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PART " with such part of the foldiers as could conve:

l. 66 niently go in them directly on board the ad. in " miral, for his directing a descent with them 1739. is where he should find it would most favour the

« feveral attacks.” And the admiral represented
to the several captains “ That from the men's in.
6. experience in service, it was necessary to take
« more precaution to prevent hurry and confusi.
" on, and a fruitless waste of their powder and
« fhot ; directing them all to give the strictest
" orders, to the respective officers that were to
« command the several batteries, to take care

that no gun was fired but what they, or those " they particularly appointed, faw first levelled 6 and directed the firing off; and that they " should strictly prohibit all their men from hal" lowing and making such like irregular noise,

that would only serve to throw themselves into es confufion, till such time as the service was fully « performed and they had nothing left to do but

to glory in their victory, which such confusion « might often prevent and otherwise prove fatal u to them. And those that had- the cochorn « mortars on board, were directed to make use w of them againft the respective forts they were s appointed to batter and destroy."?!;

ABOUT the same time the admiral ordered Capt. Stapylton in the Sheerness for Carthagena, " To look in on the back of the town and rec

whether the galleons were fill in that harbour,

and to carefully observe their motions; and if " he found them already aty or in a disposi:« tion for coming to sea, or that any men of “ war were to come to join them, then to make " the best of his way for Porto Bello to give the " earliett advice of it he could, to prevent the “ admiral's being surprized."

CHA P.

CHAPTER III.

The reduction of Porto Bello and

CHAGRE, and Mosquito expedi-
tion against the SPANIARDS.

THE town of Porto Bello is situated on the CAAR.

north fide of the famous isthmus of Darien, III. which running in a manner from east to west between the north and south seas, joins the two valt 1739. continents of north and south America. It is a. bout eighteen leagues from Panama, which lies on the south side of the isthmus; it has a commo dious bay about a mile deep, affording good anchorage and shelter for ships, and near half a mile broad at the mouth of the harbour. At the entrance of the north side of the bay on the side of a steep rock stood a strong castle called the Iron Castle, mounting 78 great guns, with a battery beneath parallel with the water, which mounted 22 guns; the castle and fort garrifored by 300 men. On the opposite side the bay, but near a mile farther up on an ascent, stood Castle Gloria, consisting of two regular bastions to the sea mounting go guns, with a curtain becween them mounting 22 guns, besides a line of eighc guos that pointed to the mouth of the harbour, the whole defended by 400 men: a liccle above

Satrance of in the mouth alps, and

m

Part this castle, near the other end of the town on a I. point that ran into the bay, , stood fort St Jero

n imo, being a kind of quadrangular redoubr, 1739. strongly built, well planted with cannon, and

properly defended. Under the cannon of Gloria Castle and Fort St Jeronimo all the ships belonging to the 'harbour rode at anchor; and this de. fence, 'together with the guns on the Iron Castle, rendered the entrance of the harbour very difficult and extremely dangerous. . '

At the bottom of the harbour lies the town, bending along the shore like a half moon : it is long and narrow, having two principal streets besides those that go across, with a small parade about the middle of it surrounded with pretty fair houses. It consists of about 500 houses, two churches, a treasury, a custom-house and an exchange. The east side is low and swampy, and the sea at low water leaves the shore within the harbour bare a great way from the houses, which having blackish filthy mud stinks very much, and breeds noisome vapours through the heat of the climate, it lying in the roth degree of north lat-' itude ; for this reason it is but thinly peopled, except at the time of the fair, which alone gives! reputation to the place, as being the market through which all the wealth of Perú, and the manufactures of Europe annually circulate. "

This place was taken by the Buccaneers in 1688, but was soon refortified in a much stronger manner, had been long esteenied impreg. nable, and was formerly told could not be taken? by a large squadron and at least 8,000 men, when the British ships and failors lay rotting at the Baft timentos ; though Admiral Vernon had afferted, in an august assembly, that he would take it with only fix ships of war, and to the great reputation of

the British arms, he now convinced the world of CHAP. the truth of so bold an affirmance by the reduct. III. ion of Porto Bello with only that very force he had mentioned; which he executed in the fol- 1739. lowing manner.

On the 20th of November, in the evening, the squadron came in light of Porto Bello, having been delayed in their passage by contrary winds. There being but little wind that evening, though a very great swell, the admiral anchored for that night fix leagues off the shore, being apprehensive of driving to the eastward of the harbour.

On the 2 ist in the morning the adıniral plyed to windward in line of battle, but the wind proving easterly, he was obliged to confine his attack to the Iron Fort only, close to which the squadron was piloted by Capt. Renton.

COMMODORE Brown in the Hampton-Court, who led the attack, executed his part as became an officer of experience and resolution, having fired above 400 shot in about 25 minutes; and being well followed by Capt. Herbert in the Norwich, and Capt. Mayne in the Worcester, the admiral perceived that some of the Spaniards fed from several parts of the fort; upon which he made the signal for the boats, in which were about 40 failors, a company of marines and their officers, to make the best of their way in order to their landing, whilft he was coming up to the fort to batter it. The admiral luffing up as near to the fort as he could, was welcomed with a volley, which took place with almost every shot : one ftruck away the stern of his barge, another broke a large gun on his upper deck, a third went through the fore-top mast, and a fourth, passing through the awnings within two inches of the main malt, beat down the barricado of the VOL. I.

quarter

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Part quarter deck very near the admiral, killed three
I. men, and wounded five others, and the Spani-

a rds vainly imagined they could fink the whole 1739. fquadron ; but this was fo far from discouraging

the British seamen, that they returned the falute in such a manner, that though the Spaniards fired a few shot amongst them they did the English no material damage afterwards, for the fire of the admiral's small arms commanded the Spaniards lower batteries and had a good effect in driving them from thence, where they could do most harm, and by this means the men were also fecured at landing, which, as the Spaniards afterwards confessed, was the principal occasion of their deserting their lower batteries, the small fhot from the former ships not having reached them, though their cannon had beat down fome of the upper part of the fort. As the boats came near the adıniral's ship, he called to them to go directly on shore under the walls of the fort in the front of their lower batteries, though there was no breach made: but this answered as was expected, they all landed safe except two soldiers who were killed by small arms from the castle. In scaling the fort walls, one man fet himself close under an embrasure whilst another climbed úpon his shoulders and entered under the mouth of a great gun, This threw the Spaniards into so general a consternation, that the officers and men who had stood to the lower battery, threw down their arms and fled to the upper part of the fort, where ihey held up a white flag as a signal of capitulating. The admiral answered with a white fag; but it was some time before he could stop his own men, and those on board the Straf. ford Capt. Trevor which followed him, from

firing.

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