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PART On the roth of August the squadron failed
l. from Spithead to St Helens, where the commo
a dore was detained chiefly through the want of 1740. positive orders for his failing, without joining
company with another fleet under Sir Chaloner Ogle, until the 18th of September, when he weighed, and though the wind was unfavourable at first, he tided it down and got clear of the channel in four days; and after parting with the American, Turkey, and Streights convoy, on the 29th, the commodore proceeded on the expedition with his whole squadron, and arrived at the island of Madera on the 25th of October. The commodore, as well as the crews of the whole squadron, could not conceal their concern at the dilatory obstructions that prevented them from setting out at a more seasonable time of the year; this too was increased by their long passage to the Maderas, and they began to entertain the melancholly reflections of the extraordinary danger in passing round Cape Horn in the most tempestuous season of the year; and were shocked with the apprehensions of all that dismal train of distresses that afterwards happened to them, by the separation of the squadron, in those rough and stormy leas, they were then directing their course to.
They continued about a week at Madera, watering their ships, and providing the squadron with wine and other refreshments, but on the 3d of November, Capt. Norris being taken ill, and defiring to return to England for the recovery of his health, the commodore appointed Capt. Mitchel to command the Gloucester in his room, removed Capt. Kidd to the Pearl, and Capt. Murray to the Wager, giving the coinınand of
the the Trial Noop to Lieutenant Cheap. The next CHAP. day the commodore gave to the captains their IN. orders, “ Appointing their rendezvous, in case of war “ feparation, at the island of St Catherine's, on the 1740. “ coast of Brazil, in South America ;" and the same day the squadron weighed anchor frum Madera, fteering their course for St Catherine's, where they arrived on the 21st of December; having, in their paffage, loft a great number of men, by the heat and intemperature of the warmi climates, and many others were confined to their hammocks, in calentures, paft all hopes of recovery, and some in a very languid and sickly condition, afflicted with Auxes or tenesmus's, attendant on a recovery from the calenture; fo that with great joy they discovered the coast of Brazil, where they expected refreshment and a recovery of health. Having moored the ships, their first care was to get the sick men on shore to refresh then, the next in wooding and watering the squadron, cleansing the ships, and examining and securing the masts and rigging. The season of the year growing each day less favourable for their passage round Cape Horn, the commodore was very desirous of leaving the island, but was detained in securing the malts of the Trial to the 18th of January, when the squadron, after burying many of their men, and sickness still increasing, left the island, and failed to Port St Julian on the coast of Patagonia. . From the glorious successes of Admiral Vernon, the Bricish nation was convinced, how much time, and how many opportunities, had been lost in oppressing the Spaniards, and evidently faw what ignominy the nation had suffered by their former cimidity. It is a lasting reproach, on the
Part conduct of the acting ministers, that no land
1. forces were sent with Admiral Vernon, to enable m him to push his conquests farther by land; and 1740, the house of commons particularly reflected on
their backwardness in not supporting him from time to time with more ships, and a constant supply of fresh stores, provisions, and other necess saries. Indeed the British ministry were prevailed on, with great reluctancy, to prosecute the war with vigour ; but as they could neither diminish the glory of Admiral Vernon, nor leffen the importance of his enterprizes, both of which they attempted, they thought it most prudent to join in the national acclamations, and to seem as forward as any in the addresses of congratulation, assuming at the same time great merit to themselves, since the admiral acted, as they said, by their orders; and therefore to avoid any further clamours, they pretended to be as much in earnest as the rest of the nation, and determined to send the admiral a reinforcement of ships, and a fufficient number of troops, to enable him, still higher, to advance the reputation of the British arms.
ACCORDINGLY the regiments of Harrison and Wentworth, fix regiments of marines, and some detachments from other regiments, were ordered to embark for the West Indies, under the command of Lord Cachcart ; at first fix Thips only were appointed for his convoy, but upon advice that the Ferrol squadron of twelve men of war had failed for the West Indies, and that the Brest and Toulon squadrons were also gone there to secure the galleons, wherein they were so much concerned, and also to prevent the British forces making any conqueft upon the Spaniards, for which, they said, they were guarantees by the treaty of Utrecht; this occasioned a CHAP, larger convoy for the troops under Lord Cath. IV., cart, so as to make Admiral Vernon equal to m those squadrons. This feet assembled at Portf- 1740. mouth, under the command of Sir Chaloner O. gle, confifting of twenty-one fail of the line, besides frigates and fire-ships, with about 12,000 failors on board, and the several regiments under the command of Lord Cathcart; and after many obstacles, failed the 26th of O&tober.
But though the respective destinations of these squadrons, under Sir Chaloner Ogle and Commodore Anson, were not confidently reported in England, it appeared that the Spaniards had received true and early intelligence for what they were intended; and accordingly the Ferrol squadron, of twelve men of War from sixty to eighty guns, and three frigates, commanded by Don Rodrigo de Torres, having found an opportunity of escaping Admiral Haddock, on the 20th of July failed for America, with 2,000 land forces on board, and uninterruptedly proceeded to strengthen their fettlements in the West Indies; while the British feet, by being delayed to so late a season of the year, suffered a shameful detention in their harbours, and were incapable of getiing through the channel, till after the Spaniards had put themselves in a condition to make a . vigorous resistance wherever they should be attacked.
By the long delay put to Commodore Anson's squadron, the Spanish court had been well advised of its destination; and purposely to attend their motions, and circumvent the projects of the commodore, the Spaniards fitted out a squadron, under the command of Don Joseph Pizarro, composed of the following ships: Vol. I.
Ships Names Guns Men
350 A Patache
THESE ships were victualled for four months, and besides their complement of sailors and marines, had on board an old Spanish regiment of foot, intended to reinforce the garrisons on the coast of the South Seas; and lay cruizing near Madera for three or four days in the latter end of Oétober, to prevent the expedition under Commodore Anson; and had they cruized to the eastward, instead of the westward, of the island, they might have done it with great facility, as they would have certainly fallen in with the British squadron, and obliged them to throw overboard great quantities of provisions to clear their ships for an engagement; and this alone, without any regard to the eventual fortune of the action, would have effectually prevented their progress : but Pizarro not meeting with the British Iquadron, on his cruize to the leeward of the Maderas, left that stacion in the beginning of November, and steered for the river of Plate in South America.