The term Barbary Coast was used by Europeans from the 16th century to the early 19th to refer to the coastal regions of North Africa inhabited by Berber people. Today this land is part of the modern nations of Morocco, Algeria and Libya; the English term "Barbary" could refer to all the Berber lands whether coastal or not, as seen in European geographical and political maps published during the 17th–20th centuries. The name derives from the Berber people of North Africa, from Greek Bàrbaroi and the Arabic Barbar, meaning "barbaric". In the West, the name evoked the Barbary pirates and Barbary slave traders based on that coast—who attacked ships and coastal settlements in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern North Atlantic Ocean, captured and traded slaves or goods from Europe and sub-Saharan Africa; these actions provoked the Barbary Wars of the early 19th century. Barbary was not always a unified political entity. From the 16th century onwards, it was divided into the political entities of the Regency of Algiers and Tripolitania.
Major rulers petty monarchs during the times of the Barbary states' plundering parties included the Pasha or Dey of Algiers, the Bey of Tunis and the Bey of Tripoli. Before the territory was divided between Ifriqiya, a west-central Algerian state centered on Tlemcen or Tiaret. Powerful Berber dynasties such as the Almohads and thereafter the Hafsids unified it for short periods. From a European perspective, Tripoli in modern-day Libya, was considered its capital or chief city—though Marrakesh in Morocco was the largest and most important Berber city at the time; some saw Tangiers in Morocco as the capital. The first United States military land action overseas, executed by the U. S. Marines and Navy, was the Battle of Derna, Tripoli in April 1805, it formed part of an effort to destroy all of the Barbary pirates, to free American slaves in captivity, to put an end to piracy acts between these warring tribes on the part of the Barbary states, which were themselves member states of the Ottoman Empire.
The opening line of the Marines' Hymn refers to this action: "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli..." This was the first time the United States Marine Corps took part in offensive actions outside of the United States. The modern word razzia is, via Italian and French, from Algerian Arabic ghaziya referring to slave raids conducted by Barbary pirates. Ottoman Algeria Ottoman Tripolitania Ottoman Tunisia Turkish Abductions Republic of Salé Langue de Barbarie Barbary duck "When Europeans Were Slaves: Research Suggests White Slavery Was Much More Common Than Previously Believed", Ohio State University
Pompeo Girolamo Batoni was an Italian painter who displayed a solid technical knowledge in his portrait work and in his numerous allegorical and mythological pictures. The high number of foreign visitors travelling throughout Italy and reaching Rome during their Grand Tour made the artist specialized in portraits. Batoni won international fame thanks to his customers British of noble origin, whom he portrayed with famous Italian landscapes in the background; such "Grand Tour" portraits by Batoni were in British private collections, thus ensuring the genre's popularity in the United Kingdom. One generation Sir Joshua Reynolds would take up this tradition and become the leading English portrait painter. Although Batoni was considered the best Italian painter of his time, contemporary chronicles mention of his rivalry with Anton Raphael Mengs. In addition to art-loving nobility, Batoni's subjects included the kings and queens of Poland and Prussia, the Holy Roman Emperors Joseph II and Leopold II, as well the popes Benedict XIV, Clement XIII and Pius VI, Elector Karl Theodor of Bavaria and many more.
He received numerous orders for altarpieces for churches in Italy, as well as for mythological and allegorical subjects. Batoni's style took inspiration and incorporated elements of classical antiquity, French Rococo, Bolognese classicism, the work of artists such as Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain and Raphael; as such Pompeo Batoni is considered a precursor of Neoclassicism. Pompeo Batoni was born in the son of a goldsmith, Paolino Batoni, he moved to Rome in 1727, apprenticed with Agostino Masucci, Sebastiano Conca and/or Francesco Imperiali. Batoni owed his first independent commission to the rains that struck Rome in April 1732. Seeking shelter from a sudden storm, Forte Gabrielli di Gubbio, count of Baccaresca took cover under the portico of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Capitoline Hill. Here the nobleman met the young artist, drawing the ancient bas-reliefs and the paintings of the staircase of the palace. Impressed by his skill and the purity of the design, Gabrielli asked Batoni to see some of his works, when conducted to the painter's studio he was so awed by his talent that he offered him to paint a new altarpiece for the chapel of his family in San Gregorio Magno al Celio, the Madonna on a Throne with Child and four Saints and Blesseds of the Gabrielli family, a second version of, now at the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice.
The Gabrielli Madonna obtained general admiration and by the early 1740s Batoni started to receive other independent commissions. His celebrated painting, The Ecstasy of Saint Catherine of Siena illustrates his academic refinement of the late-Baroque style. Another masterpiece, his Fall of Simon Magus was painted for the St Peter's Basilica. Batoni became a highly-fashionable painter in Rome after his rival, the proto-neoclassicist Anton Raphael Mengs, departed for Spain in 1761. Batoni befriended Winckelmann and, like him, aimed in his painting to the restrained classicism of painters from earlier centuries, such as Raphael and Poussin, rather than to the work of the Venetian artists in vogue. Commenting on Batoni, the art historians Boni and de Rossi said of Batoni and Mengs the other prominent painter in Rome during the second half of the 18th century, that Mengs was made painter by philosophy: Batoni by nature... was more painter than philosopher, more philosopher than painter. In 1741, he was inducted into the Accademia di San Luca.
He was in demand for portraits by the British traveling through Rome, who took pleasure in commissioning standing portraits set in the milieu of antiquities and works of art. There are records of over 200 portraits by Batoni of visiting British patrons; such "Grand Tour" portraits by Batoni came to proliferate in the British private collections, thus ensuring the genre's popularity in the United Kingdom, where Reynolds would become its leading practitioner. In 1760 the painter Benjamin West, while visiting Rome would complain that Italian artists "talked of nothing, looked at nothing but the works of Pompeo Batoni". In 1769, the double portrait of the emperor Joseph II and his brother Pietro Leopoldo I, won an Austrian nobility for Batoni, he portrayed Pope Clement XIII and Pope Pius VI. It is believed he painted the staffage for some of the landscape paintings of Hendrik Frans van Lint. According to a rumor, before dying in Rome in 1787, he bequeathed his palette and brushes to Jacques-Louis David, to whom, full of admiration for his Oath of the Horatii, Batoni would have confessed: "Only the two of us can call themselves painters".
His late years were affected by declining health. Batoni's last will executors were cardinal Filippo Carandini and James Byres, the Scottish antiquary, but the estate was insolvent and his widow was forced by the events to petition the Grand Duke of Tuscany, whom Batoni had painted in 1769, for financial assistance, offering in exchange her husband's unfinished self-portrait, today at the Uffizi in Florence. From 1759 Batoni lived in a large house at 25, Via Bocca di Leone in Rome, which included a studio as well as exhibition rooms and a drawing academy, he was married twice, in 1729 to Caterina Setti, in 1747 to Lucia Fattori, had twelve children. Vincenzo Camuccini is said to have frequented his studio; the Italian Angelo Banchero of Sestri Ponente, Benigno B
Anglo-French War (1778–1783)
The Anglo-French War was a military conflict fought between France and Great Britain with their respective allies between 1778 and 1783, concomitant with the American Revolutionary War. In 1778, France signed a treaty of friendship with the United States. Great Britain was at war with France, in 1779 it was at war with Spain; as a consequence, Great Britain was forced to divert resources used to fight the war in North America to theatres in Europe and the West Indies, to rely on what turned out to be the chimera of Loyalist support in its North American operations. From 1778 to 1783, with or without their allies and Britain fought over dominance in the English Channel, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and the West Indies. Within days of the news of Burgoyne's surrender reaching France, King Louis XVI decided to enter into negotiations with the Americans that resulted in a formal Franco-American alliance and the French entry into the war, moving the conflict onto a global stage. Spain did not enter into the war until 1779, when it entered the war as an ally of France pursuant to the secret Treaty of Aranjuez.
Vergennes' diplomatic moves following the French war with Britain had material impact on the entry of the Dutch Republic into the war, declarations of neutrality on the part of other important geopolitical players like Russia. Opposition to the costly war was increasing, in June 1780 contributed to disturbances in London known as the Gordon riots; the two protagonists in the naval showdown in the Indian Ocean had as their objective the political dominance of the Indian subcontinent, a series of battles fought by Admirals Edward Hughes and Pierre André de Suffren in 1782 and 1783 offered France a position to displace the British from its territories. The opportunity only ended when Suffren and Hughes had to stop fighting upon learning of the provisional Anglo-French-Spanish peace treaties of 1783. Since the Seven Years' War of 1756–1763, France's Foreign Ministers, beginning with Choiseul, had followed the general idea that the independence of Britain's North American colonies would be good for France and bad for Britain, furthermore that French attempts to recover parts of New France would be detrimental to that cause.
When the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, the Comte de Vergennes the French Foreign Minister, outlined a series of proposals that led to secret French and Spanish support of the rebel movement, preparations for war, including expansion of their navies. To further the aim of French participation in the war, Vergennes monitored news from North America and from London, worked to remove impediments to Spanish participation in the war. Vergennes went so far as to propose war to King Louis XVI in August 1776, but news of the capture of New York City by British forces under the command of General Howe in September 1776 delayed that plan. By 1777, the Thirteen Colonies' rebellion was entering its third year; the British General John Burgoyne's surrender at the Battle of Saratoga signalled that the struggle against the American colonies was to prove longer and more costly than London had expected. British defeat had raised the prospect of French intervention and of a European war; the British government of Prime Minister Lord North, fearful of war with France, sought reconciliation with the American colonies and was willing to grant a fair measure of autonomy to this end, but what would have been enough in 1775 would no longer suffice by 1778.
North had no intention of offering independence, but in the wake of Saratoga and with the prospect of a French alliance, the Americans were unlikely to agree to lesser terms. Although interested in maintaining its influence among the German states, France had a double problem. While France supported the rebellious British colonies in North America, it was in the French interest to avoid complications in Europe. France could do more damage to the British in North America than in Europe; the diplomatic realignment in 1756 had overthrown 200 years of French foreign policy that united the French Crown and the French populace against the House of Habsburg, bringing to France massive territorial gains in repeated wars with Habsburg Austria and Spain. A reversal of this policy in 1756 tied French foreign policy in Europe to Vienna. Despite this restructuring, there existed in the French Court at Versailles, in France a strong anti-Austrian sentiment. Many Frenchmen regarded the diplomatic revolution of 1756, sealed in 1770 with the personal union of Louis, the Dauphin of Viennois, the Austrian Archduchess Marie Antoinette, as both a political and matrimonial mésalliance.
It flew in the face of 200 years of French foreign policy, in which the central axiom "had been hostility to the House of Habsburg". The French Foreign Minister, the Comte de Vergennes, maintained deep-seated hostility to the Austrians that pre-dated the alliance of 1756, he had not approved of the shift of France's traditional bonds, considered the Austrians untrustworthy. He managed to extricate France from immediate military obligations to Austria by 1778. On December 4, 1777, word reached Benjamin Franklin at Versailles that Philadelphia had fallen and that Burgoyne had surrendered. Two days Louis XVI assented to negotiations for an alliance; the treaty was signed on February 6, 1778, France declared war on Britain one month with hostilities beginning with naval skirmishes off Ushant in June. George III did not welcome a war with France; the king believed he had tried to avoid the conflict, but "France chooses to be the Aggressor", Britain had taken "all the steps necessary if it should e
Sovereign Military Order of Malta
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta and known as the Order of Malta, is a Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military and noble nature. It is the continuation of the medieval Order of Saint John known as the Knights Hospitaller, under international law; as a chivalric order, it was founded c. 1099 by the Blessed Gerard in medieval Jerusalem. As a subject of international law, it is an establishment of the 19th century, recognized at the Congress of Verona of 1822, since 1834 headquartered in Palazzo Malta in Rome; the order is led by Grand Master. Its motto is obsequium pauperum; the order venerates the Virgin Mary as its patroness, under the title of Our Lady of Mount Philermos. The headquarters of the Order of Saint John had been located in Malta from 1530 until 1798, it was technically a vassal of the Kingdom of Sicily, holding Malta in exchange for a nominal fee, but declared independence in 1753.
It was expelled from Malta under the French occupation in 1798 and, from 1805 to 1812, much of its possessions in Protestant Europe were confiscated, resulting in the fragmentation of the order into a number of Protestant branches, since 1961 united under the umbrella of the Alliance of the Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem. The Congress of Vienna of 1815 confirmed the loss of Malta, but the Congress of Verona in 1822 guaranteed the continued existence of the Catholic order as a sovereign entity; the seat of the order was moved to Ferrara in 1826 and to Rome in 1834, the interior of Palazzo Malta being considered extraterritorial sovereign territory of the order. The grand priories of Lombardy-Venetia and of Sicily were restored from 1839 to 1841; the office of Grand Master was restored by Pope Leo XIII in 1879, after a vacancy of 75 years, confirming Giovanni Battista Ceschi a Santa Croce as the first Grand Master of the restored Order of Malta. The Holy See was established as a subject of international law in the Lateran Treaty of 1929.
In the following decades, the connection between the Holy See and the Order of Malta was seen as so close as to call into question the actual sovereignty of the order as a separate entity. This has prompted constitutional changes on the part of the Order, which were implemented in 1997. Since the Order has been recognized as a sovereign subject of international law in its own right, it maintains diplomatic relations with 107 states, has permanent observer status at the United Nations, enters into treaties and issues its own passports and postage stamps. Its two headquarters buildings in Rome enjoy extraterritoriality, similar to embassies, it maintains embassies in other countries; the three principal officers are counted as citizens. The Order has 13,500 Knights and auxiliary members. A few dozen of these are professed religious; until the 1990s, the highest classes of membership, including officers, required proof of noble lineage. More a path was created for Knights and Dames of the lowest class to be specially elevated to the highest class, making them eligible for office in the order.
The order employs about 42,000 doctors, nurses and paramedics assisted by 80,000 volunteers in more than 120 countries, assisting children, handicapped and terminally ill people and lepers around the world without distinction of ethnicity or religion. Through its worldwide relief corps, Malteser International, the order aids victims of natural disasters and war. In several countries, including France and Ireland, local associations of the order are important providers of medical emergency services and training, its annual budget is on the order of 1.5 billion euros funded by European governments, the United Nations and the European Union and public donors. The order has a large number of local priories and associations around the world, but there exist a number of organizations with similar-sounding names that are unrelated, including numerous fraudulent orders seeking to capitalize on the name. In the ecclesiastical heraldry of the Catholic Church, the Order of Malta is one of only two orders whose insignia may be displayed in a clerical coat of arms.
The shield is surrounded with a silver rosary for professed knights, or for others the ribbon of their rank. Members may display the Maltese cross behind their shield instead of the ribbon. In order to protect its heritage against frauds, the order has registered 16 versions of its names and emblems in some 100 countries; the birth of the order dates back to around 1048. Merchants from the ancient Marine Republic of Amalfi obtained from the Caliph of Egypt the authorisation to build a church and hospital in Jerusalem, to care for pilgrims of any religious faith or race; the Order of St. John of Jerusalem–the monastic community that ran the hospital for the pilgrims in the Holy Land–became independent under the guidance of its founder, the religious brother Gerard. With the Papal bull Pie postulatio voluntatis dated 15 February 1113, Pope Paschal II approved the foundation of the Hospital and placed it under the aegis of the Holy See, granting it the right to elect its superiors without interference from other secular or religious authorities.
By virtue of the Papal Bull
The French Navy, informally "La Royale", is the maritime arm of the French Armed Forces. Dating back to 1624, the French Navy is one of the world's oldest naval forces, it has participated in conflicts around the globe and played a key part in establishing the French colonial empire. The French Navy consists of six main branches and various services: the Force d'Action Navale, the Forces Sous-marines, the Maritime Force of Naval Aeronautics, the Fusiliers Marins, the Marins Pompiers, the Maritime Gendarmerie; as of June 2014, the French Navy employed a total of 36,776 personnel along with 2,800 civilians. Its reserve element consisted of 4,827 personnel of the Operational Reserve; as a blue-water navy, it operates a wide range of fighting vessels, which include the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, various aeronaval forces, attack submarines and ballistic missile submarines, patrol boats and support ships. The history of French naval power dates back to the Middle Ages, had three loci of evolution: The Mediterranean Sea, where the Ordre de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem had its own navy, the Levant Fleet, whose principal ports were Fréjus and Toulon.
The Ordre, both a religious and military order, recruited knights from the families of French nobility. Members who had fulfilled their service at sea were granted the rank of Knights Hospitaller, elites who served as the officer corps; the Ordre was one of the ancestors of modern French naval schools including the French Naval Academy. The Manche along Normandy which, since William the Conqueror, always tendered capable marines and sailors from its numerous active seaports; the first true French Royal Navy was established in 1624 by Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister to King Louis XIII. During the French Revolution, la Marine Royale was formally renamed la Marine Nationale. Under the First French Empire and the Second French Empire, the navy was designated as the Imperial French Navy. Institutionally, the navy has never lost its short familiar nickname, la Royale; the symbol of the French Navy was since its origin a golden anchor, beginning in 1830, was interlaced by a sailing rope. This symbol was featured on all naval vessels and uniforms.
Although anchor symbols are still used on uniforms, a new naval logo was introduced in 1990. Authorized by Naval Chief of Staff Bernard Louzeau, the modern design incorporates the tricolour by flanking the bow section of a white warship with two ascending red and blue spray foams, the inscription "Marine nationale". Cardinal Richelieu supervised the Navy until his death in 1643, he was succeeded by his protégé, Jean Baptiste Colbert, who introduced the first code of regulations of the French Navy, established the original naval dockyards in Brest and Toulon. Colbert and his son, the Marquis de Seignelay, between them administered the Navy for twenty-nine years. During this century, the Navy cut its teeth in the Anglo-French War, the Franco-Spanish War, the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Franco-Dutch War, the Nine Years' War. Major battles in these years include the Battle of Beachy Head, the Battles of Barfleur and La Hougue, the Battle of Lagos, the Battle of Texel; the 1700s opened with the War of the Spanish Succession, over a decade long, followed by the War of the Austrian Succession in the 1740s.
Principal engagements of these wars include the Battle of Vigo Bay and two separate Battles of Cape Finisterre in 1747. The most grueling conflict for the Navy, was the Seven Years' War, in which it was destroyed. Significant actions include the Battle of Cap-Français, the Battle of Quiberon Bay, another Battle of Cape Finisterre; the Navy regrouped and rebuilt, within 15 years it was eager to join the fray when France intervened in the American Revolutionary War. Though outnumbered everywhere, the French fleets held the British at bay for years until victory. After this conflict and the concomitant Anglo-French War, the Navy emerged at a new height in its history. Major battles in these years include the Battle of the Chesapeake, the Battle of Cape Henry, the Battle of Grenada, the invasion of Dominica, three separate Battles of Ushant. Within less than a decade, the Navy was decimated by the French Revolution when large numbers of veteran officers were dismissed or executed for their noble lineage.
Nonetheless, the Navy fought vigorously through the French Revolutionary Wars as well as the Quasi-War. Significant actions include a fourth Battle of Ushant, the Battle of Groix, the Atlantic campaign of May 1794, the French expedition to Ireland, the Battle of Tory Island, the Battle of the Nile. Other engagements of the Revolutionary Wars ensued in the early 1800s, including the Battle of the Malta Convoy and the Algeciras Campaign; the Quasi-War wound down with single-ship actions including USS Constellation vs La Vengeance and USS Enterprise vs Flambeau. When Napoleon was crowned Emperor in 1804, he attempted to restore the Navy to a position that would enable his plan for an invasion of England, his dreams were dashed by the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, where the British all but annihilated a combined Franco-Spanish fleet, a disaster that guaranteed British naval superiority throughout the Napoleonic Wars. Still, the Navy did not shrink from action: among the engagements of this time were the Battle of the Basque Roads, the Battle of Grand Port, the Mauritius campaign of 1809–11, the Battle of Lissa, After Nap
Battle of Lagos
The naval Battle of Lagos between Britain and France took place over two days, on 18 and 19 August 1759, during the Seven Years' War off the coasts of Spain and Portugal, is named after Lagos, Portugal. For the British, it was part of the Annus Mirabilis of 1759; the ministers of King Louis XV of France drew up plans to invade Britain in 1759, during the Seven Years' War. An army had been collected at Vannes, in the south-east of Brittany, transports had been brought together in the landlocked waters of the Morbihan which are connected with Quiberon Bay; the scheme of the French ministers was to combine twenty-one ships of the line lying at Brest under the command of de Conflans, with twelve which were to be brought round from Toulon by Comte de La Clue. The army was to be carried to some point on the coast of England or Scotland by the united squadrons; the task of blockading de la Clue at Toulon was given to Admiral Edward Boscawen, who had with him fourteen sail of the line. Boscawen reached his station on 16 May 1759.
At the beginning of July want of stores and water, together with the injury inflicted on some of his vessels by a French battery, compelled him to go to Gibraltar to provision and refit. He reached the port on 4 August. On 5 August de la Clue left Toulon, his squadron including three frigates as well as twelve ships of the line, on 17 August passed the straits of Gibraltar, where he was sighted by the look-out ships of Boscawen; the British fleet hurried out to sea, pursued in two divisions, separated by a distance of some miles owing to the haste with which they left port. Knowing the British had spotted his fleet, during the night of 17/18 August de la Clue decided not to sail to the original rendezvous point, the nearby Spanish port of Cadiz where he feared his fleet would be blockaded, but instead to head for the open ocean, his flagship changed course, hoping the rest of the fleet would follow, but in fact only seven ships of the line did so. The remaining eight ships continued to steer for Cadiz, either because they did not see the leader's course change in the dark, or because their captains wanted to find safety in the nearest friendly port.
In the morning de la Clue found he had only seven ships of the line with him, but was confident the rest would soon rejoin him and so stopped to wait for them. Soon after his lookouts saw eight ships on the horizon, which matched the numbers of the missing portion of his fleet. Only when the ships approached closer and the rest of the British fleet appeared on the horizon, did the French realize they were being pursued by a superior British force, turned to flee. To maintain cohesion, the seven French ships had to sail at the speed of the slowest ship in their grouping, the Souverein, they were overhauled by the faster British ships in the afternoon of 18 August. One, the 74-gun Centaure, was captured after a gallant resistance, in which the British flagship Namur was damaged. Boscawen transferred to Newark. During the night of 18/19 August, two of the French ships altered course to the west, escaped; the remaining four fled to the north, into Portuguese waters near Lagos, where Océan, de la Clue's flagship, Redoutable were driven ashore and destroyed, while Téméraire and Modeste were captured.
De la Clue was wounded, carried ashore in Portugal. The five ships in Cadiz were blockaded by Admiral Broderick. Although the defeat of the French squadron ruined an integral part of their scheme to invade Britain, the French decided to persevere with their attack; the scheme was put to rest in November after the French naval defeat at the Battle of Quiberon Bay. After refitting, several of Boscawen's victorious Mediterranean ships were sent to join Admiral Hawke's fleet off Ushant, five were with Hawke when he destroyed the Brest fleet at Quiberon Bay. A young slave named Olaudah Equiano, who would become a prominent abolitionist in England, participated in the engagement on the English side, he included an account of the battle in his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Ships involved: Namur 90 Prince 90 Newark 80 Warspite 74 Culloden 74 Conqueror 70 Swiftsure 70 Edgar 64 St Albans 64 Intrepid 60 America 60 Princess Louisa 60 Jersey 60 Guernsey 50 Portland 50 There were 14 other smaller British ships present - the 40-gun Ambuscade and Rainbow, the 36-gun Shannon and Active, the 32-gun Thetis, five 24-gun Sixth Rates Lyme, Glasgow and Tartar's Prize, two 16-gun sloops Favourite and Gramont and two 8-gun fireships Aetna and Salamander.
Océan 80 - Aground and burnt August 19Téméraire 74 - Captured August 19Modeste 64 - Captured August 19Redoutable 74 - Aground and burnt August 19Souverain 74 - escapedGuerrier 74 - escapedCentaure 74 - Captured August 18 Ships which did not take part in the battle, having separated at night and subsequently sailed to CadizTriton 64Lion 64Fantasque 64Fier 50Oriflamme 50 Frigates: Minerve 26 Chimère 26 Gracieuse 26 Beatson. Naval and Military Memoirs of Great Britain, vol. ii. p. 321 et seq. Bruce, Anthony. Encyclopedia of Naval History. Routledge. ISBN 9781135935344. Clowes, W. L.. The Royal Navy. Jenkins, E. H. A History of the French Navy. McLynn, Frank. 1759: the year Britain became master of the world pp 223-53, Marcus, G. Quiberon Bay; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Lagos". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16. Cambridge University Press. P. 75. Chapter IV of The Interesting Narrative of the
Battle of Minorca (1756)
The Battle of Minorca was a naval battle between French and British fleets. It was the opening sea battle of the Seven Years' War in the European theatre. Shortly after the war began British and French squadrons met off the Mediterranean island of Minorca; the French won the battle. The subsequent decision by the British to withdraw to Gibraltar handed France a strategic victory and led directly to the Fall of Minorca; the British failure to save Minorca led to the controversial court-martial and execution of the British commander, Admiral John Byng, for "failure to do his utmost" to relieve the siege of the British garrison on Minorca. The French had been menacing the British-held garrison on Minorca, which had come under British control during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1708. Great Britain and France had commenced hostilities in the New World colonies earlier in 1754, at this point the conflict was not going well for Great Britain; the government was anxious to protect her presence closer to home, was concerned that the French might be planning to invade Great Britain themselves.
The long-expected French move on Minorca caused the British government to act, albeit too belatedly, a squadron of 10 ships of the line was dispatched from Gibraltar to its defence, under the command of John Byng. Despite having considerable intelligence of the strength of the French fleet at Toulon, designated for the invasion of Minorca, the ships allocated to Byng were all in a poor state of repair and undermanned; when Byng and his fleet, now numbering 13 ships of the line, arrived off Minorca on 19 May, they found the island overrun by French troops, with only the garrison of St. Philip's Castle in Port Mahon holding out. Byng's orders were to relieve the garrison, but a French squadron of 12 ships of the line and 5 frigates intervened as the afternoon was wearing on; the two fleets positioned themselves, battle was drawn up on the morning of the following day. Facing 12 French ships of the line, Byng formed his 12 largest ships into a single line of battle and approached the head of the French line on a parallel course while maintaining the weather gage.
He ordered his ships to go about and come alongside their opposite numbers in the French fleet. However, the poor signalling capability of the times caused delay in closing; the British van took a considerable pounding from their more armed French adversaries, while the rear of the line, including Byng's flagship, failed to come within effective cannon range. During the battle Byng displayed considerable caution and an over-reliance on standard fighting procedures, several of his ships were damaged, while no ships were lost by the French. Following a Council of War, at which all the senior officers present concurred, it was agreed the fleet stood no chance of further damaging the French ships or of relieving the garrison. Byng therefore gave orders to return to Gibraltar; the battle could hardly be considered anything other than a French victory in the light of Byng failing to press on to relieve the garrison or pursue the French fleet which inaction resulted in severe criticism. The Admiralty concerned to divert attention from its own lack of preparation for the disastrous venture, charged him for breaching the Articles of War by failing to do all he could to fulfill his orders and support the garrison.
Byng's execution is referred to in Voltaire's novel Candide with the line Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres – "In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others."Despite William Pitt's eagerness to regain the island, a British expedition was not sent to recapture it for the remainder of the war. It was returned to Britain following the Treaty of Paris, in exchange for the French West Indies and Belle-Île. In order of their place in the line of battle: HMS Dolphin Arthur Phillip, an otherwise notable midshipman Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766. Faber and Faber, 2000. Brown, Peter Douglas. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham: The Great Commoner. George Allen & Unwin, 1978. Dull, Jonathan R; the French Navy and the Seven Years' War. University of Nebraska, 2005. Hamley, Sir Edward Bruce. Voltaire. Edinburgh. Retrieved 1 October 2011. Lambert, Andrew.
Admirals: The Naval Commanders Who Made Britain Great. Faber and Faber, 2009