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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol I

1794

British and French Fleets

168

her with such effect as to compel her to retreat, with main and mizen masts reduced to a tottering state, and which, as we have elsewhere related, fell soon afterwards. In manúuvring to get away, however, the Républicain obtained the opportunity of returning the rake to each of her antagonists. The Sans-Pareil and Scipion, meanwhile, completely silenced in their fire, had dropped astern ; but, the Royal-George having lost her foremast and main and mizen topmasts, had her wheel rendered useless, and tiller-ropes shot away, and the Glory being also much disabled in her masts and rigging, neither French ships could be taken possession of by them.

The loss sustained by the Royal-George amounted to one midshipman (John Hughes) and four seamen and marines killed, her second lieutenant (Thomas Ireland), master (John Bamborough), two midshipmen, (Messieurs Boyce and Pearce), and 45 seamen and marines wounded. The Glory had her master (George Metcalfe), one midshipman (David Greig), and 11 seamen killed, and 31 seamen and eight marines or soldiers wounded.

The alleged loss sustained by the Sans-Pareil was as many as 260 killed, and 120 badly wounded : an overrating, probably, as to the killed, but it is now too late to clear up the point. On board the Sans-Pareil as a prisoner, was Captain Troubridge, late of the British frigate Castor, with a portion of her officers and crew. When, in the afternoon, the Majestic fell in with, and took possession of this noble two-decker, Captain Troubridge remained on board, and, with his men, assisted in navigating the Sans-Pareil into port. Wherever we can, with propriety, introduce an anecdote creditable to the officer, and interesting to the public, we are ready to do so ; but we should never have thought of inserting the vulgar and disgusting anecdote, which a contemporary, in a seeming laudatory manner too, has related of Captain Troubridge. *

The fortunate possession of a French account of the proceedings of the Scipion, on this day of dreadful carnage, enables us to give a full and interesting account of the casualties that befel that ship. The loss of her three masts has already been mentioned. Seventeen of her guns were dismounted, her furnaces knocked down, and the hot shot in them scattered about the deck, to the great danger of setting fire to the ship. From her first and second batteries alone, the Scipion is represented to have discharged 1440 round shot ; and her loss, by the enemy's fire, is stated at 64 men killed, and 151 wounded. In comparing this ship's aggregate loss with that of any of her companions in the action, it should be recollected, that the additional number of killed assigned to most of the prizes, and enumerated at a former page, is from doubtful authority, and indeed, from the

* Brenton, vol, i., p. 308.

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