758.] CAPTURE OF OOREE. 189 

positions on the west or leeward side of Goree, and moored bead 
and stern under a heavy fire. At 9 a.m. the attack was begun by 
the Prince Edward ; but the cannonade was not general until about 
noon, some of the vessels experiencing difficulty in taking up their 
stations. The bombardment was then rapidly effective ; for, after 
a brief parley, followed by an almost equally short renewal of the 
action, the enemy surrendered; whereupon Keppel landed his Marines 
to take possession. About three hundred French, and many negroes, 
became prisoners of war. The British loss was inconsiderable. 
After escorting Colonel Worge to Senegal, and cruising for a short 
time off the coast, the Commodore returned to England. 

In the Mediterranean Admiral Henry Osl)orn and Eear-Admiral 
Charles Saunders commanded. The French had on several occasions 
discovered the wisdom and advantage of despatching in winter 
their reinforcements of ships and troops for abroad, since they 
found that the British blockading squadrons and squadrons of 
observation were frequently prevented at that season by fogs or 
bad weather from obtaining touch of the outward-bound detach- 
ments. But one of their divisions which, under M. de La Clue, 
left Toulon in December, 1757, for North America and the West 
Indies, was forced by the vigilance of Admiral Osborn into Cartagena, 
and was there blockaded. The French Government, in response 
to M. de La Clue's representations, sent five ships of the line and 
a frigate, under M. Duquesne, to endeavour to join him there, and 
then to assist him in breaking the blockade. Two of the line-of- 
battleships succeeded in getting in, but the rest of the force was 
not so fortunate. On February 28th, off Cape de Gata, Osborn 
at daybreak sighted four strange sail near his fleet, and ordered 
them to be chased. The French ships separated, but each was 
pursued. At 7 p.m. the Revenge, 64, Captain John Storr, brought 
the Orphec, 64, to action; and, on the Benrick, 64, coming up, 
the enemy struck. In the Bevenge, thirty-three were killed and fifty- 
four wounded, among the latter being Captain Storr. The Orphee 
was but six miles from Cartagena when she hauled down. Meanwhile 
the Monmouth, 64, Captain Arthur Gardiner, the Siviftsure, 70, 
Captain Thomas Stanhope, and the Hampton Court, 64, Captain the 
Hon. Augustus John Hervey, chased the largest of the enemy, the 
Foudroyant, 84, flag ship of Duquesne. The Monmouth, being 
far ahead of her consorts, got up with and engaged the enemy 
at 8 P.M. and fought her gallanth'. When Gardiner fell his place 

190 MAJOlt OPKHATIONS, 1714-17G2. [1758. 

was taken by Lieutenant Kobert Carkett,' till 12. 30 a.m., when 
the Frenchman's guns were reduced to silence. Not until then 
was the Swiftsure able to get up. Captain Stanhope hailed the 
foe to know whether she had surrendered, but was answered with 
a few guns and a volley of small arms, whereupon he poured in 
a broadside and part of a second, and the enemy promptly sur- 
rendered. She had 100 killed and 90 wounded, while the Monmouth 
lost only 28 killed and 79 wounded. It was a magnificently con- 
ducted action, and Lieutenant Carkett was deservedly rewarded 
with the command of the prize. ^Vhen measured, at Gibraltar, 
she was found to be 185 feet 3 inches in length from stem to 
taffrail, and to have a length of keel of 1-5.5 feet. She was thus 
about 12 feet longer than the large British first-rates of her day. 
Moreover she caiTied 24 and 42-pormders, whereas the Monmouth 
was armed only with 12 and 24-pounders. 

As for the other French vessels, one, the Orlfiamme, 50, was 
driven ashore by the Monarch, 74, Captain John Montagu, and 
the Montagu, 64, Captain Joshua Eowley. The last, the Pleiade, 26, 
escaped by superior sailing. 

Eear-Admiral Saunders was relieved in the spring by Eear- 
Admiral Thomas JBroderick (W.), who went out in the Prince 
George, 80, Captain Joseph Peyton (1), which was unhappily burnt 
by accident on April 13th with a loss of 485 lives. Osborn con- 
tinued to blockade the French in Cartagena until he was obliged 
to go to Gibraltar to refit, leaving only some frigates to look out 
off the port. M. de La Clue then escaped and returned to Toulon. 
A little later Osborn, being in bad health, had to resign his 
command. He was succeeded by Eear-Admiral Broderick. 

The part borne by H.M.S. Seahorse and Sto?nbolo, under 
Commodore Charles Holmes, in obliging the French and Austrians 
to evacuate Emden in March, 1758, scarcely merits detailed descrip- 
tion here. Suffice it to say that the service was creditably performed. 
Other events in waters near home must, however, be described at 
some length. 

Learning in the spring of the year that the French were fitting 
out a considerable squadron to escort a convoy to America from 
Isle d'Aix, the Admiralty ordered Admiral Sir Edward Hawke to 

' Lieutenant, 1745. Captain, for this service, March 12th, 1758. Cominanded 
Stirling Castle, 64, iu Byron's action, 1779, and in Rodney's action in the West Indies, 
1780, and was lost in her in the hurricane of October lOtli, 1780. 


endeavour to intercept it. He sailed from S[)itbead on Marcli 11th 
with seven ships of the line and three frigates, and on the night 
of April 3rd arrived off the island. At 3 o'clock next morning he 
steered for Basque Koad, and at daylight sighted a number of 
vessels, escorted by three frigates, some miles to windward. He 
gave chase but they got into St. Martin, Ehe, except one brig, 
which was driven ashore and burnt by the Hussar, 28, Captain 
John Elliot. At about 4 p.m. Hawke discovered, lying off Aix, 
the French men-of-war Florissant, 74, Sphinx, 64, Hardi, 64, 
Dragon, 64, and Wanrick, (JO, l^esides six or seven frigates, and 
about forty merchantman, which had on board 3000 troops. At 
4.30 the Admiral signalled for a general chase, and at five the 
enemy began to slip or cut in great confusion, and to run. At six 
the British headmost ships were little more than a gunshot from the 
rearmost of the French ; but, by that time, when many of the 
merchantmen were already aground on the mud, the pursuers 
were in very shoal water ; and, further pursuit being dangerous, 
and night coming on, Hawke anchored abreast of the island. On 
the morning of the 5th nearly all the French flotilla were seen 
aground four or five miles away, several being on their broadsides. 
When the flood made the Admiral sent in the Intrepid, 64, Captain 
Edward Pratten, and the Medway, GO, Captain Charles Proby, 
with his best pilots, as far as the water would serve ; and ordered 
them to anchor there. They did so in about five fathoms, of which 
three fathoms were due to the rise of the tide. The enemy was 
very busy in lightening his ships, and in hauling and towing such of 
them as coiild be moved towards the mouth of the Eiver Charente ; 
and by evening some of the French men-of-war had been got thither. 
The British frigates did what they could, by destroying the buoys 
which they had laid down over their jettisoned guns and gear, 
to prevent the ultimate salving of the merchaiat vessels. That day 
150 Marines were put ashore on Isle d'Aix ; and, under Captain 
Ewer, they destroyed the works there and safely re-embarked. 
Hawke sailed on the 6th, having effectually prevented the despatch 
of supplies to America, and, it may be, so facilitated the conquest 
of Cape Breton and its dependencies. 

A greater continental expedition, consisting of two squadrons 
of men-of-war, and about 14,000 troops, under Lieut. -General the 
Duke of Marlborough, was prepared somewhat later in the year. 
One naval squadron, which was designed to directly co-operate 

192 MAJOR Ol'EBATIONS, 1714-1762. [1758. 

with the army, was entrusted to Commodore the Hon. Kichard 
Howe. The other squadron, composed of upwards of twenty sail 
of the Hne, was commanded by Admiral Lord Anson, having under 
him Admiral Sir Edward Hawke. This force was intended to 
cruise off Brest and to prevent any French squadron from inter- 
fering with the operations of Howe and Marlborough. As on some 
previous occasions, the main object of the projected demonstration 
on the coast of France was to divert French attention, and, by 
calling off troops from elsewhere, to assist the King of Prussia and 
other British allies on shore ; but the precise destination of the 
armament was kept very secret. 

Howe's squadron consisted of one ship of the line, four .50's, 
ten frigates, five sloops, two fireships, and two bombs, convoying 
one hmadred transports, twenty tenders, ten storeships and ten 
cutters ; together with a nmnber of flat-bottomed boats, which 
were carried on board the ships, and which were to be used for 
the landing of troops. On May 27th the whole armament was 
assembled at Spithead. On June 1st Anson weighed and sailed 
to the westward ; and Howe soon afterwards made sail and steered 
straight across the Channel. 

At 8 A.M. on June 2nd, after a stormy but not unfavourable 
night, Howe sighted Cape La Hougue. The French were quickly 
alarmed, and, from his course, probably formed a shrewd guess as 
to his destination. The tides, and the frequent cahns which super- 
vened, compelled the British to anchor repeatedlj-, but on June 5th 
the entire force stood into Cancale Bay, six miles east of St. Malo. 
At 11 A.M. the Duke of Marlborough went in shore in a cutter to 
reconnoitre and was fired at. By 2 p.m. all the fleet was at anchor, 
and the signal was made for the flat-bottomed boats to be hoisted 
out. Howe shifted his broad pennant to the Success, 24, Captain 
Paul Henry Ourry, and stood in with the Rose, 24, Captain Benjamin 
Clive, Flainhorough, 28, Captain Edward Jekyll, and Diligence, 16, 
Commander Joseph Eastwood, to silence the batteries, clear the 
beach, and cover the landing. This he did, and then signalled for 
part of the troops to disembark. The landing was effected in good 
order and without loss, in spite of some musketry fire from the 
enemy posted on a hill behind Cancale. These sharpshooters, how- 
ever, soon fled as the troops advanced. More soldiers were after- 
wards landed, and before dark a large force was ashore. It lay on its 
arms for the night. The rest of the army, with the guns and stores. 

1758.] EXPKDITWN To (JllEltUOUltG. Ui;j 

was landed on the Gth ; and, at dawn on the 7th, the whole of 
it except one brigade, that of Major-General the Hon. George 
Boscawen, marched away in two columns. It is not intended 
here to follow the military movements on shore : it is only necessary 
to say that it was ultimately considered impracticable to attempt 
St. Malo, and that, after doing a great deal of damage, the army 
retm'ned and re-embarked on the lith and I'ith. The loss up to 
that time had not been more than thirty killed and wounded. 

. Owing to adverse winds, the fleet did not leave Cancale Bay till 
June 21st ; and, after crossing and recrossing the Channel, it was 
on the '26th close in with Le Havre. It was intended to effect a 
landing near that town ; but the enemy was found to be well 
prepared. On the '29th, therefore, the fleet bore away before 
the wind for Cherboiu-g and anchored two miles from it. The 
batteries on shore fired, doing, however, no harm. Preparations 
were made for a descent ; but, a gale springing up and blowing on 
shore, there was a very great surf, and, when the weather grew 
worse, the fleet was in considerable danger. The crowded condition 
of the ships had begun to breed sickness ; the horses on board were 
almost starving for want of fodder ; and, as nothing was to be gained 
by waiting, Howe weighed and re-anchored at Spithead on Jul_y 1st. 
The army was immediately landed in the Isle of Wight to refresh 
itself. In the course of this expedition the French frigate Giiirlande, 
22, was taken by the Benoivn, 32, Captain George Mackenzie, assisted 
at the last moment by the Rochester, .50, Captain Eobert Dufl". 

Some of the troops in the Isle of Wight were sent to reinforce 
the allied army in Germany ; and the remaining part of the military 
force was then entrusted to Lieut. -General Thomas Bligh, an officer 
who, though he had rendered good service, was then too old for 
the command. The squadron, having refitted and been strengthened 
by the arrival of the Moiitar/ii, 60, Captain Joshua Eowley, again 
sailed on August 1st, when it had re-embarked the troops ; and on 
August Gth it anchored in Cherbourg Eoad and was again fired at 
from the shore. The defences had been improved since the previous 
visit of the fleet, and many troops were in the town. Howe, who 
had with him Prince Edward,^ second son of the Prince of Wales, 

' H.K.H. Edward Augustus. Bom, 1739; went to sea, 1758; Captain, June 14th, 
1759 ; created Duke of York and Albany, 1760 ; Rear- Admiral of the Blue, 1701 ; 
second in command in the Channel, with Howe as his flag-captain ; Yice-Admiral 
of the Blue, 1762; Commander-in-Chief in the Jlediterranean, 1763; died at Monaco, 
September 14th, 1767; buried in Henry the Seventh's Chapel at AVestminster. 

194 MAJOR OPERATIUNS, 1711-1762. [1758. 

serving as a midshipman, accompanied General Bligh to reconnoitre ; 
and arrangements were made for a landing. The fleet moved to 
Marais Bay early on the 7th, leaving only a frigate and a bomb 
before the town. Howe, whose broad pennant was then in the 
Pall ax, 'Mi, Captain Archibald Cleveland, signalled to the frigates 
and small craft to cover the disembarkation. These drove off the 
enemy, and the troops were put ashore with little opposition. All 
the infantry had been disembarked by the evening. On the 8th 
the cavalry and artillery followed, and a march was begun on 
Cherbourg, six miles to the eastward. The place was entered 
without any fighting, the enemy retiring from the forts as well 
as from the town at the approach of the British. By the 15th, the 
pier, works, magazines, etc., had been destroyed, and the various 
vessels in harbour had been sunk, burnt, or carried off. On the 
16th the army re-embarked, having lost but twenty killed and 
thirty wounded, although there had been frequent small skirmishes. 
Cherbourg was not then an important naval station, and the 
destruction of its harbour was a blow more mortifying than serious 
to the French. 

The fleet sailed on August 17th, and on the 19th anchored in 
Portland Eoad. But the authorities were not satisfied with what 
had been done, and a continuation of the operations was ordered. 
The fieet, therefore, put to sea again on August 31st, and on 
September 3rd anchored in the Bay of St. Lunaire, about six miles 
west of St. Malo. On the following day the army landed and 
encamped. On the 5th, Bligh detached a small force to burn some 
shipping at St. Brieuc ; and, on the same day, the Commodore and 
General reconnoitred the bank of the Eiver Eance to see if St. Malo 
could be attacked on that side. As the w^est bank w^as found to be 
well fortified and held, the design against the town was abandoned. 
On the day following, at a council of war, the Commodore stated 
that he did not consider it safe to re-enabark the troops in the Bay 
of St. Lunaire, as the bottom was rocky and the weather threatened 
to be not good ; and he expressed his desire to remove the fleet to 
the Bay of St. Cas, and to embark the army there. 

The troops therefore marched off on the 7th ; but, mifortunately, 
they wasted their time and did not make the best of their w^ay. 
They were much harassed by small parties of the enemy in woods 
and hedges, and had frequent encounters with organised bodies of 
soldiers, losing men continually. On the night of the 9th, the 

1758.] THE DISASTER AT ST. CAS. 195 

General, whose intelligence service seems to have been almost 
non-existent, learnt, to his surprise, of the pn^senco, only three miles 
from him, of a large force nndc^r the Due d'Aiguillon. The Bay 
of St. Cas was then only four and a half miles off; and an officer 
was sent in haste to Howe to inform him that the army would 
proceed thither as quickly as possible. The Commodore, in the 
early morning, made as good a disposition of his ships as time 
permitted, in order to cover the re-embarkation. In the meanwhile, 
the- retreat had begun, but it was 9 p.m. ere the heights above the 
Bay were gained. The strange error was committed of re-embarking 
all the guns and horses before the infantry. Nevertheless, by 
11 A.M., two-thirds of the army were on board. At about that time 
the enemy's cavalry and infantry appeared, and opened a battery of 
guns on those who remained on the beach, doing great execution 
there and in the boats. Gradually the French descended from the 
hills ; and at last, after a desperate struggle, they seized the village 
of St. Cas. There were then on shore only about seven hundred 
British under Major-General Dury, whose dispositions and move- 
ments were excessively rash. At length the French got close up to 
the retiring British, whose ammunition was then exhausted ; and a 
rout followed. Part plunged into the sea, part seized and held a rock 
on the right of the Bay, whence many were taken off by the boats ; 
but the majority had to surrender. The army lost, in killed, 
wounded, or taken prisoners, eight hundred and twenty-two officers 
and men. Of the naval officers who were superintending the 
embarkation. Captains Joshua Rowley, Jervis Maplesden, and 
William Paston, and Commander John Elphinstone (1), were taken. 
The further naval loss, however, was but eight killed and seventeen 

The fleet which, under Lord Anson, was intended to cover the 
operations under the Hon. Richard Howe and General Bligh, con- 
sisted of twenty-two sail of the line and eight frigates. It blockaded 
Brest and annoyed the enemy's trade, but returned to Plymouth on 
July 19th, without having encountered the French. Sir Edward 
Hawke being ill, his place was taken by Rear-Admiral Charles 
Holmes. The fleet went back to its station on July '2'2nd, and 
in August it was joined by a contingent under Vice-Admiral Charles 
Saiinders. The three admirals continued to cruise until the middle 
of September, b}^ which time the operations against the French 
Channel ports had been concluded. Anson and Holmes returned 

o 2 

196 MAJOn OPERATIONS, 171!-17(i2. [1759. 

to England, leaving Saunders to blockade Brest and to endeavour 
to intercept the French squadron which was expected from Que))ec ; 
but he did not fall in with it, and himself went Ijack into port in 
the middle of December. 

In 1759 the French made extraordinary efforts to retrieve their 
position at sea, and once more resorted to the old expedient of 
threatening an invasion, chiefly with a view to ci-ippling British 
activity in distant parts of the world. But the situation of Great 
Britain was then in every respect much stronger than in 1756, 
when similar tactics had been tried ; and the scheme did not produce 
the desired results. British troops were sent from England to the 
Continent, to North America, and to the West Indies ; and a most 
formidable expedition was organised against Canada ; while, on the 
other hand, the French paid so much attention to menacing the 
British in the home seas that they almost entirely overlooked 
the business of protecting their own dominions abroad. 

In the course of the year France assembled three expeditionary 
forces : one at Vannes, in Bi-ittany, under the Due d'Aiguillon, 
which was to be convoyed to Ireland by a fleet under M. de Conflans 
and M. de La Clue ; one on the coast of Normandy, which was to be 
despatched from Le Havre against England ; and the smallest of 
the three, at Dunquerque, to be convoyed to Scotland or Ii'eland 
by M. Thm-ot and six frigates and corvettes. To meet these and 
other preparations the militia was embodied, and the following dis- 
positions of ships were made. Commodore WiUiam Boys watched 
Dmrquerque ; Admiral Thomas Smith (4) ^ and Commodore Sir Piercy 
Brett (1) commanded a force in the Downs ; Eear- Admiral George 
Brydges Eodney cruised in the Channel, and kept an e3'e on the 
ports of Normandy ; and Sir Edward Hawke blockaded Brest. 
Elsewhere, Boscawen commanded in the Mediterranean ; Bear- 
Admiral Samuel Cornish went with reinforcements to the East 
Indies ; the squadron on the Leeward Islands' station was 
strengthened by a division under Captain Robert Hughes (2), and 
by troops imder Major-General Hopsou ; and Vice- Admiral Charles 
Saunders and Major-General Wolfe were despatched against the 

' Thomas Smith was called b}' the seamen of his day " Tom o' Ten Thousand," 
because, while first lieutenant of the Gosport, in the absence of the captain, he compelled 
a French frigate in Plymouth Sound to lower her topsails by way of salute. For this 
act Lieutenant Smith was court-martialled and dismissed the service, but, on the 
following day, both restored and posted. Captain, 1730; Eear- Admiral, 1747; Vice- 
Admiral, 1748; president of the court-martial on Byng; Admiral, 1757; died, 1762. 

1759.] POCOCK AND D'ACEE. J97 

French iu Canada. The operations of this important and successful 
year in the various parts of the world may now be followed in 
greater detail. 

In the East Indies, Vice-Admiral Pocock, who had refitted his 
squadron at Bombay, sailed for the coast of Coromandel on 
April 7th, endeavouring to get thither in advance of the French 
fleet, wliich was expected back from Mauritius. He succeeded in 
this object, and then cruised to intercept the enemy. On June 80t!i 
he was joined by the Grafton, 68, and Stinderland, 60, with five 
East Indiamen full of stores, of which he was greatly in need. On 
August 3rd he sailed for FondicheiTy, and, during the rest of the 
month, cruised off that port, but could learn nothing of the enemy, 
and was at length obliged by lack of provisions and water to 
proceed to Trincomale. He sailed again thence on September 1st, 
having a few days earlier sent the East India Company's frigate, 
Beoenge, to cruise off Ceylon and to keep a look-out for the French. 

M. d'Ache had reached Mauritius in September, 1758, and had 
there found a reinforcement of three sail of the line and several 
French East India Company's ships. But provisions were so 
scarce that he had to send one of the men-of-war and eight of the 
Indiamen to South Africa to purchase supplies. These reached 
Cape Town in January, 1759, and returned to Mauritius in April 
and May. M. d'Ache was thus enabled to sail on July 17th for 
Bourbon and Madagascar, to pick up further stores, and thence 
for India. He reached Batticaloa in Ceylon on August 30th, and, 
having there learnt something of the movements of the British 
squadron, sighted it off Point Pedara ^ on September 2nd. His force 
consisted of eleven sail of the line, besides two frigates ; that of 
Vice-Admiral Pocock, of only nine sail of the line and one frigate. 

On that same day, at about 10 a.m., the Revenge signalled to the 
Vice-Admiral that she saw fifteen - sail in the south-east, standing 
to the north-east. These were the enemy. Pocock signalled for 
a general chase, and stood towards the French under all possible 
sail ; but, the wind faihng, the British were unable to get up. In 
spite of his great superiority, d'Ache apparently did all that lay in 
his power to avoid an action, although Pocock was equally anxious 
to provoke one. After much fruitless manoeuvring the French were 
lost sight of, and Pocock then stood to the north for Pondicherry, 

' Called also Point Palmyra. It is the X.E. jioiut of Ceylon. 
- It does not appear that there were really more than thirteen. 




where he expected to find his foe. He arrived off that place in the 
early morning of the 8th, but saw no ships in the roadstead. At 
1 P.M., nevertheless, he sighted the enemy's fleet to the south- 
east. He was then standing to the northward with a sea breeze. 
On the morning of the 9th, the French were again visible ; and 
at 2 P.M., the wind springing up, the Vice- Admiral once more 
signalled for a general chase. Two hours later the enemy appeared 
to have formed a line of battle abi-east, and in that formation bore 
down. But no action resulted. 

At 6 A.M., however, on September 10th, the French bore S.E. 
by S., distant eight or nine miles, sailing in hne of battle ahead on 
the starboard tack. Pocock,^ in line of battle abreast, bore down 
on them with the wind about X.W. by W. At 10 a.m. the enemy 
wore, and formed a line of battle ahead on the larboard tack ; and 
an hour afterwards Pocock did the same, the Elizabeth leading. 
The action was begun on the British side by Eear-Admiral Stevens, 
who, in the Grafton, attacked the Zodiaque. The tactics of the 
day present no features of special interest ; and the action is 
chiefly remarkable for the fury with which it was fought ; for the 
fact that, owing to various defects, two of the British ships were 
able to take only a very insignificant part in the engagement ; and 
because, in the evening, the whole of the superior French squadron 
bore away and stood to the S.S.E. under a crowd of sail. Most 
of the British ships were far too damaged to be able to pursue ; 

' Order of battle (on the starboard tack) of the British and French squadrons in the 
East Indies in the action of September 10th, 175!i: — 








KUzaheth . . . 


Capt. Richard Tiddeman. 

Actif .... 


A'eitxastle . 


„ Colin llichie. 

Minotaure . . . 




„ William Breretoii. 

Ouc d'Orliang . . 


Capt. de Surrille (2). 

[Reav-Admiral Charles 

St. Loms . . . 


Gm/ton .... 

1 Stevens (R). 

Vertgetir . . . 


,, de La Palliere. 

iCapt. Richard Ivempeu- 

Lieut.-General Comte 

( felt. 

Zodiaqve . . . 


■. d'Ache. 
Capt. de La Chaise. 

iVice-Admiral George 
i Pocock CR). 
(Capt. John Harrison. 

Yarm(nith . 


Comte de Provence. 


Due de Bourgofjue. 


., Bouvet(2). 

Cumbeilaml i . . 


r „ John .Stukley 
\ Somerset. 

Illustre .... 
Fortune .... 


Salisbun/ . . . 


„ Digbv I >ent (3). 



., de Surrille (1). 

Sunderland . . . 


f „ Hon. .Tames Col- 
( ville. 



Weymouth . . . 


1 „ Sir 'Hilliam Baird, 
I Bart. 

Itiligeutc . . 

■J 4 

Quft^nborougli . 


„ R..I.ert Kiik. 

1 Had been a 66-iiuu sbip, but \va^ reduced tu a 5^ to ease ber. 

17;-)!).] D'AOnf: QUITS THE FIELD. 109 

and, having ordered the llcrciKjc to oljserve the motions of the 
French, Pocock lay to on the larljoard tack to enable his most 
shattered vessels to repair damages. At dawn on September 11th 
the French were seen in the S.S.E., about twelve miles away, 
lying to on the larboard tack, the wind being about west. On 
perceiving the British, they at once wore and brought to on the 
other tack, and so continued until evening, when they were so far 
off that they were almost out of sight. At that time, the wind 
veering to the east, Pocock signalled his shijis to wear, and stood 
. under easy sail to the south-west ; the Sunderland towing the New- 
castle, the Weijmoutlt the Tiger, and the Eli.itiheth the Cumhcrland. 

The loss sustained by the French in the engagement was, all 
things considered, enormous, amounting, as it did, to nearly 1500 
killed and wounded. Among the killed were the captains of the 
Zodiaque and Centaure, and among the woiinded was d'Ache himself. 
The French made for Pondicherry. The loss on the British side 
was also very heavy, being 5G9 killed and wounded, including 184 
who were either killed outright or died of their wounds. Among 
the killed was Captain Colin Michie of the Neu-castle, and among 
the wounded were Captain Somerset of the CumhcrhDid and Captain 
Brereton of the Tiger. 

On September l-')th the British anchored in the Eoad of 
Negapatam ; and, having hastily completed their refitting, Pocock 
sailed with his ships again on the '20th. On his way to Madras he 
had to pass Pondicherry, where the French were lying ; and, un- 
willing to pass it by night, or to do anything to prevent M. d'Ache 
from fighting another action, he so arranged matters as to appear off 
the town at daybreak on September 27th. There he lay with the 
wind about W.S.W., with his maintopsails to the mast, and with 
but just sufficient steerage way on his ships for the proper main- 
tenance of the line. Thus the British drifted slowly to leeward, yet 
not until Pocock had given d'Ache the fullest possible opportunity 
to come out and light. But the latter had no such intention ; and, 
after weighing and making a few meaningless demonstrations, he 
returned to port and there announced his intention of sailing 
immediately for Mauritius. He carried out this determination on 
September 30th, in spite of the anxious remonstrances of the shore 
authorities, and especially of M. de Lally. His principal motive for 
thus acting seems to have been his knowledge that Pocock was 
about to be reinforced by four ships of the line from England. 

200 MAJOR OFEJtATIONS, 1714-1762. [1759. 

Pocock, being short of water and stores, and with ships in 
bad condition, returned to Madras, where he anchored on Sep- 
tember 28th. Thence he sailed on October IGth for Bombay, 
and on the 17th fell in with Eear- Admiral Samuel Cornish, with 
three ships of the line, one .50-gun ship,' and three East Indiamen, 
which last, and the troops which had been brought out as reinforce- 
ments, were sent on to Madras escorted by the Queenhorough. They 
reached that place on October 27th. Pocock proceeded to Bombay, 
and, after making various dispositions, sailed on April 7th, 17G0, for 
England with a very valuable convoy, arriving in the Downs on 
September 22nd following. He left behind him Eear-Admirals 
Stevens and Cornish. 

Alluding to this last action, Mahan, after referring to the 
numerical superiority of the French, says : 

" The fruits of victory, liowever, were with tlie weaker fleet, for d'Ach^ returned to 
Pondicherry and thence sailed on the 1st of the next month for the islands, leaving 
India to its fate. From that time the result was certain. The English continued to 
receive reinforcements from home, while the French did not ; the men opposed to Lally 
were superior in ability; place after place fell, and in January, 1761, Pondicherry 
itself surrendered, surrounded by land and cut off from the sea. This was the end of 
French power in India ; for though Pondicherry and other possessions were restored at 
the peace, the English tenure there was never again shaken, even under the attacks of 
the skilful and bold Suffren, who twenty years later met difticulties as great as d' Ache's 
with a vigour and conduct which the latter at a more hopeful moment failed to show." '' 

Vice- Admiral Pocock was desen-edl}' made a K.B. for his ser^nces 
and promoted to be Admiral of the Blue. 

Such naval successes as the French won in the East after the 
departure of Pocock were confined to the capture of the East India 
Company's factory at Gombroon in the Persian Gulf, and the 
reduction of certain British settlements in Sumatra. These successes 

' Reinforcement which reached A'ice-Adniiral Pocock in the East Indies in 
October, 175!:i :— 




Lenox ..... 


1 Hear- Admiral Samuel Cornish (B.). 
\C'aptain Robert Jocelyn. 

Due iVAr/uitainf 


Sir William Hewitt, Bart. 

York ..... 


,, Vincent Pearce (2). 

Fahiiouth .... 


„ Richard Hughes (3). 

■ hiti. of Sea Power," 310. 




were merely raids, without iiilluence on tlio course of the war or on 
the future of Franco-British commercial rivalry. The Dutch, seeking 
to profit by the temporary difficulties of the British, attempted, witli 
seveir East Indiamen and some troops from Batavia, to seize Chinsura 
on the Ganges, but were checkmated by the energy of Colonel Clive, 
Governor of Bengal, and by the gallantry of the masters of 'several 
British East Indiamen, who, under AVilson of the Calcutta, took or 
drove off the enemy on November '24th, 1759, after a sharp action. 
The captured Dutch vessels were afterwards returned to their owners, 
on security being given for the payment of £100,000 damages. 

The British force on the Leeward Islands' station, under Commo- 
dore John Moore, was strengthened by eight ships of the line under 
Captain Eobert Hughes (2), and by troops under Major-General 
Hopson, in order that the force might reduce some of the French 
Caribbee Islands, which were supposed to be weakly garrisoned.^ 
The troops left England in November, 1758, under convoy of Captain 
Hughes, and reached Carlisle Bay, Barbados, in January, 1759. 
There Commodore Moore was met with. On the 13th of that mouth 
the whole force sailed for Martinique, and on the afternoon of the 
15th entered Fort Eoyal Bay. On the morning of the 16th the 
Bristol, 50, Captain Leshe, and the Ripon, GO, Captain Jekyll, 
silenced and occupied a fort on Negro Point. The Winchester, 50, 
Captain Le Cras, Woolwich, 44, Captain Peter Parker (1), and 
Boebuch, 44, Captain Thomas Lynn, cannonaded the batteries in the 
Bay of Cas des Navires, where it was intended to disembark troops. 

^ List of tlie British fleet on the Leeward Islands" station un<ler Connuodore .John 
Moore in 175!) : — 


Cambridge . 
St. George . 
Norfolk . 

Lion . 



Winchester . 
Brislot . . 







'Commodore Johu Moore. 
.Capt. Thomas Burnett. 

,, Clarke Caytou. 

„ Eoljcrt Hughes (a). 

„ l!ichardTyn-ell.i 

„ James Gambier(l). 

,, William Harmau. 

,, William Tre- 


„ Edward Jekyll. 

„ Molyneux bhuld- 

,, Edward Le Cras. 

,, Lachliii Leslie.- 


Woolwich . 
Jtoebuck . 
l.wllmo Castle . 
Jienoum . 
Amazon ■ 
line .... 
Bouetta . 
WeazH . 
Antigua . 
Spi/ .... 
Kingfisher, bomh 
Falcon, bomb . 
fj'rcnadii, bomb 
Infernal, liouib 



Capt. Peter Parker (1).3 

Thomas Lvnu. 

Edward Clark(l).< 

George Mackenzie. 

William Nortou. 

Daniel Dering. 

Richard King (1). 
Com. John Boles. 

AVeston Varlo. 

"William Bayiie. 

Sabine Deacou. 

Mark Robiuson(l). 

Samuel V vedale. 

James Slackeuzie. 

' Later, Capt. Lachliu Leslie. ~ Later, Capt. Peter Parker (1). a Later, Capt. Daniel Dering. 

■• Brought out the second battalion of the P.oyal Highlanders from Scotland. 

The above were eventually joined by the Lancaster, CG, Captain Eobert Mann (2), 
the Emerald, 28, and the Griffon, 28. 

202 MA.JOn UPERATIONS, 1714-17G2. [1759. 

A lauding was effected at about 4 p.m. under Captains Molyneux 
Shuldham, James Gambier (1), and Thomas Burnett; and, by the 
following morning, nearly the whole army was ashoi'e. But against 
4400 British, available for the service, there were at least 10,000 
French, including their militia ; and, after some small operations 
had been attempted. General Hopson, despairing of success, with- 
drew his troops to the transports. 

The expedition then proceeded to St. Pierre, the capital of the 
island. But, on his arrival off that place on the 19th, the Commodore 
did nothing except send in the liipon, 60, Captain Jekyll, to attack 
some batteries, the reduction of which would not in the least have 
influenced the general fate of the island. Jekyll was quite un- 
supported; and, having fought from 2 till 4.30 p.m. with great 
gallantry and silenced one battery, he was obliged to cut his cable 
and tow off. The position of the liijjoii was for some time not 
unlike that of the Formidable under Captain de St. Bon at the 
attack on Lissa in 1866. She narrowly escaped grounding, and 
could not entirely get clear till 6 p.m. Jekyll behaved magnificently. 

It was then decided to abandon the attempt on Martinique, and 
to attack Guadeloupe ; and on the morning of the 20th the squadron 
sailed to the northward. By noon on the 22nd it was off Basse 
Terre. After the town had been reconnoitred and a council of war 
held, it was determined that on the morning of January 23rd the 
citadel and various batteries of Basse Terre should be cannonaded 
and, if possible, silenced, by the Lion, 60, Captain William 
Trelawney, St. George, 90, Captain Clarke Gayton, Norfolk, 74, Cap- 
tain Eobert Hughes (2), Canihridge, 80, Captain Thomas Burnett, 
bearing the broad pennant of Commodore Moore, Panther, 60, 
Captain Molyneux Shuldham, Burford, 70, Captain James Gam- 
bier (1), Bericid,-, 64, Captain William Harman, and Bipon, 60, 
Captain Edward Jekyll. The last named got aground, and was 
again in the greatest danger, mitil relieved by the Bristol and 
Boehucl'. At about 5 p.m. the enemy's fire was silenced. Neverthe- 
less, the town w^as rather wantonly destroj^ed on the following day 
by the fire of the tour bomb ketches. Indeed, Commodore Moore 
exerted from the first much unnecessary force. He might have 
landed his troops a little to the north of the town, and so captured 
the place, which was open on the land side ; but he preferred the 
useless and risky expedient of opposing his ships to forts. In the 
action, however, only about thirt}' men were killed and about sixtj' 


wounded, among the latter being Captain Trelawney, of the Lioit. 
Commodore Moore, of course, gained his object ; and on the 24th 
the army was put ashore and Basse Terre and Fort Koyal were 
occupied. The advantage was, unfortunately, not pressed ; and the 
French governor retired to the mountainous interior of the island, 
and was there able to make a most courageous stand for iipwards of 
three months. 

During the interval, the Commodore detached the Boehuck, 44, 
Captain Lynn, the Winchester, 50, Captain Le Cras, the Berwick, 64, 
Captain Harman, the BantJier, 60, Captain Shuldham, the Wool- 
wich, 44, Captain Dering, and the Beiioivn, 32, Captain Mackenzie, 
under Captain Harman ; and this force, on February 13th, made 
itself master of Port Louis on the Grande Terre side of the island. 
But the guerilla warfare and comparative inactivitj^ played havoc 
with the troops. There were great numbers of sick ; and many of 
them had to be sent to Antigua. On February 27th General Hopson 
died, and was succeeded in the chief military command by Major- 
General the Hon. John Barrington. This officer was beginning to 
take somewhat more energetic measures than had previously been 
displayed, when the army was partially deprived of the assistance 
of the fleet in consequence of the arrival in the West Indies of 
M. de Bompart, with five ships of the line and three large frigates, 
containing troops intended for the relief of the French islands. 
Commodore Moore felt it necessary to proceed to Prince Eupert's 
Bay in the Island of Dominica, so that he might be in a position to 
watch and promptly follow the motions of the enemy, who lay in 
Great Bay, Fort Royal, Martinique. The operations on shore were 
thereafter conducted chiefly by the army. The inevitable capitula- 
tion was signed on May 1st, M. de Bompart not having interfered. 
Nevertheless, after Guadeloupe had suiTendered, he made a brief 
descent upon the island, and then, learning the truth, returned to 
Martinique. Moore heard of this movement of the Freirch squadron, 
and put to sea in search of the enemy ; but he failed to find him, 
and once more anchored in Prince Eupert's Bay. After the capture 
of Guadeloupe, General Barrington summoned, and received the 
surrender of, Marie Galante, the Saintes, La Desirade and Petite 
Terre. A little later Moore, reinforced by the Baisounable, 64, and 
the Nassau, 64, proceeded to Basse Terre Eoad, and, on June 2.jth, 
despatched part of the army to England under convoy of the 

204 MAJOR OFERATIONS, 1711-1762. [1759. 

Their inferiority oi' force prevented the French from attempting 
anything of importance against either the British fleet or the British 
garrisons in the West Indies ; and, as no French fleet put to 
sea, Moore had subsequently to confine himself to repressing the 
enemy's privateers and to protecting British trade. On the Jamaica 
station, where Vice-Admiral Cotes still commanded, the situation 
was very similar ; and, though useful work was done by the cruisers, 
no event of importance happened. 

In North America the plans which had been formulated by the 
Earl of Loudoun during his commandership-in-chief continued to 
be carried out after his supersession ; and, in pursuance of these, 
four considerable expeditions were entered upon in 1759, the object 
of all being the ending of French rule in Canada. Three of these 
expeditions, one against Fort Niagara, under Brigadier-General 
Prideaux ; one against the French settlements on Lake Erie, under 
Brigadier-General Stanwix ; and one under Major-General Amherst 
against Crown Point and Ticonderoga, were mainly military. The 
fourth, under Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders and Major-General 
Wolfe, against Quebec, was fully as much naval as mihtary. All, 
however, were parts of a single scheme, which was designed to 
occupy the French in several quarters simultaneously, and so to 
prevent them from concentrating their full strength at any one 
point. The various expeditions were intended ultimately to assist 
one another ; but that all the schemes did not accurateh" dovetail 
as originallj- intended is only natural. That mistakes should be 
committed and that there should be in some cases lack of fore- 
sight and of due preparation, were matters of course. Yet, in 
spite of local insuccesses, the great combined undertaking was 
in its results triumphant, thanks largely' to Saunders and, above 
all, to Wolfe. 

Prideaux's force of about 5000 men started on May 20th from 
Schenactady iip the Mohawk Kiver, and so, amid great difficulties, 
to Oswego on Lake Ontario ; whence, leaving there a detachment, 
it crossed the lake and reached Niagara on July 6th. In the 
operations General Prideaux was killed by accident, and the com- 
mand devolved upon the Colonial colonel. Sir WilHam Johnson, 
Bart., who, after defeating a relieving force of the enemy, received 
the surrender of the fort on July 25th. Johnson, being short of 
ammunition and supplies, then returned to Oswego, where he 
relinquished his command to Brigadier-General Gage, who built a 


fort there, while Captain Joshua Loriiig, U.K., superintended the 
construction of two large vessels for the navigation and command 
of Lake Ontario and the Kiver St. Lawrence. 

The expedition under General Stanwix was completely success- 
ful, but it was so purely a military one that there is no need to 
describe its operations here. 

The expedition under General Amherst against Crown Point and 
Ticonderoga was in many respects a large and powerful one ; yet it 
should have included a great number of ship's carpenters, and 
quantities of supplies for the creation of a naval force on Lake 
Champlain. This provision was, however, overlooked. About 
June 1st, the army was assembled at Fort Edward, and on 
June 11th it marched to the banks of Lake George. Such boats 
and radeaux as could be built were of an unsatisfactory nature ; 
but at length a motley flotilla was collected, and the army embarked 
and proceeded down the Lake. On June '22nd the troops were landed 
near the Second Narrows and advanced against Ticonderoga, which 
on the 25th was evacuated and blown up, the enemy retiring on 
Crown Point. The boats and radeaux were then laboriously got 
into Lake Champlain. On August 1st, Amherst learnt that Crown 
Point had been abandoned ; and on the 4th he occupied it. He at 
once set to work to endeavour to put a suitable naval force on Lake 
Champlain, so that he might be able to press on and effect a 
junction with the force under Wolfe. But, owing to the lack of 
preparations, there were delays ; and, although the Freiich force on 
the Lake was in part taken or destroyed, the approach of winter 
obliged Amherst at the end of October to cut short his advance and 
to return to Crown Point. Thus, both Prideaux and Amherst, who 
were to have held forth helping hands to Wolfe, failed, perhaps 
through no fault of their ovra. Only Stanwix, whose object was 
rather diversion than actual and immediate co-operation, completel}' 
gained his end. It is not the least of AVolfe's merits that, in spite 
of the lack of expected help, but with the cordial co-operation of the 
Navy, he brought to a triumphant conclusion the most important 
and difficult expedition of the four. 

Wolfe had with him ten battalions of infantry, three companies 
of grenadiers and some companies of artillery and rangers, about 
9200 men in all. The fleet, which was to convoy and support the 
force, was under Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders and Bear-Admirals 
Philip Durell (1) and Charles Holmes, and consisted of twenty sail of 


MAJOIi OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. 


the line, two fifty-gun ships ami numerous frigates and small craft.' 
Part of this fleet was already on the North American station under 
Durell, and had wintered at Halifax. As soon as the season per- 
mitted, Durell had entered the Kiver St. Lawrence, and on May 23rd 
got lip as far as Isle Bic. Holmes went out from England to 
Halifax early in the year 1759 to forward preparations ; and on 
February 17th Saunders and Wolfe sailed from Spithead. The 
main body of the expedition was gradually assembled at Louisbourg 
in the island of Cape Breton ; and there it was joined by the troops 
in ganison. On June 1st it began to leave the harbour ; and on the 
23rd the fleet found Eear-Admiral Durell near Isle Coudres, and 
obtained from him some French pilots whom he had secui'ed by a 
ruse. Durell, reinforced, was left off Isle Coudres to bar the river, 
and Saunders, hoisting his flag in the Stirling Castle, 64, Captain 
Michael Everitt, proceeded, and on Jime "ifith anchored off Isle 
d'Orleans, a few miles below Quebec. 

The Marquis de Montcalm, who defended the city, had taken all 
possible precautions, and had removed the buoys and marks. His 
main army was about 14,000 strong, and lay at Beauport, to the 
immediate north-east of Quebec. Detachments of it were posted 
down the river at points whence it was expected that the advancing 

' List nf the British tieet employed on the expedition to Quebec, 17."<;i : — 






[ Commaudets. 

iVice-AUmiml Charles 

> Saunders (B). 

leapt. Brwirick Hartwell. 

Trent .... 


Capt. John Lindsay. 

yeptune . . . 


1 Lizard .... 


., James Jjoake. 



,, John I^forey. 

(Eear-Admiral Philip 

Lowestoft . . . 


,, Joseph Deane. 

Pi-i7icess Amtlia . 


\ DureUCOCE). 

Seahorse. . . . 


„ James Smith. 

ICapt. John Bray. 

Scarborough . . 


., John Stott. 

| Charles 



f „ John Elphinstone 

Dublin .... 


<^ Hi,lmes(W). 

(Capt. William Goostrey. 

Nightingale. . . 


( „ James Campbell 
t (2). 

Hoijdl Williavi. . 


„ HnghPigot(lV 

Terrible .... 


„ Richard l'oUius(l). 



„ Robert Bond. 

Shrewsbury . . 


„ Hngh Palliser. 

Squirrel .... 


„ <ieorge Hamilton. 

yorthuviberlan'i . 


f „ Alex. Lord Col- 
l Tille. 

Foxvey .... 


f „ George Anthony 
I Tonm. 

Vanguard . . . 


„ Robert Swantoii. i 

Scorpion. . . . 


Com. John Cleland (1). 

Devonshire . . . 


,. William Gordon. 

Porcuj/ine . . . 


„ John Jervis. 

Orfuril .... 


„ Richard Sprj'. 

Hunter .... 


f ,, William Adams 
I (2). 

Somerset, . . . 


„ Edward Hughes. 

Mcide .... 


„ Jame* Douglas (1). 

Zephyr .... 


f „ William Grecn- 
1 wood. 

lleAforA .... 


,, Tholl.e Fowke. 

Caiitain .... 


„ John 

Baltimore, bomb . 


, Robert Carpenter. 

Trident .... 


,, Julian Legge. 

Pelican, Iwinib . . 


,, Edward iMountford. 

Stirling Castle. . 


„ Michael Everitt. 

Jiacehorse, bomb . 


,. Francis Richards. 

I*nnce Fredericlc . 


„ Robert Bonth. 

Vesuvius, f.s. . 


„ .lames Chads. 

Medway .... 


„ Charles Probv, 

Cormorant, f.s. 


,. I'atiick ^lonat. 

Pembroke . . . 


„ John Wheelock. 

Strombolo, f.s. . . 


Lieut. Richard Smith. 

Prince of Orange . 


„ .^amuel Wallis. 

Basra v-en, a.s. . 


Com. Charles Doughis. 

Centurion . . . 


„ WiUiam Mantell. 

Halifax, a.s. . . 



Sutherland . . . 


„ John Rous, 
f „ Alexander Schom- 
l berg. 

Bodney, cotter . . 


(Lieut. Hon. Philip Tufton 
I Perceval. 

Diana .... 

Croivn, st.s. . . 


Com. Joseph Mead. 

Richmond . . . 


f „ Thomas Hanker- 

l son. 


s trans 

^oi-ts, etc. 

1759.] ATTACK ON QUKJiEC. 2U7 

British could be annoyed. He luid also thrown up strong works on 
the north side of the river, between the Kiver St. Charles and the 
Falls of Montmorency, and had armed two hulks in the Eiver 
St. Charles to defend the communications with the army and 
Quebec. The Governor of the Province, Captain de Vaudreuil, 
was, however, a naval officer, while the Marquis de Montcalm was 
a soldier ; and there was not a good miderstanding between them. 
Montcalm prudeirtly desired to make his preparations with a view 
to . the necessity of a retreat ; but de Vaudreuil maintained that 
such precautions were needless, and that if the whole French force 
were concentrated on the north side of the river, the worst the 
British could do would be to demolish some of the houses in 
the city. 

On June 27th, the British army landed on Isle d'Orleaus and the 
French defences were reconnoitred. Towards night the ships were 
disposed to the best advantage, and measures were taken to prevent 
damage from the enemy's fireships, which were known to be in 
readiness higher up. A certain number of Marines had been taken 
from those ships which had been left at Isle Coudres under Durell, 
and these were distributed throughout the fleet. At midnight on 
June '28th, the French sent down seven fireships and two fire rafts ; 
but they were grappled and towed clear by the activity and good 
conduct of the seamen. Vice-Admiral Saunders then decided to 
move some of his vessels into the open space of water immediately 
below the town, known as the Basin of Quebec ; and, to afford them 
some protection, he induced General Wolfe to order the occupation 
of Point Levis by Brigadier-General Monckton. The enemy tried 
to dislodge this force on July 1st by means of floating batteries, but 
in vain. The batteries were driven back by the fire of the Trent, 28, 
Captain John Lindsay. Ultimately some large ships were stationed 
a httle higher up the river. Above these were frigates ; and again 
above them armed boats rowed guard every night. The enemy 
thereupon ordered such ships as he had up to Batiscan, sixty miles 
above Quebec, but kept most of their crews in the city to assist in 
working the guns. Batteries were erected on Point Levis to 
bombard Quebec, and, the works on Isle d'Orleans having been com- 
pleted, Wolfe, on July 9th, embarked his troops, and under convoy 
of the Porcupine, 14, Commander John Jervis, and the Boscawen, 
armed ship, 16, Commander Charles Douglas, effected a landing on 
the north shore of the river below the falls of Montmorencv. 

208 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1759. 

On July IBtli the Sutherland, .50, Captain John Kous, the 
Squirrel, 20, Captain George Hamilton, two armed sloops, and two 
transports, passed the town without loss, and gained the upper river. 
On July 31st, supported by the fire of the Centurion, 50, Captain 
William Mantell, an attempt was made to land troops below the 
enemy's entrenchments ; but the force had to be drawn off to the 
beach. Some efforts were then made to destroy the French ships 
above the town and to open communication with General Amherst, 
who was supposed to be advancing from Crown Point. The Lowes- 
toft, 28, Captain Joseph Deane, the Hunter, 10, Commander 
William Adams (2), two armed sloops, and two storeships, passed 
up to co-operate ; but it was found that the force could not be got 
further than about thirtj' miles above Quebec. 

On August 29th, the Seahorse, 24, Captain James Smith, two 
more armed sloops, and two more storeships, were sent past the 
town in preparation for a projected attack on Quebec from the west. 
Eear-Admiral Holmes took command of the flotilla on the upper 
river. On the night of September 4th, all the flat-bottomed boats 
and many vessels passed the towTi ; and as manj- troops as could be 
spared were sent up with them. On the evening of the 12th, all the 
boats remaining below" the town were filled with Marines ; and on 
the following morning at break of day they made a feint of landing 
on the northern shore below the city, under cover of the fire of the 
frigates and sloops. Troops had been alreadj- got into the boats on 
the upper river, where Wolfe himself then was ; and in the starlight 
they moved still further up, a French corps under M. de Bougain- 
ville ^ marching parallel with them along the north bank. An hour 
before daylight the boats turned and rowed down at gi^eat speed, 
current and ebbing tide being both in their favour, and were followed 
by the ships. The whole force quite outstripped the French, who 
attempted to keep up with it. Just as day .was breaking the boats 
arrived eastward of Sillery, a short distance above Cape Diamond, 
those containing the light infantry falling a little lower down. 
There the attacking force disembarked at the foot of a woody 
precipice, scaled the height, and dispersed the guard on the summit ; 

■^ Louis Aiitoine de Bougainville. Born, 1729 ; began life as a lawyer ; secretary 
to the French embassy in London, 1755 ; had previously, in 1752, been elected a 
Fellow of the Eoyal Society for a treatise on the integral calculus ; aide-de-camp to 
Montcalm in Canada ; founded a French colony in the Falkland Islands, 1763 ; circum- 
navigated the globe, 1766-68 ; commanded at sea during the war of American Revolu- 
tion; vice-admiral, 1791; made a senator by Xapoleon; died, 1811. 

1759.] CAPTURE OF QUKBEC. 209 

and presently the whole army was pouring up the steep slopes, and 
forming on the top, to await the approach of the main body of the 
French, who, under Montcalm, were seen to be in motion. 

The action began early. At 8 a.m. the sailors dragged up a gun, 
which was most useful. By 10 the battle had become very general, 
the enemy advancing with courage to within thirty yards, but then 
wavering under the British fire, and being followed up with the 
bayonet. It was at that time that AVolfe, at the head of the Louis- 
bom-g Grenadiers, received a second wound, which proved mortal. 
The Marquis de Montcalm was also fatally wounded. After some 
further fighting, the French retreated to the city. General the 
Hon. George Townshend, who succeeded to the command, fortified 
the position which had been won. Additional ships were brought 
up ; and batteries were being erected to bombard Quebec, when, on 
the 17th, the enemy offered to surrender. The Vice-Admiral and 
General, and the French commandant, signed the capitulation on the 
morning of the 18th. Later in the day the upper town was taken 
possession of by troops under Lieut. -Colonel Murray, and the lower 
town by seamen, under Captain Hugh Palhser, E.N. The Vice- 
Admiral's dispatches were sent to England by Captain James 
Douglas (1), of the Alcide, who was knighted by the King, and 
presented with ^500 wherewith to buy a sword. Throughout the 
British dominions a public thanksgiving was ordered. Wolfe's 
body was sent home in the Boyal William, 84, and a monument to 
his memory was erected at the national expense in Westminster 

Saunders sent back to England his larger ships under Holmes 
and Durell, and followed in October, leaving Captain Lord Colville 
in command, with his own ship (the Nortlmmherland, 70), the 
Alcide, 64, the Trident, 64, the Pembroke, GO, the Prince of 
Orange, 60, and several frigates, in North America. The Eace- 
horse, bomb, Commander George Miller (1), and Porcupine, 14, Com- 
mander John Macartney, were left to winter at Quebec. 

After the British fleet had retired, the French ships at Batiscan 
also fell down the river, waiting at Cape Eouge for a fair wind to 
carry them past the batteries of Quebec. On November 2'2nd, three 
of them, the merchantmen Soleil Boyal, 24, Senecterre, 24, and Due 
de Fronsac, 24, drove ashore in a gale and were lost. On the 24th, 
in the night and on the ebb, the rest came down with a favourable 
breeze ; and, although the garrison was ready for them, and every 
VOL. III. p 

210 MAJOR OrEIiATIONS, 1714-17C2. [1759. 

possible gun was fired at them, they all got past safely except one, 
another merchantman, the Elisabeth, which took the ground on the 
south side of the river. Her crew made preparations for blowing 
her up, and then with the assistance of the crews of the merchant- 
men Macliault, 24, and Chezine, 22, boarded and carried a British 
schooner in which they escaped. On the following morning Com- 
mander Miller, of the Racehorse, went on board the Elisabeth, and 
ordering a light to be struck, inadvertentl}- blew up the ship and 
destroyed most of his party. He and his lieutenant survived to 
be removed, but were so fearfully injured that they died within a 
few days. 

The campaign was a most successful one, chiefly because the 
French had made but faint efforts to divert British attention from 
the main objects which were kept in view by Mr. Pitt. On the 
other hand, the British would not allow their attention to be 
diverted in the shghtest degree. Beatson rightly observes that : — 

" liad M. de Boiupart, when he found he coidd not prevent the island of Guadeloupe 
fi'oni falling into our hands, steered for Xew York with his squadron, he might have 
made such an imjjression there as would have obliged General Amherst either to come 
himself, or at least to make such a detachment from his army as would jierhaps have 
disabled him from acting on the offensive for the remainder of the campaign. From 
Xew York, M. de Borapart might have gone to Halifa.':, or St. .John's, Xewfoundland, 
or both. An attack on either of these pJaces would have obliged Admiral Saunders to 
make such a detachment from his fleet as might have greatly diminished our eflbrts 
before Quebec, and, perhaps in the end, would have proved the ruin of the enterprise; 
while before such detachment covdd have been able to overtake jNI. de Bompart, he 
might have done his business, and sailed for Europe." 

It was of course ine\'itable, when France was straining all her 
resources in order to invade Great Britain and Ireland, and when 
there were no considerable British forces in the Mediterranean, that 
she should endeavoiu- to collect as large a naval force as possible at 
Toulon, and then to send it round to join her main fleet at Brest. 
Vice-Admiral Broderick commanded in the Mediterranean. Early 
in the spring of 1759 his small squadron was reinforced by several 
ships from England, and he received, and w^as able to cany out, 
orders to watch Toulon. But Pitt was not content with merely 
reinforcing the Mediterranean fleet. On April 14th, Admiral the 
Hon. Edward Boscawen, with three more sail of the Une and some 
frigates, left Spithead to take over for a time the chief command on 
the station, and on April 27th he arrived at Gibraltar. There he 
made arrangements as to the dispositions of criusers and convoys ; 


and, sailing on May 3rd, joined Vice-Admiral Broderick off Cape 
Sicie on May IGth, and assumed the command. 

The French sqnadron prepared at Toulon was in charge of 
M. de La Clue; and, when the British arrived oft" the port, it was 
almost ready for sea. The French were carefully blockaded, or 
rather, watched with a view to preventing them from leaving 
without being detected and followed. On June 7th, before they 
attempted to come out, Boscawen chased two French frigates, and 
drove them into a fortified bay near Toulon, whither on the 8th, he 
ordered the Gulloden, Conqueror and Jersei/, under the orders of 
Captain Smith Callis, to proceed, and, if possible, destroy them. 
The ships were gallantly taken in ; liut, when under the batteries, 
they were becalmed ; and, after a sharp two hours' engagement, they 
had to be recalled without having accomplished their object. The 
Gulloden lost 16 killed and 26 wounded : the Conqueror, 2 killed and 
■4 wounded : and the Jersey, 8 killed and 15 wounded ; and all the 
vessels were badly damaged aloft. 

The Admiral continued on his station until he was compelled, at 
the beginning of July, to go to Gibraltar for provisions and repairs. 
Preferring Salou ' for watering purposes, he put in there on the 8th, 
remaining until the '24th ; and thus he only reached Gibraltar on 
August 4th. Meanwhile he ordered the Lyme, 24, Captain James 
Baker, to cruise off Malaga, and the Gibraltar, 24, Captain 
William M'Cleverty, to cruise between Estepona and Ceuta to keep 
watch for the enemy. On August 17th the latter descried the 
French fleet, consisting of ten sail of the line, two fifty-gun ships 
and three frigates, close in under the Barbary shore. Captain 
M'Cleverty made at once for Gibraltar, and arrived off Europa Point 
at 7.30 P.M., when he signalled the force and situation of the enemy 
to the Admiral, who sent off an officer to the Gibraltar, ordering 
her to keep sight of the foe and from time to time to signal to him 
accordingly. The British squadron was not quite ready for sea, and 
Boscawen's flag-ship, the Na)niir, in particular, had not so much as 
a single sail bent. Still, a little before 10 p.m., the whole fleet, of 
thirteen sail of the line and two fifty-gun ships besides frigates, was 
out of the bay. 

Owing to the haste in which they had gone out, and to the 
Admiral, after leaving harbour, carrying a press of sail to the 
westward, the ships were, on the following morning, in two well 
' A few miles soutU-west of Tarragona. ■ 

p 2 




defined divisions. The Warsjxite, Culloden, Swiftsure, Intrepid, 
America, Portland, and Guernsey, whicli liad lain at anchor near the 
Namur and had put to sea along with her, were still with her. 
Vice-Admiral Broderick, in the Prince, with the rest of the 
squadron, was many miles astern. At 7 a.m. on the 18th, ^ the 
advanced division sighted the enemy to the westward. There were 
then visible only seven sail, and it afterwards proved that the rest 
had gone, without orders, into Cadiz during the night. De La Clue 
first thought that the ships coming up behind him were his own 
missing vessels ; but he was disabused when Boscawen signalled a 
general chase to the N.W. At 9 a.m. the British Admiral ordered 
his sternmost ships to make more sail. This soon had the effect of 
bringing up the Vice-Admiral's division, which enjoyed a fine easterly 

^ Bi'itisli and French fleets oft' Gibraltar in August, 1759: indicating, the order in 
which the advanced British ships got into action on August 18th ; the loss suft'ered hy 
each in the action ; and the fate of the French ships. 












Ailmiral Hon. Edward 

Ocian^. . . 



G. Naviur . . 


Boscawen (B). J- 



RedvutabU . 


;Capt. Watt hew Buckle( 1) 

Centaure . . 


Vice-Admiral Thomas 
. Broderick (B). 

Tt-nuraire . . 



Prince - . 


IfocUste. . . 


Capt. Joseph Peytou(l). 

Souverain . . 


[Escaped, Ang. 
j 18-19. 

Newark. . 


„ William Hol-l 
[ bourne. / 


Guerrier . . 
Fantasque . . 


5. WaTsplte . 

'< 1 

„ John Bentley. 



Lion . . . 


I. Culloden . 

74 j 

„ Smith Callis. 



Triton . . . 


Parted company, 
Ang. 17-18; 
and entered 

Conqueror . 
.7. Swiflmre . 


„ William Lloyd (l).i 


Fier. . . . 



,, Tbom-is Stanhope. 



orifiamme. . 


JSdgar . . 


f „ Francis William 
1 Drake. 

Chimere . . 



St. Albans . 


,, Edward Vernon (2), 



Mintrve . . 


8. Jntrepul . 


„ Edward Pratten. 



Gracieuse . . 


2. America . 


,, .James Kirke. 



Pr ince ss\ 
Louisa . i 


„ Robert Hailand (2). 1 

Jersey . . 


„ John Barker (!■). 

4. Guermey . 


fl.ieut. Michael Kearnv) 
I (acting). / 


3. Portland . 


Capt. Jervis Slaplesdeu. 





„ Eichard Gwynn. 

liainbmv . 


„ Christopher Basset. 

Shann&n . 


„ Charles Meadows. 

Active . . 


„ Herbert Sawyer(l) 

Tltetis . . 


„ John aioutray. 

Lyme . . 


,, James Baker. 

Gibi-aXtar . 


f „ -William ll'Cle- 
l verty. 

Glasgow , 


„ Andrew Wilkinson 

Sheerness . 


„ John Clark (1). 

Tar tar' $] 
Prize. .} 


„ Thomas Baillie(l) 

Favourite . 


Com. Timothy Edwards. 

Gramont . 


„ Philip Affleck. 

jKina, f.s. . 


,, Richard Bi. kerton. 

f.s. . .] 


f ,, Hod. John Leve- 
1 son Gower. 

1 Excbauged ships. 

2 Flag of M. de La Clue. Suffren. who iu her, thus became fur the second tim-j a pnsuuer to the British. 


breeze, while the enemy had barely enough wind to give them 
steerage way. Thus the British gained on the chase till, at about 
1.25 P.M., Boscawen signalled to engage. 

At 1.30 P.M. the enemy began to fire at the headmost British 
ships as they came up ; and since Admiral Boscawen perceived that 
the French intended to make off as soon as the breeze should reach 
them, he naturally desired that the most advanced ships of his fleet 
should push on and attack the enemy's van, to stop their flight until 
his remaining ships could get up. He therefore ordered the America 
and Gnernseij to make more sail. At about 2.30 p.m. the GiiUocleii 
began to fire on the Ceiitaure, the rear ship of the enemy ; and, very 
soon afterwards, the America, Portland, Guernsey and Warspite got 
into action. The wind had by that time dropped altogether, so far 
as the ships which were in action were concerned. The British rear 
division, however, still had a breeze, and was thus able to get up in 
time to have a share in the victory. 

Boscawen, himself, in the Namur, was in action with the stern- 
most ships of the enemy at about 4 o'clock. The Swiftsure and 
Intrepid were at that time to windward of him ; and, hailing the 
former, he ordered her to push on for the enemy's van ship. By 
about 4.30 p.m., the Namur was close alongside the Ocean; and, 
when the two had been engaged for about half-an-hour, the Namur, 
having lost her mizenmast and both topsail yards, was disabled, and 
fell astern. De La Clue made every effort to take full advantage of 
this misfortime to the British flagship. Each of his vessels, except 
the Centaure, set all possible sail to get away; but the Centaure had 
been engaged by every ship as she came up, and had stood the brunt 
of the fight. At last, her fore and main topmasts had fallen ; and 
she was so greatly damaged in every respect that she had no alter- 
native but to strike. 

The misfortune to the British flagship did not afl'ect the energy 
and activity of the British Admiral, who ordered out his barge and 
was rowed at once to the Newark, and there hoisted his flag. But, 
by that time, the battle proper had almost ceased, and the pursuit 
had begun. Boscawen continued it during the whole night. Though 
there was a fine breeze, there was also a slight haze ; and, under 
cover of this, two of the French ships, the Souverain and Guerrier, 
altered their course in the darkness and so escaped. Thus, at day- 
light on the 19th only four sail of the enemy were to be seen. The 
British were about three miles astern of them, and about fifteen 

214 MA.TOll OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1759. 

miles from Lagos. Once more the wind had almost died away. At 
about 9 o'clock the Oram ran amoDg the breakers, and the three 
other ships anchored under the Portuguese batteries. Boscawen 
thereupon sent the Intrepid and America to destroy the Ocean, 
which, in taking the ground, had carried away all her masts. 
Captain Pratten had anchored ; and he failed to carry out the order ; 
but Captain Kirke, taking in the America very close, discharged a 
few guns into the enemy at point-blank range, and obliged her to 
strike. M. de La Clue, who had one leg broken and the other 
injured, and who eventually died of his wounds at Lagos, had been 
landed about half-an-hour previously. Captain Kirke took possession 
of the French flagship ; and having removed such officers and men as 
were found in her, he set her on fire, deeming it impossible to bring 
her off. The Warnpite was ordered in against the Temeraire, 74, 
and succeeded in bringing her out very httle damaged. Vice-Admiral 
Broderick's division went against the remaining two ships, and, 
after about half-an-hour"s action, captured the Mocleste, 64. The 
Bedoutahle, 74, having been abandoned, and being found to be 
bulged, was burnt. In this action the enemy's loss was very severe 
in killed and wounded. In the Centaure alone, about 200 were 
killed. The loss of the British, on the other hand, was very small, 
amounting only to 56 killed and 196 wounded.^ 

"The Britii^b," says Beatson, "as well as the French Admiral, was not quite well 
pleased with the behaviour of his captains, some of whom, he thought, did not make 
sail enough to get up with the van of the enemy's fleet, which the Admiral wished they 
should attack, in order to retard their flight until the rest of the squadron should be 
able to join in the action. Others, through mismanagement, he thought, had allowed 
their ships to fall to leeward, after they had engaged the enemy some time, and there- 
fore could not properly get into action again. But great allowance ought to be made 
for this, for just as the British ships came up with the enemy's rear, the wind died 
away. They attacked the enemy on the lee side, in order that they might be able to 
open their lower ports, some of the shi])S carrying them very low. Another reason why 
some of the British ships fell so much to leeward was that the French Admiral, on 
perceiving Admiral Boscawen in the Namur, and some ships along with him, pressing 
forward to attack his van and centre, made his fleet lufl' up as much as they possibly 
could, so as to form a sort of crescent ; by which position the whole of his shipis in 
their van and centre were enabled by their fire, not only to assist the rear, but each 
other, in their endeavours to repel the attack, which they looked for every moment 
from the British Admiral. By this manauvre of M. de La Clue's, such of our ships as 
first got up with the enemy's rear, and to leeward of their line, were thrown out of 
action ; while, for want of sufficient breeze of wind, they could not get into it again. 
The Portland, having lost her foretopmast, dropjied astern. The Tntrepid was to win<l- 
ward of the Namur; she did not bear down close enough, but kept aloof, and fired at 
the enemy across the other ships." - 

' Boscawen's Disp. -See table p. 212, antea. ^ ' Nav. and Mil. Mems.,' ii. 318. 

1759.] BLOCKADE OF CADIZ. 215 

Boscawen, who said of the battle, " It is well but it might have 
been a great deal better," presently rehoisted his flag in the Namur, 
and despatched Captain Matthew Buckle, in the Gibraltar, to 
England with dispatches. Buckle was graciously received by the 
King, and presented with .i'.500 to buy a sword. The Admiral 
himself, as soon as his fleet had repaired damages, returned, in 
accordance with his instructions, to England, taking with him the 
Namur, Wars2)ite, Swiftsure, Iiitrejnd, America and Portland, the 
Salamander and ^tna fire-ships, and the prizes Temeraire and 
Modeste. These were afterwards followed by the Edgar, Princess 
Louisa, and the prize Ccntaiire. Vice-Admiral Broderick, who 
remained in the Straits, blockaded Cadiz, in which still lay that part 
of the Erench squadron which had taken refuge there. 

Boscawen's rewards were a membership of the Privy Council 
and a generalship in the Marines. Captains Bentley, of the War- 
spite, and Stanhope, of the Swiftsure, were knighted for their share 
in the action ; and the three prizes were purchased, and added to 
the Navy under their Erench names. 

Broderick blockaded Cadiz very closely ; but, on November 9th, 
he was driven from his station by a storm, and was obliged to send 
his flagship to Gibraltar to refit, and to hoist his flag on board the 
Conqueror. The Newarh and Culloden had to cut away all their 
masts, and run for port. Returning off Cadiz, Broderick contniued 
the blockade as before ; but the enemy, though by that time sixperior 
in strength, declined to come out and offer him battle. The Vice- 
Admiral being a second time driven from his station by a storm, the 
Erench at length ventured forth, and were happy enough to get 
safely back to Toulon. 

Eear-Admiral George Brydges Eodney was sent in the summer 
with a light squadron,^ consisting of one ship of the line, four fifty- 
gun ships, five frigates, a sloop and six bomb ketches, to endeavour 
to destroy the flat-bottomed boats, and the supplies which had been 

' Squadron under Eear- Admiral Rodney in the Channel, 17.5'.l: Achilles, 60, Hear- 
Admiral George Brydges Dodney, Caiitaiu the Hon. Samuel Barrington ; Chatliam, 50, 
Captain John Lockhart ; Deptford, 50, Captain John Holhvell ; Isis, 50, Captain 
Edward Wheeler; Norwich, 50, Captain George Darb.v; Brilliant, 'i&, Ca.\^is.m Hj'de 
Parlser (1) ; Juno, 36, Captain Henry John Philips ; Vestal, -32, Captain Samuel Hood (1) ; 
Boreas, 28, Captain Hon. Robert Boyle ; Unicorn, 28, Captain Thomas Graves (2) ; 
Wolf, 16, Commander Hugh Bromedge ; Furnace, bomb, Commander Jonathan 
Faulknor (1) ; Firedrake, bomb, Commander James Orrok ; Basilisk, bomb, Com- 
mander John C'larke(l); Mortar, bomb. Commander Joseph Hunt; Carcass, bomb. 
Commander Charles luglis (1) ; and Blast, bomb, Conuuander Thomas Willis. 

210 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1702. [1769. 

collected a,t Le Havre for the projected invasion of England. Sailing 
from St. Helen's on July 2nd, 1759, he anchored on the 3rd in the 
Koad of Le Havre, and stationed his bombs in the channel leading 
to Honiieur. These threw shells into the town, magazines, and 
boats for fifty consecutive hours, and did immense damage, without 
receiving any injury worth mentioning. Rodney, with some of his 
frigates, remained off the port for the rest of the year, and captured 
numerous prizes. 

Admiral Sir Edward Hawke sailed in June, with a fleet of 
twenty-five sail of the line and many frigates, to blockade or, more 
strictly, to observe the enemy in Brest. He cruised some leagues at 
sea, leaving an inshore squadron of his hghter ships, under Captain 
the Hon. Augustus John Hervey, of the Monmouth, 64, close off the 
port. He also detached Commodore John Eeynolds (1), in the 
Firm, 50, with a small squadron, to watch the French transports 
which had assembled in the river Morbihau in preparation for the 
invasion of Ireland. ^Vhen at length the Firm became very foul and 
had to go home to refit, she was relieved by the Rochester, Commo- 
dore Eobert Duff. In the course of the blockade the Achilles, 60, 
Captain the Hon. Samuel Barrington, also had to go home, having 
run on a rock when in pursuit of some French vessels. It may be 
mentioned that, during part of the summer. Prince Edward 
Augustus, afterwards Duke of York, again served as a midshipman, 
with Captain Lord Howe, in the Magnunime, 74. 

Numerous brushes with the enemy relieved the tedium of the 
blockade. On one occasion the French sent out four ships of the 
line to attack the inshore squadron ; but Hervey, instead of retiring, 
went to meet them ; and, the fleet making as if to support him, the 
French withdrew. The intention had been that, if Hei-\-ey had 
drawn off and left the coast clear, the four ships of the hne should 
have gained the mouth of the Morbihan, crushed Duff, and then 
escorted the French invasion of Ireland. Hervey and the inshore 
squadron continued verj' active, and greatly annoyed the enemy, 
until in October the Monmoutli, which had become very leaky, had 
to return to England. 

The approach of the season of bad weather seemed to afford the 
French better opportunities for putting into execution their scheme 
of invasion, it being impossible, in those days, for a blockading 
squadron, no matter how strong or how ably commanded, to alwaj's 
maintain its position dm-ing the autunni and winter. A \aolent gale 

1759.] IIAWKE AND DE COyFlAyn. 217 

of wind, in fact, forced Hawkc from his station on November '.)tii, 
and obliged him to put into Torbay. This storm proved the salva- 
tion of M. de Bompart, who, with his squadron, was returning from 
the West Indies, and who must otherwise have been snapped up by 
the British fleet. Most of the inen of his ships were turned over to 
the fleet under M. de Conflans, who learnt by the arrival of M. de 
Bompart that the British had Ijoen driven from off the port. 

With the hope of being able to effect something against Commo- 
dore Duff, de Conflans put to sea on November 14th. Hawke on the 
same day got under way from Torbay, and on the 15th was in- 
formed by Captain William M'Cleverty, of the Gihndtar (the same 
who three months earlier had warned Boscawen of the approach of 
M. de La Clue), that the Brest fleet had sailed, and that it had been 
seen twenty-four leagues N.W. of Belle Isle, steering S.E. Hawke, 
with strategical intuition, made for Quiberon Bay with all possible 
sail, rightly judging that the French would take advantage of their 
brief liberty in order to make for that neighbourhood, so as to free 
the transports which were blockaded by Duft' in the Morbihan. But 
he was unable to proceed with the speed he desired. Wind from 
the S. by E. and S. drove him considerably to the westward and 
delayed him. On the 19th, however, the wind became fair ; and, on 
that day, Hawke ordered the frigates Muidstuiie and Govcntrij ahead 
of the fleet, one on the starboard and the other on the larboard bow. 
Early in the morning of the 20th he also ordered the Magnanime 
ahead to make the land. 

The contrary wind which had baffled Hawke also retarded 
de Conflans, and was instrumental in saving Duff, who received his 
first news that the Brest fleet had put to sea by Captain Gamaliel 
Nightingale, of the Vengeance, on the morning of the 20th. Night- 
ingale on entering the bay had fired guns to alarm the Commodore. 
Duff realised at once the danger that was upon him, and immediately 
made the signal for his ships to cut their cables. In a few minutes 
they were all under way. He attempted to take them out to sea 
round the north end of Belle Isle, but, the wind shifting, the 
Belliqueux, 64, Captain Thomas Saumarez, was the onl}' one which 
escaped by that passage. She was not able to rejoin until three 
days after the battle. Duff then tried to escape by the south end of 
the island ; and, in doing so, he was observed by de Conflans, who 
made the signal to chase. The Chatham, 50, which sailed very badly, 
was almost within gunshot of a French seventy -four, when a man 




on the main-top-gallant yard of the Bochester hailed that he saw a 
sail, and, presently, that he saw a fleet. The Commodore quickly 
made out what the fleet was, and at once ordered his little squadron 
to tack and chase the enemy. At first the French were puzzled by 
this change of policy; but, as soon as de Conflans discovered the 
cause, he recalled his chasers ; and Duff's squadron was thus enabled 
in the course of the day to join Sir Edward Hawke. 

At about 8.30 a.m. the Maidstone signalled that she had sighted 
a fleet ; and at 9.45 the Mcujnanime announced that the strangers 
were enemies. The French were at that time rehnquishing the chase 
of the Commodore's squadron, and Belle Isle bore E. by N. j N.^ 

Hawke instantly made the signal for a line of battle abreast, in 
order to draw up his ships ; and he followed it soon afterwards with 
the signal for the seven ships which were nearest the enemy to 

' List of the British and French fleets in the action in Quiberon Ba}', November 
20th, 1759 :— 









lioyal Gejrgi; . . 


1 Admiral Sir E^lnard Hawke, 
■ K.B. 

Soleil lioyal 


80 2 

(Beached and burnt 
I by the French. 

(Capt. John Campbell (1). 

Tonnant. . . 

, 80 3 

To the Charente. 

iVke-Ailmiral sir Charles 

Formidahh . 

80 4 


Vnivn .... 


\ Hardy (-2). 
(Capt. John Evaus. 

Orient . . . 
Jntrepidc . . 


|To the Charante. 



,, Thomas Graves (2). 



,. Vilaine. 

Namur .... 


,, :\latthew Buckle(l). 

Thesee . . . 





Commoil. Jauie.s Youiig (1). 

Heros . . . 


|Tak>'U, wrecked. 

WarspiU . . . 


Capt. Sir John Bentley, Kt. 

I and burnt. 

HoxuUs. . . . 


,, William Fortescue. 

Jiohuste , . . 


To the Vilaine. 

Torhau .... 


f „ Hon. Angustus Kep- 
l pel. 

yfagnifique . . 



,. Charente. 



„ Viscount Howe. 

Superbf. . . . 






,, Henry .Speke. 
f „ Hon. George EiJg- 
[ cnmbe. 

Dauphin lioyal 
Dragon . 


}To the Charente. 




Sivi/tsure . 


/ „ Sir Thumas Stanhope. 
I Kt. 

Sjikinx . 
Solitaire . . 


\ „ Vilaine. 

Dorsetshire . . . 


„ Peter Deuis. 

Brillant, . . 


„ Charente. 

Burfurd . . . 


,, James Cambier (1). 

Eveill*- . . , 


„ Viliine. 

Chichester . . . 


„ AViUiamSaltreu W'illett. 

Bizarre . . . 


„ Charente. 

Temple .... 


f „ Hou.>Va.shiDgtuuShir- 
l ley. 

mjiexiblt . . 


„ Vilaiu?. 

Hevenge .... 


„ John Storr. 

Vestale. . . . 



Essex ^ .... 


,, Lucius O'Brien. 
„ Thomas Shirley. 

Aigrette. . . 
Calypso . . . 


> ,, Vilaine. 

Intrepid, . . . 


,, Jervis jMapIesdeu. 

Prince Noir 




,, Jo.shua Rowley. 

Dttnhirk . . . 


,, Hon. Roliert Digbv. 

Defiance . . . 


„ Patrick Bair.l. 
„ Robert Duff. 

Rochester . . . 

Portland . . . 


„ :MaiTiot Arbutbnot. 

falMund . . . 


,, Francis Samuel Drake. 

Chatham . . . 


„ John Luckhart. 


Minerva . . . 


„ Al-'xaud r Arthur Hood. 



,, Thumaj? Harrisuu (2). 

Vengeance . . . 


„ Gamaliel Nightingale. 



„ Francis Burslem. 

Maidstone . 


„ iJudtey Digge-s. 

Sapphire . . . 


,, Jchn Strachau. 

1 Wrecked. 

- Flag of M. de Confian>, \'iLe-Admiial. 

Flag of the Prince de Bauffremout-Listenois, Chef d'Escadre. 
Flag of M. St. Andre dn Verger, Chef d'Escadre. 


chase, draw into line of battle ahead of him, and endeavour to arrest 
the French until the remainder of the fleet could get up and bring 
about a general engagement. 

Upon realising that they were in the presence of the British, the 
enemy fell into some confusion, but, in the course of a short time, 
seemed to arrive at a determination to fight, and endeavoured to 
form a line. While they were executing this manoeuvre, the British 
approached very rapidly, the wind being then nearly west. De Con- 
flans then suddenly altered his mind, and, instead of waiting to 
engage, made off. He was near his own coasts, with the difficulties 
and dangers of which he was fully acquainted and presumably knew 
well how to avoid, while the British were on a lee shore, vdth which 
they were unfamihar. The weather was tempestuous and was 
rapidly growing worse ; and the November day would soon end. 
De Conflans therefore endeavoured to keep his fleet together, and 
steered right before the wind for the land, which was not more than 
about twelve miles distant.^ 

The wind, as the short afternoon drew to its close, was variable 
between N.W. and W.N.W., and blew in heavy squalls. Yet both 
fleets crowded sail, the French to escape, and the British to overtake 
them. At 2 p.m. the enemy began to fire at the leading ships of 
the British fleet; and, half-an-hour later, when the Warspitc ix,i\A 
Dorsetsliire were close up with the enemy's rear, Hawke made the 
signal to engage. The British fleet was then to the soirth of 
Belle Isle. A little later the Bevenge, Magnanimc, Torhay, Montagu, 
Besolution, Swiftsure and Defiance got into action, and hotly 
engaged the French rear. Yet this fact did not prevent the 
French admiral, who was in the van, from leading round the 
Cardinals. The Formidahle , carrying the flag of Eear-Admiral 
du Verger, was attacked by the Besolution, and, in addition, 
received a broadside or two from every other British ship that 
passed her ; and, having been severely treated, she struck about 
4 o'clock. The loss on board of her was terrible, M. du Verger 
and upwards of two hmidred others being killed. The Formidable 
was taken possession of by the Besolution. In the meantime, the 
ships of the British rear were straiiaing to get into action. The 
Thes4e, Captain de Iversaint ^ was hotly engaged by the Magnanime, 

' For Quiberon Bay and its neigUbourhooil, see chart facinsj; p. 4:88, in A'ol. II. 
- Guy Siinon de Caetnainpreu, Comte de Kersaint ; bora, 1709; entered the navy 
as a seaman, 1722; lieutenant, 1742; captain, 174.5. In Benommee captured Prince 

220 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1759. 

but was relieved by the disablement of the British ship, which, 
being fouled by one of her consorts, fell astern. Very soon after- 
wards the ThesSe was tackled by the Torbay ; and, in the contest 
which resulted, she capsized and foundered, chiefly owing to the 
fact that her captain, from motives of self-pride, persisted in fighting 
his lower deck guns, regardless of the stormy state of the weather. 
All her crew of about eight hundred men, except twenty, were lost. 
The Torbaij, owing to similar causes, was at one time in danger of a 
like fate ; but Captain Keppel closed his ports in time, and saved 
her. Another French ship, the Siq^erhe, foundered at about the 
same time. 

Owing to the gale, the lee shore, and the gathering darkness, 
there was at that time great confusion ; and it is almost impossible 
to tell exactly what happened. But it would appear that after 
having engaged the Thesee, and having been fouled first by the 
Warspite and then by the Montagu, Lord Howe, in the Magnanime, 
observed the French Hems somewhat disabled to leeward, and, 
bearing down and ranging alongside, quickly obliged her to strike. 
The Heros anchored, but, owing to the weather, no boat could be 
sent to take possession of her ; and, later, her captain ran her ashore 
and lauded his crew. As night fell, the enemy's fleet divided ; part, 
under M. de Beaufiremont, the vice-admiral, making to the south- 
ward within the Four Bank, and probably designing to attract the 
British into danger. 

But Hawke would not be tempted to pursue them. Night was 
come ; islands, rocks, and shoals were all around ; no pilots were on 
board ; the charts were indifferent, and the weather was terrible. 
Hawke, therefore, made the signal to anchor, and came to in fifteen 
fathoms of water, the Isle de Dumet bearing E. by N. two or thi'ee 
miles distant, the Cardinals W. ^ S., and the steeples of Le Croisic 
S.E., as was discovered in the morning. Unfortunately, the signal 
was not taken in, and, consequently, was not obeyed, b}^ many ships 
of the British fleet. According to the code then in use, the signal to 
anchor by night was made by firing two guns from the flagship, 

of Orange. Commanded the Alcide in the East Indies. Some French accounts state 
that the Thesee was sunk at Quiberon owing to being run do^vn by Hawke's flagship 
while de Kersaint was going to the assistance of the Soleil Boyal ; but these are 
clearly incorrect. The Coimfs son, who saw his father sink at Quiberon, was later a 
distinguished naval officer, but, meddling with politics, was guillotined in 1793. He 
was then a vice-admiral. 

1759.] rilK DATTLE OF QUIBERON BAY. 221 

without using lights or any other indications to distinguish the 
j)articular purpose for which the guns were fired. At a moment 
when there was still a certain amount of firing going on on all sides, 
the discharge of two guns from the flagship could of course not be 
recognised as a signal except by the few vessels which chanced to be 
so near the Admiral as to be aware that he had anchored. The 
others either stood out to sea or anchored, as prudence suggested. 
Had the French only known the dangerous position in which the 
unsatisfactory nature of the signal book had left their enemy during 
that stormy night, they might, in the morning of the 21st, have 
attacked the small body remaining at anchor near Hawke, and 
perhaps have won a decided and complete victory by the mere 
strength of superior forces. 

The night was dark, and even more boisterous than the evening 
had been ; but, though guns of distress were heard from all sides, it 
was not possible to send assistance to anyone. On the morning of 
the 21st the Besoliitioii was seen to be ashore, and the French Heros 
was on the Four Bank. De Conflans's flagship, the Soleil lioyal, in 
the obscurity overnight, had come to anchor in the very midst of the 
British ; and, when at daylight she perceived her situation, she 
slipped her cable and tried to get away, but presently went ashore 
near the town of Le Croisic. No sooner was she observed to be in 
motion than Hawke sigiralled the Essex to slip and pursue her ; but 
in the ardour of the chase the Essex unfortunately got on the Four 
Bank and was also wrecked. It was seen that, while the French 
vice-admiral had gone to the southward with part of the fleet, the 
remainder had stood to the N. and was engaged in the mouth of the 
river Vilaine in getting out guns, stores, etc., and endeavouring to 
find a haven up the river. On the 21st and 22nd, by taking ad- 
vantage of the flood tide and of what vnnd there was under the land, 
all of them got into the river, whence several of them could never be 
brought out again. On the 22nd Hawke ordered the Soleil Boijal 
and Heros to be set on fire. The French, however, anticipated him 
by themselves burning the former. 

On the British side the number of men killed in the action did 
not exceed fifty, and only about two hundred and fifty were 

As soon as it became known in England that the French had 
sailed from Brest, the excitement was great, and every effort was 
' Ha\vke"s Disp. of Xuvember 24 th. 




made to meet the situation. Eear- Admiral Geary was detached 
with a reinforcement of ships ' for Hawke ; and other vessels capable 
of putting to sea were ordered to be in readiness at a moment's 
notice. Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders, returning from the con- 
quest of Quebec, learnt in the chops of the Channel that the French 
were out and that Hawke had gone in chase of them. Though he 
had with him but three ships of the line,^ he realised so fully that no 
addition of forces was to be despised, and he had so strong a sense 
of his duty, that, on his own responsibility, he steered for Quiberon 
Bay with all the sail he could set. But neither Geary nor Saunders 
joined Hawke ere the battle. Geary anived several days too late, 

(From an oriijinal kindly lent by B.S.H. Captain Prince Louis of Battenberg, li.X.) 

and Saunders, hearing of the issue of the action,^ altered his course 
and steered again for England. 

Hawke sent home his dispatches by Captain John Campbell (1), 
who, as Captain Matthew Buckle had been, was graciously received 
by the King, and presented with i^uOO to pm-chase a sword. Hawke 
himself received the thanks of the House of Commons and a pension 
of £2000 a year. Nor were other officers who had distinguished 
themselves during the campaign forgotten. Boscawen, as has 
already been mentioned, was made General of Marines ; Vice- 

' Sandwich, 90, Rear-Admiral Francis Gear)', Captain Kichard Xorbury; Foud- 
roijant, 84, Captain Richard Tyrrell; Bienfaisant, G4, Captain George Balfour; 
AmerirM, 60, Captain .James Kirke; Anson, 60, Captain Matthew Whitwell; Firm, 60, 
Captain John Reynolds (1); and Juno, 32, Captain Henry John Philips. 

^ Somerset, 64, Vice- Admiral Charles Saunders, Captain Edward Hughes; Van- 
(jmird, 70, Captain Robert Swanton ; and Devonshire, 66, Captain William Gordon. 

^ Mahan calls this action "the Trafalgar" of the Seven Tears' War. Gueriu 
exclaims : " C'etait La Hougue, moins la gloire et I'honneiir francais sauves." 


Admiral Saunders was made Lieut. -General of Marines, and Cap- 
tains Sir Piercy Brett (1), Kt., the lion. Augustus Keppel, and Lord 
Howe, were made Colonels of Marines. 

On the 26th Hawke sent Commodore James Young (1), with a 
squadron, to anchor in Quiberon Bay, and on the 27th detached 
Captain the Hon. Augustus Keppel, with a squadron, to Basque 
Boad, to attack such of the enemy as might be found there. But 
before the latter reached his destination, M. de Beaufifremont had 
lightened his ships and retired up the river Charente, whither the 
British vessels were unable to follow him. Neither in the Charente 
nor in the Vilaine could the fugitive ships be reached. Time, how- 
ever, eifected what force could not ; for few of the vessels were ever 
again fit for active service. Hawke was relieved by Boscawen, and 
returned to England after an absence of ten months. 

During the blockade it was notorious that no fleet employed 
on similar service had ever before been so amply suppHed with 
beer, provisions, and vegetables ; but, after the defeat of de Conflans, 
in consequence chiefly of the adverse state of the weather, supplies 
failed, and the men were obhged to be put upon short allowance. 
This gave rise to the well-known satirical lines : — 

" Ere Hawke did bang 

Monsieur Conflans, 
You sent us beef and beer. 

Now Monsieur's beat. 

We've naugbt to eat. 
Since you have noiiglit to fear." 

The small French expedition which had been assembled at 
Dunquerque for a descent upon Scotland or Ireland, and which 
was to be convoyed by Thurot, was blockaded throughout the 
summer and early autumn of 1759 by a squadron ' under Commodore 
AVilliam Boys, who, however, was driven from his station by a gale 
in October. Thurot then shpped out and made to the northward, 
Boys following as soon as possible, but not being able to overtake 
the enemy, and ultimately having to content himself with cruising 

' Squadron under Commodore William Boys, engaged in the bloL-kade of Dun- 
querque, etc., 1759: Preston, 50, Commodore William Boys, Captain John Evans; 
Antelope, 50, Captain James Webb; Pkvnix, U, Captain Christoi her Codrington 
Bethell; Danae, -iO, Captain Heniy Martin (2) ; Liverpool, 32, Captain Richard Knight; 
Stag, 32, Captain Henry Angell ; Argo, 28, Captain John Bladou Tinker ; Tweed, 28, 
Captain William Paston; 7/«ssra»-, 28, Captain Robert Carkett ; Surprise, 2i, Captain 
Charles Antrobus; Badger, li, Commander Basil Keith; Alderney, 12, Commander 
John Peighin. 

224 MAJOR OPEHAT/ONS, 171-1-1762. [1760. 

off the coast of Scotland with the object of preventing any sudden 
raid there. As Thurot's destination was unknown, and as there 
were rumours that he contemplated a blow on some port on the 
east coast of Enf^land, the squadron in the Downs/ under Com- 
modoi-e Sir Piercy Brett (1), was ordered to Yarmouth. But 
Thurot's operations in the British seas did not begin till the following 
year, and an account of them may for the present be deferred. 

During the year 17G0 the British squadrons on active service 
were disposed as follows. Commodore Sir Piercy Brett commanded 
in the Downs and North Sea ; Kear-Admiral George Brydges 
Kodney cruised in the Channel and blockaded Le Havre ; Admirals 
Sir Edward Hawke and the Hon. Edward Boscaweu reheved one 
another in Quiberon Bay, and watched the French vessels in the 
Vilaine and Charente, at Brest, Lorient, and Eochfort ; Commodore 
Eobert Swanton was despatched with reinforcements to Commodore 
Lord Colville in Korth America ; Captain the Hon. John Byron 
was sent with a squadron to destroy the fortifications at Louis- 
bourg ; Commodore Sir James Douglas (1) relieved Commodore John 
Moore (1) on the Leeward Islands' station ; Eear-Admiral Charles 
Hohnes reheved Vice-Admiral Thomas Cotes at Jamaica ; and 
five additional ships were sent to the East Indies to reinforce Eear- 
Admirals Charles Stevens and Samuel Cornish. In the Mediter- 
ranean Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders succeeded to the command. 

In the East Indies, Arcot and Carical, with many other places, 
were taken from the French, the Marines serving in several 
instances on shore, and the ships co-operating with the land forces 
whenever possible. Pondicherry was besieged and blockaded, and 
in October the boats of the fleet, under Commander William 
Newsom, acting captain of the Southsea Castle, 40, and Lieu- 
tenant Isaac Florimond Ourry, brilliantly cut out from under the 
forts the Hermione, 36, and Baleine, 32, which were afterwards 
purchased into the Eoyal Navy. The rainy season approaching, 
Eear-Admiral Stevens left five ships of the line, under Captain 
Eobert Haldane, of the America, 60, to continue the blockade, 
and himself sailed on October 28rd for Trincomale. In the mean- 

' Squadron under Commodore Sir Piercy Brett (1), Kt., in the Downs and Xorth 
Sea, 1759: his, 50, Commodore Sir Piercy Brett, Kt., Captain Edward AVheeler; 
Woolwich, 40, Captain Daniel Deriug; Aurora, 36, Captain Samuel Scott; Alarm, 32, 
Captain John Eushworth ; Aquiion, 28, Captain Chaloner Ogle (2); Tactar, 28, Captain 
John Knight (1) ; Sohhny, 24, Captain John Dah-ymple ; and Deal Castle, 24, Captain 
George Tindall. 

1760-yi.] REDUCTION OF rONDICHElUlY. 225 

time the siege was actively carried on by Lieut. -Colonel Eyre 

On December 25th, Stevens returned with four of his ships of 
the line, and resumed command off the port. On January 1st, 1761, 
a violent hurricane burst upon the shipping. Stevens, whose flag 
was in the Nur/o/k, 74, Captain Richard Kempenfelt, cut his cable, 
and by gun-signals ordered his captains to do the same ; but, owing 
to the violence of the gale and the amount of spray in the air, the 
signals were neither heard nor seen. The Panther, 60, Captain 
Philip Affleck, the America, 60, Captain Eobert Haldane, the 
Medtvaij, 60, Captain John Bladon Tinker, and the Falmouth, -50, 
Captain WiUiam Brereton, were dismasted, yet managed to ride 
out the storm. A worse fate overtook the Neivcastle, 50, Captain 
Digby Dent (3), the Queenhorough, 20, and the Protector, fireship, all 
of which drove ashore and were wrecked about two miles from 
Pondicherry, though they lost only seven of their crews. Other 
vessels were even more unfortunate. The Due cVAquitainc, 64, 
Captain Sir William Hewitt, Bart., the Sunderland, 60, Captain 
the Hon. James Colville, and the Drake, storeship, foundered with 
all hands, except seven Europeans and seven lascars. The total 
sacrifice of life was about eleven hundred souls. Stevens, however, 
resumed his position, and renewed the blockade on January 3rd, 
and was next day joined by Eear-Admiral Cornish with additional 
ships from Trincomale. Pondicherry was gradually reduced by 
famine, until on January 15th it surrendered, and was occupied on 
the 16th by the Navy and army. Thus ended the French power 
on the coast of Coromandel. 

On the Leeward Islands' and Jamaica stations the enemy was 
in force too feeble to attempt anything of moment. Indeed, onlj' 
one action that was fought in the West Indies in 1760 calls for 
mention here. In the autumn Eear-Admiral Holmes learnt that 
a French convoy, escorted by five frigates, was about to sail from 
Cape Frantjois for Europe and he despatched the Hampshire, 50, 
Captain Coningsby Norbury (2), the Boreas, 28, Captain Samuel 
Uvedale, and the Lively, 20, Captain the Hon. Frederick Lewis 
Maitland (1), to intercept them. On October 16th the French 
put to sea, the escort consisting of the vessels mentioned in the 
note.' Next morning at dawn the British ships sighted and 

1 Sir'ene, 32; Due de C/ioiseuI, 32; Prhice Edirurd, 32; Fhtir de Lys, 32; and 
Valeur, 20. 


226 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1760. 

chased them, but closed veiy slowly until evening, when the breeze 
freshened. At midnight the Boreas engaged the Sirine, but, being 
disabled aloft, fell astern, and could not come up with her again till 
2 P.M. on October 18th, off the east end of Cuba. A hot action 
then began, and at 4.40 p.m. the Sirhie struck, having lost 80 killed 
and woiinded. The Boreas had lost but one killed and one wounded. 
In the meanwhile the Hampshire and Lively had been in chase of 
the other frigates. Soon after daybreak on the 18th, the Lively, 
by using her sweeps, got alongside of the Valeur, and, after an hour 
and a half, forced her to surrender, she having lost 38 killed and 
25 wounded, and the Lively but two wounded. Both the Sirene 
and Valeur were added to the Navy under their own names. The 
Hampshire at 3.30 p.m. got between the Due de Choiseul and the 
Prince Edward, but the fonner, having the advantage of the wind, 
got into Port au Paix. The latter ran ashore and struck, but was, 
nevertheless, subsequently burnt by her crew. On the 19th the 
Hampshire and Lively were about to attack the Fleur de Lys, 
which lay in the bay to leeward of Port au Paix, w^hen the enemy 
saved them the trouble by abandoning and burning the ship. 

The conqiiest of Canada had not been completed when Quebec 
fell, and the French still cherished hopes of ousting the British 
and of regaining command of the countiy. On the other hand, 
the British were determined to make good their possession. In 
the winter of 17-59-60, a naval force consisting of the Onondaga, 18, 
Mohawk, 16, and several row-galleys and gunboats, was estabhshed 
on Lake Ontario, with a view to transporting an army down the 
St. LawTence to Montreal. This airmy, of about 11,000 men 
under General Amherst, consisted half of regulars and half of 
provincial levies, besides Indians, commanded b}' Sir "William 
Johnson, Bart. It was to be aided bj' another, of 5000 men, 
under Colonel Haviland, advancing from Lake Champlain, and by 
a third, under Brigadier-General Miu-raj-, advancing from Quebec 
up the St. LawTence. 

To help these various expeditions. Commodore Lord Colville ^ 

' Northumberland, 70, Commodore Lord Colville, Captain AVilliam Adams (2); 
Alcide, 64, Captain Thomas Hankerson ; Trident, 64, Captain Julian Legge ; Pem- 
hrol-e, 60, Captain John Wheelock; Prince of Orange, 60, Captain Samuel Wallis; 
Richmond, 32, Captain Jolm Elphinstone (1) ; Eurus, 20, Captain Nathaniel Bateman ; 
Porcupine, 16, Commander John Macartney ; and Racehorse, homb, ^vhich was already 
at Quebec. The above wintered in America, and were joined at various times by the 
Devonshire, 66, Captain George Darby; Norwich, 50, Captain William M'Cleverty; 
Greyhound, 24, Captain Thomas Francis; and Lizard, 28, Captain James Doake. 


was directed to enter the St. Lawrence as soon as the season should 
allow ; and a reinforcement ' under Commodore S wanton, consisting 
of two sail of the line, three fifty-gun ships, and four frigates, sailed 
from England early in the spring. 

Knowing of some, at least, of those preparations, the French 
made gallant attempts to seize Quebec before the river should be clear 
of ice. They sent down the St. Lawrence an army of about 14,000 
men mider M. de Levis. General Murray, underrating the force 
of the enemy, marched out and attacked him, but was defeated at 
Sillery on April •28th. Tf the French had at once followed up 
their advantage, they could probably have taken the place, but 
they let shp their chance. Murray was very active in the defence, 
and sent the RaceJiorse down the river to look for the fleet and 
hasten its arrival. On May 9th the Lowestoft, 28, Captain Joseph 
Deane, anchored in the Basin, and brought news of the near 
approach of Commodore Swanton, who, on the evening of the 
15th, arrived in the Vanguard, 70, with the Diana, 36, Captain 
Alexander Schomberg. On the 16th, in response to the expressed 
wishes of General Murray, the Vanguard, Diana and Lowestoft 
worked up towards the enemy's flotilla in the upper river, and soon 
obliged it to retire with the loss of the Poinone, 36, which grounded 
and was burnt near Cape Diamond, the Atalantc, 32, which grounded 
and was burnt thirty miles higher up, and all the other craft except 
a sloop. The active part of this work was done exclusively by the 
Diana and Lowestoft, while the Vanguard, dropping down abreast 
of Sillery, enfiladed the enemy's trenches there, and compelled their 
abandonment. Indeed, this attack induced M. de Levis to raise 
the siege on the night of the 16th, leaving behind him 44 guns, 
10 mortars, and various stores. Unfortunately, the Lowestoft, 
in returning, struck on a sunken rock and foundered, but without 
loss of life. Lord Colville, with his squadron, reached Quebec on 
the 18th. 

All was then in readiness for the projected advance against 
Montreal. General Murray's army was escorted up the river by 
the Penzance, 40, Captain William Gough, the Diana, 32, Captain 
Joseph Deane, the Porcupine, 16, Commander John Macartney, 

' Vanguard, 70, Commodore Robert Swanton; Kingston, 60, Captain William 
Parry (2); Rochester, 50, Captain Thomas Burnett; Falkland, 50, Captain Francis 
Samuel Drake; Sutherland, 50, Captain Benjamin Clive; Penzance, 44, Captain William 
Gough; Diana, 36, Captain Alexander Schomberg; Vengeance, 28, Captain Gamaliel 
Nightingale; and Lowestoft, 28, Captain Joseph Deane. 

Q 2 

228 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-17G2. [1760. 

the Gaspee, schooner, 8, and a flotilla of thirty-five small craft, it 
having embarked in forty transports on June 13th. Progress vk'as on 
several occasions challenged by French batteries ; but the various 
difficulties were slowly overcome. Behind the main force followed 
some troops from Louisbourg under Lord Kollo. In the interval, 
General Amherst was advancing down the St. Lawrence under the 
conduct of Captain Joshua Loring, K.N.' In the course of the 
advance the Onondaga was taken by the enemy, and, though 
retaken, had to be abandoned. Many boats and some small craft 
were also lost by the way, owing to the gi'eat difficulties of naviga- 
tion. On September 6th, however, the Commander-in-Chief's anny 
landed on the upper end of the Island of Montreal, nine miles above 
the city. The enemy fled, and Montreal was quickly invested. 

As for Colonel Havilaud's force, it embarked at Crown Point 
on August 11th, and, gradually driving the enemy before it, maae 
its way, partly by water and partly by laud, to Isle Ste. Therese 
near Montreal, appearing there within a few hours of the arrival 
of Amherst and Murray in the same neighbourhood. The co-opera- 
tion could not have l)een more exactly timed. 

On September 7th a cessation of hostilities was agreed to ; and 
on September 8th M. de Vaudreuil capitulated and Canada became 
British. The final conquest had been prefaced bj' the captm-e or 
destruction by Lord Colville of a large number of French privateers 
on the St. Lawrence, and by the destruction by Commodore the 
Hon. John Byron in Chaleur Bay, on July 8th, of the Macliaiilt, 32, 
Bienfaisant, 22, Marquis de Marloze, 16, and several French small 
craft which had taken refuge there in expectation of chance offering 
them some opportunity for slipping up the river. 

Captain Joseph Deane, R.N., and Major Barre carried home 
the dispatches announcing the great success. Each was presented 
with ;6500 whereveith to buy a sword. Byron, who had proceeded 
on his own responsibility to Chaleur Bay on the service above noted, 
and who had interrupted for the purpose the business of razing to 
the ground the fortifications of Louisbom-g, subsequently retm-ned 
and completed that work. 

In the Mediterranean, whither A^ice-Admiral Charles Saunders 

' .Joshua Loring came of a family which had been for some time settled in Korth 
America. Lieutenant, 1745; Commander, 1756; Captain, 1757 ; chief director of the 
Xaval Department in the Interior, and Commander-in-Chief of the Lake Flotilla, 1759- 
1701': died, 1781. 

1760.] GRUISK OF M. TIIUliOT. 229 

went as Commander-in-Chief in April, ITCiO, little of importance 
happened, owing to the overwhelming superiority of the British 
naval forces. A French division slipped out of Toulon in June ; 
but the greater part of it was driven by a squadron, under Captain 
Hugh Palliser, of the Hlircivfihunj, 74, into a port in the island of 
Candia, and was blockaded there until the British vessels had to 
withdraw for supplies and repairs, whereupon the enemy got back 
to Toulon. 

.The fortunes of M. Thurot must now be followed. Evading 
Commodore Boys, he left Dunquerque on October 15th, 1759. In 
his little squadron of six frigates and corvettes, he had thirteen 
hundred troops under Brigadier-General de Flobert.^ He first 
went to Gothenburg in Sweden, partly to procure stores, and partly, 
no doubt, to baffle pursuit or observation. There he remained for 
nineteen days, going next to Bergen in Norway. On his way 
thither, one of his ships, the Began, was so damaged in a gale as 
to be obliged to return to France. The Fa a con also parted company 
early in the voyage. Thurot quitted Bergen on December 5th, and 
proceeded, by way of Stromo, in the Faroe Islands, reaching the 
neighbom-hood of the Irish coast on January 25th, ]760. The 
weather confounded an intended descent near Londonderry, and 
scattered his squadron, so much so that the Amaranthc' never 
rejoined, and returned in some distress to St. Malo. As the 
ships were by that time all in a sorry plight, and more than one of 
them was almost mutinous, the captains implored Thurot to abandon 
the descent. But he refused, and put into Claigeann Bay, in the 
island of Islay, on February 15th, to refresh. 

Thurot left the island on February 19th, and next day anchored 
in Belfast Loiigh, opposite Kilroot Point. The town of Carrick- 
fergus was garrisoned by four newly-raised and weakly companies 
of the 62nd Eegiment under Lieut. -Colonel Jennings. Thurot 
landed about six hundred men on February 21st, and M. de Flobert, 
after comparatively little fighting, obliged Colonel Jennings to 
surrender the castle. The French requisitioned provisions from 

^ De Flobei't, from the first, threw difficulties iu Thiirot's way, regarding him with 
contempt and jealousy. 'I'liurot, as a seaman, jirohaljly had no high opinion of the 
soldier ; for, as Laughton points out (' Studs, in Nay. Hist.,' 346), even until quite 
recent times there was a saying on board ship, "a messmate before a shijiniate; a ship- 
mate before a stranger; a stranger before a dog; but. — a dog before a soldier." 

- It is tolerably certain, nevertheless, that the Amaranthe could have rejoined, 
her captain desired to do so. 




the town, and made several small prizes in the Lough, rifling 
and afterwards bui-ning them ; but de Flobert resisted Thm-ot's 
entreaties to advance and seize Belfast. The whole adventure 
cost the French about thirty killed and sixty wounded. The mayor 
and some gentlemen were carried on board as hostages, and at 
midnight on February 27th, the enemy, having re-embarked, set 
sail to return to France. 

The Duke of Bedford, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, upon getting 

news of the descent, sent expresses to all the principal ports to 

inform the captains of any of H. M. ships that might be there of 

what had happened. At Kingsale one of these expresses found 

the frigates JSolus, Pallas, and Brilliant,^ which had been driven 

from their station with Hawke's fleet on the coast of France. 

These at once jmt to sea and went north. At Dublin, on the •26th, 

the senior officer. Captain John Elhot, learnt that the enemy was 

still at Carrickfergus. That same evening, he found himseK off the 

mouth of Belfast Lough, but, the wind being contrar}-, he could 

not get in. On the 28th, at 4 a.m., he caught sight of the French 

as they rounded Copeland Island, and gave chase. " About nine," 

'continues Captain Elliot, in his dispatch of February 29th to the 

Duke of Bedford, " I got alongside their commodore ; and, in a 

few minutes, the action became general, and continued very briskly 

for an horn- and a half, when they all three struck their colours." 

The Marechal de Bdleisle alone fought well ; the Blonde and 

Terpsichore stnick almost as soon as they were engaged. EUiot, • 

with the prizes, subsequently put into Eamsay, Isle of Man, to 

refit. All the vessels were greatly disabled aloft, and the Marechal 

de Belleisle, which had suffered most of all, was with difficult}' 

prevented from sinking. 

' Squadron which, under M. Thurot, escajied from Dunquerque in 1759 ; and 
squadron which, under Captain John Elliot, met and captured jiart of it on 
February 28th. 17G0:— 








! Losses. 

Marechal de BeUtislc . . 





Faiicon ' 



Molm .... 
Pallas .... 
Brilliant . . . 


Capt. John Elliot. 
,. Hicljael Clements. 
., James Loggie. 







1 jiartei compauy before the acttou. 


The gallant Thurot,' who fell on this occasion, was an opponent 
who, in his method of carrying on the war, had never shut his eyes 
to the principles of honour, generosity, and humanity, and who 
was scarcely less lamented hy his British foes than by his own 
countrymen. The three victorious captains were unanimously 
voted the thanks of the Irish House of Commons, and the Blonde 
and Terpsichore were purchased into the Eoyal Navy. 

Admiral Boscawen, after the return of Sir Edward Hawke, 
sailed to command the fleet in Quiberon Bay, with his flag in the 
Boijal Wmiani, and with Eear-x\dmiral Francis Geary, in the 
SandwicJi, as second in command. While he was going to his 
station, the RamiUies, 90, Captain Wittewronge Taylor, of his 
squadron, went ashore on Bolt Head in a gale and was lost, the 
crew all perishing except one midshipman and twenty-five men. 
Boscawen, who was obliged by the heavy weather to return, sub- 
sequently shifted his flag to the Namtir, and proceeded. His 
cruisers took several prizes ; but the enemy's fleet did not — indeed, 
could not — come out. The blockade prevented the French from 
sending supplies across the Atlantic, and from interfering with 
British trade. In August, Sir Edward Hawke, in the lioijal 
George, reheved Boscawen, who returned to England on Sep- 
tember 1st. This was Boscawen's last service. He died at his 
house, Hatchlands, near Guildford, on January 10th, 1761." Hawke 
pursued his predecessor's policy, and was equally successful. Kear- 
Admiral Eodney, cruising ofi' Le Havre, was not less energetic. 

An expedition, to be commanded by Commodore the Hon. 
Augustus Keppel, and to be directed either against Mauritius and 
Bourbon or against the coast of France, was in preparation when, 
on October '27th, George II. died. This important event led to so 
much delay, that on December 13th orders were given for the 
fleet to return from St. Helen's, where it lay ready for sea, to 
Spithead, and for the troops on board to be disembarked. For 
that season the enterprise was given up. 

1 Fran9ois Thurot, born at Nuits, 1726. Son of a small innkeeper ; educated l.iy 
the Jesuits at Dijon ; apprenticed to a druggist ; surgeon in a privateer, 1744 ; captured 
by the British; escaped; devoted himself to privateering; lived for some time in 
London ; given a commission in the French navy ; commanded the Friponne, and, 
from 1757, the Marklud de Se/leide. His actions with the Southampton, the Seahorse, 
etc., will be found noticed in the next chapter. He was one of the boldest of the French 

" Boscawen was, however, buried in the church of St. Michael, Peukevel, Cornwall, 
where there is a monument by Eijsbraak to his memory. 


By 1760 the enemy's navy had been so nearly annihilated that 
but two or three of His Majesty's ships were taken by the French ; 
and French trade had been so diminished that the British cruisers 
made but comparatively few captures — only one hundred and ten 
vessels in all. But the British mercantile losses by the ravages 
of small privateers were enormous. As many as three hundred 
and thirty trading vessels were taken. Few of them, however, 
were of any considerable size ; and, in spite of the loss, British 
trade flourished exceedingly. It was, no doubt, chiefly owing to its 
healthy condition that the commercial marine experienced so many 

In 1761 Vice-Admiral Francis Holburne commanded at Ports- 
mouth ; Commodore Sir Piercy Brett (1) in the Downs ; Commodore 
Kobert Swanton in the Channel ; Sir Edward Hawke and Sir 
Charles Hardy (2) in Quiberon Bay till March, when Commodore 
Keppel took charge of the squadron in the Bay of Biscay ; Vice- 
Admiral Charles Saunders in the Mediterranean ; Commodore Lord 
Colville in North America ; Eear-Admiral Charles Hohnes at 
Jamaica; Commodore Sir James Douglas (1), and, at the end of the 
year, Eear-Admiral Rodney, on the Leeward Islands' station ; and 
Eear-Admiral Stevens in the East Indies, until his death, when 
the command devolved on Eear-Admiral Cornish. 

After the capture of Pondicherry, Mahe was reduced by the 
troops under Major Hector Munro, supported by four sail of the 
line under Eear-Admiral Cornish. The place siu-rendered on 
February 10th. In May Eear-Admiral Charles Stevens fell a 
victim to the unhealthiness of the climate. The French on the 
station were by that time practically helpless, and Cornish soon 
afterwards went to Bombay to refit. He then proceeded southward 
to meet an expedition which he had reason to beheve was on its 
way out, under Commodore Keppel, to attack Bourbon and 
Mauritius ; but all idea of this expedition had, in the meantime, 
been abandoned. The means taken, however, to apprise Cornish 
of the change of plans were not efficacious ; and the Eear-Admiral 
was actuallj' obliged, by scarcity of supplies, to go back to 
Madras without hearing any news from home. Two of his ships, 
however, the York, 60, Captain Henry Cowell, and the Chatham, .54, 
Captain Thomas Ljiin, being imable to keep with the fleet, had 
to bear up for the Cape of Good Hope. There they learned from 
the Terpsicliore, 26, Captain Sir Thomas Adams, Bart., that Keppel 


was no longer to be expected ; and in due course they can-ied the 
iutelhgence to the Eear-Admiral in India. 

On the Leeward Islands' station, Commodore Sir James 
Douglas (1), who was reinforced by four sail of the line and three 
frigates/ with troops from North America under Lord Eollo, 
attacked, and, on June 8th, captured, the Island of Dominica. 
During the rest of the summer, operations were chiefly confined to 
the protection of trade, and the repression of privateering. Towards 
the end of the year, it having been determined to prosecute a more 
active and offensive policy, and to largely increase the force among 
the AVest India Islands, Eear-Admiral Eodney was appointed to 
the command ; and on November 2'2nd he arrived at Carlisle Bay, 
Barbados, where he was presentl_y joined by the Temeraire and 
ActaoH, with troops from Belle Isle, and l)y a military force from 
North America under Major-General Monckton. 

On the Jamaica station there were several single-ship encounters, 
but no occurrences of first-rate importance. Eear-Admiral Charles 
Holmes, dying on November '21st, was .succeeded in the command 
by the senior officer, Captain Arthur Forrest, of the Centaur, 
pending the arrival of Sir James Douglas. In North America, 
likewise, little of moment happened, the chief business of the fleet 
being to convoy troops to the West Indies. Nor were there any 
transactions on a large scale in the Mediterranean, although the 
force there was, towards the end of the year, greatly strengthened 
by the arrival of a detachment from home under Sir Piercy Brett (1). 
The French scarcely ventured to put to sea ; and, when any of 
their ships did issue from port, they were almost invariably 

Admiral Sir Edward Hawke and Vice-Admiral Sir Charles 
Hardy (2) remained in the Bay of Biscay, watching the French ships 
in the Vilaine and Charente ; and, to better effect their purpose, 
stationed an inshore squadron, under Captain James Gambler (1), 
quite close to the mouth of the Vilaine. Yet, in spite of this 
precaution, on January 2nd, the night being dark and the breeze 
fresh, several of the French vessels slipped out thence, and, though 
chased by Gambler, escaped into Brest. After this evasion, the 

' Stiiiimj Castle, 64, Captain Michael Everitt ; yonvich, 50, Captain William 
M'Cleverty; Falkland, 50, Captain Francis Samuel Drake; Sutherland, 50, Captain 
Julian Legge; Penzance, -l-i, Ca[itain .John Boyd (acting); Repulse, 32, Captain 
John Carter Allen; and Lizard, 28, Captain James Doake. 


MAJOR OFERATIONS, 1714:-1762. 


blockading' force was needlessly large for the work remaining to 
be done, and in March Hawke returned to England, leaving behind 
him enough ships to observe the enemy's motions. 

The expedition, which had been prepared during the previous 
year, and had been destined at one time for Bourbon and Mauritius, 
and later for the coast of France, was again brought forward in 
1761, Commodore Hon. Augustus Keppel being appointed to 
command the sea, and Major-General Studholm Hodgson^ the 
laud forces. The squadron at first included ten sail of the line, 
eight frigates, three sloops, three bombs, and two fireships, but 
was eventually reinforced with five more sail of the line.^ The 
army originally consisted of about seven thousand men,^ but about 
three thousand more were subsequently sent to the scene of 

The expedition* sailed from St. Helen's on March 29th, and 
.sighted Belle Isle,^ which it was designed to attack, on April 6th. 
That evening Keppel detached six frigates to cruise between the 
island and the mainland, in order to sever communications. A 
squadron under Captain Matthew Buckle (1), consisting of thirteen 

' Later a field-marshal. 

^ British squadron employed under Commodore the Hon. Augu.stus Keppel iu the 
expedition against Belle Isle, 1761 : — 

• Ships. 






iCommod. Hou. August'is 

Moitmouth t 


Capt. .Tohn Storr. 

Valiant .... 






„ Walter Stirliug. 

(Caut. Adam Duncau. 

Launceston . . 


.. Edmnnd Affleck. 



, Kicbanl Norbury. 

Soutltamptim . 


,, Charles Antrobus. 

Dragon .... 


, Hon. Aug. John 

, Blattbew Barton. 

Melampe. . . 


r ,, William Hothara 
I (1). 

„ Matthew iloore. 

Tenu'rairt . 


Adeenture . . 


Torbay .... 


, William Brett. 

ActcEOn . . . 


,„ Paul Henry Ourry. 

Swi/tsurc . . . 



, Sir Thomas Stan- 

Flamhoroudh . 


„ Samuel Thomp.sou. 

hope, Kt. 



,. Mitchell Graham. 

ITampton Court 


, CdiT Scrope. 

Escort . . . 


Com. Charles EUys. 

Hssi:x .... 
Prince of Orantje . 



, Alexander Schom- 

My ... . 


,, George Gayton. 

, Samuel Wallis. 

Druid . . . 


f ., Hon. John Lut- 
l treU. 

Achilles .... 



, Hon. Samuel Bar- 

Firedrake. b. 


,. James Orrok. 


fv/ernal, b. 


,, James Mackenzie. 

Berol .... 


, WiUbm Fort^scue. 

Furnace^ b. . . 


,, James Chaplen. 

Buckingham i . . 


, Peter I'arker (1). 

Vesuvius^ f.s. . 


„ Jaaies Chads. 

Burforill . . . 
Chichester l . . . 



, .lames Gambier(l)- 
, William Saltreu 

JEtna, f.s. . . 


1 ,, Michael Henrv 
{ Pascal. 

I Fullowed the fleet as reinforcements. 

' Its nominal force was 9000, but the regiments were incomplete. Hodgson to 
Albemarle, March 28th, 1761. 

* For Keppel's secret instructions, see ' Life,' by Hon. and Rev. T. Keppel, i. 302. 
That biography, however, appears to contain numerous errors. 

^ For Belle Isle and neighbourhood, see chart facing p. 488 of Vol. II. 


sail of the line and three frigates/ was presently sent to cruise 
off Brest to prevent the possibility of interference from that quarter. 
Early on April 7th the fleet passed the south end of the island close 
in, so as to enable the Commodore and General to reconnoitre, 
and at noon it anchored in the Koad of Palais. The Commodore 
and General then reconnoitred more closely in a cutter, having 
first ordered the boats to be hoisted out, and the troops to be 
made ready to land. They found no place more suitable for a 
disembarkation than a l)ay near Point de Locmaria, which they 
had remarked in the morning. To distract the enemy, a feint of 
landing was made near Sauzon by a detachment under Captain 
Sir Thomas Stanhope ; and, on the morning of the 8th, the wind 
being north-east, the real landing in force was made near Port 
Andro, after the Prince of Orange, Dragon, and Achilles, with two 
bombs, had silenced a four-gun battery at the entrance of the bay. 
Commodore Keppel gave the signal for the disembarkation from the 
Prince of Orange, to which he had shifted his broad pennant from 
the Valiant. The boats were led by Captain Matthew Barton, 
and, although the enemy offered a most vigorous resistance, the 
landing was effected at three different places. But the troops found 
it impossible to hold their ground or to mount the well-defended 
slopes in front of them, and, after a hot contest, had to retreat with 
very considerable loss. The retiring boats were covered by the fire 
from the ships. 

Bad weather for several days prevented any renewal of the 
attempt ; but on the '2'2nd, while two feints were made elsewhere, 
a new landing was prepared under Major-General John Craufurd 
at Fort d'Arsic, under cover of the Sandwich, Dragon, Prince of 
Orange, two bombs, and two armed transports ; Captain Barton, 
as before, leading in the boats. The feints were ordered to be 
made by Brigadier-General Hamilton Lambart, one near St. Foy 
and the other at Sauzon. Lambart was directed, if he saw any 
probability of success, to actuall)' land, and to endeavour to hold 

' Namur, 90, Captain Matthew Buckle (1) ; Union, 90, Captain Thomas Evans ; 
Royal William, 8-1, Captain Hugli Pigot (1) ; Princess Amelia, 80, Captain John 
Montagu ; Hero, 74, Captain William Fortescue ; Fame, 74, Captain the Hon. John 
Bj-ron ; Cornwall, 74, Captain Robert Man (2); 31ars, 74, Captain Richard Sprv ; 
Bedford, 64, Captain Joseph Deane ; Prince Frederick, 64, Ca])tain Jervis MaiJesden; 
Lion, 60, Captain Edward Le Cras ; Bipon, 60, Cajitain Edward Jekyll ; Unicorn, 28, 
Captain Charles Douglas ; Tweed, 28, Captain William Paston ; Aquilon, 28, Captain 
Chaloner Ogle (2). 

2o(J Mjjuii opkhations, itu-ito:^. [itgi. 

his own. This, in fact, he did under cover of the Swiftsure, 
HamptoJi Court, Essex, and Lynn, and with the assistance of 
Marines under Lieut. -Colonel Mackenzie and Captain Murray. As 
he effected his object before the intended landing at d'Arsic had 
begun, the division intended to attack that place rowed promptly 
to Lambart's support, and enabled him to maintain his position 
and to drive back the enemy. All the troops were disembarked 
by ~) P.M., and the French retired before them to Palais. Batteries 
were erected against the town on May 2nd, and in the preliminary 
operations before the place, some Marines, under Captain David 
Hepburn, greatly distinguished themselves. On May 13th several 
advanced redoubts were carried, and the enemy was driven from 
the town to the citadel, which, from the 16th onwards, was subjected 
to a furious bombardment. On June 7th, a large breach had been 
formed ; and preparations were being made for storming it, when 
the Chevalier de St. Croix, the governor, offered to surrender. 
Possession was taken on the 8th. The British in these operations 
lost about three hundred and ten killed and five hundred wounded, 
besides many men who died of disease. During the whole pro- 
ceedings the most perfect harmony prevailed between the naval 
and the military chiefs.^ The naval dispatches were sent home 
by Caj)tain the Hon. Samuel Barrington, who, upon his arrival, was, 
as was then usual in such cases, presented by the King with £500. 
The island was held during the remainder of the war. 

After the landing on Belle Isle, Keppel, who had been again 
reinforced, despatched Sir Thomas Stanhope with a squadron - to 
attack such French ships as might be lying in Basque Eoad, and 
to destroy the works on Isle d'Aix. No ships were discovered, but 
the destruction of the works was satisfactorily accomplished by 
Captain Peter Parker (1) of the Buckingham, in company with the 
MonDiuufh and Nassau, assisted later by the Actcson, Fhj and Blast, 

' " I hear some scoundrels liave spread a report tliat the Commodore and I have 
disagreed. I lielieve there never was more friendship and more harmony between two 
persons since the creation of the world than has subsisted between us. . . . The two 
services have acted as one corps ever since we left England." Hodgson to Albemarle, 
June 8th, 1761. 

^ Swiftsure, 70, Captain Sir Thomas Stanhope ; Sandwich, 90, Captain Richard 
Norb\iry; Trident, G4, Captain Benjamin Clive; Buckinyliam, 64, Captain Peter 
Parker (1) ; Monmouth, 64, Captain John Storr ; Nassau, 64, Captain Maurice Suckling ; 
Prince of Oranrjc, 60, Captain Samuel Wallis ; Actieon, 28, Captain Paul Henry Ourry ; 

Fly, 14, Commander George Gayton ; Blast, bomb, 8, Commander ; Furnace, 

bomb, 8, Commander James Chaplen. 




and by the boats of the squadrou. The French prames from the 
mouth of the Charente endeavoured to interfere with the operations ; 
but the work was completed with very Httle loss on June "ilst 
and 2'2nd. Sir Thomas Stanhope continued on the station during 
the rest of the year, his ships being occasionally relieved. In 
December, the enemy made an ineffectual attempt to destroy them 
by means of fireships. Soon afterwards Lord Howe succeeded 
Stanhope in the command. 

It may here be mentioned, although the matter has nothing to 

{From an engraving by Rldleij after a portrait onir in llic possession of Mr. Valentine Green.) 

do with the miUtary operations of the Navy, that, in August, Lord 
Anson, as Admiral of the Fleet, hoisted his flag on board the EoyaJ 
Charlotte {ex-Boyal Caroline), yacht, in order to escort to England 
the Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strehtz, who had been 
promised in marriage to George III., and who landed at Harwich 
on September 6th. Anson's flag-captain on that occasion was 
Captain Peter Denis, and the royal yacht was convoyed by the 

238 MAJOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1702. [1701. 

Nottinglidin, 60, Captain Samuel Marshall (1), the Winchester, .50, 
Captain John Hale, the Minerva, 32, Captain Alexander Ai'thur 
Hood, the Tartar, 28, Captain John Knight (1), the Hazard, 14, 
Commander the Hon. Henry St. John (1), the Lynx, 14, Commander 
the Hon. Keith Stewart (1), and a nmnber of small yachts. 

Dux-ing the year there was a disposition, on the part of both 
belligerents, to treat for peace ; but the negotiations broke down, 
and the prospects of an amicable arrangement were seriously 
diminished by the signature, on August 15th, 1761, of what is 
known as the Family Compact, between the rulers of France and 
Spain. As soon as news of this was received in England, Pitt 
desired at once to declare war against Spain, which had for some 
time previously behaved in a manner not altogether becoming a 
neutral ; but, being overborne, he resigned. Had war been declared 
when Pitt wished, the very rich home-coming Spanish treasure- 
ships from America might have been seized. As soon as they were 
safely in port, Spain took no more pains to disguise her hostiUty, 
the consequence being that, by proclamation dated January 2nd, 
1762, war was declared by Great Britain, and, by proclamation of 
January 16th, by Spain. The Spanish court at once endeavoured 
to coerce Portugal into joining Spain and France ; but Portugal was 
loyal to her ancient ally, and manfully stood out, although war 
was very quickly declared against her as a penalty for her non- 
compliance. Substantial British miUtary support was promptly 
given her, numerous British officers joined her army, and Com- 
manders Joseph Norwood, Thomas Lee (1), and Michael Henry 
Pascal ^ took service in her Kavy. 

It was early resolved to deal with Spain in the most vigorous 
and uncompromising manner. It has been stated that a large body 
of troops had been ordered from North America to the AVest Indies 
with a view to the reduction of the French Caribbee Islands. The 
Ministry determined that these troops should be reinforced from 
England, and that, after the newly conquered islands should have 
been properly garrisoned, an expedition should proceed to the 
attack of Havana. The conomand of the army assigned for this 
ser\'ice was given to Lieut. -General the Earl of Albemarle. The 
command of the squadron w^as given to Admiral Sir George 
Pocock, K.B., with, as his second, Commodore the Hon. A. Keppel, 
the Earl of Albemarle's brother. 

' All these officers, upou their return to England after the peace, were posted. 


Another movement induced by the rupture with Spain, was the 
despatch of Commodore Sir Piercy Brett (1), with a strong reinforce- 
ment, to Sir Charles Saunders, K.B.,^ in the Mediterranean. Sir 
Edward Hawke, with Bear-Admiral the Duke of York, cruised off the 
coasts of Spain and Portugal ; and later, the same squadron, under 
command of Sir Charles Hai'dy ('2) and the Duke of York, left port a 
second time on the same errand. While arrangements were thus 
made to attack Spain in the West Indies, and, at the same moment, 
to distract her attention at home, a small expedition, under command 
of Brigadier-General Draper, was despatched from India against the 
Philippine Islands. 

On the death of Kear-Admiral Holmes, Sir James Douglas (1) was 
appointed to the command at Jamaica ; Eear- Admiral Kodney still 
commanded on the Leeward Islands' station ; and Commodore 
Lord Colville remained in North America. Commodore Spry 
cruised with a squadron of observation off Brest, until he was 
reheved by Commodore Eobert Man (2) ; and Commodore Lord 
Howe lay in Basque Eoad until he was relieved by Commodore 
Peter Denis. Admiral Holburne commanded at Portsmouth ; 
Commodore John Moore (1), in the Downs, and Commodore James 
Y'oung (1), in the Channel. 

Eear- Admiral Cornish continued to command in the East Indies ; 
but, as the French had neither settlement nor trade there, he had 
little to do against them. When, therefore, war broke out with 
Spain, he was able to devote almost his undivided attention to the 
new enemy. Colonel Draper, afterwards Sir William Draper, K.B., 
an officer who had distinguished himself at the siege of Madras in 
17-59, had devoted part of a period of sick leave to inquiring into the 
condition of the Spanish settlements in the Philippine Islands ; and 
he had discovered that the defences had been much neglected, and 
that the Spaniards there trusted rather to their remoteness than to 
their strength for their protection." Upon the commencement of 
hostilities. Colonel Draper laid his information before the Ministry, 
and measures were taken accordingly. He was at once sent to 
India in the Argo, 28, Captain Eichard Eing (1), with instructions for 
fitting out an expedition against Manilla, and with an appointment 
as commander-in-chief of the troops to be employed. The ex- 
pedition ultimately consisted of the 79th Eegiment, a company of 

' Vice-Admiral Sauuders was so installed, bj- proxy, ou May 26th, 1761. 
- As they appear to have done again in 1898. 


MAJOli OPEliATIONB, 1714-1762. 


Eoyal Artilleiy and miscellaneous bodies, which, with (530 seamen 
and 270 INIarines from the fleet, brought the total of the available 
field army up to about 2300 men, who were embarked in Eear- 
Admiral Cornish's squadron and in two East Indiamen. The 
preparations were begun and completed within three weeks. The 
Seahorse, 20, Captain Charles Cathcart Grant, was sent in advance 
to intercept any vessels that might be bound for Manilla. A 

(From a lithograijh by Bidkij, after a miniature.) 

di\asion of the fleet, under Commodore Eichard Tiddeman, sailed 
on July 29th ; and the rest, with the exception of the Falmouth, 60, 
which was left to convoy an ludiaman, followed under the Com- 
mander-in-Chief on August 1st. On August 19th the fleet ^ reached 

' Listof H.M. ships engaged in the expedition against Manilla : — Norfolk, 74, Rear- 
Admiral Samuel Cornish (Yice- Admiral, October 21st, 1762), Captain Eichard Kempen- 
felt ; Elizabeth, 64, Commodore Eichard Tiddeman, Captain Isaac Florimond Ourry : 
Lenox, 74, Captain Eobert JoceljTi ; Orafton, 68, Captain Hyde Parker (1); Wey- 
mouth, 60, Captain Richard Collins (2); America, 60, Captain Samuel Pitchford : 
Panther, 60, Commander George Ourry (acting for Captain AVilliani JTewsom) : 

17G1.] CAPTUllE OF MANILLA. 241 

Malacca, and there watered and took on board various supplies. 
On the '27th it sailed again ; and on September 23rd, to the great 
surprise of the Spaniards, who had not heard of the outbreak of 
war, it anchored off Manilla. On the 24th the town was sumnjoned, 
but without result ; and, in the afternoon, under cover of the Argo, 
Seahorse, and Seaford, some troops were landed, in spite of a heavy 
surf which caused much loss of, and damage to, material. The 
boats on this occasion were under the direction of Captains Hyde 
Parker (1), Eichard Kempenfelt and William Brereton. There was 
but shght opposition. The rest of the troops and the Marines were 
disembarked on the 25th ; and on the 2Gth a brigade of seamen, 
under Captains Collins, Pitchford and Ourry, reinforced them. On 
the following days batteries were erected and opened ; and on the 
29th the Elizabeth and Falmouth were ordered to co-operate as best 
they could with the army, by enfilading the enemy's front. By 
October .5th a practicable breach had been made in the works. 
Early in the morning of that day this was stormed with success, 
and the governor and officers were driven to the citadel, which they 
presently surrendered at discretion. Not only Manilla, but with 
it also Luzon, and all the Spanish islands, were handed over by the 
terms of the capitulation. It was arranged that Manilla should be 
ransomed for four millions of dollars to save it from pillage. Owing, 
however, to the bad faith of the Spaniards, only half of this amount 
was ever paid. The conquest, together with most of the prize 
money, was handed over to the East India Company. 

During the operations, Cornish obtained news that a galleon 
from Acapulco was on her way to Manilla. Accordingly, on 
October 4th, he despatched the FaiitJiey and Argo to intercept her. 
These failed to do so ; but they succeeded in taking, on October 31st, 
the Santisima Trinidad, which had left Manilla for Acapulco on 
August 1st, having on board treasure worth about three million 
dollars. In the meantime, the galleon from Acapulco had arrived 
at Palapa, in Samar. It was agreed that, subject to certain 
conditions, she was to be surrendered to the British ; but the 
arrangement was never carried out, and it is probable that much of 
her rich cargo eventually passed into the hands of private persons, 
who had no right to it. 

Fa! mouth, 50, Ca\ita\ri William Brereton; Ar(/o, 28, Captain Richard King(l); Sea- 
horse, 20, Captain Charles Cathcart Grant; Heaford, 20, Captain John Peighin ; and 
Southne'i Castle, store-ship. 



MAJOR OPEItATJOXS, 1711-1702. 


The operations before Manilla were less costly than might have 
Ijeeii expected. The army lost but 115 killed, drowned and 
wounded, and the Navy but 35. The only naval officer who was 
killed was Lieutenant Porter, of the Norfolk, but, unfortunately. 
Commodore Tiddeman was accidentally drowned on the day of the 
sun-ender. Captain llichard Kempenfelt was sent home with the 
naval dispatches. As a reward for the sei'vice, Coi-nish was made 
a baronet, and Draper a K.B., and each received the thanks of both 
Houses. The colours taken at Manilla were hung in the chapel 
of King's College, Cambridge, of which Draper had been a member. 

The French empire in North America had ceased to exist ; and 
its disappearance had rendered unnecessary the presence on the spot 
of part of the large body of troops which had been concerned in the 
conquest of Canada. As has already been mentioned, it had been 
decided to employ some of them against the French islands in the 
West Indies. Eear-Admiral Kodney had left England in October, 
1761, and had arrived in CarHsle Bay, Barbados, on November 22nd. 
He there found part of the squadron mider Commodore Sir James 
Douglas (1), which he speedily detached to blockade Martinique. 
Troops and transports were in the meantime assembled at Bar- 
bados ; and an improvised force of armed hired sloops was sent to 
cruise off St. Eustatia to prevent the Dutch from assisting the French 
with supplies and provisions. At length, on January 5th, 1762, the 
lieet,' having on board nearly 14,000 troops from England, Belle Isle, 

' British fleet emjiloved in the expedition a;jainst Martinique, etc., 1762 : — 






Dublin . 


Dragon ^ . 

Temple • 

J/odeste . 

Slirling Ca: 
Devonshire . 


:<utherland . 

FdlkJaivl . 

1 Kear- Admiral G . B. 
\ Rodney (B). 
((.'apt. John HoUwell. 
iCommod. Sir James 
^ i)oog]as(l). 
leapt. Edward Gascoigue. 

„ Robert Unff. 
I ,, Hon. Aug. John 
l Hervey. 

,, JIatthew Barton. 

,, Lucins O'Brien. 

,, Robert S wanton. 
f „ Hon. Robt. Boyle 
( Walsingham. 

„ Micliael Everitt. 

,, George Darby. 
i „ Molyueux .Shuld- 
l ham. 

„ Thomas Han kerson 

„ Samuel Marshall (I). 
t „ Thomas Burnett. 
' „ .In ian Legge. 
f „ "\VUliam M'Cle- 
{ verty. 

f ,, Francis Samuel 
1 Krake. 




Woolwich . 

Penzance i . 
Dover I . 

Ecfio . . . 

Stag . . . 

liepulse , . 

Actaon . . 


Lizard . . 
Levant . . 


Greyhound . 
lioie . . . 


Ferret . . 
Virgin . 
Zephyr . 
JBanlisk, bombi 
Thunder, bomb 
Grenada, bomb 
lit/e- nai, bomb 





Capt. M'illiam Bayne. 

,, John Bovd. 

„ Chaloner Ogle (3). 

„ John Laforey. 

„ Henry Angell. 

,, John Carter Allen. 

„ Paul Henry Ourry. 
r „ Thomas Colling- 
L wood. 

,, James Doake. 

,, William Tucker, 
f „ James Campbell 
I (2). 

,, Joseph Mead. 

„ Thomas Francis. 

„ Francis Banks ( I ). 
r „ John Neaie Pley- 
i dell 

Com. Stair Douglas (1). 

„ James Aims (1). 
Com. John Botterell. 

„ Robert Brice. 
Lieut. Rubert Ha.swell. 
., James Hawker. 
Com. James 3Iackeiizie. 

1 I'ttaLbeil, uuiler C.ipt. the Hon. Augustus John Hervey, against St. Lucia. 

y,zye<i^^i ^'^•r /^i^^nAof/y -^ - ^J^f^^■r^ 


North America and the West India Islands, under Major-General 
the Hon. Eobert Monckton, sailed, and, on the 7th, joined Douglas 
off Martinique. The coasts of the island had not been properly 
reconnoitred, nor had the ships adequate charts on board. The 
configuration of the island and the nature of its defences rendered 
it desirable to land the troops as close as possible to the places at 
which they were to be employed. But, at first, this fact was not 
realised ; and Eodney, while detaching only a small S(|uadron to the 
Great Bay of Fort Koyal, detached another to La Trinite to make 
a feint, and himself anchored with the bulk of his force in St. Anne's 
Baj'. A division, under Sir James Douglas, silenced the batteries 
there, and landed the troops, losing, however, the HaisuiuKthle, 
owing to the ignorance of her pilot. But it was soon found that 
the march across to Fort Eoyal from St. Anne's Bay would be an 
undertaking too difficult to be entered upon. The works which 
had been erected at St. Anne's were therefore blown up, the 
troops were re-embarked, and the whole force proceeded to Fort 
Eoyal Bay. 

The order of the attack having been arranged, the ships went to 
their stations early on the morning of the 16th, opening fire upon 
the batteries and silencing them by noon, soon after which the 
troops were landed in three divisions in Cas des Navires Bay, under 
conduct of Captains Molyneux Shuldham, Eobert Swanton and 
the Hon. Augustus John Hervey. By sunset two-thirds of the 
army were on shore ; and the rest, with 900 Marines, followed next 
morning. The distance to Fort Eoyal was not great, only about 
five or six miles ; but the country was terribly difficult, and the 
defenders fought well from behind every rock and tree, as well as 
within artificial works of all kinds. The necessary guns were, 
however, dragged to the front, thanks mainly to the energy of the 
seamen of the fleet ; and on January 24th, a preliminary attack was 
made by a body of troops advancing along the coast parallel with a 
detachment of a 1000 seamen in boats ; and the enemy was driven 
back. On the 25th, the batteries began to bombard the citadel ; 
and on the 27th the key to the whole position was taken. Yet 
the citadel did not surrender until February 4th, and not until 
February 16th was the whole island in possession of the British. 
Captain Darby, of the Devonshire, and Major Gates, later a general 
in the army of the revolting American Colonists, carried home the 
dispatches announcing the capture of Fort Eoyal ; and each 

R 2 

244 MAJOR Ol'EBATIONS, 1714-1702. [1702. 

received froiu the King the usual comphment of £500. The 
British loss during the operations amounted to about 500 killed 
and wounded. 

Even before the conquest had been completed, Eodney detached 
Captain Swantou to blockade Grenada ; and, when Martinique 
had surrendered, Swanton was reinforced by vessels conveying 
troops. These reached Grenada on March 3rd ; and on the fol- 
lowing day the island was summoned ; but the governor refused to 
comply. The inhabitants, however, ignored him, and capitulated 
on the 4th ; and the governor himself was obliged to surrender at 
discretion on the 5th, With Grenada fell the Grenadines. Swan- 
ton, leaving a garrison, returned to Martinique. 

On February 24th Captain the Hon. Augustus John Hervey had 
been similarly detached against St. Lucia. But he could not satisfj' 
himself as to the enemy's strength ; and, to discover it, he disguised 
himself as a midshipman, and, in the capacity of an interpreter, 
accompanied the officer whom he sent to summon the governor, 
M. de Longueville. That gentleman refused to surrender; yet 
Hervey learnt so much dm-ing his visit that, on the following day, 
he made preparations for taking his ships into the harbour. Ko 
sooner did the governor notice signs of their intention to approach 
than he capitulated. 

Hervey was next about to proceed to St. Vincent to assure the 
Caribs that their neutrality would be maintained, and that the 
French would be no longer suffered to interfere with them, when he 
was recalled by Eodney, in consequence of news having been received 
that a French squadron of seven sail of the line and four frigates,' 
under M. de Blenac, with seven battalions of troops, had escaped 
from Brest, owing to Commodore Spry having been driven from his 
station off' that port ; and that it was on its w^-iy to relieve the 
French West India Islands. Spry had detached the Aquilon, 28, 
Captain Chaloner Ogle (2), with this intelligence to Eodney. But, 
before the arrival of Spry's dispatch, the French squadron had been 
sighted on March Sth, on the windward side of Martinique. It lay 
to off the coast until the 10th, when it stood for Dominica. 

Eodney summoned his detached division to a rendezvous off the 
Salines, and, with Sir James Douglas (1), went in search of the enemy ; 
but without result. AVhen he had collected his whole force and had 

^ Due de Bovrgogne, 80; Df/enseur, 71; Hector, 71; Biadhne, 74; Protee, 64; 
Drafjun,ii\; IiriU(mt,CA; Zephyr, 32; Di!i;/en>e, 3-2 ; Oinh,2f>; Ca'^Mo, 16. 

1702] THE EXPEDITION J ''/.I /.V.s"/' I/AVAXA. 245 

been assured that the French had gone to Cape Francois, he retiuiicil 
to Martinique to water. He there found the Aquilon, from which 
he learnt trustworthy details of M. de Blenac's strength. He 
already knew, thanks to early information sent him by Commander 
George Johnstone, commanding i\\o Ili)rnrt on the Lisbon station, 
of the rupture with Spain ; and he was thus enabled to attack the 
Spanish trade in the West Indies before the Spaniards themselves 
knew that war had broken out. This important intelligence had 
been brought to him by a small French privateer prize, which 
Johnstone had entrusted to the Hornet's master, Mr., afterwards 
Captain, John M'Laurin. At Martinique Eodney also heard that 
a strong Spanish squadron had arrived at Havana and that Jamaica 
was believed to be threatened. He therefore sent a frigate to warn 
Captain Arthur Forrest, who, as senior officer, had succeeded Eear- 
Admiral Holmes on the Jamaica station, and to desire him to join 
the main fleet off Cape St. Nicolas, whither he himself intended to 

He was, however, not quite ready to sail when, oh March GGth, 
the Eichmond, Captain John Elphinstone (1), arrived from England 
with orders for him and General Moncktou to postpone further 
operations pending the appearance of Admiral Sir George Pocock, 
who had been commissioned to conduct a secret expedition on an 
important scale. This did not prevent Eodney from sending Sir 
James Douglas (1),^ with ten sail of the line, to the Jamaica station 
with directions to bring Forrest's squadron thence as soon as 
possible, and to join Pocock. He also sent Captain Swanton, 
with a division, to cruise off the Spanish Main, and himself went 
to St. Pierre, Martinique, sending a frigate to meet Pocock at Bar- 
bados, where Sir George arrived on board the Naiiiiir on April '20th. 
Pocock sailed again on the 24th, joined Eodney at Cas des Navires 
on the 26th, and, with the greater part of the fleet, proceeded on 
May 6th for Havana, leaving Eodney in charge of the Leeward 

On the Jamaica station Captain Forrest was, of course, super- 

' J>«(6?i«, 74, Commodore Sir James Douglas (1), Captain Edward Gascoigne ; C'liJ- 
loden, 74, Captain John Barker (1); Z)ra</o)i. , 74, Captain Hon. Aug. John Hervey ; 
Temeraire, 74, Captain Matthew Barton ; Temple, 70, Captain Julian Legge ; Deuoii- 
shire, 64, Captain Samuel Marshall (1) ; Alcide, 64, Captain Thomas Hankerson ; Sfirliiu/ 
Castle, 64, Captain James Campbell (2); Nottingham, 60, Captain Thomas Colling- 
wood ; Sutherland, 50, Captain Michael Everitt ; Dover, 40, Captain Chaloner Ogle (■'>) ; 
Tliuiidcr, bomb, Commander Robert Haswell ; and Grenada, bomb. 


MA JO I! OPEIlAriONS, 1714-1762 


seded by the arrival of Sir James Douglas (1), who despatched a 
squadron under Captain Hon. Augustus John Hervey ' to blockade 
M. de Blenac at Cape Francois, until the whole Jamaica squadron 
should be ready to join Pocock at Cape St. Nicolas. 

The Havana expedition, when complete, included about 15, .500 
men, the whole commanded by George, Earl of Albemarle. The 
strength of the fleet will be found set forth in the note.^ After 
leaving Martinique the expedition was joined in the Mona passage 
on May 8th by Caj)tain Hon. Augustus John Hervey, and, having 
arrived off Cape St. Nicolas on the 18th, was there reinforced on 
the SSrd by Sir James Douglas from Jamaica. 

It was open to Pocock either to sail by the south side of Cuba, 
along the track of the galleons, round the west end of the island and 

' Drarjon, li, Cajitain Hon. A. J. Hervey ; Temeraire, H. Captain Matthew Barton ; 
Stirliiir/ Castle, 64, Captain James Campbell (2) ; Alcide, 64, Captain Thomas Hanker- 
son ; Defiance, 60, Captain George Mackenzie ; Nottingham, 60, Captain Thomas 
CoUiugwood ; Femhroke, 60, Captain John AVheelock ; Dover, 40, Cajitain Chaloner 
Cgle (3) ; Trent, 28, Captain John Lindsay ; and Fort Mahon, 20, Captain Thomas 

- Fleet under Sir George Pocock at tlie reihictioii of Havana, and on the Jamaica 
station, 1762: — 








(Imiral Sir George 

Dover .... 


Capl. Chaloner Ogle (3). 

yamur .... 


Pocock, K.B. CB). 



John HouUon. 


ICapt. John Harrison. 

Richmond . 


John Elphinstone 


ommod. Hon. Angustus 


Valiant .... 



Alarm .... 


James Alms (I) 

apt. Adam Duncan. 


Cambridge* . . 


„ ■\Villiam Goustrey. 



John l^ndrick. 

Culloden. . . . 


„ John Barker. 

Lizard-. . . . 


Francis Banks (1). 

TetUfvaire . . . 


„ MaUhew Barton. 

Trent .... 


John Lindsav. 

Dragon .... 


,, Hi-n. Augustus 

1 Cerberus > . . . 


Charles Webl>er. 


John Hervey. 

Boreas .... 


Samuel Uvedale. 

Centaur'^ . . . 
Dublin 3 . . . . 



„ Thomas Lempriere. 
„ Edward Gascoigue. 



Samuel Granston 

Marlborough . . 


„ Thomas Burnett. 

' Rose 


John Neale Pley- 

Temple .... 
Orford .... 


„ Juliau Legge. 

dell Nott. 


„ Harriot Arbnthnot. 

Port Mahon . . 


Richard Bickerton. 

Devonsfiire . 


,, SamuelMarishail(l). 

' Fowey .... 


Joseph Mead. 

Belleislc .... 


., Joseph Knight. 

Glasgoiv . . . 


Richard Carteret. 

Edgar .... 



„ Francis ^Viliiam 

I Bonetta .... 



l^ancelot Holmes. 


! Cygnet .... 


Hon. Charles 

Alcide'i .... 


„ TliumasHankersou. 

Napier (1). 

Hampton Court 
' Stirling Castle . . 



,, Alexander Innes. 
„ James Campbell 


i Merlin .... 
Porcupine - 


"William Francis 

James Harmood. 

Pembroke . . . 


,. John Uheelock. 

Barbados . . . 


James Hawker. 

llipon .... 


„ Edward Jekyll. 

Vijyer .... 


John Urry. 




,, Thomas Oolling- 

Pnrt Royal . . . 
Fei-ret .... 



Stair Douglas (1). 
t. Peter Clarke. 

Defiance. . . . 


,, George Mackenzie. 

Lurcher, cutter 




Jntrvpid- . . . 


„ John Hate. 

Thunder, bomb 



Eobeit Haswell. 

Centurion 3 4 


,, James Galbraith. 

tirenado. bomb 


Deptford . . . 


„ Dudley Digges. 

Basilisk, bomb. . 


Low field. 



„ ]\Iichael Everitt. 

Hampshire . . . 


,. Arthur Usher. 

besides storeships, 



s, and transpoits. 

Pemaitcei . . . 


„ Philip Buteler. 

1 Joined after the siege had begun. - Escoited troops from North America. 

3 Some time with the broad peunaiit of Comm-jdure Sir James Douglas. 
* Escorted convoys from Jamaica to England. 




so beat down to Havana, or to steer alonff the north side of Cuba 
throni^h the Old Strait of Bahama. The former was the easier, 
though the longer, course ; the latter was the shorter, though it was 
somewhat difficult and even hazardous, the channel being narrow 
and intricate. But the Admiral chose it, since time was precious, 
and since it was important as early as possible to secure the only 
passage by which the French could send supphes to Havana. 
Pocock despatched Sir James Douglas in the Centurion to Jamaica 
to bring stores thence, and to hasten forward such ships as were 
still there ; and on the 27th, with his huge fleet of about two 
hundi-ed sail, the Admiral bore away for the Old Strait of Bahama. 
The precautions which he took are described in a letter which, on 
June 14th, he addressed to the secretary of the Admiralty. He 
placed boats on the most dangerous shoals on each hand to act as 
marks ; and he records that he was greatly assisted in the navigation 
by Anson's chart, which he found very correct. During the passage, 
two Spanish vessels, the TJietis, 22, and Fenix, storeship, were 
captured by the Alarm, Captain James Alms (1). 

The Strait was passed on June 5th ; and on the morning of the 
6th the fleet was brought to about fifteen miles east of Havana, so 
that directions might be given to the captains as to the landing. 
The conduct of this operation was eiitrusted to Commodore the 
Hon. Augustus Keppel, who had under him six sail of the line and 
some frigates. At 2 p.m. the Admiral bore away with thirteen sail 
of the line, two frigates, the bombs, and thirty-six victuallers and 
storeships, and ran down towards the harbour, in which he saw 
twelve Spanish sail of the line ' and several merchantmen. On the 

' Spanish laeii-of-wnr taken iir ilestroyed ilurini; the exiieilition agahist Ilavana, 





■Tiifvc. . . 


f Marques del Real Traspoilo.t 
(.Dull J. Y. Mudariaga. ] 


lie ill a 


„ li. do Velasco. 

Isurreudeied witli the city. 



„ J. del Postigo. 



Infante . . 


,, V. de Rleilina. 



ytptuno . 


,, P. Berimidez. 

Sunk at mouth uf" hailxmr. 


JquilOii . 


Marques Ciotizales. 

Surrendered with the city. 

Asia . . . 


Don F. Garganta. 

Sunk at movith of liarbunr. 



„ J. Antonio. 

Surrendered with the lity. Renamed J/oro. 


Earcpji . . 


,, J. Viucente. 
„ P. Castejon. 

Sun't at mouth of harbour. 

San <ii:varit 
San Antonio 


I Not in Commission. 

VSurrendered with the city. 

Veni/ama . 


Don D. Argote. 

Taken by Lefiaiice at Mariel, May 28. 

riicti^ . . 


„ J. Porlier. 

„ Alarm in the Stniit, June 3. 

Marie . . 


,, D. HouecUea. 

Defiance at Mariel. May 28. 

Ft-nix, bt.s. . 

Alarm in the Strait, May 28. 

Two unfinished ships upon the stocks were destroyed. 

248 MAJOli OrElSATIONS, 1714-17G2. [I7(i2. 

following morning, the 7tb, he made a feint of landing the Marines 
about four miles to the west of Havana, while the Earl of Albemarle, 
with the whole army, landed without opposition between the rivers 
Boca Nao and Coximar, six miles east of Moro Castle, under the 
conduct of Captains Hervey, Barton, Drake, Arbuthnot, Jekyll, and 
Wheelock, K.N. After it had landed, the enemy made some show 
of fight, especially when the troops were about to cross the river 
Coximar; but the foe was dispersed by the fire of the Mercurij, 
Bone f fa, and Dragon. A detachment of seamen and 900 Marines 
were landed to co-operate. 

On July 1st, after some progress had l)een made with the siege, 
the Cambridge, Dragon, and Marlboro iigJi, were ordered to cannonade 
Moro ; and at about 8 a.m. they began a heavy fire, which was well 
returned till 2 p.m. The vessels were all so much damaged that, 
one after another, they had to be called off. The Cambridge lost 
24 killed and 95 wounded; the Dragon, 10 killed and 37 w'ounded; 
and the Marlborough, 2 killed and 8 wounded. Among the killed in 
the Cambridge was Captain Goostrey, whose place was afterwards 
taken by Captain Lindsay of the Trent. As this mode of procedure 
was found to be too costly, the further bombardment of the defences 
was left mainly to the shore batteries, which, aided by mines, made 
a practicable breach in the Moro by July 30th. On that day the 
castle was carried by storm. In the struggle the commandant, the 
gallant Don Luis de Velasco, was mortallj' wounded. In honour of 
his defence, there has ever since been a ship named the Velasco in 
the Spanish navy. The vessels in the harbour took part in the 
operations, but were of little avail. 

Upon the fall of Moro the siege was pressed, and, on August 11th, 
after a particularly heavy bombardment, flags of truce were hung 
out on shore and in the Spanish flagship. A little later another flag 
was sent to the British headquarters ; negotiations were entered 
upon ; and, after some delay, the capitulation was signed on the 
13th, and part of the works was taken possession of by the British 
on the 14th. 

The specie, stores, and vahiables found in the place were worth 
about £3,000,000 sterling ; and with the city were also taken nine 
sail of the line. Two others lying on the stocks had been burnt, 
and three more, besides a large galleon, had been sunk in the mouth 
of tlie harbour.^ On the other hand, the British killed, wounded, 
' For tlie names and force of these, see note p. 247. 

1762.] CArTURK OF IIAV.\yA. 249 

and missing numbered no fewer than 1790 ; and many other Hves 
were lost owing to the nnwholesomeness of the climate and the 
hardships of the siege. The naval dispatches were sent home by 
Captain the Hon. Augustus John Hervey, in the Draijnii, wliicJi on 
her passage had the good fortune to capture a French sliip viihied 
at £30,000. 

During the siege several Spanish vessels were taken on the coast. 
On July '2-ith the Chesterfield. 40, and four transports with reinforce- 
ments of troops from North America, were lost at Cayo Confite, 
but the people were saved. Lieutenant Walker, commanding the 
Lurcher, cutter, going on June 13th up the Chorera Eiver out of 
mere curiosity, had the misfortune to be killed. The prize money 
divided amounted to about £736,000. Its division caused much 
heart-burning, the shares of the Admiral and general being each 
i'l'2-2,(597 lO.s. 6d. ; while the share of a captain E.N. was but 
il600 10s. lOf?., of a petty officer only £17 5.s. Sd., and of a seaman 
or Marine not more than £3 14s. djd. It was felt, and perhaps 
with reason, that the administration permitted the commanding 
officers to appropriate far too large a share of the spoils to them- 

The fall of Havana, apart from its intrinsic significance, had 
almost the importance of a great naval victory, owing to the large 
number of Spanish sail of the line which shared the fate of the city. 
The military conduct of the siege by the Earl of Albemarle has been 
blamed, chiefly because, instead of attacking the city where it was 
weak, he attacked Moro and Punta Fort, which were strong, but 
which, nevertheless, must have quickly fallen had the city itself 
been taken. But although there may be justice in this criticism, it 
does not appear that anything can be urged against Pocock's conduct 
of his part of the business ; unless indeed, it be admitted that he was 
wrong to oppose his ships to the Moro on July 1st. For the rest, 
the co-operation between the Navy and army was thoroughly loyal 
and smooth ; and the behaviour of both was admirable. 

Sir George Pocock delivered up the command of the fleet to the 
Hon. Augustus Keppel, who by that time had been promoted to be a 
Rear-Admiral of the Blue ; and, with the Namur, Cnlloden, Temple, 
Devonshire, Marlborough, Infante, San Genaro, Asuncion,^ and 
several other Spanish prizes and about fifty transports, sailed for 
England on November 3rd. About six hundred miles west of Land's 

' A prize nierchaiitiiiaii. 

250 MAJOR OPEliATlONS, 1714-17G2. [1702. 

End, the squadron was dispersed by a very violent gale from the 
eastward. Twelve of the transports foundered, though their crews 
were happily saved. The Temple came to a similar end. The 
CuUoden and Devonshire would probably have fared likewise, had 
they not thrown overboard many of their guns. Part of the fleet 
made Kingsale. The other part, which kept the sea, suffered 
terrible privations from famine, thirst and sickness. So anxious did 
the Admiralty become, that it sent out several frigates to search for 
Sir George ; who, however, safely reached Spithead on January 13th, 
1763. The San Genaro, one of the ships which had put into 
Kingsale, came to grief when at length she anchored in the Downs. 
She was overtaken by another storm, and was cast away. The 
Maiibovougli lost company with the Admiral early on the voyage ; 
but she, too, met with very heavy weather, and, owing to leaks, was 
obliged to put before the wind, throw her guns overboard, and keep 
her crew at the pumps until November 29th, when her people were 
taken off by the Antelope, .50, Captain Thomas Graves (2), which was 
on her voyage home from Newfoundland. The Marlborough, after 
having been abandoned, was destroyed. Eear-Admiral Keppel sent 
home the rest of the Spanish prizes under Captain Arbuthnot of the 
Orford, together with the Centaur, Dublin, Alcide, Hampton Court, 
Edgar and some frigates ; and, after having acted with energy upon 
the station until the peace, he remained to deliver up Havana on 
July 7th, 1763, in accordance with the provisions of the treaty. 
Some of his vessels then proceeded to Florida to take over that 
province : and Keppel himself went to Jamaica, where he was 
presently relieved by Eear-Admiral Sir William Bm-naby. 

In the meantime, the French, taking advantage of the large 
withdrawal of troops to the West Indies, of the defenceless condition 
of Newfoundland, and of a fog in the Channel, despatched from 
Brest, imder M. de Ternay, a squadron, which, with 1500 troops 
under Comte d'Haussonville, evaded Sir Edward Hawke, crossed 
the Atlantic, entered the harbour of St. John's on June 24th and 
quickly took the town. On its way, this fleet fell in with three 
combined convoys of great value, which it might easily have taken 
had it not preferred the ulterior object of the expedition, and had it 
not been deterred by the bold front offered to it by Captain Joshua 
Rowley, of the Superb, 74, who had with him the Gosport, 44, 
Captain John Jervis, and the Danae, 38, Captain Henry Martin (2). 
The capture of this convoy would have done Great Britain far 


more damage at that moment than the capture of Newfoundland. 
Captain Thomas Graves (2), governor of the island, who lay at 
Placentia in the Aiitclojje, 50, at once sent news of the French 
descent to Commodore Lord Colville, at Halifax. Colville sailed to 
the rehef of the island, and joined Graves ; and on August 25th, 
M. de Ternay found himself blockaded in St. John's. On 
September 11th, troops arrived from Louisbourg, and were landed ; 
and the enemy was driven back ; but on the 16th, the Ijlockading 
ships being driven from their station by a westerly gale, INI. de 
Ternay slipped his cables and got away. A relieving squadron had 
been sent from England in the meantime under Captain Hugh 
Palliser, but de Ternay managed to avoid tliis force also. After his 
departure, the condition of the French was, of course, hopeless ; 
and on September 18th Comte d'Haussonville capitulated. 

A little expedition of 1762 deserves some mention here in spite 
of the fact that the Eoyal Navy had very little part in it, and that 
it had no important results. It was an adventure which, in a 
degree, recalls some of the exploits of the Elizabethan era, in that 
it was a warlike undertaking by private persons, countenanced, 
however, by the administration, and that it was aimed against the 
Spanish power in America. A company of British noblemen and 
merchants came to the conclusion that an attack upon the province 
of Buenos Ayres might be both useful to the nation and lucrative 
to the adventurers. They purchased from the Admiralty H.M. ships 
Ki)iijsto)i, 50 (which they renamed Lord Clive), and Amhuscade, 28 ; 
and they placed these under the orders of Mr. Macnamara, an 
officer of the East India Company's marine. They further obtained 
the co-operation of two Portuguese vessels, in which were embarked 
five hundred soldiers. The little squadron, which also included 
five store ships, sailed for Eio de Janeiro, where the final pre- 
jparations were made, and, proceeding, entered the Eiver Plate on 
November 2nd. Macnamara found that the Spaniards were better 
situated for defence than he had expected. An attempt was made 
on Nova Colonia, which had been captured by the Spaniards from 
the Portuguese : but it was not successful. In a second attack, on 
January 6th, 1763, the Lord Clive took fire and burnt to the water's 
edge, her people, however, fighting her to the very last. Of her crew 
of three hundred and fifty, two hundred and seventy-two, including 
Macnamara, perished. The Amhuscade, though tembly mauled, 
managed to get back to Eio. It should be added that the gallant 

232 MAJOR OPEL'ATIOy.S, 1714-17GL'. [1762. 

Spaniards treated with the greatest generosity those survivors of 
the Lord CUve who fell into their hands, and, instead of regarding 
them as enemies, treated them as guests whom misfortune had cast 
upon their shores. 

The year witnessed no events of great importance in the 
Mediterranean ; where Sir Charles Saunders was strongly rein- 
forced hy a squadron under Sir Piercy Brett (1). Some exceedingly 
valuable prizes were made on the station ; but the fleets of the 
belligerents did not meet. Sir Charles Saunders, and most of the 
ships returned to England at the peace, leaving Kear-Admiral Sir 
Piercy Brett to take possession of Minorca. Brett was subsequently 
relieved by Commodore Thomas Harrison (2). 

It has been already mentioned that M. de Blenac got out of 
Brest, and sailed for Martinique duiing a temporarj' absence from 
his station of Commodore Spry, owing to heavy weather. Spry 
chased ; but, his provisions threatening to give out, he had to return 
to England, having first sent the Aquilon to warn Rodney of what 
had happened. During the year the other occurrences in waters 
near home were mainly confined to the monotonous blockading of 
the enemy's ports, and to the capture of their cruisers. Commodore 
Lord Howe lay in Basque Koad, watching Eochefort and the mouth 
of the Charente, until he was relieved by Commodore Peter Denis. 
When M. de Ternay escaped from Brest, the fleet under Sir 
Edward Hawke and the Duke of York went in pursuit, but missed 
him. This fleet, then under Sir Charles Hardj' (2), cruised again in 
September and October, and once more in November, but accom- 
plished nothing. The cruisers of Commodore Robert Man (2), who 
succeeded Spry off Brest ; of Commodore James Young (1), who 
commanded in the Channel; and of Commodore John Moore (1), 
who commanded in the Downs, made various prizes ; but the details 
of these, and of other minor captures, will be fittingly given in the 
next chapter. One episode, in which the force under Commodore 
Moore was concerned, may, however, be noticed here. 

The Dutch had for some time been supplying the enemies of 
Great Britain with provisions and stores ; and the British cruisers, 
in consequence, vigilantly searched their merchantmen. The States 
General, resenting this, commissioned some men-of-war to protect 
the illicit trade ; and, in September, a Dutch flotilla of four merchant- 
men, convoyed by a 36-gun frigate, was fallen in with by the 
Hunter, sloop; which, being refused permission to search, and being 

1T(V.'.] THE WAIl AND TltADE. 253 

too weak to enforce her demands, returned to Moore. He sent the 
Diana, 32, Captain Wilham Adams (2), the Chester, 50, Captain 
William Hay, the Hinifrr, 14, Commander James Ferguson, and 
the Trial, 14, Commander James Cunningham, with orders to do 
what was necessary. Adams found the Dutchmen, and demanded 
to know what the convoy had on hoard. The Dutch captain again 
refused to allow a search, and declared tliat lie would fight rather 
than permit it ; whereupon Adams sent hoats to hoard each 
merchantman. The Dutch fired a gun at the leading hoat, and 
wounded a man in her. Adams retaliated hy firing a gun at the 
frigate, which replied with a hroadside. This brought about an 
action, which, in fifteen minutes, resulted in all the Dutch ships 
submitting. They were taken into the Downs. The merchantmen, 
being found to have on board stores for the French navy, were 
detained ; but the frigate, which had lost four killed and five 
wounded, was dismissed. 

During this last year of the contest the enemy took but two 
British men-of-war, a sloop and a bomb ketch. The hst of the 
men-of-war taken by the British will be found in the appendix. 
The French merchantmen and privateers taken numbered 120 ; and, 
as in previons years, their value was greatly in excess of that of the 
British privateers and merchantmen captured, though the number 
of the latter was considerably greater. Towards the close of the 
campaign the French had very few vessels at sea ; and their trade 
was ruined. The Spanish power afloat was never great enough to 
be a serious menace. 

The first overtures for peace came from France to Great Britain 
through the Sardinian envoy in London. In consequence of them, 
the Duke of Bedford was sent to Paris, and the Due de Nivernois 
came to England, with full powers ; and on November 3rd, 1702, 
the preliminaries of peace, between Great Britain on the one side 
and France and Spain on the other, were signed at Fontainebleau. 
The terms were scarcely proportionate to the measure of the suc- 
cesses which had been gained by Great Britain during the war. She 
acquired Canada, St. John's, Cape Breton, and that part of what was 
then called Louisiana, east of the Mississippi, except New Orleans, 
together with the right of free navigation of the Mississippi. France 
received permission, subject to certain conditions, to fish on the 
banks of Newfoundland, and was given the islands of St. Pierre and 
Miquelon as fish-curing stations. Spain relinquished her claim to 

254 MAJOU (Jl'KllATIONS, 171 1-1762. [17G2. 

fish on the liaiiks of Newfouudhuul ; and undertook to restore to 
Portugal iiny places which she might have conquered from that 
power, and to cede Florida to Great Britain. But Great Britain 
was to restore Havana and its dependencies. Martinique, Guade- 
loupe, and Marie Galante also, were to be given hack to France, 
which, in addition, obtained St. Lucia, previously a neutral island. 
Great Britain retained Grenada and the Grenadines, and received 
the formerly neutral islands of Dominica, St. Vincent and Tobago. 
She also had Minorca restored to her and kept Senegal ; but she 
restored Belle Isle and Goree to France. The fortifications of 
Dunquerque, should, it was agreed, be demolished. In Asia, Great 
Britain had to restore the conquests made from France ; but France 
was to erect no fortifications in her possessions within the province 
of Bengal. Louisiana west of the Mississippi was ceded by France 
to Spain. 

The terms of the treaty, though honourable, could not be con- 
sidered as particularly advantageous to Great Britain, seeing that 
her maritime superiority in 176'2 was such that she might have 
seized, and kept, almost what she would. The definitive treaty was 
signed at Paris on February 10th, 17(53 ; and so ended the Seven 
Years' "War. 

Commenting upon the settlement, Mahan writes : — 

" The nation at large and Pitt, the I'iwourite of the nation, were bitter!}' opposed to 
the terms of the treaty. ' France,' said Pitt, ' is chiefly formidable to us as a maritime 
and commercial power. What we gain in this respect is valuable to us above all 
through the injury to her which results from it. You leave to France the possibility 
of reviving her navy.' In truth, from the point of view of sea-power and of the 
national jealousies which the spirit of that age sanctioned, these words, though 
illiberal, were strictly justifiable. The restoration to France of her colonies in the 
West hidies and her stations in India, together with the valuable right of fishery in 
her former American possessions, put before her the possibility and inducement to 
restore her shipping, her commerce, and her navy, and thus tended to recall her from 
the path of continental ambition which liad been so fatal to her interests, and in the 
same proportion favourable to the unprecedented growth of England's power upon the 
ocean. The opposition, and indeed some of the ministry, also thought that so com- 
manding and important a position as Havana was poorly paid for by the cession of the 
then desolate and unproductive region called Florida. Puerto Rico was suggested, 
Florida accepted. There were other minor points of difference, into which it is 
unnecessary to enter. It can scarcely be denied that with the commanding military 
control of the sea held by England, grasping as she now did so many important 
positions, with her navy overwhelmingly superior in numbers, and her commercial 
and internal condition very thriving, more rigorous terms might easily have been 
exacted and would have been prudent. 'Ihe ministry defended their eagerness and 
spirit of concession on the grotmd of the enormous growth of the debt, which then 
amounted to £122,000,000, a sum from every point of view much greater then than 
now; b\it while this draft upon the future was fully justified by the success of the 

irryj.] THE END OF THE WAIl. 255 

war, it also imperatively tlcimaiulcil that the utmost advantaj^es whieh the military 
situation made obtainable, should be exacted. This the ministry failed to do. . . 
Nevertheless, the gains of England were very great, not only in territorial increase, 
nor yet in maritime preponderance, but in the prestige and po.sition achieved in the 
eyes of the nations, now fully opened to her great resources and mighty power. To 
these results, won by the sea, the issue of the continental war offered a singular and 
suggestive contrast. France had already withdrawn, along with England, from all 
share in that strife, and peace between the other i)arties to it was signed five days after 
the Peace of Paris. The terms of the peace were simply the status quo ante, belbiin. 
By the estimate of the King of Prussia, one hundred and eighty thousand of his 
soldiers had fallen or died in this war, out of a kingdom of five million souls; while 
the losses of Prussia, Austria, and France aggregated four hundred and sixty thousand 
men. The result was sim]ily that things remained as they were." 

( 25(i ) 



Minor Operations, 
l. carr laughtox. 

liicharil Lestock — "The Fifteen" — Moorish Pirates — Exploits of the Hind and the 
liridi/ewater—Pimcy in the West — Edward Thatch, alias " Blaclibeard " — 
Bartholomew Roberts — Chaloner Ogle ofl" Cape Lopez — Mighells at Vigo — 
Smugglers and guarda-costas — The right of search — Salt gathering at the Tortugas 
— Stuart and illicit trading — Fandino — Reprisals — The Shore/iam's prizes — The 
Princesa taken — Pearce and Oglethoq^e at St. Augustine — Bamet and de Caylus 
— Tlie West Indies — Loss of the Tijjur — Loss of the Tilbury — Callis at St. Tropez 
— Martin at Ajaccio — Naval disasters — The Nortlntmhcrland taken — The hurricane 
at Jamaica — Mostyn's fiasco — Capture of the Elephant — The Anglesey taken — 
Lieut. Baker Phillips — The privateers — Successes of " The Royal Family " — The 
Jersey and the St. Esprit — M. de Lage — The Nottingham, and the Mars — The 
Alexander and the Solehay — The Portland and the Augnste — Fox and de La 
Motte — Captures and losses — Commodore Pocock's successes — George Walker — 
Ca])ture of the Magnanime — The Chesterfield — Piracy — The Blandford — Capture 
of the Esperance — The Warwick taken — The Chausey Islands — Fortunatus 
Wright — A repulse at Algeciras — Captain John Lockhart — " Error of .ludgment " 
— Loss of the Greenwich and the Merlin — Destruction of the Aquilon and the 
Alcion — Captures — Privateers — Thurot — Capture of the Emeraude — Disasters — 
Burning of the Prince George — Capture of the Baisonnahle — Captain Brodrick 
Hartwell — The Winchelsea taken — The Buckingham and the Florissant — The 
Vestal and the Bellone — Capture of the Danae — The Achilles and the Comti de 
St. Florentine — The Arethuse taken — Indecisive actions — Convoys — Adventures 
of the Biademe — Sinking of the C'amherland — The Unicorn and the Vestale — The 
Birhmond and the Felicite — The Minemt and the Warwick — The Bijio7i and the 
Achille — Captures — Capture of the Achille and Bouffonne — The Bellona and the 
Courageux — Last captures of the war. 


^OR several years after 1715, the 
sending of a fleet to the Baltic 
became, as has been already shown, a 
species of annual exercise. All these 
expeditions were barren of serious 
fiphtint:, and there is little to be said of them here. In 1717, 


however, when the fleet was iiudur 8ir George Byng, it was found 
that, although the Swedish men-ol'-war still kept in port, consider- 
able annoyance was occasioned to British trade by the niunerous 
privateers. Against these Sir George detached various cruisers, of 
which none was so successful as the Panther, 50, Captain Eichard 
Lestock (2) . Many privateers were sent home ; but none of them 
was of any great force, the average scarcely running to ten small 
guns and sixty men per ship. The matter, indeed, is chiefly worth 
noticing because it was in this way that Lestock, a man whose sub- 
sequent behaviour rendered him notorious, began to come to the 
front. His activity on these cruises attracted Byng's attention, 
and gained him the name of a zealous officer. Sir George, in con- 
sequence, chose him to command his flagship in the Mediterranean 
campaign of the following year. The subsequent Baltic campaigns 
were less active even than the campaign of 1717. 

Nearer home, and on the Barbary coasts, meanwhile, the Navy 
was finding work to do ; in the one case in connection with the 
pro-Stuart rising, in the other, with the recrudescence of piracy. 
The Pretender landed in December, 1715, and in the middle of 
January, 1716, Sir John Jennings, Admiral of the White, was 
appointed to the command of a squadron of ten ships wherewith 
to cruise on the east coast and in the Firth of Forth. Other ships 
cruised on the west coast, also for the suppression of the rebels, 
while others again were kept in the Channel to restrain sympathetic 
Frenchmen. A body of French officers, trying to escape from 
Peterhead, was driven back ; but in spite of all precautions, the 
Pretender himself contrived to get away safely. Some imputation 
of negligence not unnaturally fell upon the Navy ; but the Govern- 
ment was satisfied that reasonable diligence had been shown, and 
published in the Gazette the following : — 

"The Royal Anne, galley, Pearl, Port Malion, Deal Castle and Phoenix are 
returned from cruising, it appears by the journal of Captain Stuart,' that he had early 
intelligence of the Pretender having put to sea, in a clean-tallowed French snow, which 
rowed out of the harbour and close in along shore a good way with her sails furled. 
The Port Malion lay all that night within two leagues of the harbour's mouth, but 
'twas so dark there was no seeing a sliip a quarter of a mile distant." - 

Every precaution, indeed, seems to have been taken by the 
refugees ; and it may be added that they appear to have been 

' The Hon. Charles Stuart; born, 1681; Captain, 1704; Eear-Admiral, 1729; 
Vice- Admiral, 1733 ; died, 174:0. 
- Quoted in Lediard, 867. 


258 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1716. 

aware of the disposition of the various cruisers. Leaving Montrose, 
the snow stretched across to the coast of Norway, whence she 
coasted southward and made GraveHnes in safety. The Chevalier 
de St. George testified his gratitude and appreciation by knighting 
Mark Forrester, her master. In spite of their failure to intercept 
this snow, the English ships did good, if unostentatious, work in 
helping to stamp out the embers of the revolt, chiefly, of course, 
by co-operating with the troops when they chanced to touch 
the shore. 

Piracy in the Mediterranean continued to demand considerable 
attention, but was at length dealt with by the Admiralty on some- 
thing like a rational system. In other words, there were ships 
constantly cruising against the Barbary pirates ; and there was 
thus avoided the great and often bootless expense incurred by the 
fitting out of occasional expeditions on a large scale. The reign is 
marked by no such fight as that of Captain Kempthorne of the 
Mary Bose in 16G9 ; but cruisers detached, first by John Baker 
and after him by Charles Cornwall, the officers in command on 
the station, did efficient service. Of these the Hind, 20, Captain 
Arthur Delgarno, in May, 1716, took one Sallee rover, and, in 
October following, another, of 24 guns. This latter ship resisted 
for two and a half hours before she struck, and then promptly sank, 
taking down with her all but thirty-eight of her men. The Bridge- 
water, also, in the same year, drove two Sallee ships, each of 
16 guns, ashore near their own port. The Barbaiy pirates, how- 
ever, though a real nuisance, were not the only one of the kind, 
nor, indeed, were they so serious an obstacle to commerce as they 
had been in the seventeenth century. This was, as has been 
mentioned, partly due to the constant watch kept upon their move- 
ments. A more fonnidable species of piracj-, the piracy of romance, 
flourished on the Spanish Main, and spread thence over the high 
seas. The doings of the notorious Kidd have been recorded ; 
the history of William Dampier shows with what ease British 
seamen drifted into this evil course of hfe ; and it will be easily 
understood that the Sir Francis Verneys and the Wards of the 
era preferred to join the successors of Sawkins, primarily to plunder 
the Spaniard, rather than to turn renegade and prey on their owoi 
countrymen in the Mediterranean. But though piracy in the 
West was a growing source of anxiety, the bulk of its exponents 
confined their attentions with some strictness to foreign flags, and 

1718.] " BLAOKBEAnn;' TIIK PI RATE. 259 

some of them, notably Sir Henry Morgan, compared not unfavour- 
ably with the gentleman adventurers of the Elizabethan age. Kidd, 
it has been shown, was a decided exception; Avery was another; 
and so also was Edward Thatch, commonly called Teach, or, more 
commonly still, from his appearance, " Blackbeard." ^ Born in 
Bristol about 1675, he had, through the War of the Spanish 
Succession, served in privateers, and he did not turn his hand 
to piracy till the end of ITKi. It is notorious that the pirates 
of fact enjoyed, to an even greater degree than their brethren of 
fiction, the short life and merry one supposed to belong to men 
of their calling ; and for his enjoyment of existence, as well as 
for his egregious brutality. Thatch stands forth from among many 
short-lived contemporaries. About the end of 1717, he took a 
large Guineaman, which he named the Queen Anne's Bevenge, and 
in which he went cruising, after having mounted her with forty 
guns. One of the first incidents of his cruise was the falling in 
with H.M.S. Scarborough, 20, which he beat off after a fight 
lasting for some hours. The governor of Carolina entered into 
a league with him, and he chose the coasts of that colony and 
of Virginia as his scene of operations, and continued haunting their 
creeks and preying on the merchants, whether at sea or ashore, 
till they petitioned the governor of Virginia to rid them of the 
pest. The governor took counsel with the captains of the Lyme, 20, 
and Pearl, 40, and concerted a scheme by which Lieut. Eobert 
Maynard,- of the Pearl, was to command two small sloops against 
Blackbeard, who had got rid of his great ships, and was lurking 
in a sloop in Ocracoke Inlet, one of the entrances to Pamlico 
Sound. The sloops under Maynard's command mounted no heavy 
guns, while the pirates were known to be well armed in that 
respect; but, on the other hand, the sloops had sweeps, which 
their enemy had not. Maynard rowed into the passage on 
November 21st, 1718, and with great difficulty, after lightening 
his vessel, got close to Thatch, who had run aground. Meanwhile, 
the pirate sloop floated, and by a broadside of langiidge, did great 
damage among Maynard's men, who were much exposed by the 
lowness in the waist of their ship. Maynard thereupon kept his 
men below as much as possible ; upon which Blackbeard, thinking 

' In Jolmson's ' Lives of the most Notorious Pirates,' he appears as Teach. In 
official papers he is Thatch. 

- Died, a caijtain of 1740, iu 1750. 

s 2 

260 MINOR OPEHATIONS, 1714-17G2. [1718-22. 

that there were few left to deal with, boarded at the head of fifteen 
men. The rival commanders engaged hand to hand, and the fight 
went stubbornly on, as usual in such cases, till the pirate's death. 
Besides those killed, fifteen pirates were taken, and of them thirteen 
were hanged.' That Thatch had so few men with him was owing 
to his having marooned or otherwise got rid of the bulk of his 
company shortly before in consequence of a dispute as to the 
distribution of prize-money. 

There was no lack of men to carry on the abominable work ; 
but even of the best known of these desperadoes, such as Stede 
Bonnet, Edward England, John Eackam, and Howel Davis, none 
arrests the attention in such a degree as Bartholomew Roberts.'^ 
Eoberts was, in 1718, mate of a ship which was plundered by 
pirates on the Guinea coast, and, joining his captors, was elected 
to the command on the death of Howel Davis, their captain. He 
cruised with considerable success from Brazil to Newformdland, 
and, in 1721, crossed over to the African coast, where, amongst 
other prizes, he took a large ship belonging to the Eoyal Africa 
Company. To this ship he tm-ned over, named her the Boijal 
Fortinw, mounted forty guns in her, and with a 32-gun ship, under 
a man named Skyrm, and a 24, continued his cruise. His luck 
continued good till on February 21st, 1722, when he and Sk3Tm 
lay anchored under Cape Lopez, there came down on him 
H-M.S. Swalloir, 60, Captain Chaloner Ogle (1), which, since the 
preceding year, had been on that coast. Ogle knew with whom 
he had to deal ; and when Skyrm, taking him for a merchantman, 
slipped in chase, he bore awaj' out of earshot of the Royal Fortune. 
He then tm'ned upon Skynn, and, after a shai"p encounter, took 
him. Eeturning to Cape Lopez and hoisting the French flag, he 
lured Eoberts into attacking him. Eoberts, overmatched and taken 
by sui-prise, made a desperate fight, which did not cease till he 
himself had been killed. Of 262 prisoners taken it is well to 

' Of the two who escaped the gallows one was Israel Hands, the master, who at the 
time of the action was ashoi-e recovering from a wovmd received from Thatch, who had 
a trick of hlowing out his cabin lights and firing cross-handed imder the table. 
Another practice of Blackbeard's was to light sulphur in the ship's hold, and to try 
who could longest withstand the fumes. This was by way of enlivening a dull cruise. 

- Eoberts is said to have been the original of Scott's Cleveland in ' The Pirate,' but 
the career of the real does not agree with that of the ideal. The doings of Eoberts, as 
chronicled in Charles Johnson's ' General History of the Most Notorious Pirates,' are, 
so far as can be ascertained, substantially correct. 

1719.] MIO HELLS AT VIGO. 261 

notice that 5'2 were hanged, and that only 77 were acquitted on trial. 
The captured ships were taken to England, where they were 
bestowed on Ogle,' who also for this good piece of work received 
the honour of knighthood. 

In the latter end of July, 1719, preparations were making in 
England for a secret expedition against Spain. About fifty trans- 
ports were got together to convey a force of four thousand men 
under Viscount Cobham ; and, meanwhile, a small squadron was 
sent ahead under Commodore Sir Robert Johnson, in the Weymouth, 
to co-operate with the French who were then engaged in the siege 
of San Sebastian. In the beginning of August, some French troops 
and two hundred seamen were landed by the squadron at Fort San 
Antonio. Owing to the strength of the batteries at the entrance 
to the harbour, the force was landed some distance to the westward, 
advancing from which direction, it destroyed the fortifications and 
spiked the guns in the harbour. On September 1.5th, Johnson, 
in the Weymouth, having the Winchester and Dursley Galley in 
company, heard that there were two Spanish men-of-war and a 
large merchantman lying in Eivadeo. Accordingly the Weymouth 
and Winchester appeared off the port on the following day ; boats 
were sent in to take soundings; and the two ships anchored alongside 
the enemy and abreast of a battery of eight guns. The battery 
was taken, the men-of-war were destroyed, and the merchantman 
was brought off. In the meantime, the main expedition had sailed 
and was looking for Johnson off the Spanish coast, in hopes of 
gaining information from him. This force was commanded by 
Vice-Admiral James Mighells, who, detached by Berkeley in the 
spring, had learnt of the dispersal of the Spanish fleet intended for 
the invasion of Scotland. The object now before Mighells, and 
the soldiers under Cobham whom he convoyed, was to proceed to 
Vigo and retaliate for this intended insult. Sailing from St. Helen's 
on September 21st, 1719, the expedition made Vigo on the '29th 
without being joined by Johnson. The fleet at once entered the 
harbour and landed the troops about three miles from the town. 
On October 1st, the army occupied a strong position iinder the 
walls ; whereupon the enemy spiked the guns in their batteries 
and withdrew to the citadel. A bomb ketch was brought up on 
the 3rd ; but as she could do little, owing to the greatness of the 
range, some forty odd mortars were put ashore ; and on the 4th, 

' Captains' Letters, O 2. 

262 MlNOli OPEUATIONS, 1714-1762. [1720. 

Fort Sail Sebastian, which had been occiapied, was armed with 
heavy guns from the fleet. The citadel, upon that, surrendered, 
its garrison of four hundred and sixty-nine officers and men 
marching out on the 10th. The town, it was decided, could not 
be held ; but a large quantity of guns, small arms, and ammunition, 
which had been collected for the invasion of England, was taken 
and brought home. Seven ships, also, were seized in the harbour, 
of which three were fitting out for privateers. On the 14th, the 
ships reduced Ponte Vedra, at the upper end of the harbour. 
There, too, many gi;ns were found ; so that the total number 
brought home was one hundred and ninety iron and thirty brass 
heavy guns, with ten thousand stand of small arms, two thousand 
barrels of powder, and other warlike stores. On November 11th, 
Vice-Admiral Mighells put into Falmouth with the Enterprize, 
Kingsale, and Biddeford, and with most of the transports. The 
expedition had been prompt and successful : it had fully attained its 
object ; and by sickness, desertion, and the sword it had lost no 
more than three hundred men. 

The difficulties experienced by British merchants in the Spanish 
settlements of the west were a heritage of the days of Elizabeth, and 
were by no means smoothed away by the many treaties which had 
been entered into between the two nations.^ It is not possible here 
to enter into an examination of these treaties ; let it suffice to say 
that, by forbidding, save under the harshest restrictions, all traffic, 
except, of course, that in negroes, which had been granted by the 
Assiento, they put a premimn on smuggling. We know the tra- 
ditional attitude of English and Spaniards to one another in the 
New World, and we have noticed the growth of piracy, testifying to 
the existence of a considerable proportion of unsettled spirits among 
the British inhabitants of the American colonies. When we con- 
sider both the evergreen national hatred, and the bitterness with 
which the guarda costas must have regarded the enterprising and 
unscrupulous smugglers, we cannot wonder at the tales of brutaht}' 
on the part of the Spaniards ; but we must also be 'prepared to 
believe that the Spaniards spoke the truth wWn they insisted that 
the British traders of the islands were not always the lambs 
they professed to be, and were, in many cases, but little removed 
from pirates. There always has been ill-feeling about the right of 

' The texts of these treaties will be found at length in Eousset de Missy, ' Eecueil 
Historique ' ; and in Jean Dumont, ' Corps Universel Diplomatique,' vol. viii. 


search — probably there always will be — nor are we to believe that a 
guarda costa, boarding a Jamaica smuggler in 1720, acted with such 
civility as we expect from the Customs' House nowadays. On the 
contrary, as he often had considerable difficulty in catching his 
suspect, he was prone to try to catch him where he could, and to 
scruple little whether he caught him in Spanish waters or on the 
high seas. Such was the state of affairs, and it is clear that it was 
bound, sooner or later, to lead to war. Before passing on to the 
war itself, it will be interesting to examine in some detail one or two 
of the incidents that thus led up to it. 

In the latter part of 1728, a Spanish guarda costa sighted and 
bore down on the Dursley Galley, 20, mistaking her for a merchant- 
man, and with the intention of searching her. Naturally, the 
Dwrsley Galley did not bring to, and the Spaniard opened fire, which 
the British ship warmly returned. After a sliort fight, in which the 
guarda costa lost five men killed and twenty wounded, the Spaniard 
surrendered. That she was shortly afterwards released was due 
simply to the fact that there was no reason for keeping her, and 
Lediard ^ is undoubtedly wrong when he points to this as illustrative 
of the difference between Spanish and English methods. As will 
presently be shown, British ships that were detained were, at any 
rate in most cases, legally detained as being smugglers. The next 
incident to be mentioned was connected with the vexed question of 
the gathering of salt at the Tortugas. It must be remembered that 
the right to gather salt,^ like the right to cut logwood at Campeche, 
was denied to the English by the Spaniards, although, in point of 
fact, it had actually been acknowledged by the Convention of 
Madrid. Early in 1733, a fleet of British ships under escort of the 
Scarborough, 20, Captain Thomas Durell (1),^ was loading salt at 
the Tortugas, when there came down on it two Spanish men-of- 
war, one of sixty, and the other of seventy guns.* Four of the 
merchantmen, viz., the Catherine, Two Sisters, Hopeivell, and Three 
Brothers, were taken at the outset before the Scarborough could 
cover her convoy ; but after that she managed to engage the atten- 
tion of the Spaniards so well that the rest of the salt ships made 
good their escape. 

A point that is apt to be passed over in such an account as this is 
that two Spanish ships of the line were quite equal to making miuce- 

■ Lediard, 913. • " Captains' Letters, D 4. 

- Kousset de Missy, i. 411. * Beatson, i. 22. 

'264: MINOR OFEHATION.S, 17M-1T62. [1731. 

meat of the Scarhoroii(/h first and of her convoy afterwards, had they 
been so inchned. It would appear, then, that the Spaniards, whose 
force seems to be exaggerated, and who were probably heavy coast- 
guard cruisers, believed themselves to be engaging merely in the 
reprisals customary in those parts, and that, when they found that 
they had before them a King's ship, they refused to fight her for fear 
of involving themselves in serious diplomatic entanglements. 

Whether the guarda costas are to be regarded as privateers or 
not, there is interest in a letter written from Jamaica by Commodore 
Edward St. Loe, to Burchett, at the Admiralty, in May, 1728.' 
Complaining that Spanish privateers infested the Jamaican coasts, 
he said : — 

" It's my opinion I could go in and destroy most of them had I but His Majesty's 
jiermission. They, according to my notion, are no better than pirates, having no 
commission for what they do, save from the governor of the place." 

This is the opinion of a man qualified to judge. It may be 
tempered by that of another naval officer who commanded on that 
station, and who certainly held no brief for the Spaniards. This 
was Kear-Admiral the Hon. Charles Stuart, who was sent out to 
Jamaica in the Lion on December 9th, 1729, to take over the 
command of the station in succession to St. Loe. Stuart seems to 
have begun his commission with the prevailing belief that the fault 
lay with the Spaniards, but his attitude changed somewhat as time 
went on, and as his knowledge of the British merchants increased. 
Writing on October 12th, 1731, to the Duke of Newcastle, he 
admitted that the British carried on the trade at their own risk, and 
that the ships were good prize if taken. This, he said, led them to 
retaliate by robbing such Spaniards as they could ovei-power, and he 
added : — 

" I can assure you that the sloops that sail from this island manned and armed on 
that illicit trade, have more than once bragged to me of having murdered seven or eight 
Spaniards on their own shore. I can't help observing that I believe I am the first 
military person who has stood up in the defence of peace and quietness, and for 
delivering up vessels, against a parcel of men who call themselves merchants, but they 
are no better than pedlars, and one of them formerly in jail for piracy." 

His plea for peace and quietness maj' have been merely the outcome 
of his knowledge that, as the British had by far the greater number 
of ships in those seas, reprisals would be a losing game. That truth 
was abundantly evidenced when war broke out ; for from September, 

' Home Office Records, Admiralty, No. (56, quoted iu ' Eng. Hist, llev.,' iv. 741. 

1731.] nniTisn and .spanish cruklties. 2(j5 

1739, to November, 1741, the Spaniards took 331 British ships as 
against only 231 of their own which they lost.' 

On September 12th, 1731, Stuart wrote to the governoi- of 
Havana a strong letter of complaint. It had been hoped that a 
better condition of affairs was abovit to begin, as the King of Spain, 
in response to pressure from England, had sent instructions to his 
colonial governors to mitigate their harshness to British traders. 
But this proclamation was bound to be without effect, for it ex- 
empted from its protection all such ships as were engaged in the 
illicit trade, while leaving it to the governors concerned to draw the 
necessary distinction between legal and illegal traffic.- So it was 
that Stuart never lacked cause of complaint, and, in the instance 
cited,^ made mention "particularly of one Fandino, and others who 
have committed the most cruel piratical outrages . . . particularly 
about the 20th April last, sailed out of your harbour in one of those 
guarda costas, and met a ship of this island,^ bomid for England . . ." 
and so forth, giving the well-known traditional details of the no- 
torious Jenkins case. He ended this letter with, " The king, my 
master, having reason to believe that these repeated insiilts on his 
subjects could never be continued but by the connivance of the 
several Spanish governors in these parts, is determmed to endeavour 
to put a stop to these piratical proceedings." But at the same time 
he was much attacked by the merchants, who objected strongly to 
his saying that they exaggerated their case, and who resented his 
interference with their illicit trade, and his endeavours to repress 
their cruelties. 

Juan de Leon Fandino, probably more from the accident of his 
having handled Jenkins than for any other reason, stands out from 
among the guarda costa officers. On September 9th, 1731, he de- 
tained and plundered the Prince WiUicun, William Joy, master, but 
this ship was released a month later. Not so the Dolphin, Benjamin 
Carkett, master, which was taken by Fandino in July, and sent into 
Havana. She was adjudged legal prize, as the governor wrote to 
Stuart ; but he added that he intended to chastise Spanish privateers, 

' Lists in Gent. Miuj. 1741, pp. (!89-G'J8. 

^ Beatson, i. 15. 

^ This letter, taken fiom Home Office Records, Admiralty, No. 69, is priuted in 
' Eng. Hist. Eev.,' vol. iv. 

■* Jenkins's ship, the lUbecca, is not here mentioned bj' name, but is identified with 
this vessel by a list of ships taken or plundered liy the Spaniards down to December, 
1737. The Rebecca was taken on April 9th, which in the new style would be the L'Oth. 

266 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1731-42. 

who were now no longer necessary, and whose commissions he had 
revoked. Stuart, however, must stop ships coming from Jamaica to 
Cuba, where British and Dutch ships were then to be found all 
through the year. 

^Vhat ultimately became of Fandino falls into its place here, 
though chronologically the story should be postponed. On June 4th, 
1742, among the Bahamas, Captain Thomas Frankland, of the Hose, 
fell in with, and chased, four ships, which showed British colours. 
He chased under the same, and, overhauling them, fired a gun.' 
The chase then hoisted the Spanish flag, and fought him furiously, 
using all sorts of missiles, from broadsides of shot to poisoned arrows. 
Frankland, however, held his fire for the fourth ship, a snow, which 
seemed the strongest, giving the others only a few guns as they 
chanced to bear. The first three sheered off badly hulled. 

"I then endeavoured," says Frankland, "to laj' the snow aboard, which she 
shunned with the utmost caution, maintaining a warm fire till I had torn her almost to 
rags, the commander having determined rather to sink than strike, for reasons you'll 
hereafter be sensible of: but in about four hours the people, in opposition to the captain, 
hauled down the colours." 

The prize mounted ten carriage guns, as many swivels, and had a 
crew of over eighty men. 

" The captain is Juan de Leon Fandino. ... He is the man that commanded the 
guard of coast out of the Havana that took Jenkins when his ears were cut off. . . . 
Not but such a desperado with his crew of Indians, Midattoes and Negroes could have 
a cted as he did, for we were at least two hours within pistol shot of him keeping a 
constant fire." 

So much for a stor}^ which has long been accounted a myth, both 
from its intrinsic improbability, and from the circumstance that 
Jenkins, like other merchant skippers who gave evidence before the 
House of Commons in 1738, was not on oath.- 

In 1739, as has been seen, reprisals were ordered, and instructions 
to that effect were sent out to Commodore Charles Brown at Jamaica, 
whose broad pennant was then flying in the Hampton Court.^ The 
bearer of this dispatch was the Hon. Edward Boscawen, of the 
ShoreJiam, who joined Brown at Port Eo_yal on August 6th, and, 

' Captains' Letters, F. 

- Mr. Lecky's opinion of the truth of the story is given on ]-.age 51 of this volume; 
and neither Stuart's nor Frankland's letter really goes far towards contradicting that 
opinion. — W. L. C. 

' The Hampton Courts log is of little value ; details of the cruise will be found in 
the Commodore's log, bound up with his dispatches in Admirals' Dispatches 1738- 
1742, Jamaica, in the Public Record Office. 

1739.] WAh' WITH SPAIN. 267 

after whose accession, the squadron consisted, hesides the two ships 
named, of the FabnoutJi, Diamond, Torrington, Windsor and Drake. 
Brown at once proceeded to carry out his orders, and on the following 
day the Drake and the Hampton Court's barge brought in a schooner. 
On the 14th the whole squadron left Port Eoyal, and proceeded 
round Cuba on a cruise, during which, owing to the scarcity of 
Spanish ships, they did no great amount of damage, but managed to 
collect reliable information as to the strength and distribution of 
Spanish men-of-war in those seas. On September 3rd, Captain 
Charles Knowles, of the Diamond, was detached in pursuit of a 
strange sail, and did not rejoin. The SJioreham was the most 
successful ship of the squadron. In her, Boscawen reconnoitred 
Havana, and, near that port, destroyed two sloops and took another, 
while a little later, about September 15th, he landed at Porto Maria, 
and burnt a large quantity of timber and other stores. He was there 
attacked by two half galleys and a sloop, l)ut they kept in such shoal 
water that the Shoreham, though hulled more than once, could not 
get close enough to harm them. Meanwhile, a small fort between 
Matanzas and Havana was destroyed. Brown, having stayed for 
twelve days off Havana in hopes of falling in with a Spanish 
squadron, learnt that none was expected, and, leaving the Windsor 
and Falmouth to cruise there till the end of the month, proceeded 
round the western end of the island, and, on October '28th, anchored 
in Port Eoyal. There he found the Diamond, which had made two 
captures — a ship and a brigantine, said to be worth .£30,000. These, 
with two other small sloops taken, and a few large canoes, represent 
the total damage done. In Port Eoyal lay Vernon's squadron, to 
which Brown had by that time become attached. 

Active warfare was at first entirely confined to the West Indies ; 
and in European seas the first action of importance took place when 
the Princesa, 64, six hundred men, of the Spanish Ferrol squadron, 
fell in with the Lenox, Kent, and Or/ord, which had been detached 
from Vice-Admiral John Balchen's squadron. These three ships, 
with the St. Albans and liipon, had been cruising to intercept a 
convoy of treasure ships under Pizarro, but saw nothing of them. 
Pizarro, for his success on this service, was appointed immediately 
to command the expedition which was sent out to round Cape Horn 
and to act as a check on Anson. The Princesa was sighted at 
9 A.M. on April 8th, 1740, and was at once chased by the three ships, 
viz., Lcno.r, 70, Captain Covill Mayne, Kent, 70, Captain Thomas 

268 MINOR OFERATIONH, 1714-1762. [1740. 

Durell (1), and Orford, 70, Captain Lord Augustus Fitzroy (1).' 
The chase was then under French colours ; but, when the Orford 
drew up soon after half-past ten, she hoisted Spanish. About eleven 
the Lenox also drew close up, and opened fire with her chase-guns, 
being soon followed by the Orford. All three ships came into close 
action and gave her many broadsides, for the most part within pistol 
shot ; but she made a most stubborn defence, and, though she became 
ungovernable, owing to the loss of her foretopmast, early in the en- 
gagement, she proved capable of a gi'eat deal of passive resistance. In 
explanation of this it was pointed out at the time that she was more 
heavily armed than the British 70's. The Spanish establishment was, 
24-prs. on the lower deck, 18-prs. on the upper deck, and 8-prs. on the 
quarter deck and forecastle, as against 24, 12, and 6-prs. in the British 
Navy ; but it is possible that the Princcsa may have had heavier guns 
mounted. She was moreover of very stout scantling, and, having small 
portholes, was, defensively at any rate, a most powerful ship. It has 
also been suggested that, as a fresh breeze was blowing, the British 
ships could not use their lower deck guns. This was not so. Covill 
Mayne makes special mention of sending the enemy broadsides from 
his lower, upper, and quarter-deck guns. The reports clash some- 
what ; but, roughly, the middle part of the action seems to have 
been fought with the Princesa out of hand, the Kent on her larboard 
beam, and the Lenox or Orford on her starboard side, and the third 
ship always under her stern, raking her fore and aft. In the after- 
noon the Orford had her fore rigging so much disabled that she 
dropped astern and had to lie to to knot and splice ; but meanwhile 
the raking fire from the Lenox had carried away the Princesa's main 
and mizen masts. The Orford, having repaired damages, drew up 
again ; and thereupon the enemy struck her colours, having main- 
tained an almost hopeless struggle with the utmost gallantry for 
close on seven houi's. Not unnaturally Lord Augustus Fitzroy 
claimed that she had struck to him, and sent the first boat on board, 
following closely himself. To Covill Mayne's indignation he 
received the sword of her commander, Don Pablo Agustin de 
Aguirre, and took charge of her papers. There was some angry 
protest, but the matter seems to have blown over. The prize, rated 
as a 70, continued for some years as one of the best two-deckers in 
the British Navy. 

The next operation that falls within the scheme of this chapter 
' Captains" Letters, vols, il i', and F 5. 




was not so satisfactory to British pride. General Ogletliorpe, 
commanding the troops on the North American station, conceived 
the notion that it would be to His Majesty's service to take 
St. Augustine, in Florida.^ Accordingly he consulted with the 
General Assembly of Carolina, asking what troops could be spared 
to him ; and he also gained the adherence to his plan of Captain 
Vincent Pearce (1), of the Flainhowuf/li, the Commodore on the 
station. The project was first suggested to Pearce in January, 1740 ; 
but the general found some difficulty in putting it on a working 
basis, and it was not till April that he renewed his request for the 
co-operation of his ships. These were : — 


t_: uuft. 





Vincent Pearce (1). 




Sir Yelverton Peyton, Bart. 




Peter Warren. 



Cliarles Fanshaw. 



the Hon. George Townslicud. 




William Laws. 

Wolf . 


Commauder AVilliam Dandridge. 

Eawk . 


and a sclioi-Hier. 


i auil teu swivels. 

' ami f'-'ur swivt-ls. 

When Oglethorpe's request was finally made the squadron was 
just on the point of starting on a cruise, and was therefore in 
perfect readiness for immediate action. The Squirrel was sent off 
St. Augustine pending the arrival of the rest of the force ; and 
she was annoyed by six half-galleys that lay there, and which, during 
calms and light winds, proved of considerable service to the 
Spaniards. The Wolf was sent on to join Warren towards the 
end of April, and on the 28th the Squirrel took a sloop belonging 
to the king of Spain. This prize mounted eight 4-prs. and six 
swivels, and had eight thoiisand pieces of eight on board. In May 
the Hector and Spence joined the ships off the bar of St. Augustine, 
Pearce meanwhile lying in St. John's Eiver co-operating with the 
troops then on the advance from the northward. Two small forts, 
St. Francis de Pupa and Fort Diego, were taken by Oglethoi-pe, 
who then returned to the mouth of the St. John's Kiver, wheiace 
on May 31st a general advance was made. On June 1st Pearce 
proceeded off St. Augustine, and found the Spaniards getting away 
their guns from a battery on the Island of St. Eustatia. He 
' Captains" Letters, vol. P 8. 

'270 MlNOn OPERATIONS, 17J 4-1762. [1740. 

promptly sent in his boats, ordering the Wolf and Bpence to cover 
the attack ; but the enemy gave no trouble, making off into the 
harbour on the approach of the boats. On June 5th it was decided 
at a council of war that the ships could remain on that coast 
till July 5th ; on the 7th there was another skimiish with the 
galleys ; and on the 13th the island was occupied by two hundred 
seamen and as many soldiers. Two days later Colonel Palmer was 
killed at Fort Moosa and his party driven back ; a serious reverse 
which gave the enemy free communication to the landward. 
Meanwhile guns were brought into position on the island, and 
two small craft were fitted to serve against the galleys, there being 
so little water on the bar that the ships could not get in. On 
June '20th the governor was summoned to surrender, but promptly 
refused. Deserters soon afterwards came into the British camp 
with news that the galleys were very badly manned and could easily 
be taken. As it had been discovered that the range was so great 
that the guns on the island could have little effect, a council of war 
was held with the view of seeing whether this information should 
be acted upon. Pearce, however, was averse from taking the risk : 
possibly he had doubts of the deserters ; and he persisted in his 
refusal though the land officers offered to put one hundred soldiers 
into the boats to take the places of those seamen who were absent 
in the batteries ashore. On this Colonel Vanderdussen pointed out 
how badly off the troops would be when the ships left the coast ; 
for the galleys would cut their communications. Pearce found that 
there was no port near where he could lay his ships up for the 
hurricane season ; and, not being too well manned, he had to refuse 
a request that he would leave two hmidred seamen to reinforce the 
troops. It was by that time July ; and the moment had come 
when, in accordance with the council of war of June 5th, the ships 
were to leave the coast. Without any friction, therefore, between 
Oglethorpe and Pearce, it was decided that nothing fm-ther could be 
done,^ and on the 5th the whole force withdi-ew, the ships covering 
it from any attempt on the part of the galleys. 

In July, 1741, Captain Curtis Barnet, of the Dragon, 60, was 
detached from Vice-Admiral Nicolas Haddock's squadron with the 
two 44-gun ships, Feversham and Folkestone, and with orders to 
cruise in the neighbourhood of the Strait of Gibraltar. Being off 

' BovmJ up with Pearce's letters are his log for three months, the minutes of the 
councils of war, and letters from Oglethorpe, Vanderdussen, Peyton and others. 


Cape Spartel on the "iStli of the month he chafed and came up with 
three ships, which he had reason to beheve were two Spanish 
register ships under convoy of a frigate. The Fevrrslnini had fallen 
astern, and the other two ships did not come up with the strangers 
till after dark. Barnet hailed to know what they were, and was 
answered that they were Frenchmen from Martinique. He explained 
that he was an English man-of-war, and that it was his duty to 
satisfy himself that they were not Spaniards ; but, to his demand 
that his boat should be allowed to board them, he received no 
response save incivilities. Finding that he could do nothing by 
talking, and being confirmed in his belief that the ships were really 
Spanish, he opened fire, after due warning. The ships were, how- 
ever, really French, being the Boree, 62, the Aquilon, 46, and the 
Flore, 26,^ under the command of Captain de Caylus, in the first 
named. A brisk action ensued, and the British ships, as the Fever- 
sham was still far astern, being somewhat at a disadvantage, soon 
found themselves obliged to lie to for half an hour to knot and splice. 
In the morning, they and their consort again came up with the 
Frenchman, and a boat was sent on board the Boree under a flag of 
truce. The truth at once appeared ; but it also appeared that the 
ships, being on their way from the West Indies, and knowing the 
state of relations between the two countries, were under the convic- 
tion that war had broken out. Barnet's lieutenant was requested to 
swear before the French officers whether this were the case or not, 
and was able to satisfy them that the two monarchies were still at 
peace. It is hard to say that either Barnet or De Caylus was to 
blame ; but the trouble might have been avoided had INI. de 
Pardaillan, the captain of the Aquilon, been less suspicious of a 
British ship ranging alongside cleared for action. The blame really 
lay with the government which, though knowing that war was 
inevitable, hesitated to declare it. As it was, the ships parted with 
mutual apologies, and with a loss in killed of eleven men on the 
British side, and of about thirty-five, among whom was M. de 
Pardaillan, on board the French ships. All the vessels, moreover, 
had their masts and rigging much cut. 

Meanwhile, in the West Indies, several of the cruisers which 

were detached by Vernon had better fortune than the main fleet. 

Some fell in with register ships of considerable value, and others did 

good service by capturing dispatch vessels. Of these latter the 

' Fronde, i. 289. " Barnet's letter in Beatsou, iii. ol. 

272 MINOR OPERATIONS, 17U-17G2. [1742. 

Worcester, (iO, took a Spanish 24-gun ship bearing dispatches to the 
viceroy of Mexico, and the Squirrel, 20, Captain Peter Warren, 
captured a large privateer belonging to Santiago de Cuba. It is 
said that the importance of this prize lay in information gained from 
her papers that the French squadron, under M. d'Antin at Port 
Louis, was intended to join with the Spaniards at Havana.' Be that 
as it may, M. d'Antin's squadron was rendered ineffective by putrid 
fever,^ and the breach with France was postponed. Captiires in the 
West Indies, as in home waters, were frequent ; but so great was 
the number of the enemy's privateers, and so large the number of 
British merchantmen, that the balance was not in favour of Great 
Britain ; and the London merchants, dissatisfied with the conduct 
of the war, fell to petitioning Parhament for a redress of grievances.^ 

Early in the next year the Tiger, 50, Captain Edward 
Herbert (1), was lost on a key near Tortuga. The crew got 
safely ashore with a quantity of stores and provisions, and raised 
on the island a fortification, in which they mounted twenty of the 
ship's guns. It was well that they did so, for the Spaniards, hearing 
of the misadventure, sent the Fuerte, 60, to capture them. She was, 
however, lost in the attempt, and the Tiger's men, after two months 
on the island, managed in their boats to take a sloop, in which thej' 
reached Jamaica. Though several prizes of value were made during 
the year, 1742, there was only one that calls for note. This was 
the guarda costa already mentioned, commanded by Fandino, the 
man who is alleged to have ill-treated Jenkins, and whose capture 
has been described as a fitting conclusion to the Jenkins episode.* 

The Spaniards at that time sent out a new governor to Cartagena, 
and with him a reinforcement of over a thousand men. The troops 
were in five ships of the Caracas company, of which two mounted 
40, two 30, and the fifth 12 guns. The squadron was dispersed b}' a 
hurricane, and two of the ships were lost, while the others, one of 
the 40's and both the 30's, fell in on April 12th, 1742, with the 
Elthain, 40, Captain Edward Smith, and the Lively, 20, Com- 
mander Henry Stewart. After some hours' hard fighting, night 
ended the engagement, and the Spaniards bore up for Puerto Bico. 
As they had lost in killed and wounded some six hundred men, 

' Beatson, i. 115. 

^ Poissomiier Desperrieres, 'Maladie.5 des gens de Mer,' p. 2tl5, 
» Beatson, i. 121-25. See also Gent. Marj. 17-11, pp. 689-698. 
* See above, pp. 51 and 26G. 


including the new governor among the former, it' may be said that 
the reinforcement had been practically annihilated. 

On September 21st, 1742, the Navy sustained a heavy loss in the 
destruction of the Tilbiiri/, (iO, Captain Peter Lawrence, by fire, off 
Hispaniola. The cause of the accident was a drunken scuffle ; and 
the whole of the story, down to the loss of one hundred men, corre- 
sponds almost exactly with that of the destruction of the Paragon 
during Penn's return from the West Indies in June, 1655.^ 

The destruction of five Spanish galleys at St. Tropez in June, 
1742, was a spirited piece of service. Captain Eichard Norris, of 
the Kingston, 60, had been detached, with the Oxford, 50, and Duke, 
fireship, in company, to blockade them ; but as St. Tropez, being a 
French port, was neutral, there would have been no attack had not the 
galleys been so ill-advised as to fire upon the British. On June 13th, 
therefore, Norris gave orders to Commander Smith Callis, of the 
Duke, to go in and do his utmost to destroy the galleys at the mole. 
Calhs went in on the 14th, and fired his ship with such good effect, 
that the whole of the five were destroyed. So rapidly did he carry 
oiit his orders that nothing was saved from the Duke, not even the 
ship's or officers' papers.^ For his success, Callis was posted to the 

Early in 1743, Vice- Admiral Thomas Mathews, hearing that the 
Spanish ship San Isidoro, 70, was lying in the Bay of Ajaccio, sent 
in the Ipsivich, 70, Captain William Martin (1), Revenge, 70, Captain 
George Berkeley, and the Anne Galley, fireship, to bring her out. 
Her captain refused to yield to the odds arrayed against him, and 
opened fire, but finding it impossible to hold the ship, he ordered her 
to be biu'nt. She blew up before all her people had been taken out 
of her, and a considerable nmnber of men perished. 

Apart from this piece of work, there was little done in the 
Mediterranean, though the cruisers continued to send in prizes, and 
to annoy the enemy's coast. In June, however, the enemy contrived 
so far to avoid the blockading squadron as to carry fifteen shiploads 
of warlike stores from Majorca to Genoa for the use of the army in 
Italy. Mathews at once appeared off that port with six sail of the 
line, and overawed the Genoese into sending the supplies back to 
Corsica, there to lie till the conclusion of the war. 

' Beatsou, i. 149. 

2 See above. Vol. II. p. 208. 

' Captains' Letters, C 14. Callis to Thomas Corbctt, August lltli, 1742. 


274 MINOR UI'EHATIONS, 1714-1762. [1744. 

The following year, 1744, was very far from being a fortunate 
one for the British navy. The fiasco off Toulon was supplemented 
by the capture of the Sea/ord, '20, Solebai/, 20, and Grampus, 14, by 
de Kochambeau, by the throwing away of the Northumherland, 70, 
and by the loss, through stress of weather, of the Victory, 100,' 
Orford, 70, ColcheHter, 50, St. Albans, 50, Greenwich, 50, and other 
ships of less value. Against this tale of disaster we could oppose 
merely the capture of the Medee, 26, on April 27th, by the Dread- 
nought, 50, Captain the Hon. Edward Boscawen,'-^ and Grampus, 14, 
which formed part of the fleet of Vice- Admiral Sir Charles Hardy (1), 
off the coast of Portugal. 

Of these misfortunes that requiring most particular notice here is 
the loss of the Northumberland. This ship, commanded by Captain 
Thomas AVatson (1), was detached in chase of a strange sail on 
May 8th by the Vice-Admiral, who was then homeward bound from 
the Tagus. In view of the sequel, it is w'orth remembering that 
Watson was a good and brave officer, favourably known in the 
service for his work as Vernon's flag-captain at Puerto Bello and 
Cartagena. But his skull had been fractured, and his mind im- 
paired, so that "a small matter of liquor rendered him quite out of 
order, which was his unhappy fate that day." ^ The weather grew 
thick, the chase was lost sight of, and the signal was made for the 
Northumberland' s recall ; but Watson held on. Soon three sail 
were made out to leeward, and as he bore down on them under a 
press of sail, it was seen that they were two two-decked ships and a 
frigate. They were, in point of fact, the 

>bii)&. 'ilm?^. (.'ummauders. 

Content ... 64 Captain de Conflaus. 

Mars .... 1)4 „ du Perrier. 

Venus .... 26 „ d'Aclie. 

The French ships lay to under topsails, while the Northumberland 
bore down on them. Properly handled, the British ship would have 

' See the previous chapter. 

- Boscawen's nickcanie in tlie service dates from this time. The seamen transferred 
tlie name of the ship to the man ; and lie went through life as " Old Dreadnought." 

^ 'A true and authentic Narrative of the action between i[\e Northumherland and 
tliree French men of war" .... By an Eye Witness. 8vo, 1745. 

1744.] VAPTirni': OF Till': NOIlTlIUMBKItLANn. 275 

had them at a disadvantai,'(!, for they were widely separated, and the 
Content, a mile to windward of her consorts, made no attempt to 
rejoin them. Watson, therefore, had the option of disa])ling her 
before the others could interfere, or of following the counsel of his 
master, Dixon, who advised him to stand close-hauled to the north- 
ward ' under a press of sail, and so to lead the enemy across the 
course of the British fleet. This advice was disregarded, and no 
reasonable nor customary measures were taken to put the ship into a 
fit state for action. 

" We bore down so precipitately that our small .sails were not stowed, nor top- 
gallant sails furled, before the enemy began to tire on us, and at tlie same time we had 
the cabins to clear away ; the hammocks were not stowed as they should be ; in short 
we had nothing in order." 

Instead of engaging the weathermost ship, the Content, Watson ran 
down to leeward without answering her fire, and so had to deal at 
once with his three enemies. Even then, there was no real reason 
why the ship should be taken, for the French gunnery was so 
extremely bad that she was little hurt, and had but few men killed. 
But Watson fell early in the action, none of the lieutenants were on 
deck to take command, and the Master ordered the colours to be 
struck, though there was fight enough left both in the ship and in 
her crew. The Northuinheiiaud was taken into Brest, and till the 
1st of June, 1794, for fifty years, the trophy name found a place on 
French navy lists. When the officers returned to England from 
their captivity, a court-martial was held. The first lieutenant, 
Thomas Craven, was honourably acquitted, but Dixon, the master, 
was condemned for surrendering the ship. The court took into 
consideration the good advice which he had given his captain before 
the action, and sentenced him only to be imprisoned for life in the 
Marshalsea. The court foiind also " that Captain Watson had 
behaved very rashly and inconsiderately, to which was owing chiefly 
the loss of her " ; but death had settled his account. - 

The hurricane that devastated Jamaica on October 20th was one 
of the most violent upon record. Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle (1) was 
at sea with a great part of the fleet, and so escaped its fury ; but 
eight ships of the Eoyal Navy, besides a great number of merchant- 
men, were either wrecked or driven ashore. The Greenwich, 50, 

' The wind was westerly. 

- Minutes of Court Martial held at Portsmouth on February 1st, 1744-5. R. 0. 
vol. 27. 

T 2 

276 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1745. 

Captain Edward Allen, was sunk, with the loss of her captain, a 
heuteuant, and seventy men ; the Lark, hulk,' sank, and one hundred 
and ten men with her; and the St. Albans, 50, Captain William 
Knight, Bonetta, sloop, Commander WiUiam Lea, and Thunder, 
bomb, were also total losses. The Prince of Orange, 60, Montagu, 
60, and Experiment, 20, went ashore, but were got off again.^ The 
histoiy of the year at sea was about as disheartening as possible ; and 
1745 saw no marked improvement. 

On Januaiy 6th, 1745, four sail of the line, the Hampton Court, 70, 
Captain Savage Mostyn ; Captain, 70, Captain Thomas Griffin (1) ; 
Sunderland, 60, Captain John Brett ; and Dreadnought, 60, Captain 
Thorpe Fowke, cruising off Ushant, sighted and gave chase to three 
French ships to the north-east. These were the Neptune, 74, and 
Fleuron, 64, homeward bound from Martinique, with a vast quantity 
of specie on board, worth four millions sterling, it is said, and in 
company with the privateer Mars, George Walker, master, which 
they had captm-ed two days before. As the captain of the Fleuron 
told Walker, who was a prisoner on board his ship, the French 
commodore had made a great mistake in interrupting his journey to 
Brest for so trifling an object as the Mars. This was hardly compli- 
mentaiy to Walker, who at that time, wath Fortunatus Wiight, did 
as much to uphold British prestige at sea as any captains of the 
Eoyal Kavj' ; but it was true, and, had the two French ships fallen, 
they would richly have deserved their fate. As it was, thej' were not 
captui'ed ; and the storj', as disclosed in the subsequent court-martial,^ 
and in an able comment thereon addressed to the House of Commons,* 
is very unpleasant reading. 

It is desirable here to enter into the matter in some detail, 
for it shows the alanning state to which British naval prestige 
had fallen, and it explains the necessity for the new Naval Discipline 
Act of 1749. 

The French ships, after their long passage, were both sicklj- and 
foul, and the English, with a fresh southerlj- breeze, gi-aduall}- crept 
up. The Captain, the leading ship, kept away after the Mars, and 
took possession of her at dusk, lea^^ng the others to continue the 

^ Formerly a 44-gun ship. 

^ Beatson, i. 193. 

' Minutes of the Court Martial, etc. 1745, 8to. 

* ' An Enquiry into the Conduct of Captain Most}-n, being remarks on the Minutes 
of the Court Martial, etc. Humbly addressed to the Hon. House of Commons by a 
Sea Officer.' 1745, 8to. 


chase. The Sunderland carried away her main topmast, and dropped 
astern ; but at sunset the Hampton Court was close up with the 
enemy. The DreadnougJit, sailing very badly, could not quite get 
up, and Mostyn shortened sail to wait for her. All through the 
night and during the next day, the position continued the same, 
the Dreadnought sailing no faster than the chase and the Hampton 
Court not engaging without her. At last, after ranging abreast of 
the Neptune, but out of gunshot to windward, Mostyn decided that 
nothing could be done, and left the French to carry their valuable 
cargo into Brest. ^ Of course the two ships ought to have been 
taken. Griffin, who was senior officer, had no business to bear 
away after the Mars ; yet, apart from that, it was Mostyn's duty 
to have engaged as soon as he came up, and to have detained the 
enemy till the Dreadnought could get into action. Griffin, at the 
court-martial, stated that when he bore away he believed the Mars 
alone to be a ship of war and the other two to be merchantmen 
under her convoy. He was accordingly acquitted ; but, as the 
other three ships had no doubt whatever as to the nature of the 
Neptune and Fleuron, and as the Captain was nearest to them, the 
opinion of the service was unfavourable to the commanding officer 
of the ship last named. As for Mostyn, the evidence went that, in 
the fresh breeze that was blowing, the Hampton Court's lower deck 
ports could not be opened, while both the enemy's ships could fight 
all their guns, to leeward as well as to windward. It was further 
stated that the Hampton Court lay along so much that shot from 
her upper deck guns, at extreme elevation, would have struck the 
water fifty yards from their muzzles. This, however, was mere 
conjecture, and does not explain why not a shot was tried. It 
might have been possible to knock away a spar, and to give the 
Dreadnought a chance of coming into action. As to the French- 
man's lower deck guns being run out to leeward, the writer of the 
appeal to the House of Commons " points out that the witness who 
swore to this fact proved too much. Those on board the Hampton 
Court, in her position to windward, were not in a condition to see 
whether the enemy's lee ports were open or not. There was no 
cross-examination; and the Court decided that Mostyn "had done 
his duty as an experienced good officer, and as a man of courage 

' The Fleuron was, however, blown up in Brest harhmii- before her treasure could 
be taken out of her. 

^ Believed to be Vernuu. 

278 MJKOTl OPKRATIONI^, 1714-1762. [1745. 

and conduct." It is difficult to believe that this decision was come 
to without bias. At any rate, it by no means satisfied public 
opinion ; and, a year later, the Hampton Court, with Mostyn still in 
command, went out of I'ortsmouth fiarbour to the cry of " All's 
well ! there's no Frenchman in the way." ' 

On February '20th following, the Chester, .50, Captain Francis 
Geary, and Smiderlcmd, 60, Captain John Brett, fell in in 
the Soundings with the Elephant, 20, then on her way home 
from the Mississippi, and having twenty-four thousand pieces 
of eight on board. They chased, shot away her main topmast, 
and captured her. This was but a mere flicker of success, closely 
to be followed by another loss and Ijy another unsatisfactory 

On March 28th, the Anyleseij, 44, Captain Jacob Elton, one of 
the ships cruising to command the entrance of the Channel, put 
out of Kingsale, whither she had been to land some sick, amongst 
whom was her first lieutenant. On the following da}% a fresh 
westerly breeze blowing, a large sail was sighted to windward. 
Elton, making sure that she was his consort the Augusta, piped to 
dinner, and paid no further heed. Meanwhile, the stranger came 
down fast ; but it was not till she was close to the Anglesey that, 
yawing slightly, she showed French ornamentation on her quarter. 
Then all was hurry and confusion. Elton, to gain time, ordered the 
foresail to be set ; but the only effect of this manoeuvre was to bury 
the lee lower deck ports in the sea and almost to swamp the ship. 
The enemy, which proved to be the Apollon, 50, belonging to the 
French navy, but fitted out by private adventurers, ran close under 
the stern of the Anglesey and rounded-to on her lee quarter, poui-ing 
in a heavy fire. Elton and the Master fell at the first discharge, 
and the command devolved on the second lieutenant. Baker Phillips. 
The decks were not cleared ; the ship was half-full of water ; and 
sixty men were dead or wounded. Phillips could not order the 
helm to be put up without falling aboard a ship as full of men as 
his was of water ; so, taking hasty comisel with Taafe, the third 
lieutenant, he decided that no effective resistance could be offered, 
and ordered the colours to be struck. It is difficult to see what else 
Phillips could have done. William Hutchinson, " the Mariner," laid 
down that a ship attacked as the Anglesey was ought to be box- 
hauled, and to pass imder the enemy's stern raking him, as the 

' Cluiruock, iv. 431. 


Serapis subsecjiunitl^y did in the course of her action with the 
Bonhomme Uicliurd. Ikit in 1745 Phillips could not have had 
the advantage of a study of Hutchinson's ' Treatise on Practical 
Seamanship ' ; and, being a young man and inexperienced, he acted 
as most other men in his position would have done. The ship 
was lost by being engaged to leeward. The subsequent court- 
martial ' — 

" was vinanimoiisly of opinion tliat Ca])taiii I'liton, deceased, did not give timely 
directions foi- getting his ship clear or in a projier jio-sture of defence, nor did he 
afterwards behave like an ollicer or a seaman, which was the cause of the ship being 
left to Lieutenant Phillips in such distress and confusion. And that Lieutenant Baker 
Phillips, late second lieutenant of the said ship, by not endeavouring to the utmost 
of his power after Captain Elton's death to put . the ship in order of fighting, not 
encouraging the inferior officers and common men to fight courageously, and by 
yielding to the enemy, falls under part of the tenth article. They do sentence him to 
death, to be shot by a ])latoou of musqueteers on the forecastle, . . . but . . . having 
regard to the distress and confusion the ship was in when he came to the command, 
and being a young man and unexperienced, they beg leave to recommend him fur 

The recommendation was ignored, and the sentence was duly 
carried into effect. It is difficult to say what was the reason of this, 
and it has been suggested in explanation that there was a suspicion 
that Phillips was in the pay of the Young Pretender. No hint of 
this appears in the minutes of the court-martial ; but it must be 
remem.bered that the terror of an invasion was at that time very 
great, and that men may be swayed by motives which they do not 
acknowledge even to themselves. Whether as a result of this court- 
martial or not, it remains to be recorded that not a ship wavered in 
her allegiance, though there were undoubted Jacobites in the fleet. - 
The one action of the year that had a direct bearing on the result, 
the engagement between the Lion and the French ship EUsaheth, 
has already been described.^ 

A number of valuable prizes continued to be made, chiefly in the 
West Indies. The greatest success fell to the privateers ; but in 
December, 1744, the Bose, 20, Captain Thomas Frankland, had fallen 
in with and taken the treasure-ship Concepcion, bound from Cartagena 
to Havana. The prize mounted twenty guns and had a large crew ; 
but her value lay in the enormously rich cargo which, after a stubborn 
fight, became the property of the British. As she was not condemned 

' 25th and 26th June, 17-15. P. K. O., vol 2H. 

'^ Vide e.g., P. E. 0. Courts-martial, vol. 29. Lieutenant William .Tohnstun, fur 
treason, July 15th, 1745. 

' Supra, Chap. XW'IL, p. 110. 

280 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1714-lTfi2. [1745. 

by legal process, the exact value of her lading is unknown. It will 
be enough, however, to say that it consisted chiefly of gold, silver, 
and jewels, and that such additional finds as 20,000 and 30,000 
pistoles, made after the ship had been cleared, were looked on by 
comparison as trifles. The privateers which harmed the enemy 
most at that time were the Prince Frederick, Duke, and Prince 
George, fitted out by a London firm in the summer of 174-5, and 
cruising under one James Talbot, master of the first-named, 
as commodore.' The profit resulting from this single cruise, 
£700,000, was so enormous as to tempt the merchants to repeat 
their scheme ; and the ships were sent to sea again in the following 
year under George Walker. Subsequently to his capture by the 
Fleurun, Walker had commanded the privateer Boscarven, which, 
as the French royal frigate Mklee, had been the first prize of the 
war, and had been renamed in honour of her captor. 

The French West India trade of 1745 went out under the convoy 
of the Magnanime, 74, and other ships of war. Vice-Admiral Isaac 
Townsend had, however, received news concerning the convoy, and, 
on October 31st, intercepted it off Martinique. Townsend, in the 
Lenox, together with the Dreadnought and Ipswich, engaged the 
men-of-war, while the smaller ships were sent off in chase of 
the flying merchantmen. Several of these latter were picked up 
to leeward or were driven ashore, but the men-of-war escaped by 
taking refuge under the batteries.'^ 

In the MediteiTanean, meanwhile, the only action of import- 
ance was that between the Jersey, 60, Captain Charles Hardy (2), 
detached from Captain Henry Osborn's squadron, and the St. 
Esprit, 74. The action was very severe, lasting for two hours and 
a half, at the end of which time both ships were crippled. The 
St. Esprit returned to Cadiz with the loss of her foremast and 
bowsprit, and with twenty men killed. 

It has been said that the Apollon was a royal ship in pi-ivate 
employ. This hiring out of the State's ships was by no means an 
uncommon practice with the French ; and, on the break up of their 
main fleet subsequent to the battle off Toulon, it was carried out 
on a considerable scale. M. de Lage, a man w'hose chief merit lay 
in his self-assertiveness, succeeded in obtaining from the Admiral 
of France an acting commission as commodore, with authority to fit 

' Beatson, i. 294 ; J. K. Laiightou : ' Studies in Naval History,' p. 237. 
- Beats. .11, i. 2SG. 

1715.] CRUISE OF M. DE l.AGE. 281 

out a squadron at his own expense. The crews were to be raised 
from the government Hsts of seamen and marines, hut were to be 
paid by de Lage. But the men had a peculiar dishke to the 
adventurer, and would not volunteer ; ajid it was with the greatest 
difficulty that, after a hot press, two ships of the hne and two 
frigates got to sea in April, 1745. These were the Fervie, 74, 
Orlfiammc, 54, Diane, 30, and Volage, 30. Three times did 
de Lage put to sea, and three times was he driven in by bad 
weather. On each return to port numbers of men deserted, and 
finally he had to pay off the Ferme. With the three ships that were 
left, he put to sea for the last attempt at the end of March, 174G. 
On the 29th he was sighted by Commodore the Hon. George 
Townshend, who had with him at that time the Bedford, 70, and 
Essex, 70, and two bombs, but who, contenting himself with a 
distant view, chose to believe that the enemy was of superior force, 
and declined to engage.^ De Lage stood over to the coast of Spain 
where, on April 4th, oft' Cape St. Martin, the Volage, which had 
chased out of sight of the squadron, was taken, after an obstinate 
resistance, by Captain John Fawler, of the Stirling Castle, 70. On 
the following morning her consorts hove in sight ; and Fawler, 
believing himself to be in no fit condition to engage them, cut adrift 
the prize, which he had taken in tow. She was therefore retaken, 
and with her, a lieutenant and twenty-five men. Fawler was tried 
by court-martial at Gibraltar on October (3th and 7th following ; and 
the court, though it acquitted him for not engaging de Lage, 
condemned him for not destroying the prize, which, as he had had 
possession of her all night and had learnt from the prisoners that 
her consorts were in the neighbourhood, he should and could 
have done. 

When de La Jonquiere, driven out of America by putrid fever and 
small-pox, was on his way back to Europe, he had a narrow escape 
from falling in with Anson, then in command in the Channel. 
Indeed, so near were the fleets to one another that the French ship, 
Mcrcure, 56, doing duty as a hospital, was taken, when but a httle 
separated from the main body. Two other ships failed to reach 
France ; the Ferine, 54, which had been sent to Quebec with 
military stores, and which had fallen in with the British blockading 
squadron, and the Mars, 64, which had been driven by stress of 
weather to Martinique. Thence, after refitting, she had sailed for 
' Court-martial on Townshend, February i)th, 17-16-47. P. K. O., vol. 30. 

282 MINOR oriiltATlONS, 1714-1762. [1746. 

home ; but she was seventy-five men short of her complement and 
very sickly, so that, when she fell in, on October 11th, 1746, with 
the Nottingham, 60, Captain Philip de Saumarez, cruising to the 
south-west of Cape Clear, she was not in a condition to make effective 
resistance. The fight was, nevertheless, maintained for two hours, 
ere the Mars, reduced to a wreck, with twelve men killed and 
forty wounded, as against three killed and sixteen wounded in the 
Notfhif/ham, struck. But for the fineness of the weather it would 
have been impossible to send her in. She was added to the Navy. 

In 1746, the privateers on both sides continued to have a good 
share in the hard knocks, and from time to time did excellent 
service. There are two of their exploits which specially claim 
mention. On April 10th the Alexander privateer, one hundred and 
fortj' men, Phillips master, was cruising off lihe, when she saw 
a frigate, with a store ship in company, standing into St. Martin. 
This was the Solebaij, 20 guns and two hundred and thirty men, 
which had been taken by de Rochambeau on the Portuguese coast 
nearly two years before. Phillips boarded her athwart the bowsprit, 
at the very entrance to the road, and carried her, killing fifteen of 
her men. Phillips, like Walker, was kept out of the King's service, 
which he was desirous of entering, by the stringency of the regula- 
tions, and had to be content with an acknowledgment of five hundred 
guineas and a gold medal. The second instance occurred on May 1st, 
when, as has been briefly noted in the previous chapter, H.M.S. 
Grei/JioiDtd, 20, with the sloops Baltimore and Terror, fell in off the 
west coast of Scotland with two heavy French privateers of 32 and 
34 guns respectively. The British were severely handled and beaten 
off', and Commander the Hon. Richard Howe (afterwards Earl Howe), 
then of the Baltimore, was badly wounded. 

On February 9th, 1746, the Portland. 50, Captain Charles 
Stevens, cruising in the Soundings, fell in with and engaged the 
French Auguste, 50, four hundred and seventy men. 

" After two-aud-a-half hours' close action," wrote Stevens, " she struck. Laving 
tifty killed, ninety-four wounded, all her masts so shattered that they went by the 
board, and so many shot in the hull, that, with the late hard easterly wind, I was 
obliged to put away with her before it a hmidred leagues to the westward, and am now 
towing her for Pljanouth." ' 

The Portland had five men killed and thirteen woimded, and lost 
her main yard.'-* The Auguste was bought into the service, and, 

' .J. K. Laughton : ' Studies in Naval History,' p. 255. '' Cliarnock, v. 229. 


as the PortlancTK Prize, cruised with success. On November 19th of 
the same year, in company with the Winchehea, 20, the Portland 
sighted the Snhtile, 2G. The Winchehea, in which Samuel (after- 
wards Viscount) Hood was then a lieutenant, outsailed her consort, 
and, after a very severe action, fought the chase to a standstill, so 
that, on the Portland's coming up, the Frenchman struck im- 
mediately.' The rest of the doings of single ships and light 
squadi'ons in European waters during the year may be dismissed 
with a mere reference to the destruction of the Ardent, 64, which was 
chased ashore in Quiberon Bay in November by Lestock's squadron 
when returning from its fruitless descent on Lorient. 

Before Anson's victory of May 8rd, there was little done at sea 
in 1747 ; and, after it, the enemy began to show great signs of that 
exhaustion which, consequent on their second defeat in October, put 
an end to the war. Anson's work was well supplemented when 
Captain Thomas Fox, of the Kent, 74, having put to sea with 
a small squadron in April, fell in, to the westward of the Bay of 
Biscay, on June 20th, with the large fleet of French West Indiamen 
which he had long been anxiously awaiting. The merchantmen were 
under the convoy of M. Dubois de La Motte, whose force consisted 
of three sail of the line and a frigate, a force inferior indeed to the 
six ships " of Fox's squadron but not so far inferior as to justify the 
flight which followed. M. de La Jonquiere, in his encounter with 
Anson, had earned the gratitude of his country by deliberately giving 
himself to be crushed that he might save his convoy ; de La Motte 
shrank from the sacrifice, and took his men-of-war unscathed into 
Brest, while, of the West Indiamen, about fifty, to the value of 
upwards of a million, were picked up either by Fox himself or by 
Eear-Admiral Sir Peter Warren's squadron to leeward. 

On the following day the Etoile, 46, escorting five merchantmen, 
was driven ashore at Cape Finisterre by Sir Peter Warren, and 
was burnt. ^ A few days later, an attempt to execute a somewhat 
similar exploit ended in disaster. The Maidstone, 60, Captain the 
Hon. Augustus Keppel, which had been cruising in the Soundings 
and in the Bay of Biscay, chased an enemy's ship inshore at Belle 

' The Subtile was added to the Kuyal Navy as the Amazon. 

" Kent, 74, Captain Thomas Fo.>l; Hampton Court, 70, Captain Savage MostjTi : 
Eagle, 60, Captain George Brydges Rodney ; Lion, (50, Captain Artliur Scott : 
Chester, 50, Captain Philip Durell (1) ; Hector, 44, Captain Thomas Stanhope : with 
the fireships Pluto and Dolphin. 

^ Troude, i. 318 ; Beatsou, i. 372 ; Cliarnock, iv. 1>S7. 

284 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1714-17<J2. [1747. 

Isle on June 27th. Venturing too close in, the Maidstone ran 
aground and became a total wreck ; and Keppel and his men were 
made prisoners of war. 

Other captures of note made during the course of the summer 
in European waters were those of the Bellone, Loup, and Tieuommee. 
The Bellone, a 36-gun frigate bound from Nantes to the East 
Indies, was taken by the Edinburgh, Eagle, and Nottingham, was 
bought into the service as the Bellona, and was at once sent out 
to cruise, with Captain the Hon. Samuel Barrington in command. 
The Loup had been the British sloop Wolf, taken by the French 
two years earlier. It is interesting to notice that she was captured 
by the Amazon, 26, which, as has been mentioned, was originally the 
French Subtile. The Wolf, in French hands, had been used as a 
privateer, but resumed her duties as a 14-gun sloop in the British 
Navy, curiously enough, under the orders of Commander George 
Vachell, who had had her before her captm-e in 1745.^ The 
Amazon, whose captain was Samuel Faulknor(2), son of that 
Samuel Faulknor (1) who had perished with Balchen in the Victory 
in 1744, continuing her cruise, fell in, on September 12th, with the 
Renommec, 32. A severe but indecisive action followed, and left 
both ships badly crippled. They parted company in the night, 
but, next day, the Benommee, having the further misfortune to fall 
in with the Dover, .50, Captain the Hon. Washington Shirley, was 
taken, and, with her, M. de Confians, who was going out in her 
to take over the government of San Domingo. 

The French force under M. de I'Etenduere, which suffered 
defeat on October 14th, 1747, at the hands of Hawke, had under 
its convoy a large fleet of merchantmen for the West Indies. 
Hawke, after the battle, was not in a fit state to pm'sue the convoy, 
but, with admirable promptness, at once victualled the Weazel, 
sloop, and despatched her to warn Captain George Pocock, who 
had succeeded Captain the Hon. Edward Legge as commodore on 
the West India station, of its approach. Thanks to this prompt- 
ness, Pocock, though his squadron was scattered when the news 
reached him, was able to capture many of the merchantmen. The 
Captain took eight, the Dreadnought six, the Dragon five, the 
Ludlow Castle another, and the privateers on the station ten more. 
The twenty taken by Pocock were valued at ±'100,000.- 

' He was lost with her uft' the Irish coast in .January, 1749. 
- Beatson, i. 368 and -108. 


It still remains to describe the most noteworthy of the minor 
actions of the year 1747.^ Mention has already been made of 
George Walker, a man who would have done credit to any service, 
and who was kept out of the Navy only by the regulations which 
made it impossible to offer him therein any command which he 
would be likely to accept. His fortune on two or three occasions 
brought him into close contact with the Eoyal Navy, but never more 
closely than in the present instance. Walker, it has been seen, 
took over Talbot's squadron of privateers on the latter's retirement. 
He enlarged it, and, like his predecessor, cruised with great success 
against the enemy's commerce. On October 6th, 1747, the " Eoyal 
Family," so called because all the ships composing it were named 
after members of the reigning house, were standing out of Lagos 
Bay when a large ship was sighted coming in towards Cape 
St. Vincent. They immediately gave chase ; and the stranger bore 
away to the westward, being, like the British ships, in some doubt 
as to the enemy's force. She was, in fact, the Glorioso, a Spanish 
74, which had previously landed at Ferrol about three millions of 
treasure from the Spanish Main, and was then bound to Cadiz. 
She was a fine powerful ship, though, as was general in that 
service, she carried no heavier guns than '24-pounders. This was 
not her first hostile meeting during the voyage, for on July 14th 
she had fallen in at the Azores with the Lark, 40, Captain John 
Crookshanks, and Warwick, 60, Captain Robert Erskine. The 
Warivick had attacked but, left unsupported, had been beaten to 
a standstill; and the Glorioso had made off. For this fiasco, 
Crookshanks, who was the senior officer, was cashiered. A few 
days later the Spaniard had met with the Oxford, 50, with the 
Shorcham, 24, and Falcon, 14, in company ; but they had made 
room for her as being of superior force. 

.It was now for Walker to try his hand. He beheved that there 
was treasure still on board ; but when, at about noon on the 6th, 
he overhauled the chase, his frigate, the King George, 32, was alone. 
It had fallen flat calm, and the rest of the "Eoyal Family" had 
not been able to get up, so that the King George and the Glorioso 
lay looking at one another, each uncertain as to what the other 
was. In the evening a breeze arose, and the Glorioso headed in- 

' J. K. Laughton : ' Studies in History,' pp. 239 s<2q. P. E. 0. Courts- 
martial, vol. 32, December 28th, 1747, on Smith Callis of the Oxford, and, 
February 1st, 1748, on Crookshanks of the Lark. 

286 MINOR orKliATlONS, 1711-1762. [1747. 

shore, followed by the privateer which, on closing, hailed for 
information. The Spaniard answered with a cross-question, and, 
on finding that the ship alongside was British, poured in a broad- 
side, which was returned at once ; and the ships ran slowly in to the 
land, engaged yard-arm to yard-arm. There have been instances 
enough of frigates attacking ships of the line ; the capture of the 
Guillaume Tell in 1800 was directly due to the embarrassing atten- 
tions of the Penelope ; and no small share of Edward Pellew's great 
name is due to the manner in which, in the Indefatigable, 44, he 
hung on to the Droits de I'Homme in a gale of wind on a lee shore, 
till he left her a hopeless wreck. But this is the only instance in 
which a frigate, in a smooth sea and fine weather, voluntarily 
placed herself, yard-arm to yard-arm, with a ship of the line ; and 
not the least wonder of it is that the frigate was only a privateer. 
Fortunately for the King George, many of the enemy's shot either 
went over her or took effect in her spars ; yet, in spite of that, 
after some hours her position began to be critical. On one of her 
consorts, the Prince Frederick, coming up, however, the Glorioso 
took to fiight. On the morning of the 8th, the King George was 
too disabled to pursue, and the Prince Frederick, with two other 
ships of the squadron, was making sail after the chase when a large 
vessel was seen coming up from the eastward. She was made out 
to be British, and Walker at once sent to explain the situation to 
her captain. She was the Russell, 80, Captain Matthew Buckle (1), 
homeward bound from the Mediterranean, but with only half a crew 
on board ; and, even of these, some were sick. As the Bussell crowded 
sail in pursuit the chase was seen to be sharply engaged with some 
vessel miknown which presently blew up. It was thought at first 
that she was the Prince Frederick, but she was in reality the 
Dartmouth, 50, Captain James Hamilton (2), which had been drawn 
to the scene of action by the firing of the previous night. Out of 
her crew of three hundred only fourteen, including a lieutenant, 
were saved. Shortly afterwards the Russell in her turn came up, 
and began a hot action which lasted for five hours, at the end of 
which time the enemy's main-top mast went overboard and she 
struck. So short-handed was the Russell that the number of the 
prisoners was a serious embaiTassment, and many of them had to be 
sent away in the privateers. 

Towards the end of 1747 Captain Dubois de La Motte went 
out to San Domingo with a convoy of merchantmen. His force 


consisted of the Mai/iianiiiw, ()4, and a new Etoile, 42. On 
November 18th four British men-of-war were seen/ of which one 
monnted (iO and another 50 ptuns. From these M. de La Motte 
protected his convoy. There was some desultory firing, and the 
merchantmen, with the exception of six, got safely away. No 
sooner was the Magnanime back in France, than she was ordered 
to the East Indies, bearing the broad pennant of Commodore the 
Marquis d'Albert.^ On January 81st, 1748, she was sighted in the 
north-west by the fleet then cruising under Hawke to the westward 
of Ushant. The Magnanime had been partially dismasted in a gale 
a few days previously, and was then on her way back to Brest 
to refit. Directly she was sighted, the Nottingham, 60, Captain 
Eobert Harland (2) , was detached in chase ; but, immediately 
afterwards, it became apparent that the enemy was a ship of force, 
and the Portland, 50, Captain Charles Stevens, was also ordered 
to follow her. The Nottingham was engaged for nearly an hour 
before Stevens could come up, and suffered somewhat severely, 
losing in all sixteen men killed and eighteen wounded. The loss 
of the Portland was only four men wounded, its smallness being due 
to the disabled condition of the French ship, which allowed the 
Portland to keep on her quarter and rake her at will. After 
a stubborn resistance, lasting for six hours, the enemy struck, 
having lost, out of a crew of six hundred and eighty-six men, 
forty-five killed and one hundred and five wounded. The prize 
was a very fine ship, and was added to the British Navy under 
her old name. Her capture was the last one of importance in 
the war. 

The 10th of October, 1748, was marked by the mutiny of the 
Chesterfield, 40, which was stationed on the coast of Africa. On 
the date named, while the ship lay off Cape Coast Castle, and 
the captain, O'Brien Dudley, and others were ashore, Lieutenant- 
Samuel Couchman organised a rising, and, persuading the lieutenant 
of Marines, the carpenter, and thirty men to join him, got possession 
of the ship. The boatswain, Mr. Gastrien, was of those on board 
the most zealous in his attempts first to dissuade, and afterwards to- 

' This is on the authority of Troude, i. Hl'J. Beatsou makes no mention of it, and 
as Troude gives no English names it i.s hard to say what the ships were. 

^ Troude, i. 321. Tliere is some doubt as to the date of the capture of tlie 
Magnanime, but as she had been in tlie AVest Indies in December, .January 31st, the- 
latest date given, seems the most probable. Cf. Beatsou, i. 409. 

288 MINOR OPERATION t>, 1714-1762. [1748-51. 

overpower, the mutineers ; but had Couchman and his party been 
men in any way equal to the risky part which they had set them- 
selves to play, there can l;e no doubt that it would have gone very 
hard indeed with the boatswain and the loyal party. The mutineers, 
however, having first tried to reason a few more into joining them, 
and having failed, left the well-disposed members of the crew to 
roam about the ship and concert plans at their leisure. On the 
12th, thei-efore, the boatswain took counsel with the gunner, who 
was ill in his cabin, and, thus getting hold of twenty pistols, armed 
a few resolute men and recovered the ship. A court-martial was 
held on board the Invincible at Portsmouth on June 26th, 1749, to 
inquire into alleged neglect of duty on the part of Captain O'Brien 
Dudley, and to examine into the reasons for his being ashore with so 
many of his officers to the detriment of the service. Captain Dudley 
proved that there had been no cause to suspect latent mutiny, and 
that he and his officers were ashore on duty. He and they were, 
accordingly, acquitted of all blame. As for Couchman and John 
Morgan, the lieutenant of Marines, they were tried on the 28th and 
30th respectively, and both were condemned to be shot. On the 
] 0th July six men were tried for the same offence, and of them two 
were acquitted and the rest hanged.' 

Till the outbreak of the next war the Navy had little to do, and, 
as was usually the case in a time of comparative quiet, it tmiied its 
attention to the Mediterranean pirates. A small squadron was sent 
out, with Captain the Hon. Augustus Keppel in the Centurion, 50, as 
Commodore. Keppel had a special mission to the Dey of Algier, to 
treat with him, or, if necessary, to force him to restrain his piratical 
cruisers ; and the story told - is that the Dey professed astonishment 
that the King of England should have sent a beardless boy to treat 
with him. Keppel, who was twenty-six, was, no doubt, nettled, and 
is said to have answered : " Had my master supposed that wisdom 
was measured by length of beard, he would have sent your Dey- 
ship a he-goat." When the angry Dey threatened his visitor with 
death, Keppel, pointing to his squadron, is said to have explained 
that there were enough of his countrymen there to honour him with 
a glorious funeral pyre. Whether there be truth in the story or not, 

' P. R. 0^ Courts-martial, vol. 33. See also Beatson, iii. 89. 

'^ A suspiciously similar story is told of the behaviour of the Bej- of Tripoli to 
Shovell m 1675. There is no reference to the affair in the Hon. and Kev. Thomas 
Keppel's 'Life' of his relative. — W. L. C. 

1755.] THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR. 289 

the fact stands that in June, 1751, the dilliculties were smoothed 
over, and that Keppel returned to England in the following month 
and paid off. 

It was not until after some months of unofficial hostilities in 
North America, and until after the receipt in England of Boscawen's 
dispatch relative to the capture of the Alcide and Lij.s, that the 
Seven Years' War was fairly set on foot. 

Thus far the British had been the gainers in the struggle that 
still awaited a formal initiation. They had taken two ships, and the}' 
had lost but one, the Mars, 64, which had grounded while going into 
harbour at Halifax on the return thither of Boscawen's squadron at 
the end of June; and which it had been impossible to get off again. 
Soon afterwards, on the night of August 18th, 1755, the Blandfurd, 
20, Captain Kichard Watkins, when on her way to South Carolina, 
fell in off Brest with a French squadron homeward bound from the 
West Indies under M. du Guay. She did what she could to get 
away, and, even when surrounded, attempted some resistance ; but 
the British '20-gun frigate of that period was " a pigmy with a pop- 
gun armament ; " and she was easily taken possession of and sent 
into Nantes.^ The sequel is curious as testifying to a tardy zeal on 
the part of the French to avert the consequences of their aggressions. 
With a parade of regard for legality, the Blandford was restored by 
the French Government ; but Great Britain was not thus readily 
appeased, and she quickly retaliated by capturing the Espercmce, 
commanded by Comte de Bouvet. That ship, nominally a 74, but 
having only twenty-four guns mounted, was on her way home from 
Louisbourg, when on November 13th, 1755, she fell in with Byng's 
fleet, which had sailed from Spithead a month before. The Orford, 
64, Captain Charles Stevens, was ordered to chase, and soon began 
a close action, in which the Revenge, 64, Captain Frederick Corn- 
wall, presently joined. The EsjuTancc, however, made a stout 
resistance, and did not strike till the squadron began to draw up. 
She was an old ship, and had been so severely handled that, con- 
sidering the badness of the weather, it was judged useless to try to 
keep her afloat. She had lost ninety killed and wounded out of a total 
of three hundred. Her surviving people were, therefore, taken out 
of her, and she was set on fire. This was on the 15th, when it was 
first possible to send a boat on board her, although she had been 

' V. Ti. O. Court-martial on "Watkins, October fitli, 1755. Vol. 36. 

290 MINOR OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1756. 

making signals of distress ever since her capture on the 13th. Byng 
wrote ^ concerning her : — 

" She was iu the distressed coudilion 1 ever saw a ship, extremely leaky and 
not able to carry any sail, having only her lower masts standing and foretopmast, and 
not one yard across excejit the spritsail yard." 

On March 11th, 1756, still prior to the declaration of war, 
the Warwick, GO, was taken by the French near Martinique. Seeing 
that, according to a French account,^ this ship was taken by a frigate, 
it is interesting to turn to the stoi-y of the affair as given by her 
commander. Captain Molyneux Shuldham, at the subsequent court- 
martial.-* The Warwick had been detached on December 21st, 
1755, by Commodore Thomas Frankland, to cruise in the neigh- 
bourhood of Martinique ; and shortly after reaching her station 
she began to be very sickly. As, however, the sickness began to 
decrease, and as there was no information of any French ships of 
force being in those waters, Shuldham resolved to continue his 

On March 11th, at daybreak, three sail were sighted, and, they 
being obviously of superior force, and the private signal being 
unanswered, the Warwick bore away under a press of sail. The 
strangers were, in fact, the French 74-gun ship Prudent, and the 
two frigates Atalante and Zephyr, then on their way out from 
France under the command of Captain d'Aubigny of the Prudent. 
The Warwick was one of the smallest of her class, was a dull sailer, 
had less than three hundred men fit for service, and was so crank 
that she could rarely use her lower deck guns. As there was a 
heavy sea running, she was uiiable to use them on the occasion in 
question ; and she had to rely almost entirely on the 9-pounders of 
her upper deck and quarter-deck. The Atalante, 34, Captain du 
Chaffault, was the first to come up with the chase, and, hanging on 
her quarter, out of reach of her weather broadside, kept up a galling 
fire. The wind shifted in a hard squall ; both ships were taken 
aback ; and before the Waru-ick, whose rigging was much cut, could 
pay off her head, the Prudent drew close up and opened fii-e. Shuld- 
ham ordered the great guns to play upon the commodore only, and 
the small-arm men to keep up their fire on the Atalante ; but it was 

' Admirars Dispatches, Channel Fleet, vol. 2. Byng, Koveniber 19th, 1755. 

■-' Troude, i. 338. 

^ P. R. 0. Courts-martial, vol. 38, March 27th, 1758. 


still impossible to use the lowci' deck guns, the ship being half 
swamjDed ; and after half an huuv more, being defenceless and un- 
manageable, she struck her flag. Shuldham remained a prisoner of 
war for two years, and on his release was adjudged by the court- 
martial, held to inquire into the loss, to have done his duty. 

An indecisive action was fought on May 17th, 1756, between the 
Colchester, 50, and Lyme, 28, Captains Lucius O'Brien and Edward 
Vernon (2), on the one hand, and the French ships Aqniloii, 50, and 
FicUle,^ 26, on the other. The French ships were standing in for 
Bochefort in charge of a convoy, when, qaite near the forts, they 
were sighted by the British and chased. The convoy was ordered 
to make the best of its way, and the men-of-war gave battle to 
cover its retreat. The ships paired off, the Colchester engaging the 
Aquilon, while the frigates fought it out together ; but so equal were 
the forces on both sides, that, when they parted by mutual consent, 
and with heavy loss, no definite result had been arrived at as the 
outcome of seven hours' hard pounding. 

A small expedition, planned and carried into effect during the 
summer of 1756, deserves mention on account of the relief which 
it afforded to British trade in the Channel. The enemy was busy 
fortifying the Chausey Islands, which lie off" Granville, being influ- 
enced thereto by the fact that the islands afforded a refuge to the 
St. Malo privateers, and were also close to the Channel Islands, upon 
which the French had designs. It was desirable that the fortifica- 
tions should not be proceeded with, and Captain the Hon. Kichard 
Howe, of the Dunkirk, 60, was sent with a small squadron, consisting 
of a 20-gun frigate and some small craft, to put a stop to the work. 
With Howe went three hundred men of the Jersey garrison ; but 
there was no fighting, for the French commandant, after some 
dispute about terms, was content to respect the force arrayed against 
him, and to surrender on the conditions offered. The fortifications 
were immediately destroyed. The conquest, small though it was, 
would not have been so easily effected, had all the works been 
completed, for the situation was strong ; and the approach to it was 
difficult, and wholly exposed to the fire of the fort, which was 
designed to mount thirty guns.^ 

' Troude, i. 3.39, calls her Ci/biJe, but tliere was no sliip of the name in the French 
>favy List. O'Brien, in his report to Boscawen (Adiiiirars Dispatches, Channel Fleet 
vol. 4), called her Lafiddelle. 

2 Beatson, i. 520. 

U 2 

292 MINOR OPEltATIONS, 1714 -1702. [175C. 

Consequent upon B^ait^'s action, there was a lull in the Medi- 
terranean. The French had no fleet at sea there ; and Hawke's 
command was for the most part uneventful. Its most interesting 
episode was one which brought him into contact with Fortunatus 
Wright,' the most notewoi'thy of all the British privateers who ever 
plied in the Mediterranean. At the outbreak of the war Wright was 
at Leghorn, where he had been building a small vessel in readiness 
for emergencies. But Tuscan sympathies were so entirely French 
that Wright, when on the point of sailing, found himself strictly 
limited as to the force he might embark. However, he got outside 
the port, took on board more guns and men from ships which had 
sailed luider his convoy, and at once beat off a large French privateer 
which was cruising in readiness to intercept him. Following this, 
he put back to Leghorn to refit, but was at once ordered, or rather 
forced, to bring his ship inside the mole, where she was detained on 
a charge of having violated the neutrality of the port. A diplomatic 
squabble began, and was continued until Captain Sir William 
Burnaby appeared on the scene. Wright had contrived to let 
Hawke know how matters stood ; and Hawke had immediatelj' 
despatched Burnaby, in the Jersey, 60, together with the Iris, 50, 
to set matters straight. The mission of Sir William was to convoj' 
the trade from Leghorn, and to see the ,S7. George, Wright's ship, , 
safe out of that port. To the representations of the governor and 
the Austrian or French sympathies of that officer, Burnaby had 
nothing to say ; but he made it abundantly clear that he was 
authorized, and in a position, to repel force b}' force, should anj- 
resistance be offered ; and the Jersey, the Iris, the St. George, and 
the merchantmen went out of Leghorn in peace. 

Another somewhat invidious piece of service that fell to the lot 
of Sir Edward Hawke was the cutting out, from' under the guns of 
the Spanish port of Algeciras, of a British merchantman which had 
been carried thither by a French privateer. The Spaniards were, 
like the Tuscans, strongly French in their s3Tnpathies ; and, after 
refusing to order the French ship and her prize out of their port, 
they helped the privateer to pour a murderous fire into the attack- 
ing boats. The boats lost one hmadi-ed and fifty men killed and 
wounded, but the ship went back to Gibraltar with them, and the 
memory of the affair stood over until 1762. 

' Gomer Williams : ' Liverpool Privateer.s.' J. K. Laughton : ' Studies in Xavai 

1750-57.] LOCKIIAltT IN THE TAUTAll. 29o 

The only other captures of loen-oi'-war made during 1756, were, 
on the one hand those of the Arc en del, 50, and Chariot Royal, 36, 
in July and March respectively, the vessels being at the time 
engaged in carrying stores to Louisbourg, and on tlie other, that of 
the small brig Adventure, mounting six 8-pounders. After a stout 
resistance, she struck to the privateer Infernal of Havre. But 
many privateers of force were taken ; and in that kind of service 
Captain John Lockhart,' of the Tartar, made a great name both 
for energy and for success. The Tartar was a frigate of 28 guns and 
180 men, and Lockhart, who was appointed to her in March, 1756, 
continued cruising in her for two years, during which time he took 
many large privateers of equal or superior force. Among these were 
the Cerf of 2'2 guns and '211 men, the Grand Gideon- of 26 guns and 
190 men, and the Mo)it Ozier, of La Eochelle, of 20 guns and 170 men. 
In engaging the last named, Lockhart was severely wounded, but 
no sooner had he rejoined his ship, after an absence of two months, 
than he took off Dunnose the Due d'Aiguillon of St. Malo, of 
26 guns and 254 men. These are but some of the many large prizes 
made by the Tartar. 

In February, 1757, while Lockhart was ashore wounded, the 
ship went out under the command of her first lieutenant, Thomas 
Baillie (1), and took the Victoire, privateer, of Le Havre, of 26 guns 
and 230 men, which was bought into the Eoyal Navy under the 
name of the Tartar's l'ri.:e. The Grainont, 18, taken in the 
following October, was bought in under her own name, as also was 
the Melampc, the finest of all the Tartar's prizes. This ship was 
taken, after a long chase and a stubborn action, early in November. 
She was of 700 tons, mounted 36 guns, and had a crew of 320 men.- 
Her capture proved to be the last of the achievements of Lockhart 
while a frigate captain, for the Admiralty testified its appreciation of 
his successful cruising by moving him into a fifty-gun ship, and so 
limited his activity. 

At the very end of 1756 there occurred an incident, which, 
though of no great importance in itself, throws some light on the 
interpretation of the Naval Discipline Act, and has in consequence 
some bearing on the fate of Byng. It is an instance of what a 
court-martial accepted as an " error of judgment," and as such is 
recommended to the attention of those who have been led to believe 
that it was merely for an " error of judgment " that Byng suffered. On 
' Afterwanls Sir Juliii Lwkliart Russ, Bart. - Beatsou, ii. 77. 

294 MINOn OPERATIONS, 1714-1762. [1757. 

the morning of December 27th, Captain Thomas Graves (2)' in 
the Sheerness, frigate, discovered a large ship making for Brest. 
There v^^as some doubt as to what the stranger was; for it was 
known that French ships of the line were in the neighbourhood, and 
the vessel in question looked as if she might be one of them. The 
weight of opinion on board the Sheerness was to the effect that the 
enemy was a sixty-gun ship, and it was well seen that she was just 
ending a long voyage and was very foul. The Frenchman tried to 
get away before dawn, but, when she discovered the S^ieerness's force, 
she shortened sail to wait for her. In point of fact, the enemy was 
only an East Indiaman, and the court, satisfied on that point, 
decided that Graves, who kept away, ought to have gone down and 
discovered her force by engaging her. His holding aloof was not 
attributed to negligence, disaffection, or cowardice. It was agreed, 
however, that he had laid too great a stress on his orders, to carry 
intelligence to Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Knowles ; that his fault 
was an " error of judgment ; " and that his case fell under the thirtj'- 
sixth article. He was, in consequence, publicly reprimanded bj' the 
president of the court. 

On March Kith, 1757, being then off Cape Cabron, San Domingo, 
the Greenwich, 50, Captain Eobert Eoddam, saw to windward eight 
large vessels. She made sail from them, and they gave chase ; and 
eventually, on the 18th, the thi-ee leading ships came up with her 
and opened fire. These w'ere the Diadhne, 74, Eveille, 64, and a 
frigate. The GreenwicJi was quite hemmed in, and at length, seeing 
that her position was hopeless, she struck.- The prize was fitted out 
against us, and fought against Forrest on October 21st of the same 
year, but, being sent back to France after the action, was lost near 
Brest. Another vessel captui'ed from the Koyal Navy during the 
year was the Merlin, 10, which struck to the French privateer 
Machaidt, 30, on April 19th. Commander John Cleland (1), of the 
Merlin, was endeavoiu-ing to rejoin a convoj- from which he had 
been separated, when the privateer bore down upon him." It had 
been, and was still blowing hard; and the Merlin, as was usual with 
ships of her class, had her decks full of water, and had quite enough 
to do to look after herself. The giins were all secured fore and aft ; 
and, save with small arms, it was impossible to make anj- resistance. 

' Afterwards Admiral Lord Graves. 

- P. K. (). Courts-martial, vol. 37, .Tuly l-ltb, 1757. 

" Ih., vol. 37, July 5tli, 1757. 


The prize did not remain long with the French, being retaken in the 
autumn by the Lancaster and Dunkirk. 

During the whole of the year 1757, though British squatlrons 
were constantly cruising on the enemy's coast, there was no meeting 
of fleets. The captures of armed ships by our cruisers were 
nmnerous enough, but the vessels taken were, in almost every 
instance, privateers. There were exceptions however. The Aquilmi 
and Alcion were destroyed, and the Eincraiidc, Hcniiionc, liioi 
Acquise and the French East India Company's ship Due d'Aqultainc, 
manned and armed as a ship of war, were taken. The Aqullon, 60, 
was met, on May 14th, by the Antelope, 50, Captain Alexander 
Arthur Hood, which was cruising off Brest. After a short action 
the Aquilon was run on the rocks of Audierne Bay, where she 
became a total wreck. The Due d'Aquiiuine, for a Company's 
ship, was most powerful, mounting as she did fifty 18-pounders on 
two decks and having a crew of nearly five hundred men. On the 
night of May 30th the Eagle, 60, Captain Hugh Palliser, and the 
Medwaij, 60, Captain Charles Proby, sighted her in the Bay of 
Biscay. She had landed her cargo at Lisbon, and was then on her 
way round to Lorient. At daylight the Mcdwaij shortened sail to 
clear ship, and the Eagle, passing ahead of her, engaged at close 
range. The Medway was foul and could not get up at once, the 
result being that, when she did reach the scene of action, she was 
too late. The enemy had been beaten to a standstill, and had lost 
her main and mizen masts together with fifty men killed ; and she 
struck her flag as the Medwaij came up. Charnock ' says that she 
had ninety-seven shot holes through both sides, which would seem 
to imply that, in the thickness of her planking, she differed con- 
siderably from a ship built exclusively for war purposes ; but the 
Admiralty thought her stout enough, and ordered her to be bought 
into the service. Another French man-of-war destroyed during the 
year was the Nyinplic, 36, which was driven ashore at Majorca by 
the Hampton Court. 

In the account given of the captures of privateers during 1756 it 
will have been noticed that the majority of the prizes were vessels 
of considerable force. In fact, it may be said that the beginning 
of the Seven Years' War saw a great increase in the size of the 
average French privateer. During the remainder of the struggle, 
this increase in size was maintained : for, as the French navy grew 

' Biog. Nav., V. 487. 

296 MINUH OPERATIONS, 1711-1702. [1757. 

more and more exhaiisted, there was ever more and more work for 
private venture, seeing that the growing British commerce proved 
an ever more and more tempting bait. France, in short, sought 
to use the authorised and officially encouraged privateer, instead 
of the national vessel, as the cheapest weapon for a guerre de course. 
This Cireat Britain never did. Her privateer was always a supple- 
mentary, and often a much-suspected, cruiser. Of the privateers 
taken during the year 1757, there were many representatives of the 
large class. For instance, the Invincible of St. Malo, which fell 
to the Unicorn, 26, Captain John Eawhng,' after a stubborn fight, 
was a 24-gun frigate, and had been cruising with a consort mounting 
eighteen guns. Again, the Comte de Gramont, not to be confounded 
with the ship taken in the previous year, was a frigate of thirty-six 
guns and three hundred and seventy men. She was taken by the 
Lancaster, Captain the Hon. George Edgcumbe, and the Dunkirk, 
Captain the Hon. Eichard Howe. If it be needful to multiply 
instances of the strength of these privateers, mention may be made 
of the TeUmaque, 26, taken by the Experiment, 24, Captain John 
Strachan ; of the Vainqueur, 24, taken by the Ambuscade, 32, 
Captain Eichard Gwynn ; and of another 26-gun ship, taken by the 
Fortune, sloop, Commander William Hotham (1). 

The most interesting of the French privateers at sea at that date 
was Francois Thurot.^ Thurot was appointed to the command 
of a regularly constituted squadron, and sailed from St. Malo on 
July 16th, 1757, with two 36-gun frigates, the Marechal de BeUeisle 
and ChanveUn, both with a main-deck armament of 12-prs., and 
with two sloops. On July 25th he fell in, off Portland, with the 
Soutiiampton, 32, Captain James Gilchrist, then on her way to 
Plymouth with stores and money, and, after a brisk action, was 
beaten off. 

" As the action is one wliich Thurot's French biographer considers especially 
glorious, it is well to point out that the French frigates were each of them more than 
a nominal match for the Sotithamptoii. The point is that Thurot, with two frigates 
against one, each larger, heavier, and with a more numerous crew, did not capture the 
one ; and, with the best will in the world, it is difficult to see the great glory wliich, 
from this non-capture, redoimds to the French Navy. It looks indeed as if M. Thurot 
liad conceived his special work to be plundering comparatively helpless merchant- 
ships, rather than fighting sturdily defended men-of-war ; and that, when he foimd the 
Southampton no easy captiu'e, he stomached his loss — amounting, on board the 
Belltisle alone, to fourteen killed, twent\'-six wounded — and hauled to the wind. That 

' Captain Rawliug was mortally wounded, and died on ilay 18th, 1757. 
- See ])p. 196, 223, 224, 229-231 antea. 


this is the correct view to take of Tliiii-ot's conduct seeins continued by the facts of 
another action wliicli he fought oft' Flushing on 1st August, with the SfMhorse, a 
24-gun frigate, carrying U-ixnuidcrs. After an engagement lasting three hu\n's and a 
half, the Seahoise was almost dismantled and had eight men killed, and seventeen badly 
wounded. She was of much smaller force tlian either the Belhisle or the Chauvelin, 
and ought to have been captured. That she was not, was due not so much to her 
material strength as to the moral weakness of her oiiponents." ' 

The Southampton was afterwards attached to the grand fleet 
under Hawke's orders, and was sent to look into Brest. On 
September 21st, Gilchrist saw a ship in chase of him, and promptly 
made sail towards her. The wind fell light, and it was not till the 
afternoon that the ships drew close together. The action which 
then took place was very bloody. The enemy lost sixty men killed 
and wounded, chiefly in an unavailing attempt to board, and the 
loss in the Southampton was twenty killed and thirty wounded. 
The Frenchman, having lost both her first and second captains, 
hauled down her colours, and was found to be the royal frigate 
Emevaude, 28. She was bought into the British Navy under 
the name of the Emerald. On November 28rd a night action was 
fought by the Hussar, 28, Captain John Elliot, and Dolphin, 24, 
Captain Benjamin Marlow, with a French two-decked ship. Who 
the stranger was did not appear at the time, but the frigates so 
handled her that at the end of two hours she sank. None of her 
crew could be picked up. It was learned afterwards that she was 
the Alcion, 50. 

It has already been stated that Hawke and Boscawen cruised 
during the year to intercept M. Dubois de La Motte s squadron 
on its way home from Louisbourg,- and that they failed to meet 
with it. Two only of the French ships, the frigates Bien Acqitise, 3G, 
and Hermione, 28, fell in with the British cruisers ; and they were 
taken possession of without difficulty. 

If 1758 was a year of great successes for the British Navy, it 
was nevertheless not without its disasters. The earliest of these, the 
loss of the Invincible, needs no further notice than it has already 
received,^ but the burning of the Prince George, 90, in the Bay 
of Biscay on April 13th, merits some detail of description.'' A letter 
from the ship's chaplain gives a good account of the mishap, though 

' J. K. Laughton : ' Studies in Xaval History,' pp. 333-35. 

- See p. 172 aniea. 

^ See p. 182 atitea. 

* P. R. O. Minutes of Courts-martial, vol. 3S, Jfav 10th, 17.58. 

298 MINOR OFKllATIONS, 1711-1762. [1758. 

it does not suggest its cause. At half-past one in the afternoon 
word was passed that the fore part of the ship was on fire. The 
people assembled on the quarter deck ; it was ascertained that the fire 
had begun in the boatswain's storeroom, buckets were passed, and 
all possible measures were taken to get the flames under, but without 
effect. A considerable sea was ruiuiing, and it was hoped that the 
opening of the lower deck ports would be of avail ; but even this 
was useless. Presently, although the magazine had been flooded, 
it appeared that there was no possible chance of saving the ship. 
The barge was, therefore, ordered to be got out, to put the Kear- 
Admiral, Thomas Broderick, in a place of safety. But he, seeing 
forty men in her, preferred to trust himself to the waves, and, after 
swimming about for an hoi;r, was saved bj' a boat from one of the 
convoy. The captain, Joseph Peyton (1), was also picked up, as 
were most of the officers ; but, either by the over-setting of boats, 
or in the flames, no fewer than four hundred and eighty-five men 
perished as against two hundred and sixty who wei'e saved. The 
merchantmen, it was complained, held aloof to windward ; and their 
boats were busier in salving gear than in saving hves. 

There were many prizes made during the year 1758, and, while as 
before a large proportion were heavily armed privateers, man}' were 
ships of war. On the North American station, the Boreas, Captain 
the Hon. Robert Boj'le, took the Diane, 36 ; and in European waters 
the Loire, 86, was taken by the iS7. Albans and Favourite, and the 
Base, 86, was driven ashore at Malta by the Monrnouth and Lyme, 
and was burnt where she lay. One of the most interestmg of the 
actions was a brush between the Solebay, 28, Captain Robert Craig, 
and Dolphin, 24, Captain Benjamin Marlow, and Thurot's ship, 
the Marechal de Belleisle, the armament of which he had 
increased to 44 gims by cutting a few extra ports on the lower 
deck. The vessel was thus no longer a frigate proper ; on the other 
hand she was not a two-decked ship at all comparable to the 
English 44's. Perhaps the only other instance of a ship being 
similarly anned is that of Paul Jones's Bonlwmme Bichard. In the 
Belleisle's case, however, the change seems to have been beneficial, 
and Thurot is credited with having made a number of prizes before 
he was brought to action by the Dolphin and Solehatj on May 26th. 
The Dolphin was first in action ; but, having the slings of her 
main-yard shot away, she dropped astern ; and the Solebay came 
up and in her turn occupied the Frenchman's attention while the 


Dolphin was getting her main-yard ii]i. In due time the Dolphin 
again got close ; bnt, about three and a haU' hours from the 
beginning of the action, the BcUeisle wore and made sail away. 
Both the British frigates wei'e nmch damaged aloft, and, prol)al)ly, 
even if they had not been they would have stood no chance against 
Thurot in sailing. The story of Thurot's final cruise has been 
already told.' 

On May '29th the liaisomiolilr, 64, then on her way to Louis- 
bourg, was sighted by Captain Edward Pratten, who, in the 
Intrepid, was cruising off the French coast with a small squadron. 
He detached the Dorsetshire, 70, Captain Peter Denis, and the 
Achilles, GO, Captain the Hon. Samuel Barrington, in chase. The 
Dorsetshire had beaten the enemy to a standstill before the Achilles 
came up, and had killed sixty-one Frenchmen and wounded one 
hundred more, while she herself had lost but fifteen killed and 
twenty wounded. The arrival of the Achilles settled the matter; 
and the prize, being a fine ship, was bought into the Eoyal Navy. 

In July the Shreivshury, 74, Captain Hugh Palliser, was detached 
by Anson, together with the Unicorn, '20, and Lizard, 28, to cruise 
as near Brest as possible and watch the French fleet in the road. 
On September 12th the British vessels sighted a fleet of coasters, 
which, under convoy of the Thetis and Cul[ipso frigates, were 
working so close in shore that it was a matter of great difticultv 
to cut them off. Captain Brodrick Hartwell, in the Lizard, managed, 
nevertheless, to get between the frigates and part of the convoy, 
the result being that the Calypso was driven ashore and destroyed 
at the entrance to Audierne Bay, and that of the coasters many 
were either taken or destroyed. On October 2nd the Lizard did a 
further piece of service by capturing the Dnc d'Hanovrc, privateer, 
14 ; and, a little later, the Torhaij, Captain the Hon. Augustus 
Keppel, took the Bosfan, a privateer of twenty-six guns and three 
hundred and twenty men. This prize was bought into the Eoyal 
Navy under the name of the Crescen t. Beatson says ^ that the 
French concealed ninety men in her hold in the hopes of recapturing 
her from her prize crew, but that the people below betrayed them- 
selves too soon and were overpowered. 

In extra-European waters, the Winclielsea, 20, Captain John 
Hale, while on her way home from Carolina, was taken on 
October 11th by the Bizarre, 60. The Wi)ichclsea attacked in 
' See pp. 22'J-2.31 antea. ' Beatsuu. ii. I'.il. 

300 MINOR OFEIIATIONS, 1714-1762. [1758-59. 

order to cover her convoy, and, till the Bizarre ran out her lower 
deck guns, did not reahse the immense superiority of the enemy's 
force. When she did so, she hauled her wind and tried to 
get away ; hut, as she was under a jury mainmast, she stood no 
chance of accomplishing her purpose, and, after a little firing, 
hauled down her colours. 

On the Jamaica station, in 1758, there was little for British 
cruisers to do save to cut up the enemy's commerce, and to capture 
his small privateers. The only action of any note was between the 
Dread)iuii(j]it, 60, Captain Maurice Suckling, and the Assistance, 50, 
Captain Robert Wellard, on the one hand, and the Palmier, 74, 
which had previously taken the Sfurk, 10, on the other. On the 
morning of September '2nd, the British ships came up with the 
Frenchman off Port au Prince ; but, unfortunately, a calm prevented 
the Assistance from seconding her consort ; arnd the Palmier, having 
disabled the Dreadnought, made sail and escaped. On the Leeward 
Islands' station much the same state of affairs prevailed ; but, on 
November 8rd, Captain Richard Tyrrell, in the Buckingham, 70,' 
cruising off St. Eustatia to intercept a French convoy from 
Martinique, was sharply engaged with the Florissant, 74, which, 
with two frigates," had charge of the merchantmen. The frigates 
took some part in the action, but were soon beaten off; and the 
ships of the line fought on from about three o'clock till dark. It 
was claimed that the Florissant struck ; and it is possible that she 
did so ; but the Bucldngham was much disabled,^ and the French- 
man, taking advantage of the fact, made sail away from her. 

The interest of 1759 was almost entirely confined to the actions 
of the main fleets ; and, although it was the decisive year of the war, 
there were few actions by detached cruisers. The first and most 
stubborn of these was fought between the Vestal, 32, Captain 
Samuel Hood (1), and the Bellone of equal force. The Vestal had 
been cruising for a year, chieflj- in the Soundings, but, on 
February 12th, had sailed with Rear-Admiral Holmes for North 
America. On the 21st, being then in advance of the squadron, 
she sighted a sail ahead. It was soon seen that the stranger was 
an enemv ; and, sicrnallintr this fact to Holmes, Hood made sail 

' The Wmzd, 14, being in company. 
- Aigrette, 38, and AtaJunte, 28. 

' She lost seven killed and fortv-six w.mnded. among the latter being Captain 


in chase. The Eear-Admiral detached the Trent, 28, reputed to 
be a fine sailer, to support the Vestal ; but it may here be said tliat 
the Trnit lia.d no share at all in the engagement, she being still Inur 
miles astern when the enemy struck. 'I'he action lasted from two 
in the afternoon until six, when the Bellone had lost forty men 
in killed alone, and was totally dismasted. The Vestal ' had only 
her lower masts standing. She returned to Spithead with licr prize, 
which was bought into the Navy and renamed Repulse. 

On March 19th, the Isis, m, Captain Edward Wheeler, and 
Mollis, 32, Captain John Elliot, cruising off Isle Dieu, fought an 
engagement with four French frigates which were employed on 
convoy service. Only two of the enemy were closely engaged, 
and of these one, the Blonde, 32, escaped ; but the other, the 
Mignonne, 20, lost fifty-five kiUed and wounded out of a crew of 
one himdred and fifty, and was taken possession of. On the 
27th, the Windsor, 60, Captain Samuel Faulknor (2), took, off 
Lisbon, the French East Indiaman Due de CJiartres, mounting 
twenty-four 12-prs., but pierced for sixty guns. There were four 
East India ships in company, but the other three made oft". 

On the following day there was fought a much more interesting 
little action. The Soutliampton, 32, Captain James Gilchrist, and 
Melampe, 24, Captain William Hotham (1), cruising in the North 
Sea, fell in with and engaged two French frigates. The Melampe 
fought them both for three-quarters of an hour before the 
Southampton could come up ; and she suffered so much aloft that 
she dropped astern. One of the French ships made sail away while 
the Southampton was engaging the other, and while the Melampe 
was refitting. When Hotham drew up again, the French ship 
struck. She proved to be the Danae, 40 ; and she had lost her 
captain, second captain, and about thirty men killed, besides a great 
number wounded. She was added to the Royal Navy as the Danae. 
Gilchrist was himself severely wounded by a grape shot, and lost 
the use of an arm. He was given a pension of £300 a year for life, 
and could not be employed again ; but, a generation later, the martial 
ardour of his family again showed itself in the career of Thomas 
Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald, a son of Gilchrist's sister. 

On April 4th, Captain the Hon. Samuel Barrington, in the 
AchiUes, 60, took, to the westward of Cape Finisterre, the very large 
privateer, Comtc de St. Florentine, also mounting sixty guns. This 
' Which lost five killed aud twenty woundeil. 

302 MINOR OPERATIONS, 17M-170L'. [1759-GO. 

prize, too, was bought into the Navy, as also was the Arctliuse, 36, 
which was taken by the Venus, 36, Captain Thomas Harrison (2), 
on the coast of Brittany on May 18th. 

When M. de La Chie's fleet had been shattered and dispersed, 
the Souveraiii, 74, made for the Canaries, whence she returned to 
Rochefort. On her way thither she fell in on October 10th with the 
Hercules, 74, Captain Jervis Henry Porter, wliich engaged her in 
a running fight till the British ship fell astern owing to the loss 
of her maintopmast. Another French ship of the line, which was 
met with and brought to action during the year 1759, was the 
Pahnief, 74, which, having a frigate in company, fell in, when on 
her way home from the West Indies, with the Thatnes, 32, and 
Coventry, 28. The British frigates attacked her ; and as the sea 
was rough and she could not use her lower deck guns, they had her 
somewhat at a disadvantage. They shot away her foretopmast 
and did her other considerable damage, and, but for the assistance 
which her frigate was able to give her, would have stood some chance 
of taking her.' As it was, they hung on to her in the hope of falling 
in with some other British cruiser, keeping out of gun-shot by day, 
and pouring in broadsides by night. They had not, however, the 
fortune to meet with a friend ; and, after a long chase, they had the 
mortification of seeing the Palmier run into Brest. 

In March, 1760, the French fitted out the Malicieuse, 32, and 
Opale, 32, in order to intercept the Portuguese trade, which, they had 
heard, was to be convoyed by a single sloop. Near the Bayona 
Islands ^ they fell in with the Penguin, 20, Captain W^illiam Harris, 
which tried to get away, but which they overhauled and took. 
They judged her not worth keeping, set fire to her, and continued 
their cruise, till it was spoilt on April 4th by the Flamborough, 20, 
Captain Archibald Kennedy,* and Bicldeford, 20, Captain Lancelot 
Skynner (1), which, though not powerful enough to take them, 
hung on to them in a most dogged manner and eventually put them 
to flight.^ Meanwhile the convoy reached Lisbon in safety. Of 
other little successes in European waters, perhaps not the least 
complete was that of Captain the Hon. Augustus John Hervey 
of the Dragon, 74, who, while attached to Boscawen's fleet, on 

' Beatson, ii. 351. 
- P. R. 0. Courts-martial, vol. 40. 
' Later Earl of Cassilis. 

* In this gallant action, Ijoth Captain Skynner and his lieutenant were mortally 
wounded, the latter surviving, however, until April 1.0th. 


July l'2tli, ln'ing then close in shore off Isle Groix, was fired on 
by a small fort. That evening he went ashore with his boats, 
surprised the guard, dismounted the guns oi' the battery, tumbled 
the pieces over the rocks, and eventually went off to his sbi[) with 
the whole of the guard and with not a single man hurt.' 

Of Boscawen's cruisers, the Cnitaur, 74, which had been taken 
the year before in the action with M. de La Clue, fell in off Cape 
Finisterre with the VaUlant, 64, and Ainctlujst, 32, homeward 
bound from the West Indies. Deceived by her appearance they 
let her come close up ; and it was not till they saw that she was 
clearing for battle that they realised that she was no longer a 
French ship. They made all possible sail, and got away by night 
into Corunna. Another of Boscawen's cruisers, the Niger, 32, 
Captain John Albert Bentinck, fell in with the Diadhne, 74, 
escorting store-ships to Martinique. For some days the frigate 
hung on to the Frenchman, both in the hope of cutting off some 
of the convoy, and of meeting a ship of the line that could deal 
with the seventy-four. In the course of her attempts on the 
convoy, she ventured close enough to be severely mauled, and so 
had to leave the enemy in order to make good her damages. A few 
days afterwards, the DiaiUine was sighted and chased b_y the 
Shrewsburij, 74, Pallas, 36, and Argo, 28. The Shrewsbiirij sailed 
very badly, the Argo was busy with the convoy, and it was left 
to the Pallas, Captain Michael Clements, to attack single handed. 
She was but a frigate, and fought only in the hope of knocking 
awaj' a spar or two and enabling the Shrewsbunj to come up. 
Unfortunately she exposed herself to the enemy's l)roadside, and 
very soon had to be content to leave the big ship alone. This 
voyage of the Diademc bears a certain resemblance to the last cruise 
of the Glorioso. She was annoyed by frigates all along her route, 
and she ended with an affair with a heavy ship of the line. The 
Glorioso, of course, had been harder put to it, and was ultimately 
taken. The French ship was more fortunate. The Boijal 
William, 80, which chased her at the conclusion of her voyage, 
had not time to come up with her before she found safety in 

The loss of the Cionberhmd, 56, Captain Kobert Kirk, which 
sank at her anchors near Goa, on the night of November 2nd, 1760, 
was adjudged to have " proceeded from her being entirely decayed, 
' P. K. O. Adniirars Dispatches, Channel, vol. 4, July 27th, ITGO. 


and not in a condition to have proceeded to sea." ' There was 
nothing extraordinary in the loss of the ship, save that it resulted 
from the fact that she was one of the I'ather numerous vessels which 
were at the time kept on service when they ought to have been 
in the ship-breaker's yard. In many cases, no doubt, the fault laj' 
with the Admiralty ; hut it must be borne in mind that ships were 
not then built under cover, and that the decay of vessels built 
in the open was often so irregular as to baffle calculation. 

On January 8th, 1701, the Unicorn, 28, Captain Joseph Hunt, 
cruising off Penmarck, fought a sharp action with, and captured, 
the Vestale, 3'2, which later became the Flora in the British Navj'. 
The captains of both ships were mortally wounded. On the 
following day the Unicorn chased, but could not come up with, 
the Aigrette, 32, and, on the 10th, saw her engage the Sealiorse, 20, 
Captain James Smith, then carrying out astronomers to India 
to observe the transit of Venus. Again she tried to come up, 
but could not; and the Aigrette, having mauled the Seahorse'- 
considerably, refused to be further detained and. forced to fight 
at a disadvantage. 

In January, the Felicife, 32, left Cherbourg for Martinique ; 
but no sooner was she outside than she met the Richmond, 32, 
Captain John Elphinstone (1). The ships sighted one another 
in the evening, but the action did not begin till half-past ten the 
next morning (January 24th), when they engaged broadside to 
broadside, standing in for the land. Still close together, they both 
ran ashore near Scheveningen, and continued serving their guns 
in that position. Presently the EicJiinond floated, and was set 
to leeward by the tide. The Frenchmen seized their opportunity 
and escaped to the shore. They had lost very heavily, and their 
captain had been killed ; but the casualties on board the Richmond 
amounted only to three killed and thirteen wounded. Next day, 
when the FeJicite was boarded, the dispatches which she had been 
carrying to Martinique were found to be still in her. They were 
taken out, and the ship was set on fire. 

On the same day, but in the Mediterranean, the Warwick, the 
ex-British 60-gun ship, with, however, only thirty-four guns mounted, 
was attacked, while on her way to the East Indies, b}' Captain 

' P. K. O. Courts-martial, vol. 41. 

^ Which was, in consequence, obliged to return to port. When she sailed again she 
was commanded by Charles Cathcart Grant, Captain James Smith having been 
appointed to the Guernsey, 50. 

17G1.] CAl'TUIiE OF THE WAltWIVK. 305 

Alexander Arthur Hood in the Minerva, 32. The wind was fresh 
from the east, and the sea was heavy. The enemy lost her mainmast 
and foretopmast, but Hood waited for her to come up again, and 
presently the ships fell foul of one another. The Minerva in turn 
lost her foremast and bowsprit, and fell astern ; but she cleared 
away the wreck very promptly, stood off to the Wanvlck and forced 
her to strike. The loss was curiously even, fourteen killed and 
thirty-two wouiaded in the Warwick as against fourteen killed and 
thirty-four wounded in the Minerva. No sooner had the Warwick 
struck, than the Minerva rolled away her remaining masts. The 
capture of the Brune, 36, a week later, in the Soundings, by the 
Venus and Juno, presented no unusual feature. She was added to 
the Navy. 

On March 9th, the Mipon, (50, Captain Edward Jekyll, one of 
Commodore Buckle's squadron off Brest, chased a French sixty-four 
and a frigate. They bore away from him, and during the night 
he lost sight of them ; but, on the following day, with a fresh breeze 
aft and a heavy sea, he overhauled a sixty-four, which proved to 
be the Acliille. The ships engaged at half -past nine at night yard- 
arm to yard-arm, running before the wind at a gi'eat rate ; and the 
Bipon was half swamped by the water that came on board through 
her lower-deck ports, which could only be opened from time to time. 
To make matters worse, one of her lower-deck guns burst, killing 
and wounding many men and throwing the whole deck into 
confusion. After this all her mid-ship and forward ports on that 
deck were kept shut, yet she managed to shoot away the enemy's 
foreyard and foretopmast. The Bipon then came to the wind to 
wait for the Frenchman, and the enemy ran down under the stern 
of the British ship. Fortunately the Achilh was in such great 
confusion that she missed the opportunity of raking the Bipon. As 
soon as the Frenchman had passed to leeward, Jekyll gave orders 
to wear ship and follow her, but his rigging was so much cut that 
the manccuvre took a long time, and when it was complete the 
enemy's lights were no longer visible. 

There were other single-ship actions at about the same time. 
On March 13th, 1761, the Vengeance, 26, Captain Gamaliel Nightin- 
gale, took the Entreprenant, an armed ship of force equal if not 
superior to her own. On March IGth, the Bedford, 64, took the 
frigate Comete, 32, off Ushant ; and on April 3rd, the Hero and 
Venus took the Bert in, an East India ship pierced for sixty-four 


300 MlNUll Ol'KllATlO^ti, 1714-17G2. [ITUI. 

guns, but then armed en flute and outward bound with soldiers on 
board. On April 1st, the Oriflumme, 40, really a SO-gun ship, 
was taken in the Mediterranean, after a short action, by the, 50, 
whose captain, Edward Wheeler, was killed in the fight. Another 
easy capture was that of the Ute. Anne, a heavily-armed merchant- 
man, which was taken on the Jamaica station by the Centaur, 74, 
Captain Arthur Forrest, on June 5th. Hhe was pierced for sixty- 
four guns, but had at the time only forty on board. When, 
however, she was added to our Navy, her full number of guns 
was mounted. 

On July 14th, the Thunderer, 74, Captain Charles Proby, cruising 
with the Modeste, 64, Captain the Hon. Kobert Boyle Walsingham, 
Thetis, 32, Captain John Moutray, and Favourite, sloop. Commander 
Philemon Pownall, for the purpose of intercepting the Achille, 64, 
and Bouffonne, 32, which it was believed were ready to sail from 
Cadiz, discovered that those ships had shpped out of port. The 
squadron fell in with them, however, on the 16th, brought them 
to action on the 17th, and in due course took them both,' the 
Achille being carried by a boarding party from the TJtunderer, which 
had had a great part of her poop blown up by the bursting of an 
upper-deck gun. The Bouffonne struck to the Thetis. The Thunderer 
lost seventeen killed, and one hundred and fourteen, including 
Captain Proby, wounded, most of the casualties being due, however, 
to the accident to the gun. 

The most brilliant of the actions fought between cruising ships 
in 1761 remains to be described. On August 13th, the Bellona, 74, 
Captain Eobert Faulknor (2), and the Brilliant, 36, Captain James 
Loggie, met the Courageux, 74, and the two 32-gun frigates, Mcdicieuse 
and Hermione, off Vigo. The meeting took place in the evening; 
but it was bright moonlight, and the ships kept sight of each other 
till morning, when the enemy, who up to that time had been trying 
to escape, decided to engage. On the 13th, it had been believed that 
the British vessels were both ships of the line ; on the 14th, how- 
ever, the French commodore fell into the opposite error of taking 
the Bellona for a 50-gun ship. He signalled to the frigates to 
engage the Brilliant, while he himself closed with the Bellona. The 
Brilliant accepted her share with alacrity, and gave the frigates 
so much to do that they were unable to interfere in the combat 
between the seventy-fours. The duel between the Bellona and 

' Troiide denies it, i. 4:27. 


Courageux was fought out in ii fine l)reeze and a smooth sea. The 
first broadside was fired i'roni the Frenchman when the ships were 
within musket-shot ; and so good was the gunnery under the favour- 
able conditions that prevailed, that, in nine minutes from the start, 
the Bellona's mizen-mast went over the side and the rigging was 
so much cut that the ship became immanageable. Faulknor was 
afraid that the enemy might get away, and promptly called for 
boarders ; but the Courageux sheered off, and the attempt had to 
be abandoned. With great difficulty, Faulknor managed to wear 
ship, a manoeuvre which brought him up on the Frenchman's 
starboard quarter. A few broadsides fired from his new position 
settled the fate of the day. The Courageux, much damaged, and 
with about two hundred men killed and another hundred wounded, 
struck, and was taken possession of. The frigates made sail away. 
The total duration of the action was no more than forty minutes. 
It was much the fashion to speak of the French as always firing 
at the rigging, and as seizing the earliest opportunity to escape. 
Certainly this is stated to have been the procedure in many 
instances where the facts will not support such an assertion ; but 
in this case something of the sort does seem to have happened, 
owing partly no doubt to the enemy's having accepted battle 
through a misunderstanding of the force he had before him. It 
is not easy to suggest any other explanation for the condition of 
the BeUona, and for the Courageux, which lost more than three 
hundred men, having killed and wounded only four-and-thirty. 

The new year, 1762, opened with affairs in a peculiar condition. 
Great Britain was paramount at sea, whereas France was exhausted. 
There was, indeed, nothing new in this ; it had been the prevailing 
state of things since the action in Quiberon Bay. What was strange 
was that France, having received a new ally in virtue of the 
Family Compact, gained no real accession of force, although the 
Spaniards entered upon the war with a considerable number of 
ships. Why this happened was because, as has been already 
noticed, the French ports were so closely watched that nothing 
could get out withovit running the risk of immediate capture, and 
because the Spaniards concentrated all their naval forces for the 
protection of their colonies and lost them, en masse, in distant seas. 
The result, as far as Spain was concerned, was, that she was 
hopelessly beaten without anything worthy the name of a naval 
battle having taken place in European waters. The French, too, 

X -2 

308 MINOli OPERATIONS, 1714-17G2. [17C2- 

were so utterly exhausted that there was not onlj' no fleet action 
fought but also not even a ship of the line to be taken. 

Short accounts of a few frigate actions will, therefore, finish the 
story. Captain Thomas Harrison (2), in the Venus, 36, had a large 
share of good fortune. On January 6th, he took, after a short action, 
the Boulogne, 20, on her homeward journey from the Isle of France, 
with a valuable cargo on board, and, amongst other passengers, the 
Comte d'Estaing. On March 17th, he took a 14-gun privateer out 
of San Sebastian ; on May 6th, he captured another privateer of the 
same force out of Bayonne; and on June 4th, a large Spanish 
privateer of sixteen guns, twenty swivels, from Bilbao, struck to him. 
These were by no means all the privateers he took, either Spanish 
or French, but the cases supply typical instances of the force of 
the ships he had to deal with. Another somewhat notable capture 
of a privateer was made on the night of March 7th. The 
Milford, 28, Captain Eobert Mann, fell in with the Gloire, a French 
letter of marque, mounting sixteen 6-prs., besides swivels, and bound 
to San Domingo, and took her after a sharp action. The Milford 
lost only four killed and thirteen wounded, but among the former 
were Captain Eobert Mann,^ and his first lieutenant. The richest 
capture of the war was made by the Active, Captain Herbert 
Sawyer (1), and the Favourite, sloop, Commander Philemon 
Pownall, two of Sir Piercy Brett's cruisers, which, on May 21st, 
intercepted the register-ship Hermiune, bound from Lima for Cadiz. 
The summons to surrender was the first intimation to the Spaniards 
that war had broken out ; there was no resistance whatsoever ; and 
in this easy manner did treasure to the value of about half a million 
pass into British hands. On the Jamaica station, the Fotvey, 24, 
(9-prs.), Captain Joseph Mead, fell in, off Cape Tiberon, with the 
Spanish royal frigate Ventiira, 26 (12-prs.), and fought her for an 
hour and a half, when the ships separated, much damaged. On the 
following morning the action was resumed with vigour, and 
continued till the Ventura struck. The Foweij lost ten killed 
and twenty-four wounded, and the Ventura, forty in killed alone. 

On August 18th, the BocUester, cruising in the Channel, in 
company with the Maidstone and Benommee, took the Guirlande, 26, 
a French frigate ; and on September 1st, the Lion, 60, one of a small 

' Commamler, 1756 ; Captam, 1757. His name is ver}' consistently spelt Mann in the 
Navy Lists of the period, whereas that of his contemporary Robert Man (2), presently 
to be mentioned, who died an Admiral in 1783, is spelt with one n only.— W. L. C. 




squadron detached, vinder Coiuiiiodore Robert Man (2), by Havvkc 
to cruise off Brest, took the ZepJujr, 32, which had, however, only 
twenty-six guns mounted, and which was then carrying troops and 
stores to Newfoundland. The last capture made from the French 
during the war was that of the Oiseau, 26, which struck to the 
Briine, 32, Captain George Anthony Tonyn, in the Mediterranean, 
on October 23rd. 

( '^10 ) 




NoTK.— These lisfc*, like tunse ou p. 535 et seq. of Vol. II., are teutati^-c ; but they are not bo meagre as the lists given by 
the best-known historians of the period, et;., Charaock, Itealsfiu, and 'lYoude, Those authorities have beeu 
largely clieck&l by reference to Captains' Letters, :\Iuster itooks. Minutes of Courts- Martial, and other papers 
I f like nature , but it is an almost impossible tii-k to eusure lompleteuess. 

(',.) LOSSES OF H.M. SHIPS FKuM 17U TO 17(;:!. 

IJIC Nov. 10 


1V19 I -Tau. 

j l-'eb. 


1720 i No%'. 24 

Dec. 1 

1723 April 1.T 






Jau. 12 

.Tune 14 

Aug. 15 

Sept. 21 


1744 I .Ian. 
, I Feb. 11 
May 8 




[* Lost bis life ou tbe 


Aiiijuate 00 Cipt. Robert Joliuson. ^V recked in tbe Baltic. 

Hazardous ... . . Lost at sea. 

Sorlimjs . 12 Lost. 

('rown .... r)0 ,, Jobn Iloberts. ' Lost at entrance <»f Tagus. 

Jiur/ord . . . 70 ., Cbarles Vanbrugh. Lost iu the ilediteiTanean. 

lilandfwd 'Capt. Erasmus I'liillips. KoundereJ iu the Hay. 

Jfe"cV 50 ,. Hon. George Cnnton.{J^J;^J^''™"'"'>F'™"- 

Milfo »-(i . . 20 Lost, 

Hoijal Anvc . .10 ' Lost. 

Uind .. 'Cnpt. John Furzer. Wrecked off Guerusey. 

Greiihound .... 'jo Taken by guarda costas : restored. 

/i&lfm-d . . . '.»)> Sunk. 

Cruiser (pnzi) . . la Lost. 

//«j/a.E jlnwe, galley. . , .. *Capt. Francis Willis. ' Foundered off tlie Lizard. 

Princess Louisa. . ' 40 Lost (ex-Lt(//»'>-,s(i„i). 

Triumpfi (prize). . . | 18 , Foundered off Sambala Keys. 

Ottei- 8 Com. John Gage. \V recked iu the Sjuth Seas. 

Wolf f 14 Wrecked on coast of Floriila. 

Ualicia (prize) ... To Capt. Daniel Hoare. Burnt as useless at Cartagena. 

Wager 28 „ David Cheaii. Wrecked in the South Seas. 

-4nna(piuk). . . . | j J Ilrokeu up at Juan Fernandez. 

rryal (_brig-sloop) . . 14 Com. Charles Saunders. ."^cuttled by order. 

Tiger 50 Capt. Edw. Herbert (1). Wreckeil on a key near Tortuga. 

/VH/ce (f.K.) .... s Com. Smith Callis. Expended at St. Tropez. 

Gloucester .... 5t) Capt. iMattheiv ilichell. Burnt l;y order iu the .South Seas. 

Tiihmy 60 i ,, Peter Lawrence. Accidentally burnt in W. Indies. 

Drake'. +14 I-^st iu ibe Channel (?). 

Grampus +14 Lost. 

Saltash +14 Com. Peter Toms. ! Lost iu the W. Indies. 

Lone 44 Capt. Ashby Uttiug. Lost in America. 

Astrina, s.s Com. Pi'-bert Swanton. Accidentally bmut at Piscataqua. 

, Or/ord 7o Capt Periy Mavue. Wrecked in Gulf of ilex ico. 

I Anyie Galley, t.s. ■ ■ \ 8 *Com. Mackie. Expended off Toulon. 

\ iVoi-thumbertawl , . \ 10 *Capt. Thomas Watsou (1). Taken by the French. 

Solebay ! 20 .. 'Jhomas Burv (1). Taken bv the French ; retaki n. 

\Tr-IZs: : : : : ?2 Com.iSSLsd). JTakenbytherrencb. 

i«^'°'V/ 100 {:^;.lS^;^:;r(l).}L»'"-ten,anne.. 

j St. Albans .... 50 *C-pt. William Knigtit. \ 

I Greenwich .... 50 *Capt. Edward Allen. I 

j /ionetta 14 *Com. William Lea. /Wrecked in a hurricane at Jamaicj 

I Thunder, homh . . . i 3 Com. Thomas Gregory (2). | 

j Lark (hulkj . . . . I . . } 

\ Colchester . . . . j 50 ("apt. Sir \Vm. Hewett. Bt- AVrecked on the Kentish Knock. 

I Hornet 14 Taken by the French ; reuiken. 

t These sloops are usually spoken of as carrying 14 guns. Sometimes, b'>wever. they are credited with 20, sometimes 
with only 8. The explanation seems tu be tha' tbev often carried s guns and 12 swivels or patercroes ; thus the 14 wonld 
be arriveil at by rating a swivel conventionally as half a gun. But in reality their ai-mament was rather haphazai-d. 






Ye»r. Date. Sbips. 


[* Lost his lilc on the 







Salisbury. . . 


'laken by the Kreucli ; retaken. i 

1Y45 Feb. 

16 1 Weymouth . . 


Capt. Warwick Calmady. 

W reiked in Lcewanl Islaud>. 

1 Mav. 

28 1 Anglesey . . . 


* „ .Tacnh Ktt^m. 

Taken by Apnllm, 50. 


Mandford . . 


„ Kdwuni \)<Ai\. 

Taken by French in W. Indie-*.' 



Fox .... 


* ,, Kdmunii Heavor. 

I'oinidcred ofl" Dunbar ; all Io>t. 

Lyme .... 


Foundered in the AtUutlc, 

Mercury, , , 


Taken by the French. 

Wolf .... 


Cum. GeorgL' \'ucliC'll. 

'I'uken by the Frencli ; retaken. 

J-Ume .... 



Sapphire's Prize 



Hazard . . . 


Taken by the rebels; retaken. 

Mediator . 



Mast, bomb . . 
Achilles . . . 

IXakfu by two Spaniards ueav Jamaica. 





Capt. William Li.le. 

'I'akon by the Frencii. 

'I'akpu by XL de Conflans; retaken 17^7. 


Severn. . . . 


Hornet . . . 


'laken by tiie French. 



Com. Stephen Culby. 

Taken by the French. 

Saltash . . . 


Wrecked in the Channel. 


Lightning, bomb 


„ William Martin (2). 

Capsized near Lt-ghoni ; 45 drowned. 

IjOuisboury, f.s. . 


Taken by the hrencli. 



7 Maidstone . . 


Capt. Hon. AugustnsKeppet 

Wrecked ou Belle Me. 


WTiitehaven, armed 



Com. Can- Scrope. 

Burnt by accident on'ln>*li coast. 


8 DartmotUh . . 


*Capt. James Hamilton (2). 

Blown up in action witli (ilon'oso. 




,, Francis William Drake 

Wrrcked in G. <.f Florida. 


Wrecked on the Lizard. 



Wolf .... 

1 1< 

*Com. George Vachell. 
jR.-Acl. Hon. Edward Hos- 
{ caweu. 
tCapt. Samuel Marshall (1). 

Wrecked off Ireland. 



12 1 Xamur . . . 

i '< 

UV recked in E. Indies ; 600 lost. 



Apollo, bosp. sh. 


V\ recked iu E. Indies. 

13 Pembrole . . 


* ,, Thomas Fiucher. 

Wrecked in E. Indies; XW lost. 




.Vars .... 


,. Julm Amherst. 
„ Kiclmrd Watkins. 

Wrecked at Halila.K. 

Blandford . . 


Taken ofT Brest ; 



1 1 1 Warwiclc . 


,, Molyueux Shuldham. 

Taken at Martinique. 

Adventure . . 


Lieut. James Orrok. 

Takeu by privateer Ivftrnal. 




(Surrendered at Oswegti. 


Ontario . . . 

1757 Mav. 

18 Greenwich . . 


Capt. Ilobert Roddam. 

Taken iu W. Indies. 






Com. John Clelaud (1). 
*Capt. Heuvy Barusley. 
*Com. Arthur Uptou. 

C;ipt. John Bentley. 

Taken off Brest ; retaken. 

Tilbury . 

jLost in a hurricane off Louisbourg. 
Lost near St. Helen's. 


1768 Feij. 

Invincible . . 


13 Prince George . 


fR.-Ad. Thomas Broderick. 
tCapt. Joseph I'eytou (1). 

[Burnt at sea; 485 lost. 


Triton .... 


„ John Stautcm. 
„ Thomas Manning. 

(Destroyed iu the E. Indies. 

Jiridgewater. . 



29 London (buss) . 

^\'^ecked iu R. Senegal. 


stork .... 


,, William Tucker. 

Taken iu W. Indies. 


11 Winchelsea . . 


,. John Hale. 

Takeu by French ; retaken. 


29 ' Lichfield . . . 


„ :Mat.thew Baitou. 

AVrecked ou African coast; 130 lost. 



Tartar's Prize . 


,, 'Ibomas Baillie(l). 

Sprang a plank in JMediterrauean. 


20 Pcsotution 


,, Hi ury Sjieke. 

hVrecked on Four Bank iu Quibcrun Bay. 

21 ICssex .... 


,. Lucius O'Brien. 

.Mermaid . 

I 20 

■' 12 

,, James Hackm >u. 

\Vrecked among the Bahamas. 

Hawke . . . 

Taken off C. Clear; retaken 1761. 

Falcon (bomb") . 


Com. i\[ark Rubinson (l"). 

Wrecked on the Saiutcs, Guadeloui)e. 



15 natnillics. . . 

j 90 

*Capt. Wittewron^^e Taylor. 

Wrecked on Bolt Head. 



Penguin . 

1 20 

j 28 
1 12 

,, William Harris. 
„ Jop.ei)li Deane. 
Com. Edward St. Loe (2). 

Taken and burnt. 

Lowestoft , 

Wrecked iu the St. Lawrence. 

Virgin . . . 

Taken by French; retaken, Sept. 



Harwich . 


Capt. \Viinam Marsh. 
„ Thomas Tiiylor (I). 
,, Robert Kirk. 

Wrecked on the Isle of Pines. 

Griffin . . . 

AVrecked near Barbuda. 

Cumberland . . 

Foundered near Goa. 

Liime .... 


,, Sir Edward Vernon (2) 

A\ recked iu j^orth Sea. 



,, Johu Elphinstone ^\) 

A\' recked in St. Lawrence. 

Conaueror . . 

^Vrecked ou St. Nicholas Island. 

jVeura^tle. . . 


„ Digby Deut (3). 

(Lost iu a hmTicane off Poudiiherry ; 

Qucenborough . 


C crews saved. 



, Protector, f.s. . 
\Duc d'Aquitaine 



* „ Sir William Hewitt. Bt. 

(Lost in a hurricane off Pondichcrry ; 

Isunderland . . 


* „ Hon. James Colvilje. 

I" crews lost. 

\Duke (store-ship) 



Pheasant (cutter) 


f*Com. Bartholomew (?) Nel- 

1. sou. 

JFouudered iu the Channel. 



.'^peedieell . 


Lieut, .lames Allen. 
*(.apt. Thomas Gordon (2). 

Taken at Vigo by Achilla. 

Middefm-d . . 

Wre>-ketl Flamborough Head. 

1762 Feb. 

Raismnablc . . 


,, ]\[olyneux Shuldham. 

Lost ar Martinique. 

Etrreuve . 


Com. Peter Blake. 

Lost iu returning from South Carolina. 

Savage . . . 


Lost iu Torbay. 



Year. Date. 



C* Lo-this Ufeou the 



July 2* 

Nov. 29 

Dec. 18 


Hussar . 
Chesterfield . 
Temple . . 
Southtea Castle 
Hum her . 
Gramont . 
^orjiion . 
.'^an f'tnaro . 
Basilisk (bomb) 



Capt. Robert Carkett. f^oi-t m the W. Indie!^. 

T»t in Old Strait of Baliama. 
„ 'ihomas Bnruett. iFouotir-nd on passage borne from 

,, Thomas ("olingwcxKl. j Havana. 

,, William Newsoiii, 
,, Richiird Ouslow. 
Com. Patrick Mouat. 

*Com. Edward KuowJes. 

Lo^t at .Manilla. 

Lost on Hazclxm/ Sauds. 

Taken at St.. J oliu'tj, Newfoundland. 

Lost in Iri^h Sea. 

FouD' ered on way to W. Indies. 

Wrecked in the Downs. 

Tjkou by AudarJeuT:. privateer. 

(6.) LOSSES OF THE FRENCH NAVY, 1744-48, 1755-62. 

Note. — Frenth East Indiamen. if .serving with, or in lieu of ships of, the Fr^^uch Navy, are, in a few instances, 

included bvlow. 










May 19 






Oct. 1 1 
., 14 

Nov. 19 

May 3 


M 3 

-t 3 

» 3 

June 21 

Sept. 13 

Oct. 14 

.. ^ + 

>» 14 

» 1-1 

,. 14 

Jan. 31 

June 8 

Nov. 13 
I Mar. 

July 12 

May 14 

., 30 

Sept. 21 

Nov. 23 

Medee .... 

Fleuron . 

Elephant . 

Pantliere . . , 


Avguste . 


Mercure (i u flr'ite) 
\ Ferme .... 
I Mars .... 
( Due d' Orleans* . 
I Subtile 



Parfait . . . 

Fmbuscade . . 

Fine .... 

Flore .... 

Maligr.e (sb op) . 


Serieux . 

Hiamant . . . 

Jason .... 


Htibis (fiiite) . . 

Etoile. _. . . 

JitTuymmie . . 

Monarque . . 

Terrible . . . 

Neptune . 


Trident . . . 






1 ellone .... 


Magnanime . 
Lys (en fli'.te; 


Esptrance (en flute) 
chariot Boyal . 
Arc en Citl . 
Aqziilon .... 
Due d'Aquitaine 
Ale ion .... 
Bien Acquire. . 
Hermione . . . 
Merlin .... 






Renamed Intrepid. 
Renamed Isis. 

Taken by Ih-eadnought and Grampus. 
Accidentally burnt at Brest. 
Taken by Chester and Sunderland. 
Taken by V.-Adm. Martin in the Channel. 
Taken by Commodore \Varreu at Louislxmrg. 
Taken by Portland. l;enam&i Portland's Prize. 
'i'aken ; retaken nest day. 
Taken by Xamur. 
Taken by Pembroke. 
Taken by yottivgham. 
Wrecked in E. Indies. 
Taken by Portland. Renamed Amazon. 
Captured and burnt. 
JAccidentally burnt at Chebucto. 

Taken by Defiance. 

V\ recked at .\Iontrose. 

Taken by Greyhound, privateer. 


Taken by Anson. 

Taken by Anson. 

Taken by Anson. 

Taken by Anson. 

Taken by Anson. 
I Taken by Anson. 
I DestroyftJ by Warren. 

Taken by M i-er. 

Taken by Hawke. 

Taken by Hawke. 

T;fken by Hawke. 

Taken by Hawke. 

Taken by Ha" ke. 

Taken by Ilau ke. 

Taken by Hawke. 



Taken by Xottingham and Portland. 

JTaken off Louisboorg. 

Taken and burnt. 

Taken by Lichfield and yorwich. 

Taken by Torbay. 

Destroyed by Antelope. 

Taken by Lcglf. and Methcay. 

Taken by Southampton . 

Sniik by ffussar and Dolphin. 



Retaken by Lancaster and Dunkii k. 

* ReaUy a ?hip cf the East India Company, but was serving with the fleet. 

Loaasa of the fuencu navy, 17-14-1702. 




Feb. 28 

„ 23 

„ 28 

Apr. 7 

„ 3J 

May 29 

June 2s< 
„ 29 







Feb. 21 

Mar. 19 

,, 27 

„ 2S 

May 18 

Aug. Z 

„ ? 16 

Nov. 20- 

.May 16{ 

July s) 

Oct. 18. 

„ 19 

.. I 

Jau. s 

„ 2*j 

,. 30 

Mar. 16 

Apr. 1 


July lij 
Aug. 13 

Aug. 18 
Stpt. 1 
Oct. 15 



£scarboucle . . . . 

A ^loop 

Fundi uyant . . . . 



Jiicn Aimi; . . . . 


liaisonnabJe . . . . 



Chcvrc ....". 
niche ... . . 


Entreprenant . 

Cehbre j 


JiienJ'aisant . . . . 
Hhinacerm . . . . 


Due d' Banovrc , 
Bellitititux . . . . 
Opinidtre . . . . 


Greenwich . . . . 
Robnsie (eu flr'ite) . 



A. ships buililing . . . 


Mignonne . . . . 
Dice de Chartres. 






KedoutahU . . . . 
Ttmtraire . . . . 



Soleil Royal . 
Formii^ahlc . . . . 


Thesie . . . . 





Atalante . . . . . 
Bieii/aim>it . 
Jfarijuis de J.arloze 
Vierye (ex Virgin) . 
Sirene, . . . . 

Prince Edouard 
Valciir . . . . . 




Fi'licite .... 
Warwick (eu flute 34) . 


ComMe . .- . 
(irijiamme (en flute") . 
Btrlin (eu fliite ".Js) 

Ste. Anne (Jin flute 40) . 

Bo'iffonne . . . . 


Couixti.eux . , . . 




Guirlande . . . . 

Ziphyr . 

Crnzon (schoonpv) . 














Destroyed at Majarcu. 

'J'uken by l»is. 

TaUeu by I'ha'nix, privateer. 

■JakL-n by MonmuiUh. 

Destroyed by Monarch and Montiuju. 

'I akcn by hevengi'. and lierwick. 

'I'akt n by and I'luto. 

Wrecked in K. Indies. 

Taken by Boreas. 

Taken by Doryctshire and Achilles. 

Taken by Juno. 


'^Sunk by French at Louisbuurg, 

Taken by Rochester and Renown. 
iBunit by accident at Louisbourg. 

ICut out by boats at Louislx»urg. 

Taken and burnt by Isis. 

Driven asliure an<i destroyed in Audierne Bay. 

Tbktu by Lizard off" Brest. 

Taken by Antekpe off"llfraconilje. 

>Wrecked near Brest. 

Taken by Alcide and Actcuon. 

Taken by St. Alhans in Mediterranean. 

Destmyed at Malta by Monmouth. 

Burned at ht. ^?ervand. 

Taken by IVi/ttL 

'Jakeu by .Fuluy and Isis. 

TaKeu by Wiiidsur. 

Taken by Southampdon and Mtlampe. 

Taken by Chatham, \tnus and Tltames. 

Taken by Cret^ceiit. 

Taken by Cotes at Jamaica. 

I Taken by BoscaA\en. 

Destroyed by Bi scaweu. 

Burnt by Hawke. 

Taken by Hawke. 

'Jakeu and burnt l)y Hawke. 

Sunlv by Hawkr. 

Sunk by Hawke. 

Wrecked at month of Loire. 

Wrecked in Vilaine. 

[Destroyed at Quebec by Swautou. 

iDes^troyed at Chulenr Fay by liyron. 

Retaken by Temple and Gi ujin 
'Jaken by Bortas. 
Destroyed by Holmes, 
'laktiu by Lively. 
Destroyed by Hulme-*. 

jCut out at Poudicherry. 

Taken by yiger. 

Takeu by Unicorn. 

Taken iiud destroyed by Lichmond. 

Takeu by Jlinereo. 

Taken by Venus and Jnnu. 

Tak< u by Bedford. 

Taken by Isis. 

Taken by Hero and Venus. 

'I'al-en by Albany. 

j 1 akcn by a dniiral Holmes's sijujdron on 
( Jam dca station. 

Taken by Thetis and Modeste. 

Taken by Thunderer. 

Taken by Bellona. 
JTaken by Mars and Oxford in Bay of Biscay. 

Burnt at Quebec with plague on board. 


I'aken by Lion. 

Taken by Venus. 



1762 Oct. 23 


Opalc . 
Ecureuil . 
Dragon . 
Jution . 
Xt-nobie . 
Miverre ■ 
Aigle . 






TakL'ii by Itranc. 

'lakeii by Phovir. 

Takeu by Fnvie mid />/'«n. 

Lost at Cape Fran 90 is. 

LoBt ofTMabou. 

Lost Cdniing out of Dunqiipniiic. 

fjost off IVjitlaud. 
' Lost on the I)ogger«bauk. 

Lost near Villa Kranca. 
1 I^st iu ^!t^ait of IJelle Inle. 

(c.) LOJSSKS OF THE SPANISH XAVV, 171l^-lH, i7;j;)-4y, 1762. 

X^,i 1;. — It is possible that a few of the smiiU craft meutiuued Diay have belonged to the Caraccas Compau}*. 

Ills Aug. 11 

Aug. IH 

Aug. 11- 

? 1T4-2 
? 174_' 

.Jau. '-'(> 

1727 Mar. 11 

1 7:19 Dec. 6 

Xov. 23 [ 

1740 Apr. s 

„ 2S 

Oct. 23 

1741 Feb. 
Mar. ? 6 

1 74 J Feb. 

Real San Felijx 74 

Brincipcdc Asturias . . 70 

San Co.rlo!( 6U 

Santa Isabtht . 60 

Santa Jiosa . . 60 

Volante ... ... 44 

Juno ..... 3ii 

Jieal . - . . . 6u 

San Isidoro 46 

Sorpresa .... 36 

AgnHa .... 24 

A 4th rate ^4 

Esperan^a . 46 

A 4th rate 44 

A*. Juan Afenor .... 20 

Jfaiuione . . . . 4-i 

Conde de 7'oidouse . . . 3o 

San Ftr7iando ■ tJii 

Tigre ... ... 2ii 

2 bombs l u 

1 bomb H> 

1 fireship 

4 storeships 

1 settee 

Sonta Jiosalia . - 64 

San Pedro .... 60 
A frigate .... 

X S. del Homi'io 46 

2 storeships . . 

AstrfEO . 20 

Triutifo . 2)* 

Princesa 64 

1 sloop* . . J* 

2 storeships 

Guipmcoa 74 

Hermione. •'"4 

1 patacbe 20 

Galicia . . 7U 

San Carlos 7u 

Africa . . HO 

Conquistador 60 

San Felipe '"^o 
Drar/6n .60 

1 fi-igate* ... . . 24 

Fiierte .... 60 

San Juan \ 

Santa Teresa I 

S'ledad > galleys. 

San Felipe I 

.■?. Genaro I 

Invencibile ... . 70 

X Juan fiautista (35 nien)t . 

San Joaquin (110 meu)t . i 

San Josi' (Z2 mGu)i . . . | 

-Taken by Byng in the battle off Cape I'as=aro. 

> Taken by Walton's divi;>ion. 

Hurut after capture. 

liunit by Mari. 



iiuiiit at Me.ssiiia. 

Taken at Messina. 

tiuuk at Messina. 


liurnt by Mari. 

Taken by WaitonV division. 

Burnt by Mari. 



Driven ashore. 

Lost iu Ray of Tarauto. 

I'aken by Itoyal Oak. 

Taken by Royal Oak. 

Taken by Skecrness. 

[Taken at Puerto Bello. 

Taken by Kent, Lenox aud Orford. 
Taken near St. Augustiui^ by Siiairrd. 
Taken liy Inanvmd. 
Lust off .Saut.i ^lartha. 
Foundered at sea. 
Broken up ;it St. Catherine's. 
Taken at Cartagena ; afterwards burnt. 
Scuttled at Carta{;eua ity Spaniards. 
Scuttled at Cartagena by Spaniards. 
Scuttled at Cartagena by Spaniards. 
Bumt at Cartiigena by Spaniards. 
I BuiTit at Cartagena by Spaniards. 
'Taken by \VorcKsU:r. 

I Wre^^ked while trying to take- the ship's company 
\ of the Tiger. 

.Burnt at St. Trope-/, 

Burnt at Havana. 
VTaken or destroyed. 

* These may perhaps be identified with some of the ships on which head-money was paid in 1746, and 
which are eiven at the end of the losses for 1742. 

t The'only record of these ships is that they were men-of-war taken or destroyed, but not at Puei-to Bellu or 
Cartagen-i. Head-money was boint; paitl t\ir them iu 1746, at the same time as for the Princesa and other ships 
taken bi^fore 1742 ; hence it may be iuferre.l tliat tbeiv loss was prior to the earlier date. See note * above. 




Date. 1 Ships. 




June 20 N. S. dc Calxuhniffa* . 


'J'aken by f'enlnriw. 

S. Isiiluro .... 


liurnl at Ajacciu. 


Feb. 11 

Poder . . 


Talccn by lifrwich- ; jiClerwards burnt. 

Conde dt chincan . 


Taken by liijion in \\ . Im 



Conceiicion (treasure ship) 


Taken by liin^e. 


Fot-te de JVnvIz ^f) 




Oct. 9 

(ilori'isv . . ■. . 


Taken Ity liu&sell. 


Oct. 1 



Taken by Knowles in \V. 





linrjit by Kniiwlrs in W. I 



May 28 

Unix, f.s 


Taken by Alarm. 

» 38 

Venganza .... 


'I'aken I)y Defiantr. 

„ 28 

Marte , . 


'Jaken by Defiance. 

June 3 






Taken I)y Alarm. 
Isunk at the entraicc tf ita 


/ Tiffre 








Atlg. 13 1 Aquildn 


Surrciuicreil with l[a\ana 



Cftnqiiistndor . . 


yau Genaro .... 


Sa» An tan it 1 


Aujr. li ships (building') . 


Destroyed at HavaUii. 

Oct. 31 .^'antisimu Trinidad 


Taken at JIanilla. 

' Veyitifra 


'Jaken l)y the Fmreji. 

^■^>t J iiuiii-(if-\var. 


( ':^1<5 ) 


voyages and discoveries, 1714-1762. 

Sir Clements Makkham, K.C.B. 

Clipperton and Shelvocke to the Pacific — Voyages to Hudson's Bay -Expeditions of 
Bailow, Vaughan, Scroggs, and Middleton — The search for a North- West Passage 
— Hcm-y Ellis's Voyage — Coats's book on Hudson's Bay — Anson's Voyage — The 
value of naval Exploration. 

TN 1718 there was war between the German 
-*- Emperor and Spain ; and some London 
adventurers obtained a commission from the 
■government at Vienna to cruise against the 
Spaniards in the Pacific. The commission 
was received from the authorities at Ostend ; 
and the ships, fitted out in the Thames, were named the Prince 
Eugene and the Sfarlicinherg. A retired naval lieutenant named 
Shelvocke was to have had the former, a ship with thirty-six guns 
and a complement of one hundred and eighty men ; while the Starhem- 
berg, mounting twenty-four guns, was to have been entrusted to 
John Clipperton, the man who had deserted Captain Dampier. But 
the owners were displeased with Shelvocke for his extravagance 
when he went to Ostend for the commissions, so they disrated 
him, giving Clipperton the chief command in the Prince Eugene, 
and transferring Shelvocke to the Sfarhembcrg. Meanwhile war 
broke out with Spain, so the names of the ships were changed to 
Success and Speedwell, the Ostend commissions were retvirned with 
thanks, and the expedition sailed under British colours. Shelvocke 
for the time stifled his resentment at having been superseded ; and 
the ships sailed from Plymouth on February 13th, 1719. Soon 
afterwards a gale of wind gave Shelvocke an opportunity of parting 
company with his superior officer, with all the wine and brandy on 
board his ship. His chief mate was Simon Hatley, who had been 
with Woodes Rogers, and William Betagh was his " captain of 


marines." Willi IkjIIi these oi'ticers Slielvoclic, who was a free 
drinker, had constant quarrels. In rounding Cape Horn the ship 
was driven down to 61" 30' S., where tlie cold was intense. " We 
had continued squalls of sleet, snow, and rain," says Shelvocke ; 
and the only sea hird was a disconsolate hlack albatross. Simon 
Hatley thought it was a bird, of ill-omen which brought the snow 
and mist ; and he shot the albatross. He believed that this act 
would bring a fair wind : but, on the contrary, it continued foul 
and tempestuous for another month. Shelvocke touched at the 
island of Chiloe, plundered and burnt the town of Payta, on 
the Peruvian coast, and arrived at Juan Fernandez on May 
4th, 1720. There the Speedwell parted her cable, was driven on 
shore, and became a total wreck. The crew worked hard at a 
new vessel, of 20 tons, which was launched on the 5th of October 
and named the Recovery. Shelvocke embarked with forty-six men, 
leaving eleven Enghshmen on the island. He shaped a course 
to the Peruvian coast and captured a fine vessel of 200 tons at 
Pisco, leaving his own little craft for the Spanish crew. Sailing 
northward, they encountered the Success off Quibo, but they parted 
company almost immediately. The two vessels met again three times 
on the coast of Mexico, but without exchanging a word. Shelvocke 
named his prize the Hajrpij Bet urn. Clipperton sailed for China in 
May, 1721, and sold the Success at Macao on account of the owners, 
returning home with his crew in June, 1722. Shelvocke captured 
a rich prize called the Concepcion, with 108,636 dollars on board, and 
then steered for Cahfornia, anchoring in Puerto Seguro, near Cape 
San Lucas, for which port he gives some sailing directions. Having 
left California for China in August, 1721, Shelvocke states that on 
the 21st he sighted an island one hundred and ten leagues from 
Cape San Lucas, at a distance of two leagues. This he judged to be 
seven or eight leagues in circumference. It was named Shelvocke 
Island. Burney thinks that it is the Boca Part Ida seen by Villa- 
lobos, and afterwards by Sx^ilbergen in about 20" N. When the 
present writer was serving as a midshipman on board the flagship of 
Sir George Francis Seymour in the Pacific, the Collingivood sailed 
over the position of Shelvocke Island on the old chart ; and we had 
orders to enter the visibility of distant objects in the log at each bell, 
so as to judge the space our eyes covered on either side of our track. 
But no Shelvocke's Island was ever seen. That worthy made the 
best of his way across the Pacific to China, where he sold his 


ship. He reached England in July, 17'22, and was prosecuted for 
piracy and other luisdemcaaours ; but the evidence was insufficient. 
Shelvocke published his account of the voyage in 1726, and two years 
afterwards his " captain of marines," William Betagh, published a 
refutation of Shelvocke's statements. The unfortunate Enghsh- 
men who were left by Shelvocke at Juan Fernandez were captured 
l)y a certain Captain Salavarria, who was given the command of a 
ship fitted out by two wealthy Lima merchants in consequence of 
the arrival of Clipperton and Shelvocke on the coast. Their fate is 

The British vessels which cruised in the Pacific Ocean during 
the forty years from 1680 to 1720 were all employed either for 
piratical or for warlike purposes. Yet they are properly noticed in 
a chapter on discovery and exploration, because they made the west 
coast of South America and the Pacific Ocean known to English 
seamen, and familiarised them with the navigation. Surveys were 
executed, especially of the Galapagos and Bashee Islands, and some 
few discoveries were made. Above all, they kept alive that spirit of 
juaritime enterprise which has ever been the mainstay of our Navy. 

The Arctic voyages to Hudson's Bay were of practical importance, 
for they led to the formation of a company to trade for furs and skins, 
with a charter, granted in 1669, which conferred rights and privileges 
over all the lands in that direction. In the previous year one 
GiUam, in the Nonsuch, had been sent on a voyage of discovery, and 
had reached a latitude of 75' up Davis Strait, then passing through 
Hudson's Strait, and wintering in the southern extreme of Hudson's 
Bay. Gillam had there formed a settlement called Fort Charles. 
The French were at Fort Bourbon, on the western side of the bay, 
from 1697 to 1714 ; but after the peace of Utrecht they departed and 
their settlement became Fort York on the Hayes Eiver. The 
Company's most northern fort was on the Churchill Kiver. Ships 
were sent out every year, returning with valuable cargoes of furs 
and skins ; but a strict monopoly was maintained, and discovery 
was discouraged. Nevertheless, it could not be altogether sup- 
pressed, especially as a general belief prevailed that the north-west 
passage was to be discovered by following up the opening named 
Sir Thomas Koe's Welcome by Button. 

In 1719 two vessels named the Albaiii/ and Discovcrij sailed from 
the Thames, under masters Barlow and Vaughan, to discover a 
passage, but they never returned. A man named Scroggs, in a ship 


called the Wlialebone, was sent from Fort Churchill in search of them 
in 17'2'2. He went np the " Welcome " as far as 04'' 15', heard news 
from tlie Eskimos of a very rich copper mine, and named a ])()iiit of 
land after his ship — AVhalebone Point. Then followed an expedition, 
the despatch of which was due to the representations of Mr. Arthur 
Dobbs, who had studied the subject with great care. He spoke to 
Sir Kobert Walpole, and eventually he induced Admiral Sir Charles 
Wager, the First Lord of the Admiralty, to supply two vessels for 
the discovery of the north-west passage, the Furnace, sloop, and 
Discovery, pink. Christopher Middleton, who had commanded ships 
of the Hudson's Bay Company, was induced l)y Mr. Dobbs to take 
command, and he had good officers under him, but a rascally crew, 
consisting of the sweepings of the jails. There were not three 
seamen amongst them. 

Middleton did his work well. Starting from England late in 
the season of 1741, it was necessary to winter at the Churchill 
Eiver. In 1742 Middleton left Churchill on the 1st of July, 
and proceeded up Sir Thomas Eoe's Welcome. He reached a 
headland in 65" 10' N., which he named Cape Dobbs, and on the 
northern side of which there was a wide opening. But, after a 
careful examination, Middleton came to the conclusion that it was 
merely an estuary, and gave it the name of the Wager Eiver, after 
the First Lord of the Admiralty. Pressing onwards he came to 
another headland, which he named Cape Hope, anticipating that 
the passage was on the other side of it. But there was again 
disappointment. Eepulse Bay showed no opening. The Frozen 
Strait then turns south-east. As there was much scurvy on board 
the ship, Middleton resolved to return. In the circumstances he 
had done excellently, but Mr. Dobbs was so bitterly disappointed 
that he made a violent and unjustifiable attack on the commander 
of the expedition. The Admiralty called upon Middleton for a 
detailed reply to the accusations against him ; and he made it to 
the satisfaction of their lordships. 

In 1745 an Act was passed for giving " a pul)lic reward of 
±'20,000 to such person or persons as shall discover a north-west 
passage through Hudson's Strait to the western and southern 
ocean of America." Subscribers came forward to fit out an 
expedition. A sum of .ilO,000 was raised, and a North-West 
Committee was formed, and purchased the Dobbs, galley, of 
100 tons, and the CaUofniia of KiO tons. They were well equipped. 

320 VOYAGIiS AND DISCOVERIES, 17U-17G2. [1740. 

William Moor commanding tho Dobbs and Francis White the 
California. Mr. Henry Ellis, an able and experienced seaman, also 
went out as the Committee's agent, with instructions to make charts, 
to record bearings, distances, soundings, and vai-iations, to collect 
specimens, and to keep a journal. The expedition left Gravesend 
on May 20th, 1746, was off Cape Digges on August 2nd, and 
wintered at York Factory. On June 24th, 1747, it left its 
winter quarters, entered the Welcome, and sent northward a boat, 
which rounded Cape Dobbs. The conclusion of Ellis was in 
agreement with that of Middleton, that the W'ager Eiver was not 
a strait ; but that the passage would probably be found through 
Frozen Strait. Ellis returned home in October ; and this con- 
cluded the attempts to find a passage by Hudson's Bay during 
the eighteenth century. But William Coats, a master in the 
Hudson's Bay Company's service, who had made many voyages, 
acquired an intimate knowledge of the great inland sea, and wrote 
in 1750 " The Geogi'aphy of Hudson's Bay," a very useful treatise, 
which was first printed for the Hakluyt Society in 18-52. 

The expedition of Commodore George Anson was despatched 
for belligerent purposes when the war with Spain broke out in 
1739. It is, however, properly looked upon as a voyage of discovery, 
so far as the Navy is concerned, because Anson's was the first naval 
expedition which ever crossed the Pacific Ocean. Anson received 
his orders in June, 1740 ; but the ships were manned with great 
difficulty, and at last the complement was made up by five hundred 
superannuated invalids, out-pensioners of Chelsea Hospital, who 
all died during the voyage. The Commodore was on board the 
Centurion, 60 ; and the other vessels were the Gloucester, 50, Captain 
Eichard Norris ; the Severn, 50, Captain the Hon. Edward Legge ; the 
Pearl, 40, Captain Matthew Michell; the Wager, 28, Captain Dandy 
Kidd ; the Tnjal, slooj). Commander the Honourable George 
Murray; and two store ships, the Anna and Industry. Anson's 
expedition finally sailed from St. Helen's on September 18th, 1740. 
At Madeira the captain of the Gloucester was invalided, and was 
succeeded by Captain Michell, whose place in the Pearl was given 
to Captain Kidd ; and Lieutenant David Cheap, of the Centurion, 
received command of the Tryal. At Port St. Julian, the captain 
of the Pearl having died, the Honoirrable Captain Murray succeeded 
him, and Captain Cheap was given the Wager, and Lieutenant 
Charles Saunders, the Tryal. Eunning through the Strait of Le 

1741.] ANHOJ^'H VOYAGE. 321 

Maire in March, 1741, the squadron encountered a succession oi' 
furious gales off the Horn, and the Pearl and Severn returned 
home. The scurvy broke out in a most malignant form, so that 
the Centurion alone buried forty-three men, the mortahty in the 
other ships being equally serious. Driven down to (JO" .5' 8., the 
remaining ships were dispersed. 

The Centurion did not reach Juan l*'ernandez until June 
10th, 1741, having one hundred and tliirty men in the sick-list, 
and having buried two hundred during the voyage. She was 
anchored in Cumberland Bay ; and the Trijal arrived on the 
same afternoon. On the 21st, the Gloucester came in sight, having 
lost two-thirds of her crew from scurvy. The sick were landed 
and placed in tents, twelve dying while they were being cari'ied 
from the ship to the shore. The fresh vegetables of the island, 
and the healthier surroundings, soon began to restore the survivors. 
A prize named the Monte Carmelo was captured, and equipped as a 
cruiser; and, in September, the Centurion, Trijal, and prize, the last 
commanded by Lieutenant Philip de Saumarez, sailed for the South 
American coast. The Gloucester, not being ready, was to join them 
at Payta. Soon afterwards another fine prize was captured; and, 
the Trijal having become unseaworthy, her crew was turned over 
to the new vessel, which was armed and received the name of the 
TrijaVs Prize. After cruising along the coasts of Chile and Peru, 
and capturing some other prizes. Commodore Anson anchored 
on November 18th in Payta Bay and surprised the town. The 
plunder amounted in value to ^632, 000, besides stores of wine and 
brandy, fresh provisions, and live stock. The town was set on 
fire, and six vessels in the bay were sunk. Two days after leaving 
Payta the Gloucester joined, with prizes containing specie and plate 
worth i;18,000 ; and in December the squadron arrived safely off' the 
island of Qui bo. 

Meanwhile misfortune had attended the voyage of the remaining 
vessel. The Wager, commanded by Captain David Cheap, had parted 
company with the Commodore in a gale off' Cape Horn on April 23rd, 
1741. Out of one hundred and thirty men on board, only thirteen 
officers and men were fit for duty. The rest were down with scurvy, 
and the captain had dislocated his shoulder. Being off the southern 
coast of Chile, on May 1.5th, the ship struck on a rock ; and 
she was wrecked within musket-shot of the land. Captain Cheap 
was navigating by Narbrough's chart, which had been supplemented 


322 VOYAGES AND DISCOVERIES, 17U-1762. [1741-42. 

from faulty Spanish surveys. In reality this part of the coast of 
Patagonia was unknown. The Wager was deeply emhayed in the 
G\\\i of Penas, and was' lost off the south coast of the peninsula 
of Tres Montes. Masts were cut away, boats were got out, and 
the sick were landed. The land was precipitous, but well wooded. 
The men declared that as soon as the ship was lost their pay ceased, 
and tliat they were no longer amenable to naval disciphne. A few, 
however, remained loyal, provisions were landed, and a guard was 
placed over them. The captain shot a midshipman named Cozens, 
who was in open mutiny ; but this increased the discontent, and an 
insubordinate feeling was aroused. The long boat was lengthened 
and rigged as a schooner. The mutineers insisted upon being 
taken back to England by Magellan's Strait ; and, when Captain 
Cheap refused, they surprised him at night, tied his hands, and 
deposed him, as they said, for having killed Cozens. They then 
prepared to depart in the long boat, barge, and cutter, altogether 
eighty-one men, leaving the Captain behind. Lieutenant Hamilton, 
of the Marines, and the surgeon, with seven men, remained faithful, 
the mutineers leaving the yawl and some provisions for them. 
Soon after the departure of the boats the barge returned with 
two midshipmen, the Honourable John Byron and Alexander 
Campbell, and eight more men, who were also true to the Captain. 

On December 15th, the forlorn party embarked in the barge 
and yawl. After enduring fearful hardships and sufferings, they 
were obhged to give up the voyage, and, in February, 1742, they 
returned to the place where the Wager was wrecked, which had 
been called " Cheap's Bay." At last some natives arrived in two 
canoes, and undertook to pilot the fourteen survivors in the barge 
to the Island of Chiloe. They started ; but, soon afterwards, the 
men deserted with the barge and were never heard of again, leaving 
behind Captain Cheap, Lieutenant Hamilton, the sm-geon, and 
the two midshipmen. The surgeon died, and the rest were taken 
by the natives in canoes. After the most terrible privations they 
reached Chiloe, and were kindly received by the Spanish governor, 
who sent them as prisoners of war to Valparaiso. They were 
eventually embarked on board a French ship, arrived in France, 
and were released in April, 1746. Campbell and Byron both 
wrote narratives of their wonderful adventures. The mutineers 
made their way through Magellan's Strait to the Portuguese settle- 
ment of Kio Grande, whence they got passages to Lisbon. 

1742-43.] ANSON'S VOYAGE. 323 

The Commodore had, of course, given the Wager up as lost. 
Leaving Quibo, he cruised off Acapulco to intercept the return 
galleon from that port to Manilla. The squadron consisted of 
the Centurion, Gloucester, and three armed prizes. Anson released 
all his prisoners, giving them the prizes, and made sail for China, 
with the Gloucester in company, on May 5th, 1742. In August 
it was found necessary to abandon the Gloucester, owing to her 
leaky condition. She was set on fire, and her officers and crew were 
taken on board the Centurion, During the voyage the scurvy 
broke out afresh, and for a long time several men died every day. 
On August '27th, the Centurion anchored in Tinian Eoad,' in 
one of the Ladrone Islands, after an unusually prolonged voyage. 
The sick were landed to the number of oiie hundred and twenty- 
eight, and placed in a large thatched building on shore. Live-stock 
and vegetables were obtained in abundance. About thirty of the 
sick died, but the rest rapidly recovered, and were soon convalescent. 
The ship was repaired, and on October 21st Commodore Anson 
sailed for China, anchoring off Macao in November. There the 
Centurion wintered ; and on April 29th, 1743, Anson put to sea, 
announcing to his people that he intended to make another attempt to 
intercept the Manilla galleon. Although officers and men had been 
so long away, and had gone through such fearful sufferings, they all 
cheerfully concurred. On May 5th, they sighted the Bashee Islands 
of Dampier, and for a month Anson cruised off the island of Samar 
without sighting any vessel. At length, on June 20th, a midshipman 
named Charles Proby ^ shouted from his station at the top-masthead, 
" A sail to windward ! " She was soon seen from the deck, 
coming down before the wind towards the Centurion. It was the 
long-sought galleon, N. S. de Cavadonga. Both ships cleared for 
the action, which lasted an hour and twenty minutes, at the end of 
which the Spaniard struck her colours. Anson lost onl}' two men 
killed and seventeen wounded ; but the loss of the Spaniards was 
sixty-seven killed and eighty-four wounded. The cargo of the galleon 
included $1,313,843, besides 35,682 ounces of silver, and merchandise. 
The prize was commissioned and entrusted to the command of 
Lieutenant Philip de Saumarez. Next day they again made the 
Bashee Islands, and on July 10th they entered the river of Canton. 
In December the prize was sold at Macao, and the Centurion 

' Brotlier of the first Lord Carysfort. Afterw.irds Commissioner at Cliathani 

Y 2 


was homeward bound on December 15th, 1743. She anchored at 
Spithead, after an absence of nearlj' four years, on June 1.5th, 1744. 

Commodore George Anson's expedition is correctly looked upon 
as an exploring expedition, although with warlike objects. It 
was the first pm-ely naval exploring expedition of modern times ; 
and it is memorable for having been — quite as much, if not 
more, than those which succeeded it — a most successful nursery of 
valuable naval officers. Many of the best men in the Navy, during 
the Seven Years' War, had learnt their first lessons, and gained 
invaluable experience, during their hard service in Anson's exploring 
squadron. There were Piercy Brett (1),^ and John Campbell,- 
who was Lord Hawke's flag-captain at the battle of Quiberon 
Bay ; there were Charles Saunders,'' Charles Proby, de Keppel,* 
Philip de Saumarez,^ Peter Denis, '^ the Hon. John Byron,' and 
Hyde Parker (1). No doubt, the voyage of Anson, remarkable 
as it was for its early misfortunes, for the thrilling stories of 
suffering and shipwreck connected with it, and yet notable for the 
way in which the patience and resolution of its commander were 
rewarded with final success, was the incentive for the despatch of 
the expeditions which, in due time, followed in its wake. It is still 
more noteworthy that Anson's expedition was, perhaps, the best 
example of a naval exploring voyage, forming a splendid and 
prolific niu'sery for training the best and most valuable class of 
naval officers. 

' Lieutenant in tlie Cmtnrion. ^ A petty officer in the Centurion. 

' First lieutenant of tlie Ccv(<j()'jOH. ■* Midsliipnian in tlie C«/^«nora. 

^ Third lieutenant of the Centurion. '' Lieutenant in tlie Centurion. 

' Midshipman in the Wager. 

( 325 ) 



Ailuiinistration of the Navy — First Lords — Secretaries of the Admiralty — Navy Board 
ofticials, etc. — Naval Bxiieuditure — Seamen and Marines- Strength of the Fleet — 
Rigging of a First-Rate — New classes of men-of-war — The carronade — Establish- 
ments of guns — Gun-locks — Typical ships of the period — Condition of the 
Dockyards — Ships in ordinary — Coppering — Pumpis — Distillatit)n of water — 
Sanitation — Lighting and buoying — Lightning conductors — The longitude — 
Harrison's time-keepers — The Nautical Almanac — Desertion — Discontent — 
Mutiny — Bounties to seamen — Officers' halfpay — Officers in peace-time — Prize- 
money — The Marine Society — The Hibernian Maiine Society — The Marine School 
at Hull — Dockyard artificers — The King and the Navy — Promotion to the flag — 
Superannuation — Naval uniform — Naval law — Coffin's case — The right of search 
—The right of the flag — International courtesies. 

"VrO changes of great importance were 
made in the administrative machinery 
of the Navy during the compara- 
tively short period which is covered by 

the present chapter. Even the lessons 
Signature of Eichaed, ,. ,, ,^j ,. . ■ -^ -, , 

Bahl Howe, Admiral of the War of American independence 

OF THE Fleet. produced few reforms, save in the manage- 

ment of the Dockyards. The succession of the more important 
administrative officers was as follows : — 


George Grenville. 

John, Earl of Egmont. 

.John, Earl of Sandwich. 

John, Earl of Egmont. 

Sir Charles Saiuideis, K.B., Vice-Admiral. 

Sir Edward Hawke, K.B., Admiral. 

John, Earl of Sandwich. 

Hon. Augustus Keppel, Admiral. 

Richard, Viscount Howe, Admiral. 

Augustus, Viscount Keppel, Admiral. 

Richard, Viscount Howe, Admiral. 

John, Earl of Chatliam. 


10, 17G;i. 


23, 1763. 


10, 1763. 


Ifi, 1766. 




12, 1771. 


30, 1782. 


30, 1783. 


10, 1783. 


31, 1783. 



326 CIVIL lUSTOIiY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1763-1792. [1763-92. 


Jolm Clevland. 
1763. riiilip Stephens (later, Sir P. Stephens, Bart.). 
178.'). (As Assistant) John Ibbetson. 


I'reasureu of the Navy. 

William Wildman, Vis- 

cdunt Barringtoii. 
Iiichard, Viscuunt Howe, 

(Captain, R.X. 
Sir Gilbert Elliot, Bart., 

later Lord Minto. 
AVelbore I':ilis. 
Isaac Banc''. 
Henry Duudas. 
Charles Townsend. 
Henry Dundas." 






5, 1783. 

30, 1783. 








Controller of the Navy. 

Greor>;e Cockburne, Cap- 
tain, R.X. 

Hugh Palliser, Captain, 

Maurice Suckling, Cap- 
tain, R.N. 

Sir Charles Middleton, 
Captain and Rear- 
1790. Sir Henry Martin (2), 
Bart., Captain, R.N. 


(Thomas Slade. 

I William Bateley. 
-_,,_ fSir Thomas Slade, Kt. 

Ijohn Williams. 
1771. Sir John Williams, Kt. 



Sir John AVilliams, Kt. 

rSir Jol 


d Hunt. 

,_.,- fEdward Hunt. 
1 ( 8o. \ 

IJohn Henslo\v. 

Clerk of the Act.s. 

Edward Mason. 
1773. George Marsh. 

Controller of the Treasurer's 

Timothy Brett. 
1782. George Rogers. 





Controller- of the ^'lcTUALLIN« 

Robert Osborne. 
1771. Charles Proby, Captain, 

1771. Thomas Hanway, Ca]>- 
taiu, R.N. 
George Marsh. 
James Gam bier (1), Cap- 
tain, R.N. 
AVilliam Palmer. 




Controller of the Storekeeper's 

Hon. William Batemau, 
Captain, R.N. 
1783. William Campbell. 
1790. William BeUinghara. 



Extra Commissioners. 

Sir Richard Temple. 
Sir John Bentley, Kt., 
Captain, R.N. (till 

1778. Edward Le Cras, Cap- 
tain, R.N. (tUI 1783). 

1782. Samuel Wallis, Captam, 
R.N. (till 1783). 

1787. Samuel Wallis, Captain, 
R.N. (again). 

Commissioners at H.M. Dockyards, etc. 

Thomas Hanway, Cap- 
tain, R.N. 

Charles Proby, Captain, 




Richard Hughes (2), Cap- 
tain, R.N. (Bart. 1773). 

Aug. 1773. James Gambler (1), Ca]>- 
tain, R.N. 

Jan. 1778. Sir Samuel Hood, Bart., 

Captain, R.N.' 

Created Viscount Melville, 1802. - Created Lord Barham, 1803. 

^ Created Lord Hood, 1782. 





1780. tJouiy Martin (2), Captain, 

K.N. (later a Baronet). j ,,1^. 

1791. Sir Charles Saxton, Kt., 

Captain, U.N. (a Bart. j^^. |, 



Frederick liogers, Cap- 
tain, R.N. (a Baronet, 

1775. Paul Henry Ourry, Cap- 
tain, R.N. 

1783. Edward Le Cras, Cap- 
tain, R.N. 

178-1. John Laforey, Captain, 

1789. Robert Pausliawe (1), 
Captain, R.N. 

GihmUar and Minorca. 

Charles Colby, Captain, 
R.N. (retired, 1763). 



Halifax, Nova Hculia. 

1775. Marriot Arbuthnot, Caii- 

tain, R.N. 
1778. Mr Richard Hughes (2), 

Bart., (Japtain, R.N. 
1780. Sir Andrew Snape Ha- 

mond, Bart., Captain, 

1784. Henry Duncan (1), Ca)i- 

tain, 1!.N. 

Lccivard Islands. 

177'.i. John Laforey, Captain, 
R.N. (till 1783). 

1784. John Muutray, Captain, 
R.N. (till 1785). 


1782. Robert Alexander Lam- 
bert, Captain, R.N. 
(till 1784). 

The " extra " and " ordinary " expenditure, as voted by Par- 
liament from year to year, and the number of seamen and Marines 
authorised, are shown below in a table which is a continuation of 
the one on p. 5 of the present volume : — 

No. of Sea- 


No. of Sea- 


" E.\tra.'' 


men and 
Marines. 1 




meu aud 


















































311,843 2 

















675,. 307 





























20,000 ' 





1775 1 








1776 I 
















1 The cost of these was in addition to the sums specified in the " Extra " and " Ordinary " columns. 

2 This was £1,000,000 short of the estimated expense: but it was considered that the deficiency wnuM In- 
balanced by the number (if men to be discharged owing to the peace. 

3 For work in the Royal Yards only. No money was voted for work in private yards, the estimate for which, 
with fittings and stores for the ships, was £81,8*20. 

The fluctuations in the streno^th of the fleet are indicated in the 

328 CIVIL ni.srOIiY of the royal navy, 176.3-1792. [1763-92. 

appended table, which, thoiif^'h it goes into less detail, and omits to 
notice vessels possessed of no distinct fighting value, is, in effect, a 
continuation of the table on p. 7. 

Abstract or the Fighting Ships ov tiik Hoyai. Navy at Fouu Different 

Dates, 17G2-1792. 

(Prom Derrick, pp. 148-197, with corrections.) 

Total of the Line : — . 





























































. , 









22 and 20 






18 to 8 

















\.h Total . 





1 It baving been suggested, iii the course of the progress of this work, that some description of the rigging o 
a mau-of-uar iu the heroic age of the British Xavy would be useful to the reader, a plate, showing the rigging, 
etc., of a first-rate in 1775 is here inserted. Esplaiiatory references to it will be found on the page opposite. 

~ Besides 7 prizes which, though taken, had not then been purchased for the Navy. 

3 Besides 4 prizes which, though taken, had not then beeu pmxhased for the Navy. 

* Including 47 needing repair. 

5 Besides 18 building or ordered. 

The 50-gun ship had ceased about the year 1756 to rank as of 
the hue. Another class of ship ranking between the ship of the line 

( 329 ) 


SJiowing till' Ri</(jiu</, etc., of a Fiml-rnfe of 1775. 

1 liOWSl'WT. 


( 'rosstrees. 

130 Backstays. 

■1 Yaid and sail. 



131 Stay. 

■i fiamuH'tiing. 

132 Stay sail an^i haliards 

4 Horse. 


1.33 Lifts. 

5 Bobstay. 


131 Braces and pendants. 

H Sprltsail sheeti. 


Shronds aud lanyards. 

135 Bowlines and bridles. 

7 Pemlaiits. 


Yard and sail. 

136 Clewlines. 

H Braces and pemiaiits. 



137 Flagstaff. 

9 Haliarls. 



138 Truck. 

10 Lifts. 



139 Flagst.tff stay. 

1 1 Clewlines. 



140 Royal Standard. 

12 Spritsail horses. 


Braces aud jiendants. 

!.■) Buntlines. 


Bowlines aud bridles. 

14 Standing lifts. 


Flag staff. 

141 MIZEN MAsr. 

15 Spritsail tup. 



142 Sbnmds and lanyards. 

16 Flying .jil>boom. 


Flag staff stay. 

143 Pendants and burtons 

17 Flying .jib stay and sails. 


Flag of Lonl High Ad- 

144 Y'ard aud sail. 

IS Haliards. 


145 Crowfwt. 

l!l .Sheets. 

146 Sheet. 

20 Horses. 


147 Pendant Hues. 



148 Peakbrails. 




149 Staysail. 

22 Shrouds. 


Runner and tackle. 

150 Stay. 

23 Yard and sail. 


Pendant of the goraet. 

151 Derrick aud span. 

24 Sheets. 


Guy of diito. 

152 lop. 

25 Lifts. 


Fall of ditto. 

153 Crossjack yard. 

21 Braces and pendants. 



154 Crossjack lifts. 

27 Cap. 


Preventer stay. 

155 Crossjack braces. 

2S Jack staff. 


Stay tackle. 

156 Crossjack slings. 

29 Truck. 


Woolding of the mast. 

30 Jack flag. 




Y'ard tackles. 





l.^M .Shrouds and lanyards. 

32 Runner and tackle. 


Biaces and pendants. 

159 Y'ard aiul sail. 

33 Shrouds. 



160 Backstays. 

34 Lanyards. 



161 stay. 

35 Stay ami lanyard. 



162 Haliards. 

36 I'reventer stay aud lanyard. 


Bowlines aud bridles. 

163 Lifts. 

37 Wooldings of the mast. 



164 Braces and pendants. 

:iH Yard and sail. 



165 Bowlines an<l bridles. 

39 Horses. 



166 Sheets. 

40 Top. 



167 Clewluies. 

41 Crowfoot. 



168 Staysail. 

42 Jeers. 


Y'ard and sail. 

169 Crosstrees. 

43 Yard tackles. 

170 Cap. 

44 Lifts. 


171 Flagstaff. 

45 Braces and pendants. 


Shrouds and lanyards. 

172 Flagstaff stay. 

40 Sheets. 


Y'arii aud sail. 

173 Truck. 

47 Fore tacks. 


F'nttock shrouds. 

174 Union Flag. 

4« Bowlines and bridles. 



175 Ensign staff. 

49 Fore buntlines. 



176 Track. 

50 Fore leecblines. 


.Staysail and .stay aud 

177 Eusign. 

51 Fore top-rope. 


1 7S Poop ladder. 

52 Futtock shrouds. 



179 Bower cable. 






54 Shrouds and lanyards. 



55 Y'ard and sail. 


Braces auii pendants. 

56 Stay and sail. 




57 Runner. 



5.S Backstays. 


Bowlines and bridles. 

.■V Cat head. 

59 Haliards. 

123 Buntlines. 

11 Fore channels. 

60 Lifts. 



C Main channels. 

61 Braces and pendants. 



I) Mizeu channels. 

62 Horses. 



E Entering port. 

63 Clewlines. 

K Hawse holes. 

64 Bowlines and bridles. 


i; Poop lanterns. 

65 Reef-tackles. 


H Chesstree. 

66 Sheets. 


Shrouds aud lanyards. 

1 Head. 

67 Buntlines. 


Y'ard aud sail. 

Iv Stern. 

330 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY. 1763-1792. [1703-92. 

and the frigate proper was the two-decked 44-giiii class. When 
these vessels had nearly all died out, a new class, the 88-gun frigate, 
appeared in 1780. Of this class the Minerva, launched on June 3rd, 
1780, was the first. She originally carried, on her main deck, 
twenty-eight 18-pounders, and on her quarterdeck and forecastle ten 
9-pounders, eight 18-pGunder carronades and fourteen swivels ; but 
slight modifications were afterwards made and the swivels were 
omitted. In 1780, also, the 36-guii frigate was revived, with, how- 
ever, 18 and 9-pduuders in \\e\\ of the 12 and 6-pounders of the older 
ships of the same class. In 1775 a new so-called 24-gun class was 
introduced, carrying twenty-two 9-pounders on the main deck and 
four 3-pounders, later two 6-pounders, on the quarterdeck. Thence- 
forward there were no proper frigates of less than 24 guns, though 
post ships of 22 and even 20 guns continued to be commissioned. 
These corresponded roughly with the vessels which, in the French 
navy, were called corvettes. Below them came the sloops, which, 
with bombs, fireships, armed ships and store ships, were commanded 
by Masters and Commanders.' Below these again came cutters, 
schooners, brigs, armed vessels, armed transports, armed store-ships 
and surveying sloops, which were commanded by Lieutenants. AH 
yachts were commanded by Post Captains, and the larger of them 
were sometimes entrusted to Captains of long standing who, in 
consideration of the honour, either temporarily or pennanentlj' 
surrendered their right to promotion to flag-rank, when it fell to 
them in the ordinary course of senioritj'.- 

The introduction of the carronade was bj' far the most important 
development of naval ordnance during the period under review. 

" So long," says Mr. William James, " as that species of ordnance, called gun by the 
English and canon by the French, continued in exclusive possession of the decks of a 
fighting ship, no difference existed between the number of carriage pieces she actually 
mounted and the number which stood as a sign of her class in the published lists. In 
process of time, however, the nominal, or rated, and the real force of a ship lost their 
synonymous signification, and that in a manner, and to an extent, too important, in 
every point of view, to be slightly passed over. 

" In the early part of 1779, a piece of carriage ordnance, the invention, by all 
accounts, of the late scientific General Robert Melville, was cast, for the first time, at 
the ironworks of the Carron Company, situated on tlie banks of tlie river Carron, in 

' The " Master-and-Commander " was equivalent to the modem Commander, and 
is, in fact, usually called Commander in these pages, for the sake of brevity. 

^ E.g., Captain Sir Alexander Schomberg, Kt., who, posted in 1757, would, in the 
ordinary course, have obtained his flag in 1787, but who, accepting in 1771 the 
command of the Irish Viceroy's yacht, retained it until his death in 1804. 




Scotland. Althoiigli shorter than the navy 4-poundei-, and lightei', by a ti-ifle, tlian tho 
navy 12-pounder, this gun equalled, in its cylinder, the 8-incli howitzer. Its 
destructive effects, when tried against timber, induced its ingenious inventor to give it 
tlie name of smasher. 

" As the smasher was calculated chielly, if not wholly, for a ship-gun, the Carron 
Company made early application to have it employed in the British Navy, but, owing 
to some not well-explaiued cause, were unsuccessful. Upon the supposition that the 
size and weight of tlie smasher, particularly of its shot, would operate against its 
general employment as a sea-service gun, the proprietors of the foundry ordered the 
casting of several smaller pieces, corresponding in their calibre with the 24, 18, and 
12-pounder guns in use, or rather, being of a trifle less bore, on account of the reduced 
windage very judiciously adopted in carronades, and which might he extended to long 
guns with considerable advantage. These new pieces became readily disiioscd of among 
the captains and others, employed in fitting out private armed ships to cruise against 
America, and were introduced, about the same time, on l)oard a few frigates and smaller 
vessels belonging to the Royal Navy. 

" The new gun had now taken the name of carrmiadf, and its several varieties 
became distinguished, like those of the old gun, by the weight of their respective shot. 
This occasiontd the smasher to be called, irrevocably, a 68-pounder, whereas, repeated 
experiments had shown that a hollow, or cored shot, weighing 50 or even 40 lbs., 
would range further in the first graze, or that at which the shot first strikes the 
surface of the water, and the only range worth attending to in naval gunnery. The 
lioUow shot would, also, owing to its diminished velocity in passing through a ship's 
side, and the consequent enlargement of the hole and increased splintering of the 
timbers, produce more destructive efl'ects than the shot in its solid form, one of the 
principal objections against which, was, and still continues to be, its being so cumbrous 
to iiaudle. 

" Before lialf the expiration of the year in which tlie first cairouade had been cast, 
a scale was drawn up by the Navy Board and sanctioned by the Lords of the Ad- 
miralty,' for arming the different rates in the service with the 18 and 12-]KHmder 

' Carronades assigned to each class of ship in the Koj'al Navy, by Admiralty C)rder 
of Jvdy 13th, ITT'.I :— 


Class of 




Actual uumber 
of carriage guns 




No. Prs. 





































































■ J> 




























Sloops ' 
















r, il: 

2 12 


1 Ship-rig 


332 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL SAVY, 176:}-171t2. [1770. 

calibres. In cousequence of the lii'st, necuiid, ami third-rate ships having their quarter- 
decks as fully supplied with guns as there was room for ports on each side, no 
additional pieces could be placed there ; but it was found that the forecastle would 
geuerally admit the opening of a pair of extra ports, and that the poop, which for 
nearly a century past had served chiefly as a roof to the captain's cabin, would if 
timbered up on each side, afford space for tliree pairs of ports, making, in the whole, eight 
additional ports for the reception of carronades. The .50-gun ship was found to have 
room for a pair of additional ports on her quarterdeck, besides a pair on her forecastle, 
and three pairs on her poop, when the latter was barricaded, making altogether ten 
ports. The 44-gun ship had no poop, and no armament on the quarterdeck. By 
furnishing the latter with a barricade, and cutting through it four pairs of ports, 
besides an extra pair on the forecastle, this ship might mount the same additional 
number of pieces as the 50. The three remaining classes of the fifth, and the first two 
classes of the sixth rate, would also admit of additional ports being cut through the 
sides of their forecastles and quarterdecks. The third class of the sixth rate, and the 
quarterdecked ship-sloop class,-being, in respect to their quarterdecks and forecastles, 
in a similar state to the 44, would require to be similarly built up before they could 
mount the eight carronades assigned to them.' 

" Several captains complained of the carronade ; some, of its upsetting after being 
heated by successive discharges ; others, that, owing to its shortness, its fire scarcely 
passed clear of the ship's side, and that its range was too confined to be useful. The 
captains of some of the 32-gun frigates, in particular, represented that one pair of their 
quarterdeck carronades was so much in the way of the rigging as to endanger the 
lanyards of the shrouds, and begged to have their established number reduced from six 
to four. As the principal objection to carronades appeared to have arisen from defects 
in the manner of mounting them, some additional instructions on that head were 
prepared and forwarded by Mr. Gascoigne, the chief proprietor of the Carron foundry. 
Some alterations were also made in the piece itself.^ Still the Board of Ordnance, in 
repeated conferences with the Navy Board, maintained the superiority of the old gun, 
resting their arguments'chiefly on the comparative length of its range ; while the Navy 
Board urged that a vessel, able to carry 4-pounderB of the common construction, 
might, with equal ease, bear 18-pounders of the new; that its shot was far more 
formidable and destructive; and that its range was quite sufficient for the purpose 
required. . . . 

"According to an official list, dated on the Oth of Januarj', 1781, there were then 
429 ships in the Navy mounting carronades, among which the 32-pounder carronade 
appears, and was the first of that calibre which had been used. The total of the 
carronades employed was 604, namely, eight 32-pouuders, four 24-poimders, three 
hundred and six 18-pounders, and two hundred and eighty-six 12-pounders. In 
December of this year, a recommendation to use 68-pounder carronades on the fore- 
castle of large ships, and 42 and 32-pounders on the same deck of some of the smaller 
rates, induced the Navy Board to order the old Sainhow, 44, to be fitted, by way of 
experiment, wholly with carronades of the largest description. Sir John Dalrymple 
proposed the casting of some that should carry a ball of 100 or 130 lbs. weight; 
but the Board resolved to confine themselves to the heaviest of the pieces already cast, 
the 68-poimder. 

" The necessary carronades were ordered from the foimdry, and some of the 
foremen belonging to the works attended to see them properly fitted. It was not, 
however, until February or March, 1782, that the Sainhow could be completed in her 

' Establishment of 1762. 

^ E.g., increasing its length by two calibres. 




eqiiipiueiit. AVliat additional force she acquired- by this clianjie in her .iiiiiaiiieiit the 
following table will show : — ■ 

Old Armameut. 

Nc« .\l 


I .Ollg 


Broadside weight 
of metal. 

No. 1 Prs. 

HroailslcU- wpi^rlit 



of mHal. 

First deck 
Second deck . 
Forecastle . 














'■In the beginning of April, the Bainlxjw, thus armed, and cuinmauded liy 
Captain . . . Henry TroUope, who, with Captain Keith Elphinstone (the late Adniii-al 
Lord Keith) and the late Rear-Admiral Macbride, was among the earliest patrons of the 
carronade, sailed on a cruise. All the well-known skill and enterprise of her captain 
failed, however, to bring him within gunshot of a foe worth contending with until the 
4th of the succeeding September, when, being off Isle de Bas, he came suddenly u]}on 
a large French frigate. Owing to the latter's peculiar bearing, one of the Bainhours 
forecastle 32-pounders was first discharged at her. Several of the shot fell on boai'd, 
and discovered their size. The French captain, rationally concluding that, if such 
large shot came from the forecastle of the enemy's ship, much larger ones would follow 
from her lower batteries, fired his broadside ' povir I'lioniieur du pavilion,' and sur- 
rendered to the Raiyibow. . . . 

'■ In the course of 1782, a few of the larger sorts of the carronade were mounted on 
board some of the receiving ships in order that the seamen of such vessels as were in port 
refitting might be exercised at handling and firing this, to them, novel piece of oi'dnance. 
As one proof of many that carronades were gaining ground in the Navy, the captams of 
the few 38 and 36-gun frigates in commission applied for and obtained 24-pounder 
carronades, in lieu of the 18s with which their ships had been established. The 
termination of the war in January, 1783, put a stop to any further experiments with 
the carronade ; but its merits were now too generally acknowledged to admit a doubt of 
its becoming a permanent favourite : in the British Navy, at least, where a short range 
is ever the chosen distance." 

It does not, however, appear that foreign powers adopted the 
carronade until after 1783.^ 

The estabhshment of long guns underwent various modifications, 
the most important of which may be shown thus : — 

' Nor is it quite certain that the innovation was altogether beneficial. Mr. Henry 
Carey Baird, of Philadelphia, has laid before the author reasons for attributing some at 
least of the British failures during the War k{ 1812-1.") to an excessive confidence in 
the value of the carronade. 

334 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1763-1792. [1763-92. 

Establishment of Guns (other tlian Carronadcs in 1792, and half-pouiider Swivels 
in 1762) CARRIED by some of the priscipal classes of ships of the Royal 
Navy in 1762 and 1792 respectively : — 

Luwer Deek. Middle Deck. Upper Declt. 



Classes of Ships. 



Pis. S 

,. Ip 

rs. No. j Pre. 

No. Pre. 



100 gnus (large) . 



42 28 

24 30 






100 „ „ . . 



32 or 42 ' 28 

24 30 






100 „ (smaller) . 



42 28 

24 28 






100 „ 



32 or 42 28 

24 28 






90 „ . . . . 



32 26 18 26 






90 „ . . . . 



32 26 1 1 

8 26 






80 „ (8-decker). 



32 26 ] 

8 24 






80 „ (2-decker) . 




. 32 






74 „ (larger) 




. 30 






74 „ „ 




. 30 






74 ., (smaller) . 




. 28 






'■1 „ 




. 30 






64 „ . . 




. 1 26 






64 „ . . 




. 26 






50 „ . 




. 22 






50 „ . . 




. 22 






44 „ . . 




. j 22 


, , 

, , 



44 „ . . 




. ' 22 


, , 



.36 „ . . 


. 26 






36 „ . . 


. 26 






32 „ . . 


. 26 






32 „ . . 


. 26 






28 „ . . 


. 24 




28 „ . . 


. 24 




24 „ . . 




. 20 




24 „ . . 






20 „ . . 


. 20 9 


20 „ . . 


. 20 9 



14-gun sloops 


. . 

. 14 1 6 


14-gun ,, 


14 ' 6 


Gun-locks and tin tiring-tubes had been used in a few ships 
during the latter part of the Seven Years' War; but, the general 
feeling of the service being against them, the old match was 
reverted to until after 1780, when the flint lock, with an improved 
tube, became common, though the match-tub was retained for use 
in case of breakdown. 

As in Chap. XXVI., particulars of some typical ships of war of 
the period imder review are given : — 




Tyimcal liiUTisH Ships oi-* W.vii, ITiJlJ-D^, incluihng imrir Phizes and 







Where, and liy whom [Iiiilt. 

Victory .100 

viUe de Paris 
Queen Clutrlotte . 
Harjieur . . . 
(iibraltar (ex Finix 
C(Esar .... 
liamiliies . 
/iamiUiea . 
Auyiista . 
Froti'e .... 
Prince WilUavi . 
Argonaut . 
Warwick . 
Roebuck . . . 
Pnncess Caroline. 
Pradente . 
Minerva . 
fft-b<^ .... 
oiseatt .... 
Thalia .... 
Jfelampus . 
Glory .... 
Iris (later Hancock) 
Clinton (ex Hspei'ance) 
Castor . 
Virginia . 
Hose . . 
Squirrel . 
Ariadne . 
Boston") . 
Cygnet . 
Zebra . 
Brisk . 
SwiJ't . . 
Cliilders, brig 
Ferret, cutter 
Cockatrice, cutter 
Alecto, firesbip 
jEtna, buuib . 

Augusta, yacht 



•1782 185 

1789 190 
1768 177 

'1780 178 

1793 181 

1763 168 

1785 170 

1790 176 
1763 1159 

•1780 164 

«1780 153 

*1782 ,163 

1705 1 151 

1771 1140 

•1781 129 

*1779 136 

1780 141 

1782 1 150 

'1779 146 

1782 137 

1786 141 
1763 ,125 
'1777 1 137 

•1780 1 134 

1783 1130 
1786 126 
1763 114 

*1778 U32 
*I778 132 
1785 120 
1776 114 
1785 119 
1776 !108 

*1780 114 

1776 110 

1780 98 

1774 |101 

1763 ' 91 

Ft. in. 

136 151 3S 


8 144 
10} 144 
6 '13.S 


1 140 

1 113 
3 117 


1 '116 

Hi 107 


1781 103 
1776 I 91 
reblt. 1 

1770 r" 



Oi 50 
6 I 53 
311 61 

2 I 46 
U « 

3 I 43 
6i 44 
OJ 44 

3i| 38 
OJ 33 

4 i 35 
6 34 
I 35 
■ OJI 36 
I 35 


90 9i 28 












































3i 26 
9i 27 
8 25 
! 20 


23 l\ 10 11 

(■Chatham, E. Alleu, after Sir 

I T. SlaUe. 

•Taken from the Freucli. 


Chatham, J. Harris. 
*Taken from the Sp.mianls. 


(Jhatbain, E. Allen. 

Thames, liaudall & Co. 

Deptford, M. Ware. 

Thames. Wells & Co. 
*Taken from the French. 
*Taken from the Spaniards. 
*Taken from the French. 

Portsmouth, .J. Bucknall. 

*Takeu from the Dutch. 
l*Taken from the French. 

Woolwich, J. .Tenner, 
l*Taken from the French. 
i*Taken from tlie French. 
j Bursledou, H. Parsous. 

; Hull, J. Hodfison. 
l*Tuken from the Americans. 
*Taken from the French. 
I Bucklershard. 
' Harwich. 

\ Thames, R. Inwood. 
i*Taken from the French. 
;*Taken from the Americans. 
I Sandgate. 
j Deptford, ,\. Hayes. 
1 Liverpool. 
I Chatham, J. Powuall. 




Gravesenri, C'leverlv 






Thames, H. Bird. 







Chatham, E. .VIU n. 









184 Deptforrt. 

Diiring the peace which preceded the war with the American 
Colonies, the condition of the dockyards, and of the ships in ordinary, 
was much neglected; and when, in 1771, the First Lord of the 
Admiralty had occasion to demand of the Surveyor of the Navy a 
return of the number of vessels fit for service, he received a reply 
which, he presently found, conveyed an entirely misleading impres- 
sion. The store of oak timber was also discovered to be at a 
dangerously low ebb. Upon this, it was ordered in Council that for 
the future His Majesty's Navy and Awards throughout the kingdom 
should be inspected by the Board of Admiralty every two years. A 

33G CIVIL HISTOBY OF THE liOYAL NAVY, 17fi3-17&2. [1763-92. 

little later, in 1775, the practice of paying by piece-work was intro- 
duced in the dockyards. After the war, the Admiralty, on Julj' lOtb, 
1783, appointed twenty-four Masters ^ from the half-pay list to 
superintend the ships in ordinary; eight at Portsmouth, six at 
Plymouth, eight at Chatham and Sheerness, and two at Woolwich. 
To each Master a division of ships was entrusted ; and to every ship 
was assigned a proportion of men, besides warrant officers and 
servants, as follows : ships of 100 guns and upwards, 36 men ; ships 
of 90 or 98 guns, 32 men ; ships of 70 or 74 guns, 26 men ; ships of 
64 guns, 20 men ; ships of 50 guns, 14 men ; ships of 44 guns, 
12 men ; ships of 28 or 38 guns, 10 men ; ships of 24 guns, 8 men ; 
sloops, 6 men ; and cutters, 4 men. 

Ships fit for service were ordered to have their lower masts in ; 
their bowsprits, lower yards, topmasts and topsail yards on board ; 
and a roof over their upper decks to protect them from the weather. 
In 1784, revised rules were issued for the appropriation and laying 
aside of gear and stores for ships under construction, with a view to 
ensuring that the former should be ready as soon as the latter; 
and l)etter arrangements were made for the accumulation of reserve 
and spare stores at the dockyards and the naval stations abroad. 
It has been mentioned in a previous chapter that the first 
British man-of-war to be coppered was the Alarm, 32. This was 
in 1761. A second ship was not similarly treated till 1764, when 
the Dolphin, 24, was coppered. Then followed the Jason, 32, and 
in 1776, the Daphne, 20. Between that time and 1784 or 1785 
nearly every vessel in the Navy was dealt with in the same way. It 
was still asserted that the ships in ordinary deteriorated very rapidly 
in consequence of the action set up between the copper on their 
bottoms and the iron on their bolts. An inquiry into the matter 
was instituted in 1786 ; but it did not result in the condemnation of 
the practice of laying up ships with their copper on. An improved 
method of copper fastening had been, however, introduced a little 
before that time ; - and this, doubtless, had the eflect of diminishing, 
if not of altogether preventing, the galvanic action which had been 
complained of. 

About the year 1764 some improvements in ships' pumps were 

' The Master, it need scarcely be explained, was then only a warrant oificer, 
although he was nearly equivalent to the Navigating Lieutenant of a later date. 
He was totally distinct from the commissioned Master-and-Commander, — the Com- 
mander of to-day. 

- In November, 1783. 

lTG3-!lli.] J-UOVJSIUN OF FllE.^II WA'IF.I:. 337 

introduced by a Mr. Coles ; and in that year tlie Adniii'alty ordered 
a GO-gnn ship to be experimentally fitted with pumps of Mr. Coles's 
pattern. In the following year a similar puinp was fitted on board 
the Seaford, 20, at Portsmouth ; and it was then found that, 
whereas the old pump required seven men to pump out a ton of 
water in 7(3 seconds, the new pump, with but four men, would pump 
out a ton of water in 43^ seconds; and that, whereas two men could 
not move the old pump at all, two men could with the new pump 
pump out a ton of water in 55 seconds. It was also found that, 
when choked with single ballast, the new pump could be cleared in 
four minutes, while the old could not be cleared at all so long as 
water remained in the ship's hold. Experiments continued ; and it 
would appear that, for some years, Coles's pump was largely used in 
the Navy ; but it was from time to time improved, notably in 1787, 
and, in 1791, by a Mr. Hill, a carpenter K.N., who was also the 
inventor of a machine for drawing bolts out of ships" sides, and of 
an apparatus for stopping shot-holes below the water-line. 

The distillation of fresh water from salt was not usually practised 
on shipboard during the period ; but it was carried out occasionally. 
In 1772 the Admiralty directed all ships of war to be fitted with a 
still and other necessary apparatus. The process appears to have 
been the invention of one Dr. Lynn ; but a Frenchman, M. de 
St. Poissonniere, devised a somewhat similar process at about the 
same time. It was, however, impossible in those days to distil 
sufficient water for the whole ordinary consumption of a ship's crew. 
At best only relatively small quantities could be prepared; and, 
looking to the invai'iable foulness of shore water after it has been for 
some time in a ship's casks or tanks, it is astonishing that it was 
ever possible for even the most careful captains to keep their crews 
in fair health during long voyages. Yet some at least of them 
certainly managed to do so. In the course of Cook's second voyage, 
with the Resolution and Adventure, between April, 1772, and Jul}', 
1774, only four men, exclusive of a boat's crew who were murdered 
in New Zealand by the natives, died ; and of these but one died of 
sickness. In Cook's last voyage the Besolution lost but five by 
sickness, three of these having been in ill-health when they left 
England ; and the Adventure lost not so much as a single man in 
the four years and two months during which she was absent froin 

Progress, but not very rapid progress, was made between 1763 
VOL. III. z 

338 CIVIL histohy of the royal navy, noa-no'J. [no.-j-oa. 

and 1792 iu lighting and buoying the coasts of the United Kingdom. 
The Smalls Eock light was first shown from a wooden structure 
which was built by Mr. Henry Whiteside in 1778, and which was 
not removed until 1861. The Needles' and St. Catherine's light- 
houses were estabhshed in 1780. The Longships' lighthouse, off 
Land's End, was begun in September, 1791. A 21-inch aperture 
facet reflector, used at Liverpool in 1763 ; a facet parabolic reflector, 
used in the Scots lighthouses about the year 1787 ; and a plano- 
convex lens, used at Portland iu 1789, were shown at the Eoyal 
Naval Exhibition, 1891. 

Lightning conductors were, at Anson's instance, supplied to 
ships soon after that officer's death in 1762 ; but they were not 
permanently fitted, and were merely directed to be set up when a 
storm threatened. In consequence, they were often not used at all, 
and many accidents resulted. 

Eilorts to arrive at some satisfactory method of discovering the 
longitude at sea continued to be made. In 1764, Mr. William 
Harrison, with one of his timekeepers, was received on board the 
Tartar, 28, Captain John Lindsay. She sailed from Spithead on 
March 28th, and arrived at Madeira on April 19th. Captain 
Lindsay made Porto Santo exactly as he had been led to believe 
that he would make it by Mr. Harrison, who had taken two alti- 
tudes of the sun on the 18th. The ship proceeded ; and on May 12th, 
Harrison was able accurately to discover her distance from Barbados, 
which was sighted on the 13th. Harrison returned to England in a 
merchantman, arriving in London ou July I8th. The timekeeper 
was then only fifteen seconds slow, allowing for the variations of the 
thermometer, as chronicled in the inventor's journal. In 176-5 the 
Board of Longitude approved a scheme of marine tables, designed 
by Mr. Witchell, for finding the longitude at sea by the limar 
method ; and it awarded the inventor £1000 to enable him to carry 
out his plans. In consequence, with Mr. Isaac L^yons, junior, 
Mr. Wales, of Greenwich, and Mr. Mapson, Mr. Witchell became 
responsible, under the direction of the Astronomer Eoyal, Neville 
Maskelyne, for the compilation of a naiitical ephemeris for the use 
of navigators and astronomers. This was the origin of the ' Nautical 
Almanac,' a publication which has since remained at the head of all 
works of the kind. 

In the course of the war which ended in 1763 the number of 
seamen and Marines employed in the Navy was 184,893. Of these 


only 1512 were returned as having been killtul in action or by 
accident : yet, at the conclusion of the war, no more than 49,678 
remained on the books of the Navy Office. The number, therefore, 
of those who had died by sickness or were missing reached the 
extraordinarily large total of 188,708. These figures incline one to 
believe that there must have been an enormous amount of desertion. 

Another return, issued m 1780, shows the number of men raised 
for H.M. Navy between September 29th, 1774, and September 29th, 
1780, and the number killed in action, and who died or deserted, 
between January 1st, 1776, and September 29th, 1780. This casts 
much light upon the discontent which in those days must have 
prevailed upon the lower deck of the Navy. The number of men 
raised in the six years was 175,990. Of these, in the four years 
covered by the second part of the return, only 1243 had been killed, 
and no more than 18,541 had perished from sickness or disease ; but 
as many as 42,069 had run. The discontent thus indicated did not 
lead during the period, as it did later, to any general outbreak, but it 
produced several isolated disturbances. For instance, at the peace 
in 1783, when the Channel fleet was ordered into port to be reduced 
and paid off, the men in many ships became riotous and even 
mutinous, owing to their intolerance of delay in liberating them. 
On that occasion the discontent in the Raisonnable, 64, was quashed 
by the captain, Lord Hervey, who, having appealed in vain to his 
crew to behave themselves, went forward armed, with his officers, 
and, having seized the ringleaders, soon compelled the rest to obey. 
When the ship arrived at Sheerness several men were tried by 
court-martial, and four of them were condemned to death. Three 
of them were executed on August 11th, on board the Carnafic, 
Scipio, and Dictator respectively. The foiu'th, who was to have 
suffered on board the TJietis, was reprieved immediately before the 
moment fixed for his execution. The mutiny of the Bounty is 
described elsewhere. There were also mutinous outbreaks in the 
Narcissus, 20, Captain Edward Edwards, in 1782, and, at different 
times, in other vessels. 

During this period it was on several occasions found necessary 
to offer government bounties to seamen ; and, as often, special 
bounties were also offered to them by corporations and cities. 
In 1770, at the time of the Falkland Islands' scare, the King, 
by proclamation, offered a bounty of 30*'. to every able seaman ; and 
the following cities offered additional bounties : i.e., London, 40s. to 

z 2 

340 CIVIL niiSTuny of the IWYAL navy, 176;i-17'.)2. [1763-02. 

every al^le seaman ; Bristol, 20.s. to every able seaman ; Montrose 
and Edinburgh, each 2 guineas to every able, and 1 guinea to every 
ordinary seaman ; Aberdeen, 1 guinea to every able, and 15,s. to 
every ordinary seaman; and Lynn, 1 guinea to every able seaman. 
In 1773, again, the King offered to every able seaman £3, to everj' 
ordinary seaman i'2, and to every landsman Ml. In 1779 the East 
India Company, besides building at its own expense three 74-gun 
ships, the Ganges, Carnatic, and Bombay Castle, provided the 
necessary bounty for the raising of fiOOO seamen. In 1791 bounties 
vt'ere offered on the same scale as in 1778. 

The position of the seamen of the Navy was but little improved, 
and the failure of the authorities to care sufficiently for the lower 
deck led a little later to mutinies which, at one time, threatened to 
be extremel}^ serious. The status of many of the officers was, 
however, from time to time considerablj- bettered. For example, 
in 1773, in consequence of a petition presented to Parliament by 
Lord Howe, Captains were granted an addition of 2.s. a day to their 
half-pay, so that, thereafter, the first thirty Captains on the list 
received 10?., the next 8s., and the rest 6s. per day. In the same 
year the number of Sm'geons entitled to half-pay was increased from 
fifty to a hundred, half to receive 2.?. 6d. and half 2s. The number 
of Masters entitled to half-pay was increased to the same extent, the 
half-pay being the same as in the case of the Surgeons. In 1779 the 
twenty senior Masters, if qualified for first or second-rate ships, were 
given half-pay at the rate of 3-5. 6d. a day, and the next seventy-five 
at the rate of 3,s. a day. In 1781, the list of Surgeons entitled to 
half-pay was increased to one hundred and twenty-five, they being 
Surgeons of not less than five years' actual service. The first fifty 
•on the list received 2s. 6(7., and the next seventy-five 2s. a day. 

But the attractions of the Navy in peace time were never great 
enough to induce anything like the whole body of officers to rest 
content with their position, which was indeed then a very imsatis- 
factory one. In 1771, Admiral Sir Charles Knowles solicited and 
obtained the King's permission to enter the Russian navy, in which 
he remained until 1774, when, upon his return to England, he was 
reinstated in his rank. Diiring the next peace many officers of 
inferior position also lent their services to Bussia ; and in the battles 
of 1788-90, between the Eussians and the Swedes, British captains, 
some of whom had been only heutenants or masters in their own 
service, commanded ships on both sides. Indeed, Admiral Samuel 


Grieg,' who was at one time coiiiniander-in-chief of the liussian 
fleet, was a Scot. Among the captains, Trevenen,'-' Denisoii, and 
Marshall, who were Idlled, and l*llphinstone,^ Miller, and Aiken, 
deserve to be remembered. Sir William Sidney Smith, then a 
captain, R.N., served as a volunteer with the Swedes. In wartime, 
adventures and the prospect of prize-money seem to have satisfied 
British naval officers as a body : and there was very little agitation 
in favour of increased pay, although the pay, all things considered, 
was miserably small. But in peace, many officers either found work 
for their swords in the service of foreign states, or accepted employ- 
ment in command of merchant vessels." 

It may be mentioned in connection with the subject of prize- 
money that in 1781 an old dispute between Vice-Admiral John 
Campbell, who had been Keppel's Captain of the Fleet in 1778, and 
Sir Hugh Palliser, who had been Keppel's third in command, was 
decided. Campbell claimed a flag-officer's share of the prize-money 
arising from captures made by the fleet : PalHser resisted the claim ; 
and the matter was referred to arbitration. The arbitrator decided 
against Campbell, and, incidentally, against Kempenfelt, upon whose 
behalf there was a similar claim ; and this in spite of the fact that 
as early as 1672 an order of the Duke of York had directed that the 
First Captain to the Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet should rank as 
a flag-officer. But, although the decision was thus adverse, the King, 
on January 9th, 1782, by proclamation, ordered that for the future 
the First Captain to the Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet or to any 
flag-oliicer commanding twenty ships in the line of battle, whether 
British only, or British and their allies, should rank as a flag-officer, 
and should be entitled to share prize-money on the same scale as 
the junior flag-officer in the fleet. It was at the same time ordered 
that the Physician of the Fleet should share prize-money on the 
same scale as the lieutenants. A seaman's share of prize-money 

' Samuel Grieg, boru, 173G; served with tlie British fleet at Quiberou, 1759; joined 
the Russian navy, 1764. Mainly responsible for the victory off Tchesme, July, 1770. 
Coniinanded in the action off Gogland. Died, 1788. A Russian man-of-war still bears 
his name. 

^ Had been a midshipman aTid lieutenant in the Hesohifion in Cook's last voyage. 
Mortally wounded at Wyborg, 17o;i. 

' Samuel Williams Elphinstone, second son of Captain John Elphinstone (1), R.N., 
who entered tlie Russian service in 17(il», and became an admiral. He returned to 
active service in the British Xavy in 1775, and died in 1785. Captain S. W. Elphin- 
stone married a daughter of Admiral Crvise, a Scotsman in the Russian service. 

■* Among those who connnanded merchant sliips was Sir Home Riggs Popham. 

312 CIVIL niSTOEY OF THE BOYAL NAVY, 1763-17i>2. [],763-<J2. 

was of course always very small ; but a slight concession to the 
lower deck was made in 1771, when an Act of Parliament authorised 
Greenwich Hospital, in certain specified cases, to refund unclaimed 
shares of prize-money or bounty-money within a limited time after 
payment of such into the funds of the hospital. 

Indirectly, something more was done for the seamen by the 
action of the Marine Society, which, in 1763, immediately after the 
peace, resolved to receive, and make provision for, all boys under 
sixteen years of age, who had been, or might be, discharged from 
the service, by putting them as apprentices into the mercantile 
marine, on their presenting certificates of good behaviour from their 
former officers, or by apprenticing them into some trade. Thus 295 
boys were at once benefited. Again, in 1775 the Hibernian Marine 
Society in Dublin was incorporated under letters patent, for the 
maintenance, education, and apprenticing of orphans and children 
of decayed mariners ; and in 1787 a Marine School at Hull was 
opened by the Corporation of Trinity House, for the education and 
clothing of boys intended for the sea service. 

A little more was done for the artificers in the Dockyards. In 
1764 one man out of every fifty of those who had served with good 
character for thirty years, was made entitled to a pension of £20 per 
year. In 1771 this privilege was extended to one in forty, instead 
of one in fifty ; and the men, for pension purposes, were divided into 
three classes, i.e., joiners, shipwrights,' blockmakers, plmnbers, 
braziers, blacksmiths, and armourers, £20 a year ; house carpenters, 
sailmakers, smiths, and brickla_yers, £15 ; pitch-heaters, bricklayers' 
labourers, riggers, and riggers' labourers, £10 a year. When the 
King was at Portsmouth in 1773 he, moreover, ordered £1500 to 

' Xumber of shipwrights borne in Dockj'ariU on January l-tth of eacli year, 
170.3-17'JL' :— 












3260 j 






3141 ! 










































3082 1 






3060 1 

1763-92.] NAVAL HhTlf-nVX. 343 

be distributed among the artificers, workmen, and labourers of the 
Dockyard, Victualhng Office, and Gunwharf. 

The King's visit on that occasion took pkxce in order that His 
Majesty might review the fleet then lying at Spithead. On June 
2'2nd, the King went on board the Barfleur, flagship of Vice-Admiral 
Thomas Pye, dined there, and, in the evening, knighted the Vice- 
Admiral, Eear-Admiral Eichard Spry, Captain Joseph Knight, senior 
captain in the fleet. Captain Edward Vernon (2), of the Barfieur, and 
Captain Kichard Bickerton, of the Augusta, yacht. He also con- 
ferred baronetcies on Captain Hugh Palliser, Controller of the 
Navy, and Captain Richard Hughes (2), Commissioner of the Dock- 
yard. He directed the promotion of such commanders of sloops, 
first lieutenants of flagships, and lieutenants commanding cutters, 
as were present, as well as of the lieutenant of the Augusta, yacht, 
and of two midshipmen from each of certain ships. He further 
gave £350 to the crews of the Barjicur, of the Augusta, yacht, and 
of the royal barge. 

This was not the only time when George III. visited his Navy 
in the earlier part of his reign. In 1781 he reviewed Vice-Admiral 
Sir Hyde Parker's fleet at the Nore, after its return from the battle 
of the Doggersbank, and went on board the Fortitude. In 1789, 
the King and Queen, with some of the princes, review"ed such 
ships as were in Portland Road ; and, during their residence at 
Weymouth, they went for several short sea cruises in the South- 
ampton, 32, Captain Andrew Snape Hamond, and the Magnifi- 
cent, 7-4, Captain Richard Onslow. Later in the same summer 
they proceeded to Plymouth and visited the Impregnable, 90, 
Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Bickerton. Indeed, King George III. 
always took a great personal interest in the Navy, in which served 
two of his brothers ' and one of his sons.- 

The subject of promotion to the flag, which had for some tune 
previously been a little unsystematic, attracted much attention in 
1787. Early in the eighteenth century it had been the custom 
for the Crown to promote to the flag by selection, tempered 
by seniority. In the middle of the century, seniority gradually 
strengthened its claim ; and soon after the conclusion of the 
American War, when a captain, upon reaching the top of the 
captains' list, instead of being given a flag was put upon the list 

' Edward Augustus, Duke of York, and Heury Fredei'ick, Duke of Cumberland. 
^ William Henry, Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV. 

344 CIVIL HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1763-1792. [1787. 

of Superannuated Eear-Admirals, or was altogether passed over, he 
thought himself aggrieved. Things came to a crisis in 1787. On 
March .5th of that year, Sir Matthew White Eidley moved in the 
House of Commons an address to the King on behalf of Captain 
David Brodie,' who had been several times passed over. The 
motion, being strongly opposed by the Ministry, was defeated by 
a majority of seventeen in a house of one hundred and eighty- 
three. But the subject was not left there. On February '20th, 
1788, Lord Eawdon took up the matter in the House of Lords. 

It should be explained that by an Order in Council, dated in 
1718 and addressed to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, it 
was directed that their Lordships, in the advancement of officers to 
the rank of rear-admiral, should promote according to the seniority 
of the captains on the list, regard only being had to the officers 
being qualified for the rank to which they were otherwise eligible 
for promotion. By a subsequent order of 1747, the Lords of the 
Admiralty were authorised to superannuate such captains of long 
and meritorious service as, in their Lordships' opinion, should be 
disqualified by age or infirmity from serving as flag-officers, and that 
such officers should have the title of Superannuated Eear-Admirals. 
In the vulgar speech of the day these were usually called " Yellow 
Admirals." In a promotion made by the Board of Admii-alty on 
September '24th, 1787, sixteen captains had been advanced to the 
flag, while upwards of forty had been passed over. The gi'eater 
number of these last had been offered transfer to the superannuated 
list ; but, believing themselves fully competent to serve as active 
flag-officers ; and believing, also, that their past services fully entitled 
them to promotion on the active hst, they refused the retirement 
that was offered them, and sought to be reinstated in the Hne 
of active promotion. The policy which had been pursued by the 
Admiralty occasioned great dissatisfaction amongst naval officers, 
who discovered with misgiving that their expectations of rank, as 
a reward for long and meritorious serAnce, might be altogether 
dependent upon the caprice of a First Lord of the Admiralty. It 
was for this reason that Lord Eawdon brought the case before 
the House of Lords. 

He moved " that a humble address be presented to His Majesty, 

' A captain of March 9th, 1748, wlio, iu the ordinary course, would have become 
a Rear- Admiral in 1778 or 1779 : yet, though he had lobt an arm in action, he was 
neither promoted nor superannuated. He appears to have died in 1788. 

1787.] rnOMOTION TO FLAC-ltANK. 345 

praying that he will be graciously pleased to take into his royal 
consideration the services of such captains of His Majesty's Navy 
as were passed over in the last promotion of admirals." Lord 
Howe, as First Lord, rose at once to oppose the motion, and to justify 
his own action. He pointed out that there were several I'easons, 
which might reasonably excuse an official in his position for passing 
over a number of captains. Those who were likely to be entrusted 
with the care of our fleets ought to be men sound in mind and 
body, and capable of enduring the hard service which would lie 
before them in war time. It did not necessarily follow that an 
officer, who had served ably and meritoriously in a subordinate 
position, was fit to be entrusted with the care of a fleet. A sergeant 
of grenadiers, though an able and excellent soldier, might not be 
quahfied to command a Ijody of troops on a forlorn hope. The 
First Lord was responsible for the good conduct and well-being 
of the service ; and, having such responsibility, he was necessarily 
justified in exercising his judgment and discretion in the appoint- 
ment of officers by whom the fleet was to be led. At the same 
time he could not, in any public assembly, state the particular 
reasons which had influenced his judgment in coming to a con- 
clusion on each case. He could only say that he had acted with 
the strictest impartiality. Had the officers who had been passed 
over been advanced, as was suggested, and had they been called 
into active service, as would probably have been the case, they 
must have gone on being promoted from time to time, subject only 
to the contingency of death ; and they might thus have stood in 
the way of many officers from whose services the country would 
have derived the highest degree of advantage. Finally, he pointed 
out that the principles which had governed the late promotion were 
not without precedent.' 

The Earl of Sandwich also opposed the motion. It had been 
found, he said, at different periods extremely inconvenient and 
detrimental to the service that promotions to the flag should be 
governed merely by seniority. In the year 1747 a promotion had 
been necessary ; and those then on the Board of Admiralty had 
been aware that there were then on the list of captains several 
officers who were in an eminent degree qualified for the connnand 
of fleets ; but they had not, at first, known how to get at them 
without loading the public with unjustifiable expense. They had 
' lustancing a iiroiiiution made in 1770, when Lord Hawke had been First Lord. 

346 CIVIL inSTOin' of the royal navy, 17(53-1711:^. [1787. 

therefore planned the superannuation list, the object of which was 
to provide an income for such captains as the Board of Admiraltj', 
not meaning to call them out for further service, omitted to appoint 
to the flag in the rota of seniority. At the time of instituting the 
establishment the object was to make eight flag-officers only ; and, in 
order to do that, nineteen captains were passed over. Yet the 
matter had not been taken notice of in the House of Commons, 
nor had there been any complaint of injustice or partiality. Those 
captains who had been put upon the superannuation list were not 
in any wise disgraced nor even stigmatised ; they merely entered 
what was an honourable retirement from service. 

Lord Eawdon's motion was negatived without a division. But 
on April 12th the subject was again brought forward in the House 
of Commons by Mr. Bastard, who particularly devoted himself to 
the cases of Captains Balfour ' and Thompson,- who, although 
they had received the thanks of the House for their behaviour 
on April 12th, 1782, had, when they reached the top of the 
captains' list, been passed over. Naval opinion in the House was 
divided. Captain Sir George Collier and Captain John Macbride 
contending that such a principle as had been followed by Lord 
Howe in 1787 must inevitably lead to the ruin of the service, and 
Captain Lord Mulgrave and Vice-Admiral Lord Hood being of 
opinion that any interference on the part of the House might 
eventuallj' prove more detrimental than advantageous to the Navy. 
At the same time it seemed to be admitted on all sides that several 
officers who had been passed over did not appear to be in any 
respect disqualified for the rank to which, in the ordinary course 
of advancement, they were entitled. Finding, however, that the 
wording of his motion did not meet with favour, Mr. Bastard 
withdrew it, promising to bring forward the subject later in some 
other shape. 

Accordingly, on April 18th he moved " that the House resolve 
itself into a committee of the whole House to inquire into the 
conduct of the Board of Admiralty touching the late promotion 
to the flag." In support of his motion Mr. Bastard cited the 
cases not only of Captains Balfour and Thompson, but also those 

' George Balfour, Captain, July 26tli, 1758 ; superaund. Eear-Admiral, 1787 ; died, 
June 28tb, 1794. 

^ Samuel Thompson, Captain, November 4tli, 17G0 ; superannd. Kear-Admiral, 
1788 ; died, August 13th, 1813. 


za/p/a/n . t^Ax 



Vj/ia^n- _^.*.v ,.yM\^y^-^€<>n^ , 

,-«5«««: i^*W;<**^^e*t- JZ . _^^«.a^^- 


of Captains Sanuu^l LTvodalo, 'i'hoinas Shirley, Jnlm V>v;i\, and 
John Laforey, most of whom had served with distinction in war; 
and he pointed out that, although it might be alleged that Captain 
Bray had not been promoted because, during the last war, he 
had been employed on shore in tlu; impress service, and that 
Captain Laforey ^ had been set aside l)ecause he had previously 
accepted the post of Commissioner of the Navy at Antigua, and, 
later, at Plymouth, Sir Charles Middleton, even while actually 
serving in a civil capacity,'' had been promoted, apparently, as 
a matter of course. Both Pitt and Fox took part in the debate. 
The latter, who supported the motion, urged that the rank of 
flag-officer ought to be considered from two points of view. The 
principal view was undoubtedly prospective, and looked to future 
service ; and, from that point of view, selection was proper and 
justifiable. But the rank might also be looked upon as an honour 
and reward for past services ; and, from that point of view, the 
promotion of 1787 could not be defended for a moment, and was 
most scandalously partial and unjust. And, he said, as proof that 
the Admiralty, at least in some cases, considered promotion as a 
reward for past services, he might cite the advancement of Sir 
John Lindsay, who, though an officer of first-rate reputation, was 
well known to be in so bad a state of health that there was no 
hope of his ever being able to resume an active career.^ Upon 
the question being put, the House divided, and the motion was 
lost by sixteen votes in a House of two hundred and eighty- 

The smallness of the majority encouraged Mr. Bastard to make 
a third attempt; and on April 29th he moved "that it is highly 
injurious to the service, and unjust, to set aside from promotion 
to the flag meritorious ofticers of approved services, who are not 
prechided by the orders of His Majesty in Council." On that 
occasion the motion was defeated by a majority of fifty-one in a 
House of three hundred and eighty-nine. 

The institution of a naval uniform for certain officers has been 
noticed in a previous chapter. As early as 1767, within twentj' 

' Laforey was eventually promoted, his commission as a flag-officer being ante-dated 
so as not to deprive him of any seniority. 

^ i.e., as Controller. Sir Charles was afterwards created Lord Barham. 

^ In point of fact, he died on June 4th, 1788, having been promoted only on 
September 24th, 1787. 

3-18 CIVJL III^TOllY OF THE liOYAL NAVY, 17G:i-17'J2. [1763-92. 

years of that institution, alterations were made by an Admiralty 
order of July I8th of that year, worded as follows : — 

It is His Majesty's pleasure tliat tlie embroidered unilbnu clothing of Hag ofticers, 
and the full dress uniibrm of Captains, Coininanders, and Lieutenants of His Majesty's 
fleet, bn discontinued, andithat the frock uniform clothing of the said officers be likewise 
altered and worn as follows: The Admiral's frock to have narrow lappels down to the 
waist ; small boot cuffs ; a single lace instead of treble lace down to the skirts — a plaiu 
niusquetairc lace; but in all other respects the same as now worn. The Captains' and 
Commanders' frocks to liave narrow lappels down to the waist, and in all other respects 
as they are now wm-n. 'I'lie Lieutenants' frocks to have narrow la])pels down to the 
waist, flash cuffs like the commanders', witliout lace, instead of roll cufts, and in all 
other respects as now worn. 

Another modification was made in January, 1768, when the 
King signified his pleasure that the lappels and cuffs of the military 
uniform frocks appointed to be worn by the Lieutenants should be 
thenceforth of white, instead of blue cloth, and the waistcoat, etc., 
of plain white cloth, with gilt buttons of the pattern previously 
worn, without any lace. In 1774 another alteration was made in 
the uniform of Captains and Commanders ; and it was directed that 
the uniforms so altered should be considered as full dress, and 
that a blue frock with embroidered button-holes, conformable to 
a pattern lodged at the Navy Office, might be worn upon common 
occasions. The altered uniform was thus described : — 

The lace on the coat to returu round the pockets and sleeves; the lappels and 
cufl's to be two incheii and a half broad ; the lace ujwn the upper part of the lap])els to 
run even with the bottom lace of the collar; the buttons to be flat, wiih an anchor 
and cable engraved tliereon, according to the pattern lodged at the Navy Office ; the 
waistcoat to be plain instead of laced ; the breeches to be of the same colour as the 
waistcoat, instead of blue, and both to have buttons of the same pattern as those on 
the coat. The undress uniform was to have blue frock lappels, and collar and cuffs of 
the same ; but the collar was to button on to the lappels and lap over behind ; the 
lining to be of white shalloon ; the buttons to be the same as on the dress coat, and the 
buttonholes to be gold embroidered according to the following scheme : for Captains 
who had taken post three years or upwards, twelve holes in the lappels, by threes, 
three on the flaps, and three on the sleeves ; for Post Captains of less than three years' 
standing, twelve holes in the lappels, by twos, four holes on the flaps, and three on the 
sleeves ; and for Commanders, twelve holes in the lappels disposed regularly, with three 
holes on the flaps and three on the sleeves ; and waistcoat and breeches to be the same 
as for the dress uniform. 

In 1783 there was another alteration, the uniforms then being — 

For Admirals, blue cloth coat, with white cuti[s, white waistcoat and breeches. The 
coat and waistcoat to be embroidered with gold, in pattern and description the same as 
that worn by generals in the army, with three rows of embroidery on the cuffs. For 
Vice- Admirals the same, but with embroidery the same as worn by lieutenant-generals 
in the army, and with two rows of embroidery on the cufl's. For Rear- Admirals the 

1703-92.] NAVAL UMFUUMH. 349 

fiaiiie, but with embroidery similai' to tliat worn by iiiajur-geiierals in tlie aniiy, ami 
with one row of embroidery on the cufts. Tlic buttons were to remain as before. 

The above were the full di-ess uiiiloiius. The miilfess luiiloniis 
were — 

For Admirals, a lilue cloth frock with blue culfs and blue la|.]>cls; emljroidered 
buttonholes, lilve those i)reviously in use, from the top to the bottom of the lappels, 
and three lioles on the cuffs; ibr Vice- Admirals, the same, with buttonholes arranged 
three and three; for Hear-Admirals, the sanu", with Imttdnlmles arranged two .and two. 
All to wear plain white waistcoat and bi'eeches. 

On November 17th, 1787, more extensive chan<;;es were made, 
in accordance with the following instructions : — 

Admirals' frocks ; blue cloth, with bhie lappels and culfs; g(jld-lace holes, three, 
pointing at the end, with the same distinction in the disposition for the difterent ranks 
as before; stand-up collar, with one hole on each side; three holes in the tiaps, three 
on the outside cuffs, and three behind; white liiung, and new anchor buttons with 

Post Captains of three years' standing ; full dress : blue cloth coat with white lapjiels 
and cuffs, laced with gold lace; the pockets double laced; round culfs with two laces; 
three buttons to the pockets and cuffs ; blue stand-up collar, double laced ; white 
lining; new buttons with anchoi- in an nval; white cloth waistcoat, and breeches 
plain. Frocks: blue cloth coat witli l)lu<' la])pels and round cufts; fall-down collar; 
gold laced holes square at both ends, regular in the lappels ; two to the pockets and two 
to the cufts; none behind; white lining; buttons the same as in full dress; white cloth 
waistcoat, and breeches plain. 

Post Captains of under three years' standing ; full dress : blue coat with white 
lappels and cuHs, laced with gold lace; pockets with one lace; round cuffs with one 
lace ; three buttons to the pockets and cuff's ; blue stand-up collar double laced ; white 
lining; buttons as before-mentioned; white cloth waistcoat, and breeches plain. 
Frocks: blue cloth coat ; blue lappels ; blue round cufts; fall-down collar ; gold laced 
lioles square at both ends; nine holes in the lappel by threes, tw^o to the pockets, and 
two to the cuffs ; none behind; white lining ; buttons the same as in full dress ; white 
cloth waistcoat, and breeches plain. 

Masters and Commanders ; full dress : blue cloth coat with lilue lappels and round 
cufts, laced with gold lace; the pockets once laced, with one lace on the cuffs ; three 
buttons [o each ; stand-up collar, double laced ; white lining ; buttons as before ; 
white cloth waistcoat, and breeches plain. Pi-ocks : blue coat, with blue lajipels ; 
round cufts and fall-dow'n collar ; gold laced holes, square at each end ; ten holes in 
the lappels by two and two; two to the pockets, and two to the cuffs; none behind: 
white lining ; buttons as before; wliite cloth waistcoat, and breeches plain. 

Lieutenants; full dress: blue cloth coat, with white lappels; blue round cuff's: 
holes regidar in the lappels; three buttons to the pockets, and three to the cufl's; 
stand-vq) collar ; white lining; buttons as for the Captains ; white cloth waistcoat, and 
breeches plain. Undress : blue cloth coat, edged with white cloth ; blue lappels, and 
blue round cuff's; three btittons to the pockets and cuft's ; stand-up collar; buttons as 
above ; white cloth waistcoat, and breeches plain. 

Warrant officers: blue cloth coat, with blue lappels and round cuft's; fall-down 
•collar ; three buttons to the pockets and cuft's ; white lining, but not edged with white ; 
buttons with an anchor, like the buttons previously worn by Captains : white cloth 
waistcoat and breeches. 

359 CIVJL mSTOBY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1703-1792. [1781-88. 

Masters' Mates : blue cloth eoat, edged witli wliite ; no iappeLs ; blue i-oiiiid cufi's, 
with three buttons ; three to the pockets ; t'all-down collar ; white lining ; buttons as 
lor the warrant officers ; white cloth waistcoat and breeches. 

Midshipmen: blue cloth coat; no iappels ; blue round cuffs, with three buttons, 
and three to the pockets; stand-up collar, with small white turn back as before; white 
lining, but not edged ; buttons as for the warrant officers; while cloth waistcoat and 

The expedition of Commodore Johnstone in 1781 led up to 
some interesting problems in naval law. Johnstone caused Captain 
Evelyn Sutton, of the Isis, to be tried by court-martial on a charge 
of misconduct during the action in Porto Praya Bay. Sutton, being 
honourably acquitted, brought a civil action for damages against 
Johnstone in the Court of Exchequer, and obtained a verdict for 
£.5000. A new trial was demanded and Sutton thereupon secured 
a verdict for £(5000. Johnstone procured a reversal of the judgment 
on a writ of error ; and Sutton ultimately took the case to the 
House of Lords, which, in May, 1787, afdrmed the reversal of 
the judgment. Lord Howe declaring that to establish the verdict 
would be to subvert the good order and discipline of the Navy. 
Sutton in consequence lost his case. 

Another problem, arising out of the captures made by Johnstone 
in Saldanha Bay, was detennined in June, 1786, when, on an appeal 
from the Court of Admiralty to the Lords of the Council, it was 
decided that, since the destination of Johnstone's force had been 
the Cape of Good Hope, and, seeing that a considerable land force, 
under General Meadows, had been on board and had shared in the 
action, the capture did not come under the provisions of the Prize 
Act. The whole of the property was claimed by, and would go 
to, the Crown ; and the captors must relinquish aU hope of prize- 
money in respect of it, and look merely to the royal bounty for any 
compensation which they might eventually obtain. 

Yet another interesting and rather celebrated point in naval 
law was threshed out in 1788. In May of that year Captain Isaac 
Coffin, of the Tliishe, had been tried by court-martial at Halifax, N.S., 
on a charge of making false musters, in that he had kept on his 
ship's books one of his own nephews and two sons of Lord Dor- 
chester, who had, it appeared, not been actually on board, conform- 
ably with the rules of the Navy. The charge had been proved ; 
but as it had seemed to the court that it had been brought forward 
mainly in consequence of private pique and resentment, and that 
the accused officer had not intended to defraud His Majesty, Coffin 


had been sentenced only to be dismissed from the command of tlie 
Thisbe. When the ofiicer arrived in Eiif^dand, Earl Howe, who 
was then First Lord of the Admiralty, so stron<^ly disapproved of 
the sentence, which he believed to be not in accordance with the 
spirit of the 31st Article of War, that he induced the Board to 
strike Coffin's name off the list of post captains. The Article in 
question declared, "Every officer, or other person in the fleet, 
who shall knowingly make or sign a false muster, or muster-book, 
etc., upon proof of any such offence being made before a court- 
martial, shall be cashiered and rendered incapable of further employ- 
msnt in his Majesty's naval service." Coffin laid his case before 
the King, who, with the assent of the Privy Council, directed the 
twelve judges to give their opinion as to whether the Admiralty 
had the power to set aside the judgment of the court-martial. The 
judges decided that the Admiralty's sentence was not legal, and that 
the punishment directed to be inflicted by the Act of 22 George II., 
cap. 33, upon persons convicted of the offence set forth in the 31st 
Article of War established by the said Act, could not be inflicted, 
nor judgment thereon be pronounced or supplied, by any other 
authority than that of the court-martial which tried the ofl'ender. 
Coffin was thereupon reinstated in his rank, and after having served 
as Commissioner in Corsica, at Sheerness, etc., died an Admiral and 
a Baronet in 1839, in his eighty-first year. 

Questions concerning the right of search and the honour of the 
flag cropped up as in previous periods. In 1780, a squadron 
which, under Captain Charles Feilding (1), had been despatched 
for the purpose, intercepted, west of the Isle of Wight, a Dutch 
convoy escorted by two sail of the line and two frigates, under Kear- 
Admiral Count Lodewijk van Bylandt. Feilding demanded to 
examine the merchantmen, which were suspected of having on board 
naval stores for France. Van Bylandt resisted, and fired at some 
boats which had been sent to board the convoy. Feilding thereupon 
fired a shot ahead of the Dutch rear-admiral, who replied by dis- 
charging a broadside at the Nainur, and, when it was returned, 
struck. Seven of the merchantmen were detained. 

In 1791, Commodore the Hon. William Cornwallis, having 
received intelligence that some neutral ships under French colours 
were expected on the Malabar coast, with supplies for Tippoo Sultan, 
found two of them in Mahe Eoad. They refused to be examined, 
pleading in particular that they were then in their own port ; but 

352 CIVIL TllSTOltY OF THE ROYAL NAVY, 1703-1792. [1763-92. 

Commander Edward James Foote, of the Afalaiita, 14, sent a party, 
which liroke open the hatchways. The examination, however, seems 
to have been considered by the Commodore to be inconclusive ; and, 
a httle later, when the two French vessels sailed in company with 
the French frigate Besolu, 32, they were followed by the Phcpnix, 3(5, 
and Persevercaice, 3(5. The former got up with the French frigate 
off Mangalore, and was hailed to know what she wanted. Captain 
Sir Richard John Strachan replied that he had orders to board the 
merchantmen. While his boats were occupied on that service 
they were fired at by the Besolu, which presently also discharged 
a broadside at the PJianix. An action resulted ; and in twenty- 
five minutes the Frenchman strack, having lost 25 killed and 
40 wounded. The Phanix lost only 6 killed and 11 wounded. A 
renewed examination of the merchantmen showed that they had no 
contraband of war on board ; and they were suffered to proceed on 
their voyage. 

A noteworthy case of the insistance of the right of the flag 
happened in 1769, when a Fiench frigate anchored in the Downs 
and neglected to pay the usual comphment. Captain John Hollwell 
sent a Heutenant to demand the salute. The French captain refused 
compliance, whereupon Hollwell ordered the Hawke, 10, to fire two 
shots over her. This induced her to concede the point without 
further dispute. 

Though the British Navy was thus jealous of its privileges, the 
relations between it and other countries upon the high seas were in 
some respects courteous and pleasant. In 1779, the French court 
chivalrously issued orders that the British circumnavigators, James 
Cook and Charles Clark, were on no account to be molested, 
although a state of war existed at the time. In 1785, when La 
Perouse ^ set out from Brest on his great voyage of discovery, the 
Admiralty and Royal Society furnished him with copies of all such 
observations and charts as could be of use to him, and gave him also 
Cook's timekeeper and azimuth compass. 

' Jean Francois de Galaup, Comte de La Perouse. Born, 17-11. Attacked British 
settlements in Hudson's Bay, 1782. Perished off Vanicoro Island, 1788. His fate was 
not ascertained until 1827, by Dumont d'Urville. 



Decisive Influence of Control ol' the Water in the American Revolution — The Lake 
Campaign of 1776 — Attack upon Charleston, S. C. — Combined Military and Xaval 
Operations about New York and Philadelphia, 1776-1778 — Howe and d'Estaing, 
1778 — Battle of Ushant, July, 1778 — Barrington at St. Lucia, December, 1778 
— Byron off Grenada, July, 1779 — Franco-Spanish Fleet in tbe Channel, 1779 — 
Rodney and Langara, January, 1780 — Rodney at Gibraltar, and in the West 
Indies, 1780 — Combined Naval and Military Operations in Southern States, 
1779-1781 — Arbuthnot anddes Touches off the Chesapeake, March, 1781 — Hood 
and de Grasse off Martinique, April, 1781 — Graves and de Grasse off the Chesa- 
peake, September, 1781, and Capitulation of Yorktovvn — Relief of Gibraltar, and 
Allied Fleet in the Channel, 1781 — Hyde Parker's Action with tbe Dutch Fleet, 
August, 1781 — Kempenfelt and de Guichen, December, 1781 — Hood and de 
Grasse at St. Kitts, January, 1782 — Rodney's Victory over de Grasse, April, 
1782 — Howe's Relief of Gibraltar, October, 1782 — Military and Naval Operations 
in India, 1778-1783 — Saffron's Campaign in India, and Actions with Johnstone 
and Hughes, 1781-1783. 


USHANT, 177y. 

{From an oritjinal lent bij Capt. H. S, H. Prince Louis 
of Baltenberg, E. N.) 

T the time when hostilities 
began between Great 
Britain and her American 
Colonies, the fact was realised 
generally, being evident to 
reason and taught by experi- 
ence, that control of the \^"ater. 
both ocean and inland, wonld 
have a preponderant effect 
npon the contest. It was clear to reason, for there was a long 
seaboard with numerous interior navigable watercourses, and at the 
same time scanty and indifferent communications by land. Critical 
portions of the territory involved were yet an unimproved wilderness. 
Experience, the rude but efficient schoolmaster of that large portion 
of mankind which gains knowledge only by hard knocks, had con- 
tirmed through the preceding French wars the inferences of the 
thoughtful. Therefore, conscious of the great superiority of tlie 

* Copijright, 1S98, By A. T. Maitan. 
VOL. Ill — 23 

;354 MAJOR Ol'KliATIONS. 1702-178:5. [177.'). 

liiitisli Navy, which, liowevt-r, liad not then atfciiiied the uuehiil- 
lenged supremacy oi a hitcr ilaj-, the Ameiican leaders early sougiit 
the alliance of the Bourbon kingdoms, the liereditaiy enemies of 
Great Britain. There alone could be found the counterpoise to a 
power which, if unchecked, must ultimately prevail. 

Nearly three 3-ears elapsed before the Colonists accomplished this 
object, by giving a demoustration of their strength in the enforced 
surrender of Burgoyne's army at Saratoga. This event has merited 
the epithet " decisive," because, and only because, it decided the in- 
tervention of France. It may be affirmed, with little hesitation, that 
it was at once the result of naval force, and the cause that naval 
force, entering further into the contest, transformed it from a local 
til a universal war, and assured the independence of the Colonies. 
That the Americans were strong enough to impose the capitula- 
tion of Saratoga, was due to the invaluable year of dela}-, secured 
to them by their little navy on Lake Champlain, created by the 
indomitable energy, and handled with tlie indomitable courage, of 
the traitor, Benedict Arnold. That the war spread from America 
to Europe, from the English Channel to the 15altic, from the Bay 
of Biscay to the Mediterranean, from the West Indies to the Missis- 
sippi, and ultimately involved the w'aters of the remote peninsula of 
Hindostan, is traceable, through Saratoga, to the rude flotilla w^hieh 
in 1776 anticipated its enemy in the possession of Lake Champlain. 
The events which thus culminated merit therefore a clearer under- 
standing, and a fuller treatment, than their intrinsic importance and 
pettjr scale would justify otherwise. 

In 1775, only fifteen years had elapsed since the exjiulsion of the 
French from the North American continent. The concentration of 
their power, during its continuance, in the valley of the St. Law- 
rence, had given direction to the local conflict, and had impressed 
upon men's minds the importance of Lake Champlain, of its tribu- 
tarj- Lake George, and of the Hudson lliver, as forming a consecu- 
tive, though not continuous, water line of communications from the 
St. Lawrence to New York. The strength of Canada against attack 
b\- land lay in its remoteness, in the wilderness to be traversed be- 
fore it was reached, and in the strength of the line of the St. Law- 
rence, with the fortified posts of Montreal and Quebec on its northern 
bank. The wilderness, it is true, interposed its passive resistance to 
attacks from Canada, as well as to attacks upon it : but when it had 
been traversed, there were to the southward no such strong natural 




positions confronting tho assail- 
ant. Attacks from the south 
fell upon the front, or at best 
upon the flank, of the line of 
the St. Lawrence. Attacks from 
Canada took New York and its 
dependencies in the rear. 

These elements of natural 
strength, in the military con- 
ditions of the North, were im- 
pressed upon the minds of the 
Americans by the prolonged re- 
sistance of Canada to the greatly 
superior numbers of the British 
Colonists in the previous wars. 
Regarded, therefore, as a base 
for attacks, of a kind with which 
they were painfully familiar, but 
to be undergone now under 
disadvantages of numbers and 
power never before experienced, 
it was desirable to gain posses- 
sion of the St. Lawrence and its 
posts before they were strengtli- 
ened and garrisoned. At this 
outset of hostilities, the Ameri- 
can insurgents, knowing clearly 
their own minds, possessed the 
advantage of the initiative over 
the British government, which 
still hesitated to use against 
those whom it styled rebels the 
preventive measures it would 
have taken at once against a 
recognised enemy. 

Laider these circumstances, 
in May, 1775, a body of two hun- 
dred and seventy Americans, led 
by Ethan Allen and Benedict 
Arnold, seized the posts of Ti- 

356 MAJOR OPERATIONS. 17(iJ-1783. [1775. 

conderoga and Crown Point, which were inadequately garrisoned. 
These are on the upper waters of Lake Chanijilain, where it is le^ss 
tiiau a tliird of a mile wide; Ticonderoga being on a peninsula 
formed by the lake and the inlet from Lake George, Crown Point 
on a promontory twelve miles lower down. They were recognised 
positions of importance, and advanced posts of the British in pre- 
vious Mars. A schooner being fouiul there, Arnold, who had been 
a seaman, embarked in her and hurried to the foot of the lake. 
The wind failed him when still thirty miles from St. John's, another 
fortified post on the lower narrows, where the lake gradually tapers 
down to the Kichelieu River, its outlet to the St. Lawrence. Unable 
to advance otherwise, Ariu)ld took to his boats with thirty men, pulled 
tliroughout the night, and at six o'clock on the following morning 
surprised the post, in which were only a sergeant and a dozen men. 
He reaped the rewards of celerity. The prisoners informed him that 
a considerable body of troops was expected from Canada, on its way 
to Ticonderoga ; and this force m fact reached St. John's on the 
next day. When it arrived, Arnold was gone, having carried off a. 
sloop which he found there and destroyed everj^thing else that could 
float. By such trifling means two active officers had secured the 
temporary control of the lake and of its southern approaches. There 
being no roads, the British, debarred from the water line, were unable 
to advance. Sir Guy Carleton, Governor and Commander-in-Chief in 
Canada, strengthened the works at St. John's, and built a schooner; 
but his force was inadequate to meet that of the Americans. 

The seizure of the two posts, being an act of offensive war, was 
not at once pleasing to the American Congress, which still clung 
to the hope of reconciliation ; but events were marching rapidly, 
and ere summer was over the invasion of Canada was ordered. On 
Septemljer 4th, General Montgomery, appointed to that enterprise, 
embarked at Crown Point with two thousand men, and soon after- 
wards appeared before St. John's, wliich, after prolonged operations, 
capitulated on the 3rd of November. On the 13th Montgcmer}- en- 
tered Montreal, and thence pressed down the St. Lawrence to Pointe 
aux Trembles, twenty miles above Quebec. There he joined Arnold, 
who in the month of October had crossed the northern wilderness, 
between the head waters of the Kennebec River and the St. Law- 
rence. On the way he had endured immense privations, losing five 
hundred men of the twelve hundred with whom he started ; and 
upon arriving opposite Quebec, on the 10th of November, three 


days had been unavoidably spent in collecting boats to pass the 
river. Crossing on the night oi' the 13tli, this adventurous soldier 
and his little command climbed the Heights of Abraham by the 
same path that had served Wolfe so well sixteen years before. 
With characteristic audacity \w summoned the place. The demand 
of course was refused ; but that t'arleton did not fall at once upon 
tlie little band of seven hundred that bearded him shows l)y how 
feeble a tenure Great Britain tlien held Canada. Immediately after 
the junction Montgomery advanced on Quebec, where he appeared 
on the 5th of December. Winter having already begun, and neither 
his numbers nor his equipments being adequate to regular siege 
operations, he very properly decided to try the desperate chance of 
an assault upon the strongest fortress in America. This was made 
on the nigkt of December 31st, 1775. Whatever possibility of suc- 
cess there ma}- have been, vanished with the death of Montgomery, 
who fell at the head of his men. 

The American army retired three miles up the river, went into 
winter-quarters, and established a land blockade of Quebec, which 
was cut off from the sea by the ice. " For five months," wrote 
Carleton to the Secretary for War, on the 14th of May, 1776, " this 
town has been closely invested by the rebels." From this unpleasant 
position it was relieved on the 6th of May, when signals were ex- 
changed between it and the Surprise, the advance ship of a squadron 
under Captain Charles Douglas,^ which had sailed from England on 
the 11th of March. Arriving off the mouth of the St. Lawrence, 
on the morning of April 12th, Douglas found ice extending nearly 
twenty miles to sea, and packed too closely to admit of working 
through it by dexterous steering. The urgency of the case not ad- 
mitting delay, he ran his ship, the Tsis, 50, with a sjDeed of five knots, 
against a large piece of ice about ten or twelve feet thick, to test the 
effect. The ice, probably softened b}' salt water and salt air, went 
to pieces. " Encouraged by this experiment," continues Douglas, 
somewhat magniticently, "we thought it an enterprise worthy an 
English ship of the line in our King and country's sacred cause, and 
an effort due to tlie gallant defenders of Quebec, to make the attempt 
of pressing her by force of sail, through the thick, broad, and closely 
connected fields of ice, to which we saw no bounds towards the west- 
ern part of our horizon. Before night (when blowing a snow-storm, 

1 Father of tlie late Sir Howard Douglas. He died a Rear-Admiial and 
Baronet in 1789. 

358 MAJOR OPERATIONS. 17G2-1783. [1776. 

we Liought-to, or rather stoj)ped), we had penetrated about eiglit 
leagues into it, describing our path all the way with bits of the 
sheathing of tin; sliip's bottom, and sometimes pieces of the cutwater, 
but none of tlie oak plank ; and it was pleasant enough at times, 
when we stuck fast, to see Lord Petersham exercising his troops on 
the crusted surface of that fluid through which the ship had so 
recently sailed." It took nine days of this work to reach Anticosti 
Island, after whicli the ice seems to have given no more trouble ; 
but further delay was occasioned by fogs, calms, and head winds. 

Upon the arrival of the ships of war the Americans at once 
retreated. During the winter, tliough reinforcements must have 
been received from time to time, they had wasted from exposure, 
and from small-pox, which ravaged the camp. On the 1st of May 
ihe returns showed nineteen hundred men present, of whom only a 
thousand were fit for duty. There were then on hand liut thiee 
days' provisions, and none other neai-er than St. John's. The in- 
habitants would of course render no further assistance to the Araeri- 
(;aus after the ships arrived. The Navy had again decided the fate 
of Canada, and was soon also to determine that of Lake Champlain. 

When two hundred troops had landed from the ships, Caileton 
marched out, " to see," he said, " what these mighty boasters were 
about." The sneer was unworthy a man of his generous character, 
for the boasters had endured much for faint chances of success ; and 
the smallness of the reinforcement which encouraged him to act 
shows either an extreme prudence on his part, or the narrow margin 
by «liich Quebec escaped. He found the enemy busy with prepara- 
tions for retreat, and upon his appearance they abandoned their 
camp. Their forces on the two sides of tlie river being now sepa- 
rated by the enemy's shipping, the Americans retired first to Sorel, 
where the Richelieu entei"s the St. Lawrence, and thence continued 
to fall back by gradual stages. It was not until June loth that 
Arnold quitted Montreal ; and at the end of June the united force 
was still on the Canadian side of the present border line. On the 3rd 
of July it reached Cro^\ai Point, in a pitiable state from small-pox 
and destitution. 

Both parties began at once to prepare for a contest upon Lake 
Champlain. The Americans, small as their flotilla was, still kept the 
superiority obtained for them Ity Arnold's promptitude a year before. 
On the 25th of June the American General Schuyler, commanding 
the Northern Department, wrote : " We have happily such a naval 

177G.] TIIK LAKE C.IMI'.llf/.V. .'jr.9 

superiority on Lake Chaniplain, that I have a conlideiit hope llie 
enemy will not appear upon it this campaign, especially as our force 
is increasing by the addition of gondolas, two neaily linisiied. Anmlil, 
however," — whose technical knowledge caused him to be intrusted 
with the naval preparations, — " says that 300 carpenters should lie 
employed and a large number of gondolas, row-galleys, etc., be built, 
twenty or thirty at least. There is great diriiculty in getting the 
carpenters needed." Arnold's ideas were indeed ou a scale wortliy 
of the momentous issues at stake. " To augment our navy on the 
lake appears to me of the utmost importance. There is water be- 
tween Crown Point and Pointe au Fer for vessels of the largest size. 
I am of opinion that row-galleys are the best construction and chea}i- 
est for this lake. Perhaps it may be well to have one frigate of -3(1 
guns. She may carry 18-pounders on the Lake, and be superior to 
any vessel that can be built or floated from St. -John's." 

Unfortunately for the Americans, their resources in men and 
means were far inferior to those of their opponents, who were able 
eventually to carry out, though on a somewhat smaller scale, Arnold's 
idea of a sailing ship, strictly so called, of force as yet unknown in 
inland waters. Such a ship, aided as she was by two consorts of 
somewhat similar character, dominated the Lake as soon as she was 
afloat, reversing all the conditions. To place and equip her, however, 
required time, invaluable time, during which Arnold's two schooners 
exercised control. "If we could have begun our ex})edition foui- 
weeks earlier," wrote Baron Riedesel, the commander of the (ieruian 
contingent with Carleton, after examining the American position at, 
Ticonderoga, " I am satisfied that everything \\ould have been ended 
this year (1776); but, not having shelter nor other necessary things, 
we were unable to remain at the other [southern] end of Chaniplain." 
So delay favours the defence, and changes issues. What would have 
been the effect upon the American cause if, simultaneously with the 
loss of New York, August 20th-September 1.5th, had come the news 
that Ticonderoga, wliose repute iov strength stood high, had also 
fallen ? Nor was this all ; for in that event, the plan which was 
wrecked in 1777 by Sir William Howe's ill-conceived expedition to 
the Chesapeake, woiild doubtless have been carried out in 1776. In 
a contemporar}' English paper occurs the following significant item : 
" London, September 26th, 1776. Advices have been received here 
from Canada, dated August 12th, that General Burgoyne's army has 
found it impracticable to get across the lakes this season. The naval 

360 MAJOR OPERATIONS. 1762-1783. [177«. 

force of the Provincials is too great for them to contend with at 
present. They must build larger vessels for this purpose, and these 
cannot be ready before next summer. The design vms^ IJiat tiie two 
armies commanded by Generals Howe and Bui-goyne should co- 
operate ; that they should both be on the Hudson River at the same 
time ; that they should join about Albany, and thereby cut off all 
communication between tiie northern and southern Colonies." ^ 

As Arnold's more amljitious scheme could not be realised, he had 
to content himself with gondolas and galleys, for the force he was 
to command as well as to build. The precise difference between the 
two kinds of I'owing vessels thus distinguished by name, the writer 
has not been able to ascertain. The gondola was a flat-bottomed boat, 
and inferior in nautical qualities • — speed, handiness, and seaworthi- 
ness — • to the galleys, which probably were keeled. The latter cer- 
tainly carried sails, and may have been capable of beating to windward. 
Arnold preferred them, and stopped the building of gondolas. " The 
galleys,"' he wrote, " are quick moving, which will give us a great 
advantage in the open lake." The complements of the galleys were 
eighty men, of the gondolas forty-five ; from \\'hich, and from their 
batteries, it may be inferred that the latter were between one third 
and one half the size of the former. The armaments of the two were 
alike in character, but those of the gondolas much lighter. American 
accounts agree with Captain Douglas's report of one galley captured 
by the British. In the Ijows, an 18 and a 12-pounder ; in the stern, 
2 nines ; in broadside, from 4 to 6 sixes. There is in this a some- 
what droll reminder of the disputed merits of bow, stern, and 
broadside fire, in a modern iron-clad; and the practical conclusion 
is much the same. The gondolas had one 12-pounder and 2 sixes. 
All the vessels of both parties carried a numljer of swivel guns. 

Amid the many difficulties which lack of resources imposed upon 
all American undertakings, Arnold succeeded in getting afloat with 
thi'ee schooners, a sloop, and five gondolas, on the 20th of August. 
He cruised at the upper end of Chanq)lain till the 1st of September, 
when he moved rapidly north, and on the 3rd anchored in tlie lower 
narrows, twenty-five miles above St. John's, stretching his line from 
shore to shore. Scouts had kept him informed of the f)rogress of 
the British naval preparations, so that he knew that there was no 
innnediate danger ; while an advanced position, maintained with a 
bold front, would certainly prevent reconnoissances by water, and 

•^ Author's italics. ^ Remembrancer, iv. 291. 

1770.] THE LAKE CAMPAIGN. 361 

possibly might impose somowliaL u[K)ii the enemy. The latter, iiow- 
€ver, erected batteries on each side of the anchorage, compelling 
Arnold to fall back to tlie broader Lake. He tlieii liul sdimdirigs 
taken about Valcour Island, and between it and the western shore ; 
that being the position in which he intended to make a stand. He 
retired thither on the 23rd of September. 

The British on their side had contended with no less obstacles 
than their adversaries, though of a somewhat different chai'acter. 
To get carpenters and materials to build, and seamen to man, were 
the chief difficulties of the Americans, the necessities of the sea- 
board conceding but partially the demands made upon it ; but their 
vessels were built upon the shores of the Lake, and launched into 
navigable waters. A large fleet of transports and ships of war in 
the St. Lawi-ence supplied the British witli adequate resources, which 
were utilised judiciously and energetically by Captain Douglas ; but 
to get these to the Lake was a long and arduous task. A great 
part of the Richelieu River was shoal, and obstructed by rapids. 
The point where Lake navigation began was at St. John's, to which 
the nearest approach, b}' a hundred-ton schooner, from the St. Law- 
rence, was Chambly, ten miles below. Flat-boats and long-boats 
could be dragged up stream, but vessels of any size had to he trans- 
ported by land ; and the engineers found the roadbed too soft in 
places to bear the weight of a hundred tons. Under Douglas's direc- 
tions, the planking and frames of two schooners were taken down 
at Chambly, and carried round by road to St. .John's, where they 
were again put together. At Quebec he found buikling a new hull, 
(jf one hundred and eighty tons. This he took apart nearly to the 
keel, shipping the frames in thirty long-boats, which the transport 
captains consented to surrender, together with their cai'penters, for 
service on the Lake. Drafts from the ships of war, and volunteers 
from the transports, furnished a body of seven hundred seamen for 
the same employment, — a force to which the Americans could op- 
pose nothing equal, commanded as it was by regular naval officers. 
Tiie largest vessel was ship-rigged, and had a battery of eighteen 
12-pounders ; she was called the Inflexible, and was commanded by 
Lieutenant John Schanck. The two schooners, Marin, Lieutenant 
Starke, and Carlcton, Lieutenant James Richard Dacres, carried re- 
spectively fourteen and twelve 6-pounders. Tiiese were the backbone 
of the British flotilla. There were also a radeau, the Thunderer, and 
a large gondola, the Loyal Convert, hoth iieavily armed; but, being 

362 MAJOR OPERATIONS. 17C2-178:J. [1770. 

equally heavy of movement, they do not ai)peai' to have 2)layed any im- 
portant part. Besides these, when the expedition started, there were 
twenty gunboats, each carrying one fieldpiece, from twenty-fours to 
il-pounders ; or, in some cases, howitzers.' 

" By all these means," wrote Douglas on Jidy 21st, "our acquir- 
ing an absolute dominion over Lake Chaniplain is not doubted of." 
The expectation was perfectly sound. With a working breeze, the 
Inflexible alone could sweep the Lake clear of all tliat floated on it. 
Hut the element of time I'cmained. From the day of this wr-iting 
till that on wliich he saw the Inflexible leave St. John's, October 
4th, was over ten weeks ; and it was not until the 9th that Carleton 
was read}' to advance with the squadron. By that time the Ameri- 
can troops at the head of the Lake had increased to eight or ten 
thousand. The British land force is reported ^ as thirteen thousand, 
of which six thousand were in garrison at St. John's and else- 

Arnold's last reinforcements reached him at ^''alcour on the Gth 
of October. On that day, and in tlie action of the 11th, he had with 
him all the American vessels on the Lake, except one schooner and 
one galle}'. His force, thus, was two schoonere and a sloop, broad- 
side vessels, besides four gallej-s and eight gondolas, whicli may be 
assumed reasonably to have depended on tlieir bow guns ; there, at 
least, was their heaviest fire. Thus reckoned, his flotilla, disposed to 
the best advantage, could l)ring into action at one time, 2 eighteens, 
18 twelves, 1 nine, 2 sixes, 12 fours, and 2 2-pounders, independent 
of swivels : total, 32 guns, out of eighty-four that were mounted in 
lifteen vessels. To this the British had to oj^pose, in three broadside 
\-essels, 9 twelves and 13 sixes, and in twenty gunboats, 20 other 
brass guns, " from twenty-fours to nines, some with howitzei-s ; " * 
total, 42 guns. In this statement the radeau and gondola have not 
been included, because of their immanageableness. Included as 
broadside vessels, they would raise the British armament — by 3 
twenty-fours, 3 twelves, 4 nines, and a howitzer — to a total of .53 
guns. Actuall}", thej- could be brought into action only under ex- 
ceptional cii'cumstances, and are more properly omitted. 

1 The radeau had six 24-iiouiKlei"S, six 12's, and two howitzers; the gondola, 
seven 9-poimders. The particulars of armament are from Douglas's letters. 

- By American reports. Beatson gives the force sent out, in the spring of 1776, 
as 13,357. (' Mil. and Kav. Memoirs,' vi. 44.) 

^ Douglas's letters. 

177(i.J THE L.IKi: CAM I'. lies. 363 

These minutise are necessary for llu; [jropcr appreciaticui ol" wlial. 
Captain Douglas justly called ''a nionunildMs cvcut." It was a strife 
of pigmies for the prize of a continent, ami (he headers are entiUrd 
to full credit both for their antecedent energy and for llirii- dispo- 
sitions in the contest ; not least the unhappy man who, liaving done 
so much to save his country, afterwards l^lasted liis name by a ti'ca- 
son unsurpassed in modern war. Energy and audacity liad so fai- 
preserved the Lake to the Americans; Arnold drtermincd to have 
one more try of the chances. H(i did nol know tin; full force of 
the enemy, but he expected that " it would he \ery formidable, if 
not eijual to ours." ' The season, howcvcu', was so near its end that 
a severe check would equal a defeat, and woidd postpone C'arleton's 
further advance to the next spring. licisidcs, what was the worth of 
such a force as the American, such a flotilla, under the guns of Ticon- 
deroga, the Lake being lost? It was eminently a case for taking 
chances, even if the detachment should be sacrificed, as it was. 

Arnold's original purpose had been to fight under way ; and it 
was from this point of view that he valued the galleys, because of 
their mobility. It is uncertain wIumi he first learned of the rig and 
battery of the Infleo:ille ; '^ but a good look-out was kept, and the 
British squadron was sighted from Valcour when it quitted the nar- 
rows. It may have been seen even earlier; for Carleton had l)een 
informed, erroneously, that the Anierieans were near Grand Island, 
which led him to incline to that side, and so t)pen out Valcour 
sooner. The British anchored for the ingiit of October 10th, be- 
tween Grand and Long- Islands. Getting under way next morning, 
they stood up the Lake with a strong north-east wind, keef)ing along 
Grand Island, upon which their attention douljtless was fastened by 
the intelligence which they had received : ))nt it was a singular negli- 
gence thus to run to leeward with a fair wind, without thorough 
scouting on both hands. The consequence was that the American 
flotilla was not discovered until Valcour Island, which is from one 
hundred and twenty to one hundred and eighty feet high through- 
out its two miles of length, was so far passed that the attack had 
to be made from the south, — from K-eward. 

^ Douglas thought that the appearance ul' the Injicxihle was a complete surprise; 
Ijut Aiuold had been informed that a tliird vessel, larger than the schooners, was 
being set up. With a man of his character, it is impossible to be sure, from his 
letters to his sujierior, how much he knew, ur what he withheld. 

2 Now calh-d North Hero. 

36 J- MAJOR OPERATIONS. 17G2-1783. [1770. 

AVheii the British were first made out, Arnold's second in com- 
mand, Waterbiny, urged tliat in view of tlie enemy's superiority tlie 
flotilla should get under way at once, and fight them " on a retreat 
in the main Lake ; " the harbor being disadvantageous " to fight a 
number so much superior, and the enemy being able to surround us 
on every side, we lying between an island and the main." With 
sounder judgment, Arnold decided to hold on. A retreat before 
square-rigged sailing vessels having a fair wind, by a heterogeneous 
force like his own, of unequal speeds and batteries, could result 
only in disaster. Concerted fire and successful escape were alike 
improbable ; and besides, escape, if feasible, was but throwing up the 
game. Better trust to a steady, well-ordered position, developing 
the utmost fire. If the enemy discovered him, and came in by the 
northern entrance, there was a five-foot knoll in mid-channel which 
might fetch the Ijiggest of them up ; if, as proved to be the case, 
the island should be passed, and the attack should be made from 
leeward, it probably would be partial and in disorder, as also hap- 
pened. The correctness of Arnold's decision not to chance a retreat 
was shown in the retreat of two days later. 

Valcour is on the west side of the Lake, about three quarters 
of a mile from the main ; but a peninsula projecting from the island 
at mid-length narrows this interval to a half-mile. From the ac- 
counts, it is clear that the American flotilla lay south of this penin- 
sula. Arnold had, therefore, a reasonable hope that it might be 
passed undetected. Writing to Gates, the commander-in-chief at 
Ticonderoga, he said : " There is a good harbor, and if the enemy 
venture up the Lake it will be impossible for them to take advan- 
tage of our situation. If we succeed in our attack upon them, it 
will be impossible for any to escape. If we are worsted, oui- retreat 
is open and free. In case of wind, which generally blofls fresh at 
this season, our craft ^^ill make good weather, while theirs cannot 
keep the Lake." It is appareut from this, written three weeks be- 
fore the battle, that he then was not expecting a force materially 
different from liis own. Later, he describes his jiosition as being 
" in a small bay on the west side of the island, as near together as 
possible, and in such a form that few vessels can attack us at the 
same time, and those will be exposed to the fire of the whole 
fleet." Though he unfortunately gives no details, he evidently had 
sound tactical ideas. The formation of the anchored vessels is de- 
scribed by the British officers as a half-moon. 


When tlie Britisli discovered the enemy, they li;uUed uji for 
them. Arnold ordered one of liis scliooners, tlie lti)ij(d S((V(((j<\ and 
the fonr galleys, to get undin- way; the two other seliooners and 
the eight gondolas remaining at their anchors. The Royal iiava(jt\ 
dropping to leeward, — by bad management, Arnold says, — came, 
apparently nnsupported, under the distant fin; of the Inflexible, as 
she drew under the lee of Valcour at 11 a.m., followed by the 
Carleton, and at greater distance by the Maria and the gunboats. 
Three shots from the ship's 12-pounders struck the Royal Savage, 
which then ran ashore on the southern point of the island. The 
Inflexible, followed closely by the Carleton, continued on, but firetl- 
only occasionally ; showing that Arnold was kee[(ing his galleys in 
hand, at long bowls, — as small vessels with one eighteen should be 
kept, when confronted with a broadside of nine guns. Between 
the island and the main the north-east wind doubtless drew more 
northerly, adverse to the ships" approach ; but, a flaw off the cliffs 
taking the fore and aft sails of the Carleton, she fetched " nearly into 
the middle of the rebel half-moon, where Lieutenant J. R. Dacres in- 
trepidly anchored with a spring on her cable." The Maria, on board 
which was Carleton, together with Commander Thomas Pringle, 
commanding the llotilla, was to leeward when the chase began, and 
could not get into close action that day. By this time, seventeen 
of the twenty gunboats had come up, and, after silencing the Royal 
Savage, pulled up to within point-blank range of the American flotilla. 
" The cannonade was tremendous," wrote Baron Riedesel. Lieutenant 
Edward Longcroft, of the radeau Thunderer, not being able to get his 
raft into action, went with a boat's ci'ew on board the Royal Savage, 
and for a time turned her guns upon her former friends ; but the fu-e 
of the latter forced him again to abandon her; and it seemed so likely 
that she might be retaken that she was set on fire by Lieutenant 
Starke of the Maria, when already " two rebel boats were very near 
her. She soon after blew up." The American guns converging on 
the Carleton in her central position, she suffered severely. Her com- 
mander. Lieutenant Dacres, was knocked senseless ; another officer 
lost an arm; only Mr. Edward Pellew, afterwards Lord Exmouth, 
remained fit for duty. The spring being shot away, she swung bows 
on to the enemy, and her fire was thus silenced. Captain Pringle