Bombardment of Mocha

3rd December 1820 - 15th January 1821


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Topaze (38) John Richard Lumley (d.1821)

Notes on Action

In 1820, in order to obtain redress for injuries inflicted on British subjects by the Imaum of Sanaa, in whose territories Mocha lay, an expedition, consisting of the Topaze, 46, Captain John Richard Lumley, several of the East India Company's cruisers, and a bomb vessel, was sent by Rear-Admiral Sir Richard King, Bart., who commanded on the East India station; and, although not without serious loss, it succeeded at length in placing the relations between the British and the local authorities on a satisfactory footing. The expedition arrived off Mocha on December 3rd, and on the 4th, supposing the north fort to have been abandoned, Lumley attempted to take possession and destroy it. Unfortunately, however, it proved to be held in force, and the landing party was driven back with considerable loss. On the 5th, negotiations took place; but the repulse of the British led the Dolah to presume too long upon their patience; and on the 26th, fire was opened on the north fort, which, in a few hours, was breached, taken, and blown up. Further negotiations leading to no satisfactory results, the south fort was similarly treated on the 30th. Thereupon the local authorities submitted; and, on January 15th, 1821, copies of a treaty which had been drawn up on behalf of the Company, were returned, duly signed, to Captain Lumley. During the two bombardments, the Topaze expended upwards of 3500 shot. Her loss consisted of Lieutenant Robert Gordon Atkinson, E.M., Master's Mate C. P. Gill, Midshipman Francis S. Burnett, and 5 seamen and Marines killed, and 20 people, including Lieutenants William Moriarty and Charles Mayson Moncrieffe Wright, wounded.

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