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ward, and the relief of Gibraltar, were the grand naval 1782. objects that the British administration had still in view: each was of high importance. Several of those ships, that were in the best condition for fea, proceeded to the Downs to attend the motions of the Dutch; while the reft of the fleet were in a hafty ftate of equipment at Portsmouth, and were replenishing their ftores for the defigned expedition to Gibraltar. It was found neceffary that the Royal George of 108 guns, commanded by adm. Kempenfelt, fhould receive a kind of flight careen, and be laid in a certain degree upon her fide, while the defects under water occafioning the examination were rectified. This operation in ftill weather and fmooth water is attended with fo little difficulty or danger, that the admiral, captains, officers and crew, continued on board; and neither guns, ftores, water or provifions, were removed.
The bufinefs was undertaken early in the morning, a Aug. gang of carpenters from the dock attending for the pofe. The fhip while on her fide was crowded with people from the shore, particularly women, thought to be not fewer than 300, among whom were many of the wives and children of the feamen and petty officers, who were come to see their husbands and fathers. The greateft part of the crew was alfo on board. In this fituation, about ten in the morning, the admiral being writing in his cabin, and most of the people happening then to be between. decks, a fudden and unexpected fquall of wind threw the ship on her fide, and the gunports being open, fhe filled with water almost instantly, and went to the bottom. A victualler along fide of her
1782. was fwallowed up in the whirlpool, occafioned by the plunge of fo vaft a body in the water:
The admiral, with a number of officers, and most of those between decks perished. The guard, and those who happened to be along with them on the upper deck, were in general faved by the boats of the fleet. About 70 more were likewise saved. It is thought that
from 900 to 1000 perfons were loft. About 300, moftly of the ships company, were faved. Capt. Waghorne, whofe bravery in the North Sea under admiral Parker procured him the command of the ship, was faved, though feverely bruised.
The lofs of the fhip, though the period is critical, is not to compare with the lofs of the brave men who perished in her. Adm. Kempenfelt, though near 70 years of age, is peculiarly and univerfally lamented by the British. In point of profeffional knowledge and judgment, he was deemed one of the first naval officers in the world; and in the art of manoeuvring a fleet, he was confidered by their greatest commanders as unrivalled,
A letter from Sir Eyre Coote, dated Fort George, Jan. 28, 1782, was received at lord Shelburne's office, June the 4th. It relates, that after the action on the ift of July, 1781, Sir Eyre marched to the northward to form a junction with the Bengal detachment. It was effected on the 3d of August. On the 27th, Sir Eyre attacked Hyder Ally pofted with his army in a formi→ dable fituation. The conflict lafted from nine in the morning till near fun-fet, when Sir Eyre was left in full poffeffion of the field of battle. His lofs on this occa
fion was heavier than on the ift of July, and that of the 1782. enemy lefs. On the 27th of September, the two armies engaged again before four o'clock in the afternoon, and by the evening Hyder was completely routed. When Sir Eyre was upon his return from relieving the garrifon at Vellore, Hyder appeared in full force on the 13th of January, and by a diftant cannonade attacked his army while croffing a marfhy ground. The whole having paffed the fwamp, the line was formed and advanced upon the enemy, on which Hyder gave way, and retreated with precipitation. The London gazette of July 13th, confirmed the account before received of the furrender of the Bahama iflands to the arms of Spain, on the 8th of May, by capitulation. The fame day advices were received from capt. Shirley of the Leander, of his having destroyed a French ftore fhip off Senegal, valued at 30,000l. and of his taking five Dutch forts, mounting together 124 guns, on the coaft of Africa, without any other affiftance than the men belonging to his own fhip. Toward the clofe of July, the English Eaft India Company received from Bombay, advice of Tippoo Saib's having attacked col. Braithwaite on the 16th of February, and obliged him to furrender with all his force two days after; and of the French fleet's confifting of 22 fail, large and fmall, on the 19th of February, in Pondicherry road. Tippoo Saib's fuccefs has occafioned to the English in that quarter, the lofs of 2000 infantry and 300 cavalry.
The precarious state of affairs in the Eaft Indies must be a motive with the British miniftry to aim at a speedy establishment of peace. As the negotiations for it are
1.782. carrying on and likely to be continued, my next lette
will be from Paris.
Roxbury, Jan. 30, 1783.
'HE business of retaliating the execution of captain Huddy fhall begin the prefent letter. General Washington having made up his mind on the subject, wrote to brigadier Hazen at Lancaster in Pennsylvania, on the 3d of May-" You will immediately, on the receipt of this, designate by lot for the above purpose [of retaliation] a British captain who is an unconditional prisoner, if such an one is in your poffeffion; if not, a lieutenant under the fame circumstances, from among the prisoners at any of the pofts either in Pennfylvania or Maryland. So foon as you have fixed on the person, you will fend him under a safe guard to Philadelphia, I need not mention to you that every poffible tenderness, that is confiftent with the fecurity of him, fhould be shown to the person whose unfortunate lot it may be to fuffer." He received about the fame time from gen, Robertson a letter of May 1, acquainting him, that a court-martial was appointed by Sir H. Clinton for trying the person complained of and all his abettors in the death of Huddy, and that Sir Henry had taken mea
fures for it before he received any letter from gen. Wash- 1782 ington on the fubject. Robertfon expreffed his wifh, that the war might be carried on agreeable to the rules which humanity has formed, and the examples of the politeft nations recommended; and proposed that they fhould agree to prevent or punish every breach of the rules of war within the fpheres of their respective commands. The letter was accompanied with a number of papers, ftating many acts of barbarity committed by the Americans; and which had been put into his hands as vindications of the enormity complained of by Washington. Robertfon meant to prevail upon the latter to defift from his purpofe. Washington however, in his answer of May 5, faid-" So far from receding from that refolution, orders are given to defignate a British officer for retaliation. But I ftill hope the refult of your court-martial will prevent this dreadful alternative." After fincerely lamenting the cruel neceffity, which alone could induce fo diftreffing a measure in the prefent inftance, he affured the other that he entertained his wifh and acceded to his propofal. But to fome parts of Robertfon's letter he could not refrain from answering- "Recrimination would be useless; I forbear therefore to mention numerous inftances which have stained the reputation of your arms, marked the progrefs of this war with unusual severity, and difgraced the honor of human nature itself." When Washington was informed that capt. Afgill [a youth of nineteen] had been defignated and fent forward, he wrote to Hazen on the 4th of June" I am much concerned to find that capt. Afgill has been sent on, notwithstanding the information you had received of there being two unconditional prifoners of war