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A Short History of the H.M.S. APK

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A Short History of H.M.S. Victory by William James Lloyd Wharton


As it happened, in 1765 England was at peace with all the world, so the “Victory” lay quietly at her moorings at Chatham for 13 years, but in 1778, when war with France became imminent, she was commissioned by Captain Sir J. Lindsey on 15th March, and on Admiral Hon. Augustus Keppel being appointed to the command of the Channel Fleet he selected her as his flagship, and she was sent round to Portsmouth, where, on May 16th, she hoisted his flag. On the 7th June Keppel sailed from St. Helen’s, with 21 sail of the line, 3 frigates, and 3 sloops, having Sir Robert Harland and Sir Hugh Palliser as his Vice-Admirals. His position was a peculiar and delicate one, as war was not yet declared, though all chance of peace being maintained was at an end, but it was known that large and rich fleets of merchantmen from our East and West Indian possessions were on their way home, and it was unadvisable to allow any French frigates to cruise at large and carry intelligence of their whereabouts to Brest; besides this, Admiral Byron with a small squadron was on the point of sailing to reinforce our fleet on the American coast, and Keppel was expected to cover his path. Under these circumstances, when two French frigates hove in sight on the 17th June, Keppel determined to detain them; one, the Licorne,


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