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Carnation vs Palinure

3rd October 1808
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Recruit vs Dilgente 6.9.1808
Next action : Capture of the Jena 8.10.1808


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Carnation (18) 1807-1808
British 18 Gun
Unrated Sloop
Charles Marshall GregoryBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1797-1808
Captured 9 killed, 30 wounded (15 mortally)

Empire Français

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Palinure (16) 1804-1808
French 16 Gun
Unrated Sloop
Pierre-François JanceFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1758-1808
Pierre-François JanceFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1758-1808
Simon-Auguste HuguetFrench
Naval Sailor

Notes on Action


On the 3d of October the British 18-gun brig-sloop Carnation sixteen 32-pounder carronades and two sixes), Captain Charles Mars Gregory, cruising about 60 leagues to the northward and eastward of Martinique, fell in with the Palinure, still commanded by Captain Jance, and then cruising alone. An action ensued ; and, at the end of an hour and a half's cannonade, the Palinure, who was to windward, being greatly disabled in her rigging, fell on board the Carnation.

In common cases this would have been the moment for the British vessel to terminate the contest in her favour, but the Carnation was not so fortunate: her gallant commander was dead, and all her principal officers and several of her crew had been either killed or badly wounded ; so that the boatswain, William Triplet, was now the commanding officer on deck. Finding that the British were not, as usual, ready to rush on board their vessel, the French took confidence, and became themselves the assailants. The boatswain advanced boldly to repulse the boarders ; but, of the 45 or 50 men then on deck (several, exclusive of the wounded, were on duty below, perhaps about 20), not more than eight or 10 came to his support. The remainder, headed by the sergeant of marines, John Chapman, deserted their quarters and fled below. The consequence was, that the Carnation became a prize to the Palinure, and that too by boarding.

The British brig, out of a crew of 117 men and boys, had her commander, purser (Morgan Thomas), and eight men killed, and her two lieutenants (Samuel Bartlett Deecker and James Fitzmaurice, severely), master (Anthony Metherell, mortally) and 27 officers, petty-officers, seamen, and marines wounded, no fewer than 15 of them mortally. What loss was sustained by the Palinure, whose crew on this occasion certainly did not exceed 100 men, has not transpired. The captain, as it appears, was suffering with the yellow fever ; and the active part in the conduct of the engagement had, in consequence, devolved upon Enseigne de vaisseau Simon-Auguste Huguet, who is represented to have greatly distinguished himself. According to the French accounts, Captain Jance, in less than an hour after his victory, died on board the Carnation, of which, as the preferable vessel, he had taken the command. Both brigs, in the course of the day succeeding the action, arrived at the harbour of Marin, Martinique.

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