SURRENDER OF NAPOLEON
NARRATIVE OF THE SURRENDER OF BUONAPARTE, AND OF HIS RESIDENCE ON BOARD H.M.S. BELLEROPHON, WITH A DETAIL OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS THAT OCCURRED IN THAT SHIP BETWEEN THE 24th OF MAY AND THE 8th OF AUGUST 1815
REAR-ADMIRAL SIR FREDERICK LEWIS MAITLAND, K.C.B.
A NEW EDITION EDITED, WITH A MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR, BY WILLIAM KIRK DICKSON
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS EDINBURGH AND LONDON MCMIV
All Rights reserved
After Sir Frederick Maitland's death in 1839 his papers passed into the hands of Lady Maitland, who liferented his property of Lindores in Fife until her death in 1865. They then passed with the property to Sir Frederick's nephew, Captain James Maitland, R.N., and on his death to his brother, Rear-Admiral Lewis Maitland, my father, from whom they came to me.
The preparation of the present volume has been undertaken by Mr. Dickson at my request.
FREDERICK LEWIS MAITLAND.
LINDORES, December 9, 1903.
"You are publishing a great and interesting national document.... The whole narrative is as fine, manly, and explicit an account as ever was given of so interesting a transaction." So wrote Sir Walter Scott to Captain Maitland after reading the manuscript of his Narrative of the Surrender of Buonaparte. It is undoubtedly a historical document of the first importance, not only as a record of "words by an eyewitness" of an ever-memorable event, but as a vindication of the good faith of the British Government in its conduct towards Napoleon.
In his Preface to the original edition, published by Henry Colburn in 1826, Sir Frederick Maitland wrote:—
"Immediately after the extraordinary and interesting events took place which are here recorded, I was, by the earnest solicitations of my friends, induced to throw together the notes and memoranda in my possession, of the proceedings in which I bore so prominent a part. I was further led to undertake this task, so foreign to my usual occupations, in consequence of the many misrepresentations that appeared at that time, respecting the conduct of Buonaparte while on board the ship I commanded, as well as my treatment of him.
"The following Narrative was then written solely for the private perusal of my friends, and not with a view to publication, many reasons combining, at that time, in my opinion, to render such a measure inexpedient.
"I made it my study to state events exactly as they occurred, and, in doing so, to avoid, as much as possible, all prejudice, either against or in favour of the extraordinary man whom it was my fortune to secure and bring to this country. It may appear surprising that a possibility could exist of a British officer being prejudiced in favour of one who had caused so many calamities to his country; but to such an extent did he possess the power of pleasing, that there are few people who could have sat at the same table with him for nearly a month, as I did, without feeling a sensation of pity, allied perhaps to regret, that a man possessed of so many fascinating qualities, and who had held so high a station in life, should be reduced to the situation in which I saw him.
"Although many of the causes for withholding my Narrative from the public eye have long been removed, I had no intention of bringing it forward, until by accident it fell into the hands of a most celebrated literary character [Sir Walter Scott]. He did me the honour, on returning it, to express an opinion which I was not at all prepared to expect, and so strongly to recommend its being published, that however averse to appearing as an author, I have been induced, under the sanction of such high authority, to present it to the public."
* * * * *
The text and notes of the edition of 1826 have been reprinted verbatim.
Sir Walter Scott's notes on the MS. of the Narrative are among the papers at Lindores. They consist chiefly of verbal criticisms on Sir Frederick's original rough draft. Unfortunately it is no longer in existence, and most of Sir Walter's notes cannot be followed without it. A few of his comments are printed as footnotes, in square brackets, and a portion of his MS. is reproduced in facsimile at page 230.
A sketch of Sir Frederick's life, chiefly based on the journals at Lindores, has been prefixed to the Narrative.
The Appendix of the original edition has been printed, with an additional Appendix, consisting of (1) a list of the officers serving on board the Bellerophon in July 1815, supplied by the courtesy of the Secretary to the Admiralty; (2) an unpublished letter from one of the assistant-surgeons of the Bellerophon, giving an account of Napoleon's surrender, recently acquired by the British Museum; and (3) several extracts from Memoirs of an Aristocrat, by a Midshipman of the Bellerophon. This extraordinary book, published in 1838, was written by George Home, son of Lieutenant A. Home, R.N., who on the death of the last Earl of Marchmont claimed the Marchmont peerage. It contained violent attacks on various persons connected with the family of Home of Wedderburn, and in particular on Admiral Sir David Milne of Milne-Graden and Lady Milne. An action was raised against the author and publishers, and damages were awarded against the former. The book was withdrawn from circulation, and is now extremely scarce. Home served as a midshipman on board the Bellerophon, and his "hair-brained narrative," as he calls it, adds some interesting details to his captain's record.
The frontispiece is from a portrait of Sir Frederick, painted by Samuel Woodford, R.A., and engraved by Henry Meyer. The original is now at Lindores.
The portrait of Lady Maitland at page lxviii is from a miniature at Lindores. This is the miniature which hung in the cabin of the Bellerophon, and which was seen and commented on by Napoleon.
The chart at page 1 is a slightly reduced copy of that in the original edition.
The portrait of Napoleon at page 68 is from a sketch made on board the Bellerophon by Colonel Planat, officier d'ordonnance to the Emperor, and given by him to Captain Maitland.
Mr Orchardson's well-known picture is reproduced at page 108, by permission of the Fine Art Company. It contains portraits of most of the chief personages of the story.
The picture of the Bellerophon at Plymouth at page 132 is reproduced, by permission of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, from the original by J. J. Chalon, R.A., now in the Painted Hall at Greenwich.
As is mentioned at page 202 of the Narrative, Napoleon desired to present Captain Maitland with a box containing his portrait set in diamonds. On Maitland's declining, in the circumstances, to accept any present of value, the Emperor begged him to keep as a souvenir a tumbler from his travelling case, bearing the crown and cipher of the Empress Josephine. This relic is still preserved at Lindores. A photograph of it is given at page 202.
W. K. D.
MEMOIR OF SIR FREDERICK MAITLAND xxv
[The summary of the contents of the Narrative given here is that prefixed to the original edition. Sir Walter Scott's notes are printed at pp. 70, 84, 155, 165, 208, 223, 225, and 229.]
Captain Maitland sets sail in the Bellerophon, with sealed instructions 1
He arrives off l'Isle Dieu. Proceeds off Rochefort 2
Reconnoitres the French ships of war under l'Isle d'Aix 3
Is joined by the Cephalus 4
Captain Maitland hears of the victory of Waterloo. On June 30 receives a communication, sent from Bourdeaux within a quill, respecting the probable flight of Buonaparte by sea 4, 5
Blockades Rochefort, Bourdeaux, and la Teste d'Arcasson 8
Destroys his prizes 9
A man and boy in a flat punt saved 10
Captain Maitland watches the frigates at l'Isle d'Aix closely 11
Receives Sir Henry Hotham's instructions 12, 13, 14, 16
The Mouche schooner, with Savary and Las Cases with a flag of truce, approaches the Bellerophon 21
Secret orders from Sir Henry Hotham 21, 22, 24
Letter of Count Bertrand, announcing Napoleon's intention of sailing to North America 26
The captain's answer to Bertrand 29
Conversation with Savary and Las Cases 31
Receives private information by a row-boat 35
Captain Maitland guards the Mamusson passage 36
The white flag is hoisted at Rochelle 37, 38
The Bellerophon fires a royal salute 37
The French frigates appear ready to put to sea 38
English guard-boats continue to row near the frigates 38
British flag of truce, its colour 39
The Mouche schooner, with Las Cases and General Lallemand, returns to the Bellerophon 39, 40
Communication delivered from Napoleon 42
Captain Maitland's reply 42
Buonaparte stated to be at Rochefort, but is at l'Isle d'Aix 44
Design for effecting the escape of Buonaparte in a cask on board of a Danish vessel 45
Las Cases, with General Gourgaud, returns to the Bellerophon 46
They bring an important letter from Bertrand 47
List of Napoleon's suite 51
The Emperor's letter to H.R.H. the Prince Regent 54
Captain Maitland promises to receive Buonaparte 56
Captain Sartorius is despatched to England, with a letter from Captain Maitland, and with General Gourgaud 58
Advice of Buonaparte's wish to escape repeatedly given 62
July 15, Napoleon reaches the Bellerophon, in the barge of that ship. He comes on board. His uniform described 67, 68
Napoleon cheered by the crew of l'Epervier 69
His address to Captain Maitland 69
The ship's officers are introduced to him 71
His small knowledge of English 72
He examines the Bellerophon 72
Conversations between Napoleon and Captain Maitland 73, 74, 75, 76, 90, 95, 106
Buonaparte's naval opinions 73, 74, 77
Breakfast on board the Bellerophon 78
Rear-Admiral Sir Henry Hotham arrives off Rochefort. His conference with Captain Maitland 79, 80
The Admiral comes on board the Bellerophon 81
Conversation at dinner 83
Buonaparte's portable library and camp bed 82, 84
He breakfasts on board the Admiral's ship 85, 91
Attachment for him evinced by the officers of his suite 92, 228
The Bellerophon sets sail for Torbay 93, 96
Buonaparte speaks of Sir Sydney Smith 96
The passage to England described 98, 105, 107
The captain's despatch to Lord Keith 100
His conversation with Countess Bertrand relative to a portrait of Napoleon 103
Speaks with the Swiftsure, Captain Webley 104
Count Las Cases 107
English coast in sight 107
The Bellerophon anchors in Torbay 108
Buonaparte's exclamation on viewing the shore 108
Admiral Lord Keith's orders 109
English newspapers read by Napoleon 112
Observations of Madame Bertrand 114, 120
Persons refused admission on board the Bellerophon 115
Lord Keith's approval of Captain Maitland's line of conduct 116, 117
Concourse of spectators in boats 115, 118
Remarks of Buonaparte respecting the fishermen 119
The ships sail for Plymouth 119
Observations on the breakwater 121
Communications of civility interchanged between Buonaparte and Lord Keith 117, 122
Lord Keith's precautions 123, 125
Buonaparte complains of the guard-ships 127
The Lords of the Admiralty approve of Captain Maitland's proceedings 128
Napoleon's letter to the Regent is forwarded 129
He is considered as a general officer 130
Orders received from the Admiralty 130
Sir Richard and Lady Strachan come alongside the ship 131
Napoleon's compliment on seeing Mrs Maitland 132
Admiral Lord Keith is introduced to Napoleon 134
Repugnance of the prisoners to their banishment to St Helena 129, 134
Crowd of boats round the ship 135
Buonaparte's habits on board ship 136
Bertrand, Savary, and Lallemand fear proscription 137, 140, 142
Buonaparte informed that he was to be sent to St Helena 139
Sir Henry Bunbury visits him 140
He complains bitterly 141
He writes again to the Regent 142
Captain Maitland's letter favourable to Savary and Lallemand 145, 152
Buonaparte shows himself on deck 147
Countess Bertrand much agitated at the thoughts of her husband going to St Helena 149
Lallemand is reproved by Captain Maitland 150
Buonaparte's assertion that "he would not go to St Helena" 148, 151, 164
Extravagant conversation of the attendant generals 151
Mr O'Meara 153
Countess Bertrand attempts to cast herself into the sea 153
Her retrospect of Buonaparte's conduct 154, 156
Her impatience. She writes to Lord Keith 155
She is overheard by the generals 157
Buonaparte's inquiries as to St Helena 158
Report of an attempt to escape 159
Rumour of an intention of serving a Habeas Corpus to bring Buonaparte ashore 162
Ship prepared for sea 162
The Northumberland ordered to convey Buonaparte 162
The Bellerophon weighs anchor 164
Service of a subpoena on Buonaparte frustrated by keeping the lawyer at bay 165
Note respecting writs of Habeas Corpus and subpoenas 165
Buonaparte again writes to the Regent 168
He keeps entirely to the cabin; prepares a protest 169
Buonaparte's protest 170
He declares himself to be the guest of England, and no prisoner 171
Captain Maitland's observations thereon 174
Conversation on this subject with Count Las Cases 176
Buonaparte speaks of the Army of the Loire, and of his party 178
Mr O'Meara requested by Buonaparte to become his surgeon 179
The Northumberland in sight 180
Arms required to be delivered up 181
Lists of articles essential for the Trench officers and ladies forwarded to Plymouth 182
Sir George Cockburn is introduced to Buonaparte 182
Buonaparte permitted to wear his sword 183
He requests an interview with Captain Maitland 183
He expresses his wish of living on a small estate in England 185
He speaks in favour of Savary and Lallemand 185
Captain Maitland's letter to Count Bertrand 186
Lord Keith's order to the captain to deliver up General Buonaparte and others 187
General Gourgaud 190
Countess Bertrand's remonstrances 192
A misunderstanding and reconciliation 193
Napoleon returns thanks to Captain Maitland 194
He speaks with regard of Count Bertrand 195
Search of the baggage 196
The box of money temporarily taken charge of 197
Parting of Buonaparte with the captain 200
Buonaparte, accompanying Admiral Lord Keith, quits the Bellerophon 200
Count Montholon's polite intimation to Captain Maitland 201
The captain declines the present of a portrait 202
Savary and Lallemand; their affecting parting with Napoleon in the presence of Captain Maitland 203
The Northumberland sails for St Helena 204
Description of Napoleon Buonaparte 205
His manners and conversation 206
Anecdotes 207, 210, 215, 216
He speaks of his wife and his son 211
Their pictures 211, 212
Conversation respecting Kleber and Dessaix 213
Napoleon's resources in money 214
The midshipmen act plays 217
Buonaparte's observations on the British cavalry, and relative to the Duke of Wellington 218, 219
Character of Count Bertrand 222
Countess Bertrand, a daughter of General Dillon 222
Savary, Duke of Rovigo, described 224
Savary, Lallemand, and Planat are sent to Malta, and allowed to go to Smyrna 225
Character of Lallemand 225
Count and Countess Montholon 226
Count Las Cases and his son 227
On what terms Captain Maitland received Buonaparte on board his ship; and documents relating thereto 231
1. List of officers borne on the books of H.M.S. Bellerophon in July 1815 241
2. Letter from Ephraim Graebke, assistant-surgeon on board the Bellerophon, to his mother, giving an account of Napoleon's surrender, dated July 30, 1815 242
3. Extracts from Memoirs of an Aristocrat, by a Midshipman of the Bellerophon [George Home] 246
PORTRAIT OF SIR FREDERICK MAITLAND Frontispiece From an engraving by Henry Meyer, after Samuel Woodford, R.A.
PORTRAIT OF LADY MAITLAND At p. lxviii From a miniature at Lindores.
CHART OF THE BASQUE ROADS " 1
PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON " 68 From a sketch taken on board the Bellerophon by Colonel Planat.
NAPOLEON ON BOARD THE BELLEROPHON " 108 From the picture by W. Q. Orchardson, R.A., in the Tate Gallery.
H.M.S. BELLEROPHON AT PLYMOUTH " 132 From the picture by J. J. Chalon, R.A., in the Painted Hall at Greenwich.
TUMBLER GIVEN TO CAPTAIN MAITLAND BY NAPOLEON " 202 Photograph from the original at Lindores.
FACSIMILE OF PART OF SIR WALTER SCOTT'S NOTES ON THE "NARRATIVE" " 230 Photograph from the original at Lindores.
SIR FREDERICK LEWIS MAITLAND.
The name of Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland has found a permanent place in history as that of the captor of Napoleon. Apart from the rare piece of good fortune which befell him in the Basque Roads in July 1815, his distinguished career of public service entitles him to an honourable place in the records of the British Navy.
He was the third son of Captain the Hon. Frederick Lewis Maitland, R.N., and was born at Rankeilour in Fife on September 7, 1777. His father, Captain Maitland, was the sixth son of Charles, sixth Earl of Lauderdale, grand-nephew of Charles II.'s famous minister, and was godson to Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of George II. He held various naval commands with distinction, served under Rodney in 1782, and between 1763 and 1775 commanded the royal yacht. He died in 1786, having been promoted rear-admiral just before his death. Maitland's mother, Margaret Dick, was the heiress of the family of Makgill of Rankeilour. The estates of that family were ultimately inherited by her eldest son, Charles Maitland.
Young Maitland entered his father's profession at a very early age. He served as a midshipman, first under Captain George Duff in the Martin sloop-of-war, and afterwards with the Hon. Robert Forbes in the Southampton frigate, in which he was present at Lord Howe's great victory off Ushant on June 1, 1794,—the "glorious First of June." On April 5, 1795, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and appointed to the Andromeda, of 32 guns. From the Andromeda he was removed to the Venerable, the flagship of Admiral Duncan in the North Sea. In April 1797 he went out to the Mediterranean to join Lord St Vincent.
St Vincent had been a friend of his father's, and had promised to promote him as opportunity should occur. The flagship had her full complement of officers, so Maitland was appointed first lieutenant of the Kingfisher, a brig mounting 18 six-pounders and commanded by the Hon. Charles Herbert Pierrepont, afterwards Earl Manvers. In her he was present at the capture of four French privateers. With one of these, the Betsey, of 16 guns, a severe action was fought. When the prize-money for her capture was distributed, the crew of the Kingfisher subscribed L50 to present Maitland with a sword in recognition of his conduct.
Pierrepont was promoted to post rank in December 1798, and appointed to the Spartiate, one of Nelson's prizes taken at the Nile. A few days after his departure the Kingfisher, under Maitland's command, was leaving the Tagus, when she grounded on Lisbon bar and became a total wreck. Maitland was tried by court-martial at Gibraltar, and acquitted of all blame in connection with her loss. Immediately after his trial he was appointed flag-lieutenant to Lord St Vincent.
On June 23, 1799, the French and Spanish fleets effected a junction at Cartagena, and in the following month they retired from the Mediterranean and took refuge in Brest. They passed the Straits of Gibraltar on July 7, when Maitland had an adventure which is described in Tucker's Memoirs of Earl St Vincent.
"It is," he says, "an as yet untold anecdote of the presence of mind and courage of one of the highest-minded characters that ever adorned the British Navy, the late Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Maitland.
"At this period that gallant officer was Lord St Vincent's flag-lieutenant; and when the fleets were first descried, Johnny Gilpin, as his lordship used to call him, was sent to order the Penelope, a little hired cutter, to go, count, and dodge them. The lieutenant commanding the cutter was found too ill to utter an order. But Mr Maitland, well knowing his Chief, and that this was service which must be done, at once assumed the command, and got the vessel under weigh. He stood over to Ceuta. The night was so pitchy dark and so calm that the cutter was unperceived by the enemy, and yet so close among them that the words of command in French and Spanish could be distinctly heard. At daybreak she was about gunshot distance from the whole Spanish fleet. When they saw her their admiral signalled a number of launches to tow a brig of 14 guns to attack her, but on their arrival within shot from the little Penelope, the reception she astonished them with was so spirited that the enemy dropped astern again and retired; and a faint hope of escape appeared, for, there being no wind, the cutter's boats were kept ahead all the forenoon, towing to the southward. Then every ship in that mighty fleet, except one frigate, actually turned their heads to the southward to give chase to the cutter. But the frigate stood to the northward, and as the afternoon's westerly breeze got up, it brought her down under studding-sails near the Penelope, before the air had reached her. When she was within cable's length, the frigate opened her broadside fire. Mr Maitland told the cutter's crew to lie down upon the deck till the frigate had discharged all her guns. The men lay down very smartly; but when ordered to rise, splice the top-sail braces, and get the vessel's head about, not a man of them would stir. 'Fighting,' they said, 'was not their employ; they were not hired for it, and, should they lose a limb, there was no provision for them;' and thus the frigate now renewing her fire, the little Penelope was taken.
"To the honour of the Spanish admiral it must be added, that, having witnessed this bravery and heard that it was Lord St Vincent's flag-lieutenant that had displayed it, he sent Mr Maitland in a cartel to Gibraltar, declaring him free without exchange."
Tucker, who wrote in 1844, was not quite correct in saying that the anecdote was "as yet untold." It had been given long before in Marshall's Naval Biography. Marshall mentions, among other details, that "the Penelope had on board a sum of money intended for Minorca, which it was not deemed advisable to remove, under the pressing urgency for her immediate departure from Gibraltar. When her crew found there was no chance of escape from the combined fleets, they made an attempt to plunder the treasure, which Lieutenant Maitland most honourably and successfully resisted, alleging that as public property it was the lawful prize of the captors."
Lord St Vincent returned to England in August 1799, accompanied by Maitland. On reaching Portsmouth he heard of an explosion of shells which had taken place in May on board the Theseus, 74, resulting in the death of her commander, Captain Ralph Willet Miller. A vacancy had thus occurred in the Mediterranean before the admiral quitted that station. He used his privilege as commander-in-chief and promoted Maitland to the rank of commander in the Cameleon sloop-of-war, the promotion to date from June 14. Maitland at once went out to join his new ship, which was then on the coast of Egypt under Sir Sidney Smith. After the signing of the convention of El Arish he was sent home with despatches. He returned and regained his ship, in which he made several captures.
On December 10, 1800, he was appointed by Lord Keith to the Wassenaar, 64. As she was then lying at Malta unfit for service, he obtained permission to accompany Sir Ralph Abercromby's expedition to Egypt.
The fleet anchored in Aboukir Bay on the 2nd of March 1801. On the 8th, Abercromby effected a landing in face of a large and strongly posted French force. To Maitland fell the duty of commanding the armed launches employed to cover the landing. The enemy were driven from their positions, and retired towards Alexandria with the loss of seven guns. Abercromby at once followed them up, and advanced on the neck of sand lying between the sea and the Lake of Aboukir, leaving a distance of about four miles between the English and French camps. On the 13th he again attacked the French, and forced them back upon their lines before Alexandria. The right flank of the British force rested on the sea, the left on the Lake of Aboukir, and the flanks were covered by a naval flotilla, the boats on the sea being under Maitland's command, and those on the lake under that of Captain James Hillyar. Seven days later Sir Sidney Smith, who commanded the naval battalion serving on shore, received from a friendly Arab sheikh a letter informing him that it was General Menou's intention to attack the British camp next morning. The news was thought too good to be true, as in a few days Abercromby would have been compelled to attack the lines of Alexandria under every tactical disadvantage. It was, however, confirmed, and on the 21st of March the battle of Alexandria was fought, the fate of Egypt was decided, and Abercromby received his death-wound. Maitland again covered the British right flank from the sea. In the detailed plan of the battle given in Sir Robert Wilson's History of the British Expedition to Egypt, Maitland's flotilla is shown a little to the west of the ruins of Nicopolis, in a position to enfilade the French attack. For his services on the 8th, 13th, and 21st Maitland received the thanks of the naval and military commanders-in-chief, and on March 22, the day after the battle, Sir Sidney Smith wrote to Lord Keith warmly commending Maitland's conduct.
Maitland's post commission was confirmed by the Admiralty on the day of the battle of Alexandria. In the ensuing month he was appointed to the Dragon, 74, and shortly afterwards to the Carrere, a French 40-gun frigate taken near Elba. He remained in command of her in the Mediterranean till the Peace of Amiens.
The Carrere was paid off on October 4, 1802. Eleven days afterwards Maitland was appointed by Lord St Vincent to the Loire, a fine 46-gun frigate. War broke out again on May 18, 1803, and the Loire started on a brilliant career of captures, which included the 10-gun brig Venteux, cut out from under the Isle of Bas by two of the Loire's boats, the Braave privateer, and the 30-gun frigate Blonde, captured in August 1804 after a pursuit of twenty hours and a desperate running fight.
[Footnote 1: They are fully detailed in Marshall's Naval Biography, vol. ii. part 1, pp. 387 et seq.]
An official letter written by Maitland in June 1805, gives us a vivid glimpse of frigate service in the old days:—
Captain Maitland to Rear-Admiral Drury, Cork.
LOIRE, MUROS ROAD, SPAIN, June 4, 1805.
SIR,—Being informed that there was a French privateer of 26 guns fitting out at Muros, and nearly ready for sea, it struck me, from my recollection of the bay (having been in it formerly, when lieutenant of the Kingfisher), as being practicable either to bring her out or destroy her with the ship I have the honour to command. I accordingly prepared yesterday evening for engaging at anchor, and appointed Mr Yeo, with Lieutenants Mallock and Douglas, of the marines, and Mr Clinch, master's-mate, to head the boarders and marines, amounting, officers included, to 50 men (being all that could be spared from anchoring the ship and working the guns), in landing and storming the fort, though I then had no idea its strength was so great as it has proved. At nine this morning, on the sea-breeze setting in, I stood for the bay in the ship, the men previously prepared, being in the boats ready to shove off. On hauling close round the point of the road, a small battery of 2 guns opened a fire on the ship; a few shot were returned; but perceiving it would annoy us considerably, from its situation, I desired Mr Yeo to push on shore and spike the guns; reminding the men of its being the anniversary of their Sovereign's birth, and that, for his sake, as well as their own credit, their utmost exertions must be used. Though such an injunction was unnecessary, it had a great effect in animating and raising the spirits of the people. As the ship drew in, and more fully opened the bay, I perceived a very long corvette, of 26 ports, apparently nearly ready for sea, and a large brig of 20 ports, in a state of fitting; but neither of them firing, led me to conclude they had not their guns on board, and left no other object to occupy my attention but a heavy fort, which at this moment opened to our view, within less than a quarter of a mile, and began a wonderfully well-directed fire, almost every shot taking place in the hull. Perceiving that, by standing further on, more guns would be brought to bear upon us, without our being enabled to near the fort so much as I wished, I ordered the helm to be put down; and when, from the way she had, we had gained an advantageous position, anchored with a spring, and commenced firing. Although I have but little doubt that, before long, we should have silenced the fort, yet, from the specimen they gave us, and being completely embrasured, it must have cost us many lives, and caused great injury to the ship, had not Mr Yeo's gallantry and good conduct soon put an end to their fire.
I must now revert to him and the party under his command. Having landed under the small battery on the point, it was instantly abandoned; but hardly had he time to spike the guns, when, at the distance of a quarter of a mile, he perceived a regular fort, ditched, and with a gate, which the enemy (fortunately never suspecting our landing) had neglected to secure, open a fire upon the ship. Without waiting for orders he pushed forward, and was opposed at the inner gate by the Governor, with such troops as were in the town, and the crews of the French privateers. From the testimony of the prisoners as well as our own men, it appears that Mr Yeo was the first who entered the fort, with one blow laid the Governor dead at his feet, and broke his own sabre in two. The other officers were despatched by such officers and men of ours as were most advanced, and the narrowness of the gate would permit to push forward. The remainder instantly fled to the further end of the fort, and from the ship we could perceive many of them leap from the embrasures upon the rocks, a height of above 25 feet. Such as laid down their arms received quarter....
The instant the Union was displayed at the fort, I sent and took possession of the enemies' vessels in the Road, consisting of the Confiance, French ship privateer, pierced for 26 twelves and nines, none of which, however, were on board; the Belier, French privateer brig, pierced for 20 eighteen-pounder carronades; and a Spanish merchant brig in ballast. I then hoisted a flag of truce, and sent to inform the inhabitants of the town, that if they would deliver up such stores of the ship as were on shore, there would be no further molestation. The proposal was thankfully agreed to. I did not, however, think it advisable to allow the people to remain long enough to embark the guns, there being a large body of troops in the vicinity. A great many small vessels are in the bay, and hauled up on the beach. None of them having cargoes of any value, I conceive it an act of inhumanity to deprive the poorer inhabitants of the means of gaining their livelihood, and shall not molest them. On inspecting the brig, as she had only the lower rigging overhead, and was not in a state of forwardness, I found it impracticable to bring her away, and therefore set fire to her: she is now burnt to the water's edge. I cannot conclude my letter without giving the portion of credit that is their due to the officers and men on board the ship. They conducted themselves with the greatest steadiness and coolness; and although under a heavy fire, pointed their guns with the utmost precision, there being hardly a shot that did not take effect.... It is but fair at the same time to state that, much to the credit of the ship's company, the Bishop and one of the principal inhabitants of the town came off to express their gratitude for the orderly behaviour of the people, there not being one instance of pillage; and to make offer of every refreshment the place affords.
I am now waiting for the land breeze to carry us out, having already recalled the officers and men from the fort, the guns being spiked and thrown over the parapet, the carriages rendered unserviceable, and the embrasures, with part of the fort, blown up.
I have the honour to be, &c.,
FRED. L. MAITLAND.
On June 27, 1805, the Common Council of the City of London voted him their thanks for his distinguished conduct in Muros Bay. The Committee of the Patriotic Fund at Lloyd's presented him with a sword, and on October 18 he received the freedom of the city of Cork in recognition of his exertions for the protection of Irish trade.
In the following winter the Loire had a narrow escape. Marshall thus describes the incident:—
"On the 13th Dec. 1805, the Loire, accompanied by the Alcmene frigate, fell in with the Rochefort squadron, consisting of six sail of the line, three frigates, and three corvettes. Maitland immediately sent the Alcmene to the fleet off Brest, himself keeping company with the Frenchmen. Being to leeward, and desirous of obtaining the weather-gage, as the safest situation for his own ship, he carried a heavy press of sail, and in the night of the 14th, having stretched on, as he thought, sufficiently for that purpose, put the Loire on the same tack as they were. About two A.M., it being then exceedingly dark, he found himself so near one of the largest ships as to hear the officer of the watch giving his orders. As the noise of putting about would have discovered the Loire's situation, Captain Maitland very prudently abstained from doing so, until, by slacking the lee braces and luffing his ship to the wind, the enemy had drawn sufficiently ahead. At daylight he had the satisfaction to observe them four or five miles to leeward; and although he was chased both on that and the following day by a detachment from the enemy's squadron, he returned each evening and took his station on the French admiral's weather-beam, sufficiently near to keep sight of them till the morning. During the night between the 16th and 17th, several large ships were seen to windward running down, and which, on perceiving the Loire and those to leeward of her, made such signals as proved them also to be enemies. Captain Maitland had now no alternative but to make sail in order to get from between those two squadrons, the latter of which afterwards proved to be from Brest."
On November 28, 1806, Maitland was appointed to the Emerald, a 36-gun frigate. During the whole of her commission he cruised with ceaseless activity and made a very great number of captures. He was present with Lord Gambier's fleet outside Aix Roads in April 1809, when Cochrane made his famous fire-ship attack on the French fleet. The Emerald was one of the few ships which, on the 12th, were sent by Gambier, much against his will, to support Cochrane in the Imperieuse. One can well imagine that her gallant commander shared Cochrane's indignation at seeing so daring an enterprise shorn of its fruits by the weakness and irresolution of their chief.
Maitland's next appointment, dated June 3, 1813, was to the Goliath, a cut-down 74. He commanded her for twelve months on the Halifax and West India stations. Having been found seriously defective, she was paid off at Chatham in October 1814. In the following month Maitland was appointed to the Boyne, then fitting at Portsmouth for the flag of Sir Alexander Cochrane, commander-in-chief on the coast of America.
In January 1815 he was at Cork, and had collected a large fleet of transports and merchant vessels bound for America. The fleet was ready to sail, but was detained at Cove by a succession of strong westerly winds. Before the wind changed the news came that Napoleon had escaped from Elba.
Maitland's orders were at once countermanded, and he was removed to the ship with which his name will always be associated, the Bellerophon, 74. This famous old ship had fought on the First of June, at the Nile, and at Trafalgar; she was now once more to render a conspicuous service to the country.
She sailed from Plymouth with Sir Henry Hotham's squadron on May 24, 1815. Her commander's record of the memorable events which took place on board her during the following weeks is in the reader's hands, and nothing more need be said of them here. Let it suffice to note that the controversies which have raged around the story of Napoleon's exile, and which have tarnished so many reputations, have left Maitland's without a stain. "My reception in England," said Napoleon himself to Maitland, as he bade him farewell in the cabin of the Bellerophon, "has been very different from what I expected; but it gives me much satisfaction to assure you, that I feel your conduct to me throughout has been that of a gentleman and a man of honour."
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Up to this point the materials for Maitland's biography are somewhat scanty. After this his journal, preserved at Lindores, gives us a very full record of his services.
In October 1818 he was appointed to the Vengeur, 74. She had been intended to bear the flag of Rear-Admiral Otway on the Leith station. In June 1819, however, she was ordered to join the squadron destined for South America under the command of Sir Thomas Hardy—Nelson's Hardy. The squadron left Spithead on September 9, having on board Mr Thornton, H.B.M.'s minister to Brazil.
The following year was spent on the South American coast. In the disturbed political condition of the Continent, the duties of the British naval officers on the station were sometimes difficult and delicate, as British ships and British subjects frequently got into trouble with the forces of the revolted Spanish colonies. Maitland's time was spent chiefly at Rio de Janeiro. In 1807, when Napoleon's troops first appeared in the Tagus, the Portuguese Court had emigrated to Brazil and had been there ever since. Maitland's journal contains many amusing notes—not always printable—about King John VI. and his disreputable family. "The king is very fond," he writes, "of comparing himself to the Regent of Great Britain, and does it as follows: 'His father is mad, so was my mother. I was Regent, so is he. I am very fat, so is he. I hate my wife, so does he.'" One anecdote which he tells of the king "must," he thinks, "raise him in the opinion of every British subject. When the Count de la Rocca was Spanish Ambassador at the Brazils, upon a rejoicing day the Portuguese ships were dressed with the national flag at the main, the British colours at the fore, and Spanish at the mizzen. The Count being at Court, drew the (then) Prince to a window which commanded a view of the harbour, and said to him, 'I have to ask your Royal Highness to look at those ships. The British colours are at the fore and my master's at the mizzen topmast-head. Were it only occasionally or alternately I should not complain, but it is never otherwise, and I feel it my duty, considering the close family connection that subsists between H.M. the King of Spain and your Royal Highness, to represent it to you, as it hurts my feelings in a manner I cannot express.' The King of Portugal tapped him gently on the shoulder and said to him, 'I'll tell you what, my friend, had it not been for that flag and the nation to whom it belongs, neither your master nor I would have had a flag to hoist at all.'"
That was true enough; still, the Portuguese were getting a little tired of the British flag. The Peninsular War had made Portugal almost a British dependency. Lord Beresford remained in command of the Portuguese army after the peace, and many other important appointments were held by English officers. The old monopoly of trade with Brazil had been broken down in favour of the English, to the ruin of not a few Portuguese merchants. These grievances, the continued absence of the Court in Brazil, and the general misgovernment of the country, had caused widespread discontent. Matters became critical after the outbreak of the Spanish revolution in January 1820. In the spring of that year Beresford went out to Brazil to lay the state of affairs before the king, and to try to induce him to return to Portugal. The king would neither go himself nor allow his son to go. On August 13, Beresford sailed from Rio for Lisbon in Maitland's ship, the Vengeur.
While she was crossing the Atlantic, revolution broke out in Portugal. A military rising took place at Oporto on the 24th of August, and when the Vengeur reached Lisbon on October 10, Maitland found that the Regency had been deposed and a provisional Junta installed in the capital. Beresford was absolutely forbidden to land, even as a private individual, and was requested to leave the port without delay. The provisional Government told him plainly that in the existing state of public feeling they could not be responsible for his safety if he came on shore. After remaining for nearly a week on board the Vengeur in the Tagus, he went on to England in a packet-boat.
Maitland had expected to return to England, but at Lisbon he received orders to proceed immediately to the Mediterranean on secret service. On October 27 he reached the Bay of Naples, where he found a British squadron of five ships under Sir Graham Moore.
Serious political trouble had arisen in Naples. After the fall of Murat, Ferdinand IV. had been restored to his throne by the Congress of Vienna, and in 1816 had assumed the title of King of the Two Sicilies. Under the restored monarchy discontent had been steadily growing. There had been no violent counter-revolution, but the interests of the country had been sacrificed without scruple to those of the king's friends, the swarm of courtiers who had shared his ignoble exile at Palermo. The revolutionary society of the Carbonari spread rapidly, alike in the army and in civil society. In Naples, as in Portugal, the Spanish revolution brought things to a crisis. On July 2, 1820, a military outbreak took place at Nola. This was followed by a general demand for a Constitution, which the king was powerless to resist. On July 13 he took the oath to the Constitution before the altar in the royal chapel.
A revolution in Naples would in all probability be followed by similar uprisings in the Papal States. Metternich was seriously alarmed. A conference of sovereigns and ministers to consider the affairs of Naples was arranged to be held at Troppau, in Moravia, in October 1820. England and France stood aloof from action, and the matter remained in the hands of the Emperor of Austria, the Czar, and the King of Prussia. It was resolved to invite King Ferdinand to meet his brother sovereigns at Laibach, in the Austrian province of Carniola, and through him to address a summons to the Neapolitans, requiring them, in the name of the three Powers and under threat of invasion, to abandon their Constitution.
Ferdinand could not leave the country without the consent of the Legislature. This was only given on his swearing to maintain the existing Constitution. He did so with effusions of patriotism, and on December 13 he embarked on board the Vengeur, Maitland's ship, which conveyed him to Leghorn. On reaching Leghorn he addressed a letter to the sovereigns of the Great Powers repudiating all his recent acts. He reached Laibach in due course; and the Congress which took place there in January 1821 resulted in the restoration of absolutism at Naples and the occupation of the country by the Austrians.
It was a curious coincidence that Maitland should within a few years have had two sovereigns as passengers,—one the central figure of modern European history, the other the good-natured elderly buffoon who in this country is chiefly remembered as the husband of the friend of Lady Hamilton. Maitland thus records the voyage:—
Naples Bay, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 1820.—A good deal of rain during the night; in the morning the wind to the east. A general order came on board for the captains to attend the admiral in their barges, for the purpose of attending the King of Naples off to the Vengeur, dressed in full uniform, with boots and pantaloons; a note, likewise, from the admiral telling me he intended to get the squadron under way and see the King out of the bay, the Revolutionnaire forming astern of the Vengeur, and he, with the five ships in line of battle, taking a position on our weather quarter; and when he takes his leave each ship is to pass under our stern, and there and then salute. The yards are to be manned and the ships to salute, beginning when the Vengeur fires her second gun. It is the intention of the French squadron to weigh also and stand out. At three P.M. the King of Naples came on board in Sir Graham Moore's barge, attended by the admiral and all the captains of the squadron except myself (as I stayed on board to receive him), and all the captains of the French squadron. He was saluted and cheered by all the ships except the Neapolitan, one of which manned her rigging, but no salute was given. As soon as the King was on board, unmoored, as did Revolutionnaire and Duchesse de Berri. Employed beating out. At about ten P.M. the Revolutionnaire was on our weather-bow when a thick heavy squall came on which blew the main top-sail away. When the squall cleared away a little, I saw the Revolutionnaire close to us on our lee-bow, off the wind and stemming for us, and so near it was impossible the ships could clear each other. It therefore became necessary to adopt the measure which would soften the first blow as much as possible, and I ordered the helm to be put down. When the ship came head to wind she struck the Revolutionnaire just before the mainmast, slewed our cut-water right across, carried away the jib-boom, spritsail yard, &c., and then backed clear of her. A lad fell overboard from the Revolutionnaire and made a great noise, which enabled us to send a boat and pick him up, he having got upon one of our life-buoys. Got the runners up and the messenger through the hawse-holes, and set them up with the top tackles, which enabled us soon to make sail. Saw the Duchesse de Berri working out.
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Dec. 14.—Strong breeze to the westward, with sea getting up. Saw Revolutionnaire to leeward. On examination, found the cut-water so much shook I determined to run on to Baia and secure the bowsprit; made signal to prepare to anchor, and bore up little after 8 A.M. Anchored in fifteen fathom water. The Revolutionnaire was examined also, when I found her mainmast was sprung; sent the master and carpenter to survey the damage she had sustained, two or three of her timbers being broke. They reported she might be put in a state to proceed in two days. Sent Lieutenant Drewry up to the Admiral with a letter giving an account of our disaster, and informing him I should proceed as soon as the weather would admit of it, taking Revolutionnaire with me if she was ready, otherwise directing him to follow. Got an answer from him in the evening offering the King any ship, even Rochefort (the flagship), if we could not proceed; and that he had ordered Active down here, to be ready to relieve Revolutionnaire if she could not go. In the morning, when the King came out, he took hold of both my hands, squeezed them, and shook them very heartily, saying, "I am infinitely obliged to you for the way in which you manoeuvred the ship last night, for had it not been for your promptitude she must have been dismasted." Dined with his Majesty, who sent me an invitation, and took my place, by his direction, at his right hand, in the way I used when Bonaparte was with me, and was a good deal struck with the similarity of situation. On the King's left sat the Princess of Paterna, created by him Duchess of Floridia. She is married to him, but does not assume the title of Queen, because she is not of blood royal. She is an uncommonly handsome woman for her time of life,—which the Prince of Babro tells me is very near fifty,—her manners pleasing, and quite those of a woman of high rank. He seems much attached to her, was particular in recommending good dishes to her, and once or twice when he spoke to her took her hand, and shook and prest it in a friendly affectionate way.
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Baia, Dec. 15.—Strong gale, with very heavy squalls and showers of rain. The King is, in my opinion, much better at an anchor here than beating about the sea in a gale of wind. Employed securing the bowsprit.... Dined with the King, who told us several anecdotes of his sea excursions; and he really is a tolerably good sailor. In the evening a deputation of the Parliament came on board to condole with his Majesty on the accident that had befallen the ship, and to wish him a pleasant voyage and a speedy return to his country. In the evening pointed the yards to the wind.... While at dinner, H.M. sent out to have "Rule Britannia" played by the band, and drank success to the British Navy with three cheers.
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Dec. 16.—In the morning the weather fine, with light wind W.S.W. Unmoored ship.... Stood over towards Capri till half-past one, when we tacked. The King told us at dinner he had been one of six who in seven days killed nine thousand quails on Capri Island, where in the month of May some years they come in millions.... Got round Ischia at 10 o'clock P.M.......................................................
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Leghorn Roads, Wednesday, Dec. 20.—Employed all night beating into Leghorn Roads.... At eight, pratique boat came off and gave us pratique, and soon after the Governor of Leghorn came to pay his respects to the King, with a fine large barge. His Majesty soon got very impatient to go on shore, and would hardly give us time to make the necessary preparations for sending him out of the ship with due honours. At half-past nine he left the ship, accompanied by the Duchess of Floridia.... Saluted with twenty-one guns, and manned yards and cheered him as he left the ship. I accompanied him on shore, and when about to take my leave he asked me to dinner. I went, therefore, to the Grand Duke's palace, which is in the square; and when I got there the Marchese di Ruffo soon arrived, and, desiring my company in another room, produced the Order of St Ferdinand of the second class, and told me he had the King's sanction to present me with it; and when we were talking about it his Majesty came into the room and put it over my neck, and then led me by the hand and presented me to the Princess Paterna, when I returned my humble thanks to his Majesty, knelt, and kissed his hand. The princess told me it was her intention to send by me something as a present from her to my wife. The Marchese di Ruffo then came in and told me he had something further to communicate, and took me into the other room, when he gave me from his Majesty a remarkably handsome gold snuff-box with his portrait on it,—a very good likeness, set with twenty-four diamonds, some of them large, particularly four at the corners. He gave me also two other boxes, one for Captain Pellew and the other for the captain of the Fleur de Lis, and informed me he meant to give 3000 ducats to the Vengeur's ship's company and 1500 to each of the frigates. Dined with the King, and came off in the evening.
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Dec. 21.—... To Franschetti the banker to obtain the money given by the King of Naples to the ships' companies; and after waiting a long time and having a great deal of trouble with a very stupid old fellow, we managed to get it from him.... Got my patent as Commander of the Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, for which I had to pay ten ducats as a fee to the secretary's clerk,—a part of the ceremony I did not bargain for, as the order cannot be of any use to me, there being a rule against officers accepting of foreign orders except in particular cases.
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Dec. 22.—... At eleven the boats came off and brought all my traps, and a small parcel from the Princess Paterna, containing a very handsome gold necklace and bracelets, requesting I would accept them for her sake and present them to my wife. His Majesty, as well as the princess, have behaved to me in a most munificent way, having loaded me with favours and marks of their affection, which I shall ever remember with the warmest gratitude. As I have now done with the King of Naples, it may be as well to say a few words of his person and habits. He is a tall thin fair man, now seventy years of age, uncommonly robust and active for that time of life, which may be attributed in a great measure to his temperance and love of field-sports, which has been ever his ruling passion, and often occasioned him to neglect the more imposing and serious duties of a king. As a man, he must be liked by every one who comes immediately in contact with him, as he is cheerful and good-humoured, though not a man of much information. While on board the ship he was generally up before daylight,—which at this season of the year is not saying much,—took a cup of coffee and a bit of biscuit,—to strengthen his stomach as he said,—and then said prayers, having two friars and a priest with him. At noon he dined, when he ate a very hearty meal, and drank about half a bottle of Neapolitan wine a good deal diluted with water, and ate nothing for the remainder of the day. In the evening he played picquet, and went to bed at eight or half past....
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The Vengeur returned to England in the spring of 1820, and Maitland was appointed to the Genoa, guardship at Portsmouth, from which he was superseded in October on the completion of his three years' continuous service on the peace establishment. The midshipmen of the Genoa presented him with a sword as a mark of respect.
Then followed a period of rest. In 1816 he had bought from his mother the estate of Lindores, near Newburgh, in Fifeshire, which had been in her family since 1569. Here he now spent several years, chiefly occupied in the improvement of the property. During the war he had made some L16,000 out of prize-money, part of which was spent in building the present mansion-house, overlooking the beautiful Loch of Lindores. In the spring of 1826 he visited London to arrange for the publication of the Narrative, which, after some fruitless negotiations with John Murray, was accepted by Colburn on satisfactory terms.
On February 13, 1827, Maitland was appointed to the Wellesley, 74. In December 1826, Mr Canning, in response to an appeal from the Portuguese Regency, had sent English troops to Lisbon to protect the Government of Portugal against the threatened attack of Spain. Maitland was ordered to Lisbon, and the Wellesley spent the autumn and winter of 1827 in the Tagus. After a spring cruise up the Mediterranean, she returned to England in May 1828. On June 26 she again sailed for the Mediterranean, carrying the flag of Admiral Sir Pulteney Malcolm, who was then going out to succeed Sir Edward Codrington in command of the Mediterranean station. On August 24 she joined the squadron under Codrington at Navarino.
Maitland remained in Greek waters for the next two years. The tragic drama of the Greek Revolution, after seven years of horrors, had now reached its final act. By the Treaty of London, in July 1827, England, Russia, and France had undertaken to put an end to the conflict in the East, and to establish the autonomy of Greece. In the following October the battle of Navarino had been fought, and the Turkish fleet destroyed. Ibrahim Pasha still held the fortresses of the Morea, which he was shortly to evacuate under the pressure of a French army corps. In April 1828 war had broken out between Turkey and Russia.
Desultory fighting was still going on in Crete, which had been utterly devastated by years of barbarous warfare. In October the Wellesley went to Suda Bay, and most of the winter was spent by Maitland on the coast of Crete, endeavouring to bring about an armistice, and superintending the blockade which the Powers had established in order to prevent military supplies from reaching the Turks in the island. The blockade was raised early in 1829; and during the following months Maitland visited nearly every point of interest on the Greek coast and in the Greek islands, as well as Sicily, the coast of Asia Minor, and Constantinople. Like most Englishmen who have served in the Levant, he developed a considerable respect for the Turk, and a quite unbounded contempt for the Greek. After the armistice negotiations in Crete he writes: "I found the conduct of the Turkish chiefs throughout manly, straightforward, and sincere, while that of their opponents was very much the reverse;" and in another place he writes of the Greeks that "a more perfidious, ferocious, and cruel race does not exist." Needless to say he did not think much of "our pretty Greek Committee."
In the summer of 1830 the Wellesley returned to England. Maitland attained his flag on July 22, 1830. At the reconstruction of the Order of the Bath in 1815 he had been made a C.B.; on November 17, 1830, he was advanced to be a K.C.B. In 1835 he received the Greek Order of the Redeemer.
During his South American and Mediterranean cruises Maitland kept a very full and interesting private journal. It reveals him to us as a man of immense mental activity and power of observation, hard humorous common-sense, and an almost Pepysian interest in all the doings of mankind. Politics, archaeology, cricket, theatricals, scandal, the terms of a treaty, the menu of a good dinner, the armament of a foreign frigate, the toilette of a pretty woman,—everything interests him, and is observed, remembered, and noted in his diary. A few extracts have been given; within the limits of this sketch they cannot be multiplied. His account of the slave-market at Constantinople may serve as a specimen of his power of picturesque description.
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October 12, 1829.—... We then crossed the harbour, and went to the slave-market. It is held in a small square, with some houses in the middle, and on two sides of the square are small rooms, where the slaves for sale are kept until their turn comes to be put up. Adjoining the doors of these rooms or cells are raised platforms of wood on which a number of black women and girls were sitting; and I saw a few white ones inside. Outside these platforms are others, where the purchasers or those intending to purchase slaves were placed; and between the two platforms there is a passage three or four feet wide. At another corner of the market there were some black men and boys, chained by the legs to prevent their escaping, and among them we saw a very good-looking respectably dressed young man, also in chains. We were told he was a Georgian, but could not discover his history, though it is probable that his master had died, and that he was sold in consequence. He was smoking a pipe, and looked very disconsolate. A little after nine o'clock, the chief of the market arrived, and the sale began. Two or three black girls were first put up. A crier went round the square, followed by the slave for sale, passing through the passage before mentioned. When any person bids, the crier goes on, calling the sum bid, until some one bids higher, and continues calling till no more is bid, when the slave becomes the property of the highest bidder. There were three or four criers, with each a slave following them, going round the bazaar at the same time. At last a very pretty-looking white girl about sixteen years of age was put up for sale. Several bids had been made before I discovered her; and when I came up to the place where she was standing, Lambrino, the admiral's interpreter, asked the crier what sum was bid for her. He answered 1200 piastres; upon which the girl turned round in a rage, and said to Lambrino, "You dog-faced fellow, what is that to you?" and the interpreter being a little man, with high shoulders and a face very much shaped like a dog's, the girl's remark excited a general laugh. The crier, however, was by no means pleased at the young lady for making such a display of her temper, as it was likely to hurt her sale, and he therefore reprimanded her. They then passed on along the passage and came to one of the divans, where a man about forty was sitting smoking his pipe. He stopped the crier, and took the girl by the hand, felt all up her arm to the shoulder, then drew her a little nearer and opened her waistcoat, which exposed a beautiful white bosom, and the effect seemed electric, for he immediately bid 1300 piastres, and after pulling down the lower part of her veil so as to show the whole of her face, and looking at her teeth, he allowed the crier to proceed. The girl had been angry at Lambrino, and seemed a good deal distressed when the Turk was examining and handling her. I saw a blush of either modesty or indignation cross her countenance; but the instant the additional piastres were bid (whether from gratified vanity or what other cause I cannot say, for these poor creatures are very proud of bringing a high price) a smile of satisfaction beamed over her face, and she marched off in apparent good humour. I had seen enough of this horrid scene, and was tired of seeing a fellow-creature paraded about and handled like a horse, therefore was rejoiced when the admiral proposed we should leave it. Before we went away, a fellow, apparently an Armenian, came up and said he had a handsome young Greek girl for sale if we would like to see her. As, however, none of us under any circumstances could have purchased her, we declined his offer....
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A characteristic feature of Maitland's diary is his constant reference to his wife. He had married, in 1804, Catherine, second daughter of Daniel Connor of Ballybricken, County Cork. They had only one child, who died in infancy. Maitland loved his wife with lifelong devotion; wherever the service called him, her picture hung in his cabin, and he carried her image in his heart. Every letter she wrote to him is noted in his journal; and it is full of references to her in words of devoted attachment. Thus on the voyage home from South America in 1820 he writes: "Crossed the equator at eleven o'clock at night, and we are once more, Heaven be praised, in the northern hemisphere, which contains all I love and delight in in this world, and every mile we go draws us nearer to the sole mistress and possessor of my heart.... A more affectionate, kind, attached wife no man on earth is blessed with than myself." He was bitterly disappointed when from Lisbon he was ordered to the Mediterranean. As the ship passed Gibraltar he wrote: "This was the day I had settled in my own mind that I was to arrive at Portsmouth, and there meet the dearest and best of wives.... I had expected this day to be the happiest of human beings, and now the event that would make me so appears as distant as ever." When he was at Naples, Mrs Maitland appears to have fallen under religious influences of the kind which often embitter family relations; and it is pathetic to read the expression of her husband's grief and anxiety lest the love which was the chief joy of his life should be estranged. "I fear much," he writes, "I shall have to regret the longest day I have to live, having left her in Scotland, instead of taking her abroad with me, as she was in a nest of fanatical foolish women who have the madness to believe they are inspired from above." Happily the cloud soon passed, and he notes the receipt of "one of her own dear affectionate kind letters, such as she used formerly to write." A little later comes the joyful entry: "Bore up and made sail, with a fine strong Levant wind, which cleared us of the Gut of Gibraltar by noon; and I can now look forward with confidence to meeting my beloved Kate in about two weeks' time."
From 1832 to 1837 Maitland was Admiral Superintendent of the dockyard at Portsmouth. In July 1837 he was appointed commander-in-chief in the East Indies and China. He hoisted his flag on his own old ship the Wellesley, now commanded by Captain Thomas Maitland, afterwards Earl of Lauderdale, and sailed for Bombay on the 11th of October. Lady Maitland accompanied him to the East.
When the advance from Bombay towards Afghanistan was made in 1838, it was decided that a naval force should proceed along the coast to co-operate with the troops. In January 1839, Maitland, in the Wellesley, joined the squadron in the Indus, and was requested by Sir John Keane, the military commander-in-chief, to "proceed to Kurrachee and take it." He arrived with his squadron before Kurrachee the 1st of February, and sent a flag of truce, summoning the fort of Manora, which formed the chief defence of the town. The Baluchi garrison refused all terms, and fired on the boats of the squadron, which were engaged in landing troops. The Wellesley accordingly opened fire, and soon reduced the fort to ruins and brought the commandant to terms. The British flag was hoisted on the fort by Lieutenant Jenkins of the Wellesley. The town also surrendered, and was occupied by the 40th Regiment and the 2nd Bombay Native Infantry. The British Government thus easily obtained possession of the chief port of the Punjab.
After the capture of Kurrachee, Maitland returned to Bombay, and thence proceeded to Bushire, where difficulties had arisen with the Persian authorities. At an interview with the Governor, the Admiral demanded permission for himself and his officers to land and communicate freely with the British Resident. The Governor agreed to this, but refused to allow the Admiral to embark from the landing-place opposite the Residency. Next morning, March 25, all the boats of the squadron, manned and armed, proceeded to the shore to protect the embarkation of the Admiral and other officers. The following account by an eyewitness of what then took place is given in Low's History of the Indian Navy:—
"The Persians had assembled to the number of several hundreds, and the Governor, with his body-guard, was determined to prevent, if possible, the property being shipped before the Residency. The first boat which approached the shore was fired upon, and one Persian had his musket presented at Captain Maitland. He was just on the eve of firing, when fortunately the Admiral and two Indian naval officers in a moment wrenched it from his hands, and kept possession of the piece, which they found loaded with a heavy charge. You may imagine how strongly inclined the marines must have been to fire. The benevolent spirit of the Admiral, however, would not allow it till the throwing of stones, and continued firing from the Persians, called forth two volleys, which caused the Persians to evacuate the breastwork. One was killed and two wounded; their fire upon us, fortunately, did not injure any one, but the Commodore and several other officers were struck with stones. After this the Residency was put in a state of defence, Captain Hennell (the Political Agent), had all the property conveyed as quickly as possible on board the Wellesley, Elphinstone, Clive, and Emily, and finally abandoned the Residency on the morning of the 28th, when surrounded by four or five hundred armed Persians, composed of Bushirees and Tungustanees, with Baukr Khan at their head.... And on the morning of the 29th the Wellesley and the other vessels reached Kharrack, bringing along with them the whole Residency establishment."
On May 9, 1839, the Officiating Secretary to the Government of India wrote to Maitland: "The Right Hon. the Governor-General highly applauds the cordial and able assistance offered by the officers and crews of H.M.'s and the Hon. Company's ships, in the removal on board the ships of the Resident and his suite from the Residency at Bushire,—an operation which, but for their aid, might have been attended with difficulty and danger." Maitland was bitterly attacked by the Anglo-Indian press for his forbearance on this occasion, which it was said had lowered British prestige in the eyes of the Persians. It is possible that our relations with Persia might have been improved by the slaughter of the Bushire mob by the Wellesley's marines, but apparently the Admiral thought otherwise.
The Bushire incident was followed by a cruise round the Persian Gulf, in the course of which the Admiral had various interviews with the local chiefs, and impressed upon them the necessity of keeping the peace and respecting British interests.
It was his last service. He died at sea, off Bombay, on November 30, 1839. A letter from the late Admiral Philip Somerville, then a lieutenant on board the Wellesley, describes the closing scenes.
[Footnote 2: Admiral Somerville married Mary Stuart, eldest daughter of David Maitland Makgill Crichton of Rankeilour, and grand-niece of Sir Frederick. I am indebted for the use of this letter to the courtesy of his son, Mr D. M. M. Crichton Somerville.]
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"On our arrival at Bombay, Nov. 3," he writes, "the tents had not been pitched more than a week or so, and the one fitted by the Government for the Admiral was so very large that, after our arrival, he had to remain for some days on board ship ere it was ready. You may fancy the state the ground was in after five months' heavy rain,—the chill and damp scarcely possible to describe,—evaporation of course following the excessive heat of the day. A week had scarcely passed ere he felt its effects, but he could say nothing. On the 15th November I dined with him on shore. He seemed then tolerably well. On Sunday, 17th, he visited the ship, and returned to his tent. On the 18th he dined with her Majesty's 6th Regiment, and complained a little that day. The 21st, he was out to see our sailors and marines exercising. The complaint from that time made rapid progress. Saturday, 23rd, Lady Maitland went to a large party, but returned to the Admiral very early. Sunday 24th and Monday 25th he was dangerously ill; 26th and 27th, rather easier. Preparations were made for going to sea. On the 28th, the poor old fellow was brought off and hoisted on board in a palankeen. I saw him for a moment. Poor Sir Frederick lay with his head thrown back, his mouth a little open, his cheeks sunk, and his whole frame totally changed. He was conveyed to his cabin. We immediately got under way. All gloom, and solemn silence prevailed. I daresay some at least were in deep thought, some thinking of his former prosperity, others of the money he had made; perhaps some thought of the happy and honourable day on which Bonaparte surrendered. After lingering until Saturday the 30th, at 11.45 he expired. One can scarcely conceive the sensation caused by the mournful event. The countenances of all evinced deep sorrow for their chief, a man who was looked up to by all who knew him, and greatly beloved by those under his command....
"On Monday morning, preparations having been made the previous day, the troops of the garrison and boats from the ships began to assemble. The ship was painted black all over, and her yards topped in mourning. The body was conveyed in his own boat, the barge, the other boats following in order with their colours half-mast, presenting a very imposing sight. On leaving the ship, minute-guns began; and on the corpse reaching the shore, it was received with a guard of honour, and the fort commenced firing minute-guns as we formed in procession. The troops had their arms reversed, and the same people who received the Admiral that day fortnight at the dinner given by the 6th Regiment formed part of the parade that sorrowful moment. They lined the road through which we passed, and reached to the church. Here the body was received in the usual way, and all the respectable attendants followed it into the cathedral. The lesson was read by the officiating Archdeacon, and on coming to the grave in the aisle of the church, the Bishop read the service in a very affecting and solemn manner. After the ceremony we returned to our respective ships."
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A monument to Sir Frederick's memory was erected in Bombay Cathedral by the officers of his command. "Among names," writes Lieutenant Low in his History, "which will ever be held in affection by the officers whose record of service is now 'as a tale that is told,' that of Maitland, the gallant and chivalrous seaman, to whom the mighty Napoleon surrendered his sword on the quarter-deck of the Bellerophon, will ever be prominent; and this record of his worth and nobility of character, and that other memorial on the walls of the Cathedral Church of St Thomas, will testify to the grateful remembrance in which his memory is held by the officers of the Indian Navy."
On Wednesday the 24th of May, 1815, I sailed from Cawsand Bay, in command of His Majesty's ship Bellerophon, and under the orders of Rear-Admiral Sir Henry Hotham, whose flag was hoisted in the Superb. I received sealed instructions, part of which were to be opened on getting to sea, and part only to be examined in the event of my being separated from the Admiral. Those which I opened contained directions to detain, and send into port, all armed vessels belonging to the Government of France.
On Sunday the 28th of May, we joined His Majesty's ships Astrea and Telegraph, stationed off Isle Dieu, on a secret service; and the following day, three transports, under charge of the Helicon, arrived from England, having on board arms and ammunition, to supply the Royalists in La Vendee, for whose support and assistance I now found the squadron, of which the Bellerophon formed one, was destined.
On Tuesday the 30th of May, I received orders from Sir Henry Hotham, to take the Eridanus under my command, and proceed off Rochefort, for the purpose of preventing a corvette from putting to sea, which, according to information received by the British Government, was to carry proposals from Buonaparte to the West India Colonies, to declare in his favour. I had likewise orders to reconnoitre the Roadstead of Rochefort, and report to the Admiral the number and state of the ships of war lying there. Accordingly, on the 31st of May, I ran into Basque Roads, and found at anchor, under Isle d'Aix, two large frigates, a ship corvette, and a large brig, all ready for sea, which I afterwards ascertained to be the Meduse, Saale, Balladiere, and Epervier. Nothing occurred worth mentioning until the 9th of June, when the Vesuve French corvette came in from the northward, and got into Rochefort, notwithstanding every effort to prevent her; the ships under my orders having been driven to the southward, during the night, by a strong northerly wind, accompanied by a southerly current. She was from Guadaloupe, and immediately on passing the Chasseron light-house, hoisted the tri-coloured flag.
On the 18th of June, I detained and sent to Sir Henry Hotham, the AEneas French store-ship, commanded by a lieutenant of the navy, with a crew of fifty men, loaded with ship-timber for the arsenal of Rochefort; but he, being of opinion that she did not come within the intention of the order, liberated her.
On the 21st of June, I detained and sent to the Admiral, under charge of the Eridanus, the Marianne French transport, from Martinique, having on board 220 of the 9th regiment of light infantry, coming to France to join the army under Buonaparte. The Eridanus was sent to England with her, and did not return to me, being employed on other service.
On the 27th of June, the Cephalus joined us, bringing with her the declaration of war against France; after which we were employed several days, taking and destroying chasse-marees, and other small coasting vessels.
On the 28th of June, I received intelligence, from one of the vessels captured, of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo; and on the 30th, a boat came off from Bourdeaux, bringing the following letter, without date or subscription, written on very thin paper in English, and concealed within a quill. I give the contents verbatim.
Copy of a Letter received by Captain Maitland, of H.M.S. Bellerophon, off Rochefort, on the 30th of June, 1815, without date or subscription.
"With great degree of certainty, being informed that Buonaparte might have come last night through this city from Paris, with the new Mayor of Bourdeaux, with a view to flight, by the mouth of this river, or La Teste, the author of the last note sent by Mr —— hastily drops these few lines, to give the British Admiral advice of such intention, that he may instantly take the necessary steps, in order to seize the man. His ideas will certainly have brought him to think it natural, that the British stations will be less upon their guard in this quarter than any where else. The writer benefits by this opportunity to inform the Admiral that, since the last note, some alteration has taken place with regard to the troops spread in these two Divisions; in lieu of 800 to 1000 in this city, there are now 5000, which is supposed owing to the intention of compressing the minds of this populace in this decisive instant.
"It is supposed the British Admiral is already informed of the Grand Army being totally defeated and destroyed, the abdication of Buonaparte, &c. and the arrival of the allies near the Capital.
"An attempt should be made on this Coast, with no less than 8000 men altogether. Immediate steps are wanted to put a stop to the supposed flight.
"Should the attempt be made on the Coast from La Teste to Bourdeaux, an immediate diversion should be made on this side; the success is beyond any doubt.
"A sharp eye must be kept on all American vessels, and particularly on the Susquehannah, of Philadelphia, Captain Caleb Cushing; General Bertand and another goes with him. The two entrances of Bourdeaux and La Teste must be kept close; a line or two is expected, on the return of the bearer from the Admiral, or Chief Officer on the Station. As this is writing, the news is spread generally, that the Duc de Berri and Lord Wellington are in Paris."
The note alluded to had been received, and forwarded unopened, to the Admiral in Quiberon Bay.
Though my attention was called so strongly to Bourdeaux, or la Teste d'Arcasson, as the parts of the coast from whence Buonaparte would probably attempt to escape, it was my decided opinion that Rochefort was much more likely to be the port where the trial would be made. I therefore sent the Myrmidon off Bourdeaux, the Cephalus to Arcasson, and remained with only the Bellerophon, off Rochefort. From this period, until my return to England, the ship was never, by day or night, more than three miles from the land. Considering it of much importance to communicate the intelligence contained in the letter from Bourdeaux, to my commanding officer, with as little delay as possible; as I had no vessel left with me, after detaching the two ships under my orders, I sent the Bellerophon's barge, under the charge of a lieutenant, with directions to endeavour to join some one of the cruisers stationed off Isle Dieu. I gave him an order, addressed to the Captain of any of His Majesty's ships he might fall in with, to proceed without loss of time, to join the Admiral in Quiberon Bay, with the despatch accompanying it. This boat was fortunate enough to fall in with His Majesty's ship Cyrus, Captain Carrol; who, in consequence, after hoisting in the barge, proceeded to Quiberon Bay.
As the coasting-vessels were not worth sending into port for condemnation, (and considering the circumstances under which the ship I commanded was placed, I should not have felt justified in weakening her complement, even for a prize of value,) I was in the habit of using such captures, as marks for the men to practice firing at. The Cephalus had a chasse-maree in tow for that purpose, when the letter, inserted above, was received; and I detached her so shortly afterwards, that Captain Furneaux had no opportunity of destroying her, but was obliged to cast her off. After he had left me some time, I observed the vessel drifting to sea, and determined to run down and sink her. While approaching her in this view. I was sweeping the horizon with my glass, when I discovered, at a considerable distance, a small white speck on the water, which had the appearance of a child's boat with paper sails; but I could plainly perceive something that had motion in it; and, after firing on and destroying the chasse-maree, I stood towards the object which had engaged my attention, and found it to be a small punt, about eight feet long, flat-bottomed, and shaped more like a butcher's tray than a boat. In it were a young man about eighteen years of age, and a boy about twelve, who had got into the punt to amuse themselves, and, happening to lose one of their oars, were drifted to sea. They had been thirty-six hours without refreshment of any kind, and with only one oar and a bit of board, which they had formed into something like another; they were quite exhausted with fatigue, and their hands very much blistered. When we picked them up, there was a strong breeze blowing off the land, so that there cannot be a doubt, had not Providence sent us to their assistance, they must have perished. I kept the boys on board two or three days, for the purpose of recruiting their strength, and then landed them with the punt, close to their village, to the great joy and wonder of their parents and countrymen.
On the first of July, we spoke a ship from Rochefort, the master of which gave information, that the frigates in Aix Roads had taken in their powder, and were in all respects ready to put to sea; also, that several gentlemen in plain clothes, and some ladies, supposed to form part of Buonaparte's suite, had arrived at Isle d'Aix: in short, upon the whole, that there was little doubt of its being his intention to effect his escape, if possible, from that place, in the frigates. On receiving this information, I anchored the Bellerophon as close to the French squadron as the batteries would permit, kept guard-boats rowing all night, and prepared my ship's company for the description of action in which I thought it was probable they would be engaged. I trained one hundred of the stoutest men, selecting them from the different stations in the ship; it being my intention, after firing into and silencing one frigate, to run the Bellerophon alongside of her, throw that party in, and then, leaving her in charge of the first lieutenant, to have proceeded in chase of the other.
His Majesty's ship Phoebe joined us this evening, and brought with her the Bellerophon's barge. Captain Hillyar having orders to take a station off Bourdeaux, I recalled the Myrmidon from that service.
On the 7th of July, I received a letter from Sir Henry Hotham, together with fresh orders, from which the following are extracts:—
Extract of a Letter from Rear-Admiral Sir Henry Hotham, K.C.B., addressed to Captain Maitland of H.M.S. Bellerophon, dated Quiberon Bay, July 6, 1815.
"It is impossible to tell which information respecting Buonaparte's flight may be correct; but, in the uncertainty, it is right to attach a certain degree of credit to all: that which I now act on, is received this morning, from the chief of the Royalists, between the Loire and the Vilaine.
"Although the force of the Bellerophon would be sufficient for the ships at Isle d'Aix, if they were to give you an opportunity of bringing them to action together, you cannot stop them both, if the frigates separate; I am, therefore, now anxious you should have a frigate with you: therefore if any of them should be with you, keep her for the time I have specified; but if you have no frigate, and this should be brought to you by a twenty-gun ship, keep her with you for the same time; she will do to keep sight of a French frigate, although she could not stop her.
"If this is delivered to you by Lord John Hay of the Opossum, do not detain him, as her force would be of no use to you, and I want him particularly, to examine vessels which sail from the Loire."
Extract of an Order from Rear-Admiral Sir Henry Hotham, K.C.B.; addressed to Captain Maitland of H.M.S. Bellerophon, dated Superb, Quiberon Bay, 6th July, 1815.
"Having this morning received information that it is believed Napoleon Buonaparte has taken his road from Paris for Rochefort, to embark from thence for the United States of America, I have to direct you will use your best endeavours to prevent him from making his escape in either of the frigates at Isle d'Aix; for which purpose you are, notwithstanding former orders, to keep any frigate which may be with you, at the time you receive this letter, in company with the ship you command, for the space of ten days, to enable you to intercept them in case they should put to sea together: but if you should have no frigate with you at the above time, you will keep the ship delivering this, (which will probably be the Slaney or Cyrus,) in company with the Bellerophon, ten days, and then allow her to proceed in execution of the orders her Captain has received from me."
The Slaney brought the letter and order, parts of which are extracted above, and having no frigate in company, I detained her as part of the force under my command, though she was, on the 8th, sent down to the Mamusson passage, with orders for Captain Green of the Daphne, and did not return until the evening of the 11th.
On the 8th of July, I was joined by a chasse-maree bringing a letter from Sir Henry Hotham, part of which is as follows:—
Extract of a Letter from Rear-Admiral Sir Henry Hotham, K.C.B., addressed to Captain Maitland, of H.M.S. Bellerophon, dated Superb, Quiberon Bay, July 7, 1815.
"Having sent every ship and vessel out from this bay, to endeavour to intercept Buonaparte, I am obliged to send the chasse-maree, which has been employed in my communications with the Royalists, with this letter, to acquaint you that the Ferret brought me information last evening, after the Opossum had left me, from Lord Keith, that Government received, on the night of the 30th, an application from the rulers of France, for a passport and safe conduct for Buonaparte to America, which had been answered in the negative, and, therefore, directing an increase of vigilance to intercept him: but it remains quite uncertain where he will embark; and, although it would appear by the measures adopted at home, that it is expected he will sail from one of the northern ports, I am of opinion he will go from one of the southern places, and I think the information I sent you yesterday by the Opossum is very likely to be correct; namely, that he had taken the road to Rochefort; and that he will probably embark in the frigates at Isle d'Aix; for which reason I am very anxious you should have force enough to stop them both, as the Bellerophon could only take one, if they separated, and that might not be the one he would be on board of. I have no frigate to send you; if one should join me in time, I will send her to you, and I hope you will have two twenty-gun ships with you. I imagine, from what you said in your letter by your barge, that you would not have kept the Endymion with you, especially as the Myrmidon would have rejoined you, by the arrangements I sent down by the Phoebe for Sir John Sinclair to take her place off the Mamusson; therefore, I trust that my last order to Captain Hope will not have deprived you of his assistance, but hope it may have put him in a better situation than before. The Liffey is seventy or eighty miles west from Bourdeaux, and the Pactolus, after landing some person in the Gironde, goes off Cape Finisterre, where the Swiftsure is also gone; and many ships are looking out in the Channel and about the latitude of Ushant.