- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 295MB
THE "VICTORY" AT PORTSMOUTH."He gives you what I can't give," she said.
Scarcely was the Rockingham Administration formed when they determined to recall England's ablest admiral, Sir George Rodney, and they carried this into execution in May of this year, and appointed Admiral Pigott in his stead. Lord Keppel, who had shown himself so sensitive in his own case, now he was at the head of the Admiralty not only recalled Rodney because he was of another party, but he did it in the coldest and most direct manner, through his secretary, Mr. Stephen. However, before this order of recall was issuedthe 1st of MayRodney had fought one of the greatest and most decisive battles which adorn the history of our navy. He had gone in all haste to the West Indies, with fourteen ships of the line, to join Sir Samuel Hood, who was vainly contending against the fleet of De Grasse and a strong land force at St. Christopher's. But, as De Grasse had landed eight thousand men, under De Bouill, and Hood had no land troops, he could not save the island. After its capture Rodney fell in with him, and their united fleet amounted to thirty-six ships of the line. It was well, for Hood informed Rodney that De Grasse was intending to join the Spanish general, Galvez, at St. Domingo, where they were to sail for a grand attack on the chief of the British West India Islands, Jamaica, almost the only island, excepting Barbadoes and Antigua, which Britain now owned in that part of the globe. On the 8th of April he was signalled that the French fleet was unmoored and proceeding to sea. Rodney instantly put out, and the next morning discovered this fleet under Dominica. The wind being in favour of De Grasse, he stood away for Guadeloupe; but Rodney gave chase, and Hood's squadron getting far in advance, De Grasse veered round in the hope of beating him before the rest of Rodney's fleet could come up. Hood received the fire of three men-of-war in the Barfleur, his ship, for some time; but he stood bravely to the enemy, and the wind now favouring Rodney, he came up and joined in the engagement. Several ships on each side were so much damaged that they were almost useless, and Captain Bayne, of the Alfred, was killed. The next morning the French were nearly out of sight; but Rodney pressed after them, for he knew that if they succeeded in joining the Spaniards, he should have sixty sail, instead of thirty-six, to contend with.
The captain they had elected for themselves was for following; the seven others agreed upon a detour. They had ideas of their own concerning obedience to superiors. They left the trail in spite of the vehement assurance of their captain that they would without doubt get all manner of profanity knocked out of them, and hasten their inevitable journey to Gehenna if they went into the timber.
But the more the mystery, the greater was the rage of the English Government. On the opening of the Session of Parliament for 1737, a Bill was brought in of a most frantic and unwise character:"To abolish the charter of the City of Edinburgh, to rase the city gates, disband the City Guard, and declare Mr. Wilson, the Provost, incapable of again holding any public office." Nothing so furious and unstatesmanlike could ever have been imagined possible in the eighteenth century. Witnesses were called to the bar of both Houses, and amongst them three Scottish judges, in their robes, were subjected to a sharp cross-examination. Nothing, however, could be elicited except some degree of carelessness on the part of the city magistrates. The Scottish nation, with its usual spirit, highly resented the menaces of this impolitic Bill. The Duke of Argyll in the Lords, and various members of the Commons, denounced it as equally insulting and unjust. They were zealously supported by many English members, especially by Wyndham and Sir John Barnard, and the Bill gradually shrank into an Act disabling Mr. Provost Wilson from holding any office in future, and fining the city two thousand pounds for the benefit of the widow of Captain Porteous; and, alluding to her original station, it was jocosely said, therefore, that all this terrible menace ended in making the fortune of an old cookmaid.