answered decidedly, that he had seen no ship, and did not know that any was to sail that night. But a more satisfactory refutation of the sworn assertion of the French officers is contained in the following extract from a letter written by an officer on board the Triumph, and published at or about the same time as Captain Seymour's official letter : " At 12 they ceased firing, and at 1 a.m. we saw the two ships close to us." And the Shannon, it is admitted, did not join until a quarter of an hour or 20 minutes after the Triumph.
Soon after the return of the Amethyst to port, her first lieutenant, Mr. Goddard Blennerhasset, was promoted to the rack of commander. Captain Seymour, in his official letter, speaks also in high terms of his second and third lieutenants, William Hill and Edward Thomas Crouch ; as well as of the master of the Amethyst, Mr. Robert Fair. The prize was purchased for the British navy, and, under the name of Brune (a Thetis being already in the service), was subsequently added, as a cruising frigate, to the large class of 38s.
On the 12th of November the three new French 40-gun frigates Vénus, Commodore Jacques-Felix-Emmanuel Hamelin, Junon, Captain Jean-Baptiste-Augustin Rousseau, and Amphitrite, with whose captain's name we are unacquainted, accompanied by the brig-corvettes Cigne and Papillon and two armed schooners, put to sea from the road of Cherbourg ; the Vénus bound to the Isle of France, and the remaining two frigates and smaller vessels to Martinique and Guadaloupe, with ordnance stores and provisions.
Just as this squadron reached the Antilles, a separation, either by accident or design, appears to have taken place. At all events the Cigne, and the two schooners, at 11 a.m. on the 12th of December, were discovered at anchor off the Pearl rock, by the gun-brig Morne-Fortunée, Lieutenant John Brown; who immediately made a signal to that effect to Captain Francis Augustus Collier, of the 12-pounder 32-gun frigate Circe, the commodore of a small British squadron stationed between that rock and the town of St: Pierre.
Immediately the Circe, accompanied by the 18-gun ship-sloop Stork, Captain George Le Geyt, 16-gun brig-sloop Epervier, Captain Thomas Tudor Tucker, and advice-schooner Express, Lieutenant William Dowers, made sail towards St.-Pierre's ; which one of the French schooners was endeavouring to reach, by being towed alongshore under cover of a body of troops on the beach. Finding it impossible, owing to the near approach of the Stork, to get between the port of St.-Pierre and the Circe, the schooner ran on shore under a battery of four guns, flanked. by two smaller ones, and defended also by the troops that had accompanied her from her anchorage at the Pearl. Immediately the Circe, followed by the Stork and Morne-Fortunée, stood in to attack the batteries ; and, engaging them within pistol-shot,
^ back to top ^