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William H. Long.

Medals of the British navy and how they were won : with a list of those officers, who for their gallant conduct were granted honorary swords and plate by the Committee of the Patriotic Fund online

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Online LibraryWilliam H. LongMedals of the British navy and how they were won : with a list of those officers, who for their gallant conduct were granted honorary swords and plate by the Committee of the Patriotic Fund → online text (page 17 of 37)
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shot through, her cables and anchors destroyed or unservice-
able, her hull pierced with shot, several between wind and
water, and her pumps shot away, so that she could only be
kept afloat by constant bailing at both hatchways. As soon
as it was dark, Commander Black sent in his boats, and
burnt the gun-boats which had gone ashore, with eight of the
convoy, and brought away their anchors and cables, by means
of which he began warping his brig out. At daylight on
April 23rd, having warped about a mile fi"om the shore, the
wind blowing strong into the bay, the "Weasel" was again
attacked by the remaining gun-boats, Avithout being able to
bring her broadside to bear on them. The whole of the day
and the succeeding night, the brig continued slowly warping
out of the bay, her crew being exhausted with fatigue. On
the 24th at noon, a battery on a point she was obliged to pass,
opened on her, and the gun-boats raked her astern, but on
receiving a broadside, they sheered off, and at five p.m. on
the third day, all firing ceased, and the "Weasel" was safe
in the offing. In this hazardous but admirably conducted
enterprise, the British vessel had her boatswain and four men
killed ; and her commander, first lieutenant, master's mate, a
midshipman, and twenty-one men wounded. The loss of the
enemy could not be ascertained, but must have been heavy.
For his intrepid conduct, Commander Black was promoted to
post rank.

The "Shannon" and "Chesapeake."
June 1st, 1813, {see ante., page bb.)

The " Pelican " and " Argus."
August 14th, 1813.

On the 12th of August the eighteen-gun brig "Pelican,"
Commander J. P. Maples, sailed from Cork in search of an
American sloop which had been doing much damage to the


commerce in St. Greorge's Channel. At daybreak on August
14th the "Pelican" came in sight of a large brig making
sail from a ship she had captured and set on fire. The
" Pelican " bore down under all sail to close with the enemy,
the United States twenty-gun brig " Argus," Captain W.
Allen, which made no attempt to escape, but shortened sail
to allow the "Pelican" to come up. At six a.m. the
" Argus " opened fire on her opponent within grape shot dis-
tance. The crew of the " Pelican " gave three cheers, and
returned the fire with such effect, that within five minutes,
the main braces, gaff, and main trysail mast of the " Argus "
■were shot away, and Captain Allen severely wounded. Soon
afterwards the "Pelican" bore up under the stern of her
enemy, raking her, and then ranging up on her starboard
quarter, poured in such a destructive fire, that the "Argus"
with her rimning rigging and wheel ropes shot away, became
entirely unmanageable. At a quarter to seven, the ships
having fouled each other, W. Young, master's mate of the
" Pelican " at the head of a party of men, boarded the
"Argus," and carried her with slight resistance, though
Young himself fell mortally wounded almost immediately he
stepped on her deck. The rigging and sails of the "Pelican "
were much damaged, and two of her carronnades were dis-
mounted. Of her crew of one hundred and thirteen men and
boys, she had besides the master's mate, one man killed
and five men wounded. The hull of the ' • Argus ' ' was consider-
ably injured, and of her crew of one hundred and twenty-five
six men were killed, and her captain and seventeen men wound-
ed. The prize was taken to Plymouth, where on August 1 8th,
Captain Allen died of his wound, and was buried with all
military honours. A few days after, Commander Maples was
desei-vedly promoted.

St. Sebastian. August — September, 1813.

A squadi'on under the command of Captain Sir Gr. Collier,
co-operated with the army at the siege and capture of St.


Sebastian during the months of August and September, 1813.
Ships of the line and frigates not being able to get near enough
to produce any effect, sloops and gun-boats only could bring
their guns to bear on the defences. The ships employed in
this service, were the "Ajax," R. W. Otway ; "Andromache"
G. Tobin ; " SurveiUante," Sir G-. R. Collier ; " Revolution-
naire," J. C. Woolcombe ; " President," F. Mason ; " Magici-
enne," Hon. W. Gordon ; " Beagle," J. Smith ; "Challenger"
F.Vernon ; " Constant," J. Stokes ; "Dispatch," J. Gallo-
way ; " Freija," W. Scott ; " Holly," S. Treacher ; " Lyra,"
R. Bloye ; "Juniper," N. Vassall ; "Sparrow,". J. Taylor ;
and "Arrow," J. Aplin. Men serving in the boats of other
ships present during the months of August and September,
and employed on the inner line of sea blockade, were also
entitled to the medal. A party of seamen was employed on
shore under the command of Captain J. Smith of the
"Beagle" and on August 31st, the boats of the squadron,
under the orders of Captains Galloway and Bloye, with some
of the smaller vessels, made a demonstration at the back of
the rock, which diverted a large proportion of the garrison
from the defence of the breach, which was assaulted by the
troops, and the town taken. The citadel held out, b\it
capitulated on September 10th. The loss sustained by the
Navy was very small.

The "Thunder," and "Neptune."
October 9th, 1813.

The " Thunder," bomb vessel, Commander W. 0. Pell, on
October 9th, on her way from Spithead to Woolwich, observed
a large armed lugger off the Owers light. The stranger,
which was the privateer "Neptune," of Dunkirk, sixteen
guns, with a crew of sixty -five men, took the " Thunder " to
be a merchant ship, and to favour the deception Commander
Pell hauled in for the land, as if he intended to run his ship
on shore. The trick was successful, the Frenchman came up


under a crowd of sail, and ordered the supposed merchantman
to heave to and surrender. With her crew prepared for
boarding, the " Neptune " put up her helm to lay her antici-
pated prize on board, when Commander Pell put his helm
down, and poured in a broadside fi-om four carronades, with
a volley of musketry. The lugger fell on board the " Thun-
der," whose crew instantly boarded, and after a short hand tO'
hand conflict, in which four Frenchmen were killed, and ten
(including one mortally) wounded ; the "Neptune" was-
taken. The "Thunder" had but two men wounded. For
this, and other gallant actions, Commander Pell, on November
1st following, was promoted to post rank.

Capture of Gtluckstadt,

January 5th, 1814.

A British squadron under the command of Captain A.
Farquhar, co-operated with a division of the army of the
Crown Prince of Sweden in the siege and capture of Gluck-
stadt, on the Elbe, 1813-14. A body of seamen and marines
served on shore under Captain A. Q-reen, and the loss sustained
afloat and ashore, was three men killed, and sixteen wounded.
After an investment of sixteen days, followed by six days
bombardment, Gluckstadt capitulated, January 5th, 1814.
The ships present on this occasion, were the " Desiree,'*
thirty-six. Captain A. Farquhar, " Shamrock," schooner, ten,
J. Marshall, "Hearty," brig, J. Eose, "Blazer," brig, F.
Banks, "Piercer," brig, J. Kneeshaw, "Redbreast," brig,
Sir G. M. Keith, and eight gun boats. For their services.
Captains Farquhar, Green, Marshall, and Eose, and Lieut-
enants Banks, KJneeshaw, and Sir G. M. Keith, were presented
with a gold medal by the Swedish Government.

The " Venerable," " Cyane," and two French Frigates.
January 16th and 20th, 1814.

On January 1 6th, about seven in the morning, the seventy-



four gun ship " Venerable," Captain J. A. Worth, with the
flag of Rear Admiral P. C. Durham, on his way to take the
chief command at the Leeward Islands ; the " Cyane,"
twenty-two gun sloop. Captain J. Forrest, and the brig
"Jason," a French prize captured some days before, in
charge of Lieutenant Moffat, and twenty-two men of the
"Venerable" ; fell in, near the Canary Islands, with the French
frigates " Alcmene " and " Iphigenia," forty guns each, from
Cherbourg, on a cruise. The " Cyane " having found that the
two ships were enemies, informed the "Venerable" by signal,
which immediately went in chase, and by the superiority
of her sailing, at about six in the evening arrived within hail
of the " Alcmene," the sternmost frigate. To a summons to
surrender, the " Alcmene " hoisted her colours and fired a
broadside at the " Venerable," which was returned, when the
French frigate suddenly bore up under all sail in the smoke,
and ran straight on board the seventy-four, expecting that
Jier consort, in accordance with a pre-concerted arrangement,
would second her bold attempt. The frigate was instantly
lashed alongside, and Captain "Worth with a hundred
boarders sprang on her deck, and after a sharji conflict
of fifteen minutes, hauled down her colours. The "Ij)higenia"
hauled sharp up and stood away, leaving the "Alcmene" to
her fate. Out of her crew of three hundred and nineteen
men and boys, she had thirty-two men killed, and fifty
officers and men wounded, including her commander. The
loss of the "Venerable" was two men killed and four
w^ounded. Meanwhile, the " Cyane " and " Jason " (the
latter having but two guns on board,) continued the chase
of the flying " Iphigenia," and at ten p.m., the brig, having
outsailed the "Cyane," opened on the frigate, but finding
her guns in reply too heavy, abandoned the contest. An
hour or two after the " Cyane " came up near enough to use
her bow guns, and continued exchanging shots with the
•enemy till nearly five o'clock the next morning, when the
*' Iphigenia" hauled up and fired three broadsides at the


flloop, wh-icli finding she was over-matched, dropped astern,
but still endeavoured to keep the chase in sight. Thus
passed the remainder of that day, and the whole of the next,
and the day after, August 18th and 19th, when the " Cyane "
lost sight of the object of her pursuit. During this time, the
" Venerable " having removed the prisoners, secured her
prize, and repaired her damages, was fast coming up under a
press of sail, steering to the north west.* At daybreak on
the morning of August 20th, the " Venerable was within two
miles of the " Iphigenia," but from her mast head the
" Cyane " was not to be seen. At eight a.m. after a running
fight, and having thrown her boats overboard, and cut away
Tier anchors without effect, the French frigate fired a broad-
side, and struck her colours. f Neither of the ships sustained
any loss, and the " C^'ane " also escaped without any casualties.
The prizes being nearh* new ships, were added to the British
Navy, the " Alcmene " as the " Gloire," and the " Iphigenia "
as the " Dunira," which name was afterwards changed to the
^' Immortalite."

* When the captain of the " Alcmene " came on board the
*' Venerable " to deliver up his sword, though wounded, he was so
enraged with the captain of his consort (who was his senior) for leaving
him unsupported, that he could think of nothing else. Admiral
Durham sent him into his cabin, and ordered the surgeon to attend
him. It being a rainy night, the Admiral wore his great coat over his
uniform, and presently entering the cabin, he found the surgeon
dressing the French captain's wounds, and a marine givii?g him light
•with a lanthorn. Taking the lanthorn from the marine, he said to the
Frenchman, " Your comrade hailed you just as we came up," he
answered " Yes," — he said — " If we part company I shall change my
course every two hourSj and my rendezvous will be in the north
•west." The Admiral returned the lanthorn to the marine, called the
master, gave him the facts, and cold him he calculated on falling in
with the frigate in the west north west, at about two hundred miles
distance, and ordered him to steer accordingly under all possible sail.

t When part of the crew of the " Iphigenia" was brought on board
the " Venerable." the prisoners from the '• Alcmene " were so enraged
at them f jr not having attempted to board the " Venerable " on the
other side on January 16th, that Admiral Durham was obliged to call
up his marines with fixed bayonets, and station them between the
parties to keep the peace.


The " EuROTAS " and " Clorinde,"*
Februaiy 25tli, 1814.

On February 25th, in latitude 47° 40' north, longitude 9°
30' west, the thirty-eight gun frigate " Eurotas," Captain J.
Philliniore, discovered the French forty-gun frigate "Clorinde "
on her way to Brest, after a cruise. The British frigate chased
and being the fastest sailer, at five p.m. passed under the stern
of the "Clorinde," andgave her her starboard broadside. Then
getting alongside her antagonist, a furious contest of twenty
minutes followed, in which the niizzen mast of the "Eurotas"
was shot away, and the fore top-mast of the "Clorinde."
The French frigate then shot ahead, but the " Eurotas "
luffing up, the ships were now again side by side, and the
action continued with re-doubled ardour. At twenty minutes
past six the " Eurotas " lost her main mast, and about the
same time the mizzen mast of the " Clorinde " came down.
Ten minutes afterwards the foremast of the " Eurotas" went
overboard, which was followed by the fall of the mainmast of
her opponent. The British ship was now totally dismasted
and unmanageable, and at half -past seven p.m. the "Clorinde"
with her fore yard only standing, set the remains of her fore-
sail, and her fore stay-sail, and stood away, out of gunshot.
Captain Phillimore having been severely wounded by a grape
shot in the shoulder. Lieutenant R. Smith took the command
of the " Eurotas," the wreck was cut away, and every
exertion made during the night to get up jury masts, and
keep after the enemy. Soon after six the next morning, the
" Eurotas " with three effective masts, again made sail after
the enemy, then about four miles distant, and in the same
dismasted state as on the previous evening. About noon,
while evidently gaining on the chase, to the mortification of
every one on board the "Eurotas," two sail hove in sight.
The nearest was the thirty-six gun frigate " Dryad," Captain

* Fortv-one medals were claimed by the survivors of this action,
in 1849. '


E. Galway, and the other the " Achates," sixteen, shjoji,
T. Morrison. On nearing the " Clorinde," she hoisted French
colours aft and English forward, and sent a boat to the
'* Dryad," proposing terms of capitulation. These were
refused, and about half-past one the " Dryad " hauling up on
the " Clorinde's " quarter, fired a gun at her, when she
struck her colours, and was at once taken possession of.
The French Captain offered his sword to Captain Gralway,
"who very honourably refused it, observing that it was only
due to Captain Phillimore. Out of her complement of three
hundred and twenty-nine men, the " Earotas " had two mid-
shipmen and nineteen men killed, and her captain, two
officers, and thirty-six men wounded. The " Clorinde " of
her crew of three hundred and forty-four men, had thirty
killed, and forty wounded. For his gallantry. Lieutenant
Smith was promoted to the rank of Commander. The
^' Dryad " took the prize in tow, and proceeded with her to
Portsmouth, where she was added to the Bi-itish Navy by
the name of " Aurora."

The " Hebrus " axd " Etoile,"

March 27th, 1814.

See ante, page 56.

The "Ph(ebe," "Cherub," and "Essex."
March 28th, 1814.

For six weeks, in the months of February and March, 1814,
the United States fi-igate "Essex," thirty-two guns, and the
twenty-gun ship " Essex Jxmior," (formerly a British whaler)
were blockaded in Valparaiso, by the thirty-six gun frigate
"Phoebe," Captain J. Hillyer, and the "Cherub," eighteen,
sloop. Captain T. Tucker. After an ineffectual attempt or
two to escape, on March 28th, the "Essex" drove out to sea
during a heavy squall, which carried away her main top-mast.
The "Phoebe" and "Cherub" chased, and the "Essex"


finding she could not weather them, anchored about half a
mile from the shore, bej^ond the limits of neutrality. Shortly
after four p.m. a distant and intermittent action commenced,
strong and baffling winds preventing the British ships from
closing with the enemy. At five and twenty minutes to six
the "Phoebe" closed with the "Esses," and after an engage-
ment of twenty minutes, the latter ship cut her cable, and
endeavoured to run ashoi*e, but eventually let go an anchor
and brought up about three quarters of a mile from the
beach. At twenty minutes past six, seeing the " Phoebe "
preparing to anchor alongside her, the American shij) hauled
down her colours and surrendered. About forty of her crew
escaped to the shore, many were drowned in the attempt, and
sixteen were saved by the British boats. The sails and
rigging of the "Phoebe" were much injured, and she had
received seven thirty-two pound shot, between wind and
water. Her first lieutenant (Ingram) and three men were
killed, and seven men were wounded. The " Cherub "
escaped with little damage, and had but one man killed, and
her commander and two men wounded. The loss of the
"Essex" seems to have been twenty-four men including a
lieutenant, killed, and forty-five men wounded, but the
American account makes it larger. The "Phoebe" and her
prize, the latter commanded by Lieutenant Pearson, set sail
for England, and on November 13th arrived in Plymouth*
Sound, when Lieutenant Pearson was promoted to the rank
of Commander.

" Opeeations in the Potomac."
August 17th, 1814.

A British squadron under the command of Captain J.
Gordon, consisting of the thirty-eight gun fi-igate " Seahorse,"
"Euryalus," thirty-six, Captain C. Napier, bomb-vessels
" Devastation," T. Alexander, " iEtna," E. Kenah, and
"Meteor," S. Eoberts ; rocket-ship "Erebus," D. Bartholomew,


"Anna Maria," tender, M. Gray, and sloop "Fairy," eight-
een, H. Baker, on August 1 Tth weighed anchor, and without
the aid of pilots, began to ascend the river Potomac, towards
Washington, the navigation being totally unknown to anyone
on board. The next day the "Seahorse" grounded, and
was only got afloat again by removing her guns. On the
25th a sudden squall did the ships much damage, the
"Euryalus" having all her top-masts blown away. On the
27th the squadron, after each of the ships had been aground
many times, arrived off Fort Washington, the principal
defence of the town of Alexandria. The bomb vessels sheUed
the fort, and blew up the magazine, and the next morning at
daybreak took possession of it. The garrison evacuated the
place, and the town capitulated. The fort and some batteries
were destroyed with their artillery, and after three days the
squadron with twenty-one prizes deeply laden with merchan-
dise, was on its way down the river. In warping down the
intricate channel, the ships were much annoyed by gun-boats
and fire-vessels, the Americans had erected batteries on all
commanding positions, and the banks were lined with
militia and riflemen. The "Devastation" and "Erebus"
grounded, but were got afloat, the batteries were silenced,
and on September the 9th, the ships sailed out of the
Potomac, and anchored in the same place they had quitted
twenty -three days before. The loss in this well conducted
enterprise, was the second Lieutenant of the "Fairy," C.
Dickenson, and six men killed, and Captains Napier and
Bartholomew, and thirty-three men wounded. No ships of a
similar draught had ever before attempted the navigation of
the river, with their guns and stores on board.

The "Endymion," ajstd "President."

January 15th, 1815.

See ante, page 57,


TnE "Malta," and "Berwick," at Gtaeta.
July 24th, 1815.

GrAETA, in the Kingdom of Naples, held out in the cause of
Napoleon, for several weeks after the Battle of Waterloo.
An Austrian force under Baron de Lauer, invested the place
"by land, and the British ships "Malta," eighty. Captain W.
Fahie, and " Berwick," seventy-four, Captain E. Brace,
"blockaded it by sea. After several bombardments, the
■Governor being informed by Captain Fahie of the surrender
of Napoleon to Captain Maitland in the " Bellerophon,"
capitulated on August 8th. The casualties on board the
British ships in these operations were — "Malta," four men
•wounded, "Berwick," one man wounded.

"Battle of Algiers."

August 27th, 1816.

The corsairs of the coast of Barbary had for centuries
"been the terror of mariners in the Mediterranean, but after
the fall of Napoleon in 1815, the British Government resolved
before reducing the Mediterranean fleet, to endeavour to
■compel the Deys to abandon their lawless and inhuman
T^ractices. Lord Exmouth, Commander in chief on the station,
in March, 1816, appeared with his fleet before Tunis and
Tripoli, which submitted, and agreed to abolish Slavery, but
the Dey of Algiers refused, and requested time to refer the
matter to the Grand Signior at Constantinople. This was
granted, and Lord Exmouth sailed for England, but on May
23rd following, at Bona near Algiers, the crews of between
500 or 400 small vessels engaged in the coral fishing were
barbarously massacred or carried into capti^dty by the
Algerines. To punish this atrocity and to abolish Christian
Slavery, a fleet under the command of Lord Exmouth, was
despatched against Algiers from Pljniiouth, July 28th, con-
sisting of the " Queen Charlotte," one hundred guns, Admiral
Lord Exmouth, Captain J. Brisbane ; " Impregnable,"


ninety-eight, Rear-Admiral D. Milno, Captain E. Brace ;
"Superb," seventy -four, C. Ekins ; "Minden," seventy -four,
W. Paterson ; " Albion," seventy-four, J. Coode ; " Leander,"
fifty, E. Chetham ; "Severn," forty, Hon. F. Ayliner ;
" Glasgow," forty, Hon. A. Maitland ; " G-ranicus," thirty-
six, W. F. Wise ; " Hebrus," thirty-six, E. Palmer ; the
sloops "Heron," eighteen, G. Bentham ; "Mutine," eighteen,
J. Mould ; brigs, " Britomart, " ten, P. Riddell ; "Cordelia,"
ten, W. Sargent; "Jasper," ten, T. Carew. Bomb-vessels,
" Beelzebub," W. Kempthorne ; " Fury," C. Moorsome ;
" Hecla," W. Popham ; " Infernal," Hon. G. Percival, a
transport, an ordnance sloop, and a despatch vessel. On
August 9th the fleet arrived at Gibraltar, and found lying
there a Dutch squadron under the command of Vice-Admiral
Baron Van de Capellan in the " Melampus," forty, and con-
sisting of three other frigates of forty guns each, one of
thirty guns, and an eighteen gun corvette. On learning the
object of the expedition. Admiral Van de Capellan solicited
and obtained permission to take part in the attack with his
squadron. During the passage of the fleet from England,
Lord Exmouth took the greatest care to train the seamen in
accurate gunnery. Every day, Sundays excepted, they were
exercised at the guns, and practised at a target, and on
Tuesdays and Fridays the ships cleared for action, and each
fired six broadsides. On August 1 3th every ship received a
plan of the fortifications of Algiers, with instructions respect-
ing the position she was to occupy. On the 27th at daybreak
the fleet was in sight of the place, and Lieutenant Burgess
with a flag of truce was sent to the Dey to demand certain
prescribed conditions, among which were "the abolition of
Christian Slavery, and the immediate liberation of the
British Consul,and the officers and men of the " Prometheus. "*
The boat was met by one from the shore, and an answer

* The " Prometheus," eighteen, sloop, Captain W. Dashwood,
joined the fleet just before it arrived at Algiers, having on board the
wife and daughter of the British Consul, but the Dey had imprisoned
the Consul, and detained two boats' crews belonging to the 'Prometheus.'


promised in two hours, in the mean time the fleet stood
into the hay and lay to about a mile from the city. The
fortifications of Algiers were of a very formidable char-
acter, and were considered to be almost impregnable.
On the mole, which projected about a quarter of a mile
into the sea, and curved round to meet another pier which
with it formed the principal harbour, more than two
hundred guns were mounted, thirty-two, twenty-four, and
eighteen pounders. The sea front of the place bristled with
batteries of two and three tiers, armed with upwards of five
hundred heavy guns and mortars. The whole Algerine fleet
consisting of nine large fi'igates and corvettes, and about
forty gun and bomb vessels, lay ready for sea, in the harbour
inside the mole. About two p.m. Lieutenant Burgess returned
to the fleet without an answer from the Dey, and Lord
Exmouth immediately made the signal for attack. At half-
past two the " Queen Charlotte " anchored by the stern,

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