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Part diate advantage by fuch attempts. vet by harII. rassing their country, the Spaniards would have
been tired of the war; they would have dis1741. regarded the influence of France, and while
the British feet in America swept the Spanish trade before them, if they had suffered equally in Europe, so much as to have compensated the loss and expences of the British nation, this would have induced the haughty Spaniard to have stopped the violence of war, by a speedy and honourable conclusion, which would have been attended with the happiest consequences to the British nation, and ought to have been the fole and principal aim of this expedition. For if, in Queen Elizabeth's time, Admiral Drake, though he had no land forces on board, landed at feveral places on the coast of Spain, and ra. vaged the whole country: if he could enter the harbour of Cadiz and the river of Lisbon, burn. ing a great many Spanish Ships, and this at a time when the Spaniards were more powerful than in the present age: if, the next year, 7,000 English under the Earl of Eflex, actually took the town of Cadiz, burning, sinking, or taking, every ship in the harbour: if in the reign of Queen Anne, the English forces attacked the fame place, and though, through misconduct, they failed of suce cess against the city and harbour of Cadiz itself, yet they did the Spaniards great damage, and got a wealthy plunder at port St Mary's: and if the Duke of Ormond and Sir George Rooke, with the same feet, in its return, on the 12th of October, 1702, made the famous and successful attack upon Vigo, where they took and destroyed twenty French men of war and thirteen Spanish galleons! What might not the British nation, who above all others are more fond to hear of
sieges and battles in time of war, when so great CHAP. a navy lay hovering over the Spanish coast, what III. might they, and what ought they not to have m expected from it? For as the Spanish trade was 1741. inconsiderable, and that little they had, being prevented by the station of Admiral Haddock, they could not be distressed much at sea by the English: it was therefore the business of the Bricish commanders, to attack them at land in Europe as well as America ; with this difference, that in Europe they ought to have attacked without any design to hold, and whereas in America they ought to have attacked no where, but with an intention to retain their conquests, at least during the continuance of the war. There was a fair and open opportunity to revive the antient glory of the British Aag, to convey the name of Norris to latest pofterity, with a luitre equal to the reputation of Drake or Raleigh; yes, this was a time, when the pride of Spain might have been as severely chastised, as in the days of the illustrious Queen Elizabeth: but instead of any exploits worthy the character of the English admiral, and such a well appointed fleet, after intimidating the poor Spaniards, by cruizing on their coast for some time, the admiral dispatched the Nassau and Lenox to join Admiral Haddock; and, leaving part of his squadron on a cruize, on the 22d of August returned to Spithead, with the Victory, St George, Royal So. vereign, Duke, Cambridge, Bedford, Elizabech, Buckingham, and the Scipio and Blast fireThips, to the general dissatisfaction of the British nation. · THOUGH the feet under Sir John Norris, had uselessly and ignominiously floated in the castles of indolence, along the coasts of Spain, carry
Part ing the British lion in manacles, even in the II. very light of his prey: yet the valour and acti
v ity of the Bricilh seamen was not every where 1741. extinct : this was no where more apparent, than
in the actions of the gallant Capt. Ambrofe, who commanded the Rupert man of war of 60 guns, then on a cruising station in the bay of Biscay : he had taken the St Antonio de Padua, a privateer belonging to St Sebastians, of 16 guns and 150 men; as also another privateer, called the Biscaya, mounting ten carriage and two fwjvel guns, with 119 rugged, able-bodied, def. perate men on board ; who had taken twentythree English prizes since the commencement of the war, but now, after a smart engagement, bowed to the British flag, which has always difappointed the barbarity of ruffians, like these, remorseless in their prosperity, and as impenetrably uncompassionate to the miseries of the poor sufferers in their power, as, on their own Biscayan mountains, are the savage wolves, when pinched with hunger, to the unhappy traveller perishing beneath their ferocity. Capt. Ambrose, having brought his two prizes into Plymouth, failed again on another cruize ; and on the 18th of September, as he was cruizing in the bay of Biscay, off cape Machiacaca, in the evening, he saw à fail from the maft head, to windward, which he chased all that night and the next day, and after chasing her about seventy-three leagues, coming up with her about eleven at night, took her after some resistance, and brought her into Plymouth. This ship proved to be the Duke de Vendome, the largest privateer belong. ing to St Sebastians, of the dimensions of the English twenty gun frigates, mounting twentyAx carriage guns, and was manned wich 202
stout stout searren, commanded by Don Martin de CHAP. Areneder, a Frenchman, as was also the crew III. mostly of foreign nations, and among them nineteen English, Scotch, and Irish, who were 1741. taken out of the Spanish prison, and forced by the intendant, to proceed on the cruize.
As St Sebastian was again overstocked with British prizes, taken in great nuinbers by the Spanish privateers ; Capt. Ambrose immediately proceeded to cruize on his station in the bay of Biscay. On the 9th of November he faw cwo fail to the windward, and giving them chace, at the same time observed a fail to chace him, which happened to be a Spanish privateer of twenty-four carriage and twenty swivel guns, and 187 men, commanded by Don Francisco de L'Arrea, which had been nine days out of St Sebastian on a successless cruize. Capt. Ambrose disregarding her, continued his first chace; and on coming up with them, did not fire, as usual, to bring them too, to prevent giving any suspicion of what he was to the ship that chaced him ; but sent his boat on board, and finding they were dutchmen, apprized them of his intention to deceive the privateer. Accordingly the captain reefed his fails and trimmed his ship, and the Spaniard, suspecting her a confort of the dutchmen, crouded fail, and by dusk was within two leagues; when Capt. Ambrose shortened fail to wait for her, hoping she would run him on board, before she perceived her mistake, When the privateer got within a mile, the difcovered the force of the Rupert, and hauled upon a wind : upon which Capt. Ambrose followed her, with all the fail he could make. On the 8ih, at two o'clock in the morning, the Rupert got within gun shot of the privateer ; VOL. I.
Part but the moon just then going down, and it
II. coming on dark, she clapt upon a wind, and m the man of war lost sight of her. At day-break 1741. Capt. Ambrofe faw her, three leagues on his
bow, chasing an English merchant ship ; but, seeing the Rupert, the privateer crowded away again, the wind blowing hard ; Capt. Ambřofe followed her close, when the wind failing, darkness coming on, and the privateer using oars, she escaped a second time. The 9th Capt. Ambrose discovering the privateer again about three leagues to windward, pursued her all day, and began to engage her at half an hour past midnight: the action lasted till two in the morning, when the Rupert boarding her, she ftruck, and called for quarter. The privateer had twelve men killed in the engagement, two their arms and legs fhọt away, and the captain and many more of her men dangerously wounded ; the Rupert loft but one man, who tumbled overboard in boarding the privateer. The Spaniards were completely fitted out with a great quantity of small arms, cutlaffes, pole-axes, and many more in truments of war, but had met with no prize in that cruize.
As a recompence for the conduct and vigilance of Capt. Ambrose, in suppressing the Spanish privateers, the merchants of London, in, grateful remembrance of such fignal and singulár services, presented him with a large filver cup, exquisitely wrought, with his arms curiqusly chased on one side, and on the other a representation of the Rupert chafing a Spanish privateer. And the merchants of Bristol also, to testify their esteem for the captain, presented him with a piece of place of 1001. value, on the fame account. :