1800 - Capture of the Carmen and Florentina


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1800 Capture of the Carmen and Florentina 37

another hour Mr. Thompson returned to the Peterel, bringing with him 13 Greeks, all that remained of the 80-gun ship's crew ;one part, with the commander, having surrendered to the French, and the other part having managed to escape to the three corvettes. To the nearest of these, not one of which, from an alleged dread of being fired at from the shore, would afford the slightest assistance in preventing the French from plundering the wreck, Captain Austen sent the 13 Greeks. As a proof that the captain's promptitude had been of use, the French had already got out of the ship one of the quarterdeck guns, and were taking measures, when the Peterel entered the bay, to remove the remainder. At 5 P.M. the Peterel weighed, and stood back to the westward; and, not long afterwards, the captain pacha testified his sense of the service Captain Austen had performed, by presenting him with a handsome sabre and rich pelisse.

On the 5th of April, in the afternoon, as a British squadron, composed of the 74-gun ships Leviathan, Captain James Carpenter, bearing the flag of Rear-admiral John Thomas Duckworth, and Swiftsure, Captain Benjamin Hallowell, and the 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Emerald, Captain Thomas Moutray Waller, was cruising in the neighbourhood of the bay of Cadiz, 12 sail were discovered from the mast-head. Chase was given ; and at 3 A.M. on the 6th, the Emerald crossed and captured a Spanish ship, of 10 guns and 70 men, part of a convoy of 13 ships and brigs, which had sailed on the 3d from Cadiz, bound to South America, under the protection of three frigates, two of which were the Carmen, Captain don Fraquin Porcel, and Florentina, Captain don Manuel Norates, both of the 34-gun or 12-pounder class.

At daybreak all the Spanish convoy had disappeared except a brig ; and she was so near and the weather so calm, that the boats of the Leviathan and Emerald, under the orders of Lieutenant Charles March Gregory, second of the Leviathan, were detached in pursuit of her. After " a smart skirmish of forty minutes," but in which no loss appears to have been sustained on either side, the " Los-Anglese, " or Barcelona, of 14 carriage-guns, six swivels, and 46 men, laden with bale goods, was captured by Lieutenant Gregory and his boat-party.

By the time this brig had been secured, three sail were seen, east, west, and south. The Swiftsure, being to leeward (the wind very light from the northward), was directed to chase south, and the Emerald, east; while the Leviathan herself steered to the westward. At noon the Emerald made the signal for six sail in the north-east. On this the Leviathan put about and stood after the Emerald, and at dusk saw nine sail from the mast-head.

It was at this time nearly calm; but at 11 P.M. a fresh breeze sprang up from the north-west. Profiting by it, the

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