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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol II
1797 Bombardment of Cadiz 53

The Captains, Don Gonzales Vallego, Don Juan de Agairre, Don Josef de Torres, and Don Augustine Villavicencio, were deprived of their rank; and the latter declared incapable in future of holding any other. Several captains and officers were deprived of their offices for a limited time of six, four, and two years, according to the degree of their alleged criminality ; and several captains, lieutenants, and ensigns were sentenced to be publicly reprimanded.

A reinforcement from England having joined the British admiral, and the ships that had suffered in the action having repaired their damages, Earl St.-Vincent, on the afternoon of the 31st of March, quitted Lisbon in the 110-gun ship Ville-de-Paris, and, with 21 sail of the line, proceeded direct for Cadiz ; where lay the Spanish fleet, now all assembled, and numbering, with the ships previously in port, 26 sail of the line.

The British admiral continued cruising off Cadiz from the 4th of April to the 19th of May ; on which day Sir John anchored the fleet in such a position as effectually to block up the port. On the 29th of June the number of Spanish ships of the line, reported ready for sea in the harbour, was 28 ; all of which, as far as soldiers could supply the deficiency of seamen, were fully manned.

With the view of provoking Admiral Massaredo to attempt putting to sea, and also perhaps, as a contemporary observes, " to employ the minds of the seamen and divert them from following the mischievous example of the ships in England," * Earl St.-Vincent resolved to bombard the town of Cadiz. On the night of the 3d of July, every thing being in readiness, the Thunder bomb-vessel, Lieutenant John Gourly, covered by the gun-boats, launches, and barges of the fleet, under the orders of Rear-admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, who commanded the advanced or in-shore squadron, took her station near the tower of San-Sebastian, and within 2500 yards of the walls of the town ; then containing a garrison of upwards of 4000 men, and protected on the bay-side by 70 pieces of cannon and eight large mortars. The Thunder commenced throwing her shells, with great precision ; but the large or 13 inch mortar was soon discovered to have been materially injured by its former services. The safety of the bomb-vessel requiring that she should be immediately withdrawn out of gun-shot, the Goliath 74, Captain Thomas Foley, Terpsichore frigate, Captain Richard Bowen, and Fox cutter, Lieutenant John Gibson, kept under sail, to afford her the necessary protection.

The retreat of the Thunder was the signal for a number of Spanish gun-boats and armed launches to sally forth, in hopes to capture her. These were met by a similar description of force, led by Rear-admiral Nelson. The Spanish commandant,

* Brenton, vol. ii, p. 231.

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