Attack on Malaga

29th April 1812
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Action of 1812-04-16 16.4.1812
Next action : Capture of the Apelles 3.5.1812 - 4.5.1812


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Hyacinth (20) Thomas Ussher (1779-1848)Fleet Flagship
Goshawk (16) James Lilburne (d.1812), Thomas Ball Clowes CO Killed
Resolute (12) Thomas Pettman
Gunboat No. 16 (3) Thomas Cull (1793-?)

Kingdom of Naples

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Intrepido (10) Giuseppe Bavastro (1760-1833) Captured
Napoleone (10)   Captured

Notes on Action

The end of April witnessed what was practically the conclusion of the European exploits of one of the most famous of the Genoese privateers, Giuseppe Bavastro, whose name to this day is a centre of wondrous traditions in Italy. On April 29th, 1812, Captain Thomas Ussher, of the Hyacinth, 20, with his own boats, and those of the Goshawk, 16, Commander James Lilburn, and Resolute, Lieutenant John Keenan, and with the gunboat No. 16, Lieutenant Thomas Cull, attacked a flotilla of privateers commanded by Bavastro, then lying within the mole at Malaga, under the protection of two batteries. In his gig, supported by Lieutenant Thomas Hastings, Ussher dashed at the larger battery, which mounted fifteen long 24-prs., and carried it in less than five minutes, turning its guns on the opposite castle of Gibralfaro. In the meantime, the other boats had pulled into the harbour, and taken several prizes; but, when Ussher joined them, he found them much exposed to the fire from Gibralfaro and from the French 57th Regt., on the mole; and, as the moon then shone brightly, the position was so critical that he contented himself with bringing out Bavastro's own vessel, the Intrepido, 10, and the Napoleone, of the same force, and with leaving the rest as much damaged as possible. In this most gallant affair the British, out of 149 people engaged, had 15, including Commander James Lilburn, of the Goshawk, killed, and 53 wounded. Among the officers who specially distinguished themselves, other than those already mentioned, were Lieutenants Francis Brockell Spilsbury (wounded) and Allen Otty.

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