1794 - Lord Howe on the 1st of June


Next Page

Previous Page

10 Pages >>

10 Pages <<

Naval History of Great Britain - Vol I


British and French Fleets


also ; which latter had received one very deep shot three feet below the trussel-trees. All the running and most of the standing rigging were shot away, all the yards in a shattered state, and all the sails shot to pieces. No fewer than 23 guns lay dismounted. The ship had been on fire three times from the Vengeur's wads ; and her yards, rigging, and sails were all much injured by shot. Her starboard quarter-gallery had been entirely carried away, and her best bower-anchor, with the starboard cat-head, was towing under her bottom.

The loss on board the Brunswick was proportionably severe; consisting of one captain of foot (Alexander Saunders), one master's mate (Thomas Dalton), one midshipman (James Lucas), 30 seamen, and 11 marines or soldiers killed, and her captain (mortally), second lieutenant (Rowland Bevan), one midshipman (Mr. Hurdis), one ensign of foot, 91 seamen, and 19 marines or soldiers wounded.

The Achille, at about 4 h. 15 m. p.m., with colours rehoisted on one of her stumps, and a small sail or two set, was overtaken by the Ramillies and unopposedly secured; having sustained a loss in her different encounters, as alleged by her officers, of 36 killed and 30 badly wounded. As to the Vengeur, shortly after the Brunswick had quitted her, she lost her wounded fore and main masts, the latter, in its fall, carrying away the head of the mizenmast. Thus reduced to a complete wreck, the Vengeur rolled with her ports in the water, and, as the lids of most of those on the larboard side had been torn off or shot away in her board-and-board conflict, the Vengeur began filling faster than ever. Notwithstanding that the ship was literally sinking, the Vengeur, it is said, rehoisted her colours, and set a small sail on the stump of her foremast.

In this state, at about 6 h. 15 m. p.m., fortunately for her brave officers and crew, the ship was approached by the Alfred, Culloden, and Rattler cutter; who immediately lowered as many of their boats as would swim, and sent them to save the people. The boats of the Alfred took off 213, and those of the Culloden and the cutter (the zeal and activity of whose commander, Lieutenant John Winne, did him great credit) nearly as many more. Consequently, when the ship went down a few minutes after the last boat had ; pushed off from her, very few besides the badly wounded could have perished in her.

Among the 30 or 40 unhurt by wounds, doubtless there were several who, as British sailors frequently do in similar cases of despair, had flown to the spirit-room for relief. Thus inspired, it is not extraordinary that, when the ship was going down, some of them should exclaim, "Vive la nation!" " Vive la république!" or that one, more furiously patriotic than the rest of

* It was found necessary to amputate the arm above the elbow on the evening after the action ; but Captain Harvey, owing, it is thought, to his splinter-wound, did not survive beyond the 30th of June.

^ back to top ^