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Legg commander; the Pearl of forty guns, two hundred and fifty men, Matthew Mitchel commander ; the Wager of twenty-eight guns, one hundred and sixty men, Dandy Kidd commander ; and the Tryal sloop of eight guns, one hundred men, the honourable John Murray commander ; the two victuallers were pinks, the largest of about four hundred, and the other of about two hundred tons burthen. Besides the complement of men borne by the abovementioned ships as their crews, there were embarked on board the squadron about four hundred and seventy invalids and marines, under the denomination of land-forces, which was commanded by lieutenant colonel Cracherode. After many vexatious de lays and disappointment, the whole weighed from St. Helens on the 18th of September.
Having touched at Madeira, captain Norris returned to England for the recovery of his health, captain Mitchell being appointed in his room. Here they learned that the Spaniards had sent out a fleet to defeat the object of their expedition : but it seems that Pizarro was obliged to return to Europe, after having lost four ships of war, and a sloop with upwards of three thousand seamen, and a regiment of soldiers, by a series of the most calamitous events.
After touching at St. Catherine's on the Brazilian coast, the commodore appointed the port of St. Julian for the next place of rendezvous in case of separation. On the 18th of February,' says the narrator of this interesting voyage, we discovered a sail, upon which the Severn and Gloucester were both directed to give chace; but we soon found it to be the Pearl, which separated from us a few days after we left St. Catherine's, and on this we made a signal for the Severn to rejoin the squadron, leaving the Gloucester alone in the pursuit
. And now we were surprised to see, that on the Gloucester's approach, the people on board the Pearl increased their sail, and stood from her. However, the Gloucester came up with them, but found them with their hammocks in their nettings, and every thing ready for an engagement. At two in the afternoon the Pearl joined us, and running up under our stern, lieutenant Salt hailed the Vol. IV...--(75)
commodore, and acquainted him that captain Kidd died on the 31st of January. He likewise informed him, that he had seen five large ships the 10th instant, which he for some time imagined to be our squadron : That he suffered the commanding ship, which wore a red broad pennant, exactly resembling that of the commodore, at the main top-mast head, to come within gun-shot of him before he discovered his mistake; but then finding it not to be the Centurion, he haled close upon the wind, and crowded from them with all his sail, and standing across a ripling, where they hesitated to follow him, he happily escaped. He made them to be five Spanish men of war, one of them exceedingly like the Gloucester, which was the occasion of his apprehensions when the Gloucester chased him. By their appearance he thought they consisted of two ships of seventy guns, two of fifty, and one of forty guns. The whole squadron continued in chace of him all that day, but at night finding they could not get near him, they gave over the chace, and directed their course to the south. ward.
“And now had it not been for the necessity we were under of refitting the Tryal, this piece of intelligence would have prevented our making any stay at St. Julian's; but as it was impossible for that sloop to proceed round the cape in her present condition, some stay there was inevitable, and therefore the same evening we came to an anchor again in twentyfive fathom water, the bottom a mixture of mud and sand, and the high hummock bearing S. W. by W. And weighing at nine in the morning, we soon after sent the two cutters belonging to the Centurion and Severn in shore, to discover the harbour of St. Julian, while the ships kept standing along the coast, at about the distance of a league froin the land. six o'clock we anchored in the bay of St. Julian, in nineteen fathom, the bottom muddy ground with sand, the northermost land in sight bearing N. and by E, the southermost S. į E, and the high hummock, to which sir John Narborough formerly gave the name of Wood's Mount, W. S. W. Soon after, the cutter returned on board having discovered the harbour, which did not appear to us in our situation, the
northermost point shutting in upon the southermost, and in appearance closing the entrance.
• Being come to an anchor in this bay of St. Julian, princi pally with a view of refitting the Tryal, the carpenters were immediately employed in that business, and continued so during our whole stay at the place. The Tryal's main-mast having been carried away twelve feet below the cap, they contrived to make the remaining part of the mast serve again ; and the Wager was ordered to supply her with a spare main top-mast, which the carpenters converted into a new fore-mast. And I cannot help observing, that this accident to the Tryal's mast, which gave us so much uneasiness at that time, on account of the delay it occasioned, was, in all probability, the means of preserving the sloop, and all her crew. For before this, her masts, how well soever proportioned to a better climate, were much too lofty for these high southern latitudes: So that had they weathered the preceding storm, it would have been impossible for them to have stood against those seas and tempests we afterwards encountered in passing round Cape Hom, and the loss of masts in that boisterous climate, would scarcely have been attended with less than the loss of the vessel, and of every man on board her; since it would have been impracticable for the other ships to have given them any relief, during the continuance of those impetuous storms.
• Whilst we stayed at this place, the commodore appointed the honourable captain Murray to succeed to the Pearl, and captain Cheap to the Wager, and he promoted Mr. Charles Saunders, his first lieutenant, to the command of the Tryal sloop. But captain Saunders lying dangerously ill of a fever on board the Centurion, and it being the opinion of the surgeons, that the removing him on board his own ship, in his present condition, might tend to the hazard of his life; Mr. Anson gave an order to Mr. Saumarez, first lieutenant of the Centurion, to act as master and commander of the Tryal, during the illness of captain Saunders.
• The Tryal being nearly refitted, which was our principal occupation at this bay of St. Julian, and the sole occasion of
our stay, the commodore thought it necessary, as we were now directly bound for the South Seas and the enemy's coasts, to regulate the plan of his future operations: And therefore, on the 24th of February, a signal was made for all captains, and a council of war was held on board the Centurion, at which were present the honourable Edward Legg, captain Matthew Mitchel, the honourable George Murray, captain David Cheap, together with colonel Mordaunt Cracherode, commander of the land-forces. At this council Mr. Anson proposed, that their first attempt, after their arrival in the South Seas, should be the attack of the town and harbour of Baldivia, the principal frontier of the district of Chili; Mr. Anson informing them, at the same time, that it was an article contained in his majesty's instructions to him, to endeavour to secure some port in the South Seas, where the ships of the squadron might be careened and refitted. New instructions were also given to the captains of the squadron, by which, though they were still directed, in case of separation, to make the best of their way to the island of Nuestra Senora del Socoro.'
The squadron sailed on the 27th of February, and on the 7th of March passed through the straits of Le Maire; immediately after which a violent storm came on, that exceeded the most dreadful ever witnessed by the oldest seamen. “And,' says our author, that no circumstance might be wanting which could aggrandise our distress, these blasts generally brought with them a great quantity of snow and sleet, which cased our rigging, and froze our sails, thereby rendering them and our cordage brittle, and apt to snap upon the slightest strain, adding great difficulty and labour to the working of the ship, benumbing the limbs of our people, and making them incapable of exerting themselves with their usual activity, and even disabling many of them, by mortifying their toes and fingers.'
The storm continued many days, but the ships were worked with great resolution and activity. On the 8th of April, the commodore,' says the narrator, making a signal for the squadron to bring to, we, at day-break, saw the Wager a
considerable way to leeward of any of the other ships; and we soon perceived that she had lost her mizen-mast, and main top-sail yard. We immediately bore down to her, and found this disaster had arisen from the badness of her iron work; for all the chain plates to windward had given way, upon the ship's fetching a deep roll. This proved the more unfortunate to the Wager, as her carpenter had been on board the Gloucester ever since the 31st of March, and the weather was now too severe to permit him to return. Nor was the Wager the only ship of the squadron that had suffered in the late tempest; for, the next day, a signal of distress was made by the Anna pink, and, upon speaking with the master, we learnt that they had broke their fore-stay and the gammon of the bowsprit, and were in no small danger of having all the masts come by the board; so that we were obliged to bear away until they had made all fast, after which we haled upon a wind again?
But another mortification ensued, for next morning the squadron fell in with the coast of Terra del Fuego, when it was calculated they were ten degrees to the westward of it. They therefore stood to the S. W. till the 22d of April, • when we were in 60 degrees of south latitude, and by our account near six degrees to the westward of cape Noir; and in this run, we had a series of as favourable weather, as could well be expected in that part of the world, even in a better season: so that this interval, setting the inquietude of our thoughts aside; was by far the most eligible of any we enjoyed from straits Le Maire to the west coast of America. This moderate weather continued, with little variation, till the 24th; but on the 24th, in the evening, the wind began to blow fresh, and soon encreased to a prodigious storm, and the weather became extremely thick; about midnight we lost sight of the other four ships of the squadron, which, notwithstanding the violence of the preceding storms, had hitherto kept in company with us. Nor was this our sole misfortune; for, the next morning, endeavouring to hand the top-sails, the clue-lines and bunt-lines broke, and the sheets being half Aown, every seam in the top-sails was soon split from top