JOHN PAUL JONES: BONHOMME RICHARD, 1779
Following the famous "Whitehaven Invasion" in April 1778, local newspapers paid very close attention to the activities of John Paul Jones. Here is his next and most famous adventure, aboard the Bonhomme Richard, as reported by newspapers in Whitehaven (the Cumberland Pacquet, with occasional contributions from the monthly Cumberland Magazine) and Newcastle upon Tyne (the Newcastle Courant). Because reports took days or weeks to reach places like Whitehaven, occasionally giving the impression that some events happened in the wrong order, I have presented everything on a single page, colour coded by themes:
France to Ireland Scotland North-east England
The Battle of Flamborough Head
The great escape
|Cumberland Pacquet, 22 June 1779:|
A gentleman lately returned hither from France, says, that Paul Jones has the command of an old 64 gun ship, and two smaller vessels are to accompany him on some expedition. Upwards of 300 British seamen had entered with him, and the gentleman further adds, that on the road between L'Orient and Calais, he met several others going to join him.---Jones will undoubtedly be ready to sail by this time, whatever his destination may be.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 13 July 1779:|
As every thing relative to the man who undertook the infernal business of destroying this town must be an object of notice for a time, we present our readers with the following copy of a letter from Paul Jones, the original of which is in the hands of a gentleman in this town.
"Brest, Nov. 30, 1778.
Inclosed I have the honour to send you the certificates which desired- I beg you to assure the other Gentlemen, whose hard fortune it is to be with you at present prisoners of war, that the memorial which has been entrusted to my care shall be enforced with every argument in my power, and I most earnestly hope that the exchange of prisoners will very soon be happily effected. In a few days I may perhaps see the Commissioners.--- In my absence Father John will forward letters or render any other services in his power.--- and as it is my duty so it will afford me real satisfaction if I can in any respect facilitate your exchange or render your captivity tolerable. I am respectfully,
Gentlemen, Your very humble Servant,
It is adressed to Captains William Moor, Archibald Borland, and John Douglas, prisoners of war on board the Brigantine the Patience, in the road of Brest. Per favour of the Rev. Father John.
It will be observed, that sentiments which would do honour to many good characters are very happily expressed in the above short epistle: but the behaviour of the writer differed widely from them, and affords a striking instance of the meanness to which a sensible man (such he must be allowed) can immediately stoop on any occasion, when he has abandoned the first principles of moral rectitude. By Jones's order, or through his neglect, the people who were so unfortunate as to fall into his hands, experience all the rigour of a long captivity which can be conceived, without actual cruelty.
The Patience, (Capt. Moor) of this port, which was taken by Jones, as formerly mentioned, was moored in Brest Road the 12th of May 1778, and 175 prisoners put on board her, 93 of whom were confined in her (without ever going on shore) until the 11th of April 1779, when they were removed to the Alliance, an American frigate of 36 guns, and (with four others) carried to Nantz, where they were put on board the Milford carteel, from which they were landed at Plymouth the 6th of last month. From the inclemency of the weather, and laying in an open road-steed, they suffered greatly, four or five different times, being for near 48 hours without any provisions.- The vessel provided for Jones, mounted 44 guns, but can fight 25 on a side; there are also two cutters or schooners to accompany him, and he was to have from seven to eight hundred men; amongst whom (it is a melancholy truth) were a great number of exchanged men. Jones was himself at Nantz, engaging seamen as soon as the exchange was agreed on. His destination was a secret, but from appearances this quarter was strongly suspected.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 31 August 1779:|
from Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 28 August 1779:
Early yesterday morning an express arrived at the Castle from Kerry, mentioning that 4 or 5 ships were in Kenmare river, and were supposed to be commanded by PAUL JONES.
Yesterday afternoon the following letter was sent express from Mr Smith, the pier-master at Workington, addressed to William Hicks, Esq; or in his absence to the commanding officer of his Majesty's forces at Whitehaven.
Last night's tide brought into this port the Unity, Joseph Westray, master, in 24 Hours from Drogheda; an hour before he left that port, he was called to by the Collector of Customs there, who had that moment received an express from his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, informing him that Paul Jones went on shore the 24th inst. in a boat with 7 men at Ballanaskilling, in the county of Kerry, and that he had a force with him consisting of one ship of 40 guns, one of 36 guns, one of 32 guns, a cutter of 18 guns, and a brig of 14 guns, and that the land forces amounted to 2000 men on board the said ships. The Collector gave Capt. Westray his Excellency's letter to read, and the above were the substance of its contents, if this be of any use it answers the end of, Sir, your most obedient servant,
Other accounts add, that some of Jones's people deserted from him, and gave the above information of his force, and that the ships stood off, for some other part of the Irish coast.
The last Dublin papers describe that city and other parts of the kingdom as being in the greatest commotion on receiving the above intelligence, which they only consider as the fore-runner of a real invasion.
Nothing is neglected that can possibly be effected by government to put that kingdom into a state of defence. Vessels are, it is said, actually stationed off the Saltees, the Old Head of Kinsale, and Cape Clear, to give the first intelligence of the approach of a hostile fleet; besides which, all the port surveyors throughout the kingdom have received positive orders from the commissioners of his Majesty's revenue not to absent themselves on any account whatever from their stations at this critical time.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 7 September 1779:|
The latest accounts received which may be depended upon, say that the squadron under the command of Paul Jones consists of the following ships, viz. Le Bon Homme, of 40 guns; Alliance, 36; Pallas, 32; Revenge, 12; Le Grand, 14; and a large cutter of 18 guns. The number of men, including soldiers and marines, are 2000. They sailed from Brest the 1st of August, and have on board a very large quantity of combustibles. The intention of Jones's expedition is to scour the channel, and, it is said, he has already taken four vessels. The purport of the several expresses lately received by General Cunningham at the camp near the city of Corke, is, that on the morning of the 24th ult. seven men landed near Trallee, on the river Kilmare, from an open boat, who say they escaped the preceding night from a ship belonging to Jones's squadron, which they describe as above. Seventeen men also landed at ten o'clock the same day, supposed to be in search of the others. When the last express was forwarded for Corke, the ships were laying at the Shellicks, in full view, and the country in the greatest consternation.
The following is copied from the Cork Evening Post of last Tuesday.
Copy of a letter, Valencia (county of Kerry) Aug 23, 1779.
I take this opportunity of informing you by express, the critical situation of our coast; as per affidavit made by seven seamen who deserted in a boat from Commodore Paul Jones's ship, who say they sailed the 1st inst. from Port l'Orient, in number six sail, viz. [Here follow the names of the vessels, &c. Jones's ship has 600 men on board] They had 2000 sea and land forces with combustibles, prepared for setting fire to ships or towns, but could not tell their destination; from their report, we suppose it to be Dingle, Limerick, or Galway; they were becalmed off the Skelligs, and this boat was put out to keep the ship's head off shore, which opportunity they took of making their escape, as the ships could not bring their guns to bear on the boat.- Fourteen men more have since landed in search of the above, and as the country was not prepared to receive them, they made their escape.- They have given us the names of several prizes taken by them, which ships I know, and I give it as my opinion, that a frigate and a 50 gun ship, would give a good account of them; the English sailors on board were prisoners taken out of a French prison. You may depend on the truth of this, and am, Sir, Your's,
(Signed) PETER BERRELL
To Mr John Connell, Cork
|Cumberland Pacquet, 14 September 1779:|
We are advised by way of Dublin, that the latest account to be depended on concerning Paul Jones, is:
That on the 26th ult. his squadron was blown out of Ballynskelligs, by a violent gale of wind at N.E. which obliged him to quit that bay with such precipitation, that a long boat belonging to one of the frigates, with a lieutenant of marines and 13 hands, were left behind and captured by the Kerry legion.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 21 September 1779:|
from a London paper of 11 September:
The Mayflower, Capt. Hambley, bound to Oporto, is taken by Paul Jones
from a London paper of 16 September:
From particular authority we hear that Admiral Ross's squadron is destined for Ireland, to convoy our Indiamen from Limerick into the channel, after which he will proceed to the coast of France on a very important expedition. Should they fall in with Paul Jones, it is to be hoped he will receive the punishment due as a pirate for his daring depredations on our trade in those seas.
It is said Sir John Lockhart Ross's expedition is in consequence of our receiving intelligence that there have sailed several more ships from Brest to join Paul Jones, with troops on board, in order to attempt a descent in the Shannon, and make a bold push to take all the East Indiamen lying there; but it is hoped when Sir John's squadron comes along side of them, they will soon give a good account of them, and bring that traitor Jones to England, that he may suffer condign punishment for the many enormous crimes he has committed against the state that cherished him.
from an unknown source:
Some people escaped from a French prison report that Paul Jones was in Brest only about a fortnight ago, where he had arrived from a cruize, and had several prisoners along with him.
from Tralee, 31 August:
Commodore Jones's squadron has quitted this coast. Twelve of his crew were committed to gaol last Friday, who were apprehended when they were pursuing the first seven who escaped from him. They were all unarmed. Two of them were Lieutenants, in his squadron; one of whom (Wall) is a Kerry man.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 28 September 1779:|
Accounts have been received that the homeward bound ships from the Baltic belonging to this port [Whitehaven] and Workington (under convoy of the Serapis, as mentioned in this paper of the 14th inst.) are put into Norway.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 28 September 1779:|
The following may be depended on as an authentic account of the operations (on Friday se'enight [17 Sep]) of a squadron of three ships of force, the largest of which was frigate built, and appeared to mount 40 or 50 guns.- "Early in the morning they were observed nearly opposite to Leith, above the island of Inchkeith, on the north side, about four miles from Leith. A swift sailing cutter was sent out immediately to recconoitre. The cutter fell in with them, and found herself within pistol shot of a French fifty gun ship. The cutter immediately tacked and fell in with a prize they had taken in the mouth of the Frith, which she retook, but was obliged to abandon her, by a French 24 gun frigate, which immediately made up to her. A boy, however, very spiritedly jumped from the prize on board the cutter, which immediately brought him to Leith. --- The boy was examined by the Lord Provost, Capt. Napier, &c. He says they put four soldiers, four men, and two officers aboard the prize, all of whom spoke English: that the squadron consists of a fifty gun ship, a 24 gun frigate, and a brig of ten guns. The crew said they determined to come up to Leith road, but they sail ill, and on Friday morning the wind blew very violently from the South-west, which drove them down the Frith a good way below the island of Inchkeith. The commander of the 50 gun ship is said to be a Scotsman, and to know the coast. Seven sail originally left Dunkirk; these three parted lately from the rest in the north seas in a gale of wind.
Every possible means is taken to prevent any attempt to land or burn the shipping. Three batteries are erected towards the Citadel and Newhaven, which mount 30 guns, besides carronades, howitzers, &c. The four incorporations of Leith have petitioned the commander in chief for 100 stand of arms for each incorporation, which have been sent down from the Castle; and parties of military and seamen are stationed upon the coast at proper places." [a reworded version of this also appears in the Cumberland Magazine, September 1779]
|Newcastle Courant, 25 September 1779:|
[with significantly different points from the same narrative in the Cumberland Pacquet on 28 September]
Several letters from Edinburgh and Leith, of the 19th inst. give an account of the appearance of five sail of French ships in the Firth, which they supposed to be the noted Paul Jones. And on Sunday morning they appeared off Tynemouth bar, when they took the Speedwell sloop, John Watson, master, with timber from Hull for this port, who gives the following account [C.P. "who made oath to the said fact thereof, before the Mayor of Newcastle, on Wednesday"]:-
That on Sunday last about four leagues off Tynemouth bar he was taken by a two deck'd ship carrying 44 18-pounders, commanded by Paul Jones; a barque carrying 34 nine-pounders, commanded by Denis Nicholas Colineau, and a snow carrying 14 nine-pounders, knows not the commander's name, nor the name of Jones's ship; the name of the barque is the Pallas, the name of the snow is the Vengeance. Says that the Pallas was chiefly concerned in taking his sloop, and also in taking a Chatham brig called the Union, just about the same time and place; that Jones and the commander of the Pallas disagreed about the said sloop and brig; that Jones proposed to make the brig a fireship, and to send her into Shields harbour, which the commander of the Pallas would not agree to; that the commander of the Pallas proposed to ransom the sloop, as she had a woman on board big with child, which Jones would not agree to, saying his orders were to ransom none, but to burn, sink, or destroy all; but the next day about 12 leagues off the land, between Scarbro' and Filay bay, having been carried thither, the commander of the Pallas ransomed the sloop for 300£. and took the mate as hostage; and at the same time and place they sunk [C.P. "plundered and sunk"] the brig; and Watson believes they would not have ransomed his sloop, but would have sunk her too, if he had not had the woman on board.- Jones had one or two, and the Pallas four or five [C.P. "three or four"] English masters on board (besides a number of other prisoners) whose ships they had taken and destroyed. Watson says he understood Jones to be the Commodore, and that he had 200 marines on board. The commander of the Pallas, by the ransom bill, stiles himself thus: Denis Nicholas Colineau, of Kologuen [C.P. "Cotineau, of Keloguen"], Captain of a man of war in the service of the United States of America, and Commander of the American frigate the Pallas.
The sailors belonging to those three ships of war, appeared to Watson to be chiefly Frenchmen, but several of them spoke good English, and those he supposed to be Americans. They hoisted and fought under English colours, but Watson saw they had both American and Swedish colours.
The Prospect of 18 guns, Captain Cram, of this port, a light collier, on her first voyage from London, was becalmed near Jones's ship for some time, when he made preparations to engage if attacked, and asking the crew if they would stand by him, they all declared to the last, and one of them said, he would rather have a 36 pounder in his guts, than go into a French prison. But a fresh breeze springing up, he made into port, and arrived safe.
A letter from Sunderland of the 21st instant says,
"On Sunday morning five ships of war were perceived to the N.E. of this place, with two sloops and a brig & their prizes. The largest ship came within a league of Souter Point a-head of the fleet, with his main-top-mast struck for a decoy, as if carried away. He thereon threw out a signal for three of his smallest ships (two snows and a brig) to chase some loaded colliers which had sailed from Shields that morning; but they being a good way a-head, and having a favourable wind, they got safe away. The brig and one of the snows then stood off, and the other snow standing in shore, his Majesty's cutter the Ferret coming from the southward in shore, stood for the snow, seeing her an enemy, but a coble being sent off with a letter to the Captain of the cutter, to acquaint him that it was Jones's squadron that were off, (we being persuaded that it was him from the description of his ships, and the numbers of men we discovered by glasses to be aboard them) which reaching him in time, he stood in and escaped. The Captain of the cutter took the two large ships at a distance to be government armed ships. They all went off in the evening, standing S.E. and have not since appeared. The regulars and militia in quarters here were under arms all night, and were divided into parties along the shore, to be ready in case they should return and attempt to land. Next morning the Emerald frigate of 32 guns came into the roads from the southward."
Mess. E. Linshill, J. Marshall, J. Wall, J. Young, and J. Smith, of Sunderland, dispatched an express to Stockton, to acquaint them and alarm the coast of Paul Jones's squadron being off there, and was to all appearance proceeding southward.
A letter from Scarbro', dated Sept. 20, says,
"Yesterday a ship of war, a frigate, a sloop, and cutter, appeared about a mile off the pier, supposed to be French. They fired at several ships, took two, and obliged two others to run into the harbour, after damaging their rigging and sails; they then steered their course northward."
[The Cumberland Magazine, September 1779, has a version of this letter, identical up to "run into the harbour", but omitting the rest and continuing instead as follows (see Cumberland Pacquet scoop, 28 September):] It was their intention to land here last Tuesday; but by our firing a gun, they thought we were alarmed, and therefore desisted. They are now about 4 leagues S.E. from us, with the wind at South, and the military, &c. are all under arms, expecting their landing.
The Merchant and Content, armed ships on this station, the Emerald frigate, and Ferret cutter, being now at sea, it is hoped they may collect and act in conjunction, and give a good account of this Rover.
A gentleman who passed thro' Beverley on Wednesday, says, that the drums of the Northumberland militia were beating to arms, and going to march to Bridlington, to protect that place.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 28 Sep 1779 [a slightly different ( ! ) version of the above]:|
A gentleman who passed through Beverley on Wednesday, says, that the drums of the Cumberland militia were beating to arms, and going to march to Bridlington, in consequence of 700 men, from Paul Jones's squadron, having landed at that place.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 28 Sep 1779 [a Cumbrian scoop]:|
The following is a copy of a letter from a Captain in the Cumberland Militia to his brother in this town [Whitehaven], dated at Scarborough the 24th inst.
"The inclosed will tell you that the villainous Paul Jones is here upon this coast, and at this moment we expect his landing, being all under arms, and shall remain so all night. He is about four leagues S.E. from us with the wind at south, and a flood tide; I think he may fetch this by twelve o'clock. His intention was to land last Tuesday, but by the firing of a gun, thought we were alarmed, and therefore desisted.
"East Riding of Yorkshire. The Examination of Thomas Berry, born at North Shields, Northumberland, taken upon oath before me Humphrey Osbaldiston Esq. one of his Majesty's justices of the peace, &c. this 24th of Sept. 1779.
Who says he was taken about 18 months ago in the Hawk letter of marque, and carried into Port L'Orient. In hopes of getting his liberty, he entered 6 months since on board Paul Jones's ship Le Bonne Homme Richard of 40 guns and about 350 men. They sailed from L'Orient about two months ago; their force consisting of the said ship, the Alliance, an American frigate of 36 guns, the Pallas of 32 guns, the Vengeance brig of 12 guns, the Grenville of 12 guns, a cutter of 18 guns, which last is supposed to have been taken on the coast of Ireland. They sailed from L'Orient to the Western part of Ireland; from thence to the North of Scotland, where they took a valuable prize bound to Quebec, laden with military stores, and another prize, a letter of marque from Liverpool, also two other prizes, and several colliers which they sunk near Whitby.
Jones's squadron has been six days between Berwick and the Humber, and his declared intention is to make a descent somewhere on the coast; on Tuesday last he ordered all his oars to be mustered and the boats to be ready for hoisting out on Wednesday morning. The Alliance and Pallas rejoined Jones on Thursday evening off Flamborough Head; about 7 o'clock they met with the East-country fleet, convoyed by a 40-gun ship, which engaged Jones alone for 4 hours, till Jones's fire ceased; being several times on fire and very near sinking. He called to the Alliance for assistance, which came up and gave the King's ship a broad-side, who being totally disabled, struck. Jones's officers called to the Alliance to hoist out their boats, as their ship was sinking, in one of which the deponent and six others made their escape to Filey."
A letter of the same date says it is the Serapis which struck to Jones, and that the Countess of Scarborough armed ship of 18 guns was also taken.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 28 Sep 1779:|
Jones is reported to have captured upwards of forty vessels this cruize.
|Cumberland Magazine, September 1779 [odd that this major news did not appear in the weekly papers...]:|
Hull, September 23.
Three sail of French ships of war, comanded by Paul Jones, entered this harbour, and destroyed 16 sail of light vessels.
|Newcastle Courant, 2 October 1779:|
[this isn't exactly news, and most of it isn't exactly true, but it reflects the way Jones was presented in Britain at the time]
MEMOIRS of the celebrated PAUL JONES.
THIS now American Commodore, and terror of the Irish seas, is, by birth, a Scotchman, and is said never to have disgraced his country in one single instance of being too nice and delicate in the means of promoting his interests. His outset was a cabbin boy, when by degrees, he got to be master of a Scotch trader, and in that capacity made several voyages to the West Indies. Whilst he was on this trade, the following anecdote is told of him, which will mark the character of the man much better than more verbose descriptions:
There was on board his ship a carpenter put in by one of his owners, a man of integrity and knowledge in his business. With him Paul could never agree; the carpenter was a check upon the Captain; and the Captain knowing he had a superior interest with the owners, would not venture to discharge him, but plotted the following manoeuvre in order to make him discharge himself.
As the carpenter was, in one of the hot days of summer, lying fast asleep upon the deck, Paul anointed his hair pretty plentifully with turpentine; after which he laid a train of gun-powder at some distance, which setting fire to the carpenter instantly bounced up, and in the confusion, which must appear to a man wakened out of his sleep under such alarming circumstances, jumped over-board, and was never more heard of.
Some of the sailors, however, observing this horrid action, lodged examinations against him on his arrival in Scotland; but Paul, being good at manoeuvring, so contrived it, that on his trial no evidence appeared, and he was of course acquitted.
On the breaking out of the American war, he offered his services to those States, and was accepted; here he shewed such courage and dexterity, that he was soon intrusted with the command of a little fleet, which have been very detrimental to the trade of this country. During the course of this service, he paid a visit to Lord Selkirk, whilst that nobleman was from home, and there plundered his house of plate, and many valuable articles, to a considerable amount.
Paul, after this plunder, put into one of the ports of France, and immediately wrote up an account of the particulars to Dr Franklyn; but that honest statesman, so far from applauding the conduct of Jones in thus attacking the private property of a nobleman, condemned the measure, and immediately told him, he must make restitution. Paul made a virtue of necessity, and pretending to be governed entirely by the recollection of his own errors, wrote to Lord Selkirk, condemning the rashness of the action, and begging his Lordship to accept his plate back again, as a mark of his contrition.
Lord Selkirk, with a very peculiar delicacy, refused the plate on these terms, but wrote him word, as it had been in his family for a long time, he would esteem it a favour, if, when it was put up to auction, he would buy it in for him. Paul forwarded Lord Selkirk's letter to Dr Franklyn, who, not to be out-done in delicacy, took care to have few bidders for the plate, and had it all bought in at a very low price for Lord Selkirk, to whom he forwarded it by the first opportunity.
Paul, soon after strengthened by a few more ships, disdained the plunder of individuals, and fglew at nobler game; he now cruizes in the Irish Channel as an American Commodore, and has taken several ships of property in this department; where, to the scandal of our naval government, he has been suffered to plunder with impunity for several months, to the terror of the inhabitants of the western coasts of Ireland, and the actual loss of a considerable quantity of private property.
He is between 40 and 50 years of age, of a vigorous seasoned constitution, not very nice in his morals, or refined in his understanding, but made up of much cunning and knowledge of the world. To these he is hazardous and enterprising in his temper, and if not speedily cut off, may prove a thorn in the commerce of this country.
|Newcastle Courant, 2 October 1779:|
Another letter from Hull, dated Sept. 26, says, "Paul Jones appeared a little to the northward of the Spurn, with English colours flying, and made signals for pilots, when two boats immediately put off, expecting a good job. One of the pilots went on board Jones's ship; the other was put into a light collier belonging to Sunderland, just taken, with 8 French, Americans, and English, of Jones's squadron, to take care of her till morning, when they intended to plunder and sink her, as they had done 30 vessels since they left France; but the pilot and some others being tired of the service, made the remainder drunk, sent them on shore by their own desire, brought the ship into the Humber, and she is now in our dock. [up to here also in Cumberland Pacquet, 5 Oct] We are this day (Sunday) at work in mounting 28 pieces of cannon, viz. 20 eighteen-pounders, the rest of a smaller size. The Marquis of Rockingham has been here some days, and has had several meetings with the gentlemen of the town, respecting its defenceless state.- A man who escap'd from Jones's ship has made oath before the Mayor, that Jones stood on the quarter-deck with a brace of pistols, and shot three of his own men during the action, in which he had 70 men killed. The Baltic fleet passed Whitby on Friday, and it was expected would get into Shields that night. The first westerly wind will, 'tis hoped, bring them into Hull."
Extract of a letter from Bridlington, Sept. 28.
"The following fact is not more extraordinary than true:- When Paul Jones's squadron appeared off Bridlington Quay, and had actually threatened the town, and shipping which had sheltered themselves in the harbour, amounting to near 40 sail of colliers, the masters were requested, for the security of both, to mount their carriage cannon on the pier, which might have been done very easily, as there were upwards of 200 sailors ready to execute the work instantly; but not one captain, except Capt. Greathead of the Kitty, would lift a hand. He alone got his cannon mounted with the greatest expedition, and if the rest had done the same, 40 or 50 guns might have been mounted, and breasted so as to have made a compleat battery."
A letter from Beverley, dated Sept. 26, says, "The two companies of Northumberland militia, which marched from hence to Bridlington on Wednesday afternoon, returned hither early in Friday morning."
It is with pleasure we inform the public, that the utility of the scheme adopted and encouraged by some noblemen and gentlemen of the county of Northumberland, for watching and guarding the coast of the said county from the insults or invasion of an enemy, has been fully manifested during the time of the noted Paul Jones's late cruizing on the said coast.- From the variety and continuance of the signals employed on this occasion, a speedy communication was kept up along the coast, and most probably conduced to prevent that daring adventurer from landing, or doing any mischief to the inhabitants.
|Newcastle Courant, 2 October 1779:|
Extract of a letter from Scarborough, Sept 24.
"Monday morning Paul Jones's squadron appeared off here, and has taken, sunk, and burnt several vessels. He intended landing here, Bridlington, Hull, and Flamborough; but the sea running very high at times, and finding the whole coast prepared to receive him, he desisted, though not without having put 300 men into boats with every preparation for the purpose. Yesterday a fleet from the Baltic appeared off here, under convoy of the Serapis of 44 guns, and the Countess of Scarborough armed ship; Jones with his fleet lay then off Flamborough Head, which the Serapis perceiving, threw out signals for the ships under her convoy to make for a port; part of them came in here, and the others run for Shields. About six o'clock in the evening, three of his ships of greatest force bore down upon and attacked our two ships, the action continued four hours without intermission, and dreadful it was to behold: it happened about three or four leagues from our castle, and the night being remarkably clear, we could easily count every gun that was fired."
The Serapis man of war lost her main mast, bow-sprit, and mizzen top-mast before she struck, and the Countess of Scarborough made an exceeding good defence against one of the 32 gun frigates. The enemy's 44 gun ship was not in the action, and the Serapis struck to Jones's ship and the other 32 gun frigate.
|Newcastle Courant, 2 October 1779:|
A letter from Hull, dated Sept. 26, which may be depended on, says, "A little past five this afternoon an express arrived from Mr Foster of Bridlington, to the Mayor of this place, which relates, that between eight and nine this morning Paul Jones, with his fleet, was seen off Flamborough-Head, steering to the northward; that he was scarcely out of sight, when three frigates, two large arm'd ships, and two sloops appeared there, (sent by the Admiralty) who immediately pursued the same course after him, and we are in the most sanguine expectation of hearing an account of this vile fellow Jones and his squadron being taken. The York regiment of militia, quartered here, are in high spirits."
The ships gone in pursuit of Jones's squadron are the Jason and Winchelsea of 32 guns each, Cerberus of 28, Pelican and Syren of 24, Scarborough of 20, and Fury sloop of 18.
A Danish vessel which arrived at Shields on Thursday, says, that he fell in with Jones's fleet, some of them with jury masts, and sailing very slowly; that a few hours afterwards he met with the above ships, and acquainted them of it, on which they set every sail to come up with them.
Yesterday a report was current that a ship had arrived at Blyth from Hamburgh, the master of which gave an account that he saw the above ships engaged, and that the whole of Jones's fleet were taken.
A letter by yesterday's post from London, says, the Edgar, Capt. Elliott, of 74 guns, is certainly sail'd in quest of Jones. He destroyed Thurot last war, and hope he will also give a good account of Jones.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 5 October 1779:|
A letter from Bridlington, dated Sept. 28 says, "Nine sail of frigates and armed ships passed by this place on Sunday [26 Sep], and this day (Tuesday) another fleet also passed by."
A letter from Hull, dated Sept. 28 says, "This morning we had the agreeable news, by the Captain of a Danish ship, that he passed Jones's fleet, and about three hours after he met an English squadron in pursuit of him."
The following ships appeared off Scarborough on Tuesday morning, in pursuit of Jones's squadron, viz. The Prudent of 64 guns, Capt. Burnett; Amphitrite, of 28 guns, Capt. Bryne; Pegasus, of 28 guns, Capt. Bazely; Medea, of 28 guns, Capt. Montague; and the Champion, of 24 guns, Capt. Hamilton. Capt. Bazely of the Pegasus, went on shore at Scarborough, where he stopped a short time, in order to obtain information respecting Jones. --Besides the above ships which followed Jones's squadron to the northward, the Jupiter, Ambuscade, Apollo, Crescent, and Milford, are, by order of the Admiralty, sailed Westward in search of him.
|Newcastle Courant, 9 October 1779:|
Extract of a letter from Bridlington, Sept. 28.
"On Tuesday the 21st instant, about eleven o'clock at night, the piquet guard of a detachment of the Northumberland militia gave the alarm of several light colliers being chased and fired at in the Bay by Paul Jones's fleet; upon which the drums beat to arms, and in less than a quarter of an hour both officers and men were upon the pier, eager for action in case he should attempt to land; and from that time lay every night upon their arms till Paul Jones's fleet left this coast. Too much cannot be said of Major Surtees, Capt. Wood, and the other officers, for the strict attentions they paid the whole time Jones was on the coast; their steady adherence to military discipline has endeared them very much to the inhabitants of Bridlington and the neighbourhood."
The Liberty, Capt. Knight, from the Baltic, which was taken by Paul Jones, is arrived off Scarborough, after being ransomed for 1000 guineas.
|Newcastle Courant, 9 October 1779:|
The following particulars relative to the late engagement between Paul Jones and the Serapis man of war may be depended on as authentic: When Jones first attacked the Serapis, he was a-head of his little fleet several leagues; notwithstanding this, he engaged with all the fury of a man determined to conquer or die. The engagement soon grew desperate, and Jones, besides having a great part of his crew shot round him, had his rigging on fire for about seven minutes. In this interval the Captain of the Serapis, who was so near him as to be audible, called out to him to strike, or he must infallibly go to the bottom. Jones replied, with an oath, "I may sink, but I'll be d____d if I strike." At this instant, one of his men attempted to strike the colours, when Jones, turning round short, shot him dead on the spot. Two more attempted the same thing, and met with the same fate; a mutiny then was expected to take place, as the ship was apparently sinking, when fortunately for Jones, another of his squadron immediately came up to his assistance, which turned the tables on the Serapis, and she was obliged to strike, after exerting a degree of courage, which would, in all probability, have made her successful with any other enemy.
|Newcastle Courant, 9 October 1779:|
The letter from Hull inserted in our last, mentioning that an express had been sent by Mr Foster of Bridlington to the Mayor of Hull, saying that Jones's fleet was scarcely out of sight when the frigates, &c. appeared off there, and immediately went in pursuit of them, being a mistake, we are desired to inform the public, that the express contained information of Jones having disappeared on Friday evening the 24th ult. and that his Majesty's ships went in pursuit of them on the Sunday evening following.
Various are the reports and conjectures about this freebooter; but the most general received opinion is, that he is got into Norway, and that his manoeuvres have been so prudent and successful as to elude the most active researches of the different squadrons detached against him.
from Portsmouth, 27 September:
A squadron is now under sailing orders to proceed in search of Paul Jones's squadron to the coast of Ireland.
Sailed his Majesty's ship Prudent, with several frigates to the northward, in search of Paul Jones.
The above squadron will go to the West, and meet each other, in order to scour the coast.
from a London paper, 5 October:
Saturday [2 Oct] advice was received, that Paul Jones was got to Norway, and intended to winter there.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 12 October 1779:|
The first entry of licensed goods from England, made in the Isle of Man, after it was annexed to the crown, was made by Paul Jones, he having imported the first rum there. His name stands first in the Custom House books at Douglas.
A master of a ship belonging to this port [Whitehaven] saw Paul Jones's mother not long ago in Scotland, and asking her what she thought of her hopeful son now, she answered "Peure thing! he is only seeking for a bit of breed."
|Cumberland Pacquet, 12 October 1779:|
One of the men escaped from Paul Jones says that in the engagement with the Serapis, Jones, almost exhausted with fatigue, the sweat pouring off him, sat down upon the hen-coup; the lieutenant of marines went to him, and said, "for God's sake, Captain, let us strike." Jones looked at him, paused for some time, then leapt up from his seat, and said, "no, I will sink; I'll never strike."
|Cumberland Pacquet, 12 October 1779:|
A letter from Scarborough, dated Wednesday, October 6, says, "Yesterday appeared off this place, three armed vessels; a coble went on board of them, and found them to be the three that passed here on Sunday se'ennight with the ships of war, they told the coblemen they had been as far as the coast of Norway, but to no purpose, not having the good luck to meet with Jones, and that they were separated from the rest of their fleet in a hard gale of wind last week, so that all our hopes are over in meeting with him, and we think he is gone to the northward, either to North Bergen, or round Ireland in his way to France."
|Cumberland Pacquet, 19 October 1779:|
[Contains the battle reports of Captain Pearson of the Serapis, now a prisoner on board the Pallas, and his colleague Captain Piercy of the Countess of Scarborough; also the following summary of Pearson's preliminary casualty list (he warned that "many more" were as yet unaccounted for):]
Killed -- 49 Wounded --- 68
Amongst the killed are the boatswain, pilot, 1 master's mate, 2 midshipmen, the cockswain, 1 quarter-master, 27 seamen, and 15 marines. Among the wounded are the second Lieutenant Michael Stanhope, and Lieut. Whiteman, second Lieutenant of marines, 2 Surgeons mates, 6 petty officers, 46 seamen, and 12 marines.
The full reports are available online at the yorkshirehistory website:
Pearson's, from "Texel, October 6, 1779" on this page
Piercy's, from "Texel, October 4, 1779" on this page
|Cumberland Pacquet, 19 October 1779:|
By a person who escaped from Paul Jones we are informed that after his first sailing from L'Orient on this expedition (in which he has succeeded too well) a scheme was formed by a number of the seamen to take the ship from him and pilot her to England, when an Irishman on board discovered the plot. The men were all called over, and charged with it, but denied any concern in or knowledge of it. The informer was then put in irons; but Jones relied so much on the man's assertion, that he returned to L'Orient, had all the people ordered on shore, and, on a more strict examination, upwards of ninety were dismissed for refusing to swear allegiance to the Congress. Thus he narrowly escaped being taken. Particular honours have been paid him in France, and he is one of the knights of St. Louis.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 19 October 1779:|
from a London paper, 14 October:
As soon as the account of Paul Jones being in Holland, which came by a messenger from the prince of Wales packet boat to Harwich, from Helvoetsluys, and was sent by our Minister at the Hague, reached the Secretary of State, it was carried to the King, and a Cabinet Council held, at the breaking up of which Lord Sandwich came immediately past to town, and in less than two hours time expesses were dispatched to Portsmouth and the Downs, to the Admirals commanding there. The purport of these expesses, we are told, is to send some ships with all speed to cruize off the Texel for Jones's squadron.
|Newcastle Courant, 23 October 1779:|
from a London paper, 19 October:
Two ships, taken by Paul Jones's squadron, and carried into Bergen, are ordered to be given up, and to depart that port in 24 hours. the armed ship that went in with them is ordered to be detained 24 hours after they sail.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 26 October 1779:|
A letter from Amsterdam, dated Oct. 8, says,
"Tuesday last Paul Jones, with the prizes of the Serapis and Scarborough entered the Texel, and this day he appeared on the exchange, where business gave way to curiosity; the croud pressing upon him, by whom he was stiled The Terror of the English. He withdrew to a room fronting a public square, where Mons. Denneville, the French agent, and the Americans, paid him such a volley of compliments, and such homage, as he could only answer with a bow. He was dressed in the American uniform, with a Scotch bonnet edged with gold." [this also appeared in the Cumberland Magazine, October 1779]
from The Hague, 13 October:
Sir Joseph Yorke, Ambassador from the Court of London, has had a conference with Baron de Heckeren-Brantsenbourg, who presides this week among the States General, when he presented the following memorial:
"High and mighty Lords, the undersigned Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from the King of Great Britain, has the honour to communicate to your High Mightinesses, that there has lately entered the Road of the Texel two of the King's ships, namely, the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough, who were attacked and taken by force by one named Paul Jones, a subject to the King, who, according to treaties and laws of war, sails under the class of rebels or pirates. The undersigned is consequently driven by force to recur to your High Mightinesses to demand their immediate orders to stop in the Texel the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, with all the oficers and ships companies, and all belonging to them; and further recommends it to the humanity of their High Mightinesses to permit that the wounded may be sent on shore, the expences of which shall be defrayed by the King his master.
Done at the Hague, Oct. 8, 1779.
(Signed) Le Chev. YORKE."
The day of the date of the above memoir, Paul Jones arrived here, accompanied by only one domestic. He staid but a day, and then set off post for Amsterdam, to join his squadron in the Texel.
[Yorke's memo also appeared in the Cumberland Magazine, October 1779]
from London, 16 October:
By a letter from Amsterdam we learn "that several English gentlemen have been in company with the celebrated Paul Jones, who relate, that he is proud and haughty, and can talk of nothing but sea affairs: however, he has the good manners not to speak disrespectfully of the English; the only reflection he made, worthy of committing to paper, was this: he said, 'he never did, nor ever would accept of a command, in order to dally with it for his private advantage, which was the way of several commanders on both sides; he would be cut in pieces rather than shuffle with his employers, to enrich himself, at the expence of his honour.' "
|Newcastle Courant, 30 October 1779:|
By a Dutch master, just arrived at Stockton, we learn, that Paul Jones is confined to Amsterdam, and his ships are ordered to be detained in the Texel.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 2 November 1779:|
The Fortune, Day, from Newfoundland to England, was taken about the 23d of August last by Paul Jones and carried into L'Orient.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 2 November 1779:|
It is said in some of the papers that Paul Jones has been demanded to be given up as a murderer; but that no answer has been returned.
Utrecht, Oct. 21. It is reported that Paul Jones's squadron is stopt at the Texel, because his people have been guilty of some excesses contrary to the law of nations.
from London, October 26: We are told that an engraving of the famous Paul Jones will shortly make its appearance in public, of which eight thousand copies are already engaged and subscribed for.
|Newcastle Courant, 6 November 1779:|
The Corporation of Kingston upon Hull have presented the freedom of that place to Capt. Richard Pearson and Capt. Thomas Percy, late of his Majesty's ships Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, for their gallant and brave conduct in the engagement with the squadron under the command of Paul Jones.
from a London paper, 28 October:
Extract of a letter from the Texel, Oct. 20. "I went this afternoon with some gentlemen, on board the Serapis frigate, where I saw Paul Jones, I was likewise on board the Pallas French frigate, where I saw Captain Pearson. Notwithstanding Sir Joseph Yorke's memorial to the States of Holland, Paul Jones will refit his fleet as well as if he was in a port of France or America. His fleet consists of the following vessels, viz. the Serapis of 44 guns; the Alliance, an American frigate, of 36 guns; the Pallas, a French frigate of 32 guns; and the Vengeance, a French brig of 14 or 16 guns; with the Countess of Scarborough prize, of 20 guns."
from a London paper, 29 October:
Extract of a letter from Amsterdam, Oct 20.
"Paul Jones, in company with some English patriotic merchants here, said, he could not impute the failure of the affair at Plymouth to any thing but a panic; this fellow, depend on it, was not taken so much notice of here as your prints say, unless by the French Ambassador, and a few American agents; not a man of character had any thing to say to him, they considering him in the light of a pirate and marauder."
[The "affair at Plymouth" was the mid-August appearance off the Cornish coast of a combined French and Spanish fleet, numbering around a hundred ships, which paraded within sight of Plymouth for about three days, prompting fears of an invasion, before quietly departing]
|Cumberland Pacquet, 9 November 1779:|
The following is the favourite song at Dublin, not only in the streets, but in every company to be found in the city or its vicinity.
To the Tune of ----- Stick a Pin there.
Of heroes and statesmen, I'll just mention four,
That cannot be matched, if we trace the world O'er;
For none of such Fame ever stept o'er the stones,
As Germain, Jem. Twitcher, Lord North, and Paul Jones.
Thro' a mad-headed war, which Old England will rue,
At London, at Dublin, and Edinburgh too,
The tradesman stands still, and the merchant bemoans,
The losses he meets with from such as Paul Jones.
Contractors about this bold Rebel harangue,
And swear if they catch him, the traitor they'll hang;
But 'mongst these devourers of ten per cent loans,
Are full as great robbers as any Paul Jones.
How happy for England, would fortune but sweep
At once all her treacherous foes to the deep;
For the Land under burthens most bitterly groans,
To get rid of some that are worse than Paul Jones.
To each jolly heart that is Britain's true friend,
In bumpers I'd freely this toast recommend;
May Paul be converted, the ministry purg'd,
Old England be free, and her enemies scourg'd:
If success to our fleets be not quickly restor'd,
The leaders in office to shove from the board;
May they all fare alike, and the de'il pick the bones
Of Germain, Jem. Twitcher, Lord North and Paul Jones.
Apart from Jones, the characters mentioned were all ministers in the British government:
|Cumberland Pacquet, 23 November 1779:|
Extract of a letter from the Hague, Nov 10.
"On the 25th of last month their High Mightinesses came to the following resolution relative to Paul Jones's squadron and prizes, and delivered the same to the English Ambassador:
"That their High Mightinesses being informed that three frigates had lately arrived at the Texel, namely, two French and one called an American, commanded by Paul Jones, bringing with them two prizes taken by them in the open sea, and called the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough, described in the Ambassador's memorial. That their High Mightinesses having for a century past strictly observed the following maxim, and notified the same by placards, viz. that they will, in no respect whatever, pretend to judge of the legality or illegality of the actions of those who have on the open sea, taken any vessels which do not belong to this country, and bring them into any of the ports of this republic, that they only open their ports to them to give them shelter from the storms or other disasters, and that they oblige them to put to sea again with their prizes, without unloading or disposing of their cargoes, but letting them remain exactly as when they arrived. That their High Mightinesses will not examine whether the prizes taken by the three frigates in question belong to the French or Americans, or whether they are legal or illegal prizes, but leave all that to be determined by the proper judges, and will oblige them to put to sea, that they may be liable to be retaken, and by that means brought before the proper judge, particularly as his Excellency the Ambassador must own he would have no less a right to reclaim the abovementioned ships, if they had been private property, than as they have been king's ships; therefore their High Mightinesses are not authorised to pass judgement either upon these prizes, or the person of Paul Jones; that as to what regards acts of humanity, their High Mightinesses have already made appear how ready they are to shew them towards the wounded on board those vessels, and that they have given orders accordingly. That an extract of the present resolution shall be given to Sir Joseph Yorke by the agent Vander Burch de Spierinxhock.
At the same time it was resolved, that word should be sent to the Admiralty of Amsterdam that their High Mightinesses approve their proceedings, and adhering to their placard of the 3d of November, 1756, by which it is forbid to meddle with any prizes, or to open their cargoes, so as by that means to free them from being retaken, &c. That this is strictly to be observed with regard to the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough. Their High Mightinesses authorise the said Admiralty to order matters so that these five ships do put to sea as soon as possible, and that they take care they are not furnished with any warlike or naval stores but what are absolutely necessary to carry them safe to the first foreign port they can come at, in order that all suspicion of their being fitted out here may drop."
from the Hague, 4 November:
Sir Joseph Yorke, the English Ambasssador to this republic, has presented the following Memorial to their High Mightinesses, viz.
"High and Mighty Lords,
In thanking your Mightinesses for the orders which your humanity dictated relative to the wounded men on board the two King's ships, the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough, I cannot but comply with the strict orders of his Majesty, by renewing in the strongest and most pressing manner his request that those ships and their crews may be stopped and delivered up, which the pirate Paul Jones of Scotland, who is a rebel subejct and a criminal of the State, has taken.
The sentiments of equity and justice which your High Mightinesses possess, leave me no room to doubt but that upon mature deliberation upon all the circumstances of this affair, you will acknowledge the reasonableness of this request, founded both on the most solemn treaties now subsisting between Great Britain and the United Provinces, and the right and customs of nations in friendship and alliance. The stipulations of the treaty of Breda of the 20th of July, 1667 (O.S.) confirmed particularly in that of 1710, and all the later ones, are too clear and incontestable in that respect for the full force of them not to be felt.
The King would think he derogated from his own dignity, as well as that of your High Mightinesses, was he to enter into the particulars of a case so notorious as that in question, or to set before the ancient friends and allies of his crown analogous examples of other Princes and States, but will only remark, that all the Placards even of your High Mightinesses require that all Captains of foreign armed vessels shall, upon their arrival, present their letters of marque or commission, and authorise, according to the custom of the Admiralties, to treat all those as pirates whose letters are found to be illegal for want of being granted by a Sovereign Power.
The quality of Paul Jones, and all the circumstances of the affair, are too notorious for your High Mightinesses to be ignorant of them. The eyes of all Europe are fixed upon your resolution; your High Mightinesses know too well the value of good faith not to give an example of it in this essential rencontre. The smallest deviation from so sacred a rule, by weakening the friendship of neighbours, may produce serious consequences.
The King has always gloried in cultivating the friendship of your High Mightinesses; his Majesty constantly persists in the same sentiments; but the English nation does not think that it any ways has desevred its fellow citizens to be imprisoned in the ports of the Republic by a man of no character, a subject of the same country, and who enjoys that liberty which they are deprived of.
It is for these and many other strong reasons, which cannot escape the wisdom and penetration of your High Mightinesses, that the underwritten hopes to receive a speedy and favourable answer conformable to the just expectations of the King his master, and the British nation.
Done at the Hague, Oct 29, 1779.
Letters have been received from Capt. Fisher of this town [Whitehaven], late of the Betsy of Liverpool, which was some time ago taken by Paul Jones. Capt. Fisher was on board the Bonne Homme Richard during the engagement, and, at the time of his writing, a prisoner on board the Serapis. His crew consisted of 85, all of whom have entered with Jones except 18.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 30 November 1779:|
Extract of a letter from Amsterdam, Nov. 2.
"Twenty of Paul Jones's men, who were forced into his service from among the English prisoners in France, attempting to escape the other day, they were fired on by his crew, some were killed, others drowned, and a few of them got away."
|Cumberland Pacquet, 30 November 1779:|
Extract of a LETTER from JOHN PAUL JONES, Commander of the little squadron which cruized for some time upon the coasts of Great-Britain, to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Esq. at Passy, dated on board the Serapis, in the Texel, October 3, 1779. This was Jones's official report, not intended for publication, and its appearance in the newspapers caused him some embarrassment. It is available online from several sites, such as the National Underwater and Marine Agency
|Cumberland Pacquet, 7 December 1779:|
Several of Paul Jones's men have made their escape since those mentioned in the extract of a letter from Amsterdam of the 2d ult. -- more were also expected to follow the example of their companions.
from a London paper, 2 December:
By the last vessels which arrived at Harwich from the Texel we hear, that Paul Jones's squadron was completely refitted; but that it was currently reported at Amsterdam, the ships would be sold to the best bidder, as that arch rebel did not think it safe to put to sea, from his knowledge of the English frigates that were cruizing for him. This report, however, was not much credited, as many people supposed he only waited for a proper opportunity of stealing away to some part of France.
The ships sent by government to look after Paul Jones, have been dispersed by the late heavy gales.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 21 December 1779:|
Haerlem, November 29.
It is not true, as was reported, that Paul Jones has become a Commander in Chief of a French squadron, but it is a matter of fact that upon receiving orders to quit the Texel with his prizes, French colours were hoisted on board those ships, and that the two English ships which Jones took were declared French prizes; and further, that M. Cottineau, Captain of a French fire-ship, had, by virtue of an order dated the 8th of this month, taken the command of that small squadron; and that Paul Jones had quitted the Serapis, and taken the command of the Alliance, on board of which he had hoisted the Thirteen Stripes, declaring he had only an American Commission. The same letters add, that the French Ambassador's secretary, and the American Agent, are in that port; and it is not known when Paul Jones will sail.
The Dutch have at last effectually defeated the object of Sir Joseph Yorke's memorials, respecting Paul Jones's squadron. They are all claimed as French property, and having acted with the commission of the King of France, except the Alliance frigate, which is to be considered as American property, and is ordered out of the Texel, when- they please.
London, 16 December:
This morning it was reported that the Jackall cutter had been seen at sea, and had joined Paul Jones.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 28 December 1779:|
A seaman, who had been compelled to enter with Paul Jones, and continued with him two cruizes, made his escape from the Texel the 19th ult. and arrived here last Friday. By him we learn, that it was a point agreed on between Jones and the Dutch Admiralty, that the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough were to be sent to the nearest port of France under Dutch colours, and their quarter galleries to be taken off. On the day above mentioned, Jones returned from Amsterdam in company with the noted Cunningham, the pirate, who was immediately made Captain of the Alliance, Jones acting as Commodore. Immediately on their arrival in the Texel, Capt. Landy of the Alliance sent his naked sword to Jones, as a challenge, some charge of cowardice having fallen on him. The parties went on shore, but the affair was shifted from Jones to the Captain of the Pallas, who in the rencontre was run through the left breast by Landy. As soon as his antagonist was thus wounded, Landy desired Jones, if he had any doubt remaining of his courage, to take his sword and, satisfy himself; this he declined, but has sent him to France to be tried. This informant, and a letter also from a gentleman still confined by Jones, mention Capt. Landy as a brave and humane officer, to whose genteel behaviour the English prisoners had many obligations; consequently his departure was a disagreeable circumstance to them.- There are three frigates building in Amsterdam for the Americans, viz. two of 36, and one of 40 guns.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 28 December 1779:|
|On Monday arrived at Hull, in the Amsterdam, Brooerse, from Amsterdam, one Jackson, a pilot who had been taken up in the Humber by Paul Jones. He had the misfortune to have his left arm shot off, when on board Jones's ship, in the engagement with the Serapis.- He left the Texel on Monday se'ennight, and Jones sailed from thence the same day in the Alliance. He says the English prisoners have been well used, are very healthy, and daily expect to be sent to France or America. York Chron.|
|Newcastle Courant, 31 December 1779:|
A copy of a letter from Sir Joseph Yorke to Mrs Burton, a Sailor's wife at Burlington. [i.e. Bridlington]
Hague, Nov. 26, 1779.
As soon as I received your letter of the 7th inst. I lost no time making enquiries after your gallant husband, Mr Richard Burton, and have now great pleasure in congratulating you upon his being alive and well, on board the Countess of Scarborough at the texel. I find he had been burnt with an explsion of gunpowder, but now quite recovered. He sends me word, that he, as you know he could not write, and therefore he hoped I would let you know he was well, which I do with infinite satisfaction; it will still be greater if I can get him exchanged, which I am doing my best endeavours for; but as the people who took him are sometimes French, and sometimes rebels, as it suits their convenience, that it renders this affair more difficult than it would be, if they allowed themselves to be French; because I could then settle the exchange at once. I am happy to be able to give such agreeable news to the wife of my brave countryman, and am very sincerely,
Yours, &c. JOSEPH YORKE
|Newcastle Courant, 8 January 1780:|
Utrecht, Dec. 20.
Paul Jones has received a French commission, and a cartel is signed for the exchange of the crews of the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough.
Amsterdam, Dec. 25. [first few lettters of each line illegible, guesses in (brackets)]
The following is an exact (list) of Paul Jones's squadron: the Serapis of 44 guns, commanded by a French officer; the Alliance of 38 guns, Paul Jones; a French frigate, of 30 guns, another of 24, The Countess of Scarborough, of 20, a sloop of war of 16, and one of 12, and two cutters, one of 12, the other of 10 guns. All the English seamen, taken on board the Scarborough and Serapis, are set at liberty; most of the wounded have recovered, and all have entered with Captain Pearson, in the ship he is appointed to. They are allowed one (shilling) per diem, till a vessel arrives to carry them to the River Thames, where his ship lies.
from London, 30 Dec. [first few lettters of each line illegible, guesses in (brackets)]:
Yesterday morning an express arrived in town from (Portsmouth), giving an account that a cutter stationed off the Texel, had arrived with information, that the (French) ships, laden with naval stores, &c. escorted by (eight) men of war of 60 guns, and eight frigates, commanded by Count O'Dillon, had just sailed for Brest. In consequence of this information, Commodore (Fielding), who had been in expectation of this intelligence, immediately set sail with a fleet of five men of war of 74 guns, and three frigates, in quest of them. It is extremely probable that we shall soon hear of an engagement between an English and Dutch squadron of ships of war. It is certain that a great number of Dutch vessels are laden with military stores of all kinds, their destination for Brest. The Admiralty of the United Provinces have indeed declared, that they will not give them authority, or sailing orders (to take) the benefit of the convoy of eight ships of war, which are to protect the trade of Holland through the British Channel, as that would be an infringement of the treaty of 1672, between Great Britain and the (???)es; but when the convoy, with the other trading ships, sail, those bound for Brest will sail also, and (put) themselves with them without any orders for that purpose, in full assurance that their doing so will be connived at. Commodore Fielding, who has the most express orders to seize them, cannot certainly distinguish the ships bound for Brest, without making a general search of the whole fleet; an attempt to do which may bring on an engagement.
from London, 2 Jan.
It is reported that Paul Jones, with his squadron is amongst the Dutch ships bound to Brest.
The cartel for the exchange of prisoners between England and France is finally adjusted.
from London, 3-4 Jan.
Paul Jones was not with the Dutch fleet, as reported, but sailed out of the Texel in a foggy night about a fortnight ago in a single ship (the Alliance); and from the Dutch Admiral's account, went north about, to avoid the frigates that were cruising for him. the Dutch fleet consisted of 17 merchantmen, but 10 of them parted company the night before they were seen by our fleet.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 11 January 1780:|
Thursday last another seaman arrived here, who had escaped from Paul Jones. He says a few days before he left him ten or twelve of the men who had got from Serapis and were secreted by the Dutchmen aboard a hoy, were treacherously carried by them along side of the Serapis, and delivered to Jones, by whose order they were immediately flogged in the most cruel manner;
|Cumberland Pacquet, 21 March 1780:|
By a letter from the person who was taken from hence in 1778 by Paul Jones [during the "Whitehaven invasion"] (and who was since impressed into his Majesty's service) it appears that the Patience, late Capt. John Moore, which was also captured by Jones, is retaken and carried into Plymouth. She was one of the vessels bound for the Mauritius, and taken by Admiral Digby's squadron.
|Cumberland Pacquet, 9 May 1780:|
It is said that Paul Jones is very desirous of retiring, having lately had a defluxion of the eyes, which has almost deprived him of his sight. This is certainly true, but the account of his intending to purchase a little spot in own country, to pass the remainder of his days on, will perhaps be disputed.