Page images
PDF
EPUB

had signified to him by her Secretary of State, the Lord Bullingbroke, that the Queen would have it demolished. Mr. Steele, to prevent the Poison which that Piece might disperse among the People, writ a Discourse against it, and exposed the specious Insinuations of Compassion to a devoted People, and the like, and defended the Queen's Resolution with so much Zeal and Warmth, that he drew upon himself the Anger of all the Courtly Writers, at the head of whom is deservedly placed your Eminence. He is a very unhappy Man, that could not speak againit what was rejected at Court, without incurring the Displeasure of those who pretend to write : for it. Supported by so good an Authority as: the Queen and her Minister, hethought it a good A&tion to convince all the World of the Neceflity of Demolithing that Harbour, and that Neceflity is very distindly represented in the 26th Page of the Pamphlet, called, The Importance of Dunkirk considered.

The Port of London, says the Author, is allowed to carry Two Parts in Three, 'or Six. · Parts in Nine, of the Foreign Trade of Eng. land. We may give one Ninth to the Ports I on the South Coalts of this Ifand, which South

Coast is opposite to the North Coast of France;

the Sea between which is what we call the 6 Channel.

' The East End of this, , on our Side, is the

North Foreland, which stands opposite to Newport in France; the Weft End, on our. • Side, is the Land's-End, over-against Ujhant, or Breft in France; they allow one Ninth of the Trade to the East Coast washed by the

German

ovew onened by man

'German Ocean; and the other Ninth to the West Coast, which looks on the Irisla Seas.

"Dunkirk is from the South Foreland about '13 Leagues, and the Coast from Dunkirkto the . Foreland, West, North West, to the Entrance

of the River Thames, is North-West about 20 • Leagues, so that any Easterly Wind, which

carries our Ships down the Channel, at the e same time brings those of Dunkirk to meet ' and intercept them: The French have very fre' quently this last War reaped the Advantage of • This Situation, by surpriling many rich Ships, " and taking others as they lay at Anchor in the Downs; when the French are dispossessed of

Dunkirk, the dread and danger of their Men of War, of any considerable Force, will be • removed as far as Brest, which is a hundred ' and i wenty Leagues, or three hundred and • fixty Miles; and that of their Privateers, of 'any Consideration, as far as St. Malu's, which ' is 78 Leagues, or 234 Miles.

Brest lies without the Channel, under this

great incapacity to hurt us, that the same Wind I which carries our Trade down the Channel

prevents the Ships of Brest from coming into

[ocr errors]

• The East End of the Channel which is so much exposed to Dunkirk is but 7 Leagues

broad, and gives an Enemy an Opportunity of • seeing our Ships from Side to Side.

· The West End of the Channel, for which " the greatelt Fears are from Brest, is 28 Leagues • broad, and of course there is at that End a "greater Chance of escaping the Enemy.

? If Ships from Brest are appointed to Way. " lay our Ships in the Channel, they must take

o the

I the Opportunity of Westerly Winds, to come sinto it; and wait the coming of an Easterly

Wind to carry our Ships down it ; by chis ! means they must all that time be at Sea, ex

posed to all Dangers for want of a Port in o which to Harbour their Men of War, or reI turn to Breft, which they cannot do with the Wind that brought them out.

We must add to this, that if the French from Brest should be hovering to the Eastward of « Plimouth, they are between two Fires, from < those Ships in the Downs, and those from Pli. mouth ; and our Ships from Portsmouth may • chace them either Way, while they are way6 laid at each End of the Channel by the others, ? not having the Port of Dunkirk, or any other s in the Channel, to afford them Shelter. Thus, to Tould they be chased up the Channel by a too ' great Force, before they can return to Brest, o they must either run inio the German Ocean, " and wait another Opportunity of coming down

again, with the Hazard of meering all our Men of War; or else fail North about Great Bri.

tain, which is at least sro Leagues more than " they need have failed, with the Port of Dunkirk to fiy to.

" This Want of Dunkirk will expose them to " the same Inconvenience, to which the Fear of sit often obliged our running Ships from the € South Parts of the World, as well as our East© India Men, during the late War: To this DiI stress you are to add Wages, Provision, loss of • Time, and the dangerous' Navigation of the « North Seas.

• From hence it plainly appears, that by the ! Demolition of Dunkirk, in case of a Rupture (with France, Six Parts in Nine of our Trade, 6 from the Port of London, is 330 Miles re. c.moved from the Hazards of the last War; and 6 though part of this must be exposed when it 6 passes through the Chopps, or Western Entrance • of the Channel, it must be considered, that this « it was also liable to before, besides the Tere Trors of Dunkirk, and that this is only the « Southern Trade; and all that go to Holland, 6 Hamborough, and other Northern Countries, I will be quite out of Danger. ,

o with

6. The Ninth of our Trade on the East Coast 6 would be still safer.

. From these diftin& Considerations, you ob

serve only one Ninth of the Trade on the · Irish Seas and Bristol Channel, and part of w the other Ninth in the Coast of the Channel • (to come at which they are in danger from Portsmouth to Plimouth) is the whole of the British Trade, which after the Demolition of 6 Dunkirk will lie open to the Affaults of the ! French. The Demolition of Dunkirk will in r a great Measure secure seven Ninths of the • Trade of England, from the Power of France " at Sea, the French having no Port in the ChanInel but St. Malo's, which can harbour any great • Ships, and that it self can receive none which * exceeds 30 or 40 Guns. Breft lies 35 Leagues • from the Lizard Point, which is the neares • Land of England; their Ships must have an « Easterly Wind to come out, and that will 6 serve them no farther than to the Chopps of o the Channel, because it blows dire&tly down

The Course to go from Brest to cruise off & the Lizard Point in order to annoy Us, is

first,

• first, West about 13 Leagues, and then North, 6 or North and by East about 30 Leagues more,

except they run the Hazard of going within • the illand of Ulbant which is not pra&ised,

and therefore may be supposed Impra&icable.

• In the last Place, our Change in defending I our felves from such Annoyance as we fora • merly had from Dunkirk, will decrease in Pro. portion to the removal of the Danger.

Such is the Importance of the Demolition I of Dunkirk, with regard to the Trade of Eng

land only; and in the present Conjuncture, I • think we ought to have something more than • the Mercy of his Molt Christian Majesty, to • render the forbearing such Demolition less Ha. zardous to our Religion and Liberty.

All that is of Consequence to us is, that Dunkirk should be no longer a Receptacle for Ships, and the Deinolition of it as a Garrison is of much less Confideration, if not wholly infignificant to us.

Our Treaty of Peace provided for this, and demanded it to be done in the first Place, and his moft. Chriftian Majesty consented it mould be fo.. Mr. Steele, with his Name to what he Said, spoke of it as an English Subject, and your Eminence was highly offended with him for doing so; you urged that it was in the Queen's Hands, and therefore it was undutiful to raise any Jealousies about it. This I thought had some Force in it, and I had Reason to be confirmed in it, when you made Mr. Tuggbe in his Letter to R. S. say the Harbour is destroyed.

But now, Sir, I am quite of another Mind, and find that the Man had too much Reason for his Apprehensions; for let me tell you, Sir, I

have

« PreviousContinue »