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BIENFAISANT (64) 3rd rate Taken in 1758.
Broken up in 1814.

  • 1758 captured from the French at Louisburgh by a division of boats under Cdr. BALFOUR of AETNA boarded and captured her on the night of the 25th. July.
  • 1762 Capt. George BALFOUR, Mediterranean under Sir Charles SAUNDERS, he continued in her until 1765.
  • 1777 Capt. John MACBRIDE, continued until the start of 1781 on the home station. At the end of 1779 he was ordered to Gibraltar with Adm. RODNEY to relieve that fortress. On passage he fell in with a Spanish squadron and convoy near Cape Finisterre, and captured the Guipuscoana of 64 guns. The convoy and all the ships of war were captured by the different ships of the fleet.
  • Subsequently there was an engagement in the midst of a tremendous storm in which the BIENFAISANT and her opponent were completely separated from their companions. After receiving two or three shot, the enemy's main-top mast went over the side, but they were surprised not to receive any fire in return. They hailed, and were answered "That the Admiral did not intend to fight any more." BIENFAISANT ordered them to haul down their ensign and sent a boat on board, which returned with Don Francis Melgaris. her captain, from whom they found that she was the PHOENIX, of eighty guns and 700 men. Don Francisco Langara, the commander in chief, having his flag on board, was wounded. The weather grew worse and Capt. MACBRIDE was obliged to lay to for a day and a night. When the weather moderated so that boats could pass; but having the small pox on board the BIENFAISANT, he was unwilling to introduce the infection among the enemy, induced him to make a proposal to Adm. Langara, which was accepted.
  • Bienfaisant, at Sea. January 18th. 1780.
  • The small pox being on board his majesty's ship Bienfaisant, of a malignant kind, the feelings of a British officer cannot allow him to introduce an infection even among his enemies. From this consideration, and the very gallant defence made by admiral Langara and his officers, captain Macbride consents, that neither officers nor men shall be removed from the Phoenix, taken by his Britannic majesty's ships Defence and Bienfaisant, admiral Langara being responsible for the conduct of his officers and men; and in case we fall in with any Spanish or French ships of war, he will not suffer lieutenant Thomas Louis, his officer, to be interrupted in conducting and defending the ship to the last extremity, agreeable to his orders; and if meeting with superior force the ship should be retaken, and the Bienfaisant fight her way clear, admiral Langara his officers and men, are to hold themselves prisoners of war to captain Macbride, upon their parole of honour (which he is confident with Spanish officers is ever sacred). Likewise, if the Bienfaisant should be taken, and the Phoenix escape, then admiral Langara, his officers & C. will no longer be prisoners, but freed immediately. In short, they follow the fate of the Bienfaisant.
  • Capt. MACBRIDE was sent home with the news, but due to unfavourable winds, was unfortunate enough not to reach England until some days after Capt. Edward THOMPSON arrived with a duplicate.
  • When the fleet returned to England in March Capt. MACBRIDE resumed command of BIENFAISANT and was sent to the St. George's Channel in search of a large private French ship of war mounting 64 guns. He fell in with her off the Old Head of Kinsale at daylight on the 13 August. After an action lasting an hour and ten minutes, during which the enemy made an unsuccessful attempt at boarding, the COUNT D'ARTOIS surrendered. The enemy had 21 killed and 35 wounded, while the BIENFAISANT had three men killed and 22 wounded. The CHARON (44), joined at the end of the action and had one man slightly wounded.
  • In December he fell in with, and captured, two Dutch privateers mounting 24 guns each.
  • At ten o'clock yesterday morning saw them, they stood for us with much confidence. About two o'clock I brought them both to action, but paid attention only to the one on our quarter till we had effectually winged her; then pushed forward and closed the other, which was engaged on our bow. In about thirty minutes she struck; we sent a boat on board to take possession, and wore round after the other, who was making off, but who also struck on our coming up. They proved to be the Hercules and Mars, two privateers from Amsterdam, mounting twenty-four nine pounders and ten cohorns each; are perfectly new; sail as high as the Artois and are the compleatest privateers I ever saw; they cost upwards of 20,000 L, commanded by two Hogenbooms, father and son, inhabitants of Flushing.
  • The father was well known in the last war by the nickname Hardapple; he had a schooner privateer, with a French commission, out of Flushing, and did much mischief to our trade; he was sent for on purpose to command these privateers. They sailed from the Texel on the 30th. November, and had taken one of our fishing smacks.
  • The Hercules had one hundred and sixty-four men on board; fourteen were killed and twenty wounded. The Mars one hundred and forty-six men; nine were killed and fifteen wounded. We had one man killed and six wounded.
  • At the end of the year Capt. MACBRIDE moved to ARTOIS (44).
  • 1782 Capt. J. HOWORTH, refit at Plymouth for home station.

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