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Unicorn vs Invincible

2nd May 1757
Part of : Seven Years' War (1756/05/17 - 1763/02/10)
Previous action : Action of April 5 1757 5.4.1757
Next action : l'Aquilon vs Antelope 14.5.1757

the British 28 gun frigate Unicorn, Captain John Rawlings, cruizing off the coast of Ireland, gave chase to the French privateer Invincible, of 24 guns and 286 men. An action ensued, in the early part of which Captain Rawlings was mortally wounded in the head, and the command of the ship devolved on Lieutenant Michael Clements, who conducted the fight with great skill, and compelled the privateer to surrender. The Unicorn sustained a loss, besides her captain, of the boatswain and two men killed and five men wounded. The Invincible lost a great many men, killed and wounded, before she struck. Having obtained information from some of the prisoners respecting another privateer, which had been cruizing in company with the Invincible, Lieutenant Clements, after seeing his prize into Kinsale, went in pursuit of the other, and had the good fortune to fall in with and capture her. She proved to be a privateer, of 18 guns and 143 men, belonging to Bordeaux.

Lieutenant Clements was, for his gallantry, deservedly promoted.


Ship NameCommanderNotes
Unicorn (28) 1748-1771
British 28 Gun
6th Rate Frigate
John RawlingBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1744-1757
4 killed, 5 wounded CO Killed

Ship NameCommanderNotes
L'Invincible (24) 1757-1757
French 24 Gun
A great many Captured

Notes on Action


Admiralty Office, May 21.

Lieutenant Clements, of his Majesty's Ship Unicorn, has sent an account, that, on the 30th of April, about 5 in the morning, they saw and gave chace to a privateer from St Malo, called the Invincible, mounting 24 guns, 9-pounders, and 286 men, and on the 2d Instant, at 5 in the Morning, came up with and engaged her, in Lat. 50 N. and 120 Miles to the Westward of Scilly  that during the action Captain Rawling, Commander of the Unicorn, being shot dead, he, Lieutenant Clements, took the command and continued the action till the privateer struck, which was after an engagement of an hour and a half, in which she had killed and wounded between 40 and 50 men, and the Unicorn had the boatswain, armourer, and a marine killed, and 5 men wounded. The prize had on board the Captain, Lieutenant, Surgeon, and 45 private men, belonging to a Guernsey Privateer, which they had taken on the 28th of April near Scilly, with their consort of 24 6-pounders in company, who had taken on board half the Guernsey Prisoners.

The Invincible was carried to Crook Haven, where she arrived on the 4th, and the prisoners landed on the 8th Instant. On the 9th the Unicorn sailed again in quest of the Invincible's consort, called the Comtesse de Noailles Snow Privateer, belonging to Bordeaux, of 14 Guns, 6 and 4 Pounders, and 143 Men on board which he came up with the next day in Lat. 50 D. 20 M North and 9 D. West Longitude from London, and took her, after exchanging 3 broadsides, and has carried her to Kinsale, where she arrived the 12th instant and landed her prisoners the next day. And on the 17th Instant the Unicorn arrived at Plymouth with her said two prizes, the Invincible and Comtesse de Noailles.


BGThe London GazetteOfficial, Web Site

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