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captured ship.' The Queen and Foudroyant soon lost sight of each other in a hard gale which ensued. Thenext day a langc man of war appeared in sight of the Queen. The captain, Maittand, soon pursued; and after a chase of 14 hours came up in the night with the French ship. She received his broadside, 'returned hers, and then struck her colors. She proved to be the Actionare; and was a valuable prize, having a great quantity of naval ordnance stores on board, beside wine, >N»n, provisions, and several chests of money, Te'n large transports and a schooner, beside the men of war, were taken. The bad weather obliged Barrington to finish his successful cruise by returning to Britain toward the close of the month.

; The naval force of France and Spain in the West-Indies, *oon after the reduction of St. Kitts, amounted to CO ships of the line; and their land forces when joined would have formed a considerable army. Jamaica had no move than six incomplete battalions of regutar troops, and the militia of the island to defend it; and therefore in case of an attack must have been soon «ubd ued. The arrival, of Sir George Rodney [Feb. 19.] with 12 sail ot the line at Barbadoes, and his subsequent junction with Sir Samuel Hood's squadron, together with the arrival of three ships of the line from Great-Britain a few days after,, was providentially designed for the preservation of Jamaica.

* The first object with Sir George Rodney was to intercept the Convoy that sailed from Brest in February ; -aai which was A" ■signed to supply the failure of that which was attacked by adm. Kempenfelt. -Rodney disposed of his capital ships i« ■' Hne to the windward of the French islands, and formed a lir+e or frigates still further to windward. But the French convoy, by making the island of Desiada to the northward, getting to the leeward of the British fleet, and keeping close in undj?r the land of Uaudaloupe and Dominique, had the address to escape the danger, and to arrive [March 20.] safe in Fort-Royal 'bay, where they found the count de Grasse.

Sir George Rodney, on finding himself disappointed, returned ■to St. Lucie; there to refit; take in a supply of water, stores and .provisions ; and keep a strict watch with his frigates on the movements of the French in Fort-Royal bay. The objects >of the hostile commanders were not less opposite than their interests. It Was the business and design of de Grasse to avoid fighting, till he Cad Formed a junction with the Spanish fleet under Don Solano at

•fciispaniola. On the other side, the salvation of the West-Indies, ■tonth the whole fortune and hope of the war, depended upon flfcodn-ey's preventing the junction; or bringing on a close and decisive

exsiye engagement with de Grasse before it took place. The? .

British fleet at St. Lucie amounted to 36 ships of the.iine: tk».: force under de Grasse at. Martinico to 34, beside two shipSii©£ s the line, armed ev,:jkiie% and two fifty-fours, the first, were not in either engagement; and the last if present acted only-as. frigates. The French fleet, beside a full complement of seamen, had 5500 land forces on board. The Ville de Paris, at' 110 guns, de Grasse's own ship, carried not less than 1300 men including soldiers.—The French 14's carried 900 men each* Their metal is always heavier than that of the British, in equal lates : but several of their ships were in very indifferent coadi* tion. The British had five 90 gun ships, which was their high-* est rate; and the French had eight of 84 and 80 guns each, ber side the. Ville de Paris.—The comparative balance of the force on both sides was tolerably even; and contending fleets da nofc often meet upon more equal terms. The van of the British: was commanded by Sir Samuel Hood, the centre by Sir George Rodney, and the rear by adm. Francis Drake. The three dm*., sions of" the French fleet were under count de Grasse, Mons. do Vandreuil, and Mons. de Bougainville. ■ . r

The French fleet hegan [April 8rJ to turn out of Fart-Soya^ harbor by break of day., with a great convoy under tbeir.protect , tion, all bound to the leeward, and intending to fall down- to i the French or Spanish port* in Hispanioia. De Grasse, that he might avoid any encounter on h'ia passage, meant to keep closa in under the islands, till he had eluded the pursuit of the British* But their departure from the Bay, and movements, were so spec* dily commurjicated by signals from the frigates, and the BritaJlint fleet wasin such excellent preparation, that all the ships were ctea? of Gross Islet Bay by noon, and pursued with the utmost expe* dition so that the French saved only a few hours, by being masters of thj£ time of departure. The British gained sight of I them under Dominique at night; and afterward regulated .the:' pursuit by signals. . ...... M? -.dT

Count de Grasse formed the line of battle to windward early the ■ • next morning; and thereby afforded ;an opportunity to his corH,:; voyfor proceeding on their course, while he remained,toj abides'% the consequences. While the count had wind enough for these movements by being further advanced toward Gaodaloupe, the British fleet lay becalmed under'the high-lands of Dominique. The breeze at length reached the-van of the latter;. and-the ships began to close with the French centre, while thek. o.witv.' centre and rear were still becalmed. If de Grasse could- h*¥«r! avoided an engagement, it must be .thought that the pros$eci,-af .


falling with his whole weight upon and entirely crushing 'onethird of his enemy's force, was too tempting to be resisted. The action commenced [9th.] about 9 o'clock;. The attack was-led by the Royal Oak, and seconded by the Alfred and the Montague. The whole division was in a few minutes closely engaged, and for more than an hour was exceedingly pressed by the superiority of the French. The Barfleuer, Sir S. Hood'sown ship, had at times seven, and generally three ships firing Upon'her; none of the division escaped encountering' a disproportionate, force;' The firm and effectual resistance with which they stistaiaed ail the efforts of the enemy's superiovity, was to the highest degree glorious. At length the leading ships of the centre, were enabled to- come up to their assistance. These were soon followed by Sir G.-Rodney, in the Formidable, with his seconds theNamurand the Duke,all of 90 guns; tiiey made and suppb'teda most tremendous fire. The gallantry of a French captain of ja-14 gun ship in the rear, who'having backed his main topsail, steadily received andbravely returned the fire of these 3 great ships in succession, without in the least changing his station, excited the applause and admiration of his enemies. The coming up of these several ships of the centre division, induced the French commander to change the nature of the action, that so it might not become decisive. He kept at such a distance during the.remainder of the engagement, as evidenced an intention of disabling the British ships without any considerable hazard on hiss own side. 'This kind of firing- produced as much effect as the distance would-admit, and "was well supported by both parties for aruijeur and three-quarters longer; during all which time the res*: of the 'British fleet was held back by the calms and baffling wi«ds under Dominique. About twelve o'clock the remaining ships of the British centre came up, and the rear was closing the line; on which de Grasse withdrew his fleet from the action, and evade*! all the efforts of the British commanders for its renewal.1 The French ships received much more damage than their own ftre> produced. Two of them were obliged to quif the fleet and put-into Gtiadaloupe, which reduced the count's line to32 ships. Orfcfcbe British side, the Royal Oak and the Montague suffered extremely, but were capable of being repaired at sea, so as not to be'under the necessity of quitting the fleet. --•• • .

The British fleet Jay too at night to repair damages; and the foBoWingdaywas principally spent in refitting, in keeping the wind,- and in transposing the rear and the van, as the former (not ba-smg been engaged) was necessarily fitter for the active service cf that division*- Both fleets kept• turning- up to windward, ia • ~!#u - • 'the

tte dfianncl which separates the islands of Dominique au^^iia:.; daloupe.

'On the 11th the French had weathered Guadaloupe, and gained such a distance that the body of their fleet could only be descried from the mast heads of the British centre"; and all hope of Sir G. Rodney's coming up with them, seemed to be at an end. In this critical state of things, one of the French ships, which had suffered in the action, was perceived, about noon, trf fall off considerably from the rest of the fleet, to leeward. Thi# sight produced signals from the British admiral for'a general chace; which was so vigorous that the Agamemnon and'*orfrtJ «thers of the headmost of the British line, were coming- tip St fast with this ship, that she would assuredly have been cutoff fccfore evening, had not her signals and evident danger induced? de Grasse to bear down with his whole fleet to her assistance!; This movement made it impossible for the French to avoid fighting. The pursuing British ships fell back into their station;, at close; line was -farmed; and such manoeuvres practised hi the night, as were necessary to preserve things in their present state, and as might possibly produce casual advantage. The French also prepared for battle with the greatest resolution. Ji*'

The scene of action lay between the islands of Guadaloupe, Dominique, the Saints and Marigalante; and was- bounded britk to windward and leeward by dangerous shores. The hostile fleets met upon opposite tacks. The battle commenced {April 12.] about seven o'clock in the morning, and was continued with tmremitting fury until near the same hour in the evening. A& jfiiral Drake's division led, and with much gallantry received anS returned the fire of the whole French line; whose guns'were pointed so little to the hulls, or so illy served, that Drake's leading ship the Marlborough, had only three men killed and sixreej* wounded by receiving the first fire of twenty-three of their ships! The British as they came up, ranged slowly along the French, line, and close under their lee. Being so near, every shot todk effect; and the French ships being so full of men, the carnag^? in them was prodigious. The Formidable, admiral Rodiiejrs* ship, fired near 80 broadsides, and it may be thought she wasll»? singular. The French stood and returned this dreadful fire wrtfi the utmost firmness. Each side fought as if the honor and firtfe of their country were staked on the issue of the day.

Between twelve and one, Sir G. Rodney, in the Formrrftb^ with his seconds, the Namur and the Duke, and immediately sapLported by the Canada, bore directly and with full sail arfrwarHfre? i'rench line, and successfully broke through, about threeshrp^f


short of the centre, where count de Grasse commanded m th« Ville de Paris. Behig followed and supported by the remainder vf. his division, a,nd waring round close uponlhc enemy, he effectually separated their line. This bold push proved decisive. Xhe. French however,-continued to fight with the utmost bra*, yery, and the battle lasted till sup-set..

The moment that Rodney wore, he threw out a signal fortha fan to tack. Drake instantly complied; and.thusthe British flee.fc

fained the.wjnd of the French, and completed their general conr> ijs,ion. Their van endeavored to re-estabiish the line, but with n«»syfeess; and their rear was so entirely routed, that no hope re-, warned of r.ecoverirjg its order. Hood's division had been lonr fiecaimed andkeptout of action,, but his leading ships and part of b,l§ centre, as far at least as the Barfleur,. which he commanded; Ei'mseif, came up at this juncture and served to render the victo-.. fy more decisive on the one side, and the ruin greater on th* ^tKfir, while each afforded instances of the utmost courage. ,. (Captain Inglefield, in the Centaur,, of 1* guns, came up from* tti^rear, to the attack of the Cssar, of 74 also. Both ships were, frqgh, and fought bravely; but when the French captain had evidently by far the worst of the combat, he disdained yielding, 'JChree other ships.came up successively; and.he bore to be torn afnriosi to pieces by their fire. His fortitude was inflexible. Hi* en.sign staff being shot away, he ordered his colours to be.nailed, to! ffile.mast;, and his death only could end the contest When. IJh^Gassar struck the mast went overboard, and there was not.a* foot of canvas without a shot hole. The captain of the GI.orieu.jt, did ijot yield till, all his masts were shot away, and the ship was? uriablc to make any defence. Captain Cornwallis,in the Canada, of 74 guns, vanquished the French Hector of the same force ■„ Bijt Instead of taking, possession of her, left her to be picked up By a! frigate, and pushed on to the Ville de Paris. ,,

,,|Crountde Grasse was nobly supported, even after the line wa*. Broken, and until the disorder and confusion became irreparable tjovyard the evening. His two seconds, the Languedoc and Cou-, ronne, were particularly distinguished ;. the former narrowly es-, eaped being taken in her last efforts to extricate him. The Di~ a,d^ai, a French 74,.went down by a single broadside, in a gene ^US exertion to save him. His ship, the Ville de Paris, after bo,~ in'g already much battered, was closely laid athwart by the .Cans-? da» and in adesperate action of near two hours, was reduced.almost. fq^a wreck. De Grasse appeared to prefer sinking, rather than. sjtrikp to any thing under a flag; he might however, consider.they &&L effects, which the striking,.of his flag would produce ;in {b^t


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