board and were drowned, and others were miserably burnt ; of which latter number some died shortly after their removal. Notwithstanding these losses, the surviving prisoners are stated to have far exceeded in number the crew of the Spencer, who probably had not her full compliment on board. Captain Evans speaks in the highest terms of his officers and ship's company, and names among the former Lieutenant Joseph Lenox and Mr. Harriden the master.
Intelligence having reached Admiral Duncan, the British commander-in-chief in the North Sea, and then cruising off the Texel with a squadron of nine sail of the line, besides 50-gun ships, frigates, and sloops, that the Dutch 36-gun frigate Argo and three national brigs were on their way from Flickerve in Norway to the first-named port, Captain Lawrence William Halsted, in the 36-gun frigate Phœnix, accompanied by the 50-gun ship Leopard, 28-gun frigate Pegasus, and brig-sloop Sylph, was despatched to intercept them.
On the 12th of May, at 5 a.m., just as these ships, in pursuance of their orders, had made sail from the squadron, with the wind at west-north-west, the Argo, the three brigs, and a cutter, all standing upon a wind on the starboard tack, hove in sight in the south-east. Chase was immediately given, both by the detached ships, and by the squadron in the rear. At the approach of the former, the three brigs bore up, and were pursued by the Pegasus and Sylph ; while the Phoenix and Leopard, the latter far astern, directed their attention to the Argo.
As if undetermined whether to go large or keep by the wind, the latter frequently changed her position, but, at length, kept with the wind a-beam. At 8 a.m., the Phœnix, having got close to her weather quarter, the Argo hoisted Dutch colours ; whereupon the former fired a shot across her. A few minutes placed the Phœnix alongside of her opponent to windward, and a smart action commenced on both sides, which continued for about 20 minutes ; when, having sustained some damage in her masts, rigging, and sails, and seeing no prospect of escaping from the numerous foes surrounding her, the Argo struck her flag.
The Phœnix, appears to have mounted eight 32-pounder carronades beyond her establishment as an 18-pounder 36, or 44 guns in all, with a net complement of 271 men and boys. The only damage she sustained was in her rigging and sails, and her only loss was one man killed and three wounded ; while the Argo, whose armament was precisely the same as that of the Alliance, * with a crew of 237 men and boys, lost six men killed and 28 wounded : a proof that her officers and crew were not deterred from doing their duty by the superiority of the force opposed to them.
* See p. 292.
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