1808 - Linnet and Courier, Decouverte and two French privateers, Decouverte and Dorade


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1808 Decouverte and Dorade 19

arduous service intrusted to him, Rear-admiral Keats, immediately on his arrival in England, was created a knight of the Bath.

Light Squadrons and Single Ships.

On the 16th of January, in the forenoon, Cape Barfleur bearing west by north six or seven leagues, the British gun-brig Linnet, Lieutenant John Tracey, mounting twelve 18-pounder carronades and two long sixes, with a crew of 60 men and boys, saw a French lugger in chase of an English merchant ship and brig. The Linnet immediately joined the ship and brig, intending to keep company with them until night should favour her in closing the lugger. At 6 h. 30 m. p.m. the lugger, which was the Courier, of 18 guns and 60 men, belonging to Cherbourg, commenced a fire upon the ship, which the latter promptly returned. At 7 p.m. the Courier attempted to haul off ; but the Linnet, being now within musket-shot, prevented her. At 7 h. 10 m. P.M. a broadside of round and grape from the Linnet, accompanied by a volley of musketry, carried away the Courier's main lug. The latter was now hailed to strike, but, instead of doing so, rehoisted her lug. A steady and well-directed fire was then commenced by the Linnet, and continued for an hour and a half ; during which the Courier's lugs were knocked down 10 times, and as often rehoisted. At 8 h. 50 m., being in a sinking state, the Courier hailed that she surrendered. The loss on the part of the latter amounted to her second captain killed and three men wounded ; but the Linnet was fortunate enough to escape without any loss whatever.

On the 7th of February, at 1 p.m., the British schooner Decouverte, of eight 12-pounder carronades and 37 men and boys, Lieutenant Colin Campbell, when running down between Alta-vella and the main land of St.-Domingo, chased two French, schooner-privateers and a ship their prize. One privateer made her escape to windward ; but after a running fight, the Decouverte drove the other and the ship on shore. The latter, which was the Matilda of Halifax, bound to Jamaica, Lieutenant Campbell directed the master of the Decouverte, John McIntyre, with a detachment of small-arm men, to set fire to and destroy, a service which, in spite of a very spirited opposition from the schooner and the shore, he fully executed.

On the 9th, while still cruising off St.-Domingo, the Decouverte discovered and chased a French armed schooner in Bottomless Cove. It was not until 3 p.m. that the Decouverte was enabled to bring her opponent, the Dorade, Captain Netley, mounting one long 18-pounder on a pivot, and two long eights,. with 72 men, to close action. In the second round, three of the Decouverte's carronades on the side engaged were dismounted, which gave the Dorade a great advantage over her. Notwithstanding

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