The Edinburgh Evening Courant – Number 14,331 – Monday, October 24, 1803.
From the London Gazette
Admiralty- Office, October 20
Copy of a letter from Vice-Admiral Gambier, commander in chief of his majesty’s ships and vessels at Newfoundland, to Sir Evan Nepean, Bart, dated on board the ffis, at St John’s, Aug 20, 1803.
I Send herewith an extract of a letter from Captain Malbon, of his Majesty’s ship Aurora, giving an account of his having taken possession of the Islands of St Pierre and Miquelon, which you will be please to lay before the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
I have the honor to be, &c.
Exctract of a letter from Captain Malbon, commanding his Majesty’s ship Aurora, to Vice-Admiral GAMBIER, Commander in Chief at Newfoundland, & c.
On the 30th of June, about four o’clock in the morning, I made the islands of Peters; and at five sent the large cutter and launch, manned and armed with a twelve pound carronade, under the command of Lieut. Richard Longfield Davies and Lieut. Baillie of the marines, to oblige the town to surrender, of begin the attack; between six and seven o’clock they entered the harbour, under a very thick fog, and perceiving a boat crossing from on side to the other, brought her to, in which they found the Commissary, who acted as Governor. The conclusion that the place was thrown into from the sudden attack prevented the inhabitants from assembling together, and at half past seven the Commissary surrendered the island, by delivering the colours to Lieut. Davies. From what has been since learned there is no doubt that, if the inhabitants could have had time to have collected themselves from their different situations, they would have made a strong resistance, having since discovered upwards of one hundred stand of arms among them. Knowing the small force in the boats, I used my utmost efforts to get his Majesty’s ship into the harbour, but was as frequently prevented by thick fog. About eleven, it being somewhat clear, I entered under a very heavy press of sail between the rocks, which were not a cable’s lenght across, and at two P.M. brought to with the best bower in 15 fathoms water. Found here a French merchant brig (La Reines des Anges) and a schooner (Le Provoyier), with 11 small schooners, and upwards of 100 battoes.The island contained fish, stores, salt, and merchandize of various descriptions, and upon a rough survey, about 220 men were upon the island and in the boats; but they being so detached several got away in small craft, one of which I have since been informed was taken off Lieverpool in Nova Scotia and another at St Lawrence, in Newfoundland.
On every thing being secured, I oredered one of the fishing schooners to be fitted a tender and having her manned and armed with a twelve pound carronade, gave the command to Lieut. Davies, with direction to scour the coast, and take possession of the islands of Great and Little Miquelon, which he did, but no inhabitants or stores were found at either of those places.