Skirmish of Loch nan Uamh

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Skirmish of Loch nan Uamh
Part of the Jacobite rising of 1745
Loch Nan Uamh - - 23934.jpg
Loch nan Uamh
Date2 May 1746 [1]
Result Jacobite ships retreat [2]
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg British-Hanoverians from Royal Navy Jacobite Standard (1745).svg Jacobites from: French privateers
Commanders and leaders
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Captain Noel [1] Jacobite Standard (1745).svgCaptain Rouillee [2]
Captain Lorry [2]
Three sloops-of-war (smaller than the two French frigates) [3] Two frigates [3]
Casualties and losses
Unknown 29 men killed and 85 wounded [2]

The Skirmish of Loch nan Uamh was a conflict that took place on 2 May 1746 and was part of the Jacobite rising of 1745. It was fought by the British Royal Navy against French privateers who were supporting the Jacobite rebels.

Jacobite rising of 1745 attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for the exiled House of Stuart

The Jacobite rising of 1745, also known as the Forty-five Rebellion or simply the '45, was an attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for his father, James Francis Edward Stuart. It took place during the War of the Austrian Succession, when the bulk of the British Army was fighting in mainland Europe, and proved to be the last in a series of revolts that began in 1689, with major outbreaks in 1708, 1715 and 1719.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.



Following the Jacobite defeat at the Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746, two French privateer ships, the Le Mars and the La Bellone arrived at Loch nan Uamh and anchored there on 30 April 1746. [2] As they were privateers, their emblem was a black cockade which also happened to be the emblem of the British-Hanoverian supporters and as such the Jacobites on shore fired upon them. [2] [1] However, the privateers raised the French flag and the mistake was realized and sorted out. [2] [1] Le Mars was reluctant to unload her supplies (the Loch Arkaig treasure) as the British Navy was approaching and she took on board some escaping Jacobites including James Drummond, 3rd Duke of Perth and Sir Thomas Sheridan. [2]

Battle of Culloden Final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745

The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart were decisively defeated by Hanoverian forces commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.

Privateer private person or ship authorized by a government to attack foreign shipping

A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. Since robbery under arms was a common aspect of seaborne trade, until the early 19th century all merchant ships carried arms. A sovereign or delegated authority issued commissions, also referred to as a letter of marque, during wartime. The commission empowered the holder to carry on all forms of hostility permissible at sea by the usages of war. This included attacking foreign vessels and taking them as prizes, and taking prize crews as prisoners for exchange. Captured ships were subject to condemnation and sale under prize law, with the proceeds divided by percentage between the privateer's sponsors, shipowners, captains and crew. A percentage share usually went to the issuer of the commission.

Mars, was a French privateer. Mars was involved in a naval battle in Loch nan Uamh during the Jacobite rising. She was captured by HMS Dreadnought off Cape Clear in 1747.

The Skirmish

On 2 May 1746 three British ships crept into the loch. [1] As the British Government ships approached Captain Rouillee of the Le Mars decided to stay at anchor, but Captain Lorry of the La Bellone set sail. [2] This allowed the Royal Navy's HMS Greyhound to give Le Mars a broadside at close quarters which caused great loss of life: [2] Nearly a score of privateers were killed and according to eyewitnesses her decks were awash with blood. [1] The crew panicked and had to be forced back to duty. [2] The La Bellone and HMS Greyhound then attacked each other and the mast of the La Bellone was broken with a broadside. [2] There was an attempt to board the La Bellone but she gave the Greyhound two broadsides. [2] The Greyhound had to move out of range and this allowed Le Mars to set sail. [2] HMS Terror tried to stop Le Mars but a volley from La Bellone disabled her. [2] Le Mars was then led by La Bellone out to a bay at the head of Loch nan Uamh, where Le Mars started her repairs, and La Bellone engaged the British ships. [2] Hundreds of spectators came to the shore to watch the battle, whom HMS Greyhound fired upon to try and stop them carrying away the gold and cargo that had been unloaded by the French ships. [2] [1] HMS Baltimore along with HMS Greyhound and HMS Terror tried to board the French ships, but Baltimore's captain sustained a head wound and her rigging was shattered. [2] She also lost her anchor and two of her masts. [2] The Baltimore then headed for The Minch to get help while the La Bellone hit the Greyhound's main mast and set fire to her hand grenades. [2] The Le Mars was in a bad state having been hit six times above the water line, seven times below the water line and with three feet of water in her hold. [2] Le Mars had also suffered 29 men killed and 85 men wounded. [2]

HMS Greyhound was a 20-gun sixth-rate ship of the Royal Navy, built in 1740-41 according to the 1733 modifications of the 1719 Establishment, and in service in the West Indies, the Americas and the Caribbean. After extensive service including the single-handed capture of two other ships of equivalent size and armament, Greyhound was driven ashore in the River Thames at Erith, Kent in January 1768. She was consequently declared unseaworthy and sold out of service three months later.

Broadside simultaneous firing of guns on one side of a ship

A broadside is the side of a ship, the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their coordinated fire in naval warfare. From the 16th century until the early decades of the steamship, vessels had rows of guns set in each side of the hull. Firing all guns on one side of the ship became known as a "broadside". The cannons of 18th-century men of war were accurate only at short range, and their penetrating power mediocre, entailing that the thick hulls of wooden ships could only be pierced at short ranges. These wooden ships sailed closer and closer towards each other until cannon fire would be effective. Each tried to be the first to fire a broadside, often giving one party a decisive headstart in the battle when it crippled the other ship.

20 (twenty) is the natural number following 19 and preceding 21. A group of twenty units may also be referred to as a score.


The French ships escaped, but another French ship returned in September and successfully rescued the Jacobite leader Charles Edward Stuart who had been in hiding. [2] Both French privateers were captured the following year by the Royal Navy. [4]

Charles Edward Stuart Jacobite pretender to the thrones of England, Scotland, Ireland, and France

Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart was the elder son of James Francis Edward Stuart, grandson of James II and VII, and the Stuart claimant to the throne of Great Britain after 1766. During his lifetime, he was also known as "the Young Pretender" and "the Young Chevalier"; in popular memory, he is "Bonnie Prince Charlie". He is best remembered for his role in the 1745 rising; his defeat at Culloden in April 1746 effectively ended the Stuart cause, and subsequent attempts failed to materialise, such as a planned French invasion in 1759. His escape from Scotland after the uprising led to his portrayal as a romantic figure of heroic failure.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Sadler, John (2012). Blood on the Wave: Scottish Sea Battles. Birlinn. p. no page numbers.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 McKerracher, Mairead (2012). Jacobite Dictionary. Neil Wilson Publishing. p. no page numbers.
  3. 1 2 Reid, Stuart (2002). Culloden Moor 1746: The Death of the Jacobite Cause. Campaign series. Osprey Publishing. pp. 88–90. ISBN   1-84176-412-4.
  4. Winfield, Rif (2007). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714–1792: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth Publishing. pp. 126, 224. ISBN   9781783469253.

See also

Jacobite risings Series of uprisings, rebellions and wars in Great Britain and Ireland between 1688 and 1746

The Jacobite risings, also known as the Jacobite rebellions or the War of the British Succession, were a series of uprisings, rebellions, and wars in Great Britain and Ireland occurring between 1688 and 1746. The uprisings had the aim of returning James II of England and VII of Scotland, the last Catholic British monarch, and later his descendants of the House of Stuart, to the throne of Great Britain after they had been deposed by Parliament during the Glorious Revolution. The series of conflicts takes its name Jacobitism, from Jacobus, the Latin form of James.