Action of January 7 1741

7th January 1741
Part of : War of the Austrian Succession (1740/12/16 - 1748/10/18)
Next action : Action of 12th April 1742 12.4.1742


Great Britain (Royal Navy) - Aubrey Beauclerk (1710-1740/41)

British Division, Aubrey Beauclerk (1710-1740/41)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Prince Frederick (70) Aubrey Beauclerk (1710-1740/41)Squadron Flagship
Orford (70) Lord Augustus Fitzroy (1716-1741)
Dunkirk (60) Thomas Cooper (d.1760)
Weymouth (60) Charles Knowles (1704-1777)
Rippon (60) Thomas Jolley (d.1741)
Augusta (60) Charles Dennison (d.1742)

Royaume de France (Marine Royale) - Chevalier Nicolas Hercule d'Espinay Beaugroult (Marquis d'Espinay) (1674-1752)

French Division, Chevalier Nicolas Hercule d'Espinay Beaugroult (Marquis d'Espinay) (1674-1752)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
L'Ardent (64) Chevalier Nicolas Hercule d'Espinay Beaugroult (Marquis d'Espinay) (1674-1752)Squadron Flagship
Le Mercure (60) Henri-François des Herbiers (Marquis de l'Etanduère ou de l'Estenduère) (1682-1750)
Le Diamant (50) Chevalier de Piosin
La Parfaite (46) d'Estourmelles

Notes on Action


"On January 18, 1741, a division of four ships carrying the king's flag, Ardent (74 C.), Mercury (56 c), captain of the Herbiers of Etanduère, Diamond (50 c.), Captain the Chevalier de Piosin, La Parfaite (44 c.), Captain d'Estourmelles, cruised under the orders of the Chevalier d'Epinay, in the vicinity of Cape Tiburon, southwest of Saint-Domingue . A squadron of six large English vessels, - two of seventy-four canons, three of sixty-four, one of fifty, - is reported around six in the morning. On the one hand, two hundred and fourteen guns; on the other, three hundred and eighty Ten . D'Epinay, who was heading for Les Cayes, does not change his course: he confines himself to assembling his little squadron under his command.

"An English vessel approaches one of our ships. A short dialogue is exchanged with the megaphone." Where does this ship come from? - Of France. - Where is the ship going? - At the sea. "Angais continues on his own:" We want to talk to you. You don't answer? You say nothing? ". Thereupon, a sudden cannonade sieves the Diamant with projectiles. D'Epinay retaliates; despite the disproportion of forces, he stands up to his disloyal enemies. The Chevalier de Roquefeuil, officer aboard the Diamant, wrote of this fight: "We were all determined to defend ourselves and perish rather than surrender. Never have we fought with so much fury! ".
(...) "One might think that the slogan of the English navy in this year 1741 was to run over our ships, to try to destroy them and, in the event of failure to put this abortive attack on the account of a confusion ... "

see: G. LACOUR-GAYET, La Marine de la France under the reign of Louis XV, Paris, Plon, 1910, 581 pages; pp. 136-140. (Prometheus)

Rear-Admiral Sir Challoner Ogle, with a large reinforcement for Vernon and the army intended to attack Havana or Cartagena was passing south of Hispaniola on January 7/18, 1741, he encountered four SOL under French colors that he thought were Spanish masquerading as French. He detached six SOL under Captain Lord Aubrey Beauclerk to chase them. The British came up with the French after dark. The leading ship hailed the French, received an unsatisfactory answer, opened fire, and a desultory night action continued for about half an hour after Capt. Charles Knowles convinced Beauclerk that the strangers were indeed French, and therefore neutral.


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