In 1816 a British naval squadron under Admiral Sir Edward Pellew, Baron Exmouth, was fitted out and sent to Algiers where they arrived on 27 August 1816. They were accompanied by the small Dutch squadron of Vice-Admiral van Capellen, which had requested to join them at Gibraltar. Exmouth sought the release of the British Consul, who had been detained, and over 1000 Christian slaves, many being seamen
taken by the Algerines. When they received no reply the fleet bombarded Algiers in the most spectacular of several similar punitive actions of this period that
finally broke the power of the "Barbary pirates," who plagued European
commerce in the Mediterranean for centuries. The British and Dutch naval bombardment
of Algiers destroyed 33 ships in the harbor. In nine hours, the allied squadrons
fired more than fifty thousand round shot. The casualties were in proportion.
In the English ships, 818 men were wounded or killed; some 16 per cent of those
As a result of the bombardment, negotiations for a treaty, signed on Sept.
24, 1816, reaffirmed the conditions imposed by American Commodore Stephen Decatur
in the treaty of 1815. In addition, the Dey agreed to end the practice of enslaving
Christians. All Exmouth's aims in the action were achieved: 1083 Christian slaves
and the British Consul were liberated, massive restitution paid and peace made
between Algiers and the Dutch. Exmouth was created viscount for his role.