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Capture of the d'Hautpoult

14th April 1809 - 17th April 1809
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Battle of the Basque Roads 11.4.1809
Next action : Bombardment of Pesaro 23.4.1809

 

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

 
British Squadron,
Alexander Inglis CochraneBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1778-1830
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Neptune (90) 1756-1816
British 90 Gun
2nd Rate Ship of the Line
 Fleet Flagship 1 killed, 4 wounded
Pompee (80) 1793-1817
British 80 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Edward Pelham BrentonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1788-1815
,
William Charles FahieBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1783-1830
9 killed, 30 wounded
Castor (32) 1785-1819
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
William RobertsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1793-1810
1 killed, 6 wounded
Recruit (16) 1806-1822
British 16 Gun
Unrated Sloop
Charles John NapierBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1799-1853
1 wounded
York (74) 1807-1854
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Robert BartonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1776-1814
,
Alexander Wilmot SchombergBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1793-1815
Polyphemus (64) 1782-1827
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
William Pryce CumbyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1784-1837
Latona (38) 1781-1816
British 38 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
James Athol WoodBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1778-1821
,
Hugh PigotBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1788-1853
Hazard (16) 1794-1817
British 16 Gun
Unrated Sloop
Hugh CameronBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1799-1809
 

Empire Français

 
French Squadron,
Amable Gilles TroudeFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1779-1824
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Hautpoult (74) 1807-1809
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 Fleet Flagship upto 90 killed & wounded Captured
 
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Polonais (74) 1808-1825
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Hugues Oliver MequetFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1762-1824
Le Courageux (74) 1806-1831
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 
 

Notes on Action


DescriptionTRN5
In March 1809, Commodore A. G. Troude, with the three French 74's Courageux, Polonais, and d'Hautpoult (flagship), and the storeships Furieuse and Felicite, freighted with supplies for Martinique, anchored in the harbour of the Saintes, having heard of the capture of Martinique by the British. Their appearance at that point led the British commanders on the station to determine upon an expedition for the purpose of capturing the Saintes and so driving the enemy out. On April 14th, a body of about 2500 men was landed on one of the islands. A height overlooking the harbour was seized, and from it two 8-inch howitzers were directed upon the French ships. That night the three line-of-battle ships put to sea. Their movements, however, were seen, and immediately signalled, by Commander Hugh Cameron of the Hazard, 18, to the blockading squadron, which consisted of the Neptune, 98, Captain Charles Dilkes, with Rear-Admiral Sir Alexander F. I. Cochrane's flag, York, 74, Pompee, 74, Captain William Charles Fahie, Polyphemus, 64, Recruit, 18, Commander Charles Napier, and some small craft. At about 10 P.M. the Pompee and Recruit closed with the sternmost Frenchman, the d'Hautpoult, and fired into her, without effect. The Neptune also succeeded in getting near enough to open fire; but soon the French vessels drew away from all but the Recruit. The Recruit during the whole night kept on the quarter of the d'Hautpoult, the outer ship of the line abreast which was formed by the French, and at daylight began annoying her and her consorts. More than once by her temerity she compelled the line-of-battle ships to yaw and fire broadsides at her. As the evening of the 15th came on, the Pompee had drawn so close to the French line that the three 74's scattered. The d'Hautpoult steered W.N.W., and was followed by the Pompee, while the Recruit and Neptune chased the other two. All the 16th the pursuit continued, and in the forenoon the Pompee was joined by the Latona, 38, Captain Hugh Pigot, and Castor, 32, Captain William Roberts. On the 17th, early, the Castor was near enough to the d'Hautpoult to open fire; and she delayed the French ship so much that the Pompee was able to come up and bring the enemy to close action. British ships were showing on the horizon in every direction, all standing towards the scene of action, when at 5.15 A.M. the d'Hautpoult struck, with rigging and sails cut to pieces, masts wounded, hull riddled, and between 80 and 90 killed or wounded. The British loss was 10 killed and 35 wounded, mostly on board the Pompee.


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