[From King Orry to Queen Victoria, 1899]
AFTER THE BATTLELETTER OF CONGRATULATION FROM BISHOP HILDESLEY STATE OF THE CAPTURED VESSELSATTENDANCE AT THANKSGIVING SERVICE IN RAMSEY CHURCHREFIT AND DEPARTURE OF THE SIX FRIGATES.
AS much smartness and diligence were displayed in the refit of all the ships at Ramsey as in the shipping a new foretopmast of the Pallas at Kinsale.
On March 20 Commodore Elliot with the whole six frigates arrived at Kinsale, where quite an ovation awaited them. The Irish Parliament voted their thanks to the three captains, Elliot, Logger and Clements. The city of Cork presented each of them with its freedom, in elegant silver boxes.
From Kinsale the little fleet proceeded to Spithead, where they dropped anchor on March 26. Commodore Elliot was afterwards presented to the young King, George III., who had but that year come to the throne, and was most graciously received.
All three of the English frigates and their captains were ordered to the coast of France, as soon as the damages received in the action were repaired.
It may be well to mention here that the gallant Elliot, after a series of engagements equally as brilliant as the defeat and capture of Thurots squadron, attained his flag rank as Rear-Admiral of the Red on September 24, 1787 A.D., and in due course was promoted to be full Admiral of the Blue on April 16, 1795 A.D.
In refitting the vessels at Ramsey and patching them up to make the run round to Portsmouth, the Manx ship-carpenters rendered very efficient help. They proved themselves first-class workmen, and were alike willing and proud to do their best to hasten the despatch of the little fleet.
On hearing of the result of the engagement, if he had not actually seen it himself from the shore, Bishop Hildesley, who was in residence at his palace of Bishops Court, wrote on the afternoon of the action, dating his letter from there, to Commodore Elliot as follows:
February 26, 1760.
The Bishop of the Isle of Man desires to have the honour of presenting his compliments of congratulation to Commodore Elliot and the rest of the officers of his Majestys ships, now in Ramsey Bay, upon the happy event of yesterdays engagement, on the north-west coast of this Isle. The Bishop would think himself happy in having it in his power to shew any mark of civility to the gentlemen, at his country manor, or in any respect whatever. May all his Majestys forces be blessed with such Commanders, and be attended with the like success!
So prays MARK, SODOR AND MAN.
Commodore Elliot, and as many of the officers and men of his little squadron as could be spared and were willing to attend, did so, at a service of General Thanksgiving in Ramsey Chapel, at which the Bishop officiated, on Sunday, March 7, 1760.
A gentleman who went on board the French Commander Thurots ship, the Maréchczl Belleisle, wrote as follows:
On receipt of the news of Thurots ships being brought into Ramsey Bay, I went there to see the ships. On getting on board the Mctréchal Belleisle, I was struck with astonishment.
Turn which way I would, nothing but scattered limbs and dead or dying men met my view. The deck and sides of the ship could only be compared to a slaughter-house-there being nearly 200 men killed on board the Belleisle, besides what the other ships lost.
The French must have plundered all before them at Carrickfergus, for I saw one of them who had eight womens shifts on him. They had plenty of childrens clothes, shoes, caps, ruffles, buttons, thimbles and pins, with quite a stock of gray yarn. The English sailors looked upon the Frenchmen as a parcel of poltroons for their behaviour.
One or more of the French officers who were prisoners of war remained on the island and settled there. Their descendants now regard themselves as quite Manxmen.