1811 - Capture of the Ville-de-Lyon


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1811 Naiad and the Boulogne Flotilla 339

to the west-north-west and colours hoisted, to await the approach of the enemy ; the town of Boulogne bearing from the leading brig south-east by east distant five or six miles. At 8 h. 30 m. a.m. the Naiad, who had weighed when the prames did, joined the Rinaldo and her companions, and lay to on the same tack slowly stretching off shore, in the hope of imperceptibly drawing the French from the protection of their formidable batteries.

At 9 h. 30 m. a.m. the rear-admiral's prame, which was the leading one of the weather line, tacked in-shore, and on coming round fired her broadside. The instant her helm was down, the British line, by signal from the Naiad, wore together and bore up in chase. The six remaining prames had wore at nearly the same instant as their admiral, and the whole were now crowding sail to regain the protection of the batteries. The Naiad hauled up for the prame of the French admiral ; while the brigs, bearing away and passing the frigate, stood for the sternmost prame of the lee line. At 10 h. 20 m. a.m. the Naiad, having got nearly within pistol-shot between the two lines, opened her fire from both sides ; and the Rinaldo and Redpole poured their broadsides into the sternmost prame of the lee line, the Ville-de-Lyon, commanded by Lieutenant de vaisseau Jean Barbaud, who had been gallantly endeavouring to succour his admiral. Finding it impossible to reach the latter owing to shoal water, the Naiad, being then on the starboard and weather bow of the Ville-de-Lyon, bore up, and, wearing round, boarded and carried her ; but not without an obstinate resistance on the part of the French officers and men, with a loss of between 30 and 40 of them in killed and wounded, including among the latter the prame's commander, Lieutenant Barbaud.

While the Naiad stood away with her prize in tow, the Rinaldo, Redpole, and Castilian continued engaging the remainder of the flotilla. The first two brigs succeeded in getting alongside the prame next in the line to the Ville-de-Lyon, and soon obliged her to haul up for the weather line. Being by this time fired upon by all the batteries, and having but three fathoms' water under their bottoms, the three British brigs ceased firing and stood out to join the Naiad. The damages of the latter were very trifling ; but her loss amounted to two seamen killed, one lieutenant of marines (William Morgan), one midshipman (James Dover), and 12 seamen wounded. The Castilian had her first Lieutenant, Charles Cobb, killed, and one seaman severely wounded ; and the Redpole, her pilot wounded. The capture of this prame, out of the midst of the flotilla and almost under the guns of the batteries, must have wofully disappointed the spectators on shore, and have given rather an awkward finish to the morning's amusement of the French emperor and his generals.

On the 1st of August as a small British squadron, consisting

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