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Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
William James
1807 British and Turkish Fleets 296

Great Britain. The Danish officer refused ; and the Quebec was preparing to use force to compel him, when, at 2 h. 30 m. P.M. on the 4th of September, Vice-admiral Thomas Macnamara Russel, with the 74-gun ship Majestic, Captain George Hart, arrived and anchored close off the town. At 6 P.M., while making arrangements to storm the place with the marines and seamen of the two ships, the vice-admiral received a flag of truce with an offer to capitulate. On the next day, the 5th, the treaty was signed, and the island, which was much wanted as a safe asylum for the English cruisers in these dangerous waters, became a possession of Great Britain.

British and Turkish Fleets

The unbounded influence, which in the autumn of 1806, France had acquired in the councils of the divan, threatening a rupture between Turkey and Russia, England as the ally of the latter, endeavoured to restore the amicable relations of the two countries ; but her ambassador, Mr. Arbuthnot, found himself completely foiled by the intrigues of the French ambassador, General Sebastiani. This artful emissary had arrived at Constantinople on the 10th of August, and in a few days succeeded in persuading the Porte to recal the reigning hospadars from Moldavia and Wallachia. On the 16th of September Sebastiani demanded, that the canal of Constantinople should be shut against Russian ships, which, by a former treaty, were allowed to pass it ; threatening war in case of refusal, and pointing to the powerful French army then in Dalmatia.

On the 22d of October the British admiralty directed Vice admiral Lord Collingwood, who still cruised off Cadiz, but, in the peaceable demeanour of the Franco-Spanish squadron, found little to occupy his attention, forthwith to detach three sail of the line, to reconnoitre the situation of the forts of the Dardanells and fortifications adjacent, as a measure of prudence, in case circumstances should call for an attack upon them by a British force. Owing to the quick passage of the vessel bearing the despatches, Lord Collingwood was enabled, on the 2d of November, to send Rear-admiral Sir Thomas Louis upon the delicate and important service in view. And yet, on the 15th of February, 1808, in the House of Commons, the Honourable Thomas Grenville, the first lord of the admiralty who had given the orders, but who was then out of office, stated, that Sir Thomas Louis had not been detached until the 5th of December, and seemed to complain, as in that case well he might, that six weeks from the date of the orders had been allowed to expire before any step was taken to put them into execution. This shows how requisite it is to attend to dates.

On the 8th Sir Thomas, with the 80-gun ship Canopus,

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