1796 - Capture of Columbo, Amboyna, and Banda


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol I


Capture of Dutch Squadron


Cape of Good Hope, or, more probably, cajoled by the proffers of co-operation made by their allies the French, the Dutch had actually sent the small squadron which we formerly noticed as having pursued the Glatton and other ships in February, to regain possession of that important settlement : and which squadron consisted of the

66 Dordrecht Rear-Adm. Engelburtus Lucas
Revolutie Captain Rhubende
54 Van-Tromp Captain Valkenburg
40 Casthor Clariffe
Braave Zoetmans
26 Sirène De Cerf
24 Bellona Valk
18 Havik Bezemer.

On the 3d of August intelligence was received at Cape-Town, of the appearance of nine sail of Dutch ships, which was the squadron in question, off Saldanha bay. At this time Vice-admiral Sir George Keith Elphinstone was lying in Simon's bay, with the:

74 Monarch Vice-adm. (b.) Sir Geo. Keith Elphinstone.
Captain John Elphinstone.
Tremendous Rear-adm. (r.) Thomas Pringle.
Captain John Aylmer.
64 America Captain John Blankett.
Ruby Captain Henry Edwin Stanhope.
Stately Captain Billy Douglas.
Sceptre Captain William Essington.
Trident Captain Edward Oliver Osborn.
50 Jupiter Captain George Losack.

Frigates, Crescent and (20-gun ship) Sphynx.
Sloops, Moselle, Rattlesnake, Echo, and Hope.

Owing to the Monarch's being without her mainmast, and to the tempestuous state of the weather during the 3d, 4th, 5th, it was not until the 6th of August, that the British squadron was enabled to put to sea. Information now arriving that several sail had, the preceding, night, been seen in the offing near False bay, the vice-admiral steered to the southward and westward. The storm soon afterwards increased in violence, so as to damage several of the ships, and compel the squadron, on the 12th, to re-enter Simon's bay. Here the vice-admiral learnt that nine sail of ships had, since the 6th, put into Saldanha bay. The British squadron remained weather-bound until the 15th, when it put to sea, and on the following evening at sunset, arrived off Simon's bay. The Crescent frigate then stood in, and plainly descried the Dutch squadron, consisting of two 66-gun ships, one 54-gun ship, five frigates and sloops, and one store-ship, as

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