1801 - Sir James Saumarez in the Gut of Gibraltar


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1801 British and Franco-Spanish Fleets 126

Dundas, hired armed brig Louisa, and Portuguese frigate, Carlotta, Captain Crawfurd Duncan.

As soon as they had got from under the lee of the rock, the British ships formed in line ahead on the larboard tack, with the wind from the eastward. At 7 p.m. they wore together, and stood on the starboard tack, under easy sail, watching the combined squadron, which, at about 7 h. 45 m. p.m., cleared Cabrita point ; except the Hannibal, who, having only topmasts for lower masts, still remained astern, in spite of all the efforts of the Indienne frigate by whom she was in tow. The frigate and her charge eventually returned to Algeziras, leaving the following as the force of the combined squadron :

Gun Ship  
112 Real-Carlos Captain Don J. Esquerra.
112 Hermenegildo Captain Don J. Emparran
96 San-Fernando Captain Don J. Malina.
80 Argonauta Captain Don J. Harrera.
74 San-Augustin Captain Don R. Jopete.


80 Formidable Captain Amable-Gilles Troude.
80 Indomptable Captain (name unknown)
74 Saint-Antoine Commod. Julien Le Ray.
74 Desaix Jean-Anne Christy-Pallière.
Frigate Libre  
Frigate Muiron  
Lugger Vautour  

 It appears that it is the invariable custom for a Spanish admiral, when in the presence of the enemy, to shift his flag from a line-of-battle ship to a frigate.* Accordingly, while the squadron was lying to off Cabrita point, Vice-admiral Moreno shifted his flag from the Real-Carlos to the Sabina; and by the Spanish admiral's desire, but with much reluctance on his part, Rear-admiral Linois quitted the Formidable and repaired on board the same frigate.

At 8 p.m., or a little after, the British squadron bore away in chase; and, at about 8 h. 40 m., Sir James hailed the Superb, who was close astern of the Cæsar, and directed Captain Keats to make sail ahead, and attack the sternmost of the enemy's ships, none of which were then visible. In an instant all sail was set upon the Superb ; and, passing the Cæsar, she regained a sight of the hostile squadron. At 10 p.m. the wind freshened, and the Cæsar and Venerable were then the only ships of her own squadron seen by the Superb. At 11 p.m. the Superb had so increased her distance, that the Cæsar was full three miles

* Victoires et Conquêtes, tome xiv., p. 164.

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