Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Ty next feflion.

may offer themselves upon any particu- contrary to law.

Beside which, we lar occasion, nor have they any means thould always have in the kingdom a provided for furnishing such volontiers great number of well-disciplined men with proper arms and accoutrements. not then in actual service, by whom we This was a very great omiffion, and should be able to make head against therefore, it is hoped, it will be taken those in actual service. At least it would care of, in any future militia-bill, which make it very dangerous to attempt to it may be thought necessary to pass into make an illegal use of them; and this a law; for this would be necessary, even danger would make all of them more though the number of militia-men should thy of submitting to any illegal combe increased to what was at first propo: mand, or obeying any illegal orders; for sed, which, we hope, it will be the ve- security of success and impunity is ge

nerally one of the greatest incitements to We say, we hope so; because if there villany, and the contrary one of the best be any danger to be apprehended from preservatives of innocence. a well-disciplined militia, upon the plan The next bill of a public nature mo. of the present act, it must arise from the ved for, was that to make provision for smallness, and not from the largeness of the quartering of foreign troops. It was their number. The smaller their num- moved for by the Lord Barrington, leber is, the more probable it is, that they cretary at war, Dec. 13.; and leave bewill always confitt of the lowest and most ing given to bring it in, the Lord Barabandoned part of our people, and that rington, Mr Chancellor of the Exche. we shall have few or none but such that quer, and Mr Solicitor-General, were ore know any thing of military discipline, dered to prepare and bring it in. It was as must appear from what we have al- presented next day by Lord Barrington, ready said about the hire of substitutes. then twice read, and committed for the And if an ambitious king were provi- day following. On the 15th, it was ded with a well-disciplined militia of committed, reported, and ordered to 30,000 private men, consisting of the be ingroffed; and as it was very short, very lowest and most abandoned of the it was next day read a third time, and people, while, at the same time, few passed nem. con, being intitled, A bill ta or none of the rest of the people were make provision for the quartering of the foa provided with arms, or understood any reign troops NOW in this kingdom. And thing of military discipline; can we think, such dispatch was given it in the other that such militia-men would inquire, house, that it palied through that house, whether the imminent danger of an in- and was returned to the Commons, withvasion pretended for drawing them out out amendment, on the 17th ; so that it into actual service, and daily pay, had was ready for, and received the royal any foundation, or whether the lieute. affent on the 18th, along with the benants and officers appointed to draw fore-mentioned bill for prohibiting the them out and command them, were pos- exportation of corn. [xviii. 618.] seffed of the estates prescribed by this The reason for bringing in this bill fo act, especially if they saw many of them- early, and paffing it so quickly, was an selves advanced to the rank of officers ? objection made by our innholders and oWhereas, if our militia were to confift ther public houses, which had never been of 60,000, or any greater number, the made before, and which was, That they hire of subtitutes would be so high, and were not obliged to receive into, or give the rotation so quick, that many men of quarters to any foreign troops in their substance and some rank would chuse houses (xviii. 524, 64.]; and this obto serve in person. Such men would jection our government did not then make both the inquiries I have mention. think fit to dispute, as it was so ealy at ed; and would mutiny, for so it would that time to pet an end to the dispute by be called, if they found they were to be a new law. But if the King has a power drawn out and commanded expressly to call over foreign troops in time of VOL. XIX.

danger

4 X

danger by our constitution, that is to and waited upon the governor in my resay,

by common law, and without a pre- gimentals ; told him, that I was upon vious act of parliament for the purpose, my way to England from Gibraltar ; one would think, that he had by the and that I came on purpose to see the same law a power to quarter the foreign place, the dock, and the men of war. soldiers so called over, in the same way He was very polite: I was fhewed eas our own soldiers are, or may be quar. very thing ; went aboard ten ships of tered. Therefore this question is of the line new built; and an engineer atmuch greater importance than it first ap- tended me in going round the place. pears to be, as it seems to render doubt.

I was surprised to find, that though ful the power of the crown to bring fo. there was a good rampart with a revete. reign troops into this kingdom in time ment, the greatest part of it was not of danger, without the consent of parlia- flanked but with redans; that there were ment regularly obtained, by bringing in no outworks, no covert way, and in and paling a bill for the purpose ; and to many places no ditch; so that the botdetermine this doubt either way might tom of the wall was seen at a distance : be attended with great danger; though that in other places, where the earth had the negative seems to be the least danger- been taken out to form the rampart, ous of the two, especially if due atten. there was left about them a good height tion be always had towards propagating of ground, which was a disadvantage and preserving a true military spirit a. to the place : that for above the length mong our own people in general. of a front there was no rampart, or even [To be continued.]

intrenchment; but as the ground was From the report of the general oficers, next the river, there were some small

low and marshy at that place, being Nov. 1.1757, to inquire into the causes ditches; which were dry, however, at Nov. 1. 1757, to inquire into the causes low water; yet the bottom remained of the failure of the late expedition to the crafts of France. Published by authoris muddy and slimy.

Towards the river there was no ramty. [603.]

part, no parapet, no batteries on either Copy of a letter, dated London July 15. fide. Towards the land-side there was

1757, from Captain (now Lieutenant. fome high ground very nigh the place,
Colonel) Clerk, to Sir John Ligonier, and perhaps at the distance of about 150 or
transmitted to Mr Secretary Pitt, with 200 yards.
regard to Rochefort.

The engineer told me, that the place [Col. Clerk is a son of Dr Clerk, physician in had remained in that condition for above Edinburgh, lately deceased.]

seventy or eighty years.

I got no plan of the place, and put YO

YOU have desired me to put down nothing down in writing; for I found,

in writing what I mentioned to your that the whole town had been talking of Excellency in regard to Rochefort. me, and thought it very extraordinary

In returning from Gibraltar in 1754, that I lould be allowed to go about and I went along part of the western coast fee every thing. of France, to see the condition of some I burnt even some sketches and re. of the fortifications of their places of marks I had by me upon other places, importance, on purpose to judge, if an that they might have no hold of me, in attempt could be made with a probabi. case they searched my baggage, and lity of success, in case of a rupture, and therefore could only expose themselves, of the French drawing away their troops as I had done nothing but what was on to Flanders, Italy, and Germany, in the pen, above board, and with permiflion. same manner as they did in the last war. However, as to utilicy, I was as much I had heard, that Rochefort, though a satisfied as if I had got a plan. Jo replace of the utmost importance, had gard of the profile indeed, I have thought been very much reglected. I went there, lince, that it would not have been amiss

Sir,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

if I had known for certain the exact Memorial, of the actual force of France by height of the rampart. I think that land, and the services on which it is emit could not exceed twenty-five feet. In ployed in the year 1757. Received July Martiniere's geographical dictionary, it 28. 1757, and communicated to the

geneis called only twenty feet high ; perhaps rals who were sent out on the expedition. the parapet is not included.

THE

HE French army, at the beginning I told your Excellency, that I had ne. of the present troubles, consisted onver feen any plan of the place; but as ly of 157,347 men, not including the mithere had been no alteration in the works litia and the invalids, viz. for so many years, I made no question French foot

98,330 but that some old plan of it might be Artillery

4,100 found which would correspond exactly

Foreign foot

25,589 with what I said. In the Forces de

King's household, horse

3,210

French horse l’Europe, which I have, there is no

14,520 Foreign horse

960 plan of Rochefort; but I found one in the

Dragoons

7,680 Duke of Argyle's edition, which I bor. Huilars

800 rowed, and shewed to your Excellency. Light troops

2,158 It agrees exactly with what I faid, and In the month of August 1755, an augwith the sketch I drew of it before you mentation was made of four companies from my memory, except that a regular of 45 men each, in every battalion of the ditch is represented every where, which king's regiment, and of four companies is not the case.

of 40 men each, in every common batThe river may be about 130 yards talion of French foot; which made in broad. The entrance is defended by all 29,620 men. two or three small redoubts, which I did About the same time an augmentation not see, nor could I venture even to go was made in the dragoons, which made down and examine the coast.

up every regiment four squadrons of 640 What i mentioned to your Excellency men; making in all 2560 men. of the method of insulting the place, In the month of December of the considering it upon the footing of an im- same year 1755, an augmentation was mediate assault, I have not put down; also made in the horse, of ten men a for, though it may be reasoned upon in company; in all 5560 men. a general view, yet many things can on The royal volunteers, and Fischer's ly be fixed and determined immediately corps, were also aagmented; we do not upon the spot.

I was told, that there exactly know to what number ; but, acare never any troops at Rochefort, but cording to our advices, this augmentathe marines. There might be about tion came to about 680 men. 1000 at that time.

These several augmentations amount By the expedition to Port L'Orient in to 38,420 men, and consequently the 1746, it appeared to me, that the coun- French army (without reckoning the mitry-people in arms are very little better litia and the invalids, which I put at athan our own; and that an officer who bove 67,000) is composed of 196,000 poffeffes himself, might march safely men. They have, it is true, raised two from one end of a province to another, new regiments in the country of Liege; with only five companies of grenadiers, but, notwithstanding, their regular troops where there are no regular troops. They are under 200,000 men. imagine at first, that they can fight, and The islands of Minorca and Corfica, their intentions are good till it comes to with the colonies in America, take up the point, when every body gives way 25,000 men at least; they imbarked in almost before the firing of a platoon. the spring 3 or 4000 men for different

In writing this I have obeyed with services in the two Indies; Marshal pleasure, as I have always done, your d'Ecrées's army, if the regiments were Excellency's commands. I am, &c. complete, would amount to 92,000 men ; Robert CLERK. Marihal Richlieu's (Soubise's jis 32,615.

А

A body of 6 or 7000 men must also be that great importance could be left in fo reckoned, which they are obliged to keep defenceless a condition. in garrison at Toulon, Marseilles, Cette, In all doubtful dangerous military at. Antibes, &c. at hand for that part of the tempts, the advantages that may accrue coast.

from success ought to be weighed against According to this calculation, then, the damage and misfortunes that may be there are 160,000 regular troops em- the consequences of a repulse; and that, ployed; there will remain about 40,000' well considered, may in prudence determen for all the garrisons from Sedan to mine the choice. the frontiers of Swisserland, as also for If an attempt is to be made upon those of Roufillon and Guienne, without Rochefort, it will be the part of the adspeaking of Flanders and the coast. miral to know the coasts, to bring the

We reckon about 20,000 men placed troops to the nearest place, to cover their from St Valery to Bergue ; so that we landing by the difpofition of his ships, have all the reason to believe, that there and to destroy any barbet batteries which cannot be 10,000 men more from St Va. the enemy may have upon the shore ; lery to Bourdeaux.

still remembering, that if the troops are

landed at too great a distance from the Copy of a paper given by Sir John Ligonier place, the design will become dangerous, to Sir John Mordaunt, before he set out and probably impracticable. on the expedition, and laid before the board,

Suppofing the troops landed, it must Nov. 14. by the latter.

be left to the confideration of the geneTHer "Here is a chance in the best-con- rals, whether they should not march with

certed military enterprises, which the proper precautions directly to Rocheevery man of long service must have ex fort, to prevent any fuccours being thrown perienced. What hare then must be left into the place; at the same time that the to fortune in an expedition where neither marines Thould be employed in making the country, nor the number of troops a good intrenchment for the security of you are to act against, is known with any the stores to be landed from time to time, precision !

as well as of a retreat in case of necessity. The capacity of the generals may We are told the country in the neighsupply this want of intelligence; but to bourhood is low and maríhy: that cirgive them any positive plan, or rule of cumstance might be of great advantage action, under such circumstances, I ap- in this undertaking, because in that case prehend would be absurd.

troops cannot march by ouvertures dans If I am rightly informed, the great la campagne ; but must follow the dikes point his Majetty has in view by this ex or causeys; which may be easily depedition, and the alarming the coasts of fended by coupures or redoubts. France, is the hopes of making a power A fafé and well-secured communicaful diversion in favour of his Royal High- tion between the camp and the fea, from ness the Duke, as well as the King of whence you are to receive your supplies Prussia, who desires and presses much this of all kinds, is absolutely necessary: the very measure.

whole depends upon it. In the execution of this general plan, But this being done, I should not be a project of giving a mortal blow to the much in pain for the safety of the troops: naval power of France is in his Majesty's an inferior nomber dares not approach thoughts, by attacking, and destroying, if you; and one superior will not be easily posible, the dock, shipping, and naval afsembied without your knowing of it: fores, at Rochefort. A plan of that and at all events you have secured a replace, given by one of his Majesty's en- treat to the ships. gineers, who was there in 1754,

seems to I would advise to procure guides upon encourage the attempt: and it must be the spot, and paying them greatly when owned, that without such authority it faithful: there are numbers of Protecould hardly be believed that a place of ftants in that province that with you well,

and

[ocr errors]

bold attempt.

and would be glad to go on board with the just war in which we are engaged ayou.

gainst the French King, with the utmost As for a coup de main, it may perhaps vigour; and it being highly expedient, succeed best at your coming up, as the and of urgent neceflity, to make some enemy may be in great hurry, surprise, expedition that may cause a diversion, and consternation, at such an unexpected and engage the enemy to employ in their visit, and not have had time to make his own defence, a considerable part of their dispositions. But if that is not thought forces, destined to invade and oppress proper,

it

may succeed as well after the the liberties of the empire, and to fubplace has been thoroughly reconnoitred, vert the independency of Europe ; and, if and you have fixed the spots where you possible, to make some effectual impresa design to direct your greatest efforts: and fion on the enemy, which, by disturbo if the enemy

fee any preparations for a ing and thaking the credit of their pu. regular attack, they will less suspect a blic loans, impairing the strength and coup de main.

resources of their navy, as well as dis. Bergen-op-zoom was taken by a coup concerting, and, in part, frustrating de main after a long fiege,

their dangerous and extensive operations St Philips was taken by scaling-ladders of war, may reflect luftre on our arms, and a coup de main, though the garrison and add life and strength to the com. was 3000 strong, after a siege of 56 days. mon cause; and whereas we are persua.

The necessity of dividing a small gar. ded, that nothing, in the present fituarison in a place of such circumference as tion of affairs, can fo fpeedily and effenRochefort, may facilitate the success of a tially annoy and distress France, as a

successful enterprise against Rochefort ;

our will and pleasure is, That you do Capt William Phillips delivered next day to the board the original

of this pa. ticable, a descent, with the forces under attempt, as far as shall be found

pracper; with directions to inform them, that Sir John Ligonier was desirous the board your command, on the French coast, at should understand that the paper was in

or near Rochefort, in order to attack, if tended not as instructions, but only hints, force that place; and to burn and de

practicable,and, by a vigorous impression, which he had put upon paper, and read to Sir John Mordaunt, who thereupon docks, magazines, arsenals, and ship

stroy, to the utmost of your power, all defired a copy. The following paragraph was added, which Sir John Ligo. ping, that thall be found there, and exnier directed Capt Phillips to inform the ert fuch other efforts as you all judge

most board was not in the copy given to Sir

proper for annoying the enemy. John Mordaunt, viz. “When Sir John either have succeeded or failed; and in

After the attempt on Rochefort shall Ligonier wrote this paper, of which Sir

case the circumstances of our forces and John Mordaunt desired a copy, he knew nothing of the difpofition of the French fleet shall, with prospect of fuccefs, ftill troops. -The small number of those admit of further operations, you are

next to consider Port L'Orient and Bourtroops that could be upon that coast, by the disposition produced at the cabinet deaux, as the most important objects of council [623.] lefsened very much the our arms, on the coast of France ; and

our will and pleasure is, That you do neceflity of the precautions to be taken for a communication or landing."

proceed fucceílively to an attempt on

both, or either of those places, as fhall Extraets of the secret infructions given to be judged practicable; or on any other Sir John Mordaunt, dated, Aug.5.1757. place that ihall be thought most advise

[Sir Edward Hawke's instructions were of the able, from Bourdeaux homewards to fame tenor, mutatis mutandis.]

Havre, in order to carry and spread, GEORGE R.

with as much rapidity as may be, a Whereas we have determined, warm alarm along the maritime prowith the bleling of God, to prosecute vinces of France.

« ZurückWeiter »