The First Battle of Cape Finisterre (14 May 1747) saw 14 British ships of the line under Admiral George Anson attack a French 30-ship convoy commanded by Admiral de la Jonquière during the War of the Austrian Succession. The British captured 4 ships of the line, 2 frigates and 7 merchantmen, in a five-hour battle in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Finisterre in northwest Spain. One French frigate, one French East India Company warship and the other merchantmen escaped.
The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called simply Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.
Admiral of the Fleet George Anson, 1st Baron Anson, was a Royal Navy officer. Anson served as a junior officer during the War of the Spanish Succession and then saw active service against Spain at the Battle of Cape Passaro during the War of the Quadruple Alliance. He then undertook a circumnavigation of the globe during the War of Jenkins' Ear. Anson commanded the fleet that defeated the French Admiral de la Jonquière at the First Battle of Cape Finisterre during the War of the Austrian Succession.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
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France needed to keep shipping lanes open in order to maintain her overseas empire. To this end she assembled merchantmen into convoys protected by warships. Anson on Prince George and Rear-Admiral Sir Peter Warren on Devonshire had sailed from Plymouth on 9 April to intercept French shipping. When a large convoy was sighted Anson had made the signal to form line of battle. When Rear-Admiral Warren, suspecting the enemy to be merely manoeuvring to promote the escape of the convoy, bore down and communicated his opinion to the admiral, the latter threw out a signal for a general chase.
HMS Devonshire was a 66-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built to the dimensions laid out in the 1741 proposals of the 1719 Establishment at Woolwich Dockyard, and launched on 19 July 1745.
Centurion under a press of sail, was the first to come up with the rearmost French ship, which she attacked heavily and two other ships dropped astern to her support. The action became general when three more British ships, including Devonshire, came up. The French, though much inferior in numbers, fought till seven in the evening, when all but two of their ships were taken, as well as nine East India merchantmen. The French lost 700 men killed and wounded, and the British 520. Over £300,000 was found on board the ships of war, which were turned into British ships.
HMS Centurion was a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Portsmouth Dockyard and launched on 6 January 1732. At the time of Centurion's construction, the 1719 Establishment dictated the dimensions of almost every ship being built. Owing to concerns over the relative sizes of British ships compared to their continental rivals, Centurion was ordered to be built 1 ft (0.3 m) wider across the beam than the Establishment prescribed. HMS Rippon was similarly built to non-Establishment dimensions at the same time.
Following his victory, Anson was raised to the peerage. The French assembled another, much bigger, convoy which set sail in October; Hawke's defeat of this fleet in the Second Battle of Cape Finisterre put an end to French naval operations for the rest of the war. François de Grasse later the famous Comte was wounded in this First Battle and taken prisoner as he served on La Gloire, which was captured.
The Second Battle of Cape Finisterre was a naval battle which took place on 25 October 1747 during the War of the Austrian Succession. A British fleet of fourteen ships of the line commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Hawke intercepted a French convoy protected by eight French ships of the line commanded by Admiral Desherbiers de l'Etenduère.
François Joseph Paul, comte de Grasse was a career French officer who achieved the rank of admiral. He is best known for his command of the French fleet at the Battle of the Chesapeake in 1781 in the last year of the American Revolutionary War. It led directly to the British surrender at Yorktown and helped gain the rebels' victory.
According to historian William Williamson, the battle was a "most severe blow to the French interests in America. Besides immense property taken, there were found on board … numerous articles designed for the Acadians and Indians" who continued to resist the British in Acadia/ Nova Scotia.
Acadia was a colony of New France in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine to the Kennebec River. During much of the 17th and early 18th centuries, Norridgewock on the Kennebec River and Castine at the end of the Penobscot River were the southernmost settlements of Acadia. The actual specification by the French government for the territory refers to lands bordering the Atlantic coast, roughly between the 40th and 46th parallels. Later, the territory was divided into the British colonies that became Canadian provinces and American states. The population of Acadia included members of the Wabanaki Confederacy and descendants of emigrants from France. The two communities intermarried, which resulted in a significant portion of the population of Acadia being Métis.
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime Provinces, and one of the four provinces that form Atlantic Canada. Its provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest of Canada's ten provinces, with an area of 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 sq mi), including Cape Breton and another 3,800 coastal islands. As of 2016, the population was 923,598. Nova Scotia is Canada's second-most-densely populated province, after Prince Edward Island, with 17.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (45/sq mi).
A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, characteristically a flag officer entitled by custom to fly a distinguishing flag. Used more loosely, it is the lead ship in a fleet of vessels, typically the first, largest, fastest, most heavily armed, or best known.
Admiral Sir Peter Warren, KB was a British naval officer from Ireland who commanded the naval forces in the attack on the French fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia in 1745. He later sat as MP for Westminster.
Vice-Admiral Temple West was a British naval officer, best known for his role as second-in-command to Admiral John Byng in the Battle of Minorca (1756).
George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, KB, was a British naval officer. He is best known for his commands in the American War of Independence, particularly his victory over the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782. It is often claimed that he was the commander to have pioneered the tactic of "breaking the line".
The naval Battle of the Lizard took place on 21 October 1707 during the War of the Spanish Succession near Lizard Point, Cornwall between two French squadrons under René Duguay-Trouin and Claude de Forbin and an English convoy protected by a squadron under Commodore Richard Edwards.
The Battle of Cape Passaro was the defeat of a Spanish fleet under Admirals Antonio de Gaztañeta and Fernando Chacón by a British fleet under Admiral George Byng, near Cape Passero, Sicily, on 11 August 1718, four months before the War of the Quadruple Alliance was formally declared.
HMS Berwick was a 74-gun Elizabeth-class third rate of the Royal Navy, launched at Portsmouth Dockyard on 18 April 1775, to a design by Sir Thomas Slade. She fought the French at the Battle of Ushant (1778) and the Dutch at the Battle of Dogger Bank (1781). The French captured her in the Action of 8 March 1795 during the French Revolutionary Wars and she served with them with some success then and at the start of the Napoleonic Wars until the British recaptured her at the Battle of Trafalgar. Berwick sank shortly thereafter in a storm.
HMS Anson was a ship of the Royal Navy, launched at Plymouth on 4 September 1781. Originally a 64-gun third rate ship of the line, she fought at the Battle of the Saintes.
The Battle of Lagos was a sea battle during the Nine Years' War on 27 June 1693, when a French fleet under Anne Hilarion de Tourville defeated an Anglo-Dutch fleet under George Rooke. Rooke's squadron was protecting the Smyrna convoy, and it is by this name that the action is sometimes known.
Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Denis, 1st Baronet was an English naval officer and Member of Parliament.
The Battle of Emsdorf was fought on 16 July 1760 during the Seven Years' War at Emsdorf in present-day Hesse, Germany, between forces of British, Hanoverian and Hessian troops under the Prince of Hesse-Kassel against German troops in French service under Marechal de Camp von Glaubitz. It was part of the campaign to disrupt the French line of communications by capturing Marburg, a French supply depot.
HMS Windsor Castle was a 98-gun second rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 3 May 1790 at Deptford Dockyard.
Jean-Baptiste Philibert Willaumez was a French sailor, Navy officer, and admiral of the First French Empire.
Admiral Sir Peircy Brett was a Royal Navy officer. As a junior officer he served on George Anson's voyage around the world and commanded the landing party which sacked and burned the town of Paita in November 1741. During the Jacobite rising Brett saw action on the 9 July 1745, when as captain of the fourth-rate HMS Lion he exchanged fire with the French ships Elizabeth and the Du Teillay: the Du Teillay at the time was carrying Charles Edward Stuart to Scotland with supplies and funds to support his cause. Brett also commanded the third-rate HMS Yarmouth at the First Battle of Cape Finisterre in May 1747 during the War of the Austrian Succession. He commanded HMS Cambridge on the North America and West Indies Station during the Seven Years' War and later became Senior Naval Lord. He was also a Member of Parliament, representing the constituency of Queenborough from 1754 until 1774.
The Battle of Saint Cast was a military engagement during the Seven Years' War on the French coast between British naval and land expeditionary forces and French coastal defence forces. Fought on 11 September 1758, it was won by the French.
The Sirène was a 40-gun Coquille class frigate of the French Navy. She took part in a number of campaigns and actions before she was badly damaged in a battle on 22 March 1808. Refloated after being beached to avoid capture, she was hulked. Sirène was broken up in 1825.
HMS Prince William was a 64-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She had previously been the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, but was better known as Guipuzcoano, an armed merchantmen of the Spanish Basque Guipuzcoan Company of Caracas.
Robert Mann was an officer of the Royal Navy. He served during the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars, eventually rising to the rank of admiral of the red.
Vice-Admiral Thomas Cotes was a Royal Navy officer who became Commander-in-Chief of the Jamaica Station.
The Action of 24 February 1780 was a minor naval battle that took place off the island of Madeira during the American Revolutionary war. A French convoy was intercepted and pursued by a British Royal Navy squadron ending with the French 64 gun ship Protée being captured along with three transports.