Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849.

’The harbour was defended by regular fortifications of two tier of guns.  Fort Amsterdam alone mounting sixty-six pieces of cannon; the entrance only fifty yards wide, and so circumstanced, that it is impossible for a ship to return by the same wind that takes it in.  Athwart the entrance of the harbour was the Dutch frigate Kenaw Hatslam, of 36 guns, and the Surinam, of 22 guns, with two large schooners of war; a chain of forts was on Mesleberg heights, and that almost impregnable fortress, Fort Republique, within the distance of grape-shot, enfilading the whole harbour.  The cool determined bravery of British seamen perceives obstacles only to surmount them; and with this determination the squadron entered the harbour, the Arethusa, Captain Brisbane, leading, followed in close line by the Latona, Captain Wood; Anson, Captain Lydiard; and Fisguard, Captain Bolton.

’When the headmost ship got round the point of the harbour’s mouth, the wind became so unfavourable that she could not fetch in; but to return was impossible—­it was too late.  What a trying moment!  At that instant, however, there came on a squall, in which the wind shifted two points in their favour, and they proceeded close together.

’The enemy were panic-struck at such unexpected gallantry, and all was confusion.  A severe and destructive cannonade now commenced, and the Dutch frigate was boarded by Captain Brisbane, when the Latona instantly warped alongside and took possession, and Captain Brisbane proceeded to the shore.  The Surinam was boarded from the larboard bow of the Anson, while her starboard guns were firing at the batteries; and Captain Lydiard, upon securing the Surinam, went immediately on shore, and landed at the same moment with Captain Brisbane.  Immediately debarking their respective officers and ship’s companies, they proceeded to storm the forts, citadel, and town, which were by seven o’clock completely in their possession, and at ten o’clock the British flag was hoisted on Fort Republique.  Captains Brisbane and Lydiard were the first upon the walls of Fort Amsterdam.  Indeed, too much cannot be said in praise of the almost unparalleled bravery displayed by the officers and men of all the ships on this occasion.  It may be truly said to be ’perfectly in union with everything glorious in the past, and an example of everything glorious to the future.’’

The same year that opened so brilliantly upon the career of Captain Lydiard, witnessed, at its close, the total destruction of the Anson, and the untimely fate of her brave commander.


[11] Vol. xix., p. 449.


In the afternoon of the 21st of November, 1807, the Boreas, of 22 guns, Captain George Scott, proceeded in search of a pilot-boat, which had been blown off the coast of Guernsey in a gale of wind.

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Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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