Page images
PDF
EPUB

have been given to the emperor's brother Jérôme; 1806. but the latter was to have been attended by two intelligent officers, one belonging to each service, to prevent him from committing blunders. On his first cruising ground M. L'Hermitte took and destroyed several british slave-ships and merchant vessels, and was fortunate enough, on the 6th Capof January, to capture the british 18-gun ship-sloop on Favourite, captain John Davie. The french com-o. modore manned the latter as a cruiser, and, it is be-Holieved, sent home the Surveillant. According to a rite. loose statement in the french newspapers, this brig ..." afterwards attacked a large english letter-of-marque veil. ship, and was sunk by her. - lant. After committing sad depredations on the african coast, the squadron proceeded to the Brazils to refit. M. L'Hermitte again put to sea, and cruised a short M. time in the West Indies; when, on the 20th of Au- L'Hergust, being in latitude 22° 26' north and longitude 55° .”. west, on his return to Europe, he was overtaken, and mainhis ships dispersed by, the hurricane which proved so is destructive in all parts of the Atlantic. The frigate di. d Cybèle, having lost her topmasts, steered for the j United States, and on the 1st of September an: . chored in Hampton roads; but the Régulus and . Présidente, being so fortunate as to retain their arrives masts, were enabled to steer for France. o On the 27th of September, at 3 h. 30 m. A. M., States. having separated from her companion, and got as ..., near home as latitude 47° 17' north, longitude 6° 52' . west, the Présidente fell in with a british squadron on of six sail of the line, under rear-admiral sir Thomas . Louis, in the Canopus. Chase was immediately ..." given by the squadron; and the 18-gun brig-sloop Louis. Despatch, (sixteen 32-pounder carronades and two long sixes,) captain Edward Hawkins, soon became the leading vessel in the pursuit. By 4 P.M. the Despatch had got within three miles of the Prési- is endente, and was gaining fast upon her. At 5 h. 30 m. to.

P. M. the brig shortened sail, and at 6 h. 45 m. pati,

1806, commenced firing her bow guns at the frigate; who ‘so returned the fire with her stern-chasers. A running fight between the Despatch and Présidente was thus maintained until about 7 h. 45 m. P. M.; when the latter bore up and stood towards the british squadron, the nearest ship of which, the 38. gun frigate Blanche, captain sir Thomas Lavie, was sur about three miles astern of the brig. The Canopus ** shortly afterwards fired a distant shot at the french frigate, who thereupon hauled down her colours, and was taken possession of by the brig. So says the log of the Despatch; also that the Présidente had previously struck to her. The letter of rear-admiral Louis contains no particulars; although it would have been but fair to have given the brig the credit which was due to her, that of having, when no ship was at hand to assist her, so boldly engaged a heavy french frigate. The Despatch had her rigging much cut by the fire of the Présidente, and received one shot in her larboard bow between wind and water, but fortunately had not a man hurt. The french frigate mounted 44 guns, long 18 and 8 pounders, with 36-pounder carronades, and had a crew of 330 men, She did not, as far as appears, sustain any damage or loss from the fire of her tiny antagonist The Présidente measured 1148 tons, was a remarkably fine frigate, and became a great acquisition to the british navy. The Seringapatam, and several of the large class of 18-pounder frigates still building, are from the draught of this french frigate, which, in the year 1815, was named Piémontaise. Regu. The two remaining ships of M. L'Hermitte's squato dron subsequently arrived safe in France; the Régulus, on the 5th of October, at Brest, and the Cybèle, in the course of the following year, at c. Rochefort or Lorient. i. On the 18th of October, in the morning, as the ... british 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Caroline, captain

tures • - - - zerop Peter Rainier, was taking possession of the dutch

14-gun brig Zeerop, captain Groot, at anchor be-,1806. tween Middleby and Amsterdam islands, off the Co.' coast of Java, the dutch 36-gun frigate Phoenix was seen to slip from Onroost, and run for Batavia road; ...” where also was lying, as communicated by the offi- datch cers of the Zeerop, the dutch 36-gun frigate Maria-" Riggersbergen, captain Jager. The Caroline in- Discostantly proceeded in chase, and soon discovered the . Maria-Riggersbergen, in company with the 14-gun and ship-corvette William and brig Zee-Ploeg, and the . dutch company's armed ship Patriot, of 18 guns. ** Not at all dismayed by a force apparently so for- “ midable, captain Rainier, placing springs on both his cables, ran straight for the Maria; who, on the arrival of the Caroline within gun-shot, opened her ana fire. No return, however, was made, until the Ca-..." s roline had got as close as the wind would permit. her, which was within half pistol-shot. The latter Mariathen opened her fire, and, in half an hour, compelled . the Maria, although partially assisted by the three Bergen, vessels already ...} and some gun-boats, to strike her colours. Thirty other gun-boats lay in-shore, but did not attempt to come out. - The Caroline mounted altogether 42 guns, with a complement, deducting 57 men that were absent, of 204 men and boys. Of these she had three seamen, and four dutch prisoners who were in the hold, killed, a lieutenant of marines, (Zachary Williams, ..." mortally,) 16 seamen, and one marine wounded. Not &c." a spar was shot away, and very little damage done either to masts, rigging, or hull. The Maria-Riggersbergen was a frigate similar in size and force to the Pallas,” and therefore mounted 12, and not “18 pounders,” as stated by mistake in the official account. The dutch frigate had commenced the action with 270 men and boys; of whom she lost, as represented by her officers, 50 in killed and

wounded. Her foretopsail yard was shot in two, and

[ocr errors]

*98, her rigging, masts, and hull, more or less injured or by the Caroline's heavy broadsides. It is reasonable to suppose that, had the MariaRiggersbergen’s consorts, admitting them to have been in a situation to do so, cooperated more effectuGal- ally, the Caroline would have found greater difficulty : in capturing the dutch frigate. This by no means Rail" detracts from the merit of captain Rainier, his * officers, and men; who deserve every credit for having ventured to attack a force of such apparent superiority, as well as for bringing the combat, by the vigorous means they employed, to so speedy a termination. The Maria-Riggersbergen was purchased into the service by rear-admiral sir Edward Pellew, the british commander in chief on the East-India station, and named the Java, but, in a very few months after- wards, became the grave of her officers and crew. ; . On the 27th of November rear-admiral Pellew ...s arrived off the road of Batavia with the following

[ocr errors]

gun-ship -
Culloden {...". (r) sir Edward Pellew, bt.
7 *{ - - - - - o - a - - captain Christopher Cole.
Powerful .......... ,, Robert Plampin.
Russel . . . . . . . . . . . . , Thomas Gordon Caulfield.
64 Belliqueux . . . . . . . . ,, George Byng.

Frigates, Sir-Francis-Drake and Terpsichore, brig Seaflower.

inters Directing the two frigates and brig to enter the

on. road between the island of Onroost and Java, Sir Edward, with the line-of-battle ships, on account of the shoalness of the water, took a circuitous route. As soon as they observed the approach of the british squadron, the dutch frigate Phoenix, the two brig, corvettes Aventurier and Zee-Ploeg, two armed ships and two armed brigs belonging to the dutch india-company, and several merchant vessels rall themselves on shore. The William corvette would have done the same, but had hauled down her colours to the Terpsichore as the latter passed Onroost.

The shoal water preventing the british ships from 806. anchoring near enough to fire with effect upon the ‘...." batteries or ships lying on shore, the rear-admiral Dedetached, for the purpose of destroying the latter, ..." the boats of the squadron under the orders of cap-nix tritain Fleetwood Pellew, assisted by lieutenant Wil-o. liam Fitzwilliam Owen, of the Sea-flower, and lieutenant Thomas Groule, first of the Culloden. The Sir-Francis-Drake and Terpsichore, meanwhile, had stationed themselves in the best manner to support the boats in their advance. On seeing the boats approach, the crew of the Phoenix scuttled and abandoned their ship; and all the British could do on boarding her was to turn her guns upon the remaining vessels. These at length, together with the Phoenix herself, were set on fire and destroyed; and the boats got back to their ships with so slight a loss, notwithstanding the heavy fire opened upon them by the batteries, as one marine killed, and one marine and three seamen wounded.

The William corvette was found to be in so unseaworthy a state, that she also was destroyed. The two dutch 68-gun ships Pluto and Revolutie, which sir Edward had expected to find in Batavia road, had previously retired, for greater safety, to the fortified harbour of Gressie at the eastern extremity of the island.

On the 23d of October, in the evening, as the british 12-gun schooner Pitt, (ten 18-pounder carronades and two sixes,) lieutenant Michael Fitton, was lying at an anchor in the mole of Cape St.-Nicolas, island of St.-Domingo, the man looking out at the mast-head reported two sail in the offing, over the neck of land to the northward, one apparently in chase of the other. The Pitt instantly got under way, and, it being a stark calm, swept herself out of Pitt the mole. In the course of the night she was occa-i.” sionally assisted by a light land wind, and on the schoo: 24th, at daybreak, descried three schooners, the “” largest evidently a privateer of force. Towards

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »