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BOURDELAIS (24) A French privateer taken in November 1799 by Capt. TWYSDEN in REVOLUTIONNAIRE off Southern Ireland after a chase of forty-eight hours.
Broken up in 1804.

    As a privateer she was reckoned to have earned her owners in Bordeaux one million pounds sterling after capturing nearly 160 prizes in four years.
  • 1800 re-fitting at Plymouth. She was commissioned at that port on 4 February 1800 by Capt. Thomas MANBY and sailed in a gale on 13 April for Cork in company with GALATEA. The weather off the south of Ireland was very bad and BOURDELAIS needed repairs when she returned to Plymouth. She came out of dock on 15 May and sailed on a cruise off the coasts of Spain and Portugal on 2 May.
    On the 12th. June she looked into Corunna and captured a Danish schooner, the PHOENIX, from St. Thomas ostensibly for Altona but, since she had a French pilot on board, more likely heading for Bordeaux with a cargo of sugar, coffee and indigo.
    Two days later Capt. MANBY looked into Ferrol where he saw six sail of the line and five frigates with topsail yards across.
    On the 15th. she fell in with the advanced squadron of frigates of Earl St. VINCENT's fleet and on the 28th., about 100 miles west of Ushant, with the homeward bound Straits convoy.
    BOURDELAIS returned to Plymouth on 27 July and sailed for the Downs on 5 August.
  • On Sunday 9 November she was damaged in a gale and had to go into Portsmouth harbour for repairs on the 12th. The gale was so bad that the schooner REDBRIDGE had to throw all her guns overboard to survive a passage from Jersey.
  • On 30 November FAIRY sailed to Falmouth to collect the outward bound ships and on 7 December 1800 BOURDELAIS, ANDROMEDA and FAIRY sailed from Portsmouth with a convoy for the West Indies.
  • On 8 January 1801 BOURDELAIS was off Palma when a strange sail was sighted to the south-east.
    Since there was no wind two boats were despatched under Lieut. BARRIE in pursuit. After a row of fourteen hours Lieut. BARRIE, with only one boat, boarded the stranger under fire from four 4-pounders. She was the ADVENTURE of London which had been captured by LA MOUCHE privateer out of Bordeaux when she had parted from her convoy during a gale.
    The French had put a prize crew of 10 on board and the prize-master, who was slashed by a cutlass, was the only one wounded in the recapture. Learning that LA MOUCHE had taken another vessel from the convoy at the same time and that both prizes had orders to sail for Santa Cruz in Teneriffe, Capt. MANBY made for that port using his sweeps all the following day. He arrived off Santa Cruz on the morning of the 10th. and recaptured the AURORA of London, a valuable copper-bottomed ship which had been bound for Barbados.
  • On the 29 January Capt. BRADBY of ANDROMEDA ordered BOURDELAIS to cruise off Barbados to provide protection for the scattered convoy and at noon Capt. MANBY saw three sail to windward, evidently an enemy squadron. He shortened sail to allow them to come up and, at sunset, wore round to give them battle.
    The enemy proved to be two large brigs and a schooner and at 6 o'clock he brought one of the brigs to action at a distance of about 10 yards. The others kept out of range and when BOURDELAIS's opponent struck after 30 minutes carronade they made all sail away. The first lieutenant, Mr Robert BARRIE, took possession of the prize and found her to be the French national corvette LA CURIEUSE with eighteen long 9-pounders mounted and a crew of 168 men commanded by Capt. Radelet. The squadron had been sent out from Cayenne by Victor Hugues 28 days before to intercept the outward bound West India fleet.
    BOURDELAIS lost one man killed in the action and seven wounded including Mr J. JONES, master's mate, and Mr J. LYONS, midshipman. The prize had been badly holed and at eight o'clock she foundered while Mr Archibald MONTGOMERY, acting lieutenant, and 20 followers were still trying to extricate wounded Frenchmen.
    Mr Frederick SPENCE, Mr AUCKLAND and five of BOURDELAIS's crew went down with her. The French captain lost both his legs and only survived for a few hours. Nearly fifty of his crew were killed or died of their wounds and 120 prisoners were transferred to BOURDELAIS.
    The two other French vessels escaped into the night while the prisoners were being secured and the sloop's rigging and sails repaired. They were LA MUTINE, brig, commanded by Capt. Raybaun, and L╠ESPERANCE, schooner, commanded by Capt. Haymond. The French squadron had made only one capture, the brig SUSAN of Halifax, bound for Surinam, which they had burnt.
    The other officers in BOURDELAIS during the action were: Lieut. James Alexander GORDON; Mr Mac CLEVERTY, the master; Mr G. RODDAM, surgeon.
    BOURDELAIS made for Carlisle Bay in Barbados, arriving on 1 February 1801.
  • She returned to Plymouth on 11 August 1803 after a voyage of 41 days from Port Royal.
    After victualling and watering she sailed again to be paid off in the Thames. She was re-commissioned with Robert BARRIE as her new captain.


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