'ON the British Navy, under the good providence of God, the wealth, safety, and strength of the kingdom chiefly depend.' So runs the preamble to the Articles of War, and few Englishmen would wish to dispute the fact. But while we glory in the tale of the Armada and of a long line of brilliant victories, culminating in the supreme day of Trafalgar, we are apt to forget the means whereby these victories were assured to us. ...but its reverses also; that they should make themselves acquainted with every step in that long and often bitter struggle through which the British Navy won its way from insignificance to the mastery of the seas.
I am just arriv'd here from La Guyra, a Place we attack'd under Commodore Knowles, Feb. 9 last, at 12 at Noon, and continued till almost 8 at Night with the Ships, a List of which I have here inclosed, and all the Damages they have received.
This is an eyewitness account of an action between two British and two French warships in 1756. The French were escorting a convoy into Rochfort when they were sighted by two British cruisers, Colchester, of 50 guns and Lyme, a frigate with 28 guns.
" Colchester at sea, June 20 1756.