Page images

posing a part of the crew of the Chesapeake, and, 1807, to strengthen the former's claim upon them, also T' deserters from british ships of war. -*

All four of the recovered seamen, namely, the . one belonging to the Halifax and the three to the ..." Melampus, were tried at Halifax, Nova-Scotia, on serters. the 26th of August, 1807. Jenkin Ratford was found guilty of mutiny, desertion, and contempt, and hanged at the fore yard-arm of the Halifax, the ship from which he had deserted. The three remaining prisoners were also found guilty of desertion, and sentenced to receive each 500 lashes; but the men were afterwards pardoned.

The account of the attack upon the Chesapeake reached London on the 26th of July; and on the 2d of August, before any demand for redress had been made by the american minister in London, the british government caused to be conveyed to the latter, a disavowal of the right to search ships in the British national service of any state for deserters, and a onpromise of suitable reparation for the unauthorized on act of the british officer. On the 6th Mr. Munroe ...w. transmitted to his government the note of Mr. Secre-joo tary Canning; and on the same or the following i. day arrived american newspapers, with Mr. Jeffer-. son's interdictory proclamation. Encouraged by the v. proclamation, the citizens of the United States, proespecially along the shores of Chesapeake bay, i. treated every thing that was british with the great-Ameriest indignity: they destroyed 200 water casks be- * longing to the Melampus, and committed numerous outrages of a similar description. This showed that the offer of redress had been prematurely made; particularly when coupled with Mr. Munroe's instructions, received soon afterwards, and submitted to the british government.

Notwithstanding the violent conduct of the United States, as made known by their newspapers, and by the introduction, in the american minister's note, of subjects foreign to the immediate cause of complaint,

1807, the british government, by a public instrument, dated ``' on the 16th of October, and entitled, “A proclamation for recalling and prohibiting seamen from serv†. ing foreign princes and states,” declared, that the i: claim to the seizure of deserters from the national jo, ships of other powers could not again be brought forward by british naval officers. In addition to all this, vice-admiral Berkeley, the officer who had issued the order to search the Chesapeake, was recalled from his command; and at a subsequent day, two (one having died) of the three deserters from the Melampus, being, as before stated, natives of the United States of America, were sent back to their country. i. On the 19th of April, the british gun-brig Rich. Hugh mond, lieutenant Samuel Scudamore Heming, work*...* ing up towards Cape Mandigo, on the coast of Porcarries tugal, discovered a lugger with spanish colours fly#. ing, at anchor in a little bay about six leagues to the wateer. northward of Peruche. Lieutenant Heming immediately began preparations for destroying her, and, in the evening as soon as it was dark, detached the gig and jollyboat, with sub-lieutenant George Bush and boatswain's mate Ebenezer Lyons. The two boats pulled boldly into the bay, and in the face of a heavy fire, which wounded three of the men, boarded and carried the lugger privateer Galliard, of four 4-pound. ers and 36 men; all of whom, except 12, jumped overboard and escaped to the shore. Exam- Deeming it unfair to make use of the labours or ** good fortune of a contemporary without an acknow:... sedgment, and being desirous to set an example to : those who have already given proofs, that they require some stronger stimulus than a mere consciousness of doing wrong to deter them from the meanness of plagiarism, we shall again transcribe from the pages of captain Edward Brenton's work an account of the proceedings of his brother's ship. “The Spartan frigate of 38 guns, commanded by

captain (now sir J.) Brenton, met with a severe loss

on the 14th of May, off Nice; she had been all day 1897; chasing a polacre ship, and at sunset both were be- May. calmed at the distance of about five miles from each spar. other: the vessel appeared to be an unarmed mer-o. chant ship. The boats of the Spartan with the two i.e. senior lieutenants, Weir and Williams, and 70 of ..., the best men, pulled alongside in two divisions, and polacre attempted to board her on the bow and quarter with the usual determination and valour of british seamen; but the vessel was defended by a numerous and equally gallant crew, with boarding nettings and every other means of resistance. The first discharge from their great-guns and musketry laid 63 of our brave. fellows low, the first and second lieutenants and 26 of the men being killed or mortally wounded; seven men. only remained unhurt. The few remaining hands conducted the boats back to the ship. The narrow escape of one of the men was very remarkable. James Inter. Bodie, the cockswain of the barge, was missing. The of deceased men were all laid out on the main deck: of the wife of Bodie, a beautiful young woman, flew old with a lantern from one to the other in search of her. husband, but in vain: all the survivors declared that "" he had undoubtedly perished; they saw him wounded, and fall between the ship and the boat. The poor woman became delirious, got into the barge on the booms, and taking the place lately occupied by Bodie, could with difficulty be moved from it. A few days, with the soothing kindness of the officers and crew, produced a calm, but settled grief. At * Malta a subscription of 80 guineas was made for her, and she was sent to her parents in Ireland. Some weeks elapsed when the Spartan spoke a neutral vessel from Nice, and learnt that a polacre had arrived there, after a severe action with the boats of a frigate; that she had beaten them off, and that when they had left her, a wounded Englishman was discovered holding by the rudder chain; he was instantly taken on board, and after being cured of his wounds,

sent off to Verdun. Captain Brenton concluding that

[ocr errors][merged small]

this could be no other than his cockswain, wrote to his
friends at that depôt, and the fact turned out to be
as he had supposed. Mrs. Bodie was made acquainted
with the miraculous escape of her husband, who
remained a prisoner four years. He was at length
restored to his family, and now enjoys a birth on
board the Royal-Charlotte yacht, with his old cap-
tain; his wife is with him, and both are highly and
deservedly respected.
“Before she had recovered from this misfortune,
the Spartan had a narrow escape from capture: pro-
ceeding from Palermo towards Toulon, she fell in
with a french 74-gun ship, two frigates, and a brig,
Captain Brenton determined to watch their motions
during the night, and the enemy gave chase to him:

at daylight they had got within three miles, but a

light breeze springing up, the Spartan ran along
the east side of Cabrera, pursued by the ship of the
line; the frigates and the corvette went round the
west side in hopes of cutting her off, the Spartan
lying nearly becalmed, while they were coming up at
the rate of seven miles an hour: the headmost fri.
gate being within range, tried single shot, which
striking the object, she gave her whole broadside.
Captain Brenton would not allow a shot to be return-
ed. In a few minutes the french frigate was involved
in a dense cloud of her own smoke, and lay becalmed,
while the Spartan, having received very little da-
mage from their shot, kept the breeze, and left her
unskilful pursuers to themselves. We notice this
fact as a warning to young officers when similarly si-
tuated, to confine their whole attention to trimming
their sails; for not only does the firing destroy a
breeze of wind, but even in fresh gales the motion
of the guns, and the men, are unfavourable to the
velocity of the ship.”
This account, in our opinion, contains a far from
unimportant omission, the names of the french ships.

Which she skilfully eludes.

Names of the french ships.

* Brenton, vol. iv. p. 159.

That omission we have been enabled to supply, of: The 74 was the Annibal, late british Hannibal, cap- \-Y-4 tured at Algeziras,” one frigate the Pomone, the other the Incorruptible, and the corvette the Victorieuse. The captain of one of the frigates is represented to have been afterwards broken by a courtmartial at Toulon for his conduct on this occasion; although, we confess, we cannot see upon what ground. The above extract certainly shows none; and we have not been able to find, in any french publication, a word on the subject. On the 5th of June, at 7 h. 30 m. A. M., the british Po38-gun frigate Pomone, captain Robert Barrie, cruis- i. ing off the Pertius Breton, discovered and chased in . the north-east three armed brigs. On approaching" oy near, a convoy was discovered under their escort. At about 9 A.M. the Pomone got within random-shot of one of the brigs, when the wind entirely failed. Having also to tack from the Barges d'Olonne; which she did not do until within 400 yards of them, the Pomone lost all chance of cutting off either of the armed brigs. Some of the frigate’s shot reaching the convoy, two, supposed to be naval transports, ran on shore, and a third vessel, a brig, was deserted by her crew, Captain Barrie immediately despatched lieutenant John Jones, in the six-oared cutter, to take possession, as well of this brig as of Runs any others that were not close to the shore. This ..." service lieutenant Jones performed with great judg-. ment and gallantry, and fortunately without loss, to although the grape from the shore and from the * gun-brig passed through and through his boat. One of the gun-brigs now making a show of sweep-sends ing out, captain Barrie sent lieutenant James Wallace to. Gabriel, with three boats, to meet her. As, however, and the brig retreated under the protection of the batte. . ries and of the numerous musketry which lined the fourbeach, lieutenant Gabriel was recalled, and directed"

* See vol. iii. p. 169.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »