Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Glorious First of June, I June 1794

The Glorious First of June, I June 1794

The first fleet action of the French Revolutionary Wars was actually fought
over five days, but culminated in a major encounter on 1 June 1794. Fought
400 miles off Ushant, west of the Breton Peninsula, between Admiral Earl
Howe with 34 ships of the line and Rear-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse with
30 ships, Howe's objective was to intercept an immense grain convoy from
America bound for the starving population of France. In the event, Howe
attacked and took six enemy ships, while a seventh foundered. More could
have been achieved had the British pursued, but their crews were exhausted
and Howe remained content to claim only a tactical victory, failing as he
had to prevent the vital convoy reaching Brest.


Ship Name           No of guns     Commanding officer
Caesar                 80                  Captain Anthony Molloy
Bellerophon         74                  Rear-Admiral Thomas Pasley,
                                                 Captain William Hope
Leviathan             74                 Captain Lord Hugh Seymour
Russell                 74                 Captain John Payne
Royal Sovereign   100               Vice-Admiral Thomas Graves,
                                                 Captain Henry Nicholls
Marlborough        74                 Captain Hon. George Berkeley
Defence               74                 Captain James Gambier
Impregnable         98                 Rear-Admiral Benjamin Caldwell,
                                                Captain George Westcott
Tremendous         74                Captain James Pigott
Barfleur                98                Rear-Admiral George Bowyer,
                                                Captain Cuthbert Collingwood
Invincible              74                Captain Hon Thomas Pakenham
Culloden               74                Captain Isaac Schomberg
Gibraltar               80               Captain Thomas Mackenzie
Queen Charlotte   100             Admiral Earl Howe,
                                               Captain Sir Roger Curtis,
                                               Captain Sir Andrew Douglas
Brunswick            74               Captain John Harvey
Valiant                  74               Captain Thomas Pringle
Orion                   74               Captain John Duckworth
Queen                  98              Rear-Admiral Alan Gardner,
                                              Captain John Hutt
Ramillies               74              Captain Henry Harvey
Alfred                   74              Captain John Bazely
Montagu               74              Captain James Montagu
Royal George      100             Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Hood,
                                               Captain William Domett
Majestic                74              Captain Charles Cotton
Glory                     98             Captain John Elphinstone
Thunderer              74             Captain Albermarle Bertie
Phaeton                 38              Captain William Bentinck
Latona                   38              Captain Edward Thornbrough
Niger                     32              Captain Hon. Arthur Legge
Southampton          32             Captain Hon. Robert Forbes
Venus                     32             Captain William Brown
Aquilon                  32             Captain Hon. Robert Stopford
Pegasus                  32             Captain Robert Barlow