1811 - Barbadoes and Goshawk with French gun-brigs


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1811 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 336

anchored to repair her damaged rigging ; and Captain Bourchier took that opportunity of despatching his boats, under the orders of Lieutenant David Price, second of the brig (the first absent in a prize), assisted by John Smith the master, and Thomas Wheeler the gunner, to bring out or destroy as many of the vessels as practicable.

Lieutenant Price, under a galling fire of musketry from the beach, succeeded in bringing out the Heron, national brig pierced for 16 guns, mounting when the attack commenced only 10 (and of these she had since, to lighten herself, thrown overboard four), together with three large transports, laden with ship-timber. The remainder of the grounded vessels were on their broadsides and completely bilged ; but Lieutenant Price was prevented from burning them, owing to the strength of the tide against him. The loss sustained by the Hawk, in this her very gallant enterprise, amounted to one seaman killed and four wounded. Captain Bourchier, in his official letter, speaks very highly of Mr. Henry Campling, purser ; " who, " he says, " volunteered to command the marines and small-arm men, and from whose continued and well-conducted fire I attribute the loss of so few men." In these instances, where officers step out of their way to serve in posts of danger, we are particularly gratified in being able to record their names. For his gallantry on the occasion, Captain Bourchier was deservedly promoted to post-rank.

On the 6th of September, in consequence of information brought by some deserters from the French admiral's ship in Cherbourg, Captain Pulteney Malcolm, of the 74-gun ship Royal-Oak, cruising off the port, detached the 28-gun frigate Barbadoes, Captain Edward Rushworth, and 16-gun brig-sloop Goshawk, Captain James Lilburn, to the eastward of Barfleur, for the purpose of intercepting some gun-brigs expected at Cherbourg from Boulogne. On the 7th the two British brigs fell in with seven French gun-brigs, mounting three long 24-pounders and a mortar each, and manned with 75 men. These the Barbadoes and Goshawk immediately attacked and chased into Calvados, driving one of them on shore.

On the 8th the 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Hotspur, Captain Josceline Percy, arrived off Calvados, to endeavour to destroy the French brigs. Having a pilot on board, who undertook to carry the frigate within pistol-shot of the enemy, Captain Percy stood in to the attack ; and at 6 p.m., when within less than half-gun-shot, the Hotspur grounded. Notwithstanding her situation, the frigate succeeded in sinking one gun-brig and driving two on shore, but lay fast for four hours, exposed all the while to a heavy fire from the vessels, a battery, and some fieldpieces. The consequence was, that the Hotspur sustained a very serious loss ; having two midshipmen (William Smith and Alexander Hay), two seamen, and one boy killed, and 19 seamen

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