Recent updates


Recent Comments

Battle of Tory Island

12th October 1798
Part of : The French Revolutionary Wars (1793 - 1802)
Previous action : Malta Blockade 19.9.1798 - 26.10.1979
Next action : Capture of the Loire 16.10.1798 - 18.10.1798

 

Great Britain

 
British Squadron,
John Borlase Warren (1st Baronet of Little Marlow)British
Naval Sailor
Service 1774-1804
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Robust (74) 1764-1817
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Edward ThornbroughBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1773-1819
10 Killed, 40 Wounded
Magnanime (44) 1794-1813
British 44 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
The Hon. Michael de CourcyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1776-1814
1 Wounded
Foudroyant (80) 1798-1892
British 80 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Sir Thomas ByardBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1762-1799
9 Wounded
Amelia (38) 1796-1816
British 38 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
The Hon. Charles HerbertBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1789-1805
No Casulaties
Ethalion (38) 1797-1799
British 38 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
George CountessBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1774-1810
1 Killed, 4 Wounded
Melampus (36) 1785-1815
British 36 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Graham MooreBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1782-1824
1 Wounded
Canada (76) 1765-1834
British 76 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
John Borlase Warren (1st Baronet of Little Marlow)British
Naval Sailor
Service 1774-1804
Fleet Flagship 1 Wounded (mortally)
 
Present but not engaged
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Anson (38) 1781-1807
British 38 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Philip Charles Calderwood Henderson DurhamBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1782-1814
 

République Française

 
French squadron,
Jean Baptiste François BompardFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1793
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Coquille (40) 1794-1798
French 40 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
1795 Renamed "Coquille"
 
La Semillante (32) 1791-1808
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 
La Romaine (40) 1794-1804
French 40 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 
La Bellone (32) 1778-1798
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 35 killed and wounded or 20 killed and 45 wounded Captured
L'Immortalité (40) 1795-1798
French 40 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 
La Loire (44) 1795-1798
French 44 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 
Hoche (74) 1794-1798
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1797 Renamed "Hoche"
1795 Renamed "Pégase"
 Fleet Flagship 270 killed and wounded Captured
L'Embuscade (32) 1789-1798
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 15 killed, 26 wounded Captured
 
Present but not engaged
Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Résolue (32) 1778-1798
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 
La Biche (8) 1798-1807
French 8 Gun
Privateer Schooner
 
 

Notes on Action


Description of the actionTRN2

Soon after 5.30 A.M. on the 12th, when the two squadrons were again able to see one another, the following were, according to James, their relative positions:



"The French squadron, loosely formed in two rather distant lines, with the Hoche, who had bent herself a new mainsail, in the centre of the second line, was standing to the south-west, the wind, as before, from the north-north-west, but now very moderate. Right astern, at the distance of about four miles, were the Robust and Magnanime; about a point on the lee quarter, at a somewhat greater distance, the Amelia; a little further forward in that direction, and at about the same distance, the Melampus; a little before the lee beam, at the distance of seven or eight miles, the Foudroyant; and on the lee bow, about a mile nearer, the Canada. The Anson, at this time, was not in sight of either squadron. Consequently, M. Bompart, in his crippled state, the wind being in the north-west, found every avenue of escape shut against him, except the south-west, the direction in which he was steering."



By 7 A.M., M. Bompart had formed his ships in a single straggling line ahead, the order being: Semillante, Bomaine, Bellone, Immortalite, Loire, Hoche, Coquille, Embuscade. The Resolue had previously gone in shore as a precautionary measure, on account of her leakiness; and the Biche had been sent after her with orders. Warren was thus in every way superior to his enemy, and could have easily afforded to keep flying the signal for a general chase; but, instead, he formed line of battle, directing the Robust to lead, "and the rest of the ships to form in succession in the rear of the van." This order brought the Robust, which was followed by the Magnanime, within long-range stern fire of the Embuscade and Coquille at about 7.10 A.M. About fifteen minutes later, the Robust, having returned the fire of the two Frenchmen, hauled up her mainsail, and, taking in her spanker, bore down to leeward of them. By 8.50 A.M., she closed in this manner with the Hoche, and began a hot action with her, broadside to broadside, checking her way to keep alongside of the enemy. The Magnanime engaged the Embuscade and Coquille, and, passing on to leeward of the Robust, had to starboard her helm to clear the latter. The Loire, Immortalite, and Bellone bore out of line to rake her as she did so; but they were soon driven to resume their south-west course, the Foudroyant, Amelia, and Ethalion then coming up. These ships, as well as the Melampus 2 and Canada, all helped more or less to distress the Hoche, which at 10.50 A.M., after a brilliant defence, struck. The Embuscade, badly treated first by the Magnanime and afterwards by the Foudroyant, surrendered at 11.30 to the Magnanime, which, having herself suffered severely, remained by her prize. The other British ships, with the exception of the Robust, which was disabled, and the Anson, which was still struggling up from the south-east, chased vigorously; the results being that the Coquille struck in about an hour and a half, and that the Bellone, after having made a desperate resistance to the Foudroyant and Melampus in succession, hauled down to the Ethalion, but not until she had fought her for very nearly two hours. The other French vessels escaped for the moment, and, as they got away, engaged the Anson, and inflicted considerable damage upon her.



The British losses were as follows: Canada, 1 wounded (mortally); Foudroyant, 9 wounded; Robust, 10 killed, 40 wounded; Magnanime, 1 wounded; Anson, 2 killed, 13 wounded; Ethalion, 1 killed, 4 wounded; and Melampus, 1 wounded; total, 13 killed, and 75 wounded. No one in the Amelia was hurt, and the only British officers injured were Lieutenant David Colby, and Lieutenant of Marines William Cottle, both of the Robust. This was, all things considered, a very slight loss; for the French had fought well. Of the prizes, the Hoche had 270 killed and wounded; the Embuscade, 15 killed and 26 wounded; the Coquille, 18 killed and 31 wounded; and the Bellone, 35 killed and wounded. The Hoche (renamed Donegal), Bellone (renamed Proserpine), and Embuscade, were added to the Royal Navy. The Coquille probably would have been, had she not been accidentally burnt at Plymouth on December 14th, 1798.




Previous comments on this pageno comments to display
Make a comment about this page





Recent comments to other pages

Date postedByPage
Friday 22nd of October 2021 08:03Cy
John SmithBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1813
Thursday 21st of October 2021 22:11AvMach
Thursday 21st of October 2021 20:37George W Newman
John SmithBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1813
Thursday 21st of October 2021 13:43Mark Halstead
British hired ship 'Archangel' (1689) (48) 1689-1696
British 48 Gun
Hired Ship
Thursday 21st of October 2021 08:31Frank David Bradshaw
Manser BradshawBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1824-1855