while Steel enumerates 100. Among the latter he includes 50 instead of 47 line-of-battle ships. The three surplus ships were the Akbar, Julius, and Orford ; the first, ordered but countermanded ; the two others, not ordered at all. As a further proof of his imperfect information, Steel names 14 only out of his remaining 50 under-line building ships. Nor does the list, as usual, notify the yards or places at which the unnamed vessels are constructing. The abstract for the present year shows the launching of the Caledonia, a ship of very large dimensions, and as a first-rate, of extraordinary qualifications. Some interesting particulars respecting her will be found in the Notes to the Abstracts at the end of the volume.
The 20 captured enemy's national vessels purchased into the service will be found among those in the foreign prize-lists of the year 1808 ;* as will the 34 vessels lost by the British navy during the same period, in the list appropriated to them. † The number of the latter still continues to be of serious amount ; of which the wrecked cases, with all their attendant calamities, constitute full two thirds.
The number of commissioned officers and masters belonging to the British navy at the commencement of the year 1809, was
And the number of seamen and marines voted for the service of the same year, was 130,000. ‡
We last year left in the road of Brest, waiting an opportunity to put to sea, a squadron of eight sail of the line and some frigates. The continued prevalence of westerly gales, during the latter part of January and the commencement of February, having driven Admiral Lord Gambier from his station off Ushant, afforded that opportunity ; and accordingly, on the 21st of February, at daylight, Rear-admiral Willaumez weighed and put to sea with the following squadron:
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