with a crew of 70 out of her complement of 90 men and boys), being a few leagues to the westward of Scilly, fell in with, and after a three hours' action captured, the French privateer Sans-Culotte, of 12 guns (eight long 8-pounders, and four English carronades, 12-pounders), with a complement of 81 men ; of whom nine were killed, and 20 wounded, the Scourge escaping with only one man killed, and one wounded.
England herself appears to have been the first to commence active operations on shore, in the war declared against her by France. Early in the month of March, 3000 of the foot guards, under the command of His Royal Highness the Duke of York, were sent to assist, conjointly with a large body of Hanoverians and Hessians, the loyal portion of the inhabitants of Holland in expelling the French from their country. Fortunately for our labours, we have only to record so much of the details as will exhibit a successful instance of the gallantry of British seamen.
On the night of the 15th of March, a detachment from the crew of the British 32-gun frigate Syren, Captain John Manley (who commanded the small squadron that formed the naval part of the expedition), lying at anchor at the Maese, off the Dyke, embarked, under the orders of Lieutenant John Western, on board of three gun-boats, and, taking advantage of the calm and fog that prevailed, pulled across to the French forts, five in number, which had been erected to bombard Willemstadt, a fortress situated on a small island in the Hollands Diep, about 30 miles east of Helvoetsluys. So animated and destructive a fire was kept up by the British, that their force became trebled in the eyes of the French, and the latter abandoned their works and fled.
The Governor of Willemstadt, the brave General Count Boetzelaer, having had no intimation of the intended attack in his behalf, was surprised at the firing, and received Lieutenant Western, on his landing, the next morning with heartfelt thanks. The latter, in the course of the day, was gratified at seeing the Dutch soldiers enter the town, with the cannon which he and his little party had compelled the French to abandon.
On the 21st, as this enterprising young officer was in the act of levelling one of the 12-pounders in his gun-boat, against the enemy's intrenched camp at the Noord post on the Moordyke, a musket-ball passed through his head. On the 24th the Duke of York attended the remains of Lieutenant Western (the first British officer, as it appears, who lost his life in the war) to the church of Dordrecht, and ordered a monument, with a suitable inscription, to be erected to his memory.
The subsequent events of the year, in Holland and the Netherlands, were wholly of a military nature; except that, on the 31st of October, a British squadron, composed of two frigates, a sloop, and a floating-battery (the Redoubt, mounting twenty 68-pounder carronades), under the orders of Rear-admiral John
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