Capture of Guadeloupe

20th January 1759 - 1st May 1759
Part of : Seven Years' War (1756/05/17 - 1763/02/10)
Previous action : Attack on Martinique 16.1.1759 - 19.1.1759
Next action : Attack against Guadeloupe 22.1.1759 - 1.5.1759


Great Britain

British Leeward Islands' Squadron, John Moore (1717/18-1779)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Panther (60) Molyneaux Shuldham (1717-1798)
Cambridge (80) Thomas Burnett (1724-1783)Fleet Flagship
Saint George (90) Clark Gayton (1712-1787)
Norfolk (74) Robert Hughes (c.1716-1774)
Berwick (64) William Harman (c.1719-1766)
Buckingham (68) Richard Tyrrell (1691-1766)
Burford (68) James Gambier (1723-1789)
Lion (58) Sir William Trelawny (c.1722-1772)
Rippon (60) Edward Jekyll (d.1776)
Winchester (50) Sir Edward Le Cras (c.1718-1784)
Bristol (50) Lachlan Leslie (d.1762)
Woolwich (44) Peter Parker (1715-1811)
Roebuck (44) Thomas Lynn (d.1781)
Ludlow Castle (44) Edward Clarke (c.1708-1779)
Renown (30) George Mackenzie (d.1780)
Amazon (22) William Norton (d.c.1779)
Rye (20) Daniel Dering (c.1734-1760)
Weazle (16) John Boles (d.1761)
Antigua (14) Weston Varlo (d.1789)
Bonetta (10) Richard King (1730-1806)
Spy (10) William Bayne (1730-1782)
Kingfisher (14) Sabine Deacon (c.1717-1759) Bomb
Falcon (8) Mark Robinson (1722-1799) Bomb
Granado (8) Samuel Uvedale (1729-1808) Bomb
Infernal (14) James Mackenzie (c.1715-1789) Bomb

Notes on Action


It was then decided to abandon the attempt on Martinique, and to attack Guadeloupe; and on the morning of the 20th the squadron sailed to the northward. By noon on the 22nd it was off Basse Terre. After the town had been reconnoitred and a council of war held, it was determined that on the morning of January 23rd the citadel and various batteries of Basse Terre should be cannonaded and, if possible, silenced, by the Lion, 50, Captain William Trelawney, St. George, 90, Captain Clarke Gayton, Norfolk, 74, Captain Robert Hughes , Cambridge, 80, Captain Thomas Burnett, bearing the broad pennant of Commodore Moore, Panther, 60, Captain Molyneux Shuldham, Burford, 70, Captain James Gambier (1), Berwick, (54, Captain William Harman, and Ripon, 60, Captain Edward Jekyll. The last named got aground, and was again in the greatest danger, until relieved by the Bristol and Roebuck. At about 5 P.M. the enemy's fire was silenced. Nevertheless, the town was rather wantonly destroyed on the following day by the fire of the four bomb ketches. Indeed, Commodore Moore exerted from the first much unnecessary force. He might have landed his troops a little to the north of the town, and so captured the place, which was open on the land side; but he preferred the useless and risky expedient of opposing his ships to forts. In the action, however, only about thirty men were killed and about sixty wounded, among the latter being Captain Trelawney, of the Lion. Commodore Moore, of course, gained his object; and on the 24th the army was put ashore and Basse Terre and Port Royal were occupied. The advantage was, unfortunately, not pressed; and the French governor retired to the mountainous interior of the island, and was there able to make a most courageous stand for upwards of three months.

During the interval, the Commodore detached the Roebuck, 44, Captain Lynn, the Winchester, 50, Captain Le Cras, the Berwick, 64, Captain Harman, the Panther, 60, Captain Shuklham, the Woolwich, 44, Captain Dering, and the Renown, 32, Captain Mackenzie, under Captain Harman; and this force, on February 13th, made itself master of Port Louis on the Grande Terre side of the island. But the guerilla warfare and comparative inactivity played havoc with the troops. There were great numbers of sick; and many of them had to be sent to Antigua. On February 27th General Hopson died, and was succeeded in the chief military command by Major-General the Hon. John Barrington. This officer was beginning to take somewhat more energetic measures than had previously been displayed, when the army was partially deprived of the assistance of the fleet in consequence of the arrival in the West Indies of M. de Bompart, with five ships of the line and three large frigates, containing troops intended for the relief of the French islands. Commodore Moore felt it necessary to proceed to Prince Rupert's Bay in the Island of Dominica, so that lie might be in a position to watch and promptly follow the motions of the enemy, who lay in Great Bay, Fort Royal, Martinique. The operations on shore were thereafter conducted chiefly by the army. The inevitable capitulation was signed on May 1st, M. de Bompart not having interfered. Nevertheless, after Guadeloupe had surrendered, he made a brief descent upon the island, and then, learning the truth, returned to Martinique. Moore heard of this movement of the French squadron, and put to sea in search of the enemy; but he failed to find him, and once more anchored in Prince Rupert's Bay. After the capture of Guadeloupe, General Barriiigton summoned, and received the surrender of, Marie Galante, the Saintes, La Desirade and Petite Terre. A little later Moore, reinforced by the Raisonnable, 64, and the Nassau, 64, proceeded to Basse Terre Road, and, on June 25th, despatched part of the army to England under convoy of the Roebuck.

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