1800 - Capture of the Ligurienne


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1800 Capture of the Ligurienne 35

The officers of the Danaé were landed at Brest; but the ship's company, including the mutineers, were, to the astonishment and chagrin of the latter, marched to Dinan prison. Vice-admiral Bruix, together with the commandant of marines and all the other French officers at the port, behaved with great politeness and attention to Lord Proby and his officers ; the whole of the former expressing their utter detestation of the conduct of the mutineers. Captain Louis-Léon Jacob, formerly of the 36-gun frigate Bellone, captured with the Hoche in the year 1798, nobly offered to give louis d'ors for all the bank of England notes of the officers. Several of the latter, soon afterwards, were permitted to return to England on their parole.

On the 20th of March, in the evening, as the British 12-pounder 32-gun frigate Mermaid, Captain Robert Dudley Oliver, and 16-gun ship-sloop Peterel (armed like the Fairy), Captain Francis William Austen, were cruising in the bay of Marseille, Captain Oliver directed the Peterel to keep close inshore by way of deception, thereby to capture any vessels that might be running along the coast.

On the next morning some vessels of a convoy of 50 sail, from Cette bound to Toulon and Marseille, under the protection of an armed ship, brig, and xebec, were descried and chased, and two of them, a bark and bombard, both laden with wheat, captured. On the same afternoon, when near to Cape Couronne, the Peterel came to action with the three armed vessels; but which, after a short contest, observing the Mermaid, although at a great distance, beating up from to-leeward, made sail to get away. The ship and xebec, one, the Cerf of 14 long brass 6-pounders and about 90 men, the other, the Lejoille (named after the captain of the Généreux), commanded by the commodore of the division, Captain (de vais.) Pierre-Paul Raccord, and mounting six long brass 6-pounders, and about 50 men, effected their escape by running on shore. The brig-corvette, which was the Ligurienne of 14 long 6-pounders and two 36-pounder carronades, all brass, and 104 men, Lieutenant Francois-Auguste Pelabond, after sustaining the fire of the Peterel, in a running fight of an hour and a half's duration, within 250 yards, and sometimes half that distance only, of the shore, struck her colours; at which time the Peterel was within six miles of the town of Marseille.

Although this service was performed under a heavy fire from a, battery of four 24 or 18 pounders ; and although, for a few minutes of the time, the sloop remained on a rock, which her stern had touched, the Peterel's damages were confined to a few shot-holes in her sails, and to the upsetting of four of her (12-pounder) carronades. Her first lieutenant, gunner, and 30 men being absent in prizes, the Peterel had on board but 89 men and boys; of whom she did not have a man hurt. The Ligurienne

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