1804 LIGHT SQUADRONS AND SINGLE SHIPS Page 252
On the 19th of February the British 14-gun brig-sloop Drake, under the temporary command of Lieutenant William King of the Centaur, while cruising off the port of Trinité on the north side of the island of Martinique, discovered in the harbour, taking in cargoes in defiance of the blockade, two American brigs and a schooner, moored within pistol-shot of a fort mounting three French 24-pounders. Being determined to make an attempt to cut out these vessels, Lieutenant King despatched the boats of the Drake, under the orders of Lieutenant William Cumpston, assisted by Mr. William Robson, the master, upon that service. The three American vessels were gallantly boarded and taken possession of, in the face of a heavy fire from the fort, and from two field-pieces ; but having no wind, Lieutenant Cumpston and his party could only succeed in bringing out the schooner, which was accomplished without loss.
On the night of the 24th Lieutenant King himself, with 21 seamen and nine marines, landed and spiked the guns at the fort and the two field-pieces, with the loss of one seaman killed and Lieutenant Cumpston and one seaman slightly wounded.
On the night of the 4th of March the barge and pinnace of the 74-gun ship Blenheim, Captain William Ferris, having on board 50 officers and men under the orders of Lieutenant Thomas Furber, made a most gallant ; but unsuccessful attempt to cut out the French national schooner Curieuse, lying chain-moored close under a fort at the town of St. Pierre. The schooner had made very formidable preparations, having rigged out her sweeps on each side, traced her boarding-nettings to her lower mastheads, and there fastened them in the securest manner. Notwithstanding all this, and a heavy fire of great guns and musketry, as well from the schooner herself, as from a party of soldiers drawn up on the beach, from the neighbouring forts, and from an armed sloop and several smaller vessels, Lieutenant Furber and those under him gallantly boarded and carried the Curieuse ; but, no sooner were her cables cut, than the schooner, held fast by the chain, swang round and grounded upon the beach.