stated that the Nymphe "mounted 32 guns, but was pierced for 40," says, in a postscript, " The Flora mounted 36 guns," and, he might have added, '° was pierced for 44." According to the establishment of 1779, the Flora was entitled to mount four 18-pounder carronades on her quarterdeck and four on her forecastle, making her total of carriage-guns 44. That she did mount, and successfully use, one of a pair, at least, of carronades on her forecastle, appears by the Navy Board's report; and that she also mounted four carronades on her quarterdeck, we shall establish by a document which we shall presently lay before the reader. Hence, the Flora mounted, not "36 guns," but 42, at the least. The French accounts say 44; thus: "La 10 Août, la frégate Française la Nymphe, de 32 canons, fut prise, après un combat opiniâtre, par la frégate la Flore, de 44 canons." * The following maybe stated as the real mounted force of the two ships:
Although pierced for, and mounting, the most guns, the Flora was the shorter vessel by six feet.
According to an official list, dated on the 9th of January, 1781, † there were then 429 ships in the navy mounting carronades ; among which the 32-pounder carronade appears, and was the first of that caliber which had been used. The total of the carronades employed were 604; namely, eight 32-pounders, four 24-pounders, three hundred and six 18-pounders, and two hundred and eighty-six 12-pounders. In December of this year a recommendation to use 68-pounder carronades on the forecastle of large ships, and 42 and 32 pounders on the same deck of some of the smaller rates, induced the Navy Board to order the old Rainbow 44 to be fitted, by way of experiment, wholly with carronades of the largest description. Sir John Dalrymple proposed the casting of some that should carry a ball of 100 or 130 lbs. weight; but the board resolved to confine themselves to the heaviest of the pieces already cast, the 68-pounder.
The necessary carronades were ordered from the foundry, and some of the foremen belonging to the works attended, to see them properly fitted : it was not, however, until February or March, 1782, that the Rainbow could be completed in her equipment. What additional force she acquired by this change in her armament, the following table will show:
* Abrégé Chron. de 1'hist. de la Marine Française, 1804, p. 190.
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