The Capture of Reunion

6th July 1810 - 8th July 1810
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Action of 1810-07-03 3.7.1810
Next action : Action near Studtland 22.7.1810 - 23.7.1810


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Boadicea (38) John Hatley
Nereide (36)  
Sirius (36) Samuel Pym
Magicienne (32) Lucius Curtis (1786-?)

Notes on Action


Early in the summer of 1810, elaborate preparations began to be made for the capture of Reunion, or, as it was then called, Bourbon. Large numbers of British and Indian troops, together with transports, were assembled at Rodriguez; and on June 24th, the Boadicea, 38, Captain Josias Rowley, and Nereide, 36, Captain Nisbet Josiah Willoughby, from off Mauritius, arrived to escort the expedition. On July 3rd, they sailed again; and on the 6th, made a rendezvous, about 50 miles from Reunion, with a small squadron which, under Captain Samuel Pym, of the Sirius, 36, had previously been cruising off Mauritius. This squadron consisted of the Iphigenia, 36, Captain Henry Lambert, and Magicienne, 36, Captain Lucius Curtis, besides the Sirius. At the rendezvous the troops, 3650 in number, were divided, and arrangements were perfected; and on the 7th, the ships bore away for the different points of disembarkation. The first brigade, under Lieut.-Colonel Frazier, was to land at Grande Chaloupe, about six miles west of St. Denis, the capital, and the remaining three brigades, under Lieut.-Colonels Henry S. Keating (senior officer), Campbell, and Drummond, were to be thrown ashore at Riviere des Pluies, about three miles to the eastward. In the afternoon, while the enemy, who had about 600 regulars and 2700 militia in the island, was distracted by a demonstration off Ste. Marie, Frazier, with 950 men and some howitzers, was landed at Grande Chaloupe without opposition; and Lieutenant John Wyatt Watling, of the Sirius, occupied a height which protected the force from molesta- tion during the following night. At Riviere des Pluies, on the weather side of the island, conditions were less favourable; and, although Willoughby, still suffering from his musket accident, effected a landing with a few seamen and about 150 troops, the operation was not carried out without the drowning of four people in the surf, and the loss of several boats. Further disembarkation at that point was therefore abandoned for the time. Willoughby, and Lieut. -Colonel M'Leod, who was in command of the detachment of troops, occupied, and spent that night in, Fort Ste. Marie.

On the 8th, the Boadicea disembarked Keating and some troops at Grande Chaloupe; and the Iphigenia and transports landed some more; but, in the meantime, Frazier had been so active that Colonel Ste. Susanne, the military commander, asked for a truce. At 6 P.M., the island capitulated, the conquest having cost the victors only 22 killed and drowned, and 79 wounded. It fell to the Sirius to take possession of the shipping in the bay of St. Paul. On the 9th, the privateer brig Edward, of Nantes, made sail and put to sea to escape; but the frigate's barge, under Lieutenant William Norman, rowed hard after her for nearly twelve hours, and, catching her, boarded and carried her most gallantly, having 3 men slightly wounded. She had dispatches for France on board. Mr. Robert Townshend Farquhar, who had been sent out for the purpose, assumed the post of governor of Reunion.

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