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Battle of Cartagena

Bataille de Carthagène

Osborne's Action

28th February 1758
Part of : Seven Years' War (1756/05/17 - 1763/02/10)
Previous action : Action of 23 November 1757 23.11.1757
Next action : Capture of Fort Louis 9.3.1758 - 24.5.1758


Royaume de France (Marine Royale) -

French squadron
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Foudroyant (80) 1750-1758
French 80 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Fleet Flagship Captured 100 killed, 90 wounded
L'Orphee (64) 1749-1758
French 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
L'Oriflamme (50) 1744-1761
French 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
La Pléiade (32) 1755-1786
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate

Great Britain

British squadron,
Henry OsborneBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1710-1765
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Montagu (60) 1757-1774
British 60 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Joshua RowleyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1747-1787
Monarch (74) 1747-1760
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
John MontaguBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1733-1787
Monmouth (70) 1742-1767
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Arthur GardinerBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1730-1758
28 killed, 79 wounded CO Killed
Revenge (64) 1742-1787
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
John StorrBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1725-1780
33 killed, 54 wounded
Berwick (64) 1743-1760
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Robert HughesBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1738-1770
Swiftsure (68) 1750-1773
British 68 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Thomas StanhopeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1733-1745
Hampton Court (64) 1744-1774
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Augustus John HerveyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1735-1778

Notes on Action

Description of the actionTRN3

In the Mediterranean Admiral Henry Osborn and Rear-Admiral Charles Saunders commanded. The French had on several occasions discovered the wisdom and advantage of despatching in winter their reinforcements of ships and troops for abroad, since they found that the British blockading squadrons and squadrons of observation were frequently prevented at that season by fogs or bad weather from obtaining touch of the outward-bound detachments. But one of their divisions which, under M. cle La Clue, left Toulon in December, 1757, for North America and the West Indies, was forced by the vigilance of Admiral Osborn into Cartagena, and was there blockaded. The French Government, in response to M. de La Clue's representations, sent five ships of the line and a frigate, under M. Duquesne, to endeavour to join him there, and then to assist him in breaking the blockade. Two of the line-of-battleships succeeded in getting in, but the rest of the force was not so fortunate. On February 28th, off Cape de Gata, Osborn at daybreak sighted four strange sail near his fleet, and ordered them to be chased. The French ships separated, but each was pursued. At 7 P.M. the Revenge, 64, Captain John Storr, brought the Orphee, 64, to action; and, on the Berwick, 64, coming up, the enemy struck. In the Revenge, thirty-three were killed and fifty-four wounded, among the latter being Captain Storr. The Orphee was but six miles from Cartagena when she hauled down. Meanwhile the Monmouth, 64, Captain Arthur Gardiner, the Swiftsure, 70, Captain Thomas Stanhope, and the Hampton Court, 64, Captain the Hon. Augustus John Hervey, chased the largest of the enemy, the Foudroyant, 84, flag ship of Duquesne. The Monmouth, being far ahead of her consorts, got up with and engaged the enemy at 8 P.M. and fought her gallantly. When Gardiner fell his place was taken by Lieutenant Robert Carkett, till 12.30 A.M., when the Frenchman's guns were reduced to silence. Not until then was the Swiftsure able to get up. Captain Stanhope hailed the foe to know whether she had surrendered, but was answered with a few guns and a volley of small arms, whereupon he poured in a broadside and part of a second, and the enemy promptly surrendered. She had 100 killed and 90 wounded, while the Monmouth lost only 28 killed and 79 wounded. It was a magnificently conducted action, and Lieutenant Carkett was deservedly rewarded with the command of the prize. When measured, at Gibraltar, she was found to be 185 feet 3 inches in length from stem to taffrail, and to have a length of keel of 155 feet. She was thus about 12 feet longer than the large British first-rates of her day. Moreover she carried 24 and 42-pounders, whereas the Monmouth was armed only with 12 and 24-pounders.

As for the other French vessels, one, the Oriflamme, 50, was driven ashore by the Monarch, 74, Captain John Montagu, and the Montagu, 64, Captain Joshua Rowley. The last, the Pleiade, 26, escaped by superior sailing.

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