1807 - Sir Edward Pellew at Gressie,


 
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Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
by
William James
1807 Sir Edward Pellew at Gressie 357

eastern extremity of Java, and, by a ship from Batavia captured on the 30th, ascertained that the Pluto and Revolutie were not merely lying inactive at Gressie, but they were in too bad a state to admit of repair.

Having executed the primary object of their mission, the two frigates stood to the westward ; and at midnight the Psyché alone, the Caroline having parted company in chase, anchored off the port of Samarang, which lies about 200 miles nearer to Batavia than Sourabaya. At daylight on the 31st the Psyché weighed and stood into the road. The boats, having in the mean time been got ready, were despatched, under the orders of Lieutenant Lambert Kersteman, assisted by midshipman Charles Sullivan, to bring out the vessels at anchor in the road. This service Lieutenant Kersteman gallantly executed, towing out, from under a heavy but ineffectual fire opened upon the boats by the batteries of the town, an armed schooner of eight guns, and a large merchant brig.

The early part of the morning having discovered two ships (one evidently a cruiser) and a brig at anchor outside, the Psyché, as soon as she had collected her boats and destroyed their two prizes, made sail after the strange vessels, which by this time had weighed, and were endeavouring to escape. At 3 h. 30 m. P.M., finding the frigate was overtaking them, the three vessels bore up and ran themselves on shore about nine miles to the westward of Samarang, opening upon the Psyché a well-directed fire. This, on anchoring in three fathoms, the latter returned, but, on account of the distance at which the shoal water obliged her to keep, with little apparent effect. In a few minutes, however, one of the ships, which proved to be the Resolutie, armed merchant ship of 700 tons, with a valuable cargo on board, struck her colours. At 4 h. 30 m. P.M., just as the Psyché was hoisting out her boats to attempt carrying the second ship by boarding, she also struck, and proved to be the Dutch national corvette Scipio, of 24 guns and 150 men, Captain Carrage, who was mortally wounded on the occasion. Shortly afterwards the brig, which was the Ceres, a remarkably fine vessel in the Dutch company's service, mounting 12 guns, with a crew of 70 men, fired a broadside and hauled down her colours. By the persevering exertions of the Psyché's officers and men, all three of the prizes were got afloat the same night without injury. This was a very spirited, gallant affair; and we find, after a lapse of nearly thirty years, the captain of the Psyché knighted. The companionship of the Bath, which he wore previous to his late reward, was very inadequate for the service he had rendered.

With the intelligence communicated by his son, Rear-admiral Sir Edward Pellew, on the 20th of November, sailed from Malacca with the Culloden and Powerful 74s, frigates Caroline and Fox, sloops Victoire, Samarang, Seaflower, and Jaseur, and

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