Primrose vs Duke of Marlborough

12th March 1814
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Capture of the Clorinde 25.2.1814 - 26.2.1814
Next action : Action of 1814-03-26 26.3.1814 - 27.3.1814


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Primrose  3 killed, 12 wounded

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Duke of Marlborough John Bull

Notes on Action

On the 12th March 1814, near the mouth of the Bay of Biscay, the Primrose, 18, Commander Charles George Rodney Phillott, and the Falmouth packet, Duke of Marlborough , John Bull, master, bound for Lisbon, mistook one another for enemies. The error was facilitated by the smallness of the flags supplied to the packet, by the end-on position of the two vessels when the Duke of Marlborough hoisted the private signal, and by the rather slovenly manner in which the packet was sailed when first sighted. The Primrose fired the first shot at 6.50 P.M.; but nothing approaching to an engagement began until 7.55, ere which time the packet had attempted to make the private night signal, though it is probable that she did not make it correctly. At 8.15, a close action commenced, the Primrose's repeated hails not having been answered. Not until Phillott had hailed an obviously beaten ship, did the unfortunate truth come out. The packet had 2 passengers killed and 9 or 10 men wounded, and was in an almost sinking state. The Primrose had 1 man killed and 14 people (2 fatally) wounded, including Master Andrew Leech, and Master's Mate Peter Belches.

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