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sions I have received from the captain; they were taken three months since, when she was coppered at Cadiz.
My thanks are due to Colonel Gladstone, and the other officers, passengers on board the Vernon store-ship, for their attention; particularly in assisting to secure the prisoners.
"I am, Sir,
"Your most obedient humble Servant,
"Killed in the Success, 1; wounded, 4."
Captain Pole's friend, the gallant Nelson, on perusing the unassuming manner in which the Commander of the Success spoke of this action in the above official letter, observed (when writing to their former patron, Captain Locker), "I am exceedingly happy at Charles Pole's success. In his seamanship he showed himself as superior to the Don as in his gallantry, and no man in the world was ever so modest in his account of it." And afterwards, in another letter to the same gentleman, Captain Nelson added, "Never was there a young man who bore his own merits with so much modesty; I esteem him as a brother."
During the peace which commenced in 1783, Captain Pole commanded the Scipio, and afterwards the Crown, guard-ship; and, upon occasion of the Spanish armament, in 1790, was appointed to the Melampus, a 36-gun frigate, employed in watching the progress of any equipments which might take place in the port of Brest, with a view of seconding the efforts of the Court of Madrid. In the succeeding year, we find him in the Illustrious, of 74 guns; and about the same period he was nominated a Groom of the Bed-chamber to his present Majesty William IV., then Duke of Clarence.
On the commencement of the war with the French republic, in 1793, Captain Pole's services were too valuable to be passed unnoticed; and he was, accordingly, appointed to the command of the Colossus, another third-rate, and accompanied Vice-Admiral Hotham to the Mediterranean; from which station he returned to
England after the evacuation of Toulon by the allied forces. He was advanced to the rank of Rear-Admiral, June 1. 1795.
Our officer, after serving for some time in the Channel Fleet, hoisted his flag in the Colossus, as second in command to the late Sir Hugh C. Christian, and took an able part in the various important services on which the squadron under that officer's orders was employed. On the 16th of November, 1795, Rear-Admirals Christian and Pole sailed from St. Helen's, with a squadron of menof-war, and upwards of 200 sail of West Indiamen and transports, on board of which were embarked 16,000 troops, destined to act against the French and Dutch colonies. The late period of the season to which this expedition had been protracted, occasioned the most disastrous result. On the second night after they sailed, the wind shifted to the westward, and blew a violent gale, which dispersed the fleet: many of the ships put into Torbay, others into Portland, and some returned to Portsmouth. Several of the merchantmen and transports foundered, and many lives were lost.
Early in the following month, another attempt was made to get clear of the Channel; but the fleet was again separated in a dreadful storm, which continued with unabated fury for several weeks. Some of the vessels, taking shelter in the Cove of Cork, were enabled to sail from thence on the 25th of February, 1796, under the protection of Captain (now Admiral) George Bowen, of the Canada 74; but Sir Hugh Christian did not sail with the ships he had collected at Spithead until the 20th of the following month. Rear-Admiral Pole, who had been obliged, in consequence of the damage sustained by the Colossus, to remove his flag into the Carnatic, another ship of the same force, sailed for his original destination on the 12th of April, and arrived at the Leeward Islands in the course of the ensuing month. He returned to England with Sir Hugh C. Christian (who had been superseded by Rear-Admiral Harvey) in the Beaulieu frigate, towards the latter end of the same year.
Immediately on his return he was nominated to the distinguished station of First Captain in the Grand Fleet, where he continued to serve during the whole of the period that Lord Bridport held the chief command, hoisting his flag at times during his Lordship's absence; and the arrangements made by him for the discipline, health, and support of the fleet, did him the greatest credit, and gave general satisfaction. On the 27th of June, 1799, Lord Bridport struck his flag, and Rear-Admiral Pole put to sea in the Royal George, accompanied by a fire-ship, three bombs, and several smaller vessels. On the 1st of July, he joined Rear-Admiral Berkeley's squadron off the Isle of Rhé, and the next day pro
ceeded to attack five Spanish line-of-battle ships, which had taken shelter under the protection of the batteries on that island, and a floating mortar battery moored in the passage between a shoal and the Isle of Oleron. The squadron having anchored in Basque Road, the bombs took their stations under cover of the frigates commanded by Captain (now Sir Richard G.) Keats, and opened their fire upon the enemy's ships, which was continued with great briskness for three hours, but with no effect, the Spaniards being at too great a distance.. The batteries from the Isle of Aix, during this time, kept up an incessant cannonade. The wind dying away, and the enemy having brought forward several gun-boats, RearAdmiral Pole called off the ships engaged, got under weigh, and stood to sea, fully convinced that fire-ships alone could have been brought forward with any reasonable prospect of success.
On the Rear-Admiral's return from the above service, the approbation of his conduct by the Board of Admiralty was marked by his appointment to be Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Newfoundland, to which station he proceeded in the Agincourt, of 64 guns; but on the indisposition, and urgent desire of Lord Nelson to be recalled from the Baltic, he was appointed to relieve his early friend in that important command, during the summer of 1801. On the first day of that year he had been advanced to the rank of Vice-Admiral.
To succeed such an officer as the heroic Nelson, and at so critical a moment, was a duty which they who know how his Lordship was regarded can best appreciate; and no one in the Navy knew him better, or loved him with greater sincerity, than his successor; whose good fortune it was, by prudence and sagacity, to disperse every remnant of the northern confederacy, which had taken place under the auspices of Paul I., and to complete the work which his Lordship had so ably commenced. In returning from that station, the Vice-Admiral detached a part of his fleet, under the command of Sir T. Graves, through the Sound; whilst he himself determined to make the experiment of passing the Great Belt, with nine sail of the line, which he accomplished in the most satisfactory manner, his flag-ship, the St. George, of 98 guns, leading; and as the wind was adverse, his ships were under the necessity of working through, by which means that Channel, which had never before been passed by line-of-battle ships, was effectually explored, thereby fully establishing, for the first time, the importance and practicability of this navigation, which has since been of advantage to our operations in those seas.
Vice-Admiral Pole was next appointed to the command of the
squadron off Cadiz; whither he immediately repaired in the St. George, and remained watching that port until the suspension of hostilities at the latter end of the year enabled him to return to England. During his absence he was raised to the dignity of a Baronet of Great Britain, by patent, dated September 12. 1801.
At the general election in 1802, Sir Charles Pole was returned to Parliament for Newark. On Mr. Addington coming into power, he joined with the Earl of St. Vincent in projecting an enquiry into the naval expenditure, for which the return of peace then afforded an opportunity. A Board was accordingly constituted, to enquire into the abuses in the civil department of the Navy, and other branches of public expenditure, and Sir Charles Pole was appoi ted Chairman. After some unavoidable delay in arranging the necessary preliminaries, the first Report was presented to the House of Commons, and ordered to be printed, May 12. 1803. It concerned the conduct of the naval storekeepers at Jamaica; the second respected the "Chest at Chatham," an institution for the relief of seamen maimed and wounded in the service of their country. In consequence of this investigation, on the 23d of July, 1803, Sir Charles Pole brought up the Bill for transferring to the Directors of Greenwich Hospital the administration of the Chest, and many beneficial consequences have ensued from that measure.
The next subject of investigation was the Block Contract, and the Cooper's Contract; the fourth, Prize Agency; concerning which, notwithstanding the general outcry, " abuses and irregularities, rather than fraud," were discoverable. The next, the Sixpenny Office; the sixth, Plymouth and Woolwich Yards; the seventh, le Caton Hospital-Ship, and the Naval Hospital at East Stonehouse; the eighth, his Majesty's Victualling Department at Plymouth, and the Embezzlement of the King's Casks; and the ninth, the Receipt and Issue of Stores in Plymouth Yard. In all these departments, it appeared that either great irregularities, or gross frauds, were evident; but it was the tenth Report, ordered to be printed February 13. 1805, that chiefly engaged the attention of the public, and furnished grounds of the memorable im peachment of Viscount Melville.
During these laborious investigations, the Commissioners sat daily from five to seven hours; and, in addition to his particular share in that duty, Sir Charles Pole was frequently obliged either sometimes to explain, or sometimes to defend, their conduct in his place in Parliament. On the 2d of May, 1805, it was carried, on a motion of Mr. Sheridan, that the Commissioners had, as
far as appears from their Reports, exerted themselves with diligence, ability, and fortitude; and that the whole of their conduct in the arduous duty entrusted to them, has entitled them to the gratitude, approbation, and encouragement of the House."
In consequence of the decisive victory obtained off Cape Trafalgar, October 21. 1805, a general promotion took place on the 9th of the following month, and Sir Charles on that occasion became a full Admiral.
In February, 1806, Sir Charles Pole resigned his seat as Chairman of the Naval Enquiry; being called by Mr. Grey (now Earl Grey) to take a place at the Board of Admiralty, where he rendered essential service to his profession, and increased his knowledge of its interests; which interests he afterwards so uniformly supported in Parliament. He left the Admiralty in October, on the change which then took place in the administration.
During the short period at which he remained at the Board, he assisted in the wise measure which was then adopted of increasing the petty officers of the Navy, and augmenting the pay of every class. It was during this time, under the auspices of Mr. Grey, that a considerable superannuation list was added to the captains, commanders, and lieutenants. Under the same auspices, a bill was brought into Parliament, enabling the pensioners of the Chest to receive their pay at their own homes, as had been recommended by the Commissioners of Naval Enquiry; and the pay of that suffering and meritorious class of men was augmented from 71. to 187. per annum.
At the general election in 1807, Sir Charles was returned for Plymouth; and continued thenceforward to be an eminent and most valuable naval member of the House of Commons, where his conduct afforded an example to such of his profession as may there wish to maintain its interests, and to support their own independence. The continued exertions of Sir Charles Pole in the House, on naval subjects, acquired him a general and well-merited popularity. We must limit ourselves, however, to the notice of only a few of them.
In the debate on the Droits of Admiralty, February 11. 1808, Sir Charles observed, "that all his reflections on the subject convinced him that the Admiralty Court ought to be upon a new footing." At the close of the debate, disapproving of both the original motion, and an amendment by Mr. Huskisson, he proposed a motion of his own on the subject.
In March, 1808, Sir Charles endeavoured to call the attention of the House of Commons to the "Appointments in Greenwich