Telegraph vs Hirondelle

18th March 1799
Part of : The French Revolutionary Wars (1793 - 1802)
Previous action : Defence of Acre 15.3.1799 - 20.5.1799
Next action : Action of 1799-04-09 9.4.1799


Great Britain

Unknown Division
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Telegraph (14) James Andrew Worth (d.1841)

République Française

Unknown Division
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Ship NameCommanderNotes
L'Hirondelle (16) Joseph Postel

Notes on Action

Description of the ActionW005
On the 18th of March, at daylight, the Isle of Bas bearing south-east distant nine leagues, the British hired the armed brig Telegraph, of 14 carronades, 18-pounders, and two long sixes, with 60 men and boys, commanded by Lieutenant James Andrew Worth, discovered about two miles on her lee bow, the French privateer-brig Hirondelle, of 16 guns (8 and 6 pounders) and 72 men on board, out of a complement of 89. The Hirondelle immediately tacked, and stood towards the Telegraph. At 7h 30m a.m., the two brigs, having got close alongside each other, commenced a spirited cannonade. During the progress of the action, each vessel vainly tried, several times, to board the other. At length, after the struggle had continued three hours and a half, and when, having had all her rigging shot away, she was in an unmanageable state, the Hirondelle struck her colours.

The Telegraph had five men wounded: the Hirondelle five killed and 14 wounded. In this close engagement the carronades of the Telegragh produced their full effect, and Lieutenant Worth, who was promoted to the rank of commander on the occasion, Mr. George Gibbs, the master, and the remainder of the British officers and crew, conducted themselves in a very creditable manner; nor, considering the obstinate defence they made, can much less be said of the officers and men of the Hirondelle.

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