Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

which Lieutenant Ellison's conduct experienced, there were para
ticular obstacles in the way of his inmediate promotion :-
MY DEAR ELLISON,

Falmouth, October 19.
“ I make no doubt but your anxiuty on account of your being so long
separated from your old shipmales and friends, is great; but take my word,
for the present, that you are much better with your good little woman.

“ We have met with cothing but gales of wind. I think, since we left Spithead, and at this instant it blows a perfect hurricane. We were driven into this port a few days ago, and I much doubt whether we shall be able to get to sea again before the 23d, which is the time fixed for our return to the teet,

"}f I do not find you at my return in as high beauty, and in as good case as when we sailed from the Nore, I shall attribute it all to your wife, and lecture her accordingly.

“ I am very much concerned that my last visit to Portsmouth was so short as vot io admit of leisure to shake you by the hand, especially as I wish to talk to you about your pension, and some other matters. I had a letter from the Duke of Dorset some time ago, in which he assures me he shall take the earliest opportunity of laying your case before the ministers. Therefore a pension (and I hope a handsome one) you will be sure to have; but as to rank, I fear it is out of the question, as even poor Auchenleck seems entirely forgotten. Weinust therefore wait patiently for better limes; and if it be true that merit in the end is ever rewarded, I am sure you have every thing to expect.

“ As soon as I hear from the Duke of Dorset, I will again write to you; in the mean time you must comfort yourself with the good opinion and wishes of your friends for the reward of your merit. Of this number be assured there is none who can think more highly of you than I do, or who would be inore happy to see you rewarded.

“ Pelieve me to be,

iny dear friend,

inost sincerely yours,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Galdera

[ocr errors]

an

[ocr errors]

All your

“ Make my best compliments to your good little woman, I hope that she will not be ottended with ine for using this epithet.

“ When you write to me, Maxwell will forward your letter. Pray return him thawks for the trouble he has had in collecting my other letters.

old shipmates desire to be kindly reinembered to you." Lieutenant Ellison's hopes of promotion, however, were not extinguished; and, soon after leaving his room, he found himself sufliciently recovered to wait upon Lord Sandwich, at the

Admiralty. But his application was in vain ; his lordship informing him, that it was impossible to promote him, without promoting the first lieutenant of la Prudente, with the first and second of the Licorne ; but, if he wished to be employed on shore, he would appoint him, on a vacancy, to any situation he might like. Finding it impracticable to perform his duty at sea, as the winter was now advancing, and as his health was in a precarious state (the wounds in his back not being healed, and his arm, from having been ampu. tated according to the old-fashioned method, having a very large wound yet open), he requested his lordship to appoint him to a rendezvous at Gosport. Lieutenant Ellison, it will be recollected, had been brought up in that neighbourhood; and, consequently, was well acquainted with the desertions, &c, which constantly took place there, for want of a proper look-out being kept. Lord Sandwich at first objected to this proposal, as there never had been a rendezvous at Gosport; but, on Lieutenant Ellison's assuring him, that he could make it advantageous to the service, he acquiesced; and the appointment was found to be of so much utility, that it has been continued ever since.

During the time that Mr. Ellison was employed upon this ser. vice, he had several narrow escapes; one of which, in particular, is deserving of notice. Information having been sent, from Sir Thomas Pye, who was then the port admiral at Portsmouth, that a great number of deserters were on board an East Indiaman, at Spithead, Lieutenant Ellison, with his gang, consisting of twelve men, and two midshipmen, in the impress boat, proceded on 'board ; and, on mustering the crew, he found forty-five deserters from the different ships, whom he with great dilliculty secured, and carried on board the flag-ship. Admiral Evans, who was the second in command at Portsmouth, made a representation of this service to the Admiralty; in culisequence of which, Lieutenant Ellison received their lordships' approbation, in a public letter. The affair was also productive of farther advantage to him; as, soon afterwards, he received the following letter from George Rogers, Esq. the private secretary of Lord Keppel, who had succceded to the head of the Admiralty Board :

1

[ocr errors]

SIR, “ Lord Keppel is much inclined to give you a step, not more for the reyard be has for General Ellison, than your own merits as an otticer, but means you to continue in the present service you are employed upon

Your conduct in raising men, he intends as an example; and hopes you will be satisfied to continue doing the raty where you are, without putting the public to a greater expence than attends your present employ in it. Great reforms to conduct the expence of the impress service are now in agitation. I shall hope to hear from you in reply, as soon as convenient to you; and am, with much esteem and regarri,

“ Your faithful humble servant, Admiralty, June 5, 1782.

“ GEO, ROGERS."

GERS.

Lieutenant Ellison, of course, gladly accepted his promotion, on the conditions proposed ; and was appointed master and commander, in the Ostrich sloop, with orders to continue on the impress service. On this occasion, he received the following congratulatory note, from his old friend, Captain Waldegrave:MY DEAR FRIEND,

Whitehall, Saturday.* “ Believe me it gives me the most sincere pleasure imagivable, to bear of your promotion; and, what is a very additional satisfaction, is that it proceeds entirely from your own merit.

“ In a conversation I had a short time ago with Lord Keppel, he assured me that you had raised at least four inen for any other oflicer's one. Go on, my good friend, with your usual activity; and I trust, ere long, that I shall have the pleasure of again congratulating you. I beg ny best compli. ments to Mrs. Ellison,

Believe me to be, truly yours,

“ W, WALDEGRAVE."

In January, 1783, seven months after the above, Captain Ellison was appointed post to the Panther, and ordered, as before, not to go on board, but to remain on the impress service. In con, sequence, however, of peace taking place, that employment was broken up. Shortly afterwards, having been appointed to the Ariadne, of 20 guns, Captaio Ellison receired the following letter from Lord Keppel :

SIR,

May 8, 1783. “ I am favoured with your letter, and though I cannot give you any direct information as to the destination of the Ariadne, I may say she will not be sent abroad, if it can be avoided, which will make it unnecessary for her to have more provisions than for home service, unless they are al. ready shipped. I am, sir, your very humble servant,

[ocr errors]

• This was written in June, 1782.

Captain Ellison was accordingly ordered to take the Sea Flower cutter (commanded by Lieutenant, now Captain H. L. Ball) un. der his command, and to proceed to Lough Swilly, in Ireland; where, agreeably to the orders of Lord Temple, then lord lieutenant of that kingdom, he would be joined by two Irish wherries, for the purpose of exploring a fishing bank, which was supposed to lie off the north-west coast of Ireland. No particular bank was discovered; but, in regular soundings from the land, a great quantity of most excellent cod, ling, and tusk, was caught; and Captain Ellison was of opinion, that the fishery might be turned to great national advantage.

The requisite service having been performed, the Ariadne was ordered home, and arrived at Spithead in September, 1783. Shortly after his arrival, Captain Ellison received a letter from his relation, the general, whom we have already mentioned, of which the following is an extract:

“ I am much concerned to licar of your being in a bad state of health, and that your wound has broke out again, but hope it will soon be healed. I yesterday breakfasted with Lord Keppel, who shewed me your letter to Mr. Stevens, with the account of your proceedings off the coast of Ireland: he spoke very favourably of you, and told me your conduct was perfectly approved of. This will give you no little satisfaction, which occasions my mentioning it.”

Of a date two days subsequent to that of the above, is the follow. ing from Lord Keppel :SIR,

Admirally, September 21, 1783. “ I am favoured with your letter of the 16th, and was sorry to understand by it that you was indisposed. I hope a little rest will set you soon to righ:s; more especially as your service will be wanted, upon the Dublin station, as well as your cutter with you, I took care that orders should be sent for the refitting of the Ariadne at Portsmouth, in preference to another port; though the alterations you wish, in raising her gunnel, cannot be pow done, even if judged proper to be done at all.

“ I fear, without much care and attention, the Ariadne will lose many of her [inen] whilst in an inactive situation.

sir,
Your very obedient and humble seryant,

“ KEPPEL."

“ I am,

Captain Ellison, finding his arm very troublesome, and concewing that the requisite exertion would be greater than his health

would enable him to bear, made an application to the Admiralty, to be superseded; which, being complied with, he, for a short time, retired from active service.

When he found himself sufficiently recruited, he solicited the command of a frigate; and, in February, 1785, on Captain Byron's health obliging him to quit the Druid, of 32 guns, Lord Howe, who was then the First Lord of the Admiralty, without any farther application, appointed Captain Ellison to command her.

Continuing in the Druid, during the peace, he rendered important service to his country, by capturing several smuggling vessels; and also had the satisfaction of bringing up many young men to the service, who, as officers, are now in the highest estimation. His first cruise was with Admiral Vandeput, to the Baltic, in May 1785, for the purpose of conveying his Royal Highness Prince Edward, now Duke of Kent, to Stadt. On his return to Sheer. ness, Captain Ellison, with the Druid, was ordered to Spithcad ; and thence, on the western station, between the Start Point and the Lizard, with the Pylades and Fairy sloops, and the Sprightly and Baraconta cutters, under his command, for the purpose of intercepting smugglers; whose illicit proceedings were at that time carried on in a most daring and outrageous manner. As we have already stated, he succeeded in checking their unlawful trade, by capturing a number of their vessels.

Captain Ellison likewise cruised in company with the Pegasus, commanded by Prince William Henry; and with the Rose, commanded by the present Admiral Sir Henry Hervey, off Guernsey; and, during the absence of the Hebe, Captain (now Admiral) Thornborough, he had the whole command, from Dungeness to the Lizard. At this time he was constantly cruising ; only occasionally coming into port for orders. At length, his three years being expired, thc Druid was paid off; and Captain Ellison, for a short time, remained unemployed.

On soliciting the Admiralty, he was again appointed to his favourite ship, the Druid. After several cruises, and being attached to the fleet assembled at Spithead, during the Russian armament, &c. he was ordered to proceed to a certain latitude, with sealed orders; on opening of which, he was directed to go to

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »