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Beresford take

1807, lieutenants, and particularly of his master, of whom,

as captain Lake admits, he had to inquire the name His dis- of the island. The court, which was numerously and from respectably composed, found captain the honourable the ser- Warwick Lake guilty of the charge, and sentenced him to be dismissed from the british navy.


As a necessary consequence of the occupation of Samuel Portugal by the French, the island of Madeira fell

into the hands of the British. On the 24th of Degeneral cember a british squadron, consisting of the


S rear-admiral (b.) sir Samuel Hood, posses

captain William Henry Webley, sion of 74 York

Robert Barton, deira, -Captain

Isaac Wolley, 64 Intrepid

Richard Worsley, Frigates, Africaine, Alceste, Shannon, and Success, escorting some transports having a body of troops under major-general Beresford, anchored in Funchal bay, within a cable’s length of the forts, to be ready to áct hostilely, should any opposition be experienced. None, however, was offered ; and before dark the troops were landed and in possession of all the forts. On the next day the terms of capitulation were agreed to, and on the following day, the 26th, duly signed by the governor of the island, Pedro Fagundes Bacellar d’Antas e Meneres, as he signs himself, on the one part, and the commanding officers of the british sea and land forces on the other.




bane sails



On the 29th of November, 1806, captain Charles Bris- Brisbane of the 38-gun frigate Arethusa, accom

panied by the Latona, of the same force, captain for Co- James Athol Wood, and the 44-gun frigate Anson,

captain Charles Lydiard, sailed from Port-Royal, Jamaica, with orders from vice-admiral Dacres, the conimander in chief on that station, to reconnoitre the island of Curaçoa, and sound the minds of the inhabitants respecting the sincerity of their alleged inclination to ally themselves to Great Britain.




Owing to the continued violence of the trade-wind 1807. and the strength of the north-westerly current, it was not until the 22d of December, in the evening, at that the squadron reached the west end of Aruba, Aruba. a small island situated about a degree to the westward of, and a dependency upon, Curaçoa. There the three frigates anchored, and on the following evening were joined by the 38-gun frigate Fisgard, captain William Bolton, then on his way to Jamaica, but whom captain Brisbane had received permission from the admiral to take under his orders.

Having more taste, as well as more talent, for Refighting than for diplomatizing, captain Brisbane solves naturally conceived that he could effect less by the tack latter mode than by the former. He was fully sensible, too, that the way to get possession of a place with so strongly fortified, both by nature and art, as Cu- frigates racoa, with only four frigates and their crews, was not to lie to off the port, there to make a display of his weakness, and wait while the dutch governor and his council slumbered through the forms of à negotiation, and the dutch forts and soldiers got ready more effectually to resist an attack, but to dash right into the harbour, and, pointing the muzzles of his guns into the windows and doors of the burghers, carry every thing by a vigorous storm.

This was the plan which captain Brisbane re- Prepasolved to adopt, and every preparative arrangement was soon made for facilitating its execution. Each frigate had her allotted station. The bulk of her crew was divided into storming companies, commanded by lieutenants and by the captain as their leader. The boatswain was placed at the head of a party with ladders and crow-bars; and the master, with the necessary number of hands, was to have charge of the ship, while the boarders and stormers were performing their part of the enterprise. To prevent any confusion from the different crews casually mixing together when on shore, each ship's company, with the officers attached to them,



1807, wore 'some peculiarity of dress, or some badge or

mark that could be readily distinguished.

On the 24th, at 8 A.M., captain Brisbane, with his four frigates, weighed and made sail, intending to strike the blow at daybreak on new year's day, the previous eve being that on which every loyal Dutchman makes it a point to steep his senses in

strong drink. On the 1st of January, at 1 A. the Makes high land of St.-Barbary's on the east end of Cu. island. raçoa made its appearance. It was necessary to

make this end of the island, to have the benefit of the regular trade or south-east wind in running for the harbour of St.-Ann, situated on the south-east side of Curaçoa; and which, as being the capital of the colony and its principal naval dépôt, was to be the first object of attack. The frigates now hove to, hoisted out their boats, and took them in tow with small cablets.

Of the nature and extent of the difficulties that stood in the way of success, some idea may be

formed by a brief description of the harbour of St.Strength Ann, and its sea-defences. The entrance to the

harbour, according to Mr. Mantor's chart, is only fences. 50 fathoms' wide, and is defended_by regular for

tifications; the principal of which, Fort Amsterdam, standing on the right of the entrance, mounts 60 pieces of cannon, in two tiers. Athwart the harbour, which nowhere exceeds a quarter of a mile in width, were the dutch 36-gun frigate Halstaar, captain Cornelius J. Evertz, and 20-gun ship-corvette Surinam, captain Jan Van-Nes, exclusive of two large armed schooners. There was a chain of forts on Misselburg height; and that almost impregnable fortress Fort-République, situated upon a high bill at the bottom of the harbour, and almost within grape-shot distance, enfiladed the whole.

At 5 A. M., every preparation having been made for an immediate attack by storm, the four british frigates, the Arethusa leading, followed in close order by the Latona, Anson, and Fisgard, bore up,


He dashes through them.


with an easterly wind, for the mouth of the harbour. 1807. At daylight the Arethusa, with a flag of truce at the fore, entered the port; but the dutch forts and shipping, taking no notice of the flag, opened upon the british frigate a smart though ineffective fire. Just at this moment the wind shifted to north, and checked at once the further progress of the Arethusa. Fortunately, however, not many minutes elapsed ere the wind, in a squall, changed back to north-east; thereby enabling the whole of the squadron, except the Fisgard, which frigate grounded on the west side, to lay up along the harbour. The three remaining british frigates, after an unavoidable delay of some minutes on the part of the Anson, then anchored in positions for opening their several broadsides upon the dutch forts, frigate, and corvette.

Upon the capstan of the Arethusa, whose jib- Sumboom was over the wall of the town, captain Bris- the gobane now wrote, and sent off to the governor, the vernor. following summons : “ The british squadron are here to protect, and not to conquer you; to preserve to you, your lives, liberty, and property. If a shot is fired at any one of my squadron after this summons, I shall immediately storm your batteries. You have five minutes to accede to this determination." No notice being taken of this summons, the flag of truce was hauled down; and at 6 h. 15 m. A. M. the british squadron commenced the action. As soon as the ships had fired about three broadsides each, captain Brisbane, at the head of a portion- of his frigate. crew, boarded and carried the dutch frigate; whereupon the Latona warped close alongside and took possession. Meanwhile a party of the Anson's men, headed by captain Lydiard, had boarded and secured the Surinam

This done, captains Brisbane and Lydiard pulled Storms straight for the shore, and, landing together, pro- carries ceeded, at 7h. 30 m. A. M., to storm Fort Amsterdam. The vigour of the assault was irresistible. Some of the cipal British breaking open the sea-gate with their crow- fort. bars, while others escaladed the walls, the fort, al

Boards the

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1807, though garrisoned by 275 regular troops, was carried Jan. in about 10 minutes; as, shortly afterwards, and with

equal quickness and facility, were one or two minor forts, the citadel, and the town. On the return of captains Brisbane and Lydiard to their respective ships, a fire was opened upon Forte République, which fire the fort might have silenced in half an hour; and 300 seamen and marines were landed to

attack it in the rear, which service they would have capitu

difficult one to execute. By 10 A. M., lates. however, or a little after, the british flag waved on

the walls of Fort République; and, by noon, the whole island of Curaçoa had capitulated to the british

The island

found a very

arms. Şlight loss in

This unparalleled morning's work was achieved curred. with no greater loss to the British, than two seamen

killed and five wounded belonging to the Arethusa, one killed and two wounded belonging to the Latona, and seven wounded belonging to the Anson; total, three killed and 14 wounded; and the only spar shot or carried away was the spritsail yard of the Arethusa. The loss on the part of the Dutch was much more severe. The Halstaar had her captain and two petty-officers killed, and three others badly wounded; the Surinam, one seaman killed, her commander, (dangerously,) one lieutenant, one midshipman, and one seaman wounded; and the schooner Flying-Fish, (Viligende-Vis,) one killed and one wounded; total, five killed and eight wounded, exclusive of the loss on shore, represented to have amounted, in killed and wounded together, to nearly

The dutch ships were bravely defended; and so probably would have been the forts, had not the hour and the suddenness of the attack completely scared the drowsy garrisons, and the occupation of the harbour by the enemy's ships prevented the junction of a considerable reinforcement which had assembled at Otra-Bandy.

The capture of a valuable dutch colony, by four to the british frigates and their ships' companies, was an querors exploit of which even four british sail of the line,

200 men.


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