Billeder på siden

by Admiral Purvis to the mouth of the river Guadiana, for the purpose of co-operating with the Spaniards.

The Portuguese also animated by the presence of the English, and the example as well as the addresses of the Spaniards, every where rose against the French. Deputations were sent to Admiral Sir Charles Cotton, commanding the naval forces of Britain in that quarter, soliciting succours. The admiral replied, "Agreeably to your desires I send you ships, troops, arms, and ammunition, and have given orders for hoisting the flag of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Portugal, around which the whole Portuguese nation ought instantly to rally, and take up arms in a cause at once so just and so glorious. To secure success, unanimity is necessary. Unite yourselves with your brave friends and neighbours the Spaniards. Suffer not yourselves to be either intimidated by threats, or seduced by promises. From the experience of some months you must have learnt how to estimate the friendship of the French. It is to the fidelity and succours of the English, seconded by your own energies, that you are to owe the restoration of your prince, and the independence of your country." On board the Hibernia off the Tagus, July 4, 1808.

But the British government offered more effectual assistance to the cause of the Peninsula: a large army was sent there; the battle of Vimeira was fought, and the disgraceful convention of Cintra was concluded. To the seventh article of the preliminary treaty, which stipulated that the Russian fleet, which had long been in the Tagus, should be allowed either to remain in that river unmolested, or to return home, Admiral Cotton most positively and firmly objected. The admiral afterwards entered into a separate convention with the Russian commander, by which the fleet was surrendered to him, to be held by His Britannic Majesty as a deposit until six months after the conclusion of peace between Russia and England; the

admiral, officers, sailors, and marines were to be conveyed to Russia, in men-of-war or proper vessels, at the expense of His Britannic Majesty, without any condition or stipulation respecting their future services.

This year was scarcely distinguished by one single action of any great interest or moment, if we except that which took place in the Adriatic. We were still at war with Turkey, but it was scarcely expected that any of her ships would venture on a battle with any of ours: such, however, was the case.

The Seahorse, Captain Stewart, a frigate, mounting thirty-eight guns, was cruising in the Adriatic, when the Turkish government sent out a squadron for the purpose of capturing her. This squadron consisted of one fifty gun ship and two frigates, of forty-four guns each. The Seahorse engaged them for three hours: the result was that one of the forty-fours sunk after two broadsides; the other frigate sheered off, and the fifty gun ship, after five hundred of her crew (which consisted of seven hundred) were killed or wounded, was taken and carried into Gibraltar. The Seahorse was much cut up in her masts and rigging, but had only six men killed and seven wounded.

In the year 1809, the Royal Naval Asylum having attained to a regular and fixed establishment, requires a particular notice in this work; and as we are always desirous of laying before our readers the most authentic and official statements on all points, we shall, in this instance extract from the papers laid before parliament, the report of the Commissioners of this Asylum.

"Your Majesty having been pleased, by your warrant under your royal sign manual, bearing date the 25th day of July, 1805, to direct that we should prepare and submit to Your Majesty, for your royal consideration, a draft of such rules and regulations as to us shall appear most proper for the good government of the Royal Naval Asylum, and for the attainment of the humane objects for which it

is to be established; and further to propose and present to Your Majesty, for your royal approbation, such establishments of officers as may be deemed necessary to be appointed in the said Asylum; together with the salaries and allowances fitting to be annexed to their respective employments;

"We have, in obedience to Your Majesty's commands, taken the matter into our consideration, and do most humbly report to Your Majesty our opinion, that, in order to carry Your Majesty's most gracious intentions into execution it will be proper that the following offices should be established, with the respective salaries and allowances thereto annexed, and that the rules and regulations hereinafter mentioned, should be observed for the good government of the said Asylum.

"As a reward to those who shall have faithfully and meritoriously discharged their duty in Your Majesty's naval or marine service, we humbly propose that (as far as circumstances will admit with respect to menial servants, and with the exception of a solicitor and clerk of the works, or such other persons as cannot be found in the naval service) no male person shall be appointed to any office or situation in the Asylum on any vacancy, who shall not have served in Your Majesty's navy or marines in such a situation as to qualify him, or render him a proper person, to fill the employment for which he shall be a candidate. And that no female shall be appointed to any situation in the said Asylum, who shall not be the widow or relative of some person who shall have served in Your Majesty's royal navy or royal marines, unless no such person properly qualified shall be found, then some other person duly qualified to perform the duties of the situation may be appointed. And if when any vacancy shall happen, no such person, qualified as above described, shall apply for the same, some other person duly

qualified to perform the duties of the situation may be appointed.

"That four quarterly or general boards shall be holden in each year, namely, on the third Tuesday in the months of January, April, July, and October, or as soon after each of those days respectively as may be convenient; of which the secretary shall give due notice to each commissioner, one week at least preceding each board, which notice shall in every instance be accompanied by a note of the heads of any special matters, out of the ordinary course, intended to be brought under the consideration of the board; and that the president shall have power to summon special boards on particular occasions, of which a fortnight's notice shall be given to the commissioners, except in cases of great emergency.

"At such quarterly or special boards, the commissioners, or any five or more of them, of whom the president, the first commissioner of the admiralty, the admiral of the fleet, the governor of Greenwich Hospital, the comptroller of the navy, or the treasurer of Greenwich Hospital, shall always be one, the general business of the institution shall be transacted, such as the appointment or removal of officers, not holding their employments by commission from Your Majesty; the authorising and confirming of contracts, which contracts shall have been previously approved by a committee; the examining and settling of all accounts; and the consideration of the necessary applications from time to time to parliament for the sums required for the support of the institution.

"The commissioners of Your Majesty's Royal Naval Asylum, assembled as aforesaid, shall have full power and authority to nominate, constitute, and appoint, from time to time, all the inferior officers, assistants, and servants, and to displace them or any of them, as to your said commissioners shall seem meet; to alter the proportions

and kinds of victuals they shall judge most expedient for the diet of the children, and such other persons as are to be fed in your Royal Naval Asylum, to make, or direct to be made, contracts and agreements for furnishing the same, as also for clothing the said children and other persons belonging to the said Asylum; to cause the buildings, furniture, grounds, roads, walks, and lights to be maintained and kept in repair and proper order; and also to make such further rules and regulations touching the affairs of Your Majesty's said Asylum as shall not in any case be repugnant to the rules and regulations hereinbefore mentioned, and to do, perform, and direct all such matters and things, as they in their discretion shall judge expedient for the good government thereof; provided always, that no order or regulation so to be made shall be binding, until the same shall have been confirmed by the succeeding general or special board.

"All articles which shall be wanted for the supply of the Asylum shall be furnished by contract to be made by public bidding, on due notice being given to afford full opportunity for securing competition, excepting in cases when it shall appear to a general board that the articles to be procured shall be of such small value, and of such a kind to render it difficult to obtain the same by contract; and in the event of purchases being so made, the same shall be particularly specified, and an entry thereof be made in the minutes of the board.

[ocr errors]

"That in case any officer of the said Asylum holding his employment under Your Majesty's royal sign manual, shall be guilty of any misconduct which may render him unfit to be continued in the exercise of his employment, such board shall have power and authority to suspend such officer, due care being taken that the duties of such officer be properly attended to, and executed until Your Majesty's pleasure be known, reporting the circumstances of the case to Your Majesty through one of Your Ma

« ForrigeFortsæt »