Action of 10th April 1703

10th April 1703
Part of : War of Spanish Succession (1701 - 1714)
Previous action : Battle of Vigo 12.10.1702
Next action : Cap de la Roque 22.5.1703


Kingdom of England

English Squadron
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Salisbury (54) Richard Cotton (d.1705) Captured
Adventure (42) John Balchen (1669/70-1744)
Muscovy Merchant (40)   Captured

Royaume de France

French Squadron, Chevalier Marc-Antoine Hécourt (Chevalier de Saint-Pol Hécourt) (1665-1705)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
L'Adroit (44) Chevalier Marc-Antoine Hécourt (Chevalier de Saint-Pol Hécourt) (1665-1705)Fleet Flagship
Le Milford (32)  
Le Ludlow (30) Graton de Villogé
La Palme Couronnée (16) Cornil Meyne (d.1717)
L'Espérance (16) Cornil Bernard
La Notre-Dame de Montaigu (10) Antoine Cornelissen
La Reina de Spagne (40) Paul Beestenbustel

Notes on Action


On the 10th of April, the Salisbury, 50, Captain Cotton, in company with the Adventure, 50, when off the Coast of Holland, fell in with a squadron of seven French ships of war, from Dunkirk, commanded by M. St. Paul. Captain Cotton having charge of a convoy of merchant ships, which were some of them astern with the Adventure, gallantly ran down to their support ; but one had surrendered before he was able to assist her. Had the Adventure supported the Salisbury as she might have done, it is highly probable the French would have been beaten off; but unfortunately her captain made all sail away, leaving Captain Cotton to engage the enemy single-handed. For
two hours the Salisbury engaged the French squadron. Two ships boarded her, and were beaten off  but the commodore's and another ship, having at length taken up their
stations on the Salisbury's bow and quarter, and other ships also approaching to the attack, Captain Cotton deemed a further defence unavailing, and hauled down his colours. Before surrendering, the Salisbury was cut to pieces in hull and spars, and several of her guns were dismounted; she also lost 18 men killed, and two lieutenants, and 43 men wounded. The Adventure was also chased and captured by the same squadron.

Description of the actionTRN2
The Salisbury, 52, Captain Richard Gotten, Adventure, 40, Captain John Balchen, and Muscovia Merchant, hired armed ship, Commander Daniel Parsons, with the trade and some yachts, were on their way from Goeree, in the Netherlands, when, on April 10th, they were attacked by Saint-Pol with the Adroit, 40, Ludlow, , and Milford, 30, besides a Spanish man-of-war and three small privateers. The Muscovia Merchant, though a ship of some force, struck immediately; the Adventure, which was astern, stood away to save herself; and the Salisbury was left to bear the brunt of the action. She fought gallantly for two hours, until, being quite disabled, and having seventeen killed and thirty-four wounded, including both her lieutenants, she struck. Saint-Pol got into port with his prizes, and subsequently added the Salisbury to the squadron with which he resumed his cruise.
Alternate vessel la Ronciere gives the vaisseau Dryade instead of the Ludlow

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