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State of Hood's Ships. Rodney's Dispatches. Almiralty Dispatches. 31 absurd; ruinous, and probably fatal in its “ It is certain that the enemy intend to coolequences. The next day too, after the “ make an early campaign in the Welt lodies aétion, Captain Henry Duncan of ihe Medea, “ after she husiicane months; I have there, who had been sent to look into the bay, re
" foie directed Sir Samuel Hood to return torped and reported that he had seen two large « immediately after the full moon of O&tober, bips with two decks, and one small, come to " and I muit request not only tbat he is on an anchor off York river, that tive tail more no account deiaived broyond that period, buc were working down the Cherapeak, and (wo " that you will add to his forcé what line of other large thips of war discovered going from “ battle thips can potībly be spared from the Elizabeth river to Hampion road. At this « service in America during the winter leetime likewise, (the very day after the battle) our Leeward Inand squadron began to betray “ Befides the squadron Sir Samuel Hood the extremely defective plight which they had “ brings with him, iwo line of battle abips, arrived in ; for the Intrepide, instead of bav " which I sent to strengthen the convoy to, ing a montb's good service, applied and was be “ Jamaica, have my orders to proceed from holden to the Rejolution for twenty-hours “ Thence through the Gulph, and join him ac bread; and within a day or two afterwards “ the Chesapeak without delay. eight rail of the same squadron were fupplied,
“ I have the honour to be, &c. either with provision or water, being very de
“ G. B. RODNEY." ficient in those articles : upon inquiry the This dispatch was addrefled to Vice Admin Tenible was found to have come from the ral Arbuthnot, or the commanding officer for West Indies with five pumps at work, the the time being of his Majelty's thips employed Ajax but little better, and the Montagu a in North America. leaky thip; and some of the relt to have The Terrible now made the fignal of distress spryng mats: fo chat in fact this fquadron in full view of the enemy, and the feet came to America in a fate more proper to brought to : in the night the Intrepide likehave entered the port of New York for re wife put forth a lignal of dittrels, which forcequipment than to be led forth directly to bar. cd the feet again to lie to for some hours, untle against a powerful enemy.
til the could replace her maio topmast that The 8th, the Iris rejoined the feet, after was ready to fall. But the French never unce cuising away the French buoys in Lyobaven attempied to renew the engagement, although bay; and on the same day arsived the Pega-, the wind frcquently favoured them; and un jus, Captain Stanhope, from the West Indies, the night of the guh, after the two fleets had with Sir George Rodney's sbird and last diss been for five days fucceffively in light of each patch, which was what follows.
other, and often very near, ihey took the ad“ Gibraltar at sea, 13 dug. 1781. vantage of the wind io puin for the Chela" SIR,
peak, so that when moroing appeared they “ Here with I have the honour to enclofe could not be seen.
you intelligence which I received from St. On the roth arrived the Lively brig, Capt. * Thomas's the night before I failed from St. Manley, with dispatches from the Admiraliy, “ Eustatius, and to acquaint you that I left dared the 24th of July 1781, (addrefled to “ Sir Samuel Hood preparing to fail with all Vice Admiral Arbutlinot), saying "ibrin “ pothble d. (parch with twelve sail of the line, “ Lord/hips bad received undoubted intelligence, " four frigates, and a firelhip, for the Capes 6 shai a Dutch Squadron confifting of the ship's " of Virginia, where I am periuaded the • mentioned in tbe inclcfiat 61,1 Jaried froin ibe “ French iniend making their grand effort.
“ Texelebe 18:b inftan!, in order to convey " Permit me, therefore, to recommend “ clear of obe Orkneys some of their outward" it to you to collect all the force “ bound Fajt Inliamen, together with ibebips
you can and form a jun&tion with Sir " and velels mentioned in the frid lill, lade " Samuel there. You will, I hope, ere inis " with closbes and linen for obe Rebels in Nurib " reaches you, have heard of his approach by “ America, and bound as there was reason 10 " his farieit railing frigate, which I dire&ted “ believe io Rbode 11 ind. if circumfiances would " him to dispatch for the purpose of looking “ permit, or oberwisi in Bollon; and their u oor for intelligence off che Chelipeak and “ Lordfiip, recommended it to ibe Admiral in " Delaware. I cannot, however, omdit the "ibe firongest manner in use bio uimoft endea“ opportunity by Captain Stanhope in the Peo 70495 so intercept, and to take or diflroy she " gafus, who comes with the victua'lers under “ Said ships and ribs, fationing fuch part of "bis convog for New York, to give you this “ bis Squadron as he pould judge sufficien: for 16 information.
" she purpose off St. George's Bank, which it “ The French Ricet under Monr. de Gralle, was most probable they would endeavour to " when they left the Grenades to collect their « make, or in suco orber firuation, as be should % concoy, confifted of twenty-fix fail of the “ bave reason to :hink would be more likely to " line and two large ships armed en Hote; “ answer shat very defireable end." " and I imagine, at leaftrwelve of those ships, And here I cannot help observing that this “ and in all probability a part of Mr. de advice from government, as well as that by " Monteil's squadron, will be in America; the Hornet before-mentioned (which was data " and it is not imposible they may be joined ed towards the end of May), drew the artenu by some Spanish thips.
tion of the Admiral solely to fupplies for the Bur the wint of a proper dock was a material Rebels from Europe, and purely recommend. inconvenience, as well as the fcantmess of the ed and enjoined the croizing with his squa- yird and its Imall number of workimet, to droh for the sake of intercepting them, as that everyothip waited for her turn to be ferv. that on which the fate of the American w.yt ed. In trivial things two or three might be would the pend; that is, he was ordered off taken in hand at once; but where 12 or 14 Botton and St. Genrge's Bank to the north large meå of war were fitting together, wantward, whild the French were in reality point. ed maits and yards of different fizes, and ironing their operations towards the Chiclapeak work of every kind, and had thor-holes to be and the soutirward : fo little did our minifters topped, and decks and boats to be repaired, seem to have been truly apprized of what was they could not be expedited; particulary when going forward on the part of the enemy, or of new howtpriis and lower mafts were to be their capital defigns, vietes and objects. made,
On the rith the Weatliet being calm, in The 24th, in the evening, Rear Admiral codsequence of a council of war, the Terrible Digby came from Europe with the Prince was evacuated and destroyed, and the wreck George of 98, Canadı ol 74, and Loon of 64 fer fire to about dusk, what could be laved
guns; and upou the ruth of October arrived from her being first taken out and diitributed The Torbay of 74, and Pridee William of 64 among the other thips. Our fleet was at this guns, from Jamaica, in parfuance of Sir time off the coast of Virginia, fouth of Cape Grorge Rodney's orders. Henry, from whence about nine o'clock the Mr. Digby bore himself a commiffion for lame night it bore as again for the Chesapeak, commanding by sea in North America, and where the French Hect was found to have brought to Mr. Graves Admiralty orders, gotten in, and Monsieur De Barras to be ar dated the gibi of June, for bis proceeding with rived from Rhode Illand, his squadron having the London to Jamaica and for putting himself entered the Bay on the 18th, whilft the two under the fenior officer on that station, if fiBeets that had combated were at lea.
nior to himself. However, the London could With advice of the foregning events, Rear 1100 be fpared at this crisis, when another enAdmirał Graves now ditparched in England gagement was in contemplation; and the offi. the Midea, Captain Henry Duncan, (a very cès both of teet and army appearing defirous diligent and truft-worthy otticer), with poh. of the fame Admiral's continuing to direct tive orders not to tarry for private letters, nor the waval operations, and no one more fo than touch at New York, nor to lose a moment's Mr. Digby himself
(the next in rank upon titne on his pairage upon any account; which the fation), Mr. Graves went on with the service He punctually performed, choosing ra. maritime command, although fuperfeded, with iker to let a celebrated privateer, that he had the same ardor and alacrity as before. unavoidably fallen upon and captured by the The utmost, and very uncommon exertions way, run the risque of being retaken (ühich had indeed hitherto been made throughout all in truth actually happened) than to retard, the marine departments to get every one of the when carrying dispatches, his own progress, thips ready again for tea, but fome crofs acci. for the sake of protecting a favourite prize by dents intervened to retard them ; in particolar, accommodating his tail to hers, and keeping the cllcide, by falling aboard the Shrewsbury, her company.
had carried away her bowsprit and foreyard, The isth, the Prudent, from New York, just as the was repaired in her damages from joined the feet as it was upon its return to The lite fight. All, however, except the wards Sandy Hook, where the whole anchor. Shreesbury, Montagn, and Europe, went down ed on the 19th. Their re-equipment and re with ihe help of evening ride, to Sandy Honk pairs were fet about with the utmoit alertuess. the 17th, when the Admiral gave out his * line
L I N E of B A T T L E. The Princeffa to lead with the Harboard, and the Bedford with the larboard tacks on board.
of battle; the next morning they embarked in the same manner as he would have been their troops; and on the morning of the 19th, incapacitated from coming to North America, the three latt-uamed bips joining the rest and had he been crippled in the West Indies : les taking in their lot of soldiers, the whole ar the victory fall of either fide. But the manent getting safe over the bar hurried a French ihewing 110 difpofition to come out, way for the Chesapeak. Ic confifted of 25 our fleet made fail on the 29th for Sandy thips properly of the line, there being three Hook, to land the iroops, and anchored there of gê guns, fourteen of 74, one of 70, and seven on the ed of November in the evening; the of 64, besides two of so, with 7149 Jand Admiral having previously detached the forces on board, to which the general would Ranger floop to the Leeward Inands, to aphave added another regiment or two, but prize them of the Itate of things. The next there was not room for them.
mording the land forces were removed into On the 24th, when near Cape Charles (the transports in order to proceed up the harbour, hithermost bead land of the Chesapeak), the agreeably to Sir Henry Clinton's wishes. scouting vessels brought intelligence of Lord The Admirals and Commodore then held a Cornwallis having lurrendered some days be council, at which, Sir Samuel Hood declar. fore. His lordihip had opened a treaty the ing he must return forthwith to the Leeward 17th, settled the terms the 18th, and figned mlands and for that reason should not go over them the 19th.
the bar, a separation was resolved. Mr. At this period the enemy's feet confifted of Giaves was desirous to have gone in with the 36 fail of the line, formed into a crescent, London, for the fake of thifting her fore and with the Ville de Paris in centre; and they main, mafts, which had both been shorten lay at the entrance of York river, between through their centre, knowing neither maits the sands called the horse-lhoe and York-fpit, nor cordage were to be had at Jamaica ; but where our thips must have had the disadvan- the wind did not ferve. This made him detage of banks, thoals, and tides, to limit and termine to lose no time in turning over the obitruct their operations. However, we stood North American command to Mr. Digby, in close into the back of the sands, to offer them pursuance of the Admiralty's order; and as battle, for two fucceffive days. The Admi- his own this was not required for the security ral would indeed have been glad, his men of of the Weft Indian squadron on their paliage, war being now in good order, to have tried although he had offered to accompany them the fortune of another action in free water, as for that purpose, he failed on the roch at he knew, if well fought, it must at least have eight in the morning, fugly, for his own so maimed De Graffe, as to disable him from destination ; on the 12th Sir Samuel Hood acting this winter against our Leeward Itlands ; went off for the Leeward INands with eightees
hips of the line and several frigaces; and the od for the next convoys to England. I atten old, decayed Robufte* and Europe were reserv- . . Sir, Your moft humble servant,
W. GRA V E S. * This ship a little afterwards, in coming, Inner Temple, 2916 Jan. 1782. bome) with Lord Cornwallis on board, proved . fo crazy as to make it necessary for bus lordship up to Antigua, and obere brave down, before
so get into a mercbaniman, and for ber so bear the ventured upon a voyage to Europe.
First Report of the Committee appointed to enquire into the Illicit
Practices now ufed in defrauding the Revenue of this Kingdom, and the most effe&tual Methods of preventing the fame ; and to report the same, with their Opinion thereupon, to the House.
PROCEEDED, without delay, to the dis- tobacco stalks, snuff, East India goods, wing , Telves likely to be involved in a variety of The most considerable of these vessels are complicated and important objects, deter. able to make seven or eight voyages in a mined, for the sake of perspicuity, to sepa. ycar; the largest of them can bring, in one Tate the matters referred to them; they have freight, the enosmous quantity of 3000 half accordingly confined their first coquiries to ankers of spirits, and ten or iwelve tons of the nature and extent of the illicit practices; tea, bclides other valuable articles to a confi"reserving to a subsequent discussion and ar derable amount ; the ftrength of some of wangement, what may occur,' or be suggefted them is such as to enable them to bid de. to them on the means of prevention.
fiance to the revenue cruizers, fome of which Your Committee cannot proceed to state have recently been insulted, fired upon, and the result, without acknowledging the in beat off, and others have either been seized formation and affiftance which ihey have re. and carried off, or scuttled and funk; in oceived from the principal Boards of Britilh ther inftances the crews of the smuggling ves revenue ; whose zeal and alacrity in furnith. sels have made prisoners of some of the offi. ing full ftatements of the prevailing abuses, cers of the revenue and have kept them amerit the approbation and acknowledgments board during the time of landing very valuof your Commit:ee.
able cargoes. It is also a practice for the if the whole of the information thus ob. Jarge armed vessels to take under their contained were to be stated to the House, in ad voy the small defenceless craft which are emdition to parole evidence of a very interest. ployed in the same pernicious traffic. ing kind, which has been given to your The landing of the cargo is regulated by Committee, it would form a detail which fignals, and secured-by large gangs of men, might be thought too voluminous, and would armed chiefly with clubs and heavy whips, open many practices inexpedient to be made generally inflamed with liquor, and assembled public : your Committee, therefore, have re in such numbers as to reduce the revenue offolved not to enter into particulars, farther ficers to be quiet fpectators of the proceedthan may be necesary to make their reporting: this is generally the case, except when intelligible, but rather to compress their ma the revenue others can obtain the aid of a terials within general expressions ; relying on large military force --such asistance, in the confidence which the House will place in the present citablishment of the army, muft their veracity, and holding themselves in be extremely partial-it is quite inadequate readiness, if more minute explanations and to the purpose of general and effectual pre. prooss should be required.
vention -: de requisition is often attended From the accounts of the principal officers both with delay, and with some notoriety :-of the our ports, examined and flated by the and even when aid is obtained upon an ioforma. Commiffioners of Excise and Cuftoms, it ap. tion, it is generally frustrated ; for the pears that the fraudulent importation of scouts placed upon the thore give fignals to many principal articles of revenue, without the vefiel at fea, which inftantly proceeds, payment of Jury, has lately increased to a according to the settled figoal, to some other very alarming degree, and is carried on place of rendezvous, at 15 or 20 miles dirwith the mud open and daring violence, in tance, and lands the cargo in the night every accessible part of the coast of this king- time. dom.
The cargo thus delivered is placed in wagThe vessels used for this purpose are of va. gons, or on horses, being packed and prerious sizes, from 30 10 300 tons, mounting pared, for that purpose, in casks and oil ik in from fix to twenty-four guns, and navigated bags; it is next either diftribused upon the by crews from 12 10 100 men.
coast and the parts adjoining, for sale and The cargocs consift chiefly of spirits, tea, consumption, or brought to the ncighbour
Good of this metropolis, and into the me fee, brandy, and rum, amount annually at tr polis, either under the open guard and an average, to one ,million ferling) would, protection of armed troops of men, or by a if smuggling could be prevented, produce fallacious ole of permits, or in difguited å revenue of more than three times that packages, by ftage coaches, itage waggons, fum. and various other modes of conveyance.
Your Committee fhould here observe that, Your Committee are informed that, on exclufive of the open and avowed profession of fome parts of the coast, batteries have a&ual- fmuggling, an illicit importation is carried by been erected to aliit and protect thefe illi- on to a great extent, by the relanding of et importations ; and they have reason to bounty and drawback goods ; by coaiters, believe that the number of large armed veliels which take goods aboard at fea or in foreign employed in the smuggling trade is not lefs parts ; by the officers of homeward-bound than 120, besides near 200 smaller vefsels. The East and West India ihips, to a great amount; owners have introduced and ettablished a by fithing vessels ; and by the crews and pafmized fyftem of war and tradeihey sengers of some of the Post-Office packets. pursue all the regular plans of book-keeping It is compuced, from the best examinati.
-riders are feat, from time to time, to tious, that upwards of twenty millions of receive orders within the circle of their re- pounds of tea, and thirteen millions of galfpective rides ; which orders have already lons of brandy, have been smuggled into the been collected in parts more difant from the kingdom, within the last three years : and coafi :
-Notice is then circulaced, of the it well deserves remark, that the national day and hour when the vefsel may be ex- interests suffer more effentially in many points peated to appear off the thore with the re of view, exclufive of the great loss of return of the cargoes; a place of landing is fix veaue—this immense trade being supa ed upon : fignals are settled ; scouts are ported almost folely by the export of the bul appointed; the degree of force which may be lion and specie of the kingdom, or by bills of wanted is arranged; and, lastly, the terms Exchange, and not by any interchange of of freight are adjutted, and also of insurance, manufactures, or other merchandize, except, in case the person who gives the order will perhaps, some raty wool. not take the articles at his own risk. The It farther deferves remark, that enormities commodities thus imported, if distributed of such violence and extent amount to a parupon the coat, are, in molt juftances, fold tial Itate of anarchy and rebellion ; and have eliale more iban half of the price which is a tendency to weaken and impair every, idea given whea regular doties are paid : if they of a regular government, and all due fubmifare brought to the metropolis under infor- fion to the laws of the land. ance, which is a common pra&tice, they are The means of prevention against there delivered either to retail traders, or to private great evils, however inadequate to the purhouse-keepers, at about two-thirds of the pose, have gradually been much increased, price paid by tbe honest consumer.
and consequently have occafioned an increase The Commissioners of the Revenue very in the public expences. Your Com. juftly observe, that their inland establishment mittee will, in a subsequent report, take some is utterly unfit to suppress these proceedings; notice of the different plans under which the bring calculated rather to detect fx auds than revenue cryizers are engaged and eftablished ; to refiit violence, and having hardly any it is sufficient for the prefent to refer to the powers of exertion upon the coatt, beyond the Appendix (No. 1) for an account of the detection of small illicit importations and ex- number and force of vessels employed in the portations, attempted by merchant veffels, or different periods of 1763, 1773, and 1-83 ; by the coating trade ; thefe practices are, and also for an account of the increase of confequently, become so general, and so irá those veffels, from the 10th of October 1780, refidible, that the security of the revenue in to the both of October 1783. It is an obvio many instances, depends on the honelly of ous remark, on these accounts as well as on the traders : and here, perhaps, it may de. the account of the charges paid upon the serve remark, that since the fitting of your produce of seizures for the periods of 1763, Committee was knowir, the exertions of the 1773, and 1783 (which is in Appendix Noa smugglers, to bring large stocks of goods into 2.) that, though the illicit practices have inthe kingdom, are represented to us to have creased, the exertions and expences of the been greater than ever.
public have also considerably increased. In Every opinion, and every testimony has reference to the paper to which your Comconcurred to prove to your Committee, that mittee have laft referred, it may here be righe this fyftem, so far al both to the revenue and to subjoin an account of the amount of his 10 trade, has, during the latt four years, in. Majelly's part of fines on many principal arcreased in a very alarming degree; this na.
ticles of illicit trade, for different periods : turally happened under all the circumstances (which is in Appendix, No. 3.) And, ex. attend ng the course and close of the late war: clusive of the forty-two armed cutters engage and it is the opinion of the Commissioners of ed in the service of the Customs, five una Excise, from which we cannot diffent, that armed cutters are constantly kept by the Eng. sks Excise duties alone (which, on sea, cof- lith Excise ; as also nine sercous cutlers un