|Naval history of Great Britain
||British and Turkish Fleets
and steered for the Dardanells, leaving the Endymion to attend upon Mr. Arbuthnot. On the 2d of January, 1807, the Canopus joined the Thunderer and Standard in Azire bay ; where were also lying the 38-gun frigate Active, Captain Richard Hussey Moubray, and 18-gun ship-sloop Nautilus, Captain Edward Palmer. On the 4th the Russian ambassador removed on board the Active, and the latter sailed with him to Malta. On the 31st, at 10 A.M., the squadron was joined by the Endymion, having on board the British ambassador and suite, and the whole of the British merchants late residents of Constantinople ; with whom the frigate, having cut her cables, had sailed an the 29th, at 11 P.M.
It appears that the cause of all this alarm was some private information, that the Turkish government meant to seize the Endymion, also the ambassador, his suite, and all the British residents, with the view of detaining them as hostages, and of " putting them to death by torture, " in case a British force should commence hostilities. The merchants placed such reliance upon the intelligence, that they did not wait to carry off any part of their property. Sir Thomas Louis immediately weighed with his passengers, and, dropping down, reanchored the same evening off the entrance of the strait. On the following morning, the 1st of February, the squadron again weighed, and anchored soon afterwards off the island of Tenedos.
In anticipation of a rupture of the negotiations with the Sublime Porte, the British admiralty, on the 22d of November, 1806, had directed Vice-admiral Lord Collingwood to detach a force to the Dardanells, to be ready, in case of necessity, to act offensively against the Turks ; and, proceeds the order, " as the service pointed out will require much ability and firmness in the officer who is to command it, you are to entrust the execution thereof to Vice-admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth. " * Owing to these orders having been put on board a squadron, which was detained by contrary winds, it was not until the 12th of January that they reached Lord Collingwood off Cadiz. On the 15th, in the evening, Sir John parted company from the fleet, in the 100-gun ship Royal-George, Captain Richard Dalling Dunn, with instructions to the following purport.
After having assembled the ships he had been directed to take with him, the vice-admiral was to proceed as expeditiously as possible to the Straits of Constantinople, and there take up such a position as would enable him to bombard the town, in case of a refusal to deliver up the Turkish fleet (the paper-force of which was 12 sail of the line and nine frigates), together With a supply of naval stores from the arsenal sufficient for its equipment. This was all plain sailing ; but some contingencies were tacked to the vice-admiral's instructions, which rendered
* Parliamentary papers ordered March 23, 1808.
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