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PRINCESS LOUISA (60) 4th rate Built in 1744, Limehouse.
Broken up in 1766.

  • 1747 Capt. Charles WATSON. With Rear Adm. Sir Edward HAWKE's squadron ordered to intercept a large, heavily escorted French convoy to the West Indies in October 1747.
  • Letter from Princess Louisa, at sea, October 16th. 1747
  • Our admiral and most of our larger ships, being greatly to leeward, and astern of us, except the Defiance, Monmouth, Lyon and Tilbury, he first made a signal to form line a-head, but in less than a quarter of an hour, being about 11 o'clock, altered it to chace, and engage; tho' I am pretty certain we, with some of the ships above mentioned, could have weathered the enemy. During this interval, the Lyon, bearing more away than us, began the fight, tho' the French fired first, this was a quarter before twelve. It was our turn next, and we fairly run the gauntlet; for coming up with the enemy's sternmost ship of 74 guns, and within pistol-shot, gave her, and received, three broadsides; then stood on for the headmost ships, engaging as we passed by them. As we got ahead, the wind shifted 3 or 4 points, which obliged us to tack, and make more sail, by haling our main tack on board. At the same time the French headmost ships clung to their wind, which was a circumstance in our favour; for they had it in their power to come down upon us, being then partly alone; however, in order to double their van, our fire ceased about an hour; in which time we shot so far ahead, that we tacked and gained the wind of the enemy. We then went down and engaged the Terrible very close, till our adm. in the Devonshire came up, at which time we were situated on her weather bow very near; but as our adm. was very close to her on her lee quarter, we were afraid to make use of that advantage; half an hour after he engaged her, she struck to him, and so did some others before, as he passed by them; and indeed it was high time, for it was now near six o'clock, and so dark, we could not do much more.
  • No ships behaved better than the enemy's, or sold their liberties dearer. The admiral after the Terrible struck. brought to.
  • At about 8 o'clock we heard and saw the flashes of guns on our lee quarter, which appeared the next morning to be the Yarmouth, Eagle and Nottingham, engaging the Tonnant and Intrepide, which by the favour of the night, and the shattered our three ships were in. Capt. Saumaries sic) in the Nottingham being killed, got off.
  • The frigate, after giving us a broadside at the beginning of the fight, followed the convoy; we could have taken her in half an hour, but our captain had glory too much at heart to follow her; and indeed, to do him justice, tho' I am but a late acquaintance, no mortal could be more cool or intrepid, than he was during the whole affair.
  • At break of day, we found six of the line in our possession; the fight was pleasing, tho' horrid, for never were ships in such a condition; our own were all very bad, but the enemy's were absolutely wrecks, three of them not having any thing standing, even so big as my cane; the others little better; One of them is said to have lost 200 men, and I believe it; for we, having the Severne in tow, which is their smallest ship, find they have lost upwards of 60, besides 70 wounded.
  • You will be able, Sir, to estimate our loss in general, by my particularising the present circumstances of our own ship. We have 12 men killed and about 7 we expect to die this night, we have 62 wounded, and about 20 of that number dangerously; we have all our standing masts shot and almost all our yards and booms in the ship wounded. We are are likewise hulled in a great number of places; I had the curiosity to count the shot holes in our fore-top sail, and they were in number 60; all our other sails in proportion; and I believe every ship in our fleet is damaged much the same as ours, except one ship very well known, commanded by old Sir Thomas Wholebones, who, it seems, found out a method, for the honour of his king and the good of his country, of preserving his majesty's ship and subjects under his command, in such a manner that he lost but one poor boy, and had one port wounded.

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