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Spanish division separated from the main the Admiral; a Peerage was also granted body. The Captain, the Blenheim, the intended at first as that of a Viscount, but Excellent, and the Irresistible, under the afterwards changed to an Earldom. The respective commands of Commodore Nel-/title he wished to be Orford, as originally son, Captains Frederick, Troubridge, Col- belonging to the navy, having been conferlingwood, and Martin, were the ships that red on Admiral Russell after the battle of dashed into the midst of them. The Orion, La Hogue; but the King fixed on that of St. Sir James Saumarez, the Prince George, Vincent. The Vice-Admirals, Thompson Vice-Admiral Parker, and the Colossus, and Parker, were created Baronets; and Murray, were also in the thickest of the Nelson, Knight-Commander of the Bath. fight. The rest of the fleet were partially The fleet with the prizes proceeded to the engaged in preventing the larger portion of Tagus to refit, where, by the end of the the Spaniards from joining and assisting the month, they were ready and reinforced to division from which the captures were made. twenty-one sail of the line; when, receirCaptain Calder, the flag captain, was sent ing a signal from a frigate off the baroff with the account of the action ; but. The enemy at sea!'—such was the promptalking over the events of the day, Calder titude exhibited, that by daybreak some of hinted, whether the spontaneous maneuvre the ships reported themselves ready for sea; that carried Commodore Nelson and Col- and at the close of the day the whole squadlingwood into the brunt of the battle, was ron, thirteen sail of the line, sailed in purnot an unauthorized departure, by the suit of the enemy. Commodore, from the prescribed mode of Enough has been written and said on the attack? 'It certainly was so,' replied the subject of the mutiny in the fleet at the magnanimous Commander; and if ever Nore and Spithead; but after so glorious a you commit such a breach of your orders, victory off Cape St. Vincent, it could have I will forgive you also.'
been little expected that a mutinous spirit Captain Cockburn, (now Sir George,) of would make its appearance in the triumphthe Minerve, towed out the damaged Cap- ant fleet before Cadiz. A Portuguese priest
, tain, and carried Nelson in his boat to the the confessor of the Catholics in the Art flag-ship, when the Admiral receive huhis, comn, showed to that Admiral a letter he on the quarters.or'much nonsense was talk- had received from two seamen of the Ville arabout Nelson's name not being mentioned de Paris, acquainting him of their intention in the public despatch. The treatment to assassinate the Commander-in-chief, as Lord Howe received, but three years before, soon as the expected resistance should have for selecting names contrary to his own broken out. In the Ville de Paris too, the wish and intention, but by command, was villain Bott, the Corresponding Society's alone sufficient for Sir John to avoid a simi- delegate on the Cadiz station, confessed, in lar dilemma; but he had three Vice-Ad-dying, that the intention was to hang Lord mirals, Thompson, Parker, and Waldegrave, St. Vincent, and transfer the command of one of whom, Parker, in the Prince George, the fleet to one Davidson, another delegate, behaved most gallantly. Was he to leave and of couse a rebel. them out, and Nelson to stand alone? In The first practical outbreak of the muhis letter, however, to Lord Spencer of the tiny was on the Kingfisher's deck, where same date, he makes honorable mention of Captain Maitland, by a thrust of his sword, all who had an opportunity of distinguishing slew one of the rebels and wounded some themselves. He thus begins his letter :- others : he was tried at his own request
, 'The correct conduct of every officer and and acquitted. And here we cannot forman in the squadron on the 14th instant, bear noticing a most reprehensible passage made it improper to distinguish one more in Captain Brenton's work, the improbabilthan another in my public letter ; because ity of which, acquainted as he was with I am confident that, had those who were Lord St. Vincent's character, ought alone least in the action been in the situation of to have prevented the insertion of it. He the fortunate few, their behavior would not says, “Lord St. Vincent did not certainly have been less meritorious.'
participate in the feeling which dictated Votes of thanks were given by the two the admonition, (there was none;)* for I Houses of Parliament, and by a message
* The sentence only says, 'that the means ta. from the Crown to the House of Commons, ken by Captain Maitland were spirited and she a pension of £3000 a-year was settled on cessful, but hasty, and not tempered with that
am credibly informed, that he invited the the feet might, as usual, attend at this, to members of the court-martial to dinner, haul the man up; for he did not expect the and after the cloth was removed gave as a Marlborough's would do it. Lord St. Vintoast, • Maitland's radical cure.' Invited cent sternly replied-—'Captain Ellison, you the members to insult them! He should are an old officer, sir; have served long; have known that Lord St. Vincent was suffered severely in the service, and have incapable of uttering so brutal a sentiment; lost an arm in action ; and I should be very nor is it likely he ever invited the members sorry that any advantage should be taken of of the Court-martial, in a body, to dine. your advanced years. That man shall be
But it was on the arrival of Sir Roger hanged at eight o'clock to morrow morning Curtis's squadron, and in it, that the crisis and by his own ship's company; for not a of disaffection raged. Applications for hand from any other ship in the fleet shall Courts-martial on mutineers came from touch the rope. You will now return on three of his ships, the Marlborough, the board, sir; and, lest you should not prove Lion, and the Centaur. We shall select able to command your ship, an officer will only the first, as sufficient to show the Ad- be at hand who can. miral's determination to crush the evil. Captain Ellison retired, and was followed Lord St. Vincent had been apprised that by an order to cause the ship's guns to be the Marlborough was among the most dis- housed and secured, and that at daybreak organized at Spithead; and she was there- her ports should be lowered. All launches fore ordered, on her approach, to take her of the fleet were then ordered to rendezberth in the centre, at a small distance from vous under the Prince at seven o'clock the the rest of the fleet. A mutiny had broken following morning, armed with carronades out in her at Bearhaven, and again on her and twelve rounds of ammunition, each passage out, which was suppressed by the commanded by a lieutenant—the whole unofficers, but chiefly by the first lieutenant: der the orders of Captain Campbell, of the the ostensible object of the mutiny was the Blenheim. On presenting his orders, Lord protection of the life of a seaman, who had St. Vincent told him,' he was to attend the forfeited it by a capital crime. A Court- execution, and if any symptoms of mutiny martial was now ordered on the mutineers, appeared in the Marlborough, any attempt and one being sentenced to die, the Com- to open her ports, or any resistance to the mander-in-chief ordered the execution to hanging of the prisoner, he was to proceed take place the following morning,' by the close, touching the ship, and to fire into crew of the Marlborough alone; no part of her, and to continue his fire until all mutithe boat's crews from the other ships, as ny or resistance should cease; and that, had been usual on similar occasions, to should it become absolutely necessary, he assist in the punishment.' The Captain of should sink the ship in the face of the the Marlborough, Ellison, waited on the fleet.' Commander-in-chief, reminded him that the It is almost unnecessary to add, that us crew would not suffer capital punishment the signal gun the man woo hauled up to of a condemned criminal, and expressed the yard-arm with a run. Thus,' says Mr. his conviction that they would never per- Tucker, the law was satisfied;' and at mit the man to be hung on board that ship. the moment, perhaps one of the greatest of The Captain had been received on the his life, Lord St. Vincent said, Discipline quarterdeck of the Ville de Paris, before is preserved, sir.' He might well say so; the officers and ship's company—all listen for this firm determination gave a fatal ing in breathless suspense; and Lord St. blow to the mutiny in the fleet before CaVincent having himself listened attentively diz, but not a final one, as scarcely a ship until he had ceased to speak, after a short arrived from England that was not infected pause thus addressed him :- What! do with mutineers, and again and again the you mean to tell me, Captain Ellison, that dreadful sentence was inflicted—the crews you cannot command his Majesty's ship the of such ships being invariably the execuMarlborough? If that is the case, sir, I tioners of their own rebels. When the St. will immediately send on board an officer George joined from England with some muwho can.' The Captain requested that, at tineers in irons, a Court-martial sat on Satall events, the boats' crews from the rest of urday and pronounced sentence, which
Lord St. Vincent ordered to be carried into discretion which the serious nature of the case effect the following morning, though it was required.
Sunday, for which he was fully aware he would incur the censure of the sanctimoni-perintend their proceedings in the Medious; but he was also aware that the instant terranean. In Lord St. Vincent's fleet bepunishment of death on one man, might be fore Cadiz were three subordinate flag offiThe means of preserving the lives of thou- cers, of whom Nelson was the junior; and sands. “I hope,' he writes to Lord Spen- by a simultaneous coincidence of opinion cer—'I hope I shall not be censured by the (not at all surprising) between Lord St. bench of Bishops, as I have been by Vice-Vincent and Lord Spencer, they severally Admiral
for profaning the Sab- decided that it was a duty owing to the bath.' The criminals asked five days to country to place this important command prepare, in which they would have hatched under her choicest though younger son.' five hundred treasons. His conduct on this Lord St. Vincent was fully aware that he urgent occasion was highly approved by the would incur 'a world of enmity, vexation, Board of Admiralty; and Nelson writes to and annoyance' by this selection. Among Sir R. Calder, 'I am sorry that you should the most disappointed and intemperate was have to differ with
(Q. St. Vin- Sir John Orde, who wrote an accusatory and cent;) but had it been Christmas-day instead fretful letter to Lord Spencer, and sent a of Sunday, I would have executed them copy of it to Lord St. Vincent; to which we know not what might have been hatch- his Lordship thus replied :- The letter you ed by a Sunday's grog; now, your disci- have done me the honor to communicate, expline is safe. I talked to our people, and I presses precisely what I should have done hope with good effect: indeed they seem a under similar circumstances, for I never very quiet set.'
was blessed with prudence and forbearance. After a few more executions of rebels, At the same time, it must be acknowledged imported into the Cadiz fleet from Spithead, that those who are responsible for measures, the chief of whom were delegates of the have an undoubted right to appoint the men Corresponding Society, or United Irishmen, they prefer to carry them into execution.' one of them, in the Princess-Royal, pointed Seeing the necessity of getting rid of so out to his colleagues Cadiz as their future troublesome an officer as Sir John Orde, he country. Fortunate was it for England took occasion to send him home in the that a man of such perspicacity, and un- Blenheim, with the following short note :bending firmness of mind as Lord St. Vin- I have to acknowledge the receipt of your cent, was sent to command on this distant letter, dated off Cadiz, 3d August, expressstation; and that the disaffected ships were ed in terms of insubordination, that even in placed under his stern orders, to restore these times I did not expect to receive from them, as he succeeded in doing, to loyalty an officer of your rank.' On Sir John's arand discipline. Here, indeed, this great rival in England, he applied for a CourtCommander showed that he possessed all martial on the Commander-in-chief, which the chief mental qualities necessary to great- was of course refused; but some time after
on great emergencies. Others then, wards, when Lord St. Vincent returned to as before, showed a courage equally intre- England, he received a challenge from Sir pid; but no man that ever held command John, which bis Majesty laid his commands in the British Navy, ever showed in a high- upon him not to accept; and here the er degree that force of mind, that steadiness affair ended. of purpose, and that undoubting reliance on The Mediterranean having now become native resources, by which alone can great the scene of active operations, Lord St. successes, in perilous times, be achieved. Vincent proceeded to Gibraltar, from It is not too much to say, that a Command. whence he could not only more conveniently er-in-chief with less nerve would have en- carry on the correspondence, but also make dangered the loss of the whole fleet. Nel- arrangements for repairing the defects of the son, from a sense of duty to his country, Mediterranean squadron, of which he anwould have pursued similar steps, with all ticipated a speedy occasion. The splendid the milk of human kindness in his bosom, victory of the Nile, the operations against and so would Troubridge; but having nam- Minorca, and other minor affairs, were the ed them, we pause.
objects he contemplated, and which very It now (1795) became necessary to soon called for assistance. The actions of watch the French force in Toulon, and su- Nelson belong to himself, and have been
recorded in the annals of the British Navy; Calder, as would appear by the following but they belong not immediately to the life letter.
of Lord St. Vincent. On his hearing the
result of the battle of the Nile, he wrote to up to as being that officer; but his health Nelson,-'God be praised ! and you and was still in a precarious state. The Admiyour gallant band rewarded by a grateful ralty caused frequent inquiries to be made country, for the greatest achievement the of Dr. Baird, his lordship’s confidential history of the world can produce !
medical adviser, who reported his case to Despatches were shortly received that Mi- be one of doubtful issue. A change of norca was taken without the loss of a single weather, however, produced a fortunate man; and Sir James Saumarez, having ar- turn; and Baird thought it probable that, rived with the disabled ships and prizes ta- as the genial season was advancing, a faken at the battle of the Nile, the indefati-vorable result might be expected. gable Admiral, defying the accumulation of Lord St. Vincent was then at Bath. One arrears, set about the immediate repair of morning when the doctor paid his customthe ships, attending in person the whole ary visit, his lordship said, " Baird, I am goday, though up generally till two in the ing afloat.' . Surely, my lord, you are morning reading and writing his letters. not- 'Stop, Baird,' his lordship replied, The prizes were patched up for Lisbon, but I anticipate all you are going to say ; but he announced his determination that the the King and the Government require it, battered ships of his fleet should be made and the discipline of the British Navy desea-worthy at Gibraltar; and by his unceas- mands it. It is of no consequence to me ing exertions and mental resources, the whether I die afloat or ashore: the die is Nile squadron was repaired without a sin- cast.' He then informed Baird that Lord gle ship quitting the station. But the ex- Spencer had come to him from London for cessive fatigue, both of mind and body, the purpose of requiring his services, and preyed so much upon his health, that the that all was settled. His Secretary was Admiralty, having received notice of his ap- sent for, and in a few days his flag was flyprehensions that he must retire or sink,' ing in the Namur at Portsmouth. Sir George sent out Lord Keith with reinforcements to Grey was appointed flag captain, and Sir the fleet before Cadiz.
Thomas Troubridge captain of the fleet. Shortly after this his lordship returned to It was a noble fleet that was ready to Cadiz bay ; but found himself so ill and receive him—his flag in the Ville de Paris, of worn down as to be obliged to go back to 110 guns; two of 100 guns; five of 98; Gibraltar. During his illness, which con- two of 90; one of 80 ; twenty-nine of 74 fined him to his bed, he was informed that guns-in all, forty sail. Two Admirals a powerful French fleet, twenty-six sail of' with flags at the main, and four Rear-Adthe line, with frigates, was passing the mirals. His Lordship, however, was very Rock into the Mediterranean. Invalid as speedily given to understand, that the proud he was, he superintended the equipment in distinction conferred by the command of person, hoisted his flag in the Ville de Par- such a fleet, was not to be unaccompanied is, and the entire fleet was watered, provis- with vexation. Immediately after the genioned, stored, and got ready for sea in two eral salute to the flag, when the Admirals days. His illness, however, increasing, he and Captains repaired to the Ville de Paris transferred the entire command to Lord to pay their respects to the new CommandKeith, and repaired in the Argo to Gibral-er-in-chief-at that moment he was appristar, and thence to England.
ed by the Admiral next to him in comInformation had been conveyed to Lord mand, of the disaffection he felt at being Spencer, that all was not right in the Chan- superseded from a command which he connel fleet; that the deep-rooted sedition sidered his 'birthright, having always servamong the crews, so far from being extered in the Channel Aleet." Lord St. Vinminated, afforded but too serious grounds cent, out of respect for that Admiral, who for apprehending another mutiny in that was an old acquaintance, took no notice of fleet, if speedy and efficient measures were his ill-timed observation, but contented himnot taken to subdue the insubordination of self with submitting the circumstance of the the men, and correct the laxity of discipline encounter to Lord Spencer. in the officers; that, in short, none but a This commencement of a grievance was Commander-in-chief of the highest reputa- speedily followed up by an act of indiscretion, of a bold, firm, and decisive charac- tion, which carried with it, untentionally ter, could hope to succeed in restoring a perhaps, its own correction. One of the proper degree of obedience and subordina- captains gave as a toast, at the table of the tion. Lord St. Vincent was at once looked same Admiral, the second in command,
July, 1844. 26
(who, it is said, had the forgetfulness to per- The feet encountered a tremendous gale. mit it to be drunk in his presence,) May the The Ville de Paris having weathered Ushant, discipline of the Mediterranean never be in- scudded, pitched, and rolled most fearfully, troduced into the Channel fleet.' Lord St. An enormous sea struck her, store in her Vincent could not hear of this without its ex- stern windows, flooding the Admiral's cabciting in his mind great surprise and regret. in. As the great three-decker was stag. He considered it as a daring attempt to es- gering awfully under the blow, our author tablish a system of insubordination among tells us—The Commander-in-chief was on the principal officers, and to create a feeling the quarterdeck, sitting in the bight of the of unpopularity in the minds of the inferior main-topsail, in which a seat to windward officers and men. He saw at once that the had been formed for him; two quartermas. emergency had arisen which required some ters were stationed beside him, to assist bis thing to be done, and done immediately; infirm and aged frame; and from thence and he felt that, although his strength was not he gave his orders to his fleet. When this recovered, he had nerve enough to go through sea struck the Ville de Paris, it literally it. ' Lord St. Vincent,' says Mr. Tuck- deluged the quarterdeck; and, on one of er, again came forth with the utmost com- the quartermasters shaking the water out posure, and, before he had even quitted his of his neck, “ Pooh, pooh, man!" said the chair—“Bring me the Mediterranean Order old Admiral : "stand still, and do as I doBooks, Mr. Tucker ;'!' and he then direct let it alone—don't you see it will run off ed that every single order tending to en- you?" force the discipline and general good man- On returning to the blockade of Brest, agement of the ships, and every regulation means were effectually adopted to keep up imposing those restrictions which had been a supply of provisions-fresh meat and productive, in the Mediterranean fleet, of vegetables—and also of water. The Capsuch good effect, should be copied and cir- tains were indignant at being compelled to culated in the Channel feet. At the same mount guard at the watering-place, to pretime, he addressed a courteous but firm cir- vent confusion and desertion; and it was cular to all Admirals and Captains, desiring proposed to make a representation on the their co-operation. In short, he gave them subject. Lord St. Vincent hearing of this distinctly to understand, that the stigmatiz- intention, stopped it by intimating to them, ed discipline of the Mediterranean' was to that when in command of the Foudroyant be introduced and rigidly enforced in the he had always taken his turn of this duty; Channel fleet.
and that think or do, write or say, what So great had been the relaxation of dis- they might or choose, he was determined cipline under the late Commander-in-chief, that, while he commanded the Channel (Lord Bridport, who was mostly absent in fleet, his captains should perform their town,) that the officers were constantly on duty.' shore-many who had families slept on
Lord St. Vincent was never wanting in shore; the men, of course, obtained leave expedients to convey a well-timed rebuke to in shoals, and the consequence was, and an officer, without passing a direct censure could not be otherwise, immense desertion- upon him; and at the same time in such a not fewer than seventy or eighty in a single way as to make him feel the rebuke more ship. Lord St. Vincent saw that not a mo- keenly. A certain Rear-Admiral in comment was to be lost in putting a stop to an mand of the in-shore squadron, not much evil of such portentous magnitude; and that liking his position, occasioned his Comthis could only be done by forbidding the mander-in-chief some annoyance by freCaptains and all the Officers from sleeping quent complaints about the shoalness of the on shore.
Desertion ceased: and the or- water so near to the coast. In order to der, as if by magic, re-manned the ships. convince the Rear-Admiral how groundless But to save his feet, Lord St. Vincent his remonstrances were, he made use of a took upon himself,' to use the words of Mr. practical demonstration, by leading the Tucker, frowns afloat and maledictions on main body of the fleet considerably within shore.' 'Of the latter he gives an illustra- him, sailing round him, and standing out tion, by relating that one lady, in full cote- again. Very soon afterwards, the Rearrie, gave as a bumper toast— May his next Admiral was 'advised to go home and reglass of wine choke the wretch!' It may cruit his health.'* be doubted whether the husband of this virago did not find himself more comfortable suppress his name, as every body knows it was
* It appears very unnecessary in Mr. Tucker to afloat than at home.