|Naval history of Great Britain
||Light Squadrons and Single Ships
abreast of the ship on the larboard and weather side, the brig brought her to close action. This continued for an hour ; by which time the Curieux had her braces, bow-lines, and tiller-ropes shot away. Seeing the unmanageable state of her opponent, the Revanche, at 3 h. 15 m. P.M., ran on board the Curieux on the starboard side a little before the mainmast. In this position the ship discharged her traversing gun and musketry ; by which the brig's main boom was shot away, Captain Sherriff and four or five of the men killed, and several wounded.
Finding themselves too warmly received, the privateer's men would not board, but retreated to the quarterdeck ; whence they kept up, for the space of ten minutes, an incessant and a very destructive fire of musketry. Lieutenant Thomas Muir, upon whom the command of the brig had devolved, now prepared to board ; but, being supported by only 10 seamen, the marines, and the boatswain, he was obliged to relinquish the attempt. At about this time, one of the Curieux's men having hove the ship's grappling overboard (in doing which he lost his right arm by a shot), the Revanche dropped astern. Presently afterwards, hauling up, the privateer crossed the stern of the Curieux, and, after firing into her two great guns and a volley of musketry, crowded sail to the north-west. Nor was the Curieux, whose, shrouds and back-stays were shot away, and two topmasts and jib-boom wounded, in a condition to make sail in pursuit.
The loss on board the Curieux amounted to eight killed, including her captain, and 14 wounded. That on board the Revanche, according to a paragraph in the Moniteur, amounted to two killed and 13 wounded. The Curieux, as soon as she had partially refitted herself, made sail for Barbadoes, and anchored the next day in Carlisle bay.
Lieutenant Muir was subsequently tried by a court-martial at Barbadoes, for the escape of the privateer, and was slightly reprimanded for not having done his utmost, after the death of his captain, to take or destroy the enemy's ship. Had, by any chance, the Revanche been captured and carried into Carlisle bay by one of the cruisers upon the station, her force would have been fully known ; and we cannot conceive that the commanding officer of a gun-brig (for, virtually, the Curieux was no more) would, under all the circumstances of this case, have been otherwise than honourably acquitted.
We are now entering upon a case which some may think not quite pertaining to Naval history. It was, however, an occurrence that happened on board a British ship of war, and one which, for a considerable time after it became generally known, excited an intense interest in the public mind.
In the summer of the present year Robert Jeffery, a native of Polpero in Cornwall, aged 18 years, entered on board the Lord Nelson privateer of Plymouth, and about eight days afterwards, when the privateer had put into Falmouth, was pressed by an
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