1795 - Colonial Expeditions, East Indies


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol I


Colonial Expeditions - East Indies


Grenada especially), and Lieutenant John Barrett of the Experiment.

Early in the month of August, a British squadron, under the orders of Vice-admiral Sir George Keith Elphinstone, and composed of the:

74 Monarch Vice-admiral (b.) Sir George Keith Elphinstone, K.B.
Captain John Elphinstone,
Victorious Captain William Clark,
Arrogant Captain Richard Lucas,
64 America Captain John Blankett,
Stately Captain Billy Douglas,
16 Echo Captain Temple Hardy,
Rattlesnake Captain John William Spranger

having on board a detachment of the 78th regiment, commanded by Major-general Craig, anchored in Simon's bay, Cape of Good Hope.

Proposals were immediately made to the Dutch governor, General Sluysken, to the effect that he should place the settlement under the protection of his Britannic majesty. This the governor refused, and, preparatory to his intention to set fire to Simon's town, sent away the inhabitants. On the 14th, before this could be accomplished, 450 men of the 78th, and 350 marines from the squadron, were landed and took possession of the town. The Dutch militia and Hottentots, meanwhile, had taken post on the adjacent heights, and occupied the pass of Muyzenburg, distant six miles from Cape-Town, well furnished with cannon, having a steep mountain on its right, and the sea, on its left, but difficult of approach on account of shallow water and a high surf on the shore. From this strong position, the enemy fired occasionally on the British patroles ; who, agreeably to their instructions, had forborne to commence the slightest act of hostility. The British now determined on offensive operations ; and accordingly, a detachment of 1000 seamen, formed into two battalions, under the command of Captains Hardy of the Echo, and Spranger of the Rattlesnake, were disembarked ; making with the soldiers and marines already on shore, a force of about 1800 men. To facilitate the attack, the vice-admiral equipped a gunboat, and armed the launches of the ships with 24 and 18 pounder carronades.

On the 7th of August, at noon, every thing being ready, and the wind favourable, the America 64 got under way, and, with the Stately of the same force, and the two sloops, the Echo, commanded in the absence of her captain, by Lieutenant Andrew Todd, of the Monarch, leading, stood in-shore, as close as the shallowness of the water would admit. The ships, then aided by the gun-boats and launches, which latter were of course enabled to get much closer, covered the line of march of the troops. At 1 p.m. the ships having arrived abreast of an

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