Capture of the Furieuse

5th July 1809 - 6th July 1809
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Capture of Senegal 4.7.1809 - 13.7.1809
Next action : Operations in the Elbe 7.7.1809 - 8.7.1809


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Bonne Citoyenne (20) William Mounsey1 killed, 5 wounded

Empire Français

Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Furieuse (20)  35 killed, 60 wounded Captured

Notes on Action


On July 5th, the Furieuse fell in with the British Bonne Citoyenne, 20, Commander William Mounsey, in mid- Atlantic, and was chased. On the 6th, the British sloop was near enough to begin close action. The handling of the Bonne Citoyenne was clever in the extreme. With her superiority of sailing she was able to steer a zig-zag course, using each broadside in turn; and thus she got off 129 broadsides to the Furieuse's 70 in a space of 7 hours. Thus, too, her carronades were kept from overheating. Her ammunition being exhausted by this long cannonade, she took up a position athwart the Furieuse's hawse, and prepared to board, whereupon the Frenchman struck. Both vessels were much damaged, but the injuries of the Furieuse were far severer than those of the Bonne Citoyenne.

Good gunnery and skilful manoeuvring evidently gave the victory. Both ships were carried safely into Halifax. Mounsey was most deservedly posted, as from the day of his success, for his gallantry. His first Lieutenant, Joseph Symes, could not, however, be promoted until March 13th, 1810, as he did not till then complete the necessary two years' service as Lieutenant.

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