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Capture of the Généreux

18th February 1800
Part of : The French Revolutionary Wars (1793 - 1802)
Previous action : Capture of the Pallas 5.2.1800 - 6.2.1800
Next action : Capture of the Guillaume Tell 31.3.1800


Great Britain

British Ships
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Foudroyant (80) 1798-1892
British 80 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Sir Edward BerryBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1779-1821
Northumberland (74) 1798-1850
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
George MartinBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1776-1814
Audacious (74) 1785-1815
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Davidge GouldBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1779-1819
Alexander (74) 1795-1819
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Alexander John BallBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1778-1809
William HarringtonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1796-1801
Success (32) 1781-1801
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Shuldham PeardBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1780-1814
1 killed, 9 wounded

République Française

French Ships
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Généreux (74) 1785-1800
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 Fleet Flagship Captured

Notes on Action


On February 15th the Commander-in-Chief learnt from the Success, 32, Captain Shuldham Peard, which had been cruising off the south-west of Sicily, that a small French squadron was about to attempt to throw troops and stores into Malta. This squadron, which had quitted Toulon on February 7th, 2 consisted, as it afterwards appeared, of the Genereux, 74, flagship of Rear-Admiral Perree, Badine, 28, Fauvette, 20, Sans Pareille, 20, and two or three transports, among which was the Ville de Marseilles. To prevent this little force from carrying out its mission, Keith, in the Queen Charlotte, kept close off the entrance to Valetta harbour, and ordered the Foudroyant, Audacious, and Northumberland to chase to wind-ward, the wind being south-east, and the Lion to watch the channel between Malta and Gozo. The Alexander was at the time on the south-east side of the island.

At dawn on February 18th, the Alexander sighted and chased Rear-Admiral Perree and was observed by Nelson's division. At 8 A.M., Harrington forced the Ville de Marseilles to bring to. At 1.30 P.M., the Badine and the two corvettes tacked, but the Genereux, not having it in her power to do so without getting to close quarters with the Alexander, bore up. At that time, the Success, 32, which was to leeward, greatly annoyed the Frenchman by lying athwart his hawse and raking him repeatedly; but she could not avoid presently receiving a broadside, which killed one, and wounded nine of her people. By 4.30 P.M., the Foudroyant and Northumberland coming up, the Genereux, after a couple of guns had been discharged at her, fired a broadside and struck her colours. That the enemy did not make a more determined defence is probably due to the fact that, early in the action, Perree was badly injured in the left eye, and that a little later he was mortally wounded by a shot which carried away his right thigh. He was a gallant and capable man, whose loss was much regretted by the many British officers who had met him either as friend or as foe.

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