1798 - British and Spanish Fleets, Earl St.-Vincent off Cadiz, ibid,


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol II
1798 Capture of Minorca 195

Russian frigates did the same: and so did the Lion, to join Lord Nelson : consequently at the end of the year, Captain Hood had with him only the Zealous and Swiftsure 74s, and one or two frigates. We will now see what naval warfare the year has produced between Great Britain and Spain.

Between the fleet of Earl St. Vincent without, and the fleet of Don Joseph Massaredo within, the harbour of Cadiz, those privileged spies, flags of truce, were frequently passing : and the two admirals, and indeed the two nations, behaved to each other with all that courtesy which distinguishes polished from barbarian belligerents. As it was not an inferiority of force, it must have been either an excess of good breeding, or a deficiency of enterprise, that prevented the Spanish fleet from attempting to sail out, while the British fleet cruised off the port. On the 12th of April, however, when a strong off-shore gale presented a favourable opportunity, the Monarca 74 and two frigates, with a small merchant convoy in charge, allowed themselves to be driven before it, and got fairly to sea.

On the 24th of May the arrival from England of a reinforcement of eight sail of the line, commanded by Rear-admiral Sir Roger Curtis in the Prince 98, allowed the in-shore squadron of the same numerical force, under the orders of Captain Troubridge, to pass into the Mediterranean, as has already been stated. The judicious manner in which the exchange of the two squadrons was effected, so as to deceive the Spaniards, has also been related.* The continued inactive state of the Cadiz fleet leaves us now at liberty to attend to a small expedition, which Earl St: Vincent, in the latter end of October, detached against the island of Minorca.

On the 7th of November Commodore John Thomas Duckworth appeared off Minorca with his own ship, the Leviathan 74, Captain Henry Digby, Centaur 74, Captain Thomas Markham, 44-gun ships Argo, Captain James Bowen, and Dolphin, Captain Josiah Nisbet, 28-gun frigate Aurora, Captain Thomas Gordon Caulfield, 20-gun ship Cormorant, Captain Lord Mark Robert Kerr, and 16-gun ship-sloop Peterel, Captain Charles Long ; also the armed transports Ulysses, Captain Thomas Pressland, Calcutta, Captain Richard Ulysses, and Coromandel, Lieutenant Robert Simmonds, hired armed cutter Constitution, Lieutenant John Whiston, and several merchant transports, having on board a detachment of troops commanded by General the Honourable Charles Stuart, destined for the reduction of the island.

The squadron brought to within five miles of the port of Fournella ; but, in consequence of the wind blowing directly out of this harbour, the transports proceeded to Addaya creek, not far distant, accompanied by the Argo, Aurora, and

* See p. 152,

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