Page 168. " when the alarm of a French privateer was at the height "
Painting of a French privateer engaging with a German ship (1797)
Public DomainPainting of a French privateer engaging with a German ship (1797) - Credit: unknown

 Sir Thomas Bertram's sea voyage to Antigua would have  been a dangerous one, taking place during the Napoleonic Wars when Britain was at war with France.

A privateer was a privately owned ship staffed by non-Navy personnel, which was commissioned by the government for wartime use, especially the capture of enemy merchant shipping.