1795 - Capture of the Minerve


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol I


Light Squadrons and Single Ships


the command of Captain Towry, as a 38-gun frigate ; to which class, from her fine qualifications, the Minerve became a valuable acquisition. The Dido's first lieutenant, already named, was justly promoted to the rank of commander ; as was also Mr. Joshua Sydney Horton, the first lieutenant of the Lowestoffe.

On the 22d of August, at 1 p.m., as a British squadron under the orders of Captain James Alms of the 36-gun frigate Réunion, composed of, besides that frigate, the 50-gun ship Isis, Captain Robert Watson, 18-pounder 32-gun frigate Stag, Captain Joseph Sydney York, and 28-gun frigate Vestal, Captain Charles White, was cruising in the North Sea, off the coast of Norway, the two Dutch 36-gun frigates Alliance and Argo, and the 16-gun cutter Vlugheld (Nelly, in the gazette-account), were discovered to windward, standing towards the shore on the larboard tack. Chase was given, and a change of wind enabled the Stag, at about 4 h. 15 m. p.m., to close with the Alliance, the sternmost vessel. The remaining British ships, meanwhile, devoted their attention to the Argo and Vlugheld, in the hope to cut them off from the harbour of Egeroe, towards which they were directing their course. After about an hour's action with the Stag, the Alliance hauled down her colours; but under what circumstances as to damage or loss, the official account does not inform us, and, at this late day, we have no means of ascertaining.

The Stag, armed and manned like her sister frigate, the Lively, had four men killed and 13 wounded. The Alliance, whose 36 guns consisted of 26 long 12-pounders, six long 6s, and four brass 24-pounder carronades, with a crew of 240 men and boys, undoubtedly sustained a loss, and, in all probability, to a much greater amount than that of her superior opponent, the Stag ; but, as above stated, no notice is taken of it in Captain Alms's letter : a piece of neglect of which we have already pointed out the injustice. One circumstance is clear, that the Alliance, from the first, had no chance of success, the Reunion alone being quite a match for the Argo, who was armed precisely the same as the Alliance ; and then a 50-gun ship and a 28-gun frigate were ready, if necessary, to assist the Stag.

After a running fight, in which the Réunion lost one man killed and three wounded, the Isis, two men wounded, and the Argo, two killed and 15 wounded, besides being hulled with thirty 24-pound shot, and having her sails and rigging much cut, the Argo, with the cutter, got safe into Egeroe.

Having blamed Captain Alms for an omission, we are bound to show where he has acted in a manner highly laudable and worthy of imitation. " I have," he says in his letter, "thought proper, for their lordships' information, to send in the Alliance with my despatches by Lieutenant William Huggell, of his majesty's ship under my command, whom I recommend to their favour, who will inform their lordships with every proceeding of

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