« PreviousContinue »
PART by the destruction of their town, and the burn
II. ing of profuse quantities of the richest and most n expensive species, as broad cloth,' silks, cam1741. bricks, velvets, and other very valuable effects;
for, by a representation transmitted to the court of Madrid, the whole loss was estimated at one million and a half of dollars; and this at no extravagant valuation.
The commodore, on his entrance into the bay, found fix Spanish vessels at anchor; one whereof, called the Solidad, was the ship, which according to their intelligence, was to have failed with the treasure to the coast of Mexico, and being a good failor, the commodore resolved to add this veffel to the squadron, and ordered a crew of ten men to navigate her, under the command of Lieutenant Hughes of the Tryal; the other five vessels were, two snows, a bark, and two row-gallies, which the Spaniards, with many others, had built at different ports, to prevent any descent from the commodore in the neighbourhood of Callao, as they were suspicious he would attack the city of Lima; but the commodore having no occasion for these vessels, ordered them to be scuttled and sunk.
BEING safely joined by the detachment under Lieutenant Brett,, the commodore prepared to leave the place the same evening; and being augmented to six fail, towards midnight weigh. ed anchor and sailed out of the bay, with the Centurion and Tryal's prize, together with the Carmelo, Teresa, Carmin, and Solidad prizes ; and standing to the westward, on the 16th of November in the morning, the commodore gave orders “ For the whole squadron to spread them" felves in quest of the Gloucester;" whom they discovered and came up with the next
morning, morning, and found she had taken a small snow, CHAP, laden with wine, brandy, and olives, with 7,000l. II. in specie ; and also a barge, with double doub.n o loons and dollars on board, to the amount of 1741, · 12,000l. As the commodore, on inspecting
the papers found on board the Carmelo, was apprized that an unsuccessful attempt had been made against Carthagena ; and finding there was no probability of facilitating his plan against Panama, as he was incapable of attacking the place himself, with such an inconsiderable force, he dropt all thoughts of such an undertaking.
The commodore being joined by the Glou. cester and one of her prizes, came to a determination, “ To steer as soon as possible, to the " southern parts of California, or to the adja“ cent coast of Mexico, to cruise for the Ma“ nila galleon ; which he knew was at sea, "s bound to the port of Acapulco, and would " not arrive there till towards the middle of « January ;” before which time, the commodore imagined he could be on a proper station to intercept that valuable ship: and on imparting his project, the whole crew indulged themfelves in the most unlimited hopes of the advantages they thought infallibly to receive. But, as there was a necessity of recruiting their water, 'he proceeded, for that purpose, to the island of Quibo, situated at the mouth of the bay of Panama, in the latitude of 7 deg. 20 min. north; where, after burning the Solidad and Teresa in their passage, as they had given great delay, all the squadron, except the Gloucester, arrived on the 6th of December, and in two days completed their wood and water. On the oth they put to sea, and kept hovering round the island, in hopes of seeing the Gloucester; the next day
PART they took a small bark from Panama, which II. they afterwards scuttled and sunk, and on the
12th were joined by the Gloucester, who had 1741. sprung her fore-top mast, which had disabled
her from working to windward, and prevented
BEING now in the track of the Manila gal. leon, their arrival was too late to yield them any
probability of meeting with this veffel, which CHAP. they were taught to consider as the most opulent II. capture that was to be made on any part of the card ocean: this excited great uneasiness, as they 1741. were but too apprehensive of their disappointment, neither were their hopes diffipated nor their fears abated, till the igth of February ; when, on the return of the Centurion's barge which had been dispatched to discover the harbour of Acapulco, the commodore, from the information he received by some negroes the bargé had surprized in a canoe near the harbour, was satisfied that the galleon had made her arrival, at Acapulco, on the .gth of January, which was about twenty days before the squa: dron fell in with the coast : yet, from them," he was able to collect other circumstances sufficient to revive his men from their dull despondency, to a more fanguine and joyful expectation than they had hitherto retained : this was, that the galleon had delivered her cargoe, and was tak. ing in water and provisions in order to return; and that the Vice Roy of Mexico had, by proclamation, fixed her departure from Acapulco to the 3d of March. This news was most chearfully received by the whole squadron; since it was much more eligible to seize her in her return, than it would have been before her arrival; as the speices for which she had fold her cargoe would be on board, and was of much more estimation than the actual cargoe ; and, as they were certain she would fall into their hands, all the crews were animated with the highest spirits and Auctuation of joy, on so profperous an event; which afterwards happily answered their wishes,
PART During the time the British commodore had
II. been encountering all the rigours and severities m of the boisterous winds and tempestuous seas, in 1741. this remote part of the world, from the inand
of St Catherine's round Cape Horn, through the South Seas to the west of Acapulco ; the Spapish squadron, in pursuing him, underwent still a moře distressed and unfortunate fate : for arriving at the river of Plate in South America, on the 5th of January 1740, and anchoring in the bay of Maldonado at the mouth of that riyer, their admiral, Pizarro, fent immediately to Buenos Ayres for a fupply of provisions. While they lay here, expecting this supply, they received advice, by the treachery of the Portuguese governor of St Catherine's, of the British commodore being arrived at that island on the 21st of December, and of his preparing to put to sea again with the utmost expedition. Pizarro, notwithstanding his superior force, had his reason, perhaps even orders, for avoiding the British squadron any where sort of the South Seas: however he precipitately put to sea on the 22d of January, without his expected supply of provisions, in hopes of getting round Cape Horn before the British commodore, leaving the Patache behind him, as unfit for so difficult a service. i But, notwithstanding his vigilant haste, the British squadron had got the start of him by four days from St Catherine's; though, in some part of their passage to Cape Horn, the (wo fquadrons were fo'near together, that the Pearl, one of the British ships, approached very near to the Asia, in which was the Spanish admiral. The Spanish squadron, having run the length of Cape Horn, towards the latter end of February, stogd to the westward, in order to double