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“it was the misfortune of captain Bingham” to be 1811. engaged in,” were greeted with applause by every F. generous mind, some in America not excepted; and on Prothe 7th of February, 1812, as a proof that the lords of: the admiralty were far from displeased with his con-fling" duct, captain Bingham was promoted to post-rank. * On the 2d of February, at 5 P.M., the three french 40-gun frigates Renommée, commodore François Roquebert, and Clorinde and Néréide, captains Jacques Saint-Cricq and Jean-François Lemaresquier, M. Rosailed from Brest, each having on board 200 troops and ‘. . asupply of munitions of war, bound, in the firstinstance, i. to the Isle of France; the capture of which, in the pre-fire. ceding December, was of course unknown, although ...; as a contingency provided against, by the port of France. Batavia's being named for the succedaneous destination. Bad weather nearly separated the frigates the first night; and a continuance of contrary winds occasioned the squadron to be 18 days going the first 200 leagues of the voyage. On the 24th of February, by some Lisbon newspapers found on board a portuguese ship, the french commodore gained intelligence, that an attack was intended, and had perhaps already been made, upon the island to which he was first destined. The favourable change in the wind was taken immediate advantage of, and all sail crowded upon the three ships. On the 13th of March the frigates crossed the he, Oll the 18th of April, in latitude 38°, doubled the Cape of Good Hope; and on the 6th of May, at 11 P.M., being the ninety-third day since their departure from Arrives Brest, arrived within five miles of Isle de la Passe, ..." situated, as already known, at the entrance of Grand-Passe. Port, or Port-Sud-Est. Soon after midnight a boat from each frigate was despatched to the shore, to gain intelligence. The night was calm, and yet not a musket could Discobe heard. This encouraged the hope, that the island jihe was still in french possession. Daylight on the 7th colony arrived, and the colours hoisted at the fort upon.""
* Brenton, vol. iv. p. 555,
Rall, Isle de la Passe were french; but they were unac-
dis- were the british 18-pounder 36-gun frigates Phoebe
seeds appear to have been captured. The three french fri
On the 8th, at 4 A. M., the distance between the 1811; two hostile squadrons was diminished to six or seven M. miles; and at 8 A.M. the french frigates bore up, and, * with a light air of wind, stood towards the Phoebei. and Galatea. These, along with the Racehorse, shortly afterwards wore and steered to the westward, in the direction of Isle Ronde, then distant five or six leagues. Wishing, with the odds against him, . to have a commanding breeze to manoeuvre with, and ot expecting every moment to be joined by the Astrea ...}} from Port-Louis, captain Hillyar rather avoided than consent sought an engagement; and towards evening, when the two squadrons were scarcely five miles apart, commodore Roquebert, considering it, as he states, unsafe to follow the british ships into the current that runs between Isle Ronde and Isle Serpent, discontinued the chase and hauled up to the eastward.
On the 9th, at daylight, the two squadrons regained French a distant sight of each other; but, the Phoebe and . Galatea bearing up about noon to join the Astrea, : the french ships disappeared. The three british frigates then steered for Port-Louis, and on the 12th came to anchor off the harbour. It appears that, at One period, while the two squadrons, before the junction of the Astrea, were in the presence of each other, the ship's company of the Galatea went aft and requested their captain to bring the enemy to ...; action. In order to concert with his senior officer Gal. upon that or some other subject, captain Losack went. on board the Phoebe; and, on his return, the crew of the Galatea, supposing their wishes were about to be gratified, gave him three cheers.
Commodore Roquebert reduced the crews of Comhis ships to two-thirds allowance of provisions, and . resolved to attempt a ". upon some post on the Ro: windward side of Isle Bourbon. Having, by the . Ilth, passed 20 leagues to windward of the Isle of. France, the three french frigates bore up for Isle; Bourbon, and on the same night made the hi The or boats of the squadron, having on board a division of"
1811; the troops, attempted to disembark at a post that M. was known to be weakly manned, but were prevented by the heavy surf. Thus disappointed, the french commodore stood across to the coast of Madagascar, to endeavour to obtain a supply of provisions. On the 19th the ships made the isle of Prunes, and the same evening surprised the small settlement of Tamatave, in Madagascar; the garrison of which consisted of about 100 officers and men of the 22d regiment, and, except a small proportion, were sick with the endemial fever of the country. This settlement had been taken from the French on the 12th of the preceding February, by the above detachment of british troops, sent thither by Mr. Farquhar, the governor of the Isle of France, in the 18-gun brig-sloop Eclipse, captain William Jones §. Isfall- On the 20th, at daybreak, captain Schomberg, ...', with his three frigates and brig-sloop, and who, very captain judiciously, had sailed from Port-Louis on the * 14th direct for this spot, discovered himself to M. Roquebert; then, with his three frigates, close to the land near Foul point, and directly to-windward of the former. The british ships immediately made all sail in chase, with a light breeze from off the land, or from the west by north; but the french ships continued lying to, to await the return of two of their boats from Tamatave. The Renommée's boat at length came off; and at noon the french commodore formed his three frigates in line of battle, placing the Renommée in the centre, the Clorinde ahead, and the Néréide astern. The British, in the mean while, were closing their opponents as fast as the light and variable winds would permit, formed in the following order: Astrea, Phoebe, Galatea, in line ahead, and the Racehorse nearly abreast of the Phoebe, or centre-ship, to-leeward. Action . At 3 h. 50 m. P. M. the french frigates, being on the
...larboard tack, wore together, and, after keeping away
for a short time, hauled up again on the same tack.
The british ships were now approaching on the opposite or starboard tack; and, as soon as the Astrea, 1811. who was considerably ahead of her second astern, had ``. arrived abreast of the Renommée, the latter opened gy. her fire at long range. At a few minutes before 4 P.M. the Astrea returned this fire; as did also
the Phoebe, and Galatea, as they advanced in suecession. Thus:
Having passed out of gun-shot astern of the Néréide, the Astrea prepared to tack and renew the action; but, as was to have been expected so mear to the land, particularly Madagascar, the cannonade produced an almost instantaneous calm to-leeward. Having, in consequence, missed stays, the Astrea;" attempted to wear, and had scarcely accomplished caimed that, ere there was an entire cessation of the breeze. From their weatherly position, the french ships of course felt its influence the longest; and the breeze did not quite leave them until the Clorinde and Renommée had bore up and stationed themselves, in a most destructive position, across the starboard quarters and sterns of the Phoebe and Galatea. Now was the time for the Racehorse, with her facility of sweeping, to have distinguished herself, by taking a position close athwart the hawse of the