at sea: 13th October 1797,
off the coast off Holland.

Be pleased to acquaint the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that judging it of consequence their Lordships should have as early information as possible of the defeat of the Dutch fleet under the command of Admiral de Winter, I dispatched the Rose cutter at three p.m. on the 12th (11th) instant, with a short letter to you, immediately after the action was ended.
I have now further to acquaint you, for their Lordships' information, that in the night of the 10th instant, after I had sent away my letter to you, of that date, I placed my squadron in such situation as to prevent the enemy from returning to the Texel without my falling in with them. At nine o'clock in the morning of the 11th I got sight of Captain Trollope's squadron, with signals flying for an Enemy to Leeward; I immediately bore up, and made the signal for a general chase, and soon got sight of them, forming in a line on the larboard tack to receive us, the wind at N.W. As we approached near I made the signal for the squadron to shorten sail, in order to connect them; soon after I saw the land between Camperdown and Egmont, about nine miles to the leeward of the enemy, and finding there was no time to be lost in making the attack, I made the signal to bear up, break the line enemy's line, and engage them to leeward, each ship here opponent, by which I got between them and the land, whither they were fast approaching.
My signals were obeyed with great promptitude, and Vice-Admiral Onslow, in the Monarch, bore down on the enemy's rear in the most gallant manner, his division following his example; and the action commenced about forty minutes past twelve o'clock.
The Venerable soon got through the enemy's line, and I began a close action, with my division on their van, which lasted near two hours and a half, when I observed all the masts of the Dutch Admiral's ship go by the board; she was, however, defended for some time in a most gallant manner; but being overpressed by numbers, her colours were struck, and Admiral de Winter was soon brought on board the Venerable.
On looking around me I observed the ship nearing the Vice Admiral's flag was also dismasted, and had surrendered to Vice Admiral Onslow; and that many others had likewise struck. Finding we were in nine fathoms water, and not farther than five miles from the land, my attention was so much taken up in getting the heads of the disabled ships off shore, that I was not able to distinguish the number of ships captured; and the wind having been constantly on the land since, we have unavoidable been much dispersed, so that I have not been able to gain an exact account of them, but we have taken possession of eight or nine; more of them had struck, but taking advantage of the night, and being so near their own coast, they succeeded in getting off, and some of them were seen going into the Texel the next morning.......