itself. * Still the Board of Ordnance, in repeated conferences with the Navy Board, maintained the superiority of the old gun, resting their arguments, chiefly, on the comparative length of its range ; while the Navy Board urged, that a vessel, able to carry 4-pounders of the common construction, might, with equal case, bear 18-pounders of the new; that the latter gun was worked with fewer men; that its shot was far more formidable and destructive ; and that its range was quite sufficient for the purpose required. The commissioners adduced, as one instance, the case of the Flora frigate, whose boatswain, assisted only by a boy, made a surprising number of discharges from a forecastle 18-pounder, and caused great havoc and destruction onboard the French frigate Nymphe, ultimately their prize.
Let us be permitted to remark that, with one single unimportant exception, the action between the British 36-gun frigate Flora and the French 32-gun frigate Nymphe is the first, in which the mounted force of the combatants, as compared together in all the British accounts, was mistated ; and that simply because it is, with the exception above alluded to, the first action in which a British ship of war, mounting carronades, was engaged. It was a long contest, and a sanguinary one, on the part of the Nymphe at least. Out of her complement of 291, the latter lost 136, the Flora, whose number of men on board was 259, but 36, in killed and wounded.
Captain William Peere Williams, having, in his official letter,
* One appears to have been, the adding of two calibers to its length.
[See note on previous page re: footnotes]
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