An interesting letter written in 1778 alluding to the ongoing engagement between England and France in the years following the Seven Years War that ended in 1763. In this letter, British sailor George Long describes the success of British privateers in disrupting the trade of French merchant ships. He appears to have been a crew member in the fleet commanded by Rear Admiral Augustus Keppel, about to be promoted to Vice Admiral.
Addressed to Mr. Charles Long, Bishopsgate Street, London
August 20, 1778
I received your Father’s & your letters which gave me great pleasure to hear you were all well after your journey. We sail tomorrow to give the French another drubbing if they dare meet us. I believe the French rejoicings were for their having escaped so well instead of their having obliged us to run away. I dare say they will have no occasion to rejoice after the next action. Mr. [Augustus] Keppel will convince them he is alive in a manner not very agreeable to them perhaps.
The Privateers bring in prizes here every day. A sail of their merchantmen came in here yesterday taken by his majesty’s ship Exeter in sight of the French Coast. I suppose we shall meet the West India fleet coming home. Their convoy went past here a week ago all well. You may depend upon hearing from me if we do meet them.
I am, dear Charles, yours affectionately, — George Long