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Capture of HMS Iris and HMS Richmond

11th September 1781
Part of : The American War of Independence (1775/04/19 - 1784/01/14)
Previous action : Battle of the Chesapeake 5.9.1781
Next action : Viper v General Conway 12.9.1781


Great Britain (Royal Navy) -
George DawsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1755-1788

British Frigate Squadron
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Iris (32) 1777-1781
British 32 Gun
6th Rate Frigate
George DawsonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1755-1788
Fleet Flagship Captured
Richmond (32) 1757-1781
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate

Royaume de France (Marine Royale)

French Frigate Squadron
Ship NameCommanderNotes
L'Aigrette (30) 1756-1789
French 30 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Jean-Baptiste Prevost de Sansac de TraversayFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1768-1828

Notes on Action


In the aftermath of the Battle of the Chesapeake, Admirals Graves and Hood left the Chesapeake waters; the French set a solid screen of fast frigates to intercept enemy shipping. Prior to retreating, Hood dispatched two frigates, Iris and Richmond, to General Cornwallis in Yorktown. On 9 September 1781, four French frigates intercepted them; Richmond fell back and surrendered first, then the French frigate Aigrette, under Captain Traversay, captured Iris. Traversay boarded Iris, assumed command and held it till the end of war.


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James SymonsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1780-1808