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wards of lock-jaw. A court-martial sat on board the Gla-
diator, at Portsmouth, on the 30th of May, 1814, for the
trial of the surviving officers and crew, when the court
acquitted them of all blame, and attributed the brig's capture
to the early loss of the officers, and to the captain's not
returning to the deck after his wound was dressed by the
surgeon. The court eulogized the conduct of James Flax-
man, the boatswain, which indeed formed a noble contrast to
the dastardly behaviour of more than one of the Alacrity's

On the 26th of May, in the morning, Commander John
Toup Nicolas, in the 18-gun brig Pilot, observing four
settees on the beach almost immediately under the town of
Strongoli, near the entrance of the Gulf of Taranto, despatched
her boats under the orders of Lieutenants Alexander Camp-
bell and Francis C. Annesley, the master, Roger Langland,
Master's Mate Heniy P. Simpson, Midshipman John Barnes,

md Scotten, the carpenter, to endeavour to bring

them off. The Pilot at the same time anchored as near to
the shore as the shoal water would permit. In spite of the
opposition offered by a large body of mounted gendarmes,
foot soldiers, and militia, the party effected a landing, and,
ifter dislodging the enemy from an advantageous position,
shree of the vessels were brought off, and the fourth de-
stroyed. This service was performed without the loss of a
nan, and with only one wounded.


On the 27th of June, while the lG-gun brig Guadaloupe,
Commander Joseph S. Tetley, was cruising off Cape Creus,
on the north coast of Spain, two strange sail were observed
to leeward, which proved to be the French 18-gun brig
Tactique and 8-gun xebeck Guepe. Captain Tetley,
determined on engaging, continued to bear down on the-
enemy, which, under French colours, awaited the Guada-
loupe's approach. At a little before lh. p.m., the starboard
broadside of the Tactique was fired at the Guadaloupe, but
the latter continuing to stand on, passed under the stern of
the French brig, and raked her with considerable effect, after
which she stationed herself on the Tactique's lee-beam, and
a smart action ensued, in which the xebeck joined. At
lh. 30m. the crew of the Tactique attempted to board, but
they were repulsed with great slaughter. The action con-
tinued until 2h. 15m., when the Tactique bore up for the
batteries of St. Andre, whither the Guepe had preceded her.
The Guadaloupe, in her gallant encounter, suffered much in
sails and rigging ; but had only one man killed, and the first
lieutenant and nine men severely, and several slightly
wounded. It was subsequently ascertained that the loss of
the Tactique amounted to eleven killed, and sixteen mor-
tally, and thirty-two dangerously and slightly wounded.

On the 4th of July, at daylight, the boats of the Unite,
Captain Edwin H. Chamberlayne, cruising on the Italian
coast, were sent away to cut out an armed brig at anchor off
Port Hercule. The officers employed on this service were,
Lieutenant Joseph W. Crabb, Lieutenant of marines George
Victor, and Michael Dwyer, Henry Collins, and Duncan
Hutchinson, master's mates. On the approach of the boats,
the brig, which was the St. Francois-de-Paule, mounting
eight guns, and protected by a battery of two 8-pounders
on the beach, opened fire on the boats. The light winds
preventing the ship from approaching to co-operate, Lieute-
nant John M'Dougal was sent with the launch to support
the other boats ; but before his arrival, the brig was cap-
tured, and out of range of the fire from the battery.

At 9h. a.m. the 18-gun brig Cephalus, Commander Augustus
W. J. Clifford, having joined company, both stood along the
coast in search of an enemy. At oh. p.m. several vessels ^yere
seen near Civita Vecchia, upon which Commander Clifford,


whose acquaintance with the coast was good, offered to lead
into the anchorage, and take charge of the boats, should
Captain Chamberlayne require their services. The Cephalus
accordingly stood in, and anchored under a battery of four
8-pounders, where she was soon joined by the Unite. The
French were driven from their guns by the united fire of the
British ships, after which the boats brought away three mer-
chant vessels, in the face of a smart fire of musketry from
the shore. The master of the Cephalus, Isaac Simon, was
the only person wounded.

On the 21st of July, the 32-gun frigate Thames, Captain
Charles Napier, joined the Cephalus off Porto del Infreschi,
into which the latter had on the day previously driven a
French convoy of twenty-six sail. Followed by the Thames,
the Cephalus entered the harbour, and both ships opened fire
on eleven French gun-boats and a felucca, mounting between
them six long 1 8-pounders, two carronades, and three brass
and two iron 6-pounders, and manned with 280 men. The
enemy's fire was soon silenced, and while the boats under
Commander Clifford took possession of the vessels, the ma-
rines, commanded by Lieutenant David M'Adam, landed,
and stormed a martello-tower, making an officer and eighty
men prisoners. This service occupied in its execution about
two hours, and was attended with no other casualty than
Hood Douglas, boatswain, and three men of the Cephalus,
wounded. The Thames and Cephalus, with all the prizes
in company, and thirty large spars intended for the ships of
war building at Naples, then got underway, and proceeded
to sea.

On the 27th of July, the boats of the Active, Captain
James A. Gordon, at anchor off the town of Ragosniza, in
the Adriatic, were despatched, under Lieutenants William
Wilmot Henderson, George Haye, and Robert Gibson, Lieu-
tenant of marines John Mears, and Master's mates and Mid-
shipmen Charles Friend, Henry Law, Redmond Moriarty,
Norwich Duff, William Simpkins, Joseph Cammilleri, Na-
thaniel Barwell, Charles Bentham, George Moore, William
Woods, and William T. Robinson, to attack a convoy of ,
twenty-eight vessels, laden with grain for the garrison of
Ragusa. The entrance to the creek in which the vessels had
taken shelter being very narrow, and commanded by three

VOL. II. 2 B


gun-boats, Lieutenants Henderson, Haye, and Mears, and
Mr. Friend, with, the small-arm men and marines, landed on
the right bank, to take possession of a hill, leaving Lieute-
nant Gibson to attack the gun-boats, as soon as the precon-
certed signal announced that the shore party had reached
the desired point. Lieutenant Henderson and his party
gained the hill, and after making the signal, repaired to ren-
der assistance, if necessary, to Lieutenant Gibson ; but the
attack of that officer on the gun-boats had been so vigorous,
that their crews jumped overboard, and escaped to the shore.
The guns of these vessels were then turned upon the enemy,
and the whole convoy was captured without the loss of a
man to the British, and with only four wounded in the boats.
Ten of the vessels were set on fire, and the remainder, with
the gun-boats, brought off.

On the 25th of July, Lieutenant Edmund Lyons, in com-
mand of the launch and cutter of the 74-gun ship Minden,
having been ordered to land some Dutch prisoners at Batavia,
conceived the bold design of gaining possession of a strong
fort at the north-east extremity of Java. An attack had been
meditated with the boats of the squadron cruising off Batavia,
which had been laid aside in consequence of the great strength
of its garrison, but Lieutenant Lyons, with two boats and
thirty-five officers and men, voluntarily undertook a service
for which 450 men had been deemed insufficient. This offi-
cer, however, was one of those who accompanied Captain Cole
in his assault of Fort Belgica, 1 and it was not a trifle which
would deter him from putting such a design in execution.

On the 27th of July the prisoners were landed ; and on
the 29th, Lieutenant Lyons, having reconnoitred the fort,
took shelter under a point of land until night should conceal
his advance. At a little past midnight, just as the moon was
sinking below the horizon, the boats quitted their hiding-
place and pulled for the battery, which mounted fifty-four
pieces of heavy ordnance, and was garrisoned with 180
soldiers. The hopes entertained of taking the enemy by
surprise were quickly dissipated by the sentinels on the walls,
who, perceiving the approach of the two boats, fired their
muskets to alarm the garrison ; but undaunted by this,

1 See page 325.


Lieutenant Lyons ran the boats aground, notwithstanding
the heavy surf, close under the embrasures of the lower tier
of guns. In a few minutes the little band found themselves
in possession of the lower battery, three of its defenders
having been killed in the act of putting matches to their
guns. Lieutenant Lyons then formed his men, and, leadino-
them on, carried the upper battery ; but, on reaching the
hill, found the Dutch troops drawn up to oppose them. The
British sailors, after filing a volley, rushed on to the charge,
Lieutenant Lyons calling out that he had 400 men, and
would give no quarter ; upon which the Dutch fled, panic-
stricken, through the postern gateway in the rear of the fort.
At lh. a.m. a fire was opened on the fort, from a small bat-
tery in the rear, and from two gun-boats, which was returned
by a few men, while the others were employed in spiking
and destroying the remaining guns.

An attack was then made by a battalion of Dutch troops,
which were permitted to approach unmolested until they had
reached the gate of the fort, when two 24-pounders, loaded
with grape and musket-balls, fired by Lieutenant Lyons and
Mr. T. Langton, committed such havoc, that the enemy fled in
great disorder. Taking advantage of this favourable moment,
Lieutenant Lyons withdrew his party, carrying with liim the
Dutch colours ; and as the barge was bilged, the whole em-
barked in the cutter, and returned to their ship, without the
loss of a man, and with only one midshipman, Thomas Lang-
ton, and three seamen slightly wounded. Another midship-
man, Charles H. Franks, then only fifteen years of age, dis-
tinguished himself greatly on this occasion, and, in the face
of a heavy fire, hoisted a British ensign on the flagstaff of
Fort Marrack, which was left flying when the daring party
left. Lieutenant Lyons, having undertaken this service
wholly upon his own responsibility, lost for a time the
reward of his temerity, but his gallantry was nevertheless
properly appreciated on the arrival of Bear- Admiral the
Hon. Bobert Stopford at Java. 1

The island of Java and its dependencies capitulated on the
ISth of September, after a series of gallant exploits and

1 The naval medal has been awarded to Eear- Admiral Sir Edmund
Lyons, Bart. G.C.B., who thus distinguished himself as a lieutenant, and
to the survivors of his daring band.

2 b2




numerous skirmishes, in which the seamen and marines bore
an ample share. The fleet employed under Rear-Admiral
Stopford consisted of the following : —

Guns. Ships,
j Scipion



I Minden

64 Lion

44 Akbar

( Nisus -.




Leda ...

j Caroline . .

Frigates -J Modeste






^ Sir Francis Drake
f Procris



Sloops ■{ Harpy ._

I Hecate

I Dasher

L Samarang

\ Rear-Ad. Hon. Robert Stopford (red)
( Captain James Johnson
\ Commodore Wm. Robt. Broughton
I Captain Robert W. G. Testing
Edw. Wallis Hoare

„ Henry Heathcote

„ Henry Drury (act.)

„ Philip Beaver

,, Samuel Warren

„ James C. Crawford

„ Fleetwood B. R, Pellew

„ George Sayer

„ Christopher Cole

„ Hon. George Elliot

,, James Hillyar

,, Charles Pelley

„ Wm. Jones Lye

„ Henry Folkes Edgell

„ John Edgecumbe

„ George Harris

Commander Robt. Maunsell

„ Wm. Fitzwilliam Owen

„ Barrington Reynolds

,, Henderson Bain

,, Henry John Peachey

„ Benedictus M. Kelly

„ Joseph Drury

together with eight cruisers of the Honourable East-India
Company's service, and transports, in all nearly 100 sail.
The troops were 8,000 strong, under the command of Major-
General Wetheral and Colonel Robert E. Gillespie. The
loss sustained by the navy was as follows : — eleven seamen
and four marines killed, and Captain Edward Stopford (right
arm shot on), Lieutenant Francis Noble, Lieutenants of
marines Henry Elliot and John S. Haswell, John D. Worthy
and Robert G. Dunlop, master's mates, twenty-nine seamen,
and twenty marines wounded, and three seamen missing ; and
the loss sustained by the army amounted to 141 killed, 733
wounded, and thirteen missing ; making a total loss of 156
killed, 788 wounded, and sixteen missing. The naval medal
has been granted to all present during the operations.


The following gallant affair took place during the operations
antecedent to the final subjugation of Java. The Sir Francis
Drake, Captain George Harris, having been despatched with
the Phaeton, Captain Pellew, and Dasher, Commander
Kelly, to intercept two French frigates, known to be in the
neighbourhood, were, on the 29th of August, lying at anchor
off Madura, of which island Captain Hams determined to
attempt the capture. Commander Kelly, in the Dasher,
accordingly proceeded to seek an anchorage as near as
possible to the town of Samanap, the capital of the island,
accompanied by the boats of the Sir Francis Drake and
Phaeton, under the command of the respective captains. On
the 30th, at daylight, the expedition entered the channel
between the east end of Madura and Pulo 'I Lanjong, and at a
little past midnight landed unobserved, about three miles
from the fort. At lh. 30m. a.m. on the 31st, the party,
consisting of about 150 men, reached the fort before being
perceived, of which, after a warm but ineffectual resistance,
they became masters, although it was garrisoned with between
300 and -400 Madura pikemen, and mounted sixteen guns.
Daylight made visible French colours hoisted at the east end
of the town, and also the natives assembling in great numbers ;
upon which Captain Harris ordered Captain Pellew, with
100 small-arm men and one brass field-piece, landed from the
ship, to proceed with a flag of truce and a message to the
governor, calling upon him to surrender the island, and pro-
mising that private property should be respected. The
message was conveyed to the governor by John William
Oldmixon, midshipman, who received for answer, that unless
the British evacuated the fort within ten minutes, and
quitted the island, the whole should be put to the sword. 1
This announcement proceeding from a person at the head of
about 2,000 armed men, drawn up in an advantageous
position, and protected by four field-pieces, was not to be
disregarded; but it had not the desired effect. Captain
Harris determined to make the attack, and having ordered
Captain Pellew to advance, he, with seventy small- arm and
twenty pike men, leaving a reserve of forty or fifty men in
the fort, sailed out, and dashed on at the left wing of the

1 A very animated account of the proceedings of this gallant party
will be found in the United Service Journal for April, 1840.


enemy. The move was attended with complete success, for in
a short time the Dutch governor (whose acknowledged force
was 300 muskets, sixty artillerymen, and near 2,000 pike-
men, each armed with a long pike, a pistol, and a creese) was
observed to break his line, and draw off two field -pieces, in
order to oppose the advance of Captain Harris's division.
Both British columns at about the same time fired a volley,
and for five minutes a sharp firing was kept up ; but as the
British continued to advance undauntedly, the Dutch gave
way, and an animated charge routed them, and left the
British in possession of the colours and guns. The governor
and several other Dutch inhabitants were also secured ; but
Captain Harris accepted a flag of truce from the Rajah of
Samanap, and gave up his prisoners, on the condition that-
none of the people of the district should again take arms
against the British. This success was followed by the
subversion of French authority in Madura and the adjacent

The loss in effecting this service amounted to three men
killed and twenty-eight wounded. Amongst the latter was
Lieutenant of marines George Roach, who was twice speared
while gallantly endeavouring to wrest the colours from a
French officer. He further distinguished himself while
Captain Harris was negotiating with the rajah, by destroying,
at the head of the marines, a fort mounting twelve guns,
situated at the mouth of the river leading, it was supposed,
to the town of Samanap. The loss sustained by the enemy
could not be correctly ascertained, but included the principal
officer of the native troops and his two sons, a tolerable
proof that the victory was not achieved over unresisting

On the 1st of August, as a squadron, consisting of the
32-gun frigate Quebec, Captain Charles Sibthorpe Hawtayne,
16-gun brig Raven, Commander George G. Lennock, gun-
brigs Exertion and Redbreast, Lieutenants James Murray
ancl Sir George M. Keith, baronet, and hired armed cutters
Alert and Princess Augusta, were cruising off Texel, infor-
mation of some Danish gun-brigs was received, which
induced Captain Hawtayne to despatch ten boats from the
squadron, under the command of Lieutenant Samuel Blyth,
containing 117 seamen and marines, to cut them out. In


the boats were the following officers : — Lieutenants Samuel
Blyth, John O'Neale, Samuel Slout, Charles Wolrige, and
Thomas Hare (sub-lieutenant) ; Master George Downey ;
Lieutenant of marines Humphrey Moore ; Master's mates
Robert Cook and John McDonald ; Richard Millet, midship-
man, John Muggridge, pilot, and Stephen Pickett, carpenter.
On the 2nd the boats entered the river Jahde, and the same
afternoon came in sight of the gun-brigs, four in number, lying
at anchor within the island of Nordeney, armed with one
long 12, and two long 6 or 8-pounders each, and manned with
a crew of twenty-five men. The boats were received with a
severe fire of grape and canister ; but Lieutenant Blyth, in
the Quebec's barge, pulling rapidly towards the first, was in
a short time upon her deck, killing one man and wounding
two others in the struggle. Mr. Muggridge, who was in the
.same boat, was opposed by two soldiers, one of whom he shot
dead, but the second wounded him in the throat with a
bayonet, and his life was only preserved by his falling over-
board. He was picked up by the next boat. Lieutenant
Blyth having gained possession of the first gun-brig, and
other boats arriving to his assistance, he turned her guns
upon the three remaining vessels, which he was enabled to
do with comparative impunity. Unfortunately, however,
the ammunition, winch was on the deck, accidentally took fire,
and killed or wounded nineteen persons, including Lieutenant
Blyth, who was blown overboard. This officer had previously
been wounded in the shoulder. The action, notwithstanding
this accident, was proceeded with, and in ten minutes all
three vessels were taken possession of, they having had two
men killed and ten wounded.

In addition to the loss by the explosion, the British had
two men killed and nine wounded, including Lieutenants
Blyth and Slout, and Muggridge and Millet. Lieutenant
Slout died of his wounds a few days afterwards. Of those
who suffered by the explosion, three died the next day, and
several were very badly scorched, including Lieutenant
Moore, of the marines. The prizes were all carried off, and
Lieutenant Blyth received his dearly-bought promotion to a
commander's rank on the 5th of September. This is a naval
medal boat action.

On the 19th of August, at 2h. p.m., the 16-gun brig Hawk,


Commander Henry Bourcliier, when about six leagues to the
eastward of St. Marcouff, came in sight of a convoy steering
for Barfleur. These vessels were protected by three gun-
brigs and two large luggers, which vessels hauled out from
the convoy to attack the Hawk. At 5h. 30m. p.m. the action
commenced, within pistol-shot, between the Hawk and her
five enemies, and was maintained with great spirit for some
time ; but eventually two of the brigs, the two luggers, and
fifteen sail of the convoy were driven on shore. Having pur-
sued them closely, the Hawk, in the act of wearing, also
took the ground ; but after an hour's exertion in lightening
her, during which time her crew were exposed to a fire of
artillery and musketry from the shore, she was got afloat,
and anchored to repair her damages. Commander Bourcliier
at night despatched the boats, commanded by Lieutenant
David Price, assisted by the master, John Smith, and gunner,
Thomas "Wheeler, to endeavour to bring out or destroy the
vessels, which service was accomplished in a highly creditable
manner. The brig Heron, pierced for sixteen guns, but
mounting only ten, together with three large transports,
laden with ship-timber, was brought out. The Hawk's loss
amounted to one seaman killed and four wounded. Com-
mander Bourcliier was promoted on the 22 nd, and the naval
medal has been granted to the surviving participators.

On the 24th of August, as the frigates Diana and Semira-
mis, Captains William Ferris and Charles Richardson, were
standing in towards the Cordouan light-house, five sail were
descried at the mouth of the Gironde, which consisted of four
merchant vessels under convoy of the (late British) gun-brig
Teazer, Lieutenant J. A. Papineau. Captain Ferris, aware
of the impracticability of an open attack, had recourse to
stratagem, and accordingly stood in for the river under
French colours (the Diana, with a commodore's pendant fly-
ing), and made the signal for a pilot. The commander of the
Teazer, deceived as to the character of the two ships, at
4h. 30m. p.m. hoisted her colours and fired a gun to leeward,
as a signal for a friend, which was promptly repeated by the
frigates. The battery on Pointe cle la Coubre, at 6h. p.m.,
fired a few shot at the frigates, but Lieutenant Papineau, as
the Teazer ran under the battery, hailed and told the com-
mandant that the frigates were the Pallas and Elbe, from


Rochfort, when tlie battery ceased firing. At 6h. 30m. a
pilot-boat came alongside the Diana, and the crew beino-
handed up, the boat was veered astern as usual. At 7h. the
frigates anchored off Pointe de Grave, between the Cordouan
and Royan, under the batteries of which latter point and of
Verdon lay the Teazer, in company with the lG-gun brig
Pluvier, commanded by the captain at the port, M. A.

As soon as the night closed in, Captain Ferris despatched
the boats of the two frigates, commanded by Lieutenants
Francis Sparrow (Diana) and Thomas Gardiner (Semiramis),
having with them Lieutenant George B. Roper and William
Holmes, master's mate, of the Diana, and Lieutenants Percy
Grace and Robert Nicholson, and Timothy Renou, master's
mate, of the Semiramis, to cut out the merchant vessels which
had proceeded about four miles up the river. The tide, how-
ever, delayed the execution of the service, and at daylight on
the 25th the boats had not returned. Captain Ferris now
determined to attack the two brigs, which remained below,
with the frigates, and, accordingly, at Gh. a.m. both ships
weighed and steered for Verdon Road. As a proof of the
strength of the deception practised, Captain Dubourg went
alongside the Diana in his boat, and did not discover his mis-
take until having ascended to the quarter-deck. While the
Semiramis stood towards the Pluvier, the Diana laid the
Teazer on board, the frigate's lower yards carrying away the
brig's topgallant-masts. Lieutenant Robert Parsons and
Lieutenant of marines Lewis P. Madden, Mark P. Noble,
boatswain, and about thirty seamen and marines, then
jumped on board, and, without the loss or injury of a man
on either side, gained entire possession of the brig. The
Pluvier, observing the fate of the Teazer, cut her cables and
made sail for the beach, where she grounded near to the bat-
tery of Royan. The Semiramis, having approached as near
as the tiepth of water would permit, anchored with a spring
on her cable ; and the boats, having in the meanwhile re-
turned from capturing the convoy, Lieutenant Gardiner

Online LibraryJoseph AllenBattles of the British navy (Volume 2) → online text (page 36 of 61)