The Barrington Papers, Vol. 77. Originally published by Navy Record Society, London, 1937.
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Letters - 1761
You are hereby required and directed to put yourself under the command of George Pocock, Esq., Admiral of the Blue, and follow his Orders for your further proceedings. (fn. 1)
You are hereby required and directed to receive on board H.M. Ship under your command Brigadier-General Lambert with his Retinue, Servants & Baggage, and victual him, his Retinue & Servants in the same manner as your Ship's Company during their continuance on board. For which this shall be your Order.
Line of Battle (fn. 2)
|Infernal||3||Torbay||Capt. Brett||74||650||Sir Thomas Stanhope|
|Launceston||3||Swiftsure||Sir Thos. Stanhope||70||520|
|Alderney||4||Achilles||Hon. Sam (fn. 2).||Barrington||60|
|3||Hampton Court||Capt. Scrope||64||Hon. Augustus Keppel, Commander in-Chief|
|Southampton vesuvius||3||Valiant Keppel||Hon. Augustus Keppel||74||665|
|Flamborough||4||Prince of orange||" Wallis||60||1|
|Firedrake||3||Dragon||Hon. Augustus Hervey||74||650||Hon. Augustus Hervery|
You are hereby required and directed to follow all such orders and directions as you shall receive from Sir Thomas Stanhope, Commander of His Majesty's Ship Swiftsure, during the time you are in his Division; for which this shall be your order. (fn. 3)
The Ship that first makes the Signal shall hoist a Dutch Pendant at the Maintopgallant mast head, and an English Pendant at the Foretopgallant mast head, to be answered by an English Pendant at the same place, and a French Pendant at the Mizentopmast head.
The Ship that first makes the Signal shall hoist two Lights of equal height in the Mizen Shrouds and four Lights of equal height in the fore Shrouds. To be answered by three Lights one above another in the fore Shrouds, and one Light in the main Shrouds. Then the Ship that made the first Signal, shall burn three false fires; and the other shall reply by burning two false fires.
If within hail, he who hails first shall ask What Ship's that? And he who is hailed shall answer The King. The other who hailed first shall reply Unanimity. Then he who first hailed shall answer His Glory.
In case of any Transports or Tenders parting company, they are to make themselves known at joining again, by hoisting their Navy Jack at the Maintopgallant mast head, to be answered by firing two Guns without shewing any Colours.
The Captains of His Majesty's Ships undermentioned are to hold the number of Marines as follows in constant readiness for landing; and to direct the Captains of Marines to see their Men properly accoutered and fit for service. And as their Cartouch Boxes do not contain sufficient ammunition, they are to be provided with Canvas Pouches.
It is the Commodore's directions that all the Ships of the Squadron that may speak with any Neutral Ships or Vessels, bound to the Bay, to order them into the Fleet, and to direct the Master to keep near the Ship of the Commander in Chief, and not to offer to leave the Fleet till further Orders.
General Disposition of the Squadron of His Majesty's Ships and a body of Transports under the command of the Hon. Augustus Keppel for an attack on the Lines and Batteries of Belle Isle, and for forcing a landing on the said Island.
Commodore Sir Thomas Stanhope, commanding the white Division (distinguished by wearing a white Broad Pendant), is with the Swiftsure, Achilles, Torbay, Essex, Southampton and Infernal Bomb, to anchor as near as he conveniently can, out of Cannon Shot, to the land between the Citadel of Palais and Point Perriere, to be the better able when it is judged convenient to attack the Lines and Batteries between these two Places. It is intended the Torbay should lead the Ships to the faced Lines and Batteries to the S.E. of the Citadel of Palais; the exact Works proposed to be attacked will be further explained before the Ships proceed. The Swiftsure is to follow the Torbay, the Achilles and Essex next, the Southampton and Infernal Bomb are to attend this Division and to be assistant as much as possible towards silencing the Enemy's Batteries, or to be placed as Sir Thomas Stanhope or the Senior Officer upon this service shall think expedient.
It is proposed that the Battalions of Beauclerks, Crawfords, Morgans and Erskines, with the Grenadiers of Whitmores, Panmures, Erskines 5th Battn Ruffanes, Colevill's and Loudons should compose the Reserve of the Army, and to be the first employed in forcing a Landing upon the Coast. The Transports therefore having the above Troops on board, are to anchor near Commodore Barton (distinguished by wearing a broad blue Pendant) to be the more convenient for assembling together and embarking in the Flat bottomed Boats.
The Valiant will be anchored so as to be able, if possible, to observe the whole. The Temeraire and Superbe are to anchor near Point Lomaria if the wind does not blow too hard upon the land (in which case the particular place will be pointed out to them when upon the spot), in order to succour all the Transports from insults, and assisting the Descent with everything that is wanted.
The Dragon, Prince of Orange, Sandwich, Adventure, Aquillon, Furnace and Firedrake, are to be placed to cover the landing and silence such Batteries as the Enemy may have to oppose the Descent, and are for that purpose to anchor with the Temeraire and Blue Division of Transports only nearer the shore. For the readier getting under sail, the Captains of these Ships will on the spot receive further directions.
The other Transports are to anchor between the Dragon and Temeraire except those having on board the Battalion of Grays and Stuarts, who are after they have had their flat bottomed Boats taken away from them, to anchor off Cape Taillefer with the Hampton Court. But should she not join the Squadron, the Lynn is to take her Station. The Fly Sloop and Mortar Bomb are to keep under sail near the spot at all convenient opportunities and the Captains of these Vessels are to be very attentive to prevent the Enemy from getting succours from the Island.
The Ships opposed to Batteries, in case they drive the Enemy from them so that a Landing may be effected, are to acquaint the Commander in Chief of it, by the Signal for that purpose, as directed in a former Order.
It is particularly recommended to the Captains not to suffer a Gun to be fired from their Ships before they are properly anchored; and if it should be thought necessary to continue the fire after the Troops have effected the Landing, great care must be taken to fire so as to succour and not annoy our own Troops.
I must beg that you will please to acquaint their Lordships that I arrived here the 7th instant with His Majesty's Ships and Transports under my command, in compliance with the King's Instructions to me to proceed to the Great Road of Belle Isle and endeavour to land the Troops on that Island. The whole Fleet anchored in the Road about 12 o'clock, when I immediately went with General Hodgson to the northern part of the Island, to be as well informed of the strength of the Enemy's Works there as the time would admit; and while we were upon this necessary service, the Ships of War in the Road were preparing the Flat Boats for the reception of the Troops; but by the time we got back it was too late in the day to make any trial.
The 8th, the wind north-easterly, the Boats being ready for the reception of the Troops, the Signal was made very early in the morning for them to assemble at the rendezvous, and I directed the Achilles, Prince of Orange and Dragon, with the Firedrake and Furnace Bombs and Escorte Frigate, to proceed round the Point of Lomaria at the S.E. part of the Island, and attack the Fort and other Works, in the Sandy Bay round the before-mentioned Point, the place the General and myself, as we stood in yesterday, had agreed upon to have attacked. Captain Barrington in the Achilles got placed first, and soon silenced the fire from the Fort and from the shore; and then as he was directed, made the Signal of his having done so; when the Troops in the Boats were pushed to the Landing with great briskness and spirited behaviour, at three different places near each other, by Captain Barton, who I ordered to command the Boats; but the difficulty of getting footing, and the Enemy strongly entrenched on the Heights and in the little Fort, the Troops soon met such a repulse that it became necessary, as well as prudent, to desist from the attempt for the present and retire with the Flat Boats, in which they were well covered by the Ships and Bombs. One of the Flat Boats landed sixty of Erskines Grenadiers, who got up a very difficult place to the top of the Hills where they formed with great skill, but were so immediately routed by a much more numerous body of the Enemy, that all attempt to succour them was ineffectual, any further than the Boats bringing from the Rocks about twenty of them.
While all this was transacting, Sir Thomas Stanhope in the Swiftsure, with the Torbay, Essex and Lynn and the Battalions of Greys and Stuarts and five hundred Marines in Transports, were opposite Sauzon at the northern part of the Island; these Troops were embarked in the Boats, if possible to divert the Enemy from the principal object.
When the Signal is made to hoist out the Flat bottomed
Boats, they are to repair to the Ships they are to take
Troops from, and wait there till they receive further
Directions, notwithstanding the Order of the 31st March
relative to landing the Troops.
I must beg you will please to acquaint their Lordships that since my letter to you by the Actœon Frigate, in which I gave but little hopes, the General and myself having considered that by attempting a place where the mounting the Rocks was just possible and where the Enemy were no otherways prepared, from the impracticable appearance it had to them, than by a Corps of Troops to annoy the Boats in the attempt, that it carried some degree of hopes with it, and by making a disposition for the attack of their intrenched Bays and at Sauzon at the same time, which the arrival of Buckingham and Nassau with the Transports with the Light Horse enabled me to do, we might possibly gain a footing. I have now the greatest pleasure in acquainting their Lordships that His Majesty's Troops have made good a landing on Belle Isle on the Roads near Point Lomaria, and cannot sufficiently commend the spirit and good behaviour of the Troops in the attempt, and the judgment with which Sir Thomas Stanhope and the rest of the Captains of the Ships directed their fire upon the Hills.
You are hereby required and directed to order a double allowance of Wine or Spirits to be issued to such Men as you shall at any time be ordered to send upon that service. For which this shall be your Order.
|To Lieut. Roach, (fn. 4) Commanding His Majesty's Ship Achilles.||A. Keppel.|
It is the Commodore's particular direction that no Boat whatever is suffered to pass through the Fleet in the night without being called on board by the nearest Ship, who upon her [? not omitted] coming on board immediately or the Boat that is sent after her not being able to come up with her, is to alarm the Fleet by firing Guns and making false fires.
Line of Battle (fn. 5)
The Commodore has it in command from His Majesty to express His most gracious satisfaction of the behaviour of His Officers and Seamen upon the present service; and has firm reliance on the continuance of the same spirit and vigour on the further operations towards the compleat reduction of Belle Isle.
When a Fleet is seen in the offing by the Midshipman that is on shore, he is immediately to repair to the Tent, hoist a blue Flag upon the Flagstaff there, and order all the People at the Tent and the Watering Place to be ready to come on board in the Boat, that will be sent for them (which they are to look out for) and repair to the place where they see she intends going on shore at.
|Cumberland||Flag checquered red & white|
|Albemarle||— red with a white Cross|
|Nottingham||Striped blue & white|
|Scarborough||Half blue, half white|
When any of the Cruizers to the N.Wt of Belle Isle shall discover a number of the Enemy's Vessels under convoy, that Ship nearest the Enemy is carefully to observe what number of Line of Battle Ships the Convoy consists of, when he is to hoist a Dutch Flag by the Main Top Gallant Stay Sheet Halliards agreeable to the 18th Article of the Additional Signals, where it is to be kept flying, till some other of our Cruizers upon that Station answer by hoisting the same Signal; then the Ship that first made the Signal is to lower and hoist the Flag as many times as he imagines there are Line of Battle Ships; and having thus informed each other of the Enemy's force, that Cruizer who can soonest apprize me of it, is to hoist a white Flag at his Maintopgallant Mast head, make all the sail he can towards the Torbay and fire Guns, till I answer with the same Signal and fire two Guns; then he is to lower the white Flag as many times as there are Line of Battle Ships in the Enemy's Convoy, which I shall repeat to the Commander in Chief so soon as I observe him to take notice of my Signal by his firing two Guns.
If the Enemy should be discovered when only a single Cruizer is upon the Station, he is to make it known to the Torbay agreeable to the 18th Article as above mentioned, only with this difference, that I shall answer with a white Flag at the Maintopgallant Mast head and fire two Guns.
If an English Convoy should be discovered coming from the Westward, I am immediately to be informed of it by a Cruizer hoisting an English Ensign at his Maintopgallant Mast head, which is to be kept flying till I answer with [the] same Signal and fire one Gun.
Return of the Loss of Troops employed on the Expedition commanded by Major General Hodgson, from the 8 April 1761, the day the Landing was attempted on Belle Isle, to the Surrender of the Citadel of Palacis on the 7th June following, both days included.
N.B. The above account is as near the number of round Shot as could possibly be got, but the Ships from which the 32 & 34 pounders Shot was received have not all of them made return of the quantity to the Commissary.
If the French Ships should get out in the day from Villaine, the King Fisher will make it known by hoisting a French Ensign at the Maintopmast head, and Guns, till answered by the Achilles. If by night, a Light at each Masthead, and Guns, till answered by the same Lights and one Gun.
Whereas I am informed the Enemy are equipping two Ships in the River Villaine, You are hereby directed to give some of your attention to their motions, sending the Kingfisher frequently to look into that River, to observe their progress, directing the Captain of the Sloop, if at any time he perceives they are without the Entrance of the River, to alarm you of it, as soon as possible, that you may use your endeavours with the Superbe to destroy them; and any of the Frigates that may be near the Achilles you may call to attend you in this service. If the Enemy pass you, you are nevertheless to pursue them to sea, or wherever they may go, while there is the least possibility of getting to battle with them.
Memorandum (fn. 6)
Achilles, Belle Isle Road. 16 June 1761.
If the Ships should get out of the Villaine, the Cruizers are to make it known to the Achilles in the day by hoisting a French Ensign at the Maintopgallant Masthead and firing Guns until perceived by her; If in the night they are to make me acquainted with it, by shewing a Light at each Topmasthead and firing Guns, till answered by the same Lights and one Gun, which is to be understood by the Superb as a Signal to slip.
You are hereby required and directed to take H.M.S. Superb under your Orders and proceed across the Bay towards Cape Finisterre, for the protection of the Trade of His Majesty's Subjects and annoyance of the Enemies' Privateers, taking particular care to be back in this Road in ten or twelve days. For which this shall be your Order.
You are hereby required and directed to take His Majesty's Ship Temeraire under your command, with the Kingfisher Sloop and King of Prussia Armed Cutter, and proceed with all the haste possible off Cape Ortugal, and cruize off that land till the 13th or 14th of this month, when you are to repair hither without loss of time.
sailed on the 5th inst. (June) from Port Louis on the Island of Hispaniola, having Indigo on board, and are gone by the Leeward Passage, through the Gulph of Florida, it is highly probable they may be intercepted upon timely intelligence being given to the Western Squadron, before they get into Brest, to which place they are bound.
Additional Signals (fn. 7)
When I would have any Ship keep ahead of me, at a distance of six miles, I will make the Ship's Signal and hoist a Red Flag with a white Cross at the Mizen Peek.
|To the Captains of H.M. Ships Temeraire, Superb, Kingfisher Sloop, King of Prussia Armed Cutter.||Samuel Barrington.|
You are hereby required and directed to proceed immediately with His Majesty's Ship under your command to Basque Road and join Sir Thomas Stanhope, Commanding His Majesty's Ships there, and follow his Orders (fn. 8) for your further proceedings; For which this shall be your Order.
Line of Battle (fn. 9)
|York||Standard||Northampton||Red & White checquered|
|Keppel||Blue||Litchfield||Blue with a red cross|
|Chichester||Blue & White striped||Albemarle||Half Red half White|
It is the Commanding Officer's direction that no Boat
shall be permitted to be absent from the Ship [to] which she
belongs, after the Watch is set; except Guard Boats, and
they are not to go above two miles from the Squadron,
returning on board their respective Ships immediately upon
discharge of the Watch by firing the Morning Gun; From
that time to the setting of the Watch again in the evening,
no Boats are to go out of Gun Shot of the Squadron without
permission from the Commanding Officer.
Captain Barrington having represented to me that the first Lieutenant of the Achilles and Captain of Marines are so bad with the Scurvy, that the former has not been able to put his foot on the deck for a month past, and the latter's finger nails are coming off and the skin pealing from his hands, and that their continuance at sea any longer may be attended with the worst consequences to them; I have given them leave to go to England for the recovery of their health.
I am &c.
You are hereby required and directed to proceed with His Majesty's Ship under your command to Belle Isle, where you are to deliver the Letter you will herewith receive, to the Honble Augustus Keppel, Commander in Chief &c., from whom you will receive Orders for your further proceedings.
Line of Battle (fn. 10)
The Right Honble Mr Secretary Pitt having signified His Majesty's Marriage with the Princess Charlotte of Meclenbourg Strelitz on the 18th of September, and Their Majesties' Coronation on the 22nd following; In order to celebrate those happy events,
You are hereby required and directed to cause twentyone guns to be fired from His Majesty's Ship under your command at one o'clock tomorrow in the afternoon, taking up the firing as soon as the Valiant has fired two guns. For which this shall be your Order.
Signals to be made in case of discovering any
Embarkation of the Enemy
In case the Enemy's Embarkation should be discovered in the night by any of the King's Ships, the Ship who first perceives it is to fire Guns, and shew a great number of Lights and false Fires, which she is to keep doing till Belle Isle answers by firing one Gun, and the Ship of the Commander in Chief by doing the same, and immediately to dispatch a Boat to the shore with an Officer, to acquaint the first Field Officer he can meet, how the Enemy's Embarkation seem to direct their course, and the Ship or Ships are to get under sail (if the wind and tide permit) and use every endeavour to burn, sink or destroy the Enemy's Vessels.
As it is possible an Enemy's Embarkation may pass to the N.W. of the King's Ships in the night undiscovered, if that should at any time happen, it would be for the good of the King's service that it should be immediately communicated, which may be by firing two Guns, and letting off two Sky Rockets immediately after; these Signals to be made from Souzon and Palais; and if the Enemy proceed quite to the Back of the Island, leaving the Port of Vieux Chateau behind them, the Signal to be repeated the moment that appears certain; This will be of use to assist the Sea Officer in directing his Ships round the Island.
If in the daytime an Enemy's Embarkation is discovered at the Back of the Island, unattended by Line of Battle Ships, it may be communicated by hoisting a Dutch Jack at the Flagstaff in the Citadel and firing one Gun, which will be answered from the Ship of the Commanding Sea Officer by the same Jack at the Ensign Staff. But if Line of Battle Ships make part of the Armament, it will be necessary it should be known, and may be told by hoisting a Red Pendant at the Flagstaff and firing a Gun, which will also be answered in the same manner.
When the Commander in Chief would upon any particular occasion have all Officers and Seamen that may be on shore, repair on board their respective Ships, he will hoist the Standard at the Flagstaff at the Maintopgallant Masthead and fire three Guns.
Signals to be made by the Cruizers off Port Louis
When Enemy's Ships should be discovered at sea, the Ship who first perceives them will hoist a White Flag at the Maintopgallant Mast head; but if they should be discovered coming out of the harbour of Port Louis, then the Ship who gives the alarm will hoist a Dutch Flag under the White Flag at the Maintopgallant Mast head.
When the Enemy's Ships shall be discovered upon the coast, or coming out of the harbour of Port Louis, the Ship who gives the alarm is to fire three Guns distinctly, and let off three Sky Rockets, and make all possible dispatch towards the Torbay, still repeating the alarm by firing Guns, till the Torbay answers by shewing three Port-Fires at the same time, that is one from the Truck of each Masthead.