Instruktionen der Admiralität an Lord Howe 17. April 1794

The Admiralty‘s Instructions to Earl Howe, 17 April 1794

Secret   By etc.

As soon as the several ships of the Fleet under your Lordship’s command, lately returned from their cruize, are in all respects refitted, You are to put to sea the first opportunity of wind & weather, and proceed off of Ushant, giving protection, on their passage down Channel, to such outward bound Convoys as may be at Spithead ready to sail, but more particularly to the East India Convoy, under the charge of His Majesty’s ship Suffolk. And your Lordship is further directed, after having proceeded off Ushant, to detach one of the Rear Admirals of the Fleet under you command, with such a Force as, according to the best intelligence you may be able to procure, you may judge to be necessary for the sake of giving protection to the East India Convoy on their passage across the Bay; directing the said Rear Admiral, after having seen them in safety as far as your Lordship shall think expedient, to join you, at such Rendezvous, and at such time, as you shall appoint.

And Whereas Intelligence has been received that a very large and valuable Fleet of Merchant ships may be shortly expected from America under convoy of a French Squadron (Copies of which Intelligence are herewith inclosed), And Whereas the attempting to intercept the same is an object of the most urgent importance to the success of the present war, your Lordship is hereby required and directed to give orders to the Rear Admiral (to be detached to a certain distance with the East India Convoy as aforesaid) after performing that service to cruize, for such time as you think proper, from Cape Ortegal to the Latitude of Belle Isle, for the sake of intercepting the same accordingly. Or you will make a detachment of any other part of the Fleet under your command for the performance of this service, as to your Lordship may appear most adviseable.

Your Lordship is further instructed to make such a general disposition of the Fleet under your command, and to take such a Station or Stations, & for such time as you shall judge most proper, for the sake of protecting the Trade of His Majesty’s subjects & of His Allies coming into and going out of the Channel, as well as of intercepting, and taking or destroying, the ships of War, Privateers and Trade of the Enemy bearing always in mind that a due regard to the Security of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland must ever from one of the most essential and constant Objects of your care & attention.

Your Lordship will consider yourself at liberty to send into Port, from time to time, such of the Ships of your Fleet as you may think proper for the sake of refreshment, giving their Captains orders to join you again or otherwise as you shall judge best for His Majesty’s Service. You will also be at liberty to send Detachments from you whenever you judge it necessary to cruize on separate Stations for the better meeting with Ships of the Enemy and to give them such Orders as you may think proper for that purpose of watching the motions of the Enemy and of protecting the Trade of His Majesty’s subjects.

And Whereas Rear Admiral Macbride has been appointed to the command of a separate Squadron for the purpose of attending more immediately to the safety of the Islands of Guernsey & Jersey, and of watching the Armaments reported to be carrying on in the Ports of the Opposite Coast from Dieppe as far westward as the Isle of Bas; and Whereas the said Rear Admiral is instructed to keep up a constant communication with your Lordship, and to co-operate with the Fleet under your command for the protection of the coast and the security of the Trade of His Majesty’s Subjects in the channel, and also to follow such directions as he may receive from your Lordship (not inconsistent with the general object of his Instructions), Your Lordship is hereby required and directed to communicate with the said Rear admiral accordingly; o furnish him with copies of your Rendezvous & Private Signals; and to give him such directions for his conduct, from time to time, as you shall judge most conducive to the good of His Majesty’s service, sending Copies thereof to our secretary for our Information.

Your Lordship will also transmit to our Secretary, before you sail, a copy of your intended Rendezvous & of the signals by which the ships & vessels of the Fleet under your command may be known; and you will send him, during your cruize, frequent accounts of your proceedings and of any intelligence you may procure that may be necessary to be communicated to us. Your Lordship will continue your cruize so long as you shall judge adviseable according to circumstances and the Intelligence you may obtain of the proceedings of the enemy, returning to Torbay (or Spithead) whenever you judge it expedient, and holding your Fleet in constant readiness to proceed to sea whenever the Objects pointed out in these Instructions, and the good of His Majesty’s service, may render it necessary.

Given etc. 17 April 1794
P. Affleck

The Earl Howe Admiral & Commander
in Chief of his Majesty’s Fleet employed
& to be employed in the Channel Soundings or
whenever else His Majesty’s service may require


Quelle: PRO/ADM 1/1347 – Secret Letters