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in the road of Oporto, captain Collier despatched 1806. her barge, under the command of lieutenant Mulcaster, to cruise a few leagues to the northward, in Lieut. the hope to intercept some of the spanish privateers Muler and row-boats, lurking in the creeks and rivers of the of Portugal, to be ready to commit depredations upon the Lisbon trade as soon as it appeared off the coast. On the 11th, after a fatiguing row of nearly 40 miles, the barge fell in with the spanish luggerprivateer, Buena-Dicha, of one long 8-pounder, besides blunderbusses and musketry, and manned with 26 of the Guarda desperadoes. The barge advanced under a discharge of grape-shot from the lugger's prow-gun ; but nothing could withstand the impetuosity of lieutenant Mulcaster and his men. They quickly boarded and carried the privateer ; killing one of her crew, and wounding badly her captain, two other officers, and two seamen, withoat sustaining, on their own part, the slightest casualty,
On the 2d of October, while the Minerva was at Capt. anchor off Oro island, near the entrance of Porto- at the Novo, captain Collier himself, attended by lieu- bay of tenant Menzies with him in the cutter, and followed by the barge in charge of lieutenant Peter Paumier James and midshipman William Holt, with a select party of marines, proceeded to reconnoitre the bay of Rocks, in the hope of falling in with one or more of the six spanish gun-boats known to be at Carril. After a pull of seven hours, the cutter was hailed Capby a gun-boat, lying at an anchor within pistol-shot spanish of the shore, attended by a small gun-launch with a con: brass 4-pounder. The gun-boat was immediately boarded on the quarter, and carried, as well as her attendant, without the loss of a man. She was the spanish gun-boat No. 2, mounting one long 24pounder in the bow, and two short brass fours, with a complement of 30 men, commanded by lieutenant don Jesse Lopez.
On the 25th of June the british 18-gun brig-sloop
Lieut. Marshall cuts
1806, Port-Mahon, captain Samuel Chambers, chased a June. spanish armed brig into the intricate barbour of
Banas in the island of Cuba. At 9 P. M. the boats Mahon of the sloop, under the command of lieutenant John a brig Marshall, assisted by lieutenant Luke Henry Wray,
and Mr. John Robson, gunner, were despatched to endeavour to cut the vessel out.
On the 26th, at l A.M., the spanish letter of marque brig San-Josef, armed with one long 18-pounder
on a pivot amidships, four 12-pounder carronades her out, and two long 4-pounders on her sides, with swivels,
pikes, and muskets, and 30 men, was gallantly boarded and carried by lieutenant Marshall and his party; and this, although the vessel was protected by the fire from, and moored by a line to, a tower mounting two heavy guns. The next difficulty was to get the prize out of the harbour. This also was accomplished, although the brig grounded within pistol-shot of the battery, and was struck by several shot from it; and, notwithstanding that the boats had been damaged by shot, and several of the oars broken, while rowing to make the attack, the whole service was executed without the loss of a man.
On the 9th of July, at 3 h. 15 m. P. M., the british 74-gun ship Powerful, captain Robert Plampin, being about seven miles to the northward of the Little Basses, island of Ceylon, standing north-west by west, with a light air from the south-west, discovered a strange ship upon her weather beam, steering free with studding-sails set, and shortly
afterwards, broad on the latter's weather quarter, Power- and in full pursuit of her, a second ship, soon recogchases nised as the 16-gun ship-sloop Rattlesnake, captain
John Bastard. The stranger, which was the celebrated french frigate-privateer Bellone, captain Jacques Perroud, not being able to haul up without coming to action with the Rattlesnake, and observing that the Powerful lay nearly becalmed while she herself was running before a strong wind, resolved to continue her course and endeavour to
of it upon
cross between the 74 and the shore. In this, how- 1806, ever, the Bellone was foiled; for at about 5 P. M. July. the Powerful got within gun-shot, and, hoisting her Runcolours, opened a fire, which the former instantly ning
fight. returned. A running' fight was maintained until 6 h. 45 m. P. M.; when, finding there was no possibility of escape,
the Bellone hauled down her colours and hove to.
Extraordinary as it may appear, the Powerful had Effect two seamen killed and il wounded by the fire of the Bellone; and, what is still more extraordinary Powerin an hour and a half's running fight between two ships so disproportionate in point of force, the Bellone herself had only one man killed and six or seven wounded.
This is the second instance that has occurred in Her dethese seas, within less than four months, of a marked deficiency in gunnery on the part of a british_74. nery. . If the Tremendous did more execution than the Powerful, it was because the former was enabled occasionally to bring her broadside, or a great park of it, to bear upon her antagonist ;* while the Powerful appears to have been confined to a head and stern cannonade. Still the Powerful had two long 32s, two long 18s, and two long 12s, to oppose to four long french 8s; and surely she might have made a better use of them.
Had the well-directed fire of the Bellone done more injury to the 74's masts, rigging, and sails, and less to her crew, the former would probably have escaped; for what could the Rattlesnake, with her 16 long 6-pounders and 120 men, have effected against the Bellone, with her 34 guns, composed of long 8-pounders and 36-pounder carronades, with a crew at this time on board of 194 men ? The Bellone was afterwards purchased for the use of the british navy, and under the name of Blanche, became classed as a 28-gun frigate.
* See p. 338.
1806. On the 14th of July the following british squaJuly, dron of six sail of the line and one frigate, under
commodore sir Samuel Hood in the Centaur, cruised off Rochefort, to watch the motions of a french squadron of five sail of the line and several frigates, at anchor in the road of the isle of Aix :
captain William Bedford.
British boats sent into the Gi
The receipt of intelligence that a french convoy of 50 sail, laden with stores for Brest, lay in Verdon
road, at the entrance of the river Gironde, waiting ronde. an opportunity to put to sea, under the escort of
two brig-corvettes, determined the british commodore to attempt cutting them out. Accordingly a boat from each line-of-battle ship was despatched to the Iris frigate; who immediately proceeded with them to the 44-gun frigate Indefatigable, captain John Tremayne Rodd, then cruising off the Gironde, to prevent the convoy's escape. To the six boats from the line-of-battle ships, commanded as follows: Centaur, lieutenant Edward Reynolds Sibly, the commanding officer of the whole; Conqueror, lieutenant George Fitzmaurice; Prince-of-Wales, lieutenant John Francis; Revenge, lieutenant Charles Manners; Polyphemus, unknown; and Monarch, lieutenant Dalhousie Tait, were now added three from the Indefatigable commanded by lieutenants Thomas Parker, Thomas Arscott, and Ralph Shepperdson, and three from the Iris, the commanding officers of which do not appear to have been named in the official letter.
On the evening of the 15th, the time appearing road. favourable, the 12 boats pushed off from the Inde
fatigable, and proceeded towards the mouth of the
Gironde. Shortly afterwards the wind shifted to 1806. the westward, and blew strong. But the perse- July. vering ardour of the British overcame all obstacles, and at the dead of the night the boats entered Verdon road. Lieutenant Sibly and his party instantly attacked the french 16-gun brig-corvette César, Caphaving on board 86 men, under the command of the lieutenant Louis-François-Hector Fourré, all perfectly prepared. While in the act of cutting away the brig's boarding netting, lieutenant Sibly was badly wounded by pike and sabre, in the side, arm, and face. The British, however, soon boarded the César; and, after a few minutes' severe conflict, in which M. Fourré fought most heroically until he fell covered with wounds, they carried the french brig.
Owing to the extreme darkness of the night, and Anthe strength of the wind and tide, the other french brig, which was the Teazer (late british) of 14 guns, vette moored higher up the river, escaped by slipping her escapes cables and running before the wind still further
up the Gironde. The convoy managed to do the same. Meanwhile the prize, having cut her cables, was standing out, exposed, for some time, to a heavy fire from the Teazer and the batteries on both sides of the river. Notwithstanding this opposition, the César, under the able direction of lieutenant Parker of the Indefatigable, worked out, and joined the two frigates at anchor off the mouth of the Gironde.
The loss on this occasion was tolerably severe. Loss The British had one lieutenant, (Charles Manners,) sides. one master's mate, (Thomas Helpman,) two boatswain's mates, and five seamen killed, four lieutenants, (Sibly, Tait, both badly, Parker, and Shepperdson,) one master's mate, (Thomas Mullins,) and 34 seamen and marines wounded, and one midshipman, (Thomas Blackstone,) and 19 seamen and marines prisoners; total nine killed and 39 wounded. The 20 prisoners, with the deceased lieutenant, had belonged