1804 - Capture of Mosambique, The Drake at the Hayes, Guadaloupe


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1804 The Drake at the Hayes, Guadaloupe 253

got back to the Blenheim, with one seaman, and two marines killed, five officers (names not reported), 11 seamen, and three marines wounded, and three seamen missing.

On the morning of the 13th of March the British 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Emerald, Captain James O'Brien, observed a French privateer-schooner, on account of inability to work up to St.-Pierre's, run in and anchor close under a battery at Seron, just within the Pearl rock at the western extremity of Martinique. As the frigate herself, being considerably to leeward, was unable to reach the spot in time, Captain O'Brien despatched the armed sloop Fort-Diamond, with Lieutenant Thomas Forrest and 30 volunteers, to attempt the service ; and, in order to take off the attention of the battery from the movements of the sloop, he sent in a different direction the frigate's boats, joined by two from the 44-gun ship Pandour, which had just hove in sight.

Having reached the anchorage, Lieutenant Forrest dashed in, and laid the French schooner on board, the crew of which, amounting to about 60 whites and blacks, after discharging her broadside and a volley of musketry, fled over the side to the shore. By the force with which the Fort-Diamond struck the schooner, the chain, by which the latter had fastened herself to the shore, was broke, and about 20 feet of it remained hanging at her bows. The prize proved to be the privateer Mosambique, armed with ten 18-pounder carronades, commanded by Captain Vallentes, and fitted for a three months' cruise. This very gallant exploit was performed with so trifling a loss, as one master's mate (Mr. Hall) and one seaman wounded.

On the 14th of March, in the morning, the British brig-sloop Drake, still commanded by Lieutenant William King, cruising off Englishman's Head, island of Guadaloupe, fell in with a French privateer-schooner, and a large ship in company, apparently her prize, but was unable to overtake either until the ship ran herself on shore near the batteries of the Hayes. The Drake now endeavoured to cut off the schooner ; but having had her main topmast shot away and her rigging much damaged, was unable to effect her object. About this time another ship hove in sight in the offing, and appeared to be steering as if also with the intention to run on shore. Despatching two boats, under the orders of Mr. Robson, the master, to watch the first ship now observed to be again afloat, with directions to attack her, should she endeavour to escape, Lieutenant King made sail after and recaptured the ship in the offing, an English merchantman, valuably laden.

The Drake's two boats, meanwhile, pulled in towards the ship in-shore, the crew of which, except one man who had no time to effect his escape, abandoned her as the former approached. Possession of the ship, which had 18 guns mounted and was very large, was thus easily obtained ; but in half an hour she

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