Capture of Alexandria

6th March 1807 - 21st March 1807
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Passage of the Dardanelles 1.3.1807 - 3.3.1807
Next action : Escape of the Spartan 5.1807


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Tigre (74) Benjamin Hallowell (1761-1834)
Apollo (36) Alexander Wilmot Schomberg (1775-1850)
Wizard (16) Edmund Palmer

Notes on Action

While Duckworth's squadron was still up the Dardanelles, preparations were in progress for supporting the demonstration before Constantinople by means of action elsewhere; and on March 6th, 1807, an expedition consisting of thirty-three transports, having on board about five thousand troops under Major-General Fraser, left Messina for Alexandria, under convoy of the Tigre, 74, Captain Benjamin Hallowell, Apollo, 38, Captain Edward Fellowes, and Wizard, 16, Commander Edmund Palmer. Part of the force reached its destination on March 15th, and the remainder on the 19th. In the meantime, on the 16th, the place had been summoned; on the 17th, the governor had replied that he would defend it to the utmost; on the evening of the 17th, about six hundred and fifty troops, five guns, and a few seamen under Lieutenant James Boxer had been landed near Lake Mareotis; and on the 18th, an additional three hundred men had been put ashore, and the enemy's advanced works had been carried, with a loss of only seven killed and ten wounded. On the 20th, Aboukir castle was secured; and the rest of the army was disembarked, chiefly in Aboukir Bay. The effect of these operations was to induce the governor to reconsider his position; and on the 21st, the city of Alexandria was surrendered and taken possession of. In the harbour were found a 40-gun and a 34-gun Turkish frigate, and a 16-gun sloop.

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Brian on Wednesday 3rd of February 2016 18:15

Alexandria, 24 March, 1807 His Majesty's ship Tigre of Alexandria - I have the honour to acquaint you
that, in obedience to your orders addressed to the senior officer at Sicily, I sailed from Messina on the 6th instant, with the troops under the command of Major-General Fraser, destined to take possession of Alexandria. On the 15th we reached the Arabs Tower with 14 sail of the convoy, nineteen having parted on the night of the 7th in a heavy squall and thick weather. With so small a proportion of the army the General did not think it prudent to show the transports, until he had received some information of the enemy's forc4e. I therefore stood in with the Tigre on the 16th having Major General Fraser on board, (leaving the convoy in the offing) hoping to ascertain from Major Misset, the British resident, and Mr. Briggs, the Vice-Consul, (whom we expected to find in the Wizard brig. which had been previously detached to receive them on board) the strength and disposition of the Garrison and inhabitants of the place. On the evening of the same day, having received most satisfactory accounts from Major Misset and Mr. Briggs, of the friendly disposition of the inhabitants towards us, and the little prospect there was of meeting any opposition on our landing, the transport were called in, and we all anchored off the western harbour. A summons was immediately sent, demanding possession of the fortress g protection to the persons and private property, of every individual.; but, contrary to our expectations, the officer who had been sent with the summons, returned the morning after, with a declaration from the Governor that he would defend the place to the last extremity.
As our intentions were now known to the enemy, every delay on our part would have afforded them an opportunity of strengthening their position. The General therefore determined on landing immediately with the force he had with him, and on the evening of the 17th, between six and seven hundred troops with five field pieces, and fifty six seamen under Lieutenant Boxer, were put on shore near the ravine, from Lake Mareotis to the sea, without opposition; but from the heavy surf which got up during the night, it was late the afternoon of the following day before the remainder could be got on shore. As soon as the whole collected and formed, they moved forward and attacked the enemy's advanced works, which were carried with little loss. And as we had been informed that a number of Albanians were expected from Rosetta and Cairo, to reinforce the garrison, the army took up a position to the eastward of Alexandria, occupying the cut on the canal, by which all communication was cut off between Alexandria and Rosetta. On the 19th the Apollo and remainder of the convoy appearing in the offing, and having joined, she proceeded with all the transports to Aboukir Bay, where they began on the 20th to land their troops, (the Castle of Aboukir having been previously occupied by us previous to their anchoring) The appearance of such a reinforcement induced the Governor to offer terms of capitulation, similar to those that we first propose; which were accepted on the 20th. and possession taken of the heights of Cassarillie and Cretin, at two o'clock on the morning of the 21st.
As the General did me the honour to express a wish that I should remain on shore from the time of our first disembarkation, I left the Tigre in charge of Mr. Fowell First Lieutenant, and to him, and Captain Withers (principal Agent of the transports)and all the officers and men of the Tigre and transports, I feel much indebted for their exertions which was a most arduous service from the great distance they had to row, and the heavy surf they had to encounter on the beach.
In the old or Western Port we have taken two Turkish frigates and a Corvette, all mounting brass guns, one carrying twenty-eight eighteen pounders on her main deck, six eighteen pound carronades, and four long nine pounders on her quarter-deck, and two nine pounders on her forecastle; the other twenty-six twelve pounders on the main deck, and eight six pounders on the quarter-deck. The Corvette fourteen six pounders and two eighteen pounders, long guns.
Ben. Hallowell.

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