|Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
||British and Franco-Spanish Fleets
officers and crew; yet a contemporary states that, at sunset on the preceding day, which was little more than five hours after she lay a dismasted hulk upon the rocks, the Venerable was " in such efficient order as to be fit for action had an enemy appeared.
For the service rendered to the country, by the prompt and effective manner in which the combined squadron under Vice-admiral Moreno and Rear-admiral Linois was chased and attacked by the British squadron under Rear-admiral Sir James Saumarez, the latter, with the captains, officers, and crews of the ships under his orders, received the thanks of parliament; and Sir James himself, for his conspicuous gallantry in going in pursuit of a force so decidedly superior, was created a knight of the bath, with a pension of 1200l. per annum. The first lieutenant of the Cæsar, Philip Dumaresq, was made a commander. The first lieutenants of the Superb and Venerable, the two ships that bore the brunt of the action, were Samuel Jackson and James Lillicrap ; and they also received that step in rank which was so justly their due.
The Saint-Antoine, which, on account of the miserable fate of the two Spanish three-deckers, was the only trophy carried off by the British, became afterwards added to the navy of her captors; but being an old 74 of only 1700 tons, the ship never quitted Portsmouth after she arrived there. By way of perpetuating an acknowledged error in the official letter of Captain Keats to Sir James Saumarez, the Saint-Antoine, both in Steel's lists and in the navy-office books, continued, and in the latter still continues to be called the San-Antonio.
Although from a desire to be impartial we invariably, if in our power, consult the accounts on both sides of the question, and are frequently enabled to extract, even on the subject of British naval history, much useful information from an account drawn up by a Frenchman or Spaniard, the best French account we can find of the proceedings of the combined squadron under Vice-admiral Moreno and Rear-admiral Linois is so amusingly extravagant, that, if only as a relief to the dry matter-of-fact detail of these pages, we are induced to subjoin a translated extract: " At 4 o'clock in the morning he (Captain Troude) perceived in his wake four vessels which he knew were enemies : they were, in fact, a part of the English squadron: the Cæsar, commanded by Admiral Saumarez, the Venerable, Superb, † and frigate Thames. The brave Troude prepared for action, and strengthened his lower batteries by men from those of the quarterdeck and forecastle. He was soon overtaken by the Venerable and Thames : the first discharged her broadside into his larboard quarter, and the Formidable bore up to close this adversary : a most spirited combat ensued, yard-arm and yard- arm ;
* Brenton, vol. iii., p. 42
† The Spencer is here meant.
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