|Naval history of Great Britain
||Cruise of M. Willaumez
frontispiece to the account, might not be considered undeservedly placed there.
Having brought to its disastrous close the cruise of Rear admiral Leissegues, we must now return to M. Willaumez, whom it will be recollected, just as an unexpected turn of good fortune had released him from the, in all probability, fatal consequences of a meeting with an equal British force. * Left by Sir John Duckworth to pursue his course, the French admiral reached, without further molestation, the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope. Here he captured an English merchant vessel, but not " une corvette anglaise, " † for none was lost, and from the former learnt, to his regret, into whose hands the Cape had recently fallen. In this port he was to have refitted, preparatory to a cruise off the bank of Anguillas, where he had hoped to have intercepted the China fleet. Thus disappointed, M. Willaumez contented himself with cruising between the continents of Africa and South America, until the want of provisions, in the beginning of April, sent him to the port of St.-Salvador. After a stay here of 16 days, the French squadron weighed and set sail for Cayenne. There M. Willaumez separated his squadron into three divisions, and cruised between the last-named port and the ninth degree of south latitude. He, it appears, contemplated the destruction of the shipping in Carlisle bay, Barbadoes, but declares he was prevented by currents, contrary winds, and bad weather. Perhaps, had M. Willaumez made the attempt, he would have found more formidable obstacles than these.
On the 9th of June the Veteran arrived at Fort-Royal, Martinique ; having narrowly escaped an encounter with the 74-gun ship Northumberland, Captain John Spar, bearing the flag of Rear-admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, who arrived a few hours afterwards from Barbadoes, in consequence of information that Prince Jerome's ship had been seen off the north end of that island. On the 14th, early in the morning, the 74-gun ship Elephant, Captain George Dundas, without a fore topmast, joined the Northumberland in Fort-Royal bay ; and, on the same afternoon, the Canada 74, Captain John Harvey. On the 15th at 3 A.M. the Northumberland, in a heavy squall, carried away her fore yard and fore topmast, and, towed by the Canada, was obliged to bear away for Gros-Islet bay, Sainte-Lucie, to refit. On the same afternoon the Eole and Impetueux arrived in Fort-Royal bay. On the 20th the Foudroyant and Valeureuse succeeded in reaching the same anchorage, although chased by Sir Alexander's squadron ; and on the 24th the like good fortune attended the Cassard and Patriote. During the chase of the two latter ships, the Northumberland, a second time, carried away her fore yard.
On the 1st of July Rear-admiral Willaumez quitted
* See p. 21.
† Victoires et Conquêtes, tome xvii., p. 300.
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