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1785. manded by gen. Meadows, and composed of three new

regiments of 1000 each, accompanied it. Several outward bound East Indiamen, and store or ordnance veffels, went out with this convoy; and the whole feet, including transports and armed ships, amounted to more than 40 fail. The Dutch war undoubtedly occasioned a change of the object of the armament, and the subftitution of an attempt upon the Cape of Good Hope, instead of an enterprise against the Spaniards in South America. This change did not escape the penetration of France and Holland. The latter therefore applied to her new ally for assistance, to ward off the danger to which all her East India poffefsions would be exposed, if Johnstone succeeded. On that a squadron of five ships of the line, and some frigates, with a body of land forces, were destined to this service, under Mr. de Suffrein, who failed from Brest in company with count de Grasse. The naval part of the armament was ultimately designed to oppose the British feet in the East Indies : but Suffrein's particular instructions were to pursue and counter-act Johnstone, upon every occasion and in every possible manner, keeping at the same time a constant eye to the effectual protection of the Cape. The court of Versailles was accurately informed of Johnstone's force, and of all the circumstances attending the convoy; and might not be totally ignorant of his course, any more than of his destination.

Commodore Johnstone put into the Cape de Verd iflands for water and fresh provisions. There being no particular apprehension of an enemy, the ships lay without much care or order, in an open harbour belonging to the principal town of St. Jago, the most considerable

guns led the

of the islands. A great number of the crews were ab-1781. sent from the ships, and were engaged in various occupations, necessary to the preparation or supply of so many vessels for so long a voyage. Several officers and men were on shore partaking of the health and recreation of the island. In this unprepared state, the Isis

April man of war discovered in the morning a squadron ap- 16. proaching the entrance of the harbour, which was foon judged to be French. Signals were instantly thrown out for unmooring, for recalling the people on shore, and preparing for action. The British fleet was taken at a great disadvantage. Mr. de Suffrein, leaving his convoy, was soon in the centre of it; the French ships firing on both sides as they passed. The French Hannibal of 74

way

with great intrepidity, under the command of Mr. de Tremingnon. When as near to the British as he could fetch, he dropped his anchor with a noble air of resolution. The Heros of the same force, Mr. de Suffrein's own ship, took the next place; and the Artesien of 64, anchored aftern of the Heros... The Vengeur and Sphynx, of 64 guns each, ranged up and down as they could through the crowd of ships, and fired on either side at every one they passed. Commodore Johnstone's own ship, being too far advanced toward the bottom of the bay, and too much intercepted by the vessels that lay between to take an active part in the action, he quitted her and went on board another. The engagement lasted about an hour and a half. Some time after it began, several of the East India ships fired with good effect on the French. In about an hour the situation of the French ships at anchor became too intolerable to be endured; and the captain of the Artesien

being

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1981. being killed, she cut her cable, and made the best of her way out.

Suffrein deserted by his second aftern, found the danger fo great that he followed the example. The Hannibal was now left alone to be fired at by every ship whose guns could be brought to bear on her, while she herself was fo injured, that her returns were Now and ineffective. She lost her bowsprit and all her masts, and remained å mere hulk upon the water.

She however joined the other ships at the mouth of the bay ;. was towed off and affifted in erecting jury masts. · The commodore pursued, but the damage sustained by the Ilis, the nature of the winds and currents, with the lateness of the day, concurred in preventing his renewing the engagement. The French bore away no trophy of the action. Considering the closeness of it, the smoothness of the water, with the number and crowded situa

tion of the shipping, the loss of men was very small. . May

The British feet failed from St. Jago, and towaru the middle of June, the commodore dispatched capt. Pigot, with some of the best failing frigates and cutters, toward the southern extremity of Africa, to gain intelligence if possible of the state of the enemy in that quarter, with instructions to rejoin him at a given point of Jatitude and longitude, Pigot fell in with and took a large Dutch East India ship, from Saldanha bay near the Cape. She was laden with stores and provisions, had on board 40,000l. in bullion, and was bound for the isle of Ceylon. From her the commodore learned, that Suffrein, with five ships of the line, most of his trạnsports,

and a considerable body of troops, had arrived at the Cape on the 21st of June; and that several homeward bound Dutch East India ships were then at anchor

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in Saldanha bay, about 14 leagues to the northward of 1781, the Cape town and fort. The timely arrival of the French squadron having frustrated the designs of the British against the Cape, Johnstone determined to profit by what was yet within reach, and to attempt possessing himself of the Dutch ships in the bay of Saldanha. The scheme was well conducted. The Dutch had hardly time, from the discovery to the coming up of the British ships, to loose their vessels, cut their cables, and run them on shore, The men of war's boats being instantly manned, the seamen with great alacrity boarded the Indiamen already set on fire, extinguished the flames, and saved four large ones, from 1000 to 1100 tons each, Johnstone's dispatches were dated the 21st of August.

Several of the English counties associated and chose delegates, to give support and efficacy to the subject of their former petitions to parliament. About 40 of the delegates met in London. As acting for their consti, tuents, they prepared a petition to the house of com, mons, in which the substance of those already presented being compressed within a narrower compass, the matters of grievance and the redress proposed were brought forward in one clear point of view. But to obviate difficulties and prevent objections, they signed the petition merely as individual freeholders, without any alsumption or avowal of their delegated powers or character. The petition was presented by Mr. Duncombe, one of the representatives of the county of York, and continued for some weeks on the table, till the recovery of Sir George Saville, who was to proceed with the business. Sir George introduced his motion for referring 8. the petition (after the first reading) to a committee, with

a speech

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1781. a speech of very considerable length. After a long den

bate, the motion for committing the petition was overruled by a majority of 160 to 86.

The war with the Dutch made it necessary for the British to have a force in the north seas, capable of ina juring their commerce on that side on the one hand, and of prote&ting their own on the other, as also of cutting off the Dutch from receiving supplies of naval stores wherewith to restore their marine. This important service was intrusted to the conduct of admiral Hyde Parker. The admiral failed from Portsinouth the beginning of June, with four ships of the line, and a fifty gun ship for the north seas. Mean while Holland ftrained every nerve for the equipment of a force, that might be able to convoy their outward bound trade to the Baltic, and to protect its return, if not to intercept the British, and become masters of those seas. Some days after the middle of July, admiral Zoutman and commodore Kindsbergen failed from the Texel, with a great convoy under their protection. Their force con fisted of eight ships of the line from 54 to 74 guns, of 10 frigates and 5 noops. Several of the frigates were very large. Admiral Parker was on his return with a large convoy from Ellineur. He had been joined by feveral frigates since his leaving Portsmouth, and by the Dolphin of 44 guns, and in this crisis he was reinforced by a 74: Hiş fleet confifted of an 80 gun fhip, two 74 $, a 64, a 60, a 50, a 44, a 40, a 38, a 36, a 322 and a cutter of io guns,

The hostile fleets came in sight of each other on the Aug:

Dogger-Bank early in the morning of the 5th of Au.
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One of the Dutch line of battle ships had return-

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