Page images

result, that fought in the preceding war between the 1805, british brig Pelican and the french frigate Medée.* F.” As it was, the conduct of both commanders received its just reward in their almost immediate promotion to post-rank. We regret to be obliged to add, that the brave defence of the Arrow failed to produce for her late officers and crew the slightest sympathy in the breast of captain Billiet; who, in the treatment of his prisoners, appears to have fallen very little short of the celebrated captain Lejoille. H On the 8th of February, at daybreak, the british Co. 16-gun brig-sloop Curieux, captain George Edmund ..." Byron Bettesworth, being about 20 leagues to the or ** eastward of Barbadoes, discovered on her lee bow." a large brig, that immediately bore up and made all sail. Chase was given; and, after a run of 12 hours, during which the brig tried every point of sailing to escape, the Curieux got within point-blank shot. The former, which was the french privateer Dame-Ernouf, then took in her studding-sails, brought to on the starboard tack, hoisted french colours, and commenced a brisk fire of great guns and small arms. As soon as she had arrived within musket-shot upon the privateer's weather quarter, the Curieux opened her fire. The action continued with great obstimacy for 40 minutes; when the DameErnouf ceased firing, and, after three cheers had been given by her crew, steered for the Curieux's lee quarter. Aware of the intent, captain Bettesworth put his helm a starboard, and caught his opponent's jib-boom between the Curieux's after foreshroud and foremast. In this exposed situation the Dame-Ernouf remained, until her decks were completely cleared by the guns of the Curieux; when, Latter just as the latter was about to board the former, the ois. two vessels parted, the fore topmast of the Dame- Ernouf falling over the side just as she dropped clear.

* See vol. i. p. 509. f Ibid. vol. ii. p. 340.

[ocr errors]

1893; The privateer continued a short time firing musF., ketry, and then hauled down her colours. Force. Both ships mounted 16 long french 6-pounders.” .." The Curieux had a complement of 67 men and boys; of whom she lost five, including the purser, Mr. Maddox, (who, in the absence of the first lieutenant, gallantly volunteered his services, and was killed at the head of the small-arm men,) killed, and four, including her commander, by a musket-ball in the head, I wounded. The Dame-Ernouf commenced action with 120 men, of whom she had 30 killed and 40 wounded; a sufficient proof that her officers and crew persevered in their resistance while any hope remained. In his modest account of an action so creditable to himself and his brig's company, captain Bettesworth omits not to pass a very handsome encomium on the gallantry of his antagonist. San-Fi- On the 13th of February, at 5 A.M., as the british .” 18-pounder 36-gun frigate San-Fiorenzo, captain Psyché. Henry Lambert, was in latitude 19° 35' north, longitude 85° 25' east, standing on the starboard tack, with a light wind at west-south-west, in search of the french (late privateer, but now) 32-gun frigate Psyché, captain Jacques Bergeret, reported to be off Vizagapatam, three sail were discovered at anchor under the land to the southward. These, which were the Psyché and two ships, her prizes, immediately weighed and made sail, pursued by the San-Fiorenzo. Light and baffling winds continued during the day, and towards midnight it became quite calm. At about 20 minutes past midnight, a light breeze having sprung up, the San

* The Curieux had been captured the preceding year, see p. 155. By admiralty order of December 10, 1804, the Curieux was ordered fourteen 18-pounder carronades, but it is believed retained her french guns, until by admiralty orders of August 9. and September 12, 1805, she was established with eight long 6-pounders and ten 24-pounder carronades.

f He had also received three wounds at the cutting out of the brig he now commanded. See vol. iii. p. 355.

f See vol. iii. p. 383.

Fiorenzo braced round on the larboard tack, and 1805. made all sail, trimming and wetting, to quicken her F.C.’ progress. In this way the chase continued throughout the remainder of the night, the San-Fiorenzo gradually gaining until 5 h. 30 m. P. M. on the 14th; when the Psyché and her companions hoisted english colours, as did also the San-Fiorenzo. At 7 h. 30m. P. M. the latter arrived within hail and took possession of the sternmost vessel of the three, the Thetis, late country-ship, and which had just been * by the Psyché, then a short distance ahead. From the crew of the Thetis it was ascertained, that the other prize had been the Pigeon country-ship, but was now the Equivoque privateer, of 10 guns, and 40 men, commanded by one of M. ergeret's lieutenants. Continuing the chase under all sail, the San-ComFiorenzo, at 8 P.M., got within gun-shot of, and fired ...; a bow-chaser o the Psyché, who returned it with action. two guns from her stern. In 10 minutes more the two frigates commenced a furious action, at the distance of about 100 yards, and continued hotly engaged until a few minutes before 9 P.M., when the Psyché fell on board the San-Fiorenzo. In about a quarter of an hour the Psyché got clear, and the cannonade was renewed with spirit, the Equivoque occasionally taking a part in it, to the no slight annoyance of the San-Fiorenzo. At about 9 h. 40 m. P. M. the latter shot away the Psyché's main yard, and the firing still continued with unabated fury. At 11 h. 30 m. P. M. the San-Fiorenzo hauled off to reeve new braces and repair her rigging. At midnight, being again ready, the latter bore up to renew the conflict; but, just as the british frigate was about to reopen her broadside, i. a boat from the Psyché came on board with a mes- or e sage to captain Lambert, stating that captain Ber-*. eret, out of humanity to the survivors of his crew, so struck, although he might have borne the contest OIl Q'er. f her 253 men and boys on board, the San Fiorenzo had one midshipman, (Christopher H. B.

1805, Lefroy,) eight seamen, one drummer, and two marines

[ocr errors][merged small]

killed, and one lieutenant, (William Dawson,) her master, (James Finlayson,) one lieutenant of marines, (Samuel Ashmore,) one midshipman, (Samuel Marsingal,) 30 seamen, and two marines wounded; total, 12 killed and 36 wounded. Severe as this loss was, that on board the Psyché was far more so. The latter ship had her second captain, two lieutenants, and 54 seamen and soldiers killed, and 70 officers, seamen, and soldiers wounded.

The San-Fiorenzo mounted, besides her 26 long 18-pounders on the main deck, 14 carronades, 32pounders, and two long nines on the quarterdeck and forecastle, total 42 guns. Since her affair with the Wilhelmina, the Psyché had been purchased for the national navy by general Decaen, the governor of the Isle of France; and rear-admiral Linois had allowed the enterprising officer to whom she had belonged to continue in the command of her. Her 36 guns appear to have been the same that she mounted as a privateer, and will be found at a preceding page.*


& No. 21 18
Broadside-guns............ lbs. 467 252
Crew. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 253 240
Size. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . tons 1032 848

The 10-gun ship Equivoque is here left out, partly because the calibers of her guns are not known, and partly because the aid she afforded the Psyché was not constant, but occasional. As to the two frigates, although nominally equal, they were very far from being a match, and yet what a resistance the Psyché's was. Her loss in killed and wounded amounted to more than half her crew; and among the killed were the second captain and her two lieutenants. Her third lieutenant was on board the Equivoque. This act of captain Bergeret's surpassed what had been ex- 1805. pected even of him;* and every Frenchman, who ro wishes well to the navy of his country, should hold “ in honourable recollection the heroic defence of the Psyché. The prize became added to the british navy as a 12-pounder 32-gun frigate; but, owing partly to her age and partly to the damage done to her by getting aground, the Psyché did not continue more than a few years in the service. : On the 16th of February, at daybreak, in latitude o: 28° north, longitude 67° west, the british 12-pounder hases 32-gun frigate Cleopatra, captain sir Robert Laurie, ..." bart., saw a ship in the south-east, standing to the Milan. east-north-east, with the wind at north-west, and immediately went in chase of her. At 11 A. M. the stranger was discovered to be a large frigate, with 15 ports of a side on the main deck. The Cleopatra, whose force was that of her class, with the exception that four of her nines had been exchanged for ten 24pounder carronades, making her guns in all 38, cleared for action, and hoisted american colours, to induce the stranger to bring to. Instead, however, of doing so, the latter made more sail. She was the french 40-gun frigate Ville-de-Milan, captain Jean-Marie Renaud, armed with 46 guns, eight more long 8-pounders than the establishment,i no carronades apparently, and her two aftmost maindeck guns left at Martinique; from which island she was 19 days, with despatches for France, and with express orders not to speak any thing during the passage. Under these circumstances, a trial of speed was alone to determine, whether or not there should follow a trial of strength. Each ship spread all the canvass she could set, and night left the two frigates still in chase. At daybreak on the 17th they were only Gains about four miles apart. The british frigate continued ..." to gain upon the french frigate; and, at 10 h. 30 m.

* See vol. iii. p. 383.

* See vol. i. p. 465, and vol. ii. p. 344.
t See H in the table at p. 131. of vol. i.
f See No. 5 in the table at p. 78 of vol. i.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »