which Lieutenant Grey's claims were still stronger, and yet, we regret to say, were overlooked.
On the 3d of October, the 14-gun brig-sloop Speedy, still commanded by Captain Jahleel Brenton, while running through the gut of Gibraltar, observed several small vessels coming out of Algesiras, apparently to molest a British convoy then in sight. Determined to defeat their plans, the Speedy stood towards them, and soon discovered that they were not, as at first supposed, Spanish gun-boats but Spanish coasters, eight in number, under the protection of an armed cutter and schooner.
In a short time, two of the coasters, finding themselves nearly overtaken by the Speedy, ran under the guns of a castle : a prompt fire from which prevented Captain Brenton from bringing them off. The Speedy, accordingly, stood on in chase, and at 4 p.m., having passed under the shot of Tariffa castle, came up with four others, just entering a bay to the eastward of Cape Trafalgar. One of the vessels immediately anchored under a fort, and the three others under an old ruinous castle that appeared only to have one gun mounted.
As it blew very heavy from the eastward, and the Speedy in consequence was upon a lee shore, the brig could not with safety approach nearer than 900 yards. Having here come to an anchor, the Speedy opened her fire upon the castle and the vessels ; and in a short time, as the castle made no return, compelled the Spaniards to abandon their vessels, after cutting their cables that they might drift on shore. Captain Brenton immediately sent Lieutenant Richard William Parker, with the boats, to endeavour to bring off or destroy the vessels. Owing to the heavy surf that broke over them, it was found impracticable either to get them afloat or set them on fire. At a considerable risk, however, the British succeeded in boarding the vessels and brought away or destroyed their fire-arms ; leaving the vessels themselves, two of which were valuably laden, full of water and complete wrecks.
It was not long ere Captain Brenton, in his little 4-pounder brig, met with a fleet of more worthy antagonists ; such as would undoubtedly have overpowered the Speedy, had they possessed a tithe of the spirit which animated her officers and crew. On the 6th of November, at 3 p.m., while the Speedy was lying to off Europa point, to await the coming up of her convoy from the Tagus, consisting of the transport ship Unity, George Robinson, master, with wine for the British fleet, and a merchant brig bound to Trieste, 12 Spanish gun-boats, two of which were schooners carrying two long 24-pounders and 50 men each, and the remainder lateen-rigged vessels with one 24 and 40 men each, bore down from Algesiras to attack the Speedy and get possession of her convoy.
Having sent his despatches on shore, Captain Brenton, at 3 h. 30. m, p.m., commenced firing on the gun-boats as they advanced
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