APPENDIX II

The following documents, which it has been thought best to print in extenso and partly in the original Portuguese as well as in translations, have been discovered in the National Archives at Lisbon by General de Brito Rebello, who is the Principal Librarian and Keeper of the Records, and translated by Mr G. J. Henriques. Nos. 1-10 give a connected account of the introduction of Phillip by one of his official superiors at the Admiralty (Rear-Admiral the Hon. Augustus John Hervey, afterwards Earl of Bristol) to the Portuguese Minister in London, as a candidate for employment in the Portuguese Navy. Admiral Hervey's first letter (No. 2) is dated 25th August 1774, and the royal warrant of appointment (No. 10) the 14th January 1775. As Mr Henriques, in his letter to myself communicating the discovery, puts it, 'you now have a complete narrative of the circumstances under which Phillip entered the Portuguese Service; the name of the gentleman (apparently connected with the Admiralty in London) who introduced him; nearly the exact dates of his leaving London and arriving in Lisbon; the terms of his engagement; and last, but not least, the unbiassed testimony to his worth and capacity given by his contemporaries when he was still of subordinate rank.' Nos. 11-34 afford a number of interesting glimpses into the life the young Englishman led while serving abroad in the Portuguese Navy, and show how much appreciated he was by his foreign employers.

I have to thank the Portuguese Minister in London (M. de Soveral) and the British Minister in Lisbon (Sir Hugh Macdonell) for the kind interest they have taken in this quest, nor must I forget my friend Mr Eric Barrington of the Foreign Office, who first gave me the clue which I have followed up. To General de Brito Rebello, for his painstaking researches in the Archives, and to Mr G. J. Henriques for the excellent translations of the Portuguese documents I must also express my sincere acknowledgments. The letters, etc., only came to light last March, when this book was already in print; so that they could not be inserted in their natural place in the biography. The notes are due to General de Brito Rebello.

H. F. Wilson.

No. 1.

(From Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza[1] to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro).[2]

Illmo e Exmo} Senhor, — Ponho na prezença de V.

Exa a carta original que ultimamente recebi de Mr Hervey, sobre o official que pretende entrar no serviço de Sua Magestade.

O mesmo official me procurou depois em direitura; e me expoz, de viva voz, o detalhe das suas condições, que consistem nos pontos seguintes:—

1.—Que em attenção que aqui deixa, e ás maiores vantagens que costumam ter os officiaes inglezes no estado de reforma, se lhe concede, no serviço de Portugal, a mesma paga que tem os officiaes estrangeiros quando se acham em actual exercicio sobre o mar.

2.—Que no estado de reforma, se lhe concederá ametade do referido soldo.

3.—Que se lhe fará promessa de se lhe expedir a patente de Capitão de Mar e Guerra immediamente que chegar a Portugal.

O dito official me não fallou palavra a respeito de ajuda de custo; porem como é provavel que me possa tocar n'essa materia, desejarei ser instruido positivamente sobre o que devo responder-lhe. Emtanto me limitei a assegurar, assim a Mr Hervey como ao seu recommendado, que poria a mesma carta, com as tres proposições, na presença da minha Corte; e que lhe communicaria a resposta que tivesse a esse respeito.

Deos Guarde a V. Exa. Londres, 30 de Agosto de 1774.

(Signed) Luiz Pinto de Souza.

Illm° e Exm° Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 1 (Translation).

Your Excellency,—I place before Your Excellency the original letter which I lately received from Mr Hervey about the officer who desires to enter His Majesty's service.

The said officer, since then, came direct to me, and verbally stated the details of his conditions, which consist in the following points:—

1.—That, in consideration of what he gives up here, and the superior advantages which it is the custom for English officers to enjoy when they are on the Retired List, he be allowed, in the Portuguese Service, the same pay as foreign officers receive when on active service at sea.

2.—That when on the Retired List he be allowed half of that pay.

3.—That a promise be made to him that, immediately upon his arrival in Portugal, a Commission of Captain of the Fleet will be issued to him.

The officer in question said not a word to me about an allowance for travelling expenses; but, as it is probable that he will broach the subject, I should like to be positively informed as to what I ought to reply. Meanwhile, I limited myself to assuring both Mr Hervey and the person recommended by him that I would place the said letter and proposals before my Court, and would communicate to him the reply which I might receive thereon.

God preserve Your Excellency. London, on the 30th August 1774.

(Signed) Luiz Pinto de Souza.

To His Excellency Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 2.

(From Rear-Admiral the Hon. Augustus John Hervey[3] to Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza.)

A l'Amirauté ce 25me d'Aôut, 1774.

Monsieur,—Je suis très mortifié de n'avoir pas eu l'honneur de vous trouver chez vous, d'autant plus que je suis obligé d'aller prendre les eaux d'Aix-la-Chappelle pour une mois, mais j'espére être plus heureux à mon retour.

Monsr de Mello m'en a parlé quelque temps passé pour me prier de recommander quelque officier de merite de la Marine pour entrer dans votre service; je lui ai repondu alors la dessus (comme a mon ami Monsr Martine de Mello en Portugal) que vraiment je ne pouvait prendre sur moy un telle commission, puisque ceux que je voudrai recommander ne serez pas dans le cas de quitter l'Angleterre; et ceux que voudront entrer dans votre service peut être seront ceux que je ne voudrait pas recommander au Roi votre Maitre, à qui je doit tant d'obligations et que j'honnore tant; mais hereusement j'ai l'offre d'un officier que aura l'honneur de vous presenter cette lettre; qui je peut très bien à toutes égards hazarder de me commetre pour lui un très bon officier de Marine, un en qui se rencontre le Theorie avec beaucoup de Pratique; et qui a toujours très bien servi:—il parle fort bien[4] Francois et joint plusieurs qualités d'un officier ensemble. Il desire servir votre Auguste Mâitre, et je lui ai promis la permission (si du rétour de vos lettres le Roy de Portugal l'accept) pour commander un vaisseau de haut bord. Il est Lieutenant ici, mais il mérite bien d'avoir un commande si vos usages et la Paix permettoit une promotion. Il s'appelle Lieut. Phillips (sic).

Je serai charmé qu'il ira en Portugal parceque je connais son mérite, et je vous serai bien obligé Monsr si vous aurai la bonté d'écrire a Monsr de Pombal et a Monsr de Mello la dessûs, pour lesquelles je lui donneroit des lettres, si en cas il est assez heureux d'y aller.

J'ai l'honneur d'être avec tout le respect et l'estime possible, Monsieur, Votre très humble et très obeissant serviteur,

A. Hervey.

Je n'aurait pas pris la liberté de vous écrire sur ce sujet, sans votre permission, si j'avoit eu le moindre esperance d'avoir l'honneur de vous voir avant mon depart.

No. 3.

(From Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.)

Illmo e Exmo Senhor,—Polo Officio de 30 de Agosto tive a honra de dirigir a V. Exa uma carta de Mr Hervey sobre a proposição de entrar no serviço da marinha de S. Magde o Tenente de Mar e Guerra Phillips; como tambemas propozições que vocalmente me fez o mesmo official, como preliminares do seu ajuste; porem, como athé o presente, não tenho recebido resposta de V. Exa desejo certificar-me se acaso o referido Officio foi entregue, e a resposta que devo dar a Mr Hervey, que hoje mesmo mandou saber aqui se tinha vindo.

Deos Guarde a V. Exa. Londres, o primeiro de Novembro de 1774.

Luiz Pinto de Souza.

Illmo e Exmo Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 3 (Translation).

Your Excellency,—With my Despatch of August 30th, I had the honour of addressing to Your Excellency a letter from Mr Hervey upon the offer of Lieutenant Phillips of the Royal Navy, to enter His Majesty's service in the Navy, together with the proposals which that officer made verbally to me as a preliminary to his engagement. As, however, I have not, down to the present time, received any reply from Your Excellency, I wish to know if the said Despatch was delivered, and what reply I ought to give to Mr Hervey, who this very day sent here to enquire if any had arrived.

God preserve Your Excellency. London, the 1st of November 1774.

(Signed) Luiz Pinto de Souza.

To His Excellency Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 4.

(From Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro to Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza.)

Illmo Senhor,—Levei á presença de Sua Magestade a carta de V. Sa, e, juntamente, a que lhe escreveu Monsieur Hervey, sobre o Tenente de Mar Phillips, que pertende entrar ao serviço de Portugal, debaixo das condições apontadas na referida carta de V. Sa, sobre as quaes deve V. Sa responder e segurar a ambos o seguinte:—

Que El Rey Nosso Senhor está bem certo que as informações dadas por Monsr Hervey na carta que escreveu a V. Sa não podem deixar de ser muito conformes ao prestimo, experiencia e capacidade de um official digno da sua recommendação.

Que, n'esta intelligencia, logo que o Tenente Phillips chegar a este Reino, se lhe expedirá a patente de Capitão de Mar e Guerra das Armadas de Sua Magestade.

Que os officiaes estrangeiros que sao admittidos ao Real Serviço, e com as circumstancias d'elle Tenente Phillips, vencem em terra e no mar soldo dobrado dos que vencem os officiaes Portugueses em uma e outra parte.

Que este soldo dobrado he de quarenta mil reis por mez em terra, e de oitenta mil reis no mar; tendo, além d'isto, em quanto andam embarcados em Fragatas de Guerra, quatro mil e oitocentos, e em Naus de Linha, seis mil e quatrocentos por dia para a sua mesa, á qual devem admittir os officiaes de patente e capelães da sua guarnição, percebendo igualmente para a mesma mesa, tantas rações do porão quantos fôrem as pessoas da qualidade acima indicadas que comerem a ella.

Que não se pratica em Portugal convencionar soldos em caso de reforma; que os officiaes benemeritos não se costumam reformar em quanto podem servir, e que quando isto acontece por impossibilidade dos mesmos officiaes ou por qualquer outro motivo que não seja desagradavel á Corte, os manda Sua Magestade gratificar, accordando-lhes não só meios soldos, mas soldos inteiros e outras gramas proporcionadas aos postos, prestimo, capacidade e comportamento de cada um d'elles.

Deos Guarde a V. Sa. Palacio de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda em 15 de Outubro de 1774.

Martinho de Mello e Castro.

Illmo Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza.

No. 4 (Translation).

Sir,— placed before His Majesty your letter together with the one written to you by Monsieur Hervey relating to Lieutenant Phillips, of the Navy, who desires to enter the Portuguese service upon the conditions set forth in your said letter, with regard to which you should reply to and assure both of them as follows:—

That the King Our Master is quite convinced that the information given by Monsieur Hervey in the letter which he wrote to you cannot be otherwise than in accordance with the worth, experience, and capacity of an officer who merits his recommendation.

That, such being the case, as soon as Lieutenant Phillips reaches this kingdom, a Commission of Captain of His Majesty's Fleets shall be issued to him.

That foreign officers who are admitted to the Royal service under such circumstances as Lieutenant Phillips, receive, both afloat and ashore, double the pay which is given to Portuguese officers in either case.

That this double pay is forty mil reis[5] per month on land, and eighty mil reis[6] at sea; and they have, in addition, when on board of frigates of war, four thousand eight hundred reis,[7] or, on board of ships of the line, six thousand four hundred reis[8] per day for their table, to which they ought to admit the Commissioned Officers and the Chaplains of their crews, they receiving, in addition, for their said table, as many rations from the hold as there are persons of the aforesaid rank who eat at it.

That it is not customary in Portugal to fix the amount of pay in case of retirement; that it is not usual for deserving officers to retire so long as they are able to serve; and that when it so happens, from incapacity of those officers, or other motive which may not be displeasing to the Court, His Majesty orders them to be rewarded, granting them not only half-pay, but full pay, and other favours, in proportion to the post, worth, capacity and behaviour of each.

God preserve you. Palace of our lady of Ajuda, on the 15th of October 1774.

(Signed) Martinho de Mello e Castro.

To Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza.

No. 5.

(From Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.)

Illmo e Exmo Senhor,—Acabo de receber o Officio que V. Exa me dirigio em data de 15 de Outubro, sobre a resposta que devia dar ao Capitão Phillips, a quem logo a communiquei, assim como a Mr Hervey.

Este cavalheiro me segurou que aquelle official não podia desejar mais; porem que não concluisse eu este negocio sem que primeiro se recolhesse do campo, para onde partia por seis dias.

Disse-me, unicamente, que prezumia que na Marinha Portugueza os Capitães de Mar e Guerra se embarcavam tambem sobre Fragatas; em cuja pratica podia haver alguma difficuldade da parte de Mr Phillips, por quanto a sua pretenção era ser capitão de navio de alto bordo, como aqui se explicam; o que em Inglaterra fazia grande differença.

Confessei a Mr Hervey em como me não achava instrudo na pratica da Marinha Portugueza: Que podia talvez dar-se o caso em que a precisão assim o pedisse; porem que os capitães de mar e guerra da Corôa eram Commandantes de Navios, e que esta ere a sua graduação em Portugal.

Fico esperando a sua volta do campo afim de avizar V. Exa sobre a concluzão d'este negocio.

Deos Guarde a V. Exa. Londres, 8 de Novembro de 1774.

Luiz Pinto de Souza.

Illmo e Exmo Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No 5 (Translation).

Your Excellency,—I have just received the Despatch which Your Excellency addressed to me, dated 15th of October, regarding the reply which I should give to Captain Phillips, to whom, as well as to Mr Hervey, I at once communicated it.

The latter gentleman assured me that the officer in question could not desire anything more; but that he wished me not to conclude the affair until he had returned from the country, where he was going for six days.

He only said to me that he presumed that, in the Portuguese Service, Captains of the Fleet sailed also in Frigates; a practice which might give rise to some difficulty on the part of Mr Phillips, because his pretension was to be captain of a ship of the line as it is understood here; which, in England, makes a great difference.

I confessed to Mr Hervey that I was not informed as to the practice in the Portuguese Navy; that it was possible that a case might occur in which necessity would require it; but that the Captains of the Fleet of the Crown were Commanders of ships and ranked as such in Portugal.

I am awaiting his return from the country to inform Your Excellency as to the conclusion of this affair.

God preserve Your Excellency. London, the 8th of November 1774.

(Signed) Luiz Pinto de Souza.

To His Excellency Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No 6.

(From Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.)

Illmo e Exmo Senhor,—Recebi com o maior reconhecimento as Provas de benevolencia com que V. Exa se dignou honrar-me na sua carta familiar de 15 de Outubro, e aproveito esta occasião para render a V. Exa as devidas grac,as.

Porei, immediatemente, em pratica todas as ordens de V. Exa relativas assim ás machinas como ao Capitão Phillips; …

Deos Guarde a V. Exa. Londres, em 9 de Novembro de 1774.

Luiz Pinto de Souza.

Illmo e Exmo Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 6 (Translation).

Your Excellency,—With the greatest gratitude I received the proofs of your consideration with which Your Excellency was pleased to honour me in your private letter of 15th October, and I profit by this opportunity to render to Your Excellency my sincere thanks.

I will immediately set about carrying out all Your Excellency's orders, both with regard to the machines and to Captain Phillips. . . .

God preserve Your Excellency. London, the 9th of November 1774.

(Signed) Luiz Pinto de Souza.

To His Excellency Senhor Martino de Mello e Castro.

(The rest of this letter is solely about certain machines.)

No. 7.

(From Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro to Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza.)

Illmo Senhor, — Em 25 de Novembro de 1774 recebi a carta de V. Sa com data de 8 de Novembro, em resposta da que lhe dirigi em 15 de Outubro: E para V. Sa puder informar Monsr Hervey e Mr Phillips sobre a pergunta que lhe fizeram, é preciso dizer-lhe que na Marinha de Portugal não ha a differença de Capitão de Fragata e Capitão de Nau de Linha, ou de alto bordo. Todos os capitães de mar e guerra tem a mesma graduaćão, e só preferem uns aos outros pela antiguidade das patentes. O soldo é o mesmo ou andem em nau ou em fragata; e só os que commandam Nau de Linha tern para mesa $6400 reis por dia, em razão de ser maior o numero de officiaes a quern dão de comer; os que andam em Fragata tem$4800 reis em razão de ser menor o dito numero; e além d'isto cada official dos que comem á mesa, tem ração do porão que recebe o capitão de mar e guerra.

Todo o capitão de mar e guerra deve embarcar em nau de linha ou em fragata, como lhe fôr determinado, sem lhe ser permittido fazer sobre estã materia, nem outra alguma que respeite ao Real serviço, a menor duvida ou difficuldade.

É preciso que V. Sa informe igualmente a Mr Hervey e Mr Phillips que no serviço de Portugal muito frequentemente embarcam na mesma nau primeiro e segundo capitão de mar e guerra, e quando isto succede, o mais antigo é sempre o que commanda: de sorte que um capitão de mar e guerra deve sempre estar prompto a embarcar ou seja em nau de linha ou em fragata, e em qualquer d'ellas ou por primeiro ou por segundo, conforme a antiguidade da sua patente.

Pode haver outros usos e costumes que presentemente me não lembram; mas a todos elles se deve sujeitar o official que entra n'este Serviço; sem que de alguma sorte pretenda que se altere com elle o que se não pratica com os outros.

Deos Guarde a V. Sa. Em 25 de Novembro de 1774.

Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 7 (Translation).

Sir,—On the 25th of November 1774, I received your letter of the 8th of November, in reply to the one which I wrote to you on the 15th of October. And to enable you to reply to Monsieur Hervey and Mr Phillips, upon the question put by them to you, it is necessary to inform you that, in the Portuguese Navy, there is no distinction between the captain of a frigate and the captain of a ship of the line. All Captains of the Fleet rank alike, and only take precedence of each other according to the age of their Commissions. The pay is the same whether they sail in a ship of the line or in a frigate; only those who command a ship of the line have for their table six thousand four hundred reis per day on account of the number of officers whom they have to feed being larger, and those who sail in frigates have four thousand eight hundred reis, because the said number is smaller; and, in addition thereto, each of the officers who eats at the table has a ration from the hold, which is received by the Captain of the Fleet.

All Captains of the Fleet have to sail in ships of the line or in frigates, as they may be ordered; and it is not permissible for them to raise, upon this subject, or upon any other relating to the Royal Service, the slightest question or difficulty.

It is necessary that you should also inform Mr Hervey and Mr Phillips that in the Portuguese Service very frequently a first and second Captain of the Fleet sail in the same ship, and that when this occurs it is always the senior in rank who commands; consequently a Captain of the Fleet should be always prepared to sail, whether it be in a ship of the line or in a frigate, and, in either case, to be first or second in command, according to the age of his Commission.

There may be other usages and customs which do not occur to me at this moment; but an officer who enters this service must subject himself to them all, without in any way presuming that alterations will be made for him which are not practised with the others.

God preserve you. Lisbon, on the 25th of November 1774.

(Signed) Martinho de Mello e Castro.

To Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza.

No. 8.

(From Senhor Luiz Pinto de Souza to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.)

Illmo e Exmo Senhor,—Accuso recebido o ultimo despacho de V. Exa que trouxe a data de 25 de Novembro, o qual chegou a tempo que o Capitão Phillips se achava em vesperas de partir.

Logo que o recebi, communiquei tanto a Mr Hervey, como ao referido official a sua materia, e lh'a expuz na sua verdadeira luz, para que em nenhum tempo se queixasse; elle nada achou duro mais que a pratica de servirem dois capitães muitas vezes no mesmo navio ou fragata; porem a tudo se sugeitou e n'esta disposção lhe disse que podia partir quando quizesse.

Todas me dão boas informações da sua intelligencia e prestimo; desejarei agora que corresponda a ellas e á opinião que Mr Hervey deu do seu caracter.

Deos Guarde a V. Exa. Londres, 22 de Dezembro de 1774.

Luiz Pinto de Souza.

Illmo e Exmo Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 8 (Translation).

Your Excellency,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency's Despatch, dated the 25th of November, which arrived at the moment when Captain Phillips was on the eve of starting.

As soon as I received it, I communicated the contents of it both to Mr Hervey and to the officer in question, to whom I put it in its true light, so that he might never have cause for a grievance. The only thing in it which he thought hard was the practice of two captains very often serving in the same ship or frigate; but he subjected himself to everything, and, in view of this, I informed him that he could start whenever he liked.

Everybody reports highly of his intelligence and worth; I will now hope that he will bear them out, and also the opinion given by Mr Hervey of his character.

God preserve Your Excellency. London, the 22nd of December 1774.

(Signed) Luiz Pinto de Souza.

To his Excellency Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 9.

(From Rear-Admiral the Hon. Augustus John Hervey to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.)

A Londres, ce 22 me de Xbre 1774.

Mon cher Monsieur,—Je ne sçaurai resister les prières de Monsieur Phillips en lui recomandant au Protection de V. Exce: il part dans Pinstant pour Lisbonne, et quoique je suis très enrhumé, je ne pouvoit refuser cette témoinage à son mérite, ni cette justice a votre désire de le protéger par toute ou vous le trouverait. V. Exce peut être assuree que je ne lui auroit pas procurer Pagreement qu'il vient d'obtenir, sans être convaincu que je n'aurait pas a rougir pour son égard.

II y a bien long terns que je n'ai eu des nouvelles de V. Exce; mais il n'y a point de temps que m'empêchera d'etre, avec le plus grand respect et estime. — De V. Exce, le tres humble et très obeissant sr.,

A. Hervey.

Son Exce Monr De Mello, Sécretaire d'Etât, etc., etc.

No. 10.

(Royal Appointment of Arthur Phillip to be Captain in the Portuguese Fleet.

Hey por bem fazer mercê a Arthur Philipe do posto de Capitão de Mar e Guerra das Naus da minha Armada Real, em cujo posto vencerá soldo dobrado. O Conselho de Guerra o tenha assim entendido e lhe mande passar os Despachos necessarios. Salvaterra de Magos em 14 de Janeiro de 1775.

[Archivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo Livro XXVII, 2a serie do Conselho de Guerra F27.]

No. 10 (Translation).

It is my pleasure to grant to Arthur Philipe the post of Captain of the Ships of War of my Royal Fleet, in which post he will draw double pay. The Council of War will take cognizance of this, and will cause the necessary documents to be issued to him. Salvaterra de Magos, on the 14th of January 1775.

(His Majesty's Sign Manual.)

No. 11.

 January Tuesday, 17 1775. The Report was brought from the Ship of War Belem, now fitting, by Sergeant Ricardo José. Password. Countersign. São Gonçalo. Amarante. Orders. ·⁠·⁠·⁠·⁠·⁠· Occurrences. Arthur Philipe made Captain of the Fleet, and named to the warship Belem. By His Majesty's Decree, dated …, Arthur Philips was made a Captain, and was this day informed that he is to embark as second captain of the war-ship Belem.

[Marine Archives. Book IV. of the Registers of Orders of the Day, fol. 83.]

No. 12.

 January Wednesday, 25. 1775. The Report was brought from the said ship of war, now fitting, by Sergeant Luiz Antonio.

|- style="text-align:center;font-style:italic;" |Password.|| ||Countersign. |-style="text-align:center;" |São Jorge.|| ||Irlanda. |- | ||style="font-variant:small-caps;text-align:center;"|Orders. |-

|colspan=3|
······

|- | ||style="font-variant:small-caps;text-align:center;"|Occurrences. |- |style="border-right:1px solid black;width:33%;"|Leave granted to Captain Arthur Philips to go to Salvaterra. |colspan=2|Captain Arthur Philips, just appointed, announced that H.E. the Marquis de Pombal had granted him leave to go to Salvaterra. |- |style="border-right:1px solid black;width:33%;"|Leave granted to Captain Antonio de Salles. |colspan=2|Captain Antonio de Salles e Noronha announced that he had leave to go to Salvaterra. |}

[Ibid., fol. 83, reverse side.]

No. 13.

 February Monday, 6 1775. Report brought from the war-ship Belem by Lieutenant Joaquim d'Almeida. Password. Countersign. São Jão Baptista. Campo-maior. Orders. ·⁠·⁠·⁠·⁠·⁠· ​ Occurrences. The war-ship Belem set sail, and the reason why she cast anchor in front of Junqueira. At about half-past seven the war-ship Belem set sail, the day being clear and the wind somewhat fresh from the N.N.E. In front of Junqueira a calm came on, and as the sea was running strongly south, there was no remedy but to cast anchor, which was done at half-past one p.m., and she was brought to in front of Junqueira. The Captain reported that one of the top-gallant masts was rotten. Measures taken in consequence. On the same day the Captain of the said vessel reported that one of the top-gallant masts was rotten, and His Excellency the Marquis de Pombal ordered the Master of the Dockyard to examine the said mast. He condemned it, and was ordered to immediately replace it, which he did.

[Ibid., fol 85 (reverse side).]

14.

 February Thursday, 9 1775. The war-ship N. S. de Belem sailed. At ten o'clock in the morning the war-ship Nossa Senhora de Belem set sail with a fresh breeze from the N., and at a quarter to 12 she crossed the Bar. etc. etc.⁠etc.

[Ibid., fol. 86 (reverse side).]

No. 15.

A list of the Ships of the Line and Frigates sent in by the Chief of the Fleet R. MacDonell,[9] on 31st January 1776, shews that the Frigate Pilar had a crew, officers, infantry, artillery-men and sailors included, of 208 men; and an armament of 26 guns, 24 of which were calibre 9, and 2 calibre 4. It further states that she had sailed on the 27th, to endeavour to make captures at the mouth of the Rio Grande, and was provisioned for three months. Phillip was at this time in command of her.

No. 16.

Extract from a Letter of Captain MacDonell to the Marquis[10] do Lavradio.

Your Excellency,—In spite of the orders which I gave to Captain Antonio Jacintho, and of the orders given to him by Captain José dos Santos Ferreira, when he ordered him to leave, and of still another order which I directed to be delivered to him by Captain Arthur Filips (sic), who left this port on the 27th of January and only met with the frigate Principe do Brazil on the 27th of February, when he delivered to him the said order, a copy of which I send herewith. … On board of His Majesty's ship Santo Antonio, lying in the port of Saint Catherine's, 19th March 1776.—Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,

(Signed) Robert Macdonell.

To His Excellency The Marquis Viceroy.

No. 17.

Extracts from a Letter of Captain MacDonell to the Marquis do Lavradio.

Your Excellency,—I had the honour of addressing Your Excellency on the 20th, and since then have further to inform Your Excellency that, on the afternoon of the 28th, the frigate Pilar came in after sixty-two days of prize-hunting, having nothing to report, short of water, because her casks were in a very bad condition. I am now having them repaired. This frigate requires that a great deal be done to her to enable her to continue, as she ought, in the Royal Service; and, if it is not done, she will, in a short time, be completely disabled; but as, in the state in which she is, she can still serve if we can manage to repair the pintles of the helm, I am provisioning her for a period of three months, which will be until the end of June, so as to be ready for whatever may be required of her; and I am going to repair that which is most urgent, as far as time will allow.

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The result of the survey by the carpenters and caulkers of the Fleet is that the pintles of the frigate Pilar's helm can still serve for some time.

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On board of His Majesty's ship of the Line Santa Antonio, lying in the port of Saint Catherine's, 31st March 1776.

(Signed) Robert MacDonell.

To His Excellency The Marquis Viceroy.

No. 18.

Extracts from a Letter of the Marquis do Lavradio to Captain MacDonell.

Sir,—Having received your Despatches, dated 21st of February and the 5th, 6th, 11th, 19th and 31st of March of this year, together with the papers which accompanied them, I have placed them before the King, my Master, through the Office of His Secretary of State, just as I have done with all those of most importance which you have addressed to me. However, until our Court sends me its orders as to what I am to do with regard to the contents of the said Despatches, I consider it my duty to reply to you upon that which I think is more extraordinary in the said Despatches, and which requires a prompt and positive answer.

In the first place, as regards the bad condition of the vessels, etc., etc. ……

In the second place, you tell me that all that has taken place from the time you left until now is the result of none of your proposals having been attended to, and, from the context of the paragraph, the conclusion to be drawn is that there has been a want of attention, and that I did not send vessels of the kind that you asked for in the expedition to Rio Grande; which is true. I did not send any of the kind that you asked for, because there were none in this port, as I told you, but the others which I sent, although inferior to those you wanted, were much superior to the greater part of those which the Spaniards had, with the exception of the three which they have at the entrance, and for which the frigate Graça Divina, the frigate Pilar, the frigate from Pernambuco, and the corvette Nossa Senhora da Victoria would have been more than a match. All of these, with the exception of the corvette, were much stronger than the Spanish vessels; and our other and smaller vessels could not only have helped the large ones, but would have been ample in number and strength for attacking the five insignificant vessels which the Spaniards have got at Fort Mosquito. Such being my orders, and such the fleet which I had appointed for the operation, I believe that no one will fail to confess that, if those orders had been carried out to the letter, the result would have been vastly different to what it was, owing to your having altered everything, as you have always been in the habit of doing, from the moment that you know that an order is mine. You commenced by not allowing the frigate Pilar to be one of those appointed to enter the river, alleging that it was impossible for it to do so; whereas, when the vessels entered, it was evident that the river was quite deep enough for her to have entered just as the others did.

It is a fact that the river has not always the same depth of water, and that there are many and many occasions on which neither that vessel, nor others of lesser draught than her, could enter; but those who were well acquainted with the river assured me repeatedly that there were times when the river contained such a depth of water that the vessel in question could go in without any danger whatever.

I gave no order that she should enter whether there was sufficient water or not; so why could you not have taken her with you upon the chance that if the water was deep enough she should profit by the opportunity, and thus have availed yourself of the extraordinary addition to your strength which would result from the co-operation of that frigate? Nothing of this you chose to do; but you sent her prize-hunting, instead of letting her accompany the expedition, which was the chief object I had in view when I commissioned her, and thus she was rendered useless, although the want of her was felt when the time came.

Further on you say that the vessels I sent were not seaworthy, at the same time that you tell me that the sloop[11] which you built in this port was an excellent vessel, and so good that you sailed in her and found her competent to lead the way before the others. If you could find her to be seaworthy, built as she was of green wood, with her seams wide open, leaking like a sieve, and, moreover, smaller than the others, which were not in like circumstances, surely they were as good as she was.

But more, I ordered you to select for that service the officers and crews which you considered most competent. I would not appoint a single person. I trusted everything to your zeal, honour and intelligence; because, as you would be answerable to me for the undertaking, I did not wish to hinder you in any way from acting with every freedom, and entirely as you thought fit. What was the result of my mode of proceeding? The vessels were manned by the worst sailors of the Fleet. With the exception of two, the officers appointed to command them were either people who had been taken from the forecastle to be trained as officers, or volunteers, without experience, to whom rank was at once given; and some subalterns from the infantry, without any experience of these parts. These were the commanding officers who were to carry out so important an enterprise; while the officers of the Navy who had been in battle, and under fire, such as Arthur Phillips, Lieutenant-Captain Gaula (Galway?), and other officers of great value on account of their honour and energy, were left out, and sent to do that which the others could have done equally well.

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Rio de Janeiro, 17th April 1776.

To Senhor Robert MacDonell.

No. 19

From the Marquis do Lavradio to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

By the letter last received Your Excellency will see that the Spaniards are doing all that they can, and it is my belief that if they were not afraid of the forces which I have on that continent, and the quality of the troops, they would not have remained so quiet, but would have continued to be as insulting as ever.

In compliance with the Royal Orders, I ordered the two frigates which were in this Colony to withdraw. They were the Nazareth, commanded by Captain Thomas Stives, and the Nossa Senhora da Gloria, commanded by Captain Tristão da Cunha e Menezes. I allowed the frigate Nossa Senhora do Pilar, commanded by Captain Arthur Phillips, to remain, because I consider that, so soon as we have no war-ship there, it will not be possible to prevent the insolent acts which the Spanish Corsairs are continually perpetrating in that river.

The presence of the said three vessels had effectually put a stop to all the acts of daring which they had practised upon our merchant vessels and upon the fishermen, overhauling all and even capturing some of them, as I have already informed Your Excellency. The moment they discovered on board of them any hides or other merchandise which they could allege had been obtained by contraband, and, as regards the fishermen, even without that excuse, they captured them and seized the slaves which they found on board of them.

My intention is to order the said frigate to be relieved by the Graça Divina, which was at Rio Grande, they being the two of those which I have most appropriated for navigation in the River Plate.

If three frigates are kept constantly in this district, one to remain in the Colony, another in the port of St Catherine's, and the third in the port of this the capital city, in order to go to the assistance of either of the others when necessary, and to guard the coast, not only of that island, but of Rio Grande, as well as to exchange every now and again with the one which is at the Colony, that will, I think, be the only way to make ourselves respected and ensure quiet.

The two frigates, the Assumpção and the Gloria are utterly unseaworthy. Out of the two a very handsome frigate might be built, to be the third to be stationed at the River Plate, if Your Excellency will send the drawings for that purpose.

Should the King, my Master, be pleased to decide to have these frigates in this port and that the third one be built, it will be most desirable that an officer, prudent, active and intelligent, be sent to command this Division and superintend the building of the frigate.

The most competent, in my opinion, of those who are here is Captain Antonio Januario do Valle,[12] who is a most intelligent, active, prudent and disinterested officer. There may be many others equal to him in merit; but of those I know of I prefer him.

The war-ship Belem which that officer commanded is almost finished repairing. She was in a very bad state and has been thoroughly overhauled. I might almost say that she has been rebuilt. Every one assures me that she will be in first-rate condition and will require nothing to be done to her for the next seven or eight years. At the same time, I am having the Principe do Brazil repaired, and, one after another, all the vessels of the Fleet shall be gone over. They suffered terribly this year on the Southern Coast and Rio Grande. The Commanding Officers tell me that the roughness of the sea in those parts is indescribable, and bears no comparison with that met with in the worst parts of the European seas.

The two frigates which I have the honour to mention to Your Excellency are utterly unseaworthy, so I have determined to lay them up. I intend, however, to have them gone over, roughly, to prevent their getting into a worse condition while I am awaiting Your Excellency's answer.

As the frigate Gloria has not yet reached here, I cannot send the report of the state in which she is, as I did with regard to the two frigates, the Assumpção and the Princeza do Brazil; but I will do so as soon as she arrives.

I am informed that the Chief of the Fleet has sent to Your Excellency a report with regard to me, a copy of which I forward herewith, and I also send a sailor whom he had selected to be the bearer of these despatches, because he would not entrust them to me, thinking that I would try to prevent his laying before the King, my Master, his account of my imprudences.

The General at St Catherine's would not allow this sailor to proceed without a passport from me; but as I cannot tell but what he may be charged with some more private matter of which Your Excellencies ought to be informed, I send him on so that he may execute his commission.

I must say that I am not in the least surprised at the force of that Officer's language in the said letter. It is a common saying with him before all the Fleet, that His Majesty ought to cut off the heads of all the Generals who have the honour to serve him; that they are all ignorant and traitors; and other expressions of a similar nature. Your Excellency may imagine how constant has been my pain, and that of all the officers who have the honour to serve the King, my Master, and the misfortune to have to deal with this man. But I have had the satisfaction of observing that from me myself, the General in the South and the General at St Catherine's, down to the lowest sailor, all, out of obedience and respect for the Royal Orders of the King, my Master, have made the sacrifice of putting up with him, and letting him see as little as possible what our sentiments are.

I ask nothing of the King, my Master, upon this head. It will be sufficient that His Majesty should see the extent to which my respect and my obedience have guided me.

I have nothing more to lay before Your Excellency, whom God preserve. Rio de Janeiro, 18th August 1776.

To H.E, Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

[From the Archives of the Conselho Ultramarino.]

No. 20.

Extract from a Letter from the Marquis do Lavradio to the Marquis de Pombal.

The Spaniards who, as regards Rio Grande, are reported to be quiet, the Governor of the Colony continues to inform me are, in those parts, more in evidence, not only as regards their squabbling and their arrogant and defiant language, but because they have got ready the three frigates and the ship of the line which they have in the port, are sending more troops to Montevideo, are working with great activity upon the barracks for fresh troops, and are, at the same time, adding to the works of defence of their ports.

In spite of this the Governor, as he had received my order withdrawing two of the frigates, caused them to leave for this port, retaining only the frigate Pilar, commanded by Captain Arthur Phillips.

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Rio de Janeiro, 16th October 1776.

To H.E. The Marouis de Pombal.

No. 21.

Extract from a Letter of the Marquis do Lavradio to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

The merchant vessel Nossa Senhora do Pilar, which also serves as a frigate, has been staying at the Colony, for the purpose of restraining the continual attacks which the Spanish corsairs have been making upon the inhabitants of that place, and which have only been prevented by the presence of that small vessel.

Rio de Janeiro, 20th November 1776.

To His Excellency Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 22

A LIST of the Officers and the Vessels of War serving in the Fleet which the King, My Master, ordered to be formed at Amoreira, under my orders, of which Naval-Colonel Robert MacDonell is Commander-in-Chief.

(Part relating to Arthur Phillip.)

Rio de Janeiro, 27th November 1776.

 Names of the Vessels. Captains. Lieutenant-Captains. Naval Lieutenants. By Commission By Warrant Nature of Service. Conditions of Vessels. Commission. Warrant. Nature of Service. By Commission. Nature of the Service. Nossa Senhora do Pilar. Arthur Phillips. This Officer is intelligent and active, and shews that he has been reared as a soldier; he is a little headstrong, but can easily be brought to reason. Requires to be repaired and careened. Joaquim de Almeida. This Officer is very intelligent and has always served with much honour. Ignacio José Peres, Lieutenant of the Infantry, and Estanislau de Almeida The first is an old Lieutenant of the Regiment of Marines. He is fairly intelligent, and I have always seen him serve very honourably and obediently. My opinion is that he is deserving of promotion. The second was a volunteer; he does his duty. (Signed) Marquez do Lavradio

No. 23.

Extract from a Letter of Francisco Jose da Rocha to the Marquis do Lavradio.

Your Excellency,—To-morrow, which will be the 30th inst., the Pilar will sail, and I think also that Antonio João's corvette will proceed, to Saint Catherine's to fetch wood.

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Colony, 29th December 1776.

(Signed) Francisco José da Rocha.

To His Excellency The Marquis Viceroy.

No. 24.

From the Marquis do Lavradio to the Marquis de Pombal.

Your Excellency,—1st. With the greatest sorrow, as Your Excellency may imagine, I now have to announce the arrival of the Spanish Fleet at the port of St Catherine's.

I forward to Your Excellency the first letter which I received from the General of that Division. The second announcement which the said General has made to me, and which it is my duty to repeat to Your Excellency, was brought by the Captain of a small vessel, who assures me that, down to the 25th of last month, the Spaniards had not taken any action of importance, and it was only known that they had landed some troops at Canavieiras Point, which is the port by which they entered.

2nd. Although the General and the Governor of that island inform me that the troops and the people who are there are very unconcerned, and that they hope to offer a vigorous defence, I do not consider that the island is strong enough to support itself and resist; and this chiefly because the Enemy has no fear of our Fleet, since the Chief, the moment he saw the Spaniards entering, gave orders to all the ships to go as speedily as they could to Rio de Janeiro. Any stroke of good fortune which may befall us will be, to my mind, miraculous.

3rd. Shortly before receiving the news sent to me by the General of the forces at St Catherine's, I was informed by the scouts which I had upon the coast that seven vessels were in sight, coming from the south and steering for this port. This information was confirmed, so I at once proceeded to arm.

4th. After having been under arms during the greater part of the following day, I received a letter from Captain Arthur Fillips, informing me that he was accompanying the Fleet in obedience to orders which he had received from the Chief, and that as he was the one nearest to the land he acquainted me with the fact.

5th. Later on I received, through the First Officer of the Chief's vessel, the letter which I forward to Your Excellency, and which was followed, almost immediately, by the Chief himself.

6th. When he appeared before me, his countenance betrayed the anguish which every man ought to feel under circumstances such as those in which he was placed.

7th. I requested him to give me his reasons for leaving unprotected the ports which were most exposed, and coming to put in at Rio de Janeiro, which is the most defensible.

9th. After that letter I wrote to him the other of which I enclose a copy, which he asserts that he did not receive.

10th. He further told me that he had taken the opinions of the other Captains of the vessels, which they had given in writing, all being to the effect that they ought to come to Rio de Janeiro. The only dissident was Captain José de Mello, who, in my opinion, was the only one who voted as he ought to have done.[13]

11th. The Chief further said that the Spanish Fleet came in such good order that it was impracticable to attack it, because its forces were united, without there being a single point at which any attempt could be made to throw them into disorder.

12th. The Chief sailed from the port of St Catherine's on the i6th of last month, upon receiving the first news of the Fleet being in sight. On the 1 8th, when the Spaniards caught sight of us, some of the Officers have informed me that we could have attacked them to great advantage; because, not expecting us, they drew all their force to the front, leaving their convoys to the rear, in which direction we might have attacked them, if we had navigated that night in a different way to that which we did. The Chief kept our Fleet at so great a distance from the enemy that they were unable to ascertain, with any certainty the number of vessels we had. They paid no attention whatever to our Fleet, but improved their line and steered straight for the port, which they entered on the 10th of last month, and when they were already entering, and consequently were masters of the port, then it was that the Chief called for the opinions of the Captains, and, after receiving them, issued the order for all of them to steer for this port.

13th. During this retreat, they twice sighted the two frigates from Montevideo, which were looking out for their Fleet. Some of our vessels gave chase to the said frigates, but with no results; and although the chase ought to have been kept up in order to prevent their entering the port with the pilots which they had on board, this was not considered worth attention, and they came to take refuge at Rio de Janeiro, where there are still to enter the war-ship Belem, the Principe do Brazil, and two of the smaller vessels, fitted as fighting ships, and called the Sacramento, and the yacht São Francisco Xavier.

14th. Finding myself in these circumstances, I wrote immediately to the Governor of St Paul's for him to come to the assistance of the island with all the forces of his district, by land; and, as soon as the missing vessels arrive, I intend to send off a body of 800 or 900 men selected from the very few regulars which I have here, for the purpose of seeing if it is possible to relieve the island, either by the river St Francisco, or by crossing the range of mountains at the base of which lies the lake, or by availing myself of the route along the coast which leads to the mainland.

15th. The place at which our forces may be and the intentions of the Spaniards must decide which will be the best starting-point. I ordered the Chief to immediately commence cruising with our Fleet between Port St Catherine's and the River Plate, in order to impede, as much as possible, the Spaniards at the island from communicating with the other ports which they hold on the banks of that river. He stated that the greater part of the vessels composing his Fleet are incapable for that service, or for anything else that could be useful; that the best ones for the purpose would be the three war-ships, the Santo Antonio, the Prazeres, and the Belem, and the three frigates Principe do Brazil, Princeza do Brazil, and Nossa Senhora do Pilar,[14] as the Graça Divina is absolutely fit for nothing, and the war-ship Ajuda is almost entirely rotten. Of the small vessels only two can be made use of for the different orders which it may be necessary to convey.

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GOD preserve Your Excellency. Rio de Janeiro, 10th March 1777.

To the Marguis de Pombal.

P.S.—Among the papers I am forwarding to Your Excellency I send a copy of the letter which I wrote to the Chief requesting him to state whether or not I had read over to him, and handed to him for his private perusal, the last orders which I received as to what the Fleet was to do at the island of St Catherine's. His reply you will see by the copy of his letter, which I also send, in which he denies those orders, but mixes up things in such a way that he confesses some and denies others. At the same time, the reply which he gave with regard to the carrying out of those orders, a copy of which I have already sent to Your Excellency, and now forward another, shows that he examined them with sufficient minuteness to be able to make the reflections thereon contained in his letter; and this lack of sincerity is the spirit in which this Officer has always sought, sometimes to deny, and at others to misinterpret the orders given to him, to avoid the carrying out of which he refrained from mentioning them when he called the Council of the Captains. All of these documents I forward to Your Excellency for your full knowledge and my justification; and it is my duty to repeat to you, that when I have erred it has simply been from lack of ability, which I have always insisted was wanting in me for such important matters.

No. 25.

OPINIONS of the different Commanding Officers of the Vessels composing the Fleet.

We, the Captains and Commanding Officers, José dos Santos Ferreira, Thomas Stevens, Antonio Januario do Valle, José da Silva Pimentel and D. Francisco Xavier Telles, giving our votes upon the question as to what our Fleet ought to do under its present circumstances, are of opinion that:—

As all the movements which we can, for the present, execute, whether attacking the Spanish Fleet, which is superior to ours, or cruising in sight of it, imply a risk of our inferior Fleet being destroyed, in spite of all our efforts, desires and diligence, which is contrary to His Majesty's positive orders which were read to us, we, consequently, ought to go and receive fresh orders from H.E. Marquez do Lavradio, such as our present position requires, whether risk should be incurred or not. On board of the war-ship Santo Antonio, under sail, 20th February 1777.

(Signed) Antonio Januario do Valle, Captain; José dos Santos Ferreira Pinto, Captain; Thomas Stevens, Captain; D. Francisco Xavier Telles, Captain; Jose da Silva Pimentel, Captain.

With regard to His Majesty's orders, nothing can be done without risk, not only because of the weakened state in which our Fleet is, but also on account of the enemy's great strength. Every movement implies risk; more especially when the forces are unequal.

Should our Fleet be destroyed, there will remain nothing to prevent the enemy from carrying out hostilities in America.

They will endeavour to sack the ports at which they can do so; and, under these circumstances, we ought, in any case, to fulfil His Majesty's commands, confronting them with those of H.E. Marquez do Lavradio.

All the movements of this Fleet ought to be executed in harmony with His Majesty's orders, whether they be risky or not.

On board of His Majesty's war-ship Santo Antonio e São José 20th February 1777.

(Signed) Antonio Jacintho da Costa Freire, Captain.

On the twentieth day of February 1777, at a Council of War called by the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Fleet, Robert MacDonell, His Most Faithful Majesty's, my Master's, orders to the said Commander having been read, which orders say that he ought to leave St Catherine's to avoid an encounter with the Spanish Fleet, which (so the orders say) is much superior to the Portuguese Fleet, and the said orders stating that he ought to take every precaution possible to prevent our Fleet being either lost or ruined by the enemy; and stating further that should the enemy attack any part of His Most Faithful Majesty's dominions in the Brazil, he ought to attack Maldonado, Montevideo and Buenos Ayres, circumstances permitting him to do so; I, finding myself obliged to give my opinion as to what we can do of service to His Majesty, say:—

That my opinion always has been that our Fleet ought to remain at St Catherine's to assist the fortresses in defending this island; or, if we left it, that we ought to attack the Spanish Fleet at all risks; but the Commander of the Fleet does not believe that His Majesty's orders permit of his doing either of these things. Now that the enemy is free from the encumbrance of its transports, because they are anchored in the harbour of St Catherine's, their strength being, according to the general opinion of the Commanding Officers of this Fleet, far superior to ours, and they not being in want of men, because they can draw as many artillery-men and infantry as they like from the ten thousand men which they have to disembark, and, considering the great advantage that a strong fleet at anchor has over a weaker one which goes to attack it, I see, at this moment, no advantage to be gained by disobeying His Majesty's orders, or reason to warrant us in doing so, and I therefore decide that we ought not to attack.

Maldonado cannot be taken without troops to be disembarked, neither can Montevideo; and I do not think that it would be prudent to risk our Fleet for the purpose of burning one ship of the line and a few merchantmen, which may or may not be met with in the harbour at Montevideo.

To be able to take Buenos Ayres with the few men that this Fleet could land, it must be taken by surprise; and this cannot be done with ships of the line, on account of the difficulty of navigating the River Plate.

Off the island of St Catherine's.

(Signed) Arthur Phillips,
Commanding His Majesty's frigate 'Nossa Senhora do Pilar e São Jocio Baptista.'

Having been asked about the resolution which we ought to take with regard to the Spanish Fleet commanded by the Marquis de Cara-Tilli (sic), which has arrived at this coast for the purpose of conquering the Brazils, and in conformity with the orders which this Fleet has received both from the Court at Lisbon and from the Viceroy of the State, I reply:—

1st. That the orders received from Rio de Janeiro leave it open to us to attempt every species of action against the Spanish Fleet, let the order in which it comes be what it may, seeing that in two places the order is to attack, and in one place to rather await the attack of the Fleet, even although ours be inferior to it. In the same orders the preservation of the Portuguese Fleet is recommended, which does not agree with that which precedes it.

2nd. The River Plate and Buenos Ayres scheme cannot be carried out because of the absence of a combination with the Governor of the Colony and the General of the South. For this reason it must be held to be non-existent, and I therefore say no more about it.

3rd. The orders of the Court of Lisbon are very clear in prohibiting that the forces of this Fleet be risked, ordering that it retire to the safer ports; and as the combination of these orders forms the ground upon which my vote is based, I say:—

That, at this present time, we have no course to pursue other than to attack the Fleet, let its condition be what it may; for, if the Court of Portugal knew the country as we know it, they would have given the clearest and most precise orders upon this subject. If the Spanish Fleet is not attacked it will effect the disembarkation unimpeded, and afterwards turn upon us with greater strength when it is free of its convoy. Although the Portuguese Fleet be small it can do a great deal of damage to the Spanish Fleet, and, should the latter be destroyed, they can undertake nothing that can affect this State without reinforcements, before the arrival of which fresh measures can be taken. This is the vote I give in Council.

On board of the war-ship Santo Antonio, 20th February 1777.

(Signed) José de Mello,
Commanding the war-ship 'Prazeres.'

No. 26.

The Marquis do Lavradio to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

On the 26th of April there entered the harbour of this city our Fleet which I had ordered to leave it on the 1st of that month, as I informed Your Excellency direct, and also did so at greater length through the Home Office, in a Despatch dated the 3rd of the said month of April.

When the said Fleet was sailing towards the port and coast of the island of St Catherine's, in obedience to my orders, they sighted two vessels which appeared to be small, and the Chief at once signalled the Fleet to give chase. The one who pressed most to the front was Captain José de Mello, and, as one of the Spanish vessels thought, at first, that our Fleet was theirs, she made no great effort to get away. The result of this piece of carelessness was that when they found out who we were it was too late to escape our man-of-war, and the Spanish vessel was forced to strike. The other, however, got away.

An examination of the papers found on board of the captured vessel, which was a setia, commanded by Lieut. Don José Justo Salcedo, shewed that the said officer had been charged by the Marquis de Casa Tely to collect at Assumption Island[15] the rest of the vessels of the Fleet which were wanting, and to conduct them to Montevideo, which he did. A short time after his arrival there came to that port two ships of the line, one called the Santo Agostinho and the other the Serio, which had sailed from Ferrol one month after the Fleet had left Cadiz. These vessels carried despatches, with special instructions as to their delivery to the two Generals, and these despatches were entrusted to Don Bernardo Bonavia, Captain of the Regiment of Infantry of Gallicia, who came in the Expedition, and was thus already at Montevideo, and who, it is said, had been sent out appointed to a higher post in which he was to be employed in the island.

To ensure a more rapid delivery of the said despatches, the setia, just mentioned, was ordered to set sail with the officer in charge of them on board. As soon as they saw the risk they ran of being captured, they threw the despatches overboard.

At the same time it was discovered that the two ships which had arrived from Europe were to have sailed with the first tide. Captain José de Mello went to inform the Chief of all this, and he ordered them to remain off the coast a few days in the hope of encountering them. This was done; and, on the 19th of that month, the Chief signalled to all the Fleet to give chase, which they did in the direction indicated by the signals. Captain José de Mello was the foremost in the chase, his vessel being the fastest, and he was followed, but at a good distance, by Captain Arthur Phillips.

These two vessels continued the chase, and, as soon as Captain José de Mello saw that they were within the range, he fired, and his vessel it was that did the first damage. Captain Arthur Phillips came up with his frigate, and was allowed by the enemy to get closer, because they thought this vessel was one of their own, as they were unable to convince themselves that a vessel so small and so weak in artillery would venture to attack a 70-gun ship. It was only when Captain Phillips poured a broadside into them that they became aware that it was a frigate of ours.

The said Officer did this with a view to retarding the ship sufficiently to allow José de Mello to get closer; but the Spanish Captain did nothing but crowd on sail to get away. All through the night the two vessels chased the other, but they were becalmed, and so the enemy managed, during the night, to get clear of them. This, however, did not avail them much, for, when the morning broke, the ship found herself near to the Chief of the Fleet, who at once gave chase with the other vessels, and, in a short time, got so close as to be able to open the fight. The battle lasted only one hour and a quarter; and during that time José de Mello was able to attack with the rest of the Fleet.

The Spanish Captain struck without losing more than four men, and when his vessel had received no damage that he could not have repaired while the fight was going on.

The disorderly way in which the Spaniards fought, the state of confusion in which their vessel was, and the fright they were in, appears to have been incredible. I think myself that they were in as abject fear of our Fleet as were the wretches of the Island of St Catherine. I hear that the men of our Fleet behaved in a most praiseworthy manner. Of our people only one ordinary seaman received a wound of any importance. His leg was shot off. The other wounds were of so little importance that the men continued to fight in spite of them.

The prize is a valuable one, for she is a new vessel, built of excellent wood. She has first-rate artillery, and is completely supplied with all munitions and accessories of the first class. As the only damage she suffered was in the sails and the rigging, and some splinters knocked out of the masts by the cannon balls, she can be got ready at once to sail with the Fleet.

This encounter prevented our Fleet carrying out my orders. Had they been executed, we should, by this time, have again been masters of the port of the Island of St Catherine, and should have destroyed the vessels at anchor in that port, which were of small importance. We should also have captured the convoy which was arriving from Montevideo with provisions for the Island; and the want of food which the garrison, all over the Island, was already beginning to feel, would have, undoubtedly, assisted the success of the operation. But the Chief, fearing to meet with the entire Fleet in that port, refusing to believe the information which was given to him, as well as that which he derived from the sailing orders which he seized, shewing that the Fleet had already set sail for Rio Grande, in which latitudes it was sighted by the ships of war, who counted more than forty vessels, as the log-books proved to him; nothing of this sufficing, because that Officer's want of courage can only be appreciated by those who, like myself, have had a large experience of him on occasions of this kind, his fears, I say, had more effect upon him than my orders and the information which he had received, and he put into this port, bringing to me the two prizes and reporting what had occurred.

The consequence of the failure to carry out my orders was that the Spaniards received assistance and supplies, with which their wants will be relieved for some time; and, if the Spanish Fleet had not encountered, on the coast of Rio Grande, the violent storms which have kept it in check from the 7th of April, when they were met with some forty leagues to seaward of the mouth of that river, down to the 3rd of May, when I had a letter from the General of our army stating that they had not yet appeared, our enemy's run of luck would have continued, and we should have been, each moment, less in a position to obtain any victory over them. However, as the private information which I have received from the Island of St Catherine assures me of the inferiority of the naval force left there, the fear which the Spaniards are in that they will again suffer a want of provisions, the want of unity among the officers, and the tendency of the men to desert, I feel bound to profit by the opportunity, while our enemy's forces are divided, to destroy them, little by little, until we remain the stronger, or, at least, are in a position to fight them on equal terms.

With this view I have taken the following measures:—Availing myself of some of the officers who had served in that Island, men of recognised fidelity, liked by the troops and by the people of the Island, and sufficiently robust for work of any kind, I sent them, disguised, with instructions to enter the Island, to find out the state in which the Spaniards were, and the feeling of the people towards them, and to secretly furnish the former with the means for throwing off the yoke the moment I attacked the Spaniards. I further ordered them to make overtures to the Spanish soldiers, inviting them to desert, facilitating their desertion, and assisting them in every way. I sent another officer, also trustworthy, to collect, upon the mainland, with the greatest precaution, as many as he could of the Portuguese soldiers who had withdrawn themselves in order to avoid being given up, and to hide with them in the most eligible point of the forest which he could find, so as to be ready, when the right moment arrived, to assist in the attack or surprise which would have to be made upon the Island.

These arrangements having been made, and the officers having sent me word that everything was ready for the time when I might order the vessels lying in the port of the Island to be attacked by sea, I got the Fleet ready, increasing it by two more ships of the line and a frigate. When it set sail it was composed of the five line of battle ships—Santo Antonio, which is the Flag-ship; Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres, Captain José de Mello; Nossa Senhora de Ajuda, now commanded by D. Francisco Xavier Telles, because José dos Santos Ferreira, who was commanding it, remained dangerously ill in this city; Nossa Senhora de Belem, commanded by Antonio Januario; the prize, the Santo Agostinho, commanded by Arthur Phillips; and the four (sic) frigates—Principe do Brazil, Captain Thomas Stevens; Graça Divina, Captain George Hardcastle; and Nossa Senhora do Pilar, Captain Francisco Bettencourt. All of these I supplied with everything that was requisite to the entire satisfaction of the Commanding Officers, and according to their wishes, and I caused them to set sail from this port on the 29th of May, on which day, later on, the frigate São João Baptista, Captain William Roberts, came in.

I ordered the Chief to go to the Island of S. Catherine, reconnoitre the naval forces which the Spaniards had there, and, should he find that, without its being too rash a proceeding, our forces were sufficient for the purpose, attack them and destroy the vessels, but not to engage the fortresses, in order to avoid endangering our Fleet, before we had destroyed some part of our enemies, and also because, when once we were masters of the port, we could prevent them from receiving supplies, without which they would be forced to capitulate, as they have no other means of obtaining food. GOD preserve Your Excellency.

Rio de Janeiro, 2nd June 1777.

To H.E. Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 27

LIST of the Officers of the Fleet, setting forth the merits of each, and the services upon which they are employed, and also whether they are serving under the Royal Letters or Order of the Queen, or by Warrant from me, issued in consequence of the want of Officers alleged by the Chief, and whom I appointed in conformity with the Royal Orders which have been sent to me.
Rio de Janeiro, 22nd October 1777.
(Part referring to Captain Phillips.)

No. 28.

A list of the rigging, spars and other stores applied for by Captain Arthur Phillips, from March 6th to the 25th of that month during this present year, 1777, for Her Majesty's frigate Nossa Senhora do Pilar e S., João.

[This list is only interesting on account of the dates. It refers to the Arsenal at Rio de Janeiro.]

No. 29.

Another list, caused to be drawn up by the Marquis Viceroy on the 23rd October 1777, shews that the Ship of the Line Santo Agostinho (which had been captured from the Spaniards), commanded by Arthur Phillips, had a crew of 462 men, officers, sailors, artillery-men and infantry included; and that it carried 70 guns, 28 of which were calibre 24, 30 calibre 18, and 12 calibre 9; thus being the most powerful vessel of the Fleet.

No. 30.

Extract from a Letter of the Marquis do Lavradio to Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

The vessels of war which sail with this convoy are the Ship of the Line Prazeres and the Santo Antonio. The former is commanded by José de Mello; the latter by Arthur Phillips. José de Mello commands the convoy. This Officer has always conducted himself with great precision in all his duties, and shewn the greatest activity and intelligence in his profession, coupled with a large amount of zeal for the Royal Service. I might say something more about him if our relationship and the intimacy which I have enjoyed with him for many years did not render me suspect.

The other Officers of that vessel have correctly done their duty.

The commander of the Santo Antonio is Captain Arthur Phillips, whom I consider to be one of the officers of the most distinct merit that the Queen, my Mistress, has in her service in the Navy, and I think that it will be a most important acquisition to secure that he should remain in the Royal Service. This Officer not only has a large theoretical knowledge of his profession, but is well up in fortification and every other branch of the military profession, and, moreover, has had practical experience from the age of nine, when he commenced to serve as 'Guard to the Standard' (midshipman?) on the war-ships of his country, up to Naval Lieutenant. He took part in all of the more important engagements which the English Fleets have had since he entered the service. As regards his disposition, he is somewhat self-distrustful; but, as he is an Officer of education and principle, he gives way to reason, and does not, before doing so, fall into those exaggerated and unbearable excesses of temper which the majority of his fellow-countrymen do, more especially those who have been brought up at sea. He is very clean-handed; is an Officer of great truth and very brave; and is no flatterer, saying what he thinks, but without temper or want of respect.

The length of my Report upon this Officer implies that I regret him very much, and I confess that I do. It is the consequence of my having noted the great difference in the way he served, as compared with the greater part of the others. This which I write to Your Excellency you will not only find to be corroborated by such officers of merit as Your Excellency may consult; but you yourself, with your great talent, when you have formed his acquaintance, will render the same justice to his worth that I do.

········

Rio de Janeiro, 10th May 1778.

To His Excellency Senhor Martinho de Mello e Castro.

No. 31.

 August Thursday, 20 1778. Occurrences. 1st …… 2nd. …… 3rd. …… ​ Entrance of the war-ship Santo Antonio e São José. 4th. At about three o'clock in the afternoon His Majesty's ship of war, the Santo Antonio e São José., which has come from Rio de Janeiro under the command of Captain Arthur Filipps, crossed the Bar, and cast anchor at six o'clock.

[Marine Archives. Book IV. of the Registers of Orders of the Day, fol. 207.]

No. 32.

 August Sunday, 23 1778. Orders. 1st. …… To the Capt. of the S. Antonio. 2nd. That the Captain of the war-ship Santo Antonio e São José retain his sails on board until further orders. Occurrences. 1st. A communication to Captain Arthur Filipps, commanding the war-ship Santo Antonio e São José, to the following effect:—The Captain-General of the Royal Fleet has ordered that you should receive from the Stores Department a day's ration of fresh meat for to-day, and a similar one for every day that you are on board, delivered on the proper days, you always supplying the customary list of your crew. GOD preserve ​Your Excellency. Office, 23rd August 1778. (Signed) João da Costa d'Atayde Teive, Aide-de-Camp. To Captain Arthur Filipps.

[Ibid., fol. 208.]

No. 33.

 August Monday, 24 1778. Occurrences. To Captain Arthur Filipps. A communication sent to Captain Arthur Filipps, commanding the war-ship Santo Antonio e São José, to the following effect:—The Captain-General of the Royal Fleet orders that immediately upon receiving this letter you cause the men set forth in the annexed list, signed by me, to be got ready, and, together with the proper communication, to cause them to be delivered on board the war-ship Santo Antonio e São José,[18] to Captain José de Mello. This I communicate to you in order that you may execute it. God preserve you. On board of the war-ship Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres, on the 24th August 1778, (Signed) João da Costa d'Athaide Teive, Aide-de-Camp. To Captain Arthur Filipps.

Upon paying off the ship of war Santo Antonio e São José her crew was found to be as follows:—

 Paying off list of the warship Santo Antonio e São José. ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Officers ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Commissioned 8 ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 42 ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 488 Chaplains 2 Commissariat 2 Warrant 29 Blacksmith 1 Volunteers 5 5 Crew ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Able-bodied seamen 199 ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 339 2nd rate 128 Cabin boys 12 Infantry of the 1st Fleet Artillery of the Court ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Officers ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Commissioned. 3 ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 66 Non-commissioned 5 Drummer 1 Soldiers 57 Artillery of the Court ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Officers ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \\\ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ Commissioned 0 ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ 36 Inferior 3 Drummer 1 Soldiers 32

which number of 488 men, together with 14 who came on shore ill, makes the total of 502 men which the said ship of war had on board when she returned to this port, and is 9 men more than she took out.

[Ibid., fol. 208 and 209.]

No. 34.

 September Tuesday, 8 1778. Occurrences. Arrival of the war-ship N. S. de Belem, Captain Antonio Januario do Valle. At two o'clock p.m. His Majesty's war-ship Nossa Senhora de Belem crossed the Bar, coming from Rio de Janeiro by Pernambuco, under the command of Captain Antonio Januario do Valle, and anchored at four o'clock.

[Ibid., fol. 211.]

Note by General Jacintho Ignacio de Brito Rebello.

The first ten documents (Nos. 1-10) contain the negotiations which preceded the entrance of Arthur Phillip into the Portuguese Royal Navy, his departure from England and arrival in Portugal, and the Decree by which he was made a Captain, in accordance with his agreement.

As soon as he had been appointed to be Captain on the 14th of January 1775 (No. 10) we see (No. 11) that on the 17th of that month he was ordered to go on board the line of battle ship Nossa Senhora de Belem as second Captain.

On the 25th he obtains leave to go to Salvaterra (No. 12), where the Court then was, for the purpose, it is but reasonable to suppose, of taking leave of His Majesty, and soliciting the necessary letters of recommendation which would obtain for him the sole command of a vessel upon his arrival at the Colony.

On the 6th of February the ship tried to cross the Bar (No. 13), but could not do so, and she only got away on the 9th (No. 14).

The documents do not inform us as to the vessel's port of destination, but it appears (No. 34) that when she returned on 8th Septr. 1778 it was from Rio de Janeiro, and she came by Pernambuco.

On the 20th of August she had been preceded by the Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres and the Santo Antonio and São José the latter of which was commanded by Capt. Arthur Phillip (No. 31).

Thus we see that Capt. Phillip, upon arriving in Portugal, sailed at once to the Brazils, where he remained in service for more than three years, the exact time which elapsed between his crossing the Bar of Lisbon outwards and his again crossing it on his return being three years, six months and twelve days.

When Capt. Phillip first embarked as second Captain of the Nossa Senhora de Belem, Antonio Januario do Valle, his Chief, was one of the officers of the Portuguese Navy of best repute. Soon after the ship reached the Brazils, the Viceroy, wishing to strengthen the Fleet, armed some merchant vessels, one of which was the Nossa Senhora do Pilar, She was converted into a 26-gun frigate and placed under the command of Arthur Phillip, and on the 27th January 1776 was sent to look out for prizes in the south, for which reason she did not take part in the unfortunate engagement of the 19th February (Nos. 17, 18). Later on Phillip was sent with two more frigates to the River Plate, but soon afterwards the latter were withdrawn for repairs. Though left single-handed, his small vessel was found to be sufficient to keep the Spaniards within bounds (Nos. 20, 21 and 27).

At the close of the year he went to Saint Catherine's to take in firewood (No. 23), and found there, it is to be presumed, the order requiring him to join the Fleet which was defending that Island, in consequence of the preparations which were being made in Spain for the despatch of a powerful armament and a large body of troops to attack the Portuguese possessions. Unfortunately, upon the first news of the arrival of the Spaniards, on the 16th February 1777, the Chief of the Fleet, Robert MacDonell, raised his anchors and set sail, in spite of Arthur Phillip's efforts to persuade him to stay and fight. On the 20th, after the Spaniards had anchored in the harbour of the Island, the Chief held a Council, at which he only presented the orders which he had at first received—not to risk his Fleet—and kept back the later ones. Arthur Phillip's reply shews what his opinion was (Nos. 24, 25 and 27).

After the Fleet had reached Rio de Janeiro it was again sent out as soon as it was ready, and, meeting some Spanish vessels, gave chase. José de Mello, in the Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres, and Arthur Phillip, in the Pilar, took the lead. A setia was captured, with important documents on board, and the Fleet again put into Rio de Janeiro with the prize (No. 26).

Ordered again to leave the port, they chased a large Spanish vessel, and again José de Mello and Arthur Phillip were to the front. The latter, owing to the small size of his vessel, was able to get very close without inspiring distrust, and poured in a broadside. All night the chase continued, and in the morning the Spanish vessel, finding herself surrounded by the Fleet, lowered her flag. She was the Santo Agostinho, a 70-gun ship. Again the Fleet returned to Rio de Janeiro, where the prisoners were landed, a fresh crew provided, and the captured vessel placed under the command of Capt. Phillip. The Fleet then sailed for manoeuvres, but nothing is known of what was done by it (No. 26).

When the preliminaries for the Treaty of Peace had been signed at Saint Ildefonso, on the ist October 1777, the captured vessels were returned, and, among them, the Santo Agostinho, On the 16th February 1778, the Viceroy, acting upon orders from home, broke up the Fleet, ordering MacDonell to haul down his flag and return to Lisbon in either a ship of war or a merchant vessel, as he might think best. In consequence, he handed over the ship of the line Santo Antonio and São José, which had been the Flag-ship, to Capt. Phillip, who, accompanying José de Mello, sailed in her with a Convoy to Europe in May 1778. The Viceroy's despatch (No. 30), addressed to the Minister of the Marine upon this occasion, is a crown of glory for Capt. Phillip, and shews how much he was esteemed by his comrades and chiefs.

Further information as to these events will be found in Varnhagen's History of the Brazil.

1. Portuguese Minister in London.
2. Minister for the Marine and Colonies at Lisbon.
3. Afterwards Earl of Bristol, one of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty from 1771 to the end of 1774.
4. The writer was not a particularly good judge of this, as his own letter, printed verbatim et literatim, will show. [Ed.]
5. Say £8, 18s. at par.
6. say £17, 16s. at par.
7. Say £1, 1s, 6d. at par
8. Say £1 8s. 6d. at par.
9. An able Scotsman and a thorough disciplinarian; but undecided, and a constant raiser of objections to the carrying out of orders, or to the combination of operations with the Generals.
10. Viceroy in the Brazils.
11. The Santa Catharina.
12. It was in his vessel and under him that Captain Phillips sailed to the Brazils as Second Captain.
13. Further on (§ 12) and in the postscript we are told when, and under what circumstances, the Captains were consulted.
14. The vessel which Captain Arthur Phillip commanded.
15. It ought to be Ascension Island.
16. Sacramento, which the Portuguese Crown was at that time most anxious to retain.
17. The Nossa Senhora do Pilar.
18. Undoubtedly a clerical error. The vessel in question was the S. José e Mercés, which was then refitting.