Battle of Beachy Head

Bataille du cap Béveziers

30th June 1690
Part of : War of the Grand Alliance (1688 - 1697)
Previous action : Action of 4th October 1689 4th October 1689
Next action : Attack of 1692/01/30 30th January 1692

 

Allied (Dutch Republic & Kingdom of England)

 
The Vanguard - Dutch Squadron, Cornelis Evertsen
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
 
Dutch Van, Gerrit Callenburgh
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Utrecht (62) 62Pieter Decker Sunk the 13/07/1690 after chase of the French
Alkmaar (62) 50Jan Kalf
Tholen (60) 60 Kalis Burnt to avoid capture the 14/07/1690
Westfriesland (90) 90 Squadron Flagship
Prinses Maria (92) 92 
Castricum (52) 52Ferdinand Joan Kuiper
Agatha (50) 50Willem van der Zaan
 
Dutch Main Division, Cornelis Evertsen
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Stad en Lande (50) 50Abraham Taalman
Maagd van Enkhuizen (72) 72Jan van der Poel Sunk voluntary against the coast
Noord Holland (46) 46Rudolf Swaen
Maagd van Dordrecht (68) 68Anthony Pieterson
Hollandia (74) 74 Fleet Flagship
Veluwe (66) 66 
Provincie van Utrecht (60) 60Johan van Convent
Maas (72) 72Jan Snellen
 
Dutch Rearguard Division, Karel van der Putte
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Friesland (64) 64Philips van der Goes Captured by Souverain and burned
Elswoud (60) 60Adriaan Noortheij CO Killed and sunk voluntary against the coast
Reigersbergen (74) 74Abraham van der Zill
Gekroonde Burcht (74) 74 Squadron Flagship Exploded
Noorderkwartier (72) 72Jan Dick Sunk
Veere (60) 60Cornelis Jansen Mosselman
Kortgene (50) 50Andries de Boer
 
The Main Body - English Red Squadron, Arthur Herbert
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Plymouth (52) 52Richard Carter
Deptford (50) 50William Kerr
Elizabeth (70) 70Henry Priestman
Sandwich (90) 90William BridgesSquadron Flagship
Expedition (70) 70John Clements
Warspite (64) 64Stafford Fairborne
Woolwich (54) 54James Gother
Lion (52) 60John Torpley
Rupert (64) 64George Pomeroy
Albemarle (90) 90Sir Francis Wheler
Grafton (70) 70Lord Henry Fitzroy (Duke of Grafton)
Royal Sovereign (100) 100 Squadron Flagship
Windsor Castle (90) 90George Churchill
Lennox (70) 70John Granville
Stirling Castle (70) 70Anthony Hastings
York (52) 60Thomas Hopson
Suffolk (70) 70Wolfran Cornewall
Hampton Court (70) 70John Laton
Duchess (90) 90Thomas GillamSquadron Flagship
Hope (70) 70George Byng
Restoration (70) 70William Botham CO Killed
 
Main Body - Not in the Line
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Constant Warwick (34) 40John Beverley
 
The Rearguard - English White Squadron, Sir Ralph Delavall
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Anne (70) 70John Tyrrell Burnt voluntary
Edgar (70) 74John Jennifer
Bredah (70) 70Matthew Tennant
Saint Andrew (100) 100Robert Dorrell
Coronation (90) 90Sir John Munden
Royal Katherine (84) 84Mathew Aylmer
Cambridge (68) 70Simon Fowkes
Berwick (70) 70Henry Martin
Swallow (40) 48Benjamin Walters
Defiance (64) 64Sir John Graydon
Captain (70) 70Daniel Jones
 
Rearguard - Not in the Line
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
 
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Exeter (70) 70George Mees
Bonaventure (52) 52John Hubbard
Fox (28) 28William Stone
Griffin (28) 28Clifford Chamberlin
Hawk (28) 28William Harman
Hunter (28) 28Thomas Kercher
Spy (28) 28Frederick Weighman
Dolphin (28) 28William Vickers
Owner's Love (10) 10Thomas Heath
Thomas and Elizabeth (10) 10Thomas Marshall
Cygnet (8) 8Robart Wilmot
Speedwell (8) 8John Mason
 

Royaume de France - Anne Hilarion de Costentin (Chevalier de Tourville)

 
The Van Vanguard (Blue)
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
 
The Main Vanguard (Blue), François Louis Rousselet (Comte de Chateaurenault)
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Royal Dauphin (100) 100 François Louis Rousselet (Comte de Chateaurenault)Squadron Flagship 100 deads or wounded
Le Conquérant (84) 84 Phillippe Le Valois (Marquis de Villette-Mursay)
Le Fier (76) 76 Ferdinand de Relingues (Comte de Relingue)
Pompeux (72) 72 Philippe-César d'Aligre de Saint-Lié (2nd Baron de La Mothe)
L'Eclatant (68) 68 Jean-Baptiste d'Augustine de Septèmes (Chevalier de Septèmes)
L'Ardent (64) 64 Louis Le Roux d'Infreville-Saint-Aubin (Chevalier d'Infreville-Saint-Aubin)
Le Parfait (64) 64Charles-François de Machault de Belmont
Le Courtisan (64) 64Lord Jean Bernard Louis Desjeans (Baron de Pointis)
L'Excellent (60) 60 de Montbron
Ferme (60) 60 Vaudricourt
Saint Louis (58) 58Jean de La Roque-Persin
Fort (56) 56 François-René de Betz (Comte de La Harteloire)
Le Courageux (56) 56 de Sérigny
Le Bon (54) 54 Camille de Digoine du Palais
Le Fendant (54) 54 Théophile du Vigier (Sieur de La Vigerie-Treillebois)
Le Precieux (54) 54 Barthélemy-Alexandre d'Aralle (Chevalier de Perrinet)69 dead or wounded
Téméraire (52) 52Amatheur du Rivau-Huet
Hardi (52) 52 des Gouttes
Le Trident (52) 52 Riberette
Aquilon (52) 52 Beaugeais
Le Maure (50) 50 Rolland Barrin (Marquis de la Galissonnière)
L'Éole (44) 44 du Tast
Le Solide (44) 44 de Ferville
L'Indien (40) 40 de Roussel
L'Alcyon (38) 38Jean Bart
 
The Rear Vanguard (Blue), Joseph Andrault (2nd Comte de Langeron)
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
La Couronne (80) 80 Joseph Andrault (2nd Comte de Langeron)Squadron Flagship
 
The Center (White), Anne Hilarion de Costentin (Chevalier de Tourville)
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Le Soleil Royal (110) 110 Fleet Flagship
Le Magnifique (84) 84 Charles-François Davy (Marquis d'Amfreville)
Le Saint Philippe (82) 82 Allain Emmanuel de Coëtlogon (Marquis de Coëtlogon)
Souverain (80) 80André de Nesmond took the Vriesland (Friesland)
Le Tonnant (76) 76 La Porte
Le Content (66) 66 
L'Henri (64) 64 Claude-Thomas Renart de Fuchsamberg (1st Marquis d'Amblimont)
Le Marquis (60) 60 
Le Vermandois (60) 60 François du Chalard (Marquis du Chalard)
Sérieux (58) 58 Jacques-Auguste Maynard (Sieur de Bellefontaine de la Malmaison)
L'Arrogant (58) 58 
Le Furieux (58) 58 Charles des Nos (Comte des Nos de Forbonest)
Le Sans Pareil (58) 58 La Rongère
Entreprenant (58) 58 Bernard Jean-François Jacques Kadot
Le Diamant (58) 58 de Serquigny
Le Saint Michel (58) 58 de Villars (Comte de Villars)
L'Apollon (56) 56 Bitaut de Beor
Le Fortuné (54) 54 de Pallas
Brusque (50) 50 Charles-Daniel Ricoux (Chevalier de Ricoux)
Neptune (44) 50Claude de Forbin
Fidèle (44) 44 
L'Arc en Ciel (44) 44Chevalier Charles de Sainte-Maure51 deads or wounded
Le Cheval Marin (42) 42 Jacques Davy (Chevalier d'Amfreville)
Le Faucon (40) 40 Antoine de la Haye du Coudray (Chevalier de Montbault)
 
The Rearguard (White & Blue), Victor Marie d'Estrées (Comte d'Estrées)
Ship NameGunsCommanderNotes
Le Grand (86) 86 Victor Marie d'Estrées (Comte d'Estrées)Squadron Flagship
L'Intrépide (84) 84 Jean Gabaret (Seigneur d'Angoulins)
Le Terrible (80) 80 François Panetié (Seigneur de la Croix)93 deads or wounded
Triomphant (76) 76Chevalier Pierre Le Bret (Chevalier de Flacourt)
Florissant (74) 74 Jacques de Cuers (Seigneur de Cogolin)
Belliqueux (70) 70 
L'Aimable (70) 70 Pierre Guérusseau (Seigneur du Magnou)
Le Glorieux (64) 64 Jean Erard (Seigneur de Belle-Isle)
Illustre (64) 64 Marc-Hyacinthe Rosmadec (Chevalier de Tréguier)
Le Bourbon (64) 64 Hervault
L'Agréable (62) 62 La Motte-Genouillé
Le Brave (58) 58 
Prudent (58) 58Armand-Charles des Herbiers
Le Fleuron (56) 56Michel Chabert
Le Prince (56) 56 
Vaillant (54) 54 Simon de Pas (Chevalier de Feuquières)
Vigilant (52) 52 Jean-François-Florent de Laigle (Chevalier de Chalais)
Le Modéré (52) 52 Jean Baptiste Achard (Chevalier des Augiers)
Le Français (50) 50Chevalier Jacques d'Arcy d'Ailly
Duc (48) 48 de Pallières
Capable (44) 44 La Boissiere
Le Comte (40) 40 Courbon-Blénac
La Légère (40) 40 du Rouvray
 

Sources

IDDescriptionAuthorType

Previous comments on this page

Posted by gauthard serge on Friday 13th of January 2017 20:13

SHIP PARFAIT in the blue & white , rearguard squadron .

Bleu Vanguard Squadron : 22 warships.
ship INDIEN : captain de Roussel.
ship COURAGEUX : captain de Sérigny.
second line, reserve squadron: commodore jean bart :
ship : SOLIDE, ALCYON , ÉOLE.

Center, White Squadron: 25 warships.
ship : BRILLANT : captain : de Beaujeu.
ship : NEPTUNE : captain : Louis de Forbin ,brother dead 1695.
ship : FIDÈLE : captain : Claude de Forbin-Gardanne .
ship : CONTENT : captain : Comte de Saint Pierre.
ship : TONNANT : Chef d'escadre de Provence : Charles Marquis de la Porte.
ship : CHEVAL MARIN : captain : Chevalier d'Amfreville.
ship : FOUGUEUX : captain : Colbert de Saint-Marc.
ship : DIAMANT: captain : de Serquigny.
ship : ARROGANT : captain : Chevalier des Adrets.
ship : MARQUIS : captain : Chevalier de Chateaumorand.
second line: Jean Bart ,reserve squadron:
ship : FAUCON : captain : de Montbault.

Rearguard, bleu & white Squadron: 23 warships.
ship: BRAVE : captain : Chevalier de Champigny.
ship : BELLIQUEUX : captain : Marquis des Francs.
ship : PRINCE : captain : baron des Adrets.
Second line : jean bart reserve Squadron : ship: LEGER
bye


Posted by Brian Stephens on Tuesday 22nd of April 2014 21:52

British battles on land and sea
By James Grant (published 1873)
Beachy Head 1690
About dawn on the 30th of June, that year, great crowds of people on the Sussex coast resorted to Beachy Head, the loftiest cliff on that part of the shore. It is 573 feet high, and perforated by many caverns—the scene of many a shipwreck in stormy weather, and the resort of multitudes of sea-fowl. On that morning the French fleet, under Anne Hilarion de Costentin, the Count de Tourville, consisting of seventy-eight men-of-war and twenty-two fire-ships, was seen hovering off the coast, and ere long the allied English and Dutch fleets, the former consisting of thirty-four sail and the latter of twenty-two, under the Earl of Torrington, hove in sight. De Tourville was made a Marshal of France in 1693.
powerful fleet had long menaced the Channel coast, while nor far from that of France—but a little way inland indeed—a considerable army was cantoned, under the orders of a celebrated marshal, Louis de Crevant, Due d'Humieres, waiting to embark for England; and the defeat of Torrington might bring 20,000 French veterans on the sands at Deal, at a time when the whole united forces in Britain did not exceed 10,000 men.
Hence it was with no small anxiety the good folks of Sussex on that June morning assembled on the chalky crest of Beachy Head, and turned their eyes and telescopes seaward.
Aware of how much depended on the issue of a battle, Admiral Torrington had been loth to risk it and at that actual crisis, is undoubted. He resolved to obey the orders he had received, and yet in doing so not hazard all.
He conceived the idea of letting a portion of his fleet skirmish with the enemy while the main body, should not if possible engage; thus he formed his order of battle so that the heaviest brunt of the action should fall upon the Dutch, already in disfavour in England, so much so that the destruction of their whole fleet would have caused less murmuring there than the loss of one of our smallest frigates.
With these views and plans he stood towards the enemy. George Rooke was vice-admiral, and led the Red squadron. Admiral Russell and Sir John Tourville, in the Magnificent, 80 guns, with twenty-five sail. Their fire-ships hovered on the flanks. The original intention of the French was, if possible, to divide their fleet, of which one part was to stand up the Thames, while the Jacobites in London rose in arms and seized the Queen and her Ministry; the other portion was to join their galleys and land troops at Torbay; while a squadron in the Irish Sea cut off King William's return from Ireland. But now the approach of Torrington put all the future to the event of a battle.
The French had actually been so close in on the coast that on the 21st of June their boats had taken some loiterers on board. These were handled pretty roughly, and then set on shore. One of them was charged with a letter addressed to Admiral Torrington, from Sir William Jennings, who had commanded an English ship at the time of the Revolution, but had followed his royal master to exile, and now served as third captain under Tourville; and in that document he proffered pardon to all captains that would abandon the Dutch usurper, and adhere to the cause of King James.
When the signal to close in action was hoisted by the Earl of Torrington, the French were under easy sail upon a wind, with their heads lying northwards, off Beachy Head; but on seeing the English forming line, " they braced their head-sails to the mast and lay by;" and at nine o'clock a few puffs of snow-white smoke upon the sea announced to the crowds upon the headland and those away by Eastbourne that the battle had begun.
Promptly did the Dutch, who were in the van, under Admiral Calembourg, respond to the signal, seconded by the English Blue squadron, under Sir Cloudesley Shovel; but the Red, or centre squadron, being, by Torrington's intention, kept somewhat apart, left a great opening, of which the French hastened to take advantage, to surround Shovel and the Dutch.
Pere Daniel says that on this day the French had the advantage both of the wind and tide.
Evertzen and his countrymen fought with the most stubborn bravery; and, in spite of national prejudice, it was fully admitted by the English and French that "in none of Van Tromp's or De Ruyter's battles had the honour of the Batavian flag been more gallantly upheld." Two of their rear-admirals, Dick and Brackel, with many captains and seamen, were slain; a vast number of wounded, horribly mutilated by round and chain-shot, encumbered all the decks and lay about the guns, and their hulls and rigging were battered and torn to pieces in a manner they could not have been had they been properly seconded by Lord Torrington.
"The Dutch began the fight," records Burchett, as also did some of the English; but not being seconded by the rest of the fleet, which unexpectedly stood away, several of the Dutch ships, after they had fought most gallantly, were either burnt, sunk, or disabled, and the English that engaged were very much shattered.
During many hours the van, with the Blue squadron, in which Captain Sir David Mitchell, in the Elizabeth, 70 guns, greatly distinguished himself, maintained the unequal contest without adequate assistance from the other part of the fleet. At length the Dutch drew off, leaving one shattered hull in the hands of the enemy; and to
save themselves from utter destruction came to anchor.
On examining the state of his fleet, the Earl of Torrington found the ships of the Blue squadron had suffered considerably, and came to the conclusion that no advantage could be won by a renewal of the action.
By five in the afternoon the wind died away, and he came to anchor; while several of the French ships, with their boats ahead, were being towed out of range of cannon-shot . In the night the English fleet weighed anchor, and stood eastward. Next day Torrington called a Council of War, which decided that it was most advisable to preserve the fleet by retreating, and to destroy all disabled ships, rather than lose time by protecting them.
This was accordingly done. Many Dutch ships were scuttled and sunk; the rest were taken in tow by the English fleet, which sailed along the Kentish coast with all speed for the Thames. In this unfortunate batUe their loss was two captains, Botham and Pomeroy, with two captains of marines in Torrington's own regiment, and 330 men.
Such is the account given in Torrington's own dispatch, dated, "Off Beachy, July 1st, one in the afternoon," in "Dalrymple's Annals."
The French were still pursuing; when off Rye Bay, in sight of the ancient town—one of the famous old Cinque Ports—the people had the mortification to see an English ship, the Anne, 70 guns, which was entirely dismasted, forced on shore by the enemy, and set in flames. Captain John Tyrrel, her commander, who had fought her gallantly, escaped.
They next attempted to destroy a Dutch sixtyfour gun ship, as she lay half-aground near Pevensey; but Puffendorf says her captain defended her so resolutely that they were compelled to relinquish the attempt; that three others were burnt by their own crews, and that the total loss of the Dutch was six first-rate men-of-war. But more than ali did they deplore the deaths of Jan Dick and Brackel, Admirals of the Maese and North Holland. Pere Daniel states that the largest Dutch ship was taken by the Marquis de Nesmonde.
Torrington sought refuge in the Thames, where he ordered all the buoys to be torn up, which made the navigation of the river so dangerous that he could not be followed by the Count de Tourville, who came to anchor in Torbay; but great were the terror and consternation in London. There, we are told, "the shame was insupportable, the peril imminent. What if the victorious enemy should do what De Ruyter had done?
What if the dockyard of Chatham should again be destroyed? What if the Tower itself should be bombarded? What if the vast wood of masts and yard-arms below London Bridge should be in a blaze? Nor was this all; evil tidings had just arrived from the Low Countries."
These tidings were that the allied forces, under Prince Waldeck, had encountered near Fleurus the French, commanded by the Duke de Luxembourg, and that, after a long and fierce conflict, the latter had been victorious. Could this double disaster be true? The people in London refused to believe it.
After menacing the coast till the 5 th of August, the Count de Tourville sailed from Torbay to Brest. Admiral the Earl of Torrington was sent to the Tower, and tried by a court-martial at Sheerness; and though he was fully acquitted, Bumet says King William most unjustly deprived him of his commission, to satisfy the clamour of his beloved countrymen the Dutch. But such was the effect, for a time, of this battle off Beachy Head, that, according to Macaulay, "between the coast of Artois and the Nore, not a single ship bearing the red cross of St. George could venture to show herself."

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