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Capture of the Gelderland

19th May 1808
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Action at Bergen 15.5.1808
Next action : Action off Saltholm 9.6.1808


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Virginie (38) 1796-1827
British 38 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Edward BraceBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1781-1843
1 killed, 2 wounded

Kingdom of Holland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Gelderland (32) 1803-1808
Dutch 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
1806 Renamed "Gelderland"
Captured 25 killed, 40+ wounded

Notes on Action

On the evening of May 19th the Gelderland was sighted to the south-west of Ireland by the Virginie, 38, Captain Edward Brace, and brought to action late in the night. A heavy sea was running, and the night was very dark; but this did not apparently affect the accuracy of the British fire. Three times the Dutchman wore, probably with the object of raking the Virginie. Attempting that manoeuvre a fourth time, the Gelderland ran on board the British ship, but soon got free again. At last, after ninety minutes' hard fighting, with their ship on fire, all masts and the bowsprit shot away, and one-fourth of the crew killed Or wounded, the Dutch struck. Pool [the Dutch captain] deserted his quarters during the action, having received two slight wounds. For this he was afterwards cashiered. The Dutch shooting appears to have been most indifferent, seeing that the loss and damage to the British ship was insignificant, whereas the gunnery of the British crew must have been surprisingly good.

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