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13 corrections, most recently by mccallumalison8 - Show corrections



The followng communication was made to His Excellency from Captain Foster,

on the vessels' arrival.

Sydney, Nov. 18, 1804.

" SIR,

" Having arrived at this Port in the ship Policy, Letter of Marque of London, with the Dutch ship Swift, my prize, I have to acquaint your Excellency with the cir- cumstances relating to her capture.

" On the 12th of Sept. ult. being in the latt. 8 ° 0' S. and 121° 10' E. longitude ; at 7 a. m, I discovered a sail to the W. S. W. standing towards me with all sail ; soon after I made her out to be a ship : the wind being from the S. E. I trimmed sharp upon the larboard tack, got up my guns, and cleared ship for action : but it being almost calm, I was not able to get within gun shot till 11 o'clock ; at half past she fired a gun  

to windward, and hoisted Dutch colours,     when I hauled down the American ensign I   had shewn, hoisted English colours, and fired a shot. At meridian a slight air of wind springing up from the northward, she wore and stood from me ; in the course of the afternoon we exchanged several shots, and I used every endeavour to get up to her ; but was unable to effect it until half past 11 p.m. (having light airs of wind, and intervening calms), when I brought her to close action ; and at half past 1 a. m. she struck her co- lours, and proved to be the Swift, Captain R. Portvelt, from Batavia for Amboyna, with a cargo of sundries belonging to the Dutch East India Company.

" I have the honor to be,

" Your Excellency's very  

humble servant,    

" C. S. Foster."

We are happy to state, that not a single life was lost on either side, and that the only execution done by the shot was to the sails and rigging ; which fortunate circumstance

must be attributed to the darkness of the  

night frequently obscuring the object.

Capt. Foster afterwards shaped his course for Timor, where it had been his previous intention to touch, in order to furnish an opportunity to vessels cruising there of writing to their respective owners. Upon his arrival here, he humanely permitted the Dutch Captain, who laboured under a very impaired state of health, at his own request to go on shore, with twelve of his people an indulgence which Captain F. considered him entitled to from his very honourable conduct. The remaining part of the crew he retained to assist in navigating the two vessels, under a promise of pay equivalent to that for which they served under their old


From the Master of a vessel at Timor

Captain F. received the melancholy infor- mation that the ship Mersey was totally lost on her passage through Torres' Straits, about the middle of June last. Captain Wilson, in his long boat with twelve of his ship's company, reached the Portuguese settlement of Delhi, on the island of Timor; but only waited to refit, and then proceeded for his


The Policy made a capture on the 6th of June last, between the islands of Sandal Wood and Floris : this prize was a Dutch   brigantine from Copang to Batavia, laden

with sandal wood and wax. From the ex-

treme debilily of the Policy's ship's company (the Captain and 13 men ill at the time), Captain F. found it necessary to dismiss the captured vessel and crew, having first taken out most of her wood, which he afterwards disposed of at Delhi ; and her wax, since ren- dered down into casks for an English market.

Before the prize Swift sailed from Batavia intelligence had been received of a number of English ships, cruising of the coast of   Timor ; faom which it is apprehended that an attempt will be made from Batavia to intercept those now on the sperm fishery : but we sincerely hope, that such of the Ba- tavian fry as may embark on any expedition of this kind will find a pilot ready to conduct them into a British port.