|Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
||Colonial Expeditions - Cape of Good Hope
part of Captain Pearse, and must have inspired the Spaniards, if further confirmation were wanted, with a very high opinion of the prowess of British seamen.
Colonial Expeditions - Cape of Good Hope
In the autumn of 1805 a small British squadron, composed of three 64-gun ships, one 50-gun-ship, and four frigates and sloops, under the orders of Commodore Sir Home Popham, having in charge a fleet of transports and Indiamen, containing about 5000 troops, commanded by Major-general Sir David Baird, sailed from England, or rather, the ships of war having assembled there from different points, from the island of Madeira, for the real but concealed purpose of reducing the Cape of Good Hope. That squadron consisted of the:
||Commodore Sir Home Popham
|Captain Hugh Downman
||Captain Josias Rowley
||Captain George Byng
||Captain Joseph Edmonds.
||Captain Robert Honyman.
||Captain Ross Donnelly.
Having touched at St.-Salvador for refreshments, the expedition sailed again on the 26th of November, and on the 4th of January, in the evening, reached the preconcerted anchorage, to the westward of Robben island. It was now too late to do more than take a superficial view of Blaw-berg bay, where it was proposed to land the main body of the army, and, by means of the Leda frigate and a part of the transports, make a demonstration off Green island ; which latter service was ably executed by Captain Honyman.
On the 5th, at 3 A.M., the troops were put in the boats and assembled alongside the brig-sloop Espoir, Captain William King ; but the surf ran so high that a landing was deemed impracticable, and the troops returned to their ships. Sir Home Popham, accompanied by Sir David Baird, then embarked in the Espoir, and closely examined the whole coast from Craig's tower to Lospard's bay, but could not discover any part where a boat could land without extreme danger. The probability that some of the French squadrons, known to be at sea, would arrive with reinforcements rendered it highly important that the disembarkation should be effected as speedily as possible. It was therefore resolved, notwithstanding the difficulty which the troops would experience in advancing, to land them at Saldanha bay. With this object in view, the transports containing the
^ back to top ^