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BREDA (70) 3rd rate Built in 1692, Woolwich.
Broken up in 1730.

  • 1701 Capt. FOG, flagship of Vice Ad.BENBOW. He left Sir George ROOKE off Scilly on the 2nd September 1701 and sailed for the West Indies with 10 sail of 3rd. and 4th. rates and orders to intercept the Spanish treasure galleons due to sail to Europe. At the same time Ad. RENAUD sailed from Brest with 14 sail of the line and 26 frigates to convoy the galleons. War was declared against France on 2 May 1702.
  • BENBOW made St. Mary's in the Azores on the 28th. and Barbados on the 3 November. He found the Leeward Is in a good state of defence and sailed for Jamaica where he first learnt of the presence of French squadrons, particularly M. du Casse off Hispaniola. He dispatched Rear Ad. WHETSTONE in search of the French and sailed himself from Jamaica on 11 July.
  • At Leogane on the north side of Hispaniola they found six merchantmen and a a 50-gun man of war, which, finding it impossible to escape, ran herself ashore where she was burnt. BENBOW's squadron burnt a ship of 18 guns sheltering under the port's fortifications, then took three and sank one of the merchant ships. On the 19th. 10 sail of large ships were sighted off Santa Martha sailing westward along the shore under topsails. The French squadron consisted of four ships from 60-70 guns, a large Dutch built ship of about 30-40 guns, and another full of soldiers. The rest were small sloops.
  • BENBOW made the signal to form line of battle, but did not intend to attack before DEFIANCE was abreast of the leading French ship. However FALMOUTH attacked the Dutch ship and WINDSOR did the same with the ship abreast of her. Soon BREDA was engaged too. But both DEFIANCE and WINDSOR hauled their wind after two or three broadsides and stood out of gun-shot, leaving BREDA alone to withstand the fire of the enemy's two leading ships, nor did the ships in the rear come to his aid with any urgency. The fight continued from 4 o'clock in the afternoon until night. In the morning the admiral found himself within gun-shot of the enemy with only RUBY in company, the rest being up to five miles astern. The wind was very light until the afternoon when the enemy formed a line, but the rest of the ships still did not come up. On the 21st. shots were fired at RUBY but BREDA came to her assistance. On the 22nd BREDA captured the ANNE galley, a small English ship which had been captured off the rock of Lisbon, and RUBY, being very disabled, was ordered for Port Royal. During the night of the 24th. they exchanged broadsides with one of the enemy 70-gun ships and about 2 o'clock the admiral's right leg was shattered by a chain shot. He was taken below but was soon back in a cradle on the quarter-deck. Seeing BREDA unsupported by the other ships the French poured in their broadsides. The line of battle flag was still out and Capt. FROG sent direct orders to the captains to keep the line and behave like Englishmen. Capt. KIRBY of DEFIANCE came on board and told the Admiral to desist as the French were very strong. BENBOW was satisfied that they were determined not to fight and he returned to Jamaica where he received a letter from du CASSE.
  • SIR.
  • I had little hopes on Monday last but to have supped in your cabin: but it pleased God to order it otherwise. I am thankful for it. As for those cowardly captains who deserted you, hang them up, for by God they deserve it.
  • Yours
  • On 6 October Capt. KIRBY faced a court martial accused of cowardice. This was fully proved and he was sentenced to be shot. Capt. CONSTABLE of WINDSOR was tried the same day and. although his officers cleared him of cowardice, he was found guilty on other charges and cashiered and imprisoned. The next day Capt. WADE of GREENWICH was found guilty of cowardice and also sentenced to be shot. It was alleged that he had been drunk during the whole engagement. Capt. HUDSON of PENDENNIS died before he could be brought to trial. KIRBY and WADE were sent home in BRISTOL for execution. On the 12th. Capts. FOG and VINCENT were tried for signing a paper that they would refuse to fight. They pleaded that this was purely a device to prevent Capt. KIRBY deserting and BENBOW testified for them that they had both fought bravely. The court, for the sake of discipline, decided that they should just be suspended pending his Highness's pleasure. Ad. BENBOW was so depressed by the whole affair that he died on 4 November.
  • 1718 Capt. Barrows HARRIS, with the fleet under Admiral Sir George BYNG when he attacked and fought the Spanish fleet under Vice Ad. Castaneta off Cape Passaro in Sicily on 31 July 1718

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