The " East-Indiamen " of the ancient world, excelled those of the Greeks in speed and equipment.
During the long war between France and England, at the commencement of the 19th century, Mauritius was a continual source of much mischief to English Indiamen and other merchant vessels; and at length the British government determined upon an expedition for its capture.
In 1781 a British squadron under Commodore George Johnstone 1731-1787) seized six Dutch East Indiamen, which, fearing an attack on Cape Town, had taken refuge in Saldanha Bay.
Several men-of-war and armed French Indiamen were taken, but the overwhelming superiority of Anson's fleet (fourteen men-of-war, to six men-ofwar and four Indiamen) in the number and weight of ships deprives the action of any strong claim to be considered remarkable.
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