18. Keith to Secretary of Admiralty
Utrecht, at Sheerness,
July 1, 1803.
Sir, Be pleased to inform their Lordships that it is my intention to make the following general distribution of the ships and vessels under my command which I mean to employ under the orders of Rear Admiral Montagu, directing them to rendezvous generally in the Downs—
Raisonnable, Amelia, Africaine, Harpy, Locust, Minx, Jackal—one cutter— for the service off Helvoet, Flushing and other ports of the Dutch coast.
Immortalité, Leda, Lark, Ranger, Archer, Jalouse, Conflict—3cutters— off Calais and from thence to Cherbourg on the French coast for the protection of the trade on the English coast as far as Beachy Head.
Lynx, Basilisk, Millbrook—off Dunkirk.
Under the direction of Commodore Sir Sidney Smith, to rendezvous in Hoseley Bay—
Gun vessels Monkey, Escort, Adder, Charger, Aggressor, Vixen, Marmion— for the protection of trade at the entrance of the Thames and off Orfordness, stretching occasionally over towards the opposite coast.
Under the orders of Rear-Admiral Thornborough, to rendezvous in Yarmouth Roads, except the Amethyst and Clyde, whose rendezvous I propose in Leith Roads —
Melpomene, Penelope—from Yarmouth to Orfordness.
Fortunêe---from Yarmouth to Humber.
Clyde, Ansethyst—from Flamborough Head to the Firth.
Snipe, Mallard, Constant, Bold, Censor (gun vessels)—2 cutters—for protecting trade upon the coast from Orfordness to the Sturn.
I intend to employ four of the bomb vessels in the Downs, and the other three at Yarmouth for protecting convoys and driving privateers off the coast. The ships of the line intended for the North Sea will rendezvous at Yarmouth, or in the Downs, as their Lordships may think best, and can be kept constantly employed in cruising in the Channel or in the North Sea, or in readiness for opposing any force of importance with which we may be threatened. The frigates and sloops now employed with the convoys and on distant service will always be required for duties of a similar kind, and no doubt occasion will arise that may demand particular changes in my arrangement which I could fix; but the foregoing appear to me best calculated for fulfilling the duties of the command as far as the means will go. When they are increased it will be important to extend more effectual protection to the northern coast. In the event of any immediate prospect of invasion, a force proportioned to the occasion could be assembled at any point where it might be required, and all the gun vessels could speedily be ordered to repair to these ports. I have &c.
LLoyd, C . (eds.) (1955) The Keith Papers, vol III, 1803-1815. Navy Records Society, pp. 25-26
Web Page: Rickard, J (24 July 2006), Keith to Secretary of Admiralty, http://www.historyofwar.org/sources/acw/napoleonic/nrs1955/1_1_018..html