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sea, fell in with the French privateer-schooner Sans-Souci, of Amsterdam, mounting ten 12-pounder carronades and four long 2-pounders, with a complement of 55 men, commanded by Jules Jacobs. After an anxious chase of eight hours, the Briseis succeeded in bringing the schooner to action, which the latter maintained, in the most determined manner, for one hour; the two vessels touching each other the greater part of the time, and during which the privateer's men made three vain attempts to board the British brig. The Sans-Souci then struck her colours, with the loss of eight men killed and 19 wounded; and the Briseis sustained a loss of one master's mate (Alexander Gunn), her captain's clerk (James Davidson), and two seamen killed, and eight seamen and three marines badly wounded: a proof that the privateer was fought with skill as well as with resolution.
On the 25th of October, at 7 A. M., in latitude 54° 47' north, and longitude 2° 45' east, the British 10-gun brig-sloop Calliope (same force as Briseis), Captain John M'Kerlie, discovered a schooner in the south-east under easy sail standing towards her. As the vessel, evidently a. privateer, appeared to take the Calliope for a merchant brig, Captain M'Kerlie thought it prudent not to set any additional sail until the stranger found out her mistake. At 8 h. 30 m. A. M., when about three miles off, the privateer made the discovery, and instantly bore up and crowded sail to escape. . *
The Calliope was quickly in chase, and at 10 h. 30 m. A. M. began an occasional fire from her bow-chasers. At 11 A. M. she got near enough to fire musketry; but the Calliope could not bring her great guns to bear, as the schooner kept on her lee bow. At 11 h. 30 m, A.m. the brig got far enough advanced to open a fire of round and grape. At noon the schooner lost her mainmast by the board; and, in a minute or two afterwards, having had the sails and rigging on the foremast cut to pieces, her captain hailed that he struck. The prize proved to be the Comtesse d'Hambourg of 14 guns, eight of them 12-pounder carronades, and six described as 8-pounders, with a crew of 51 men. Of these, doubtless, several must have been killed and wounded; but the official account notices no other loss than that of the Calliope, which consisted of only three men wounded, two of them slightly.
On the 27th of October, at daylight, latitude 48° 30' north, longitude 8° 56' west, the British 16-gun brig-sloop Orestes, (14 carronades, 24-pounders, and two sixes, with 95 men and boys), captain John Richards Lapenotiere, fell in with, and after an hour's chase overtook, the French brig-privateer Loup-Garou, of 16 guns, (6-pounders probably), and 100 men and boys. After about half an hour's close action, the privateer hauled down her colours, with the loss of four men wounded, two of them dangerously. The Orestes suffered no damage of consequence, and had not a man of her crew hurt.
On the 8th of November, in the evening, as the British 12
emnder 32-gun frigate Quebec, Captain Charles Sibthorpe John awtayne, was running past the Vlie and Schelling, to resume her station before the fexel, a very fine French privateerschooner was observed at anchor within the Vlie stroom. Lieutenant Stephen Popham, first of the frigate, immediately volunteered his services to make an attempt upon the vessel. The Quebec now brought to just without the sands and in sight of the enemy: and three boats, the first commanded by lieutenant Popham, the second by lieutenant Richard Augustus Yates, and the third by master's mate John M'Donald, pushed off. There were also present in the boats, Gilbert Duncan the captain's clerk, and Charles Ward "gentleman volunteer." The schooner to be attacked was the Jeune-Louise, of 14 guns, (six 12, and eight 9-pounder carronades,) and 35 out of a complement of 60 men, commanded by "Captain Galien Lafont, capitaine de vaisseau and a member of the legion of honour."
The three boats had to pull against a very strong tide, and they found the schooner closely surrounded by sands and fully prepared for the attack. At 9 h. 30 m. p. M., when within pistol-shot of the Jeune-Louise, the three boats grounded on the sand, and in that situation received three distinct broadsides of cannon and musketry. Notwithstanding this, Lieutenant Popham and his party extricated themselves, and boarded and carried the vessel, the French captain falling in a personal conflict with Lieutenant Yates. The British loss on the occasion amounted to one seaman killed, one wounded, and one drowned: one of the boats also was destroyed. The French had one seaman, besides the captain, killed, and one wounded.
A difficult part of the enterprise was still unaccomplished, to get out the schooner from among the sands and shoals by which she was surrounded. This was at length effected; and at daybreak on the 9th, after a long and anxious night passed by captain Hawtayne and his officers, their fears were relieved by the sight of the schooner, with English colours over French, beating out of the enemy's harbour, through the intricate navigation of the passage. With respect to the alleged rank of the late captain of the Jeune-Louise, we think Lieutenant Popham must have been imposed upon by some of the prisoners; for we can find no such name as Galien Lafont, among the capitaines de vaisseau of the French navy: there was in 1810 a Mathias Lafond, "an officer of the legion of honour," but he was alive in 1812.
Some allusion has already been made to the immense works going on in the port of Cherbourg, by the orders of the French emperor. The principal improvement consisted of a basin capable of holding from 30 to 40 sail of the line with sufficient water at its entrance to float the largest ship when ready for sea, About 20 line-of-battle ships could also anchor in the roadstead, sheltered from every wind, as soon as the dike, then constructing at a vast expense, should be finished. From attacks of another sort the ships were also well defended, the three strong fortifiy cations of Pelee, Fort Napoleon, and Querqueville completelcommanding the road. No port belonging to France was so well calculated as Cherbourg, for carrying on offensive operations in the channel; not only from its centrical and projecting situation, but from the facility with which, with any wind in moderate weather, ships can sail in and out of it. Strong gales from north to north-west would, however, occasion a difficulty in getting out, on account of the heavy swell that such winds usually raise in the principal passage. But it is scarcely possible for one or two ships cruising outside to prevent vessels sailing in the night from Cherbourg, as strong tides, deep water, and a rocky bottom prevent the ships from anchoring; and they cannot, at all times, keep close enough in to see a vessel under the land. This accounts for the escape of so many French frigates from Cherbourg, until, on the arrival there in the summer of 1809 of the two French line-of-battle ships Courageux and Polonais,* the port became regularly blockaded.
In the autumn of the present year, the British force cruising off the port of Cherbourg consisted of the 74-gun ships Donegal, Captain Pulteney Malcolm, and Revenge, Captain the Honourable Charles Paget; with occasionally a frigate and a brig-sloop, to be ready to meet the new French 40-gun frigate Iphigenie, launched on the 10th of the preceding May, and a 16-gun brigcorvette, which now lay in company with the two line-of-battle ships, watching an opportunity to sail out. In the middle of October the Alcmene, a second 40-gun frigate from off the stocks in the arsenal, joined the Iphigenie, and was soon in equal readiness for a cruise. In the neighbouring port of Havre, lay also wot new 40-gun frigates, the Amazone, Captain BernardLouis Rousseau, and the Eliza, Captain Louis-Henri FreycinetSaulce; hoping to elude the vigilance of the two British 38 gun frigates, Diana, Captain Charles Grant, and Niobe, Captain John Wentworth Loring, and, at all events, to get to Cherbourg, as the preferable port, although watched by a British force, for an escape to sea.
On the 12th of November, at 10 P. M., favoured by a strong north-east wind, the Amazone and Eliza sailed from Havre, and steered to the north west. At half an hour after midnight, by which time the wind had shifted to north by east, the two French frigates and the Diana and Niobe gained a sight of each other, the two latter to-leeward and in-shore of the former. Captain
See p. 165.
Rousseau, doubtful probably of the force of the two ships in chase of him, continued his course, but could not, on account of the change in the wind, weather Cape Barfleur, nor, without some difficulty, the isles of St.-Marcouf. At 4 A. M. on the 13th the two French frigates tacked off shore. The Diana who lay on the starboard bow of the Amazone, the leading frigate, tacked also; while the Niobe, as she came up ahead of the Diana on the starboard tack, passed to-windward of the two frigates, and pushed on to endeavour to cut them off, particularly the Eliza, from the narrow passage at the west end of Marcouf. In the mean time the Diana had also tacked to the westward, and, passing close to-windward of the two French frigates, exchanged with them two ineffectual broadsides. The latter then bore up, and, being better acquainted with the navigation of the spot, succeeded in entering the passage of Marcouf; under the batteries of which island they anchored. At 11 A. M. the Amazone and Eliza weighed, and kept under sail between Marcouf and the main until 3 P. M.; when, observing that the Diana and Niobe had been drifted by the ebb-tide to the northward of Cape Barfleur, they steered for the road of Lahougue. Here the two French frigates anchored, under the protection of a strong battery.
On the 14th, in the morning, Captain Grant despatched the Niobe to Captain Malcolm of the Donegal, cruizing off Cherbourg, with intelligence of the situation of the enemy's ships, and then made all sail to the anchorage of Lahougue. In the mean time, owing to a strong gale from the southward in the night, the Eliza had dragged her anchors, and had been obliged to strike her topmasts, and throw overboard a part of her stores and provisions, to save herself from being lost on the rocks. At 1 P.m. the Diana came to an anchor, and on the morning of the 15th, at the first of the flood, weighed and stood in to attack the Amazone; who, in her present position, appeared more assailable than her consort. But the Amazone quickly got under way, and proceeded close to the shoals of St.-Vaast; where she again anchored between the batteries of Lahougue and Tatillon. Captain Grant, being resolved nevertheless to make the attack, stood in twice close alongside of the Amazone; but, having to sustain, not only the frigate's fire, but the fire of two powerful batteries, the Diana was compelled to abandon the attempt. Shortly afterwards the Donegal, Revenge, and Niobe arrived, and renewed the attack; the four ships successively opening their broadsides while going about. In this way they stood in three times, bringing their guns to bear only when head to wind. At 1 p. M., the British ships, having been drifted to-leeward by the ebb-tide, desisted from the attack, and anchored out of gunshot. All four ships suffered more or less in masts, sails, rigging, and hull: the Diana had one man wounded, the Donegal three, and the Revenge seven, two of them mortally. On board the Amazone, the French acknowledged only one man killed and none wounded.
Having on board the Donegal some of Colonel Congreve's rockets, Captain Malcolm, the same evening, sent the boats, under the orders of Lieutenant Joseph Needham Tayler, to try their effect upon the two French frigates. Although, ai daylight on the 16th, the latter was observed to be aground, and one, the Eliza, to heel considerably, neither frigate, according to the French accounts, sustained any injury from the rockets. Both frigates afterwards got afloat; and on the night of the 27th, just as Captains Malcolm and Grant were meditating to send in a fire-ship, the Amazone gave them the slip, and, before the dawn of day on the 28th, was safe at anchor in the port of Havre. The Eliza'was watched with increased attention, and on the 6th of December was attacked by a bomb-vessel. This compelled the frigate to move further in; and she eventually got aground. Here the Eliza lay a wreck until the night of the 23d, when the Diana sent her boats, under the command of Lieutenant Thomas Rowe, and effectually destroyed her.
On the 15th of November, at a little before midnight, the British 14-gun brig-sloop Phipps, Captain Christopher Bell, standing across from the Downs to the coast of France, fell in with and chased a French lugger-privateer; who led the Phipps close under Calais, and so near in-shore, that the brig was obliged, although firing grape-shot into the lugger, to discontinue the chase. Observing, while in chase of this lugger, two others lying to windward, Captain Bell considered that, by beating up in-shore of them, the Phipps might escape their
at 5 A.m. on the 16th closed and commenced an action with one of the luggers. For a quarter of an hour the lugger maintained an incessant fire of musketry, and appeared determined to run on shore. As the only means of frustrating this design, especially as the brig was already in three and a half fathoms' water, the Phipps ran alongside of her antagonist and poured in her broadside; under the smoke of which, Lieutenant Robert Tryon, assisted by master's mate Patrick Wright, and Mr. Peter Geddes the boatswain, at the head of a party of seamen, boarded, and in a few minutes carried, the lugger; which proved to be the Barbier-de-Seville, a perfectly new vessel, two days from Boulogne, mounting 16 guns, with 60 men, commanded by Francois Brunet.
The loss sustained by the Phipps amounted to one seaman killed, and Lieutenant Tryon, the gallant leader of the boarding party, dangerously wounded. But the loss on the part of the privateer was much more severe, she having had six men killed and 11 wounded, including among the latter every one of her officers except the second captain. The effect of the welldirected fire of the Phipps upon the hull of the Barbier-deVol. v. B
notice until far enough to fetch them.