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Royal Naval Biography/Wood, James Athol


SIR JAMES ATHOL WOOD, Knt.
Rear-Admiral of the Blue; and a Companion of the most honorable Military Order of the Bath.

This officer, descended from the ancient family of Wood, of Largo, in Fifeshire, is the third son of the late Alexander Wood, of Perth, N.B. Esq., and a brother of the present Sir Mark Wood, Bart., formerly Chief Engineer of Bengal, and M.P. for the borough of Gatton, in Surrey.

He entered the naval service at an early age, and during the war with our American colonics, was engaged in a great variety of service, both at sea and on shore, particularly at the defence of Quebec, in 1776, the reduction of Charlestown, in 1780, and in the memorable battle between Rodney and de Grasse, April 12, 1782, on which glorious occasion he was second Lieutenant of the Anson, 64, commanded by Captain Blair, with whom he had formerly served in the Princess Royal, a second rate, bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral Byron[1].

During the ensuing peace, Mr. Wood visited the continent, and resided for about three years in the south of France. He afterwards went to the East Indies, and on his return explored the greater portion of the western coast of Africa[2]. From thence he proceeded, in 1793, on business of a private nature to Barbadoes; and finding on his arrival at that island, an armament about to sail against the French colonies, he immediately tendered his services to Sir John Jervis, the Commander-in-Chief, who received him on board his flagship, the Boyne, and soon after ordered him to take charge of some cartel ships going to Europe with prisoners of war. Unfortunately he reached St. Maloes during the sanguinary government of Robespierre, who, without any respect to the laws or common usage of nations, not only seized the vessels, but threw their commander and crews into prison, in consequence of which, a very considerable period elapsed, before any intelligence whatsoever could be obtained, either of Lieutenant Wood or of those under his orders.

From St. Maloes our officer was transferred to Paris; and after undergoing an examination by the Committee of Public Safety, who, it appears, suspected the men brought by him to France were royalists, was consigned to the Abbaye, in which, and various other prisons, he was confined for many months. Being at length liberated on his parole of honor, he exerted himself most warmly in behalf of his suffering countrymen, and with no inconsiderable degree of success, as will appear from the following letter addressed by General O’Hara, who had been taken prisoner at the siege of Toulon (and with whom he formed an intimacy during his captivity), to the late Viscount Melville, at that time Principal Secretary of State for the War Department:–

Paris, Prison Du Dreneux, April 6, 1795.

“Sir, – Give me leave to present to you Lieutenant Wood, of the Royal Navy, whose long confinement in a common jail, where our acquaintance began, renders him highly deserving your protection, as the unexampled severities he experienced arose from his manly endeavours to oblige those faithless people to carry into execution the object of his mission to this country.

“Lieutenant Wood will, I am fully persuaded, Sir, have a further claim to your good offices, when you are acquainted that several English families who had languished for many months in the prisons of this town, the mansions of despair and accumulated cruelties, are indebted to his friendly interference for their liberty; and that likewise the exchange of several officers of the royal navy have been in a great measure brought about by his unremitting exertions.

“I trust, Sir, you will have the goodness to forgive the liberty I take of endeavouring to contribute my feeble aid to be useful to an officer, whose sufferings have been so great, and fortunes so deeply wounded from a spirited discharge of his duty.

“I have the honor to be, Sir, with the greatest respect,
“Your most obedient, and most humble Servant,
(Signed)Charles O’Hara

“Right Hon. Henry Dundas,
&c. &c. &c.”

Among the Englishmen then in the power of France was Captain Cotes, late of the Thames frigate; from whom, previous to his departure from Paris, Lieutenant Wood, although personally unknown to him, received a letter, dated at Gisors, in the department de l’Eure, from which we extract the following passage; –

“The interest you take in my misfortunes, merits my sincere acknowledgements, and for which I shall entertain the most lasting rememhrance. I am, I thank you, in want of nothing but health; would but the Great Bestower of it grant me that, I should be happy, and to assure you personally how much I am,

“Your grateful humble servant,
(Signed)James Cotes.”

“Lieut. Wood, Rûe Fauxbourg St. Honoré,
No. 64, à Paris.”

Soon after his return to England, Lieutenant Wood was advanced to the rank of Commander, and appointed to the Favorite, sloop of war, in which, after cruising for some time in the Channel, he proceeded to the West Indies, where he arrived in time to assist in quelling the insurrections which had long raged in the islands of St. Vincent and Grenada, and threatened the total destruction of those colonies. Among the many instances of his activity and zeal while on that service, was the capture and destruction of three formidable French privateers in the course of one day. These vessels, which he fell in with in the Gulf of Paria, had been long and but too successfully employed in carrying provisions to the insurgents of the latter island. Subsequent to this event, Captain Otway, the senior officer on that station, ordered the Favorite to cruise to windward of Grenada, where she fell in with three other armed vessels, chased them during a whole day in light variable winds, and at length came up with a ship mounting 16 guns, formerly a Liverpool letter of marque, but then an enemy’s cruiser, which struck without firing a shot; and Captain Wood by this means obtaining a knowledge of the private night signal, was fortunate enough to get possession of her consorts before day-light. From this period no supplies were ever received by the brigands, for the only vessel that ever afterwards attempted to come over was taken in a most gallant manner by the boats of the Zebra sloop of war, under the directions of Lieutenant Senhouse.

The sheet containing our memoir of Rear-Admiral Otway had passed through the press previous to the publication of a pamphlet entitled “A Narrative of the Insurrection in the Island of Grenada;” we therefore avail ourselves of this opportunity to contradict some of the statements contained therein, which certainly lessen the credit due to that officer, and the subject of this memoir. At p. 158 of that narrative, the writer asserts, that the garrison at Labay were abandoned to their fate, with hardly a probability of effecting a retreat. So far from this having been the case, Captain Otway ordered the Favorite to remain off that place to the last moment, and to attend the garrison along shore in their retreat to Sauteur. At day-light on the morning of March 1, 1796, Captain Wood, observing the enemy take possession of Pilot Hill, weighed and worked up through an intricate channel full of rocks and shoals, and anchored off Sauteur about 3 P.M. The insurgents were at this time bringing their heavy cannon forward by means of a string of mules, upwards of 100 in number, and at 5 o’clock made their appearance on the neighbouring heights. There being no other vessels than the Favorite, and an armed transport named the Sally, then at that anchorage, Captain Wood immediately pressed two large sloops which were lying at Isle Ronde, moored them close to the beach, and before 8 o’clock, succeeded in bringing off all the troops and the followers of the army, amounting in the whole to between 1,100 and 1,200 men, of different colours, whom he conveyed in safety to St. George’s, where they were landed by day-light the next morning. Had any delay occurred in the embarkation, there can be no doubt that every man of them would have been massacred, as the post of Sauteur was not tenable against cannon, and the brigands gave no quarter. It may be proper in this place to mention, that there is not depth of water in Labay for a ship of war to approach the shore near enough to fire her guns with effect, while she would, in attempting to do so, be a dead mark for the enemy’s artillery placed on the adjacent heights; and that Pilot Hill, after the destruction of the town, was no lonsrer a post to be defended with any prospect of success, as the insurgents, being greatly superior in numbers, commanded every part of the shore, and the garrison could not protect their own landing place, or even obtain a supply of water. No encomiums, however, are too great for the gallant Major Wright, who commanded there.

At p. 146 of the pamphlet alluded to, an unsuccessful attempt is said to have been made by a boat belonging to the Favorite to cut a schooner, loaded with provisions and wine, which had been taken by some armed canoes, out of the harbour of Guyave. On the contrary, Captain Wood was not acquainted with the capture of that vessel. This error, had it been the only one into which the author has fallen respecting the proceedings of the King’s ships, we should have considered of too little importance to mention. At p. 152, he gives the credit of capturing the privateers, taken by the Favorite on the coast of Trinidad, to the Alarm and Zebra; whereas Captain Wood had no communication with them, either at the time of the capture or afterwards. We could point out several other inaccuracies in the Narrative; but wishing to present our readers with one which we believe will not admit of contradiction, shall conclude by recommending those who feel an interest in the subject, to compare the contents of p. 694 of this volume with those of the last but four of the pamphlet in question. There are many still in existence who can corroborate the truth of the former.

In September 1796, a few days prior to the departure of Sir Hugh C. Christian for England, Captain Wood waited upon that officer, in company with Captain Otway, (whose attention he had repeatedly called to the situation of Trinidad,) and represented the facility with which that important settlement might be wrested from the Spaniards, and added to the possessions of Great Britain, at the same time earnestly entreating him to mention the subject to Mr. Secretary Dundas on his arrival in London. On the 5th Jan. in the ensuing year, Sir Ralph Abercrombie arrived at Martinique, in the Arethusa, from Europe. Captain Wood, anxious to know whether the General had been instructed to proceed against Trinidad, went on board the frigate before she anchored; and in the course of a long conversation, in which he urged the great importance of taking possession of that island, together with the Spanish squadron lying there, was happy to find that Sir Ralph perfectly coincided in opinion with him; and that although he had brought out no particular orders to that effect, his attention had been directed thereto by a note from either Sir Hugh Christian or Mr. Dundas, previous to his sailing from England to assume the chief command of the land forces employed in the West Indies. The General concluded his observations by stating, that he would discuss the matter with the naval Commander-in-Chief, immediately on his arrival at Port Royal. This conversation took place in the Arethusa’s cabin, in the presence of the present Earl of Hopetoun, and others of the gallant Abercrombie’s staff, among whom, we believe, was Colonel Frederick Maitland, now a Lieutenant-General.

On the very next day Captain Wood received instructions from Rear-Admiral Henry Harvey, to inspect the defences of Trinidad, of which he made the following report:–

“Sir. – In pursuance of your secret orders of the 6th inst., I arrived with his Majesty’s ship under my command off Trinidad at 7 o’clock on Sunday evening, the 8th inst., where I spoke an American who had left the Gulph of Paria that morning. After receiving all the information that I could from him, I proceeded on to enter the first Boca; hoisted out a small, but very fast sailing boat, which had been blacked like a canoe for this express purpose, and sent an intelligent officer in, with directions to post himself on a small island covered with a thick wood, and to haul the boat up into a small cove, where it would be impossible to see her either from the Spanish ships or the shore. The officer remained on the island until 8 o’clock next morning.

“There are three two-decked ships lying in Shagaramus Bay, not moored, no sails bent, nor top-gallant-yards across. The Spanish Admiral, bearing a flag at the mizen, lies the inside ship. In fact they are in their old position[3].

“The Favorite’s boat rowed round them several times during the night; and it is my opinion that these ships might be boarded and carried by boats in the night, without the loss of a man, as they keep but a very indifferent look out.

“On the East point of Parsang’s Island, or Gaspar Grande, which forms the West entrance of Shagaramus Bay, there is a small battery of masonry, about twenty feet above the water’s edge, where the enemy have 4 guns; and on the summit of the same island there is a look-out house, and some huts, with a flag-staff lately erected, but no works yet thrown up; nor is there the least appearance of any encampment about the bay; nor any fortification erected on the peninsula of Point Gourd, or the island of Shagaramus, which completely commands it, and also Trimbladaire Bay, and the Carénage to the eastward of it, where there is a most capital landing place for troops.

“There is also a two-decked ship, of 80 guns, and a frigate, that now lie seven or eight miles higher up the gulph, abreast of Port d’Espagne; but at such a distance that the guns on shore could give them no protection ill case of an attack. From the best information I have been able to procure, there are not more than 1000 land troops on the island, and not more than 600 of them fit to serve.

“From the local knowledge I have of this island, and all the information that I have succeeded in obtaining, I have no doubt of its accuracy; and in the event of an expedition being undertaken against it, if you will permit me to have the honor of laying the Prince of Wales[4] alongside the Spanish Admiral, and to pilot in your squadron, I will answer for the success of the enterprise with my life.

“I have the honor to be, Sir,
“Your most obedient, humble servant,
(Signed)“J. A. Wood.”

Rear-Admiral H. Harvey, &c. &c.
Jan
. 13, 1797.”

A few days after the date of the above report, Captain Wood was desired by Rear Admiral Harvey to turn his attention to the mode of attack necessary to be adopted; in consequence of which, he submitted to that officer and Sir Ralph Abercrombie the following plan, which after due consideration they did him the honor to approve of, and signified their determination to carry into execution:

“Secrecy, and the utmost expedition, are most earnestly recommended. “The squadron, with the transports and troops, ought to assemble at the island of Cariaco. It would be proper to leave that island by three o’clock in the afternoon, that the transports and heavy sailing ships might have time to clear the small islands and keys to the southward of it before dark.

The squadron might then proceed under easy sail on a S.E.b.S. course, so as to arrive well to windward on the north side of Trinidad by two or three o’clock in the afternoon of next day.

“The squadron might then proceed as far to the westward as Sus Manos, or Punta Chupara, the northernmost point of the island, where it might be proper to detach a company of light troops to take possession of the bay and road of Les Quebas, the only road that communicates between the plantations on the north side of the island and the town of Port d’Espagne; this would effectually prevent the enemy having any knowledge of our arrival; or if thought necessary, a larger body of troops might be landed to take the enemy in the rear, to prevent the men landing from the ships, or to cut off their communication with the country.

“To prevent any alarm, the squadron should keep the coast close on board, (as there is no danger that does not appear, and good anchorage every where along the shore) and under such sail as to arrive at the Bocas about nine o’clock in the evening. An attentive observer always knows by the appearance of the high hills whether there will be a good breeze or not during the night in the Bocas; but indeed it is seldom or ever calm in the great Boca at this season of the year.

“The squadron should proceed into the Gulph through the great or southernmost Boca. As soon as the Gulph is entered, the sea is as smooth as a mill pond, and it is most probable that a stretch of 6 or 7 miles to the southward, and a tack of 5 or 6 miles to the northward, will enable the squadron either to enter Shagaramus Bay, or to weather it. The troops ought to be immediately embarked in the boats, and an attack made on Gasper Grande, where the enemy have erected a redoubt surrounded with pallisades, since last reconnoitred. Three hundred men would ensure complete success to this attack; the rest of the troops ought instantly to be landed in Trimbladaire Bay, and take possession of the neck of land which separates Point Gourd from the main, where there is nothing to oppose them; by having possession of Point Gourd, and Gasper Grande, the enemy’s ships have no retreat nor communication with the shore left them, and must fall into our hands; Point Gourd not only commands Shagaramus Bay, but also Trimbladaire Bay, and is 50 yards higher than Gaspar Grande.

“In case any black troops accompany the expedition, it might be proper to land them on the low marshy land, to the southward of the town, as well to ensure abundant supplies of cattle, as to cut off all communication with the town and this quarter, from whence it draws its chief subsistence.

(Signed)“J. A. Wood.”

The successful result of the expedition against Trinidad has been already stated at p. 112: we shall therefore content ourselves with observing that Captain Wood was immediately after its capture promoted to the command of the San Damaso, of 74 guns, the only Spanish line-of-battle ship which, at that time, fell into our possession. His post commission was confirmed by the Admiralty, March 27, 1797.

Soon after the above important event, the San Damaso escorted a large fleet of merchantmen to England; but as she was not continued in commission, Captain Wood was appointed to the Garland frigate, then employed at the Cape of Good Hope, under the orders of Sir Hugh C. Christian, by whom he was sent, in company with a small squadron, upon a cruise off the islands of Mauritius and Bourbon, during which intelligence was received that two large French frigates had been committing great depredations in the Indian seas, and were proceeding towards Madagascar.

In consequence of this information, the squadron went in pursuit of the enemy; and at length Captain Wood discovered a large vessel at anchor near the former French settlement of Fort Dauphine. The rest of the ships being to ice ward and unable to work up against the current, the Garland was ordered to examine her, and stood in shore for that purpose; but when arrived within a mile of the enemy, she unfortunately struck with great violence upon a pointed rock, fifteen feet under water, unshipped her tiller, and before Captain Wood could run her into an opening in the reef, had settled so far that the water was rushing through the midship ports on the main-deck and the hawse holes. He however succeeded in saving the whole of her crew, rigging, and stores.

The enemy, instead of a frigate, proved to be a large merchant ship, pierced for 24 guns, with a complement of 150 men. She ran ashore on the approach of the Garland; but perceiving the disaster that had befallen that ship, the Frenchmen pushed off in their boats, and endeavoured to recover the possession of their deserted vessel. Very luckily, the Garland’s boats, being to windward, first reached and secured her; a circumstance which proved of essential service to Captain Wood and his crew, during their continuance at Madagascar. This event occured July 26, 1798.

Having succeeded in his endeavours to conciliate the natives, our officer had most of the Frenchmen delivered up to him as prisoners; and, while he remained upon the island, was well supplied with every thing that it afforded. He had built one vessel of 15 tons burthen, and made considerable progress in the construction of another to carry his men to the Cape of Good Hope; when, at the expiration of four months, the Star sloop of war made her appearance at St. Luce, and in her, the French prisoners were conveyed to the Isle of France; the Garland's officers and men returning to the Cape in their prize, and some small vessels taken by the squadron under Commodore Osborne[5].

On Captain Wood’s arrival in England he was appointed to the Acasta, one of the finest frigates in the navy, in which he went to the Mediterranean with despatches relative to the treaty of Amiens. On his return, he was re-commissioned to fort, which might be surprised. Ships may lie at anchor under the protection of this mountain, out of gun-shot of the main land. It appears to me equally as strong by nature as Gibraltar; and when it is considered that a squadron of British ships may leave the road in the evening, and appear off either Rochefort or Ferrol next day, it must be considered as a place of very great importance to Great Britain to be possessed of. It is also in sight of the two principal Spanish ports of St. Andero and Bilboa. The possession of this place would also enable us to supply all the north of Spain with British manufactures through the numerous little ports on the coast, and to make our returns in dollars or wool. The French, at present, monopolize the whole trade of the coast, and make their returns in dollars. It is carried on in small chasse-marées, or boats which never quit the land very far, and in war time wear Spanish colours.

(Signed)“J. A. Wood.”

Towards the latter end of 1804, Captain Wood was ordered to escort a very valuable fleet to the West Indies. Before his arrival at Jamaica, Sir John T. Duckworth, the Commander-in-Chief on that station, had heard of his recall, and determined to return to England in the Acasta. With this view he appointed his own Captain to supersede Captain Wood, and nominated the latter to the Hercule, a 74-gun ship, then at sea, and in which it was well known his successor intended to hoist his flag; consequently leaving our officer without any ship, to make his way to England in the best manner that he could. Captain Wood strongly remonstrated with the Vice-Admiral against this measure, which he conceived to be highly unjust and oppressive, as he had been appointed to the Acasta by the Board of Admiralty. Notwithstanding his representations, however, Sir John persevered, and Captain Wood was therefore obliged to return to England as a passenger on board of his own ship.

Immediately that the Lords of the Admiralty were apprized of this proceeding, they re-appointed Captain Wood to the Acasta; and, at the same time, adopted a regulation to prevent, in future, any Admiral upon a foreign station, from exercising his authority so much to the detriment of the public service.

Subsequent events, which are generally known to the profession, prevented Captain Wood from resuming the command of the Acasta; but he was soon after appointed in succession to the Uranie and Latona frigates; and in the latter, after serving for some time in the Channel, again ordered to convoy a fleet to the West Indies. Previous to his departure from England, he took the liberty of calling the attention of the first Lord of the Admiralty to the state and position of the enemy’s squadron in the roads of Isle d’Aix, it being his opinion that the whole of the ships there might be brought out by a coup-de-main. After some correspondence on the subject, Mr. Grey named a day and hour for the discussion of this affair at the Admiralty, where the Admirals Pole and Markham, and also Mr. Tucker, the Secretary, were present. The following appears to have been Captain Wood’s proposal:

That an equal number of line-of-battle ships to those of the enemy at that time moored off Isle d’Aix, in a line a-breast, nearly N.E. and S.W., should be selected. That each of those ships should have an addition to her complement of 200 seamen and 100 marines. Each Captain to be made acquainted with the ship of the enemy he was to lay on board on the weather bow, the weathermost ship of the enemy to be called number one, according to the state of the wind. The general bearing of the enemy’s squadron from the usual anchorage of the British in Basque. Roads was S.E., and consequently a S.W. or N.E. wind, a leading one in or out of d’Aix Roads, and the attacking ships might have varied their position so as to bring the enemy’s squadron nearly two points more to leeward, according to the wind. The time proposed for the attack was about two hours before day-light, and after the enemy’s ships had tended to the ebb-tide, boats properly protected being previously placed on the edge of the Boyart shoal and Isle d’Aix with lights darkened towards the enemy. Launches with carpenters and axes ready to cut the enemy’s cables, and every man being fully acquainted with what he was to do. A sufficient number of small craft ready to proceed with anchors and cables. The attacking squadron to be led in by the Latona, and to pass to windward of the enemy’s weathermost ship; and when she had passed, to burn a false fire, or to shew two lights, at which time each attacking ship was to bear up and lay her opponent on board on the weather bow. The vessels to be immediately lashed together. After cutting the cables, their sails to be loosed; by which, and the assistance of the ebb-tide, they might have been brought out to Basque Roads in half an hour, or less. Frigates and small craft to have kept up a fire to amuse the battery on Isle d’Aix, and to assist as otherwise directed. Any number of ships might have been ready in Basque Roads to secure the prizes.

Notwithstanding the apparent practicability of this plan, it was considered by those who had to deliberate on the propriety of attempting its execution, that there was more to be risked than gained. Captain Wood’s opinion was therefore over-ruled.

The Latona formed part of the squadron under the orders of the present Sir Charles Brisbane at the capture of Curaçoa, Jan. 1, 1807; and, together with the Arethusa, commanded by that distinguished officer, bore the principal part in the transactions of that memorable day. Those ships, as we have already stated at p. 740, entered the harbour in close order of battle, some time before the rest of the squadron; and whilst the latter engaged Fort Republique, Captain Wood, who had taken up a most excellent position, soon silenced the fire of all that part of the enemy’s force opposed to him; namely, Fort Amsterdam, the opposite batteries, a frigate and other armed vessels. He was afterwards ordered to warp his ship against Fort Republique; but before the others which lay in in his way, could be got afloat, the capitulation for the surrender of the island was agreed to.

Upon this honorable and glorious service, Captain Wood was second in command; and to the credit of all concerned, it is but fair to remark, that an enterprise more wisely planned, or more gallantly executed, is not to be found in our naval annals. The Commodore, in his official despatches, bore ample testimony to the merits of all employed in the undertaking; and, as a testimony of the King’s high approbation of their conduct, the respective commanders were each presented with a gold medal on the occasion[6].

Subsequent to the conquest of Curaçoa, Captain Wood was entrusted by Sir Alexander Cochrane, who had succeeded to the chief command on that station, with the blockade of the Danish islands, which terminated in their surrender, at the latter end of 1807[7]. He afterwards removed to the Captain, of 74 guns, and in her was present at the reduction of Martinique[8]. His next appointment was to the Neptune, a second-rate, in which he continued to be actively employed till the summer of 1810, when he joined the Pompée, of 74 guns; and after serving for some time on the Lisbon and Channel stations, proceeded to the Mediterranean, where he remained till the conclusion of the war. He received the honor of knighthood on his return from the West Indies, as a reward for his general services; was nominated a C.B. June 4, 1815; and advanced to the rank of Rear-Admiral, July 19, 1821[9].

Residence.– H 4, Albany, Piccadilly.



  1. Captain Blair was among the slain. See note at p. 39.
  2. Mr. Wood’s valuable communications to Mr. Arrowsmith, respecting such parts of Africa as had been previously unknown, were fully acknowledged by that able geographer, who died April 23, 1823.
  3. Captain Wood had reconnoitred the enemy’s squadron a few days before, and reported their exact position to Rear-Admiral Harvey.
  4. The Prince of Wales was Rear-Admiral Harvey’s flag-ship.
  5. During Captain Wood's continuance at Madagascar, he surveyed the coast from Fort Dauphiné to St. Luce, and about three miles to the southward of the latter place discovered an anchorage within the reef, sufficient to contain a numerous fleet of line-of-battle ships.
  6. The Committee of the Patriotic Fund at Lloyd’s, voted a sword or vase (at his option) of the value of 200l. to Captain Brisbane, and swords or vases value 100l. each, to the Captains Wood, Lydiard, and Bolton.
  7. See p. 263.
  8. See p. 264.
  9. Sir James A. Wood’s younger brother, Andrew, like himself, entered the naval service at a very early age, went to India after the peace of 1783, and served some time as chief officer of the Sir Edward Hughes, a vessel (originally intended for a 50-gun ship) belonging to the E.I.Company. At the time when a war was subsequently expected with Holland, he was sent, in the command of a small vessel, to the Straits of Sunda, for the purpose of informing thirty sail of Indiamen of that circumstance. Unfortunately, his vessel was wrecked at the entrance of the Straits, and it was with great difficulty that any of the crew reached the shore. Impressed, however, with a strong sense of the importance of his mission, he took an open boat, and, in defiance of the elements, and of the Malays, who murdered more than half of his men, he cruised in the Straits during three months, and succeeded in giving, the necessary intelligence to twenty-nine sail out of the thirty. Approving highly of his diligence and intrepidity, the different governments concurred in recommending him for promotion in his own line. Anxious to rejoin the Sir Edward Hughes, and all the ships of the season having left Bombay, he bought a small vessel, of less than five tons, had her decked, and, with three Lascars on board, embarked for the Cape of Good Hope, where he arrived in safety after a passage of 63 days. Not finding any ship there that was proceeding to England, and conceiving the most perilous part of the voyage to be over, he again set out in his little bark, with three foreign seamen; but, to the deep regret of his family, he was never heard of more!