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SIR JAMES SAUMAREZ.
JAMES SAUMAREZ, the son of a surgeon, whose family is said to have followed William the Conqueror from Normandy, was born on the 11th of March, 1757, at Guernsey; and, in 1770, went, as a midshipman, to the Mediterranean station, in the Montreal; from which he removed to the Winchelsea frigate, and returned to England, in the Levant, about 1775. Soon afterwards, he joined the Bristol, in which he was present, and narrowly escaped being killed, at the attack on Fort Sullivan, in South Carolina. For his conduct on this occasion, he was made a lieutenant; and, subsequently, commanded the Spitfire galley, with which he drove on shore a ship of far superior force to his own, and cleared the American coast of the enemy's privateers.
He was next intrusted with a party of seamen and marines, at one of the advanced posts, and acted as aid-decamp, on shore, to Commodore Brisbane. In 1781, he was transferred from the Victory, in which he had for some time served, to the Fortitude, and participated in the action between the squadron under Sir Hyde Parker and the Dutch fleet, off the Dogger Bank. For his conduct on this occasion he was made commander of the Tisiphone, fireship; and George the Third, it is said, during his visit to the squadron, at the Nore, having asked Sir Hyde Parker whether Mr. Saumarez was any relation to the two gentlemen of the same name, who had accompanied Lord Anson round the world, the admiral replied, "that he was their nephew; and as brave and as good an officer as either of his uncles."
In 1781, Saumarez discovered, and, by his zeal, materially contributed to the capture of a number of transports, off Ushant, by the squadron commanded by Kempenfelt. He was soon afterwards promoted to the rank of postcaptain; and, in the Russell, seventyfour, took an active part in the engagement between Rodney and De Grasse, on the 12th of April, 1782. After an
interval of peace, during which he actively pronioted the establishment of Sunday-schools in England, he was appointed, in 1787, to the Ambuscade frigate; in 1790, to the Raisonable; and, in 1793, to the Crescent, with which he captured, on the 20th of October in that year, the French ship, La Reunion, off Cherbourg. For his success on this occasion, which was obtained without the expense of a single life to the English, although one hundred and twenty of the enemy were killed and wounded, he received the honour of knighthood.
On the 8th of June, 1794, the Crescent, accompanied by the Druid frigate, and the Eurydice, a seventy-four gun ship, while off Jersey, were chased by a French squadron, of two cut-down seventy-fours, each mounting fifty-four guns, two frigates, and a brig, Perceiving the vast superiority of the enemy, Saumarez ordered the Eurydice, which was his slowest ship, to make the best of her way to Guernsey, The Crescent and the Druid followed, under easy sail, occasionally engaging the French, and keeping them at bay, until the Eurydice had got some distance a-head. They then made all possible sail to get clear off; but the enemy gained so fast on them, that they must inevitably have been taken, had not Saumarez hauled his wind, and daringly stood along the French line, This movement, as was expected, attracted the immediate attention of the enemy, and the capture of the Crescent appeared, for some time, to be inevitable; but, by the assistance of an old and experienced pilot, she pushed through an intricate passage never before attempted by a king's ship, and effected her escape into Guernsey Road, where her consorts also arrived.
In the Orion, seventy-four, he subsequently bore a distinguished part, in the memorable actions off L'Orient and off Cape St. Vincent. In 1798, he materially increased his reputation, at the battle of the Nile, in which he received a severe contusion on the side,
but remained on deck until the conflict was over. After having escorted six of the prizes to Gibraltar, he proceeded to Plymouth, and was shortly afterwards rewarded for his services with a gold medal and riband, as well as a colonelcy of marines.
He next served in the Cæsar, one of the channel fleet: in January, 1801, he was appointed rear-admiral of the blue; and, in June following, created a baronet. He subsequently commanded a division of the grand fleet off the Black Rocks; and, on the 14th of June, 1802, sailed with a squadron destined for the blockade of Cadiz. On the 5th of July, he proceeded to Algesiras, where he attacked two French ships, which he found at anchor, under cover of the Spanish batteries; but was compelled to retire, with the loss of the Hannibal, one of his largest vessels.
In a few hours, his squadron reached Rosia Bay, where, having received intelligence of the approach of a French and Spanish fleet, Saumarez succeeded in getting his ships refitted by the 12th of the month. On the afternoon of that day he put to sea, and coming up with the enemy, after a spirited engagement, in sight of the garrison of Gibraltar, set fire to two of their ships, and captured a third. The remainder of the combined squadron, which had on board a large
EDWARD PELLEW, VISCOUNT EXMOUTH.
THIS admiral, second son of Samuel Pellew, Esq. was born at Dover, on the 19th of April, 1757; and, in 1771, accompanied Captain Stott, in the Juno frigate, to take possession of the places discovered by Byron. He subsequently went to the Mediterranean with the same officer, who, on account of some misunderstanding between them, put him on shore at Marseilles.
body of troops, destined, it was supposed, for an attack on Lisbon, although much injured, effected their escape to Cadiz.
For his important services, on this occasion, Sir James Saumarez received the order of the Bath, the thanks of parliament, a grant of £1,200 per annum, and the freedom of the city of London. He subsequently became, in succession, governor of Guernsey; a vice-admiral; second in command of the channel fleet, under Lord St. Vincent; and, in March, 1808, commanderin-chief of a squadron sent to the Baltic, where he remained about four years. On the 24th of June, 1813, he was invested with the insignia of a knight grand cross of the royal Swedish order of the Sword; on the 4th of June, 1814, he was made rear-admiral of the blue; in 1818, he received the honourable and lucrative appointment of rear-admiral of Great Britain; and, on the demise of Sir William Young, he succeeded that officer as vice-admiral of England. He was married on the 27th of October, 1788. to Martha, only child of Thomas Le Marchant, Esq. of Guernsey.
Although some of his most distinguished naval cotemporaries may, perhaps, have possessed a superior degree of skill, none of them can be said to have displayed a more enterprising spirit, or more unflinching intrepidity.
On the breaking out of the American war, he joined the Blonde frigate, in which he sailed to the relief of Quebec; and soon after removed to the Carleton, in which he distinguished himself in the battle fought on Lake Champlain, on the 11th of October, 1776. In 1777, he was taken prisoner, with General
Burgoyne's forces, at Saratoga; in 1780, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant; and, subsequently, served on the Flemish coast, in the Apollo frigate; which, while cruising near Ostend, lost her captain, in a smart action with the Stanislaus, a vessel pierced for thirtytwo guns, but carrying only twentysix. Both ships suffered severely in this encounter, which terminated in the escape of the Stanislaus to the harbour of Ostend.
For his conduct on this occasion, Pellew obtained the command of the Hazard sloop, stationed in the North Sea; and, on the 31st of May, 1782, he was promoted to the rank of postcaptain. In 1783, he commanded the
Dictator, of sixty-four guns, in the Medway; and afterwards, the Salisbury, of fifty guns, on the Newfoundland station. During this period, he twice jumped overboard, to save a fellow-creature from drowning; though, on one of these occasions, he was labouring under a severe indisposition.
danger, by means of a single rope, they reached the wreck, from which they succeeded in getting a hawser on shore, and saved the whole crew. For this heroic act, Pellew received the freedom of Plymouth; and, in the following March, was raised to the dignity of a baronet.
At the commencement of the war with the French republic, he obtained the command of the Nymphe; with which, while on a cruise in the channel, he captured a French frigate, called the Cleopatra, after a remarkably close and well-contested action. For this service, Captain Pellew was immediately knighted, and appointed to the Arethusa, of forty-four guns, attached to Admiral Warren's squadron. On the 23rd of April, 1794, the Arethusa, and three of her consorts, while cruising off Guernsey, fell in with four of the enemy, of which, after a spirited action, they captured three. On the 23rd of the following August, he succeeded, with the boats of the fleet, in destroying a French frigate and two corvettes, which had been driven on shore by the British fleet; and, in October, while cruising off Ushant, with a small squadron, under his own command, he captured a large French frigate, called the Artois. In the early part of 1795, being then under Admiral Warren, he was directed to attack a French convoy, of which he captured seven, and destroyed eleven vessels, within sight of the Isle of Aix. Shortly afterwards, he was again placed at the head of a small squadron, with which he took and destroyed fifteen sail of coasting-vessels.
On the 6th of January, 1796, he performed a noble action at Plymouth. The Dutton, East Indiaman, being driven in by stress of weather, struck near the citadel, and the sea broke over her, until all her masts went by the board, and fell towards the shore, the ship heeling off with her side to seaward. At this critical moment, Sir Edward Pellew, observing that the gale increased, and knowing that the flood tide would make a complete wreck of the vessel, earnestly entreated some of the spectators to accompany him on board, to attempt rescuing the crew; but the port-admiral's signal midshipman, Mr. Edsell, alone volunteered his services. With great difficulty and
He shortly afterwards went on a cruise with the Indefatigable, and four other frigates; during which, he captured a fleet of French merchantmen, L'Unité, of thirty-eight guns and two hundred and fifty-five men, and La Virginie, of forty-four guns and three hundred and forty men. On the 13th of January, 1797, with his own frigate, and the Amazon, he attacked a large French ship, off Ushant; from which, however, after an engagement of five hours' duration, he was compelled to sheer off, for the purpose of securing his masts. During the action, the sea, it is said, constantly ran so high, that his men were often up to their waists in water; and, in the course of the following night, the Indefatigable narrowly escaped being wrecked. The next morning, when her commander intended to have renewed the battle, he perceived the enemy lying on her broadside, with a tremendous surf beating over her. At five o'clock, the Amazon struck the ground; but the whole of her crew, with the exception of six, who stole away in the cutter and were drowned, reached the shore, where they surrendered as prisoners of war. Of those on board the French ship, which proved to be Les Droits des Hommes, of eighty guns, upwards of thirteen hundred unfortunately perished.
In addition to the prizes already mentioned, Sir Edward Pellew's squadron had, up to the end of 1798, captured sixteen armed vessels and privateers, mounting, in the whole, two hundred and thirty-eight guns. He continued to serve in the Indefatigable until the spring of the next year, when he removed to the Impetueux; and, in 1800, he was despatched, with a fleet of eighteen sail, to co-operate, in Quiberon Bay, with the French royalists. This expedition, as well as a subsequent one to Belleisle, being attended with no success, the squadron under his command proceeded to
blockade Port Louis, in the Mediterranean; where one of his lieutenants captured a French brig, called Le Cerbere. He soon after accompanied Admiral Warren on the expedition against Ferrol; and, served subsequently, for a short time, under the orders of Admiral Cornwallis. In 1802, he became a colonel of marines, and member of parliament for Barnstaple; in which latter capacity he made an able speech in defence of Earl St. Vincent, who was then at the head of the admiralty, on the 15th of March, 1804, when a motion was made for an inquiry respecting the naval defence of the country.
On the renewal of hostilities, he was appointed to the Tonnant, of eighty guns; on which occasion, with a view to procure the services of a respectable schoolmaster for the ship, he offered, by advertisement, to add £50 to the government allowance, out of his own pocket. Having shortly afterwards taken a ship, on board of which the wife of a French deputy had embarked with £3,000, the produce of her property, to join her husband in banishment, at Cayenne, he restored to her the whole of the sum, and paid, from his private purse, that share of it to which his subordinates were entitled.
He was next employed, with the rank of rear-admiral of the white, as commander-in-chief, on the East India station. In 1806, he took, or destroyed, thirty vessels at Batavia; and in the following year, completely annihilated the Dutch naval force in the East Indies. On the 28th of April, 1808, he was made vice-admiral of the blue; and, after having received an address of thanks from the ship-owners and underwriters of Bombay, he returned, in 1809, to England.
In 1810, he hoisted his flag on board the Christian VII. and was employed at the blockade of Flushing. He subsequently removed to the Caledonia, of one hundred and twenty guns, and succeeded Sir Charles Cotton, as commander-in-chief on the Mediterranean station. In 1814, he was elevated to the peerage, by the title of Baron Exmouth, of Canonteign, and made admiral of the blue. On the 2nd of January, 1815, he became a knight companion of the Bath; and, on the return of Buonaparte from Elba, he assisted, with a squadron, at the reduction of
Toulon, and the restoration of the King of Naples.
In March, 1816, he sailed to Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli; whence, after having concluded treaties for the abolition of Christian slavery (inter alia) he returned to England in June. On the 20th of the next month, the Algerines having already violated the terms of their treaty, he was directed to hoist his flag on board the Queen Charlotte, of one hundred and eight guns, and proceed with a squadron to obtain satisfaction. He arrived off Algiers, with fifteen sail of the line, four bombs, and six Dutch frigates, on the 27th of August. Early the next morning, he sent a boat ashore, with a flag of truce, to announce the demands of the British government. After a delay of three hours, during which a sea-breeze enabled the fleet to get into the bay, the boat was seen returning, with a signal that no answer had been obtained. Lord Exmouth immediately made his final preparations for the attack that ensued, of which the following, with a few abridgments, is the account published by his secretary :-" I remained on the poop with his lordship, till the Queen Charlotte passed through all the enemy's batteries, without firing a gun. There were many thousand Turks and Moors looking on, astonished to see so large a ship coming, all at once, inside the mole; opposite the head of which she took her station, in so masterly a manner, that not more than four or five guns could bear upon her from it. She was, however, exposed to the fire of all their other batteries and musketry.
"At a few minutes before three, the Algerines fired the first shot, at the Impregnable. Lord Exmouth, seeing only the smoke of the gun, before the sound reached him, said, with great alacrity, That will do!-Fire, my fine fellows!'-and before his lordship had finished these words, our broadside was given. There being a great crowd of people, the first fire was so terrible, that, they say, more than five hundred of the Turks were killed and wounded; and, after the first discharge, I saw many running away under the walls, upon their hands and feet.
My ears being deafened by the roar of the guns, I began to descend the quarter-deck. The companies of the
On his return to England, Lord Exmouth was raised to the dignity of a viscount, and received the thanks of both houses of parliament, as well as a sword from the city of London, and a splendid piece of plate from the officers who had served under him in the expedition. In the autumn of 1817, he was appointed to the chief command at Plymouth; where he continued, with his flag in the Impregnable, of one hundred and four guns, until February, 1821. At the close of the war, he was serving in the Mediterranean; and, on his retiring from command, the flagofficers and captains on that station presented him with a piece of plate worth five hundred guineas. In addition to his other honours, he has obtained a grand cross of the Bath, and a diploma of L.L. D. By his wife, Susan, daughter of James Frowd, Esq., he has several children.
two guns nearest the hatchway wanted wadding; but not having it immediately, they cut off the breasts of their jackets, and rammed them into their guns instead. At this time, the Queen Charlotte had received several shots between wind and water. All the time of the battle, not one seaman lamented the dreadful continuation of the fight; but, on the contrary, the longer it lasted, the more cheerfulness and pleasure was amongst them, notwithstanding the firing was most tremendous on our side, particularly from the Queen Charlotte, which never slackened nor ceased, though his lordship several times desired it, to make his observations. At eleven o'clock, p. m. his lordship having observed the destruction of the whole Algerine navy, and the strongest part of their batteries, with the city, made signal to the fleet, to move out of the line of the batteries; and, with a favourable breeze, we cut our cables, with the rest of the fleet, and made sail, when our firing ceased, at about half-past eleven. When I met his lordship on the poop, his voice was quite hoarse, and he had two slight wounds, one in the cheek, the other in the leg; and it was astonishing to see the coat of his lordship, how it was all cut up by musket-ball, and grape; it was, indeed, as if a person had taken a pair of scissors, and cut it all to pieces. The gunner of the Queen Charlotte, an old man of seventy, said, 'that in his life, he had been in more than twenty actions, but that he never knew or heard of any action, that had consumed so great a quantity of powder.'"
The consequences of this attack were, a public apology, from the dey, to the British consul; the recovery of three hundred and eighty-two thousand dollars, for Naples and Sardinia; and the liberation from slavery of four hundred and seventy-one Neapolitans, two hundred and thirty-six Sicilians, one hundred and seventy-three Romans, six Tuscans, one hundred and sixty-one Spaniards, one Portuguese, seven Greeks, and twenty-eight Dutch.
Lord Exmouth is, in every respect, an honour to the British navy. Such an union of lofty heroism, consummate skill, and active benevolence, as he has displayed, is almost without a parallel. "He was a most excellent seaman, even while a captain; and took care never to order a man to do what he himself would not. By way of shewing a good example, therefore, he was accustomed, at times, when the mainsail was handed, to assume the post of honour himself,-standing at the weather earing, while Mr. Larcom, his first lieutenant, was stationed at the leeward one."
He is said to be so unskilful an equestrian, that, not daring to cross a horse, he once rode a donkey while reviewing a body of marines. On this occasion, it is added, he was attended by a favourite negro boy, named after his master, Edward, who, having been made acquainted with the vulgar appellation of the animal on which Lord Exmouth was mounted, innocently observed, as he walked by the side of the gallant admiral and his asinine charger, "Here be three Neddy, now,