When lieutenant of the Ajax, attached to the fleet under Sir J. Borlase Warren, lying in Vigo Bay, he was sent with a boat’s crew to the assistance of the Tartarus, sloop of war, which ship was then driving to leeward in a gale on a rocky shore. So inevitable appeared her destruction, that the officers and crew had abandoned her, after letting go an anchor, to retard her expected crash against the rocks. At this critical moment, whilst held by only one strand of the cable, Lieutenant Jones’s boat (although nearly swamped by the frequent shipping of seas) neared the ship; and this officer, watching an opportunity, sprung on board with his intrepid crew, and, by almost superhuman exertions, succeeded in hauling her ahead. She had just reached the point of safety, when her officers and crew, who witnessed her more favourable position, brought about by Lieutenant Jones’s courage and perseverance, returned on board, and Lieutenant Jones and his gallant followers rejoined their ship amidst the cheers of the fleet. For this service Lieutenant Jones was sent for by the commander-in-chief, and thanked by him on the quarter-deck of his flag-ship.
As lieutenant of the Naiad, this officer had the misfortune to be involved in a serious quarrel with his superior officer (Lieutenant Dean), and on that person using very abusive, and unofficer-like language, Lieutenant Jones struck him. A court martial being held, Lieutenant Jones was sentenced to be hanged; but, in consideration of the very provoking language used by Lieutenant Dean, and Lieutenant Jones’s previous irreproachable conduct, his Majesty George the Third was graciously pleased to pardon him, and restore him to his former position in the Navy, while Lieutenant Dean was dismissed the service.
One of the greatest calamities that ever befel a ship belonging to the British Navy was the destruction of the Queen Charlotte of 100 guns, launched in 1790. She was the sister-ship to the Royal George, and was destined to a no less tragical fate. Her first cruise was with the fleet fitted out against Spain; Lord Howe, the commander-in-chief, being on board of her; and she carried his flag on the 1st of June.
She was afterwards sent to the Mediterranean, under the command of Captain James Todd, and bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral Lord Keith. Before entering upon our narrative, we may be permitted to apologize for any inaccuracy, or lack of incident, that may be apparent in the following account, by stating that the official reports of the disaster are so vague and imperfect, that it is almost impossible to give the details of it as fully as we could wish; and so many years have elapsed since the event, that we cannot obtain information from private sources.
On the 16th of March, 1800, Lord Keith, with Lieutenant Stewart, and four other persons, having landed at Leghorn, directed Captain Todd to proceed in the Queen Charlotte to reconnoitre the Island of Cabrera, about thirty miles from Leghorn, then in possession of the French, and which it was his lordship’s intention to attack.