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Nymphe vs Cléopâtre

18th June 1793
Part of : The French Revolutionary Wars (1793 - 1802)
Previous action : Venus vs Semillante 27.5.1793
Next action : Boston vs Embuscade 31.7.1793


Great Britain

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Nymphe (36) 1780-1810
British 36 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Edward PellewBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1776-1814

République Française

Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Cléopâtre (32) 1781-1793
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Jean MullonFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1693-1793

Notes on Action

On June 18th, the British frigate, Nymphe, 36, Captain Edward Pellew, whilst cruising in the Channel, sighted the Cleopatre, 36, Captain Million, and bore down upon her. The French ship shortened sail and waited for the British attack. The two vessels were within hail before a shot had been fired. The Nymphe's men gave three cheers for the King; the French replied; and Captain Mullon, standing in the gangway, waved his hat and shouted, " Vive la nation ! " At 6.15 A.M., Pellew, who had been standing with his hat in his hand, put it on his head, as the concerted signal for opening fire. About seven the Cleopatre's mizenmast fell, masking some of her guns on the engaged side; and just at the same time Israel Pellew, the Captain's brother, who was on board as a volunteer, succeeded in shooting away the Cleopatre's wheel, on which she fell on board the Nymphe, with her other broadside bearing, her jib-boom striking the Nymphe's mainmast. The jib-boom broke, but one of the Cleopatre's studding sail boom-irons hooked the Nymphe's maintopsail leech-rope, and the latter had to be cut away to save the mast. The Nymphe anchored that the French ship might clear her, but before this could happen the Cleopatre had fallen. Pellew noticed that the French were gathering to board, and ordered his men to prepare to repel them; on which the British seamen swept on board the enemy and carried the ship. The heroic Mullon was discovered in the agony of death, striving to bite to pieces a paper which, he thought, contained the French secret coast-signals. His failing consciousness did not reveal to him that he was destroying the paper containing his commission. For this action Captain Pellew was knighted, and his brother, Israel, was promoted to post rank.
Naval General Service MedalE-WIKI
A Naval General Service Medal Clasp was authorised for this action in 1847

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Erin Ryan on Wednesday 16th of January 2019 08:49

Trying to find any information on Mr Samuel Edsall who was killed 18.06.1793 on board the Nymphe was listed The London Gazette, Issue 13539, Page 518.

Posted by Robert Boon on Thursday 23rd of February 2017 13:43

The following 4 individuals received a clasp to the GSM for the capture of the French frigate Cleopatre on 18 June 1793:

Gaze, John, Quartermaster
Kelly, John, Corporal Marines
Simpson, Joseph, Gunner's crew
Smart, John, Captain's servant

ADM 171/8

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