Page:Views in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Northamptonshire.djvu/85

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51
DESCRIPTION OF THE SCENERY, &c.

of gallivats with two or three hundred men in each, who boarded sword in hand from all quarters in the same instant.

"It was now fifty years that this piratical State had rendered itself formidable to the trading ships of all the European nations in India, and the English East India Company had kept up a marine force, at the annual expense of £50,000, to protect their own ships, as well as those belonging to the merchants established in their colonies. Several attempts were made by different nations to destroy this piratical system; but all proving unsuccessful, the pirate, elated with the idea that his forts were impregnable, threw off his allegiance to the Morattoes: it is said that he cut off the noses of their ambassadors who came to demand the tribute he had agreed to pay to the Saha Rajah. The Morattoes, who were in possession of the main land opposite to Bombay, had several times made proposals to the English Government in the island to attack this common enemy with their united forces. Accordingly Commodore James, the Commander-in-chief of the Company's marine force in India, sailed on the 22d of March, 1756, in the Protector of forty-four guns, with a ketch of sixteen guns, and two bomb-vessels; but such was the exaggerated opinion of Angria's