Thomas Gray.

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 32) online

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Online LibraryThomas GrayThe 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 32) → online text (page 1 of 63)
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Jlafcal Cfjromcle,

FOR 1814:










1 O'er the glad waters of the dark blue tea,
Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free,
Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam,
Survey our Empire, and behold our home !
These are our realms, no limits to their sway." (BYRON.)



And sold by Messrs. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown, Mr. Wilkie, Messrs. Sherwood,
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Leuernian, and Mr. Law, Avemana-ltine ; Mr. Lindsell, IVimpole-street ; Mr. Booth.
Dukr-slreet, Portland-placr. ; Mr. G. W. Wetton, Maidenhead; Messrs. Mottlcy and Co. and
Mr. Mills, Partfmoitth; Mr. Woodward, Portsra ; Mr. Johnson, Gosport ; Messrs. Congdon,
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mouth; Mr. Godwin, Bath; Messrs. Norton and Son, Bristol; Mr. Robinson, Liverpool;
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burgh; Mr. Turnbull and Mr. Lumiden, Glasgow ; and ll'. principal BookjcllN* m the
4>fffrfnt Staport Towif throughout Uif United Kingdom*





iftatml Chronicle





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from Origina/ Designs*

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ISLANDS, from the S. S. E. Engraved by BAILY, from a
Drawing by G.T ...................... - ........ fi

CCCCXIX. Chart of the ISLAND OF EtBA .- - - ... ........ 81

- j irg-rfi hi.-v jt<wfLCiM::fjjg j 3 baB


HAM DALYEI.L, R.N. Engraved by BLOOD ........... 89


graved by DAILY, from a Drawing by R.S. ... ......... 134

-.:" . rw;

CCCCXXII. Portrait of Captain MATTHEW FLINDERS, R.N. "En-
graved by BLOOD, from a Miniature in the possession of
Mrs.Flin'ders ............................. . - - 177

CCCCXXIII. Viexv of PORTO BELT.O, on tlie Spanish Main. En.

graved by BAII.Y, from a drawing by J. E ............. 228

CCCCXXIV. Portrait of Sir Gr.oncE COLLIEH, Knt. Vice-admiral

of the Blue Squadron. Engraved by BLOOD, from a Miniature

Painting in the possession of Lady Collier ..... ......... 26^

CCCCXXV. Representation of the Disembarkation of the Troops
at Gravesend Bay, under the command of Sir George Collier,
R.N ...... -...-,.. ............................ 400

CCCCXXV 7 !. Sir George Collier's Victory iu Penobscot Bay, 1779 416
CCCCXXVH. Portrait o/ Captain SAMV EL BLTTH, R.N... ...... 441

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presenting the XXXIId Volume of the NAVAL .
CHRONICLE to his readers, the Editor trusts, that
as far as depended on his judgment and influence,
they will be satisfied with his earnest endeavours
to render it equal in value to any by which it has

V 1 1 J J

been preceded. .

The peace with America if such a term can pro-
perly be applied to an arrangement, rendered mu-
tually convenient and desirable by reciprocal fears
and embarrassing dilemmas has occasioned the
omission of those strictures on the state of our
navy, and the American naval war, which had
j been composed to form a part of this preface.

With respect to the biographical memoirs that
appear in this Volume, they will be found to differ
materially from those which have preceded them :
the Editor having endeavoured, w r herever he could
with propriety, to render them the vehicle whereby
to lay before the eyes of those in power, the prin-
cipal hardships which press on the naval service.
To naval officers, the memoirs of living, or of re-
cent characters, are of little interest, except they
furnish the means of professional improvement, or
abound with materials for thinking.

The first memoir is that of a distinguished young
officer, whose courage and misfortunes were the
least of his recommendations. The unwearied per-
severance of Captain W. C. C. Dalyell, during
nine years of captivity in France, to ameliorate
the situation of the prisoners of war in either
country,* reflects the highest honour on his cha-
racter, and entitles him to a prominent station in
our gallery of naval heroes.

The Editor has marked the extreme hardship of
a naval officer on a foreign station, or in a state of

* Pages 44 ; 89, ct <eq.


captivity, having to sustain the loss occasioned by
the course of exchange,* amounting to nearly or
quite one-third of their pay ; and also the conduct
of a certain Lordling, who stands accused of having
been the cause- why- ministers refused to make good
a loss that should have fallen upon the public
revenue. Can any .fair or rational reason be
assigned for the navy being subjected to such a
material deduction, from which the army officers
are exempted ?

The Regent has recently issued an order in
favour of the claims of the army, to reim-
bursement of its losses occasioned by this cause.
Surely, the Royal Navy will not suffer by the want
of parliamentary friends to advocate their equal
right to reimbursement ?

The Editor has endeavoured to shew the par-
tiality displayed to the army, in allowing the offi-
cers to enjoy their pensions for wounds, from the
day on which they were inflicted : whilst a naval
officer can only obtain his from the time that the
grant for his pension is signed ! Captain Dalyell's
memorial, j- addressed to the Lords of the Admi-
ralty, affords evidence of this fact, that admits
neither of doubt or denial.

The distinguished humanity of Messrs. ANGOT
and LE SEIGNEUR, and their benevolent families, J
reflect honour on their country, and the warm
feelings of gratitude displayed by those whom
the humanity of Frenchmen had saved from perish-
ing, is no less honourable to Great Britain.

It was with feelings of the most ardent respect
and admiration, the Editor recorded in the last
Volume the noble conduct of the late Baron de
Beauchesne,|| and his worthy successor, as Com-
mandant of Verdun, Major de Me ulan,^f to whose
exalted virtues a tribute of well- merited respect is
paid in this memoir.**

* Page 92. f p. 94. + p. 27, et seq. p. 80, bi.
H Vol. XXXI. p. 309. I Idem. p. 309 and 310..
** Vol. XX XII. p. S9 and 00.

^w . JPREFACE. iii

The biographical memoir of Captain Flinders,
was written by a friend of the deceased. This in-
defatigable navigator, who- surmounted difficulties
under the pressure of which most men would have
sunk, was well deserving of the greatest honours
that could have been paid to his memory.

Our next biographical memoir (Vice-admiral Sir
George Collier) yields in richness of materials, and
variety of incident, to few that are on record.
"What a picture does it give of the first American
war ! Velu.ti in Speculum. This exalted charac-
ter was the victim of party -politics. \V ho can read
without feeling indignant, the manner in which
Vice-admiral Arbuthnot* was made commander-
in-chief on the American station; and Sir George
Collier laid forgotten on the shelf ! f

Our last, and not least interesting life, is that
of the late Captain Samuel Blyth, who was killed
on board the Boxer gun-brig, in combat with the
Enterprise, in September, 1813. The readers of
the NAVAL CHROXICLE will perceive that the Editor
has dwelt on the peculiar hardships which press
heavily on the midshipmen and master's mates.
From that class all our officers rise ; and if there be
any tiling radically wrong in the system, any thing
peculiarly calculated to render the feelings obtuse,,
and to debase the mind, surely it requires but to
be known to be remedied. The condition of these
two classes of officers, calls for amelioration more
imperiously than any other. The Correspondence
of the present Volume is equal to any contained in
this work. The letter signed, " An Old passed Mid-
shipman/^ does honour to the head and heart of
the writer ; and perhaps has contributed to assist
the cause of those for whom he so feelingly pleads.
The letter signed " Nestor," containing a plan for
obviating the practice of impressment, is w r orthy of
his patriotic pen. The letters of tf Philo-Nauticus,"|(

* Vide Note at p. 381, et seq. + p. 387, et scq. J p. 60.

P- 107. I) p. 202 and 310.


on the difference between the half-pay of the army
and the navy, contain much incontrovertible ar-
gument, shewing the hardships that naval officers
labour under, display a strong and cultivated mind
animated by a manly spirit. The other letters in
this Volume are all distinguished by some useful fea-
ture, and entitled to serious consideration. The
writer who signs " Arion," transmits us, from time
to time, compositions that will do him honour, when
the hand that wrote them has long been mouldered
into dust. Nestor, Philo-Nauticus (2), Albion
_C._H. Impartial. Nihil.J. C. -Alfred.
J - Oceanus. G. H. J. M. and Impartialis.

The interesting letter signed, "A Naval Officer/'*
is well worthy the perusal of our Statesmen: as
also the letter from our respected correspondent,
Nestor;" t

" J. C." will perceive, by the early insertion of
his letter, that he was not 'mistaken when he sup-
posed his opinions would find admission into the
pages of the NAVAL CHRONICLE.

The Editor hopes such arrangements may be
made, as may preclude the omission of so much
valuable correspondence in the future numbers of
this Work, which would be an incitement to offi-
cers to employ their pens for the good of their ser-
vice, as they have ably wielded their swords for
the safety and glory of their country.

The Hydrographical Department of this Volume
contains much useful information for our nautical
readers; and our acknowledgments are due for the
contributions we have received from Captain Kru-
senstern, of the Russian Navy, James llorsburgh,
Esq. and other Correspondents. To the scientific
Gentleman who continues to conduct it, our most
grateful thanks are eminently due.
r ._ _ _ _ ...i _ ... - -t

* Page 480, f p. 317. '




* - '** - . J* -, -^


Thjf sires of old were heroes fam'd in arms,
To toils inur'd, and rear'd midst war's alarms.
They spurn'd inglorious ease, and tranquil life,-
Rous'd their fierce clans and courted martial strife ! ,
Strange lands they traverse], bold adventures sought,
'Fore England's king tby brave ancestor fought '
Ad England's champion gentler manners taught !*
Loud plaudits from surrounding peers were wrung
And Scotia's bards the patriot impulse sung.

Though bright their deeds in Scottish annals shine
As bright and lasting rays illumine thine,
And wiih their ancient fame shall thy renown entwine.

_. IT

CAPTAIN W. C. C. DALYELL, the subject of the fof.
lowing memoir, is the fifth and youngest son of the late Sir
Robert Daly fill, Bart, of Binns, near Edinburgh, by Elizabeth,
daughter of Nicol Graham, Esq. of Gartmore, and Lady Mar-
garet, daughter of William^ Earl of Glencairn. He was bora
27th April, 1784.

Captain Dalyell's ancestors have frequently distinguished
themselves in the pervice of their country ; and the name
itself is said to owe its origin to an incident occurring at a very
remote period. A kinsman and favourite of one of the ancient
Kings of Scotland having been taken prisoner by his enemies, and
hanged in sight of the Scottish camp, a great reward was offered
to whomsoever should cut the body down. But none would
hazard the perilous enterprise, until a gentleman of acknowledged'
valour in the retinue of the King stepped forward, exclaiming,
*' Dati/ell," which, in the language of the times, signified,
<{ J dare." He accordingly left the camp, and succeeded ia
restoring to the King the body of his friend. His courage did not

* See the dispute relative to the ladies of England and Scotland, next page.

u ttol. XXXII. B


pass unrewarded : for the name of " Dali/ell" was bestowed
by the king, with other gifts, on him and his posterity : and he
assigned for his coat armorial the body of a hanged man, and the
motto, " / cfore," which are actually borne by all persons of the
surname at this day ; and by none more deservedly than the sub-
ject of this biographical memoir.

The specific gifts with which the king, whose name was Ken-
*etk, and who reigned about the year A. D. 841, rewarded this
enterprising ancestor of Captain Dalyell, cannot at present b
ascertained, nor the name of the king's relation whose body he
rescued from the hands of his enemies. It took place at a period
anterior to record, and of course could only be handed down by
tradition, until it became recorded in later ages : the ancient
history of Scotland is involved in great perplexity and confusion.
The anecdote is, however, detailed in Nisbett's System of He-
raldry, vol. I. and Crawford's Peerage of Scotland, p. 67.
There is a tract of land in Lanerkshire called Dalyell, pronounced
in Scotland D'ycl; and as most of the Scottish surnames have
corresponding territories, it has been conjectured that the war.
nor in question bestowed the name upon those lands, or received
his new appellation therefrom. At this early period, except the
names of the reigning prince or his destroyer, or perhaps of some
few monks, scarcely any surnames were preserved. There is no
evidence that they were in use, till a much later period ; hence,
the name previously borne by this first founder of the Dafyell
race, cannot be ascertained.

We read also of Sir William Dalyell, a Scottish Champion,
who was celebrated at the battle of Otterburn in 1388, where he
lost an eye : and the chroniclers of the time exultingly dwell on
his prowess. Tournaments being then in fashion, he repaired to
the English court on the restoration of peace, when one of his
countrymen gained a signal victory over another knight. But
this was'-not unproductive of jealousy ; for it was alleged, although
there might be brave men in Scotland, they had sprung from th
illicit intercourse of Scotish ladies with Englishmen who had con.
quered their kingdom. Sir William Dalyell, indignant at this
aspersion, retorted, that, even if the allegation were true, it was
equally certain that the English warriors came from men of igno-
ble birth, whom the ladies of England had not disdained to receive


as temporary partners during the absence of their lords in the
neighbouring kingdom. This led to a more serious contest, in
which Sir Piers Courtenay, an English champion, challenged Sir
William Dalyell to single combat : but after an eminent display of
valour on both sides, he was wounded by his antagonist, but
without the victory having declared for the Scottish knight, the
honour of each was satisfied.

The curious incidents above detailed are recorded by John
Fordun, in a work called Scoti-chronicon, which is considered as
the most authentic history of the country. The author was
contemporary with the incidents he related. Mr. John Graham
Dalyell, by whom these interesting particulars were transmitted^
examined ancient manuscripts of this work, to ascertain whether
they corresponded with the anecdote, as given by more recent
historians, and he found that they did so. The combat took place
in the presence of Richard II. in 1399. The historian says, " the
helmet of the Scotish knight was lost twice successively in the first
two courses, but in the third his weapon struck out two of
the English champion's front teeth." Sir William Dalyell was not
wounded, so far as appears, on this occasion.

The Editor desired elucidation as to the name of this family
being sometimes spelled Dalziel and Mr. J. G. Dalyell informed
him, that there is no such letter as z in the ancient Scotish lan-
guage. But from the resemblance of the Saxon g, which seems
to have an analogous figure to z, and a sound such as y, that letter
began in later times to supplant y, but under the form of z. Thus
Mackenzie is still pronounced Mackenyie, and Menzies, Menyies,
throughout Scotland.

But on descending to more modern times, we find the name of
General Thomas Dalyell, an immediate ancestor of the subject of
this memoir, who distinguished himself by his attachment to the
royal family during the civil wars. In the reign of Charles I. ho
commanded the town and garrison of Garrick Fergus, where he
was taken prisoner. He was again taken prisoner when major,
general at the battle of Worcester, in 1651, and committed to
close confinement in the Tower : his estates were forfeited, and
himself excepted from Cromwell's general act of indemnity. How-
ever, he made his escape, and at the head of a small party, raised
the royal standard in the north of Scotland. Wheu it proved

. 4 r. . . .-V. KAtAX, BIOGRAPHY,

impossible to retrieve the fortunes of Charles II. the General
repaired to the continent, bearing strong recommendations from
that Prince to foreign powers, for courage and fidelity ; and having
entered tfie service of the Czar Alexis Michaclo witch, of Russia,
he was soon promoted to the rank of general in his army. There
he was employed in the Russian wars with the Turks and Tartars :
but the restoration of the family of Stuart having in the mean
time taken place, General Dalyell requested permission to return
to his native country. The Czar, therefore, directed a testimony
of his services to pass under the great seal of his empire, which is
still preserved in Captain Dalyell's family, written in the Russian
language. After enumerating the titles of the Czar, it proceed*
thus : " That he (General Dalyell) formerly came hither to
serve our great Czarian Majesty. Whilst he was with us he stood
against our enemies and fought valiantly. The military men that
were placed under his command, he regulated and disciplined, and
himself led them to battle; and he did and performed every thing
faithfully as becoming a noble commander. And for his trusty
services, we were pleased to order the said Lieutenant-general to
be made a General. And now, having petitioned us to give him
leave to return to his own country, we, the great Sovereign and
Czarian Majesty were pleased to order that the said noble General,
who is worthy of all honour, Thomas, the son of Thomas Dalyell,
should have leave to go into his own country. And by this patent
of his Czarian Majesty, we do certify of him, that he is a man of
virtue and honour, and of great experience in military affairs ;
and in case he should be willing again to serve our Czarian
Majesty, he is to let us know of it beforehand, and he shall come
into the dominions of our Czarian Majesty with our safe pass-
ports, &c. &c. Given at our Court in the Me'tropolitan city of
Moscow, in the year from the creation of the world, 7173,
January 6."

General Dalyell having returned to Scotland, was immediately
appointed commander-in-chief of the forces, a privy counsellor,
and for several successive parliaments represented his native country
of Linlithgow. He raised a regiment of foot in 1666 : and some
years afterwards, also a celebrated corps of cavalry, the Scott
Greys. The letters of service for both are still in possession of
bis descendants : the latter is dated 25th November^ 1681.


General Dalyell had a son likewise in the military profession,
who was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, by a patent, wTierein
hi$ alacrity in promoting the military service, is particularly
specified. /

Having been informed that an ancestor of CaptahVDafyell had
served in the battle of Blenheim, the Editor made inquiries, and
found that a relative of the family, Colonel John Dalyell, was
killed at the battle of Malplacquet ; and that it might be him, or
General Robert Dalyell, who had served in several wars during the
first half of the last century, and who died in the early years of
the reign of the present Sovereign, at a very advanced age. A
print was engraved of this old veteran, after he had attained the
age of 84, in which, we believe, some incidents of his professional
career are mentioned.

Captain Dalyell's grandfather served in the wars of George I.
and II. ; and his father also during the wars in the Low
Countries in the preceding century. He had a paternal uncle,
James, who was aide-de-camp to Lord Amherst, and killed in
1763, in an engagement at a place since called Bloody Bridge,
near Fort Detroit, in North America. A particular account of
the action, in which this officer fell, at the head of the party which
lie led, is detailed in " Mantes History of the War in North
America^ now a scarce book. He was then a captain in the
army, and aide-de-camp to the late commander of the forces-
Lord Amherst. He had another uncle, in the naval service, who
died in consequence of a wound on board the Valiant, 74. Cap-
tain Dalyell had also a paternal uncle, Colonel John Graham,
who was mortally wounded in India, and died in consequence some
time after on the continent, in 1775.

Mr. Dalyell received the first rudiments of his education under
his father's roof ; and when it was determined to send him into
the royal navy, he was placed under the tuition of Dr. Burney,
of Gosport, at which celebrated nautical school so many officen
of merit have been educated.

He entered as volunteer midshipman, and served as master's
mate the allotted period of time on board the Thetis, the Pique,
and the Seine. Being taken very ill whilst on board the Pique, he
was sent ashore to Haslar Hospital, and during his confinement


there, the Pique, in company with the Jason, fought and cap-
tared the Seine.

Though he lost by sickness that opportunity of proving his
courage in battle, he had the good fortune to partake of the next
important achievement of Captain Milne : for, as the Seine was
cruising in the Mona passage, she fell in with and captured the
Vengeance. On this occasion, Mr. Dalyell acted as
camp to Captain Milne, and his station, of course, was on the
quarter-deck. Early in the action, Mr. Datyell was sent to the
galley, to order the second lieutenant, Mr. Milne, who com-
manded there, to point his guns lower. But, alas ! he had pointed
the last gun he was ever to direct. Just at the moment he was pro-
ceeding to the galley, a shot had struck his friend, which shat-
tered his knee, and killed and wounded nine other persons ! Mr.
Milne was also much hurt in the body. Mr. Dalyell was greatly
attached to this officer, whom he met borne by sailors at the foot
of the quarter-deck ladder, on his way to the cock-pit. Though
in a dying state he was still sensible, and a gleam of joy illumined
his pallid visage, as Mr. Dalyell mournfully pressed his hand, and
told him, " the enemy must soon strike" a prediction that was
shortly verified, and Mr. Milne almost instantly expired. This
officer, though of the same name, was no relation to the captain.
He was much respected and regretted by his captain and ship,
mates. During a voyage from Africa to the West Indies, a sea-
man having fallen overboard, Mr. Milne leaped into the sea and
saved his life.

In December, 1800, Mr. Dalyell was sent by Captain Milne,
as prize-master, with nine seamen, on board a Spanish schooner,
prize to the Seine. His orders were, to proceed with her to
Jamaica : but having started a butt head during a gale of wind
which came on within two or three days, and finding all attempts
to keep her free were in vain, Mr. Dalyell stood in for the land,
with the intention of running her ashore. She, however, filled so
rapidly, there was barely time to save the people on board, but
none to secure either their clothes, provisions, or water. In-
deed, if there had been time to have saved any thing, there was no
room for stowage; for so small was the boat, not a single person
more could have been stowed, and if ' there had been one more

Online LibraryThomas GrayThe 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 32) → online text (page 1 of 63)