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Forrest's Action

Page history last edited by Cy 15 years, 4 months ago


Forrest's Action


21st October 1757

Page Heirarchy:Home:Naval Battles :Flotilla Actions


The British Squadron
British Squadron of Post Captain Arthur Forrest
Ship Name Guns Commander Notes
Augusta 60 Arthur Forrest Flagship
Dreadnought 60    
Edinburgh 64    
The French Squadron
French Squadron
Ship Name Guns Commander Notes
Intrepide 78   Flagship
Sceptre 78    
Opiniatre 64    
Greenwich 50    
French Ships not in the Line
Ship Name Guns Commander Notes
Sauvage 30    
Licorne 36    
Outarde 18    


Notes on Action
Description of the Action The Royal Navy Vol III

On October 21st, de Kersaint issued forth [from Cape Francois], hoping by his very appearance in such force to drive Forrest away. The latter, upon the French being signalled, summoned his brother captains on board the Augusta, and, when they met him on his quarterdeck, said, "Well, gentlemen, you see they are come out to engage us." Upon which Captain Suckling answered, " I think it would be a pity to disappoint them." Captain Langdon was of the same opinion. "Very well," replied Captain Forrest; "go on board your ships again"; and he at once made the signal to bear down and engage the enemy.

The French had seven vessels to the British three. Captain Suckling took the van, Captain Forrest the centre, and Captain Langdon the rear. The action began at about 3.20 P.M., and continued very briskly for two hours and a half, when the French commodore ordered one of his frigates to come and tow him out of the line. Others of his squadron soon followed his example; and eventually the French made off. The British ships were all much cut up aloft. The Augusta lost 9 killed and 29 wounded; the Dreadnought, 9 killed and 30 wounded; and the Edinburgh, 5 killed and 30 wounded.

The loss of the French is said to have exceeded 500 in killed and wounded. Few pluckier or more creditable actions have ever been fought; and it is worth noting that among the British captains, all of whom greatly distinguished themselves, one, Maurice Suckling, was a maternal uncle of Lord Nelson, and Nelson's earliest patron. Forrest had to bear up for Jamaica, in order to get his ships refitted. De Kersaint, in the meantime, picked up his convoy and sailed for France. But, at the very end of his voyage, he met with a severe storm, in which the Opinlcltre, Greenwich, and Outarde drove ashore and were wrecked.

Mistaken identity  
Clowe's identifies the Outarde as a 44 gun vessel, the only French vessel of that name I can identify is the 18 gun Flute listed here, which was transfered to the Compagne des Indes in 1760. This vessel is listed in the "Histoire Maritime de France" as a flute present at the action, this book also notes the Sceptre as armed 'en flute'


Id Link or Description Author
W032 Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy David Bonner Smith
B051 Biographia Navalis - Volume III John Charnock
B057 British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714 - 1792 Rif Winfield
B051 Biographia Navalis - Volume V John Charnock
B040 The Royal Navy Vol III William Laid Clowes


Last Updated :2009/03/03 at 12:02:54 by Cy

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