Fort History : Page 2
In 1736, Angre's vessels took the richly laden English East Indiaman Derby, the armed ship Restoration of twenty guns, and several other vessels of less note. In 1738, in an action between Angre's fleet and Commodore Bagwell, Angre's fleet fled up the Rajapur creek and escaped with little loss. Besides several captures from Dutch, Angre's about this time took the French forty-gun ship Jupiter, with 400 slaves.
In 1749, Mr., afterwards Sir William James was attacked by Angre's fleet, and after a hard fight, drove them to Vijaydurg (Gheria), pursuing them and causing great loss.
Next year, in spite of their defeat, they were bold enough to attack Commodore Lisle in command of a fleet of several vessels, among them the Vigilant of sixty-four and the Ruby of fifty guns. Again jn February 1754, attacking three Dutch ships of fifty, thirty-six and eighteen-guns, they burnt the two large ones and took the third. Elated with this success, Angre built several vessels, set two large ships on the stocks, and boasted he should soon be master of the Indian seas. For long the Peshva and the Bombay Government planned Angre's ruin.
At last, in 1755, it was settled that in the next fair season the Peshva's troops should attack him from land and the British by sea. At the close of the year (1755, Dec. 22), Commodore James was sent to survey Gheria fort then thought as strong as Gibraltar. He found that ships could get within point-blank shot; that on shore guns could be carried, and a diversion made from the tops of two hills; and that the fort was crowded with unprotected buildings. The place was surprisingly unlike what he had heard.
The Bombay Government were fortunate in having their harbour, a Royal squadron under Admiral Watson and a strong detachment of troops under Lieutenant-Colonel, afterwards Lord Clive. On the 7th April 1756, the fleet of twelve men-of-war, six of the Royal and six of the Company's navy, with 800 European and 600 native troops, and five bomb vessels with a company of artillery, and four Maratha grabs and forty' gallivats sailed from Bombay.