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Encounter between Belle-Poule and two british 74

7th January 1778
Part of : The American War of Independence (1775/04/19 - 1784/01/14)
Previous action : Alert vs Lexington 19.9.1777
Next action : Action of 1778-03-07 7.3.1778


Royaume de France (Marine Royale)

Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Belle Poule (32) 1766-1780
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Chevalier Charles René Louis de Bernard de MarignyFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1754-1815

Great Britain (Royal Navy)

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Courageux (74) 1761-1796
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Samuel HoodBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1741-1790
Hector (74) 1774-1816
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Sir John Hamilton (1st Baronet of Trebinshun House)British
Naval Sailor
Service 1740-1785

Notes on Action


On 7 January 1778, "Belle Poule" was intercepted by HMS Hector and HMS Courageux at 45° 46 N 8° W. The ships maneuvered as to take "Belle Poule" in a crossfire and demanded that Marigny put a boat to sea, which he refused. A British ship then sent a boat and asked "Who are you, where do you come from, where are you sailing?", to which Marigny replied: I am the Belle Poule, frigate of the King of France ; I come from the sea and I go to the sea; the ships of the King, my master, never submit to inspection. After some negotiation, the British officer stated that he had confused "Belle Poule" for a ship of the Revolted Colonies masquerading as a French ship.


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