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the Chance taking chances

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Chance, Captain White commanding, 94 lives, 16 guns, 12 and 6-pounder carronades.

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Vice-Admiral Sir Roger Curtis, Bart., Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's ships and vessels at the Cape of Good Hope, who writes from Capetown

on December 20th, 1801, to Evan Nepean, Esq., Secretary to the Admiralty, as follows:

Quote

 

"Sir,—The private ship-of-war, the Chance, belonging to Mr. Hogan, of this place, and commanded by Mr. William White, having been a cruise on the coast of Peru, returned on the 11th instant. The Commander of the Chance addressed a letter to me containing an account of his proceedings during his cruise. He appears to have uniformly acted with great propriety; but his conduct, and that of his officers and men, was, on two occasions, so highly creditable to them that I send his account of these occurrences for their lordships' information.

"I am, etc.,

Roger Curtis."

 

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letter from Mr. William White, commander of the Chance private ship of war, fitted out at the Cape of Good Hope, to Vice-Admiral Sir Roger Curtis, Bart:

"At four p.m. on August 19th (1801), the island St. Laurence bearing N.E. two leagues, saw a large ship bearing down upon us.

At nine brought her to close action, and engaged her within half pistol-shot for an hour and a half, but finding her metal much heavier than ours, and full of men, boarded her on the starboard quarter, lashing the Chance's bowsprit to her mizzen-mast, and, after a desperate resistance of three-quarters of an hour, beat them off the upper deck; but they still defended from the cabin and lower deck with long pikes in a most gallant manner, till they had twenty-five men killed and twenty-eight wounded, of whom the captain was one.

Getting final possession, she was so close to the island that with much difficulty we got her off shore, all her braces and rigging being cut to pieces by our grape-shot. She proved to be the new Spanish ship Amiable Maria, of about 600 tons, mounting fourteen guns, 18, 12, and 9-pounders, brass, and carrying 120 men, from Concepcion bound to Lima, laden with corn, wine, bale goods, etc.
On this occasion, I am much concerned to state, Mr. Bennett, a very valuable and brave officer, was so dangerously wounded that he died three days after the action; the second and fourth mates, Marine officer, and two seamen badly wounded by pikes, but since recovered.

On the 20th, both ships being much disabled, and having more prisoners than crew, I stood close in and sent eighty-six on shore in the large ship's launch to Lima. We afterwards learned that seventeen of the wounded had died.

"At 4 a.m. on September 24th, standing in to cut out from the roads of Puna, in Guaiquil Bay, a ship I had information of, mounting twenty-two guns, fell in with a large Spanish brig, with a broad pendant at maintopmast-head.

At five she commenced her fire on us, but she being at a distance to windward,and desirous to bring her to close action, we received three broadsides before a shot was returned.

At half-past five, being yardarm and yardarm, commenced our fire with great effect, and, after a very severe action of two hours and three-quarters, during the latter part of which she made every effort to get away, I had the honour to see the Spanish flag struck to the Chance.

She proved to be the Spanish man-of-war brig Limeno, mounting eighteen long 6-pound guns, commanded by Commodore Don Philip de Martinez, the senior officer of the Spanish Marine on that coast, and manned with 140 men, sent from Guaiquil for the express purpose of taking the Chance, and then to proceed to the northward to take three English whalers lying in one of their ports. She had fourteen men killed and seven wounded; the captain mortally wounded, who died two days after the action. The Chance had two men killed and one wounded, and had only fifty men at the commencement of the action; mounting sixteen guns, 12-and 6-pounders."

 

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http://www.cambridge.org/pt/academic/subjects/history/military-history/privateers-and-privateering

also available in https://www.gutenberg.org

 

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