The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137861   Message #3156294
Posted By: Les from Hull
18-May-11 - 09:37 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Bold Princess Royal (Song)
Subject: RE: Origins: Bold Princess Royal (Song)
On the 21st of June, at daybreak, his Britannic majesty's packet Princess-Royal, Captain John Skinner, of six guns (two 6s and four 4s) and 32 men and boys, exclusive of 17 passengers, nine days from Falmouth, on her way to New-York with a mail, fell in with, the French brig privateer Aventurier, of 16 guns (14 long 4-pounders, and two 12-pounder carronades) and 85 men and boys. At 5 a.m. the privateer made sail after the packet ; who, on her part, crowded all sail to get away, but without much effect, the prevailing light air and smooth sea giving an advantage to the former in the use of her numerous sweeps. At 7 p.m. the Aventurier, hoisting English colours, fired a shot, which the Princess-Royal returned. The privateer fired another shot, and then dropped in the wake of the packet, as if intending to defer the attack until daylight.

On the 22d, at 3 h. 30 m. a.m., the Aventurier came suddenly up within pistol-shot, and fired a broadside, accompanied by musketry. This the Princess-Royal, having brought five of her six guns, including the two 6-pounders, to bear on one side, returned with spirit. One of the 6-pounders was commanded by a lieutenant, who was going out to join the 64-gun ship St. Albans ; and the male passengers kept 14 muskets in constant use. Captain Skinner was unable to use one, having lost his right arm on board a frigate in the former war. After a two hours' engagement, the French privateer took to her sweeps and rowed off. One of the packet's 6-pounders was now brought to bear as a stern-chaser, and struck the privateer twice in the counter, to the evident confusion of the people on board. At 6 a.m. the privateer being entirely out of gun-shot, the packet ceased firing, and commenced repairing her damages, which were rather serious. Her sails and rigging were much cut, also her spare spars and boats: several round shot had struck the hull, and one large one had entered the counter; but yet the Princess-Royal had not a man hurt. On board the privateer, were 30 English and American prisoners. From some of these it was afterwards ascertained, that the Aventurier had all her masts shot through and her sails and rigging much cut, had received 19 shot in her hull below the wales, and sustained a loss of two men killed and four wounded. Her injuries, indeed, were so great, that the privateer was compelled to break up her cruise and return to Bordeaux to refit. Such a result did great credit to the skill, as well as gallantry, of the packet's crew ; nor must we omit to state that, when all the 4-pound cartridges were consumed, Captain Skinner's sister. and her maid employed themselves in the bread-room in making new ones.

(Naval History of Great Britain - Vol II by WE James)