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Sibylle / Sybille, 1794
Type: Frigate ; Armament 44
Taken : 1794 ;
Disposal date or year : 1833
5-31 Jan 1798 sailed Macao on a cruise of the Philippines.
28 February 1799 Forte, 44, Captured, February 28, by the British frigate Sibylle, Captain Edward Cooke (who lost his life in the action), off Bengal river, East Indies. (Vol iii, Appendix No 1)
19 Aug 1801 Chiffonne, 36, Captured by the British frigate Sibylle, at the Seychelles. (Vol iii, Appendix No 13)
Doubled and sheathed &c.with on bottom, with 1½ inch stuff .
15 Aug - 20 Oct 1807 Siege and bombardment of Copenhagen and capture of Danish Fleet by Gambier
19th of April, 1801 (Vol iii - page 143)
On the 19th of April, at 8 h. 30 m. A. M., the British 38-gun frigate Sibylle, Captain Charles Adam, observing signals flying on St.-Anne's island, one of the Seychelles, hoisted French colours; and at 9 A. M., having rounded the island, discovered in Mahé roads, close in-shore, a frigate with her foremast out, accompanied by several small-craft. The Sibylle immediately backed her main topsail, cleared for action, and got springs on the anchors : she then filled, and set the foresail. At 10 A. M. the French 36-gun frigate Chiffonne, Captain Pierre Guieysse, fired a shot and hoisted her colours. At 10 h. 15 m. A. M., having passed through a winding and intricate channel formed by various dangerous shoals, and discoverable only by the change of colour in the water as seen by a man stationed at the masthead, the Sibylle anchored within about 200 yards of the French frigate ; not being able to get nearer, on account of a shoal that on the Chiffonne's larboard or outermost bow.
At 10 h. 25 m. A. M., having dropped her best bower under foot, so as to bring her best broadside to bear, and substitute English for French colours, the Sibylle opened her fire, receiving in return a fire from the Chiffonne, as well as from a battery erected in a raking position on the neighbouring shore. The cannonade continued with tolerable spirit until 10 h. 42 m. A. M., when the Chiffonne struck her flag, cut her cable, and drifted upon a reef. While an officer and party went to take possession, the Sibylle veered away her cable, so that her broadside might bear upon the battery, which still continued its fire. No sooner, however, did a lieutenant and a few of the Sibylle's men land upon the beach, than the battery also struck its colours.
At the surrender of the frigate, a great number of her crew took to the boats and escaped on shore ; and the men at the battery also escaped. The latter was found to consist of four of the frigate's forecastle guns, mounted on a plank platform, defended by fascines, and provided with a furnace for heating shot. The Sibylle's force in guns and men has already appeared. * Of the latter, she had only two seamen killed, and one midshipman slightly wounded. The Chiffonne appears to have been armed the same as the generality of French 36-gun frigates, and had a, complement of 296 men; of whom the Sibylle's fire killed 23., and wounded 30. About 100, including those stationed in the battery, escaped : the remainder were made prisoners.
Although the Chiffonne was certainly no match for the Sibylle, the dangerous circumstances, under which she had been approached and attacked, entitle the officers and crew of the: British frigate to a considerable share of credit. The Chiffonne, with 32 banished Frenchmen on board, had sailed from Nantes on the 14th of April, 1800, and had since, agreeably to her orders, landed them upon the Seychelles. The prize was a fine frigate of 945 tons, and was afterwards purchased for the use of the British navy; in which, under her French name, she classed. as a 12-pounder 36.