Imagens das páginas


[ocr errors]

Master in and over the said county of Lincoln, under whose patronage Masonry has since prospered much.

In the year 1793 a Provincial Grand Lodge was holden here under the direction of the Rev. Matthew BARNETT, Deputy Provincial Grand Master for the county, when the Master and Wardens, with several of the Brethren of the Provincial Lodges, accompanied by many Brethren of divers other Lodges out of the county, proceeded in grand procession to the church of St. Peter, where prayers were read by Brother Robinson, Grand Chaplain, and a sermon, extremely well adapted for the occasion, preached by Brother BARNETT, D. P. G. M.-- Nothing could exceed the regularity and decorum with which the procession was conducted; and tne day was spent with the greatest harmony, loyalty, and unanimity, diffusing joy and gladness through the whole society, every one happy with himself, and pleased wit'ı each other.

From the last-mentioned date to the present time the St. MATTHEW's Longe has continued to be in a flourishing and happy state, owing to the great activity and ardent zeal of the present members, who, in all their meetings, never lose sight of that consistency, love, and union, which so highly distinguish their sacred Order.

The present Officers are, the Rev. Matthew Barnett, M.-James Bygott, P. M.-Field Dunn, S. W.--William Benton, J. W.William Hesleden, Treasurer. - Thomas Marris, Secretary.- William Johnson, S. D. --Johan Nicholson, J. D.


Dec. 9, 1794


THE talents of two eminent English artists, the late Mr. Woollet and

Mr. Hall, baving immortalized the famous battles of La Hogue and
The Boyne, by engravings that have done bonour to their own
names, it may not be unacceptable to your readers to have preserved
in THE GENERAL AND COMPLETE LIBRARY bistorical accounts of
those celebrated battles to illustrate the engravings. I bave, there-
fore, trunscribed them from two respectable bistorians, and send them
for insertion.

. S.



FTER the English and Dutch fleets, consisting of 99 ships of

the line, and carrying above 7000 guns, and above 40,000 men, the greatest navy that ever covered the ocean, ha l taken their station at St. Helen's, the anxieties of the nation redoubled; because, in the


fate of that fleet, it was plain to all the fate of the nation was involved. As few secrets can be kept which’are entrusted to many, it had been already whispered abroad, that several officers of the English fleet were disaffected; and now the clamours of the public became loud, that the suspected officers should be changed. In this state of uncertainty who ought or ought not to be trusted, the queen * took a resolution to bind a generous class of men by a generous trust. She ordered Lord Nottingham to write to Russell, “ That she had de“ clared, she would change none of her officers, and that she imputed “ the reports which had been raised against them, to the contrivance “ of her enemies and theirs." The admirals and captains sent back an address, in which they vowed, “ That they were ready to die in "her cause and their country's." Yet Russel signed not this address, either from accident, or because he was conscious of betraying either his late master or his present one. The queen answered the address in these words : “ I had always this opinion of the comman“ ders; but I am glad this is come to satisfy others.” The queen took another prudent step; instead of prohibiting James's declaration to be read, she ordered it to be published, with an answer to it, wnich was drawn by Lloyd, one of the seven bishops who had been sent to the Tower; thus manifesting, that she submitted her title to the reason of her subjects, instead of betraying a fear that it could not stand examination.

The officers had scarcely signed their address, when they insisted to sail for the coast of France, some prompted by loyalty, and others by a desire to remove suspicion; and, at a council of war, it was resolved to stretch over to Cape-la-Hogue.

On the 18th of May 1692 the combined fleets sailed. The French fleet, of about 50 ships of the line, was at that time at sea in quest of the English, and was descried next day, at three o clock in the morning, about seven leagues from Barfleur. As the French were many leagues to the windward, they might easily have avoided an engagement; and all the flag-officers advised Tourville to retire; but he rushed on. Russel's motions filled him for some time with hopes, for Russel's fleet was not in order until eight o'clock; he lay b.) with his fore-top-sail to the mast, until twelve o'clock; and allowed the enemy to come within half a musket-shot of him before he flung out the bloody flag. During this interval, the bold advance of Tourville with so unequal a force, together with the tardiness of Russel, raised doubts and anxieties in many of the English captains. They looked around to see when their own officers were to raise up against them, or when the ship next to theirs was to quit the line, and sail over to their enemies.

Tourville, who was in the Royal Sun, carrying 100 guns, the finest ship in Europe, passed all the Dutch and English ships which he found in his way, singled out Russel, and bore down upon him ; but,

* King William was at this time in Holland.

by the reception which he got, he was soon convinced of his mistake in thinking that an English admiral could, in consideration of any interest upon earth, strike tó a French one. Yet, though conscious of the inferiority of his fleet, he was ashamed to abandon a situation which his officers had in vain advised him to avoid ; and the rest of the admirals, and the captains, ashamed to abandon their head, joined in the action as fast as they came up, and maintained it, not so much hoping to gain honour, as striving to lose as little of it as they could. The engagement between the two admirals' ships lasted an hour and a half, and then Tourville was towed off, being obliged to retire by the damage he had sustained in his rigging; but five French ships instantly closed in, and saved him. The battle, in the mean time, went on in different parts with uncertain success, from the vast number of ships engaged, which sometimes gave aid to the distressed, and at other times snatched victory from those who thought they were sure of it. Alemond, the Dutch admiral, who was in the van, and had received orders to get round the French fleet, in order that no part of it might escape, attempted in vain to obey; and a thick fog, at four o'clock in the afternoon, separated the combatants from the view of each other. In about two hours the fog cleared up. It was then observed, that Tourville, instead of repairing his rigging, had withdrawn to the rear, and that the French line was broke in many other places.

Russel, certain that Tourville would not have retired, unless it had been resolved that his fleet was to fly, made a signal to chace from all quarters, without any regard to order. In one of the engagements, during this chace, Rear-admiral Carter was killed, giving orders, with his last breath, to fight the ship as long as she could swim ; a proof either that his correspondence with James had been maintained with a view to deceive him, or that the last passion in an Englishman's breast is the love of his country. The running engagement of the afternoon was, like the regular one of the forenoon, interrupted by a fog, and afterwards by a calm, and in the end it was closed by dark


During the night, the two fleets, off the shallow coast of France, anchored close to each other; but the impetuosity of some English officers carried their ships through the French fleet; and Sir Cloudsley Shovel, with his division, had got between Tourville's squadron and the rest of the French fleet; so that the ships of the three nations lay intermingled with each other during the night, waiting for the morning with impatience, uncertain whether they were among friends or foes; and judging of their distances from other ships, only by the signals of distress which they heard, or the flames of the ships which were on fire.

The arrival of the morning brought a renewal of the chace. But the French fleet were now reduced to thirty-four ships; four of which had taken fire in the engagement, being blown up during the night, and the rest having escaped. This day was signalized by no engagement, but by a spectacle far more important; that of the English

fleet driving the French one along their own coasts, and in the sight of innumerable crouds of their countrymen upon the shores. The French, in their flight, were met by a fresh squadron of sixteen ships, which were coming to join them; but these ships, perceiving the fate of their friends, turned to flight, and shared in that disgrace they could not avert. Fogs, calms, tides, and the veering of the winds, saved France from the vengeance of England and Holland for one day.

Upon the third day, Tourville's ship, the Royal Sun, with his two seconds, one of 90, the other of 84 guns, together with some frigates, took refuge upon the coast, near Cherbourg; and 18 more of the largest ships followed their example near La-Hogue; the rest being more fortunate, drove through the race of Alderney. Russel ordered the main body of the fleet, under Sir John Ashby, to pursue that of the enemy; left Sir Ralph Delavalle, with one squadron, to destroy the ships at Cherburg; and stationed himself with another to confine those which were at La-Hogue.

As the art of sailing was not so much improved then as it has been since, Ashby durst not pursue enemies who pointed him the way through a passage which another admiral", with a squadron, and a great fieet of transports, went through in one day with ease, and without the flying sails of an enemy to direct him. But Delavalle, next day, burnt the three ships, together with the frigates, at Cherburg, not without some pain, even to those who destroyed them, when they considered what magnisicent fabrics they were reducing to ashes.

And now, upon the fifth day, some of Delavalle's ships having advanced, and some of Ashby's having returned to join Russel's squadron, Russel made preparations to destroy the enemy's ships at La-Hogue, which were now reduced to thirteen, five of them haviug the day before, in the hurry and confusion, made their escape. The French had employed all the interval of time which Russel had left them since their ships had taken refuge, in making provisions to defend them. The ships themselves were drawn up as far upon the shallows as tides and cables could bring them : they were covered with the forts De-Lisset and De-la-Hogue; platforms were raised on shore, and planted with all the artillery of the army; numbers of chaloups filled with officers and men lined the shoals; behind stood all the French army ready drawn up; and, upon a height between the ships and the army, King James, the Duke of Berwick, Marischal Bellefonde, Tourville, and other great land and sea officers, placed thiemselves to behold the action, and to give their orders. All precautions were taken, except one which James had suggested, and which was the best; for, when he perceived the French seamen disheartened by defeat, fight, pursuit, and the necessity of taking refuge, he foretold that no good could be expected from them, and advised, but in vain, that a number of the regiments, and of the artillery-men, should be put on board the ships, where they could fight with the same steadiness as if they had been in land castles, because the ships were a-ground.

* Lord Howe.

Russel gave the charge of the attack to Vice-admiral Rooke : Rooke advanced with several men of war, frigates, and fire-ships, together with all the boats of the fleet. But he soon found that the men of war could not get within reach; that the frigates could only advance so far as to cover the attack; and that the whole service de pended upon the boats. In this situation, he gave only a general order for the boats to advance, surround the enemy's ships, and board or burn where they best could ; leaving all the rest to the spirit of the seamen. The seamen strove with each other whose barge should be foremost; and singled out the particular ships they were to attack, according to their fancy, and sometimes as a merry mood directed them. They made use of their oars alone as they advanced, without firing upon the platforms, the chaloups, or the vessels aground; so soon as they got to the sides of the ships, throwing away their musquets, they gave three huzzas, and scrambled up the heights above them, with their cutlasses in their hands, and many without any arms at all.

Some cut the rigging; others set fire to the vessel ; others pointed the guns of the ships against their own chaloups, platforms, and forts. Few assaulted the mariners within, because they accounted the ships to be their only foes. From this circumstance, the French mariners often went off undisturbed in their boats from one side of a French ship, while the English had entered, and were destroying it upon the other.

But at last, tired with doing mischief in detail, the assailants all joined together to burn the enemy's ships ; and having set fire to them, descended with the same huzzas with which they had boarded. In this way they burnt six the first day. The rest, together with a great number of transports and ammunition ships, shared the same fate the next morning, the enemies making little resistance, because they saw it was fruitless. Few prisoners were taken; for the officers were possessed with the idea of the seamen, that the destruction of the ships was their only object; and some of them even made apologies to government for having incumbered themselves with pri

During this action, a generous exclamation burst from James; for, when he first saw the seamen in swarms, scrambling up the high sides of the French ships from their boats, he cried out,

“Ah! none “ but my brave English could do so brave an action !” Words which were immediately carried through the French camp, creating offence and respect at the same time. After both the French and English had abandoned the vessels which were on fire, some of their guns which had not been discharged went off, whilst the vessels were burning to the water's edge, and a few of the balls passed near James's person, and killed some of those who were around him. He then said, "Heaven fought against him," and retired to his tent. His


« AnteriorContinuar »