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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol II
1797 Cutting out the Mutine 55

down the bay, that the bomb-vessels could not be got in time to the intended point of attack. The second bombardment was represented to have levelled several houses ; a circumstance to be regretted, and yet not well to be avoided, considering that the legitimate object of the bombardment, the shipping, lay so close to the town.

The rumoured arrival at Santa-Cruz, in the island of Teneriffe, of a richly freighted Manilla ship, and the represented vulnerability of the town and shipping to a well-conducted sea-attack, induced Earl St.-Vincent to detach a force in order to attempt bringing out the galleon. Before, however, we enter upon the details of this cutting-out service, another in the same quarter is, by priority of date, entitled to our attention.

On the 28th of May, in the afternoon, the British frigates Lively, Captain Benjamin Hallowell, and Minerve, Captain George Cockburn, standing into the bay of Santa-Cruz, discovered at anchor in the road an armed brig, which, as the frigate approached, hoisted French colours. The two captains deeming, it practicable to cut the vessel out, the boats of the frigates, on the following day, the 29th, were manned, and placed under the orders of Lieutenant Thomas Masterton Hardy of the Minerve, as the senior lieutenant. At about 2 h. 30 m. p.m. Lieutenant Hardy, supported by Lieutenants Loftus Otway Bland, Harry Hopkins, and John Bushby, and Lieutenant Robert Bulkley of the marines, belonging to the Lively, and by Lieutenants William Hall Gage and Thomas James Maling, of the Minerve, and their respective boats' crews, made a most resolute attack upon the brig, as she lay at anchor; and in the face of a smart fire of musketry ; boarded, and almost immediately carried her. This alarmed the town, and a heavy fire of artillery and musketry was opened upon the brig, as well from every part of the garrison, as from a large ship that lay in the road. The lightness of the wind retarded the weighing of the anchor, and then made it, necessary for the boats to take the brig in tow.

During the space of nearly an hour, an unremitting fire was kept up from the shore and ship. At length, at a little before 4 p.m., Lieutenant Hardy and his gallant comrades brought safe out of gun-shot, the French brig-corvette Mutine, mounting 14 guns, 12 of them long 6-pounders, and the remaining two brass 36-pounder carronades. Her complement was 135 ; but the Mutine, when the attack commenced, had on board only 113 men, the remainder, with their commander, capitaine de frégate Zavier Pommier, being on shore. In effecting this enterprise, 15 of Lieutenant Hardy's party, including himself and midshipman John Edgar, were wounded, but none killed. Being a remarkably fine brig of 349 tons, the Mutine was immediately put in commission by Earl St.-Vincent, and the command of her given, very properly, to the officer who led the party that so gallantly cut her out.

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