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1897; to proceed towards St.-Gilles; where several vessels, Jose, part of the convoy belonging to the three gun-brigs, were observed to be nearly becalmed. With these vessels the lieutenant afterwards came up, and captured 14 of them, without the least resistance, the crews of the vessels, which consisted of brigs, sloops, and chasse-marées, taking to their boats as the British approached. # * On the 6th of June the british 14-gun brig Port. of brig d'Espagne, lieutenant James Pattison Stewart, cruis... ing in the gulf of Paria, detached lieutenant Hall pagne and 25 men, in a prize schooner disguised as a .* neutral, to attack a spanish privateer, which, othercap- wise, there was no chance of overtaking. After exK. changing musketry and receiving the fire from her des, guns, lieutenant Hall, in a very cool and brave manner, laid the privateer on board, and quickly carried her, although the Mercedes, as was her name, mounted two carriage-guns and two swivels, and had a crew of 30 men. Out of these, three men were killed, one drowned, and three wounded. On to the british side two men only were wounded. off On the 30th of April the british 38-gun frigate Ş.. Uranie, captain Christopher Laroche, arrived off the * port of Cherbourg, to watch the motions of a french 40-gun frigate and brig-corvette, which had recently come from the arsenal into the road, preparatory to an escape to sea. The frigate was, we believe, the Département-de-la-Manche, or, as for brevity she was called, the Manche, launched on the 27th of the preceding December, a fine frigate, afterwards captured by the British, and found to measure nearly 1100 tons. The brig was either the Cigne or the Papillon, of 16 guns. It is but fair to state that, although rating as a 38-gun frigate, the Uranie, on account of a recent reduction in her armament, was inferior to any ship of her class. Being an old french ship, (the same that captured the Thames in 1793,”) the Uranie had been
found too weak to carry long 18-pounders, and a 1807. battery of long 12-pounders had been substituted. Her quarterdeck and forecastle armament was, we believe, the same as that of her class, 16 carronades, 32-pounders, and two long nines; making her total number of guns 46. Her complement, also, appears to have been the same, 281 men and boys; but the Uranie was at this time between 30 and 40 men short. On the 5th of May, at 2 h. 30 m. P. M., when the Uranie lay at an anchor between Cape La Hague and Cherbourg, the french brig came out of the road and stood to the northward, as if to reconnoitre the frigate; but, just as the latter was preparing to slip and go in chase, the brig put back. On the 15th, at 4 h. 30 m. P. M., when the Uranie, in company with the Rebuff 12-gun brig Rebuff, lieutenant John Whiston, was . standing towards Cherbourg with the wind at west- o north-west, the weather, which had been thick and hazy, suddenly cleared up and discovered the french frigate and brig, with five launches, standing out. The . Uranie cleared for action. At 4 h. 45 m. the french * vessels stood in shore, and in another quarter of an of hour stood out again. The Uranie thereupon wore, and out and hove to on the larboard tack, Cape La Hague west". six or eight miles. A thick fog then came on, and concealed the Manche and her consort from view. They, in the mean time, had put back to the road. On the 16th, in the forenoon, the Uranie and Rebuff again stood in towards Cherbourg; and, on so, arriving close off the road, the Uranie hoisted her to: colours and fired a gun. On the 6th of June the * brig came out through the east passage, and, at 3 P.M., after receiving from the Uranie a distant broadside, stood back through the western passage, or that at the opposite o the dike. On the 7th, at 1 h. 35 m. P. M., Cape La Hague south-southwest six or seven leagues, the Uranie, then, it appears, alone, discovered the Manche and her consort to the eastward. The Uranie, having the wind from the westward, bore up under all sail in chase of the
§397, french frigate and brig, then standing in; but which, jo. at 3 h. 30 m. P. M., put about and stood for the Uranie, Uranie as if intending to engage. The Uranie shortened sail. #i. At 4 P.M. the two french vessels bore up and made port all sail for Cherbourg, followed leisurely by the Uranie until 5 P. M.; when, having arrived nearly off the mouth of the harbour, the latter hove to. :* ... On the 16th the 12-gun brig Defender, lieutenant iPefen. George Plowman, joined company. On the 18th, at * 10 h. 30 m., just as the Defender had been detached to the northward, the Manche and her attendant were seen coming out of Cherbourg. The Defender was immediately recalled; and the two british vessels, about noon, with the wind at north-west by west, bore up in chase under topsails, topgallantsails, and foresail. At road 15 minutes past, noon, the french frigate and, brig Frigate tacked towards the british frigate and brig ; where; upon the Uranie hauled up her foresail. At Ih. 45 m, make a P. M. the french vessels tacked in shore, or from the .." latter. The Uranie then set her foresail. At this time the Manche had hauled up her courses, with the apparent intention of waiting for the british frigate to close; but the former soon afterwards, still keeping her courses up, edged away towards Cherbourg, The Uranie and Defender then fired their bow guns, but without effect. It was now perceived that the jo" Manche, under topsails and topgallantsails, considerto ably outsailed the Uranie with her foresail set. Upon this, at 3 h. 20 m. P. M., the two british vessels hauled off, and hove to on the larboard tack, with their heads to the northward. On the 22d, at noon, Cherbourg south by east three or four leagues, and the wind moderate from the west-north-west, the Uranie and Defender, then under topsails and topgallantsails, on the starboard or in-shore tack, discovered the Manche and brigcorvette coming out of the road, through, we believe, the eastern passage, and standing towards them on the larboard tack. At 40 minutes past noon the
Uranie tacked to the northward, apparently to speak
the Defender. At 0 h. 45 m. P. M. the two french 1807. vessels tacked in shore, and in five minutes after of wards captain Laroche spoke lieutenant Plowman, and directed him to keep upon the Uranie's weather quarter. The Uranie then tacked in shore, and at I h, 15 m. P. M. the french frigate and brig tacked towards the former. The Uranie then set her foresail. At 1 h. 45 m. P. M. the Manche and her consort tacked in shore, and at 2 P. M. bore up. The Uranie and Defender then bore up in chase. At 2h. 15 m. P. M. the british frigate set her mainsail, and at 2h. 40 m., her royals, and was gaining fast on the french vessels, they having little wind in shore. At A simi3 h. 20 m. the Uranie, followed by the Defender, ... hauled off on the larboard tack, and, having fired her. starboard broadside at the enemy without any visible: effect, shortened sail and hove to. . It appears that, early in the month of July, the of ship's company addressed a letter to the board of. admiralty, complaining that their captain had not. dene his utmost to bring the enemy's frigate to action. their As soon as a knowledge of this fact reached the offi-j cers, they, as was natural, became alarmed for the character of the ship and themselves, and applied for a court-martial upon captain Laroche. The court sat at Portsmouth, from the 20th to the 24th of Jul inclusive. The charges were confined to what .. place on the 15th of May and 22d of June. As well as we can gather from the brief and; imperfect abstract of the proceedings of the trial addisiven in the public prints,” the conduct of the ." ranieonthe last-named day was the principal cause of hisship. complaint. It is stated that the Uranie wore or stood from the enemy for some time, and was an hour before she was ready for action, and that there was great confusion on board; that, had captain Laroche done his utmost, he might have cut off the corvette, and must have brought the frigate to action if she did not abandon the corvette; and that he passed the
* See Naval Chronicle, vol. xviii. p. 158.
enemy's frigate within gun-shot, giving a broadside,
bottom and could not sail, and that, while she carried
“ only thirty-six 12-pounders, the enemy's frigate
Hydra chases three polacres into IBegur.
* See vol. iii. p. 272. . .