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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol I


Colonial Expeditions - East Indies


disembarkation of the troops, artillery, and stores, occupied until the morning of the 14th ; when the army began its march, each man carrying with him four days' provisions. The seamen with their usual alacrity and cheerfulness, dragged the cannon through a deep sand, although annoyed occasionally by a galling fire. In the mean time the America, the two sloops, and the Bombay-Castle Indiaman, Captain Acland, whose men had volunteered and greatly assisted in the removal of the cannon, proceeded round to Table bay, to make a diversion on that side. This so alarmed the Dutch governor, whose troops had been retiring before those of General Clarke, that the former, on the same night, sent in a flag of truce, asking a cessation of arms for 48 hours, in order to settle the terms of capitulation. General Clarke refused to grant more than 24 hours; and, at the termination of that period, the town and colony fell into the possession of Great Britain. The regular troops that surrendered amounted to about 1000. The ship Castor, and armed brig Star, both belonging to the Dutch East India company, were here seized. The latter was taken into the British service, and named the Hope.

In our account of the proceedings of Lord Howe's fleet in the year 1794, we mentioned that the Suffolk 74, Captain Peter Rainier, and a few other vessels of war, parted company from his lordship off the Lizard on the 4th of May, bound with convoy to the East Indies. By the able management of Commodore Rainier, that convoy, and a very numerous one it was, arrived in the succeeding November at Madras, without a missing ship, and what is still more extraordinary, without having touched any where on the voyage. The commodore remained on the East India station as the British commander-in-chief, and in June, 1795, obtained his flag.

On the 21st of July, in pursuance of orders from the government of Fort-George, Rear-admiral Rainier, with the Suffolk, Captain Robert Lambert, and 50-gun ship Centurion, Captain Samuel Osborn, sailed from Madras road, having in charge some transports containing a detachment of troops, under the command of Colonel James Stuart, destined to act against the Dutch possessions in the island of Ceylon, particularly against the important posts of Trincomalé and Oostenburg.

At the same time the 44-gun ship Resistance, Captain Edward Pakenham, accompanied by the tender of the Suffolk, and a transport having on board a small party of troops, was detached to assist in an expedition that had previously sailed, escorted by the 32-gun frigate Orpheus, captain Henry Newcome, for the reduction of Malacca. On the 23d the Suffolk and convoy, then off Negapatnam, were joined by the 44-gun ship Diomede, Captain Matthew Smith (who had not yet been tried by the court-martial noticed at p. 214), and a transport or two, with some additional troops.

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