About the end of September, 1770, a British sloop-of-war, the Favorite, 16, arrived at Portsmouth, England, from the Falkland Islands. Her captain related that in June of that year his ship and the British settlement at Port Egmont had been attacked and forced to capitulate by a squadron of five Spanish frigates, carrying troops and artillery, which had come to take possession of the islands. One of the articles of capitulation was that the Favorite should be allowed to return home.
The attack, which was believed in England to be unprovoked, created great resentment. Fifteen sail of the line were immediately ordered into commission. Press warrants were issued and rendezvous for seamen opened. King George III proclaimed a bounty of thirty shillings to able seamen, while six English and Scottish seaports also offered bounties varying from a guinea to forty shillings.
It resulted, from the work of the press gangs, that a boy of fifteen, Thomas Truxtun, by name, born on Long Island, found himself in the British Navy, as a landsman, or boy, in H.M.S. Prudent, 64, commanded by Captain Alexander Schomberg, brother of Captain Isaac Schomberg, the naval historian.