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be any way weakened by an engage. Lord Robert Bertie, and the defects of ment, or any other accident, the gar.. the ships which received damage in the rison of Gibraltar would be exposed to action with the French squadron on the eminent danger. And as the garrison 20th instant, as also having laid before Itands at present, it is not more than the council the state of the sick and sufficient for the common duty of the wounded men on board the ships of the garrison.
fleet, proposed to the council the folBut Adm. Byng having represented, lowing questions, viz. that there is a deficiency of men on board I. Whether an attack upon the French the ships late under the command of fleet gives any prospect of relieving MiCom. Edgcumbe, on account of his norca ?-Unanimously resolve that it would having left a number of failors and ma- not. rines at Minorca to alift in the defence II. Whether if there was no French of the place; and that a detachment is fleet cruising off Minorca, the English absolutely necessary to render those ships fleet could raise the fiegel-Unanimously useful; it is the opinion of the council, of opinion, that the fleet could not. that the Governor of Gibraltar should III. Whether Gibraltar would not be fend such a detachment on board as shall in danger by any accident that may
bebe judged neceffary to enable those ships fal this fleet?- Unanimously agree that to act in a proper manner against the it would be in danger. enemy. [Signed,] Tho. Fowke. Ja, IV. Whether an attack with our fleet, Stuart. Ed. Cornwallis. Effingham. Rob. in the present state of it, upon Bertie. Jof. Dufaux, Col. Cha. Colvill, the French, will not endanger the fafeLt-Col. John Grawfurd, Lt-Gol. Robert ty of Gibraltar, and expose the trade of Scott, Lt. Col.
the Mediterranean to great hazard ! Council of War held on board the Ramillies Unanimously agree that it would.
V. Whether it is not molt for his Ma. at lea, 24th May 1756.
jesty's service, that the fleet should imAT T a council of war assembled and mediately proceed for Gibraltar ?-We
held on board his Majesty's ship are unanimously of opinion that she fleet Ramillies, at fea, on Monday the 24th should immediately proceed for Gibraltar. of May 1756. - Present, The Hon. [Signed,] 7. Byng. ja. Stuart. Temple John Byng, Esq; Admiral of the Blue, WeftH. Ward. Ph. Darell. Ed. Corn. Maj.-Gen. James Stuart, Capt. Henry wallis. Jam. Young. Cha. Catford. Fred: Ward, Hon. Edward Cornwallis, Capt, Cornewall. Geo. Edgcumbe. Will Parry. I Charles Catford, Hon. George EdgAmherst. Arth. Gardiner. Efingham. A. cumbe, John Amherst, Rt Hon. Earl Hervey. Mich. Everitt, Wm Lloyd. Rob. of Effingham, Capt. Michael Everitt, Bertie. Temple West, Esq; Rear-Admiral of the
[Besides the papers here inferted, there were Red, Philip Durell, Capt. James Young, three more, viz. A letter to Gen. Blakeney, unFrederick Cornewall, William Parry, figned, dated, Marseilles, March 24. 1756, and Arthur Gardiner, Hon. Augustus John received April 6. giving his Excelleney intellive Hervey, Rt Hon. Lord Robert Bertie. gence of the preparations then making at Toulon, Having read to the council of war che Edgecumbe, dated April 18. 1756. from Capt.
Gc. against Minorca ; and two letters to Capt. opinion of the engineers in regard to Noj and Mr Boyd, who had been reconnoitring throwing in succours into the castle of the French fleet, then at anchor off Cieutadella.) St Philip's, the result of a council of war After these papers were read, it beheld by Gen. Fowke at Gibraltar with came a quellion, from what time the regard to imbarking a detachment on inquiry into the conduct of the prisoner board the feet, likewise Adm. Byng's should commence; and it was agreed, instructions for his proceedings in the by a majority of eleven to two, that it Mediterranean, likewise the order with should commence from the time the regard to the disposal of the regiment of squadron failed from St Helen's. A fullecrs commanded by the Rt Hon. fort paper of the prisoner's was then
f read, to the following effect: That he fiance, the leading ship of his divihad earnestly wished the arrival of the fion, moved but a very
after time for inquiring into his conduct, and the signal for engaging, ere she began
doubted not of evincing the falsehood to fire, though scarce within random d
of all the artful and malicious aspersions shot, but soon after she got much near€
that had been caft upon him by his ene er the enemy; that he himself, upon the mies; that he had a very sensible plea. fignal for engaging being given, bore sure in considering the abilities and inte. down towards the fourth ihip in the egrity of his judges ; and that relying nemy's line, (the ship opposed to his in with an entire confidence on their can- the order of battle), and engaged her dour and impartial justice, he would not till she put right before the wind, and delay the proceedings of the court. then he raked her as she went off. Soon
All forms being now adjoited, the after this, the fifth ship of the enemy's court proceeded, on Wednesday, Dec.29. van, which the Captain had engaged, to examine the witnesses, A minute went off also; and then he went to the account of all particulars in the depofi- aflistance of the Lancaster, who was entions is not to be expected from us ; nor gaged with the third ship, (a chef d'em, does it appear necessary. The whole fradre); who also bore away right betrial depended on three points only, viz. fore the wind, exposing her stern to 1. Whether the Admiral made any un- their united fire. Immediately afterneceffary delays with the fleet under his wards, the two ships ahead, with which command, from the time of failing from the Portland and Defiance were engaSt Helen's, April 6. 1756, to the time ged, went away ; and then the rear of of his arrival at Minorca, May 19.? 2. the enemy made fail, and fired as they Whether he did all that was in his passed by the van of the English, but depower to do, agreeable to his instruc. clined.coming to a close engagement. tions, to relieve St Philip's fort, upon The action with these ships ended about his arrival there? and, 3. Whether he half an hour after five, when they bore did his utmost to distress the enemy on away, and joined their van.--- Beingakthe day of battle? -We must contented, How the Admiral and the rear of ourselves with an abstract of the deposi- . our fleet proceeded from the beginning tions; and as we find one well done in to the end of the action ? his answer the Gentleman's Magazine, we shall take was, That from the time of his own ours mostly from thence.
ship's engaging till the enemy bore aThe firit witness examined was Adm. way, he did not observe the motion of Weft. Being asked, If any unnecessary the rear ; but that on observing the delay appeared to be made in the pai. French rear coming up, he then took sage of the squadron under the command notice, that the rear of the English was of Adm. Byng, from St Helen's to Gib- confiderably aftern; and that some of raltar ? he answered, None. Any at the ships appeared to him, at times, Gibraltar ? None. Any from Gibraltar with their maintopsails aback, and atoto Minorca? None. Being further alk. ther times making sail; and that when ed, If on their arrival off St Philip's ca- the French rear had passed by, they ftle, any ships had been sent to gain in- brought to for a little time, and then telligence ? he said, The Phenix, Capt. made fail till about seven, when the figo Hervey, and two other frigates; but nal was made for tacking, and at eight these were recalled on seeing the French the whole fleet brought to. fleet. Being asked particularly as to Being asked, If it appeared to him, the signals from the time of seeing the that the Admiral and his division could French fleet to the time of action; he have got up with the enemy, and enga. repeated them distinctly. Being alk- ged them as close as the van did he ed as to the precise time of the first faid, Yes; he saw no impediment: but fhip or ships beginning to engage, added, that he did not mean there was
and at what distance; he laid, The De- none, but that none appeared to him. I
Being asked as to the motions of the she was opposed to was of inferior force; French fieet before the signal for enga. and therefore the impression made by ging ? he said, About eleven they be the quick fire of the Buckingham, obgan to form upon the larboard tack, liged her to give way, and put right be. and after being formed, they lay to upon fore the wind : the consequence of that tack. Being asked, if they conti- which was, the going away of the fifth nued lying to all the time the van was ship of the enemy, with whom the Capengaged? his answer was, He thought tain had been engaged; for had se not ; and gave
his reasons. Adm. remained, she would have had the Byng, among many other questions, Buckingham and Captain too upon her. asked him this: “ If the French had After the flight of these two, the Buck. continued to lie to, and had not made ingham went to affift the Lancaster, fail, don't you believe that our fleet who at that time was engaged with a would have come to a general action ?” chef d'escadre, a 71 gun fhip; the im. The answer he made was, “ That he mediate consequence of which was, the knew of no cause that prevented their giving way of this fhip alfo, and like. coming to a general action, in the fitu. wife of the two French men of war with ation the French fleet was, more than if which the Portland and Defiance were they had continued to lie to longer than engaged; for had they remained, they they did." Being asked many questions must have had the fire of four ships to as to his opinion about relieving Minore sustain, the Portland, Defiance, Lanca, engaging the French fleet a second cafter, and Buckingham. time, and returning to Gibraltar, with Having in the course of his evidence out attempting to throw succours into said, that when the van of the French the garrison ; he answered them all in fleet bore away, the Admiral, with his favour of the Admiral's proceedings. division, was three miles altern, he was He thought, that throwing in about a asked, How far astern the French rear hundred officers and recruits, as a rein. division was ? to which he answered, forcement to the garrison of St Philip's That they were very little ahead of the castle, would have been of no consequence Admiral. to the protection of the place; that the Mr West also gave it as his opinion, fleet was in no condition to hazard an en- that when the French fleet was in fight, gagement with the French the next day; it would have been inexcuseable in the and that to return to Gibraltar, was the Admiral, to have attempted the landing avisest measure that could be then taken. of Lord Robert Bertie's regiment at St He likewise faid, that the fignal for Philip's, as without them he would not chasing was never made; but that if it have been in a condition to engage the had, it would have been to little por- enemy's fleet at sea; and even the one pose, in the condition the fleet was then hundred officers and recruits that were in. Being asked as to the goodness of on board, though they might have been the hips, as compared with those of of more use to the garrison than he imathe French; he said, That many of the gined ; yet the men were at that time English Tips were foul, and inferior to very neceffary to the service of the fleet; thole of the French. He was then ask and therefore not to be parted with, ined, If fome of the thips complained of dependent even of the delay which ic were not part of his division; and whe. might have occafioned. ther their condition was not such as to Lord Blakeney deposed, That boats enable them to beat those of the French" might have passed from the fally-port, that were opposed to thein ? In answer or any other port of the garrison, to the to this, he took occasion to explain to sea, with great security, when the Engthe court the circumstances on which the lith fleet lay off the harbour on the zoth action of the van turned. The Buck- of May: That the one hundred officers ingham (his own ship) he said, was well and recruits which were on board the manned and well disciplined: the fhip fleet, woald have been of great service
to the garrison if they had been landed; and from Gibraltar to Mahon; and as the duty being very hard upon the sub- to che imprudence of attempting to land alterns, as forty-one commission officers men from the fleet before the engagebelonging to the garrison were absent: ment, as it would have rendered the That if the detachment ordered from Mhips unfit for action. He added, that Gibraltar had been landed, he could the French ships, when they bore ahave held out till Sir Edward Hawke way, appeared to be all fit for action, excame with more effectual relief. Being ceptone, which had lost her maintopsailalked particularly, If troops could have yard; but believed, if the whole of our been landed from the landing place most feet had engaged, the whole French advanced towards the town, safely from fieet would have been beaten. He dethe fire of the enemy? he replied in clared also, that he saw no impediment these words, “I have served fixty-three that could prevent the rear of the fleet years, and I never knew yet any enter- from coming to action at the same time prise undertaken without some danger; with the van; that the Captain, Defiand this might have been effected with ance, and Buckingham, received the as little danger as ever I knew." fire of the whole of the enemy's rear as
Mr Robert Boyd, late ftorekeeper of they passed them ; that the van of the the ordnance at Minorca, who was sent French fleet did not lie to more than out with a letter to the Admiral, but re. half an hour after the engagement turned without coming up with the fleet, began; but when the rear filled, he was asked, What nuniber of landing. did not know. It appeared by Adm. places there were to throw succours into West's evidence, that from that tiine it St Philip's castle?, his answer was, It would have been in vain to pursue, as was one continued landing-place, in the French ships much outsailed ours. fair weather, from St Stephen's Cove -Capt. Everitt declared, however, quite round to the Anftruther, except a that it was his opinion, that if the Ad. small space between the royal battery miral's division bad made all the fail and a sally port which communicated they could, they might have prevented with the ditch of the north-east ravelin, the van from receiving some of the fire and had been walled up. He was fure which they did receive, but not the ther asked, What was the fate of the whole. He also alledged, that his ship garrison in regard to troops ? were suc. was ready for action again the next day. cours wanted ? and could they be John Bover, late first lieutenant of thrown in ? He replied, That the num- the Buckingham, confirmed Capt. E. ber of troops was much too small for the veritt's evidence; alledging, that the works they had to defend ; insomuch distance of the rear from the rear was that an obstinate defence of the outer always more than that of the van from covert way was a point given up before the van, for which he could not allign the arrival of the English fleet. As to any reason. He said also, that he faw fuccours, that they were most certainly the Admiral lie to, after accidenc wanted ; and as certainly might have happened to the - Intrepide ; that he been thrown in; that there could be thought it not necessary, as the rear dino doubt about that. Being asked, vifion might, in his opinion, have run If his boat did not pass through a brisk to leeward of the Intrepide, without lyfire of the enemy? he answered, That ing to. there was a good deal of ftraggling fire Richard Higgs, late second lieutenant from small arms at the boat, and three of the Buckingham, confirmed partly · or four cannon-shot; but he did not the preceding evidence, but said nothing know that one shot struck her,
of the intrepide. Capt. Everitt, late of the Bucking George Wood, late third lieutenant, ham, confirmed the evidence of Adm. and Robert Man, late fourth lieutenant West, as to there having been no delay of the Buckingham, confirmed the above, in getting from St Helen's to Gibraltar, Capt. James Gilchrist, late of the
Experiment, confirmed the above evi- at two minutes before four the signal was dence. He said also, the Admiral made for the rear to make more fail : made signals for coming to a closer en. That about a quarter after three, the gagement.
Ramillies and Trident seemed to him to Hon. Capt. Hervey, late of the Phæ- be aboard of each other ; upon which nix, confirmed the above evidence in the Ramilies threw her topsails aback, most of the particulars, except that he and in twenty minutes made fail again, faw no fignal for a closer engagement; when the French rear were making off: though he believed, if they had conti. That with the fail our feet made, it nued to lie to, they would have been went three knots an hour, and with all very closely engaged. He added ex. its fail it would have gone near fix: pressly, that more sail might have been That the Admiral was delayed twenty made by the rear division than was minutes in going down, by the Trident's made. He gave it also as his opinion, falling under his lee bow, though he that it was not the force of our van that thinks there was distance enough bedrove the van of the enemy away, but tween the enemy and the Intrepide for that they were called off by signal; and the rear of the feet to have gone behis reason was, that no fhip in the ene- tween them; and at last, when the my's fleet appeared to have been dis.. whole rear did make fail, they did go abled, as Capt. Everitt had declared be. between the enemy and the Intrepide. fore. He deposed also, that when the Capt. Henry John Philips, late first French rear outsailed the English rear, lieutenant of the Deptford, deposed, he faw no signal made by the Admiral That when the signal for action was for his ships to croud all the fail they made, the feet in general was under could, and each ship to join, and close their topsails; but some that did not fail the van, as fast as they should come up. so well as others had their toprails set.
Capt. John Amherst, late of the The whole van went down almost right Deptford, deposed, that the rear did before the wind, the rear went with the not engage the rear as near as the van wind upon the larboard quarter ; so that did the van; but that it would have the two divisions going different courses, done so, if the French had lain to in- gradually made a vacancy between the ftead of going off; though they might Intrepide, which was the fternmost ship have made more fail than they did : but of the van division, and the Revenge, as the going off of the French fleet could which was the headmost ship of the rear not be foreseen, there was no imme- division. Soon after the accident had diate necessity for more fail to be made, happened to the Intrepide, the rear di. as the ships failing differently could not vision seemed to keep more upon a wind, have kept the line if all possible fail had and in a short time backed their fails; been made by each. Being then asked, the French at the same time beginning Whether, if the Admiral had only to fill, and stand away. He observed, shortened such a proportion of fail as that if the rear had bore right down bewould have enabled the Colloden, the fore the wind as the van did, they could worst failing ship in his feet, to have not have closed the rear so soon as our kept company, he might not have come van closed the van, because the distance to a close engagement with the French was much greater ; though they would rear, before they began to go off? he have closed sooner than they could by answered, “ I cannot say whether they the course they steered : and if the rear could or could not have done it." had crouded fáil in proportion to their
Peter Foulkes, late lieutenant of the distance, they could not have closed so Phænix, saw no signal for closer engage- foon, there being niore difference be
tween the distance of the van from the Capt. Lloyd, late of the Chesterfield, van, and the distance of the rear from deposed, That the signal for battle was the rear, than there was between the made at twenty minutes after two, and fail that the van made, and the utmost