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admiral would not risk the loss of any of his convoy, by renewing ing the engagement. • Sir George Rodney was appointed to the chief commanding the West-Indies, and had orders to proceed in his way thither, with a strong squadron to the relief of Gibraltar, which hack been so closely blockaded by the Spaniards ever since the commencement of hostilities between them and the British, that the garrison was reduced to considerable distress, as well with respect jo provisions as to military and garrison stores. After being a few days at sea, he fell in with a considerable convoy bound from St. Sebastian to Cadiz, consisting of 15 sail of merchantmen, un. der the guard of a 64 gun ship, 4 frigates from 26 to 32 guns, and two smaller armed vessels. The whole fleet [Jan. 8.] was taken. The capture was exceedingly fortunate, much the greater part of the vessels being laden with wheat, flour, and other pro. vision, the remainder with bale-goods and naval stores. The ad miral sent the farmer to Gibralter, the latter to Great-Britain. About a week after (16.] he fell in with a Spanish squadron of eleven ships of the line under Don Juan Langara, off Cape St Vincent. The enemy being much inferior in force, endeavoured to avoid an engagement. On that Sir George threw out the signal for a general chase, with orders to engage as the ships came up by rotation, taking at the same time the lee gage, to prevent the enemy's retreat into their own ports. The engagement was begun by the headmost ships about four o'clock in the evening : their fire was returned by the Spaniards with great spir -it and resolution. The night was dark, tempestuous and dismals and the fleet being nearly involved among the sholes of St. Lucas, rendered the aspect more terrible. Early in the action, the Spanish ship San Domingo, of 70. guns and 600 men blew up, and all on board perished. The action and pursuit continued till two in the morning, when the headmost of the enemy's line struck to Sir George. The Spanish adiniral's ship of go guns, with three of 70, were taken, and carried safely into port. The San Julian of 70, commanded by the marques de Medina, was taken; the officers were shifted, and a lieutenant with 70 British seamen put on board ;, but by running on shore the victors became prie soners. Anothen ship of the same force was also taken, and af terward totally lost by running upon the breakers. Two more escaped greatly damaged, and two less so into Cadiz o n
The Spanish admiral behaved with the greatest gallantry. He was himself sorely wounded; and before he struck. to capt. Macbride, his ship the Phænix was nearly a wreck. A maligpant kind of small-pox prevailing on board the Bienfaisant, capta
Macbride, that humane and brave officer, disdaining to convey infection even to an enemy, and perhaps considering the peculiar terror with which it is regarded by the Spaniards, and the general ill aspect it bears to that people, acquainted Don Langara with the circumstance and his own feelings upon that subject; and at the same time offered (that so the danger which would attend shifting the prisoners might be prevented) to trust to the admiral's honor, that neither his officers nor men, amounting to above seven hundred, should, in case of separation or otherwise, in any degree interrupt the British seanien sent on board, whether with respect to navigating the ship, or defending her against whatever enemy. The proposal was thankfully embraced, and the conditions strictly adhered to by the Spanish admiral , for though there was no other ship but the Bienfaisant in sight, and though the sea and weather were'exceedingly rough, his people gave every assistance in re-fitting the Phænix, and in navigating her to the Bay of Gibraltar.
Sir George having executed his commission at Gibraltar, proceeded about the middle of February to the West-Indies, leaving the bulk of the fleet, together with the Spanish prizes, on their way to Great Britain under the conduct of adm. Digby. Tlie returning fleet fell in with a considerable French convoy, most of whicli escaped, only the Prothee of 64 guns, and two or three
essels laden with military stores being taken. - The Spanish governor of Louisiana, Don Bernardo de Galvez, having succeeded in his expedition against the British settlements and forces on the Mississippi, extended his views, and concerted a plan with the governor of the Havannah, in pursuance of which he was to be reinforced early in the present year, by a.con*siderable embarkation from that place. De Galvez, concluding
that the expected force was on its passage, enibarked all the force he could raise, and proceeded on his expedition under the convoy of some small frigates and other armed vessels. After a continued struggle with adverse and stormy weather, and other impediments for near a month, six ships ran upon a sand bank in the channel of the bay of Mobille, three of which were lost
though the crews were saved. The commander had the further * mortification, on reviewing his troops, to find, that there were *about 800 who had been shipwrecked, and had saved only their
persons. The greatest part of the whole were naked, and much of the provision, ammunition and artillery was lost. The Spanjards bore their misfortunes with patience; and instead.of shrink*ing under discouragements, endeavoured to convent their loss into a benefit, by breaking up their ivrecked vessels, and framing
out of them ladders and other machines necessary for án escalade. Those who had preserved their arms, divided them with such as had none, so as to make them the most useful : and they that still remained unarmed, undertook the laborious service of the army.. De Galvez had no reason to repent his perseverance. He was strengthened by the arrival of four arined vessels from the Hae : vannah, with a part of the regiment of Navarre on board. This arrival, with a quantity of artillery, stores, and various necessaries, afforded a sudden renovation of vigor and life to every thingThe former troops were speedily reimbarked, and after a fresh en. counter with new storms, difficulties and dangers, the whole were landed [Feb. 25:) within three leagues of Mobille. Mr. Durné. ford, a captain of engeneers, and lieutenant governor of Westä Florida, commanded the poor garrison, amounting to 284, ins cluding regulars, royalists, artillery men, seamen, 54 inhabitants; and 5] armed negroes. On the 12th of March the Spaniards opened their battery, consisting of eight 18 and one 24 pounder.. By sun-set the garrison hung out a white flag; the capitulation, however was not signed till the 14th in the morning, when they surrendered prisoners of war. The surrender appeared inevitables but was attended with circumstances exceedingly vexatious to the British, General Campbell had marched from Pensacola, (as the Spaniards say) with 1100 regulars and some artillery for their res lief, and was accompanied by some Indians. The van of Camper bell's force was at no great distance from the Spanish camp when the fort was capitulating; and the Spaniards used the utmost pre-!: caution and expedition in taking possession of and covering them, selves with the works, that they inight be secured against an ata** tack. De Galvez boasted, that the British forces in the field and garrison were superior in number to his own, and serupied not to declare openly, that with the smallest activity and vigor in their works, the garrison might have inade good their defence until the arrival of the succour. But it seems as though the lieutenant governor had not, from the beginning, the smallest idea of any. attempt being made for the relief of the place; and accordingly, on the appearance of the enemy, he considered its loss as a matter of course, and inevitable necessity. .
Sir George Rodney arrived at Gross-Islet Bay on the 27th of March. The French admiral de Guichen having put to sea from Martinico with a fleet of 23 sail of the line and a 50 gun ship. Sir George speedily pursued him with 20 sluips of the line and the Centurion. The French were brought to action [ April 17.1 by some of his headnost ships, a little before one o'clock; and.. about the same hour, he himself, in the Sandwich of 90 guns,
commenced the action in the centre. After beating three ships:
Before the Christmas recess of parliament, the duke of Richmond made a speech on the necessity of practising the most rigid
economy, in order to extricate the country from its many difficulties; which was followed by a motion for an address to his majesty, representing that a considerable reduction of his civil lista would be an example well becoming his paternal affection for his
people, and his own dignity. The motion was rejected by a majority of more than two to one. This was followed some days after by a successful motion of lord Shelburn, the purport of which was, to consider of the appointment of a committee for inquiring into the several parts of the public expenditure, as also of the reductions or savings that could be made with consistency. In the house of commons Mr. Burke proposed a plan of economy and reform ; and gave notice of his intending to bring it shortly before them, as a business that was become indipensable. Schemes of economy and reform were highly adapted to the prevailing taste of the nation as was soon apparent ; for during the recess of parliament, the business of public meetings, of petitions to the house of commons, and of associations for the redress of grievances, was commenced. The adoption of those nieans for procuring a reform in the executive departments of the state soon becanne very general; and the minds of the public again agitated and warned by these nieetings, the views of many per: sons of no mean weight and consequence were extended still furt ther. They gradually began to consider, that nothing less thatë shortening the duration of parliament, and the obtaining a more equal representation of the people, could reach to a perfect' curé of the present, and afford an effectual preservative against the return of similar evils.. • The large, populous, and opulent county of York led the way, and set the example to the rest of the kingdom. A very mumeTous and respectable meeting of the gentiemen, clergy and freeholders, including persons of the first consideration and property, was held at the city of York on the 30th of last December. Their petition to the house of commons was unanimously agreed upon: and accompanied with a resolution, that a committee of sixty-one gentlemen be appointed to carry on the necessary correspondence for effectually promoting the object of the petition; and likewise to prepare a plan of an association on legal and constitutional grounds, to support a laudable reform, and such other measure's as 'may conduce to restore the freedom of panjanent. ....
[Jan.7.] The counties of Middlesex and liants stood forth as " the seconds of Yorkshire, and adopted similar mesures. The ex- ample was soon followed by the county palatine ni Chester; and in a close succession of time, by the counties of Perts, Sussex, Huntingdon, Surrey, Cumberland, Bedford, Essex, Somerset, Gloucester, Wilts, Dorset, Devon, Norfolk, Berks, bucks, Nottingham, Kent, Northumberland, Suffolk, Hereford, Cambridge, and Derby. The Welsh counties of Denbigh, Flint and Brecknock likewise petitioned, as did the cities of London, Westmin.
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