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entire impunity, a well-directed fire; hulling the 1808. frigate in 10 or 11 places, and greatly damaging her

May. rigging and sails. Among the first shots was one Death that killed captain Bettesworth, while he was in the of capt. act of pointing a gun; and Mr. Henry Fitzburgh, a worth. fine and promising young midshipman, fell dead nearly at the same instant.

The command of the Tartar, thus critically Tartar circumstanced, devolved upon lieutenant Caiger. Frome By great exertions, the broadside of the frigate Bergen was at length brought momentarily to bear, and one of the gun-boats was sunk by its discharge. The action continued in this partial manner for an hour and a half; when, a light air springing up, the Tartar wore and stood towards the gun-boats, and, getting her bow-guns to bear, compelled them to retreat and pull up under the batteries of Bergen. Considering it unadvisable, in the present state of general alarm, to attack the town, lieutenant Caiger obliged the natives on board to attempt a passage with the ship to the northward. In her way through this channel, the Tartar picked up her launch; and, after passing many difficult spots, where it became necessary to boom the frigate off with spars, and occasionally to tow her by the boats, the Tartar, at 3 P. M., got clear of the islands and stood out to sea. The whole of the frigate's loss by this perilous enterprise consisted of her captain and one midshipman killed, one man with the loss of his right arm, another man severely, and several slightly wounded. Most of the shot-holes were between wind and water, and one shot had struck the ship two feet under water. ReOn the 20th the Tartar returned to Leith roads, to with the body of her late gallant and much lamented Leith. captain on board.

On the 19th of May, at 4 P. M., in latitude 46° Virginorth, longitude 14° west, the british 38-gun frigate falls in Virginie, captain Edward Brace, standing on the with starboard tack with the wind at north-east, saw and derland


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1808. chased a sail in the north-north-west. At 4 h. 30 m.
May. P. M. the strange sail, which was the dutch frigate

Guelderland, already named as the object of the
Tartar's search, bore away. At 7 h. 40 m. P. M.
the Virginie, coming up fast, fired a gun to-leeward :
on which the Guelderland fired one to-windward,
and hoisted french colours. At 9 h. 45 m. P. M., the
Virginie hailed the Guelderland; who, shifting her
colours, replied that she was a dutch ship of war.

Being now called upon to strike, and refusing, the

Guelderland was fired into by the Virginie, and an gages action forthwith commenced." During its continu

ance the dutch frigate wore three times, and, in at-
tempting to do so the fourth time, fell on board her
opponent; but the night was so dark, and the swell
so great, that the British could not act as on such
occasions they are wont. After an hour and a half's
contest, in which she had her bowsprit and all three
masts shot away by the board, and sustained a very
heavy loss in killed and wounded, 'the Guelderland
struck her colours to the Virginie; whose prin-
cipal damage was that caused by the former's run-
ning foul of her. The Guelderland, soon after she
had struck, caught fire, but,“ through the firm disci-
pline of the enemy,” says captain Brace, “ the fire
was extinguished” before the Virginie's boats could
get on board to rescue the prisoners.

The Virginie came out of the action with so trifling
a loss as one man killed and two men wounded;
while that of the Guelderland, whose crew numbered
253, exclusive of 23 passengers, amounted to 25
officers and men killed, and 50, including her com-
mander, severely wounded.

Against such a superiority as existed in this action, to delay surrendering until the ship was wholly dismasted, and three tenths of hercrew killed or disabled, showed that there was no want of bravery in the dutch frigate. There appears, however, to have been one exception among the persons on board; and that, shame

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to say, the captain himself. On the 28th of Novem-1808. ber, 1810, colonel de mer Pool, late captain of the Guelderland frigate, was tried by a court-martial at CourtAmsterdam, for having, during that ship’s action on with the Virginie, quitted his quarters after receiv- dutch

captain ing two slight wounds, one in the face, the other in the hand. By the sentence that followed, he was dismissed the service, declared perjured and infa. mous, and banished for life. *

In the art of gunnery, the Dutchmen appear to conhave been miserably deficient.

Many a 10-gun trast in privateer, in a running fight, has inflicted a greater gunloss upon a british frigate, than the Virginie sustained here in her one hour and a half's conflict with the Guelder- frigates. land. On the other hand, great credit is due to the Virginie's officers and crew for the skill they exhibited; especially when it is considered, that the 18-pounders of the Virginie, on account of her age and weakness, were, if we are rightly informed, of a shorter and lighter description than those usually established upon frigates of her class.

The british captain, in his official letter, calls the defence of his opponent a gallant one, and adds: “If any credit is due to this transaction, I entreat you to bestow it on the officers and men.” Here is another instance of that liberal feeling which is ever the characteristic of the truly brave. Captain Brace's recommendation of his officers produced its effect, lieutenant John Davis, first of the ship, being made a commander, and master's mate Nathaniel Norton, who had passed for one, a lieutenant. Dutch ships of war are seldom any great acquisition to the british navy; but the Guelderland served, for a few years, as a cruising 12-pounder 36.

On the 4th of April, while the british 38-gun frigate Alceste, captain Murray Maxwell, 28-gun frigate Mercury, captain James Alexander Gordon,

* Moniteur, December 14, 1810.

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1808. and 18-gun brig-sloop Grasshopper, (16 carronades,
April. 32-pounders, and two long sixes,) captain Thomas
Alceste Searle, lay at anchor about three miles to the north-
Mercu- west of the lighthouse of San-Sebastian, near Cadiz,
Grass- a large convoy, under the protection of about 20
hopper gun-boats and a numerous train of flying artillery on
spanish the beach, was observed coming down close along-
gun. shore from the northward. At 3 P. M., the spanish

convoy being then abreast of the town of Rota, the
Alceste and squadron weighed, with the wind at west-
south-west, and stood in for the body of the enemy's

At 4 P. M., the shot and shells from the gun-boats
and batteries passing over them, the british ships
opened their fire. The Alceste and Mercury de-
voted their principal attention to the gun-boats; while
the Grasshopper, drawing much less water, stationed
herself upon the shoal to the southward of the town,

and so close to the batteries, that by the grape from her beha- carronades she drove the Spaniards from their guns, viourof and at the same time kept in check a division of gunSearle. boats, which had come out from Cadiz to assist those

engaged by the two frigates. Captain Maxwell in
his official letter, alluding to this gallant conduct on
the part of captain Searle, says: “It was a general
cry in both ships, Only look how nobly the brig be-
haves.'The situation of the Alceste and Mercury
was also rather critical, they having, in the state of
the wind, to tack every fifteen minutes close to the
end of the shoal.

In the heat of the action the first lieutenant of the
Alceste, Allen Stewart, volunteered to board the

convoy with the boats. Accordingly the boats of the Boats Alceste pushed off, under lieutenant Stewart, accomlieut. panied by lieutenant Philip Pipon, lieutenant of maStew- rines Richard Hawkey, master's mates James Arscott bring

and Thomas Day, midshipmen J. Stevens Parker,

James Adair, Charles Croker, Abraham M'Caul, and vessels, &c.

Thomas Henry M'Lean; and the boats of the Mercury,


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under lieutenant Watkin Owen Pell,* accompanied 1808. by lientenant Robert James Gordon, lieutenant of April. marines James Whylock, master's mates Charles Du Cane and Maurice Keating Comyn, quickly followed. Dashing in among the convoy, the two divisions of boats, led by lieutenant Stewart, soon boarded and brought out seven tartans, from under the very muzzles of the enemy's guns, and from under the protection of the barges and pinnaces of the francospanish squadron of seven sail of the line ; which barges and pinnaces had also by that time effected their junction with the gun-boats.

Exclusive of the seven tartans captured, two of the gun-boats were destroyed, and several compelled to run on shore, by the fire from the two british frigates and brig, which did not entirely cease until 6 h. 30 m. P. M. All this was effected with so slight Loss, a loss to the British, as one man mortally and two slightly wounded on board the Grasshopper. The damages of the latter, however, were extremely severe, as well in hull, as in masts, rigging, and sails. With the exception of an anchor shot away from the Mercury, the damages of the two frigates were confined to their sails and rigging, and that not to any material extent.

In the month of April, while the british 12-pound - Nymphe er 36-gun frigate Nymphe, captain Conway Shipley, Blosand 18-gun ship-sloop Blossom, Captain George Lisbon. Pigot, were cruising off the port of Lisbon, information was received, that a large brig-corvette, the Garrota, of 20 guns and 150 men, late belonging to the portuguese navy, but since fitted out by the French, was lying at anchor in a bight above Belem castle, waiting for an opportunity to escape to sea. Having rowed up the Tagus at night in his gig, and reconnoitred the position of the brig, captain Shipley resolved to attempt cutting her out. For this purpose the

* In mentioning the wound of this officer when a midshipman of the Loire in February, 1800, (see vol. iii. p. 45,) we should have stated that he lost his left leg, and was then under 12 years of age.

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