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protection of the Island, going with Convoys, and for annoying the trade of the Enemy, when it can be done consistent with the other two objects:—
Mermaid, 32. Dorotea, 32.
Santa Teresa, 32. L'Alceste, 32.
Vincejo, 20. Salamine, 18.
Peterel, 20. Bulldog, 18.
There will also be the Entreprenant Cutter, and Fulminante, to carry letters, or employed as the service may require. The Dover, while she remains, is a proper Ship for going with Convoys to Sardinia for bullocks; but she is never to be sent far from the Island, as she may be wanted to carry troops. The Ships are to be kept as constantly at sea as possible; and none of the above Ships, on pretence of being Commanding Officer, is to lay in Port when his Ship is ready for sea, and the cruize of no one is to be directed to extend more than fourteen or sixteen days without coming off the harbour. But she is not to enter the Port without permission of the Commanding Officer, as orders will most probably be immediately [sent] for her proceeding where the service may require her. All desires of his Excellency, the Commanding General or Governor, are to be paid the strictest attention to, and complied with as far as is possible. The Cutters are to be sent to me frequently with information necessary for me to be acquainted with.
No Ship, under pretence of its being the Commanding Officer's Ship, is to take more stores from the Naval Yard than her fair proportion. In all other respects I must leave the service to be regulated according to the judgment of the Senior Officer, they being answerable to me for their conduct.
There are eight empty Transports to go down to Gibraltar, and from thence to be seen clear off the Gut by a proper force, and the Alliance is to take them on to England—therefore, when the Alliance comes, she and some other Ship is to see them safe to Gibraltar, and such of the Troop ships as the General does not wish to keep here.
Between the 1st and 10th of every month, a Ship or Sloop of War is to go to Leghorn with such Vessels under convoy as may be bound to that place, and return with them when laden to this place. But, as it may be a week, ten days, or more, that the Convoy maybe preparing, the Ship is at liberty to cruize during that time, or afford any assistance which may be required by His Majesty's Allies; and as there will be generally money to be brought from Leghorn for the use of the Army, it is advised that the Ships should, as nearly as the service will admit, take their turn.
Nelson. N.B.—These directions to be delivered from one Commanding Officer to another, as they may arrive in port, or sail.
TO COMMODORE SIR THOMAS TROUBRIDGE, BART.
Port Milhon, October 17th, 1799.
My dear Troubridge,
Nothing having arrived here, from either Palermo or Malta since my arrival, I am a little puzzled to know how to direct your, the Minotaur, and the Northumberland's further proceedings. You must be guided by the accounts brought me by the Salamine. All my letters from the Marquis de Niza and Ball you will open, but not those from Sir William Hamilton or Palermo, as there may be many things in them which I do not wish any one to be acquainted with. Should the French Ships, reported to have been seen on the 28th September, have actually got into Malta, the Ships on that service must be increased; and as the Marquis de Niza's Squadron is ordered to Lisbon, you must proceed off there, and prevent the French Squadron from doing any mischief; for, in that case, I suppose we shall have no footing on the Island; but'you must judge of this when you see the letters. If Niza will not remain there, but obey his orders from Lisbon—even if the accounts of the French Ships should be false—still I must increase our force there, and keep a good look-out that they do not relieve it; therefore, at all events, we must look sharp towards Malta.
Sir James St. Clair has a wish to send over to Algiers, and if you had arrived before my sailing, I intended getting you to go on the mission, for these pirates are getting saucy. They have taken many Vessels with passports signed by me, in which I cannot blame them; for every body knows, that when I signed any passports at Naples, it was against my inclination, and telling the people that brought them, my opinion of their inutility. If the Dey had respected them, we should have been obliged to him; but as he has not, we can only try if he will liberate the poor devils from slavery; and he ought to be sensible how kind I have been, in keeping the Portuguese Squadron hitherto from molesting him. This is what, my dear Troubridge, I would talk to you about, was you by my side, which I earnestly wish you were; and your going to Algiers must depend on what you hear from other quarters, and what you know. As General Fox is very soon expected here, not a troop can be moved, be the exigency of the service what it may; therefore I can only say, whether one, two, or three Ships come to me at Palermo, or go off Malta, that I leave with implicit confidence to your judgment. You will see the orders I have left for regulating the Ships named for the Minorca station; and ever believe me your affectionate friend,
TO CAPTAIN LONG,7 COMMANDING H. M. SLOOP VINCEJO.
You are hereby required and directed to proceed, in the Sloop you command, off the Port of Toulon, and reconnoitre that harbour as near as you are able, consistently with the safety of your Ship, and to cruize in the vicinity of that place for fourteen days, looking into the harbour occasionally, as also into the Hieres Islands. And should you gain any intelligence which you think of consequence for me to know, you will either return and communicate the same to the Commanding Officer here, (but without coming into Port with your Sloop,) or to me at Palermo. And should you fall in with the French convoy, which are said to be fitting out at Toulon for the relief of Malta, you will act to the best of your judgment to frustrate, their design, either by informing the Commanding Officer off Malta of their approach, or in any other manner, that they may be intercepted. But not falling in with anything to oblige you to quit your station, you will, at the expiration of fourteen days, return to this place, sending in a boat to the Commanding Officer for further orders.
* Captain George Long, who was made a Commander in that year. He was killed while commanding the Vincejo, in September 1801, in an attack on the enemy at Elba. Vide "London Gaiette" of the 14th of November, 1801.
TO CAPTAIN THOMAS BERTIE, H.M. SHIP ARDENT."
Port Mahon, October 17th, 1799. My dear Bertie, I feel very much gratified by your kind and affectionate letter of August 1st, and most heartily rejoice on all your unexampled success in Holland; and I most fervently hope, that, by all our joint exertions, peace will very soon come amongst us. To say the truth, I am most heartily tired of the war; for our Allies have, in so many instances, played us foul, that they are not to be trusted. Austria, I fear, in particular. I am glad Mitchell is amongst you. Pray remember me kindly to him, and Lord Duncan, and to all my friends about you. I expect Troubridge here every moment. He is as excellent as ever. Berry joined a few days ago, and desires his kind remembrances; and believe me, dear Bertie, with the greatest affection, your old and attached friend,
TO H. R. H. THE DUKE OF CLARENCE.
[From Clarke and M'Arthur, vol. ii. p. 225.]
Although I have really but a moment, yet I am sure I cannot better bestow it than in assuring your Royal Highness
• Afterwards Admiral Sir Thomas Bertie, Knight Commander of the Order of the Sword, of Sweden. He then commanded the Ardent, 04, one of Vice-Admiral Mitchell's Squadron off the Texel. At the moment this letter reached Captain Bertie, Lord Duncan and Admiral Mitchell happened to be dining with him. He died in June 1825. In Vol. ii. p. 458, and in Vol. iii. p. 1, Sir Thomas Bertie is erroneously called " Albemarle."
of my respectful attachment; and I shall retrace our late occurrences as fast as my pen and head will allow me.
Having on the 1st of October received the terms on which the French were to evacuate the City of Rome and Civita Vecchia, on the 2nd, the Phaeton arrived, bringing me an account, that, on the 8th and 9th of September, thirteen large Ships, supposed to be of the Line, had been seen off Cape Ortegal. On this information, in case they should be bound into the Mediterranean, I directed the Culloden and Minotaur, with some small Vessels that were off Civita Vecchia, to proceed immediately, and join me off Mahon harbour; the Foudroyant arriving the same day, I sailed from Palermo on the morning of the 5th. I had hardly got clear of the Gulf, when I met the Salamine with information from Mahon, that on the 28th of September, a Vessel from Tunis to Minorca had fallen in with two strange Sail of the Line, Frigates, and other Vessels, to the amount of twentyv steering towards Malta. As I have seven Sail of the Line, one Frigate, and three Sloops on the service there, I had to send the Brig to ascertain the event. This news, which I still hope is false, did not tend to make me easy, as in truth I required, being very unwell: however, the more difficulty, the more exertion is called for.
On the 12th, I got off Mahon, and, having given all necessary directions for the Ships on that Station, I made sail for Gibraltar. In the evening, between this Island and Majorca, I fell in with the Bull-dog, having on board Sir Edward Berry, who brought me letters from Rear-Admiral Duckworth, discrediting the account of the Enemy's ships being off the Coast of Portugal; with this knowledge I instantly returned to Mahon, where so much has required doing, that, except to pay my visit to the General, and to the Naval Yard, I have not been out of the Ship. General Fox being hourly expected, it has not been in my power to arrange a plan of operations for the immediate reduction of Malta, should it not be effectually relieved by these Ships; which is an object of very great importance to us and his Majesty's Allies: but as neither the Brig nor any Vessel is arrived, I am in total darkness; nor are the Ships from Civita Vecchia come in. However, I sail to-morrow for Palermo, to see what is going on, and prepare