1803 - The Lord-Nelson and Bellone, Seagull and Lord-Nelson


Next Page

Previous Page
Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1803 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 196

Having taken possession of the cutter, the Racoon crowded sail after the schooner, the Jeune-Adèle, carrying six small guns, and 80 troops; and which vessel, on being approached within gun-shot and fired at, surrendered without further resistance. Standing in-shore to rejoin her first prize, the Racoon soon discovered that the Frenchmen on board, while the latter was engaging the cutter and schooner, had overpowered the prize-crew, and run the brig on shore among the rocks. Captain Bissell, however, got back his officer and men. The loss on board the cutter and schooner was about 40 in killed and wounded: that of the Racoon was only one person wounded, Mr. Thompson, the master, who in the early part of the action had received a violent contusion, which completely disabled him.

On the 14th of August, when in latitude 48 north, longitude 16 west, on her homeward voyage, the British East-India Company's ship Lord Nelson, Captain Robert Spottiswood, of 26 guns (20 long 18 and six long 12 pounders), and 102 men in crew, exclusive of passengers, was fallen in with by the French ship-privateer Bellone, of 34 guns, including 24 long eights on her main deck, and 260 men. An action ensued, and lasted an hour and a half, when the privateer succeeded in carrying her opponent by boarding, but not until the Bellone had been once repulsed, and the Indiaman sustained a loss of five men killed and 31 wounded. Placing an officer and 41 men in charge of the Lord-Nelson, the Bellone proceeded with her towards Corunna. On the 20th a British frigate chased the two ships, and would have retaken the Indiaman, had not the Bellone, trusting to her great sailing powers, led away the former. The Lord-Nelson, now alone, was attacked on the 23d by an English cutter-privateer, of fourteen 6-pounders ; and the latter, highly to the credit of her officers and crew, maintained a two hours' action before she was beaten off.

On the 25th, at 1 P M., in latitude 46 north, longitude 12 west, the British 18-gun brig-sloop Seagull (sixteen 24-pounder carronades and two sixes), Captain Henry Burke, discovered to leeward and chased the Lord-Nelson. At 5 p.m. the latter hoisted French colours, and fired a gun. At 7 p.m., the Seagull having got within gun-shot, an action commenced; which continued, with very slight intermission, until 6 a.m. on the 26th; when the brig, having received two shot between wind and water, had her masts and rigging much wounded and cut up and her fore yard shot away in the slings, hauled off to refit. At 18 h. 30 m., just as the Seagull, having replaced her damaged rigging, was about to renew the action, a British squadron, of four sail of the line, under Captain Sir Edward Pellew, in the 80-gun ship Tonnant, hove in sight. By noon, or a little after, the Colossus, the advanced ship of Sir Edward's squadron, overtook and recaptured the Lord-Nelson. In her two actions, particularly

^ back to top ^