English admiral immediately put to sea, and at 6 p.m. was off Cape Papa, having the Talbot and Dartmouth in company. The largest of the Turkish ships were at anchor, the rest were working up to the anchorage, but without any colours flying. Several shots were fired by the English, in order to force the Turkish ships to show their flags; indeed, in this affair, the Asia fired 96 shots, and the Dartmouth 100.
That Ibrahim Pacha had no intention of fulfilling the treaty was evident. On two occasions his sacred promise had been violated, and now, finding that he could not succeed in effecting a junction with his army at Patras, and in relieving that place, he, on his arrival, with his whole fleet at Navarin, landed the troops he had embarked on board his ships, and wreaked his vengeance on the unfortunate Greeks of the Morea ; neither women or children escaped his fury, villages were pillaged and burnt, the trees were destroyed, and a devastation commenced which would have ended in rendering the whole Morea a desert.
Captain Hamilton, in the Cambrian, was despatched to ascertain the truth of these reports, and, in his official letter to the English admiral, he thus describes the miseries of the poor unprotected wretches : " I have the honour to inform you that I arrived here yesterday in company with the Russian frigate Constantine. On entering the gulf we observed, by clouds of smoke, that the work of devastation was still going on. The ships were anchored off the pass of Ancyro, and a joint letter from myself and the Russian captain was despatched to the Turkish commander. The bearers of it were not allowed to proceed to head-quarters, nor have we as yet received any answer. In the afternoon we went on shore to the Greek quarters, and were received with the greatest enthusiasm. The distress of the inhabitants, driven from the plain, is shocking; women and children dying every moment of absolute starvation, and hardly any having better food than boiled grass. I have promised to send a small quantity of bread to the caves in the mountains where these unfortunate wretches have taken refuge. It is supposed that if Ibrahim remain in Greece more than a third of its inhabitants will die of starvation."
On the 13th of October Sir Edward was joined by the Russian squadron. On the 14th he arrived off Navarin where the allied squadrons of France, Russia, and England were concentrated, and placed under his directions. We have thus far endeavoured to give our readers a perfect knowledge of events prior to the action, and we have entered into some details in order to show that Sir Edward Codrington evinced the greatest forbearance, and used every means in his power to avoid a collision, which an unpremeditated circumstance afterwards occasioned.
The combined squadrons consisted of the following ships and sloops
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