|Naval history of Great Britain
||Windsor-Castle packet and Jeune-Richard
male prisoners, with a crew, admitting all the Weasel's complement to have been on board, of only 120 men and boys. There being no Gazette account of this affair, we freely confess, that it would have entirely escaped us but for the notice taken of it by a contemporary. Whether or not our contemporary's account, when we came to search the Weasel's logbook for particulars caused us any disappointment, will appear by a reference to the account itself. " After the peace of Tilsit, the Russians gave up Corfu to the French. A garrison was despatched to take possession of it, but meeting with Captain Clavell, in the Weazel brig of war, the whole force was defeated and taken by that officer. " *
On the 1st of October, in the morning, as the British Leeward island packet Windsor-Castle, acting Captain William Ropers, was in latitude 13° 53' north, longitude 58° 1' west, on her passage to Barbadoes, with the mails, a privateer was seen approaching under all sail The packet used her utmost exertions to escape ; but, finding it impossible, began to prepare herself for making a stout resistance. At noon the schooner got within gun-shot, hoisted French colours, and opened her fire ; which was immediately returned from the chase-guns of the Windsor-Castle. This was continued until the privateer came near, when she hailed the packet in very opprobrious terms, and desired her to strike her colours. On meeting a prompt refusal, the schooner ran alongside, grappled the packet, and attempted to board. In this the Frenchmen were unexpectedly defeated by the pikes of the packet's crew, and sustained a loss of eight or 10 in killed and wounded. The privateer now endeavoured to cut away the grapplings and get clear ; but the packet's main yard, being locked in the schooner's rigging, held her fast.
Great exertions continued to be made on both sides ; and Captain Ropers, evinced considerable judgment and zeal in ordering a part of his men to shift the mails as circumstances required, or to cut them away in case the privateer should succeed in the conflict. At about 3 P.M. one of the packet's guns, a 9-pounder carronade loaded with double-grape, canister, and 100 musket-balls, was brought to bear upon the privateer, and was discharged, with dreadful effect at the moment the latter was making a second attempt to board. Soon after this Captain Rogers, followed by five men of his little crew, leaped upon the schooner's decks, and, notwithstanding the apparently overwhelming odds against him, succeeded in driving the privateer's men from their quarters, and ultimately in capturing the vessel.
The Windsor-Castle mounted six long 4-pounders and two 9-pounder carronades, with a complement of 28 men and boys ; of whom she had three killed and 10 severely wounded : her main yard and mizenmast were carried away, and her rigging, fore and
* Brenton, vol. iv., p. 159.
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