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to the same effect, with regard to Spain; and the detention of Spanish property at sea was immense, giving a new spirit and turn to the war greatly to our advantage.
Account of treasure and merchandise captured in the Spanish ships Medee, Fama, and Clara:—
The Mercedes had about the same quantity as the others, but as she was lost, we give no account of it.
While the fortunate western cruisers were thus enriching themselves, and destroying the commerce and resources of France, by wounding her through the sides of Spain, our officers in the Channel were not unmindful of their equally important and honourable, though less profitable, duty. So alert were they in watching the coast of France, in the dangerous neighbourhood of Cherbourg, that nothing could escape the penalty of a broadside, or being driven on the rocks and destroyed. Captain M. J. Henniker, in the Albacore of eighteen guns, gave their flotilla a remarkable instance of this sort of vigilance. _ -.'. ■ ...
On the 8th of October, Commodore the Duke of Bouillon, commanding on the Jersey station, sent Captain Henniker in pursuit of some vessels creeping along the shores of Normandy. The wind blew dead on the land, and a thick haze intercepted their view; but. the Albacore stood boldly in, and discovered five luggers* with bow guns, of the second class of gun-vessels. These he forced to anchor in the surf, under the cover of a battery near Cape Grosnez. Night coming, Captain Henniker resolved not to let them slip, and came to anchor, to wait the return of day; when, taking advantage of the weather tide, he stood in, and coming again to anchor with springs on his cable, within four hundred yards of the surf, and close to the battery and the gunvessels, he drove them on shore by his welldirected discharges of round and grape. They all lay broadside to, in the surf, which beat over them. The crews escaped in great confusion to the shore, taking their wounded along with them. The Albacore had no loss of men, but her masts were wounded, and she left her anchor and cable behind her.
On the 11th of December, Captain John Hunter, of the Venerable of seventy-four guns, his officers and ship's company, were tried by a court-martial for the loss of that ship on the Berry Head, the southernmost point of Torbay, in the nighttime, in a gale of wind at S. E. The disadvantage of this anchorage for fleets or convoys has been fully explained. On this occasion, late in the year, the night dark, and the wind dead in, it became necessary for the fleet to put to sea. In turning out, the Venerable missed stays, went on shore, and was totally lost. The only miracle was, that all hands, with the exception of one or two, were saved. The Captain, officers, and ship's company were honourably acquitted by the sentence of the court.