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their relative fituations?-Juft fo the question ftood with regard to the bank the prefent moment afforded an opportunity of obtaining a renewal of their charter, upon terms which government would be mad to accede to at a fubfequent period; and the advantages to the public, by an immediate pecuniary aid to government, outweighed thofe which might ultimately be obtained by waiting till probably the neceffities of the public would be lefs urgent, and juftified the acceptance of thofe terms on the part of minifters, which, under other circumftances, would be a breach of their duty. He therefore fhould reft fatisfied for the prefent, with moving, that this court fhould confirm the refolution of the court of directors, by which they had agreed to purchafe the renewal of the charter by a loan to government of 3,000,000l. for fix years, without intereft, unless in the mean time the three per cents. rofe to 80; in which cafe they were to be at liberty to call in the whole, or any part, with intereft at five per
The motion having been put and feconded,
Mr. Sanfon rofe to oppofe it. He regretted the abfence of his friend Mr. Hoare, whofe intimate knowledge of whatever related to the concerns of the bank best enabled him to addrefs the proprietors on a fubject like the prefent. He confidered the bargain the directors had made as prodigal on their part, and by no means juftified by the fituation in which the affairs of the bank food at this moment. He would have been better pleased, if, inftead of general affertions, accounts had been laid before the proprietors, by which they might have been enabled to have formed an accurate judgment as to the affairs of the corporation.
Not that he was an advocate for producing accounts to fatisfy idle curiofity upon every trivial occafion; but upon a great and important queftion like the prefent, he thought every proprietor ought to be made acquainted with his real fituation. With regard to the obfervation, that the profpect of the permanency of the charter would operate as a check to that spirit of rivalfhip which had manifefted itfelf by the adoption of other banks, he thought it weak and frivolous. What company could fet up with the view of rivalling the bank of England? Was the obfervation aimed at the Globe Infurance company? Could the rivalflip of fuch a company as that was affect the interest of a bank which was in a manner the great fupport of the nation? He next entered into a history of the origin of the bank, and the circumftances under which its different charters had been granted, and con. cluded by observing, that whatever might be the determination of the court of proprietors, that determination fhould be manifefted, not by a fhow of hands, but by ballot.
Mr. Bradney, after expreffing his fatisfaction at the profperous firuation of the bank, moved an amendment, which, however, in confequence of an obfervation from the governor, he did not perfift in.
Mr. Durand maintained that the prefent measure was unjuft and ruinous, and he would prove it fo from the declarations of the directors themselves, made before the two houfes of parliament. To this effect he referred to the reports of the committees of parliament, wherein the examinations of Mr. Giles and feveral of the directors were stated. It appeared that they had, to certain queftions propofed to them, replied, that if the advances made by the bank
bank of England to government had been repaid, the circumftance relative to the ftoppage of payment in fpecie would have been unneceffary; and he inferred, that if fuch was the cafe, an advance like the prefent one would extend the evil former ones had produced.
Mr. Bofanquet faid, if he thought the prefent advance to government could in the fmalleft degree tend to delay the termination of the reftric tions for payment by the bank in fpecie, he would be one of the last to accede to it; but fure he was it would be attended with no fuch confequence. He obferved that the bank were more peculiarly enabled to make the prefent advance, as they had 3,000,000l. more in hand than at the period when they had made their former advances: this was attributable to the different mode of repaying the fums formerly advanced on the land and malt tax, and which were not repaid till two or three years; but by being now advanced on the credit of fubftituted taxes were repaid again in the course of the current year. He added, in answer to the observation of Mr. Durand, that very shortly after the first restriction as to payment by the bank in fpecie, the directors had transmitted a declaration to go vernment, by which they ftated their readiness and ability to refume their payments in fpecie, whenever the political circumftances of the country rendered it expedient.
Mr. Ingram faid a few words, against the measure.
Lord Kinnaird fupported it, and congratulated the proprietors on the flourishing ftate of the bank.
The governor obferved, if the queftion was meant to be decided by bailot, there must be a requifition to that effect from nine proprietors; they were, however, competent to decide by a flow of hands,
The question was loudly called for and put, when the show of hands in favour of it was nearly unanimous, there being not above four or five against it, and to all appearance between three and four hundred for it.
The court was immediately diffolved.
Admiralty Office, Jan. 11. Extract of a letter from Mr. Robert Hofier, commander of the private schooner of war the Revenge, to Mr. Nepean, dated Viana, Dec. 6.
I have the honour to acquaint you, for the information of their lordships, that, on the 4th inft. at five A. M. in Vigo Bay, I was attacked by four Spanish privateers, two fchooners, a brig, and a lugger, mounting from four to 14 guns. The wind being foutherly, I kept up a running fight till I got clear of the islands to the northward, which lafted about fifteen minutes, when one of the fchooners, having loft her mainmaft, gave up the chace, and the other three immediately hauled their wind. Having fuffered very much in our rigging and fails, it was not in my power to chace them to windward; I therefore made fail to the N. W. At two P. M. faw a schooner to the weftward; gave chace; at three got clofe alongfide; faw the had Spanish colours flying; defired them to ftrike; on making no anfwer, gave them our broad fide, which they returned; and a smart fire was kept up on both fides about an hour, when he blew up clofe alongfide. Our boat being very much thattered, it was fome time before I could get her ready to hoift out; and I am forry to fay, I was enabled to fave but eight of the crew, who informed me, fhe was the new pri
vateer Brilliant, Ramo de Caftillo mafter, of eight guns, fix and 12 pounders; had, when the began the action, 63 men; had failed from Pontevedra that morning on a cruize off Oporto, which I am happy in having prevented, as there are at this time 50 fail of veffels off that bar, which cannot get in owing to bad weather.
Admiralty-Office, Jan. 11. Copy of a letter from vice-admiral lord Keith, commander-in-chief of his majesty's fhips and veffels in the Mediterranean, to Evan Nepean, efq. dated Queen Charlotte, at Gibraltar, Dec. 22. SIR,
In juftice to the intrepid behaviour of lieutenant Bainbridge, I cannot refift reporting, for their lordships' information, that laft evening an English cutter (the lady Nelfon) was feen off Cabreta Point, furrounded by French privateers and gun-veffels, all firing. I ordered the boats from the Queen Charlotte and Emerald to row towards the enemy, in hopes it might encourage the cutter to refift until fhe could get under our guns; but fhe was boarded and taken in tow by two of the French privateers; in which fituation lieutenant Bainbridge, in the Queen Charlotte's barge, with 16 men, ran alongside the cutter, and, after a fharp conflict, carried her, taking feven French officers, and 27 men, prifoners; fix or feven more were killed, or knocked overboard in the fcuffle; the privateers cut the tow-ropes, and made off clofe under the guns of Algaziras, purfued and attacked by lord Cochrane in the Queen Charlotte's cutter, which had by this time got up. Had not the dark nefs of the night prevented the boats acting in concert, all the privateers would have been taken. Lieutenant
Bainbridge is feverely wounded on the head by a ftroke from a fabre, and flightly in other places; but I truft he is not in danger. KEITH. Admiralty-Office, Jan. 14. This gazette records the capture of three French privateers, and one Spanish, viz. Le Renard, of 14 guns and 65 men, by the Nemefis, captain Baker; Le Modéré, of four guns and 42 men, by the Nile (third) lugger; L'Avanture, of 14 guns and 42 men, by the Ariftocrat, lieutenant Wray; and of the Santa Levirata y 'Animas, of two guns and 38 men, by the Caftor, captain E. L. Gower.Alfo the retaking of the Atlas Britifh brig (prize to Le Renard), by the Savage.
17. At ten at night the whole nave of Chelmsford church fell in with a great crafh: fortunately no perfon was paffing by at the time. The ruins feemed to threaten the chancel, by falling in it. An infcription in white ftone Gothic letters, nine inches long, inlaid in fints and hard mortar, in relievo, on the outfide of the wall of the fouth aifle, juft under the battlements, given in Morant, II. p. 7, and in Camden's Britannia, II. pl. 1. fets forth, that this building was erected, by the contributions of the townfmen, as the former, 1424, as the latter, 1480. It was a ftately building, with N. and S. aifles to the nave and chancel, and a lofty W. tower, with a large lantern and fhaft, leaded, and a ring of bells. In a N. chapel of the nave was a parochial library, and on the N. fide of the chancel the buryingplace of the Mildmay family. The roof of the nave was ornamented with the arms of the feveral benefactors.
Admiralty-Office, Jan. 18. A letter from admiral fir Hyde Parker,
Parker, with much commendation, introduces the following: 6IR, Echo, at fea, O. 18, 1799. I beg leave to inform you, that, on the 14th inftant, I chaced into Laguadille, the N.W. end of Porto Rico, a brig; feeing feveral vetfels in the bay, fome of them loaded, on the 15th I fent the pinnace and jolly-boat, under the command of lieutenants Napier and Rorie; they arrived too late to attempt boarding the veffels at anchor, but had the good fortune to capture a Spanish brig from Camana (on the Main), bound to Old Spain, laden with cocoa and indigo, and having on board two four pounders and 20 men. On the 16th, I fent the two boats under the command of lieutenant Napier and Mr. Wood (the boatswain), to cut out what they could from the bay. They arrived at the anchorage about two in the morning, and were hailed from the brig we chaced in; they perceived her to be armed, and on the lookout for them; moored about half a cable's length from the fhore, with her broadfide to the fea; protected by two field pieces, one 18-pounder, and fome fmaller carriage guns, all placed on the beach. The boats did not hesitate, but boarded her in the bow; the Frenchmen and Spaniards (about 30 in number, all upon deck, with matches lighted, and guns primed, every way pre pared for action) made the best of their way down the hatchways. By the time the cables were cut, the guns on the beach opened their fire upon the boats. The third fhot, I am forry to fay, fank the pinnace, while he was ahead towing the jolly-boat. The brig was feveral times hulled, but a light breeze favouring, the foon got out of gunhot. I have every reafon to be pleafed with the conduct of licute
nant Napier and those under him. Had I known what they had to contend with, I thould not have confidered myfelt juftitied in fending fo fall a force; luckily not a man killed or wounded; the only loss is the boat, with the arms and ammunition. The brig mounts 12 fourpounders; had 30 men on board; is a French letter of marque, com manded by citizen Pierre Martin, enfeigne de vailleau; is coppered, and a very faft failer; was to fail in two days from Curacoa, there to be fitted out as a privateer; fhe is Amnerican built, and has a valuable cargo on board: the captain of her was on thore. ROB. PHILPOT. Sir Hyde Parker, &c.
I have a peculiar fatisfaction in communicating to you, for the information of my lords commiflioners of the admiralty, that his majefty's late flip Hermione is again reftored to his navy, by as daring and gallant an enterprife as is to be found in our naval annals, under the command of captain Hamilton himfelf, with the boats of the Surprize only. Captain Hamilton's own letter, with the reports accompanying it (copies of which are énclofed), will fuficiently explain to their lardfhips the detail of this fervice, and the bravery with which the attack was fupported, and leaves me only one obfervation to make on the very gallant action, which
adds infinite honour to captain Hamilton, as an officer, for his con. ception of the fervice he was about to undertake. This was, fir, his difpofition for the attack; which was, that a number of chofen men, to the amount of 50, with himself, fhould board, and the remainder, in the boats, to cut the cables, and take the fhip in tow. From this manœuvre he had formed the idea, that, while he was difputing for the poffeffion of the fhip, fhe was approaching the Surprize, who was lying clofe into the harbour, and, in cafe of being beat out of the Hermione, he would have an opportunity of taking up the conteft upon more favourable terms. To the fteady execution of these orders was owing the fuccefs of this bold and daring undertaking, which must ever have rank among the foremost of the many gallant actions executed by our navy this war. I find the Hermione has had a thorough repair, and is in complete order; I have therefore ordered her to be furveyed and valued, and fhall commiffion her, as foon as the reports are made to me from the officers of the yard, by the name of the Retaliation.
H. PARKER. Surprize, Port Royal Harbour, SIR, Jamaica, Nov. 1. The honour of my country, and the glory of the British navy, were ftrong inducements for me to make an attempt to cut out, by the boats of his majesty's fhip under my command, his majesty's late fhip Hermione, from the harbour of Porto Cavallo, where there are about 200 pieces of cannon mounted on the batteries. Having well obferved her fituation on the 22d and 23d ult. and the evening of the 24th being favourable, I turned the hands up, to acquaint the officers and fhip's company of my intentions to
lead them to the attack, which was handfomely returned with three cheers, and that they would all follow to a man; this greatly increased my hopes, and I had little doubt of fucceeding: the boats, containing 100 men, including officers, at half paft 12, on the morn ng of the 25th (after having beat the launch of the fhip, which carried a 24-pounder and 20 men, and receiving several guns and fmall arms from the frigate), boarded; the forecastle was taken poffeffion of without much refiftance; the quarter-deck difputed the point a quarter of an hour, where a dreadful carnage took place; the main-deck held out much longer, and with equal flaughter; nor was it before both cables were cut, fail made on the fhip, and boats a-head to tow, that the main-deck could be called ours; they laft of all retreated to the 'tween decks, and continued firing till their ammunition was expended; then, and not until then, did they cry for quarter. At two o'clock the Hermione was pletely ours, being out of gun-fhot from the fort, which had for fome time kept up a tolerably good fire. From the captain, Don Romond de Chalas, I am informed the was nearly ready for fea, mounting 44 guns, with a fhip's company of 321 officers and failors, 56 foldiers, and 15 artillerymen on board. Every officer and man on this expedition behaved with an uncommon degree of valour and exertion; but I confider it particularly my duty to mention the very gallant conduct, as well as the aid and affiftance, at a particular crifis, I received from Mr. John M'Mullen, furgeon and volunteer,and Mr. Maxwell, gunner, even after the latter was dangerously wounded. As the frigate was the particular object of your order of the 17th of September, I have thought