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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol II
1799 British and Franco-Spanish Fleets 260

the vice-admiral did not receive his order of recal, we believe, until the evening of the 9th. On the 10th, at 9 a.m., Lord Keith anchored in Gibraltar ; as, on the same afternoon, did the Edgar from Tetuan.

Every despatch was now used in victualling the ships ; and on the 11th, at sunset, Earl St.-Vincent shifted his flag from the Souverain guardship. to the Ville-de-Paris ; as did alto Rear-admiral Frederick ; from the Edgar to the Princess-Royal. On the 12th, at 11 a.m., the British fleet, consisting of 16 sail of the line, weighed and bore up for the Mediterranean. On the 17th and 18th the ships encountered a severe gale of wind, but escaped without much damage. On the 20th, at noon, when off the island of Minorca, the fleet was joined by the:





Rear-admiral (w.) John Thomas Duckworth.
Captain Henry Digby.
Centaur Captain John Markham.
Bellerophon Captain Henry d'Esterre Darby.
Powerful Captain William O'Brien Drury.

On the same evening the fleet, with the exception of the Edgar, who had run aground to the south-east of Hospital island, anchored in Port-Mahon. The Edgar remained on shore until midnight on the 21st ; when, having removed all her guns into some transports, and been assisted in heaving off by the Barfleur and Defence, she floated, and anchored in the harbour.

The departure of Lord Keith from before Cadiz, on the 6th, enabled the Spaniards, by the 14th, to put to sea with 17 sail of the line, of which six were three-deckers. On the 17th this fleet passed the Straits, and, not being in very good trim for withstanding foul weather, suffered considerably by the gale of that and the following day. Eleven of the ships were more or less dismasted by it ; but, on the 20th, the whole, except one ship which arrived afterwards, succeeded in gaining Carthagena. In order to show how differently the same gale could treat an English and a Spanish fleet, the names of the dismasted ships of the latter, as officially announced in the Madrid Gazette ; are here subjoined :




Concepcion lost her foremast, and very leaky
Mexicano totally dismasted ; four men killed, &c.


Conqu1stador totally dismasted


lost her main and mizen masts.
Pelayo lost her main and mizen masts, and sprung, her foremast.
San-Francisco-de-Asis lost her foremast.
San Joaquim lost her foremast, mainmast, and sprung her foremast.
Sari-Telmo totally dismasted
Soberano lost her mainmast




Matilda totally dismasted.

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