« AnteriorContinuar »
musketry of several french soldiers drawn up on the 1808. beach, and a fire from one of the polacre's guns, which had been landed for her defence. In the face of all this, the British brought out the vessel, which proved to be the Concepcion, mounting four guns, from Genoa bound to the island of Cyprus with bale goods.
This gallant exploit was not accomplished without loss: one seaman was killed, another seaman and the lieutenant of marines mortally wounded, the latter with three musket-balls, and seven men wounded, some of them also mortally. If we have not to add that, for this act of gallantry, as well as for his general zeal and ability in the service, lieutenant Smith received the customary promotion, it is, we have reason to think, because captain Duncan's letter on the subject to vice-admiral lord Collingwood miscarried, and the duplicate, sent some time afterwards, did not reach his lordship at all, in consequence of his death.
On the 26th of June, at daylight, the british 64gun ship Standard, captain Thomas Harvey, cruising Boats off the island of Corfu, discovered and chased an Standitalian gun-vessel and a french despatch-boat. At 9 ard off A. M., the wind failing, captain Harvey sent the pinnace, with lieutenant Richard Cull, and the eightoared cutter, with captain Edward Nicolls, of the marines, in chase. After rowing two hours, in very hot weather, the British approached the gun-vessel, and received from her a fire of musketry; which the boats returned with their swivels, and, on drawing near, with their musketry. As the two boats were advancing on each quarter, the gun-vessel pulled short round and fired her long 4-pounder at the cutter, which happened to be the leading boat. Heedless of this, Capcaptain Nicolls dashed at, boarded, and carried, the Volpe. italian gun-boat Volpe, commanded by enseigne de vaisseau Micheli Mangin, and mounting one long 4-pounder, with 20 men, well armed.
The pinnace immediately pushed on in chase of the despatch-boat, which was the Léger, having a
1808. well-armed crew of 14 men. The Standard's yawl, June. which had been previously sent to cut off this vessel,
soon obliged her to run on shore. The french crew, Léger. on landing, formed on the rocks, and endeavoured
to prevent the yawl's approach; but lieutenant
without any known loss on that of the enemy.
new ministry sent out an embassy under sir Arthur Paget, to endeavour to restore peace, in stanti- concert with a russian plenipotentiary, the celebrated nople. corsican chief, Pozzi de Borgo. To give weight to
the negotiation, vice-admiral lord Collingwood, with
The intelligence of the peace of Tilsit sent the
went up alone to Constantinople, in the 38-gun Failure frigate Thetis, captain William Henry Gage. Either of ne intimidated or cajoled by the french emperor, the
Sublime Porte would come to no terms, and on or
Towards the end of the year, upon an understandnot to ing between the Porte and lord Collingwood, that
horse sent there.
no turkish men of war were to cruise in the Ægean 1808. sea, and no tribute to be exacted from the inhabit- June. ants of the greek islands, the british admiral quitted send the Archipelago; and, early in the year 1808, ships in detached the 38-gun frigate Seahorse, captain chipeJohn Stewart, to cruise there, with particular direc- lago. tions to see that the compact entered into with the SeaPorte in favour of the Greeks was strictly complied with,
It appears that a band of Epirots, who had been taken into the pay and service of Russia, upon being disbanded at the peace of Tilsit and thrown upon their former måsters the Turks, had taken possession of Dromo and Saraguino, two small islands situated at the mouth of the gulf of Salonica ; whence, with large boats, they laid the coast, as far as the Dardanells, under contribution, and made prize of all vessels going to Constantinople. The tribute from these countries, being paid principally in corn, was thus intercepted; and the Turks, having no force outside of the Dardanells sufficient to crush this nest of pirates, made application to captain Stewart, to know whether he would interfere with Turks any squadron sent for that purpose. Being aware leave what would be the next object of the turkish com- to send mander after he had put down the pirates, captain dron Stewart replied, that he should repel by force any against ships attempting, in violation of the treaty, to come pirates. out of the Dardanells.
The Porte, however, having received intelligence Send that no other british ship than the Seahorse was one in cruising in the Archipelago, despatched' a squadron, ance. composed of two frigates, two corvettes, two mortarvessels, and some xebecs, upon the service in view. In the latter end of June this squadron anchored off the island of Dromo, made a landing, and surrounded the town of the pirates situated upon a peak. But the freebooters, in the mean time, had despatched a fast-sailing boat to the island of Sira near Tino, where the Seahorse lay at anchor.
Falls in with
The intelligence reached captain Stewart on July
the 1st of July; and he instantly got under way,
and began working up against a north-north-east horse wind. Nothing of consequence occurred until the search 5th, at noon; when the Seahorse spoke a greek of it. ship, from Gritchery to Malta, the master of which
ship confirmed the accounts previously received of
from the south-east, captain Stewart dismissed the twrkish ship and made all sail to the north-west. At 4 P. M., frigates the weather becoming squally from the north-east
with rain, the Seahorse was obliged to reduce her
Before we proceed further in the narrative, we
The net complement of the Seahorse was 281 men and boys; but, having several men absent in prizes, she had at this time on board only 251. The ship measured 998 tons.
The Badere-Zaffer, captain Scandril Kichuc-Ali, Badere mounted upon the main deck 30 brass guns, of three Zaffer different calibers : on each side, at the centre or Alis- broadest part of the ship, was a french 36-pounder; Fezan. the two next guns on each side of that gun were french
24-pounders, and the remaining 10 upon the broad
Force of the Seahorse.
Force of the
side, french 18-pounders. On the quarterdeck, includ- 1808. ing two stern-chasers, the turkish frigate had 14 long July. french 12-pounders, and on the forecastle, including two bow-chasers, six guns of the same caliber, all brass ; making in the whole 52 guns. Her crew, including some supernumeraries received from the galley, amounted to 543 men; and, as a proof that she was well able to carry the armament established upon her, the Badere-Zaffer measured nearly 1300 tons. The Alis-Fezan, captain Duragardi-Ali, mounted 24 long brass french 12-pounders on the main deck, and two mortars in the centre of the ship, with a crew, partly taken out of the galley, (which had been ordered back to a port of safety,) of 230
In point of size, the Alis-Fezan was about 730 tons. As single-decked ships and turkish men of war,
Capt. the Badere-Zaffer and Alis-Fezan excited no alarm preon board the british frigate; and, with colours pares hoisted, the Seahorse continued standing to the east- tack ward to interrupt them in their course to the south- them. ward. Either because the turkish commodore was confident in his strength, or that he had no suspicion of an attack, the two ships did not in the slightest degree deviate from the course they were steering.
At 9 h. 30 m. P. M., the Seahorse having arrived Seaabreast and to-windward of the Badere-Zaffer, the hails weathermost of the two ships, captain Stewart, by and. means of the pilot, a native of Gibraltar, who had her formerly been a captive in the hands of the Turks, fire. and had afterwards served as a slave on board the Sultan Selim, hailed the turkish commodore, and ordered him to surrender to the british frigate. This captain Scandril flatly refused, and into the Badere hull of the Badere-Zaffer went a whole double- returns shotted broadside of the Seahorse. Nor was the it. turkish frigate slow in returning the fire. 'In this way, with the wind a light breeze about two points abaft the starboard beam, the two frigates went off engaging ; the Badere-Zaffer gradually edging away to close her consort, who was about a gun-shot