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to Trincomalee, by Commodore Vernon, with a commission for Lieutenant (now Admiral Sir Charles) Pole, to take the vacant, command.
At Trincomalee, Captain (now Sir George) Young, of the nary, and Captain Rumbold, of the army (the former charged with despatches from Sir Edward Vernon, relating to the capture of Pondicherry, and the latter with the colours of the garrison) embarked for England in the Cormorant; and, after a passage of four months, * and thirteen days, arrived safely at Portsmouth.
After his arrival, Captain Pole was appointed to the Britannia; and Lieutenant Ellison, who had accompanied him to England, was ordered to take the Cormorant round to Sheerness. He was then, in the course of the year 1779, appointed to the Queen, Captain (afterwards Admiral) Intris. Lieutenant Ellison was in this ship when the feet under Sir Charles IIardy was chased by the combined French and Spanish fleets off Plymouth. +
On leaving the Queen, Lieutenant Ellison married Miss Collis, the only daughter of Thomas Collis, Esq. of Gosport; soon after which, he was appointed to la Prudente, Captain Waldegrave, then fitting at Deptford. Her first voyage was up the Baltic; and, after returning to Sheerness, she was ordered to Spithead, to join the grand fleet, under the command of Admiral Darby. La Prudente found the fleet lying at single anchor, and sailed with them on the following day.
On the 4th of July, 1780, as we have stated in our memoir of Lord Radstock, la Prudente, having been detached upon a cruise off Cape Ortegal, in company with the Licorne, discovered a large, ship bearing down to them, which proved to be the French frigate la Capricieuse, pierced for 44 guns. La Prudente engaged her for four hours and a half, before the Licorne came near to afford her any assistance. The action commenced at half-past eleven at
At the time this passage was made, it was conceived to be a very quick run; but so much have we improved in navigating our vessels since that period, that we cannot help bere noticing the comparatively short space of time which the Medusa (commanded by Captain Sir John Gore) performed it in, as she was only eighty-two days, in sailing from the Ganges to the Lizard. For the particulars of this passage we refer our readers to JOHNSON'S " Oriental Voyager," published by ASPERNE, in Cornhill,
+ Vide Naval CHRONICLE, Vol. XVIII. page 353.
night, and continued till half-past four in the morning, when the Capricieuse struck her colours.
Licutenant Ellison, who lost his arm upon this occasion, greatly distinguished himself. Captain Waldegrave, in concluding his official account of the engagement, says:
“ It is with infinite concern that I acquaint their lordships, that Licutenant Ellison stands foremost on the list of the wounded, having been very severely bruised in the back, and his right arm carried off by a shot. I' must beg leave to recommend his misfortune, and the great intrepidity he. shewed during the action, to their lordships' most particular attention."
Lieutenant Ellison, we have been informed, received four wounds in his back, before his arm was struck, but could not be induced to go below, to have them dressed, although they occasioned a great loss of blood. At length an eighteen-pound shot, striking his elbow, shattered the bones, and left his arm hanging by the skin only. He was then under the necessity of going down to the surgeon, who ordered him to be laid on his mattress, in the gun-room; where, having staunched the blood, and having many wounded men to attend, he left him till the close of the action.
Whilst lying in this painful situation, a shot came in through the side of la Prudente, and took off the cook of the gun-room's head; which actually fell close to Lieutenant Ellison, as he was handing him a glass of water. Unmindful of pain, or danger, and anxious only for the honourable termination of the action, he desired the seaman who was employed at the relieving tackles, to give him immediate information of the enemy's surrender, promising him a glass of grog for his trouble. Scarcely more than a quarter of an hour had elapsed, when the man came to him, waving his hat, with the joyful news; on which he ordered him the promised grog, and also took a glass himself, which, fortunately, was not produc.. tive of any ill effect. At seven o'clock in the morning (two hours and a half after the close of the engagement) his arm was amputated by the French surgcon.
On the 19th of July, la Prudente arrived at Spithead. Sir Charles Pole (Lieutenant Ellison's former captain, in the Cormo.
* For the whole of this letter, and several other interesting particulars on the subject, the reader is referred to the tenth volume of the Naval CHRONICLE, page 269, et seg.
rant) then commanded the Hussar, which was lying at that place; and, as soon as he had ascertained the arrival of his friend, he went in his barge to la Prudente, with the intention of conducting him on shore. Lieutenant Ellison, however, though highly gratified by this mark of attention, went on shore in la Prudente's boat, attended by the surgeon. He landed at Gosport, where the inhabitants congratulated him on his narrow escape, and sympathised with him for the loss which he had sustained. Weak and emaciated, from the loss of blood, this had such an effect on his spirits, that he was under the necessity of stopping in one of the houses to recover himself. In a very short time after he had reached his home, Captain Waldegrave paid him a visit ; thus en. hancing the value of the very great kindness and attention which he had paid to him, whilst confined to his cot on board, by offering him every consolation in his power.
On the day after the arrival of la Prudente, the French officers were sent on shore, on parole ; but they would not be persuaded to leave Gosport, without making their personal inquiries after Lieutenant Ellison, and taking a last farewell. Indeed, the attention which they shewed to him, during the whole time that they were on board, reflected great credit on their feelings.
Shortly afterwards, the grand fleet arrived; when Lieutenant Ellison was visited by a number of oficers (several of superior rank to himself) with whom he had no personal acquaintance whatever. Amongst others, the late Lord Hugh Seymour was particular in his attention towards him; and, in every instance during his life, gave proofs of the high estimation in which he held his professional abilities. The death of his lordship has ever been deeply lamented hy Lieutenant Ellison, to whom he had proved himself a most cordial and sincere friend.*
The general and flattering approval which Mr. Ellison expe. rienced had nearly proved fatal to him; as, in consequence of the exertion which it occasioned, the arteries of his arm burst; and it was supposed that they had been bleeding upwards of three hours, before the accident was discovered. The surgeons, from Haslar hospital, with the greatest difficulty, secured them, after they had
A biographical memoir of Lord Hugh Seymour is in the second volume of the Naval CHRONICLE, page 357.
put on the bandages three times, the blood having repeatedly penetrated through them. He was thus so much reduced, as to be under the necessity of confining himself to his chamber, and was not allowed to see any body but his captain.-Captain Waldegrave was by this time presented to his Majesty; and, consequently, had the satisfaction of informing the lieutenant, that his sovereign had condescended, in a most particular manner, to inquire after him; and that, on Captain Waldegrave's saying, that he was recovering fast, and hoped very soon to serve his Majesty again,” the King replied, with evident satisfaction, “ Is it possible !"
The exalted opinion which Captain Waldegrave, and other per. sons of consideration, entertained of Mr. Ellison, will now be fare ther seen, by certain original letters, and extracts from others, which we shall lay before our readers. The first of these is from General Ellison, an old, and much respected officer. DEAR SIR,
St. James's Square, 28th July, “ It was not till yesterday, that your favour from Gosport, though dated the 20th of this month, came to my hands, occasioned, as I imagine, from the post-mark, of its baving travelled first to Newcastle, and from thence transmitted to me here, in London. It is now some days since, that I had the honour of receiving a most polite and obliging letter from your gallant captain, which gave me the first information, of your having had the terrible misfortune of being severely wounded, and having lost your right arm in engaging a French frigate. You may be assured, the very melancholy account gave me great and most sincere concern, which is alleviated with the thoughts of your being, in the opinion of your physician and surgeon, out of danger; a confirmation of which will, believe me, afford me real pleasure. Captain Waldegrave, in his letter to me (a copy of which I have sent to Sir Thomas Clavering) speaks in the highest terms of your conduct and most spirited behaviour during the action, which does himself, as well as you, very great honour. Captain Waldegrave also gives me reason to believe be will exert his interest to serve you; I wish I had any, that could contribute to your promotion, which you have so well merited. But I am not in parliament, and consequently my recommendations can have no weight."
The subjoined is from an aunt of the lieutenant, to Mrs. Ellison, bis wife:
MY DEAR MRS. ELLISON, « With the most feeling sensibility and real concern, I take up the pen to sympathise with you, on the melancholy news I was yesterday made acquainted with from Mr. Clavering; who, himself, came from Greencroft to Lintsgreen, with the copy of a letter from Captain Waldegrave,
transcribed, by General Ellison, to Sir Thomas Clavering; informing him of the unhappy accident which had befallen our dear relation, the worthy partner of your heart. My son and self, who were so lately made acquaiuted with our ann able cousin's good nature and merit, felt the shock more sensibly; vet ve hope and trust in the Almighty, that the event which appears to us in so aillictive a light, may in the end, be not su great an evil as we at present see it. If the good lad recovers, though with the loss of a limb,'tis what many brave man like himself has suffered in the horrid rage of war. He must, and will, I doubt not, get preferment; for his captain speaks of him, not only with all the warmth of friendship, but as a spirited, brave, and gallant other; and, to use his own words, in his letter, “ his intention is to exert his interest for that promotion which our friend so truly merits." He likewise adds," he is persuaded that he shali meet the general's assistance, not only from his being a relation, but from that natural impulse which every brave ran feels in assisting those of a similar character with his own." This much, iny dear, of the captain's letter I have transcribed ; knowing it must give you both pleasure to hear our dear cousin's conduct is so hiylily approved."
The next which we shall present, is a letter from Sir Thomas Clavering, Bart. to Lieutenant Ellison :-SIR,
Axwell Park, July 21, 1786. “ Your letter by the last post found me at this place, and though I must lament, with the rest of your friends and acquaintances, and wich the public at large, what has personally fallen to your lot in the late gallant action; yet I must congratulate your family and every Englishman, on the noble spirit and good conduct you have given an instance of. Captain Waldegrave, in his letter to General Ellison, has done you justice, and given you much bonour. I bare uo doubt but he has given it in the like simple manner to the lords of the Admiralty; and that from thence will flow the reward due to your merit. If not, the service and the public will be injured. In my own opinion, any private application would be hurtful. I believe you may remember, I presumed to no interest with the Admiralty Board; that any trilling service I was inclined to, was by means of an individual, no longer at the Board; but, if he had been there at this instant of time, I should have been unwilling to have suggested a doubt of the injustice of the Board, respecting the reward due to your merit on this occasion. However, well inclined to add every means in my power to obtain the reward justly due to your merit, I have, by this post, written to government my opinion, and my wish that your seriies may not be overlooked.
“ I am, sir, with the greatest esteein,
“ THOMAS CLAVERING."
It appears, by the following friendly epistle from Captain Waldegrave, that, notwithstanding the universal approbation
Aat. Chron. Wol. XIX.