Action of 1806-09-25
|25th September 1806|
|French Frigates, Éléonor Jean Nicolas Soleil|
|Gloire||44||Éléonor Jean Nicolas Soleil||Fleet Flagship Captured|
|Infatigable||40||Joseph Marie Girardais||Captured|
|Armide||40||Jean Jacques Jude Langlois||Captured|
|Centaur||74||John Talbot||Fleet Flagship|
|Windsor Castle||98||Charles Boyles|
|Revenge||74||Sir John Gore|
|Atalante||16||Joseph Ore Masefield|
|Notes on Action|
On September 24th, the French frigate Gloire, 40, Commodore E. J. N. Soleil, Infatigable, 40, Captain J. M. Girardias, Minerve, 40, Captain Joseph Collet, Armide, 40, Captain J. J. J. Langlois, and Thetis, 36, Captain Jacques Pinsum, with the corvettes Lynx and Sylphe, left Rochefort, having on board troops and stores for the French West Indies. Late that same night they were sighted by the Monarch, 74, Captain Richard Lee, one of Commodore Sir Samuel Hood\'s squadron off Eochefort. The squadron consisted of the following ships besides the Monarch: Windsor Castle, 98, Captain Charles Boyles, Centaur, 74, Commodore Sir Samuel Hood, Achille, 74, Captain Richard King, Revenge, 74, Captain Sir John Gore, Mars, 74, Captain William Lukin, and Atalante, 16, Commander Joseph Ore Masefield. At first it was thought by the British Commodore that some of the Frenchmen were ships of the line; and he accordingly ordered line of battle to be formed; but, when the enemy were seen to be making all sail away to the S.S.W., the signal was hoisted for a general chase. The Monarch, Centaur, and Mars speedily took the lead in the British squadron; and at 5 A.M. on the 25th the Monarch was near enough to the Armide to open fire upon her. The Armide, Gloire, and Minerve kept close together, going S.W. before the wind, which was N. by E. The Infatigable hauled her wind and stood to the N.W.; and the Thetis, with the corvettes, steered due S. The Mars pursued the Infatigable; and the Windsor Castle, the Thetis; but the British 98 sailed too badly to be able to overtake the frigate.
At about 10 A.M. the Monarch was close enough to the Gloire and Armide to open on those ships from her starboard broadside a very heavy fire, which was returned with great effect. The frigates had the best of matters, as the swell at times prevented the 74 from using her lower deck guns. Her masts, sails and rigging were much cut up and she suffered a serious loss of men. With 4 killed and 25 wounded, she dropped astern of the Armide and Gloire, and engaged the Minerve, which was also considerably injured. The Centaur came up and relieved the Monarch at 11 A.M., and, an hour later, the Armide struck to the flagship, and the Minerve to the Monarch. Of the group of three French frigates, the Gloire alone remained. At about 3 P.M. she struck to the Centaur and Mars the latter ship having got up after overhauling and capturing the Infatigable without difficulty or loss. The resistance offered by the French to a force so superior was in every way creditable. It would, however, seem that the gunnery of the Monarch could not have been very good, for even without her lower deck guns, her long 18\'s and her carronades should have sooner crushed the French frigates opposed to her. She had the great advantage of stouter scantling.
The total British loss was 9 killed and 29 wounded, among the latter being Hood, who lost an arm. The French loss is unknown, but Commodore Hood speaks of \" much slaughter on board them,\" and the loss would be increased by their being crowded with troops.
|TRN5||The Royal Navy : a history from the earliest times to the present Vol V||William Laid Clowes||Digital Book|