Page images
PDF
EPUB

1897; line, which had been previously got ready, quitted

Account of earl St.Vincent's previous mission.

Portsmouth and Plymouth, under the command of rear-admiral sir Sidney Smith, bound straight to the Tagus

gun-ship (
- - rear-adm. (b.) sir Wm. Sidney Smith.
120 Hibernia . . . . . . {. Charles Marsh so.
98 London . . . . . . . . ,, Thomas Western. -
80 Foudroyant .... , Norborne Thompson.
Elizabeth . . . . . . ,, hon. Henry Curzon.
Conqueror. . . . . . , , , Israel Pellew.
74 & Marlborough.... ,, . Graham Moore.
| Monarch . . . . . . , Richard Lee.
Plantaganet . . . . , William Bradley.
Bedford . . . . . . . . ,, James Walker.

In the autumn of the preceding year a threat of Napoléon's, that he would conquer Portugal, had induced the british government to send earl St.-Vincent and a squadron to Lisbon, with the offer of money and troops to assist in repelling the invaders; or, should that, in the state of the country, be deemed o: and the prince regent prefer a removal to his South-American dominions, the admiral was to protect him and his family thither. But the sudden hostility of Russia and Prussia compelled the french emperor to direct the whole of his energies against them; and Portugal, for the present, was allowed to retain her independence. Napoléon's successful career in the north having again left him at leisure, he once more bent his view upon Portugal, and with more earnestness than ever.

A case for british interference had thus again occurred, and it remained to be seen, whether the prince regent, in aid of the “continental cause,” meant to make a further trial of the forbearance of England; or, in fulfilment of former assurances, would consent

Prince- to retire, with his family, fleet, and adherents, to a

regent orders detention of british

safe asylum in the Brazils. Suffering his fears, however, again to get the better of his discretion, the prince regent, on the 8th of November, signed an

subjects order for the detention of the few british subjects,

and of the inconsiderable portion of british pro- 1807. perty, that yet remained in Lisbon. Immediately on N.' the publication of this order, the british ambassador, Lord lord Strangford, demanded his passports, presented: a final remonstrance against the recent conduct of. the portuguese court, and on the 17th joined sir Sid-. ney's squadron, which had just arrived off the coast.o. A rigid blockade was forthwith declared, and en- Block. forced, by the british admiral against the Tagus. Af. ... ter this measure had been tried for a few days, lord gaity Strangford, on the 27th, went to Lisbon, in the ship-oney. sloop Confiance, captain James Lucas Yeo, bearing a flag of truce, to propose to the portuguese government, as the only condition upon which the blockade would be raised, the alternative, of either surrendering the fleet to England, or of employing it in the removal of the prince regent and his family to the Brazils. Convinced by the reasoning of lord Strangford, assured, in the fullest degree, of british protection, and not uninfluenced, probably, by a suspicion of Buonaparte's real views respecting the house of Braganza, of which the Moniteur had just given a hint, by threatening that the dynasty of Braganza should no longer exist, the prince regent, on the same day, pro-Princeclaimed his intention to retreat, with the queen his."

Conmother, and all the royal family, to his dominions in sentsto America, there to establish himself in the city of Rio ...'. de Janeiro until a general peace; and he appointed oils. a regency to govern the kingdom in his absence. It fortunately happened that the bulk of the por- Portu. tuguese fleet, whether prepared for this or for some . other purpose, was in readiness to put to sea. Ac-sails cordingly, on the 29th, in the morning, vice-admiral; ..., don Manuel d’Acunha Sottomayor, with the 84-gun under ship Principe-Reale, 74s Conde-Henrique, Medusa, * Principe-de Brazil, and Rainha-de-Portugal, 64s Al-protecfonso-d'Albuquerque, Don-Joan-de-Castro, and Mar-" tino-de-Freitas; frigates Minerva, of 44, Golfinho, of 36, and Urania and another, with whose name we are

unacquainted,of 32 guns; three 20-gun brig-corvettes,

§os, and one 12-gun schooner, having on board the whole of the royal family of Braganza, along with many of the prince's faithful counsellors and adherents, and accompanied by about 20 large armed merchant ships, filled with cargoes and passengers, set sail from Lisbon. In the course of a few hours this fleet, conveying, altogether, about 18000 portuguese inhabitants, arranged itself under the protection of that of the British; and the friendly junction of the two fleets was immediately announced by a reciprocal salute of 21 guns. The above eight sail of the line, four frigates, and four smaller vessels, comprised the whole of the portuguese navy, except one 74, the Vasco-de-Gamo, under repair and nearly ready, and another 74 and 64, and five frigates and corvettes, that were unserviceable. As a proof that the efficient ships of that navy, with the royal family and loyal inhabitants on board, had not been too precipitate in their retreat, on the 30th, which was o very day after their deEntry parture, general Junot, with the advanced division ... of the french army, entered Lisbon. Having accom#., panied the portuguese fleet to latitude 37.47 north, * and longitude 14° 17' west, and waited till the ships had reassembled, after a severe gale of wind, sir Sidney, on the 6th of December, detached captain Moore, with the Marlborough, London, and Bedford, § to attend the fleet to the Brazils, and, with the rejo mainder of his squadron, parted company. One of to the portuguese ships of the line, being deemed unfit #: to proceed on the voyage, bore up for England. The remainder, escorted by captain Moore, pursued their voyage, and on the 19th of January landed the Latter prince regent at Bahia. Captain Moore, with the ... british and portuguese men of war, then proceeded Brazils to Rio de Janeiro. * . The object of sir Sidney in parting company was to ... watch the motions of the nine russian sail of the line

squa- - to under vice-admiral Seniavin; who, finding it dan

[ocr errors]

Tom, gerous to proceed further to the northward, had

anchored in the Tagus. This step on the part of Eng- 1807. land was rendered necessary by the menacing tone TT which Russia had recently assumed. On the suppo- Blocksition that this russian squadron was still in the Medi- .. terranean, sir Sidney had been ordered to detach the ney. Foudroyant, Conqueror, and Plantaganet, as a reinforcement to rear-admiral Purvis off Cadiz ; but he now, of course, kept those ships with him, and with his five sail of the line cruised off the mouth of the Tagus. After sir Sidney had been a week performing this duty, commodore Peter Halkett joined from England, with, besides his own ship the Ganges, the 74s Defence and Alfred, captain Charles Ekins and John Bligh, and the 64s Ruby and Agamemnon, cap- Hosti tains John Draper and Jonas Rose. These ships had jo sailed from Portsmouth on the 6th, just four days as "in ter the emperor of Russia's hostile declaration against words England had been received by the british govern-#. ment. Of this declaration, and of that which spee-" dily followed it, we shall reserve any remarks we may have to make, until the next year's operations in the Baltic come under our notice. It may suffice to state here, that the russian squadron, under viceadmiral Seniavin, remained safe blocked up in the Tagus on the last day of the present year.

LIGHT SQUADRONS AND SINGLE SHIPS.

On the 6th of January the british 38-gun frigate Lieut. Impérieuse, captain lord Cochrane, while passing the ...” basin of Arcasson to the southward of the Gironde, lands on her way to join the squadron of commodore Keats ..." off Chasseron lighthouse, detached her boats, under Fort the orders of lieutenant David Mapleton, assisted by ou. midshipmen the honourable William John Napier and Mr. Houston Stewart, and assistant-surgeon George Gilbert, to bring out of the basin whatever vessels might be found there. As a preliminary step, lieutenant Mapleton attacked and carried Fort Roquette, which was intended for the defence of the entrance

to the inlet. A large quantity of military stores was

1807, there destroyed, four long 36-pounders, two fieldo pieces, and a 13-inch mortar spiked, the platoons and carriages burnt, and the fort laid in ruins; and, as a proof that this enterprise was as judiciously as it was gallantly conducted, not a man of the party was hurt. In his letter on this subject lord Cochrane mentions the capture or destruction of several french merchant vessels, but it does not appear that any were found in the basin of Arcasson. * ... On the 21st of January, at daybreak, the british i: 18-pounder 32-gun frigate Galatea, captain George Sayer, cruising off the coast of Caraccas on the Spanish Main, discovered from the mast-head a sailin the southeast, steering for La Guayra ; but which sail soon altered her course for Barcelona. At noon, the frigate then nearly becalmed, the stranger was made out to be an enemy's man-of-war brig, and was, in fact, the french brig-corvette Lynx, mounting fourteen 24-pounder carronades and two long eights, with a complement of 161 men and boys, commanded by lieutenant de vaisseau Jean-Mathieu Fargenel, from Gaudeloupe, bound to the Caraccas with despatches. At this time, having the advantage of a light land wind, and assisted by her sweeps, the Lynx was fast leaving the Galatea; so much so, that at 2 P. M. the brig's topallantsails, as viewed from the frigate, were scarcely above the horizon. Still, shut in as the brig was between the frigate and the coast, captain Sayer con: ceived that he might obtain possession of her by the assistance of his boats. IDe- Accordingly, at a very few minutes past 2 P.M., * ..." six boats, containing five officers, 50 seamen, and 20 boats, marines, 75 in all, and placed under the command of first lieutenant William Coombe, (left leg of wood) o off from the ship in the following order, each oat taking the one next to her in tow: short gig, commanding officer's name unknown; long gig, master's mate John Green; green cutter, third lieutenant Robert Gibson; pinnace, second lieutenant Henry Walker; barge, lieutenant Coombe; and launch,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »