Landing in Cancale Bay

5th June 1758 - 12th June 1758
Fought at : Brittany
Part of : Seven Years' War (1756/05/17 - 1763/02/10)
Previous action : The Seige of Louisburg 6.1758 - 27.7.1758
Next action : Battle of Negapatam 3.8.1758


Great Britain

Inshore Squadron
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Success (20) Paul Henry Ourry (1719-1783)
Rose (20) Benjamin Clive (d.1764)
Flamborough (20) Archibald Kennedy (1720-1794)
Diligence (10) Joseph Eastwood (d.1762)

Notes on Action

At 8 A.M. on June 2nd, after a stormy but not unfavourable night, Howe sighted Cape La Hougue. The French were quickly alarmed, and, from his course, probably formed a shrewd guess as to his destination. The tides, and the frequent calms which supervened, compelled the British to anchor repeatedly, but on June 5th the entire force stood into Cancale Bay, six miles east of St. Malo. At 11 A.M. the Duke of Marlborough went in shore in a cutter to reconnoitre and was fired at. By 2 P.M. all the fleet was at anchor, and the signal was made for the flat-bottomed boats to be hoisted out. Howe shifted his broad pennant to the Success, 24, Captain Paul Henry Ourry, and stood in with the Rose, 24, Captain Benjamin Clive, Flamborough, 28, Captain Edward Jekyll, and Diligence, 16, Commander Joseph Eastwood, to silence the batteries, clear the beach, and cover the landing. This he did, and then signalled for part of the troops to disembark. The landing was effected in good order and without loss, in spite of some musketry fire from the enemy posted on a hill behind Cancale. These sharpshooters, however, soon fled as the troops advanced. More soldiers were afterwards landed, and before dark a large force was ashore. It lay on its arms for the night. The rest of the army, with the guns and stores, was landed on the 6th; and, at dawn on the 7th, the whole of it except one brigade, that of Major-General the Hon. George Boscawen, marched away in two columns. It is not intended here to follow the military movements on shore : it is only necessary to say that it was ultimately considered impracticable to attempt St. Malo, and that, after doing a great deal of damage, the army returned and re-embarked on the 11th and 12th. The loss up to that time had not been more than thirty killed and wounded.


TRN3The Royal Navy : a history from the earliest times to the present Vol IIIWilliam Laid ClowesDigital Book

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Jan Perry on Saturday 25th of April 2015 15:05

John Diston (or Dilton/Difton) was Master of one of the vessels involved in the landing and embarkation from Cancale. I have been unable to find reference to him. Where, please, might one find Marlborough's reports on the event or those of, perhaps, one of the other leaders such as Essington?

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