Phoenix vs Resolue

November 1791


Great Britain

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Phoenix (36) Sir Richard John Strachan (6th Baronet of Thornton, Kincardine) (1760-1828) 6 Killed, 11 wounded

Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Résolue (32)   Captured 25 Killed, 40 wounded

Notes on Action

In 1791, Commodore the Hon. William Cornwallis, having received intelligence that some neutral ships under French colours were expected on the Malabar coast, with supplies for Tippoo Sultan, found two of them in Mahe Road. They refused to be examined, pleading in particular that they were then in their own port; but Commander Edward James Foote, of the Atalanta, 14, sent a party, which broke open the hatchways. The examination, however, seems to have been considered by the Commodore to be inconclusive; and, a little later, when the two French vessels sailed in company with the French frigate Resolu, 32, they were followed by the Phoenix, 36, and Perseverance, 36. The former got up with the French frigate off Mangalore, and was hailed to know what she wanted. Captain Sir Richard John Strachan replied that he had orders to board the merchantmen. While his boats were occupied on that service they were fired at by the Resolu, which presently also discharged a broadside at the Phoenix. An action resulted; and in twenty-five minutes the Frenchman struck, having lost 25 killed and 40 wounded. The Phoenix lost only 6 killed and 11 wounded. A renewed examination of the merchantmen showed that they had no contraband of war on board; and they were suffered to proceed on their voyage.

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