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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
Overtakes and en
1808. chased a sail in the north-north-west. At 4 h. 30 m.
Guelderland, already named as the object of the
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-
The Virginie came out of the action with so trifling
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
Her surren der.
Losson each side.
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.
1808. and 18-gun brig-sloop Grasshopper, (16 carronades,
convoy being then abreast of the town of Rota, the
At 4 P. M., the shot and shells from the gun-boats
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
In the heat of the action the first lieutenant of 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,
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.