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ships as were ready, leaving directions, how and where the 1708. seft should join him. On the 25th they came to an anchor bor off the isle of Pines. In March, the commodore received advice at two several times from captain Pudner, who was ftationed near Porto-Bello, that the galleons, with the king's money, could not fail before the ist of May; upon which it was resolved to return to Jamaica, but it was given out, that they were only gone to cruize. On the 6th of April, the commodore anchored at Port-Royal keys, and having taken in provisions, he failed again on the 14th, and, about eight. or ten days after, gave chace to several ships off Bocca, Chica, some of which escaped into Carthagena, and others he loft sight of in hazy weather. On the 23d of May, the Anne floop joined the commodore from the Bastimentes, and brought a letter from captain Pudner, with advice, that the galleons, being thirteen fail, were at fea, coming
from Carthagena. The commodore had then with him the Expedition, Kingston, Portland, and Vulture fire-ship, and cruized till the 27th, in expectation of the galleons; but, not meeting with them, he began to fear they had intelligence of his being on the coast, and were gone for the Havanna. On the 28th of May, about noon, the galleons, in all seventeen sail, were discovered from his top-mast-head; and, at the same time, they discovered him, but, despising fo fmail a force, resolved to proceed. He chased them till evening, when they, finding they could not weather the Baru, a small island, which lay in their passage to Carthagena, resolved to dispute the matter there, and stretching therefore to the northward with an easy fail, they drew as well as they could into a line of battle. The admiral, who wore a white pennant at the 'main-top-mast-head, in the center, the vice-admiral, with the same pennant at the fore-top-mast-head, in the rear, and the rear-admiral, who bore the pennant on the mizzentop-mast-head, in the van, about half a mile from each other, there being other ships between them. Of the seventeen two were floops, and one 'a brigantine, which stood in for the land; two others of them were French ships, which, running away, had no share in the action; the rest were Spaniards. The commodore instantly made his difpofition; he resolved to attack the admiral himself ; gave orders to captain Simon Bridges, who commanded the Kingston, to engage the vice-admiral, and fent his boat to the Portland, commanded by captain Edward Windsor, with orders to attack the rear-admiral ; and, as there was no immediate occasjon for the fire-fhip, the plied to the windward.
The sun was just setting, when commodore Wager came up with the admiral, and then beginning to engage, in about an hour and half's time (it being dark) she blew up, not without great danger to the Expedition, from the splinters and planks, which fell on board her, on fire, and the great heat of the blast. Hereupon the commodore put abroad his signal lights for keeping company, and endeavoured to continue sight of some of the enemies ships; but finding, after this accident, they began to separate, and discovering but one, which was the rear-admiral, he made fail after her, and coming up about ten o'clock, when he could not judge which way her head lay, it being very dark, he happened to fire his broad-side into her stern, which did so much damage, that it seemed to disable her from making fail; and being then to leeward, he, tacking on the Spaniard, got to windward of him, and the Kingston and Portland (which had by reason of the night, or the blowing up of the admiral, loft light of the other ships) following his lights soon after, came up with him, and affisting in taking the rear-admiral, who called for quarter about two in the morning. On board of this ship he sent his boat to bring to him the chief officers; and, before the rising of the sun, he saw one large ship on his weather-bow, and three fail upon the weather quarter, three or four leagues off, lying then with their heads to the North, the wind being at North-east, an easy gale. Then he put out the signal for the Kingston and Portland to chace to windward, not being able himself to make fail, being much disabled; and, as he had a great part of his men in the prize, fo were there no less than three hundred prisoners on board his own ship.
On Sunday the 30th, the wind being from the north-east, to the north north-west, and but little of it, the Kingston and Portland had left off chase ; but the commodore made the fignal for continuing it, which they did, and ran him out of fight, the fire-ship still continuing with him; and he having lain by some time, not only to put the prize in a condition of failing, but to refit his own rigging, made fail eastward on the zist, when the Kingston and Portland joined him, and gave him an account, that the ship they chased was the viceadmiral, to which, as they said, they came so near, as to fire their broadfides into her, but were so far advanced towards the Salmadinas, a fhoal off Carthagena, that they were forced to tack, and leave her. This gave the coinmodore great uneasiness, and determined him to call the captains of these ships to account; but, in the mean time he
serit them orders to take or destroy a galleon of forty guns, 1708. which he understood by a Swedish ship, that had been trading at Baru, had taken shelter in that island. She was just coming out of port, as the Kingston and Portland appeared; upon which her crew ran her a shore, set her on fire, and blew her up, so that nothing could be got out of her, as the captains affirmed, and, as it appeared to the commodore afterwards, was true. On the 2d of June, the commodore finding his provisions and water short, the wind contrary, and nothing more to be done in those parts, resolved to set the Spanish prisoners a fhore, according to their request, on the island of Baru, and then proceed for Jamaica ; which he performed accordingly, and the Spanish rear-admiral retained, as long as he lived, a grateful sense of the commodore's civility.
On the 8th of July, the Expedition, Kingston, and Vulture fireship, brought the prize safe into Port-Royal harbour (b): here the commodore found the new act of parliament for the distribution of prizes; and though he had before per
(b) The prisoners gave an ac some of the passengers, was all count, that the admiral was a the treasure, which was on board, ship of fixty-four brass guns, with except what other might have fix hundred men, called the St. about them, or were in trunks, Joseph, and had on board, as of which they could give no acsome faid, five millions of pieces count. This is the account, of eight; but, according to o. which the prisoners gave. Sethers, seven millions in gold veral relations published foon afand filver; that the vice-admiral ter that time make the riches of mounted fixty-four brass guns,
the admiral and vice-admiral to and had between four and five have been far greater, the fora hundred men, with four, or, as mer at least thirty, and the latsome said, fix millions of pieces ter twenty millions of pieces of of eight: and that the rear-ad- eight. They all however agree, miral was mounted with four and that the rear-admiral had no retwenty guns, having eleven more gistred money on board. The in the hold, and between three other Spanish ships had little or and four hundred men: but that, no money on board, but were upon some difference between chiefly laden with cocao, as the the admiral and him at Porto- rear-admiral was, and but one of Bello, orders were given, that them was of any confiderable no money should be shipped on force, being of seven hundred board her; so that thirteen chests tuns burden, and having forty of pieces of eight, and fourteen brass guns, and an hundred and pigs or fows of filver, which forty men.
But the two French were privately brought on board ships had about an hundred thou. in the night, and belonged to sand pieces of eight on board.
1708. mitted the failors to plunder as they thought fit, when the
to that act of parliament, and ordered captain Long to de-
Another squadron of the British Aleet, under the command
And it was a particular happiness, that the Spaniards were so weak, as not to be able to take advantage of the naked and unguarded Itate, in which the Portuguese were at that time.
After this large account of foreign affairs, it is time to return to the transactions at home.
In the month of July, an ambassador from the emperor of ambassa- Fez and Morocco arrived in Great-Britain with a present of dor confined,
fix lions for the queen ; but upon his coming to Hammer-
(c) Captain Bridges of the ing fò near the enemy, as to Kingston was dismissed, because keep fight of some of them, he left off chase when within shot when they were engaged on the of the Spanish vice-admiral, 28th in the night; for leaving doubting the pilot's knowledge, off chace the next day, and for and being near the shoal of Sal- shortning fail on the zoth, bemadinas, though the pilot offer- fore he came up fo far with the ed to carry the ship within shoal. Spanish vice-admiral near SalmaCaptain Windsor of the Portiand dinas, as he might have done. was also dismised, for not bear,
go in person to the court of Morocco, and only sent thither," 1708.
About this time an indignity offered in London to count The Muscode Matucof, the Muscovite ambassador, was highly resented, vite ambaffanot only by himself, but likewise by all concerned in the pre
dor arrestedo servation of the rights and privileges of public ministers. Thomas Morton, a laceman in King-street, Covent-Garden, and some other tradesmen, to whom the ambaffador owed several sums of money, amounting in the whole to about three hundred pounds, finding he had taken his audience of leave, and being apprehensive, that he would leave the kingdom without paying his debts, though a merchant in the city, trading to Muscovy, had fet a day for satisfying most of them, held several consultations together, and at last refolved to arrest him ; which was done accordingly, on the 21st of July, in the open street, with several aggravating circumstances. For the ambassador, not knowing at fifit the reason of his being seized, and imaging he was set uport by villains, struggled in his own defence, and was ill-used and overpowered by the bailiffs, who carried him to a spung.' ing-house at the sign of the Black Raven, where he was detained till the earl of Feversham and a merchant of the city had bailed him. The ambassador, incensed at this insult, in violation of the law of nations, applied himself for redress to the government; and the next day wrote a letter to Mr. fecretary Boyle, wherein he urged, “That the queen, who " was so jealous of the respect due to the ambassadors of « crowned heads, and had lo gloriously vindicated the ho
nour of the earl of Manchester, her ambassador at Venice, " and caused a rigorous punishment to be inflicted on the "S officers of the custom-house, some of whom were set in " the pillory, and others condemned to the gallies, only for
insulting the gentlemen of his retinue, could not but most o juftly revenge the affront lately put upon him by a cor
poral punishment. That count Zobor, who was deliversed up to the discretion of the king of Sweden for picking
a quarrel with his envoy, likewife afforded an instance of 5 the satisfaction he required, as being desirous of nothing « with greater earnest, than to avoid all the ill consequences w of this affair. For, in case the criminals were connived
at, under any colour whatsoever, he should be obliged to 5 take other measures, and retire without recredentials, « leaving the whole matter to the management of his Czarith