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It certainly, exclusively of its singular situation, must be considered as an object of considerable interest, as commemorating a train of exploits of the highest moment to
Attempts had frequently been made by different nations to overturn this piratical system; but Angria's successes had made him insolent; he threw off his allegiance to his sovereign, and slit the noses of his ambassadors who came to demand the tribute. Under these circumstances the rajah made proposals to the British to attack this common enemy with their united force. Commodore James, at that time commander in chief of the company's marine force, sailed on the 22d of March 1755, in the Protector, of forty-four guns, with a ketch of sixteen guns, and two bomb vessels ; but such was the exaggerated opinion of Angria's strong holds, that the presidency instructed him not to expose the company's vessels to any risk by attacking them, but only to blockade the harbours whilst the Morattoe army carried on their operations by land. Three days after the Morattoe fleet, consisting of seven grabs and sixty gallivats, came out of Choul, having on board ten thousand land forces, and the fleets united proceeded to Comara Bay, where they anchored in order to permit the Morattoes to get their meal on shore, since they are prohibited by their religion from eating or washing at sea. Departing from hence they anchored again about fifteen miles to the north of Severndroog, when Rama-gee Punt with the troops disembarked, in order to proceed the rest of the way by land. Commodore James now receiving intelligence that the enemy's fleet lay at anchor in the harbour of Severndroog, represented to the admiral of the Morattoe fleet, that by proceeding immediately thither they might come upon them in the night, and so effectually blockade them in the harbour that few or none would be able to escape. The Morattoe seemed highly to approve the proposal, but had not authority enough over his officers to make any of them stir before the morning, when the enemy discovering them under sail, immediately slipped their cables and put to sea. The commodore then flung out the signal for a general chase ; but as little regard was paid to this as to his former intention ; for although the vessels of the Morattoes had hitherto sailed better than the English, such was their terror of Angria's fleet, that they all kept behind, and suffered the Protector to proceed alone almost out of their sight. The enemy on the other hand exerted themselves with uncommon industry, flinging overboard all their lumber to lighten their vessels, not only crowding all the sails they could bend, but also hanging up their garments, and even their turbans, to catch every breath of air. The Protector, however, came within gun-shot of some of the sternmost; but the evening approaching, commodore James gave over the chase, and returned to Severndroog, which he had passed several miles.
the mercantile transactions of this country with the eastern world. A broad tablet of stone over the entrance has the following inscription : This Building was erected M.DCC.LXXXIV. by the Represent.
ative of the late
SIR WILLIAM JAMES, BART.
Here he found Rama-gee Punt with the army besieging, as they said, the three forts on the main land; but they were firing only from one gun, a four-pounder, at the distance of two miles, and even at this distance the troops did not think themselves safe without digging pits, in which they sheltered themselves covered up to the chin from the enemy's fire. The commodore judging from these operations, that they would never take the forts, determined to exceed the instructions which he had received from the presidency, rather than expose the English arms to the disgrace they would suffer, if an expedition, in which they were believed by Angria to have taken so great a share, should miscarry. The next day, the 2d of April, he began to cannonade and bombard the fort of Severndroog, situated on the island; but finding that the walls on the western side which he attacked, were mostly cut out of the solid rock, he changed his station to the north-east between the island and the main ; where whilst one of his broadsides plied the north-east bastions of this fort, the other fired on fort Goa, the largest of those upon the main land. The bastions of Severndroog, however, were so high, that the Protector could only point her upper tier at them; but being anchored within a hundred yards, the musketry in the round tops drove the enemy from their guns, and by noon the parapet of the north-east bastion was in ruins; when a shell froin one of the bomb-vessels set fire to a thatched house, which the garrison, dreading the Protector's musketry, were afraid to extinguish : the blaze spreading fiercely at this dry season of the year, all the buildings of the fort were.soon in fiames, and amongst them a magazine of powder blew up. this disaster the inha
ts, men, women, and children, with the greatest part of the garrison, in all near
It consists of three floors: in the lower room are various Indian weapons, armour, &c. brought as trophies from Sedroog Castle. The upper stories are neatly fitted up; on the cieling of the first is a series of views, in six compartments, of the relative situation of the feet and fortress on the day of the assault. The summit is embattled, and has turrets at the angles. From the windows and roof, the pro. spects are uncommonly extensive, and very rich; they include a great part of Essex, Kent, and Surrey; with the river Thames, and the metropolis. This tower was erected by Lady James, who resided with her husband, Sir Wil. liam James, at Park Place Farm, near Eltham, Their daughter and heiress married the late Thomas Boothby Parkyns, first lord Rancliffe, whose son, George Augustus Henry Anne Parkyns, lord Rancliffe, has recently come of age, and is now owner of this building, and its surrounding grounds *.
one thousand persons, ran out of the fort, aud embarking in seven or eight large boats, attempted to make their escape to fort Goa; but they were prevented by the English ketches, who took them all. The Protector now directed her fire only against fort Goa; where the enemy, after suffering a severe cannonade, hung out a flag as a signal of surrender, but whilst the Morattoes were marching to take possession of it, the governor perceiving that the commodore had not yet taken possession of Severndroog, got into a boat with some of his most trusty men, and crossed over to the island, hoping to be able to maintain the fort until he should receive assistance from Dabul, which is in sight of it. Upon this the Protector renewed her fire upon Severndroog; and the commodore finding that the governor wanted to protract the defence until night, when it was not to be doubted that some boats from Dabul would endeavour to throw succours into the place, he landed half his seamen, under cover of the fire of the ships, who with great intrepidity ran up to the gate, and cutting down the sally-port with their axes, forced their way into it; on which the garrison surrendered: the other two forts on the main land had by this time hung out flags of truce, and the Morattoes took possession of them. This was all the work of one day, in which the spirited resolution of commodore James destroyed the timorous prejudices which had for twenty years been entertained of the impracticability of reducing any of Angria's fortified harbours.—Brayley's Illustration of the Works of Bloomfield. Orme's Hindostan. * Beauties of England, Vol. VII.
On the summit of the hill, which is ascertained by Mr. Bonnycastle, of the royal military academy, to be four hundred and ten feet perpendicular height above the low water mark at Woolwich, is the mineral spring before mentioned, the properties of which were published by William Godbid, in 1673.
Having conducted our readers successfully beyond the view of the metropolis, we think it prudent to state that it cannot be expected we should give detailed accounts of the several parishes through which we must necessarily pass in our perambulation, when it is considered that the Parochial History of Kent alone, by Mr. Halsted, takes up four volumes in folio; that for Surrey, by Manning, two volumes in folio; and the other counties in equal proportions: we will not however neglect what is striking or profitable to be known; and as a specimen we mention that East WICKHAM formerly belonged to lord Lovell, the minion of Richard III. It afterwards escheated to the crown, and came by various grants to the family of Leigh, a coheiress of which family having married into that of Bennet, it continues in their possession. The antient manor house of the Leigh's has been taken down. The church is small and old ; within are some brasses, particularly one containing small busts of a man and woman, with the following inscription in Saxon characters : JOHAN DE BLADIGDONE ET S. Another brass, covered by a pew, has the effigy of William Payne, yeoman of the guard, who died in 1568, dressed in the uniform of bis office. This has been engraved in Thorpe's Custumale Roffense. East Wickham is only a chapelry to Plumsted, an unwhole some marshy parish on the banks of the Thames, adjoining to Woolwich.
This place was given by king Edgar, in 960, to St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, of which the abbot and monks were deprived by the rebellious Godwin, earl of Kent, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, and bestowed on his fourth son Tostan. The king however restored the estate to the abbey, with which it continued till Edward's