John Davis Long.

The Naval chronicle : containing a general and biographical history of the royal navy of the United kingdom with a variety of original papers on nautical subjects (Volume 11) online

. (page 40 of 63)
Online LibraryJohn Davis LongThe Naval chronicle : containing a general and biographical history of the royal navy of the United kingdom with a variety of original papers on nautical subjects (Volume 11) → online text (page 40 of 63)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

House, which can alone be removed by serious investigation ? These doubts
must be felt on the most important subject ; whether the naval force, in its pre-
sent state, be competent to the national security ; and if such preparations are
making as will in future place it on a footing adequate to meet the growing exi-
gencies for the public defence. But these documents, which they acknowledge
would create this uncertainty, are not to be supplied, and Parliament i* to bs
left in utter ignorance of these important matters, lest :he people should suppose
there is danger. This is not to claim confidence in Lord St. Vincent, it is to
derogate from his reputation; for to enquire, they tell u;., is to mistrust. What
sort of hope is it, then, with which an i.on. Baronet (bir W. Curtis) is inspired,
which is to dispose him to retire to his pillow, af:er the debate of this night,
in so much confidence and security ? the lo.;g sleep of death seems alone capable
of rendering us insensible, to alarm under these reprcsrntations. if that event
should not tranquillize our feelings, we may survive only to witness the decay
of our marine, the dissipation of our finances, the surrender of the fortunes,
the honour, and the glory of the country. But let it not be said I am trifling
with the feelings of the House by these melancholy view*. 1 believe, with a
fit application of the resources, tiie country may not only be rendered secure,
but triumphant; but with the species ot tahe cjnfidence. of delusion, which is
attempted to be supported, 1 know not what tatal catastrophe m;:y be the result.
I have been very much astonished at the extraordinary turn this debate ha*
taken. Ministers had previously applied to be informed of the nature of the
motions I meant to propose. 1 informed them, and I certa:Hly understood it
was their intentions to accede to two of the motions, without any objections
being suggested."

Mr. Pitt then entered v ith some asperity on the arguments \yhich Mr. Tier-
ney a;.d Professional Men had brought forward against his .Motion : and, <ii-


playing a. mind rather irritati^i than convinced by the various mv.tical informa-
tion that had been brought, forward, concluded in the following manner; again
alluding to tys favourite idea of employing the Merchants' dock yards ; which
the late trial between sir Andrew S. Hammond afid the partners of the late Mr.
Randall, has sufficiently shewn to be pregnant with much danger :

" All the motive of this discussion on my part, is to shew that the exertions in
the naval department are inadequate. Great as may be my respect for .Lord St.
Vincent, I cannot be guilty of the hypocrisy to say, this department of the str-
vicc has been wisely conducted. I have a greater stake even than the reputation
of the Noble Lord, it is no less than the safety and existence of the country, and
the fulfilment of my duty, at this critical juncture, as a Member of the British
Parliament. What in nature can induce the Admiralty, acknowledging as they
do the utility of tins force, thus to circumscribe it. This conduct seems to be go-
verned by some su;/. motive as influenced the 5th Harry, when he would not
have another hero to share in the victory. Are they fearful of adding another
Gun-brig to partake in the glory ? The building in Merchants' yards, they say,
is subject to t-erious objections, .\* i^r as my experience can inform, none of those
that have been stated are capable of being supported. Have we not the besc
mercantile marine in the world ? and is not that erected in these yards ? The
ships of the hast India Company, which are as perfect and complete as any ap-
plied to the purposes of navigation on any service wrutevi r, are built in these
yards. Why then are these extensive dcpozs of private property and public in-
dustry to be so mercilessly decried ? The Hon. Gentleman who was so severe
in his censure on the Merchants' yards, was not less so in his remarks on the pe-
culation in his Majesty's yards, and these he introduced as a defence of the
Noble Lord ; but he was not aware, that he by this defeated his own purpose,
and tended to shew, that the Navy could no where be supplied ; for both in the
private and public institutions for its maintenance, there was such a system of
nefarious dealing, as to make them both equally unfit to be employed." Air.
Pitt concluded his speech with an eloquent panegyric on the gallantry of Lord
St. Vincent, and said, he couM retain his respect and gratitude for his for-
mer services, without neglecting the serious duty he wa* now called upon to

Sir 'James Ptilteney spoke in defence of the conduct of the Board of Admiralty ;
and recapitulating the statements of Sir EJtvard Pti'.tiu, Captain Afartbam, ami
Mr. AdJington, respecting the state and efficiency of our naval force, contended,
that we were able to block up the enemy in their ports, and to deride their me-
naces of invasion.

At half past twelve the House became urgent for the question, and the Gallery
was cleared. A r. Pitt's first and second Motions were agreed <o. Upon the
question being put on the. third, some further discussion took place, introduced
fay IV. r. /c.v. At half past one o'clock the House divided, when the number s

For Mr. PITT'S Motion - 130

Against it - - . - - 201 Majority 71



The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated, that if Gentlemen would take the tron.
ble of looking iuto the third page of the dl.trlbutlon faper, they would perceive
that the total sum granted lor the Naval Service for the year 1803, was
9,951,378!. 135. id., but that the d;mand for the year had been satisfied with
i.1c MIUI 8,174,711!. 145. 2*d and therefore the grant* for the Naval S
exceeded the expenditure Ly the sum of 1,776,6661.183. icrd. This bei:
case, he should propose ihit the amount cf the surplus should go towards the
raising the supply. He should have movzd a grant cf ti:c whole of that sum,
had it not been for a particular circumstance. In the nth pag. of the distribu-
tion paper, it ivould appear there had been several payments ibr other s^r
not being part of the sv^iiesgrautcd for tiie service oi cl-.e jcar, or cnunu.


i5 rach the?? amounted to 579,706!. 75. zd. Ail these payments were made
under Acts of Parliament which admitted of tlieir being taken out of the Ways
and Mean*, it had been usual to vote a sum to make good the payments for
such services; but. in the pn '-::t year, the supply lor naval services having
been more than sufficient by 17.776,667! it was proposed to apply it to the pay-
ment of them. But ; t was not to be understood there had been a saving to that
amount ; in point of fact the navy debt had encreased. The grants were not
more than .ufficient to defray that de;it. The reason of it every Gentleman
was avvai _ of; pjrt of the debt occurred in consequence of the necessity of
completing the arrears of wages of sailors on foreign service, for which bill*
were given, which bills were not yet due. He concluded by moving, " That
towards raiding the supply, there should be issued the sum of 1,370,664!. as. 8|d.
being the surplus -if the gra::

Sir JoL;t S-ncLir wished to be .nfori-i : ^> $he Minister whether the saving*
!n the Navy arose from 1.10 great and meritorious economy of the First Lord
of the Admiralty, or from the number of seamen being less than had been
voted i

The Clafiallor of tie Exchequer sz\&, that there was most certainly a great saving
in expenses, owing to the firm and economical conduct of the First Lord of the
Admiralty i and in thi particular instance, it was to be attributed, partly to
economy, and partly to the deficiency of seamen , the number of whom, how-
ever, was, notwithstanding all difficulties in their way, only 1,50) short, at
present, of the number voted. I'herc had lvv:i great and unprecedented diffi-
culties in the way of; s, 1^.11. Had all of those voted been raised im-
mediately, then probably then; would have been little saving. But he still con-
sidered that saving as a matter of grvjat cncpuragement. There was no sort of
fallacy whatever in the accounts presented. He knew there was a di-po-ition
to impute to him a wish to conce;,! from the public the true state bf their affairs,
but his conduct never should justify such imputation : Had there not been
economy, there might now have been not savings, but arrears.

After some remarks from Air. ^turgea, to which the Chancellor of tie Exchequer
and V'.r. Tieraey replied, and a mutual explanation between Mr. Addiapttn aud
Lord FethlMt, the Resolution was agreed to.



A CCOUNTS from the Isle of France, via Bourdeaux, states that Admiral
"^ Linois had sailed for the Cape of Good Hope, for the purpose of preventing
its falling into the hands of the English.

No Prize Money has as yet been paid in England for the capture of Pondi-
cherry, to either sailors or soldiers; some little distribution has only been made
in India. It b hcwever expected at the India House, that something will be
divided ere long.

Captain Nob'e, of the ship Samuel Elam, arrived at Philadelphia from the
Isle of France, from whence he sailed on the i8th November, and reports, that
Admiral Linois's squadron, which left the Mauritius more than three weeks
before him, had proceeded to Batavia. Captain Noble adds, that several large
privateers had s.iled on a cruise in the Bay of i'engal.

Letters received overland, dated from Bombay, jist December, state, that
the extra ship Huddart, was dispatched from thence for hngland loth Decem-
ber. The Kiphiimone was sent from Bombay to

. Chron. CtoJ.XI. x x


Bombay, Dec. 31. The Bridgwatcr, from Botany Bay, was spoke off Caps
Cameron by the Fame, Allison, arrived here on the 2,th inst. from Bengal.
By her we learn that the Cato, and a ship, name unknown, which sailed in
company with the Bridgwater, were lost, with every person on board, io
ome Streights to the Eastward.


The homeward bound fleet from the Mediterranean arrived under convoy of
the Diana frigate, which has been put under quarantine at Plymouth.

The Queen Charlotte, Andrews, from Smyrna, for London, has been cut
out of 'Gibraltar bay by her crew, and carried into Cadiz, where they were
taken charge of by a French 74 gun ship, and both the ship and the crew are
given up to the English Consul for justice. This was an honourable act on the
part of the enemy, and we hope will serve as an example to all nations.


A part of the Russian naval force is supposed to be destined for Naples, ia
consequence of which the enemy's force in that country has lately received con-
siderable reinforcements, and the King, at the date of the last accounts, was
about to raniove to Sicily. -From Denmark we learn, that the Dutch squadron
still continues- at Bergert, a circumstance at which the Court of Copenhagen is
said to have expressed considerable displeasure ; it being understood, that the
enemy have an intention of making that neutral port a rendezvous for a force
to be employed against some part of Great Britain, probably Scotland. The
Amethyst British frigate is arrived at Bergen, to watch the motions of the


A letter from an Officer m the Squadron off Havre, dated the igth of March,
states, that there are now in the road 14 schooners, 16 large luggers, 14 cutter-
rigged vessels, 7 brigs, and 15 ketches, fully armed and manned. These vessels
are exercised daily at the mouth of the river, and the guard-boats of our squa-
dron row every night within pistol-shot of them, but it is impossible to attack
them with our large ships.

Falmoutb, April 2. Sailed his Majesty's brig Gannet, of 18 guns, Captain
BaSs, on a cruise; the Peterell and Aurora ships cf war, with the outward-
bound West India fleet uader convoy, and proceeded down channel with a fair
wind at East.

Torbay, April 7. Sailed yesterday morning with a light air to tht North-
ward, the whole fleet of West Indiamcn, under convoy of la Trompeuse, for
Falmouth. Arrived yesterday and remain his Majesty's brig Kite, of 18 guns.
Sailed this morning for Plymouth the Resolution cutter.

ast, April 9. Arrived his Majesty's ship Trompeuse, of 18 guns. Cap-
tain Godwin, from Portsmouth to the West Indies, and several vessels from
London ; also the Etna bomb, to give instruction to the outward-bound Medi-
terranean fleet waiting, convoy here. The Leviathan, with the remainder of
the iket, are hourly expected here. Sailed the Diana packet, St. Aubyn, with
mail* of the i;th ult. and 3d inst. for Lisbon.

Torbay, April 14. Kis Majesty's frigate Nemesis, Captain Somerville, yes-
terday hove to outside the Berry Head, sent her boat on shore after her dis-
patches, and then made sail again immediately. This morning arrived from a
cruize, and at present remains, but intends to sail again this. evening, his Ma-
jesty's sloop Pheasant, Captain Cary. Wind N.N.E. with very fine weather.

Falmoutb, April 1 6. Arrived the Busy sloop of war, with several ships under
convoy from the Downs, to join the outward-bound West India Convoy. The
Hazard sloop of war was spoke with on the ijih uisuiu, to the N.E. of St.
Ive's. Wind N.E.


fj, April 17. This day arrived the French schooner Mare'ngo, from
Goree, having on board Colonel Frazer and 47 troops ; they have been two
months on their passage, and were obliged to put into Teneriffe for refresh-
ment : The Defence cutter, Captain Burrows, from a cruize : His Majesty's
brig Busy, of 18 guns, Captain Clinch, from the Downs, to give instructions to
the ships waiting convoy for the West Indies. Sailed the Fox cutter, Lieu-
tenant Nicholson, to join the fleet off Brest : The Auckland packet, Skeyler, with
a King's messenger and a mail for Lisbon.


March 27. Came in yesterday from the command of the In-shore squadron
off Brest outer road to refit, the Foudroyant, 84 guns, Rear- Admiral Sir T.
Graves, K.B. ; she remains in Cawsand Bay : The Prince Frederick, 64 guns,
Lieutenant Gordon, moved yesterday into Cawsand Bay, to lie there as a block
or guard-ship. Sailed the Venerable, 74 guns, Captain Dacres, to join the in-
shore squadron off Brest. Sir E. Pellew. Bart, sailed in the Tenant, 84 guns,
for his blockading station off Ferrol and Corunna; and the Spartiate, 84 guns,
Capt. Manley, i to follow in a few days ibr the same station ; there will then
be nine sail of the line, besides frigates and

28 Came in front the squadron off Ferroi, to refit, the Ardent, 64 guns.
Captain Winthrop. Letters from one of our cruisers state, that there are only
three line of battle ships and four frigates in Ro^hefort, so that two must have
escaped, and two frig-aces; whither bound is uncertain. This frigate was chased
on her station by a French line of battle ship ai.d a frigate, supposed going to
1'Orient, for a whole day ; but escaped by superior saihng. The Colossus, 74
guns, Capt. Seymour, chased a French corvette of i8g'<ns a few days since, but
she got into port by favour of the night. Sailed some transports, w . di troops
for Guernsey, to join their respective regiments, under convoy of a cuuer. The
"West India fleet, 30 sail, with the Aurora, 36 guns, Capt. Malbon, are now
abreast of Poulet Point for Falmouth, with a tine leading wjn'd at E.N.E.

April i. The account of the melancholy loss of that fine ship, the Magnifi-
cent, of 74 guns, Cape. W. R. Jervis, is confirmed. The Topaz, of 36 guns,
Capt. Luke, arrived in the Sound with the account yesterday morning early:-
the Magnificent was lost by striking on a ledge of snnken rocks, not laid down
in the charts, near the Black Rocks, off Brest, a few days since. The Captain,
Officers, and crew, were all providentially saved by the exertions of the boats
of the off-shore squadron ; her Officers and crew were all out but a short period
when she turned over, and went down ; so that her stores and guns, with the
hull, are totally lost, and will be of no use to the enemy. Thus has perished
one of the finest 74*8 in the service, of her size and class ; she was built in 1766,
at Deptford [See Naval Chronicle, Vol. I, Appendix,] and has been in con-
stant service during different wars, and generally a favourite ship.

7.. Arrived from off Brest, the Colossus, of 74 guns, Captain Seymour, with
Captain Jervis, the Officers, and the greater part of the crew of the Magnificent.
It is with concern we state, that the Officers of Marines, and about 80 men, in
the hurry of trying to save themselves, got on board a large launch, and have
not since been heard of, though it is hoped they have been picked up by some
of our cruiEers, or made prisoners. It is said Captain Jervis suffers a great loss
in a complete service of plate, worth 1500! which went down with the wreck.
This was a present of a noble ftiend and relation. The Magnificent went into
dock at this yard, about five or six years since, and received a most complete
and thorough repair. Fvery defective plank, band, knee, rib, &c. were taken
out, and replaced with sound timber, by the care of the then builder, and his
assistants of the dock yard. When she was turned out of dock, after two years'
repair, she was in every respect equal to a ship just off the stocks. Letters from
one of our cruizers, dated the beginning of February off Scilly, state the loss of
the Raven brig corvette, of 18 guns, but that all the cr^w were saved, and on
board the Kent, of 74 guns. The Raven was originally 1'Arethuse. taken from
the French by the Excellent, Hon. R. StppforJ, BC4r 1'Orient, October JCth


4. Arrived from the fleet off Brest, which she left all well on the ist inst.
the Niobe, 44 guns, Captain Scott. The enemy's fleet as usual. When the
Officers of the Royal Marines, and the remainder of the ship's company of the
Magnificent, of 74 guns, ahout eighty-four in number, were last seen in the
hunch of the Impctueux, of 84 guns, it blew hard, with a heavy sea, and the
men were seen baling out water ; but as there was a small island leeward of the
launch, there were hopes entertained that they might reach it, and save their
Jives, though made prisoners.

5. Cams up from Falmouth, after having convoyed to that port 30 sail of
transports and ships for the W>st Indies, to join fhe Ptterell's convoy of 40
sail (since sailed for the Leeward Islands), the Aurora, 32 guns, Captain Mal-
bon. Came in from Cork, last from Falmouth, with a convoy, the Nymph
cutter, 14 guns, Lieutenant Bettesworth, to refit.


Marct 23. This day sailed the Falcon cutter, with several West India ships
under convoy, for Falmouth, there to join the outward-bound fleet. His
.Majesty's ship Aionzo, Captain Impey, this morning went out of harbour to

25. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have (through the repre-
sentation of Captain O'hryen, commanding the Sea Fencibles on this coast)
accepted the voluntary offer of several Captains, Commanders, and Lieutenant^
of the Navy, on half-pay, to render every service in their power, should the
enemy attempt a landing on this part of the coast.

April i. This morning sailed his Majesty's ship Trompeuse, of iS guns,
Captain Godwin, for Ireland. Several outward-bound West India ships went
with her to join the convoy at Falmouth. Sailed also the Ariadne, of 32 guns,
Captain Elphinstone, on a cruise. His Majesty's ship Athenian, of 74 guns,
Captain Faverman, is gone out of the harbour to Spithead; she is a remarkably
fine ship, and it is supposed she will be ordered to the East Indies. The Revo-
lutionaire frigate, Captain Lock, is paid off.

3. This morning arrived the Union East Tndiaman, and four ships from the
Fouth Sea. Also his Majesty's thip Busy and Pluto, from a cruize, and a con-
voy from the Downs, among which was the Perseverance outward-bound East
India ship. The Leviathan, of 74 guns, Captain .jaymun, with the trade for
Gibraltar and Malta, is still lying at St. Helen's. The Eurydice frigate,
appointed to take the convoy to Newfoundland, is quite ready, aad only waits
the arrival of some ships from the river.

5. Arrived the Tribune frigate from a cruise, and the Whitby transport
from the Downs. Sailed the Falcon Revenue cutter with the Union, from
Madras, and five homeward-bound South .Sea Men, under convoy for th$
Downs. The Eurydice frigate has a signal for the coast of Africa.


Deal, Morel 43. Little wind at N. N. W. Sailed on a cruise the Conflict
gun-brig, Lieutenant Lowe. Arrived the Admiral Mitchell cutter, Lieutenant
Sheppard, from Dover Roads, and remain in the Downs with his Majesty's
ships and vessels.

25. Nothing satisfactory respecting the late movement of the Boulogne flo-
tilla has yet transpired,, and we arc consequently in a ftate of uncertainly, thougk'
from the circuniltance of no heavy firing being heard, we are inclined to be-
lieve that the whole was nothing more than one of their manoeuvring move-
ments. Oue thing, however, seems generally believed hy the moil intelligent
persons, that a much greater number of their flotilla cnn ;et cut on one side
than was heretofore supposed the heft informed say, from :co fo 300 sail.
An order has arrived from the Board of Customs, for all the (; {Seers and persons;
in their employ to sail immediately with their large boat* and galleys, and put
themselves under the command of Captain Owen, The extra boat, coinnri^ Jed,


by Mr. Heard, has already sailed. In consequence of a sudden shift of the wind
to the S. W. at three o'clock P. M. a part of our blockading squadron are now
coming into the Downs, the gale being so strong, as to make a lee shore on an,
enemy's coast very dangerous. The remainder will stand over to Dungencss.
It has blown hard from the S. W. all this morning. Sailed to Sheerness the Vul-
ture sloop, Captain Green ; and Speedy sloop, Captain i/'igott ; also, for the
River, the Hon. East India Company's ship Wilpole, from India. Came dov. n
from Sheerness, la Virginie frigate, Captain P.eresford; also from the River, the
Hon. P.ast India Company's ship Ruby, Captain Blake, for the Haft Indies. Ar-
rived the Squirrel frigate, Dart sloop of war, and Basilisk gun-brig, from a. cruise ;
and the Curlew sloop of war from the westward.

26. Wind S. S. W. Arrived yesterday evening the Diana frigate, from the
Mediterranean, with convoy, which are sailed for the River. Arrived the Eu-
ryalus and Siene frigates; the Autumn, Harpy, and Bonetta sloops of war;
Fury and Vesuvius bombs; Minx and Locust gun-brigs, having been by the
ctrong south west gales blown from off their cruising stations from the French'
coast; and remain in the Downs with his Majesty's ships ; and the outward-
bound as per last. The Diana frigate is released from quarantine, and is now
under sail for the westward. The Spider sloop has a signal for convoy to the
westward. The whole of the Boulogne squadron have been blown in. The
enemy, it appears, had sevsnty five of their boats in the roads, but the late
gale came on so suddenly that very few of thrm were able to get back safe into
the harbour, borne were driven on shore,; others were obliged to run for Calais ;
and from the confusion observed among them, there can be no doubt that they
experienced a very heavy loss. Among the frigates which have arrived here to
reinforce the squadron is the Virgin ie, which 1 am happy has not been found so
defective as was some time ago represented. The weather at present is mode*
rate, and therefore I suppose that our blockading squadron will soon resume its
station. "1 he British squadron now cruising off the Texel, under the command
of Admiral Thornborough, consists of the Ruby, Defence, Hero, Princess, of
Orange, Raisonable, Unicorn frigate, and Scorpion brig.

27. Wind S. S. W. Sailed la Chiffonne and Euryalus frigates, on a cruise
off Boulogne ; and the Perseus bomb for Yarmouth.

a8. Wind C. N. E. Came down from the River, and sailed through the
Downs, the Hon. East India Company's ship Asia, for the Last Indies, failed
his Majesty's ships Illustrious, Captain Sir Charles Hamilton ; 1'Imperieuse fri-
gate; Squirrel ditto. Captain Browne; Dart sloop of war. Captain Brownrigg;
Harpy ditto, Captain Hey wood ; Fury bomb, Captain Laiigford; Locust gun-
brig, Lieutenaut Lake ; Milbrook schooner, Lieutenant Stark; with several other
ships of war, on a cruise off Boulogne. Also the Spider sloop with the outward-

Online LibraryJohn Davis LongThe Naval chronicle : containing a general and biographical history of the royal navy of the United kingdom with a variety of original papers on nautical subjects (Volume 11) → online text (page 40 of 63)