C1797

The Desperate Action Between the Terrible and Vengeance, Dec 1757.

Artist:

Smirke & Cleveley

Captain Death, a privateer who was in command of the Terrible, engaged and captured on 23rd December 1756, the Alexandre le Grande, a large French ship sailing from Saint-Domingue. Captain Death assigned 40 men to secure the French ship, and … Read Full Description

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S/N: NAVL-1797-CLEV–186191
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Details

Full Title:

The Desperate Action Between the Terrible and Vengeance, Dec 1757.

Date:

C1797

Artist:

Smirke & Cleveley

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Engraving.

Image Size: 

240mm 
x 330mm
AUTHENTICITY
The Desperate Action Between the Terrible and Vengeance, Dec 1757. - Antique Print from 1797

Genuine antique
dated:

1797

Description:

Captain Death, a privateer who was in command of the Terrible, engaged and captured on 23rd December 1756, the Alexandre le Grande, a large French ship sailing from Saint-Domingue. Captain Death assigned 40 men to secure the French ship, and they made they way for Plymouth. It is said that the Terrible was equipped at Execution Dock, commanded by Captain Death, had a Lieutenant Devil, and a surgeon named Ghost. As the ships entered the English Channel on 27 December, they met the French Vengeance, a privateer from Saint-Malo, with 36 large cannons and 360 men. The Vengeance sailed towards the Terrible under an English ensign, but hoisted the French colours when she came near, sailing between the faster Terrible and the slower Alexandre le Grande. The French retook the Alexandre and doubled up on the Terrible, which lost her main-mast in first broadside. When the battle ended, the badly damaged Terrible was towed to Saint-Malo.

When word of the battle reached England, Captain Death’s battles against the French were cited as examples of English courage against superior odds. The political activist and writer Thomas Paine had intended to join Captain Death’s crew, but was dissuaded by his father. In his 1776 pamphlet Common Sense, Paine cited Captain Death’s battles in his argument that the American colonies should raise a naval fleet.

An English folk ballad titled “Captain Death” was printed as early as 1783, and laments the loss of the “brave Captain Death.”

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