carronades : consequently her 50 long guns, as particularised in the first annual abstract, were all that she mounted.
From this statement it appears, that a British 50-gun ship of those days was not, in realty, a very decided overmatch for a French 40-gun frigate. Some allowance, however, is to be made for the advantage which a two-decker possesses over a one-decker in the power of concentrating her fire. Under all the circumstances of the case, had the French captain foreborne to communicate the oath he had taken, not to strike his ship's colours, this engagement would have been yet more creditable than it was to the officers and men of the Sibylle.
The Sibylle was built at Toulon in the year 1791, of the best materials, and is still, under the same name, one of the finest ships of her class in the British navy. The three lieutenants on board the Romney, in her action with the Sibylle, were William Henry Brisbane, Francis Ventris Field, and Edward O'Bryen ; the first of whom was shortly afterwards promoted to the rank of commander.
On the 7th of August Captain Sir John Borlase Warren, K. B., put to sea from Falmouth, with, besides his own frigate, the Flora, the 38-gun frigates Arethusa, Captain Sir Edward Pellew, Diamond, Captain Sir William Sidney Smith, Artois, Captain Sir Edmund Nagle, and Diana, Captain Jonathan Faulknor, and 36-gun frigate Santa-Margarita, Captain Eliab Harvey, in quest of a squadron of French frigates reported to be cruising to the westward and northward of Scilly. On the 23d, at 4 a.m., being off the Penmarck rocks, the British squadron discovered and chased the French 36-gun frigate Volontaire ; and at 4 p.m. the Diamond, Artois, Santa-Margarita, and Diana, engaged and drove her on shore near the Penmarcks ; where they left her, according to Sir John Warren's despatch, "disabled and irrecoverably lost."
In the mean time the Flora and Arethusa had gone in chase of two ship-corvettes to windward of Pointe du Raz ; and which, on being pursued, had stood into the bay of Audierne, and come to an anchor off the Gamette rocks. Perceiving that the two British frigates intended still to close with them, the two corvettes, which were the Alert and Espion, both recently captured from the British, got under way, and ran aground "under cover of three batteries." The Flora and Diamond continued engaging the French batteries and grounded vessels until 6 h. 15 m. p.m.; when the masts of the latter went by the board, and a great proportion of their crews got on shore.
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