1803 - Capture of Inabordable and Commode, Boats of Hydra near Havre, Bombardment of Dieppe St.-Vallery en Caux and Granville


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1803 Invasion - Flotilla 179

Rich Owen, and 18-gun brig-sloops Cruiser and Jalouse, Captain John Hancock and Christopher Strachey, chased the two French gun-vessels, Inabordable schooner and Commode brig, each carrying one 18, and three 24 pounder long guns, on shore upon the east part of Cape Blanc-Nez. As soon as the flood-tide made, the Cruiser and Jalouse stood in, and, anchoring with springs, commenced engaging the batteries under which the gun-vessels had grounded. At the end of an hour's mutual cannonade the batteries were silenced ; and, in the face of a heavy fire of musketry from the cliffs, by which Mr. Charles Adams, master's mate of the Jalouse, the only person hurt, was badly wounded, the boats of the three British vessels boarded and brought off the French brig and schooner.

On the 1st of August a French armed lugger, which the British 38-gun frigate Hydra, Captain George Mundy ; had prevented from entering the port of Hâvre, having hauled close to the beach about two miles to the westward of the river Touque, Captain Mundy despatched the Hydra's boats, under the orders of Lieutenant Francis M'Mahon Tracy, assisted by Messieurs John Barclay and George French, midshipmen, to endeavour to bring off or destroy her. On the near approach of the boats the crew of the lugger, which was the Favori, of four carriage-guns, commanded by a lieutenant de vaisseau, abandoned her and retreated to the shore; where, in concert with a party of military, they posted themselves behind some sand-banks that lay abreast, and within musket-shot of their vessel. From this position the French soldiers and sailors kept up a constant fire upon the people in the boats and on board the Favori ; and received a return from the British marines, until the lugger, by the exertion of the prize-master and his men, had gained a safe distance from the shore. One seaman killed was the extent of the loss on the British side.

On the 14th of September, at 8 A.M., the Immortalité frigate, in company with the bomb-vessels, Perseus, Captain John Methu1st, and Explosion, Captain Robert Paul, commenced an attack upon the batteries that protect the town of Dieppe, also on 17 gun-vessels building in the port. The firing was continued on both sides until 11 h. 30 m. A.M. ; when, the lee-tide making strong, and the town having taken fire badly in one place, and slightly in two others, the frigate and bomb-vessels weighed, and proceeded off St.-Valery en Caux, where six gunboats were constructing. At 3 P.M. the British opened a fire upon that place, and continued it for an hour, apparently with some effect : Captain Owen then retired, with the loss of one man missing and five men wounded.

On the 13th of September, in the evening, the British 18-pounder 32-gun frigate Cerberus, Captain William Selby, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir James Saumarez, anchored as close to the town of Granville as the tide would admit, having

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