1810 - Capture of Banda-Neira


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1810 Colonial Expeditions - East Indies 324

Curaçoa, without affording an equal place in his esteem to Captain Cole and Banda-Neira.

For the valuable and important conquest he had achieved, Captain Cole received the thanks of his commander-in-chief, of the governor-general of India in council, and of the lords of the admiralty ; but we question if the sentiments contained in any one of the three letters, although forcibly expressed in all, went so straight to the heart, as the contents of the letters addressed to Captain Cole by his shipmates and partners in glory. The first was from Captains Foote and Kenah, presenting a silver cup ; the second from the lieutenants and other officers of the three ships, presenting a sword of a hundred guineas value ; the third from the officers of the honourable company's troop engaged in the enterprise, presenting a sword of the same value ; and the fourth from the crew of the Caroline, accompanied by a similar token of their admiration and esteem. These testimonials concur in vouching for one fact, which Captain Cole's modesty has induced him to refrain from stating, or even hinting at, in his official letter, the personal share he took in the conflict. The letter signed " The Caroline's " affords an unequivocal proof of another trait in their captain : it shows that he was as kind as he was brave. *

When we last quitted the neighbourhood of the Isle of France; the French frigate Vénus, newly named Néréide and the recaptured frigate Ceylon had just been added to the force on the station under Commodore Rowley. In a week or two afterwards that force was augmented by the arrival of several frigates ; and it was at length determined, as soon as an expedition of sufficient strength could be assembled, to attempt the reduction of the Isle of France ; in the principal port of which island, Port-Louis, now lay the five French frigates, Bellone, Minerve, Manche, Astrée, and (late British) Iphigénie also the Victor ship-corvette, brig-corvette Entreprenant and another of the same class, quite new, besides several French merchant vessels. Two only of the frigates, the Astrée and Manche, were in a state of readiness for sea ; and after the 19th of October these were blockaded by the three British frigates Boadicea, Nisus, and Néréide under the command of Commodore Rowley of former.

By the 21st of November all the different divisions of the expedition, except that expected from the Cape of Good Hope, assembled off and at the anchorage of the island of Rodriquez ; and, it being considered, on account of the lateness of the season, unadvisable to wait for the arrival of the Cape division, the remaining divisions of the naval portion under the command of

* For copies of the several letters see Marshall's Royal Naval Biography, vol. ii., pp. 511, 512.

See p. 313.

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