Seahorse vs Sensible

27th May 1798
Part of : The French Revolutionary Wars (1793 - 1802)
Previous action : Operations against Ostend 14.5.1798 - 20.5.1798
Next action : Capture of the Seine 29.6.1798


Great Britain

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Seahorse (38) Edward James Foote2 killed, 16 wounded

République Française

Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Sensible (32) Guillaume François Joseph Bourdé de la Villehuet (1763-1851)25 killed, 55 wounded Captured

Notes on Action

After the capture of Malta by the French, the frigate Sensible, 36, Captain Bourde, was sent with dispatches and valuables to Toulon, and when on her way thither off Marittimo, was chased by the British Seahorse, 38, Captain Edward James Foote. The French ship turned and ran towards Malta, as she had but a very weak crew on board and was not properly equipped. In the night of the 26th-27th, the Seahorse gained upon her, and, after a running fight, brought her to close action at 4 A.M. Many of the Maltese galley slaves, who had been placed on board the Sensible, deserted their guns at the first broadside, and at the end of eight minutes' action the French captain, having made a vain attempt to board his enemy, hauled down his flag. He was censured by the French Directory for not having offered a more stubborn resistance, but, as a matter of fact, the force opposed to him was very superior, and he was acquitted with honour by a French court-martial on his return to Toulon.

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