Action of 26 May 1758

26th May 1758
Part of : Seven Years' War (1756/05/17 - 1763/02/10)
Previous action : Battle of Cuddalore 29.4.1758
Next action : Raid on Saint-Malo 5.6.1758 - 12.6.1758


Great Britain

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Dolphin (24) Benjamin Marlow (d.1795)
Solebay (24) Robert Craig (1715-1769)

Royaume de France

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Maréchal de Belleisle (46) François Thurot (1727-1760)

Notes on Action

One of the most interesting of the actions was a brush between the Solebay, '28, Captain Robert Craig, and Dolphin, '24, Captain Benjamin Marlow, and Thurot's ship, the Marechal du Belleisle, the armament of which he had increased to 44 guns by cutting a few extra ports on the lower deck. The vessel was thus no longer a frigate proper; on the other hand she was not a two-decked ship at all comparable to the English 44's. Perhaps the only other instance of a ship being similarly armed is that of Paul Jones's Bonhomme Richard. In the Belleisle's case, however, the change seems to have been beneficial, and Thurot is credited with having made a number of prizes before he was brought to action by the Dolphin and Solebay on May 26th. The Dolphin was first in action; but, having the slings of her main-yard shot away, she dropped astern; and the Solebay came up and in her turn occupied the Frenchman's attention while the Dolphin was getting her main-yard up. In due time the Dolphin again got close; but, about three and a half hours from the beginning of the action, the Belleisle wore and made sail away. Both the British frigates were much damaged aloft, and, probably, even if they had not been they would have stood no chance against Thurot in sailing.

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