|Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
||Light Squadrons and Single Ships
stated ; and we know that the force of the Manche, when captured by the British a year or two afterwards, was officially reported at 44 guns. At all events the sentence pronounced upon the Uranie's Captain was : " The charge being in part proved, Captain Laroche is sentenced to be dismissed from the command of his majesty's ship Uranie. "
On the 6th of August, late in the evening, the British 38-gun frigate Hydra, Captain George Mundy, cruising off the coast of Catalonia, chased into the harbour of Begur three armed vessels, a polacre ship and two polacre brigs. On the following morning, the 7th, the Hydra reconnoitred the port, and discovered that the vessels were strongly defended both by nature and art, lying in a narrow harbour, under the close protection of a battery and tower upon a cliff on one side, and of rocks and bushes, admirably calculated for musketry, on the other. But having great faith in the firmness and resources of his people, Captain Mundy resolved to attempt cutting out the vessels.
Accordingly, at 50 minutes past noon, the Hydra came to an anchor, with springs on her cables, at the entrance of the harbour, and began the attack. A smart fire was returned by the battery and shipping ; but which, after an hour's continuance, began to abate. Perceiving this, Captain Mundy despatched a division of his boats, with 50 seamen and marines, under the command of Lieutenant Edward O'Brien Drury, second of the ship, assisted by Lieutenants of marines John Hayes and Edward Pengelly, midshipman John Finlayson, and captain's clerk (a volunteer) Robert Hendrick Goddard, with orders to land on the flank of the enemy, and drive him from the battery. Notwithstanding the heavy fire kept up by the Hydra, the detachments became exposed to a cross discharge of langridge from the shipping and fort, and of musketry from the rocks. Unshaken, however, the British advanced ; and, having mounted the cliff, which was of most difficult access, attacked the fort with so much intrepidity, that the enemy, having spiked the guns, consisting of four long 24-pounders, rushed out on one side, as the Hydra's officers and men entered at the other.
This gallant achievement enabled the Hydra to direct her fire solely at the vessels, which still maintained a steady cannonade upon the party on shore. Leaving Lieutenant Hayes and nearly the whole of the marines in charge of the guns in the battery, with orders to occupy the heights which commanded the decks of the vessels, as well as the opposite side of the harbour, where the enemy was numerously posted, Lieutenant Drury, with the remainder of the marines and the whole of the seamen of his division, advanced towards the town. As soon as the town was cleared, the French crews abandoned their vessels, and, formed in groups among the rocks and bushes, fired on the seamen, as the latter, having seized the boats on the beach, were boarding
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