Capture of Desirade

30th March 1808
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Battle of Zealand Point 22.3.1808
Next action : Action off Rota 4.4.1808


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Cerberus (32) William Selby (d.1811)
Lilly (18) William Henry Shirreff (1785-1847)
Pelican (16) William Ward
Swinger (12) William Bennett (d.1819), Thomas Bourdon Fellows
Mosambique (10) John Jackson
Express (6) Humphrey Fleming Senhouse (1781-1841), William Dowers

Notes on Action

On March 30th the Cerberus, accompanied by two sloops, two brigs, and a schooner, [Lily, 18: Pelican, 16; Express, 6; Swinger, 14; and Mozambique, 14] appeared off the island. The boats of the squadron, under Commander William Henry Shirreff, of the Lily, approached under a smart fire, which, however, was soon silenced by the guns of the Cerberus a-nd her consorts, and by 4.30 P.M. the island had surrendered. 4 It was not deemed worth while to hold it. Its batteries not very formidable ones were, therefore, destroyed; the place was evacuated; and the Lily, with the brig Express and the schooner Mozambique, was left to cruise under Commander Shirreff for its protection, and to prevent it from being re-garrisoned from Guadeloupe.

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