were issued to seize all Dutch vessels in British ports ; in consequence of which, the 64-gun ship, Zeeland, 54-gun ship, Braakel, 40-gun frigate, Thulen, and two brig-corvettes, together with seven homeward and two outward bound Dutch Indiamen, and from 50 to 60 merchant vessels, all lying in Plymouth Sound, were detained by the port-admiral, Vice-admiral
On the 9th of February, instead of the customary letters of marque and reprisal, the British government issued a proclamation, authorizing the detention of all Dutch vessels, as well as of all neutral vessels bound to or from Dutch ports. Measures were at the same time taken to gain possession of the islands and settlements belonging to Holland, both in the west and in the east ; and, in the course of the month, a small British squadron, under the orders of Vice-admiral Adam Duncan, in the 74-gun ship Venerable, was despatched to the North Sea, to watch the motions of the Dutch fleet lying in the Texel, or rather squadron, for the ships ready for sea did not, at this time, amount to more than three or four sail of the line, and about as many frigates.
Early in August a fleet of Russian ships, consisting of 12 crazy [sic] sail of the line and seven frigates, associated itself with that under Vice-admiral Duncan ; but the combined fleets, during the remainder of the year, had no enemy to encounter, save the perils of a winter's cruise in that favourite region for storms and shoals, the North Sea. Besides having Holland for an enemy, against whom letters of marque and reprisal issued on the 15th of September, England lost Prussia as a friend, that power having, since the 30th of April, concluded a separate peace with France.
Light Squadrons and Single Ships.
On the 30th of December, 1794, at 11 a.m., the British 12-pounder 32-gun frigate Blanche, Captain Robert Faulknor, cruising off the island of Desirade, one of the dependencies of Guadeloupe, and, like the latter, again in French possession, chased a large French armed schooner under a fort at the bottom of a bay in the first-named island. At 2 p.m. the Blanche stood into the bay after the schooner, which had come to an anchor, with springs on her cables. At 2 h. 30 m. the fort and schooner, as well as some troops drawn up on the shore, opened
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