In the Vice Admiralty Court
Cape of Good Hope
Apollo of Boston – Le Vaillant Master
22nd January 1799
On the standing interrogation administered on behalf of our Sovereign Lord the King.
Michel Tempie, Captain of Marines of said Ship, aged thirty two years, a witness produced, sworn, & examined by the interpretation of M: A: Bianchi, sworn interpreter.
To the first interrogatory, Respondent answers that he was born at Saumur in Anjou; has lived these fourteen last years at the Isle of France; is a Subject of the Republic of France, & has not been admitted a Burgher of any place.
To the second, he answers that He was present on board said Ship at the time of her Capture: and that she had a Commission for war, from the Governor of Isle of France aforesaid.
The third, He answers, that said ship was taken & seized at sea, about eight days after leaving the Island of Madagascar; but knows not the Latitude, Longitude or [?] except that it was about the beginning of November last: that She was brought to the Cape of Good Hope and sailed under French Colours, having none other on board: that she made no resistance, and was taken by an English Ship of War called the Leopard, of 54 guns: which fired five shots; and that no other ship was in sight at the time of the Capture.
To the fourth, he answers that the Master’s name Le Valliant; has known him five years: was appointed to the command of said Ship by Mons’r Malartie the Governor of Mauritius; & received possession of her at said Mauritius from Mons’r Pitot the owner; that said Master or Captain was born at Brest, but resides at Mauritius with his wife & family; & is a Subject of the French Republic.
To the fifth, he answers, that the Ship in question is nearly of two hundred Tons burthen; had one hundred & thirty two Mariners on board, including Officers, all French men, and all hired & shipped by that Captain at the Isle of France, in the month of August last.
To the sixth he answers, that he has no part share or Interest in s’d Ship, nor can he tell whether any other officer on board: that he belonged to the Ship, when taken, as Capt’n of Marines; has known said ship only since he embarked in her in August last; first saw her at the Isle of France, & knows not where she was built.
To the seventh he answers, that said Ships name is Apollo of Boston ; knows not how long she has been so called, & never knew any other name for her; Had a commission as passport from the Governor of Mauritius; that her voyage began at said Isle of France, that she touched at St Augustines, in the Bay of Lagoa, & that the voyage was to have ended at the Isle of France aforesaid; & that she had no cargo on board.
To the eighth, he answers, that she had no lading on board.
To the ninth, he answers, that Mons’r Pitot was Owner of said ship when taken; as he heard universally; that said Owner is a Frenchman born in France, now resides with his wife & family at Mauritius: and is a Subject of the French Republic.
10th, 11th 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th…
To the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth & fifteenth interrogatories, Respond’t saith he knows not to answer.
To the sixteenth, he answers that there were no papers, bills of lading, letters or other writing on board, except the Commission or Passport, on board, before her being taken as prize : and that none were burnt, torn, thrown over board, destroyed or cancelled, concealed or attempted to be concealed.
To the seventeenth, he answers, that he heard & believes that this Ship, concerning which he is now examined, has been heretofore taken, as prize, from the English; by the French but knows not when or where.
To the eighteenth, he answers, that he hath not sustained any loss by the capture of said ship.
To the nineteenth, he answers, that said Ship is not insured.
20th, 21st, 22nd, & 23rd
To the twentieth, twenty first, twenty second & twenty third Interrogatories, Respondent says he knows not to answer.
To the twenty fourth, he answers, that the Commission or Passport was taken out of said ship at the time of capture, by the captors; but he does not know in whose power or custody it now is.
To the twenty fifth, he answers that there was no Bulk in said ship.
To the twenty sixth, he answers that there was no passenger on board: that no person whatsoever was secreted or confined: and that there was not any of His Britannic Majesty’s Subjects on board.
27 & 28th
To the twenty seventh and twenty eighth Interrogatories, Respondent saith he knows not to answer.
To the twenty ninth he answers that the ship, when taken, was steering for the Les Echelles Islands: and first altered her course to give chase to the Leopard: and afterwards in attempting to escape.
To the thirtieth, he answers, that he knows not by whom said ship has been sold or transferred, or how often: but heard that Mons’r Pitot, the present Owner, paid twelve thousand piaster for her: and verily believed that if the ship shall be restored, she will belong to the person now asserted to be the owner, and to no other
To the thirty first he answers, that she had twelve guns mounted, & six small cannonades, and gunpowder, & balls sufficient. Twenty muskets & bayonets & several sabres: that no warlike or Naval stores were thrown overboard: that they were put on board at Mauritius by public authority; about the month of August last.
To the thirty second, he answers, that he hath already set forth, in his preceding answers, /: according to the best of his belief & knowlige :/ every circumstance regarding the real & true property & destination of the said Ship at the time of the capture: and saith that further he knows not to depose.
Repeated & acknowledged before the judge, in presence of.