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|British Squadron, Benjamin Hallowell (1761-1834)|
15 dead 55 wounded
|Name : Tigre (74)||74||Benjamin Hallowell (1761-1834)||Fleet Flagship 4 dead 10 wounded|
|Name : Cumberland (74)||74||2 dead 15 wounded|
|Name : Volontaire (38)||38||Charles Bullen (1768-1853)||2 dead 15 wounded|
|Name : Apollo (36)||36||Bridges Watkinson Taylor (d.1814)||3 dead 5 wouinded|
|Name : Topaze (32)||32||Henry Hope||4 dead 8 wounded|
|Name : Tuscan (16)||16||John Gourley, John Wilson||2 wounded|
|Name : Philomel (16)||16||George Crawley (d.1810)|
|Name : Scout (16)||16||Alexander Renton Sharpe|
|Name : Lamproie (16)||16||Bertault Le Breetreete||Burnt|
|Name : La Victoire (14)||14||Garribou||Burnt|
|Name : La Normande (10)||10||Captured|
|Name : Grondeur (8)||8||Captured|
|Name : L'Affacien||Unarmed||Rouve||Burnt|
The remains of the convoy which Rear-Admiral Baudin had had in his charge put into Rosas Bay, and anchored under the guns of Rosas Castle, Fort Trinidad, Fort Bouton, and other batteries. This flotilla consisted of seven merchantmen, under the care of the Lamproie, 16, armed storeship, the armed bombards Victoire, 14, and Grandeur, 8, and the armed xebec Normande, 10. Learning of its whereabouts, Collingwood detached Captain Benjamin Hallowell to endeavour to take or destroy it.
The larger ships of the squadron anchored at about five miles from Rosas on the night of October 31st, the brigs remaining under way. The boats of all the vessels were at once manned and armed, and, without delay, they pushed off under command of Lieutenant John Tailour, first of the Tigre. The French had made full preparations to resist attack, and were not taken by surprise. The Lamproie was, nevertheless, quickly boarded and carried; the Victoire, Grandeur, Normande, and a felucca full of musketeers, soon shared the same fate in spite of the gallant resistance which they made, and of a heavy fire from the forts, and from troops posted on the beach; and by daylight on November 1st, every vessel in the harbour had been either burnt at her moorings, or carried out. The British loss was somewhat heavy, for fifteen (including Lieutenant Dalhousie Tait, of the Volontaire, and Master's Mate James Caldwell, of the Tigre) were killed, and fifty wounded. Among the latter were Lieutenants John Tailour (Tigre), John Forster (Apollo), Richard Stuart (Cumberland), James Begbie (Apollo), and the Hon. James Ashley Maude (Ville de Paris), Master's Mate John Webster (Cumberland), and Midshipmen Dey Richard Syer (Tigre), William Hollinshed Brady (Cumberland), and John Armstead (Ville de Paris). The French loss must have been even heavier.
The complete defeat of this attempt on the part of Rear-Admiral Baudin to succour Barcelona illustrates the great importance of command of the sea in cases where military operations are in progress on or near the seaboard; but the ease with which Baudin was detected and checkmated on this occasion causes one to feel astonishment that his previous cruise in April and May began and ended without any British interference whatsoever. Nor, on the other hand, is it possible to avoid wondering why Admiral Ganteaume, who had with him superior forces, who realised the necessity for relieving Barcelona, and who must have known that Collingwood was not the man to decline an action, did not put to sea with his fifteen French and six Russian sail of the line, and endeavour not only to force a way to the Catalonian coasts, but also to cripple for ever the enemy who sought to bar his passage thither. Napoleon, however, always loved to husband his ships; and Trafalgar had made French admirals somewhat chary of risking decisive encounters when they had in their favour a numerical advantage of not more than twenty-five per cent, or thereabouts.