Honour - 'Niemen' 1809

Date -  05 April
Type - Single Ship or Boat Service Actions 
Conflict - Napoleonic War; 1803-15 

Description The action took place in the Bay of Biscay about 145 miles from the Cordouan Lighthouse off the mouth of the Gironde Estuary on a heading of 258.

At 1100hrs HMS Amethyst under Captain Michael Seymour, gave chase to the French frigate Niemen (40-gun). But lost sight of her prey at sunset. But at 2140hrs  again sighted the Niemen and closed. Amethyst opened fire at 1130hrs and by 0325hrs the Niemen had ceased firing. Amethyst also ceased fire and while closing lost her main and mizzen masts.

Meanwhile HMS Arethusa had approached. At this point Niemen fired one shot at both Arethusa and Amethyst and struck her colours. 

Niemen lost 47 killed and 73 wounded out of 339 aboard. Amethyst lost 8 killed and 37 wounded out of 222 aboard.

This was the second single ship honour won by Amethyst under Seymour within 5 months and he was awarded a baronetcy. The first honour was 'Thetis' 1808.


HM Ships
This page last edited - 30 March, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.