victory of the 1st of June, endeavours, or rather (for he has since in part retracted his words) did endeavour, to fix upon Rear admiral Montagu a very serious imputation ; because, having, on the night of the 8th, with nine two-deckers, including a 64, chased nine French sail of the line, one a three-decker, he did not, on the morning of the 9th, rush into battle with another French fleet, composed of one 120, one 80, and twelve 74 gun ships, in an effective state, besides two dismasted 110-gun ships, and three dismasted 74s, towed by some of the former, and accompanied by a long train of frigates and corvettes. The best refutation of so extraordinary a charge is a reference to the numbers admitted to have been present on each side. But who, upon a mere midshipman's opinion, would have imputed a backwardness to fight to an officer, whose professional life, through a long course of service, had been passed in honour, and who had already fought and conquered in two frigate-actions, each time against an opponent of equal force ? *
A summary of the honours and rewards, which fell to the share of the conquerors in the 1st of June victory, will conclude our long, but, we trust, not uninteresting, account of the first decisive meeting between the British and republican fleets. On his arrival at Spithead, the gallant veteran (his lordship was then 70 years of age) was greeted with joy and enthusiasm. On the 26th of June the royal family came down to Portsmouth, and immediately proceeded to pay a visit to Lord Howe, on board his ship at Spithead. His majesty, attended by his principal minister, there held a naval levee, and presented the admiral with a diamond-hilted sword, valued at 3000 guineas, also a valuable gold chain to be worn round the neck. The royal party then dined with Lord Howe on board the Queen-Charlotte, and returned to the shore in the evening. The king would, it is understood, have invested Lord Howe with the riband of the garter, but was restrained from acting, according to the claims of justice and the dictates of his heart, by the strong political prejudices of the minister at his elbow.
Of the two admirals next in command to Lord Howe, one was created an Irish peer, by the title of Lord Graves, and the other, Lord Viscount Bridport. Rear-admirals Bowyer, Gardner, Pasley, and Curtis, were created baronets; and Sir George Bowyer and Sir Thomas Pasley had settled upon them a
* First action fought September 14, 1779, between the British frigate Pearl, of 32 guns, 12 and 6 pounders 220 men, (of whom 10 only, except the officers, had served in a ship of war), and 683 tons, and the Spanish frigate Santa-Monica, of 32 guns, 12 and 6 pounders Spanish, 280 men and 956 tons. The engagement lasted two hours, during which the Santa-Monica had 38 men killed and 45 wounded, and the Pearl 12 killed and 19 wounded.
Second action fought September 30, 1780, between the Pearl, as before, and the French frigate Espérance, of 32 guns, 12 and 6 pounders French, nearly 200 men, and about 850 tons : action also two hours ; French ship's loss 20 killed and 24 wounded, Pearl's, 6 killed and 10 wounded.
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