Page images
PDF
EPUB

men.

for, out of 240 persons on board, sea ; among whom was our captain, when the ship first struck, I sup who, about three in the afternoon, pose 20 to have previously perished went on the jib-boom with three between decks and otherwise. Mr. seaman ; anxious to save the reLawton, the gunner, the first per. mainder of the ship's company, and son who attempted to swim ashore, too sanguine of getting safe on was drowned: afterwards lieute. shore, le ventured upon the spar, nant Wilson, Mr. Runcie, surgeon, saying, on jumping into the sea, Mr. M‘Cabe, surgeon's mate, Mr. “ My lads, I'll save you all.” In Stanley, master's mate, and sereral a few seconds he lost his hold of the men, shared the same fate, by rea- spar, which he could not regain : son of the sea breaking in enormous he drifted to sea, and perished. surges over them, though excellent Such was also the fate of the three swimmers. About thirty persons had brave volunteers who chose his for. the good fortune to reach the shore, tune. upon planks and spars; among The loss of our captain, who, whom were, lieutenant Hervey and until now, had animated the almost Mr. Callam, master's mate. Mon. liscess crew ; as well as the noblo day night our situation was truly exertions of lieutenant llervey and horrid, the old men and boys dying Mr. Callam to launch the boat not through hunger and fatigue ; also succeeding ; every gleam of hope Messrs. Proby and Hayes, midship- vanished, and we looked forward

Captain Dixon remained for certain death the ensuing night; all this night upon the bowsprit. not only from cold, hunger, and faTuesday morning presented us no tigue, but the expectation of the rebetter prospect of being relieved maining part of the wreck going to from the jaws of death, the wind pieces every moment. Had not the blowing stronger and the sea much Apollo been a new and well-built more turbulent. About noon this ship, that small portion of her could day, our drooping spirits were never have resisted the waves, and somewhat raised by seeing liente. stuck so well together; particularly nant Hervey and Mr. Callam hoist. as all the after-part from the chessing out a boat from one of the trees was gone, the starboard-bow merchant ships, to come to the as. under water, the fore-castle-deck sistance of their distressed shipmates. nearly perpendicular, the weight of They several times attempted to the guns hanging to the larboardlaunch her through the surf; but bulwark on the inside, and the being a very heavy boat, and the bower and spare anchors on the sea on the beach acting so power- outside, which it was not prudent to fully against them, they could not cut away, as they afforded restingpossibly effect it, though assisted places to a considerable number of by nearly 100 of the merchant men, there being only the foresailors and l'ortuguese peasants. Se- chains and cathead were it was posveral men went upon rafts this day sible to live in, and about which made from pieces of the wreck, but were stowed upwards of 150 men; not one soul reached the shore ; the it being impracticable to continue wind having shifted, and the current any longer in the head, or upon the setting out, they, were all driven to bowsprit, by reason of the breakers

washing

over

washing completely those success, a number of men belong. places. The night drawing on, the ing to the merchant ships being much wind increasing, frequent showers bruised and hurt in assisting. Alof rain, the sea washing over us, ternate hopes and fears now per. and looking every instant for the vaded our wretched minds : fifteen fore-castle giving way, when, we men got safe on shore this morning must have all perished together, on pieces of the wreck. About afforded a spectacie truly deplora- three in the afternoon of Wednesble; the bare recollection of which, the 4th, we had the inexpressible even now, makes me shudder. The happiness of seeing the boat launched piercing cries of the dismal night, through the surf, by the indefatigaat every sea coming over us, ble exertion of the above officers, which happened every two minutes, assisted by the masters of the mer. were pitiful in the extreme; the chant ships, with a number of Porwater running from the head down tuguese peasants, who were encou. all over the body, keeping us con- raged by Mr. Whitney, the British tinually wet. This shocking night Consul, from Figuiera. All the the remaining strength of every per- crew then remaining on the wreck son was exerted for his individual were brought safe on shore, praising safety. From the crowding so close God for their happy deliverance together in so narrow a compass, from a shipwreck, which never had and the want of something to moisten its parallel. As soon as I stepped their mouths, several poor wretches out of the boat, I found several perwere suffocated; which frequently sons whose humanity prompted them reminded me of the black-hole, with to offer me sustenance, though im. this only difference, that these poor properly, in spirits, which I avoided sufferers were confined by strong as much as possible. Our weak walls, we by water; the least move- state may be conceived, when it is ment without clinging fast, would considered that we received no have launched into eternity. nourishment from Sunday to Wed. Some unfortunate wretches drank nesday afternoon, and continually salt water, several their own urine, exposed to the fury of the watery some chewed leather, myself and element. After eating and drinkmany more chewed lead, from ing a little, I found myself weaker which we conceived we found con. than before; occasioned, I appresiderable relief, by reason of its hend, from having been so long drawing the saliva, which we swal. without either. Some men died soon lowed. In less than an hour after after getting on shore, from impru. the ship struck the ground, all the dently drinking two large a quan., provisions were under water, and tity of spirits. All the crew were the ship a wreck, so that it was in a very weak and exhausted state, impossible to procure any part. the greater part being badly bruised After the most painful night that it and wounded. About forty sail of is possible to conceive, on day-light merchant ships were wrecked at the appearing, we observed lieutenant same time on this dreadful beach. Hervey and Mr. Callam again ene Some ships sunk with all their crew, deavouring to launch the boat. Se. and almost every ship lost from two veral attempts were made without to twelve men each; yet the situ.

Mm 3

[ocr errors]

As we

ation of the remainder was not the boats, if a good opportunity equal to that of the frigate's ship's could be made, or found. It came company, as the merchant ships unsolicited March 31. Preparing drawing a less draught of water, to embark, we accidentally were were mostly driven close on the joined by the Beaver sloop, who shore, and no person remained on offered us her boats to act in conboard them after the first morning.

cert with ours. We accepted the The masters of the merchant ships reinforcement, under an impression, had tents upon the beach, and some that it would spare lives on both provisions they had saved from the sides, and would shorten the conwrecks, which they very generously test. At half past nine in the evendistributed, and gave every assist- ing, we began the enterprize in three ance to the Apollo's ship’s com boats from the Scorpion, and two pany. Thus was lost one of the from the Beaver. Captain Pelly (a tinest frigates in the British Navy, very intelligent and spirited oflicer) with sixty-one of her crew. The did me the honour to serve under me number of souls lost in the mer. as a volunteer in one of his boats. chants’ ships was also considerable. We had near sixty men, including Dead bodies were every day toating officers, headed by your humble serashore, and pieces of wreck covered vant in the foremost boat. the beach upwards of ten miles in rowed with tide tlood, we arrived extent.

along-side the enemy at half past

eleven. I had the good fortune, or Interesting Account of the Capture (as by some it as been considered)

of the Atulante Dutch National the honour, to be the first man who Brig, mounting 16 Lung Täclre- boarded her. She was prepared for pounders, and 76 Mer*, in at us, with board nettings up and with

Letter from Cuptuin G. N. Hard- all the other customary implements inge, to his father, Vli. Justice of defence. But the noise and the Hardinge.

alarm, &c. so intimidated her crew,

that many of then ran below in a Scorpion, April 7, 1801. panic, leaving to us the painful duty My ever dearest friend, I am on of combating those whom we reay way to the Nore, after six days of spected the most. The decks were severe, but unrepented fatigue, and slippery in consequence of, rain, so have sixty Dutch prisoners on board: that grappling with my first oppo. we are accompanied by the Atalante, nent, a mate of the watch, I fell, a Dutch war brig of sixteen guns, but recovered my position,-fought prize to us. I was ordered on the him upon equal terms, and killed 28th to reconpoitre at Vlie, and him. I then engaged the captain, perceived a couple of the enemy's as brave a man as any service ever brigs at anchor in the roads. Disboasted; he had almost killed one pairing to reach them with my ship, of my seamen. To

my

shame be it on account of the shoals that sur- spoken, he disarmed me, and was rounded the entrance, I determined on the point of killing me, when a upon a dash at the outermost one in seaman of mine came up, rescued

me,

• Vide Chronicle, Page 879.

me, at the peril of his own life,– in the pursuit of this object I may and enabled me to recover my sword. have left material facts a little too At this time all the men were come indefinite, if not obscure. The from the boats, and were in pos. Atalante's captain and four others session of the deck. Two were were killed; eleven are wounded, going to fall upon the captain at and so dreadfully that our surgeon, once. I ran up-held them back, thinks every one of them will die. --and then adjured him to accept To the end of my existence I shall quarters. With intlexible heroism he regret the captain--hie was a perfect, disdained the gift.-— kept us at bay, hero; and, if his crew had been and compelled us to kill him-he tell, like him, critical indeed would have covered with honourable wounds. been our peril. The Atalante is The vessel was ours, and we secured much larger than my vessel; and she the hatches, which, headed by a mounted 16 long twelve pounders:. lieutenant, who has received a des- we have not a single brig that is peratè wound, they attempted l'e- equal to that calibre. Her intended peatedly to force. Thus far we had complement was 200 men ;-but she, been fortunate;-but we had another had only 76 on-board. I expect enemy to fight; it was the element. your joy by the return of the post. A sudden gale, and shifted against P.S. In two days after the capus, impeded all the efforts we could taiu's death, he was buried with all make. But, as we had made the the naval honours in my power to capture, we determined at all events bestow 1: porr him ; during the cere. to sustain it, or to perish. We mony of his interment, the English made the Dutch bebw surrender- colours disappeared, and the Dutch put forty of them into their own were hoisted in this place. All the irons,—and stationed our men to Dutch oslicers were liberated-one their guns; brought the powder up, of them pronounced an éloge on the and made all the necessary arrange- hero they had ļost-and we fired ments to attack the other brig. three volley's over him as he deBut as the day broke, and without scended into the deep. abatement of the wind, she was off,

Ever affectionately, at such a distance, and in such a po.

aud gratefully yours, sition, that we had no chance to

Goo.NIlardinge. reach her. In this extremity of peril we remained eight and forty hours. Two of the boats had broke a-drift' from us; two had Ceremonial of the Presentation of swampt alongside. The wind shift.

Colours to the Loyal London Vue ed again, and we made a push

lunteers, May 18th, 1801. to extricate ourselves, but found the navigation so difficult, that it At eight o'clock this morning the required the intense labour of three different regiments repaired to the days to accomplish it. We carried places appointed for their embarka. the point at last, and were com. tion, which was thus arranged : In mended by the admiral for our per- the first boats, the commander and severance. You will see in the Ga. field officers, adjutants excepted. zette any letter to him. I aimed at 21, The band. 3d, The Regiment. modesty, and am a little afraid that 4th, The adjutant and quarter-mas

Mm 4 * Vide Chronicle, p. 379.

ter.

ter. After the embarkation, some nor was there a spot in the whole of the boats having to pass through distance to Greenwich unoccupied. London-bridge, it was ten o'clock The ships in the river vied with each before they all reached the place of other on the occasion, in their fanci. rendezvous off the Tower. Pre- ful decorations. All the way as the cisely at a quarter before 9 o'clock, fiotilla passed, it was saluted with the earl of Ilarrington arrived at incessant discharges from temporary the Mansion-house, accompanied by batteries on shore, and the ships in lady Harrington, lord Petersham, and the river. The whole of the busilaciy Anne Maria Stanhope, and his ness on the river was conducted with staff. About the same time arrived the greatest regularity. Four river the sheriffs of London. The whole fencible boats preceded the barges, party iinmediately set off to the low. to keep a clear stage, and each boat er-stairs, in orderof procession as they mounted an 181b. carronade, and arrived, preceded by the lord may was well manned. On the lord or's carriage and six horses, in mayor's barge arriving opposite the which were his family. Ilaying Thames police office, the volunteers reached the water-side, the earl of belonging to that establishment were Harrington and the lord mayor drawn out in boats and saluted it. alighted, and repaired to the gover. The same attention was paid by the nor's of the Tower, where they met volunteers at the West India docks, his royal highness the duke of York, who appeared on the banks in miliaod his four aides-de-camp, with tary array, and fired three rollies whom they returned, and embarked with great precision. At Deptford immediately, together with the rest the militia of the Tower Hamlets of their party, under a royal salute saluted. The several divisions of from the Tower, and proceeded boats did not proceed from the without further delay, accompanied Tower until near half an hour after by the comunittee's barge for the the lord mayor's barge. Each di. day, and the lord Nelson barge, in vision was commanded by an officer which were several persons of dis- of the river fencibles; and space of tinción. As this part of the flo. about 150 yards was allowed betilla moved along, they were pre- tween each division. The first divi. ceded and followed by some hun. sion, which comprised the 1st regidreds of boats, many of which were ment, was contained in 9 boats. elegantly decorated. An equal num- The second regiment occupied 12 ber still remained with the river boats; the 4th 11, and the rest, fencible boats, containing the volun- about the same proportion. The teer regiments, which was attended bands of each regiment played all with a happy effect; for, had the the way, and produced a most whole of the flotilla moved off to. charming effect upon the water. gether, the attraction would have The same good order which had hi. been confined to one spot, and the therto prevailed, existed at the dis. river would have been blocked up embarkation at Greenwich. The from the inmense number of boats. company in the lord mayor's barge The shores on each side of the river landed at the centre stairs, and were were crowded with people. TH all hospitably received at the govertops of the houses were covered; nor's house until it was time to re

« PreviousContinue »