Todays post of another superb aquatint print from James Jenkins The Naval Achievements of Great Britain shows the capture of the Castor. Castor had previously been a British ship, seized on 19 May by a French battle squadron in the Bay of Biscay and converted to French service while still at sea. While the main fleets manoeuvered around one another, Castor was detached in pursuit of a Dutch merchant ship and on 29 May encountered the smaller independently cruising British frigate HMS Carysfort.
Above: Capture of the Castore May 29th 1794 from The Naval Achievements of Great Britain and Her Allies from 1793 to 1817 by J. Jenkins. The Castor, a British vessel captured by the French (and flying French colours) is shown on the left of the picture, just before her re-capture by the British vessel Carysfort.
Excerpt from the written account as published: Capture of the Castore May 29th 1794. The following is an extract of a letter from Francis Laforey, Esq. Captain of his Majesty's ship Carysfort, of 28 guns, to Mr. Stephens, dated in Plymouth Sound, June 7, 1794.
B. On the 29th of last month, being in latitude 46 deg. 38 min. north, longitude 9 deg. 40 min. west, his Majesty's ship under my command fell in with, and, after an action of an hour and fifteen minutes, captured, a French frigate (late his Majesty's ship Castor), commanded by Monsieur L'Huiller, mounting 32 guns, and manned with 220 men. She had parted company from the French squadron on the 24th, in chase of a Dutch brig, which she had in tow when we first discovered her, and which, upon our coming up, was enabled to effect her escape. I have the satisfaction of reporting to their Lordships the uniform good conduct of the officers and crew of his Majesty's ship that I have the honour to command; and I feel myself indebted to Lieutenants Worseley and Sayer, for the spirited example they set to a new ship’s company.
Herewith I transmit a return of the loss sustained by his Majesty's ship in killed and wounded, with as accurate a one as we have been able to obtain of that of the enemy.
Carysfort.- One seaman killed; five seamen, one marine, wounded.
Castor.- Sixteen seamen killed; nine seamen wounded.
How to Identify the Prints:
The original prints from "The Naval Achievements of Great Britain. From the Year 1793 to 1817" are aquatint engravings on a medium weight wove paper. All the plates identify at bottom left Painted by T. Whitcombe and bottom right T. Sutherland (sculpt) who produced the aquatint engravings. Some plates were engraved by Jeakes and Bailey after Whitcombe. Each plate is accompanied by text pages describing the action, often with lists of ships captured or sunk, and excerpts from contemporary bulletins, dispatches, letters, and speeches. The first edition appeared in 1817. Early issues have watermarks of J. Whatman with the undated watermark IIS&S on some plates. The vignette title page was uncoloured in the first issue. The approx engraved image area of the plates are 7" x 10.25" (175mm x 260mm). Engraved plate mark area is approx 8.5 x 11.75 (215mm x 300mm). The folio sheet size is approx 11.5" x 14" (290mm x 355mm).
You can see more prints from Jenkins The Naval Achievements of Great Britain, From the Year 1793 to 1817 HERE. If you're interested in a specific print and you cannot see it on my website please feel free to message me.