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Engages

captures

SanJosef.

hopper's intention, the two settees also weighed, 1807. and stood towards their consort. The Grasshopper Nov. continued working to-windward, and at noon lost sight of the Renommée.

At about half past noon, having got within range, the Grasshopper opened a heavy fire of round and grape upon the brig. A running fight was maintained (about 15 minutes of it close) until 2 h. 30 m. P. M. ; when the latter, which was the spanish brig of war San-Josef, of ten 24-pounder carronades and and two long sixes, commanded by lieutenant don Antonio de Torres, ran on shore under Cape Ne- brig grete, and struck her colours. The greater part of her crew, which, upon leaving Carthagena on the preceding evening, numbered 99 men, then swam on shore, and effected their escape. Seeing the fate of their companion, the two settees, which were the Medusa of 10 guns and 77 men, and the Aigle Settees of eight guns and 50 men, tacked and made sail to the eastward.

The Grasshopper now shortened sail and anchored, in order to attempt getting her prize afloat. This was at length effected, in the face of a body of troops assembled on the cliffs ; and who, by their constant discharges of musketry, severely wounded one of the Grasshopper's men, the only loss she sustained. It was not, however, with entire impunity, for the Grasshopper fired at the musketeers several well-directed broadsides. creditable little affair on the part of captain Searle, his first lieutenant Cornelius Willes, of whom he speaks in the highest terms, and his remaining officers

escape.

This was a very

and men.

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On the 3d of December, at 10 A. M., latitude 14° 48' Curinorth, longitude 59° 14 west, the british brig-sloop falls in Curieux, mounting 10 carronades, 18-pounders, and with eight long 6-pounders, with a crew on board of vanche. rather less than 100 men and boys, commanded by captain John Sherriff, while standing on the starboard tack with the wind from the north-east, dis

Action Commences

1807. covered in the north-north-west, or right ahead, a Dec. strange ship steering under easy sail on the opposite

tack. This was the late Liverpool slave-ship BritishTar, but now the french privateer Revanche, of 24 long guns, chiefly, it is believed, english 9-pounders, and one long french 18-pounder upon a traversing carriage on the forecastle, with a crew of 200 men, commanded by captain Vidal.

At 11 A. M., as the ship passed almost within gunshot to-leeward of her, the Curieux made the private signal. That not being answered, the brig soon afterwards tacked in chase, and at 1 P. M. discharged her bow gun at the Revanche ; who fired one sternchaser in return, hoisted her colours, and set more sail, edging away to the southward. At 2 P. M., having arrived abreast of the ship on the larboard and weather side, the brig brought her to close action. This continued for an hour; by which time the Curieux had her braces, bow-lines, and tillerropes shot

away. Seeing the unmanageable state of her opponent, the Revanche, at 3 h. 15 m. P. M.,

ran on board the Curieux on the starboard side a Death little before the mainmast. In this position the Sherriff ship discharged her traversing gun and musketry;

by which the brig's main boom was shot away, captain Sherriff and four or five of the men killed, and several wounded.

Finding themselves too warmly received, the privateer's men would not board, but retreated to the quarterdeck; whence they kept up, for the space of 10 minutes, an incessant and a very destructive fire of musketry. Lieutenant Thomas Muir, upon whom the command of the brig had devolved, now prepared to board; but, being supported by only 10 seamen, the marines, and the boatswain, he was obliged to relinquish the attempt. At about this time, one of the Curieux's men having hove the ship’s grappling overboard, (in doing which he lost his right arm by a shot,) the Revanche dropped astern. Presently afterwards, hauling up,

of capt.

Privateer makes off.

Nov.

on lieut. Muir.

the privateer crossed the stern of the Curieux, and, 1807, after firing into her two great guns and a volley of musketry, crowded sail to the north-west. Nor was the Curieux, whose shrouds and back-stays were shot away, and two topmasts and jib-boom wounded, in a condition to make sail in pursuit.

The loss on board the Curieux amounted to eight Loss, killed, including her captain, and 14 wounded. both That on board the Revanche, according to a para- sides. graph in the Moniteur, amounted to two killed and 13 wounded. The Curieux, as soon as she had partially refitted herself, made sail for Barbadoes, and anchored the next day in Carlisle bay.

Lieutenant Muir was subsequently tried by a court-Courtmartial at Barbadoes, for the escape of the privateer, and was slightly reprimanded for not having done his utmost, after the death of his captain, to take or destroy the enemy's ship. Had, by any chance, the Revanche been captured and carried into Carlisle bay by one of the cruisers upon the station, her force would have been fully known; and we cannot conceive that the commanding officer of a gun-brig (for, virtually, the Curieux was no more) would, under all the circumstances of this case, have been otherwise than honourably acquitted.

We are now entering upon a case which some may think not quite pertaining to Naval History. It was, however, an occurrence that happened on board a british ship of war, and one which, for a considerable time after it became generally known, excited an intense interest in the public mind.

In the summer of the present year Robert Jeffery, Jeffery a native of Polpero in Cornwall, aged 18 years, en- Into tered on board the Lord Nelson privateer of Ply- the Remouth, and about eight days afterwards, when the privateer had put into Falmouth, was pressed by an officer belonging to the british 18-gun brig-sloop Recruit, captain the honourable Warwick Lake. The Recruit soon afterwards sailed for the West Indies. In the month of November, when the crew

misdeameanour,

Is landed on the is

Sombrero.

1807. of the Recruit were on short allowance of water, Nov. Jeffery, who was armourer's mate on board, took, Com- according to captain Lake's account, “ a bottle with mits a some rum in it" from the gunner's cabin, and on the

10th of December, by his own acknowledgment, went to the spruce-beer cask and drew off about two quarts. A shipmate saw and informed against Jeffery, and captain Lake ordered the sergeant of marines to “ put him in the black list."

On the 13th of December the Recruit was passing

the desert island of Sombrero, which stands about land of 80 miles to the south-west of St.-Christopher. Cap.

tain Lake then ordered Jeffery to be landed upon that island. Accordingly, at 6 P. M., the

poor

fellow was placed in a boat along with the second lieutenant of the brig, Richard Cotton Mould, a midshipman and four seamen, and landed upon the uninhabited island of Sombrero, without shoes on his feet, or any

other clothes than those on his back, and without even a biscuit for food. · Observing that his feet were cut by the rocks, lieutenant Mould gave him a pair of shoes, which he had begged of one of the men, together with a knife, and his own and the midshipman's pocket handkerchiefs for making

signals. The lieutenant then advised this victim Recruit of tyranny and oppression to keep a sharp look-out Leaves for vessels, and pulled back to the Recruit. Her his fate. captain's vengeance being thus gratified, the brig

filled and made sail from an island, until then little known except as a land-fall or point of bearing for navigators, but subsequently blazed about in every quarter of the globe, and never named without an execration upon the (must we say ?) british officer, who had acted so inhuman a part.

Rear-admiral sir Alexander Cochrane, the comback to mander in chief at the Leeward islands, the instant bring the brig joined him, reprimanded captain Lake for

his conduct, and sent back the Recruit to Sombrero, to bring away the man, if he should chance to be alive. On the 11th of February the Recruit anchored

Is ordered

away the man.

Suffer

Is rez

amerischooner.

He was

Is

off the island, and her officers landed and searched 1807. it over; but neither Jeffery, nor his body nor his wo bones were anywhere to be found. By almost a Cannot miracle, as it will appear, the man's life was spared. him.

After he had been thus left to perish by his tyrant of a captain, Jeffery wandered about for eight days, subsisting upon some limpets that he found ings of among the rocks, the crevices of which also afforded Jeffery. him rain water to drink. He saw several vessels pass, but was too weak to hail them at the distance cued at which they were. At length, on the morning of by

by an the ninth day, the schooner Adams, of Marblehead, can Massachusetts, John Dennis, master, came to the island, saved the poor fellow from a lingering death, and landed him at Marblehead.

There Jeffery resided, following his trade of a Settles blacksmith, until the summer of 1810, when the noise United which his case made in England induced the british States. government to send for him home, brought first to Halifax, Nova-Scotia; and thence, in the 10-gun schooner Thistle, lieutenant Peter brought Procter, to Portsmouth. On the 22d of October to EngJeffery attended at the admiralty, where he received order his discharge, and had the R taken off his name; by admie which he became entitled to all arrears of pay. The ralty. friends of the late (for he had then, as will be seen presently, ceased to bear the title) captain Lake made him a liberal compensation for the hard- home ships he had undergone, and Jeffery returned to his to his native village of Polpero a much richer man than he

village. had quitted it three years before.

On the 5th and 6th of February, 1810, which was Courtsoon after it had become known that Jeffery was oncapt. living, a court-martial assembled on board the Gla-Lake. diator at Portsmouth, to try captain Lake for having put a seaman of the Recruit on shore upon an uninhabited island. Captain Lake admitted that he landed Jeffery upon Sombrero, but urged as his excuse, that he “ thought the island was inhabited ;" thereby not only exposing his own ignorance, but impugning the professional knowledge of his two

land by

native

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