Capture of the Apelles

3rd May 1812 - 4th May 1812
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Attack on Malaga 29.4.1812
Next action : Attack at Laigueglia 9.5.1812 - 10.5.1812


Empire Français

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Castilian (16) Edmund Denman
Skylark (16) James Boxer (d.1847) Burnt
Apelles (14) Frederick Hoffman (d.1849) Captured
Phipps (14) Thomas Wells (d.1825)
Bermuda (10) Alexander Cunningham (d.1836)
Rinaldo (10) Edmund Lyons

Notes on Action

On May 3rd, the Apelles, 14, Commander Frederick Hoffman, and Skylark, 16, Commander James Boxer, went ashore to the westward of Boulogne. The former was captured and floated by the French. The latter was burnt by her people, who subsequently escaped. News of the double misfortune was signalled from the Castilian, 18, Commander David Braimer, off Dungeness, to the Bermuda, 10, Commander Alexander Cunningham, and the Rinaldo, 10, Commander Sir William George Parker, Bart.; and those two sloops at once got under way and made for the French coast, in order, if possible, to render assistance. On the morning of the 4th, they chased the Apelles, closed her, and drove her ashore under a battery near Etaples. A little later, the Castilian and the Phipps, 14, Commander Thomas Wells, joined, and the four brig-sloops stood in, and, with successive broadsides, drove the French out of their prize. The British boats, under Lieutenant Thomas Saunders, then went in, and, in spite of a hot fire from the battery and from field pieces on the beach, floated the Apelles and restored her to the service. Strange to say, not a man on the British side was hit.

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