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Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
by
William James
1805 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 122

Bettesworth put his helm a-starboard, and caught his opponent's jib-boom between the Curieux's after fore-shroud and foremast. In this exposed situation the Dame-Ernouf remained, until her decks were completely cleared by the guns of the Curieux ; when, just as the latter was about to board the former, the two vessels parted, the fore topmast of the Dame-Ernouf falling over the side just as she dropped clear. The privateer continued a short time firing musketry, and then hauled down her colours.

Both ships mounted 16 long French 6-pounders. * The Curieux had a complement of 67 men and boys ; of whom she lost five, including the purser, Mr. Maddox (who, in the absence of the first lieutenant, gallantly volunteered his services, and was killed at the head of the small-arm men), killed, and four, including her commander, by a musket-ball in the head, † wounded. The Dame-Ernouf commenced action with 120 men, of whom she had 30 killed and 40 wounded; a sufficient proof that her officers and crew persevered in their resistance while any hope remained. In his modest account of an action so creditable to himself and his brig's company, Captain Bettesworth omits not to pass a very handsome encomium on the gallantry of his antagonist.

On the 13th of February, at 5 A.M., as the British 18-pounder 36-gun frigate San-Fiorenzo, Captain Henry Lambert, was in latitude 19° 35' north, longitude 85° 25' east, standing on the starboard tack, with a light wind at west-south-west, in search of the French (late privateer, ‡ but now) 32-gun frigate Psyché, Captain Jacques Bergeret, reported to be off Vizagapatam, three sail were discovered at anchor under the land to the southward. These, which were the Psyché and two ships, her prizes, immediately weighed and made sail, pursued by the San-Fiorenzo. Light and baffling winds continued during the day, and towards midnight it became quite calm. At about 20 minutes past midnight, a light breeze having sprung up, the San-Fiorenzo braced round on the larboard tack, and made all sail, trimming and wetting them to quicken her progress. In this way the chase continued throughout the remainder of the night, the San-Fiorenzo gradually gaining until 5 h. 30 m. P.M. on the 14th, when the Psyché and her companions hoisted English colours, as did also the San-Fiorenzo. At 7 h. 30 m. P.M. the latter arrived within hail and took possession of the sternmost vessel of the three, the Thetis, late country-ship, and which had just

*  The Curieux had been captured the preceding year, see p. 109. By admiralty order of December 10, 1804, the Curieux was ordered fourteen 18-pounder carronades but it is believed retained her French guns, until by admiralty orders of August 9 and September 12, 1805, she was established with eight long 6-pounders and ten 24-pounder carronades.

†  He had also received three wounds at the cutting out of the brig be note commanded. See vol. iii., p. 245,

‡  See vol, iii., 264.

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