1800 - Capture of the Pallas


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1800 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 32

and three wounded in her first action, but escaped without any casualty in her second ; making the total loss on the British side nine killed and 36 wounded.

The official letter of Captain Newman does not mention a word of any loss having been sustained by the Pallas: a very improper omission, as it leads to an inference that the enemy's frigate struck her colours without having lost a man in the action. That such was not the case is clear, as well from the state of the ship's hull, which was pierced by shot in several places, as from the state of her lower masts, all three of which, just before daylight on the 7th, went over her side in a squall.

Captain Newman states that the crew of the Pallas numbered 350 ; but the officers of the latter swore, in the prize-court, that they had 362 men when the action, meaning, we presume, that with the two sloops, commenced. Hence the 12 men constituting the difference between the two statements, were, in all probability, killed in the preceding or day action. A greater loss than that must, we suppose, have been incurred in the night action, when the Loire's heavy broadsides came into play; but, for the reason already stated, we are unable to give the particulars.

Instead of exhibiting the usual comparative statement, we shall merely say, that, unaided by any of her consorts, the Loire, mounting 46 guns (long 18 and 9 pounders, with 32-pounder carronades), was more than a match for the Pallas ; and that the latter's defence was highly creditable to her officers and crew.

The Pallas was a remarkably handsome frigate of 1029 tons, and had never before been at sea. She was of course purchased by government; and, under the name of Pique, long continued a favourite 36-gun frigate in the lists of the British navy.

For what, on one side at least, may be called a single-ship action, the details of the occurrences which led to the capture of the French frigate Pallas have given us considerable trouble, and are not yet drawn up to our entire satisfaction. Not, however, because there has been so little said or written on the subject, for few actions of the kind have given rise to so much discussion, as the pages of the Naval Chronicle can testify; but owing to the obscure and contradictory statements which have been published, all resting upon authority equally respectable. At all events, no one can deny that the conduct of Captains Horton and Bazely was highly gallant and praiseworthy. Nor must the efforts of the Harpy be disparaged simply because she was an 18-gun sloop. The Harpy was armed in the same manner as the Pelican, that had rendered herself so famous in beating off the Médée ; and the former's 32-pounder carronades, in the close and raking position in which they were frequently fired, did considerable mischief to the Pallas, as Captain Epron himself was candid enough to acknowledge.

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