1798 - Preneuse and two Indiamen


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol II
1798 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 216

as already stated ; cut the Fox's cable: another passed through the mizenmast, about 12 feet from the head ; another carried away the supporters of the wheel, and another the bits on the quarterdeck ; about 28 others struck the ship's-side. Her main stay and six of her lower shrouds, were also cut away, and her running rigging and sails much injured. With respect to loss sustained on board, the Fox had two seamen killed, the captain's clerk and 10 seamen wounded ; making, with the loss in the cutter, a total of four killed and 15 wounded.

At 9 p.m. the two frigates anchored about six, miles to the eastward of Samboangon town. On the 23d, in the morning, by which time the Fox had fished her mizenmast and repaired the most material of her damages, the two frigates got under way and stood to the northward. On the same evening, the two gun-boats after all the stores had been taken out of them, were destroyed, as being unfit to proceed on the voyage to Canton. On the 27th, the frigates being much in want of water which they had been compelled to relinquish taking by force at Samboangon, put into the harbour of Pullock, situated to the northward of Majindinao. On the 31st, at daybreak, three boats from each frigate were sent to bring away the last load. At 9 a.m. some of the men belonging to the Sibylle's boats (those of the Fox had come on board) were perceived running to the beach and making signals. Instantly all the boats, manned and armed, of both frigates, led by their respective captains, pulled towards the shore. Here two seamen were found killed by the natives, one mortally wounded, and nine missing, supposed to have been carried into the woods. The remainder of the party, including Lieutenant Majeur, who commanded it, were fortunately rescued. Every effort to recover the men having failed, Captain Cooke ordered the village of the natives to be set on fire, and their corn cut down, and then weighed and set sail for Mindanao. On arriving here, Captain Cooke was promised by the sultan that he would use his influence to recover, if they were alive, the missing men. The sultan eventually fulfilled his promise, and the men were restored, but not in time for the Fox and Sibylle to bring them away, Captain Cooke being obliged to hasten on to Canton, to be ready to convoy the homeward-bound trade.

On the 8th of March Tippoo-Saib's two ambassadors ; with about 150 colonial volunteers (here was a reinforcement for a sultan who could bring into the field 70,000 horse and foot) ! sailed in the Preneuse for Mangalore. On the 20th of April, having two days before received intelligence that two Indiamen were at Tellicherry, taking in a cargo of pepper, Captain l'Hermite looked into the port, but finding only one ship there, doubted the accuracy of his information, and cruised off the coast for a day or two under English colours.

A periague, which the Preneuse captured on the morning of

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