|Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
||Light Squadrons and Single Ships
served up, in its simple state, to the French readers of the "Victoires et Conquêtes." The writer has accordingly seasoned it in a way which, he knew, would render it palatable. Not only is the Tremendous made to fly from the field of battle, but the crew of the Canonnière are eager to board her. " Il ne s'agissait plus alors, pour ces braves matelots, de soustraire leur frégate au vaisseau ennemi, ni même de la forcer à une retraite honteuse; ils aspiraient à le prendre, et les cris, à l'abordage! à l'abordage! se firent entendre à plusieurs reprises. " *
The action of the Tremendous and Canonnière affords a lesson to officers, who find themselves suddenly assailed by a decidedly superior force. It teaches them that, by a judicious and protracted defence, their ship may escape, even when, in a manner, close under the guns of an opponent, whose single broadside, well directed (the chief point wherein the Tremendous appears to have failed), must either sink or disable her.
The Canonnière had sailed from Cherbourg on the 14th of November, 1805, as a reinforcement to Rear-admiral Linois, whom Captain Bourayne, agreeably to his orders, proceeded to join at the Isle of France. Not finding the admiral there, the frigate was seeking him off the Cape of Good Hope, when fallen in with by the Tremendous and her convoy. After repairing, as well as could be done at sea, the damage she had sustained in this encounter, the Canonnière steered for Simon's bay, and on the 30th anchored near Penguin island. Deceived by the Dutch colours at all the forts, and on board the merchant ships at anchor within him, M. Bourayne sent on shore a boat under the command of a lieutenant. No sooner had the party disembarked, than the forts, changing their colours, opened a heavy fire of shot and shells upon the frigate. The Canonnière immediately cut her cable and stood out. Several shells broke over, but none did any important injury to her ; and not a single struck her hull. The French lieutenant and his men were of course made prisoners.
On the 25th of April a British squadron, composed of the 50-gun ship Leander, Captain Henry Whitby, 18-pounder 40-gun frigate Cambrian, Captain John Nairne, and 18-gun ship-sloop Driver, Captain Slingsby Simpson, cruised off the port of New York, to search American vessels coming from foreign ports for enemy's property and for goods contraband of war, also to gain information respecting the routes of two or three French squadrons then known to be at sea. At about 2 P.M. on that day Captain Whitby went on board the Cambrian, to dine with Captain Nairne, leaving the Leander in charge of her first lieutenant Mr. John Smith Cowan. At 3 P.M., when standing in upon the larboard tack, Sandy-Hook lighthouse bearing west-north-west
* Victoires et Conquêtes, tome xvii., p. 289.
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