Contents

Next Page

Previous Page

10 Pages >>

10 Pages <<
Naval History of Great Britain - Vol II
1798 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 246

fact is, much to the credit of Admiral Bruix, where a different mode of stating the guns would have cast a greater slur upon the British vessel, the maindeck guns of each ship are all that are enumerated. The print represents a full broadside view of the Baïonnaise, without a single port obscured by smoke. She has 12 guns run out on her main deck, with a bow or bridle port, making 13 ports in all. Her forecastle is without a. bulwark, and of course without guns ; but the exposed side of her quarterdeck shows four ports, with guns in them, the aftermost one apparently a carronade : four swivels also appear, mounted in their usual place along the top of the barricade. Here, then, we have, as admitted by the French themselves, 30 long guns and two carronades ; comprising the number stated, not only by the officers of the Ambuscade, but by those of the Ardent, which ship, at a subsequent day, drove on shore and destroyed this same Baïonnaise.

We may here remark, that the drawing is executed in a masterly manner, and is minute even to a block. The, stern of the English ship, of which there is a full view, agrees, in all the carved work, and in every other particular, with the stern of the Ambuscade, according to the sheer-draught of the ship at the navy office, which we have inspected. This commendable accuracy affords a lesson to English naval painters. The Baïonnaise, at each of whose lower yard-arms a grappling-iron is suspended, perfectly resembles in her general appearance, as far as our information extends, the several captured ships of her class. These were the Bienvenue, Mignonne, Belette, Blonde, Tourterelle, Unite, Républicaine, and a few others; all of which, ships mounted, like the Baïonnaise, 24 long eights on the main deck. Besides these guns, the Tourterelle had six, and the Républicaine eight, brass 36-pounder carronades on the quarter-deck ; the others long 6-pounders, with or without carronades. The established complement of the class appears. to have been at this time; however it may afterwards have been increased in the case of the Baïonnaise, 220 men and boys ; and the size of the captured ships, except in the case of the Bienvenue and Mignonne, whose. measurements, having been taken in foreign dock-yard's, are, as we shall hereafter show, not to be relied upon, varied only between 579 and 581 tons. The Ambuscade measured 684 tons ; and, believing the picture, from which this engraving was taken, to have been that "displayed in the Louvre; and shown in the Luxembourg in 1821," we cannot concur with a contemporary in the statement, that " the size of the British ship was as much magnified beyond ; as that of her opponent was diminished below, the real fact."' * On. the contrary, we think that here ; as in the minutiae of detail already noticed, English naval artists have something to learn.

* Brenton, vol. ii., p. 372.

^ back to top ^