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HERCULES (74) 3rd rate Built in 1759, Deptford DY.
Sold in 1784.

  • 1759 Capt. Jervis Henry PORTER. In this letter to Mr Clevland he describes his action with the French ship of war called the FLORISSANT, which, the previous November, had been engaged by Capt. TYRREL of the BUCKINGHAM, in the West Indies.
  • Plymouth Sound, Oct. 26, 1759.
  • "On the 10th. instant, at eight in [he morning. being in in latitude of about 46 deg. 40 min. steering S. E. with the wind at S. W. we saw a sail to windward, which we chased, and soon after discovered her studding sails set, and that she came down lasking upon us. About noon the chace hoisted a blue flag at her main-top gallant mast head, which we answered by hoisting an English ensign at the mizzen-top mast head (a signal which is sometimes made between two French ships of war, upon meeting, after parting company) she neared us very fast, and we plainly discovered her to be a large ship of war. At two in the afternoon, a Dutch galliot passing near us, we hoisted a French jack, and fired a shot at her, upon which the chace hoisted a French jack at her ensign staff, and fired a gun to leeward. At half past five, being about one mile to windward of us, and abaft our beam, coming down as before seemingly with an intention of coming to action, as her guns were run out below, she hauled her jack down, and hoisted her ensign and pendant; we shortened sail, handed down the French jack, hoisted our colours, hauled our ports up (which were until this time down) and run our weather guns out; upon which she immediately hauled her wind, and set her main-sail and stay-sails; we then discovered her to be a 74 gun ship, having fourteen ports below, made sail and stretched a-head of her, and tacked, passing her to leeward. At six tacked again, and stood after her; found she kept away large; we bore after her keeping her a little upon the lee-bow, to prevent her choice of the engaging distance. About three quarters after nine, being pretty near up with her, though not near enough to engage, she put her helm hard a-starboard, and gave us her larboard broadside, and then kept on as before, and gave us her starboard broadside. We then immediately starboarded our helm, and ran right down upon her, whilst she was loading her guns, and getting close to her, ported our helm, and began to engage as the guns bore upon her.
  • At half past ten we were so unlucky as to have our main-top mast shot away, which she took the advantage of, and made all the sail She could from us; we did the same after her, and continued to chace until eight the next morning, when we saw the north end of Oleron, about five leagues distance. The chace was about four or five miles from us; finding it impossible to come up with her in so short a run, and engaging ourselves with a lee-shore, with our fore-yard shot thro' in two places, our fore-top-sail-yard so badly wounded, that when we came afterwards to reef the sail, it broke, and having all our sails and rigging very much shattered, (at which the enemy only aimed) we left off the chace, and wore ship, having one man killed and two wounded, including myself, being wounded in the head by a grape-shot, and have lost the use of my right leg. The officers and men behaved with the greatest spirits and alertness, without the least confusion,
  • The wounds he received compelled him to resign his command on his return to Plymouth.
  • 1782 Capt. H. SAVAGE, West Indies.

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