|Naval history of Great Britain
||British and Portuguese Fleets
this fleet, conveying, altogether, about 18,000 Portuguese inhabitants, arranged itself under the protection of that of the British ; and the friendly junction of the two fleets was immediately announced by a reciprocal salute of 21 guns.
The above eight sail of the line, four frigates, and four smaller vessels, comprised the whole of the Portuguese navy, except one 74, the Vasco-de-Gamo, under repair and nearly ready, and another 74 and 64, and five frigates and corvettes, that were unserviceable. As a proof that the efficient ships of that navy, with the royal family and loyal inhabitants on board, had not been too precipitate in their retreat, on the 30th, which was the very day after their departure, General Junot, with the advanced division of the French army, entered Lisbon. Having accompanied the Portuguese fleet to latitude 37° 47' north, and longitude 14° 17' west, and waited till the ships had reassembled, after a severe gale of wind, Sir Sidney, on the 6th of December, detached Captain Moore, with the Marlborough, London, and Bedford, to attend the fleet to the Brazils, and, with the remainder of his squadron, parted company. One of the Portuguese ships of the line, being deemed unfit to proceed on the voyage, bore up for England. The remainder, escorted by Captain Moore, pursued their voyage, and on the 19th of January landed, the prince regent at Bahia. Captain Moore, with the British and Portuguese men of war, then proceeded to Rio de Janeiro.
The object of Sir Sidney in parting company was to watch the motions of the nine Russian sail of the line under Vice-admiral Seniavin ; who, finding it dangerous to proceed further to the northward, had anchored in the Tagus. This step on the part of England was rendered necessary by the menacing tone which Russia had recently assumed. On the supposition that this Russian squadron was still in the Mediterranean, Sir Sidney had been ordered to detach the Foudroyant, Conqueror, and Plantaganet, as a reinforcement to Rear-admiral Purvis off Cadiz ; but he now, of course, kept those ships with him, and with his five sail of the line cruised off the mouth of the Tagus.
After Sir Sidney had been a week performing this duty, Commodore Peter Halkett joined from England, with, besides his own ship, the Ganges, the 74s Defence and Alfred, Captain Charles Ekins and John Bligh, and the 64s Ruby and Agamemnon, Captains John Draper and Jonas Rose. These ships had sailed from Portsmouth on the 6th, just four days after the, Emperor of Russia's hostile declaration against England had been received by the British government. Of this declaration, and of that which speedily followed it, we shall reserve any remarks we may have to make, until the next year's operations in the Baltic come under our notice. It may suffice to state here, that the Russian squadron, under Vice-admiral Seniavin, remained safe blocked up in the Tagus on the last day of the present year.
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