HOWE, Richard, 1st Earl (1726-1799). Admiral, commander-in-chief in North America, 1776.
Autograph Letter Signed to Vice-admiral Groves, 2 pages 4to with blank leaf, London, 17 June 1793. Discussing arrangements to make the Channel Fleet fully prepared for service at the earliest possible opportunity.
Howe was appointed commander of the Channel fleet for the second time on 1 February 1793. However, the fleet was not actually formed till the end of May. During the rest of the year the fleet was almost constantly at sea, though frequently compelled by adverse weather conditions to take shelter in Torbay. Once or twice Howe sighted small squadrons of the French, but at a distance which allowed their easy escape.
'I am much obliged by the intimations you have done me the favor to give me, respecting the state of the Pegasus more particularly, and the preparation you are desired to make for getting the 3 three decked ships round to Portsmouth. The plan to bring away all the latter, does not quite correspond with my conceptions of the most expeditious means for getting the channel Fleet in the earliest State of forwardness. ... Any Landsmen of able Bodies & healthy, whom you can bring with you in the character of disposable Men, will be applicable Vic Adm Groves for the same purpose: For Lord Hood's Fleet, as I understand, has taken most part of the transferable Men from the Mediterranean Convoy which he met at the Entrance of the Channel ... .'
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