1814 - Eurotas and Clorinde

Contents

Next Page

Previous Page

10 Pages >>

10 Pages <<
1814 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 268

shot, which the Cérès returned from her stern guns. As the day opened, the wind drew to the north-east; which so favoured the Tagus that, at 7 h. 30 m. a.m., she passed the Niger, and was gaining fast upon the French frigate. At 8 h. 15 m., desirous to try a different point of sailing, the Cérès shortened sail and hauled to the wind on the starboard tack. As a proof that the French frigate gained little by this, in half an hour the Tagus got within gun-shot, and, hoisting her colours, opened a fire, which the Cérès, hoisting hers, presently returned. A running fight now commenced between the Tagus and Cérès, and continued until 9 h. 30 m. a.m. ; when, having had her main topmast shot away, the French frigate fired a broadside and surrendered. At this time, owing to some damage done to the rigging of the Tagus by her opponent's stern-chasers, the Niger had headed her consort, and was in the act of opening a heavy fire upon the Cérès.

Besides the loss of her main topmast, the rigging and sails of the Cérès were a good deal cut, and some of her lower masts injured. The damages of the Tagus were confined to her rigging and sails ; and neither the French nor the English sustained a greater loss than one man wounded. Being a fine new frigate of 1074 tons, the Cérès was added to the British navy, under the name of Seine, a Cérès being already in the service.

It is uncertain on what day, previous to the capture of the Cérès, her consort, the Clorinde, parted company ; but we find the latter on the 25th of February, in latitude 47 40' north, longitude (from Greenwich) 9 30' west, on her way to Brest, after a tolerably successful cruise. It was at 2 p.m., when standing close hauled on the starboard tack, with the wind at south-west by south, that the Clorinde was descried by the British 24-pounder 38-gun frigate Eurotas, Captain John Phillimore, then on the former's weather beam steering by the wind on the larboard tack. The Eurotas quickly bore up in chase ; and at 2 h. 30. m. p.m. the Clorinde, whose national character and force was by this time ascertained, also bore up, under a press of sail.

While the chase is going on, we will proceed to point out some peculiarities in the armament of one of these ships, a knowledge of which will be necessary, to render fully intelligible the details we have to give of the action fought between them. At the commencement of the year 1813, under the head of

British and American navies," we stated that, among the means taken to meet the large American frigates on equal terms, some of the British 38-gun class were mounted with medium 24-pounders and allowed an increased complement of men. The first two frigates so fitted were the Cydnus and Eurotas, both built of red pine and recently launched. The Cydnus was fitted with the 24-pounder of General Blomefield, measuring 7 ft. 6 in., and weighing about 40 cwt.; and the Eurotas, after

^ back to top ^