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As the British 32 gun frigate Southampton, Captain James Gilchrist, was off St. Alban's Head on her way to Plymouth, conveying money to the dock-yard at that port, she was fallen in with by five large French privateers. One of them, shooting ahead, engaged the Southampton for half an hour, and the others also coming up, they made several attempts at boarding; but on each occasion were repulsed with much slaughter.
Two of the privateers having the advantage of sailing, then took up their positions, one on the frigate's bow and an other on her quarter, and for nearly an hour continued a well-directed fire; but by the great skill of the British captain and crew, the whole were at length obliged to sheer off, leaving the Southampton in no condition for pursuit.
The Southampton, in her unequal contest, was greatly crippled, having had all her masts, sails, and rigging very much cut, besides receiving a great many shot in her hull, and several between wind and water, so that she was compelled to put into Weymouth. The Southampton suffered a loss of 24 men killed, or mortally wounded, and a great many slightly wounded.
|Name : Southampton (32)||James Gilchrist (d.1777)||24 Killed, several wounded|
|French ships, François Thurot (1727-1760)|
|Name : Le Maréchal de Belleisle (46)||François Thurot (1727-1760)||14 killed, 26 wounded|
|Name : Le Chauvelin (36)|