Action of 1812-06-15

15th June 1812 - 16th June 1812
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Action off Lorient 22.5.1812
Next action : Attack at Laigueglia 27.6.1812


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Swallow (16) Edward Reynolds Sibly6 killed, 17 wounded

Empire Français

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Renard (16) Charles Baudin (1784-1854)14 killed, 28 wounded
Le Goéland (8) Belin

Notes on Action


On June 15th, a French convoy of fourteen vessels, laden with naval stores, and bound from Toulon for Genoa, under protection of the Renard, 16, Lieutenant Charles Baudin, Goeland, 14, and some gunboats, took refuge under Isle Ste. Marguerite from a British squadron consisting of the America, 74, Captain Josias Rowley, Curacoa, 36, Captain John Tower, and Swallow, 18, Commander Edward Reynolds Sibly. The last-named was sent in to reconnoitre. Early on the 16th, the convoy was observed to be getting under way, and eventually the Renard and Goeland, which had a light breeze, went in chase of the Swalloiv, which was almost becalmed. When, however, the enemy discovered that the breeze was reaching the ships in the offing, they hauled their wind, tacked, rejoined their charges, and stood with them towards the Bay of Frejus. The Renard and Goeland were reinforced with volunteers and soldiers, and again stood out; and towards 1 P.M., the Swallow, approaching on the opposite tack, neared them rapidly. She passed them, indeed, within thirty yards to windward, and gave and received a broadside as she did so. Sibly then wore under the Eenard's stern, and endeavoured to keep her head off shore, but, being damaged aloft, he could not effect his object. After a brisk fight of forty minutes duration, and the repulse of several attempts to board, the Swallow, then not far from the shore and batteries, hauled off and rejoined the squadron, having lost 6 killed and 17 wounded, and having been much cut up. The Renard lost 14 killed and 28 wounded. The Goeland's loss does not appear.

In this little action the Swallow's twelve 32-pr. carronades and two long 6-prs. were opposed to twelve 18-pr. and fourteen 24-pr. carronades, and four long 6-prs. The affair was, therefore, very creditable to Sibly, although French writers, ignoring that the Goeland assisted the Renard, and laying stress upon the presence of the America and Curacoa in the offing, claim it as one of the glories of their navy. M. Charles Baudin, of the Renard, lived to become the hero of San Juan de Ulloa, and died an Admiral of France in 1854. It is noteworthy that among the Sivalloic's killed was a woman, the wife of one Phelan, a seaman on board. Purser Eugene Ryan, who volunteered to serve on deck, and Lieutenants Daniel O'Hea and John Theed (actg.) seem to have specially distinguished themselves.

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