1800 - Capture of the Pallas


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1800 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 30

the Harpy, who was the more advanced in the chase, to endeavour to gain the wind of the enemy. At 4 p.m. three sail, including the two already noticed as seen by the Pallas, were discovered by the two sloops. No doubt being entertained that the vessels approaching were friends, the Fairy made the signal for an enemy; which was repeated by the Harpy, both sloops firing guns every five minutes to enforce attention to it.

These ships, then working up from the northward with a light wind from the south-east by south, were the British 38-gun frigate Loire, Captain James Newman Newman, 20-gun ship Danaé, Captain Lord Proby, and 16-gun ship-sloop Railleur, Captain William James Turquand ; and all of which had sailed from Plymouth on the 27th and 28th of January, purposely to intercept the Pallas and a corvette, expected to be on their way from St.-Malo to Brest. At 4 h. 15 m. p.m. the Pallas bore away large; and, in order to deceive her new pursuers and distract their attention, hoisted English colours, and endeavoured to repeat the signal made by the Fairy and Harpy. At 4 h. 30 m. p.m. Roche Douvre bore from the Fairy north-north-east distant six or seven miles; and at 5 h. 30 m. p.m. the Pallas bore west, and the Harpy west by south, the breeze now light from the south-east.

At 7 p.m. Captain Bazely received orders to go ahead, as far as signals were discernible between the two sloops, and make the private signal to the two ships, the Loire and Danaé, upon her lee bow. This was done, and subsequently the Fairy also made the private signal; but it was not answered by either the Loire, Danaé, or Railleur, which latter was considerably ahead and to windward of her two consorts. Notwithstanding this apparent remissness, Captain Horton was tolerably satisfied that the ships approaching were friends, and therefore stood on in chase of the Pallas. We may add to this, that Captain Newman also knew (although that is no excuse for not answering the private signal), that the two ships and brig in sight were the Pallas, Fairy, and Harpy; having learnt from Lord Proby, who had been detached for information to Jersey, upon what mission the two sloops had sailed.

At about 7 h. 45 m. p.m., observing ahead, and close under the Seven Islands, a ship approaching, which was the Railleur, the Pallas tacked; and at 8 p.m., while passing about three miles to windward of the Harpy, and at a still greater distance from the Loire, both on the opposite or larboard tack, was fired. at, of course, without effect, by the Loire. The latter and the Harpy then tacked in chase; and at about 9 p.m. the Loire spoke the Fairy, who had also just tacked, and whose commander informed Captain Newman of the name and force of the Pallas, at that time " about a gun-shot and a half " upon the Fairy's weather quarter. Whether owing to bad management, bad sailing, or disabled rigging from her previous action with

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