The 'Defence' at the Battle of the 1 June 1794
An incident from the five-day battle known as the 'Glorious First of June 1794', during the French Revolutionary War, 1793-1802, between the British fleet under Lord Howe and the French fleet under Rear-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse. This was the first great fleet battle of the French Wars of 1793-1815. It took place in the Atlantic, four hundred miles west of Ushant, when the French were attempting to intercept and escort home a valuable grain fleet from America and the British were also attempting to prevent this by capturing as much as possible. The 'Defence', 74 guns, commanded by Captain James Gambier, was one of the most heavily engaged ships, and is shown demasted in the middle of the picture, in starboard-quarter tending to broadside view. It is firing into the French 'Achille', 74 guns, on the right of the picture, in starboard-quarter to stern view, which is returning her fire. On the left of the painting the 'Defence' is also being raked aft by a Frenchman, shown in starboard-bow view.
- Image reference: BHC0474
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
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