1803 - Also of Franchise and Bacchante


 
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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1803 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 186

did the Affronteur, even then, give up the contest, until her captain and eight of her men were killed, and 14 wounded, one of them mortally. The Doris received some slight damage in the hull and rigging, and had one man wounded, by the fire of her puny but resolute antagonist.

It is hard to draw the line between a resistance that is prudential, and one which is, as this has been pronounced, " fraught with temerity." Had the lugger shot away the frigate's fore topmast, and thereby effected her escape, all would have united in praising the skill and bravery of M. Dutoya and his people. Had the Affronteur surrendered at the first fire, few would have admitted that her officers and men deserved to belong to a national cruiser, even of her small class. At all events, in a service where so much is to be effected by undauntedness, it is safer to praise the extreme of that quality, than not to censure an over-cautious discretion.

The capture of the Affronteur, it will be observed, took place on the very day on which the declaration of war issued from St.-James's. This, with the capture of two merchant vessels on the same or the following day, was made a subject of serious complaint against England. " Contre le dealt des gens, mais suivant un usage trop commun de la part de l'Angleterre, les hostilités précédèrent la declaration de guerre. On croyait encore à Paris les négociations en activité lorsqu'on y apprit, par une dépêche télégraphique du préfet maritime de Brest, que les Anglais s'étaient emparés de deux bâtimens marchands dans la baie d'Audierne ; le même jour, ou le lendemain, ils attaquèrent les bâtimens de guerre français. " * The fact is, so far from the negotiation being " in activity," Lord Whitworth had obtained his passports since the 12th of the month, and General Andreossi had applied for his a week earlier. Moreover, it was only on the 25th of May that General Mortier, from his headquarters at Cöerveden, summoned the Hanoverian electorate to surrender to his army.

On the 28th of May the French 36-gun frigate Franchise, still commanded by Captain Jurien, but with 10 of her guns in the hold, and a reduced complement of 187 men, was captured by the 74-gun ship Minotaur, Captain John Charles Moore Mansfield, and two other 74s, which had chased from the Channel fleet. The prize was 35 days from Port-au-Prince, bound to Brest. Being a tolerably fine frigate of 898 tons, the Franchise was added to the British navy, by the same name, as a 12-pounder 36.

On the 25th of June, in latitude 47 10' north, longitude 20 west, the British 24-pounder 40-gun frigate Endymion, Captain the Honourable Charles Paget, fell in with, and after a chase of eight hours, captured, the French ship-corvette Bacchante, of

* Victoires et Conquêtes, tome xvi., p. 2.

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