|Naval history of Great Britain
||Boats of the Unicorn and Seahorse
and in four minutes carried, the Spanish privateer Concepcion, of one brass 3-pounder and 25 men, well armed and equipped. In this ably conducted little enterprise the British sustained no greater loss than two men slightly wounded ; but the Spaniards suffered severely, having had seven men killed and drowned, and eight badly wounded.
On the 6th of May, in the morning, Cape François in the island of St. Domingo bearing south-west by south distant eight or nine leagues, the British 12-pounder 32-gun frigate Unicorn, Captain Lucius Hardyman, discovered a French armed cutter, distant seven or eight miles on her larboard bow. The prevailing calm rendering a chase by the ship impracticable, Captain Hardyman despatched four boats, under the command of Lieutenant Henry Smith Wilson, assisted by Lieutenant James Tait and Henry Bourchier, Midshipman Thomas Tudor Tucker (a passenger from the Northumberland), Lieutenant of Marines Walter Powell, and the purser Charles Rundle. After a pull of several hours, the boats reached the object of attack, and, in the face of a heavy fire of great guns and musketry, boarded and carried, without the slightest casualty, the French cutter privateer Tape-à-bord, of four long 6-pounders and 46 men, commanded by Citizen Hemigueth.
On the 4th of May the British 38-gun frigate Seahorse, Captain the Honourable Courtenay Boyle, while cruising off Cape de Gata, received intelligence, that a Spanish convoy, laden chiefly on government account with gunpowder, ordnance, and naval stores for the gun-boats at Malaga, Ceuta, and Algeziras, was upon the coast. Keeping close alongshore, the Seahorse, at 2 P.M., discovered the convoy from her mast-head, and at 5 P.M. observed the vessels haul into San-Pedro, an anchorage to the eastward of Cape de Gata, under the protection of a fort, two armed schooners, and three gun and mortar launches.
Covered by the fire of the Seahorse, her first lieutenant, George Downie, in the six-oared cutter, assisted by Midshipman Thomas Napper, in the four-oared boat, went in and gallantly boarded and brought out an ordnance-brig, laden with 1170 quintals of powder and various other stores, and commanded by Don Juan Terragut, a master in the Spanish navy. The Seahorse, in the mean time, had, as it was believed on board, sunk one of the gun-launches, and damaged, if not sunk, several of the convoy. Finding that the gun-boats, by their well-directed fire were constantly striking her, having already had her main topgallantmast, and several braces and bowlines shot away, and one man killed, and wishing to get from the coast while the breeze and daylight lasted, the Seahorse discontinued the engagement and stood out to the offing.
On the 27th of May, the British 12-pounder 36-gun frigate Seine, Captain David Atkins, while cruising off Aguadilla,
^ back to top ^