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Pellew's/Exmouth's - A Compendium by Various Authors

 

CHAPTER 4

Pellew Becomes an M.P. & a Peer

1803 - 1815

ship

 

"The Book of the Blue Sea," Henry Newbolt, Longmans, Green and Co., New York, 1914.

Inevitably, Edward Pellew was promoted out of his beloved frigates, and assumed command of a ship of the line until the short peace of 1801. Here's a brief précis of his subsequent commands leading up to his action in Algiers:

"During the peace Sir Edward became Member of Parliament for Barnstaple, but he only sat until March 1803, when he was appointed to the 80-gun ship Tonnant, and joined the Channel Fleet. In 1804 he was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral of the White (a double promotion), and appointed to be Commander-in-Chief in India. He hoisted his flag in the Blenheim, and sailed in the spring of 1805. He therefore missed his chance of being at Trafalgar; but his brother Israel was there as Captain of the Conqueror, and went into action with the Victory and Temeraire.

The Blenheim was attacked on her voyage out by the Marengo and Belle Poule under Admiral Linois,..., but she beat them both off and reached India safely in August. Sir Edward's chief business for the next three years was the protection of British commerce, and he was so successful that during his command the rate of insurance fell by 50 percent.

He came home in 1809, and in the following year commanded in chief of the North Sea. Then in the spring of 1811 he was appointed to the Mediterranean, at that time the most important station of all. It included in reality a number of stations--Malta, Gibraltar, and the coast of Italy and Spain--but the chief part of the work was the blockade of the great French fleet in Toulon. For this purpose he based his main fleet on Port Mahon, and kept a small in-shore squadron of battleships nearer Toulon, with a service of cruisers patrolling the entrance of the Roads--"polishing Cape Sicie" the men called it, as they sailed wearily backwards and forwards, like a policeman on his beat. But the work was splendidly done, and now and then there would be a bit of a skirmish. Sir Edward, being himself a born frigate captain, was very proud of his frigates, and some of them particularly distinguished themselves--he specially mentioned the Volontaire and Perlen, and the Menelaus. It was also largely owing to his influence that 'along the shores of Italy and France the most daring and brilliant enterprises were continually achieved. Batterys and forts were stormed, and prizes carried off from anchorages where they might justly have deemed themselves unassailable.' In these, too, theMenelaus had her share.

Sir Edward held this command until the end of the war, and he was still in the Mediterranean when the list of honours was published. Several of the Peninsular generals were made peers; and one admiral: the admiral chosen--without his knowledge or consent--was Sir Edward Pellew. He first saw the announcement in a newspaper. 'I was never more surprised,' he says. 'Never was a man more ignorant of its being thought of.'

He was now Lord Exmouth, and shortly afterwards, to his renewed astonishment, a Knight Grand Cross of the Bath. He took an active part in the short campaign of 1815, when Napoleon escaped from Elba; and then expected to come home, but was ordered to remain in the Mediterranean to await instructions. The great war was over; the Service was being disbanded; but for Edward Pellew there was one adventure left--to command in the last battle of the old British Navy."

 

Pellew in Parliament

1803

From "The Great Mutiny" by James Dugan, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1965.

Old Jarvey had been made First Lord of the Admiralty and set about to reform the corrupt Navy Board which controlled all the supplies, shipyards and naval hospitalsof . His efforts earned him many enemies, the most powerful which was Pitt, the opposition leader in Parliament and former Prime Minister.

Pitt "wanted the dockyards to build flat-bottomed gunboats instead of the frigates St. Vincent had ordered. He said, ‘In the present emergency our navy is not entirely to be trustedalarming .' The French were again building invasion forces at Brest, Bordeaux and the Texel.

‘Our naval defense, I state from own knowledge, is very defective,' said Pitt. He felt it was his duty to call for an investigation of the Admiralty.

The rough fighting manseafront , Admiral Sir Edward Pellew, came in from the off Spain, took his seat in the House, and defended the old admiral.

‘I do not see, in the arrangement of our naval defense, anything to excite the apprehensions of even the most timid among us.

I see a triple bulwark, composed of one fleet acting on the enemy's coast, another consisting of heavier ships stationed in the Downs, ready to act at a moment's notice, a third close to the beach, capable of destroying any part of the enemy's flotilla.'

Pellew called Pitt's gunboats a ‘most contemptible force".

Old Jarvey won this round and, but the next year Pitt came back into power kicked Old Jarvey out of the Admiralty.

From "The Frigates, An Account of the Lighter Warships of the Wars Napoleonic 1793-1815", by James Henderson CBE.

 

Pellew & Son in the East Indies

1806-1807

“The East Indies station was the command that gave the widest powers and discretion to the C-in-C, because of the great distance. To send a dispatch from Fort St. George to London by the usual convoy, with long stops at the Cape of Good Hope and St. Helena, took about six months, so that a reply could not be looked for inside a year; and unless the dispatch from Admiralty was very peremptory, another year might well elapse before the C-in-C had to alter his plans. In fact this scarcely ever happened; the C-in-C was always a proved and trusted officer, Admiralty gave him a broad procure of what was expected, and left the details to him; that he would promote his relatives was taken for granted, within reasonable limits. Rear-Admiral Peter Rainier as C-in-C, East Indies station made an expedition under his own command to take Amboyna, it is not surprising to find James Sprat Rainier in command of the 16-gun ship-sloop SWIFT, in February 1796; nor is it surprising that in 1799 he was a post captain.

Now Vice-Admiral, Rainier had his nephew and godson, Midshipman Peter Rainier, sent out to the East Indies, and in very little more than a year made him post captain in the 36-gun 18-pounder frigate CAROLINE; quick promotion, but it had to be quick, for Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Pellew was already on his way to relieve Rainier, and he had with him his son, Fleetwood Pellew, whom he had already had made a commander at seventeen. He might not have observed those qualities in young Rainier which his uncle did, but now that Peter junior was a post captain there was nothing to be done about it. In fact, Pellew did very well by Rainier’s protégé, and sent him out on very promising cruises.

Rear-Admiral Sir Edward had lost no time in making his son Fleetwood Pellew, age twenty, a post captain in the 32 gun 12-pounder PSYCHE; he now sent the two young captains [Fleetwood and Peter Rainier, age 22] out together in a long-range reconnaissance. It was know that there were two Dutch ships of the line, 68 guns each, somewhere on the Java coast. At a time when very few warships were controlling vast areas of ocean, two powerful warships were of such importance that it was imperative to discover their whereabouts and condition. Accordingly the CAROLINE and the PSYCHE sailed from Fort St. George in June 1807, and at the end of August reached the eastern end of Java. Here they were able to ascertain that the two Dutch line-ships were the Pluto and the Revolutie, that they were laid up in Gressik at the mouth of the Sourabaya River, unfit to go to sea and probably in too poor a condition to be repairable.

This meant that there was most probably no ship in the area which could be a match for either of the frigates separately; accordingly they parted, the CAROLINE sailing back by the south side of Java and the PSYCHE by the northern. When off Samarang, about 200 miles west of Sourabaya, shipping was observed in the roadstead towards evening, and the PSYCHE anchored offshore for the night. At dawn she stood into the harbour and found a small 8-gun schooner and a merchant brig, which were seized and towed out by the boats of the frigate, under Lieutenant Kerstemann. Now three more vessels appearing to be warships were seen in the offing; Captain Fleetwood Pellew therefore destroyed his prizes, not wishing to weaken his crew by detaching prize-crews. On making sail in pursuit of the strangers, they made off to westward, but finding the frigate was quickly overtaking them they ran themselves on shore. In this position they opened fire on the frigate, trusting the shallows to keep her distance, which they could probably deal with boats if sent in. The PSYCHE, however, ghosted in until she was anchored with scarcely half a yard of water beneath her keel; from here she fired broadsides at each of the three in turn, and in about an hour all three struck their colours. They were the Revolutie, an armed merchantman of 700 tons, the 24-gun corvette Scipio, and the 12-gun brig Ceres. They had very little damage and the only casualty was the Captain of the Scipio killed; the PSYCHE had no damage and no casualties. By working hard all through the night, the crew of the PSYCHE got all three prizes floated off, and brought them to Madras [India].

Before long Sir Edward promoted his son to the command of the 38-gun 18-pounder frigate PHAETON, in which ship he remained on station after his father returned to take over the Mediterranean command on the death of Admiral Collingwood. In this ship he served in the powerful fleet under Rear-Admiral Stopford which, along with 10,000 troops, finally took all Java in 1811. The naval force of four line-of-battle ships, fourteen frigates, and many small craft, was so great that there was no resistance by sea; but Captain Fleetwood Pellew saw some service on land, in command of about a hundred men.

Neither Rainier [junior] nor Pellew [junior] further distinguished themselves. Rainier commanded several ships at different times but was never involved in any famous action. Pellew had great difficulty in getting a command at all. Although certainly a brave and efficient officer, he had acquired such an unfortunate reputation for brutality towards his crew that it was difficult to get anybody to serve under him, and he was always having near mutinies, which were sometimes quite serious. After he had been on the beach for many years, having attained flag rank by simple survival, he was given command of the squadron which went out in 1842 to take over Hong Kong. Even here he managed to have a mutiny by refusing to allow shore leave to the crews, owing he alleged, to the bad and dangerous climate. The ship which took home his dispatches brought back another admiral to relieve him.

 

Pellew and the Pirates

1815

From Henry Newbolt’s"The Book of the Blue Sea," Longmans, Green and Co., New York, 1914.

"This [battle] was not against a civilised power, nor in defence of his own country: it was a fight to free the South of Europe from the cruelty of the North African States on the Barbary coast. For years past these pirates--the worst among them were the Algerines--had from time to time attacked ships of all nations and made slaves of their prisoners, whom they kept in heavy iron chains, and flogged and worked without mercy. They at first listened to reason and set free some 1800 slaves, but shortly afterwards they treacherously massacred a whole fleet of Italian coral-fishers and the British Government decided that the Dey of Algiers, having made himself the enemy of the whole civilised world, must be brought to complete and final submission, or to the punishment his crimes deserved.

They accordingly appointed Lord Exmouth [Pellew] to carry out this decision, and placed at his disposal whatever force he should think necessary for the purpose. To their amazement he asked for only five ships of the line and some frigates. The fortifications of Algiers were know to be immensely strong; it was remembered that when they were described to Nelson he had said that it would take five and twenty of the line to attack them successfully, As a matter of fact there was not room for twenty-five ships to attack at once, and Nelson was only speaking in a general way of the risk of facing five hundred guns in stone-built batteries. Lord Exmouth was quite aware of the risk, but he had better information to go upon, for he had sent a naval officer, Captain Warde, to enter the harbour and survey the anchorage and the defences. This Captain Warde did with the greatest skill and secrecy: the sketch plan which he drew was found to be so accurate that Lord Exmouth sent it home to the Admiralty after the battle, to illustrate his own despatches. From this plan, and from an account written by Lord Exmouth's interpreter, an Egyptian named Abraham Salame', it is possible to get a fairly clear idea of what Algiers looked like from the deck of a ship coming in to attack it.

You must imagine that as you enter the bay from the north, you see a white Oriental town lying on the slope of a hill... All the works around this harbour are covered with the strongest fortifications. The lighthouse battery mounts more than fifty guns, in three tiers--as many as the broadside of a three-decker; only the guns are heavier, and the sides of the three-decker are of solid stone. The battery at the right end of the Mole has thirty guns and seven motars; the whole length of the Mole itself is lined with a double tier of guns, bringing the total number up to 220, besides the two single guns, 68-pounders, which are over 20 feet in length. Then along the sea front of the town itself there are nine more batteries;... [etc]

Altogether, the 500 guns are so placed as to make an attack a more formidable risk to a fleet of wooden ships. Remember too that the Algerines have collected 40,000 janissaries and other troops, all ferociously brave; and in their harbour are nine frigates and corvettes, and 37 gunboats ready to dash out and attack the British fleet if the batteries once succeed in crippling them. In short, Lord Exmouth is about to go deliberately into a big hornet's nest, where there is nothing for it but to kill or be killed outright.

In an undertaking of this kind, where almost everything depends on good shooting, it is of course very necessary to train the guns' crews beforehand; the more so because they can have had no experience of firing against stone batteries. During the voyage from Portsmouth to Algiers, which took just a month, the ship's companies were exercised at the guns every day in the week except Sundays; and every Tuesday and Friday the fleet cleared for action, and each ship fired six broadsides. Besides this the gun-layers were trained on board the flagship, the Queen Charlotte, by daily practice with a twelve-pounder on the quarterdeck. The target was a wooden frame three feet square, with rope-yarn latticed across it, and a wooden bottle for bull's eye in the center; it was hung at the fore-topmast studding-sail boom, which of course projected well over the side of the ship. After a few days of this practice the first and second captains of the guns all became so accurate that they hardly ever missed the target, and shot away ten or twelve bottles every day.

The fleet sailed on July 25th, and on August 9th they reached Gibraltar. Here they found a Dutch Admiral, Van de Capellan, with a squadron of five frigates and a corvette; he asked Lord Exmouth to allow him to share in the attack on these enemies of the human race, and his ships did very good service when the time came. On Tuesday, August 27th, the combined fleets were lying off Algiers almost becalmed, and at eleven in the morning Abraham Salame' was sent in under a flag of truce to carry Lord Exmouth's letter to the Dey.

The terms demanded in this letter were--the abolition of Christian slavery; the surrender of all Christia slaves; the restoration of ransom-money lately paid for Italian slaves; peace with Holland; and the immediate liberation of the British Consul and two boats' crews of H.M.S. Prometheus, whom the Algerines had detained a few days before.

The Dey was required to send his answer back within three hours; his own people had asked for two hours only. A note of acceptance was also sent with Lord Exmouth's letter; it needed nothing but the Dey's signature and seal. But he was determined not to give in without a fight; his people were even more enraged against the infidels, and the infidels were longing to punish the pirates for their unspeakable cruelties. The officers of the Queen Charlotte called out when the boat went off: "Salame', if you return with an answer from the Dey that he accepts our demands without fighting, we will kill you instead!"

[From "The Sea Officer," Showell Styles, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1962.]

While Admiral Pellew awaited the Dey's response to the British demands, Pellew's fleet continued to take their prearranged positions in the harbor. Here is Pellew's plan, as he would have described it to the Foreign Secretary, Castlereagh, back in London:

'"If I'm not mistaken, my lord, I am required to accomplish two things in particular. First, to inflict a sufficient punishment on the Dey. Second, to convince the Algerines that their fortress is not impregnable. Only thus shall we frighten them into submission and end their trade of piracy. For the first I must destroy their navy and knock down part of the town, using my bomb-vessels for the purpose. For the second, at least some of the batteries must be silenced, and that can only be done by accurate broadsides from ships of the line at close range." He spread a plan before Castlereagh's frowning gaze and stabbed enthusiastically at its details with a forefinger. "The town and its hillside batteries--the island and lighthouse batteries--the mole connecting island to town. Your lordship observes how I've shaded in the zones of fire from the batteries?"

"Are you certain the zones of fire are thus?"

"I am certain," returned the Admiral. "Captain Warde and I used our eyes when we were ashore there in May. Pray note this, my lord." He indicated a small blank space on the plan, close to the southern end of the fortified island. "Here are the single-tier batteries defending the fleet that lies inside the harbour. The heavier batteries cannot fire on the space of dead ground, as I may call it, and there is just room for three ships of the line to lie there and deliver their broadsides. A three-decker here, at the harbour entrance, can engage the three-tier batteries from the flank and command the vessels in the harbour. My fifth ship will engage the fort, here, while the frigates maneuver to draw the fire from the northern batteries. Your lordship will see from this that any additions to my fleet could only take up effective positions by anchoring in the zones of heavy fire, by which they would be sunk or gravely damaged before they could deal any blow at the enemy. Hence my request for five ships only.

"Yet your five ships must pass through that zone of fire before taking up their positions," mused Lord Castlereagh. "That is bound to mean heavy casualties, I think?"

His narrow grey-green eyes met Pellew's quick glance and looked away. In that moment the Admiral knew that the Foreign Secretary did not expect him to succeed--that great ships were to be battered into wrecks and men blown to fragments for an end almost purely political--that heavy casualties would be as welcome to the Government as the massacre at Bona had been. Something of contempt sounded in his cold tone.

"Has your lordship any further instruction?"

If Castlereagh heard the contempt he ignored it. He was concerned with the attitude of nations, not of individuals.'

So convinced was the Government of Pellew's failure that before he left London, he was required to give the Secretary of the Admiralty a written statement that 'his every requirement had been fulfilled, and that to him alone, therefore, would failure from deficient power be attributable.' But Castlereagh had found the one area that most concerned Pellew:

'On the eve of his departure, he said to his brother Israel, "If they open fire when the ships are coming up, and cripple them in their masts, the difficulty and loss will be greater; but if they allow us to take our stations, I am sure of them, for I know that nothing can resist a line-of-battle ship's fire." He trusted to the extreme care of his preparations, which neglected no particular of equipment or organization, elaborating every detail of training and discipline, and providing, by the most diligent foresight and minute instruction, that each officer concerned should know exactly was was expected of him. In short, it was to perfection of quality, and not to an unwieldy bulk of superfluous quantity, that Exmouth confided his fortunes in this last hazard.**'

Thus, on the 29th of July, 1816, while the British awaited news of the Dey's decision and the return of their emissary, Mr. Salame', Pellew's fleet crept ever closer to shore and Pellew himself held his breath.

[** "Types of Naval Officers," A. T. Mahan, Little, Brown, and Company, New York, 1913]

It was after 2 pm when the cutter returning with Mr. Salame' was first sighted, along with his signal that theDey had given no answer to the British demands. With that, the flagship signalled the fleet "Are you ready?":

"Each ship at once replied "Yes"; and all filling away together stood down to the attack, the admiral leading. The Algerine batteries were fully manned; the mole, moreover was crowded with troops. With singular temerity, they fired no gun as the ships came on, thus relieving the most anxious of Exmouth's preoccupations concerning the difficulties before him; ...The British, on their side, observed the utmost silence; not a gun, not a cheer, marred the solemn impression of the approach.*"

The flagship, Queen Charlotte, piloted by an officer who had served continuously with Exmouth since 1793, 'was beyond the zone of fire from the triple battery now. She had to face only the fire from the single tier of casemates ranged along the southern end of the island and defending the harbour mouth--and several thousand muskets. As she slowly neared the island, approaching at an acute angle with her starboard side presented to the enemy, the people who crowded all the space between the casemates and even stood and gesticulated on top of them could been seen clearly and in detail. White robes and yellow-and-red uniforms, brandished muskets, swords flasing aloft in the hazy afternoon sunshine. There were hundreds among them who seemed to be civilians. They yelled and screamed unceasingly, and one or two shots were fired at random. The line of great warships moved on in silence, closer and closer.**'

The Queen Charlotte anchored by the stern across the mole head, at a distance of eighty yards, her starboard batteries pointing to sweep it from end to end. Still no sound of battle, as she proceeded to lash her bows to those of an Algerine brig lying just within the mole. This done, the crew gave three cheers, as well they might.*

"A waft of heat and stench from the shore reached Pellew as his flagship came to rest. Stirred by a moment of compassion, Lord Exmouth, to the amazement of those on the flag-ship's quarterdeck, leaped agilely on to the rail and gestured violently with his hat:

"Get away!" he bellowed at the crowd of Algerines. "Get away, d*** you!"

The crowd made no move; but as though in answer to shouts there came a puff of smoke from the battery and the hiss of a shot passing close on the flagship's starboard side. Almost before the boom of the twenty-four pounder had reached their ears, Captain Brisbane spoke.

"Shall I open fire, my lord?"

"Wait." Pellew's glass was at his eye.

The scream of a second shot from the batteries passed very close overhead. Pellew closed his telescope and turned to his flag captain. Those who saw the smile could not guess that he was thinking of Castlereagh and the importance of impressing world opinion.

"You may fire away now, Mr. Brisbane," he said.

As if by the effect of telepathic communication, the whole line of forts and batteries exploded into cataclysmic action simultaneously with the flagship's broadside of fifty guns. The twelve-pounders in QueenCharlotte's fore and main tops, which were loaded with grape, swept the mob of Turks from the mole as if they had been mown with a scythe. The big vessel jerked and shuddered as the iron balls flung from a range of eighty yards crashed into her, and blocks and severed cordage came hurtling down from overhead. One of her upper-deck guns, struck by a lucky shot from a twenty-four pounder, leaped in the air and fell back, crushing three men of its crew. The sound of its fall, the screams of agony, were unheard amid the fearful uproar of the bombardment--an uproar that grew in intensity and never ceased for an instant. Forts, town, blue of summer sky, were all blotted out by the great clouds of cannon-smoke that never cleared.

When the first broadside was fired it was precisely one minute to three.**"

[* "Types of Naval Officers," A. T. Mahan, Little, Brown and Company, New York 1913.]

[** "The Sea Officer," Showell Styles, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1962.]

"At half past seven in the evening Mr. Salame' recovered consciousness. He discovered himself to be unhurt, huddled against the flagship's port rail within a few feet of a ragged gap torn by enemy shot. A yard or two away lay a dead seaman; undubitably lifeless, because he had no head. The blood had meandered its way to where Mr. Salame' was lying and had soaked his drab pantaloons. He was too relieved to find himself alive to feel sick.

Mr. Salame' was the Jewish interpreter who had conveyed the Admiral's ultimatum to the Dey of Algiers five hours ago. He had not been rendered unconscious by a blow, but by the joint effects of fright and a continuous fulmination, an unbearable hammering of sound, that beat upon his eardrums hour after hour until eventually his senses had left him altogether. Now, as he sat up and clapped a hand to his aching brow, he was aware that the noise was still going on but at a distance and intermittently. The flagship was no longer firing. Was the battle ended? Had the Admiral achieved--

His thoughts checked there, for he remembered now that Lord Exmouth could not be alive to know whether his purpose had been achieved or not. That rememberance brought back to his slow-waking mind a series of terrifying pictures. Mr. Salame' was not a fighting man and the scenes of battle had stamped themselves indelibly in his memory, one or two particularly vivid incidents standing out against a general background of horror--a background of smoke and flame and blood, of men torn to red fragments or writing in agony, of sound so fearful and intense that it was almost visible. He saw again the sudden sally of the forty big galleys loaded with Turkish troops to board the Queen Charlotte, a futile attack in which twenty-three of them had been sunk by cannon-fire and the rest put to flight. He saw the mustering of launches and gunboats for a dash into the harbour which should end the existence of the Algerine corsairs' fleet; glimpsed through a momentary clearing of the dense smoke the battered Impregnable still firing on the batteries though her mast and spars were gone and her starboard side riddled with shot-holes. He saw the flagship's men falling beneath a hail of musket-balls and heard Lord Exmouth's loud, calm voice:

"Mr Lane, you see we are a good deal troubled by those fellows firing from the mole. Pray see if you can dislodge them with a few eight-inch shells from the howitzer in the launch."

A moment later Lord Exmouth had been running for'ard with an agility remarkable in a man of sixty years, to direct the putting-out of a fire started by enemy shells hitting the fo'c'sle. Mr. Salame' remembered him returning less hastily with musket-balls whistling all about him, blood running from a gash on his cheek but smiling none the less. Just after that had come the last thing he remembered--the crash of a twenty-four-pounder ball through the rail a yard or two from where the Admiral was standing, hurling all who stood near, including the Admiral, to the deck in a welter of blood. It was then that Mr. Salame', unhurt but half-stunned, had dragged himself to this nook under the rail to crouch there in miserable stupor for he knew not how long.

Mr. Salame's curiosity overcame his fear and his splitting head and he raised himself to peer over the rail. He saw that the power of Algiers was ended. [Fifty] yards away the row of batteries on the island mole had vanished. In their place was a mass of broken masonry mingled with heaps of red-and-yellow--the bodies of the Dey's Turkish soldiery. Away on his right the higher forts of the island were a jagged ruin from which a few guns still fired at intervals. On his left, drifting from the harbour mouth before the northerly breeze, the blazing remnant of the Algerine frigates came slowly out beneath a pall of brown smoke. Smoke was rising from the distant houses of the town, weaving up in dense clouds to where the forts on the hillside fired slowly and (it seemed) wearily. It was the brightness of the orange flashes from their guns that made Mr. Salame' aware that it was evening, with dusk fast approaching.

The interpreter staggered to the poop-rail, averting his eyes from the reddened corpses that littered the decks and the busy gangs of men engaged in carrying the wounded below. As he gained the quarterdeck the first person he saw was Lord Exmouth--not dead, indeed, but oddly transfigured from the neat elderly gentleman of five hours earlier. Lord Exmouth's face was black with powder-smoke and his hands were stained red; amid the grime on one cheek the caked brown blood of a wound showed. A flap of cloth hung down from the thigh of his nankeen trousers, revealing the raw, red gash made by a flying splinter. Mr. Salame' was to recall that moment when he came to write his memoirs:

'When I met his Lordship, on the poop, his voice was quite hoarse, and he had two wounds, one in the cheek, and the other in his leg. Before I paid him my respects, he said to me, in his usual gracious and mild manner, "Well, my fine fellow Salame', what think you now?" In reply I shook hands with his Lordship, and said "My Lord, I am extremely happy to see your Lordship safe, and I am so much rejoiced with this glorious victory, that I am not able to express, in any terms, the degree of my happiness." It was indeed astonishing to see the coat of his Lordship, how it was all cut up by musket balls, and by grape; it was behind, as if a person had taken a pair of scissors and cut it all to pieces. We were all surprised by thenarrow escape of his Lordship.'Perhaps Edward Pellew, too, was surprised at his narrow escape. Of the six thousand five hundred men in his fleet, eight hundred and eighty-three had been killed, and fifty-eight of those were officers. He was not ungrateful. His first act when his battered ships withdrew out of range of the few guns still firing from Algiers was to order, "No officer or man to rest until the middle deck is cleaned up and every wounded man in his cot"; his second was to gather [Fleet Master] John Gaze and a few other officers in his cabin, where the flagship's chaplain offered up prayers of thanksgiving.*"

[* "The Sea Officer," Showell Styles, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1962.]

"Next morning Lieutenant Burgess was sent in to Algiers with a flag of truce, and presented the same demands as before. This time they were at once accepted by the Dey, who also agreed to compensate the British Consul and make a formal apology to him in terms dictated by Captain Brisbane of the Queen Charlotte. The slaves were delivered up two days later; the total number, including some freed before the battle, was over 3000, of whom 18 were Englishmen. Some of them had been 30 years in captivity; all were chained with heavy irons day and night. The strongest of them carried a hundred pounds' weight of iron, and their limbs were seared and blackened for life by it. Not one of them ever hoped to see a friend again, or to be free for one hour from his appalling misery.

Of course Lord Exmouth was heaped with honours; and of course he thought very little of them. He had been set a stiff piece of work, and he had done it with perfect judgment and mastery--that was his real reward. He enjoyed, too, the feeling that the whole world was with him--no victory has ever caused such universal rejoicing and so little regret.**"

[** "The Book of the Blue Sea," Henry Newbolt, Longmans, Green and Co., New York, 1914.]

 

 

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